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Video Game / Gylt

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Gylt is a 3D Survival Horror game, developed by Tequila Works (the creators of Deadlight and The Sexy Brutale) and released on November 19th, 2019 as a Stadia launch exclusive. Following the announcement that Stadia was getting canned, the developers announced a multiplatform release, with the game releasing for Steam, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S on July 6, 2023, and for the Nintendo Switch on March 14, 2024.

The player takes on the role of Sally, a schoolgirl who is dealing with the recent disappearance of her cousin Emily, and was putting up "missing" posters of her when she suddenly gets accosted by bullies and takes a route home she is not used to. Upon arriving, however, she notices that her town had suddenly turned into a twisted and dangerous version of itself. Yet, at the same time, she soon learns that Emily had somehow been stuck in this place as well and so now, she must attempt to not only survive but also rescue her from this nightmare.

Tropes present in this game:

  • Adults Are Useless:
    • The old man that Sally meets tells her what she needs to do, but Sally asks why he can't come with her. He says something about not being strong enough to handle going through the mines, but an 11-year-old can, of course!
    • Prior to the events of the game, Emily being bullied by other students either went under the radar of the teachers, or they just chose not to do anything. Downplayed with her mother, who let Emily stay home and recover after a particularly bad day, but she apparently wasn't able to do anything to actually stop the bullying.
  • Air-Vent Passageway: Sally often has to crawl through the vents to get to the otherwise inacessible rooms (such as one with her first inhaler), which is done with relative ease and comes with neither dust nor noise.
  • All There in the Manual: The girls' grandfather is named Charon, the name given in the credits to the mysterious old man met in the town. How do we know this? Because the developers said so on their Twitter/X account.
  • And I Must Scream: One of the diary entries shows that the people who've been Taken for Granite are still alive and breathing. Freeing them from this fate appears to kill them, ending their suffering. That said, this is apparently the fate of Sally if she dies - she too is turned to stone.
  • Artwork and Game Graphics Segregation: What exactly do Sally and Emily look like? The in-game graphics, title picture, Steam banner picture (which also serves as promo art), hand-drawn cutscene graphics, and paintings all use different art styles.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Helplessness fits this description. Since it is taller than Sally's and Emily's school.
  • Book Ends: Early in the game, Sally must get a ticket to use a cable car to arrive at town where Emily might be. In the end, Sally has only one ticket, and must decide if she wants to use it for herself or give it to Emily.
  • Bystander Syndrome: Hugely Deconstructed. By doing nothing to help her, Sally herself is really no different from the bullies who went after Emily.
  • Caged Bird Metaphor: One of the collectibles is canary statues inside cages. Earning all of them enables you to reach a new area to rescue one of the hidden people who'd turned to stone.
  • Central Theme: Bullying.
    • There are cruel things written on chalkboards and walls.
    • Many of the enemies represent bullying and its effects, such as the enemy Paranoia, an invisible creature that makes sounds similar to children laughing and whispering, or the giant eyeballs and stare at you.
    • The theater advertises a play about Emily's life, with her life being presented as something to laugh at or feel sorry for.
    • Groups of mannequins are arranged in ways suggestive of bullying.
    • Bosses represent various aspects of bullying, such as one who forces Emily to watch all the sad scenes of her life, and one who steals Sally's important items from her.
  • Collection Sidequest: There are a few collectibles, which also affect the kind of ending you would get.
  • Creepy Doll: Some monsters appear as robots roughly Sally's size with the appearance of an unvarnished porcelain doll. Even Sally remarks on how creeped out she is when she first sees one.
  • Dark World: The Dark Version of Bethelwood is basically this, a twisted version of Sally's and Emily's hometown.
  • Dialog During Gameplay: There are a few moments in which Sally will speak aloud to herself about her thoughts on what's going on. Not just from examining things (which isn't an example of this trope), but sometimes when walking through an area or after something big just happened, or in a few cases during boss fights.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Some mannequins are arranged to act out scenes of bullying, such as a bunch of them pointing to another mannequin who is sitting on the ground with a trash bin on its head and the word "PATHETIC" written on it.
  • Double-Meaning Title: "Gylt" sounds exactly like "guilt", which is what Sally is suffering from due to doing nothing as her cousin Emily was being bullied.
  • Downer Beginning: Basically how the story begins, with the intro revolving around Sally putting up missing posters of her cousin, Emily around town.
  • Downer Ending: Both common endings if all collectables aren't gotten. One ending has Sally leave her cousin behind in the dark town as she continues to put up posters of her as if nothing had even happened. The second ending involves Sally letting Emily leave the dark world whilst she stays behind because she couldn't go back home or forgive herself for not being there for her cousin. As a result, she completely vanishes along with the dark world and now she turns out to be missing in the real world.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: This is possible if you gain all the collectables throughout the game itself. When this happens, provided Sally has collected multiple ticket fragments, Sally gains a new ticket which allows both her and Emily to leave the dark town together. As they leave, Sally apologise to Emily and after all she had been through, and now that she had been saved from the monsters, Emily forgives and thanks her.
  • Evolving Title Screen: The title screen changes to show the most recent setting the player reached.
  • Forced to Watch: A monster forces Emily to watch slides from a projector showing horrible things that have happened to her throughout her life, while she begs it to stop. This lasts during an entire boss fight.
  • Genius Loci: Apparently, the town itself. According to diary entries, the mountain is alive and feeds on people's fear, creating manifestations of what they're afraid of, eventually killing people and turning them to stone, removing their life force in the form of the red quartz stones you've been collecting. That's not all. There's a strong hint this might be true, if you collect all 6 canaries and enter the secret area to find what appears to be a sort of literal "beating heart" of the town.
  • Healing Potion: In Gylt, inhalers act as their equivalent.
  • Heel Realization: Sally eventually comes to realize that she was part of the reason Emily ran away from home. The player might realize it before she does, but eventually, Sally feels terrible about her role. Ironically, this is lampshaded by one of the bullies in the beginning, who taunts Sally about Emily having run away from home, saying, "What'd you do to her?"
  • High-Voltage Death: The classic loose-wire-in-a-puddle trap. Stepping into these hurts you obviously. You can see the dangeorus puddles by the surging blue electricity.
  • Infant Immortality: Averted or played straight by using a workaround, depending on how you look at it. Emily somehow managed to survive in the Dark World for over a month on her own, and she's only seven. Sally, on the other hand, can be "killed" by enemies, being electrocuted, burned by fire or scalded by steam, and when she does, she is turned to stone. Yet, a diary entry makes it clear that the people who were turned to stone are actually possibly alive, and seem to be breathing, as though they are suffering a Fate Worse than Death. As a result, it could be said that in order to avoid showing a kid being killed, the game gives Sally a Fate Worse than Death.
  • Infinite Flashlight: Partially averted. Sally's flashlight is very useful, as besides simply providing illumination, it is also crucial for dealing with the weaker shadow creatures, and is also powerful enough to outright charge key machinery when it is shone at solar panels. Its regular beam is unlimited, but it requires batteries to operate for the powerful charge beam.
  • Insurmountable Waist-High Fence: At the beginning, right after the cable car ride. While admittedly not waist-high - more like twice the height of the main character - it's just a chainlink fence; it'd be very easily climbable by a scared child who really wants to get the heck out of there and go back home. But no, "I need to find another way back home".
  • Kill It with Ice: The fire extinguisher is capable of freezing the more solid monsters who are not affiliated with shadow and are thus immune to the flashlight.
  • Living Shadow: The shadow monsters. Sally can beat them with her flashlight.
  • Meaningful Name: The old man's name turns out to be Charon. It's only given in the credits, after you've already seen his role in the story. This has heavy implications for the nature of the Dark World you were in, and his role in it.
  • Minor Living Alone: Essentially what happened to Emily after running away from home and ending up in the twisted town. She's basically living in the school, and the boxes of cookies and juice boxes discarded throughout the school hint at how she was keeping herself alive while hiding from the monsters.
  • Missing Child: It starts with Emily missing, and many missing posters of her. But it can end with Sally missing, with a missing poster for her as well.
  • Optional Stealth: The game includes one of the most detailed stealth systems for the horror genre, with the monsters possessing multiple alert states, and Sally able to distract them with thrown items, as well as sneak-kill them by suddenly jamming her flashlight in them and turning it on.
  • Pretentious Latin Motto: Bachman School's motto is "Ex Nihilo Nihil Fit."note 
  • Redemption Equals Death: Depending on how one of the endings is interpreted. If you choose to give Emily the ticket to go back home and escape the twisted town, you see Sally having monsters close in on her... Later, there is a missing poster for Sally.
  • The Runaway: Implied to be what happened to Emily. Her school life is absolutely horrible.
  • Sadistic Choice: At the end, Sally has one ticket to use the cable car, and only person is able to ride at a time. Who goes - her, or her little cousin? This leads directly to two Downer Endings, unless the player rescued all the people who'd been turned to stone, and can then choose to Take a Third Option.
  • School Bullying Is Harmless: Very much averted and deconstructed by the narrative. Emily ran away for a reason.
  • Sprint Meter: Sally has a stamina meter that drops when she runs. It's a very short meter, possibly related to Sally's asthma. (She uses inhalers to refill health, which is the only real hint that she has asthma.)
  • Story Breadcrumbs: They seem to come in two forms.
    • The mysterious diary entries Sally finds on her journey gives clues on what's going on. They appear to be the thoughts of various people magically changed into diary form, as one of them even speculates. One character even remarks that everything they don't want to think about appears as written down diary entries.
    • Some elements of environmental storytelling hint further at things that happened. For example, all the boxes of food and the juice boxes found inside vents and safe rooms, combined with the chocolate on Emily's fingers and shirt, strongly imply that Emily was taking food with her to eat while hiding from monsters.
  • Take a Third Option: Mixed with Earn Your Happy Ending, this becomes a thing, provided you gain all the collectables to make it possible of course.
  • Taken for Granite: How you die in this game. Also, the fate of many people before you, who you encounter as statues. Still-breathing statues.
  • Throwing the Distraction: Throwing a soft drink can allows Sally to distract the creatures. Luckily, she can operate vending machines which provide an infinite supply of soft drinks.
  • Unwilling Suspension: Emily is hung from a ceiling by what appears to be filmstrips, held up by a monster, and forced to watch projector slides of her unhappy life.
  • Weakened by the Light: The basic shadow creatures get stunned by the flashlight, and will eventually outright dissipate from the sustained lightning. Sally herself is injured by strong light used by one of the game's bosses, causing her to turn to stone if she doesn't escape.
  • You Monster!: After encountering her cousin after the auditorium, Sally gets chewed on by Emily once more and she even calls her a monster.
    Emily: Don't pretend like you care! After what you did to me...You're just another monster!


Video Example(s):



The player takes on the role of Sally, a schoolgirl who is dealing with the recent disappearance of her cousin Emily, and was putting up "missing" posters of her when she suddenly gets accosted by bullies and takes a route home she is not used to. Upon arriving, however, she notices that her town had suddenly turned into a twisted and dangerous version of itself. Yet, at the same time, she soon learns that Emily had somehow been stuck in this place as well and so now, she must attempt to not only survive but also rescue her from this nightmare.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / SurvivalHorror

Media sources: