H.P. Lovecraft and tons of horror games! (it's educational folks)

Hi everybody! (it’s time for some education!)

 H.P. Lovecraft, in the flesh

Today, I’m gonna lecture you guys, in H.P. Lovecraft!

Well, I bet that most of you have already heard of this horror-writer, but for those of you who haven't, I’ll mention that there are indeed a lot of game developers who have drawn inspiration from him, over the years.

Before I get to that, I’ll tell you a bit about Howard Phillips Lovecraft:

Lovecraft was born way back in the year; 1890 and fell off the swing (well, died) in 1937. Both his father and mother died in an asylum, (yes, there is actually a reference in that Batman game since H.P actually invented that town, Arkham, for several of his stories, and used the asylum in: The Thing on the Doorstep ) he was forced by his mother, to wear girls clothes to cover up how hideous he was and in 1908 he got a mental breakdown which left him drained of energy for about 10 years.

Although he was weak both in health and mind, he started writing about the year, 1907 and drew inspiration from his own dreams. – 
10 years after his breakdown his carrier accelerated:

 Batman = Lovecraft

His style was much like any other horrorwriter, but when his wife left him – everything changed!

He started his own genre, which he called “weird fiction”. Among sci-fi stories and such, he created his most renown work: Call of Cthulhu (Ringing any bells – Bethesda made a game about this, which must be the best depiction of Lovecraft in a game, ever – I mean, both Innsmoth, the monsters – everything, right as Lovecraft would have wanted it). It’s a mythology about the old ones,  evil creatures and gods in the deep oceans and creepy towns.

Lovecraft often used insanity as the red line in his stories and the obscure universe he created was indeed a very exciting and new style.

Many of the main characters in his “Major works” (he wrote tons, and tons of small ones) is often depicted as himself and can hardly be separated. He never wrote about sex or

 Bethesda's game: Call of Cthulhu - Dark cornors of the earth, is fucking awesome!

money, since they didn’t fit in his universe and he despised both to a certain degree.

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Well, now you know the man, let’s focus on his impact, on videogames!:

  • In Devil May Cry 3, the name is used as “lady”’s father.
  • In the web-based game Urban Dead, the towns are called Arkham and New Arkham.
  • MechWarrior 2 featured a level called Arkham Bridge.
  • In Penny Arcade Adventures there is a town called New Arcadia, which is a spoof of Arkham
  • Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the earth: in this game it’s very much based on Lovvecraft, and even Arkham mental institude is used. So is the town of Innsmoth and all of the mythology.
  • In World of Warcraft (aaah, got you attention, huh?) the monster Darkspeaker R’khem is a wordplay of Arkham.
      Quake: Shub-Niggurath
  • In 2008 a game called Necronomicon (bet you heard about that book in many games too), was released and was a single play card game (yeah, sound boring) and was based on, well, Lovecraft.
  • In the game Darkness Within, you need to discover all kinds of creepy shit in the town Wellsmoth, and the game is packed with Lovecraft hints.
  • In Quake, well – that game is a classic, and not many know of the Lovecraft influenze, check it out here: http://kell.quaddicted.com/stuff_lovecraftinquake.html - I can say though, that Shub-Niggurath, is from Lovecraft.
  • Alone in the dark contained tons of lovecraftian refrences and so did Blood (that fucking cool 1995 fps), Castlevania 64, Daugthers of Serpents, The lurking Horror, Eternal Darkness, X-COM (hell yeah) and tons, and tons of games!!
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I could seriously go on, but I’m tired.

I love you all, and hope you’ll write a comment if you found this interesting. (insert the Metallica song “call of cthulhu” and terrifying laughter “muhah… – oh never mind)

34 Comments
35 Comments
Edited by Andrela

I love Lovecraft (pardon the pun), brilliant author. 

Posted by Guided_By_Tigers

Yeah Lovecraft is awesome and Dark Corners of The Earth, despite its technical issues, is one of my favorite games of all time.

Posted by thomasriis1987
@Unknown_Pleasures: me too man, me too
Edited by MannyMAR

Nice write up man.  
 
Yeah Lovecraft's influence reaches far and wide, I mean Eternal Darkness was totally inspired by his works and even takes place in Rhode Island where the dude was from. Almost every RPG in existence has some kind of reference to him whether it be monsters or quests involving events similar to his writings. So if you hear the call from Old Ones you know that your vidyagames aided you in your own demise.

Posted by FirePrince

Call of Cthulu is a game I've been wanting to play,but that shit looks scary.It's so unsettling.There is a playthrough on youtube,and it scares the shit outta me.
Posted by TreeHouse

i can see "At the Mountains of Madness"  as being a great minimal indie game.  Make it Now!

Posted by mordecaix7

Lovecraft is my favorite author.  Been reading his work for 10 years.  One of my favorites is At The Mountains of Madness and one that I don't hear many people talk about but is also good is The Lurking Fear.  If you're interested in reading any of Lovecraft's work (please do! it's great!) visit this site.  It has all his stories available for reading online.  Here's a direct link to The Lurking Fear.

Posted by Matfei90

I'm a huge Lovecraft fan.

Posted by Jeust

Great post man! If you love Lovecraft you should give a spin to Alan Wake, as it is an embodiment of many of his beliefs. You can also find Clive Barker's Jericho, that delves into some of  the same themes.  
 
@mordecaix7 said:

" Lovecraft is my favorite author.  Been reading his work for 10 years.  One of my favorites is At The Mountains of Madness and one that I don't hear many people talk about but is also good is The Lurking Fear.  If you're interested in reading any of Lovecraft's work (please do! it's great!) visit this site.  It has all his stories available for reading online.  Here's a direct link to The Lurking Fear. "
Thanks for the website!
Posted by mordecaix7
@Jeust: No problem!  Always looking for a way to spread how great a read Lovecraft is!
Edited by Jeust
@mordecaix7 said:

" @Jeust: No problem!  Always looking for a way to spread how great a read Lovecraft is! "

it really is. But having his works so accessible is awesome! :D
Posted by jaycee13
@mordecaix7: 
thanks for that site, I've tracked down a few lovecraft books but I would never be able to find most of these.
Posted by FlappyHands
@Unknown_Pleasures said:
" Yeah Lovecraft is awesome and Dark Corners of The Earth, despite its technical issues, is one of my favorite games of all time. "
Yeah. I really liked that game. It was hella scary in some parts. Those chase sequences where you had to run and get out of a place as fast as possible were pretty damn harrowing. Lovecraft's general idea that the horrors of some things are so great that they  just break your mind has always been intriguing to me.
Posted by mordecaix7
@jaycee13 said:
" @mordecaix7:  thanks for that site, I've tracked down a few lovecraft books but I would never be able to find most of these. "
That's part of the problem when looking for Lovecraft's work.  Lots of compilation books will still be missing a few major stories or they're broken up into his different styles and some compilations also contain works by other authors that are expanded universe type stories.  I still haven't found a single book that simply contains all of Lovecraft's work.  There's always something missing and it's always missing a combination of At The Mountains of Madness, Call of Cthulhu, Shadow over Innsmouth, or handfuls of his smaller, one shot stories like The Tomb, The Lurking Fear, The Transition of Juan Romero, etc.
Posted by Rockdalf

Wow, nice.
 
I'd read more of these, especially if they were contained within a blog or something.  Good read.

Posted by Nasos100

wow nice read dude

Posted by crusader8463

I always wanted to read some of his books, but I never have. Are they public domain now, or is there a love craft estate mooching off his books? The closest I came was reading some Cthulhu comics, and since then I have really wanted to read some of his work as I love the concept of Cthulhu.

Posted by dudeglove

 fuck yeah
Online
Posted by Dr_VonBoogie

Shame about the Call of Cthulhu series. We will never see another entry in the series. 

Posted by Godot

You forgot about his raging racism; the guy was pretty racist, even for his time. It was one of the reasons his Jewish wife split up with him. It's a shame, you're enjoying one of his short stories, then suddenly he describes a man as being "an Arab with a hatefully negroid mouth".
 
Also, one of his biggest inspirations was the writing of Edgar Allan Poe, to such an extent that Lovecraft was often exasperated at how much his style resembled that of Poe's prose.

Posted by Sin4profit

I'm in the middle of playing through Call of Cthulhu right now in fact.

Posted by Bloodlines

I have read many of his short-stories and Dark corners of earth is a good game, with it's flaws. Even the penumbra series is kind of based on his writing.

Rats in the walls one of my favorite stories, or shall i say Brads in the walls.  

Posted by cnlmullen

"Cool Air" is my favorite Lovecraft short story. 

Posted by YoThatLimp

Lovecraft is good, but it's pretty easy guessing the twist about halfway into the story; love his writing style but it can feel stale if you read too much of it at once. 

Posted by TheJohn

 Don't forget the Dunwich Building in Fallout 3. Spooky atmosphere, hallucinations, and several references to Abduhl Alhazred; the made dude who wrote the Necronomicion 

Posted by BitterAlmond
 He started his own genre, which he called “weird fiction”.      
 
He didn't start it, although it was quite popular in his time. He wrote for quite a few "pulp" magazines, one of which was called "Weird Tales" and was exclusively made for weird fiction. Hw was a master of weird fiction, but he wasn't its originator. He was even offered a position as editor of the magazine, but he turned it down because he didn't want to move to Boston.
Posted by PaulRevere

Never read him, although I've been told for ages that I should. But I've been told Amnesia and Penumbra are Lovecraftian and I love those games, so I guess it's about time I finally read some Lovecraft.

Posted by Oni

World of Warcraft's Old Gods are very directly inspired by Lovecraft's fiction in names, appearances and role in the world. Old Gods of the world sealed away by the Titans ages ago, driving powerful creatures insane with their whispers and slowly breaking out into the old world. C'thun, Yogg-Saron and others are clear hommages.

Posted by mzuckerm
@TheJohn: The Dunwich Building was one of my favorite parts of Fallout 3.  I knew when I heard "Dunwich" that it would be a reference to Lovecraft, but I was impressed with how much content they put into that area (even though it wasn't even classified as a quest).
Posted by FancySoapsMan
@nosiwohL said:
" Never read him, although I've been told for ages that I should. But I've been told Amnesia and Penumbra are Lovecraftian and I love those games, so I guess it's about time I finally read some Lovecraft. "
The engine the Penumbra games run on is even called the "HPL Engine".
Posted by FusionVortex

Another game worth of note that was inspired by Lovecraft was Sherlock Holmes The Awakened. That game was friggin' scary, and really the only good Sherlock Holmes game.
Posted by Akeldama

Why does nobody else remember Eternal Darkness? Such a huge Lovecraft game. 
 
  

Posted by Everyones_A_Critic
@thomasriis1987:  Which book would you recommend to someone who is a complete Lovecraft novice? I feel I owe it to myself to read at least one of his books.
Posted by Apparatus_Unearth

World of Lovecraft. 2011.