C.H.A.I.N. (Chronological Haunted Anomalous Interconnected Narrative)

C.H.A.I.N. stands for Chronological Haunted Anomalous Interconnected Narrative. It consists of 20 games from differently developers, all with different styles and mechanics. Even though each game is different, there is an overall storyline told throughout the games.

According to the trailer, in 1997, 20 unrelated games for the PS1 were uncovered in an old US Navy bunker. Years later, in 2006, they re-emerged and a team of digital archeologists were investigating them. The games had no known origin or publisher. The mystery of their interconnected narrative was anomaly to government officials and research was done to uncover their true chronological order. Operation C.H.A.I.N. was established.

The launcher is really interesting with the case of the 20 PS1 discs as well as the log notes for each game, and the gloves of the researcher looking at the game log. He knows how deadly these games are!

The overall narrative is as follows:

[TORCH] A woman named Ms. Blanch begins in a cave with a torch. She explores the cave until she finds a skull door leading outside.

[Ms. Blanch,] After she goes through the door, she meets a mysterious man on a beach who tells her to follow him into the depths of the ocean, and to abandon the torch. At the bottom of the ocean, Ms. Blanch drowns.

[the participants] The man who lead Ms. Blanch into the ocean monitors her and the other two other participants. He knows Ms. Blanch is not dead, but rather being tested.

[Emerge] Ms. Blanch awakens from her test as she explores an underwater area with people who look just like her, including a large one that crushes her as she wakes us and goes through a door to pass the test.

[DRIP] Awakening in a hospital, a voice tells the character that they have passed the test and that Ms. Blanch will take us home. This is where it gets confusing since we were Ms. Blanch, but now it doesn’t appear like we are. Regardless, the character rejects this and becomes a floating head in a weird environment as the narrator says that Ms. Blanch will be upset with us if we continue to run away, and that all the testing will be for nothing. He also indicates that we are in a dream and will never wake up.

[DREAM AETHER] Still being the floating head, the narrator indicates that we have sun to the depths of our consciousness, while Ms. Blanch is furious with us. He indicates that we will never wake up. However, we end up finding our body as the narrator glitches out.

[BALL//OUT] With our new body, we then have to find the fallen souls to begin the process of rebirthing. This is phase one.

[BABY STEPS] This is phase two of rebirth, a woman carrying around what appears to be an embryo in a cage while destroying worm like creatures. The embryo in the cage is attached to her via an umbilical cord, which she cuts off with a rotating saw blade.

[SWELL] This is the third and final phase of rebirth, a weird slug like creature that must devour smaller ones in the environment to become larger. Once it has devoured enough, it is reborn.

[Organ of Eden] The creature is born from a test tube like aquarium tank while doctors surround it. This creature has strange needle like arms, kills the doctors, and eats their brains and hearts. It escapes the lab into the world.

[Day 11] Suddenly the story changes again where a character has to put up crosses around wells. After three crosses are up, the character enters a cave filled with water and it collapses on them. They awaken and see a bunch of eyes looking at them.

[Avert your Eyes] An old phone was found containing bad quality footage and sound. Beginning in the same cave, the character in the footage has to clean out the cave. They burn floating eyeballs that speak gibberish – wisdom that is dangerous and not meant for the people. The character has to make three sacrifices, and burn three people on crosses, hoping the eyes find another tragedy to look at.

[{()[\/^^|\| |}0|}&3|*\] The floating eyeball insists that the character has come for knowledge, and burning will not stop them. Saying they will find another tragedy to look at.

[Specimen #14] Eyes are keeping guard of ancient books of knowledge. The character must find all nine books. But, upon reading them, it is overwhelming for the character, as the knowledge is a curse, and they join those who have already failed and are a tragedy.

[Specimen #15] To perform a ritual, the character must collect eight books while eyes chase them.

[Specimen #16] With the books, the character reaches an old cabin in the forest to perform the ritual. With the correct herbs in place, the ritual is done with a blood sacrifice and a gigantic eyeball appears.

[VALE] The character is still in the forest, and books are on the ground where a magic circle appears upon collecting it. An eyeball chases the character and they enter the all seeing eye.

[Scary Library] In a library, the character talks with a librarian who suddenly vanishes. The character must then collect notes with a rune on it while a creature who devoured the librarian is chasing them. Upon collecting the notes, the librarian is saved.

[ABRAXAS] Within a library, this time with strange humanoid creature surveilling the isles. The book is said to avoid “the end.” Upon collecting the book and escaping the library, the character goes on a road going towards a demon in the distance.

