I just wanted to take a moment to thank everybody who reads Promise. I have to say, to see people taking the time to think and speculate about my tribute to the Silent Hill series makes me happier than you can imagine. It gives me the warm fuzzies. I won’t comment on any of the theories that are going around, because spoilers right from the author would be the worst thing ever. But thank you to everyone who gives Silent Hill even a moment’s thought.
My days were so….simple, just a few months ago. I would come home, eat something from the fridge and sit in front of the television. I’d catch up on my shows, watch a bit of the news and call it a day. Easy, quiet and uneventful. I really should have kept it that way. I honest to fucking god should have.
But a man has needs, you know? Something so primal that it dragged me off my ass, and out into the sunlight. Companionship. The desperate want to find someone to take to bed at night now and then. to watch things with. Someone to talk to. Loneliness is like a parasite. taking and taking from you without ever giving anything back but an empty feeling inside.
So off I went, you know? I went to clubs, bars, the god damned library looking for someone. I looked and I looked, and didn’t get a single bite. Nobody was interested. Girls scoffed at me in the bars, girls ignored me at the club…and one snooty bookworm even got me kicked out of the library! I was at the end of the line. Bought myself a one way ticket to singleville. I felt it was maybe time to give up the hunt, so to speak.
That’s when I met her. The sweetest girl I’ve ever seen in my life. She was beautiful, with a winning smile, and hair as gold as fucking fort knox. A body straight out of some magazine. She even seemed *interested* in me. She was a student, she said. Wanted to work in a pharmaceutical company. Smart, pretty, and honest to god…she was sweet as pie. A perfect catch, right when I was right at the end of my rope.
We hit it off right away. She seemed down for whatever I had in mind. Had a few dates, going to arcades and a few shows in the big city. We progressed, and she came over to stay a few nights after our dates now and then. She never let me go over to her place though. Said i was ‘embarrassingly messy’ or some shit. I didn’t mind. My place is nice enough I guessed. I had my DVR there. My guns. The sturdy locks….
But where was I? Oh yeah….my place, her…all that. Sorry. It’s been real hard to concentrate lately. Bear with me. So…yeah. She starts spending all kinds of time at my house. And here I am, thinking like i’ve struck gold. Someone who wants to be around me. The end of loneliness. She even liked watching the same shows as me! We’d snuggle on the couch, watching the TV and occasionally kissing and cooing to one another. Sickening lovey dovey shit, I know, But it was fun…pleasant.
Of course, all good things come to an end, right? They do. Because the more I saw her, the more…some of the things she did didn’t make much sense. Her stare, when we watched television..it never quite seemed to focus completely. She’d stare at the screen…or right above it, eyes glazed, smile slapped on her face. It was..weird? But I just assumed she enjoyed the bright light, or something.
Or there was the time with the rat. It was loose in our kitchen, scurrying here and there. She wasn’t scared. In fact she seemed almost delighted. She found it ‘cute’, and kept trying to chase it around the chairs and table, to catch it. I warned her it probably was filled with diseases, or maybe some fucking parasite or something, but she shrugged it off. “I think i can fight off a little parasite” she said, with a giggle. I remember the exact way she said it. Her pitch wavering up and down in a little singsong. She caught the rat, and claimed to keep it as a pet.
I never saw it again.
It wasn’t long after that I started to feel Ill. It came in waves. Spikes of pain that traveled through my veins to every inch of my body, dizzying heat that seemed to burn in my brain and my stomach….my throat felt tight. My thoughts and mind began to ….become…strange. I…well….hah…
Lets just save that for later in the story, huh?
I begged to go to the hospital, but she swore I would be okay. She told my confused and receptive mind that she could care for me better than any stupid doctor. That if I just listened to her, I could be out of bed in a few weeks. Walking around on my own two feet. I don’t know why. I really don’t know fucking why I believed her.
I couldn’t think straight, is the answer. I was losing myself to the disease, as it flushed through me. I had visions. Visions of creatures swimming through blood, of teeth and of wriggling lines that crossed my vision like snakes. My body felt constantly hot. It felt like my …no…it feels like my insides are writhing. Squirming about within me. But nobody came to help.
My girlfriend ,she helped. She always helped. She would come, feed me my soup…always the same soup. She would hold my hand through the pain as it started to settle for the night, and kiss me deeply.
What strikes me now, now that i have clarity once more…is how i could feel a second tongue in her mouth during this little ritual.
But I didn’t , not at the time. She was a perfect nurse. She would tell me I was progressing. that things would be okay soon. I would be healed. That she loved the me inside.
My body didn’t stop hurting though. I didn’t’ feel healed. I didn’t feel better. Not even when i saw the long, twisting lines moving under the flesh of my arms and stomach. Squirming. Slithering. Like there was something inside me. I would giggle the thought away, lost in my own little world
But all bad things come to an end too, right? Sort of. The pain never went away….but she ….I remember the day she left me. She came in, like usual. wearing that ridiculous nurse outfit she insisted on wearing. Her hat tilted slightly on her disheveled hair. The tendrils slithering their way periodically out of her eyelids and lips as they twisted just under the skin.
Just like always.
Only this time, I noticed. The potency of her little mixture…whatever she was that she was giving me in the soup or the kisses or whatever part of her ritual it was connected to… It must have gone down. My mind, it felt clearer than it had in weeks. I finally woke up.
The pain. The pain in my body was unbearable as i jolted upwards. I could see…see the exposed bones and scales of some kind of …..thing, coming out of my fingertips, out of my stomach and legs….something inside me.
She reacted with surprise, dumping the soup, and stepping back.
I tried to stand and lurch at her, but the …thing….inside me, had other ideas. My legs went out. and i quickly found my way to the ground. Her fingertips caressed my face for a long moment, before she stood, and ran out the door, leaving me alone, with only the soup, this notepad, and the god damned tv.
Even now, as i try to move my fingers to write this, they shake, and quiver, trying to move with the will of another. I find myself standing in rooms where I did not fall asleep. I feel them moving inside, devouring me, taking my body for their own.
I don’t know how much longer i’ll be here. My thoughts have already become muddled once again, and slip from my grasp before I can finish … finish…you know?
Maybe someone will find this. Maybe someone can stop this.
Maybe what makes a person really is on the inside.
Like a parasite.
Who here likes Slender? I know I do! If you like your horror more about wandering anxiously through the forest or claustrophobic hallways as sounds spookily wibble in the air,and things shake around than about a tight knit story… then this game’s for you!
Daylight is a procedural generated horror game, which basically means the layout of the area you walk in is unique play-through to play-through, and as are the items you are tasked to collect. The goal of the game, as you find yourself waking up in a mysterious labyrinth named scho— *coughs* I mean, a labyrinthine mental hospital that seems to have been designed by the mad King Minos. Your young adult comes handy with a touch screen cell phone that acts as both the procedural mini map, constantly visible from the first person perspective, and your next to only source of light throughout the game. Other sources of light, such as lamps or the encroaching flames of doom tend to be either unreliable, or haunted by the specters straight from hell.
Our heroine, who we know little of, what little we know of her, is greeted by a voice I can only describe as ‘evil psychologist from the Animaniacs cast as the villain in a horror movie’. The voice proceeds to talk to her several times throughout her adventure…mostly when she finds a key item. It’s unclear whether he is talking about the events happening…or rather the events of the past, a lot of the time, giving his speeches an eerie quality I quite enjoyed.
With this vague set up , we are told by Dr. Sigmund Fraud to go find us some special objects so we may break the ‘sigil’ that blocks our way out. These relics are the key to escaping and are random each time…tied to a particular aspect of the story, giving the game replay value if you wished to try to see each of the unique items. So off you go, given your task to scamper about this hospital and beyond…find your way out! See the world! respond to that tweet you never got to respond to , or whatever our heroine, Sarah, does with her life. We never really find out much about her…aside from some information I won’t spoil for those who are interested in this game.
