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"Do you see, Daniel? A whole other world – isn't it beautiful?"
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A Servant Grunt hallucination in the Archives.

Hallucination is a mechanic in the first two games of Amnesia series. It refers to simulated sights and sounds by the game when there is nothing "really," i.e. mechanically, there. The function of hallucinations in the Amnesia games is primarily to spook the player in the moment and to increase feelings of doubt and fear about whatever they experience outside of such moments.

Information[]

Hallucinations are either "fake" monsters or scripted events which happen only at low sanity. Enemy hallucinations will still produce the same music as real Gatherers would, the same happens with the Terror Meter.

A hallucinated Gatherer will "poof" to dust when he comes close to the player. A deep sound effect can be heard as the enemy fades. Kaernks don't have any particular effects or sounds when the hallucination fades.

It is left ambiguous whether certain events witnessed by the player are real or not, such as the drowning man in the Cistern and when the prisoners are being beaten by Brutes in the Prison. However, it is mentioned in the Developer Commentary for the prison that the theme of the level is a shift from past events to the present, and also directly mentions the sound of the man being beaten, which strongly implies that this is actually happening as you move through the level.

On occasion, Daniel can hallucinate an entire enemy, as is the case in the Archives, Prison and Sewer. In the Archives, Daniel will see a Servant Grunt following him when he inspects a caved-in passage; in the Prison, he might (5% of probability) see a Grunt flashing along the corridor at the southern block; and in the Sewer, he will witness a Brute walking through the room ahead. All three will disappear if they come too close to Daniel.

Daniel may hear the sounds and sometimes even see the splashes of a Kaernk in both the Cistern and Sewer even when the creature is not on the map, though it is questionable whether or not this is a hallucination, as the Kaernks are possibly an ethereal being. If Daniel's sanity is at the stage of "...", he may actually "see" a Kaernk splash up to him and follow him; however, it will not attack him.

By game[]

Amnesia: The Dark Descent[]

During various points of Amnesia: The Dark Descent, the player character may hallucinate a number of sounds, visions, and even enemies. These hallucinations may or may not be caused by Daniel's current sanity, depending on the specific case, as sanity plays a large part in seeing hallucinations in the game. When sanity is low in The Dark Descent, hallucinations are much more common and intense.

Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs[]

In Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs, hallucination returns, but as a scripted event. Oswald Mandus may hallucinate as he is seeing his children running away from him or entering a non-existent room. Sometimes, he may pass out after that and wake up in a completely different room. This is caused by Mandus' unstable psyche.

Other Amnesia games[]

Hallucinations are known to be not present in Amnesia: Rebirth. Tasi Trianon never experiences them while she is awake, unless some of her dreams count as hallucinations (i.e. dreaming about yet-to-be-born Amari). Hallucinations are entirely absent in Amnesia: The Bunker as well, and there is nothing that can be easily interpreted as hallucination.

Insanity visions[]

Jesuspainting sanity

The same painting of the Crucifixion, at different sanity levels (the right being low sanity).

"Insanity visions" are a subtype of hallucination, wherein the same visual object looks different to the player depending on their sanity, or new visual objects appear. Principally, Amnesia: The Dark Descent features certain objects that only appear at low sanity. They are featured heavily in some early stages, but slightly rarer towards the end. The sanity level needed to see them can vary from object to object. The objects don't appear immediately when the player reaches a low enough sanity; instead, the player needs to look away for a moment before they can be seen.

Some of the objects that appear are dead bodies and altered painting variations. Playing the game with low sanity can be an interesting experience, as it uncovers a whole second layer to the experience.

A notorious example of this is Alexander's alternative portrait:

Technical information[]

In the level editor, every entity can be marked as an insanity object, but only enemies can be marked as hallucinations.

While most hallucinations are caused by a low Sanity value, the Servant Grunts in the Archives and the Brute in the Sewer always appear when reaching a script area.

Navigation[]

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