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Video Game / Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy

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"Don't worry, I'll save your progress always. Even your mistakes."

"I created this game for a certain kind of person...
To hurt them."
— Release trailer for the game. And yes, he's not exaggerating; it will hurt you.

Getting Over It With Bennett Foddy is a platform game built out of recycled assets by Foddy in which you must climb over a mountain of assorted garbage using only an oversized Yosemite hammer. The climber is nothing more than a torso sticking out of a cauldron and, as such, can slide off surfaces and has no ability to jump and climb. Similar to QWOP, this is a game about having very awkward and unreliable controls for the task at hand.

The game is designed to be frustrating; a single mistake can send you plummeting all the way back to where you started the game. Given the awkwardness of the controls and the difficulty of scaling many sections, this is likely to happen many, many times over the course of the game.

Overlaying the game is narration by Bennett Foddy himself. He discusses video game design, muses about disposable culture, and talks about the game that inspired Getting Over It - a 2002 B-game called Sexy Hiking. Sometimes, when the player falls far enough, Foddy gives the player words of encouragement.

After all, if they give up, he can't hurt them anymore.

Troping Over It With Bennett Foddy:

  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: You can get a golden cauldron for beating the game 50 times. It has no other effect.
  • Anyone Remember Pogs?: Early in the commentary, Bennett mentions that people were expecting games to eventually be built entirely from premade assets, à la the Unity Store. A lot of the commentary is on why this never came to pass.
  • Arc Words: "I'm going down the road feeling bad."
    • The title's first three words.
  • Artistic License Physics: Even with how Muscles Are Meaningful, the protagonist shouldn't be able to begin climbing some of these surfaces with the way they move.
  • Ascended Glitch: Before the game was released on Steam, someone got permanently stuck on the final tower, by falling bottom of the tower with the hammer on the other side. Because of this, the Downer Ending was added for the Steam release.
    Foddy: You got so close, but this is past mending. You got the bad ending.
  • Bat Scare: A Jump Scare caused by a massive swarm of the things that produces a loud roar combined with cacophony of bat noises. Appears from a gift box that falls near the Anvil and, more infamously, at the Church Bell. The latter scare has frustration potential.
  • Bilingual Bonus: The just-out-of-site ledge that stops you from falling in the Playground area has a warning sign on it which reads "pericolo di caduta", which means "beware of falling" in Italian.
  • Checkpoint Starvation: There are no checkpoints. If you fall, you can fall all the way down the mountain, and the only way to get back up is to climb up again. At the very least, the game saves your progress for good OR bad, as narrated by the man himself.
  • Contemplate Our Navels: As you make your trek up the mountain, Bennett talks about his inspiration for making this game, the culture of consumerism, and particularly the nature of failure (and getting back up.)
  • Continuing is Painful: While you can't die per se (except in the lake at the beginning), the mountain is designed so that you can fall all the way back to the beginning at almost any point.
  • Cosmetic Award: Beating the game fifty times will turn the pot you're riding in from black to gold. It doesn't do anything else, it just proves that you've managed to get over it repeatedly.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Foddy's narration includes various inspirational quotes delivered in a matter-of-fact way whenever the player loses progress, but to more than a few players they come off as Foddy sarcastically rubbing salt in their wounds.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: The only way to die is to jump into the lake to the left of the starting point. Doing so immediately puts you back at the starting point.
  • Deconstruction Game: The game takes apart and examines the nature of modern video games, as well as media in general, that is meant for easy consumption and thus disposal, forgotten once consumed. It is measured against "b-games", Foddy's definition for off-beat indie games made by one dude that made up for their lack of technical competence with uniqueness, and older games that lacked save features and thus required a lot of patience and frustration to beat, and what makes these b-games, by comparison, stick out more in an age of Triple-A releases and complex development. Foddy's personal conclusion is that games, especially the prediction that games made of pre-made assets would be huge, that are easily forgotten are due to them being made to be easily acquired and thrown away when much of modern life is already vying for an audience's attention, and this is thus reflected in the game: everything in the game is constructed of pre-made assets, but arranged in such a way that is frustrating and time-consuming for the player, but as a consequence, sticks out among all the other games that come before or after.
  • Determinator: The main character, according to Foddy, with the player representing his determination.
    Foddy: In this you are his will, his intent. The embodied resolve in his uphill ascent.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: The "Slide Skip", one of the only shortcuts in the game. With a very precise jump, it is possible to leap from the building just before the grill all the way up to the stairs, bypassing a small chunk of the game. While the shortcut is generally more difficult to pull off than just climbing up the normal way, it is used universally by speedrunners to shave ~10-20 seconds off their time (and has the added advantage for everyone else that, unlike taking the slide route, there's almost no possibility of falling back down to the lake.)
  • Do Not Spoil This Ending: After completing the game you are presented with a screen regarding your "reward", that asks you to confirm you are no longer recording or streaming then it asks for your name, and lets you into a chat room of a sort, letting you leave messages for Bennett and the other successful climbers. And the game will kick/ban you if you're caught streaming the chat room.
  • Double-Meaning Title: The game title is both about your character physically getting over the mountain, and you, the player, emotionally getting over your repeated and inevitable failures.
  • Earn Your Bad Ending: It's actually pretty difficult (though not impossible) to get the bad ending without deliberately trying, as it requires you to screw up in a very precise way at the very last challenge of the game.
  • Exact Words: The image quote above. The game will save your progress, every excrutiating frame, and there's only one autosave slot.
  • Have a Nice Death: Foddy gives the player words of encouragement every time they fall - which may also involve inspirational quotes and playing appropriately-titled music.
  • Hope Spot: The various points where it looks like the map's design would stop you from falling all the way back down to the start. You can anyway. The most egregious part is when you get to the second area of the game and there is a long plateau before the next climbing section - at the top of which, you climb back out over open, empty air.
  • Hypocrite: Bennett Foddy created this game to emotionally hurt the people who play it and even says so, as the narrator, that he enjoys the bitterness and misery of the moments when the players make a long fall during the game. Yet he calls out the people who only watch videos of other people playing the game as being baby birds 'eating regurgitated food'.note 
  • Irony: Diogenes is considered one of history's greatest trolls. In this game however, The Man In The Cauldron is Diogenes, and you're being trolled by the game and Bennett.
  • Made of Iron: The man has the strength and endurance to lug himself, a sledgehammer and a cauldron up a mountain of garbage without stopping, using the sledgehammer. He can fall all the way from the top to the starting area and all happens is some water sloshing out of his cauldron. He also does not freeze to death in the ice and snow section, despite having no clothes and being in a metal cauldron.
  • Meaningful Name: Diogenes is the name of the man in the cauldron, and fitting for an iconoclastic game designed partially to hurt its players for philosophical reasons.
  • Mocking Music: Music about failure and hurt from the public domain are one of the things that can play if you lose a significant chunk of progress.
  • New Media Are Evil: Foddy believes the main reason asset-based games and the discussion about them never took off is because of a "garbage culture" - though he's quick to explain it is in no way an insult towards the asset makers or consumers. He means it to be a society where things are disposed of once used up - be it a poem or food or, say, a video game - and pre-made items are often faster to go through, and thus disposed once finished, and often forgotten. In this case, Foddy believes a lot of items nowadays are pre-made for ease of use, including entertainment, and people will naturally want to find something unique - and B-Games, like Sexy Hiking, were a result, using recycled assets and rough-but-unique gameplay to make something new. Part of Getting Over It's rationale is both trying to defy an easy one-and-done game that won't last long and won't be memorable, as well as using pre-made assets in a way that makes them unique.
  • Nintendo Hard:
    • There are no enemies, invisible blocks that ruin your path, no Kaizo Traps or Fake Platforms. The biggest enemy in this game is the controls and your own patience in learning how to use them properly. Once you've climbed the mountain, the game can be finished in under a minute. That said, it's still known as a rage game for a reason.
  • Noob Bridge: The house just past the pit at the start of the game generally serves this function. It's the first real obstacle in the game that cannot by bypassed by random flailing. While trivial for veteran players, new players are often flummoxed the first few times they have to get past it, especially if they haven't mastered (or learned) using the hammer to jump.
  • Platform Hell: Climb towers, icy mountains, buildings, cliffs and more using just your trusty hammer. The only thing standing in your way is (like most games, really,) your patience.
  • Reset Button: At any point before the end you can slip so badly you end up all the way back at the beginning, even by pushing away in the wrong direction just before the end, where gravity no longer operates. The snake towards the end is a major example of this.
  • Rhymes on a Dime: Foddy lapses into rhyme while discussing the transient nature of internet culture:
    "Everything's fresh for about six seconds,
    Until some newer thing beckons
    And we hit refresh,
    And there's years of persevering,
    Into the pile,
    Out of style,
    Out of sight."
  • Scaling the Summit: The point of the game (with a rather unusual mountain made out of junk.)
  • Schmuck Bait:
    • If you "ride the snake" despite the warning not to do so, it takes you all the way back to the start of the game. Of course, the game being what it is, that section and the one after are designed to enable the player to make a mistake, drop down and accidentally land on it.
    • If you hang around the anvil for a while, a mysterious present might fall from the sky. If you go over to investigate, you'll get a reprise of the Bat Scare Jump Scare from the church.
  • Sincerity Mode: When the game tells you "DO NOT RIDE SNAKE [sic]", it means it.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Foddy has quotes on failure and/or misery from everyone from William Shakespeare to C. S. Lewis to Ice-T.
    • The player character from Sexy Hiking can be found on an asteroid just to the right of the radio tower.
    • The infamous snake is a shout-out to the classic board game Snakes and Ladders.
  • Snakes Are Sinister: A snake positioned near the end of the game will take you back to the very beginning.
  • Some Dexterity Required: The mechanical focus of the game.
  • Super Drowning Skills: The only thing you can do that will actually kill you is going in the lake to the left of starting area.
  • Suspend Save: The game saves whenever you quit.
  • Take That, Audience!: Foddy has some choice words for people who experience this game by watching a YouTuber or Twitch gamer, likening them to baby birds "eating regurgitated food" because they won't experience it for themselves. While this is true for non-commentary playthrough viewers, this message can fall flat in regards of Let's Play viewers who watch the player's reaction (for example, watching Markiplier lose his shit).
  • Trial-and-Error Gameplay: An entire game dedicated to finding the new and unusual ways your hammer interacts with the environment. Naturally, this attracts a lot of fans.
  • Unintentionally Unwinnable: It is possible to get permanently stuck by getting the head of your hammer on one side of the radio tower and your body on the other, then shimmying downwards. Escaping is technically possible but only a few players have pulled it off.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Your character wears no shirt, though it's more like "Hopping Shirtless Scene." It's hard to tell if he's wearing anything under the cauldron. Bennett Foddy confirmed that he has legs, and that he wears the cauldron to protect them while he climbs.
  • Whammy: Pushing the wrong way away from an asteroid near the end, landing on the icy slope, sliding down, and hooking the snake.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: A slip can undo the progress you've made so far (and the snake was thrown in for this purpose.) Furthermore, there are things in the scenery (like the house by the chimney formation early on) that look to the first-timer like a goal, but are just part of the scenery.

"I could have made something you would have liked, a game that was empowering, that would save your progress and inch you steadily forward. Instead, I must confess: this isn't nice."

Alternative Title(s): Getting Over It