Video Game: They Breathe
They Breathe is an indie game developed by The Working Parts for Xbox Live and the PC. It's a short game, taking no more than half an hour to complete, but it's a remarkable study in atmosphere.You play as a frog who swims down into a submerged forest where something strange and terrible has happened.
They Breathe includes examples of:
- Atop a Mountain of Corpses: The parasite queen is surrounded by hundreds of dead frogs and half-formed jellyfish monsters.
- Bizarre Alien Reproduction: The jellyfish apparently start life as some sort of aquatic plant. And then there's the fact that they're made from frog corpses...
- Not entirely, real jellyfish do reproduce like that◊, minus the frog corpses anyway.
- Body Horror:
- The 'moose-jellyfish' that chase you throughout the game are actually Necromorph-style corpse-monsters built from the remains of dead frogs. This is most evident when you look closely at their 'heads' and 'tentacles' (frog bodies and frog limbs, respectively).
- The queen parasite rests Atop a Mountain of Corpses, and expels its buildup of oxygen through the lungs of the frog cadavers fused with its body. 'They Breathe', indeed...
- Cannibalism Superpower: The "Jellyies" obtain the ability to exhale excess air once they become "Mooses", although it seems they then become dependent of oxygen.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: A little green frog manages to kill an Eldritch Abomination at the bottom of the lake.
- Dissonant Serenity: Look closely at the "heads" of the jellyfish. The assimilated frogs sport rictus grins.
- Eldritch Abomination: The parasite queen at the bottom of the lake, a creature capable of fusing itself with frogs in order to use their lungs to expel oxygen from it's body, and is somehow linked to the creation of the jellyfish monsters found throughout the game.
- Game-Breaking Bug: On rare occasions, the final boss will simply not spawn! Even worse, the developers have no idea what causes this.
- Good Colors, Evil Colors: Healthy frogs, including the player, are vibrant green. Dying frogs and the creatures that hunt them are a sickly brown.
- Hoist by His Own Petard:
- One way to defeat the jellyfish is to let them grab you, then struggle your way into an air bubble.
- This is also how your little frog deals with the final threat: tricking the jellyfish into stealing heads from their queen.
- Kick the Dog: You can rescue your fellow frogs by bumping them into air bubbles, but you'll probably end up snatching air bubbles from them, or shoving them into the paths of the jellyfish to escape.
- Losing Your Head: The jellyfish can trade 'heads' back and forth whenever they touch. This is the key to slaying their queen.
- Shout-Out: The title is a reference to They Live!.
- One of the achievements: "Echos of The Past" is unlocked by jumping out of the water at the beginning. Like a Dolphin. Fitting, considering the similar atmosphere these games share.
- Sugar Apocalypse: Something very bad has happened to these cute frogs...
- Video Game Caring Potential: You can help your fellow frogs by guiding them towards air bubbles...
- Video Game Cruelty Potential: ...or use them as bait for the jellyfish.
- Weaksauce Weakness: The jellyfish have an explosive weakness to air.