I know I have an alternate account for stamps (EpicStamps
). I just think it's silly to have that account join one or two groups to submit one little stamp.
Daniel from Amnesia: The Dark Descent is often poked fun at by players, apparently having a lack of common sense, pointing out the obvious in some audio flashbacks, or not being about to fight with weapons in the game where there are some items that can be used as such. That and I've seen some call him a wuss or wimp.
Now I know it's fun to poke fun at him and it's clear a lot of these complaints come out of frustation while playing the game. I've been guilty of the above too, so I know the above criticisms are good points.
Nevertheless, I think this protagonist deserves a lot more credit than we give him.
Let's start with the audio flashbacks and his sense in believing Alexander's story about taking extreme measures to "save his life."
In one of his diary entries, Daniel states, "…even traveling across Europe I assumed I would have to embrace the supernatural to save my mind and life. As a novice, I do everything in my power to stay focused and not dwell too much on my own doubts."
Since he is not familiar with the supernatural and/or the occult, Daniel has to rely on Alexander's knowledge. We learn that Alexander had him focus most of his attention on extracting vitae just to extend his own life. Daniel could not have known this from the beginning, and even then, he did
suspect that Alexander had his own interests in mind (another diary entry asks,"What he stand to gain? I realize he is curious about it all, but surely, there must be more"
). He just was not sure how the Baron would go about helping banish the Shadow as well as utilize the Orb.
Additionally, Daniel is afraid for his life. We don't understand how he feels (unless you've been in a life-threatening situation before). We may say we'll be brave, but our survival instinct can be so strong that we do not think as rationally as we normally would. Alexander tells Daniel to perform a warding ritual. Daniel is reluctant, but keeps telling himself that the victims are criminals, and he has to do this to save his own life. If he can just do this, perhaps there will be enough time to stop the Shadow so he will not have to harm anyone anymore.
Now let's move on to the issue of Daniel "stating the obvious" in the audio flashbacks.
There can be a lot of reasons for this aside from the blanket statement of "He's stupid." The fact that he can figure out puzzles and machinery while suffering amnesia implies the opposite.
You could say he just lacks common sense, but think about it - we've all stated the obvious at some points in our lives. We do it to encourage a conversation, and keep awkward silences away. The obvious reason for this is what we don't know what to say or how to respond, but again, this does not indicate a lack of intelligence. We cannot be ready with a great response every single time it is our turn in a conversation.
When Alexander mentions the water can be used for all sorts of purposes, Daniel mentions, "Like for drinking." The player than usually goes, "Well duh!" But consider how you would have answered Alex if he was explaining this to you as well. Having his own personal drinking water would be very convenient, and is the first conclusion many would come to. Notice also Daniel's conclusion of "conserving water from the spring" and "water mills" in that same conversation, which is not stating the obvious. Daniel is using the drinking line as a way of having Alexander continue his explanation.
How about when Dan asks if there are "more dead men" in the morgue?
You can obviously tell from his tone that he's uncomfortable about the idea. Since he is following Alexander in this flashback and has just
been told about where they're going, he says something to ease the tension. It's like when the player is going through the game and is wondering if a monster is going to be around the corner in the Prison. Just watch Let's Players in the really scary parts of the game. They talk to themselves, sometimes stating the obvious. Doesn't mean they're stupid, it means they're uncomfortable and scared. We may later say, "Duh!" to their comments, but we must realize that we talk to ourselves or others for comfort. These comments are often the first things that come to our mind in the given situation since we are too scared to think further than that. It does not indicate a lack of logic.
Next, we move onto the issue of Daniel not using weapons in the game, even though there are saws and other objects that would work well as such lying around. I shall quote from a comment I made before about this:"Mainly because it's just the gameplay mechanic...if we could grab anything as a weapon Condemned style, then most of the scare would be gone.
If we take the gameplay excuse out of the equation, Daniel did apparently use a knife and other things before he wiped his memory. Now that he's alone and scared in an abandoned castle with monsters he can't comprehend, it might not be in the nature of self-preservation to confront them...After all, you don't know how strong the things are.
In the pdf "Remember" that came with the Justine expansion, the last short story talked about Gabriel the outrider that managed to take a shot at one of the Gatherers, and it didn't die.
So I'm figuring the best defense for Gatherers is still running...or throwing a box, then running."
Since we see a body of a Gatherer killed by the Shadow in the sewers, it's pretty obvious they're not immortal, but we still are unsure of how much they can take before they die. Even a human being can overpower us, why risk a creature such as these?
Finally, there's the topic of Daniel being a wimp.
Just think about it: if you get scared just by playing this game, how would you react in that very situation, where your life AND sanity was at stake? And I mean you being scared while playing the game as it should be played (lights off, all alone, not talking, and wearing headphones).
It might be best to slip past the monsters unnoticed than put yourself in harm's way. You know nothing about who you are, where you are, and why you're there. When danger rears its ugly head, would it be better to fight, when you're not sure how powerful the creatures are, or run?
That is another thing we have to consider, is the very title of the game: Amnesia. Daniel doesn't remember anything about himself, and yet we still criticize him because he wants to err on the side of caution.
Let's not forget that in the Revenge ending he gets through this castle of horrors in one piece. That's pretty amazing.
If you want to read a continuation of this rant, I posted a second part on my Tumblr here: zerachielamora.tumblr.com/post…
Also, you are not allowed to use this in external artwork.