ALONE IN THE DARK
by Rick Lai
Just having read Jean-Marc's Lofficier ALONE IN THE DARK, I was impressed by its occult terminology. Much of the terms are derived from the Lovecraft Mythos, but some are not. I have divided the following guide to the occult terminology into Non-Mythos and Mythos terms:
Aggartha (page 2 seq.) -A lost land in Tibet. According to Jean-Marc's French Wold Newton Universe website, Monsieur Ming from the Bob Morane series was once connected to a group called the Aggartha. Those interested for more information about the Mysteries of Tibet are invited to read Jess Nevins' article The Jewel in the Crown.
"Hideous Strength, The" (page 9, seq.) -- The name used by C.S. Lewis for the Dark Eldil in his famous Ransom trilogy, which is here connected to or associated with the HPL mythos.
Iron Temple, The (page 8) - A reference to Jean Ray's eponymous Harry Dickson adventure (#93) in which Aztec "gods" set up an underground "Temple" under London. Dickson destroys that Temple but the ending leaves the reader guessing that other entities have set up or will be setting up other "Iron Temples" elsewhere in the world. Another Harry Dickson adventure (#62) is entitled "The Girl Snatchers of Chinatown".
Kor (page 42) - The lost African land from H. Rider Haggard's She.
Monks of Montsegur, The (page 23) - A secret Cathar conspiracy in existence since 1244, taken from Philippe Ward & Sylvie Miller's novel, Le Chant de Montsegur. Montsegur is a historical place in Southern France.
Narada - A "temple in Narada" is mentioned in the closing panel on page 44. There was an Indian kingdom called Narada in Talbot Mundy's stories about Ben Quorn, the Elephant Sahib.
"Nosmo Cobis! Holo Erasma Rabis!" (page 23) - The incantation uttered by Carnby is the Montesi Formula well known to readers of Marvel's Doctor Strange (at one time co-written by Jean-Marc).
Orichalcum (page 20 seq.) -- The sacred metal of the Atlanteans first mentioned by Plato in his account of Atlantis; it was put to superb if horrifying use by Antinea, Queen of Atlantis, who melted her lovers in it in Pierre Benoit's L'Atlantide (1919).
Ultima Thule (page 33) - Name given to the occult Nazi task-force in Jean-Marc's Origins of Neptune Perkins in DC's Young All-Stars.
Ys (pages 12 & 42) - A magical land in Breton folklore. It was utilized by Abraham Merritt in Creep, Shadow, Creep.
Zeitun, the Eye of (page 30) - Connected to Talbot Mundy's The Eye of Zeitoon.
Armitage, Diana (page 4) - Likely a descendent from Dr. Henry Armitage from "The Dunwich Horror."
Blake, Robert (page 39) - The horror writer from "The Haunter of the Dark."
Creeping Chaos, The (page 9, seq.) - This demon is probably an avatar of Lovecaft's Nyarlathotep, who was called the Crawling Chaos in "The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath."
Dzyan, The (page 20) - An ancient race which also figures in Jean-Marc's Origins of Neptune Perkins in DC's Young All-Stars. The term is derived from The Book of Dzyan (also called The Stanzas of Dzyan), which was first described in Madame Blavatsky's occult tome, The Secret Doctrine. The Book of Dzyan is generally believed to have no basis in reality. This tome was utilized by Lovecraft and William Lumley in "The Diary of Alonzo Typer."
Kun-Yin (page 8) - Sinister cultists in Asia. The name is derived from the Kuen-Yuen, the Chinese sorcerers from "The Maker of Moons" by Robert W. Chambers.
Leng, Dr. (page 8, seq.) - The surname of this benevolent Asian sage is derived from H.P. Lovecraft's Plateau of Leng.
Mi-Go (page 13, seq.) - Another term for the Yeti, the Abominable Snowmen of Tibet. In "The Whisperer in the Darkness," Lovecraft used this Mi-Go term, but claimed the Abominable Snowmen were actually the crab-like beings of Yuggoth, who don't look anything like hairy apemen.
Yian-Ho (page 19, seq.) - In Alone in the Dark, an ancient race who were transformed into the Mi-Go. In "The Diary of Alonzo Typer" by Lovecraft and William Lumley, Yian-Ho is eldritch place either located under upstate New York or accessible through a dimensional gateway in upstate New York. In "Through the Gates of the Silver Key" by Lovecraft and E. Hoffman Price, Yian-Ho is an Asian locale associated with the Plateau of Leng. The name Yian-Ho was derived from Yian, a lost city of Asia invented by Robert W. Chambers in "The Maker of Moons" and The Slayer of Souls.
"You Fool! Frank is Dead!" (page 22) - This recalls the last words uttered in Lovecraft's "The Statement of Randolph Carter."
Besides the occult terminology, Alone in the Dark features an ancient crown supposedly given to Genghis Khan by extra-dimensional entities. The idea of some sort of demonic pact between Genghis Khan and beings from other dimensions was also utilized in Robert E. Howard's "The Black Bear Bites" (found in Nameless Cults), and E. Hoffman Price's uncollected Pierre D'Artois story, "Lord of the Fourth Axis". In "Through the Gates of the Silver Key," it is suggested that the great Asian conquerors of history sold their souls to Yog-Sothoth to become the Ancient Ones, the minions of 'Um At-Atwil.
Article © 2002 Rick Lai. All rights reserved. ALONE IN THE DARK is © and ® 2002 Infogrames.