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Video Game / Framed

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Hero and Heroine, overlooked by the P.I.

Framed (Usually styled as FRAMED) is a multi-award-winning Film Noir Puzzle Game. It later received a sequel, and both games are currently bundled together for Steam and Nintendo Switch. There is no connection with the novel involving theft from an art gallery.

The plot of both games is fairly simple; the main characters have a briefcase, and must evade the police while keeping it in their possession. The game is played by re-arranging panels of an animated comic book to change the outcome of the story. As the games progress, new mechanics are introduced, such as turning panels to change the direction of an action, and rearranging panels as the scene is playing to use a particular event multiple times.

The series makes use of the following tropes:

  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: In the original Framed, the player will switch control from the Hero to the Heroine, then to the P.I., and then back to the Hero, with each change introducing a new gameplay element such as turning a panel.
  • Anti-Hero: The police is constantly trying to kill the protagonists, and the Heroine is frequently seen on wanted posters in the first game.
  • Book Ends: In the original Framed, each time And Now for Someone Completely Different occurs, the new playable character is smoking on a cigarette, which also showcases the new feature being introduced: the Hero has to use the lighter before the cigarette, the Heroine has to flip the lighter into position, and the P.I. has to reuse the panel of the cigarette in his hand after taking a drag in order to put it back down. It's also the very last action of the game, with the Heroine lighting the Hero's cigar after there's No Escape but Down.
  • Chair Reveal: How the Superspy learns of his boss's death.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: All of the characters are black silhouettes, save for their Iconic Item.
  • Evil Overlooker: The Private Investigator, in the Collection's store image.
  • Femme Fatale: The Heroine, who's willing to resort to drugging the Hero to get the briefcase for herself.
  • The Hero Dies: Neither of the male protagonists make it to the end of their own game.
  • Iconic Item: Every character has one. The Hero of the original has his tie, the Heroine has an ascot and the flower in her hat, the P.I. has his hat, tie, and mustache, and the Superspy protagonist of the sequel has his glasses.
  • Macguffin: Whatever is in the briefcase, it's enough for everyone to fight over it.
  • Mime and Music-Only Cartoon: The games are completely devoid of dialogue, with only jazzy music accompanying the action.
  • No Escape but Down: How the first chase scene in the first game ends, with a passing truck catching the Hero after he falls from a building. Also happens again at the game's end...with less pleasant results.
  • No Name Given: None of the characters are named in-game, with the aliases used on this page taken from the Steam version's Trading Cards and Badges.
  • Remixed Level: The first game ends with a harder version of the first chase sequence, as the player swaps the story's beginning and end to save the Hero from the P.I.
  • Stealth Prequel: The Stinger of the second game makes it clear that it takes place before the first, with the Hero being paid to get revenge on the P.I.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Framed 2 features a different male lead than the original, who has glasses instead of a cigarette, and takes place in an Oriental city instead of an American one.
  • Villain Protagonist: The P.I. is playable in one of the segments of the original game, which focuses on him chasing the Hero and Heroine with malicious intent.