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Video Game / Belladonna

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Well, coming 2015, but that's all in the past.
Belladonna is a short Environmental Narrative Game-to-Adventure Game developed by Neckbolt and released in 2015. As can be gathered from the studio's name, Belladonna was their first project.
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The story centers around a mangy corpse with a clockwork motor in her head who finds herself back up and walking again one night. Yet she is alone, in a creepy laboratory no less, with questions aplenty and not an answer presented. First of the questions is no less than the matter of her own identity. Fortunately, after some digging she finds a journal entry that sheds some light and gives hope there's more around.

Note that because this game is both short and story-heavy, there's a lot of spoiler tags.


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Belladonna provides examples of:

  • Apocalyptic Log: Most of the plot comes from these. There's a total of eighteen.
  • Attractive Zombie: Belladonna is one and so is Klara.
  • Bait-and-Switch: The first journal entry describes the mad doctor desperately trying to reanimate his wife, Belladonna. You're not her.
  • Bald Women: Some work was done on your head shortly before the game began.
  • Bandage Babe: Invoked by the top of your outfit, which seems to consist of wrappings.
  • Behind the Black: A couple of times the Player Character is surprised when the screen scrolls to reveal something which would always have been in her view.
  • Brain in a Jar: There's one in the laboratory. It's from Wolfram's dead son and doubles as a Chekhov's Gun, because it is used to make a new lifeform at the end.
  • Clockwork Creature: Clockwork machinery is used to reanimate people in this setting.
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  • Evil-Detecting Dog: The doctor's cat goes crazy at the sight of reanimated creatures. Which is why you can't let it live.
  • God Save Us from the Queen!: Belladonna becomes this in the end.
  • Hand Wave: The key is in your head so that you will regain your mental faculties much quicker than Belladonna did.
  • I Love the Dead: Hinted at by Doctor von Trauerschloss wondering if his reanimated wife is fertile. Confirmed by Belladonna herself when you find her; he did indeed carry on a sexual relationship with her.
  • Impossible Hourglass Figure: Justified, since you didn't need all your internal organs any more. Commented on when examining a reflective tank.
  • Mad Scientist: Doctor Wolfram von Trauerschloss is obsessed with reanimating the dead.
  • Murder Is the Best Solution: The doctor seemed to think this way after killing Klara. He went on to kill and reanimate Belladonna just to make her less argumentative.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: Done twice within the same love triangle. The doctor murdered the maid, who was having an affair with his wife, then his wife murdered him and reanimated the maid.
  • The Nicknamer: If it has a head but no name you will give it one.
  • Off with His Head!: The most important body part to remain at least somewhat intact for reanimation to work is the brain. So, Belladonna makes sure to specifically and utterly smash Wolfram's head to pulp when she kills him.
  • The Power of Hate: The first journal entry by Belladonna after her reanimation seems to be channelling this to bring her consciousness back.
  • Reality Ensues: The last journal page that is found is your own and reveals that the relationship between the aristocratic Belladonna and someone she still saw as a servant was never as perfect as Belladonna had felt.
  • Sanity Slippage: The doctor's journals.
  • Tampering with Food and Drink: How Klara died and also how you get past the angry cat.
  • Underestimating Badassery: The doctor didn't even think his wife was capable of rational thought, let alone that she was learning his means of reanimating the dead while planning his murder.
  • The Von Trope Family: Wolfram von Trauerschloss
  • What Could Possibly Go Wrong?: The final stage of the plot has you help Belladonna bring her son's brain back to life in her husband's body, using a head taken from a grave. You ask this of yourself when recapping that you are putting the mind of a child into the body of a mass murderer with the head of an old woman.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Averted, but relevant because it is very easily missed. That cat you kill belonged to Belladonna and with her knowledge to revive, you'd expect her to bring back her companion. And she does, as the final shot shows. However, it is a small black cat against a dark background surrounded by much larger, light-colored figures which existence has much more bearing on the aftermath of the plot and so goes unnoticed easily.
  • Wind-Up Key: In your head. Belladonna's goes into her back, so she couldn't wind herself up, which is why she is absent for most of the plot.

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