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Ecco the Dolphin scares the living shit out of me.

Yeah, you read right. And I'm sure I'm not alone.


This horrible ambiance between loneliness and an Anonymous Alcoholics meeting (all the other animals looking at you, like you did something wrong BUT I JUST PRESSED START, FOR GOD'S SAKE!), The music, trying to lure you into the whole "lounge new-age" shit, but always creepy as hell, the darkness of all the environments, the whole time-travelling mindfuck (I'm supposed to be a nice cool dolphin, trying to hit on some dolphin-whores, and then OH NO, YOU HAVE TO SAVE THE WORLD! YOU'LL HAVE TO PASS THROUGH COMPLEX MACHINERY AND STRUCTURES THAT HAVEN'T BEEN DISCOVERED FOR AGES! DON'T FORGET TO GO BACK IN TIME!)...


All this game is one giant mindfuck, glued to a best-of collection of kids' nightmares of the last decades.


Oh, and last but not least. If you DARE pass by an enemy and touch it EVEN A LITTLE, you'll be rewarded with the loss af a health point (that is okay) but also a dazzling "EEEEEUEUUUAAARRGGGHHHHHH" which looks more like a legion of mutilated babies shrieking together than a dolphin being hurt.



My only hope doing this thread is that someone comes and reveals me that this game never existed and that I invented all of this in my twisted brain, which would have spared quite a lot of nice kids back in the 90's.










EEEEEUEUUUAAARRGGGHHHHHH
 

Firestorm

Member
No, everything you said is true. I think this game taught me dolphins can't breathe forever under water... I never got past the second stage.
 

Danthrax

Batteries the CRISIS!
Yeah I fucking hated Ecco the Dolphin, for many of the same reasons you listed. Unsettling loneliness, terrible music and sound effects, frustrating gameplay, stupidass NPCs thinking I'm a bad person/dolphin... This was my least favorite game for the Genesis.



[edit] Oh and let's not forget how EASY (read: impossible) it was to push rocks and shit with Ecco's nose! Sometimes the hit detection would work, but right when you need it, right when you've reached the end of some maddening maze filled with enemies and traps, which you've raced through with a limited air supply, the damn rock decides to ignore that you've pushed it with your nose and it falls harmlessly into some crevasse where you can't move it from ever again. OH WELL. I guess I'll make a mad dash for some more air in the scant few seconds I have left, then start all over!
 

SD-Ness

Member
My girlfriend always turns off the song "The Rip" by Portishead because it reminds her of the music from Ecco. Apparently, the game scares you both. :lol
 

Htown

STOP SHITTING ON MY MOTHER'S HEADSTONE
What freaked me out is when I accidentally switched two letters in a password and ended up skipping from early in the game to late in the game, where I was suddenly
fighting nightmarish aliens in a big machine whose HEADS WOULD COME RIGHT OFF if you hit them
. Turned that shit off, never went back. :(
 
Htown said:
What freaked me out is when I accidentally switched two letters in a password and ended up skipping from early in the game to late in the game, where I was suddenly
fighting nightmarish aliens in a big machine whose HEADS WOULD COME RIGHT OFF if you hit them
. Turned that shit off, never went back. :(

It wasn't an accident. THE GAME WAS PLAYING WITH YOU! HE TRIED TO DEVOUR YOUR SOUL!


And of course I forgot about the gameplay. Just "Guys, what the hell."




Oh, and I'm quite happy I managed to express everything I wanted to say. It's been a lot of time I did not write in english so I was a bit afraid of doing a lot of faults, but you seem to get it all ^^
 

Danthrax

Batteries the CRISIS!
Htown said:
What freaked me out is when I accidentally switched two letters in a password and ended up skipping from early in the game to late in the game, where I was suddenly
fighting nightmarish aliens in a big machine whose HEADS WOULD COME RIGHT OFF if you hit them
. Turned that shit off, never went back. :(

:lol yeah, the end of the game IS nightmarish. otherwise, that's pretty cool you lucked into skipping to the end.



Pipomantis said:
Oh, and I'm quite happy I managed to express everything I wanted to say. It's been a lot of time I did not write in english so I was a bit afraid of doing a lot of faults, but you seem to get it all ^^

I couldn't even tell English isn't your first language, honestly.
 

AzerPhire

Member
Agreed! The Dreamcast version especially scared the shit out of me...the Great White shark was enormous and that whole portion where you are being chased by an eel (Or was it a squid) was terrifying.
 

Roto13

Member
Ha ha ha, yes. xD It was such an interesting idea, but Jesus Christ, it ended up being so damn disturbing. The first few seconds of the game where you're just chillaxing with your dolphin buddies is awesome. Then you jump into the air and the whole game goes to hell. :p
 
Roto13 said:
Ha ha ha, yes. xD It was such an interesting idea, but Jesus Christ, it ended up being so damn disturbing. The first few seconds of the game where you're just chillaxing with your dolphin buddies is awesome. Then you jump into the air and the whole game goes to hell. :p



AH YES! THAT DAMN SHITSTORM!


Hai guise, wassup! Hey look, I'm gonna do a flip in the air! Three! Two! One!
Here we goooooOOOOEEEEEUEUUUAAARRGGGHHHHHH
 
Choke on the Magic said:
I think I'll play this game now. I always thought it was kind of a silly game, but now I'm going to try and play it from your perspective.

This is a superb idea. Playing this as a survival horror might open up a whole new world of gaming for me.
 
I'd say it's more unsettling than scary, I always felt kinda odd after playing it for any long period of time. The aimless swimming around was weirdly mesmerising, I never did get very far.
 
i didnt understand the game when i played it. i just swam around a little bit and turned it off. thought it was just a dolphin simulator. kind of like dolphin olympics.
 

Fuu

Formerly Alaluef (not Aladuf)
Just recently it came to my knowledge that the Ecco games had crazy shit going on (after watching a trailer for Defender of the Future). For years I thought they were just games with dolphins doing dolphin stuff.
 

Sydle

Member
evilromero said:
All the Ecco games scare the shit out of me. The Dreamcast Ecco took the cake.

DC Ecco is the only one I've played through...one of the most difficult and creepy games I've ever experienced. I'm glad I did it, but never again.
 

Coxswain

Member
I find the game pretty scary too, but then I'm actually a bit aquaphobic so I get the same thing in a lot of games with dark, underwater stages. Ecco's the worst, though. Funny story: The creepy-ass HR Giger type aliens didn't faze me at all, but I just about shit a brick the first time I ran into the blue whale and saw how fucking big it was compared to me. I think I actually turned the game off as soon as I saw it.

Awesome, awesome games though.
 
I think many people did not play Ecco because of what they thought it might have been. Awesome, awesome adventure game. I'm always trying to tell people how awesome it is, but they won't have it!!
 
Paco said:
DC Ecco is the only one I've played through...one of the most difficult and creepy games I've ever experienced. I'm glad I did it, but never again.

Ecco the Dolphin: Defender of the Future level: pathways to genesis OWNS YOU ALL!

That was such a awesome stage. I love ecco. :(
 

Quixzlizx

Member
That the game manages to be so disturbing is a positive, not a negative. When I played the Game Gear version, I remember one level where it was just endless ocean with no landmarks, and I couldn't figure out what to do at that point. That was creepier to me than anything else.
 

Danthrax

Batteries the CRISIS!
deepbrown said:
It was my fave game next to Sonic 2 on the Master System 2 :(

wow

Well I guess we had very different experiences with it. I didn't like it at all as a child.

(Hell, I came back to it in the Ultimate Genesis Collection and still didn't like it! Atmosphere too creepy, nose-pushing mechanics too sloppy, sound too grating.)
 
AzerPhire said:
Agreed! The Dreamcast version especially scared the shit out of me...the Great White shark was enormous and that whole portion where you are being chased by an eel (Or was it a squid) was terrifying.

It was an eel, scariest part racing through that tiny tunnel, a very traumatic experience so much so that when i see an eel i run for dear life


Rollo Larson said:
my cousin and i used to try to make each other play so the other could watch. nobody wanted to

I too did this just recently, i thought I was the only one that felt this was a nightmarish game but i guess not
 

Zombiesaurus

Neo Member
Coxswain said:
Funny story: The creepy-ass HR Giger type aliens didn't faze me at all, but I just about shit a brick the first time I ran into the blue whale and saw how fucking big it was compared to me. I think I actually turned the game off as soon as I saw it.
Same here, Big Blue scared the crap out of me as a kid. There I am, happily smimming around when BAM, the screen is full of whale and the speakers blast a spine-chilling cry. I remember trying to play through a second time a couple of years later and having to stop at the edge of the large area where you encounter Big Blue so I could mentally prepare myself. :lol
 
My sister was the only one I knew hardcore enough to get to the end in Ecco (can't remember what one, Master System?).

