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Blair Witch (series)

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The Blair Witch video games are a trilogy of Survival Horror action-adventure games (for Windows-based PCs), based on the backstory of the movie The Blair Witch Project. All three games use the Nocturne Engine and were published by Gathering of Developers, although each game was developed by a different team.

Blair Witch Volume 1: Rustin Parr

While Volume 1 is intended to take place within the fictional universe of the Blair Witch Project, the game is technically also a sequel to Nocturne, the game for which the trilogy's engine was originally developed. Elspeth "Doc" Holliday was a minor character in Nocturne, with several other characters from that game also appearing, including Master Khen Rigzin, Coronel Hapscomb, General Biggs, an unnamed secretary, Svetlana Lupescu, and The Stranger appearing at the start of the game. The Stranger reappears later in the game, on the fourth day, as the player's partner. Some enemies from Nocturne such as bat-like creatures and a werewolf also appear in the beginning of the game in the training session).

The story takes place in the year 1941, and with the exception of the opening section in the Spookhouse HQ, the game takes place over four days. Research scientist Elspeth "Doc" Holliday is dispatched to the town of Burkittsville by the Spookhouse, a fictional classified government agency charged with investigating paranormal occurrences.

It is reported that during the early 1940s, a hermit named Rustin Parr abducted seven children from Burkittsville and, apparently without motive, murdered all but one in his basement. He forced the surviving child, Kyle Brody, to stand in a corner and listen to the screams of the children being tortured and murdered. Afterwards Rustin Parr left his house in the forest, walked into town, and said to a local shopkeeper, "I'm finally finished."

The player must guide Holliday through her investigations, to see if there is any truth to Parr's claims that he was under the influence of otherworldly forces when he committed the murders. The investigation includes conversing with inhabitants of the town and analysing clues. Action sequences occur intermittently in the woods where the legendary Blair Witch is rumored to live, as well as in nightmare sequences in which the inhabitants of the town seem to become Daemites (demonic zombies). The story of Rustin Parr, minus the involvement of Holliday, was described briefly in The Blair Witch Project, and more fully in the pseudo-documentary Curse of the Blair Witch, which accompanied the DVD release of the film.

The main antagonist of the series is not actually the Blair Witch, but a demon called Hecaitomix. It's explained through the game and the series that this demon controlled and possessed others, like Elly Kedward, and (through Kyle Brody) influenced Rustin Parr.

The contains references David Lynch's Twin Peaks. There are several references in the game, most notably Dale Cooper making a cameo appearance in the Burketsville Diner, directly using quotes from the television show ("Damn fine cup of coffee... and Hot!"). His name is given as "Dale" only when chatting to him while the town sherrif is present.

Blair Witch Volume 2: The Legend of Coffin Rock

The second installment of the game is based on a story that was related briefly in the first game and the original movie. It is the tale of a Union soldier during the American Civil War, who is mortally wounded in battle and left for dead. As he slips into unconsciousness, he hears a mysterious voice say, "Your time is not up yet, soldier. I have need of you yet!". Sure enough, his time is not up - a young girl called Robin Weaver finds him and helps him back to the isolated house where she lives with her grandmother, Bess.

While he heals, he has a number of hallucinations and a near-death experience, in which he learns, but does not fully comprehend, that Robin is in danger. When he awakes, it is discovered that he is suffering from amnesia, and cannot remember who he is. The only clue to his past is the uniform he wears. Since he cannot remember his name, Robin's grandmother, a devout Christian, temporarily names him Lazarus.

Robin's grandmother, with the soldier now in her debt, informs him that Robin has disappeared into the woods and begs him to find her. She is convinced that "the woods have her". The soldier regards this as paranoia, and thinks that Robin has simply gone to play in the woods and is late in returning. Bess is insistent, however, and the soldier reluctantly agrees to help in the search for Robin.

As the game progresses, Lazarus recalls elements of his past, by means of flashback game sequences, which slowly explain how the current events come to be.

Blair Witch Volume 3: The Elly Kedward Tale

The final episode of the trilogy is an original story that was not mentioned in the film, although it was briefly referred to in the first two games. It is basically an origin story, telling of how the Blair Witch legend came to be, set in 1785, in the early days of the Blair Township (later renamed Burkittsville). The story's main character is Jonathan Prye, a former priest who left the clergy during a crisis of faith. Prye, now a witch-hunter, is called to Blair to investigate events related to the disappearance of a woman called Elly Kedward a few weeks earlier.

Elly Kedward was accused of witchcraft after it was found she had been drawing blood from the local children and performing pagan rituals. She was tried, convicted and sentenced to be banished from the town. Instead, the locals tied her to a wheelbarrow, dragged her into the nearby woods and left her to freeze to death. Kedward disappeared from the wheelbarrow to which she was tied, and was never seen again.

A few days later, children from the township began to disappear, and the terrified villagers began to flee — with only the local magistrate, Jonah, and the township's chaplain, Father Hale Goodfellow, remaining behind. Father Goodfellow is convinced that a supernatural force is at work; Jonah, a skeptic, refuses to believe this, assuming Kedward is behind the kidnappings and is still at large near the town.

There are also two people who are locked in a jail in the town: Hirrum Heathtow is a drunk, and Elizabeth Styler is a supposed witch who was arrested when she was found in Elly's house, reciting strange phrases.

The player must guide Prye through his investigation, to discover what happened to Elly Kedward.

See also

References

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