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Old 05-02-2005   #1
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Video Games

I'm curious if any other TLO members are video gamers, and if so, have you encountered any games with a Ligottian feel?

I'm a casual gamer, and no expert on the subject, but I'm playing an Xbox title now called Manhunt (from the same company that does the Grand Theft Auto games). This game has atmospheric parallels to MWINYD, with its depiction of the dilapidated streets of Carcer City, a generic stand-in for any American rustbelt city (Erie, Pennsylvania comes readily to mind for me).

Almost as soon as I started playing this game, it made my think of the locale of MWINYD. The game's storyline is obviously much simpler than a TL story, and has to rely on graphic violence for a lot of its impact, but the atmospheric touches of desolation, isolation, fear, and a touch of madness all ring true.

I'm curious if anyone else has made similar connections between video games and TL stories?
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Old 05-03-2005   #2
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Re: Video Games

Funny you should mention video games. I am a lapsed gamer (for a few years now), but in the last week or so I have been playing Eternal Darkness on the Gamecube. It may be 4 years old by now, but Its a very interesting game. A bit more Lovecraftian than Ligottian, but there may be some subtle aspects of Ligotti in there. You have a Sanity meter that causes hallucinations if it dips too low (kind of reminds me of Call of Cthulhu RPG). I would imagine that those that are into Lovecraft and/or Ligotti would find it amusing as it follows the history of 'elder god' entities and a specific tome containing forbidden knowledge as it falls into the hands of various characters (and most of their endings are not very happy). Of course, this doesn't really address your call for video game parallels to specific Ligotti stories, but its all I've got.
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Old 03-31-2015   #3
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Re: Video Games

Bloodborne would be my game of the year so far (if you are lucky enough to own a PS4).

The gameworld is incredible. A dark horror fantasy setting, blending 19th century stylings and gothic vibes with genuine menace and surreal, dreamlike quality. Plus it seems to be winning converts to HP Lovecraft, although not directly related to his works. Players on message boards who have never read HPL are beginning to ask books recommendations.
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Old 04-03-2015   #4
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Re: Video Games

Quote Originally Posted by Draugen View Post
Bloodborne would be my game of the year so far (if you are lucky enough to own a PS4).
I was just squinting at that game. My fiancee (since I'm buying for two) likes the horror genre but finds most games to be too literal. The only PS4 entry she's loved so far is the Silent Hill teaser P.T., which I loved as well. It's sufficiently evocative and elliptical; scares aren't bolded and underlined; everything in it seems faceless, vacant and charged.

The Evil Within seemed depressingly obvious to her -- it makes the Manhunt series look subtle -- and although she likes the world in Alien Isolation, it doesn't scare her at all. The last games she really loved were for the PS2: Fatal Frame 2 and Rule of Rose (which, despite its glitchy game mechanics, is still my favorite survival horror / Remedios Varo hybrid).

I watched the trailer for Bloodborne but thought it took place in another hyperreal environment in which every suppurating pore of every ghoul and behemoth had been rendered by a photorealist.

You can't judge a game by its trailer, but I wanted to see non sequiturs, nigh-unrecognizable silhouettes and banal objects that resonated with disquiet.

The chipped chartreuse paint on the shingles of a house that looked horribly lived in, for example, as if merely to open the furrowed screen door and violate the threshold would involve being enslaved by the banality of its inhabitants, so that all you could do would be to sit on a tottering ladderback chair, slice off your own arm and chew on the elbow wrinkles while watching reruns of yellow-tinged cartoons.

Bloodborne seemed insufficiently ambiguous to me, Draugen, but convince me otherwise and I'll gladly watch for a sale and snatch it.

Last edited by scrypt; 04-03-2015 at 06:29 AM..
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Old 04-03-2015   #5
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Re: Video Games

It's not really supposed to be a horror game in that way. There's lots of mystery and spooky stuff but first and foremost its a brutally unforgiving dark fantasy adventure.
Your physical vulnerability is distressing but dying constantly might frustrate some people too much to be enjoyable.

Personally, I lost interest in actually playing videogames because I lost interest in challenges. So I'll definitely never play this.

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Old 04-03-2015   #6
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Re: Video Games

But keep in mind many people regard this as one of the best games in years and years. Whatever genre, it's supposed to be brilliant.

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Old 05-04-2005   #7
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Re: Video Games

There's a series called "Silent Hill," and while I've only played the second of the trilogy, I can safely say that this has to be the most Ligottian series of video games in gaming history.

