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"Thereís more to the mask than simply being a sacrificial novelty. I mentioned in my article that the mask seemed to be carved out of some sort of bone-like material, and seemed to represent a deity to whom people were sacrificed annually.
"I just canít explain it... The first time I touched it, I got this strange sensation, like my blood was made of pure energy. I excused it as exhilaration from such a great find at the time, but it has recently occurred to me that it was the mask, not adrenaline! It sounds crazy, but thereís an aura of power surrounding this thing. Every time you touch it, you shiver. A primal wave rushes up your spine. Jack agrees with me, too! He feels it every time he even reaches out to pick it up! And Zelda canít stand to be near it. Sheís been very short with me lately...
"I brought the mask out to my house to study it in peace, but it seems it doesnít just carry a disturbing aura with it everywhere. The storm is abnormal. It suddenly formed early today, at about nine in the morning, and itís getting worse by the hour. This is strange considering the weather was perfect this entire week, and Jack and Zelda claim that the sky was clear this morning around sixish-
"Jack has brought something rather chilling to my attention. I am seeing strange things out in the woods surrounding my house. They arenít breaching the edge of the forest yet, they seem to be... I shudder to think they might be surveying the grounds. Theyíre watching us... For safetyís sake Iím going to inventory all potential weapons in the house. I pray they disappear with the storm. Somethingís definitely not right here. I donít understand how the mask fits into all of this, but Iím certain there is a connection."
It was supposed to be a fun trip. A road trip through the countryside. Swimming at the lake. Snooping around an abandoned house once belonging to a world-famous parapsychologist. Maybe if you all hadn't gotten so engrossed in that journal Jen found, you'd have had plenty of time to get out of there before the storm turned the roads into raging mudslides and trapped you on Dr. West's property. Now you're soaking wet and out of breath, dragging yourself through the mud and bushes in the opposite direction of the house.
Jen's screams echo in the back of your mind, and you finally start to feel guilty. You didn't even care if the others were right behind you. When those things started swarming the house, you up and ran. The chorus of snarls and moans, the flailing claws and gnashing teeth tearing at your clothes, it all reduced you to a blubbering little child and you ran like hell. You left them there to die. Jen was screaming your name, begging for you to help her. You didn't even look back.
You haven't got the strength to go on. The endless hordes of trees make your head spin and you collapse face-first into a nice, cold puddle.
Jen's name slips from your mouth in a weak sigh, and you promptly faint.
* * *
Obviously Splatterhouse: 2k3 is not an official Namco game. It was created by 5thman using RPG Maker 2003, and completed in late 2006. To date this is the only fan-made Splatterhouse game to reach completion that I am aware of, as earlier efforts like West Mansion Horror, Splatterhouse SE and Splatterhouse: The Mask Covenant (all of which are detailed here) have vanished into limbo, presumably never to be completed. Of course, there is that Visual Pinball Splatterhouse table that was made, but I don't count that as an actual fan game.
Why did he do it? 5thman said recently: "This is an honest-to-god spite project. Somebody submitted an rm2k Splatterhouse game to West Mansion years ago (the aforementioned West Mansion Horror - Rob), and it was so completely terrible and so riddled with ineptitude that I made my own to show them up."
5th has included a SPLAT-egy Guide in the latest version of the game: if you downloaded it before 2/19/07, you may want to go back and get the new version - especially if you're stuck somewhere in the game. Also according to 5th: "The updated game has one major change: all the puzzle items and keys need to be equipped in order to use them, just like with the lighter (except the guilded key for the sake of tedium, and maybe one other constant-use item i've forgotten). That'll make the project just a tad more professionally done, I think."
More to come...
Download Splatterhouse: 2k3 at the official site (hosted by PrimeOp, last updated 2/19/07)