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Video Game / Delve

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Life begins when you accept your fate.

DELVE is an Adventure-RPG, made in RPG Maker. It was originally released on June 1st 2018, by YOUR DEAD Videogame Production. You can get it on Steam here.

It follows The Wanderer, an androgynous amnesiac, as they explore the surreal world of Esoteria to find their home island while being hunted by a relentless and inescapable Killer. The people of Esoteria, similarly nameless and hunted, help or hinder the Wanderer on their journey through the Layers of the world.

The game has sixteen unique endings, where the Wanderer can die horribly, save everyone, escape Esoteria, or fall somewhere in between.


Tropes present in that game:

  • Absurdly Low Level Cap: Everyone is capped at 20.
  • Actually Four Mooks: Where was that giant three-headed dog hiding?!
  • All in a Row: Whenever anyone is added to the Wanderer's party, this is how they move.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: The Scourge, a murderous race of Fish People.
  • Ambiguous Gender: The Wanderer, full stop.
  • Ambiguous Situation: Being in Esoteria exemplifies this trope. No one ever really knows what's going on, only that they need to stay on their islands and eventually die.
  • Audience Surrogate: The Wanderer is dropped into the world of Esoteria with only vague at best knowledge of their past life or current purpose, speaks rarely, and has no confirmed gender except in the super-macho Fighter ending when the Fighter uses male pronouns for them, to draw attention to the hyper masculinity of that particular ending. The player character is, in other words, a complete blank slate for the player to identify with as much as possible.
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  • Barrier Maiden: The Bearer holds back the HATRED CORE in the deepest level of the BABEL Labyrinth.
  • Big Bad: The killer is indeed a very big bad.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: There are a number of characters that can join the Wanderer’s party, but the first three you meet, and the ones you are most likely to fight alongside at one point or another, follow this hair colour scheme in this general order (depending on if you go left or right in the middle layer): the blonde Dancer, brunette Escort, and redhead Free.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: A few characters, including the killer, start talking to you. Not to the Wanderer, to YOU.
  • Broken Bridge: There are several points in the game where you cannot progress or reach tempting sparkles unless you have the blessing that lets you proceed.
  • Chick Magnet: The Wanderer gets... a lot of attention from the female characters.
  • Chaste Hero: Despite that, The Wanderer never gets any action thanks to some over-active protection the glow grants them.
  • Cool Mask: The Traveler wears a creepy half-mask.
  • Cruelty Is the Only Option: The Queens of the Bottom Layer are physical incarnations of progress-blocking crystal barriers. To complete the game, they have to be killed. They have varying reactions to this, ranging from refusal to apathy.
    "It's, uh, it's in the way."
  • Downer Ending: In most of the endings, things don't go well. The only exceptions are the Peaceful, Diplomacy, Cat, and True endings.
  • Dragon Knight: The dragoons, and the secret party member, The Crusader.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Both literal and figurative; the players' actions can lead to several characters permanently dying in-story, and one of the moves the Wanderer can learn is Enbridge, which... literally drops a bridge on someone, for massive damage.
  • Empty Shell: The Wanderer starts the game as this, but ends it as an individual with goals.
  • Faux Affably Evil: The red-suited, hair-slicked-back, crazy-grinning Killer has a polite and courteous demeanor, but it quickly becomes clear that it's all a facade, including the literal human facade he wears.
  • Featureless Protagonist: The Wanderer, but they do find more of an identity as the game moves along.
  • Five-Man Band: Depending on how you play the game, you can recruit characters at various points who fall into these archetypes rather neatly.
  • Given Name Reveal: Everyone in Esoteria is dropped into the world with varying degrees of amnesia. No one knows their true name, and they go by titles like the Wanderer or the Florist, based on what they do in Esoteria. The first character who knows their name is Free, and there is a library at the end of the game with books revealing the identity of every Esoterian citizen, living and dead.
  • Gladiator Subquest: the Battlehaus.
  • Golden Ending: The true ending.
  • Go Wait Outside: A couple of optional scenes involve the Wanderer being sent outside while the Artist paints or the Dancer makes up with her ex-girlfriend.
  • Hell Is That Noise: The killer's "rip" sound whenever he appears.
  • Infinity +1 Sword: You can literally collect items called The Best Sword, The Best Armour, etc, in the Labyrinth. Whether they're the best is up to debate.
  • Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence: The world of Esoteria works... a little differently than Earth. Obstacles that should be easily circumvented are recognized in-game to be insurmountable despite all logic, due to the strange physics of a strange place.
  • Interface Spoiler: The classic JRPG interface gives away the fact that there will eventually be party members.
  • Multiple Endings: Sixteen of them!
  • Only the Chosen May Wield: A sword stuck in a stone in the Upper Layer is crucial to unlocking the True ending.
  • Optional Party Member: A late-game character can easily be missed at the very beginning of the game if you don't do certain things in the right order.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Anxe's end goal is to release The Power of Apocalypse, which if left uncontained can destroy the whole of Esoteria.
  • Slasher Smile: Anxe, The Wanderer's Killer. the creepy grin is hiding an even creepier face when the mask literally cracks.
  • Shining City: Deserted now, but the Panoptic realm of Etherea was this in its heyday and, depending on the ending the player chooses, can be repopulated and returned to its full glory.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: Becoming the Betrayer enables you to murder every single Esoterian, if you feel like it. Only the Scribe needs to die to complete the game and get the Betrayer's Downer Endings... But don't expect the Scribe to go down easy.
  • Warp Whistle: The Gleaming Bauble warps you back to the Panopticon from mostly anywhere which can come in handy for plot reasons now and then.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Depending on the player's choices, The Wanderer can accidentally get people killed, and can even join with the killer who's been menacing them.


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