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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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  6 Responses to “Eternal Darkness: What Happened to Joseph De Molay?”

  1. I still really despise that they put all this work in, just to cut him out of the final game. I won’t go so far as to say that him not appearing in the main cast weakens the overall plot…but he could have definitely strengthened the already amazing storytelling. We have a character that can see through Pious’s magic, a very powerful protagonist that’s just gone. It would have been incredible to see him leave notes along the walls of the church or even throughout the Tome itself for other characters…I’m hoping Silicon gets things going again for this sequel. (despite all the controversy and troubles that caused the company to go under in the first place)
    It’d be a waste of a great IP.

    • Yeah, it’s definitely unfortunate (especially since he was featured so prominently pre-release, too).

      Nintendo keeps renewing the trademark, so maybe they’ll eventually re-release Eternal Darkness, and then that could pave the way for an official sequel by a different developer even if Shadow of the Eternals never pulls through.

      • Absolutely, Shadow of the Eternals did look pretty promising when I first saw it. After looking at the trailer again a few months ago I realized that the in-game character could be a redesigned Joseph.

        Nintendo is doing a good thing with the renewal though, it seems they have hope in the developers but things have been going awry. The $9 million…failed kickstarters…
        if there’s a re-release I’d greatly appreciate it.
        (nice to meet you by the way)

        • Shadow of the Eternals was just going to be a spiritual successor, though, with no official connection to the original game.

          A re-release would be great.

          Some people have theorized that an Eternal Darkness sequel is what Retro Studios is working on since it’s apparently a narrative-driven game with non-linear storytelling, but I don’t think there’s enough evidence to support that yet.

          Nice to meet you, too. 🙂

  2. Without a doubt. One of the best games of all time.
    Such a shame that it didnt get the comercial success it deserved.

    Still, so many years later you have people still talking about it.
    A sequel would be by far my most anticipated game just second to a new Zelda.

    • Absolutely. I’d love to see how they’d handle the sanity system in a sequel. I’m not confident that Shadow of the Eternals will ever come to anything, so my hope is still on Nintendo to do something with the IP.

      (If Call of Cthulhu and The Sinking City are successes, maybe that will help renew interest in Lovecraftian horror for a big game.)

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