Little brother? Are you really here?
I am trapped. I can't get out. Have you come to help me?
A web game developed by Armor Games, Sequester follows the tale of a young boy as he journeys through his twisted dreamscape to help his dead sister cross over to the afterlife.
Along the way, he must brave dangerous traps, vengeful spirits, and the eldritch nature of the dream world itself.
Can be played on the Armor Games site here.
Sequester contains the following tropes:
- Alien Geometries: Each section of the dream world is essentially a hollow cube, and each screen represents a face of that cube. The results soon get really screwy, especially since you can still see all of those other faces in the background, in their geometrically correct location.
- When a face is rotated, its pools of water are rotated along with it, so you'll enter completely vertical waterlines.
- Arc Words: The starting point of each level past a few early ones will always bear a single quote from your sister's life inscribed in the background, whether said by her or by someone else, like her mother.
- Bittersweet Ending: Your sister is finally free to move on, as it wasn't just her memories that kept her in that purgatory, but also your character's blind love for her and unwillingness to let her move on, which went so far that he stopped speaking once he found out about her death.
- Black Bug Room: Rooms 4-1 to 5:1 represent various stages of this. Your sister outright responds to 4-3 with "I don't want to remember this! I buried it!" in a panicked voice.
- Subverted again in 5:2, as she finally says "There's nowhere else to go! Did I do it? Like, dump off all my baggage?". In the next level, she reacts with "It feels like my life got tangled up with someone else's". It turns out that The last levels now represent your character's attachment to his sister, and subconscious unwillingness to let her move on, which is overcome by plunging into the lava within the dream.
- Black Humor:
- The narration by your sister is full of this for the first few levels after the prologue.Mom and Dad planned a surprise birthday party for me, but...I never turned up. They always used to chew me out for being late for things. I would find it kind of funny if I wasn't dead.
- On the next few screens:My boyfriend was supposed to get me to the party right? But we hit traffic. Literally. I died instantly. He cracked a rib. That was just like him, you know? So insensitive.
- I kind of remember how my last gasp tasted. Like...Blood and breath mints.
- I have been here for a year since the accident. So why are you here? Are you dead too? I doubt it, since you look as pretty as ever. Are you visiting?
- The narration by your sister is full of this for the first few levels after the prologue.
- Convection, Schmonvection: There are lava pits in some levels, which kill instantly on contact, but don't affect you, nor anything else at a distance.
- Death Is Cheap: In the actual game, dying to the spikes or other hazards simply respawns you in your bed at the start of each room, which is at most 3 screens from where you died. It'll reset the puzzles too, of course, but this may occasionally be to your benefit.
- Death Is the Only Option: Not really death, since it's all a dream for your character, but you have to plunge into the lava at the end of 5:6, as this "death" in the Dream world is the only thing that'll let her go to the afterlife.
- Dream Land:
- Each section of the world is this...for you. The little brother you are controlling starts each level from his bed, and will even yawn if you leave him idle. Getting killed simply respawns him at that bed at the start of the level. For your sister, however, this place is a Mental World, and soon an outright Black Bug Room.
- Subverted again when the last few levels first get your sister confused with "I've run out of memories, whose is this", and then slowly build up to a Wham Line, when the text colour changes from white to black, and the words are "please", "don't", "go", and finally "you're my sister" on the level 5:6, showing that it's what the brother is saying.
- Flash of Pain: The brother will flash red whenever he hits the spikes or something else that kills him, and then the entire screen is immediately wiped with red as the room is reset.
- Hard Light: Many levels have barriers of such light on them, which can be yellow, green, cerulean or purple. There'll be switches that'll turn the "hard" part off, and only leave the normal light so that you don't get lost. Most levels expect you turn it all off to reach the exit, though it'll often require you to turn some of the earlier switches back on in order to reach the later ones, before turning those off as well. One level actually requires you to leave a purple switch running by the end, as the door has no floor before it without the hard light.
- Heroic Mime: The protagonist. It is actually part of the plot, as he literally lost speech after the death of his sister.
- Idle Animation: Since the game "awakens" the little brother into the dream world, his idle animation is yawning, complete with a sound. This can happen even if you simply left him still to listen to what his sister is saying.
- Ironic Echo: 4:3 has two arc quotes, and both are an echo of the preceding ones. First, "Kiss your father goodbye, honey" in a Call-Back to "Put Apples in the ground and say goodbye" in the previous . The second, "Mummy, but we don't touch dead things" is your sister repeating what your mother said when she found her embracing the dead rabbit.
- Lava Pit: Present and lethal. See Convection, Schmonvection above. However, they are relatively rare and not much of a hazard. Not until 5:6, when you have to fall into one to progress into the Epilogue.
- Macro Zone: Levels 4:4 and 5:2-5:4 are much larger than the levels before and after; they still take up the same part of the screen, but the protagonist is far smaller, and there are far more steps to go through. Those levels typically few of the conventional obstacles like spikes and ghosts, and are instead dominated by the large diagonals in their design, which block off the obvious paths, and force really creative movement.
- Mental World: The majority of the levels are those of your sister. By 5:2, however, she reacts with "There's nowhere else to go! Did I do it? Like, dump off all my baggage?" Then, it turns out that it crosses into the mental world of her brother/your protagonist, as he subconsciously doesn't want to leave her.
- Missing Dad: Level 4:3 reveals that your sister's father died early in her childhood, and that you are actually her stepbrother.
- No Name Given: Since the dead sister is the narrator, she only ever calls the protagonist her little brother, and thus you never find out his name. She also has no reason to name herself to her brother, and so this trope applies to her as well. Until level 5:6, which has "FAITH" in the background, soon after the "you're my sister" message, implying that's what her name was.
- Our Ghosts Are Different: Vengeful ones stalk our protagonist if they see him.
- Our Souls Are Different: Here, the peaceful souls appear as vaguely rectangular oily blots with little in the way of a defined shape. The evil ghosts look more humanoid.
- Spikes of Doom: Present from the second room onwards. Luckily, they don't kill you if only touch their sides, which is necessary when they are placed horizontally relative to your location.
- Super Not-Drowning Skills: You can get completely submerged in the water, and it'll do nothing. Justified since you are in a dream. In fact, going underwater makes you invisible to the ghosts.
- Wham Line: "You're my sister", which was preceded by "please", "don't" and "go" for the previous few levels, showing that those levels were from your protagonist's dream.
- Followed with "Did you wonder why he never spoke?"
- When It Rains, It Pours: The whole dream world is a place of constant rain, dark clouds, and the frequent lighting. The epilogue, in contrast, is the only part of the game that's free of rain and thunder, and it is also much easier than what you just went through.
- World Shapes: Each level in the dream space is shaped like a cube. When you go off one edge of the cube, you appear on the other face that forms that edge. Which leads to...
- Wrap Around: A rather convoluted example, given the above.