Video Game: Knytt Stories
A freeware platformer game by Nicklas "Nifflas
" Nygren, creator of similar freeware platformers such as Within A Deep Forest
and the original Knytt
. Though it only comes with one full level and a tutorial, the game has an integrated level editor and new levels are very easy to install. Several additional official levels have been released (see below), and the game has a very active fan-made level community. Tons can be found on Nifflas' forums
and on knyttlevels.com
(though be aware of Sturgeon's Law
has been billed as an "environmental platformer". Though enemies and obstacles exist which can kill your character, a tiny humanoid named Juni (whose backstory tends to change even between the official levels), the ambient/playground levels tend to be the most popular, thanks to the gorgeous music and sprite packs — both the originals and those added by the level community.
Official levels (made by Nifflas) include:
- The Machine: A puzzle platformer based around finding upgrades and exploring the world. Has a bonus ending if you find all four keys.
- A Strange Dream: A huge, gorgeous Wide Open Sandbox that can be finished in about half a dozen different ways. Contains some bonus material if you know where to look, and a secret Mythology Gag ending.
- An Underwater Adventure: Survival horror platforming (no, really). An alternate take on Within A Deep Forest where the ball never existed and has two parts — once you finish the first run, go through it again for the second half. Also features multiple endings and some very nice puzzles.
- Sky Flower: Climb upwards, float downwards.
- This Level Is Unfinished: Exactly What It Says on the Tin, hilariously so.
- Gustav's Daughter: A relatively short level with more experimental graphics, mostly built around jumping/climbing skills.
This game has examples of:
- Continuity Snarl: Enforced given that most of the content of the game is fan-created.
- Double Jump
- Enemy Detecting Radar: The enemy detector powerup makes Juni glow red when she is near enemies, though for some unexplained reason it doesn't work on mechanical ones. It also makes her glow green near entrances to hidden passages (or at least if the creator of the level puts detector alerts by the entrances...).
- Flip Screen Scrolling
- Hitbox Dissonance: Averted. Hitboxes are pixel-perfect. That thing with the spikes that extend when you go near it? You can, in theory, go in between its spikes.*
- Hologram/Invisibility: The hologram powerup makes Juni invisible and plants a decoy hologram that attracts enemy bullets.
- Invisible Block: Some blocks aren't visible until you get close to them. Some blocks are visible but aren't actually platforms. Some blocks don't even exist unless you have a certain power-up. And some blocks aren't visible at all.
- Multiple-Choice Past: Juni.
- One-Hit-Point Wonder: Juni.
- Parasol Parachute: Juni's most characteristic powerup.
- Save Point
- Spikes Of Doom
- Super Drowning Skills: If Juni touches any liquid, she dies.
- Justified when the water is colored to look like lava or acid.
- Wall Crawl
- Wall Jump
In addition to the game itself, some levels have examples of:
- Arc Words: "This is what happened next:"
- A Winner Is You: If for whatever reason a level creator doesn't change the ending of their level from the default, then it has this. The default ending is just the black text of "You Win!" on a white background. May or may not infuriate the player.
- Backtracking: Sometimes essential to complete the level.
- Bonus Dungeon
- Bubbly Clouds: Probably the most notable level using this trope is Sky Flower, which takes place entirely on a bunch of pretty clouds.
- Death Is a Slap on the Wrist
- Eldritch Abomination: Heavily implied to be the "It" of Eric Colossal's unsettling level It Waits.
- Ghibli Hills
- Harder Than Hard: So you've got levels out there that are rated "Hard" and "Very Hard", but then there's the "Lunatic" category for the nigh-impossible, only-the-most-experienced/crazy-players-should-ever-hope-to-win-this levels.
- Heroic Mime: Juni, in the original levels and most others. Several fan levels avert this, though.
- Long Title: Nifflas seems to be fond of giving the music tracks for the bonus endings these...in nonsensical German! How's "Das Fluffmuffelgebrüggenmüskinegedanken" for a mouthful?
- The Maze
- Metroidvania: Most levels are like this.
- Multiple Endings
- Mushroom Samba: The level aptly titled Don't Eat the Mushroom. If you do, you go through a series of trippy scenes from the Burger King to Tetris and The Legend of Zelda, to teleporting crazily all over the screen, to the background being Jim Carrey in the "Night at the Roxbury" skit, to pleading for help on Nifflas' forums and Juni climbing a giant version of herself.
- Mythology Gag: The alternate endings of some of the Nifflas-created levels. One of them puts Juni at the beginning of Within A Deep Forest; another makes her reenact the opening cutscene of Knytt. There's even An Underwater Adventure, which puts you at the entrance of #modarchive, in a reference to Nifflas' first two games, #modarchive story and #modarchive story 2: Operator Status.
- Nintendo Hard: Some levels have multiple difficulty settings.
- One word: Xeia. The very first jump you have to make has to be ludicrously precise, and will probably take you an age to get past.
- Once per Level: You will find an obstacle which can only be passed by running, one which can only be passed by double jumping, one which can only be passed with the umbrella...
- Rouge Angles of Satin:
- Pretty common among fan-made levels, as not everyone making them has English as their first language...and not everyone checks their spelling anyway. You're/your, to/too, and it's/its mistakes are certain to crop up (and irk the Grammar Nazi in you).
- Also: "It's SECRIT ENDING! YAY!"
- Rule 34: Or at least, this exists...
- Save The World
- Scenery Porn
- Sturgeon's Law: There are a lot of levels uploaded on knyttlevels.com, and a bunch of them are buggy, unfinished, or are just plain uninteresting and uncreatively employ the default music and tilesets to the point of abuse. There are, however, also some really, really good levels that obviously had a lot of time and testing put into them. Newcomers wondering about which ones to try should probably go here.
- Wide Open Sandbox and possibly Quicksand Box
- Woman/Girl in White:
- Juni in the original levels, and since this is her default/"canon" look, a great deal of fan-made levels.
- There is also a Knytt woman who wears a long white dress.