Monday, October 28, 2013

Case Study No. 1080: Peter Durant

Blair Witch Volume 1: Rustin Parr Playthrough 3/10 (Diner, Robin Weaver & Shit Hits The Fan)
Doc Holliday meets some locals who tell her a bit about Rustin Parr and Burkittsville's history. She also makes some plans for the next day but firts she's gonna have to survive the night...

Some minor glitches again but luckily nothing major. The plot thickens, the atmosphere gets heavier and just when you think it's over Doc's good night sleep turns into a massacre.
Tags: horror movie adaptation mythos blair witch lovecraft nocturne bloodrayne doc holliday stranger rustin parr volume one
Added: 1 year ago
From: HorrorGamingArchive
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[the player enters Gretchen's Diner, where several local citizens are enjoying the food]
HALE: Mmm, this must be where pies go when they die!
[the player sits down at the counter next to an old man (balding, glasses, dark vest over blue shirt) and speaks with the young waitress]
GRETCHEN: Hi, honey, my name's Gretchen. What can I get for you today?
DOC: I'll just have the blue-plate special, thank you.
LIBRARIAN: I'm Peter Durant. Gretchen here owns this place, and she's the best darn cook in the county.
GRETCHEN: Oh Peter, stop!
[she turns back to the player]
GRETCHEN: You're new in town, aren't you?
DOC: No, I'm just visiting. My name's Elspeth Holliday. It's nice to meet you.
LIBRARIAN: Uh, what brings you to Burkittsville? You're not another reporter, I hope ...
DOC: Oh, no ... Um, m-my sister's daughter disappeared a few months ago in Martinsburg.
GRETCHEN: Oh no, honey, that's just awful!
LIBRARIAN: Terrible ... You don't think Rustin Parr had anything to do with it, do you?
DOC: I certainly hope not, but it is possible. I'm in town to talk to the sheriff who investigated the case.
GRETCHEN: Sheriff's name is Damon Bowers. Town hall is down the street, on the other side of the church.
DOC: Thank you.
[she turns back to the librarian]
DOC: Uh, Mister Durant. If you don't mind my asking, what is your occupation?
LIBRARIAN: Not rude at all. I'm a librarian, and head of the Burkittsville Historical Society.
DOC: An historian? Ah, any areas of expertise?
LIBRARIAN: Well, just the history of Burkittsville. I guess you could call me an authority. I've been studying it all my life.
DOC: Oh, interesting.
LIBRARIAN: Oh, it really is! We have quite a colorful history here. These ... recent events have brought to light one of our oldest legends, stories about the Blair Witch.
DOC: I've heard a few of the stories, but I don't really believe in that sort of thing.
LIBRARIAN: I do! I witnessed it myself ... When I was a kid, a girl I knew named Robin Weaver disappeared in the woods.
DOC: What happened to her?
LIBRARIAN: She eventually made her way back to town.
DOC: And?
LIBRARIAN: Oh, it wasn't what happened to her that scared me. Heck, it still scares me now ...
[the sound of thunder and a flash of lightning interrupt the scene, as the librarian turns and looks out the window]
LIBRARIAN: This might sound silly, but uh ... I'd rather not tell the story at night.
[cut to another shot of the two talking (as a pale-skinned girl is suddenly visible in a booth directly behind them)]
LIBRARIAN: If you are interested in our history, come by the library tomorrow. We have plenty of written documentation.
[cut to a closeup of Elspeth]
LIBRARIAN: And if you pry, I may tell you my account of the Robin Weaver story.
[cut to another shot of the two talking (as the girl is now gone)]
DOC: I might take you up on that offer ... Now, you said this girl Robin Weaver, came out alright? What happened while she was gone?
GRETCHEN: You should ask her! She still lives here. Careful, though, she's a little ... peculiar.
LIBRARIAN: Gretchen!
GRETCHEN: It's true, Peter!
LIBRARIAN: That may be, but ... Miss Holliday, Robin Weaver's always been a bit eccentric, even when she was a child. She keeps to herself most of the time now, and would probably prefer being left alone.
GRETCHEN: Y'know, you should stop by the newspaper office. The editor's name is Horace Gersten, he's been there a long time. He could tell you a lot of stories ... Mmm, it's pretty late now, but with the madness of the trial and all, he's been keeping some late hours. I bet he's still there.
DOC: Yes, I met him. We didn't discuss much, though, he seemed awfully busy.
GRETCHEN: Well, you might keep Horace in mind. Just in case you don't find everything you're looking for in Peter's library.
[cut to another shot of Gretchen]
GRETCHEN: As for Parr specifically, try talking to people who knew the victims. Anyone that knows Kyle Brody might help. Kyle's the boy that escaped from Rustin Parr.
[cut to a closeup of Gretchen's face]
GRETCHEN: Word is, he was forced to face the corner and listen as Parr did horrible things to those children. Can you imagine? He hasn't spoken a single word since he got back ... But his teacher at the school is close to all the children of Burkittsville. Maybe she can help you.
[cut to another shot of the two talking]
GRETCHEN: Oh, honey, I've been talkin' your ear off! Your dinner's gettin' cold ... You go on and eat now.
[cut to Elspeth alone, standing outside of the diner]
DOC: [to herself] I've just met the town's librarian, Peter Durant, who promises to have a lot of information about local legends and mythology. So, I'll visit the library tomorrow.
[she walks out into the dirt road]
DOC: [to herself] Burkittsville residents are not strangers to the Blair Witch legends. Interesting that no one seems to have had any first-hand experience with a witch, but nearly everyone claims to know someone who has ... or knows someone who knows someone.