So off you go. On to your first scare, young man or woman!…and well i’ll admit. The scares in this game are effective…at first. See, the game utilizes one particular kind of scare that , at least for me, sort of begins to wane after the seventh or eighth time. Jump Scares. The world around you reacts randomly as you go. Bookcases will send books flying, tables will slam drawers shut. You’ll see a woman at the far end of the hallway, staring. Vacant, empty sockets staring into your soul..before she walks forward, making you use an item to banish her away for the moment, giving yourself some breathing room. It got me pretty good the first few times…my fingers were tight on the controller as I anxiously flicked Sarah’s eyes around, desperate to avoid the creatures pursuing me (angry ghost ladies. booga booga), but by stage 3 my fear waned into a casual nod and a few jokes whenever we encountered a paranormal event
“Oh hey there!” i said to the ghost, as I ran past her, throwing a glowstick at her face “wanna go to a rave with me? I was just on my way!” Whoops, she vanished. I guess not!!! hah.
While I’d jolt when something unexpected happened of course, but the fear was diffused. I reacted differently. And I guess that’s just where I found myself…less intrigued. The story wasn’t *bad* per se. It was fairly decent. A tale of intrigue and horror told through scattered notes. I enjoyed what I experienced of it, but was never *wowed* the way I was with Silent Hill or other similar games. The story was decent, but…not enough to carry the whole game when it began to falter over it’s own horror.
I liked the idea of a randomly generated dungeon, with different scares each time! It was neat, and the idea that if I played again I’d have a much different experience is rather refreshing. Now I just need to convince myself to play it again. But with so many other games out there, I don’t find myself drawn back. It’s not Daylight’s fault, but…well it might be a bit Daylight’s fault.
Its simple. You collect various objects…things of use.. Flares, glowsticks for light and finding clues..notes to figure out the history of the place you’ve woken up in…pretty basic. The control layout wasn’t overly complex either, and enabled me to call up the various items or run and hide when I felt I needed to fairly easily. You can look with one analogue, walk with the other. The character controls decently. There were a few hiccups , such as when I wasted a succession of three glowsticks in a row due to poor button presses…and those things are *precious* later in the game. I don’t really have much to complain on with controls, though at it’s core Daylight is what you might call a big fetch quest.
The gameplay basically goes like this. You are in X area. In X area is A relic, which needs to be brought to B room to unlock the next area. Search area X for A, get lost, fend off angry ghosts, find A, get a vision. In the vision you are in an unfamiliar but repeated place. Spooky. Zap back to game, find B (again if you found it before), and watch the light show as you’re allowed through. It’s simple, and it actually provided a bit of decent entertainment in small doses. While I wish there was a bit of gameplay variety outside of that, there isn’t much, but it gets the job done.
all this works as an assistant to the main attraction, the scares, with the story acting as the slightly drippy glue that holds it together. The whole game, as a package isn’t so bad. I only paid around 7 dollars for it. I had purchased something else with a gift card I had, and decided to buy Daylight on a whim with the spare money. I don’t regret it. It was a fairly entertaining jump scare fest to enjoy with my significant other as we hung around the house. Sure, it wasn’t fantastic. But it wasn’t terrible either. The graphics were decent, the labyrinthine designs on the character’s arm, and on interactable objects was a neat visual touch that i quite liked, and the story was kind of fun despite it’s holes and the fact that it wasn’t exactly the deepest grave in the cemetery. It was middle of the road, and if you’re looking for some cheap , decent fun to waste an afternoon with on the PS4, I’d say go for it. At worst you waste 3-4 hours and 7 dollars. At best, you enjoy yourself. It’s not exactly the worst gamble out there.