YMMV / Papers, Please

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  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
  • Breather Level: Day 19. The morning bulletin tells the player to deny all entry from Impor, which means it's possible to sort through about a third of the entrants' papers without looking at anything more than the passport.
  • Demonic Spiders: There are some characteristics that are fairly rarely contradictory, but often enough to result in a good number of citations in the long run if you don't look for it. Probably the worst is height, which is sometimes off by as little as 10 cm (which looks like less since they move up and down a few cm). It's a good idea to align those wall-hanging objects to provide a quick reference for height without having to read those dark little numbers on the side of the wall all the time. Thankfully, it's easy enough to just use the investigation system to compare a person's height to the one listed in their papers (once you've bought the first booth upgrade).
  • Ear Worm:
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Jorji Costava, a real Cobrastani hero! So much so that in the final game, he can potentially save you and your family with the fake passports, no matter how many times you've sent him away.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: The game proved quite popular among Russian internet users, for obvious reasons.
  • Goddamned Bats:
    • Anyone who gets something wrong verbally (length of stay, reason), at least after the point where denial reasons are required. If you miss it, boom, citation. If you question them, they will Verbal Backspace 100% of the time, so you have to go through this short rigmarole and it's never a free denial/detainment afterwards. However, before Day 18, you can just disapprove such cases and your bosses won't object one bit - such are the advantages of working for a totalitarian state.
    • Incorrect Passport Numbers, while they start off as being very obvious, they will become extremely deceptive near the end of the game. (Example: Entrant Passport has FCL2X-R89ME as the ID# but another document shows FCL2T-R89ME instead. Or it could have a missing digit: FCL2T-R89M.)
    • Incorrect Issuing Cities or ID Card Districts are also a common detail that trips players up, to the point where some just write down the regions' cities and districts on a separate piece of paper for much quicker reference. Misspellings of cities become easy to identify once the player is familiar with them, but sometimes this discrepancy comes in the form of a correctly-spelled issuing city but a mismatched country.
  • Good Bad Bugs:
    • At least in some versions of the game, smuggling something under their clothes can cause people to be lighter than their passport states.
    • On Day 29, Jorji will tell you that he can smuggle you and your family out of Arstotzka if you give him valid Obristan passports for each family. He'll offer you his after you give it back, or you can confiscate it yourself, but if you do it rightnote , he'll give you another passport even though you already took his, giving you two passports for one citation.
  • Hollywood Pudgy: A woman who is 181 centimeters tallnote  and weighs 73 kilogramsnote  can have "overweight" listed as a notable characteristic in her ID along with a face that resembles a puffer fish.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • Glory to Arstotzka! (Said in best Ruritanian accent of course!)
  • Mondegreen: The sound effect that accompanies all of the inspector's lines sounds suspiciously like the word "papers".
  • Most Annoying Sound: You will learn to dread the sound of your citations being printed.
  • Most Wonderful Sound: The sound of a token clanking on your desk the same moment the matching Steam achievement is unlocked.
  • Narm: A rather unfortunate example for anyone who's played No More Heroes: the voice filter used for the Kolechian suicide bombers is almost identical to the Synthetic Voice Actor used for the splash intros to said game's bosses. It can be rather silly when you're expecting that epic guitar riff after hearing "FOR KOLECHIA!"
  • Paranoia Fuel: It won't be long before you spend the first few seconds after approving/denying someone cringing in anticipation of a citation, especially after you get two that day since any more will carry a penalty.
  • Scrappy Mechanic:
    • Sometimes, people will come through with the right documents, but won't give you all of them unless prompted. Another one is when the entrant states a mismatching purpose or length. When interrogated, they always correct themselves instead of giving you a possibility to deny them. These do nothing but waste time.
    • As noted by Yahtzee, the X-ray mechanic chews through inordinate amount of time, especially when most of the time when it comes up you KNOW something is up with the entrant, but can't reject him/her without a proper reason. That or finding out that there wasn't a discrepency to begin with.
  • That One Level: Day 26 is this if you want to keep Sergiu alive. You have to destroy two motorcycles and neutralize one wall-jumping terrorist. Your tranquilizer gun has three darts, but its aiming reticle is hard to use at high speeds because it does not mark the location of where the dart will hit. You have to mentally draw the cross from the horizontal and vertical line segments given to you on the edges of the reticle that do not cross to find out where the dart will hit. The sniper rifle has two bullets so it does not have enough ammo to do the job unless you can figure out how to use the Splash Damage the motorcycles generate when they explode, but its aiming reticle marks the location the bullet will hit so is easy to use. Oh, and you have to shoot the attackers quickly enough before they gun down Sergiu.

Glory to Arstotzka