It tells you everything about Friday 13th that we have a WhatsApp group dedicated to organising murder parties. Every evening, at around 8.30pm, the messages start to arrive. “Are we killing each other tonight?”; “Who’s up for punching off my head?”; “How do I remove myself from WhatsApp group again?” It’s fair to say Friday the 13th has captured our imagination in a way that few other recent titles have. Every game is different; every failed escape attempt brings brilliant, doomed anecdotes - and we’ve collected our favourite, promiscuous-teen hunting stories below. Read, share, enjoy, and remember to hide under the cupboard if you start hearing the “ki, ki, ki, ma, ma, ma” noise...
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Louise Blain (The Killer) - “I like being creepy. I like watching people”
It would be easy to pick a favourite moment from my time as Jason. It might be when I finally bought the heart punch kill and watched everyone’s favourite hockey-masked killer stick his fist through Iain’s... sorry, Chad’s chest and peer happily through the hole it made. It could even be the first time I activated Rage mode and, instead of having to hammer doors down with an axe, just walked through them like a complete tank, leaving cabins in smithereens and counselors scattering like screaming cockroaches. But it’s not any of those. I like being creepy. I like watching people. No, seriously.
Jason loves peekaboo. @Friday13thGame still killing it. Literally. #PS4share pic.twitter.com/WcW0mPJGVvJune 1, 2017
The thing is, when you die early in Friday the 13th, you don’t go and make a cup of tea. You watch. You flick between the surviving members of the team and make your own horror movie with your own camera angles. Swivel the camera over a running counsellor’s shoulder to see Jason slowly stalking behind them, perhaps take in the view from a long shot by flicking to one of the camp cameras. And it’s even better when you have company. For one match we were all watching JJ as he valiantly fought for his life. The police had been called. They were waiting at the end of a track, but Jason knew. Because Jason always knows. We watched JJ arm himself with a wrench, Final Boy-ing like a hero and Jason following mercilessly. It all ended in tears but for a few glorious moments, it was the most tense slasher movie we’d ever seen.
Matthew Elliott (The Fashionable One) - “Just as his neck was about to snap, the magic knitwear took hold”
There are almost too many to pick. There was the time I started singing Tiny Tim (opens in new tab) while I was hunting Leon. Or the time Jason found me because my girlfriend was noisily eating crisps next to me. Or the time I whispered “goodnight” to Louise before breaking her over my knee like a Tunnock's caramel wafer. Good times.
But no. My favourite anecdote is an organic horror movie moment. I was playing as Jenny Myers - a calm, composed Final Girl. I got split up from the rest of the group and stumbled across a shack that wasn’t showing on my map. Inside was a severed, rotting head - hello, Mrs Vorhees! - and a tattered jumper. Naturally, I immediately put it on. I ran back to the car, where I found Leon frantically attaching the battery. He was almost there when Jason appeared and began to throttle him. Just as his neck was about to snap, the magic knitwear took hold. I berated Jason for being a naughty son and demanded that he put down his axe. My monstrous spawn dropped Leon and stood transfixed, leaving us free to fix the car and make a heroic getaway*. Thanks, psychological childhood trauma! You saved us.
* Jason actually recovered and butchered us both, but that’s hardly the point.
James Jarvis (The Joker) - “When Dave whispered ‘I’m going to hide in this tent’ I had a pretty good idea where he’d be.”
Even though I think I’ve had more fun playing as the counselors, one of my stand-out memories comes from playing as Jason. It was early in the game and I was just starting to get an idea of where everyone was. Then I heard a muffled, “I can see him!”. A quick spin around and there was Dave (and someone I couldn’t identify) running away. The other person didn’t matter. Dave was going to die.
The terrified couple stayed together until they reached a campsite. It’s important to note at this stage that Friday the 13th uses a voice chat system based on proximity. As Jason, you can hear the counselors talking if you’re close enough. Because, y’know, that’s how hearing works. Thus when Dave whispered ‘I’m going to hide in this tent’ I had a pretty good idea where he’d be. But that’s where the fun started.
At first I walked around the tent and looked at the opposite one. “I don’t think he’s seen me”, Dave foolishly says over the mic. I, of course, knew exactly where he was. Finally, I started to slowly walk away. “He’s going, he’s going!”. Except I wasn’t going. Dave had became a mere plaything in my murderous game and he was about to lose. Turning around, I walked up the tent reached in and pulled out a sleeping bag. “Oh sh*t” The sleeping bag hit a tree and his insides squelched. One kill down, four to go.
Leon Hurley (The Last One You'd Suspect) - “I realised I was laughing the whole time. Yes, I worry about me too.”
