What would happen if HP Lovecraft
worked for Nintendo?
A Puzzle Platformer
where the hero has the ability to warp the very fabric of reality, but only at certain points.
As the journey goes on, the world around you falls apart, and nameless horrors emerge.
At the end of this journey, there will be nothing but the darkness...just the way you like it.
You can download the game here
This nightmare possesses examples of:
- Advancing Wall of Doom: One pitch black one appears in the third level, and the sixth level has another one... made of blood, which may be the avatar of Yog-Sothoth. That shoots out those damned hands of doom.
- And I Must Scream: The secret Steam exclusive ending.
- X-4 in general, really, since all the enemies are like this.
- And Then John Was a Zombie: One interpretation of the good ending.
- Anti-Poop Socking : "STOP." "GIVE UP."
- Inverted once you unlock the timed run feature: "FORWARD!" "ON YOUR MARKS!" "READY! TO RACE!"
- Auto-Scrolling Level: levels 3-4 and 6-7 in old versions. Later versions no longer require waiting for the platforms to scroll in view, but causes the Advancing Wall of Doom to behave like a Rubber Band.
- Beast and Beauty: The first ending inverts this, with the Princess as the Beast. The second and third endings avoid this trope entirely, because now you both are horrifying monsters!
- Bleak Level: The last level.
- Bloody Hilarious: When you couple Yakety Sax with a fast-speed montage of a Let's Player's many deaths, it can qualify for a Crowning Moment of Funny.
- Brutal Bonus Level: Only available if you get all the gems and also introduces the final eversion. In earlier versions, it starts warping randomly between them all. Version 1.7 replaces it with a maze-like level.
- Cap: Someone actually ground monsters in 7-8 to see what happens when the score counter hits 1,000,000. It just rolls over to 0.
- Content Warnings: The above quote, displayed when you start up the game. You're thinking that since this is a cutesy platformer at first, that it's just a joke. It's not.
- Crapsaccharine World: The entire game world is falling into decay and ruin, occasionally getting eaten by giant walls of nothing before turning malevolent and irredeemably evil. The bad ending is when you get eaten by the princess, who's already been turned into a monster; the good ending is where you turn into one of the nightmarish creatures as well... but at least you get the girl!
- Another interpretation is that you are a monster all along, and that you're working your way back from a horrible world to one that, for you, is good and right.
- Given how evert points operate and the ending, a more natural interpretation may be that the world is a single entity with multiple faces, and possibly that World 8 is the true face. This would make World 1 a fake, or a Crapsaccharine World.
- Cruel Twist Ending: The endings are considered this, but the bad ending fits even better.
- Dark Reprise: Does the music for X-6 seem familiar? It's a creepy, distorted version of X-2's theme.
- Dark World: The entire point of the game is to progress between various stages of Dark Worlds.
- Dramatic Disappearing Display: Your score goes away in X-7, then everything but the gem counter in 7-8, and the whole thing in world 8. In time attack mode, however, the timer is always displayed during gameplay.
- Dual-World Gameplay: Practically all of the gameplay is this to considerable success. There are 5 to 8 extra layers depending on version, but per level, you'll only be using 2 or 3 of them. At different layers, different objects may be obstacles or even enemies. In the lower levels, clouds can be platforms. In the lowest levels bushes are obstacles, go higher and they are simply dead, with flowers as thorny, spikey death traps, just before that they are just dead and background art. Each of these has an effect on the flow and timing of the player's jumps adjusted for the different levels. Enemies are deadly to different degrees with different one optimised for different levels.
- Dummied Out: In normal gameplay, you will never see the X-8 gems since you'd have every gem before you can even see X-8. At least, before 1.7.3 introduced Time Attack Mode, which have the gems serving to reduce time. But prior to that they do exist, probably so going to X-8 with gems around wouldn't kill the game in earlier versions.
- In addition, hacking the game reveals levels X-9 and X-0. 9 appears to be a Minus World (all the monsters look like you, and the level properties are whatever they were in the previous layer you were in). 0 was the world used in the map editor, with white tiles. All shrubs are replaced with the word and question mark "Goal?", which triggered the "bad" ending.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: Subverted with the bad ending. The good ending may or may not be a Double Subversion.
- Eldritch Abomination: Nehema turns out to be one. In the good ending, so do you.
