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Video Game / Slender: The Arrival

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"Hide in your room."

Slender: The Arrival is the sequel to the immensely popular Slender. The game is even more bleak and horrifying than the original. The game begins with the Silent Protagonist Lauren, visiting her friend Kate after receiving a collection of increasingly disturbing letters. But when she makes it to Kate's house, she finds nothing but scattered furniture. She finds a key to unlock Kate's room, only to discover that the room is completely covered with drawings of Slender Man and a broken window. She picks up a page and suddenly hears a long-drawn out scream from the woods, prompting Lauren to grab the flashlight and video camera and search for Kate. The chase is now on.

It features 8 new stages (Prologue, The Eight Pages, Into the Abyss, The Flashback, Memories, Homestead, Escape, and The Arrival - the ninth, Genesis, is a remake of the original) of pants-ruining horror.

The game was first released on March 26th 2013 for PC and Mac, before being eventually ported for consoles. Ten years later, on July 27th 2023, a new update that promises a complete overhaul of the game's visuals and effects, along with porting the game from Unity to Unreal Engine 5 and some new content, was announced and is set to release on October 18th 2023.

Furthermore, a new game was announced on the same day: S The Lost Chapters. How or if this title ties into Slender: The Arrival is still unknown, however.

Slender: The Arrival contains several examples of:

  • Abandoned Area: The game has seven:
    • Kate's house in the prologue.
      • The burnt down house near the construction site in the same area.
    • Oakside Park in Chapter 2.
    • Kullman Mines in Chapter 3.
    • The Matheson farm in Chapter 7.
    • The station at the end.
    • The park in Chapter 9.
      • Essentially, Kate (and later Lauren) was the only person living in the woods.
  • Apocalyptic Log: Potentially the entire game, if we consider the game to be a recording on the camera that the Player Character is carrying. All the game is shown from the camera's point of view, rather than the Player Character's.
  • Arbitrary Weapon Range: You can't stun the Chaser with the flashlight's focus setting when they're too close.
  • Artificial Brilliance: The Slender Man is less prone to getting stuck on trees, teleporting off to the side when he does, and tends to block off possible exits. And if you hide, he'll walk towards you as fast as you run.
  • Being Watched: Slender Man and in one case (actually four cases) his proxy lurk in every level. Either one of them.
  • Darker and Edgier:
    • It's not like the original game was all sunshine and flowers, but the sequel/remake removes many of the goofier elements that some players may have found to be Nightmare Retardant. Slender Man's model no longer resembles a blow-up doll, some of the more bizarre structures have been replaced with realistic ones, and the environments feel more like places you would expect for people to actually visit.
    • Not to mention the ending. Oh God, the ending...
  • Developer's Foresight:
    • In Chapter 4: The Flashblack it's possible to get out of the path, reaching the end of the map and falling. An extra message from Slender Man will appear, and he'll catch you. A message directed at you, the player.
    • You can activate a debug mode that, among other things, lets you gain invincibility. If you try and use it in the secret chapter, the debug mode will ask you why do you want to do that, and won't let you.
    • Though if you get too close to Slender Man with God Mode on, you'll hear the Scare Chord and he'll... stare at you. Menacingly. And you can't move or do anything at that point; the only option is to disable god mode and lose.
  • Diegetic Interface:
  • Downer Ending:
    • The Arrival strongly implies that the only way for Slender Man to lose would be for everyone who knows him... to die. It's made worse if you count the proxies, which are definitely not dying any time soon.
    • Made worse by the hard mode ending which implies the chance that the player character lived.
    • In the Steam version's ending, Lauren is taken to a burned down building (implied to be Charlie Matheson Senior's house), where she finds Kate crying in a corner. Once the protagonist approaches, she turns into her proxy self and jumps towards the player. The camera then cuts to the sight of Lauren's body being dragged away.
  • Easier Than Easy: On easy mode, you have Infinite Flashlight power, a great deal of physical stamina, and not-so-aggressive enemies to worry about, allowing you to complete the main campaign in less than 20 minutes in some cases.
  • Easter Egg:
    • One of the rooms in the house has a poster which is an image from Subsistence, one of the games being developed by Blue Isle Studios.
    • In the Easter update, you could literally find Easter eggs hidden around the levels.
  • Foregone Conclusion: The flashback scene in Chapter 4. You know that Kate has been captured by the Slender Man, so you obviously can't win. Similarly, Memories is a very, very brief flashback to show what happened to Charlie, which you encounter mere moments before entering the level he is most prominent in. Naturally, you can't survive, and the whole level is a demonstration as to how utterly terrifying the Slender Man can truly be.
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: As evidenced by the following quote, Slenderman always knows what you're doing in the game, including when you glitch through the map:
  • First-Person Ghost: Subverted, as you can see your shadow on certain angles. You can also see your hand holding the flashlight.
  • Foreshadowing: Wander around enough in the prologue and you'll find an abandoned wooden house. Inside there will be a deformed monster and approaching him will give you a Jump Scare. It is later revealed that said monster is Charlie Matheson Junior, one of the Slender Man's most recent victims. He chases you throughout the Homestead level and ultimately attacks you and brings you back to the house at the end of The Arrival.
  • Gainax Ending: The final cutscene raises more questions than it answers. The extended ending in the updated version released on Steam fixes this somewhat, though the question still remains as to what exactly happened. Looking at the actual model used for the Chaser/Kate, which has been ported to Garry's Mod and the Source Filmmaker, reveals that the legs seen getting dragged off match hers exactly; however, the context and Jump Scare makes it much more likely that Laura was the one being killed and dragged away, and using Kate's leg model was used to save time.
  • Harder Than Hard: On hardcore mode, your flashlight power completely runs out in no more than two minutes. You have barely any physical stamina at all, and your enemies are ultra-aggressive. To make matters worse, the third level also makes you collect gas canisters before activating the generators, causing you to die countless times before completing even a single level.
  • Hell Is That Noise:
    • The distorted screams heard throughout the game can easily frighten you if you aren't paying any attention to your surroundings.
    • At the beginning of each level, you hear footsteps that aren't your own, but you never see the entity making the aforementioned noises in the first place.
    • The ominous drumming, low droning, loud wind, and mysterious and unnerving beeping sounds from the original game all make return appearances in the second level, and if you haven't already gotten used to them, they'll most certainly frighten you again once you hear them in all their terrifying glory.
    • The "Chaser" (aka Kate) constantly makes zombie-like growling and hissing noises that can make your skin crawl if you aren't ready for her to come after you.
  • Hollywood Darkness: You can see fairly well with the flashlight off.
  • Hope Spot: You are told throughout the game that the radio tower is a safe place for some reason. And, of course, The Eight Pages's ending returns... twice, in a degraded form in the level of the same name, and in the remake level "Genesis."
  • Infinite Flashlight: On easy mode, no matter how long it takes you to complete a given level, your flashlight can absolutely never run out of power.
  • Interface Screw:
    • The Slender Man causes the screen to distort whenever he goes near you, because the whole game takes place from the perspective of a camera, which Slender Man is known for fucking with. Also, you cannot pause when there is static on screen; this feature was implemented to prevent Jump Scare rage quitting.
