Lost in an endless void, Zeiss the locksmith happens upon a strange door, and an even stranger talking signpost called the Icono. With nowhere else to go, he enters the door and begins his journey through three worlds, whose rulers have each outlawed one of the senses of their subjects. Guided only by the Icono and a merchant named Vomero, Zeiss embarks on a journey that will change these worlds irrevocably.
Paracentric is a short surreal horror RPG Maker game by DreamMach, and was made in only 24 hours for a 2013 game jam. It takes inspiration from genre greats such as Yume Nikki and OFF, while telling its own tale of censorship and influence.
The game can be completed in about half an hour, and a download is available here.
This game provides examples of:
- Big Bad Ensemble: On the one hand, we have the rulers of the Zone, who oppress it through censorship. On the other hand, we have Vomero, who helps you defeat the rulers so he can seize power from them. Although one ending implies that hes just a pawn of the Icono.
- Body Motifs: Each world contains imagery relating to the sense that is outlawed. Eyes for the first world, ears for the second, and tongues for the third.
- Boss Banter: Vomero engages in a bit of this with you.
- Boss Corridor: Right before you meet Apthal.
- Difficulty Spike: Larima is significantly tougher than all the battles that came before her, especially as she's the first enemy that can inflict status effects.
- I'm a Humanitarian: One of the third world's citizens asks if you're a cannibal too.
- Jump Scare: At least one of the two endings contains one.
- Load-Bearing Boss: The King and Queens. It plays out exactly as it did in OFF.
- Money for Nothing: All you can buy are healing items, and once you beat Apthal, you'll have enough money to buy as many as you'll ever need.
- Monkey Morality Pose: While the poses themselves don't show up in-game, the outlawed senses each relate to one.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: The Icono tries to pull this on you at the end, but it seems to contradict what you already know about the bosses.
- Preexisting Encounters: A citizen in the first world acts as this, fighting you after they realize you're not blind.
- Random Encounters: They exist in the first two worlds, but the encounter rate is so low that you'll probably run into less than five of them through the whole game.
- Shout-Out: In your first meeting with the Icono, it says you've "met with a terrible fate".
- Surreal Horror: It was explicitly inspired by other famous games in the genre.
- Teleporters and Transporters: There are some very straightforward warp panels in the third world.
- The Dog Was the Mastermind: In the bad ending, its implied that Vomero was somehow a puppet of the Icono, making this perhaps the only game in which the ultimate villains are signposts.
- Treacherous Advisor: Vomero and the Icono are only helping you because, if the King and Queens die, Vomero can usurp their positions.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Vomero will try to dispose of you once you've finished your job in the three worlds.