Here we are — the final week in a month long Halloween inspired Character RETROspect event. Last week we took a look at the flamboyant Alucard from the Castlevania series, and this week to cap off the month of October, we are going to take a look at Laura Harris, the protagonist from the stellar vidja game, D.
Chapter 19: Look at Dem Grafx!
I will always back D as being one of the weirdest/best horror games of all time. Honestly, the game has not aged as well as a fine wine, but we have to consider this: no heavily CGI-laced video game from that time era looks decent, let alone one of the first video games to incorporate full-fledged CGI gameplay. Hell, sometimes I get a little nauseous nowadays when I play games that were “cutting edge” graphics-wise at the time of their release (I’m talking about you, Final Fantasy VII…), but when you break down what Kenji Eno and WARP were trying to do with D, you can formulate a valid argument to aid you in claiming that D was, and still is, a fantastic game.
The Story of D
Laura Harris is a student at a university in San Francisco. Laura’s father, Dr. Ricard Harris, is the supervisor of a hospital in Los Angeles, and one night he goes on a murderous rampage throughout the hospital and barricades himself within. The police contact Laura and she rushes to the scene of the crime. When Laura enters the hospital, she is horrified by the murdered bodies strewn about the halls and covers her eyes from the horror. After Laura opens her eyes, she explores the hospital further until she comes into contact with an entity that takes her from the hospital to a medieval castle in an alternate dimension.
- On a side note, there is a time limit in D that is a MAJOR factor in this game. You literally get two hours to navigate Laura through all types of hellish areas in the alternate reality castle and find her suddenly homicidal father.
During her mission to find her father, Laura experiences a series of flashbacks relating to the gruesome death of her mother. When Laura actually finds Dr. Harris in the tower of the castle, her father begins to explain their family’s history — ya know, that they’re descendants of Dracula and whatnot… cough… Now, I didn’t say D has the greatest storyline, but the overall experience of the game is what makes it a solid title. Laura’s father goes on to explain how her mother actually died, by the hands of Laura herself! Apparently Laura had one of those Snickers “Hungry? Why Wait?!” moments and decided that her own mother would be a delicious late-night snack, and Dr. Harris took it upon himself to erase the horrific event from Laura’s mind in an effort to save his daughter’s sanity.
Dr. Harris, done with the family stories, begins to transform into a vampire/monster, which causes Laura to think quickly on her feet and make a decision on whether or not she should kill her own father. Based on Laura’s decisions throughout the game (with the decision to kill her father being the most important one to impact the ending), and also including the time limit “ending,” there are a total of four endings for D.
And I’m not going to spoil the other three endings besides the time limit for you guys, because you should do yourself a favor and track down this early-on CGI masterpiece. Take delight in all of the horrific moments you will endure throughout the course of your two-hour adventure into the heart of madness.
It’s worth it.