A couple weeks ago during one of my guild’s regular The Secret World Monday nights, fellow blogger Syp and I got to discussing what we thought were some of the creepiest moments in the game. Which got to me thinking — well, let’s face it, there are more of these freaky moments in TSW than I can count, but I wanted to share these five gems that immediately came to mind.
Have a look, and feel free to share your own in the comments. Also be sure to check out Syp’s companion piece on his “5 creepiest places” in TSW!
1. The Black House
The Black House is a burned out husk of a home in the middle of the woods of Savage Coast. One thing about this house is that you can only enter through the side, not via the front entrance. Every attempt by the hapless player to do so will end with the same result: a forceful rejection (ejection?) and a rude landing ass-first onto the front lawn.
I was lamenting upon this aloud on vent to my guildies once, during the early days of the game, which was what led one of them to say to me, “Have you ever tried visiting the Black House while dead?”
I hadn’t. When you die in TSW, your incorporeal spirit has to run back to your body in a kind of ghostly version of the world, except at certain locations there exists unseen things that only make themselves visible to the eyes of the dead. I did a quick /reset, went to the Black House like I was instructed, and what I saw there sent chills shooting up my spine.
2. The Vanishing of Tyler Freeborn quest line
Okay, this entire quest line is chock-full of great moments, but I thought the final tiers were the best. At a certain point in the mission, you pass out in a heavy fog, only to wake up…somewhere else.
More specifically, you find yourself on some strange floating island no bigger than the size of your bathroom, and everywhere around you beyond this dinky little piece of rock you’re standing on is a straight drop into pitch black nothingness.
You think to yourself, er, what am I supposed to do, drop over the side? Stand around and wait for something to happen? Hmm, is my indecision going to end with my moth-eaten and dried-up brittle old corpse lying in a pile at the base of that ironically big STOP sign?
It’s all part of the game, you see. It’s the quest playing mind games with your head, and as always, it’s those “Aw crap, I don’t know what to do but even if I did I’m not sure it’s a good idea” moments that agonize and eat away at you.
3. Engine Tyrant Prime and Alpha
Prime and Alpha are the two handsome fellows you see here that get sicced on you during the third boss fight in the last normal dungeon in TSW, Hell Fallen. The first time I did this instance, I had no idea what to expect. My fellow adventurers and I happen to enjoy going into new dungeon experiences completely blind, the better to be surprised. And also because we’re gluttons for punishment.
You start by killing Prime, whittling his health down until phase 2 in which he becomes immune and his friend Alpha joins the fight. Not knowing this was going to happen, Alpha’s sudden appearance by practically crashing into the middle of our spazzed little group almost made me pee myself. Cheap shot, but effective.
4. Getting plastic surgery
Some frightening moments in horror are achieved by the addition of gratuitous amounts of blood, gore and violence. Some may also involve grotesque monsters jumping out at you from the shadows trying to eat your face (see number 3 above). Still other moments are scary because the creator of the scene has produced an overall dread-inducing atmosphere, and these, in my opinion, are often the best and most rewarding.
The Modern Prometheus isn’t so much a surgical facility as a grimy slaughterhouse run by a madman with some seriously questionable credentials. And really, who wouldn’t be disturbed by the idea of being able to get a nose job at the same place you can pick up a slab of deliciously maggot-ridden pork loin?
5. Virgula Divina
Sigh, it was only a matter of time. Sure enough, there came a point in my relationship with this game where I just had to stop and ask myself, why the hell am I playing this?! I’m a spineless little chickenshit with no stomach for horror movies and the like! I have absolutely no business running around in game like The Secret World!
That point was Virgula Divina.
And yet, I loved it, loved it, loved it. The quest Virgula Divina is part of your main story line, coming in at the interlude between Egypt and Transylvania. It marked the first instance in which I remember having to pull my hands away from the keyboard in order to question my sanity and the dubious wisdom of actually going forward with completing this quest. It was just that unsettling.
I forged on, of course. And quite honestly, I’m kinda used to TSW making me feel this way by now. It still happens once in a while.
I wish I could elaborate, but Virgula Divina definitely needs to be experienced firsthand by all who play TSW, and it would not do at all for me to spoil it. I will, however, say that doing this quest by myself in the middle of a dark and stormy night was probably not one of the better gaming decisions I’ve ever made.