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Video Game / Drawn to Life

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Drawn to Life is a video game series developed by 5th Cell about a village inhabited by "Raposa," small, furry creatures supposedly meant to be foxes. The Raposa village has been under attack by Wilfre, who covers the village in shadow. Mari then asks the Creator for help. You're the Creator, and you draw a hero to help. This hero... well, you can draw it and it moves. The hero must travel across the world, through the four gates in the village, defeating the shadow, returning the lost Raposa to the village, and collecting the missing pages of the Book of Life to restore the village to its former glory. The main gimmick of the series is that you get to draw a ton of stuff, including a whale-copter.

Drawn To Life: The Next Chapter followed, having two versions that have different plots. The version for the Wii happens directly after Drawn to Life, but before Drawn to Life: The Next Chapter on the DS. The Next Chapter features a much darker storyline, incredibly improved drawing functions, better platforming, no arbitrary outlines where you can only color things in...In addition, it's much harder and faster-paced, with a plot concerning color getting drained from the world. There is also a Compilation Re-release of the two DS games called Drawn to Life Collection, with an alternate ending to the second game.


5th Cell, the games' developer, went on to make Scribblenauts, which does to words what Drawn to Life did for images. The rights of the franchise were purchased by 505 Games for $300K USD from the THQ auction, and a version for the Apple iPad was released with less than average results. A new game in the series, Drawn to Life: Two Realms, was released in December 7, 2020 and followed up from The Next Chapter.

Definitely not to be confused with Drawn Together. Not in the slightest.



