Video Game / Distorted Travesty

Distorted Travesty is a "Fast Paced Satirical Action Platformer" made in Game Maker by Dark Yoshi (aka. Zephyr Burst). It follows the story of two gamers with no clear goals in life. These two are Jerry, the most hardcore of hardcore gamers, and Jeremy, who partakes in some light hacking and playing jokes. You control Jerry, while Jeremy sits on the fourth wall and gives you aid throughout the game.

One day, when they break into the Integrated Electronics Factory to teach its CEO about the greatness of Jerry's favorite game, a mysterious entity known as The Darkness comes and steals him away to another world, one which is composed of all the games the two have played since their youth. Their only hope of returning home is to collect the Seven Magical Flavored Muffins throughout the world and use them to defeat The Darkness once and for all, lest they miss a new episode of the best series ever. The game was completed on November 5, 2010.

A short sequel, Distorted Travesty 2: The Sequel To The Prequel was released on April 7, 2011, and can be downloaded from the same site. In it, you play as Claire, Jerry's ex. Both Jerry and Jeremy make appearances in the game as well.

A third entry in the series, Distorted Travesty 3: Saved Game, was released on October 6th, 2015. This entry in the series revolves around Jerry and Claire, chronicling their struggle to save the world against the threat introduced in the last game. Jeremy and his sister, Chao, return to provide help, guidance and (in Jeremy's case) snarky comments.

You can download the trilogy here. But be warned, they ain't easy.


This game provides examples of:

  • Absurdly High Level Cap: Averted. The level cap is 64, and you will likely get close to that if you're shooting for 100% Completion.
  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: On a train... somehow.
  • Advancing Wall of Doom: Two of them, both created by Hexor. The first one is in Distortion, the second in Distortion WTF.
    • And of course the multiple advancing instakill spike walls in levels that would already qualify as Platform Hell without the extra time pressure.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Played with. Once you figure out that The Darkness is nothing more than a video game maker, you begin to think this, but then you find out that it's only trying to protect itself. Once a greater threat appears, it actively helps you defeat it, since it would be protecting itself. It is also willing to try cooperation and co-existence, rather than conflict, if the other side offers it.
  • Alt Text: A variation. If you're playing in Windowed Mode, the window title is used for short comments from the author about each room.
  • Always Accurate Attack: The Aero Scanner's hitscan laser will always hit you if there isn't a wall or object in the way.note 
  • Apocalyptic Log: The Artist's notes scattered in the Black Rock Fortress seem to be this at first.
  • Arc Words: "Distortion" and its derivatives.
  • Artificial Brilliance: The Sentries. Their AI is actually very simple, but they are designed to cover for each other's weaknesses, meaning that fighting a team of them is going to be very difficult.
  • Artificial Stupidity: Meta Knight has an AI that's very easy to break. Attack, back dash, run up to him, attack, etc...
  • Autobots, Rock Out!: One of the boss themes.
  • Auto-Scrolling Level: Very few maps are this. Two of them are in Metropolis, and another is a hidden map.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Kudeku, due to its pitifully short range and high cost.
  • Awesome McCool Name: The Black Rock Fortress is a pretty obvious attempt at one. Jerry and Jeremy think otherwise.
  • Awesomeness Is Volatile: The reason for why Jerry can't enter Rave mode during boss battles — Jeremy says that if the boss can enter it too, the game would crash due to an overload of awesomeness.
  • Back Tracking: Certain items in some areas become obtainable after learning a new technique improving your mobility.
  • Bacon Addiction: The final muffin is bacon flavored, which Jerry calls the best muffin to ever exist.
  • Bait-and-Switch Boss: In the Maverick Factory, you see Zero standing before you in the third map. Jerry, however, doesn't want to fight him. Just then, a giant robot comes and squishes him, so you get to fight it instead.
  • Barrier Change Boss: The Quick Time Distorter and the Data Collector.
  • Big Bad: The Darkness. Subverted. It actually helps you defeat the real Big Bad.
  • Big Good: The Artist. Subverted. He's actually the Big Bad.
  • Bonus Boss: Two of them, one in the Maverick Factory and one in the Spire.
  • Bonus Dungeon: Multiple, unlocked during the game. But the most notable one is the Spire of Forgotten Souls, a 100 floor but not really dungeon.
  • Bottomless Pits: Plenty of them.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Plenty of times. In the tutorial level, Jeremy complains about text boxes blocking his view, for starters.
  • Briar Patching: After The Darkness adapted to Jerry's Bullet Hell weakness by giving many bosses bullet hell abilities, Jeremy tries to do this.
  • Bullet Hell: Many of the later bosses, as well as the Unexpected Shmup Levels.
    • Especially the Shroud Lord once it gets down to its final life bar. This screenshot speaks for itself.note 
    • Fridge Brilliance:invoked Jerry says he's terrible at bullet hell games, so naturally the Darkness would take notice and fill up the harder areas with it!
  • Check Point Starvation: The main source of torment in the Secured Data Segment.
    • Also a constant source of Fake Difficulty throughout the game. Want another try at that pixel-perfect jump? Enjoy replaying the punishing minute of almost as hard jumps before it!
    • Worse still in the bonus dungeon where you have to clear 5 screens at a time without one.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: The Flame Instigator.
  • Classic Video Game "Screw You"s: The game basically celebrates them, revelling in throwing increasingly elaborate and longer sequences of pits, advancing walls and tricky jumps for minutes at a time between checkpoints.
  • Cliffhanger: Subverted and parodied.
  • Climax Boss: Necrobane. After defeating him the game starts taking a turn for being more serious.
  • Corridor Cubby Hole Run: Most rooms in the Secured Data Segment are this. There are various objects in the background which flash different colors. In order to avoid taking a very large amount of damage, you must get into a colored zone which matches the color the objects are currently flashing.
  • Critical Annoyance: It's not too annoying though.
  • Crossing The Streams: When The Artist makes himself invincible, the only way to stop him is to enter Rave Mode during the boss fight. Jeremy notes that you'll only get one shot at this (not that it's hard to kill The Artist once you activate it).
  • Damage-Increasing Debuff: Cripple temporarily drops the victim's defense.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory: Try playing the beginning of this game after playing the third game and enjoy all the damage you take from trying to defeat Mario enemies by stomping on them, something that's not possible in this game. We'll wait.
  • Dangerously Genre Savvy: The Darkness. The first thing it does after causing the Phase Distortion is capture all the heroes and gamers, as they would be the ones most likely to stop its plans. It also takes notice when Jerry complains that he's not too good at Bullet Hell games, and makes sure to introduce lots of Bullet Hell traps and enemies from that point onward.
  • Deadly Lunge: Both the Shrouds and the ordinary enemy type called "Dark Variant" do this.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Both Jerry and Jeremy, though especially the latter.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: Zig-Zagged. In short or easy rooms, it's not a big deal, as there's a checkpoint each room and the only thing you lose is Internetz dropped by enemies. But in lengthy rooms where you're certain to die a lot, death is NOT a slap on the wrist, as it forces you to go through the level all over again.
    • The game also mocks you. Mercilessly... (*sniff*)
  • Difficulty Spike: Black Rock Fortress. Full stop. And it only gets worse from there...
  • Disc One Final Dungeon: Black Rock Fortress. This is also where the story tends to get more serious...
  • Disproportionate Retribution: You break into a company and cause thousands of dollars in property damage, all because its CEO said your favorite video game sucked.
  • Doing In the Wizard: The Darkness isn't a living being, it's a program designed to make video games.
  • Double Jump: Averted. Instead, you get an ability that creates a block for you to jump off of in order to increase your jumping height.
    • ...Then later played straight, however, as there is a fire spell with this effect.
  • Down in the Dumps: Not the most literal example, but all the Distortion worlds are supposed to be this. They're more or less a location for worlds which don't have the Muffins in them.
  • Dummied Out: The Conjure spell, which originally let you summon allies to your side to help you out.
  • Dungeon Shop: There's a Yoshi that runs one in the Black Rock Fortress. Lampshaded in that his name is given as "Convenient Store Yoshi".
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Jerry and Jeremy fight an uphill battle against The Darkness for pretty much the entire game.
  • Easy-Mode Mockery: Jerry calls easy mode "Wussy mode" after beating the boss of Dark Depths, and there's even two extra game over messages you can get if you play on easy mode, both of which mock the player for being on easy mode.
    You could always try the game on an easier difficulty... oh no, wait, you can't.
  • Elemental Powers: The game uses four main elements:
  • Elevator Action Sequence: There is one in the Fright Train.
  • Eleventh Hour Super Power: Jeremy obtains the ability to hack just about anything at the end of the game.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: What will happen if The Artist accomplishes his goal, only so he can save face.
  • Enemy Scan: You can do this at any time by clicking on an enemy.
  • Epic Flail: One obstacle in the Black Rock Fortress is a ton of Super Mario World ball-and-chains tethered together into a massive cat-o-nine-tails.
  • Escape Rope: Jerry eventually gains the ability to teleport to the world map from inside a dungeon, though at some points it doesn't work (and when the Shrouds start appearing, they can also block Jerry's ability to teleport if the Shroud Threat Level is high enough).
  • Evil Counterpart: Hexor to Jeremy, who supports the final boss similarly to how Jeremy supports Jerry.
  • Evil Twin: The Darkness can copy the data of anything it scans and create a near-perfect replica. In particular, Hexor is a copy of Jeremy.
  • Fake Longevity: Discussed. invoked
    This is only to make you backtrack a few rooms and lengthen gameplay.
  • Final Boss: Subverted with the Shroud Lord, who is set up to be the final battle and is the hardest boss in the game. However, the actual final boss (and Big Bad) is The Artist.
  • Fission Mailed: At one point during Distortion Windows, the player gets a fake "Distorted Travesty has encountered an error and must close" message.
  • Frickin' Laser Beams: The Aero Scanners have auto-hitting ones.
  • Fridge Logic: The material the Metools' indestructible helmets in the Mega Man (Classic) series are made of? Jeremy wonders why Dr. Wily didn't make entire robots out of this stuff. invoked
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere
  • Global Currency: Internetz.
  • Gone Horribly Right: The Darkness.
  • Ground Pound: Jump attacks and the Grand Slam technique.
  • Guide Dang It: A chest in Black Rock Fortress, which requires you to use an in-game glitch to get. To get it, you have to use Earth Shift to create a stone block on the floating platform next to the moving platform. After that, jump on the moving platform, and run into the block you created underneath it. Since the platform moves according to time and not variable checking, it'll move down eventually and let you get the chest.
    • Also the method for dealing with the Ultimate Phalanx for the first time, if you don't pay too much attention to Jeremy's comments.
  • Harder Than Hard: Distorted mode. The game even warns you that it's completely unfair.
    • It's so difficult that even Dark Yoshi himself had severe difficulty beating its final boss!
  • Have a Nice Death: The Game Over screens contain mocking one-liners. It's implied that Jeremy is actually the one who says them.
  • Healing Factor: There are healing spells and MP regenerates, but they eat MP so take a long time to recharge. Made all the more boring when you realise checkpoints don't restore HP and MP, so you have to hang around save rooms for minutes at a time to fully heal.
  • Heart Container: You have to collect four of them before they do you any good, probably as a Shout-Out to how they work in The Legend of Zelda.
    • There are also powerups that increase your Mana, and a rare type of powerup that increases both.
  • Heavy Sleeper: Sonic. He's in such a depression after his disappointing games that he just doesn't want to wake up. Even when Abstracity has been practically destroyed.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Samus or Jerry's ex. The game doesn't tell which. According to the sequel, it was Claire, though she survived.
  • Homage: Many of the levels are homages to various Nintendo and Sega games.
  • Hitscan: Aero Scanners track you with laser sights for a second or two before shooting a hitscan laser at you. Fortunately, you can hide behind walls and objects to avoid it.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: The first time you fight the Ultimate Phalanx, it's protected by the Muffin it's guarding. In order to progress, you have to kill yourself, return to the room's entry, and try to leave the dungeon. You also cannot kill the Omega Metroid. All you can do is run away from it.
  • Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels: Beginner, Veteran, Hardcore, and Distorted.
  • Idiot Ball: Trusting The Artist with the muffins before the Shroud Lord fight, for both Jerry and especially Jeremy. Not only was he the one who gave them the idea to destroy The Darkness in the first place, but they also figured out that he was corrupt as hell. At least we got the most epic final boss ever out of it, though.
  • I Know Mortal Kombat: Apparently only hardcore gamers stand a chance of stopping the Darkness, probably because it's an advanced Reality Warper video game program.
  • Inner Monologue: At the end of the game, Jerry has one. But then it's quickly subverted when Jeremy says he sucks at monologues.
  • Interface Screw: Hexor messes up a lot of things in the final level and boss fight to deter you.
    • Much prior to that, he screws up the Distortion Windows section, booting full-screen players into windowed mode, moving the window around on your screen, and rotating the game.
  • It Makes Sense in Context: At the beginning of the Veiled Detritus stage, Jerry asks why they stopped here, and Jeremy replies that "There is a Muffin here." He also warns you that the Darkness is looking for the Muffin as well.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Both Jerry and Jeremy, to varying degrees.
  • Ki Attacks: Physical techniques like Mental Insurrection, Wave of Awesome, Kudeku, or Grand Slam.
  • Killer Game Master: The level comments paint the creator as this, hinting at his amusement at the horrors to come.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Constantly, by both Jerry and Jeremy.
  • Last Chance Hit Point: The Revenge Bead retaliates Collision Damage, but cannot take an enemy's last HP.
  • Last Disc Magic: Wildfire and Hurricane.
  • Sitting on the Fourth Wall: Jeremy's literal position.
  • Level Grinding: Mostly subverted: While enemies do respawn after re-entering a room, they give rather low amounts of experience compared to what is needed to level up. However, in the caves you appear inside of after you leave Distortion Reckoning, there is a slime enemy that multiplies itself, and a platform right above where it roams. Sit on this platform for a while, and these slimes will eventually duplicate themselves into game-lagging amounts, giving you tons of experience.
  • Like a Duck Takes to Water: Jerry is an avid gamer who gets thrown into the worlds of the games he played.
  • Locomotive Level: The Fright Train.
  • Lucky Seven: The seven Muffins. Your seventh set of Heart Containers also gives you an extra 100 HP.
  • MacGuffin: Lampshaded, as they're the 7 Magical Flavored Muffins.
    • In reality, they are the seven Data Allocation Segments, specific pieces of code that grant almost total control over the program. Why they look (and apparently smell) like muffins is anyone's guess.
  • Malevolent Architecture: Found especially in the Black Rock Fortress.
  • Mercy Invincibility: Getting hit, dashing, and using Grand Slam all give you invincibility. The second is essential for beating the game.
  • Meta Power-Up: Awesome points don't do anything, other than increase the EXP you gain.
  • Mission Control: Jeremy, though he starts taking a more active role towards the end of the game. He is also separated from Jerry for the first half of Distortion Reckoning.
  • Mission Control Is Off Its Meds: Hexor performs a similar role to Jeremy, except he wants you dead, so he taunts and manipulates levels into death traps.
  • The Mole: Clone Syrus.
  • Noob Cave: The IEF, which also serves as the game's tutorial level.
  • Noodle Incident: At the beginning of the game, Jerry talks about a time when Jeremy's teleportation transformed him into a girl, and Jeremy did something to him because female Jerry was hot.
  • No Warping Zone: Several times in the story, you cannot warp out to the world map because the Shrouds or the Darkness blocked this function.
  • No Peripheral Vision: At the end of Dark Depths, The Informant and another antagonist talk, and the other antagonist initially can't see Jerry standing behind The Informant, as if the world was two-dimensional - which, given they are in a videogame, might as well be the case.
  • Numerical Hard: The only difference between Beginner (easy) and Veteran (normal) difficulties, at least during boss fights, is the amount of damage you take and dish out. Somewhat averted for Distorted, though, which both increases the damage you take and adds back some content that was removed from the normal game because it was just plain unfair.
  • Obstructive Foreground: Lampshaded with text boxes. Also a difficulty enhancer in the Shady Woods/Shady Caves.
  • One-Hit Kill: The instant death spikes which start at Metropolis and appear throughout the rest of the game.
  • One Steve Limit: Averted, though never drawn attention to. The main characters are Jerry and Jeremy, and you will confuse the two early in the game.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You/Blood Knight: The Shroud Lord. Before you fight it, The Darkness says that it's absolutely obsessed with defeating Jerry, and must be defeated before The Darkness can come to a peaceful solution with Jeremy.
  • Painting the Medium: Due to the different coloring text boxes have, you can generally tell whether or not someone is a good guy or bad guy pretty effortlessly. Jerry even uses this fact once.
    Jeremy: What would he want them for? He's not even with the darkness.
    Flame Instigator: How would you know?
    Jeremy: Your text box isn't red.
  • Palette Swap: Parodied. One of the enemies is called a "Palette Swap Sentinel". Jeremy also expresses his hatred of palette swaps if you scan certain enemies.
  • People Jars: Found in the Black Rock Fortress containing, among others, Mega Man (Classic), Mario, Link, and Samus Aran.
  • Pinball Scoring: Awesome points, not due to attached zeroes or anything, but just because you get them on practically every occasion.
  • Platform Battle: Ultimate Phalanx has a number of moving platforms you must remain on, in addition to its own attacks to worry about.
  • Platform Hell: Plenty of the later levels.
  • Poor Communication Kills:
    • The only reason you get into a fight with Blazing the Bat is because Jerry fails to mention that he isn't allied with The Darkness.
    • Also, the only reason people are resisting The Darkness in the first place is because it doesn't mention that it just wants to preserve itself, and is not actively malicious.
  • Power Fist: Jerry's Weapon of Choice, which is powered by gemstones.
  • The Power of Friendship: Jeremy tries to attribute their victory to this. Jerry will have none of it.
  • Power Nullifier: DASH DISABLED
  • Press X to Not Die: Played for Laughs and used word for word; everyone drops what they're doing and rushes to stop the Quick Time Distorter once they see a single quicktime event. The quicktime events themselves are subverted (they don't really kill you; you can take as long as you want), and parodied (like being used for jumping across a small gap or climbing up stairs).
  • Puzzle Boss: The initial fight with the Ultimate Phalanx. Jerry tells you that you should just quit the fight, and he's right. You have to get yourself killed and reload to before the fight, and then try to leave the stage.
