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Video Game / Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened

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Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened is a point and click adventure game developed by Frogwares which features Holmes and Watson investigating a mystery involving the Cthulhu Mythos. It was originally released in 2006, with an Updated Re-release arriving in 2008.

On July 28, 2022, a remake was announced which would be reworked as a sequel to Sherlock Holmes Chapter One. A Kickstarter campaign was also launched to secure the game's funds for the final production. The game was released on April 11, 2023.

These games provides examples of the following:

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    Tropes first introduced in the 2006 version 
  • A Foggy Day in London Town: Watson mentions the fog at the beginning of the game.
  • Apocalyptic Log: Some of the notes you find have a definite air of this, as befits the subject matter.
  • Asshole Victim: Gygax in both versions. In the original, Gygax is attacked by an escaping Moriarty, and later takes cyanide following a police investigation of the asylum. In the 2023 version, Gygax is killed by the talking doll's owner, or possibly the doll itself if it's alive (see Creepy Doll for more).
  • Batman Gambit: Holmes uses one on Watson to fool the enemy, not quite trusting Watson's acting ability.
  • Bedlam House: The Black Edelweiss, where it's implied that they just bash the patients over the head and fill them up with sedatives.
  • The Big Easy: One of the main locations in the game.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: The first of Frogwares' Sherlock Holmes games to be rated M, it features considerable blood and gore.
  • Body Horror: The first corpse you find has been cut up and had large parasites implanted inside. Which then pop out and crawl around for a bit.
  • Call-Back: A couple to the previous game in the series, Sherlock Holmes: Secret of the Silver Earring, including a newspaper article that goes some way to resolving the dangling plot thread/Red Herring of the actress's missing red wig, and a large sign for Bromsby & Co. appearing on the side of one of the warehouses at the London Docks location.
  • Cosmic Horror Story: Possibly occurring in the original, and pushed much more in the 2023 version.
  • Creepy Doll: One in the asylum. In the 2023 version, it even moves and acts in an animated way during conversation, though it is unclear if this version is a puppet or not.
  • Cult: The ultimate villains of the story are an eldritch monster worshiping cult.
  • Dirty Cop: Grubb and his men, since they are part of a multi country human trafficking ring. Goes further in the 2023 version and its DLC, showing just how dirty Grubb is to the locals.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Arsène Lupin turns up in a couple of newspaper articles; he's the main antagonist of the next game in the series.
  • Foreshadowing: An article buried in the newspaper you get early on mentions priceless jewels stolen by a thief who leaves a calling card with the initials "AL", a preview of the next game in the series.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: Done to the people kidnapped by the cult. In the 2023 version, it nearly happens to Sherlock Holmes himself.
  • The Greatest Story Never Told: Watson did not write a book about this adventure. Holmes clarifies that this is because they want to keep the knowledge of the (potentially) supernatural occurrences out of the wrong hands.
    • The remake keeps this part of the ending but changes the reason to be that Holmes believing that trying to publish a tale so fantastical would ruin both their professional reputations beyond repair.
  • The Great Flood: The cult's endgame in both versions is causing a world ending flood and renewing it for their chosen old one.
  • Guide Dang It!: You are occasionally asked to type in the answer to a question to proceed. While the clues to the answer ARE found within the game, how they fit together can be rather obtuse.
  • Hooker with a Heart of Gold: Lucy, who works in the New Orleans whorehouse.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: While in New Orleans, Holmes and Watson help to rescue a local hunter captured by a cannibalistic cultist.
  • Mad Scientist: Dr. Gygax has been cutting out parts of patients' brains, leaving only the parts necessary to recite ritual incantations. Research notes reveal detailed testing on humans and mimicking birds to find those exact parts.
  • Master of Disguise: One of Holmes's many talents on display.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: It's never definitively determined if the supernatural stuffs in the game are real or not, such as the ritual to summon Cthulhu and the part where Holmes knocks out a person with a sigil and incantation.
    • Although there is a chance that it could be possible real based on the fact that a lot of mysterious and unexplained things that happen in the game as well, like the time a statue was used to summon a Deadly Book, and Barnes going back after reading said book.
  • Mistaken for Gay: It's not exactly an honest mistake, but the Madam of the New Orleans brothel suggests that Holmes and Watson, being together, are not entirely out of options if they can't afford the services offered at her establishment.
  • Pirate Booty: Sherlock receives a book on lost pirate treasure near the beginning of the game. He later uses a hidden passage detailed within to enter a locked lighthouse, remarking on how poorly hidden it was.
  • Sequel Hook: Holmes mentions at the end that freeing Moriarty from the Black Edelweiss would have consequences despite The End of the World as We Know It being averted; this comes to pass a few installments down the line.
  • The Sheriff: Sheriff Grubb in Louisiana, obviously.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Small-Town Tyrant: Sheriff Grubb was implied to be this in the first game, but it's pushed in the 2023 version as he's introduced shaking down Watson after seeing right through his disguise. The DLC also adds a side case that shows his behavior towards Sherlock and Watson also extends to the local community.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change You chase a thief that's stolen your luggage in New Orleans. A definite change from deliberately-paced investigation.
  • Tome of Eldritch Lore: As usual for a work in which Cthulhu is involved, you find one of these kinds of books.
  • The Watson: The original appears, and is playable at some points.

    Tropes introduced in the 2023 version 
  • Adaptational Angst Upgrade: Sherlock Holmes and John Watson themselves. Sherlock's family history of mental illness and Watson's trauma from the war are now central parts of their characters and arcs.
  • Adaptation Deviation: Along with changes made to work in the new Chapter One continuity, there are several changes made through the game. Some minor characters and segments are Adapted Out, some are changed (such as Champagne and the bartender now being women), and new segments replacing old ones to give Watson more to do or lean more into the horror elements.
  • Adaptation Distillation: A few less important characters are removed, like the head of the boathouse brothel. A lot of the original puzzles are just flat out gone now, some replaced with new puzzles or segments, or some simply removed. This includes the chase segment from Louisiana. That said...
  • Adaptation Expansion: ...there are additional side cases (including as DLC), more character beats for Holmes and Watson, and larger maps to explore.
  • Adaptation Personality Change: The game original characters are about how you remember them, even the ones who had gender swaps, but Holmes and Watson are now younger versions of themselves and have slightly different personalities as a result. This also applies to Lord Rochester, who we see more of in the final moments of the game, and possibly Ashmat, who's final journal entry suggests he was more aware of himself while under the cult's influence, and aware how horrific his suicide added in this version was.
  • Ambiguous Ending: It seems to be implied some of what happened in the final chapter, towards the end, was Sherlock dreaming, but it is unclear how much of it was a dream and how much happened if this is the case. Watson's mentioning of events he wrote down suggest that the entire encounter with Lord Rochester could have potentially been a dream.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: Earned from doing side quests and the scoring system. See Scoring Points further down.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Invoked constantly by Lord Rochester towards Sherlock, using his obsession with truth and knowledge against him and forcing him to admit uncomfortable things.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Mycrofyt is in this version, being a jerk as usual, but still giving the duo the last piece of info they need, seeming to understand as well as Watson that Sherlock needs to end this case to find any rest.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The cult is stopped, and Watson and Sherlock survived. However, Sherlock is still deeply affected by what he saw, with Watson taking care of him and medicating him to help him sleep.
  • Break the Haughty: Sherlock just can't catch a break in the Chapter One continuity. Having his understanding of truth challenged by eldrich insanity does a number on him.
  • Break Them by Talking: The encounter with Lord Rochester is him doing this to Sherlock. He's even successful at it.
  • Brutal Honesty: Sherlock can give some to Barnes in chapter one. It actually helps him out later if you chose that option. Lord Rochester might also be using this when Sherlock faces him, if the eldrich elements of the story are actually magical.
  • But Thou Must!: Happens twice through the game. In the swamp, you have to pick up the eldrich book to proceed. You also have to select honest dialog options in the final encounter with Lord Rochester, or you have to redo the segment.
  • Company Cross References: Beyond references to other Sherlock Holmes games, you can also dress Holmes in wear from The Sinking City, complete with reference flavor text. Fitting for this entry in particular.
  • Compressed Adaptation: The asylum's second half is notably shaved down in this version, replacing Sherlock's later shenanigans with Watson learning more about Gygax's activities to help Sherlock. On top of that, the patients in the basement area are now no longer voiced or have roles as puzzle givers, instead deciding to give a quicker pace to the chapter as Sherlock meets with The Light of the Abyss for a different, more intense scene.
  • Darker and Edgier: Compared to the original game, the overall tone is more grim, as is the new story elements dealing with Sherlock's family history of mental illness from Chapter One.
  • Death by Adaptation: Possibly Gygax. While the male Gygax from the first game kills himself offscreen to avoid being charged for his crimes, the female version in this game has her corpse found.
  • Determinator: The angle for this continuity's Sherlock, his obsession with knowing the truth and solving problems pushing him deep in a very dangerous case.
