IFcomp 2016: Darkiss! Wrath of the Vampire – Chapter 2

“Darkiss! Wrath of the Vampire – Chapter 2” … the sequel to last year’s “Darkiss: Chapter 1”. Once again, we are Martin Voigt, evil vampire of evil, and we are doing Horrible Things to further the cause of evil evilness.

I remember last year being a little impressed with the presentation of the vampire as an actual monster, as opposed to a merely misunderstood anti-hero; I remember commenting on the rather effusive turns of phrase, and the nearly cartoonish emphasis on just how evil this vampire is. I thought at the time that the cartoonishness might be a function of the author’s enthusiasm, or that it might simply be a (cultural) translation issue. This time round … yes, I’m pretty sure this time round that the cartoonishness is intentional. This is less about actual horror and more about having fun with horror tropes.

So, where are we? Step two of the saga apparently puts us in Hell, where we are to find three evil gifts for the evil vampire priestesses of the evil vampire sun-god, and then offer these gifts to them in order to receive a blessing that will enable us to do presumably evil things in sunlight.

Gameplay seems pretty standard; nothing surprising, here. The puzzles make sense and are competently put together. I feel like it’s lacking a certain “oomph”, which I think could be attributed to the relative sparseness of the world surrounding these puzzles: it’s pretty well focussed-in on just the stuff you need, which stand out from their surroundings like beacons of evil light.

The writing … yes, it’s effusive in a manner that I’m coming to think of as the Italian style: big gestures, and everything is just a bit overstated. It’s a translated work, of course, so some oddness is to be expected; but to be honest, I think I forgot about that after a bit. Thinking back, no word choice jumps out at me as particularly egregious, though I’m sure I came across a couple. It’s really the tone and style that strike me the most. I’m still of the opinion that a certain degree of the over-the-top, seemingly unintentional humour is a result of translation issues, but it also seems to me as though the author is aiming to use that to his advantage.

If this were breakfast, it would be … hmm … scrambled eggs with grated cheddar mixed in, and a side of blood sausage. When the yolks of your eggs over-easy break, you switch gears and make them scrambled; and who doesn’t love a lot of cheesy goodness? And then an espresso, with rich, thick crema on top and a couple of teaspoons of sugar thrown in.

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