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Video Game / Mad Father

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Mad Father is a free-ware horror-puzzle game created by Miscreant's Room made with Wolf RPG Editor, their second game after Misao. A young German girl named Aya Drevis is living at home with her titular Mad Father, Doctor Alfred Drevis, and his assistant Maria. One night, Aya hears her father scream and finds her house riddled with corpses and other supernatural things trying to kill her, and her seemingly dead mother Monika Drevis having kidnapped Alfred. Not wanting to leave without her father, Aya decides to brave the house and look for him, all while encountering the horrors of what her father has really done.

The game has an English translation made by vgperson, the woman who translated games like Ib and The Witch's House. You can get it here.

As of September 24 2016, an updated version is available in both Japanese and English on Steam, featuring both overhauled graphics and artwork as well as new scenes. This version was eventually "updated" to a Video Game Remake edition (also available for the Nintendo Switch) that includes further refinements to the visuals and gameplay, as well as adding a gallery where players can look at game assets and dress up their own doll, and the brand-new "Blood Mode" scenario, which takes place after the original game and presents a What If? twist to the story.


Mad Father contains examples of:

  • All There in the Manual: The name of Aya's father (Alfred) is never revealed during the game. You can only find it in Gallery mode, available after viewing the true ending and collecting all gems.
    • Zig-Zagged in the case of Aya's mother, Monika. Her name is found in one of the notes that appears only in a second run of the game (a letter she wrote), although most players will learn her name from the gallery.
  • Ambiguous Situation: Due to some choice wording and a bonus scene in the 2016 version's True Ending, it's left unclear if Aya is killing ill girls and turning them into dolls like her father. Blood Mode in the 2020 remake quashes this question for good by revealing that Aya is in fact killing girls and turning them into dolls, although with significantly more empathy to their cause than her father.
  • Another Side, Another Story: IF Mode, added in the 2016 version, allows you to play through the big finale of the game as Robin.
  • Antagonist Title: The Mad Father, Alfred Drevis, is the Mad Scientist who created the zombies and one of the primary villains. Played with, however, in that you spend most of the game saving him from Monika, and he only becomes a direct antagonist once Monika is out of the way.
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  • Arrange Mode: Blood Mode has you playing through the game again with modified puzzles as an adult Aya, who is capable of certain things that child Aya is not. The mode also serves to fill in some story gaps not addressed by the original story and clear up ambiguities left by the game's ending.
  • As Long as It Sounds Foreign: Or at least it seems this way, because neither Aya nor Drevis are very common names in Germany. They would stick out like a sore thumb.
  • Awful Truth: Aya's father killed her mother after she overhears the Doctor's plans for Aya. This is the real reason why Monika cursed him. When she realises that Aya doesn't know, she lies and fakes being a jealous Yandere for Aya's sake.
  • Bad People Abuse Animals: Aya's father murdered animals in his childhood, a trait which his daughter inherited.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: Maria's driving motivation throughout the game- the reason she helps Alfred with his horrendous experiments is because he adopted her when she was a street urchin.
  • Berserk Button: Aya's father after Aya learns the truth about her mother's death and her father's intent to make her into a doll. This leads to her father chasing after a terrified Aya with his chainsaw.
    • Aya has one regarding stealing her mother's things. At first Aya's terrified of Ines, one of the game's reawakened dead, but the moment she realizes Ines has stolen her mother's perfume, all of Aya's fear for her instantly disappears and Aya jumps at her to reclaim it.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: Aya's parents, Alfred and Monika Drevis. The former is the titular Mad Father responsible for the horrifying experiments to turn people into dolls to preserve their beauty, while the latter is a spirit who kidnaps Alfred and resurrects the experiments to exact revenge on him while keeping him for herself. Monika is the antagonist for most of the game, in which Aya must rescue her father, and the dead butler claims that the experiments were her idea, but if Alfred is saved, he becomes the Final Boss chasing Aya with intent to turn her into a doll. Ogre turns out to be the demon responsible for both of them, but the extent of his involvement is unclear.
  • Big Damn Heroes: In the Good ending, when Dr. Drevis has Aya cornered and is about to finish her off, Maria comes in and impales him with her throwing knives.
