To become a puppet is to rid oneself of the pain and harshness of choice. Now nothing you do is your fault, now you belong to something...You belong to me....Spooky's Jump Scare Mansion
starts out fairly cute and innocent. But playing through the game starts to reveal some genuine horror under its cutesy surface
Unmarked Spoilers Below!
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- While most of the time Specimen 1(the cardboard cutouts that pop out in front of you) is adorably non-threatening, every so often you might get one like this. Sure, it's nothing dangerous, but still quite startling, especially during a chase.
- Specimen 2 is the first actual threat to the player, and sets the tone for how the rest of the game will be. While it may be slow, the slime puddles it creates ensure that it will never be too far behind you. It also tends to announce its presence with a horrible gasping noise..
- Its kill screen involves multiple mouths and eyes zooming in until the background flashes grey and red.
"I know what you have done, and what you have yet to do. But it's alright, because I'm inside you now. We are one but I am many..."
- Specimen 3 AKA Subject 5. First encountered in an Abandoned Laboratory that had been keeping some barely distinguishable organisms in test tubes, this spider/centipede creature is among the fastest specimens in the game. In the HD Renovation, there's a chance that it may enter rooms by dropping down from the holes it leaves in the ceiling,usually out of the ones you first pass under.
- Updates to the game eventually gave Specimen 3 a kill screen, where it shows you lying in the labs where you found it. Several messages pass by, as not long after, there are a minimum of three of them around you, who go in to tear you to shreds.
"Once, in a land of dreams, I thought I could be free, but now, the hunger never sleeps."
- Specimen 4 is a Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl who can phase through walls and fly over gaps. She also had apparantly eaten children alive, and the player will meet a similar fate should they fail to escape her.
"Hush now my child, you're safe now."
- Specimen 5 is something that came straight out of Silent Hill. While the monster itself is quite slow, it screws with the player's vision by warping the textures of entire rooms.
- The build up to it, as well as being a Shout-Out to Silent Hill has a creepy moment near the end of the area where you have to walk over a chain-link floor with some rooms to the side. While optional, one of the rooms is borderline organic and has loud pulsating noises and a crying baby echoing throughout it.
"Tiny, Shining holes in the sky. Delicate, perfect emptiness. Black, growing absences of life. Cold, swarming death. And we shall become them."
- Although the original's Endless Mode and HD Renovation has the monster become much more faster.
- Specimen 6 is a Perverse Puppet that teleports to you when you're not looking at him, so the typical method of just running for your life will quickly get you killed instead. Even if you don't take your eyes off him, he'll eventually teleport to you anyway if you take too long. Meanwhile, the death scene he gives you(which currently supplies the page image, along with its accompanied quote, involves him taking your eyes off you.
- Specimen 7 is an Advancing Wall of Doom that instantly kills the player if it touches them. The buildup to it is also a massive Mind Screw, particularly to those unfamiliar with Jungian psychology.
- Specimen 8 is already unsettling by its appearance alone, but it also happens to be among the few specimens to actually speak(in a cold Voice of the Legion at that). Every so often, its cloak will open up, revealing several human faces screaming in agony.
- Shortly before you encounter it, you can see a few deer. The second you approach them, they turn into this. Attacking them with the axe is also not advised, as doing so may cause Specimen 8's face to flash in front of the screen, along with cryptic words such as "obey"* .
- Specimen 9 is unique in that is the only specimen besides Specimen 1 that does not have a predetermined encounter. Instead, there is a random chance that the player will enter a room consisting of a long hallway with a faint light at the end. Should players attempt to go down this hallway, it will gradually become narrower until it becomes impossible to move in. It is at this point of complete helplessness that Specimen 9 slithers in from across the room and kills the player instantly.
- Specimen 9 will also appear if you idle too long in a room* . What makes it worse is that, as this video shows, that it can attack you in save rooms,as well as minigame and CAT-DOS rooms, which otherwise cannot have specimens appear in.
- In the CAT_DOS computers that catalog most of the Specimens, Specimen 9's entry not only horribly glitches and makes a terrible noise when you look at it, but also mentions that it was so dangerous that GL Labs, and heavily implied Spooky herself, had the thing terminated, only for it to somehow return. Should you ever die to it, its entry will change to display its Madness Mantra instead.
TAKE THE DEAD TO TAKE THE DEAD TO TAKE THE DEAD TO TAKE THE DEAD TO TAKE THE DEAD TO
- While the original Specimen 10 was a huge snake-like creature with a serious Nightmare Face going on, it ended up not being much of a threat in actual gameplay. This ultimately led to it being replaced with a new Specimen 10. The new Specimen 10 makes its grand entrance by bursting straight out of the old Specimen 10's head.
- Go on, try to run away from it. If you get too far away, it will immediately change into a much faster form which deals less damage but is almost impossible to outrun. You pretty much have to keep a stable distance with this thing throughout the entire chase.
- If you access CAT-DOS before room 500, looking at 10's entry will show the original metallic eel-snake, and say that it's pretty much harmless. Unless you either check CAT-DOS past room 500, or notice that the screen occasionally flickers to a "Wrong Specimen Display!" error screen, you get no warning whatsoever about the true 10.
- Even to those who are not claustrophobic, the build-up to Specimen 10 can be pretty terrifying. You enter a dark sci-fi-looking area that wouldn't look out of place in Dead Space or Alien. While you do manage to turn the lights back on, they go back out not long after, and the only way forward is a vent with dried blood on the floor. When you enter the vent, you may notice sounds while you're crawling through the vent and walls of goop that you have to cut through. And when you finally leave the vent and turn on the power switch, you meet with the above-mentioned Specimen.
- Specimen 11 not only has a rather disturbing look, but is much faster than its bulk would suggest. When you first encounter it, it spawns out of the only door out of the freezer. It is also capable of turning doors partially or completely invisible to make it harder to escape from.
- Specimen 10 does not immediately kill the player if it depletes their health. Instead, it takes them to a meaty Pocket Dimension that the player is forced to navigate before inevitably being finished off. The CAT-DOS entry for Specimen 11 mentions that the researchers and Spooky do not consider it effective despite its high body count, as it victims souls seem to completely disappear. This implies that Specimen 11 doesn't kill you, but does something much worse.
- In order to get the key to the freezer, the player must crawl through the play-pen. Aside from the ominous sign outside, the tunnels manage to be too cramped for comfort yet too spacious to make sense. There is also a corner of the play-pen where you can see a bloody chain trying to lift something unseen, making a horrible mechanical sound as it does.
- There's also the Apocalyptic Log you can find there, which details a former worker at the restaurant. The beef there caused strange occurrences, such as making the customers who try it addicted and unable to leave the restaurant, and the managers horrifically violent, especially to children and those who bring outside food. One day the worker eventually tried some beef and became addicted himself. He eventually decided to quit his job though when he fell asleep at the wheel and dreamed he was in a twisted version of the restaurant and was face to face with Specimen 11. Fortunately it seems he woke up, but it's unknown what exactly happened to him after that.
- The encounter with Specimen 12 has you enter a mansion-like area, only to get chased by someone wielding a Sinister Scythe. This being a Shout-Out to Clock Tower, you have to hide as he searches the room while calling out to you, as him encountering you inside the mansion is a One-Hit Kill. You eventually have to have him chase you. CAT-DOS also reveals something about the Specimen that makes it worse: that wasn't the actual specimen. The real one is the mansion itself, and it possesses intruders and makes them kill people.
- Part of its area is also pretty creepy as one part is an underground cave, with one room having dozens of bones on the floor. When you re-enter that room after getting the necessary item, an extremely loud roar plays, almost as if the mansion itself is angry at you.
- Specimen 13 is a mermaid-like creature that likes to eat whales from the inside and lure people into the water to drown them. Her chase plays out much like a certain other water monster, with the player only able to see the splashes she makes as they desperately hop across the few boxes floating above the surface. While she initially looks rather attractive, she reveals quite the Nightmare Face upon killing you.
- The build-up to the Final Boss fight. You reach room 1000 and see a metal door covered in chains. Once you enter the door, you enter a sunny field. However, several seconds later, the sky glitches up and an error message appears, along with a defeated-looking Spooky. All seems good until a mysterious roar causes Spooky to brighten up and tells you that you need to pass one final test. Cue a door appearing that leads to a white interior with a radio that plays a cryptic message. When you reach the end of the area, the roar happens again. Cue the screen darkening and Specimen 9 appearing and transforming into a horrifying new form which has several attacks, including summoning screaming pillars, a shadow hand that summons zombies, and several kinds of Interface Screw at once.
- The entity at the radio (implied to be Specimen 9) says that he's nailing together the ""logs" they keep throwing out", and the number 731 appears on a wall, which indicates that whatever Specimen 9 is, its somehow related to Japan's infamous Unit 731.
- Spooky herself is in no way as nice as she looks. In one of the Minigames, she is shown gleefully murdering people with a knife, and in another she stabs Pac-Man (quite brutally). The December update art on the game's download page features her smirking like a little psycho at the bloody corpse of Santa Claus.
- She is also very callous to the scientists who work for her. On two separate occasions she leaves them to be prey for Specimens 3 and 10 with no other reason than for shits and giggles.
- The endings are Played for Laughs, and a text even comes up asking if you were expecting a serious ending. That said, seeing your player character Limp and Livid, with a bloody axe, and with glowing red eyes can give one pause. You see this just after Spooky says that you'll make a fine specimen.
- Occasionally one of the randomly generated rooms you could go through is an infinite looping hallway with a single locked door that remains locked until a certain number of loops. Now while harmless, there is a chance in it where you can encounter this, a humanoid monster which suddenly appears and screams at you for a Jump Scare. It can be seen in a video here (at 1:18).
- In the arcade rooms when playing the Spooky Kart game, there is a small chance that instead of the normal theme for the minigame, a chase theme from a Specimen plays.
- The first monster is what appears to be a security officer with hideously swollen hands. While he moves incredibly slow, there's a chance he'll be waiting right outside the door you just walked through whenever you enter the room he patrols.
- On the same floor, there is a room that looks like any other from the outside, but on the inside the hospital bed is not only soaked with blood, but blood seems to be rising from the bed up to the ceiling. The sounds of a man screaming and begging for mercy can be heard, but whatever happened in this room is never explained.
- Another room can be found in this area as well, which contains just a single chair. If the player sits in the chair for a while, they may start to see an image of a disturbing face smiling at them. Eventually you are forced out of the chair, with a ghostly apparition leaning in it. On a New Game+, killing it and sitting back in the chair causes a Non Standard Game Over where the player character wakes up in an alien desert, with the feeling that something is trying to take control of them.
- The second monster appears in the morgue, where, after the player gets an emblem for a puzzle, the bagged-up corpses suddenly disappear. When you exit the room, you are in a hallway with them lining the sides, leading to one that suddenly rises and chases you, which you then have to run from through a hallway maze where it can head you off. Oh, and when you get to the end, you notice the corpses again, except they are levitating.
- The third monster is probably the most bizarre one. It can be found in the basement and is a shifting distorted baby-like face in a 3D cube that can move through walls. Also, it emits an eerie sound when it is nearby and overall has an Uncanny Valley feeling to it.
- The fourth monster is a disfigured child-like figure in hospital scrubs that spawns when you get the key in the basement. He has a bandaged-up face, but his open mouth looks a little demonic. This chase sequence is more difficult because not only is the basement much more of a segmented area, but the boy can also teleport, even if you are looking at him.
- Finally, there's the fifth monster, encountered in the isolation room: a rotting upside-down cow with red eyes and a Slasher Smile. Might sound silly, but the situation in which you face it is tense. You are in a wire-fence maze where suddenly this thing attacks you from behind. It is ridiculously fast, able to catch you while sprinting and the maze has several dead ends, which pretty much guarantees you getting hit by it. And if you manage to be able to look at the top of its model, you can notice some sort of mouth-eyeball thing controlling it like a puppet.
- Probably the creepiest thing about this hospital is that it is so unknown. From what the notes mention, it seems that the people there were having blackouts, waking up to find they had done things to harm and kill others. This seems to be some sort of Demonic Possession, as described by a nurse who felt as if something was trying to control her and the only way she could stop them was dousing herself in radiation. Oh, and the ending implies that there is more beyond the hospital that is to be seen.
- There's also the fact that Karamari Hospital averts the standard formula of the main game: reach a checkpoint, go through 10-20 rooms, enter new Specimen room, eventually encounter Specimen, run like hell, then beware of random encounters until the next checkpoint. Karamari has no "generic" rooms nor obvious Specimen rooms, which means on your first playthrough you never know when and where something will attack you.
- The Endless Mode Update also added some new things to the hospital - first one is a seemingly fake door leading to the Deformity Wing, which takes the Eldritch Location aspect of both the house and the hospital Up to Eleven (highlights include entering a room and exiting through the same door, which leads somewhere else entirely), the whole wing dragging on endlessly, and when you finally do attempt to return, suddenly you have to get through a much bigger stretch than when you made your way in. It's kind of hard to explain.
- The second one is a seemingly innocent minigame - you find a small Gameboy-like device in the basement, which seems to have a Dating Sim game of sorts. At first it seems like a fairly typical dating sim, but then the dialogue options start becoming either much darker ("Everything is disgusting here", "It's like my whole body", "is trying to peel apart on the inside") or completely cryptic ("The flies are, can't fit any more", "My home is inside you"). And then, on the third day, the girl suddenly looks much more corpse-like, with a completely dull look on her face, and she doesn't respond to anything you try to say to her. And on day four, you are forced into an endless dialogue loop, with the girl repeatedly telling you that you're a murderer and asking if you're satisfied with what you've done as she gradually fades away.
- Anyone who finds dolls creepy will certainly not be comfortable in The Dollhouse DLC, which features the player coming across a Victorian house setting that is quickly explained to be a GL Lab facility where they capture souls into dolls and train them, as shown with the doll you have to carry around to either heal yourself or open doors. Unfortunately, the soul binding process had not been perfected, with the failed attempts littered across the house. The resulting abominations, referred to as Husks, resemble little bloodied dolls of children that seem to crumple into bags of bloody meat when killed.
- The first unique monster you encounter,dubbed Woormy Charles, initially appears to just be a misshapen doll, but quickly stretches out to reveal that it is some kind of bipedal tentacle monster wearing a baby doll's head. Unlike most other monsters in Spooky's, it can sprint after you, and will do so at every opportunity. Even if you duck into another room to escape it, you can still hear it wandering around outside making some unsettlingly squishy noises. The way it kills its victims is by stretching them until their skin splits, which is lovingly detailed in its death screen.
- In the Great Hall, there is a brightly colored room with a Monster Clown standing in a cage. While the clown will be completely motionless as long as you keep it in your field of vision, looking away for even a split-second will cause the clown to suddenly be in a different position when you look back. A note on a nearby desk explains that the clown was originally summoned to cheer up the children's souls, but whatever it was instead caused the souls to be greatly distressed instead* , leading it to be locked away as a safety precaution. After a certain point, the cage will be empty, and the clown will never show up again...if your playing the original version. In the HD version, the clown will instead randomly appear in certain rooms and slowly come closer while your back is turned, yet will never do anything beyond that.
- At a certain point in the DLC the floor will collapse beneath the player, causing them to fall into the Root Cellar. In order to escape, they must fumble around in almost complete darkness to find the missing pieces of a door mechanism. One of these pieces is found directly underneath a doll resembling a bloodied woman affixed to the wall by several hooks, who soon vanishes. In order to get the Golden Ending, the player must revisit this area to retrieve three black candles, only now the doll will actively stalk them. Her gimmick is a combination of Interface Screw and Don't Look at Me!, requiring the player to keep their heads down to the ground the moment they see static lest they get her anger and be strung up on the walls themselves. The note that clues you in to this gimmick is found by a pair of eyeballs in a large pool of blood, with the note itself heavily implying that this was self-inflicted by the writer.
- Be careful not to use the doll to heal too often, lest you let its mood drop too low(indicated by the doll covering her eyes). If you do, you run the risk of encountering Frenzy, who will appear in certain rooms and charge at you with a hideous shriek. Even if you do keep the doll's mood up, there's still a chance that Frenzy will appear if you aren't actively carrying the doll with you, and there are several segments that require you to be separated from the doll for extensive periods of time.
- Eventually, the player will stumble into an abandoned GL Labs facility, which had been underneath the dollhouse(and by extension the rest of the mansion) all along. There even is a tram you can take to reach the surface, though doing so before you finish your goal is not advised. Then you find the source of how this all came to be: a Hell Gate that, due to a botched ritual, has been leaking evil spirits into the house, with many of them becoming the specimens you have been running from. While a ritual to close the gate has already been initiated, you still must retrieve the aforementioned candles. Unfortunately, the second step of the ritual requires a spirit to be bound to a crystal, which translates to having to choose which of 3 specimens(6, 8, or 4* /11* ) you want to be chased by for an extended sequence until you can lure them into the sealing chamber. Each specimen gets a couple of new gimmicks to make it easier for them to catch up to you, and at this point you no longer have the doll to heal you.
- Then there is the final room, which upon entering will trigger Spooky to appear and uncharacteristically plead with the player to leave and that there is nothing for them here. In the center of the room there is a receptacle that tells the player that they must sacrifice the doll they have been carrying in order to end the nightmare. Upon doing so, the the player is transported to a new area resembling a cabin with empty bottles littering the floor, and must pick up a gun and fight their way through demonic apparitions that vaguely resemble WW2-era German soldiers. Eventually they reach the last corner and automatically fire a shot at what they percieve to be a devil. Unfortunately that "devil" is quickly shown to be Spooky herself back when she was alive. Not only does this mean that you're forced to experience her final dying moments firsthand, but the note on the corpse that appears immediately after you return to the present strongly implies that the man who shot her during a PTSD-induced psychotic episode was none other than her own father.
- Finally there is the Bad Ending that if you escape without closing the Hell Gate. While the spirits of the house are released, with nothing stopping the Hell Gate it starts churning out horrors that overtake the world and quickly turn it into a barren wasteland.
- One of the new specimens includes White Face from Imscared, who follows you by floating in the air and seemingly teleporting around. If he kills you, the message "DEATH IS NO ESCAPE" will flash before cutting to White Face slowly approaching the screen and taunting you with a corpse hanging from a noose labeled with your name. A dialog prompt will then appear, and after you type something in the entire game will abruptly close.
- However, if you type in "open" at the prompt, you'll be presented with a Gross-Up Close-Up of the corpse, which is now disemboweled. Instead of closing the game, you'll be thrown back into a Womb Level with White Face still chasing you.
- Another one is a Little Bit Beastly girl named Tirsiak, who is actually cute-looking rather than scary. Her death screen, on the other hand, has her teleport you to a forest, where yellow eyes light up. Wolves start to rush the screen, slowly turning it red as you are Eaten Alive. The game then shows you your body and... it's not pretty.
- Even though Otto - an animatronic otter that moves very slowly and deals little to no damage to you - was intended as a joke specimen, the way it moves still falls into the Uncanny Valley.
- Then there is Spooper, who, despite the silly name, manages to be genuinely terrifying. At first, it appears as some sort of a kid in a Bedsheet Ghost costume, blocking the door leading to the next room. Unfortunately, Cruelty Is the Only Option, so you have to maul it with the axe... over, and over, and over, as it seems to be slowly decomposing more and more each time, and you see the real Spooper under the costume. And after you maul it one more time, the monster will discard its host and chase after you. It will remain unseen most of the time, but you will still have your health being drained constantly while it chases you, so you cannot afford to linger in any room for too long. Sometimes, it may root you in place and make you vomit blood, so that you begin losing even more health. After vomiting, sometimes there's a fetus in the blood.
- Then there's just about everything with Lisa. From the build-up (the screen turning redder with each room and notes appearing that seem to be directly addressing the player), to her overall design (a half-dead humanoid whose head and neck constantly contort in all directions while the rest of her body stays completely limp), to the chase (she forces you into an endless loop of the same rooms), to the death screen(EPILEPSY WARNING!) that will probably make you vomit your guts out.
- Some of the monsters from the base game gain new death screens (or, in case of Specimen 8, send you somewhere else entirely after death). Specimen 4, meanwhile, not only gets two new forms, but also has a hefty dose of Interface Screw added to her chase, all topped off with a new chase theme.
- The monsters from Karamari Hospital also make a return, and all of them are equally as horrifying as all the other monsters.