An independent Polish-based software company, IMGN.PRO, has developed a new computer game that is inspired by a series of true events known as the “Dyatlov Pass mystery”. The game follows the path of a group of nine Russian students who set out on an ill-fated expedition in the northern Ural Mountains back in 1959.
The mysterious incident happened on the night of February 2, 1959 on the eastern shoulder of Kholat Syakhl Mountain (meaning Mountain of the Dead). Specifically, it was in a pass which is now known as Dyatlov Pass, named after the group’s leader, Igor Dyatlov.
In January 1959, a group of ten Russian hikers from Ural Polytechnic Institute embarked on a trip to the Mountain. As the wintry conditions worsened, one hiker was forced to turn back due to illness, unaware that he would be the last person to see his companions alive.
After two weeks without word from the hikers, a search team set off to investigate their disappearance. They found the students' abandoned camp on February 26 on Kholat Syakhl. The tent was badly damaged and someone had apparently cut open the tent from the back with a knife.
The hikers appeared to have fled through the hole without their shoes, some wearing only socks and others barefoot in the heavy snow.
A chain of footprints suggested there were no strangers chasing the group.
One of the people had a small crack in his skull but it was thought to not be a fatal wound.
When the four bodies of the remaining hikers were found that May, the entire picture changed. Three of them had succumbed to fatal injuries. The body of one had major skull damage and two others had major chest fractures and broken ribs; one of the hikers was missing her tongue. Doctors concluded that the force needed to cause such damage must have been extremely high.
According to investigators, substantial levels of radiation were detected in the clothing which four of the victims had on them.
Dr. Boris Vozrozhdenny, who examined the bodies, stated that none of the injuries to the bodies could have been caused by another human being, “because the force of the blows had been too strong and no soft tissue had been damaged.”
Some say they were running from an avalanche, while others claim they saw glowing orange orbs in the area that night, which led to beliefs that there were some spooky science experiments happening in those woods.
The final conclusion by investigators was that the group had all died due to some “compelling unknown force.” No other official explanation has been provided so far.
The newly released game is called Kholat, after the name of the mountain, and is set to reconstruct the real nature of the tragedy, although there were no witnesses to the incident.
The player is thrown into the atmosphere of anxiety and dread, created by a fear management algorithm. It is responsible for precise dosing of fear and uncertainty, based on what the player is doing.
"Kholat is a game that doesn't follow mainstream game design rules but creates its own, which are based on players' intelligence and imagination," developer IMGN.PRO said of its experimental horror game.
The official release date is set for June 10.