Amnesia: Justine is an expansion for Amnesia: The Dark Descent, released by Frictional Games on April 12, 2011. It was initially only released for the Steam version of The Dark Descent, but was later included as an update for all other versions of the game.
The game is set in 1858. The player is thrust into a dungeon comprised of multiple levels playing as a female character named Justine. The player must explore through the dungeon, known as the "Cabinet of Perturbation", with the guidance of multiple phonographs along the way. The person talking in the phonographs is known to be a past version of Justine who has set up challenges for her future self to test whether she still has any humanity left in her. While in the dungeon, you find three trapped people. Through the choices you make, you can either choose to save, or kill the person you find.
The game starts in a small cell (similar to the cells in the prison) with Aloïs wandering around outside. After losing consciousness for a while you wake up and play the phonograph inside the cell. The voice explains that you are part of a psychological test and triggers a mechanism and the cell door gets unlocked, setting you free to leave from that cell.
The player must then complete a series of three tests, in which you must choose to either solve a puzzle, or kill a person.
After the imprisonment of these Suitors, along with three other men as immobile hostages and setting up phonographs with recordings of her own voice to guide herself through her own tests in her Cabinet of Perturbation, Justine makes herself pass out in a locked room by drinking an amnesia mixture composed of Lithium. The game begins when she wakes up and activates a nearby phonograph. She hears her own voice explain the psychiatric tests she set up for herself, including that there will be choices where Justine must kill or save the helpless people she comes across as part of her tests. Justine must collect an empty lantern (which, as there is no oil in this game, is useless without level editor and hacks) hanging from the ceiling that only becomes reachable after the first phonograph has been activated. Taking the lantern triggers the only door out of the room to open.
The first room Justine encounters is a prison block with 6 cells: Three of which once held each of the three Suitors, and one of which containing a prisoner named Dr. Victor Fournier, bound to a table, which Justine can choose to kill or let live. If Justine pulls the lever next to the door of Dr. Fournier, a spike will lower down and kill him by puncturing his midsection. This action will lower a ladder down from the ceiling, allowing the player to progress through the tests. If Justine chooses to let Fournier live, she will have to obtain a part of the broken ladder located in an earlier area and stack boxes to reach the ladder and attach the part, requiring more effort. Also, if the cell nearest to the entrance is entered, Aloïs will appear as the first Suitor. Fortunately, the player can hide from him until he goes away. He is the only suitor that will leave the area after time. Note that near the entrance to this prison block is a ledge that holds boxes and a hidden wax cylinder needed to play certain phonographs, which also requires stacking boxes to be reached.
After leaving the prison block by entering a tunnel in the ceiling, she must drop down into a hallway which leads to three accessible locations of interest:
- One way leads Justine to a phonograph where the hidden wax cylinder must be placed to play. If this phonograph is played, it will reveal what Justine did to one of the Suitors, Basile. The recording is some dialogue between Justine and Basile: Basile wakes up held captive and confused after passing out from drinking wine. He asks what happened, and Justine admits to putting Absinthe in his drink. Basile is irritated and announces he is not in the mood for Justine's games, demanding to be let free. Justine states that she will give him his freedom if he tells her how beautiful she is. He tells her she is very beautiful, but this appears to be the "wrong" answer. Justine is apparently looking to be told that "her beauty is blinding", a statement often given about her late mother. When Basile says this, Justine blinds him. This enrages Basile and makes him swear to stop at nothing to kill her out of revenge. This also hints at why the other two Suitors are blind as well.
- Another way leads to a room with a fireplace. There are disturbing drawings on the wall, and a table for torturing that most likely held Basile. There is a phonograph that, once activated, explains how Fournier was an acquaintance of Justine's father. There is a hot poker in the fireplace here, and it is possible that this was what Justine used to blind Basile.
- The third and final way is the next room - the next part of the game and test for Justine.
Justine then progresses to the Library, a hallway with 2 doors on each side and a Lightbox projector at the end of the hallway. The 4 rooms in the hallway contain slides in the bookcases and on tables, which can be used on the projector if it's lighted by a tinderbox. One of these rooms however, holds the next person that Justine must choose to save or kill, being Father David. David is not seen in person, but is heard on another side of a wall. He is also seen on a painting in the same room, which shows Father David being bound to a table, completely naked. The wall where David is heard has a lever and two slots where the slides can be inserted. The lever must be pulled to access the next part of the game/tests. If the lever is pulled with the incorrect or no slides inserted, Father David will be heard being brutally ripped apart and killed. If the lever is pulled with Slide #4 on the top slot, and Slide #3 on the bottom one, Father David will be released unharmed, thanking the player.
This area also contains the key to unlocking the secret ending- a letter. In the room with the Lightbox, there are two alcoves on either side, both containing bookshelves. The niche on the left has nothing of interest, save for a door that makes noises as something claws at it from the other side. It is presumed that Basile is the one scratching, but the door is boarded up and whatever is there never gets through to clear up the matter. The niche on the right has a letter that appears to be from Aperture Science, which originates in the game Portal. This makes sense, as this game was made in honor of the release of the game Portal 2. Taking this letter results in a slightly altered ending that makes heavy references to Portal, stating "They should know I'm still alive", which is an allusion to GLaDOS.
After this, Justine enters a room or cellar where all the lights blow out and the door locks behind her. This is where the second Suitor, Basile, appears. When Basile appears, he will not despawn and Justine must figure out a way to get around him. Crouching is more than helpful, as Basile is blind and crouching enables you to be virtually silent. Basile automatically turns hostile after the player passes a pile of objects close to the exit. However, at this point the player is so close to the exit that it usually doesn't make a difference. Objects can be thrown to slow or confuse Basile.
After getting past Basile, Justine will enter an area that is filled with water at knee level. This is where the third and final "fate-choice character" is seen, Inspector Marot. Additionally, the third and final Suitor, Malo de Vigny, appears here as well. The small room that Marot is trapped in can be closed. If Justine does not close the door to this room, Malo will appear, attack and kill Marot first, giving Justine ample time to escape. If Justine closes the door to this room, Malo will not reach Marot, saving the latter's life, but will cost Justine the time to escape. If Marot is spared, Malo will then only focus on Justine. Avoiding Malo can be difficult despite that fact that he's blind, as the player will make a lot of noise moving around in the water.
If Justine manages to escape Malo, she will enter a crypt. Moving ahead in the crypt brings Justine to an area made of connected hallways with disturbing messages written on the walls, and will slowly drain Justine's sanity. After this, she will enter a large room where she hears a recording of her voice one last time, stating that because she herself has went through all the tests, and as a result of that, can face eternity without doubt and fear. The walls begin closing in and the room now becomes inescapable. Justine panics and passes out, then wakes up to see that the walls have stopped closing in, and retract back. At this point in the game, the player is now assured that they are playing as Justine when she starts speaking. Justine assures that the door behind her is locked so none of her test subjects can leave and walks upstairs and speaks to her friend and maid, Clarice.
If the player managed to save all three hostages in the game, the voices coming from behind the locked door differ from if the hostages die. The former consists of the hostages begging to be freed, while the latter features the suitors' voices.
After the completion of the story, you enter winding hallways filled with disturbing messages written in blood. When you exit the hallways, you come across a phonograph chained to the ceiling. The phonograph will congratulate you on completing the tests. After the message, the two walls on either side of you begin to cave in and your character blacks out. Upon awakening, your character locks the door behind you and begins to speak. It is here that you finally understand you were playing as Justine for the whole game. Justine is mentally unstable, and the test was a way of judging whether or not she had any humanity left in her. Justine then leaves the dungeon, and talks to Clarice about supper. If all notes are collected, a special ending occurs, with Justine walking out of the dungeon and into what looks like Brennenburg. She then asks the maid to send a letter even though it is "years late." She says that "they should know... I'm still alive."
Depending on who you save, you can get a few different endings. If none of the people are saved, you will hear Aloïs asking you to stay, and Basile saying he will find you or Malo expressing wishes to eat you. If you save one or two of the prisoners, you will hear the survivors asking you to open the door. If you save all of them, you will hear the prisoners praising you from behind the door. If you save less than three of the prisoners, you will get an ending where Clarice asks about hearing voices from downstairs. If you save them all, you will get an ending with references to the Portal game series.
Main article: Notes (Justine)
There are several notes scattered throughout the game.
|Main characters||Justine Florbelle|
|Antagonists||Aloïs • Basile • Malo|
|Side characters||Victor Fournier • Hector David • Felix Marot • Clarice|
| Cabinet of Perturbation: |
Cells - Library - Dungeon - Crypt
- Although the place the game takes place looks like Brennenburg (which is located in Eastern Prussia), the names found in game suggest that the game takes place in France. This is also noticed when Justine greets the player (herself); she says 'Bienvenue,' which means 'Welcome' in French. She uses some French words in her phrases as well. It is also possible that the place is located somewhere near Paris or Calais, as both names are mentioned in Notes.
- Justine's full name is a combination of names taken from works by the French author Marquis de Sade ("Justine", "Les Journées de Florbelle"). The Marquis himself is known for his bizarre and insatiable sexual appetites. It is from his name, that the word "sadistic" comes.
- When Justine enters the Tunnels filled with disturbing messages from the Crypt near the end of the game, she will start losing sanity.
- Justine does share some characteristics with Daniel, as they both have tortured people willingly (although Daniel was brainwashed by Alexander) and they both realize at the end the things they have done to other people. They also both gave themselves amnesia before the beginnings of their respective games.
- At low sanity, Justine will make sounds in a voice identical to Daniel's. This may be due to time constraints during development, or it may just be an oversight.
- Despite the situation Justine is in, she does not lose sanity. The only times she loses sanity are when looking at a Suitor and after entering the Tunnels. One major likely reason is that while Daniel suffers from nyctophobia (fear of the dark), Justine does not. Another reason is that Daniel, unlike Justine, has the Shadow threatening him throughout The Dark Descent, which would obviously put him further on edge.
- A chronological error was made with Daniel's letter to Justine's father, Monsieur Florbelle. Daniel sent the letter on July 7th 1839, asking for information about whatever ancient horror they had stirred in the Algerian tomb. Daniel was not even aware the Shadow was following him until July 17th 1839.
- It is unknown why Malo doesn't attempt to eat the other suitors in the ending where you don't save any of the three men. It is possible that murdering Inspector Marot satisfies his hunger; thus, he doesn't attempt to kill the other suitors.