It's been one year since I first went inside that house.
I have to finish what I started.
...What I am about to do has not been approved by the Vatican.
Connecticut, 1986. Amy, the daughter of the Martin family, has been acting strangely, and her parents fear that she might be possessed by a demon. To save her, they turn to the Catholic Church, who send a pair of exorcists, Father Allred and John Ward, to investigate the case, and if necessary, exorcise Amy.
One year later, Ward, the Sole Survivor, returns to the house. His goal: to put an end to the horror he failed to stop. What might otherwise be a simple exorcism, however, becomes a life-threatening nightmare, and Ward must search for answers while braving the wrath of a demonic presence, all to save a single soul... or so it seems...
A sequel, FAITH: Chapter II, was released in February 2019. Trailer. A third Chapter is confirmed to be in development, with a demo being released Halloween 2019. All three games will be bundled together on Steam and published by New Blood Interactive, where one can download the first game and demos for the sequels.
The following Tropes have not been approved by the Vatican:
- The '80s: Takes place on the one year anniversary of a 1986 botched exorcism.
- Absurdly Spacious Sewer: The "Candy Tunnels" in Chapter II.
- Ambiguous Ending: The Multiple Endings suggest a couple of different resolutions to the story. Is Amy actually possessed by a demon and is the player actually a priest, or are they both just mental cases who belong in either prison, or an asylum?
- Antepiece: In Chapter III, the player goes through a scripted event where John gets possessed by a demon and starts moving on his own in random directions, seemingly serving no purpose other than to have a Jump Scare. This mechanic makes a return in the demo's Final Boss battle, and a pop up reading "FIGHT IT, JOHN" appears when the possession happens again just in case it wasn't obvious what happened the first time, as John now has to prevent himself from killing Lisa.
- Anti-Frustration Features:
- The game autosaves just about every time you make progress.
- In the final segment of the game, if you waste the one bullet you were given with the rifle (by not shooting one of the five valid targets), the loaded rifle will respawn in the Martins' living room where you first found it.
- Version 1.1 added a visible pentagram in the attic during the boss fight with Amy's demon to make it easier to predict her movement pattern and get out of the way.
- In Chapter II a few of the final boss's attacks, including the infamous pentagram attack, will completely ignore Garcia, making keeping him alive much more manageable.
- Art Shift: Many cutscenes are beautifully rotoscoped, which contrasts unsettlingly with the rest of the game's second-gen appearance.
- As the Good Book Says...: The instruction screen quotes Psalm 116:9 (I will walk before the LORD in the land of the living) when teaching you how to move, and James 4:7 (Resist the devil, and he will flee from you) when teaching you how to cast out spirits with your cross. Psalm 91 is also repeated in many endings from Chapter I, and said in full in a Chapter II boss fight. Darkly invoked in Chapter II, in which a message from the Satanist leader Gary mockingly paraphrases Matthew 7:21: "Verily, not everyone who says LUCIFER, LUCIFER will inherit His kingdom."
- Badass Boast: Father Garcia in the prologue of Chapter II after Michael escapes from his exorcism.Father Garcia: You can't hide from God, hijo. You shall drink the wrath of the Almighty.
- Badass Preacher: John Ward is a priest (maybe) that doesn't take shit from any demons. He still goes down in one attack, and his only weapon is a cross used to banish spirits until you get a rifle with one bullet left in the final part of the game, but he makes pretty good use of what he has, and is at least spiritually-attuned enough to recognize the real Amy when she attempts to confuse him with duplicates in the first round of their fight.
- Father Garcia from Chapter II has shades of this near the final boss fight, when he reassures John with complete certainty that the two of them can banish the Big Bad of the game. Whether he is right or wrong depends on the player.
- Bittersweet Ending / Downer Ending: The endings.
- If you kill Amy, you're arrested for murder. If you shoot the shadow in the woods, you're killed by Michael. If you shoot that fox corpse on the pentagram, you're jumped by the local satanic cult. If you kill a deer, nature strikes back. In fact, the best ending is to give up your pursuit of Amy after the incomplete exorcism, and shoot Michael when he attacks you as you try to leave. And even then, the hosts of both demons are dead or dying, the demons never expelled from them.
- All three endings of Chapter II arguably qualify. Best case scenario, John is still haunted by his failure to exorcise Amy, and can only hope that her death leads her to Heaven; meanwhile, Amy's siblings are being targeted next, and John needs to hurry to spare them the same fate. If you couldn't protect Father Garcia during the Final Boss, John's final speech and self-reflection will be a lot less hopeful, and a red figure is shown tailing him...
- ...but none of that compares to the secret third ending, in which John completes three Satanic rituals (drawing a pentagram with blood from his eye), luring an innocent child to a demonic confessor in a haunted church, and murdering two innocent bystanders while temporarily turned into a demon.) As a result, after "winning" the game and it's revealed that it was All Just a Dream... John goes into his backyard and finds the cult and Malphas waiting for him, inducting him into their ranks, complete with John spouting Tears of Blood.
- Blackout Basement: At one point in the Chapter III demo, the lights will go out, and all you'll have to light your way is the flash of a camera.
- Black Speech: Michael appears to spout this, although unlike most examples, all you need is a good ear to decipher what he's saying. It's only slightly more distorted than the rest of the game's text-to-speech dialogue. Later games show that this is a trait of Demonic Possession.
- Blue Is Heroic: John is just a blue humanoid sprite with a little white pixel on his neck to represent a clergy collar.
- Body Horror: The crawling demon that attacks you in the first game's overworld is actually a human. After a year of being both possessed and locked in a basement for exorcism, he has lost all his hair, grown deathly pale, and has developed rickets.
- Bonus Boss: If you abuse the infinitely respawning gun to shoot the mirror in the southwest room three times, you can go through the mirror and fight... something. Afterwards, you get an additional letter to read revealing why John has been away for so long.
- Building of Adventure: The Chapter III demo takes place in an apartment building.
- Canis Latinicus: "Pandemonium regnat" doesn't actually mean anything in Latin—"pandemonium" was coined by John Milton in Paradise Lost as a name for Hell's capital city, from the Greek "pan" meaning "all" and the Latin "daemonium" meaning "demon". As such, it could be interpreted as either "the demons reign", "Hell reigns", or "chaos reigns". Given the accuracy of the Latin in the first game, this was probably chosen deliberately for its ambiguity. Also, the verb "regnat" should be first.
- Chupacabra: Although he's not actually a chupacabra, Michael, the primary enemy of the forest section, resembles one due to the length and extremity of his demonic possession. He's been transformed into a pallid, nightmarish humanoid on all fours that tries to rip John and the wildlife to shreds. If John shoots him, the newspapers relate the locals taking his corpse for that of a chupacabra.
- Color Motif: Since the game is running with an Atari art style, the three most prominent characters are colored differently from the green of the forest and the orange of the house: John is blue with a single white pixel representing his clerical collar, Michael is sickly-white with red eyes, and Amy is a dark purple. In addition to these three, there's Father Garcia (grey), Gary and his cult (red), and in Chapter III, Tiffany is purple (but more of a lavender, as opposed to the dark purple Amy was in Chapter I).
- Creator Cameo: Of sorts. The truck that kills Michael in Chapter I has "AIRDORF" written on it. Airdorf Games are the developers of the game.
- Crisis of Faith: According to John in Chapter II, he "turned [his] back on the church, and broke [his] vows with God" between Amy's first exorcism and the events of Chapter I. He has had a change of heart and come back to God, whether it be out of guilt or genuine belief.
- Cutting Off the Branches: Chapter II confirms the Golden Ending, where Amy is left for dead and Michael is shot and splattered by a truck, to be the canon ending of the first chapter. Maybe.
- Danger Takes a Backseat: In one of the endings, which you get if you shoot the shadow, Michael hides in your backseat and jumps you on your drive home.
- Demonic Possession: Amy Martin is a victim of one, and the player controls an exorcist trying to handle it. Chapter II confirms that Michael is also a victim of possession, whose body has been demon-ridden for so long that he's no longer recognizable as having ever been human.
- In the Chapter III demo John must be possessed by a demon at least once. Also, Lisa is used by Gary's cult as an unwilling vessel for that same demon.
- Developers' Foresight: Exorcising Amy enough times on the second floor will have the player comment about a door opening. If this is done on the first floor, or in the basement, they will instead comment they heard it from upstairs. Do it at the attic door, and Amy will float to the door, opening it with no comment.
- Don't Go in the Woods: John has to trudge through a desolate forest in the middle of the night to get to his destination. Said forest is haunted by another possessed victim resembling a Chupacabra.
- Dreaming of Things to Come: The entirety of Chapter II, outside of the very beginning with Father Garcia and the very end. Except in the ending where John joins the Satanists.
- Earn Your Bad Ending: Getting the worst ending in Chapter II is way more involved than the others. See Guide Dang It! below.
- Easter Egg: Pausing whenever Michael is present will trigger a rotoscope animation featuring him.
- Eat the Dog: Michael takes this trope literally in the opening of Chapter II; after he escapes from his exorcism, Father Garcia finds him eating an indistinct corpse, its eye still in his mouth. Once Michael runs out through the window, the corpse's body can be seen in full, indicating that it belongs to a dog that resided in the house.
- Escort Mission: The final Boss Fight of Chapter II is this, where the Good Ending requires the player protect Father Garcia as he attempts to drive away the demon in the shape of the nun. The boss can be fought if Garcia dies, but this leads to a Bad Ending.
- Eye Scream: John gets the brunt of this in Chapter II. In order to create a pentagram in the forest, John stabs himself in the eye with a key and uses the blood to draw lines, and in one of the endings, he bleeds from both eyes after being taken by the red-robed cult.
- Facial Horror: Towards the end of Chapter I, when you encounter Amy in the attic, you find she has a gaping bloody hole where her face should be. During the third round of the boss fight, the demon possessing her sticks its arm out through the hole.
- Filk Song: Have Faith, courtesy of Aviators.
- Foreshadowing: You can see a spirit behind you in a mirror in the house, but you cannot exorcise it. When you get the rifle, fully breaking said mirror starts a Secret Boss fight.
- The Chapter II demo has a note mentioning how one can open the Gate to Hell by putting three followers of the dragon into an effegy and setting it on fire. Cue Chapter II where John kills three followers of the dragon and then turns into a demon after setting the effegies of them on fire.
- Gone Horribly Wrong: From the few details we get of the attempted exorcism of Amy, it was an absolute disaster. One of the notes has blanked-out text that goes into a bit more detail: Amy killed Father Allred with her bare hands, and strangled her parents with their own intestines.
- Gorn: There are some gruesome things in these games. The fact that said things are rendered as a smattering of indistinct red pixels arguably only makes it worse.
- Gratuitous Latin: The menus are full of largely accurate Latin: menu options are written in Latin until you scroll over them, and collected items are listed with their Latin names. For example, the Extras option on the main menu is Additicia (literally alongside), John's cross and the key to the Martins' house are labeled crux and clavis, respectively, and if you're killed during gameplay, the game over screen displays "mortis".
- Gratuitous Spanish: There are a few Spanish words mixed into the dialogue during the prologue of Chapter II with Father Garcia.
- Greater-Scope Villain: A few notes mention a man named Gary who seems to be the leader of the cult.
- Guide Dang It!:
- The only way to learn what John was up to after Amy's failed first exorcism is to abuse the gun's respawn mechanic to shoot the mirror three times and fight a Bonus Boss.
