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.
- Back from the Dead: Once the Caretaker upgrades Anne's arca, she can restore distilled Forgotlings to life with it.
- 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.
- 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.
- Emperor Scientist: Master Bonku, who established himself as ruler of the Forgotlings by developing the anima-based technology their city is built on.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.