Retro Vault is our regular weekly feature in which we dive into gaming's past and share five classic nuggets of retro nostalgia. If you missed last week's Retro Vault you can read it here.
2002: Eternal Darkness artwork
Originally planned to be a Nintendo 64 game, developer Silicon Knights instead ported Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem over to the more powerful GameCube system in order to meet its ambitious plans.
Featuring twelve playable characters in a story spanning 2026 years, Eternal Darkness tells the story of a magical book called the Tome Of Eternal Darkness. When the protagonist Alexandra reads the book, she experiences moments from history featuring the characters she reads about.
The game's main selling point is its sanity effects, in which the player is constantly tricked into thinking they're losing their mind. As your character's sanity level drops the game uses all manner of techniques to mess with your head - it "changes channels", turns the sound off, shows your player without a head, makes the walls bleed and even pretends to erase your save data at times.
Eternal Darkness was due to be a US GameCube launch game but a large portion of the game was set in the Arab world and after the events of September 11 (the GameCube launched in the US two months later), Silicon Knights decided to delay the game and change it, reworking around a quarter of the game.