Video Game / Eversion

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Eversion.png
Enjoy the peaceful look while it lasts...

"NOT INDICATED FOR CHILDREN OR THOSE OF A NERVOUS DISPOSITION."
The author

A freeware puzzle platformer made by our own Zaratustra as an entry to the Commonplace Book competition. Our hero, Zee Tee, is a flower with the power to reshape reality itself, at certain points. This becomes handy in his quest, as the Princess of the Flower Kingdom, Nehema, has been kidnapped by the Ghulibas from the North, and Zee Tee must set out across a colorful world to rescue the fair maiden from her peril.

Not to be confused with aversion, subversion, or any of the other ways to play with a trope.


Tropes that apply to Eversion (unmarked spoilers below!)

  • Advancing Wall of Doom: One pitch black one appears in the third level, and the sixth level has another one... made of blood, and shoots out those damned hands of doom. It's actually the avatar of Yog-Sothoth.
  • All There in the Manual: According to Word of God, the main character's name is Zee Tee, an asterisk. The Flower Princess's name is Nehema.
    • Now actually in the manual, as seen on the Steam page. Also, the name of the enemies - Ghulibas (probably a portmanteau of "ghul" (Arabic for ghoul) and "goombas"?)
  • All There Is to Know About "The Crying Game": The fact that there even is a twist to this game, let alone what the twist is has reached this point for a lot of people.
  • Amazing Technicolor World: The game (HD especially) has World 1, World 2, World 5, World 6, World 7 and World 8. Heck the games worlds as a whole counts as this trope.
  • And I Must Scream: X-4 in general, really, since all enemies are alive but cannot move. The HD exclusive ending has X-4 affect Nehema and Zee Tee as well, and wait for you to press escape.
  • And Then John Was a Zombie: The good ending turns your character into an Eldritch Abomination just like the princess you're out to save. The bad ending has you resisting this and getting eaten by the princess.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: In the HD release, pressing the evert button in the first 4 layers causes nearby Eversion points to visibly pulse. After that, you have to find cues yourself.
  • And Then John Was a Zombie: One interpretation of the good ending.
  • Anti-Poop Socking: There's something like this in the form of random messages that replace the "READY!" prompt in later stages, such as "STOP" and "GIVE UP" (as well as occasionally having the regular "READY!", which then has "TO DIE" flash underneath), but their purpose is not encouraging the player to take breaks so much as it is to scare the player out of continuing the game, not unlike Metal Gear Solid 2.
    • Only because the player doesn't have time to get the sock.
    • Inverted once you unlock the timed run feature: "FORWARD!" "ON YOUR MARKS!" "READY! TO RACE!"
  • Art-Style Dissonance: The world starts out bright and cheerful, but becomes gradually less so as you evert to higher levels, and it's not long before the game reveals its true colors.
  • Auto-Scrolling Level: levels 3-4 and 6-7 in old versions. Later versions no longer require waiting for the platforms to scroll in view, but cause the Advancing Wall of Doom to behave like a Rubber Band.
  • Backtracking: If you want all the gems on the seventh level, you'll need to do this.
  • Badass Adorable: Zee Tee, a cute flower with a Goomba Stomp and reality warping powers!
  • Bait-and-Switch Credits: There's an adorable, sugary-sweet title screen that's a tad misleading. The quote and warning do hint at what's to come, though.
  • Beast and Beauty: The first ending inverts this, with the Princess as the Beast. The second and third endings avoid this trope entirely, because now you both are horrifying monsters!
  • Bleak Level: The last level.
    • The fourth eversion level turns the scenery gray and the enemies stop moving. Subsequent eversion levels only get nastier and darker, going from gray to brown to blood-red to practically pitch-black. And you will scream, even if you know about THE HAND.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: Downplayed: The warning of the game. "Not indicated for children or those of a nervous disposition."
  • Bloodier and Gorier: This happens in the later worlds.
  • Bonsai Forest: For some reason, trees in Eversion are as short as flowers, barely taller than the character, although whether they are really short trees or just tall bushes is up for debate.
  • Bonus Dungeon: After getting all the gems, a bonus Level 8 opens up. There are no gems, and it's harder than the rest of the game, but beating it unlocks the Happy Ending.
  • Bottomless Pits: All pits are large pools of water. And well, it's a platformer, touch the water and you die. But you do have infinite lives. In X-8, it's blood, but it might be lava.
