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Video Game: Fahrenheit

"Things are never quite what they seem. We think we understand the world around us, but we really only see the outside, what it seems to be. My name is Lucas Kane. My story is the one where an ordinary guy has something extraordinary happen to him. Maybe it was supposed to happen, maybe it was my destiny, or my karma or whatever. I know one thing for sure: Nothing's ever going to be the same again."

Lucas Kane is an ordinary New York City IT administrator until he murders a total stranger in a possessed trance and flees the crime scene. From there on, he becomes a fugitive from the law, relentlessly chased by police officers Carla Valenti and Tyler Miles. But those two become the least of his concerns when he unexpectedly gains superpowers and becomes the target of an Ancient Conspiracy that initially manipulated him into committing murder in the first place... And that all happens on the backdrop of global cooling around ten degrees Celsius every day.

Fahrenheit is a highly cinematic Action Adventure game developed by Quantic Dream and written by David Cage in 2005. It was redubbed to Indigo Prophecy for American release to avoid confusion with Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11. A later US re-release under the Fahrenheit name popped up, containing scenes cut from IP that were present in the European version of the game and an appropriately higher age rating.

Met by universal critical acclaim and good sales, Fahrenheit began as one of the best story-driven games of recent years and was occasionally touted as a game to revive the flagging adventure genre. Unfortunately, many players were disappointed with the final third of its story — allegedly the product of rushed development driven by Executive Meddling — which quickly balloons into an extreme Gainax Ending, without even the courtesy of foreshadowing, and is remembered mostly for its incoherence.

One of the most prominent gameplay features of the game was so-called "physical challenges", which required the player to press several buttons in close succession or just hit left and right very, very fast. These were used to lend a sense of physical urgency to the game's more fast-paced scenes, and, by and large, succeeded; however, some players found the mechanic distracting or overused.

There is also a Spiritual Successor. See Heavy Rain.

Not to be confused with Fahrenheit 451.

The game contains examples of:

