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"I won't ask again. Where is your son?"
"In good hands."
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A Plague Tale: Innocence is an action-adventure stealth game created by Asobo Studio and published by Focus Home Interactive.

Set in France, during the early stages of The Hundred Years War, the game follows Amicia De Rune who, along with her little brother Hugo, must escape the encroaching Inquisition and the swarms of diseased rats during one of the worst pandemics in history: The Black Death.


This game provides examples of:

  • Alchemy Is Magic: Downplayed. Most of the alchemy is just chemistry with different names, but the Prima Macula is distinctly supernatural.
  • Alertness Blink: Enemy units respond this way if your stealthiness is lacking.
  • All for Nothing: The part where you have to find the cure for Hugo. First Amicia retrieves the Sanguinis Itinera from the University (which gets destroyed in the process) and then Amicia and Lucas chase back to the de Rune estate to create the elixir. All this is for nothing when Hugo escapes the next day and turns himself over to Vitalis where he reaches the next threshold.
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  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: The Player Character shifts to Hugo for Chapter 14.
  • Artistic License – Biology: While the game gets a lot of things right about the time period, rats would never be able to rapidly devour a human corpse of all its flesh or rip them in half, especially while going through armor, regardless of how many there were. Of course, these aren't exactly normal rats.
  • Ask a Stupid Question...: Hugo asks Rodric if one day he'll be as strong as him.
    Rodric: Mate, you control an army of rats.
  • Asleep for Days: Amicia passes out after bumping her head in a trench while searching for Hugo. She is found by Arthur and Melie after being missing for three days.
  • Bait-and-Switch: Amicia and Hugo's mother is presumably killed with a Gory Discretion Shot. However, it turns out she is still alive.
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  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Downplayed. Beatrice's torture leaves her with several cuts, bruises, and dirt on her face, but nothing too disfiguring, especially by the standards of medieval torture.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Amicia and Hugo save their mother, get rid of the rats, and put a stop to the Inquisition's corrupt, unholy ulterior motive. The three of them escape together with Lucas, but Robert, Rodric, and Arthur are dead, Melie has left the group, and everyone is permanently scarred by the events of the game, and the knowledge of their bloodline's powers and the danger it puts them in. There's also the fact that killing Vitalis, even though he was excommunicated, means the Church will likely hunt them for the rest of their lives, forcing them to leave the region.
  • The Black Death: Early on, Amicia and Hugo visit a town where the Plague has killed most of its citizens.
  • Blue Blood: The de Rune family, led by a respected knight, Robert, and his wife, Beatrice, a renowned alchemist. Then the Inquisition came...
  • Breather Episode:
    • After the orphans clear out the rats from the courtyard of Chateau d'Ombrage in the previous chapter, in Chapter 8—Our Home, they explore the castle while making themselves at home there. There is no action or danger in that chapter. Similarly, Chapter 11—Alive, also set at the Chateau, is bar any action.
    • Subverted in Chapter 15—Remembrance. It starts out just like Chapter 8: the orphans are organizing the defenses of the Chateau, without any imminent danger. Then suddenly, the rats begin to overflow the pits.
  • Break the Cutie: Amicia is introduced being spirited and headstrong, but the Inquisition's raid on her home shakes her to her core, and it just gets worse from there.
  • Brother–Sister Team: Through many trials, Amicia and Hugo learn to have each other's backs effectively.
    • Melie and Arthur are also this, as a pair of competent thieves.
  • Bulletproof Human Shield: Amicia hides under the corpse of a soldier when archers shoot at her after she successfully escaped the Army's camp. Subverted, however—one arrow is shown piercing clean through the body, implying the corpse serves more as a smokescreen to throw off the archers' aim than it does as a true shield.
  • Chasing a Butterfly: Hugo is happily chasing butterflies at the Chateau. It's because he has never been out in nature before.
  • Children Forced to Kill: Amicia can break enemies' lamps, which gets them eaten by a horde of rats. She clearly does not enjoy this. But It Gets Easier soon.
  • Convenient Escape Boat: There is one parked at a pier by Laurentius's mill which the kids use to get away from the rats.
  • Conveniently Timed Attack from Behind: When Amicia and Hugo try to sneak out of their house, they bump into a guard. Good thing the mother is there to take him out with a stone from behind.
  • Corrupt Church: The Inquisition is a corrupt sect.
  • Crapsack World: It's the Dark Ages, there's a war and a plague going on, and the Inquisition is out in force. No one's having much fun.
  • Cruelty Is the Only Option: At Laurentius' farm, you have to sacrifice a pig to reach the laboratory.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Amicia and Hugo are both Pest Controllers who can direct the rats. They decide to use this to quarantine the plague by steering them away from populated areas.
  • Darkness Equals Death: Much of the gameplay involving rats is that if you don't have a torch you could be eaten to death. Once you unlock Hugo's power to control the rats, you start deliberately extinguishing the light to turn it against your enemies.
  • Defiant to the End: Amicia and Hugo's father, Robert, says nothing to Sir Nicholas when he offers him one last chance to turn in his son, and promptly gets executed for it.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: Not surprisingly, the Middle Ages has quite a number of subjects that would not fly today.
    • Amicia is talked about becoming a lady and following the lords on hunts. Women were very much used as signs of status and were treated a lot less like actual people, being seen as pawns.
      • Similarly, her father tells her that her tomboyish attitude would very much be very different when she would marry a lord, even though he personally doesn't mind. Amicia's tomboyish antics would fly very much in the face of the standards of what women were supposed to be like and even act like in medieval Europe.
    • Cursing is seen as downright blasphemous, and especially using the Lord's name in vain infuriates many people. In the modern era, while more extreme slurs are still disliked being used in public, the minor swears do not bother anyone now.
    • The Catholic Church has a lot of power in the state and they do not hesitate to use it to their advantage. A very far cry from how secular France is now.
  • Diabolus ex Machina: Swarms of rats will frequently emerge from the ground and attack the heroes. Subverted, when you realize that the swarm was trying to protect their master and his sister. Once Hugo manages to consciously control them, the rats turn into a Deus ex Machina when they come to aid the heroes in front of the church where Vitalis resides.
  • Dramatic Slip: Hugo slips and falls while escaping the enemy from the battlefield. It gets him and Amicia caught.
  • Dream Within a Dream: When Amicia bumps her head in a ditch while searching for Hugo, she falls unconscious and has a dream. She wakes from it but the realm turns out to be another surreal dream.
  • Due to the Dead: Amicia is devastated when she comes back home to find her dead father's body eaten up by the rats before she could give him a proper burial. She prays that her father rests in peace nonetheless.
  • Eaten Alive: Anyone who is caught by the swarm of rats and does not have a torch will be eaten alive. It doesn't take many to do it, either.
  • Enemy Chatter: The enemy soldiers often drop some plot-relevant information during their conversations.
  • Escort Mission: Amicia has her five-year-old brother Hugo as her charge for the story. Hugo, thankfully, isn't a burden whenever he's close to Amicia, can crawl into small spaces either to grab items or open doors.
  • Everyone Has Standards: The Church won't hesitate to excommunicate the Grand Inquisitor when they learn of his plans.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: Aside from their family, and the orphans, almost every single person Amicia and Hugo encounter either try to kill them or wind up killed by the rats.
  • Exact Words: At Laurentius' farm, Hugo asks Amicia if they are gonna feed the pig. She affirms but with a darker meaning in mind.
  • Expositing the Masquerade: At the secret library, Vitalis tells Amicia that he's been watching Hugo for quite some time now.
  • Fetch Quest: The retrieval of the Sanguinis Itinera from the library, of the elixir from the de Rune estate and of the key to Beatrice's cell.
  • Follow the White Rabbit: Hugo's chapter is kicked off with him noticing a rat disappearing behind a door. He decides to follow it.
  • For Doom the Bell Tolls: The bells of the cathedral toll before the Final Boss battle.
  • For Your Own Good: This is Amicia's justification for not telling Hugo about their mother having survived.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: The rats are established early as being able to strip a human to the bone in a matter of seconds. However, when the player distracts them with pieces of meat (like a side of ham), the rats will be occupied for far longer, if not indefinitely.
    • This particular form of the plague, known as "The Bite", is said to be spread by rats; one bite makes someone contract the plague and become infectious to others. Over the course of the game Amicia, Hugo, and their various companions can get swarmed by rats and cry out but stumble into lit areas and are totally fine.
  • Good Parents: Amicia's and Hugo's parents are clearly this, as they intentionally shelter them in the hopes of trying to save them. The father tries to fight off the Inquisition when they arrive, and Beatrice tells the Inquisition nothing about how to use the Macula even when being tortured.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: One of the priests, in the beginning, is found dead in a stairwell, with his lower half completely destroyed due to the rats attacking him.
  • Harmful to Minors: Throughout their journey, Amicia and Hugo are exposed to death in many forms thanks to the Inquisition, the Black Death, and the ravenous rats that carry it. Amicia herself kills people who threaten Hugo's life as well as her own, which leaves her shaken to the core. Even after she resigns herself to killing, she has to pass through a house where a man committed suicide after his wife and child died, under a scaffolding where people were hanged, and through a graveyard piled with the unburied dead, each of which horrifies her.
  • Headbutt of Love: Amicia gives one to her brother during their Big Damn Reunion after Hugo went to the dark side.
  • Historical Fantasy: The game is set during The Black Death in 14th century France. With rats swarming by the thousands from underground, eating everything in their paths, and one of the main characters having a supernatural condition that has historical records going back to Roman times. With this condition, said character unintentionally summons the rats and learns to control it by the end of the game.
  • Hollywood Torches: Even abandoned places like hidden laboratories or the Roman bath will have torches and candles still lit when the heroes arrive.
  • Human Sacrifice: Vitalis sacrifices a whole congregation of people to give him access to the powers of Hugo's blood.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: It is indicated quite clearly that your most dangerous adversaries are the human enemies who are pursuing you, instead of the rats, which are more a force of nature if anything.
  • If We Get Through This...: On finding the now destroyed forge of Rodric's father, Amicia promises Rodric that they will find another castle for him to build a forge. Minutes later Rodric is dead.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: The battlefield is scattered with corpses impaled on poles.
  • It's Personal: The second Vitalis reveals that he ordered the attack on her home, Amicia is out for his blood. It gets even more personal when she discovers that he is torturing Beatrice.
  • Just a Stupid Accent: A couple of characters, most notably Amicia, speak English with a French accent in order to remind us where the story takes place.
  • Last Villain Stand: When all his guards are incapacitated, Vitalis stands up to Amicia for the Final Battle at the cathedral.
  • Left Stuck After Attack: During the bossfight with Conrad, his weapon will frequently get stuck in the ground, giving you time to put some space between the two of you before his next attack.
  • Let's Get Out of Here: Line used several times by a character, e.g. Arthur on their first encounter with Amicia.
  • Light Is Not Good: Many of the enemies you face are brutal inquisitors of the Catholic Church, who are trying to use the Plague for their corrupt purposes. The final boss is brightly lit and clad in white and commands white rats which don't fear the light, and fittingly, you have to extinguish the light to give Hugo's swarms the chance to fight him.
  • Lightning Reveal: When the orphans arrive at Chateau d'Ombrage, there is a thunderstorm, and the castle is illuminated by lightning when they first see it.
  • Locked in the Dungeon: The Grand Inquisitor has Beatrice locked up in the basement of the university. Huge has to sneak in and rescue her.
  • Lost Aesop: After Amicia's horrified reaction to her first kill, the game seems to be setting up a major theme about the effect killing (even justified killing) can have on someone. But this never really becomes part of the story, and later chapters even become more combat-heavy.
  • MacGuffin Delivery Service: Subverted. Once Amicia finds the Sanguinis Itinera at the secret library, Vitalis shows up to seize the book but you manage to escape.
  • Make Sure He's Dead: After dropping a whole bunch of masonry on top of Lord Nicholas, Arthur picks up a good chunk with the intention of Double Taping the enemy. Unfortunately, he gets distracted by the reunion of Amicia and Hugo, and misses the knight recovering.
  • Man on Fire: One or two mooks are lit on fire in the burning university.
  • Meat Moss: It's black rather than red, but the weird matter that builds up on every surface where rats have had dominion for long enough has this sort of look, helped by the human bones and even skeletons embedded in it. The one place the black matter has not touched is Hugo's room at the de Rune estate which foreshadows the importance of his role in the affair.
  • Misfit Mobilization Moment: While the orphans are normally more or less content to try surviving at Chateau d'Ombrage, Arthur's death combined with Hugo joining their side after crossing the Threshold mobilizes them to finally attack the Inquisition itself.
  • New Era Speech: Vitalis declares that he would launch the beginning of a new era where he would save everyone from the plague with his powers.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Amicia's decision to hide the truth from Hugo about the survival of their mother undoes all the effort she put into finding a cure for him as Hugo goes for a Sneaky Departure and ends up siding with Vitalis.
  • Nightmare Sequence: Amicia has a tense nightmare after she fell and bumped her head while looking for Hugo. In it she sees Hugo walk away with Nicholas in a sea of rats.
  • Nobody Here but Us Birds: At the army camp, Melie communicates with her brother via bird sounds.
  • No Escape but Down: In a cutscene early on, Amicia and Hugo jump from a cliff into a river to escape the Inquisition.
  • Notice This: Items that can be picked up will glow.
  • Not So Different: At one point Nicholas asks himself why Beatrice keeps resisting since they both have the same goal and only their methods differ.
  • Oblivious Guilt Slinging: When Amicia and Lucas are using food to lure a pig into an enclosed space where it will be eaten alive by rats as a diversion, Hugo doesn't understand what they're doing and is adorably excited about feeding the nice piggy. Prepare to feel like a complete asshole during that scene.
  • Off-into-the-Distance Ending: The Playable Epilogue ends with the cart of the de Rune family rolling off into the distance.
  • One Dialogue, Two Conversations: Unbeknownst to Amicia, Hugo overheard Arthur talking about how Beatrice was still alive and held captive by Vitalis. Later he asks Amicia if they would ever see their mother again. Amicia, still believing her brother was referring to their dead mother, says that Beatrice would not come back to them. When he asks if it hurts where she is, Amicia also denies. Unwittingly, Amicia's replies developed an urge in Hugo to leave and go search for his mother.
  • Playable Epilogue: There is another playable short chapter after the credits have rolled.
  • Plot-Mandated Friendship Failure: Hugo runs away half-way through the plot because Amicia lied to him and he rather wanted to be with his mother.
  • Power-Strain Blackout: During Hugo and his mother's escape attempt, Hugo collapses out of exhaustion after killing several of Vitalis' minions. This leads to him and Beatrice getting recaptured.
  • Prepare to Die: Said by Nicholas during his boss fight with Amicia.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: One English soldier laments that the region they just defeated the French for belongs to the rats.
  • Reality Ensues: Aside from the Black Death having supernatural origins, this game has quite a fair bit of realism.
    • Any attempt by Amicia to fight professional infantry and knights in a straight fight goes as well as can be expected; when a novice huntress armed with a sling tries to defend in melee against a war-trained swordsman or dodge an arrow out of cover from a seasoned marksman, she's screwed.
      • However, knights or not, a rock thrown by a sling to an unprotected head is almost guaranteed to kill someone. And knights, for all their military training, understand little about finding saboteurs or spies.
    • In the medieval era, people of noble birth are kept alive for ransom. Many soldiers comment on how much money Amicia will make as an excuse for keeping her alive.
    • Rodric's push with the cart serving as a shield works fine until the cart gets about halfway there, and then Rodric's back and side are exposed to the archers, enabling them to get three arrows into him. This ultimately kills Rodric.
    • Killing Vitalis is a big one for the protagonists. Yes, Vitalis was a corrupt sadistic power-hungry monster who no one in the audience would miss, especially since he was excommunicated, so the townsfolk are relatively tolerant of the witch-boy with rat-powers who killed a psychotic witch-tyrant with worse rat-powers and saved them. But regardless of whether or not he was evil, the fact the protagonists killed such a high figure in the hierarchy of the Catholic Church means that the Church will never stop hunting them, and so they have to leave the region. Not to mention that word about Hugo's power has certainly spread.
    • Amicia is a sheltered noble, not a trained killer, so naturally, she experiences great remorse the first time she has to kill in defense of Hugo.
  • The Reveal: Hugo has supernatural powers running in his blood, which allows him to control the rats.
  • Riches to Rags: Amicia and Hugo are of noble status, but the Inquisition's arrival at their home costs them everything, turning them into Noble Fugitives.
  • Rugged Scar: Facial scars of some description are very common, even on the young characters.
  • Rule of Three: Both Nicholas and Vitalis have to be buried three times under a pile of rats before they succumb.
  • Run or Die: Several times you just have to make a run for it to survive, e.g.:
    • In the beginning when you flee the estate and the rats are emerging left and right.
    • Past the burning windmill where you have to run to reach the boat.
    • At the university where Rodric tells you to stop think and run after you set the room on fire.
  • Say My Name: Amicia calls out for Hugo a lot.
  • Scare Chord: Used when you've been spotted by an enemy.
  • Secret Room: Amicia finds a hidden door behind the Lion's head at the Roman baths that leads to Beatrice's secret lab where Lucas manages to mix the elixir for Hugo.
  • Sequel Hook: The Macula has a number of thresholds, and this game only concerns the crossing of the first one.
  • Shell-Shock Silence: The soundtrack goes mute after Amicia's first kill.
  • Ship Tease: Melie teasingly claims that Amicia seems rather taken with Arthur. She also snarks that Lucas wanting her help with a lock is just an excuse for him to spend time with her. Nothing comes of either one, though, so maybe Melie just has a dirty mind.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Slashed Throat: Nicholas kills Amicia's father this way.
  • Smack on the Back: Rodric smacks fragile Lucas hard on the back as a sign of approval after the latter returns with the elixir.
  • Snake Pit: There are rat pits installed as defense in the courtyard of Chateau d'Ombrage.
  • So Proud of You: When Lucas manages to produce the elixir for Hugo, Amicia tells him how proud she is of him and that Laurentius would be as well.
  • Stealth-Based Mission: The chapter in which you control Hugo is entirely about infiltrating the enemy's lair to find Beatrice all while staying undetected.
  • The Stinger: The Playable Epilogue happens after the credits roll. Then there are some more credits.
  • Sympathy for the Hero: Downplayed, but one of the villagers doesn't seem happy about following Conrad's orders to chase down random strange children. This will not stop him from giving Amicia a game over if he spots and catches her.
  • Take a Moment to Catch Your Death: Nicholas is assumed dead after getting a scaffolding of huge rocks dropped on him by Arthur. The latter is relieved and watches the Big Damn Reunion between Amicia and Hugo, only for Nicholas to get up and silently rise behind him...
  • Taking the Bullet: It's revealed that, the estate's caretaker Lambert jumped in front of Amicia's mother to take the hit from Nicholas' sword.
  • Team Hand-Stack: After Arthur's death, the five remaining heroes decide to go for Vitalis. In order to show their solidarity, they do this hand shake white shouting their Battlecry "To the death!".
  • Tentative Light: Besides Hollywood Torches, Amicia also has to do with sticks which are burning up quickly.
  • These Hands Have Killed: Amicia looks remorseful at her hands after killing Conrad.
  • Tested on Humans: Vitalis has no qualms to send in his mooks to test out Hugo's new powers.
  • This Cannot Be!: Vitalis screams "It's impossible!" when Amicia hits him with a stone during their boss fight.
  • Throwing the Distraction: Throwing/slinging stones at metal objects is a good method to distract guards. You can also throw bowls to the ground if there are no metal objects available, but you can only carry one of them.
  • Thwarted Escape: Hugo and Beatrice's escape from the Torture Cellar almost succeeds until they are caught by Nicholas on their way out.
  • Timed Mission: The game runs on Take Your Time except for a couple of action-based sequences that require you to perform a task in a given amount of time.
  • Time Skip:
    • There is a skip of three weeks in chapter "Alive" during which Lucas searches for an elixir to cure Hugo.
    • Another time skip of one month occurs in chapter "Remembrance" after Hugo passed over to the dark side.
  • Torches and Pitchforks: After they first leave their castle, the townsfolk first avoids Amicia and Hugo, then they start chasing them down.
  • Torture Cellar: The Inquisition has one which Hugo has to infiltrate in order to find his mother.
  • Turns Red: During the boss fights, the enemies become stronger as you wear them down. Justified in the case of Conrad, who becomes faster as you remove pieces of his armor.
  • Tragic Villain: Conrad. His fellow villagers talk about him going crazy over his son's death. During his boss fight he tells Amicia the loser will die while the winner will be damned, and roars that he wants to be taken to his wife and child.
  • Undying Loyalty: Many servants of De Rune refuse to cooperate with the Inquisition. In the tutorial stealth scenes in the first chapter, several of them even appear to see Amicia and Hugo but do nothing to alert the Inquisition soldiers focused on them.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: After Hugo has access to his rat swarm controlling powers, the game becomes much more action-oriented as you no longer have to fear the darkness.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: Amicia can get apples for Hugo, play hide-and-seek, and go out of her way to find flowers he puts in her hair. There are also a few opportunities where you can go out of your way to not get an English soldier and later two wounded Inquisition men Eaten Alive by rats, which the game notices.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: The default for the above opportunities, and much easier than finding another way, is to just have those people Eaten Alive by rats. You can also eventually minimize the 'stealth' aspect of gameplay by, rather than making distractions and sneaking around, just headshotting enemies.
  • War Is Hell: On top of the horrors of the Rat Plague, the The Hundred Years War is already in full swing with once-pristine countryside being turned into a bloody quagmire of corpses, abandoned siege engines, and ruined fortifications with both the Plantagenet and Valois men-at-arms gleefully slaughtering each other and making more fodder for the rats.
  • We Can Rule Together: Vitalis tries to get Hugo on his side.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: The majority of the Inquisition only wants to stop the plague and believes their actions are necessary. Several soldiers willingly sacrifice themselves to try and awaken Hugo's powers, saying it would be an honor to die for the cause. Unfortunately for them, their leader does not share their views.
  • Where It All Began: Two-third into the game, Amicia revisits her home estate, now destroyed and covered in Meat Moss.
  • Would Hurt a Child: The Inquisition has no trouble killing Amicia, though they have orders to spare Hugo.
  • You Monster!: Beatrice calls Vitalis a monster when the latter sends in his minions to test out Hugo's powers.

 
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