Video Game / Level Up

A game about personal growth

Level Up (not the trope) is a platformer in a vaguely similar style to Achievement Unlocked. The Girl has to explore her world and level herself up in order to help The Boy that recently crash landed in her backyard. She can only stay up for so many hours before she has to return home to sleep.

The game is available at Newgrounds here.

Tropes used in this game include:

  • 100% Completion: Doing so unlocks a demo of the sequel, Gather Up.
  • Action Girl: The Girl.
  • Actual Pacifist: The Girl is this, due mainly to not having any attacks.
  • Amnesiac Dissonance: The Boy seems like a nice guy with a bit of memory trouble. And he is. The Girl, on the other hand...
  • Battle in the Center of the Mind: The Nightmare.
  • Beneath the Mask
  • Cast of Snowflakes: Every NPC has a unique sprite and Character Portrait.
  • Character Portrait
  • Collision Damage
  • Compensating for Something: The "Tyrant" enemy, according to its description.
  • Continuing Is Painful: Dying during the day takes away 60 seconds of exploring time.
  • Darker and Edgier: The sequel, Gather Up, seems to be this, and also plays more like a traditional Metroidvania.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Lampshaded with The Boy.
    The Girl: Spiky-haired guys always have a dark and troubled past.
    • It's actually The Girl whose past is truly dark and troubled.
  • Deadpan Snarker: The Girl has some hints of this. For example, when Finger's McGee says that The Girl doesn't want to know how he got his hands on the Dash sneakers, she throws out this gem:
    The Girl: Probably because that'd make me an accessory to it.
  • Elves vs. Dwarves: The Squarians versus the Roundites, sort of. There's also a third race, the Hexies, who didn't want to participate in the feud between the other races, and moved as far away from them as possible.
  • Foreshadowing: The Nightmare levels up too, because she's The Girl's suppressed memories.
  • Gotta Catch Them All: Little gems, big gems, skills, codex entries, and resetted levels.
  • Guide Dang It!: The Nightmare
  • Idle Animation: More are available the more one levels up.
  • Jump Physics:
  • Last Lousy Point: Depending on who you talk to, it's either trying to beat the game on the first day, or defeating the Nightmare with a level 1 relationship.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: The Boy. It's so bad, many of his levels are sent to level zero. The Girl has a form of this that can only be fixed through the computer.
  • The Law of Conservation of Detail: Some names are shortened when entered into the CODEX. The Squarian character "John Freeman's Ghost", for example, is written into the CODEX as just "John".
  • Level Drain: This happens at the start of every new day with your levels. Averted with the sleep levels and any skills you have gotten. If you defeat the Nightmare that night, you don't lose your levels.
    • Fortunately, your levels regain a lot faster than if you'd just started the game on Day One.
      • This is a stat you level up, seriously
  • Level Up: Many things are leveled up, from taking damage to sitting around to leveling up.
  • Level-Up at Intimacy 5: By donating gems to the Boy, you become more and more friendly with him, which increases the Girl's heart level, and in turn her life meter, for a maximum of eight hearts.
  • Meta Guy: Brains the Squarian; his metaness is even essential to completing your CODEX. He does have enough sense not to tell the Girl how the game ends, though.
  • Mercy Invincibility
  • Metroidvania
  • Mood Whiplash: The battle with the Nightmare.
    • Within the first few minutes of the Gather Up demo, you'll come across a large number of bloody corpses with their heads ripped off.
  • No Fourth Wall: Most of the cast, though not to the extent of the above-mentioned Brains.
  • Non-Action Guy: The Boy. He's The Hero in Gather Up.
  • Noodle Incident: We never find out exactly how The Boy came to be an amnesiac, but there is one strong possibility: In the flashback at the end, it reveals that The Deity had The Girl's memory erased because she was seeking a power strong enough to destroy him. Presumably, something that powerful actually exists or The Deity wouldn't have bothered trying to keep her away from it. It may be that this power got to him, took him out, and wiped his memories clean.
  • The Omniscient: Brainy knows everything...including that a player exists who is controlling The Girl's movements:
    The Girl: So do I purchase it?
    Brainy: You make a choice, determined by another's actions.
  • Orphaned Series: Unfortunately, despite the first game's popularity, and the surprisingly good alpha builds of the second game, the game's creator was unsatisfied with where development was going, and "put it on the back burner" back in 2010.
  • Platformer With RPG Elements Mechanics Verse: The Boy outright states that the reason he can't do anything useful is that the crash brought all his useful skills to level 0.
  • Puzzle Boss: The Nightmare.
  • Relationship Values: Not hidden.
  • Rhymes on a Dime: Hulker the Roundite.
  • Sudden Downer Ending: The game ends with the truth of The Girl and Boy's identity, which has a fight break out between the two. In an otherwise meta and comedic game, this is very jarring.
  • Tactical Suicide Boss: The Nightmare's rock attack.
  • Timed Mission: Explore all you can before you have to go to bed.
  • Troubled Backstory Flashback
  • Tomato in the Mirror: The ending reveals that The Girl is actually a Dark Action Girl obsessed with power. She lost her memories when she tried to defeat the Deity, the most powerful being who had "surpassed levelling". The Nightmare is her subconscious, furious at her failure.
  • Tomato Surprise: The Boy is the Deity.
  • Samus Is a Girl: The Nightmare.
  • Signpost Tutorial: The tutorial is given through touching speech bubbles with question marks inside them, that lay on the ground.
  • Super-Powered Evil Side: The Nightmare, more or less.
  • Vapor Ware: Due to the developer's job and programming difficulties, Gather Up has become this.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: The Nightmare. What, you thought this was going to be a relaxing, easy platformer?
  • Wide Open Sandbox