Follow TV Tropes


Video Game / Psychonauts 2

Go To
"If the other agents vouch for you, I might be able to get you a spot... in the intern program. But don't be late for orientation. I hear the counselor's a real brain-buster.
Welcome to the Motherlobe."
Hollis Forsythe

Psychonauts 2 is an Action-Adventure Platform Game from Double Fine Productions, headed by former LucasArts employee Tim Schafer. It was released for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S on August 24, 2021 on Game Pass, and August 25, 2021 in general. A macOS and Linux Port would release the following year, on May 24th, 2022. While Double Fine would like to release it on the Nintendo Switch, there are currently no plans for a Switch release.

As the continuation of Psychonauts and Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin, Raz finally gets to go to the Motherlobe, Psychonauts headquarters and his lifelong dream destination. There he can see Sasha and Milla in their natural environment — international espionage. But things are amiss from the very start, as Raz soon learns that whoever hired Dr. Loboto to kidnap Truman Zanotto in the previous title could have only been someone within the Psychonauts themselves. In other words, there's a mole loose in the organization. Even worse, whoever this mole is has a dangerous threat as their insurance to make sure Loboto stays silent about his identity: the ruthless Hydrokinetic psychic Maligula, infamous for her role in the disaster known as the Deluge of Grulovia, where she flooded an entire country singlehandedly. Though she's been dead for years, the mastermind seems confident he can resurrect her, a thought that sends unease throughout the organization.

Entering into the intern program, Raz has his hands full — not only do his fellow interns not like him, but Raz must go on a mission to stop the resurrection of Maligula at all costs. To do so, he must prowl the depths of the Motherlobe for its worst secrets, uncover the remains of its dark and horrible past, figure out who the mole is and stop them, as well as sorting out personal problems with his family and his kind-of-sort-of-girlfriend Lili. But little does Razputin know that he has a much more personal relationship with this mission than he initially realizes...

This game provides examples of:

    open/close all folders 
  • 11th-Hour Superpower:
    • Mental Projection is the last Psychic power Raz gets, and it'll usually be acquired just before the Very Definitely Final Dungeon. Its chief use will be acquiring collectibles revisiting minds in the Collective Unconscious.
    • Due to being empowered by his Great Aunt's good half, Raz effectively becomes Goggalor again to duke it out with Maligula.
  • Abandoned Area: The Questionable Area is a defunct tourist trap in the woods near the Motherlobe, with such attractions as a funicular railroad, a gravity-defying backwards waterfall, an Abandoned Playground, a run-down restaurant called the Lumberstack House, a burned-out gift shop (seems selling fireworks and propane gas in the same place wasn't such a smart idea), and an unfinished attraction called the "Lair of the Sassclops".
  • Aborted Arc:
    • Raz's sister, Frazie, being a psychic as well is a plotline that goes nowhere, despite Raz having plenty of interaction with her and the game building up her psychic reveal to the rest of the family. Raz even suggests that she could make it into the Psychonauts someday, an idea she's not really against. A casual remark from Hollis in the post-game is the only evidence that something is being done about Frazie's powers, but Frazie herself doesn't comment on it.
    • At the end of the Casino level, Raz finds a note from the Mole listing Lili's advantage as an asset/double agents. Raz decides to keep it from the other Psychonauts, and confronts Lili about it, but he doesn't believe it's her, and she denies it. The matter is for the most part dropped. We're never told why the mole had detailed notes about Lili's suitability as a infiltrator (and no one else) in his room. By all account, he never really considered her. Given the reveal that Gristol knew from the start that Maligula wasn't dead, it's heavily implied that a lot of the items found in his room were In-Universe Red Herrings designed to trick or waylay any psychics who stumbled across the secret room, given he'd already had his brain switched with Truman by that point. It could also be that these are the remnants of various plots he was thinking of before deciding to switch brains. Alternatively, given Gristol's takeover of Truman's body, he may have just needed a reminder of who his "daughter" was and what she could do.
    • Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin has a plot point that whoever hired Loboto wanted Raz's brain, but this doesn't come up in the game itself. Although The Mole has a personal interest in Raz, it's to use him as an Unwitting Pawn rather than his brain.
  • Accidental Misnaming: The Motherlobe's receptionist gets Raz's last name wrong twice, calling him "Delgado" and "Avocado", when summoning him to collect his family over the intercom. She gets it right the third time, sounding peeved that the boy is taking so long.
  • Acid-Trip Dimension: The mind of the borrowed brain from Otto's lab gradually unfolds into a rich day-glo sensory festival. Fitting, as the brain actually belongs to omni-disciplinary artist, musician, actor, and Psychic Six member Helmut Fullbear, the PSI King himself.
  • Actionized Sequel: Downplayed, but still present. Psychonauts 2 puts far more emphasis on platforming and combat than the original, which, while still primarily a platformer, had levels like "The Milkman Conspiracy" and "Waterloo World" that were essentially a long, continuous puzzle with occasional fights here and there. In 2, every level involves significant battling sequences one way or the other against a much bigger variety of enemies that often need to be defeated entirely in order to progress.
  • Actor Allusion:
    • Using Clairvoyance on Helmut reveals that he sees Raz as Eddie Riggs. Jack Black voices both characters.
    • Raz's Archetype (a psychic construct acting as a helper for him) is voiced by Rosearik Rikki Simons, the voice of GIR. Raz is of course voiced by Zim himself and the dynamic between Raz and his Archetype mirrors a lot of that between Zim and GIR.
  • Adults Are Useless: Averted as the experienced Psychonauts are very helpful during the tutorial, manage to figure out the identity of the threatening female figure Raz has seen in Loboto's mind, and teach him useful abilities over the course of the game. However, Raz has to help the six founders of the Psychonauts to make them better able to help with the mystery.
    • On the other hand, the Psychonaut founders have been suffering from various mental distresses for years that Raz helps them get over in a single day, despite living in the greatest concentration of psychics in the world. Similarly, the Psychic 6 fail to stop Maligula when Raz is removed, and Raz ends up fighting her with the help of the other Interns, not any of the ARMY of trained, psychic spies. The Psychonauts as a whole are portrayed as incredibly incompetent. Turns out that "Truman" wasn't wrong that the Psychonauts underestimated her power.
  • Advertised Extra: The Interns end up being this in the bulk of the game. While making a strong impression at the beginning, their actual prominence drops considerably after the Casino Mission, with much of the story being more focused on unraveling the truth behind what had happened to the Psychic Six, and their relationship to Maligula, especially with Ford Cruller's part in Maligula's existence. That said, they do make a return at the end of the game against the final boss. This also ends up applying to Lili, Sasha, Milla, and Oleander as well, as they have significantly reduced roles in the game compared to the first two outings.
  • Aerith and Bob: The first game was no stranger to mixing up strange names with more common ones, but 2 has examples within specific families.
    • The Aquatos, an immigrant family with roots in the fictional Slavic country of Grulovia, have names that run the gamut across Europe, some more common than others: patriarch Augustus (a Roman emperor, and a name that is also common in its shortened form of Gus), his wife Donatella (an Italian name, the feminine form of Donatello), eldest son Dion (originally Greek, but common in France), and middle daughter Mirtala (not uncommon in Ukraine). Raz, short for Razputin, remains a somewhat odd namesake for a child. Then there's Frazie (possibly named for the city of Frazee, Minnesota?) and youngest son Queepie...
    • There's also the Booles, now pairing mundane names such as Sam with the unusual Compton and even quirkier Dogen.
    • The deposed Gzar of Grulovia, Theodore (Fyodor or its variants would be more common in Slavic countries), his wife Rokel, and their son Gristol.
    • If events in the Playable Epilogue confirm a popular fan theory, then Dr. Caligosto Loboto has a son simply named Bobby (Zilch).
    • One half of the Psychic Six consists of normal names (Ford, Otto, Cassie and even an actual Bob). Helmut is a common German name, while Compton is a seldom-used British name.note  Lucrecia is an alternate spelling of the Italian Lucretia, while her nickname is a simple "Lucy".
    • This trope is actually Exploited by the game's Big Bad. Among all the names in the cast, an obvious alias that is "Nick Johnsmith" doesn't stand out all that much.
  • And You Were There: Each of the Psychic Six has characters inside their mindscape that closely resemble the other members of the Six (and are usually voiced by the same actor), designed in accordance with that mindscape's theme. Naturally, having been close friends for decades, they've left strong impressions one one anothers' minds.
  • Alliterative Title: The titles of most of the mental worlds begin with the same or a similar phonetic sound.
    Loboto's Labyrinth
    Hollis' Hot Streak
    Compton's Cookoff
    PSI King's Sensorium (PSI King is a pun on 'viking', so it counts as one word; and the pronunciation of "PSI" can be a "s" sound)
    Cassie's Collection
    Bob's Bottles
    Strike City
    Cruller's Correspondence
    Ford's Follicles
    Lucrecia's Lament
    Fatherland Follies
  • Airborne Mook: Regrets are flying creatures with flapping bird wings who attack by dropping weights on Raz.
  • Affably Evil: Dr. Loboto is actually friendlier towards Raz after the events in the Rhombus of Ruin and starts to regret his former actions. Sadly, he is still far more afraid of his boss.
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Lili thought her own father was bad at this, but Raz's family, especially his mother, manage to be even worse at it.
    Donatella Aquato: My Little Pootie!
    (The other interns are shown snickering.)
  • Amazing Technicolor Population: Just like in the previous games, humans come in all colors. Even moreso in PSI King's Sensorium, considering its 60's psychedelic theme.
  • Ambiguous Time Period: Zig-Zagged. Like the first game, there doesn't seem to be any concrete dates here, and given the abundance of psychic-powered Schizo Tech and fashion choices from throughout the 20th century, it's hard to pin a date down... except for the fact that you can find a magazine cover dated to 1962 with a young Ford on the cover, with the byline indicating that it was published shortly after Maligula's defeat, meaning the game takes place in 1982.
  • And I Must Scream: Mote of Light, the last remaining flicker of a mind left in a brain who was stuck in a jar since the 1960s. You get to explore his brain as the Sensorium. One wonders what that means for the racks upon racks of preserved brains in Otto's lab, which Otto tells you do not think or experience anything.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: Completing Norma's Scavenger Hunt will have her give back Raz's clothes (a.k.a. his outfit from the first game). This allows you to also change into Raz's other two costumes — his stripey old-timey one-piece underthings, and the suit he wears in Loboto's Labyrinth.
  • Anger Born of Worry:
    • Lili, who already has a Hair-Trigger Temper by default, is clearly furious about the situation with her father and LOATHES whoever is responsible. Her frustration also quickly turns against anyone who hinders her attempts to speed her father's recovery even slightly.
    • This is also implied to be at least part of the reason Truman Zanotto fired his uncle (and original Psychonaut) Bob. Dialogue inside Bob's mental world indicates that Truman gave Bob a phone number (presumably to a support group like Alcoholics Anonymous) during the incident, and Bob's memory vault shows Truman frowning and holding back tears as he orders Bob out of his office, proving that despite Bob's feelings of anger and betrayal, he does understand on some level that his nephew only fired him because he had no choice.
  • Anthropomorphic Personification: A lot of the normal enemies in the mental worlds represent issues within the mind like regrets, doubts and bad ideas.
  • Anti-Climax Boss: Invoked and justified In-Universe when a Kaiju-sized Raz punches Maligula into the dark recesses of Lucy's mind. At that point, Lucy has given Raz all of her confidence to cope with her Superpowered Evil Side. Given that this was after a traditional and quite difficult boss fight, it's fairly close to an ending cutscene.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • The game is equipped with a wide variety of "assist features", such as: the option to make all text use a simpler font, larger subtitles, colorblindness compensation, turning Fall Damage off, invincibility, camera-shake adjustment, custom control bindings, and more.
    • Figments are now animated doodles that no longer fade in and out, making collecting them less of a pain. Their neon colors are brighter than the first game, making them stick out like a sore thumb. However, this is more a result of the higher texture resolutions.
    • Getting larger amounts of money no longer requires buying an expensive dowsing rod. Simply pressing the Interact button near purple spots on the ground will dig them up. There is a rough equivalent of deep arrowheads in the form of certain characters that you can use Clairvoyance on to discover hidden caches, but the relevant ability is given to you for free as a part of the story. Also, you can also buy a pin that functions like the Mental Attraction powerup from the first game, a pin that makes mental connection randomly give 10 psitanium per jump with no limit before it stops giving them to you, and one that triples or quadruples the amount of psitanium that pops out of deposits. All three of these make farming money for pins once caches are exhausted much, much easier.
    • Stick around certain puzzles long enough without completing them, and Raz will muse on their solution, offering hints.
    • The first game's Video-Game Lives system (astral projection layers) has been removed.
    • The game autosaves all progress regularly, and manual saves are not required.
    • Telekinesis no longer fires in an arc and features a degree of auto-targeting, making it much more dynamic and worthwhile to use in combat.
    • If you're returning to a mental realm to collect items not picked up on the first run-through (for 100% completion), the teleporter worm from the first game returns to help you move between different areas of a mental realm. This becomes more important because in this game, events in the first run-through can permanently seal off connections between those areas. In addition, when prompting you to specify an area to go to, it now displays checkmarks on those areas, specifying that area has been cleaned out and has nothing more collectable there.
    • The first game has a single Point of No Return near the end of the game, and the only way you discover this is the game notifying you it is automatically saving your game as "Autosave: Point of No Return." The latter portions of the second game have multiple points of no return, where the player is either confined to one area or is roped into a fight with the final boss. Fortunately, every time one happens the player is immediately warned beforehand, as well as given access to the store. The latter even reaches absurdity, in that a working Otto-Matic vending machine gets hurled and lands a few feet from Raz in the woods right before the final boss.
    • An update adds an Otto-Shot filter that makes the world greyscale except for collectibles, which show up in flashing colors, even through walls. It also adds checkmarks on parts of mental worlds that have had all collectibles found.
  • Arc Villain: Both Hollis's Classroom and Hollis's Hot Streak have the Lady Luctopus, the personification of Hollis's gambling addiction, accidentally created by Raz's meddling within her mind.
  • Art Course:
    • Cassie's Collection is the mind of Cassie O'Pea, one of the founding members of the Psychonauts and author of an influencial psychic psychology book. With the heart of her mind manifests as a library, various other parts of her mind manifest as a world folded out of paper with ink for water, all of its inhabitants being 2-D paper illustrations.
    • Nona's Quilts is a part of Nona Aquato's/Lucrecia Mux's mind that manifested after spending a long, full life in the Aquato's circus, manifesting as a world made of quilts and knitted yarn.
  • Art Evolution: The returning character designs are notably improved, most of them also get new outfits to wear.
  • The Artifact: The first game was a world of Four-Fingered Hands, with Razputin and his father being the only exceptions. While all characters who had four fingers in the first game do not acquire another digit in this one, every character introduced in the second game is designed with five fingers, including relatives of earlier four-fingered characters.
  • Artistic License – Biology: As per the original, people can literally sneeze their brains out, an issue that can be easily corrected with a funnel. When someone is brainless, you can stare In One Ear, Out The Other.
  • Astral Projection: Again a major part of the game that allows Raz to explore the various mental worlds.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: All the major bosses are massive and fight Raz in relatively small arenas.
  • Awful Truth: Several, all relating to Ford and Maligula.
    • During Ford's Follicles, it's revealed at the end that all of the annoying patches of mites you just killed actually represented crowds of non-violent protesters, and Raz, as a stand-in for Maligula, killed them.
    • Ford fractured his own psyche, to hide what he had done and what he knows. This includes:
      • Maligula, the terror of Grulovia, who drowned hundreds of her countrymen - including her own sister - is Lucrecia Mux, the seventh member of the Psychic Six, who founded the Psychonauts.
      • Maligula came into existence because the original Psychonauts pushed the boundaries of their minds, opening every door, and unlocking every vault. They let Lucrecia go to Grulovia whilst in a vulnerable state, whereupon the rain she summoned accidentally caused a dam to burst - killing hundreds of innocent, peaceful protesters, including her own sister. The trauma of this caused the 'Fight' part of Lucrecia's 'Fight or Flight response' to take over her mind, turning her into Maligula.
      • Maligula survived her battle with Ford, and instead of handing her over to the authorities, Ford re-wrote her mind without her permission. He repressed the "Maligula" aspect of her personality, and made Lucrecia believe herself to be her dead sister, whom she accidentally killed.
      • Ford also non-consensually rewrote the memories of her sister's orphaned son, to make him accept Lucrecia as his mother, with no idea she's his parent's killer. Reuniting "mother" and "son", Ford kept them as family, partially as an act of mercy, and partially so they would keep each other stable (and Maligula buried). That orphaned son is Augustus Aquato, Raz's father. Lucrecia, and within her Maligula, has been right with you, as Raz' Nona.
      • The Hand of Galochio, the water curse plaguing the Aquatos? Ford created it, implanting a strong fear of water in Lucrecia's mind to stop her from reawakening her hydrokinesis. Lucrecia then passed this fear on to Augustus, and from him to all Aquato children, including Raz. Once they understand that there is no curse, the Hand is no longer hostile.
  • Bad Cop/Incompetent Cop: The mental cops in Cassie O'Pia's mind consist of the Snake Cop, who is a Dirty Cop in league with the criminal he's supposed to be investigating, a Tortoise Cop who's too slow to get anything done, and an Elephant Cop who, ironically, has memory issues. Only the Elephant Cop remains on revisits to her mind, which implies they might have been the Token Good Teammate.
  • Bag of Spilling:
    • Played with. Raz starts out the game still possessing Telekinesis, Levitation, Marksmanship, and Pyrokinesis and simply needs a little reminding to use them. He later remembers his Clairvoyance at the prompting of Harold the rat once he ends up in a situation where he realizes that it'd be useful in bypassing a door.
    • He does completely lose access to Shield, Invisibility, and Confusion to make room for the new abilities he gains at the Motherlobe, however. It might be implied that while Raz still has those abilities, he just has no need for them at the moment. One tutorial popup for the journal does mention that "use of unauthorized powers is strictly prohibited", with none of those powers on the list.
    • Similarly, Raz loses his inventory ring. He eventually gets smelling salts from Sasha, and doesn't need bacon anymore, save once to lure Ford to the HQ. Justified in that Norma steals Raz's clothes shortly after he arrives at the Motherlobe.
  • Badass Adorable: Lili and Raz, both still ten, remain the heroes of the story. The other interns have their moments, particularly during the "heist" sequence at the Lady Luctopus casino, as well as Raz's incredibly strong baby brother Queepie. Even Mirtala gets her moment when the whole family performs the Devil's Firehose to propel Raz into the final battle with Maligula.
  • Battle in the Center of the Mind: Again a major part of the game allowing you to take on the neuroses of other people, including gambling addictions, amnesia, anxiety and self-doubt, and alcoholism.
  • Beneath Suspicion: Nick Johnsmith is not only the only non-psychic employee of The Motherlobe, but is also brainless when Raz first meets him. He's also The Mole.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: Sure, Gristol Malik may not be the most intimidating person on the outside... but he has an impressive control over his own mind, shown to be able to directly manipulate his mental world (to an extent as far as we see) and apparently could regain control of "his" body while under the effects of a Psycho-Portal. As a non-psychic, it's a real feat.
  • Big Bad: The mastermind that plans to bring back Maligula and whose identity is one of the central mysteries of the game.
  • Bigfoot, Sasquatch, and Yeti: One of the attractions at the failed tourist trap of the Questionable Area is "the Lair of the Sassclops", purportedly the home of a half-cyclops, half-sasquatch cryptid that was under construction before the QA went out of business.
  • Bilingual Bonus: There's a lot of Chinese text within Cassie's Collection. One of the pieces of evidence Raz must collect to recruit Counterfeiter Cassie is a keyboard key with the Chinese symbol for "bee" on it. The books Raz enters are written in Latin, and if translated, they tell the story of 6 bees fighting a wasp, an allegory for Cassie's perception of the battle against Maligula.
    • A minor, comedic example can be found in Strike City. All the bowling ball machines there have the brand name B-Zooo. "Bisou" is the French word for "Kisses".
  • Bittersweet Ending: Mainly sweet with Raz and the other interns graduating the intern program to become junior agents, Lili's dad is finally back to normal, and all of the founding Psychonauts are in a better place mentally than where they started the game. It's somewhat undercut by the fact that the Aquato family is still grappling with the fact that the woman they all considered to Raz's Grandmother was actually her sister and murderer, with Raz's father in particular being rather conflicted about it. And Raz isn't quite sure whether to be mad at Ford or not for everything he did. Even most of that has a generally hopeful vibe to it though.
  • Bizarrchitecture: Once Dr. Loboto starts to resist the office construct, it becomes more twisted and is eventually replaced by a hellish landscape of flesh and teeth.
  • Black Comedy:
    • The rich parents in Hollis' Hot Streak are happy to win a baby from the roulette wheel because they'll have a tax write-off in their name and a spare set of kidneys around the house.
      Rich Woman: When does it start achieving our unfulfilled ambitions?
    • Raz asks Sam if Dogen has ever exploded a person's head before. She cheerfully tells him that he's never exploded anyone who she thought didn't deserve it and that nobody's perfect. Raz is perturbed.
    • The ingredients in Compton's Cookoff excitedly wait to be cooked and made into a dish. This comes to a head where a pig is excited to be chopped into bacon by the Pork Chopper, who is disturbed to see that pig is his grandchild.
  • Black Comedy Animal Cruelty: Sam is a Bad Boss to the animals under her employ, but it's all Played for Laughs.
    • Averted compared to the first game as Raz can no longer kill the wild life around Psychonauts HQ.
  • Bleak Level:
    • All but one of the sub-levels inside Ford's mind qualifies:
      • "Ford's Follicles" is the first level in the game that has little comedic content, with its atmosphere and themes getting played rather somberly despite the barbershop motif.
      • While not as overtly bleak, "Cruller's Correspondance" is rather eerie and the letters you read don't shy away from the intense subject matter at hand.
      • "Tomb of the Sharkophagus" is the game's Wham Episode, and perhaps the most unmitigatingly-dark segment of the entire franchise.
    • "Bob's Bottles" stands out as the least comedic full-length level in the franchise, where Raz has to explore the memories of Bob Zanatto (found at the bottom of three bottles) to learn why he descended into alcoholism. While there is still some comic relief, it's vastly more understated and dry than the franchise's usual fare.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: The first game had a (human) body count of absolute zero, with the only potential death being Crispin if he didn't make it out of the Throney Towers collapse during the climax, and even that's more a case of What Happened to the Mouse?. This game meanwhile has a lot more death both onscreen and in backstory, with one particularly vicious case being seeing Helmut Fullbear get impaled by one of Maligula's hydrokinetic snakes, complete with a massive spray of blood. Though that said, there is much less wanton violence against the wildlife around Psychonauts HQ.
  • Book Ends:
    • The game starts with an example by allowing you to enter the mind of The Dragon of the first game in a complete level instead of the shortened version at the end of Rhombus of Ruin.
    • The game both starts and ends with Raz going into another psychic's mental world twice, with the second visit having him fight the manifestation of a dark side that was accidentally created by someone messing with the victim's head.
    • The beginning has Loboto winning an all-expenses paid tropical vacation for being Employee of the Year in his mind as the Psychonauts try to trick him into revealing his boss. The game ends with Hollis going on vacation. Sasha and Milla give her the Employee of the Year award just like from the vision.
    • At the start of the game, Raz is wearing a pin that he believes makes him an official member of the Psychonauts. Hollis quickly revokes this, but at the end of the game, all the interns are made official Psychonaut agents - junior agents.
  • Bootstrapped Theme: "The Meat Circus" as a song has effectively become the theme song for Raz and the Aquato family as a whole. It becomes something of a Theme Song Power Up when the family performs the Devil's Firehose to catapult Raz towards Maligula in the finale.
  • Boss in Mook Clothing: Despite a fancy first introduction, Judges often fight alongside Censors and other simpler enemies, complete with level-appropriate attire. In any case, their attacks hit really hard and their patterns are quite boss-like. They also can't be cheesed into defeat like other enemies.
  • Boss-Only Level: After clearing Fatherland Follies, the revisit to Nona's mind only contains a small introductory area before the Final Boss fight against Maligula.
  • Boss Subtitles: All enemies and bosses have a cutscene and an introductory footnote when they're encountered for the first time, starting with "Fig: Censor - Notes: Attacks thoughts that don't belong" and ending with "Fig: Maligula - Notes: The Deluge of Grulovia".
  • Bragging Rights Reward: The final possible upgrade removes all cooldowns from powers. That said, it requires Rank 102, which involves basically 100% Completion.
  • Brain in a Jar: It's Psychonauts. Like the first game, there are plenty of those, especially in the Hall of Brains, where just over 100 crowdfunding backers have their own brains in jars. One of the mental worlds is even inside a brain in a jar who's recently been transplanted into a new body.
  • Brainwashing for the Greater Good: It's revealed that Ford did this to Lucrecia/Nona in order to prevent Maligula from resurfacing, and later did the same to Augustus by rewriting his memories so he'd believe Lucrecia was his mother, rather than leave the boy an orphan. Downplayed in that he and everybody else who finds out fully aknowledge that it was an extremely questionable thing to do at best, and the game doesn't shy away from the harm that comes from the fallout.
  • Brick Joke:
    • After the discovery of the Astralathe in the Heptadome, Raz questions whether or not it will even still work after decades of disuse, before being told that it will survive anything because "Otto over-engineers everything." Sure enough, one of the Otto-Matic vending machines he built is able to withstand being thrown by the hurricane-force winds of Maligula's storm in order for Raz to use the store before the final boss.
    • At the very beginning of the game, in order to coax the identity of Loboto's boss out of him, Sasha and Milla declare him Employee of the Year, which comes with a tropical vacation. After Maligula is defeated, Hollis announces she's taking a two-week vacation, and she confirms that it's a tropical vacation Sasha and Milla got for her, complete with Loboto's Employee of the Year trophy, with her name in place of Loboto's.
  • Brutal Bonus Level: The Psychoseismometer machines to a certain extent, especially if you leave them for late. Each one warps you to an arena with several waves of powerful Mooks and no healing drops to be found laying around, leaving you with only Dream Pops, Dream Fluffs, the medic upgrade for the Raz Archetype, and the Brain Drain pin for healing. While you'll only need to deal with the starter enemy types if you tackle them as soon as possiblenote , more of the nastier enemy types will start appearing as you progress through the storynote , often throwing several of them at oncenote .
  • Bubblegloop Swamp: The titular bottles of "Bob's Bottles" take Raz to a variety of environments that are mostly vegetative wetlands, like a bubbly mangrove and a wedding-themed bog.
  • The Bully: The other interns start out like this, especially Norma.
  • Bury Your Gays: Subverted with Helmut, who at first seemed to be dead to the characters after sacrificing his life for Bob in the Psychic Six's battle against Maligula, but is revealed to have survived as a brain by using the sneezing powder for it to escape the cold water. With Bob and Helmut reunited after the events of the game, they're planning to go rescue his frozen body in Grulovia..
  • Butt-Monkey: Sasha has it pretty rough in the tutorial level, getting pummeled by a giant uvula and swarmed by giant walking dentures.
  • Call-Back:
    • In the first game, when Raz first entered a mental world, he and Elton had a conversation where they mistake the recruitment office in Coach Oleander's mind for a dentist's office. The first mental world in this game is an office in the mind of a dentist.
    • Once again, the last phase of the Final Boss features a family member giving Raz "everything they've got", making Raz grow giant.
    • When taking a brain from the brain tank, Raz gives it a kiss before putting it in his bag. In the first game, he kissed the rescued brains of all the campers he rescued in the second half.
    • After the first game maxed at rank 101, this one maxes out at rank 102.
    • Nick is diagnosed as brainless in the same exact way Dogen was: someone looks in one ear, and out the other. Nick also intones "Teeeeeeeeee-veeeeeeeeeeeee."
    • In the dream version of the Whispering Rock campfire circle in Ford's mind, Raz will yada-yada over a few key lines from Oleander's speech from the beginning of the first game. There, an unmarked Easter Egg had Raz deliver the same speech word-for-word if you stood on the stump and hit the Use button after each line (worth an achievement in the rerelease). Here Raz just says he doesn't have time for that now — he's got a mission.
    • After Truman forcefully pulls Raz out of Lucrecia's mind and Norma mockingly calls Maligula his girlfriend, Lili comes in and exclaims that she's Raz's girlfriend, after which Raz's legs briefly give out. The same thing happened to Lili back in the intro cutscene of Psychonauts, after Raz introduces himself to the everyone.
    • Raz gets visibly uncomfortable when he asks Sam where she got the milk for her pancakes, clearly remembering the last time he dealt with a less-than sane person obsessed with milk.
  • The Cameo:
    • Certain characters from the first game make cameos as figments in certain levels, such as Sheegor, Mr. Pokeylope, Dogen, Bobby, Mikhail, Crystal and Clem.
    • In the opening recap, some of the campers as well as the asylum patients are seen as doodles.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: In almost every interaction that has a dialog tree, Raz will have the option to talk about the kiss back at Whispering Rock (and is even listed as such as one of the options). However, Raz keeps stumbling over his words out of embarrassment, while Lili is too distracted by her fathers' Psilirium poisoning, and blames her sadness on not understanding Raz.
  • Casino Park: Hollis' Hot Streak, which is a corruption of the hospital portion of Hollis' Classroom, having turned its various wards into rigged betting game rooms thanks to Hollis' newfound gambling addiction.
  • Casting Gag: Raz's Archetype is voiced by Rosearik Rikki Simons, meaning you get to effectively play as Zim and GIR when Raz uses Projection.
  • Cast Herd: Almost all of the major characters can be organized into different groups. There's the Aquato family, the Interns, the Psychic Six, and the regular members of the Psychonauts. The only characters who don't fit into one of these are Dr. Loboto and Lili.
  • Central Theme: Post-traumatic stress disorder and how good people can be utterly broken by it.
  • Cerebus Retcon: This game gives new and very depressing context behind Ford Cruller's kooky behavior. In the first game,we were told it was because a battle with a powerful psychic shattered his mind. In this game, we learn the truth that his senile behavior comes from the fact that he shattered his own mind because he couldn't live with the guilt of what happened to Lucrecia Mux and what he did to her.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Twofold. Augustus Aquato expresses interest in integrating psychic powers into their acrobatic acts. His wife Donatella mentions desire to perform a new acrobatic act; "The Devil's Firehose." Both are used in conjunction prior to the final battle to perform a Fastball Special for Raz to reach Maligula.
