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You have been assigned to a being called "The Batter." The Batter has an important mission. Be sure that it's accomplished.

OFF is an RPG created in 2008 by Mortis Ghost with RPG Maker, with music created by Alias Conrad Coldwood. Originally released in French, it has since received an English translation. Mortis Ghost himself has stated that he wanted to make a game that was like a cross between Killer7, Myst, and Final Fantasy VI.

The player enters their name and are informed that they are now in control of "The Batter", a serious and determined man in a baseball uniform and the game's main character.

Fairly simple, huh? Well, it gets weirder.

The game takes place in a world nothing like what you know. Only a few moments after you gain control, The Batter encounters a white, wise, and snarky cat with a Cheshire Cat Grin who calls himself "The Judge". The people in this world, called Elsens, are all Inexplicably Identical Individuals. The item merchant Zacharie wears a variety of masks and has perfected Breaking the Fourth Wall, including saying that he knows he and everyone else are in a video game, and at one point telling you that the solution to a puzzle is located in one of the game's files in your computer (not that the other characters are any better; the player is repeatedly addressed directly by the name you input at the beginning). Strange creatures called Spectres are terrorizing everything in sight and mighty Guardians rule over the lands of the world, called Zones.

The Batter's mission is to "purify the world" from these Spectres, and you have to help him with it.

The latest translation can be found here, and the original French version here. There is also a soundtrack, that can be found here. Note: page is in French. The game's become reputable on Tumblr, being the sixth most reblogged game of 2013 (in comparison, every other game on the list is a big name title).

NOTE: Since this game is highly subjective, be sure to put things that are implied, unconfirmed, or fantheory into the WMG section.

It is also highly recommended to play the game in its entirety before viewing the tropes below.

(Trope purification in progress...)

  • Absurdly High Level Cap: The actual level cap is 50, but it's possible to beat the game around Level 15-16, easily complete it without much trouble at around level 20, completely massacre everything around 25, and yet the last attack is unlocked at level 45, with steady unlocks along the way, both for the Add-Ons and the Batter. An entire element (meat) is likely to go unused by most players, especially as there is no New Game Plus.
  • After the End: Assuming that The Room isn't symbolic — which it likely isOFF takes place after the world was destroyed by some disaster; it was rebuilt by the Queen and the Guardians, who all hoped to create a new, peaceful world.
  • Arc Number: Four, with a hidden or atypical fifth member, possibly tying in with the Batter and baseball.
    • There are four numbered Zones, and the Room makes five total.
    • There are four elements, and sugar is the artificial fifth one.
    • Zone 1 has five sub-areas: Elsen, Pentel, Damien, Shachihata, and Alma.
    • Zone 2 has four areas surrounding the library: the entrance, the park, the residential area, and the mall.
    • Zone 3 has four areas you traverse by monorail.
    • The Batter has five healing skills. Save First Base, Save Second Base, Save Third Base, Save Fourth Base, and Save Secret Base.
    • The Batter and the Add-Ons make four party members, with The Judge counting as the atypical fifth during the final boss fight against the Batter.
  • Arc Words:
    • The switch is now on OFF.
    • "Somewhere over the rainbow" appears fairly often in the game's concept art, especially drawings involving the Batter.
  • Art Shift:
    • Whenever the Elsens give exposition on the elements, detailed drawings appear showing diagrams relevant to the topic at hand. Such as figures of a cow's anatomy when explaining metal (which is made in cows in this universe) and people swimming when explaining plastic (which functions as the world's main liquid).
    • Sections of the Room change the art up. A possible flashback chapter involving the Guardians shows a more "natural" and realistic brown and black ruined world, while the Panic at Ballville section is given a retro style with a greater color palette than most of the main game.
  • Artificial Stupidity: To an extent. The OFF combat system is rather frustrating, because during the time you spend selecting moves, the opponent's cooldown will not be frozen, giving the AI a significant speed superiority over you. Because of that, it is recommended to set the combat to Auto just about always. However, the Auto system has one flaw — the AI virtually never uses healing moves or items on damaged party members. It may happen sometimes, but only once in a blue moon. If you want a dying party member healed or a status effect removed, you'll have to deactivate Auto and do it yourself. You can rectify this by setting the "Active" option in the main status menu to "Waiting", which makes it so enemies will wait for you to choose moves, items, and which enemy to attack.
  • Atop a Mountain of Corpses: The cover of the soundtrack depicts the Batter sitting atop a mountain of purified spectres.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • The Ashley Bat. It allows you to attack twice in one turn, but is only available after collecting all five of the hidden Grand Elements, which can only be found by purifying all the zonesnote , defeating Sugar, and talking to Zacharie in Zone 0 right before the final boss battle. Also, you have to choose between the Ashley Bat and access to the Golden Ending.
    • Ultimate Homerun, the last move learned in the game (being unlocked by the Batter at Level 45). It can instantly kill the Secretaries and even the final boss in one hit, only costs 118 CP, and with a Tuesday (which you find in the purified Zone 3), that cost goes down even further to 59 CP… but besides the Superboss Sugar and The Room (if you decide to hold off from going in it until you get Ultimate Homerun), there's nothing to use it on besides the Secretaries at that point, and most of the enemies can be easily defeated by Level 20 anyways.
