Afraid Of Monsters is a Horror Mod for Half-Life.You are David Leatherhoff, a man who is addicted to pain pills that mysteriously appear in his mailbox every week, and he certainly doesn't care who's sending them. He's been suffering night terrors recently, far more brutal than simple nightmares should be.Eventually, fed up, he checks himself into a hospital for rehab. When he goes into the bathroom, he finds the same damned pills there, and against his better judgment, pops some and blacks out in a nearby stall.When he awakes, the hospital's shrouded in complete darkness. The only signs of life are things that twitch and lurk in the dark, out to kill him. He has to find a way out...One of the more notable Half-Life Mods, mostly because it's quite frightening. Received a Spiritual Successor in the form of Cry of Fear.
Absurdly Sharp Blade: With a few chops, a kitchen knife can cut through wood, boxes, windows, the floor of a elevator, and metal grills sealing the vents.
Absurdly-Spacious Sewer: Might be difficult to notice because of the lack of light, but nevertheless big enough for zombies to live in.
Acceptable Breaks from Reality: More often than not, you can find many good things in garbage cans and containers. Things like ammunition and bottles of painkillers that give health. That is standard in games, but sometimes you also find something so rare, like functioning flashlight batteries.
Which itself justifies why they run out so fast. The batteries David keeps finding are old and leaking.
Air-Vent Passageway: To escape from the Hospital, you need to go through the vents several times... especially when the elevator jams. And starts falling. To no one's surprise, there's a screamer in there.
All Just a Dream - The final, good ending (the only one in the original and the fourth ending in DC) shows David OD'd in the hospital, seemingly dead, but he's successfully resuscitated by the doctors.
Amazing Technicolor Population: The Twitchers are often in different skintones (mostly pitch-black or blood-stained), but it is most obvious when David is in Markland Forest: Almost all of them are completely White - or invisible.
An Axe to Grind: The best melee weapon in the Director's Cut is the axe. Unfortunately, the final boss has one, too.
To make it even worse, the final boss pulls the axe OUT OF HIS BODY.
Artificial Stupidity: Sometimes the Twitchers in the hospital simply stand on the stairs, even if they have seen David. This makes it easy to do headshots.
Awesome but Impractical: The Automatic Rifles are all cool but mostly not used. The AK-47 in the original, with very little ammunition that could be used for it, is this somewhat, since you could keep it along with the shotgun. Director´s Cut plays this much more straight however, with the Submachine Gun and the Uzi. Both have very little ammunition to be found, they burst away a whole magazine worth of bullets in less than a few seconds, and it is easy to overkill a enemy if the player gets startled, getting rid of even more ammo. But worst of all: unlike the original version, weapons have to be swapped because of the weight. Which means that you have to get rid of the very useful shotgun for the Submachine Gun, and the Revolver or Desert Eagle for the Uzi. Powerful guns and tempting, but not useful in the long run.
Before that, there's the Glock David finds in the cafeteria. More ammo capacity, but less stopping power. Pick it up, waste its magazine, then go back for your P228.
The hammer found in the sewer and parts of the city may count. It deals way more damage than the knife (enough to kill an enemy in one or two hits), but is way slower than it's counterpart. The axe though, is a much needed upgrade.
Ax-Crazy: David in the bad ending(s); it's revealed he went on a psychotic rampage during his hallucination, and all those monsters he killed were people.
Block Puzzle: The one when you have to know the barrel down in the water and then jump on.
Bloodless Carnage: You´ll find blood more often smeared on the walls as part of the scenery than spilled from killed enemies, as they don´t bleed. Justified, in that it is all David's hallucinations.
Bloody Handprints: frequently found in the hospital, but especially all over where the barricade used to be after you cut the power.
Bilingual Bonus: Not in the mod itself as much as when digging into the game files. Many of the files are titled in Swedish instead of English, and as such, anyone knowing Swedish have a interesting, and somewhat creepy time reading the titles. For example, multiple soundfiles are named "Viskningar", which means Whispers. There is also "Brutalskrik" (Brutal Scream), and Karringskrik. Karring is slang, in this case spelled without the letter Ä, that is used in the same context nowadays as Bitch. No points for guessing what they are used for.
In case you wonder what some of them are used for, it's ambiance and some of the jumpscares.
Broken Bridge: Not the literal type. Several paths are locked or not possible to take unless a key has been found.
A more traditional case occurs in Director's Cut; David needs to open a car trunk with a key to find a rope, which he uses to climb a stone fence surrounding an apartment.
Another good example: David has to enter a subway, but to get there he needs to open up the door, which is locked away inside a room only accessible by blowing up a pack of dynamite, which can only safely be detonated by entering a room which can only be entered by climbing through a small vent.
In Cocyx The Skeleton's Sven Coop server, there's "Armor Pills" which only decide how much damage you receive overall until it's depleted. That, and you'll need it, since the server is Harder Than Hard.
Body Horror: The zombies start out as at least fairly humanoid, then turn worse...
Especially the "Noodle'd" ones, which are zombies with very deformed, sculpture-like heads and limbs.
Bottomless Pits: If you do not follow the red dots in the nightmares, you fall and die in a black void.
Falling off the hospital, falling into the elevator shaft, etc.
Bug Buzz: You can hear insects and frogs in the forest, depending on which route the player has taken in the apartment complex.
Convenient Color Change: An early puzzle/back-track quest went as such: If the button is surrounded by green light, it opens the green door. If the button shines red, it opens the red door, and same for blue.
Creative Closing Credits: In Director´s Cut, the credits are on many TV monitors, spread around in a dark room, and shown as the camera dramatically pans into them one by one while Aphex Twins's "Heart of it All" plays in the background.
Also counts as a Nostalgia Heaven moment, since in the original Afraid of Monsters, the TV monitors were used to explain how to play the game in the training level.
Averted by the original, however, since it consisted of one sentence: "Mod by Andreas Ronnberg (ruMpel)"
Creepy Basement: David must venture into one and turn off the electricity in the Hospital. It gets significantly scarier when he tries to get out.
Damn You, Muscle Memory: Or lack of thereof. Director's Cut forces the player to press the Use key to pick up weapons and items, whereas in the original the player just had to walk over the items to collect them. The mechanic was most likely implemented so that players would not replace and re-replace their weapons every time they happened to walk over them (see Hyperspace Arsenal.)
Deadly Lunge: The very much alive skulls do a leap attack when David is close enough.
As do hunchbacked zombies in the forest.
Death Trap: In one of David's Nightmares, he has to send a chained man into a wall with spikes. If he's not careful before the hallucination entering the forest, he'll be dropped into a jail cell, and smacked by a zombie until he dies.
Die, Chair! Die!: Trash cans/rubbish bins, since they usually contain pills and ammo.
Down the Drain: The Sewer under the city. One of the rare Scary videogame examples.
Downer Ending: The first three endings in Director's Cut, wherein David finds that he went on a psychotic mass murder spree, is questioned, and hangs himself out of guilt in his prison cell.
Deus ex Machina: When the Boss battle with David's doppelgänger begins, the only weapon capable of killing him, a spear, lies at the end of the room on a bench, waiting to be picked up. He thankfully averts becoming an Anticlimax Boss, because even with the weapon, he is challenging.
It makes sense, though, when you consider that David is basically thinking "I am taking control of my own fate", and promptly created the only thing capable of stopping himself; this was at the point he tried to be in control of his thoughts.
Dummied Out: Director's Cut had the Grenades, the monster fish, and the Body Armor removed, which the original version had. One can also find many unused Aphex Twin tracks in the files that were apparently supposed to play while the mod loaded the next area.
Earn Your Happy Ending: In both games, David manages to fight off his addiction and wake up from his overdose.
Enemy Chatter: Mostly verted, unlike Half-Life and its other mods. Most enemies do make noises when discovering and attacking you, but none of it is intelligible speech.
Grimy Water: The sewer water. There is a giant black fish swimming in it, but was removed in DC.
Guide Dang It: It's extremely easy to lose your way in the hospital in either version after the blackout happens.
The flashlight in Director´s Cut doesn't recharge, unlike the original. You better have a good quicksave on hand if you run out in certain areas.
Jump Scare - All over the place. In places where you expect it, and places where you least expect it. Some are enemies, and thanks to how fast and damaging they are, expect to die the first time around. The worst is the subway attack. Hope you know where the turnstiles are.
Handcannon - The Desert Eagle and Revolver. Subverted, in which you'll often have to fight off more than one twitching zombie, it becomes slightly less useful. And contrary to horror fans' expectations, having a Desert Eagle or revolver in your hands does not make your enemies any less pants-wettingly terrifying.
Haunted House: The mansion in Markland Forest, with its flashing images of people and Invisible Zombies.
Healing Potion: The pain killers you find strewn about levels. Deconstructed, as they're the reason you're seeing these horrible things to begin with.
Hearing Voices: More or less through the whole game, random voices start whispering. Sometimes one can understand what they say, but more often than not, it is gibberish. Also, they were made using Microsoft Sam...
... In contrast to our Heroic Mime, and all human characters, whose dialogues are in text only without voicework.
Improbable Age: The creator of the Mod, Andres "ruMpel" Rönnberg, was 12 years old when he began work on it and 14 when it was finished.
Infernal Retaliation: When he has taken enough hits, the final boss becomes temporarily engulfed in flames that damages David over time.
Infinity+1 Sword: A weapon only obtained after beating all 4 endings is found in the hospital with the bathroom with letters. It's an L85A2 with infinite ammo, high rate of fire, devastating stopping power, and a scope. Ladies and Gentlemen, meet the GM_General.
Invisible Wall: Rarely found, but the aforementioned barrier and some stairs have them.
Invisible Monsters: The Bleeding Specters. Their faces flash yellow when they are laughing and attacking from range. At one point, even the Zombies become invisible.
Interface Screw: Being hit by an Abomination turns the screen red and only white noise is heard for a few seconds.
Journey to the Center of the Mind: Your ultimate enemy in the game? Yourself. The last levels completely leave reality and into David's head, where he must fight off even more disfigured zombies in a twisted void.
Lock and Key Puzzle: The TNT puzzle in the sewers. Requires you to go into a darkened highrise, and... yeah.
Lost Forever: There is a axe in the shack in the Markland Forest. Gather the courage to walk in it before jumping down the well, or you miss out on the most powerful melee weapon in the game.
If you miss a single letter containing the code to the fourth ending, the happy end is completely out of reach, until you find that paper by replaying the mod again. Painful enough by itself, but are you willing to put yourself through all that fear ''again?!'
Made of Iron: A Twitcher might sometimes survive a point-blank shotgun blast to the head.
Musical Spoiler: Midway through the sewer under the city, creepy music suddenly starts playing. Then the Zombies come.
Mind Screw: The beginning of the end. Yes. You go through the hospital from the first level, that has in fact been turned sideways, and all the rooms are spinning in their own directions. The chairs and tables are your new substitute for platforms, and do not even dare to follow anything but the red dots. And then you get to the drawings...
Mono Gender Monsters: The Zombies/Twitchers are all men, while the flying ghosts (those that resemble humans) appear as women.
Multiple Endings: Four, but the first three are actually a sequence, they're showing David's discovery of what he's done (i.e., go on a psychotic rampage that killed a bunch of people and not monsters, his interrogation, and, ultimately, his suicide). The fourth, however, shows hope, where instead, he's suffered from an OD and doctors are working to save him, and he survives.
