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I've been living in a paradise. It's awfully nice, if you don't think twice...

"Look, mate - it’s not that hard. Choose the angles, roll the ads, and bleep the swears. Just keep in mind that how you show these people will change their lives."

In an alternate 1980s where the nation stumbles towards dystopia, join the National Nightly News team as they document the latest political scandal, the rise of a radical government, and which celebrity has for some reason written a book about it all.

Within the news team, you play as the Featureless Protagonist broadcaster named Alex Winston who controls the framing and editing of the content. Even though you did not want this job, it seems easy enough … that is, until the country elects a new government that seems intent on censoring/manipulating the populace using your broadcast.

Do you go along with it and reap the rewards to keep your family afloat, or do you show the truth and face the consequences?

Utilizing FMV, the gameplay is very similar to Papers, Please, in that you are running a broadcast with very strict rules and regulations that you must follow, or else your ratings (and subsequently your salary) will plummet. This includes censoring swear words, cutting to different shots, and picking the right ads to play during commercial breaks by manipulating the broadcast console in real time.

The first episode was released on Steam on January 30, 2020, followed by Episode 2 on January 28, 2021. With the COVID-19 Pandemic having an impact on game development, two bonus levels were released: the Lockdown level, released on June 25, 2020; and the Telethon level, released on September 25, with a Quality of Life patch following on October 21. The "Play Your Way" Update was released on June 3, 2021. The full game, including the third and final episode, was released on January 25, 2022.

A DLC expansion titled "Live & Spooky", which sees National Nightly News reporter Patrick Bannon exploring an abandoned television studio built by his father, was announced in January of 2023 and released on March 23rd. Two more DLCs were announced the following month: "Bits Of Your Life", which sets out to explore the backstory of Peter Clement, and "The Timeloop", an Advance-approved televised science experiment. A season pass, released on February 17, 2023, will grant access to all the aforementioned DLC as they are released.

Additional releases of the game for PlayStation and Xbox consoles, as well as a VR edition for SteamVR and the Oculus Quest, were released alongside Live & Spooky on March 23rd, 2023.

This game provides examples of:

  • The '80s: This game takes place in an alternate timeline. The first part of Episode 1 is set in 1984, the second part and Episode 2 in 1985, and the first third of Episode 3 is set in 1987, but one with alternate history and fictional countries (with Territory One being a facsimile of England). The bonus episodes are set during an international lockdown between episode 1 and 2 in a coma dream, and the Telethon episode is set between the second and third gameplay days when you just got the job and management tests your suitability to keep it by working on an archive tape from decades earlier, featuring the Prime Minister's break into public fame. "Live & Spooky" is set in January 1985 and happens between The Telethon and Episode 2, while "Bits Of Your Life" takes place when Dave was still the vision mixer.
  • The '90s: Part 2 of Episode 3 is set in 1990, and the finale is set on December 23rd, 1991.
  • Accidental Misnaming: There's a running gag during the last segment of the Lockdown where Jeremy is repeatedly addressed by the wrong name (Jamie, Jerejimmy, Gerbil, etc.), and the subtitles refer to him by whatever wrong name he was given last. Later in the segment, Jeremy goes to correct them, but gives a completely different wrong name himself.
  • Adventures in Comaland: The entirety of Day ???: The Lockdown, set after Alex is knocked out by an electrocuted broadcasting set, focuses on Furby look-alikes having gone rogue, forcing the country into lockdown. If one pays careful attention to the details within the broadcast, they'll find that it's surreal, with constant misnaming of characters and bizarre news stories. However, you can make choices with the headlines and make the broadcast filled with Black Comedy or make it even more surreal.
  • Affably Evil: Peter Clement and Julia Salisbury both come off as nice folks in person, even as their shared Advance party grows more and more authoritarian. Peter is genuine. Julia, not so much.
  • Air Quotes: In Day 296, Jeremy does this with both hands when he's talking to Andy the Community Cohesion Officer while holding him and Jenny at gunpoint.
    Jeremy: Andy, your turn, make yourself fucking useful. How many people have you brought in for [air quotes] "consultations", just because they weren't carrying, or didn't have, Team Membership Cards?
  • Airstrip One: When Advance takes over the other nations, they are renamed as numbered territories.
  • All for Nothing:
    • You, yes, you can apply this on Day 296: The Heatwave. You can choose not to play Jeremy's VHS tape, dashing his chance at going out in glory. Then, you can further censor what he says about Advance's secret project underground right before he is gunned down or arrested. Even if you do play the tape, it turns out that it's Alan James leading Disrupt, the one person Jeremy doesn't want to see, and then you can further add insult to injury by censoring anything against Advance before he pulls the trigger on himself or is arrested by Advance.
    • In the Path B endings, you can do this to Jeremy again. The entire Channel One team arranges for Jeremy to confront Julia Salisbury during the show, but while Jenny is still preparing the footage that he wants to show, the police (or "Community Cohesion Officers") break into the studio to arrest Jeremy. While blood drips down his face, Jeremy begs Alex to play the footage, saying "don't let it all be in vain," as he's dragged away. If you choose not to play the footage, it is indeed all in vain, as the public never learns about Julia's murder of Peter Clement, Julia subsequently remains the Prime Minister, the Nightly Show continues on as a vapid shell of its former self, and Jeremy either dies in Betterment or comes back to the Nightly Show changed, seemingly brainwashed into accepting Advance or else maintaining the facade just to stay alive.
  • All Part of the Show: During Day 85: Live & Spooky, Marie Murphy's ghost terrorizes the crew and interferes with the broadcast signal. None of the viewers notice and the viewership skyrockets after Marie appears.
  • Ambiguous Gender: The genders of Alex (the Featureless Protagonist), their spouse Sam, and Sam's sibling Chris are intentionally left vague so that Alex can be a true Audience Surrogate.
  • Anachronism Stew: The game is set between 1984 and 1991 and is fairly accurate, though some elements are out-of-place.
    • One of the songs shown in the "Songs of the New Regime" advert in The Sterility, "Unburden Me", sounds more like a 2000s-era pop song than the other music featured.
    • Many of the car models seen don't match the time period. One scenario shows a 1999 Ford Crown Victoria, and the "Check Your Prostate" commercial shows a 2011 Audi TT. The "Whities" commercial in The Telethon, set in 1954, has Graham driving a Triumph Herald 13/60, which wasn't made until 1967.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • When Lawrence Blunderclatch swears on the second segment of Day 1, you won't be penalized for not censoring it since you haven't been properly introduced to the mechanic yet. That said, you can still censor it if you wish if you know it's coming.
    • Individual mechanics such as interference and electrocution can be turned off (or in the case of censorship and headline selection, handled automatically) if you'd prefer not to deal with them during your playthrough.
  • Anti-Humor: The Telethon has Raj play Rishik, a hand puppet that answers every question in a self-aware manner. Graham finds it unamusing.
    Graham: So uh, is he a good cyclist, is he Rishik?
    Raj: Why are you asking me? You can ask him.
    Graham: I'll ask him. Okay, setting something up, okay! Rishik, are you a good cyclist mate?
    Raj: Why are you talking to him? He's only puppet.
    Graham: Don't set a joke up with that if you're not gonna follow it through! That ruins it, doesn't it?
  • Anyone Can Die: Your entire newscast can get killed off if you're careless enough. And of course, even your mother, your spouse, your sibling-in-law, your son and your daughter can end up dead as well.
  • Arc Words:
    • From Jeremy Donaldson: "Have a peaceful night."
    • From Advance: "Forwards... Together."
    • From Disrupt: "You can Resist. You can Disrupt."
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Jeremy interviews "Tit-Wank" Tony Dawson, who served three years in prison for aggravated assault, burglary, and menacing a swan.
  • Artistic License – Biology: In the Telethon level, Graham says that Suzie Button is suffering from a life-threatening condition, which he has trouble trying to pronounce as "pseudopseudohypoparathyroidism". According to science, however, pseudo-PHP is not life-threatening, but quality of life can be affected in those with severe ectopic ossification.
  • Artistic License – Chemistry: Played for Laughs in the Eau de Babouin commercials which claims the perfume contains "natural" hydrogen sulfide, which is actually toxic and foul-smelling.
  • Artistic Licence – Law: Possibly justified by the need to build a coherent narrative, but there's simply no way in the British political system in which Advance could win an election and then also pass and implement a law creating sweeping changes to the tax system overnight, even if they had a massive electoral mandate.
  • As the Good Book Says...: Parodied; Police Constable Bob Peele claims that God hates "foreigners, gays, and gypsies, mainly," and tries (mis)quoting the Book of Leviticus to prove a point. He also claimed that "Jesus didn't like immigrants", when Leviticus 19:33 demands that legal immigrants (ger) be treated like native citizens.
  • The Bad Guys Win:
    • In the "Wacky Fun" ending, Alan successfully kills all of the news team during his suicide bombing, allowing Disrupt to come to power. The National Nightly News is replaced by an inane kids show featuring a miserable Geoff Algebra.
    • In the "A Renewed Mandate" ending, the cause of the Sterility Plague is never revealed, and Julia is re-elected into power.
    • Downplayed in the "Inevitable Advancement" and "All Fall Down" endings. Julia remains in power and replaces Megan as Channel One's main host, but she's visibly cracking under the pressure of a worsening underpopulation crisis or a civil war, respectively.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: In Day 8, one of the two headlines you can choose shows Doctors Wong and Svorsborgenhorgensvord posed in this way.
  • Beauty Contest: The Lovely Legs contest during The Telethon.
  • Benevolent Boss: Boseman. He will pass on orders from the government and ask you to work weekends, but when pushed he consistently backs his employees and believes in the mission of the News.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: If you played the Disrupt tape in Day 296: The Heatwave, when Jenny warns Jeremy that security are coming in to either arrest or kill him, he hears the pounding of the locked doors and a Drone of Dread growing louder and louder. Realizing this, he knows that it will be his final broadcast, so he dismisses her and Andy and, because he's "nearly done", tells all the cameramen to focus on him, leading to his "Final Speech" monologue that consists of rattling off the numerous reasons Advance sucks, then telling the entire newsroom that he used to love the news, but that the current news isn't the news anymore, and apologizing to them for letting them down, as he is standing up for his beliefs and willing to make some sort of Heroic Sacrifice or suicide for the cause of Disrupt. As he is holding the pistol aloft and inching it closer to his head, he slowly recites his outro and, barring Jenny's pleas to cut to the ads, caps off his speech with his usual Signing-Off Catchphrase before ending it all with a Pretty Little Headshot to his right temple.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: Between Julia Salisbury, who takes complete control of Advance following Peter Clement's death culminating in her holding the entire world at nuclear gunpoint and establishing a One World Order, and Alan James, a radical freedom fighter who acts as the spokesperson for Disrupt, while his true employers remain Greater-Scope Villains who never directly enter the public eye.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing:
    • Most of Advance, as their Political Overcorrectness is just a Paper-Thin Disguise to their authoritarian progression.
    • The ringleaders of Disrupt, who are some of the (former) rulers of the Nation's neighbors and the former Prime Minister before Advance's takeover. They act like Small Name, Big Ego comic reliefs, but they're secretly a cabal of multi-billionaires who enjoy torturing the masses and earning money through the drug and slave trades. They have disdain for their spokesman Alan James and plan to send the whole continent back a few ages.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Any ending where Julia is successfully deposed and public favor is towards Advance will see Katie Brightman become the party's candidate for Prime Minister, with a genuine eye towards reform and restoring independence while avoiding Julia's authoritarianism being her driving policies.
  • Black-and-Grey Morality: The overall conflict between Advance and Disrupt is this, done in an interesting way that, depending on the period, either can fit in either category:
    • On the Grey side of Advance: Their initial policies genuinely raise the living standards for people at the cost of the historically wealthy. The Transition Centers are opt-in, so while the idea of euthanasia for the elderly and weak is a very grey argument, it's never enforced through the government. Their ideological enforcement of equality, for better or for worse, is for the most part genuine.
    • On the Black side of Advance: They're more than willing to engage in extreme authoritarianism as they slowly consolidate power, in a manner that is not too dissimilar to real-life communist parties, such as silencing the press and taking out potentially dangerous intellectuals. After Day 371 They end the war by blowing up four cities with nuclear bombs and hitting casualties in the millions, and annex their neighbouring of nations through threat of total annihilation, promising to 'awaken' them, and become even more authoritarian. They also sterilize the Nation's population through the food, though this is less out of genuine malice than complete accidental incompetency, as like the Transition centers they were meant to be opt-in; though rather than tell the truth, they blamed the low fertility rates on nuclear fallout. Though well-intentioned, Advance ultimately causes more harm than good to the world.
    • On the Grey side of Disrupt: Despite their violent methods, Disrupt seems to be the only ones fighting against Advance's increasing political hold while also being the more sympathetic underdogs. Even after Alan James is seen to be the spokesman of Disrupt, he has changed from a cooky right-wing conspiracy theorist to a (seemingly) heroic revolutionary.
    • On the Black side of Disrupt: A lot of Disrupt's supporters seen in-game seem to care less about personal freedoms and more about recreating the wealth and social disparity of the old regime, which is often used by Advance propaganda to discredit them. Their ideology is less about regaining lost civil freedoms as it is more about 'bootstrap' right-wing libertarian ideology fighting against a 'nanny state'. And it turns out, the secret leaders of Disrupt, an oligarchy of Social Darwinist old-country political leaders and rich corporates who are no less authoritarian than Advance. They seek to reinstate they can take it over and destroy the equality created by Advance and regain their social status. Disrupt has also been funded, unbeknownst to the members, through child sex trafficking and drug dealing which the leaders openly gloat and revel in. Unlike the Advance leadership, no effort is made to humanize Disrupt's secret leaders or motivate their actions; they're JUST evil.
  • Bland-Name Product:
    • Two of the Sportsboard sponsors are Stank Beverages, an energy drink based on Monster Energy and Red Bull, and Lyka, a sportswear company whose name appears to be a combination of Nike and Puma.
    • Averted halfway through the game. A VCR that breaks during "The Tempest" is replaced with one by Funai.
  • Borrowed Catchphrase:
    • At the end of Day 232: The Silence, when Jeremy is growing troubled and disturbed over Advance and their plan after an interview with Geoff Algebra, Megan has to end the National Nightly News with his Signing-Off Catchphrase, "Have a peaceful night."