[999,999] On a one-way bridge, the character approaches the rotating pyramid with faces on it, while the humanoid creatures float in the air. In the distance by the pyramid is a man sitting in a chair, smoking a cigarette, watching television. He tells us that he admires our persistence with our mission – to live our death over and over again, resetting the world to the beginning to postpone humanity’s end. He knows that humanity’s end is inevitable, and will eventually happen, despite our attempts to reset it endlessly. When the clock hits 999,999, the character awakens in the cave with a torch, repeating the story again.

The overall story seems to be about reincarnation and the eternal recurrence / return where life begins again and again, repeating in a never-ending cycle.

My personal favorite games are DREAM AETHER, BABY STEPS, Organ of Eden, Avert your Eyes, and 999,999.

TORCH

Gameplay: Move Ms. Blanch around the cave (slowly) and that’s it.

Graphics: The game is pretty dark, with only the torch to light up the cave. It also has a nice PS1 astetic.

Sound / Music: There is some nice relaxing music playing in the background. The perfect beginning of the crazy games that will follow.

Ms. Blanch,

Gameplay: Follow the man into the depths of the sea in a straight line.

Graphics: A realistic hand holds the torch. The man’s face cannot be seen as he turns the same with Ms. Blanch. Once in the ocean, everything gets darker and darker.

Sound / Music: There is very little music in the game, it’s mostly just the sound of Ms. Blanch walking in the depths of the ocean.

the participants

Gameplay: The controls are relatively strange, as it’s an isometric game and two buttons are needed to move the character. All you do is walk around and look for items to interact with, along with a battle system where you dodge the enemy left and right and then use your torch to attack it.

Graphics: There is a lot of static in this game, making it look like an old tape or something, along with a haze of color on the sides. Reminds me of an older Game Boy Advance game, but with major static overlaid.

Sound / Music: The only time music plays is during dialogue and battles. It sounds a little like 8-bit music.

Emerge

Gameplay: Move around relatively slowly in a straight line towards the end, exploring some dead bodies along the way.

Graphics: The graphics aren’t that great, especially not the 3D models. However, this appears to be what it was intended to look like as at the very end, the graphics improve and look different. The main character, Ms. Blanch, looks very strange, almost like a weird mermaid with legs and very strange hair.

Sound / Music: There is hardly any audio, and no music until the radio at the very end that plays country music.

DRIP

Gameplay: Dive deeper as you play as a floating head, collecting little cube that have no purpose whatsoever. At the bottom of the endless abyss is a strange face with a buzzing bee sound and then the game ends.

Graphics: The game starts off looking pretty cool in a hospital setting, then suddenly goes to a strange green void. There is a weird pixelated snake like thing around the entire board.

Sound / Music: The music is very minor and plays lightly in the background. The only real sound is that of the narrator and collecting cubes. Going further down the abyss and there are screams and a buzzing bee sound.

DREAM AETHER

Gameplay: Control a floating head, flying through a small area, collecting 10 cubes and then a key to go to the next area. There are three areas to explore and get the cubes.

Graphics: There is a nice PS1 dither across the screen, and the landscape is really cool. The first area is Egypt, second appears to be ancient Greece and the solar system, and last is an ocean with hands coming from the water.

Sound / Music: The music is phenomenal, almost like vaporwave style music. It is even noted in the log notes of the game that it was created by Deejay Astral and can cause sedative like effects on the listener, and not not drive for a few hours after listening.

BALL//OUT

Gameplay: It’s like Super Monkey Ball, but fat harder. The controls are very sensitive and the camera doesn’t zoom, making it hard to see. It was quite frustrating playing the game.

Graphics: It’s dark and the only light is the slight purple glow of your character in a ball, as well as some areas of the map. Even the fallen souls and exit are hard to see.

Sound / Music: There is ambience that plays in the background, and the sound of collecting souls and completing the level.

BABY STEPS

Gameplay: Walk around with the woman holding the cage, and swing it to hit the worm/sperm like enemies. She walks relatively slow, but there aren’t many areas to go through. Each area has more enemies.

Graphics: There is something unsettling about the entire game. It visually looks strange with the naked lady, the checkerboard walls, and the meat like substance she walks on.

Sound / Music: There is some weird music that plays during the game, primarily the first track that plays, although the second one is a bit strange too.

SWELL

Gameplay: Control the amoeba like ball, and consume smaller amoebas to grow bigger so you can consume even larger amoebas. But, be careful because you can be eaten by a larger amoeba as well.

Graphics: The game is very dark and it’s hard to tell what’s happening. There is nothing visually appealing about the game.

Sound / Music: There is no sound. Well maybe just a very light and quiet sound of the amoeba’s moving around, but it’s extremely faint.

Organ of Eden

Gameplay: Go around, killing doctors, and eating their brains and hearts. There are some major glitches in this game and you can simply walk through the walls and exit the game pretty early. However, I went the natural route, which is mostly just walking down a spiral ramp around the parameter of the facility.

