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Video Game / Cats Are Liquid

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The cat had been going through these maze like rooms for what felt like forever, and they just seemed to be continuing.

Cats are Liquid is a 2D platformer PC and phone game series, in which you are a cat who can turn into liquid, navigating through various maze-like rooms. The original game, A Light in the Shadows, was released on December 7, 2015. A sequel, A Better Place, released on December 12, 2019.

Warning: There are many spoilers, and though they are marked some tropes are spoileriffic by nature, so be careful!

Tropes present in both are:

  • Downer Ending: Lumi never gets a good ending in either game.
  • Break the Cutie: The cat starts off fairly positive in both games, but gradually becomes more desperate to either escape the the maze in ALITS, starting to despair when she realizes the rooms are an endless loop, and there is no exit, then breaks completely once she loses all of her abilities, believing herself to be worthless. In ABP, she doesn't get it much better, with all of her friends leaving her in the later worlds, leaving her broken and most likely somewhat unhinged as she decides to stay and create the worlds in ALITS and replay them forever.

A Light in the Shadows provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Amnesiac Dissonance: Lumi realizes that she was the one who trapped herself in the worlds, but crosses the Despair Event Horizon and decides she likes it better here and pushes the escape door away.
  • Arc Words: Early on, "She didn't know why" is repeated fairly regularly, and so is "She just wanted to get out" or variations of it.
  • And I Must Scream: The square says that bouncy orange pads cause it physical pain, and that other objects on the pads feel the same pain. Unlike the square, these can't move and also never die, so they're going to spend all eternity is constant agony.
  • Bookends: "The cat had been going through these maze like rooms for what felt like forever, and they just seemed to be continuing." This is the first line of the game and the last thing the cat/Lumi says in reset mode, which occurs after the main game.
  • Bottomless Pit: These appear in World 9 only, and send the cat across the Despair Event Horizon because this means there is no world outside of the maze and that she can never escape.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience:
    • Orange things hurt the cat. This is lampshaded when the cat knows not to touch the orange liquid, simply because it's orange.
    • The grey square can touch orange things, but is hurt by purple things.
  • Companion Cube: Subverted, the grey square initially appears to be one, as the cat treats it as a friend even though it appears to not be alive. However, the Companion level pack reveals that the square has a personality and emotions.
  • De-power: Done in the first room of every world, starting with World 7. At that point, you have three abilities as well as basic movement controls, which are in rows of four, so there's a nice little slot at the bottom of the screen which a new power could fit into. However, instead of giving the cat a new power, this time your power to float, by far the most useful of all your abilities, is taken away.
  • Descending Ceiling: At the end, one of these kills the cat for good.
  • Despair Event Horizon: The cat crosses it by Level 9, due to her losing all of her powers, and realising that the maze is an endless loop with no exit.
  • Determinator:
    • The cat lets nothing stop her from escaping the maze up until the end when she starts to doubt her worth, and eventually kills herself.
    • The square is also determined to help the cat in the Companion pack, even putting itself through physical pain in an attempt to save her.
  • Driven to Suicide: A possible interpretation of the ending, where a spiked ceiling suddenly appears and crushes the cat, is that the cat, after realizing that her owner will never let her escape, commits suicide.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": The cat is referred to as just that even though her name is confirmed to be Lumi.
  • Five Stages of Grief: The cat goes through these (except for bargaining) when she loses the square. Initially, she refuses to accept it, then she becomes angry at the square for being secretive, then she forgives it and becomes sad when she realizes that it helped her and asked for nothing in return, then finally accepts that she has to live without the square.
  • Flight: The cat gets this power in the second level and it allows her to float, but eventually reduces her horizontal speed to zero once she loses her momentum. However, this can be combated by floating, dropping, the floating again in midair, allowing the cat to fly horizontally.
  • Jump Physics: The cat can climb vertical walls by repeatedly jumping while next to them.
  • Kill the Cutie: At the end of the main game a spiked ceiling comes down on the cat, and she dies, but seems she never respawns this time.
  • No Name Given: None of the characters' names are stated, though Word of God says the cat's name is Lumi.
  • One-Hit Kill: Large orange boxes, the orange liquid and fire kill the cat instantly.
  • Respawn Point: The cat comes back to life and the room is reset after she dies. It's implied that this is due to Lumi/the cat being unable to cope with death, and creating a mental world where Death Is Cheap.
    • This is subverted at the end of the main story, where the cat dies, but never respawns.
  • Spikes of Doom: Subverted, at first it seems the spikes hurt the cat because they're, well, spikes, but they actually hurt her because they're orange.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: The cat is delighted when she gains the ability to create bombs, even though the ability isn't all that useful and gets taken away along with her other powers at the end.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: See Amnesiac Dissonance.

A Better Place adds the following tropes:

  • One Person, One Power: Lumi the cat is now joined by three identical but different-colored cats (green, blue, and red), and each cat (including Lumi) can do something that the other three can't.
  • Prequel: The game takes place before ALITS and explains how the cat got trapped here.