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|Genre(s)||Horror, alternate reality|
Sad Satan is a PC game built with the Terror Engine, first reported on the YouTube channel Obscure Horror Corner on June 15, 2015. Following initial reviews, the channel's video of the game was picked by a number of English-language publications[unreliable source?] and later internationally.
The title is a reference to the Led Zeppelin song "Stairway to Heaven." Allegedly, when the song is played backwards, disturbing and Satanic lyrics can be heard. One of the lines from the supposedly backmasked lyrics is "There was a little tool shed where he made us suffer, sad Satan."
In an interview with Kotaku, the channel's owner claims to have downloaded the game from a Tor hidden service after receiving a tip from an anonymous subscriber. The subscriber in turn claims to have found the link via a deep web internet forum, from a user only known as "ZK". Initially, some followers were skeptical of the game, fearing it may contain gore or child pornography (as both are common staples of media traded throughout the deep web). However, the owner of Obscure Horror Corner shared that, so far in his playthroughs, the game had not contained any such material.[unreliable source?]
Following the Kotaku interview, the subreddit "/r/sadsatan" was formed on the website Reddit to discuss the game, quickly realising the .onion address provided by Obscure Horror Corner contained invalid characters. 3 days later, another interview with the Obscure Horror Corner owner appeared on Kotaku, claiming that the link was purposefully given in error since the game itself did in fact contain such graphic material and the Obscure Horror Corner channel owner did not want to be responsible for disseminating such material. In an update to the Kotaku article, Patricia Hernandez states:
I should have presented the tale of its discovery with more skepticism. I apologize for that. While the original article admits that the game exists in a more mythical state than a tangible one, it could have gone farther to make clear what was concrete about Jamie's tale and what wasn't.
Minutes before the update, a new version of the game was posted to 4chan by someone claiming to be ZK, claiming that Obscure Horror Corner had not been showing their viewers the "true" Sad Satan.[unreliable source?] Members of the 4chan community downloaded this version of the game and attempted to play it. Some users complained that their computers began running sluggishly, and a few even reported that their computers became completely unresponsive while trying to run the game. A few users even reported that their computer would not turn on anymore after running this version of the game.[unreliable source?] One Reddit user attempted to play the game from a Live USB instead of their computer's main hard drive. Later, when they tried to boot into their computer as normal, the computer failed to load.[unreliable source?] This version, dubbed the "clone" by most of the /r/sadsatan community, contained images of violent gore and some child pornography, some of which was accessible right from the Title Screen of the game. A version of the game with the pornography removed, often called the "clean" version was created by Redditors and subsequently redistributed in hopes that people who went out to download the game would download it instead of the "clone", which contained the graphic imagery.
Sad Satan was the last game covered by Obscure Horror Corner, and since then, the YouTube channel was abandoned for unknown reasons. There has been speculation that the game was in fact created by the owner of the Obscure Horror Corner in an effort to increase viewer subscription count, and that the Deep Web story was a complete fabrication to give the whole account more intrigue.  Some believe that Obscure Horror Corner created the clone as well in an attempt to lend credibility to the claim that there was actually gore and child pornography in the game. This is an obvious concern since the content is in fact illegal. [unreliable source?]
It is also possible that Sad Satan was not created by the owner of Obscure Horror Corner, and that in truth, the owner of the channel decided to go into hiding because of all the controversy after the malware version of Sad Satan was released.
It has been claimed that upon completion of the original game the game player then has the ability to contact spirits and/or demons.
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The original game posted by Obscure Horror Corner features walking down monochromatic corridors while various audio samples are played and looped over each other. Audio in the game leans heavily on recordings of interviews with various murderers, such as Charles Manson. The game also depends heavily on distorted or reversed audio of such interviews or musical clips, such as "Wo Ai Beijing Tiananmen", played in the beginning. Reversed clips from the Swedish Rhapsody numbers station can also be heard. While the player controls their character through the hallways, images may intermittently display, taking up the entire screen and preventing the player from progressing any further until the image automatically closes a few seconds later. Most of the images seem to reference child abuse, especially people indicted in Operation Yewtree, such as images of Jimmy Savile and Rolf Harris. Other images revolve around crime, and include people convicted or accused of murder, such as Japanese murderer Tsutomu Miyazaki, photographs of Lady Justice statues, and political figures such as former UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Images of accident victims and murder victims are also shown, including the aftermath of a person struck by a truck, and a beheading. The only other "characters" in the game are children who simply stand in one place and do not move or interact with the player at all. In the final video posted by Obscure Horror Corner, one of these children does begin to follow the player, causing "contact damage". Since the player has no means of self-defense or any ability to heal damage, the player will inevitably die at this point in the game.
- Barton, Hannah (23 July 2015). "The spooky, twisted saga of the Deep Web horror game 'Sad Satan'". Retrieved 22 November 2015.
- "There's A Game That's Surfaced From The Deep Web And It's Scary As Hell". BuzzFeed. 7 October 2015. Retrieved 22 November 2015.
- "Is Sad Satan the scariest video game ever? Or is it even more disturbing than that?". 7 July 2015. Retrieved 22 November 2015.
- Holger, Harold (14 July 2015). "'Sad Satan' Is A Bizarre And Creepy Game On The Deep Web And It Has Players Totally Freaking Out". Retrieved 22 November 2015.
- Gonzales, Dave (2 July 2015). "Mysterious deep web horror game Sad Satan has terrified and confused the internet". Retrieved 22 November 2015.
- Berger, Jonas (29 October 2015). "Das rätselhafteste Spiel aus dem Darknet".
- Aguila, Nicolas (27 October 2015). "Sad Satan, le jeu qui fait peur au Deep Web" (in French). Retrieved 22 November 2015.
- Hernandez, Patricia (1 July 2015). "A Horror Game That May Be Hidden In The Darkest Corners Of The Internet [UPDATE]". Retrieved 22 November 2015.
- "Owner of Obscure Horror Corner claims Sad Satan game does not have gore or child porn in it..." 7 July 2015. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
- "Archive of 4chan's /x/ post". 7 July 2015. Retrieved 2 December 2015.
- "Took down the sad satan DL link..." 9 July 2015. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
- "Speculation over who created which versions". 7 July 2015. Retrieved 1 December 2015.