When I mention the name Howard Phillips Lovecraft, or H.P Lovecraft, two things should happen to you. The first is a cold chill that starts at the base of your neck and slides down your spine like an icy sludge through your body. The second is the undeniable feeling that someone is standing behind you, looking over your shoulder. Go ahead, check behind you. Nothing? Huh, that’s interesting.
If you don’t know the name, that’s okay, but you’re about to. H.P Lovecraft was an absolutely brilliant horror author who achieved posthumous recognition long after his death. His horror fiction stories, to this day, still rival some of the best authors of our time. Even though he died in 1937, we are still seeing new works published today from others who have written their own stories in the universe he created.
He wrote a lot of stories, but we’re here today to talk about a specific one entitled “The Call of Cthulhu.” This story set into motion something called the Cthulhu Mythos. This term refers to a shared fictional universe of stories. The term was first coined by August Derleth. The idea was to take the universe that Lovecraft build, and expand on it with more and more stories contributing to the overall Mythos.
Cth-cthu-however You Say It, What Is This Thing Again?
Cthulhu is a fictional deity that first made his appearance in Lovecraft’s story “The Call of Cthulhu.” In that story, this ancient creature, known later as one of “The Great Old Ones” was said to be hibernating in an underwater city beneath the South Pacific ocean called “R’lyeh. Cthulhu is the subject of worship for many cult like religions in the story, and remotely tortures certain humans at a subconscious level, plaguing their dreams with images of strange landscapes and impossible geometry.
It really is a fantastic story, I would highly recommend it. In the story, the first glimpse of Cthulhu affords the reader a description of the monstrosity. It reads:
“A monster of vaguely anthropoid outline, but with an octopus-like head whose face was a mass of feelers, a scaly, rubbery-looking body, prodigious claws on hind and fore feet, and long narrow wings behind.”
In other words, Cthulhu is a mix between an octopus, a dragon, and an otherwise human-esque form.There is a line of dialogue, in a strange language that the story uses: "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn.” This translate to “In his house at R’lyeh, dead Cthulhu waits dreaming.” I would go into more detail, but for those who wish to explore the Mythos themselves, I’ll hold back the more spoilerific aspects of the story. Suffice to say, it’s a fascinating world, made larger by the contributions of countless authors since Lovecraft creates the foundations during his lifetime.
Cthulhu is just one of many cosmic deities known as “Elder Gods” that appear throughout the stories in the Mythos. These beings toy with us on a level we can’t even begin to understand. These stories are dark, twisted, and purely insane. This is why the lore is begging for more exposure in the video game industry.
Oh Yes, There's a PS4 Cthulhu Game Coming!
So, now that we’ve had a crash course in the Cthulhu Mythos, I would like to formally introduce a new game coming to the PS4 aptly titled “Call of Cthulhu.” This title is coming to us from Frogwares. This studio is best known for their series of Sherlock Holmes games, including The Testament of Sherlock Holmes, Sherlock Holmes vs Jack the Ripper, and another Cthulhu Mythos inspired game, Magrunner: Dark Pulse.
I’ve enjoyed their games thus far, and they intend to base this new one off of the pen-and-paper role-playing game of the same name, which in turn took its inspiration from the Lovecrafts “The Call of Cthulhu” story, so we’re looking good. On the Frogwares website, where they announced the game, they gave us a little tidbit of information:
“Recognized as a true classic, “Call of Cthulhu” continues to delight players after almost thirty years since its release. We are aiming to continue this tradition and to present our very own contribution to Lovecraftian heritage with a video game.”
This is all fantastic news, seeing as how the last good Cthulhu Mythos game was Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth. That was all the way back in 2005, and while I absolutely loved that game, I want more games set in this universe. This is true terror friends, and I for one would love to see the zombie craze give way to a Cthulhu craze.
Are you a Lovecraft fan? What do you think of this new game from the screenshots released thus far? What other Lovecraftian inspired games or books have you experienced? Tell us in the comments!
Article by - Bradley Ramsey
Insert Date: 9/13/14