Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem is a GameCube video game published by Nintendo and developed by Silicon Knights. Though not a commercial success, the title is famous for how frightening the game can be at times, oftentimes by breaking the fourth wall in ways never before seen in a video game. The game is also known as being Nintendo's first M rated title (If Perfect Dark for N64 isn't counted) - not many games published by the company would sport this rating following the title.
In all, the player will take control of 12 different characters during different time periods. Each of the characters are related in one way or another, though the primary character is unarguably Alexandra Roivas, who in the game is the end of the bloodline (at the moment).
The game is a simple hack and slash title. While this in itself isn't innovative, you'll find the uniqueness to the title when your character, and possibly even you, start to go insane. If you perform actions that don't go inline with what you're supposed to do, then your sanity meter will start to decrease, and abnormal events will start to occur that will even seem to mess with your TV (though in reality it's not). For example, you'll see the volume setting of your TV start to decrease and increase with the sound in the game corresponding with this.
Beating the game will give the player rewards. The rewards are:
- Beat the game once: You'll be able to see the credits as many times as you want.
- Beat the game twice: You can select which level to play on.
- Beat the game thrice: You'll unlock Eternal mode, which will make you unbeatable in the game.
Taken Directly from the manual.
AN ANCIENT EVIL
Long before humanity graced the universe, or planet belonged to another species- an ancient species bound by neither physics nor nature, purpose nor ethic. Through the passage of time, against the relentless advance of ice and the continental plates, and for the other inscrutable reasons, these "Ancients" were drvien deep into the recesses of our world. There, they lie imprisoned until the conditions are right for their return.
Hungry for dominance and the favor of the Ancients, secret organizations seek to restore the Ancients to their former station. For eons they have schemed and plotted in the darkness, attempting to bring these evil entities into our world through arcane magicks-blood rituals, worship, and sacrifice.
Of these sects, little is known: those who learn their secrets perish swiftly at their hands. Their scheming works to bring the Ancients' return-and humanity's extinction-ever closer.
A LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS
Yet not all hope is lost. The fate of humanity depends upon the actions of a chosen few. They are average people, unprepared for heroic deeds, but the responsibility is theirs nonetheless. Even as their lives are torn apart by unseens evils, they must show courage in the face not only of the enem, but also of their own fears. These porr souls teeter on the brink of insanity, tortured by the horros of the Ancients.
A secret war is being waged on the periphery of Humanity's perceptions-a war wreathed in the shadows and deception.
THE DARKNESS COMES...
- Pious Augustus
- Dr. Maximillian Roivas
- Edwin Lindsey
- Paul Luther
- Roberto Bianchi
- Peter Jacobs
- Dr. Edward Rovias
- Michael Edwards
- Alexandra Roivas
Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem was originally planned to be one of the last games released for the N64. Once it slipped that release, it was scheduled to be a GameCube launch title and be shipped in October 2001. It didn't make that date and was once again rescheduled for release in February 2002. It still didn't make that date and was finally released in June 2002. Because it was in testing for so long, the in-house testers at Nintendo began calling it "Everlasting Darkness."
Each of the Ancients is represented by a colour, which is the colour of their alignment as well as their Magick and their creatures.
- Ulyaoth, God of the dimensional planes, is Blue.
- Xel'lotath, Goddess of the Mind and Madness is Green.
- Chattur'gha, God of physical strength and matter is Red.
- Mantorok the Corpse God or God of Order and Chaos is Purple (though sometimes Black).
However, there is also "neutral" Yellow Magick present in the game. According to Denis Dyack, a designer of the game, this actually represents a fifth, unrevealed Ancient. The fact that yellow is the complementary color of purple may also indicate that this Ancient is diametrically opposed to Mantorok.
Silicon Knights co-developed the remake The Twin Snakes of Metal Gear Solid with Konami. Given that series' fondness for breaking the fourth wall, Silicon Knights reused some of the Eternal Darkness sanity effects, such as the tilting floor effect, during the player's battle with Psycho Mantis. Eternal Darkness is also one of the games recognized when the character attempts to "read the player's mind" (which consists of reading the contents of the system's memory card). Breaking the fourth wall in such a manner is a notable stylistic similarity between games developed by Silicon Knights and those developed by Hideo Kojima.
In the manual when describing Dr. Maximillian Roivas, they put the date and setting of "A.D. 1760 - Rhode Island, USA." Not only is it glaringly obvious that the United States not even exist at that point, but Rhode Island didn't even join the Union until 1790.
Alexandra's family name, Roivas, is savior spelled backwards.
- This game has several homages to classic horror and fiction writers. As if the Edgar Allen Poe quote on the intro wasn't enough, the guy who speaks to you on the beginning of the game introduces himself as Inspector Legrasse... and there is an Inspector Legrasse on H.P. Lovecraft's tale The Call of Cthulhu. The setting being on Rhode Island is another tip of the hat to Lovecraft's place of birth.
- Mantarok, the creature encountered by Ellia, is the keeper of "The Ancients". An obvious reference to Lovecraft's Yog-Sothoth, who is the keeper of The Great Old Ones. Also they both coexist in multiple planes of reality.
- While playing as Alex, check the stack of books in the study, to find another reference to classic horror tales, including Poe and Lovecraft.
- One of the sanity effects has the character's head falling off and quoting Shakespeare, more specifically Scene I, Act III of Hamlet, the famous "To Be Or Not To Be" speech.
References to the game
In Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes, magazines called ED Magazine can be used to distract guards. The magazines show Ellia on the cover and a centerfold of Alex Roivas when used, two characters from Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem.