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Video Game / Pocket Mirror

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"Hold your memories close to your heart."

Pocket Mirror is a free RPG horror game made by the circle Astral Shift. The tale begins when a young girl wakes up from slumber and begins exploring her surroundings and figuring out where she is and what her name is. Her only keepsake that clues in on her identity is a pocket mirror and it plays a vital role in the story. The game was released July 22, 2016.

A prequel game focusing on Elise's childhood, Little Goody Two Shoes, was announced in December 2016.

Pocket Mirror contains examples of:

  • Alice Allusion:
    • Near the beginning of the game, the protagonist picks up a small bottle that shrinks her, and later a cake makes her grow larger.
    • The tea party scene in which Queen Egilette is introduced is reminiscent of Alice meeting the Mad Hatter.
    • Two NPCs are reminiscent of Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum.
  • Always Check Behind the Chair: Pumpkin Charms are hidden all across the game, and can even be found on innocuous objects like vases and windows. Sometimes you need to examine something twice to get the Charms.
  • Arc Words: "Hold your memories close to your heart." It is often repeated in the game and also prompts the players to save as much as they can.
  • Artistic License: The story happens during mid-19th century, and there are wax records in Harpae's area. Wax records weren't invented until 1890.
  • Big Bad: The Strange Boy is the one who trapped the protagonist in the mysterious world and stole her memories, and he is also responsible for creating the other villains to keep her trapped.
  • Bilingual Bonus: There's little bits of German littered everywhere in the game, and may offer insight into certain plot points. Justified, since the story happens in Austria.
  • But Thou Must!: Fleta does this in her dollhouse.
    Fleta: Let me show you [how her magic room works]. What colour do you like best?
    Goldia: I really like red!
    Fleta: But I don't really like red! Never mind that! Just choose between pink and blue! Which do you like best?
    Goldia: I like blue!
    Fleta: Hmph! But I like pink better! So we're going with pink!
    Goldia: .....
  • Color Motif: Each of the girls had one and they correspond with their eyes. The protagonist Goldia's is cherry red, Fleta's is green, Harpae's is blue, Lisette's is purple, and Enjel's is gold.
  • Creepy Doll: Lots of them show up as enemies. One of them, Egilette, is a major character.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: When you play Musical Chairs with Fleta, the instructions tell you explicitly to press A, and the protagonist moves automatically around the chairs so you don't have to worry about staying far from a seat. Seems easy...unless you're used to console games. Pressing A is equivalent to pressing a confirm button for seasoned console gamers, but this is an RPG Maker game where Z is the default confirm button. Some players took a little while to catch on that they had to press a different keyboard button. And again in the middle of musical chairs. Every time the music stops the screen goes black and it's easy to associate that with the cue to press A. However, one segment has the music stop but the screen remains, easily confusing the player momentarily enough to lose.
  • Dull Eyes of Unhappiness: A lot of the bad endings have the protagonist like this.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Obtaining the good end for certain characters is not only incredibly difficult but it really requires you to pay attention to several clues and riddles to get them.
  • The Ending Changes Everything: The Dawn ending contains several reveals that completely change the context of the story. Everything was All Just a Dream had by the protagonist Goldia, a mental patient. Egilette, Fleta, Harpae, and Lisette are her Literal Split Personalities. And the story takes place in the 19th century, meaning it was a Period Piece all along.
  • Eye Scream: One of the first puzzles has you pluck out a girl's eyeball. Then you're handed another one just because someone could see light in their life again briefly.
  • Fingore: The game delivers its first bloody mess being a decapitated finger in a room. We later find out that it's Enjel's finger. Her sprite shows one of her fingers being cut off.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • There are a couple hints that Enjel is not telling the truth:
      • When first met, Enjel states that the protagonist's name is also Enjel. Harpae later contradicts this when she is about to call out the protagonist's name in the elevator; if one pays close attention, they can see that she gets in a G before being interrupted. The protagonist's name thus starts with G, and as such cannot be Enjel.
      • Later on, when Lisette has captured the protagonist and Enjel, the latter gets angry and tells Lisette, among other things, that if it wasn't for Lisette, Enjel would have 'gotten there' by now. Not only is what she meant by this unclear, but an attentive player may find it strange that she never actually expresses concern for the protagonist, hinting that she is just using her to get 'there' (the real world).
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • In Egliette's throne room, there is virtually no indication that eating one of the cakes you walked by before the chase scene will help you progress the story.
    • Several players have had to resort to the guide in order to figure the first chase scene with Lisette in the hall of mirrors. First came the Interface Screw that confused some players. If that wasn't effective, the next obstacle was figuring out where to go at all through sound only (the area gets dark and you can't tell if or when the protagonist stops moving). If a player ever figures that out, they may be really surprised when they're intercepted by five Lisettes in front of them. This is a bold move on the developer's part, as when most chase scenes have you focus on reaching the end of an area by focusing in front of you, the chase scenes in Pocket Mirror force you to solely focus on fleeing from your chaser.
    • In the third area party, the only thing that tells you which white dress murdered the 'ugly hag' is the French word 'laid', (ugly) on the murdered dress. The culprit will be the dress who says another French word, 'mademoiselle'. Despite the hint, many players didn't understand/take notes/remember which said what and it caused many a player outrage at an unfair death.
  • Inconsistent Dub: The characters are usually voiced, but not all the dialogue is.
  • Interface Spoiler: Harpae's bad ending, Blindness, has her call out the protagonist's name though the name is all scratched out in red. But there are faint outlines of the letters of what the protagonist's name could have been. Attentive players would have figured it out on the bat that the protagonist's name is Goldia.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: In the bonus content, the protagonist asks Egliette if there's any dolls like her around because Fleta [her character sprite] always seems to carry Egliette around, even with Egliette not around.
  • Lights Off, Somebody Dies: In Harpae's world, during the party, the lights suddenly go off. The sound of clothes ripping is heard, and when the lights come on, one of the guests has been murdered.
  • MacGuffin:
  • MacGuffin Title: The Pocket Mirror is the item that the protagonist always carries around and is needed to solve a few puzzles. It also turns out that the Big Bad, the Strange Boy, wants the pocket mirror for himself because it is the last key to her memories, so he creates Enjel and has her try to steal it in exchange for making her a real human.
  • Mirror Scare:
    • The first mirror the protagonist sees doesn't reflect her and it frightens her.
    • Ramped up in the mirror hall, where Lisette stalks you, then later pops out of one and gives chase. Later on, you have to find a pair of scissors in a similar hallway, and turning into a wrong corner will have you run into a chaser.
  • Multiple Endings: There are many endings, but the story as a whole had four endings.
    • The ??? Ending, Witching Hour. The Strange Boy ties Goldia up in the chair, stitches her mouth shut, and mocked her with a theater show highlighting several of the characters' backstories with a What the Hell, Hero? moment on each show. He then kills Enjel. He teleports behind the protagonist, continues mocking her, and puts her in Fate Worse than Death (implied to have turned her into a literal puppet for his theater shows).
    • Platinum: The normal ending. Goldia realizes that the girls she met over the course of her journey are part of her mind, but since she still doesn't remember who she is, she recreates herself into a delusion called Platinum. Goldia convinces herself that she is Platinum, allowing her to erase all doubt in her mind.
    • Dawn: The first good ending. Goldia finally manages to escape from her nightmares and wake up in reality. She finally remembers she was locked up in a mental hospital in 19th century Austria and the whole adventure was a dream. While she's still hospitalized, at least she has regained her sanity by accepting all the parts of herself, so the story ends on a hopeful note. According to Word of God, this is the canon ending.
    • Little Goody Two Shoes: The second good ending. Goldia finally accepts herself. She wakes up in alternate timeline where Elise didn't contract with the Strange Boy and thus Goldia had a better life than the Dawn ending. While walking home, she finds Elise's shoes from the prequel, Little Goody Two Shoes.
  • New Game Plus: Requires multiple playthroughs to be able to unlock everything.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: Some of the rooms have no music or sounds whatsoever, and the flashlight occasionally is so dim that you can barely see anything even in the space next to yours so you end up walking aimlessly, which can tense up the player expecting anything in the next few minutes.
  • Permanently Missable Content: Pumpkin Charms are scattered all across the game, and are used to unlock things in the bonus room. It also doesn't permit a lot of backtracking, so if you missed any, you need to wait for a New Game Plus to try and obtain them.
  • Perilous Play: In the bad ending of "The Witching Hour", the Strange Boy kidnaps Goldia, stitches her mouth shut, and forces her to watch a horrific stage play in which he brutally murders all of the characters, mocking them all the while. Each one of the girls is strung up like a puppet, and the Strange Boy speaks for them.
  • Precision F-Strike: While there are no swears in the dialog proper, when Lisette is trying to guilt trip Goldia into giving the mirror to another Lisette who's hurt and on the ground, the latter gets a namebox with the name "Bitch". This is the only instance of swearing in the entire game.
  • Press X to Not Die:
    • Now and then, especially in an Escape Sequence, you may encounter jammed doors which need you to mash Z for a few seconds to force open. If you don't have enough of a lead on your pursuers, they can use these few seconds to close in on you.
    • The Final Boss against Engel that leads up to one of the good endings not only involves an Escape Sequence, but extended Button Mashing to rapidly ascend a flight of stairs.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Every girl that the protagonist meets gives this off, with Fleta also glowing green. Only Enjel subverts this, since her eyes glow gold. These are all coupled with Glowing Eyes of Doom.
  • Red Herring: The purple doll at the library appears to have some importance to the plot, and even speaks to the player at the end of the demo, but only appears two more times without saying a word. Word of God confirms that the doll was a meaningless extra that has no importance to the story at large.
