Dr. Richter Harris is a bastard. Not because he’s the mass murdering bad father of survival horror classic D [wikipedia page], but because he truly scared the life out of me when I was 11 years old. Released originally for the 3DO in 1995, D made its way onto European and North American consoles (and MS-DOS) in 1996. I played it the following year and, having missed the original Resident Evil the first time round, D was my first proper taste of the horror genre – one that’s stayed with me ever since.
Now, some 21 years on, the late Kenji Eno’s seminal works has appeared on GOG and I think you should give it a bash.
Before you say it, let me: no, it’s not aged very well. But D really was ahead of its time in the mid-90s – testament to Eno’s outlandish way of thinking and his equally out there design methods. Limited to just two hours, D functions without a save system. Original versions had no pause button either, meaning its narrative unfolded in real time.
Guiding protagonist Laura Richter around a hospital, and latterly an alternate dimension, you learn that her otherwise upstanding father has committed a series of gruesome murders. Meticulous first person exploration is then punctuated by over-dramatic daytime soap opera-styled cutscenes as Laura strives to uncover the truth about her dad and her forgotten past, and while I realise this all sounds a bit ham-fisted, it’s intentional.
It’s a bit wonky, sure, but for the most part it works – as far as my memory serves me, at least – which is most likely why D has garnered a bit of a cult following in the intervening period. Hey, nostalgia may well be colouring my judgement here, but at £4.09/$5.99/€5.19 over on GOG for Mac, Windows and Linux, I say it’s worth a punt. I’m certainly going to return.
And before you go – D2 never made it to PAL regions (at least I don’t think it did) so I unfortunately never had the chance to take on D’s sequel. If any of you guys did, I’d love to hear what you thought of it.