''Owlboy'' is an indie game by the Norwegian indie developer [[http://www.dpadstudio.com/ D-Pad Studio]]. It is a [[PlatformGame platformer]] with a mixture of [[ActionAdventure action and puzzles]], starring the Owlboy, named Otus, and his various Gunner partners. It is notable for many things: its absolutely beautiful pixel art, interesting concept, and staggering [[DevelopmentHell 9 years of development time which began in 2007.]] The game was released on November 1, 2016.
The story kicks off when Otus's village of Vellie is attacked by pirates, who steal an ancient ArtifactOfDoom. Otus and his friend Geddy enter into hot pursuit of the pirates, and end up entrenched in a mystery that reveals much about their WorldInTheSky and the Owls, an ancient race of mystical precursors.
!!This game provides examples of:
* AdamSmithHatesYourGuts: You don't actually BUY items from Buccanary; she merely gives you a new trinket when you've collected enough coins to impress her. However, to obtain the best item, you have to collect all of them.
* AdvancingBossOfDoom: The Temple Guardian is a giant frog that Otus must run from. It turns to stone when Otus runs beneath a waterfall.
* AlasPoorYorick: Refenced, as Alphonse apparently has a Skull he uses for acting.
* AmazingTechnicolorBattlefield: In the third phase of the fight with [[spoiler: Solus.]]
* AnAesop: Mistakes are never the end. You can make mistakes, as long as you seek to fix them and make the world a better place than when you entered it.
* AntiVillain: [[spoiler:Solus. Though he intended to save the world from the destruction the owls caused, his inability to trust others led him to use deceit to gather the relics, resulting in Molstrom destroying Advent and the possible death of Otus.]]
* ArtifactOfDoom: Three of them, created by the Owls, which provide incredible power. So much so that [[spoiler:Captain Molstrom destroys the capital city of Advent after getting just one of them. It turns out they're for fueling the Anti-Hex.]]
* TheAtoner: Both Alphonse and [[spoiler: Twig]] defect from the pirates upon being shown how terrible they really are.
* BigBad: The Pirate King [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast Molstrom.]]
* BigCreepyCrawlies: The bugs on the floating continent. Swarms of flesh-eating beasties that can get as big as your head. Fortunately they can't stand any source of light. But stay in the dark for any period of time and they'll start attacking.
* BirdPeople: The Owls, of which Otus is a member of, are a race of owl-like humanoids who fly via cloaks that turn into wings.
* BossArenaIdiocy: The Sky Pirates would've had Otus if not for those rocks hanging from the ceiling.
* BittersweetEnding: [[spoiler: The Anti-Hex is forged and cast, Molstrom is disintegrated, and the world's landmasses stop floating into space, instead returning safely to the sea below. Unfortunately, many people died in the quest to save the world, Advent is still destroyed, and it's left ambiguous if Otus survived casting the Anti-Hex. The final shot of the game is him falling to Earth while unconscious, revealing that the plan worked by showing landmasses sitting in the ocean, resting peacefully.]]
* CapeWings: The cloaks that the descendants of the Owls wear all enable them to fly, even rookie Owls like Otus and Solus.
* CraniumRide: You will be riding on the head of the Lava Worm boss after you defeated it.
* CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass: [[spoiler:Solus. He's horribly clumsy and slow to trust people, but he has intimate knowledge of the ancient Owl culture, and how the Anti-Hex relics work. He uses this knowledge to great effect as the FinalBoss.]]
* CynicalMentor: Asio. He treats poor Otus horribly, even ''beating'' him on occasion. This is deconstructed, as this style of teaching has left Otus very sensitive and without much self-esteem. [[spoiler: Asio apologizes in an optional scene before the ascent to the Mesosphere, making it clear that he loves Otus. Asio even admits that he's failed as a teacher.]]
* DefeatMeansFriendship: After Alphonse is defeated, he's happy to cooperate with Otus. Geddy isn't so keen on the idea, though. [[spoiler:The same thing happens with Twig; Geddy is so angry that he temporarily leaves the party.]]
* DifficultySpike: The Floating Continent is much harder than the areas proceeding it.
* DirtyCoward: At one point when infiltrating the pirate fleet, you encounter the leader of the demolition squad, who provides absolutely no assistance whatsoever and leaves you to rescue ''his teammates'' alone. Subverted though if you later talk to the teammates you rescued and learn that [[spoiler: he was actually an upstanding guy who just couldn't handle the stress of the situation in that moment. Also, he didn't survive the destruction of Advent.]]
* DoesNotLikeGuns: Otus can't use weapons, so he'll need to carry people who can.
* DualBoss: Both Sky Pirates fight you together, but only one attacks at a time.
* FlunkyBoss: The giant Gawk, who arrives with a swarm of smaller Gawks. The Monkey King also attacks this way, sending up to seven enemies at you at once.
* GoMadFromTheRevelation: [[spoiler: The Loop (whatever it is) is so unsettling that simply publishing the ''theory'' of its existence caused widespread fear, distress and riots among the Owls.]]
* HandicappedBadass: Anne. While her broken leg renders her unable to walk and Otus unable to use his other companions or pick up items, her cane attack hits a large area and can deflect projectiles and wallop enemies Geddy and Alphonse's guns can't touch.
* HeroicMime: Otus, who can only respond to questions with chirping. He's mocked for this, and it causes him a great deal of strife, as he's actually mute in the story as well, not just for SilentProtagonist purposes.
** [[spoiler: During the vision scene at the end of the game, he finally speaks (presumably because he's an embodied spirit).]]
* IJustWantToBeSpecial: Twig is introduced as some kind of spider, but he turns out to actually be [[spoiler: a stick bug pretending to be a spider through a costume and some kind of web-like weapon.]]
* ImDyingPleaseTakeMyMacGuffin: [[spoiler: He wasn't dying, merely too injured to continue, but Solus infuses the power of the Owl Relics into Otus to bring him back to life, and allow him to activate the Anti-Hex in his stead.]]
* InvoluntaryGroupSplit: Near the start of the game, [[spoiler:in pursuit of the troublemaker]], Otus is separated from Geddy by a cave-in.
* KillEnemiesToOpen: Clearing all enemies in some areas will grant you a treasure chest
* MacGuffinGuardian: The Guardian of the Owl Temple, apparently.
* NiceHat: Otus can wear his Gunners' hats to affect how his Gunners shoot.
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: [[spoiler: Solus arranges for the pirates to gather the relics for him so he can activate the Anti-Hex. Unfortunately, this leads the pirates to destroy Advent and end countless lives. Solus likely sees this sacrifice as unavoidable, because he can't trust others to help him.]]
* NegativeSpaceWedgie: [[spoiler: Whatever the Loop is, it's definitely this. Just the knowledge that it even exists tormented the Owls, and drove their once prosperous civilization into the ground.]]
* OurGnomesAreWeirder: Well, they're blind, cavedwelling, and enjoy a healthy diet of adventurers.
* OutsideContextProblem: The Loop. Whatever it supposedly is, its very theorized existence was enough to drive owl society to madness and war, to the point where they created a machine that would supposedly destroy it. However, this machine [[spoiler: sent all of the world's landmass into the sky, doomed to float slowly into space as the world below remains an empty ocean. The runes on the walls may subtly hint that the Loop is a cycle of death and rebirth for the world.]]
* ProtagonistTitle: The game's protagonist is an owl boy. [[spoiler: [[AvertedTrope Averted.]] The only time the phrase "owlboy" is used, it's in reference to Solus.]]
* RockBeatsLaser: In the segment of the game where you have to carry Anne, your only method of attack is via the walking stick she's carrying. Said stick is capable of downing enemies that Geddy's pistol and Alphonse's ''shotgun'' can't even put a dent in.
* SavePoint: A sophisticated gentlemen fish. Makes no sense but... it's [[RuleOfCool awesome]]. Replaced with autosaving in the release version.
* ShadowArchetype: [[spoiler: Solus, to Otus. Otus is bullied by his SadistTeacher while Solus is belittled by his [[TheBully fellow students]] and disappointed [[YouHaveFailedMe mentor]] Strix; Otus does his best to respond to situations of danger with courage and heroism despite constantly being berated, while Solus resorts to deceit that leads to countless deaths in order to gather what he needs to save the world. Additionally, Otus remains open-minded and welcomes [[DefeatMeansFriendship Alphonse]] and [[YouHaveFailedMe Twig]] into the party with open arms, despite their past actions. Solus is so unable to trust others, he refuses to even explain to Otus what he's doing, willing to fight because he's so certain Otus and the others won't trust him.]]
* SkyPirate: The game's antagonists consist of robotic pirates who sail in airships. As Alphonse explains, they used to be [[spoiler:machines created by the Owls, but gained consciousness of their own.]]
* SpaceZone: The final area of the game, in the Mesosphere. Unlike other examples of this trope, this is the area where Otus is LEAST capable of aerial movement; the air is too thin for his wings to work. He can only use them to float downward slowly, which is essentially to the area's platforming. [[spoiler: When the Hex takes final effect and the world crumbles, the lack of gravity lets him fly up to where Solus awaits.]]
* SwallowedWhole: The fate of those who gets caught by the gnomes.
* TakenForGranite: You can turn Molts (Wolf like enemies that breathe fire) in to stone by pouring water on them.
* TempleOfDoom: The Owl Temple isn't the safest place in the world, but much of the danger seems to come from a monster infestation.
* ToBeContinued: At the end of the Demo.
* TrueCompanions: Otus and Geddy. From the very start Geddy is a huge supporter of Otus through his mistreatment by Asio, Fib and Bonacci, and throughout the adventure their bond only grows, to the point where [[spoiler: Geddy is willing to steal a pirate ship and fly it directly into Molstrom's face just to return to him.]]
** Otus and Alphonse become this after the time they spend together in the Owl Temple. Even when Geddy abandons the party temporarily for their forgiving of Twig, Alphonse stays loyally by Otus' side.
** [[spoiler: It's implied Alphonse and Dirk were this before the events of the game. Dirk is outraged by Alphonse's betrayal, and rejects the idea of friendship when he realizes how much it hurts, to the point where he's willing to throw Twig out in his anguish. In his final moments, he remarks that [[DyingDeclarationOfLove it wasn't so bad having a friend.]]]]
* TheUnfought: [[spoiler: Molstrom. Every time you think you're going to fight him, it's averted somehow. The first time, the party runs away. The second time, Molstron is destroyed by the Anti-Hex.]]
* UndergroundMonkey: All types of gawks have a lumpy round body and bat wings. The difference between each types are shown in different colours with minor change occasionally.
* UntrustingCommunity: Implied by Otus' vision in the introduction, but turns out to be untrue when the villagers treat Otus amicably. [[spoiler:Solus, however, can't trust them and goes off on his own.]]
* VideoGameFlight: Otus can fly almost anywhere, except when under a waterfall and in the SpaceZone, where the air is too thin.
* WorldInTheSky: The entire world of Owlboy seems to be a bunch of floating islands. [[spoiler:It's because the Hex, created by the Owls, started making them float. As Otus finds out later, they're still going up, towards outer space.]]
* YouShallNotPass: Several times throughout the story, one of Otus' allies tells him to flee while they buy them some time or hold the attacker off (usually Molstrom). However, every time it's invoked, it's interrupted either by some new distraction allowing everyone to escape, or the threat preventing anyone from escaping. [[spoiler: Played straight with the Anti-Hex scene, where Geddy, Alphonse and Twig work together to literally hold back Molstrom so Otus can desperately crawl to the Anti-Hex and activate it.]]