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Video Game / Goliath The Soothsayer

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Goliath the Soothsayer is a 2008 flash game from Ben Leffler of Exmortis fame, loosely based on a true story from The Mars Volta.

When a man’s brother disappears without a trace, he is appointed to attend to his estate. Then he wakes up in the attic. And things just get weirder from there, when he faces the malevolent forces haunting the house.

Tropes include:

  • And I Must Scream: Being trapped in a demonic Ouija Board? Definitely.
  • Apocalyptic Log: The e-diary found chronicles the missing brother’s discovery of Goliath and the events leading up to his disappearance.
  • Arc Words: The e-diary has the recurring phrase, "LOVELUSTMURDER". It’s the code for the safe where the Soothsayer is being held.
  • Artifact of Doom: The titular Ouija Board is responsible for a whole slew of bad luck. Ever since the player character’s brother makes contact with the spirits within, they start ruining the lives of his friends.
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  • Condensation Clue: Turning on the bathroom's hot water fogs up the mirror, showing a hint on how to get the code to unlock your brother's e-diary.
  • Daylight Horror: The whole game takes place during a foggy morning.
  • Evil Is Petty: The Goliath spirits revel in being total dickheads and hurting people For the Evulz after their summoning. Causing miscarriages, accidents, and a single death when they seem to be capable of a lot more damage if that cracked wall is anything to go by. Though there's also a subtle implication that if they're given a greater taste of the world, their evil would become much more widespread.
  • Jump Scare: What would you expect from the creator of Exmortis? It’s actually pretty light on them, though, with the first being a demon face in the TV room mirror, and another being a woman floating above a bed.
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  • Lucky Seven: Goliath needs to be split into seven pieces and thrown in a hole deep beneath the earth where it will never be found, then buried with seven religious artifacts.
  • Meaningful Name: The player character’s brother thinks that "Goliath" — the Philistine giant killed by King David — is a suitable name for the legion of the board.
  • Multiple Endings: Two, to be precise.
    • Bittersweet Ending: The player character takes the board out to the park where his brother dug the hole, breaks it into seven pieces and buries it with the religious artifacts, destroying it for good. Despite the upbeat tone of this ending, his brother is still forever lost to the spirits of the board.
    • Downer Ending: The player character uses the board himself and is dragged in by the legion of demons.
  • No Name Given: Neither the player character or his brother are named.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: The first time we encounter the demons is on a dark stairway leading downstairs from the attic. Nothing is ever seen at this point, but some invisible thing creates a giant crack in the wall.
  • Ouija Board: One is the center of the primary conflict. It seems to be the demons' primary consciousness.
  • Our Demons Are Different: Malicious spirits accidentally summoned by an ancient Ouija board. They're implied to be a universal evil force instead of based in one religious doctrine, since their exorcism requires splitting the board into seven pieces and burying it with seven holy artifacts from different beliefs, including Catholicism, Buddhism, Shinto, Hinduism, Judaism, and Islam. Salt works as a barrier to keep them out, too.
  • Product Placement: Both endings show the cover to the Mars Volta album "The Bedlam in Goliath". A few lyrics from one of its songs is even heard as in-game dialogue.
  • Scare Chord: One plays in the intro while closing in on the hero's covered face.
  • Schmuck Bait: Near the end, a message etched into the kitchen table reads: "Brother, use the Soothsayer! Save my soul and yours!", with the board's divining glass next to it. It's actually a trap placed by the board's demons.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Or more like sealed evil in a can, in a can. Twice over, at that. First, after the board — which is already containing the spirits — is locked away in a safe, which doesn't really do a whole lot of good and just makes the spirits angrier. Second, at the end, the board is split into seven pieces and thrown down a deep hole and buried with seven religious artifacts, which proves to be far more effective.
  • Shout-Out:
    • While searching the bathroom, the player character looks in the mirror and starts to recite "Candyman". He stops after two times when he realizes it’s not such a good idea to tempt fate.
    • The name of the town the game is set in is San Raimi. This doubles as a reference to Exmortis.
    • At one point, a voice talks to you through the static of a TV.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Surely that old Ouija board doesn’t house a spiteful legion of demonic spirits, right?
  • Very Loosely Based on a True Story: It’s inspired by the events surrounding The Mars Volta’s album, The Bedlam in Goliath, but takes a few liberties.
  • Wham Line: Two In-Universe examples.
    • One of the brother’s diary entries mentions how Goliath “asked” him, "HOW IS BRAD?" This was shortly after Brad was hospitalized.
    • Goliath later proclaims "YOU ARE MINE" towards the end of the diary. It repeats these words to you if you use the Soothsayer in the bad ending, followed by a hand pulling you inside.
  • Whispering Ghosts: Heard when the Soothsayer is found, and in the bad ending.
  • You Wake Up in a Room: Your character first wakes up locked in the attic, and your first objective is to find a way out. Your brother notes ending up the same way multiple times in his e-diary.

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