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Video Game / Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin

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"And you know it's TOO LATE! To stop what you're doing, You can't break a date, With the Rhombus of Ruin!"
Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin trailer song

Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin is a 2017 virtual reality look and click Adventure Game developed by Double Fine Productions. The game is a new part of the Psychonauts series, set in between the original 2005 game and the upcoming Psychonauts 2. It was released on February 21st, 2017.

It picks up immediately after the first game left off, concerning the kidnapping of Truman Zanotto (Grand Head of the Psychonauts, and Lili's father).


This game provides examples of:

  • Abandoned Laboratory: The Psychonauts facility in the Rhombus of Ruin has been abandoned for years.
  • A God Am I: Using Clairvoyance on a whale immediately goes to Raz's head, as he immediately starts comparing himself to Poseidon.
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Lili used to view her father as this, as he would use the camp's jet to come and visit her until she told him to stop.
  • Ascended Fanboy: Raz goes from reading about the Psychonauts in True Psychic Tales magazine to rescuing the organization's head.
  • Astral Projection: Raz spends most of the game projecting his mind out into others as he strapped down.
  • The Bermuda Triangle: The eponymous Rhombus is a pastiche on the legend. Here it's a cover story by the Psychonauts organization but it does have dangerous trapping properties because of a massive Psyrillium deposit that clouds the minds of anyone unprotected that comes near. Somehow even land vehicles such as a train and school bus ended up there as well.
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  • Big Bad: Doctor Loboto, who has apparently survived his fall from the previous game.
  • Body Horror: Burning through the giant monstrous Loboto's shower-cap reveals that his brain is exposed!
  • Body Surf: Downplayed with general gameplay being Raz successively switching POV using clairvoyance on line-of-sight targets and channeling his other psychic powers through them.
  • Bus Full of Innocents: Milla's Psilirium hallucination involves thinking she's on a bus full of orphans that's stalled on the train tracks, and she has to use her telekinesis to stop the train from running them over.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Crab Sandwiches (a live crab between two slices of bread) are advertised on the back of comic books, and come into play later as food for a hungry guard.
  • Continuity Nod: Raz mentions at one point that he has experience with sorting baggage, though at least these bags aren't crying. He also names a bull Edgar, after a bull-obsessed painter from the first game.
  • Dragon Ascendant: Doctor Loboto goes from an Evil Genius working for Oleander to a Big Bad in his own right, who was hired by an unknown individual.
  • Family Eye Resemblance: Loboto apparently got his mismatched eye colors from his mom, who had red eyes, and his dad, who had green.
  • Fantastic Racism: Loboto's parents found out that he was born a psychic, and had him lobotomized as a result.
  • First Contact: According to Milla, Sasha's obsession is aliens, and he hopes to use psychic powers to encounter them. When under Psylirium poisoning, he hallucinates that Loboto's minions are aliens.
  • Flying Saucer: You can find Sasha Nein in a UFO under analysis by Loboto's minions, convinced that he is talking to aliens while under Psylirium poisoning. When Raz manages to snap him out of it, he reveals that it is actually a cheap reproduction of a spaceship used to confuse and panic foreign countries during the Nuclear Arms-Race. The ocean floor is apparently full of them.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • The fact that Oleander's Psylirium poisoning is unaffected by the loud dance music isn't due to "a mental-echo chamber for the Psylirium waves". He's just Not Brainwashed.
    • The Underwater Base is populated by Fish People, and contains dentist chairs that prisoners are strapped to. Both of these tie into The Dragon of the previous game, Doctor Loboto.
  • Genre Shift: The original Psychonauts was a collect-a-thon action-driven 3D platformer. This new game is a first-person adventure experience involving interacting with items and solving puzzles to advance the story, and the player is stationary, and granted the ability to move between the perspectives of characters to see the environment.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Someone wanted Truman Zanotto kidnapped, as well as Raz's brain, but their identity is never revealed.
  • Harmless Freezing: a crab is frozen solid in a freezer, but seems no worse for the wear once thawed out.
  • Homage: The plane crash transitions into an opening credits sequence that wouldn't be out of place in a James Bond film.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Subverted. Raz returns Loboto's moral compass in his mind and offers a chance to make up for his actions, and Loboto seems to take it, telling his minions to release the prisoners and bring them to his location... Only to immediately activate the self-destruct and abandon ship.