  • Brutal Bonus Level: Only available if you get all the gems and also introduces the final eversion. In earlier versions, it starts warping randomly between them all. Version 1.7 replaces it with a maze-like level.
  • Bubbly Clouds: After your first eversion, those clouds are nifty platforms!
  • Capcom Sequel Stagnation The game has had two updated rereleases, the first virtually nothing but an Animation Bump and the second adding a third ending.
  • Central Theme: The author based this game upon an idea from HP Lovecraft's Commonplace Book: "sounds - possibly musical - heard in the night from other worlds or realms of being."
  • Cephalothorax: The Ghulibas, and Zee Tee.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: The game does this. The game starts off as a cutesy 2D scroller with colorful environments and non-threatening enemies. As you use your Eversion power more and more, the game starts taking a dark turn. Environments are gloomier, the music changes, and enemies seem noticeably depressed. Eventually, the game starts to look more like a nightmare than a happy platformer. You start to realize the effects your power has on the world around you, but you can't stop using the power if you want to progress.
  • Check Point: In the middle of most of the levels.
  • Checkpoint Starvation: In world 6, unlike most of the others, the check point is between two-thirds and three-fourths of the way through the level, and it can be a pain to reach. It's right before the hardest part of the level, which helps, but you're going to be seeing the beginning of that level a LOT.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: The background subtly changes colors when you're at an eversion point.
  • Conjoined Eyes: The cute monsters' eyes gradually become like this as you evert from World X-1 to X-3. Evert to X-4 and beyond, and their eyes fuse into one eye.
  • Content Warnings: The above quote, displayed when you start up the game... right underneath an H.P. Lovecraft quote. You're thinking that since this is a cutesy platformer at first, that it's just a joke. It's not. The warning is quite appropriate, particularly the latter group. Those who do not heed the warning WILL become slightly paranoid because of the game.
  • Cosmic Horror Story: The game gradually reveals itself to be a game of this kind. It starts out as a cute Sugar Bowl of a world, but as you progress further and use your Reality Warper powers in order to get the gems you need, the game gradually gets darker and darker. The Let's Play by DeceasedCrab in particular reads like a Lovecraft story towards the end of it, right down to the rejection of the Sugar Bowl world's "cheery lies."
  • Crapsaccharine World: The entire game world is falling into decay and ruin, occasionally getting eaten by giant walls of nothing before turning malevolent and irredeemably evil. The bad ending is when you get eaten by the princess, who's already been turned into a monster; the good ending is where you turn into one of the nightmarish creatures as well... but at least you get the girl!
    • Another interpretation is that you are a monster all along, and that you're working your way back from a horrible world to one that, for you, is good and right.
    • Given how evert points operate and the ending, a more natural interpretation may be that the world is a single entity with multiple faces, and possibly that World 8 is the true face. This would make World 1 a fake, or a Crapsaccharine World.
  • Cruel Twist Ending: The game fits this all too well. That princess you're out to save? She's an Eldritch Abomination who will eat you alive in the bad ending. And in the good ending? Turns out you are the demons.
    • Aside from turning out to be an Eldritch Abomination all along, the good ending isn't really all that awful. You get the princess, after all.
  • Curse: Some have pointed out an interesting pattern with the game. Blind Lets Plays of this game seem to botch the recording on world five, forcing the letsplayer to redo it while not blind to that stage any more. Every. Single. Time. The game may actually be cursed.
  • Cyclops: The Ghulibas' eyes start to cross in X-3 and are fused into a single eye from X-4 to X-8.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: The true ending: The princess was a monster all along! But wait... your character was also a monster all along!
  • Dark Reprise: Does the music for X-6 seem familiar? It's a creepy, distorted version of X-2's theme.
  • Dark World: The entire point of the game is to progress between various stages of Dark Worlds. The game starts out in a typically cheerful retro platformer world, but in order to progress you must "evert," traveling through a sequence of mostly-similar worlds that each contain crucial differences (i.e. whether particular obstacles are intangible, solid, or breakable) allowing you to navigate through a maze and collect all the gems. Once you get to the third world, it becomes clear that each World in the sequence is gradually Darker than the last - a "descent into Platform Hell" if you will.
  • Death Throws: This is how the deaths of the main character and enemies are handled, at least before everting past X-5.
