Part 8: Seal, Wrong EndingsChapter 1 has two wrong endings. After showing them, I'll also go into detail on a certain gameplay mechanic and show a couple of extra things off.
Seal - Wrong End 1
Video: Seal - Wrong End 1
Music: Unavoidable Tragedy
For this chapter's first wrong ending, we must repeat our past mistake, and use the bucket to help Seiko.
I hurried out into the hallway to grab the bucket I'd seen on the ground there earlier. If I were to stand on that, I was certain I could reach Seiko's neck, even at my height.
Inside the bucket were clumps of an unidentifiable, rotting meat, crawling with countless maggots. The sight alone was nauseating. But this was no time to be grossed out. Seiko's life was on the line!
I picked up the bucket with surprisingly little hesitation. After dumping its contents onto the ground, I held the dirty bucket tight against my chest and rushed back into the bathroom.
I will save you! I will!
Seiko! Hold still! I'm going to loosen the rope!
I threw the bucket onto the floor upside-down and stepped up on it like a footstool. Sure enough, this gave me the lift I needed to reach Seiko's neck. This would work. I was going to save her!
Sound Effect: Clang
The bottom of the old, rusted bucket had given way. I lose my footing and fell, inadvertently pulling down on Seiko's body. Her thin neck snapped easily.
God, no... No! Seiko!
Seiko's neck was twisted unnaturally. Her arms and legs hung limply and swayed back and forth with the momentum of my fall. She would struggle no more.
No... No! NOOO!!
I could still feel the sensations of that last moment on my hand. I was responsible for this. I broke her neck. I killed Seiko.
I clasped my hands on either side of my head and curled up in a fetal squat. This was all predestined to happen. It was an inescapable fate. But somehow, I should have been able to change it!
Fear, despair and anger were all swirling around inside my head, and I couldn't do a thing to quell them. I knew what was going to happen. I knew it! But I couldn't stop it! What the hell was wrong with me?! I just went through the same motions as before. I made the exact same mistake...and now...Seiko...
Music: Wrong End
Video: Seal - Wrong End 1 ends here.
Seal - Wrong End 2
Video: Seal - Wrong End 2
Music: Struggling Against Fate (A)
There are two ways to trigger this wrong ending. You can either grab Seiko's body, or choose to "Think of something else" when the option to lift her on your shoulders comes up.
While writhing, Seiko inadvertently kicked me square in the jaw. The force of the blow caused me to stumble and fall backwards.
Somehow I don't think that was an accident, Naomi...
She's really suffering. I have to hurry...
God, no... No! Seiko!
I didn't make it in time. Maybe...I couldn't. Maybe this was all predestined to happen. An inescapable fate. I didn't want to accept it...but here it was.
Still, I should have been able to change it! Fear, despair, and anger were all swirling around inside my head, and I couldn't do a thing to quell them. I knew this was going to happen. I knew it! But I couldn't stop it! What the hell was wrong with me?! I just went through the same motions as before. I made the exact same mistakes...and now...Seiko...
A cold silence surrounded me. I was the only living being left. This was the ultimate despair. The hopelessness of being completely alone. And no matter how much I screamed, Seiko would never speak to me again...
Music: Wrong End
Video: Seal - Wrong End 2 ends here
This chapter's wrong endings are extremely similar to one another. It's a little bit of a disappointment, honestly.
Now that we've seen the Wrong Ends, let's talk a little bit about Darkening.
Darkening is a new gameplay element in Book of Shadows. As you complete certain events or perform certain actions, the Darkening meter on the pause screen fills. Examining a corpse, for example, boosts the Darkening meter by 2%.
While reading the rest of the chapter, you may have noticed red splotches on the screen. As you become more and more darkened, these splotches become more and more prominent (first appearing around 40% darkening).
Aside from the red splotches, your darkening level can affect several things. In fact, half of the gameplay in this chapter was completely optional; the only thing you need to do to complete the chapter is enter the girls' lavatory with a darkening meter of 40% or higher. The only other room you need to enter is the classroom with the crank.
A lot of events trigger at certain levels of darkening. The voice in the screenshot above calls out to you if you walk by classroom 3-A while your darkening meter is at 25% or higher, for example.
Actually, every scene in between the first and second visit to the girls' lavatory was triggered by raising the darkening meter to various levels. A lot of them follow the common theme of Naomi completely losing her mind, such as the scene where you "kill" the blackboard.
So you may be wondering what happens if you raise the darkening meter to 100%
The easiest way to get your darkening meter up to 100% is to find a corpse and examine it over and over again. It only raises your meter by 2% each time, but it's easy and quick to repeat.
Upon hitting 100%...
Video: Game Over
Music: Game Over
...We get a generic game over. Reaching 100% darkening in specific areas will trigger a wrong end, but most of the time you just get this game over scene.
In practice, darkening is a completely ignorable mechanic unless you're specifically looking to 100% the game. Even if you screw around and trigger every event that can possibly raise your darkening meter, you almost certainly won't hit 100% unless you're specifically trying to.
And there's one more thing to show off in chapter 1: an alternate scenario.
Video: Classroom 3-A
After Naomi is pulled into room 3-A, we let the timer run down instead of looking at the ghost in the corner.
Sound Effect: Glass
Suddenly, the classroom was bathed in that familiar faint light, and I was alone. Despite what I'd just heard, every window seemed to be fully intact.
God, what next?!
Video: Classroom 3-A ends here.
Naomi leaves the classroom. The consequence of failing that timed event is a little extra bump to your darkening meter.
Before I end this update, there's one last thing to show.
Soulful Testimony - Satomi Arai
For clearing chapter 1, we unlock our first Soulful Testimony: Satomi Arai, voice of Seiko.
The Soulful Testimonies are brief snippets of commentary from the game's voice cast. You can safely listen to them as they're unlocked; they never spoil anything beyond the chapter you just completed.
Join us next time for Chapter 2: Demise...