"The dignity of the dead or our own lives. Which do you think is more important?" — Maylee
You wake up inside a dark, creepy, abandoned facility. You've lost your memories, there are traps everywhere, and bodies are turning up left and right. The only starting clue you have to your identity is a single name, ominously written in red: Theresia.Theresia: Dear Emile is a Survival Horror game for the Nintendo DS. Players take the role of the story's protagonist and must navigate through a complex facility, progressing further by solving puzzles and utilizing various tools, all while avoiding numerous hidden traps. In addition, players must gather clues that will help them recover their lost memories.The game is split into two parts. Dear Emile puts you in the role of a young girl and her tragic relationship with her foster mother. Dear Martel places you in the role of an adult male and his path to atonement.This game provides examples of:
The Alcoholic: Franz and the protagonist of Dear Martel are drinking buddies. Maylee join them, and even gives booze to her plants.
Apocalyptic Log: Written by both protagonists (in their respective stories) and other characters. Finding the scattered pages is fundamental in recovering their memories.
Armies Are Evil: The behaviour of the army Emile is a member of. Also, the army who came to collect samples in Dear Martel.
The Atoner: The main protagonist of Dear Martel. Maylee also has shades of this, given that the two of them created Epicari.
Body Horror: One orphan infected with Epicari attempts to sew every hole in his body. Maylee cuts herself when she's infected.
Break the Cutie: The protagonist of Dear Martel. He returns to his grandfather's orphanage after ten years at the behest of his little sister. He becomes foster father to the children there, becomes friends with the other doctors, fixes his relationship with his sister, and continues research for treating illnesses. Everything seems picture perfect. Then it all goes south...
Chekhov's Gun: A beautiful melody often plays during flashbacks of Dear Martel. It is from Martel's music box, which was playing as the protagonist, her brother, killed her.
The name "Theresia" is introduced very early in both chapters. Neither character knows what it means until they learn that it is Emile and Martel's last names, and the name of the red beads, since it was made with their DNA.
Conveniently an Orphan: The war claimed the lives of Leanne's parents when she was barely a year old. Subverted when Emile (who was part of the enemy nation) finds her in the rubble and adopts her.
Country Mouse: Franz never felt at home in the city, and jumped at the invitation to work at the orphanage in the country.
Everything Trying to Kill You: The facility you're trapped in is covered from head to toe in traps. Emile set the traps so that Leanne could never leave in Dear Emile, while the protagonist of Dear Martel set them so that he'd suffer for his sins, as he wouldn't remember setting them due to being infected with Epicari. In addition, the normal disrepair of the buildings in both settings is quite hazardous.
Innocent Blue Eyes: Martel and the protagonist of Dear Martel both have blue eyes. They are siblings, after all. The protagonist seeing his blue eyes calms him down. The latter's could be innocent or demonic, depending on interpretation.
It's All My Fault: Martel's brother blames himself for creating Epicari. So does Maylee.
Insane Equals Violent: Maylee and Martel's brother, when infected with Epicari. She's self-violent, he completely snaps and murders Martel when she steps on a bug.
Love Makes You Dumb: Maylee says this word for word after she has sex with Martel's brother. During the end of Dear Martel, and later during Dear Emile, she still holds to this philosophy, though she did end up loving two people, Martel and her brother, of whom Leanne and Emile remind her of.
Meaningful Name: Theresia is the name of the cure for the Epicari virus. Named after Martel Theresia since her DNA was needed to complete the cure. This is later done with Emile, who also has the same last name.
My Beloved Smother: Emile with Leanne, where she forbids her from leaving home as well as talking with other people.
The protagonist of Dear Martel is only 'slightly' less depraved, but he loves and wants to hug a corpse covered in the Theresia beads.
No Name Given: The protagonist of Dear Martel. He is the brother of the titular Martel.
Only Sane Man: The only character who isn't completely insane is Maylee and possibly Sacha. The latter of which is killed gruesomely. Even the former has her moments, although this was when she was infected by Epicari, which drives people insane.
Too Dumb to Live: Sacha. Not a good idea to put your gun down when facing an utterly up-the-wall-crazy woman who has killed dozens, if not hundreds, of people and tried to kill you once already.
The Virus: The Epicari virus. The first stages include memory loss. From there, it worsens to peculiar behaviour, varying on the individual's own nerouses. It soon culminates to suicide, but not without mindless murder. To make things worse, the bodies of the victims will turn purple after death, meaning the virus is spreading and is now contagious. Burning the bodies helps to prevent the virus from spreading.