Tecmo's Deception

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a game by Tecmo
Genre: Puzzles & Words
Platform: Playstation
Editor Rating: 8.1/10, based on 4 reviews, 5 reviews are shown
User Rating: 8.0/10 - 2 votes
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See also: RPGs
Tecmo's Deception
Tecmo's Deception
Tecmo's Deception
Tecmo's Deception

You don't play the hero in Tecmo's Deception, the most unusual of the PlayStation's new RPGs. You're not even a nice guy. You're the villain--the antihero-and you want to trap and kill every do-gooder you see.

The game puts you in charge of a castle and entrusts you with keeping it free of treasure hunters and other would-be heroes. If you do a good job, the castle's demonic keeper will help you seek revenge on those who framed you for murdering your father, the king.

The game looks very much like King's Field, except it moves a lot quicker and you don't wield weapons against the castle's invaders. Instead, you take the Home Alone approach and set up traps, of which there are more than 40 different kinds.

Some are designed to capture the intruders, while others-like the wall spikes-are designed to just plain hurt. You'll need to inflict some pain, too; many invaders are too quick to be captured unless you sap their spunkiness with a few wall spikes or one-ton weights.

It's best to capture people rather than kill them, since captured invaders yield magic points, and magic points are needed to lay traps.

Once you get to the later levels, you can turn your prisoners into monsters that will patrol the castle. The game has six different endings depending on which trespassers you kill or turn into monster slaves.

The other half of Tecmo's Deception plays like a twisted, old episode of Bob Vila's This Old House. You need to add rooms to the castle, and these dens, libraries and other additions are purchased with the money you steal from trespassers. The more rooms you build, the more likely you are to find keys and artifacts. If you find the six Legendary Treasures, you can resurrect the demon-then the castle's invaders are really in trouble.

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System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Game Reviews

Best put by our Associate Editor Crispin Boyer, this game is like the dark side of Home Alone. Enter Tecmo's Deception: Invitation to Darkness, a game where you get to play the nasty villain who kills wonderful adventure seekers that enter your domain. The story starts with you as a prince. Your father, the king, is killed in a mysterious way. You are blamed for his death and burned alive. Before the final moment of truth, however, you make the acquaintance of a demon who brings you back from the dead to construct the massive castle of the damned and protect it from anyone who might enter.

The game does look quite similar to that of King's Field 2, but instead of slashing your enemies with what weapons are available, you have to set vile traps within the corridors. Among these traps are such things as simple electrified cages and bear traps, to nasty things like giant stone feet, wall spikes, pits and anvils! In total, there are over 40 kinds of traps you can set. Force out screams, monster howls, antagonizing laughter and creepy cries to change the morale of each hero anywhere from angry to total cowardice! In addition to the 3-D wandering and trap springing, there is a resource management side to this game as well. As stated above, you must construct the palace by placing rooms, corridors and such in any location you want-along with the traps too.

There are also tons of secrets to be found. While doing your construction bit, certain rooms might suddenly have secret items found within them. You will also gain new styles of rooms and traps for each level gained by your character. To add to the fun. the game is extremely heavy in plot. Depending on which characters you kill, items you find, prisoners you release and so on, you will change the course of events in the game, thus leading to new characters to battle and perhaps a secret new item or three-all eventually leading up to one of the six endings the game contains! If you ever wanted to design your own slaughter house-this one's the game, you'll want to get!


Just when you thought Tecmo developed only sports games, along comes Deception, a first-person RPG with an engaging story line and innovative gameplay. Add in its great sounds and nasty monsters, and this eerie, heart-stopping RPG keeps you suspended in terror.

Tricks 'n' Traps

What makes Deception's gameplay unique is the lack of traditional weaponry. You play as a crown prince who makes a pact with Satan to keep from being burned at the stake. Armed only with traps (such as spikes and cages), you battle on Satan's behalf and eventually try to turn the tables on him. As you progress, Satan gives you more powerful traps and the magical ability to create vicious monsters who will vanquish enemies for you.

Unlike other RPGs, in Deception your confrontation with each enemy is unique. Initially you use different masks to coerce invaders into the traps that will confuse, maim, or capture them. Later in the game you can use the monsters, especially as they grow stronger and gain experience with each victory.

The Sound of Suspense

Much of Deception's intensity comes from its outstanding sound. The eerie background music works with terrific sound effects like footsteps, screams, and creaking doors to create a cohesive atmosphere that is pure suspense.

The graphics are almost as good. Although some of the BD rendering is blocky, overall the first-person graphics are quick, crisp, and detailed (note the en tertaining expressions on the faces of your enemies as they stir in your traps). While more shading and variety would have added depth to the castle's bland rooms, the truly frightening monsters more than compensate.

No Deception

Responsive controls make it possible for you to trigger your traps precisely when you need to. The controls also enable you to customize rooms as part of your strategy for trapping victims.

Deception is an excellent addition to the RPG market. It has something most other RPGs seem to have lost: originality. While other games follow the familiar Phantasy Star or Final Fantasy formats, Deception has an original story and unique gameplay. Deception may be the game other companies will follow into the future of RPGs.


  • Use monsters sparingly. Only when a pesky Invader Is difficult to finish off should you send In a werewolf or zombie.
  • In Strategy mode, build bedrooms, which replenish your health, near your Power rooms.
  • If you're out of cash, choose merchants as your victims. They carry the most gold.
  • Be careful when resting In bedrooms, because Invaders can still come In and harm you.
  • If an Invader's speed Is helping them elude your traps, use pits and cranes to slow them down for capture.
  • Early In the game, buy herbs from the lone merchant In the halls. You'll need their healing powers almost Immediately.
  • Always pair your main trap with a confusion trap. This strategy enhances your chances of capturing Invaders.

Tecmo's Deception: Invitation to Darkness takes the standard find-the-treasure, kill-the-monster RPG formula and turns it on its ear. You don't slay monsters and rescue princesses in this unusual RPG. You are the monster (well, sort of), and you'll be darned if any would-be hero is going to get his or her grubby paws on your treasure.

Your job is to look after a castle-the aptly named Castle of the Damned-and make sure no curious adventurers leave the ancient fortress alive (a goal similar to that of Bullfrog's forthcoming PC title Dungeon Keeper). Your character got stuck with this grisly task after he was framed for murdering his father, the king. Just as he was about to be executed for the assassination, he made a pact with a demon. If he keeps the demon's castle free from intruders, he can use the demon's power to exact revenge on those behind the frame-up.

Deception looks and plays much like King's Field, with you moving through the 3-D. texture-mapped mansion in hot pursuit of trespassers (although you move a heck of a lot faster than the snail's pace set by King's Field). The only way to evict the unwelcomed guests is to trap them, since you don't lug around any weapons.

You get to use more than AO kinds of traps in Deception. Some of them-like the falling cage and the bear trap-are designed to capture intruders. Others-like the Roadrunner cartoon-inspired one-ton weight-are designed to just plain hurt. As you progress through Deception's 27 levels and earn experience points, you'll be granted new traps and even develop some of your own (see sidebar).

Once you capture invaders, you can swipe their souls for magic points or simply kill them for their gold (the game has six different endings depending on who you capture and how ruthless you are as the castle's keeper). Since each trap costs a certain amount of magic points, you'll probably take most of your captives' souls.

You'll usually need to rough the adventurers up a bit before you capture them. Most trespassers are agile enough to dodge your falling cages and other traps until you impale them with a few spikes and slow them down. You can also lure invaders toward traps by donning one of the five masks you're given early in the game. These masks emit various screams that either attract or repel the invaders.

Nabbing intruders is only half your job in Deception; you also have to add new rooms-which cost cash-to the two-story castle. You'll mostly be adding rooms for strategic reasons (for instance, a long, trap-filled hallway will keep your quarry moving from trap to trap). But sometimes newly built rooms contain artifacts that will make your watchdog duties easier. For example, you'll find a mask that lets you turn your prisoners into monster slaves, like werewolves and dragons. You can summon these slaves to attack and weaken especially hardy intruders.

Deception will definitely appeal to those with a sick sense of humor. For instance, one pair of adventurers enters the castle looking for treasure so they can fund a little girl's life-saving operation. Once you capture and kill the luckless couple, you see a cinema of the little girl in bed, crying out pitifully for her parents.

Don't feel too guilty if you think that's funny. After all, isn't it high time all the monsters killed in RPGs over the years got a little payback?

People say:


Another great title that is a twist from anything that has been out before. Originality these days goes a long way with me. Tecmo's Deception has some excellent graphic for the type of game it is. The characters don't have a huge amount of detail, but they are diverse in the way they look. The traps are cool and the items you can get make Deception a lot of fun to play through. The dialogue of the characters trying to find the treasure is cheesy but funny. I especially like the innocent people who are only going into the castle on a dare-what else can you do but kill them like the rest of the thieves. A twisted but great strategy game.


Tecmo certainly doesn't have a problem with vanity now do they? Of course, I'm referring to their tendency toward naming games after themselves. With that aside, 1 must say it's certainly refreshing to see original titles like Tecmo's Deception in a market full copycats and wanna-bes. Originality (if carried out right) always deserves an extra half a point or so in my reviews. I love this idea of being the bad guy and capturing heroes. It's certainly a unique change of fate. Tecmo's has role-playing features that will tantalize RPG fanatics and has strategic gameplay that will please strategy game enthusiasts. It's a great combo.


TD is perhaps the most innovative console RPG ever released. The game lets you play the bad guy, an evil ghost who traps and slaughters any trespassers who enter his castle. Later in the game, you can even turn the intruders into monsters that'll help you nab future unwanted guests. TD is also heavy on strategy, since you have to plan the placement of your traps. My only gripe is that it's often hard to get the trespassers to follow you toward the traps. They tend to wander around too much. TD is filled with sick humor. For instance, you kill two adventurers who are seeking treasure to fund their daughter's life-saving operation.


Tecmo's Deception is a very original title, not so much by giving you the role of an evil character, but by the manner in which you claim your victims. Relying far more on strategy than you'd think, Deception is a thinker's game with little arcade quality to it. The graphics aren't even spectacular, yet there's a certain appeal to planning the demise of your visitors. I also like the small touches of humor found in various points of the game, like the zany dialogue of the various intruders. Slaughtering the innocent is a must in this game! A word of warning: This is NOT a Doom game. It's a great strategy title for patient gamers.

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