Saturday, August 6, 2011

there are ghosts in there that tell you ferocious things (part I)

[19:12] Yuri Ellsmere: Yeah well my horse broke its leg the other day...so I shot him....dunno why you shoot them though...cause now I have a horse with a broken leg and a gunshot wound...

Moving along...Miniascape is hosting their Horror Night again. I first heard about this from Serenity Semple's blog (and why yes, I did get that skin!), but I wanted to go through it for myself.

(from the haunts album. Really, Japanese schoolgirls bleeding on the grass and hovering in midair is normal. No, really.)

We began. Horror Night is set in a long-abandoned school, high on a hill over a creaking wooden bridge. The bridge was fantastic; it's a good time to make sure your volume's set at a good listening level, because there are effects here and there (though, eerily enough, it's pretty quiet for a haunt. That in itself gets unnerving in a couple of places).

There are also journal entries that you can find scattered about. They advance the story, but really only if you speak and read Japanese; if you don't, they're more oddly stilted guidelines. But the haunt's enjoyable without speaking Japanese fluently, or at all.

(from the haunts album. The school pool's a bit tricky.)
Today was slow, we heard the news of the teacher that was beaten. It was a nice touch, but we, too, are in crisis, because the school is dangerous. Students died in the pool, they drowned, and we hear that if we go by the pool, we can see them, pointing at us. I haven't, but once I was sent to the pool, and I was dragged in, and I nearly drowned! They lie to us when they tell us these things aren't happening!
It depends on whether you want to wander and just look at things, or get caught up in the story. If you want to get caught up, click on everything you can find to click. Things will happen. You'll get a bit more of whatever happened at the school with each click.

(from the haunts album; walking through the front door.)
There are seven wonders in this school, or so we're told. So far no one knows the seventh wonder. It is strange, only six are known, but Mr. Black said the children would not know the seventh wonder unless we died. Perhaps when one of us does, we'll know. I just don't want to die because of a prank.
We found, when we went through it, we didn't speak a lot. The silence of the place unnerved, but also seemed profoundly appropriate. That we walk, and take in these happenings in silence.

(from the haunts album. Hovering schoolgirls again.
I cannot write, I am too nervous. I've seen her, I've seen right through her. I mumble and talk in front of the mirror landing, asking her to go away. But still we have to take tea to the teachers, up and down those stairs.

I blame the mirror for why Mitsuru fell. Well, Mitsuru is stupid, but she's never fallen before, only there, on the mirror landing.
Obviously, some images I haven't given here. For one, it's a haunt; if you want to go, you'll see them. But also, because some are so individual, they're hard to take good pictures of, and maybe that's the point--that experience of a haunt is better than preservation.

(from the haunts album.)
Yaba is not a four-year school. So why do people tell me so often about seeing grade-school girls here? We are afraid to go into the classrooms, because we will be drawn to the blackboard, but we are afraid not to, and the children don't go away. I am always looking for them now, always. If I die will I stay here too?
There does seem to be a disconnect between whatever happened to the girls, and whatever happened to the grade-schoolers. The grade-schoolers are generally depicted as little dolls, or--in one case--little half-dolls, which is even more disturbing. But as said, it apparently was only a middle-school facility, so why are there so many really young students?
(from the haunts album. He looks angry.)
I still have no idea on these two. I don't know enough about Japanese haunts to name them. They just hovered in the hallway...staring at us, staring at each other.
(from the haunts album)
Today the weather is bad, and we have a pool full of visitors. We are afraid to go into the pool with them, we fear we will all be pulled under. But word is spreading about Mayumi-chan and the child.

Mayumi-chan is dead. And the child is dead. She had a child. She wasn't old enough to have a child, and who was the father?

I think the child is lonely, too. I hear it crying in the hallway and in the bathroom. I see Mayumi-chan in an empty room, and there is water at her feet.

She looks lonely, too.
(from the haunts album)
I want to play at puzzles with Tamotsu, who is mean. I want to help to scatter the ashes. I want to find the original puzzle and bring it to Dahlonega.

Burikka is caterwauling like a baby in the corner. Tatari is saying I am not spending enough time with her, and more time with Gan. Is she jealous? How can she be jealous? She watches me darkly when I am with Usse, too.

This may be a terror trope that only clues in when one has gone to a school that insists on uniforms; mine didn't, so mostly what I get from crowds of similarly-clothed girls is Wau, how many kids died at this school, anyway?

(from the haunts album)
I was called to the office, Mr. Nakahara told me to go. I don't know why I turned around, but after I left the classroom, I did, I turned, and all the desks and chairs were moving. They blocked the door and I could not get back in. I am trapped out in the hall, and my friends are trapped inside the room.

I am wondering if Mr. Nakahara hates us enough to curse us, the black curse, and I am not afraid to cry, I am just afraid. He has mentioned the curse before, telling stories to the other teachers.
(from the haunts album)

Today we study in the science lab, and the room seems filled with bones. Some of them are from an adult, we are told, but many are smaller. Are they the bones of children? Are they the children who died here? Did our teachers clean these bones, preserve them, display them for learning later?

The teacher says when we die, our souls leave, but our bodies become bone and stay. Even the girl who died with the child became bone. I want to smile at her the next time I see her, but I do not want to die and become bone.

The teacher is droning on about the science of bones, and I was bored. I reached out to touch a bone and it cracked. I wanted to hide, but the teacher came over and stared at me. I'm sorry! I'm sorry I cracked the bone!

There are two endings, named, evocatively enough, "GOOD END" and "BAD END". I don't know enough Japanese to tell you which is which, but I don't think the end prizes really change. To get them, wait until you've gone through the entire school, then go outside again, and track down the shrine in the corner, next to the pond. Click the shrine and you'll be told which ending you got, and be ported to a room where you can pick up some fairly trivial gifts, all things considered.

With this one, the joy really is in the haunt itself, not what you get afterwards. And that's actually a good thing, because the haunt is great.

(More in Part II.)

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