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Video Game / Neighbours From Hell

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Neighbours From Hell (or Neighbors From Hell in the U.S.) is a point-and click game released by JoWood Interactive in 2003. The plot of the game revolves around Woody, a generally nice guy until his obnoxious neighbor Rottweiler finally annoys him to the point that he snaps. Woody decides to call up his TV producer friend and the two secretly break into the neighbor's house and wire hidden cameras in every room, after which Woody proceeds to break into the house repeatedly to pull various pranks on Rottweiler. The results are broadcast as a television show.

The game was followed up by Neighbours From Hell 2: On Vacation in 2004 which sees Woody follow the neighbor on his trip around the world to cause even more grief. Tagging along this time are Olga, a woman from the neighborhood that Rottweiler has a disturbing obsession with; Olga's son; Mrs. Rottweiler, the neighbor's overbearing mother; and her yapping dog. The game takes place aboard the cruise ship as well as stops in China, India and Mexico.

The first game saw slightly enhanced ports to the Nintendo Gamecube and Microsoft Xbox though they were only released in Europe. The second game saw a port for the Nintendo DS but again, only in Europe. The only US release of the series has been on PC. Speaking of PC, the duology has since been brought over to Steam and GOG. It has also been ported to the Nintendo Switch as Neighbors back From Hell, which would in turn be ported back to PC.

Not to be confused with a cartoon series of a similar name about demons from Hell. Or Hello Neighbor.

Tropes include:

  • Adaptation Expansion: The console ports include slightly different missions compared to those you'd most likely see on the PC, plus the console-exclusive ones where you get to see Rottweiler's mother visiting her darling son's house. Not to mention that even the trailer for those reveals the neighbor's family name.
  • Adapted Out: The "One Little Piggy" and "Night Of The Hunter" episodes were inexplicably cut out in the remaster. They were later added back in through a patch.
  • All Men Are Perverts: Rottweiler, definitely. As said below, he has a picture of a naked woman taped above the toilet. He spends the first level looking through binoculars at a female neighbor across the street. In game 2 he follows Olga around, trying to woo her and taking almost any chance to gawk at her if she might be naked behind closed doors.
  • Amusing Injuries: Everything Woody does is recorded by hidden cameras to air as a reality TV show. The more elaborate and faster the pranks, the better the ratings for the level. Almost every injury Rottweiler receives falls into this category.
  • Animals Hate Him: In the second game, the neighbor is on the receiving end of several animal attacks: one by an elephant, and the other by a fighting bull. Justified in the elephant's case, since he was provoking the animal to begin with.
  • Artistic License – Geography: Practically nothing in the second game really resembles where it's supposed to be set.
  • Artistic License – Law: Annoying as Rottweiler is, Woody is breaking countless laws to get revenge against him, but he's never prosecuted despite the fact his crimes are being video taped and broadcast on television.
  • Bad People Abuse Animals: Rottweiler never treats any animal he comes across well. Not only does he harass them when he's on vacation, but his pets react to him being in the same room as them with obvious fear, and he's also killed at least one of his pets (his parrot, Chili, for example).
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Woody is intimated to be polite and friendly on a regular day, but if you push him too hard, he'll fight back hard, and he'll do it in the dirtiest, most painful way possible.
  • Bizarrchitecture: While not an extreme example, the way Rottweiler's house is built would not make sense as an actual building, what with the layers being stacked so thin and odd staircases going upward- albeit the layout is generally necessary for the 2D side view layout.
  • Bowdlerise: In Back From Hell, Rottweiler no longer spies on a showering woman with the binoculars in the first level; he just looks outside... while still showing body language suggesting he's enjoying some eye candy.
  • Brawn Hilda: Olga is stronger and beefier than Rottweiler, and just as ugly.
  • Bull Seeing Red: One of the pranks Woody does in the second game is to paint the bench Rottweiler sleeps on red. The bull behind Rottweiler gets angry and stabs him.
  • Butt-Monkey: The Neighbor, and possibly his mother as well. The entire series is about inflicting as much pain and humiliation on the Neighbor as possible. Both seem to ask for it though.
  • Comedic Spanking: When one of Woody's pranks unintentionally causes the Neighbor to harm his mother, she will spank him like a stubborn child.
  • Elephants Are Scared of Mice: In Above the Clouds in the second game, Rottweiler's routine involves harassing a very aggressive elephant. Woody decides to sabotage him by erasing the white safety line on the ground and drawing another one closer to the elephant. He uses a mouse to scare the elephant until he puts the plan into action.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Rottweiler goes the extra distance for his mother on Mother's Day when he paints a portrait, carves a statue, makes photographs, and creates vases for her. He also gets royally pissed if a photo of her gets vandalized. In the second game, he'll drop anything he's doing if his mother calls for him.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: The neighbor has a deep, gruff voice, contrasting Woody's nasally, squeaky tenor.
  • Fan Disservice: Olga runs around in a bikini. She has breasts literally the shape and size of watermelons (once even lampshaded by Woody). She also has ungodly muscle mass and a man's face. Mrs. Rottweiler, a fat old woman with very hairy legs and arms, also spends all her screen time in a bikini. Don't forget Rottweiler himself in a leopard-print speedo for the entirety of the second game. Even worse in the console ports where we're "treated" to numerous topless shots of Olga, with only a censor bar covering her nipples.
  • Fat Bastard: Rottweiler is a slovenly, obese jerk who throws his weight around all the time. His mother isn't much better.
  • Gag Nose: Woody has the longest nose of any character in these games.
  • Goofy Print Underwear: Rottweiler wears leopard-print Speedos in the second game.
  • Groin Attack:
    • Rottweiler's mom kicks Woody in the crotch several times when she sees him.
    • Rottweiler gets a few in the second game, with a particularly nasty one being caused by a shovel in the second game. His Angrish after receiving one in On Vacation is even higher-pitched because of them.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Rottweiler has a very short-temper as he get angry at the slightest inconvenience. Making him angry is the only way to obtain a high score. Olga and Rottweiler's mother also count this trope.
  • Harmless Electrocution: Several pranks involve Rottweiler being electrocuted. He will always survive the shock with nothing more than frustration.
    • A common season 3 prank in the first game involves creating a puddle teeming with live electricity in Rottweiler's basement. Naturally, Rottweiler will inevitably trip on the puddle and get shocked.
    • One episode in the first game has Woody reactivate a circuit that Rottweiler had shut off for repairs, leading to Rottweiler getting shocked when he actually commences the repair work.
  • Hollywood Heart Attack: In the second game, Rottweiler will briefly feel some heart pain if he gets steamed enough.
  • Humiliation Conga: Both games are a sustained conga for Rottweiler, in retaliation for all the abuse he's meted on Woody.
  • I Ate WHAT?!: Rottweiler commonly gags, gasps, or screams in agony whenever he finds out that he was tricked into eating something either obscenely spicy or something that should never be eaten in the first place.
  • I Just Shot Marvin in the Face: In "Don't Panic" from the second game, Rottweiler attempts to fiddle with a flare gun. Normally, nothing happens since it was unloaded, but Woody can load a flare into it, causing the Neighbour to accidentally shoot the flare into his nearby sleeping mother's face, angering her.
  • Interface Screw: Playing the console version after becoming used to the PC's point & click interface takes some... getting used to. The added-in mini-games can also throw the player for a loop.
    • The DS version's controls can feel quite broken at times.
  • Jerkass: Both the Neighbor and his mother. They seem to share a common rudeness and disregard for anything that isn't them, including other people and any animal they can get away with abusing.
  • Karmic Trickster: Woody assumes this role once Rottweiler goes too far - it's his means of teaching his nasty neighbor a lesson or two.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Rottweiler gets this all the time. At times you think Woody crosses the line too far, until you see the Neighbor picking on a small kid and animals whenever he has the chance, and realize he asks for it.
  • Make My Monster Grow: A few pranks in the first game involve sabotaging Rottweiler's pets or plants to grow obscenely large.
    • One of them involves swapping fish food for steroids, the latter causing the fish to instantaneously grow larger than its own aquarium.
    • Another one involves a Man-Eating Plant. Woody can swap its water for another substance that causes it to grow large enough to grab hold of Rottweiler's whole hand.
    • The Man-Eating Plant returns in the second game's "Eat or Be Eaten", where Woody feeds it excess chicken in order to inflate its size. So when Rottweiler comes back to feed it more chicken, the plant's head is large enough to inadvertently bite his hand in addition to the chicken.
  • Mama Bear: In retaliation for all of the abuse he heaps on her son, Mrs. Rottweiler will attack Woody on sight. Olga will also beat up Rottweiler if he makes her son cry.
  • No Animals Were Harmed: Completely averted at almost every opportunity.
    • In season 2 of game 1, Rottweiler has a pet parrot. In one level, Woody replaces its food with spicy chips. Rottweiler feeds the bird and the animal breathes fire all over Rottweiler. In season 3, we see the parrot's severed head mounted on a wall with various other animal "trophies".
    • Season 2 features a level with Rottweiler taking care of a pig. He keeps it in a cage barely bigger than the pig itself. In the next level, the pig is gone and Rottweiler is barbecuing pork steaks.
    • In season 3, Rottweiler's dog serves as the alert animal. If the dog is alerted to Woody and he escapes the room, or the dog whistle is used, Rottweiler will yell at the dog severely.
    • During the events of On Vacation, two out of three Indian levels show Rottweiler harassing the nearby standing elephants. And both times, Woody lets the elephants to show their revenge on the neighbor.
    • One of the boat levels shows Ms. Rottweiler forcing her son to take care of her annoying dog. While with it, the neighbor usually stops nearby a harpoon gun mounted on the boat's railings, to have fun "catching" plush toys out of water that he launches there with the help of the said harpoon. When one of the toys he throws in is actually the doggie's favourite plushie (there is barely any moment when the dog doesn't really hump that toy), hilarity ensues.
  • Non-Fatal Explosions: Both games feature a few pranks where Woody rigs explosives to blow up in Rottweiler's face. Of course, Rottweiler survives with only a few moments of Ash Face.
    • In the first game's "Night of the Hunter", Woody can swap Rottweiler's tobacco with an explosive so that when Rottweiler tries to smoke it, it blows up literally in his face.
    • In "Every Shot a Hit" in the second game, Rottweiler regularly goes dynamite fishing. Woody adds dental adhesive to the dynamite to cause it to stick to Rottweiler's hand, blowing the latter up.
    • In "Action!", Woody gets to replace cigars in a box with dynamite. Once again, when Rottweiler tries to smoke the dynamite, it blows his face up.
  • Oh, Crap!: Woody's reaction to getting spotted by Rottweiler or his mom, since that equals a beating. In On Vacation, this can happen to Rottweiler if he pisses off his mom or Olga, who both have no problem dishing out their own punishment.
  • Prank Punishment: This is the main premise of the game's plot, with Woody pulling strings of pranks on his neighbor Rottweiler to teach him a lesson, though Rottweiler is very stubborn, and more importantly, too dumb to learn to avoid his pranks. Given that his pranks are televised to the public, it seems that other citizens approve of it, if not finding it funny.
  • Punny Name: Don't the names Joe and Woody remind you of anything?
  • Reality TV: Everything Woody does to his obnoxious neighbor is filmed by hidden cameras to be broadcast as a TV show.
  • Shoddy Knockoff Product: A meta example for this one. One game publisher from Russia, Russobit-M, not only got the license to localise and sell the series in their home market, but they also came up with their very own In Name Only sequels or, if you prefer, a clone series named Pranksterz. Unsurprisingly, the said home market's reception to these games (as well as everyone else who came across them) was... chilly, to say the least.
  • Shout-Out: The designs of all the characters seem quite reminiscent of Nick Park's Wallace & Gromit characters.
  • Speaking Simlish: The characters all talk with verbal gibberish. Though in Rottweiler's case, this can often overlap with Angrish.
  • Stealth-Based Game: So very naturally. Woody has to set traps around the house without being spotted by anything else except the cameras since he's, technically, trespassing his neighbor's home without his awareness or permission. Possible options of not getting seen include sneaking on tiptoes, hiding under the bed, hiding in the wardrobe and last, but definitely not least, simply maneuvering through the rooms.
    • On Vacation and the console ports swing the balance with higher amplitude in that it gives the player three lives per each level, but yet by the middle of the game, he will need to deal with both Rottweiler and his mommy.
  • Taken for Granite: One prank in the second game episode "Eat or Be Eaten" has Woody swap out Rottweiler's bath salts for concrete, subjecting Rottweiler's hands and feet to this trope when he submerges them in the now-concrete bath.
  • Thumbtack on the Chair: A fairly common trick in the second season of the first game, done with drawing pins. In the second game, sometimes sea urchins serve the function of the thumb tack.
  • Toon Physics: Most, if not all of the tricks Woody plays on Rottweiler are this. Some are closer to the Real Life degree, but everything else is so ridiculous and likely dangerous if played on an actual person but at best, Rottweiler ends up only mildly injured or annoyed whenever tossed out a window, blown up or forced to sit on a sharp object.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: While the point of the game is to pull harsh, painful pranks, most levels do not require that every prank be pulled to complete and move on. Pulling all pranks is often optional.
    • Not quite so in the console port, where pulling all pranks can be necessary to unlock later levels.
  • Villainous Breakdown: In both installments, the neighbor will throw an apoplectic seizure that goes to a rather embarrassing degree whenever you fill up his rage meter. In the second game, he even gnaws at one of his own slippers.
  • X-Ray Sparks: Happens whenever you electrocute Rottweiler.