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A confusing campground. Weak characters. Invisible items and weapons. Confounding play. And a purple and teal Jason?

This was Friday the 13th on the NES, a game frequently panned for being clumsy, incomprehensible, and far too hard.

And almost every modern horror game owes it a debt, whether they know it or not.

The NES Friday the 13th broke new ground in horror, establishing the use of confusion and nebulous rules to create a compelling mystery. It created pressure and despair through its clever use of hidden items, keeping players from becoming too powerful. It also created a powerful stalker in the form of Jason, using his power and shocking appearances to pave the way for the relentless monsters that would haunt our playthroughs of AmnesiaResident Evil 3Clock Tower, and more.

Despite its hated reputation, Friday the 13th established trends back in 1989 that would continue to shape horror to the present. It would also ask questions few other horror games would dare. Should horror be pleasant, or should it crush us with fear and hopelessness? Can we make lives truly matter in the disposable existence of a video game?

Featuring interviews with journalists and game developers of various disciplines, "YOU AND YOUR FRIENDS ARE DEAD. – An Unofficial Analysis of LJN's Friday the 13th" is an attempt to break down the various horror elements of the game and how they make Friday the 13th into a misunderstood masterpiece, and one of the most important entries in the genre.

Rated 5.0 out of 5 stars
(1 total ratings)
AuthorJoel Couture
TagsHorror, NES (Nintendo Entertainment System)


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YOU AND YOUR FRIENDS ARE DEAD. - Joel Couture.mobi 474 kB
YOU AND YOUR FRIENDS ARE DEAD. - Joel Couture.pdf 828 kB


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I'm 12 pages in and it's very interesting so far! It may give me inspiration for my own game design. I just wish there were some illustrations to go with the visual aspects described. I guess it may be problematic to include in a commercial product?


Okay, I'm 40 pages in and I guess it's way too verbose at times, with stuff like unnecessary clarifications for things that have been well established already (for example, "Except that life mattered,dang it (if it was Mark or Crissy)" - yeah, I get it, some characters are stronger than others, I kept that in mind and I won't call you inconsistent if you omit that fact now and then). Still, it's interesting enough that I'm going to read the whole thing.


Thanks for reading it! And you're definitely right, some of my book work tends to over-explain some things in a couple of places. It's something that I've been trying to fix in my writing over the last few years, but that I sometimes have trouble with in long book pieces because I literally forget if I mentioned it or not, and then I don't catch it in editing because I'm trying to edit a bit too quickly to meet deadlines (that and I am nowhere near being able to afford a professional editor to catch them). I really appreciate you letting me know so I can keep it in mind as something to strive to do better on in future books.

As for illustrations, I never actually thought of doing that! I'll keep that in mind for later works as well. I initially thought I might stick in some screenshots, but figured copyright rules could get dicey and didn't want to get in trouble.


I have also read your book and illustration would really help! (I actually made some, as i always "draw" to understand text) For me it was a great read and very inspiring to take a deep dive into one of the first "survival horror" games :)