[[quoteright:348:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/rift2_9476.png]]
[[caption-width-right:348:[[WideOpenSandbox "The rift is vast,]] [[OurMonstersAreWeird and its denizens horrid"]]-''Genie'']]
->''"[[VoidBetweenTheWorlds The Rift]] does not [[GeniusLoci know what it is]]. It does not even know if others like it exist. [[VillainProtagonist Us]], though, [[BlatantLies it will certainly learn to cherish]]."''
-->--'''[[AxeCrazy Genie]]'''

[[http://middens.tumblr.com/ Middens]] is an RPG Maker game by indie developer [[http://rpgmaker.net/users/myformerselves/ "myformerselves"]]. Playing as a figure known only as "The Nomad", who flees his home dimension when [[AllThereInTheManual his beloved culture dies via assimilation]], you find yourself in an area called [[VoidBetweenTheWorlds The Rift]]. The Rift is essentially the scrap yard of universes, where all the dimensions or parts of dimensions that were unwanted or broken are sent to rot. A world of anarchy, every being in The Rift is an immigrant who fled their home dimension, taking a chunk of it with them. [[MindScrew These chunks are held together by the silk of worms known as "Virmis"]], and as a result the game world appears as a mishmash collage of clashing art styles and sources that range from classical paintings to hellish pink Atari sprites.

Its plot is minimalist: As you enter the rift, a talking gun known as “Genie” offers his assistance. Now bound “like notes to a song” he informs you of your quest. The rift is sick, and the only cure seems to be to purge a chunk of its residents. [[AnyoneCanDie Who you kill]] and [[KarmaMeter how you justify it to yourself]] is entirely [[WideOpenSandbox up to you]].

In the case of the combat, most fights are initiated by the player and the enemies’ stats are hidden. You could very well challenge a boss that’s completely beyond your power level and not know it until you are already dead, which makes every fight foreboding. Its karma system is unique in that [[AnAesop ALL killing is wrong]], even in self defense (though self defense is less bad), and its impossible ([[GuideDangIt barring the services of one EXTREMELY hard to find character]]) to get rid of the bad karma (called “Nothings”) once you start to collect them. As you accumulate more Nothings, the denizens of the rift will start to treat you differently or become hostile.

In the case of the latter, most characters have dialogue cobbled together from occult books, celebrity quotes, short stories, the last words of death row inmates, and the occasional shockingly lucid comment, that only enforce the alien atmosphere of the Rift. Most memorable, however, are the discussions held with Genie over the course of the story. As you gain more and more Nothings, the talking gun will hold discussions about philosophy, [[ArmorPiercingQuestion ask you existential questions]], mock you, urge on your bloodlust, try to creep you out, [[AnythingThatMoves hit on you frequently]], and [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking try to speak]] [[GratuitousSpanish Spanish]]

Received a successor of sorts in ''{{VideoGame/Gingiva}}''. Implied to be a prequel to ''Middens'', the game follows a woman with a turnkey for a head rebelling against the governing aristocrats while being guided by a talking set of dentures. The setting is as odd as ''Middens'', though with a more consistent art style for the environments. Originally slated for February 2013, [[ScheduleSlip it didn't release until September]].

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!!This game provides examples of:
* AdvertisedExtra: The Serial Killer [[AmbiguousGender god/goddess]] Quiddity was the monster used to show off the combat system in promotional materials. People assumed he would play a bigger role, but hes not even a true area boss as his territory consists of his one room house.
* AnAesop: On how violence is wrong and only breeds more violence.
* AfterlifeExpress: Appears in the subway. [[spoiler:[[OurMonstersAreWeird As a boss!]]]]
* AfterTheEnd: Not The Rift itself, [[TimeAbyss as it never had a start]], but many of the denizens of the rift hail from universes where this has happened on scales from cultural (like the Nomad) to cosmic. [[spoiler: Genie himself hails from a society where guns were given their own morality and trusted to execute the wicked. If his siblings are as omnicidal as him, the result of that plan and the condition of that society are very easy to guess.]]
* TheAllegedCar: The Love Bus has seen better days: its paint is chipping and its roof is rusting.
* AllThereInTheManual: A few vague plot details about the Nomad's past were only revealed during post release interviews
* AmbiguousGender: The Nomad looks undoubtedly male, but his singing voice (the battle victory song) is undoubtedly female.
* AmbiguousSituation: Just like {{Yume Nikki}} in this regard, but unlike [[ReclusiveArtist Kikiyama]] of YN, myformerselves has actually confirmed several theories himself. For example, [[spoiler: Genie's reproductive system is an allegory for how guns end up necessitating the use of more guns in the mind of society by the fear they instill.]]
* AndTheAdventureContinues: One of the possible "True Ends". [[spoiler:The Nomad kills Genie, and is given a second chance at life. He revives into the Rift, however, and is last seen at one of the Love Bus's stops as the bus comes into view...]]
* AnyoneCanDie: Including save points!
* ArmorPiercingQuestion: Genie will ask these of the Nomad to unsettle him, and sometimes gives an answer himself in return if he doesn't like the one you give him. The questions range from how you would spend your last seconds before being swallowed into a black hole, to what group you would sacrifice at regular intervals if it meant averting the end of the world.
* BadassArmy: Averted with whatever regiment the "Fish Infantry" deserted to live in The Rift. They waste more turns [[PlayerPunch begging for their lives]] than most of the enemies.
* BadassBoast: Quiddity proclaims that time and space is for idiots and wishes to go beyond.
* BadassMoustache: The [[FanNickname "Old Timey"]] world sprite used by certain monsters.
* BeautifulVoid: The Rift.
* BerserkButton: Ordinarily non-hostile enemies will turn hostile if you perform actions that anger them. This can be something as minor as trying to speak to them. Soul Eater class enemies in general seem to hold a burning hatred of guitar music.
* BigBad: [[spoiler:In the Normal Ending, Genie turns out to be an extremely powerful entity that had long since transcended his original species of "talking gun", and was simply using you to reproduce. Healing the Rift was simply a side job he took up to ensure he got a master who would kill for an ideal and therefore kill frequently. He is able to cross dimensions at will by this point, and is able to shoot without a master with his fancy new dragon body.]]
* BilingualBonus: Have a Latin textbook nearby for maximum enjoyment. Especially when the Virmis are involved.
* BittersweetEnding: The Normal Ending. [[spoiler:The Nomad is dead and so is his culture, but he has faced his own inner demons and Genie has been stopped for good. With Genie's death the Nomad is absolved of his crimes and allowed to enjoy the afterlife.]]... [[MindScrew Maybe]].
* BlueAndOrangeMorality: Many of the Rift's denizens -- such as Soul Eaters, who will enter a room to kill anyone who dares play guitar. [[spoiler: This is also how Genie's mind works. He kills people because in his eyes, not only is everyone guilty enough to deserve death, they are also extremely bored with their lives deep down.]]
* BonusBoss: The Pale Horse, possibly. It's encountered right next to the door that houses the final boss on the normal ending route.
* BookEnds: The game begins and ends with Genie [[spoiler: in a puddle of blood]].
* BossGame: While there are some repeating enemies, {{Word Of God}} stated the game is designed to be this.
* BraggartBoss: The Imp King.
* BreakingTheFourthWall: Crossed with {{Player Punch}} in [[spoiler: Genie's pre-final boss speech: "Is that why you play games? Because your bored?...The credits will soon roll, but you wont be around to see them!"]]
* CatsAreMean: Subverted. The half-skeletal cats at the beginning won't attack you until you shoot them first, spend most of their time begging for their lives, and run away if not killed quickly enough.
* ChestMonster: A monster disguises itself as the Love Bus. While the monster looks identical to the Love Bus, its location is not where the Bus usually stops. [[JumpScare It shows its true form and attacks you when you try to enter.]]
* CloudCuckoolander: Most denizens, but special mention go to the quest givers who, as a group, cannot stop talking about dreams or asking you about your dreams.
* DeliberateValuesDissonance: Being an anti-violence game that is violent itself, the combat systems design nuances like having enemies beg for their lives seem to be designed to [[YouBastard make the player extremely uncomfortable]] as they play.
* {{Determinator}}: The factor enemy type "Err" (as in "error") chases you at a steady pace and is known to [[MeaningfulName break level geometry]] if it cannot get to you any other way.
* DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu: A handful of the area bosses qualify, taking the form of actual gods from actual religions. Special mention goes to the boss of the Deep Rift: [[spoiler: Kali herself.]]
* DrivenToSuicide: [[spoiler: When he has killed enough people, the Nomad is given the option to [[UnusualEuphemism "exeunt"]] himself and travel to the afterlife for the ending when he, [[LeaningOnTheFourthWall or rather the player]], grows bored of the Rift.]]
* DumbMuscle: Lam fulfills this battle role, having high attack power, but not being terribly useful at anything else.
* EarlyBirdCameo: The politician seen in the trailer for ''Moments of Silence'' can be found on a tv, and is one of the few characters that has multiple phrases when talked to.
* EldritchAbomination: Many, many enemies. But the [[spoiler: enemies in purgatory]] take the cake, especially [[spoiler: the malevolent manifestation of the thoughts that drive every serial killer. Its game portrait just calls it [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin "Serial Killer"]]]]. [[AdvertisedExtra Quiddity]] counts as well, but [[spoiler: s/he's probably one of Serial Killer's manifestations.]]
* ElementalPowers: ...Except based on [[FourTemperamentEnsemble the four temperaments]], somehow? Om is [[MakingASplash Melancholic]], Lam is [[PlayingWithFire Sanguine]], and Yam is [[ShockAndAwe Choleric]]. Phlegmatic is strangely absent.
* EleventhHourSuperpower: [[spoiler: Inverted in the normal ending. Once the final boss-fight against Genie begins you, logically, cannot use him for your moves anymore. This means you rely heavily on Om, Yam, and Lam for most of the fight.]]
* {{Emoticon}}: Genie's messages will sometimes include these, probably just to add to the MindScrew nature of the game.
* EyesDoNotBelongThere: The moon having eyes seems to be {{Author Appeal}} as it appears in the sequel as well.
* EyeMotifs: Eyes are everywhere. As backgrounds, as disembodied enemies and [[EyesDoNotBelongThere even on the moon]].
* FauxAffablyEvil: Genie seems designed with this in mind. He's entertaining in a [[{{VideoGame/Borderlands2}} Handsome Jack]] kind of way.
* FetchQuest: Some of the denizens make requests for certain items you can get as [[TwentyBearAsses loot from bosses]].
* FinalBossNewDimension: [[spoiler: The Afterlife in the Normal Ending.]]
* ForTheEvulz: [[spoiler: Shockingly averted with Genie. He's an {{Omnicidal Maniac}} simply because he believes everyone deserves it, and the only reason he enjoys killing is because he thinks he is doing the right thing.]]
* HairRaisingHare: There's a room full of them. Their overworld sprites alternate between having [[FacelessEye an eye for a face]] or [[TheFaceless a hole]]; their battle sprites have skeletal faces.
* HarmfulToMinors: One denizen remarks his first coloring book had him illustrating the blood of murder victims.
* HubLevel: The "Love Bus" is the closest example the game has, serving as a transition between otherwise unlinked or far away sections of the Rift. Talking to the passengers also gives you an impression of the impact your having on the Rift.
* KarmaMeter: The "Nothings" act as something of an inverse one, as you receive one for every being you kill.
* KilledOffForReal: Virtually all of the denizens you kill do not re-spawn until you start a new game, except for the subway area boss ([[GoodBadBugs though that case is obviously a glitch]]).
* ImAHumanitarian: One denizen asks for the eerily ambiguously titled "Human Fruit" [[spoiler: and the behemoth in the afterlife attacks you simply because "You're Edible..."]]
* MagicMusic: The "Prowess" skill called "Acoustics" allows you to play a guitar using the down arrow key. Its effect varies by area, as does its sound.
* MamaBear: One area features a car monster who is very protective of her young.
* TheMedic: Om.
* MetalSlime: The enemies around the starting area give far more experience relative to their level than they should. This is intentional.
* MonsterClown: Shows up in the factory area, where he [[spoiler: ambushes you as you crawl out of a vent.]]
* MultipleEndings: [[GuideDangIt That hinge on how many "Nothings" you have collected]], a fact never brought up in-game.
* NominalImportance: Most characters have unique dialogue, but any character with a name and/or portrait is either a major area boss (The Imp King), a quest giver, or somehow involved in a puzzle.
* NotUsingTheZWord: This is applied to [[UpToEleven all gaming terminology]], most likely to increase the alien atmosphere the game fosters. If any part of the interface uses an actual gaming term, then it's probably accidental. Even the menu is just symbols (+, 0, and an X) rather than the universally known "New Game", "Continue", and "Quit".
* OffModel: the Nomad sometimes scales to weird sizes, or his sprite center de-aligns. The developer has claimed this was intentional, though it still looks rather glitchy.
* OmnicidalManiac: [[spoiler: When asked [[ItMakesSenseInContext whom he would feed to the world]] in a hypothetical situation where only blood can keep it from ending, Genie's lengthily reply can be paraphrased as "everyone". It turns out later that this is because he thinks everyone else is a sinner.]]
* OneWingedAngel: [[spoiler: In the Normal Ending, Genie grows his own body so he can shoot without a master, and it ends up evolving into a dragon-like form.]]
* OurDragonsAreDifferent: The Dragons of The Rift are elementals representing different drugs (IE: Opium Dragon). Gives a new meaning to [[StealthPun "chasing the dragon"]].
* PollutedWasteland: The "battleground" seems to be one of these crossed with an army base.
* ThePowerOfLove: The driver of the [[HubLevel "Love Bus"]] seems convinced it runs on a combo of dreams, jazz music, and this.
* RefusalOfTheCall: You are offered three chances to walk away by Genie. [[NonStandardGameOver Accepting any of them boots you to the title screen.]]
* SceneryGorn: Both figuratively and literally; the Rift features many desert wastelands, run-down factories, and planes with skinless animals. To let the player know what kind of messed up world this is, the very first thing shown upon booting up the game is an eye-covered moon piercing a bleeding planet (which can be seen in other areas as well).
* SummonMagic: The Nomad has very limited {{Mana}}, so most combat moves are accessed by summoning the aspects of his Chakra/Chi: Om, Yam, and Lam.
* SquishyWizard: Yam, who also specializes in StandardStatusEffects.
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: [[spoiler: Genie's speech before the final fight is pretty much one giant barely veiled {{Take That}} aimed not so much at the Nomad as to people who enjoy violence in video games and/or find their comfortable lives boring. "...Is that why you play games? Because you are bored?..."]]
* TimeAbyss: The Rift may very well be older than all other universes, even if the set pieces inside it are not.
* TheUnfettered: [[spoiler: Genie turns out to not be {{Axe Crazy}} as much as he is just utterly fatalistic and devoted to a twisted sense of justice. Exemplified by his quote in the ending "...No one is innocent, so Karma doesn't care who it kills. It strikes out randomly, assured it has destroyed a sinner... Karma is my God, and I am its angel."]]
* TooAwesomeToUse: Items in general, due to the lack of shops in the game and the majority of monsters [[KilledOffForReal not respawning once killed.]]
* TwentyBearAsses: The "Nothings" needed to end the game, but because they drop from every enemy and count as a karma system it makes collecting them allot more interesting.
* VideoGameCrueltyPotential: It's entirely possible to rack up tons of kills simply in self defense if you know where to look, but attacking random victims makes the game go by much faster -- [[YouBastard if you can live with the guilt]].
* VillainProtagonist: The Nomad counts to some degree. [[spoiler: As mentioned in his "Reason you Suck Speech" Genie gave you the chance [[RefusalOfTheCall to turn around and not kill people at the start of the game]], and [[YouBastard you still proceeded.]]]]
* VoidBetweenTheWorlds: The Rift.
* WantonCrueltyToTheCommonComma: Misspellings, dropped apostrophes, and homophone mix-ups are common.
* WhatTheHellPlayer: If you attack someone (rather than being attacked) to initiate combat, some turns are spent with them either begging for their lives in a tragic manner, or describing the wounds you inflict in {{Squick}}-tastic detail. This is not a feelgood game. [[VideoGameCaringPotential You can spare them by fleeing the fight.]] [[spoiler:Though according to Genie's explanation of how he reproduces, they will gain their own talkative revolver who will not be a good influence on their lives.]]
* WorldTree: Mentioned but never seen, chunks of its roots are usable in combat as items.
* WretchedHive: Deep within the refugee outpost one can find one of these. There are dancers [[OurMonstersAreWeird with TV torsos and stripper legs]] and several denizens lamenting their cocaine and gambling addictions.
* YouBastard and PlayerPunch: As mentioned above, the basic premise of the game is that what you have to do in order to progress is horrible, and it makes sure you feel as uncomfortable as possible while doing so.