Narokath! Pargon! Santak! Pargon! Xel'lotath!

Whew, that should restore some of my sanity! In case you didn’t know, Eternal Darkness for the GameCube is the best horror game yet made, even better than Silent Hill 2 in my opinion thanks to better game mechanics and far better presentation, even though the story is basically just your average “ancient horror” tripe.

Interestingly, the game was developed by the venerable Silicon Knights who created several strategy games for SSI in the early 90s. Production and gameplay was overseen by Nintendo, though.

Splitting up tasks among many different mortals makes for a great reuse of locations (along with appropriate levels of decay and other changes) and delivers on the idea of going up against superhuman powers, unlike so many other games whose “evil god” is ultimately defeated by a single Rambo with a few well-placed grenades.

Yeah, sanity is just a gimmick but who cares – those crying voices and tilted screen when you’re about to go insane greatly contribute to the mood, and some of the more “advanced” effects are simply hilarious! “Congratulations, you beat the game! Coming soon – the sequel: Eternal Darkness, Sanity’s Requiem.”

What I didn’t like were some lengthy corridor explorations late in the game, and the fact that I couldn’t beat the two big bosses without a FAQ. Otherwise they did a really great job at making puzzles & enemies manageable but not trivially easy.

One other pet peeve – they really could have grabbed some dictionaries and made sure their “historical” names and dates aren’t totally ridiculous. It doesn’t detract much from the game since it’s fantasy anyway but how hard can it be to think up a real Roman name instead of “Pious [sic!] Augustus”, for instance? Oh well, the West continues to decline.

But never mind that. Just buy the game, it rocks!

loads up on the popcorn, eagerly anticipates firebrand bible-thumping fireworks from the spawn of Jack Chick

The only resident Chick here is Tom, and we already know that he doesn’t like Eternal Darkness because it’s too much like Deus Ex, or so I heard. :wink:

:P I know about the Tom/Jack thing, but due to the unfortunate coincidence of having an identical rare surnames, I’ll always confuse the two. I could make the effort of distinguishing them, but that would rob me of amusement.

Hey, I’m not the only one who thought Eternal Darkness was pretty lame. I believe Doug “I hate Neverwinter Nights” Erikson was also discerning enough to see how shallow and dopey it was.

Besides, I’ve written off Mr. Nahr’s critical powers of discrimination ever since he tried to charge me money for recommending Flying Heroes… :)

 -Tom

The only problem I found with it is that it pulls the same trick that Castlevania: SOTN did with the alucard shield. If you get the Mantorok rune (purple) it makes the game incredibly easy. Not as bad the the Alucard shield did, but the ability to have regen, invisibility, a weapon charge with a DoT, and the ability to heal both sanity and health slants the difficulty to the easy side.

The Mantorok rune does make the game somewhat easier but first you have to find one of the better hidden secrets in the game, and then you have to figure out what it is good for. Besides, you could always just run in circles until your energy is charged up. Overall I think Mantorok decreases tedium more than difficulty. I never used Invisibility, though – that’s one non-obvious ability that I didn’t find about until I read a walkthrough.

how could you NOT go back up the stairs and send your little pet into the hole to find mantorok? i was like physically unable to continue the game until i forced myself to figure out what was in that hole… i think it’s the RPG syndrome - anything that is obviously out of your way must lead to the Masamune. and invisibility really takes the cake.

I agree with this assessment, but only because I thought Silent Hill 2 was awful. Eternal Darkness was less awful than Silent Hill 2, but not by a huge margin. Neither was even close to what I’d describe as a “good horror game.”

Your mileage may vary. :)

Buggerit, Tom, it’s “Erickson” with a “ck”, and I didn’t HATE Neverwinter Nights - I just thought the SP campaign was fairly boring overall, and I don’t give a shit about the toolset.

Eternal Darkness, on the other hand, was complete crap. Revisiting the same areas, solving the same incredibly simple and stupid puzzles ad nauseum, and rapidly L-clicking to target the head on every monster does not a good game make.