  • Abnormal Ammo: The hero uses acorns, snowballs, and starfish to attack foes.
  • Adventures In Coma Land: The ending of The Next Chapter, in a rather shocking manner, turns out to be Mike's car-crash coma dream.
  • All the Worlds Are a Stage: The Next Chapter's last world has themes and pieces of each of the previous ones.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: Can't draw too well or hit an art block? The game has several preset templates for you to use when creating your hero. The Next Chapter extends it to nearly every drawing segment in the game so you don't have to be confined to the canvas for too long.
  • Art Initiates Life: The whole gimmick is that whatever you draw for the game becomes real.
  • Art Shift: The end credits of the second game feature realistic humans.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Invoked in the first half of the fourth world of the first game. The Hero grows as tall as a house for the first half of that world.
  • Background Boss: The Giant Robosa, at first, only appears in the distance. It moves in closer to attack.
  • Big Bad: Wilfre, who destroyed the book of life and brought the shadows to the world in the first game, and started draining the world's color in the second game.
  • Bittersweet Ending: For The Next Chapter, and infamously one of the most depressing of its type: the entire Raposa world is destroyed after being revealed to be no more than the dream of a comatose Mike, a child in the human world, who was knocked deeply unconscious after a car accident killed his parents. At the end, though, Mike does wake up and reunite with his sister Heather, providing a glimmer of relief in the otherwise bleak scenario.
  • Book-Ends: At the beginning of The Next Chapter for DS, the player must answer questions and draw a picture of a Noodle Incident, and shows a request to the Creator in gibberish. At the end of the game, after the world fades away, it shows Heather and Mike, while Heather is shown answering the questions asked at the beginning of the game. The request to the Creator turns out to be a prayer to God for Mike to get better.
  • Break the Cutie: Mari and Jowee go through this in The Next Chapter. Mari learns the truth behind the world and attempts to undo everything she and Jowee did to prevent its destruction. Jowee, meanwhile, has to pick up the pieces trying to restore the world without her, believing she's a traitor until he was also shown the truth.
  • Canon Discontinuity: The revised ending for The Next Chapter and the Wii game are noncanon to Two Realms.
  • Can't Move While Being Watched:
    • One enemy in the snow world attacks by throwing snowballs. When the player is facing them, they hide in a snow mound, only to attack again when you're not facing them.
    • The snow world also contains a snowman monster that spawns mini snowmen to attack the player, but only when the player isn't facing them.
    • "Watersong" in the second game features a level that has living statue enemies, which rush toward the player once the player passes them.
  • Cerebus Retcon: Mike in the first game was a random Joke Character who was mainly around to have the Raposa be silly with him. In the sequel, he's the source of the entire world because it's a dream of his while he's in a coma from a car crash that killed his parents and injured his sister.
  • Cheat Code:
    • Press pause, and hold L and R and press A, X, B, B, Y in the first game to become invincible for the duration of one level/boss.
    • Alternatively, hold L, press B, press pause, press down, then press A, X, B, B, Y.
  • Controllable Helplessness: In a unique fashion too; The Mayor of the first game is stuck down by Wilfre in the woods and lies on the ground injured. If you know where to find the Mayor, all you are able to do is listen to his Visible Silence and leave him to lie there until he is found by the other Raposa later on.
  • Cowardly Boss: The parasitic shadow infesting the second boss - Deadwood - constantly runs about his body trying to get away from you.
  • Cyberpunk: The Galatic Jungle, complete with a fake Council that employs many rules, including no sneezing. However, it is very light.
  • Crystal Dragon Jesus: The games story carries a pretty strong Christian set of themed, what with the Creator creating a savior at the behest of a character named Mari to help save them from the shapeshifting Wilfre and his corrupting shadows. The second game ups the ante by having there be A Dream Apocalypse the villain is trying to stop, Mari losing faith in the creator and siding with Wilfre, and having The Reveal that the series events are due to a girls prayer.
  • Cumulonemesis: On the first stage of the final world in The Next Chapter, there are sentient storm clouds that shoot harmful lightning projectiles downwards from their body. Subverted in that these clouds can be used as helpful platforms that can destroy Mooks from below.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: In Two Realms, dying just lets you retry the level from the start with no penalty. Each level generally takes a few minutes to beat anyway.
  • Developer's Room: Unlockable extra in the first game. You unlock it using the wishing well. Once you unlock it, the wishing well will always take you there.
  • Divine Assistance: The Creator is essentially God, using their creative powers to save the Raposa in their time of need. Occasionally, they even step in directly to fix a problem.
  • Dolled-Up Installment: SpongeBob SquarePants Edition; sort of a subversion, as that title was built from the ground up. In other words, a Mission-Pack Sequel with a license slapped on it. To be fair, it's almost completely different as the levels are challenging and there are more customization options than in the first game and its sequels. However, the hero is stuck with the lousy name DoodlePants.
  • Dream Apocalypse: The fate of the world at the end of The Next Chapter. Doubles as a Heroic Sacrifice, as ending this world means Mike awakens from his coma.
  • The Ending Changes Everything: You may not see the story of these games the same way ever again once it's revealed that all of it was Mike's coma dream.
  • Evil-Detecting Dog: In The Next Chapter (DS), Crazy Barks acts like this around Sock, the new Raposa, when he gets aboard the ship. But no one seems to pick up on this.
  • Eye Scream: The Giant Robosa gets it's eyes shot at and destroyed by The Hero.
  • The Faceless: Downplayed with Samuel, who always keeps his hood up.
  • The Flame of Life: The Eternal Flame that sits near the town hall was symbolically snuffed when Wilfre's darkness began to swallow the town and drive everyone out, effectively killing it. When the player starts the game, the first thing they bring back is the Flame, which is then used to expel the rest of the darkness from the town- effectively bringing it back to life. This takes on a much more literal meaning with The Reveal in The Next Chapter. The entire game is All Just a Dream a comatose Mike is having in the real world, and Wilfre's plan was to keep the dream going by allowing Mike to die; bringing the flame back in the first game stopped his plan and saved Mike's life, at least for a while.
  • Floating Platforms: Justified, in that the majority of these platforms are clouds drawn by the creator.
  • Giant Mook: In the first game, you'll encounter giant, house-sized Baki in the first and second levels of the final world. Thankfully, you're also big enough to Goomba Stomp them like they're ordinary Baki.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: In the third game. Mari doesn't quite go mad, but does join Wilfre. Might qualify as a Faith–Heel Turn, or a Heel Face Mindscrew if you toss in some Alternate Character Interpretation.
  • A God Is You: You are the Creator who drew everything to life.
  • Goomba Stomp: Enemies can be killed by jumping on them.
  • Hammerspace: In the sequel, you can carry four weapons and three forms with you, and you change between them on the go.
  • Heroic Mime: It becomes a plot point when The Mayor is attacked and left for dead by Wilfre. while the player character can go see him, they can't actually tell anyone that his life is in danger, leading to his death and Mari's Heroic BSoD.
  • Interactive Start Up: The opening screen of allows you to doodle on the image of Jowee that appears.
  • Lampshade Hanging:
    • This little exchange in the first game:
    Mari: Hey Jowee... How do you think the Creator sees us?
    Jowee: Erm... What if we lived in a white box with two windows... and the box had buttons... and a magic wand! And the Creator used that to examine our lives... And control what we do! What do you think?
    Mari: That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard...
    Jowee: Yeah, I guess so...
    • Also, when you close your DS system while playing and enter sleep mode, the Rapos will cry "AWWW!!", and when you open it again they'll cry "YAY!! RAPO!!" Similarly, using a cheat makes the Rapos cry.
  • Lighter and Softer:
    • The new ending The Next Chapter received in the Compilation Re-release (and supposedly a few recently produced stand-alone cartridges) is significantly happier, starting with the much more cartoony art style. Instead of a car accident, the injury that causes Mike to pass out and dream up the Raposa's world is a bump on the head, from falling out of a tree while on a camping trip. The kids are no longer orphans and Heather remains unharmed.
    • Two Realms is this as a whole to The Next Chapter which has a more simplistic, grounded story more along the lines of the first game. Gone are the themes of slavery, suicide and impending death, and the Kill 'Em All nature of The Next Chapter's ending has been completely undone. The darker aspects of the second game's ending are still treated with the levity they deserve—in particular, the game ignores none of the fallout that comes from the traumatic death of Mike's parents in a car accident, including Mike's inevitable depression and the community breaking apart seeking a guilty party for the accident—but the game ends up with a much more definitely happy ending.
  • Little Bit Beastly: Raposa are anthropomorphic creatures with fox ears, but are otherwise quite humanoid, to the point where the human Mike's only difference is his human ears.
  • Meaningful Name:
  • Mood Whiplash: Drawn to Life: The Next Chapter's Galactic Jungle, a Cyberpunk place where there are millions of harsh laws all Played for Laughs, takes a turn for the worse when you realize Click was behind the whole "government," and it only gets worse the further you play into the game.
  • Motor Mouth: Crazy Barks, to an extent. He speaks fast enough for all of his words to blend together, but the others can still understand him fine.
  • Murderous Mannequin: The hero series is a wooden mannequin brought to life (if not inhabited) by the Creator to save the world. While the hero is the same entity in both games, they do change mannequin bodies in-between. This helps explain the new abilities in the second game.
  • Nonstandard Character Design: The hero is huge compared to the Raposa.
  • Non-Standard Game Over: In the first game, you can refuse Mari's prayers and cause the game to end right then and there, at the very beginning.
  • No Such Thing as Dehydration: It's explicitly mentioned that the villagers were eating much less without the banya crop/Chef Cookie around, but the lack of water is only mentioned when the village needs rain. However, it only needs rain to get a break from the sun and water the banya, rather than to have something to drink.
  • Obviously Evil: Wilfre, who is literally covered in shadow and spoke about wanting to make better creations than The Creator.
  • 1-Up: Shaped like the head you drew for your hero, no less; they also respawn, so levels can be re-played to farm lives.
  • Prefers the Illusion: In the ending to the second game, the villain, Wilfre, had discovered that the whole world was All Just a Dream created by a boy in a coma. Rather than allowing the boy to wake up, thus ending the world as they knew it, he conspired to keep him in his coma so as to continue their existence. He also briefly convinced Mari to help him, but she later decided it'd be more noble to sacrifice their entire world so one boy could wake up back in his.
  • Press Start to Game Over: In the first game, you can refuse Mari's prayers and cause the game to end at the very beginning.
  • Scenery Gorn: In the 4th half of Wilfre's Wasteland, you can see color leaking from the walls.
  • Scenery Porn: Some of the backgrounds in The Next Chapter are quite nice.
  • Sdrawkcab Alias: Skraby Zarc, otherwise known as Crazy Barks. A brief Chekhov's Gun in the second DS game.
  • Shout-Out:
    • There's a treasure hunter Raposa named Indee, complete with his treasure-seeking dad and curmudgeonly son.
    • In the last stage of the first world in the Wii version, there's a section where you must climb up sloped platforms while dodging large, rolling obstacles to reach the level's boss - a giant ape - at the top. Sound familiar?
  • Smurfing: What the rapo?
  • Steampunk: Lavastream. Smokey, the clothes, the robotic Robosa and even the Giant Robosa as the boss.
  • Sudden Soundtrack Stop: Before the player sets off on their penultimate level, a cutscene shows the mayor being attacked and killed by Wilfre. After this moment, the background music is temporarily replaced with empty sounds of wind, and the player has no choice but to continue with the game. After the level is beaten, the music remains gone until the player goes to find the mayor's body, and it comes back afterward for the climax.
  • Technicolor Fire: Justified, since you're God, but the Eternal Flame can be any color of the rainbow.
  • Underwater Boss Battle: The third boss in the first game is a giant fish, who you have to fight swimming, so no Goomba Stomp allowed.
  • Unexpected Shmup Level: The second game has three of these, more specifically, the fourth and final levels of the third village, and the sixth level of the final "village." The second shmup level contains two bosses.
  • Video Game Sliding: The player is able to slide down hills or slopes. Any enemy they run into on the way dies, and it also helps to get around a little faster.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss:
    • In the first game, Deadwood is a step up from Frostwind, who has a predictable attack pattern, because he spawns in shadow enemies every second and occasionally causes earthquakes, stunning the Hero. The shadow inside Deadwood is also quite difficult to beat because it moves extremely fast and also causes earthquakes.
    • The Giant Robosa in the second game is quite a challenge as well. The robot itself has a predictable attack pattern, but if you get hit by one of its fists, it is immune to damage. Also, once you get it to zero health, it sucks you inside and makes you fight its eyes, which breathe fire and have rocket guns to protect them, and its heart, which has homing rocket guns to protect it.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Wilfre. Although his methods are Moral Event Horizon-ish, it was all to stop the Dream Apocalypse. However, when the Raposa discover this, they realize that it's better to fade away with the dreams than to live in a world of shadow.
  • Wishing Well: By tossing coins into the wishing well, you can get anything from extra coins, to new special abilities, to access to the secret creator's section. Not every offer of coins gets results, however.
  • You Have Researched Breathing: In the third game, you need to upgrade the Shooter twice until the Hero gets the bright idea of shooting up.


Video Example(s):


The creator's refusal

In the first Drawn to life game, you can refuse Mari's prayers and cause the game to end right then and there, at the very beginning.

How well does it match the trope?

4.75 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / RefusalOfTheCall

Media sources:

Main / RefusalOfTheCall