Video Game: The Night Of The Rabbit
Nothing is impossible in a day of summer vacation.
—Marquis de HotoThe Night of the Rabbit
is a 2013 point-and-click Adventure Game
developed by Daedalic Entertainment
and designed by Matthias Kempke, who is known for the indie game What Makes You Tick: A Stitch in Time
Jeremiah "Jerry" Hazelnut is a 12 years old boy who dreams to become a magician. He is on summer vacation, which it is going to end in just two days. Jerry is visited by the mysterious rabbit Marquis de Hoto who invites him to Mousewood
, a fairytale-like place populated by colorful sentient animals
, where he will be trained to be a magician.
The game starts very innocent and light-hearted, but there are signs that something somber is going on...
The Night of the Rabbit contains examples of:
- Ancient Tradition: Treewalking, which is the art to use trees to travel between different worlds, times and possibilities.
- An Astral Projection, Not a Ghost: Jerry at first thinks the Magician of Mousewood is a ghost.
- Arc Number: The number four appears throughout the game. Jerry visits four different worlds through four portals; he learns four different spells; four foreign lizards come to Mousewood and Zaroff creates the curse on the First Tree by driving four nails, each made of a cursed metal, into its bark. The real Marquis de Hoto also carries 4 swords.
- Astral Projection: Is one of the powers of the old magician A. Molena.
- Big Bad: The Great Zaroff, who was the last apprentice of the real Marquis de Hoto.
- Carnivore Confusion: Averted. In Mousewood there is a law that states "if it breathes, it is not food".
- Catch Phrase:
- "Nothing is impossible", by Marquis de Hoto.
- "We have arrived. We will be the solution.", by the lizards.
- Chekhov's Skill: How to make a carrot flame.
- Civilized Animal: The inhabitants of Mousewood.
- Collection Sidequest: Getting the dewdrops, the quartet cards, the stickers and the audiobook stories.
- Constructed World: Mousewood's world.
- Darker and Edgier: The story starts as a innocent quest of kid pursuing his dream, but after Jerry learns his 5th spell the game the story takes a sharp darker turn and his quest becomes more personal. More specifically, the Big Bad casts a curse in Mousewood and Jerry is thrown to his home just to find out that he had been missing for years and that his mother is no more around (possibly dead). On the top of that, his father has been expelled from Jerry's world, erased from everyone's memory and is lost in the space between worlds.
- Dark Reprise: The music of each one of the four acts of the Big Bad's play is a twisted version of a background music you heard before.
- Darth Vader Clone: The real Marquis de Hoto.
- Despair Event Horizon: Facing their darkest flaws in the Mirror of Shadows planted in both the Marquis and Zaroff seeds of darkness that gradually corrupted them.
- Disappeared Dad: Jerry's father is nowhere to be seen in the opening sequences of the game. This is made into a plot point very later in the game. Actually when the memory of Marquis de Hoto entered Jerry's world, this forced Jerry's father to exit the world and even the memories about him were erased from the other people.
- Door to Before: After you cure Steinberg's sickness, he tells you about a shortcut to Tree Trunk Café which is in a tunnel next to his bed, saving him from a long trip back to Mousewood. Jerry wonders why he wasn't told before about itnote .
- Drunk On Coffee: One of the guests of the Hares' party, a brown mouse with hat, is drunk with coffee.
- Dude, Not Funny!: In-universe example. Zaroff mocks Jerry that he won't see his mother again, when the player clicks on the Christmas tree in the fourth act of his play. The audience instantly sides with Jerry and boos at Zaroff for bringing his mother into this.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: Despite all hardships (see Darker and Edgier above), Jerry manages to get one. He overcomes his fears, defeats the Big Bad, restores his father back into his world, returns back to his own time and place in time from dinner and is greeted by both of his parents.
- Entendre Failure: Jerry, being 12, doesn't get some of Ludwig's punchlines.
- Evil All Along: While The Marquis De Hoto is very friendly and kind the real marquis turned cruel and almost evil many years before.
- Evil Sorcerer: The Great Zaroff.
- Expy: Marquis de Hoto to the rabbit from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.
- Face-Heel Turn: The Great Zaroff and the real Marquis de Hoto, both of them prior of the game events.
- Fairy Tale Motifs: The story premise — a kid following a rabbit into a magical world — is reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland.
- Fetch Quest: Getting the ingredients for the medicine and the cake.
- The very first scene of the game shows an important place that you will visit very later on.
- The posters in Jerry's room show some places where you will go during the game.
- You see posters of The Great Zaroff very early in the game, but it will take a while until you learn more about him.
- Forgotten First Meeting: The Marquis only has a slight Dejavu upon seeing the wood sprite in the old magicians home despite encountering him in the beginning of the game.
- Freudian Excuse: The Big Bad after losing his ability to travel across worlds just wanted to regain the attention of an audience in his magic shows.
- Ghibli Hills: The city of Mousewood.
- Glory Seeker: This is among the motivations of the Big Bad The Great Zaroff, who hypnotizes the Mousewood people so they can watch his show.
- Green Thumb: Jerry learns a spell that allows him to make plants grow.
- Guide Dang It: The chain of actions you need to accomplish to get enough Blue Juice for the festival might get you stuck at one or two points, at least. Special mention goes to passing through Humbert for the second time. solution .
- The dewdrops and stickers scattered through Mousewood are often either tiny or blend with the object they are on. On top of that, some can't be clicked at anymore after certain events have taken place.
- Heroic BSOD: Jerry has one when he returns to his world just to find that he had been missing for years, his house is abandoned and his mother has possibly died after searching for him for a long time.
- Hero of Another Story: Zaroff and the real Marquis de Hoto, before their Face-Heel Turn.
- The Hero's Journey: Jerry's journey is this. He departs from his world, he is initiated is magic so he can return to his home.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: In the fight against the Big Bad the nails that he used to curse the First Tree with are used by Jerry to counter and seal away his magic for good.
- Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence: Used literally to prevent you from getting into the wood dwarves' house, Hares family garden and their birthday party.
- In the End, You Are on Your Own: Played with. Before entering the 5th portal to go after the Big Bad, Jerry states this trope verbatim, however his friends Kitsune and Plato arrive and go with him. But they disappear right after Jerry get to the other side. Fortunately Jerry eventually finds them.
- Ironic Echo: Marquis de Hoto's catch phrase "Nothing is impossible" is used by the real (and evil) Marquis de Hoto in the very last scene after being told that he cannot escape from his seal.
- Jackass Genie: The leprechaun Jerry meets. Jerry wishes to be successful, and he is turned into an Italian plumber with a mustache.
- Kitsune: Is a character of the game.
- Lampshade Hanging: Jerry ponders at first about the giant pumpkins, but he states that it is no surprise considering that he is in a world with talking mice of his size.
- Leit Motif: All of the Magician characters - de Hoto, Molena, and Zaroff - have a theme tune that is a variation on the main menu music.
- Loads and Loads of Characters: Dozens of them, each one with a distinct personality.
- Lost in Translation:
- Ludwig the mole's radio ident in the original German is "Welle Sumpf 103 Punkt Funf … fünf!" — intentionally mispronouncing the word fünf ('five') to sort of rhyme with Sumpf ('swamp'). In English, this is changed to "Swamp Radio 103 Point Six…er…five", transforming the radio presenter from one who's fond of bad puns to one who can't remember the number of his own station.
- In the game the character Kitsune's name (which mean fox in japanese) is oftend prounced Kitsu-Na, while the true japanese pronunciation is Kitsu-NEY.
- Malevolent Masked Men: The mysterious strangers around town.
- Mass Hypnosis: The magic of the four cursed nails seeps through the First Tree into all connected worlds. Everybody affected by the curse gains an intolerable compulsion to gain a ticket to see 'The Great Zaroff's' show.
- Mini-Game: The quartets card game, which is played like Go Fish.
- Mysterious Stranger: The wood sprite upon first meeting him and the various strangers Lizards
- Mysterious Watcher: The wood-spite often does for inspiration for his stories. Kitsune also does this in the forum of a statue
- Noodle Incident: The old magician A. Molena gets trapped in one of his own magical bottles. He used said bottles to catch one of the lizards, but then opened one of his own, although he knew that whoever does so gets sucked into it.
- Obviously Evil: The lizards (poorly) masquerading as humans creep out everyone who sees them, in-universe. They're only able to start convincing people to take them seriously once Zaroff starts working his magic.
- Ominous Fog: Occurs twice in the game.
- Paper-Thin Disguise:
- The lizards with human masks that you find through Mousewood.
- You use a pair of ethereal wings to get access to the moths place.
- Physical God: The stone statue you find at the North Pole is hinted to be one.
- Playable Epilogue: You get to talk with Mousewood's inhabitants during the credits.
- Point of No Return: It happens twice.
- After you enter the 4th portal. Right before that, the game is kind enough to warn you that things won't be like before once you come out and that if you are still looking for something you should not enter yet (all the sidequests become unavailable from this point on and Mousewood's citizens will be cursed).
- After you enter the 5th portal for the endgame scenario. You will not able to return until the Big Bad is defeated.
- A Pupil of Mine Until He Turned to Evil: The villain Zaroff to his mentor Marquis de Hoto.
- Reptiles Are Abhorrent: The only reptiles in the game proper end up being evil. Kind of uselessly evil if they hadn't had Zaroff's power, though.
- Averted in the audiobooks included with the game, which feature several non-evil reptile characters.
- Ret Gone: Jerry's father
- Ridiculously Cute Critter: Mousewood's citizens.
- Scenery Porn: The game shows two distinct art styles - one for the gameplay, one for the narration of background story and for the quartet cards -, which ressemble the illustrations of a children's book. Characters, settings and items are all hand-drawn.
- Sequel Hook: Even though Jerry's journey is self contained, the game leaves a few open threads. The high priestess of the moths is yet to arrive, the crow attacks have not been sorted out (though the backpack mouse, who disappeared early on the game, seems to be going to do something about it), and the real Marquis de Hoto might have or might have not escaped his imprisonment.
- Shout-Out: At some point a leprechaun turns you into a plumber with a mustache and Italian accent.
- Late in the game, in the area past the 5th portal, Jerry sees an image of and makes a remark about a suitcase being packed with a bolt cutter. This is part of the very first puzzle in Deponia, another game produced by Daedalic Entertainment.
- Early on in the game, you have to deliver a letter to A. Molena. Sent by one M. Calavera, travel agent.
- Start of Darkness: A. Molena relays in a very well animated sequence how the Big Bad came to be the person they are in the game. It's also the story of how his mentor, the Marquis de Hoto, lost his way.
- Troll Bridge: Happens twice in the game. In both of them Humbert is guarding the bridge and demands an absurdly high amount of money in order to let you pass.
- The Storyteller: The woodsprite. If you find him at night in Mousewood, he'll give you one to listen to.
- The Power of Rock: Kitsune and Plato use this to free the townsfolk from Great Zaroff's dream. It's another version of the Night of The Rabbit theme.
- Title Drop: Happens during the ending with the Working Title "The Rabbit's Apprentice".
- Tomato in the Mirror: The Marquis de Hoto you meet is not the real one, but just a memory of the real one.
- Unexpected Gameplay Change: The Big Bad The Great Zaroff is fought in a Wizard Duel Boss Battle.
- Used to Be a Sweet Kid: The Big Bad Great Zaroff.
- Villainous Breakdown: The Great Zaroff has one after being defeated.
- World of Funny Animals: The world where Mousewood is. Or it at least is what it seems at first. Late in the game, while you are on the top of a tree, you see what looks like a human city, suggesting that Mousewood it is actually a Mouse World.
- World Tree: The Clearing Of The First Tree.
- Year Inside, Hour Outside: Thanks to Portal Tree magic, Jerry's adventures in Mousewood can last for days, even weeks, but only half a day at most passes by back in his home world. This is even addressed when Jerry tells the Marquis that he needs to be home by dinnertime. However, when the Big Bad puts his plan into motion and things start to go horribly wrong, Jerry is temporarily sent back to his own world several years in the future.