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Video Game / Botanicula

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The group encounters a bat.
Botanicula is a Point-and-Click Game by the developers of Machinarium, Amanita Design. It is the first of their games not designed by founder Jakub Dvorský but by the animator newcomer Jaromír Plachý, something that is evidenced by the amount of animation in its every frame. The story follows a Five-Man Band of forest creatures who embark on a quest. Along the way, they have to evade multiple adversaries, notably the Zlo, spider-like monsters that suck the life out of anything they touch.

The game is done in a similar whimsical style to Machinarium, although it can turn surprisingly dark at times. It won the Excellence in Audio award at IGF 2012 for its energetic soundtrack by the Czech band DVA. Additionally, a new Humble Indie Bundle was created for its debut, which gave part of its proceeds to the World Land Trust.

Botanicula provides examples of:

  • Animalistic Abomination: The Zlo are spider-like monsters that seem to be made out of shadows, and are threatening the tree home of the heroes.
  • Big Bad: The Zlo are the most recurring enemies of the game, but The Mother Zlo that appears near the end of chapter 4 is a far larger threat, and the actual source of all evil is the Zlo Hive in the final chapter.
  • The Everyman: All of the party members seem like this, what with their fear of the Zlo and the desire to take their minds off of their quest at certain junctures in the story, but Mr. Lantern especially gives off this vibe, particularly in light of how his special skill isn't really useful compared to his friends'. The game makes his Character Development a part of its mechanic in the final level—when the player gains the courage and wits to delve deeper into the Dark World after watching all of the other party members get drained, so will Mr. Lantern, and in so doing he becomes the hero of prophecy.
  • Fantastic Flora: Inevitable, due to the game's theme.
  • Five-Man Band: Made up of Mr. Lantern, Mr. Twig, Mr. Poppy Head, Mr. Feather, and Mrs. Mushroom. Each has their own unique special ability.
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power: Mr. Lantern's special ability—being able to glow because he's bearing the Seeds of Light—doesn't help the party overcome the puzzles as well as the skills of the other party members. However, the Light of the Seeds turns out to be anathema to the Zlo, which prevents Mr. Lantern from being drained like his four friends at the beginning of the last level, and ultimately leads to the Zlo's defeat.
  • Meaningful Name: The spider-like monsters threatening the world of Botanicula are the Zlo, which means "evil" in Czech.
  • Mime and Music-Only Cartoon: All of the dialogue is either communicated in gibberish or through thought bubbles.
  • Mix-and-Match Critter: You can make these in one of the huts in the tree town. The alternatives are frog, snail, and bird. You can keep the pure creatures, but not the hybrids.
  • Mushroom Samba: Between the first and second levels, the five friends encounter some magic mushrooms who spread their spores and make the gang trip out while the colors become hypersaturated. The scene's connection to the plot is tenuous at best.
  • 1-Dimensional Thinking: Getting past the Brambora blocking the way requires the five protagonist to find three feathers. If the game acknowledged the third dimension, the protagonists just might go around it.
  • Planimal: Many of the creatures in the game are rather plant-like; the main characters alone include a nut, a twig, a mushroom, a poppy pod, and a sycamore seed.
  • Plot Coupon: Present in each level (save for the intermission between 2 and 3), of which includes feathers, keys, children, birds, discs and seeds.
  • The Prophecy: The five friends encounter some interesting, black lollipop-shaped figures three times over the course of their adventure, whose combined tales give them an exposition/prophecy about the Tree they call home: the Tree of Light grew from a Seed of Light, and the shadowy Zlo will one day threaten the Tree (which they are in the process of doing over the course of the game), but a hero of light will vanquish the Zlo. Mr. Lantern rises to the challenge in the end, fulfilling the role of the hero.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Pretty much everything is adorable. You even get to keep virtual cards for all the critters so you can fondly reminisce about them whenever you want.
  • Scenery Porn: This appears to be a recurring theme in Amanita games. Some screens in particular are nothing short of breathtaking.
  • Shout-Out: One area features both Josef from Machinarium and the gnome from Samorost in what could be called the Amanita Universe.
  • Solo Sequence: Mr. Lantern gets one toward the end, when the Zlo Hive temporarily sucks the life from his friends and he has to navigate a Dark World.
  • Spiritual Antithesis: Acts as this to Machinarium. While it keeps much of the tone, the vibrant, organic world of Botanicula is a far cry from the broken-down robot dystopia of its predecessor.
  • Spiritual Successor: Also acts as this. Many of the gameplay elements seem like the logical next step from Machinarium.
  • Tree Top Town: One of the game's major set pieces. All the little beings and animations give it a very lively feel.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: Many of the puzzles help others as well as your group.
  • Womb Level: The final level is inside the belly of the Zlo Hive.