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Video Game / Party Hard

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All I wanted was some peace and quiet...
Party Hard is a Stealth-Based Game that puts you in the shoes of a man who just wants to sleep... and deals with it by killing everyone he sees.

Controlling the main character, an everyman who has been brought in for questioning by police, the player is tasked with killing each and every person at a variety of parties being held throughout the U.S., including a casino, dormitory, bus, biker bash and more.

Each level is filled with traps and environmental hazards the player can use to their advantage, including poisoned alcohol, samurai swords, smoke bombs and many other implements of destruction. However, it's not an easy task — kill someone in the line of sight of another partygoer, and they'll call the cops — or worse — on you.

Party Hard was released for PC on August 25th, 2015 and is developer Pinokl Games' first stealth title, and features several playable characters and semi-randomized events to keep players on their toes. An "After Party Update" was introduced on October 15, 2015, which added seven remixed levels from the main campaign. The game was also ported to PS4 and Xbox One on April 26, 2016, iOS devices on November 9th, 2016 and to Nintendo Switch on November 22nd, 2018.

On September 16, 2016, the game received a free DLC campaign, Dark Castle, a single level which takes place across multiple maps in which you play a vampire hunter attacking a party being held by vampires and other ghoulish ghoulies. Because the party-goers are creatures of the night, they'll actively attack you if they see you causing trouble instead of running off to call the cops.

On November 10, 2016, a new DLC campaign was added, High Crimes, which adds new gameplay mechanics and sees the Party Hard Killer engage in a vigilante war against drugs and government corruption.

A sequel called Party Hard 2 was released for PCs on October 25th, 2018. The game uses a new engine allowing for 3D environments while retaining the 16-bit art style and in-game physics. Taking influence from High Crimes, levels can be completed either by massacring everyone, or by killing specific targets and accomplishing objectives instead.

Party Hard provides examples of:

  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: In the "Miami Party" level, you play as Katie, the protagonist's daughter.
  • Artificial Stupidity:
    • NPCs will occasionally commit suicide by walking directly into rooms with fires.
    • They also don't seem to notice the disappearance of other partygoers nor think of being more cautious after multiple bodies have been found. The police don't get more suspicious the more times they get called, nor think of breaking up the party. They just come, bag the corpses, then leave until the next call comes in.
    • Although the A.I. is generally quick to alert cops to the player's activities, there are ways to exploit to great benefits. Distressed NPCs with an exclamation point above their heads will not report additional dead bodies, making it so that once the crowd scatters from the scene of a murder, the player can go in and pick off stragglers without fear of having them run to a phone.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: All of the unlockable characters have special skills that help immensely, but at the cost of other abilities.
    • The Cop (unlocked by beating the game) can carry bodies without anyone panicking and can Blame someone for the murder, but he can't activate any traps in levels.
    • The Maniac (who is unlocked by achieving a 20x combo, itself a Bragging Rights Reward) is the most powerful of the five characters, but suffers from several disadvantages. Despite being able to wield a chainsaw and go on a "Rampage", he suffers from a cooldown period that leaves him vulnerable if anyone's left alive to call the cops (which will likely happen if this is done in the middle of a crowd). Likewise, he can reduce people to Ludicrous Gibs (rendering their corpses non-existent and not making anyone else suspicious), but this only works sometimes.
    • Katie (unlocked by escaping a cop 5 times in one map), who's only present in one level. Despite having the ability to "kick" a person into unconsciousness before killing them, it's difficult to separate and/or put enough people to sleep before taking them out in secluded corners, especially without other NPCs witnessing the crime.
    • The Ninja (unlocked by beating a level without anyone finding a corpse) has unlimited smoke bombs and a katana, and becomes invisible if near a wall or solid Object. He even stays invisible for a few seconds if you move, but if anyone spots him, the cops are immediately called, regardless of if you didn't even kill anyone yet. Once a cop is chasing you, going invisible near a wall won't fool him, so you'd better hope he gives up.
      • he can also lapse into Difficult, but Awesome as, when utilized properly, his on-demand invisibility, long reach sword, and infinite smoke bombs allows a player to make far bolder plays; such as throwing a smoke bomb into a crowd of people, cutting them all down, and getting away without being spotted. As best demonstrated here
    • Hinter, the Crank-like killer, can charge himself with electricity, increasing his movement speed and allowing him to randomly splatter killed NPCs similar to the Butcher, which leaves no body to cause a panic. However, he has a hard time limit of 3 minutes to finish the level before dying, and charging up causes the time limit to drain even faster. Time can be added to the clock by killing NPCs.
    • Edward One is a monster hunter that completely changes how the game functions. For starters, when playing as him none of the party goers will ever attempt to call the cops even if he kills their friends in plain view, he turns invisible when sprinting, his sword has a longer reach, his special ability 'holy water' can remove bodies entirely and prevent anyone from spotting them, and has a dog companion that will kill any pursuers with a short cooldown in between each kill. He does have some pretty major draw backs though: while the partygoers won't call the police, they WILL turn hostile and attack the player directly if they catch them attacking their friends and can kill you in one hit which results in a level failure (this can turn the party bus into an incredibly difficult level). Not to mention that, much like Katie, Edward One requires two steps to properly kill a target: first he has to knock them down, then apply holy water to make sure they stay down. While it is an AOE effect that allows you to clear out multiple bodies at once (preventing anyone from seeing them and turning hostile) it does have a recharge period and takes several seconds to complete, leaving the player stationary and vulnerable.
    • The bomb can be this. While its blast radius can kill multiple partygoers, it will cause the SWAT team to turn up, so you'll want to be far away from the crowd after it goes off.
  • Boring Yet Practical: In levels with dumpsters, camping in the back alley waiting on unsuspecting lone victims to walk past is a good way to pick off individual partygoers. While this can be time consuming, it's also an ideal way to maintain stealth. Even without a dumpster, this can be a viable tactic, so long as the player is far away from any discovered corpses.
  • Bottomless Bladder: Averted. NPCs routinely walk to the bathroom, and they are visible throughout the levels (and are a great place to dispatch them). Likewise, some NPCs can be seen urinating on the grass during certain levels.
  • Bragging Rights Reward:
    • Achieving a 20x combo (which can be done on any level except Party Bus) unlocks the Maniac character for use.
    • Completing all achievements in the Steam version allows the player to select any of the five characters for any of the levels (including Katie).
  • Chainsaw Good: The Maniac's weapon is a chainsaw. He has a chance of splattering victims with its regular attack, leaving no body to be found and can take out groups of people with his special attack.
  • Changing Clothes Is a Free Action: Played with. For the entirety of the game, the protagonist wears the same sweater/pants combo. However, the player can change him into an alternate outfit by obtaining the "Spare Clothes" powerup — even if they're in the midst of being chased by the cops.
  • Dead Character Walking: The "Zombie" random event. One or two zombies enter from offscreen and begin knocking people out before killing them and turning them into zombies.
  • Disproportionate Retribution/Murder Is the Best Solution: The reason our protagonist kills dozens of innocent party-goers? Because their parties don't let him sleep at night.
  • Downer Ending: The protagonist has a split personality, and was in fact the cop that was interrogating him the whole time. As a result, the protagonist will continue his murders uninterrupted. Though the High Crimes DLC seems to show that the Killer does end up moderating his behavior at least a little over the course of 10 years.
  • Final Boss: The High Crimes DLC ends with an actual boss fight against the Police Chief/drug kingpin.
  • Heel–Face Turn: In High Crimes, the Party Hard Killer is a vigilante fighting against drugs, crime, and government corruption, rather than a random spree killer (which seems to show the two halves of his personality have merged and stabilized to some degree). Your goals in the DLC maps are to eliminate specific targets and accomplish objectives rather than kill everyone around. In the opening cutscene, he even spares a group of junkies having a rave in the woods, deciding to go after the people pushing the drugs instead (a pretty far cry from the man who once killed his own daughter For the Evulz).
  • Incendiary Exponent: Gas cans are usable, which causes them to eventually detonate and set entire rooms on fire.
  • Increasingly Lethal Enemy: Played with. Managing to kill the cop on any level increases the chance that a more dangerous law enforcement unit will arrive — either a SWAT team (four units, don't move fast, can kill you in one hit) or the FBI (two units, move fast, can catch you unless you're far away from them).
  • It Runs in the Family: Both the protagonist and his daughter, Katie, end up becoming mass murderers.
  • It's Personal: Mr. West, the investigator for the murders, discovers after the first stage that his daughter Katie was killed at the party.
  • Ludicrous Gibs: NPCs can be reduced to this by activating certain traps (golf carts, bear traps, being run over by a car) or by utilizing the Maniac's chainsaw.
  • No OSHA Compliance: One of the traps that can be triggered causes an exterminator crew to walk out and set off hazardous gas, which often ends up killing anyone unfortunate enough to be nearby. For their part, the exterminators never put up warning signs or keep people away, instead simply saying "We're done here" before they leave.
  • Race Against the Clock: The remixed "Boat Party" level. It's still the same as before... with the added stipulation that you have to complete the level in three minutes or less, because the boat is sinking!
    • The "Party Bus" level before that also gives you a timer. If it runs out, the bus will stop and whichever victim is left alive will call the cops on you. While it is a small bus with only a few people, the difficulty is that the guests will regularly knock you out unless there are only very few of them left.
  • Remixed Level:
    • "Pool Party" is essentially "Neontop Party" with a pool and a slide added and some traps changed.
    • The party during the credits takes place in the ruined house from the BBQ party.
    • The "After Party Update" added seven levels that are remixes of those from the regular campaign. Most of these levels sport a futuristic flair and include new traps.
  • Retraux: The game itself is graphically inspired by 8-bit games from The '80s, while the soundtrack and aesthetic is eighties and nineties inspired. The storyline itself takes place in 2000.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Summon Bigger Fish: It's possible to set off a trap or explosive, leave before the ensuing confusion, then watch as the NPCs either accuse each other of being the murderer or beat each other up before the authorities arrive and arrest several of them.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: Eventually, we find out that the cop was the killer all along.
  • Too Dumb to Live: The party-goers will continue to party even though you continue to kill each of them consecutively, with some dancing in vicinity of a body bag. The Zombie Event will also not unsettle any party-goer or cop unless they get attacked.
  • Villain Protagonist: You're playing as a rampaging mass murderer, after all.
  • Your Reward Is Clothes: The "Spare Clothes" powerup allows the player character to change into an alternate outfit, which immediately ends all police suspicion (even if you're being chased by an officer). These include:
    Killer/Darius: White shirt/pink pants
    Katie: Pink dress
    Maniac: Prison outfit