ETERNAL DARKNESS: SANITY'S REQUIEM
By Dennis "CallMeBackdraft" Aspers on September 18, 2017
Muwhhahahahahaha! Oh, how I have missed this; walking around in the lovely Big Red HQ. And the best thing about it is, apart from that idiot mr. "Mighty" pirate still trying to find a way out of our mazelike front yard... wait did I say our, off course I mean mine, yeah it's mine now my friends... ALL MINE. Okay, just hold up one minute; I guess I should get you guys and girls up to speed on all the things that have happened since my former compadre left you guys to go on his "well-deserved" vacation.
Well, what actually happened was, when he used his old prototype time machine he left such a big signature in spacetime that I could easily hook into his location. So when he was off trying to get data for a story to tell you guys, I rigged the machine so that it would not go back to where he came from. No sir, even if it looked like the real deal to him, everything is actually a meticulously crafted subdimension, created by yours truly! And.well. that is where I left him for the time being. His loving wife is now begging me to try and find and recover him, but I keep telling her I am just soooooo busy. I mean, come on! Do you guys know how much work it takes to keep the liver conditioned in such a way that it is capable of consuming vast amounts of alcohol?! And besides, I really don't have to find him, because I know exactly where I put him and I keep taps on everything he is doing in there. For instance, he is currently bathing in his own tears because he thinks that Elvis won't be friends with him.
But, I guess that's not what you came for! You, of course, must be anxious to blast off with me back to the good old days. And because I like you guys and girls so much, I am more than willing to spend some more time together. And, as luck would have it, I know just the time and place to go. I really do want to get some new inspiration on what to do next to my good old "friend" in his subdimension... So, let's go back to 2002 and keep our own sanity in check while we dive into Eternal Darkness: Sanity's requiem.
When playing this Nintendo Gamecube launchtitle, we crawl into the skin of Alexandra Roivas, a university student who is studying in Washington. Alexandra finds herself returning to her family's estate on Rhode Island after her grandfather, Edward Rovias, is found brutally murdered. Two weeks after returning, with the local police having gotten nowhere with the murder investigation, Alexandra decides to investigate the mansion for clues herself. She suddenly stumbles upon a secret room containing, among other odd items, a book bound in human skin and bone called the Tome of Eternal Darkness. Deciding to read it, she finds it containing accounts of various people from the past.
While reading the mysterious texts, we then assume control of said people, ranging from a Roman millitary commander called Pious Augustus to a Persian swordsman called Karim to a field reporter during World War I, all finding, going to or stumbling upon the forbidden city and coming across three artifacts. Each of these artifacts possesses the essence of powerful godlike beings, referred to as "Ancients". These beings are said to have had the power to corrupt people, driving them mad with lust for power. This is exactly what they do to Pious. Isn't it fun to see the birth, or should I say rebirth, of a games' antagonist?
After we have learned all we can from the Tome of Eternal Darkness, Alexandra decides to finish the fight against said Darkness, that keeps on threatening humanity. Recovering the artifacts from within the mansion, she soon ventures into the forbidden city and uses them with the city's machinery, in order to summon a rival Ancient to fight Pious' master. Alexandra then engages Pious in combat, aided by the spirits of those written in the Tome.
Eternal Darkness is a game that I will always remember and, for the longest time, had hoped would get a reboot or sequel. But, alas, the release was really low key, resulting in a big number og gamers not knowing about the game until much, much later. Regardless of that, though, the game received shining reviews and even some awards for the gameplay style, this was because it did something we would not see until many years later, when the Batman: Arkham games used a light version of it. The game messed with the players in real life through use of the games' (in)sanity effects. More than once, I thought my console broke down or someone was messing with my television set, because of what the game put me through.
I got an error screen, saying that something broke in the console or showing a televisions hud on which the volume or channel changed going to static. And these are just a few examples of what the developers' twisted minds had come up with. All the while, the game kept running in the background. This definitely gave me and gamers like me, a real incentive to keep the sanity bar as low as possible. So all in all, something simple like defeating an enemy or just casting a spell to restore some of your lost sanity, gave you a real sense of accomplishment.
And with that, my loyal subjects, I am all out of time for today. But, boy, did I get some inspiration! Oh, by the way: yes, Mr. sadhonker will be able to travel with you guys the next time the Big Red Timemachine returns... I will make sure of it! However, he won't know that he will not ever come back in the same reality we all live in, he will allways return in his.... or should I say my, playpen.. haha...hahahaha..muwhahaahaahaha... *cough cough* Now where are my beers and cigarettes...
Now, what are you still doing here? Carry on now; the show's over... See you next time!
ETERNAL DARKNESS: SANITY'S REQUIEM
Silicon Knights & Nintendo