Beyond: Two Souls is the Spiritual Successor to Fahrenheit (Indigo Prophecy in some countries) and Heavy Rain by Quantic Dream, revealed at E3 2012. The story, covering the span of fifteen years, centers on a young woman named Jodie Holmes (modeled after and played by Ellen Page) who tries to uncover the mystery of a strange poltergeist-like presence serving as her protector as well as Nathan Dawkins (Willem Dafoe), a researcher who serves as her surrogate father. The central topic of the game is what happens to one after death. Like its immediate predecessor, Beyond: Two Souls is a PlayStation 3 exclusive.See also Kara for the tech demo produced in preparation for this game.
Tropes to be found in the game:
Abusive Parents: One scene shows Jodie's father verbally abusing her; he even flat out calls her a monster, and while talking to her mother, goes so far as to call her an "it" and a demon; at one point, he almost starts physically beating her until Aiden scares him off. As it turns out, he's only her foster father.
Anachronic Order: Justified by Jodie's experiences with the world beyond scrambling her memories of her life to the point where she has to put them on paper to make any sense of it. This is what happens in the epilogue if Jodie is still alive. Otherwise, the narrator is revealed to be Jodie's soul sharing her memories with Zoey in form of visions.
And I Must Scream: Nathan builds a machine in order to see his dead family. Only problem is that it more or less puts their souls into a state of constant pain and being unable to tell him how much suffering he caused them by doing this. He refuses to listen to Jodie and even his wife herself when she talks to him through Jodie, and he nearly causes the apocalypse trying to get them back. In the end he realizes what he's done and he does not take it well.
Happens to Jodie's real mother, Norah Gray, as well when the CIA decides to silence her after Jodie's birth. They couldn't risk letting her go to the afterlife, so they forced her into an eternal coma.
Artistic License - Geography: The section in Somalia has everyone speaking Farsi, which is not spoken anywhere in Africa. Meanwhile the game's paper-thin proxy of China, where people still speak Mandarin, is called the Republic of Kaziristan, seemingly identifying it as one of the Central Asian Republics.
Aura Vision: Aiden can see glowing auras around people. They are color-coded, indicating how Aiden can affect them. Additionally, a glowing green wisp shows up on objects that contain a particular "memory" of an event.
Authority Equals Asskicking: The Chinese commander puts up a much better fight against Jodie than any of the other mooks and thugs she throws down against over the course of her life.
Bad Future: The Beyond, Alive - Zoey, and Alive - Alone endings finish with a Flash Forward to when a massive portal has been opened to the other side and dark entities are pouring out, and only Jodie and/or Zoey can stop it.
Bald Women: Jodie sports a buzzcut upon her introduction (rather reminiscent of Kara).
Be Careful What You Wish For: Jodie always wanted to be free of Aiden and be normal. If one chooses the "Life" ending, she gets her wish, and realizes that she is completely miserable and lost without him. Ultimately subverted in three versions of the ending: for the "Ryan" choice, while Jodie is relaxing on the beach Aiden rolls a coconut over to her and scribbles the message "Still Here" in the sand; for the "Jay" choice, while Jodie is checking the mirror after making love to Jay, Aiden fogs the mirror and writes "Still Here"; and for the "Alone" choice, while Jodie sits in a hotel room watching T.V. Aiden turns off the lights, statics the T.V., fogs it and writes "Still Here".
Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Averted. Jodie suffers quite a few injuries throughout the game and spends more than one level covered in cuts and bruises. However, in the different levels and missions, she never displays any permanent scarring. Justified, as Aiden has healing abilities and is very protective of Jodie.
Berserk Button: If anyone willingly harms or tries to harm Jodie, Aiden can and will violently lash out at the offending party regardless of whether or not Jodie wants him to.
Bilingual Bonus: If you happen to know Farsi, Chinese or Navajo, then you'll understand a good portion of what some characters are saying.
Body Surf: One of Aiden's abilities. It is also implied that he can switch his connection and powers to any other person, as it is implied that Aiden is Zoey's guardian entity in the Zoey-Life ending.
Bottomless Magazines: Salim's dad sprays well in excess of 60 rounds out of an AK-47 with what seems to be a regular 30-round curved box magazine.
Broke Your Arm Punching Out Cthulhu: Deactivating the Black Sun requires Jodie to go into the Infraworld for a few minutes, which messes up her memories to the point where she begins to lose them. She manages to recuperate by piecing the story of her life back together, fragment by fragment, and writing it all down (which incidentally forms the Framing Device for the game).
Burn the Witch!: This line is dropped by the kids at the party. Jodie is also accused of being a witch by another boy whom Aiden attacks.
Bullying The Dragon: Everyone. Well, everyone evil. When it comes to the spirits, no one can ever leave well enough alone. Even after previous attempts to connect the afterlife and to reality annihilated hundreds of people.
But Thou Must: Due to the "interactive story" nature of the game, some situations always play out the same:
"The Experiment" always ends up in a panicked Cooldown Hug from Nathan, no matter how obediently you try to play Aiden.
"The Party" will have Jodie locked under the stairs in the end, no matter your choices.
In "Like Other Girls", Jodie must always possess Cole and escape from her confinement. Not that she'll always succeed.
In "Navajo", Jodie is repeatedly told not to go outside at night but will eventually exhaust all other options, and the only way to continue playing would be to do just that.
Cardboard Box Home: Played straight during the chapter "Homeless," though it's clear that this is not ideal. When a woman needs to give birth, they move her to an abandoned building for better shelter.
CIA Evil, FBI Good: The CIA is portrayed as willing to commit any kind of evil deeds for their own interests.
Cold-Blooded Torture: Jodie and Ryan suffer it at the hands of the Chinese base commander. Both have to be healed by Aiden once freed.
Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Aiden's Aura Vision is color-coded. People with blue auras—the standard color—cannot be affected directly. Orange means the person can be possessed, and red means they can be strangled. Green indicates a sickness or injury that can be healed. Purple is reserved for Jodie herself.
Coming of Age Story: Most of the game's plot follows Jodie growing up, coming to terms with being different from others, and deciding where to go from there—of her own volition.
Convection Shmonvection: Subverted. Aiden rolling a fire extinguisher to Jodie through some flames during "The Condenser" makes it hot enough that she goes "Ow!" when she tries to use it.
Convenient Coma: After being attacked by a thug, Jodie slips into one for three months. Can also be caused by being smashed by a falling girder.
Creepy Basement: Well, garage, but it fits. It's unclear on the player's first venture in there to get oil whether the creepiness is due to the evil spirits, Aiden, or just Jodie's young imagination playing with her. There is, however, an actual creepy basement in the "Homeless" chapter.
Creepy Twins: We only find out that they're twins in the game's final chapters, but Jodie and Aiden are very, very creepy- both individually and together.
Dashed Plot Line: The story consists of scenes from three main periods of Jodie's life: her troubled childhood, rebellious teen years, and the work for the CIA as an adult. The latter part takes up most of the game, but there are smaller Time Skips between scenes in it, such as several months Jodie spends in a coma, and, judging by her respective hair lengths, at least a year between her escape from the CIA and the reunion with Cole. Also, the game features a Distant Finale... sort of, it's just a vision, but Jodie says it will happen in a number of years, apparently sufficient for Zoey to grow up in two endings.
Deflector Shields: One of Aiden's powers is forming a barrier around Jodie to either deflect bullets or cushion the impact of falls. Unfortunately, they're completely useless in close quarters combat situations.
Demonic Possession: Aiden can enter the minds of people and control their bodies. Other entities can do this as well.
During "Homeless" Jodie at one point beats up a bunch of thugs that are beating up Stan. They respond later by burning down the building that the group of hobos are staying in and then hit Jodie twice in the back of the head with a steel bat, putting her into a coma.
The kids at the birthday party turn on Jodie and lock her in the closet simply because she brought an Edgar Allan Poe book as a gift.
Double Meaning Title: "Two Souls" refers to both Jodie/Aiden, and to the ending of the game, where either Tuesday's daughter Zoey faces the apocalypse with the help of Jodie's spirit or Jodie herself if she survives, or Jodie with Aiden facing the apocalypse.
Dull Surprise: The sheriff that interrogates Jodie at the beginning of the game is later shown to be rather nonchalant about standing in the middle of his HQ with the CIA task force sent to detain Jodie slaughtered.
Eagleland: Type 2, considering how the CIA is portrayed in-game.
Eldritch Abomination: The dark entities. All that's known about them is that they come from deep within the Infraworld, and that there's different types. The weakest variety resemble living shadows with Combat Tentacles, but stronger ones like Yť'iitsoh, a malevolent spirit that creates sandstorms and looks like a monstrous, legless skeleton with a fanged mouth and glowing yellow eyes, have more unique appearances.
Eldritch Location: The Black Sun's chamber is much, much larger when it is on than when it is off, and the Black Sun itself always seems to be the same distance away no matter where one is inside it.
Electromagnetic Ghosts: Entities cause significant interference with electrical devices, making lights flicker and screens display strange images. Aiden only causes it when he's angry or using his powers frequently.
Exact Words: To keep Jodie's life a secret, the CIA declared her as "stillborn" and did not survive. The "stillborn" is half-correct; they were also talking about Aiden.
Eye Scream: If you refuse to talk when captured by the Chinese military, the Torture Technician cuts out Ryan's left eye and threatens to do the same to Jodie before being called off. Ryan later tells Jodie that it was the right choice and that he would have done the same.
Far East: Republic of Kazirstan, clearly meant to represent either China or North Korea, while curiously at the same time being a -stan. If the rift map is any indication, it is located somewhere near northern China and Mongolia.
Nathan's family appears in a photo early in the game on his desk, and the camera at one point puts the photo, Jodie, and the picture of Aiden next to each other, representing that Jodie and Aiden are Nathan's key to get his family back.
There are times where Aiden can wander off during the levels, and it often hints or outright gives you tips for what to do/what is going to happen in the story. The two major examples are during the mental hospital visit to see Norah, where Aiden can go into several rooms and be confronted by mental patients who can see him (as well as one who tells Jodie directly to be prepared to sacrifice her life to save the world), and the level immediately after, where Aiden can go through the giant metal doors to find the lab where Nathan is keeping his wife and daughter captive.
Another example is during the bar scene, where, using Aiden, you can eavesdrop on the two men conversing about raping Jodie long before the game moves to that point and allow the player to escape the graphical scene.
Foregone Victory: There is no way to get an actual game over. If Jodie fails or gets captured, all that happens is an alternate escape scenario takes place which puts you back on the plotted line. You will beat the game. It is, however, possible to fail the last Quick Time Event and receive a bad ending. You still technically beat the game, but the ending isn't really much better than simply dying at any point, simply consisting of Jodie monologuing over a shadow background about how she failed and the world ended.
For Science!: The American military's plot to, invade and control the afterlife against uncountable entities they can barely contain, let alone combat, is given the flimsiest of justifications beyond, "it's more important than the space or nuclear arms race! For America!"
Freeze-Frame Bonus: In the "Homeless" chapter, while having Jodie walk around, there'll be a man reading a newspaper and if you look at the article he's reading, it's about the Origami Killer from Heavy Rain.
Gameplayand Story Integration: A rather specific example. It only occurs when playing Duo mode in the chapter "The Dinner." If Aiden locks Jodie out of her apartment, she is able to force Aiden to let her back in. When this occurs, the Jodie player has control of Aiden.
Ghost Memory: Aiden can give Jodie these from dead bodies to see what they experienced before they died.
Goth: Jodie wears very gothic clothing in one section of her teenage years in the institute.
Guide Dang It: The only way to romance Ryan involves a choice of leaving a bar in a previous chapter. Too bad there is no clear sign that tells you that you CAN leave the bar, and the chapter between Ryan's romance and the bar is one of the longest in the game.
Gilded Cage: How Jodie lives during her adolescence. The scientists let her have a comfortable, personalized room, but there are cameras everywhere, and she isn't allowed to go out much. In the finale, the government gives up on this and tries to put her in a coma.
The Hero Dies: One possible outcome of the game is Jodie choosing to go into the beyond voluntarily after destroying the condenser, rather than being separated from Aiden.
Healing Hands: To an outsider, it seems like Jodie has this power. In reality, Aiden is the one doing the actual healing.
How We Got Here: Layered within itself. The story starts with Jodie surrounded by mysterious light and trying to piece her memories together. The first memory she accesses is heavily-lined with flashbacks (within the flashback), and makes no sense until the player goes through several other chapters.
If You Won't, I Will: Jodie's dad uses this to try to get Nathan to tell Jodie that they're leaving her at the institute indefinitely.
A couple of other examples (and one that is a Mythology Gag to Heavy Rain) is the sheriff from the opening, who is the spitting image of Paco from Heavy Rain, and by extension, his voice actor David Gassman; and General McGrath, who, like the sheriff, has his appearance based off both his voice actor and a Heavy Rain character, his being the Mad Doctor.
David Cage constantly refers to Aiden as "the entity" in interviews.
When Jodie asks if her host family in the desert are Navajo, they point out they prefer to call themselves Dineh.
I Cannot Self-Terminate: In the "Homeless" chapter Jodie can attempt to jump off a ledge, or slit her wrists. Both times Aiden will stop her. It's clear that Aiden is strying to keep her alive at all costs, which is something that Jodie later exploits to save her friends. Also happens in the "The Mission", where Jodie can attempt to shoot herself in the head before Aiden stops her.
Karma Houdini: Zig-Zagged, unlike previous Quantic Dream games. Anybody that can get away with doing bad things is a player choice, except for the attempted rapists of Jodie in the bar level, who are implied to do this regularly, and they only get their comeuppance at the cost of traumatizing Jodie due to the attempted rape. The thugs who beat up Stan for fun, subsequently set fire to the building where Tuesday has just given birth, and put Jodie in a coma seem to get away with their evil deeds at first, but they are captured by the police soon afterwards due to incriminating evidence: the gasoline odor on their clothes, and their self-filmed footage of them beating her.
Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Various psychic abilities are real—so are ghosts—and the asylum level implies precognitives may also exist. Apparently Jodie wasn't the first psychic to be born—just the first to be recognized as legitimate and not insane. And to be discovered outside the government conspiracy.
Meaningful Name: It depends on how you play him, but Aiden can be this. 'To aid' means 'to help' and Aiden does end up being a help to Jodie...in a manner of speaking.
Mighty Whitey: Jody fixes the Navajo family's motorcycle, finds a burial ground, gets the old grandmother to talk for the first time in decades, and is able to perform a Navajo ritual that no Navajo has been able to in generations, saving the Navajo family from the ghosts summoned because of their ancestor's hatred for the white man.
Mood Whiplash: The chapter where Ryan rather heartlessly takes Jodie away to the CIA academy is immediately followed by a chapter where she's eagerly arranging a dinner date with him.
Mugging the Monster: Many people throughout the story attempt to mess with Jodie. Little do they know that they'll then have to deal with Aiden...
This trope reinforces itself after Jodie takes her CIA training. After that point, she can do a lot of damage, even without Aiden.
Multiple Endings: There are six endings in the game: the bad end if you fail the last QTE, Jodie is killed before deactivating the condenser and an apocalypse follows; "Chose Death" sees Jodie voluntarily leaving for the Infraworld rather than be separated from Aiden. "Chose Life" is further separated into four endings: in "Ryan", Jodie makes up with Ryan; in "Jay", she returns to the Navajo farm and starts a relationship with Jay; in "Alone", she breaks up with Ryan and lives alone, wandering through the world and looking for ghosts; and in "Zoey", she lives with the survivors of the "Homeless" mission and Tuesday's daughter.
Mythology Gag: In "Hunted", during the train escape several of the passengers are voiced by the same extra who voiced pedestrians in the level where Madison has to escape to the train. Doubles as an Ascended Meme to a Narm-ish line from Heavy Rain, as he repeats it during the chase sequence.
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Under CIA's orders, Jodie unwittingly assassinates a democratically elected president of a war-torn African country, believing him to be a warlord, which sparks outrage among the locals and the international community.
Never My Fault: If Jodie decides to take revenge on the teenagers by having Aiden wreaking havoc, the girl that started the whole thing blames Jodie for all the damage Aiden caused (which is partially true). She seems to forget that the entire reason that it happened was because they were the ones that drove her to do it.
No One Gets Left Behind: It's up to the player to play this trope straight or avert it: During the final push for the Black Sun, Cole gets hit by a hostile entity, and Jodie can either go back to drag him to safety or go on ahead without him. Going back results in an additional QTE and a healing minigame as Aiden; not going back results in Cole's death—but his wound prevents him from following Jodie, anyway. Notably, Ryan at first elects to leave Cole behind but if Jodie turns back, comes to her aid immediately.
One Riot, One Ranger: Also Jodie. The first time a condenser breaks, they try sending in a small army of soldiers to fight through the ghosts and fix it...which fails miserably. Then they send Jodie in, and, well...
Optional Sexual Encounter: Jodie can have sex with Ryan during "The Dinner" chapter, but it's dependent on an earlier choice in a previous chapter. Namely the "Like Other Girls" chapter. If Jodie never reaches the bar, or simply leaves before the bar flies attempt to rape her, then she'll be open to sex with Ryan. If not, she'll break down crying as they start getting intimate. It's also dependent on Aiden not interrupting them during their date.
Our Ghosts Are Different: Spectral beings such as Aiden are simply referred to as "entities" in-game. They are invisible and intangible, can possess people, and exert limited telekinesis. Oh, and in the psychic/spirit world the nasty ones appear as Living Shadows with Combat Tentacles, Glowing Eyes of Doom, Throat Lights, and More Teeth than the Osmond Family. We never really get to find out what benevolent entities such as Aiden look like when viewed by the naked eye because all of Aiden's cutscenes and gameplay take place through his eyes, There are drawings of Aiden by Jodie and other benevolent entities by the Navajos that show them to be a floating torso with glowing eyes, and it is implied they have no defining features and are made out of shadow-like energy.
Parental Abandonment: Jodie's adoptive parents hand her over to the government for testing when she's only 8.
Parental Substitute: Dawkins serves as this to Jodie. Inverted as well, as Nathan uses Jodie as a substitute for his child after her death.
Pet the Dog: Jodie's father, despite being a bit of a Jerkass and verbally abusive. When she's screaming in terror at night, he unhesitatingly busts her door down to help, and does indeed appear genuinely regretful over leaving Jodie in Dawkins' care.
Aiden himself has his moments. He'll murder anyone who happens to be in his and Jodie's way, he'll wreck havoc in any situation given the chance to, and he'll drive Jodie to the point of tears on some occasions when he's out of control. But he also protects her, steals her cookies when she's sad, and nudges her favourite pink stuffed rabbit onto the bed when she's scared. One chapter even has Aiden doing a shadow puppet theatre for a young Jodie, in lieu of a bedtime story.
Please Wake Up: If Jodie chooses death in the ending, Ryan discovers her body and keeps begging her to wake up, even as the screen fades to black. Keeping in mind that Ryan is a trained CIA veteran, it really shows how much he cares about Jodie that her death reduces him to a sobbing wreck. The hobos likewise beg this of her after Jodie either barely makes it out of the burning building or is beaten into a coma by the street punks.
Power Incontinence/Kid with the Leash: Justified, as Aiden has a mind of his own. During an experiment into her powers, Jodie finds herself unable to control Aiden after the initial experiment, and total chaos results in the room; through it all, you can hear Dawkins shouting to Jodie to stop and Jodie screaming "I can't! He's not listening to me!!"
Precision F-Strike: Jodie threatens a SWAT commander this way after she and Aiden fight off his unit:
Jodie: "Tell them to leave me the fuck alone, because next time... I'll kill everyone."
Psychic Powers: Jodie (via Aiden) can move objects, albeit only via one-time pointed bursts of force, as well as possess people.
Rape as Drama: Jodie can be the victim of attempted rape twice throughout the story, depending on her choices.
If she manages to make it to the bar as a teenager, the patrons and bartender will attempt to gang rape her (only to be thwarted by Aiden).
Additionally, when she's homeless, she can contemplate giving a man oral sex in exchange for money... but then she backs down, at which point the would-be John attempts to take what he wants by force. Unfortunately for him, Jodie has already undergone her CIA training at this point.
Reed Richards Is Useless: In the 'Alive' endings, Jodie is shown as living moderately well, despite her/Aiden's ability to cure drug addiction in the space of a few minutes. The fact that it'd be both ethical and extremely profitable to sell her abilities at, say, rehab clinics is never brought up.
Justified though, in that the alive endings have her believe Aiden to be gone for good for a long while.
Roaring Rampage of Revenge: The player can have Jodie go on one with Aiden after the kids at the birthday party lock her in the cabinet and she gets out. Not undeserved, considering the way they treated her.
Sequel Hook: No matter what ending you get, they all allude to another conflict with the "Black Sun" and the "darker entities".
Soft Glass: During "The Condenser", when Jodie smashes through a glass window to escape from a small army of possessed scientists. Justified by that it is incredibly cold in the room, and glass becomes more brittle in the cold.note Glass contracts when cooled down, forming tiny cracks and lowering its structural integrity—so with enough desperation, you can break through a sheet that big with a body slam.
Take Up My Sword: If Jodie dies, Zoey takes up her place as the world's future savior, guided and protected by her spirit. Otherwise, in the Zoey/Homeless ending, Jodie and Zoey take on apocalypse together, but Jodie consciously trains Zoey as the next savior, presumably out of fear that this trope will be needed.
Teens Are Monsters: In one level, Jodie attends a birthday party, but after enjoying herself for a bit, the kids berate her for the old Edgar Allan Poe book she gives as a birthday present, then gang up on her, with one calling her a slut and going so far as to say that she only invited Jodie because her mother made her do it, and lock her into a cupboard under the stairs. She gets out with Aiden's help, and can get her revenge moments later.
The Shrink: Dawkins appears to be a combination of this as well as a researcher of Jodie's abilities.
This Is My Human: Perhaps the closest equivalent to Aiden's opinion of Jodie. He frequently disagrees with her, is distrustful of all other humans, and makes it clear several times that he follows her directions because he wants to, not because he has to. But he is deeply protective of her, and cares for her like a friend. Or, more accurately, a brother. It's likely that, never being born, he never learned how to be an actual brother to Jodie, and the relationship they have now is the closest approximation of it he can find.
Three-Month-Old Newborn: Played with; Jodie helps a pregnant woman give birth in the "Homeless" chapter, and part of the mission involves snipping the umbilical cord. However, the baby is completely clean. Averted in a later scene, where pre-birth Jodie is sufficiently... off in her proportions.
Traintop Battle: Jodie fights off cops chasing after her before jumping off with Aidan's help.
Two Siblings In One: This turns out to be the case for Jodie and Aiden; Aiden is in fact the spirit of Jodie's stillborn twin brother.
Tyke Bomb: Deconstructed; Jodie is trained from a young age not only to use her psychic link, but also to be a CIA agent. However, she does not choose to do so, and the guilt of being forced to kill people hangs heavy on her, crippling her self-confidence and personal relationships.
Video Game Caring Potential: You can bring Stan peace by channeling his family's words, help Tuesday give birth to her child, and save numerous lives. On a more personal scale, you can choose to make Jodie bring her stuffed rabbit to the military base, and let her have a normal date with the guy she likes.
For example, during an experiment into her powers, Jodie is asked to knock over some blocks in the next room; she does. She is then asked what else she can move, and you can trash the room, break the see-through mirrors, wreck computer equipment in the observation room, and traumatize the woman participating in the experiment, all whilst Jodie is screaming for Aiden to stop... Or just head back through to Jodie and end the experiment.
Same with a level further in the game, where Jodie gives a group of teens a dose of Laser-Guided Karma. Aiden can simply kick their asses by knocking them down with furniture... Or start a fire in the house to try and kill them, or attempting to murder them through other means like dropping a fridge on and stabbing one of the teens.
News Announcer: ...and the international community had just announced its recognition of the election of the new president Gemaal Sheik Charrief ... and now, sources report that he and all his government were assassinated in what appears to be an unclaimed attack.
What the Hell, Hero?: "Alone" has this if the player decides to use Aiden to start choking Jodie's foster father. He runs out of the room screaming that she's a monster, while her foster mother who was nothing but supportive and loving to her can only stare at her in horror before running out after him.
Zombie Apocalypse: In one level, Jodie investigates an abandoned lab where an experiment into opening a portal to the spirit world led to several malevolent entities breaking loose and killing everyone there. At one point, Aiden has to fight off a seemingly-endless legion of possessed corpses while Jodie tries to open a door.