Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Dark Dharma's Haunted Manor

By Becky "Sha" Shamen

At  our last Newser staff meeting, I was asked to prepare an article about a sim, designed by a big name Second Life artist. After visiting the exhibit however, I was more than disappointed. So I looked for somewhere else to explore. As I looked through the Destination Guide, one quickly gained my attention, "Dark Dharma's Haunted Manor and Haunted Forest." Dark Dharma was the creator of the North Pole Village & Santa's Workshop, which I had just published an article on. I was impressed with Dark Dharma's work, because it goes beyond mere technical abilities and effected my heart and mind. I felt sure that this artist was well qualified to scare the socks off us and just had to go see for myself. Yes, we are well past Halloween, but for two reasons, I'm offering it here and now. For one, this artist had impressed me and two, when my daughter was young, she talked me into playing a video game, called "Alone in the Dark." I stayed up late, many nights, playing ahead so I could coach her through the scary parts. I learned a good trick on that game. Each time I got to a door, where I knew there was a big challenge awaiting, I would save the game, so I didn't have to start from scratch if the ghost killed me.

The first thing I do, at any new sim, as things begin to rez, is take a look around, check the map to see where I am on the grid and check radar to see how many avs are there. I noticed, across the street from the haunted house, a shop that sold scary props, used in the haunted house. In a small graveyard to the right of the shop, there were about a dozen complete avatars for sale. When I saw the Elvira (Cassandra Peterson), I knew I had to buy and wear it for this adventure.

Dressed for the role and approaching the entry to the manor, we are informed that music should be turned off and sounds turned up. Personally, this theme is one that has always given me the creeps, so I was already on the edge of my seat. I will not spoil this adventures for my readers, by scouting ahead and warning you of any dangers, the way I did for my daughter. However, I will tell you there are indeed dangers and, like in "Alone in the Dark", they will send you back to your home sim. One misshap sent me to a location between sims, a Limbo I didn't think was possible in SL. The only way out of this Limbo was to restart the viewer and begin from scratch.

In all, I was very impressed by what Dark Dharma created here and I am pleased to share this adventure with my readers. Don't be surprised if you find a tombstone with my name on it there.

Benten (87, 220, 28)


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