  • The Reveal:
    • Just before the area containing the main endings, a Perilous Play reveals that the supposed Big Good Enjel is actually a creation of, and The Dragon to, the Strange Boy.
    • The two final endings reveal the protagonist's name, Goldia.
    • The Dawn ending has several reveals about the game. If the player interacts with the desk (which contains a medical record), it is revealed that:
      • The entire game was All Just a Dream. Goldia (full name: Goldia die Heilige) is a patient in a mental hospital in Austria.
      • Egilette, Fleta, Harpae, and Lisette are the Literal Split Personalities of Goldia, who is diagnosed with dementia praecoxnote , dissociation, and lunacy.
      • The setting, which was very vague previously, is shown to be during the 19th century, as Goldia was born on July 16th, 1862 in Linz, Austria and was admitted on 1878. It's confirmed her parents are dead.
  • Rule of Symbolism: The plot and backstory of Pocket Mirror is hidden away in small details that players may not be likely to look over.
  • Scenery Porn: The game maps were all designed with parallaxes and use particles. The results after layering of all the details is breath-taking given the basic capabilities of RPG Maker software.
  • Schmuck Bait:
    • At Queen Egliette's dinner party, you have to take a guess as to what Egliette will have. If the game's riddles have already gotten to the player, they will probably spend the time to investigate the dinner table and figure out that the Secret Dessert is missing. All the other food on the menu was next to the guests, so it's natural by process of elimination to assume Egliette will have the outlier. Except that special happens to be you. note 
    • While you're walking around the Dance Party's mansion, you can eavesdrop on a bunch of Rich Snobs gossiping about the Countess and a Widow, who is rumored to be a ghost that steal souls after midnight. You can later see the said Widow in the courtyard, who is just about the nicest, most polite person at the party. If you talk to her again, she'll sadly mention she's missing her handkerchief and she just looked about everywhere. Picking it up in the river earns you a Non Standard Game Over.
  • Shout-Out:
    • One of the pumpkins in Fleta's trump room explains how to play a card-flipping game and mentions that it doesn't matter how many you flip, you gotta catch 'em all.
    • The backstory about Elise making a contract with the Strange Boy as a child, only for him to return back when she was an adult in order to have Elise's daughter as payment for her wish is reminiscent of Rumpelstiltskin.
    • Elise's backstory is based on The Red Shoes fairytale.
    • The second bad end, in which Harpae combs the protagonist's hair and convinces her to "let go", is very reminiscent of the original Snow White fairytale, in which the evil queen, dressed as a peddler, attempts to kill Snow White for the second time via poisoned hair comb.
    • The platinum ending is one for the ending of Puella Magi Madoka Magica, in which Goldia transforms into a form reminiscent of Ultimate Madoka. The One-Winged Angel form that the Final Boss Enjel takes also resembles Demon Homura from Puella Magi Madoka Magica The Movie: Rebellion. Also, both of the two are pawns of a demonic, male-presenting Big Bad. Word of God confirms that the series is one of their inspirations.
    • The time spent with Enjel is one for Ib.
      • In Ib, the titular red-eyed protagonist is brought into a limbo world from an art gallery, where she obtains a red rose (representing her life), makes a friend in Garry, and then unknowingly meets the Big Bad Mary (with a fake yellow rose), whom she also befriends. The antagonist seems to be very nice and cheerful but also desperately wants to exist by exchanging places with someone real. Towards the end of the game, the protagonist and her friend are trapped with antagonist in a child's crayon drawing, which they may or may not escape from, depending on the ending.
      • In Pocket Mirror, the red-eyed protagonist with a pocket mirror (representing her name and identity) discovers and befriends a gold-eyed antagonist, Enjel (who had a pocket mirror that broke). Enjel is very nice but desperately wants the protagonist's pocket mirror so that she can once again have life. Towards the end of the game, the protagonist willingly follows the antagonist into a limbo, which could very well have been drawn in crayon by a child. The protagonist may or may not escape, depending on the ending.
    • The final area is quite reminiscent of a Dive to Heart from Kingdom Hearts.
  • Surreal Horror: The world of the game is a dream-like world that starts out with more-or-less typical haunted-house horror but gets more and more bizarre and Yume Nikki-esque as the game progresses. Best exemplified in the fourth area, which is a Circus of Fear where the surreality reaches a peak. Justified as it IS All Just a Dream.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: Not unexpected given the horror genre, but you can do things like pluck an innocent painting girl's eye out to get your mirror back, or snitch on an innocent plush fox and have it shot to death by a firing squad to progress the story.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The purple doll at the beginning area appears only two more times after its appearance in the library.
  • With Friends Like These...: In the "Who've Done It"? puzzle, five girls are captured by a witch, accused of stealing a wand. Two of them, Maybell and Dorothy, are supposedly best friends and very close. But when they're interrogated, Dorothy quickly accused Maybell of stealing the wand. If you solve the puzzle correctly (revealing it was another girl), Maybell is disappointed that her friend tried to throw her under the bridge, while Dorothy reveals that she always hated Maybell.