The Last Door, a game by The Game Kitchen, is a horror game web series. The game takes place in Great Britain during the 1890s. The series follows Jeremiah Devitt as he investigates the suicide of his old friend, Anthony Beechworth. The game is marked by low-res graphics that I assure you takes nothing from the creepy feeling the story gives. It also has a soundtrack created by Carlos Viola, an award winning composer. Another nice feature is the ability to play the game in many languages. Thus far The Last Door has two seasons. Funded by a kickstarter campaign, the first season contains four episodes, while the second season contains two episodes and with more episodes to come. Being that the first season is free to play, it will be the main focus of this blog post.
The first episode also known as the first chapter of this game has a strong start. While the player controls Anthony Beechworth, he begins to bring together elements to hang himself. After he has successfully killed himself, the player introduced to the main character, Jeremiah Devitt, the time is set in October of 1891. After reading a letter from Beechworth, Jeremiah decides to see his friend in Sussex to find out the purpose of the letter. The gloomy atmosphere of Beechworth’s mansion is always felt when exploring the property. From letters and journal entries from the servants that use to work for the house, the player starts to discover the escalating strange erratic behavior of Beechworth. We are told he slowly forbid religion being practiced inside the house, throwing away crosses and rosaries. Animals were forbidden from entering the house, such as a black cat that hangs around the house. Crows seem to be an ever presence reminder throughout the game. The crows kill their own, they take over rooms in the house, and hang around windows. Later you find the body of Mrs.Beechworth, from her diary entries, it tells she was barricaded inside her room by her husband. The notes mention how she slowly was going insane. Insanity is almost personified by Mr. and Mrs. Beechworth through the notes and letters left behind by them. The episode is ended by finding Beechworth’s body and a letter on his body mentions that Jeremiah must go back to the boarding school they both attended. Soon after the window is broken open and crows surround Beechworth’s body. the episode, titled “The Letter”, both begins and ends with a letter.
The second episode, “Memories”, is much like the first in that it begins with another man that is not Jeremiah. This man is a priest who holds importance later on in the episode. Jeremiah decides he must go back to his old boarding school in Scotland to remember memories he has lost. On arriving to the boarding school Jeremiah finds it has been turn into a hospice care facility run by nuns and a priest. This episode gives the player a chance to actually talk to other people. This episode takes a bit more thinking than the first because you have to get some characters to move elsewhere before you can do much of anything. Many of the characters you need to move before you act are the nuns. In contrast to the last episode, this episode was completely filled with religious icons and religious people. Yet while the previous episode had many animals and animal references, this episode included no crows, no cats, but an animal themed story. Although the episode includes plenty of references to eyes, with them drawn on the wall. The priest was blind, his eyes burned from his head. In the previous episode eyes were a slight focus, with the cat’s eyes cut out. It is assumed Beechworth cut them out by notes threatening that he would. The priest we see is the very same from the beginning of the episode. Much in the pattern of the first episode, this episode ends and begins with the character featured in the beginning; the priest. The episode is ended with Jeremiah being hit over the head and trapped within a coffin.
The third episode is the most frustrating because there are many more places that need to be explored than the first chapter. This chapter, “The Four Witnesses”, seems to take place in a limbo like area. True to it’s title, there a four characters within this chapter that you interact with. These characters are the fortune teller, the dancer, the musician, and the book shop owner. Each has a useful part to play with their own stories to expand upon the limbo like setting. Extra characters include a mysterious man who evades Jeremiah and the dead soul of the musician’s wife who you never see but turns into a tree when her soul is “completed.” Interaction with these to characters are minimal to none, which is why I believe they do not count as witnesses. Mentions of crows and bird sounds can be heard throughout the chapter reinforcing a strong tie to birds being very important in the story. Escape is the most infuriating part of this chapter with a fog that you can only navigate through by listening to sound. Once again the theme of the number four with the four sounds in a certain order will lead you out. These sounds include bird sounds, silence, the sea, and wind. Once finding your way out, you are met with the mysterious man, you give him a ticket and are let onto a stage. Every element of the chapter itself has made up to people you might find in or around a stage: the dancer, the musician, the fortune teller, and the book shop owner (who would provide books that contain scripts.) Every piece of The Last Door is very layered, and every idea is important.
Episode 4, Ancient Shadows, seems to touch on the many elements of the other episodes through the first season. The central theme of each episode, in order, Beechworth, the past, and a stage. Chapter 4 is made of all these elements by the visual images of them portrayed on screen. This seems to mark Jeremiah being apart of the group, that is in search of something supernatural. Jeremiah is searching for philosophical enlightenment. This last episode with it’s strange images almost seem to give a feel of a psychological thriller. We also are given some answers as a doctor tells Jeremiah’s therapist, that Jeremiah is in a coma after being rescued from being trapped inside the coffin. The chapter begins as it ended with Jeremiah in the room with another man who is “preparing” Jeremiah to be apart of the group. Many of the images given seem to refer back to past episodes. Such as the tree, which is the dead soul of the musician’s wife. We, as the player, are once again introduced to an image of a tree. In all three episodes the appearance of a mask seems to mark the idea of a hidden face or hidden world.
The Last Door is a very wonderful series. It elicits strong feelings of being freaked the hell out. Every moment is a possible jumpscare. Yet even more wonderful is how the series successfully brings together ideas made in past episodes into their season finale. The series has an amazing ability to set up tiny details that make the player feel they might be reading a book. While these details are small the series seems to have this grand scheme that never fails in how it continues it’s continuity. Although a player might feel they are jumped around from place to place in almost crazy way, the little details are what gives the small amount of continuity. The idea of a last door, fully hits this impression of layers or delving deeper into a house of insanity. I completely recommend this piece if your a fan of works by Edgar Allan Poe. With it’s focus on birds and building suspence, the player is always in for a wild ride.