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Video Game / Later Alligator

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Solve the mystery, before Pat becomes history.

Pat the Alligator is a (mostly) harmless and (probably) innocent reptile enjoying his peaceful life in Alligator New York City. But lately, he's gotten the suspicion that his family is planning a dastardly conspiracy to bring down the thing he values most: living!

From the minds of Alex Butera and Lindsay Small, the creators of Baman Piderman, Later Alligator is a point-and-click Video Game where you play as Pat's new friend and investigator into the mystery of who might want Pat dead. The game largely involves playing a variety of minigames to win the favor of Pat's friends and family. Only by helping all thirty-three of the alligators can the truth be uncovered.

Released in 2019, the game is available on Steam and on A port for the Nintendo Switch was released in 2021, including a physical version available on Fangamer.


This game provides examples of:

  • Absurd Phobia: Pat has many. From a persistent fear that his family plans to kill him to clocks.
  • Anti-Frustration Feature: The update that added Mona and Dad to the family tree also allowed the player to skip the previously-unskippable Pat minigames, replacing them with a phone call that takes up a similar in-game amount of time. You can actually scroll through the phone's text logs and see the entire conversation if you don't immediately click it shut after. After getting the majority of family tree pictures, you can also just skip to "the Event" at any time by talking to Bub the waiter.
  • Art Shift: During The Knife's minigame, the game suddenly switches to an Animesque dating sim.
  • Bait-and-Switch:
    • There's an alley you can go down at the seedy part of Alligator New York City that leads to an alcove with a neon sign for "GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS". But, rather than being a brothel, it's a seminar reciting the accomplishments of notable women throughout history.
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    • The game also pulls off a rather clever one with the entire plot. It skillfully wrong-foots the player into thinking that there is absolutely no twist, and Pat is really just paranoid; most players will see The Un Twist - that the "Event" is really just a surprise party for Pat - coming a mile away. Far fewer of them will anticipate that someone really IS trying to kill Pat, and it's you. And even fewer will anticipate that Pat called the hit on himself, by accident.
  • Big Applesauce: The story's setting is Alligator New York City.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: While most of them are decent gators, Pat's family is very large and very weird.
  • Blatant Lies: In Baby Angelface's minigame, you have to protect her from a horde of ghosts that's trying to possess her. The minigame is named "Watch a Totally Normal Baby".
  • Bragging Rights Reward: Collecting all of the Jigsaw pieces. 1/3 of them are needed to access an area, and 2/3 for one of the family portraits (which is necessary to get the Golden Ending), but what does collecting all of them get you? A short video of a dancing Pat.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Bobby Blue Eyes, local toughie, clearly isn't expecting much when he challenges you to a knife game. Then you bring out an actual knife to use instead of Bobby's spoon.
  • Black Widow: One of the family members, simply named The Black Widow, insists that she has nothing to do with her husband's death.
  • Character Customization: The game lets you customize your appearance as The Investigator at the end.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Played for laughs, of course. Pat's locked room just happens to have the same password as another room in the hall. Owned by someone whose family is also trying to kill him. The plot only occurs because of one as well: Pat ordered a hit on himself because his jelly sandwich covered up select details of your ad.
  • Cutting the Knot: The Investigator's solution to the haunted phone mentioned below? Delete the haunted photographs.
  • Cutting Off the Branches: The description for the achievement given upon seeing the Golden Ending, "See Pat's true fate," suggests it is considered the true one.
  • Demonic Possession:
    • One of the mini-games involves you trying to keep a baby from being possessed by ghosts.
    • Another involves you performing an exorcism on a haunted cellphone.
  • Driving Question: Who's planning to kill Pat? You are.
  • Easter Egg: There's a QR code on Tall Jared's phone. Scanning it will lead to this YouTube video.
  • The Family for the Whole Family: Played for Laughs. The game heavily implies that Pat's family are connected with the mafia, and plotting to "rub him out" for "squealing." Turns out that this is a misunderstanding; Pat's family are completely normal, and for the most part very nice, alligators. The only ones with any illicit connections are the Valentinos, and the Investigator themself. In fact, it's far more likely to be a case of 'a family for a member of the Family'.
  • 15 Puzzle: One of the minigames takes this form. It's the only minigame you can actually skip, no strings attached, though you do get a puzzle piece for solving it on your own instead of opting out.
  • Five-Finger Fillet: A three-fingered variant is done as a Simon Says Minigame against Bobby Blue Eyes. He uses a spoon throughout, but the player character switches to a knife in the second round and an intimidating combat knife in the third one.
  • Foreshadowing: Over the course of the game, a sharp-eyed player can pick out a few hints that you aren't quite playing the private detective Pat thinks you are. The game makes it hard to pick this out against the myriad of clues all pointing to the fact that "The Event" is really just a surprise birthday party for Pat.
    • There is an enormous combat knife in your briefcase, as seen on the options screen. In case you missed it, it gets brought out for the minigame against Bobby Blue-Eyes. While Bobby thinks the two of you are similar with your matching pinstripe suits, he becomes visibly disturbed when the knife comes out.
    • During the intro, the Investigator disembarks the trolley and then proceeds directly to the Restaurant. They then immediately focus on and strike up a conversation with Pat, despite the two of them clearly not knowing each other. All while wearing a pinstripe suit and leather gloves.
    • The Investigator's motives for helping Pat out essentially boil down to "Because it's a game and there would be no plot otherwise." At least until you realize that this is both an easy excuse for arranging his murder, and a great cover story. Pat happily assumes that you're an investigator of some kind, or at least that you'll be willing to play the role of one, but the Investigator never actually identifies themselves as being any form of detective.
    • If Big Mama is found before completing an ending without all family members, she tells the Investigator "Do what you must, but must you do? There is still a chance to set things right..."
    • Completing Danny's side quest will have him tell you that he called you after finding your number in a newspaper ad. He also admits that he wasn't able to read the ad your phone number was in. This turns out to be the entire reason the plot happened; Pat made a similar mistake, and accidentally took out a hit on himself.
  • Funny Animal: The game is set in a world of anthropomorphic alligators.
  • Genre Shift: The Knife's mini-game is a Dating Sim where you try and show him the perfect date.
  • Green Gators: Exaggerated. Aside from the game's cast consisting entirely of alligators in various shades of green, only the alligators and a few other objects are drawn in color, while most of the game is in black and white.
  • Group Picture Ending: Occurs in all of the endings, though the game ends here on the first playthrough; subsequent playthroughs either continue into the Bad Ending or the Golden Ending after the photo is taken.
  • Haunted Technology: Tall Jared's phone is possessed by ghosts. His mini-game has you fixing it by deleting haunted photographs.
  • The Hero's Birthday: The game takes place on Pat's birthday. Although not the player character, he is the one the story revolves around.
  • Hurricane of Puns: Every single minigame title is a pun, and several characters have puns in their dialogue. Two-Ton Tony, Pat's dad, speaks almost entirely in dad jokes.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
    • The only way to know the code to Pat's room is to look up his website. Not an in-game website; an actual website.
    • Good Ole' Clancy comments on Pat's simplistic and child-like clothing, conceding that it makes him recognizable "for marketing and such."
    • One of Tall Jared's game ideas is basically describing Later Alligator. It was crossed out for being too much work.
    • Papouli says the player should know gators eat bugs, because they also "exist here. Canonically."
    • Upon completing Gary's minigame, he thanks the player for helping him stick to painting artwork and not giving up to draw cartoons.
    • The final lines of the Golden Ending are Mandy saying "see you Later, Alligator", and Pat getting excited that he said "the thing!"
  • Minigame Game: Each of the many gators you talk to provides a puzzle, usually in three rounds, you need to solve to progress with the questioning.
  • Multiple Endings: To an extent. Depending on how many Family Badges you earned, the ending tells you something new about the story.
    • The first run, regardless of Badges earned, confirms The Un-Twist: everyone's just planning Pat's birthday party.
    • Less than all Family Badges on a subsequent run reveals there's someone trying to kill Pat after all. You.
    • Finishing every minigame and getting every badge awards you the Golden Ending: you have a change of heart and save Pat from your own murder attempt. It's also revealed WHY you tried to kill Pat: he accidentally ordered a hit on himself. Somewhat played with, in that the Golden Ending is clearly the "true" one, and the game will actively push you to get it.
  • Murder, Inc.: Apparently, contract killers are a regulated legal profession, going by the Bachelor of Hitgator Sciences visible in the Investigator's office at the end of the game. He's also able to freely advertise his services in the newspaper with no apparent problems.
  • No Antagonist: Zig-zagged. On the first playthrough, it seems like it's played straight at the birthday party. Then the trope is averted when YOU try to kill Pat on any subsequent playthrough that does not end with all family members collected. Then played straight a final time when you save Pat, and in an unexpected way when it turns out that Pat DOES have a dangerous enemy: his own panicky nature and resulting impulsiveness that got him into this whole mess.
  • Non-Mammalian Hair: Many of the alligators have hair.
  • Open Secret: While most the family is coy about the "Event" they have planned for Pat, Derry openly admits that it's just a birthday party.
  • Permanently Missable Content: Derry only appears one time in the entire game - when the Investigator is in the hotel lobby, after Pat calls him back to help with picking out his shoes. If you talk to Bub before speaking with Derry, he'll vanish from the game, requiring you to restart in order to get his badge.
  • Private Detective: Pat enlists your services as a private eye to figure out who's trying to kill him.
  • Professional Killer: Your real job.
  • Recurring Riff: The game's main theme is incorporated into much of the music. Most noticeably, the music for each of the minigames is a variant on the main riff.
  • Red Herring: The Un Twist that Pat's family is planning a birthday party. It's actually a clever decoy to set the player up for the real twist, which is that someone is trying to kill Pat, and it's YOU.
  • Retro Universe: The alternate Alligator Universe is technologically and socially on par with the late 2010's, but the city itself, the cars, and the black and white film noir aesthetic are closer to 1930's/1950's than anything.
  • Rich Bitch: Prince and Princess Valentino are completely loaded and absolute pricks. Their Establishing Character Moment is assuming that you're a Hobo King because you're wearing an out of season suit.
  • Rousseau Was Right: Generally speaking, the entire cast is full of good people, with the toughest characters often just socially awkward and the meanest more harmless than anything. Even you are capable of saving Pat instead of killing him as planned.
  • Rule of Three:
    • Plenty of the minigames are three rounds long.
    • Nana Rue's challenge is "Old Maid". Winning lets you challenge her older sister, in an event called "Older Maid". And beating her is one of the steps required to locate their mother, who is the "Oldest Maid" (though she actually just does a tarot reading).
  • Scare Chord:
    • During the Navi-Gator minigame, one plays whenever Pat spots something in the hallway that scares him.
    • The same Scare Chord plays in the flashback in the true ending, when Pat notices the partly-obscured newspaper ad that started it all.
  • Sewer Gator: Played for Laughs. All characters in the game are fully anthropomorphic alligators, but examining a sewer grate in the downtown area reveals that there appears to be someone living in there, who waves to the player and says hello.
  • Shell Game: The first mini-game you encounter is a three-card monte, and a bad one at that.
  • Shout-Out: Loads.
  • Sliding Scale of Animal Cast: The game falls under category 1, with every character being bipedal alligators.
  • Spooky Painting: One of the things you may encounter during the hotel's blackout.
  • Squiggle Vision: Used in all of the game's animation.
  • Stylistic Suck: Pat's website looks like a Geocities page from the 90s, complete with poorly animated gifs and broken image links.
  • Supporting Protagonist: The actual focus of the story is not the player character, but Pat.
  • Take That, Audience!: After reaching the Golden Ending, Mandy has one last message for you: "You can go outside now."
  • Tangled Family Tree: Putting one of these together out of Pat's family and close associates via the Family Badges is a challenge that spans multiple runs of the game. It can be figured out by contextual clues, like pictures on Tall Jared's and Tin Lizzy's phones, the recent inheritance of the Valentinos, and Nana Ruth looking after Lovely Maria's infant daughter, but there is no penalty for just randomly guessing until everything clicks.
  • Tarot Troubles: The "Oldest Maid" minigame is a tarot reading, though it doesn't actually affect the plot.
  • Throwing the Fight: In order to win Skids Valentino's Hide-and-Seek minigame, you must let him win by pretending not to find him.
  • Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: Bub the Waiter's girlfriend is coming to pick him up after work. Literally. Not even he knows where she'll put him. You can see them together during the hotel blackout; she's one of the pool players from the arcade.
  • Title Drop: Mandy bids the player "Later, Alligator" in the Golden Ending, causing him and Pat great glee that he "said the thing".
  • Tomato in the Mirror: The Wham Shot of The Investigator killing Pat in the Bad Ending.
  • Towers of Hanoi: Diamond Alice's minigame. Well, pancakes of hanoi, at least.
  • The Un Twist: The game stacks on pile after pile of foreshadowing, suggesting that "The Event" is really just a surprise birthday party for Pat. By the time you actually reach the climax, the game is all but yodeling it out loud. Derry will even tell you directly. Sure enough, this turns out to be the case, because the entire set-up was just a distraction from the real twist.
  • Wall of Weapons: At the end of the game, The Investigator's office has a comical number of weapons lying about the place, including battleaxes, poison, knives, and katanas.
  • Wham Line: The Bad Ending - the Investigator follows Pat out onto the balcony during his birthday party; he takes out his notepad again, crossing out one last option - "FINISH THE JOB." This leads directly into...
  • Wham Shot: The Investigator pushing Pat off of the Balcony, confirming beyond any doubt that they were the one trying to kill him all along.


Video Example(s):


Later Alligator (SPOILERS!)

Pat spent the whole day worried his family was planning to kill him on his birthday. Turns out the player was the one who was planning to kill them the whole time.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (11 votes)

Example of:

Main / WhamShot

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