Follow TV Tropes

Following

Video Game / ObsCure

Go To

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Obscure_6370.jpg
In this school, they teach you things you never wanted to know about.
Advertisement:

Essentially Resident Evil IN HIGH SCHOOL WITH CO-OP! ObsCure is a series of survival horror games by Hydravision Entertainment (later Mighty Rocket Studio) for the PlayStation 2, original Xbox, and PC. The presentation is similar to the PlayStation 2 era Silent Hill games (Silent Hill 2 through Silent Hill 4: The Room), played from a third-person perspective with a fixed, floating camera tracking the player from a distance within a fully 3D environment.

One of its most notable features was its two-player cooperative mode. Instead of exploring the haunted halls alone, the teens were Genre Savvy enough to stick together in pairs, with the player selecting who to take along as a partner. Said partner was either controlled by the game's AI or a second player, and each character had had a unique skill to make parts of the game easier.

Advertisement:

Another part of the game's charm was its campiness. Styled after the post-modern, "meta", Genre Savvy teen horror movies of the late '90s (such as Scream (1996) and especially The Faculty), the games were flush with corny, Totally Radical dialogue and characters written as broad caricatures of teen movie heroes and villains. The first game even featured the song "Still Waiting" by Sum 41 as its theme song, as a nod to such films' "hip" soundtracks.

The first two games were rereleased on Steam in 2014.

Advertisement:

ObsCure (2004)

Something strange is going on at Leafmore High. Students are disappearing, teachers are acting oddly... When Kenny Matthews, a varsity athlete, makes an horrific discovery under the school, four of his friends — his cheerleader girlfriend Ashley Thompson, school reporter Josh Carter, stoner friend Stanley "Stan" Jones, and little sister Shannon — join him in investigating what exactly the hell is happening. However, they quickly find themselves locked in the school overnight, and now there're things roaming the halls...

Notably, none of the five characters were ever required to advance the plot... mainly because all of them could be easily Killed Off for Real at any time. Losing somebody didn't instantly equal a Game Over; you could continue without them so long as you had somebody left to play as. Having every character still alive was also necessary to achieve the Golden Ending. The game also had the player using light as a weapon in the form of flashlights that weakened enemies, flashbang grenades that acted as smart bombs, and even smashing open windows to let in sunlight, several years before Alan Wake employed a similar mechanic.

ObsCure II (2006)

The sequel, ObsCure II (known in America as ObsCure: The Aftermath), takes place two years after the events at Leafmore. Shannon and Kenny are attending the nearby Fallcreek University, while Stan dropped out and is working as a pizza delivery boy. Stan and Kenny have to take medication to stave off the aftereffects of what happened at Leafmore, while Shannon has managed to adapt on her own... something she frequently snipes at the boys about.

Unfortunately, there's a new recreational drug that's become trendy among the students, one that's made from a strange-looking flower that keeps appearing all over the campus. Naturally, it isn't long before the survivors of Leafmore High, along with a small group of other students at Fallcreek, find themselves facing hordes of mutants and struggling to stop the contagion from spreading too far. What follows is a romp through the college dorms, a frat house, a hospital, and the dark woods outside of town, and a long parade of Cruel and Unusual Deaths as everything comes out of the woodwork to kill our intrepid heroes.

Unlike the first game, the partners (and deaths) for each section of the game are decided as part of the plot, and each hero's skills are actually required to navigate past the various puzzles and obstacles. Characterization is beefed up from the first game; while the five protagonists in the original got nearly all of their characterization in the opening scenes, the structure of the plot here means that they get real Character Development over the course of the game, much of it provided through combat dialogue. However, the returning characters from the original get hit with a bad case of Not as You Know Them in the process.

Final Exam (2013)

A spinoff called Final Exam was released in late 2013 on PC, Play Station Network, and Xbox Live Arcade. Unlike the first two games, Final Exam is a side-scrolling 2½D Hack and Slash with a more exaggerated art style. It is about four former high school buddies — the football hero Brutal Joe, the nerd Nathan, the tough guy Sean, and the dancer Cassy — who get together for their school reunion, only to arrive and find the town overrun with monsters.

It was originally conceived as ObsCure D, an interquel to the first two games, but that version was scrapped after Hydravision closed its doors. It was retooled into Final Exam, with an original story and characters, after former members of Hydravision founded Mighty Rocket Studio. While not officially part of the ObsCure series, it has enough Shout Outs to the games that fans consider it a sequel in all but name.


    open/close all folders 

    Tropes throughout the series 
  • Academy of Adventure: Leafmore High in the first game and Final Exam, Fallcreek University in the second.
  • Action Girl:
    • Ashley is the most adept at combat out of the five characters in the first game, with her special ability being a "rapid-fire" attack that allows her to get off two shots or swings in rapid succession. Shannon can also hold her own if one is desperate (i.e. if she's one of the last characters left), though her abilities make her more of a support character best left at the gathering site.
    • In the second game, Shannon has become this. Sven also compares Amy to a valkyrie after watching her kick some monsters' asses.
    • Cassy in Final Exam.
  • Badass Crew/Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: They all fit neatly into every cliched teen movie category you can think of and still manage to be friends on some level. Then they find melee weapons and firearms. Cue the drug-induced, one-liner filled chaos.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Ashley in the first game, and Cassy in Final Exam.
  • The Big Guy:
    • In the second game, Sven and Kenny have the ability to move large objects the others can't.
    • Final Exam has Brutal Joe, the strongest of the four main characters, whose combat specialty is in melee.
  • Body Horror: The games do not lack for messed-up monsters that had once been ordinary teenagers. The most grotesque example is probably the Breeder in the second game, which Amy dryly notes appears to have once been a pregnant woman.
  • Co-Op Multiplayer: One of the defining aspects of the series, being fairly unique for classic survival horror, although the AI will control the other character if you're going solo.
  • The Corruption: Mortifilia, which turns those exposed to it into darkness monsters. Principal Friedman, his sister-in-law Nurse Wickson, and (in the second game) Shannon seem to be the only ones immune to it, but they can't be under sunlight too much, and Friedman spent years researching the plant to harness its properties in a less corruptive manner. Everybody else must take daily medication to avoid turning.
  • Cut Short: The second game ends on a cliffhanger following some major story revelations, but by the time the sequel finally came out, it was a Divorced Installment. As a result, the ending of the second game becomes a Bolivian Army Ending, even with the hopeful note it goes out on.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: The entire plot of the first two games revolves around one of the Friedman brothers trying to save the life of the other. Even their children get involved, human and plant alike. The second game reveals that the ΔΘГ brotherhood had supported their research, but this was because the scientific community had repeatedly rejected them, with ΔΘГ being the only ones willing to fund them.
  • Hammerspace: Character inventory is generally shared, except for weapons. If a character dies in the first game or both of the characters you're playing as die you have to recollect items though. There's also a possible oversight at the beginning of the first game where giving Kenny both guns and unloading them before the prologue ends causes those extra bullets to appear in your inventory when the other characters get their first gun. Very handy for Hard mode though!
  • Hand Cannon: The revolver in the first game and in Final Exam. The item description for it in the first game even lampshades this, calling it "a powerful revolver."
  • Hollywood Nerd: Shannon and Josh in the first game, Mei and Jun in the second one.
  • Mushroom Samba:
    • The opening of the second game has Corey and Mei consume the mortifilia plant, triggering one of these (with some foreshadowing for later events).
    • Likewise, the penultimate level of Final Exam has the protagonists get exposed to the black spores, causing a bad trip filled with nonsensical mission objectives and, at more than one point, the characters thinking that they are Crushers.
  • Orphaned Series: Sadly, the cliffhanger at the end of the second game was never resolved, thanks to the third game becoming a Divorced Installment.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: They are created through exposure to the mortifilia plant, and they are killed by the light.
  • Revolvers Are Just Better:
    • The revolver is one of the most powerful weapons in the first game, standing far ahead of the three semi-automatics available, and bested only by the double-barrel shotgun and the laser. Its description even refers to it as "a powerful revolver".
    • The same is true in Final Exam, where the magnum revolver is not only far more powerful than the semi-auto handgun, but stuns enemies as well. Given that you find it in the second level, it's practically a Disc-One Nuke, especially if you're playing as Sean.
  • Save-Game Limits: Both the first and second game do this in their own way. The first game gives you a limited number of CDs that you can use to save the game in any room provided it's clear of enemies. In the second game, there are fixed save points (represented by mortifilia flowers on the wall) that can only be used once, though given the second game's more linear progression, you'll rarely revisit old save points.
  • Solve the Soup Cans: Subverted in the first game, in which every obstacle has a fairly mundane solution (pouring acid onto a lock, for example, or smashing out a window with a baseball bat) or has an explained reason to be there (the four statues to unlock Friedman's underground lab are foreshadowing the Friedmans' expedition and the mortifilia). Played straight in the second game with the mausoleum tomb.
  • Stylistic Suck: The games' Totally Radical, "too-cool-for-school" attitude is part of their homage to late '90s horror movies.
  • Survival Horror: In old-school fashion, complete with fixed camera angles.
  • Suspicious Video-Game Generosity:
    • In the first game, before the final boss fight you are able to take a large amount of ammo and multiple first aid kits from Mr. Walden's bag.
    • In the second game, after the No-Gear Level, you recover all of your weapons — all of them stocked with plenty of extra ammo — just before the True Final Boss.
  • Totally Radical: A deliberate choice. Most of the cast are grown-up students of the '90s, after all.
  • Trope Maker: The ObsCure games implemented the "magically boost your flashlight beam to make light-sensitive enemies vulnerable to attack" mechanic several years before Alan Wake brought it to the mainstream.
  • Unexpectedly Realistic Gameplay:
  • Universal Ammunition:
    • The first game has only three types of ammunition: pistol bullets, shotgun shells, and the laser's batteries. It makes sense for the shotguns (which are all presumably 12 gauge) and the laser (for which there is no extra ammo available), but the same pistol bullets are fired out of everything from an old pocket pistol to a Hand Cannon revolver.
    • Final Exam goes further and has its ammo apply across all weapons, from pistols to shotguns to machine guns.
  • Unskilled, but Strong:
    • In the first game, Ashley and Kenny fall into this category, with their special abilities (a rapid-fire attack and a quick sprint, respectively) being derived from their physical ability.
    • In the second game, the bruisers Kenny and Sven have the ability to move heavy objects and hit enemies harder, while Corey's skills are also derived from his physical ability (in his case, climbing narrow ledges and being able to take more damage).
    • None of them seem to struggle with guns or chainsaws though. Gun Slinging 101 must be a requirement in high school and college.note  This was at least semi-justified with Ashley in the first game, as her file states she went through self-defense training prior to the events of the game.
  • Weak, but Skilled:
    • By contrast, Josh, Stan, and Shannon fall into this category in the first game. Josh can easily find items, Stan can easily find locks and pick them faster than the others, and Shannon is skilled at first aid and offers puzzle tips. Using Josh and Stan primarily on one's first playthrough can make life a lot easier in terms of not missing anything.
    • In the second game, Mei can hack computers, Amy can solve puzzles that others can't, Shannon can suck dangerous dark auras out of the environment, and Stan once more has his lock-picking ability (this time being the only character able to do so, instead of just doing it faster than the others).
  • Weakened by the Light: Zig-zagged. Light causes those infected with the mortifilia spores to start to mutate. A small amount of light triggers enough mutations to turn them into monsters, while a greater amount kills them, the mutations working like a fast-acting cancer. In gameplay terms, this means that direct sunlight and other high-intensity light sources (such as flashbangs, flare guns, and the lights in the cafeteria in the first game) kill the monsters almost instantly, and flashlights and, in the second game, the flashball gun help weaken them.
  • We All Live in America: While the games are set in the United States, they were made by a French developer, and it appears that they were basing their impressions of Anglophone society more on the UK than the US.
    • Metric measurements are frequently used in place of American Customary Measurements, dates are rendered in the form of "DD/MM" rather than the "MM/DD" format used in the US, British spellings are employed frequently, and a notice makes reference to the "Ministry of Health" (the US' equivalent is the Department of Health and Human Services). On top of that, one of the calendars still has the French names for the months of the year (octobre, janvier, avril). If it weren't for the American flag in the gymnasium in the first game and the brief reference to Friedman being born in Iowa, one might guess that the games took place in Quebec rather than the US.
    • Likewise, with the exception of the Friedmans (whose last name implies a German background), every single character who's not explicitly specified as being non-white (Mei and Jun) or otherwise foreign (Sven) has an English last name like Matthews, Thompson, Jones, Carter, Brookes, or Wilde. No corner of the US was exclusively settled by the English; even those parts of the country with substantial levels of English heritage (like New England, Utah, and the Southeast) tend to have Scottish, Irish, German, and Scandinavian ancestry mixed in as well. To English ears it probably wouldn't be out of the ordinary, but it certainly stands out to Americans.
    • One of the weapons available in the second game is a flashball gun, a less-lethal riot control weapon (though for the games' light-intolerant enemies, it is far deadlier) that is widely used by law enforcement and gendarmes in France and the rest of Europe, but is virtually unheard of with American law enforcement.
  • Zombie Infectee:
    • In the first game, all of the main characters get infected by Friedman about halfway in. The rest of the game has them looking for the antidote before the sun rises and triggers mutations. In the second game, it's revealed that the antidote only treated the symptoms rather than curing them, and while Shannon learned how to control the mortifilia and developed a symbiotic relationship with her infection, the other characters all have to take pills to control it. Mr. Walden was also infected earlier on, and by the end of the game is too far gone to safely use the antidote.
    • In the second game, most of the main characters save for Shannon (who's immune to the plant's effects anyway) and Stan use a drug made from the mortifilia plant in the opening, and wind up infected. It's mentioned that other students at the school have been using the drug for a month by that point, and it can be inferred that these were the students who turned into monsters at the frat party. While Jun, Mei, Sven, and Amy all get killed or otherwise incapacitated too early for the plant's effects to take hold, Kenny, who still had the infection from the first game in his system, undergoes a Face–Monster Turn as a result. Corey is also Driven to Suicide over it, his infection being the start of his Trauma Conga Line over the course of the game.

    Tropes in the first game 
  • Action Prologue: Kenny's stint trying to fight off monsters before the Title Drop.
  • Air-Vent Passageway: Early on, the characters use this to travel from the girls restroom to the teachers' showers, so as to access the teacher's lounge (which is locked from the outside). Played a little more realistically than most examples, as the vent requires a screwdriver to open and a boost from another character to reach.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: Beating the game unlocks alternate outfits in New Game+ mode for each character still left alive at the end. Ashley's gray shirt is switched out for the top half of her cheerleading uniform (though keeping her jeans), Stan's shirt is recolored in Jamaican/Rasta colors, Josh gets a Hawaiian shirt, Kenny's muscle shirt and track pants are recolored green and orange respectively, and Shannon gets the most dramatic makeover — a punk/goth ensemble that includes fishnet stockings and blue streaks in her hair. (Her appearance in the second game makes this Hilarious in Hindsight.)
  • Anyone Can Die: No, really. No matter what combination of characters you have, it is possible for one or both of them to die. For unskilled or new players, its almost a certainty.
  • Artistic License – Biology: Noted In-Universe in Mr. Walden's files. The mortifilia plant's behavior is so unusual that he can't believe it's real — its stems are completely dry, implying that it doesn't need water to live, and it is not only not photosynthetic, but exposure to the light actually damages it.
  • Bookends: The game begins and ends with you being at the school gym. Double points if you are playing Kenny during the final boss fight.
  • Camera Fiend: Josh. Complete with an Apocalyptic Log by the second game.
  • Controllable Helplessness: Kenny during the Action Prologue, which is one big Fission Mailed, but moreso Dan during co-op, since he's killed barely a minute after the second player takes over.
  • Duct Tape for Everything: You attach guns to flashlights using duct tape.
  • Elaborate University High: Friedman absolutely splurged when he built Leafmore High. Not only does it have, among other things, a botanical garden, a theater, and a maze of secret underground tunnels, but the buildings on the school grounds are all built in an Art Nouveau style, most visible in the school's vast central courtyard and creepy statues. This fan-made map of the school showcases its various buildings and secrets.
  • Energy Weapon: A laser beam weapon can be found near the end of the game. It is powerful as all get out, but has limited juice and no extra batteries. A laser with unlimited battery life (albeit with a cooldown period like the flashlights) can be unlocked during a New Game+.
  • Evil Teacher: Principal Friedman. Mr. Walden's behavior also grows increasingly erratic over the course of the game, the result of his infection with mortifilia spores.
  • Final Death: You get five lives in the form of the five characters you play as. When one of them dies, they're dead for good. In fact, keeping the entire party alive is necessary for the (canonical) good ending.
  • Fission Mailed: Dan has to die, and Kenny can't escape the school basement during the Action Prologue, even though the game makes it look like you're supposed to fight off the enemies and escape.
  • Five-Man Band:
  • Guns Do Not Work That Way: The most powerful shotgun in the first game appears to be some kind of hybrid of a double-barrel and pump-action shotgun that, in real life, could not exist as a functional weapon. Likewise, you attach flashlights to guns by simply duct-taping them together; if the recoil alone didn't cause the flashlight to go flying (unless the teens used the entire roll of duct tape), the operation of a semi-auto pistol's slide would do it instead. The only gun that should've been able to hold onto its flashlight was the pistol found in Friedman's safe, which had a light built in.
  • High School: Set in what seems to be an exclusive private school, with the player exploring the classrooms, the administrative buildings, the gym, the theater, the cafeteria, and the dorms, along with certain other features that normal high schools (even lavish ones) don't have.
  • I Know Madden Kombat: Kenny's special move is a rapid sprint that comes from his days on the basketball court.
  • Male Gaze:
    • It's a good thing the girls can't tell where Josh points his camera.
    • Also, if Shannon is boosted up to the air vent in the girls bathroom in the Administration Building, the camera shows what would be a Panty Shot if not for Shannon's Magic Skirt.
  • Multiple Endings: Two of them, with the deciding factor being whether all five characters survive to the end or not.
    • If any of the player characters has died, then the survivors take the antidote and leave. Afterwards, the game cuts to a memorial to those who died at Leafmore High. A mysterious purple smoke comes out of one of the coffins that has been laid into the ground, implying that the deceased are still infected and will come back as mortifilia monsters.
    • If Everybody Lives, then a special cutscene plays. In the ruined gym, Kenny and Ashley start making out, Shannon and Josh comfort each other, and Stan moves to grab the briefcase containing the antidote, only for something to come out of the hole in the gym floor and attack him. (Given that all five of the main characters show up in the sequel, it clearly didn't do much to hurt any of them.) This is the canon ending that the second game follows on from.
  • New Game+: Special Mode, which gives the characters alternate costumes and puts two new weapons into the game: the Morgenstern bat (a spiked club that does as much damage as the revolver) replacing the baseball bat, and a pistol with a laser beam weapon attached replacing the flashlight-equipped pistol found in Friedman's safe.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: As performed by a creepy boy choir.
  • Ordinary High-School Student: The five protagonists didn't start out as monster hunters, things just happened that way.
  • Plotline Death: Averted, as characters could only be killed off through player incompetence (except for Dan). You could theoretically finish the game with all five characters still alive, or with only one. It takes a Total Party Kill to get a Game Over.
  • Red Shirt: Dan. He accompanies Kenny during the Action Prologue, and is promptly killed for good in an effort to show that Anyone Can Die — which is actually true (see above).
  • School for Scheming: Leafmore was founded as a way to gain test subjects for Principal Friedman's experiments.
  • Spiritual Successor: A survival horror game where the five playable characters have their own unique skills, travel in small groups that you can swap around but not all together, and Anyone Can Die but you can still go on without them as long as at least one is still alive? It's a modernised update of Sweet Home.
  • Two-Teacher School: The only faculty members shown running around the school (besides Friedman, for obvious reasons) are the biology teacher Denny Walden, the nurse Elisabeth Wickson, and the janitor Mr. Garrison, who gets killed offscreen. Keeping in mind that most of this game takes place after school hours, there are no other teachers present during the opening scenes where school is in session. Just who's teaching these kids anyway?
    • On that note, the only teacher present in the sequel is also a biology teacher.

    Tropes in the second game 
  • Abandoned Hospital: The Fallcreek University Hospital has gone through a very hard night thanks to mortifilia infectees being taken there. You get to see a poor guy in a bed bleed out from his wound, unable to move, as well as pregnant women in the maternity ward who have been mutated into Mook Makers.
  • Airborne Mook: The Harpies, former college girls.
  • American Kirby Is Hardcore: Compare these assorted covers from the PAL versionnote  with the snarling monster on the American cover. The worst part is that the American cover doubles as a case of Trailers Always Spoil, giving away Kenny's Face–Monster Turn about halfway through the game.
  • And Some Other Stuff: Incredibly guilty of this trope during Chapters 9 and 10, where the students need to make dynamite in order to blow up a weak wall blocking their path. Apparently, all you need to do to make a working stick of dynamite is mix bleach, ascorbic acid, ice, glycerine, and soda, in that order, into a beaker.
  • Apocalyptic Log: The bonus video you find after obtaining all of the secret weapons shows a small video of Josh and Ashley in the Leafmore Ruins until they are found by Jedidiah, leaving their fate ambiguous.
  • Asian and Nerdy: Twin sisters Mei and Jun are both gamers, and Mei is also a skilled hacker who can break electronic locks with her PDA.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Most of the weapons within the special boxes are powerful, but crippled by either a lack of ammo (the explosive crossbow, the flare gun, the mini SMG) or a tendency to quickly drain the battery (the high-powered flashlight). Outside of the stun gun and the flashball gun, you will be saving most of these weapons for the boss fights and relying on the good old-fashioned pistol, shotgun, and melee weapons.
  • Back for the Dead: The secret cutscene, unlocked by opening all of the lock boxes, is a video showing what happened to Josh and Ashley, the two heroes from the previous game that didn't reappear in the sequel. They went back to the abandoned ruins of the school with a handheld camera to investigate, and got attacked by Jedidiah. The footage cuts out before we see a confirmed kill, but it's pretty clear that things didn't turn out well for them.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: Monster Kenny, Leonard Friedman, and Jedidiah.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Depending on how you look at it. On one hand, all the new characters introduced in the game suffered terrible and brutal ends, and Corey, the sole one of the new ones to make it to the very end, gets infected by the same monster that kill the woman he loved. The infection would turn him into just another monster than would cooperate with Kenny, to avoid this he decides to shoot himself in the head. On the other, Shannon and Stan are still alive, and while they're in for a rough ride, they're more than ready to take it and kick ass.
  • Black Dude Dies First: Matt, an African-American student you meet in the dorm at the start of the game. When things go to hell you find the Professor dissecting a monster, who Corey identifies as Matt by his tattoo. Also, Mei and Jun, the only non-white members of the main cast, are the first among them to die.
  • Bolivian Army Ending: In the end, only Shannon and Stan are left alive, and they're facing down a massive cloud of black spores, with the implication that they're about to do battle with Kenny's monstrous spawn.
  • Chainsaw Good: Subverted. The chainsaw is not used as a weapon, but only for cutting through obstacles and severing Leonard's Combat Tentacles during the boss fight, and it requires battery power to run. That said, Jedidiah does use a chainsaw as his Weapon of Choice, and the final battle between Corey and Jedediah is a chainsaw duel straight out of Gears of War (or it would be, if this game hadn't come first).
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Take your pick. You've got:
    • Getting torn apart by monsters. (Jun)
    • Getting your head slowly crushed under a giant monster's foot while your boyfriend watches helplessly. (Mei)
    • Getting chopped up with a chainsaw and hung on a meat hook. (Sven)
    • Getting raped and impregnated by a monster and then giving birth to its murderous offspring. (Amy)
    • Suffering a slow Trauma Conga Line over the course of the game, before finally being Driven to Suicide after getting infected by the Big Bad. (Corey)
    • Getting mutated into a gigantic, murderous monster after running out of the medicine you need to keep your mortifilia infection at bay, then taking three grueling boss battles to finally go down. (Kenny)
  • Darker and Edgier: Along with Bloodier and Gorier.
  • Deadly Euphemism: In his last words, Kenny tells Shannon to take care of the child that he had with Amy — an Enfant Terrible that envelops the stadium with a cloud of spores not long after. Shannon vows to "take care of it" by destroying it.
  • Developers' Foresight:
    • Overlaps with Fridge Horror. After she's rescued from Kenny, take a close look at Amy. She's no longer wearing her thong, and her face starts looking sicker and sicker as the game progresses.
    • During boss fights, the respawning item boxes will drop supplies if you run out to prevent the fight becoming impossible, though the first boss fight with Kenny lacks these.
  • Dialog During Gameplay: Unlike the first game, this one is flush with it.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Leonard/Jedidiah.
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: The nightmarish drug trip sequence at the beginning is ripe with foreshadowing.
  • Drugs Are Bad: Especially when they release spores that turn you into mutated monsters.
  • Dummied Out: One of the original trailers shows an extended version of the starting Nightmare Sequence. The Steam trailer, which re-creates this trailer, replaces it with some footage from later in the game.
  • Dwindling Party: Out of the entire cast, Shannon and Stan are the only ones standing at the end.
  • Express Delivery: It only takes one night for the mutant spawn of Kenny and Amy to go from a zygote to a helicopter-destroying, black-spore-releasing monstrosity.
  • Final Girl: Shannon, along with her boyfriend Stan.
  • Gas Leak Cover-Up: A newspaper found in the Leafmore Ruins reveals that the whole Leafmore Incident was covered up (probably by the ΔΘГ Brotherhood) with this as the excuse.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: The Stinger reveals that the events of both games were orchestrated by the Delta Theta Gamma (ΔΘГ) fraternity, which turns out to be a Skull & Bones-esque secret society that views the mortifilia plant as the key to immortality. Both Professor James and the Friedman brothers were members (the latter out of necessity to secure funding), and the group used its deep connections to the federal government to cover up the Friedman brothers' experiments at Leafmore, so they could achieve immortality.
  • Hillbilly Horrors: Around the midpoint, after the protagonists escape the university campus, they flee to a house in the forest that turns out to be the home of Jedidiah. This trope is in full effect as you explore the house and surrounding area.
  • How Much More Can He Take?: Seriously, Kenny, just stay down. There are only so many things that can be dropped on you.
  • Kill 'Em All: Well, it is based on '90s teen horror movies. By the end, only Shannon and Stan are left alive.
  • Male Might, Female Finesse: As noted above under Unskilled, but Strong and Weak, but Skilled, most of the male characters save for Stan have special abilities derived from their physicality (Kenny and Sven's strength and Corey's daredevil acrobatics), while all of the female characters' special abilities are either intellectual (Mei and Amy) or supernatural (Shannon).
  • Market-Based Title: The game's title in Europe is ObsCure II, but it was sold in the US as ObsCure: The Aftermath.
  • Mook Maker: The Breeder produces swarms of tiny spider biters, as well as having some really annoying attacks of its own. It's implied that they had once been pregnant women infected with the mortifilia spores.
  • New Meat: Downplayed. Every new protagonist is dead by the end of the game, but their deaths are spread out enough that you don't notice too much, from first entering the hospital (Jun) to the Final Boss (Corey).
  • No-Gear Level: The ending sees you stripped of your weapons and health items by the ΔΘГ Brotherhood.
  • Not as You Know Them: Shannon, Stan, and Kenny all have darker personalities as a result of their experiences.
  • Plotline Death: Played straight, unlike in the first game. Zig-zagged with Jun, whose death can be delayed (but not avoided) if you try to save her, which also gets you one of the best melee weapons in the game.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Probably one of the most disturbing aspects of the game. It's hard to tell how much of an impact it's supposed to have on the game, though, considering that Amy groans and cries occasionally, but shows no other signs of having gone through a traumatic experience, due to not remembering the act at all. (That said, it doesn't tell us if Kenny did something to make her forget or if she just blocked out the horrible experience.) Also, depending on your interpretation of the ending, Amy's pregnancy either literally spawns a possible sequel or hands out justice to the final antagonist.
  • Secret Circle of Secrets: Delta Theta Gamma is strongly implied to have a lot more in common with Skull & Bones than the drunken, hard-partying Delta House wannabes they appear to be at first glance. The Stinger confirms this.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: Mei spends the first half of the game trying to track down her twin sister Jun and save her. If you manage to track her down, the game lets you control Jun's escape attempts, only to have her brutally killed seconds after yanking that control away. Things go downhill from there.
  • Sidequest: One of these is strung through the game, with a bunch of small keys scattered through the environment that open lock boxes. Each of them contains a unique, powerful weapon; in order, you get the stun gun, the crossbow, the flashball gun (a gun that fires mini-flashbangs), the flare gun, the mega-flashlight, and the mini SMG. Opening all of them unlocks a bonus video that reveals the ambiguous fate of Josh and Ashley from the first game.
  • The Stinger: And how! See Your Princess Is in Another Castle!.
  • Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: After surviving the events of the first game, Kenny gets killed in the sequel — in the most drawn-out, painful way possible, involving Body Horror and a Face–Heel Turn. Oh, and Josh and Ashley, the other two protagonists from the first game who don't return, are implied to have been horribly killed off-screen.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Stan and especially Shannon have taken several of them since the first game.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: Trailers? Try game covers. Mutant Kenny appears right there on the cover as an Evil Overlooker.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: Lincoln Stadium. The moment you look at the vast arena beyond the gate, with the sun about to rise just over the horizon, you know something big is about to go down. If the Suspicious Video-Game Generosity that occurs moments before wasn't enough of a clue...
  • Wacky Fratboy Hijinx:
    • One of the early levels has you sneaking into a frat house party, which is soon followed by you fighting your way out.
    • The actual fraternity hosting the party, Delta Theta Gamma, turns out to be a subversion. To the uninitiated, they're little more than a bunch of hard-partying fratbros. They're actually a secret society that's deeply involved in an Ancient Conspiracy, and their research into the mortifilia plant was responsible for the events of both games.
  • Was Once a Man: Every monster you see obviously qualifies, but the most grotesque example is Kenny, who, after refusing to take his meds, turns into a mutated freak the size of a Land Rover with an enormous arm/tentacle on his back that he uses to spit balls of spores.
  • Where It All Began: The end of the game takes place at the ruins of Leafmore High School, which are in the process of being demolished. Then the real end of the game has the protagonists returning to the Delta Theta Gamma house, which was where the mortifilia outbreak started — in more ways than one.
  • Who Writes This Crap?!: Played for Drama during the Mushroom Samba in the opening when Corey and Mei read the epitaphs on their tombstones. At this point, Corey still believes that Sven pulled a prank on them while they were knocked out by the drug, and find the macabre imagery around them to be very mean-spirited.
    Corey: "Here lies Corey Wilde, who lived in anger and died because of it." Who wrote this crap? Huh? Who?
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle!: A major example. The game waits until after the end credits for its big twist: Professor James was The Mole, working for the Delta Theta Gamma fraternity, which is part of a larger conspiracy that was secretly responsible for the events of both games. Then you face the True Final Boss.

    Tropes in Final Exam 
  • Art Shift and Genre Shift: Even when it was still known as ObsCure D, it was far more cartoonish and action-packed than either of the other two games were.
  • Badass Bookworm: Nathan, whose combat specialty is in explosives, and whose special moves involve various gadgets, including an electro-shield, a monster trap straight out of Ghostbusters, and a high-powered flashlight.
  • Dance Battler: Cassy. Two of her special moves involve dancing as a means of attack, kicking and twirling enemies out of her way.
  • Degraded Boss: The Tank and the Crusher, after serving as end bosses early on, become this in the rest of the game.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Cassy's unique passive ability, Charm, has this occasionally happen to enemies, with them too busy ogling her to fight.
  • Expy: Each of the main characters is this to one of the protagonists from the first game. Brutal Joe is Kenny, Nathan is Josh, Cassy is Ashley, and Sean is Stan. Only Shannon doesn't have an analogue, and that's because she herself shows up in the game as an NPC.
  • The Gunslinger: Sean's combat specialty is in firearms, and his special attacks all revolve around them in one way or another.
  • I Know Madden Kombat: Two of Brutal Joe's special moves involve his background as a football player. One has him charging like a bull, as though he were running at another team on the field, and another has him putting on football armor to give him temporary invulnerability. All of the characters can also learn a tackle move to take down enemies.
  • Jane of All Stats: Cassy. She can upgrade all four of her skills (health, strength, precision, and explosives) quite nicely, making her the most versatile fighter, but can't upgrade any one of them as much as other characters who specialize in one skill or another.
  • Lighter and Softer: Whereas the original games were unabashedly campy but otherwise played things fairly straight and tried to be genuinely scary, Final Exam is far more overtly comedic and over-the-top.
  • Show Within a Show: The ending seems to imply that the events of the game are actually part of a comic book within the original ObsCure continuity.
  • Stone Wall: Nathan can upgrade his health further than any of the other characters, but he can't upgrade his melee or firearm skills that much. (Explosives, on the other hand...) This is stated to be the result of him getting toughened up by years of bullying.
  • Zero-Effort Boss: After defeating the final boss (implied to be Leonard the giant tree from the first game), you fight Principal Friedman. He's just an ordinary human being and, other than having a lot of health and a decent dodge roll, fights more or less like a basic Mook. The fight is pretty much just a chance to beat him up for causing the whole mess.

Alternative Title(s): Final Exam

Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report