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Video Game / It's Not Me, It's My Basement

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"Mom and Dad are away. But you're old enough to take care of yourself now, aren't you? You'll be fine, there's no need to worry. You're more than capable of keeping everything under control...right?"
The game's description on the official website

It's Not Me, It's My Basement is an RPG Maker horror game, created by arcadekitten.

Taking place in the small village town of Blackwood, it revolves around Embry Oliver, a non-binary child who has to take care of a monster residing in their basement, after it eats their parents. Embry rarely goes outside, spending all their time feeding the beast and looking over it, and as a result, the townspeople become concerned for the child. Eventually, Dr. D Light, a traveling healer, shows up and takes it upon himself to help the child.

It's available for Windows, macOS and Linux and can be downloaded for free here.

See also Tricks N Treats, Cemetery Mary, and Crowscare, three games in the same universe.

It's Not Me It's My Basement provides examples of:

  • Accidental Murder: Embry indirectly pushes Dr. D. Light down the stairs, leading to him getting eaten by the monster.
  • Adults Are Useless:
    • Zig-zagged with the adults in the market. The stall-owners always give Embry food for free when they ask and even offer to help with their "sick" parents. But they also seem to take Embry's claims that no doctors in town would be able to help their parents and that they don't need any help at face value, even when its obvious they've been wearing the same clothes for days on end and have to beg for food because they have no money to buy it.
    • Subverted with Dr. D. Light. He walks Embry all the way home and even when he realizes they were lying about their parents and that something much more sinister is going on, he doesn't leave but tries his best to help them with whatever they're struggling with.
  • All Just a Dream: Depending on whether you choose to go back to bed or enter the basement in the final night, Embry will have a nightmare about either the monster, taking their form, or the doctor giving them a "The Reason You Suck" Speech about presumably killing Dr. D. Light by accidentally shoving him down the stairs, ending in a horrifying Jump Scare.
  • Ambiguous Situation: Is there actually a monster in the basement? Embry sure seems to believe so and there's no denying that something killed their parents. But we never see the monster (aside from a nightmare sequence in the final night) and Embry has taken care to ensure no one but them ever enters their house, meaning none of the adults have seen the monster either. It seems to eat Dr. D. Light on the fourth day, but, as mentioned in Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane, it's just as likely that it was the fall down the stairs that killed him as opposed to a supernatural entity.
  • Arc Words: "It's fine." or variations thereof. Embry often says it to cheer themself on and convince themself that everything is okay and that they still have it all under control, even as their life slowly falls apart due to the increasing stress of having to care for a dangerous monster all on their own.
  • Big Bad: The monster in the basement who Embry must feed to keep from being eaten like it ate their parents. The conflict is Embry trying to get enough food to satisfy the monster. Though one of the endings heavily implies that the "monster" is in Embry's head.
  • Blatant Lies: Embry repeatedly reassures themselves and everyone around them that they're fine and that they can take care of everything without help. They're very obviously not and they can't. Dr. D. Light is the only person who seems at least partially able to see through Embry's tough facade, but that doesn't end well for him.
  • Break Them by Talking: In one scene, the monster trash-talks Embry, who doesn't take it well...
  • But Thou Must!:
    • Two times the game will give you the choice to give the monster an extra meal at night or just go back to sleep and ignore it. It doesn't matter at all what you choose. The game only has one ending. At most you'll get different dialogue depending on your choice.
    • In the final night you have the choice to either go into the open basement or go back to sleep. No matter what you do, Embry will have a nightmare, then wake up in the morning and decide to enter the basement for real.
  • Central Theme: Don't nurture your problems. Confront them.
  • Creepy Basement: The entire premise of the game, even mentioned in the title. The monster in the basement demands breakfast and dinner every day and gets hungrier as the game goes on. Embry slowly despairs over how much the thing is eating, which might have contributed to them feeding Dr. D. Light to the monster in the game's climax.
  • Deceased Parents Are the Best: Embry's mother and father are shown to have been very loving and kind during their dreams of them.
  • Downer Ending: After suffering a horrifying nightmare, triggered by their guilt over accidentally pushing Dr. D. Light into the basement, Embry wakes up declaring that "it's gone on long enough". They enter the basement in reality and the game ends.