  • Ax-Crazy: The Elsens from Zone 3 when deprived of their sugar.
  • Back to Front: The Room tells a story in reverse order, starting with Chapter 5 and ending with Chapter 0.
  • Barrier Maiden: Killing a Guardian purifies their respective zone.
  • Battle Theme Music: "Pepper Steak" is the regular battle theme — however, Zone 3 Area 4 and the Room have different battle themes. Every boss has a unique theme, as well.
  • Bears Are Bad News: There's a whole hallway full of them in the Room.
  • Berserk Button: One of the only ways to get an Elsen angry is to touch their sugar. In Zone 3, a few of them are seen killing specters over it, when they otherwise would not fight back unless Burnt.
  • BGM Override:
  • Biblical Motifs: The party members' classes are called "Savior", "Father", "Son", and "Holy Spirit", and the guardians are all named after people from the Bible. The Queen's name, Vader Eloha, means "God the Father", though in mixed languages.
  • Big Bad: Queen Vader Eloha is apparently the one who created the specters, who are destroying the world. It is never quite confirmed if this is true, and Vader is implied to be Good All Along, but either way, The Batter himself turns out to be a much greater threat, as his aim is to 'purify' the dying world of all sin by destroying it.
  • Big, Thin, Short Trio: When you encounter them in the Room, the Zone Guardians end up being this. Enoch is big, Dedan is thin, and Japhet is short.
  • Bilingual Bonus: The track "Windows Licking" (the one that plays in the mall) is an English translation of a French expression ""Lèche-vitrines", which refers to window shopping.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The special ending which borders on Pyrrhic Victory. Sure, The Batter failed, but only Zone 0 is left by the end, and assuming you kill Sugar, only the Judge, Zacharie, and the lone Elsen in the safe room remain. Besides the Secretaries, and who knows what the hell those things are.
  • Black-and-Gray Morality: The Batter is revealed to be the true villain, but it's not like things were perfectly fine before. Two of the zones are ruled by despots, one zone's inhabitants have become too afraid of everything to enjoy life, another's are hopelessly addicted to a drug made from the ashes of the dead (and if it's true that they export it to the other zones, it's probably only a matter of time before the rest succumb)... and of course the whole place is infested with murderous ghosts. And you never do learn whether or not the Queen was behind any of it, or had the power to fix it.
  • Blackout Basement: A section of Zone 1's smoke mines is pitch black. The Batter claims to be guided by "faith", or more accurately an aura that only allows you to see his very immediate surroundings.
  • Blatant Lies: OFF describes itself as a "nice game for cute children". In reality, it's a deeply melancholy and incredibly disturbing surrealistic nightmare.
  • Bleak Level: The Purified Zones and The Room.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: Suffers a little bit from this. Several of the most iconic parts of the game (Competences, Hugo being thought to be the Batter and the Queen's son, etc.) came about from a mistranslation of the original French game, the most egregious being Competences (as mentioned before, the reason being put under Call a Hit Point a "Smeerp"). While a majority of the errors were fixed in later versions of the English translation, it was bad with the original 1.0 version (and even then, a few of the problems still hadn't been fixed by the 2.0 version's release).
  • Body Horror: The Elsens after they become Burnt.
  • Bolivian Army Ending: Panic in Ballville fades to black while the hero is seemingly overpowered by an army of baseball players.
  • Bookends: The Judge gives combat instructions to the player and the Batter at the beginning. At the very end, they battle as enemies.
  • Boss Corridor:
    • The battle with Dedan is preceded by a long hallway with staircases.
    • Enoch has a maze-like corridor which you'll have to run through from the other direction when he starts chasing you.
    • The Room has 3 in particular: a long stretch of hallway (which eventually turns into a staircase) before fighting Queen Vader Eloha, and two sets of empty rooms preceding the fights with Hugo and either of the final bosses.
  • Boss in Mook Clothing: The Pastel Burnt in Zone 3.
  • Bread and Circuses: Japhet attempted to provide the Elsens in Zone 2 with this, but they end up going crazy from paranoia regardless.
  • Brick Joke: During the Spectre attack in the residential area of Zone 2, there's an Elsen panicking in front of a locked safe room. The Elsen that locked himself in the safe room ends up being the only living Elsen left in the zones by the end of the game.
  • Call a Hit Point a "Smeerp": Characters have "Competence Points", or CP, instead of MP. In addition, there are a lot of bizarre names for items (a basic healing item is called a "Luck Ticket") and special moves ("Classical Taking"). Though "Competence Points" may be a failure of translation, rather than deliberate weirdness, as the French word for "skill" is "compétence." Consequently, the typical "Skill Points" in French became the unusual "Competence Points" in English.
  • Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp": The spectres at least that resemble bedsheet ghosts are not called ghosts; instead, they are called spectres, phantoms, or ectoplasms.
  • Chest Monster: For some chests, you'll have to purify the spectres in them before you can get the items in them.
  • Climax Boss: Enoch's fight is preceded by the revelation that each Guardian is the "living engine" of his own zone, and that killing them turns the zone into a lifeless void. Though the player might've already figured that out by the time they meet Enoch, should they have decided to revisit Zone 1 or 2 after the deaths of the respective guardians.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Mortis Ghost, the creator, paints himself as this. His FAQ on his Tumblr is mostly centered around his boat and the ridiculous circumstances around it, for starters.
