What would you endure for your significant other? Would you take matters into your own hands and do what you have to do to save your love? This week in Character RETROspect we will be looking at Rick Taylor, the main protagonist from the Splatterhouse series — a man who looked evil in the eye, laughed, and then kicked the crap out of it.
Chapter 11: To Hell and Back
I’m a fan of horror games, always have been and always will be. Growing up with the TurboGrafx-16 port of Splatterhouse definitely helped to shape my own existence as a fan of the horror game genre. Nothing, and I mean nothing, could compare to the pure awesomeness that was Splatterhouse. The atmosphere, along with the beautifully haunting story of a man essentially going through hell to save the woman he loves reminds me of a movie that you might remember…
What Dreams May Come, the 1998 Oscar winner for Best Visual Effects, with its tale of a man who would do absolutely everything in his power to be reunited with the love of his life. Another connection between Splatterhouse and What Dreams May Come is that Rick looks like Robin Williams.
Okay, maybe not, but at least I tried to make a connection between the two.
How Many Parapsychology Majors Does it Take to Bring Down Hell’s Minions?
In the first game (originally released in 1988 for the arcades and then in 1990 for the TurboGrafx-16), Rick Taylor and his girlfriend, Jennifer — a pair of parapsychology majors — take up shelter in West Mansion during a storm. It was in the mansion that they are attacked by creatures, who kidnap Jennifer, and leave Rick near-death from severe wounds. However, a mysterious artifact known as the “Terror Mask” attaches itself to Rick and he is transformed from a simple university student to a badass wearing a Jason Voorhees-esque mask.
With some slight encouragement from the Terror Mask, Rick goes on a blood-filled rampage through the mansion and its surroundings, taking out any and all vile creatures that stand in his path. While navigating through the mansion, Rick comes across Jennifer, who is surrounded by a small group of creatures as she lay unconscious. Upon awakening, Jennifer transforms into a grotesque monster and attacks Rick. This is one of the greatest moments in the series; here you have a man that went through the worst things imaginable to be reunited with his love, and then he has to kill her to free her.
Now, just imagine for a moment that you are Rick. You just killed the woman you love because she had turned into an incredibly unattractive version of herself. Would you be man enough to continue on your path of destruction to exact revenge for your fallen lover, or would you crumble like a broken piece of pottery? Well, thankfully this is a video game I’m discussing, and it wouldn’t be too much fun if it just said “Game Over” after the fight with Jennifer.
Rick does push on through it all to eventually destroy the “living” mansion. The mansion is set ablaze, and as Rick is escaping, the Terror Mask summons a giant monster from a passing grave. After Rick successfully defeats the monster, the Terror Mask shatters off of his face; turning him back into his normal self. But, after Rick leaves, the Terror Mask reassembles and laughs maniacally.
This concludes this week’s Character RETROspect, and although I had originally wanted to wait until Halloween to release this article, I found myself in love with this game all over again when I started a playthrough of it recently. I guess I’ll just have to sit on this Hill that’s Silent and try to come up with something to write about.