Eternal Darkness - the Beginning

on 8/24/2012

The eeriness of the mansion unsettled her, as she peered around the first floor antechamber cautiously, determining where and what to examine first. Silence betrayed her focus and she imagined whispers - whispers of death. He had been dead for two weeks and Inspector Legrasse was no help. So here she was, looking for clues to the murder of her grandfather, alone and determined.

“Remember me, Alex” he had said. “Remember me”

She kneeled down and looked at the floor. She had dreamed of the ghost of her grandfather before Legrasse woke her with a phone call. That’s all Edward Roivis could say to her: “Remember me, Alex? Remember me” His face was blue, as blue as the Roivis family ring that she recognized upon seeing his brutally mangled body.

Alex listened intently, ignoring the cries of the mansion’s openness; she became aware of an incessant ticking. The clock’s body was lifeless with arms resting on 3 and 33, yet the ticking persisted. She reached to its back and attempted to wind the corpse. Instead, she found a dresser key that did not belong. She was puzzled and annoyed because she knew this was only the beginning.

The beginning of Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem is as melodramatic as it is ambiguous. The pandering of a displayed Edgar Allen Poe quote from The Raven as one of the booting screens seems unnecessary, but, putting that aside, the atmosphere is appropriately creepy. Within the first five minutes you come across several different experiences that require little attention, but are obligatory to the experience. First, the narrator, in the tradition of Sunset Boulevard, is the voice of Dr. Edward Roivis, who subsequently reveals himself to his granddaughter, Alex Roivis, sometime later. Before that happens, however, you become Alex, as a playable character, and you shoot several zombie-like creatures with a shotgun before returning for a cut-scene, introducing the ghost of Eddy and the subsequent realization of his murder when she travels to Rhode Island.

Clearly the purpose of the shotgun scene was to appease, or perhaps tease, the impatience of the player. It has no significance as a strategic gameplay device, since the game is fairly predictable when it comes to what kind of action will happen. The real strength will likely rely on interesting plot twists and puzzles to engage the player. With that in mind, the first examination of the lobby of the mansion provides the player with a single dresser key found behind the ominous clock, as described in the narrative provided here. That is a solid introduction to the clues and oddities that will probably be encountered.