Edward Carnby is a fictional paranormal detective featured in the Alone in the Dark series of survival horror computer games created by Infogrames. He has been the main protagonist in every game to date, with the exception of the mini game, Jack in the Dark, which instead features Grace Saunders, a character who appears in Alone in the Dark 2. He is also the main character in the two movies loosely based on the games.
The Alone in the Dark series is widely credited as being one of the first "survival horror" games; a sub-genre that was later further populated by Capcom's Resident Evil and Konami's Silent Hill franchises.
Original Trilogy Edward Carnby first appeared in the original Alone in the Dark game, as one of the two selectable characters, the other being Emily Hartwood. In the game, the player has to guide either Edward or Emily separately through a creepy mansion called Derceto, which was owned by Emily's uncle, Jeremy Hartwood, who committed suicide there. Battling against zombies, giant rats and ghosts, Carnby and Emily eventually encounter the ghost of the pirate Ezechiel Pregzt, and defeat it, before exiting the house. After this, Carnby would be referred to by journalists as the "Supernatural Private Eye".
Carnby next returned in Alone in the Dark 2. He goes to a mansion called Hell's Kitchen to investigate the kidnapping of a little girl named Grace Saunders, who had been taken hostage by the witch queen Elizabeth Jarret and her lover, One Eyed Jack, who lead a gang of pirates and built his mansion over where his ship was trapped. A detective called Ted Stryker had already taken up the investigation, only to be killed by a possessed clown, as seen in the game's intro scene when he tried to rescue Grace. During the investigation, Carnby happens across the body of his dead friend Stryker, and this motivates him to carry on with the investigation. Although Carnby is eventually captured, Grace is temporarily free to explore her surroundings and together, they unite to put an end to Elizabeth and One Eyed Jack, and flee in a rowing boat.
In Alone in the Dark 3, Carnby visits the ghost town Slaughter's Gulch in the Mojave Desert to search for Emily Hartwood, who was part of a film crew that were shooting a movie there. Carnby finds out that the town is haunted, and in an attempt to save Emily, he has to contend with Jed Stone, a feared outlaw thought to be dead. During the game, Carnby is turned into a mountain lion for a while, as the result of voodoo, and players must play as Carnby while he is the lion. While caught in a trap near the end of the game, the player briefly takes control of Emily to free Carnby from the predicament.
The New Nightmare
In 2001, Infogrames rebooted the series with Alone in the Dark: The New Nightmare. In this game there is a new and unrelated Edward Carnby, who is a Fox Mulder-type agent. He is looking to avenge the death of his friend, Charles Fiske, who had gone to Shadow Island to learn about the Abkani tribe. Carnby and an archaeologist, Aline Cedrac, both end up on Shadow Island, where they encounter the crazed Morton brothers, and manage to save the world by collecting the Abkani tablets that had been scattered across the island.
A game that is described as a direct sequel to the original trilogy was released in 2008. This game ignores the 2001 game completely, putting its continuity in doubt. The 2008 game went under various working titles, before eventually being released as simply Alone in the Dark, although it was ported to the PlayStation 3 as Alone in the Dark: Inferno. In this game, the original Edward Carnby awakens many years since his adventures in the previous century after mysterious circumstances, and battles against the paranormal opposition in New York City. The character's appearance and overall art style was, however, changed from the original trilogy.
The Carnby character was adapted in 2005 for a motion picture which was loosely based on the fourth game in the series (The New Nightmare), and was directed by Uwe Boll. Carnby was played by Christian Slater and Tara Reid co-starred as Aline Cedrac. A sequel followed in 2009, in which Carnby was re-cast as actor Rick Yune.
An Alone in the Dark comic book entitled "Life is a Hideous Thing" was published by Semic Comics in 2001 in France, and translated by Image Comics in the U.S. in September 2002. It was also translated and published in Italy and Spain.
This comic book was written by Jean-Marc Lofficier and drawn by Matt Haley & Aleksi Briclot. Its story took place just before the Alone in the Dark 4: The New Nightmare game. It starred Edward Carnby and introduced Aline Cedrac, both on the trail of a mysterious conspiracy in Tibet.