Silent Hill 2 had problems, but at LEAST it had a great story and ambience in spades. ED had garish over-saturated “Nintendo” colors, hideous modelling, unimaginative monster designs, and one of the stupidest takes on Lovecraft ever penned. Give me Pyramid Head raping a mannequin in a dingy hotel over the four-armed zombie of the week any day.

Yikes, sorry Doug. I blame Eric/Erik Wolpaw for forever confusing me with people who have Eric/Erik in their names. Now I have to contend with an …erick… And I’ll revise your nickname to Doug “NWN’s SP campaign was fairly boring overall” Erickson.

Silent Hill 2 had problems, but at LEAST it had a great story and ambience in spades.

I agree with you about the ambience, but calling it a great story is stretching it. THERE WAS NO STORY! What story? Nothing in that game made any sense. Which was maybe the point, but at least the first Silent Hill kind of gelled a bit by the time it ended. I finished SH2 knowing less than I did before I began it. In fact, that whole game was a progression of confusion, piling ‘huh?’ upon ‘huh?’ until I just said ‘fuck it, get me to the end’.

At Nahr’s recommendation, I went through some of the FAQs that supposedly spell out the SH2 story. Utter rubbish! The guys who wrote those FAQs were just making stuff up.

But I’m with you 100% about Eternal Darkness. I think I prefer RE’s dopey zombie hunting to the limp stab at Lovecraft that passed for horror in Eternal Darkness.

 -Tom

Well, admittedly, I played SH2 with a 101 degree fever, so it probably made far more sense than it had any right to.

The storylines in Dead or Alive 3 made more sense than SH2. And those stories were nonsensical in a silly and amusing way, at least. My wife and I got a laugh out of most of them. SH2 was just nonsensical. And foggy.

See? I keep saying that the unwashed masses are incapable of recognizing greatness when they see it but nooo, everyone just laughs at me. Now here it is for all to see, people making FUN of Eternal Darkness and Silent Hill 2! Can there be any better proof of the sorry state of public education?

Anyway, what did you Deus Ex haters think was a good horror game? Not perhaps Clive Barker’s Decidedly Un-Horrifying Undying with its hysterical overacting and basic shooter gameplay?

I dunno, Undying was pretty creepy-- remember that scene with the weird crow-like creatures? Definitely an underrated shooter, and I thought it pulled off the horror stuff with aplomb. If it wasn’t for that awful end boss sequence, I’d recommend it without hesitation.

I saw the title of this thread in the forum and in my head I immediately heard the casting of a seven-point shield spell or enchant an item or something in the voice! Good stuff. I told everyone it is one of the top games yet for the Cube.

This may explain your trouble with the game. You don’t rapidly click anything, ever, for the whole game. You just hold down the L-trigger to target. Button mashing doesn’t help every game. :wink:

System Shock 2 freaked me out, even when I wasn’t playing it. Alot of Thief and Thief 2 were VERY moody and freaky. The mansion parts of Undying were freaky. Parts of Alien vs Predator 1 were freaky. Same with parts of Ultima Underworld and Wizards and Warriors and Arx Fatalis… but those arent really horror games. Those adventure horror games never scared me much… though I haven’t played any of the Silent Hills or Eternal Darkness… though I did rent and play that one with the camera and some hot chick… oh yeah fatal frame and most of the RE’s.

etc

I really liked Eternal Darkness for the week or two that I played it. Cool characters, neato magicks, a bunch of weapons, interesting locations and a good story. Tom and Doug are mean.

What mtkafka said, though I’d add Amber: Journeys Beyond, The Lurking Horror, and a few of the Lovecraft adventure games (Shadow of the Comet, et al).

To be fair, there haven’t been many good horror games in the history of the industry. It’s a tough theme to do well. As all of the Resident Evil games (and their ilk) and Eternal Darkness deftly demonstrate… ;)

To be fair, there haven’t been many good horror games in the history of the industry. It’s a tough theme to do well. As all of the Resident Evil games (and their ilk) and Eternal Darkness deftly demonstrate…

Are you implying the Resident Evil games are less than successful as horror games? If you are, that’s just plain wacko.

–Dave