  • Immobile Player Character: Raz spends the whole game tied up in the villain's secret lair, and must use Clairvoyance to hop from mind-to-mind in order to find his friends and save the day.
  • It's Up to You: Despite the presence of three qualified Psychonauts (and Lili, who might as well be one), it's up to Raz to save the day. Justified by his training, which makes it harder for him to be affected by the Psylirium than the others.
  • Immediate Sequel: Happens moments after the cliffhanger ending of Psychonauts.
  • Kryptonite Factor: Psilirium, a rare yellow rock similar to Psitanium that is disorienting for psychics.
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: the Psilirium causes this effect on the other Psychonauts, so Milla sees herself trapped on a bus full of orphans with a train heading their way, and Sasha sees himself making first contact with extraterrestrials.
  • Meet the In-Laws: Part of the ending when much to Truman's surprise, Lili introduced him to Raz as her boyfriend.
  • Musical Nod: The level theme from Milla's mind in Psychonauts is heard at one point when breaking her out of her Psylirium-induced hallucination.
  • Musical Trigger: Raz snaps the rest of the group (except Coach Oleander, who apparently really was having an impromptu concert) out of Psyrillium-induced hallucinations by playing familiar music to them on nearby objects.
  • My Friends... and Zoidberg: Raz repeatedly has to remind himself to include Coach Oleander in his list of people to rescue.
  • Not So Different:
  • Oh, Crap!: Oleander comes to a horrible realization when Raz fills him in on the situation and realizes who the only person who can be behind genetically engineered fishmen is. Unfortunately, his warning comes too late to save Raz from a face to face encounter with Dr. Loboto.
  • Psychic Block Defense: Raz's Training from Hell gives him the ability to resist Psilirium better than others.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Truman's captors, who use technology similar to see-and-say toys and hide comic books inside of textbooks.
  • Redemption Rejection: Raz returns Loboto's moral compass in his mind and offers a chance to make up for his misdeeds. Loboto seems to take it, telling his minions to release the prisoners and bring them to his location... Only to immediately activate the self-destruct and abandon ship.
  • Sequel Hook: Multiple, as this help set up for the events of Psychonauts 2:
    • The mysterious mastermind Loboto mentioned hired him to kidnap Truman and try to steal Raz's brain, adding to Augustus' claim about the Aquatos having many enemies.
    • Raz's new relationship with Lili, daughter of the Psychonauts' Leader, who Raz now works for, is bound to make things somewhat awkward.
    • Raz is heading to Psychonauts HQ, the setting of Psychonauts 2.
    • In a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment at the tail end of the game, Loboto's claw pokes out from one of the overhead compartments in the jet, revealing that he's a stowaway, and will more than likely show up again in the next game.
  • Ship Tease: As the plane is about to crash, Sasha says he has something to tell Milla...and they're seen grasping for each other's hands during the opening credits. Unlike with Raz and Lili, it isn't resolved whether or not Sasha and Milla are also a couple.
  • A Taste of Power: Raz has full access to his psychic powers in the tutorial, but starting with when he projects himself into Truman Zanotto's mind he can only use Psi-Poke and Clairvoyance, due to the Psilirium dampening his powers. To get full use of his abilities back, Raz has to save his team-mates so they can lend him their psychic energy.
  • Through the Eyes of Madness: Clairvoyance lets Raz do this. The ending reveals that playing as him also counts as no one else can see the water curse that supposedly haunts him.
  • Tragic Villain: According to his memories, Loboto's parents didn't love him because he was born with psychic powers. His madness is the result of a botched lobotomy his parents made him take as a child to remove his psychic abilities.
  • Underwater Base: Truman Zanotto is being held captive in an underwater lair, where the Psychonauts' jet crash-lands after the very first level of the game.
  • Unreliable Narrator: We get backstory on Doctor Loboto once entering his head, but how much of it is accurate is unclear.
  • Upper-Class Twit: Implied with Loboto's parents. They're clearly upper-class due to his father's job as a doctor and are highly prejudiced against Psychics. The one positive memory Loboto has of them as a baby even proves that they're classist as Loboto's mother jokes that he might become a dentist when he grows up to which his father responds with snooty laughter and a "God forbid."
  • Villain: Exit, Stage Left: Loboto escapes the facility after activating the self-destruct.
  • World Building: Part of the game is helping to build and expand the world of Psychonauts.

Video Example(s):


Dr. Loboto

Loboto sets the self-destruct to his secret lair and makes a run for it.

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Example of:

Main / VillainExitStageLeft

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Main / VillainExitStageLeft