The Forbidden City, an eerie but carefully built dungeon beneath the sands of Persia, is one of the most important locations in the story of Eternal Darkness. Here, Pious picks from one of three Essences, Karim seeks the treasure the girl of his dreams yearns for, Roberto surveys the area to see if it is fit for construction, and Michael sets magickally-enhanced C-4 bombs. Its primary purpose is to be the place where the Essence of the Ancient weak against Pious' Ancient lies.
The Forbidden City is featured in four chapters in the Tome of Eternal Darkness, making it the most-visited location in the game if one excludes the Roivas Mansion. The characters who wander the glorious to crumbling corridors include Pious Augustus, Karim, Roberto Bianchi, and Michael Edwards.
26 B.C. - The Chosen One: Pious Augustus
- See Pious' article for more-detailed information.
Pious, a Roman centurion, wanders into a teleportation array and finds himself inside the Forbidden City. This chapter serves as a basic tutorial for the game, and introduces the Health Meter(*). At the end of his journey, he is faced with the three artifacts --the Essences of the Ancients; however, depending on the playthrough, one or two Essences may be missing. Whichever Essence he chooses will have a major effect on the story. Afterward, he is transformed into the Liche.
565 A.D. - The Gift of Forever: Karim
- See Karim's article for more-detailed information.
Karim is a lovesick swordsman wandering the desert in search of a relic sought after by Chandra, his crush whose beautiful image fills his dreams. After being teleported, he goes through a strange temple mysteriously filled with the bodies of templar knights in search of the relic (and, probably, an escape). After many battles, Karim reaches the room where the Essences lay. After one more fight, he meets up with Chandra's spirit before he can take the Essence of the Ancient weak against Pious' (hence why it is probably not directly under guard by Pious or a Black Guardian). After a final conversation, Karim says one of the few lines in the game that can be genuinely taken as humorous and agrees to guard the artifact "The things I do for love...".
1460 A.D. - The Forbidden City: Roberto Bianchi
- See Roberto's article for more-detailed information.
Roberto, an architect, is forced to survey the city to see what should be done to make it a suitable foundation for the Pillar of Flesh.
1991 A.D. - Ashes to Ashes: Michael Edwards
- See Michael's article for more-detailed information.
Michael Edwards is a Canadian firefighter during the Gulf War. After an accident caused by an uncontrollable fire, he is sent crashing down into the Forbidden City. His fellow firefighters are dead and he is left alone in front of the Pillar of Flesh. He is visited by Roberto Bianchi, who explains how he must destroy the city. He eventually succeeds in his task, setting magick-enhanced C4 bombs to destroy it once and for all.
- The female vocals in the background music, "The Chosen", are sampled in an episode of the 4Kids dub of Viewtiful Joe.
- Given that the Forbidden City was in Persia since antiquity, this place will be in Iran with time (although this name is not mentioned in the game). However, the fact that it was destroyed during the Gulf War by a Canadian firefighter among NATO suggests it may have actually been in Kuwait.