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Video Game / Limbo of the Lost

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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.

The game is infamous for, among other things, reusing graphics and sounds from other games without permission, to the point that a wiki was made to document the origins of its assets. For obvious reasons, the game was also pulled from store shelves due to the rampant plagiarism.

Despite the title, this game has nothing to do with Limbo.

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 There in the Manual: Reading the manual and/or watching the extended intro in the bonus features DVD is the only way to know why Briggs is in the Limbo of the Lost, why he has a Seal of Sufferance on him and what is the deal with the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse in Chapter 5.
  • 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. Of particular note is the puzzle that requires you to go back and forth between the same two locations three times because Briggs can't carry more than one bone on him.
  • 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.
  • Butt-Monkey: William Nilmates is encountered at least once per chapter and each time he's subjected to some grisly slapstick.
  • Captain Obvious: You have the option to tell Briggs to "Look" at various objects, but 99% of the time, if he DOES have anything to say about them (other than just the default response of "MMMMMMMmmmmmmm interesting"), it will be just him stating what the object is (which you likely already know from just seeing the object's name) instead of providing any useful insight.
    (You tell Briggs to Look at an object named Water Fountain.)
    Briggs: It's a water fountain.
  • 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: Expect yourself to be getting very tired of looking at the same cave bridge over and over.
  • Cruelty Is the Only Option: The most notable example is in Chapter 2, where the only way to progress is to first put a beartrap over the Worrymeister's eyes, steal his pen, and then use that pen to blind a monster in the nearby sewer, all for the purpose of using the pen nib as a key to unlock the chains holding the nearby prisoner. At no point does Briggs ever question the morality of his actions, either.
  • Dance Party Ending: The ending has a bunch of characters singing the praises of Captain Briggs, proclaiming him the King of Limbo.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Grunger's big on this. Next to Briggs's cell, there are two cells with notes detailing how Grunger locked one guy for eternity for waking him up, and another for clicking his fingers. William Nilmates was put in a cage because he smelled bad.
  • 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 out just to steal a pen?
  • Endless Corridor: Chapter 1 is the most notable due to having three of these right next to each other, all reusing the same assets between each other and even Briggs commenting on how long they are.
  • 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.
  • Extreme Close-Up: Several times during cutscenes, for no readily apparent reason except possibly a clumsy attempt to cover up missing and/or poor-quality animation. It really doesn't help.
  • Eye Scream: First, Briggs decides to steal someone's 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.
  • Everything Sounds Sexier in French: The French Mystic in Chapter 3 is notably the only scantily clad woman in the game (at least one intended to look sexy), and she speaks in Gratuitous French.
  • 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. After you successfully manage to stop the 4 horsemen of the apocalypse from killing Briggs, all of a sudden he ends up wandering into a party set up in his honor by almost every character in the game, followed by everyone singing a song about how Briggs should be the King of Limbo. No explanation is given on how or why this happens.
  • GIS Syndrome: The item graphics are apparently ripped from the internet too.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • Very few puzzles in the game are signposted in any way, and since the game does not allow you to ask NPCs about anything and does not give you any clues when inspecting objects, managing to figure out solutions to many puzzles without using a guide often borders on a miracle. For instance, Chapter 3, how likely the player is to realize that they need to press a specific, easily missable button in the stables in order to enable a puzzle in a completely different location that has no obvious connection to the stables?
    • The counter-intuitive design extends even to basic gameplay functions, like the subtitles. In most other games, you can turn subtitles on by simply going into the options and clicking on the relevant setting. Can you hazard a guess as to how you can turn them on in this game? By pressing T on your keyboard.
  • 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 vicious, horned dog-like creatures is encountered in Chapter 1, apparently all named Fluffy. 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.
  • I Can't Reach It: What Briggs can and cannot do is often completely arbitrary, leading to some very counterintuitive puzzles.
  • Idiosyncratic Menu Labels: The game applies this trope to the pause screen (the Start Screen buttons are kept normal):
    Resume Game: "Back To Hell"
    Load Game: "Resurrection"
    Save Game: "Save Your Soul" (whenever saving is disabled, it would instead read "Repent Sinner, Your Soul Cannot Be Saved")
    Quit Game: "End Is Nigh"
  • Idle Animation: If you leave Briggs alone for long enough, he'll tap on the screen and tell you to get moving. He also tends to smile for no apparent reason when standing still and facing the camera.
  • 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..."