  • Big Fancy House: To an almost ridiculous extent, even without the curse taking place.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: Aya's father experiments on humans and animals regularly and had been doing this since he was a kid, Aya's mother reads very creepy and disturbing stories to her daughter, and Aya continues her father's work in the True Ending.
  • Bloody Hand Print: Some appear in the plant room.
  • Brown Note: The mandrakes in the plant room let out a hellish scream when uprooted that kills those who hear it.
  • Central Theme: "No one can defy fate".
  • Chainsaw Good: Aya gets a small chainsaw, although it can't be used to attack enemies. A chainsaw is also the Doctor's Weapon of Choice.
  • Character Portrait: Surprisingly good ones for a game made with an RPG maker.
  • Cleavage Window: The outfit worn by Aya's mom.
  • Cloning Blues: The 100% ending reveals that Alfred created a clone of Aya and let her age to adulthood.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: What the Doctor and Maria do to their subjects. Aya followed in his footsteps, as revealed by the best ending. Although the 3.06 update adds a scene that implies she may not have become like her father.
  • Conveniently an Orphan: The people Alfred targetted for his experiments were orphans and homeless people, as shown in Maria and Ines's flashbacks.
  • Cooldown Hug: At the end of Blood Mode, Aya, realizing that she has no need to fear her father any longer, responds to him raising his chainsaw to kill her by hugging him. She also uses the Magic Water on him while doing so, pacifying him.
  • Creepy Basement: Most of the game happens in the basement of the mansion which is filled with corpses, evil spirits, and failed experiments.
  • Creepy Doll: All over the place. They're the Doctor's specialty. Unsurprisingly, the doll that Aya has to throw into the incinerator to progress is called this in the inventory screen.
  • Cruel Twist Ending: The true ending of the game has Aya growing up to run a free clinic in the middle of the woods, where she turns her patients into dolls just like her father did. Possibly subverted in the Steam version, which presents the possibility that Aya became a doctor, but is not turning people into dolls.
  • Cycle of Hurting: In the chandelier room with a zombie, there is also a save point. If you saved at just the wrong time, you would end up completely screwed over. This has since been patched; the save point has its own room now.
  • Daddy's Girl: Aya knows full well that her father is butchering people in the basement, but she still wants to save him because he's always doted on her.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: At one point in the game, Aya must recreate a series of events using statues, and these events detail what compelled her father to become a killer. As a child, his first victims were animals, which he kept hidden in the drawers of his home. His mother would quickly find them, though, and berate him for the murders. At one point, one of her scoldings became too much for him, and he stabbed her to death. That was the first corpse he became infatuated with. He then ran from his home and made a journey for the ocean side. But he couldn't forget his mother's dead face and needed to see more, and eventually he ended up murdering more people. And then it just escalated from there.
  • Dead All Along: An inverted example with Robin, who it's revealed to be alive all along in the If Scenario. Why he was pretending to be a corpse isn't exactly clear, although he seems to worry about how Aya and Maria would react if they knew, and also to think they're better off on their own. The 2020 Remake reveals that he indeed died, but Monika brought him back to life.
  • Deal with the Devil: Both of Aya's parents make one with Ogre. Monika did this to protect her daughter from her husband, while the bonus ending shows Alfred working with Ogre to obtain the perfect replacement for Aya.
  • Dies Wide Open: Aya dies like this after she is killed by her father we then see her lifeless eyes after she is turn into a doll.
  • Disposable Vagrant: The Doctor made sure to pick up victims who "wouldn't be missed".
  • Don't Go Into the Woods: In the True Ending, Aya operates a free clinic in the woods, where she turns her victims into dolls. Possibly subverted in the Steam version, which presents the possibility that Aya became a doctor, but is not turning people into dolls.
  • Downer Ending: An In-Universe example. A book that Aya read as a child called "The Flame Egg" is about a girl who uses her fire powers to try and reunite with her family. It ends with her losing control of her powers and she accidentally destroys the world.
    • All of the endings are this. Either Aya continues her father's work years after the game, Aya is murdered by Maria, or Aya is killed by her father. Possibly subverted in the Steam version, which presents the possibility that Aya became a doctor, but is not turning people into dolls.
  • Dull Eyes of Unhappiness: Aya after she is turn into a doll.
  • Dull Surprise: Aya's character model can be this sometimes, owing to the fact her eyebrows don't always move with her different expressions.
  • The Ending Changes Everything: The True ending reveals that Aya was every bit as screwed up as the rest of her family, and she grows up to continue her father's work. Possibly subverted in the Steam version, which implies that she is not turning people into dolls after all.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: The game happens over the course of one night.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: The entire Drevis family is a Big, Screwed-Up Family that loves each other so much. Alfred kills his wife and tries to kill Aya, planning to turn them into dolls, but even then it is shown that he does it out of a genuine, if twisted, love.
  • Evil Laugh: Alfred has a really chilling, psychotic one when he chases after Aya with a chainsaw.
  • Eye Scream:
    • Robin, the boy that helps Aya in the beginning, is missing his right eye. Another girl is missing both of hers, though she gets them back.
    • What happens to Jean, an innocent poor girl that Aya is "treating". Aya mentions how beautiful her eyes are and since she's become just like her Dad and is "treating" a heavily sedated Jean. The next time we see her in the Blood Mode, Jean is an eyeless vengeful ghost.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • One of the first things you can do in the game is examine a doll from Aya's father, triggering a flashback where she remarks that it's almost life-like. It is- he is a Living Doll Collector.
    • If you check Aya's dressers during the introductory sequence in her room, you'll find that they're full of clothes. If you check them again at any other time during the game, you'll find that they also contain dead animals, hinting at what Aya will become in the true ending.
      • If you continue reading Doctor Drevis's journal, it's revealed that he knew about the dead animals and it wasn't the first time. He comments on how Aya's becoming so much like him and it's implied the only reason he wants to turn her into a doll is to stop her from going down the same path.
    • Aya playing with the cute little chainsaw in the flashback. Like Father, Like Son To the nth degree, especially once you realize that Aya uses it as a tool, not a weapon, and (at least in his own mind), so does her father.
    • When Aya's mother first appears after cursing her husband, the cutscene shows her with blood on her chest. However, we were told by Aya's father that she had died of illness. A sharp-eyed player will catch this and realize that the doctor's explanation doesn't add up.
    • Aya's willingness to forgive her father for all the atrocities he commits foreshadows that she follows in his footsteps in the True Ending.
    • Maria has a dartboard in her bedroom hinting at her skill with throwing knives.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Subverted. You get a chainsaw for breaking barrels. The game specifically tells you that it can't be used on enemies. Aya's father specifically stated that the mini chainsaw was a dangerous tool. Attempting to use the chainsaw as anything but a tool will fail.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: In the tunnel leading to the cultivation room, you hear a scream and clanging sounds come from the locked door by the chandelier. When you come back to it, the door is open. If you enter the room, the door shuts behind Aya and the player watches from the outside as too much blood spills through it.
  • Gotta Catch Them All: 21 gems; luckily enough, a guide's available for getting all of them.
  • Here We Go Again!: The true end, where Aya decides to continue her father's work, murdering people with Maria's help.
  • Humanoid Abomination: The mass of people that Aya has to burn to get through a hallway. Possibly Ogre as well.
  • Incurable Cough of Death: Aya's mother dealt with illness, and we see her coughing in a flashback. Subverted, since that's not what killed her.
  • I Owe You My Life: Maria's devotion to the Doctor stems from the fact that he took her in off the streets when she was starving to death. Of course, he was really planning to use her as a test subject and only changed his mind when she proved useful as an assistant.
    • If you choose to save Dr. Drevis instead of granting Monica's wish, Maria will become closer to Aya because she saves her after Dr. Drevis attempted to kill Maria.
  • Knife Nut: Maria twice demonstrates an aptitude for throwing knives.
  • Lack of Empathy: A central part of the game. Aya only cares for her parents and herself. This isn't necessarily a villainous trait, but rather a sign of her emotional immaturity. Part of the game is about her learning to understand the feelings of others, such as her father's victims or Maria's devotion to him.
  • Life Meter: Aya has a blue one which will get whittled down by various hazards. Moving to another screen automatically restores it.
  • A Lighter Shade of Black: In the True ending, if she has followed her father's footsteps, then she waits for ill people to come to her for treatment, and her victims are anesthetized before they are converted into dolls.
  • Like Father Like Daughter: The true ending has Aya apparently carrying on her father's work alongside Maria, who makes this observation.
    • Doctor Drevis' journal reveals that he notices her murderous tendencies and sees that she's becoming exactly like him as a child and has the implication that he's really not happy about that.
  • Living Doll Collector: Aya's father becomes one so that he may have Aya live on as a doll forever.
  • Mad Scientist: What Aya's father really is.
  • Mad Scientist's Beautiful Daughter: Aya.
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: Should you ever pull a mandrake out of its pot without earplugs, its scream can kill Aya and any enemies around her.
  • Mama Bear: Aya's mother, upon discovering her husband's plans to turn their own daughter into a doll, calls him out on his insanity and declares that she's running away and taking Aya with her. Even in death, she still seeks to protect her daughter from her husband's plans.
  • Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: Aya's father stabs Maria and leaves her for dead when she fails to capture Aya. When Aya comes back and tends to her wounds, Maria decides to help her escape.
  • Multiple Endings: Two bad endings, and a true one.
    • The first bad ending, if you leave your father behind in the netherworld, has Maria dragging Aya back to the lab so she can continue the Doctor's work.
    • The second bad ending has Aya's father kill Maria and turn Aya into a doll.
    • The true ending, obtained by reading Maria's diary, has her escape the manor with Maria... and continue her father's work with Maria.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: Zigzagged. When first playing, one would think Maria had something to do with the Mother's death. The relationship between her and the doctor was not the reason she was killed by the Doctor.
  • Nice Hat: Ogre starts out with one, but chooses to discard it for most of the game.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: In a second playthrough, it is revealed in a love letter that Aya's mother is this for the Doctor. She even mentions that "when I see you go mad, my heart flutters".
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Maria. She's like a nurse-assistant-ninja.JoJo's Bizarre Adventure.
  • Not Using the "Z" Word: They mostly refer to them as "corpses" and "the dead".
  • Notice This: Somewhat subtler than most examples, but in the hall leading to the doll room, there is always a corpse sliding toward the opposite wall until he notices you, at which point he quickly retreats. If you go to the wall he was aiming for, you will find a secret passage with a gem inside.
  • People Jars: What became of the corpse of Aya's mother, as you'll soon discover if you choose to save her father in the endgame. The 100% completion ending reveals the Doctor created a clone of Aya and is keeping her stored in one.
  • Pimped-Out Dress: Aya's mom and many of the dolls have very fancy dresses. Aya gets the fanciest of them all if the Doctor manages to turn her into a doll...
  • Pocket Dimension: In Blood Mode, Aya's soul winds up trapped in a limbo created by her father's lingering emotions for her, which takes the form of an illusory house similar to the one she had escaped from as a child.
  • Point of No Return: The Other World. Like in the game's predecessor Misao, it warns you about this.
  • The Pollyanna: Ines. She's a rather sane reawakened former test subject of Aya's father's. Despite having been killed in such an unfair way, unlike the other dead who either tries to kill Aya or lament their fate, she plays pranks and smiles happily in the midst of the darkest places of the world. It could be a case of a Stepford Smiler and that she's actually really pained Beneath the Mask, considering how sad she looked in her moment of death.
  • Press X to Not Die: Some quicktime events make you mash Z to avert your demise. Averted in the remake, which has you press a variety of buttons instead.
  • Rapunzel Hair: Monika, (Aya's mother) has this. As does Aya's clone.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Ogre has red eyes. While his motives are ambiguous, they likely aren't anything good.
  • Red Herring: There is a young reanimated girl, Ines, who creeps around Aya and causes random mischief. A player could think she has a role in the overarching plot, but she's killed off by a few dolls with knives out of sight and she had no role in the story as anything but another of Father's reawakened test subjects.
  • Replacement Goldfish: Looking on a certain shelf reveals there's been an awful lot of Snowballs.
  • Revenge by Proxy: Some of the reanimated corpses of the Doctor's victims are trying to kill Aya as a method of getting back at him.
  • Save Point: The crows that randomly fly around in the house, and the red diamond in the underworld.
  • Scary Shiny Glasses: The Doctor's glasses are always this.
  • Screw This, I'm Out of Here!: In one room with a wandering zombie, there's a save point crow and a regular barrel next to him. If you break the barrel, it'll alert the zombie and the crow will fly away before the zombie kills you.
  • Senseless Sacrifice: A variant. In the ending, Robin burns down the Drevis mansion so that no one will be able to continue the Doctor's work...only for Aya herself to end up doing so years later.
    • Although depending how you interpret the extra scene in the 3.06 version, this may be subverted.
  • Serial Killer: Aya's father has killed dozens of people over several years, with help from his assistant, Maria. Aya herself becomes one in the true ending, following in her father's footsteps.
  • Shout-Out: Aya needs a key to progress, but it's been dropped in a toilet. She adamantly refuses to stick her hand in.
    "Who would ever think of doing something so disgusting?"
    • One of the key items (some coins) is found in a toilet, just like Misao.
    • In a prison, there is an undead girl who has lost her eyes, desperately searching for them. Both her art and her sprite have more than a passing resemblance to Viola (since they're based on the same free resource sprite). Witch's House spoilers: Her missing eyes might be another shout-out, as Viola indeed loses her eyes when she switches bodies with the witch.
  • Smashing Survival: At a few points in the game.
  • The Stinger: Viewable after the true ending and credits if you have collected all the gems. It seems that the doctor is still alive and is still performing his grim trade.
    • Another one is added in the Steam version. Aya might not have followed in her fathers footsteps, depending on how you interpret what Aya means about her not forgetting because of her promise.
  • Videogame Caring Potential: In order to get a certain scene in addition to the True Ending, you have to obtain all of the gems. Some of the gems can only be obtained by helping out various troubled spirits who were victims of Aya's father and are missing something that's preventing them from being able to rest in peace. However, some of these people are so pitiable that you'll probably be helping them anyway regardless of whether you can get gems from them or not.
  • Viewers Are Goldfish: Two of the game's flashbacks are of things you just saw a few minutes ago. The latter of these is particularly soon after it happened.
  • The Voiceless: This seems to be the fate of the Doctor after he enters Ogre's employ.
    • One of the Doctor's test subjects is a woman who was mute in life, and remains so in undeath.
  • They Would Cut You Up: What the doctor does to his victims and later tries to do to his daughter Aya.
  • Too Dumb to Live: The event that kickstarts the Blood Mode scenario: much like in Snow White, Aya consumes an apple given to her by a suspicious woman in a black hood, causing her to fall comatose. This is despite very clear warnings from Maria not to indulge in her own curiosity.
  • Updated Re-release: Released via Steam in 2016, which includes a number of major changes.
    • All of the tilesets have been completely overhauled, and are now far more colourful and detailed. Several areas have new layouts - notably, a large chunk of the first basement level has been removed, making this section much shorter and more straightforward.
    • The Doctor's portraits have been redesigned, similar to how Aya and her mother's portraits were redone in the 2.0 version.
    • Several small jumpscares have been removed, with a few new ones added.
    • Most of the flavour text for Aya examining random objects has been removed.
    • An exclamation mark appears over Aya's head when she is standing next to an objects that can be interacted with.
    • There is now a larger variety of zombie sprites. Previously, all of the zombie enemies used the same sprites as the two Aya encounters in the prologue.
    • Some gem locations and puzzles have been altered slightly. Notably, the scene in the trick room has been completely changed from a king watching two knights duel, to a far creepier one depicting a dead girl's funeral.
    • A few new music tracks have been added.
  • Wham Line: Or rather, wham "add-on to a previous line" in this case. At the beginning of the game, there's a moment when you can overhear the Doctor telling Maria that Aya's getting to be at a difficult age (in response to Maria's line that Aya isn't fond of her), but Maria should protect Aya. At the end of the game, you get to hear the rest of the conversation, as the Doctor calls Aya "...the most precious doll of them all."
    • If you keep reading the Doctor's Diary, you get these:
      • Fifth Entry - "I found a dead cat in her drawers. Hiding it in a dresser... exactly as I used to. She's sure to follow my same path. She seems to hope for that as well. But I cannot let that happen. If her wish came true, then my treasure... She would be dirtied. Yes, there's no other way than this. I'm sure she won't accept it. But I've already decided. So she won't make the same mistakes as I..."
      • Seventh Entry - "Just like my old self... Killing solely out of interest. Then it must run in the family..."
  • Yandere:
    • Aya's mother cursed her father so she could drag him into the netherworld and keep him to herself forever. This turns out to be a lie, since she didn't want Aya to know the Awful Truth unless absolutely necessary.
    • The Doctor towards Aya. Nothing says "I love you" like a chainsaw!
  • You Shall Not Pass!: The Creepy Doll utters something like this about the door leading to the other world.


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