View Full Version : Cradle level - Nothing for kids? *contains spoilers*

11th Jun 2004, 21:57
Hello there, folks,

at first I just registered an account to use the search function of this forum but now I've got to get some statements from other players.

I've just finished the cradle level and if there's any level of a game that make me almost fall off my chair or shivering cramps, it's definitely this one.

All these stories you can read in the documents about the experiments they did with the children and other inmates. And shortly afterwards those zombies sneaking around.... enough said in other threads about that.

But what about the fact that this game is free for kids older than 12 years to buy and consume - at least in Germany?
I think that at least this level would definitely harm younger gamers much more than other games containing more blood and which are so only free to buy for older gamers.

I've watched many movies from the video collection of my older brother at the age from 12-16 myself. These movies contained violence and scary elements itself but they are not free for children to buy.

What's your opinion about that?


11th Jun 2004, 22:05
Umm... I don't know about Germany, but in US this game is rated M for Mature. That means people that are 17+ years of age can buy and play the game.

Personally, I don't care if a 12 year old kid plays the Cradle level. Probably won't finish it anyway :-)

11th Jun 2004, 22:42
Maybe the German government wants children to grow up fast!

Really, though, especially considering the Cradle level, the game ought to be rated Mature in any country. Not for 12 year olds.

11th Jun 2004, 23:09
If Germany is dumb enough to allow kids to play American products Americans rate as Mature (17+) that is really their problem. That is a stupid system, and has nothing to do with the game. They always complain that we're too conservative anyways...

11th Jun 2004, 23:12
Well, it just all depends on the country. Never know, maybe German kids are more mature/sensible than American kids?

Edit: incidently, I just loved the zombie creature that disturbed electricity when one of them was digging a hole. It was just downright creepy, I never went down that corridor...

11th Jun 2004, 23:15
By mature and sensible you really mean desensitized and conditioned to accept violence, right?

As a product of the American education system I take issue with the concept that Europeans are some how more mature or sensible.

11th Jun 2004, 23:18
I didn't say Europe, did I?

I merely theorised that different countries would have different styles and attitudes. I mean, America [as I recall] does hold claim to the youngest gun murderer, and one of the highest (if not the highest) gun related deaths per year, so perhaps they've made the ratings accordingly. Or 'tis to do with the over-political correctness wave that is sweeping the world.

I would check what the UK rating for Thief 3 is, but Amazon.co.uk seems to be down.

Edit: anyway, there's a huge difference between desensitised to violence, and being able to clearly seperate game violence and real life violence.

Edit the second: the UK rating appears to be +12, as well. I guess that makes the UK stupid, too?

I take issue with the accusation that Germans are stupid on the basis of their game rating scheme.

11th Jun 2004, 23:24
Bah that's not really fair, America may have nasty crime statistics but it is a heck of a lot safer than most countries. The difference is that in America EVERYTHING is reported. A man recently tried to kidnap a small family here in my area and the police broadcasted his full description and license plate # over AM/FM radio across the entire state of Texas (which is bigger than most European nations). Other nations, like Mexico, have terrible crime rates but half of it is never reported. Then there's the trade off of gun control, crime typically rises in nations without them. In America more felons (armed robbery, rape, murder, etc) are shot dead by civilians each year than are arrested. By the way, that man was caught within something like two hours, family O.K.

Anyways, we're getting off topic, and I didn't mean to come across as snapping at ya.

Different cultures sure, they can rate it whatever they want. I just don't want to hear (nor have I accused you of stating this, this thread is based on presumption) about the evil American gaming companies polluting the minds of small German youths when their gov't is too stupid to read the maturity ratings on the products they import.

11th Jun 2004, 23:26
Ne'bother, no offence taken and hopefully none given back.

The pollution of minds would come from anywhere, because we all love being Politically Correct nowadays *roll eyes*

... I mean. Yes, The Cradle. Righto.

Did anyone get caught by the Cradle staff? I'm just curious 'cause I found it quite easy.

11th Jun 2004, 23:28
Nah they can't catch me, I'm the gingerbread man. I actually found that mission to be really really easy once you get past the creepiness. Long, but easy.

