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Video Game / Lost in Blue

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You see that girl standing there looking helpless? That's because she is.

A series of Survival Sandbox games by Konami, for the Nintendo DS and Wii, consisting of the original Lost in Blue in 2005, 2007's Lost in Blue 2 and finally, 2008's Lost in Blue 3 and Lost in Blue: Shipwrecked. These games are only thematically related to each other. In the US, the Lost in Blue series is treated as a Spiritual Successor to the earlier Game Boy Color game series Survival Kids, while in Japan, the series has been continuously branded with the Survival Kids name and there's no true difference between them.

The premise of the games is generally that you are stranded on an island with different areas to explore. You have meters that cover different human bodily functions, and you need to find food and water in order to survive, and eventually your goal is to escape from the island. The games usually feature a male character and a female character that in the different games, can range anywhere on the Sliding Scale of Gender Inequality from The Load to Action Girl.

This game provides examples of:

  • Acceptable Breaks from Reality
    • Firewood and tree bark picked up in the rain or washed up on the beach from a storm does not need to be dried before it can be used.
    • When hunting for fur to make bedsheets and chair covers, fur from any large animal will do, including boar "fur", which is even described in the picture book as coarse and rough.
    • In Lost in Blue 2, all of the shelf contents, furniture, and water, firewood, bamboo/basket, and vine/rope stock levels are shared between all three shelters. This means the player won't be caught by surprise when they suddenly realize they left all of their firewood, packed lunches, or a certain tool at another shelter, and the player won't have to build three sets of furniture, either.
  • Action Girl: Amy from Lost in Blue 2 and the original Survival Kids girl, as well as in Shipwrecked.
  • Artificial Stupidity: Occasionally happens in Lost in Blue 2 if the partner is left alone. Even if multiple food items, packed lunches, and bottles of water are left in their inventory or on the shelf and the player has told them beforehand that they would be out for a while, the partner might not eat or drink any of it. Meaning the safest course of action is to drag the other character along with you. On the bright side, Serious Survival removes them completely, meaning you don't need to babysit them.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Two of the possible endings in Survival Kids, where after 100 days you realize you aren't getting off the island, but it doesn't bother you anymore. There two variations—one if you've rescued the other kid, and one if you haven't. This is also present in later entries, though it typically increases it to 365 days.
  • Blind Without 'Em: Attempted justification for Skye's inability to do anything in Lost in Blue.
  • Block Puzzle: For the most part, puzzles in this game are insultingly easy. The real challenge of the puzzles is keeping yourself alive while solving them.
  • Boss in Mook's Clothing: The Leopard in Survival Kids.
  • Bottomless Bladder: You have a hunger meter, thirst meter, health meter and fatigue meter, but no bladder meter.
  • Cool, Clear Water: Averted. In the beginning of Lost in Blue, there's a freshwater river that has fish swimming in it, and your character comments that it looks safe to drink. Played straight with two of the other water sources in the game, however- a small pool in a cave, and a basin in the temple.
  • Darker and Edgier: The third game is considerably darker than the others.
  • Dating Sim: Lost in Blue 2 has a minor element of this genre in the form of a simple one-dimensional relationship level between the player and their partner, and keeping this relationship good is relatively simple and a net positive. The relationship is improved by cooking good food for them, letting them know when you're leaving, leaving enough firewood for them or you to keep the fire going, making them accessories out of shells (the first of which you'll see on their character artwork) or rare stones, periodically asking them how they're doing, and not overloading them with too much work. The better their relationship, the quicker the partner will be able to work on things like the ever-valuable ropes and baskets. There's also some cosmetic upgrades, such as the partner reacting happily when talked to, the two holding hands when they're walking together, and an opportunity to have a cute scene of them cooking together. Their relationship is lowered by not doing most of what improves the relationship, as well as asking favors of them when your relationship isn't great, and talking to them often enough to annoy them, which results in them working slower, being resistant to doing work for you in general, and leaving the shelter randomly, which puts their health and your game at risk.
  • Deserted Island: Although it wasn't always deserted, as the ruins show.
  • Door to Before: The ruin stages.
  • Drum Bathing: It's possible to create a bath in 3 out of an oil drum.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending
  • Edge Gravity: At the second beach in Lost in Blue 2, reaching the next area requires walking over some cliffs with deep pits that the characters even comment on, and talk about how they need to be careful not to fall. Alas, the game does not allow you to walk the characters off of any sort of ledge.
  • Emergency Weapon: Should Jack run out of spears in Lost in Blue 2, he can take enemies on with his bare hands. Punches hit for puny damage, but successful dodging can lead to him taking down a tiger like a man.
  • Escort Mission: Since Skye is practically helpless, you have to aid her in doing difficult things like crossing stepping stones, or climbing up ledges.
  • Fake Difficulty: The puzzles are not challenging. Keeping yourself from dying of thirst and hunger is challenging.
  • Fishing Minigame: There are actually three methods of fishing- traps, spears, and fishing rods. In the Lost in Blue games, fish - specifically spear fishing due to its short length - is the most efficient food source outside of traps in 2, and often the earliest obtainable food source that can actually sustain the characters long-term.
  • Feminine Women Can Cook: Skye is in charge of making the meals, and finding special ingredients is a minigame you can do while playing as her.
  • Gotta Catch Them All: There are many different kinds of fish, animals and plants to collect for 100% Completion, and that's not even getting into the different kinds of tools, furniture and recipes that can be made.
  • Guide Dang It!: Want 100% completion? Better look up a guide! Especially in Lost in Blue 2, where the final plant is little more than a pixel, and most of the fish require fancy lures.
    • The Pillars ending, also from the second game. Merely beginning it is this trope, as it requires using a torch (which has been useless the entire game thus far) to light sections on the ruins' walls that, at the least, tell you there's some sort of puzzle through the minimap. Fortunately, after that, the rest is straightforward...until the last pillar. It's in an inaccessible area, and approaching it merely has the character wonder how they can possibly reach it, rather than giving any sort of hint, and your partner only does something when you have the items (they remain silent if you bring them there but don't have them). You also need to do it when it's not raining and before 6 PM, or your partner will remain silent and give no indication something is wrong.
  • 100% Completion: There's an encyclopedia of items that you can fill.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: An odd example. Your characters' bags have enough capacity to hold exactly twenty items. It doesn't matter what they are. Just twenty items. One has to wonder how Jack and Amy can only manage to hold twenty clams at one time, and also carry twenty logs, enough to build most of a treehouse.
  • Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence: Generally averted with the male characters who can climb. Depending on the game, female characters may be hindered by things actually intended to aid mobility like bridges, ledges, or stepping stones. In Survival Kids, both male and female characters are unable to cross shallow water.
  • It's Up to You: You can't rely on the non-player character to get you off the island.
  • Island Help Message: In Survival Kids, the way to get the quickest ending was to build one of these on the beach. You'd then get rescued. (It is, of course, a long ways from the Best Ending, which you need to unlock New Game Plus mode — in which your character rescues the other child on the island, befriends them, the two of you escape on a Lost Technology ship, and grow up to get married.)
  • James Bondage: Keith, the male character from the first game, ends up captured by a hostile group living on the island if you play as Skye.
  • Lighter and Softer: Lost in Blue 2 mostly drops the hostile islanders present in the prequel and instead goes for a straighter "island survival sim" feel.
  • The Load: In Lost in Blue, whichever character you don't choose ends up as this due to their being badly injured. Nintendo Official Magazine UK once described Lost in Blue's Skye in particular as being a "brainless cow" who was "so lazy and annoying that it just might make you rethink your standards on gender roles".
  • Long Song, Short Scene: Unless you are really bad at cooking or preparing a recipe that uses multiple cooking techniques, chances are you won't hear much of the cooking song in Lost in Blue 2. Even then, you're forced to just end the cooking after 99 seconds of failing to complete it.
  • MacGuffin: The keystones in the original Survival Kids, needed to unchain the ship.
  • Market-Based Title: Lost in Blue in the US, Survival Kids in Japan. The first game was called Survival Kids in the US, though. In the PAL region, the first game is called Stranded Kids.
  • Multiple Endings: Lost in Blue 2 has six possible endings, to be exact, and each one affects the epilogue. In the endings where the characters are rescued, the two end up marrying and returning to the island later to reminisce.
  • New Game Plus
    • In the first game, the change is mostly cosmetic, as it allows you to make wolfskin and foxskin caps.
    • In Lost in Blue, this lets you play as Skye, the female character.
    • Beating Lost in Blue 2 grants access to "Serious Survival" mode, a survival run playthrough with only one of the main characters. This mode is ostensibly harder, as there is no partner to help gather firewood or food, or make baskets for traps (small land traps are possibly the most efficient method of food gathering), rope for furniture (if you didn't get around to making the full set beforehand), or jerky. But the player also only has to keep one person alive, and the Serious Survival save keeps all of the furniture, shelters, and cookware from the file that was completed, making this mode potentially easier to maintain long-term than a normal file, and thus a good opportunity to work on the picture book.
  • Noob Cave: The first island in Shipwrecked. You leave almost immediately after getting on it.
  • No Periods, Period: Probably justified in Survival Kids at least, as the characters are presumably young enough to have plausibly not hit puberty yet. With regards to the teenaged characters in Lost in Blue 1 and 2, this can be Truth in Television- under extreme duress or physical exertion, females can stop menstruating.
  • Not Distracted by the Sexy: The player character in Lost in Blue 3 is willing to give the best possible bath they can allow to any character by focusing on the fire underneath the makeshift bathtub instead of staring at said character.
  • Oxygen Meter: In Lost in Blue 2 onwards, characters have a limited diving ability.
