Composer(s) Steve Henifin
Developer Silicon Knights
Artist(s) Ken McCulloch
Initial release date 24 June 2002
|Director(s) Denis Dyack
Producer(s) Shigeru Miyamoto Satoru Iwata Kenji Miki
Programmer(s) Doug Tooley Carey Murray
Writer(s) Denis Dyack Ken McCulloch
Publishers Nintendo, Nintendo of Europe
Designers Silicon Knights, Shigeru Miyamoto
Genres Action-adventure game, Survival horror, Psychological thriller
Similar Silicon Knights games, Survival horror games, Other games
Eternal darkness sanity s requiem gamecube playthrough nintendocomplete
Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem is a psychological horror action-adventure video game developed by Silicon Knights and published by Nintendo for the GameCube. The game was originally planned for the Nintendo 64. The game's setting is centered on a mansion in Rhode Island—the home of protagonist Alexandra Roivas' grandfather—and a book that Alexandra finds there. It utilizes a third-person view in which the player must navigate a number of locations as twelve characters spanning different time periods, as well as "sanity effects" to enhance the gameplay.
- Eternal darkness sanity s requiem gamecube playthrough nintendocomplete
- Cgrundertow eternal darkness sanity s requiem for nintendo gamecube video game review
- Playable characters
- The Ancients
- Multiple PathsAlignments
- Sanity effects
- Short films
- Reviews and sales
- Cancelled sequel
- Shadow of the Eternals
Though not a commercial success, Eternal Darkness was widely praised, winning numerous awards. While a direct follow-up was cancelled by the copyrights holder Nintendo, and Silicon Knights bankrupted and disbanded, the game's writer and director Denis Dyack has been attempting to make a spiritual successor titled Shadow of the Eternals.
Cgrundertow eternal darkness sanity s requiem for nintendo gamecube video game review
The action in Eternal Darkness is divided between four principal locations. The game skips back and forth through time when the player begins or ends each chapter. The locations include the Forbidden City in Persia, a Cambodian temple in Angkor Thom, the Oublié Cathedral in Amiens, France, and the Roivas family mansion with the Ruined City of Ehn'gha in Rhode Island, United States.
The plot of the game revolves around Alexandra Roivas, who is investigating the mysterious murder of her grandfather Edward Roivas. While exploring his Rhode Island mansion, she discovers a secret room containing, among other odd items, a book bound with human skin and bone. When she reads this book, The Tome of Eternal Darkness, she experiences a scene in the life of Pious Augustus, a respected Roman military commander in 26 BC. Pious is led by mysterious voices to an underground temple, where he chooses one of three mysterious artifacts. The artifact transforms him into an undead warlock, the Liche, and makes him slave to one of three Ancients, powerful godlike beings whose "Essences" are incarnated as the artifacts. As the plot unfolds, it becomes clear that Pious is attempting to summon his Ancient into this reality, while the powerful fourth "Corpse God" Mantorok is bound on Earth already, apparently helpless to stop it. If this summoning came to pass, the Ancient would feast on the bodies and souls of all living beings, and cast the universe into the horror of eternal darkness.
As she searches for and finds chapters of the Tome scattered throughout the mansion, Alex finds herself reliving the experiences of several (player controlled) individuals who have crossed paths with Pious or other servants of the Ancients over the centuries, and as a result came into contact with the Tome itself. While many of these individuals meet a sinister fate, their cooperation ultimately gathers the Essences of the three remaining Ancients in the mansion. Alex's own ancestors discover the long-deserted City of Ehn'gha beneath the family mansion, and powerful magickal machinery inside. Alex powers up this mechanism with the Ancients' essences, and summons a rival Ancient to fight Pious'.
While the two Ancients fight, Alex engages in combat with Pious with the aid of the spirits of his victims, the souls played in previous chapters, ultimately destroying his Ancient's essence. It loses the fight above as Alex kills Pious. Then, realizing that the Roivases and their allies have just brought another powerful Ancient into the world, Edward's spirit quickly uses the mechanism in Ehn'gha to send the other Ancient back where it came from. He expresses pride in his granddaughter before he disappears.
After completing the game under all three alignments, it is revealed that all three Ancients have been destroyed — "All at once, separate and simultaneous, for the universe is made of many timestreams, many possibilities, all in harmonious synchronicity." Because he was bound, and not powerful enough to stop Pious Augustus himself, Mantorok manipulated the Roivas family into completing the work for him. He orchestrates the deaths of all three Ancients, in separate timestreams, and then connects them all, resulting in the annihilation of all three alignments. In the end, only the corpse god Mantorok is still alive, "festering in its tomb... plotting."
The player controls the following characters in the years noted next to their names. The game does not introduce them in chronological order and they are listed in the order the player first takes control of them.
The Ancients are depicted as godlike beings that existed on Earth before humanity. The three Ancients that Pious may align with were expelled from this universe, and Pious works to bring about the return of his Ancient. The featured Ancients are:
Mantorok appears to be in a position of both superiority and inferiority to the other Ancients depending on context. It is described as the "Keeper of the Ancients", and it's implied that Mantorok alone binds the other three Ancients and traps them outside of reality. Maintaining equilibrium among them, and ensuring that they are bound to fight against and destroy one another. However, due to a powerful binding spell cast by Pious, it has been weakened and its powers over the others has been waning for eons.
A fifth alignment, colored yellow, was confirmed to be the alignment of another Ancient that was not included in the game. In-game, yellow appears on unaligned runes and disintegrating enemies, and was responsible for the cursing of Anthony (intended for Charlemagne).
Fan theories surrounding the obscure fifth alignment and Montorok suggest: that while Mantorok would have been in a position of superiority to the primary other three, the unused yellow deity would have been in a position of inferiority to them, but while also being superior to Mantorok. However, the exclusion of the fifth alignment could be the reason behind Mantorok fulfilling both superior and inferior roles at the same time in the plot.
Initially, the player controls Alexandra as she investigates the mansion, which serves as a hub, in 2000 AD. Upon finding The Tome of Eternal Darkness, the player takes control of Pious Augustus in 26 BC. After Pious' chapter, the player resumes control of Alex as she finds additional chapter pages around the mansion. With each chapter, the player assumes control of a different character in the past, and ends with the perspective returning to Alex. Each chapter progresses the story and provides both the player and Alex the knowledge and abilities needed to progress. Alex does not actually engage in combat herself until late in the game.
The player chooses which of the three artifacts Pious attempts to claim at the start of the game. This determines which of the three primary antagonists he is aligned with in the plot, and subsequently which enemies dominate each level of the game. These subtle differences can influence the players experience and in some cases the difficulty of the game.
The alignments are identified by color, and have a rock, paper, scissors relationship, which is important in the player's consideration of his or her own magick use.
By completing an optional goal, the player may also gain the ability to align spells with Mantorok (purple), which has power over the other three alignments and affects multiple parameters at once. However, there are certain spells the player cannot cast with the Mantorok alignment.
Eternal Darkness offers magical powers for healing, solving puzzles, and experimenting in combat. For example, it is possible for player characters to summon monsters like those they are fighting. This is achieved by a system of runes for the components of the spell and 3-, 5-, or 7-point "Circles of Power" which allow the runes to be scribed. Though they are called "runes" by the game (probably due to the term's association with mystery and magic), these symbols do not form an alphabet, but rather a vocabulary. As such, they would be more accurately termed glyphs or especially sigilia. To cast a spell, an alignment rune (fueling the spell with the power of one of the four Ancients), a "verb" or effect rune (describing the action of the spell) and a "noun" or target rune must be used. For example, the spell for recovering health consists of the alignment rune for Chattur'gha, the rune for "absorb" (Narokath), and the rune for "self" (Santak). The same runes when aligned to Xel'lotath would restore sanity, rather than health. As more runes are discovered, more combinations are possible, although not all have an effect. With a larger Circle of Power, "power" (Pargon) runes may be added to spells to increase the intensity of the spell. Runes and Circles gathered during a chapter are stored in the Tome of Eternal Darkness and available in all subsequent chapters, as well as to Alex in 2000 AD.
The game's standout concept, patented by Nintendo, is the "sanity meter", a green bar on screen which is depleted by various events, generally when the character is seen by an enemy. It can be restored by such actions as performing a "finishing move" on an enemy or casting a restorative spell. As the bar becomes low, subtle changes are made to the environment and random unusual events begin to occur, reflecting the character's slackening grip on reality. If the bar remains empty, further damage to sanity decreases the player character's health.
One effect which is consistently used is a skewed camera angle accompanied by whispers, cries, and unsettling noises. The lower the sanity meter, the more skewed the camera angle and the louder the sound effects. Fourth wall breaking effects include simulated errors and anomalies of the TV or GameCube (one effect being a Blue Screen of Death); this does not affect gameplay unless the player misconstrues them as actual technical malfunctions and attempts to correct them. There are many different sanity effects, and their length depends on each effect. Not all effects will necessarily be encountered during a given run through the game. A few more commonplace examples include sounds, such as footsteps, women and children screaming, doors slamming, the rattling of chains and the sound of a blade being sharpened; the player character finding him/herself walking upon the ceiling after entering a new room; walls and ceilings bleeding; the volume being lowered, accompanied by a fake television volume indicator on the screen; and the appearance of large numbers of monsters that are not really there, and disappear when attacked. Some sanity effects are character- or area-specific and reflect the individual's personal fears or experiences or take advantage of environmental features (such as a statue whose head turns to follow the player). When the sanity effect is finished, everything goes back to normal and the character often utters a panicked statement to the effect of, "this can't be happening!"
In developing the game Silicon Knights intended to create a game "that was in the horror genre, but not categorized as survival/horror." In an early interview Silicon Knights referred to it as "psychological thriller" as opposed to what they referred to "B-movie horror plots" of Resident Evil. At the same time, Denis Dyack was inspired by media reports that video games were "messing with people's heads" "So, we thought, wouldn't it be a good idea to make something that really does mess with people's heads?"
The game was revealed at the E3 1999, initially being developed for the Nintendo 64 and featuring "a Special Forces commando deep behind enemy lines" among other characters. It was then planned to be a launch title for the Nintendo GameCube, but had to be delayed as a consequence of the September 11 attacks, as a quarter of the levels were reworked because of a major setting in the Arab world, which Silicon Knights felt the people were not ready for at that time. Karim was not in the early builds of Eternal Darkness. Writers Denis Dyack and Ken McCulloch had originally placed Joseph De Molay, a Knight Templar, in the scenario, though later changed this in 2001.
The music and sound effects of Eternal Darkness were composed by Steve Henifin. The soundtrack was made exclusively available through Nintendo Power magazine. The disc contains 14 tracks from the game, many of which are extended versions of those heard in the game. The game also features voice-overs from actors such as Jennifer Hale, Neil Dickson, and Cam Clarke. Many voice actors are known from the Metal Gear series, notably the aforementioned Jennifer Hale and Cam Clarke, as well as Kim Mai Guest, Greg Eagles, Paul Eiding and David Hayter.
Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem was first released and published by Nintendo on June 24, 2002 in North America, October 25, 2002 in Japan and November 1, 2002 in Europe. It was the first video game published directly by Nintendo, rather than a third-party developer, to be rated M (Mature) by the Entertainment Software Rating Board.
In 2002, Nintendo and Hypnotic, a film entertainment company, established a filmmaking contest in which contestants submitted ideas that would be later funded into short films if selected. Hypnotic also purchased the rights to produce a film or TV series based on the IP. The contest looked for ideas that evoke the same kind of psychological horror that the game intends to evoke, but the films were not directly based on the Eternal Darkness characters or storyline.
The contest drew over 500 submissions. Ten finalists were selected and were granted $2,000 each to produce their respective short films. The grand prize for the contest was $20,000, and was selected by a panel of industry experts. The finalists were unveiled between May 23 and July 4, 2002. A second prize, the viewer's choice award, was awarded on the basis of its popularity among the online audience.
The grand prize winner of the contest was Patrick Daughters, for the film Unloved. The viewer's choice award went to the film Cutting Room Floor by Tyler Spangler and Michael Cioni. Other videos featured on the official website included Article Number One by Julian Cautherley, Dinner with Kip by Chris Schwartz, Del by Chris Milnes, Suburban Nightmare by Christopher Reves, Darkness Visible by David McMillan, Corner of the Eye by Peter Hunziker, Carnal Noise by Francisco Aliwalas, and << (pronounced "rewind") by Rich Gallup.
Reviews and sales
Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem received a near-universal critical acclaim upon its release, with aggregated review scores of over 9/10 at both GameRankings and Metacritic. Upon review, IGN gave Eternal Darkness one of its Editor's Choice Awards and, in its review of the game, stated "Simply put, an amazing achievement that shouldn't be overlooked. Games do not come any better than this."
Eternal Darkness sold less than half a million copies worldwide. In Japan, the game has sold 17,748 copies as of December 31, 2006.
Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem won many awards, including the "Outstanding Achievement in Character or Story Development" award at the 6th Annual Interactive Achievement Awards presented by the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences in 2003, where it was also nominated for "Console Game of the Year," "Innovation in Console Gaming," and "Outstanding Achievement in Art Direction." At GameSpot's Best and Worst of 2002, it was awarded "Best Sound on GameCube", "Best Story on GameCube", and "Best Graphics (Artistic) on GameCube"; the game was also nominated for "Best Music on GameCube", "Best Action Adventure Game on GameCube", and "Game of the Year on GameCube". GameSpy's Game of the Year Awards gave it their honorary "Day of the Tentacle (Cthulhu) Award".
In 2006, Nintendo Power ranked Eternal Darkness as the 101st top game on Nintendo systems, while the readers of IGN had it voted as the 96th best video game of all time on all systems; in 2009, Official Nintendo Magazine had it listed as the 48th best Nintendo game. The game was ranked as the seventh best game for the GameCube by X-Play in 2006, as the fifth best GameCube game by IGN in 2007, as the tenth best GameCube game by ScrewAttack that same year, and placed fourth on the list of top GameCube games in the January 2009 issue of Game Informer.
Both X-Play and Game Informer in 2007 in 2006 ranked it as the fifth scariest game of all time. In other lists, ScrewAttack ranked the fake "Corrupt Data" sanity effect as the ninth top "OMGWTF" moment in gaming in 2008, while Alex Roivas was included among the 50 greatest heroines in video games by Tom's Games in 2007 and ranked as the 40th greatest heroine in video game history by Complex in 2013.
Several retrospective articles demanded a follow-up game. IGN included Eternal Darkness on their 2008 list of "horror franchises that should rise from the grave", GamesRadar included Eternal Darkness among the games "with untapped franchise potential" in 2009, and UGO included it on a similar list of games "that need sequels" in 2010.
Denis Dyack, designer of Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem and Too Human, said "absolutely yes" in July 2006 regarding the question of a possible sequel. He stated that Silicon Knights had intended for Eternal Darkness to be a stand-alone game, but the company has always intended to make more games set in the Eternal Darkness universe involving the Ancients. At Microsoft's Spring 2008 Showcase, Dyack confirmed that a return to the Eternal Darkness brand could be on the cards: "There is a chance; we love all the games we work on. We don't want to be pigeon-holed [into a genre], we want to be known for strong content...There's a strong chance we'll return to it, but there's no announcements yet." In November 2011, Silicon Knights claimed they wanted to focus on one of their most requested titles for the next generation of consoles. This combined with the fact Nintendo had trademarked the title once again, spawned rumours that another Eternal Darkness game would be made as a launch title for the Nintendo Wii U. However, the project was cancelled due to Silicon Knights' legal troubles with Epic Games.
In December 2012, Nintendo extended their ownership on the Eternal Darkness trademark for the fifth time, indicating that the company still has interest in the property. Any chances for a sequel, at least under Silicon Knights, were terminated on May 9, 2013, after Silicon Knights filed for bankruptcy, closed its office, and sold off its equipment. Nevertheless, Nintendo reregistered its trademark on July 29, 2013, with a new document that indicated that it might be a downloadable game. When asked about this by GameSpot, Nintendo declined to answer.
Shadow of the Eternals
On May 3, 2013, it was announced that Precursor Games, staffed by many former Silicon Knights members, had begun a crowdfunding campaign through PayPal, seeking $1.5 million to create a spiritual successor to Eternal Darkness under the title Shadow of the Eternals, to be released for Microsoft Windows and Wii U. The game would be released in 12 two- to four-hour long episodes, with Denis Dyack acting as the game's chief creative officer. On May 13, a secondary fund-raising campaign was launched on Kickstarter, aiming to receive $1.35 million within 36 days. Eventually, being only halfway through their funding campaign in early June, as a result of "a host of a new exciting opportunities that will make the game better than [Precursor Games] envisioned," the company decided to shut down both funding campaigns on Kickstarter and their official website whilst refunding all the accumulated money back to their contributors, and promised to relaunch a new campaign a few weeks later with "a reveal of these exciting new developments." Later in June, Precursor's founding member, and co-designer of both Eternal Darkness and Shadow of the Eternals, Kenneth McCulloch was arrested and pleaded guilty on charges of child pornography; the studio immediately severed all ties with him. Another Kickstarter campaign was launched on July 25 aiming for a $750,000 goal this time. Instead of 12 episodes, the game was intended to be released as one 8- to 10-hour experience.
The game was announced as follows: "When Detective Paul Becker is called to one of the bloodiest gang massacres in Louisiana state history, only two survivors remain from a brutal conflict between two rival cults. As Becker begins his interrogations of the suspects, their combined recollections will uncover the truth about the 'Eternals'. Featuring an ensemble cast of heroes and villains, Shadow of the Eternals will span over 2500 years of history throughout Egypt, England, Hungary, and the United States. Players will question the perception of reality as they try to balance the mechanics of combat, magick, and sanity events to progress through the adventure. Shadow of the Eternals will take players on a memorable journey throughout time; weaving historical fact with disturbing fiction to create an experience unlike any other." On May 10, a nine-minute gameplay trailer was shown. In creating the look of the game, Precursor Games purchased art assets from Silicon Knights which were going to be used on the Eternal Darkness sequel before it was canceled. Though Nintendo still owns the rights to Eternal Darkness as well as the patent for the game's unique "Sanity Meter", Precursor Games head Paul Caporicci stated that the studio were in "constant communication" with Nintendo, who are supportive of the project.
As of September 30, 2013, Shadow of the Eternals was delayed indefinitely due to lack of funding on Kickstarter. The Escapist commented: "What seemed like a fairly obvious slam-dunk sequel to a classic game has instead been a circus of multiple failed crowdfunding campaigns, child pornography, and outright lack of faith in the developers. It certainly must be a discouraging experience for everyone involved, but that's the double-edged blade of crowdfunding: the crowds occasionally [do] not want your game." Kyle Hilliard of Game Informer wrote, "Despite good intentions, and the excitement surrounding the prospect of a sequel to Eternal Darkness, Shadow of the Eternals has been plagued with issues since its original announcement. It's disappointing, but not too surprising that Precursor has decided to put the game on hold. I would still like to see the final game someday, but I am not confident that we will be seeing or even hearing from the game anytime soon."
In October 2014 it was reported that Denis Dyack had created a new entertainment company Quantum Entanglement Entertainment. One of the company's first projects will be relaunching the development for Shadow of the Eternals. Dyack is also considering Shadow of the Eternals as a film and television property.