One of the most beloved Nintendo GameCube titles, Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem takes the survival horror genre to new places with the introduction of sanity effects. Eternal Darkness was originally slated to appear on the Nintendo 64 but was pushed back to the GameCube.
The mansion that Alexandra explores in the year 2000 forms the hub. First the player finds the Tome of Eternal Darkness and Pious' story. After finishing Pious' story the player then finds the first Chapter Page which leads them onto the next section of the game as a different character. This character's story provides plot exposition, and once complete, the player as Alexandra has knowledge, an object, or an ability which allows them to find the next Chapter Page, and so on.
The player may choose which of the three essences Pious attempts to claim at the start of the game. This determines which of the three Ancients he is aligned with, and subsequently which enemies dominate. The alignments have a Rock, Paper, Scissors relationship, which is important in the player's consideration of their own Magick use.
The Ancients are members of a species that existed before other life emerged from the Primordial Ooze. The relentless movement of ice and the continental drift and other "inscrutable" reasons bound the Ancients deep beneath the planet's surface, biding their time, waiting until it was right to return. The surviving Ancients are:
- Ulyaoth, God of Magick : his creations are tinged blue, and their specialism is in Magick. Ulyaoth has power over Chattur'gha.
- Xel'lotath, Goddess of Wisdom and Madness : her underlings are tinged green, and have an affinity for affecting sanity. Xel'lotath has power over Ulyaoth.
- Chattur'gha, God of Power : his troops are tinged red, and focus on physical attacks and toughness. Chattur'gha has power over Xel'lotath.
Mantorok, God of Order and Chaos
Mantorok, God of Order and Chaos, is the creator of the Tome of Eternal Darkness. Although he appears in the game to be in a position of inferiority, he is actually the Ultimate God. He created the equilibrium between the Three Ancients, making sure that they would be bound to fight against each other and to destroy each other. Although the colour of his alignment is purple, he generates black Zombies. Mantorok's zombie minions are the weakest of the game, and it is impossible for the player to summon monsters of Mantorok's alignment, for he is considerably weaker than any other primary god during the game's events.
- Circles of Power
- Codices - Once found a Codex will allow you to read a Rune.
Eternal Darkness uses sanity effects to scare or shock the player. Some examples of sanity effects include:
- Sounds, including women and children crying out of fear and pain, the sound of a blade being sharpened, accompanied by the whimpering and screams of its victim.
- Paintings turning to nightmarish depictions. For example, an idyllic mountain landscape turns to hell on Earth.
- Walls and ceilings bleeding. Attacking them causes more effusion.
- When casting a spell, the player character's body above the waist explodes.
- Appearance of large numbers of monsters that are not really there, and disappear when attacked.
- The player character's head falling off. When picked up, the head begins to recite Shakespeare.
- If holding a gun, the character will shoot at the screen.
- Character or monsters shrinking or growing.
- A version of the blue screen of death.
- Statues and busts turning to look at the character. They turn back to original position when the character faces them.
- Character whimpering and babbling to him or herself.
- A "to-be-continued" message (leading the player to believe they have reached the end of the game) and promising continuation in a sequel game: Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Redemption.
- Body parts systematically falling off one-by-one.
- Character walking into a room from a previous or future chapter that uses the same location.
- Character accidentally shooting him- or herself while reloading.
- Character entering a room on the ceiling; after a while the player finds him- or herself back outside the door used to enter the room.
- Character sinking into the floor.
- When playing as Maximillian Roivas, and you first climb down the ladder in the basement, Max will appear in behind a locked door. (Forshadowing!)
- Entering a room as a zombie, forced to wander the environment in this form until destroyed (and thereafter reappearing at the room's entrance as though nothing had happened).
- When trying to save, instead of the usual "do you wish to overwrite saved date" screen, there is a "do you wish to delete all save files" with a "yes" and a "continue without saving" option. No matter what you do, all files appear to be deleted
- Abundances of ammo. When the effect wears off, you reappear in the room you came from with none of said ammo.
- Flies crawling all over the screen.
- TV "shutting itself off"
- Alexandra Roivas (2000 A.D. - Rhode Island, USA) - Alexandra is a student at Washington university. Intelligent and strong willed, Alexandra must uncover the mystery of her grandfather's death.
- Pious Augustus (26 B.C. - Persia) - A soldier of the Roman Empire. Though he is weary of constant fighting, Pious continues believing that there is a greater purpose to his life.
- Ellia (1150 A.D. - Angkor Thom Region, Cambodia) - Born into servitude and raised as a dancer in the court of Suryavarman II, Ellia yearns for adventure.
- Anthony (814 A.D. - Amiens, France) - A young messenger appointed to Charlemange's court.
- Karim (565 A.D. - Persia) - Karim, a young man skilled in the art of the sword, has fallen in love with a woman named Chandra. Chandra uses Karim's love to get him to seek out a lost relic.
- Dr. Maximillian Roivas (1760 A.D. - Rhode Island, USA) - A medical doctor, Maximillian Roivas spends his time alone in his large estate.
- Dr. Edwin Lindsey (1983 A.D. - Angkor Thom Region, Cambodia) - An American archeologist searching for rare and ancient ruins.
- Paul Luther (1485 A.D. - Amiens, France) - A Franciscan monk on a journey to see a religious artifact, the Hand of Jude.
- Roberto Bianchi (1460 A.D. - The Middle East) - A Venetian artist and architect taken hostage by a conqueror.
- Peter Jacob (1916 A.D. - Amiens, France) - A young British journalist in World War I, searching for his latest story.
- Dr. Edward Roivas (1952 A.D. - Rhode Island, USA) - Edward, a practicing psychiatrist, spends his time uncovering his lost family history.
- Michael Edwards (1991 A.D. - The Middle East) - A Canadian industrial firefighter hired to put out the fires in the oil field after the Gulf War.
- Tome of Eternal Darkness
- Lucky Penny
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