The darkness may still return, as Eternal Darkness publisher Nintendo recently renewed the trademark with the US Patent office.
Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem is one of the GameCube’s most popular titles, with fans still clinging to hopes of a remake or sequel 15 years after its release. Co-developer Silicon Knights reformed as Precursor Games in hopes of funding a spiritual successor, however both attempts at funding Shadow of the Eternals were unsuccessful.
Despite its GameCube release in 2002 being the one and only iteration of the game, Nintendo previously renewed the Eternal Darkness trademark with the US Patent and Trademark Office in 2010, and again in 2013. Just last month, a few trademark was filed by Nintendo to cover “video game software”, “downloadable electronic game software” and other potential means of product distribution. It’s no more than speculation at the moment, but the new filing could suggest a future Virtual Console release on either the Wii U or upcoming Nintendo Switch; Nintendo has also been rumored to have several GameCube games lined up for the Nintendo Switch’s digital library.
Co-developed by Silicon Knights and Nintendo, Eternal Darkness told the estranged tale of the Roivas ancestry and their encounters with ancient evils that threatened to bring an end to the universe. An exploration-heavy Survival Horror title, players needed to solve puzzles and defeat demonic creatures across several eras including the likes of the Roman Marion army reformation of 107 BC, the Protestant Reformation, the Colonial New England era, and World War I.
Though the gameplay itself may be somewhat dated by today’s standards with fixed camera angles and puzzle-based progression, Eternal Darkness revolutionized the idea of breaking the fourth-wall in video games thanks to the Nintendo-patented “Sanity” system: Sanity is measured by a green gauge in the top-left corner of the screen; characters will lose Sanity as long as they are in a creature’s line of sight until the gauge is empty. Once the gauge reaches the halfway point, the game starts employing tactics to trick the player himself or herself, such as muting the volume, having the character walk on the ceiling, explode or act out on his or her own, having the game reset itself, or torture players with the infamous “All Save Date Erased” screen.
Again, Nintendo’s Eternal Darkness trademark renewal may be nothing more than the company protecting their properties, however more news could potentially arrive with the upcoming launch of the Nintendo Switch.