Graphics: The colors in the game make it look a bit unsettling as while the facility is a muted gray color, the monster’s arm needles and organs of the doctors are brighter in color. Overall, the style is not too appealing to look at.

Sound / Music: There are sounds of emergency alarms going off, but mostly what plays is the crumble rocks of the facility and the walking around of the strange playable creature.

Day 11

Gameplay: Find three wells and put up crosses around them. After this, get to the cave and then it ends. There are quite a few glitches that I needed to restart a few times.

Graphics: It looks like an old VHS tape, which is pretty cool. However, it is quite dark making it hard to see.

Sound / Music: There is practically no sound, except for the very end.

Avert your Eyes

Gameplay: Explore the cave and burn the eyes. When going outside, burn the people hanging on the crosses. After burning three, the sacrifices are complete.

Graphics: From the viewpoint of a vertical view phone, the graphics are very bad, as intended. There is motion blur and the quality of the “video” on the “phone” is really bad and blurry, so much that it’s hard to see.

Sound / Music: The quality of the sound is also really bad, and loud. Turn down your volume when playing this one. The sound is also quite creepy since there are voices coming from the eyes.

{()[\/^^|\| |}0|}&3|*\

Gameplay: Avoid the columns and make it through three rounds of columns that are stationary, move, and then rotate. After each round the eye appears.

Graphics: There is massive colored static on the screen that moves fast. This is very bad for recording since the quality is poor.

Sound / Music: There is some strange music and sound coming from the eyes, in addition to a static sound coming from the columns.

Specimen #14

Gameplay: Run around collecting nine books while surveillance eyes chase you. There is a stamina meter that allows the character to run.

Graphics: There is nothing spectacular about the graphics. It’s mostly dark a red glow of the eyes, and all the textures are the same.

Sound / Music: The music is really catchy and picks up when an eye is approaching. However, there is a glitch that makes the music repeat.

Specimen #15

Gameplay: Very easy – just go around collecting six books and the game is done. They are hidden in various spots on the map. Eyes chase you, but are not fast enough to really do anything. They multiply when collecting books, but end up getting bunched up and stuck on environmental obstacles. You cannot look up or down, just left and right.

Graphics: Basic graphics with a flashlight and static-looking grass.

Sound / Music: There is only sound of the crickets at night and the juicy eyeballs sloshing around.

Specimen #16

Gameplay: Collect three herbs and look at the book on the proper place to put them in the magic circle. The herbs are right outside, but must be placed in the proper location for the ritual to work.

Graphics: Dark and relatively all the same color, gray and muted. Nothing really unique about it.

Sound / Music: There is rain and thunder outside, and only when the eyeball appears is there another creepy sound.

VALE

Gameplay: Walk and find books while a red eyeball chases you. The end result is always the same, you go inside the eye.

Graphics: It’s like the saturation or vibrance was cranked up. The grass is super green, the fence super red. The graphics are super graphic intensive, especially when going into the eyeball. My computer couldn’t keep up and it lagged hard.

Sound / Music: There is only the sound of the rain and the character’s footsteps, along with some comments from the character and the buzzing of the chasing eyeball. However, when going into the eyeball an interesting song plays.

Scary Library

Gameplay: Go around a small library to collect several pages with runes on them, while being chased by a weird creature that you may not even see.

Graphics: Cartoon looking graphics, and it looks really cool since the character does not actually move its limbs, but rather the whole model moves together.

Sound / Music: There is just thunder, along with a strange sound from the monster when it’s summoned.

ABRAXAS

Gameplay: Find the book on the shelf in the library. There are two floors and to find it quickly is to bring up the note that tells you exactly where it is. If you get caught by the library keeper, you enter a dream world. If you don’t escape in time, the game will end as the character says they failed. However, if the character has gotten the book, and escapes, they are then moving down a long road.

Graphics: Definitely PS1 style game, nice jagged edges, but it’s relatively basic.

Sound / Music: There is only a music track that plays when the character is caught by the humanoid creature.

999,999

Gameplay: Walk on a linear bridge until you reach the end with the man on the chair. There is a circular meter at the bottom that indicates the progress from the start to the end of your existence before you reset the universe.

Graphics: Very basic with mostly grayscale colors, but with a red rotating pyramid in the background. There are a few creepy humanoid creatures floating in the sky.

Sound / Music: The music is amazing! Perfect for the last game since it has some nice atmosphere.

Game Info

C.H.A.I.N. (Chronological Haunted Anomalous Interconnected Narrative)
Developer: papercookies & The Haunted PS1 / Various
Publisher: papercookies & The Haunted PS1 / Various
Initial Release Date: October 31, 2020
Platforms: Computer

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments