Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem (GameCube, 2002)
~ Dr. Edward Roivas
This is one of the first lines of speech in the game, and sets the tone for the majority of the action– most of the main characters are dead, as 90% of the game’s plot has already happened. True, you do play as Edward Roivas in one of the chapters, but he’s alive at the time so he still sort of counts as an NPC. Edward is your character Alex’s grandfather, who died and left you his mansion. As you investigate the house, you begin to realise that something strange is afoot, something that has been going on for millennia. You decide to sort things out with the help of a book made of dead people (*ick*), with the fate of all of humanity on your shoulders, and only a few ghosts to help you.
This line is one of the most inventive ways of beginning a narrative, and even pre-dates Mary Alice’s narration on Desperate Housewives by two years. Unlike Mary Alice, however, Ed did not live in a white picket-fenced row of houses, he lived on top of gateway to Hell– or Ehn’gha, but it’s sort of similar. Regardless, the fact that a man of science, a clinical psychologist, dies and remains in the house as a spectral shadow of himself sums up the game pretty well. The beliefs he held were rooted in fact and theories, and were then challenged when he learned there was an afterlife, and demons, and gods, and all manner of things that science cannot explain. This is one of the main themes of the game– nothing is what you expect, and there is more to reality than that which your senses can perceive. Which brings me nicely onto my next quote:
“The Universe is a yawning chasm, filled with emptiness and the puerile meanderings of sentience. Why should you deserve special consideration within it?”
Ulyaoth is one of the four demon gods in the game, and he/she/it presides over the multitudes of parallel universes. It’s evil, and the above quote is said with disdain for one of the main characters, but it has a point, and the quote highlights the insignificance of humanity in the grand scheme of things. Humanity may be capable of wonderful things, such as art, culture, music, and so on, but when one considers the huge expanse of the universe, does any of that really matter?
It’s quite depressing to contemplate, but don’t let that stop you living! At the end of the game it turns out that all those insignificant things the characters did, whether it be collecting a statue in Cambodia, or putting out a fire in the Persian Gulf, all accumulated and all of reality was saved (sort of, anyway– I’ll let you achieve 100% completion to find out what I mean). So yes, you may be small and insignificant on a universal scale, but things you do will add up, and have effects lasting far longer than you can imagine. Turns out Ulyaoth was wrong after all!