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Pixelated Lilac avatar 9:09 PM on 11.23.2009  (server time)
Doing the Wrong Thing: Pick a Color... Any Color...

Eternal Darkness, a sleeper hit by Silicon Knights, was famous for both it's novelty sanity effects that broke the fourth wall, and it's deep chronological storyline that was based off inspired by H.P. Lovecraft's psychological horror novels. In the game, there are moments in the story where, despite being the heroic protagonist, characters found themselves in various situations that made them the source of the problem. Made them do the wrong thing.

In the beginning, you're Pious Augustus, an honorable Centurion whose objective is to explore a local tomb and retrieve an artifact for the Roman empire. At first, it seems like the typical conquest mission, however, the further you go into the tomb, the stranger this mission gets. Battling through zombies is a relatively simple but weird chore with puzzles in between. You then reach the end of the tomb and are given a choice of three distinctly colored (Red, Blue or Green) artifacts. At the time, the choice seems quite simple... what harm could picking a color do? Upon choosing however, your handsome centurion transforms into a zombie-like slave for the God you choose.

Congratulations. You've caused a great cataclysm between ancients that will cause destruction in the universe for the next few centuries. You've also created the antagonist for the rest of the game. The rest of the game you play as numerous characters, using the power of Mantorok, an ancient who is weak, and an ancient stronger than Augustus's ancient to fight this antagonist and destory his chosen god.

Later on in the game, you take the role of Maximilian Roivas, the ancestor of the two protagonists Alex and Edward. He has recently inherited a mansion from his dead father... it just so happens this mansion in Rhode Island is the breeding ground for the ancients. With this not so subtle location, you slowly see your servants become possessed by creatures serving the ancients under your home... and these creatures are not be fucked with. With more servants roaming around your mansion becoming possessed, you're given a choice: will you kill your servants ensuring your safety? Or will you spare them, risking your life as well as the universe itself? According to the story, you choose the first. In doing so, you sometimes yield success, but other times, your killings yield no result and you just killed an innocent person caught in an unfortunate event. Was it for the greater good? Maybe, but despite his best efforts at defeating the darkness, Max Rovias is sent to an insane asylum for his massacre of his (not so) innocent cleaning crew.

While these examples are good, both of them are not as definitive of doing the wrong thing as this final one. If you're truly dedicated to Eternal Darkness and the Rovias' goal, you can play through the game three times with Augustus picking a different ancient each time. In doing so, three alternative time dimensions are created, each with an ancient defeating the other in what seems to be a large scale game of rock-paper-scissors. You've defeated the three ancients of destruction and darkness and have achieved peace for the universe with Mantorok right?

Not exactly. Because of your actions, Mantorok, the true eternal darkness, is no longer opposed by Chattur'gua, Xel'lotah or Ulyaoth, the original three ancients that enslaved Augustus. While you were fighting against Augustus, a slave for the ancients, you in turn became a slave of the most evil ancient. And now it's plotting it's own destruction of the universe unopposed. Once again, congratulations :D

That's a pretty serious and dark ending. Eternal Darkness is a pretty dark game. While it is kind of a bummer to see how the events in the game unfold, the twists and turns that cause such events are a refreshing and another reason why Eternal Darkness is an unforgettable classic.

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