Video Game: Knytt Underground
"Knytt Underground is the biggest game I've ever developed and is the first game where I feel that I have a story to tell. It's about the big questions; trying to understand life and our place in it - and failing completely."Knytt Underground
is the sequel to Knytt
and Knytt Stories
by Nicklas 'Nifflas
' Nygren. It is the first game in the series to be sold commercially, and the first to appear on consoles.
Hundreds of years in the future, humans have vanished from the Earth and the planet's surface is believed to be uninhabitable. Various races of tiny creatures such as sprites, tails, fairies, and pixies (collectively known as "knytt") have established thriving societies in underground tunnel networks, often using remnants of human technology to their advantage. The game is divided into three chapters:
- Chapter 1: The player takes control of a mute sprite named Mi, who wishes to travel to a fairy fountain where the fairies will grant her wish to be able to speak.
- Chapter 2: Control switches to the ball from Within A Deep Forest. He meets a fairy named Rob, who christens the ball "Bob" and accompanies him through the underground.
- Chapter 3: Mi has been chosen to ring the six Bells of Fate, said to be the only way to avert The End of the World as We Know It, maybe. The player can switch between Mi and Bob at any time with the press of a button - using the pair's unique abilities in tandem is the only way to reach many areas on the map. Mi is accompanied by the fairies Dora and Cilia, who do all the talking for her since she's mute. But will ringing the Bells actually save the world, or is it just silly superstition?
The game retains the classic Metroidvania
gameplay of its predecessors, with the player guiding Mi through the underground to collect items, complete quests, and find and ring the Bells of Fate. Yes, quests: as you progress through the game you'll meet NPCs
who may give you tasks to complete (usually finding an item or another NPC), often rewarding the player with more items to be used elsewhere. However, unlike Knytt Stories
, the items you collect generally don't give you new abilities; instead, you trade them to the gatekeepers who guard the Bells, allowing you access to them.Knytt Underground
was released on December 18, 2012 on PlayStation 3
and Play Station Vita
, with a PC and Mac release following on December 22. A Wii U
version was also released in December of 2013. Download the demo here
This game has examples of:
- After the End: Humans are gone and the surface is (supposedly) uninhabitable.
- Amnesiac Hero: The first NPC you meet informs Mi that she is one. Mi immediately tells you the NPC is lying and moves on.
- Anti-Frustration Features: While save points are somewhat scarcer than in its predecessors, dying will take you back to the start of the screen you died on rather than the last save point you used.
- Backtracking: And lots of it!
- Beneath the Earth: The entire game, though it manages to be quite colorful.
- Blackout Basement: The "Infinite Darkness" area at the bottom of the map.
- Bragging Rights Reward: Pretty much all the achievements/trophies.
- Brutal Bonus Level: Figure Space and the Mini Figure.
- Canon Welding: Establishes that Knytt and Within A Deep Forest are set in the same universe as Saira.
- Cargo Cult: Knytt have some very interesting views on human technology, with some believing it to be divine.
- Cluster F-Bomb: Cilia swears enough to net this game an M (PEGI 16) rating!
- Continuity Nod: Apparently, Kyntt Underground occurs a thousand years after Within A Deep Forest, another game by the same creator. The (disarmed) bomb is still in the underground lab.
- Creator Cameo: Nicklas himself appears as the narrator.
- Easter Egg: A hidden level where you play as Juni.
- Eternal Engine: Some machinery left by humans is still functioning.
- Flip Screen Scrolling
- Fusion Dance: When Mi and Bob get into the machine at the end of Chapters 1 and 2 respectively, they merged in the ensuing explosion. In Chapter 3 you can switch between controlling Mi or controlling Bob.
- Future Imperfect: With all these human artefacts lying around, you'd think more people would understand their purpose.
- A hair dryer is either a ray gun or a laser and must be destroyed.
- Various glyphsnote are interpreted by the Internet as symbols such as mountains or a full moon, but only one person in a remote cave ever considers the possibility that they might instead represent sounds.
- Good Angel, Bad Angel: Dora and Cilia. More accurately, "nice idealistic fairy, snarky cynical fairy". You can choose which one speaks to NPCs in many dialogues.
- Heroic Mime: Neither Mi nor Bob can speak.
- Hidden Elf Village: The pixie village in Crystal Path. You can find lost pixies and bring them back to it. There's also a tail village hidden under the map.
- Another one near the bottom of the map where the locals hide a music player from both the Myriadists and the Internet.
- Humanity's Wake: Humans are referred to as an extinct species.
- Invisibility: The purple power-up makes you invisible for a few seconds.
- Killer Robot: The main enemies of the game.
- Mind Screw: The Disorder, a very trippy dimension.
- Mythology Gag: There's a brief reference to the fan-made Knytt Stories level "Don't Eat the Mushroom".
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Because Bob stopped Dr. Cliche's bomb, the human war came to pass. The result is a Crapsack World on the surface, constant earthquakes, lava and acid, Saira being the last human left in her timeline, etc.
- No Ending
- Nostalgia Level: Some of the levels have the same basic appearance and/or music as from previous games in the series.
- One-Hit-Point Wonder
- Opening the Sandbox: Chapter 3.
- Parasol Parachute: You can't actually use it, but one quest tasks you with finding Juni's umbrella from Knytt Stories.
- Powerup: In the form of colored balls of light. Different colors confer different abilities, but only for a short time.
- Ridiculously Cute Critter: Everyone.
- Rip Van Winkle: Bob the Ball had apparently been asleep in Dr. Cliche's lab for a very long time, until he decided to leave.
- Save Point: 60 total. The game keeps track of how many you find.
- Save The World: What you're trying to do.
- Scenery Porn: Now in HD!
- Straight Gay: Cilia.
- Super Drowning Skills: Averted; Mi can walk through shallow pools of water without getting killed, and the only pools deeper than that have robots in them that will electrify the water and kill you.
- Two-Part Trilogy: The first two games had an Excuse Plot. This game, however, has a very detailed backstory with many characters who have dialogue, and explains how all the previous games (including Within a Deep Forest and Saira) tie together.
- Underwater Base: The one from Within A Deep Forest reappears here, albeit with a vastly different layout.
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: From Mi to Bob and back again. Bob can no longer turn into different kinds of materials, though.
- Wall Jump: Mi can climb walls and will stick to them as long as you don't press down or away from the wall.
- Warp Zone: The Disorder.
- What the Hell Are You?: Bob's very existence is quite the shock to others.
- Wide Open Sandbox: And probably a bigger one than both previous Knytt games put together!