  • Child Prodigy: Every single intern, especially Lili and Raz.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Within the interns it is clearly Sam Boole, fittingly considering that she is Dogen's sister.
  • The Cobbler's Children Have No Shoes: Though their field of work includes mental health treatment, all but one of the Psychic Six have debilitating psychological conditions that forced them into early retirement.
  • Collect-a-Thon Platformer: Back in full force. Aside from the usual mental collectibles like figments, tags, vaults, etc., you'll also have to collect Psitanium, Challenge Markers and other random trinkets in the real world. Collect every last item and you can rank up all the way to 102, with increased ranks allowing you to access better pins from the in-game shop and upgrade your powers.
  • The Comically Serious: Both Sasha Nein and Hollis Forsythe, in different ways. Sasha is stoically, efficiently German as ever, but is in on the joke to some degree — being a perfect Straight Man is part of his sense of humor. Hollis, on the other hand, is a tightly-wound stickler who's obsessed with keeping the agency on budget, running said agency following her boss's kidnapping, and handling the intern program, all by herself. She eventually snaps, not without a little "help" from Raz — putting her mind back the way it was is the subject of the second half of the second mission.
  • Conspiracy Theorist: If Raz interacts with the bar-tender in the Astro-Lanes, the bar-tender will claim that Maligula is an Invented Individual fabricated as a "bogeyman" for psychics to scare each other with, and that The Mole was something Hollis Forsythe made up as a scam for funding.
  • Content Warnings: Before the game starts, the player is presented with a "Mental Health Advisory".
    ''Psychonauts 2 contains artistic depictions of serious mental conditions including addiction, PTSD, panic attacks, anxiety, and delusions. There are also images that may be upsetting to people with a fear of dentistry, tight spaces, or vomit. These conditions are usually presented in a light-hearted or even comical manner, but might still be distressing to some players.
  • "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot: Nearly all the events of the game are caused by Raz's plotline-enforced incompetence. First, he tries to "fix" Hollis's brain. Then, after that's Gone Horribly Wrong, and he gets lectured about how the job of Psychonauts isn't to "fix" people twice by separate people, he becomes committed to "fixing" Ford's brain. Not only does this horrendously backfire, but the fact that Truman told him to do it is also a big glaring clue as to the identity of the mole.
  • Cryptic Background Reference: Played for laughs — Hollis Forsythe can be heard grumbling about the apparently well-funded Gastronauts, presumably a similar but food-related organization.
    • Well-funded enough to leave a listening device somewhere in Psychonauts HQ, which you recover as part of the Scavenger Hunt/Mission Critical Item Recovery.
  • Darker and Edgier: Zig-Zagged. Though the game still has a lot of comedy throughout, the main plotline surrounding the villainous Maligula who was the mass-murdering right hand of a Ruritanian dictator is a fair amount darker than Oleander's plot to steal children's brains for death tanks. The game also handles its theme of mental health with more seriousness and goes to deeper emotional depths than the first, with even the most heroic characters in the story given ethical shades of grey. However, compared to the first game, 2's overall tone is a lot less edgy than the first game due to certain topics being seen as less appropriate to laugh at; certainly no Running Gag about children attempting to kill themselves. Also, you can no longer murder the wildlife.
  • Degraded Boss: Three major enemy types are introduced as bosses the first time they appear, but these encounters are identical to all subsequent ones with them. One of their health meters never even moves, due to the enemy being defeated all at once by a very specific means.
  • Demoted to Extra: Lili, Sasha, Milla, and Oleander have a comparatively smaller role within the sequel than they did in the first installment or Rhombus of Ruin. Hammering this home, there's an achievement just for talking to Milla, who spends a lot of the game meditating in her office. Though Lili at least gets a short role in working alongside Raz infiltrating the mind of the Deluginist Mastermind.
  • Depraved Dentist: Dr. Loboto is still present, but he has become slightly less depraved after the events of Rhombus of Ruin, while his background in dentistry is much more prominently displayed within his mind.
  • Developer's Foresight:
    • Like in the previous game, there are lots of different perspectives on Raz that can be found via Clairvoyance. Most notably, characters who go through Character Development when it comes to their perspective on him have their visuals change over time from something negative to something positive. Most notably, Norma goes from seeing him embarrassed in his underwear, to seeing him as The Mole, to seeing him as a respectable Psychonaut.
    • If you activate your camera in front of various people, they'll voice a reaction to it.
    • If Raz talks Frazie before visiting his mom, they'll have a unique conversation where she'll tell him to go see the rest of the family.
    • The Memory Vaults in Psi King's Sensorium are specifically designed to be inaccessible until you get Mental Projection later on in Cassie's Collection - not even pyrokinesis will open them. This seems a bit odd, as this is the only mind where you can't obtain any memory vaults in your first run-through, but both of the vaults have spoilers for events that are revealed in between the two minds: one vault shows the Psi King's true identity as Helmut Fullbear of the Psychic Seven, while the other one shows Ford using the astralathe on himself.
    • In one of the levels, Cruller's Correspondence, there's a segment where Raz has to write a name using a typewriter. Both the full name Lucrecia and their nickname Lucy count as success. Additionally, if the player instead tries to input a swear word or slur, the last letter will be censored with a "#". Ford will also call out the player for doing so.
      Ford: Such language in a high-class establishment like this!
    • Near the end of the story, after 'Truman' forcibly ejects Raz from Nona's mind, he'll end up back in the Heptadome. While he can no longer leave the building at this point, nothing stops him from using the Brain Tumbler in the room to revisit previous mental worlds. However, if you try re-entering Nona's mind from there, the game blocks you:
      Raz: If I go back in there, Truman will just pull me out again! I need to deal with him first. Somehow.
    • During the Postgame, after Raz learns that the family curse was a load of bupkis, the Hand of Galochio is friendlier to him (since it's caused by his psychic powers manifesting his fears), and he stops taking damage from water.
    • After completing the game, the panel explaining the history of the Psychonauts is updated with The REAL events of the fight with Maligula, complete with the chapter about the Psychic Six changing to be one about the Psychic Seven.
    • One of the badges inverts Slow Time's effects to make things go faster. While this has questionable usage in the game itself, there is one thing that Raz complains about being too slow; the Funicular in the Questionable Area? If you have Raz hit it with Speed Up, he has several unique comments about finally making it actually fun.
  • Determinator: Raz is not easy to turn down and keeps going even as his team-mates are taken out one by one during the first level. The cold reception he gets from Hollis Forsythe and the other interns in the Motherlobe does not break him either.
  • Dirty Cop: You find some in Cassie O'Pia's mindscape based on her memories of dealing with them in her past. She stool-pigeoned for her boss, a notorious counterfeiter in return for police protection once she was busted... and it turns out they wanted the dirt on her to blackmail her for more protection money, not to bust her, and Cassie was now in a ''very' unenviable position of having no protection against a crime lord's retribution if she learned where the dirt came from. Fittingly, the officers in her memory vault of the incident look like a pair of snakes, and the ones in her mind are an anthropomorphic snake, a turtle, and an elephant to represent just how highly she thinks of them.
  • Disappointed in You: After Raz admits to implanting a problematic gambling addiction in Forsythe's mind, Sasha takes him aside for a speech on how much trust is placed in the Psychonauts and how Raz's acts harmed everyone.
  • Disney Acid Sequence: After Raz reunites the band members in "PSI King's Sensorium", the PSI King performs a trippy psychadelic rock number called "Cosmic I (Smell The Universe)" as he regains his memories and identity as Helmut Fullbear, the missing-presumed-dead member of the Psychic Six.
  • Disco Dan: Milla's new outfit is still a florid '70s throwback. Of course, in the game's ambiguous '80s/early '90s setting (with the '60s being about 20 years ago), it's less out-of-date here.
  • The Dog Was the Mastermind:
    • The Mole and ultimate Big Bad of the story turns out to be Nick Johnsmith, the unassuming un-psychic mailroom clerk who turns up de-brained early in the game.
    • Maligula, the powerful hyrokineticist who brought awe and fear to Grulovia and whose resurrection is the plot of the Delusionists, is alive and locked up inside the mind of Nona, Raz's seemingly frail and senile grandmother.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: Besides voicing PSI King, Jack Black sings the credits theme "Cosmic I/Smell the Universe".
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: While no drug use is shown or even hinted at, the experiences of the Psychic Six are reminiscent of psychedelia:
    • Ford Cruller explains to Razputin that when Cruller and the Psychic Six were younger, they experimented in Green Needle Gulch with expanding their consciousness, breaking down the barriers of individuality, and broadening their minds to try to understand the universe.
    • The Heptadome, which is where these experiments mainly took place, is made up of multicolored stained glass, which includes imagery such as spotted mushrooms.
    • PSI King was a musician who made psychedelic music, and his mental world is a rainbow-colored Acid-Trip Dimension that mostly resembles a music festival. Two members of his band are explicitly mentioned to enjoy going to the middle of the woods to get high. Raz interprets this to mean they like to make camp somewhere high up. He is right.
    • When Raz locates Bob Zanotto, Bob is apparently using a makeshift apparatus to distill some kind of chemical from mushrooms.
  • Doing In the Wizard: Ford reveals that the "family curse" where the Aquatos die in water was actually planted into Lucy's head as a means of keeping her from rediscovering her hydrokinetic abilities, this fear having been passed down the rest of the family, the Hand of Galochio we see an unconscious manifestation of Raz's psychic powers reacting to this fear. Ford then chides Raz for believing in magic.
  • Downer Beginning: The first hour and a half of gameplay is utterly soul-crushing for Raz after the high of victory from the last two games. Within minutes of arriving at the Motherlobe Raz meets Hollis Forsythe who immediately dismisses him because the disgraced Ford Cruller was the one who officiated him and Raz unknowingly hit her Berserk Button and sticks him in the intern program (and Sasha and Milla are too distracted to stand up for him). He meets the interns who he immediately gets off to a bad start with, then gets hazed in such a realistic, mundane way it's extremely uncomfortable, which results in him missing his first class which makes Hollis' outlook on him even worse. And then due to peer pressure from the others, he ends up rewiring Hollis' mind to make her take them on a mission, which severely damages Sasha and Milla's faith in him. Thankfully, things start looking better after Hollis' level where Raz earns the respect of both the Interns and Hollis, but the intro to the game puts poor Raz though an utter wringer.
  • Dramatic Irony: In-universe; since Helmut Fullbear has spent the last twenty years as a brain in a jar with no way to contact the outside world, he believes that his actions during the battle with Maligula are the reason the Psychonauts lost that day, his friends never bothered to look for his body, and that his beloved husband died during the battle. Thankfully, his five bandmates (who each represent his friends) are able to tell him what actually happened.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: Coach Oleander still talks like a combination of R. Lee Ermey and/or General George S. Patton, even off-duty.
  • Driving Question:
    • Who is The Mole within the Psychonauts that is planning to bring back Maligula from the dead? It was Nick from the Mailroom the entire time!
    • What was the event that caused Lucrecia Mux to transform into Maligula? The first half of the game implies it was her experiences in the Grulovian War, but in reality it was a combination of the dangerous mental experiments the original 7 Psychonauts subjected themselves to, and the accidental murder of her sister.
  • Earth Drift: The original game took place fully within our world (at least if psychics were real), but the sequel reveals a fictional eastern European country that Raz's family hailed from, Grulovia.
  • Easily Forgiven:
    • Zigzagged in regards to Raz altering Hollis's personality. When she sees that he's genuinely remorseful for doing it, she lets it go (partially because she was guilty of the exact same thing before becoming a Psychonaut). Sasha on the other hand isn't so quick to let it go and gives Raz a very stern talking to later on.
    • Dr. Loboto is treated well by the Psychonauts, even as he's detained, with Sasha expressing more frustration at whoever caused the mental blocks in Loboto's mind than at Loboto himself.
    • Averted with Norma. While Norma tries to say that her Pyrokinesis powers made up for her accidentally bringing Maligula back into the world, Raz refuses to let her off the hook for endangering innocent lives.
    • Played with (and Played for Laughs with one character) with Lucrecia. She doesn't suffer any punishment for being Maligula, but there's a generally uncomfortable air around what she did. Raz's father Augustus tells Raz that he's still trying to process how he feels about learning that the woman he thought was his mother was actually his mother and father's killer (as well as the killer of hundreds of his countrymen), though he still considers her family. The Played for Laughs side of it comes from Oleander who is initially unhappy that she is essentially getting off scott free, but a look from Sasha and Milla is enough to make him drop it since literally only a few days earlier he had attempted to take over the world with an army of Psychoblaster Death Tanks.
    • Zigzagged somewhat with regards to Ford mind wiping Maligula, brainwashing Raz's family, and psychologically inflicting aqua phobia on the Aquatos. Ford sincerely regrets it, and it's all but state that he hasn't forgiven himself or deserves it for the whole mess in the post game. Raz is furious with Ford, calls him on it and points out that it caused his family a lot of trouble, but later seems to get over it, or come to terms with it. Augustus is devastated, is implied to have not quite forgiven Ford yet... but admits it was a tough situation and implies that he'll be able to in time.
  • Easter Egg: A very bizarre one occurs in the Maternity Ward portion of Hollis' High Rollers. On top of the area you enter from, there's a pen embedded into the surface. If you throw it at the "ward" sign, an animatic plays involving Raz giving psychic birth to Doctor Loboto while Sasha, Milla, and Ford (who are wearing clown makeup) assist him in the birth. It Makes Just as Much Sense in Context. According to the dialogue Raz has after viewing the animatic, it was apparently a bizarre dream he once had.
  • Eleventy Zillion: Hollis' Quiet Room in her mental world turns from a hospital chapel to a high roller club once it becomes centered around gambling. She'll only let Raz in once he earns three gazillion dollars, each gazillion represented as giant gold coins imprinted with a capital G.
  • Employee of the Month: The first level has the Psychonauts make a psychic construct of an Employee of the Month contest in order to trick Loboto into revealing his employer. Poor dude is actually quite excited about finally winning such an award, which makes him just a bit bitter when he realizes he's being tricked and decides to resist.
  • The End Is Nigh: In an inversion of this trope, some germs in Strike City wear signs around their neck proclaiming the world isn't going to end when it very obviously is.
  • Entertainingly Wrong: Norma constantly believes that Raz is the The Mole and tries to get his dad to reveal something by accident. This actually winds up being a hindrance to Raz who just rolled his eyes at the accusation. There are other Psychonauts who think Raz is the mole as well. Using Clairvoyance on them will indeed show a mole wearing Raz's goggles.
  • Everyone Has Standards: When Bob and Helmut (inside Nick's body) reunite, Bob tries to go in for a kiss, but Helmut stops him, pointing out that since his body's only a 'loaner', it wouldn't be right.
  • Everything Fades: All defeated enemies instantly disappear in a puff of smoke. Justified, since they are all generated by the minds you are going through.
  • Evil Hand: The curse of the Aquato family, also known as the Hand of Galochio, takes this form and sadly there is a lot of water present in the game.
  • Eviler than Thou: As the end of the First Gameplay Trailer shows, Loboto's new boss is terrifying enough that he's screaming in terror when they threaten the doctor with Maligula in case he blows their cover.