    • In Path B ( Jeremy is alive and Alan is dead) of the finale:
      • If Alex doesn't play the unknown footage, Julia closes out the show calmly, commenting that Jeremy, who she just had violently arrested, will go through "a long and arduous process of Betterment," and that she will be the new host of The Nightly Show. To add insult to injury, she steals his Signing Off Catchphrase as well, "Have a peaceful night."
      • If Alex does play the unknown footage, Julia, having just been exposed for ordering the murder of co-Prime Minister Peter Clement, has a Villainous Breakdown as Megan and the rest of the Channel One crew are arrested, leaving her alone in the studio to close out the show. She ends with a variation of Megan's Signing Off Catchphrase "Let's make tomorrow better," changed to a desperate, tearful "I will make tomorrow better,"
    • In Path D (both Jeremy and Alan are alive) of the finale, if Alex doesn't play the unknown footage, Jeremy starts to say his usual Signing Off Catchphrase, before switching to Megan's, "Let's make tomorrow better," perhaps to signal that he's moving on from the news and that he considers Megan a worthy successor.
  • Boy Band: Heatrash, a pro-Advance pop band featured on Day 1975.
  • Bread and Circuses: What things eventually devolve into with Advance. Alan even says it word for word in when he takes the studio hostage.
  • Brick Joke
    • During the first segment of day 2602, the studio pet hamster escapes. Then during the second segment, Julia Salisbury screams "Rat!" when she accidentally stumbles upon the hamster.
    • In "The Lockdown", Patrick Bannon pretends he is reporting on the Snugglehugs outside, claiming he is on "Bannon Avenue" when he's in the bathroom. During the final episode, "Patrick" has to make up a question for the prime minister, and in a similar manner says the question is from "Patricia" on "Camera Avenue".
    • During the Golden Ending of "Live & Spooky", Patrick believes he'll either never work again or get put on the sports desk for covering up his father's misdeeds. Patrick is introduced as the sports anchor on Day 153.
  • Brief Accent Imitation: At the end of Act 1 of the National Nightly News in Day 232, Jenny imitates Ivan Vodovich's accent when she says to Jeremy and Megan "You two are like couple who think you are king and queen of village when actually you are just puppets on a string of evil shitty hand puppet lady!"
  • Calvinball: Sportsboard appears to have some very complicated rules, and feels more like a sketch on Monty Python's Flying Circus. This includes everyone in the area, even people who weren't playing, winning.
  • Cannot Tell a Lie: In Day 296, Jeremy interviews Brian Truman, a man who has a medical condition that makes him answer every question honestly, whether it's directed to him or not. This turns out to be a problem as he makes several anti-Advance statements, and his attempted arrest leads to Jeremy holding the set hostage.
  • Censored for Comedy:
    • The Somserset-Bentleys say several made-up swear words ("spadding", "fuddledo", "gadderspatch") that still count as swears.
    • Invoked in "The Telethon", where Boseman notes that Alex has to follow the broadcast standards and practices from when the telethon was filmed, meaning that mild insults like "get bent" or vulgar words like "fart" have to be censored.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: During Episode 1, the story and the broadcasts are mostly lighthearted, but come Episode 2 and it devolves into chaos, with your family slowly breaking apart, and during the broadcasts, Advance begin to censor everything against them and start becoming more oppressive. One of the news anchors ends up committing suicide, getting gunned down on air, or is arrested instead depending on your choices.
    • Exaggerated when Advance nuke four cities and threaten to begin the apocalypse if the rest of the continent doesn't surrender. This is effectively the turning point between a corrupted democracy and a full-blown dictatorship with worldwide stakes.
  • Cluster Bleep-Bomb:
    • On Day 1, the two leaders of Advance go on the air to give a celebratory speech. Unfortunately, Peter is very drunk, meaning he swears quite often, which leaves you with the duty to enforce this trope.
    • Peter returns in The Tempest. While he is not openly drinking, the constant electric shocks make him swear even more.
    • Patrick Bannon when he gets attacked by the Snugglehugs during the Lockdown chapter.
    • Graham Bannon also tends to swear a lot in The Telethon. One swear is even several seconds long.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Profanity is highlighted in red, whilst dissent against Advance is highlighted in turquoise blue under the Advance Blue Wave, and later on things Disrupt views as negative to the cause are in orange. You are required to censor profanity, but whether or not to censor dissent against Advance and/or Disrupt is up to you.
  • Cosmetic Award: Beating the various Challenge Room missions and goals nets you decorations for your office. These typically tie into the challenge you completed to get them in some way, such as the severed cable that caused the increased interference in "Inter-fearful", or a glass of Dave's piss as a memento of the prank war that led to "Switcheroo".
  • Cosmetic Horror: Eye of the Beholder is a cosmetic company that sells incredibly harmful products. Their face cream makes the skin flaky by removing water from the pores, their shampoo is implied to cause hair loss, and their perfume includes "all-natural" hydrogen sulfide. Helena's appearance gets gradually worse in each ad, with the final ad showing her corpse being prepared for a wake.
  • Creator Killer: This can happen In-Universe depending on how a person is portrayed during the broadcast.
    • During Day 1, Laurence Blunderclatch gets into an altercation while footage of his newest movie is being played. Choosing to air that over the footage causes his movie to bomb at the box office and he ends up being relegated to playing a talking clock.
    • During the first episode of The Noticeboard, its possible to boo just Tommy Harris. This causes him to turn up to the final episode inebriated, eventually culminating in a brawl between him and Geoff. Alternatively, you can boo Geoff instead, angering him to the point Tommy and Philippa have to cart him off the set.
  • The Cuckoolander Was Right: Alan James' introduction has him ranting against the government, claiming that they're going to cause millions of deaths, alongside hyperbolic claims about Advance's initiatives. Day 371 proves many of his claims right. Played with, however, in that absolutely nothing says he's right about anything else, and in fact it turns out he's in the back pocket of a bunch of bitter Upper Class Twits who hate the fact Advance's tax policies hit them hard.
  • Curse Cut Short: In Day 296, you can put this trope into play, thanks to the Live but Delayed nature of the broadcast feed. Toward the end of the second act of the National Nightly News, Jeremy, holding the newscast at gunpoint, tells Alex to "Play the fucking tape," but look closely at the live feed and the timer. At the moment he says "fucking" under the two-second mark, that's your cue to cut to a commercial break at the right timing once the timer reaches zero at the moment he's about to say the word at broadcast, enabling a Mood Whiplash.
    Jeremy: Alex. Play the f— [cut to commercial break]
  • Dark Reprise:
    • If you play the Disrupt tape on Day 296, the National Nightly News jingle played during the titles on Day 371 will be in a minor key.
    • If Rymmington-Svist's stocks are low before "The Uprising", the ad's normal upbeat flute theme will be off-beat and the vocals are replaced with a dull man saying them.
    • One version of the Mister Bear (What's That Over There) song starts out as an optimistic beat about how Mister Bear and his friends will never accomplish their outlandish dreams, and it gets progressively darker and more violent until the beat is limping as a paragraph is dedicated to Mister Bear the serial rapist / sex maniac, and then he dies screaming.
  • Deadline News:
    • In the Lockdown, when Patrick Bannon gets attacked by the Snugglehugs.
    • When Jeremy eventually snaps and holds the newsroom hostage at gunpoint.
    • If certain conditions are met at the finale Alan James can take the news room hostage and detonate a suicide vest killing everyone in the room, and possibly bringing the building down.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Jeremy Donaldson.
  • Defying the Censors: When the rapper J-Zuss is about to perform, he tells Jeremy at the last minute that he'll be performing a different song, that's not government approved. Cue a very swear-filled song that heavily criticizes the Advance government and its leaders.
  • Deliberately Monochrome:
    • The in-universe camera feed in the Telethon level in its entirety, all capturing the Retraux feel of the TV shows of The '50s.
    • Old clips of a younger Peter Clement which can be shown in footage being played during his eulogy are displayed in black and white, showing that they were filmed before color TV was invented.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: "The Telethon" is set in 1954, and has elements of this. Graham patronizes the women, there's a chauvinistic musical number, and the ads include a lead-based detergent marketed towards women, and a cigarette brand that is "100% cancer-free". Furthermore, minced oaths and vulgar words (such as "fart", "fudge", and "pervert") must be censored.
  • Difficulty Levels: The "Play Your Way" update introduces three of them: Intern (Easy), Broadcaster (Normal), and Showrunner (Hard).
  • Digging to China: Rymmington-Svist's M.O.O.B.S. is a mass transit system based on this concept.
  • Discretion Shot: Sometimes can be enforced by the player.
    • Naked protestors appear during the sportsboard segment, and you have to cut the footage so they don't show up on the news. But not an example in the same sportsboard segment when in certain moments the female player moves in a way that her skirt lifts up, exposing her butt.
    • When Jeremy takes the studio hostage, you have the option to cut to the ads before he kills himself or gets gunned down on live television. Interestingly, if you do this, Jeremy gets arrested rather than killed.
  • Distanced from Current Events: In-Universe. The Medicated, a movie teased on Day 1 that centers around a pair of scientists seeking the cure to a Sterility Plague, ends up getting pulled from theaters due to the actual sterility crisis that came about following Liberation Night. Its release is pushed back to Day 1975 so that it can be re-edited into The Automated, a story about artificial intelligence.
  • Dirty Communists: Advance slowly goes from a slightly kooky far-left party into this, as they become more brutal and oppressive. Played with, however, in that it's explicit that Villain Has a Point - they were also the first to notice an oncoming environmental crisis, and do everything in their power to stop it, while Disrupt is secretly backed by people who are more upset that Advance took power away from them than their authoritarian instincts.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The Lockdown segment is an obvious analog of the lockdowns resulting from the COVID-19 Pandemic, but Alan James takes it further with his ramblings in this segment, which mirror actual COVID denial rhetoric in the context of an invasion by Snugglehugs. He brings up, for instance, the fact that 3,000 people are killed every year by "regular toys", and that he's never actually seen any of the Snugglehugs that are menacing the populace with his own eyes.
  • Do Not Go Gentle: In Day 296, if the Disrupt tape is not played, security will bust in and order Jeremy to drop the gun. If you don't cut to the ads, he decides to go out in a blaze of glory by attempting to shoot one of the officers, only to be cut down by bullets.
  • Downer Ending:
    • Besides the endings where Advance or Disrupt control the government, there are some with much graver consequences such as an irreversible depopulation crisis, civil war breaking up the country, or the government collapsing into full blown anarchy.
    • Failing to solve the mystery in "Live & Spooky" causes Marie to kill the cast and Alex for failing to expose Graham.
  • Driven to Suicide:
    • Depending on your actions on Day 296, Jeremy may kill himself on air after taking the studio hostage.
    • Depending on your choices through the game and during the finale, Alan James can storm the newsroom with a suicide vest on and detonate it killing himself and everyone else in the room.
  • Drone of Dread: In the third part of Day 296, during the time Jeremy is talking to Andy and Jenny, a low-pitched infrasound drone is faintly heard, but over time, it grows louder and louder, indicating that security is coming for Jeremy. It's pretty kinda bad if the Disrupt ad tape is not played, but it borders on Nightmare Fuel if Alex did play the tape. What's even more unsettling is that in the latter scenario, when Jeremy dismisses Jenny and Andy on realizing that security is coming for him, he makes a final mano-a-mano broadcast with all cameras focused on him as the drone grows louder and louder, eventually reaching its climax as he puts the gun up close toward his head and, barring Jenny's pleas to cut to the ads, caps off his Final Speech with his usual Signing-Off Catchphrase before ending his own life with a Pretty Little Headshot to the temple.
  • Due to the Dead: In Day 371, if Jeremy died at the end of Day 296, you have the option to "decorate" his grave with either an Advance wreath or a Disrupt graffiti in either of the bottom two screens.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: In Day 296, if you don't cut to the ads after playing the Disrupt tape, Jeremy, still holding a pistol in his hand, feels a bit depressed that he doesn't want to work for the news under Advance anymore; he pulls the pistol up a few inches close to his head, apologizing to the newscast for letting them down, then says these last words before putting the pistol an inch closer to his head, shuts his eyes in a brave sense of calm, and pulls the trigger.
    Jeremy: [calmly] My name's Jeremy Donaldson. If you can... somehow... [looks at the camera] and I envy you if you can... [puts the pistol even closer to his head] Have a peaceful night.
