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Video Game: Underhell
Underhell is a mod for Half Life 2. Its first release was on March 5, 2011 containing the Prologue. The second release was on September 1, 2013, containing the first Chapter. A number of developers of NH2 are currently developing this mod.

In Underhell, you assume the role of Jake Hawkfield, a SWAT officer who has recently lost his wife in an apparent suicide. The Prologue takes place one week after this, with Jake responding to a call to a hostage situation at a local hospital. However, it quickly becomes apparent that there is something bigger than a random act of terror going on. Chapter One picks up shortly after the events of the Prologue, with Jake arriving at the mysterious and top-secret A.R.C. complex. Shortly after Jake's arrival, a mysterious virus begins to spread out of control, zombifying nearly the entire population of the complex, save a few security guards and civilians who he must team up with to survive.

Underhell's gameplay is split up into three sections including the main game: The House is a horror-themed adventure where Jake must uncover the secrets of his house and shed light on the mysterious circumstances surrounding his wife's death, all the while being stalked by her ghost. The Dreams are a series of puzzles where Jake explores his own mind and uncovers the memories of his mysterious past.

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The mod's official site can be found here


This game provides examples of:

  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: Matthew,Bryan, and Jake go through one. Angelo lives in one deep inside a well.
  • Acid Trip Dimension: The dreams in the House.
  • Acting for Two: Many of the voice actors are re-used.
  • Action Prologue: The Prologue
  • Adult Fear: When Angelo walks into the House when Jake is in the forest. Jake finds Angelo in the Bedroom, but Jake's Wife pulls him into the Bathroom.
  • An Axe to Grind: Can be used by Jake.
  • Ancient Conspiracy: Matthew and Takeo are members in one.
  • And I Must Scream: Angelo's body is dead, but his mind did not leave his corpse, forcing him to exist in an abandoned sewer as a sentient zombie. Jake's wife may have put him out of his misery, however...
  • Anyone Can Die: Damn. Jake's guardian, Frank, is killed in the prologue. Every member of the surviving security team in Chapter 1 except for Bryan dies as well.
  • Apocalyptic Log: Angelo's audio logs show the steady decline of both his mind and his body. There are also a number of PD As in Chapter 1 that fit this trope.
  • Asshole Victim: The Mook that tries to gas Jake at the end of the Prologue.
  • Bath Suicide: How Jake's wife died.
  • BFS: Igor wields one.
  • Big Brother Bully: Bryan appears to be this to Junior at first, however it is just his way of trying to keep Junior out of danger.
  • Body Horror: Angelo's body is slowly falling apart and by the time of the game is mostly held together with whatever he could find in the sewer he got dumped into. All of this is described in excruciating detail in his audio logs.
  • Bolivian Army Ending: Subverted near the end of Chapter One.
  • The Can Kicked Him: Angelo is presumably killed by Jake's wife in this way.
  • Conspiracy Kitchen Sink: Matthew infers this when he is revealed to be part of an Ancient Conspiracy.
  • Coup de Grāce: Jake gives Igor one.
  • Crapsack World: According to Michael, the country is scared because of the events of the Prologue. Zombies are seen terrorizing a city at the start of Chapter 2.
  • Cue the Sun: Invoked by Bryan to kill Igor.
  • Decade Dissonance
    Bryan: I always wonder. This place is in like the twenty third century technology wise, but we make people sign these damn fuckpoints with a pen and paper. You tell me, hey, you tell me, doesn't that seem a little contradictory to you?
    Guard: Uh, I don't know.
    Bryan: And what the hell is that big box supposed to be, huh? Shit man, even my grand mama, rest her soul, had a God damn plasma screen TV.
    Guard: Hm, I guess our applications do not require more advances hardware?
    Bryan: No shit.
  • Despair Event Horizon: His wife's death means Jake has already crossed this by the time of the game.
  • Driven to Suicide: Believed to have happened to Jake's wife.
  • Drone of Dread: Often accompanies scares in the House.
  • Elaborate Underground Base: The U.D.R.C. complex and the A.R.C. facility.
  • Elite Mooks: Ito's men has several of these. They can briefly turn invisible and have much more health than the average mook.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: Junior/Alex prefers being called by his real name. Almost nobody does this
  • Escort Mission: At one point, Jake needs to escort a cypher. It does a poor job at following you, and this is lampshaded by Ben.
  • Foe-Tossing Charge: Jake does this when chasing Frank's killer.
  • Final Solution: When Code Red happens, Ito's PMC kills everyone in the contaminated area without high enough clearance.
  • Fission Mailed: Twice. The first is at the end of the Prologue. Jake is captured and gassed. Instead of dying, Jake breaks out and kills everyone in the UDRC through unknown means. The second one is near the end of Chapter One. Jake is again captured and gassed. Jake still escapes, but does not escape like he did in the Prologue.
  • From Bad to Worse: After the Hermit saves Jake from being gassed, things go downhill really quickly. Ito's men storm the safehouse and kill most of the survivors. Various attempts to escape the facility lead to Matthew's, Eric's, and Junior's deaths, with Ben and Terry implied to be dead, leaving Bryan and Jake the only survivors of the group.
  • Gatling Good: Jake uses one at the end of Chapter One.
  • Genre Shift: The Prologue is a somewhat over-the-top tactical shooter. Chapter One is survival horror.
  • Guns Akimbo: Jake uses two pistols to fight Danko.
  • Haunted House: Jake's house.
  • Hell Is That Noise: There's a certain high-pitched "Weeeeeeeeeeeeeew" noise in the soundtrack that seems to indicate a horde approaching.
  • Hero Killer: Igor and Ito
  • Heroic Mime: Jake. This is lampshaded by almost every character at least once.
    • Played with in the video chat scene. While the person on the other end opts to use his mic, Jake chooses to respond by typing.
  • Hidden in Plain Sight: A seemingly unimportant PDA written by Ryan Miles has the words MATTHEW DAWN if one looks at the first letters of each line. Presumably, Matthew received a copy and found the secret; this is how Matthew knew what book he wanted Jake to look for in his side quest.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: A Mook tries to kill Jake with gas at the end of the Prologue. The gas transforms Jake, and he escapes contaiment. Everyone in the UDRC is then killed by Jake.
  • Hollywood Darkness: The nights in The House.
  • Hope Spot: The group of survivors are a room away from escape. Matthew goes to check the entrance, and the team is ambushed by Ito, killing Matthew in the process.
  • Hostage Situation: One happens in the Prologue.
  • Hyper Space Arsenal: Averted. Jake can only carry five weapons.
  • If We Get Through This: Bryan tells Junior that he will get him a Power Punch if they escape. Junior is killed by Igor shortly afterwards.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Angelo.
  • Implacable Man: Igor the Butcher and his brother Victor are completely invulnerable to the player's weapons. The player must use the environment to kill them.
  • Jump Scare: Several in the House. Most notably the attic scare. Usually comes complete with a Scare Chord.
  • Just Before the End: The beginning of Chapter 1 for the ARC Facility. The Prologue for the City.
  • Lonely Piano Piece: Jake's wife plays a haunting one in a flashback at the end of the Prologue. In addition the piano in The House may start playing one of its own accord
  • MacGyvering: Jake can pick up helmets of dead Mooks and turn them into armor.
  • Madness Makeover: Angelo, during his transformation into a sentient undead.
  • Mentor Occupational Hazard: Frank.
  • Mind Screw: The rest of Chapter 1 after Jake escapes the A.R.C. Facility.
  • Never Found the Body: Michael's body is missing when the interrogation room is attacked.
  • Next Sunday A.D.: The tutorial is in 2011, but the Prologue and Chapter One occur in September 2013.
  • No OSHA Compliance: Several of the lab room late in Chapter 1, though this trope is used to solve a puzzle. This log found nearby summarizes nicely:
    PDA: I understand the principle of sucking the oxygen out of a room in order to extinguish a fire without the use of water, but whoever designed the system forgot that human beings need oxygen to live.
  • Ominous Music Box Tune: The music box in the bedroom, although it can be repaired to become less ominous-sounding. However, either way it will occasionally start up on its own.
  • Player Headquarters: In Chapter 1, the security team survivors start out in a small room with a radio. Later, they move to a cluster of rooms nearby where a shooting range is located.
  • Playing with Syringes: Ito deliberately exposed hostages and ARC personnel to the virus to find a cure. It didn't work though...
  • Police Brutality: A prison guard will hit you in the beginning of Chapter One if you lag behind the one you're following.
  • Private Military Contractors: Ito's PMC are one of the two enemies of the game.
  • Redshirt Army: Jake can build a small one consisting of Eric's team and the Level 1 survivors. They die when Ito attacks them near the end of Chapter One.
  • Run or Die: Happens several times when you have enemies and nothing to fight back with.
  • Posthumous Character: Jake's wife.
  • Psycho Strings: The bathroom scare where "She" chases you around the house, Grudge-style.
  • Sanity Slippage: Angelo. By the time Jake meet him, he repeats "I'm sorry!" continuously.
    • Heavily implied with Jake at the end of chapter 1.
  • Shared Universe: Has one with Nightmare House.
  • Shout-Out: In one of the phone calls in the House, when a dyslexic man is talking about the arrival of the military after the Prologue's conclusion in the City.
    Man: Oh ho ho! Holy shit! It's Apocalypse Now out there! Hey, hey man seriously you are not gonna believe—
  • Tactical Suicide Boss: Igor the Butcher and his brother Victor cannot be killed conventionally. The player can lure them into attacking supports and walls which open up the way to kill them.
  • Take a Moment to Catch Your Death: Matthew when the team attempts to escape via surface access.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: One of the PD As say that the scientists who worked for Project Posteeus had to work with Project Terminus's personnel because Posterus was shut down. The two groups have trouble trusting each other because of this.
  • Terrible Trio: Royce is the lead of Ito's lieutenants, with Marcus and Danko serving as the rest of the trio.
  • 'Tis Only a Bullet in the Brain: Jake somehow survives a bullet to the head at the end of Chapter 1.
  • Title Sequence: Happens at the start of each Chapter.
  • Too Awesome to Use: Radiocrackers. They work as mines that attract enemies, but the Hermit gives you your only supply.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Junior and his Power Punch energy drinks. Bryan can frequently be heard arguing with him over how unhealthy they are.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: After rescuing a group of survivors and bringing them to the safe room, Jake can rescue additional survivors. Terrance rewards you with his revolver if you save enough.
  • What the Hell, Player?: Killing someone before you're allowed to raid the hospital will cause Frank to order SWAT to shoot Jake. Although the player is doomed to be killed by infinitely respawning SWAT, this is the only way for the door that leads to lots of ammo and an RPG to open near where the player arrives in the level.
  • Woman in Black: Jake's wife at night. She is considerably more hostile than her day counterpart. She looks like Kayako and has the same model as Emily.
  • Woman in White: How Jake's wife manifests when she's in a good mood.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: Zombies take over a significant portion of the A.R.C. Facility and are seen terrorizing a city in the first few minutes of Chapter 2.


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