Scarlet Hollow, the terrifying and atmospheric Southern horror visual novel from Black Tabby Games, has unveiled a new Hardcore Mode.
Let us explain if you aren’t aware of Scarlet Hollow’s premise just yet. In this game, your aunt, Pearlanne, has recently died and leaves you little to no choice but to head back to your mother’s old estate in the town of Scarlet Hollow. A town of decay and broken families who are doing their utmost to keep their heads above water.
Your arrival into town quickly confirms that there’s something queer going on… and we don’t just mean strange.
One of the most-requested features that developers Abby and Tony Howard-Arias receive is the inclusion of an additional trait. In Scarlet Hollow, traits are unique identifiers that can be used to influence the world around you and the decisions you make. It’s with these traits that you can mix and match, making it so one playthrough will never be like the other. For example, in one playthrough, you can be hot and mystical, while in the other, you may be able to speak to animals and be super strong. The trouble is, you’re only allowed to pick two traits. Bummer, right?
Well, Scarlet Hollow’s Hardcore Mode is set to change that issue. Instead of two traits, you can indeed get three. The catch? You’ll be unable to use any of these traits during the end-of-episode scenarios. The significance behind that decision is that these scenarios usually end up with someone dying if you don’t have a certain trait, or make the wrong decision. And with the game remembering decisions you’ve made in the past too… Things really have just gotten a lot harder.
The reason for Hardcore Mode is, as confirmed by the devs themselves, an elaborate April Fool’s joke. But its existence also allows you to explore more dialogue that you may have missed before, just with a less chipper atmosphere. Those are the breaks!
To unlock Hardcore Mode, players will need to finish the first four Episodes of Scarlet Hollow. If you’ve already finished the fourth episode, loading a save and clicking through to the credits will also unlock the mode. Once unlocked, players will see the new option and be able to start a Hardcore Mode run from the main menu.
In other news, Scarlet Hollow is hosting a mini crowd-fund for an alternative universe poster featuring the in-game cast. It already is fully funded, but if you’re a fan who wants a bit of merch, this seems like the perfect time to invest.