[[quoteright:317:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Sanitarium_Cover_5438.PNG]]

->"If ''JacobsLadder'' was reality squared, this is reality cubed"\\
--J.C. Herz (The New York Times) on the game

''Sanitarium'' is a 1998 PointAndClick AdventureGame by ASC Games. It is set in a mental hospital, except when it ''isn't''.

More clearly, it begins with the main character losing his memory and being instituted in a sanitarium. Occasionally, he is transported to strange, alternate worlds, sometimes changing his form, sometimes not. A constant feeling of bewilderment and fear follow you as the worlds you visit become stranger and stranger.

You need to figure out many things: Why have you lost your memory? Why are you in an insane asylum? [[CuckooNest Is the asylum the "real" world]], [[OrWasItADream or is it just another dream]]?

Not to be confused with the ''VideoGame/{{Slender}}'' FanSequel ''VideoGame/{{Sanatorium}}''.

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!!This game provides examples of:

* AbusiveParents: [[spoiler: See MummiesAtTheDinnerTable, below]]
* AdultFear: There's a strong theme running throughout the game of child endangerment. One of the first chapters takes place in an [[GhostTown abandoned town]] where all of the adults have disappeared and left the children alone, who are slowly being turned into deformed abominations. That same chapter features the story of a young girl who was killed by her abusive father while the townspeople turned a blind eye. Another chapter has you play as a young girl in a CircusOfFear, and other chapters feature things like alien babies being thrown into a furnace. As the game progresses and you learn more about the main character, you find out that [[spoiler: he and his wife had been searching for a cure for their unborn child, who is suffering from a fatal disease. This is compounded by the fact that the protagonist was severely traumatized by the death of his little sister when he was a boy]].
* [[spoiler:AdventuresInComaLand]]
* AGlitchInTheMatrix: The "real world" starts becoming more and more unreal with each chapter.
* [[spoiler:AllJustADream: Most of the game, except several cutscenes, is just Max's dreams while he was in coma.]]
* AllTheWorldsAreAStage: The next to last subchapter is a mishmash of all of the non-"real world" chapters. [[spoiler:You also have to {{shapeshift|ing}} between Max and all of his alter-egos.]]
* AlternateUniverse: [[spoiler: It turns out that the Morgan from Max's past is not the same Morgan that he encounters throughout the game. The former exists in the real world. The latter exists in Max's dream world.]]
** [[spoiler: Two of the chapters have an alternate universe version of Max's wife as well.]]
** Then there's a [[spoiler: non-playable AU version of Max himself.]]
* AmbitionIsEvil
** Played straight with Morgan
** Averted with Max
* ArcWords: "Seek the truth"
* [[spoiler: BabiesEverAfter: During the final cut scene, it is revealed that Max's wife was pregnant during the events of the game. The end credits/epilogue shows a picture of them with their new baby.]]
* BackFromTheDead: A dead woman comes back to life long enough to give Max some cryptic warnings.
* BandagedFace
* BedlamHouse: Well, of course.
* BigBad: [[spoiler: Morgan. Interestingly, he is not the final boss. He gets defeated in the cut-scene after the boss is destroyed.]]
* BigNo
* BlackBugRoom: [[spoiler: More like Black Bug ''Universe'', but still...]]
* BodyHorror: You don't even ''know''.
* BoozeFlamethrower: Sarah is taught how to do this by Inferno, which is then used [[spoiler:to fight Iggy]].
* BrattyHalfPint: Billy, Jennifer, and Dennis.
* BreatherEpisode: In chapter 3, the horror takes a backseat to...comedy?
* BuriedAlive: Happens to at least 3 characters
* TheChessmaster: Morgan [[spoiler: (both of him)]] and Gromna
* CircusOfFear: {{Playing with|ATrope}}. The circus is very unnerving, but only two of the staff members are dangerous and, of those two, only one is actually evil.
* {{CloudCuckoolander}}: A non-comedic example. Don, Lenny, and Martin in the first chapter. See "Foreshadowing" below.
* CombatTentacles: Iggy
* CoolBigSis: Inferno to Sarah
* CorruptCorporateExecutive: [[spoiler: Morgan is much happier [[WithholdingTheCure TREATING the deadly disease]] that's killing children world-wide, rather than helping Max develop the cure, because "[[Film/JohnnyMnemonic treating the disease is more profitable than curing it]]".]]
* {{Creepy Child}}ren
* CreepyCircusMusic
* CreepyTwins
* TheCuckooLanderWasRight: See "Foreshadowing"
* CuckooNest
* DaddysGirl: Sarah and Eileen
* DeadManWriting: [[spoiler:Carol]]'s diary.
* DeadpanSnarker: Max, when the situation calls for it.
* {{Doppelganger}}: Max's shadow and [[spoiler: the two Morgans]]
* TheDragon
** [[spoiler:Max's shadow]] to [[spoiler:Dream World Morgan]]
** [[spoiler:Dream World Morgan is unwittingly this to Real World Morgan, due to him thinking they are the same person.]]
** [[spoiler:The scarecrow]] to Mother.
* [[spoiler: DyingDream: Both Morgans try (and fail) to invoke this trope for Max while he's in a coma by keeping him confined and confused (Dream World Morgan) and slipping him poison (Real World Morgan).]]
* ElvisLives: One asylum patient thinks ''he's'' [[ElvisPresley Elvis]], anyway
* EvilLaugh: [[spoiler:Dream World Morgan and The Scarecrow]].
* FaceHeelTurn
* FalseWidow: [[spoiler: Played with. Inferno isn't exactly lying about her widowhood, but since she's a part of Max's dream, that means that her dead husband never actually existed in the first place, and her real-world self is ''Max's'' wife, and he's quite obviously very alive.]]
* FinalBoss: [[spoiler:Max's Shadow.]]
* FiveManBand: Played with because [[spoiler: all of them are [[ShapeShifter one character]], but they DO have to work together in the finale, and the others even (kind of) say goodbye to Max at the end.]]
** Max is TheHero and TheSmartGuy
** Olmec is TheLancer
** Grimwall is TheBigGuy
** Sarah is TheChick (and The TagalongKid)
* {{Foreshadowing}}: The first chapter contains a room of babbling loons who each talk about different worlds...worlds that you will travel to throughout the rest of the game. Then there's [[spoiler:the stained glass windows in each segment of the sanitarium, Zippy the Clown's predictions...]] really, a second playthrough of the game can be seen as a grand conga line of FridgeBrilliance.
* FreudianExcuse
** Hinted that this is at least part of Morgan's motivation.
** Mother
** Inverted with Max, who used his own past tragedy as motivation to become a doctor and help people.
* GhostTown
* GoAmongMadPeople: Most of the game. [[spoiler:Except not really-turns out it's a BlackBugRoom caused by Max being in a poison-induced fever dream.]]
* GoodIsNotNice: Olmec (hoo boy).
* GraveHumor
* {{Greed}}
* HappierHomeMovie: Watching these comes into play in the "Mansion" sub-chapter.
* [[spoiler:HappyEnding]]
* HauntedHouse
* HybridMonster: Iggy, though it depends whether the human head and torso on top of his squid head is actually part of him or a body of a victim that somehow got stuck up there.
* ImAHumanitarian: Vera
* InfantImmortality: ''Nnnnope.''
* [[spoiler:InvoluntaryShapeshifting]]
* IronicNurseryTune: "Don't go into the pumpkin patch. 'Cause if you do, you won't come back. Mommy says to stay way...if you want to play another day."
* JerkAss:
** Dennis
** Morgan's Father
** Olmec
** The Clown with the Balloons
* KidHero: Sarah
* LargeHam - Grimwall
-->"Now that ''evil'' machine will be silent for a while!"
-->"No More Genocide Today!"
-->"Grap!"
** Olmec
* LittleMissBadass: Sarah (again)
* LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters: It may be an AdventureGame, but it utterly averts the BeautifulVoid trope.
* LotusEaterMachine: after the Maze, [[spoiler:Morgan]] attempts to trick Max into believing he's in the real world and just had a nasty bump on the head, and dreamt everything. [[spoiler: Max breaks out of it when he realizes SARAH IS SUPPOSED TO BE DEAD, even though she's alive and living with him and his wife. Still a kid. And levitating.]] A very eerie scene, all in all.
* MadScientist: Morgan, [[spoiler: the dream world version. Given the real Morgan's personality, it isn't a stretch to see why Max thought of him this way.]]
* MakeItLookLikeAnAccident
* MamaBear: "Mother"
* ManChild: Lenny
* ManipulativeBastard: Morgan
* [[spoiler:MentalWorld]]
* [[spoiler:TheMindIsAPlaythingOfTheBody: Multiple shape-shifting events]]
** At its most extreme with Olmec, who is almost the exact opposite of the kind, compassionate Max.
* MindScrew: A good example is the pumpkin children. In fact, there's a lot of unexplained symbolism.
* MommyIssues: Lenny. Surprisingly averted in Max's case despite his banters with "Mother".
* MummiesAtTheDinnerTable: Made extra disturbing by the fact that it's a kid.
* NiceGuy: The Main Character and Timmy O'Toole.
* NonIdenticalTwins
* TheNthDoctor: [[spoiler:Max's shapeshifting (except for Grimwall, who sounds different but is still played by Max's actor).]]
* OneBadMother: "Mother"
* OneWingedAngel: [[spoiler: Morgan]]
* [[spoiler:PlantAliens]]: "Mother"
* PreacherMan: Preacher Bob takes himself seriously but is a comical instance of this trope. In addition, Chapter 2 makes mention of an influential small-town preacher.
* RedHerring: Three ''literal'' red herrings. One is a red fish painted on the roof of a building. The main character even comments that he was sure he would find something inside.
* TheReveal: A whole lot
** [[spoiler:"Mother" is an alien]], chapter 2
** [[spoiler:Max was called by his parents because his sister was dying]], chapter 3
** [[spoiler:Morgan is behind everything]], chapter 4
** [[spoiler:Everything other than the opening and the flashbacks was a DyingDream resulting from Morgan trying to kill Max; also, there are two Morgans; the one who sabotaged Max's car and the one who exists in the dream world and tries to prevent Max from making any progress]], chapter 8
** [[spoiler:Max's wife is pregnant]], chapter 9
* RhymesOnADime: Vera
* RomancingTheWidow
* RuleOfScary: [[spoiler: Subverted near the end when it turns out it was AllJustADream, which perfectly explains away all the outlandish stuff.]]
* ScaryScarecrows
* SeeYouInHell
* [[spoiler:{{Shapeshifter}}: Max (the main character) does this involuntarily throughout most of the game, and voluntarily in the second-to-last level. With one exception, each of his forms has a different voice actor.]]
* SongsInTheKeyOfLock: One of the doors in the Hive has a lock with keypad buttons that produce individual musical tones.
* SurrealHorror
* ThemeNaming: All of the cyclopses have names beginning with "GR."
* TimeShiftedActor: Frank Schurter plays Adult Max while Paul Crocker plays him during his childhood flashbacks.
* TokenEvilTeammate:
** While the other player characters tend to be on the nice (or at lease polite) side, Olmec ''really'' isn't, especially considering one of his puzzles is solved by threatening a grieving father.
** Dennis in Chapter 2. Unlike the other children of Genet, he seems 100 % aware of what's ''really'' going on and has no problem with it.
* TownWithADarkSecret: The entirety of chapter 2.
* TwistEnding
* TheUnseen: A big part of Max's arc. His face is covered in bandages. When he is seen in flashbacks, his face is always hidden. The one exception is a flashback from his childhood.
** This is a rare case of the main character pulling off this trope.
* TheUnreveal: The [[spoiler:Cure]]
* UnusualEuphemism: Grimwall's favorite exclamation, "Grap".
* UnwittingPawn: Arguably [[spoiler:Dream World Morgan.]] He believes that [[spoiler:he and Real World Morgan are the same person and doesn't realize that his fighting Max and enabling the poison to work its way through his veins will actually kill him along with Max.]] The example has the oddity of ''both'' the pawn ''and'' the manipulator being unaware of the manipulation [[spoiler:due to Real World Morgan being unaware of Dream World Morgan's existence]].
* VillainWithGoodPublicity: [[spoiler: Morgan and Gromna]]
* WakingUpAtTheMorgue
* WalkingSpoiler: The player characters other than Max are difficult to talk about [[spoiler:without revealing that Max starts shapeshifting in the middle of the game]].
* WellDoneSonGuy: Morgan
* [[spoiler:WickedCultured]]: Morgan
* WombLevel: The Hive is unpleasantly organic.
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