David Lynch and Mark Frost’s Black Lodge/Red Room, the extra-dimensional space that is both an integral part of Twin Peaks and iconic in its set design, is a place most of us would not want to visit. Detective Dale Cooper got trapped there for 25 years and it was not pleasant. But that hasn’t stopped fans from wanting to create that space any chance they get, whether as a bar or place to sing karaoke. And when the final episode of the second season showed the lodge was an endless series of rooms connected by hallways, it wasn’t long until the video game versions started appearing.
Well, now you can really get lost in the Black Lodge with the slow unveiling of Twin Peaks VR, which AdWeek says will be available “sometime in 2019” on Steam for HTC Vive and Oculus Rift.
Fans who follow the Welcome to Twin Peaks blog have been hearing about this game/not game since the beginning of the year, but it seems that the footage out there was only proof of concept graphics or some such attempt.
The first video dropped in January of 2018, and it’s er, something:
No doubt made by fans, this gives us a brief visit to the Red Room; a very strange and not particularly flattering portrayal of the Man from Another Place; a trip to the RR Diner featuring what I assume is Major Briggs; and a return to the frightening glass box somewhere in New York City first seen in The Return. The man playing the VR seems appropriately confused. “Is it future or past?” It’s your living room, man!
This second clip gives us a bit more of the Red Room and a dubious looking Audrey Horne. The Convenience Store, however, is well done.
But this is, we stress, nowhere near a finished version. It’s not even clear if any of this will make it into the final version.
A beta version premiered two weeks ago at Lynch’s Festival of Disruption in Los Angeles. AdWeek had the only real description of the five minute demo, which starts near the ring of saplings in Glastonbury Grove:
Immediately after the pool turns to blood, viewers are transported to the Red Room, an extra-dimensional space that’s been a key feature of Twin Peaks in both the original series from the 1990s and the modern revival that aired last year. (It’s also a location frequently visited by the show’s main character, FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper.) Inside the room, viewers aren’t able to walk like they can in some VR experiences, but they’re able to teleport within the room as it rapidly changes in ways similar to what happens in the show itself. (One moment, a statue falls over before running around as a shadow on the other side of a curtain. In another, users can pick up a coffee mug that won’t empty until the second time it’s picked up.) The demo ends as a white horse appears in the room in the distance, surrounded in darkness but unreachable.
The best news is that the company developing the game, Collider Games, is giving creative control to Lynch, so hopefully the game won’t be like those terrible non-Lynch episodes in Season Two. Says AdWeek:
“[T]he more we show, and the more we progress with this development, hopefully the more [Lynch] will want to be involved,” Rassool said. “And the more we can do with maybe even some new narrative—because I’m not going to write new narrative for this. I’m only ever going to let David Lynch [write].”
Here’s to hoping Lynch doesn’t just give us a cheap VR version of what we’ve already seen. Instead, let’s hope he gives us something that blows our minds (and a reason to finally buy a VR headset).
Ted Mills is a freelance writer on the arts who currently hosts the artist interview-based FunkZone Podcast and is the producer of KCRW's Curious Coast. You can also follow him on Twitter at @tedmills, read his other arts writing at tedmills.com and/or watch his films here.