- Eldritch Location: As you continue everting, the world becomes more and more like this, peaking in X-8.
- Endless Corridor: World 8 in version 1.7.3 onwards. If you don't find the evert point within two sections, then then you'll have to go through them again until you end the section after everting to a lower dimension.
- Eye Scream: The fate of the first box in level 4-1.
- Faceless Eye: The normal enemies in X-4.
- And gem blocks in the world X-8.
- And almost faceless those stone enemies in world X-7.
- Fission Mailed: In X-6 to X-8, dying will sometimes replace the "READY!" screen with a fake Game Over.
- Four Is Death: World 4, the Wham Level.
- Also, in X-4, the goomba-like monsters stay still, as if they are dead.
- X-4 is kind of a dead world. Everything's a dull shade of grayish-green, the plants are curled over, the water is poisoned and lifeless, the boxes have flat expressions...
- From Bad to Worse: The game world slowly decays at first, but by level four, it descends into outright madness and chaos.
- Gainax Ending: All of them. Have fun on the Wild Mass Guessing page.
- Game Over: The only way to get one in this game is to get the bad ending. However, there is also a (fake) Game Over screen that has a chance of popping up at later eversion levels.
- Genre-Busting: It's a platformer, puzzle, and horror game, all at once.
- Giant Eye Of Doom: A massive black eye with red sclera shows up in the background for both endings. Amusingly, it looks approving of what happens in the good one. Then it reveals itself in the title screen - the implication being that it was always watching over you. Of note is that the blank "READY!" screen was supposed to feature the eye, but the author was too lazy to code it in and realized it actually looked creepier the way it was.
- Giant Hands of Doom: Starting with layer 4, scary red hands with long black arms rise out of most pits while screeching loudly. Their arms can't harm Zee Tee.
- The Goomba: The most frequent enemy, Ghuliba, looks much like a Goomba. Its properties' depend on the current layer.
- Goomba Stomp: In later worlds, this results in massive fountains of your enemies' blood.
- Goth Spirals: The bright purple flowers from World 1 gradually wilt into gray stalks that become spirals in World 5. As if that weren't enough, they acquire Spikes of Doom from World 6 onward. In HD version, more can be seen in the background during later worlds. And let's not forget what happens to the face blocks in World 7...
- Grotesque Cute: That adorable little flower can make his enemies (or himself, if he's not careful!) explode into globs of blood!
- Guide Dang It: Most players who play the new version of World 8 take the hardest path to get from world X-6 to lower instead of everting from X-6 to X-5 from the easier section.
- Getting those last five gems in level 6 is frustratingly difficult to say the least until you find the hidden eversion point in the maze.
- Getting to the end of level 6 is frustratingly difficult without that, let alone getting all the gems while you're at it.
- Level 7 and those last few gems... and just when you think you've got the blocks destroyed and the gems popped out, if you should ever die in between grabbing the gems, YOU HAVE TO DO IT ALL OVER AGAIN. AARGH. Cue the head-smashing.
- Partly averted as most Guide Dang It moments are shortly after automatic saves and you have infinite lives to try everything. In the first example given, you can get trapped within the easier section, forcing you to search for the evert point within a small area.
- Heartbeat Soundtrack: X-7. X-8 features accelerating heartbeats. X-5 also has a very slight heartbeat.
- Hidden in Plain Sight: The after-game logo is hidden behind the pre-game logo, and vice versa.
- High-Pressure Blood: Levels X-6 and beyond.
- Hope Spot: World 7. As you progress through the level you start everting backwards and eventually end up back at the bright, happy 7-1. But if you haven't collected all the gems...
- Interface Screw: The later parts of worlds X-6 and X-7 are plagued by creepy glitches, messages, and other oddities in your UI. For example, your score starts turning into gibberish — then vanishes outright; instead of "READY!" it starts saying things like "STOP," "GIVE UP," a fake Game Over, etc etc. In the endings, the game closes itself.
- Invincible Minor Minion: In version 1.73, rock monsters in X-7 and X-8. And normal enemies in X-8 respawn.
- It's a Wonderful Failure: Get the Game Over sequence, and your character will be forced to sit helplessly as Nehema eats him.
- Jump Scare: The very first hand in 4-5. Later, at the very end of World 8, when you've finally reached 8-1, one last hand appears. It can't kill you, but the Mood Whiplash will probably make you flip over in your chair.
- Layered World: In fact, there are 8 layers. Three where things are relatively friendly, midpoint where things are indifferent and four worlds of evil.
- Ludicrous Gibs: In levels X-6, X-7, and X-8, get used to showers of blood every time you kill an enemy, or die. In version 1.73, enemies in world X-8 emit black smoke before resurrecting again though.
- The Maze: Version 1.73 replaces the final level with sections which loop in pairs if player doesn't evert and end the section with other eversion.
- Meaningful Name: Nehema, the Princess, is another name for Naamah, a powerful demoness in the Kabbalah, specifically, a fallen angel. She shares the same Qliphoth with Lilith, who is associated with Lust and Corruption. And their Qliphoth represents materialism (You need all the gems to get the True Ending).
- Mind Screw: The endings are, to say the least, ambiguous.
- Minimalism: At least, in the non-HD version. Maybe even then: the color palette hasn't changed much, the graphics are just larger and more detailed.
- Minus World: Ten of them, but they are only reachable by hacking.
- Mood Whiplash: Oh, so much.
- Mordor: Levels X-7 and X-8.
- Musical Spoiler: Before you evert, you'll hear what you're everting into. Every time you evert, the music gets less and less cheerful. First it mellows out. Then it becomes dramatic. Then it becomes weird. Then it becomes oppressive. Then you hear the mellow music as if played on a broken record player. Then all you hear is a beating heart. And after that, cue the Psycho Strings...
- Multiple Endings: Two in the free version, three in the Steam one.
- Nothing Is Scarier: World X-7 replaces the music with a heartbeat.
- Aside the music, World X-4 is where this trope truly begins.
- One of the randomly selected "READY!" screens in World X-6 to X-8 is a completely blank screen.
- Additionally, after you have seen the READY!... TO DIE, the normal "READY!" may feel like this.
- 100% Completion: Needed to unlock the "good" ending.
- Overdrawn at the Blood Bank: Levels X-6 and beyond. Even assuming your little flower-guy has blood to begin with, there's no way his little body could hold that much.
- Playing The Player: You probably thought it was a nice, happy platformer... until your first few eversions.
- Prepare to Die: In Worlds X-6, X-7, and X-8, sometimes you'll get the "READY!" prompt, with "TO DIE" appearing below it just before the level starts. It works on X-5 as well, but very rarely.
- Rainbow Motif: The sky will go from a normal blue to a stagnant green to a hellish blood red and nightmarish purple in later eversions.
- Save the Princess: What you may well decide you didn't want to do.
- Scenery Gorn: In the High Definition version, the Ghibli Hills in the background grow decayed. X-2 makes everything look artificial and X-3 makes it look like it's falling apart. X-4 just shows a flat, completely stagnant ocean. The hills grow CLAWED HANDS and MOUTHS in X-6 and X-7. And then we have LAYERS and LAYERS of TENTACLES in X-8.
- Schizophrenic Difficulty: World 4, 6, and 8 are harder than 5 and 7.
- Schmuck Bait: To those who didn't have this game spoiled for them: admit it, you were wondering why the cutesy-looking platformer game was marked as "not for children or those of a nervous disposition". The fact that it starts with a quote from Lovecraft should have clued you in.
- Scoring Points: Watch what happens to the score meter when you go to X-6. Because if you go even further, it's gone.
- Shout-Out: The Steam achievements Metaphor for the Atomic Bomb and Beige Alert.
- Soundtrack Dissonance: As you progress though levels, the end of world jingle slowly becomes a bit... unfitting, culminating at the end of world 7.
- Spikes of Doom: The thorns from X-6 through X-8.
- Sugar Apocalypse: World X-1 to X-8, AND F**KING HOW.
- Surprise Creepy: It's gradual, but it's still here.
- The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: See the What the Hell, Player? entry below.
- Tomato in the Mirror: The other interpretation of the "good" ending. The distinction might be academic...
- Trial-and-Error Gameplay: Plenty of it, but getting a hundred percent completion on world 7 truly goes above and beyond — it's likely to take at least as long as the entire rest of the game put together to finally get those last six gems.
- Wall Master: Level 4.
- Wham Episode: As mentioned above, level 4.
- What the Hell, Player?: In the Steam version, the achievement for starting a game with an edited level is called "What Have You Done".
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