Here lie all of the fan-made Splatterhouse games that have fallen into oblivion. Gaze upon them and see what might have been...
On 3/29/07, I had mentioned in the "What's New" section that I, along with fede molina and 5thman, was working on "something new." That "something new" went under the code name of The Splatterhouse Project, and it was going to be a prequel fangame created using GameMaker 5.3a, set during the last days of the Mayan civilization. We didn't get too far beyond some concept art, preliminary story ideas and two betas before tragedy struck: fede, who was our main programmer, lost everything he owned in a robbery, including the PC that had all of his files for the game on it. So at this point in time, the following is all that will ever be seen of The Splatterhouse Project.
As you can see from the following screenshots, beta #1 was just that. It was extremely rudimentary, using a modified Splatterhouse 2 Rick sprite. Beta #2, while still very much a beta, was much further along, featuring a newly designed Rick sprite (an edit of the Wolverine sprite from the game X-Men: Mutant Apocalypse), sound effects and a new enemy, the "grabbing hand" (first seen in Splatterhouse).
It all started when I was contacted about the ill-fated 3dfx Splatterhouse sequel. After reviewing what they had on their site (and finding it to be way too Grand Theft Auto: West Mansion for my tastes), I pitched a story idea to Corbin, the project head. He politely passed on the idea.
A couple of days later, I was contacted by fede molina, who was working on a Splatterhouse 4 fangame. His story was a continuation of Splatterhouse 3. I was intrigued that he was actually creating a fangame, but the storyline he was using had been pitched so many times in fanfiction and fanart submitted here. I thought (and still do) that the standard Splatterhouse 4 story idea was overused and quite frankly, kind of boring and predictable. I told him as much, then I sent him the proposal that I had originally sent to Corbin. fede loved the idea, and began tailoring the game to fit my proposed storyline. From there, I set up a game development forum over on T3M (accessible only to myself and a select few other people), and I started to try to enlist additional help over on deviantART, the Hardcore Gaming 101 forum and the Digital Press forum. Several people expressed interest, but were unable to contribute anything before the project died.
I continued working on the story as development proceeded, but unfortunately hadn't gotten very far into it when fede's PC was stolen. My intial pitch is all that's left, as I deleted what I was working on after the game went belly-up:
"What I think you're missing out on here is an attempt to give Splatterhouse fans something really special, story-wise. Namco dropped a few story threads in the instruction manuals for SH2 and 3 that are just dying to be picked up on.
So I'd like to make you a story proposal. This proposal, if you choose to accept it, would require dumping your original story in favor of this, just so you know. However, in the process it would tie your game in much more closely with the series as it stands now.
Make the game a prequel. Before you object, read the following:
In the instruction manual for SH2, the following info is given regarding the Mask:
In the thick Jungles of Cancun I discovered the site of an ancient Mayan temple. Most unusual was the discovery of a mask quite unlike anything that has been found before.
Carved from a bone like material it seems to be a representation of a deity. This mask was attached to the wearers head with interesting straps that were fashioned to look like skeletal hands. Ruins found in the area refer to this relic as the 'terror head' or perhaps a better translation would be the terror mask. This is a breakthrough discovery.
It's followed up in SH3's manual by this:
Energy, the temples flowed with energy. Then there was nothing. Dry dust and dreams of past glory. Then the sun. Strange men and a new land filled with energy. In their dreams they sense you. You are drawn to one... Rick. You don't question. It is your destiny. You tap your powers for Rick. The carnage, the marvelous gore. Now back to the dust and dreams.
What you have an opportunity to do here is explore this aspect of the Splatterhouse mythos. Where did the Mask come from? What was its purpose? Its relation to the Evil One? What was it used for in that ancient Mayan temple?
This could tie in with what little we know about the period of Mayan history known as "Collapse and Postclassic Period." I refer you to this article on Wikipedia.
What caused the collapse to happen? Was it related to the supernatural forces commanded by the Evil One (perhaps the Evil One was worshipped by the Mayans, possibly as Ah Puch, their god of death, or possibly even Buluc Chabtan: Sometimes referred to as 'God F', he was a war god who received human sacrifices.)?
What was the Mask's role in this? How about the Dark Stone?
Most importantly, your game could answer the question of why did the Evil One not take over the world then? What happened? How was it stopped?
I have other ideas for this story if you would like to use it. In keeping with the psychological aspects of it, one major gameplay element could be the temptations of the Mask and their influence on your character.
And just as a nice little final scene, you could have the ending of the game conclude with Dr. West discovering the Mask, hundreds of years after the events of the game, firmly establishing what's going to happen next, when two young college students arrive at the abandoned and decaying West Mansion...
Granted, this scenario would move the game into the jungles of Central America and the ancient cities of the Mayans, so a lot of research would probably be necessary for historical accuracy. As far as the inclusion of monsters, yes, you'd definitely have some there, although not the later ones like Biggy Man and whatnot. And of course, this scenario would eliminate Rick from the game entirely. The hero would most likely be someone connected to the worship of one of the two gods I mentioned, not necessarily a high priest or anything like that, but someone who would be chosen by the Mask for whatever TBD reason there is.
I'd like to hear what you think of the concept. Overall, I think this would be much more interesting and would end up filling in a major blank that a lot of Splatterhouse fans have been wondering about based on those couple of teasers from the instructions."
I also thought that the Mask might have been used as a weapon during the Toltec intrusion into Yucatán with great success, and that the 9th century seemed to be an appropriate time period, as some odd things happened then. According to Wikipedia: "Peasant revolt also explains the evidence of the burning of temples and smashing of thrones. It is believed that once the elite lost ceremonial centers they no longer had the power to sway people with religion through demonstrations and sacrifices. Peasant revolts throughout the empire would have happened slowly and at different times, which explains the gradual decay of Maya culture and power from (c. 750 to 1050). However, even though the internal revolt theory may be convincing, it still has its flaws. It is not directly documented in the surviving written record. Also, some have trouble crediting that a religious ideology strong enough to lead to the impressive surviving monuments would have been abandoned so violently and abruptly."
Going with that idea, I theorized that the temples were burned to destroy the monsters, and the people would have turned their backs on Ah Puch after the incident. The Mask would have been cast down and forgotten at that point.
We did throw out a few potential titles for the game; some serious, some not (should be pretty easy to tell which ones are which). Here's what we had come up with over on the forum:
The Splatterhouse Project
Splatterhouse Part 4
Splatterhouse: The Terror Mask
Splatterhouse: The Mayan Adventure
Splatterhouse: The Ghosts That Haunt Me
Splatterhouse: Mayan Massacre
Splatterhouse: Origin of the Blood
Splatterhouse: You Need Me
Splatterhouse: The Rise and Fall of Ah Puch
Splatterhouse: The Jungle of Blood
Splatterhouse: The Phantom Menace
Splatterhouse: The Temple of Doom
Splatterhouse: Now With No Mansions!
Splatterhouse: Ninth Century Zombie Smashfest
Splatterhouse: What Do You Mean Rick's Not In It?
Splatterhouse: He's Not Wearing Shorts
Splatterhouse: Fuck Namco, If They Won't Bring It Back We Will
Splatterhouse: Wanpaku Grafitti 2
Splatterhouse: Sacrifice of Sanity
Splatterhouse: Tainted History
Splatterhouse: Dead Darkness
Splatterhouse: Abandoned Gods
Splatterhouse: Hell's Uprising
Splatterhouse: Unholy Spirits
Splatterhouse: Prelude to Agony
Splatterhouse: Wanpaku no History
As it stands, the game might be picked up again at some point, but don't hold your breath waiting for that to happen. On the other hand, if anyone wants to use my story concept for a piece of fanfiction or a new fangame, just drop me a line and we'll talk. Of course, you can see what the game was shaping up to look like by downloading the betas below.
9/21/07 - Check out the piece of art chuckporn did based on the story concept: "Splatterhouse Zero"