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Invisible Games was a fiction blog written by Catherynne M. Valente that was active from October to December 2007. It consists of a series of surreal - and sometimes quite disturbing - tales of mysterious games and their even more mysterious creators. Invisible Games is perhaps most noteworthy for being the home of the infamous video game urban legend Killswitch. The blog's in-universe author is identified only as "The Archivist" and no clues are provided regarding her identity beyond the fact that she is female.


The original blog is now no longer online, but is still currently able to be read in collection format here or accessed through Internet Archive's Wayback Machine here.

This blog provides examples of:

  • Action Survivor: Porto, one of the in-game protagonists of Killswitch, wakes up injured and unarmed in a mine filled with monsters. It only gets worse for her from there.
  • Ancient Tradition: The keepers of The Book. Implied to have evolved out of an order of Catholic nuns, these women are seemingly ubiquitous in The Archivist's homeland and mysteriously appear at the homes of terminally ill people, granting them access to a strange virtual reality game that provides them great comfort and profound revelations as they die.
  • Angsty Surviving Twin: Irja Pentintytär. The death of her brother and subsequent dissolution of her marriage leads to years of incredible technical brilliance, despair, isolation, and suicide.
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  • Anti-Climax: Neither run of Killswitch has a proper ending, due to the game deleting itself. Needless to say, the fandom got frustrated on learning this.
  • Anticlimax Boss: Agent Mire of What Happened to Agent Small? is stated to be such. Although if the player has already used the card required to kill him, he is effectively unbeatable. invoked
  • Apocalyptic Log: Simultaneously averted and fulfilled with Yamamoto Ryuichi. He only manages one entry, but it's a doozy.
  • Ax-Crazy:
    • The mining machines of Killswitch after being given life by The Fires of the Earth.
    • The Wilsons; the Co-Dragons of What Happened to Agent Small?.
  • Blessed with Suck: Ghast, one of the two protagonist characters of the Killswitch game. He possesses a fearsome array of offensive powers, but his invisibility renders him all but impossible to control.
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  • Bilingual Bonus: The Finnish game titles in The Pentintytär Arcade explain their metaplot.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Agent Small and her ex-husband Agent Thin are finally reunited, but it is implied their lives will be no better than before. Making matters worse, it's not even the real Agent Thin at all, just the latest in a series of expendable clones.
  • Breather Episode: The bleak and eerie tales The Pentintytär Arcade and What Happened To Agent Small? are separated by the relatively serene pairing of The Lenentine Cards and The Rumyantsev Recorder.
  • Calvinball: The Lenentine Cards is a magic realist take on this.
  • The Clockmaster: Afanasy Rumyantsev, a builder of wondrous and amusing clocks who develops an elaborate game in which his patrons form the parts of a vast, living clock that amuses him in turn.
  • Cool Old Lady: Aemelia Brightshaupt, to the point of being able to invent something that keeps all seventeen of her grandchildren captivated for years at a time.
  • Creepy Child: Sisko and Viekko, the game avatars of The Pentintytär Arcade, particularly when one just floats in the air behind the other, saying nothing.
  • Cryptic Background Reference:
    • The tags ("Lockwords") located at the end of each blog post.
    • In the articles themselves, the writer will occasionally assume the reader has some piece of background knowledge that isn't mentioned in any of the other posts.
  • Dead All Along: In The Pentintytär Arcade, this is a possible explanation for Viekko, Sisko, or both.
  • Depraved Homosexual: When describing What Happened to Agent Small?, The Archivist specifically mentions the gay relationship of violent antagonists Thomas A. Wilson and Thomas F. Wilson when referring to the game's heavy sexual content.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The Archivist mentions that Sovatik and its methods were an allegory for work conditions under the Soviet Union, that is squeezing every last drop out of the workers, exploiting them, and eventually leaving them to die.
  • Driven to Suicide: Irja Pentintytär.
  • Eldritch Location:
  • Evil, Inc.:
    • Sovatik, the corporation behind the disaster in the Killswitch game.
    • Karvina Corporation seemingly averts this trope in the stories. However, this unfinished YouTube series based on Killswitch seems to have been setting them up as the Big Bad.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Just about all of the game creators mentioned by name.
  • Gainax Ending:
    • The blog's penultimate entry is missing, replaced only by an ominous "Access Denied" message. The final entry then seems to be the Archivist speaking in first person, relating her personal quest to find a game she watched her mother play as a little girl: a game which only the dying are allowed to play...
    • Porto's in-game ending in Killswitch counts as well.
  • Genre Shift: The blog opens with the positive and uplifting pairing of Brightshaupt Devices and The Loneliness Engine, making the abrupt appearance of Killswitch that much more jarring.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation:
    • In Killswitch, the heavily implied fate of Yamamoto Ryuichi.
    • In The Pentintytär Arcade, Torvald is so unhinged by the experience that he spends years tracking down and collecting the individual games just so he can sit naked in the middle of them, clutching a gun and calling out Irja's name.
  • Hikikomori: Irja Pentintytär
  • Hope Spot: It seems that someone will find the ending to the Ghast run of Killswitch after buying the last copy and planning to livestream it. Yamamoto Ryuichi never records his run, only his Broken Tears.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: Invisible Games takes care to avert this, filling the final entry, (which is typically the first page that new visitors will see,) with covered spoiler text.
  • Life Imitates Art: After lingering online for several years the original blog has finally vanished, echoing the fate of Killswitch, its most famous story.
  • The Lost Lenore: Irja, for Torvald. He seems to have developed a crush on her while still a child, (possibly even triggered by discovering her dead body) and it grows into an obsession that consumes his entire adult life.
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast:
  • Nintendo Hard: The eponymous video game in ''Killswitch;" especially if the player attempts to play as Ghast.
  • Old Shame: The Archivist insists that What Happened to Agent Small? is this for Karvina Corporation, although she acknowledges it as a narrative marvel just the same. invoked
  • Ship Tease: While (supposedly) trying to end speculation about Killswitch once and for all, Karvina get interest in it surging all over again by refering to Ghast as Porto's "beloved."
  • Shown Their Work: The writer has a strong knowledge of various Eastern European cultures, and incorporates them in each tale.
  • Shrug of God: Karvina Corporation's reply to the restless legions of Killswitch fans. invoked
  • Single-Attempt Game: Killswitch had this as it’s main gimmick, once the game is finished, so is the copy that was being played.
  • This Page Will Self-Destruct: Killswitch is not a game known for its incredible replay value...
  • A Wizard Did It: According to several tech-savvy video game enthusiasts cited here, this is the only way that an absolutely uncopyable, self-deleting game like Killswitch could exist, although a few consider it to be theoretically possible.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle!: What Happened to Agent Small? both subverts this and mentions the trope namer by name.