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Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem

aka: ED, Eternal Darkness: Mawa Kareta 13jin

Description official descriptions

Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem is a psychological thriller epic starring the adventures of twelve characters that span across the world and two millennia. From time immemorial the forces of evil from beyond have been trying to manifest themselves in our world, and it is only through the actions of these forgotten heroes that the world has been saved from being overrun. Chapters take place in Ancient Rome, Persia, the Middle East, and modern-day Rhode Island. Throughout the game, the protagonists will have access to several weapons appropriate for their era, from bastard sword and gladius to flintlock pistol and shotgun.

The game features an involved Magick system, which allows different spells to be created through the combination of runes. These spells can attack enemies, dispel illusions, and heal both the body and items.

Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem also has a unique feature called Sanity. If an enemy sees a character, their Sanity meter drops. When Sanity gets low, hallucinations begin to plague the character. Walls bleed, voices whisper from nowhere, the camera gets disoriented. Sanity can be restored by dealing a finishing move on a dying enemy, or with spells or some items. Aside from this, characters also have health and mana meters.


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  • 이터널 λ‹€ν¬λ‹ˆμŠ€ - Korean spelling

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Credits (GameCube version)

119 People (96 developers, 23 thanks) · View all



Average score: 90% (based on 76 ratings)


Average score: 3.9 out of 5 (based on 106 ratings with 9 reviews)

Eternal Darkness is the Gamecube's gift to fans of Cthulu.

The Good
Eternal Darkness is an excellent game of the horror genre, putting it at the same level as the Silent Hill series. While the production is not nearly as terrifyingly real as the SH series, ED has several unique features that make most Cthulu fans smile.

One of the most interesting is the Sanity meter. It measures how well grounded your character is with the 'real' world, and anytime that you encounter mystical and unnatural beings, your sanity will decrease. The most interesting feature about the lack of sanity is that it has a direct correlation to how the game interacts with you. Whereas in other games, it might simply be considered another attribute, along with health and mana, in ED, it affects gameplay, by creating illusory monsters, fake rooms, and strange video errors.

The storyline, about an ancient evil rising from beyond time and space, is a classic one, and they didn't do it wrong in ED.

The Bad
There are chapters of the game where you are dangerously under-equipped. Without proper guidance, those places can be very difficult and repetitive, as you replay the same scenes over and over again, in order to find a way through it.

The Bottom Line
A great game if you are a fan of Lovecraftian Horror. If not, then it is just a good game in the horror genre.

GameCube · by kawaii (18) · 2003

An enjoyable 3rd-person adventure with a twist, but not going to become a classic.

The Good
Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem features gameplay spanning two thousand years of history, from the year 2 B.C. to 2000 A.D. You start as Alex Roivas, and your objective is to find who or what murdered your grandfather in the family mansion in Rhode Island. Along the way you will discover the dark secrets of the family and save the world. The game is divided into chapters, which are part of the Tome of Eternal Darkness, a chronicle of the saviors the world has never known about. During a chapter you will play as the chapter's character. Between chapters you play as Alex, and attempt to find the next chapter page.

The variety of characters and locations is enjoyable, as are the various weapons that each character uses. The magick system is truly unique and suprisingly intricate, while the game also introduces the concept of sanity. Each monster you face subtracts from your sanity, and as you gradually go insane your character begins to hallucinate. Walls begin to drip blood, ammunition appears on the floor, bugs crawl on your screen, and perhaps you even turn into a zombie. The music adds perfectly to the tense atmosphere, which builds to the final confrontation of good versus evil.

The Bad
Unfortunately, while a figure of sixty hours of gameplay has been lobbed about, that is far from the truth. The first time through the game may take you about twenty hours, but the puzzles do not change from game to game, only the cutscenes. Also, the puzzles are the weakest chain in the game. Most consist of countering one magick type with another, and once you've figured out the basic idea all the rest are ridiculously simple. However, the most egregious example of the puzzles takes place late in the game where the player is forced to repeat a puzzle that was completed in a previous chapter. There is no change, simply the same half-hour long repetition. Additionally, some players will find the total lack of extra ammunition for the guns irritating in the extreme. Finally, while it doesn't particularly effect gameplay, by the time you watch your fortieth bone and paper zombie spurt several gallons of blood you'll be thoroughly sick of the whole thing.

The Bottom Line
If you want an H.P. Lovecraft style romp through history, slashing monsters at every turn, this game is for you. If you'd prefer a more straight forward hack and slash, or a Tomb Raider style blaster, you're better off steering clear of this game.

GameCube · by Shadowcaster (252) · 2002

Take a step into the Darkness

The Good
The story opens with young Alex Roivas receiving a call to identify her grandfather's body-- he recently experienced a mysterious death that left him as nothing more than a pile of bloody flesh. Alex vows to search the old mansion for clues, and in doing so, uncovers a dark family secret: a huge book in her grandfather's study attracts Alex's attention, and it is through this book, the Tome of Eternal Darkness, that the story unfolds.

Your avatar changes as you complete each chapter of the Tome. All the characters come together to tell of the Tome's historical accounts, and the purpose behind the book itself.

Though the concept of basing a game around a book instead of its characters is certainly unique, it's not ED's strongest selling point. That would be your Sanity Meter--a glowing, green vial that tracks how kooky your character's mind becomes after you are attacked. When your sanity begins to fade, the game will do things to mess with your mind: tilt the camera, make you see dripping blood from the walls, and make you appear upside-down in a room--and those are some of the milder effects. The stronger, more brain-tickling pranks will genuinely make you angry, frustrated, frightened, or confused: the TV will appear to suddenly shut off, or your character will spontaneously split apart, for example. ED is survival-horror done right: you're dropped into monster-ridden territory with limited weapons, a magickal book, and only your wits to guide you. It's not anywhere near as difficult as Resident Evil, and the fact that you play through different periods of history with an alternate-universe twist gives ED a lot more credit in my book.

With copious amounts of blood, gore, death, references to the occult, and plenty of creepy- crawlies and scary moments, this is very much a grown-up's game--but MAN, what a great game it is! For all those momentarily fed up with kiddie games on the 'Cube, snatch this treasure up from the video game store's bargain bin and put some hours into it--you won't be disappointed.

The Bad
The game in my opinion was too short (perhaps 13 hours long). They should let you play scenes again.

The Bottom Line
I mean, really? What can you say about a videogame that truly transcends its medium?

Eternal Darkness is a masterpiece of storytelling. The best way to describe it is as an interactive novel. I was hooked. I didn't stop playing until I finished the baby.

There were great moments, like there are with any piece of cinema, when the use of music, dialogue and story subversion created moments so exhilarating and original, that it suddenly becomes incredibly sad that it isn't going to reach the wide audience that it so deserves.

Go. And buy it now.

GameCube · by SiriusCrane (8) · 2007

[ View all 9 player reviews ]


1001 Video Games

Eternal Darkness appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.


Each of the Ancients is represented by a colour, which is the colour of their alignment as well as their Magick and their creatures.* Ulyaoth, God of the dimensional planes, is Blue. * Xel'lotath, Goddess of the Mind and Madness is Green. * Chattur'gha, God of physical strength and matter is Red. * Mantorok the Corpse God or God of Order and Chaos is Purple (though sometimes Black).

However, there is also"neutral" Yellow Magick present in the game. According to Denis Dyack, a designer of the game, this actually represents a fifth, unrevealed Ancient.The fact that yellow is the complementary colour of purple may also indicate that this Ancient is diametrically opposed to Mantorok.


Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem is the first game to be developed fully by a Canadian developer, inside Canada, and published by Nintendo Of Canada (NoC). As a result, it was released in Canada two days before the U.S.


Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem was originally planned to be one of the last games released for the N64. Once it slipped that release, it was scheduled to be a GameCube launch title and be shipped in October 2001. It didn't make that date and was once again rescheduled for release in February 2002. It still didn't make that date and was finally released in June 2002. Because it was in testing for so long, the in-house testers at Nintendo began calling it "Everlasting Darkness."

Fourth wall

Silicon Knights co-developed the remake The Twin Snakes of Metal Gear Solid with Konami. Given that series' fondness for breaking the fourth wall, Silicon Knights reused some of the Eternal Darkness sanity effects, such as the tilting floor effect, during the player's battle with Psycho Mantis. Eternal Darkness is also one of the games recognised when the character attempts to "read the player's mind" (which consists of reading the contents of the system's memory card). Breaking the fourth wall in such a manner is a notable stylistic similarity between games developed by Silicon Knights and those developed by Hideo Kojima.


In the manual when describing Dr. Maximillian Roivas, they put the date and setting of "A.D. 1760 - Rhode Island, USA." Not only is it glaringly obvious that the United States not even exist at that point, but Rhode Island didn't even join the Union until 1790! Oops! The developers, Silicon Knights, are Canadian.


Alexandra's family name, Roivas, is savior spelled backwards.


This was the first Nintendo only published game ever to receive a ESRB Mature rating. Conker's Bad Fur Day and Perfect Dark are older Nintendo games that also carry a Mature rating but it can be argued that they were co-published by Rare.


  • This game has several homages to classic horror and fiction writers. As if the Edgar Allen Poe quote on the intro wasn't enough, the guy who speaks to you on the beginning of the game introduces himself as Inspector Legrasse... and there is an Inspector Legrasse on H.P. Lovecraft's tale The Call of Cthulhu. The setting being on Rhode Island is another tip of the hat to Lovecraft's place of birth.
  • Mantarok, the creature encountered by Ellia, is the keeper of "The Ancients". An obvious reference to Lovecraft's Yog-Sothoth, who is the keeper of The Great Old Ones. Also they both coexist in multiple planes of reality.
  • While playing as Alex, check the stack of books in the study, to find another reference to classic horror tales, including Poe and Lovecraft.
  • One of the sanity effects has the character's head falling off and quoting Shakespeare, more specifically Scene I, Act III of Hamlet, the famous "To Be Or Not To Be" speech.

References to the game

In Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes, magazines called ED Magazine can be used to distract guards. The magazines show Ellia on the cover and a centerfold of Alex Roivas when used, two characters from Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem.

Title translation

The translation of the Japanese title in English is "Eternal Darkness: Call of 13 People".


  • 4Players
    • 2002– Best GameCube Game of the Year
    • 2002– Best GameCube Action Game of the Year
    • 2002 – #2 Best GameCube Game of the Year (Readers' Vote)
  • GameSpy
    • 2002 – Day of the Tentacle (Cthulhu) Award (GameCube)

Information also contributed by CaptainCanuck, Jiguryo, lasse, Mark Ennis, MasterMegid, Mike Turner, Sciere and Shadowcaster

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Identifiers +

  • MobyGames ID: 6825


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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by JPaterson.

Additional contributors: Apogee IV, Sciere, Alaka, gamewarrior, Patrick Bregger, Rik Hideto, FatherJack.

Game added June 27th, 2002. Last modified February 22nd, 2023.