The ‘Blair Witch’ Games That Time Forgot

Amidst the buzz of the new The Blair Witch Project movie, it’s a perfect moment to delve into the unique world of the Blair Witch games. They are a treasure trove of experiences that time has forgotten. With their unique storytelling and immersive gameplay, these games are a must for any Blair Witch movie enthusiast.

I’m not talking about 2019’s Bloober Teams Blair Witch, which had us playing as Ellis Lynch and his companion dog, Bullet. That one took place roughly two years after the original movie. Ellis and Bullet have joined a search party for a missing nine-year-old boy who got lost in the Black Hills Forest in Burkittsville. Eventually, it’s revealed that through some traumatic events, Ellis sees the witch and gets affected by her. The game lost me when it started throwing wood creatures at you constantly. A section later on takes place in THE house, which is incredible.

Also Read: Looking For a Perfect Digital Burkittsville

But today, we’re here to discuss Blair Witch Volume I: Rustin Parr, Blair Witch Volume II: The Legend of Coffin Rock, and Blair Witch Volume III: The Elly Kedward Tale. Developed by Terminal Reality, who some might know as the team that made the horrendous Walking Dead: Survival Instinct. But, more importantly, the Bloodrayne games, as well as the critically underrated 2009 Ghostbusters game. The Blair Witch games were released between October of 2000 and November of 2000. Three months for three games that were roughly three or four hours. Good right? Wrong, they were a technical mess.

It is important to note that the production team of The Blair Witch Project was somewhat involved in Blair Witch Volume I: Rustin Parr. However, with the more recent Blair Witch films departing from what the original team imagined as more of a VVitch-style sequel, the games weirdly occupied that space for lore enthusiasts.

Blair Witch Volume I: Rustin Parr

It took place in 1941 over four days. Rustin Parr follows a research scientist named Elspeth “Doc” Holliday. Elspeth is sent to Burkittsville by Spookehouse, a fictional classified government agency investigating paranormal occurrences. Elspeth and a man called simply “The Stranger” are sent there to investigate the Blair Witch’s existence. This is because earlier in the year, a hermit named Rustin Parr kidnapped eight children and murdered all but one of them in her basement, claiming that otherworldly forces guided her to do it. It’s an interesting jump back in time to see the witch’s influence over the town. We also get a glimpse at the demons she calls to gamify the experience. This gives the player something to do while running around collecting clues and investigating Burkittsville.

Blair Witch Volume II: The Legend of Coffin Rock

Set during the American Civil War, we play a Union soldier with amnesia after he is found dying and rescued by some villagers. After gathering himself a bit, he is tasked with aiding the villagers in finding their missing children in the Burkittsville woods. The woods are said to be haunted by a supernatural force and, more importantly, a witch. The intro to this game uses footage from when Heather and crew from The Blair Witch Project visit Coffin Rock in the film. It’s also the worst of the three, as nothing notable happens.

Blair Witch Volume III: The Elly Kedward Tale

The final game in the post-movie trilogy. It’s the one that deviates the most, but lore-wise tries to set everything in motion. It was set in 1785 when the Blair township was just getting its legs. We follow Jonathan Prye, an ex-priest who left the clergy because he was having a crisis of faith. Jonathan is now a witch-hunter who gets called into Blair to investigate the disappearance of a woman named Elly Kedward. 

After Elly Kedward was accused of witchcraft because she was found drawing the local children’s blood for pagan rituals. So, of course, she gets tried, convicted, and sentenced to be banished from the town. Instead of letting that come to pass, the locals tied her to a wheelbarrow, dragged her into the nearby woods, and left her to freeze to death. However, the townspeople found the wheelbarrow was found with her body missing.

Blair Witch Volume III: The Elly Kedward Tale is where the team really tried to flesh the story out and come full circle with where at the time present-day Blair Witch was. Through middling sales and mediocre reviews from the entire trilogy, the series almost immediately got lost in time. Even now, it can be challenging to track copies down, and having to find mods and emulations to get them running on modern hardware hasn’t done these games any favors. But they tried something interesting with the series, and while the original production team was around for Rustin Parr, I would be curious to know if volume three was more in line with what they were planning for the original sequel. It’s a journey worth taking for any Blair Witch fan to learn more about the lore of the world.



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