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"I can't stop taking these pills."

Afraid of Monsters is a horror mod for Half-Life 1, originally released in December 2005, with an overhauled "Director's Cut" version later releasing in October 2007.

You are David Leatherhoff, a man who is addicted to pain pills that mysteriously appear in his mailbox every week, and he certainly doesn't care who's sending them. He's been suffering night terrors recently, far more brutal than simple nightmares should be.

Eventually, fed up, he checks himself into a hospital for rehab. When he goes into the bathroom, he finds the same damned pills there, and against his better judgment, pops some and blacks out in a nearby stall.

When he awakes, the hospital's shrouded in complete darkness. The only signs of life are things that twitch and lurk in the dark, out to kill him. He has to find a way out...


One of the more notable Half-Life mods, mostly because it's quite frightening. Received a Spiritual Successor in 2012, in the form of Cry of Fear.

This game mod demonstrates the FOLLOW the RED:

  • Abandoned Hospital: The first and, in some paths, last level.
  • Abandoned Hospital Awakening: David starts the game checking himself into the local hospital about his addiction, but he just can't help himself and downs a few more pills in the bathroom - next thing he knows, he's the only living person still there.
  • Abnormal Limb Rotation Range: Demonstrated with varied success from all the humanoid enemies.
  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: With a few chops, a kitchen knife can cut through wood, boxes, windows, the floor of a elevator, and metal grills sealing vents.
  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: Might be difficult to notice because of the lack of light, but nevertheless big enough for zombies to live in.
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  • Acceptable Breaks from Reality: More often than not, you can find many good things in garbage cans and containers. Things like ammunition and bottles of painkillers that give health. That is standard in games, but sometimes you also find something rare, like functioning flashlight batteries (which itself justifies why they run out so fast - the batteries David keeps finding are old and leaking.
  • Action Survivor: David Leatherhoff is a completely normal junkie thrown into hell with just a few guns and some pills.
  • Air-Vent Passageway: To escape from the Hospital, you need to go through the vents several times... especially when the elevator jams. And starts falling. To no one's surprise, there's a screamer in there.
  • All Just a Dream: The final, good ending (the only one in the original and the fourth ending in DC) shows David OD'd in the hospital, seemingly dead, but he's successfully resuscitated by the doctors.
  • Amazing Technicolor Population: The Twitchers are often in different skintones (mostly pitch-black or blood-stained), but it is most obvious when David is in Markland Forest. Almost all of them are completely white — or invisible.
  • An Axe to Grind: The best melee weapon in the Director's Cut is the axe. Unfortunately, the final boss has one, too — and to make it even worse, he pulls that axe out of his body.
  • An Aesop: Don't do drugs.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: Sort of. If you run out of batteries, your flashlight will slowly recharge just enough to not make the game unwinnable. The problem is, you still need to stop every minute or two and wait for the batteries to refill, and staying still in complete darkness with a bunch of aggressive monsters lurking around is not the most pleasant thing, to say the least. The flashlight also only recharges to 5% battery, and it does so very slowly.
  • Applied Phlebotinum: The bottles of Remedy that David is addicted to.
  • Arc Words:
    • "Forgive me."
    • "THANK YOU"
  • Artificial Stupidity: Sometimes the Twitchers in the hospital simply stand on the stairs, even if they have seen David. This makes it easy to nail headshots.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • The fully-automatic weapons are all cool but mostly not used. The AK-47 in the original had very little ammunition, though this was mitigated since you didn't need to drop the shotgun to pick it up. Director's Cut plays this much more straight, however, with the MP5 and the Uzi. Both have very little ammunition to be found, they burst away a whole magazine worth of bullets in less than a few seconds, and it is easy to overkill a enemy if the player gets startled, getting rid of even more ammo. But worst of all: unlike the original version, weapons have to be swapped because of the weight. Which means that you have to get rid of the very useful shotgun for one of them. Powerful guns are tempting, but not useful in the long run.
    • Before that, there's the Glock David that finds in the cafeteria. More ammo capacity, but less stopping power than the P228 you find first. Pick it up, waste its magazine to kill a Twitcher or two, then go back for your P228.
    • The hammer found in the sewer and parts of the city may count. It deals way more damage than the knife (enough to kill an enemy in one or two hits), but is way slower along with the fact that there's a notable wind-up delay when you press the fire button which means you have to time it to run up to an enemy right as you swing, and mistiming can mean a miss at best or unnecessary damage at worst. The axe, though, is a much needed upgrade, combining the hammer's ridiculous power with a much faster swing speed (still not as fast as the knife, but without a wind-up).
  • Ax-Crazy: David in the bad ending(s); it's revealed that he went on a psychotic rampage during his hallucination, and all those monsters he killed were people.
  • Battle in the Center of the Mind: The final ending implies that the whole game was this, with the final boss fight in particular being against an alternate version of David himself.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Not in the mod itself as much as when digging into the game files. Many of the files are titled in Swedish instead of English, and as such, anyone knowing Swedish will have an interesting and somewhat creepy time reading the titles. For example, multiple soundfiles are named "Viskningar", which means Whispers. There is also "Brutalskrik" (Brutal Scream), and Karringskrik. Karring is slang, in this case spelled without the letter Ä, that is used in the same context nowadays as Bitch. In case you wonder what some of them are used for, it's ambiance and some of the jumpscares.
  • Black Bug Room: The nightmare in the beginning and the others that appear through the game. Depending on how you play, however, the whole experience might be a nightmare.
  • Black Eyes of Evil:
    • David's Doppelgänger.
    • Most of the zombies/twitchers. In the Director's Cut, the dogs and ghosts, too.
  • Blackout Basement: A basement later in the game is constantly flickering, and inhabited by zombies. The hospital garage and having to plunge the hospital into darkness to get past some live wires may count.
  • Blatant Item Placement: Including bottles of pills and live ammunition in cardboard boxes and tossed into garbage bins. This at least justifies why picking up batteries only adds a little bit of power to your flashlight.
  • Block Puzzle: It's a mod for the original Half-Life, so this is to be expected.
  • Bloodless Carnage: You'll usually find blood more often smeared on the walls as part of the scenery than spilled from killed enemies.
  • Bloody Handprints: Frequently found in the hospital, but especially all over where the barricade used to be after you cut the power.
  • Body Armor as Hit Points: Unless you play Director's Cut, in which armor is completely removed.
  • Body Horror: The zombies start out as at least fairly humanoid, then turn worse... Especially the "Noodle'd" ones, which are zombies with very deformed, sculpture-like heads and limbs.
  • Bottomless Pits: If you do not follow the red dots in the nightmares, you fall and die in a black void. Falling off the hospital, falling into the elevator shaft, etc.
  • Broken Bridge: Several paths are locked or not possible to take unless a key has been found.
    • In Director's Cut, David needs to open a car trunk with a key to find a rope, which he uses to climb a stone fence surrounding an apartment.
    • Another good example: David has to enter a subway, but to get there he needs to open up the door, the key to which is locked away inside a room only accessible by blowing up a pack of dynamite, which can only safely be detonated by entering a room which can only be entered by climbing through a small vent.
  • Chaos Architecture: Anytime David drops into his psyche — especially the last levels.
  • Cold Turkeys Are Everywhere: The pills, which, ironically, are needed to survive, since they act as the health pickups.
  • Convenient Color Change: An early puzzle/back-track quest went as such: If the button is surrounded by green light, it opens the green door. If the button shines red, it opens the red door, and same for blue.
  • Crate Expectations: As in the original Half-Life. Some need to be pushed into position for you to jump on them and on top of or over something, others can be broken to reveal health, batteries and ammo.
  • Creative Closing Credits:
    • In Director's Cut, the credits are on many TV monitors, spread around in a dark room, and shown as the camera dramatically pans into them one by one while Aphex Twin's "Heart of it All" plays in the background.
    • Averted by the original, however, since it consisted of one sentence: "Mod by Andreas Ronnberg (ruMpel)".
  • Creepy Basement: David must venture into one and turn off the electricity in the Hospital. It gets significantly scarier when he tries to get out.
  • Creepy Cemetery: In Markland Forest.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: Or lack thereof. Director's Cut forces the player to press the Use key to pick up weapons and items, whereas in the original the player just had to walk over the items to collect them. The mechanic was most likely implemented so that players would not replace and re-replace their weapons every time they happened to walk over them (see Hyperspace Arsenal).
  • Deadly Lunge:
    • The very much alive skulls do a leap attack when David is close enough.
    • Hunchbacked zombies in the forest.
  • Death Trap: In one of David's Nightmares, he has to send a chained man into a wall with spikes. If he's not careful before the hallucination entering the forest, he'll be dropped into a jail cell, and smacked by a zombie until he dies.
  • Die, Chair, Die!: Trash cans/rubbish bins, since they usually contain pills and ammo.
  • Disgusting Public Toilet: Actually quite nice at first... until a ghost draws the alphabet in blood on it.
  • Doomed Protagonist: David, unless you get the 4th ending.
  • Don't Go in the Woods
  • Down the Drain: The Sewer under the city. One of the rare scary videogame examples.
  • Downer Ending: The first three endings in Director's Cut, wherein David finds that he went on a psychotic mass murder spree, is questioned and can't remember anything about it, and hangs himself out of guilt in his prison cell.
    • The only ending in the original mod counts in which doctors are attempting to revive David after he's OD'd in the bathroom but, unlike the good ending in DC, he doesn't make it.
  • Deus ex Machina:
    • When the Boss battle with David's doppelgänger begins, the only weapon capable of killing him, a spear, lies at the end of the room on a bench, waiting to be picked up. He thankfully averts becoming an Anticlimax Boss, because even with the weapon, he is challenging.
    • It makes sense, though, when you consider that David is basically thinking "I am taking control of my own fate", and promptly created the only thing capable of stopping himself; this was at the point he tried to be in control of his thoughts.
  • Director's Cut: Labeled as such, but it's more like an Updated Re-release.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: A specific door leads to a changing room for men, that has posters on the wall featuring suggestively clad women. Enter the room for a closer look, however, and three Zombies will smash out of the lockers next to David. Justified in the Let's Play Developer Commentaries made by ruMpel, where he states that it was supposed to be a changing room for workers there and the like.
  • Driven to Suicide: In the third ending.
  • Drop the Hammer: A ball hammer, the second melee weapon you can grab in DC.
  • Drugs Are Bad: Everything that happens to David is caused by the drugs that he is addicted to, as the entire game is a hallucination caused by them.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: In both games, David manages to fight off his addiction and wake up from his overdose.
  • Enemy Chatter: Mostly averted, unlike Half-Life and its other mods. Most enemies do make noises when discovering and attacking you, but none of it is intelligible speech.
  • Escape from the Crazy Place: A feeling caused by the hospital. But even after that, the whole world appears crazy.
  • Everybody's Dead, Dave: At most, David finds three or four other normal people across the game - and all of them are already dead, or about to be.
  • Evil Counterpart: The final boss of the good ending is a pale, zombie-like doppelgänger of David.
  • Excuse Plot: Word of God stated in an interview he was very well aware of it.
    "I didn't decide the story yet and I wanted monsters in the mod. So I added drugs in the story so he could hallucinate his enemies."
  • Faceless Goons: You might encounter a Zombie wearing a plastic bag over his head. Literal examples are more frequent, though.
  • Fade to Black: Used as a transition when crossing the lake on the boat.
  • Fade to White: True to the trope, it occurs when you finally kill the last boss. Also used in the third ending - the one where David hangs himself. In the original mod, it occurs when you escape.
  • Fantastic Drug: "Remedy", the painkillers David's addicted to, is apparently quite powerful. So powerful, they give you nightmares that can actually kill you!
  • Faux Shadowing: Several of the scares act like this. No, the woman with the drum for a head that you saw in the painting is not going to be significant after she somehow escapes from her painting. You see her for a split second in a bathroom a minute afterward, and then never again.
  • Fingerless Gloves: David wears them. So does his Evil Counterpart in the final ending.
  • Footprints of Muck: Leading to one of the toilets. More varied examples appear latter on.
  • Foreboding Architecture: Several, especially in the sewers. If it's a long hallway, you're guaranteed a screamer.
  • Get on the Boat: There is a boat David has to use to cross a lake in the forest. You might or might not find it in Director's Cut.
  • Ghost City: Complete with angry ghosts AND zombies. And, occasionally, ghost zombies.
  • Gotta Catch Them All!: The pieces of the code, for the fourth ending.
  • Grimy Water: The sewer water. In the original version of the mod, there is a giant black fish swimming in it, but was removed in the Director's Cut.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • It's extremely easy to lose your way in the hospital in either version after the blackout happens.
    • The flashlight in Director's Cut doesn't recharge, unlike the original. You better have a good quicksave on hand if you run out in certain areas.
