Video Game: Exmortis

aka: Ex Mortis
A flash game series originally released on Newgrounds and created by Ben Leffler, who just loves to make creepy/scary-as-hell games, the Exmortis series A trilogy, the first game (found here) in 2004 and the sequel two years later (found here), with a closing chapter released as Shareware for Halloween 2009. The development blog is found here. And just for future reference, the first screen you see says that you should play with the lights off and the volume turned up. Don't.

The first Exmortis tells the tale of a person lost, tired and amnesiac in the woods who suddenly finds an abandoned house and, with little left to choose, begins exploring it. Incredibly creepy events follow, including the discovery of a diary of a previous 'resident', a hunter who also stumbled upon the house. The hunter began to hear voices in the house, the voices of the Exmortis, which slowly brainwash him into releasing them into the human world again. To do this, he must first kill five hikers that the voices predict are coming towards the house.

In the second game, the Exmortis have invaded Earth and all hell has, literally, broken loose. As the game begins, you're one of the few last survivors of mankind, who's just come out of recent rout of the last human forces (who have learned to act as one to confuse the Exmortis). The church where all the human survivors of the battle were supposed to meet is empty, or so it seems. A spirit of sorts appears and explains to you that mankind still has one last chance, provided you follow his instructions. You end up in a house where the Exmortis have already passed through and encounter the grisly consequences of this. As you investigate, you discover more about the Exmortis and the history of the Earth. Apparently, eons ago, three sadistic and demonic brothers once ruled Earth and were in constant wars with one another, until one of them, Lord Vlaew, got the upper hand through a clever betrayal. He proceeded to create the Exmortis, but eventually they turned on their master (who lost his physical body), and the Exmortis ended up disappearing...

The third and final game in the trilogy features you as the protagonist from the second game, Mr. Hannay. Hannay finds himself in a spirit realm and is able to escape, gaining supernatural powers in the process. He must now find a way to defeat the Exmortis once for all and save mankind.

Some of the tropes present in this game are:

     Tropes appearing in all three games 
  • Antagonist Title
  • Apocalyptic Log: In the form of diaries, letters and notes strewn about.
  • Call Back: Likely unintentional. The first game has a screen with two doors, and it appears as if you must make a decision between the two, when in fact it's just an ordinary room that happens to have two exits. In the third game, the Reader offers Mr. Hannay a choice between two doors with a similar setup, and both lead to a Bad Ending where Hannay lives with his wife or daughter in Limbo, condemning mankind
    • After escaping the spirit world, the second game lets you revisit the tunnel that connected the underground Temple of Exmortis with the house and outside. But the passage to the temple collapsed behind you, and an incredibly brutal slaughter of people happened over time between both games.
  • Cruel Twist Ending: In all three.
    • In Exmortis, the PC finds out he is the Hand of Repose. He can either open the portal and allow the Exmortis to dominate the Earth, or refuse and escape. Just when he thinks he's safe, he is knocked unconscious and wakes up outside the house with no memory of what came before.
    • In Exmortis II, Mr. Hannay defeats the Hand of Repose, destroying the scourge. He meets the person who set this up, only to discover it was Lord Vlaew all along. Vlaew thanks him, then kills him.
    • In Exmortis III, Mr. Hannay kills Vlaew, but is forced to flee through a portal Vlaew opened to escape the Collapsing Lair. The portal leads eons into the past, long before humanity rose, dooming Hannay.
  • Door Stopper: Several of the books, especially the diary in the second game.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: The first game is set Just Before the End, the second and third show the world returned to its primitive state by the battle between demons and humans.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: So it would appear.
  • Ghost Butler: A few of them, usually indicating an advancement in the plot.
  • Hearing Voices: In all three games, for different reasons.
    • In the first, the Exmortis are urging the Hand to complete the ritual.
    • In the second, Xavier is trying to lead you to the clues needed to locate and defeat the Hand.
    • In the third, Vlaew's Reader is contacting you to break your spirit.
  • Mind over Matter: Lord Vlaew and many of the other Exmortis have telekinetic powers — amongst other things. In the third game, the protagonist gains the same power due to time spent in the spirit world.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Happens, again, in the first two games.
  • Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant: Lord Vlaew, anyone?
  • No Pronunciation Guide: Lord...Vlaw? Vlay? Vleew? Vlay-oo? Vloo? Exmortis II confirmed it's pronounced 'Vlay'.
  • Noisy Nature: The Cult of Exmortis. When these unearthly creatures zero in on their targets, the first thing the victims hear is whispering, which slowly gets louder, until it sounds like a dull roar.
  • Point-and-Click Game
  • Red Sky, Take Warning: Full stop.
  • Solve the Soup Cans: The Exmortis sure do love their irrelevant puzzles.

  • Failure Is the Only Option: If you refuse to complete the ritual, you get cloaked in the head and dragged back to the house, starting the game anew, until eventually you give in.
  • Jump Scare: Quite a few in the game, mostly when you discover a corpse.
  • Mad Oracle: The author of the diary you find, who eventually becomes the Hand of Repose, a living gateway for the Exmortis to invade Earth. Aka you.
  • Peek-A-Boo Corpse: A severed head pops out of a microwave.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: You start with no memory of the recent events, in front of the house. If you choose to escape at the end, you find out how you got there to begin with.
  • Tomato Surprise: The man in the Apocalyptic Log which was driven to madness by the Exmortis and killed the campers to complete the ritual? Yep, you all along.
  • Shout-Out: The whole setting of the game seems to be inspired by The Evil Dead.

     Exmortis 2 
  • After the End: A few years after the Exmortis took over the world, in fact: most of the scenery is bleak and both fresh and old corpses litter the roads.
  • Better to Die Than Be Killed: A man kills his whole family including himself rather than leave them to face a much crueler fate at the hands of the Exmortis.
  • Confessional: Where you meet the man who gives you the clue on how to defeat the Exmortis. Although it's for his own agenda...
  • Hope Spot: You have escaped two close scrapes with the Exmortis, come back from the Spirit Realm, found and killed the Hand, and the mysterious stranger who helped you in the beginning congratulates you on paving the way towards a new era. An era of domination for Lord Vlaew, who was only held back by the Exmortis which you just neutralized. Oops.
    • The diary of Mr.Lochear also contains one: after managing to hide from the initial attack and waiting for the Exmortis horde to leave the area, his and a few other families manage to hold out, and everything goes quiet for about a month. Just when things seemed back to relative normality, they get news of the horde coming back to finish the job.
  • Previous Player-Character Cameo: Mr. Hannay gets to fight the unnamed player character from the first chapter.
  • Shout-Out: In a newspaper clip, an attack of the Exmortis on the town of San Raimi is detailed.
  • Ultimate Sacrifice: As it turns out, Mr. Hannay discovers that he's innocent number five, and has to take his own life with a gun to open the portal to the Spirit Realm. He does so.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Lord Vlaew uses you to execute this on the Exmortis. And then graces you with the same treatment.

     Exmortis 3 
  • After the End: Being a direct sequel to 2, it's a given. This time you get to see a bit more of the ongoing conflict between Vlaew and the few resistance soldiers, though you don't meet any of the latter.
  • Booby Trap : A few in the underground section, and one in the Resistance base you try pass through.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: The face-off against the cannibal is not so much a battle than an interrogation which you may or may not choose to aid with torture.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Vlaew gloats at you for a good minute, believing himself to be invincible to anyone but an Ancient. Hannay is quick to prove him otherwise.
  • I Am A Humanitarian: You meet a cannibal in the underground train tunnels.
  • Karma Meter: Bypassing puzzles by abusing your magic power and certain dialogue choices shift you towards "Evil".
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: You kill Vlaew by, essentially, throwing him around like a ragdoll with telekinesis.
  • Nuke 'em: You stumble upon a small nuclear bomb which levels the town you are in at the beginning of the game, giving you a few minutes to find shelter in the underground train station.
  • Sniper Duel: There is one with a scavenger, and another with Vlaew's guards.
  • Take a Third Option: The Reader tells Mr. Hannay to choose between two doors. While either door will allow you to be with a deceased family member, entering one dooms the earth to extinction. The correct decision is to use a nearby curtain rod to skewer the Reader.
    • Another spans the entire game: upon giving him the powers of an Ancient, Azrael reveals to Hannay that they will disappear when the two remaining Ancients (himself and Vlaew) will die, as well as asking Hannay to execute him before leaving for the mortal world. In the end, Hannay can either kill Vlaew and in doing so strip himself of his powers, or let him escape...or he can refuse to kill Azrael, leaving him suffering for eternity, and smugly reveal it to Vlaew when he tries to use the powers as leverage to escape.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: You can off the cannibal after torturing as much information as you need out of him.