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Billed as a "psychological thriller," Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem offers heavy action in a survival horror environment, similar in gameplay style to the PS2's Onimusha: Warlords or Devil May Cry. Featuring inventive plot devices, over a dozen playable characters, and an epic storyline to tie it all together however, this game is designed to create a memorable experience all its own. Originally conceived as a release for the N64, the title has been enhanced and revamped to make good use of the technical superiority of the GameCube. Eternal Darkness players face an ongoing quest that spans the generations of two thousand years as they take the roles of diverse hero characters in different times and places throughout human history.
A life force far more ancient than humanity once ruled this Earth and it exists here still, perhaps to awaken on some future doomsday. This ancient force is not bound by the laws of our physical universe, nor by our notions of ethics and morality. Though these Ancients are in a sense beyond our own "good" or "evil," their mere existence threatens life as we know it. There is a sect of human devotees who have awaited the return of these Ancients through the ages, remaining silently faithful through countless generations and brutally destroying any who might threaten their secret. But also enduring through the ages is a line of heroes — the "Chosen Ones." Distinct guardians such as the Roman centurion, the medieval monk, and the Special Forces commando each face the threats of the Ancients in their own times and places.
Though each is brave and uniquely able, these Chosen Ones are human and suffer human vulnerabilities. Among the most effectively disturbing elements of Eternal Darkness is the "Insanity Meter." As characters make their way through the game's dark scenes they are unavoidably affected by the surreal environments and grotesque events they encounter. The living nightmare takes its toll on the hero's state of mind, as indicated by this meter. As the hero's sanity fails, the player begins to notice strange and incongruous events and details. Not only does the world around the character seem to behave in an irreconcilably surreal manner, but even the game's menus and interface may become deceptively confused. Unable to rely on his or her own perceptions, the player cannot be sure of what is actually occurring in the game world and what is the conjuring of the character's troubled mind. ~ T.J. Deci, All Game Guide