I have to be worryingly honest and say my best memory is playing as Jason and ruthlessly tracking down each counselor, with barely a moment wasted. I’ve never felt more powerful and monstrous as I plodded in pursuit, wearing the distance down to my target and ending them horribly. This was at a time when I’d unlocked a few different kills as well - Jason just stares out into the camera, holding a struggling teenager by the neck and waiting for you to pick a button. Groins were carved out with an axe, heads were crushed and eyes gouged. It was only watching it back afterwards I realised I was laughing the whole time. Yes, I worry about me too.
The real star of @Friday13thGame is Chad, who just *cannot* deal with Jason right now pic.twitter.com/ZLubgomCI9May 28, 2017
Being a counselor's just as much fun, if a bit more predictable and you will almost certainly die. It’s just a case of how and where in the pecking order - first sucks, anywhere in middle is fine and being last is terrible as you know everyone is watching. I’ve escaped maybe two or three times so far. The rest has been spent in a huddle with friends in a cabin, desperately whispering to each other about plans to not be dead. Tricky while one of your group is playing Jason, and singing as they smash all the windows around you.
The voice chat stuff is brilliantly done, only letting you talk to each other if you’re close by. You whisper and hiss from the shadows, hoping Jason won’t hear you. But it’s so easy to accidentally blurt out something like, “are you hiding under the bed?” maybe accidentally on purpose when Voorhees smashes through the door.
David Houghton (The Fourth Wall Breaking One) - “As I ran into the woods, the sound of my two betrayers being sternly and wetly punished fading slowly behind me, I realised something wonderful”
It's late in the game, and JJ and I are holed up in a cabin, pondering our next move. We've survived well together so far, stockpiling a handsome collection of slightly incongruous gear. But the one thing we haven't accrued is a coherent plan. But then a roar! And a screech! The car! Someone has repaired and refueled the car. We bail out of a window and run.
Not far away, we find our vehicular saviour sitting nervously on the trail, Matt sitting more nervously in the driving seat. We sprint toward the passenger doors, hammering X in preparation. A frenzied “Go go go!” from JJ, and Matt punches it. One problem. I'm not in yet, and Jason has just stepped out of the shadows in front of me. As I launch a torrent of profanity at the increasingly small vehicle, I become very aware a single flare-gun shot will decide whether I die or live to give chase.
Mercifully, my hail Mary works, Jason is stunned, and I make it to the (now thankfully parked) car. With JJ and I frantically navigating with our in-game maps as Matt drives, what follows is a maelstrom of wrong turns and frantic reversals, with Voorhees intermittently appearing ahead of us. We near the park gates. We hold our breath. Jason steps out, smashes the car hood, and wrecks our chariot.
But as I run into the woods, the sound of my two betrayers being sternly and wetly punished echoing stark and squishy behind me, I realise something wonderful. Friday the 13th has just thrown up the perfect, dynamically-generated ‘Final Girl’ narrative. Moments later, on the shore of the lake, I find that some long-dead angel has already repaired the boat. It only needs fuel, and JJ's spare gas tank now lies on his still-warm body. Only Jason and I remain, and if I can lay low for long enough before doubling back, I can weave the archetypal cinematic slasher ending. Ultimately I manage nothing of the sort. I die horribly. But while it lasted, it was goddamn magical.
Zoe Delahunty-Light (The Final Girl) - “I can hear something squishy being sliced behind me”
Running away from the axe-wielding Jason, I can hear something squishy being sliced behind me. I know what it is. It’s my fellow counselor, who I’d teamed up with to search the cabins for supplies but who - luckily for me - doesn’t run as fast as me. Yelling out a sincere apology over my mic as I plummet into the forest, I realise I have a machete in one hand. I could have helped. On the other hand, because I used him to stall the killer on the loose, I got to make my getaway.
That’s what Friday the 13th turns you into: ruthless, yet surprisingly inventive when you start to hear that ki-ki-ki ma-ma-ma worm its way into your ears. I’m telling myself now that I’m more inventive than ruthless (that’s probably a lie), as a wave of relief surges over me when I find a walkie-talkie and hear someone on the other end. I don’t immediately think how I could use them; instead I’m so petrified of being alone that we make a plan to meet. Along the way I start to hear that sound. Ki-ki-ki ma-ma-ma. “He’s coming!”, I yell into my mic, and swiftly change my course. Instead of leading him straight to the other survivors, I veer towards the shore. I can see the water. I can swim away - and that’s when the camera switches into cinematic mode, and I see Jason plant his axe into my skull. Hopefully I distracted him enough to let the others escape. It’s a fitting dose of karma, yet this unpredictability is what has me thirsting for more. Or maybe it’s for blood.