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Video Game / Here They Lie

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"Tick Tock, 12 o'clock. Time to go to bed."

Here they lie is a launch title horror game for the Playstation V.R. made by a team called "Tangentlemen" in 2016. The story... is difficult to pin down. Gameplay is minimal. Most of it revolves around walking around and collecting photographs, each of which comes with a speech by different people on their views on life. What separates this from other Walking Simulator games like Dear Esther and Firewatch is that there are enemies that can kill you, so there is a stealth element to the game.

The game has you take the role of "Buddy" who just had a discussion (maybe) with his ex-girlfriend, Dana, about the possibility of getting back together, but instead of staying behind to work things out with her, he gets on a train. From then on, he goes on a bizarre journey in a mostly monochrome world with disturbing animal people who don't talk, and the ever-present threat from a burning business man. Over the course of the game, you hear the philosophies and memories of various people, though none of them seem to truly connect to the story. The real story has to be gleaned from the various symbolic events, such as the man whom you free from prison, only for him to lock himself back in and beg to be released again.


Tropes in this game

  • Alien Geometries: There are tunnels that go into the sky, hallways that change when you turn around, as well as a boat ride that takes place inside what is essentially a kaleidoscope.
  • All Just a Dream: Maybe? At the very least, if it is a dream, it's likely not the protagonist's dream. The truth about what is happening is... difficult, to say the least.
  • Anachronism Stew: The world takes elements from The Great Depression and slightly more recent (the 60s or so) things like the televisions and phones. The main character is a white man with a black ex-girlfriend, and while this wasn't completely unheard of in any of those times (particularly the '60s) the racial aspect of the relationship would have been bigger (or, rather, actually existed) rather than being treated as an aside, suggesting a later time like '80s or '90s.
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  • Ax-Crazy: The Yellow Men / Women, and the deer men (minus the bloody, broken one.) The Yellow Men and Women are more "Club crazy" while the Deer Men attack with their hands.
  • Big Brother Is Watching : There are cameras all over the empty city and subway.
  • Black Comedy: How much is intentionally funny is up for debate, but the headless lap dance in the brothel is particularly comedic.
  • But Thou Must!: Trying to save the suicide victims in the theater will eventually result in failure no matter how long you work at it. A slight subversion, however, in that TRYING to fight fate does affect the ending somewhat.
  • Contemplate Our Navels: Frequently in the game lengthy voice clips will play out of nowhere, contemplating the nature of life, love, reality and other similar concepts. What any of this has to do with the actual story is very much an open question.
  • Death Is Cheap: While coming back to life after you die is normal in most video games, sometimes dying can actually move you forward in the game. A stealth/travel portion too difficult? You may very well be put in a respawn room AHEAD of where you were before you died, making death occasionally beneficial.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: With a Splash of Color a la Schindler's List. Other than the sepia tone most of the game takes place in, generally warm colors like Orange, Yellow, and Red are seen in different contexts: Yellow surrounding Dana, showing something good, Orange often being a sign of desolation, and red representing (or just coloring) the fire. There are only two scenes which seem to contain full color: The Kaleidoscope boat ride, and the ending.
  • Fan Disservice: The Deermen and Deerwomen are all naked. They don't have genetalia, but even if they did, they are animalistic, constantly trying to kill you, and covered in filth. To a lesser extent, more to the point of being funny rather than sexy, the brothel features some interesting takes on sex, including a threesome with a static-filled television, a couple back to back and gyrating furiously, and a (dog-faced) woman giving a lap dance to her decapitated boyfriend.
  • Gainax Ending: Though this isn't saying much, considering how strange the game is in whole, the ending seems to be about rescuing Buddy, who is NOT you (but IS you), from the mirror and returning to Earth to start over. Was Earth destroyed? Was it just a fire in a club that killed everyone? Is this about reincarnation? Is this whole thing just a dream that Dana is having to cope with the death of her ex-boyfriend or ex-husband? That's anyone's guess. Only the creators know for sure.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: All of the aggressive figures have eyes that glow before they attack. They don't glow when they are in sentinel mode, however. Glowing eyes means RUN!
  • The Hedonist: The people downtown, particularly in the red-light district. Most of them are obviously strung out, and seem to cater to their every whim, be it sexual or violent. The gold faced women, for example, seem bored until they see someone whose face they can bash (yours, of course). The brothel has this on display, too.
  • Interrupted Suicide: In the theater, if you chose to help. Only temporarily, as they will simply run upstairs and do it again.
  • Man on Fire: There is a recurring dangerous figure who is a man made entirely of fire carrying a flaming briefcase. Fire and charred corpses are a recurring motif in the game in general, suggesting a disaster of some sort involving fire.
  • Surreal Symbolic Heads: Sort of. Most of the other figures you meet in the game, except Dana, the burning man, the charred corpses, and the golden men have animals heads, though they are most likely masks as the deer men appear to be wearing skulls.


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