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Video Game / Little Hope

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The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope, also known simply as Little Hope, is an Adventure Game slash Survival Horror developed by Supermassive Games and published by Bandai Namco Entertainment. It's supposed to be the second game in an Anthology of horror games called The Dark Pictures Anthology. It was released worldwide on October 30th, 2020 for PC, Xbox One, and Playstation 4.

Abandoned and all alone, 4 college students and their teacher become stranded in an isolated town that is miles from anywhere after their bus crashes in bad weather. Trapped by a mysterious fog in the Ghost Town of Little Hope, they search desperately for a means of escape whilst visions from the past haunt them from the shadows.

This game is a follow up of the game Man of Medan, that came out in 2019.

The game received a follow-up, House of Ashes, released on October 22, 2021.


This game provides examples of:

  • Abnormal Limb Rotation Range: The demon based on Joseph.
  • Accidental Hero: One ending has Vince be this to Anthony if the latter angered the former during their brief confrontation scene at the church. If the player also got all four members of Andrew's group killed, condemned Mary to death in the final flashback and saved at least one bullet in the gun found earlier (as well as managing not to lose the weapon on the way) during the story route, then Anthony is all set to carry out the ending where he takes his own life in front of his old home...only for an enraged Vince to suddenly show up with a cop he called earlier, which results in Anthony's suicide being stopped just in the nick of time. In short, Vince in this ending indirectly saved the one person in his life he wanted dead.
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  • Adoption Diss: Played with in the prologue when James attributes the family's problems to the fact that their children are adopted, though this is never touched upon again.
  • Artistic License – History: During the witch trials in North America, the convicted victims were all hanged. Not a single victim was burned at the stake or drowned. However, victims were burned, drowned, and hanged in Europe. Partly justified as the "witch trials" taking place are part of the hallucinations experienced by Anthony.
  • Asshole Victim: Depending on the choices the player makes, almost any character can come off this way, but John and Angela are particularly vulnerable to this trope.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Inverted. In cases where they survive, both Angela and Taylor get more wounds and dirt compared to any of the men.
  • Black Vikings: Judge Wyman, the village judge overseeing the witch trials, appears to be Asian in spite of living in colonial America. This is actually a hint that things are not as they seem — Wyman has the appearance of the Asian-American neighbor that mistakenly accuses Anthony of being responsible for the fire.
  • Book Ends:
    • The playable parts of the game both begins and ends at the Clarke Family House.
    • The good ending both begins and ends at a diner.
  • Burn the Witch!: This is either a Downplayed Trope or an Averted Trope depending on how you play the game. While it is possible for Tabitha to be burned at the stake, she can also be hanged, depending on certain choices that the player makes. All others accused of witchcraft are executed in various other ways, such as drowning.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • A literal example with the gun Andrew can bring with him, which can factor into the worst ending where Anthony commits suicide as the sole survivor
    • Early in the game, the player can come across a small, crude doll in the present day. This becomes integral to the witch trials storyline as "evidence" of Tabitha's witchcraft, and reappears again in Mary's trial.
  • Creepy Child: Three creepy children in one game: Megan in the prologue, Mary in the witch trials, and the apparition of the little girl running around in the present game.
  • Cue the Sun: The ending takes place during the day, as opposed to the night the entire ordeal does.
  • Deal with the Devil: The townspeople had become convinced that Amy forged a deal with the devil and became a witch. Her begging John and Andrew for help before her execution just led them to claim she was calling for her "master" to save her.
  • Decoy Protagonist: Anthony, the playable character of the prologue (which takes place in the 1970s), who dies in the fire that burns down his house and kills his family. For the main story, the perspective switches to that of the modern-day college students and their professor. Subverted at the end, when it's revealed that Anthony actually survived the fire, and is Andrew's true identity.
  • Dead Star Walking: Subverted, but ultimately Zig-Zagged with Andrew, who is voiced by, modeled after, and motion captured by Will Poulter. While he certainly can still die, he has a lot Plot Armor up until the literal end of the story where can die via suicide, and even then, his fate is still determined by a number of factors. If one of the other protagonists are still alive he won't die. If he never found the gun, or used all of the bullets, he can't go through with it. And if he was antagonistic to Vince his suicide attempt will be interrupted by him and Andrew is arrested by the police. It is honestly very easy to keep Andrew alive, but possibly the most difficult to save.
  • Dies Wide Open: Almost every character dies with their eyes still open.
  • Doing In the Wizard: Much like Man of Medan, it's eventually revealed that there are no supernatural elements in play. Instead, Anthony, the teenager from the 1970s at the beginning of the game, wanders through town and hallucinates almost everything due to a combination of head trauma and the guilt he feels over his role in the fire that killed the rest of his family. The only thing that actually was real was Vincent.
  • Downer Beginning: The prologue opens with the bus crashing and shifts to the horrific deaths of the Clarke Family.
  • Driven to Suicide: Anthony commits this if the player chooses to take the gun early in the game, condemns Mary, does not choose to fire the gun at Vince, and if all other playable characters die.
  • Dying Dream: Daniel brings up this trope as one possible explanation for what is happening, suggesting that they died in the bus crash and are now in some kind of limbo. The idea is quickly dismissed by the group.
  • Eldritch Location: Little Hope. It's a town infested with demons and surrounded by a supernatural fog that won't allow anyone to leave. Except not really. Turns out that it was all just a hallucination by the Bus Driver, Anthony Clarke.
  • Elemental Motifs: The executions that take place during the witch trials all follow the four elements. Amy is drowned in a river (water), David is thrown off a high place and impaled (wind), and Joseph is crushed underneath heavy stones (earth). The only possible outlier is Tabitha, who can either be burned at the stake (fire), or she can be hanged.
  • Forced to Watch: A standard practice during the executions, with the families of the accused held back and forced to watch their loved ones being killed. Amy's husband is held back and forced to watch his wife drown, while Tabitha's siblings have to watch as she's slowly and painfully hanged or burned.
  • Foreshadowing: Oh, so much concerning the Twist Ending.
    • When the bus stops at the detour during the beginning of the story, there is a brief moment where the driver's left ear (hidden from view by the camera angles) is seen with an old burn mark. It`s later revealed that Anthony (the only Clarke not explicitly shown being killed) got it from the housefire in the following flashback scene, giving off the first hint as to who the driver really is.
    • None of the characters say anything when the bus suddenly stops and makes an unexpected detour. Because they weren't there at all.
    • The "college class" consists of one professor and four students. Even extremely small college classes still have upwards of a dozen students, and any class with only four students would almost certainly have been canceled due to lack of enrollment. This is a hint that the "class" isn't real.
    • Upon waking up after the bus crash, Andrew mentions that he doesn't remember any of the others with him. This is because they don't exist, and only came into existence because of the head trauma he's suffering.
    • Daniel's theory that the college class are suffering a Dying Dream is quickly dismissed by the rest of the group, but is proven correct by the end (with the class being hallucinative representations of the deceased Clarke family members).
    • When they try to get help from Vince in the bar, Andrew asks Vince if he's seen their bus driver. Vince gives a dry chuckle and says "That's funny." Because Andrew/Anthony is the bus driver.
    • Vince never responds to anyone besides Andrew (Anthony) and always uses singular pronouns while talking, an early sign that the other four are hallucinations. He likewise seems totally oblivious to the presence of the demons in town. Again, because they don't really exist.
    • When John and Taylor play darts, they all land in different spots on the board. However, the darts all appear in the middle after the characters leave. This is a hint that the class don’t really exist.
    • At the graveyard, not only does Tanya’s grave have flowers (showing that Vince, her boyfriend, is still mourning her), but all of the Clarke family have headstones except for Anthony (showing that he is alive and hallucinating the other characters).
    • While riding his bike through Little Hope, Vince will notice the characters if the player fails the “Keep Calm” segment and say, “Stupid old fool. Can’t a guy get some peace and quiet around here?”. It seems like he’s talking to himself, but this is because he sees an older Anthony, and not a college class. Yet another hint that the class doesn’t exist.
    • At one point, Taylor stumbles upon a tire swing from her childhood. During the prologue, Anthony can see the same tire swing in his garden too, which makes sense as Taylor/Tanya and Anthony grew up together.
    • Throughout the whole game, Andrew is the only character in the college class who never faces a direct risk of death, having no demons out to kill him and surviving to the climax even if the player fails all his QTE's (which by comparison to the other four characters aren't even directly life threatening). This is another hint of all the danger being fictional.
  • Ghost Town: The town of Little Hope seems to have been abandoned years ago in the present time, with old documents indicating that the town died off after the factory closure. Vince appears to be the only person left living in the town and the only other person, besides the police officer, who's real.
  • Hide Your Children: Megan's death is not only possible, but crucial to the game's narrative. Mary can escape death based on the player's choices, but is implied to have been sentenced to execution in some of the trial endings.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: In the good ending for the final trial, Rev. Carver is ultimately found guilty thanks to the contents of the Bible that he carries around as part of his guise of a holy man.
  • Homage: A number of moments in the game pay tribute to the original Silent Hill, as well as Supermassive's own Until Dawn:
    • The central plot thread of Little Hope pays a huge homage to the very first Silent Hill game. Both stories see you running through a foggy, abandoned New England town after a crashed vehicle leaves you stranded, in pursuit of a mysterious dark-haired little girl (who wears a school uniform straight out of The '70s) while being hunted by demonic apparitions and investigating the past crimes of a Puritan cult. The game-play, characters, and exact details vary wildly, but several shots make it clear the parallels were deliberate.
    • Several little moments harken back to Until Dawn, such as the scare with a deer running out of the woods and crossing the characters' path (which later gains more significance in Until Dawn, though here it's just a fake-out). There's also a moment that serves as a Shout-Out to both Until Dawn and Man of Medan, when Andrew finds a busted radio in the police station and wryly observes he hoped it would be their salvation—since finding a working radio was a major turning point in helping the characters to escape their predicament in both previous games.
    • A historical example occurs with Joseph's death when he is crushed by rocks. One famous victim of the Salem Witch Trials was Giles Corey, a man who was pressed to death by rocks when he refused to confess to accusations of witchcraft.
  • Horror Host: Pip Torrens returns to play the cheerful Curator, a recurring character across the "Dark Pictures Anthology."
  • Identical Stranger: The main characters in 2019, the Clarke family in the 1970`s and five of Little Hopes locals during the witch hunt hysteria in the 1690s all look and sound similar to one another, with the current day group noticing this fact in regards to the other two group of doubles.
    • In a meta sense, the Clarke family and present-day groups also share the same five voice and motion capture actors note .
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: The fate of David and Dennis in the flashbacks and Daniel in the present if you get him killed.
  • Incest Subtext: Taylor and Daniel's relationship, once you know that they're just projections of the real Tanya and Dennis, who were in fact, brother and sister. True, they were both adopted and likely shared no blood relationship; and true, Dennis's dislike of Vince could be read as jealousy over Tanya (rather than racism or just plain standoffishness, as is initially hinted). But why Anthony's subconscious would choose to project two of his siblings as a romantic couple when that wasn't explicitly part of their real-life dynamic remains a bit of a headscratcher.
  • Jump Scare: Almost every witch trial scene starts with one of these as the characters are forcefully pulled into the flashback.
  • Letter Motif: The modern-day, the 1970s, and 1690s versions of characters all share the same first letter for their names. For example, there is Andrew, Anthony, and Abraham.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: One thing that is never explained is who the shadowy figure that appears behind Megan in the beginning is. Is it a demon possessing her into causing the fire, or is it merely her own mental illness imagining it? Or is Anthony dreaming it up so he can have someone to blame for the fire?
  • Mythology Gag: The Curator tries to comfort the player in the fact that no matter what choices they could've made, the Clarke family would all die horribly in the prologue. This seems a bit similar to Dr. Hill's reassurance to the player after the prologue of Until Dawn, where the Washington sisters are doomed to die, setting the entire plot in motion.
  • New England Puritan: Part of the plot features flashbacks to the town's Puritanical past, invoking this trope.
  • Nightmare Face: The apparitions that pull the characters into the witch trial flashbacks all have ghastly, decaying faces as they jump scare the player.
  • Not What It Looks Like: Most endings where Anthony is arrested when Vince calls the sheriff's office after Andrew fires his gun at one of the creatures. Neither knows that Anthony's head injury was causing him to hallucinate monsters and believe him to be a dangerous lunatic.
  • Obvious Rule Patch: Supermassive Games seems to have disliked people just reloading a save if a person died. The final encounter with the demons depends on the decisions when earlier confronted by them. If they faced them alone without begging others for help they live, if not they are destroyed by their demons in the ruined house.
  • Once More, with Clarity!: After his final encounter with Vince, Anthony remembers the night with better clarity realizing that he was the bus driver and has been alone this whole time and there was no supernatural threat.
  • Parents as People: The Clarke parents, James and Anne, seem to want to do the best by their children but their own issues, such as James' alcoholism and worries about losing his job, and Anne throwing in his face that she does most of the work raising them by herself, get in the way of actually doing anything, especially regarding Megan. The way Tanya and Anthony speak about it in the prologue, their arguments have been going on for as long as they can remember.
  • Pedophile Priest: Implied to be the case with Reverend Carver. In the 1690s, if you side with Mary in the final trial, he angrily calls her "Satan's whore" and refers to himself as the first one she put under her spell. As for reality, it's mentioned that Meghan has been acting out lately and that the Priest at the local church has repeatedly been requesting that she stay behind after Mass. A newspaper clip that can be found also shows that the priest from the 70s got arrested after being accused of molesting children.
  • Platonic Cave: Little Hope serves as this for Anthony, who survived the fire that killed his family and ends up accidentally returning to the town as a middle-aged bus driver. He imagines himself and his family as both the Colonial villagers and the College group, placing himself at the center as Andrew while attempting to save his family from their fates over and over. Vince is the only other person that actually exists, and the one to eventually make Anthony realize the truth.
  • Plot Armor: Anthony cannot be killed no matter how many quick-time events you fail, because the entirety of the game is taking place in his traumatized mind.
    • John faces no real risk of death until near the end of the final act, with his demon not bothering to kill him before then. Taken a step further if he and Andrew are the only ones alive, as he cannot die no matter how many of the QTE’s the player fails.
  • Red Herring: Angela is the oldest playable character, at 48 years of age. The game takes place in 2019, so she would have been born around 1972 — and the entire Clarke family died in late January of that year. This is presumably to support the idea that Anne was reincarnated as Angela soon after her deathnote , kicking off another loop in which the group as a whole are being reincarnated again and again after they die — which despite being heavily set up throughout the game, ends up not being the case at all.
  • The Reveal: Every ending reveals that the entire game since the bus crash has been inside of Anthony's mind, because his true identity is the bus driver, Andrew, who watched his family die in the prologue's house fire. Every character except Vince was a figment of his tortured imagination combined with survivor's guilt.
  • Sadistic Choice: At several points in the game, the player is forced to choose between two different characters in danger. How much weight this choice carries depends on the specific event, so the player may doom a character by making the wrong choice.
  • Salem Is Witch Country: The game's plot is heavily inspired by the true-life events that transpired in Salem, Massachusetts, down to some of the accusations against the accused coming from a child.
  • Sequel Hook: Much like Man of Medan, the game ends with a teaser for the next game in the Anthology, House of Ashes.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Despite the fact that there are 5 main characters, Andrew and Daniel get a good chunk of the playable segments and fight scenes in the Theatrical Cut, even if the player keeps everyone alive throughout. This is justified for Andrew, since he is revealed to be Anthony Clarke, thus he is the primary main character and is hallucinating the events of the story under the name “Andrew”. However, no such justification exists for Daniel.
  • Sudden Downer Ending: All of the characters save for Andrew can suddenly die inside the burnt house depending on their dialogue choices even if you have kept them alive throughout the story.
    • Even the ending where Everyone Lives is this. The house fire sequence with the Clarke family at beginning of the game wasn't just a dream, it actually happened and killed everyone involved except Anthony. The characters you'd been following the entire game were all just representations of Anthony's deceased family members, brought "back to life" by his survivor's guilt-ridden mental illness and head trauma following the bus crash. All of the characters promptly disappear after Anthony comes to that realization.
      • Can be taken further based on player actions, antagonizing Vince will lead to him calling the police who proceed to arrest Anthony once all is said and done.
  • Super-Persistent Predator: Each of the monsters the group faces keep coming back until their respective victim finally goes toe-to-toe with them.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Tanya in the burning house sequence seen at the beginning of the game. She's on a 2nd floor balcony where she could easily jump down. At worst, she's looking at a broken leg, and that's unlikely, more like a sprain. Whereas John is too drunk to notice, Anne is locked in the bathroom, and Dennis is stuck in the attic, Tanya had an easy way to get out.
  • Through the Eyes of Madness: Everything the group goes through is one night-long hallucination being experienced by Anthony fueled by his Survivor's Guilt from the fire that killed his family.
  • Truth in Television:
    • The witch trials in the 1690s had many similarities to real-life witch trials, in particular, the infamous Salem witch trials or the British witch trials as such as those of Matthew Hopkins. The use of spectral evidence such as Mary's false seizure and Amy supposedly touching and curing her has been documented. The executions of hanging, drowning, thrown from heights and being crushed under stones were used, however, only hanging was ever used as an execution method in America (crushing was used famously on Giles Corey, but he never confessed to witchcraft and died due to the torture). The other methods were used in Europe, which is a hint that the trials are all a conjuration of someone's troubled mind. Further, Amy and Joesph's insistence that Mary, rather than Carver, is the true culprit was also fairly common, as Carver's position as a priest would've made it very hard to condemn him.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: In the prologue, some sort of shadowy figure or demon is seen behind Megan. This is never explained or touched upon again for the rest of the game. It's hinted to be a figment of Megan's imagination created from the secret abuse she's suffered from Reverend Carson, though it does help deceive the players as to the true nature of their situation and any supernatural occurrences happening in Little Hope's past.