Amnesia: The Dark Descent is a 2010 survival horror game by the indie studio Frictional Games. Hailed as one of the modern classics of the survival horror genre, the game has since then turned into a horror game franchise with DLC and follow-up titles that add to the Amnesia lore, while still being standalone horror experiences without needing prior knowledge of the original game.
Aura, also known as Nereidee or Nereiarts, is a long-time fan of Amnesia and other FG games. The Dark Descent remains her favourite title to this day, thanks to its compelling characters, gameplay, and harrowing, self-contained storyline.
Aura is an artist, writer, and fandom active from Finland. She first discovered Amnesia in 2011 on deviantART, of all places, thanks to a fan comic by another Finnish artist. This discovery lead to her finding out the game was only available on PC, much to her dismay, seeing as she was a console player at the time, and she ended up building a new PC in her dad's living room from leftover computer parts just for the purposes of playing the game, because the story sounded too interesting to pass up. This plan had two major downsides: no PC gaming experience whatsoever, and dislike of the horror genre.
It took her over 33 hours to finish her first playthrough, and the game became one of her favourites of all time, despite being an anxiety-inducing experience for a horror noob. To this day she still isn't a horror fan, but does not regret the foray into a genre that's far beyond her comfort zones.
Q: Aura, who's your favourite character in the series?
A: Daniel, hands down. I find his character very interesting to explore both in drawing and writing, and there's just something intensely relatable about him to me. I know, worrisome.
Q: Favourite location in the game?
A: Probably the Study in the back hall area. I've drawn it multiple times and just love that hazy, misty vibe it has. It keeps you on your toes, even though it's one of the few entirely safe areas in the game.
Q: On the contrary, what's your least favourite location?
A: Ugh. The Storage. Need I say more? It's the dreaded dark basement times 100.
Q: Favourite track on the soundtrack?
A: Lux Tenebras. Chills. I still can't listen to it without getting goosebumps all over.
Q: Have a favourite monster in the Amnesia series?
A: Probably the Grunt, just because they're the most iconic Amnesia enemy. They're also weirdly fun to draw. (Unlike the Brutes - eyeballs in weird places aren't my favourite things to puzzle out while drawing).
Q: If you were in Daniel's shoes, would you listen to Agrippa ramble or walk out mid-sentence?
A: Hey, Agrippa's a nice chap, cut him some slack! I'm chatty, so I suppose the castle would collapse on us while we're having a nice little conversation.
Q: Who from the Dark Descent cast of characters would you want to meet irl?
A: No one, are you kidding me? I'd rather keep my kidneys and blood where they are, thank you very much. But if I had to pick someone, probably Weyer. I'd like to hear his side of the Alexander drama.
Q: You never draw or talk about A Machine for Pigs. Why is that?
A: It just never interested me the same way other FG titles did. It felt like a walking simulator with very little actual gameplay, and I'm generally not a fan of that in my video games. I have nothing against AMFP, I'm just not a fan, personally.
Q: Any thoughts on Amnesia: Bunker?
A: All I can say is giving firearms to any Amnesia protagonist seems like a bad idea. We all know Daniel would've shot himself on accident and ended the game early. As for the game itself, we'll see. I'm not good at shooting in games, so I might sit this one out and just watch a Let's Play instead.
Q: How did you end up shipping Alexander/Daniel?
A: It started out as a crackship, actually, that then turned deadly serious once I finished the game. You know, the typical story. It's fascinating how they are both extremely similar yet still almost like negatives of each other. You can't help but see parallels between them. The real differences really just come from how they own up - or in Daniel's case, don't - to their actions. I think they complement each other, both in the good and the bad.
Q: What's your favourite out of your own fanworks?
A: Capturing Venus, absolutely. I wrote the first, very rough version of the fic in 2012, then returned to it and completely rewrote it nearly a decade later. It just wouldn't stop haunting me until it was fully fleshed out. It was the first fic I ever wanted to write for this fandom and I still feel like it represents my vision of the characters better than my other works. I have no regrets with it - I wrote it exactly the way I wanted, telling the story I wanted to tell. It's not flawless or perfect and the writing process was feverish, but I feel like it represents my writing in its most honest form.
Q: Where do you get ideas for your works?
A: People, nature, art, personal experiences... Just ordinary life in general. It's a very broad subject with no short answers, but music is a direct inspiration more often than not. You can easily deduce my tastes in music from what I like to name my works.
Q: What else do you enjoy besides Amnesia?
A: Drawing, writing, and making comics about my own characters takes up most of my time. I also like to read a lot on my free time, as well as go winter swimming, take long biking trips, and go hiking in the forest. I live in a forested area, so I like to spend time in the nature. I also love baking!
Where else can you be found?