  • Rank Inflation: Averted.
  • Reality-Breaking Paradox: How the Artist intends to destroy the Darkness: cause a divide by zero error. Jerry remarks on how strange it is that dividing by zero will actually destroy the world in this case.
  • Recurring Dual Mini Bosses / Demonic Spiders: The Shrouds, who will appear randomly in certain areas.
  • Recursive Ammo: The Shrouds' Danmaku Diamonds, as well as the fireballs of the Blazing Robot.
  • Red Sky, Take Warning: At the end of the Black Rock Fortress.
  • Re Stabilization: You can air dash while flinching.
  • Rewarding Vandalism: Slightly; destroying random objects only gives you tiny amounts of experience, counts into kill chains, and sometimes drops items.
  • The Reveal: What the Darkness is and who created it.
  • Reverse Shrapnel: Wildfire.
  • RPG Elements: Levelling up skills, equipping accessories and equipment, and switching between equipped skills and spells.
  • Semifinal Boss Preview: The Shroud Lord, who attacks you for short periods of time in Distortion WTF before flying off. You don't get to fight him for real until the end of the game.
  • Scratch Damage: Played straight for you, and averted with enemies. The player always takes at least one point of damage, while the damage you deal to your enemies can be reduced to zero.
  • Sequel Hook: Subverted and lampshaded.
  • Sequelitis: The trope itself is lampshaded In-Universe.
  • Shout-Out: The Ribbon Bead protects you from status ailments. "Definitely not a reference to any fantasy."
  • Skill Point Reset: Firebrand the demon does this for a small amount of money.
  • Smashing Hallway Traps of Doom: Those spike blocks.
  • Snowy Screen of Death: When your health falls below 20%, the screen starts displaying static (accompanied by all sound effects and music becoming more low-pitched). Once you die, this is how you go out.
    • This is also used as a build-up to the Wham Episode prior to entering Distortion Reckoning.
  • Some Dexterity Required: For crippling certain enemies or casting spells in rapid sequence to master certain segments or obtain powerups. No annoying combos, though.
    • Dark Yoshi has since admitted that the control system was a mistake and unnecessarily complex, and focused on simplifying combat greatly in later installments.
    • For further explanation, there's the three basic buttons for moving and ducking, an up button for examining and opening things, a button for jumping and dashing, a button for standard attacks, two buttons for physical and spiritual techs, two buttons for cycling between elements, a pause button, a button for cycling through the spell list for your current element and a button for activating Rave Mode. That's more buttons then you can map on a 360 controller.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Rose At Twilight, which was created as final boss music, is used as the Giant Space Flea from Nowhere filler boss theme. The result is largely unimportant boss fights with hilariously inappropriately epic music.
  • Spikes of Doom: Multiple kinds, one of which kills you instantly.
  • Stalked by the Bell: A variation of this: The chance for the Shrouds to appear increases over time, so if you run through rooms quickly with only few deaths (or if you reload instead of retrying), you have to deal with them less often.
  • Stationary Boss: The Dragonroot and the Crystals.
  • Stat-O-Vision: Jeremy's ability due to sitting on the Fourth Wall.
  • Stop Helping Me!invoked: Jeremy really likes to talk during segments that require a lot of concentration. Naturally lampshaded whenever Jerry gets pissed off at him for it. And whenever it happens, he's usually talking about pointless, inane things, and then sometimes keeps going just to piss off Jerry.
  • Super Mode: Rave mode.
  • Suspicious Videogame Generosity: Lampshaded.
    Because I'm nice, you can have a restore point here.
  • Take That: Plenty of them, due to the satirical nature of the game.
  • Talking Is a Free Action: Lampshaded heavily, parodied, and invoked in the cutscene prior to the Arrghus battle, where Jeremy purposefully keeps talking so that the boss won't attack, and also goes off on a tangent to chat about Jerry's preference in video game genres while doing so. It's also Deconstructed for humor: Jerry, and by extension the player, keeps getting distracted by the textboxes, which of course impairs his skills, and he has to repeatedly remind people of that fact during hard platforming sections.
  • Teleporter Accident: Cause of the aforementioned Noodle Incident.
  • You Can't Go Home Again:
    • At the beginning of the game, Jerry and Jeremy's only motivation is to get back home, though of course, they soon find that there is more to the world than that...
    • Subverted once you do reach Jerry and Jeremy's home and find that they can't go home because it's already been caught by The Darkness.

Tropes provided in the sequel:

  • Mission Control: Jeremy's sister, Chao, takes his place in this one. Jeremy does, however, help out Claire for the final level as well.
  • Mood Whiplash: This game is much Lighter and Softer than the first for the most part. Then you encounter the Virus in the final level, and everything takes a sharp turn for the dark. Very, very dark.
  • Platform Hell: Everything from world 3 onwards.
  • RPG Elements: Have been cut. Feeling the first game was way too complex, DarkYoshi focused on simplifying gameplay. This met with mixed reactions from the fans.
  • Sequel Difficulty Spike: Especially due to the RPG Elements being cut and the level design having a much heavier emphasis on platforming.
  • Squishy Wizard: Claire, compared to Jerry. She can't even use physical attacks.
  • The Virus: Since the world is virtual, it's an actual computer virus, trying to take down The Darkness. And, judging from the ending, it is very close to succeeding.
  • Wall Jump: Claire's special ability. You'll be using it very often.
  • Zettai Ryouiki: Claire.


Tropes provided in the third game, Saved Game:

  • Alt Text: As with the first game, the window title is a variation of this. There's also a menu option that allows you to set it to display at the bottom of the screen when you enter a room, in case you're playing in full-screen mode.
  • And Now For Something Completely Different: The different Gates are based off of different games, so each Gate has a different playstyle and theme. Different gimmicks will also pop up in the Mainland as well, including some stealth segments and even Tower Defense.
  • Apocalyptic Log: The end of every Nightmare Gate brings you to a secret chamber that provides an apocalyptic message and one of eight mysterious instruments.
  • Bag of Spilling:
    • The player characters lose EVERY ability they once had right at the start of the game. Jeremy unlocks their ability to move early on, but everything else, including jumping and attacking, has to be earned later.
    • Hexor once again removes all of their abilities except for the Mario-related ones during his boss fight, and while Jeremy is able to exploit a one-time loophole involving Kirby's Copy ability to get them back for the final battle, afterward they're gone for good.
  • Bleak Level: The Vault
  • Bilingual Bonus: If you can decipher binary code, you'll find a few hidden messages here and there:
    • In the trailer for the game, The Stinger has an image of Hexor in the Vault, with a long string of binary which reads "You didn't forget about me, did you?"
    • When Jeremy is locked out of scanning enemies, his analysis will spew binary that spells "RESTRICTED".
    • In the Vault, long strings of binary text occasionally scroll by, saying such things as "THIS WILL BE YOUR PRISON", "NO ESCAPE", and simply "DIE". They're implied to have been written by Hexor.
  • Boss in Mook Clothing: The "Elite" enemies, which usually attack one-on-one (very rarely two at once). They are very capable of killing the player if they don't learn how to dodge effectively.
  • Brick Joke:
    • In one of the Brutal Bonus Levels, you get this window title:
      "Our electrical bills were getting too high, so we replaced most of ther currents with spikes. We apologise for the inconvenience."
      Two screens later, there's a room with electrical currents, with this window title:
      "We ran out of spikes. We apologise for the convenience."
    • In the Construction Site, at one point a CHAOS Spiderbot attacks you... but when it tries to use its antigravity maneuver to crawl on the ceiling, it apparently forgot that there is no ceiling and falls into the sky. The characters shrug, have a laugh, and move on. Many, many, many screens later, the Spiderbot falls from the sky in front of you at the entrance to the Magical Castle, instantly destroying itself.
  • Check Point Starvation: You thought some rooms in the first game were bad? This game features several large, sometimes maze-like rooms that require you to go on switch hunts. If you die at any time during one of these rooms, you'll have to restart, with all your progress in the room being lost. Notable examples include a fair amount of Nightmare Gate 2 and the Mountain Temple, to name a couple.
    • Gate 5, being based on Metroid, employs it's own checkpoint system, so you don't even get a checkpoint at the start of each room. Better not forget to make use of those checkpoints often, or you'll have a LOT to redo.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: The final Nightmare Gate reveals that Claire was threatened, beaten, and even had her arm broken by an extremely abusive mother.
  • Darker and Edgier: Previous games were pretty light-hearted for the most part, and the worst that could happen (outside of the world-ending threat at the very end of the first game) was getting "quarantined", a fate that could always be reversed. Saved Game, while certainly not grimdark, has some darker themes to it, including actual and permanent character deaths and a war motivated by Fantastic Racism.
  • Death of the Old Gods: A conversation late in the game reveals that thanks to destroying the Data Allocation Segments in the first game, and the ravages of the Virus in the second and third, the Darkness is never going to reclaim control of the world. The world still functions just fine, but it's running automatically now, there's no longer a Reality Warper in charge of everything.
  • Designated Girl Fight: Between Claire and the High Heels Girl in Gate 6. Enforced, even: Not only does Claire offer to fight her, Jerry can't damage her at all.
  • Dream Apocalypse: The Subconscious Filter's appearance is based on the minds of those within it. As a result, when one of the three people within it leaves, the world it constructed begins falling apart. Bad news for anyone still in there.
  • Early Game Hell: The early game is more difficult than that of its predecessors, thanks in no small part to the absence of weapons for the first few chapters of the game and the loss of the dash until Gate 3.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Quite literally with the fittingly named Abomination, from the Vault. Some of the bosses could definitely qualify as well, with their appearance.
  • Evil Overlord: Subverted hilariously by the Trivia Lord.
  • Fantastic Racism: The Warmaster and his army, CHAOS, claim to be creating a utopia for bots. Humans, on the other hand, can go die. It's not really stated why they don't like humans, Warmaster merely says that "humans can't be trusted".
  • Finishing Move: Some bosses end with an on-screen prompt to "Mash Buttons!!" Doing so causes Jerry and Claire to unleash a flurry of attacks with comic-book style onomatopoeia in order to finish off the boss.
  • Five-Bad Band
    • Big Bad: The Warmaster
    • The Dragon: Hexor
    • The Evil Genius: The Virus
    • The Brute: The Abomination
    • The Dark Chick: Despite not having as big of a role as the other villains, Sigma probably fits this role the best as was one of the most knowledgeable about what happened in The Vault.
  • Foreshadowing: A good deal of it in gate 6, although some is only obvious in retrospect:
    • NPCs can't hear Jeremy or Chao talking, yet the first one you encounter seems to reply to Jeremy. He's the Evil Overlord. And he can hear Jeremy.
    • In the second town, one of the NPCs says that the aforementioned NPC "used to ask a lot of questions". Trivia questions.
    • Another NPC in the second town doesn't want to think about what would happen if Great Evil Overlord were to come back, because they "simply don't have the answers!!" Literally.
  • Have a Nice Death:
    • Jeremy gets his seat back in this game, and as merciless as ever.
    • Hex hijacks the death messages during his boss fight, replacing them with taunts.
    • In the following fight against the Warmaster, Jeremy actually encourages you.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • It is not realized until Gate 4 that The hero's of the respective worlds give their bodies and souls to the player characters to grant them their abilities. Whether they are actually dead or just taking up space in Jerry and Claire's somewhat sub-conscious minds is unknown at this point. Jerry doesn't take it too well.
    • At the end of the game, this happens with not just Jeremy, but also Jerry and Claire in order to prevent the Warship from overloading and destroying the Mainland, leaving Chao as the sole survivor.
  • Hidden Elf Village: The, um, Hidden Bot Village. It's a place for bots who don't want to interact with humans to live, and is almost completely inaccessible from the outside, unless one gets permission from the inhabitants to enter. It should be noted that while the bots who live there don't particularly like humans, they are not hostile to humans; they just want to be left alone. Indeed, many of those bots choose to assist the heroes in battling against CHAOS, an army of bots who are hostile to humans.
  • I Know What You Fear: Fittingly, Final Nightmare uses this tactic as it gets close to death: it declares that it knows what Jerry fears most, and transforms into the Shroud Lord. The player will likely echo Jerry's Oh Crap! reaction, given how insanely difficult this guy was to defeat in the first game, but fortunately the Nightmare version isn't even a quarter as powerful as the original.
  • Living Shadow:
    • Played around with in Extra Gate C. While enemy shadows are just plain shadows, Claire's shadow and the shadows of traps and switches act just like their solid counterparts, meaning even if you don't get hit by the trap itself, if a trap shadow hits your shadow, you still take damage. The flames also shift your shadow based on the angle, which is necessary for solving various puzzles.
    • Inverted with the Wall Master in map 3, whose physical(?) body doesn't hurt you, but it's shadow does. This gets very annoying VERY FAST especially if you had trouble speeding through the previous maps out of careful timing.
    • Darkmoor subverts this rule by his physical body AND his shadow doing damage, giving him extended attack range, as your attacks only hurt the main body.
    • A few of the other Nightmare bosses could also qualify, such as Final Nightmare and Jerry's Shadow, an expy of the Shadow Link from Zelda 2.
  • Metroidvania: More so than the previous games, as it is now very necessary to go back to previous areas with upgraded abilities to get all the items. And, naturally, the Metroid-themed Gate 5 throws this trope into overdrive. "Hope you're ready for some backtracking", indeed.
  • Mood Whiplash: Chapter 9: Heading through nice green pastures, with cute enemies, flowers cuddling in the landscape, some Bubble Bobble NPC's, and some simple, non-threatening platforming challenges for extra collectibles. Then you get near the Vault, which is heavily distorting the area around it, and get sucked into the Vault itself, one of the bleakest, darkest levels in the game.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
    • As it turns out, breaking Hexor's chains was exactly what he needed to escape.
    • It's discovered that Jeremy was the one who originally created The Virus, which Hex managed to get a hold of from The Vault.
  • No Damage Run: Spoofed and discussed at the beginning of the game, where a virus hits Jerry when he has no way to dodge it. Chao laughs that "There goes any chance of a perfect run!", while Jeremy claims he can hack things so that hit didn't count, in case someone out there really does want to try such a run.
  • Non Standard Game Over: Of a sort. If you fail to defeat The Abomination before your first real fight with Hex, then it will appear out of nowhere and abruptly end the game, forcing you to restart and defeat it before continuing.
  • Optional Boss: In one specific, hidden room, you can fight and kill that Sand Crawler that's been chomping you whenever you touch sand. As Zephyr lampshades, this is VERY satisfying. And once it's dead, you never have to worry about it attacking you again.
  • Oxygen Meter: It can be extended by finding upgrades.
  • Plot Armor: A piece of armor actually named as such can be found after defeating The Abomination. It decreases all damage you take, but also decreases all damage you deal.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Happens a couple times:
    • If you had told Bubblun that you were the humans that were working with the Darkness, or had mentioned Jeremy, he wouldn't have made you fight his robot.
    • If you had told him that you needed the Program Chip to stop the Virus, the Trivia Lord would've just given it to you, no questions asked.
  • Pop Quiz: The Trivia Lord "boss fight" consists of a quiz on SNES-era games. You don't even have to get all the questions right. You can later take the quiz as a minigame, with new questions.
  • The Power of Cheesy Lines and Friendship: Heals Jerry during the fight against Sigma.
  • Random Encounters: Played with in Gate 2, where walking around in the overworld invokes this, but after obtaining the bow and arrow, Jeremy figures out how to alter the random encounters to how they worked in Zelda 2 The Adventure Of Link. This doesn't make avoiding battle too much easier, but it's at least an improvement to Jerry.
  • Recurring Boss: In Gate 5, Ridley just will... not... die. He comes back again and again... rather like he does in the main series. Hexor made him unkillable, but fortunately Jeremy was able to find an exploit to kill Ridley in the end.
  • RPG Elements: They're back, but more subdued than in the first game — Skill Points obtained from enemies can only be used to make specific, minor improvements, and there are fewer collectibles. Played with a bit more in Gate 6, which is supposed to be a prototype game within the Darkness' program, designed as an RPG.
  • Running Gag: Birds. Zephyr seemingly took up birdwatching while creating the game, and his development blog was often filled with pictures of birds. The game itself contains many non-interactive birds flying around its environments, there's a gratuitous Shout-Out to The Birds, Jerry and Claire can both wear birds as hats, and updates to the game often included "More birds" among their features.
  • Scrappy Mechanicinvoked: None of the characters are happy when stealth sections pop up in the game, except for Chao, who likes that kind of gameplay. Fortunately, there's only two and they're rather brief.
  • Sequel Difficulty Spike: Far fewer mistakes are allowed than in the previous games. Couple this with the fact that Jerry and Claire have smaller arsenals than their previous appearances, and Distorted Travesty 3 might just be the toughest game in the trilogy. The game also doesn't hand out healing stations at the start of every room.
  • Shared Life Meter: Both Jerry and Claire share the same life meter.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Stylistic Suck:
    • "The Island of Paradise" in Gate 6, which is a barely-playable hodgepodge of bad graphics and nonsensical enemies. Naturally, Lampshaded up and down by the heroes.
    • One corridor of "The Castle of Doom" in Gate 6 is a hastily-thrown together group of obstacles with no rhyme or reason to their design. Jeremy claims that whoever made that section was either really tired or really angry.
    • Another Gate 6 example, before "fighting" the Trivia Lord, there is a hilariously Narmy bit of voice-acted dialog (provided by the real-life Jeremy) to serve as his introduction. It's as bad as you'd expect from an RPG game.
  • Surprise Creepy: The game has some moments throughout, but special mention goes to the final Nightmare Gate.
  • Unblockable Attack: In addition to the ones from earlier games in the series, anything outlined in red can't be dashed through without taking a hit.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: In addition to each Gate changing your ability set to be based on the protagonists from the appropriate game, the boss fight of Gate 6 is a Pop Quiz.
  • The Unfought: There's a few examples throughout the game.
  • Wall Jump: Unlike the DT2, the wall jump mechanic is exclusive to Gate 4. Though it does reappear briefly much later on in the Subconscious Filter.
  • You Have Researched Breathing: You start the game unable to do anything except duck after the Virus locks you out of all your abilities. Even after Jeremy gives you back your ability to move, you still need to find a power-up to be able to jump.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/VideoGame/DistortedTravesty