Eternal Darkness Beta Analysis2 Jun 2009
This article was written a few years ago as a personal collection of notes. Thus it is incomplete, but maybe someday i will finish it. Also, forgive me for the shortness and the bad overall quality of this analysis.
[Original article in italian by monokoma, english translation by yota]
Eternal Darkness 64
The Eternal Darkness project was born on the Nintendo 64. This version had already many of the features and locations of the future Gamecube version.
Peter Jacob in the Cathedral.
Anthony in the Cathedral.
An early version of Roberto Bianchi.
Alexandra Roivas in the house.
Eternal Darkness GameCube
Even if Eternal Darkness was later ported to the Gamecube, SK released the game without many key elements that where planned for the original project. Various theories were made by the fans after they finished the game with all the three alignments. In fact it’s still possible to locate many clues about the cuts made and the remaining connections to the two scheduled sequels, which were announced (but never released) at the time by Denis Dyack.
It is likely that SK created the hypothetical trilogy when they found out that they couldn’t complete the whole game without delaying it again (as it happened with Too Human on the Xbox 360). It was in that period that SK added the subtitle “Sanity’s Requiem” to the game’s title, in order to identify it as the first chapter of the Eternal Darkness series.
There are spoilers in this article, so watch out!
This Knight Templar is not playable in the final version of Eternal Darkness, but it was playable in many pre-release demos. The “official” reason for this cut, which appeared at the time on various sites and magazines , was that this Knight was created just for the demo in order to test some animations and the weapons. But this is a lie. First of all, it would have been pointless to create from scratch a new polygonal model and animate it only for a demo, when they could have used one of the many characters of the story. But the real reason that makes me to be so sure about his original presence in the game is that Joseph DeMolay was already playable in the Nintendo 64 version, as you can see in the screenshots above. Unfortunately, the templar was removed from ED towards the end of the development, probably to meet the deadline.
It should be noted however that this knight is not entirely absent from ED, because he can be seen at the end of Roberto Bianchi’s chapter. In this cutscene we see Pius capturing Joseph, because he is the only one who sees his true true appearance, and then using him as a base for the column of flesh and bones. Perhaps we were supposed to be able to discover his story in an hypothetical “Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Redemption.”
There are many dead knights in Karim’s chapter. Their presence and the fact that there are no explanations about how they were killed, suggests that they were the crusaders fallen during the battle against Pious, a chapter that is still mentioned in the game but not playable.
Characters in the Darkness
In this image, taken from a desktop background from the old Eternal Darkness website, we can see the original cast of characters that were planned for the game. In addition to those that are playable in ED and Joseph DeMolay, that was mentioned earlier, we can see on the right a character that could have been an early design of Roberto Bianchi, while on the left we can instead see an unknown robust man.
Denis Dyack, the mind behind all Silicon Knights projects, said repeatedly that in Eternal Darkness it would have been possible to use over 120 different spells. In the final game, however, as we all know, we can get a maximum of 15 different types, if we include the secret effects of the alignment of the purple rune of Mantarok. Perhaps originally is was possible to add to the circle of energy more than two different runes, instead to make just the runes powerful.
The Postman Always Rings 333 times
In the cutscene at the end of Michael’s chapter, we see the Canadian fireman hand over a strange package to Edward. Initially it could be thought that it contains the last essence, but when we get to control Alexandra again, a mysterious man leaves the essence (and the gladius if we found it earlier) at the mansion’s entrance. So what contained Michael’s package and who gave the last essence to Alexandra? Probably these questions will be answered in the future Eternal Darkness games.
Another one of the “missing” characters in the Eternal Darkness is this soldier that can be seen in a beta video. His chapter should have been located in the Desert Temple at the time of the Gulf War, or so it was rumored at the time. In the last months of development he has been removed in favor of Michael Edwards, perhaps for time constraints or for political reasons.
Like Joseph, the missing soldier (or one of his companions) has a small appearance in the final game. In fact at the beginning of the Michael Edwards chapter we can pick-up some weapons from a soldier’s dead body.
Who are you?
Another character which seems to appear from nowhere is the Shaman who gave the essence of Mantarok to Ellie at the end of her chapter. As already said, SK have a high regard for the consistency of the plot, so it is probable that his role was planned to be explained in the next games. Some old rumors affirmed that this Shaman was originally a playable character and the nemesis of Pious. As the roman soldier was controlled by one of the Ancients, the Shaman was under the influence of Mantarok (and this may explain why he gave the essence to Ellie).
During the famous scene of the feathers, where Maximillian in a burst of madness kills all his butlers, we can clearly see that there are four corpses on the floor. When Alex examines the room she notices that there are only three cadavers and wonders what happened to the 4th. I don’t think that there is an answer to this question in the final game.
In a couple of screens from a cinematic removed from the final game, we can see an MC-130 cargo, a real-life plane that was developed in the early 1960s and heavily used in “Operation Desert Storm”. This plane was probably used in the early version of the Gulf War chapter in the game – likely it was the airplane that the removed Special Ops soldier would have used to land.
In an interview from the Nintendo Of America official website, Denis Dyack confirmed that in ED there was the influence of other entities in addition to the already known alignments:
“And there’sa lot of the universe that we have not explored. One of the things that I talked about – and maybe we have to be not as subtle in the next one – but the yellow magic did represent something. And a lot of people did not notice that. So wherever there was yellow, there was a representation of another Ancient One that we have not talked about yet. “
Hence, it likely that a yellow ancient was planned for the ED sequels.
[Original article in italian by monokoma, english translation by yota]