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Video Game / Dr. Langeskov, The Tiger, and The Terribly Cursed Emerald: A Whirlwind Heist

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Released in 2015 by Crows Crows Crows, an independent studio founded by William Pugh of The Stanley Parable fame (not that that'll be significant to this game), Dr Langeskov, The Tiger and the Terribly Cursed Emerald: A Whirlwind Heist is a nail-biting, pulse-pounding action game where the player takes on the role of a master thief on the hunt for a cursed emerald... all the while trying not to get eaten by the tiger. Mustn't forget the tiger.

The game was released on Steam for free, and you can try it out here. Go on, play it now, then come back, lest you fall victim to massive spoilers!

Seriously, literally nothing about this game can be discussed without spoiling the surprise!

This game contains examples of:

  • Alternate Reality Game: Going onto the Crows Crows Crows website reveals some form of puzzle linked to a series of police reports about thefts of various objects. Cursed objects. Such as the Terribly Cursed Emerald in the title.
  • Arc Number: 1868 6263 2469 5948. Nobody has been able to figure out their significance, but they seem to tie in with the above mentioned ARG.
  • Bad "Bad Acting": The auditions for Ineffable, Incomparable, Autumn On The Garden Planet on the second cassette tape.
  • Blamed for Being Railroaded: Interacting with a ringing phone causes your character to pick it up... and then instantly put it down, hanging up. You are later chewed out by the narrator on this, even though you cannot interact with phones in any other way.
  • Bookends: The game starts with the player finding themselves behind the scenes as another player is already playing the game. The game ends with the player finally being let into the game, leaving another player stuck behind the scenes, who tries to screw with the staff member, and ends up releasing the tiger.
  • Cassette Craze: There are cassette tapes scattered throughout the game. On your second playthrough, you can find a tape player which you can use to listen to them.
  • Continue Your Mission, Dammit!: The Staff Member is relentlessly passive-agressive about you doing what he wants you to do and will nervously keep stammering that you need to do it.
  • Environmental Narrative Game: Much akin to The Stanley Parable.
  • Interface Screw: The first thing that happens in the game is a black loading screen, followed by a sudden burst of glitchy colourful screens, and then the player is dumped back at the title screen, whereupon the player has control of the camera.
  • Jump Scare:
    • The Interface Screw that opens the game.
    • When you're walking along a catwalk and it gives way beneath your feet, bringing you back down into the weather room.
  • Loading Screen: The game's opening loading screen contains typical hints such as "Use vents to stay hidden from guards." They serve as Red Herrings and don't actually relate to anything you do in the game.
  • Letting the Air out of the Band: The "9" key on the control panel in the miscellaneous control room does this when it sticks and lets the tone continue.
  • Logging onto the Fourth Wall: Towards the end of the game, you find an address for a tech support website called Mayflower Networking. It just links to an error page, as of right now.
  • MacGuffin: The titular emerald is the item you must steal. It's supposedly haunted. Subverted as it never actually plays a part in the game, as the real conflict is trying to get into the In-Universe game in the first place.
  • No Antagonist: Unlike The Stanley Parable and The Beginner's Guide, there is no real villain to speak of, as the conflict is the player trying to get into the game, but the other player- who is already playing the game and is the reason you cannot get into the game- is not malicious or actively trying to block you, and the narrator- also unlike the other two games- is not malicious or antagonistic, just incompetent, but he helps you as much as he can. Although the other new player who shows up behind the scenes after you finally get to start the game yourself apparently has no interest in listening to the narrator and just starts screwing around with the game while you're trying to play it, releasing the tiger on you while you're still trapped in the dark of the starting room- but they never appear either.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Some of the audio tapes you can listen to are by a man named Pierre, who sounds and acts a lot like Tommy Wiseau, down to the ambiguously French accent and being a little too passionate about game concepts. He's implied to be the game's creator, and is one of the reasons a lot of the staff have quit.
  • Nonindicative Name: Nothing about the game's title has anything to do with what the player will actually be doing, except possibly the tiger. Even that's an accident.
  • Satire/Parody/Pastiche: Seems to be a satire of the fact that Triple-A video games are pushing to become more "cinematic", and what would happen if they were run like actual movies. Also a parody of uber-artistic indie games, the nitty gritty of game development, and catering to the player. Like anything related to The Stanley Parable, it covers a lot of topics.
  • Shout-Out: The alarm system you deal with looks just like the one seen in Team Fortress 2's Meet the Spy video.
  • Show Within a Show: The very game of the title.
  • Spiritual Successor: Oddly enough, to The Stanley Parable demo. Both start out with the player facing a wall resembling a title screen, have the player explore various departments of a building dedicated to the design and mechanics of a video game, include a climactic sequence in which everything goes horribly wrong, and never let the player actually play the game that was promised.
  • Stylistic Suck: The latter half of the game's Steam description.
  • Title Drop: Occurs In-Universe when the narrator tells you that releasing the tiger on cue "is kind of important. It's in the title."
  • Troubled Production: In-Universe, the titular game has suffered so badly from it's lead designer acting like Prima Donna Director that only one staff member is left and It's Up to You to provide the in-game weather, effects, and events for the previous player before you can experience the game for yourself.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Or rather, an incompetent one.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential:
    • Taken to a logical extreme in that it's another player you're screwing with by pushing the inconspicuous button marked "lasers". The staff member chews you out for this later.
    • This comes full circle when you actually get let into the game, and a player stuck in the same situation you were just in starts messing with the staff member and releases the tiger.
  • What Does This Button Do?: The switch marked "Lasers" serves as this, and ends up doing something disheartening off-camera to the actual player of the game. The staff member chews you out later if you push it, but he lets it go.