  • Earn Your Bad Ending: You can go for the genocidal route and kill off your entire family along with your headline characters, side characters, and the main cast of the National Nightly Newsroom, provided that Alan must be kept alive for it to work.
  • Elmuh Fudd Syndwome: Wentworth Somerset-Bentley talks like this.
  • Embarrassing Old Photo: One is shown for Jordan Rankly and Julia Salisbury during the Wheel of Truth segment.
  • "Everybody Dies" Ending: In one ending, Alan James sets off his suicide bomb during the broadcast, killing nearly all of the major characters.
  • Evil Power Vacuum: In the neutral ending for Path C, Disrupt's leadership is exposed and Julia is killed by Alan before he's shot by security. Without any major political faction, the Territories fall into anarchy.
  • Evil vs. Evil: Towards the end of the game you have Julia Salisbury, a tyrannical dictator out to control the world under the guise of equality, going up against Alan James who, unbeknownst to him, is being propped up by a bunch of drug lords and human traffickers who wish to overthrow Advance so they can return to their affluent ways.
  • Evolving Title Screen: In a more meta sense, since Episode 2 came out the title screen also plays snippets from the broadcasts of Episode 2.
  • Expository Theme Tune: The theme song of the game gives some subtle insight on the true nature of Advance, with a slightly melancholic feel. It perfectly describes what happens in the late game.
  • Fallen Hero: Peter Clement once saved the life of a little girl by taking command of a failing fundraiser. Now he's the co-dictator of a nuclear-terrorism sponsoring state.
  • Faux Furby: The Snugglehugs are Furby-like toys that feature "Real Action Eyes" and a human-like voice, but spontaneously combust and are implied to be sentient.
  • Fever Dream Episode: The Lockdown chapter takes place in a dream that Alex has while knocked unconscious by the electric shock from the end of The Tempest chapter.
  • Fictional Country: The game is set in an unnamed Fictional Counterpart of the United Kingdom simply known as Territory One. Several fictional foreign countries are mentioned, including San Palmerino (a warm Mediterranean island likely based on Italy), Irkistan (a Soviet-esque Ruritania), and Svenland (a progressive Nordic island with several red light districts).
  • Fiery Cover Up: The Bannon Soundstage seen in "Live & Spooky" went up in flames, supposedly caused by Marie, that destroyed most of the original scripts and film for Dying Is Another Man's Job. In reality, Graham had stolen them and doused them in petroleum so he could hide the fact Marie was behind most of the show.
  • File Photo Gag: One of Day 8's headlines announces Sophia Rymmington's appointment as CEO of Rymmington-Svist. Alex has the choice of picking two file photos - a formal graduation photo, or an informal photo of her playing billiards at a party. Picking either will show Sophia as an innovative, cut-throat CEO or a Hard-Drinking Party Girl with outlandish inventions respectively.
  • Filming for Easy Dub: The headline segment at the beginning of each broadcast consists of brief clips with the news anchors that cut out while the headline plays, allowing for both the headlines and the parts between them to have many variations that react to the players' choices. By contrast, the rest of the broadcasts typically only have two versions depending on whether the public has a higher perception of Advance or Disrupt.
  • Finishing Each Other's Sentences: In Day 8: The Fallout, when Jeremy interviews Katie Brightman and Alan James (author of Alan James Is Right), the latter tells him about Advance and how they're going to take over the world with evil intent, before pulling up his book (again) to describe it:
    Alan: That's all in my new book, "Alan James Is—"
    Jeremy: [finishes, unamused] "—Shamelessly Self-Promoting"?
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: Just before Jeremy takes the studio hostage on Day 296, one of the cameras prominently shows the CCO's gun.
    • In one outcome of Day 2602: The Finale, the third segment gives a subtle hint that Jeremy returns, just before he unmasks himself. Pay close attention to the three people in balaclavas that enter with Alan. One of them isn't holding a gun.
  • Foreshadowing: Has its own page.
  • Formally-Named Pet: Lord Cheeks, the studio pet hamster.
  • Freud Was Right: Prime Minister Ivan Vodovich constantly compares everything to the size of their penises. For some twisted reason you don't get to censor this.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Alan James goes from a raving conspiracy theorist, to one of the heads of Disrupt, fighting against Advance - and a Right-Wing Militia Fanatic.
    • Peter Clement started out as a stagehand and becomes a full-blown dictator.
  • Full-Circle Revolution: There are certain endings where Disrupt or the military overthrow Advance and seize power. However, it's shown that that they're no better than Advance and will continue to oppress the people to maintain their hold on power.
  • Funny Background Event:
    • During the Lockdown level, while Megan Wolfe is interviewing Katie Brightman and Alan James, Jeremy Donaldson is visible on the unused camera feed making himself a sandwich.
    • Combined with One Dialogue, Two Conversations: In Day 296, when Jeremy is holding everyone at gunpoint, he tells you to "look to your right"; although he's telling you to do so, if you stay focused on the screens, Andy the CCO will get confused and think that Jeremy is talking about him before looking to his right, as if it's supposed to mean something for him.
    • The credits from the previous show at the start of the game are full of silly entries.
  • Fun with Acronyms: Rymmington-Svist's ambitious project to build a tunnel through the center of the Earth, the Mobile Orientation Operational Burrowing Service.
  • Future Slang: On Day 1975 Megan gets very confused by the slang that her teenage guests and foster-daughter are using such as "SoCo" ("So Cohesive", analogous with "cool") and "Pre-Tee" ("Pre-Territories", anyone who turned 18 before Liberation Day).
  • Genre-Busting: While it's a fundamentally choice-driven narrative game, the broadcast booth combines Interactive Movies with the intense resource management and multitasking of games like Papers, Please, Night Trap and Five Nights at Freddy's, with Visual Novel interludes between each level detailing the main character's home life.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: In-Universe: In Day 232: The Silence, we get Prime Minister Ivan Vodovich, who makes comments about Teeny Weenies. Somehow the word "penis" said by him (and sometimes by Prime Minister Bjerg) is still intact on a family-friendly broadcast you're trying to keep G... or at least PG, but not his other spoken profanities.
    • Also In-Universe when people sometimes say "bloody" (like in other days) and "crap" (like in the Hey! Friendship! performance), which are intact on modern-day (at the time of The '80s) television, but not in The '50s Telethon.
  • Golden Ending: There is only one, called "An Accord", that can be tricky to get due to the counterintuitiveness of the decisions involved; you have to ensure that both Jeremy and Alan James survive on days 296 and 912, respectively, and then play Jeremy's tape exposing the true masterminds behind Disrupt during the finale. Fortunately, this is one of the few endings in the game where public opinion between Advance and Disrupt is completely irrelevant, so feel free to go nuts there.
    • For an added challenge (and a few hard-to-get achievements), you can try to make a true Golden Ending for yourself by also ensuring that your entire family and as many prominent figures and celebrities as possible survive to see the finale. This, however, is completely optional, and won't impact the actual ending you get.
  • Gone Horribly Wrong: The Golden Ending route reveals that Advance had experimented with the creation of sterilising crops as a form of opt-out contraception in a misguided attempt to curtail an overpopulation crisis. In one of the finales, however, it is revealed that this botched test wound up causing the exact opposite problem: creating a virus that poisoned the nation's food and resulted in an underpopulation crisis, such that birthrates are reported alongside the weather and in one of the epilogues it is reported that incentives are given to have more children.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Toward the end of Day 296, if you still don't cut to the ads before Jeremy can shoot himself after the Disrupt tape is played, at the very moment that his hand pulls the trigger, all the cameras that focus on him quickly move away from the impending gory spectacle, leaving a distraught Jenny calling his name. So heartbreaking.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: In the Telethon level, what sounded like mild profanity in modern times such as "fart", "crap", "pervert", "baloney", and "fudge" is strictly taboo as it was in The '50s, and you have to make it enact the "Censored for Comedy" with the censor button.
  • Gratuitous Latin: If Alex allowed Jeremy to die on national television at the end of Day 296, by Day 371, his gravestone has the inscription: "Requiescat in pacenote : Jeremy Robert Donaldson. 1944—1985."
  • Haunted Technology: The broadcasting equipment gets possessed by Marie after the first part of "Live & Spooky". The title cards' audio start playing distorted messages, static images of Marie's face appear just before the finale, and any reel found is magically fixed. Failing causes Marie to Jump Scare or climb out of the screens.
  • He Cleans Up Nicely: Steve Saxon, the awkward actor behind "Larry the Fist" in Hey! Friendship!, grows up to be a strikingly handsome man come his red carpet appearance in Day 1975, even being voted "Sexiest Man Under 25" for three years straight.
  • He Knows About Timed Hits: Dave, who shows you the ropes during your first broadcast.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Advance start as a newly elected political party on Day 1, promising freedom and equality for all. By Day 370 they're a dictatorship, and have begun nuking foreign cities.
  • The Horseshoe Effect: Despite being on the complete opposite end of the political spectrum, by the end of the game Disrupt have begun to adopt many of the same tactics as Advance, asking you to censor dissenting voices for them (only marked by an orange wavelength instead of a blue one) and refusing to disclose their true motives.
  • Hostage Video: Some time before the uprising on Day 912, Disrupt abducts Katie Brightman and forces her to read a speech renouncing her praise for Advance. You have the option of playing a recording of this speech during the uprising proper to bolster support for Disrupt.
  • Identical Grandson: Patrick Bannon and his father Graham Bannon, both played by George Vere.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: While the visual novel sections have a wide variety of titles, the main gameplay segments are invariably named "The ______".
  • In the Hood: In the Disrupt video, the speaker is wearing a hood, speaking with a distorted voice. Almost immediately defied as he takes his hood off relatively quickly, revealing himself to be Alan James. In one version of the video, he even compares the situation to a faceless organization that you might find in the movies, before declaring that this is not a movie.
  • In the Style of: "Swell to Be a Man", a dance number song in the Telethon that was added in the Quality of Life Patch version, is done in the style of the songs of the 1950s' Elvis Presley. It has to be seen to be believed.
  • Informed Obscenity: The Somerset-Bentleys use a number of made-up aristocratic-sounding swear words that you have to censor.
  • Innocent Innuendo: Geoff Algebra mentions "all the people he's touched". With his plays, hopefully.
    Geoff Algebra: I do all my best work with my trousers off.
    Tommy Harris: Yeah, I've been told that too.
  • Inopportune Voice Cracking: Happens a lot with Jeremy, but a more notable case happens on Day 296: The Heatwave, where Jeremy holds the newsroom hostage.
    Jeremy: I am thinking about what I'm doing! I've been thinking about it for a long time. We all should be. Christ, it's so fUCKing hot in here!
  • Insane Proprietor: Crazy Neil is one of the advertisers.
  • Interactive Movie: The news segments that you edit are filmed with actual actors and sets, in contrast to your in-game broadcast controls.
  • Interface Screw:
    • The thunderstorm in The Tempest electrifies random controls on the console.
    • One of the challenges involves the buttons on the vision mixer switching with each other.
    • By The Finale, the equipment is in disrepair, and screens may turn off randomly, or buttons may lock up.
    • In Live & Spooky, Marie's ghost locks onto screens and tampers with the Spiritjammer's controls. A static picture of her appears on-screen if Alex solves the mystery, while spliced edits of the reels play if its unsolved.
  • Interrupted Suicide: If you played the Disrupt ad tape in Day 296, there's a chance that you can stop Jeremy from shooting himself if you cut to the ad before he does so.
  • It Kind of Looks Like a Face: One headline features someone seeing the image of the face of one of the leaders of Advance in either their beer or their toast.
  • It's Not Porn, It's Art: Some vulgar words used in the titles of shows and art exhibitions don't need to be bleeped.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Disrupt may be led by obnoxious, out-of-touch millionaires who don't care why their rivals are really bad, but they are still combatting a rogue state of Dirty Commie nuclear terrorists who poison their own people. Equally, while the things Advance has to say about Disrupt are blatant propaganda, they're not wrong when they claim the group is more or less a front for the wealthy to get back into power, their messaging that the group would "replace betterment with a noose" is much more hard hitting in one of the finale sequences, where Disrupt's benefactors discuss a mass purge of their opponents.
