This game developed by Silicon Knights was released in June 2002, only after a long and troubled development. Full of unseen like few other games, Eternal Darkness was first announced for the Nintendo 64 at E3 1999, then moved to the GameCube. The project was changed many times during its development: in addition to the transition from one console to another, at least a couple of chapters were removed and the story was distilled when Silicon Knights realized that it would not be possible to finish the game before the release date.
At that time, the developers announced that Eternal Darkness would have been a trilogy, so that it could have been possible to explore the complete story, mitigating the impact of cuts to the game’s plot. The game’s subtitle, “Sanity’s Requiem”, was added for this exact reason, to distinguish it from the (unreleased) sequels.
Karim was not in the early builds of the game. Silicon Knights had originally placed a Templar Knight fighting against Muslims in the scenario, but later changed this in 2001. The only remnants of this character in the finished game is a cutscene before Roberto’s story showing him being taken by Pious in disguise as the “foundation” for the Pillar of Flesh, since he is able to see Pious in his true form.
Silicon Knights stated in an interview with Nintendo Power (volume 164): “At one point, the story even included one of the other, stronger characters (note: presumably Michael) taking his own life in Edward’s presence rather than face the Ancients. This scene was eventually removed because it was considered far too grim.”
The game originally included a United States Special Ops commando who falls into the pit near the pillar of flesh. Presumably this chapter was an early version of the Michael one, whose finalized intro scenes and character model show him as a Canadian firefighter who was fighting an oil well fire in Iraq. His original equipment, such as the rifle and uniform, was placed a small ways off in the same chamber, on the body of a Marine. [Info from Wikipedia]
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 was 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 commando would have used to land.
From a series of concept art we can even notice some unused ideas for different game endings, with a zombie apocalypse after the Ulyaoth god takes over the world, a flood of people that follow Chattur’gha’s orders and a city with trees under Xel’lotath influence.
Other smaller differences in the beta version are Alexa’s shirt color (red instead of black), the removed “real time shadows” and Maximillian Roivas had still his “hairs” in the cell cutscene.
For more info, check the Eternal Darkness beta analysis!
Thanks to Jay for the english corrections!
[spoiler /Clicca qui per la versione in Italiano/ /Nascondi la versione in Italiano/]Il gioco Silicon Knights uscì nel Giugno del 2002 dopo uno sviluppo che definire travagliato sarebbe un eufemismo. Ricco di unseen come pochi altri, questo titolo venne annunciato su Nintendo 64 all’E3 del 1999, per poi essere spostato su GameCube. Il risultato fu buono, tanti lo odiano, altrettanti lo amano, certo è che il gioco venne modificato tante volte durante lo sviluppo: oltre al passaggio da una console all’altra vennero eliminati interi capitoli, la storia venne distillata, tutto faceva presagire che sarebbero arrivati dei seguiti a completare l’idea del progetto originario. Finora comunque non se ne sa nulla (escluse le vacue speculazioni), il tutto a favore degli appassionati degli beta.
Per maggiori informazioni: Seghe mentali su Eternal Darkness Beta [/spoiler]