    And if you ever tell anyone about me, anyone at all... you'll have to deal with her.
  • Evil Overlooker: The main visual shows a giant shadow of Maligula looming behind Raz.
  • Executive Ball Clicker: In the first major cutscene of the game, we see that Raz has one of these inside of his cubicle after he's become part of the Psychonauts, albeit one with small brains instead of metal balls. Though it turns out this, along with everything else about the stiflingly corporate looking Psychonauts HQ seen in the cutscene is a false construct designed to keep Dr. Loboto under control while Raz and the other agents (and Lili) probe his brain for the identity of his boss. It doesn't last long.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: As pointed out below with Leaning on the Fourth Wall; the entire series of Psychonauts 1, Rhombus of Ruin and the sequel takes place roughly over the course of a few days.
  • Fair-Play Whodunnit: The mysteries of the game (see Driving Question above) have plenty of clues for the player to notice, and it is possible to solve the mysteries before Raz discovers the solutions. A list of clues is compiled here.
  • Fairy Tale Motifs: All over the place with Compton Boole, who already has this theming with the family ability to talk to animals (and his granddaughter Sam parodies a Disney princess). Raz must fetch a bee for him, and winds up taking three of them; then, inside his mind, must complete a game-show spin on the Impossible Task for three goats (as in the Three Billy Goats Gruff). Which also provides foreshadowing for his beloved Cassie O'Pia, who has turned herself into a fairy tale witch and has a mind that's a library containing classic characters.
  • Fake Memories:
    • In the tutorial level the Psychonauts try to use this to find out who hired Dr. Loboto to kidnap the Head of the Psychonauts. Within the scenario, he is a member of the Psychonauts (who are just a boring office) and won the title of Employee of the Year. It quickly falls apart.
    • Ford is revealed to have implanted these into Lucy and Augustus, convincing them that Lucy was actually her sister/his mother, whom she had accidentally killed.
  • Fantastic Slurs: The Aquato family use the term "Fortune Tellers" to disparagingly refer to Psychics. When Raz tries to counter his Mom's use of the word, she compromises with "mental tricksters".
  • Fastball Special: The entire Aquato clan perform the alluded-to "Devil's Firehose" stunt, with Raz at the top, whereupon they then fling him at Maligula's waterspout so that he can get close enough to enter her mind.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Raz and the other interns. Initially they haze and disrespect him, until they are forced to work together on a mission. Tellingly, using Clairvoyance on them before that shows Raz in an embarrassing moment, then afterwards as someone cool.
  • Fire/Water Juxtaposition: During the final part of the battle against a giant Maligula, Raz' Goggalor form's special attack is a fire breath, while Maligula's is a water blast.
  • Fisher Kingdom: While touched upon in the first game, here we see this done more in practice, with mental worlds changing with story progression based on the people they represent.
    • At the start of the game, Raz, Lili, Sasha, Milla, and Oleander manage to plant Loboto in a projection of an office building in order to trick him into revealing the Big Bad. When he starts suspecting them of something, the building's architecture starts warping, adding a dash of dental Body Horror once he figures out where he is and starts resisting the dream he's in.
    • When we first enter Forsythe's mind, we find a complete recreation of the hospital that she once worked in. After Raz accidentally incites a "complete change in worldview" and turns her into a gambling addict, the hospital starts adopting the characteristics of a casino, including bright neon lights, playing card motifs and various casino games.
    • Gristol Malik weaponizes this, given his relative sanity and is able to actively create traps for you when in their mind.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing:
    • The old Psychonauts HQ is called the "Heptadome", as evidenced by Otto nicknaming a lost brain found there "Heptadome Harry". "Hept-" is a prefix for seven, indicating there were seven members of the original Psychonauts, as the inside of "Harry's" mind makes clear.
    • During the office level in the very start of the game, the signs in the halls have the various rooms in the building pointed out by arrows, except the Boss's Office, which is marked with a question mark. This is a subtle hint that we're not actually in an office building, but the construct in Loboto's to discover who hired him to steal Truman's brain.
  • Flunky Boss: Every boss except the final one spawns in enemies in between phases.
  • Food Porn: As... disturbing as the idea of Compton's Cookout is, with the sentient food thrilled to be cooked and whatnot, the food described in practice actually sounds and looks pretty good.
  • Foreshadowing: So much of it that we had to make a separate page.
  • Forgot About His Powers: Raz's Bag of Spilling from the previous game is explained as him forgetting what abilities he has, only using the ones others remind him about.
  • Friendly Fireproof: Averted, enemies can hurt each other in combat, and Raz can burn his Archetype (who is made of paper).
  • Friend to All Children: Milla is still one. Hollis Forsythe, while a much sterner version of the trope, is also one and is greatly worried about the safety of the interns, especially with a mole inside the Psychonauts.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: Par for the course with this series, as each Mental World tends to change up the gameplay at least slightly.
    • In the postgame, Raz realizes that the Hand of Galochio isn't real, and is instead a psychic projection of his own fears. If you jump into the water in the postgame, instead of swiping for Raz with a music sting and dragging him under if it catches him, it will gently bounce him back up and carry him back to shore if he falls into the water. He also no longer takes damage when this happens.
    • Early in the game, Raz learns how to use Mental Connection to change people's thoughts. When he uses this on Hollis to get her to bring the interns along to the casino mission, he very nearly jeopardizes the mission and turns the normally logical Hollis into a raving gambling addict. After the problem is resolved, Raz learns the value of not changing people's minds via forced means, and thus Mental Connection stops being used for such a mechanic for the rest of the game. Instead, Raz is propelled by meaningless stray thoughts.
    • In exploring all the minds after Dr. Loboto's, half a minds can always be found in pairs within the world. Inside Ford's various psyches, though, this is no longer the case.
    • Gristol Malik's mind has nearly every single enemy type. Censors, Bad Ideas, Judges, Doubts... but no Regrets. He has no regret over what he's done.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: An odd example; this game introduces Falling Damage, a mechanic that wasn't present in the first game, where Raz gets hurt even if he falls from not too great a height. This wouldn't be such an issue... if not for the fact that once you make it to the Aquatos' campsite, Augustus says that he and their mother had taught all the children how to take a fall as babies. Meaning that the title that explains why Raz shouldn't take fall damage has him take fall damage.
  • Gargle Blaster: Bob Zanotto has taken to drowning his sorrows in gübliduk, a home-brewed liquor made from mushrooms. Helmut complains that the stuff smells like boiled gym socks.
  • Genius Bruiser: Raz certainly has his moments and quickly figures out how the various mental worlds work. He also quickly realizes that Librarian Cassie is not trustworthy within the mind of Cassie O'Pia and what to say to make the Gluttonous Goats in the mind of Compton Boole at least slightly less hostile.
  • Glass Cannon: One of the pins is literally this in both name and functionality, letting you deal more damage in exchange for taking more damage.
  • Gone Horribly Wrong: The Psychic Six's early experiments with opening the human mind gave them greater understanding of their own minds and their friends', began the field of psychic science and technology, and helped them develop their psychic abilities to unimagined heights. It also left their minds completely open to both interior and exterior influences (since they opened every door and every vault in their minds to see what was inside), causing them to be more susceptible to their inner demons and worries, and caused their seventh member, Lucrecia, to be overtaken by the "Fight" part of the primal "fight or flight" instinct and giving birth to the violent Maligula personality. This also caused most of the surviving members to fall apart as people after having to contain their berserk friend, with only Otto remaining sane and healthy afterwards.
  • Gravity Screw: As the office construct in the tutorial level breaks down, gravity ends up going sideways as well.
  • Green Rocks: Psitanium is back. There is an entire mine of that stuff near the Motherlobe.
  • Grind Boots: As shown in the trailers grinding returns from the first game. Gisu implies that she taught Raz how to rail-grind.
  • Hailfire Peaks:
    • The first mental world, "Loboto's Labyrinth", starts off as Sasha's office building construct before it starts to derail into a mouth themed zone, mixing both aesthetics for most of the level.
    • "Hollis' Hot Streak" is the result of Raz accidentally making Hollis a gambling obsessed madwoman, mixing the old hospital she worked at with a casino. Raz has to go through a variety of games to get to the high roller's lounge, which itself combines the casino theme with a chapel, all of the games having some hospital theming to them, like a horse race in which the horses are actually four separate heart rates of a defibrulated patient corresponding to the different card suits, or a maternity ward in which the birth going through is dependant on a roulette wheel.
    • "Ford's Follicles" fills the ruins of Grulovia with hair and a general barber theme, with Ford being represented by a barber pole lighthouse.
    • "Strike City" is a series of city rooftops... except it's bowling themed, with germs populating the area, Raz rolling on massive bowling balls for most of the stage and a massive bowling pin Ford at the very end.
    • "Cassie's Collection" is a library area for the most part, but the final area throws in the theming of the seaside town Cassie lived in during her forger days, with ink for water and land made of paper.
  • Handicapped Badass: Morris is an intern who uses a wheelchair and is a master of Levitation.
  • He Knows Too Much: At the end of "Loboto's Labyrinth", Loboto's mysterious shadowy boss threatens to send his partner after him if he reveals his identity to the Psychonauts or anyone else.
  • Heart Container: Half-A-Minds, introduced in Basic Braining Episode 4, are walking half-brains that Raz can combine in order to gain more health.
  • Hidden Depths: After accidentally breaking and subsequently repairing Hollis Forsythe's mind, Raz is prepared to be removed from the Motherlobe as punishment...but as it turns out, Hollis had committed a similar mistake to his in the past, and is able to sympathize and advocate for Raz while still being upset as a victim.
  • Hong Kong Dub: A mild case, but the lip syncing of the characters' mouths doesn't always completely fit the pacing of the dialogue, which can be a bit on the jarring side.
  • Hospital Hottie: Hollis Forsythe was a doctor who lost her research to someone else before she joined the Psychonauts.
  • Hot-Blooded: Lili cheerfully tells Raz to burn all posters within Dr. Loboto's mind and she is very happy to talk about how flammable the Doubt enemies are.
  • Hot Teacher: Hollis Forsythe, the Psychonauts organization's second in command, and Raz's new mentor is VERY attractive.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: An ironic example that's only discovered in hindsight. At his classmate's urging, Raz alters Hollis Forsythe's thoughts to allow the interns to be taken on a mission to a Casino, except the changes go far beyond what Raz intended and make Forsythe unable to properly assess risks anymore, going off-mission to gamble in the casino in order to earn enough money to solve the Psychonauts' budget issues. Upon exploring her mind to fix the damage, Raz discovers through her memory vaults that before she joined the Psychonauts, she was a brilliant medical intern who invented a revolutionary brain surgery procedure, only for her superior to steal the credit for it instead. Not unlike Raz, Forsythe attempted to rewire his mental connections to make him recognize the wrong he'd done, which also cascaded out of control and driving him permanently insane. Truman Zanotto was summoned to help fix her superior's resulting mental breakdown; he gave Hollis a second chance, recruiting her into the Psychonauts. This inspires Hollis to give Raz a second chance as well.
  • Hypocritical Humour: Oleander initially protests that it's ridiculous for Maligula to be so Easily Forgiven; none of the other Psychonauts even bother saying anything, and just give him pointed looks.
  • Ignored Epiphany: When Nona's mental construct of Maligula finds Marona's body, she's at first devastated to find out she murdered her own sister, and looks like she's given up fighting. She quickly brushes it off with a smirk, however, saying she's already killed lots of other people.
  • In One Ear, Out The Other: It is still an easy way to tell if somebody was de-brained like Nick Johnsmith.
  • Incredibly Lame Fun: Raz has a surprising amount of fun riding the old funicular at the Questionable Area, which is just a small train that goes very slowly a short distance up a steep hill.
  • Impossible Hourglass Figure: Hollis Forsythe has very wide shoulders and hips, and an amazingly narrow waist.
  • In the End, You Are on Your Own: The tutorial ends like this with all of Raz's allies already taken out as Raz follows Dr. Loboto by himself. He does get a brief but obscured view of Dr. Loboto's boss but is instantly taken out the moment Maligula and her mastery of water enter the picture. At least this does provide his allies with the information needed to identity Maligula and put together what The Mole might be planning.
    • Despite meeting all the other interns in Hollis's corrupted mind, they are all kidnapped shortly thereafter.
    • A similar thing happens at the end of the game, where all the interns each use their specialties to help you fight Maligula, only for her to immediately eject them from your mind almost as soon as they arrive, leaving Raz to fight the bulk of the boss himself.
  • In-Series Nickname: Just like in the first game, quite a few characters give Raz unique nicknames like "weirdo" and "new kid" by Lizzie and the much more embarrassing "My Little Pootie" by his own mother, and "Pooter" by his siblings.
  • Insistent Terminology: When Nona brings up Raz's love of comic books, Raz insists that True Psychic Tales is a "graphic non-fiction periodical."
  • Interchangeable Antimatter Keys: A Supply Chest Key will open any Supply Chest, but only one chest per key.
  • Interface Spoiler:
    • The subtitles identify one of the flashback voices in Cruller's Correspondence as Young Gristol. This character simply having a name already gives away that they're going to be important, but the fact that their name is prefixed with "Young" implies that we'll meet a grown-up version of them at some point.
    • After entering Truman's mind, if you immediately check the area stats, it reveals you that this is actually Nick (a.k.a. Gristol)'s mind in Truman's body, literal minutes before the actual reveal.
    • In PSI King's mind, if you smack around Tasty, Sniffles, and Audie O., their voice lines are displayed as belonging to Compton, Cassie, and Bob, revealing that this mind belongs to one of the Psychic Six. Additionally, since we already know where Ford and Otto are, along with it clearly not belonging to the three already mentioned, that leaves only one member that the mind could possibly belong to...
  • In-Universe Catharsis: Lucrecia helping her grandnephew Raz turn into Goggalor and punching the stuffing out of Maligula was catharsis for the former for 20 years of torment, and validation for Raz from family. The result? The Hand of Galochio is now friendly.
  • Is It Something You Eat?:
    • When Adam offers to mix a drink for the other interns, Raz asks for a "Tumble in the Net". Adam says that he has never heard about about that particular drink and as such doesn't know what it contains, and Raz admits that he doesn't know what's in it either, but he believes that is some kind of special drink they serve in the circus, since his parents always talk about having one after they finish a performance.
    • Apparently, PSI King has been away so long he's forgotten what a trapeze is.
    PSI King: What's that thing? Do you eat it?
    Raz: Only if you're not careful.
  • It's a Small Ride: Fatherland Follies is built around a theme park attraction portraying Gristol's perception of the Deluge of Grulovia and the impact it had on his family. The style of the attraction is a direct parody of "it's a small world", complete with a repetitive tune sung by a chorus of children.
  • It's Personal: Because the villains did target her father, it is very personal for Lili.
  • I Was Quite a Looker:
    • Grandma Nona was quite beautiful as Lucrecia. It's easy to see why Ford fell for her.
    • Ford could also qualify - his younger self bears a strong resemblance to Nikola Tesla.
  • Jabba Table Manners: How the three judges eat the dishes Raz makes for them in Compton's Cookout: they just faceplant into it and chow down sloppily. Justified, as they're just hand puppets.
  • Joke Item: Some of the pins have no effect on gameplay, such as the Bobby Pin that just allows Raz to do Bobby Zilch's victory dance from the first game, or the Beastmaster pin, which lets you gently pet wild animals using telekinesis.
  • Journey to the Center of the Mind: The very idea of the mental worlds Raz explores in this game. Because of his broken mind, Ford Cruller has multiple mental worlds.
  • Last Lousy Point: In the early months of release, there were no hint or radar system to help locate any collectables throughout the world, and worse yet, the mental worlds in this game have no designated 'areas' to help narrow down on any missing figments. The vast sizes of the physical world regions also render locating any last remaining PSI Card or PSI Challenge Markers a pain too. Fortunately, the November 2021 patch introduced a new Otto-Spot filter for the Otto-Shot camera that can locate almost any collectables, and the teleport bugs in each mental world will now tell you if you've collected everything at a particular destination.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: The included summary of the previous events and the beginning of the game do spoil the most important events of the previous games. Considering the strong focus on narrative that is unavoidable.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
    • The first time Raz enters Ford's mind, he ends up in a mental projection of the campfire area back at Whispering Rock, Raz reflects with wistful nostalgia on how he hasn't "been there for... days."
    • After the game has been completed, Raz can find Sasha and Milla and talk about that time they fought a psychic tank. Milla will mention it feels like all that happened 20 years ago.
  • Let's Meet the Meat: Compton Boole's level, "Compton's Cookoff", is themed after a cooking show, with the audience members being ingredients in the dishes who are very enthusiastic about being chopped/fried/boiled/blended into the dish. A particularly hilarious lampshading of this happens when the resident pig cook apparatus has to (reluctantly) chop a pig ingredient (who also turns out to be its own grandchild) into bacon.
  • Level Ate:
    • Compton's Cook-off is a bizarre variation that's themed after a cooking show, but still fits since the main goal is to cook living ingredients.
    • The third portion of Bob's Bottles largely takes place in a mountain-sized rendition of Bob and Helmut's wedding cake. In fact, the whole level itself could count if you consider alcoholic drinks as a type of food.
  • Literal Metaphor: This game goes even further than the first game with usage of Visual Puns when it involves anything mental, both in the Mental Worlds and when using Clairvoyance. Everything from how being seen as The Mole makes some characters view Raz as a literal mole wearing his googles, to a puzzle having a heart literally in the wrong place and needing put in the right place to proceed, and more. It especially is in place for the various new mental enemies, as the Logical Weakness for each is based on a turn-of-phrase for dealing with their mental concepts taken much more literally, such as needing to "burn away" Doubts or needing to "slow down" to deal with a Panic Attack.
  • Loads and Loads of Loading: The PS4 version suffers from far longer load times compared to other consoles and PC. This becomes a bit of a problem near the end of the game, when the game changes location frequently, resulting in multiple cutscenes being interrupted by minute-long loading screens between locations.
  • Loony Librarian: Cassie O'Pia's Archetype is a major Control Freak who insists she's the real Cassie and refuses to let the other Archetypes out of her sight. She ends up being the boss of Cassie's mind, the Die-Brarian (Boss Subtitles: "Real librarians aren’t like this").
  • A Man Is Always Eager: Played with. Inside the Maternity Ward of Hollis' mind casino, Raz can encounter a couple of rich, hopeful parents, who are trying to win a baby on the Ward's roulette wheel, as they complain how the game seems rigged against them. When Raz offers his help in unrigging the game for him, the Rich Dad says he sure hopes it works, because he finds that trying to get a baby is a very exhausting thing. When the Rich Mom speaks up and defends the process, saying has its "fun bits", the Rich Dad grumbles "Maybe for you!" in response.
  • Mad Marble Maze: Strike City takes place in a germ city on the inside of a set of bowling shoes that Raz has to navigate through while running atop a huge bowling ball. Fatherland Follies has a segment where you have to run an enormous jeweled egg through a platforming segment.
  • Made Out to Be a Jerkass: Raz's first interaction with Sam Boole is when he accidentally bumps into her after slipping on Gisu's skateboard. She then immediately accuses him of being "mean" because of it.
  • Malevolent Architecture: The mental worlds have some very uninviting parts. Loboto's Labyrinth, for example, eventually has teeth and gums literally bleeding through the office construct the Psychonauts were trying to trick Loboto with, and at one point Oleander has to get Raz to open a zipper-door-mouth setup because it's just too disgusting for him to look at himself.
  • Man of Kryptonite: Maligula with her very powerful Hydrokinesis powers is one to Raz because of his curse to die in the water.
  • Mind Manipulation:
    • Subverted as it is really hard to properly use psychic abilities to change the mind of somebody. The results quickly grow out of control as both Hollis Forsythe and Raz have to learn.
    • Otto Mentallis specializes in this research, due to being a Mad Scientist. This later becomes integral to several plot twists in the game, see The Reveal.
  • Mind over Matter: The gameplay trailer shows that Raz possesses the telekinesis power, and can use to drag and throw plenty of environmental objects around.
  • Mind Rape: Dr. Loboto's mysterious employer left several increasingly threatening warnings within the mind of the dentist; the final one utterly breaks him.
  • Mind Screw: Like it’s predecessor, this is the game’s bread and butter. This time, however, the surrealism is amped up. The first notable example is Loboto's Labyrinth. It starts out relatively normal but quickly devolves into this with Body Horror added to the mix.
  • The Mole: Early in the game, the Psychonauts realize that Dr. Loboto could never have kidnapped Truman Zanotto without inside help, and trying to identify this traitor becomes the game's Driving Question.
  • Mouse World: In several mental worlds, Raz and/or the mental inhabitants are comparatively tiny: a huge mailroom or library, huge liquor bottles and a giant wedding cake. In Strike City there's a whole city of germs facing an oncoming apocalypse in the form of disinfectant spray coating the inside of their bowling-shoe home.
  • Mr. Smith: Mail room manager Nick Johnsmith. This turns out to be a clue: "Johnsmith" isn't a real name, not even in this universe.
  • Multi-Mook Melee:
    • One side-quest involves Raz trying to find and deactivate three of Otto's psychic devices in the Questionable Area, but to do so he needs to fight off an array of assorted enemies inside his own brain for each device.
    • The final segment of Lucrecia's Lament involves a free-for-all against pretty much every enemy type in the game.
  • Mundane Made Awesome:
    • The interns treat their status as interns as an exclusive club. Somewhat fitting since they are interns for the Psychonauts and highly gifted with psychic abilities themselves.
    • The opening cutscene involves dramatic music, and a massive, dramatic camera pan, and all this builds up to Raz working in a cubicle.
  • Murder Water:
    • The Hand of Galochio makes a return appearance, and even gets an in-depth explanation late in the game: there is no curse - the clutching hands are the result of Raz's unconcious hydrokinetic control of water, caused by having it drilled into him by his dad and Nona that they are cursed to die in water, a side-effect of Ford putting a fear of water into Lucy to keep her Maligula personality hidden.
    • Maligula, the mass murderer that the mole is trying to revive, is a master of hydrokinesis and responsible for the death of hundreds of people in an event called the Deluge of Grulovia.
  • My Greatest Failure: Lucy's Sanity Slippage into Maligula was so traumatizing to the Psychic Six, it left each member of the Psychic Six in varying states of mental instability (and in Helmut's case, physically impaired). By the time Raz finds them, all of them (with the exception of Otto) have either retired or were forced out of the very peacekeeping organization they helped create).
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Invoked by Maligula, in Nona's mind, after finding the drowned body of her sister Marona. Once Nona's body leaves Maligula's, Maligula shrugs this off and says that it doesn't matter because she's killed a lot of people.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • The first thing a brainless Nick says is "Teevee", which is what all of the brainless Camp kids did in 1.
    • When Raz gets the "Mental Connection" power, he does his usual Pstandard Psychic Pstance pose while a fanfare plays, when Lizzie remarks, "Uh, what are you doing, weirdo?!" The music abruptly stops and the lights come up, revealing that Raz was posing on his desk in front of his fellow interns.
    • The Talking Turtle puppet Oleander is holding in the tutorial level is clearly a puppet version of Mr. Pokeylope.
    • Dr. Loboto is worried that his "tropical vacation" will mean that he has to go on a boat. In the Rhombus of Ruin the battle inside his mind took place on a boat... floating inside a bathtub.
    • Lili says about the Motherlobe the same thing she said about the summer camp: "Nothing ever happens." Raz calls her out on it.
    • Raz once again repeats Sasha's line of "You are my own creation! I command you to stop!" to the Boss of the Casino level. It works just as well as it did in the first game.
    • If you go inside the Aquatodome after helping build it up, Raz notes he likes it more without all the meat, referencing the final level of the first game.
    • The final third of the game shares similarities in structure to the trip to Thorney Towers in the original. Raz must achieve a goal that can only be surmounted with help from adult allies, one of which is a woman with dissociative identity disorder (reminiscent of Fred Bonaparte) and the other who is a man currently being held back by the regrets of the past (who brings to mind Gloria Von Gouton and Edgar Teglee).
    • After the events of the game, using Clairvoyance on Helmut reveals he sees Raz as Eddie Riggs. When returning to his mind in the Collective Unconscious, Raz states he'll remain out of sight and help clean up, just like a roadie. Raz also finds Vision's violin, grabs it by the neck and lifts it over his head triumphantly, where it's struck by lightning. Eddie does the same thing when he finds his axe.
    • In the mental version of Whispering Rock, Raz can collect the figments of Dogen, Bobby, Lili, Clem and Crystal. When climbing Loboto's tower, Raz can collect the figments of Sheegor, Mr. Pokeylope, and the raven who sat at the base of the structure.
    • When visiting the mental version of Whispering Rock, Raz will comment "I haven't been here in ye... days.", referencing the real world 16 years between both games, while in universe the games are mere days apart.
    • In Sasha's lab office, there's a stained glass lamp that Sasha had Raz destroy in his tutorial because it was hideous. Looks like Sasha no longer feels that way to having one in his office. Tellingly, unlike his office in Whispering Rock, his office at HQ is clean and organized.
    • When Raz hops into a canoe, he wonders if there are any sea monsters in the lake, presumably remembering Linda.
    • The Bobby Pin allows you to do Bobby Zilch's little taunting dance when Raz idles. Raz also does it after completing the tennis ball trick in the flea circus in Lucrecia's Lament.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Raz being called "Eggbeater" in the Psychonauts world is one, since the series has always equated "egg" with "brain". In other words, Raz will scramble your brain.
  • Nerf: Levitation was weakened fairly significantly between the two games. It doesn't allow you to jump as high, floating down now has a time limit, and by default you are unable to swap back to the ball after floating, you have to turn on an option to do so. This unfortunately makes it much less versatile than it was in the original game, though by the same token you can no long break the game wide open as it originally allowed you to.
  • Never My Fault:
    • In the sequence leading up to Hollis' Hot Streak, the other interns angrily demand that Raz fix Hollis' mind after he accidentally screws it up and gives her a gambling addiction, and all refuse to do anything to help in the matter. This is despite the fact that Raz only did so because he was goaded into doing it by the other interns, and he has no choice but to do so in order to continue.
    • Norma spends most of the game "investigating" Raz and his family, and she remains smugly confident after She outs Raz and Ford to Truman (actually Gristol), thus ruining their entire plan of stopping Maligula. Even during the postgame, she's hesitant to admit that she was wrong and downplays the damage that her actions had caused, which Raz and Lizzie are quick to call her out on.
  • New Job as the Plot Demands: Ford Cruller is back with at least three new jobs in the Motherlobe. Subverted in that Ford wants to continue working in the bowling alley and also is highly regarded as a stylist. He has no interest in the mailroom, though.
  • New Work, Recycled Graphics: Most of the cast reuse their models from Rhombus of Ruin for most of the game. Sasha downplays this as he changes into a medical uniform when in his lab, Raz has his clothes stolen and cannot be obtained until post-game, while Lili wears her old outfit for a total of about 10 minutes at the start, and changes into different clothes as soon as you see her in the Motherlobe's atrium.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
    • Raz ends up messing up the mind of Hollis Forsythe really bad with the use of Mental Connection.
    • Invoked by Ford, after Raz fixes his mind.
      Ford: I've done a terrible thing. And so have you.
    • The Psychic Six's reckless experiments with the mind was one of the major factors behind the rise of Maligula, which triggered almost everything bad that would happen in all three games.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Gzar Theodore is basically Tsar Nicholas II, except a much worse person.
  • Nostalgia Level: invokedParodied. The mental version of Whispering Rock is a gorgeously rendered recreation of the campfire area from the first game's opening cutscene, which players haven't seen in sixteen years - but Raz doesn't care, because the first game only happened a few days ago.
  • The Notable Numeral: The Psychic Six - Ford Cruller, Otto Mentalis, Compton Boole, Cassie O'Pia, Helmut Fullbear, and Bob Zanotto, the founders of the Psychonauts - are all significant characters in the game. So is Lucrecia Mux, the Unpersoned member from back when they were the Psychic Seven.
  • Not Now, Kiddo: How Hollis Forsythe treats Raz at first, dismissively interrupting his attempts to ask her any questions.
  • Not What It Looks Like: After leaving the mind of the real mole, Raz is caught by the senior Psychonaut agents looking like he just infiltrated the mind of their Grand Head.
  • Obvious Rule Patch: The November 2021 patch changes all Mental Vaults to be immune to Pyrokinesis; presumably because its fully upgraded form could reach the two Mental Vaults in PSI King's Sensorium and allowed Raz to get them both early, both of which containing major plot spoilers for that point in the gamenote .
  • Once Done, Never Forgotten: For the general public — especially for the Aquato Family — it is implied that Maligula's rampage in Grulovia was a catalyst for Fantastic Racism against psychics.
  • One-Time Dungeon: The casino in the physical world is only visited once for a mission in the early-game, and cannot be returned to after said mission concludes. Fortunately, there's no collectables located there.
  • Opening the Sandbox: The game's first act is railroaded and very linear. But once the casino mission elapses and Ford is brought to the Motherlobe, the areas you can go to completely widen up, unlocking two major areas in the physical world with tons of collectables to get and a few sidequests to do, and allowing for the next set of mental worlds to be done in a non-linear order.
  • Overly Long Gag: Riding the funicular takes a long amount of time from it to get from the bottom to the top. Raz remarks that they aren't called fast-iculars. If the player chooses not to get off at the top, Raz begins to wax philosophical about the fun of Funiculars as he rides back down.
  • Palmtree Panic: The "overworld" of "Bob's Bottles" is a series of sandy islands that lie in an ocean of alcohol.
  • Paper People: The NPCs in Cassie O'Pia's mind are all made of paper, including her own archetypes. Raz's Archetype is also a little paper version of him.
  • The Paralyzer: One pin upgrade causes the Mental Connection ability to freeze enemies in place after snagging them.
  • Parting-Words Regret: Lili spends a good part of the story being haunted by this, admitting to Raz that the last thing she told her father before leaving for summer camp was "I hope I never follow in your footsteps," and being worried that she never gets a chance to apologize with Truman having ended up in a coma and seemingly not improving.
  • Personality Powers: Cassie O'Pia believes that a person's "true self" is actually made up of various personas, which is not only reflected within her mental world but also in the power she teaches Raz: Projection, which allows him to summon his own archetype for assistance.
  • Phantasy Spelling: The deposed monarch of Grulovia is the Gzar (instead of czar).
