Video Game: Viscera Cleanup Detail

Have you ever played through a first person shooter or watched a sci-fi movie, seen somebody be reduced to Ludicrous Gibs and think "Boy, I feel sorry for whoever has to clean that up"? In Viscera Cleanup Detail, that "whoever" is you.

Viscera Cleanup Detail is an indie first-person simulator game, developed by Runestorm and early released in April 2014. In this game you play as a janitor that's been sent to clean up after major battles in various space stations and such. No problem, you say? Not when the said area is one giant mess of body parts, gore, blood, shell casings, and rubbish. You are judged by how well you clean the entire place up.

There are two side games, Viscera Cleanup Detail: Santa's Rampage and Viscera Cleanup Detail: Shadow Warrior. In Santa's Rampage, you are tasked with cleaning up the bloody aftermath of a North Pole workshop following Santa's rampage, while Shadow Warrior has you cleaning up the temple's interior from the retrospective game's first level following Lo Wang's skirmish through it.

Viscera Cleanup Detail provides examples of:

  • Accentuate the Negative / Ungrateful Bastard: Try to leave the tiniest, most barely noticeable smear of blood or whatever, or just about anything that doesn't result in the place being 100% spotless, and the fellow co-workers will give you a feedback that makes you look like the worst employee in the world. If the place isn't cleaned up in at least 95%, the inspector will react as if you didn't do any cleaning at all.
  • Adminisphere: While nothing the player can do will result in a Game Over, doing a poor job will leave them with memos in their office detailing that they are being demoted, having their pay cut, their office be made smaller, and their position on the requisition wait list reduced. Contrarily, doing a good job will result in a notification of these things getting improved and an "Employee of the Month" picture to hang on their wall.
  • Alien Blood: The giblets of alien creatures tend to have greenish or yellowish blood splattered around.
  • Anti-Frustration Features
    • You can bring up the console and use cheat codes if you think you are missing something but can't find it. Also useful to getting at gibs that you can't reach.
    • Some things may prove difficult to handle (like large bodies or body parts). You can use the Welder gun to cut it down to more manageable chunks, but you have to be careful not to go too crazy or you'll leave burn marks all over the place (which you'll need to clean up).
    • The Sniffer tool can detect both organic and non-organic trash that you may have missed.
  • Brick Joke: A rather morbid one. In the options, the tooltip for the View Bob-Setting mentions that if you see Bob, you should report it to security immediately. If you go into your office and open the door with the 17-digit-code, you find a torn up janitor and two bodybags and a note written by someone named Bob, stating he had no choice but to kill that poor fellow.
  • Christmas Episode: Viscera Cleanup Detail: Santa's Rampage is this.
  • Cleanup Crew: The heroes of this game.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: If you manage to die, you'll respawn with none of your cleaning undone, unless your cause of death was being blown up, in which case, you'll then have to throw your own giblets into the incinerator.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The business end of the Sniffer tool. Take a guess what it reminds you of.
  • Epic Fail / Finagle's Law: If you neglect to leave your workspace totally spotless, something will take a turn for the improbably worse. Left a bucket sitting around? Someone trips over it and breaks their neck. Missed a bullet hole? Some poor sap's going to have a PTSD flashback and go on a rampage. Nice job breaking it, janitor.
  • Fake Difficulty:
    • Some maps tend to have giblets and blood splatters place out of reach of the player character. The problem? Until the v0.38 update introduced the J-HARM, a portable elevator platform, Viscera Cleanup Detail had no implemented ladders or similar tools. To reach them, you either have to tediously stack up several crates nearby, or if that wasn't an option, use cheat codes to fly to them. The map Athena's Wrath takes this Up to Eleven; there are several very high windows holding rubbish, blood splatters, giblets, and a Plasma Welder. The map would have been a Breather Level had the player had the proper tool to easily reach the window ledges. Made funnier by the briefing page telling you this was supposed to be an easy level. If you had a second player with you, however, you could simply stand on any object and have them lift you up instead.
    • Some maps have bullet holes camouflaged against certain wall textures a little too well; the rock walls in Unearthly Excavation and Unrefinery are examples of this.
  • Incompetence, Inc.: The company the player character works for regularly suffers from alien invasion, escaped mutant experiments, and any other set of messy blunders one can think of. Memos the player can read in their office implies that janitors are expected to do poor jobs, even the character can crank off early and count on the union to protect them (though this will not prevent their entirely meaningless demotion.)
  • Kill It with Fire: The main way of getting rid of giblets, shell casings and rubbish; you can either throw them into an incinerator, or in certain maps, burn them away with the Plasma Wielder.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: There is a blue trunk (which is yours) and you can keep anything that you can stuff into that trunk. There is an achievement that entails taking the heads of all 5 species into your office using the trunk, and the Shadow Warrior and Santa's Rampage games also have achievements that involve using the trunk.
  • Level Editor: The main game comes with one. Additionally, the v0.39 update introduced Steam Workshop compatibility.
  • Luck-Based Mission: The bucket and basket machines may randomly drop body parts that will dirty up the machine. The basket machine can get really nasty with the body parts as it can drop up to 4 body parts at a time, and it can drop multiple times in a row.
  • Ludicrous Gibs: Basically, the enemy in this game.
  • Mundane Made Slightly Less Mundane: Sure, you're still cleaning up messes as a janitor, but said messes included disemboweled corpses, chunks of dead aliens, shell casings, and blood smears.
  • No Antagonist: The aliens are long gone (and likely fresh meat) by the time you reach the scene.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Did a perfect job? Your coworkers will hate you and send you death threats in your office.
  • Scenery Gorn: The levels when you enter them are absolute messes of dead bodies, Ludicrous Gibs, bullet holes, scorch marks, overturned furnishings, and blood splatters, showing something absolutely horrific happened here. Your job is to turn that all around and leave it spotless.
  • Schmuck Bait: Do not put a lantern into a bucket of water.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Spill one too many dirty buckets? Too much gore? Sick of the job? You can clock out whenever you want, even before you clean a single thing.
  • Shout-Out
    • One of the levels contains a digital data pad with a log entry by one "Dr. Jordan Friedmann", a Theoretical Cryogenicist, who with his Dangerous Environment Vest and trusty prying bar is going to get to the facility's armory and fight back against the monsters now stalking the halls in the wake of a failed experiment. Remind you of anyone?
    • Santa's Rampage is one big shout out to "Weird Al" Yankovic's song "The Night Santa Went Crazy".
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Unearthly Excavation has several piles of TNT that appropriately explode when thrown into the incinerator or fried with the Plasma Welder. Blowing up another player in multiplayer gives you an achievement. The Santa's Rampage side game also features TNT that work in the same way.
  • Stupidity Is the Only Option:
    • Several achievements in the main game ask you to do stuff that you wouldn't think of intentionally doing. One achievement asks you to spill 100 dirty buckets, while another tasks you to track over 20,000 footprints, and another even wants you to punch out with a mess so bad that you get fired. The most ridiculous one by far asks you to get eaten by one of the pit creatures in Unearthly Excavation. The Santa's Rampage side game also gives you an achievement for blowing yourself up with TNT, as well as punching out with a worse mess.
    • If you manage to get a perfect score on the level, your character ends up being invited to a ceremony meant to congratulate them for their excellent work effort. However, during this ceremony, your character grabs the Idiot Ball and shakes hands with the station mayor without taking off his blood-soaked gloves, which results in the mayor getting a nasty infection. Because of this, the award he was going to receive is forfeit and he "only" gets an "Employee of the Month" award instead. There is absolutely nothing you can do to prevent this from happening. And this happens every time you get a perfect score.
  • Super OCD: You will probably develop this if you want to get a good score in this game.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: In Unearthly Excavation, there is a creature that looks like the Sarlacc Pit from Star Wars. You can feed it practically anything and it'll eat it. It will also eat you if you decide to jump in (in which your clone will take over the job afterwards).
  • Video Game Cruelty Punishment: However, if the above creature eats too much, it may vomit the items back out, possibly creating a big mess.