Video Game: Heart of Darkness
Heart of Darkness
is a Cinematic Platformer
developed by Amazing Studio for the PC and Playstation
The game revolves around a boy named Andy with a fear of the dark, who during a solar eclipse gets his dog Whiskey mysteriously kidnapped by a dark force. Determined to get his best friend back, he sets out in his spaceship to retrieve him from the alien Darklands
to where he was taken.
The gameplay revolves mostly around puzzles, precision jumps, and predicting the environment. Often you'll have access to a weapon, but in some areas you'll be unarmed and have to resort to have to either avoiding your enemies or turning their Malevolent Architecture
Although the game retains an E rating, the game contains a wide array of rather gruesome ways Andy can be killed; and as the infinite amount of lives presented to you suggest, you WILL get killed
Not to be confused with the Joseph Conrad
novella of the same name
, or the Victoria II expansion pack
Heart of Darkness provides examples of the following tropes:
- Airborne Mooks: The flying shadows.
- Aliens Speaking English
- All Just a Dream: According to the ending.
- Amusing Alien: The Amigos are a whole race of these, who eventually help Andy to rescue his dog. They act just as goofy as they look, and even for late '90s CG they look particularly silly.
- Asleep in Class: The very start of the game, Andy being woken up during a lecture by his Evil Teacher.
- Bloodless Carnage: Possibly the only reason that the game is rated E.
- Body Horror: The Amigos cannot touch the ground in the Darklands around the Master of Darkness' lair. One of them gets too tired to fly, and the moment he lands he's turned into a shadow monster. If that wasn't enough, the other Amigos yell at him to go away, since it's too late to help him.
- Child Prodigy: How many kids do you know who invented their own makeshift lightning gun and spaceship? (Well, besides Commander Keen...) Judging by the ending, all this stuff may or may not have just been in his imagination.
- Cinematic Platform Game
- Conservation of Competence: The dog wasn't the one supposed to be kidnapped.
- Cutscene Boss: The Master at the end.
- Dark Is Evil: Darkland, Dark kingdom... yeah.... The whole darkness theme might be from Andy's fear of the dark.
- Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: Infinite lives, for a perfectly good reason.
- Death World: Getting crushed by rocks, falling into lava, falling off cliffs, being crushed by giant fossils, the ground crumbling beneath your feet, being generally loathed by all its living inhabitants....
- Dramatic Irony: Used in one of the Amigo cut-scenes.
- Everything Trying to Kill You: The plant life, the underwater creatures, the dark beings, the environment, shadows cast by the environment...
- Evil Overlord / Evil Sorcerer: The Master
- Evil Teacher: The Master looks a lot like Andy's mean teacher, and has the same voice.
- Excuse Plot: A largely unexplained one anyway (for example, why did the Evil Overlord want to kidnap Andy in the first place?); though the end suggests it was All Just a Dream.
- Family-Unfriendly Death: There's almost no blood. However, many of the deaths involve broken and dislocated bones with a properly sickening crunch as a monster pulls them loose, or flesh getting torn off.
- Fission Mailed: After losing the power granted by the meteor while deep inside the enemy caves, you have to get eaten by the Giant Mook in order to retrieve your plasma gun the monster had eaten earlier.
- Floating Continent: There is what looks like an upside-down mountain floating above the world, where live the "Amigos". Weirdly, it has inverted gravity compared to the main land — if you fall from the mountain's edge, you go UP into the sky. If you reach the mountain's "top" (its bottom from a non-inverted viewpoint), then you're claimed back by the gravity of the earth and fall down.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar:
- The Amigo shaman is clearly smoking something with psychotropic effects.
- A snuck-in pin-up of a female... alien.
- Just the deaths. All the deaths. Even with the lack of blood, it makes one wonder if the ESRB even looked at the game before giving it an E rating.
- Green Thumb: A beneficial side-effect Andy receives from touching an illuminated underwater rock.
- Just Eat Him: Late in the game, Andy is inevitably swallowed whole by a Giant Mook. This looks like an endgame but isn't, because the toad-like monster had earlier swallowed Andy's plasma riffle... and the hero can recover his weapon in the mook's stomach and blast it from the inside. Oddly enough, if you get eaten by the monster just after it eats your lightning gun by the start of the game, you die.
- Life Energy: Whatever powers Andy gets from touching the glowing green rock act something like this. He can use it to cause seeds to sprout into vines for him to climb, stun wildlife by overloading them with it, and flat-out vaporize shadow monsters.
- Lightning Gun
- Ludicrous Gibs: You won't see any blood, but you're still going to see yourself die in a wide variety of gruesome ways. Being literally disintegrated is actually one of the least horrific ways you can die in the game.
- Made of Iron: Andy manages to be both this and a One-Hit-Point Wonder. A lot of things can kill him, but he can still drop several times his own height with no ill effects and hold his breath for far longer than even a normal adult could.
- The Many Deaths of You: See Ludicrous Gibs, above.
- The Master: The villain.
- Mooks but No Bosses: Because you will have your hands full enough with all the things that want to see you dead.
- Nintendo Hard
- One-Hit-Point Wonder: There is no Life Meter. Everything just instakills you. The game makes up for it though by giving you save points and unlimited continues.
- Or Was It a Dream?: According to the credits.
- Our Wormholes Are Different: How Andy travels to the Darklands.
- Power Glows: The Magic Stone's green glow.
- Rube Goldberg Device: Andy's treehouse elevator.
- Scenery Porn: Beautiful but deadly environments.
- Spiritual Successor: To Another World.
- The Starscream: The Master's pink servant. The Master has to destroy the glowing green rock when his servant brings it to him when he suspects that it's giving him... ideas, and eventually he starts plotting with Andy to put it back together and destroy him (though he's obviously plotting to backstab him once it's complete).
- Super Drowning Skills: Averted. Unlike most video game characters who can drown, Andy can hold his breath for a surprisingly long time, though he can eventually drown if you don't go up for air.
- A Taste of Power: Your start the game with a lightning gun and spend the first few screens using it to kick monster ass. Then it's swallowed up by another monster, leaving you unable to fight. Not that you'll let a little thing like that stop you... You eventually do recover it near the end.
- Title Drop: "Are you ready now to face the Heart of Darkness?!"
- Total Eclipse of the Plot