|FROM A VIDEOGAME|
This article discusses content originating from the video game Slender: The Arrival and thus is confirmed to be fictional.
Characters and organizations discussed are either entirely fictitious or are portrayed by voice actors/actors.
The game's main storyline was written by the cast of MarbleHornets.
The game was released on March 26, 2013 at midnight.
The game was later published to Steam on October 28, 2013 containing an extended prologue and a brand new ending.
Slender: The Arrival was released to the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade on September 23 and 24, 2014 respectively, with 2 new levels from the perspective of two past victims. One of these levels was shown on the E3 show floor providing additional information on the story. These levels will be available on the PC and Steam versions of this game for free.
The ESRB (U.S) rates the game Teen for blood and violence.
"So often are we guided by our devotion, our love, our affection. A bond that pulls us down paths not bargained for. And when you find yourself alone as HE casts out that bedeviling gaze...
How far will it carry you?"
Chapter 1: "Prologue"
The game starts out when the main character's (Lauren's) Volvo is parked at the head of Kate's driveway, stopped by a fallen tree. Lauren walks down a path to Kate's home. On the way, Lauren passes another car (perhaps owned by CR, but this is never confirmed). Once making it to Kate's home, Lauren finds that she is not there. She investigates the house to find it very disheveled—furniture is strewn about, windows are open, etc. Lauren also finds many drawings and wall-scratchings hinting at the Slender Man.
In searching, Lauren finds a key which allows her to unlock Kate's bedroom upstairs. Inside, she sees walls textured entirely with drawings and scratchings of Kate's, hinting that the way to safety involves reaching a radio tower visible in the distance. On Kate's desk is a paper with writing. After picking up this paper, Lauren hears a long, drawn-out scream coming from the woods behind Kate's house. Lauren goes to investigate, and finds three generators along the way. A burning presence presses down on her, as if she isn't completely alone.
Lauren finds a burnt house near the end of her trip, black and lifeless. Investigation discovers Charles Matheson Jr. standing in a single corner. He is decayed and starved of all recognizable features. As she goes to see who she is dealing with, the camera flickers several images and then the figure is gone. When at last she arrives at the entrance to Oakside Park, she enters the area and the level transitions.
In the Steam Update, there's a book with sketches, and then there's a door. When you enter the door, the screen goes black, and 'Slender: The Arrival' logo appears, and then the game proceeds to the Eight Pages.
Chapter 2: "The Eight Pages"
Stepping out of the small building, Lauren explores Oakside Park looking for Kate, whom she believes to be the source of the scream she heard at the end of the previous chapter. Along the way, she collects eight of the pieces of paper with Kate's mad scribblings on them, and is harassed by the Slender Man. After collecting the 8th page, the Slender Man attempts to grab her, but she breaks free and dashes off through the forest in a blind panic.
This level serves as an enhanced remake of the original Slender: The Eight Pages.
Chapter 3: "Into The Abyss"
Lauren awakes in a field in Oakside Park, near the Kullman Mining facility. As she explores the closed valley, she finds that she must enter a dark tunnel into a mountain that, as is alluded to in a collectible newspaper article, was created by Kullman Mining Co. after purchasing mineral rights from the owners of Oakside Park. As she enters, Lauren sees a sign that instructs that in the event of a power outage, six generators must be activated in order to power the emergency lift and escape. As she powers the generators, she realizes that she is being chased by the Chaser, a terrifying figure in a white hoodie with a mask (who is later revealed to be Kate as a proxy). During this, she is also harassed by the Slender Man. As all six generators are activated, Lauren activates the lift and is risen to the top of the shaft, thus transitioning to Chapter 4.
In the Hardcore mode, Lauren must collect all gas canisters before activating the generators.
Chapter 4: "Flashback"
After making her way out of the mine, Lauren is allowed again to briefly explore the beautiful landscape as she collects evidence relating to Kate. As she traverses, she finds a teddy bear on the side of the trail. She then progresses through a small cave and finds a small building, inside which there is a TV with two tapes on the table next to it.
As of version 2.0, the videotape section of this chapter has been made a separate chapter named Escape. The chapter Flashback is used as a transition to chapters Homestead and Escape.
Chapter 5: "Memories"
This chapter can be accessed by finding the stuffed teddy bear in the woods in Chapter 4.
This chapter allows the player to take control of Charlie, while playing on the beach with his family having a picnic. Charlie spots a trail of toy trains that lead him to the woods. His parents eventually start calling for him after Charlie grabs the last piece of the toy train. Charlie realizes that something is stalking him and begins to look for a way out, only to find a dead end and be captured by Slender Man, while screaming for help.
Chapter 6: "Escape"
One of the tapes shows footage of a girl scribbling on a sheet of paper. The video is of Kate, now controlled by the player, who has to secure her home from the Slender Man. During this process, she sees the Slender Man and tries to hide in her room. She is confronted by the Slender Man, which causes her to crash out of her bedroom window, ending the chapter and the video recording simultaneously.
This chapter is accessed in Chapter 4, along with the tape for "Homestead".
Chapter 7: "Homestead" =
This level allows the player to take control of Carl Ross while he's doing his research about Charlie's disappearance. While investigating the Matheson Farmstead, CR is chased by Charlie, now turned into a Proxy, while discovering evidence that the Mathesons have been watched by Slender Man for generations. Once CR exits the cellar, he then drops the camera and can then be seen getting chased by Charlie (as a proxy).
This chapter is accessed in Chapter 4, along with the tape for "Escape".
Chapter 8: "The Arrival"=After the flashback ends, Lauren makes her way up the mountain and through a cave, where she realizes the surrounding forest has been set on fire. She charges toward the radio tower that she thinks will save her from the Slender Man. Along the way she dodges flames, falling trees, and a very aggressive Slender Man. As she enters the tower, the door slams shut. A loud pounding is heard, presumably the Slender Man having just been locked out behind her and trying to get in. Ahead lies a locked door, where a key must be found to unlock it. After finding it, footsteps can be heard and Lauren is forced to proceed to a dead-end hallway. The leading door slams behind her and as she reads the writing etched on the wall, she realizes that Kate is going to be the one to kill her—that the voice of her only real friend has told her to do it (it is presumed that this friend is the Slender Man, who has warped her mind and driven her insane).
Lauren walks to the end of the hall where the charred corpse of a man, presumed to be CR, is lying next to a video camera. As Lauren plays the audio on the camera, she hears CR trying to convince Kate to do something, most likely commit suicide with him, as evidenced by note No. 13 and the fridge note from 'Prologue'. Kate screams that she can't, and runs away. CR then says sorry to someone, and starts screaming. After a while, a woman, presumably Kate, starts laughing. The audio ends suddenly. The fire near the door where Lauren entered is blown out, and the door can be heard opening and footsteps are heard. The camera, near dead, begins to flash of incoherent shapes and loud noises while the decaying figure is Charles Matheson Jr. closes in on Lauren.
Waking up in a basement, Lauren finds herself with an almost dead camera battery. A quick inspection of the room, gives her a close look at Charlie, who is guarding the stairs that lead up to the rest of the mysterious setting. Attempting to rush up the stairs will be obviously hindered. Exploration instincts kick in and Lauren finds a nearly burnt notebook and one last printed email from CR. She looks again and Charlie is gone, allowing access to the upper floor. She finds, however, she is back in the burnt house from the prologue, replaced by the crying of Kate. Navigating the hallways, Lauren comes face to face with her friend, and a single attempt to get any closer results in her ultimate demise as a sudden switch from Kate to The Chaser in a single instant. And before long, the camera is shown the view of Lauren's legs vanishing slowly from view as her body is dragged away. And then nothing as the game ends and the credits roll.
Chapter 9: "Genesis"=
Chapter 9 (introduced as Chapter 6 in v.1.3) takes place before "Escape". In it, Kate is wandering around a park at night, when she finds a page with disturbing images and text on it. Slender Man begins to stalk her. When Kate finds all of the Eight pages scattered around the park, Slender Man catches up to her. However, rather than abducting her, he simply says, "I have plans for you, Kate."
This level serves as an unaltered remake of Slender: The Eight Pages, and serves as the driving sequence towards Arrival.
Chapter 10: "Glitch"=
A secret level is playable by collecting a missing child poster 3 times during the course of the game, the name of the child being Charles Matheson Jr. The secret level is a series of distorted rooms in which Lauren is trying to go to another room but instead gets teleported to another room. When Lauren enters a room where the door is locked, she will eventually get captured by the Slender Man and a voice will call out and say, "he likes you" and wants to, "play with you".
You are then taken back to the main menu, if the player attempts to continue by checking the option stage selection, all the stages are replaced with the missing child poster you have seen before. You are in front of the house where there are a series of distortion all around the environment and the graphics are slightly low. In this stage you simply wander around the house, where at some point, the screen will cut to black and you are "found".
After that, the player is placed outside, immobile and unable to move due to being set on fire. Slender Man will then teleport closer and closer to the player until the game cuts to black with the image of the missing child poster combined with Slender Man. The final thing that comes up after it is the voice stating, "You are dead", and then the game ends. When you return to the main menu, the only options available are "Start Game" and "Exit".
Choosing "Start Game" leads the player to a scene where Lauren seems to be looking up at the sky. The screen cuts to black once again and the missing child poster combined with Slender Man appears like it did before at the end of the secret level. If the player exits the game, however, the five stages will return back to normal and will no longer have the missing child poster.
Throughout the level, pressing the Esc button will cause the screen to warp as though Slender Man was nearby, even in the menu.
Attempting to exit the game by going back to the main menu during the Secret Level and clicking "Exit" will not work, and instead results in a message appearing that reads "Don't leave me".
- Lauren - The game's protagonist and main, playable character. She is visiting Kate, who recently lost her mother and is selling her house, when she discovers that Kate was attacked the night before, and subsequently sets out to find her. After investigating clues and gather evidence of the prior events, she eventually reaches a radio tower, where her fate is left unresolved. In the Hardcore mode, Lauren presumably jumps off the radio tower and her fate is still unresolved.
- Kate/The Chaser - Friend of Lauren, she is a secondary antagonist for most of the game, but also the playable protagonist for Chapters 4 and 6. Kate's mother recently died, and she is contemplating selling her house, which is why Lauren is coming to visit. Prior to the events of the game, she was having visions of the Slender Man, something she shared with her friend, CR. The night before (presumably) the events of the game, she was attacked in her home by the Slender Man, but managed to escape, as revealed in "Chapter 4". She was hunted by Slender Man, became insane, and now is subsequently turned into proxy. She was The Chaser in Chapter 3 who chased Lauren and was served as a antagonist in that chapter. During chapter 1 a letter can be found where CR revealed his feelings for her. This may attribute to her not answering him as he mentions in later letters.
- Slender Man: The spectral and faceless main antagonist of the game. Facing him causes the camera to glitch and distort, intensifying as the player gets closer. In the game, it is also shown that it can turn its victims into "proxies", or assistants of sorts.
- Carl Ross - Friend of Kate, who shared visions of the Slender Man with her. Together, they tried escaping the Slender Man, but by then Kate had been taken over and CR died by being burned alive, which was seen at the end of the game when you enter the radio tower. Presumably killed by either Kate or the Slender Man himself. He investigated Charlie Matheson Jr.'s disappearance at the Matheson farm before being stalked by Slender Man and Charlie. The Homestead Mission shows CR's attempt to figure out what happened to Charlie Jr. A letter sent to Kate reveals his name as Carl Ross as well his feelings for her.
- Charlie Matheson Jr. - A missing boy who ran away from his parents. Implied to have encountered the Slender Man in the backstory. With the release of the new secret level, some players assume that he is the Slender Man, though there is little to support this. Others say he is CR, but, there is also little evidence to back this up. In the Steam update, he is introduced in person as a decaying proxy appearing briefly in the Prologue and kidnapping Lauren in The Arrival. With the new introduced chapter "Homestead", it is made clear that Charlie is not CR nor Slender Man.
- First Ending: Lauren sees images of presumably Charlie Matheson Jr. or proxified Kate in some sort of web approaching her, and is approached by an unknown aggressive entity (possibly the Slender Man). The camera's battery then dies. This ending is only available in the non-steam version.
- Hardcore Ending: Lauren sees the image of presumably Charlie Mathenson Jr. or proxified Kate in some sort of web coming closer to her, then falls off the radio tower (the film of her going to the top may have been destroyed by Sigma Radiation). The film then cuts to the camera lying on it's side, and static flickers for a second before the battery dies. Whether or not Lauren survived the fall is never shown. This ending is only available in the non-steam version.
- Original Ending: After listening to the recording, Charlie (now a decaying proxy) knocks Lauren out and locks her in the basement of Charlie's burnt house. If the player moves around, Charlie watches your every move, moving it's head in your direction, watching you. After collecting a book from a cell, Charlie disappears and the sounds of Kate crying is heard, Lauren makes her way up the stairs to come face to face with Kate, unproxified, unmasked, and unhooded. Lauren starts moving towards her to comfort her, only for Kate to turn back into The Chaser and attacks Lauren. By the end of the conflict, someone's legs are being dragged upon the floor, most likely an deceased Lauren.
The majority of the game takes place in abandoned areas (house, defunct mine, etc.), each with different objectives. Slender: The Arrival uses similar mechanics to its predecessor, The Eight Pages. The character is armed only with a flashlight. This limited defense forces a sense of helplessness, as the best way to survive in the game is to run whenever in danger. The Slender Man's behavior changes slightly between levels. In the first level, the Slender Man can be seen outside the window, and after going through the gate outside he can be seen on the top of hills well away from the player. In level two, he most often teleports off-screen or just out of the character's line of sight, but is capable of appearing directly in front of the player. It is observed that his motion centers around following the player, but consists largely of jumping from place to place, the inconvenience of which is increased as each of the eight pages are collected. His behavior is much the same as this in level four, except more active. In level three, he pursues much less aggressively, though is capable of teleporting directly in front of the player. In this level, the main antagonist is a girl who chases the player (most often following her path directly, but has been seen teleporting. It is unknown whether this is a glitch or an in-game mechanic). The only way of subduing her is by focusing the flashlight (on its second setting) on her. While looking at the Slender Man, the camera succumbs to electronic distortions such as static, blurring, color spots, audio distortion, etc., which obstructs the player's vision unless facing away, and far enough from it. The player cannot pause while this occurs, to prevent them taking a break due to being frightened. When caught, the game over screen is also different; while in Slender: The Eight Pages, the player saw a white static background with Slender Man's faceless head, the one for Slender: The Arrival is black, with an overhead-lit and color-distorted hue and less static. There are also new choices in difficulty (which must first be unlocked by completing the game once) being easy, normal, and hardcore. The differences being that hardcore allows the flashlight to run out, enemies are more aggressive and the player's stamina runs out quickly. Easy has infinite flashlight, a great deal of stamina, and the enemies are not very aggressive.
The Beta version is the second chapter of the full game, The Eight Pages, a remake of the original game, Slender: The Eight Pages. The original pages appear in this level.
There are some notable differences between this map and the original map from The Eight Pages, most notably being the terrain and the layout of the paths. Landmarks such as The Bathroom, The Cross Wall, The Tunnel and The Silo have been removed and replaced with landmarks that look more natural for the setting.
Just like The Eight Pages, the notes are placed in 8 of the 10 following locations...
- Water tower
- The Information Center
- Tree with canoe
- The Watch tower
- Industrial area
- Abandoned Car
- Portable toilet
- The Tent
- Map/Notice Board (displaying a sketch of the Slender Man)
There is also a secret building outside the boundaries of the map that might have been intended as the original replacement for the silo.
Once you have located all eight pages, the intense music and sound will fade into silence. After this you are allowed to walk around for 10 seconds before Slender Man teleports directly behind you, forcing you to turn around and die, rather than startling you and causing you to run away like in the full version.
The game is currently available for the mac and the game, without added extras, costs $10. For $15, you get the game and it's soundtrack. For $20, you get the game, the game's soundtrack, and 5 downloadable high resolution paintings from the game.
- The above options have been removed for the time being in replacement with the Windows-only Steam version available for the previous price of $10, or for people who owned the game before the Steam release, they can use their codes that got when they earned the Beta/Full game. Just remove the dashes when redeeming your free Steam version. A Mac version will come soon.
- Xbox 360 players can get this game off the marketplace for 5$.
Slender: The Arrival received mixed to positive reviews, with critics praising its soundtrack, tense atmosphere and scares, but also criticizing its shorter than expected campaign length and repetitive gameplay. Aggregating review website Metacritic gave the Xbox 360 version 61/100 based on 5 reviews, the Microsoft Windows version 65/100 based on 30 reviews, the PlayStation 4 version 60/100 based on 8 reviews, the Xbox One version 59/100 based on 6 reviews, and the PlayStation 3 version 48/100 based on 4 reviews.
In a positive review, The Escapist said "you may have mixed feelings about its brevity and the repetitive mechanics, but it's certainly a well-built game that, above all, is scary to play" and gave the game a score of 4.5 stars out of 5. VVGtv gave the game a score of 8.8/10, praising the game's graphics, sound, gameplay (with the exception of a few elements) and mystery element, while criticising the short story, adding that "if you played The Eight Pages and are looking for the next scare to really get your adrenaline pumping and to get you to yell like you did when you first saw Slenderman right behind you, this game will not disappoint". GameSpot gave the game a score of 8.5/10, calling it "one of the most terrifying games in recent memory".
In a negative review, VideoGamer said The Arrival is a "frustrating game, not just because it can be occasionally unfair but because these guys clearly have no idea how to promote fear. Running around playing kiss chase with a trans-dimensional being doesn't really cut it." and gave it a score of 4/10. The Metro also criticized the lack of varied gameplay, stating, "the first game had little real gameplay and this sequel does nothing to expand things, just repeat the experience often enough to rob it of its power." and gave it a score of 6/10.
iHorror Awards 2015
|Best Horror Video Game|
Mark J. Hadley
- The death or game over screen is different than Eight Pages. On that game, it features a close-up face of Slender Man but the static is grey and he faces at a 90 degrees angle while in this game, it has less static and is more detailed (looks like appearing in real life or 3D).
- There is also another variant of the said screen in which it does not only involve the Slender Man. It displays the close-up of Charlie as seen in Homestead and The Arrival when they entered the radio tower but before reaching the burned corpse of CR. On the first mentioned level, it appeared when he chases the player at the cornfield, chapel, and house after they exit the chapel. On the last level, even though no one chases them, that screen still causes a game over.
- This does not include Kate is that the close-up of her is only an animation of attacking the player even if it is the last chance to survive (depends on the difficulty) before the screen cuts to black.
- Unlike his appearance in The Eight Pages, the Slender Man in The Arrival has a much more detailed suit.
- The Slender Man model is animated, containing a walking animation, a breathing animation, a head tilt animation, a hunching-over animation, a reach-out-and-grab-you animation (which is usually played with the Slender Man behind the player—only way to actually see it is if you have god mode turned on and you turn around at just the right moment), and tentacle animation. These appear to be able to be played simultaneously.
- On the in-game HUD (Heads Up Display), the recording timer in the top right corner displays :60 instead of :00 every minute. For example, instead of 16:00 it shows 15:60.
- Despite the American character and location names, all the generators around the game have (pseudo-) German license plates.
- The game over screen has changed many times. In the beta version, the options to quit has the "Exit Game" in which the game will quit and return to the desktop (similar to the earlier versions of The Eight Pages). Later as the game version received updates, the first change is it changed to "Quit" and has different functions is that it returns to the main menu and in the latest update, the font for Retry has a different font and it was changed to "I Give Up" but the function of it is the same as Quit in earlier updates.
- This is also the same for the main menu screen. The font for all the options has also changed in the latest updates and added or rearranged some of them.
- Some options in this game are also moving. This is usually happened at the game over screen when the player dies but there is a static displayed on the screen. It is only idle if they are not present or the animation for the static was finished.
- If the player tries to bug in-game such as, falling into abyss, Slenderman will kill them instantly and display a message "Not even a bug in this game will save you from me" before returning back to Main Menu.
- You play as a female character named Lauren who is looking for her missing friend, Kate. Chapter 6, however, serves as a prequel to the main story (and an remastered remake of the original game) and has you playing as Kate. You also play as Kate through most of Chapter 4.
- Maps are more intricately and professionally detailed, and now have randomized coding for player starting points and landmark placement.
- The Slender Man is not the only enemy trying to hunt you down in the game. There is also a proxy to deal with this time and it seems to show discomfort when in the presence of light, not chasing nor attacking the player if having their flashlight beam focused on it. The debug console that can be opened during gameplay with the ` (backquote key shared with the tilde on U.S. keyboards) key identifies this being as "The Chaser". Following after the Steam update, a second proxy was added called "Charlie".
- When you collect more pages, the Slender Man will become more aggressive, as he did in The Eight 1ges, but in The Arrival, he instantly appears in front of you or even tries to trap you.
- Camera HUD flickering indicates how close a Slenderman can be to the player.