Saturday, October 1, 2022

Another Secret They Tried To Sweep Under The Rug

This is going to be one of the shorter and stranger posts I've written. It's about carpets. Specifically, it's about carpets in The Secret World and in the house where I lived when I was growing up.

I've taken a lot of screenshots in The Secret World and its mirror-world twin, Secret World Legends. I think it offers some of the very best photographic possibilities of any game I've played. I've had a folder containing nearly a thousand TSW image files set as my desktop background for several months, pulling random images that change at ten minute intervals, so I see a lot of TSW even though I haven't played for a while.

Yesterday, I tabbed out to desktop to find myself looking at the carpet that used to be on the floor of my bedroom back in the 1960s and '70s. I hadn't seen it for a long, long time but I recognised it immediately. I'd completely forgotten that there's a house somewhere in the game with my old carpet on the floor.

I think it's in Kingsmouth. It's definitely in New England. That's it in the picture at the top of the post.

It started me wondering. Why that carpet? Is it a classic weave? Was it mass-produced? Is it really the exact same design or just something similar? And given that TSW supposedly takes place in the same timeframe as the real world and the game came out just over a decade ago, are we meant to believe interior design hasn't moved on in the best part of half a century?

This afternoon, when I thought about knocking out a quick post about it, I toyed with the idea of logging into the game and getting some better shots. I wasn't wholly certain where the house in the picture was, though, and I had a feeling it might only have been acessible through a quest, so to save a bit of time I started flipping through my screenshot folder to see if there was anything I could use.

To my astonishment, I found another shot of what looks very much like the same carpet, only in a different location entirely. I know roughly where that second image comes from (It's even on the mini-map in the top, right corner of the shot.) and it's definitely a different house to the first.

Now look at this next picture. I think that's the interior of the headquarters of the ultra-creepy Morninglight sect. They have the same rug under their coffee table as the one at the top left of the previous shot. Maybe there's only one carpet warehouse in Kingsmouth and it keeps limited stock.

Or maybe it goes deeper than that. Take a look at this somewhat blurry image from the haunted mansion in Savage Coast. The one with all the ghosts.

Isn't that my childhood bedroom carpet, again, in the room at the back? I'm pretty sure it is. Plus there's another very similar rug in the room my character's exploring. Does everyone in the area have one?

And what's this? The motherlode! Carpets on carpets and all of them in those same designs!

Where exactly was that shot taken? I can't remember. It was a long time ago. 

It doesn't look like New England. The ceiling seems to be made of rattan or bamboo and there's one of those overhead fans you see in old movies set North Africa or the far east in the 1930s. There are cushions on the floor and a hookah on the table. It has to be Egypt, doesn't it?

So what's the carpet connection between Egypt and New England? There has to be one. This is The Secret World. There are  no co-incidences, only conspiracies. Don't start talking about copyright-free images and re-used art assets. That's just what they want you to think.

And most worryingly of all - how did they know that was what my carpet looked like? Eh? Go on, explain that, if you can!


  1. Wait, The Secret World and Secret World Legends aren't the same game? I mean, I couldn't afford either at the time, but I always assumed that the latter was merely a rebranding of the former.

    1. SWL is mostly a game system revamp with some easing of the leveling difficulty & quest progression. Each game has some content the other doesn't have. Reddit has a nice thread that gives an overview of the major differences:

      The issue these days is if you don't have a TSW key or can find one of the few remaining ones you won't be able to access TSW. The game is still running, but it doesn't see many players and none of the seasonal events ever happen on the server.

    2. Bummer about the keys for TSW, but in retrospect an MMO based on the horror genre like TSW wasn't probably a true winner. If it were purely a single player game like, say, Bioshock, it would have done really well.


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