An Introduction To Black Dahlia

Black Dahlia is an adventure deeply rooted in its period setting. The designers, writers and art staff spent innumerable hours researching every detail in an attempt to ensure that the player's immersion in this game world would be as complete as possible. However, of all the research done, three historical phenomena bear mentioning here, as they form the backbone of the Black' Dahlia story line.

(NOTE: If you are interested in learning more about the true facts behind the plot of the game, go to the Black Dahlia web site at for further information.)

The first of these events was the reign of terror carried out in the city of Cleveland by America's first modern serial killer. This cunning psychopath, known as the Torso Murderer, was linked to as many as twenty deaths. His victims were found dismembered in a stretch of industrial wasteland that cut through the heart of the city. He was never apprehended, despite the efforts of many of the day's top lawmen, including the famous "Untouchable" Eliot Ness. His activities mysteriously ceased just before the outbreak of the second world war, which, incidentally, is the second major historical event that plays a role in our story.

The rise of Fascism in Europe and the incomprehensible defeat of both Poland and France at the hands of Nazi Germany led many to speculate that the Wehrmacht had more than a tactical military advantage over its opponents.

To some this led to a conviction that "Fifth Column" spies must have played a significant role in Hitler's victories: to others, it pointed to supernatural aid.

There can be little doubt that many of the Fuhrer's inner circle were fascinated by mysticism, astrology, Norse myth and pagan Germanic ritual. The United States government formed a counter-intelligence and propaganda agency, the Office of the Coordinator of Information (or COI for short), in response to these concerns. The Office of Strategic Services (or OSS) carried the mantle for this short-lived agency once America entered the war.

Finally, the third, and in some ways most tragic, piece of history that has inspired our story is the murder of a young would-be actress in Los Angeles. California. Elizabeth Short, a stunningly beautiful girl who was struggling to make a name for herself in the "Babylon" of Hollywood, never seemed to be able to escape a curse of unbelievably bad fortune that pursued her throughout her brief life. Having lost two fiances in the war, it is said that she turned to drinking and promiscuity in a desperate effort to shield her broken heart from overwhelming grief. It was in January, 1947 that police found her tortured and dismembered body in a vacant lot. A reporter who covered this sensational crime immortalized the unfortunate Elizabeth Short with the nickname "Black Dahlia."

That year, many who were familiar with the prior events in Cleveland were convinced that the Torso Murderer had struck again. In any event, just like the perpetrator of the Torso killings, the slayer of Elizabeth Short was never apprehended. He may, in fact, still be alive to this very day.

Our story begins in 1941 with the player assuming the role of |im Pearson, a young agent assigned to the fledgling intelligence agency, the COI. Your first case requires you to investigate the activities of potential "Fifth Column" subversives in America's Midwest. Soon, your investigation reveals something much more sinister, and it is up to you. the player, to unravel the web of mystery which surrounds the case.

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