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Video Game / Hiveswap

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Hiveswap is a Video Game developed by What Pumpkin and written by Andrew Hussie and Cohen Edenfield. Set in the Homestuck universe, the game is about a fourteen-year-old girl named Joey Claire and her brother, Jude Harley, as well as several Alternian kids.

Joey is playing with her dog, Tesseract, in the yard one day, when her house is suddenly attacked by terrible monsters. Joey escapes inside, climbing up to the attic, and her brother hides in their tree house. In the attic, Joey finds a strange machine that switches her with an alien kid named Dammek. Joey finds herself on Dammek's home planet, Alternia, a dangerous, dystopian Empire that is teetering on the brink of civil war.

More information about the game can be found here and on the official website.

A trailer was released on October 6th, 2016, a second was released on April 13, 2017, with a tentative release date, after the game didn't release in January as said in the first trailer.

Hiveswap: ACT 1 was released on September 14th, 2017. ACT 2 was supposed to have a Spring 2018 release. During the prerelease period, new trolls were unveiled via a "Troll Call", which can be viewed here. The developers have also confirmed that a sister game, called Hauntswitch, will be released after Hiveswap's done, and is set to show the story from Dammek's point of view as he is sent to Earth. Hiveswap Friendship Simulator, a Visual Novel-type game focusing on the characters introduced in the Troll Call, was announced for release on April 13, 2018. It ended in December 2018. ACT 2 was finally released on November 25th, 2020. ACT 3 was announced in July 2022, with no definite release date given.

This game provides examples of:

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    Act 1: Kansas City Shuffle 

  • Adorable Evil Minions: The monsters shown in the beginning are kind of cute, in an Ugly Cute way.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: In the beginning of the game, monsters overrun the Half-Harley Manor.
  • Alpha Bitch: The Heiress is shaping up to be this, considering she stole Cridea’s #LOLSHRIMP meme and claimed it as her own, on top of being the descendant of Her Imperious Bitchiness herself. And her reason for destroying the neighborhood Xefros and Dammek live in and slaughtering its residents? No, not to crush the Rebellion, it was to get a good backdrop for a selfie.
  • American Kirby Is Hardcore: Taken to extremes by Joey's poster for BLOCK HUSTLE, which depicts a block wearing a trenchcoat and holding a gun; she comments that she could only find the American version of the poster.
  • Anachronism Stew: Alternia has television and internet and guns, but some characters still use bows and swords.
  • Androcles' Lion: Joey is initially terrified of Dammek's lusus, a huge cat-like beast with deer's antlers, which she runs from every chance she gets. After deducing the creature is following her because it's wounded, not aggressive, she uses a vet's kit to remove a thorn from its paw. In return, the lusus allows Joey to ride on its back.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Jude appears like this at times towards Joey, who gets exasperated with his bizarre, nerdy obsessions and frequent paranoia. However, he and Joey do seem to be quite close.
  • Apologises a Lot: Xefros, to the point that Joey asks him to stop because it's kind of annoying... for which he apologizes.
  • Artifact Domination: The Heirloom Key is largely inanimate, but it causes Joey to be more forgetful or know things she thinks she shouldn't know when she tries to use it on anything. This effect gets more powerful the closer she brings it to the portal, culminating with a compulsion to use the key to activate it.
  • Ascended Extra: Trollkind as a whole, really. Even the Ancestors in Homestuck acted as mostly just exposition and small amounts of lore building, meaning trolls outside the main twelve were mostly just cannon fodder for Vriska's lusus or barely mentioned. Now, interacting with the variety of Alternia's population is a plot point.
  • Ascended Meme: Pre-release the fans had been in a constant debate over whether Xefros and Dammek's band was spelled "Grubbels" or "Grubbles" due to contrasting art on the OST. In-game, one of the things Joey can find is a note by Dammek angrily trying to pin down how to actually spell it. The game also has two Steam trading cards depicting the band, each named with a different spelling of the band name.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Five months prior to the events of the game, Joey laments in her diary that she needs a vacation from humanity. She sure gets one!
  • Bloodless Carnage: Despite buckets of the stuff being spilled in Homestuck (hell, blood showing was sometimes used as a plot point), it seems to be played straight here, considering Xefros outright saying he's passing out from blood loss when crushed by rubble, but when Joey finds him, all he has are a few bruises.
  • Brother–Sister Team: Joey and Jude work together in the first half of the game against the monsters in their home. They bicker frequently but it’s obvious that they do care for each other’s wellbeing.
  • But Thou Must!: Not only do the Dialogue Tree entries not influence the plot, often the playable character will take them in the same direction regardless of what you choose, which means you don't get to choose their personality either. The last choice you can make in Act 1 is literally that between "no!", "No!" and "NO!".
  • Crapsack World: Alternia, once again. It’s examined in more detail here than in Homestuck.
  • Cypher Language: The Alternian language from Homestuck returns, but with a new alphabet based loosely on the original comic's "upside-down Daedric" to avoid copyright issues.
  • Death by Newbery Medal: Referenced by Joey, who is not too fond of the trope, when examining her bookshelf.
  • Death of a Child: Alternia is still a Crapsack World populated by children who are culled and cull each other on a regular basis. Joey can also die from being swallowed whole by monsters in a rare bad ending.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: Joey shows shades of this when she's thrown by the fact that Xefros is a boy with a crush on a boy (for context, the events of this game take place during The '90s on Earth), though to her credit she does get over it quickly. The rest of Alternian society proves somewhat harder to swallow.
  • Developer's Foresight:
    • You can use almost any item you acquire on other items, as well as interactable objects you find in each location. This will result in amusing descriptions, and even a few achievements if you're playing on Steam.
    • If you go to the trophy room before getting the power back on, you get a really dark, creepy scene where Joey can't see anything in the room but can hear something breathing. Then, once you leave, something crashes into the door from the other side, blocking it. If you get the batteries from the kitchen first, something slams into the door from the other side and blocks it before Joey can even go in.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Alternia punishes almost everything with death, from refusing to fulfill one's career assigned in infancy to dreaming about defacing the Heiress' portrait. We know what subjugs can do from Homestuck; the latter's not an exaggeration.
  • Domestic Abuser: Dammek is implied to be one towards Xefros, considering that pale romance is supposed to be a more or less equal relationship where partners stabilize and protect each other. Instead he literally treats his moirail like a butler and subordinate; taking his stuff, and constantly "testing" him.
  • Doomed by Canon:
    • Even leaving out the fact that as far as we know everybody will be wiped out by SBURB and The Vast Glub (provided they even live that long), Trizza is more immediately doomed considering the fact that Gl'bgolyb does not allow two adult Fuschiabloods to be alive at the same time - and Trizza is not too far from adulthood. Trizza probably only has about a sweep or less left to live. Even then, it'll probably only be a while until Feferi enters the picture.
    • The rebellion headed by Dammek is destined to fail, due to Alternia in Homestuck still discriminating by blood. See Foregone Conclusion.
  • Earn Your Bad Ending: More like "earn your game over", but during the scene where Joey is chased up to the attic, using the wrong item on the door, switching to Jude, or generally just screwing around too long will cause Joey to be caught by the monsters and eaten.
  • Evil Matriarch: The Condesce, again. Even though she is the Heiress’s ancestor, she would not hesitate to kill her if she had the chance. The current heiress herself also counts.
  • The Empire: The troll empire as a whole ruthlessly conquers several alien civilizations, but on a smaller scale, Trizza is treating Alternia, the troll homeworld and breeding ground, like her own.
  • The Empress: Her Imperious Condescension and Trizza Tethis.
  • Fantastic Caste System: Returning from Homestuck is the troll hemospectrum. The castes are based on their blood color, which are one of twelve different shades based on colors of the rainbow (Burgundy, Bronze, Gold, Lime, Olive, Jade, Teal, Cerulean, Indigo, Purple, Violet, and Fuchsia), with burgundy being low peasantry and fuchsia being high royalty.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: Jude and Joey have shades of this, with Jude as the foolish sibling and Joey as the responsible sibling.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Considering that Alternia in Homestuck still discriminates by blood, there's only so many things the rebellion is going to affect, and the enforcement of the spectrum probably isn't one of them. Possibly a case of History Repeats.