  • Pixel Hunt: In Lost in Blue 2, the last slot in the plant section of the glossary is a dandelion located in a corner of a certain area of the island that is inaccessible until really far along in the game. You have to go hunting for a little weed that is almost indistinguishable from the background. And even though a little box pops up whenever you walk over an item, it's still agonizingly hard to find.
  • Poison Mushroom: There are eight different kinds of mushrooms that you can find. Their effects differ from game to game; some will burn your throat and thus make your thirst meter go down faster, some will keep your energy meter from going down, some will induce stomachaches, some will actually poison you and make your overall health plummet, and some will do nothing. This is randomized from playthrough to playthrough, though there are certain ways to tell which is which without chowing down.
  • Robinsonade: Premise of the games.
  • Ruthless Modern Pirates: Some of the games feature other human inhabitants on the island—very, very unfriendly people, though.
  • Simulation Game
  • Sliding Scale of Gender Inequality: Varies from game to game.
    • Survival Kids: Purely Aesthetic Gender. The only real difference is that, in New Game Plus, female characters can make fox-skin caps, while male ones can make wolf-skin ones. Otherwise, they're identical.
    • Lost in Blue: The female character is The Load, unable to use stepping stones without assistance, gather resources, or even leave the area immediately surrounding the cave. When playing her as a character all she can do is cook, make rope and take care of animals. The creators attempt to Hand Wave this by stating that the reason she can't stray far is because she lost her glasses.
    • Lost in Blue 2: Due to the complaints about the inequality of the first DS game, Lost in Blue 2 features a female protagonist that has abilities which complement those of the male character. In this game the female character is more of an Action Girl, who excels in some non-traditionally female activities like hunting and swimming. However, the player can't really make use of these unless they play as the girl, which many guides advise against due to her not having Jack's energy-saving climbing abilities.
    • Lost in Blue 3: Better than the original, a step down from Lost In Blue 2, and but not as bad as first impressions. Every kid has their own set of skills. Females have full cooking skills, while males can climb better and hunt. All other skills are unique to the character or shared. The first two kids are very typed though.
    • Lost in Blue: Shipwrecked: About the same as 3, and she comes with a pet dog to boot. Lucy can either be left home while Aiden forages, or can come along to help explore.
  • Status Effects: Poison, paralysis, confusion, and energy boost are the typical ones.
  • Stay in the Kitchen
    • Skye, the female protagonist of Lost in Blue, loses her glasses during the shipwreck and is unable to help the player character outside of "household" tasks, like keeping the fire going.
    • The female protagonist of Lost in Blue 2, Amy, is a hobbyist archer and better at hunting and diving than Jack, but many guides will still advise the player to play as Jack and leave her at home whenever they can due to not sharing Jack's energy-saving climbing ability, leading to her mostly just keeping the fire going, making rope and baskets, and tending to the chicken and goat.
  • Team Pet
    • The monkey in Survival Kids, which the player gets to name.
    • Lost in Blue 1 and 2 allow the player to capture a chicken for eggs and a goat for milk. Neither can be named and they need to be watered every day, but the partner does develop an attachment to them from tending to them every day.
    • Shipwrecked also has a dog and a monkey, though neither can be named.
  • Tropical Island Adventure: The series is all about surviving on a tropical island.
  • Useless Useful Spell
    • Jerky, from Lost in Blue 2. Some guides describe jerky as an important food preservation technique, likely because it was in the prequel, but many players have found packed lunches to be far better because any ingredients and recipe can be put in them, and they never go bad, as long as the ingredients were fresh going in. Many players have trouble getting even seconds-old meat to turn into jerky without it spoiling in the process, and even properly-made jerky will spoil after about one in-game week, leading to many just making the jerky shelf and one of each jerky type for the picture book and never touching the mechanic again.
    • In Lost in Blue 2, the partner can be asked to go gather food and firewood, but this is almost never a great idea at any point in the game largely because the player is able to do those two things themselves, it hurts the player and partner's relationship in the early game, and the partner is limited to just picking up whatever you didn't pick up off the ground already (which is largely going to be inferior to what can be hunted or trapped). By the time the player has built their first treehouse in a resource-rich area, the partner is needed to work on valuable rope and baskets, which the player can't make themselves.
  • Videogame Cruelty Potential
    • In the original Survival Kids, you can feed your partner character anything at all—it won't harm them. If you're feeling mean, you can stuff them with toxic mushrooms or raw seafood.
    • It's possible to feed other characters in the Lost in Blue games poisonous food, but doing so may net you a game over.
    • If you choose all the mean dialogue options when playing as Keith, such as blaming Skye for the inevitable deaths of her animals, she spends the whole game miserable and the book she writes in the epilogue is really depressing.
  • Violation of Common Sense: Lucy from Shipwrecked should not be wearing heels when on a deserted island.
  • We Cannot Go On Without You: You're dead as soon as one of your characters' overall health meters reach 0%, except in the first game. In the first game, if the other kid dies, it gives you a bad ending later on.

Alternative Title(s): Stranded Kids, Survival Kids