  • Contractual Boss Immunity:
    • Downplayed. All the bosses are still susceptible to status effects, but Wide Angle doesn't give anything helpful beyond the boss' name and a brief description — and sometimes, not even that!
    • Apparently, if you choose the special ending, the Final Boss form of The Batter is not immune to Palsy, which The Judge can inflict. This leaves The Batter unable to attack.
  • Crapsaccharine World: Quite literally Zone 3, where the "sugar" is made by burning corpses and is also some kind of horribly addictive drug that mutates the Elsen who consume it.
  • Creepy Jazz Music: The default battle theme is "Pepper Steak", a jazzy piece with unsettling repetitions. Even the most lighthearted battles in this game are against mini-Eldritch Abominations, and the Batter himself is no less disturbing.
  • Cruelty Is the Only Option: Killing the Elsen who can't fight back on the subway track as he calls for help, and also killing Hugo at the end of the game.
  • Damage-Sponge Boss:
    • All the game's bosses, which is mostly RPG Maker's fault. Superboss Sugar especially, with a whopping 12000 HP. Although it does serve to make Alpha's Poison-inducing attack Not Completely Useless.
    • The Pastel Burnt has more health than any other enemy in the game, at 99,999 HP. And if you want the best defensive equipment for the Add-Ons, you're going to have to fight it. Although that's mainly because you're not supposed to attack the monstrous body itself; instead, you have to kill the heads that periodically pop up from its mouth.
  • Deadly Euphemism: What "purifying" obviously is, at least in the context of the Spectres. After seeing what happens to the rest of the zones, it works in this context as well.
  • Deconstruction: Of the typical "Heroic Mime on a vague quest to Save the World" story. The Batter is a near-silent stoic, his small snippets of dialogue making him seem almost completely indifferent to anything outside his goal. He also plans to save the world by essentially destroying it.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: The characters and enemies are all monochrome, and the backgrounds and settings tend to have a limited palette (and once purified, that's gone, too). However, Mortis Ghost drew a picture showing most characters' actual colors, so it's probably a stylistic thing. The Batter seems to be the only truly monochrome character, however.
  • Descent into Darkness Song: The themes of the various Zones you go through. With Zone 0, it's just weird, but you'll soon after spend a lot of time in Zone 1, which is nice, quiet, rainy, and overall pretty in its musical choices. The same goes for Zone 2, more simple and somber it may be. Zone 3's music is outright ominous, which tells you you're going to be facing some hard puzzles and harder enemies throughout.
  • Downer Ending: Both the official and special endings, though the special ending can also function as a Bittersweet Ending.
  • Duel Boss: The Final Boss fight if you side with the Judge.
  • Easter Egg: In the library in zone 2, the book that tells the legend of the Queen is very faded in places, and the second page is almost entirely illegible… except if you edit the image of the book to make it easier to read, there's a note from the translator complaining about a barking dog making it hard to translate, and speaking highly of Kentucky Route Zero.
  • Elemental Powers: The four elements of the game are: Smoke, Metal, Plastic, and Meat, which are also the building-block elements of all the Zones in the game.
  • Element No. 5: Sugar, which is not actually an element in gameplay.
  • Enemy Scan: The Batter's Wide Angle competence, though it's not very helpful in boss fights.
  • The End: Shows up not in either of the normal endings, but for comical effect in the secret ending.
  • Enter Solution Here: The game has a lot of these, with codes written on walls or in books that the player must put together and either enter at a keypad-like group of blocks, or tell to a certain person.
  • Everybody's Dead, Dave: If you choose the official ending, everyone dies. If you choose the special ending, only the Judge, the lone Elsen in the safe room, the Secretaries, and Zacharie are left alive (assuming that you kill Sugar).
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": The Batter, the Judge, and the Queen. Even Enoch is at one point referred to as "the Director". Downplayed in that the Judge and the Queen's real names are revealed by Wide Angle (Pablo and Vader Eloha — and Zacharie mentions looking for a "Pablo" if you return to Zone 0 after meeting him).
  • Evil Versus Oblivion: On the Evil side, we have the Queen (according to worse-case interpretations) and the guardians, who maintain a horrific Crapsack World running on its last legs. On the other, we have The Batter, who decided to end it all. Who is more sympathetic depends on the player's personal interpretation.
  • Face–Heel Turn/Heel–Face Turn: Depending on your opinion from the game's revelations, every player does one or the other at the end of the game when confronted by The Judge. You can either betray The Batter or help him finish his quest, but which side is less bad really is up to interpretation.
  • Fake Ultimate Mook: The Whales are enormous and intimidating, yet no more powerful than an average enemy.
  • Fan Sequel: There are numerous fanmade spinOFFs, both completed and in progress, that can be found on the OFF fangames tag on Tumblr.
    • There is a non-canonical fangame titled HOME which tells the Judge's side of the story, made by Felix of Tumblr.note  The latest version can be downloaded here, though it is advised you play through and complete OFF before challenging Home, as it is rife with OFF spoilers.
    • There is another fangame known as UNKNOWN, made by Claude Huggins. Unlike the above, the Player mainly plays as Zacharie in order to undo the events of OFF.
    • Then there's Continue/Stop/Rise, made by M256. Unlike the other two games, it takes place in a completely new location, and is mainly about Batter trying to find his place in the world now that his mission is over.
  • Final Boss: In terms of gameplay, the Queen is this. Hugo and either the Judge or the Batter serve to wrap up the story.
  • Foreshadowing: In several places.
    • Dedan, right before you fight him, says: "I'm the guardian of Zone 1! It ain't nothing without me!" — his words turn out to be literal.
    • The library in Zone 2 tells a lot about the rest of the game: It mentions Enoch before you properly meet him and reveals Japhet's true identity as a phoenix in the puzzle with the books.
      • It also contains a faded old book about orchids with no apparent name, which was given to Japhet, creator of the Library, by Hugo in Chapter 4 of the Room.
      • It also contains a notebook with only one page written in messy handwriting: "I have run out of oxygen-". This, added to the knowledge about smoke being what the Elsens breathe, makes for a pretty good hint that the world you are playing is After the End, which is confirmed by the Queen later on.
      • It also has a hidden book which contains the story: "The Toad King", which tells you about a hideous king which is challenged by a masked man, much like Batter challenges the guardians. It ends with nothing but the man killing the king, which reflects how Batter's victory literally ends with nothing.
    • One Elsen in Zone 2 is afraid to go in the next room because it might suddenly cease to exist. Once Japhet is defeated, the entire park disappears.
    • While running away from Enoch, one hallway suddenly becomes completely white. After Enoch is defeated, the entire Zone looks like this.
    • The villain from "Panic in Ballville" is a baseball player, and when you fight the enemies in this section, they appear on the right side of the battle screen, right where the Batter's party should be.
    • Also with Sugar, when you speak to her before fighting her, she mentions something about imagining a "huge, frightening ducky". After the fight, she says that the ducky has won this round. It doesn't make much sense at the time, but if you choose to side with the Judge when you get to the end of the game, the form of the Batter that would be perceived in battle strongly resembles that description.
    • Throughout the story, the Batter is shown to be indifferent and outright dismissive of how miserable the lives of the Elsens are, which hints at his true nature.
    • There are four/five elements, but only three guardians. Hugo is the fourth, most likely of the Room, or at least that's what is suggested in both the game and some concept art. The Judge is the fifth, the guardian of Zone 0, also hinted at in the game, and confirmed by Mortis Ghost.
    • Zacharie's final line may be an allusion to the final battle, where you could potentially fight the Batter. Too bad it's in Latin.
    • The intro screen itself looks similar to the strings you'd move a puppet with. Later on, you're called a "puppeteer", so you've been basically puppeteering The Batter.
    • When you first meet the Judge, he mentions he had difficulty telling the Batter apart from his own demented hallucinations. In the Special Ending, when you take control of the Judge, you get to see just what the Batter looks like through his eyes.
    • The game's title foreshadows the significance of the word "OFF", and how it plays a role in The Batter's ending.
  • Free-Sample Plot Coupon: The cards required to get to advance the plot count, since most of them are gotten after boss fights. The Grand Brachial and Grand Chocolatier also count, since the former is purchased from Zacherie and the latter is gotten by beating Superboss Sugar, while the others are gotten by revisiting the now-purified Zones, which have some extreme layout changes and are now infested with Secretaries.
  • Furry Reminder: Several with The Judge. At the beginning of the game, he talks about how cats like to rub against people's legs and purr, and eats cat food. Later, you see him looking at a cat food ad.
  • Gainax Ending: Parodied. The secret ending "reveals" that the whole game was planned by space apes so that they could build factories in the purified zones to fight flying brains. This is a reference/homage to the Silent Hill franchise, games from which often contain joke secret endings with a similar tone.
  • Game of Nim: A mandatory puzzle in the amusement park of Zone 2 has you and your opponent take turns popping balloons, picking to pop one, two, or three each turn.note 
  • Gratuitous French: The calendars in Zone 1; the game was originally in French and there was likely no way to change them.
  • Gratuitous Greek: The Add-Ons are named Alpha, Omega, and Epsilon. The Queen has three Add-Ons of her own named Delta, Sigma, and Ipsilon (Upsilon).
  • Gratuitous Japanese: Some of the equipment names for the Batter, Zone 1's Shachihata, and Dedan's laugh bubbles in-battle.
  • Gratuitous Latin: Said by Zacharie before facing the Queen.
    “Bis Vincit, Qui se Vincit in Victoria” Translating to "He conquers twice, who conquers himself in victory."
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • Getting the secret ending.note 
    • One of the puzzles in Zone 3 is unsolvable without looking at the game's Readme file. You only get told this by Zacharie, who is hidden in one of many rooms in one of the many hallways of Zone 3 Area 4. And the only way to get him to tell you is for you to get a Music Box. And the only way to get the Music Box is to find and defeat the Boss in Mook Clothing — who puts up a very long and tedious fight mainly due to its Damage-Sponge Boss nature — who is also hidden in one of the many rooms in one of the many hallways of Zone 3 Area 4. And even then, you still need to find an extra sheet of paper that decodes part of the puzzle for you (although the game is kind enough to tell you that it's important). Yeah, that's pretty bad. On top of which, at least one download for the English translation doesn't include the Read Me file.
    • There is a hidden chest in Zone 2 with a Min-Woo tunic by taking the pedalo not to the park, but out into the ocean. There is no hint to where it is or that there even is anything to begin with.
    • Finding the Grand Spectral. It resides in a room that looks identical to the only other building in the area. And that area is just a big vast white. If you don't scour the area diagonally and enter the identical-seeming building, you're out of luck.
  • He Knows About Timed Hits: Both the Batter and the Judge break the fourth wall to explain navigation and combat mechanics, respectively. This doesn't stick out as much as normal since there's plenty of fourth wall breakage elsewhere.
  • Hub Level: The Nothingness, which also serves as the World Map. It even has "World Map?" floating to the side of the screen.
  • Human Resources: The sugar is made of Elsen corpses.
  • I Can't Believe It's Not Heroin!: Sugar. Complete with very unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: invoked The Elsens of Zone 3 unwittingly eat processed dead people as a dessert — though the Elsens producing it are fully aware of it.
  • I'm Cold... So Cold...: Sugar's dialogue after being defeated.
    Sugar: I'm feeling way too cold.
  • Inexplicably Identical Individuals: The Elsens, save the ones wearing helmets or lab coats. The Burnts fit too, depending on the Zone — though Zone 3 has two unique ones, the Pastel and Critic Burnts.
  • Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence: Usually in the form of little blocks. The game's creator, Mortis, even mocks this in one of his sketches.
    The Batter: This block prevents access. Pfff.note 
  • Interface Screw:
    • The Room has selecting areas of the level through a fake title screen at one point, and walking upside down in one of those areas.
    • In Zone 3, the answer to a puzzle is in the game's Readme file.
  • Interface Spoiler:
    • As shown with Dedan, boss fights use a red background rather than the color of the setting you are in. The first fights with Japhet and Enoch both use the color of the respective rooms they are in, an early indication that you're not quite at the end of the zone yet.
    • Likewise, the battle with the Queen uses a black background, cluing you in that she's not the final boss. Hugo's battle background is as red as the piece of ham he's clutching.
  • Ironic Nursery Tune: "Grey Pencil," which plays during the scribbled section of the Room, and another one called "The Race of a Thousand Ants" plays multiple times — during the scenes with Hugo after defeating Dedan and Japhet, when you use the Music Box, and during the final, red-colored section of the Room.
  • Joke Ending: The secret ending reveals that the whole thing was a plan by a trio of space apes who wanted the world destroyed so they could build a robot factory in their war against a race of flying brains. This was openly inspired by Silent Hill's similar joke ends.
  • Jump Scare:
    • Dedan's talk sound is very loud compared to the other ones in the game, so hearing it for the first time combined with seeing his Nightmare Face could be one to first-time players expecting a quieter sound.
    • Due to the loud and sudden pre-battle noise, nearly every single random encounter could count as this. The Secretary encounters in the purified Zones in particular feel like this, due to the Zones' barren nature and how low the encounter rate is. Which does pose some questions: how does a giant flying sky whale manage to sneak up on you?
    • Triggering a random encounter in the bowels of Zone 3 counts as this at least the first time, due to the battle music changing to Endless Hallway, a Silent Hill-esque industrial remix of the regular battle theme.
    • Enoch also gives you a big one after getting back to the Zone 3 Area 4 subway. The fact that he's even bigger when he does doesn't help in the least.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: All three Guardians, especially Dedan and Japhet, turning Jerkass and Ax-Crazy respectively. In Chapter 4 of the Room, they're all shown to be kind and have legitimate ideas and hopes for how to rebuild the world into a Utopia. Dedan and Japhet turn completely against their citizens and plans when things do not work out, while Enoch sticks to his methods, albeit as a Well-Intentioned Extremist.
  • Kick the Dog: The Critic Burnt that you have to kill in order to get to Area 4 in Zone 3. Unlike the other Elsens and Critic Burnts, this one doesn't really attack. All it really does while you're attacking it is call for help. The worst part about this is that you have to kill it in order to progress.
  • Last Note Nightmare: Japhet's battle theme, "Minuit A Fond la Caisse", does this in the official OST, though you won't hear it in-game as it loops before that point.
  • Last-Second Ending Choice: Before the Final Boss fights, you either side with the Batter in his quest to end the world and turn the switch to OFF or you side with the Judge and defeat the Batter so as to save what little is left of existence. After making your choice, if you want to back out, you can switch to the other option by losing the battle.
  • Level Ate: The meat fountains in Zone 1.
  • Load-Bearing Boss: All three Guardians. After you defeat them, their Zones turn bleak, empty, and lifeless.
  • Long Song, Short Scene:
    • Each variation of "Burned Bodies" is over a minute long, but unless you put the game idle, the only variation you're likely to hear get more than halfway through is the version that plays in Zone 3's overworld.
    • "O Rosto De Um Assassino Cansado" and "Woman of Your Dreams" are a downplayed version since they play during the cutscenes before the fights against Enoch and Vader Eloha respectively, and "Dramatic Crescendo" just barely evades this since the song plays on the roof of the second Zone, not just during the cutscene before fighting Japhet.
  • Macro Zone: The second battle against Enoch is this, because of how monstrously large he becomes. Your battle sprites don't even have their regular jittering.
  • Madness Mantra: One of the sugar depraved Elsens in Zone 3 has this.
    Elsen: The... su.. The... sug... The sugar... Put the sugar in the tube, the sugar in the tube! the tube.
  • Main Character Final Boss: This is played straight if you choose to betray The Batter in favour of taking The Judge's side. For the entire game, you played as The Batter and have been helping him to purify the world, even as the dark implications of your holy task are brought to light. During the final boss fight, The Batter's final boss state is portrayed as a monstrous creature with an elongated mouth filled with teeth. However, if you choose to follow through with your holy quest to purify the world and side with your puppet until the end, this trope is averted.
  • Makes Just as Much Sense in Context: Mining for smoke? Getting metal ores from cows? Meat fountains? Don't expect an explanation for those; a lot of the weirdness is just plain weirdness.
  • Mind Screw: While somewhat straightforward for the most part, the Room definitely doses up on this. And then you have the secret ending...
  • Mini-Game: The balloon game and pedalo ride in Zone 2's amusement park, and the "Game Of The Mortal Fall" in Zone 3 Area 3.
  • Mirror Boss: A more subtle example, since the Final Boss battles don't last very long, but The Judge has substitutes for most of the skills the Batter and the Add-Ons have.
  • Mood Whiplash: Zone 3 has this in spades. Before finding out the awful truth behind sugar, you're treated to a cheerful minigame, and right before the proper boss fight with Enoch, he chases you down with happy ragtime music and a ridiculous walking animation.
  • Move in the Frozen Time: When you clear a zone, all color, life, and activity ceases to exist within that Zone. Whether or not time actually stops isn't clear, but it's functionally the same either way. Other than the protagonist, the only things left moving in these places are absolutely terrifying humanoid spirits called "secretaries" and a single, lone Elsen.
  • Multiple Endings: Depending on whether or not you pick the Batter or the Judge to side with in the ending choice,note  and then whether or not you have the Aries Card in your inventory after the credits roll.
  • Musical Spoiler:
    • In the hallways of Zone 3 Area 4, you know shit is about to hit the fan by the suddenly disturbing music that plays, especially during battle.
    • The first two times when you fight Japhet, the normal battle theme is still playing. Likewise, the theme when you're talking to Enoch is still playing when you're fighting him, and when running away from him, the battle music is the same as the running away theme. Obviously, these aren't the real fights.
    • When an Elsen is about to become burnt, the music will suddenly rise or fall in pitch.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero/Unwitting Pawn: The Judge's view of himself towards the Batter and the Player near the end of the game. Whether the Player feels likewise or not is subjective.
  • No Ontological Inertia: Played straight with the Zones. Somehow, though, a sole Elsen survived by hiding in a safe room.
  • Non-Standard Game Over: During the tutorial fight, if you keep using Auto mode, the Judge will die a most annoyed death from Batter's attacks, bringing the game to an end.
  • Nothing Is Scarier:
    • The Zones after defeating the bosses. The colors are gone, anything readable turns gibberish, all NPCs disappear — with the exception of a lone Elsen in a safe room and a mourning Judge in Zone 2 — the encounter rate is lower than usual, and the only enemies are the Secretaries, which are creepy doll-looking things. The music — Not Safe — makes this even worse, with it turning creepy and full of demonic whispering, random slamming noises, and muffled cries.
    • The Secretaries are never alluded to by other characters and that the Batter seems to think their presence is still an improvement.
    • Some of Zone 3 Area 4's hallways turn black and white, after running away from Enoch and before the proper fight with him. The fact that no proper explanation is given for this may or may not make it worse.
    • The Room can also count — while being all dark and deprived of color, many rooms inside are empty, or turn empty depending on what you do. One Chapter of the Room fills some sections with shadows, and in one Chapter is a section resembling a very sketchy doodle design, complete with similar enemies. The music in some sections doesn't help either — one in particular has music full of nothing but strange and demonic whispering.
    • The Nothingness/World Map's music is aptly named, being a strange blank state with only a few flower-like objects, and its music also contains nothing but demonic whispering; however, usually you will enter and leave the area before the whispering even starts.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: The Batter.
  • Only a Flesh Wound: One Elsen after encountering a group of spectres:
    Elsen: This... This is not a serious injury... I'm sure... (Then he dies.)
  • Our Monsters Are Weird: The monsters' appearances in this game are likely to produce reactions of "WTF is that thing?!".
  • Overly Generous Time Limit: Played with in Zone 2's residential area, which gives you a time limit of four minutes to purify all the spectres in the area. If you're playing through the area normally and only purify the spectres, even an inexperienced player will be able to purify them all with two minutes remaining since the timer stops during battles. However, if you want to purify all the burnt as well (which is required to get a special piece of defensive equipment) and get all the items, this trope is inverted, and the incredibly urgent and dramatic music that plays during the sequence suddenly starts to fit a lot better.
  • Pamphlet Shelf: In the library in zone 2, each of the books only displays two pages, and most of the text is difficult to read anyway. Justified in that there's an Elsen in the library who asks you not to turn the pages, as it makes too much noise.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise:
    • Elsens are easily fooled by using a necktie. They only catch on when you finish whacking spectres in the residential zone, at which point they'll promptly evict you. And take the necktie.
    • Zacharie attempts this, in Zone 3, while filling in for the absent Judge. It doesn't work, but that doesn't stop him.
