Character Spotlight – Daniel

Don’t forget… some things mustn’t be forgotten. The shadow hunting me… I must hurry. My name is Daniel, I live in London at… at… Mayfair… What have I done? This is crazy. Don’t forget, don’t forget. I must stop him. Focus! My name is… is… I am Daniel.

At the beginning of Amnesia: The Dark Descent, Daniel finds himself passed out on a rug in a Prussian castle.  His memory has been erased – he only knows his name, and struggles to remember where he lives.  He doesn’t know where he is, or what he’s doing there.  What is known about Daniel is revealed through journal entries, letters written to himself, notes, and visions of past events that have occurred in the castle.

Concept art

So who was Daniel before the amnesia?

Daniel’s troubles began when was part of an archaeological expedition to Algeria, wherein he was trapped inside an ancient tomb.  Hopeless and with nowhere left to go,he proceeded onward in the tomb, eventually coming across a mystical orb.  The orb shattered into pieces, collected by Daniel.  In the game, the shattered pieces are  compared to sand dunes, something that changes when you’re not looking, even if ever so slightly. Once he is freed from the tomb, Daniel is delirious and is sent back to England to recover.

Shortly after returning to England, Daniel learns that the expedition he was a part of ended in disaster, with no trace of the rest of his colleagues, save for one.  The story he told was that something terrible attacked the camp.  Additionally, an expert whose help he sought with the orb, was found dead as well.  Now suffering from nightmares, Daniel seeks the help of a professor and a doctor….

They both wound up dead as well.

Terrified for his life, Daniel receives a letter from a baron, Alexander of Brennenburg.  The letter offers protection, which Daniel is in great need of.  Seeing no other option, he accepts the baron’s invitation to his castle.  Upon his arrival, Alexander explains that regardless of what Daniel does with the Orb, a dark force (the Shadow) will kill him.  He states that there is only one way to keep the Shadow at bay, but to first ensure Daniel’s compliance, Alexander shows him the true power of the orb, in the Inner Sanctum.

After the experiment, Daniel proclaims he will do anything to be saved.   However the cure might just be worse than the disease.  In order to spare himself from being consumed by the Shadow, Daniel must help Alexander extract vitae from prisoners to ward off the Shadow through torture and murder.

15th of August, 1839 – The Sacrifice

The blood wards are failing.  The shadow beckons and its cry disarms my actions.  Hurry, no time to spare, you have to kill another.  Alexander produces a knife.  He wants me to cut the flesh.  Do it, save yourself.  He is a murderer, Daniel.  He is evil – a cold-blooded killer.  Hurry.

To effectively extract vitae, Daniel would give each prisoner an Amnesia Drink after each torture session.  The prisoner would forget about the previous torture and could be tortured again and again.  A horrible fate indeed, especially as the cells of Brennenburg grew empty, Alexander’s men kidnapped villagers nearby to keep the supply of vitae flowing.

He doesn’t always look like that…honest.

It’s unknown how many prisoners Daniel and Alexander killed in their rituals, however after ruthlessly torturing and killing a young girl who had attempted to escape, Daniel suddenly had a revelation.

Not only was he a cold-blooded murderer, but he had been manipulated by Alexander.  The vitae would not keep the Shadow at bay, nor was the baron offering any real protection.  Alexander was an other-worldly being, attempting to get back to his true home.  To do that, Alexander would need enough vitae to keep himself alive, and a usable orb.

Daniel vows revenge against his former ally for his betrayal.  Unable to cope with the extreme emotional trauma surrounding his actions, Daniel turns to the one thing that would let him forget.

 19 of August, 1839

I wish I could ask you how much you remember.  I don’t know if there will be anything left after I consume this drink.  Don’t be afraid, Daniel.  I can’t tell you why, but know this…I choose to forget.  Try to find comfort and strength in that fact.  There is a purpose, you are my final effort to put things right.  God willing, the name Alexander of Brennenburg still invokes bitter anger in you.  If not, this will sound horrible.  Go to the Inner Sanctum, find Alexander and kill him.  His body is old and weak, yours young and strong.  He will be no match for you.  One last thing – a Shadow is following you.  It’s a living nightmare, breaking down reality.  I have tried everything, and there is no way to fight back.  You need to escape it as long as you can.  Redeem us both, Daniel.  Descend into the darkness where Alexander waits and murder him.

Your former self,

Daniel

               
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