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Video Game / Blair Witch

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Okay, Bullet. Let's find this kid.

"Evil Hides In The Woods"
The game's tagline

Blair Witch is a first-person horror game by Bloober Team (of Layers of Fear fame) and Lionsgate.

It's 1996. A young boy has disappeared in the Black Hills Forest near Burkittsville, Maryland. The story follows Ellis, a former cop with a Dark and Troubled Past and his dog Bullet. The game was announced during E3 2019, with a release date of August 30th later that year. It's currently available for purchase.


The game provides examples of:

  • Accidental Murder: The source of both Ellis's trauma. Happened 'twice', poor sod.
  • Alien Geometries: Expect plenty of impossible “going in circles” moments, both in the woods and when you get to the infamous house.
    • Ellis and the sheriff at one point find themselves at the same white tree trunk, but unable to see or hear each other beyond their walkie-talkies. The sheriff takes this as a sign of Ellis going insane.
  • Canine Companion: Ellis' dog Bullet, who plays a major part in the gameplay.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • In the intro, the radio newsbreak about Peter's disappearance calls it "the latest in a series" since Heather, Mike & Josh's in the first film. Chatter between search party members references the recent discovery of the students' tapes as well.
    • Like the films and other games before it, Rustin Parr’s House is explored. And a familiar creature from the 2016 film is living there...
  • Continuity Snarl: Tie-in media and Blair Witch 2 establishes Ron Cravens as the Burkitsville Sheriff from the time of The Blair Witch Project onwards, leaving some gray area as to how the game's Sheriff fits into things. Granted, events in the game do leave a job opening...
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  • Dying as Yourself: Just before being killed, the Carver/Ellis speaks of being "free" of the Witch's voice. Though he's far too broken and insane to be called the same man that he used to be.
  • The Ghost: The Blair Witch is this, as par for the course. Her voice is heard, however. And the lanky creature thought to be her in the 2016 film is encountered in the house...
  • Guide Dang It!: Getting the "good" ending is not at all intuitive and involves taking actions that are never explicitly explained to you by the game itself. You have to avoid combat (since the game doesn't point you in the right direction to go unless you defeat enemies, doing so generally requires you to have beaten the game already and know what to do beforehand), find alternate routes around the stick figures instead of destroying them, and make phone calls to various characters at appropriate times even though the game doesn't prompt you to do so (the game seems to want you to exercise common sense rather than video game logic at these times). You also need to have a good relationship with Bullet to get the Good+ ending, which is triply hard on the Good ending path since not destroying the stick figures or monsters will stress Bullet considerably.
  • Killer Cop: Ellis is guilty of accidentally shooting the missing kid's brother dead when responding to him robbing a convenience store.
  • Leitmotif: Signs of the Witch's presence and various other supernatural happenings in the game are normally accompanied by "Psycho" Strings, including the game's opening cutscene as Ellis enters the woods, and at the end, when Ellis finds Rustin Parr's house.
  • The Lost Woods: Considering it's based on The Blair Witch Project, this is a given.
  • Magical Camera: New to the series from this game. Specific videotapes with red markings allow Ellis to change reality through playback of said tapes' footage, making certain objects move and appear on demand.
  • Multiple Endings: There's a "good" ending and a "bad" ending, with each having a minor variation based on your relationship with Bullet. And given it's Blair Witch, it doesn't end well for Ellis either way when he catches up to Carver. He either beats Carver and takes his place as the witch's servant, continuing the cycle, or refuses to do so and breaks the loop when Carver kills him, with Bullet either abandoning him if the former happens, abandoning him after Carver kills him or staying by his side after the latter happens.
    • Additionally, the fate of various characters in the text epilogue is determined by your actions during the game. For example if you call the Sheriff's wife after finding his body he can be recovered and given a proper burial instead of being lost in the woods for eternity.
  • Mythology Gag: The radio segment heard in the sheriff’s car involves a discussion of an old documentary about insane asylums, seemingly referencing the in-universe 'White Enamel' documentary discussed in other Blair Witch media.note 
  • Period Piece: The game is set in 1996 and the outdated technology available to you (including your phone and camcorder) really drives home the era in which it's set.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Ellis is a Gulf War veteran that contracted Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder from his experiences, which included the ambush and death of his entire squad and his Accidental Murder of a woman whose room he ran into to get away from the enemy during that ambush. This resulted in tensions with his wife Jane, and is how he got Bullet, to use as a therapy dog.
  • Shoot the Dog: Ends up coming up when the Carver demands Ellis shoot Bullet as part of his requirements to hand over Peter. This is the breaking point for Ellis's compliance, and he throws the gun away in protest. However, Bullet is wounded soon after and Ellis is forced to either carry him hopelessly through a rocky trench or abandon him to die of his wounds alone.
  • Stable Time Loop: The Carver’s state of existence.
    • A more subdued moment when Ellis is told by an unknown voice on his walkie-talkie to turn on a car’s headlights. Turns out it was his own future self, and he was somehow helping his past and future selves bypass an obstacle.
    • The game's treatment of how this works seems rather inconsistent. If you break the time loop and erase Carver and yourself, then Peter gets found and saved instead of being another anonymous victim of the Carver, yet the Sheriff and Todd are still murdered somehow.
  • War Is Hell: As a traumatized veteran (given the game's timeframe, presumably of the Gulf War), Ellis is made to relieve this in the twisted hallucinations he suffers in the forest.
  • Wham Shot: As if the various signs of the Witch's presence weren't already there, the most notable one is just after you watch a tape appropriately named "The Reveal", when the Carver takes Peter into Rustin Parr's house. Ellis then looks up the hill to see the house, which wasn't there before, suddenly silhouetted in the lightning.
  • Videogame Caring Potential: Yes, Bullet is pettable at any time. And you start out with three dog treats to feed them.
  • Videogame Cruelty Potential: You are given the option to reprimand Bullet with “bad dog” treatment. Leaving him behind when hurt also counts.

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