A freeware platformer game by Nicklas "Nifflas" Nygren, creator of similar freeware platformers such as Within a Deep Forest and the original Knytt. Though it only comes with one full level and a tutorial, the game has an integrated Level Editor and new levels are very easy to install. Several additional official levels by Nifflas have been released (see below), and the game has a very active fan-made level community. Tons of levels can be found on Nifflas' forums and on knyttlevels.com.
Knytt Stories has been billed as an "environmental platformer". Though enemies and obstacles exist which can kill your character, a tiny humanoid named Juni (whose backstory tends to change even between the official levels), the ambient/playground levels tend to be the most popular, thanks to the gorgeous music and sprite packs — both the originals and those added by the level community.
Official levels (made by Nifflas) include:
- The Machine: A puzzle platformer based around finding upgrades and exploring the world. Has a bonus ending if you find all four keys.
- A Strange Dream: A huge, gorgeous Wide-Open Sandbox that can be finished in about half a dozen different ways. Contains some bonus material if you know where to look, and a secret Mythology Gag ending.
- An Underwater Adventure: Survival horror platforming. An alternate take on Within a Deep Forest where the ball never existed. Has two parts — once you finish the first run, go through it again for the second half. Also features multiple endings.
- Sky Flower: Climb upwards, float downwards.
- This Level Is Unfinished: Exactly What It Says on the Tin, hilariously so.
- Gustav's Daughter: A relatively short level with more experimental graphics, mostly built around jumping/climbing skills.
Official levels by Nifflas and the game in general have examples of:
- Air-Aided Acrobatics: There are sometimes updrafts that will allow Juni, with the aid of her umbrella, to float around and reach otherwise unreachable places, as well as avoid walls covered in spikes.
- Backtracking: Sometimes essential to complete the level.
- Continuity Snarl: Juni has multiple backstories.
- Double Jump: Juni, once she finds the upgrade.
- Enemy-Detecting Radar: The enemy detector powerup makes Juni glow red when she is near enemies, though for some unexplained reason it doesn't work on mechanical ones. It also makes her glow green near entrances to hidden passages (or at least if the creator of the level puts detector alerts by the entrances...).
- Fungus Humongous: In the Mother Knytt's home swamp in A Strange Dream.
- Hitbox Dissonance: Averted. Hitboxes are pixel-perfect. That thing with the spikes that extend when you go near it? You can, in theory, go in between its spikes.*
- Hologram: The hologram powerup makes Juni invisible and plants a decoy hologram that attracts enemy projectiles.
- Invisible Block: Some blocks aren't visible until you get close to them. Some blocks are visible but aren't actually platforms. Some blocks don't even exist unless you have a certain power-up. And some blocks aren't visible at all.
- Level in the Clouds: Probably the most notable level using this trope is Sky Flower, which takes place almost entirely on a bunch of pretty clouds.
- Living Shadow: The "Shadow People". They're twice as tall as Juni and are mostly just background fluff, but there is one that kills Juni if she touches them after facing in their direction long enough for their eyes to start glowing red.
- Mythology Gag: The alternate endings of some of the Nifflas-created levels. One of them puts Juni at the beginning of Within a Deep Forest; another makes her reenact the opening cutscene of Knytt. There's even An Underwater Adventure, which puts you at the entrance of #modarchive, in a reference to Nifflas' first two games, #modarchive story and #modarchive story 2: Operator Status.
- Nameless Narrative: In A Strange Dream, the protagonist is referred to as "Mother Knytt", as opposed to "Juni", though she still outwardly appears to be Juni. Her baby is simply "Little Knytt". A secret cutscene deviates from this and calls the Knytt mom Juni, however, perhaps as a bit of humor.
- No Plot? No Problem!: Sky Flower. No story whatsoever, just the peaceful experience of going up and down through some pretty clouds.
- Obvious Beta: Parodied in Nifflas's level "This Level is Unfinished". It consists of crude black pen drawings with notes such as "Animate water here" and "Dangerous blocks (draw spikes)."
- Once per Level: You will find an obstacle which can only be passed by running, one which can only be passed by double jumping, one which can only be passed with the umbrella...
- One-Hit-Point Wonder: Juni. One bit of damage and she'll die.
- Parasol Parachute: Juni's most characteristic powerup.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: The Shadow Person that can kill Juni has eyes that glow red if she faces them for too long.
- Remixed Level: In The Machine, after you turn off the Machine, all the enemies disappear and the barren landscape bursts back into bloom and color.
- Saving the World: Appears to be something that Juni does a lot. In The Machine, Juni's saving the land from sucked dry by the titular Machine, and in An Underwater Adventure, she's saving the world from being frozen over by Dr. Cliché's bomb.
- Stylistic Suck: Nifflas' bonus cutscenes/endings. Hand-drawn and scribbly with bad spelling/grammar and good ol' over-the-top silliness.
- Super Drowning Skills: If Juni touches any liquid, she dies. Justified when the water is colored to look like lava or acid.
- Variable Mix: As you transition between areas the music will fade between their two songs (playing both at lower volume when you're in the middle).
In addition to the game itself, fan-created levels have examples of:
- Arch-Enemy: In some earlier levels, Dr. Cliché is assigned this position, usually ignoring the conditions under which he was the antagonist of Within a Deep Forest (and the built-in "An Underwater Adventure" level) to make him a more generic villain.
- Arc Words: "This is what happened next:"
- A Winner Is You: If for whatever reason a level creator doesn't change the ending of their level from the default, then it has this. The default ending is just the black text of "You Win!" on a white background. May or may not infuriate the player.
- Blamed for Being Railroaded: Parodied in the ending of Gaseous soap, where Juni is accused of killing her neighbor Gerald Soap while hallucinating that he was an evil billionaire named Dr. Soap. A dramatic sting plays as we get a tense zoom-in onto Juni... until she clarifies to the accuser that Dr. Soap (Gerard Soap) and Gerald Soap are two completely different people who live miles away from each other, and she did indeed kill Dr. Soap.
- Eldritch Abomination: Heavily implied to be the "It" of Eric Colossal's unsettling level It Waits.
- Future Imperfect: In Vleindergurk, the reason that avoiding the titular town of Vleindergurk has become ingrained into the locals' culture is that Vleindergurk is a radioactive waste site whose specific warnings weren't properly preserved.
- Harder Than Hard: So you've got levels out there that are rated "Hard" and "Very Hard", but then there's the "Lunatic" category for the nigh-impossible, only-the-most-experienced/crazy-players-should-ever-hope-to-win-this levels. Xeia is this trope's champion.
- Mushroom Samba: The level aptly titled Don't Eat the Mushroom. If you do, you go through a series of trippy scenes from the Burger King to Tetris and The Legend of Zelda, to teleporting crazily all over the screen, to the background being Jim Carrey in the "Night at the Roxbury" skit, to pleading for help on Nifflas' forums and Juni climbing a giant version of herself.
- Midway through the level Gaseous soap, a pink creature interrupts a cutscene to tell Juni she took a "Mushroom Drug" and has been laying on the floor and complaining about soap, although she dismisses them and the plot continues. The ending implies that everything was real..
- Nintendo Hard: Some levels have multiple difficulty settings and may include a tougher version that would fall under this. On others, there are no easier options and there is no escape from the slew of deaths you will face. Such is the case of Xeia: The very first jump you have to make has to be ludicrously precise, and will probably take you an age to get past. And it doesn't get any easier from there.
- Rouge Angles of Satin:
- Walk, Don't Swim: If a level has Juni underwater, she'll be walking normally since there are no swimming mechanics in the original Knytt Stories. With mods, it's possible to have variations on this. In A Climbing Alike, for example, you fall and jump more slowly underwater, though in this case your character is a robot.