Developed in the 1930's and 1940's, the term "film noir" was used to describe some of Hollywood's darker, edgier and more sinister crime dramas. Film noir normally evokes a feeling of hopelessness, that a happy ending would never be in the works. They are set in a world that reeks of night, of shadows, of alleys and always involves some form of crime or vice. The main character of a film noir (usually a chainsmoking male detective or criminal) is constantly faced with moral decisions on what is right and what is wrong. He often confronts a "Femme Fatal" (a woman who would just as soon kill you as love you) and attempts a relationship that lasts only too briefly.
Film noir elements featured prominently in mystery-themed adventure and visual novel games, such as Portopia, Deja Vu, and Snatcher. Recently, due to the growing focus of story and cinematics in games, several noir-inspired games have emerged in other genres. Final Fantasy VII