Follow TV Tropes


Video Game / Cry of Fear

Go To
I've always felt alone... my whole life, for as long as I can remember. I don't know if I like it... or if I'm just used to it, but I do know this: being lonely does things to you, and feeling shit and bitter and angry, all the time, just... eats away at you.

Cry of Fear is a freeware horror game running on the Half-Life engine. Developed by Team Psykskallar, the same developers who brought you Afraid of Monsters, the game first released as a mod on February 22nd, 2012.

The game takes place in the capital of Sweden, Stockholm, where something has gone horribly wrong. A depressed teenager named Simon gets hit by a car, and after a nightmare, he finds himself in an alleyway with no idea how he got there — and the only way out is filled with abominations.

It also features a four-player co-op campaign following four policemen stuck in Simon's nightmare, as well as a side-story, in the form of Doctor's Story. In it, Simon's doctor vows to destroy the source of Simon's anguish.

On September 12, 2012, the mod was approved for distribution as a full, separate game on Steam via the Steam Greenlight service. On April 25, 2013, Cry of Fear was released on Steam as a free game, no longer requiring Half-Life. The game can be downloaded right here.


Cry of Fear demonstrates the following tropes:

  • An Axe to Grind: The patients of the mental hospital all attack with axes. An axe is also a secret weapon the player can unlock.
  • Air Vent Escape: Deep in the lower subway.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: The hoodies and outfits. They can be found in levels or received for doing certain things, such as getting an Easter Egg or finishing certain endings.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: The eye on Sawer's back.
  • Author Avatar: Simon's appearance was based on the mod leader Andreas, while in-universe the Simon you play as is an avatar of himself in the book he wrote.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The FAMAS and Simon's Book, both of which are unlocked by beating Nightmare mode. The FAMAS has infinite ammunition and Simon's Book deals a massive amount of damage at range and doesn't require ammunition, but both of them require the player to beat Nightmare mode. It's often recommended to try and tackle Nightmare mode with the Camera+Axe combo, meaning that players will likely have most of the unlockables already by the point they're ready, and besides getting one of the endings the player hasn't seen already there's nothing left for players who beat Nightmare mode. That's especially true for getting Simon's Book, since it requires getting an S ranking to get, which by the time the player has done that they've for sure have already done everything in the game just trying to get good enough at the game for that S rank.
  • Advertisement:
  • Ax-Crazy: All the enemies. Book Simon, in ending 4 and Co-op.
  • Action Survivor: Simon is a textbook example.
  • Bag of Holding: As long as at least one of the six slots is free Simon can carry a stone tablet and a ladder. Ammunition is stored separately from the rest of the inventory, so you can carry about thirty different magazines for three or four different weapons on top of that.
    • Bag of Spilling: After a train ride gone wrong, you lose not only your current inventory, but your bag entirely as well, limiting you to three item slots for the rest of the game. The unlockable night-vision gas mask stays with you, however, since it's technically not part of your inventory; other unlockable items can likewise be picked back up from a hidden room right after the train crash, though given the now-limited inventory you'll likely have to go without a few of them, or end up leaving them behind at some point.
  • Beard of Sorrow: Handicapped Simon has visible facial hair.
  • Bedlam House: Mölnberg Mental Hospital outside Stockholm.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: Depending on the ending, this varies. Throughout the campaign, the two most frequently encountered bosses are Sawrunner and the Doctor. But should you kill Carcass and trust the Doctor with the gun, Book Simon emerges as the final Big Bad.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Almost everything written in the game world is in Swedish. Posters, products, newspapers. They are all either there to cheer someone up, or they are referring to depression and/or suicides.
  • Black Comedy: The joke ending. David Leatherhoff turns out to be behind the wheel of the car that hit Simon in the intro... All while still looking blocky and using text with no voice to accompany him, with a slightly flanderized personality ("Sorry man. I'm fucking stoned.").
  • Blade Below the Shoulder: The "Faster" enemy type has the third kind, both forearms and shins replaced with sharp blades.
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory: In similar fashion to Sven Co-op, donating money to the team at their website gives you a weapon for use in-game, which is a Brügger & Thomet MP9. People who contribute maps, meanwhile, will be given a Heckler & Koch MP5. Neither are on the level of completely overpowered, however - they have heavy recoil with no way to set them to semi-auto, and ammo is still limited (the MP9 and its ammo replace about half the spawns for the already-rare VP70, and the MP5, while starting you with an impressive 9 mags, cannot get any more anywhere in the game).
  • Bittersweet Ending: One of the endings: specifically the final one. Simon doesn't commit suicide, but in his psychosis, accidentally shoots the two police officers from the other endings. Dr. Purnell gets him out of jail on a lesser sentence (he just has to live in the mental hospital for the rest of his life, rather than rotting in jail) and his therapy is helping him snap out of his insanity and depression. Sophie still visits him regularly even though Purnell is worried about her effect on Simon, but she's found a new friend; he knows they'll forever be separated after what he did, but seeing how nice her new friend is to her, he's fine with that.
  • Black Bug Room: The whole game, since it's a fantasy world in Simon's book, but Chapter 8 especially counts.
  • Black Eyes of Evil: The Citaloprams in the subway.
  • Blatant Item Placement
  • Bland-Name Product: Pasnonic, CBS, The Phone Touse, Shillips, and Nosy. Swedes will recognize their real life counterparts.
    • "Had Shoulders" shampoo can be found within the apartment building. It even uses the same bottle design as real Head & Shoulders shampoo.
  • Block Puzzle: In the Gustav Dahl Park, with statues of animals.
  • Blood Bath: Simon receives a text message calling for help upon first entering the apartments, but as soon as he actually reaches the apartment of the person calling for him, Simon finds them dead in the bathtub, filled with their own blood. In the ending variations where Simon skips fighting Carcass, he murders Sophie and hides her body within his house in the same manner.
  • Body Horror: The Twitchers from Afraid of Monsters are back and lovely as ever!
    • The Human Flower.
  • Bonus Dungeon: Heaven, a recreation of the finale of Afraid of Monsters.
  • Bug Buzz: Throughout the forest.
  • Couldn't Find a Pen: You can find a few messages scrawled in blood, sometimes on paper notes and other times along a wall.
  • Camera Perspective Switch: Happens in co-op when reviving another player, and in singleplayer when killed by the Sawer.
  • Captain Ersatz: Sawrunner (not to be mistaken with the boss Sawer) brandishes a chainsaw, howls loudly when attacking, and wears an uncanny mask. He is just like Leatherface from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and it does not make him any less terrifying.
    • The Slower strongly resembles Michael Myers from the Halloween franchise.
  • Carry a Big Stick: A wooden branch is the emergency weapon Simon gets hold of when he enters the forest.
  • Chaos Architecture: Particularly noted when Simon runs through a horrid, blood-filled maze, chased by hanging monsters with whipping tentacles for heads that kill him instantly if they catch him. As soon as he escapes and closes the door, he takes a moment to catch his breath before getting back up and opening the door again - it's just a regular hallway now.
  • Chainsaw Good: More like Chainsaw BAD. Chainsaws have a lot of use in this game, but only by enemies, not the player.
  • Climax Boss: After chasing The Doctor for much of the game, you finally fight him in a pistol duel at the end of the second-to-last area. Being a living human armed with a gun and enough sense to take covernote , his combat style is distinctly different from the abominations you've been fighting for the entirety of the game. After you beat him, the sun rises and the remainder of the game has a distinctly different tone to it (although you still have monsters to fight).
  • Combat Pragmatist: Simon shows himself to be this a couple times. Early on, Simon finds a dead person's arm dangling through the ceiling and holding a gun. Result? Now Simon has a gun! A little later, Simon finds another dead person on a chair with a shotgun in his hands and most of his head splattered over the wall behind him. Result? Now Simon has a shotgun!
  • Content Warnings: Parodying Capcom's content warnings of their earlier survival horror games.
    This game contains violence and gore, and can cause fear, depression, heart-failure and suicide. Users and viewer discretion advised.
  • CPR: Clean, Pretty, Reliable: A wholesome way of reviving dead players in Co-op, regardless of whether they were killed by being beaten, stabbed, or chainsawed.
  • Creator Provincialism: The mod is set in Sweden, where the two main developers live.
  • Creepy Basement: Below the apartments.
  • Creepy Child: Some of the enemies, particularly those introduced in the apartments, are of a distinctly smaller stature than Simon or the other enemies.
  • Damage-Sponge Boss: Carcass, and Sawrunner in co-op and the custom campaigns.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: Ironsights are activated by Mouse 3, while the right mouse button does a melee attack with the gun. Try to play Killing Floor, or any other shooter (except Left 4 Dead and maybe the original First Encounter Assault Recon, the former of which in particular had the same issue for the same reason) after you've beaten Cry of Fear.
  • Dark World: Simon is already trapped in an abandoned, monster-filled version of Stockholm. And every now and again, he takes a trip into yet another, even worse reality.
  • Daylight Horror: The final chapter of the game, in Simon's hometown.
  • Deadly Book: Simon's book, in which he's poured all the negative emotions brought about or amplified by his injury. The co-op story and Doctor Mode all but confirm that it's become powerful enough from this that it can even pull other people into Simon's nightmare as well.
  • Deadly Doctor: Dr. Purnell. Subverted in that the Purnell we see in normal gameplay isn't the "real" Purnell, who's actively trying to help Simon. Double-subverted in a sense, however, in that his insistence on helping Simon heal without the use of medication lead him to suggest he write the book, which even in the best ending has made things much worse before they started to get better.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: When Book Simon appears in co-op all colors of the gameworld shift to black, grey and white. In order to turn it normal, the players must defeat him.
  • Did Not Get the Girl: None of the endings include Simon and Sophie as anything more than somewhat-distant friends, regardless of the former's feelings. In the ending triggered by trusting the Doctor but running away from Carcass, Simon murders Sophie to make sure nobody else can take her from him after his suicide.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Depending on your choices, Doctor Purnell can be this.
  • Driven to Suicide: Suicide's a reoccurring theme. Newspapers tell of a higher depression rate, uplifting messages on the walls, and a lot encouraging suicides too. Multiple enemies commit suicide: the Sawer cuts off its own head with its chainsaw after you defeat it, the Faster stabs herself in the throat as part of her death animation, the Baby attacks by erupting a spike out of its neck, which destroys its head and kills it, the aptly-named Suicider puts its own gun to its head if Simon gets too close, and an environmental hazard for part of the first trip through the forest is Simon having hanged women drop themselves on him from the trees. The Drowned will also attack Simon by trying to psychically force him to commit suicide if he attacks them with a gun, Simon acquires a shotgun from the corpse of a man who blew off his own head with it, and a certain NPC commits suicide during the game.
    • The game itself is Simon attempting to stave it off - nearly all the endings end with his suicide. Who he takes with him in death (or life) depends on the ending.
  • Drop the Hammer: On both sides. Slowers generally use hammers to attack Simon. Simon himself needs to find a sledgehammer to break down a brick wall in one of the subway stations, and while it's slow to wind up it is incredibly powerful, only the secret axe beating it.
  • Don't Go in the Woods: The first section after escaping the city proper is a dark forest, filled with crazy and/or suicidal women and the Sawrunner.
  • Double Unlock: In-game the player can find paper sheets which, after beating the game, reveal what to do to collect every other unlockable.
  • Down the Drain: The city sewers.
  • Dual Wielding: An actual gameplay mechanic - the player can combine a light source, most melee weapons, and any pistol (except the VP70, at least in some versions) with each other. Reloading cannot be done one-handed, however, and actual Guns Akimbo is also off-limits.
  • Dull Surprise: Not in the gameplay proper, but in one of Andreas' lines in the developer commentary "sewer3_2", just after the Mace fight makes it sound like Andreas is being forced to give commentary on that section of the game against his will. However, his monotone delivery of it makes it sound more like he's just mildly inconvenienced.
  • Dummied Out: A Smith & Wesson M76 can be found in the game files. There's also an inventory icon for a "Taurus" (unrelated to the usable revolver) that was to be used in place of the Glock, meant to be the Taurus PT92, as well as files referring to an AK-47.
  • Dying Dream: Chapter 8.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Unlocking the best ending requires facing and defeating the game's That One Boss despite having an escape route, and trusting the apparent Big Bad and giving him the gun, with which he cuts your health bar down further than if you kept it from him.
  • Easter Egg: The Let's player PewDiePie was given a version of the mod in which Stephano and Ruben could be found in a hard to reach room in the subway station of episode 5.
    Simon: Stephano? What the fuck, Pewdiepie?
    • Secret Weapon: Also, you can unlock David Leatherhoff's Axe.
    • Completing the game and gaining access to Chapter 1's Padlock room, will let you get a package you can mail to Simon's home. The package contains pills, which were a plot-point in Afraid of Monsters, and gains you access to the secret 5th ending which includes a level that's a variant of AoM's final level. The room itself also contains a creepy painting that appeared in Afraid Of Monsters, and leaving it after taking the package has a brief jumpscare that reuses one of the screaming voiceclips used in Afraid of Monsters.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The Book. The only truly supernatural entity in the entire game (everything else exists only in Simon's disturbed mind), it's apparently influencing Simon before even being written and if the co-op campaign and Doctor's Story are anything to go by, can pull others into Simon's nightmares.
  • Emo Teen: Simon, though he's got very good reasons. You can even find scars along his wrists from self-cutting whenever you use a morphine syringe to heal.
  • Emotionless Girl: Sophie.
  • Enfant Terrible: Most of the children found in the apartment, and they were apparently all victims of the pedophile.
  • Escape from the Crazy Place: Simon is trying to get away from the haunted Stockholm and back home.
  • Eye Scream: The weakness of the first boss is a giant eye on his back, that Simon must either punch, stab and cut with the switchblade, or shoot.
  • Everything Fades: Impressive as the visuals are, it's still GoldSrc.
  • Epilogue Letter: Every ending but one in single player.
  • Fade to White: When starting a new game from the main menu. In game, after a mindscrew at the end of the second chapter.
  • Fake Difficulty: The only changes in the difficulty levels is how much damage enemies do, how much health they have, and how much morphine syringes heal. It's especially apparent after unlocking the Camera.
  • Fake Ultimate Mook: A good chunk of the bosses are like this. The Sawer and Mace all have easily exploitable weaknesses (in fact, if you're careful when strafing around it the Sawer can be beaten with just your knife), Carcass can be easily beaten by camping (or just flat-out leaving), and the final bosses are either a Flunky Boss that occasionally moves stage hazards around or a "Get Back Here!" Boss. There's a reason most players remember the fight against Dr. Purnell the fondest.
  • Fetus Terrible: The babies who burst from the wombs of their pregnant mothers and attack the player with knives.
  • Fingerless Gloves: Simon wears them, as do the police in co-op.
  • Flunky Boss: Simon sitting in the wheelchair in most of the endings. Dr. Purnell at the end of the asylum will also occasionally get help from gun-armed enemies ambushing you from behind, mostly to act as a source of extra ammo for you.
  • Follow the Leader: Obviously, this game is strongly influenced by Silent Hill.
  • Footprints of Muck: Sometimes appearing out of thin air after turning your back on a door that was locked a minute ago.
  • Foreboding Architecture: On your way to find the key to a padlocked door in chapter 1, you pass through a set of alleyways that positively scream "enemies will be here". Sure enough, once you get the code and are on your way back through that same alleyway...
  • Foreshadowing: A LOT of the game has Simon using - or losing - his legs. Particular standouts are the animation if the Sawer kills you (he cuts Simon in half at the waist) and the cutscene at the end of the maze filled with Hangmen (Simon's legs suddenly give out after a flashback to the "real" Simon and he has to crawl just with his arms through the final stretch).
    • A letter talks about the book tormenting Simon before the story talks about it for real - but it's in Latin.
    • Some enemies don't have legs, or don't use them. Others commit suicide either as their death animation, their attempt to attack you, or as a reaction to getting too close to you.
  • Gaiden Game: Doctor's Story, where Anti-Villain Dr. Purnell enters Simon's nightmare, equipped only with a night-vision-enabled gas mask and his trusty revolver. It's rather similar to the 4th Survivor in that there's a heavy focus on evading enemies, as supplies and health are extremely limited.
  • Game-Breaking Bug:
    • While not related to the game directly, if you don't get the all of the pages telling how to get all of the unlockables they disappear on subsequent playthroughs and the only way to get them to spawn again is by resetting your unlockables.
    • Certain versions of the mod don't get along well with Steam, particularly causing sound issues such as no sound, music cues not triggering properly, or the death-screen music looping forever after dying and reloading, requiring running the launcher directly from the game's folder.
  • Gas Mask Mooks: A rare antivillainous version: Dr. Purnell in Doctor's Story uses one, and it has night-vision. A New Game+ allows Simon to use it as well.
  • Get on the Boat: There is a boat that Simon uses to cross a lake close to the end.
  • Ghost City: Stockholm.
  • Giant Mook: The Tallers.
  • Give Me Your Inventory Item: In a later part of the game, the Doctor wants a gun from Simon in exchange for a key. He gives you the key, but shoots you in the shoulder, permanently cutting your health bar. By how much depends on whether you give him the gun or not, since said gun is slightly more powerful than the one he already has.
  • Good All Along: Dr. Purnell is actually Simon's mental representation of The Shrink, who is just a normal doctor in real life who wants to help Simon out. Trusting him and giving him the P345 in the asylum despite all of the trouble he puts you through by locking doors behind him is one of the two decisions needed for the best ending.
  • Guide Dang It!: The park puzzle, particularly for the fact that it's based on cardinal directions in an area with no immediately-obvious point of reference.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: The first boss can kill Simon by sawing him in half.
  • Hellevator: In the beginning the pedophile rendered the apartments elevator unusable for everyone without an access code. The children had to bear it and take the stairs, where he would wait and pull them into his apartment. When Simon finally finds the code and take the elevator, it goes down. Deep in the earth it stops, forcing Simon to take the stairs even deeper.
  • Harder Than Hard: Nightmare difficulty.
  • Hell Is That Noise: A lot of the enemies have very loud, very disturbing screams. One in particular, the handstanding "Upper", found in the tunnels under the forest is ridiculously so for no particular reason.
  • I'll Kill You!: Simon shouts this at Doctor Purnell near the end of the game after he shoots Simon in the shoulder.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: The pedophile killer implies himself as such, with one of his notes comparing the ease with which he cuts through one of his victims to cutting food.
  • Humanoid Abomination: The majority of the enemies Simon encounters. Special mention goes to the Sawrunner.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: What happens to Simon if he walks too close to the organic, growing abomination that sprouted in the middle of Ronald Street. A Dummied Out animation for the Faster had them being able to do this to Simon if they killed him, as well.
  • Impromptu Tracheotomy: The aforementioned Faster, the women with their limbs replaced with huge metallic spikes, commit suicide by stabbing themselves in the throat once they've taken enough damage.
  • Immune to Bullets: Mace, as per his status as a Puzzle Boss. Bullets don't harm him for some reason, so you have to take advantage of a nearby device to electrify the water he's standing in (and convenient areas of dry ground to keep from electrifying yourself, too).
  • Infinite Flashlight: Every portable electric light source. Justified in that they all seem to employ LEDs. Simon's phone does run out of power as part of a plot event when you first enter the subway, but after a section forcing you to crawl around vent shafts with flares that are slightly less portable and permanent, you find a spare battery that lasts until you lose your phone (and everything else) in the train crash.
  • Insurmountable Waist-High Fence: To an obnoxious degree. The forest has the most glaring examples, such as an empty wooden box that is somehow too heavy to just push over, requiring you to search around that part of the forest for two halves of a pair of scissors to cut a rope and drop a TV on that box to break it.
  • Invisible Wall: Almost everywhere. Together with the inventory system, the game could be described as a first person Resident Evil.
  • Jump Scare: Expect massive amounts of them, with special mention to the screaming head that appears at the end of the first nightmare.
  • Knife Nut: Simon's switchblade is very useful for most of the game. It can be dropped for a better weapon or more inventory space, however.
  • Kung Fu-Proof Mook: Doctor's Story and a specific area in co-op introduce a second variation of the Faster with a steel cage around their head, making them immune to headshots.
  • Laughing Mad: The note that foreshadows the plot tells of Simon doing this.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: The Doctor's Story. Simon's psychologist is trying to help him to get better through therapy using a variety of means, ultimately getting him to write the book in which Simon concentrates all his personal demons. Seeing this has backfired in a huge way, he takes the nontraditional approach of donning a gas-mask, grabbing a revolver, and slogging his way through Simon's diseased mind in an attempt to destroy the source of the problem personally.
  • Lock and Key Puzzle: All over the place. By far the longest-winded one involves fuses - you have to take a fuse from a college to open an electrically-locked door, later grab that fuse and find another one to open another locked door, then find an alternate path to get past that door so you can take both fuses back to open a third door with them.
  • Locked Door: As above. A lot of these are thanks to the work of the Doctor.
  • Malevolent Architecture: Normally, the worst you get are roads blocked off by piled-up cars and the like. But every now and again you cross over to... somewhere different, and then it's a whole different ballgame.
  • Malevolent Masked Man: Quite a lot of enemies appear to be wearing them.
  • Mental Story: One of the big twists of the game is that everything going on is in Simon's head, as the result of him focusing his negative emotions into a book his doctor asked him to write. Every character Simon directly meets who isn't already a monster of some variety is a flanderized sort of mental projection of the real person: Sophie claims Simon was the only guy at school who was nice to her, then straight-up admits she doesn't have feelings for him, before hinting at depression and then jumping off a roof for little reason, while the Doctor is actively antagonistic and harmful, blocking Simon's path multiple times, murdering the only other regular humans still in the city, and at one point shooting Simon in the shoulder. There's even two Simons, the still-mobile one you play as and a wheelchair-bound one, who fight each other at the very end since they jointly represent the real Simon's suicidal tendencies - the twist being that the Simon you play as for most of the game represents the side of him that wants to die, so in four of the five endings (namely, all the ones where Simon kills himself) you continue playing as the mobile Simon and taking on the wheelchair-bound one as the Final Boss.
  • Mental Monster: Most of the enemies have themes of depression, suicide and mental issues. This all reflects on the protagonist Simon who during the course of the story is writing a book about his issues and so the Simon you play as sees them as malformed monsters.
  • Misidentified Weapons: The TMP. The weapon name isn't fake, it's just technically wrong - the TMP was the basis for the MP9 in reality, so other than manufacturer and some minor differences, they really are essentially the same weapon. After a patch, the gun itself is now properly called the MP9, but ammo pickups are still mislabeled.
    "The TMP is actually an MP 9. We incorrectly labelled it as such when the weapon was being modeled, and some gun-nerd got pissed off about it. So we kept it known as a TMP."
    • Another semi-issue is with the assault rifle. The inventory screen refers to it as the Stag Arms AR-15, which is a real civilian rifle, but the notifications for picking it or its ammo up off the ground call it the M16, the designation for US military versions. Again, the name isn't fake, it's just inconsistent. Not helping matters is that the in-game model is a mix between Stag Arms' version (no bayonet lug, the semi-auto setting is labeled as "FIRE") and the military M16A2 (the fixed carry handle and the fact that it can fire in bursts).
    • The same goes for the Glock 19, which is actually a Glock 17 (though with Glock 19 markings on the in-game model). They're technically the same gun, but the 17 is larger than the 19 and holds 17 rounds per magazine compared to the Glock 19's 15 rounds.
  • Monster Clown: Sawrunner.
  • More Dakka: Averted. Outside of rewards for beating the game or other means, almost every weapon in the game is either manually-operated or semi-automatic only, and even the ones that aren't like the VP70 and M16 only fire in bursts rather than full-auto.
  • Multiple Endings: Seven in total. The four main endings for the normal game, the ending of Doctor Mode, the Co-op ending, and the joke ending.
    • The ending you get for the main game depends on what you do during certain events. If you skip Carcass by jumping into the window, Simon kills Sophie in the ending. If you refuse to give the Doctor the gun in the asylum, Simon kills Doctor Purnell in the ending. Both overlap, and only if you do neither does Simon resist killing himself - and in that case, he instead kills two cops who are coming to check up on him.
    • The joke ending is unlocked by finding the "Weird Package" after beating the game once and dropping it into a mailbox, which overrides any of the normal ending decisions. When you reach Simon's house, rather than the book, Simon finds the package again, and opens it to reveal the same pills from Afraid of Monsters. He takes them and immediately goes through a new variation of that mod's normal ending - only for that light at the end of the tunnel to turn out to be the headlights of a car. It's revealed that the car that hit Simon in the intro was driven by none other than David Leatherhoff, who is still blocky, still talks in text, and stoned off his gourd. Simon is very understandably upset.
  • Musical Spoiler: When calm music starts playing, you can relax. However, if this is suddenly playing, start running.
  • Mythology Gag: Several to the previous Afraid of Monsters:
    • On a few separate occasions, Simon wonders to himself whether he's just hallucinating the monsters he's been fighting.
    • One of the unlockables is a bullpup assault rifle with Bottomless Magazines, much like the "gm_general" from Afraid of Monsters (the only difference is, whereas the gm_general was a British rifle, this one is French); the game even reuses the same infinity-symbol HUD icon from AoM to represent the infinite ammo.
    • If you pick up the Weird Package after beating the game once, exiting the room you found it in will trigger a quick jumpscare - the same one that popped up at the start of all the bad endings to Afraid of Monsters.
  • Nightmare Face: The last Jump Scare in the prologue. It comes up again during an event when trying to acquire a second fuse to follow the Doctor further into the subway.
  • Nightmare Sequence: The entire game turns out to be one.
  • Nintendo Hard: Getting an S rating in Nightmare mode. You not only have to beat the game in under 2 and a half hours with 90% accuracy but you can only save a maximum of 4 times and only use 2 syringes throughout the entire game. The Camera and gas mask are practically must-haves for completing it.
  • No Name Given: The Police Officers in Co-op.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Simon does this to his wheelchair-bound self in all the bad endings.
  • Notice This: Every item that can be picked up glows red when the player is near.
  • Nothing Is Scarier:
    • Once again the prologue, early parts of the forest, and the long dark hallway beneath the roped off apartment. Quite tense walking through there with your phone out as you hear the voices discussing the condition of a therapy patient. Always waiting for something to start chasing you, but nothing scary actually happens. At least until you open the door at the end.
    • Also of note is a completely dark area in Chapter 2. Soon after entering, you hear a door slam. This is soon followed by the roar of a chainsaw, repeated several times and getting closer each time. Towards the end of the area, a more subdued version of the Sawrunner's theme starts to play. Unsettling (especially if you already know about the Sawrunner), but nothing attacks you in this area.
  • Off with His Head!: The Doctor is seen decapitating a man with a saw. Earlier, a killing is seen recorded on a tape in which the murderer used a pair of gardening shears to behead his victim, and the Sawer boss removes his own head with his chainsaw upon being defeated.
  • One Bullet Clips: Zig-zagged. When you reload most weapons, Simon simply drops the magazine rather than putting it away, and as such you lose any bullets still left in the magazine. The shotgun is realistically topped off one shell at a time, and can be interrupted between shells. The need for a round in the chamber is also somewhat acknowledged, in the typical post-Call of Duty video-game manner: an empty reload takes a little bit of extra time as Simon has to rack the slide of a pistol, pump the shotgun, etc. before he can fire again, but reloading early doesn't let him keep a round from the previous magazine. However, the revolver and hunting rifle, despite being manually reloaded like the shotgun, still follow mostly the same rules as the mag-fed weapons and will lose every round currently loaded upon triggering a reload (though still combined with the shotgun's ability to interrupt it halfway through); the revolver at least has the excuse that, like the mag-fed weapons, Simon dumps every round without trying to retain the unfired ones, but the hunting rifle really should, at most, only lose the round in the chamber from opening the bolt. Even weirder is that this behavior for the rifle seems to depend on the version, as there are videos of people keeping the rounds already in it during a reload and videos of people having them evaporate for no particular reason when they start a reload.
  • Our Monsters Are Weird: Including giant masses of human flesh with tentacles that can throw cars around and impale Simon for an instant death; women who float as if held up by strings, psychically controlling Simon to try to force him to commit suicide, and attack in close range via an unborn fetus bursting from their stomach to attack with a knife; twitching men who attack with hammers, some of which are strung up on walls by more tentacles for little reason, and one or two more who have three heads and multiple eyes; and police with misshapen heads who shoot on sight, but commit suicide when Simon gets too close.
  • Point of No Return: For the first half of the game or so, everything takes place within one big city. You can return to any areas of it that you want to at any time, until you finally get a subway train working and leave. After it derails, you're then stuck in the surrounding forest for the last part of the game.
  • Police are Useless: Played straight in the main game. Simon tries to contact them after the first monster encounter but can't get through, and the only other times the police are so much as hinted at in gameplay are finding the corpse of one and then the first encounter with Suiciders, which implies that the Suiciders are the police (and thus too busy shooting you or committing suicide to help you). In the bad endings, the cops arrive too late to stop Simon's murder-suicide, and in the best ending, they get gunned down. Averted in the co-op campaign and survival mode, in which police are the player characters.
  • Post-End Game Content: To collect and use all unlockables, you must beat the game at least once.
  • Psychic-Assisted Suicide: This is how the Drownednote  kills you if you get too close to it with a loaded gun equipped.
  • Puzzle Boss: Mace. He's immune to your weapons and one-shots you with his. There is water on the floor, so one must activate all the electric switches in the room, then scramble onto the part of the floor raised above the water, to shock him until he dies.
  • Retraux: David Leatherhoff, when he shows up, still talks in text laid over the center of the screen and looks exactly as he did in Afraid of Monsters, he even makes the original low-quality Half-Life footstep sounds while walking.
  • Revolvers Are Just Better: Played with. Dr. Purnell uses one in Doctor's Story, and it's plenty powerful and accurate, but it fires and reloads slowly and has very little ammo. The accuracy also hinders it, ironically — some enemies move too fast and won't be hit if you take too long aiming. Purnell himself asks for you to retrieve a new weapon to replace it in the asylum, the P345, which sure enough is even more powerful than the revolver.
  • Right-Handed Left-Handed Guns: While the weapons are normally modeled correctly for right-handed use, combining one with a light source or melee weapon causes Simon to hold them in his left hand, with the model obliging by mirroring itself into a left-handed gun.
  • Roar Before Beating: Sawrunner loves doing it. One of your only defenses against him is that he takes a moment to actually swing his chainsaw at you, and is immobilized while doing so. This is in contrast to the Sawcrazy, who never stops swinging his chainsaws, so is instant death to even get near.
  • Room Full of Crazy: In the pedophile's apartment, there is a room with photos of his various victims (including notes of his scrawled over them about how long they lasted or what they tasted like) all over the walls.
  • Rule of Symbolism: There's metaphors all over the game but the two major choices that decide what ending you get are the most significant.
    • The fight with Carcass represents Simon's resentment towards himself, a monstrous sack of meat bound to a chair. This comes after Sophie's rejection of him. Defeating Carcass symbolizes Simon moving on from his bitterness, and possibly rekindling his friendship with her. However, choosing to spare Carcass and flee means leaving that resentment to fester, to the point he obsessively kills Sophie to have her to himself in death.
    • Trusting the Doctor with the gun is a representation of Simon's relationship with Purnell. Up to this point, Simon has remained stubborn and unwilling to open to him, so Purnell suggests writing the book to help him get his dark thoughts and anxieties out of his head. Trusting him with the gun means that Simon trusts Purnell knows what he's doing, but it takes a bigger chunk of his health because he will have expected to feel better as a result of the therapy, rather than worse, but it allows him to get a better handle on his demons. Meanwhile, not trusting him with the gun means Simon remains stubborn and stonewalls his attempts to help him, and less health is docked when the Doctor shoots him, symbolizing Simon didn't get his hopes up, so the pain hurt less in the short term but it ultimately leads to him killing Purnell in a fit of rage.
  • Run or Die: Sawrunner is the dangerous madman Simon must flee from during a chase sequence, and one swipe of his chainsaw kills you instantly. Killing Sawrunner is possible, but it requires wasting all ammo and cherry tapping with melee whacks. It is not worth running around without ammunition, and he'll just come back again.
  • Save-Game Limits: In a possible reference to Silent Hill and the early Resident Evil games, the player can only save with tape recorders found scattered around the environment. On Nightmare difficulty, the player must find cassette tapes to be able to save. Specifically, there are only five cassette tapes in the whole game that the player can save with. Which is convenient if you're trying to unlock everything in the game, including Simon's Book, since you have to save 5 or less times if you want an S rank.
  • Scenery Gorn: See beautiful Stockholm sights as they're warped and twisted by some unknown power. Special mention to the alley that's collapsed to make way for the Human Flower.
  • Screaming Woman: The hanging women in the forest. They double as both an environmental hazard and a Jump Scare.
  • Secret Level: Heaven, a Shout-Out to Afraid of Monsters.
  • Self-Harm: Simon has several gashes on his left wrist, which he had apparently cut prior to the game's start. They are visible when he injects himself with morphine. One hallucination sequence also features various figures suspended in cages, continuously cutting themselves with knives.
  • Serial Killer: A pedophile who murdered kids, whose trail Simon follows through the apartments for a while early on.
  • Sinister Subway: A good chunk of the mid-game has Simon navigating the subways.
  • Sitting on the Roof: Simon and Sophie do it when they meet.
  • Skippable Boss: Carcass. But if you do, Simon kills Sophie in the ending.
  • Slasher Smile: The Final Boss version of Simon found in Ending 4 always has one of these.
  • Spiritual Successor: To Andreas Ronnberg's previous game, Afraid of Monsters. The game even has a Nostalgia Level in the form of "Heaven", which recreates the penultimate levels of one of Afraid of Monsters' endings, with neither David Leatherhoff or the Twitchers aesthetically updated.
  • Sprint Meter: Simon can only run for a few seconds. The player can also use stamina from the same meter to increase the accuracy with the hunting rifle.
  • Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl: The Drowned and later the Crazy Runner.
  • Suicide Attack: The Babies with their exploding heads will run up to Simon and explode, trying to stab him with a spike sprouting from their neck-stump.
  • Suspicious Video-Game Generosity: Before encountering the first boss, the player will stumble upon at least three magazines for the Glock, if he checks the floors. At the same time, it's kind of a trap - you don't need to shoot him.
  • Solve the Soup Cans: Several of them, though despite all the weirdness going on most don't get too crazy. The oddest is probably the bit with the stone tablets, which you need to acquire and put together to get a phone number.
  • Teleporting Keycard Squad: Surprisingly rare given that it started as a Half-Life mod, but it still happens. Harbor College, for instance, which is nice, brightly-lit, and devoid of enemies... until you grab the fuse you need to get through the subway, then it's pitch-black and filled to the brim with Faceless.
  • There Are No Therapists: Averted by Doctor Purnell, though his insistence that Simon recovers without the use of medication may not be helping things.
  • The Maze: And there's a chainsaw-wielding psychopath in it. Have fun! One maze during a Nightmare Sequence late in the game features omnipresent, invincible hanging monsters that kill you instantly if they catch you.
  • The Musketeer: It is possible to hold a pistol and a melee weapon at the same time, but most players avoid it due to lack of a reliable light source at hand or the ability to reload the gun once it runs out. It's more convenient to equip melee and firearm separately.
  • Torture Cellar: The basement of the apartments, where a murderer (possibly the aforementioned pedophile) killed his victims.
  • Tragic Monster:
    • Book Simon in ending 4 is implied, through his clothing and equipment, to be the same Simon that was the Player Character for the entire game. The real Simon is required to kill him.
    • All endings but the "good" one: Simon, in his wrath, kills Sophie and/or his doctor before offing himself.
  • Unique Enemy: The Three-Headed Slower and the Upper are only encountered once in the game's campaign.
  • Universal Ammunition: Averted, in contrast to the earlier Afraid of Monsters. Ammo pickups are identified specifically by the gun they go to, so even guns that do fire the same bullets in reality (e.g. the Glock using the same 9mm bullets as the VP70 or the donators-only MP9) can't swap ammo because of incompatible magazines.
  • Unlockable Content: Several items such as Purnell's Gasmask, David's Axe, the camera from the intro and outfits, are all available to collect and use after at least one playthrough.
  • Unreliable Narrator: The near-entirety of the game centers around and takes place within Simon's book as a personification of himself, making you wonder what inspired the events inside or otherwise aside from the obvious causes, like his insanity and being able to walk in it. Whatever caused them is never explained, instead left open to interpretation by those who play. This is probably intentional.
  • Unusable Enemy Equipment: The enemies attack Simon with hammers, knives, scissors, chainsaws, a mace and axes, all of which cannot be gained during gameplay. Of all of them, only the axe is available during a second playthrough. That said, enemies equipped with guns (Suiciders and Doctor Purnell) will drop them on death for Simon to get ammo from.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: The first boss, Sawer. His attacks are all one-hit kills, so it's a good idea to practice your dodging skills.
  • Waking Up Elsewhere: Simon gets hit by a car, and then wakes up in an alley.
  • White Mask of Doom: Some of the more insane enemies wear paper masks, resembling those once worn by Plague Doctors in real life during the bubonic plague. The somewhat less insane Doctor encountered wears a gasmask, which is more gray.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Simon in the worst ending.
  • Your Head A-Splode: The Babies and Suiciders both give themselves this result, from respectively trying to attack you (due to a spike shooting out of their neck to damage you) and getting too close to you (whereupon they live up to their name by shooting themselves in the head).


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: