It seems there's something about first-person horror games that makes gamers go just a little nuts. Whether it's the Five Nights at Freddy's franchise or Konami's Silent Hills teaser (aka PT), fans have a habit of becoming so thoroughly invested to the point that it's worrisome. The newest obsession: Capcom's Resident Evil 7 demo.
For comparison, the PT demo, created by mindblower extraordinaire Hideo Kojima, was beaten in less than a day. It's been a week since the Resident Evil 7 demo was loosed upon the public, and many fans are convinced they haven't seen the true ending. Why do I say "true" ending?
One of the first things players discovered about the Resident Evil 7 demo was that it featured (at least) two endings. Depending on the actions you take, you can finish the demo by trying to walk out the back door or by answering a telephone call upstairs. Another secret that was quickly uncovered was the existence of a handaxe. There's no combat in the demo, but the fact that it exists and can be wielded is, many players suspect, part of a larger puzzle.
These, however, would prove to be the easy secrets. As more players began to join in, more theories and questions arose. What was the clicking sound heard in the background? Do the voodoo dolls hanging from the ceiling do anything? Is that light blinking in morse code? Here are some choice quotes from around the interweb from the armchair detectives working to crack the case:
"So, I don't know how important this is, but my girlfriend has been taking a recent interest in RE and was looking into the RE7 demo stuff. She's mentioned to me that the 'Aunt Rhody' song in the trailer is backmasked and decompiling it and pulling it apart, it has a lot of secrets in it. She has a history in music, and mentioned the song has unnatural pitch tones and what sounds like messages split apart, reversed, and put to different pitches to mask them," writes NeoGAF user Dusk Golem.
"She showed me some progress, and she's right. There's some that just sounds like screams, but she so far has put together part of the pieces, and it sounds perfectly put together like, 'in the woods'. I don't know if this is related to anything, but she's been looking into it as interested, and as she tells me, there is definitely hidden messages backmasked, fragmented, and pitched in the Resident Evil 7 Aunt Rhody song cover."
Meanwhile, over on Reddit, user Golgabesh has noticed that numbers which flash onscreen for approximately half a second could be coordinates in Louisiana. Naturally, Imgur user Xambia decided to take a little road trip and see what was out there. While they didn't find anything particularly noteworthy, they at least left a little gift for anyone else who follows in their footsteps:
Another Reddit thread, this one by PlatypusFeet, has collected pretty much every theory and detail that the community has come up with. Turning the date on your PS4 back, ghost girl sightings, comments from German community managers, it's all here.
Back to NeoGAF, Futaba has perhaps the most thorough dissection I've seen yet, laying out the various methods and tricks they've tried in order to trigger new cutscenes or events. It's more than 3,800 words long with plenty of links and analysis, so if you want a real deep dive, check it out. If you want the short summary, Futaba is pretty sure everything to uncover has been uncovered.
But there's one thing that keeps everyone coming back: the finger. That goddamn finger.
This little thing has given players more grief than any other part of the RE7 demo. Nobody can seem to find a use for it, though many players suspect that it functions as a key of some sort. There are burn marks on the tip and the material it's made from is flammable, so one of the most popular theories is that it needs to be melted down somehow. Yet nothing that could conceivably heat the finger up can be used.
So could the finger be a decoy? Something that exists just to mess with players but otherwise serves no purpose? Maximilian Dood, a prominent personality in the fighting game community, tweeted that a Capcom rep informed him otherwise. "Said the axe doesn't have much use, but the dummy finger has a purpose," he wrote.
Kinseb over on Reddit links the finger to an old film called The Club of the Laid Off, listing all the similarities between the movie and the demo. Finger-pointing aside, it's neat how in-depth these theories go. But really, I think I like YouTube user Dreamboum's answer the most:
Seen something newsworthy? Tell us!