With the recent demise of Friday the 13th: The Game, fans of Dead by Daylight have been clamoring for Jason Voorhees to join the ranks of the Killers, taking his rightful place among the pantheon of antagonists which some would argue he gave rise to. After all, which his home series may not be the first slasher ever, Jason does hold the record for highest on-screen body count of any horror villain. For a drowned revenant, the man behind the mask sure has some interesting ways to kill folks, be it by haymakers from Hell or using his environment to his advantage.
Face facts, no matter how you may feel about his film appearances, especially the later sequels, that damn hockey mask is one of the first images conjured when the phrase “horror movies” comes up in conversation. Sadly, with the ongoing legal battle between series creators Victor Miller and Sean S. Cunningham delayed even further into the abyss, that possibility of controlling Pamela Voorhees’ baby boy gets even slimmer.
But that doesn’t mean that any character directly inspired by Jason is off-limits, and that is why I propose that the Bayou Butcher himself, Hatchet’s Victor Crowley be the next addition to Dead by Daylight.
Portrayed by Kane Hodder, the most frequent actor for Voorhees, Crowley’s story is a tragic one for sure. His father Thomas kept young, deformed Victor hidden from the world for much of his life, until one Halloween night, a group of miscreants taunted Victor with firecrackers and heckling, until one of the former lit the shack ablaze. Thomas came to the rescue, hatchet in hand, but an errant swing nailed Victor in the head, killing his son by pure accident. Years later, the grief of losing his son did Thomas in, and Victor was doomed to roam the Honey Island Swamp for ages to come.
In so many words, Victor Crowley is a big, nasty bastard, and as such, his power needs to reflect this. Very few kills come by way of the titular hatchet, with many coming by brute strength, such as the now-legendary jaw rip kill from the original film. He’s not afraid to get his hands dirty. Hell, it seems like he thoroughly enjoys doing so. While his main weapon will, of course, be the hatchet that brought him down ten years before the events of the first movie, his power is going to be a more environmentally-informed, hands-on approach.
Power - Hack and Slash
Driven by rage and fueled by vengeance, the Bayou Butcher is an unbreakable, unstoppable force. Brutal, gritty, and unconventional is the name of Victor Crowley’s game.
The Bayou Butcher can throw his hatchet at a Survivor. If he hits the Survivor’s head, it will instantly put a healthy Survivor into the Dying state. Hitting any other body part will cause one health state of damage.
Throwing the Hatchet will leave The Bayou Butcher Unarmed. While he is Unarmed, The Bayou Butcher can grab a Survivor during a Chase by connecting with a lunge attack. If there is an object or a wall nearby, the Survivor will be thrown into it, causing one health state of damage.
An attempted Grab will have a slightly shorter lunge range than normal.
A regular attack while Unarmed will still cause one health state of damage to the Survivor.
If there is not an object nearby upon a successful Grab, The Bayou Butcher will strike the Survivor for one health state’s worth of damage.
While Unarmed, certain objects throughout the trial grounds will be available for you to pick up and temporarily use as weapons. Depending on the object, it will only be good for a number of hits.
Missing a Survivor will not count towards the durability of the improvised weapon, but connecting with a hard object will.
If you find the Hatchet, you can pick it back up and use it at will.
If you put a Survivor into the Dying state with a thrown Hatchet, you will pull the Hatchet out of the Survivor. Doing so will add the Hemorrhage status effect for 60 seconds.
Obviously, the concept of a destructible environment is one foreign to this game, so I understand that that is a massive caveat. That said, it would also be fun to see hay bales get sliced or walls get dinged on a missed swing, or even better, a thrown Huntress hatchet get stuck in the wall if it can’t meet a Survivor’s head. Since we’re already getting “The Realm Beyond” series of graphical and visual updates, perhaps this can be a stretch goal of sorts for that undertaking?
With Victor, there’s very little room for finesse or technique. The weapons he uses are often improvised, with his signature hatchet being the most sophisticated armament he ever takes up for some time. He’s a brute, he’s a mountain of a man, and his Perks should reflect that. The phrase “slug build” gets thrown around in more competitive circles of this game’s fanbase, but Victor’s native Perks embody this spirit fully. In short, he recovers quickly, he can finish precisely what he started, and knows when someone is trying to mess with his territory.
Level 30 - Swamp Strength
Knives, guns, nothing stops you. You are unbreakable, unkillable, impervious to pain.
When this Perk is active, if a Survivor drops a Pallet on you, you will break the Pallet and only be stunned for 50% of the time you would normally be stunned.
If this happens, the Perk goes into cooldown for 120/105/90 seconds.
This Perk overrides Enduring.
Level 35 - Search and Destroy
You will stop at nothing to finish what you’ve started. No stone unturned, no quarter given.
If you close the Hatch when there is one Survivor left, that Survivor will gain the Exposed status effect for 20/25/30 seconds.
If multiple Survivors are still in the trial when the Hatch is opened, the Obsession will gain the Exposed status instead.
Level 40 - Hold Down the Fort
Your territory, your home is sacred. You’ve watched it be nearly burned to the ground, and anyone who dares approach it will be doing so at their own peril.
In trial grounds with a Killer shack, when a Survivor enters the Shack, you will be notified with a Loud Noise notification. If you make it to the Shack, and the Survivor has not left the Shack, the Survivor will be Exposed for 4/6/8 seconds.
In trial grounds that do not feature a Killer shack, the Survivor can be Exposed if they enter an area equal to the Killer’s Terror Radius away from the basement steps, and you reach that area while the Survivor still occupies that space.
In either case, a Survivor remaining in the Basement for 8 seconds will be Exposed until they leave the Basement, and get outside of the area of effect, as explained above.
This Perk overrides Territorial Imperative.
If some of these Perks sound like some others, then good, because it’s time for better versions of those. Granted, the buff that Territorial Imperative recently got was very much welcome, it is only so much better. This iteration better encapsulates that “hold down the fort” mentality that Jason inspired with his shrine to Mother, the mentality that Victor is the spiritual successor to, hence the name of the Perk. It is the embodiment of “fuck around and find out,” and may give Survivors pause, if only for a brief second, to wonder if that souped-up medkit is really worth leaving their bare ass to the wind.
As I’ve established in previous entries into this column and in its Survivor-based cousin, there needs to be a bit more of a sense of urgency during the Endgame Collapse. Having a fire lit under the lone Survivor’s ass once their only easy way out has been taken out of the equation is perfect for inciting a sense of dread and unease. It is a challenge within a larger one, a further escalation within the climax, trying to at least stay alive long enough for the Exposed status to wear off, if not to power an Exit Gate and get the hell out of Dodge.
For a Mori, there is only one option, and that is to recreate the iconic jaw rip. This would be a truly graphic Mori, especially if given the animated love it needs. It is a scene that is most fondly remembered by fans of the franchise, and since recreating the intra-coital decapitation scene from Hatchet II might put this game into Adults Only territory, this is a fine second option.
Hatchet is one of the few examples of an original modern slasher, a horror franchise made for fans, by fans. It is a love letter to the genre, as I expressed in a blurb for Dark Universe, and with so many horror film icons already among the roster, the search for new additions becomes more difficult. For his brutality, his similarity and Ähnlichkeit to the curse of Crystal Lake himself, Victor Crowley would make a path in Dead by Daylight paved in blood and body parts.