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Video Game / Don't Look Back

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Don't Look Back is a short Freeware Indie Game by Terry Cavanagh which reimagines the story of Orpheus descending into the underworld to rescue Eurydice as a Platform Game.

This game provides examples of:

  • Actionized Adaptation: Orpheus' mythological journey to the land of the dead was fairly peaceful, while in this game he comes blasting in with a gun and shoots Hades dead.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Much like his portrayal in Disney's Hercules, Hades is portrayed as a villainous character and the final boss the player must beat in order to rescue his lover.
  • All Just a Dream: It turns out that Orpheus is simply imagining the events of the game; he is still mourning at Eurydice's grave.
  • Big Bad: Hades.
  • Convection, Schmonvection: A few screens have the protagonist jumping from pillar to pillar over a lake of lava.
  • Cruel Twist Ending: When the protagonist and his lover return, they encounter himself still mourning next to the grave, and both the spirit and the character fade away, revealing the whole adventure took place inside the man's head and he must face the cruel reality of having lost a loved one.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: Any time you lose, you simply go back to the start of the same screen.
  • Don't Look Back: After picking up Eurydice, facing to the right for any reason will cause Orpheus to look at Eurydice, who then evaporates with an inrushing-breath sound (forcing you to restart the screen).
  • Grave Clouds: The game starts in the dark in the rain, by the grave.
  • Hellhound: The first boss is a vicious canine.
  • Lethal Lava Land: You spend several screens passing through one of these; it even includes bouncing lava balls to dodge.
  • Not His Sled: Unlike in the original myth, the protagonist and his lover make it out of the Underworld together... only to dissipate together when they come upon the protagonist still standing at the graveside.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: The player character dies upon being hit by anything.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: One of the many enemies you encounter on your journey are giant snakes.
  • Rescued from the Underworld: Inspired by the original, although this Orpheus uses platforming and a gun instead of music.
  • Reset Button Ending: The game's ending, in which you find yourself still mourning next to Eurydice's grave, lets you play the whole thing from the start once more.
  • Silence Is Golden: The only text (much less dialogue) is the instructions telling you how to control your character.
  • Stalactite Spite: In the caves.
  • Temporary Platform: Part of the journey downward includes traversing collapsing platforms over lava.