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Video Game / Not Tonight

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Albion First.

"Show your ID and visa please."
"Here it is." (Shows ID, ticket, transitional visa, and social credit card.)

It is the year 2018. Following Brexit in 2016 and the rise of a Europhobic government, the Department of Euro Aliens has the citizenship of people with less than two generations of British citizenship revoked, and has herded many of them into "relocation camps", with the inevitable outcome of deportation unless they each make £30000 per year (£2500 per month). You are one of them, and have been assigned the job of BouncR to make ends meet... and, as Integration Officer Jupp said, to maybe stay in the country. Maybe.

December 31st, 2018. New Year's Eve Ball. You are tasked with checking everyone's tickets for the Albion First Ball. Then the Buckingham Palace's dome gets blown up, throwing things into chaos.

Not Tonight is a self-proclaimed "dark political comedy RPG set in (a) dystopian Post-Brexit Britain". Much like Papers, Please in gameplay, only instead of being a border checkpoint inspector, you are a bouncer checking everyone's ID and papers to see if they are in order. Throughout your career, you encounter odd sorts of people while trying to stay in the country through increasingly lucrative work, and eventually discover resentment toward the ruling government and the reality that "Britain Alone" isn't as great as the leaders claim it to be.


Beyond the game itself, Not Tonight also has a Discord server which used to have an alternate reality game of sorts. Or a metagame. We are not sure. This is now defunct and replaced with a similar game for this game's sequel, Not Tonight 2.

The full game was released on August 17, 2018 on Steam. A story DLC known as One Love, starring the King's Head owner Dave in his escape to France, was released on 25th June 2019. Both the main game and the DLC were released on the Nintendo Switch on 31st January 2020, the day the United Kingdom left the European Union.

Not Tonight 2 was announced in 2021, this time set in the USA. It was released on February 11, 2022.


Integration Officer Jupp will arrange a site visit to help with these tropes' orientations and likely expulsion:

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    The Game Itself 
  • Action Prologue: The game starts on New Year's Eve 2018, and you get to control your avatar as you talk to Inetgration Officer Jupp, get your things, and start admitting 20 guests for tickets... but you only get five before the Albion First Ball is blown sky high. The game then segues back to about a year prior, which is where the real game begins.
  • Addled Addict: Ferriss Fox, the local drug dealer, sometimes tells you that he sees two or three of you. He is hooked on his own drugs.
  • Aggressive Categorism: State-sanctioned against people without two full generations of British citizenship (parents and grandparents).
  • Alternate History: In this game, not only did the British government fully break from the European Union, but has gone further, with the deportation of people who do not have British citizens as parents and grandparents. As a result, the country is experiencing an economic downturn it has yet to recover. In Real Life, British people with a parent or grandparent of European heritage were allowed to stay, as were EU citizens granted settled/pre-settled statusnote  by 30 June 2021.
  • Alternate Reality Game / Metagame: So much is going on that this deserves its own folder. Tread carefully.
  • Back-Alley Doctor: The person who "treats" you after you drop a piano on your toe admits to not being a real doctor and says that he removed "several unused organs" while operating on you. He says that real doctors are reserved for British people only. This permanently damages your health so that you no longer have the unlimited stamina you used to have before your accident and surgery. Furthermore, since you are considered a Euro, you have no health insurance coverage under the NHS and have to pay your hospital bills.
  • Bad Boss: Officer Julian Jupp requires you to work for him from time to time. If you fail any jobs, it's off to Europe for you.
  • Benevolent Boss: Dave Stobart (who later changes his name to Dave Golden), the head of the King's Head pub, is a great boss to work for and hates any racist discrimination even if he has to participate in it.
  • Bittersweet Ending: In the Golden Ending, everything and everyone involved with Albion First gets investigated and is subsequently abolished. The London Wall falls down and the Euro Relocation Blocks are closed down. Europeans as a whole are finally free, but the events that year have heavily traumatised everyone and those already deported as well as Mylarna, Viklav and Dave likely won’t ever return to England.
  • Blah, Blah, Blah: In Chapter 2, when BillR asks you to pay taxes and other bills:
    BillR: Do not reply to this message. We don't speak "blah blah blah".
  • Bland-Name Product: Your Ababis (Adidas) duffel bag.
  • Bouncer: You are assigned this job.
  • Bribe Backfire: The only customers who try to bribe you are those who will cause an incident if you let them in. Should they offer you a bribe, your best bet is to deny them again.
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory: In-Universe. Noncitizens who earn £30000 a year (£2500 per month) get to maybe stay. Maybe. Jupp grants the player a one-year work visa after the latter scrapes enough to pay for it.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Galahad may be an irritating member of the resistance who constantly tries to contact Guinevere, much to her annoyance and leads to her blocking him on social media, and he constantly (and loudly) shows his support for the resistance, but he's very good at infiltration, having studied and abused a loophole in the Jupp Security rules due to no one suspecting that Europeans would show up to major events celebrating against them, so there wasn't a rule in the first place preventing Europeans from entering said events if their paperwork was exactly in order otherwise. He manages to literally poison an entire party, putting the resistance's plans into motion and after breaking into Jupp's office after finding it with a pencil with the address on it and turning the anti-Euro government against the former after finding out that it was filled with Swedish furniture.
  • Character Level: Each time that #112 gets enough Experience Points, BouncR will ship him or her an equipment upgrade via Instant Home Delivery if BouncR has any more upgrades to send. Some of these upgrades will really help #112, while other upgrades fit the Cosmetic Award trope. Dave Golden, the player character of the One Love epilogue story, starts off with all the upgrades, so he does not have a character level.
  • Cheaters Never Prosper: Some pubs require you to reject anyone not on the guest list who enters the guest lane even if they have valid papers.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Almost every establishment you visit has something that can help the player in some capacity. Provided you are head doorman for the establishment, of course.
    • In the first chapter alone, the medal at King's Head belongs to Viklav Chastain, and eventually introduces the player to the Resistance should it be returned to the rightful owner.
    • Becomes egregious in Chapter 3, when the first three venues you have jobs for all have vital equipment and material needed to make the poison needed to spoil the October Ball.
  • Con Artist: Lucille Sharpwit becomes one of these in Not Tonight: One Love by tricking Dave Golden into joining FlamR, a dating service that bundles a scam. Anyone who does not find love within one month after joining FlamR will be forced into becoming part of LosR, a dating service for the undateables, and be contracted to buy a ridiculously expensive one year subscription. Dave then has to try to not only rescue himself by finding love with at least one of the matches that FlamR has, but he will also have to rescue as many other matches from this contract as possible by finding love with them as well.
  • Crapsack World: The Pound is failing thanks to an economic recession brought on by the departure of UK from the European Union, the subsequent crackdown on non-"natives", and the isolation of the Dystopian Britain due to various tariffs and the government's own policies. There are protests against the government handling of the situation, and it has gotten to a point that there are secret plots against the government.
  • Cutting Off the Branches: The story in Not Tonight: One Love shows that Albion First is still in charge of England and and is messing it up, showing that the Golden Ending is not the canonical ending. Since the Action Prologue shows that #112 made it to the final night, this means that he or she did not die or get deported before the night of the final night since those would create a Temporal Paradox. This leaves the endings where #112 failed to identify the bomber and got deported as a result, or got a guilty verdict and is imprisoned are the only possible canonical endings. In both endings, The Bad Guys Win.
  • Determinator: Being bombed out and completely demolished doesn't stop Dave from running The King's Head.
  • Don't Touch It, You Idiot!: There is a valve in The Tiki Head pub that has a big sign that says "DO NOT PULL". This valve keeps sewage from spilling into the pub. You have to pull the valve in order to find Dave's ring.
  • Drugs Are Bad: You can sell drugs if you want to quickly raise cash. Each drug creates a visible side effect to help you tell who would want the drugs. However, each time you sell drugs, your social credit score decreases. If you try to sell them to an undercover cop, your social credit score will really get hit. Selling drugs also increases your chance of getting a guilty verdict at your trial at the end of the game. However, you must sell drugs if you are trying to get the "Causes memory loss, and other things I can't remember" and "It's just food, man" drug-related achievements.
  • Emoticon: There are some emoticons not just in the phone, but also in some places when you talk to some people. For example, at one point in Chapter 2, when you meet Shannon for the umpteenth time and reject her entry, your character gets a ":-/", while she gets a ":-(".
  • Experience Points: #112 gets experience points each time that he or she finishes a job. The amount of XP that #112 gets depends on what grade is earned. Getting all of the bonuses and none of the penalties (yes, a warning counts as a penalty) gives #112 an S grade and 280 XP. Lower grades give fewer XP. Dave Golden, the player character of the One Love epilogue story, does not earn XP since he starts off with all the upgrades.
  • The Extremist Was Right: You have to practice the discrimination that you are working against if you are part of the resistance in order to survive and infiltrate Albion First. Bringing down Albion First in the Golden Ending makes this trope true.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Since Albion First does not expect people of European heritage to be in the queue for their events, Jupp Security does not consider banning them. Should the player support the Resistance, Galahad will arrive at the October Ball, and his papers will be in order precisely because nationality is not being checked. This is useful for the Resistance as he can enter the place, and no one will bat an eyelash at someone wearing a Resistance sweater screaming "Viva La Resistance", and carrying the poison manufactured by the player.
  • Fake Brit: In-Universe: Inverted with Viklav and Mylarna Chastain; they're actually from Basingstoke, but put on a fake accent so law enforcement will underestimate them.
  • False Flag Operation:
  • Fantastic Drug: CheeseR, Powah Pills, and Face Drops are the drugs that you could buy and resell at a big profit at the cost of your social credit score and increases your chance of getting a guilty verdict at your trial at the end of the game. In fact, the only thing the 10 CheesRs Ferris gives you are good for is when you want to let Tarquin Futtock-Smythe join your side of the Resistance by first rejecting him entry at the Indie Chunes Festival and then handing him the 10 CheesRs at your flat by Friday, unless you are trying to get the "Causes memory loss, and other things I can't remember" and "It's just food, man" drug-related achievements.
  • Fictional Political Party: Albion First, a radical, far-right nationalist party with extreme xenophobic overtones.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • While something of an In-Universe Call-Back, the bombing at New Year's Eve Ball hints at the bombing of King's Head mid-way through Chapter 1.
    • Guinevere mentions having her father in the government as a Resistance mole, and she and Galahad mention having a mole in the government. In the ending where Albion First is deposed, The Scorpion is revealed to be the Minister of Agriculture and is "proud of his daughter", heavily implied to be Guinevere.
    • An early sidequest shows that anything not made in Britain is illegal, as shown by the Italian "Dorseco" bottles and the saleslady (Lucille Sharpwit) who accidentally sold them being blackmailed over it. This fact bites Jupp hard in the Golden Ending, as Galahad broke into his office and found that it was filled with Swedish furniture, much to the fury of the Government.
  • For Want of a Nail:
    • Euro #112 gets roped into this mess because they had a secret Nordic grandfather with an inconveniently-missing immigration form / their French grandmother surrendered her British heritage during a divorce which uprooted the family tree / they're considered Spanish despite being born in Britain since both of their parents are Spanish.
    • Shannon Small's story in a nutshell. Initially, she had to deal with being underage (her birthday being in March). Then, after a Time Skip, she's now over 18 but now faces her ID having Irish nationality. After another one, she finally got her British citizenship, but her social credit score is piss-poor every time she visits any location. Whether she gets through a venue or is given something she wants (records) ultimately lies in the Player Character's discretion.
  • From Bad to Worse:
  • Gameplay Grading: Each day that you complete a job, you get a letter grade. Better letter grades give you more Experience Points.
  • Getting High on Their Own Supply: Ferriss Fox, the local drug supplier who tries to recruit you as a drug dealer, is addicted to his own drugs.
  • The Government: Albion First, led by Prime Minister Simon Taverner.
  • G-Rated Drug: All of the drugs you can sell in the game amount to Cheestrings and sweets, which Ferriss somehow gets high on. His drug kitchen is even decorated with giant sweets.
  • The Great Wall: London Wall, a.k.a. London Flood Barrier.
  • Half-Breed Discrimination: People who do not have two full generations of ancestry consisting entirely of British citizens are victims of this trope. This includes Euro #112.
  • Harmful Healing: The person who "treats" you after you drop a piano on your toe admits to not being a real doctor and says that he removed "several unused organs" while operating on you. He says that real doctors are reserved for British people only. This permanently damages your health so that you no longer have the unlimited stamina you used to have before your accident and surgery, and gives you a Life Meter that you must take care of. Furthermore, since you are considered a Euro, you have no health insurance coverage under the NHS and have to pay your hospital bills.
  • The Heavy: Officer Julian Jupp is this. He causes many of the obstacles that you have to overcome, but is a lackey himself.
  • How We Got Here: The game starts with the New Year's Eve bombing, and the rest of the game is how the player works his/her way there.
  • The Hunter Becomes the Hunted: Officer Jupp is very eager to get all Europeans deported, specifically you. However, in the Golden Ending, he's persecuted by his own beloved anti-Euro government due to the French Galahad finding illegal Swedish furniture in his office and is deported himself to run a non-existent role in Siberia.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: David Stobart (who changes his name to Dave Golden mid-game), the owner of the King's Head pub, hates the discrimination against Euros, but must participate in it to run his pub later in the year after it was bombed.
  • Imposter Forgot One Detail: The undercover cops who show up in an attempt to trap you selling drugs to them have their telling features done slightly wrong: The Cheeseheads have their cheese hats the wrong way and miscoloured, the Powah Pill users have miscoloured/triangle-shaped bubbles coming off their heads and Face Drop users have the cyan lines on their shirts noticeably longer.
  • Kangaroo Court:
  • Landslide Election: Albion First rigs the Summer Election so that it can obtain a comfortable majority in the Parliament. Whether this gets exposed depends on how determined the player is to work with the Resistance and maintain good relations with your acquaintances.
  • La Résistance: The Resistance. Complete with "Viva la Revolution!"
  • Life Meter: The MedR app displays how many Hit Points you have, what decreases your hit points, and the effects of facilities in your flat that help boost your health.
  • Lighter and Softer: The One Love DLC has a much milder plot with Dave trying to find love in France, or risk losing a lot of money due to a scam if he doesn’t.
  • Luxury Prison Suite: Your flat, if you have upgraded its walls with the wooden panel walls, upgraded your heater and bed to the best models, bought the radio, and bought the best refrigerator and coffee maker possible, is one of these. It is still in the ghettoes that Albion First has set up for those who have European heritage.
  • The Mole:
    • The Scorpion is a Resistance agent working inside the Albion First government. He turns out to be the Minister of Agriculture, and Guinevere is implied to be his daughter.
    • You can also become one in game.
  • Monumental Damage:
    • The Buckingham Palace got its dome blown off during the prologue. Which turned out to be the flashback for the bombing at New Year's Eve, at the end of the game.
    • The London Eye is seen destroyed in the main menu.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • Players who do well enough but are on their last incident may find the music suddenly die out if they make their failing incident.
    • Due to a localization error, you could possibly be locked up, only to be exonerated off-screen when the court investigate your claims against Albion First and they prove to hold water.
  • Multiple Endings: There are at least four endings, including the one that happens as a result of a myriad of Nonstandard Game Overs.
  • The New '10s: Takes place in 2018.
  • Non-Action Big Bad: Prime Minister Simon Taverner is this. You never fight him directly.
  • Non-Standard Game Over: The player can die from overworking or get deported from low social score. Both lead to a generic ending where deportation of those with European Heritage continues to its logical conclusion.
  • Noodle Incident / Offscreen Moment of Awesome: How Shannon got granted British citizenship by October 2018 was never elaborated on, though given the political climate, it can't be simple.
  • Not Proven: One of the news stories shows that Finn Daily mugged a French person, was searching the victim's wallet for money, had blood-covered fists, and said "Yeah, I clocked the froggy good." Daily was falsely acquitted when his lawyer claimed an Insanity Defense caused by The Food Poisoning Incident.
  • One Drink Will Kill the Baby: Played with. During your shifts as a bouncer in bars, pubs, and nightclubs, some of the patrons in queues are women with a bit of a baby bump, which Yahtzee Croshaw in his Zero Punctuation review calls "pregnant teenagers with bad haircuts" (even though these bars prohibit underage drinking). Since most pregnant women are over 18, you can admit them in provided that they have valid paperwork. However, it's never shown what happens to the women and their unborn babies in there, though it's kinda safe to say that bars in the UK won't offer alcoholic drinks to pregnant women. And then, of course, there are pregnant CheesR addicts and pregnant Powah Pill addicts. One would have to imagine what their children would want to be when they grow up...
  • Only One Name: Galahad and Guinevere fall into this category because of the IDs.
  • Overturned Outhouse: The music festivals have an overturned portable toilet in the background.
  • Poirot Speak: Two examples:
    • In one of your jobs, Shannon will approach and pretend to speak some French... mixed in with German in between. This indicates that she's an impostor.
    • In the One Love DLC, the first word in the name of Dave's newest pub, Lé Rosbif, is misspelled. It should have no accent. This shows that Dave is a novice in French.
  • The Power of Friendship: Work long enough at any one establishment, and your bosses will be impressed enough that they will make the player the Head Doorman (double pay on subsequent jobs), which gives the player access to equipment that will help the player in some way. Some people you meet while you are running jobs also develop relationships with you, and they too have some issues the player can help with. How well your acquaintances regard you will affect whether you will walk free and begin Albion First's downfall at the end of the game.
  • President Evil: Prime Minister Simon Taverner is this. He is the founder and leader of Albion First, the far right party of bigots that is causing the mess that you are in.
  • Railroading: If you don't fulfill certain tasks to progress the story, the game will prematurely end.
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: Should Albion First be deposed and Officer Jupp avoids punishment for owning cheap Swedish furniture, he will be reassigned to Siberia as a diplomat. Siberia not being an actual country (it is part of Russia), it is heavily implied that he is assigned to a dead-end position.
  • Revealing Cover Up: Albion First attempts to pin the King's Head bombing on Viklav, but Dave has the crime footage on his USB drive. If the player becomes the head bouncer for both the post-bombing King's Head and Fire and Ice, you can obtain the USB drive from Dave, which has the footage, and then use it on Fire and Ice's computer. The footage implicates Albion First in the bombing and exonerates Viklav such that Dave will raise money to pay for Viklav's lawyer.
  • The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: Albion First plotted all of the bombings to pin the blame on Europeans, in an attempt to convince the public to support its draconian policies that will erase British liberties and destroy Democracy. The plot is more or less jumpstarted when the King's Head is bombed. The Resistance, for their part, seeks to expose the Party through less violent, though arguably underhanded, means.
  • Running Gag:
    • Shannon Small shows up several times per chapter. Usually hamstrung by limitations placed by her documents (underage on the ID, later banned country on the ID, then British citizenship on ID but poor social credit...) She's basically the game's equivalent of Jorji Costava.
    • The player character was born in the UK but missed citizenship because of their parentage/visa-issues. When dismissed or addressed as a foreigner (Dave of the King's Head, Mylarna, Viklav), they will initially attempt to explain this, but they are never allowed to get more than an "Actually..." in. They eventually get pissed at the court trial and announce their heritage.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: After Viklav loses his case, he and Mylarna decide to bug out to France. Dave follows suit shortly afterwards, having seen how far his country has fallen.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Speaking Simlish: The characters in this game speak this, but a few are programmed to say a few things that make sense. For example, Officer Jupp sometimes says "Euro" in his Simlish, which makes sense since he is obsessed about abusing Euros. The player character will sometimes say "VAC ban" whenever he or she is rejecting a customer. A VAC ban is a penalty given by the Valve Anti-Cheat system in Steam when it detects that someone is modifying the game, most likely to cheat.
  • Spontaneous Human Combustion: Discussed in the third Fire & Ice shift, where the boss says that one head doorman was working for the bar when he "spontaneously combusted".
  • The Stateless: The government has revoked the British citizenship of all Britons who have one or more parents or grandparents who are not British citizens. These former Britons therefore have no nationality unless they have obtained dual citizenship with another nation. The player character is therefore a stateless person.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • Failing to pay the £2500 visa renewal fee? It's off to Europe for you.
    • Failing any of Officer Jupp's jobs? It's off to Europe for you.
    • Letting your social credit score go to zero? It's off to Europe for you.
    • Failing to pay your rent, utility, and water bills, as well as the Euro tax? Good luck to your social credit score.
    • For that matter, taking days off work, selling drugs, and taking bribes hurt your social credit score.
    • Working for several days straight even with adequate facilities and especially without adequate facilities in your flat so that you run out of Hit Points? You die.
    • Selling drugs to make cheap money? Watch out for undercover cops, who will dock your social credit hard.
    • Congratulations on being the head doorman! Not only will your pay be twice as much, you also will need to put on your best performance, because you can't really afford to make as many mistakes.
    • The New Year's Eve Ball brings up two, maybe three:
      • Do your job properlynote  at the New Year's Eve Ball? Sorry, but all Euros must be deported, and it's off to Europe for you.
      • Given the nature of the court, it is hard to listen to someone who is considered untrustworthy by his/her peers. Conversely, it is hard not to listen to him/her if his/her peers consider them trustworthy.
      • As a corollary, being in power doesn't save you from prosecution if the court decides that claims of fraud and wrongdoing are worth investigating. Especially if those claims are true.
  • Tampering with Food and Drink: You help Galahad do this to force the Albion First's New Year's Eve ball into London as part of the Resistance's plan to expose the bomber as one of Albion First's own committing a False Flag Operation. This was necessary so that the resistance would know where the party would take place.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Even after the player starts refusing entry for various problems with their documents, there are still people who try to get in with invalid documents. Partially justified with The King's Head as the bouncer before the player allowed entry to under 18 patrons.
    • There are people who enter the guest lane despite not being listed on the guest list. Needless to say, they are rejected even with valid papers.
    • And of course, there are a selected few who try to bribe the player into letting them in, or skip the bribe and move straight to forcing their documents into the player's hands. Don't count on either working.
  • Totally 18: Shannon Small tries to get in with an ID that says she is underage, and claims that the date of birth was a mistake. If refused entry, she will try to offer a bribe. When refused entry again...
  • Traveling Salesman: Lucille Sharpwit is a high pressure version of one of these, except she is a saleswoman instead of a salesman. After #112 becomes a victim of a Back-Alley Doctor, some of her goods can help save the player's life.
  • The Unfought: You never fight Prime Minister Simon Taverner directly.
  • Unwinnable by Design: If you fail to complete all the necessary steps to bake the poison for the ball during Chapter 3 (which can happen about halfway through the month) the game will let you play until the end of the month anyway before giving you a Downer Ending.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Jupp makes it clear that you are just a tool for his rise to power, and once your visa expires, he is not exactly unhappy to see you go. Should the player support the Resistance, Jupp himself becomes one as you work for him so that his rise to power brings the Resistance closer to shutting down Albion First.
  • Walking Swimsuit Scene: You'll be seeing these a lot at the Fire & Ice Club shifts two-thirds of the way through Chapter 1. And, of course, those wearing swimsuits and beach clothes (which are banned items) are not allowed. Though one has to wonder why people are wearing swimsuits in England in a cold month like January, of all places!
  • Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: Vicar Dribley of the Angels shifts speaketh this way when he talketh unto #112.
  • You Are Number 6: The Player Character.
  • Your Terrorists Are Our Freedom Fighters: The Resistance genuinely fights for equality and freedom, but Albion First tries to put on a damper on that by framing them on bombings the government itself orchestrated.

    The Now-Defunct Discord Metagame/Alternate Reality Game (WARNING: SPOILERS!) 

"Sorry, your job (writer) is currently banned."
"But I have important edits! Please!"
"Get out."
"I'm now in limbo..."