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Video Game: Gray Matter

Gray Matter is a point-and-click adventure game designed by the acclaimed Jane Jensen, most famous for her work on the Gabriel Knight trilogy.

After taking a wrong turn on her way to London, Samantha "Sam" Everett comes across an old mansion called Dread Hill House, a lonesome building occupied by a reclusive and mysterious neurobiologist, Professor David Styles. With her motorcycle broken down and soaking wet, she poses as an Oxford student and responds to his request to hire an assistant for his researches.

Soon afterwards, strange events start to unfold on the Oxford campus, forcing Sam to investigate, learning about David's past, his paranormal researches, other students and an obscure but prestigious magic club called The Daedalus Club that Sam wishes to join.

This game provides examples of:

  • Alas, Poor Villain: Angela is an Antivillain, who really comes out as a very unfortunate Blessed with Suck individual who doesn't know the extent of her powers nor is able to tell anyone about it without coming off as crazy. Her father's death, Dr. Styles' rejection and her psychic powers just seemed to have taken a large toll on her.
  • Alpha Bitch: What Helena seems to be at first, caring for nothing except for partying, drinking, and taking Charles' virginity.
  • Big Applesauce: Harvey is from here, complete with outrageous accent.
  • Bishōnen: Charles, described as "a statue of a Botticelli angel".
  • Chick Magnet: David. Angela is pretty much obsessed with him and Sam is heavily implied to have feelings for him too. He even managed to charm a little girl, who was initially scared of his mask, with his juggling skills. Also Charles.
  • Class Clown: Harvey.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Aside from being quiet and quite detached from the rest of the world, Angela also muses about fairies a lot. She also seems to speak of her abilities as "fairies" and how she can't control them.
  • Consummate Liar: Sam. It bites her in the ass when David eventually finds out.
  • Dead Person Impersonation: Angela impersonated David's deceased wife due to Love Makes You Crazy, with him actually believing she was a ghost trying to communicate with him. Only half true, as a ghost Laura did try to warn David of the imposter.
  • Doing in the Scientist: For most of the game you are led to believe that there must be a magician doing a Grand Game against David Styles. It turns out it's actually psychic powers.
  • The Dreaded: David Styles is so feared that ordinary people flee at the thought of participating in one of his experiments.
  • Even Magicians have standards: Sam has no qualms about deceiving people with her magic tricks or taking some small things but she refuses to steal valuables since it's not what magicians do.
  • Formerly Fat: Charles
  • For Science!: Malik is a believer in is, hence why he contacted David Styles directly to participate in his experiments. He also finds it unfortunate that David's work output has slowed after the tragedy.
  • A Glitch in the Matrix: Laura sends a hint to David in this manner, during one of his memory sessions.
  • Haunted House: Dread Hill House, apparently. Even the owner, David Styles, distrusts its darker corners.
  • The Insomniac: It is stated that David doesn't sleep much at night since the accident, and therefore sleeps late during the day.
  • I See Dead People: David thinks so.
    • In the game's ending after being found out, Angela sees an apparition of her father's spirit floating in the air and tries to touch him, only to fall off a balcony.
  • Kill It with Water: How Angela is rendered incapable of using her powers in the last part of the game.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Nobody ever changes their clothes, except for Sam in the last part of the game; and David, who wears a black overcoat when going outdoors.
  • Lonely Piano Piece: Appropriately named "David's Theme" which sometimes plays in the menu and while playing as him.
  • The Lost Lenore: Laura, David's wife who died in a car crash. Most of his actions are about trying to keep a fresh memory of her and talk with her ghost whom he believes has stayed in the real world. On few occasions, she does drop vague hints about what may have happened...
  • The Maze: The Daedalus Club.
  • Magicians Are Wizards: Angela's father was a stage magician who really could perform magic.
  • Misunderstood Loner with a Heart of Gold: David, while a bit of a jerk and rather eccentric, is not evil or crazy as he is believed to be by many of the people at Oxford, but became a recluse because of his grief over losing his wife and his shame at his disfigurement.
  • Momma's Boy: Charles.
  • Mr. Fanservice: David, completely. A past leaning on Broken Bird, pining for his wife, Jerk with a Heart of Gold, and several shirtless scenes in his first chapter. And don't forget the shower scene later on in the game.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: Implied that Angela caused Styles' car accident out of jealousy.
  • Of Corsets Sexy: Helena wears one as a top, by itself.
  • Oop North: Charles' mother is from here.
  • Otaku: Charles, with video games, mangas and... a glowing Space Invaders statue?
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: Laura.
  • Parental Abandonment:
    • Both of Sam's parents died in a car crash.
    • Angela's father died in a fire.
  • Perky Goth: Sam, although she states at one point that she's an ex-Goth.
  • Physical Scars, Psychological Scars: David's scars are primarily mental, according to Word of God.
  • Playing with Fire: Angela, as a part of her psychic ability.
  • Power Incontinence: Angela, who seems to have been driven mad by it as well.
  • Psychic Powers: Angela and her father, the Stage Magician. The extent of these powers are never really explained nor seen to their full potential.
  • Real After All: There really is something paranormal going on at Dread Hill House and around the Oxford campus.
  • Scare Chord: Coupled up with the static cutscenes, they like to send shivers down your spine.
  • Scenery Porn: The backgrounds of Oxford, David's house and many more. The Daedalus Club is pretty wacky too.
  • Scars Are Forever: The reason why David wears a glove and White Mask of Doom.
  • Self-Made Orphan: Implied and possibly unintentional, but Angela.
    Angela: "I used to love fairies. But they hurt my daddy. They were very bad!"
  • Shrinking Violet: Angela.
  • Shown Their Work: It's Jane Jensen. There's bound to be at least some truth behind it.
  • Shout-Out: Many, such as:
    • Alice in Wonderland, the various riddles and even an Alice based shop.
    • Harry Potter was also referenced in one of the riddles, leading Sam to the Christ Church where the Hogwart's Hall was replicated for the movie.
    • In Timmons Park, there's a carved out name on one of the trees: O'Neill and the Alpha Gate glyph.
    • Some of the names and surnames that appear on plaques in Oxford hall: Roberta Williams, Jane Jensen, Tim Curry, Grace Nakimura...
  • Six Student Clique: Most of them are actually students (bar Sam) and call themselves The Lambs' Club as a reference to all of them participating in Prof. Styles' experiments:
    • The Head — Sam
    • The Muscle — Charles (while considered attractive, he's very shy about it)
    • The Quirk — Angela
    • The Pretty One — Helena (crosses with The Wild One)
    • The Smart One — Malik
    • The Wild One — Harvey (crosses with The Quirk)
  • Spiritual Successor: Can be considered one to Gabriel Knight. In the 3rd game you can find some information about ghosts, implying that the next game could've been about them.
  • Spoiled Brat: Helena. Though with the progress of the game she turns out to be a Spoiled Sweet.
  • Stage Magician: Sam wants to become one. Some puzzles can be only advanced by using her talent. To get into Daedalus Club, she first needs to prove her worth by solving their riddles.
  • Stage Names: Magicians in general use stage names whenever they perform and seemingly avoid giving anyone their real name, such as the case with Mephistopheles. Sam also has one; Lady Byron.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Angela.
  • Stopped Clock: Strange and seemingly supernatural events happen around the Oxford University campus, and each time the clock stops at the time of the event.
  • Strapped to an Operating Table: The Lambs' Club, but willingly, especially those for an extra buck. Nothing bad really happens to them.
  • Super-Stoic Shopkeeper: Mephistopheles, the owner of a small magic shop The Black Wand. He's glad to help Sam, but he comes off as pretty aloof and creepy. He's actually a nice guy too.
  • Tall, Dark and Handsome: David. Lampshaded by Helena who called him "Doctor tall, dark and deadly".
  • Trauma-Induced Amnesia: David doesn't remember much of the accident or the night before... until he's willingly hypnotized.
  • Upper-Class Twit: Sam seems to be of the opinion that most rich people are this, and David calls her out on this at one point.
  • White Mask of Doom: David. It only covers one side of his burned face a la The Phantom. Subverted since he isn't evil per say... just a Jerk Ass.
  • Woman in White: Laura and Angela.
  • Yandere: Angela. Not only she caused Laura's death but she also impersonated her in order to get close to David.
  • You Have to Believe Me: After the show that Sam prepares for The Daedalus Club, David confronts her and accuses her of setting up the events at Oxford, as much she tries to convince him that it wasn't her.
    • Another example happens before the game: Angela visits Dr. Styles before the accident, trying to convince him about her powers. He doesn't believe her since he thinks is a joke.
  • Zettai Ryouiki: Helena, looks like an A grade right there.

Gabriel KnightCreator/Jane JensenCognition An Erica Reed Thriller
Ghost TrickAdventure GameHeavy Rain

alternative title(s): Gray Matter
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