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Video Game / BirdGut

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BirdGut is a hand-drawn, free-to-play Puzzle Platformer released on Steam in May 2019. It was developed and published by one person, Micah Boursier.

An underdeveloped bee is cast out from its hive, and soon after eaten by a bird. However, rather than the internal organs one would expect to find, the guts of the bird are facilities in which the consumed insects are brainwashed and enslaved. By a twist of fate the bee escapes brainwashing and tries to escape.

Tropes Appearing in BirdGut:

  • Abandon the Disabled: The game starts with the player character turning out wrong and being literally swept out of its hive by a worker bee, to hide it from the Queen.
  • Ambiguous Gender: One of the other insects isn't sure whether to call the protagonist "Ma'am" or "Sir," despite none of the bugs really having discernible sexes.
  • Anti-Climax: The final boom is hilariously small and underwhelming.
  • Bigger on the Inside: The bird's guts seem to be much larger than the bird itself, going by the size of the bee.
  • Brainwashing: Eaten bugs are injected with chemicals and converted into mindless drones.
  • The Chosen One: The main character is called "The Hatless One" by the leader of the resistance, for being immune to the brainwashing serum without needing a Tinfoil Hat.
  • Conveyor Belt o' Doom: One of the final levels involves a very long ride on a garbage cart where you have to dodge various spinning saw blades, lasers, and other obstacles.
  • Disability Superpower: The bee's stupidity (which is identified as a "handicap" at one point) makes it immune to brainwashing.
  • Down in the Dumps: The Stomach levels are filled with (big-scale) garbage like milk cartons and banana peels.
  • Easter Egg: There's a skull hidden (or simply hard to access) in every level, and activating them all unlocks a secret bonus.
  • 11th-Hour Superpower: The protagonist spends most of the game without any means of defending itself, and the obstacles are focused on navigation and platforming. Then it picks up a cannon in the colon, allowing it to hold its own against the beefed-up security.
  • Energy Weapon: Many of the levels contain oddly placed red lasers you have to avoid.
  • Feed It a Bomb: Played with. For some reason, the bird already stockpiles Weapons of Mass Destruction in its colon; all you have to do is activate them.
  • Final Boss: After you've defeated all the rest of the security insects that attack you in the battle room, a large praying mantis shows up. It can stab you with its pincers, spit deadly poison at you, spawn smaller, flying mantises to attack you, and roar so that deadly garbage drops from the ceiling.
  • The Grotesque: The protagonist, a larva with wings, is seen as this by the regular bees and quickly outcast.
  • Handicapped Badass: The bee may be underdeveloped, but it succeeds where many others have failed to blow up the bird.
  • Have a Nice Death: Every time you die, a congratulatory banner comes down informing you of how.
  • Heroic Mime: The protagonist never makes any attempt to speak, despite other bugs in the game doing so.
  • La Résistance: There's a secretive group of not-brainwashed bugs that are plotting to end the bird's tyranny by exploding missiles located in its colon.
  • Multiple Endings: There are three possible outcomes, dependent on the protagonist's actions in the final room.
    • Lose-Lose: The protagonist leaves the bird without launching the missiles. The resistance hangs their head in shame, and the protagonist lands on some lethal spikes on its way out.
    • Going Down with the Ship: The protagonist launches the missiles, but doesn't leave the bird in time and dies in the explosion.
    • The Hatless One: The protagonist launches the missile and leaves the bird before detonation. He gets out unscathed as the bird explodes.
  • Oh, My Gods!: When one of the worker bees sees the protagonist, he exclaims, "Oh Beezus!"
  • Player Character: A small, deformed bee that is outcast from its colony and gets eaten by a bird.
  • Puzzle Platformer: You have to solve puzzles while jumping between platforms of various types.
  • Real After All: The resistance leader foresaw the Hatless One's coming, but is shocked when the messiah actually arrives—they thought it was just a sort of dream they'd concocted to make themself feel better.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Brainwashed and hostile bugs are identified by their glowing red eyes.
  • Splash of Color: The game is animated in achromatic + red.
  • Swallowed Whole: All the bugs in the bird's titular gut. One wonders how it metabolizes anything.
  • Tempting Fate: In the Prologue, the main character cuts in front of an unemployment line for bugs, and the frustrated attendant quits on the spot and says he'd rather be stepped on than deal with this kind of disrespect any longer. Cue the bird, which steps on him before eating the other bugs.
  • Troubled Fetal Position: One of the foresaken bugs can be seen rocking itself like this.
  • The Maze: The penultimate section of the small intestine is a labyrinth of passages and has multiple checkpoints where the protagonist can respawn on death, all to make it easier to get lost in.
  • Tinfoil Hat: The members of La Résistance wear them to block out the brainwashing.
  • Womb Level: Most of the game is set in the bird's digestive system. The environment is decidedly more mechanical than most other examples of this trope.
  • You Must Be This Tall to Ride: Parodied. The sign at the start of the garbage cart course has been altered to read, "You must be this [talented] to ride."