  • A God Am I: This is the main reason why the Orange Clan wants the Indigo Child even if they already controlled everything.
  • AcCENT Upon the Wrong SylLABle: You'll hear a lot of it from your guide in the tutorial. "Action see-qwensis" indeed.
  • Action Commands: These pretty much are the combat system, and a lot of non-combat events are handled this way as well.
  • Advertised Extra: Marcus. He's called the fourth protagonist by promotional material and GOG's description for the game, but you only play as him during two brief scenes, and whether or not he dies is entirely irrelevant to the overall plot - he'll appear again during a sequence later to say some encouraging words before dropping out of the story altogther.
  • After the End: If you mess up, this is what you get. Not that the "happy" ending is all sunshine and rainbows, mind.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: The Purple Clan a.k.a. the Cyborg
  • All Just a Dream: The Oracle initially masks his attacks as such.
  • Ancient Conspiracy: The Orange Clan.
  • Ancient Tradition: The Invisibles.
  • Apocalypse How: Planetary at Class 3, no less.
  • Big Applesauce: Set in NYC.
  • Badass Bookworm: Well, Lucas is more like a Badass Geek: he is an IT administrator, reads Nietzsche in his free time, but also uses the Power of Rock to seduce ladies and practices taekwondo.
  • Bad Job, Worse Uniform: The outfit regular police officers have to wear is pretty garish, and it can't be fun patrolling the streets in such bad weather conditions either.
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: Some versions. To get a less restrictive rating, some regions vastly edited the sexual content of the game. One such casualty was the final sex scene between Carla and Lucas. While the sex scene remains in the game, it was severely cut down, with any shots showing naughty bits removed. However, one shot remains where you can see Carla's breast in full - except in this version of the game she has no nipples.
  • Big Bad: The Orange and Purple Clan.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: The Orange and Purple Clan.
  • Blackmail Is Such an Ugly Word: Lucas realizes that he is manipulated by Agatha, whom the Cyborg disguised as, but she claims that he is guided.
  • Bloodstained Glass Windows: In Markus' church. Set against angel statues, to boot.
  • Claustrophobia: Carla, to a severe degree.
  • Come Back to Bed, Honey: Tyler does this to his girlfriend Sam: she's seducing him on their anniversary when the phone rings regarding the murder case he's working on, and the game won't continue until you answer the phone and leave for work. Sam is understandably pissed.
  • Consulting a Convicted Killer: After Carla discovers similarities between Lucas' case and past murders, she visits Janos, the culprit of those past murders, at Bellevue Asylum in order to find out the link both cases.
  • Cosmic Deadline: Failure = ice age.
  • Creative Closing Credits
  • Divine Chessboard: With Lucas right in the middle, and the evil priest controlled by another faction.
  • Do Well, But Not Perfect: When Carla/Tyler is questioning Lucas in his office. Failing the QTE's which appear alongside a bunch of green insects is more beneficial; it prevents Lucas from reacting to them and appearing hysterical to the questioner.
    • Guide Dang It: The game never tells you that failing QTEs is an option, much less desirable.
  • Downer Beginning
  • The Dragon: The Oracle.
  • Dueling Player Characters: In addition to the whole "one character leaves clues, the two others find them" mechanic, there is an episode where Carla and Tyler spar at the police gym. Notably, not only can you decide whom to control during the sparring, but you can also lose (even on purpose), which is helpful because the winner gets a boost to their Sanity Meter (which Carla usually needs more than Tyler).
  • Endless Winter: The plot takes place against the backdrop of an unnaturally long and harsh winter, which is eventually revealed to be supernatural. Even though the villains didn't cause it, one of them chooses not to stop it in the ending where he wins, destroying humanity.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: Some of the action sequences feature all parts of the environment conspiring to destroy Lucas.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: The mission "Captain Jones is Really Upset".
  • Eye Take: Various different characters widen their eyes in disbelief throughout the first two-thirds of the story. By the time everyone has stopped doing that in the third act, the audience is more than willing to take over.
  • Facial Composite Failure: The player can do this to varying degrees when Tyler has the waitress using a Super Identikit to reconstruct Lucas's face.
  • Faction-Specific Endings: The game has the Orange Clan ending, the Purple Clan ending, and the Invisibles ending (which feels a lot like a Lone Wolf one). Notably, the first two endings are cleared not by allying yourself with the respective faction but by losing to their representative in the Final Battle.
  • Fanservice: Plenty of it. Most notable is the chapter where Carla is roaming her apartment in her underwear right after a gratuitous Shower Scene.
  • Faux Action Girl: While the game establishes Carla's martial arts and firearms ability she makes practical use of them in precisely one optional cutscene and is more memorable for her crippling claustrophobia which stops her using it when her life is in danger. Also, while she appears strong and capable, she takes a back seat in the second half after she seemingly instantly falls for Lucas.
  • Fission Mailed: You are unavoidably surrounded by police at one point, and Lucas even begins to recite a variant of his game over monologue. Than his powers kick in....
  • Freelook Button
  • The Force: Chroma.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • In the early scenes you clearly see Bogart, the crow and the Oracle although you don't know their significance. Hell, you even see Jade "The Indigo Child" rendered in a blue tint as part of the restaurant murder cutscene. Which makes the ending all the more conspicuous.
    • There's even foreshadowing in the tutorial of all places - next to the blue screen you can see a giant mite hanging from a wire.
  • Friends Rent Control: Even though Lucas makes IT Administrator money, an apartment the size of his would not only cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in New York, the interior size of his place is far too big to fit, considering the spacing of apartment doors in the run-down hallway outside. Carla and Tyler both own similarly huge studio apartments as well, with Tyler's being, ironically enough, the smallest despite the fact that he lives with Sam.
  • Funny Foreigner: Takeo, who pretends to be an Old Master Obfuscating Stupidity though he was born in and never left Brooklyn, and only pretended as such for the customers' sake. He's more American than Tyler is!
  • Gainax Ending
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Whenever Lucas stops to investigate something, he engages in an unskippable bit of internal monologue. This does not stop the clock, which is bad during Timed Missions. Which is, of course, basically all of them.
  • Genre-Busting: Some elements of Monkey Island style adventuring, God of War-esque action button minigames, the odd piece of stealth, a grainy cinematic sheen to the whole package... ambitious is not the word.
  • Hallucinations: Several of which can potentially kill you.
  • Hot Coffee Minigame: There are three opportunities, one is story mandated the other two (which both come before it) are optional.
  • How We Got Here: The stirring opening monologue.
  • I Know Karate: Every main character demonstrates an impressive amount of unarmed combat skill, but Lucas takes the cake as he eventually starts doing Wire Fu as well. Justified by Lucas training regularly in private (evident in the presence of a boxing bag in his apartment) and by Tyler and Carla sparring regularly (including once in the game).
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: When Lucas is possessed by the Cyborg, Carla takes control to snap him out of it. The Cyborg foils it by knocking her out of the way. Of course, seeing her hurt gets Lucas to snap out of its control.
  • Infant Immortality: Subverted at every opportunity. In the park scene, if you fail while trying to save the kid who fell under the ice or don't even attempt to, he dies. In a flashback section one, two or three kids will die if you don't find them in time. And, whatever ending you get, Jade dies.
  • Inspector Javert: Carla and Tyler.
  • Ironic Echo: "As long as you do what you think is right, you can't go too wrong." Tyler said this to Carla if she tells him the truth of Lucas' innocence. She said this to him when Tyler is either leaving Florida with Sam or helping Jeffrey and Doug with the population of New York.
  • Just Before the End: The whole game, really.
  • Karma Houdini: The Orange and Purple Clan.
  • King of the Homeless
  • Letter Motif:
    • The connection Tyler or Carla establish between Marcus and Lucas, via a book and/or photo.
  • The Lifestream: Chroma.
  • MacGuffin Girl: The "Indigo Child" spoken of by the game's (semi-)eponymous Indigo Prophecy.
  • Male Gaze: Unsurprisingly, Carla, but best illustrated by the warm-up sequences before Tyler and Carla's boxing match. Tyler's warm-ups show him at a slight distance from the camera, and it tends to focus on his face or whatever he's working on. For Carla, the camera goes straight for her cleavage. The match itself opens with the camera zoomed in on her butt.
  • Man Behind the Man: The Oracle actually serves the Orange Clan, a council of most powerful humans on Earth.
  • Mayincatec: The Oracle is a Mayan priest who performed human sacrifice, magically living on into the present day.
  • Medium Awareness: Tyler. After being set an improbable task by Takeo, his closing internal monologue line is "What am I, in a video game?"
  • Milky White Eyes: Agatha. But that's okay, because eyes aren't the only way to see.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Carla. One chapter starts with her in the shower, then spending a couple of minutes of gameplay guiding her around her apartment in her underwear. And then there's the sex scene...
  • Multiple Endings: You can change the story at pretty much every chapter, right up to and including the end. Failure doesn't always result in a game over, although you might want to invoke them specifically to watch all the game content. At the end, there's three endings, depending on who gets the Indigo Child; one unambiguously bad, and two which are somewhat arguable.
  • Name of Cain: Lucas himself.
  • Never My Fault: According to Professor Kuriakin, the Oracle must never taint himself with the blood of another. This is why he chooses to possess anyone to murder that victim.
  • Never One Murder: Which leads Carla to believe she's chasing the wrong man, eventually. Tyler believes Lucas has killed once, will kill again.
  • New York City: The "capital of the universe", as Lucas himself puts it in the opening narration.
  • New York City Cops: Lots of them.
  • Nipple and Dimed: Lampshaded. In the censored versions of the game Carla's skin texture does not include nipples at all. You get to see her entire breast surface - but where the nipples are supposed to be there's just regular flesh tone.
  • Nonstandard Game Over: Every single chapter of the game has its own game over screen if you fail any objective, with a monologue by the dead character usually starting with the phrase "...and that's how my story ends". That's right: the game has so many different Game Overs that literally every Game Over is a Nonstandard Game Over.
  • No Time to Explain: Both Lucas and Carla pull this one.
  • Oh Crap: The Oracle has this expression when Lucas manages to counter his telekinesis. Since the Oracle only has two other expression (completely neutral and Slasher Smile), this is extremely satisfying.
  • Omniscient Council of Vagueness: The Orange Clan.
  • Optional Sexual Encounter: Two, in addition to a mandatory one; see the article for a detailed entry.
  • Pet Homosexual: Carla's neighbor Tommy certainly isn't flaming, but he has elements of this nevertheless.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: Tyler, Tyler, Tyler. In a world where most of the characters are moody and overwrought, having a cool guy like him around can lighten the mood quite a bit.
  • Plotline Death:
    • Simultaneously played straight with Tiffany and subverted with Lucas, who is revived by the AI to fight the Oracle.
    • Depending on the player's actions (or the lack thereof), Marcus can suffer one of these, too.
    • Also Agatha.
  • Police Are Useless: Not so much. You can still miss obvious things when playing as Carla and Tyler, but the supporting officers are astute and good at their jobs regardless.
  • Private Eye Monologue: All three main characters pull it off at least once, but especially Lucas... funny seeing how he is the only main character who isn't a detective.
  • Put on a Bus: Tyler.
  • Right Through His Pants: Conspicuously Inverted. Despite the fact that it is repeatedly stated that the temperature is well below freezing, and the fact that everyone around is rugged up in numerous layers, Carla and Lucas strip down to bare skin to have sex, in their unfurnished, unheated box car hideout.
  • Ripped from the Headlines: One of the news articles you can look at on Lucas's computer is about the aftermath of two teens shooting up a Chicago high school. Unsurprisingly, video games are to blame.
  • Sanity Meter: When the meter is full, it reads NEUTRAL rather than WELL or GOOD etc. Yeah... it's that sort of game.
    • Should it drop to zero, the character you're playing will snap and...well, kill themselves. However, you usually have some control over the meter, with only two decisions (Tyler staying in New York, rather than leaving with Samantha, and choosing to let the boy drown rather than save him in the park) causing it to plummet precipitously.
  • Schrödinger's Gun: Carla's Tarot reading. Pick a card, any card. Story dictates that you'll always draw the same ones in the same order.
  • Shout-Out: Several.
  • Sex for Solace: When Carla starts thinking about the sadness of armageddon, she finds comfort with having sex with Lucas.
  • Skunk Stripe: Lucas' hair starts to go white after spending time in "The Wave".
  • Six Is Nine: Carla and Tyler are trying to find Lucas in apartment 369, but the first "room 369" you enter has someone else inside; the lettering on the door un-sticks and swivels to reveal that they're actually at room 366. The mistake gives Lucas just enough time to get his own objective done and hide.
  • Soul Brotha: Tyler. If the fact that his apartment looks like it came right out of The Seventies wasn't a big enough clue, he is constantly accompanied by a sleazy funk soundtrack wherever he goes.
  • Stern Chase: Lucas for the majority of the story.
  • Story to Gameplay Ratio: Pretty much 50/50.
  • Stuffed into the Fridge: Poor Tiffany. Her Plotline Death seems to come right in time to make the Lucas/Carla romance kick in — ironically, it starts in front of Tiffany's grave for them. Feels even worse in case you had Lucas have the Optional Sexual Encounter with Tiffany earlier.
  • Summon Bigger Fish: The Purple Clan resurrecting Lucas, in a rare case of the PC being that bigger fish. He's not their ally by any means, but at the point where they bring him back, the Orange Clan is on the verge of winning; Lucas coming back represents their last chance to complete the Prophecy. And if Lucas comes out on top and gets the Indigo Child, they're far better off than if the Oracle gets it, since Lucas has no clue what the hell he's doing with the power of the Chroma and they can run back to the Net, while the Orange Clan will destroy them for good if they win. They really can't lose.
  • Suspiciously Apropos Music: Most of the music on Lucas's stereo is oddly appropriate to this particular situation. Notably, the second time you get a chance to play it is right before his estranged girlfriend Tiffany stops by to pick up her things, and the second song queued up is Theory of a Deadman's "Santa Monica", which is about a guy's girlfriend having left him.
  • Take My Hand: Markus pulling Lucas onto the balcony after the Oracle's attack.
  • Tarot Troubles: See Schrödinger's Gun.
  • This Is Reality: Tyler muses on how going and finding one book in a huge bookstore is like a video game fetch quest. "What is this, a video game?"
  • Uncle Tomfoolery: Tyler is a professional, sure, but a lot of his observations are darkly humorous and he is most definitely streetwise, having grown up around gangs in the Bronx before becoming a cop. Overlaps with Plucky Comic Relief.
  • Unexpected Genre Change:
    • The shooting gallery and stealth portions qualify, as do the basketball/gym scenes in terms of gameplay.
    • Plotwise the increasingly fantastic plot elements start to look like this after a relatively gritty and grounded start.
  • Unwinnable by Mistake: The PC version suffered from a timing bug in the Press X to Not Die sequences. Depending on your system config, the time when you could enter commands could be as low as a quarter of the time that the game indicated to you. This wasn't too bad in the early sequences, but later in the game the puzzles became impossible to complete, because the game would decide to make you die before it even showed you the full sequence you had to enter. This same bug can also turn up in a few places in the PS2 version (at least the PAL release), notably in the final section, sometimes making it impossible to defeat the AI, and therefore making it impossible to get one of the endings.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Lucas has been manipulated by the AI disguised as Agatha.
  • Urban Fantasy
  • Visual Pun: If, as Tyler, you decide to have sex with Sam instead of going to the police station, the game will cut back to Carla in their office with the camera looking through Tyler's basketball hoop. Meaning, Tyler scored.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Given the "happiest" of the three endings, what exactly does Lucas mean when he says that the Purple Clan "went back to haunting us on the net"? Just one of the many factors which make the conclusion less than satisfying, unless he was implying that the Purple clan are Anonymous.
  • Xtreme Kool Letterz: There is a general preference of "K" over "C" in many names. It's almost surprising two of the protagonists aren't titled Lukas Kane and Karla Valenti, but one suspects David Cage was conscious of overkill.
  • Zeerust: Averted? It might be too early to say, but judging by the use of technology throughout the game chances are it'll still look pretty current in a decade or so. Hell, all the talk of the Pakistani Ultimatum, and the Chinese involvement in it make it seem like this could be happening today, even though the game technically takes place in the (not too distant) past at this point.

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alternative title(s): Indigo Prophecy; Fahrenheit; Indigo Prophecy
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