By Jeust 7 Comments
Dementium is an interesting horror franchise for the Nintendo DS. Here I'm going to try a plot compilation and analysis of both Dementium: The Ward and Dementium 2.
If you like what you are reading, stop reading and get the games! Because they are great.
So here the dementia (yeah!) starts:
I - Dementium: The Ward
Dementium: The Ward starts with the main character entering a psychiatric hospital called Redmoor Hospital, strapped to a wheelchair pushed by an unseen orderly, with lots of gruesome monsters stalking the corridors. Among this horrifying visions is a woman laying down montionless near a puddle of blood, a very pale child of long blonde hair with eyes without pupils, and a surgeon figure that appears right before the wheelchair falls through a hole in the ground.
The main character wakes in an empty bedroom. Getting his bearings, he searches through the room, and finds a notepad, with "WHY DID YOU DO IT?" scribbled in the first page. After exiting the room, in the hallway, he sees a bulky monster with a blade, dragging the same woman that appeared before, through a pair of double doors.
With the progression of the story you come to know that within the hospital gruesome experiences with the patients took place, and there was dissent between the medics about these actions, while the chief doctor was convinced that the ends they were striving justified the means.
The child appears again, now inside an elevator, and beckons the main character to her, through the disarrayed hallway, and the door closes.
You forget about it, and continuing trying to escape, as the main character, and come again across the child that this time, runs away from you.
In the courtyard the same woman that appears innitially, while the main character was admited into the hospital, appears near the fence, being forcefully and mysteriously pulled by the darkness beyond, leaving a key in the floor.
In some unrelated places you find three pieces of a picture, that when put together reveal a secret code for a door, and the fact that the woman and the pale child apparently were a family together with a man whose face is scratched.
After progressing further thru the gastly corridors of the hospital, with a record playing in the background, the main character come to have a vision of the woman. that appeared before, dead in the ground near him, in a fadding study, and the child opening the door in front, and running away screaming after facing the man. The character runs after her, and she disappears.
Later on, you come across the news playing on a tv, detailing a murder where a man shot and killed his wife, with their daughter fleeing the scene.
After more meandering the main character comes finally face to face with the evil chief doctor in underground division. He tells you that you're his puppet, a pawn, and that he will destroy you. And then he exits the door.
At the end of the underground complex you find the doctor again, and have a final showdown.
After defeating him, the main character wakes up in a clean hospital bed. He gets up, the door of the division opens and his wife and daughter appear beyond the door waving at him, with the screen fadding to white.
The game then picks up in an operating room with the chief doctor performing open head surgery on the main character, who is with his eyes open and oblivious to everything. The medic states that Phase One is over, and, with a saw in hand, orders to prepare for Phase Two.
Setting and characters analysis:
Redmoor Hospital is suitably decrepit, bloodied place. A place of decadence and violence. The enemies reflect that with:
- monster with his eyes shut by nails, suggestion unwillingness to see and even violent behaviour to whom is capable of bringing knowledge, with his heart open sugesting someone who is all heart and little mind;
- bugs and flies, that normally appear in reality in places of filth, and death;
- the screaming clown faces, suggesting the extreme pleasure and suffering of maddness;
- The Cleaver boss, suggesting the monstrous nature of a killer, whose right hand is a blade;
- Gatlingun Wheelchair Guy, perhaps a mockery of the main character when he entered the mental hospital;
- The Green Mouth room, perhaps a metaphor for an asfixiating state where the character felt surrounded by enemies - paranoia and fear.
The whole journey through the Redmoor Hospital was probably a dream. The main character, suffering a psicotic episode, probably killed his wife, while their daughter seeing her mother dead, runned away from the scene. Now he lays down in a slab, with his eyes open, being operated by a surgeon, while he is completely alienated from reality.
II - Dementium 2
Dementium 2 starts off with the main character waking up in a hospital bed, with a nurse beside him. While his vision is focusing, she asks if he is all right, and states that his name is William Redmoor.
She rushes him out of bedroom, saying that she needs the bed for another patient, and calls the guards.
The men escort the patient through the halls, populated with russians imprisioned and a vision of his supposedly dead wife in a bloodied elevator, that turns into a nurse walking by.
William Redmoor then is taken through a cell block and left in a cell with a russian. He finds a post card written by himself (to himself), with a paradisiac setting in the cover, hurrying him to flee:
"For God's sake, get out of here before it's too late.
The world suddently changes - similar to the setting transition in Silent Hill - and the player is left to escape through a twisted and masoquistic representation of the medical facility.
The player picks up a bloodied shank on the floor. At the end of the cell block he sees an animated corpse strung by chains in front of him, and a monster sprints from a door, yanks the corpse and goes through another with the body.
Soon after, the world changes back to a regular correctional facility, and the player is left to escape from it. Guards are alerted to his situation and try to take him in, and he kills pr flees them, and runs away.
Reality continues warping between more normal and more disturbing scenarios, although the settings, after each change of reality, resemble very little the ones he was in before.
William solves a puzzle envolving rearranging bottles of eyeballs, in the more sane version of the world, opening the door to a medical school class, with a surgeon performing open head surgery in a man, while a class of students watches attentively.
Through the glass window to another division, William sees the chief doctor, in a while robe, that tells that these twisted events started happening when they did William's surgery, letting out whatever vicious thing was inside of him. The doctor suddently switches to a dark green robe, and asks William to ignore his saner half, as it is a bit remorseful, and expresses the desire to share something. The camera then zooms over the room William is in, and it is not a class anymore, but a kind of arena. The same monster that gnawed the chained decomposing body at the beginning, appears and a boss battle ensues.
After the confrontation ends, William continues his escape through the facility, and comes across another paper describing the recent intake of russian prisioners from death row, cheaper and legally less problematic.
In his escape he comes across an office, and within it is his transfer papers, from Cowling State Hospital for The Criminally Insane to Bright Dawn Treatment Center. The document is as follows:
Patient #: 47329
Patient Intake: 10-31-07
Transferred from: Cowling State Hospital for The Criminally Insane
Background: Allegedly murdered wife and suffered psychotic break. Presented with low level of function/ high suicide risk (GAF 13), possible schizotypal disorder but officially diagnosed as unclassified mental illness (F99).
Treatment Protocol: Phase One.
William continues scurrying the institution looking for a way out, and comes across a message from a prisioner, in the ground. It details his work in creating a passage from the boiler room, in which he was stationed, to the outside. But also adverts that he found monstruosities outside, that lead him to block the passage, and wanting to forget the matter. The paper is written as follows:
WE ALL MUST STAY
Folks are gonna wonder why I dug an escape tunnel and never used it. The thing is cursed! I dug for three months, working night labour in the Boiler Room. Locked in all night, nobody but me. Check that gauge... mop the floors... DIG. Cover the hole every morning. After ten feet I broke through to a natural cave. But there are things in that cave! I boarded it up and never went back. I rather die in this cell than go back to that tunnel.
After some more sniffing around, the main character finds the tunnel to the outside world, and goes through it arriving at a road, that leads to a town. There is another postcard, written by himself to himself, that reads:
"It's spreading like a cancer. Hurry!
He starts exploring the apparently empty village. In a cabin he finds a letter from his wife:
William, my love. You have finally returned for me. My dear William, I have missed you desperately. Go south to the docks. It is my favorite place. I will see you there. Please hurry. Love, Elizabeth x o x
After some meandering he has a vision of his wife at the docks, hurrying to follow her, and after a few brief moments it desappears.
Fighting the way through the village, he gets to another empty house, where he finds another letter from Elizabeth. It states that:
William, my dear. It is difficult for me. I'm sorry. Much has changed since we last saw each other. Please try to find a way to enter the northeast area of the village. I'll wait for you at the Inn. Please come quickly. Love, Elizabeth x
Struggling through the town, William reaches an hotel room, bloodied and in desarray, where he finds another letter from his wife:
William. I want to see you, but they are making it so difficult. Our safe house is west of here. Remember? I have a surprise for you. Meet me there. I changed our code, it is now 326. You must hurry. Elizabeth.
William trails back to a locked door where he uses the code. Inside he finds another letter:
They got here first. They took Amanda. I'm going to the church. Take the key. Meet me there. They will come. This will end. In the church, in the gate you find another letter. Go south. Find Amanda. Bring her to me.
William goes down to the crypt, and finds graves, in the bottom floor, he finds one with the epitaph:
Daughter of William and Elizabeth.
He digs the grave, and finds a doll, that transports him to the other world. There he continues his escape, fighting the enemies in his way looking to exit the church.
He reaches the main hall, looks at the tapestry on the altair, and the Wendingo Witch appears. A boss battle ensues.
After the battle the sane world reasserts itself. William picks up another postcard behind the altar saying:
"Too late for escape now. You must go back to the prison and stop him. This will help you: 129484
He then exits the church, and returns through the passage to the clinic.
Arriving at the center, William is greated by a message of the surgeon on the speakers:
- I'm very disappointed in you, William. I saw so much potential. I thought we'd make the perfect team.
In a door William finds another postcard:
"He's always watching. Always.
William enters a hallway, and hiding behind a desk is a soldier with an assault rifle, that at the sight of a big beast coming towards him, starts firing, and after a bit the monster falls to the ground defeated. William and the soldier shoot each other, and eventually the soldier dies.
In a desk William finds two notes:
ANGUISH LORE p. 816
.. Malatesta: an ancient serpent trapped in the lowest Plane of Anguish. Centuries spent within the Plane have twisted this creature into a demented, rage-filled beast of immense power.
Malatesta can only be harmed in the deepest reaches of Anguish. If it breaks free of this realm, it becomes invincible... Malatesta reaches into real world pscyhoplasmic eruption - infects host
tries to tear open path between two planes
the dead will rule the living
must open pathway
William continues his journey to freedom, and finds another postcard:
"The Doctor is just the host. It's using him, and trying to break through. You can't let it.
After more meandering looking for the way out, he comes accross another post card:
"Find what's hidden... unlock what's locked.
The surgeon talks again through the speaker system:
- We're like two sides of the same coin, William. Neither of us can succeed without destroying the other.
William exits to the courtyard, and enters the chapple. And the surgean voice arises again in the speakers:
- Soon the plane of Anguish will burst through to our world. The Sun will blacken, blood will fall like rain, and the air will be filled with the music of pain. You wouln't want to miss that would you?
William follows the trail of blood on the floor, and finds the priest hanged with a key around his chest.
Around the chapel, he finds a letter from the chapelain to him, that reads:
Mr. Redmoor -
All my life I have prepared for this day. But, nothing could have prepared me for what has happened. I was foolish. I did not anticipate his strength. His intentions are purely evil. You are a pawn in his game. You must go no futher. The secret door in this office is locked. You must not enter that room. Crossing over to the Plane of Anguish will complete his plan. Leave now, while you can.
- Chaplain Kennedy.
Against the priest wishes, William jumps into the portal and comes to the other world.
He passes through an altar, and a postcard is left there, which says:
"There's no way you can defeat him now. I'm
sorry I ever got your hopes up.
After exiting the altar, William faces the surgeon chief, that speaks to Malatesta:
- Malatesta, I bring you an offering. Do with him what you will!
And the medic turns into Malatesta, a gigantic worm.
The final battle ensues, and with hardship, William kills the monster.
The otherwold fades, and he finds himself in a lounge. He walks to the exit, and passing near a window, in the glass he sees the reflection of the surgeon, instead of himself. William nears the window, and the surgeon grabs him and takes him beyond the mirror, dragging him further in, until they both vanishes in the darkness.
Setting and characters analysis:
- The setting is varied, always decrepit, abandoned, sometimes gory, generally nonsensical;
- The Gnaw, the monster that gnaws the decomposing corpse in the beginning of the game, exibits the viciousness of animal behaviour;
- The Wendigo Witch, supposadly represents the corruption of Elizabeth, turned into a wild and bloodthirsty wraith in his mad allucination;
- The Gorgamesh, another boss, another abomination, brutish, violent, sadomasoquistic, knitted together of pleasure, pain and suffering;
- The Colossus, an oversized, overwheight monstruosity, with a big mouth, and metal claws for hands, voracious, insatiable and violent.
- The Wisperer is a shade, that stalks William until he is outmaneuvered, and engulfes him, spawning him in a room with various foes, just like a dark thought that when considered, bring new threats to mind;
- The spitter, another enemy, laughs when William hits him, suggesting a sadomasochistic behaviour;
- The screamer is a flying head that tries to ram you, while he screams, maybe a sign of madness;
- Malatesta, a gigantic serpent trapped for centuries in the plane of anguish. demented and enraged, powerful, perhaps a manifestation of the weariness, that facing his anguish has brought, and his strengthened desire to give in to his anguish, madness, and rage, all personified in a serpent, a western symbol of temptation and evil.
Whether the world is in its more sane version or more insane, truth is a lot of times it is nonsensical. So I believe that most of the time William is allucinating. Elizabeth is probably dead, and Amanda's whereabout are unknown. The whole revolving world of Dementium 2 seems to invoke and manifest anguish, pain, madness and violence. Even a demonic serpent, Malatesta, appears, as a possible metaphor for William's anguish and madness. To me the whole game is about William coping with his anguish and guilt over the death of Elizabeth. But there is also the part of himself that just wants to let himself go, to surrender to all those dark feelings that plague the corners of his mind, and to escape facing the truth. The ending supports this as the surgeon (his darker half) grabs hold of him again, preventing him from freeing himself from his own nightmares. The postcards he writes himself show that he has prescience over the events happening, so a part of him knows what is going on.
But the fact that part of the game looks sane, and there are even human guards in the medical facility, and prisioners speaking real russian, begs the question of if there is any sanity and reality in the world William traverses on. Is he really killing human beings?
It is a possibility, even the developer, Renegade Kid, acknowledged it. So here goes two chilling predictions for the third and possible conclusion of the story:
I - First prediction
All the events in Dementium: The Ward, Dementium 2, and even Dementium 3 were dreams, of a man confortably sleeping in his own bed. William wakes up with his wife beside him, and his daughter, Amanda comes rushing in and throws herself to the arms of her father.
If this happens, what did the games mean? Did he really dreamed with killing his wife, security guards, Malatesta, and a world full of nightmares?
II - Second prediction
Dementium: The Ward was all a dream, and Dementium 2's story partly was real, and partly was the ramblings of a haunted mind. Malatesta and all the second game's horrors were just illusions, while the confinement in the Bright Dawn Treatment Center and his confrontations with the security personel were real, and, in reality, he is no longer a killer, because of the murder of his wife, but a crazed serial killer. How can this end not badly?
If you manage to read the whole thing, I salute your patience, and ask what you think about the whole deal? With the story, and even with this text.