Hunger Daemon

It is my belief that no shadowy world-domination conspiracy ever thinks of world domination as its primary goal, or of itself as a conspiracy. If such things exist, they exist as exclusive clubs where the primary motivation for any sort of string-pulling is only the mundane business of helping out a fellow member. I suppose this same principle applies to secret cults: they are, at heart, fearsomely mundane.

In "Hunger Daemon", we're one of the countless cultists that make up the bad guys in a Lovecraft story. While we're not blind to our nature as a cult bent on bad things, we're still fearsomely mundane. As the story opens, we're in the middle of a tediously long ritual, and we're feeling a mite peckish; so we escape upstairs to get a bite to eat, and discover that certain vital components for the ritual have been, shall we say, compromised.

There's a fair amount of comedy in the contrast between the fearsome and the mundane, which is why I've used the phrase "fearsomely mundane" twice in as many paragraphs.

Three times.

All this to say that I like the voice and the attitude in this piece, and I like the mook's-eye-view take on Lovecraft. It is, I think, much more realistic (as far as a Lovecraftian tale of eldritch horrors can be realistic) to see a cult crowded into a restaurant basement than in grandiose, gothic catacombs. The puzzles, too, flow naturally with the narrative. This is a game that gets pretty much everything right.

It is interesting, I think, to see what remains of the cult once our hero's uncle, the main impetus behind the summoning ritual, is eliminated. Stripped of sinister motives and activities, the cult becomes no more than a collection of people who happen to believe in the existance of eldritch abominations -- given that the ritual very nearly worked, it's actually a justified belief. The cult sinks into normalcy and mundanity. Like the exclusive clubs that pull the strings of world conspiracies from the shadows, it's all just a matter of day-to-day life. Great heroes come and great villains go, but ultimately and everywhere, it's the ordinary mook with ordinary wants and needs who keeps the world turning.

Blood sausage and scrambled eggs, a side of toast, and coffee blacker than the infinite abyss of your soul (it's instant).