2005's Escape From St. Mary's
casts you as John Noronha, a student in a Catholic school
. You supposedly want to just escape math class and get something to eat, but you somehow run into a whole series of adventures before doing so, all without leaving the school grounds. These include a trip through time, a government-sponsored alien search, a kung-fu battle and other archetypes of boyhood fantasy.
Author Ryan Menezes based the school on an actual school in Dubai
, duplicating the real location's geography. The narration occasionally cuts away from the action for commentary on the school and city before returning to its skewed world of in-school ogres and cannibals. The game's playable online
The game contains examples of:
- Academy of Adventure: There seems a disturbing density of reality-bending adventures going on at this small campus.
- Adults Are Useless: The teachers at large offer little help when you ask them about the deadly problems erupting in the school.
- Alien Among Us: Mrs. Luanty thinks there's one. She's right...
- All Just a Dream: A discussion on whether this is an acceptable story twist sparks a battle between two English teachers. Both endings invoke this trope for the entire game, although the "better" one goes on to turn it into Or Was It a Dream?.
- Almighty Janitor: Agnelo doesn't speak much English, but he's one of the few characters who actually seem to control the school.
- Asleep in Class: A couple of times, including the opening scene.
- Bathroom Breakout: This is your first attempt at getting out of your classroom.
- Bathroom Stall Graffiti: You never see it, but it's allegedly horrific.
- Bookends: Murughesan's classroom.
- Catholic School Girls Rule: The students of the school put on a fashion show, with the identical uniforms described as "eveningwear" and "lingerie."
- Chemistry Can Do Anything: You make them in the chemistry lab, but they border on magic potions.
- Club Stub: No one in the school seems interested in joining the poor website team. And your contribution leaves them still worse off.
- Cool Teacher: Mr. Anand spends his class playing the computer games that his students wrote.
- Dumb Jock: Gary, with his vague relation to reality.
- Education Through Pyrotechnics: Mrs Desai is convinced that's why you're looting the chemistry lab. You do end up with some explosions - in various other labs.
- Elevator School: It's a high school for the most part, except for one quest which reveals the school teaches much younger students as well.
- Everybody Hates Mathematics: Your hatred of math sets you off on your journey.
- Food End: There's your anticlimax right there.
- Gold Tooth: Retrieving one from an NPC's mouth proves the solution to a puzzle.
- Granola Girl: The Artist shows a bit of this.
- High School: Wholly contained in one.
- Hollywood Voodoo: A book called Voodoo Through Chemistry offers some instructions that, though helpful, don't quite ring true to traditional voodoo.
- Human Aliens: The aliens you're searching for may not be the preserved man-in-a-jar that originally catches your eye.
- Invisibility Cloak: The cloak confers invisibility... in that it blinds the wearer.
- Klingon Promotion: This is how the chemistry department operates.
- Light and Mirrors Puzzle: You have a mirror. You have sunlight. You have a bunch of exposed eyes...
- Mad Scientist: The game has scientists in four different labs, but Dr. Paul and Dr. Miranda, the omnicidal physicists, seem to qualify best as mad scientists.
- Multiple Endings: Your ability to reach a "secret area" within the school determines whether, in the end, you actually do escape from St. Mary's.
- Only Idiots May Pass: According to one of the hints, "The game is set up so that the correct move sequence DOES NOT work unless the player character discovers all the clues. It's not enough if you, the human player, have cracked the secret of the cave maze prematurely or were given the move sequence by someone else. You, the character of John Noronha in the game, must come by the clues and a reason to interpret them in the intended way. Because of this, you can really get screwed up if you read spoilers and discover what the cave game solution is before your character rightfully should."
- School Newspaper News Hound: Averted - dozens of interesting things happen in the school, but the reporter does not care. She instead writes about what she eats for meals, sure that no one will even read the article.
- The Starscream: Mrs. Desai is determined to seize control from her superior... by any means necessary.
- Smart People Play Chess: The A-Level students seem to believe this.
- Stable Time Loop: The physics teachers explain this nature of time in detail, and your own adventures prove it true.
- Throwing the Distraction: This gets you out of the game's first room.
- Title Drop: During the closing screens.
- Trick Shot Puzzle: This is how you topple the books and move Mr Castro.
- Video Game Cruelty Potential: You pretty much spend the game breaking stuff and making people's lives miserable.