    • Peter Clement in Day ???: The Lockdown reads out letters from citizens who are upset at having to stay inside because they want to go out to hairdressers, or similarly trivial things. He - fairly understandably - becomes increasingly agitated at the fact that these questions are being asked, or that people are flouting the rules of the lockdown i.e. "stay inside", particularly given the fact that, in the episode, going outside will get you nearly-instantly brutally murdered by bloodthirsty rampaging killer toys.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Jeremy Donaldson hates his guests and spends a lot of time behind the scenes trading barbs with his co-workers, but he honestly cares a great deal about the truth and he at worst has a Friendly Rivalry with Megan Wolfe, who everyone suspects is being groomed to be his replacement. The Wham Episode is kicked off by him getting fed up with Advance's increasingly heavy-handed control of the media turning the National Nightly News into a vapid gossip show instead of informing the populace.
  • Killed Mid-Sentence:
    • In Day 912, if you don't support Disrupt's uprising enough, Alan will panic and shout via walkie talkie that Advance will kill them all before he gets cut off mid-sentence by an air strike that kills him and his teammates.
    • In Day 2602, if you killed off Jeremy and kept Alan alive but don't play the leaked tape, Jenny will pull off a "The Reason You Suck" Speech on Alan, who shoots her dead before she can finish.
      Jenny: They see what everyone else sees, Alan. You're a joke. A nut-job. A sad, pathetic—[gets fatally shot mid-sentence]
  • La Résistance: Disrupt
  • Lampshade Hanging: The interview with Katie Brightman and Alan James on the second broadcast, where Alan James's Insane Troll Logic is acknowledged by Katie, who eventually gives up on reasoning with him due to his completely bizzare thoughts.
  • Landslide Election: At the start of the game, the Advance party has just won the election with 81% of the vote.
  • Laugh Track: There are a couple broadcasts where you have to add canned laughter, applause, and other pre-recorded sound effects.
  • Last-Second Ending Choice: At the end of each route, you are given a chance to determine what kind of ending you want to see by being given a singular choice:
    • Route A: If you don't play Boseman's tape, the new national anthem's performance proceeds unhindered. In the end, Julia Salisbury remains in power, albeit in the midst of such a rapidly declining population that she is essentially begging citizens to have children when she takes over NNN and turns it into her own personal talk show. If you play the tape, on the other hand, Julia is revealed to have known about the alterations to the country's food supplies that resulted in an ongoing Sterility Plague, destroying her reputation as elections are reinstated and Julia is ultimately voted out, with newly-elected head Katie Brightman hoping to reform the party.
    • Route B: If the player does not play Jeremy's tape, Julia takes over as the new host of NNN as Jeremy is forced back into Betterment, where he will either be "rehabilitated" or die during his "treatment". If the tape is played, however, Julia is revealed to have had a fight with Peter Clements about her using nuclear weapons that ends with Peter threatening to expose Julia for the monster she is, and Julia subsequently ordering Peter's assassination. As a result, Julia is arrested and tried for war crimes.
    • Route C: If the player does not play Julia's tape, Alan James sets off his suicide bomb vest, destroying Channel One and killing everyone inside the building. In the news's stead, a low-budget children's show is aired, featuring a miserable and disgraced Geoff Algebra. If the player does play the tape, Disrupt's leadership is exposed to be oligarchs planning to seize power after Advance is overthrown. As for Alan James, whom the oligarchs plan to dispose of after his usefulness is at an end: his suicide bomb is sabotaged and he is killed by security, but not before he manages to assassinate Julia. With the Prime Minister dead, the country either is taken over by the military in a junta, or completely descends into anarchy and civil war.
    • Route D: If Jeremy's tape is not played, elections are reinstated, but the status quo is maintained as the country votes either to re-elect Julia, elect Disrupt into power, or vote for an unknown third-party coalition. If the tape is played, Disrupt's leaders are revealed to be corrupt oligarchs hoping to seize power in the event of Advance's collapse. Disrupt's reputation is destroyed, along with Julia's after Jeremy previously drilled her about the root cause of the nation's declining birth rates, and both are ultimately defeated at the polls by a new moderate political party, "Accord", signaling the end of extremist politics.
  • Lightbulb Joke: How many Graham Bannons does it take to screw in a lightbulb? That depends on the fee.
  • Limerick: In Day 296, Robyn Sharp's interview with Gary Failsafe (a turd collector) and Emilia Jackhammer (a poet) ends on one, respectively.
    Emilia: Today on the show there's no news,
    Just a man who keeps multiple poos...
    [Gary arrives with his turd collection, but the others are unamused]
    The National News lost its way,
    When it covered some crap on a tray...
    Gary: Some of these are quite rare!
    Emilia: Maybe that was unfair...
    Robyn: And that's all we have time for today!
  • Live but Delayed: How the broadcast feed works, you have the live feed (that's being sent to you as it's being recorded), and the broadcast (which is delayed by two seconds and gets viewed by everyone at home). It's your job to make sure nothing inappropriate gets through.
  • Meaningful Background Event:
    • There's a lot going on throughout Episode 2. For example, in Day 296, Jeremy is becoming increasingly agitated about the heat and about Advance's plans and their blockade to Jenny, and drinking a lot of water and getting his makeup applied repeatedly isn't helping him. At one time he even takes off his black tuxedo suit, revealing what may be feared later as the White Shirt of Death. Since there's no sound going on in Camera 1, you have to go to the Rushes Room to hear what's going on, as described in this video.
    • If the first part of "Live & Spooky" is ended in the costume room, the opening rushes show Patrick angrily asking where the restored reel footage came from. This hints that Patrick knows more than he's letting on about Graham's cursed production.
  • Mega-Corp: Rymmington-Svist manufactures various products, ranging from contraception to toys and video game consoles, and has a monopoly on the Flard market. They buy independent businesses to corner the market, sponsor both Advance and Disrupt, and have no qualms about selling dangerous products or using child labor. Depending on how Sophia Rymmington is portrayed, they can be portrayed as an innovative company with poor foresight, or prone to coming up with outlandish ideas.
  • Moment of Silence: At the end of Day 296, after Jeremy either dies or gets arrested, the end results screen goes silent without any of its music, acting like a moment of silence for him.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • Jeremy interviews a group of people with silly medical conditions, including Frankie Steampipe, a man who has farts with comic timing, and Rose Piercy, a woman who had the hiccups for nine months, wanting to be taken seriously. Then, in the middle of the interview, he takes a gun from a security officer and holds everyone in the newsroom hostage. In the middle of the Hostage Situation, Rose comments that she is cured of the hiccups.
    • A silly sitcom-esque scene where you're adding a laugh track is interrupted by the equipment turning off because of a power shortage. It turns out that the power shortage is the result of nukes in foreign cities set off by Advance. When the broadcast resumes, Julia Salisbury is claiming credit for the attack and making her demands.
    • In "The Finale" (if certain conditions are met), Just as Megan Wolfe and Julia Salisbury are getting ready to do an interview on a show that is less "news" and more "talk show" is stormed by Alan James and members of Disrupt, including a very-much-alive Jeremy.
  • Mouth of Sauron: Alan James is essentially this for Disrupt; while he's not their be-all-end-all leader like Julia is for Advance, he's their most prominent spokesperson and public figure spouting their agenda.
  • Multiple Endings There are 14 of them in the form of Epilogue tapes depending on your actions at work. Some of them are bittersweet, and most of them are downers, but one of them could be the best (and only) Golden Ending you'll get.
    • Depending on your choices during the Headlines segments, each of the game's three primary side-stories (Sophia Rymmington, Johnny Hamsleeves, and the Dante's Taint crew) can end in over a dozen different ways, with many having multiple paths towards getting them.
    • "The Lockdown" can end in eight different ways, depending on certain actions you took earlier in the game.
    • "Live & Spooky" has five endings depending on who was sent to the vault in part 2 and if the two reels were restored, with the Golden Ending being a confrontation between Holly and Patrick.
  • Murder by Inaction: Graham let Marie plummet into the vault after she revealed she had a surviving copy of the original Dying Is Another Man's Job.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • Alan James, if Jeremy shoots himself in the wake of showing the Day 296 Disrupt tape - because Jeremy discovering the leader of Disrupt was, in his view, a vain and egotistical Windmill Crusader. A tape afterwards has a message where he admits that he was too concerned with being the face of the movement he forgot about other people, and that he wishes he could have fought with him.
    • Peter Clement, who screams at Julia for nuking four cities and making him indirectly complicit in mass-murder, and then attempts to commit political suicide to take her down with him. She has him assassinated.
  • My Little Panzer: Mr. Snugglehugs.
  • Mystery Box: Rymmington-Svist sells them.
  • Nebulous Criminal Conspiracy: Disrupt is ran by a cabal of oligarchs funding the group's activities through drugs and sex trafficking. They intend to violently rise back into power and establish a dictatorship, killing off intellectuals and poor people, while disposing of their spokesperson, Alan James. In Path D, Jeremy tricks them into revealing their plans, allowing him to discredit both Alan and Disrupt.
  • Network Decay: An In-Universe example ties into the plot. The National Nightly News starts off as a genuine news channel without any agenda. When Advance come into power, it starts reporting less on meaningful news and more on fluff and human-interest stories. When Jeremy learns that Advance are behind it, it leads to him taking the studio hostage and asking Alex to play a tape from Disrupt for some balance, potentially being killed or arrested. When Channel One is forced into public ownership, its fully subjected to government censorship before devolving into a cheesy talk show by the finale. In the endings, its either restored to a news channel or dissolves completely.
  • News Broadcast: The entire point of the game is to edit one.
  • Nine out of Ten Doctors Agree: The Jus de Cochon advert boasts that seven out of ten dentists recommend their skincare product.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed:
    • Alan James, Conspiracy Theorist, is clearly heavily inspired by Alex Jones.
    • Chef Jordan Rankly is a parody of Gordon Ramsay.
    • Steve Saxon ends up becoming an award-winning actor called "the sexiest man alive", clearly based on Benedict Cumberbatch.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Many of the positive choices Alex can make during the incidents can end having consequences later.
    • The first incident in the game, on Day 6, involves Chris asking Alex for their passport so they can flee the country and avoid losing their wealth. Giving them their passport will increase Chris' relationship but will cause Chris to be killed by Advance's nukes on Day 371, compared to denying Chris' request, lowering their relationship but allowing them to survive.
    • During Christmas on Day 48, Suzie will ask Alex if she can go on vacation. Like Chris on Day 6, allowing her to increases Suzie's relationship but will cause her to be killed in Irkistan on Day 371 unless the player has enough money to pay Gail on Day 363.
    • Two incidents involve going into work on Alex and Sam's anniversary. Skipping work will increase Sam's relationship with Alex but anger Boseman, while going to work will anger Sam if their relationship with Alex is poor.
  • Noodle Incident: The description for the Switcheroo Challenge states that Frank sabotaging the vision was justified due to Dave doing something to the water cooler.
  • Nuke 'em: After several months of sanctions and blockades, Advance retaliates by nuking four foreign cities, and holding several others hostage unless they accept rule under Advance's reign.
  • Offscreen Inertia: Used as a gameplay mechanic on Day 296, where Jeremy's suicide attempt is interrupted if the player cuts to commercial before Jeremy pulls the trigger.
  • Older Than They Look:
    • Despite having a cute face with '60s Hair and the high-pitched voice of an adolescent boy (and Megan calling him "little" at one time), Jeremy is simply no less than 40-41 years old (as inscribed on his gravestone if you let him die on national television in Day 296). Provided that you help him survive the heatwave, he can turn 47 by the end of 1991 and still look a bit youthful aside from the stubble on his chin.
    • Dale from Heatrash looks like the youngest member of the band, but claims to have a growth disorder, and is actually 23. The other band members jokingly say he's actually 58.
    • A production assistant in the Finale, Colin, claims to be 44, much to Megan's surprise.
  • Only One Name: Svenland foreign minister Bjerk. His last name is listed as "???".
  • Order Versus Chaos: Disrupt sells itself on bringing back freedom even if it's chaotic, vs Advance and it's very well ordered national structure.
    • Both Order and Chaos are Dangerous: In the end, Advance goes fully Dictatorial while Disrupt goes full Corporate. To get a good ending, you either have to (A) expose both sides of their atrocities simultaneously, inciting enough outrage to create a third party and ensure the beginning of true democracy for a unified continent, or (B) destroy Disrupt and then peacefully ruin Julia's career by exposing her acts of mass-genocide, reforming Advance and turning it into a true beacon of progressive politics.
  • The Other Darrin: A rare in-universe example. In one narrative path, Patrick Bannon is caught on camera saying negative things about Advance. He's immediately shuffled away and replaced on camera with a technical staffer — who happens to be a blond woman. Everyone simply refers to her as "Patrick," and she spends the next several years as an on-camera reporter — always keeping up the illusion that she's Patrick Bannon. The credits simply refer to her as "Not Patrick."
  • Overly Long Name: Dr. Ingrid Svorsborgenhorgensvord. And in the Lockdown level, she and David Wong have two children who go by their last name: Svorsborgenwongensvord.
  • Political Overcorrectness: Advance's reforms start as this, entirely Played for Laughs. Then things get darker...
  • Public Secret Message: When Megan interviews The Novaries, Alan asks you to censor the majority of Jill's monologue, which contains orders for some of Disrupt's rebels. Unfortunately for Jill, Advance may have caught on, as she's escorted out of the studio by security right after the program ends.
    Jill: Of course, we see that there are advantages to a family unit, but eagle -eyed couples watch as the little parasites advance on their lives and there's no time to play the guitar, get through a book, or watch a movie. They're exhausted, passed out on the couch by twenty-to-nine for God's sake!
  • Public Service Announcement: Advance has several ads that would qualify.
  • Punny Name:
    • The psychic, Dr. Delia Lywell.
    • Angela Algebra, wife of Geoff Algebra. After his playwriting career takes off, George changes his surname to De Plume and ditches Angela for a man named Norm, making his new husband Norm De Plume.
    • The Novaries, the pro-childless band in Day 912, is a portmanteau of "no ovaries".
  • Pyrrhic Victory: In multiple endings. Even in the endings where Julia wins, its heavily implied that she's cracking under the pressure of the problems she caused and that her Bread and Circuses facade is cracking.
  • Quote Mine:
    • Disrupt asks you to weaponize this during Day 912, having you censor massive chunks of an interview with The Novaries; the parts left to be aired form messages telling resistance members where to go during their protests.
    • If you don't solve the mystery in "Live & Spooky", the previous two reels will play, but cut to tell Alex to look in the production room (if Part 1 didn't end in the costume room), or mock them for trusting Graham (if Patrick wasn't sent to the projection room).
    Harold: Take—Take a closer look—here at the—television project—sensation—Things are—really—not as they seem.
    Graham: How could you—trust—Bannon? There's no rest for the wicked—until—They all know it.
  • Rage Breaking Point: In Day 296, Jeremy becomes increasingly agitated in the unused camera feed during Act I of the National Nightly News, complaining about the heat wearing him down and about trying to quit the job, but Jenny keeps telling him to control his temper when it's time to interview the three medically conditioned people. It's only when one of them (Brian Trueman) is getting arrested for exposing Advance's hypocrisy and corruption that Jeremy gets to the point when he snaps and takes a pistol from the CCO, holding everyone in the newsroom at gunpoint.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: The whole plot of the Lockdown level (in which Jeremy and Megan are delivering the news from home in isolation and contacting interviewees in different homes all while keeping themselves safe from the Ms. Snugglehugs critters in Alex's dream) mirrors the way the developers and actors were working from home while using social media to film the scenes in lockdown during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
  • Really Dead Montage: You get to cut together the footage of one for Peter Clement. Depending on which footage you use, you can make him look good, or bad.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: In Day 296, when Jeremy takes the entire newsroom hostage at gunpoint, he orders Alex not to cut to the ad before he tells them to:
    Jenny: Jeremy, think about what you're doing—
    Jeremy: I am thinking about what I'm doing. I've been thinking about it for a long time. We all should be. Christ, it's so fucking hot in here. Do you remember when we used to do the real news? Before it was all lottery winners and... bloody cat football. We are on the brinks of a siege, the likes of which the world hasn't seen in hundreds of years. The enemy is at the gates, and I'm stuck here, talking to these three fucking idiots!
    • And in Act III, if you played the Disrupt ad and Jenny tells Jeremy about Alan James, we get this:
      Jeremy: Look. Forget Alan James. There is still something deeply wrong. And you know it, Jenny. And you know it, Andy. And you, you at home. You know it too. Meanwhile, I'm interviewing a guest who stinks of shit. Patrick is paddling about in shit, and Robyn, Robyn is literally interviewing someone who collects the fucking stuff. I mean, it's not sophisticated, but what a metaphor. We are sleep-walking our way into oppression, and the news isn't saying anything! We're not saying anything!
      Jenny: Says who? Alan fucking James?
    • In Day 2602, if you killed off Jeremy and kept Alan alive but don't play the leaked tape, Jenny, Defiant to the End, tells off on Alan by calling him a joke and a nut-job and "a sad, pathetic—" Unfortunately, she gets fatally shot mid-sentence.
  • Reckless Gun Usage: Demonstrated by Jeremy on Day 296, who has his finger on the trigger the whole time he has the studio at gunpoint. It culminates in him accidentally shooting one of the camera operators during a heated rant if you don't play the Disrupt tape.
  • The Reveal:
    • The ending of the Telethon level reveals that the nameless stagehand who saves the show is actually future co-leader of Advance, Peter Clement.
    • In the Disrupt video, the speaker takes off his hood to reveal that he's Alan James.
    • In "Live and Spooky", its revealed that not only was Graham the culprit behind the disasters plaguing Dying Is Another Man's Job's production, but it was actually Marie that conceived the show. Marie was either pushed or fell to her death, which Graham made look like a suicide after having shifted blame onto her.
  • Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: In Day 912: The Uprising, Peter is said to have died of "liver failure", but if you play the leaked footage, it is revealed that Julia sent someone to poison Peter under the suspicion that he may have joined Disrupt's cause.
  • Right-Wing Militia Fanatic: An uncomfortable number of Disrupt members are awfully eager to resort to violence or bring back the nastier parts of the old world. Alan James not the least of them.
  • Room 101: Betterment is Advance's rehabilitation program for people critical of them, but is all but stated to be an re-education facility. Its never shown in-game, but Jeremy is sent there if he survives his breakdown or Alex doesn't air his tape in Path B. In the latter, he potentially comes back in a brainwashed state, or gets killed.
  • Running Gag
    • Peter Clement espousing a parental proverb, preceded by "As me old mam used to say..." - it's also a cue for the player, since what he says next will always have at least one curse word.
    • Flard, a mysterious substance that appears frequently in Rymmington-Svist's subplot and is never properly explained.
  • Say My Name: Toward the end of Day 296, if Jeremy dies before you cut to the ad (either by suicide or by security), you get this reaction from Jenny if you stick around to hear her on broadcast (just make sure you cut to the ad PDQ after this):
    Jenny: Jeremy!
  • Schmuck Bait: The ad tape for Mr. Snugglehugs dangerous toy is clearly marked with an unavoidable sticker questioning whether it is an appropriate ad to show.
  • Sequential Symptom Syndrome: Happens when Patrick Bannon gets sick when doing a report on the smelliest town in the country.
  • Shame If Something Happened: The Mr. Snugglehugs commercial has lines like this.
    Mr.Snugglehugs: I hope your mummy and daddy don't die in a fire. That would be bad.
  • Ship Tease:
    • There are many moments that seem to indicate that Jenny has feelings for Jeremy, and perhaps vice versa:
      • Starting from the very first scene of the game, they're often arguing, trading sharp, snarky remarks that can come across as Belligerent Sexual Tension or Like an Old Married Couple. Despite this, their banter is ultimately lighthearted - it's rare for one to take actual offense to the other's comments. In fact, their long working relationship makes the arguing seem almost affectionate.
        Jenny: It's how I show love.
        Jeremy: You're trying to kill me!
        Jenny: And yet you persist.
      • In between the arguments, they have a number of softer moments early on - like Jeremy's subtle disappointment when Jenny says she's not coming for a drink because she has a date, and Jenny's tendency to lean in close and put her arm around the back of Jeremy's chair while talking to him or watching a broadcast with him.
      • Day 296 is full of this. There's a whole Poor Communication Kills plot between Jeremy and Jenny, though the player won't get to see most of it until they watch the rushes. Jeremy, pissed about being relegated to covering fluff stories, lashes out at Jenny, asking why she's even here when it was supposed to be her day off. Absolutely furious, Jenny storms off, only returning later in the segment to berate him. But in Segment 2, it turns out that the reason Jeremy didn't want Jenny to come in to work that day wasn't because he didn't like her, but because he planned to quit that night - it is implied he specifically picked that night to give his speech and show the Disrupt tape because Jenny (and Megan) wouldn't have to be in the studio to deal with the fallout. If Alex plays the tape, Jenny says "God, I love you Jeremy, but..." while trying to talk him down, though it's unclear whether it's platonic or romantic. And during his final speech, Jeremy mentions that he wanted to try having a relationship, having never tried it before. And if Alex didn't play the tape, Jenny admits that the only reason she came into work on her day off was because she wanted to see Jeremy.
        Jeremy: Why are you even here today? It's supposed to be your day off!
        Jenny: My date cancelled. I thought it'd be more fun to be here than moping around at home. Truth be told, I wanted to see you. Being annoyed with you is... is like wearing a comfy jumper.
        Beat. Jeremy is suddenly much calmer.
        Jeremy: [quietly, tearfully] I think that's the nicest thing you've said to me.
        Jenny: Let's not make it the last.
      • In the finale, there's plenty of this as well. In Path B ( Jeremy is alive and Alan is dead), upon Jeremy's return to the studio, the two smile fondly at each other as they snark at Julia together, and Jenny pats him on the shoulder as she leaves. And when security start pounding on the doors and Jeremy starts to panic, Jenny puts a hand on his shoulder in an attempt to comfort him, only stepping back when the CCOs arrest him. In Path D ( both Jeremy and Alan are alive), Jenny hesitantly says "Jeremy?" as soon as he reveals himself. The two are obviously overjoyed to see each other again, embracing each other tightly while everyone else in the studio watches in silence. And later, if Alex didn't play the unknown footage, they actually go out to dinner together!
        Jenny: Jeremy?
        Beat. Jeremy looks around the studio, then smiles as he turns to Jenny.
        Jeremy: Hello, you.
        Jenny sobs as she runs to embrace him, and they hug each other close for several seconds. When they let go, Jenny smacks Jeremy's shoulder.
        Jenny: Why didn't you make contact?
        Jeremy: It would only have put you in their cross-hairs. I'm sorry.
        Jenny: [softly] You're a rotten selfish bastard.
        Jeremy: Yes. Keep the show going for me?
        Jenny: Of course.
        She puts a hand on his shoulder briefly, before walking off camera again.
    • During the Lockdown episode if you pay attention to the segment with Katie & Alan being interviewed it becomes obvious that they're in the same room. Alan gets up and leaves the interview but as he does so he walks directly into Katie's camera shot. There's not a lot of reasons why they would be in the same house during a lockdown and being together is one of them. It is a Dream Sequence, so perhaps represents some internalized view of their being some Slap-Slap-Kiss sexual tension in the eyes of the director.
  • Shout-Out:
    • One of the achievements you get in the game (in which you cut to the ad before Jeremy can kill himself) is "You Either Die a Hero...".
    • The Mr. (and Mrs.) Snugglehugs toys are a spoof on Furby, while their dangers is based on the fact that toys like Sky Dancers and Cabbage Patch Snacktime Kids had damaged careless kids in the 1990s.
    • At one time, Geoff Algebra eats a carrot in the same manner as Bugs Bunny.
    • Some of the headlines refer to pop culture titles, such as "We Shall Overcome", "A House Divided", "Start Me Up", "Papers, Please", "7 Days to Die", "Populous" and "Don't Starve".
    • The two Rymmington-Svist employees that appear in their ads are named Brad and Janet.
    • Otho and Lobelia Jackson-Randygannet, seen in in Day 1975, are named after the Sackville-Bagginses.
    • During the "Wheel of Truth" segment, Jordan Rankly gets grilled about a specific incident where she ordered takeout and disguised it as her own cooking, in a clear nod to the famous "Steamed Hams" meme from The Simpsons.
    • Live & Spooky is based on the infamous Screen One episode Ghostwatch, including Patrick guest-starring in it and an evil spirit seemingly terrorizing the crew and potentially killing Alex). But unlike Ghostwatch, the events of Live & Spooky turn out to be real. The backdrop and logo appear to be based on the paranoraml reality show Most Haunted.
    • The "RS-85 Wow Box" commercial promotes its signature game, ''A.T. Alien Traveler, which Sophia has made thousands of copies of in a desert facility because of its heavy demand.
  • Show Within a Show:
    • The National Nightly News, which the whole point of the game is to edit. Though a number of the broadcasts feature clips and excerpts from other in-universe shows or plays.
    • The "Live & Spooky" DLC features two - Live & Spooky, a moderately-popular paranormal investigation show, and Dying Is Another Man's Job, a cancelled 1957 show that starred Graham Bannon.
  • Signing Off Catchphrase:
    • Jeremy Donaldson: "Have a peaceful night."
    • Megan Wolfe: "Let's make tomorrow better."
  • Stealing the Credit: The underlying plot of the "Live & Spooky" DLC. Marie created Dying Is Another Man's Job and co-produced it alongside Graham, only for him to take nearly all of her credits and destroy anything crediting her. Solving the mystery involves finding all of the destroyed reels to clear Marie's name.
  • Stealth Pun: In one of the negative headline clips of Day 232, one interviewee is an elderly guy named Algernon, who has an elderly wife named Iris. The latter one counts as a Floral Theme Naming in that she is named after a flower. Hence, the pun on the name of the short story, Flowers for Algernon.
  • Sterility Plague: Later in the game, there's a significant drop in the birth rate, initially blamed on fallout from the nuclear bombs but later revealed in one of the finale sequences to be the result of a botched experiment with crop modification.
  • Straw Hypocrite: Police Chief Constable Bob Peele, who decries the nation's "moral decay," which he blames on "foreigners, gays, and gypsies, mainly," moments before the gimp falls out of the closet behind him.
  • Straw Misogynist: Graham Bannon.
  • Strawman News Media: Depending on how you play, the National Nightly News can end up very biased. In later broadcasts, Advance tries to get you to censor anything that might make them look bad. So does Disrupt.
  • Stylistic Suck:
    • The Medicated, the Laurence Blunderclatch movie from which we see a clip, is a cheesy apocalyptic thriller with a love plot tacked on. Later, we see the same clip after the films been rebranded into The Automated, which has been done via thoroughly terrible redub.
    • Hey! Friendship!, the play written by and starring a group of sixth form students and directed by the maths teacher.
    • Any scene with Geoff Algebra can be assumed to be this. He outright admits that most of the stuff he makes is garbage he creates for the massive payouts Advance gives him.
    • Li'l C's song, "These Babies Gonna Bring You Home", features a wonky synth line and is laden with Advance propaganda in the form of lyrical innuendos.
    • ''Live & Spooky is a hammy paranormal show and requires Alex's assistance in adding SFX to guide Wayne and Patrick to the rooms. Subverted when the cast starts investigating the building, where Marie's spirit begins terrorizing the crew.
  • Subverted Kids' Show:
    • The Mr. Bear song, especially the macabre/dark version.
    • In the Downer Ending, the National Nightly News is replaced by Frankie Fun's House of Whacks, a kids show featuring the eponymous host and Geoff Algebra as Doofnut. It starts off normal until Frankie bonks Geoff with the hammer while Laughing Mad.
  • Suicide Attack: In one path of the finale, Alan James storms the former National Nightly News during a broadcast wearing a suicide bomb. If you don't play the tape for this path, he successfully detonates it, but if you do play the tape, it fails to go off.
  • Surprise Pregnancy: "We're Having A Baby" is a musical number about one, intended to promote the benefits of childlessness.
  • Talk Show: By the final broadcast, the National Nightly News has completely turned into a talk show called "The Nightly Show".
  • Take That!: Patrick Bannon getting attacked by the Snugglehugs critters in the bathroom is a spoof on the infamous Game Over scene in Night Trap, in which Lisa gets attacked and captured by the Augers in the bathroom (which is the very same scene that led to the creation of the Entertainment Software Rating Board in the first place). And unlike that game, you get away with letting him get killed in this scene, which is capped off with one Snugglehugs critter getting a close-up on the screen with a scary look that says "Take that, Night Trap!"
  • Take a Third Option: The entire point of the game's Golden Ending. Jeremy returns with Disrupt to once again take the studio hostage while live on air. He sits Julia and Alan down to talk fairly about the flaws of both Advance and Disrupt and lays the sins of both sides bare for the nation to see. Advance not only created euthanasia centers with the Transition Centers, caused a continent-wide war, and participated in nuclear terrorism, but is also responsible for the sudden increase in citizen impotence as they carried out a botched test which resulted in crops and livestock being infected with a contraceptive bacteria and they blamed the sterility crisis on the radiation from the nukes in order to save face. If Alex chooses to play the tape Jeremy provided then it is revealed that Disrupt isn't innocent either. On top of bombings, terrorism, and murder it's revealed that the leadership of Disrupt are the wealthy people that were the targets of Advance's Wealth and Assets Act who, despite the act taking away a significant part of their resources, were still wealthy with assets Advance didn't know about or couldn't touch, including the drug trade and child sex slave markets. This all results in turning public opinion on both parties and forming the Accord party, a party with more centrist and less authoritarian ideals, which sweeps both of them on election day and ushers the nation (and its neighbors) into a hopefully brighter future.
  • "Take Your Child to Work Day" Plot: Day 1972 is set during Bring Your Daughter To Work Day. Megan is joined in the broadcast by her foster daughter Stacey, and Boseman mentions having his daughter with him.
  • Teeny Weenie: In Day 232: The Silence, Prime Minister Ivan Vodovich makes fun of Peter Clement with small penis jokes, which gets him ticked off.
  • Telethon: The Telethon level features the Saint Fanny's Hospital's TV Fundraiser for Dying Children.
  • The Bus Came Back: Patrick Bannon, who disappears suddenly after an on-camera rant, reappears as an anchor in some of the epilogues.
  • Think of the Censors!: The player themself has to appease the censors, using Sound Effect Bleeps to keep the show family friendly, so that they don't lose their job. Many characters are aware of this.
    • Megan's foster daughter, Stacey, swears frequently while on air. When the ads run, Megan asks her to stop, for Alex's sake:
      Megan: You know, somewhere else in this building, in a tiny room all by themselves, is a person called Alex Winston. Now, I would really appreciate it if you could get through one sentence tonight without making them reach for the bleep button every time you do. Do you think we could try that?
      Stacey: Alex and Winston can go fuck themselves.
    • Other characters defy this, by intentionally swearing while live in an attempt to hurt the show's ratings, or even mess with Alex directly. For example, Laurence Blunderclatch very deliberately swears twice on air in order to show his displeasure at being asked about politics. And in one version of The Noticeboard's finale, Tommy Harris inserts random swear words into his dialogue, in order to get back at Alex for booing him.
  • This Is a Work of Fiction: A disclaimer at the end of the full release says, "The characters and events depicted in this game are fictitious. Any similarity to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental."
  • This Is My Side: A possible outcome in the cave exploring scientist's story.
  • Time Skip: Several between broadcasts. As the game goes on, the number of days between each broadcast increases, until there are multiple years between broadcasts during the final few levels.
  • Title Drop:
    • Footage that the audience isn't supposed to see is marked with a red light on your display. If the player shows too much of this footage, the Game Over scren will tell you, "You lost the audience because you showed too much footage that was not for broadcast."
    • During The Lockdown, one of the tapes Alex can play during the ad breaks is an employee training video. In one version of it, Boseman states at the beginning, "This video is for internal use only, and is not for broadcast."
    • Jeremy delivers one on Day 296, after the player refuses to play the Disrupt tape.
      Jeremy: But Alex Winston, who works in production, decided... [the tape] was not for your eyes and ears. It was not for broadcast.
  • Took the Bad Film Seriously: In-Universe. Phillipa Rayden is fully committed to her roles and enthusiastic in The Noticeboard compared to both Tommy and Geoff, even if Alex sabotages the show.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: A rare in-universe example. At the beginning of the Day 153 level, Boseman encourages you to play Advance's PSA during the second ad break. The PSA is about the new Transition Centres. But right after the second ad break, is the prime ministers' interview in which they formally announce the Transition Centres. So if you follow Boseman's advice, you spoil the interview for the viewers (although this has no in-game effect).
  • Trash the Set:
    • A subtle one depending on if you played the Snugglehugs advert or portrayed Sophia as a wild child, Rymmington Svist's set in their future broadcasts will begin to slowly deteriorate, with cracks appearing in the walls and Sophia herself beginning to look more unstable.
    • In the Golden Ending, Jeremy and Megan joke about burning down the set for The Nightly Show.
  • Troubled Production: An In-Universe one with Dying Is Another Man's Job, the show featured in the Live & Spooky DLC.
    • Graham Bannon produced the script of the show, most of which was conceived and co-written by Marie Murphy, and had a massive studio and production facility constructed to accommodate the production. Graham took out a massive loan for the construction to hide his vast gambling debt. The show starred Graham as daredevil protagonist Percival Peril, who always carried a set of dumbbells with him, alongside his love interest, Mary. Part of the production was Cedric Sloane, an ex-military prop master with a fiery temper, Brent Backflip, Graham's stunt double, and Marie Murphy, the costume designer theorized to have been Graham's ex.
    • During the show's production, Graham would get into frequent arguments with the cast and shrunk the show's budget to cut corners. He removed Marie's role as the show's co-producer while making heavy revisions to the script. At one point, Brent's harness broke and caused him to fall into the sound stage as a result of Graham buying low-grade material. The blame was falsely put on Marie for sabotaging the costume.
    • Tensions grew between Marie and Graham after Brent's accident. He would try to bribe her into silence when she complained about her budget cuts and ignored advice, which she refused to accept. Shortly after, a fire broke out in the projector room that destroyed the show's original scripts and reels. No cause for the fire was discovered, but it was widely believed to be an accident by Marie, who supposedly hung herself in the vault shortly afterwards. In reality, Graham ordered all of the material that proved Marie created the show and doused them in gasoline, before locking the room so no one could access it.
    • Marie would have one more confrontation with Graham near the soundstage, expressing her disgust at Graham's script revisions. She taunted Graham by revealing she had a surviving film reel, and threatened to expose him as a fraud. As Graham begged her for the final tape, Marie either fell or was pushed by Graham into the vault, killing her. Using rope he was bundling before the confrontation, Graham hung Marie's body with the rope and framed her death as a suicide.
    • Brent's accident, the studio's fire, and Marie's suicide led to the show's cancellation. Graham retreated from the public eye in disgrace, and the soundstage went abandoned because of rumors that Marie's spirit haunted the premises.
  • Twin Switch: Sam's sibling Chris tries to do this with you by asking for your passport so they can flee the country. You can accept their request and give them your passport while the game gives you a lot of choices to decline at every opportunity, or you can keep refusing which royally pisses both them and Sam, starting a rift in the family and subsequently having Chris getting evicted soon enough.
  • Unexplained Recovery: In Day 912, Patrick Bannon inadvertently ends up berating Advance on live television, after which he's abruptly replaced and never seen from again throughout the rest of the story. In some of the epilogue tapes, however, he suddenly reappears hosting a different news show, apparently none the worse for wear.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: It's a pretty subtle one, especially since you have to go back and watch the Rushes to see it properly, but during the first segment of Day 296, as Jeremy continues to vent his frustration with the degradation of the National Nightly News' content during Patrick Bannon's interview, Jenny mentions that she's tried pitching better stories, but they keep getting rejected. Jeremy initially assumes that Boseman is the culprit, but then Jenny lets it slip that the rejections are actually coming from even higher up the chain of command. While it's not explicitly spelled out, it's reasonable to assume that this is what leads Jeremy to put two and two together and figure out that Advance are the ones responsible for the direction the NNN has taken. This turns out to be the primary contributing factor to Jeremy reaching his Rage Breaking Point halfway through the second segment and taking the studio hostage.
  • Verbal Tic: Prime Minister Bjerg often ends his sentences with a "yeah?", yeah?
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: You can play the Mr. Snugglehugs ad and ignore the warning sticky note for a temporary increase in Rymmington-Svist's stocks. However, playing the ad causes the product to become a hit and cause the deaths of about 8,000 children.
    • Also, you can be a cruel bastard in the genocide route and get both factions to dislike you, humiliate the side characters and bankrupt most companies while killing off everyone else. "Bring it all down" indeed.
  • "The Villain Sucks" Song: "Paint It Red" is this in the form of The Diss Track, whose chorus goes like this:
    Gonna take this fact
    Gonna stain it red
    Gonna slam it into Peter Clement's motherfucking head
    'Cause he's thick as shit
    He's got a job he's unfit for
    It's time to storm the castle with a motherfucking pitchfork