  • Exhausted Eye Bags: Embry has some pretty dark circles under their eyes, courtesy of months of living in fear of a man-eating monster.
  • The Faceless: The adults in the market have no facial features. Neither do the stall owners. Downplayed with Dr. D. Light, who wears an Expressive Mask.
  • Facial Horror: In one of Embry's nightmares, Dr. D. Light's mask is revealed to hide a disfigured-looking face.
  • Foreshadowing: Embry repeatedly agonizes over how they're never on time to buy some meat from the market, as meat keeps the monster satisfied the longest and it has been particularly rowdy lately. Sure enough, the monster calms down after Dr. D. Light falls into the basement.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Dr. D. Light remarks that the path from Embry's house to the market is pretty long and worries about Embry having to walk it all by themself. In terms of gameplay, it takes the player barely a minute to traverse.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: When the monster seems to eat Dr. D. Light, blood leaks from the basement's door (which leads to where the monster seems to dwell). However, we never seen them eat him on-screen.
  • Hope Spot: Embry finally finds an adult to potentially confide in with traveling doctor D. Light. He even manages to convince them to show him the basement. But in the end Embry's fear and paranoia win out, leading to them pushing Dr. D. Light into the basement by accident.
  • "It" Is Dehumanizing: Averted. Embry never calls the monster an 'it'. Instead, they refer to it with they/them-pronouns.
  • Jump Scare: All of Embry's nightmares end like this.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: We never actually see the monster in the basement. Embry claims that it ate their parents and it seems to eat Dr. D. Light later on, leaving a puddle of blood. Embry is also the only person who ever communicates with the monster directly. When Dr. D. Light insists on going into the basement, Embry panics and ends up pushing him down the stairs. While Embry is convinced the monster ate him, the stairs are shown to be very steep. He could've easily died from the fall. This along with Embry's nightmares on the final night, about both the doctor and the monster calling them out for continually running away from their problems and avoiding responsibility could hint that there never really was a monster.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Dr. D. Light immediately agrees to tend to Embry's "sick" parents when Mrs. Malloy tells him about them. Even when Embry deliberately treats him badly to drive him away, he still tries to understand and befriend them. But when he tries to enter the basement after Embry opens the door, Embry freaks out and grabs him by the sleeve, leading to him tripping and falling down the stairs when he tries to free himself.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: We never get to see what the monster looks like. You only hear the roars it makes whenever Embry feeds it. It also reveals itself to be a Voice Changeling on the third day.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Embry can't bring themselves to tell Dr. D. Light that the thing in their basement is a dangerous monster. He thinks that their parents are down there and that there's something seriously wrong with them, so he keeps insisting they enter the basement together. Embry eventually freaks out and tries to pull him away from the basement's entrance and in the ensuing struggle Dr. D. Light stumbles down the stairs and is subsequently eaten by the monster.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
  • Slasher Smile: During your conversation with the monster, their face slowly widens into a massive, unsettling grin.
  • Social Services Does Not Exist: It's painfully obvious that living alone with no one to help them is taking a toll on Embry's mental and physical state, yet no adult, with the sole exception of Dr. D. Light, ever thinks to check on them in their home or even just call child services.
  • Staircase Tumble: Dr. D. Light ends up falling into the basement while trying to get out of Embry's grip.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: When Embry finally confronts the monster on the final night, it's revealed to look and sound just like them. The monster then starts a scathing "The Reason You Suck" Speech in which it heavily implies that it is actually a part of Embry that Embry had locked away and pretended was a monster. Ultimately subverted, as the whole situation turns out to be a nightmare, brought about by Embry's guilt over having sacrificed Dr. D. Light to the monster.
  • Unwanted Assistance: Embry isn't really thrilled when Dr. D. Light offers to take a look at their parents, since their parents aren't actually sick and they think he won't be able to help them with their actual problems.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: You have the option to deny the monster food in the two nights it starts rampaging due to hunger. There are absolutely no consequences for doing this either.
  • Voice Changeling: On day three the monster reveals it has the ability to mimic the voices of Embry's parents and even Embry's own voice. Embry is deeply disturbed by this, as up until then the monster hadn't spoken at all.