Video Game: Our Darker Purpose

Our Darker Purpose is an Action Roguelike taking place in the Edgewood Home for Lost Children. As creepy as the place is, things get worse when the teachers vanish, leaving the children in charge. Things go extremely badly as the children divide into violent gangs fighting one another and the various horrors of Edgewood, all overseen by mysterious (and extremely mean-spirited) Administrators.

The game follows Cordy, a shy girl who survived the initial slaughter by hiding under a bookcase, and is attempting to make her way up the building. While inspired by The Binding of Isaac, it adds RPG elements — both short-term (experience points) and long-term (every run, even failed ones — and there will be many failed ones — provides credits to give Cordy new abilities), and detailed journal entries on Cordy's past and various foes.


This game provides examples of:

  • Alpha Bitch: Regan is head of the popular clique...
  • Animate Inanimate Object: to the point of Everything Trying to Kill You. There are spider-like desks, a soul-stealing chandelier, a pot of gruel, two cardboard dragons, a balloon, a collaboration of elevator parts, a grandfather clock and so on. Notably most of these possessed objects are bosses.
  • Ankle Drag: Done in a disturbing way, not that you'd expect anything less, with Cyndar's Timekeeper. A long thin chain is said to have been creeping through Edgewood before catching up to Cyndar, an orphan the clock appeared alongside on the doorstep. When it reached him, it dragged him into its gears.
  • Battle in the Center of the Mind: It's suggested from the Shuddering Jim lore that Edgewood is a reconstruction of the Bandit's Freudian Excuse, and the adults disappearing are a sign of him finally falling apart. We think. It's all quite confusing.
    • One huge clue supporting this interpretation is that while Shuddering Jim is described in-universe as a bumbling fool who is constantly mocked and only escapes death through incresingly unlikely happenstance, the excerpts you find actually paint him as a competent and resourceful if put-upon investigator with the respect of his peers who comes closer and closer to catching the Bandit every time.
  • Chaos Architecture: As one would expect given both genre and setting; and its reported to only get worse as you go.
  • Cool Old Guy: Elderly Mr. L, one of the teachers at the very beginning who's disappearance in part led to the kids taking the school
  • Chekhov's Gun: The onslaught of the quiet kids, ended with a bookcase crushing them. While Cordy survived the bookcase, it concluded with her being able to speak. Or well, throw fire at stuff.
  • Dumb Muscle: The Woundworts.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The Caring Friends.
  • Eldritch Location: Edgewood, given its tendency to animate inanimate objects and its shifting geometries.
  • Evil Counterpart: there are two; the first, A Buoyant Double, is a balloon that only somewhat resembles Cordy, and does not have any similar attacks. The second is Better Cordy, who is better in personality (nicer, prettier, etc.) and gameplay (she's stronger and faster that Cordy).
  • Evil Sorcerer: The Capulets and their leader, Reagan. Who are also the popular kids.
  • Evil Teacher/Apathetic Teacher: Almost averted actually, Many of the teachers were actually nice to the students, barring Dr.Bloodfather and the Head of Punishment. The higher ups were the ones who ignore terrible happenings, and berate students for their justified fears
  • Fate Worse Than Death: Lots of students have fallen victim to this due to the things going on in Edgewood. The Obsolete Operator is implied to be in this situation as well.
  • Flunky Boss: Gonreil hides behind her Woundworts until her fortress is sufficiently devastated.
  • Follow the Leader: The game draws heavy inspiration from The Binding of Isaac, but is a little more forgiving.
  • From Bad to Worse: The adults disappearing — as terrible as they were, they provided some semblance of order.
  • Goth Spirals: Found everywhere, most notable forming eyes for the heart above the player's health.
  • Gainax Ending: After His Natural Defenses is destroyed, Cordy finds herself exiting the building, surrounded by other Cordys, who are tearing down the fence surrounding Edgewood. As all this is happening, someone is heard laughing uncontrollably with people holding them down.
    • If you've been reading the lore, it's suggested that this is the Bandit, main villain of the Shuddering Jim series, finally cracking into useless insanity from Ax-Crazy.
  • Jerk Ass: The Administrators cannot write anything without including an insult or condescending remark.
  • Jerk Jock: The Woundworts, especially Goneril.
  • It Came from the Fridge: The Cauldron of Yesterdayers, a vat of leftover gruel that comes to life and tries to kill Cordy.
  • "It" Is Dehumanizing: The Administrators call Cordy "it" instead of "she" when not directly talking to her.
  • Lemony Narrator: The antagonistic Administrators also provide descriptions for items, floors, and upgrades.
  • Oh, Crap: When you approach the Highest Library, where the Administrators await, their usual snarky narration is replaced by genuine fear.
  • One-Winged Angel: After being defeated as a large being made of paper, The Administrator melts into the floor and becomes His Natural Defences in a paper vortex.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Dr. Bloodfather. While his powers are somewhat what you'd expect from a vampire, his position is what makes him different. He apparently became one after his own experiments, and when they got around to him, the Administrators decided to promote him to Dean of Sciences for causing people to disappear.
  • Kids Are Cruel: The slaughter of quiet children by Regan and Goneril in the intro being the clearest example.
    • The Gifted are more so, creating dangerous mechs and directly working for the Admins.
  • Les Collaborateurs: The Gifted were selected by and willing to work for the Administrators.
  • Man-Eating Plant: A Leafy Overlook, a four-armed plant creature that appears to be what caused some children leading a parade to disappear.
  • Meaningful Name: Specialist Fenwick's name is the same as the music composer for the game, Nate Fenwick Smith.
  • Mini-Mecha: Steampunk style ones used by the Gifted.
  • Multiple Endings: Three "bad" endings and a "true" ending. In the same vein as The Binding of Isaac, reaching the "bad" endings unlocks more parts of Edgewood.
    • Ending 1: Cordy defeats Goneril and takes her place as leader of the Woundworts. She becomes far more brutal and tyrannical than Goneril ever was, and is eventually assasinated by a new girl who is heavily implied to be a second Cordy.
    • Ending 2: In her final moments, Regan uses the last of her power to trap Cordy in her lunchbox. Afterwards, a new, cheerful Cordy is seen becoming the new leader of the Capulets.
    • Ending 3: Cordy seemingly defeats the Administrator, only for him to use the last of his strength to viciously bludgeon her to death.
    • Ending 4: The same as ending 3, only Cordy dodges the Administrator's attempt to bludgeon her, prompting him to transform into His Natural Defense. Cordy defeats this new creature and finally escapes Edgewood for good, watching hordes of Cordies tear down the school as maniacal laughter is heard.
  • My Little Panzer: Most of the Broggs utilize some sort of kids toy to combat Cordy, from jacks to bubble blowers.
  • My New Gift is Trying to Kill Me: The Arrival Day Gifts, a boss. None of the kids want these things not because they're lame, but because much like everything else in Edgewood, the gifts are very deadly.
  • Orphanage of Fear: Edgewood was terrible when the adults were around, with students often dying to neglect and various inanimate objects become possessed. It's only gotten worse in their absence.
  • Plague Doctor: In the Malady Ward boss fight, there appear to be two ghostly Plague Doctors named Specialist Fenwick. According to the entry, they were intended to heal student ailments, but spent untold time doing something involving burlap dummies hanging around. They walk about the room as their burlap dummy patients attack you, and need to be hit while tending to a fallen dummy.
  • Power Floats: Regan, as well as some of her underlings.
  • Roguelike: Though unlike most, it has a metagame allowing one to unlock new tricks.
  • Rule of Symbolism: Since everything is highly implied to be taking place in the Bandits diseased mind, lot of elements from his encounters with Stuttering Jim are found in the Orphanage Cordy travels through.
    • The orphanage is a nightmarish reflection of his experience in one as a child, with hardly any friendly children and him being weaker than most, The Bandit viewed it as a place without hope where the ones in charge allowed whatever terrible things happened to happen without taking action. Similarly, the teachers were the only nice people in his life (judging from the lore where Jim Goes to get background info on the Bandit and meets a nice retired teacher that he had) and as such protected his mind with kindness, while still being useless to the orphans.
    • The names of the different books Cordy reads passages from have names that never really have anything to do with said passage itself like "the Case of the Walking Clothing" (The Malady Ward's Specialist Fenwick, who is nothing but clothes) and ''The Case of the Madman's Stew" ( Cauldron of Yesterdayers). In addition elements from the Orphanage can be found everywhere in the Shuddering Jim passages, be they environments, characters, plot devices, etc.
    • The Best Friends, three harsh bullies at the Bandits old orphanage, are repeatedly made reference to, notably as three of the main characters Cordy, Goneril, and Regan. each is antagonistic in their own way:
      • Goneril and Regan are the main bosses of two of the sets of floors, each heading a negatively-viewed faction of kids and turning on some of their followers. aside from that they appear in Shuddering Jim after being mentioned directly in the form of a tarot card-like trick.
      • Cordy Is the quiet one of The Best Friends, but she's she's more antagonistic to the villains and monsters of the story, she repeatedly is shown to make bad decisions on subsequent play-throughs, such as taking up Goneril's place as Woundwort Leader and being worse than her. In the Tarot-esque card trick, she's described as "the ringleader" of the three prisoner cards. In addition she seems to represent the Chemical In the last few chapters of Shuddering Jim, destroying the defenses of his mind
    • The Caring Friends are his literal Inner Demons, as they have no rhyme or reason even by Edgewood standards at all and are never hinted at in Shuddering Jim lore.
    • His Natural Defenses are actually Exactly What It Says on the Tin, it is The Bandits absolute last line of defense in his mind, only linked to Edgewood by the mysterious papers that are mentioned repeatedly in Edgewood Lore.
  • Serial Escalation: Predictably, as you go through play-throughs, the game gets longer and more difficult. This is also referenced in Lore entries, where Edgewood is reported as becoming more and more strange and dangerous. (I.E. - Frothy the Dragon begins eating children more frequently, and desks being to grow out of flowerpots.)
  • Shoutout To Shakespeare: Cordy, Regan, and Goneril are named after the three daughters of King Lear. Lear himself gets a smaller shout out in the form of Mr. L.
    • The title itself is a line from the same play where Lear is talking about splitting the land into three kingdoms.
  • Stealth Pun: a dark version, the Cordy clones at the end take down the fence surrounding Edgewood, as in, they are literally tearing down defenses.
  • Super Fun Happy Thing of Doom: Anything with a pleasant-seeming name can be safely expected to be malevolent, dangerous, or at least unpleasant, but special points must go to the Caring Friends.
  • Taking You with Me: Regan upon defeat, tries to entrap Cordy in her lunchbox by using a fake Administrator. first play through it happens in, it works, the second time Cordy remembers and runs off before it can be done.
  • We Used to Be Friends: According to an overheard conversation, Goneril, Cordy, and Regan were once friends.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: A later Shuddering Jim passage reveals the Bandit to have been brutally bullied at an orphanage he lived in, mainly done by a trio of girls called The Best Friends. This apparently led him into increasingly dangerous criminal activity, doing such things as theft, murder, and light mad science.
  • X Meets Y: The Binding of Isaac meets a Tim Burton movie.
  • You Kill It, You Bought It: The first time Cordy defeats Goneril. Though she meets the same fate some time thereafter.