Characters wake up to find themselves in a mental asylum and are told that they are not really comic book/anime/video game characters, they're just very ill people suffering from delusions. The staff of Landel's are all too willing to help cure them - or horrifically torture them, whichever proves more amusing.
The game is divided into day and night shifts; during the day, the asylum looks like a normal, nurturing psychiatric hospital with individual and group therapy sessions, arts and crafts, free time in the courtyard, and weekly outings to the nearby town of Doyleton. Nighttime is a different story, when the grounds are suddenly teeming with deadly monsters, and characters are whisked away by the staff to be tortured.
Official name is Landel's Damned. Well-known for having an especially long and thorough application to get in.
This game provides examples of:
- Abandoned Hospital: How the Institute appears during NS. Until you run into the monsters, that is...
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Characters are eligible for one of two forms of specialized torture; one is referred to as "Special Counseling," and involves the characters being brainwashed into working for Landel during the Night Shift and trying to prevent the other characters from escaping the asylum.
- Cuckoo Nest; Go Among Mad People
- Computer Voice; Electronic Speech Impediment: I.R.I.S. (appeared during Day/Night 43) spoke with the former during the daytime, the latter at night.
- Escape from the Crazy Place: The essential goal of most of the patients.
- Faux Affably Evil: Martin Landel himself, interacting with the patients only over the hospital's PA system. During the day, he's friendly, encouraging and jovial; by night, he's snide, mocking and cruel. Thoroughly amused by the attempts of his captives to escape the asylum, he taunts and torments them, and isn't above the odd sinister chuckle.
- Ironic Nursery Rhyme: Used as a play on Jack and Jill, the aliases of the radio hosts. Most notable here
- La Résistance: The radio hosts Jack, Jill and Marc are implied to be part of one.
- Ontological Mystery: The whole game is a textbook example. Patients know that Martin Landel is at least one person who's behind their predicament, but other details about the operation as a whole are a complete mystery to most.
- Strapped to an Operating Table: The other form of torture is a CM-US, or "Character Mess-Up Session." Here, the patient is dragged from their room and drugged, awakening to find themselves in this unfortunate situation. Playing with Syringes, Mind Rape and/or Eye Scream usually follows.
- Through the Eyes of Madness: What the staff of the hospital would have the player characters believe.