Necronomicon: The Dawning of Darkness

Developer:  Dreamcatcher
Publisher:  Wanadoo/France Telecom Multimedia
Year Released:  2001

Review by Steve Ramsey (August, 2001)

Fremantle, Australia

October 1927

My Dear Rosemary,

It has been a while since I have written, but I am sure when you read this letter you will forgive me. Or perhaps you will seek to have me committed. Rest assured I am not mad, although there were times when I myself questioned my sanity. Indeed, part of the reason for this letter is to commit my experiences to paper, before I again begin to doubt that they were real.

I have been abroad, in Rhode Island. I had received a message from my old friend Edgar Wycherley seeking my help. However my first meeting with Edgar was not at all warm and inviting, as I had hoped it would be after all this time, despite his troubles. Rather, it left me feeling somewhat disturbed, a feeling only exacerbated by a visit from his doctor. It was therefore with some trepidation that I ventured into town, although I was determined to do what I could to help Edgar.

Surprisingly, when I arrived in town it felt like I had been there before. I now believe, however, that my troubled mind was looking for some certainty from which to gain some comfort, and that it subconsciously latched on to a description of the world in which Jonathon Harker endured his tribulations. You and I have read and discussed his adventures many times, as chronicled in Dracula Resurrection and Dracula the Last Sanctuary, and having re-read them recently there is no doubt that many of his impressions were present in my experiences. It was like being and experiencing his world, right down to the feelings of foreboding. So whilst it is a curious thing to feel familiarity as a result of another's writings, the mind does what it must to get by, something I was continuously reminded of throughout what followed.

I will not bore you with too much detail of what occurred in town. I must tell you, however, about this item I found, a small archive box that enabled me to carry a huge amount of documentary material around with me. I acquired many other items as well, but this one was my favourite. As I had to examine all manner of historical and, at times, arcane texts, this item proved invaluable as it enabled me to carry the information with me and refer to it when needed, and relieved me of the burden of taking copious notes. You must try to get one!

Anyway, once I had mastered the layouts of the streets, and explored all the cul-de-sacs and lanes, I was able to slowly piece together a tale that suggested my earlier unease was only a portent of things to come. Snippets of information gathered from persons and documents drew me along an almost ordained path, and ultimately left me in no hurry to explore an aging bungalow, but as all paths lead in that direction I knew I must do it.

Had I known the macabre nature of what was in store I might have returned home there and then. Yet perhaps not, for it was apparent that what I was discovering was something that was a threat to more than just Edgar. In any event it is a moot point, because onward I went.

Onward and down, down into what felt like the very bowels of the earth. It was ever so dark, and more than once I lost my way. As many times as I defeated the dark, it came back to try to overwhelm me. This private battle raged for some time, as I moved deeper and deeper.

At times it almost caused my death. I can only imagine from the noises I heard what unworldly beasts dwelt at the bottom of the many pits and crevices that lined my way. I use the term "unworldly" deliberately - I was sure by this time that some other world had intruded in some way into our own.

I was helped in my endeavours however by an almost supernatural ability to understand what I was meant to do at various places and with various things. By examining my whereabouts, I could tell whether some action was possible, or whether I required an item, perhaps from among those that I had found or one I was yet to find, in order to do something. This was an ability present from the moment I arrived in Rhode Island, so it was nothing to do with the underworld I was in. I can only surmise that some sort of essence had leaked through and "infected" Rhode Island, causing this strange but useful phenomenon. Or else some guardian angel was assisting my quest.

The last chambers I came to almost shattered my nerves, but I steeled myself - I was not going to give up having come this far. In fact, the inane chatter of an organic machine fortified me. I was not going to be defeated by this thing. I wanted to slap it for speaking in riddles, but more so for mumbling. Whoever or whatever had designed this thing should have given it an arm for writing, instead of a voice for speaking!

I overcame its rantings in the end, but then wished I hadn't. There are some things about which I will never speak, and what I encountered next are among them. I tremble even thinking about them, and if I could rid my mind of the memories I would gladly do so. Some things cannot and should not be, but I will never again question that all things are not possible, and that there are those in this world who will find a way to do them.

My relief at returning to the mundane world of the town library was palpable, and even the thought of scouring the voluminous shelves for the knowledge I needed was comforting. That sort of mundane research was far more to my liking than dabbling in necromancy and the occult.

I have always said that knowledge is the key to all things, and so it proved. The door to the ancient worlds was opened, and after all I had been through, not even a series of twisting and convoluted passages and corridors, and a vault door with a time critical lock was going to thwart me. True it was that the door spelt doom if not opened in time, but I was disappointed that the final steps to finding the necronomicon and saving the world were so tedious. After all that had gone before, a more fitting final challenge seemed warranted.

How I returned I do not know. That I did is all that matters. I assure you I did not imagine these things, and in some respect I am pleased that I encountered them. From now on I will be constantly on guard against those things that lurk just below the surface of normality, and which most dismiss as superstition and nonsense. For I have scratched that surface, and looked into what looked back, and it has changed me.

Now that it is all over, I believe that I have had greater and more challenging adventures, and from what is written of Mr Harker I dare say his own were a touch more suspensful and frightening. He however only had to kill the undead, never bring them back to life, which is all I will say on that subject.

I must rest now. We will talk more when I return.

Your friend,

William Stanton rating:  

Copyright © Steve Ramsey 2001. All rights reserved.

System Requirements:
Windows 95/98/ME:
Pentium 200 MHz, 32 MB RAM, 8x CD ROM, 16 bit sound card
G3 or iMac / OS 8.5.1, 32 MB RAM (64 MB from Virtual memory), 8x CD ROM, 6MB 3D Video Card OpenGL compatible