Blair Witch (video game series)

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Blair Witch
RustinParrGameCover.jpg
Cover art for Volume 1
Developer(s) Terminal Reality (Vol. 1)
Human Head Studios (Vol. 2)
Ritual Entertainment (Vol. 3)
Publisher(s) Gathering of Developers
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows
Release 3 October 2000 (Vol. 1)
25 October 2000 (Vol. 2)
21 November 2000 (Vol. 3)
Genre(s) Action-adventure game, psychological horror
Mode(s) Single-player

The Blair Witch video games are a trilogy of psychological horror action-adventure games (for Windows-based PCs), focusing on the backstories and the mythology of the Blair Witch media franchise. All three games use the Nocturne Engine and were published by Gathering of Developers, although each game was developed by a different team.

Blair Witch Volume 1: Rustin Parr[edit]

Blair Witch Volume 2: The Legend of Coffin Rock[edit]

The second installment of the game is based on a story that was related briefly in the first game and the original movie. It is the tale of a Union soldier during the American Civil War, Lieutenant Robert MacNichol, who is mortally wounded in battle and left for dead. As he slips into unconsciousness, he hears a mysterious voice say, "Your time is not up yet, soldier. I have need of you yet!". Sure enough, his time is not up – a young girl called Robin Weaver finds him and helps him back to the isolated house where she lives with her grandmother, Bess.

While he heals, MacNichol has a number of hallucinations and a near-death experience, in which he learns, but does not fully comprehend, that Robin is in danger. When he awakes, it is discovered that he is suffering from amnesia, and cannot remember who he is. The only clue to his past is the uniform he wears. Since MacNichol cannot remember his name, Robin's grandmother, a devout Christian, temporarily names him Lazarus.

Robin's grandmother, with Lazarus now in her debt, informs him that Robin has disappeared into the woods and begs him to find her. She is convinced that "the woods have her." Lazarus regards this as paranoia, and thinks that Robin has simply gone to play in the woods and is late in returning. Bess is insistent, however, and the soldier reluctantly agrees to help in the search for Robin.

As the game progresses, Lazarus recalls elements of his past, by means of flashback game sequences, which slowly explain how the current events come to be; MacNichol led his men into the forest in search of confederate scavengers, who all fell prey to the curse before MacNichol was shot in the head. He discovers a blind old hermit to be Robin's abductor, for a sacrifice for the demon Hecaitomix. The hermit made a deal with Hecaitomix to get his eye sight restored, and Hecaitomix turns him into a demon himself. MacNichol learns of a ritual that Hecitomix and is using in a plot to possess Robin, involving imprisoning children's souls and mutilating the search party.

MacNichol manages to disrupt the ritual, allowing Hecaitomix to temporarily possess him, while he sends Robin back to her grandmother. Using the last of his strength, MacNichol manages to free the imprisoned souls, and defeat Hecaitomix's acolyte. MacNichol collapses into unconsciousness, but awakes confused back in the Weaver house.

Blair Witch Volume 3: The Elly Kedward Tale[edit]

The final episode of the trilogy is an original story that was not mentioned in the film, although it was briefly referred to in the first two games. It is basically an origin story, telling of how the Blair Witch legend came to be, set in 1785, in the early days of the Blair Township (later renamed Burkittsville). The story's main character is Jonathan Prye, a former priest who left the clergy during a crisis of faith. Prye, now a witch-hunter, is called to Blair to investigate events related to the disappearance of a woman called Elly Kedward a few weeks earlier.

Elly Kedward was accused of witchcraft after it was found she had been drawing blood from the local children and performing pagan rituals. She was tried, convicted and sentenced to be banished from the town. Instead, the locals tied her to a wheelbarrow, dragged her into the nearby woods and left her to freeze to death. Kedward disappeared from the wheelbarrow to which she was tied, and was never seen again.

A few days later, children from the township began to disappear, and the terrified villagers began to flee — with only the local magistrate, Jonah, and the township's chaplain, Father Hale Goodfellow, remaining behind. Father Goodfellow is convinced that a supernatural force is at work; Jonah, a skeptic, refuses to believe this, assuming Kedward is behind the kidnappings and is still at large near the town. There are also two people who are locked in a jail in the town: Hirrum Heathtow is a drunk, and Elizabeth Styler is a supposed witch who was arrested when she was found in Elly's house, reciting strange phrases.

The player must guide Prye through his investigation, to discover what happened to Elly Kedward. In his search, he happens upon a child having been bound and tortured in the forest. After freeing the child, a voice warns him not to interfere before sending zombies onto him. In the forest, Prye meets a shaman by the name of Asgaya Gigagei, who tells him of the legend of Hecaitomix, an evil spirit once worshipped by the Natives before white settlers first arrived. Angered that he's no longer revered, Hecaitmox plans to destroy the human race and conquer the world. Prye learns that Hecaitomix has abducted a number of children for sacrificial murder, and makes it his quest to rescue them.

Prye's journey not only takes him throughout the woods, but into the spirit realm which Hecaitmox conquered, but the demonic realm which he already rules. While rescuing Hecaitomix's hostages and facing his minions, Prye eventually faces Hecatomix himself, with Asgaya's help. After escaping Hecaitomix's realm, Prye encounters Styler, who reveals herself to be a servant and vessel of Hecaitomix. The two fight, with Prye managing to defeat her (either by killing her or exorcising the demon from her body).

If Styler is killed, Prye is thanked by the townspeople for having rescued the children and is offered a job as a constable, which Prye declines, having regained his faith and returns to his church to resume his previous position. Exorcising Styler results in a different ending where she returns to her senses and thanks Prye, explaining that she had been under the demon's influence all throughout the story. She asks Prye to come with her, hinting at a romantic partnership. Prye declines, reaffirming his faith and desire to return to his flock. Prye and Styler share a goodbye and part ways.

Reception[edit]

Volume 2[edit]

Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 56.42%[1]
Metacritic 56/100[2]
Review scores
Publication Score
Eurogamer 6/10[3]
GamePro 3.5/5 stars[4]
Game Revolution D[5]
GameSpot 6.7/10[6]
GameSpy 70%[7]
GameZone 8/10[8]
IGN 6.7/10[9]
PC Gamer (US) 48%[10]
ActionTrip 3.3/10[11]

Blair Witch Volume 2: Coffin Rock was met with mixed reception upon release. GameRankings gave it a score of 56.42%,[1] while Metacritic gave it 56 out of 100.[2] In the United States, it sold 16,000 copies by October 2001.[12]

Volume 3[edit]

Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 59.10%[13]
Metacritic 55/100[14]
Review scores
Publication Score
AllGame 2/5 stars[15]
Eurogamer 3/10[16]
Game Revolution C−[17]
GameSpot 4/10[18]
GameSpy 69%[19]
IGN 6.8/10[20]
PC Gamer (US) 37%[21]
ActionTrip 5.5/10[22]

Blair Witch Volume 3: The Elly Kedward Tale was also met with mixed reception upon release. GameRankings gave it a score of 59.10%,[13] while Metacritic gave it 55 out of 100.[14] In the United States, it sold 8,500 copies by October 2001.[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Blair Witch Volume II: The Legend of Coffin Rock for PC". GameRankings. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "Blair Witch Volume 2: The Legend of Coffin Rock Critic Reviews for PC". Metacritic. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  3. ^ Bramwell, Tom (16 November 2000). "Blair Witch Volume 2: The Legend of Coffin Rock". Eurogamer. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  4. ^ Brian Wright (31 October 2000). "Blair Witch 2: The Legend of Coffin Rock Review for PC on GamePro.com". GamePro. Archived from the original on 13 March 2005. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  5. ^ White, A.A. (November 2000). "Blair Witch Project Volume 2: Legend of Coffin Rock[sic] Review". Game Revolution. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  6. ^ Park, Andrew (2 November 2000). "Blair Witch 2: The Legend of Coffin Rock Review". GameSpot. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  7. ^ Williams, Bryn (9 November 2000). "Blair Witch Volume 2: The Legend of Coffin Rock". GameSpy. Archived from the original on 23 September 2004. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  8. ^ Lambert, Jason (21 November 2000). "Blair Witch Volume 2: The Legend of Coffin Rock 1886 [sic] Review - PC". GameZone. Archived from the original on 21 February 2008. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  9. ^ Lopez, Vincent (31 October 2000). "Blair Witch Volume 2: The Legend of Coffin Rock". IGN. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  10. ^ "Blair Witch 2: The Legend of Coffin Rock". PC Gamer: 88. February 2001. 
  11. ^ Jojic, Uros "2Lions" (10 November 2000). "Blair Witch Volume 2: The Legend of Coffin Rock Review". ActionTrip. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  12. ^ a b Keighley, Geoff (October 2001). "READ.ME; G.O.D.'s Fall from Grace". Computer Gaming World (207): 30–32. 
  13. ^ a b "Blair Witch Volume III: The Elly Kedward Tale for PC". GameRankings. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  14. ^ a b "Blair Witch Volume 3: The Elly Kedward Tale Critic Reviews for PC". Metacritic. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  15. ^ Tresca, Michael. "Blair Witch Vol. 3: The Elly Kedward Tale - Review". AllGame. Archived from the original on 15 November 2014. Retrieved 31 December 2014. 
  16. ^ Bramwell, Tom (10 February 2001). "Blair Witch Volume 3: The Elly Kedward Tale Review". Eurogamer. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  17. ^ White, A.A. (November 2000). "Blair Witch Vol. 3: The Elly Kedward Tale Review". Game Revolution. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  18. ^ Park, Andrew (22 November 2000). "Blair Witch Volume 3: The Elly Kedward Tale Review". GameSpot. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  19. ^ McConnaughy, Tim (9 November 2000). "Blair Witch 3". GameSpy. Archived from the original on 12 January 2005. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  20. ^ Lopez, Vincent (28 November 2000). "Blair Witch Volume 3: The Elly Kedward Tale". IGN. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  21. ^ Williamson, Colin (April 2001). "Blair Witch Volume 3: The Elly Kedward Tale". PC Gamer: 90. Archived from the original on 11 March 2005. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  22. ^ Jojic, Uros "2Lions" (9 December 2000). "Blair Witch Volume 3: The Elly Kedward Tale Review". ActionTrip. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 

External links[edit]