Amnesia: The Dark Descent

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Last week, a friend of mine, Phillip, invited me over to his house so that we can play some video games together. I was surprised when I saw that he had a copy of Amnesia: The Dark Descent with him. It's one of the best horror games out there, although the game is a bit rare to find in stores these days; I've checked both my local Walmart and Best Buy's, but to no avail. It's too bad that most of the store employees haven't even heard of this gem of a game before. Anyways, what my friend told me was that he bought his copy off eBay for a rather cheap price of $3.99, which, in my opinion, was a stunning offer. However, the reason why Phillip invited me over to his house was because he was too scared to play it by himself.

He had just gotten the key in the Archives, but Phillip didn't want to go into the Wine Cellar yet, so we decided to enter the place together. As I started up the game, the first thing I noticed was that, for some reason, the two company logos were missing; the game went right to the loading screen with the scary looking up-side down head with not even a glimpse of the "Frictional Games" or "Nordic Games" titles. I found this to be rather strange, but I suspected a $3.99 copy of the game might be rather glitched and bugged. It actually took a while for the game to start up from the loading screen; for about a minute or so, I thought that the game had crashed, although my friend said nothing.

I noticed that the title screen of the game didn't have any music. Before starting up the game, we had already turned the volume up to max - unfortunately we didn't have any headphones - and my friend was sure that both his speakers were working. Strangely, when I asked him if he's even heard the title screen music before, he replied with a no. That means the music must have always been missing from the title screen. He assured me that the rest of the game did have music, much to my relief. Playing through Amnesia without any sounds would be a complete bore and would severely hinder the experience. In my opinion, the music is one of the reasons why Amnesia ranks amongst the best horror games out there.

Still, I couldn't help but feel rather unsettled by all the bugs we've already encountered simply from loading up Amnesia. I had then hoped that the rest of the game would play out fine without any more errors. Little did I know that I was to find myself wrong, dead wrong.

Anyways, we loaded up from his last save file and found ourselves right at the entrance of the Wine Cellar. Everything here looked fine; the room was dark, a heavy fog hung all over the area, and there was that slight but audible "woo-ing" sound in the background. All of this was to prepare my friend for the perfect scare experience. I remembered that the Wine Cellar did scare me a ton the first time I entered the place, though of course it was incomparable to the places that were to come once we passed the entrance hall. As Phillip was about to go downstairs, I told him that the place was a bit too dark and that he should turn on his lantern. He responded simply by looking at me with a weird expression on his face, as if he had no idea what was talking about. As I opened up the Inventory, I instantly noticed that he had no lantern in there.

You would not believe how hard I had facepalmed at that moment. Was it is even possible to miss the lamp in the Old Archives? I'm not sure; I had never advanced the game without it, and I'm quite certain the game doesn't even allow you to do so since it points Daniel straight towards the lantern when you enter that room. By this point I was getting rather frustrated - I guessed it was another bug or something - and I would've insisted on going back to the Old Archives and grabbing it if not for the fact that I knew the door would be locked. I thought then that maybe going through the whole game without using the lantern would scare my friend a bit more, although it would make solving some of the puzzles and finding all the key items a lot more difficult.

I knew my friend had not seen the monster yet because he told me that he didn't find anything in the Archives. Fortunately, Phillip was quite the easily scared type (he still loves horror games, like me, though), so I knew he would soon be in for a surprise. We were going to that part of the Wine Cellar with the poofer that appeared as soon as he picked up the Laudanum, and I urged him to do so, telling Phillip that it was a great healing potion. This was when I really started to get angry with the game. There was no growl from the grunt to signify its presence as soon as he picked up the item, and when he turned to go across the hallway we did not see even a shadow of the monster nearby. Knowing full well that breaking out into a fit right now would totally ruin the immersion, I decided to keep myself quiet and just continue watching Phillip play the game. However, if I saw one more bug occur, I would leave the room and urge Phillip to break his copy of Amnesia. I'd go lend my own copy to him afterwards.

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