White Day: A Labyrinth Named School [official site], a remake of the fifteen year old horror cult favourite, has been Greenlit for a Steam release. I played the original when it still felt like a secret thing, hidden in a dark corner of the internet. Released in Korea in 2001, White Day’s long-rumoured PC port was officially scrapped a few years later and whispers of fan translations have haunted torrent sites and similar locations since.
Now we’re finally getting an official English version, and a remake no less.
It’s a game about sneaking into school late at night and finding the place full of horrors. A murderous caretaker, g-g-g-g-ghosts, students who seem completely calm despite the surreal and supernatural happenings. It has the kind of reputation that Japanese and Korean horror films had back in the days when there was much less exposure to world cinema, particularly in the horror genre. I remember when Ringu was a novelty and doubly terrifying because of that novelty.
White Day might have grating voice acting and the script might not be bone-chilling, but I’m hoping the whole thing is sinister and strange enough to accommodate those qualities, or at least to sideline them. In terms of the particular flavour of survival horror served up, this is more Clocktower than Resident Evil.
There are no overly gory scenes in White Day. There are no weapons like knives or guns to use. The player is just a normal student who must run away from the dangers that lurk in the school in order to survive.
The remake has already been released for CleverPhones. It doesn’t look too shabby though, judging by the trailer. No release date yet other than “the early 2016”. I’d say we’re already past that point but fair enough.
If you’re wondering about the title, it’s in the tradition of all those gory films based around holidays. Y’know, Halloween, Black Christmas, Valentine, The Passion of the Christ. White Day is recognised in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and China (thanks wikipedia). It involves the reciprocation of Valentine’s Day gifts, a month later. Because if there’s anything less romantic than marking out a specific day in which to buy tat for a loved one, it’s the obligation that they provide a gift in return a month after the fact. Hooray!