[[quoteright:250:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Amnesia_The_Dark_Descent_Cover_Art_8899.jpg]]

->''I have tried everything and there is no way to fight back. You need to escape it as long as you can. Redeem us both Daniel. Descend into the darkness where Alexander waits and murder him.''
->''Your former self,''
-->-- '''Daniel'''

''Amnesia: The Dark Descent'' is a [[http://www.metacritic.com/game/pc/amnesia-the-dark-descent/critic-reviews critically acclaimed]] mix of SurvivalHorror and AdventureGame from the Swedish indie studio Creator/FrictionalGames. It's a SpiritualSuccessor to their previous ''VideoGame/{{Penumbra}}'' series of games, sharing many elements of gameplay and storytelling with them.

Daniel, the playable NonActionGuy, wakes up in the dark of an ancient [[HauntedCastle creepy castle]], Brennenburg, without memories. The first thing he finds is a [[NoteToSelf note to himself]], which informs him that he has been deliberately self-inflicted with [[TitleDrop amnesia so that he can make a dark descent]] into the heart of the castle and kill the proprietor, Baron Alexander. As he journeys further within the bowels of the Prussian estate, Daniel comes across his own diary entries, hinting at [[EldritchAbomination otherworldly]] influences, particularly the dangerous living 'Shadow' that pursues him for something he did in his past, killing everyone it comes across. He also finds notes left by an assortment of castle-dwellers that elaborate on the sinister events that have taken place there.

[[NothingIsScarier But mostly, he finds nothing...]]

A free expansion pack, ''Justine'', was released in April 2011 as part of a cross-game AlternateRealityGame promotion for ''VideoGame/{{Portal 2}}'', featuring a new player character and a brand-new scenario to play.

A 2013 sequel, entitled ''VideoGame/AmnesiaAMachineForPigs'', was published by Frictional Games, with primary development by thechineseroom, the team responsible for ''VideoGame/DearEsther''.

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[[folder: Tropes in ''Amnesia: The Dark Descent'']]
* AboveGoodAndEvil: Alexander expresses disdain for concepts like "good" and "evil", thinking them only good for comfort and not something to be concerned about. [[spoiler:He reminds Daniel that they are NotSoDifferent after Daniel calmly went along with Alexander's plans to torture and kill in order to preserve his own life from [[EldritchAbomination The Shadow]], and thus Daniel has no better claim to "goodness" than he does - sidestepping that Alexander preyed on Daniel's desperation to convince him it was necessary.]]
* AbsurdlySpaciousSewer: Apparently justified by being used to carry spring water which surges seasonally. It also functions as a cistern system to retain excess water and carefully control its pressure to power water mills.
* AdvancingWallOfDoom: The Shadow of the Orb manifests as an advancing wave of decay and corrosion that you have to run away from at certain key points in the game.
* AfraidOfNeedles: In the [[AbsurdlySpaciousSewer sewer beneath the castle]] - in order to keep from being killed by poisonous fungi, you need to drill a hole into the head of a corpse, insert a needle into a copper tube, insert that tube's base into the skull, and then ''stick yourself on the needle'' to immunize yourself. That's MalevolentMutilation, AfraidOfNeedles, and a makeshift transfusion all in one scene.
* AerithAndBob: The three main characters are Daniel, Alexander and...Agrippa.
* AlienGeometries: [[spoiler:The Choir and Chancel towards the end of the game are... peculiar. Daniel also has visions of these when he first finds the orb.]]
* AlternateRealityGame: One of the thirteen indie games that form the bulk of the material of Creator/{{Valve|Software}}'s "[[http://valvearg.com/wiki/Valve_ARG_Wiki PotatoFoolsDay]]" ''VideoGame/{{Portal 2}}'' ARG.
* AlwaysABiggerFish: An offscreen variant. Boy, that Brute sure is scary, isn't he? You can't do anything to stop him and if he finds you you're dead in moments. [[spoiler:So exactly what was capable of dismembering one so easily?]]
* AndIMustScream: [[spoiler:If Daniel allows Alexander's ritual to take place, or stays in his cell when imprisoned, the Shadow will consume him. It's implied that this traps his conscious in absolute darkness ''forever''.]]
** Can also apply to [[spoiler:Agrippa]], who is chained to a wall for 300 years, conscious but unable to move.
* ArtifactOfDoom: The Orbs. [[spoiler:If, for whatever reason, the individual who discovers one is unable to master its power, then the Shadow that guards it will relentlessly pursue him, killing everyone he encounters in the process.]]
* ArtificialStupidity: One of the few breaks you'll ever get in the game when encountering monsters. Most of them have horrible vision when you're not in light, get bored chasing you after a while, or are generally unable to notice you when you're literally right next to them. In areas with bottomless pits and other falls, you can lure them to falling to their death (despawn). Also, they cannot attack you if you're on top of them or they are somehow stuck on top of barrels, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEvlauKxJ3g and they can't see you if you can't see them]]. Probably justified in-game - the monsters are described as "feeding off your fear" in a way, are more likely to see you if you keep staring at them, and their strength is dependent on ''your'' mental strength. If you're good at avoiding them, don't expect much ArtificialBrilliance.
* ArsonMurderAndJaywalking: As you learn about various torture victims, the severity of their supposed crimes seems to lessen. The worst were accused of rape and arson, but a forger got thrown into the iron maiden as well.
* ArtisticLicenseBiology: When Daniel has to vaccinate himself with a corpse's blood. God only knows if they're the same blood type or if he had any infectious diseases. At least upon touching the body while not holding anything it states that it "Can't be more than a day old." Still, as {{Lanipator}} puts it in his LetsPlay: "The ''least'' sanitary thing I could possibly do!"
* ArtisticLicenseChemistry:
** According to ''Amnesia'', combining aqua regia, orpiment, cuprite, and calamine all together[[note]]no idea how much of each, which one goes first, etc.[[/note]] creates simply "acid". No, the pH isn't known either. Note that Aqua Regia is already a mixture of nitric and hydrochloric acid capable of dissolving gold. Why you must add a copper-based mineral (cuprite), Arsenic Trisulfide (orpiment, once used for poisoned arrows) and Zinc Oxide (calamine, used in cosmetic creams and powders) is up to you to guess, when royal water ''alone'' would have done the job of dissolving organic tissue.
** After you use the "acid" to melt the organic tissue, the container it was in isn't washed out, and is ''re-used for something else later, '''despite the traces of acid.''''' Even worse, later in the game, Daniel finds a glass jar. He uses it to transport acid, then oil, once again without washing it out. After that, he can use it to [[spoiler:prepare Weyer's tonic -- the potion Agrippa's survival depends on.]]
* ArtisticLicensePhysics: You can light candles and torches that have fallen over and are lying sideways. If you do, the flames still shoot out parallel to the barrel of the candle or torch (i.e. sideways, instead of towards the ceiling).
* AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence: What may have happened to [[spoiler:Weyer, Agrippa, and Daniel]] if you choose the right ending.
* AssholeVictim: Daniel or Alexander, depending of the ending. Either of these two qualifies. Redemptive attempts aside if we talk about Daniel - he was not even an alien as Alexander was, and even Alexander himself feels a little surprised by him.
* BackFromTheDead: [[spoiler:Agrippa in the GoldenEnding. The potion Daniel makes for him allows him to be healed and re-embodied in the other world.]]
* BarrierBustingBlow: Doors do not stop the creatures, just slow them down.
* BeethovenWasAnAlienSpy: [[spoiler:Agrippa and Weyer were real historical figures, Agrippa being a 16th-century alchemist and Weyer being his apprentice. This game indicates that Weyer, like Alexander, actually came from... elsewhere...]]
** Agrippa ''was'' also an occultist in RealLife, about 300 years before Amnesia takes place. [[spoiler:He 'presumes' that he was held prisoner by Alexander for hundreds of years, which would make the numbers match up.]]
* {{BFS}}: The Brute's left forearm is one '''[[BladeBelowTheShoulder FREAKING HUGE BLADE]]'''. Getting hit ''just once'' by one of these things is [[OneHitKill sometimes enough to kill Daniel dead]].
* BittersweetEnding: [[spoiler:Alexander is dead, Daniel lives and feel redeemed, and the shadow stops chasing him. However, the kindly, old, and battered Agrippa dies in the rubble [[FateWorseThanDeath assuming his forced immortality gave out.]]]]
* {{Bizarrchitecture}}: The layout of Castle Brennenburg barely seems to make any sense from any practical perspective. But then again, its owner is hardly the usual kind of person.
* BlackBugRoom: Virtually ''any room'' where your sanity meter drops low enough to give you bizarre hallucinations about your surroundings.
* BookcasePassage: Two in the main campaign, one in ''Justine''.
* BrainBleach: The player will feel like they need one after visiting some of the later portions of the game. [[spoiler:Daniel himself eventually needs (and uses) some after the weight of all the things he's seen and done catches up with him, and he is forced to ask himself [[MyGodWhatHaveIDone whether he can live with knowing it]].]]
* BreatherLevel: The Back Hall. It's downright serene and pleasant compared to the Archive Tunnels you have to run through to get there... at least, until giant fleshy tumors sprout everywhere and the fountain starts pouring blood.
** The Back Hall portion was discussed in the Dev commentary, in which they invoked this trope, going along the lines of "This is meant to relax the player a bit so the upcoming horrors will be even worse by comparison."
** Also the main Cistern area and [[spoiler:where you meet Agrippa in the Nave]], which works as a breather room.
* CatScare: The scarcity of it makes those few instances much more effective.
** Not a cat, but opening a [[spoiler:drawer full of bones]] has the same effect.
** Also, the [[spoiler:iron maiden]] near the end.
** There's also the torch that turns on by itself. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H4w0_n1Yras&t=4m25s#t=3m3s Which is not traditional fire.]]
* ChekhovsGun: Justified. Some of the flashbacks provide hints as how to how to make progress, although it's more of a ChekhovsGun to Daniel as the memories slowly comes back to him, since the player wouldn't know anything about these pieces of information until the flashbacks are pointing it out.
* ColdBloodedTorture: [[spoiler:How both Daniel and Alexander treat those that Alexander has captured.]]
* CollapsingLair: [[spoiler:At the end of the game when you exit the castle, if you look behind you, you can see rocks completely obstructing the way back to the Entrance Hall. Also, you can hear crumble noises while Daniel opens the big door.]]
* CollisionDamage: The MeatMoss hurts you if you stand on it, though it is possible to jump on and off it fast enough to avoid damage.
* ContemptibleCover: Someone should have told whoever made this box art that the monster is scary [[NothingIsScarier because you can't see it]]... [[http://www.amazon.com/Amnesia-Pc/dp/B004FZ9822/ref=sr_1_1?s=videogames&ie=UTF8&qid=1297461562&sr=1-1 it doesn't help that it is drawn to look like a duck]].
* TheCorruption: The Shadow of the Orb.
* CosmicHorrorStory
* CowerPower: Literally, the best way to survive a monster is to find a dark corner, curl up with your nose to the wall, and ''pray it leaves before it stumbles over you''. Justified, as Daniel has no means by which to fight back against these monsters, they can generally outrun him when they break into a sprint, and closing doors will only slow them down at best.
* CreepyCathedral: The area names of one section of the castle suggests it is this. [[spoiler:[[AlienGeometries It doesn't look]] [[TortureCellar much like one]], but it's hinted that much of it may have been made by members of a forgotten culture]].
* CreepyPainting: There are portraits of Alexander around the castle. If your sanity's high, they look like normal portraits; but if your sanity's low, the paintings become utterly horrific.
* DarknessEqualsDeath: Played with - a core strategy for survival is to hide in dark areas from monsters, as they can't see well in the dark. Doing so does reduce your SanityMeter [[note]][[JustifiedTrope since Daniel has nyctophobia, a severe fear of the dark]][[/note]], but there is no other way to evade your pursuers. In the end, it amounts to "When darkness doesn't equal safety, it equals madness".
* DeliciousDistraction: The [[spoiler:water monster]] can be briefly placated by chucking one of the many severed body parts lying around into the water.
* DoomedByCanon: The written supplementary materials focus on characters who were mentioned in-game as dying or disappearing without a trace. Each story ends ''right'' before the event that kills them.
* DoomMagnet: [[spoiler:Everywhere Daniel goes,]] people die. It turns out it's [[spoiler:the Shadow hunting him. By the time the games events begin, he is almost a WalkingWasteland. It is hinted at that it only kills people who examine or tamper with the orb and it does so instantly. Whereas Daniel is fine for 27 days and if Daniel stops Alexander from screwing with the orb, it lets him go without an issue.]]
* DownerEnding: The bad ending, in which Daniel dies [[spoiler:and Alexander gets away scot-free with everything]]. Many of the custom stories also have downer endings:
** The Things In The Night: [[spoiler:After [[TheHero Fin]] kills the Evil, the Shadow's {{Expy}}, and then confronts his [[BigBad father]], there are either the choices of [[WeCanRuleTogether joining him]] or kill him. The former will trigger the ending in which the father traps Fin in a cage filled with Grunts, killing him, and the latter results in an ending where something is shown busting the door to the room Fin is in, revealing the Evil survived and is implied to kill Fin.]]
** Tenebris Lake: [[spoiler:Edward can either save himself and leave his family to die in the crumbling remains of the house, save his wife (which dooms his two children) and die in falling debris, or save his children and abandon his wife.]]
** Disponentia: [[spoiler:The protagonist escapes the cursed house, but upon jumping a fence, he is chased by ferocious dogs and when trying to find sanctuary in a nearby house, he is denied entry and mauled by the dogs.]]
** White Night: [[spoiler:The psychologist is revealed to be the BigBad and purposely keeping the patients in the institution to perform experiments on them, and in the end, the protagonist gets captured and the psychologist gets away with everything.]]
** The Machine: [[spoiler:The protagonist is unable to save his wife, though it does seem like he banishes the demon possessing the titular machine. However, upon waking up after the confrontation, the door to his guest room swings open revealing the haunted corridors of the machine with the demon's laughter in the background implying the protagonist was possessed.]]
** Lost the Lights: [[spoiler:While this story is silly, the character, Daniel, somehow started WW III by tampering with the unknown power source in the underground complex. He commits suicide by monster due to the guilt.]]
** Castle of Devastating Diseases: [[spoiler:The Dr. Mathew is unable to cure his patients. In fact, his cure turns the worst cases into monsters. He flees the castle and the plague is no closer to being stopped.]]
** Obscurity: [[spoiler:Simon stops the mad leader of the communion who has been sacrificing townspeople, including his sister, to the monsters. With the last of the communion dead and the village abandoned, he finds his long lost mother and everything seems fine until he hears rumors of disappearances near the village. This, coupled with his chronic nightmares, drives him mad. At this point, he decides that the monsters must be dealt with... by having the mine reopened and the village repopulated so that '''''HE''''' can continue the sacrifices.]]
** Gustav: [[spoiler:The main character is killed when the orb explodes. He's the lucky one, as he is sane enough to have his life flash before his eyes, while the [[WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity powerful]] MadScientist, Gustav, is too insane from drinking his own potion to remember who he is any more. Lastly, [[ForegoneConclusion Alexander survives the explosion]] and is able to continue his experiments until Daniel shows up 37 and a half years later.]]
* DownTheDrain: There is an awful lot of this, including [[spoiler:an invisible monster that devours you if you touch water, just to give all subsequent drain sections that little extra touch of paranoia]]
* DramaticSpotlight: During the Archives bit, there is a (barely) playable flashback from when Daniel first laid hands on an Orb, during the expedition in Algeria. There is a pedestal with the Orb on it, in a circle of light. Everything else is darkness.
* DummiedOut: Apparently, the character of [[spoiler:Daniel's sister Hazel]] (though occasional references to her are still present in the above mentioned developer's commentary and in some late-game LoadingScreen notes).
* DVDCommentary: Developer Commentaries are able to be toggled, and appear in-game in the form of the Frictional logo (a 6-sided gear) surrounding a microphone. Since most players will want to go the first round without the commentary, this gives a bit of a boost to its replayability. The commentaries are a PreOrderBonus.
* EasterEgg: See [[spoiler:that tiny six-digit code at the bottom of the screen when you finish the game]]? Get all the endings and write down the codes, because you can use them to unlock the "super secret" .rar file in the game folder, containing ConceptArt, design documents, DummiedOut audio, and footage of the game's alpha versions.
* EldritchAbomination: The monsters, who are actually transformed servants of Alexander.
* EvilMentor: Part of why Daniel finally snaps in the first place and drinks the amnesia potion is because he learns that [[spoiler:not all of the Baron's victims are criminals... victims that Daniel has happily tortured in the past]].
* EyeScream: One of the flashbacks in the TortureCellar contains this... thankfully in text form, but given the limitations on character models, that might be ''worse''.
* FacialHorror: If the player is caught by a monster, this is likely to be the last thing they see. [[spoiler:Also applies to Agrippa, though his friendly attitude tends to undermine the horror after the initial shock wears off.]]
* FanSequel: The custom story "Abduction" is one. [[spoiler:Daniel is on Earth for this one.]]
** "Through the Portal" is another. [[spoiler:Daniel starts in the alien world and tries to find his way back home.]]
** "Gustav" is a fan-made prequel and is set 37 and a half years before Daniel's arrival at Brennenberg.
* FirstPersonGhost: As in ''VideoGame/{{Penumbra}}''. Averted only by your left hand, which visibly holds the lantern.
* FissionMailed: Near the end, where [[spoiler:Daniel is captured and put into a prison cell.]] Complete with a special game over message!
* FlowerMotifs: Roses. The "amnesia" potion is made of oil-of-roses, and rose petals appear at key moments when memories start to return to Daniel. [[spoiler:And when he [[AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence goes through the gate.]]]]
* FoodChainOfEvil: As you head into the second half of the game, you find ''the grunt's eviscerated corpse on the floor'' and are left to the realization that now you get to run from whatever did ''that''.
* GameBreakingBug: The game flat out ''refuses'' to run on anything except very specific video cards.
** Note that the first patch remedied this to some extent: Amnesia now runs on any [=GeForce=] 6 or higher Nvidia card, or any Radeon x1300 or higher.
* GlassCannon: The Kaernk, that invisible monster, can tear the player up, but can be killed by simply throwing a box on it. Good luck hitting it, though.
* GoldenEnding: [[spoiler:By tossing Agrippa's severed head into the portal, Agrippa gets through the portal, leaving Daniel and Alexander trapped in the Inner Sanctum. The Shadow kills Alexander and apparently kills Daniel too, but Daniel is drawn through the portal by Agrippa before he truly dies. Agrippa (alive and well due to the potion Daniel gives him) and Weyer both begin to tend to Daniel's wounds. Agrippa tells Daniel "everything will be alright," implying they will bring him back from the brink of death, and give him the potential {{Immortality}} they have in their world.]]
* GoMadFromTheRevelation: [[spoiler:The revelation in this case being a HeelRealization. Voluntarily erasing his memories was Daniel's mean of coping with it.]]
* GothicHorror: Dark, decaying, (kinda) haunted castle? [[HauntedHeroine Haunted Hero?]] Mysterious, morally ambiguous, (kinda) vampiric Baron? Madness and curses? Check, check, check, double check.
* GreyAndGrayMorality: While both the protagonist (Daniel) and the antagonist (Alexander) have both done terrible things, neither of them is totally vile and both had reasonably sympathetic motives.
* HaveANiceDeath: When you die, the game will give you helpful advice such as, "Tread carefully..." and, "Block the path. Run..."
--> "Stay out of the water..."
* HauntedCastle: [[spoiler:Turns out that's because of Daniel.]]
* HazardousWater: The archives under the castle are all flooded knee or waist deep. Unfortunately for Daniel, that is the only environment in which invisible, flesh-hungry monsters from another dimension can survive...
* HeelRealization: [[spoiler:Daniel]], once he finds the final [[spoiler:Diary entry]] -- the ''player'' will realize it beforehand, though.
* HeroicSacrifice: [[spoiler:Daniel in the Agrippa ending. Arguably doubles as RedemptionEqualsDeath.]]
* HollywoodDarkness: Completely shattered -- if you try to peer into a dark room from a lit hallway, you will see ''[[NothingIsScarier nothing]]'' beyond the doorframe.
** Played around with throughout too; [[spoiler:a lot of areas do have subtly blue ambient light, and standing in darkness helps Daniel see in the dark in bluish hues, but then there's an area with no ambient light at all that is stated to be "unnaturally dark" and areas with similar lighting appear throughout as a sign of incoming horror.]]
* HumanoidAbomination: [[spoiler:Baron Alexander, possibly.]]
* HumanResources: Humans are tortured and killed [[spoiler:to collect Vitae.]]
* HyperspaceArsenal: You can carry a lantern, lantern oil, other important items and [[spoiler: Agrippa's head]], without much lack of space in your inventory.
* IdentityAmnesia: Done via a LaserGuidedAmnesia potion which wipes Daniel's memory about himself - thankfully he still knows how to use tinderboxes and refuel his oil lamp!
* IllGirl: Daniel's sister/cousin will either have died or survived depending on how "kind" you are in the game. (She is only mentioned in loading segments.)
* ImmortalityImmorality: It's strongly indicated that [[spoiler:the Baron, being stuck in human form, needs vitae (cosmic life force) to prolong his life until he can find a way back to his own dimension. Unfortunately, the only viable source of sufficient quantities of vitae is the prolonged torture and agony of human beings. Daniel, likewise, needs to regularly perform human sacrifices to keep the Shadow at bay.]]
* InterfaceScrew: As your sanity decreases, the screen distorts, as if you're looking through a thin layer of water. At really low levels, Daniel's movements lag behind your mouse movements.
* InterfaceSpoiler: Early on, a helpful hint appears instructing you to hide in darkness from enemies... [[ParanoiaFuel even if you had no idea anything was there.]]
** [[spoiler:Subverted as there isn't actually any threat yet. It is played straight when the game tells you about being able to hide in cupboards, though]].
* IronicEcho: [[spoiler:Fail to escape the cage filling with MeatMoss and you hear echoes of other Brennenberg prisoners pleading for mercy. Their fate is now yours!]]
* JumpScare: Such scares include a wind extinguishing a set of torches, or a desk that opens to a set of human skulls. Unlike traditional jump scares, they can inflict sanity damage.
* JustOneMoreLevel: A design decision. The game's levels were designed to be short and bite-sized to provoke this effect.
* LargeHam: The guy they got to voice The Baron seems to be ''really'' into it. Some of his line readings border on mood breaking, especially a couple at the very beginning of the game, most notably the first time he says "'''The Inner Sanctum'''".
-->"...in fact, it lies beneath the very stone of ''Brennenburg!''"
** The way Daniel says ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MKpbcJVpl1I "impossible geometry!"]]'' is hilarious.
* {{Leitmotif}}: Each character has their own associated piece of theme music. Each piece has several variations to represent different moods. Most commonly this can be heard while reading notes written by various characters. Specific songs also "give away" when a monster is lurking around, and of course, the screech when a monster is actively chasing you.
* LightningBruiser: The Brutes. They run faster than Daniel and can kill him in one hit.
* KarmaHoudini: [[spoiler:Both Daniel and Alexander]] depending on the ending.
** [[spoiler:Though, some endings can be interpreted as the Shadow brutally killed Alexander and leaving Daniel alone completely. He had gone through Hell via the entire ordeal of killing Alexander and that was his penance, so to speak.]]
** However, the definitive example, in the ''Justine'' expansion, is [[spoiler:Justine herself.]]
* MadnessMantra
-->[[spoiler:'''Daniel:''']] Paint the man, cut the lines. Cut the flesh, watch the blood spill - let it come!
* MaleFrontalNudity: This game is not at all shy about full frontal male nudity, [[spoiler:and the final confrontation might remind you more than a little of ''Comicbook/{{Watchmen}}''.]]
* MeaningfulName: The title itself is one. Just play it if you want to know why.
** Agrippa points out that Daniel shares the same name as the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel Biblical figure]] and he compares Daniel's quest with the story of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_in_the_lions%27_den Daniel In The Lion's Den.]]
** Brennenburg roughly translates to "Burning Castle" in German. The castle was burned by a fire before the events of the game take place and was rebuilt by Alexander.
* MeatMoss: All over the place, and more growing all the time. It is strongly implied this is a residual effect of the [[spoiler:Shadow that is pursuing Daniel.]]
* MultipleEndings: [[spoiler:If you break Alexander's machine before it opens the portal, Alexander dies and Daniel leaves Brennenburg free of his curse and content that he did the right thing. If you let the portal open and didn't help Agrippa, Alexander will go through the portal and the darkness will kill you. If you let the portal open and throw Agrippa's head through it, both you and Alexander will die, but Agrippa will call out to you in the ethereal realm and ask Weyer to help you, before assuring you "it will be alright." There is also a fourth, lesser known ending only possible if the player decides to remain in the cell after the three Brutes attack him in the Chancel. This ending is similar to the 'bad' ending, in that it means Alexander will go through the portal and Daniel will be consumed by the shadow.]]
* MurderousMannequin: PlayedStraight and {{Subverted}} in the Custom Stories. Some mannequins (read suits of armor and statues) follow you, some hurt you if you get near them, one talks to and hurts you if you ''touch'' it, some seem to move to shield you from view, and at one point [[spoiler:some outright talk to you and protect you from a Brute.]] It [[ZigZaggingTrope Zig Zags]] all over the place.
* MusicalSpoiler: You can easily tell if the enemies are nearby or still chasing you.
** Averted when hiding from monsters, [[spoiler:the music will still play until you man up and make sure by yourself that the monster is gone]].
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone: [[spoiler:Daniel,]] detailed in a note found late in the game.
* MythologyGag: In the intro, you get a throwaway reference from Daniel about him living in Mayfair, London. That's the same place where the protagonist of the ''VideoGame/{{Penumbra}}'' series goes to retrieve the heirloom of his missing father (which kicks off the plot of the first game).
** Also, the "memory capsules" are very similar to the [[spoiler:Tuurngait artifacts]] in ''VideoGame/{{Penumbra}}''.
* NightmareFace: The FacialHorror of the monsters is one major source of this. [[spoiler:The other source is the paintings of Alexander when viewed ThroughTheEyesOfMadness.]]
%% * NoteToSelf
* NothingIsScarier: In spades. The monsters are scarce enough to keep them from being a source of frustration, but frequent enough to ramp up the terror. Add to that ambient sounds that, at times, sound like footsteps, and you'll be cowering in a corner for fear of a monster you haven't even seen yet. The game doesn't even let you get a good look at the monsters, ever, because just looking at them drops your sanity meter and [[InterfaceScrew causes the screen to blur]]... and [[FromBadToWorse makes them notice you]].
** The splashing water scene. A ''lot'' of players claim the scene nearly gave them a heart attack.
--->'''Yahtzee:''' ''Amnesia'' understands that a monster stays scary the less you see of it.
** One of the measurements of your low sanity is simply "..."
* OffscreenTeleportation: The monsters are capable of this.
* OntologicalMystery: The beginning of the game. After you struggle through a few corridors and staircases, you find your notes and learn a bit more about who you seemingly are and what you supposed to do after willingly inducing amnesia on yourself.
* OurVampiresAreDifferent: [[spoiler:They are extra-dimensional travelers who became trapped in our dimension, and consume LifeEnergy in blood in order to [[ImmortalityImmorality extend their life long enough]] to find a way home. Said LifeEnergy can only be infused in the blood through pain and horror, hence the kidnapping and torture.]]
* PotionBrewingMechanic: You make an acidic potion out of Calamine, Orpiment, Cuprite and Aqua Regia.
* PoweredByAForsakenChild: [[spoiler:Vitae, a substance containing the cosmic lifeforce Baron Alexander needs for his alchemy, can only be obtained through the prolonged torture and suffering of human beings. This, more than anything else, is why Castle Brennenburg is such a gallery of horrors.]]
-->'''Baron Alexander:''' [[spoiler:As long as the body suffers, it will continue to produce the vitae and saturate the blood with its properties.]]
* PrimalFear: Plays heavily on several of these. Fear of the dark is, as the title suggests, a frequent one, but that is also subserviant to a more general fear of the ''unknown''. The game uses lots of little tricks to ensure this fear is invoked, such as noises to suggest what might be near, and TeleportingKeyCardSquad to ensure that monsters can be ''anywhere'', and NothingIsScarier to keep players tense and on-edge. Even if one tries looking at the monsters ({{Body Horror}}s though they are) Daniel's vision will be blurred and distorted, ensuring that they retain an element of mystery and unknowability, in addition to their role as predators after helpless prey.
* PsychologicalHorror: The backbone of the whole game, even more than in its predecessor ''VideoGame/{{Penumbra}}''.
* PsychoStrings: When monsters are chasing you.
* QuestForIdentity: The reason you'll want to pick up the Diary entries.
* RedemptionEqualsDeath: Daniel to Agrippa in the good ending.
* RedemptionQuest: Not revealed until [[spoiler:the final Journal entry]], but strongly hinted at prior.
* RoaringRampageOfRevenge: Became Daniel's motivation to kill Alexander for [[spoiler:manipulating him into torturing and killing innocent people all the while never intending to protect him from the Shadow in the first place.]]
* RunOrDie: Your only two choices when a monster spots you.
* SanityMeter:
** The bad thing is that it's an ''accurate barometer of the player's mood.'' Well, except for needing to stay near lights to keep sane.
** Your decaying sanity doesn't only diminish your sight. It also [[SanitySlippage makes you gradually hear more and more deranged and ominous aural hallucinations]]... ''the noise of insects gnawing at you'.'
* SceneryGorn: The decaying ruins of Brennenburg. It progressively gets worse once [[spoiler:the Shadow starts taking over.]]
** [[spoiler:The torture chambers and the Choir.]]
* SchmuckBait: Go ahead and [[spoiler:hop inside the Iron Maiden in one of the torture rooms.]] See what happens.
** Try lighting a fire under [[spoiler:the Brazen Bull in the Choir. You won't get hurt, but your sanity ''will'' take a nasty hit. And the Choir is the absolute worst place to have low sanity.]]
* ShoutOut: Daniel's backstory, wherein he loses his memories of a large portion of his life and is involved in exploring an ancient set of ruins hidden under a vast desert which contain AlienGeometry, is reminiscent of the Creator/HPLovecraft story ''The Shadow Out of Time''.
* ShownTheirWork: Evident when you turn on the commentary.
* ShutUpHannibal: Possible in two of three endings.
* SpookyPainting: Toyed with - as your SanityMeter depletes, portraits of an old man become grotesque to look at. [[spoiler:It's a portrait of Alexander, by the way. It may be what he really looks like.]]
* StealthBasedGame: You don't even have a weapon to fight back.
* StoryBreadcrumbs: Diary entries, miscellaneous documents, and the occasional flashback.
* StrongAsTheyNeedToBe: Most of the terror of the game comes from the fact that you're playing as a [[NonActionGuy regular human]] who lacks any skill or ability that would allow him to fight back against the creatures stalking him. This is somewhat undermined by the fact that Daniel seems to be crazy strong, judging by various puzzle sequences in which he busts open stone walls with a shovel or smashes through foot-thick wood pillars with his bare hands. He also has no problem picking up and throwing large rocks and boulders (some bigger than he is) - but struggles to open a perfectly normal wooden trapdoor. Perhaps it's made out of plot, well-known for its resistance to even the most panic-boosted strength.
** Also discussed in-game in one of the notes. Given what Daniel's facing, it's not surprising he can pull it off from time-to-time.
--->'''Baron Alexander:''' Even the most timid creature can break out in fits of violence where their strength exceeds their expected prowess.
** It also bears mentioning that, in those particular instances, the wall or floor has already been weakened to the point of the mortar being loose enough for it to happen.
** This is actually {{Lampshaded}} by {{Lanipator}} during his LetsPlay [[http://thatguywiththeglasses.com/videolinks/ir/tfstar/lanipator/lani-plays/29733-amnesia-part-4 of the game.]]
* SympatheticMurderBackstory: [[spoiler:Daniel is manipulated by Alexander into sacrificing what he thought were criminals. He is devastated after he was forced to kill a little girl, and nearly loses his sanity. He vows revenge on Alexander for that. Amongst the flashbacks in-game involve the cries of the lives he took (children's voices were amongst them).]]
* TacticalDoorUse: Doors will not stop monsters, but they will slow them down, requiring several {{Barrier Busting Blow}}s to batter down before they can enter. This is essential in some scenarios for buying Daniel extra time to put distance between himself and the threat or finding a better place to hide.
* TechnicolorScience: The acid is bright, glowing green. Even without a heat source, it boils dramatically to the point of hurling out glass bottles dropped in it.
* TeleportingKeycardSquad: Unfortunately played straight some of the time: generally, when there's a puzzle-relevant object in plain sight, you can bet that a monster is going to spawn two rooms back to terrorize you after you pick it up. Of course, knowing this makes it ''even more tense'', because you'll be afraid to even ''find'' the solutions because you know they could cause a monster to spawn.
** To quote Yahtzee again: "It's like they're being summoned by the autosave function."
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: Delivered by Alexander when you reach the second half of the torture chambers.
* TheReveal: Why Daniel is in the castle, of course! It wouldn't have the amnesia factor without a reveal as to how he got there, after all.
* ThroughTheEyesOfMadness: The paintings, especially the portrait of Baron Alexander, change as your sanity gets lower. Although, given that he is [[spoiler:explicitly stated to be from a different world]], this might actually be a somewhat bizarre case of GlamourFailure.
* ThrowingTheDistraction: Enemies react to sound, so this is a good strategy to get them to wander in the direction you want. It's also entirely necessary to pass one particular enemy.
* TitleDrop: A note discovered late in the game indicates that the elixir Daniel drank just before the game begins (which he reads a NoteToSelf about in the first level) is actually titled "Amnesia", because it causes exactly what it says. [[spoiler:The real purpose of it is to erase the memories of torture victims, so that they forget the specifics of the torture, and leave them to only wonder what caused their scars, their minds constructing fresh horrors anew in anticipation of the next session.]]
** While not word-for-word, there is a subtitle drop in Daniel's note to self in the beginning of the game ordering him to "descend into the darkness" and kill Alexander.
* TortureCellar: Oh '''God''' the torture cellar... brass bulls that people are crammed into to be broiled alive, torture wheels that allow for multiple bone breaks - and worst of all, the cells that permit the neighbor to hear nothing but the anguished screams emitting from the torture chambers. Even worse is the reason behind the torturing -- see PoweredByAForsakenChild. Almost all of those items are ''[[TruthInTelevision real medieval torture devices]]'' that ''actually existed and were used on people'' - with the exception of the Iron Maiden, which (despite its many appearances throughout popular culture and inside some historical "tours") is purely fictional as a means of torture. Unfortunately it's only one of many - and the only one that was never used. The others are entirely factual.
* TortureTechnician:
** [[spoiler:Alexander, judging by his notes on the subject]]. He leaves instructions on how to best inflict prolonged suffering, and deliberately pipes the sound of ongoing torture into the cell areas of the other prisoner awaiting their turn, knowing that the anticipation will only make it worse for them. For all the elaborate devices in the castle, the torture techniques are very primitive, dating back to the Dark Ages. Possibly justified because [[spoiler:Alexander is immortal and has been alive for much longer than the era in which the game takes place.]] However, his torture technique is further backed up by [[spoiler:the use a memory-erasing draught called "[[TitleDrop Amnesia]]" after each session, just so their imaginations will produce new horrors afresh in anticipation of next time.]]
** [[spoiler:Daniel, too, becomes an apprentice of sorts to Alexander]] as he revels in torturing supposed murderers, arsonists, and rapists.
** The [[DVDCommentary Developer Commentary]] [[LampshadeHanging points out]] that the techniques laid out by [[spoiler:Alexander]] are quite similar to the techniques they use to keep the player on edge throughout the experience, making the devs themselves {{Torture Technician}}s. Parallel to how the prisoners have to hear their cellmates torture and death, the player is also subjected to auditory hallucinations featuring each of the torture apparatus and [[{{Squick}} their effects]] before we see them and how they function.
* TraumaInducedAmnesia: Subverted. Daniel induces amnesia on himself willingly, by drinking a certain type of potion. The game starts at the point when he wakes up from his dreamless sleep, now only knowing his name and nothing else.
* {{Uberwald}}: The {{Prussia}}n woodlands that surround Castle Brennenburg, including the tiny village of Altstadt just down the road. Most of the information on it is revealed through diary entries, notes on the location, and [[AllThereInTheManual supplemental materials]].
* WalkingWasteland: Anyone who examines or tampers with the orb is killed by the shadow. [[spoiler:Daniel, unwittingly, gets several people killed this way. He never makes the connection that the Shadow who murders certain people and does so instantly (whereas Daniel wants nothing to do with the orb and the Shadow lets him live for a long time and lets him go in one ending), so he panics and runs to Alexander... Which leads to many, many more deaths.]]
* WasOnceAMan: [[spoiler:The creatures hunting Daniel were once soldiers working under Alexander; after giving them tainted wine, [=BodyHorror=] ensued, causing them to explode and become horribly misshapen.]]
* WellIntentionedExtremist: What Alexander tries to paint himself as, claiming the ends justify his means of [[spoiler:returning to his people in another dimension]], and tries to invoke NotSoDifferent with Daniel.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Tropes in ''Justine'']]
* CountryMatters: Basile calls Justine a "cunt" at one point.
* EasterEgg: There is a letter from "A.S Laboratories" hidden behind some books on a bookshelf in one of the rooms that mentions a Space-Span Device. A.S Laboratories is the same Aperture Science from the ''{{Videogame/Portal}}'' series and the Space-Span device is the portal gun. If you find the letter, at the end in the final room, the body covered in chains and tied to the ceiling is a direct ShoutOut to GLaDOS, and the dialogue between Justine and Clarice changes: Justine requests that Clarice post a letter to the mysterious A.S Laboratories to let them know that she is "still alive". The entire set up of the game acts as a ShoutOut to ''{{Videogame/Portal}}''.
* EvenEvilHasLovedOnes: Implied with Justine and Clarice, at least once upon a time. A paper indicates that Justine actually cared enough about Clarice to comfort her when she cried, although it seems that Clarice was actually forbidden from playing with her. [[spoiler:Clarice has apparently grown up to be Justine's servant, and she herself seems to be on good terms with Justine, though utterly oblivious to her employer's "games".]]
* EvilIsEasy: Killing the three men is easier than solving the puzzles required to save them. On the other hand, you have to save them in order to get OneHundredPercentCompletion... And the potato.
* EyeScream: A phonograph has some of this. It's also fully voice acted.
** And the result of this? ''That monster trying to kill you.''
* FrenchJerk: Justine, obviously. Basile qualifies too, although he's understandably mad at Justine for what she did to him.
* GratuitousFrench: Every character who speaks.
* HiddenPurposeTest: Averted. Justine tells the PlayerCharacter that she is in Justine's dungeon at the beginning for Justine's entertainment and to test whether humans will take the easy, selfish way out of a problem or look for a harder way out that does not hurt others. [[spoiler:The secret part is that Justine is testing herself.]]
* MaleFrontalNudity: The Suitors are all fully nude, and their genitalia are clearly visible. Given the context, FanDisservice is the clear intent.
* ManipulativeBitch: Justine. She succeeded to get all three suitors into the chambers, [[ColdBloodedTorture all physically and psychologically tortured]], mostly by words and manipulation. It's stated that the reason Malo is insane was because she tried to completely [[SanitySlippage break him]] long before she began to physically torture him. And she did this all [[ForTheEvulz only for her own, twisted, selfish amusement.]] No wonder the suitors want to kill her!
* MeaningfulName Justine's name (Justine Florbelle) is a reference to two works by the Marquis de Sade, ''Justine'' and ''Les Journees de Florbelle''. The subtitle of ''Justine'' is "The Misfortunes of Virtue" which may apply to the ending, if you get the good ending. ''Les Journees de Florbelle'' was destroyed, perhaps reflecting the bad ending and the fact that you can't save the game - if you die, you are destroyed forever and cannot be recovered. The horrifying content of these novels is reflected in the game and the character.
* MurderByInaction: The titular character is presented with the option of doing this three times.
* NintendoHard: Getting hit ''once'' by a suitor results in [[OneHitKill instant kill]], and you'll have to start over again.
* NothingIsScarier: ''Justine'' doesn't quite follow this... to an extent. There is only one type of monster [[spoiler:Justine's former fiancee Alois, and yes, he's still alive and human, a guy named Basile who Justine blinded and calls you profane names, and Malo, who wants to eat you]], you encounter each once throughout the expansion, and while looking at Basile drops your sanity, it doesn't always make him more likely to see you... because he's ''blind''. However, he can ''hear'' you, and if any of them hits you ''once'', you die, and the game closes, not to mention there are no save points in the expansion whatsoever.
* OneHitKill: One hit from a suitor and you're dead. Worst part about this is; [[NintendoHard there is no saving point. You're back at the start of the game.]]
* RoomFullOfCrazy: [[Literature/TheKingInYellow "The tattered yellow king shall dethrone",]] "Climb the highest tower, "Oh Father", "The skinless one is waking", "The inside", "Gluttony", "I am emerging", "The beautiful pain", "Lonely", "Through the gates", "It will be the end of everything","What will that perfect sphere bring", "It will be again, It's coming", "From within", "Playful", "Death shall move across the floor", "Spin the wheels crank the engine", "My darlings", "Liar! Alois does to use dust as a sore muse", and who could forget "Suffer the trial" and "Stay alive".
* ShootTheShaggyDog: [[spoiler:Even if you save the hostages, at the end Justine just locks them up in the basement to either starve to death, or to be used again in a later "game".]]
* ShoutOut: ''Justine'' has several coy references to ''VideoGame/{{Portal}}'', especially towards the end, and a reference to Robert E. Chambers's ''Literature/TheKingInYellow.''
* TrialAndErrorGameplay: There's no checkpoints, you're a OneHitPointWonder, and there is a monster that will kill you if it spots you. Combine this with the puzzles and you'll be restarting numerous times.
* TheWallsAreClosingIn: The final challenge room, the player must overcome this. [[spoiler:The exposed gears on the wall and various dodads scattered about the floor to jam into them are red herrings to give the player a HopeSpot, though FailureIsTheOnlyOption. There is no way to stop the walls from closing... until they stop on their own.]]
* WasOnceAMan: ''Justine'' is terrible about this, because we learn that the monsters stalking the protagonist are [[spoiler:still alive, and very much human ''thanks to Justine''. No wonder they want to kill her.]]
* WholePlotReference: [[VideoGame/{{Portal 2}} A psychotic woman forces a seemingly mute woman to run through a series of death traps while making clever remarks.]]
** For good reason, too -- the DLC was part of the "Potato Sack" AlternateRealityGame carried on through several indie games, leading up to ''VideoGame/{{Portal 2}}''. The backstory for the ARG explains that GLaDOS hijacked all of the games, adding in references to potatoes and so on, and unlocking hints in one game would lead to certain tasks in another in the Sack, all which would unlock clues and actually managed to knock the release time of ''VideoGame/{{Portal 2}}'' down by several hours, all by fan cooperation.
%% commenting out as not specific dual-trope entry * VideoGameCrueltyPotential / VideoGameCaringPotential: The whole game is built out of these tropes. To get through each chamber, you have to choose between murdering the prisoners or spare them when you make your escape. Of course, murdering them is cruel but makes it [[YouBastard much easier for you to make progress]], and saving them makes it harder to make progress for the sake of not doing them any harm.
* WhamEpisode: The entire TwistEnding. [[spoiler:Justine willingly created the monsters ''from her own friends and lover''. The entire story was all a sick "game" she plays purely for her own twisted amusement. And depending on what you did in the final areas, she now has the resources to do it all ''again''.]]
[[/folder]]
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