11th Jun 2004, 23:30
Yeah, why couldn't we have been given all the objectives (well, up until a point) at once, rather than dribs and drabs.

"... Would you like me to find a cup of tea for you, as well?"

11th Jun 2004, 23:37
oh god.... the age old question: does media influence kids. Im not touching this one. I dont like getting into messageboard arguments.

12th Jun 2004, 10:01
Me again.

At first I want to thank you for all your replys. I didn't expect to recieve such committed posts when I opened the thread yesterday evening.

It's very interesting for me to see that DS is rated 17+ in the US.
In my opinion it's irresponsible to rate this game below and further that the county/culture you're living in doesn't really matter there.

Btw, I don't even want to think about differentiating between European and American kids in the way of their behaviour.

The only thing I wondered was how a game level that shocked and tensed me (as an 22 year old) that much would have shocked me if I played it at the age of 12 or 13.
It's imo not the issue of videogames making kids violent but hurting them in some psychical way for a longer or shorter time (i.e. nightmares, or mommy asks "Tommy, could you get me some things from the attic, please?").

I would've had definitely some heavy dull knocks on the stairway up in my mind ;)

Thank you again for your contributions.


12th Jun 2004, 18:47
I'm 17 and the Cradle level still scares the living **** out of me. This level alone makes the game deserve it's rating, because of the puppets (zombie-things).

The thing is that zombies etc don't scare me at all because they behave like... zombies. These things twitch, screw with the lights, and look like a cross between The Mummy and Edward Scissorhands. *shivers*

12th Jun 2004, 20:58
Theres a big difference between scary, and disturbing. Scary is having someone pop out at you in a dark corner, disturbing is... (incase of spoilers)- Disturbing is having to do tasks for a dead girl, who had her skin torn off and *worn* by a walking abomination known as the hag, doing all of this in an orphanage TURNED assylum mind you. To sum it up, the Cradle, for me, was just plain damn disturbing (theres a game that relates close to it that came out a while ago, Blackstone Chronicles I believe it was called. The same themes of the "assylum" are there). To sum it up as Garrett said would be perfect- "This is just a house of bad dreams". Regardless, I remember playing Doom when I was 8 years old, and if pixelated graphics of zombies and demons gave me nightmares, then god forbid a 12 year old's parents ever letting their kids touch that kind of game without a serious talk of "fantasy and reality" beforehand.

12th Jun 2004, 21:09
I didn't find it scary...at all. Staring at a monitor moving around in a GAME with noises coming out of my speakers.:confused:

12th Jun 2004, 21:09
i was under the impression that the ESRB set ratings for games regardless of region or culture. apparently not though...since we americans do tend to be a bit more anal when it comes to media.

i really fail to see how the cradle level could have a lasting impression on any child, of any age. sure the imagery/environment is quite frightful, but i don't see how it's more harmful than a normal child's own imagination. sure, there may or may not be a handful of children out there that can be an exception to that...but wouldn't that just mean they're more vulnerable to such images than 95+% of all the other children out there?

12th Jun 2004, 21:40
Kids need to grow up some time. 12 and older I don't see a problem with playing this game, maybe it'd give a 8 year old nightmares or whatnot, but at 12, I think they can face reality vs fiction.

Mr. ItchY
12th Jun 2004, 22:22
Maybe I'm wrong, but all these rating crap seems a bit overreacting.. look, do you really thing that this game is so evil and scary that a normal 12-year old guy couldn't get over it? Can you remember yourselves in that age? Well I'm nineteen now, so I can remember it quite good, and all this cradle stuff wouldn't have scared me a little bit more than did it now (and honestly it was nothing special IMHO..).

I think that you americans take these ratings too seriously. For example, you allow people to drive at their sixteen. On the other hand, this game is in your eyes too scary and evil for a normal 12-year-old child. Isn't that ridiculous? It's still a game. Nothing more. And I really think that this old child can see the difference between a game and the real world. Who cares about nightmares. They come and they go. Them children would have these dreams without the game, nonethelast.

