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Video Game / Haunting Ground

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Fiona, the player character, and her Canine Companion, Hewie.

Haunting Ground (aka Demento) is a lesser-known adventure-horror game released by Capcom.

Fiona Belli is a young woman who was involved in a unfortunate car accident. She later awakens in a castle and has no idea how she got there. Her main objective is to get the hell out, but the sinister residents of the castle have different plans for our heroine...

The gameplay revolves much more on evading enemies and hiding than combat, as Fiona's fighting abilities (she can kick opponents, but it's very weak) are extremely limited (mainly as a throwback to the Clock Tower games, of which this game was to be the fifth installment, but was changed during production). Her health is measured by how calm she is—checking the wrong object or prolonged chases by enemies can cause her to be overcome with fear and panic, which is portrayed in the form of a blurry, distorted screen and problems controlling her. She eventually runs into an ally in the form of a dog named Hewie, who can be commanded to attack enemies, fetch items, or follow Fiona. The game has an unseen friendship meter of sorts — Fiona can either protect the dog or literally Kick the Dog — but abuse will make Hewie become distant from Fiona, causing him to ignore her commands or be slower to respond when Fiona becomes panicked.


Now has a Character Sheet.

This game provides examples of:

  • Alas, Poor Villain: For all her Ax-Crazy tendencies and desire to kill Fiona, it's pretty easy to feel sorry for Daniella when she dies. She only wanted to be complete.
    • Same goes for Debilitas, should the player not drop the chandelier onto him and opt to defeat him the old-fashioned way. Fiona feels guilty for killing him in self-defense, considering that Debilitas only wanted to play with her, not realizing how dangerous he was. In fact, getting the best ending requires that he survives.
  • And Call Him "George"!: Debilitas, who thinks Fiona is a big doll for him to play with.
  • Androcles' Lion: Fiona frees Hewie near the beginning of the game after Riccardo tied him up. He returns by fending off Debilitas a few minutes later, and subsequently accompanies Fiona through the rest of the game.
    • In a less literal sense, after finishing the game once, sparing Debilitas is required in order to achieve a special ending that lets you bypass about half the game.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: "Under the Scalpel", "Fiona B", "Fiona the Frog", "Texas Cowgirl", "Illegal in Some States"... Even Hewie gets a different fur color scheme as well as one that makes him look like a stuffed animal (which grants him invincibility).
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  • Applied Phlebotinum: Azoth, which in alchemy is pretty much a cure-all that can restore youth, ensure long life, cure any injuries, and so on. Turns out Fiona's body is full of it, which is why everyone except Debilitas is hunting her.
  • Artificial Human: Daniella (or so we're led to believe). Some of the levels also have failed homunculi standing around in various places doing strange things.
    • In truth, everyone in the castle but Fiona are all artificial creations, just on different levels.
  • Artificial Stupidity: This applies to the stalkers during the game's chase sequences whenever Fiona's hiding.
    • You'd think they'd be able to tell where she is based on Hewie's proximity to her, because he's never far from her side. Nor does it ever occur to them to simply kill Hewie, which would leave Fiona without any protection. Instead, they ignore him altogether, even when he's barking at them and fiercely guarding Fiona's position. They simply walk past as they continue to roam the hallways looking for her.
      • There are instances in which the stalkers actually will go for Hewie, but they're rare.
    • Another example is whenever she's hiding under a bed. From certain vantage points in the room, she should be directly in the stalkers' line of sight. Yet they never notice her, even when she's only a few feet away.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: It's actually possible to knock out the stalkers during chase sequences, with some being easier than others (Lorenzo being the easiest in his old man form), and the reward for doing so is often medallions for crafting rarer items, including exceptionally rare equipment for Fiona, or sometimes said rare equipment. However, most of them are difficult to fight and require knowing when and where to have Hewie attack, when to have him press on his attacks, and when to have him let go and fall back. All the while, Fiona's panic is rising, and any hits sustained over the course of the fight will kill either her or Hewie (only in Hard Mode) if not treated. Daniella and Riccardo are especially dangerous since both have instant death attacks at their disposal.
  • Ax-Crazy: Daniella and Riccardo, the latter of whom carries a gun and is very trigger-happy.
  • Babies Ever After: A terrible, terrible subversion in the worst ending.
  • Back Stab: During a fight, if you order Hewie to stay still and the enemy is turned away from him, he'll start growling. If you order him to attack, he will jump on the enemy's back and bite their neck; this is much more effective than the standard attack, and prevents the enemy from retaliating.
  • Big "NO!": Fiona, waking up from a nightmare/flashback to the car crash.
    • Fiona also does this during some of her terrible deaths, like the one involving hiding in an iron maiden from Daniella, who figures it out and calmly locks her inside before activating it, with Fiona pleading for her life right up to the end.
    • "And now, you are mine... All mine!"
  • Bishōnen Line: When Fiona first encounters Lorenzo, he's a creepy, shriveled up old man. However, once he gives himself a dose of Azoth, he reverts to a decent but still unremarkable middle-aged man — basically her father with nice hair — before immediately turning into his handsome, muscular, younger self, and is much more deadly now because he can hurl spells at Fiona. Then this is subverted when he falls into a lava pool and becomes a flaming skeleton armed with a Touch of Death.
    • This is applicable to the game's villainous cast overall. The last couple of stalkers are much more mundane than the initial threat.
  • Bizarrchitecture: The Escher-esque stairwell room. Not to mention the House of Truth, especially while you're being chased by young Lorenzo for the first time, during which there is a large corridor that goes in circles with seemingly no end.
  • Boss Remix: The first three boss themes are the same song, just with that particular stalker's leitmotif mixed in.
  • Break the Cutie: Poor Fiona is subjected to this a lot throughout the game.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall:
    Fiona: Why in the world is there a chair here? *turns to camera* This is just a normal chair, right?
    • This example could just be Fiona looking to see what the chair may be facing, as the chair also happens to be facing towards the camera.
  • Breeding Slave: Riccardo's plan for Fiona.
  • Canine Companion: Hewie, of course. The core of the gameplay and much of the story centers on protagonist Fiona and the German Shepard she rescues named Hewie. He's your first and often last line of defense against stalkers, a frequent collaborator when it comes to solving puzzles, and selectively hyper-competent when it comes to acrobatics and felling Fiona's enemies.
  • Captain Ersatz: A lot of examples between this game and Resident Evil 4, two 2005 survival horror games developed by Capcom. Fiona and Debilitas look similar to Ashley and the Gigantes, respectively. Belli Castle borrows heavily from Salazar's castle as well, and a white German Shepard shows up in both games. See Crossover below.
  • Captain Obvious: Fiona. "A woman with wings protruding out of her back. An angel, perhaps?"
    • Humorously lampshaded in another of her comments.
    "Not to state the obvious, but this looks like the castle study."
  • Cloning Blues: Riccardo and Fiona's father, Ugo.
  • Common Mary Sue Traits: Fiona is a Deconstruction of these. She's The Chosen One (kinda), heir to a Big Fancy Castle (built on Death Trap-filled Chaos Architecture), everyone she meets wants her, she's a close relative of two major villains, and she's a Friend to All Living Things (complete with Canine Companion Hewie).
  • "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot: During normal gameplay, the castle's main gate is locked, forcing Fiona to solve her way through the castle in order to escape. But with a New Game+ file, it's possible to get the key from Debilitas, which circumvents 2/3 of the game by allowing Fiona to leave the castle early (Ending C).
  • Creepy Housekeeper: Daniella
  • Crossover: A white German Shepherd also appears in Resident Evil 4.
  • Cursed With Awesome: In Panic Mode, Fiona runs much faster than she does normally, at the expense of becoming a One-Hit Point Wonder and barely responding to the player's controls.
  • Cutscene Incompetence: An affliction everyone (aside from Hewie) suffers throughout the game.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: If you incapacitate rather than kill Debilitas during his boss fight, he sees Fiona as a sort of holy figure and will leave her alone, even allowing her to escape Belli Castle in one of the endings.
  • Dog Walks You: How you safely get across a couple of booby traps.
  • Dungeon Bypass: New Game+ gives a way for Fiona to just leave the castle without having to confront Daniella, Riccardo or Lorenzo. Amusingly, it basically boils down to convincing the gardener to lend you the spare front door key.
  • Earn Your Bad Ending: Ironically, the worst ending is almost harder to get than the best. To trigger it, one must have the worst possible relationship level with Hewie (i.e. he utterly hates Fiona and attacks her on sight) immediately before you enter the Chaos Forest. However, because Hewie is required for the area's main puzzle (the start of it anyway), you have to finish the puzzle with at least a neutral relationship with him (so he'll actually do the puzzle for you); then you have to halt your progress and attack or poison Hewie until his relationship hits rock bottom. In other words, getting the bad ending requires you to intentionally abuse him.
  • Emotionless Girl: Daniella. Until she catches up to Fiona, anyway.
  • Everybody Lives: Ending C. Yes, even the really vile ones.
  • Everyone Is Related: Let's see: Lorenzo is Fiona's grandfather, as her father Ugo is a clone he created. Lorenzo also made Riccardo, so he is Ugo's brother and Fiona's uncle, and Debilitas is the fruit of Riccardo's attempt at creating life via the alchemical process.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: Springing traps usually means instant (and gruesome) death for Fiona.
  • Evil-Detecting Dog: This is actually a core mechanic of the gameplay. If Hewie starts growling or even outright barking, then you better be on your toes in the area or booking it to the nearest hiding place.
    • Another aspect of this is that several booby-trapped hallways require you to send Hewie ahead of Fiona to sniff out the safe path that won't get her killed.
  • Faint in Shock: Fiona. She's a little too susceptible to it for her own good at times.
    • Upon first discovering that both her parents have died in the car crash and that she's now the sole surviving heir to Castle Belli, she passes out long enough to let Riccardo move her into her bed. She relives the car crash in the form of a nightmare as she gradually comes out of unconsciousness right before waking up.
    • Upon learning that Riccardo and her father Ugo are clones of Lorenzo (and that Riccardo killed her father), Fiona is completely unable to process this and sinks into a dead faint. This time she stays out cold throughout. If the game has been completed once before, a secret cutscene will play immediately after this, showing Fiona laid out on a laboratory table in a different outfit and Riccardo testing her fertility by inserting a rod into her. He apparently does not even need to sedate or restrain her at any point during this, as she remains utterly passed out from the shock from before. She wakes up much later, already having been moved back into her jail cell.
      • If the player has already triggered the worst ending, then this second faint is what gives Riccardo the opportunity to capture Fiona and make her his Breeding Slave outright.
  • Fanservice: The sheet from the beginning of the game is quite modest compared to some of Fiona's outfits, not to mention her miniskirt and large breasts. Several parts of the game use camera angles to give the player a voyeuristic view of her (or to simulate a stalker's point of view), particularly when she's getting dressed in the aforementioned miniskirt and tight blouse. Fiona even addresses how "tight" her new outfit feels, especially "in the chest area."
    • Fan Disservice: However, despite being attractive and wearing moderately revealing clothing, the creepy sexual nature of Riccardo, Lorenzo, and arguably Daniella can put a damper on things. It's hard to appreciate how attractive Fiona is when you're desperately trying to stop her from getting torn apart by a giant, mentally handicapped man, having her uterus torn out by an Ax-Crazy woman who's convinced she is incomplete, raped by a clone of her father, and being stalked by an old man - technically her grandfather - who wants to steal her life force.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • If one enters the Castle Guestroom and examines the mirror in the corner, Fiona will say she could freshen up if it weren't smashed, foreshadowing Daniella's hatred of her own reflection and how she reacts when confronted with it.
    • In the operating theater in the Old Mansion, Fiona will look at the operating table and exclaim that it's filthy, and nothing could make her lie on it. This is where Riccardo performs an ovulation test on her after she faints in the forest.
    • Fiona's first encounter with Lorenzo, who can be heard whispering her name from behind a wall with holes in it. As Fiona reaches her arm into a hole to investigate, he gives her an unnecessary scare by grabbing her hand and hastily passing a note to her in order to help her escape. One would think that Lorenzo could at least try to be more reassuring and careful towards a captive he wants to help rescue. This is a hint that Lorenzo is not to be trusted, as he is more concerned about Fiona's Azoth than Fiona herself.
  • Foot Focus: Many of the game's cutscenes focus directly on Fiona's feet. The altered version of her default outfit makes them bare.
  • For Want of a Nail: Things are a lot simpler for Fiona in Ending C, where she gets a key to the castle gate much earlier than normal and escapes within the first quarter of the game.
  • Friendly Enemy: Even after she's decided to tear out her Azoth, Daniella is such a dutiful maid that she'll be too busy cleaning to bother Fiona from time to time. Fiona even gets a useful item from talking to her during one such break from chasing her. However, this could be an example of Daniella having a split personality.
