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NineWheels
Jun 5, 2014




Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem is a horror adventure game developed by Silicon Knights and published by Nintendo in 2002. It is best known for having popularized the "sanity meter" game mechanic that has since become troublingly ubiquitous in horror games. It wasn't a great commercial success, but it was a critical one, and has since earned its place in the classic video game canon.

The story starts in a Rhode Island mansion in the year 2000, where college student Alexandra Roivas is investigating the mysterious death of her grandfather. However, the secrets she uncovers about the events behind his demise take us on a journey across the globe, jumping back and forth amidst two-thousand years of human history, behind the scenes of which ancient evils have been working.

This Let's Play will be undertaken in two different manners. First will be a subtitled run: The audio component of this game is an integral part of the experience, with sound design and music adding enormously to the atmosphere of horror. So in order to preserve that atmosphere somewhat (I'll still be jackassing around a little in the subtitles but not too much), I figured an appropriate approach to this tale of terror would be to stick with subtitles. However, it's easier to say more in a shorter amount of time when I'm actually speaking aloud, and I myself personally enjoy audio-commentary LPs that can double as podcasts; so after I'm done with the subtitled run, I'll be doing voice commentary over the same footage alongside a friend new to the material, in order to cover more ground and in a slightly more whimsical and (hopefully) verbose fashion than is possible for me with subtitles.

In this run-through, I will be aligning Pious with Xel'lotath in order to better show off the sanity effects that are this game's bread and butter. The core gameplay doesn't change enough depending on which Ancient you align Pious with for me to bother running through the full game all three times, but I will include footage of the notable differences (like the Guardian boss fight), as well as the unique cutscenes from the other Ancient runs.

VIDEOS:
Prologue: "A Death in the Family" + Chapter 1: "The Chosen One" ... text commentary / voice (cut) / voice (uncut)
Chapter 2: "The Binding of the Corpse God" ... text commentary / voice (cut) / voice (uncut)
Chapter 3: "Suspicions of Conspiracy" ... text commentary / voice (cut) / voice (uncut)
Chapter 4: "The Gift of Forever" ... text commentary / voice (cut) / voice (uncut)
Chapter 5: "The Lurking Horror" ... text commentary / voice (cut) / voice (uncut)
Chapter 6: "A Journey Into Darkness" ... text commentary / voice (cut) / voice (uncut)
Chapter 7: "Heresy!" ... text commentary / voice (cut) / voice (uncut)
Chapter 8: "The Forbidden City" ... text commentary / voice (cut) / voice (uncut)
Chapter 9: "The War To End All Wars" ... text commentary / voice (cut) / voice (uncut)
Chapter 10: "A Legacy of Darkness" ... text commentary / voice (cut) / voice (uncut)
Chapter 11: "Ashes to Ashes" ... text commentary / voice (cut) / voice (uncut)
Chapter 12: "Gateway to Destiny" ... text commentary / voice (cut) / voice (uncut)
New Game+: Ulyaoth ... text commentary / voice
New Game+: Chattur'gha ... text commentary / voice
Epilogue ... text commentary / voice

(The LP is now officially complete, but keep an eye on my YouTube channel in the coming months for a complete sanity effects compilation!)

NineWheels fucked around with this message at May 13, 2015 around 22:54

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Lustful Man Hugs
Jul 18, 2010


This was and is one of my favourite games (even if it has a couple noticeable flaws). The universe set down in this game is fantastic.

JackNapier
Jun 20, 2014


I've been waiting for this LP to start, I played the hell out of this game when I had it, so, it's great to see it again

inscrutable horse
May 19, 2010

Parsing sage, rotating time

Man, am I looking forward to the rest of this LP! I never finished the game back in the day, and I'd love to see the conclusion after all these years

Hmmm, I wonder where I stashed that Gamecube...

Carbolic Smokeball
Nov 2, 2011


I've been waiting for an Eternal Darkness LP!

I borrowed this game from a friend back when it came out and then played it like four or five times. Then I bought it a few years later but have never touched it. Looking forward to this!

RSCNyx
Mar 6, 2013

It's okay, little guy. I would be scared too.


Ah, Eternal Darkness, a game Silicon Knights forgot to make a sequel for due to reasons. Well, they tried, but it CERTAINLY DIDN'T GO WELL.

I think this game is really neat. It mixes so many different things together, and it somehow works. Certainly isn't perfect, but it's pretty drat good.

Johnny Longtorso
Nov 24, 2007
The Man Who Comes In Pieces!

Eternal Darkness is one of my favorite games of all times, warts and all. The atmosphere is just perfect.

RSCNyx posted:

Ah, Eternal Darkness, a game Silicon Knights forgot to make a sequel for due to reasons. Well, they tried, but it CERTAINLY DIDN'T GO WELL.

I think this game is really neat. It mixes so many different things together, and it somehow works. Certainly isn't perfect, but it's pretty drat good.

Considering what a clusterfuck Silicon Knights turned out to be, it's remarkable they ever managed to produce a good game.

anilEhilated
Feb 17, 2014

But I say fuck the rain.


Grimey Drawer

Why do you hate full stops so?
e: Might be nice if you divulged a bit of info about the Ancients you didn't pick too.

anilEhilated fucked around with this message at Aug 25, 2014 around 20:33

Lustful Man Hugs
Jul 18, 2010


RSCNyx posted:

Ah, Eternal Darkness, a game Silicon Knights forgot to make a sequel for due to reasons. Well, they tried, but it CERTAINLY DIDN'T GO WELL.

Um, that never happened and it's rude to talk about it.

(Seriously, how did Silicon Knights end up making a good game?)

Accordion Man
Nov 7, 2012



Buglord

Lustful Man Hugs posted:

(Seriously, how did Silicon Knights end up making a good game?)
Probably due to having Crystal Dynamics and Nintendo whipping them into shape. (Silicon Knights also made Legacy of Kain: Blood Omen for those who don't know.)

JackNapier
Jun 20, 2014


I actually still have the official strategy guide that I got with the game, if it's to be believed, the ancient you pick as Pious actually determines how hard the game is
Edit- Also, from what I remember of this game, it's packed with reference to H.P Lovecraft, I'm thinking of one particular level later on that's literally almost torn from a short story of his, down to what happens to our character at the end

JackNapier fucked around with this message at Aug 26, 2014 around 00:27

TooMuchAbstraction
Oct 14, 2012

My fingers are set to vibrate


Fun Shoe

People like to say that the god you pick in the first level determines the difficulty, but I don't really buy it. Xel'o'tath isn't necessarily any easier or harder than the other two, though I'll refrain from getting into details until we see some of the ramifications of the choice NineWheels made. Though I do agree that she's the logical choice for an LP that's doing only a single run.

Looking forward to seeing more!

Carbolic Smokeball
Nov 2, 2011


Accordion Man posted:

Probably due to having Crystal Dynamics and Nintendo whipping them into shape. (Silicon Knights also made Legacy of Kain: Blood Omen for those who don't know.)

I think this was the case with Twin Snakes as well. Basically, despite their reputation from games like ED and TS, Silicon Knights has never made a good game without heavy intervention from a third party.

Man, it's really weird to see Nintendo's name plastered over this game as much as it is.

Lustful Man Hugs
Jul 18, 2010


If only the planned sequel to ED had involved Nintendo, then we might have had something amazing.

BMS
Mar 11, 2009

You should probably think about being nicer to me....


Yeah this game is definitely a classic, and a favorite of mine. Had an interesting story, the gameplay was pretty snazzy, especially with the sanity gimmick. Overall, I thought that everything worked and tied into itself nice and neat. The sequel not happening was disappointing, but I'd rather not have one, than to have a horribly done one, if that makes sense. I guess we can always hope that eventually somebody will buy the rights to this, and give it a decent sequel! Fingers crossed and all that jazz.

Gaz-L
Jan 28, 2009


Carbolic Smokeball posted:

I think this was the case with Twin Snakes as well. Basically, despite their reputation from games like ED and TS, Silicon Knights has never made a good game without heavy intervention from a third party.

Man, it's really weird to see Nintendo's name plastered over this game as much as it is.

Silicon Knights was basically a really elaborate Ponzi scheme, with games publishers as the marks.

Lustful Man Hugs
Jul 18, 2010


Gaz-L posted:

Silicon Knights was basically a really elaborate Ponzi scheme, with games publishers as the marks.

Why? Did the third parties basically do all the work on those projects?

