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Video Game / Cardiophobia

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Cardiophobia is a free Survival Horror game, developed in RPG Maker by Daniel_B in 2015.

It is about Felix Omin, a teen with a heart condition who lives at an orphanage run by an enigmatic "Mother", alongside his peers named Lucas, Robin, Emelie and Lavinia. One late night, after they all go to sleep, Felix is awakened by a loud noise. When he wakes up, the power is gone, while his friend, Lucas, is suddenly afraid of him and runs away, while the others appear missing. Felix has to try and solve the mystery, in spite of how much it creeps him out.

Since he's not a normal teen, this is a matter of life and death for him - the more disturbed he gets by what's going on, the greater his heart rate rises, and unless he's careful about avoiding horrors and managing his limited pills, he has every chance of dying from a heart attack. Worse, he starts seeing things that are not there when at an elevated heart rate, and this can end up scaring him even more...


It can be downloaded here.

Cardiophobia contains the following tropes:

  • Ate His Gun: The fate of Mother, as she's overcome by guilt due to her role in enabling Baxter's experiments.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Discovering everything ends the game with Felix escaping the mansion alongside Emelie and Marcus, and starting a new life. However, Robin, Mother and Lucas are all dead, while Lavinia is permanently insane. Moreover, Felix decided to make it all even by stabbing Baxter to death, which may have been just, but leaves concerns about his future.
  • Book Dumb: Felix displays shades of this. “None of these books seem interesting to me. Though I’m not much of a reader, so…”
  • Broken Bridge: Early on, a section of the floor collapses because it gets literally dissolved in a wave of blood.
  • Creepy Doll: There are plenty of those lying around, and more will appear as the game goes on. This is to say nothing of Lavinia’s doll that appears in the middle of her room and will laugh at you as you approach.
  • Driven to Suicide: Robin hangs himself.
    • Mother shoots herself.
  • Ax-Crazy: This happens to Lavinia when her mania goes out of control and she snaps at Lucas, believing he was mocking her looks, and buried him alive. However, she still regrets it, and is able to contain herself to ramblings in the aftermath, and never attempts to attack Felix.
  • Gave Up Too Soon: Robin hangs himself just a little earlier before Felix would have found him.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Lavinia gets a bunch of ugly, jagged scars on her cheeks and forehead.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: There’s a very disturbing high-heartbeat hallucination where Felix literally thinks that he’s been “ripped apart”.
  • Heartbeat Soundtrack: Heard once Felix's actual heartbeat gets elevated, and it grows louder the worse it is.
  • Hollywood Darkness: Averted. When Felix awakes at night, it is so dark that you can only see faint outlines of the objects in his room. There's a little more light once he turns his phone on. Lantern lights everything in its radius, but everything outside it is pitch black, and passing doorways cast thick shadows.
  • How Dare You Die on Me!: "You are like family! After all we've been through... HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO US?! How could you be so selfish?", says Felix to Robin.
  • Hyperactive Metabolism: Downplayed; there's no combat, and so no damage that might get healed by food. However, there's stamina, and consuming Energy Drinks instantly recharges it.
  • Infinite Flashlight: Invoked with Lantern, whose item description only says “Hope it doesn’t run out”.
  • Interchangeable Antimatter Keys: The medkits containing vital medicine to calm Felix's heart are locked, and can only be opened with these keys, for some reason.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: Some of the things Felix will decide to carry with him are quite weird. One is a log found inside someone else's closet, the other is a folding stool. If you don't discover the puzzle they are needed for first, then you just have to trust they'll come in handy eventually.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: The supernatural events that appear in the mansion. It's a running mystery whether they are all from Felix's mind or all real, or even if those seen at elevated heartbeat are fake, while those at normal heartbeat really happened. Perhaps it's Your Mind Makes It Real, and getting a high heart rate causes Felix to warp reality around him?
    • All of this is in his mind, as part of his mental illness. However, Baxter's sadistic treatment ended up making it worse than it ever was before. At least he didn't snap as much as Lavinia...
  • Meaningful Name: Felix Omin.
  • Multiple Endings: 8 of them, based on how much information you manage to discover in your playthrough.
  • Older Than They Look: You might assume that they are all young, yet Lucas' grave states that he was 22 years old.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Lucas is a smiley, jokey teen when he greets you in the opening. Hence, seeing him truly terrified in the next scene marks a real break.
  • Precision F-Strike:
    • “That’s not fucking possible”, said by Felix when a table suddenly moves several metres away from him, on its own accord.
    • Then, "What the...What the FUCK was that?", when Felix encounters masked killer with an axe for the first time.
  • Sanity Slippage: As Felix gets more scared and his heartbeat grows, he starts seeing plenty of things that are not there, like bloodstains, shadowy footsteps, or outright messages written in blood. Entering a balcony with an elevated heartbeat, for instance, will expose you to a bloodied "JUMP" written on the floor. Some things that are safe to interact with at low heart rates can also kill you at high ones.
    • In an inversion, one puzzle can only be solved at an elevated heartbeat: you need to press four switches in the right order, and high heartbeat will let you see the numbers written above the switches in blood.
  • Schmuck Bait:
    • Yes, go ahead, touch that pool of blood that just dissolved through the floor!
    • Same goes for reaching inside a weird, dark hole in the wall. However, reaching inside a crack is actually good, as it provides you with a medkit key.
    • What's your plan for taking a pick lying on top of a crate taller than Felix himself? Tackling such a large box may not be the best option...
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Emelie
  • Sprint Meter: Present, and it recovers faster inside safe rooms. It can also be recharged with Energy Drinks.
  • Story Breadcrumbs: The storytelling is not linear: instead, unlocking key rooms in each section of the mansion and its surroundings rewards you with the revelations about the fate of every other character. It is entirely possible to finish the game only discovering the fates of 1-2 characters, though this obviously leads to the worst endings.
    • There are also "Strange Notes" around the place, along with the Diary pages for all of the main characters.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Lavinia is a black girl with blue hair.


Example of: