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Video Game / Limbo of the Lost

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"Your darkest dreams" is all too accurate.

Forget reality. Surrender to your darkest dreams.

The King of Limbooooooooooooo!

Limbo of the Lost is a horror Adventure Game in which you control Captain Benjamin Spooner Briggs, captain of the Mary Celeste (as he will let no one forget). Briggs wakes up in a cell with an extremely flexible, spider-like man named Arach, who unlocks the door and lets him into the dungeons of an ogre named Grunger. Briggs eventually finds that he is in Limbo, and attempts to escape, with the help of his "Earthly Guide"; that'd be you.

But that's not what the game is famous for...

For one, the game is an "asset flip" almost a decade before Jim Sterling coined the term; pretty much every background is shamelessly ripped from another game, without so much as a mention or acknowledgment to be found - not even in the credits. Secondly, the items you need to pick up are often dark in color and hard to make out against the usually-dark backdrops, making progress a chore (in one instance, an item is partially obscured by your compass, which can't be taken off of the screen). Third, the game's animation, CGI and otherwise, would look primitive in the late 1980s (the game, by the way, was released in 2008). Fourth, there's a constant whisper of "Join us... Join us... Join us now!" in the background that plays every three minutes or so (shamefully ripped from the Thief series).


Due to its absolutely massive amount of plagiarism, the game was pulled off store shelves. An alternative is to read the excellent Let's Play from the Something Awful forums by The Dark Id: it does an excellent job pointing out each and every insult to your intelligence without forcing you to actually play it. There is also another Let's Play by Wields-Rulebook-Heavily which also does a good job at covering the game. For those who would prefer a video playthrough, Vinny of Vinesauce has livestreamed the game in its entirety; the stream is preserved here.

Even in light of all these facts, it is not immune to The Wiki Rule (the wiki just notes what is stolen).

And whatever you do, do not confuse it with Limbo, which is like the exact opposite of "bad" by many people's standards.


This game provides examples of:

  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: The entirety of Chapter 2. At one point, you exit a sewer pipe and wind up in a swamp that can somehow exist below ground without collapsing in on itself.
  • All Trolls Are Different: Well, not really: at the end of Chapter 1 and 3 an incredibly familiar-looking troll will appear to take away most of Briggs's stuff. Both times without warning.
  • Anachronism Stew: Possibly justified by the otherworldly setting, but it's a tad odd how Briggs just takes it in stride. One noteable case is when 19th century ship captain Briggs is able to fix an electric circuit with no issues.
  • Apathetic Citizens: In Chapter 3, even though everyone knows about their fellow townies getting their souls sucked out, no one bothers to do anything about it, leaving Briggs with the dirty work. Not to mention that not a single one of them can tell snow apart from ashes.
  • Artistic License – Biology:
    • Flaying the Mayor and wearing his skin... wouldn't exactly work as intended.
    • When feeding the three-headed dog, you feed it the same bone from the same body three times. The human body does not have three femurs.
  • Backtracking: You'll be doing a lot of this, over a bunch of mind-numbingly similar screens, in Chapter 1.
  • Bag of Spilling: After you finish two of the sections, a giant troll will come and shake the items out of your absurdly spacious pockets. No explanation is given for where the troll comes from, why he has it in for you, or why Briggs is so nonchalant about it happening.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Mrs DoGood and the Mystic French woman.
  • Butt-Monkey: William Nilmates is encountered at least once per chapter and each time he's subjected to some grisly slapstick to the point that it becomes annoying rather than funny.
  • Captain Obvious: Briggs tends to weer into that territory half the time when you tell him to Look at something (at least when he doesn't just default to "MMMMMMMmmmmmmm interesting").
    (You tell Briggs to Look at an object named Water Fountain.)
    Briggs: It's a water fountain.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: All the members of the Cult who summoned the Soul Taker in Chapter 3. It is mentioned that they need seven souls for something, which doesn't make any sense since one of them, O'Negus, already has a large collection of souls in his possession.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • You start with a seal of some kind in your inventory; whilst beforehand you use it to translate a drunken guardian's speech, you don't see how it's supposed to be used until Chapter 3.
    • The whole "earthly guide" thing just seems to be a throwaway fourth-wall-breaking comment and doesn't really become relevant anywhere in the game. Until the final puzzle, where Briggs is captured but the earthly guide isn't.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: The Seven Deadly Sins from chapter 5: Pride is blue, Lust is Purple, Wrath is Red, Gluttony is Yellow, Sloth is White, Envy is Green and Greed is Teal. The interior of their rooms glows in the same color.
  • Copy-and-Paste Environments: Quite literally. Within the same game, too. Expect yourself to be getting very tired of looking at the same cave bridge over and over. The fact that the environment is made up of screenshots from other games is hardly the game's only failure.
  • Cruelty Is the Only Option: You don't need to look so happy about it, Briggs.
  • Dance Party Ending: The ending has a bunch of characters singing the praises of Captain Briggs, proclaiming him the King of Limbo.
  • Dark World: The entire setting, as it's supposed to be some kind of... symbolic... thing. It's also a dark world of the various video games from which it's plagiarized.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Grunger's big on this.
  • The Dog Was the Mastermind: The finale of Chapter 3 can come off as this. Aside from the Skurge brothers, the innkeeper, and possibly the Mayor, there are no hints pointing in the direction of Mrs. Blackley and O'negus being the culprits. Briggs' deduction of them being guilty is supposed to make him sound like an expert detective, but sloppy writing just results in something that makes ordinary Bat Deduction seem reasonable in comparison.
  • Dramatic Unmask: The last person revealed to be in the cult, murdering people and pretending to be the mayor is... a monster.
  • Easily Forgiven: The Worrymeister in the opening of chapter 3 (Assuming it is the Worrymeister and not just a character with the same model) seems to show no ill will to Briggs despite having a bear trap clamped onto his eyes. Then again, would you want to pick a fight with the guy who tried to gouge your eyes just to steal a pen?
  • Endless Corridor: Lots, thanks to the Copy-and-Paste Environments.
  • The End... Or Is It?: In The Stinger, Destiny and Fate decide to go for a round of double-or-nothing on their earlier bet around Briggs.
  • Eyepatch of Power: One of the items which has no use whatsoever.
  • Eye Scream: First, Briggs decides to steal someone pen by clamping a bear-trap like device on his eyes. Later on said pen is used to squirt ink in the eye of a harmless sea monster. Earlier you meet Bugsy, who (because of Briggs again) nearly had his eyes eaten by his pet, the Woodgator.
  • "Everyone Comes Back" Fantasy Party Ending: See Gainax Ending below.
  • Everything Sounds Sexier in French: The dialogue with the French Mystic.
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: The members of the cult are turned to statues after the creature they summoned is banished by Briggs, who claims that this is the price for the ritual. Oddly, he himself doesn't run into any consequence for manipulating the Soul Taker.
  • Fake Difficulty: You're not told how to solve a good deal of the game's puzzles.
  • Flaying Alive: The real mayor is found without his skin.
  • Fog Feet: The Soul Taker is supposed to have this; in game his model ends at the waist with green sparkles and a mass of sand.
  • Gainax Ending: Really, the whole game is one long Mind Screw, but the ending is particularly weird even by the rest of the game's standards.
  • GIS Syndrome: If ripping from other games wasn't enough, the "creators" have apparently used the internet for item graphics as well.
  • Guide Dang It!: Not only that, apparently the developers (posing as a fan, see Sock Puppet below) discouraged giving away guides claiming it will "spoil" the fun.
  • Hammerspace: At one point in the game you are forced to take along a coffin lid in your pocket. Then there's the 30 or so items you're carrying around at the same time, in that same small pocket, in chapter three... Made more notorious as sometimes Briggs complains about picking up some smaller objects for similar space reasons.
  • Hellhound: A trio of them, apparently all named Fluffy is encountered in Chapter 1. They have to be fed something to let you pass.
  • Hidden Depths: Arach busts you out of a jail cell at the start by pulling off a fingernail and handing it to you as a lockpick. Later, when you're locked up in Darkmere, he... pulls strings with Darkmere's town council. Huh. Spiderboy's got government connections.
  • Historical Domain Character: And a very nasty case at that to those who have studied the real Captain Briggs and the Mary Celeste. Indeed, if Briggs had any estate, they would have been entirely capable of suing for quite a number of things.
  • Horsemen of the Apocalypse: The final chapter contains a puzzle related to both the four horsemen and the seven deadly sins. On their seals, they are all represented as skeletal undeads with various distinctive traits (War wears a roman helmet and Plague wears a broken hood.) The hooded guys who take Briggs prisoner in the final segment may be them.
  • Humongous Mecha: One that pops out of nowhere at the end of Chapter 4. And serves no purpose at all in the story.
  • Idle Animation: If you leave Briggs alone for long enough, he'll tap on the screen and tell you to get moving.
  • I Never Said It Was Poison: The mayor tells Briggs to nip the cult in the bud when Briggs says he suspects multiple people. "I never said it was a Cul..."
  • Informed Attribute: The DoGoods do very little on screen that is notably "good" compared to other residents of Limbo. Mostly they seem to hang around corpses and make sympathetic noises.
  • Informing the Fourth Wall: In true adventure game fashion. Justified in that the player serves as Briggs's in-game "earthly guide" who tells him what to do.
  • Irony:
    • The option for "Resume the game" on the Pause menu is "BACK TO HELL".
    • Considering that most of the content was already pirated anyway, pirating the game itself probably counts as poetic justice.
  • Jerkass: Cap'n Briggs rather unhesitatingly mutilates people to advance the plot... and sometimes, for no real reason. Not just that, he commits bodily harm to get an arm to make gruel. Holy Hell. Let's not forget when he claps what can best be described as a bear trap onto a guy's head so he could steal his pen. Said pen is then used to blind a sea monster — which, as far as we know, has done nothing wrong. Blinding the sea monster doesn't actually do anything useful, but it turns the pen into a nib, which is then used as a lockpick to remove somebody from their chains. All this to get a clue to get to the next area, which is cryptic to the point of uselessness.
  • Laughing Mad: The subtitler. Not any of the characters, the subtitler himself. The subtitles are riddled with crazed laughter that doesn't feature in the spoken dialogue. Going by some forum posts attributed to him, this appears to be a Verbal Tic (for a given value of 'verbal') of one of the game's creators.
  • Layman's Terms: The conversation with Nilmates in the Prologue gives us this wonderful exchange (paraphrased):
    Briggs: Why are you in that cage?
    Nilmates: I was putting Grunger off his food.
    Briggs: How?
    Nilmates: Well, to be quite honest, I do think it may have been my bodily emanations.
    Briggs: Sorry?
    Nilmates: Well, you know, my sort of odoriferous redolence.
    Briggs: What???
    Nilmates: Well, to put it bluntly, I stink!
    Briggs: Oh.
  • Let's Play:
  • Literal Metaphor: The very first item you receive is a very literal interpretation of the phrase "ear worm", being a worm pulled out of Arach's ear. It's later combined with sewage water to create a tequila.
  • Losing Your Head: Ed the Head.
  • Meaningful Name: Mr and Mrs DoGood.
  • Moon Logic Puzzle: The puzzles often make little sense. The "Soul Vial" puzzle is only the most notorious offender.
  • Motor Mouth: William Nilmates, the guy you first find in a cage in the Prologue, has such a habit of doing this that his cellmate apparently died with his fingers still plugging his ears, and Briggs ends up falling asleep at one point when Nilmates trails off into unintelligible rambling.
  • Ms. Fanservice: The French Mystic goes around in a metal bikini. Kinda stands out compared to the clothing off all the other residents. Alas, she barely makes the experience bearable.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Sawdust!!... Sawdust!!... Sawdust!! Yes, you guessed it, it's sawdust!!
  • Mundane Utility: Among other things, using the legendary hammer of the Norse thunder god to do plumbing.
  • No Fourth Wall: The player is cast as Briggs's "earthly guide", and at several points Briggs turns and talks to the camera. At the end, when Briggs is captured by the Sins, the "earthly guide" is unnoticed and must save him.
  • Nominal Hero: Alright, Briggs is supposed to be humanity's last hope and greatest hero. Why, exactly?
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Benjamin Briggs was from Massachusetts. His voice actor clearly either didn't know or didn't care.
  • Obfuscating Disability: Miss Blackley isn't deaf... no reason why.
  • Obvious Beta: Despite spending 13 years in development, the results indicate that not even half of that was put into development.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: The French Mystic really doesn't sound all that French.
  • Our Souls Are Different: The bottle-able variety. The owner is apparently safe as long as his soul is inside a flask or bottle. When the soul is forcibly taken away by the Soul Taker the owner is Deader Than Dead.
  • Pixel Hunt: Up to Eleven. Have fun locating a splinter of wood on a wooden desk! Or a thin scrap of dark cloth on a pitch-black background, with the pen-line-thin width facing the screen!
    Wields-Rulebook-Heavily: An excellent adventure game has no haystacks. A good adventure game probably gives you a magnet. A bad one makes you look at straw for seven hours. This game is nothing but haystacks, and sometimes the needles are made of straw.
  • Player and Protagonist Integration: You act as an "Earthly guide" for Briggs, meaning you tell him where to go, where to look, or what to collect. Briggs occasionally acts independent of you, going to certain areas by himself or collecting things unprompted. In the finale, Briggs gets captured, and you must solve the final puzzle by yourself.
  • Refuge in Audacity: Possibly invoked, but it didn't work out for them. These guys blatantly stole from mega-blockbuster video games and a couple of summer action movies and weren't instantly sued into the ground, and still managed to get published twice? That'd be amazing if it weren't so very, very stupid.
  • Rouge Angles of Satin: Everywhere if you turn on the subtitles. If you can't get those to work (likely), go into your inventory and read your item descriptions.
  • Sequel Hook: After the ending, there's The Stinger and the title card for Limbo of the Lost II: Flight to Freedom, which thankfully never came out.
  • Seven Deadly Sins: In Chapter 5, there are seven doors corresponding to the seven deadly sins, each of them with a narmy looking goblin's head on it whose facial expression mirrors the sin it's representing. They are also Colour-Coded for Your Convenience. Apparently they're the hooded wraiths that capture Briggs near the end, forcing you to save him, though since only four appear on screen they could as well be the Horsemen.
  • Screw Fate: Benjamin is the pawn of Destiny, who favors free will and is in a contest against Fate. Incidentally, this may also be a ripoff, this time of the Shin Megami Tensei series.
  • Shout-Out: The French Mystic saying: "Monsieur Detective I shall tell you this... but only once!"
  • Silence, You Fool!: One of the characters you meet early in the game says that.
  • Sinister Subway: In Chapter Four.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Steve Bovis, the project leader, to quote, "My job is to put the game together and create all the visuals, coding, sounds, models, marketing and basically make the game flow and work. As well as manage and try to motivate the team. A job that is hard enough at the best of times!" Yet the result shows all too well.
  • Smug Snake: Alas, Briggs himself will swing between making ridiculously dumb-looking faces and smugly grinning with superiority at will. This is evident during the climax of Chapter 3.
  • Snow Means Death: It always snows on Darkmere, though the air is not cold (according to Briggs anyway). That's because it's ash. Never mind how the ashes from, say, 8-10 people is enough to cover a village like that, let alone being mistaken for snow to begin with.
  • Sociopathic Hero: Briggs fits this trope to a tee. In just the prologue alone, we have him commit the following:
    • One act of murder;
    • Two acts of desecrating the dead;
    • Six acts of theft;
    • One act of employing date rape drugs;
    • And two acts of destruction of property.
    • To say nothing of how one puzzle involves Briggs clamping a bear trap over a guy's head just to steal his pen.
  • Sock Puppet: Not in-game, but in Real Life: Steve Bovis wrote forum posts under the name of FABLE, pretending to be a fan of the game and recommending it left and right. Things got a little iffy after "FABLE" started berating a fellow forum member, whom he had helped beat the game, about posting hints on the forum for other people, saying that it was taking away the point of the game and disrespectful towards the developers who had worked so hard coming up with the puzzles. After the argument had gone on for a while, with Bovis actually chiming in as himself and backing FABLE up, an admin found out that FABLE and Bovis had the same IP address. Bovis explained that a play tester had been posting the messages without his knowledge, and that they only owned one computer that was connected to the Internet due to "safety reasons". The forumgoers didn't exactly buy it. Witness the whole thing in all its facepalm-inducing glory here.
  • Soul Jar: Every Lost Soul (apparently) has a bottle which holds their soul. Notably, O'Negus has a shop where he keeps soul bottles he has found, in case their original owners come looking for them. Or, alternatively, he's looking to sell them to the highest bidder, depending on how the writers are feeling at the moment.
  • Solve the Soup Cans: Pretty much all the puzzles. Some of them are needlessly roundabout solutions to simple problems, and frequently the "logic" behind them makes no sense whatsoever. One puzzle involves putting a sleeping potion in a jailer's gruel. It involves a worm, 2 bottles, an unlit torch, human fat, an arm, a skull, sewage water, and snot. Good luck!
  • Sore Loser: Fate, lampshaded by his brother Destiny.
  • The Stinger: Fate and Destiny talking.
  • Summation Gathering: When revealing who the murderers are at the end of Chapter 3.
  • Timed Mission: The final puzzle in the game gives you a limited amount of time to save Briggs from the Sins. Run out and you get the bad ending. However even this is sloppily done, as the timer actually doesn't move and will only drop for a fixed amount of times whenever you enter or leave one of the Seven Sins' chambers. So it's less about running out of time and more like "know exactly what to do and when."
  • Unfortunate Names: One of the characters you can encounter during the prologue is Cranny Faggot. Her name is quite possibly derived from that of celebrity chef and Caustic Critic Fanny Cradock. Amusingly, which of those two names is more unfortunate depends on which side of the Atlantic you're on.
  • Unsound Effect: In Laura's first appearance in Chapter 3, she mistakes Briggs as the Soultaker and screams... with the subtitles rendering her scream as "Screeeaaammmm!!".
  • The Unintelligible: Some of the characters are very hard to understand.
  • Verbal Tic:
    • One of the designers has an odd habit of peppering his writing with mad laughter ("HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA"), and this sometimes shows up in the game's subtitled dialogue - but not in the voice acting.
    • Steve Bovis, seems to have a... bizarre understanding of how capitalization works for titles: instead of just capitalizing the first letter of a title, he has the habit of capitalizing the entire word of a title. This shows up in the subtitles every now and then, and can also be seen in forum posts made by him that are floating around the Internet.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Most of the time for Fan Disservice, expecially with the obese Innkeeper who sports man boobs.
  • Water Is Blue: At one point, you must put saffron in water to turn it green. This utterly insane break from reality is supposed to be justified by the water being rendered as blue. Note that apparently, water is always bright blue even if it's inside a dark green bottle.
  • The Worf Effect: During the climax of Chapter 3 the Soul Taker, who previously has killed many people with ease, stands perfectly still roaring and screeching while Briggs takes his time to pull out the glass box, put the candle inside, lit the candle and slowly countdown before trapping him inside said box. This makes the Soul Taker look like a moron, and Briggs like a Marty Stu.
  • Who Forgot the Lights?: It's a horror game, so it's expected.
  • Why Did it Have to be Grubs?: Briggs has no issues with tearing bones right out of a corpse, digging through rotted eye sockets for a key, or just outright maiming the inhabitants of Limbo to progress his goals. But he flat out refuses to pick up a grub with his bare hands. Said grub later morphs into a horrific fly-like creature, which he has no problem stuffing into his pants.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: No reason is given for why the murderers in Chapter Three didn't kill the mayor when they so easily had the chance. Had they killed him, they wouldn't have gotten caught.
  • Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: The Pie Shoppe and the Pawn Shoppe.


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