'Moirai', The Little Known Indie Horror Gem That Hackers Took From Us
Many games are sadly very hard to play nowadays either due to scarcity or compatibility issues. The case with Moirai is even more disheartening, as we can no longer play it at all. At its surface, Moirai was but another simple and unassuming Indie title. At its core, Moirai was a unique narrative-driven horror experience one would spend no longer than ten minutes to finish
for the first time forever. And no, Moirai didn't have a ragequit rate of 100%. It was one of the few titles to introduce the concept of permadeath, meaning that you would play it once, then your account would get banned and you'd die in real life – we guess.
Moirai also proved a fascinating social experiment gone wrong. Horror games are usually scary because of the monstrous NPCs that reside within, but Moirai was scary because of the players. Moirai did feature NPCs, yes, but all their actions were dictated not by the devs, but by the players who'd previously played the game. The NPCs' behavior was just a reflection of previous player behaviors, creating a “pay it forward” nature of sorts. You were a murderer during your time spent on Moirai? the upcoming player would have to deal with murderers. The real horror was meant to be witnessing what players would do to NPCs knowing they aren't people but turns out players were also ok with murdering people.
As soon as players found out that they had a lot of power over the next player's playthrough and would face no consequence for their actions because they were already dead, they started destroying everything. The game tried to create an interesting immaterial inheritance mechanic, but players used it only to leave immaterial spiders to their descendants. Moirai's smart nature somehow struck a chord with the wrong crowd, and during its short lifespan found itself continually in the sights of vicious hackers who'd found ways to come back to the game and make everything even worse. They eventually forced the creators to pull the plug on the project and Moirai went from being the game you could play just once, to the game you couldn't play at all. And the worst part is that they ruined it just because they could.
Top Image: Chris Johnson