  • Phenotype Stereotype: A fictional example: most Grulovians have a distinctive head shape, with very pronounced cheekbones. It's not discussed in-game, but once you notice it it's possible to predict who will turn out to be Grulovian based on their character design.
  • Photo Mode: Unlocked with Otto-Shot at Otto's Research Facility, which is a bit far from the beginning of the game and then you'll have to purchase filters as items separately.
  • Pineapple Ruins Pizza: In Cassie's mind, Raz encounters a paper knight being in conflict with the paper dragon, the former calling the latter an evil beast that must be vanquished (though making no actual move to attack him), while the dragon just wants to be left alone. Raz tries to defuse the situation by trying to ask what they have in common. Initially, it works, as it turns out that they both love pizza, but when the dragon reveals that he likes pizza with pineapples and ham on one side (and half maidens and cheese on another), the knight reacts in horror and immediately goes back to declaring that the dragon is an evil fiend that must be slain.
  • Playable Epilogue: Unlike the original, the game doesn't stop with the end of the story, allowing Raz to freely explore the world and reach 100% Completion at your leisure. He can also talk to the NPCs who have some new things to say. A good thing, since unlike the original, you can't get 100% Completion without spending some time in the Epilogue. Why? There's a couple of Missing Psychonauts Resources in the Green Needle Gulch area, which you only get access to at the same you lose access to the Motherlobe, Quarry, and Questionable Area. You can collect them before you finish the game, but you can't return them to Norma until you regain access to the Motherlobe post-game. Also, there's a few items in the Motherlobe and other places that require Mental Projection to get, and you don't learn that power until visiting Cassie O'Pea's mind - she's also in the Green Needle Gulch area.
  • Playing with Fire: Pyrokinesis is one the powers Raz starts off with as shown in the new gameplay trailer, and he puts them to good use by igniting the enemies.
    • Lili still loves to set things on fire and cheerfully describes the Doubt enemies as "highly flammable".
  • Point of No Return: Two of them, as opposed to one in the original Psychonauts.
    • After completion of the Wham Episode that is "Tomb of the Sharkophagus", Raz is confined to the area surrounding Green Needle Gulch, with the game giving the player a warning before entering the last of the three of Ford's mental worlds.
    • There's a similar warning once you've completed the mental realm levels for Cassie O'Pea and Bob Zanotto, allowing you to activate the Astrolathe and attempt to re-bury the Maligula persona inside Nona Aquato. Doing so will lock you into the three-level endgame sequence of Lucretia's Lament, Fatherland Follies, and the Boss Battle level, The Deluge of Grulovia.
    • Both are Downplayed, because after the first Point of No Return, the player loses access to the Motherlobe, Quarry, and Questionable Area until the postgame (and thus all the sidequests and collectibles therein), they are still able to utilize the store and access any previous mental worlds via the Collective Unconscious and the Playable Epilogue allows him to clean up anything else afterwards. The second Point of No Return locks out the Collective Unconcious as well (though you can still buy supplies from an OttoMatic machine) until the game is completed and you arrive at the Playable Epilogue.
  • Politically Correct History: Zig-zagged. While the Ambiguous Time Period in the setting is made even more obscure in this game than the first, a developer states that the game is set in The '80s. A same-sex couple would not have been deemed acceptable on a social level, let alone be allowed to marry or hold a high position in a government organization like the Psychonauts, as was the case with Helmut Fullbear and Bob Zanotto. The fact that such a union happened 20 years in the past only drives the nail further. This may be one of the ways the game differs from real-life history, or it may mean that the wedding was only a ceremony among friends and not legally-binding.
  • Posthumous Character:
    • Maligula died 20 years ago. The Mole within the Psychonauts wants to change this. This ends up subverted late in the game. Maligula is in fact Nona Aquato's sealed-off Superpowered Evil Side.
    • Likewise, Helmut Fullbear died in the Battle of Grulovia 20 years ago. This ends up being subverted when it's revealed Helmut isn't actually dead, his brain was recovered and forgotten about until Raz brings it out of Otto's Brainframe.
    • There's a case that turns out perfectly straight: It turns out Maligula/Nona isn't Raz's grandmother, but his great-aunt. Nona's sister Marona is the real mother of Augustus and Raz's true grandma, but she died 20 years ago, drowned by her sister.
    • Theodore Malik, the former Gzar of Grulovia, died before the story began.
  • Production Throwback: The croupier at The Lady Luctopus Casino speaks in the same French and English way that Manny's did in Grim Fandango, another game Tim Schafer worked on. If Kay E. Kuter were still alive, he'd probably have voiced him.
  • Pstandard Psychic Pstance: Raz's version where he puts his finger to his temple returns, both on the cover art and during the cutscenes when he recieves a merit badge. Deconstructed when he recieves his Mental Connection badge in class. The standard cutscene begins to play with Raz doing his epic pose, only to be interrupted by his fellow interns asking him what the hell he's doing.
  • Psychic Powers: Very present in most characters including all the interns in the Psychonauts. Interestingly not all people who work there actually have psychic powers.
  • Punny Name:
    • The Psychonaut Headquarters is called the Motherlobe. Raz actually lampshades how the Psychonauts really like puns in the story trailer.
    • The cult that wants to bring Maligula back are called "Deluginists", or, once by Sasha, "Delugionaries". As in "deluge", "delusional/delusionary", and "legionary".
    • The nurses in "Hollis' Hot Streak" are named Barr, Bell, and Cherry, while her old boss-turned-research-stealing-rival is Dr. Jack Potts: all symbols you might see on a slot machine.
  • Reality Is Out to Lunch: Many of the mental worlds combine otherwise ordinary elements with things like Alien Geometries and other oddities. This is especially true of Loboto's Labyrinth (once it starts to fall apart) and the psychedelia-inspired PSI King's Sensorium.
  • Recycled Soundtrack: The music for the first part of the penultimate level set in a flea circus, "Lucrecia's Lament", is a remix of the Meat Circus track from the first game.
  • Red Herring:
    • Necromancy is introduced as a potential danger to watch out for early on in the game due to it being the subject of study of the Delugionist cult, but it never really gets elaborated upon in any form. Justified, in that Sasha calls it a pseudoscience at best, and Ford actively confirms true magic does not exist in the Psychonauts universe; it is literally a pointless diversion.
    • As early as seeing her on the totem pole in Ford's mind, it's easy to tell that Lucrecia Mux would become Maligula, but the next several minds devote themselves so hard to explain how she got where she is that they help throw off the player from asking the real questions. Namely why people think she can return, if she's not actually dead to begin with, and if she's not where she actually is. All of this is saved for the Wham Episode in the final part of Ford's mind.
  • Retcon:
    • At the end of Rhombus of Ruin, the Psychonauts have rescued Truman and are taking him back to the Motherlobe for medical attention - when a luggage compartment on the jet pops open revealing Dr. Loboto has snuck aboard, ready to cause more trouble. Raz's catch-up narration at the beginning of Psychonauts 2 changes this to indicate Loboto was captured and held by the Psychonauts on the way to the Motherlobe.
    • A minor one is that Raz reminds his father that their circus doesn't have any elephants during a side conversation, although he mentioned that he had to clean after them in the first game.
  • The Reveal:
    • When Hollis Forsythe interned at the Our Lady of Restraint Neurological Hospital she developed a revolutionary method which she presented to her mentor, Dr. Potts. Dr. Potts took credit for this method and had thoughts of sacking Hollis. This compelled Hollis to research and use the power of Mental Connection to rewrite Dr. Potts’s personality. Unfortunately, this resulted in deranging Dr. Potts.
    • Raz’s older sister, Frazie, is a psychic, too, but keeps it secret out of shame.
    • Maligula is the same psychic who is responsible for the Aquato family curse.
    • The Mote of Light/The Psi King is the consciousness of Helmut Fullbear. Ford managed to recover Helmut’s brain, but after shattering his own mind he forgot all about him and Otto entered it into his Hall of Brains as an unknown sample.
    • Lucrecia Mux and Maligula are one and the same.
    • Compton Boole, in his younger days, entered an animal sanctuary to free the creatures. They affectionately clobbered him as a sign of gratitude. Unfortunately, this overwhelmed his senses, and he accidentally vaporized all of the poor things. He was sentenced to jail for this.
    • Ford and Lucrecia/Maligula were romantically involved with each other.
    • A HUGE one: Nona is an amnesiac Lucrecia Mux and Maligula was a persona of hers. And she isn’t Raz’s grandmother. She is his great-aunt. His real grandmother was killed in Maligula’s Great Deluge. One of the Aquato’s family members is a missing member of the Psychic Seven, the Psychic who cursed them, and the one responsible for their motherland’s biggest tragedy. Why and how? Ford used his abilities to suppress the Maligula persona, faked Lucrecia’s death, and incorporated her sister’s (Raz’s real grandmother’s) identity into her. Along with “compelling” Augustus to believe his aunt was his mother. Also, the curse was never real. It was a psychological contingency that Ford implemented in an attempt to keep the Aquato family safe
    • The Green Needle Witch is really Cassie O’Pia; who has been held captive by bees.
      • Also, her backstory. She was abandoned by her parents in Shanghai and worked in a printing press, where she was blackmailed by her boss into creating counterfeit money. In order to escape her circumstances, she wrote a psychological self-help book, ‘Mindswarm’, printed copies with the press’s machines, sold them, and earned enough money to start a new life.
    • Nona was the one who gave Raz the pamphlet for the Whispering Rock summer camp.
    • Another HUGE one. Nick’s brain was inside of Truman Zanotto all along. Only “Nick” was just an alias. He is really Gristol Malik, son of Gzar Theodore Malik, and the rightful heir to the throne of Grulovia. He was the mole all along!!
  • Rule of Three: The various tasks frequently come in groups of three.
    • There are three psychoseismometers scattered through the hub which Raz can find for Gisu.
    • To reach Hollis in the high roller suite of her casino/hospital fusion, Raz has to find three "gazillion" dollars to show he has enough money, and each gazillion is in a different section.
    • Compton's Cook-Off involves three rounds, and then the boss battle involves defeating the three judges.
    • PSI King's brain has three shrines (eye, ear/hand, and nose/mouth) accessed from three parts of the "overworld" (backstage, concessions, and the woods).
    • There are three fragments of Ford's mind which must be brought together to reveal what he knows about Maligula.
    • In Bob's Bottles, Raz has to find and plant three seeds representing people from Bob's past.
    • Cassie's mind involves finding three of her Mental Archetypes. Recruiting the Counterfeiter Archetype again requires you to find three pieces of evidence. Raz isn't even told he needs three pieces of evidence, he just assumes this to be the case.
  • Running Gag:
    • It is routinely lampshaded that the events of the first game and Rhombus of Ruin only happened a few days before the events of this game, feeling like it had been much longer than that.
    • Lili punching Raz in the arm, followed by saying something nice.
    • Several characters make offhand remarks about the size of Raz's head.
  • Ruritania: Grulovia. An ambiguous Eastern European country previously ruled by a "Gzar [sic]", with onion domed roofs and Romani caravans like the Aquato family's. It would almost qualify for Überwald, too, except that it's troubled by psychic powers, not magic. There's also Glorious Mother Russia overtones as well, with the Gzar Theodore standing in for Tsar Nicholas II, and the egg motif being represented by Faberge eggs.
  • Ruthless Rooftops: Strike City, a level that's a mental manifestation of Ford Cruller's persona of a bowling alley attendant, largely takes place on the rooftops of the titular city, which is within a bowling shoe, filled with sentient germs that are facing armageddon in the form of Ford spraying disinfectant into the level.
  • Save the Villain: The Psychonauts, as an organization devoted to promoting mental health, naturally attempts to redeem its villains whenever possible. This goes double for Loboto, who is clearly a victim of circumstance and was brainwashed into doing the Mastermind's bidding while having no malicious intent of his own; and it goes triple for Maligula, who used to be a member of the Psychonauts' founding group, and was driven to madness by her war experience. Even the Mastermind is given some sympathy by Raz when his motivations are fully laid out, though ultimately he proves to be irredeemable and is detained indefinitely by the Psychonauts.
  • Satellite Character: Rokel Malik, the wife of Theodore Malik and the mother of Gristol Malik. Most of her character involves standing by Theodore and Gristol, who have more characterization than she does. It's unknown what she was really like or what happened to her after Theodore's death.
  • Seeing Through Another's Eyes: Raz can use the power of Clairvoyance to do this, in order to gather information, find hidden items and... for fun!
  • Sequel Hook: Though nowhere near as overt as the first game, there are plenty of loose threads left for future adventures.
    • Regarding the Psychonauts. Helmut and Bob are going to go look for Helmut's body, the Delugionist cult is still out there, the Grulovian Secret Police are going to be searching for both Gristol and Lucrecia, and another batch of kids are coming to the Whispering Rocks Summer Camp. Looking at Otto's section of the mural has Raz ponder out loud how he's the only member of the Psychic Seven whose brain he never got around to visit, and adds "maybe someday".
    • Regarding Raz's family. Raz's family chooses to stay in the campgrounds of the Questionable Forest, while Sasha indicates interest in making the psychic members of Raz's family interns. And now that the family stigma on psychics is loosened, Frazie might try developing her psychic powers. Dion and Gisu become romantically interested in each other too.
    • The biggest plot thread left hanging is the mysterious party who hired Loboto to steal Raz's brain in Rhombus of Ruin. Psychonauts 2 gives no hints on who this might be, even within Loboto's mind. Oh, speaking of Loboto, he escaped to go find his kid.
  • Sequence Breaking: PSI King's Mental Vaults are clearly not supposed to be broken on the first visit to his mind, as they reveal major spoilers about his identity (the first) and late-game plot points (the second). You're supposed to use Projection, obtained in the next hub area, to slip through the cage bars and open them from the inside, but the vaults will sometimes wander just close enough to hit with Pyrokinisis from the outside, letting you view them early. The November 2021 patch fixed this by making Mental Vaults immune to PSI powers.
  • Shattered World: The part of Ford's mind that resembles Whispering Rock is fragmented and broken apart. The reason it's broken is because of his own Shattered Sanity. Raz must go into the minds of three of his personalities and gather three mirror shards from them in order to make Cruller's mind whole.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Each one of the founding members of the Psychonauts suffers a post-traumatic stress disorder, according to Tim Schafer. The war in Grulovia took heavy toll on them, giving them severe psychological trauma and ultimately splintered the Psychic Six. Otto is the only one who doesn't show outward signs of the damage.
  • Shout-Out:
    • One of Loboto's memories of "The Rhombus of Ruin" is called "Enhancement Under the Sea".
    • The opening sequence of the game brings to mind Inception: a group capture someone and enter their mental world on a plane, creating the environment within their mind to manipulate them into giving up information.
    • Just before entering Hollis's Hot Streak, the croupier at the roulette table she's playing at rattles off the exact same spiel as the one at Manny's club in Grim Fandango.
    • Anyone who's played Persona 5 might recall Leviathan's Casino of Envy when they play Hollis' Hot Streak, right down to rigging casino games in the player's favor.
    • After winning the Pillchinko game in Hollis' Hot Streak, Raz jokes about how "A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, I guess."
    • PSI King's Sensorium is a deliberate homage to Yellow Submarine.
    • It also contains several references to Double Fine's Brütal Legend also featuring Jack Black:
      • When using Clairvoyance on Helmut after the level, he sees Raz as a smaller Eddie Riggs.
      • The animation when Raz finds Vision's violin is very similar to how Eddie gets his axe.
      • On revisiting the level, Raz will mention how he's just cleaning up, like a roadie.
    • When using Clairvoyance on Milla, she now sees Raz as a confident fellow spy... more specifically, as Austin Powers.
    • One of the mastermind's memory vaults is titled "Glory to Grulovia!".
    • Speaking of the mastermind, their level features a propaganda-themed version of "it's a small world" that calls to mind Journey to the Surface.
    • One brain in the Brain Vault is "Abbie Normal".
      Cause of death: Movie references
    • The name of the Psychonauts' original base "Green Needle Gulch" could be a reference to a viral video of a toy of the Ben 10 alien "Brainstorm", a video containing an audio illusion where the toy announces either "Brainstorm" or "green needle" depending on which phrase the listener is thinking of.
    • In the opening section of the game, when Dr. Loboto elongates the hall, a red line stretches off the end of a profit chart, in a manner very similar to The Stanley Parable Adventure Line.
    • The Astralathe can be translated as "The Lathe of Heaven".
    • The posters in the headquarters of Morris's pirate radio station, KLOB, feature references to various real life musical acts. The logo for "Subconscious" is based on the logo for The Subhumans, and Never Enough Nicks parodies Nine Inch Nails.
    • One of the figments in Cassie's Collection is a book featuring a Turtle Island with four elephants on its back, labeled Pratchett.
    • In the late-game mental world Fatherland Follies, a scene depicting Dr. Loboto replacing Truman Zanotto's brain with Gristol Malik's has a poster near it parodying "The Interpretation of Dreams" by belgian surrealist René Magritte.
    • Using Clairvoyance on the bartender in the Bowling Alley shows Raz as a driver's licence. While the text is hard to make out, close inspection shows it's a Hawaii state ID with the name "McLovin".
    • One achievement is obtained by using telekinesis to grab a judge's gavel and throw it back at them. Its image is Giving Someone the Pointer Finger, and it's called Objection!
  • Shown Their Work:
    • Double Fine brought on a clinical psychologist as a script consultant to make sure they were getting the conditions explored right, and it shows.
    • Lady Luctopus's weak point is her heart, hidden inside her head. The head, or mantle, is where an octopus's heart is located. Hollis' Hot Streak involves three segments that are about restoring Hollis' heart to the right place... inside her head. Octopi have three hearts.
  • Significant Wardrobe Shift: As shown on the box art, Raz is now sporting a Badass Longcoat variation on his original outfit, reflecting his more matured personality as he starts becoming a true Psychonaut. It's actually a hand-me down outfit from Sasha, after Raz runs into some of the older interns at the Motherlobe and they trick him into handing over his Iconic Outfit and locking him into a closet in his underwear, forcing Raz to make his own way out.
    • Sasha, Milla, and Lili also take the chance to change their clothes. Not too surprising considering that they all crashed into the Rhombus of Ruin on their jet in the last game.
  • Snakes Are Sinister:
    • Maligula's favoured form of hydrokinetic attack is shaping water into snakes.
    • Recruiting Cassie's Counterfeiter personality in Cassie's Collection requires finding three pieces of evidence against her boss to give to the cops. The main cop mental figure is represented as a snake and even named "Snake Cop." Sure enough, he quickly reveals himself as a Dirty Cop after you give him the evidence: he's not going to arrest Fanny since she's been paying him, and he plans to use the evidence to "blackmail her for years".
  • Snooty Haute Cuisine: The Big Bad, Gristol Malik, is an aristocrat in exile who loves caviar. Initially, he is content to live within the Lady Lucktopus hotel because they supply him with caviar, but in one memory, when he sees that they have run out, he decides right there to mastermind the plot to revive Maligula and conquer Grulovia, solely so he can reattain his Idle Rich lifestyle and eat endless caviar.
  • So Proud of You: In the post-game, both Sasha and Mila express to Raz how proud they are of him and as far as they are concerned he is full fledged Psychonaut. Raz is overjoyed.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: The final level is one that tells of Gristol's scheme to revive Maligula for his own ends, and his motivations for doing so. Nearly the entire lore of the level is set to a corny theme park musical number. And he even sings along with some of it.
    Grulovia, Grulovia, Ford Cruller murdered you!
    Grulovia, Grulovia, an act he'll rue!
  • Sprint Shoes: The Levitation ability allows Raz to move much faster.
  • Standard Snippet: The music that plays when sailing between the islands in "Bob's Bottles" includes a snippet of "The Drunken Sailor" (appropriate, given that Bob Zanotto is The Alcoholic).
  • Stealth Pun: There's an Easter Egg in Hollis' casino-addicted mind level where throwing a large pen at the "Ward" sign in the Maternity Ward segment plays a bizarre animatic involving Raz becoming a Mr. Seahorse and giving "psychic birth" to Dr. Loboto. It was done by a guest animator, specifically Pendleton Ward.
  • Story-Breaker Power: The Mental Connection ability is taught early in the game, and Raz demonstrates the ability to use it to connect thoughts and radically change Forsythe's inhibitions and biases. However, this is considered a villainous use of psychic abilities and after reversing Forsythe's inadvertent gambling addiction, Raz commits to never violating someone's trust like this again. This also avoids allowing Raz to use a Mind Control type ability that would allow solving the problems in the story too easily.
  • Stupidity Is the Only Option: The only way to advance past Hollis' Classroom is to use Mental Connection to change Forsythe's mind about bringing the interns on the casino mission, specifically connecting "Risk" with "Money" instead of "Death". Raz has misgivings about this from the start and immediately regrets his actions when he sees the fallout. The entire next stage is spent undoing the damage caused by this questionable decision.
  • Super Spit: The "Doubts" are blob monsters which attack by spitting a stream of dark purple goo.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • In the last game, eagle-eyed viewers would have noticed Loboto's claw hand sticking out one of the overhead compartments on the Psychonauts' jet, showing that he'd stowed away on it to escape the exploding base, hinting that he was going to cause trouble for them in this game. The beginning of this game reveals that the Psychonauts found and detained Loboto shortly afterwards without any issue, and are already mid-way through interrogating him on the identity of his mysterious employer. In the cramped confines of a Jet, there's precious few places Loboto could have hidden for long over an extended trip, especially with 6 other people already on it.
    • For that matter, Hollis's reaction to Raz at first. Of course she'd only see him as an intern-level trainee at best instead of a fully fledged Psychonaut; she hasn't heard about what exactly he did to help save the world against the threats Oleander posed in the first game, and neither Sasha, Milla, and Oleander have told her anything in regards to the events of the last 2 games due to how urgent the current matter of Maligula is. And even if she did, Raz is still a child who has a lot to learn about the ins and outs of being a Psychonaut, and no summer camp (or traversal through the Rhombus of Ruin for that matter) is going to cover all of those topics thoroughly enough, even if Raz has more hands on experience compared to most. He may have been given an official Psychonaut badge by Ford, but Ford is well-known to be not of sound mind, so his endorsement holds no official weight. Adding onto that, she'd naturally be suspicious towards him to begin with since of course she would want to know why some random kid she's never seen or heard of arrived at HQ with several highly-ranked agents, the head of the organization, and his daughter. Even if she was willing to make an exception to allow him into the intern program, it still doesn't change the fact that Raz is an inexperienced child who has never been to HQ and doesn't understand what the full-fledged agents deal with on a daily basis.
    • While Augustus has learned the error of his ways regarding his treatment of Raz, and is accepting of both him and his son being psychics, it's immediately made clear that the rest of Raz's family isn't going to get rid of their own prejudices in just a few (In-Universe) days. The fact that they're also understandably upset that Raz ran away from home (with his own mother repeatedly guilt-tripping him about it) doesn't help the situation.
    • As the post-game shows, Lucrecia may be back to her old truly kind self, but her monstrous actions as Maligula are never going to be forgotten and all still feel the ramifications. Many are rather understandably uncomfortable around her and even wonder if she truly has repented, others have full-heartedly forgiven Lucrecia but can't bear to be around her with her past crimes still weighing heavily on their minds, especially Augustus who is still coming to grips with the revelation his aunt, who unknowingly raised him as her son, is a mass murderer of their people, which includes his father and real mother, her sister. Augustus does admit that while he is devastated by the truth, Lucrecia suffered even worse.
    • Raz figures out that the Hand of Galochio is just his innate talent for hydrokinesis subconciously manifesting a physical agent for his hydrophobia and the "Curse of Galochio." However, this doesn't avert Super Drowning Skills as he still doesn't know how to swim after spending all his life afraid that the water was going to kill him. Instead, he uses his hydrokinesis to bring himself to shore to avoid drowning.
  • Sympathy for the Devil: Milla feels increasingly sorry for Dr. Loboto after seeing the extent of the damage to his mind, much of it done by the person who hired him to kidnap the Grand Head.
  • Tactical Rock–Paper–Scissors: Different enemy types have weakness to your various psychic powers. Namely, Censors get stunned by stuff thrown at them with Telekinesis, and Doubts burn very fast with Pyrokinesis (and, with a specific pin, can explode).
  • Take That!: Fatherland Follies is basically "it's a small world", but as an annoying propaganda piece that shows the self-centered psyche of the Big Bad. The player can even find and destroy the gramophones playing the music, to which Raz gives a sigh of relief. Doing so to all the gramophones nets the achievement "Make It Stop!"
  • The Theme Park Version: Almost literally. Due to Gristol's Self-Serving Memory, Fatherland Follies portrays Gzar Theodore as a beloved ruler over a prosperous and happy country when in reality he was a brutal tyrant that made Maligula his Dragon to suppress protests. The Psychonauts showing up to stop Maligula is portrayed as Ford being a treacherous villain who destroyed Grulovia and forced the Gzar's family into hiding.
  • Tie-In Cereal: Invoked. During the "commercial breaks" in "Compton's Cookout", the commercials show boxes of breakfast cereals "Bees!" and "Tincan Crunch", the former a reference to Compton's bee-keeping hobby and the judgmental goat-puppets that represents Forsythe, Ford and Otto that plague his thoughts.
  • Timed Mission: Subverted - The majority of Compton Boole's mind is this, the objective being to create a tasty dish for his goat puppet inner critics. Completing under the time limit gives you access to an optional item; failing to do it in time does not otherwise penalize you, and if you return to Boole's mind via the Brain Tumbler, you'll find the items in the same place, ready to collect. This is necessary since the three items are two Half-a-Brain's and an Emotional Baggage tag, which means sealing them away permanently would block 100% Completion.
  • Time Master: One of the new powers allows Raz to slow down time around an object to make a platforming section, such as jumping on a fast-moving fish or through a spinning fan, easier. It can also be used on enemies to slow them to a crawl, and it's necessary for dealing with Panic Attacks, Judges and Enablers.
  • Tongue-Tied: Dr. Loboto wants to tell Raz the identity of his boss after the events in the Rhombus of Ruin but is mind-raped to prevent him from revealing the truth.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Raz took several over the course of the previous game and manages to get the furthest within the first level. His allies including the experienced Psychonauts Sasha Nein and Camilla Vodello are taken out earlier. This leads to him being the only one who can provide a clue about the plans of Dr. Loboto's mysterious boss.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Seems like bacon isn't just Ford's favorite treat, but a favorite food for Psychonauts in general, since bacon sells out nigh-instantly at the cafeteria, and one of the janitors is so obsessed with it that he sees it everywhere. Ford notes the reason is that the HQ's bacon is prepared with special seasoning and honey.
  • Trap Is the Only Option: Traveling through Loboto's mind, there's a sign saying "Trap" with an arrow to the left. That is, of course, the way you have to go.
  • Trashy Tourist Trap: The Questionable Area is an abandoned roadside attraction located near the Quarry where Psychonauts HQ is located. Because of the massive amount of psitanium deposits in the area, the entire area is home to a lot of unusual paranormal activity (most notably a waterfall that flows upward), and it would eventually be turned into a tourist destination, including a cryptid display in a cave, a playground and the Lumberstack Diner. This location would inspire Ford Cruller (who at the time was a park ranger) to form the Psychic Six, eventually culminating in the formation of the Psychonauts. By the time Raz visits the area, the Questionable Area is (nearly) abandoned and has fallen into disrepair.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: Some levels have short segments where the gameplay mirrors a traditional 2D platformer in the style of Super Mario Bros..
  • Unique Enemy: Loboto's windup teeth and mobster-like "tooth fairies" only appear in his mind, the very first level, as extremely weak tutorial enemies. The game otherwise slowly builds up a roster of recurring enemies over the course of the game, not specific to any one mind apart from the bosses, while the unique denizens of each mind are otherwise non-hostile, or form obstacles which are dealt with through puzzles and fetch quests rather than combat.
  • Unwitting Pawn: While the mole evades detection they manipulate Raz to do tasks that'll lead them to their objective. At one point their mind depicts a puppet show where they make Raz dance on strings they're pulling, with signage calling him stupid.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: The original Psychonauts were more true to their name; pioneering new frontiers in the human mind. Unfortunately, they were so caught up in their work that they experimented on themselves, leading to the mental illnesses they harbor at the beginning of the game. When the Gzar called his Psychonaut agent back to her homeland with some of her mental defenses still compromised, he accidentally pushed her over the edge into madness, and then tried to use her as a superweapon until she went rogue and ruined his empire. Both parties are to blame for creating a mass-murdering psychic psycho - by accident.
  • Use Their Own Weapon Against Them: Raz can disarm Judges of their gavels using Telekinesis and throw them back at them, forcing the Judges to resort to book tossing as an attack before acquiring another gavel. There's even an achievement for doing this.
  • Verbal Backspace:
    • Near the end of the game, when Hollis detects Maligula's return, she says "Jackpot!", but then she remembers what happened at the Lady Luctopus casino and replaces it with "Bull's eye!".
    • If you talk to Hollis at the end of the game, she talks about how the Psychonauts cannot talk about Gristol's arrest to the media because that risks exposing Lucrecia. And since they cannot put him on trial without involving the media, they will have to experiment on him. When Raz expresses shock and asks what she meant by that, she said that she would NEVER say such a thing, she said give Gristol THERAPY. Sasha basically does the same thing; judging by Milla's shocked reaction, she doesn't approve of "experimentation" either.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: As a deliberate inversion to the Black Comedy Animal Cruelty Raz could commit in the first game, here the player can buy a pin from the Otto-Matic that lets Raz use his telekinesis to pet the wildlife found in the Quarry, the Questionable Area and Green Needle Gulch.
  • Villain Song: The final level consists of an amusement park ride that explains the history and motivations of the Big Bad in the positive light of his own bias.
  • Vocal Dissonance:
    • In the Maternity Ward area of Hollis' Hot Streak, there's a baby on the ground that has the voice of a fully grown man.
    • In Bob's mind you can find a mental version of Lili who has a completely incorrect voice because he's only seen her in pictures.
  • Voices Are Mental: Zigzagged. While diving into a mind, they use the voice that is normally their own. However, if a brain is put into another's body (for instance, a loaner brain for Nick Johnsmith), the body will still speak in the voice the body uses. This is one factor explaining how Truman Zanotto can be the host for the traitor without others realizing.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot:
    • The bosses in Compton's Cook-Off use vomit as a weapon against you. Even worse, you need to find the ingredients for the dish Compton's cooking in their vomit.
    • One of the Figments in Bob's Bottles is Bob vomiting a small stream onto the floor after what may have been a particularly bad binge.
  • Wackyland: PSI King's Sensorium is a bright, psychedelic world found within the mind of Helmut Fullbear. Its inhabitants include a band that comprises the five senses and the Psychic Six with various allusions to hippie culture and drugs.
  • Wall Jump: Raz gains the ability to perform the traditional diagonal jump between two walls in this game.
  • War Is Hell: The war in Grulovia took its toll on the populace as well as the Psychonauts' founding members.
  • Was It All a Lie?: This is part of Raz's outrage that Maligula is actually his Nona, who is really his great-aunt brainwashed into assuming the role of her sister as his father's mother, after she had accidentally killed her and suffered a psychotic break. When Raz laments that it's too bad the happy memories he's seeing are false due to hypnotism, Ford counters that no, the happy memories he's seeing are genuine, formed long after the hypnotism. It's in being reminded that there is sincere history, even built on a lie, that motivates him to be more sympathetic.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: Whenever Raz is close to water, he is in danger of being dragged to his death because of the curse that was put on his family. Too bad that the villain that The Mole wants to bring back from the dead is well known for their Hydrokinesis powers.
  • Welcome to Corneria: If you take too long to move things forward, nearby NPCs will repeat the last thing they said, often when you're taking time to explore and gather collectibles. It gets especially bad if you're struggling in combat and the NPCs won't stop giving you the same hint.
  • Wham Episode:
    • The Tomb of the Sharkophagus level simultaneously interweaves and recontextualizes threads from the Aquato family’s history, the Psychic Seven’s histories, and the Great Deluge of Grulovia. (See The Reveal listings above.)
    • The Fatherland Follies as it reveals who Nick really is and his role in the main conflict. (See The Reveal listings above.)
  • Wham Line:
    • At the end of Cruller's Correspondance:
      Lucy is dead. She is never coming back.
    • In the Tomb of the Sharkophagus, one of the first lines before the level loads lets you know things are never going to be the same after this point.
      Ford: (His mind recently fixed) Razputin...
      Raz: Agent Cruller! How do you feel?
      Ford: I've done a terrible thing. And so have you.
      Raz: But... we just wanted to undo what Maligula did to you.
      Ford: Maligula didn't do this to me. That's the first thing I've learned in here. The rest... you're gonna have to see for yourself.
    • When players start to understand exactly what really happened to Maligula even as Raz himself struggles to understand Ford's vague hints as to the Awful Truth.
      Ford: (Referring to two skeletons Raz has stumbled across in his mental landscape) That's your grandparents, Lazlo and Marona. They drowned in the Valermo Dam Disaster, remember?
      Raz: (Audibly terrified) What? No. Grandpa Lazlo died, but grandma made it out and came to live with my father!
      Ford: No, Raz. She didn't.
      Raz: Ford, I just saw her today.
      Ford: No. You didn't.
    • In "Ford's Follicles", after getting rid of a batch of mites that just so happened to be carrying around little signs, explaining Ford's horror at your previous "accident" killing these "mites" and why they don't talk about the seventh member of the psychic six.
      "What have you done? Those were peaceful protestors Lucy."
  • What's a Henway?: When Raz gets into the bowling alley, he can see Coach Oleander sitting alone at the table to the side of him. When Raz asks him about Sam, since Coach is supposed to be Sam's mentor, Coach responds that he sent her to get some nunya.
    Raz: What's "nunya"?
    Coach: None ya business!
  • What the Hell, Player?:
    • If Raz attacks deer or rabbits, he'll admit he has no idea what he was thinking of when he did that.
    • If the player decides to Smelling Salts themselves out of the Very Definitely Final Dungeon, Ford will be extremely upset and chew them out.
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: The exact location of the Motherlobe is never made clear, but the pine forest with old mines, goats, and a kitschy lumberjack-themed tourist trap, plus the first game specifically noting that one camper is Canadian, suggest it's in the Pacific Northwest of the United States.
  • Womb Level: As if to pick up where the Meat Circus left off, the very first level, Loboto's Labyrinth (a mental office developed by Sasha that in being corrupted by Loboto's real mind), quickly turns into a dental-themed realm of meat, featuring things like teeth and gums bursting through the walls, veins and capillaries growing like scrubgrass, a conference table that slowly turns into a long, snaking tongue, and pools of saliva.
  • Won't Take "Yes" for an Answer: When getting the subquest from Gisu, Raz quickly accepts the mission even before the promise of extra credit. Gisu was all ready for resistance before realizing he said yes.
  • World of Symbolism: As per the previous game, the primary levels are these, each one suited to one of the different minds Razputin jumps into.
    • Loboto's Labyrinth represents the mad doctor's strange fixation on dental procedures, as well as the mental defenses he's constructed to protect himself. It's also merged with a mental construction that the Psychonauts are using to try and get him to lower his defenses, resulting in a Womb Level mixed with generic office furniture and wacked out dental instruments.
    • Hollis' Hospital and Hollis' Hot Streak represent the orderly inner mind of Hollis, and its descent into gambling-fueled chaos following Raz's interventions with Mental Connection respectively. It also ends up revealing how Hollis really felt about her time at the hospital, viewing different medical procedures as rigged games of chance. Only by defeating the Luctopus construct, made of the MONEY and RISK ideas that Hollis thought of earlier, can the damage be undone.
    • Compton's Cookoff represents the issues he faces with anxiety and letting people down. Due to his Power Incontinence, Compton feels anxiety about being judged for his every action, which creates a strange Cooking Show environment inside his mind. Live, sentient ingredients fill the audience and the judges are literal sock puppets of his allies Hollis, Ford, Otto, and Truman, each one admonishing him for his failures and harshly judging him. Raz slowly rebuilds Compton's confidence throughout the level, which causes him to remove the sock puppets after realizing they aren't representative of the people he really knows in the outside world. The level also has a time limit, adding to the pressure of trying to cook a dish perfectly before the time runs out. However, the time limit doesn't matter and only determines if you get a minor reward in the level or not. Almost like the judgement Compton feels is all in his head...
    • Psi King's Sensorium represents the reawakening senses of a long-dormant Brain in a Jar. It's a trippy, psychedelic environment where every sight pops with colour and all the sounds are vibrant and melodious. The plot follows the Psi King and his frontman Vision Putting the Band Back Together, with each member of the band standing in for one of the Psychic Six. As more and more of the Psi King's senses reawaken, he slowly rebuilds his personality and awakens long-dormant memories, culminating in his full revival as one of the Psychic Six- the missing Helmut Fullbear- and destroying his traumatic fear of Maligula for good.
    • Each of Ford's minds represent a different stage of his love for Lucrecia.
      • Strike City represents Ford's love for Lucrecia when they first met and the positives of a relationship with her, marred by the damage she would eventually do as Maligula. In particular, Ford and Lucrecia's first date at a bowling alley informs most of this memory, as it takes place in some dirty, germ-filled bowling shoes. These shoes have a germ-populated cityscape within them, which becomes the stage the rest of the level takes place on. The city becomes a town on the edge of an Apocalypse How towards the end, due to real-world Bowler!Ford spraying the shoes down with disinfectant, which might be a metaphor for the Deluge of Grulovia. Ford is an enormous bowling pin in this mental world, towering over the city as the strongest and most positive memory he can recall of his Lost Lenore. Entering into it plays a metaphorical representation of their First Kiss.
      • Cruller's Correspondence represents Ford's position as the leader of the Psychonauts clashing with his love for Lucrecia and the monster she became. The world is a swirling vortex of unsorted mail, twisting around a gigantic robotic Ford who endlessly sorts letters. Ford felt like he needed to harden himself in order to become the head of the Psychonauts, but his latent love for Lucrecia seeps through in a single love letter that Raz must escort around the level to prevent it from being discarded forever. This letter represents the in-universe correspondence between Ford and Lucrecia as the Grulovian Civil War increased in intensity, and his failing to tell her how he really felt about her.
      • Ford's Follicles represents his traumatic experience of the Deluge of Grulovia- specifically, his memory of watching the love of his life perform a Face–Heel Turn that ended with thousands dead. This is mixed up with his "barber" persona's focus on hair to recreate the capital city of Grulovia in someone's scalp. The waves of water that washed the city away become giant wisps of hair, while the protestors that Maligula slew represent lice being drowned in Hydrocide. All the while, Ford can only watch in horror from his position as an observer, embodied in his stationary position as a sapient lighthouse.
      • Tomb of the Sharkophagus is kept simple: it merely represents Ford's worst personal failing. This mistake was his inability to kill Lucrecia, and his decision to instead brainwash her and Raz's father Augustus into thinking they're mother and son instead of aunt and nephew, to keep them both safe - and to stop Maligula from resurfacing. The world takes place in a series of graves that Raz must descend down, ending in Maligula's casket, which is empty.
    • Bob's Bottles represents the Addled Addict that Bob Zanotto has become. Following a series of tragedies, Bob has retreated from the world and become a full-on alcoholic, and as such his mental world is a series of islands surrounded by a sea of alcohol. All plant life that Bob tries to grow is dead, so Raz decides to prowl the sea for seeds representing the people he knew to help Bob remember his past. Raz pries open large bottles of alcohol scattered around the island and descends into the memories they represent that Bob wants to forget, both good and bad- his mother and her own struggle with addiction and eventual death, his founding of the Motherlobe and his firing at the hands of his own nephew, and his marriage to Helmut and his death at the hands of Maligula. All the while, Raz is pursued by an annoying moth that represents addiction and alcoholism, pleading with Bob to stop trying to search for happiness at risk of hurting himself and instead keep himself sheltered and safe. The climax sees Raz fight mutated constructs of those three memories, helping Bob with realizing that he can't shelter himself anymore, and that the people who hurt him in the past didn't do so on purpose. The level ends with Bob taking a moth-shaped mask off and greeting Raz with a handshake, showing that he's ready to love again.
    • Cassie's Collection is a stuffy library filled with hundreds of books. In here, Cassie's split personality disorder has manifested itself into four distinct archetypes that each embody a different time in Cassie's life. Unfortunately, one archetype, the Librarian, has assumed too much control and is causing Cassie to be held prisoner in her own mind. Raz traces the history of Cassie through the level, diving into books representing important parts of her life to find her archetypes and enlist them in helping to take down the Librarian. Each archetype only embodies a small fraction of the real Cassie's personality, but the Librarian wants to become the dominant archetype because Cassie fears being hurt by the outside world again, similar to Bob. The level ends with Raz defeating the librarian and allowing Cassie to accept all aspects of herself once again, symbolized by the two-dimensional archetypes reassembling into the three-dimensional Cassie.
    • Lucrecia's Lament is special due to being, essentially, four levels in one. The first layer of her mind is a flea circus parody of the Flying Aquatos, with corny calliope music and a dark void surrounding it. This layer is purposely cheap and concocted by Ford to keep Lucrecia busy with her thoughts as the "Nona" personality. The second layer is a world of quilt and knitting that represents the real memories she built as Nona, complete with the genuine love she has for her family. The third layer is the remnants of Lucrecia's mind, a world literally made of Mental Baggage. Its most prominent feature is a massive dam threatening to burst, only held back by a locket containing a picture of Marona and Lucrecia each. This dam is a metaphor for both the Varlemo Dam disaster that killed Marona and thousands of Grulovian citizens, and Maligula herself threatening to literally burst forth to the surface. The final layer represents the inner mind of the Maligula personality in her height of power, with a ruined and flooded capital city of Grulovia as the backdrop for her Final Battle.
    • Fatherland Follies is a sendup to the famous Disneyland ride of "it's a small world", but as a propagandistic piece of fabrication for Gristol Malik. The world is a barren, vacant place, with the only feature being a linear theme-park ride representing Malik's warped view of his family's role as both dictators and the creators of Maligula. It paints him as a vain, impetuous and downright moronic individual who can only think of himself, shallow to the point of having no mental constructs other than servants who staff the ride for him. He even paints his father as a traitor for "abandoning" Maligula during her time of need and his current life in exile as tragic, despite Maligula being an Omnicidal Maniac who was about to kill his family before they fled the state and his place of living currently being a penthouse apartment in a Five Star hotel. It also doubles as exposition for his Evil Plan, but shows that he was one step away from being caught by others. If it wasn't for being an expert at being Beneath Notice, he would have been caught years ago. He's so pathetic that his "boss fight", if one could call it that, is Raz summoning Lili who promptly beats the stuffing out of him. That's right- the wannabe dictator gets beaten by a little girl. Returning to Fatherland Follies after the finale will have Raz commenting that Gristol is pathetically clinging to the delusion. The ride operator is bored, noting the boss isn't around and doesn't care.
  • Writers Cannot Do Math: The timescale of the events of this game can be a bit weird. The Deluge of Grulovia canonically occurred 20 years before the game, as the player is frequently reminded. But Raz's father is a boy of anywhere between slightly-older-than-toddler to a pre-teen when Maligula was instated as his 'mother'. Even if one charitably assumes he was about Raz's age of 10 at the time, then he was definitely a teen parent to have had Dion, Frazie and Raz within 10 years (allowing Raz to be 10 in time for the series' events). Not to mention, the Psychic Six were all middle-aged at worst and are now very old people, and Gristol appears middle-aged but was a young child at the time of the Deluge. A time gap of 30 or 40 years would have been more plausible.
  • You Are Not Alone: Ford tells themselves this as they stand with Razputin to prepare to face Their Greatest Second Chance to seal Maligula in Lucrecia's subconscious.
    Ford: I think we made MANY mistakes... but now we're gonna face them. I couldn't before. I was young, scared, and alone. Now, I'm only one of those things.
    Raz looks to the side in confusion and starts counting off his fingers
  • You Have Researched Breathing: There are a number of cosmetic pins that can do stuff Raz should be able to do naturally. Namely, one allows him to do his Victory Dance as an Idle Animation, and other allows him to use Telekinesis to pet animals.
  • Your Mind Makes It Real: Besides the obvious, it is revealed that this is the true nature of Raz's family curse. Ford gave Lucrecia an unnatural fear of water to prevent Maligula from resurfacing, who passed it down to Augustus and then Raz himself.
  • Zero-Effort Boss:
    • Maligula's shadow in the PSI King's Sensorium is closer to a Cutscene Boss and not a threat at all since Helmut and his band manage to keep her under control with their Time Bubble, leaving Raz with the easy job of simply smacking her around.
    • A more story-central example is Gristol, the Mastermind himself, whose 'fight' merely consists of using Time Stop to allow Lili to enter the room and beat him unconscious with a stuffed doll of her father. Admittedly, the doll was holding a real, metal case, so it was more akin to a flail, but the grown man lost a fight to an 11-year-old girl armed with a stuffed doll. Inside his own mind, no less. Lili didn't even use any psychic powers on him!
    • The final phase of the Final Boss is a hand to hand duel between Maligula and Raz as Goggalor. You have to actively try to lose, since you don't have to worry about health, and the objective, pushing Maligula into the pit behind her, is very easy if you spam attacks.


Flea Circus

The Flea Circus is the part of Lucy's mind that Ford created to suppress her real personality.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (9 votes)

Example of:

Main / CircusEpisode

Media sources: