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Video Game / Fake Happy End

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Fake Happy End is a 2017 RPG Maker VX Ace game developed by Neo Kuriyo.

The protagonist finds a tower that almost no one else can see, but when they enter and explore the first floor, they fall into the basement and are almost eaten by a monster. Fortunately, another explorer, Karin, helps them flee from the monster and recruits them to help her climb the tower. Two other girls, Mishika and Aeri, join the party as well, but they'll soon discover that the tower contains worse things than horrific monsters.

The game utilizes a similar dungeon mapping system as Etrian Odyssey, but all encounters are visible on the map, meaning the player can avoid almost all battles if they know the enemies' movement patterns. The combat also utilizes a simplified version of battle system of the developer's previous game, Alter A.I.L.A., since it has the AP bar and similar debuffs, but no EX gauge.

This game can be downloaded from Steam.

This game contains examples of:

  • And the Adventure Continues: In the non-destroy endings, the party rejects the idea of destroying the tower's power source because doing so will expose magic and demons to the world, which would destabilize human society. They seek out other towers in the hopes of reversing their demon transformation while trying to survive as invisible beings.
  • And Now You Must Marry Me: The Swamp King is angered when the party insults his smell and appearance, and demands that Mishika marries him as penance. However, he gives up once she starts beating him with a stick.
  • Character Customization: The player can name the protagonist and is given a template image in the game folder so they can use a different image for the protagonist's combat portrait.
  • Closet Geek: During Aeri's date event, she runs away from the protagonist so that they don't discover her day job. She's actually a cosplaying employee at a net cafe.
  • Elemental Powers: Everyone except the protagonist learns elemental spells through leveling up, though the protagonist gets an extra Soul slot to give them access to two elements anyways.
    • Light spells specialize in HP draining and status recovery. Karin can learn spells of this element naturally.
    • Dark spells specialize in dealing AP damage and reviving allies.
    • Fire spells specialize in manipulating the attack value of both allies and enemies. Mishika can learn spells of this element naturally.
    • Water spells specialize in granting AP decay or AP regen.
    • Nature spells specialize in manipulating HP decay or HP regen.
    • Bolt spells specialize in manipulating speed.
    • Air spells specialize in acting at the start of a turn and immediately healing AP. Aeri can learn spells of this element naturally.
    • Ice spells specialize in manipulating defense.
  • Evil Former Friend: Red, an intelligent boss monster in the tower, was Karin's previous companion in the tower, but Karin was too scared to continue through the tower and left Red to die. After reviving as a sapient monster, Red is bitter towards Karin and reveals the truth about the tower to the other party members out of spite towards Karin.
  • Final Boss: The Guardian of the Tower is the boss of the top floor. However, they aren't the Big Bad, since they're merely a robotic being programmed to protect the tower and they're in the dark about the tower's true purpose.
  • Foreshadowing: If the player is on Karin's route, Karin will bring up hypotheticals about a time limit to climb the tower, about the tower disrupting one's normal life, and how climbing the tower might fix this problem. This is a hint that anyone who explores the tower will slowly become unnoticeable to regular humans, and that Karin wants the party to climb the tower as quickly as possible because it will become invisible to them too for a long period of time if they don't climb it quickly enough.
  • Formerly Fat: Mishika was chubby before the events of the game, but dieted and exercised until she reached her current figure. She sympathizes with the Swamp King because she believes he also has a complex about his size.
  • Freudian Excuse Is No Excuse: Red, one of the monsters in the tower, was once a human who ventured up the tower with Karin, but eventually found that both of them became invisible to normal people. Karin wanted to stop climbing the tower, but Red forced her to keep going. At some point, Karin abandoned her and Red barely reached the top of the tower, only to die and transform into a monster. Red tries to use Karin's guilt to manipulate her into going to the top of the tower alone, despite the danger. Aeri points out that Red's circumstances are tragic, but that's no excuse for using emotional blackmail on Karin, especially when she forced Karin to accompany her in the first place.
  • Friendly Shopkeeper: The Moai statue monster on the first floor is polite, albeit eccentric, to the party, though they also have a one-track mind and won't answer any questions about the tower.
  • Graceful Loser:
    • Despite her antagonism towards Karin, Red takes her defeat well, since she believes this means the party will be able to go to the top floor and defeat the boss that killed her in her human life.
    • The Guardian of the Tower tells the party everything they know about the tower after their defeat. Unfortunately, they don't know everything about the tower.
  • Hopeless with Tech: While the protagonist can use a computer, they are unfamiliar with concepts such as using browsers other than the default Internet Roamer, touch-typing, maximizing a window, and social media netiquette. Aeri has to walk them through these concepts when they visits her net cafe.
  • Insecure Love Interest: Mishika lost weight in the past, but found that people who snubbed her for her figure in the past are now hitting on her, showing that these relationships would turn out shallow. This causes her to worry that she can't maintain a relationship with the protagonist, so she relies on an unhelpful dating tips book for her date event.
  • Invisible Jerkass: In Karin's backstory, when she realized that staying out of the tower didn't reverse the the fact that it made her invisible to normal people, she started using her invisibility to hurt people in the vain hope of getting attention, though she currently regrets it.
  • Invisible to Normals: Only a select number of people can see and enter the tower. However, normal people will avoid the tower by instinct, and attempting to bring them inside the tower will cause them to lash out and go insane. Unfortunately, those who go into the tower also eventually become unnoticeable to normal people. The effects are gradual, starting with something as simple as a waiter forgetting the victim's order, but eventually, the victim will become completely impossible to perceive. The whole point of the tower is to seal all human knowledge and perception of demons, but humans who enter the tower slowly transform into demons, even before dying.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: After their defeat, the Final Boss, the Guardian of the Tower, admits they don't know why someone built the towers to hide the existence of demons. They also don't know why humans transform into demons inside the tower.
  • Multiple Endings:
    • In every ending except the Destroy ending, the party chooses to look for other towers without destroying any of their power sources, in the hopes of finding a way to turn back to full humans without causing demons and magic to be unleashed upon the world. There will also be different dialogue depending on which girl has the highest affection rating.
    • Destroy Ending: If the player chooses to destroy the tower's power source, this causes the world to be able to perceive the existence of demons and partially transformed humans like themselves. Unfortunately, the sudden introduction of magic and demons could destabilize society. However, this allows the party to reunite with their loved ones, even if life will no longer be normal.
  • Never Gets Fat: Aeri is a Big Eater who can consume several stacks of pancakes without getting fat. This upsets Mishika, who struggled in the past to lose weight.
  • New Game Plus: A tile on the first floor gives the player access to New Game Plus, which allows them to start a new run with stats, map data, and items carried over. This also gives the player the option to skip the boss battle with Red.
  • Not Always Evil: A community of sane monsters formed on floor 41 who kept their human minds. Unfortunately, the feral ones still go after them and most human explorers attack them on sight out of fear.
  • Non-Standard Game Over: When the protagonist falls to the basement, they're chased by the Creeping Horror boss. If the player makes contact with the boss monster before gaining access to the combat system, the boss instantly kills them in a cutscene. Once the player recruits Karin, the Creeping Horror serves as a Beef Gate to keep the player from exploring the basement further until they become strong enough through the main story.
  • Pre-existing Encounters: Unlike many other dungeon crawlers, all encounters, including regular ones, are shown as enemy symbols on the map. Regular enemies appear as small floating orbs while bosses and minibosses appear as monstrous faces.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: The sapient monster community used to kill human explorers and recruit them if they kept their sanity after being reborn as monsters. Fortunately, a samurai monster took command of the community and ended this practice. When the samurai meets the party, he welcomes them as guests and has a path cleared for them to climb further up the tower.
  • Reincarnation: Those who die inside the tower are reborn as monsters. Unfortunately, most monsters weren't able to maintain their sanity, save for a small community that the party can befriend. The majority of them also don't keep any memories of their human life, though those that remember more tend to be saner.
  • Regretful Traitor: Karin tricked the party members into helping her explore the tower so that she can find a way to escape, even though doing so means they will eventually be unable to interact with people outside the tower. She eventually comes to see them as friends and regrets lying to them.
  • Relationship Values: Dialogue choices can increase one of the girls' hidden value, which determines whose ending the player gets.
  • Respawning Enemies: Regular enemies respawn when a healing save point is used, but minibosses and bosses don't.
  • Save-Game Limits: The player can only save from the menu 3 times, but stepping on a healing point allows the player to save for free and restore all their save uses.
  • Sitcom Archnemesis: When Mishka realizes that Karin intentionally didn't mention that the tower is infested with monsters, she pushes a tamed monster towards Karin and the protagonist while they're trapped in goo. Likewise, Karin pushes Mishka into a teleportation tile to scare her. Afterwards, the two try to get one-up on each other for the rest of the game.
  • Skippable Boss: On later New Game Plus runs, the player can choose to get Karin to come clean about the truth behind the tower early so the party can reconcile early. This means Red can't use this information to turn the party against Karin, so she gives up on antagonizing the party and doesn't bother challenging them to a boss fight.
  • Superboss: After clearing the Gallery, the player unlocks four secret bosses: Sin and Pun-ishment on F7, Natural Redhead on F17, Primevil on F24, and Swamp Cutiepie on F29. All of them are much tougher than the bosses in the main story, and beating them unlocks the Dead God boss in the deepest part of the basement floors.
  • Tiny Tyrannical Girl: Karin is the shortest party member and pressures the others into climbing the tower faster with little explanation The reason she's so impatient is because the tower will temporarily disappear if they take too long and because taking too long causes them to become invisible to the outside world.
  • Was Once a Man: The monsters in the tower were once humans who died in the tower. Although some of them kept their human memories and maintained their sanity, they cannot leave the tower.
  • Your Magic's No Good Here: The party can use magic inside the tower, but not outside of it. Once they destroy the tower's power source, magic becomes available to use in the outside world.