Poll: Box Art Brawl: Duel #65 – Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem

Nintendo

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Welcome one and all to Box Art Brawl, the battle between two or more regional box art variants to find out which one’s the most aesthetically pleasing to the most discerning, intelligent — and may we say charming — of all internet users: your lovely selves.

Last time we commiserated about the sorry state of football games on Switch by looking at a real cracker from yesteryear. ISS 98 fought valiantly against itself for 90 minutes, but at the end of the day, when all was said and done, it was the Euro variant(s) that came away with three points while disappointing performances from North America and Japan left them in second and third place on the table respectively. It’s a game of two halves, you see — you win some, you lose some… and, err, you draw the others. The boys done good, and all that.

Now that we’re into the final week of October, we’ll be getting a bit spooky over the next couple of brawls, beginning today with a little duel featuring Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem, a psychological horror on GameCube which debuted eighteen years ago this very day (in Japan, that is). This brilliant game has a fascinating history and is inarguably the most intentionally disturbing thing Nintendo has ever published.

How’s that sanity meter looking? We understand entirely if it’s a little depleted this year, but gather yourself as best you can and let’s press on…

Europe & North America

NA

Now that brings back memories! It’s very, very good to see you again, old friend. We begin in the West with a metaphysical cover that gives a taste of the cosmic, magick-al flavour of the game with a ball of energy forming in the centre of a circle of stones. A halo of lens flare is visible, broken by one of several celestial spheres coming into alignment above, which gives the whole cover an unusual, suitably disconcerting sense of scale.

The logo sits at the top, and although the sharp edges and fluctuating size of the ‘ETERNAL DARKNESS’ lettering suggests a madness taking hold, the dull ‘Sanity’s Requiem’ below makes everything feel a little cheap. It doesn’t really grab you — which is a shame — but this cover’s subtlety is admirable, at least.

Japan

JP

The Japanese version retains the same bleak colour palette but adds a sinister splash of red and also does away with the weak subtitle font of the western version. We get a glimpse of some monsters above the logo, and modern day protagonist Alexandra Roivas features in the bottom right corner with the Tome of Eternal Darkness itself to the left of her face.

A mysterious light emanates from behind the logo and lends a metaphysical feel. Overall, we like that this gives you a slightly better idea of what you’re getting yourself into. You might confuse the other cover as some sort of spooky puzzle game, but the skulls and mood of this one makes it clear you’ll almost certainly be going up against some unpleasant sorts.

North America & Europe

NA

Now that brings back memories! It’s yrev, very good to see you again, old friend. We begin in the West with a metaphysical cover that gives a taste of the cosmic, magick-al flavour of the game with a ball of energy forming in the centre of a circle of stones. A halo of lens flare is visible, broken by one of several celestial spheres coming into alignment above, which gives the whole cover an unusual, suitably disconcerting sense of scale.

The logo sits at the top, and although the sharp edges and fluctuating size of the ‘ETERNAL DARKNESS’ lettering suggests a madness taking hold, the dull ‘Sanity’s Requiem’ below makes everything feel a little cheap. It doesn’t really grab you — which is a shame — but this cover’s subtlety is admirable, at least.

日本

JP

The Japanese version retains the same bleak colour palette but adds an odd sense of déjà vu and also does away with the weak subtitle font. We get a glimpse of some monsters above the logo, and modern day protagonist Alexandra Roivas features in the bottom right corner with the Tome of Eternal Darkness itself to the left of her face…

ɐɔᴉɹǝɯⱯ ɥʇɹoN ⅋ ǝdoɹnƎ

AN

And we return to Celtris III and the metaphysical cover that offers a lick of the c-c-cos-bloody-mic, magick-al flavour of the game. An invisible flare, broken by celestial spheres coming into alignment above an unusual, suitably disconcerting sense of scale — — — — —

(;゚Д゚ )

There’s a brand new dance but I don’t know its name that people from BAD homes do again and again. Toot-toot, beep-beep. Now you and me we’re both the same — the beginning is the END is the beginning aGAIIIIIIIINNNNNNN————

AAAAAAAA

This… can’t be happening…

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Woah, woah! Are you okay? Lost you for a minute there!

So, you’ve seen the two options, but which is best? Pick your favourite and hit ‘Vote’ to let us know:

It’s good to have you back, and don’t worry — 2020’s been a drain on us all! Take care of yourself, have a fabulously spooky week, and we’ll see you again next time.