To be more precise, you have to find scattered letters with numbers in the game, which are combined into a single long code. But after leaving the hospital, the levels branch off in different multiple directions. Depending on which route you take, he ends up with a different ending. In all of the locations, these scattered pieces of the code exist, which the player has to memorize. Close to the game's finale, there is a room in David's last nightmare in which he is supposed to press in this code, and a new path opens to the fourth and happy ending. Assuming you dare to replay the game two times more.
Nightmare Face: The faces of the ghosts that appear, and almost all enemies have them. Some even use the faces as weapons.
Never Bring a Knife to a Fist Fight: Inverted. When one has run out of ammunition, the Knife is the must-use weapon against the punching zombies, until you find either the hammer or the axe.
Nothing Is Scarier: At the beginning of the mod, David gets attacked literally less than ten seconds after finding a gun, from behind, no less, in a sudden bum rush. In Director´s Cut, however, no monsters appear until David shuts off the electricity in the hospital's basement, some good fifteen minutes of exploring later... and you have to fight the first monsters that appear in pitch darkness. Players who had tried the original version first were experiencing nothing short of Absolute Paranoia when DC was released.
Ominous Fog: In a few parts of the city, such as the park.
Ominous Walk: The first thing David's Doppelgänger does when they meet. Trying to damage him only results in self-damage. David has to run away from him until he gets cornered in the Boss Room for the final showdown, where he finds the conveniently placed Spear: the Doppelgänger's only weakness.
One-Man Army: David, being the only human alive against his living hallucinations, kills many of them through his journey.
Our Monsters Are Weird: There are skulls with hands stuffed in their mouths that attack with a leap. The Dogs are either crimson red, or anatomically correct but have a shaved human head with a single eyesocket. If you hear constant strange noises on a outdoor level, look up: Chances are that you find levitating Aliens that are trying to blast you to death with ghostly Faces. There are also gigantic invisible faces that laugh like children if they see David. In the regular mod, they were fleshy-reskinned Half-Life monsters, leading to Ghost Aliens that Shoot Bees.
Our Zombies Are Different: Twitchy, Silent Hill things that get worse as David falls deeper into the hallucination (they later show up with hammerheads, claws, or tools for arms, as well as completely disfigured or injured faces if their head isn't some sort of hideous black shape). They can break through walls and burst through lockers when David walks close enough. A few of the Zombies hide behind doors and staircases. If possible, they will only show up when it is dark. Their running speed varies for each one of them, so fighting them with melee weapons can be very difficult - even when it's outright encouraged. Some of them walk on their hands and spit at you, as if they were scorpions. They even learn to duck, to avoid bullets while they attack. If this showcase of unique behavior was not enough, some of them are invisible too.
In DC, the badly-skinned Voltigaunts are replaced with... hideous blob-things (they're actually glitched zombies, but purposely done). They poison you for a couple of seconds (accompanied by a white noise filter and a ringing effect in your ears.)
Phlebotinum Overdose: David's hallucinations by the pills sets the world into chaos while he is passed out.
Pipe Maze: One room requires the player to get to the button by jumping over and crawling under pipes.
Point of No Return: Escaping the Hospital via the air ducts makes it impossible to go back in. There are several more of these in Director´s Cut. After going through one of the branching paths after escaping the hospital, the other paths become locked out. Depending on the path chosen, it is possible for David to take a car and drive away from the city, without being able to return because he crashes into a tree. The final time this trope kicks in is during the final dream, when David must either type the code to heaven, or continue in the opposite direction to face a Downer Ending. All of it, depending on what directions you go.
Primal Fear: The darkness. There is quite A LOT of it in the game. Lord help you if you run out of flashlight batteries.
Purple Prose: "Don't let the Devil torture the God. Kill the Devil, and let the God show you the way." This is a hint given in order to progress in the game, so what does it mean? Destroy the columns holding up the ball-shaped statue. It will fall and break through the closed well under it, which you will climb down.
Roar Before Beating: Every enemy. Except for the forest twitchers. In fact, you have no idea it is a Zombie you are up against the first time, because of the messed up noises they make.
Room Full of Crazy: The hospital has the toilet, and the corridor with the electric cables blocking the path. The toilet is not important to progress, but the second is.
The corridor is not odd at first (aside from the obvious electric and highly dangerous cables). There is a message written on a Notebook nearby, however, asking David to turn off the electricity in the basement so the problem can be fixed. If David exits the corridor but returns without turning of the electricity, the picture on the wall has been put down to the ground, and there is a bloodprint on the wall. After finally causing the blackout and returning, the walls are scribbled with THANK YOU written all over them.
The bathroom only holds importance once you have acquired all 4 endings, as there is where you pick up the GM_General.
Shotguns Are Just Better: Played straight in both the original and Director´s Cut. It is the first two-handed weapon found, and usually most enemies run straight at David, making easy targets for the Shotgun's spread. Ammo's also much more plentiful than for the MP5k and Uzi.
Shock and Awe: Another attack of the final boss is striking lightning at David. The attack recharges every ten seconds.
Soft Water: You can jump down the wells with shallow water in the mod with ease, unless they are dried out.
Spiritual Successor: Cry of Fear. Another Half-Life mod being developed by Andreas Ronnberg featuring gameplay similar to AoM:DC, new weapons, new Storyline, a new Inventory System, a new Save System, and Full Cutscenes.
Spooky Painting: All the paintings in the game are either creepy from the beginning, or they vastly transform when it gets dark. The mansion in particular has many of them, and at one point even the Mona Lisa gets to frighten the player.
Ten-Second Flashlight: The flashlight recharges slowly over time when it is not in use. In Director´s Cut, however, it needs Batteries to work. Hope you like wandering around in the dark if you like wasting energy.
The Maze: Director´s Cut has a second Nightmare sequence, when David falls asleep while driving a car, that is a labyrinth. In order to get through it, you have to follow the roadsigns while defending yourself from zombies. If you go the wrong way, the ground crumbles under David and he falls into a prison to get torn apart by zombies. When you have finally reached the end of the labyrinth, David wakes up to the sound of the car crashing into a tree. Welcome to Markland Forest...
Units Not to Scale: The bottles of painkillers throughout the mod are as big as Pickle jars.
Updated Re-release: Afraid of Monsters: Director´s Cut, which added a ludicrous amount of content. New weapons, better graphics, new monsters, new levels, old levels redesigned, new scares, new music, new twists, a boss fight, four different endings, new flashlight, redesigned models, more types of zombies, more nightmare sequences. The fandom was pleased.
Up to Eleven: The Weapon used against the final boss. If you attempt to use it via the weapon menu, you notice that the whole window is Full of different symbols, that actually don´t tell you what it is until you click.
Unusually Uninteresting Sight: David will make a remark whenever he tries to open a locked door or find usable objects in the game, but never says anything about all the hallucinations running amok around him - probably because he's used to seeing them by the time the game's events occur.
Subverted later on as David goes from the familiar areas to the more weird and unfamiliar ones like the Markland Forest and its Mansion.
David attempting to open another door: Another FUCKING locked door!
Unwinnable by Mistake: To get in the bottom floor of the hospital, that could be described as another basement, David has to jump down a broken elevator. Then he can press the button in a room a few meters away that unlocks the other door that leads out, and the door to the next button across the building. The thing is that the door out of the bottom floor closes after him when he walks out, with no way of opening it again. So if the player jumps down the elevator again after pressing the button, he is stuck. He cannot get out because the door is locked, and he cannot get out the way he came.
This was fixed in Director's Cut, when the whole hospital was redesigned.
Wham Line: "No, not the innocent! The enemy!" Which is you, by the way.
Where It All Began: Depending on the choices made, David returns to the hospital in his final nightmare. A very twisted version of it, that is.
Your Mind Makes It Real: All the nightmares can cause death, and even after them, there are still breathing, walking hallucinations that break down the environment in one way or the other. Truly some effective painkillers David found himself.
Zerg Rush: One in the subway area, and Director's Cut added a second one in the forest.