Follow TV Tropes


Video Game / Paranoiac

Go To

Paranoiac is a freeware Survival Horror Role-Playing Game made in Wolf RPG Editor by Uri in 2011, who also made the Strange Men Series and Mermaid Swamp.

In Paranoiac, you play as Miki Takamura, a troubled young novelist who has moved into the house that belonged to her late aunt, Yuriko Saeki. During her first night there, she is attacked by a strange, humanoid monster. Although she successfully hides, every night the monster returns. Meanwhile, Miki's mother Minako Takamura grows more distant from her as her fear and stress threatens to overwhelm her. Miki's only ally is her neighbor from across the street, Shinji Miura - and even he starts doubting her sanity. With few options, Miki sets out to uncover her aunt's secrets, hidden behind the house's numerous locked doors, and is confronted with a tragic past. But will this be Miki's destruction or salvation?

There is an English translation here.

In June 2019, a remake of the game was released. There are multiple translations available, including English, Korean, Spanish, Polish, and Chinese.

Unrelated to the 1963 thriller of the same name. Or to the tabletop game Paranoia.

Paranoiac provides examples of:

  • Big Bad: The fleshy/shadowy monster that resides in the late Yuriko Saeki's new house serves as the antagonist who chases down Miki Takamura, Yuriko's niece, every night. Played with in regards to the ending; she is either the spirit of Yuriko and a Non-Malicious Monster or the embodiment of the guilt and self-blame Miki feels for Yuriko's suicide.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: Miki has a rather strained relationship with her mother. First off, they both suffer from mental illness, which affects them negatively. Second, when Miki reports anything about the house, her mother thinks she's crazy and dismisses her claims. Finally, when Miki receives a call from her mother and tells her that she's being chased by a monster, she laughs at her and tells her not to call her again. Her mother has hysteria (nowadays known as conversion disorder) which causes her to drive her family away from her.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The good ending has Miki being diagnosed with schizophrenia, but the hauntings stop and she finally comes to terms with her aunt's death. She decides she's going to move home to try and help her mother cope with her own disorder, but promises to return to the house soon.
  • Downer Ending: The bad ending, which results in Miki dying, still feeling depressed and guilty over her aunt's suicide.
  • Escape Sequence: Every night, the monster attacks and Miki must hide somewhere away from it.
  • Grief-Induced Split: Yuriko Saeki gave birth to a stillborn son, devastated not only by the loss but also by the lack of support from her husband and family as she grieved. Descending into postpartum depression and paranoia, her husband left her.
  • Haunted House: Aunt Saeki's house, the primary setting of the game, is being haunted by a monster who comes out during the night. May be subverted; the possibility of the monster being in Miki's head is brought up, but never confirmed or denied.
  • Hereditary Suicide: It's revealed that Miki's maternal aunt Saeki committed suicide (with Miki being the one to find her body) after suffering from severe depression and a delusional disorder. Miki herself has depression and is diagnosed with schizophrenia in the good ending. In the bad ending, Miki is seemingly killed by the monster that has stalked her throughout the game but given the suggestion the monster is all in Miki's head, she may actually have killed herself (the remake adds credence to this by stating her death was officially ruled a suicide). It's indicated that mental illness runs in the Takamura family as Miki, Aunt Saeki and Miki's mother all struggle with disorders and past trauma. Of course, this is dependant on which ending you get as in the good ending Miki survives and starts getting better.
  • Insane Troll Logic: Uri's games have a general trend of forcing you to choose the LEAST realistic option during a choice scene in order to get the best ending. In Paranoiac, insisting that the monster isn't real, despite your family's history of mental illness and schizophrenia, is actually the bad end.
  • Jump Scare: If the monster finds Miki's hiding spot, then the monster will lunge at Miki.
  • Last-Second Ending Choice: A choice near the end decides whether you get the good ending or the bad ending.
  • Lock and Key Puzzle: When Miki arrives at the house, she finds that a lot of the rooms are locked and neither she or her mother has the keys. A core gameplay element - especially during the day - involves Miki wandering the house looking for all the keys, which often involves solving puzzles. There is an actual narrative justification for this; towards the end of her life Aunt Saeki became extremely paranoid and so would often lock all the doors and hide the keys to 'protect' herself.
  • Luck-Based Mission: The fact that only one hiding spot works every night and which one it is changes. While this does keep the player on their toes, there's no way of predicting which spot is correct and it can depend entirely on random chance more than the player's ability to outrun the monster and/or logical deduction. This can be especially frustrating if you found a hiding spot that leads to instant death or the hiding spot is in a tight spot where it's difficult to escape.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: It becomes increasingly ambiguous as to whether the monster and hauntings are real, or just the delusions of a schizophrenic Miki.
  • Missing Time: Near the end of the game, Miki stays the night at Shinji's apartment because she doesn't want to be alone in the house. However, the next time she wakes up, she's back in the house's spare bedroom, having no idea how she got there. She presumes Shinji took her back while she was sleeping. Upon confronting Shinji about it, he reveals that in the middle of the night, she woke up, told Shinji she was going back to the house and would be fine now. Miki has absolutely no memory of doing this and understandably freaks out.
  • Multiple Endings: Two, depending on whether Miki decides that the monster is real or a delusion:
    • Bad Ending: Miki decides she must be delusional. When confronted by the monster one last time, she stands there insisting it isn't real instead of running like she has been, and blaming herself for her aunt's death. She is found dead the next morning.
    • Good Ending: Miki insists the monster's real. When confronted by the monster one last time, she runs like usual and ends up in the toy room with nowhere to run. Then she realizes the monster was her aunt this whole time, and recalls some fond memories before asking her aunt's forgiveness. Her aunt apparently hugs her, which causes Miki to pass out, but Miki is fine the next morning and is able to face life with renewed vigor.
      • The Bonus Room in the 2019 remake reveals that Miki returns to the house two years after being in therapy, while Shinji waits for her all these years and reunites with her.
  • No Antagonist: Unusually for a horror game, this trope can possibly apply depending on one's particular interpretation. The monster is either Yuriko's benevolent and misunderstood spirit, or a delusion thought up by Miki. The 2019 remake implies it represents the guilt that people feel (as Shinji starts seeing it too in the Bad Ending). The closest thing the game has to a true villain is Miki's mother, who doesn’t have a direct hand in the plot.
  • One-Hit Kill: If the monster catches you, it results in an instant game over. The remake adds a health meter.
  • Psychological Horror: Overlapped with Survival Horror, with grief and mental illness playing large roles in the plot. After moving into her late aunt's house, Miki finds herself being stalked by a monster every night, along with other strange and spooky occurrences, but it soon becomes obvious the underlying conflict is around Miki battling with depression and guilt over her aunt's death. It's even suggested that the monster may not actually be real; real or not, it's implied to represent Miki's inner turmoil and struggle.
  • The Reveal: It turns out that the monster chasing Miki throughout the game is either Miki's dead aunt Yuriko wanting to reconcile with her niece, or a delusion of Yuriko thought up by a schizophrenic Miki out of guilt.
  • Run or Die: Each night, when faced with the monster, Miki must run and find the correct hiding place to survive, as she has no way of fighting back.
  • Trial-and-Error Gameplay: Every night, there are several hiding places to be found but only one of them is viable. Of the ones that aren't, two of them lead to you dying and the ones that don't still lead you to getting found, which means you must keep running again.
  • Video Game Remake: The game received a remake in 2019, which has more detailed graphics and an expanded story, though it otherwise sticks very closely to the original.
  • Your Door Was Open: On two occasions, Shinji discovers Miki unconscious somewhere on her property because she didn't come to the door when he came to call, so he just came right in.
  • You Shouldn't Know This Already: Using the code for the computer before you learn it, will cause the game to think you're in the final day already. This might seem like a good thing until you realize that any rooms you didn't open will remain locked.

Tropes specific to the 2019 remake

  • Art Evolution: The remake has more detailed graphics and environments, the sprites have more complex animations and the rooms, furniture and people are more proportionally-sized to each other. The drawn portraits for the characters when they're speaking are also more detailed and feature a wider variety of expressions.
  • Ascended Fridge Horror: Some players of the original game suggested that, if the monster was actually just a figment of Miki's troubled imagination, then in the bad ending, Miki's death was not caused by the monster, but by herself and her self-blame for not having saved Yuriko. In the bad ending of the remake, it's actually stated in the newspaper clipping that Miki's death is a suspected suicide, though it's not confirmed either way.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: The two policemen Miki goes to for help after she's chased by the monster through town don't believe her, but they show her sympathy and insist she stays at the police station for the night, saying they can't just let her go home alone.