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Video Game / Lenna's Inception

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Lenna (human) and Henrietta (chicken)

Lenna's Inception is a 2D, Top Down Action-Adventure indie game published and developed by Bytten Studio (consisting of two programmers and one composer). It was released for PC on 17 Jan, 2020.

The Kingdom of ▜̴͈̔▕̴͜͝▯̴̳̈́░̷̪͗▚̷̪̆▒̸̣̓ is glitching. The evil Chairman of the Banker’s Guild has captured the Prince, opening the way for destruction at the hands of the Archangels. With the Hero eliminated, and the world horribly unraveling, reluctant tutor Lenna must step up to save the kingdom. But it won’t be easy–all she has to guide her is the voice of the deceased elder, and he seems to know more than he’s letting on…

Has a wiki that is in desperate need of wiki love.

Compare with Skrillex Quest or Brave Hero Yuusha.



  • Ancient Artifact: There are four Powers that maintain balance in the world.
    • Fortitude: Held by Lance's family (and then retrieved from Lance's corpse). Allows power to be gained through combat.
    • Compassion: Held by Prince Daniel.
    • Truth: Originally held by the Archangel leader, who split it apart into the eight Corrupted Memories that empowered their creations.
    • Wealth: Held by the Chairman.
  • Back from the Dead: Using Compassion on the glitched Elder and glitched Lance will bring them back to life in the ending.
  • Badass Teacher: Lenna. She transitions from teaching in a school, to directly instructing The Chosen One, to taking up the latter's role when he and the village elder are suddenly killed.
  • Betting Mini-Game: Locating the Banker's Guild allows Lenna to deposit her money, invest them in stocks, and then pull the lever of a slot machine to randomly adjust their values. Trying to withdraw over 999 cents grants a special item: an IOU.
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  • Boss Subtitles: All of the game's bosses get one when fought, including those that didn't start as Archangels.
  • Brick Joke: The overflow of pizza that created 8Fridge is used to sate the Archangels' hunger, allowing them to coexist with humanity. Tentaluchus finally got the pizza he wanted!
  • Broken Bridge: Although more "inaccessible without the right item" than "broken", the second half of the world map can only be reached via a bridge that requires the fourth dungeon's item (or some glitch exploits) to access.
  • But Thou Must!: Prince Daniel's offering of the Power of Compassion can only be responded with "Yes".
  • Collection Sidequest: The local library is missing 16 books. Collecting a couple of them will encourage the librarian, Paige, to become an ally character and help track down the rest.
  • Cheat Code: In-game calling the creator of the game, Tom, via his phone number 555-8891 opens a cheat menu.
  • Co-Op Multiplayer: It's possible for two people to play simultaneously, with the second taking the role of Shadow Lenna, though her lair has to be found to enable it.
  • Couldn't Find a Pen: The Elder was able to write "It's Dangerous to Go Alo" in blood before expiring.
  • Cute Bookworm: Paige.
  • Deus Est Machina: 8Fridge. Originally Delvin's fridge turned into a glitch engine, it's gained enough power by the end of The Very Definitely Final Dungeon to get its own Boss Subtitle and try to defend itself.
  • Developers' Foresight: The devs actually watched streams of people they sent pre-release keys to, and quickly patched some of the exploits uncovered, such as using a Hover tunic/potion to avoid M/Gammon's attacks. Others, though, reward achievements, mainly if they involve Sequence Breaking.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: The Chairman, whose greed causes him to morph into Chairman G/Mammon (his text box is glitchy and switches between the letters) when cornered.
  • Distressed Dude: The Prince that's kidnapped by the Chairman on the pretense of overdue debts.
  • Double-Meaning Title: Lenna's Inception can mean both the start of Lenna's journey as the new hero and how Lenna came to be transforming from an Archangel into a normal human.
  • Easter Egg: According to the Steam forums, using "HYRULE" as your file name/kingdom/seed changes it to "DON'T SUE US".
  • Eldritch Location: Glitch City is so overrun by glitches that the city cannot be entered without Maxwell's intervention dropping Lenna into Hatasiah's dungeon and obtaining the MissingGlasses. This extends to the Palace in it, turning a straightforward access to the Chairman into a labyrinthian mess.
  • Foreshadowing: There's plenty, most (if not all) concerning The Reveal that Lenna was an Archangel.
    • In the school at the very beginning, there are 8 kids, and her room has a scythe. The 8 "kids" are in fact the Archangels, and the scythe belonged to her, because she is the final boss.
    • After the Elder's spirit guides Lenna to Paige, the librarian remarks that Lenna's a new face. Then, after being debriefed, she directs Lenna towards the next dungeon and hopes she can find one of her children there, though Lenna's sure they're stuck in the school. It turns out Paige was right, in that the Archangels ARE Lenna's children.
    • One of the Corrupted Memories shown after a boss fight is Delvin experimenting with glitches, showing his boss Maxwell a slime-turned-chicken that turns out to be Henrietta. It turns out Lenna also used to be something much different, and less friendly, before a glitch affected her.
    • If the player finds Shadow Lenna, she'll remark on her original status as an optional mini-boss that was supposed to be killed by Lance, but "it doesn't have to be that way any more" now that he's dead and she's now free to help Lenna. It turns out that none of the other bosses have to be killed either, though it takes a bit more work.
    • One of the library books is a short play written by Paige, featuring a definitely-not-self-insert librarian falling in love with a female archangel. Is it a coincidence that Paige falls in love with Lenna?
  • Final Boss: Delvin, using his stolen power to try and kill Lenna, who was SUPPOSED to be the Final Boss of the uncorrupted world.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: Henrietta turns out to be a slime monster that was transformed into a chicken by a glitch. It's possible to put her into a hybrid state with the right item, giving her a massive attack boost while keeping her feathery appearance and loyalty to Lenna.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Delvin, after accidentally creating an all-powerful refrigerator via storing an overflow of pizza, used it to steal an Archangel's power and glitched the world in the process.
  • Heart Container: Killing an Archangel rewards an Archangel Heart, which increases Lenna's life. She can also find Heart Ventricles in the world, with four pieces forming a full Heart.
  • Instant A.I.: Just Add Water!: Once just a fridge in a video game world, once Delvin put in too many pizzas, "8Fridge" became sentient and granted the power to cause glitches. It even tries to defend itself during the True Final Boss fight.
  • Irony: Lenna, who is supposed to be the Final Boss of the game ends up taking The Hero's place and saving the game from the glitches.
  • It's All About Me: Delvin. His boss, Prof. Maxwell, warned him of the danger of glitches, but he ignored them and endangered the world in pursuit of power to surpass the Archangels. When the world became too glitchy to survive, he convinced himself that it could be fixed by murdering the bosses, either unaware or uncaring that he'd become one himself.
  • Leitmotif: The melody of the chorus of the title theme "Lenna's Inception" reappears in the tune of Lenna getting a Key Item like an Archangel's heart and the boss battle themes of the Archangels, the Chairman and Delvin. 8Fridge's battle theme "Deus Hex Machina" lacks it as a entity that isn't meant to exist in the game.
  • Meaningful Name: The game has multiple ally characters, such as Henrietta the hen, Gourdon the gourd, and Paige the librarian.
    • Most of the Archangels' names are parodies of the names of angels and demons from various Judeo-Christian apocrypha.
      • Azraflail = Azrael
      • Crabaddon = Abaddon
      • Catsiel = Cassiel or Castiel
      • Headraniel = Hadraniel
      • Santaquiel = Sahaquiel
      • Tentaluchus = Temeluchus
      • Hatasiah = Hahasiah
      • Sandolphin = Sandalphon
      • Chairman G/Mammon = Mammon, an Aramaic word for money, which was personified by early Christians as a deity of greed and wealth.
      • Delvin is pretty clearly a near-anagram of "Devil".
      • Lenna, as the 'mother of monsters', is likely standing in for Lilith.
  • Mercy Rewarded: It's possible to just leave a dungeon after getting its item, before killing its Archangel boss. Doing so spawns more Meteorites that can upgrade equipment, but far less Heart Containers and Pieces. However, they must all be fought eventually to beat the game. Doing so after every special item is collected, though, allows you to spare them and get the best ending.
  • Mirror Boss: Shadow Lenna was supposed to be one to Lance, but since he's already dead, she instead enables Co-Op Multiplayer. The True Final Boss does employ this, via summoning copies of Lenna and Lance.
  • Multiple Endings: The store page claims that "you won’t see everything in a single playthrough!" According to the Achievements, there are three main outcomes:
    • Catastrophe: Lenna collects all the Powers and accesses the cartridge the world is formed by, but chooses not to reset it. The world is overrun by glitches. This also happens if you reach the ending without all four powers.
    • Sacrifice: Lenna collects all the Powers and chooses to reset the world. It returns to its original state, including reviving the true hero Lance, and returning Lenna herself to a boss that must be slain by his hands.
    • Perfect: Lenna collects all the Powers, and spared every Archangel along the way (and potentially the Chairman and Delvin too). This leads to Lenna accidentally accessing a debug menu, from which she can fight the glitches directly and save everyone while retaining her humanity. Saving Lance and the Elder has them in the ending as well.
  • New Game+: After completing Story Mode at least once, the New Groan Plus mode is unlocked. Enemies deal more damage, and Lenna becomes a Pungeon Master.
  • Not Me This Time: The Archangels are responsible for corrupting The Chairman, spreading monsters throughout the land, and capturing the Prince. However, the glitching is the fault of a third party that wanted enough power to surpass the Archangels, who also accidentally killed the Elder in the process.
  • Ninja Prop: During the final battle, the boss flings the player's own heart and item icons at them.
  • One-Winged Angel: The four bosses in the second half of a run will be given a second, glitchier form. It's also guaranteed to happen twice in the endgame, first with The Chairman, and then with Delvin.
  • Only in It for the Money: The Chairman, already the wealthiest man on the island, sided with the Archangels after being given access to their Money Spider cash generation.
  • Pair the Spares: In the best ending, Lance and the prince share a kiss.
  • Playing Tennis with the Boss: One of the Disc-One Final Boss' attacks, though rather than hitting it into their face, The Chairman briefly goes into a state of shock when the coins used to make it are all batted away.
  • Procedural Generation: The overworld and dungeon maps, as well as the dungeon/item/boss order, are different in every run of the game.
  • Puzzle Boss: Most of the True Final Boss' forms have to be outplayed rather than directly defeated, due to the stage being so glitched out that things like "health" and "ammo" are meaningless.
  • Retraux: The game features two retro graphic styles: 8-bit and 32-bit.
  • Romance Sidequest: Collecting every book has Paige request hunting 10 Marshmallow slimes together, after which she'll set up a campfire and admit her feelings for Lenna while they toast them together. She'll also give Lenna a Locket, one of the game's special items.
  • Shout-Out: Plenty to The Legend of Zelda, from The Chosen One's appearance when wearing a Tunic, to the Disc-One Final Boss's boar-ish appearance and glitchy alias of "M/Gammon" (and also engaging in Playing Tennis with the Boss). There's also one to Pokémon, in that there's a Bicycle in the store worth exactly one cent more than the cap, but can be gotten through other means.
    • The way 8Fridge gets created is identical to the item underflow glitch from Pokémon Red and Blue: Get a stack of 255 of the same item, then throw away items listed above it until the game thinks you have zero or fewer items. Scrolling down after that reveals RAM interpreted as memory that can be manipulated note 
    • In 32-bit mode, the "Elder's spirit" sprite is filled with static in the colors of Pokémon as played on Super GameBoy, giving him a Missingno-esque look (the static does not use Missingno's texture, however). Then there's the name of the eighth dungeon's item...
    • The boss Catsiel is a shout out to The Legend of Zelda - A Link to the Past's Helmasaur King. Both have the same pose in battle, swing their tail like a flail as an attack, and wear masks that must be removed in order to defeat them.
    • One of the library books is a play titled "The Lusty Archangel Maid", a reference to "The Lusty Argonian Maid" from The Elder Scrolls, and likewise features a romance between a human and a non-human.
    • The trading sidequest required to pacify Archangel Azraflail and get the Golden Ending starting off with a thirsty person giving Lenna a red paperclip which is traded for a fish-shaped pen is an allusion to the real-life bartering story One red paperclip.
  • Super Drowning Skills: Every enemy that isn't either the dolphins or have the hove status effect can be defeated by pushing them into water with a sword swing. Some will even accidentally walk into water by themselves!
  • Take a Third Option: Usually, at the end of the game, Lenna is given two choices: keep the world in its glitched state, or "blow on the cartridge", resetting the world to normal. However, the path to the Golden Ending becomes available if all sidequests were done and all the Archangels are spared; they plead to not return to their fate as disposable minions, making Lenna punch the cartridge in anger, unintentionally opening a debug menu and getting access to Dungeon 9 and 8Fridge.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: Lenna was the leader of the Archangels, and the true Final Boss of the world, whose power was taken by Delvin's glitching. Her memories of teaching students were actually her instructing her minions.
  • Too Awesome to Use: It's rare, but possible to randomly find a gun, which has only a single use and cannot be restocked anywhere in the game. Given the True Final Boss glitching out ammo counts, though, it can be fired repeatedly there without repercussion.
  • Treacherous Advisor: Delvin, twice. First he betrays his boss, sealing him in the basement of their facility. Later, he tries to con Lenna into killing the Archangels, both as the spirit of the deceased elder and as the acolyte said spirit mentioned.
  • True Final Boss: 8Fridge, which attempts to protect itself by manifesting glitched versions of the Elder, the hero, and both versions of Lenna herself.
  • The Unchosen One: Lenna, who was supposed to instruct Lance, The Chosen One, but takes his place after an unforeseen incident.
  • Unknown Item Identification: There are tunics that are only identified by color and fabric, and potions by their color and fizzyness, until one of that type is used on Lenna. Some are beneficial, while others...aren't. This is randomized at every playthrough.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Mixed with Spanner in the Works, had the pizza delivery guy actually delivered Delvin his one pizza instead of 255, 8Fridge would never had been created, the glitches wouldn't have turned Lenna into a human, and a way of bringing peace between humanity and the Archangels would never have been found.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: Dungeon 9, Archangel School, accessible only on the Golden Ending path.
  • Warp Whistle: The Bicycle item, once obtained, allows Lenna to instantly travel to any notable spot she's discovered (such as a dungeon entrance, or the village library).
  • Where It All Began: Dungeon 9 consists almost entirely of textures used solely in flashbacks, including Lenna's fake school memory, and one phase of the True Final Boss takes place right outside the Elder's cave.