Just the other day (as of writing this, at least), I was watching this gameplay video of a game I remember hearing about a few months ago or so called “Slender: The Nine Pages”. It is a PC game, and I was warned right from the start that it might be rather scary. That only intrigued me more, as I do rather like frightening things, and so I didn’t heed his warning at all and just kept watching, to varying degrees of regret. If you want to see the video for yourself, it is below:
Video from Youtube User: iBallisticSquid
What immediately struck me was how limited your field of vision is. The game takes place in this maze of dark rooms and hallways lit mainly with a flashlight, which went out a few times during the video, leaving the player to panic a little until he got it working again. It appears that the goal of this game is to find nine pages (not sure what they are for, but at least the title makes a bit more sense, I suppose), which can be found on walls or in these cabinets.
While that alone doesn’t sound particularly difficult, the real challenge comes from avoiding the “Slender Man”. It was pretty early on in the video that I got a glimpse of this mysterious being when the player looked down a hallway and spotted this humanoid figure standing a good distance away, and I knew right away that this was not something you wanted to catch you when the player took off running in the opposite direction. Just that initial sighting was most chilling, and I continued to watch the rest of the video in utmost terror. I can only imagine how scared I’d be if I was actually the one playing.
The Slender Man turned out to be a rather terrifying presence indeed, not helped by simple, but creepy background noise, along with loud breathing from your character. You see, whenever you look in the direction of this strange being, the screen turns to static, so even if you can’t see it, you know it’s there, and it’s pretty creepy to be passing by a room and find that it’s in there when static flicks across your screen. Needless to say, the player bypassed these rooms. Avoiding the Slender Man was still not easy, though, as it’s completely silent, and simply avoiding it is not enough. If it catches you, it’s game over, but the same goes if you look at it for too long, as well. Not that anyone in their right mind would just stand there staring at it, but it’s still a pretty creepy idea. (Kind of like the opposite of the Weeping Angels from “Dr. Who”, who will always remain as one of the most terrifying creatures in all of existence. But, at least you are allowed to look at them. Just don’t blink…)
Well, the first time through the game, the player didn’t last terribly long. His second attempt, however, lasted far longer, and the mere stress of watching was unbearable. Several times, he would leave a room and find the Slender Man standing just outside it, and I wanted to squeal in terror as he ran away, only to find himself in a dead end and with no choice but to turn back and slink by the Slender Man with his gaze fixed on the ground to avoid looking at the thing. Oh, how that freaked me out. No amount of sidling about, however, prevented him from succumbing eventually, and the video ended with game over number two. (Hee hee, number two. Oh, be quiet.)
And it was at this time that I got my first good look at the Slender Man, a tall and thin, faceless man in a black and white suit. Rather creepy, but I must admit to a certain disappointment at having the previous mystery of the Slender Man’s appearance revealed to me.
It was still a pretty scary game, though, and I looked into it a bit more to get a better idea of the mechanics of the game, such as the fact that it gets more difficult the longer you take, including the fact that the Slender Man gradually starts appearing closer and closer to you, which really does little to help your anxiety level, doesn’t it?
The game looks very simple, but it’s most often the simple things that are the most effective in frightening you, and I just wish that you never get to see the Slender Man all that well, because I think that would have really helped with the terror-factor if we had never really gotten to see it. And I am now curious to try the game out some time, but I must confess to a great degree of cowardice that could very well prevent me from ever being able to work up the courage to do so. I do very much want to try this game out and see how well I do at avoiding that horrid, faceless monstrosity, but I think I’d be much too scared. And I think I’d scream. A lot. I scream enough when tarantulas chase me in “Animal Crossing”, and unlike “The Crossing”, as I call it, this is a game actually intended to frighten you.
So, who here has tried “Slender”? And who can actually elude the Slender Man long enough to actually finish it?