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Video Game / Edge Of Nowhere

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Edge of Nowhere is a third-person Survival Horror game developed by Insomniac Games for the Oculus Rift. It gets many of its themes from the Cosmic Horror Story, especially H. P. Lovecraft's novella At the Mountains of Madness.

The main character, adventurer Victor Howard, is searching for his fiance Ava Thorne, who ran into trouble on an Antarctic expedition. Howard's plane crashes in the snowy mountains, and he must battle the treacherous Antarctic conditions, a strange race of alien creatures who live in caves beneath the ice, and the slow loss of his own sanity.

Edge of Nowhere was released June 6th, 2016, and was one of the first full-length, story-driven games made for virtual reality.


Edge of Nowhere provides examples of:

  • Apocalyptic Log: Howard finds journal entries scattered through abandoned camp sites, revealing bits and pieces of what happened to the doomed Edwards expedition.
  • Badass Normal: Victor Howard. He's an ordinary human, but can climb up huge ice cliffs, leap across icebergs in frozen lakes, and take on multiple aliens in combat.
  • Beneath the Earth: The cave sections, which also have a lot of platformer-style jumping and ice walls to climb. If you manage to avoid the monsters, you might still fall to your death the next minute.
  • Controllable Helplessness: The first-person scenes are like this, including the intro sequence. To avoid motion sickness from virtual reality, the main game (where the player can walk around, climb, and fight) is done in third person.
  • Cosmic Horror Story: In the spirit of the Cthulhu Mythos.
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  • Distress Call: Why Howard is in Antarctica.
  • Downer Ending: Howard tries to kill the Great One, an alien monster, but winds up releasing it instead. It's heavily implied that Howard is killed by the monsters, and that the "Ava" he saw was either a monster in disguise or a hallucination.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The Great One is a massive monster with four arthropod-like legs and a multi-eyed cephalopod-like head.
  • Everything's Better with Penguins: A lighter touch in some of the above-ground parts.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: The snow in the air, and the penguins, are about the only non-dangerous things. The monsters try to kill you, of course, but the ground will also crumble under you, the ice cliffs you climb will crack and let you fall, bridges will break, and the plants are plenty deadly. If Howard makes it, the ending reveals that he is killed by what he thought was "Ava Thorne", actually a monster luring him into a trap.
  • Kill 'Em All: All the expedition members are killed, one by one. It's heavily implied that Victor dies at the end, and that Ava has been dead all along.
  • Late to the Tragedy: The Edwards expedition. When Victor arrives, almost all the members have already been killed in nasty ways.
  • Lovecraft Country: The game is set in the Cthulhu Mythos, with Howard and Ava having been students of Edwards at the Miskatonic University, prior to the professor before being disgraced for his crackpot theories. The section in Providence, Rhode Island is the only long game sequence outside Antarctica. It turns out to be All Just a Dream, and Howard wakes up back in Antarctica.
  • Mind Rape: Inflicted by the monsters on Howard, Thorne, and the other expedition members. One of the first combat scenes is between Howard and another human, who survived but went completely insane.
  • Mysterious Antarctica: The story starts with an expedition in Antarctica.
  • Oh, Crap!: When Howard realizes the woman in the plane with him isn't Ava and she starts morphing into a disgusting monster. Doubles as a meta example, as it's one of the few parts of the game where you see directly through his eyes.
  • Reality Ensues: At first, the game's ending seems out of place for a Cosmic Horror Story. Then you find out the Great One survived, "Ava" was probably a hallucination all along, and Howard is seconds away from dying.
  • Starfish Aliens: The cave monsters. Even the plants are nothing like "normal" plants.
  • Too Dumbto Live: Ava, and by extension, all of Edward's crew. There are very clear warnings of the dangers that both the arctic and its abominable inhabitants posed to everyone, yet Ava lead Edwards and his team further into the arctic despite every rational reason that should be telling her the opposite and to turn back.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Victor Howard. Longer and longer game sections turn out to be just Howard's hallucinations.
  • Unwitting Pawn: It's indicated that the creatures were originally the Great One's servants, but Turned Against Their Masters, poisoning/imprisoning it using the machines originally designed to feed it. The entire time, "Ava" instructing Victor to destroy the machines and kill the Great One was really a hallucination or puppeted corpse used by the Great One to manipulate Victor into freeing it.
  • Was Once a Man: Some of the later enemy types are members of the Edwards expedition who were captured and mutated into monsters... including — at least in Victor's increasingly unstable mind — Edwards himself.


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