Video Game / The Forest

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/the_forest1_1657.png
Remember to kick back, relax, and enjoy your flight.
On your way back from a trip in New York, your plane crashes, leaving you as the possibly sole survivor of the wreck. The child seated next to you is gone and taken by the island's local people, and it's now your job to survive on your own, with any means necessary.

The game is a mixture of the Survival Sandbox and Survival Horror genres, with the challenge being to juggle resource gathering and protection from the local mutant population.

Developed by the four man team at Endnight Games, The Forest was first announced back in May 2013, and opened to Early Access on Steam a year later. As of 2017, the game continues to be actively developed, with regular updates adding new content, increasingly impressive levels of polish, and new reasons to wear your brown pants.

A PS4 port was announced back in December 2014, but since there's been no news of it since, it's presumably stuck in Development Hell.

Examples you'll encounter in The Forest:

  • Artificial Brilliance/Artificial Stupidity: Early on, the AI for the cannibals was quite simple: They were programmed to flee if a leader is killed, possibly flee upon being hurt, follow and intimidate the player, and call for reinforcements. Path-finding and attacks were also rather simple. As development has progressed, however, the AI has become increasingly advanced, sometimes eerily so.
    • You know how that patrol has been just watching you from the woods for the past couple days? Today they attack because you've started to ignore them.
    • Chased a lone cannibal into the woods? Say hello to his three friends that just circled around behind you while he runs off to get reinforcements.
  • Artifact of Doom: Whatever they found that gave Sahara Therapeutics the power to bring back the dead has a rather nasty-ass side effect of turning them into warped monsters.
  • An Axe to Grind: The game includes a couple of axe-like weapons. The first weapon/tool found in the game is a crash axe that got lodged in the stewardess' chest.
  • Bald of Evil: Male cannibals don't have any hair. Some females also lack hair.
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy:
    • Some male cannibals walk around without loincloths and have a totally smooth crotch. The implication is this is part of the mutations. The human corpses in the mass grave are nude and anatomically correct.
    • Zigzagged with the topless female cannibals, whose nipples are clearly visible. Lady cannibals who spawn without loincloths, however, reveal they're lacking some parts below the belt too.
    • Also averted with the Spider mutants. At least one of the fused bodies in it has an atrophied vulva.
  • Body Horror:
    • The Octopus and Spider mutants, dubbed Armsy and Virginia, which have multiple limbs. Especially creepy since each one appears to be made of several conjoined bodies.
    • In the Sahara facility, there are glass-fronted observation chambers, mostly filled with the mutated corpses of test subjects. One of the rooms, however, is almost completely filled with an enormous mass of dead flesh covered with eyes and limbs. Whatever happened to that subject must not have been pretty.
    • What happens to Megan Cross and later Timmy. Being the games's Final Boss, the former twists into a monster that resembles tree limbs.
  • Border Patrol: The Peninsula in which the game takes place is bordered on 3 sides by shark-infested ocean, and on the North by impassible, snow-covered mountains.
  • Boring, but Practical: An easy way to survive early on is to simply set your walls up to where the only way a Cannibal can enter is through a campfire or firepit, then watch them light on fire as they charge at you. This works well until they start attacking your walls.
    • As many players discover, the default axe is a bit weak but it's sturdy, right there when you start, and a Jack-of-All-Trades weapon and tool.
  • Bottomless Bladder: There are fatigue, hunger, health and temperature meters, but no need to relieve yourself.
  • Cannibal Tribe: The primary antagonists of the game.
  • Celebrity Survivor: You learn from background details and collectibles that your character is a celebrity survivalist. The ending reveals his name as Eric Leblanc.
  • Came Back Wrong: Megan. She still looks like a corpse, what with her blue skin, the nasty back wound that killed her still there, she murders her father by sticking crayons in his eyes in an Ax-Crazy moment, and then she sprouts loads of tentacles and twisted legs out of her mouth and goes on a killing rampage. It's likely the same fate will befall Timmy.
  • Checkpoint Starvation: The "finale" of the game, starting from the cave that leads to the sinkhole all the way through to "what lies beyond the sinkhole", takes a good hour and a half to two hours to complete, with no save points in between. It is possible to create a save point inside the sinkhole, but doing so requires at least 2 rather long trips to the sinkhole as you cannot bring enough sticks to the sinkhole to build a temporary shelter in one go.
  • Covered in Mud: Being covered in mud decreases the chances of being spotted by cannibals, however the camouflage can be washed away by rain.
  • Cruelty Is the Only Option: at the end of the game, in order to bring your dead son back to life with the ancient artifact, you are forced to shoot down another airplane using the same weapon your own plane was shot down by, in order to grab some other unfortunate schmuck whose life you can exchange for your son's. It's entirely pointless cruelty, anyway, as said son ends up living on borrowed time, so you've basically just killed an entire plane's worth of people in exchange for your son living just a bit longer before transforming into a horrific abomination and being put down.
  • Deadly Euphemism: Oddly enough, the name for a certain trap was changed within the first day of Early Access. Of course, this example isn't about the old name but the new one: the "Happy Birthday" trap... yeah. It gives you quite the surprise.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: the sinkhole. Nothing says "end game goal" like a gigantic pit of ominous doom.
  • Downer Ending: You sacrifice another plane full of innocents in order to save your son, but at least the two of you managed to escape the island and get back to civilization. Then a year passes, and the game abruptly ends as you realize your son is about to "pop" just like the Final Boss did...
  • Elite Mooks: Pale cannibals are significantly tougher than the regular versions; they tend to show up more often the more you piss off the cannibals, and also have a significant presence in the endgame areas.
  • Eyeless Face: The "Cowman" mutants have malformed faces with empty eye sockets covered with skin... but it doesn't slow them from finding you. The mutant babies have the same problem.
  • Fetus Terrible: Malformed babies can be found in several caves.
  • Fission Mailed: If you get killed by the cannibals for the first time in a new game, you won't get a game over. You'll wake up in a cave littered with dead passengers, with a good amount of loot. Sadly, dying at any point after this (even if you're still in the cave) and it's a game over.
  • Final Boss: Megan Cross, a little girl turned mutant.
  • Flare Gun: Can be used to set both animals and cannibals on fire.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: The octopus and spider mutants are referred to as Armsy and Virginia by the notes and fans.
  • Full-Frontal Assault: Some male cannibals fight naked, and female cannibals fight topless.
  • Gotta Catch Them All: There is a counter which increases each time you find the corpse of another passenger.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body: You can use a cannibal's severed limb as a weapon. They also can be used to create effigies that can scare away the cannibals.
  • Human Resources: Assuming the cannibals are human, this is what using their body parts for effigies is for. It keeps them away, showing that you can take them on. Or do the opposite and attract more.
    • If you draw enough attention to your base and butcher enough cannibals, said cannibals will start putting up effigies in front of your base themselves. It's probably best to get rid of them, though, because besides being unsightly, they also generally tend to draw more cannibals, and even mutants in greater numbers.
  • Humanoid Abomination: The Octopus and The Spider are weird... human-things. The game's wiki describes them as two or more people put together with a good dosage of extra limbs... There's a reason the wiki refers to them, and the cannibals, as mutants.
    • Then there are the dead creatures in the secret lab, as well as the Final Boss, which are straight-out Lovecraftian horrors.
  • Hyperactive Metabolism: Eating some mushrooms make you recover health and energy, but for a very low amount.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: The cannibals got the name for a reason.
  • Improvised Armour: Your armour is increased by wearing layers of lizards' skin. Or bones wrapped together with cloth.
  • Infinite Flashlight:
    • The lighter. It emits a very short-ranged light and must be lit several times per minute, but doesn't run out of gas.
    • A lit Molotov cocktail being held is an infinite source of light, too. They actually emit more light than the lighter.
  • Infinity +1 Sword: The flintlock pistol. There's only one in the game and you need to find 8 pieces scattered around the map to build it, but it's very powerful, being a firearm.
    • Awesome, but Impractical: Though it's not that powerful considering how much trouble you have to go through to get it. It's inaccurate past about a dozen feet or so, takes 2 shots to kill a Pale cannibal, and the reload time is incredibly long (it's a flintlock pistol after all). There's also only about 20-30 bullets for it throughout the entire game. It's better against larger, slower, tougher enemies such as mutants and the final boss.
  • Item Crafting: With the ease of the survival book, you just need to gather the resources needed to craft a weapon, a nice house, or a trap.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: There's one somewhere on the island, of course. At one point it was an Infinity +1 Sword, but as development marches on it's been demoted to Disk One Nuke
  • Kill 'em All: Possible but difficult, for brief timespans. There are only so many mutants on the island and enough bloodshed will see them all dead... at least until they replenish their numbers.
  • Loin Cloth: Worn by some of the cannibals. The rest are running around completely naked (though they have Barbie Doll Anatomy).
  • MacGyvering: It is possible to create a bomb by combining a circuit board, a wristwatch, a few coins, and some booze together.
  • Molotov Cocktail: You can make one by combining a small alcohol flask with a rag. As said above, it makes a good light source and can deal good damage against tougher mutants and cannibals.
  • Notice This: Items that can be directly picked up or interacted with glow or have an icon hovering above them. The exception being natural resources (trees, bushes, live animals), that don't show anything like this before being ready to be harvested (cutting a tree, killing a rabbit, etc.)
  • Not So Different: Dr. Mathew Cross and the protagonist are both working to save a loved one, and doing terrible things in the process.
  • One-Hit Kill: Leader cannibals can do a powerful uppercut, that not only sends you flying, but can kill you instantly. If you haven't been caught, it'll knock you out. If you did get caught prior to that, have a nice flight. However this can be averted with armor.
    • As of now, Spiders can easily do this to a player without any armor.
    • The two more common mutant types will be insta-gibbed by the rope swing trap. A player wearing bone armor won't take nearly as much damage, but it's best not to be in the way when the trap starts swinging.
  • Offscreen Start Bonus: After you've recovered from the crash, you'll be guided into taking the Plane Axe from the dead stewardess, and run on your merry way. If you take your time to search what's left of the plane, you could rack up some useful things. Of course you better hurry...
  • Press Start to Game Over: If you don't leave the area near the plane crash, it'll soon be crawling with cannibals. Better pack up what you need and run.
  • Reality Ensues: Many examples.
    • As it turns out, not all random berries and mushrooms you find in the woods are good to eat...and the differences between edible and non-edible plants are often subtle.
    • It's also a good idea to wash your hands after getting covered in blood. Preferably quickly, and before eating.
    • And you shouldn't run around in the dark while soaking wet.
    • And raw meat doesn't stay good forever in your backpack.
    • And just because a crazed cannibal set tennis balls on fire and threw them at you doesn't mean it's a good idea to do the same.
    • And while putting heads on pikes is an effective means of intimidation, it also tends to escalate hostile relations...
  • Robinsonade: The core of the game. Harvest food and various material (leaves, rocks, sticks, etc), scavenge things, build shelters (you actually can create actual camps with customized walls) and tools, make fire.
  • Scare Chord: A couple of eerie piano notes are played when a nearby hostile cannibal is about to attack, and then several times during the ensuing fight (until one of you dies or the enemy eventually flees).
  • Sequence Breaking:
    • Many of the caves have a particular entrance that takes you straight to the key item/unique weapon without having to fight your way through all the cannibals and mutants inside. However, you'd have to know exactly where they are to take advantage of them, either by reading the wiki or having played through the game previously.
    • It's possible to get to the bottom of the sinkhole without having to find and travel through the long, particularly difficult cave that leads there. All you have to do is build a zipline across the sinkhole and drop down in the middle of it so you land in the pool of water in the middle of the sinkhole.
  • Skeletons in the Coat Closet:
    • Some cannibals act like some kind of leader or shaman and wear skulls (which emit light).
    • Bone armor is craftable, and provides considerably more protection than lizard hide.
  • Sprint Meter: There is a fatigue meter which depletes when you sprint or use a weapon, then automatically replenish in a couple of seconds. The fatigue meter is directly linked to the energy meter (the fatigue cap being the current energy level), which gradually decrease unless you eat, drink, and sleep.
  • Story Breadcrumbs: Early in development, the premise was mostly an Excuse Plot hinted at by the opening cutscene, summarized by "you just survived a plane crash on a forest island inhabited by cannibal tribes. Survive." As development has progressed, however, an increasingly intricate story involving the fates of several previous island inhabitants is being added in the form of magazine clips, photos, and sketches scattered around the island. Then you enter The Very Definitely Final Dungeon and things take a turn for the weird.
  • Super Strength: Armsy mutants are freakishly strong as they can knock down fully grown trees by swinging their arms, forcing the player to fight on the ground or lure them away from their tree-houses.
  • Survival Sandbox
  • Ten-Second Flashlight: The plastic torch is a flashlight with short autonomy.
  • Terror Hero: You can be one of the intimidating variety if you so choose. Its actually possible to simply scare off most day-time mutant groups (assuming they aren't instantly hostile) by simply holding your ground and not breaking eye-contact. This can backfire if you scare them badly enough to call for backup.
  • Throwing the Distraction: Throwing rocks and tennis balls can distract nearby cannibals if they haven't spotted you yet.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: Both of the special mutants are shown in a trailer.
  • Tribal Face Paint: Worn by some of the cannibals.
  • Undead Child:The Final Boss starts out as one before turning into a warped Humanoid Abomination, and the same goes for Eric's son too.
  • Was Once a Man: The endgame reveals that the mutants were once human, with the extremely mutated creatures apparently being children who were brought back to life by the artifact. It's not clear if the normal mutants are mutated children as well, or adults who were injected with genetic material from the children as part of Sahara Therapeutics' experiments in human longevity. It seems most likely that they're the grown-up version of the mutant babies the mutated children spawn.
  • Whole Plot Reference: Some fans might have seen it already, but numerous story elements confirm the game is, in part, this to Lost.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/VideoGame/TheForest