  • Hand Cannon: The Desert Eagle and Revolver. Subverted, in which you'll often have to fight off more than one twitching zombie, it becomes slightly less useful. And contrary to horror fans' expectations, having a Desert Eagle or revolver in your hands does not make your enemies any less pants-wettingly terrifying.
  • Haunted House: The mansion in Markland Forest, with its flashing images of people and Invisible Zombies.
  • Healing Potion: The pain killers you find strewn about levels. Deconstructed, as they're the reason you're seeing these horrible things to begin with.
  • Hearing Voices: More or less through the whole game, random voices start whispering. Sometimes one can understand what they say, but more often than not, it is gibberish. Also, they were made using Microsoft Sam...
    • ... In contrast to our Heroic Mime, and all human characters, whose dialogues are in text only without voicework.
  • Heartbeat Soundtrack: Often induced at a certain event, like a blackout.
  • Immune to Bullets: The final boss.
  • Improbable Age: The creator of the mod, Andreas "ruMpel" Rönnberg, was 12 years old when he began work on it and 14 when it was finished.
  • Infernal Retaliation: When he has taken enough hits, the final boss becomes temporarily engulfed in flames that damages David over time.
  • Infinity +1 Sword: A weapon only obtained after beating all 4 endings is found in the hospital with the bathroom with letters. It's an L85A2 with infinite ammo, a high rate of fire (both of which also make it the only weapon practical for use as a Muzzle Flashlight), devastating stopping power, and a scope. Ladies and Gentlemen, meet the GM_General.
  • Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence: You cannot climb over or crawl under the barrier that prevents you from going up from the hospital's Parking garage.
  • Interface Screw: Being hit by an Abomination turns the screen red and only white noise is heard for a few seconds as you continue taking damage over time.
  • Invisible Wall: Rarely found, but the aforementioned barrier and some stairs have them.
  • Invisible Monsters: The Bleeding Specters. Their faces flash yellow when they are laughing and attacking from range. At one point, even the Zombies become invisible.
  • Journey to the Center of the Mind: Your ultimate enemy in the game? Yourself. The last levels completely leave reality and go into David's head, where he must fight off even more disfigured zombies in a twisted void.
  • Jump Scare: All over the place. In places where you expect it, and places where you least expect it. Some are enemies, and thanks to how fast and damaging they are, expect to die the first time around. The worst is the subway attack. Hope you know where the turnstiles are.
  • Limited Loadout: In the Director's Cut version, there are four weapon slots that can only take one weapon each: a melee weapon (knife, hammer or axe), a pistol (P228, Glock, or Beretta), a heavy pistol (Desert Eagle or revolver), and a two-handed weapon (shotgun, Uzi, or MP5K).
  • Lock and Key Puzzle: The TNT puzzle in the sewers. Requires you to go into a darkened highrise, and... yeah.
  • Locked Door: Unlocked by buttons. On beds!
  • Made of Iron: A Twitcher might sometimes survive a point-blank shotgun blast to the head.
  • The Man Behind the Monsters: Leatherhoff himself.
  • The Maze: Director's Cut has a second Nightmare sequence, when David falls asleep while driving a car, that is a labyrinth. In order to get through it, you have to follow the roadsigns while defending yourself from zombies. If you go the wrong way, the ground crumbles under David and he falls into a prison to get torn apart by zombies. When you have finally reached the end of the labyrinth, David wakes up to the sound of the car crashing into a tree. Welcome to Markland Forest...
  • Mind Screw: The beginning of the end. You go through the hospital from the first level, that has in fact been turned sideways, and all the rooms are spinning in their own directions. The chairs and tables are your new substitute for platforms, and do not even dare to follow anything but the red dots. And then you get to the drawings, with sentient-drawn eyes and prison bar drawings actually holding questionable beings in them...
  • Mono Gender Monsters: Almost all the Zombies/Twitchers are men. The only exception being two female figures with smashed faces that can be encountered in the city section of the game. The rest of the monsters are far too twisted to say for sure, although the flying launcher ghosts appear to have a woman-like face.
  • Monster Closet: So many of them.
  • Mook Chivalry: Accidentally occurs any time you come across a bunch of Twitchers in a tight hallway. In wide-open areas, they all attack at once.
  • Mooks but No Bosses: The original version had no endgame enemy, unlike Director's Cut.
  • Multiple Endings: Four, but the first three are actually a sequence, they're showing David's discovery that he went on a psychotic rampage and killed 27 people, his interrogation by the police where he can't remember anything, and, ultimately, his suicide out of guilt. The fourth, however, shows hope, where instead, he's suffered from an OD and doctors are working to save him, and he survives.
    • Moreover, to get the fourth ending, you actually need to see the other three endings.
    • To be more precise, you have to find scattered letters with numbers in the game, which are combined into a single long code. But after leaving the hospital and getting to the subway, the levels branch off in different multiple directions. Depending on which route you take, he ends up with a different ending. In all of the locations, these scattered pieces of the code exist, which the player has to memorize. Close to the game's finale, there is a room in David's last nightmare in which he is supposed to press in this code, and a new path opens to the fourth and happy ending. Assuming you dare to replay the game two times more.
  • Musical Spoiler: Midway through the sewer under the city, creepy music suddenly starts playing. Then the Zombies come.
  • Never Bring a Knife to a Fist Fight: Inverted. When one has run out of ammunition, the knife is the must-use weapon against the punching zombies, until you find either the hammer or the axe.
  • Nightmare Face: The faces of the ghosts that appear, and almost all enemies have them. Some even use the faces as weapons.
  • Nightmare Sequence: Many of them.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: At the beginning of the mod, David gets attacked literally less than ten seconds after finding a gun, from behind, no less, in a sudden bum rush. In Director's Cut, however, no monsters appear until David shuts off the electricity in the hospital's basement, some good fifteen minutes of exploring later... and you have to fight the first monsters that appear in pitch darkness. Players who had tried the original version first were experiencing nothing short of absolute paranoia when DC was released.
  • Not Using the "Z" Word: The developers call them Twitchers, but for all intents and purposes they're just faster versions of Half-Life's headcrab zombies.
  • Ominous Fog: In a few parts of the city, such as the park.
  • Ominous Walk: The first thing David's Doppelgänger does when they meet. Trying to damage him only results in self-damage. David has to run away from him until he gets cornered in the Boss Room for the final showdown, where he finds the conveniently placed Spear, the Doppelgänger's only weakness.
  • One-Man Army: David, being the only human alive against his living hallucinations, kills many of them through his journey.
  • Our Monsters Are Weird: There are skulls with hands stuffed in their mouths that attack with a leap. The Dogs are either crimson red, or anatomically correct but have a shaved human head with a single eyesocket. If you hear constant strange noises on a outdoor level, look up: Chances are that you find levitating Aliens that are trying to blast you to death with ghostly Faces. There are also gigantic invisible faces that laugh like children if they see David. In the regular mod, they were fleshy-reskinned Half-Life monsters, leading to Ghost Aliens that Shoot Bees.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: Twitchy, Silent Hill things that get worse as David falls deeper into the hallucination (they later show up with hammerheads, claws, or tools for arms, as well as completely disfigured or injured faces if their head isn't some sort of hideous black shape). They can break through walls and burst through lockers when David walks close enough. A few of the Zombies hide behind doors and staircases. If possible, they will only show up when it is dark. Their running speed varies for each one of them, so fighting them with melee weapons can be very difficult - even when it's outright encouraged. Some of them walk on their hands and spit at you, as if they were scorpions. They even learn to duck, to avoid bullets while they attack. If this showcase of unique behavior was not enough, some of them are invisible too.
    • In DC, the badly-skinned Vortigaunts are replaced with... hideous blob-things (they're actually glitched zombies, but purposely done). They poison you for a couple of seconds (accompanied by a red filter and a ringing effect in your ears).
  • Parking Garage: More Jump ScBEEEEEEEEEEEP
  • Permanently Missable Content:
    • There is an axe in the shack in the Markland Forest. Gather the courage to walk in it before jumping down the well, or you miss out on the most powerful melee weapon in the game.
    • If you miss a single letter containing the code to the fourth ending, the happy end is completely out of reach, until you find that paper by replaying the mod again. Painful enough by itself, but are you willing to put yourself through all that fear again?!
  • Phlebotinum Overdose: David's hallucinations by the pills sets the world into chaos while he is passed out. The final ending has him recovering from his overdose.
  • Pipe Maze: One room requires the player to get to the button by jumping over and crawling under pipes.
  • Point of No Return: Escaping the Hospital via the air ducts makes it impossible to go back in. Director's Cut adds a few more after the branching point in the subway - while you can turn around and go back down a different path up to a point, after that point you're stuck with your choice. Particularly, in one path it is possible for David to take a car and drive away from the city, without being able to return because he crashes into a tree. The final time this trope kicks in is during the final dream, when David must either type the code to heaven, or continue in the opposite direction to face a Downer Ending.
  • Primal Fear: The darkness. There is quite A LOT of it in the game. Lord help you if you run out of flashlight batteries.
  • Purple Prose: "Don't let the Devil torture the God. Kill the Devil, and let the God show you the way." This is a hint given in order to progress in the game, so what does it mean? Destroy the columns holding up the ball-shaped statue. It will fall and break through the closed well under it, which you can climb down. One path replaces the statue with a person, and has much more succinct "KILL ME" scrawled over the prose in blood.
  • Respawning Enemies: In Director's Cut. Where and when they spawn, however, is random.
  • The Reveal: Two. The first is: the monsters you've been killing? People and dogs who just look monstrous because you're high as balls. The second: your enemies in the game were never the "Monsters", it was yourself and your addiction to the pain pills.
  • Roar Before Beating: Every enemy. Except for the forest twitchers. In fact, you have no idea it is a Zombie you are up against the first time, because of the messed up noises they make.
  • Room Full of Crazy: The hospital has the toilet, and the corridor with the electric cables blocking the path. The toilet is not important to progress, but the second is.
    • The corridor is not odd at first (aside from the obvious electric and highly dangerous cables). There is a message written on a notebook nearby, however, asking David to turn off the electricity in the basement so the problem can be fixed. If David exits the corridor but returns without turning of the electricity, the picture on the wall has been put down to the ground, with the woman in the picture having disappeared from it, and there is a bloodprint on the wall. After finally causing the blackout and returning, the walls are scribbled with THANK YOU written all over them.
    • The bathroom only holds importance once you have acquired all 4 endings, as there is where you pick up the GM_General.
  • Rule of Symbolism: The bad endings are all capped off with David running down a pitch-black tunnel towards a far-off light. The first two endings cut off to the actual ending cinematic partway through the trip, but the last one has David actually reach the light at the end of the tunnel before playing the cutscene - the one where David has hanged himself out of guilt.
  • Scare Chord: Every time a part of the code required to get the true ending is found. Also, the end track, Aphex Twin's NIN remix of "At the Heart of it All", counts.
  • Scenery Gorn: Every level ever, but especially David's nightmare levels.
  • Screaming Woman: The nightmare sequences have many screams without sources, and many of the ghosts later on in the game scream just for the sake of fear.
  • Screamer Trailer: The trailer for Director's Cut. Though it uses TV static instead of screams.
  • Scripted Event: Like the game the mod was build upon, Afraid of Monsters uses scripted events a lot. Almost all of them in order to scare the player.
  • Shout-Out:
    • One of the zombie models wears a Mario hat. It's... hard to see until you kill it.
    • Neutral Milk Hotel's album cover is a painting in the hospital.
  • Shotguns Are Just Better: Played straight in both versions. It is the first two-handed weapon found, and usually most enemies run straight at David, making easy targets for the shotgun's spread. Ammo's also both much more plentiful than for the MP5k and Uzi, and goes a lot longer.
  • Shock and Awe: Another attack of the final boss is striking lightning at David. The attack recharges every ten seconds.
  • Sinister Scraping Sound: The Nightmare David experiences early on has this, with the noise apparently coming from the walls.
    • Hey, what's that noise in the elevator shaft? OH SHIIIII-
  • Sinister Subway: Let's just say there is lots to see here.
  • Sliding Scale of Linearity vs. Openness: The Level 3 variant; backtracking is allowed up to a point, though with each path having a couple points of no return that lock you into going forward. Getting one of the endings even requires you to take advantage of this - you have to play one route far enough to find a key that has no use on that route, then go back to the divergence point at the subway to switch to the other route and find a door that normally has no key to unlock it on that route.
  • Sliding Scale of Realistic vs. Fantastic: Surreal. Big time.
  • Sniper Pistol: All the handguns have very good accuracy. You do not get to take advantage of it often, though.
  • Soft Water: In the same manner as Half-Life - any sort of water immediately breaks a fall from any height, even if it's so shallow you still hit the bottom at full speed.
  • Spiritual Successor: Cry of Fear. Another Half-Life mod developed by Andreas Ronnberg featuring gameplay similar to AoM:DC, new weapons, a new storyline, a new inventory and save system, and fully-voiced cutscenes.
  • Splash Damage: The grenades in the original had splash damage.
  • Spooky Painting: All the paintings in the game are either creepy from the beginning, or they vastly transform when it gets dark. The mansion in particular has many of them, and at one point even the Mona Lisa gets to frighten the player.
  • Standard FPS Guns: About as standard as you can get, with melee, regular pistol, heavier pistol, shotgun, and submachine gun. Interestingly, it cuts itself off from the list past that - no even bigger machine guns, no marksman's weapons, no gimmicky projectile weapons, and (outside of the pre-Director's Cut version, which had hand grenades), no explosives.
  • Surreal Horror: Take a read through this whole article. The mod would be summarized up as this combined with Psychological Horror.
  • Ten-Second Flashlight: The flashlight recharges slowly over time when it is not in use. In Director's Cut, however, it needs batteries to work. Hope you like wandering around in the dark if you like wasting energy. A Let's Play by Mr. Sunabouzu actually had to mod the game so every battery fully replenished the flashlight's energy, just so the viewers could actually see the game as he played it - and even then, as the game went on, he found himself getting closer and closer to running out of battery power on several occasions anyway.
  • Teleporting Keycard Squad: Also when David changes something in the area overall.
  • There Was a Door: Done several times by the enemies, as scares.
  • Tragic Hero: David's addiction is the cause for everything that happens in the game.
  • Units Not to Scale: The bottles of painkillers throughout the mod are as big as pickle jars.
  • Updated Re-release: Afraid of Monsters: Director's Cut, which added a ludicrous amount of content. New weapons, better graphics, new monsters, new levels, old levels redesigned, new scares, new music, new twists, a boss fight, four different endings, a new flashlight, redesigned models, more types of zombies, more nightmare sequences. The fandom was pleased.
  • Uncanny Valley: Deliberately invoked with all the Twitchers.
  • Unintentionally Unwinnable: To get in the bottom floor of the hospital, that could be described as another basement, David has to jump down a broken elevator. Then he can press the button in a room a few meters away that unlocks the other door that leads out, and the door to the next button across the building. The thing is that the door out of the bottom floor closes after him when he walks out, with no way of opening it again. So if the player jumps down the elevator again after pressing the button, he is stuck. He cannot get out because the door is locked, and he cannot get out the way he came. This was fixed in Director's Cut, when the whole hospital was redesigned.
  • Universal Ammunition: Much like the game it's based on. The Director's Cut at least does differentiate between pistol ammo and submachine gun ammo, but otherwise abuses this trope even more - 20-round Glock mags will feed just fine into the 13-shot P228 and 15-shot Beretta, just as the 25-round Uzi mags and 30-round MP5k ones exchange freely with one another. You can even get more mags for the Desert Eagle by picking up speedloaders for the revolver. The only weapon with a unique ammo type is the shotgun.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: David will make a remark whenever he tries to open a locked door or find usable objects in the game, but never says anything about all the hallucinations running amok around him - probably because he's used to seeing them by the time the game's events occur.
    • Subverted later on as David goes from the familiar areas to the more weird and unfamiliar ones like the Markland Forest and its Mansion.
      David: (attempting to open another door) Another FUCKING locked door!
  • Video Game Setpiece: Several.
  • The Walls Have Eyes: All the nightmares have them.
  • Wham Line: In the final ending path, the way forward is marked with a note saying "My mother used to point at things she wanted me to destroy" and a painting of a figure pointing at part of the ceiling, telling you to break that to move forward. Do so, you find another note saying "Now, she is pointing at your enemy." A Twitcher then breaks into the room, you kill it and move towards a mirror, and the third note hits: "No, not the innocent. The enemy!" At which point a grotesque, evil version of you steps out of the mirror and attacks you.
  • Where It All Began: Depending on the choices made, David returns to the hospital in his final nightmare. A very twisted version of it, that is.
  • Your Mind Makes It Real: All the nightmares can cause death, and even after them, there are still breathing, walking hallucinations that break down the environment in one way or the other. Truly some effective painkillers David found himself.
  • Zerg Rush: One in the subway area, and Director's Cut added a second one in the forest.


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