Forgotton Anne is an anime-inspired Puzzle Platformer, developed by ThroughLine Games and published by Square Enix Collective. It was released on May 15th, 2018 for Playstation 4, PC and Xbox One, with a Nintendo Switch version following on November 9th, 2018, and an iOS port happening on June 26th, 2019.
The game takes place in a world where lost and forgotten things (like that other sock!) end up, and where they also gain life and sentience of their own. You play as Anne, one of only two human beings in this strange realm, who carries the title of "the Enforcer" - the right hand of the world's harsh ruler, Master Bonku.
The goal of Bonku's rule is the construction of the Ether Bridge, a magical gateway back to the real world. Most Forgotlings serve Bonku in the hopes of being allowed to join him there when the Bridge is completed, but a resistance movement has arisen that considers Bonku a tyrant and does whatever it can to sabotage his work. As the Enforcer, Anne is sent on a mission to find and dismantle the resistance, but its mysterious leader, Mister Fig, keeps taunting her with hints that things are not as black and white as they seem...
Since uncovering the strange world and its secretive characters piece by piece is a large part of the point of the game, beware a great many spoilers below!
This work includes the following Tropes:
- All Crimes Are Equal: Bonku appears to only have two punishments: instant distillation or, if the arresting official is feeling merciful, forced labour in the Plant.
- Amulet of Dependency: Anne and Bonku are entirely dependent on their respective arcas to avoid crystallising. Anne does not initially know this, only that Bonku has insisted that she always wear hers.
- Anti-Frustration Feature: Once they team up, Fig helps Anne clear jumps she can no longer make after losing her wings. If you miss one or accidentally drop back to where you were, he'll come back to the nearest staging point so you can redo them.
- Back from the Dead: Once the Caretaker upgrades Anne's arca, she can restore distilled Forgotlings to life with it.
- Bad "Bad Acting": Anne and Fig when they con Chief Inspector Magnum into believing Anne had been undercover instead of switching sides. Bonus points for Fig's Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness almost blowing the whole thing.
- Broken Pedestal: Anne is forced to realise that Master Bonku has lied to her about a great many things.
- The Cake Is a Lie: Hardworking Forgotlings loyal to Master Bonku are given tickets to the Ether Bridge, so they can return and be reunited with their owners. Bonku has no intention of bringing anyone with him to the Ether except Anne. He doesn't even see Forgotlings as living beings. They're just things to him. To top it off, when he uses the Ether Bridge, the entire Forgotlings realm will be wiped out.
- Cosmic Keystone: The Cornerstone, a piece of which was made into the Arca. If any part of it is removed from the Forgotten Land, the realm will cease to exist, dooming all the Forgotlings.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?:
- Anne's limping and hunched over look when seperated from the Arca resembles how elderly people walk.
- The treatment of forgotlings as object closely mirrors how psychopaths view other people as objects. This parallel is made as often as possible.
- Downer Ending: Neither ending is at all pleasant. Either Anne essentially kills herself and Bonku, the closest thing she had to a family, after being forced to accept that she never had a place in the world and that fate itself abandoned her, or she saves herself and Bonku, only to be forced to relive the events of the game over and over again until she finally chooses to let herself die and end the cycle. And since Anne and Bonku are the last of humanity, no matter which choice you make, an entire race is subjected to genocide.
- Emperor Scientist: Master Bonku, who established himself as ruler of the Forgotlings by developing the anima-based technology their city is built on.
- Enforced Technology Levels: One of the endings implies that Bonku has elevated the Forgotlings enough that they can put their collective knowledge and skills together to find a way to generate electricity from non-Anima power sources, but he purposely blocks that research to more easily control society.
- Everything Talks: Forgotlings are inanimate objects that come alive when entering the Forgotling world. Examples of characters you'll interact with include alarm clocks, pistols, refridgerators, boots, a knight's helmet, and a mannikin.
- Evil Mentor: Master Bonku.
- Failure Is the Only Option: No matter what you choose for dialogue options or whether or not you distill & revive Tiphany, she breaks off her friendship with Anne when she learns Anne's with the Rebels.
- Fake-Hair Drama: Fig wears a blonde wig, and is embarrassed when he finds out that Anne knows about it.
- Foil: The two rebel leaders, Fig and Bulb, are in many ways opposite. Fig is a dashing idealist drawn in bright colours, while Bulb is a stick-in-the-mud cynic who wears a dark, ominous coat.
- Genius Loci: The Caretaker seems to be this for the Forgotling world as a whole. Bonku even claims that the world is her "fantasy." Tink has become this for the Tower.
- Gray-and-Grey Morality: Even the worst characters have sympathetic traits, and even the nicest ones can make mistakes.
- Guide Dang It!: Some choices can seem very counter-intuitive, with the biggest offender possibly being the second-to-last choice: Anne might have gone through the whole game without ever hurting a forgotling, thus making the choice that she will also not distill Tick a seemingly obvious one. Cue the game forcing you to distill her since apparently that answer implies that Anne is lying to herself.
- Happiness in Slavery: Many - though certainly not all - Forgotlings yearn to return to their owners and be used for their intended purpose once more.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Anne can choose to make one in the end. Or she can choose to cause The End of the World as We Know It so that she can survive and return to the real world. Decisions, decisions...
- In a Single Bound: Anne's mechanical wings gives her this ability when her arca is charged.
- Industrialized Evil: The Plant, which sucks the anima out of condemned Forgotlings by the crateful.
- Interdimensional Travel Device: The Ether Bridge is intended as a way to leave the Forgotling world and return to Earth (or "the Ether," as the Forgotlings call it).
- It's All About Me: Near the end of the game, Tink accuses Anne of only caring about others when they can do something for her. The last choice you'll make in the game is between your own survival and happiness at the expense of everyone else in the world, or the preservation of the world at the cost of your own life, effectively letting you decisively prove Tink either completely right or completely wrong.
- The Knights Who Say "Squee!": Chief Inspector Magnum is a tough and trigger-happy officer of the law, but he can't be in the same room as Anne for more than two seconds without gushing over how much he admires her.
- Magic Mirror: Bonku uses them for communication and surveillance.
- Magitek: While Bonku looks and acts very much like a Wizard Classic, he's actually an engineer who's learned to make use of the strange natural laws of the Forgotling world.
- Never Say "Die": Forgotlings can be "distilled" (the equivalent of being murdered) or they can "crystallise" (the equivalent of dying of old age), but they never "die."
- Averted in the finale. Anne is told explicitly that she will die if she chooses to save the forgotten world.
- Not Quite the Right Thing: The game has a subdued and nuanced karma system where being "nice" isn't necessarily the same as being "good". For instance, Anne telling Pavel that his task of polishing every single panel of the Watchtower to get an Ether Bridge ticket is an impossible errand is harsh but ultimately the right thing to do, whereas gently feeding his misguided beliefs with false assurances will get her bad karma.
- Place Beyond Time: The way Forgotlings find themselves in the Forgotten Lands is apparently chronologically random and not restricted to linear time. This allows for a knight's misplaced helmet from Medieval times to exist in the city at the same time as the lost scarf of a modern computer programmer with neither looking much the worse for wear despite crystallization requiring only a decade to happen. It's also how Bonku can be from the time when horse carriages were still around, Anne is from what seems to be the 2000s and the game is set when narration clarified that humans have gone entirely extinct.
- Powered by a Forsaken Child: All that anima Bonku is using to power his machines? It comes from draining convicted Forgotlings dry of their life force.
- The Revolution Will Not Be Vilified: Zigzaged. The resistance turns out to be morally pretty much completely in the right, but some resistance members can be hateful assholes, just as some of Bonku's supporters are nice people who have been misled.
- Rhymes on a Dime: A captured resistance member indulges in some of this when expressing how little he cares that Anne knows the name of his leader and found his hairpiece at the scene.Resistance member: So you've got a wig and a Fig, and you think that's big.
- La Résistance: The Forgotling resistance.
- The Reveal: Where to begin... Anne learns that she's a Forgotling too, as is Bonku. Both will crystallize if their Arca bracelets are removed. She learns that the Plant isn't a prison but a place where convicted Forgotlings are distilled into anima on an industrial scale. She learns that Fig used to work at the Plant and was kicked out for questioning the practice. She learns that the Ether Bridge will destroy this realm if activated.
- Shout-Out: Bonku's library contains a number of books which the game's story takes a multitude of narrative and thematic clues from. These include Don Quixote, Frankenstein, Siddhartha, Peter Pan, Faust, Oedipus Rex, A Doll's House, and The Prince.
- Soundtrack Dissonance: Anne learns that she's a Forgotling and has the Arca stripped from her hand (which will quickly lead to her crystallization a.k.a. death). The very next scene has her stumbling around barely able to walk, accompanied by light-hearted music which wouldn't be out of place in a Looney Tunes cartoon.
- What Measure Is a Non-Human?: The resistance claims that Bonku does not see Forgotlings as being real people like him or Anne. They're completely right. He's perfectly happy to sacrifice every last one of them if it means getting back home again.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Depending on how well you navigate the game's fraught moral dilemmas, you may be on the receiving end of a lot of these over the course of the game.