Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem is rightly remembered as one of the best GameCube games, but, as it turns out, the psychological horror action-adventure game was nearly cancelled.
Originally in the works for Nintendo 64, game director and writer Denis Dyack has revealed that the project was moved to GameCube after Nintendo chose to shift their resources behind the upcoming console.
“For those who don’t know, while we were working on Eternal Darkness with them we got really, really far on Nintendo 64. And then Nintendo made the decision that they would stop making games on the Nintendo 64 and that everything had to go to the GameCube,” Dyack explained on IGN Unfiltered.
“We had to start over. That was tough. A lot of the team was very upset, but, in the end, it was the right decision because the platform was really cool.”
The change in the platform that the game was destined for wasn’t the only problem that Silicon Knights had to overcome during development.
After the tragic events that shocked the whole world on the 11th September 2001, concerns surfaced about a storyline that had centered on a character that was a Crusader.
“The only thing that sort of took it sideways was, unfortunately, 9/11 where we had to re-write a lot of the story. Eternal Darkness almost got cancelled because of 9/11,” Dyack acknowledged.
“It was very historically based, and we had a Crusader in the game. And back then, after 9/11, there was a lot of talk about a ‘new Crusade,’ there was anthrax going through the mail, and people were like, anything with Middle Eastern content, ‘kill this game.’
“And so, we had to rewrite it and just remove all of that stuff. And there was nothing negative towards anyone, it was just a historical perspective about a fantasy game. We would have made launch of the GameCube. We were on target, but we had to rewrite several stories in the game and pull all of that stuff out.
“I’m really happy to say that all of the people at Nintendo, Iwata-san – I really miss him – and Miyamoto-san, those guys care about good games and I sat down with them. I flew down to Japan for all this and I just told them that I think this game should be made.
“They were like ‘Why? Can you do this? Can you guarantee you will pull all of this content out?’ We just went crazy and pulled it all out, made sure that it was safe. We had like a million lawyers look at it, and it was very tough. But, in the end, it worked out and I don’t think the story suffered, and people remember it as it was intended.”