A few years ago, a friend of mine left in my possession both his Playstation 2 and his copy of SH2 -- I played the game, without sleeping much, over the course of a week until I had "beaten" it. This was the only game ever to a) supply me with nightmares, and b) spook me on the level of good, weird film and literature. Whoever designed the thing is a mad genius.

I remember little about the plot, but I must say disorientation and dubiety are sort of the selling points of the game. From a third-person, above-and-behind perspective, you begin the game on a dark, misty street in the middle of nowhere (it reminded me somewhat of the beginning of the flick "An American Werewolf In London," whose first few minutes always freaked me out). After wandering around for a bit, listening to ominous and unidentifiable background noises (always somewhere out in the fog, slithering and groaning beyond your field of vision), you stumble into a desolate little town (truly in a foreign land) full of abandoned cars, abandoned houses, abandoned stores, etc, whereupon you discover a few hints at your "mission" -- one of which is a transistor radio that only begins to emit wordless static when "something bad" is approaching you. And let me tell you, before too long, you really, REALLY begin to dread hearing that sound, the hiss of radio static coming to life. You have to play the game to fully comprehend it. On a much lower scale, it's sort of like those first few moments of an anxiety attack, when you know something just shifted "out of your favor," and things only are going to get worse.

Anyway, the point of the game is to find your wife, who disappeared into this town some time ago. Ultimately you end up crossing a lake at the edge of town to explore an insane asylum (without which any Ligottian video game would be incomplete), but I'll go no further than that, in case any of you decide to check out this game.

What is so specifically "Ligottian" about Silent Hill 2, though, apart from the atmosphere (which, I'm telling you, is claustrophobically tense), is the special brand of beasties that regularly shamble toward you from out of the fog. Like a combination of the distorted, out-of-time images from the movie Jacob's Ladder, and something from HR Giger's imagination, these things will have arms and legs in the wrong places, or will move with loathesomely unfamiliar locomotion, or will have too many mouths ... that sort of thing. And they get weirder and more twisted as the game progresses. Even if I wanted to describe to you the "final boss," I'm not sure I could. The visuals (if not the game itself) were designed by a Japanese artist who clearly has an acute vision of the deranged (I'm going to look up his name later), and whose work makes most other video games look like "Muppet Baby" cartoons.

Honestly, even if you're not a gamer, this one is worth renting an entire Playstation 2 from Blockbuster (or wherever).

Here's a "beastie":
http://media.ps2.ign.com/media/014/0...g_1283626.html

Here, from the asylum, is a lovely nurse whose hippocratic allegiance seems to have disintegrated some time ago (along with her face, apparently):
http://media.ps2.ign.com/media/014/0...g_1283639.html

Here's the proper first page of that particular gallery:
http://ps2.ign.com/objects/014/014904.html

This page, http://www.black-helix.com/is/dead/ , looks to be pretty extensive in its coverage of the whole SH series (I've only just read there of a fourth SH); but beware: should you play the game, the best part is feeling lost and clueless as to what the hell is going on. So "research" may not be the best idea.
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Old 05-04-2005   #8
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Re: Video Games

I'd have to agree with adam on Eternal Darkness - I played that one when it came out, and it's a great title. Definitely more of a Lovecraftian trip than a Ligottian one, but a well-done game all around. It's a shame it was only ever released for the GameCube; more people might have had a chance to experience it if it came out on another platform.

Silent Hill does sound interesting - I'll have to check into that one.
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Old 05-04-2005   #9
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Re: Video Games

Of course! How could I forget Silent Hill (I guess I really am out of the video game loop). I've only played through the first one, but it is VERY Ligottian, right down to leaving certain key points unexplained. Definitely check them out.
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Old 05-04-2005   #10
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Re: Video Games

Silent Hill DOES appear to be right up the collective alley insofar as the Inhabitants of TLO would be concerned.

There is an ACTUAL Call of Cthulhu gane out for X-box among other platforms, that seems to follow the classic pen & paper scenario ESCAPE FROM INNSMOUTH. I don't know how many of you have ever played CoC rpg, but IF you have, and IF you attempted that murderous scenario, you'll probably get a nice nostalgic thrill from the CoC vid game.

I know Doc B has at the very least READ EFI, and Doc L had the dubious honor of being a player in the old Call scenario with me as the gamekeeper.

My daughter has a PC game that seems extremely Liggottian. It's called ALICE, and is a twisted insane asylum version of Lewis Carroll...The Cheshire Cat, who will appear sporadically to offer cryptic clues, looks like a Cat of Tindalos. It's a really creepy game, I must say.

"The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane."

-Nikola Tesla, July of 1934
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