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Video Game / Au Sable

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"Nearer my God to thee."

Au Sable is a freeware Survival Horror game by Amon 26 released in March of 2009.

The game puts the player in the role of a strange, red-headed, unnamed girl who is looking for another girl named Harmonia (possibly her sister), who went missing in an abandoned town surrounded by a sinister forest. But something very evil is living in these woods, and our heroine soon finds herself up against a dangerous cult and demonic entities. You can download the fixed version here.

See also All of Our Friends Are Dead and Gyossait, surreal action-platformers by the same creator. A First-Person Shooter prequel to this game, The Hunt, was also created by Amon 26.

Au Sable provides trope examples of:

  • Action Girl: The protagonist.
  • Advancing Wall of Doom: A mass of red tentacles. You have to fire repeatedly to keep away from it.
  • Battle Strip: Harmonia as the final boss battle begins.
  • BFG: You get a short-ranged shotgun in the beginning. Later, you get a long-ranged bazooka.
  • Big Bad: The Eldritch Lord.
  • Body Horror: During the final boss, Harmonia loses her face. And as you pick off the "angels," the Eldritch Abomination in the background slowly decays.
  • Boss Battle: Three: A tentacle ceiling, a wheel monster, and the Duel Boss against Harmonia and the Eldritch Lord.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Particularly flagrant in the case of the rocket launcher, which shoots at the speed of an AK-47 in addition to never needing to be reloaded. The fact that this weapon can fire more projectiles than its own volume within one second and never run out of ammo is the best indicator that strange magic is afoot in the area.
  • Collapsing Lair: After shooting the tree that grows hearts, the area suddenly begins to shake apart.
  • Dark World
  • Dead Guy on Display: Usually the victims of Human Sacrifice.
  • Demonic Possession: Harmonia appears to be under the spell of the Eldritch Abomination Big Bad. Disturbingly, if you kill Harmonia instead of the "angels" during the final boss battle, the bad ending that ensues implies that your protagonist has fallen prey to the same spell, and that this has happened multiple times already.
    Eldritch Lord: Pretty little girls... one by one you come... butchering each other... to be my only one...
  • Don't Go in the Woods
  • Drone of Dread: The soundtrack.
  • Dual Boss: The final boss is a fight against the possessed Harmonia and the Eldritch Lord, who fights by proxy of three "angels" (so four enemies in all). The angels are easy to kill, but unless you collect the eyes they leave behind, they won't stay dead.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Quite a few of the enemies in the latter half of the game, but special mention goes to recurring strange black beings with bright white eyes.
  • Eldritch Location: An abandoned town that keeps repeating, getting uglier and uglier each time.
  • Evil Redhead: Harmonia, under Demonic Possession.
  • Full-Frontal Assault: Harmonia during the final boss battle.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: Older versions of the game made getting the good ending impossible.
  • Ghost Town: Part of the setting of the game.
  • Human Sacrifice: You see several of these taking place.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Toward the end of the game, the eyes must be used to destroy certain enemies. A good example is the tall Mook Maker which turns into red smoke when shot. You have to touch the eyes to the smoke afterward or else it will regenerate. They can also be used against the final boss.
  • Interface Screw: Word of God said in the README file that he left the gun's cursor out on purpose to show that the heroine was unfamiliar with using it. If you want it back, just hit Backspace.
  • Ironic Nursery Tune: At one point, a woman's voice hums a lullaby.
  • Jump Scare: This game features a lot of sudden events that cut away just as suddenly, as well as characters that appear and then immediately disappear.
  • Meat Moss: In the second half of the game, blood vessel vines are everywhere. You also have to shoot a tree that sprouts hearts.
  • Mind Screw
  • Mook Maker: The tall demon carrying a chain generates smaller demons. Also, the fireballs of the final boss chase you and can be destroyed, making them essentially Mooks in the guise of projectiles.
  • Multiple Endings: To get the good ending, you cannot kill Harmonia. You must only kill the "angels," using your eyes to absorb them when they turn into eyes. Note that a bug in older versions of the game prevents you from doing this. In the good ending, the demon lord is defeated and Harmonia is presumably freed from his influence. In the bad ending, Harmonia dies and the demon lord possesses the protagonist. Unlike in Gyossait, another game by the same developer, you don't have to play through the whole game to get the two endings — you can simply load the final boss battle again.
  • Nightmare Face: The thing that gave the protagonist its eyes which might be her mother(?). There's also the hydra which has nightmare faces.
  • No Name Given: The Big Bad is never named, though the sentence about a "Father" who will "set the world clean" probably refers to him. The protagonist seems to be named Au Sable, assuming that the quote "Oh, Au Sable. One of you had to burn," refers to her.
  • One-Hit Kill: A point-blank clean hit with the shotgun will kill most enemies in one hit, but you need to get dangerously close to them to pull this off. However, the rocket launcher has much safer range and ridiculous fire speed, making it strictly superior to the shotgun anyways.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: The heroine will die in one hit.
  • Pietà Plagiarism: During the good ending, where the heroine carries Harmonia out of the woods.
  • Playing with Fire: Some of the enemies shoot fireballs which can bounce off walls.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: You actually use a disembodied pair as tools!
  • Red Sky, Take Warning
  • Religion of Evil: The cult that worships the Eldritch Abominations in the woods.
  • Rhymes on a Dime: Many of the Eldritch Abominations do this as well as the final boss.
  • Shark Pool: AcidPools that have dozens of arms reaching out for you.
  • Surreal Horror: Expected from the creator of All of Our Friends Are Dead.
  • Tears of Blood: Harmonia's mother in an exposition.
  • Title Drop:
    Oh, Au Sable. One of you had to burn.
  • Unconventional Formatting: Instead of text boxes, a speaker's words show up in the background.
  • Unwanted Rescue:
    "I never wanted to be found"
  • Womb Level: Slowly turns into this.
  • You Are Not Alone: The good ending.