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Video Game / Level Up

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Level Up is a platformer in a vaguely similar style to Achievement Unlocked. The Girl has to explore her world and level herself up in order to help The Boy that recently crash landed in her backyard. She can only stay up for so many hours before she has to return home to sleep.

The game is available at Newgrounds here. With the death of Flash, you will need either the Newgrounds Player or Flashpoint in order to play the game now.

Tropes used in this game include:

  • Compensating for Something: The "Tyrant" enemy, according to its description.
  • Continuing is Painful: Dying during the day takes away 60 seconds of exploring time.
  • Darker and Edgier: The sequel, Gather Up, seems to be this, and also plays more like a traditional Metroidvania.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Lampshaded with The Boy. Ironically, it's actually The Girl who has one.
    The Girl: Spiky-haired guys always have a Dark and Troubled Past.
  • Deadpan Snarker: The Girl has some hints of this. For example, when Finger's McGee says that The Girl doesn't want to know how he got his hands on the Dash sneakers, she throws out this gem:
    The Girl: Probably because that'd make me an accessory to it.
  • Double Jump: A purchasable skill.
  • Dying to Wake Up: The boss and only fight is in a dream that's prepared for during the daytime, so losing the fight (in other words, dying in the dream) starts a new day to prepare again.
  • Elves vs. Dwarves: The Squarians versus the Roundites, sort of. There's also a third race, the Hexies, who didn't want to participate in the feud between the other races, and moved as far away from them as possible.
  • Experience Booster: The "Learning" skill. This is increased by filling out the Codex.
  • Foreshadowing: The Nightmare levels up too, because she's The Girl's suppressed memories.
  • Gotta Catch Them All: Little gems, big gems, skills, codex entries, and resetted levels.
  • Idle Animation: More are available the more one levels up.
  • Increasingly Lethal Enemy: The Nightmare also levels up as it uses its skills.
  • Last Lousy Point: Depending on who you talk to, it's either trying to beat the game on the first day, or defeating the Nightmare with a level 1 relationship.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: The Boy. It's so bad, many of his levels are sent to level zero. The Girl has a form of this that can only be fixed through the computer.
  • The Law of Conservation of Detail: Some names are shortened when entered into the CODEX. The Squarian character "John Freeman's Ghost", for example, is written into the CODEX as just "John".
  • Level Drain: If you lose to the Nightmare, most of your stats go back down to level 1. The "Learning" and "Sleeping" skills, thankfully, are exempt, making future days easier even if you never figure it out.
  • Level-Up at Intimacy 5: By donating gems to the Boy, you become more and more friendly with him, which increases the Girl's heart level, and in turn her life meter, for a maximum of eight hearts.
  • Meta Guy: Brains the Squarian; his metaness is even essential to completing your CODEX. He does have enough sense not to tell the Girl how the game ends, though.
  • Mercy Invincibility: Air recovery negates it until you hit the ground. The "Hardy" skill doubles the duration.
  • Metroidvania: While no purchasable skills are needed for anything, several paths require sufficient Run or Jump, and water pumps don't work until you find and reactivate their power source.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • The battle with the Nightmare. In what was previously a lighthearted game with a jokesy meta tone, you suddenly have to battle your repressed violent side to keep it from wiping your memories out of its sheer anger.
    • Within the first few minutes of the Gather Up demo, you'll come across a large number of bloody corpses with their heads ripped off.
  • Nameless Narrative: While some minor NPCs have proper names, the most important characters — The Girl, The Boy, and The Nightmare — are all referred to by descriptive "The X" epithets.
  • No Fourth Wall: Most of the cast, though not to the extent of the above-mentioned Brains.
  • Non-Action Guy: The Boy. He's The Hero in Gather Up.
  • Noodle Incident: We never find out exactly how The Boy came to be an amnesiac, but there is one strong possibility: In the flashback at the end, it reveals that The Deity had The Girl's memory erased because she was seeking a power strong enough to destroy him. Presumably, something that powerful actually exists or The Deity wouldn't have bothered trying to keep her away from it. It may be that this power got to him, took him out, and wiped his memories clean.
  • The Omniscient: Brainy knows everything...including that a player exists who is controlling The Girl's movements:
    The Girl: So do I purchase it?
    Brainy: You make a choice, determined by another's actions.
  • Open-Ended Boss Battle: If you lose to the Nightmare, you get Level Drained, but the game continues. There are no Game Overs.
  • Orphaned Series: Unfortunately, despite the first game's popularity, and the surprisingly good alpha builds of the second game, the game's creator was unsatisfied with where development was going, and "put it on the back burner" back in 2010.
  • Puzzle Boss: The Nightmare.
  • Relationship Values: Not hidden.
  • Rhymes on a Dime: Hulker the Roundite.
  • RPG Mechanics 'Verse: The Boy outright states that the reason he can't do anything useful is that the crash brought all his useful skills to level 0.
  • Skill Scores and Perks: Many things are leveled up, from taking damage to sitting around to leveling up.
  • Skippable Boss: If you finish the game on day 0, you never have to face the Nightmare.
  • Sudden Downer Ending: The game ends with the truth of The Girl and Boy's identity, which has a fight break out between the two. In an otherwise meta and comedic game, this is very jarring.
  • Tactical Suicide Boss: Tricking the Nightmare into hitting itself with its rock spell is the only way to defeat it. Luckily, "don't let the Girl exploit your weakness" isn't one of the skills the Nightmare levels up in.
  • Timed Mission: Explore all you can before you have to go to bed. Every day gives you experience in the "Sleeping" skill, which increases the time limit — helpful if you keep getting Level Drained because you can't figure out how to beat the Nightmare.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: The ending reveals that The Girl is actually a Dark Action Girl obsessed with power. She lost her memories when she tried to defeat the Deity, the most powerful being who had "surpassed levelling". The Nightmare is her subconscious, furious at her failure.
  • Tomato Surprise: The Boy is the Deity.
  • Samus Is a Girl: The Nightmare.
  • Signpost Tutorial: The tutorial is given through touching speech bubbles with question marks inside them, that lay on the ground.
  • Superpowered Evil Side: The Nightmare, more or less.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: The Nightmare. What, you thought this was going to be a relaxing, easy platformer?