I cannot say enough good things about this game. It’s just…kind of perfect. The artwork is phenomenal, the atmosphere is grim and depressing, the characters multi-faceted and intriguing, the plot easy to follow and engaging, and the music…is absolutely divine!
While Tormentum: Dark Sorrow isn’t strictly in the horror genre, it does have some dark fantasy elements to it and definitely features some horrifying plot-points and imagery. It tells the story of a nameless protagonist who finds himself caged by an empire set on making people suffer for the sins they’ve committed, often through gruesome torture. The protagonist doesn’t remember what he’s done, nor does he remember his life before being captured. In addition to seeking an escape from his captors, he seeks to understand what led him down this dark road, often encountering tests of his morality along the way.
So…I’m just going to come out and say it: I’m not a fan of any Jeff the Killer-themed stories to begin with. The original creepypasta story tells of a man with “dark” and “ominous” eyes with a “psychotic smile” and the kid that became him. This occurs through a series of ridiculous and overly violent circumstances involving a troupe of twelve year old bullies, a pointless birthday party, and spontaneous combustion. Let’s not forget the immediate and unnatural insanity that overtakes him, causing him to brutally kill almost everyone around him. The language of the story is mediocre at best and the ridiculous ending pretty much ensures that there’s no way I’d be losing any sleep after reading this. “Go to sleep”? Sure thing. See you in the morning.
I decided to switch up our Horror-FAIL Friday blog to now include the occasional Horror-FAVE Friday, a collection of film, books, and video games that I felt did a superb job of fitting into the horror genre, even redefining it in some cases.
A couple years ago, while browsing along on youtube (as several of us do in our boredom), I ran across the first part for this dark narrative game called “The Cat Lady”. The art style was funky and the concept dark and fairly depressing. The further along I watched the more I became engaged in the protagonist’s endeavor to figure out what kind of world she was in. The Cat Lady tells the story of Susan Ashworth, who, unable to live after a heart-wrenching tragedy decides to end her life. Except she doesn’t die. She awakens in a strange world, inhabited by dead doppelgangers of herself and a creature disguising itself in the skin of an old woman that calls itself “The Queen of Maggots.” It soon becomes clear to Susan that the only way she can leave is by accepting a deal from this Queen; root out evil in the real world by searching for the Parasites, individuals with extreme darkness in their hearts.
I was blown away not only by the story, but by the characterization, music, and art style of this game. It has become one of my favorite examples in the horror genre by far. As visual and interactive media, it’s one of my favorite games that I’ve encountered in recent years. Now, I wish there was a book version.
Here, you can watch Youtube Let’s Player HarshlyCritical play through The Cat Lady.
Interested in picking it up for yourself? Hop on over to the official website from Screen 7 and Harvester Games.
There are those of you out there that have toiled with the idea of writing a horror story. It may have been just a quick campfire tale, a one-shot Creepypasta, a full-length novel, or even the background for a survival horror game. There are the cliche ways to go about doing this. Five teenagers meet at their house in the woods, one by one are separated, and end up dying horrible violent deaths (Only Joss Whedon has managed to re-invent this genre and do it like a boss, in my opinion). Then, there are the truly fun and unique ways to go about writing horror. This is what I enjoy. However, there’s always that daunting task of how to go about starting a project like this. Sometimes taking that first step can be the most intimidating thing you do. For the lazy, I was horrified to discover a wiki page on how to write a horror story. A WIKI. Are you freaking kidding me?
Every good horror story, film, or game has a story behind it. It doesn’t need to be intricate in order for it to have good atmosphere and be frightening…the premise just needs to be plausible. When a game tells you that the character had heard about a haunted mental hospital and, despite being warned, just HAD to go there… that’s not really the best way to start out. There isn’t even a reason given for why this character felt so compelled to go there. Also, saying that the character blacked out upon arrival and woke up later to find that he was in the exact same place he fainted in…isn’t really jarring information. But, as we delve further into the “mystery” of this game following HarshlyCritical, the story continues to hand us plot points that don’t quite add up.
Horror media, whether it is a film, video game, or book loves to employ jump scares. What exactly is a jump scare you may be wondering? Well, let’s put it this way: Say your main character is driving to a party at a friend’s house outside the city. All of a sudden, their car breaks down. They’re on an empty stretch of road and are forced to walk to find help. After trekking through the woods for over an hour, they happen upon a derelict mansion and go inside searching for a phone or something to aid them with fixing the car. The house is old, dark, and creaks with every gust of wind. The character digs out a flashlight and begins exploring. And then…this happens…
MEMENTO MORI: BOOK 3 OF THE MONSTRUM CHRONICLES releases for Kindle on December 7th, 2014! In celebration of finishing the third book in the series, I’ll be holding a series of day-long goodies including (but not limited to): a morning kaffeeklatsch meet up (for those who are local) to talk about the book and enjoy warm beverages, a Cooking Adventure video (that’s right; a video!), blogs about the making of “Memento Mori”, and contests galore where you can win an ebook, a skype interview with the author, and other goodies! A few other surprises, too! A detailed schedule of events will be available soon! Spread the word! Invite your friends! http://www.amazon.com/Memento-Mori-Book-Monstrum-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B00OPC5J0K
Hello, hello! Incidentally, this is my 300th post on the Monstrum Chronicles blog and what better way to celebrate then with a good laugh. I’m going to be starting up a new weekly blog called “Horror-Fail Friday” in which we examine some tragic examples of horror gone wrong.
Today’s inaugural post is a video from Let’s Player HarshlyCritical. The game: Timore (which possibly rhymes with “Amore“). Yes, for all of you Dean Martin fans out there, you can start singing. In addition to a strange, unexplained name, we have a protagonist with no story who is wandering around an oddly constructed building with blood-covered (and I mean COVERED) walls. He’s pursued by Paintshop plus mannequins, licorice-flailing arms, and the diabolical flaming Timore, who looks like the bad guy from “The Final Sacrifice” with a red cloak.
In this prequel to “Vox” and “Aequitas”, readers follow the story of Whitaker Hayward. Whit, an out-of-work architect who is trying to forget his past, is contracted by one of Seraphim City’s affluent magnates, Bloomstein, to investigate a room in a long forgotten house on the outskirts of the city; a room that has no doors. Intrigued by the mystery and seeing a way out of his financial woes, Whit accepts. What begins as a simple investigation soon becomes embroiled in horror as he finds himself returning to places in his past he had long thought were buried and is faced with madness when he finds that the house holds more surprises than one doorless room.
DON’T FORGET TO ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS “TO READ” LIST!