  • Fixed Camera: Used very effectively, as they can sometimes hide a stalker from the player's sight until they accidentally run into them from off-screen.
  • Giggling Villain: Daniella does TONS of giggling.
  • Girl with Psycho Weapon: Daniella. She chases you with either a shard of glass or a hot fire poker.
  • Given Name Reveal: Paying attention to in-game writings will inform the player that they are in the castle of the mad alchemist Aurelius Belli, and that someone named Lorenzo is trying to help Fiona survive. The Final Boss gives his full name as Aurelius Lorenzo Belli, revealing himself to be both of the above at once.
  • Golem: Fiona comes across a couple of them during her journey in the castle. One of them is blocking a door and requires you to insert a keyplate inscribed with "EMETH" to move it out of the way. As an added Genius Bonus for those familiar with the golem myth, you can use the word "METH" to make it crumble instead — and get an item as a reward.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: Fiona in the worst ending. Being raped is what mostly contributes.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: None of the death traps directly show Fiona being killed. The most graphic depiction of violence in the whole game is Debilitas chopping a slab of meat in the beginning.
    • The Game Over scenes also make use of this to a very unnerving degree, as horrible things are implied to be done to poor Fiona's corpse, while the screen shows nothing but the words "Acta Est Fabula."
  • Guns Do Not Work That Way: Riccardo's pistol is a flintlock so it should only be able to fire one shot, necessitating a lengthy reload time. Instead, Riccardo fires it like a semiautomatic handgun.
  • Heal Thyself: Fiona can quiet down her panic and pick up her stamina by using lavender and chamomile respectively. She can also completely restore both at the same time by drinking tap water, provided nobody's around. Hewie, on the other hand, can be fed beef and chicken jerky. They can both also be healed with items crafted through alchemy.
  • Heroic Dog: Duh.
  • Holler Button: Mainly used to give commands to Hewie. "Come on!", "Hewie,", "Good boy!", "HEWIE!!" and "Help!!" are likely what will be heard the most.
  • I Have You Now, My Pretty: Riccardo invokes this multiple times on Fiona.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: It is vaguely implied that Daniella was cooking the remains of Fiona's mother in the first part of the game. The food is first identified as looking similar to angel hair pasta, but a later inspection reveals that it is in fact human hair. After Daniella serves it to her, Fiona feels sick.
  • Immodest Orgasm: Daniella. Or at least that's how it seems if she kills Fiona.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Daniella
    • Also Fiona if Daniella catches her in the iron maiden.
  • Inconveniently Placed Conveyor Belt: In one of the final boss fights, which doubles as both a Death Trap and the only means to defeat the boss.
  • Indecipherable Lyrics: "Endless Zero" has barely audible, whisper-y vocals which may or may not be just random gibberish.
  • Informed Equipment: Curiously, the boot items are the only equipment that do not appear on Fiona's game model, in contrast to her earrings and choker.
  • Interface Screw: Panic Mode. The screen goes blurry, everything turns black and white, the audio fills with static and Fiona runs around in a panic. Not to mention, she's a One-Hit Point Wonder in this mode.
  • Iron Maiden: One of your potential hiding places for Fiona during the second portion of the game is inside an iron maiden. If Daniella finds her, she'll pull a lever and Fiona is impaled.
  • Item Crafting: The alchemist's quarters has a machine in which Fiona can refine medallions into items for her and Hewie, but some items can actually hurt them when used.
  • I Was Quite a Looker: Lorenzo, who temporarily restores his youth.
  • Jiggle Physics: Fiona's breasts bounce very visibly throughout the game, almost to an absurd degree.
  • Kick the Dog: All of the stalkers are more than willing to harm or kill Hewie. In the Chaos Forest, he is shot by Riccardo, but Fiona fortunately comes to his aid. In the worst ending, he will die. This ending is achieved by having a bad relationship with Hewie, which includes abusing (and literally kicking) him.
  • Kill the Cutie: Fiona Belli is a beautiful 18-year-old girl. Her enemies, however, seek to kill her in extremely brutal ways, and as Fiona is frail, has no fighting skills and no weapon, they can easily kill her in a fight. She can die in all sorts of ways, including being crushed via a bear hug, stabbed, shot, etc.
  • Kill It with Fire: Fiona, with Hewie's help, drops Lorenzo into a pit of lava. He emerges as a flaming skeleton, but finally succumbs to the flames.