    Chase that dream
    You don't need a fucking team
    And Advance's little dance is not as harmless as it seems
    'Cause they're stale and corrupt
    Let your anger erupt
    Pledge your hearts and your minds
    And your fists to Disrupt!
  • Voice of the Resistance: Disrupt may try to hack the news broadcasts.
  • Vox Pops: A bunch of clips of these are used during the headlines on day 232.
  • We Are Experiencing Technical Difficulties: Used during day 912 when Patrick Bannon accidentally goes on an anti-government rant on camera.
  • Well, This Is Not That Trope: If the Disrupt tape is played during Day 296, you hear a hooded figure with a distorted voice introducing himself as a member of Disrupt.
    Hooded Figure: But why should you trust us? Another faceless organisation. A shadowy figure with a distorted voice. You've seen it so many times in the movies. Well, this... is not a movie. [reveals himself to be Alan James]
  • We Will Have Euthanasia in the Future: On Day 153, Julia and Peter announce Transition Centres, where the elderly can go get euthanized (or, as they like to call it, "transitioned") if they are too old or sick. It is theoretically voluntary, though concerns are raised about if the elderly might feel pressured into doing this. In time, the Transition Centres also offer their services for the chronically ill, regardless of age. By the end, in the Path C unknown footage, the Disrupt leadership discusses "repurposing" the Transition Centres in order to murder hundreds of thousands of people - intellectuals, radicals, free thinkers, their friends and family, and anyone who might stand in their way. And in the Path A unknown footage, it is implied that Julia used the Transition Centres in order to murder almost everyone who knew about the true cause of the Sterility Plague.
  • Wham Episode:
    • Day 296. In the middle of an interview, Jeremy holds the news studio hostage and publicly berates Advance. After requesting the player to play a tape from Disrupt, he either shoots himself on air, is gunned down by security, or is arrested. Regardless, he becomes a martyr for the resistance.
    • Day 371. Advance detonate nukes in 4 foreign cities, and threaten to detonate more unless the world surrenders.
    • Day 912. Disrupt gets much more harsh and brutal in its rebellion against Advance, interrupting the opening of the Peter Clement memorial garden with a violent attack and (if the player supports their uprising) managing to knock down the entire broadcast tower by blowing the base of it up.
  • Wham Line: After the credits roll on Episode 2.
    Jenny: Jeremy?
  • What Could Have Been: In-universe: For the final act of the National Nightly News, there was going to be a sports game with Cute Kittens, with one of them dressed as a goalie (with little gloves), before Jeremy's Hostage Situation ruins everything.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: If you denied your 19-year-old daughter Suzie her vacation on Christmas Day, then Megan will appear in her Jeremy Donaldson disguise toward the end of the Lockdown level, calling you out on the act (thankfully, that turns out to be a dream). However, letting her go results in her death unless the player sides with Advance, allowing a choice to bring her home.
    • In Day 296, if you defied Boseman's orders and played the Disrupt ad tape as Jeremy told you to, the former will express disappointment in you:
      Boseman: Oh, Alex... you're gonna get me in trouble for that. Let's just hope you made the right call.
  • What Would X Do?: If you let Jeremy die in Day 296, then at the end of Day 371, after Advance nuke four cities and demand that the world bend to their will, Megan spends the last few minutes pondering on what Jeremy would do if he were alive today in a situation like this.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: As the credits roll, stills for each living minor character appear, showing what they're doing now.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Discussed in the Finale: if you play Jeremy's tape, it is revealed that Disrupt have been using Alan to promote human trafficking and narcotics sales, and they are planning to assassinate Alan once Advance are overthrown.
  • You Monster!: Peter Clement explicitly calls Julia Salisbury a monster in regard to the nuclear warfare.
  • Your Terrorists Are Our Freedom Fighters: Alan James all but name-drops the trope at the end, provided you've got him, Julia and Jeremy in the same room at that point.
    Jeremy Donaldson: We have a duty to the truth.
    Alan James: ...But there are so many truths. I'm a terrorist! I'm a freedom fighter! I'm a raving lunatic!
    Julia Salisbury: I'm a woman who killed millions! I'm- I'm the woman who saved billions!
    Alan James: All of these things are true!
  • You're Cute When You're Angry: In the Lockdown level, when Jeremy becomes agitated and asks Wild Child Sophia Rymmington what our future will hold, she becomes all bubbly and responds "Oh, honey, you're so cute when you're angry!"

♫ I've been living in a paradise, ever since you've made advances on me... ♫


Video Example(s):


Alan James

Alan James is a conspiracy theorist and professional provocateur with a flair for hyperbole, a knack for self-aggrandizing, and a personality like coarse sandpaper.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / ConspiracyTheorist

Media sources: