[[quoteright:300:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/theybleedpixels_5133.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:300:BodyHorror has never been so cute.]]
''They Bleed Pixels'' is a 2012 indie platformer for PC. Arriving at the Lafcadio Academy for Troubled Young Ladies, an [[NoNameGiven unnamed young girl]] finds a mysterious book that constantly drips blood. It brings her strange dreams of other times and places, and of another self with claws instead of hands--and with each dream, the line between herself and the monster thins...

''They Bleed Pixels'' combines ''Super VideoGame/MeatBoy'''s tough-as-nails style of retro platforming with a one-button combat combo system, all wrapped in visuals inspired by [[Creator/HPLovecraft Lovecraft's work]].
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!!This video game provides examples of::
* HundredPercentCompletion: There are a hundred and twenty six achievements in this game!
** Beat all the levels.
** Kill all the enemies in all the levels.
** Collect all the pages in all the levels.
** {{Speedrun}} all the levels.
** Get an S rank in all the levels (covers 2 achievements per level, since A rank also gets an achievement.)
** Complete all levels without dying, and just one level [[NoDamageRun without taking damage]].
** Get a 60-hit combo (covers six achievements, one for every 10 hits.)
** And various other achievements, like "set off a chain reaction involving five different [[ActionBomb bomb imps]]."
* ActionBomb: Bomb imps. They're very fragile, but there's no way to destroy a bomb other than to wait for it to explode, and they do double damage at close range. (Thankfully, you can kick them into the nearest crowd of enemies. Or bat them when in mid-air, which the game calls the "Exploding Palm Technique".)
* AdvancingWallOfDoom: Expect to spend a ''lot'' of the late-game running from sawblades.
* ArcSymbol: A stylized claw, which appears all over the background scenery, as well as on the book of claws itself.
* ArtifactOfDoom: The book of claws. [[spoiler:Apparently, the student library has many books like it.]]
* AwesomenessMeter
* BlackBeadEyes
* BoardingSchoolOfHorrors: [[spoiler:Its headmaster is an evil magus trying to turn his students into CuteMonsterGirl servants, for one.]]
* ClingyMacGuffin: ''Nothing'' can destroy the book of claws.
* CuteMonsterGirl: The protagonist when transformed.
** [[spoiler:As well as some of the other transformed girls.]]
* TheCorruption: The book of claws seems to cause this rather than TheVirus.
* DoubleJump
* TheEndOrIsIt: [[spoiler: The headmaster's dead, but the books are still around.]]
* EternalEngine: 4-2, and to a lesser extent, 4-3.
* FlashStep: One of the protagonist's combat maneuvers, also useful for crossing spike pits. It can be done unlimited times when flashing between enemies, but it requires a short recharge if it doesn't hit anything that bleeds.
** Ghosts also teleport in a manner similar to a FlashStep when hit. They rarely block attacks, so getting a good combo on a ghost means chasing it around and hitting it over and over. (Naturally, you eventually have to fight them while clinging to a wall and unable to chase them without the risk of falling.)
* HairDecorations: Cutscenes show the protagonist as wearing a little red bow in her hair. It's probably not coincidental that the pixel art seen in gameplay makes this look like devil horns.
* IdiosyncraticComboLevels: They're mostly words Lovecraft liked, such as "gibbous" and "necrotic."
* InterfaceSpoiler: With the addition of Steam Trading Cards, [[spoiler:The Headmaster]] can be seen long before [[spoiler:he]] becomes relevent to the plot.
* JuggleFu: The upwards strike is intended for this.
* LovecraftLite: Make no mistake-this is not a CosmicHorrorStory, or even that much of a horror ''game''. [[spoiler:[[EarnYourHappyEnding You win, and manage to destroy the book and the guy using them to make servants]], after all, [[TheEndOrIsIt though it wasn't the only one of its kind]].]]
* NintendoHard: Expect to die several times per level until getting a good handle on the controls. They are VERY precise and overdoing ANY movement can lead to your death (no shortage of enemies, spikes, and other sharp objects in this game). Inertia is present and the floor is always a bit slippery even without ice. Also, not mashing goes against your natural instincts (there are only 2 buttons used other than the arrow keys), so mastering the character takes practice. The game supports and even suggests a controller be used, but the game is difficult enough for this trope to apply even if you do use one.
* OverdrawnAtTheBloodBank: There's a reason the score counter is measured in "pints."
* PerpetualFrowner: As a human, the protagonist only smiles once, [[spoiler:at the very end]]. However, she acquires a CatSmile [[EvilFeelsGood every time she transforms]].
* PinataEnemy: It's relatively easy to string out a nine-hit combo off a single shambler (ten if you finish by punting it into spikes.)
* PlanetHeck: 4-1.
* RankInflation: In a manner of speaking--there's an S rank, but the score requirements for it are ''ludicrously'' high. Getting it requires near-perfect memorization of a level, as well as deliberately skipping over a lot of possible checkpoints.
* SaveGameLimits: Killing enemies and collecting orbs fills up your "sigil meter." When filled, you can empty it to place a checkpoint on any flat, non-slippery surface with no nearby enemies, sawblades, or crushers. Alternatively, you earn double points for all kills performed and orbs collected with the meter filled. (Of course, you lose all those points if you die.)
* ShoutOut: Lovecraft is particularly well-loved here, but there are references to everyone from [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lafcadio_Hearn LafcadioHearn]] to Creator/PhilipPullman.
* SilenceIsGolden: There's screaming, laughter, and a bout of BlackSpeech, but no one ever says an intelligible word.
* SinisterSilhouettes: A figure in a bowler hat, wielding a claw-shaped knife, appears behind the protagonist at the end of every dream. The observant player will notice that [[spoiler:there's a painting of a man in a bowler hat on a wall in the school.]]
* SomethingCompletelyDifferent: The game contains unlockable "guest levels" created by different indie game developers. They include:
** "They Bleed Stardust", based on ''Seraphs'' by Alex Bethke.
** "exp 0.666..." based on ''Exp. Magazine'' by Mathew Kumar.
** And "They Bleed Ponycorns", based on ''VideoGame/SissysMagicalPonycornAdventure'' by Ryan and Cassie Creighton. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QhIPo8jeZI8 It must be seen to be believed.]]
* SpikesOfDoom: ''Everywhere''.
* TheManyDeathsOfYou: Get used to seeing the protagonist impaled, shredded, and disintegrated.
* TomeOfEldritchLore: The book of claws seems to be this, although we never see any of what's in it.
** While the protagonist only interacts with the one, it's not the only one around. [[spoiler:The student library's ''full'' of them, and they're evidently doing similar things to the other students.]]
* UnderwaterRuins: 3-1 and 3-2.
* VagueAge: The protagonist looks very young in the game itself, and some of the concept art reflects this, but in other concept art, she appears to be a teenager.
* WombLevel: [[spoiler:The final level]], though technically, it's a [[spoiler:heart level]].
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