Nightmare House 2

Nightmare House 2 is another mod for Half Life 2: Episode 2, by We Create Stuff. The game is based on an original horror map pack called Nightmare House, which is included here as the Prologue level.  In this level, you start off near a building in the woods, apparently having had a car crash.. a creepy setting to begin with, before you even get to the house.

Having found an axe in the shed I felt a little bit safer, until I found my way into the house, which was a mixture of collapsing floors, flickering lights, blood and zombies.. 🙂

As if these weren’t enough, there was also the creepy girl who appeared for a split second here and there.. in one scene hanging, and in another appearing just before the floor gave way!  After a final swathe of zombies, including some horrible fast, jumping ones on the path outside the house, I thought I’d escaped.. only for the game to end when I got back to the truck..

“There is no escape from Nightmare House!”

The main game began after the prologue’s credits.  This time it starting off in a grimy padded cell, as I was now a mental patient of Never Lose Hope Hospital!  I wasn’t alone though, as there was a doctor on the other end of a radio, trying to help me escape.. and out in the corridors there were more zombies..

In another corridor there were black shadows.. which I expected to change into zombies or otherwise attack when I tried the doors, but instead just remained, watching..

One of the creepiest parts of this game was in a series of underground tunnels which warped and changed as I moved from one end to the other, getting shorter with no doors in sight.  Guessing that I would eventually end up in a single small chamber didn’t make it any less creepy when it happened, and I ended up screaming when the girl appeared above me as I turned around.

Falling through a similarly changing section of airvents, I met up with a group of soldiers.. and relief for just a moment, before I realised that they would surely be taken away from me.

After a fight with some zombies, we moved on to find one of the soldiers had gone missing.. and then some hideous, skinny, mouth-creatures came crashing through the windows to attack us!  I was glad of their additional firepower, but expected to lose another soldier as we moved into the next room, and another in the next, and so on.. but instead I fell through a sudden hole in the floor and was separated from them all at once!

What sort of hospital is this with so many creepy underground corridors?
I ended up plunged into darkness in this next one, with something glowing at the far end.. a pyrotechics locker, which turned out to be full of flares!  I’ve never been quite to happy to come across flares 😉

Another scene felt like it had borrowed from Doctor Who’s Angels, as I turned around to see the dressmaker’s dolls had moved to fill the room I’d just passed through.

I really didn’t want to walk past these, but with the door refusing to open, I had no choice.. and the lights went out as I passed the first one!  🙂

In order to be rescued, I had to destroy the computer which was jamming radio transmissions, and call in the helicopters which were circling the building.

My methods here resulted in fire!  This spread so I had to run from it.. that was, until I met a locked door.  Just when I expected another crumbling floor, I was snatched through the doors by the ghost girl..  I followed her off to the morgue where I ended up on the operating table in another quick switch, only to look down at my body and see a skeleton!  How’s that for a nightmare?

I woke up with the soldiers around me, and promise of escape..

With the soldiers alongside, it felt less horror, more normal shooter, despite the horrible mouth-creatures lunging at us from all sides.  The real tension was gone.. I guess it’s hard to maintain.. and jump scares lose their effectiveness after a while too.

Escape?

The rescue helicopter went down in flames, and the remaining soldier fatally injured.  It turns out that the SWAT team were here for Dr Romero, who has been manipulating people’s minds.. causing hallucinations.  Sneaky.  I was told to go and kill him.. then when I got in the lift, Dr Romero spoke over the radio, giving me the choice to escape when the lift stopped at the entrance, or continue on to kill him, if I could..

Two choices?  This had been mentioned by the friend who told me to play the game, so I took a peek at the “escape”.. no escape at all as the ghost girl really doesn’t like you trying to escape your fate 😉

On to the depths of the facility, and the Doctor’s hideout..

To control minds, he was using a device called the Core, which seemed impervious to bullets, and even after I’d managed to turn off two sources of power, the thing was still running.  More creepy mouth creatures were keeping me from exploring too well, and while I was running around dealing with those, he dropped a few funny lines and references to other games.. “look at me, still talking when there’s science to do”.

I eventually spotted the weakness to the structure holding up the Core, and set about destroying it.
The Doctor wasn’t too happy, and sent me away to a few more hallucinations, but the creepy girl ‘saved’ me from them each time..

The backstory isn’t really explained, but bits of dialogue tell us that the girl was Dr Romero’s wife.. and that something he did caused her to die.. which is why she wants revenge, and kills him where you couldn’t.  It also turns out that the house in Nightmare House was theirs.. which you just had the misfortune to crash outside of.. a little bit pieced together, but horror doesn’t have to completely make sense 🙂

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