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Video Game / Deep Sleep Trilogy

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You have to wake up.
holy cow... i never thought 2 white pixels could be that frightening

The Deep Sleep Trilogy, developed by scriptwelder, consists of three Survival Horror games, named Deep Sleep, Deeper Sleep, and The Deepest Sleep. You, the Featureless Protagonist, are trapped in a lucid nightmare, which you have to wake up from before something else does it for you.

The games rely on Nothing Is Scarier, Primal Fears and creepy music to create a very scary atmosphere.

The first game won first place in 10th Casual Gameplay Design Competition.

On October 25, 2019, Deep Sleep Trilogy was released. Like the Don't Escape games before them, the three games are bundled together, and receive Steam achievements.

scriptwelder is now working on a fourth game, called Deep Sleep: Labyrinth of the Forsaken. Again like Don't Escape before, this fourth game will update the formula in a traditional Point-and-Click Game, but will also add Roguelike elements.

The examples may contain unmarked spoilers for all three games.

Deep Sleep provides examples of:

  • Actionized Sequel: In Labyrinth of the Forsaken, Amy can fight against the monsters roaming in the Deep Sleep. The trilogy's Player Character, except for one specific moment (the climax of the first game), could only run away from them.
  • All Just a Dream: Well, not just a dream.
  • And I Must Scream: The third game starts with the protagonist waking up under sleep paralysis.
  • And Then John Was a Zombie: The third game reveals those who have their bodies stolen by Shadow People become Shadow People themselves. Like the protagonist.
  • Arc Words: "You have to wake up."
  • Bag of Spilling:
    • Because you wake up at the end of the first game, all items found in your dream aren't retained in the second game.
    • While the third game starts in the same place where the second game ends, the only item you keep from the second game is the flashlight. Because your inventory disappears at the end of the second game, one could assume the protagonist simply dropped the items outside the well.
  • Being Good Sucks: In the last game, you have a choice: perpetuate the cycle of the Shadow People, or be stuck in the Deepest Sleep for all time. There is no Golden Ending.
  • Big Bad: The Shadow People are the main antagonists of the series.
  • Big Sister Instinct: Amy, the protagonist of Labyrinth of the Forsaken, braves the Deep Sleep in the hopes of rescuing her brother Thomas.
  • Black Eyes of Evil: In an aversion to the usual glowing white eyes, the protagonist sports these if you choose to capture the traveler.
  • Bookends:
    • The last passage from the last game is the one a Shadow Person chased you down in the first game, which you also revisit in the second, though that time it's empty.
    • The passage in the last game is worth mentioning because the roles are reversed; this time you are the one chasing another person.
  • Continuity Nod: Some of the rooms shown in the Labyrinth of the Forsaken's trailer will be very familiar for veterans of the trilogy...
  • Dangerous Key Fumble: In the second game, while you are stuck in the attic and Felicity is closing in on you, you have to quickly unscrew a metal plate so you can reach the button for opening the elevator. But when you start, you drop the screwdriver and quickly have to pick it up again.
  • The Darkness Gazes Back: The Shadow People are entirely black, vaguely human-shaped, and have large, glowing white eyes. Since most of the game's corridors are also extremely dark, this is the effect that occurs whenever one shows up.
  • Downer Ending: Neither of the endings of the third game are particularly good.
    • In one ending, the protagonist lets the traveler go, not willing to allow the cycle to repeat itself, as he stays in the deepest sleep for eternity.
    • The other ending has the protagonist instead capture the traveler to use their body to awake into and trapping them in the dark world, at the cost of their remaining humanity and become what they were actively trying to avoid to begin with.
  • Dream Land: The setting of the series.
  • Fate Worse than Death: A traveler you encounter in the second game would rather stay in the Deeper Sleep than in the waking world. Being a Shadow Person in itself also qualifies for this trope, being stuck in the bleak deep sleep for eternity unless they capture and convert an unlucky traveler into one.
  • Face–Heel Turn: If you choose to capture the traveler, stealing his body for your own benefit.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • The first game opens with the Nietzsche quote: "When you look into an abyss, the abyss also looks into you." Which turns out to be quite the apt description for the protagonist's fate.
    • In the third game, you find a note near a winch that begins with "Dear Bert" and ends with "Signed Yourself". Later in the game, you come across Bert's body in the sewers. This hints at the ending, when it is revealed that you have become a Shadow Person. Assuming that you are Bert, your old self has "died" in order to become a host for the Shadow People.
    • In the first game, there is a room with several newspaper articles about people dying or changing personality in their sleep, followed by a note that says "YOU ARE NEXT". In the next game, you learn more about the Shadow People and their tendency to possess the bodies of sleeping humans. And you are their next victim.
  • Grand Theft Me: The Modus Operandi of the Shadow People. The people whose bodies they take become new Shadow People themselves.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: If you choose to let the traveler escape, the Player Character breaks the Vicious Cycle of the Shadow People at the cost of stranding themself forever in the Deepest Sleep.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: The first game opens with the paragraph that leads up to the Trope Namer. This trope is played straight in one of the endings, where you become the monster you've been trying to avoid by condemning an innocent traveler into being a Shadow Person.
  • I Am a Monster: Almost said word-for-word by the protagonist upon realizing they've become a Shadow Person if you examine the mirror a second time.
  • Jump Scare: Most of them can be missed. A particularly notable example happens at the end of the second game, where a Shadow Person's eyes suddenly appear before you as you enter a pitch-black corridor.
  • Living Motion Detector: The bottom feeders can detect others based on sound. On the first appearance, it reacts to quick mouse movements, especially in the first sighting where you need to open a door using a switch on the opposite side of the corridor.
  • Low-Speed Chase: The dramatic variant, made so by the need to secure your escape by time consuming means.
  • Madwoman in the Attic: Felicity in the second game. She went mad when her mind lost contact with her body.
  • Mirror Reveal: In Deepest Sleep, how the protagonist realizes they have become a Shadow Person.
  • Monster Clown: Bert appears on a poster on the wall of the second game — while first only seeming garish, his poster becomes more and more nightmarish until he vanishes entirely. He appears in the third game as a hanged corpse.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: During the three games, the monsters make a total of only nine appearances. This doesn't make their presence feel any less ominous when they do appear.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: The cinnamon toast's flavor text.
  • Plot Twist: In the third game, it is revealed that your body had been taken by a shadow person, so you've become one yourself!
  • Primal Fear:
  • The Reveal: The main character didn't escape the Shadow People at the end of Deeper Sleep - they were caught, and transformed into a Shadow Person.
  • Roguelike: According to Word of God, Labyrinth of the Forsaken will be a roguelike in addition to the usual formula. You can fight enemies, upgrade your character...
  • The Scream: The main character lets out one when he finds that they had been a Shadow Person all along. It's rather inhuman sounding.
  • Sequel Hook: The second game ends when you descend to the deepest sleep, and a Shadow Person's eyes light up in front of you. The next game doesn't take place immediately after this until The Reveal comes that you did not manage to get away from them.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl: This is Felicity's general appearance. According to the traveller, she lost her humanity after spending years trapped inside the dream.
  • Throwing the Distraction: One of the bottom feeders needs to be attracted by throwing a hammer at fragile plates, giving enough time to get a puzzle component.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: With a literal mirror in the end of The Deepest Sleep. Turns out that you've been a Shadow Person ever since the ending of Deeper Sleep.
  • Vicious Cycle: If a person loses their body to the Shadow People, they are left in the deep sleep as a Shadow Person trying to possess someone else's body. The protagonist can choose to break this cycle at the cost of never returning to human form, or perpetuate the cycle by possessing a dream-traveller's body.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: There is the potential, following a hint from the first game and using an item in the second game, to free a comatose child from the Deeper Sleep without any ill effects.
  • The Walls Are Closing In: The bloody spikes in the third game that quickly close in and out. The main character makes the (probably wise) decision not to try to run through it if prompted.
  • What You Are in the Dark: At the end of the third game the protagonist is left alone with a traveller in the Deepest Sleep, with the option to remain in the Deepest Sleep forever or perpetuate the cycle of the Shadow People.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Some of the Shadow People include children, such as the one you have the option to save, and one in Deepest Sleep that appears for a split second. The "hurt" part of this trope comes in the Grand Theft Me/Fate Worse than Death flavor of this trope.

Alternative Title(s): Deep Sleep