22 April 2010
I’m not good with anything that is meant to be scary. So, of course, I go and buy games like Silent Hill and Rule of Rose. I’ll be OK the first time I play a horror game, but then the night comes and I hear noises I don’t normally hear and get paranoid that a murderer/ghost/zombie/alien is in my house trying to eat me. I lay in bed wide awake until I get so tired that I can’t keep my eyes open anymore. It’s the silent night that gets to me after putting my emotions in a frenzy by being chased and having grotesque creatures pop out at me. After that experience, I never like to play the games alone. My boyfriend likes to laugh at me for this reason. He also doesn’t find them frightening like I do.
I was not expecting this reaction when I bought the game Clock Tower 3. I liked the pictures on the case and the summary on the back seemed interesting. It was also cheap, so I added it to my collection. It wasn’t bad at first, but when the first chase scene happened I started to have a mini panic attack. All you (Alyssa) can do is run and hide. The only weapon you can use against the enemy is a little bottle full of holy water that you splash in the enemy's face. He stands there writhing in pain for a few seconds, and then he’s chasing you once again. My anxiety is always on edge until I finally escape whatever weapon the current murderer that’s chasing you has. Once he’s gone I pause the game, take a deep breath, and then continue searching for clues about the murder that had occurred.
In high school, I didn’t really have anyone to play video games with. My three best friends at the time, Sara, Tiffany, and Patti, all were interested in other things. I was the odd one out in our little group, but we were still great friends. I don’t know why, but one night I introduced them all to Clock Tower 3. We all sat in Tiffany’s brother’s room in the dark and they all watched while I played. I didn’t have to freak out alone anymore. Sara really didn’t care, but both Patti and Tiffany were on edge while a big brute with a hammer chased after the tiny little blonde girl.
Since they were both screaming and panicking, I was able to be the brave one. I found all the clues that were needed while they were huddled behind me freaking out. The best part was when the mystery of the murder was solved and Alyssa got to kick some creepy murderer butt. I was pumped up from being chased constantly, and I had my friends cheering me on. I got my weird mystical bow and arrows and trapped his evil soul. The spirits of the people he murdered were no longer trapped, and they moved on from their own tragedies. Tiffany, Patti and I rejoiced while Sara was probably sleeping out of boredom.
It felt good to see my friends enjoying a gaming experience, even if they were just watching. Sara is still one of my best friends, Tiffany has moved away to North Carolina and we only get to speak on Facebook, and sadly Patti and I are no longer friends (all over stupid, pointless girl drama). Despite the separation, I will treasure this memory until I’m old and grey.
I still develop anxiety from these games, but whenever I am feeling brave I gather my nerves and bring Clock Tower 3 out of my game case. It helps to remember the excitement my friends had when I played the game for them. As long as I think of the good times we had with this game, me and Alyssa can defeat, or avoid, any dangerous creeper that comes out way.
By Heather Aug