- The secret third ending in Chapter II. You have to complete all three of the secret Satanic rituals before reaching the final area: after the Eye Scream scene, but before opening the gate, backtrack south and draw a pentagram between five rocks with your blood; if successful, a new demon will appear and need to be driven off. Next, lure the child to the church in the woods, and take him to the confessional, like the demonic confessor demanded you to; a demonic hand will snatch him, then you. Drive off the extra boss fight, then continue on. Finally, when John is turned into a monster, after approaching the underpass but WITHOUT going under it (thus returning John to normal), backtrack, and the path will have changed to open up a new ledge to the top of it; from here, quickly chase down and kill the man and woman, while avoiding being killed by the truck. If you did all these steps right, then in the final section of the tunnels, the path that's normally blocked off will be open, and at the top is an inverted cross with a red note at the base congratulating John for his success. Afterwards, finish the game normally, and you'll get the "Initiation" ending. And along the way, once again, you'll be treated to extra lore about John's time following the first exorcism.
- Hell Is That Noise: The game's crude, low-quality text-to-speech dialogue works fantastic for the atmosphere, as it makes the human characters come off as abnormal and eerie, and makes the monsters' babbling sound much closer to Black Speech. The crunchy sound effects help too.
- The Hero Dies: In several endings of Chapter I, John is killed by Michael, a Satanic cult, or a pissed-off deer.
- Hollywood Satanism: There's plenty of demonic rituals and pentagrams and all that jazz littered about. You're also jumped by a Satanic, red-robed cult in one of the endings. Developer Airdorf Games has stated on Twitter one of his many inspirations for the game was 1980's "Satanic Panic."
- "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: John's motivation for exorcizing Amy, and therefore the subsequent boss battle, of the first game.
- Ludicrous Gibs: Michael's fate in the good (or rather, least bad) ending in the first game, where he goes splat when he's hit by a truck.
- Mind Screw: Thrives off it, especially in the second game.
- One of the best-executed examples is a note approximately halfway through the second game, which appears to be an excerpt from a newspaper talking about a set of recent murders, before the writing turns a bit... morbid. Then it addresses John directly... then it gets REALLY bad.
- Missing Floor: The apartment complex in the Chapter III demo is missing its 7th floor and trying to access it using the stairwells only ends in brick walls where it should open into the floor. Approaching it from the 6th floor only gives you the message that there isn't a 7th floor, but approaching it from the 8th reveals that there is a 7th floor. You can try accessing it with the elevator, but it only gives you an Ominous Visual Glitch. Pressing the 7th floor more than once triggers the appearance of a strange demon in both the Ominous Visual Glitch and in the hallways of the complex.
- Multiple Endings: A whopping five in the first chapter, surprising for such a modest game. If you kill Amy, it turns out it was all a schizophrenic episode and you're locked away for murder (or you really did kill a possessed girl and the schizophrenia is how the church covers it up). If you kill Michael, you simply drive away, complete (although Chapter II confirms that you killed a possessed boy.) If you kill the shadow, Michael kills you. If you kill a deer, the deer kill you right back. If you shoot that fox carcass in a pentagram, a Satanic cult jumps you.
- Chapter II has three: the normal ending, the bad ending if Father Garcia dies during the final boss but you defeat the boss anyway, and the secret, really bad ending that has John Ward inducted into the Satanic cult.
- Even the demo for Chapter III has two endings, the standard one after defeating the boss at the end, or a Bad Ending where during the fight, you (intentionally or accidentally) kill Lisa while possessed by the demon Body Surfing between her and you, which leaves it to continue possessing John, who simply apologizes and blames The Devil for killing her while speaking in a heavily distorted tone of voice.
- No-Gear Level: There is a part of the Chapter III demo that combines this with Blackout Basement. Where in order to advance John needs to let go of all his current possessions, including his cross, essentially leaving him defenseless against the demons.
- Noodle Incident: The previous exorcism is never gone into detail, but it was bad. Although it's debatable if the exorcism even happened, or if John just imagined it as part of his delusion of being a priest.
- Airdorf loves this. Chapter II is full of notes that give just enough backstory on the various locales and demons to paint a picture of what might have happened, while leaving plenty unspoken.
- Nothing Is Scarier: The game really leaves quite the impression thanks to the soul-rending paranoia it induces in the quieter sections, where you're just waiting for something to pop out.
- Nuns Are Spooky: The final boss of Chapter II is a nun who, according to local folklore, tortured children. Or at least, is something taking the shape of that nun.
- The Chapter II demo specifies her as Sister Bell, with notes waking more than just a few hints on her maybe being the Bell Witch.
- Ominous Visual Glitch: The screen will slightly distort whenever there's demonic activity taking place.
- Public Domain Soundtrack: The menu screen plays a rendition of the hymn "Near the Cross", and the outdoor section plays Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata. Chapter II plays Erik Satie's Gnossienne No. 3 in the first half before entering the church.
- Purple Is Powerful: Purple is associated with Demonic Possession here.
- Random Encounters: There's no indicator when Michael will show up in the forest of FAITH, or from which side of the screen as well for that matter. Not helping matters is that he gets faster the more you repel him. If you're really unlucky, he'll spawn right next to you when you're at the edge of the screen, a guaranteed Game Over unless you have incredible reflexes.
- Religious Horror: According to Word of God, the game was inspired by the "Satanic Panic" of The '80s and it shows.
- Retraux: This first two games look straight out of the Atari era, and game 3 is styled after MS-DOS.
- Rotoscoping: Used for intentional Uncanny Valley effect during scenes of (possible?) demonic possession.
- Self-Made Orphan: In the original exorcism, Amy killed both of her parents thanks to Demonic Possession. Maybe.
- One of Michael's Black Speech lines is "I have the body of a pig", a reference to an infamous hoax from 2007 where a paranormal investigation crew record audio of a later photographed creature saying that very phrase. Another line he occasionally utters is "Run! Run! Run!"
- In one screen you come across the body of a fox inside a pentagram. Interacting with it prompts a voice to say "CHAOS REIGNS."
- The phrase appears again in Chapter II if you happen to run into a particular enemy. It's also one possible translation for the recurring Canis Latinicus phrase "pandemonium regnat".
- Despite the extremely low-res graphics, all but a few of the toys (the ones that just look like action figures) in the twins' bedroom are recognizable brand-name toys: A Simon, an Etch-a-Sketch, a Fisher-Price phone and vacuum cleaner, a Speak-and-Spell, and a View-Master.
- The ending in which you shoot the deer notes that you were only able to retrieve 25 pounds of meat from it, a reference to a similar (and frustrating) limitation in Oregon Trail.
- The Chapter II demo and the proper game itself includes the line "Their hand is at thy throat, yet you see them not."
- Towards the end of Chapter II, you can find the symbol of the cultists from DUSK as a grafitti in the sewers.
- Story Breadcrumbs: The basic plot of the first game is very simple, but if you want more context on the backstory you'll have to go out of your way to hunt down notes by exorcising various objects. The sequels take this Up to Eleven thanks to the increasing Mind Screw. You'll have to get many notes to understand what the plot even is, and sometimes they just raise more questions then answers.
- Tomato in the Mirror: John may actually be an insane priest imitator who hunted down a teenage mental patient thinking she was possessed. Maybe.
- Wham Line:
What I am about to do has not been approved by the Vatican
- From the very start of the first game.
John: Lisa, thank God you're alright!Lisa: John, what took you so long? It's so dark, I can't see the light anymore.John: I got here as fast as I could... Let's go, Lisa.Lisa: I'M NOT LISA
- When you finally meet with Lisa in the Chapter III demo:
Hello, John. Its nice to finally meet you.
- From the end of the Chapter III demo, we get the following as a red-robed figure reveals itself to John before he leaves the room where he fought the demon possessing him and Lisa:
John: Oh no... Lisa. I'm so sorry. THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT.
- From the Bad Ending to the same demo, not so much the line as the presence of the same distortion effect as other demon-possessed humans in the second part: