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Video Game / Haven (2020)

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Haven is a sci-fi adventure RPG developed and published by The Game Bakers, released on December 3rd, 2020 for the PC, Xbox, PlayStation, and Nintendo Switch. The game is focused equally on exploration and the romance between the two main characters and features an original soundtrack by Danger, who also contributed to the soundtrack of The Game Bakers' previous title, Furi.

Kay and Yu are a young couple who have fled from the Apiary, the oppressive interplanetary regime that dictated their lives. They find themselves on a strange, uncharted planet called Source where they hope they can live out their lives in peace. Unfortunately, the planet is more dangerous than expected. Aggressive beasts, strange corruption, sudden earthquakes, and the looming threat of the Apiary's search parties all threaten the young couple. Together, they'll have to confront the forces that threaten to tear them apart as they settle into their new home.

In March 2022, the developers released the "Couple Update", a patch for the game that allows the player to swap the gender of Kay or Yu, allowing for the option to play through the story as a same sex couple.

This game is not to be confused for Haven: Call of the King, nor is there any relation between the two.

This game provides examples of:

  • Achievement Mockery: Later in the story you gain the ability to have one character throw the other at certain fleeing non-hostile creatures. Failing to hit the target twice in a row unlocks an achievement. At least you can get a laugh out of it thanks to the hilarious animation of the thrown character faceplanting into the dirt.
  • Actually Four Mooks: Most non-boss encounters, represented by single roaming entities in exploration mode, contain at least two mooks, sometimes up to five. Several bosses bring along mook allies as well.
  • All There in the Script: Looking through the game's assets reveals that the creature that runs off with Kay's pants is known as a Sunatcha, and that the jellyfish-looking creatures that eat up flow threads are called Droploots. Neither of these names can be inferred in-game since these two creature types can't be fought, and thus can't reveal their names via health bars.
  • Animal Motifs:
    • Bees for the Apiary. An "apiary" is a manmade bee colony, and a suitable metaphor for an oppressive regime. The Apiary also boasts an army of robot soldiers called Hornets which they send after Yu and Kay once they discover their location.
    • Birds for Kay and Yu themselves. Their spacecraft and home base is referred to as the Nest, they can achieve flight with their anti-gravity boots once they're sufficiently upgraded, and their story arc centers around them exercising freedom from the rigid, oppressive systems in place back home.
  • Animesque: The game has an art style and storyline that could be straight out of a Hayao Miyazaki film. Bonus points for the Attract Mode and end credits cinematics being produced by an actual Japanese animator.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • The game autosaves right before you enter the Point of No Return, allowing you to easily replay the finale to access the other ending, if you so desire.
    • Accessibility options are available to show additional HUD overlays during combat, disable shaky camera movements, and replace held button prompts with button taps.
  • Applied Phlebotinum: Flow, a universal power source, and its condensed counterpart, rust.
  • Are You Pondering What I'm Pondering?: One scene finds Kay and Yu unable to sleep while they're out camping. Kay eventually comes up with something to do in the meantime, which from the questions Yu asks him about it is obviously sex, but her assumptions about what it is can range from "an interpretive dance routine" to "naked hiking" depending on how Kay answers her questions.
  • Are You Sure You Want to Do That?: Deciding not to risk severing the interplanetary flow bridge at the end of the game carries this sentiment, as it requires both protagonists to agree with the decision via two successive dialogue prompts: the one with less Confidence refuses to go through with the plan, and the one with more Confidence can either concede to their refusal or defy it.
  • Arranged Marriage: The Apiary forces this on people via the system that chooses their ideal mate for them. Kay and Yu both went through this as well. However, Kay didn't so much as look at his mate, and Yu's mate is Lord Ozias, who serves as the antagonist of the game by intending to claim Yu for himself and erase all of the couple's memories of each other.
  • As Long as It Sounds Foreign: The books in the abandoned library that houses the Illustrated Erotica Handbook have pseudo-German names like "Uff Glishden Tär", "Gorgnemuld", "Flurm Gliffen", and "Flurm Gliffen: Ostruisï", though the last one's subtitle is a legitimate Italian word meaning "clogged" or "obstructed". Likewise, the names of Source's islets and many of its creatures are either Japanese-sounding gibberish or Gratuitous Japanese.
  • Background Music Override:
    • "Blooting Hornets" overrides both the BGM and Battle Theme Music whenever Hornets are present on an Islet.
    • During the sequence where Yu and Kay are separated, "I Can't Stay Mad At You" overrides all other BGM tracks, though not the battle music.
  • Battle Discretion Shot: When Ozias' Hornet army recaptures Kay and Yu in the Second Thoughts ending, all that's shown of the resulting confrontation are several shots of the destroyed Nest in the aftermath.
  • Battle Theme Music: "Ready When You Are" for standard encounters, "Now Or Never" for stronger mooks and bosses, and "Blooting Hornets" for, well, Hornets.
  • Beef Gate:
    • Yu and Kay are confronted by a trio of Hornets on the islet of Chogedon. These brutes are much tougher than prior mook encounters, only have a short window to be Overloaded before they get back up, and can paralyze the duo with their Flow Jammers. If this happens to both of them, they are recaptured by the Apiary. So you better have leveled up at least three times by this point.
    • After pacifying "not-Birble" on Benadon, she offers you a ride to Sosarow in the swamp biome. Beware, the monsters here are significantly stronger than those in the plains biome, and will likely crush underleveled players.
  • Big Fun: The Daiko, a clumsy, oversized parsnip that Kay and Yu can call upon to dig up buried flow bridges.
  • Bonding Through Shared Earbuds: Yu laments not having packed a meloglide (an in-universe music player) in order to do this. The Sweet Little Things update subsequently added the meloglide as a post-game completion bonus.
  • Boss in Mook Clothing: The Shifuta, a Giant Spider-type enemy found in rust-heavy areas, is far more resilient than standard mooks, along with dishing out massive damage, and can dodge and counter attacks if you use the wrong type when the enemy is in a particular stance, or your timing is slightly off.
  • Broken Bridge: The protagonists regularly run into broken bridges, sometimes literally, while exploring Source to find the parts for their ship. These include uncrossable chasms due to islets splitting apart, forcing an alternate route, aerial flow threads that require you to upgrade your Hover Skates, NPC roadblocks that can only be dislodged with the Flow Burst, and buried flow that must be dug up by the Daiko to unlock new bridges.
  • Bureaucratically Arranged Marriage: Every romantic relationship is decided by the Apiary. The inciting incident is Yu and Kay abandoning their respective arranged partners to run away together.
  • But Thou Must!: The first Hornet encounter results in a fight regardless of whether Kay tells Yu to stand and fight or to retreat. That said, the former choice does increase his Confidence.
  • Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp":
    • Yu alludes to "Frocember" during the first level-up conversation, hinting that months are named slightly differently in-universe.
    • Most of the edible plants on Source are functionally just renamed Real Life fruits. For instance, creamberries are bananas, and appledew is apples (duh). The others aren't quite as easy to nail down but still clearly recognizable for what they're supposed to represent.
  • Cave Behind the Falls: Lampshaded when Yu and Kay find a waterfall on Nekarow and the latter says "There's always a secret behind the waterfall". The cave turns out to be empty, and the only reward for the player is the "Can't get wetter" achievement.
  • Central Theme: Rebellion, and the freedom to love who you want.
  • Charged Attack: The Flow Burst is a non-combat variation. It can be used to open powered doors, stun pursuing creatures, clear out rust, and satisfy the appetites of flow-hungry Tamajus.
  • Climbing Climax: The Very Definintely Final Dungeon has Kay and Yu ascending a series of aerial flow threads in order to absorb Source's flow bridge at multple points of contact.
  • Colonized Solar System: The Apiary, which consists of five known planetary bodies, all of which are named after quarks:
    • Top, Yu's home planet and the location of the Apiary's capital.
    • Truth, Kay's home planet.
    • Beauty, and its satellite Charm, which is home to an expansive criminal underworld.
    • Down, which houses many of the Apiary's factories.
  • Colony Ship: Kay and Yu find the wreckage of an ExaNova colonization ship late in the story. It serves as a grim reminder of the not-entirely-successful evacuation of Source.
  • Color Wash: Each biome of Source has a unique color wash. The plains are cyan, rust-covered areas are magenta, the swamp is green, the desert is yellow, and the lava zone is red.
  • Company Cross References: One of the characters depicted on Alpha Zooloolum's cards is the Stranger.
  • Convection, Schmonvection: Lampshaded when the protagonists approach the pool of rust lava that stands between them and the interplanetary flow bridge, and Yu comments that "even one meter above it, the temperature must be a thousand billion degrees". However, the convective heat doesn't seem to affect them as they cross it, though one of them gets burned and disfigured while shielding the other from an explosion.
  • Co-Op Multiplayer: Two players can take control of Kay and Yu, and the cooking, crafting, and combat mechanics, which rely on input from both protagonists, are designed to account for this.
  • The Corruption: Creatures that have come into contact with rust turn a dull shade of red and become aggressive to the point where they'll attack the protagonists should they get too close. Pacifying them in battle frees them from the influence of the rust.
  • Crappy Homemade Gift: After finding out that Yu can play guitar but left her own back at home, Kay can fashion a guitar for her out of a seashell and give it to her as a gift, though he's a bit afraid she won't like it because of its cobbled-together nature. Downplayed in that aside from being out of tune at first, it's actually a decently functioning instrument.
  • Crapsaccharine World: The overall standard of living in the Apiary doesn't seem all that bad, as it's implied that art, entertainment, and scientific progress actively thrive within its confines, and the protagonists look rather fondly on their time living there. It's clearly dystopian in the ways that matter the most to them, though, and it's apparently in the name of preventing a social stigma known as the Mark from ever occurring again.
  • Dark Reprise:
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: Having both Yu and Kay knocked out in battle sends them back to the Nest or the nearest campsite, with your progress up to that point still intact. If you've already befriended Birble, you can fast travel to the rust-free islet nearest to where you fell. Having the protagonists both knocked out or paralyzed by the Apiary's Hornets results in a Non Standard Game Over, though you still have the option to respawn at the entrance to the islet you were on. An achievement is awarded for completing the game without being KO'ed or captured more than three times.
  • Degraded Boss:
    • Nokk is a boss fought on the islet Atokko which guards the entrance to a workshop containing an extender nozzle (a device necessary for crafting flow capsules). Shortly after, smaller versions called Minokks are regularly encountered.
    • The Babulardo is a scripted boss encounter at the Tsupiko Greenhouse. Later, a smaller variety, Babulidos, appear in groups of up to five at once.
    • The Hornets first appear as a Wolfpack Boss in a scripted encounter on Chogedon. Later on, there are roaming encounters with pairs or trios of Hornets, though some of these include tougher "Leader" Hornets.
  • Dialog During Gameplay: While exploring, Kay and Yu can speak a large variety of dialog in response to riding flow threads, doing large jumps and 180-degree turns, walking long distances instead of gliding, swimming, picking up cooking ingredients, and more. They'll also occasionally make remarks based on the time of day, their current hunger level, or the latest plot developments.
  • Dialogue Tree: Almost every conversation scene features at least one opportunity to select Kay or Yu's responses. Choosing the more assertive option during certain scenes increases the corresponding protagonist's Confidence, a stat which has a slight effect on how the game's ending plays out.
  • Disconnected Side Area: Some of the Islets are fractured into two or more pieces, requiring Yu and Kay to find an alternate flow bridge to access the other parts. Notably, the segment of Chogeko you can first access, where the Gyro Stabilizer is located, is only a small fraction of the Islet; to reach the rest, you have to take a much longer path.
    • Similarly, the cluster of islets in the swamp zone lacks flow bridge connections to the rest; the only way in and out is by hitching a ride on an Underground Monkey version of Birble.
    • The Final Dungeon is completely out of reach until you fully repair the Nest and fly it there, which marks the Point of No Return.
  • Disney Acid Sequence: The game opens with a psychedelic hand-drawn/painted animation sequence of the protagonists.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The Star-Crossed Lovers are an interracial (and potentially same-sex) couple, though that isn't why they're oppressed. Even in the space-age future, apparently, some things never change.
  • Drop Pod: How the various manner of machines sent from the Apiary make their way onto Source.
  • The Evils of Free Will: The Apiary decides the role of every person in society, right down to who their romantic partners should be, ostensibly to prevent the spread of a social stigma known as the Mark.
  • Evolving Title Screen: The regular title screen shows Kay and Yu lying down together on a grassy hill. They can be randomly replaced by a Salamash or the Daiko once they've been introduced in the story, and the time of day shown can change as well. Additional scenes may appear in the menu at random, such as one where Yu plays her makeshift guitar for Kay after the scenes concerning the guitar are encountered in-game. Getting the Don't Look Back ending changes the location of the title screen to the Nest's parking spot, with the protagonists sitting on top of it, while getting the Second Thoughts ending will show the usual grassy hill, but empty.
  • Facial Markings: Face tattoos are a common feature of Apiary inhabitants. Some individuals, such as Kay's mate, have similar markings on their arms.
  • Fake Band: The Acrobots, a two-alien band whose poster can be found inside one of the abandoned homes. Other in-universe bands are mentioned in passing, including Florin Florin, L.C.D., and Gloom.
  • Falling-in-Love Montage: The game's loading screen images depict key moments of Kay and Yu spending time together and growing closer before they ran away from the Apiary.
  • Fantastic Drug: Hygrocybe rubescens, a hallucinogenic mushroom used during Matchmaking ceremonies in the Apiary. The protagonists can harvest a sample from Oink after enough interactions with him.
  • Fictional Board Game: Alpha Zooloolum, a game that Kay played with the other kids in his foster home, but never managed to finish a full session of.
  • Final Dungeon Preview: The volcano where Source's flow bridge originates is located on the islet Wakiri in the Lethal Lava Land zone, but out of reach until you complete the repairs on the Nest.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: Erena, the president of ExaNova and Yu's mother, mentions to the protagonists that a prominent Council member, Lord Ozias, is infuriated about them fleeing the Apiary. Kay is confused as to why he would care so much about the two of them, but Yu is visibly flustered and all too eager to change the subject. It's revealed in the very next scene that Ozias was chosen to be her mate.
  • Foreshadowing: When discussing his relationship with Erena, Kay mentions that she always spoke oddly to him, as if "she owed him something". This is because Kay's parents were victims of Source's destruction on account of ExaNova's negligence.
  • Future Slang: "Bloot" is a profanity used similarly to the F-bomb, while "boron" is used to describe idiotic people or things.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: When Yu runs off on her own and takes the radar with her, the player, as Kay, is unable to view the in-game radar overlay. The map on the pause screen, however, is still present. This could be explained with Kay being stuck with the equivalent of an old paper map while Yu ran off with the couple's handheld GPS nav system - it gets you to your destination, but doesn't update automatically and is much more unwieldy.
  • Gay Option: The Couples Update allows for Kay and Yu to be played as a same-sex male or female couple.
  • Ghost Planet: The protagonists realize Source is one of these when they begin to discover abandoned settlements and scientific facilities.
  • Giant Flyer: Yu and Kay meet a Katefulai, an insectoid flyer, that they name Birble and can use for fast travel to previously cleared Islets. Shortly afterwards, they discover another individual of the same species who transports them to an otherwise inaccessible set of islets in the swamp region of Source.
  • The Goomba: Salamashes and Flowabags, the former of which serve as a combat tutorial.
  • Gotta Catch Them All: The spare parts necessary to repair the Nest and access the endgame are the crucial type, while the various collectibles that can be found in abandoned buildings throughout the world are optional.
  • Gratuitous Japanese: Source's islets have quasi-Japanese syllabic names, going with the game's Animesque aesthetic. Many of the world's creatures also have Japanesque or Engrish-sounding names, such as Flowabag ("flower bug"), Toriko ("bird child"), Bigufurai ("big fry"), Tamaju, Shifuta ("death lid"), Daiko ("radish"), Sukopi ("scorpion"), and Bodigado ("bodyguard"). Likewise, one of the soundtrack pieces is titled "Kusa Makura", which translates to "grass pillow".
  • Group Picture Ending: A selfie of the main couple is displayed after the closing credits.
  • Head Pet: Remaining idle for long enough in an elevated area will invite a bird to perch on one of the protagonists' heads.
  • Healing Hands:
    • Torikos can heal themselves and other creatures during combat.
    • The Heliga, once de-rusted, can grant Kay and Yu with a health bonus whenever approached.
  • Hyperactive Metabolism: Justified. Food items that the couple can consume to regain health contain a healing ingredient: rattlepeppers, helicaps, or loofacrids.
  • Instakill Mook: Hornets are armed with Flow Jammers that instantly immobilize their target. If this happens to both Yu and Kay at the same time, or one gets paralyzed while the other is knocked out, it's a Non Standard Game Over.
  • Involuntary Group Split: An earthquake fracturing a certain islet splits Kay and Yu apart and forces them to go the long way around to reunite with each other. Right as they're ready to forgive each other for getting into a heated argument and voluntarily splitting, no less.
  • It Came from the Fridge: One of the abandoned houses on Source has a fridge of years-old rotten food. Upon seeing something move in the fridge, Yu and Kay decide to "abort mission".
  • Item Crafting: Mixing and matching ingredients is a key part of gameplay. The game starts with only the ability to cook, but the demo ends before any more options open up. Later on the duo gain the ability to craft medicine and flow capsules, which provide powerful bonuses or attacks during combat, but have to be crafted individually.
  • It's the Principle of the Thing: When looking into a way of upgrading their anti-gravity boots, Yu complains at length about how the boots have been tampered with by their previous owners, so that they are not up to standard. She then manages to install the upgrade mere few seconds later. Kay asks her if the boots not been up to standard was really that bad, if she could fix the problem so quickly, but she insists that its more about the principle of keeping just one standard.
  • Kamehame Hadouken: The Duo Blast is a two-person version of this.
  • King Mook: A few bosses are overlords to recurring mooks, such as Nokk (Minokk), Babulardo (Babulido), Beruberu (Fulare), and Bodigado (Toriko).
  • Kung Fu-Proof Mook: Enemies with a green Battle Aura are only vulnerable to Impact attacks, those with a red aura can only be hit with Blast, Hornets have to be put down with a Duo Overload once their HP is depleted, some bosses require the use of Duo attacks to deal more than Scratch Damage on them, and others are only vulnerable for a brief window after attacking or being hit with a specific attack.
  • Last Episode Theme Reprise: The main menu theme, "The Beginning of Something", has an undoubtedly epic reprise as "Until The End of Time" during the Very Definitely Final Dungeon sequence.
  • Last-Second Ending Choice: Downplayed. The ending is determined by a single choice in the climax, and the general sequence of events is constant in both endings, but the matter of which protagonist is disfigured by rust in the "Don't Look Back" ending is dependent on which of them has less Confidence.
  • Lethal Lava Land: The last few islets have a volcanic Mordor aesthetic, and the Very Definitely Final Dungeon is set in the volcano itself.
  • Life Drain: The Babulardo can drain an opponent's health by licking them.
  • Look on My Works, Ye Mighty, and Despair: The Mega-Corp ExaNova colonized Source as an "external colony" of the Apiary to test an experimental power planet that extracted Flow from the planet's core and condensed it for easier transport. Due to ExaNova cutting corners and neglecting to replace a critical part, the plant failed catastrophically, fracturing the planet's surface into floating islets and corrupting much of the local fauna with a coating of rust. Most of the human colonists were evacuated, though a significant number were not so lucky.
  • Love Is a Crime: When it's outside of pairs decided by the Matchmaker. They can and will resort to brainwashing to uphold their judgement.
  • Mega-Corp: ExaNova, the Apiary's most influential research corporation. Yu is the daughter of the current president, and Kay formerly worked for them as a biologist. The company was responsible for the colonization of Source, as well as its eventual destruction via negligence towards maintaining the facilities it set up to extract the planet's flow.
  • Miniboss: Hornets act like this, being powerful enemies with very dangerous abilities that can tank a ton of damage and require some unique mechanics to take down permanently. They're not as strong as actual bosses, but not by much. Also, the fact that there's up to half a dozen encounters with them might put them in Recurring Boss territory as well.
  • Minimalist Cast: Kay and Yu are the sole focus for most of the story, with two other characters only making brief one-time appearances.
  • Moment Killer: At the beginning of the game, Kay and Yu are about to have fun on the table when the power goes out.
    Kay: Lights off? I'm fine with that.
    Yu: No, that wasn't me.
  • Mordor: The final set of islets is a volcanic hellscape with perpetually hazy red skies, almost entirely coated in Rust, and bereft of plant life. The Optional Boss Lorudo that resides in this area even has a cyclopic eye resembling the Eye of Sauron.
  • Multiple Endings:
    • "Don't Look Back": If they both agree to continue, Yu and Kay are able to sever the flow bridge at the heart of Source, cutting it off from space travel for good, and ensuring that the Apiary and Lord Ozias will never be able to bother them again. However, this also means they'll be stuck on Source for the rest of their lives, a situation made all the worse by the fact that severing the flow bridge set Source adrift from the gravitational pull of its star. Additionally, one of them is rendered heavily burnt and covered in rust shards, and likely to develop health problems in the future.
    • "Second Thoughts": If they both decide not to take the risk, Yu and Kay renege on their goal to sever the flow bridge at the heart of Source. They spend their last days together happily, but eventually, Lord Ozias is able to recapture them. The Nest is shown to have been destroyed in the process and left a smoldering wreck on Source. Kay is imprisoned while Yu undergoes recalibration to erase her memories, with Kay likely following suit. Both of them go on to live tranquil lives with their chosen mates, Kay with an unnamed woman and Yu with Ozias, but forever unaware of the time they spent on Source and of each other.
  • Mythology Gag: "Space Caress", the tune that Yu manages to learn on her makeshift guitar, is an acoustic cover of "22:39", an earlier song by Danger.
  • New World Tease: The first accessible path to Chogeko drops you in a Disconnected Side Area; to reach the rest of the islet, you have a much longer ways to go, which includes facing an Inescapable Ambush by Hornets.
  • Non Standard Game Over: If Kay and Yu are both incapacitated while battling Hornets, they are captured and sent back to the Apiary.
  • Oh, Crap!: At one point the couple find a canyon full of destroyed Hornets, and it turns out that the creature that did them in isn't far.
    Kay: I think I just found a clue about our mysterious benefactor.
    Yu: What is it?
    Kay: An antler. At least that's what it looks like.
    Yu: So what does it tell us about the critter that we're dealing with?
    Kay: (turning around) I would say... tall, four legs, four wings, four eyes, and kind of an angry look on its face.
    Yu: You got that from just this antler?
    Kay: No... it's right there.
  • Ominous Visual Glitch: Screen tearing and jitters herald the arrival of the Beruberu.
  • Pardon My Klingon: The in-universe swear word "bloot" is used in place of actual curse words, such as "what the bloot?!" or "this blooting thing".
  • Planetary Core Manipulation: Source's destruction was caused by the fracturing of a drill which was built to harvest flow straight from its core.
  • Playable Epilogue: The climax of the "Don't Look Back" ending is followed by an extra segment where the protagonists try out a new flower-planting upgrade for their anti-gravity boots and come to terms with the consequences of destroying the planet's flow bridge.
  • Player Headquarters: The Nest, Yu's personal spacecraft.
  • Playground Song: The Hornet Song, which Kay picked up during his foster home years.
    Hornet, hornet, you're a gas
    We'll rip off your wings and stick them up your...
  • Plot Tunnel: After their first (in-game) night on Source, Yu and Kay are cut off from the Nest by a tremor splitting the islet Guyame in two, forcing them to find an alternate route back via flow bridges between several nearby Islets. Later on, after the vidchat with Yu's mom and an argument, Yu runs off, and the player controls the two separately until they are able to get back together, putting all sidequests, crafting and exploration on hold for the time being. The player is also unable to summon Birble at this time.
  • Point of No Return: When Kay and Yu fully repair the Nest and fly it to the peak of the volcano that serves as the Final Dungeon. Fortunately, a patch to the game has it make a backup save at this point.
  • Pop-Star Composer: The soundtrack was produced by Danger, who was also featured in The Game Bakers' previous game, Furi.
  • Portal Network: Flow bridges are the standard method of interplanetary travel. Kay and Yu are shocked to discover the planet has much smaller flow bridges that link the floating islands.
  • Post-End Game Content: Completing the game unlocks two new outfits for the protagonists and a music player.
  • Pre-existing Encounters: Mook mobs and many of the bosses visibly wander or lie in wait until approached or they catch sight of the protagonists.
  • Reprise Medley: The finale piece, "Until The End of Time", while chiefly a Triumphant Last Level Theme Reprise of "The Beginning of Something", also incorporates motifs from "Source", "Blooting Hornets", "Kusa Makura", and "Home".
  • Resting Recovery: Having the couple sleep inside the Nest heals them for 20 HP each. If they sleep at a camp site they'll recover 10 HP instead.
  • Resurrect the Wreck: Finding spare parts to repair the Nest is the couple's primary concern, especially since the ship is necessary for them to reach and destroy the interplanetary flow bridge.
  • Roaming Enemy: Hornets appear both as Type 4 scripted encounters and Type 1 wanderers. The hyper rust-carrying boss Lorudo normally wanders the Lethal Lava Land islet Wakiri (the only one that can't be cleared of rust), but can also randomly show up on any rust-covered islet at night.
  • Robot Soldier: The Hornets, which seem to serve as the Apiary's main fighting force.
  • Sadistic Choice: The endgame forces Yu and Kay to choose between severing the interplanetary flow bridge, marooning themselves on Source forever, in addition to setting the planet adrift from its orbit and one of the couple being disfigured by a rust explosion, or allowing the Apiary to recapture the couple and brainwash them into accepting arranged marriages.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Kay and Yu can decide to try and flee from the first squad of Hornets that confronts them on Source. They don't get far.
  • Settling the Frontier: A two-person colonization of Source serves as the backdrop of the story, though it turns out that the Apiary attempted to settle the planet before them for reasons that only become clear later on.
  • Shattered World: The crust of the planet Source was shattered into floating islets by the breakdown and explosion of the colony's experimental power plant, leading ExaNova and the Apiary to abandon the planet.
  • Songs in the Key of Panic: Whenever Hornets are active on an islet, their leitmotif, appropriately named "Blooting Hornets" on the OST, overrides both the background and battle music.
  • Sorting Algorithm of Threatening Geography: The game takes place in Green Hill Zone for most of the first act, briefly detours to Bubblegloop Swamp, then heads to Shifting Sand Land in the southern section of the map, followed by Lethal Lava Land Mordor for the Very Definitely Final Dungeon.
  • Stalked by the Bell: The superboss Beruberu appears if Yu and Kay spend more than a couple days away from the Nest. If you aren't sufficiently leveled up, it is best to avoid it.
  • Status Buff: Flow capsules can provide one-time boosts to the damage output of blast and impact attacks, reduce the time needed for combat commands to charge up, or restore health mid-fight.
  • Status Effects: A low hunger meter, as well as getting hit by certain attacks from the Babulardo or Katefulai, will slow down the protagonists' command charge speeds.
  • Superboss: The Beruberu only spawns under specific conditions that you're unlikely to fulfill accidentally, which is a good thing because this creature is by far the hardest encounter in the game. Beating it unlocks an achievement, but nothing of actual in-game value, so you aren't missing out on much if you decide to skip it.
  • The Symbiote: Salamashes and Flowabags maintain a commensalistic relationship with Hygrocybe rubescens and flowers, respectively, which use their hosts' movements to spread their offspring.
  • Take Your Time: Ozias' impending arrival serves as a reason for the couple to hurry up and finish repairing the Nest, but there isn't any actual time limit imposed because of it.
  • Theme Music Power-Up: A Triumphant Reprise of the title theme plays starting when Yu and Kay launch the fully repaired Nest and head off towards The Very Definitely Final Dungeon, and continuing though the sequence of severing the flow bridge.
  • Theseus' Ship Paradox: Kay asks Yu if she believes the current Nest is the same as the one she first fixed up as a teenager, given how many of its parts she's had to replace over the years. Yu can direct this question back at him.
    Yu: What about you? Are you still Kay?
    Kay: Huh?
    Yu: Your body cells are constantly renewing aren't they? Ever since you were born, you probably don't have that many cells in common with the Kay from the beginning. Actually, you two may not have a single cell in common. So, are you still Kay?
    Kay: ...
    Yu: (smugly) I'll let you ponder that one.
    (cut to much later; it is now nighttime and Kay still stands in the same spot pondering the implications)
  • Trash the Set: At the beginning of the game, the Nest gets wrecked by an earthquake, and the bulk of the rest of the story focuses on finding spare parts to repair it. In the Second Thoughts ending, it gets destroyed again, by the Apiary's Hornets.
  • Tron Lines: Can be seen on the protagonists' gear and various architecture and equipment found throughout the game, which makes sense given that flow takes the form of glowing blue plasma.
  • Turn-Based Strategy, Real Time Combat: During battles, the player issues turn-based-style battle commands to Yu and Kay (optionally with a second player controlling one of them), but the fights play out in real time.
  • The Unfought: Despite being a looming threat in the latter half of the game Kay and Yu never actually meet Ozias, and aside from sending the odd squad of Hornet Drones the threat never really ratchets up and there's no final boss fight with him or his drones.
  • Unique Enemy:
    • The Rust-corrupted Katefulai on the islet Benadon is the only individual of her species encountered as an enemy, and goes down about as easily as the garden-variety mooks. The fight uses the standard mook Battle Theme Music rather than the boss theme, indicating that she doesn't qualify as a boss.
    • The Dorago preying on the Katefulai's nest on Sosarow is also the only enemy of its kind.
    • The critter that tries to steal Kay's pants is another "enemy" that's one of a kind, in a non-aggressive example.
    • When Oink gets re-corrupted by hyper rust, he has a different appearance from other hostile Salamashes, but is no more difficult to pacify.
  • Uniformity Exception: Oink is distinguishable from other Salamashes by the pink coloring on his feet.
  • Unusual Dysphemism: "Let's not start pushing before the panties are pulled down" is apparently a saying on Truth, Kay's home planet, which means "let's not celebrate too early".
  • Verbal Tic Name: The protagonists give names to Oink and Birble based on the sounds they make.
  • Video Game Caring Potential:
    • Many of the creatures roaming the world can be petted or scratched if they're not corrupted by rust. Oink in particular can provide you with extra collectibles if you treat him to this enough times.
    • If you bait Birble with creamberry fondue, a particularly exquisite dish, she'll reward you by transporting you to an islet brimming with creamberries and other food items.
  • Walk into Mordor: The Very Definitely Final Dungeon, appropriately set in Mordor, can only be reached by flying the Nest there once it is fully repaired, and once there, Yu and Kay have to proceed on foot to reach and sever Source's flow bridge.
  • Warmup Boss: The first boss fight, against the Bigufurai, introduces Duo attacks, which are the only way to significantly weaken it. Likewise, the second boss, Nokk, has an armored weak point that is only briefly exposed after it attacks, so one Player Character must defend with the Deflector Shields while the other readies an attack for this moment. Unlike most later bosses, neither of these are accompanied by flunkies.
  • Warp Whistle: The Katefulai that Yu and Kay name Birble, who is summoned with food items at Catilla spirata patches, and transports the couple to any Islet that has been cleared of rust. Other Katefulai appear on a select few islets to provide the same service, and the first one, initially encountered as a Unique Enemy on Benadon, is at first the only means of transport to the swamp region.
  • Watching Troy Burn: The islet where Yu and Kay have stationed the Nest is fractured in two by an earthquake, causing the Nest to roll downhill and lose several vital parts as the couple helplessly watch.
  • Winged Unicorn: The alicorn Optional Boss called the Heliga. The achievement for beating it is, appropriately, "My little pony".
  • Wizard Needs Food Badly: The protagonists have a shared hunger meter. Going for too long without letting them eat causes them to start complaining about being hungry and has adverse effects on combat. In particular, actions will take longer to charge up, and the timing window for dual attacks becomes smaller.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: The "Don't Look Back" ending sees Kay and Yu destroying the flow bridge connecting Source to the neighboring planets, cutting off their only possible means of returning to the Apiary.