[the next day, the player enters the "Burkittsville Historical Society & Public Library"]
LIBRARIAN: Ah, nice to see you again, Miss Holliday. Still interested in learning about our local legends?
DOC: Absolutely.
[he takes a book and places it on the counter]
LIBRARIAN: This book will reveal many things to you. As a single source, it doesn't constitute proof, but I have other volumes that verify its claims.
[she picks up the book]
DOC: Well, books can only explain so much, but thank you. I'm sure I'll find it fascinating.
[she takes the book to a table near the back of the small library and sits down]
DOC: [reading] "Colonel Nathaniel Blair founded Blair Township in 1634. For over one hundred years, the village grew quietly and happily. In 1785, several children accused Elly Kedward of luring them to her home in order to take their blood. When they showed the wounds to their parents, the village rose in outrage and trekked through the woods to Kedward's secluded shack. Filled with witchcraft paraphernalia, Kedward's house served as adequate proof that the woman was a witch. Immediately found guilty of witchcraft, Kedward was banished from the village in the middle of the winter and presumed dead. The following year, the daughter of the town magistrate disappeared. Over the course of the next few months, every child who had accused Elly Kedward of witchcraft vanished. Fearing a curse or the active vengeance of the witch herself, the people fled Blair, leaving the village deserted for fifty years. When the rumors and legends of the 'Blair Witch' had faded, Peter Branwall Burkitt founded a new settlement called Burkittsville atop the foundation of Blair in 1824. Apart from the drowning death of a ten-year-old girl the following year, Burkittsville seemed unaffected by any lingering curses from the so-called Blair Witch. Sixty years later, in 1886, a young girl named Robin Weaver was reported missing. The immediate fear was that the schnellegeist, or snallygaster, had gotten her. Rumors of the mythical beast had been prelevant in the days leading up to her disappearance. Search parties were dispatched, but the girl returned on her own shortly thereafter. One of the search parties did not return. Weeks later, a group of hunters found the missing search party atop Coffin Rock, bound hand-to-foot in a ritualistic formation, their insides pulled from them into the center of that horrible circle. Strange marks had been made into their flesh. The hunters went into town to find help, but when they returned to Coffin Rock, the corpses were gone without a trace."
[cut to Elspeth closing the book]
DOC: [to herself] Finally, I've found someone in this little town that doesn't get on my nerves.
[she starts writing in her notebook]
DOC: [to herself] The town librarian, Peter Durant, is well educated and quite helpful. He also seems to be the sole link to the real history of Burkittsville.
[cut to another shot of Elspeth writing in her notebook]
DOC: [to herself] I tried to instill some doubt in him, but he's rock-solid in his beliefs. He gave me a book entitled "Frederick County Tales of the Supernatural" ... Eh, mostly superstitions and local folklore.
[cut to another shot of Elspeth writing in her notebook]
DOC: [to herself] The few entries that mention the Blair Witch don't offer anything beyond what Spookhouse has already gathered.
[she puts her notebook away, then takes the book back to the librarian behind the counter]
DOC: Is this everything that's been written concerning the Blair Witch?
LIBRARIAN: Believe any of it now?
DOC: Ah ha ... Interesting, but hardly conclusive.
[the player clicks on the librarian]
DOC: I was wondering if you might have a map of the forest.
LIBRARIAN: You should see about getting a map from the sheriff's office. They made one when they went out there to investigate Parr's house.