  • Decoy Damsel: Maybe.
  • Did You Just Romance Cthulhu?: Justified in the "good" ending; Princess Nehema has already been revealed to be an Eldritch Abomination in the bad ending, but in the good ending, it turns out that Zee Tee is one too.
  • Divine Date: There's a variation and major subversion in the good ending, you become an a Eldritch Abomination just so you can act out this trope.
  • Dramatic Disappearing Display: Your score goes away (and the word "GEMS" is replaced by "????") in X-7, then everything but the gem skull counter in 7-8, and the whole thing in world 8. In time attack mode, however, the timer is always displayed during gameplay.
  • Dual-World Gameplay: Practically all of the gameplay is this to considerable success. There are 5 to 8 extra layers depending on version, but per level, you'll only be using 2 or 3 of them. At different layers, different objects may be obstacles or even enemies. In the lower levels, clouds can be platforms. In the lowest levels, bushes are obstacles, but go higher and they become withered and dead. The flowers are just background art at first, gradually becoming sickly and wilted as the levels progress. However, at the highest levels, they turn into thorny, spikey death traps. Each of these has an effect on the flow and timing of the player's jumps adjusted for the different levels. Enemies are deadly to different degrees with different ones optimised for different levels.
  • Dummied Out: In normal gameplay, you will never see the X-8 gems since you'd have every gem before you can even see X-8. At least, before 1.7.3 introduced Time Attack Mode, which have the gems serving to reduce time. But prior to that they do exist, probably so going to X-8 with gems around wouldn't kill the game in earlier versions.
    • In addition, hacking the game reveals levels X-9 and X-0. 9 appears to be a Minus World (all the monsters look like you, and the level properties are whatever they were in the previous layer you were in). 0 was the world used in the map editor, with white tiles. All shrubs are replaced with the word and question mark "Goal?", which triggered the "bad" ending.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: The first ending by completing world 7 is a bad ending. To get the better one, collect all gems and complete the bonus stage.
  • Easter Egg: In the newest version (as well as the HD), you get a secret ending if you end 7-4 with all the gems. There's also a bonus screen for getting 100% completion.
  • Eldritch Abomination:
    • Princess Nehema turns out to be one in the both endings. In the bad ending, she eats you. In the good ending, you're one, too. Not as surprising as you might think, given what he does to the world.
    • The enemies turn into this in X-6 onwards.
  • Eldritch Location: As you continue everting, the world becomes more and more like this, peaking in X-8.
  • Endless Corridor: World 8 in version 1.7.3 onwards. If you don't find the evert point within two sections, then then you'll have to go through them again until you end the section after everting to a lower dimension.
  • Epigraph: The game begins with a quote from H.P. Lovecraft referring to the character's eponymous power.
  • Everything's Better with Princesses: It gets even better(?) if you get the good ending!
  • Evolving Title Screen: The title screen happy and cheery with bright colors and relaxing music. Once you completed the game with the true ending, the title screen turns into a black void with a single red eye staring at you, and the font in "Eversion" changed to something much more sinister while the same music still plays.
  • Excuse Plot: The plot described in the readme is as follows: princess is kidnapped. you must save princess. This is stolen from the old MSX game Crusader.
  • Extended Gameplay: Once you collect all the gems.
  • Eye Scream: The first box in level 4-1. Throughout the first three levels, there are gems hidden in Mario-esque floating blocks with happy faces on them. Level 4 lets you know exactly where the game is headed when you are forced to jump into one and its eyes pop out of its sockets as you instantly evert from Sugar Bowl World 4-1 to the completely terrifying World 4-5.
  • Faceless Eye: The normal enemies in X-4.
    • And gem blocks in the world X-8.
    • And those stone enemies in world X-7.
  • Fake Difficulty: The demonic hands that emerge from World 6's Advancing Wall of Doom are more or less fixed in when they will emerge, but not where, meaning even the most skilled player can get killed by a hand that traps them between itself and another enemy or a hole, or even the wall, and there's nothing they can do about it.
  • Fission Mailed: In X-6 to X-8, dying will sometimes replace the "READY!" screen with a fake Game Over. You actually cannot get a game over in normal play, since you have infinite lives and the only other time you can get one is through the bad ending, so the fake Game Over can be pretty jarring.
  • Follow the Money: In the first stage already, you can see some gems just out of reach above the clouds. They're hinting that you have a special ability which helps you to reach these gems.
