Operation Backlog Completion 2018
Oct 132017

Today is Friday the 13th. The superstition of Friday the 13th being unlucky is sometimes attributed to the arrest of the Knights Templar on October 13, 1307, which was also a Friday.

Last October, we took a look at a fantastic horror game for the GameCube called Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem. Now, on this Friday the 13th, let’s discuss the mysterious Templar character who was cut from the final game.

Joseph De Molay (named for Jacques de Molay of the real Knights Templar) was a Templar who appeared in a considerable amount of footage prior to the release of Eternal Darkness.

In fact, not only was he shown in gameplay footage, he was also one of three playable characters in the 2001 E3 demo, alongside Pious Augustus and Alex.

So what happened to him?

The official explanation for Joseph De Molay’s removal from the final game is that he was created just for the demo. However, that’s a significant amount of work for a demo, especially for that 2001 demo when two other characters were already playable.

There are screenshots of De Molay from the Nintendo 64 build of Eternal Darkness, as well, which further suggests he was meant to play a role in the story.

It is widely accepted that De Molay is the unnamed knight used as the foundation for the Pillar of Flesh.

That would certainly explain why that knight seems significant, yet has no chapter of his own.

But why didn’t Joseph De Molay make it to the final game? One interview says he was removed as a result of the September 11th attacks, along with several other changes made to the chapters set in the Middle East.

Whether it was that or other concerns that led to De Molay being cut from the game, who replaced him?

De Molay mainly appeared in the Forbidden City, a location explored by Pious, Karim, Roberto, and Michael. The interview says he was replaced by Michael. However, there are unexplained dead knights in Karim’s chapter, which suggests he was replaced by Karim instead. And the Pillar of Flesh cutscene occurs right before Roberto’s chapter, so it could also be him.

(It’s definitely not Pious, considering their roles in the story.)

He also appeared in the cathedral, but I don’t believe there are any other characters in the game with scenes in both the cathedral and the Forbidden City. Maybe he wasn’t replaced, but was intended to appear alongside all of the other characters.

On the other hand, maybe they intended to save De Molay’s story for the cancelled sequel…

Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem is a great game, and I still hope we get a sequel someday, especially since Nintendo keeps renewing the trademark. What do you think happened to Joseph De Molay, and what do you think his role in the story would have been?

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