Video Game: Betrayer

Betrayer is a 2014 video game, funded on Kickstarter and made by Blackpowder Games, a company formed by former members of Monolith Productions, specifically the development team that worked on Shogo: Mobile Armor Division, the No One Lives Forever series, the first First Encounter Assault Recon, and Gotham City Imposters. It is a first-person, open-world Survival Horror, with heavy stealth elements and an inspiration from Dark Souls.

The year is 1604. An English vessel headed for a struggling English colony on the coast of Virginia is wrecked and your player character, a Featureless Protagonist of indeterminate gender is the Sole Survivor. Once you travel inland, it soon becomes apparent that the colony has perished save for a mysterious Maiden in Red. Demonic conquistadors and Indians roam the region, but there is no explanation as to what really happened. Soon, you discover that there are ghosts about, and they might know what is going on…


Betrayer provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Annoying Arrows: Averted. Bow and arrow might be your starting weapons, but they can still one-shot basic, unarmoured enemies. The archer enemies you face are just as dangerous to you.
  • Apocalyptic Log: There are some letters and notes you recover which explain just what exactly has happened.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: Enemies will often have spots of red marking their weak points.
  • Continuing Is Painful: Betrayer employs mechanic similar to Dark Souls, where getting killed once leaves a blood stain on that spot and drops the gold you collected there. If you die a second time before reaching it, bloodstain is gone, along with all the money.
  • Dark World: One of the game's main gameplay mechanics. Ringing the bell in each area will transport you to a dark version of the normal world, where you can find and speak with the ghosts of the dead. Instead of conquistadors and burning men, you'll fight skeletons and specters there.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: The entire game is in black –and-white by default, with red being the only colour that shows up.
  • Dem Bones: Skeleton enemies, which mainly appear in the Otherworld. They’re considerably weaker than the conquistadors, but can pop out from the ground right next to you to compensate.
  • Dungeon Shop: Each major location has a shop run remotely by a ghostly merchant, who explains the workings of the process through his letters.
  • Expy: A young woman with baby issues is murdered by her father; her despair and rage is so powerful it transcends death and manifests as a powerful spiritual force of destruction that causes mass death along with all sorts of hostile paranormal shenanigans. This accurately describes both Tabitha, and Alma from F.E.A.R..
  • Faceless Goons: Heavy conquistadors wear face-covering helmets. Even the regular conquistadors' faces are only visible as a pair of red eyes inside a pool of black, like Marvin the Martian, Orko, or Black Mage. The charred enemies simply don’t have a face – there are only a few still-burning embers roughly where their eyes and mouth should have been.
  • Fake Ultimate Mook: The specters, which are supposed to be fast, creepy and all that, but in practice are much easier to defeat than the conquistadors. Many reviewers noted that the Otherworld was actually easier than the real world because of it.
  • Heavily Armored Mook: The conquistadors, who are completely covered in armour from head to toe. This gives them partial protection against arrows, but isn’t quite so good against your firearms. Of course, you'll usually face several of them at once. The Giant Mook conquistadors are an extreme example, able to survive multiple gunshots and keep on going.
  • Hell Is That Noise: The scream the corrupted totems let out while invoking enemy mooks are very unsettling.
    • And even that pales in comparison to Tabitha's bloodcurdling screams of utter agony each time she invokes a wave of enemies during the final fight.
  • Hero-Tracking Failure: Averted. Enemies will lead their shots based on your direction of movement, so you can't just strafe their attacks. To avoid their attacks, you need to change direction at the last moment as soon as they fire.
  • Inexplicable Treasure Chests: To be fair, the game does make an effort at explaining them in its backstory, through various logs and notes.
  • Imaginary Enemy/Invisible to Normals: When you first meet the Maiden in Red, she states that she doesn't see the demonic Conquistadors or ash people. It's left ambiguous as to whether the enemies are in your head, Silent Hill 2 style, or not.
    • Later dialogs with her as you have to free the trapped spirits imply that she was aware of them, but pretended not seeing them, or at least they purposefully don't attack her. Which makes sense, since they were invoked by the curse of the Red Maiden's sister, who still loves her and purposefully spared her life.
  • Notice This: The red colour highlights weak spots on the enemies, as well as treasure chests and useful items on the ground.
  • Gainax Ending: Instead of ending the curse once and for all, your partner instead opts to teleport you to the Otherworld, where you are surrounded by giant shadows, supposedly the ghosts of the giant humanoids that inhabited the land before humankind. If you track her down after the credits in the free-roam mode, she explains she's not ready to let go of her twin sister's ghost, so you and her and going to have to be in the cursed land a while longer.
  • Giant Mook: 7-foot tall, heavily armored Conquistadors are the toughest enemies in the game, and can be found mixed in with the regular sort. They attack by throwing boulders at you. Despite their size and armor, they can actually run at a decent pace too.