Carbolic Smokeball
Nov 2, 2011


Given the anonymity of the source and it being on a site of ill repute like Kotaku, you can take it with a grain of salt. But given the reputation of Denis Dyack and Silicon Knights in the post-Nintendo years it seems incredibly plausible.

http://kotaku.com/5955223/what-went...s-x-men-destiny

Basically, Nintendo had to stick their hands in ED's production because Silicon Knights was doing a lovely job and not meeting Nintendo's quality guidelines, Which would also explain why SK's games seemed to score poorly critically once they split from Nintendo and didn't have the hand holding

Kaboom Dragoon
May 7, 2010

The greatest of feasts

I always got the impression that with ED, Nintendo had to cut away a lot of chaff from the game. Too Human, for example, absolute reeks of a vanity project that no one knew how to say no to. Things such as the lengthy respawn animation are things that sounded good on paper, but absolutely should not have made it into a finished game. With ED and Twin Snakes, someone else higher up always had the last say on things, but without that creative control, it all basically went to poo poo.

AJ_Impy
Jun 17, 2007



Yam Slacker

This isn't really happening.

Looking forward to this one.

KaizenNeko
Mar 17, 2009

The Fuzzy Eared Dingbat


TooMuchAbstraction posted:

People like to say that the god you pick in the first level determines the difficulty, but I don't really buy it. Xel'o'tath isn't necessarily any easier or harder than the other two, though I'll refrain from getting into details until we see some of the ramifications of the choice NineWheels made. Though I do agree that she's the logical choice for an LP that's doing only a single run.

Looking forward to seeing more!

I think it's more that picking Chattur'gha makes zombies do more damage and have more health. Ulyaoth's zombies tend to self detonate in groups, clearing rooms quickly.

Aside from that, to me it's just more fun doing the Xel'lotath path because 'YAY INSANITY!'.

I'm hoping NineWheels shows off the Mantorok aligned spells. I didn't figure out how to get the rune for it when I played through it, and for the time being I can't revisit the game because half my Gamecube stuff is lost in storage.

Carbolic Smokeball
Nov 2, 2011


The alignment you pick in the prologue also determines the order in which you acquire alignment runes for magick. Without saying too much, there are a few reasons the one you get first on the Xel'lotath path is undesirable and adds to the run's difficulty.

Lustful Man Hugs
Jul 18, 2010


Carbolic Smokeball posted:

The alignment you pick in the prologue also determines the order in which you acquire alignment runes for magick. Without saying too much, there are a few reasons the one you get first on the Xel'lotath path is undesirable and adds to the run's difficulty.

I would say this is actually the most deterministic factor towards difficulty in this game, just because of how much easier magick makes things (I'll discuss my beef with the game's difficulty curve as it becomes relevant).

Wanderer
Nov 5, 2006

our every move is the new tradition


Isn't there something about how the ancient you pick also makes individual enemies tougher or do more sanity damage or something? I seem to remember that from back when I unlocked Eternal Mode, but it's been more than a decade.

Gaz-L
Jan 28, 2009


Carbolic Smokeball posted:

Given the anonymity of the source and it being on a site of ill repute like Kotaku, you can take it with a grain of salt. But given the reputation of Denis Dyack and Silicon Knights in the post-Nintendo years it seems incredibly plausible.

http://kotaku.com/5955223/what-went...s-x-men-destiny

Basically, Nintendo had to stick their hands in ED's production because Silicon Knights was doing a lovely job and not meeting Nintendo's quality guidelines, Which would also explain why SK's games seemed to score poorly critically once they split from Nintendo and didn't have the hand holding

I like the story just because of the part where Activision just gives them an ultimatum. "Whatever build you've given us by THIS DATE is what we're shipping. We don't care any more. It's not our reputation on the line and we've already written this off as a sunk cost."

TooMuchAbstraction
Oct 14, 2012

My fingers are set to vibrate


Fun Shoe

Wanderer posted:

Isn't there something about how the ancient you pick also makes individual enemies tougher or do more sanity damage or something? I seem to remember that from back when I unlocked Eternal Mode, but it's been more than a decade.

