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Video Game / A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004)

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PS2 cover art for the game.
A Series of Unfortunate Events is a single-player video game adaptation of A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004). The game was released on the GameCube, PlayStation 2, Xbox, Windows, Java ME and Game Boy Advance in 2004.
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You play as a set of orphan children (Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire) as they search for a loving guardian after the tragic deaths of their parents. In their quest for a new home, they have to dodge Count Olaf, a greedy relative who hopes to inherit their fortune should they die. The children must do what they can to protect each other and defeat Olaf and his troupe of terrible actors.


The video game provides examples of:

  • All for Nothing:
    • The children's escape from Olaf's proves to be in vain as they somehow end up being caught by Olaf who attempts to kill them by trapping them in a locked car on some train tracks.
    • Protecting Josephine from the leeches is a wasted effort due to Olaf being the one who rescues the children from the leeches and he abandons Josephine in the boat.
  • Alliterative Title: Like with Snicket's other motifs, there are alliterative titles here. Some of the inventions are called the Brilliant Bopper, the Fruit Flinger, the Steady Stilts, etc. Some of the books in Justice Strauss's library have alliterative titles like "The Amazing Athlete", "The Pleasant Painting", "The Majestic Moon", and so on.
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  • Bittersweet Ending: Olaf's plan to marry Violet for her fortune fails, but he and his troupe escape and will most likely keep chasing after the children for their fortune. The children also have lost two potential guardians that would have taken them in and will still be searching for a guardian that will care for them.
  • Boss Battle: Almost each area has a couple of bosses the children must face. The bosses are the Bald Man, the White-Faced Women (you fight both of them the first and one of them separately later), a large spider, and the Hook-Handed Man.
  • Brother–Sister Team: The Baudelaires consist of two sisters and one brother and they use their unique skills to help each other escape danger.
  • Damsel in Distress: Twofold in the final part of the game. Sunny has been captured by Olaf to be used as a hostage and Violet, feeling as though she lacks a choice, is forced to comply with Olaf's demands.
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  • The Dragon: The Hook-Handed Man to Olaf. You don't fight him in an actual boss fight like the others until the final part of the game. The only "fights" you have with him involve him sending barrels down halls or on the docks and you very easily defeat him with one hit. He becomes a bigger threat in the tower where he's throwing barrels at Klaus from above before you fight him in the top of the tower.
  • Edible Ammunition:
    • Some of Olaf's henchpeople use food as weapons against the children. The Bald Man threw spaghetti at Klaus, one of the White-Faced Women threw bread at Violet, and the henchmen at the marketplace threw fish and other foods at Violet.
    • Two of Violet's weapons use food like the Fruit Flinger and the Peppermint Popper.
    • The final sequence of the game involves the villains shooting melons at Klaus as he’s trying to burn the marriage certificate.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Olaf's troupe in the first level is unusually aggressive towards the children. The Bald Man got upset with Klaus who approached him while he was eating spaghetti, the Hook-Handed Man was upset for the children entering a hallway he was in, and the White-Faced Women were upset for the children entering a room where they were rehearsing. This, for some reason, prompts each of the henchmen to attack the children for being mere annoyances to them.
  • Kid Hero: All three of the main characters are children. Violet is fourteen, Klaus is twelve, and Sunny is an infant.
  • Lemony Narrator: Lemony Snicket, as per usual, narrates over the events of the game in his usual eccentric ways. However, in addition to him narrating over the children's misfortunes, he also helps the player learn basic controls at the start of the game.
  • MacGyvering:
    • As per usual with Violet, she spends the whole game manufacturing devices for her and her siblings to use. The first two things she creates are weapons for her and Klaus to use against spiders and rats, which Olaf ordered them to clear out of his house.
    • Klaus tries his hand at creating a device to scale Olaf's tower by combining a bicycle pump, a coil from a chair, and a garden tool.
  • Parents in Distress: Uncle Monty and Aunt Josephine’s chapters involve them being placed in danger when Olaf shows up. There’s also a small challenge where you have to protect Josephine from the leeches until the rescue boat reaches the children.
  • Recurring Boss: You have to fight the Bald Man three times in the game. You also deal with the White-Faced Women a couple of times, but you fight both of them the first time and the other fights have you squaring off with them individually. Subverted with the Hook-Handed Man. You fight him several times in the game, but he's not an actual boss until the final part of the game.
  • Reformulated Game: Three (or five if you count the obscure mobile phone version and the ultra-rare Mini Games for Windows) versions of the game were released concurrently: the main PS2/Gamecube/Xbox versions, the Game Boy Advance version and a Windows release. All versions share the same basic premise but differ in gameplay and levels.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Downplayed with Josephine. Unlike her film and book counterparts, she doesn't turn on the children when Olaf shows up to save them from the leeches. She also informs them, albeit too late, that she ate a banana before she got on the boat with the children instead of trying to hide the evidence.
  • Villains Want Mercy: Once you defeat the White-Faced Woman in Olaf's room at Uncle Monty's, she begs for the children to not tell Olaf that she was defeated because she fears being fired.
  • Villainous Rescue: When the leeches are attacking the children’s boat, they’re unfortunately rescued by Count Olaf while Josephine is left alone in the boat.
  • Wicked Wasps: Uncle Monty's garden and hedge maze have a particularly aggressive type of wasps. They knock down their own nests and start attacking Violet with little provocation. According to Klaus, these wasps will explode if they sting you.
  • Would Hurt a Child:
    • Count Olaf's main plan is to kill the children for their fortune. It's implied during the dinner segment that Olaf also threw a plate with food on it at Klaus before the children learned about his murderous intentions.
    • Olaf's troupe as well has no problems with hurting the children either. The Hook-Handed Man regularly throws barrels at the children.
  • Would Hit a Girl:
    • Olaf's henchmen are not too hesitant about hurting Violet or her sister.
    • While going through Monty's maze, Klaus encounters Olaf's female cohorts and has to use his bopper to clear them out.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?:
    • Violet doesn't like dealing with rats or toads.
    • Klaus is very uncomfortable with spiders. Upon hearing that Olaf wants him and his sister to kill the spiders, he shudders in disgust.
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