  • Diegetic Soundtrack Usage: Played With in the swamp as Sherlock can hear the drums in the segment's back track while Watson can't.
  • Double-Meaning Title: The title of the game might now not just be referring to the cultists, but also Sherlock himself, "awakened" by forbidden knowledge and awareness, depending on how you interpret the ending.
  • Driven to Suicide: Ashmat, the manservant from Louisiana, is now no longer guarding the lighthouse, but can be found dead outside of it, having killed himself. He also has a key to the underground area, changing the puzzles of this segment significantly.
  • Eldritch Location: Sherlock occasionally has to go through some sort of old ones realm, which have odd rules, like only being able to progress by jumping into the abyss.
  • Foreshadowing: There are paintings you can find around the world that Sherlock reacts negatively to. They're paintings of the eldrich realm he might be visiting or hallucinating. They also increase in number, appear in unexpected places, and Watson can see them as well, suggesting he may be affected by what is affecting Sherlock.
  • Giant Wall of Watery Doom: The game ends with Sherlock reaching out to one to learn the truth behind it. It is unclear how he got away, or if this really happened and wasn't simply part of his dream he wakes up from in the next scene.
  • Heroic BSoD: Sherlock does not handle being in the space of (or imagining) the old ones well. He's always a barely functional mess by the time Watson finds him.
  • Informed Deformity: When Mycroft shows up, Sherlock makes several cracks about his growing obesity. A trait that fits his description in the novels, but not the game's character model.
  • Interface Screw: During the segments in the old ones realm, using concentration on something will cause an extra bit of info to come up, which turns out to be written in old ones language.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Lord Rochester says that this has happened before, with a different him and a different Sherlock when you encounter him at the end of the game.
  • Lobotomy: In this version, Gygax did this or something similar to the former head of the Black Edelweiss, leaving them without any short term or long term memory.
  • Mythology Gag: A new one referencing the last episode of the BBC show, The Final Problem. That phrase is spoken directly as some of Lord Rochester's final lines to Sherlock.
  • Please, Don't Leave Me: During the segments in the old ones realm, Sherlock will sometimes cry out for Watson. He also does this in the caves in the final chapter.
  • The Power of Friendship: The bond between Sherlock Holmes and John Watson is much more important in this version, Sherlock even says so himself by revealing to Lord Rochester that Watson is the reason his plans have failed.
  • The Promise: Sherlock asks Watson to promise to take charge if his mental state reaches the brink, reflecting on his mother's mental deterioration. It comes into play towards the end of the game, which helps Sherlock regain sanity and finish the case.
  • Reality Is Out to Lunch: Sherlock's trips to the old ones realm. Also counts for what happens when he encounters the Light of the Abyss in this version, the long speech traded for the guru seemingly invading his mind.
  • Scoring Points: This version added a scoring system, giving extra points for completing tasks like answering mind palace questions in one try, alongside general progression. Unlocks concept art, models, and clothes.
  • Sequel Hook: Lupin retains the nods he had before, including the paper mentioning someone named "A.L" giving the police trouble. There's also the side case from Mycroft heavily implied to be related to Moriarty's schemes. Both suggest they may remake their respective games in the future.
  • Sidequest: This version uses some of the design from Chapter One, including smaller cases you can do on the side. The majority of them are DLC, but there are a few in the base game.
  • Survivor Guilt: Watson suffers from this, as soldiers had him escape a losing battle to help more people as a doctor while they lost their lives. Also comes up in a DLC side case in Louisiana, with a man who saw his brother's murder at the hands of Sheriff Grubb, leading to him running from the scene.
  • These Are Things Man Was Not Meant to Know: During the swamp chapter, when Sherlock is investigating a cavern used by the cult, he comes across a book. Trying to pick it up results in an unknown voice telling you to leave it be, giving warning about its forbidden knowledge.
  • Took a Level in Smartass: Watson gets a lot snarkier the further the game goes as he gets more used to the situation.
    Watson: Oh, I get it - we need fresh blood! And no I'm not volunteering.