It changes what alignment most of the enemies have. As noted earlier, Chattur'gah enemies are beefier, Ulyaoth zombies explode (all of them in the room explode, so rooms clear fast and are easy so long as, y'know, you dodge the explosions...), and Xel'o'tath enemies have phantom limbs and heads and thus can't be disabled. Dunno about Ulyaoth's non-zombie enemies, but honestly I'd rather let the LPer get further into the game before we completely dismember it.

Stool Sample
Nov 7, 2006

EVERYONE Poops!?

Lipstick Apathy

Xel'o'tath zombies are also flammable

Lustful Man Hugs
Jul 18, 2010


TooMuchAbstraction posted:

Xel'o'tath enemies have phantom limbs and heads and thus can't be disabled.

It's not that they can't be disabled - it's that the phantom limbs do sanity damage instead of normal damage.

Chokes McGee
Aug 7, 2008

A Good Day to
ACTION DUCK


TooMuchAbstraction posted:

Dunno about Ulyaoth's non-zombie enemies, but honestly I'd rather let the LPer get further into the game before we completely dismember it.

I wouldn't worry about it too much, the LP is sponsored by Xel'o'tath.

Seyser Koze
Dec 15, 2013

Welcome to my lab.



Pillbug

Lustful Man Hugs posted:

It's not that they can't be disabled - it's that the phantom limbs do sanity damage instead of normal damage.

Also that you can't avoid the I SEE YOU sanity loss by sneaking up on them and chopping off their head before they can react.

Carbolic Smokeball
Nov 2, 2011


Man, this all makes so much sense. I always wondered why I had so much trouble keeping my sanity up when I played the first time. I played Xel'otath first, and Chattur'gha after. I never did Ulyaoth but this LP might be motivating me to revisit this game. Maybe I'll do a playalong

TooMuchAbstraction
Oct 14, 2012

My fingers are set to vibrate


Fun Shoe

Lustful Man Hugs posted:

It's not that they can't be disabled - it's that the phantom limbs do sanity damage instead of normal damage.

Phantom heads still allow zombies to track you, which obviates the otherwise-solid strategy of "decapitations for everyone" (and then follow up with actually killing the zombies from angles outside their swing zones). Plus this ability works for other enemy types as well, which otherwise would actually be killed by losing their heads. This makes one chapter in particular a lot harder.

Lustful Man Hugs
Jul 18, 2010


Carbolic Smokeball posted:

Man, this all makes so much sense. I always wondered why I had so much trouble keeping my sanity up when I played the first time. I played Xel'otath first, and Chattur'gha after. I never did Ulyaoth but this LP might be motivating me to revisit this game. Maybe I'll do a playalong

I generally go through Xel'lotath's run as a low sanity run to experience the effects that has on the game. Trying to keep up high sanity on a Xel'lotath run is ridiculous.

Aishlinn
Mar 31, 2011

This might hurt a bit..

really, the only true way to play ED is an insanity run, never doing finishers and never recovering your sanity meter. It certainly adds a bit of a challenge to an otherwise fairly easy (At least, I found it easy..)game.

FisheyStix
Jul 2, 2008

This avatar was paid for by the Silent Majority.


Is this happening? Please tell me this is happening.

Because if This Is Not Happening...

Lustful Man Hugs
Jul 18, 2010


It's happening (.gif)

NineWheels
Jun 5, 2014


This CAN'T be happening, yet somehow it is...

And I promise it will keep happening. It's been a bit longer than I'd like between first and second uploads, but you can expect Chapter 2 later today, and Chapter 3 in just a few days. It's awesome to see people getting excited about this!

SWMadness
Jul 16, 2011

Excellent.


NineWheels posted:

This CAN'T be happening, yet somehow it is...

And I promise it will keep happening. It's been a bit longer than I'd like between first and second uploads, but you can expect Chapter 2 later today, and Chapter 3 in just a few days. It's awesome to see people getting excited about this!

Awesome! Eternal Darkness is one of those games that I've heard a lot about but never played for myself, so I'm looking forward to following this LP.

NineWheels
Jun 5, 2014


Next chapter up now!

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Lustful Man Hugs
Jul 18, 2010


I'm surprised you didn't get any of the active sanity effects in this level. Also, fun fact: there's one sanity effect that makes it seem like the room is full of ammunition (when in reality it isn't actually there, of course). This is - as far as I know - the only way to see blowgun ammunition, as it doesn't show up in the game conventionally!

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