Epic stuff.
 
Underwater sections in games are always at least a little frightening. You're out of your element and can't react as quickly to danger as you could otherwise. Somehow, it's not much better in Ecco games, even though you move quickly and can deal with threats more easily than in other games.

One of the more unsettling gaming experiences I can remember is finding the blue whale. I know it's a "good guy", but it doesn't matter. Something about encountering something that big that deep underwater is horrifying.
 

Suairyu

Banned
Ecco the Dolphin is one of the greatest experiments in storytelling in videogames, achieving things that wouldn't really be seen again until the sublime Half-Life. I devoured it as a kid, soaking up its ambience and mood. Being that it was tough as nails, it took me a few weeks of playing before I finished it. Unfortunately I cannot look at it entirely objectively, giving how defining it was to my expectations of videogames at the time, so it is possible it isn't as great as I think it is anymore. For the record, I think later games (the previously mentioned Half-Life, Shadow of the Colossus etc.) do what Ecco did but better, but I believe it really should be talked about with the same reverent tones as those same games.

I can completely understand why many didn't like it, but damnit, more people should have. We joke about the state of videogame journalism as it is right now, but if we had back then what we're lucky to have now (EDGE etc.) then this game might have been the 'it' game for a while and started something very interesting in the medium regarding storytelling.

PC version was the best, then Mega CD, then vanilla Mega Drive. I've completed the damn thing on all systems over the years.

Dreamcast version was horrible. I was blown away by the graphics and controls at the time, but a recent attempt at a playthrough showed me how garbage the title actually was. All the subtlety of the original game thrown out the window in the opening cutscene about space foetuses, space dolphins and a hokey human-dolphin alliance, all narrated poorly by Tom Baker.

I never played Ecco 2. I'm afraid it won't be anywhere near as good so I'd rather not.
 
it scared me too, at that time. I mean, how can you develop such a piece of arse game? But I wasn't so used to pieces of arse as I am today
 

SovanJedi

provides useful feedback
Zombiesaurus said:
Same here, Big Blue scared the crap out of me as a kid. There I am, happily smimming around when BAM, the screen is full of whale and the speakers blast a spine-chilling cry. I remember trying to play through a second time a couple of years later and having to stop at the edge of the large area where you encounter Big Blue so I could mentally prepare myself. :lol


Night_Trekker said:
One of the more unsettling gaming experiences I can remember is finding the blue whale. I know it's a "good guy", but it doesn't matter. Something about encountering something that big that deep underwater is horrifying.


I'm glad I'm not the only one that found this and other aspects of Ecco the Dolphin disturbing, unsettling and uncomfortable, as if any minute now it would drag you to the deepest parts of its murky gaming world and let you listen to the tiny, hellish songs played at the bottom of the ocean.
 
Oh wow, looks like I'm not the only one. I got over most of the fears you just described, but when I first saw that huge whale... ugh. So damned scary. It's not like it's this grotesque space alien. That monster actually exists and it's out there. And it's so huge. I basically stopped playing whenever I encountered the whale. I might be able to play it now, but still...
 
to this day i cannot understand how the people that made the Ecco games went on to make Jaws: Unleashed.

Ecco may have been scary, but JAWS ruined one of the best cinematic compositions of all times, and I still have flashbacks to it.
 

Jazzem

Member
Ecco is indeed a deceiving game. Think you have to admire it for that, it could've been a predictable happy dolphin game, but I guess they saved that for Ecco Jr!

I played through the first game a year or two, enjoyed it overall but the difficulty was unnecessarily brutal. It had plenty of levels, so it's not like length needed to be extended by insane challenge...the ice levels in particular are right berks, those moving blocks! I'm not a savestate person, but I used the feature on the PS2 Mega Drive collection for the final boss; failing against him means you have to go through the horrible, five minute long "Welcome to the Machine" level again!

I've gone through about half of Ecco: The Tides of Time, which is definitely an improvement in some areas. Played tiny bits of the Dreamcast game too.
 

RurouniZel

Asks questions so Ezalc doesn't have to
Wow at all the Ecco hate, I loved that game as a kid. It was beautiful and mysterious. One of the few games I completed as a kid! :)
 
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