Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem

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Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem
Full Title Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem
Developer Silicon Knights
Publisher Nintendo
System Gamecube
Release Date US June 24, 2002
JP October 25, 2002
EU November 1, 2002
AU November 7, 2002
Genre Action/Adventure
Rating ESRB: Mature

Eternal Darkness is a second-party game developed by Silicon Knights. The game is notable for being one of the few M-rated games on the GameCube. The game was originally planned to be released on the Nintendo 64.

Story

The story begins with the protagonist, Alexandra Roivas, receiving a call that her father has been unexpectedly killed. When she arrives in his home in Rhode Island, she finds that his body has become an unusual bloody mess with only the ring on his finger left for proof of identity. After months of the police failing to find the cause of the murder, Alexandra enters the Roivas mansion herself to find out what happened.

She soon discovers the Tome of Eternal Darkness, an ancient book that chronicles the battle of many humans in the past two thousand years in their battle against the Ancients and preserving humanity. The first chapter shows the events of Pious Augustus who became corrupted by one of the elements to become the servant of one of the Ancients. Subsequent chapters chronicle other unfortunate souls whose paths have crossed paths with the Tome of Darkness, ultimately leading to the salvation of humanity.

Gameplay

The gameplay is divided into chapters. Between each chapter the player plays as Alexandra as she searches the house for clues and the missing pages from the Tome of Darkness that her grandfather has hidden. By reading these pages, she begins a chapter where control of the game is passed to a character from the past.

In each chapter the controlled character encounters the Tome of Darkness, enabling them to use spells. Although items are unique to each character, acquired runes and spells transcend the chapters and can be used by any character. The spells or knowledge gained from a chapter gives Alexandra the ability to access new sections of the mansion in which she can find new chapters and other items.

While controlling the character, the game plays as a typical action/adventure game. Characters can gain multiple weapons they can equip, which tend to range from bladed weapons, ranged weapons, and a torch. The character has a health bar, a magic bar, and the unique sanity bar. Whenever the character encounters a monster, the sanity bar is lowered. It can be restored by using a finishing move on a monster. However failure to do this will gradually lower the sanity bar throughout the level.

Once the sanity bar becomes low enough, the character will begin to hallucinate. This can have a variety of effects - such as entering a room upside down, losing parts of their body, seeing monsters, or getting a glimpse at their own fate. Added to this is the increase of background noises, such as the sounds of crying and screaming, creating a frightening scenario as the character's sanity continues to deteriorate. Once the character loses all sanity, it begins to lower their health points as well.

Sequels

The game jokingly references a sequel as "Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Redemption". This is only a hallucination that appears in-game, making the player believe they have reached the end of the game.

However creator Dennis Dyack has stated he would like to create another game set in the same world, though not necessarily a continuation of the plot of Eternal Darkness. Since Silicon Knights is no longer affiliated with Nintendo, such a game could be released on any platform. It's worth noting however that Nintendo owns the patent for the Sanity Meter.

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