  • Gaiden Game: The game is designed to work independently of Homestuck's plot, so non-fans can jump in and still understand the story. Characters from Homestuck proper are mentioned and discussed, but the main Hiveswap cast is as of yet wholly original.
  • Garage Band: Xefros and Dammek are in one called the Grubbles (or Grubbels). The former acts as the vocalist laying down pro-rebellion raps with an auto tuned microphone, while the latter provides instrumentals and backup singing.
  • Gender-Blender Name: Joey is a girl despite having a typically male name.
  • God Save Us from the Queen!: The current Alternian heiress is threatening people who don't laugh at her jokes with death.
  • Gold Tooth of Wealth: The Unnamed Purple Troll has a golden tooth, alongside all the other gold adorning him as a highblood.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: Unlike in Homestuck itself, almost nothing more than 'crap' is uttered; Joey often makes use of 'heck', 'jeez', and 'gosh, reflecting the fact that she’s a kid growing up in the 90’s. Strangely averted when Joey calls Byers 'The toughest son of a bitch she's ever met'.
  • High-Tech Hexagons: The primary detail of anything pertaining to Alternia. The interface details (when they aren't captchalogue cards), the Rebelgram background, the background for Troll Call entries and even compact disks are all hexagons. Interestingly, Alternia appears to use advanced bio-technology.
  • Hurricane of Puns: Nearly all Strife text involves puns related to an item you use or the method of dealing with the enemy.
  • Improvised Weapon: Joey uses a simple flashlight as a weapon. She is also an Improbable Weapon user, as she apparently uses her dancing talents to get out of scrapes as well. She uses her dancing skills to escape danger, and her flashlight to distract or provoke enemies.
  • La Résistance: Alternia is once again on the brink of civil war, with one character being described as a rebel leader.
  • Letting the Air out of the Band: Frequently used for both comedic and dramatic effect.
  • Mission Control: Jude acts one for Joey at the start of the game, communicating with her over walkie-talkies. He guides her on what to do against the monster invasion, with the primary goal of getting her to the attic where she would be safe from them.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: Dammek's Lusus is a deer crossed with a big cat, and Joey refers to it as a "Deercat."
  • Mundane Made Awesome: There's an "Item Get!"-type scene for acquiring a stale cracker from the kitchen cabinet.
  • Mythology Gag: Endless ones to Homestuck. They have their own page.
  • Princesses Prefer Pink: Trizza, although it's a Justified Trope with fuchsia being the color of her royal blood.
  • Promotion to Parent: Both Joey and Roxynote  seem to have gotten some of this with Pa barely ever being around. Joey worries for her brother on his behalf, but can’t help getting into standard sibling squabbles with him. Roxy however, as noted by Joey, is frequently drunk while babysitting and neglects some of the more basic duties like housekeeping and keeping the fridge stocked.
  • Rainbowspeak: Not usually, but when Joey mentions "The Man" speaking abstractly, her text color changes to green with a white 'a'.
  • Royal Brat: Trizza, dear lord.
  • Save Both Worlds: Per the pre-release material, there is a superweapon threatening both Earth and Alternia. It is yet to crop up, though Dammek thought it was the portals.
  • Scenery Porn: Jeez Louise does it have gorgeous backgrounds (and character art and everything).
  • Shared Universe: With Homestuck.
  • Shout-Out: Hiveswap is so heavily steeped in '90s references that they get their own page.
  • Take That!: Joey has quite a few games, which she proceeds to list, starting with Bubsy... And then gets queasy immediately after mentioning the game and wants to lie down afterward.
  • Taxidermy Is Creepy: As per Harley tradition, the mansion is lined with stuffed animals. (And mummies.) The animal-loving Joey is understandably freaked out by their presence.
  • Teenage Wasteland: Alternia, as in Homestuck, is populated solely by troll children and teenagers, as once they reach adulthood they are sent off-planet (to lessen the risk of rebellion).
  • Urban Segregation: Alternia is separated by blood color. The lower castes live in much smaller houses than the upper-castes. Xefros’ neighbourhood, Outglut, is largely populated by lowbloods.