  • Four Is Death: World 4, the Wham Level.
    • Also, in X-4, the goomba-like monsters stay still, as if they are dead.
    • X-4 is kind of a dead world. Everything's a dull shade of grayish-green, the plants are curled over, the water is poisoned and lifeless, the boxes have flat expressions...
  • From Bad to Worse: It starts off as a cheery and cute little freeware platformer with a flowerlike protagonist that does the Goomba Stomp on cute little goombalike enemies. But as you use your eversion powers to get the gems you have to collect, things gradually get darker and darker. Soon, you're dodging evil hands that shoot up from the pits, the goombalike enemies have turned into evil one-red-eyed monsters with More Teeth than the Osmond Family, the gems you collect become skulls, the plants become lethal thorns, blood goes flying when you stomp an enemy or when you die, and the whole world in general becomes a scene out of Hell itself. And, if that wasn't enough, there's an evil Cruel Twist Ending in store...
  • Gainax Ending: All three of them. One where Nehema turns out to be a Humanoid Abomination, one where the same happens, only that Zee Tee also happens to be an Eldritch Abomination, and one where Nehema and Zee Tee get frozen in place forever.
  • Game Mod: The game, having its source code in a text file for all to see, is very easy to modify. Common mods are designed to access its ten or so Minus Worlds or allow for flight or invinciblity.
  • Game Over: Averted in regular gameplay since you have unlimited lives, but after you reach the princess, the game is nice enough to close itself.
  • Genre-Busting / Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly: It's a platformer, puzzle, and horror game, all at once.
  • Genre Shift: The game does this intentionally, as the game is based on having things not exactly as they appear.
  • Ghibli Hills: Look at the green grass and blue skies shown in the page image! Isn't it a beautiful place? The HD version also puts nice hills in the background! Oh my god, what just happened to this place...?
  • Giant Eye of Doom: The endings. The "sun" in X-4 also has a striking resemblance to one.
  • Giant Hands of Doom: There's creepy giant hands shooting out of the second Advancing Wall of Doom.
  • The Goomba: Your enemies are definitely like this, the first and second types obvious Expies of actual Goombas. The Ghulibas resemble Goombas at first; the file that contains their graphics is even called 'goomba'. In later stages the resemblance diminishes as they move faster and in X-8 after the 1.7.3 update, they regenerate after a short time.
  • Goomba Springboard: Needed to reach some platforms.
  • Goomba Stomp: Your only method of defeating your enemies.
  • Goth Spirals: The bright purple flowers from World 1 gradually wilt into gray stalks that become spirals in World 5. As if that weren't enough, they acquire Spikes of Doom from World 6 onward. In HD version, more can be seen in the background during later worlds.
  • Gotta Catch 'Em All: Get the 240 gems and beat Level 8 for 100% Completion!
  • Green Hill Zone: The first couple of levels.
  • Grotesque Cute: That adorable little flower can make his enemies (or himself, if he's not careful!) explode into globs of blood!
  • Guide Dang It: You'll have to evert from certain points between different dimensions to succeed. However, eversion points aren't visible, except the background slightly changes and other music can be heard. That caused many players to get stuck on world 2 for a while.
    • It gets worse in world 8, where many players usually try to take the hardest route. Most players who play the new version of the World 8 take the hardest path to get from world X-6 to lower instead of everting from X-6 to X-5 from the easier section.
    • The HD release has since made things easier since pressing the "Evert" key will reveal nearby eversion points.
    • Getting those last five gems in World 6 (or even getting to the end of the level) is frustratingly difficult, to say the least until you find the hidden eversion point in the maze.
    • World 7 and those last few gems... and just when you think you've got the blocks destroyed and the gems popped out, if you should ever die in between grabbing the gems, YOU HAVE TO DO IT ALL OVER AGAIN. AARGH. Cue the head-smashing.
  • Guilt-Based Gaming: Once things start getting really bad, the "Get ready" screen inverts this, guilting you to stop in an attempt to scare you shitless.
  • Gut Punch: The game is an almost unbearably cutesy and saccharine platformer up until the beginning of level 4, which begins the parade Scenery Gorn, regular Gorn, jump scares and more general-purpose terror that makes up the meat of the game.
  • Heartbeat Soundtrack: X-7. X-8 features accelerating heartbeats. X-5 also has a very slight heartbeat.
  • Heroic Mime: Zee-Tee.
  • Hidden in Plain Sight: The after-game logo is hidden behind the pre-game logo, and vice versa.
  • High-Pressure Blood: Everyone in levels X-6 and beyond.
  • Hope Spot:
  • Humanoid Abomination: Nehema turns out to be this in the good and bad endings.
  • Interface Screw: The later parts of worlds X-6 and X-7 are plagued by creepy glitches, messages, and other oddities in your UI. For example, your score starts turning into gibberish — then vanishes outright; instead of "READY!" it starts saying things like "STOP," "GIVE UP," a fake Game Over, etc etc. In the endings, the game closes itself.
  • Invincible Minor Minion: In version 1.73, rock monsters in X-7 and X-8 are completely immune to any attack at all, and only pause for a second when you hop on them. And in X-8 in the newer versions, the regular mooks can only be stopped for a short period of time before they regenerate. Not respawn, regenerate.
  • It's a Wonderful Failure: Get the Game Over sequence, and your character will be forced to sit helplessly as Nehema eats him.
  • Jump Scare: The red hands that burst out of liquids.
  • Kaizo Trap: In earlier versions, the Bonus Stage had one final hand just before the goal that would pop up if the current world was X-5 or higher. Later versions changed this so that the hand unexpectedly appeared close to the end even in bright and happy World X-1, but popped out too fast to actually kill the PC. Still quite a shocker for first-time players, however.
  • Last Note Nightmare: The World X-8 theme is very creepy and filled with Psycho Strings, but there are no surprises and it's actally quite calm. Then the music slowly fades out... All of a sudden, there's this really loud, startling drum. It's hard to describe, but really creepy.
  • Layered World: The game allows you to "evert" at several points (and forcibly everts you on occasion). Eversion is basically moving up or down a layer, which all have different properties, such as solid clouds, time stop, hazardous plants, etc. In fact, there are 8 layers. Three where things are relatively friendly, midpoint where things are indifferent, and four worlds of evil.
  • Look Behind You: One of "level start" messages on deeper everson layers says "BEHIND YOU".
  • Luck-Based Mission / Random Number God: World 8 in older versions of Eversion. The world cycled randomly through the 8 layers, meaning that the player could either get through the level very quickly or it could take upwards of five minutes even without dying based on how many times the game gave you the layer you needed to get past a certain obstacle. It gets really aggravating when one tries to beat Old World 8 on the Time Trial mode in the HD version.
  • Ludicrous Gibs: In levels X-6, X-7, and X-8, get used to showers of blood every time you kill an enemy, or die. In version 1.73, enemies in world X-8 emit black smoke before resurrecting again though.
  • The Maze: Version 1.73 replaces the final level (which previously just had random Eversion occurring throughout the level) with sections which loop in pairs if player doesn't evert and end the section with another eversion — the map wrapped around itself if you kept going, black death fog prevented you from backtracking, and solving the maze meant that you needed to Evert to different levels in order to progress forward.
  • Meaningful Name: Nehema, the Princess, is another name for Naahma, a powerful demoness in the Kabbalah, who shares the same Qliphoth with Lilith.
  • Mercy Mode: Dying repeatedly unlocks the ability to evert (backwards) at will. Just don't Evert past Layer 1, or the game will glitch out for a few layers and eventually crash (which can actually be quite amusing if you enjoy making games glitch out).
  • Mind Rape: Especially the endings. either one.
  • Mind Screw: The endings are, to say the least, ambiguous.
  • Minimalism: At least, in the non-HD version. Maybe even then: the color palette hasn't changed much, the graphics are just larger and more detailed.
  • Minus World: This is the absolute epitome of this trope with TEN minus worlds, but they are only reachable by hacking the game. The normally accessible levels are worlds 1 through 8. World 9 is a black world where the enemies look like you and everything else except you is invisible. And then there are worlds 0 and -1, which are completely unplayable (The computer usually freezes if you try to load them) and consist of two different sets of glitched graphics. 0 has a black background and -1 has a purple background. Worlds -2 through -8 are versions of worlds 7 though 1 where everything is invisible except you and there are no enemies or gems.
  • Mooks but No Bosses: There's no bosses, but it makes up for that with its more famous attributes.
  • Mood Whiplash: Oh, so much. To explain why would spoil things, but suffice to say that there's a reason that warning is on the game's opening.
    • Just in case those who haven't played the game need a further hint, said warning shares the screen with a quote from H.P. Lovecraft.
  • Mordor: Levels X-7 and X-8.
    • The world turns more and more into this as you progress through the game. The environment takes on a definite Mordor feel when you evert to World X-6: the vegetation is covered in thorns (which are Spikes of Doom for all intents and purposes), the Goomba-like enemies start to show their teeth, everything turns into a spray of Ludicrous Gibs when killed, the music sounds horribly distorted, and demon hands pop out. It doesn't end there.
  • Multiple Endings: There are three so far:
    • The Bad Ending at X-7 if you don't have all the gems, where Zee Tee fails to rescue Nehema... and finds himself in need of rescuing himself.
    • When you collect all of the gems and beat X-8, you get the Good Ending where Zee Tee and Nehema live Happily(?) Ever After.
    • The HD version has an extra special ending where Zee Tee and Nehema are warped to X-4 and frozen solid.
  • Musical Spoiler: Before you evert, you'll hear what you're everting into. Every time you evert to a higher layer, the music gets less and less cheerful. First it mellows out. Then it becomes dramatic. Then it becomes weird. Then it becomes oppressive. Then you hear the mellow music as if played on a broken record player. Then all you hear is a beating heart. And after that, cue the Psycho Strings...
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: The majority of the game could count, considering what happens when you evert to deeper worlds, but the good ending could count especially as this. In order to beat the game and get the "bad" ending you only need to evert a total of 11 times (12 in the HD remake), but if you're trying to collect all 240 gems and go for the good ending you're going to be everting WAY more.
    • The fact that the place you'll be getting most of your eversions, World 3, not only requires you to evert 8 times in order to progress but also is one of the few levels to have an Advancing Wall of Doom appear, suggesting that Zee Tee's everting is damaging the world.
  • Nightmare Face: The smiling block faces you see at the start of the game become less and less happy as you evert into deeper worlds. In World X-5, they have blank, terrified expressions with empty eye sockets. In X-6, they're disfigured, as if they're melting.
  • No Fair Cheating: Booting up the game with an edited level locks you out of getting other achievements, so make sure you gain them before gaining this one!
  • Nonstandard Character Design: The hand is far larger than any of the characters combined, and it takes up nearly the whole screen. The hand part itself could fit in Zee Tee, an X-8 ghuliba and Nehema herself and still have room to spare (in the arm part!)
  • Noob Bridge: Many people get stuck in world 2 and fully learn how the mechanics work only when they reach world 3-4, especially in the non-HD version. Eversion points are easy to miss if you don't know what to look for, and people often ignore the eversion point in 1-1 when they walk over it.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: World X-7 replaces the stage music with a heartbeat.
    • One of the randomly-selected "READY!" screens in World X-6 to X-8 is a completely blank screen.
    • In World X-8, all foreground objects (except you, the enemies, and the red liquid) are black and textureless.
    • Additionally, after you have seen the READY!... TO DIE!, the normal "READY!" may feel like this.
  • Not Quite Back to Normal: The second version of the last level has Zee Tee travelling from Layer 8 to Layer 1. When you reach the end of the level, a red hand comes out of the floor. Although unlikely to hit you, it shows that the world has been distorted beyond repair.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: You're an asterisk, so this is kind of a given. Don't worry though, you have infinite lives.
  • 100% Completion: You can get a new title screen for doing this.
  • Overdrawn at the Blood Bank: Levels X-6 and beyond. Even assuming your little flower-guy has blood to begin with, there's no way his little body could hold that much.
  • Planet Heck: The last level. Actually, the ending suggests that the entire game takes place in a Lovecraftian equivalent of Hell; everything except World X-8 was an illusion caused by dimension distortion.
  • Playing the Player: You probably thought it was a nice, happy platformer... until your first few eversions.
  • The Points Mean Nothing: The points really don't matter and when you evert to X-6 the score counter goes mad, and in X-7 and X-8 it disappears completely.
  • Prepare to Die: In Worlds X-6, X-7, and X-8, sometimes you'll get the "READY!" prompt, with "TO DIE" appearing below it just before the level starts. It works on X-5 as well, but very rarely.
  • Psycho Strings: The music played in X-8 is basically just this, with the occasional drum sound in the background.
  • Rainbow Motif: The sky changes color based on which layer you're in. It follows the Roy G. Biv pattern turned inside out: Cyan, Blue, Indigo, Green, Yellow, Orange, Red, and Purple. Starting at Blue ( to keep the illusion of the normal Sugar Bowl), then shifts to green in x-4, yellow in x-5 and so on. The last two layers have a hellish red sky and an even more disturbing purple sky.
  • Real Is Brown: The topmost layers of the worlds are delightfully colorful, bright blues and reds and magentas. Once you start to evert, those colors get progressively muted and brownish. At least, until things start looking downright creepy. The blood is bright red, though. And copious in abundance. Real Is Brown trope is most visible in world X-5 and after that, the colors start to get more vivid again.
    • Since Eversion never bothers to say the middle layers are realistic in any way, it's less "Real Is Brown" and more "Brown Is Ugly".
  • Reality Warper: Besides jumping, this appears to be what your eponymous other power does. You have the power to change the world around you at certain points in stages. This seems like an interesting power. And later you warp the Sugar Bowl into a Sugar Apocalypse.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: Prevalent. One common hazard are red hands on black arms that shoot out of pits when you get close. You'll be harassed by two walls of doom, one black and other red. The enemies gradually change color from light yellow to red, and then to black with red eyes. Finally, the only colors in the nightmarish secret eighth world layer are black and red on purple background.
  • Retraux: The game is a very 8-bit-like game released in 2008. The cute, low-res graphics, however, are a facade for the game's much more sinister side. The original more so than the HD Updated Re Release.
  • Save Point: The game will save your game after beating every level, as well as helpfully providing a check-point in the middle of the levels.
  • Save the Princess: As stated in the readme. This is the initial premise. The endings will make you wish you hadn't saved her.
  • Scenery Gorn: In the High Definition version, the Ghibli Hills in the background grow decayed. X-2 makes everything look artificial and X-3 makes it look like it's falling apart. X-4 just shows a flat, completely stagnant ocean. The hills grow CLAWED HANDS and MOUTHS in X-6 and X-7. And then we have LAYERS and LAYERS of TENTACLES in X-8.
  • Schizophrenic Difficulty: World 4, 6, and 8 are harder than 5 and 7.
  • Schmuck Bait: To those who didn't have this game spoiled for them: admit it, you were wondering why the cutesy-looking platformer game was marked as "not for children or those of a nervous disposition". The fact that it starts with a quote from Lovecraft should have clued you in. It is a very popular game to get Let's Players to do a blind run of.
  • Scoring Points: They don't actually do anything, but watch what happens to the score meter when you go to X-6.
    • There's a score counter, and is pretty up-front about the fact that a high score doesn't benefit you in any way (That way, everyone's a winner!), and further shows its meaninglessness in an unnerving way. After diving a couple eversions deep, the score counter begins to appear in unusual places, then constantly fluctuates between random numbers, before finally disappearing as you enter existential hell.
  • Scream Discretion Shot: Why this happens in the good ending as well as the bad one is anyone's guess...
  • Secret Level: The secret level is unlocked after collecting all 240 gems in the game, and is necessary to get the good ending.
  • Shout-Out: World 1's layout bears a strong resemblance to World 1-1 from the original Super Mario Bros. 1 for the NES.
  • Sliding Scale of Linearity vs. Openness: Category 2. It's rather linear, but levels often require lots of backtracking.
  • Sliding Scale of Shiny Versus Gritty: Visits the both ends of the scale and everything in between.
  • Slow Transformation: The monsters and face blocks undergo this as you gradually evert from World X-1 to World X-8.
  • Solid Clouds: Clouds are solid, but only on the third layer. They're decorative on all other layers.
  • Sound-Coded for Your Convenience: You can hear the everted world's music at the eversion point. The game marks where you can evert by mixing the music of the target world into the music of the current world.
    • This is actually where the concept of the game seemingly started. It was created based off of a note in H.P. Lovecraft's notebook of story ideas: "sounds - possibly musical - heard in the night from other worlds or realms of being."
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: As you progress though levels, the end of world jingle slowly becomes a bit... unfitting, culminating at the end of world 7.
  • Speedrun: After completing the game, the game goes into a "time attack" mode where you try to beat worlds as fast as you can. Additionally, the game starts doing a self-parody of the creepy messages that sometimes replace the "READY!" screen in worlds X-7 and X-8, with messages like "GO!", "HURRY UP", "GAME ON", and "READY! TO RACE".