  • Paradiegetic Gameplay: In Zone 3, the solution to the controller puzzle cannot be found anywhere within the game. You can give Zacharie the Music Box in exchange for a hint regarding the answer's whereabouts, to which he'll tell you to open the game's folder and look at the Read Me file carefully. The code is listed as a bunch of controller inputs with no context whatsoever.
  • Permanently Missable Content: Many items and events if you don't manage to get them all before purifying the respective zones.
  • Pure Is Not Good: Purifying those Zones might not be such a good idea after all…
  • Pyrrhic Victory: Should you choose the special ending, both the Judge and the Batter make it clear that the choice and the fight is ultimately useless, since the world has already been destroyed with no way to bring it back.
    The Batter: It's too late. Everything is lost.
    The Judge: I know. But I prefer this to your victory.
  • Race Against the Clock: The residential area in Zone 2, when it is being attacked by spectres.
  • Random Encounters: Fortunately, the auto-battle function is helpful in dealing with them. Some areas use Pre-existing Encounters instead, however, most notably Area 4 of Zone 3.
  • The Reveal: Three major ones: The true nature of purifying a zone, the truth behind sugar, and the true role of the Batter and the Queen.
  • Room Full of Crazy: A hallway in Zone 3 Area 4, before meeting Enoch, is full of posters only saying: "Executive suite's note: You must not be here."
  • Sad Battle Music:
  • Sampling:
    • Pepper Steak has samples from the jazz song of the same name by the Washboard Rhythm Kings, and from "Just Gone" by King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band.
    • "Flesh Maze Tango" uses samples from "St. Louis Blues" by Esquivel and "NGO" by Ryuichi Sakamoto.
  • Sequence Breaking: If you go to Zone 0 and manage to discover Sugar before going to Zone 3, you'll discover sugar as an element before it's properly introduced. Of course, if you read the library book used as a puzzle in Zone 2, you probably already know about it anyway.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: The Judge loves indulging in this.
  • Shout-Out
    • Paranoia Agent, which has a recurring baseball bat-wielding character, was cited as an inspiration for the game, so the Batter's characterization isn't surprising. They even both turn into monsters.
    • One to Watchmen in the "Panic in Ballville" segment, via graffiti reading 'Who watches the Watchmen?'.
    • The Troquantary enemy has the competence "Paradise Smile", and the Burnts resemble Ulmeyda's transformation into a Heaven Smile.
    • Dopefish has a quick cameo in Zone 1.
    • Japhet's battle music, "Minuit à Fond La Caisse" (Midnight Pedal to the Metal), is a reference to the Show Within a Show of Lost in Translation, "Midnight Velocity".
    • One promotional piece of art is an edit of the infamous Daikatana advertisement.
    • Judy Garland's "Somewhere Over the Rainbow", the credits music and the Tagline of sorts, mentioned below.
    • The joke ending involving the space apes is a nod to the similarly nonsensical "UFO endings" of Silent Hill fame.
  • Show Within a Show: "Panic in Ballville", in Chapter 2 of the Room.
  • Smurfette Principle: The Queen and Sugar are the only female NPCs in the game. If The Player chooses to be female, she counts as a third.
  • Snicket Warning Label: At the beginning of the game, no less.
  • The Sociopath: The Batter. He has little to no displayed emotions, and willingly destroys the entire world at the end of the game, if you allow it?
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Judy Garland's "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" plays during the credits after the bleak Batter or Judge endings.
  • Star Scraper: The plastic administrations building of Shachihata, which has 100,000 floors.
  • Stealth Pun:
    • Makes sense that The Batter's basic battle theme, "Pepper Steak", would be an electro-swing song.
    • Elsens turn Burnt when faced with sufficient stress. Most Burnt are depicted with a gushing fountain where their heads should be, so they're literally losing their head over things.
    • The word for "to fight or beat" in French? "Battre".
  • Status Effects: All the usual ones are present such as Poison, Sleep, Silence, and Paralysis, though the latter two are called Muted and Palsy.
  • "Stop the Hero" Twist: The Batter is blindly determined to purify the Zones of hostile entities and ghosts at all costs. The only way to permanently do that is to destroy the world, since otherwise the spectres and enemies just keep coming. At the last minute, the Judge will appear and try to stop him from completely wiping out the then practically lifeless ruins of the Zones, leading to the choice of picking the Batter in the Official Ending or the Judge in the Special Ending for the last battle.
  • Subverted Catchphrase: "I'm the Batter, and I jumped down the chimney."
  • Superboss: Sugar, in Zone 0.
  • Surreal Horror: From the get-go for many, and really starts cranking it up by Zone 3. It's telling that Paranoia Agent, Silent Hill 2, and Killer7 were named as inspirations.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Before being revealed in Zone 3 that, upon examination, the Elsen was hiding a Joker under his bed, the Elsen says:
    Elsen: I'm not hiding anything, I promise!
  • Suspicious Video-Game Generosity: The game always has a save point before the boss, as well as a dialogue asking if you want to continue.
  • Tag Line: In some of the game's artwork, "Somewhere Over the Rainbow..." is used to this effect. "A nice game, for cute children.", mentioned above, is also used as well.
  • Theme Naming: Just about the only sense the attack names make for both enemies and allies. Examples include the Secretaries hitting you with mathematical operations, your add-on Omega using graphic edition terms (blurs and perspectives), and Dedan attacking with clock hands. More details on the characters page.
  • Through the Eyes of Madness: If you take control of The Judge at the very end of the game, the Batter appears as a deformed monster, supposedly because the Judge has serious hallucinations (as mentioned in Zone 0).
  • Title Drop: "The switch is now on OFF." You finally find out what "OFF" means at the very end of the game.
  • Tomato Surprise: invokedIf you pick the Judge ending, then you are forced to fight Batter. However, he looks like a malformed, twisted monstrosity with an enormous mouth and hands, and blank, dead eyes. Word of God states that this is how Batter looks to you now, because of his actions. Whether or not he's always looked like that is up to interpretation.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: invoked At the end of the game, the player and the Batter are confronted by the Judge, and the player learns that what the Batter has been calling "purifying the zones" is actually a means of genocide. All of the zones the Batter purifies become incapable of sustaining life, and if the player chooses the official ending and sides with the Batter in the final confrontation, not only does he kill off the Judge and Zone 0, but then even ends himself by shutting off the switch in the Room, which we can assume erases their world from existence altogether. Downplayed in that the twist is revealed if you choose to return to a previous zone you purified and, more blatantly, Enoch spells out exactly what you’re doing in his final words.
  • Too Spicy for Yog-Sothoth: During the boss battle with Valerie, a cat, he's revealed to be a People Puppet for the guardian Japhet, a bird-like monster. Apparently, this came about due to Valerie trying to eat Japhet, and being controlled from the inside. Mid-fight, Japhet bursts out of Valerie, wearing the cat's body around his neck.
  • Truth in Television: The game's presentation of sugar. In real life, refined white sugar has addictive qualities that can affect the brain in much the same way as drugs. It's also refined using bone char, which is ash produced from the bones of cattle.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: The "Game of the Mortal Fall" minigame that plays in Zone 3, when you jump down the chimney.
  • Unique Enemy:
    • Due to how the area is designed, it's very rare that you'll find players who have fought the Arpagon enemies in the "Flesh Maze" in Zone 1. The Bears in The Room are a more straight example.
    • The Secretaries, since you have to have the urge to even return to the Zone in the first place just to see them, and they have an incredibly low encounter rate. Not that that's hard if you're trying to go for the Ashley Bat/Aries Card.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Here and there, particularly before the battle between The Batter and The Queen.
  • Violation of Common Sense: There's a part in Zone 3 where the only way to progress is to jump inside a smokestack. Though hitting the floor doesn't kill you, the minigame on the way down could very well do so.
  • Voice Grunting: Every character except the Batter has some sort of signature sound when talking, as detailed on the characters page.
  • Western Zodiac: The cards required to enter Zones and the stat-boosting Orbs are named after them.
  • Wham Episode:
    • Entering a purified Zone for the first time, or if you didn't already, the last part of Zone 3 clues you in on the fact that the purified places have fallen into nothingness without life and the Batter's method of accomplishing the mission (or, heck, the mission itself) isn't as righteous as it seems.
    • Entering the sugar refinery in Zone 3 and finding out how it's made. Everything just gets worse after that.
  • Wham Line:
    • Enoch, if you haven't visited a Zone after purifying it before defeating him:
      Enoch: This zone, deprived of a guardian, is now destined to disappear... and the men who live here, whether they deserve it or not, will fall into nothingness, never to return.
    • The Room is one hell of a Mind Screw with many revelations packed inside, but one line when fighting the Queen manages to stick out in particular.
      The Queen: I will not let you lay a hand on the son that has brought us into the world.
    • After defeating the Queen and going to save Hugo...
      The Batter: ...
      The Batter: I'm here.
      Hugo: ...
      Purification in progress...
  • Wham Shot: invoked The first time you return to a purified zone, now barren of all color and life, except for the Secretaries. You know what you've done. It's too late to go back. All there is to do is go forward, to whatever the end may bring.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The birds that rescued Enoch in The Room Chapter 4 (besides Japhet, obviously) do not appear at any other point in the game, nor are they ever mentioned. But considering the "I have run out of oxygen" note in one of the books in Zone 2...
  • What the Hell, Hero?: At the very end of the game, the Judge calls out the Batter for "killing woman and child," and the player for helping him do it.
  • White Void Room:
    • The purified zones bear a striking resemblance to this. Inverted with sections of the Room, since it's coloured black instead of white.
    • The most egregious of these is a white room that leads to the Grand Element of Zone 3. You'll be walking around in completely empty space unless you move in a specific direction for a while.
  • Would Hurt a Child: The penultimate battle has you beating Hugo, which Wide Angle only describes as "a little boy," to death, while he can't do anything to stop you or fight back. The Flee button is nonfunctioning.
  • Why Isn't It Attacking?: The Critic Burnt doesn't attack at all, instead screaming for help, which, if you hadn't noticed before encountering him, is a pretty big clue that what you're doing to the Zones and their inhabitants might not be for the best.
  • You Are Too Late: The Batter says a variation of this to The Judge if you pick the special ending.
  • You Wake Up on a Beach: invoked The Batter first appears on the coast of Zone 0. According to Word of God, he was created there.

The switch is now on OFF.



We gave up the Ashley Bat for this?

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Main / GainaxEnding

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