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Video Game / The Black Rose

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Once you go through that door, you'll never leave.
The Black Rose is a short freeware horror game made in Unity by a group of students at a Swedish game design school Futuregames, with the final version released on July 13th, 2019. Due to its short size, even example names can reveal significant plot details, so be wary of spoilers.
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The player takes on the role of an unnamed character who becomes infatuated with a woman at a party, who suddenly walks away and leaves only a letter inviting him to the titular diner. Once inside, however, he quickly finds the diner essentially empty, yet is unable to leave through the front door. Going to the fire exit, however, returns him where he started, but with progressively degrading changes, much like the corridor in the "Playable Teaser" of the cancelled Silent Hills.

Not to be confused with an earlier freeware 3D horror game, Black Rose. It is also unrelated to the 1992 pinball machine and a steampunk webcomic of the same name.

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Tropes present in this game:

  • Arc Words: Does she know? These words appear in a note early on, and are then all over the once-bare concrete walls of the fire escape corridor in the second-final loop, and appear to be written in dried blood as well. It clearly seems to refer to the player's adultery.
  • Book-Ends: The game begins with the player entering the diner and finding it empty, save for a man slumped over the bar counter in deep sleep. In the subsequent loop, this man is shown standing in a dark corner while shaking and sighing creepily, and then suddenly disappears as the lights go out, and is nowhere to be seen in the subsequent loops. Then, the last loop has the player sit down before the counter and fall asleep in the same place as the man did, meaning it was you all along. Moreover, it's implied that the man shaking in front of the painting before disappearing is what actually happens to you when you get caught by the spirit from the painting.
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  • Censor Shadow: The female ghost that emerges from the painting on the penultimate loop is completely naked, but the corpse-grey skin tone, dried blood from the chest wound and the general darkness of the diner all mean there isn't much to look at.
  • Creepy Changing Painting: At the halfway point of the corridor, there's a murky black-and-white painting of a figure at the end of the corridor. With each subsequent loop, the figure in the painting gets closer to the frame, until the picture is practically a close-up of the clearly undead woman inside who manifests physically in the diner once you adjust that painting again.
  • Death by Sex: The ending reveals that you were the other man in the diner all along, and also implies that the scene where that man stands in place and shakes and sighs before disappearing is what happens to you when the ghost from the painting catches you and places her arms on your shoulders.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: Getting caught by the undead woman who invited you to the diner (and who may have been your victim in the past) in the second-last loop simply sends you to the front door at the start of that loop, which is less than a minute away from you would have died.
  • Featureless Protagonist: Played with. At first, you do not see anything of the player, although it's implied they are male. The ending, however, reveals that you are the same guy you find sleeping as you enter the diner.
  • First-Person Ghost: Played straight. When you use the lighter, you do not even see your own hands holding it - it just floats in midair.
  • Infinite Flashlight: After the first loop, the player picks up a lighter and uses it as a flashlight. It'll never be in danger of running out.
  • Locked Door: There are several doors in the diner, but all of them are always locked, with the only exception being the fire exit door, which sends you to the next iteration of the loop.
    • In the second-final loop, even the fire exit door is locked at first. It is also the iteration where the woman finally emerges from the painting, and will immediately try to grab you unless you turn off your lighter. The trick, then, is to reach the fire escape door with your lighter unlit, then turn it on to attract her attention, and then click at the door when she's practically next to you, as it'll only budge at the last second.
  • Unnaturally Looping Location: The entire diner is such a loop, where going through the fire exit door deposits you right where you started when you walked through the front entrance.
  • Villain Protagonist: The player is clearly implied to be an adulterer, and it is possible that he murdered the woman who is now stalking him through the painting, and so The Black Rose is now his personal hell.
  • Yandere: Whatever happened in the past between the protagonist and the woman who invited you to the diner and who manifests through the diner's painting, her current intentions fall into this category. One of the post-it notes you find simply asks "Stay with me", and getting caught by her in a second-final loop does not actually show the player hurt: the animation has her place her arms on your shoulders and smile creepily. It's implied that the earlier scene where the man later revealed to be the player stands in the corner, fully-closed, and sighs and shakes before disappearing is the sort of ghostly "sex" that immediately follows getting caught.
  • Your Cheating Heart: It's implied that your protagonist is an adulterer with notes like one that sarcastically asks you "Working" late again?, which chimes with the note from the intro setting the time for the date at 19:00. Moreover, getting caught by the spirit from the painting flashes up a question "Was she the only one?" before the loop resets.

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