  • Spelling Bonus: In the HD version.
  • Spikes of Doom: The thorns from X-6 through X-8. The flowers, as you evert, turn wilted, then into weeds, then into lethal thorns.
  • Story-to-Gameplay Ratio: The game has this one-line description of a plot hidden away in the readme file: "Princess is kidnapped. You must save princess", but it has pretty much no impact on gameplay.
  • Subverted Kids Show: The game starts out as happy, colorful, smiley all around, and quickly begins turning into a big old pile of Nightmare Fuel with pools of blood, black clouds of death slowly engulfing the world, and those demon hands that start popping up out of nowhere!
  • Suddenly Harmful Harmless Object: The game has this with the flowers. The flowers remain more or less part of the background until 5-6, where they become spiky and are instadeath.
    • The water may also count. in 4-5 and later, the famous demonic hands appear from the previously much less terrifying water.
    • Those strange rocks from Level 5 become harmful in X-7, and then become actual demons in X-8. note 
  • Sugar Apocalypse: * The entire point. The world gradually gets worse and worse as you evert.
  • Sugar Bowl: Well, it starts that way...
  • Surprise Creepy: It's gradual, but it's still here. The game starts out as a brightly-colored relentlessly cheerful platformer and ends as a Cosmic Horror Story, with the player character either being or being eaten by an Eldritch Abomination. Although if you know who H.P. Lovecraft is, the opening screen serves as a warning about that, as the game starts off by quoting him.
  • Surreal Horror: The game is a very happy example of this. Enjoy your blood.
  • Suspiciously Cracked Wall: The more you evert, the more platforms become cracked and can be broken when Zee Tee steps on them.
  • Take That: The 'Metaphor for the Atomic Bomb' achievement takes a jab at the notorious hidden stars in Braid, which are difficult to find and change nothing (aside from the title screen). The tone is evident from the icon for the achievement: Zee Tee and Nehema making the 'awesome' face.
  • Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: Nehema and Zee Tee in the good ending.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: The other interpretation of the "good" ending. The distinction might be academic...
  • Treasure Is Bigger in Fiction: Look at those gems floating in the air.
  • Trial-and-Error Gameplay: Plenty of it, but getting a hundred percent completion on world 7 truly goes above and beyond—it's likely to take at least as long as the entire rest of the game put together to finally get those last six gems.
  • Unwinnable by Mistake: Some level designs can lead to the player getting stuck in one place without being able to get out or die, and the level must be restarted. Some instances of this were corrected in later versions, but it's still possible to purposely enter a unwinnable state in some locations. Fortunately, you can quit the level and restart without losing any of the gems you've collected during that level!
  • Updated Re-release: In high definition! That always happens to video games.
  • Waddling Head: The main character. Also the regular enemies, although they end up being footless Slithering Heads by the end of the game.
  • Wall Master: The HANDS, which emit an extremely irritating screech whenever they appear. Find them in Level 4.
  • Wham Level: As mentioned above, level 4. It takes this to horrifying levels. The stage starts off innocently enough as World 4-1, but after hitting the first block (which you are required to do), the stage suddenly everts to World 4-5 — the backgrounds get a lot less colorful, the music becomes much creepier, and blocks now have freaked-out eyeless faces. And as if all that's not unsettling enough, now you have giant demonic hands grabbing at you from water pits.
  • What the Hell, Player?: In the Steam version, the achievement for starting a game with an edited level is called "What Have You Done". Caution 
  • When All Else Fails, Go Right: But it's not ratcheted, so you can backtrack if necessary (and often it is). The Level Goal is always towards the right, though much backtracking is required to get all the Plot Coupons. The revised World 8 actually prevents you from going left at the loop points.
  • Wingding Eyes: The eye in the good ending.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: The game manages to pull this off on the player. The game goes from a Sugar Bowl to horror surprisingly quickly. And then manages to end cute (if in a way a Nightmare Fetishist would enjoy) in the secret ending anyway.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle: The Steam version references this trope with its "The Princess Is In Another Castle" achievement which you get if you complete Stage 7 without getting all the gems, to make clear that this isn't the game's true ending. It might also be a reference to this popular Eversion fanart (link has spoilers).

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