  • Laughing Mad: Daniella does this in spades after finally going Ax-Crazy. And poor Fiona in the worst ending.
  • Legacy Character: The title of Aurelius Belli, and their legacy as an immortal alchemist, is this if the graveyard in the Old Mansion is anything to go by. Lorenzo, Riccardo, and (if you collect all of the collectibles and read the final entry of Fiona's diary) Fiona herself will all lay claim to the name.
  • Leitmotif: Each stalker has distinctive chase music which goes through tempo and volume shifts depending on how close to you they are. It also gets remixed for their boss battle. In cutscenes, Hewie gets a theme of his own in the form of a soft, music box-like tune. Fiona is the only character without one, except maybe "Endless Zero."
  • Licking the Blade: Daniella does this with a big shard of glass (or a fire poker, if she's optionally traded in the glass shard).
  • Light and Mirrors Puzzle
  • Load-Bearing Boss: Beating Lorenzo causes the section of the castle you're in to collapse. There's no time limit while Fiona escapes; however, she still needs to be quick, because being touched by Lorenzo's fire form will kill her in one hit.
  • Locking MacGyver in the Store Cupboard: The entire game can be seen as an extended version of this, as Fiona can easily find or make everything she needs to defeat her pursuers and escape the castle. One has to wonder why they even left her alone in the first place...
  • Mad Scientist: Two mad alchemists. Close enough.
  • Magical Accessory: Fiona may equip a choker, a pair of earrings and a pair of boots. The majority of these improve stamina, reduce panic and improve strength in combat respectively, but there are three odd ones out: the Obsidian Choker throws Luminescents off her trail, the Fairy Earrings make her invisible if she stays still, and the Feather Boots make her footfalls inaudible to stalkers.
  • Magical Mystery Doors: Invoked as Lorenzo tests Fiona in a labyrinth of color-coded doors. Take the wrong door out and it's back to the beginning of the maze.
  • Man on Fire: Lorenzo during the game's final chase sequence.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • "Debilitas" is Latin for "weakness" or "illness."
    • Daniella is the female equivalent of "Daniel", a Biblical Hebrew name. Her faithfulness towards her master Lorenzo suggests that her name is meant to invoke Daniel's faithfulness to God. Alternatively, Daniel is also the name of a Fallen Angel in the Book of Enoch, which is rather fitting. According to Word of God, she lost her freedom as a girl when she was kidnapped by Lorenzo.
    • Fiona means "white, fair."
    • Hewie and Ugo are the diminutive and the Italian variant, respectively, of "Hugh", meaning "heart, mind, spirit."
    • Riccardo means "powerful, strong ruler." Rather fitting considering Riccardo's numerous attempts to assert his dominance over multiple characters in the game.
    • Lorenzo is Italian for "someone from Laurentum." This ancient city's name may have been derived from the Latin word "laurus", which means laurel, "a symbol of wisdom and accomplishment." These terms likely relate Lorenzo's ancestry and his own accomplishments as a master alchemist.
  • Modesty Bedsheet: At first, it's the only "clothing" she has.
  • Multiple Endings: Usually depends on how well you treated Hewie for most of the game. Another major contributor is whether you kill Debilitas or let him live.
  • Musical Spoiler: The music becomes chaotic when Fiona runs into stalkers. When she successfully evades a stalker (usually by hiding), the music returns to normal.
    • When a stalker is in an area adjacent to the player, the ambient noise is replaced with dead silence. This is actually an incredibly useful lifesaver, as the game will falsely tell you it's safe to leave a hiding spot, only for the stalker to decide to waltz back in. The player will need to rely on the return of the ambient music to know when the coast is truly clear.
  • Mysterious Informant: Some guy named Lorenzo keeps slipping Fiona various notes over the course of the game. He turns out to be the Big Bad, who's only trying to help her get away from his insane lackeys so he can have her Azoth for himself.
  • New Game+:
    • Beating the game unlocks an additional Hard Mode, with stronger (and palette swapped) versions of the stalkers, more enemies scattered around the castle, a bonus mode where you play as Hewie, and a few additional cutscenes which fill in some extra plot details.
    • The ability to switch outfits and exchange key-plates for equipment is added to the Alchemy Room in both modes after beating the game once.
    • You can find a copy of the castle gate key after beating Debilitas non-lethally, allowing Fiona to leave the castle early and unlock Ending C.
  • Non-Human Sidekick: Hewie, who doubles as a Pet Interface.
  • Non Standard Game Over: "Acta Est Fabula" shows up on the screen rather than the traditional Game Over whenever Fiona gets killed. Death by booby traps comes with a special cutscene, where Fiona's gruesome fate is made pretty explicit as well. You also lose automatically if Hewie dies (which, fortunately, can only happen on Hard Mode).
  • Offscreen Teleportation: Most of the stalkers are guilty of this, but Daniella in particular pops into existence in certain rooms. There's one she'll always appear in, no matter where you saw her last. Fortunately, her kill switch is set to "off" if you encounter her here; she's too busy cleaning to do anything else.
  • Oh, Crap!: Quite a few, but the fire poker scene (Daniella) and the explosives scene (Lorenzo) are the first to come to mind.
    • The game invokes this on the player as well. You can be exploring the castle, trying to figure out how to progress or searching for a specific item or returning to a room with said specific item... and suddenly the music cuts out, it's dead silent, and Hewie starts growling...
  • One-Hit Kill: As mentioned below, Panic Mode means this can happen to Fiona, but each stalker also has a couple moves that can do this:
    • Debilitas raises both fists above his head and brings them down, or gets on top of Fiona and crushes her neck.
    • Daniella raises her weapon over her head and bring it down on Fiona, or gets on top of her and uses it to slash her throat.
    • Riccardo performs a headshot, or stands over Fiona and shoots her in the back (note: being too close at any time when he fires his gun will often kill instantly, even his scatter shots). In the Water Tower, he gets on top of Fiona and repeatedly bashes her head against the ground.
    • Old Lorenzo pulls Fiona down and gets on top of her.
    • Young Lorenzo uses highly damaging punches imbued with blue flames.
    • Flaming Lorenzo instantly sets Fiona on fire if she's caught during the game's final chase sequence.
  • One-Hit Point Wonder: Getting caught by enemies while in Panic Mode usually reduces Fiona to this.
    • Riccardo is one of the game's easiest boss battles because he is this.
  • One-Winged Angel: Lorenzo is fought as the final boss in many forms before he goes down.
  • Panty Shot: Very rarely, even though Fiona's skirt is very short. You'd have to actually try in order to see her panties, though with all the puzzles and getting chased, you probably either don't have the time or just don't want to.
  • Pet the Dog: Fiona does this to Hewie when praising him, as well as in certain cutscenes. If Hewie is badly injured, Fiona can go over and stroke him comfortingly to get him back on his feet.
  • Pinocchio Syndrome: Daniella
  • Portrait Painting Peephole: Fiona is spied on by Lorenzo through a painting while she changes early on.
  • Precision F-Strike: Fiona swears exactly once, at the end of the game, if you inspect the corpse of the Final Boss.
    "This time... you really are dead. You bastard."
  • Pretentious Latin Motto:
    • All the endings are titled in Latin, and also the game over screen — "Acta est Fabula" — meaning "The drama is over" or "The drama has been acted out."
    • The title of the game in Japan is "Demento."
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Subverted with Debilitas; he is a dangerous Manchild, but only because he is too naive and mentally disabled to understand his idea of playing with Fiona is a bad thing.
  • Puzzle Boss: Most, if not all, of the bosses are like this, seeing as how your only "weapons" are stun bombs and Hewie's attacks.
  • Rage Against the Reflection: The otherwise eerily collected (if murderous) Daniella goes berserk whenever she sees her own reflection. The player can use mirrors to distract and evade her when being chased.
  • Rainbow Speak: The game uses colored text to create hints when Fiona examines objects.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: What Riccardo intends to do to Fiona.
  • Red Herring: The Water Tower has two items that have no use anywhere in the game: the Silver Disk and the Bronze Statue, and the official strategy guide mentions that they're placed to confuse players. This is most likely because Lorenzo's note tells you to find a special item to escape this area, and there's three items you can collect here (the Wooden Bridge is the right item).
  • Relationship Values: Fiona can praise or scold Hewie, and too much abuse can cause the dog to be totally apathetic toward Fiona. He may even attack her. On Hard difficulty, Hewie can be killed off completely, giving you a Game Over.
  • Say My Name: The entire cast to Fiona. Hewie's comments on Hard Mode reveal that's probably what he's barking half the time.
  • Scenery Porn: Belli Castle has some sweet interior design going on.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: One of the endings. It's extremely satisfying after beating the game once.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The tower in the middle of the lake is a direct shout out to the Clock Tower series, to which this game was originally intended as a successor.
      • Debilitas pruning the bushes with huge gardening shears in Ending A is probably a shout-out to Bobby Barrows, the Scissorman from the first game.
    • The first half of Daniella's death scene appears to be a rather twisted one to Edward Scissorhands.
  • Shown Their Work: Quite a bit of alchemy lore appears in this game, in addition to the myth about the golem (complete with "METH" making it crumble) and other things show that there was more than a passing interest in referring to it here.
  • Soft Glass: Daniella smashes a window with her forehead pretty effortlessly; later on averted in a spectacularly over-the-top fashion when she gets impaled by a massive shard of glass.
  • Solve the Soup Cans
  • Sorting Algorithm of Evil: Dumb brute who doesn't really understand that he's hurting Fiona —> Crazy maniac trying to eviscerate Fiona to complete herself —> Evil but entirely lucid Stalker with a Test Tube who wants to turn Fiona into an incubator —> Evil Old Folks —> Rejuvenated alchemist trying to kill Fiona to permanently rejuvenate himself —> Horrifying flaming skeleton that can kill you in one hit.
  • Spiritual Successor: The game initially started development as a continuation of the Clock Tower series, and even though it ended up becoming its own independent title, it still shares similar gameplay mechanics and Dario Argento influences with the series that inspired it.
  • Split Personality: Daniella. One minute, she will be chasing Fiona like a crazed maniac; the next she will be diligently cleaning like an ordinary maid.
  • Spy Cam: Fiona finds a film reel which reveals Lorenzo has been recording her journey through the castle with hidden cameras. There's even one inside the mummy on the sofa in the Old Mansion.
  • Stalker with a Test Tube: While it's true that Riccardo desperately wants to get between Fiona's legs, it's her uterus that he wants, rather than her body. Raping her is simply a means to an end for him to perpetuate his own existence.
  • Stripperific: Each of the following three unlockable costumes:
    • "Illegal In Some States" is a black leather dominatrix outfit that comes with thigh high boots and a riding crop.
    • "Texas Cowgirl" is actually a blue bikini worn with leather chaps, gloves, cowboy boots and a matching hat. So you still get to see plenty of skin, including her midriff, while wearing it.
    • "Under the Scalpel" is earned simply by beating the game and is the most risque costume that she gets. It's short, skin-tight, has a low-cut back, shows plenty of leg, and leaves her barefoot. Guess which costume most YouTubers pick for their video walkthroughs?
  • Tears of Blood: Daniella cries them before their boss fight.
  • Theme Song Reveal: The deciphered lyrics of "Endless Zero" reveal Ayla's fear of the castle, a conversation between her and Ugo, her thirst for immortality and their fear of Fiona's future.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Fiona is shown to be very timid in almost every cutscene in the game, generally has to rely on Hewie's help to fight off her adversaries, and enters Panic Mode very easily when under stress. After Riccardo almost kills Hewie in the forest, Fiona's confidence and courage starts to rise. It's even reflected in-game as she slowly overcomes her panic mechanic, to the point where she no longer panics as she escapes Lorenzo for the last time. Her line when she inspects Lorenzo's dead and charred body highlights just how much she has changed:
    This time... you really are dead. You bastard.
  • Viewers Are Geniuses: A lot of this game will fly over your head if you aren't at least partially familiar with the mythos surrounding alchemy — in particular, what Azoth is beyond some poorly-defined in-game MacGuffin the villains all seem to want.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: Hewie serves as your main weapon rather than an escort that needs your constant protection, but you still need to take good care of him. He can get hurt, and those whimpers will break your heart.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: On the other hand, beating Hewie, letting your stalkers beat Hewie, feeding him onions to lower his stamina, and allowing his health to become critical are also entirely possible. It's even required to get the bad ending.
  • Violation of Common Sense: One of your hiding places during the second portion of the game is a fully functioning iron maiden. Subverted in that if Daniella finds you, she'll activate it.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Assuming that any of the male stalkers would take it easy on poor little petite Fiona isn't a good idea. Also applies to Hewie as he will ferociously bite Daniella and even attack Fiona if abused enough.


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