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(12/21/2002) If you have a copy of The Secret of Cooey 3, hold on to it. It's one of the rarest pieces of Darkness Ethereal history you'll ever find on the Internet.
Sometimes, circumstances can turn one of the most celebrated games into a rare, difficult-to-find gem. Such is the case for the final chapter of Darkness Ethereal's main RPG series, The Secret of Cooey 3.
The QBRPG demo, which won the 2002 QB Gaming Gold Generations award, has long since been suspended by Darkness Ethereal when the programming group retired in Mid-December. And when Darkness Ethereal closed their site, all of the game downloads within Darkness Ethereal were also removed. Basically, that means every download or game site that used a direct link to a Darkness Ethereal project no longer works.
This also means that (almost immediately) there are very few places to download any project that has used the Darkness Ethereal name. Out of all the major QB review sites, active or retired, only Pete's QBasic Site, V Planet, and GBGames have downloads of products made under the Darkness Ethereal, Micoosoft, or DarkDreams label. Of those three sites, only two (Pete's QBasic Site and V Planet) have Secret of Cooey 1 & 2 in their download list.
But neither Pete's QBasic Site or V Planet have an existing copy of The Secret of Cooey 3 on each respective website. The Secret of Cooey 2 was one of the last games reviewed by Pete's QBasic Site before the site was permanently suspended, and although we did review Secret of Cooey 3 at one point, that review (along with the download itself) disappeared from the Internet when V Planet crashed in February 2002.
As for other QB or RPG download sites, many sites carried a direct link to the Secret of Cooey 3 demo through Darkness Ethereal's website. Yet other RPG download sites like HyperRealistic Games and Sneukeule's QBRPG Page either retired or perhaps anticipating a completed version of Secret of Cooey 3 before hosting a copy on their website. Other sites, like QB45.com, are currently in a major reconstruction phase, and access to downloads (should Secret of Cooey 3 be there) are currently restricted.
So whether by design or by fate, it looks like finding a copy of the award-winning Secret of Cooey 3 is a very difficult task, if it's possible at all. Perhaps when the game resurfaces, it will be on a commercial platform like the Gameboy Advance. But Darkness Ethereal fans who are fortunate enough not to erase their copy of The Secret of Cooey 3 Demo when it was first released onto the Net are one of the few people in the world to have a rare piece of Darkness Ethereal's history, which (at least in this moment in time) can not be found anywhere else.
Editor, V Planet! QuickBasic Magazine
V Planet! Archive