To that guy who wrote that germans are stupid that their rating is 12+: Mate, wake up, please. Saying someone's stupid because of a game's rating is ridiculous. I could as easy say that Californians are stupid because they voted for such a politic-savvy guy like Schwarzenegger. What rating would you personally give to for example the GTA series? Something around 26+ would be enough? Or better 30+? Because IF some game is evil in its spirit, than it's something like GTA or I don't know what else.


12th Jun 2004, 23:14
Actually, after playing through Thief1 RTC several times, the cradle didnt bother me at all. It's just avoiding the AI, and sneaking around to do various tasks (like most other missions). The ambient effects are good and the mission overall is challenging, but I would not describe it as scary or disturbing.

13th Jun 2004, 00:51
especially @Mr. Itchy:

I just want to add that DS is rated 17+ in the US as I got told in this thread. If I would've to rate this game myself I would have given it 15+

I myself am living in Germany and our government is indeed making horrible mistakes in making laws concerning protection of the youth.
I.e. they passed a law that allows parents to take their children between 6 and 12 with them into movies which are rated 12+.
It's not only the possibility that those kids may be harmed or disturbed by those movies but they often cannnot even understand the plot. I experienced that while watching "Troy" in cinema. Right the next row behind my friends and me sat a mother and father with their about 9-10 year old son and his older sister. The more the plot went on (and the movie Troy doesn't have that complicated plot) this boy asked his father about who was that again actual fighting and why he did kill this guy and what was the name of that guy again ...

Overall I have to say that some ratings make sense. But what I really can't understand that ratings are - at least in Germany - mostly made on the basis of how many blood is in the game/movie and/or how many sex is shown.
They don't care about things like psychical damage (over long or short range).

Of course there are not many kids at the age of 12 that will take permanent damage from the cradle level. But many will have nightmares after playing it - at least I do read how playing that level scared many adults in this forum.
It's like to puke after consuming too much alcohol. It's a normal overreaction. To stay at this example you have to accept that almost every teenager tasted alcohol before he/she was at the age to consume it legally. Most of them puke and know that they consumed too much. But some of them become little drinkers in their early 20s.

Yes, I know that I sound like an old man talking about how bad our youth is and that everything that provides some fun has to be declared illegal. That's definitely not my opinion. Imo I prefer to know only that sort of parents who talk a lot with their children about what they do in their life and care for it. That would include that a child could talk with mom or dad about how scary that cradle level is and maybe how bad he/she could sleep the night afterwards.
But because I can divide between the reality and fiction. I'm sorry that I have to experience too often that the scenario of children talking with their parents and parents with their children becomes more and more fiction.

Excuse the comparative long post. Just wanted to define my statement a little more clearly.



I forgot to mention that it would imo absolutely right to rate the game 12+ not caring about the cradle level. But the whole thing about doing things for a girl that died by getting it's skin removed (or little time after that wierd action of the hag), while reading doc's documents about why it's advisable to treat a patient with shock therapie etc. and shortly afterwards avoiding to be caught be some of those undead patients restless sneaking around the area still with their chains and bonds over the head and arms and further still packed in some sort of linnen bags is a sort too heavy.
Don't want to talk about stealing dead patient's gold teeth collected by a disturbed nurse out of a morgue....... aaaaarrrrrrrrgggggggghhhh!

13th Jun 2004, 06:46
The atmosphere gives you the scare. Otherwise just turn off music and well it will be normal..

It just really depends how you look at the game.. If you are just thinking of it being a one silly level and just running through it then yes it won't be much.. But if ya do pay attention to all the details.. It gets a little more interesting..

Second of all your trying not to get killed by those zombie things.. Which move pretty fast and sometimes hard to hit when they are walking sideways.

I can easily go through aliens vs predators 2 as a marine because I have played it and it gets boring such as you know where the aliens pop up from. Then again there are glitches with A.I, if you get up one foot higher above them the aliens, they will turn around and get into idle position like nothing ever happened. X.X

I'm still wondering why the hag had a hammer symbol on her back.

Mr. ItchY
13th Jun 2004, 19:55
Well ViperTCR I gotta admit u'r right..

As for the movies where basically all children are let to see, I think this is mainly the children's parents' problem. It's mostly their job to keep them off these things.. but often it's impossible.

Anyway, u'r right about the 15+ rating for this game.. it's not quite right to teach 12year old guys that there's nothing bad on stealing golden teeth from killed-during-those-bloody-experiments patients..

But still I think this game is not *evil* in it's very meaning.. you still play the role of a basically good character, nothing like ie GTA.. if I were the one who'd be asked for the ratings, this would be the main ethalon for my decisions, not the amount of blood spilled or naked women shown.


13th Jun 2004, 22:01
Mr Itchy I'm not going to bother responding to you in anymore detail than this:

Saying the gov't of a nation is stupid is not the same thing as saying its people are stupid. I said if the German gov't is too stupid to read the labels on imported American products I don't want to hear any crap down the line about evil American companies corrupting the German youth.

Assuming you're from Germany, a nation currently famous (alongside France) for blasting the American gov't while claiming to support its people (except when they call them fat, stupid, etc.), I would think you could understand the difference between blasting a government and a people/culture. If you're not from Germany, you should still get the point.

Thank you, have a nice day.

Edit: Oh, and for the most part I agree with your classifications of Thief 3 as not being all that scary or violent. Especially compared to trash like GTA. Thief 3 in my opinion is what a quality mature game should be, violence or disturbing imagery has a point. Games like GTA are nothing but (and I own it) boring blood fests of stupid illegal activities you could only enjoy after receiving too many speeding tickets in your youth. That said, I wasn't discussing the validity of Thief 3's rating, but why the rating might be different in two separate nations.

13th Jun 2004, 22:10
Thanks for your reply, Mr Itchy. I think we approximately do have the same opinion.

I just couldn't understand that our organisation that rates videogames doesn't look at the whole game. And we both share the opinion that there's more about rating a game than counting counting litres of blood and square centimetres of naked skin ;)

Discussions can be so wonderful..


14th Jun 2004, 02:25
Bah that's not really fair, America may have nasty crime statistics but it is a heck of a lot safer than most countries.

Without going into some long-winded Michael Moore-ish speech about America's crime situation, I would like to note that this quote is a giant, steaming pile of bull****.

16th Jun 2004, 04:53
Im 15 and I buy M games all the time and I live in the US, maybe its the fact im 6ft and can wear a mustache.... oh well :p

16th Jun 2004, 13:49
I first played Thief1 when I was 10. From that experience I would probably rate the Thief series T. I really didn't see that much of a reason why they should rate it M. However I do have a lot of other friends who would be scared enough to have nightmares for a month or two just because of the Cradle. The Cradle did have it's moments while I was playing it, but it didn't have any effect on me when I finished it.

16th Jun 2004, 14:42
I think a point that hasn't been mentioned is that most of the really disturbing stuff in the game, apart from the vial of blood and washing away the bloodstain, comes as text (notes and things that you read) rather than as images. The hag herself is pretty gross-looking, but apart from that...

So, movies and games are rated, books are not. Much more extreme things can be described in books without them requiring a certain age to buy them (whether it's a good thing for kids to read them is a different matter). I think visually presented gore *is* more impactful on kids (and adults) than written gore or disturbing material. Myself, I love reading Stephen King and Clive Barker, but rarely watch the movies based on their work.

Kanelle Bella
16th Jun 2004, 15:49
I think the violence/media thing is overrated. It's the parent/kid talking regularly thing that's the real issue.

Personally I grew up in a house of 5 childern and there was always a parent about. I always got parental input. (Even if I wanted it or not. :o ) We didn't get into any major trouble during school and now that we're adults none of us to date have ever been arrested or had any major trouble with the law. As a matter of fact my brother is a prison guard. *cough cough* :D *cough cough*

Anyways my point is I remember watching movies like Alien when I was 5 (I'm nearly 25 if you curious) and there was always adult there explaining that it wasn't real .... it's fake and they wouldn't let anything get me. Yes I once in awhile woke up in the middle of the night scared but I recovered quickly during these times because it's hilarious hearing my mother chewing out my dad for it. :D

{edit} And yes I played almost anything on the computer .... only exception would be the X-rated games. And no I'm not mentally scarred by any of it.

16th Jun 2004, 16:43
My input would be, it depends on the maturity level of the person playing, heck some adults shouldnt play these games.