I stopped by my favorite subreddit, r/deepweb, this morning and noticed that someone had asked whether the game Sad Satan was real or not.
While I realize that the videos about it were made three years ago, I still thought it would be a good idea to address this. Sad Satan was “real” in the sense that yes, it’s a real game, but it isn’t from the “deep web” or “dark web.”
The YouTuber Obscure Horror Corner (a.k.a. Jamie) uploaded playthroughs of the game to his channel back in 2015, claiming that it was a “deep web horror game.” As we all know, buzzwords like “deep web” and “dark web” sometimes give things an “edgy” feel or at least attempt to.
In this case, however, adding the words “deep web” to the videos worked spectacularly, as they went viral and resulted in OHC’s YouTube channel (presumably) gaining a lot of subscribers. Nonetheless, the reason that I don’t believe that the game actually has anything to do with Tor is that around the time when Sad Satan gained popularity, Kotaku did an article about it: A Horror Game That May Be Hidden In The Darkest Corners of the Internet.
It’s interesting to note that the Kotaku article conflates “deep web” with “dark web” (a common error, as I’ve mentioned before.)
When Kotaku asked Jamie where he downloaded the game from, he gave an onion address that contained the number “9,” which is an invalid character for onion addresses. Just from that, I assumed that the whole thing was a publicity stunt. To quote the article:
What stood out to me was the allegation that the deep web link provided in the YouTube description for the initial video contained the number “9,” which is a number that is unlikely to be found in Onion links. I contacted Jamie, the proprietor of Obscure Horror Corner, to ask what was going on with the link. He now says he gave people the wrong link because the real one had, he claims, also included “gore pictures” and child pornography along with the game. “I didn’t feel comfortable giving out a link for something like that.” He did not share that link with me. Unfortunately, that makes it harder for me to put as much credence into the rest of his account, even though he maintains it is true.
The creator of the game (whoever it may be) used Terror Engine to make it, which is a game engine intended to make game design easier. This, too, leads me to believe that the whole thing was just a publicity stunt.
Still, this isn’t to say that the game wasn’t creepy or unnerving; I’ll give it that much. The images and sound effects definitely created a weird atmosphere – but there are much better horror games out there!
As I mentioned in the post Are There Video Games on the Dark Web? (Sort of.), most of the games I’ve come across on Tor are emulators of classic games, like Sonic and Tails, at http://sntfgwfami5fdbn5.onion/, or the text adventure games Zork I, II, and III on the not Evil search engine: http://hss3uro2hsxfogfq.onion. They’re hardly creepy, but at least you can say they’re on the “dark web.”
You might ask why the game contained CP and gore pics. I can’t verify this for sure, but I suspect that 1. either the creator put them there to lend more credence to the idea that it came from the dark web, or 2. someone took the original game and put those things in as a trolling attempt. My money is on number one, but as I’m not in that person’s brain, there’s no way to know for certain.
In any case, the next time someone tells you they found a “creepy game on the dark web,” or a “creepy [insert name of thing here] on the dark web,” take it with a healthy dose of skepticism.
You just may be helping to improve Tor’s reputation after all – if that’s possible.