  • Wham Shot:
    • Joey and Xefros are riding off on Dammek's lusus to another member of the resistance. They've escaped the destruction of Xefros' neighborhood and seemed to have earned each other's friendship, to which Joey happily decides to take a photo of the two of them to commemorate. Hey, what's that battleship in the background?
    • Earlier than that, we have the upgrade to Xefros' communication device that he receives by Sendificator...which, based on the logo and company name, was apparently created by Doc Scratch. Joey and Xefros' adventure just got a whole lot more interesting.

    Act 2: Dead Freight 
  • Accidental Murder: Xefros pushes Baizli off the train before he can harm Joey, and admits that it was his first time killing someone. This ultimately counts for Marvus's game, and he lets Xefros and Joey pass through the purple car.
  • Achievement Mockery: The Steam version has achievements that involve pressing the hint button multiple times, and doing things that result in a Game Over (with one achievement involving you having to get into every possible scenario where that happens on a single playthrough). It's even lampshaded with an achievement called "Achievement Hunter", which is acquired by constantly pressing the hint button right before the final step of the game until the achievement is triggered.
  • All for Nothing: Joey and Xefros undergo multiple trials and tribulations throughout the game: having the first station blown up right in front of them, searching for ways to blend in with the Trolls, traversing through the dangerous Alternian wilderness, puzzling and fighting their way through multiple train cars filled with highbloods and violence, until they finally reach their goal to reroute the tracks to get there faster. And then the train gets attacked by a monster and the tracks collapse into the ocean while Xefros and Joey are in between cars.
  • Ambidextrous Sprite: While this applies to the whole game, it's more obvious in Act 2 as there are more characters with asymmetrical aspects in their designs, such as mismatched horns and/or eyes. It's hard to tell which direction is correct for them, because this is even shown in cutscenes (although it is easier to tell if their signs are not symmetrical).
    • In particular, Marvus' sprites in the trial have his horns facing a different direction to those used in Friendsim. Ardata's Third Eye is also shown to be on the left side of her face, while in Friendsim it was on the right side; while this could be down to the way her sprite is facing, the extra eye is still on the left during a cutscene.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: Getting a Game Over will take you back to shortly before it happens rather than your last save. The game also autosaves a lot, allowing you to make use of Save Scumming to get certain achievements that can't be gotten on the same playthrough, so there are only a few where you'll have to replay the entire game.
    • Pressing the hint button enough times during the trial segment will have Tyzias straight up show you when to press and which evidence to present.
  • Art Shift: The trial segment in the Jade/Teal car has the characters involved drawn in a different art style that is more suitable for a visual novel.
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Konyyl and Azdaja are first seen arguing when Joey and Xefros enter the Gold/Olive car. Attempting to intervene results in Azdaja challenging them to a duel, which Xefros manages to win. The couple then apologize to each other and share a hug.
  • Bait-and-Switch: The game begins with Joey and Xefros arriving at a train station, and you think that's where they're going to get the train. They're about to go inside and ask the troll selling tickets to finish his lunch, only for drones to appear and blow up the place. Dammek's lusus takes them to safety, where they have to find their way to another train station instead.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: More blood is shown in this act than in Act 1, and we also get to see Baizli's dead body after he gets impaled on some spikes.
  • Cliffhanger: After finally hijacking the train to make it to Jeevik Week early, the act ends with the train destroyed by a winged monster attacking the train, specifically between the Rust/Bronze and Gold/Olive cars. It ends with a shot of the now destroyed train, everyone's fates unknown.
  • Cast of Snowflakes: Even aside from the Trolls introduced in the Troll Call/Friendsim, each and every background Troll in the low to midblood train cars has a distinct design and animation which gives them each their own unique look and personality.
  • Clear Their Name: The main point of the Jadeblood trial. Starring Joey as the lead defense (aided by Tyzias) trying to prove that Daraya didn't commit the theft she was accused of. Even if Daraya herself is less than caring about it being done.
  • Convicted by Public Opinion: During the trial, Lynera can be found guilty by acting the most guilty despite there being no real evidence pointing to them. They end up being dragged away to Marvus's car, with the rest of the Jadebloods waving goodbye.
  • Cool Train: Much of the Act takes place on a massive train that holds members of every bloodcaste except Fuchsia. There are two bloodtypes for each train; Rust/Bronze, Gold/Olive, Jade/Teal, Blue/Indigo, and Purple/Violet. It's destroyed at the end of the act by a monster.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • At least the second half of it. After failing to so much as make Azdaja flinch with any of his hits or attempts at using psychic powers, Xefros tanks Azdaja's next attack and utterly trounces Azdaja into the floor after the latter lands a hit that knocks Joey to the ground.
    • The "fight" against Nihkee is a cutscene that ends in her victory. She punches Joey once and she goes down. She still lets them pass as she was throughly amused.
  • Darker and Edgier: At least in comparison to the first act of the game, half of which was Joey and Jude, two human children growing up in the 90s, doing largely nonviolent acts while trying to evade death by monster, with the worst being said was calling a pigeon a "son of a bitch" in flavortext, and the most potentially destructive act being committed by a protagonist was Jude accidentally setting a leaf pile on fire with a flare gun. Come Act 2, we've got our protagonists engaging in actual physical fights, having teenaged characters cuss each other out like sailors, make multiple dirty jokes and innuendos, and have one of our protagonists murder another character by pushing them off a moving train. This game goes to show just how much higher the stakes are on Alternia. There are also many more chances of getting a Game Over, unlike the single instance in Act 1.
  • Deadly Game: While in the purple car, to make it to the engine room, Marvus forces Joey to play a game where she has to kill random trolls on the train based on the chosen blood caste. It goes Gold, Teal, and then Purple. She manages to avoid killing the first two trolls Marvus rolls. But when she needs to kill a Purpleblood, Baizli tries to kill her first, only for Xefros to push Baizli off the train and onto the spikes below. It counts and Marvus lets them pass.
  • Declaration of Protection: Xefros declares that he'll protect Joey from harm when Azdaja challenges her to a duel. He later keeps his word by pushing Baizli to his death.
  • Distressed Dude: When Xefros is taken hostage by Chahut and the rest of the Purplebloods, and is thrown around like a ragdoll for emphasis, Joey spends the remaining portion of the segment alone, running back and forth throughout the train trying to save him.
  • Earn Your Bad Ending: There are more moments where you can end up getting a Game Over than in Act 1, and some are harder to achieve than others (and in some cases rely on you having brought the batteries from Act 1 with you). There's even achievements for them, as well as an achievement for getting every possible Game Over in a single playthrough.
  • Energy Absorption: Folykl's whole deal thanks to her voidrot. She needs to siphon off excess psionic energy from Kuprum (or any other Troll with psychic powers) in order to live, as she doesn't produce any herself. If Kuprum becomes unavailable to siphon energy off of temporarily, she'll hop onto the nearest Troll with psionics until she can find him again. Such as when Joey and Xefros needed Kuprum to charge Mallek's battery so he could power his devices.
    • Comes into more practical use when needing to break up Azdaja and Konyyl's fight. With Folykl running half the distraction by leaping onto Azdaja's back and draining his psionic energy. Though he recovers quickly and throws her off with an overload of said energy.
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: Xefros comes to the realization that Dammek is a pretty shitty moirail after passing the Jade/Teal car with a little nudging from Joey.
    Xefros: oh
  • Extreme Speculative Stratification: In the most visual example of the stratification between the castes thus far, each successive train car in Act 2 gets progressively fancier and fancier, just to show how great the social and wealth divide is between the castes.
    • The Burgundy and Bronze car is positively filthy and vastly overcrowded, to the point Joey and Xefros are unable to get themselves a seat, and other Trolls in the car can be seen crowded together on the seats, or even resorting to other options like standing, sitting on the floor, or even hanging out in the overhead luggage net. The one bathroom in the car is filthy, and it's mentioned cleaning drones rarely make their way back to clean it.
    • The Gold and Olive car is at the very least cleaner, although clearly not as fancy. Here Trolls aren't crowded together like sardines and each have their own seat, it looks much cleaner than the preceding car, and the car's bathroom doesn't look like an outhouse toilet.
    • The Jade and Teal Car looks more like a lounge or a comfortable sitting area, with long sideways benches which allow all of them to have space between them even when they're sitting together. Lockers are also present for privacy and security of storing one's belongings.
    • The Cerulean and Indigo car is much more spacious than any car before it, with the car itself having two floors connected by an elevator, one for Ceruleans at the bottom and one for Indigos at the top. The lower floor looks like a nice restaurant and apparently has a lot of nice food available, while the upper floor has a full-on living room area with a fireplace, shelves of books, a fur rug, and fine art on the walls. Both floors even have private bedrooms for all of their occupants, and each floor barely even has three to four Trolls occupying it.
    • The Purple car is the only major exception to any sort of fanciness increase, but given what the Purple Bloods are prone to engaging in, and the fact that the whole car appears to have been made into some form of church for them, they clearly care more about their space being suited for them (and gut-droppingly terriying for everyone else) than it looking nice.
  • Fetch Quest: A good number of the puzzles encountered by Joey involves running around the train, following requests from certain Trolls and trying to find which other Trolls she might be able to request items or favors of in order to get what she eneds.
  • Finishing Each Other's Sentences: Barzum and Baizli. Joey even comments on this, wondering how they manage to do that.
  • For Want Of A Nail: Something as simple as picking up the batteries in Act 1 and acquiring train tickets from both Chixie and Zebruh can potentially save Lynera's life. Assuming she survives the crash at the end.
  • Frame-Up: Performed by Wanshi of all people, when it's revealed that she stole Lynera's diary and forged new entries into it to try and make it look like she committed the crime.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: While all the Jades have a very loose definition of "friendship" amongst themselves, Lynera proves to be the least popular of them all. What with her constantly insulting everyone and hanging off of Bronya like a moss. Oh, and the fact she tried to have someone killed so she could try getting closer to Bronya.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: At first played straight, with the initial shot of Baizli's shadowy body falling onto the spikes below, followed by seeing his bloody mask left behind on the tracks from under the moving train, followed by Joey and Xefros looking on in horror. Then horrifically averted with the following shot of Baizli's dead, headless body with a spike having punched a giant hole in the side of his chest.
  • Gosh Darn It to Heck!: Despite being surrounded by Trolls who throw around words like "cunt" and "slut" like "hellos" and "goodbyes", Joey herself is fairly averse to any cursing. To the point that when quoting other characters, she usually replaces the curse words to more G rated verbage, such as saying "poop" instead of "shit".
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Lynera's ultimate fate in the "Bad End". In trying to get Daraya framed for stealing Fresh Teeth, she only implicated herself by being so outspoken and vocal to the point it would be the easy assumption to think she committed the act herself just to frame Daraya for it. Even if she didn't commit the actual theft, her own insistence and outrage was what kicked off the trial to begin with, leading to her fate of being dragged off into the Clown Car.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: The fate of Baizli when he attempts to murder Joey, only to be pushed off the rails by Xefros.
  • Kangaroo Court: Invoked verbatum by Joey, calling out the whole of the parties present for fighting so hard to convict Daraya without any sort of proof that she actually did anything. Thus enforcing her determination to not lose.
  • Karma Houdini: No matter which ending in the trial you get, the true culprit Lanque gets off scott free. Either Lynera takes the fall and gets taken to the Purpleblood car or Wanshi admits that she altered Lynera's diary to implicate her in the crime on purpose, from which the whole thing is declared a mistrial and no one is found guilty because Marvus got bored. Even in the one possible route where Joey accuses Lanque of the crime after figuring out it must've been him, this causes a Game Over with Lanque leading her into the space between train cars and tossing her out of the moving train, implying that no one ever finds out the truth after she's gone.
  • Locomotive Level: Much of Act 2 focuses on getting onto the train, from whence the rest of the act focuses on solving puzzles and progressing along the length of the train.
  • Miscarriage of Justice: If you end up getting Lynera convicted in the Bad End. Not that anyone besides Joey seems to mind too terribly when it happens.
  • Moving the Goalposts: Zebruh offers his train ticket to Joey and Xefros if they're able to get him Marvus's autograph, then if they get Marvus to listen to his mix tape. They're finally able to get the ticket from him once they convince him to go to Slam or Get Culled tryouts instead of Jeevik Week.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: One of Lynera's reasons for attempting to get Daraya culled for the theft of the book is that she thinks Daraya is into Bronya, and wants to get her out of the way with the stolen book as an excuse to have her killed.
  • Non-Standard Game Over: During the trial recess, if you're able to accuse Lanque, Joey will end up getting thrown off the train by him. The Game Over text is in a different font and in said troll's blood colour, while the music that plays is also different from the regular Game Over music.
  • Not Proven: Tyzias technically had all the evidence and the means through which she could have proven it was Lanque who committed the theft, which she tells Joey later (though not the identity of the culprit). But as she was more interested in proving the point of her trial experiment than actually proving who the guilty party was, and making sure order was kept, she felt no reason to disclose of everything to Joey proper unless she could figure it out for herself.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Joey's troll disguise consists of one of Dammek's hoodies and some fake horns, but she doesn't do anything to make her skin grey. The other trolls don't get suspicious and think it's just due to her being ill. Except for Remele, who posts on her Chittr that she knows Joey is a badly-disguised alien.
  • Permanently Missable Content: There are many achievements that you can miss out on during your first playthrough, and quite a few that cannot be obtained on the same playthrough as others. For example, you can't get the achievement for talking to everyone in the Rust/Bronze car on the same game as the achievement for talking to everyone in the Cerulean/Indigo car, as you will need a ticket from Chixie, Zebruh, or both, meaning that only one of them can be on the train.
    • If you import a save from Act 1 without the batteries, or start a game without importing a save, and if you trade Zebruh or Chixie's ticket and the pogs to Elwurd, then you won't be able to cause a mistrial or accuse Lanque in the Jade/Teal car, as doing those requires trading the batteries and pogs to Tagora for extra evidence.
  • Rule of Three: When visiting the Purpleblood car, Joey is told to kill a troll from a randomly-chosen blood caste three times. The third time actually does result in a troll getting killed.
    • There are three separate achievements on Steam for falling for Ardata's invitation three times.
    • To get past the Cobalt/Indigo car, you will have to do three fetch quests.
  • Schmuck Bait: Ardata keeps trying to invite Joey and Xefros into her train cabin. Should they accept it, she does... something that results in a Game Over. There are even achievements for it. Once you’re looking for a costume for Nihkee’s request, however, Elwurd will step in and keep you from going in.
  • Sudden Anatomy: The Art Shift during the trial gives all the involved characters visible noses and ears.
  • Synchronization: A side effect of the Soleil Twins being literally one mind in two body, as explained by the Friendsim. This comes to be a major kick to the ass when Baizli dies via falling onto a spike and getting decapitated, resulting in Barzum screaming in agony as she both felt her twin's demise and their connection suddenly being severed.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Aside from the above example with Ardata, you can get Joey and Xefros killed by ignoring the warnings that they shouldn't swim in the river, or go into the forest unprotected.
  • Uncertain Doom: The ending has the train attacked and destroyed by a winged monster. At the very least, everyone in the rust/bronze and gold/olive cars are almost certainly dead, with their cars destroyed and sunk in the water.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: While in the Jade/Teal car, the game becomes a reference to Ace Attorney as you try and figure out who destroyed a book. Unlike Ace Attorney, there are multiple endings.
  • The Unreveal: It's not directly revealed who actually stole and ruined the book in the Jade/Teal car. Tyzias knows, but she refuses to tell you. It was Lanque, but accusing him leads to a Game Over.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: One of the ways you can get Chixie to give you her ticket is by telling Zebruh about her protest plan. He'll blackmail her into giving up her ticket by threatening to say bad things about her on social media. The Steam achievement for using this method is even called "Mean".
  • Wham Shot: The third time the wheel is spun in the Deadly Game in the purpleblood car, the colour it lands on is Purple, meaning that Joey won't get away with faking killing someone this time.
  • With Friends Like These...: The cloister Jades are constantly at each others throats, turning on each other for slights and insulting each other like no tomorrow. Not to mention some members having no issue with getting others killed.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: After hijacking the train, the act ends with the train destroyed by a winged monster, negating everything Joey and Xefros did to get to that point.