  • Giant Spiders: For some reason, the deeper parts of the woods in the last few levels are infested with these guys (they also seem to have heads like snakes). They come in two types; dog-sized, and horse-sized.
    • Money Spider: For some reason, the giant spiders will drop valuables when killed. Particularly odd as this is actually averted with other enemies that are unlikely to carry around money, such as the skeletons and specters in the dark world.
  • Good Old Fisticuffs: Practically all enemies that aren’t archers will fight in melee with their fists. Doesn’t matter if it’s specters, charred corpses or even armor-clad conquistadors.
  • Interface Spoiler: The dialog of some of the items you can offer to the Maiden in Red spoils the outcome of the investigation, even if you didn't finished it yet.
    • The entry for Allison Markley in the compendium comes with the picture of the Maiden in Red, spoiling that they are the one and the same person well before it's revealed in the story.
  • Karma Houdini: In the endgame, you're tasked with releasing the souls of all the colonists in order to unlock the path to the final boss. You can either tell each colonist to let go of their guilt and move on, or condemn them for their sins and send them to eternal torment. Given that several of the colonists have committed some seriously horrific deeds, they could be considered Karma Houdinis if you release them instead of condemning them. However each colonist you condemn makes the final battle harder, and almost all of them (except for the Governor and his lackey) are remorseful for their actions.
  • Lost Forever: If you choose the wrong options when giving gifts to the Maiden in Red, you'll lose the opportunity to receive a powerful unique bonus item, the Charm of the Red Maiden. You need to give her the carved wooden figure and the scrap of red cloth, and both times say you're giving them to her in case she can make something with them. You may or may not also need to choose the right dialogue option when giving her the other gifts, although a few wrong choices won't lock you out of getting the special charm as long as you did the right dialogue with those two particular items.
  • Man on Fire: One of the enemy types. Unusually, they are drawn like burnt-out embers: they’re very badly charred, with their entire bodies being coal-like in texture, and only have a few leftover wisps of flame on them.
  • Mind Screw: Relatively light example, but it's still there - early on it's suggested that the monsters are all in the protagonist's head, a fact which gets contradicted later, intentionally or not. And then there's the Gainax Ending.
  • Multi-Mook Melee: Cleansing the totems of corruption involves battling a number of skeletons and specters that spawn in surrounding you once you approach the corrupted totem. The "final boss fight" with Tabitha involves fighting multiple waves of such enemies, including a number of extra-dangerous deer specters. The more of the colonists you condemn to eternal torment for their crimes, the more enemies you face and the tougher they'll be.
  • Optional Stealth: Optional in the real world, at least. When skeletons pop out of the ground beneath your feet in Otherworld, crouching down and using the sound of wind for cover is practically meaningless.
  • Otherworld: One can be accessed by ringing a bell in some locations. It is much darker and creepier, and the conquistadors, burning men, and spiders are replaced with skeletons and specters.
  • Post-Climax Confrontation: The "final boss fight" with Tabitha in the heart of darkness is the real action climax of the story. However, after the fight you end up having to defeat one final attack by a group of Spaniards who show up back at Fort Hope to kill you after you go back there to have one last post-final battle dialogue with the Maiden in Red. It's a breeze compared to the actual boss fight, especially given you're standing right next to a healing barrel.
  • Protagonist Without a Past: No background is given about your character, other than the fact they wake up on the shore in front of a shipwreck. At no point in the game do you ever learn any additional information about yourself.
  • Sprint Shoes: Some charms you can buy from the merchant will increase your running speed.
  • Standard FPS Guns: Averted. You begin with a basic wooden bow, which is fine for basic enemies but isn’t much help against armor-clad conquistadors. The blackpowder pistol and musket deal realistic damage, but are also inaccurate, single-shot and take an age to reload. More advanced versions of those weapons are available from the merchant, but they’re still far from any FPS equivalents.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: The ghosts of the colonists in Otherworld that aren’t aggressive want you to do that for them in the real world.
  • The Snark Knight: The Maiden in Red isn't really a Jerkass, but she does have a fairly snarky and aloof demeanor. In your dealings with her, she'll always prefer pragmatism and be wary of sentimentality.
  • Title Drop: Crops up during your final dialogue with Tabitha at the end of the game.
  • Unique Enemy: The Giant Mook heavy conquistadors are only found guarding outposts; they don't respawn or appear randomly. In total there are only a handful of them in the entire game. Likewise, the ash people only appear in a handful of locations (mostly the major towns), and don't reappear once you kill them.
  • Voice with an Internet Connection: The game’s equivalent of thereof is a severed ear you pick up from the ground early on. It will direct you to various clues in the real world, and the ghosts in Otherworld.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Benedict Harper, the previous leader of the colony, is the only named character in the game whose fate is left unresolved.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Tabitha has a lot in common with Alma from F.E.A.R..