Video Game: HOME 2013

"Everyone in this damned place has lost their minds..."
The Judge

Welcome HOME, dear puppeteer.

This world has been waiting some time for your arrival. The tables of balance has been turned, and the fate of the world trusted into a familiar face. The guardian of zone 0 himself, The Judge. Your job is to lead him on a new journey, masterful puppeteer.

This world is wrapped in an enigma, a shroud of confusion overlapped the once peaceful zones. The true guardian of zone 0 himself has the very marrow of his bones rattled with the feelings of Deja Vu. The day that he would become the marionette of the new world is coming, and upon your very arrival the world will undergo otherworldly changes.

Just what is going on in this world? Why has the switch been reset? Has The Judge forgotten everything that happened? Has the world been reversed to a state of pristine ignorance? Only you can find out, fateful puppeteer.

You will travel the world and become one with your puppet, and in your combined state you will bring the land to the closure it deserves. The fate, and the direction of that closure however, is up to the decisions you make. Choose wisely my friend, it's up to you to save their HOME.

HOME is a fangame based on, and set in, the world of Mortis Ghost's OFF. It was developed by Felix and the rest of Team HOME over the course of a year or so. It can be downloaded here.

Tropes appearing in Home include:

  • Actually Four Mooks: Mostly happens with the Burnt Elsen and the Militant Elsen, who tend to spontaneously gain allies upon entering battle. Also occasionally inverted: sometimes in scripted battles there will be more enemies in the cut-scene than you actually fight in battle.
  • Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: Zacharie's wares grow in expenses as the player travels.
  • Addressing the Player: See Leaning on the Fourth Wall. At one point done very blatantly by someone other than Zacharie when The Judge asks you to hit the directional keys to check that you're still there after what goes down in Zone 4
  • After the End: HOME takes place after the events of OFF were reset.
  • Background Music Override: All timed events that aren't mini-games have this. Also every battle in the Waltz of the Bloody Moon and the Purified Zones.
  • BFG: The Military General and the Militant Elsen turned their arms into them! See also: Arm Cannon.
  • Blood Lust: The Butcher in Zone 1, who goes at length about just how much he'll enjoy cracking your bones and slicing your flesh with his knives,
  • Bonus Boss: There are a lot.
  • Brick Joke: When you first meet Jozlyn, she asks if you have a gift for her. Much, much later in the Purified Zones after you beat Sugar...
    Jozlyn: “See Pablo? At least this lady knows how to give out gifts.”
  • Chekhov's Gun: The small shard of chocolate received from beating Jozlyn.
  • Chest Monster: Many variations of them actually, but they are found by simply trying to open impure chests.
  • Convenient Questing: The Library in zone 2 just so happens to open after you talk to Zacharie. Very convenient.
  • The Corruption: The "knowledge" spread by the Military General.
  • Crapsaccharine World: Zone 3, just like in the original.
  • Crapsack World: Zone 4. The Elsen jumping to his death when you enter is only a hint towards what's in store for you there.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: The Judge becomes very close with Alain and Jozlyn after defeating them.
    • The Guardians become much friendlier after you beat them. Dedan and Enoch especially.
  • The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: In Zone 1, there is an Elsen right across the rails that you can never get to. Normally. If you find a way to glitch the game and cross over to the other side, he has something to say. What do you mean, "Help, [Player name] has discovered a bug!"?
  • Disc One Final Dungeon: The Zone 4 Library is this, being a long level filled with difficult battles, obstacles, and puzzles (some of which are harder versions of the puzzles found in Zone 0), and being the last area before you enter the Purified Zones
  • Driven to Suicide: The Elsens in Zone 4. Some contemplate on whether or not to overdose themselves with pills, while others jump off buildings as you pass by.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: The HOME ending is this to the cats, but especially to the puppeteer.
  • Easy Levels, Hard Bosses: The game can be this at lower combat difficulty settings, because bosses are less affected by said setting than regular enemies.
  • Endless Corridor: The endless staircase in Zone 4's library, until certain requirements are met.
  • Fan Sequel: To OFF
  • Flying Books: An obstacle in the Zone 4 Library, of the "do damage if struck by them" variety.
  • Flunky Boss: The Military General will summon Militant Burnts all throughout the battle as you kill them.
  • Foreshadowing: In multiple places.
    • The first cutscene upon starting the game says "In the End...", followed by pictures of the Judge in purified zones, at the end of OFF. It then says "In the Beginning..." and the game starts. The events occurred in that order, as the world was reset After the End.
      • Further alluding to this is a book in the Zone 2 library called "Old Index". It is a faded version of the index The Batter found in OFF.
    • After the combat tutorial, the Judge berates the Batter for having stood around and done nothing when the phantoms attacked. This is because the Batter has no Puppeteer. There is no one to command and lead him through the zones. This is further hinted at various places such as the roof of the post office and in zone 2 when the Batter has no idea where to go.
  • Four Is Death: Zone 4 is...much more death-filled than the other zones.
  • Guest Star Party Member: The Batter temporarily joins your party in zone 2 on your way to the library rooftops.
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: Towards the end, you will suddenly receive several ominous error messages. It's very obvious that something inside of the game wants you to give up.
  • Haunted Technology: The computer in the basement of Zone 4's library certainly qualifies. Unique example in that someone seemingly meant to have it that way; the spirit responsible seems to identify itself as some sort of defensive program, who deletes anything organic nearby to avoid interruptions while it calculates... something.
  • Healer Signs On Early: The Judge himself learns healing moves very early in the game.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Alain seems willing to eat any living thing to sate his hunger, which unfortunately included his family.
    • The Elsen in Zone 3.
  • Impossible Item Drop: Ghosts drop claws and fangs they never had.
  • Incurable Cough of Death: The Elsen in Zone 4 all have it.
  • Inexplicable Treasure Chests: Just about any chest in the game fits this.
  • Infinity+1 Sword: There are two.
    • The Deus Ex Machina, which requires you to find the Dopefish in all five Zones before they're purified, and then defeat Felix in Purified Zone 0. It's analogous to the Ashley Bat in OFF, allowing the wielder to attack twice per turn.
    • Zacharie's Sword, which requires you to defeat Zacharie to obtain it.
  • Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence: Small blocks that will usually disappear once you've performed a specific action or solved a puzzle. Humorously, at one point in Zone 2 The Judge recruits The Batter to toss him over one of these in order to proceed.
  • Jump Scare: The Elsen that hangs himself in Zone 4. It even catches the Judge off-guard.
    The Judge: By the Queen's unholy face...
    • Just when you think you've escaped the laughing ghouls in Chapter 1 of The Courtroom, one comes flying at you down the middle of the hallway.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Even more so than in the original game. Zacharie will address your presence very often and will occasionally discuss game aspects that apply to him. You are also a frequent topic of your feline party member's discussions.
  • Let's Split Up, Gang: Part 2 of the Courtroom.
  • Lost Forever: Once you finish a zone, you can not re-enter said zone. Any items and secrets you missed can not be obtained anymore.
    • The room holding the Zodiac Orbs in Zone 3 becomes inaccessible if you're struck by Spectres in the Monorail Mini-game beforehand. Since it's a one time deal event, you can't go back and re-do it, leaving the entrance blocked and out of your reach.
    • If you fail to ride the roller coaster in Zone 2 before Valerie joins your team, it will be closed off the next time you visit. This is problematic, because you need a picture of yourself on the roller coaster to convince the Elsen guarding the Boss's office in the amusement park to let you through. This office is full of Zodiac orbs.
    • Hope you found all of the Dopefish before all of the Zones were purified! Because even if you missed just one, you can't go back to find it after a certain point in the game.
  • Mobile Maze: The basement of the mall in Zone 2, which is a different maze every time you enter until you make it to the end.
  • Multiple Endings: 3 possible, actually:
  • No Hero Discount: Zacharie has to make a living you know.
  • No Sense of Direction: You can find the Batter wandering around lost in a couple of Zones and sometimes you have to point him towards his next objective. See Foreshadowing.
  • Nonstandard Game Over: Fail to force Japhet out of Valerie's body in time. Go ahead, try it.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: We don't get to see what that Shadow does to that group of Militant Elsen or your party members in battle. But we do get to hear it.
  • NPC Roadblock: Zone 2 Park has an impassable line of Park-goers before the mall is completed.
  • Pamphlet Shelf: Every bookshelf has this.
  • Plague Doctor: The main enemies of the Purified Zones. Come in many varieties.
  • Point of No Return: A message will be displayed before every major boss battle asking if you want to continue. This applies doubly to the top of Zone 4's Library, the aftermath of which leads to the Purified Zones.
  • Punch Clock Villain: The Militant Elsen in Zone 4 only attack when they've been ordered to specifically, and there are plenty without orders you can talk to peacefully.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Your feline party certainly qualifies. You've got a Guardian, a stray cannibal, the Guardian's librarian brother, and a Cloud Cuckoo Lander dancer all on the same team.
  • Reset Button: The first cutscene upon starting the game says "In the End...", followed by pictures of the Judge in purified zones, at the end of OFF. It then says "In the Beginning..." and the game starts. The events occurred in that order, as the world was reset After the End.
  • Slept Through the Apocalypse: An Elsen in Zone 3, who promptly decides to go back to sleep after you talk to him.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Jozlyn is the only female party member.
  • The Snark Knight: The Judge and Alain are both very sarcastic.
    The Judge: (upon examining a window) Yes, that is a window...
  • Snark-to-Snark Combat: Again, The Judge and Alain occasionally.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Valerie
    • Hugo survives, depending on your actions.
  • Spooky Silent Library: Zone 4 has one.
  • Sweet Tooth: Alain. He ends up eating an entire room full of sugar.
  • The Stoic: The Batter, as in the original.
  • Tempting Fate:
    Elsen on the way to Alma: "Such a lovely ride. I really hope nothing goes wrong. That would be awful."
    Conductor: "Attention passengers: it appears monsters have boarded the train."
  • Title Drop: "This land is perfectly fine, this is the land I call home. I’ve done all I can to protect it."
    • Dropped by Hugo at the end of the game.
  • Walking Wasteland: The Shadows in Zone 4.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Valerie calls out The Judge when the player makes a certain choice with Enoch at the end of Zone 3.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: In the Good Ending's credits to show where everyone is, and that your feline party members have taken up residence with The Guardians of the Zones and are helping them to be better leaders.
  • Womb Level: In The Judge's Chapter of the Courtroom.
  • Unperson: The characters Charlotte/The Observer and Bandit were phased out of later versions of the game due to a falling out between the two creators, and their roles were replaced by The Witness and Viola.