journal for 2002-07-02

the darkness is coming

It’s a really good thing that—as far as I know—the duty does not run in my family to protect the human race from annihilation by the Elder Gods. At some point, the task would inevitably come down to me, and I’d get devoured by zombies while fumbling to simultaneously light my torch and sheath my sword.

What the hell am I talking about? Eternal Darkness. Holy Hell, this game rules! When I preordered the half-dozen pieces of GameCube paraphernalia for which I’m mostly still waiting, the salesguy (Skinny Michael) was vaguely surprised that I wasn’t going to order Eternal Darkness. “I’ll rent it first, I said.” So, Friday night, we rented a few movies and Eternal Darkness. I played about an hour of it Friday night. The zombies are nice and zombie-like, but they aren’t the scary part. The “music” and background noise is creepy, the settings are creepy, and the fact that, when I stop paying attention, bile and blood start dripping from the walls… well, that’s really creepy.

So, the game starts with the (apparently) primary character being awoken at 0333 by a ringing phone. Her grandfather has been found dead. She goes to his mansion to identify the body—it can’t be identified by photo or dental records, because the head is missing. When the cops can’t solve the crime, she decides to do it herself. A clock or two in the house are stuck at 0333, and when she ‘fixes’ the one that isn’t, a secret door to the Room of Evil Antiques opens. Things just get less and less pleasant as time goes by.

After my first evening of play, I skittered back to the bedroom, relaying back and forth to always have enough light without leaving lights on, like the guy with the goat, the lettuce, and the raft. I got to bed, fell asleep, and woke up when my cell phone was ringing at an annoying volume with a “Private Call.” When I managed to focus on the clock, it said “3:33” in red digital numbers. Needless to say, I was pretty sure I was going to die.

I didn’t, though, and I went to EBX and picked up Eternal Darkness. I’ve logged about eleven hours against it, so far, and I think I’m about halfway through—and that’s only on the first pass. You have to beat the game three times for the “full ending,” which I may eventually want to see.

Gloria watches me play, which is pretty sweet, as she functions both as a spotter (and a good one) and as someone who will have my back if zombies start flooding into the living room to prevent me from defeating the dark forces of Xel’lotath. So that’s good.

work sucks

Work, actually, is only at a state of Suck Warning. My boss asked me, yesterday, how I’d feel about going back to Wales for 3-4 weeks to work on a project with the Welsh development team. While the trip itself wouldn’t upset me horribly—although it seems like an inconvenience—I just don’t see how I have any skills or expertise that will help the project. I think that, if we’re not careful, we’re going to slowly withdraw from our previous bad situation and rush headlong into a new one.

I really need to learn enough C to get by hax0ring network applications. Beyond the fact that it’s generally useful and genuinely interesting, it looks great on a resumé. Of course, I’d rather not have to be resuméing any time soon.

Written on July 2, 2002