  • Inexplicably Identical Individuals: If you pay very close attention during Chapter 3, you can notice that Danny Skurge (the guy with the extended coughing fit) and the Jailor (the guy who keeps notifying Briggs about the new dead citizens) are in fact two different people, even though they use the same character model and have (presumably) the same voice actor. The only difference between them is the clothing they wear (black vest for Danny, green vest with a badge for Jailor), and the only tell-tale sign that they're two separate people is the mystery reveal sequence, where you can see the two standing next to each other... if you can make that out from underneath the smoke effects.
  • 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: Briggs does that on a regular basis throughout the entire game, with the justification being that the player serves as his "earthly guide" who tells him what to do.
  • 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.
  • Last-Name Basis: If anyone refers to Briggs by name, it's always just his last name. The only person who refers to Briggs by his full name is, well, Briggs himself.
  • 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: I was asking why you're hanging up there in the cage.
    Nilmates: Ah, well, you see, he put me up here, said I was putting him off his food! The cheeky sod.
    Briggs: How were you putting him off his food?
    Nilmates: Well, to be quite honest with you, I do think it may have been my bodily emanations.
    Briggs: Sorry?
    Nilmates: Well, you know, my sort of odoriferous redolence.
    Briggs: ...What?
    Nilmates: (Sighs) Well, to put it bluntly, I stink! Mind you, he's got some room to talk, with his awful flatulence...
  • 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 is a dismembered head that can still talk. He notes that he was beheaded by Grunger when he made the mistake of waking him up, and has been serving as his footstool ever since.
  • Moon Logic Puzzle: The puzzles often make little sense. The "Soul Vial" puzzle from Chapter 1 is the most notorious offender: it requires you to make a fake Soul Bottle so that you can swap it with the real Soul Bottle and then use it for another puzzle. To make that fake Soul Bottle, you need to mix water and saffron together to create a green liquid. Because according to this game, water is pure blue, and saffron is pure yellow, and mixing them gives green.
  • 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 of all the other residents.
  • Mundane Object Amazement: The description of Sawdust is oddly excited about it.
    "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.
  • 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: Several times in Chapter 3, Briggs has a conversation with Miss Blackley, who appears to be so deaf and shortsighted that she mistakes him for a girl and keeps on mishearing everything he says. Later on, she loses her glasses, and Briggs gives her a wrong pair as a replacement. Since she accepts these incorrect glasses without questioning it, Briggs deduces that she must be just pretending. When he presents this evidence at the end of the Chapter, she proves to be perfectly able to hear him, confirming his suspicions.
  • 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.
  • One-Book Author: Understandably, it was the only game by British developer Majestic Studios.
  • Pixel Hunt: 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.
  • Rouge Angles of Satin: Everywhere if you turn on the subtitles, such as "curphew" instead of "curfew". Particularly notable because one "clue" in Chapter 3 relies on an intentional misspelling that Briggs even points out himself.
  • Sequel Hook: After the ending, there's The Stinger and the title card for Limbo of the Lost II: Flight to Freedom, which never came out.
  • Seven Deadly Sins: In Chapter 5, there are seven doors corresponding to the seven deadly sins, each of them with a 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 Destiny: Benjamin is the pawn of Destiny, who favors free will and is in a contest against Fate.
  • Shout-Out: The French Mystic saying: "Monsieur Detective I shall tell you this... but only once!"
  • Shown Their Work: One puzzle requires you to make "tequila" by combining sewage with a worm. Anyone who knows their tequila will tell you that a worm in the bottle is a trademark sign of cheap hooch trying to sell itself as quality tequila. Appropriately enough, this particular batch of "tequila" is meant to knock Grunger on his ass so Briggs can escape. In any other game, this would feel like a tongue-in-cheek acknowledgement; here, it comes off as oddly appropriate.
  • Sinister Subway: The entirety of Chapter 4 is set in one, with your task being to fix the train.
  • Smug Snake: Briggs 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.
  • Sociopathic Hero: Briggs is technically on the side of good, in that his goal is to stop Fate from getting to rule over the mankind. However, he also seems to have little regard for any damage he might cause to the inhabitants of Limbo:
    • In Chapter 1, him placing a coffin lid over a bridge in order to walk over it causes Bugsy to have his eyes eaten by the Woodgator. When Briggs finds out about this, the best he can muster in response is to sheepishly look around, and then absentmindedly pick his nose.
    • In Chapter 2, he has no hesitation putting a bear trap device over a man's eyes just to steal his fountain pen.
  • 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. This is lampshaded by his brother Destiny. The two decide to go double or nothing on a second round, but don't hold your breath on that happening.
  • 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.
  • The Stinger: Fate and Destiny made a bet on whether Briggs would be able to make it all the way through Limbo. Fate loses, so they decide to go double-or-nothing on a followup bet.
  • Summation Gathering: The investigation in Chapter 3 is concluded with Briggs spending whole 7 minutes explaining every minute detail of his proceedings, all for the purpose of revealing who the murderers are.
  • 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."
  • Tonto Talk: Blackhawk talk like this. Humorously subverted when he says "How", Briggs assumes it's the stereotypical Native American greeting, and replies the same way, complete with hand gesture. It turns out he's actually asking Briggs how he's going to help him.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: 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.