My heart beats inside when I hear The Beast Inside.
The Beast Inside is a game I backed on Kickstarter around a year-and-a-half ago. Describing itself as a photorealistic horror game with a strong narrative, I was quite interested in it and backed The Beast Inside quite happily. Recently it received its full release, so here are my — or more accurately, protagonist Adam’s — experiences over the first three evenings in which I played.
Emma and I are heading to my old family home in the middle of the countryside. It’s secluded, quiet, and the perfect place for me to focus entirely on deciphering these messages from the Soviets. Considering the severity of the situation, finding out if they’re about to drop a nuke on America any time soon is pretty important, and I really need to concentrate on this.
Upon arrival, the house is in one hell of a state. The delivery guys seemed to have just dumped furniture wherever they feel like, and they’ve left half of the boxes outside the front door. Due to Emma being pregnant, I set about bringing them in and having a look around. I suppose we need to get the place up to scratch before I can really settle in to getting these text worked on, so I’ll head up to the attic to find any tools that could help.
Now, I don’t know a huge amount about my grandfather, but I didn’t expect to find hidden lockboxes underneath old floorboards. That’s exactly what I found though, and not just any lockbox. This one seems really quite intricate, with a code wheel and a Latin text. Thankfully, I’m something of an expert at cyphers, and after a short while, I’ve managed to open the box to find a key and a diary by someone named Nicholas Hyde.
It seems as though Nicholas visited this house at one point in the mid 19th century when trying to find his missing father. The diary describes a strange figure outside the window that directs him to a shed containing his father’s blood-soaked hat and a message reading ‘BASEMENT’. The writings say that Nicholas returned to the main building, finding a bald figure staring at a wall that suddenly vanished, with the hallways suddenly covered in blood. Vines began to cover the walls and doors, forcing Nicholas to head upstairs, only to find a terrifying figure in a top hat.
The rest of the pages are torn out. I decide to show the pages to Emma. She may not be able to shed any light on it, but perhaps she could help me determine whether this is genuine or the words of a lunatic. Real or otherwise, why would this be hidden in the house with a cypher and a decoder wheel? I can’t help but feel that I was meant to find it.
I took the diary to Emma, but she seemed in a foul mood for some reason. She tells me the power’s out and that I should check the fuse box in the basement before it gets dark. I grab a torch from the attic and head down there. After being startled by a wooden horse — I guess that diary unsettled me more than I thought — I locate the fuse box and find one of the fuses is entirely missing, which is more than a little odd.
My search to find a replacement takes me to the shed, likely the same one from the diary. No fuses, and no bloodsoaked hats either, but there was something that at least looked like blood on the wall, along with one of the boxes we had delivered here. I don’t remember moving it to the shed. Maybe Emma did. Regardless, it contains an experimental CIA device called the Quantum Localiser. I’m not much for this kind of experimental tech, but apparently it allows you to see silhouettes of people who had been in your location in the past. I’d prefer a gun to this nonsense, but I decide to have a play around with it.
I find blood-soaked rags, and the localiser shows a figure leaning over them. This thing actually works? Has this got anything to do with that diary? But then why would the blood seem comparatively fresh? I’m incredibly confused, but I carry on exploring with my new ‘toy’ to see if there are any other strange discoveries to make.
The localiser shows that someone has been very busy here, and recently too. Following the trail of now clearly recent blood, I come across a large barn. It’s chained shut but there’s a hole big enough to see thr— Good god! Is that a body hanging from the ceiling?! There’s gotta be another way in!
Working my way around the side, I manage to get in via a hole in the roof. Thank god. It’s not a person, rather a deer. But this doesn’t look like the result of any hunt. It’s been violently sliced open, and I can hear — what is that? Beeping? — coming from within its carcass. Once I manage to cut it down and examine its — ugh — entrails, I find the beeping is coming from a small device attached to…a fuse?!
What the hell is going on here?! Why is the fuse from my basement stuffed inside this corpse?! Is this the commies?! Have they sent someone to spy on me? Or worse? Regardless, I need power in the house, so I head back to install the fuse. With the electricity back on, I ponder the fact that someone has been in the house. Why mess with me at all? If they wanted me dead I would be. If they wanted to spy on me, why hint at their presence at all? It’s all so confusing.
I’m woken by the phone ringing. Probably the office. I haven’t got much done yet, so I hope this isn’t them checking in on my progress. They tell me that Harold, the guy who intercepted the telegrams I need to work on, has gone missing. They suspect the Soviets got to him in one way or another. Maybe my fears about the strange goings-on here are well-founded. I get to work.
After hours of not getting very far, I find myself distracted with the desk I’m working at. Rooting through a drawer, I come across a newspaper article about a murder in…is that this house? Anyway, there’s also a cut-throat razor with what I hope is rust on it, and some handwritten notes by none other than Nicholas.
They appear to be the next few pages from the diary I found. Nicholas tells of the events after his encounter with the man in the top hat. He awakens in the hallway of the house and heads back to the room the man emerged from. Upon entering, he is overcome with severe head pains and is determined to leave the room. The words ‘YOU ARE NOT ALONE’ are daubed in blood on the wall. He quickly finds a small hole in the floor that leads to a crawl space, in which he claims to once again see the bald figure moving around. He looks half-dead, with ashen skin and sunken eyes, but this terror does not last long, as the flooring gives way dropping him into the house’s office.
The office I’m currently in, no doubt.
He mentions a revolver and a lockpick that he takes before heading back to the basement. Quite why he would want to head back there I don’t know, but he begins describing parts of the basement that I haven’t seen. I did notice a blocked up wall. Maybe behind there? Anyway, the notes start to become a little more panicked, as he tells of seeing the bald man over and over again. He writes of seeing the man in the top hat chasing down someone in the basement, of being dragged through a wooden wall by someone who then is nowhere to be seen, and a trail of blood leading into the woods surrounding the house. Being attacked by a man covered in burns and open wounds who claims he wants to end the family line, only to be rescued by the man in the top hat. This is utterly insane. But not nearly as insane as what came next.
Cypher keys. This diary from over a hundred years ago contained a cypher key that allowed me to decode telegrams in minutes that an entire team had spent months on. How is any of this possible? I have to find out more. Are there hidden rooms in the basement? Are the horrifying incidents that happened in the past tied to my family? To me?! I need to explore more of this.
And this is where I end Adam’s tale. For now. I’m merely three hours into The Beast Inside, but I want to know more. And I want that unsettling atmosphere and descent into madness to continue.
The Beast Inside is currently available on PC.