    • If you leave the game running without doing anything for too long, the screen will start to become increasingly distorted, as though Slenderman were stalking you, even in areas where he normally doesn't appear. This eventually leads to a game over, though it takes more than 20 minutes of non-activity for this to happen.
  • Jump Scare:
    • A new visual distortion is the appearance of visual grain and RGB-splitting (accompanied by discoloration to make it appear purple and green, not red and green) in addition to a fish-eye sort of look.
    • If you roam around in the woods at the prologue, you can find a broken, abandoned wooden house. If you go into it, you'll see a deformed, shirtless creature twitching violently as it stares at the wall. If you walk towards it, it'll turn around suddenly and flash images of the same blue creature that you might remember seeing at the final level of the game. Turns out they're the same thing, as said 'blue creature' appears repeatedly, in the Homestead level while walking on a cornfield on a way to the generator and chapel, inside the chapel after picking the toys, and walking down into the first floor of the house for the final chase, The Arrival when the player reaches the radio tower and gets the key which is indicated by a sound in the background, approaches the player after the recording, and make contact with it in a burnt house portion of the level where they are forced to collect the last two collectibles, and brings the images with it. It is confirmed that the figure was named Charlie which is a child that was captured by Slender Man in the woods and later on became a proxy or a servant of him.
    • The Chaser in the "Into The Abyss" level has a habit of running up behind you whilst you're not paying attention and tackling you, leading to a close up on her deformed mask as she attacks you. Averted if you manage to see or hear her coming.
  • Kaizo Trap:
    • The Chaser can catch you when you use the lift in the mine.
    • It's also possible to fall through the floor to your death when getting off at the top (an example for this is Into the Abyss level when the elevator reaches the top but the player steps on some of its sides). When they heard the landing sound once this situation happens, the game will still display the Slender Man game over screen just like when he captures you. Going out of the map on the said location will make the same screen appear but with the message "Not even a bug in this game can save you from me." The Steam release even has an achievement for this.
    • When Carl Ross crouches to drop a camera and finishes the Homestead level, there is a chance that Charlie will still kill the player. This happens when they are slow and not using the Sprint button.
  • The Lost Woods: Present in the Prologue, once things start getting dark. Also found in chapter 2, 5 and 9.
  • No Fair Cheating: Glitching through the map triggers Slenderman's Snowy Screen of Death, and to add insult to injury, Slenderman has this to say:
  • No OSHA Compliance: So, if there's a sudden power outage in your mine, the emergency protocol is to wander around in the dark looking for six generators hidden in remote corners of the mine, so that you can power the emergency lift and escape? Seems safe enough.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: Slender Man's schtick, of course, though he sometimes teleports into your view or while you're looking at him. In the mines, the Chaser can also abruptly go from one area of the map to another in a way that should be physically impossible, but it does it much less than Slender Man does, and in a way that's not supposed to be noticeable. Charlie does this too, though he also simply runs.
  • The Reveal: A collectible in Homestead heavily implies, if not outright states, that one: The Mathesons and Hayes (Charlie and Kate's families, respectively) were friends, and two: They both were being watched by the Slender Man for a very, very long time.
  • Rogue Protagonist: The Chaser turns out to be Kate, the protagonist of the original Slender game, after being captured and transformed into a Proxy by the Slenderman.
  • Room Full of Crazy: Kate's room is filled with drawings of Slender Man all over the walls.
  • Scenery Porn: The outdoor scenery is spectacular to look at.
  • Scenic-Tour Level:
    • The opening to The Arrival has the Player Character, well, arrive at Kate's property. Thanks to a tree fallen into the road, the player gets out of their car and must walk to Kate's house on foot, while the opening credits appear. It is late afternoon on an autumn forest trail, and is actually kind of pleasant. However, as the player nears the house, the sun goes down quickly, almost unnaturally so, setting an creepy tone by the time they reach the Ominously Open Front Door...
    • Similarly, the Flashback level begins with a nice, sunny trip across a mountainside. The music's nice, too. Everything after, however, not so much.
  • Schizophrenic Difficulty: "The Eight Pages", which is the first action chapter, is also one of the most challenging chapters. Chapter 3 is much more straightforward as your enemy is much more predictable and the area is more enclosed and thus easier to map, and Chapter 4 is both small, simple, and cannot be failed (or, rather, cannot be won) Chapter 5 is similarly unwinnable, and its only challenge is finding it in the first place, as it is hidden. Chapter 6 is ludicrously frustrating, as several items you need to progress are hidden/change places every time you play, and it's extremely dark. Then the difficulty goes completely insane in Chapter 7. Naturally, Chapter 8 is as easy as the game it's remaking, which means it's hard as shit.
  • The Scream:
    • Kate lets one loose at the end of the house level in The Arrival, once you reach her room and pick up a drawing of Slender Man.
    • CR also lets out a horrifying, distorted one at the end of his camera recording.
    • The end of Memories features multiple from Charlie and his parents, the former of which has been grabbed by the Slender Man's many tentacles. As they cover the screen, a heavily distorted, blood-curdling scream can be heard.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: CR is shown to be dead, burned alive in the hopes that it will stop Slender Man from "spreading". Kate has become a proxy, and, by the end, has either murdered her best friend or been killed herself, depending on who the shared leg model is meant to represent. The boy from the missing poster at the start is shown to have turned into a monster, and Slender Man is still going strong.
  • Shout-Out: One of the silhouettes in the intro looks like Gollum.
    • The credits also list Sollux Captor as having worked on the game.
  • Silent Protagonist: Justified. Lauren has no-one else to talk to, but you get to hear her thoughts.
  • Take That!: There's a reference to the twenty dollars meme on the last level, which the creators of Marble Hornets (the writers of the Arrival) are sick of.
  • Ten-Second Flashlight: On hardcore mode, your flashlight completely runs out of power in no more than two minutes while playing through a given level.
  • Unwinnable by Design: Chapter 4. Similarly, Chapter 5, which is a bonus level that shows what happened to Charlie... and is complete and utter Nightmare Fuel.