I won’t try to pretend this article is anything more than praise for one of my favorite games, but Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem is the type of game people share. The game is easily one of the Gamecube’s most memorable titles, yet many never picked it up.
For a Nintendo exclusive, Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem is… well, dark. In game, you play as multiple characters throughout history such as a Roman centurion and a WWI field reporter, all who have fateful encounters with the undead. Their stories are immortalized in the skin-bound ‘Tome of Eternal Darkness’, which protagonist Alex Roivas finds hidden in her murdered grandfather’s mansion. It’s all pretty compelling stuff, especially for a video game nearly a decade old.
Combat sees you use a variety of weapons relevent to the time period of your character. Dark magic written in the Tome of Eternal Darkness can also be used to infuse your weapons with power. You’ll need it to take on the game’s otherworldly horrors and creatures, greatly inspired by the literary works of H.P. Lovecraft. These monstrous enemies do more than make you bleed – they will literally drive you insane.
Eternal Darkness’ claim to fame is its patented (yes, that’s right) Sanity Meter. When your character encounters a frightening enemy, their Sanity Meter will deplete, much like a life or magic meter (the game has those too). Rather than just tormenting your character, the game instead goes after you. A large number of ‘sanity effects’ occur to unnerve the player, including but not limited to bleeding walls, locked doors, and turning off the volume on your TV. Yikes! The Sanity Meter has such potential, you would think Nintendo would want to bring it to the next generation.
Wii U is going to need to bring out the guns the Wii never had. Sure we got Skyward Sword and Mario Galaxy, but those were expected. A new Eternal Darkness would turn heads. I try to think of the possibilities a Wii U sequel could bring with the combination of the console’s tablet controller and sanity effects. It would be pretty exciting if the screen on your Wii U controller went black or starting malfunctioning; all clever tricks played by the game. The tablet could even be the Tome of Eternal Darkness; every touch on the screen revealing another bloody page. I might just have to put it down sometimes. If ‘core gamers’ are one of Wii U’s primary targets, what better way to win them over than with macabre horror in HD and a controller programmed to mess with you? Or is Nintendo too afraid to reenter the dark?