VIDEO GAMES: Friday the 13th: Eternal Moonlight

VIDEO GAMES: Friday the 13th: Eternal Moonlight

It is a hobby of mine to create theoretical design documents for video games I'd like to see made. This is my idea for a next-gen (current-gen?) video game based on Friday the 13th.

Something that I do in my spare time (haha WHAT spare time) is create some basic or rudimentary layouts on paper for video game ideas that I have. One idea I feel very strongly about is a video game based on the "Friday the 13th" franchise. In the past, there have been attempts at creating additional media featuring the franchise and it's main baddie: Jason Voorhees; all previous attempts at revitalizing the franchise thus far have been largely unsuccessful, even though dedicated fans might love it for what it is (I'm looking at you 2009 reboot). I believe that a Friday the 13th video game could be something incredible if done correctly. Here is a rough layout of my idea, and I apologize for anything that may seem unprofessional. I'm mainly the guy behind the creative part of the process, like writing the story and stuff. I feel I must emphasize, just to cover my own butt, that I am not actually creating this game. I do have games of my own that I work on from time to time, but Friday the 13th is not a property that I own: this is just an idea I have.

Title: Friday the 13th: Eternal Moonlight

Plot: The main character is a young male in his early twenties, and I am still working on the name. Tentatively, the main character is Lucas Johnson. The story in the game takes place between the events of "Freddy vs. Jason" and "Jason X", although if this game were to be actually created I also think it could exist outside the canon of the film series. The story begins with all of the rumors about Camp Crystal Lake finally dying off, and the camp being closed forever. The Camp has long since become an abandoned and macabre memorial to its own bloody history.

(This part is likely to change, I mainly threw it together to create a jumping off point for the game) Lucas has long been obsessed with the legend of Camp Crystal Lake, always being the curious type searching for truth. He refuses to believe that Jason Voorhees is actually immortal, or even a real person for that matter. Lucas has collected newspaper articles and many other pieces of journalism and various memorabilia concerning the Camp Crystal Lake massacres, in an attempt to find a common factor or way to disprove the legend entirely. The latest breaking story in Sussex County, New Jersey (where Camp Crystal Lake is nearby) is an odd phenomenon of seemingly random and unconnected missing person cases. A string of teenagers of both genders have been disappearing one by one, and the local authorities are baffled. Lucas travels to the town nearby Camp Crystal Lake with his twin sister, Elizabeth, for a sightseeing vacation of sorts. Elizabeth is aware that Lucas has an ulterior motive, that he secretly wants to investigate Camp Crystal Lake for himself, but reluctantly goes with him on the trip in hopes of either discouraging him from doing so or going with him should he decide to actually do so.

The crap hits the fan when Lucas and Elizabeth are staying at a local motel during their first or second night in town. Lucas and Elizabeth both retreat to their neighboring rooms for the night, and all seems well. The next morning, however, Lucas discovers that his sister has been seemingly kidnapped during the night, although he can't work out how she was kidnapped and he never heard so much as a peep from her room. Without much of a choice, Lucas decides to go to Camp Crystal Lake, believing that she must be the latest victim of the disappearances.

Game style: This game will be a first-person shooter, with an emphasis on survival and horror-survival. The game begins in the early evening, and takes place during the course of one horrific night at Camp Crystal Lake, climaxing in the wee daybreak hours the following morning. Lucas will make use of tools, makeshift weapons, scavenged weapons (guns, knives, etc., but ammunition is few and far between), and sometimes his bare hands to fight with. The game will be extremely and aggressively atmospheric, placing a high emphasis on isolation and investigative gameplay tactics. Often, Lucas will be required to use stealth and his wits to hide during the course of the game.

Antagonists/Enemies: This is where my idea for the game becomes interesting, and this is also the crux of my plot for the game. The game is titled, "Eternal Moonlight", because Lucas eventually discovers (thanks to his journalism skills) that a freakish cult who call themselves 'The Moonlight' have taken up residence in Camp Crystal Lake and the surrounding woodlands. The Moonlight worship Jason as a godly figure, because of his supernatural powers and ability to regenerate and resurrect himself that he's displayed on so many occasions. They believe that by worshiping Jason Voorhees and unraveling the mystery of his powers, they too may harness his powers. The Moonlight believe that Jason's powers reside in the use of black magic, and that his mother must have somehow used it. Throughout the game, Lucas will frequently encounter these cultists and will be required to fight them with any means necessary. They are usually unarmed, saved for knives or handheld melee weapons, but they also make small use of magic in the form of hexes and charms.
The "X-factor" in the game is that Jason is not truly dead: go figure! On several scripted occasions, and at random intervals throughout your exploration of Crystal Lake in the game, Jason Voorhees will appear. Jason has specially scripted A.I. that allows him to become an interactive and intelligent enemy for the player to work their own survival tactics against. Playing as Lucas, players have the ability to hide in or under virtually any and all objects in the entire game world available to them. If you see a large armoire for clothes, you can open it and hide in it while you watch Jason through the crack in the door. If there's a bed, you can hide under it and watch his feet. Those are just a couple examples, but I want the entire game world to be interactive so that players can form their own tactics (i.e. contextual weapons and actions).
Jason is a walking living badass, and will kill anyone in his way. Let's say for example, you are approaching a cabin with a Moonlight cultist in it: you unsheathe your weapon of choice and try to sneak up on the cultist. Suddenly, an auditory cue lets you know that Jason is nearby, so you hide in the closet and shut the door leaving a crack in it so you can watch without alerting the cultist. Jason enters the room, machete in hand. The cultist gets on his knees to worship Jason, "Jason, our savior! It's actually you, ascend me! Show me the way!". Jason grabs the cultist by the throat, and rips his head off splattering blood everywhere, and tosses the decapitated carcass aside. The lifeless body smashes a nearby chair into pieces, creating a broken chair leg that you can pick up and use as a weapon. Jason begins to search for anybody else in the cabin. Let's say you feel like staying in the closet is the best idea: you hide and don't move a muscle, watching quietly from your hiding spot. Depending on your luck, Jason may or may not find you, allowing you to leave at some point when he leaves. Maybe you think it's best to make a run for it while he's distracted: you bust out the armoire and run like hell while he's focused on the cultist, giving you ample time to escape. Hopefully, you can outrun Jason, but sometimes you will not be able to. The player CANNOT kill Jason, but the player can potentially slow him down in order to evade him by using the weapons they found or using the environment against him. Several traps have been laid around the camp, and Lucas can also use his knowledge of Crystal Lake against Jason (use your imagination for this one).

Another enemy that Lucas will encounter is called a "Shadow of Jason". Shadows of Jason are apparitions of the killer that Lucas discovers at certain hotspots around the camp. By discovering items such as journal entries, carcasses, weapons, and other grim memoirs, Lucas can relive parts of Jason's past. Lucas will delve deep into the psyche of Jason Voorhees and will be challenged to defeat these doppelgangers of Jason, or he may also simply be an observer to his memories. Sometimes, Shadows of Jason will appear randomly and Lucas will have to fight them, most likely through standard battle or a quick-time event. I'm considering allowing the cultists the ability to call forth Shadows of Jason as a magical power, but I'm not sure if that would be realistic or believable enough.

Wrapping up: Hopefully, I've painted a picture in your minds about how this game would work. I could go on and on about it, but that would take much more time and probably be a lot longer than this article. I want the game to be immersive and give players every opportunity to use the environment to survive. Obviously, the plot will involve finding your sister and discovering that the cultists plan on using the missing people as sacrifices for Jason. The final battle of the game, depending on how well you played, will have one of three endings:

Ending 1: "The Truth Will Set You Free": Lucas gathers enough information about Jason to know that he fears water, and that he will listen to his mother, in addition to the various bits of information you gather from The Moonlight. You use this against him in a flashback to the moment when he first drowned, which weakens Jason and allows you to deliver a final blow of some sort that seemingly kills Jason for good. You save your sister and most of the sacrificial offerings. The police arrive and take you into their protective custody, leaving the local authorities to sort out the aftermath. You have defeated the Moonlight and stopped Jason once and for all.

Ending 2: "The Final Friday": You save your sister, and some or none of the sacrificial offerings, but you know barely enough to confront Jason once and for all. You manage to fatally wound Jason, but you are gravely injured yourself and your sister is nearly dead as well, but you both survive the final brawl. After the police clean up and investigate the crime scene, it is revealed that some of the cultists have escaped. An additional cutscene implies that they are plotting revenge, and may know how to revive Jason again.

Ending 3: "Eternal Moonlight": Your sister dies in the final brawl between you and Jason, causing Lucas to angrily fight Jason instead of using his wits. Jason mortally wounds Lucas, slicing off some of his fingers and essentially carving him up like a Thanksgiving turkey. Miraculously, Lucas survives the encounter and defeats Jason, but only by inches. The cultists abscond with the nearly dead Lucas and his sister's freshly dead body. In an additional cutscene, the authorities arrive to find that nobody was spared. Human remains lay scattered, including some freshly removed fingers of a young male and a pile of charred remains that appear to be that of a young female. The only solid discovery they find is a lone hockey mask and a bloody machete, with no evidence of a killer anywhere in sight. Neither do they find Jason Voorhees, who doesn't seem to have been there at all. The police surmise that one or several Jason imitators used the campsite, and the mystery becomes a cold-case.

Bonus: In an after-credits sequence, the player literally puts on the mask of Jason and slays some teenagers/campers as Jason himself. If you receive the bad ending, a.k.a. Ending 3, the sequence changes slightly and it is heavily implied that Lucas has become the new Jason Voorhees.

Other stuff:
* There will be no cutscenes or level transitions in the game proper, only during the beginning and end of the game.
* A possible multiplayer for the game could involve several players using the hide-and-seek mechanics of the game to compete. One player will play as Jason, while the others will play as cultists or campers.
* At this time, I am not sure whether or not Lucas will be able to equip black magic powers to aid him in the game, but it could work.
* This game is meant to be a one-shot: no sequels or spin-offs.
* The player will have an in-game journal to help them with objectives and story progress.
* The action in the game will be weighty and slower-paced, this is not Call of Duty! It's more like Dishonored, or Thief.
* The environment will be destructable; Jason Voorhees is a randomly spawning intelligent A.I. enemy, so the environment must have an element of randomness to it as well.
* An additional game mode is unlocked after you beat the game: Realistic Mode. The game will be put on a timer, and you will have limited time to beat the game. The player has only one life the entire game: if you die, you must restart entirely. The extra incentive is that you will always get the "good ending" if you beat Realistic Mode, no matter how poorly you play the game.

So, what you think? I believe a game like this would be a best-seller, if the right developer is chosen and the game is properly funded and the franchise is rightfully respected and drawn from. Friday the 13th: Eternal Moonlight would release for Xbox One, PS4, and PC. The game would release with an optional Collector's Edition that includes a Jason mask, exclusive artwork, a copy of the soundtrack on disc, and the original "Friday the 13th" on Blu-Ray.
Also, hit the source link to be taken to my DeviantArt page, where you can browse and read my other writings.
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