Blair Witch Volume 1: Rustin Parr
Developer(s): Terminal Reality
Publisher(s): Gathering of Developers
Distributor(s): Take 2
Engine: Nocturne Engine
Platform(s): Windows PC
Release date: 3 October 2000 (US release)
Genre(s): Action adventure
Mode(s): Single player
Rating(s): ESRB Mature
USK: 16
Media: CD-ROM
System requirements: Pentium II, Windows 95 or newer, 64 MB RAM, OpenGL capable video card recommended
Input methods: Keyboard, Mouse, joypad

"Blair Witch Volume 1: Rustin Parr" is the first in a trilogy of computer games based on the film, which greatly expanded on the myths first suggested in the film. Released by Gathering of Developers in 2000 (but developed by different teams), each game focused on different aspects of the Blair Witch mythology: Rustin Parr, Coffin Rock and Elly Kedward, respectively.

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, and several other characters from that game also appear.

The story takes place in the year 1941. Elspeth "Doc" Holliday, a calm, collected research scientist, is dispatched to the town of Burkittsville by the Spookhouse, an 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 killed. 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 first movie, and more fully in the pseudo-documentary Curse of the Blair Witch, which accompanied the movie DVD.

* With the exception of the opening section in the Spookhouse HQ, the game takes place over four "days".
* Some characters from Nocturne appear at the start of the game: Master Khen Rigzin, Coronel Hapscomb, General Biggs, an unnamed secretary, Svetlana Lupescu, and The Stranger. The Stranger reappears later in the game, on the fourth day, as the player's partner.
* Some enemies from Nocturne (the bat creatures, a werewolf) appear in the beginning of the game, in the training session.
* The Daemites later appear in the BloodRayne game.
* The main antagonist of the series is not exactly 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 final scene of the first movie takes place inside Parr's house on the third "day", but from a different viewpoint. This scene also shows what may have happened to Heather and Mike, involving the game mechanic of magical time-travel.
* The shaman Asgaya Gigagei also appears as a much younger character in the third game, The Elly Kedward Tale.
* The character of Peter Durant appears in this game as an old librarian. In the second game (The Legend of Coffin Rock), he is younger and tells Lazarus some of the Blair Witch legend.



In 2000, GoD had won the rights to video game adaptions of the then attractive Blair Witch franchise. In place of a nervous shaky cam, however, the static views of the Nocturne engine were chosen to draw a much less hysteric picture of events taking place in the history of the town of Burkitsville, or Blair, depending on the time period. Terminal Reality delivered not only the technical groundwork shared by all three episodes, which were to be released within weeks after each other, but also took care of creating the first story.

Since the developer then already had made a first experience in the world of interactive horror, a genius idea stood at the beginning of development: What if the Spookhouse was send to investigate the case of the mass murderer of children, Rustin Parr, whose claims that the Blair Witch had forced him to his evil deeds shocked the little secluded town even more so combined with the gruesome rituals he performed on the victims?

The Stranger isn't exactly enthusiastic about being sent on a hunt for myths and ghosts and prefers to stay at the Spookhouse headquarters as possible reinforcement, so Elspeth Holliday travels alone to Burkitsville. Using a fabrication about her niece being abducted from a nearby village as a cover story, she starts to question the inhabitants of the slightly backwards settlement with only 2 phone lines, but not all of them are cooperative. Wherever she goes, Holliday meets with a distinctly rural, uncomfortable atmosphere, especially the sheriff appears very suspicious of Elspeth and wants her out of his town all too eagerly. Many of the other citizens are only slightly more friendly. Yet she also finds allies in the inexperienced but eager deputy and especially the old librarian Peter Durant, who supplies her with much historical information about the town, its surroundings and the many myths associated with the location.



Burkittsville Day 3

You wake up in your Motel Room, and notice that you need more weapons/ammo before going back into the Forest. As you approach your Motel door, the Deputy knocks and you let him in. He hands over the Police Report on the child killings. He also gives you a Stick Figure from Parr's cell. Go through the Police Report before leaving your Motel room. Go speak to the InnKeeper if you haven't already done so about sending a telegram to Spookhouse.

In HARD PUZZLE MODE, The Deputy will visit you in your Motel Room, and give you the Police Report, but not the stick figure from Parr's Cell. Parr said Nev-ur-givn in his cell. You know two of the symbols from the sheet of paper, but not the order. You get "Nev" from the field notes, from Kyle's Coffin Rock Sketch. Solve the chemical analysis of the metals in your Motel Room. Use the eye dropper and use Test Tubes: 6, 1, and 4 on the metals. Then visit the General Store for Paint Stripper. Saturate the Twana with Paint Stripper.

Visit the Church and speak with Pastor Ascot (Schoolmarm's husband). Enter the Schoolyard and speak with the Little Girl, Mary Brown, sitting on the ground by the swings. She appears to be talking with someone, but who? After talking with her, you realize that she is missing some sort of pet.....Mister Brownie. You make a note to return it to her if you find it.

Leave the Schoolyard and head for the Burkittsville Historical Society Library and speak with Mr. Peter Durant, the Historian. He provides you with a book with information you jot down in your personal notebook. Return the book to Mr. Durant. After returning the book to him, use your "action" key on him and he will provide you with a book on Native American Folklore. After jotting down more notes in your notebook, return the book to him once again. Use the "action" key once again, and he will give you a little information on Robin Weaver. There's a note in your "To Do" list to find and interview Robin Weaver. That comes later.

Leave the Library and head back to your Motel.



When the Blair Witch movie went from a film student's basement cutting room to Hollywood blockbuster, it was inevitable that many people would be looking to cash in on the project. A video game tie-in was inevitable.

Now, as we approach Halloween this week, the lab dims the lights and sets out to review the first of three games based on the Blair Witch legend. The release of this game coincides not only with the spookiest holiday on the books, but also the release of the movie Blair Witch 2: Book of Shadows. The three planned games are being released separately, and all use the Nocturne game engine (and characters) from Terminal Reality. So expect a top-down third person interface with plenty of eye candy. The first game is The Blair Witch Volume 1: Rustin Parr.

I'm not sure what I was expecting, but its pretty safe to say it was not the Nocturne engine. I've got no problem with the engine, in fact the original game won great accolades from the GiN staff last year, including Adventure RPG of the year and a stellar 4.5 GiN Gem rating. It's just that when I think of Nocturne, I imagine The Stranger with his twin .45s blasting away at every imaginable night-borne monster. This is not exactly consistent with the movie, or the Blair Witch legend itself - which incidentally was completely made up by the film crew. Boiled down to its component elements, Rustin Parr is basically an additional scenario - though one that stands alone without the original game - for Nocturne.

But where as Nocturne had four blood-soaked missions, Rustin Parr only has one. It is being released as value software for about $20, and subsequent releases will come the same way.

The game is pretty solid, but it totally tries to hold your hand the entire time. It's obvious that this game is being angled at non-traditional gamers. The fact that there are huge amounts of people who saw the movie and might be tempted to get the game must be the logic used in the design. Unfortunately, this approach within the game is going to anger a lot of traditional gamers, especially ones who went all the way thorough Nocturne like I did. Thank you very much, but I don't need a tutorial on what the medkit does for me, or how I should use my pistol.

You play Doc Holiday, the woman who invented all the cool weapons The Stranger used in Nocturne. She is like Agent Q to his James Bond. It's 1941, and both Holiday and Stranger are still working for Spookhouse, the secret government agency charged with investigating and destroying paranormal threats in the United States. After a ridiculous training exercise, Holiday and Stranger are assigned to head to Burkittsville, Maryland where a strange hermit named Rustin Parr has just been convicted of torturing and killing seven children.

Your Spookhouse bosses suspect some type of occult activity, and you are supposed to investigate. Stranger gets angry at this point and refuses to go on the mission. He apparently went to Burkittsville once before and found no evidence of the supernatural. Since there is nothing to shoot at, he decides to stay at home. Holiday insists that her new equipment can detect unseen ghosts, so she heads up to the town by herself. This is where the player really takes over.

It is interesting to see Holiday take the spotlight, since I thought she did not get enough play in Nocturne. She is a poised British lady who has total faith in her creations. She is a bit less neurotic than The Stranger, but nonetheless has some interesting quirks.

The town of Burkittsville seems pretty realistic for an old one-horse town. I personally grew up in a town about seven miles from there and got a real kick out of seeing things like the Frederick Country School Building and a Maryland State Police car around town. This is actually where the adventure is best.

You are given mostly total freedom to explore the town, talking to different folks about the local happenings. You learn different snippets about the Blair Witch, though nobody seems willing to talk too much. There is an excellent cutscene in the town eatery where the local librarian starts to talk about the witch, only to have a storm start to brew outside in the night. In the middle of a lightning strike, you see for a brief second a woman, apparently the Blair Witch, sitting at a table watching you. Holiday does not notice and the game does not play it up much, so it's just plain creepy.

Unfortunately, it goes downhill from there, at least for gamers used to figuring out things themselves. Holiday keeps a "to do" list that basically tells the player everything to do in order to advance the game. Notes like "Talk to the sheriff" and "Research the Blair Witch in the library" get checked off as you do them. Follow your list and you can't lose.

The game even goes so far as to figure out puzzles for you. For example, the town sheriff is very nasty to outsiders and kicks you out of his office, even though his deputy wants to give you information. Later, you are at the town restaurant and the sheriff comes in to order lunch. I immediately knew this would leave the deputy alone and ran out to go talk to him. As soon as I got outside, a cutscene triggered where Holiday in a monologue says something like, "With the sheriff gone, I better hurry over and talk to the deputy." Well, no duh. Come on, I can think for myself here. Courting a non-gamer is one thing; assuming your audience is as brain dead as a Type IV zombie is something else.

Combat in the game does actually occur, though sometimes in annoying dream sequences. As with Nocturne, it is fast and violent, though you are mostly shooting dogs and stick people in the woods. It is pretty scary though and you learn things like how the kids from the original movie could have gotten lost. (The woods will change paths around to confuse people as it starts to get dark.) It's really the only way anyone could get lost around Burkittsville today. Walk more than a mile in any direction and you will come to a 7-11, or some other sign of civilization.

Anyway, it was pretty remote back in 1941 there, and the feeling of oblique danger pervades the woods as you explore. It's almost a relief to actually see something to shoot, because it breaks the tension somewhat. You can change the level of combat in case you find the monsters too difficult to takedown. This is for the nontraditional gamers I'm sure, but actually helps because a few creatures are nearly impossible to kill. I even found myself using the cheat codes at one point.

Oh, and The Stranger does eventually come and help with the shooting.

Taken as a whole, the game is good. It has a spooky feel to it that only a few games have been able to capture. In this manner, it is actually better than Nocturne, which seemed to be really too heavy with combat to advance the plot too much. It's a perfect (and inexpensive) gift for someone who likes horror movies but has not really gotten into computer games. Hardcore gamers will probably best avoid the title, as it might taint their fond memories of bloodletting in Nocturne. The game earns an above average 3.5 GiN Gem rating, with the caveat that for a nontraditional audience, the score would be much higher.

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