In this school, they teach you things you never wanted to know about.
Something strange is going on at Leafmore High. Students are disappearing, teachers are acting oddly... When Kenny Matthews, a varsity athlete, makes an horrific discovery under the school, four of his friends — his cheerleader girlfriend Ashley Thompson, school reporter Josh Carter, stoner friend Stanley "Stan" Jones, and little sister Shannon — join him in investigating what exactly the hell is happening. However, they quickly find themselves locked in the school overnight, and now there're things roaming the halls...Essentially Resident EvilIN HIGH SCHOOL!, ObsCure is a survival horror game by Hydravision Entertainment released in 2004 in Europe and 2005 everywhere else. One of its most notable features was its two-player cooperative mode. Instead of exploring the haunted halls alone, the teens were Genre Savvy enough to stick together in pairs, with the player selecting who to take along as a partner. Said partner was either controlled by the game's AI or a second player. Each of the heroes had a unique skill to make parts of the game easier — Kenny could outrun his classmates, Ashley had a rapid-fire ability and could deal greater damage with most weapons, Josh could detect if there was anything left to do in a room, Stan could pick locks more quickly than the other four and detect if there were any nearby locks he could crack, and Shannon offered puzzle tips and was the best at healing others.However, none of these skills were ever required to advance the plot... mainly because all of them could be easilyKilled Off for Real at any time. Losing somebody didn't instantly equal a Game Over; you could continue without them so long as you had somebody left to play as.Another part of the game's charm was its campiness. Styled after the post-modern, Genre Savvy teen horror movies of the late '90s (such as Scream (1996) and especially The Faculty), the game was flush with corny, Totally Radical dialogue and characters written as broad caricatures of teen movie heroes and villains. It even featured the song "Still Waiting" by Sum 41 as its theme song, as a nod to such films' "hip" soundtracks.The sequel, ObsCure II (known in America as ObsCure: The Aftermath), takes place two years after the events at Leafmore. Shannon and Kenny are attending the nearby Fallcreek University, while Stan dropped out and is working as a pizza delivery boy. Stan and Kenny have to take medication to stave off the aftereffects of what happened at Leafmore, while Shannon has managed to adapt on her own... something she frequently snipes at the boys about.Unfortunately, there's a new recreational drug that's become trendy among the students, one that's made from a strange-looking flower that keeps appearing all over the campus. Naturally, it isn't long before the survivors of Leafmore High, along with a small group of other students, find themselves facing hordes of mutants and struggling to stop the contagion from spreading too far.Unlike the first game, the partners (and deaths) for each section of the game are decided automatically as part of the plot, and each hero's skills are actually required to navigate past the various puzzles and obstacles. The original heroes suffer heavily from Not as You Know Them, and the game becomes a parade of Cruel And Unusual Deaths.A spinoff called Final Exam was released in late 2013 on PC, Play Station Network, and Xbox LIVE Arcade. Unlike the first two games, Final Exam is a side-scrolling 2½DHack And Slash with a more exaggerated art style. It is about four former high school buddies — the football hero Brutal Joe, the nerd Nathan, the tough guy Sean, and the dancer Cassy — who get together for their school reunion, only to arrive and find the town overrun with monsters. It was originally conceived as ObsCure D, an interquel to the first two games, but that version was scrapped after Hydravision closed its doors; it was retooled into Final Exam, with an original story and characters, after former members of Hydravision founded Mighty Rocket Studio. While not officially part of the ObsCure series, it has enough Shout Outs to the games that fans consider it a sequel in all but name. The official page for it can be found here.
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Tropes throughout the series
Academy of Adventure: Leafmore High in the first game and Final Exam, Fallcreek University in the second.
Ashley is the most adept at combat out of the five characters in the first game, with her special ability being a "rapid-fire" attack that allows her to get off two shots or swings in rapid succession. Shannon can also hold her own if one is desperate (i.e. if she's one of the last characters left), though her abilities make her more of a support character best left at the gathering site.
Badass Crew/Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: They all fit neatly into every cliched teen movie category you can think of and still manage to be friends on some level. Then they find melee weapons and firearms. Cue the drug induced, one-liner filled chaos.
Even Evil Has Loved Ones: The entire plot of the first two games revolves around one of the Friedman brothers trying to save the life of the other. Even their children get involved, human and plant alike.
Hand Cannon: The revolver in the first game and in Final Exam. The item description for it in the first game even lampshades this, calling it "a powerful revolver."
Hollywood Nerd: Shannon and Josh in the first game, Mei and Jun in the second one.
The revolver is one of the most powerful weapons in the first game, standing far ahead of the three semi-automatics available, and bested only by the double-barrel shotgun and the laser. Its description even refers to it as "a powerful revolver".
The same is true in Final Exam, where the magnum revolver is not only far more powerful than the semi-auto handgun, but stuns enemies as well. Given that you find it in the second level, it's practically a Disc One Nuke, especially if you're playing as Sean.
The first game has only three types of ammunition: pistol bullets, shotgun shells, and the laser's batteries. It makes sense for the shotguns (which are all presumably 12 gauge) and the laser (for which there is no extra ammo available), but the same pistol bullets are fired out of everything from an old pocket pistol to a Hand Cannon revolver.
Final Exam goes further and has its ammo apply across all weapons, from pistols to shotguns to machine guns.
Weakened by the Light: Zig-zagged. Light causes those infected with the mortifilia spores to start to mutate. A small amount of light triggers enough mutations to turn them into monsters, while a greater amount kills them, the mutations working like a fast-acting cancer. In gameplay terms, this means that direct sunlight and other high-intensity light sources (such as flashbangs, flare guns, and the lights in the cafeteria) kill the monsters almost instantly, and flashlights help weaken them.
We All Live in America: While the games are set in the United States, they were made by a French developer, and it appears that they were basing their impressions of Anglophone society more on the UK than the US. Metric measurements are frequently used in place of American Customary Measurements, dates are rendered in the form of "DD/MM" rather than the "MM/DD" format used in the US, British spellings are employed frequently, and a notice makes reference to the "Ministry of Health" (the US' equivalent is the Department of Health and Human Services). On top of that, one of the calendars still has the French names for the months of the year (octobre, janvier, avril). If it weren't for the American flag in the gymnasium and the brief reference to Friedman being born in Iowa, one might guess that the game took place in Quebec rather than the US.
Fission Mailed: Danhas to die and Kennycan't escape the school basement during the Action Prologue, even though the game makes it look like you're supposed to fight off the enemies and escape the basement.
Frickin' Laser Beams: A laser beam weapon can be found near the end of the game. It is powerful as all get out, but has limited juice and no extra batteries. A laser with unlimited battery life (albeit with a cooldown period like the flashlights) can be unlocked during a New Game+.
Guns Do Not Work That Way: The most powerful shotgun in the first game appears to be some kind of hybrid of a double-barrel and pump-action shotgun that, in real life, could not exist as a functional weapon.
Love Makes You Evil: The Big Bad of the first game, Principal Herbert Friedman, is kidnapping and experimenting on students in order to find a cure for his brother Leonard's illness.
Madwoman in the Attic: Principal Friedman's grotesquely mutated brother is hidden in the school basement.
Male Gaze: It's a good thing the girls can't tell where Josh points his camera.
Multiple Endings: Two of them, with the deciding factor being whether all five characters survive to the end or not.
New Game+: Special Mode, which gives the characters alternate costumes and puts two new weapons into the game: the Morgenstern bat (a spiked club that does as much damage as the revolver) replacing the baseball bat, and a pistol with a laser beam weapon attached replacing the flashlight-equipped pistol found in Friedman's safe.
Suspicious Video Game Generosity: In the first game, before the final boss fight you are able to take a large amount of ammo and multiple first aid kits from Mr. Walden's bag.
Two-Teacher School: The only faculty members shown running around the school (besides Friedman, for obvious reasons) are the biology teacher Denny Walden, the nurse Elisabeth Wickson, and an unnamed janitor who gets killed offscreen. Keeping in mind that most of this game takes place after school hours, there are no other teachers present during the opening scenes where school is in session. Just who's teaching these kids anyway?
On an ironic note, the only teacher present in the sequel is also a biology teacher.
Zombie Infectee: The main characters all get infected by Friedman about halfway through the game; the rest of the game has them looking for the antidote before the sun rises and triggers mutations. Mr. Walden was also infected earlier on, and by the end of the game is too far gone to safely use the antidote.
Book Dumb: Stan. It's implied that he shouldn't have graduated high school, and judging by what he's like in the second game, there's a chance that he dropped out altogether. Not that it matters by the sequel, mind you.
Stan: "Stan Jones. Average: F"
Shannon: "Shannon Matthews. A+" And look where it has gotten us.
Better to Die Than Be Killed: Corey blows his brains out before the final boss battle. You can't blame the kid, given that he's lost his girlfriend, his car, and any chance at a normal life.
Bolivian Army Ending: In the end, only Shannon and Stan are left alive, and they're facing down a massive cloud of black spores, with the implication that they're about to face Kenny's monstrous spawn.
Chainsaw Good: Subverted. The chainsaw is not used as a weapon, but only for cutting through obstacles, and it requires battery power to run. Played straight with Jedidiah, who impales Sven with his chainsaw and tries to do the same to you when you fight him and Leonard.
Downer Ending: And how! All the new characters introduced in the game suffer terrible and brutal ends, and Corey, the sole one of the new ones to make it to the very end... shoots himself in the head after being unable to deal with losing his girlfriend and his car, and feeling no hope for him left. Shannon and Stan surviving does nothing to soothe the pain, as it seems the two have their work cut out for them in the next game. Sweet Jesus....
Mood Whiplash: No matter how horrible things get, the characters never stop making quips. It's like they get over their trauma almost instantly. It fits, seeing as how this is basically a teen slasher flick in video game form.
Not as You Know Them: Shannon, Stan, and Kenny all have darker personalities as a result of their experiences.
Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Probably one of the most disturbing aspects of the game. It's hard to tell how much of an impact its supposed to have on the game though, considering that Amy groans occasionally but shows no other signs of having gone through a traumatic experience. One would think she'd be freaking out when Kenny appears, or at least be more twitchy around the male members of the cast. Also, depending on your interpretation of the ending, her pregnancy literally spawns a possible sequel or hands out justice to the final antagonist.
Shoot the Shaggy Dog: Mei spends the first half of the game trying to track down her twin sister Jun and save her. When she finally tracks her down, the game lets you control Jun's escape attempts, only to have her brutally killed seconds after yanking that control away. Things go downhill from there.
Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: After surviving the events of the first game, Kenny gets killed in the sequel — in the most drawn-out, painful way possible, involving Body Horror and a Face-Heel Turn. Oh, and Josh and Ashley, the other two protagonists from the first game who don't return, are implied to have been horribly killed off-screen.
Unskilled, but Strong/Weak, but Skilled: Each member of the cast falls into one of these. The bruiser characters don't do much of anything besides push and hit things, and they can withstand more damage. The weaker characters can do some pretty cool things, from hacking to puzzle solving to aura sucking.
None of them seem to struggle with guns or chainsaws though. Gun Slinging 101 must be a requirement in college.note What? Too Soon? This was at least semi-justified with Ashley in the first game, as her file states she went through self-defense training prior to the events of the game.
Wacky Fratboy Hijinx: One of the early levels has you sneaking into a frat house party, which is soon followed by you fighting your way out.
Was Once a Man: Kenny, after refusing to take his meds, turns into a giant, mutated freak with an enormous arm/mouth on his back that he uses to spit balls of spores.
Expy: Each of the main characters is this to one of the protagonists from the first game. Brutal Joe is Kenny, Nathan is Josh, Cassy is Ashley, and Sean is Stan. Only Shannon doesn't have an analogue, and that's because she herself shows up in the game as an NPC.
The Gunslinger: Sean's combat specialty is in firearms, and his special attacks all revolve around them in one way or another.
I Know Madden Kombat: Two of Brutal Joe's special moves involve his background as a football player. One has him charging like a bull, as though he were running at another team on the field, and another has him putting on football armor to give him temporary invulnerability. All of the characters can also learn a tackle move to take down enemies.
Jane of All Stats: Cassy. She can upgrade all four of her skills (health, strength, precision, and explosives) quite nicely, making her the most versatile fighter, but can't upgrade any one of them as much as other characters who specialize in one skill or another.
Stone Wall: Nathan can upgrade his health further than any of the other characters, but he can't upgrade his melee or firearm skills that much. (Explosives, on the other hand...) This is stated to be the result of him getting toughened up by years of bullying.