(Image from the official website)
- Name: Emma Harry
- Game(s): Barrow Hill: Curse of the Ancient Circle
- Creator: Matt Clark (Shadow Tor Studios)
“This is Emma Harry on top of the world tonight. It’s not just any night. For those of you who don’t know: It’s the Autumn Equinox, an important date in the Pagan calendar. And you’ve got twelve hours of darkness ahead. So let’s celebrate! Like Alice, we’re going off down the rabbit hole.”
Aw, Emma Harry. The closest thing Barrow Hill has to a real character. Although you never see her in the flesh, she’s the closest the player ever gets to human contact in this game. The protagonist is just an avatar, one of those Myst-style shells for the player to jump into, and all the other characters are long dead. Emma Harry, though. She’s around and here to guide you through the witching hour.
Emma is a radio jockey who broadcasts from a tiny trailer out in the swamplands. She only has her dog for company. There’s not much to Emma, but you have to admire a girl who can live on her own in the haunted countryside. You never actually see her, just listen to her on the radio and, when you find one, a cellphone. She’s really the one behind everything your character does, directing you and offering a human motivation to quell the spiritual antagonists of the game.
I must have a preternatural inclination for radio jockeys, because I’m fond of Adrienne Barbeau’s character in The Fog for similar reasons. Maybe it’s the way they’re paradoxically isolated from other people yet have the ability to connect with everyone who tunes into their station. Or maybe it’s the courage of maintaining their broadcast in the hopes of assisting others despite all the horrific unknowns trying to get at them. Or maybe they just have nice voices. In any case, Emma Harry is a winner.