Gothic and Survival Horror Videogames

Authored by: Ewan Kirkland

The Gothic World

Print publication date:  October  2013
Online publication date:  October  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415637442
eBook ISBN: 9780203490013
Adobe ISBN: 9781135053062

10.4324/9780203490013.ch38

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Abstract

The protagonist wakes to find herself alone in a small cell, to be greeted by a strangely inhuman disembodied voice which echoes across the walls of her confinement. A mystical portal opens up, allowing her to exit, whereupon she finds herself forced to negotiate a series of dungeon chambers. Each presents her with a puzzle that must be solved, employing a mysterious device which allows her to manipulate the space of her environment. Throughout her progress, the voice continues to accompany her, providing instructions, advice and the occasionally disquieting statement. If the challenges are successfully completed, the voice promises, there will be cake. As the puzzles increase in their complexity, so does the sense that there is something sinister in the protagonist's situation, personified in the omnipresent omniscient voice which follows her activities. While not actually malicious, the voice seems to have a disconcertingly casual attitude toward the protagonist's safety. The puzzles involve navigating pools of toxic water and sentry-patrolled corridors. A hidden alcove, accessible through a gap in the wall, is scrawled with graffiti left by a previous prisoner. “The cake,” one victim warns “is a lie.” Eventually the lie is revealed, the subject must escape the torture chamber in which she is trapped, and proceed on a different quest: to find and destroy her tormentor. Except, upon defeating the adversary and escaping her confinement, the embattled heroine is taunted with the discovery that the owner of the voice lives on in spectral form, and will continue to do so long after she is dead and buried.

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