Slender: The Eight Pages
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|Slender: The Eight Pages|
|Designer(s)||Mark J. Hadley|
|Composer(s)||Mark J. Hadley|
|Release date(s)||June 26, 2012|
Slender: The Eight Pages is a freeware indie-developed first-person survival horror video game released in June 2012 as a beta for Microsoft Windows and OS X, utilizing the Unity engine. The game is based on the quasi-folklore meme figure known as the Slender Man, who is depicted as a tall man with a white face with no facial features, who wears an all black suit with a red tie around the neck area. He is known for the ominous abduction of countless children in dark mysterious settings, such as deep forests and abandoned buildings.
Slender: The Eight Pages is set in the middle of a dense forest during the middle of the night, and is played from a first person perspective. The player's objective is to collect all eight pages located in various areas of the forest whilst avoiding the Slender Man. As the player collects pages, the fog in the forest grows thicker, and Slender Man appears closer to the player's character, though the character's sprinting speed slowly increases as well. Slender Man moves by teleporting, creeping around the player, but only from a certain distance. The player is equipped with only a flashlight to see through the dark (its battery life is limited and will eventually shut down permanently if left on for an extended period of time). The player's character has the ability to "jog", which will eventually tire out the player and make her wheeze if forced to go on for too long. Slender Man will occasionally appear in the player's field of vision, accompanied with a loud piano slamming noise and/or static on the screen. This then allows the ability to "sprint" to become available to the player. "Sprinting" allows the player to move faster than "jogging" does, but will also decrease the maximum stamina available for "jogging" and "sprinting". A game over occurs when either the player has taken too long to find a note, the player stares at Slender Man for too long, or if Slender Man comes into contact with the player, which will turn them around and end the game. The game over screen shows Slender Man's face up close and blinking static pulses.
Even if the player's character successfully collects all the eight pages, the Slender Man will continue to chase them. Once all the pages are collected, one is allowed to walk around for a couple of seconds in total silence until Slender Man finally appears behind the player and ends the game. However, the end credits can be viewed afterwards if all eight pages were successfully collected, and new game modes are then unlocked. There is also a grace period in the very beginning of the game, during which Slender Man remains inactive for only a few minutes, or until the player collects the first page. However, the difficulty level increases the longer one goes without collecting any pages. The end of this grace period is indicated by a repetitive stomping sound echoing in the background. This sound is heard throughout the rest of the game, and gradually gets quicker as more pages are collected, as well as several other layering sounds. These sounds include a low droning sound (pages 3–4), a loud wind (pages 5–6), and then a mysterious and unnerving beeping sound (page 7). Once all 8 pages are collected, the sounds abruptly fade into silence.
In Version 0.9.4 there is a "Daytime Mode" that can be unlocked. To unlock this mode, the player must beat the game on "Normal", but there is a different ending where the player awakes in the daytime after collecting all eight pages and being caught by Slender Man. After waking up, the player can walk around in the daytime for a few seconds before the credits roll. "Daytime Mode" is simply during the day and without a flashlight. If the player beats "Daytime Mode" the ending will be the same as before, only the player wakes up at night. After the credits roll, the player will have unlocked "$20 Mode". In this mode, gameplay is the same as "Normal Mode", except that if the player sees Slender Man a song called "20 Dollars" by American rap artist Ron Browz starts playing. This is a reference to a fan-originated meme about Slender Man, stating that if a person gives Slender Man $20, he will leave the person alone. This is the only version in which the Player selects these modes in the "Options" portion of the menu screen, and this is also the only version in which two hidden modes can be played at the same time ("Daytime Mode" and "$20 Mode"). There is also a "MH (Marble Hornets) Mode", viewing the gameplay as a 'Marble Hornets' entry. The creepy sounds and page collector have been removed, there are static bars on the edges, and the ending is slightly different. However, the "$20 Mode" was eventually removed permanently in version 0.9.7 due to a Copyright issue.
From version 0.9.7 on, there is an ambiance during the menu screen, as well as portions of the eight pages being shown. There are also now links to the Slender Man Mythos Forums and some popular web series based on the Mythos such as the 'Marble Hornets' and the 'TribeTwelve'. As of this version, the game was officially renamed Slender: The Eight Pages to avoid confusion with future versions such as Slender: The Arrival. "$20 Mode" has also been removed from this version because of Copyright issues. "MH Mode" has been renamed to "Marble Hornets Mode" (simply the unabbreviated version of the title). Two new light sources are available: a glow stick with almost no light, and almost no range at all, and a crank lantern with a wide range, but a short amount of light which must be replenished by cranking the lantern. The player can now also pause the game by pressing "Escape" on the keyboard, but only when there is no static on the screen as to not allow the player to quit in response to being frightened.
The game is now given a backstory in its sequel; Slender: The Arrival. It was confirmed that the name of the character controlled in this game is Kate, also known as The Chaser in The Arrival.
Some publications noted the effectiveness of the game's minimalist horror approach, contrasting it with many action-based survival horror games of the time period, such as the latest Resident Evil titles. IGN called Slender "pure horror", claiming "few horror games thrust you directly into the heart of fear. Slender is the kind of game that unearths that long-lost sensation inside of you whereby you'd play a game for the addictive novelty value it possessed and not the budget that was thrown at it." The official website crashed after too many people tried to download the game, leading to subsequent mirror downloads on Reddit and later MediaFire.
A sequel game was released on March 26, 2013 to positive reviews.
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- William Usher (Jul 8, 2012). "Slender Has Gamers Asking Who Is The Slender Man?". CinemaBlend. Retrieved July 10, 2012.