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Video Game / The Boogie Man

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The third installment of Uri's Strange Men Series, set in the same world as The Crooked Man and The Sand Man and followed by The Hanged Man. Uri also created Paranoiac and Mermaid Swamp.

Hardboiled Detective Keith Baring has been having problems with his wife, Helena. In an attempt to fix things, he takes her on a tour to Livingstone Castle in England, hosted by castle owner Brendon Dumont. Along the way, he meets David Hoover, Sophie Grundler, and several others. However, the tour is soon hijacked by the Boogie Man, who forces Keith into a Deadly Game. Keith must traverse the castle in order to save the other tourists from their grisly fates, and the life of Helena is on the line as well...

You can download the English version here.


The Boogie Man contains examples of:

  • Ambiguous Situation: At one point, Keith splits up for a while from David to investigate a dark area. Then, during this lone journey, David accidentally appears behind him and keeps following like a party member normally would. Then, when Keith finally reunites with the real David, there are two Davids yet neither Keith nor the real David seem to notice this during the cutscene. That other David eventually disappears after said cutscene and is never mentioned. It might be an indication that Keith's mind isn't completely right throughout the game.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: At certain points in the game, the player briefly controls Sophie and David. Sophie's scenario is crucial to the story as it portrays the Boogie Man completely different to what Keith has seen. It's also confirmed in the Happy End that this Boogie Man is different than the one she encountered in The Sand Man.
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  • All There in the Manual: According to the character bios unlocked after completing the game, the reason why Paul and Marion (whom were originally going to go on the trip with David and Shirley instead of Sophie and Richard) didn't end up going was because David challenged Paul to a chili dog contest and Paul ended up getting gastritis as a result.
  • Antagonist Title: The Boogie Man is the main antagonist.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: The Boogie Man likes goading his victims this way, and in one of the Bad Endings finds one that gets to Keith: "Who took away the stairs?"
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: David and Shirley. David told Keith that he usually loses to her when they "fight". Deconstructed in one of the bad endings when their brief argument distract them long enough for Helena (who's been broken by Keith's death) to commit suicide.
  • Berserk Button: The Boogie Man does this to multiple characters using the information he has about them.
    • He causes Mr. Grundler to become even more upset after Sophie goes missing by mentioning his now dead wife.
    • He enrages David by mentioning his now dead mother.
  • Big Bad: The titular Boogie Man is the one who hijacks the tour of Livingstone Castle to force Keith into a Deadly Game where he must explore the castle to save the other tourists from various Death Traps. However, this Boogie Man is actually Brendon Dumont, the castle owner and host of the tour, who is pretending to be the real Boogie Man.
  • Big Damn Heroes: It's heavily implied that the Sand Man intervenes to save Sophie from the dog pack.
  • Break Them by Talking: The Boogie Man just loves to talk, forcing Keith and his other victims to listen to his various little speeches. He also has a habit of deliberately striking a raw nerve or somebody's Berserk Button.
  • Call-Back:
    • David and Sophie return in this game.
    • Also, in the Good Ending, Sophie recalls her encounter with the Boogie Man while she was hiding in a closet. It turns out to be important as Sophie describes the real Boogie Man’s touch to be cold while the touch of the Boogie Man here is warm... like a human’s.
  • Contralto of Danger: Shirley speaks with deep voice tone to emulate her tough personality, in contrast with Sophie, a teenager, and Helena, an older young woman with soft voice.
  • Death Trap: One of the Boogie Man's preferred methods of playing with Keith: sticking a hostage or two in one of these and giving him a chance to try and rescue them. Complete with a few Red Herrings meant to distract from the real solution long enough for something unfortunate to occur...
  • Dull Surprise: The voice acting lacks emotion at times.
  • Foreshadowing: When Sophie meets the Boogie Man, his voice is more quiet and reserved than when Keith talks to him. A hint that Keith's not quite right in the head.
  • Grief-Induced Split: Keith and Helena suffer the loss of their five-year-old son Tod before the events of the game. Helena moves to divorce Keith, feeling that he hasn't been able to accept their son's death because he's spent so much time taking care of her.
  • Happily Married: David and Shirley.
    • Helena and Keith seem to be this. However, within the first part of the game, she reveals that she wants to divorce him.
  • Irony: Due to the events of The Crooked Man, it is revealed that Keith distrusts David and believes him to be a madman. Which is pretty interesting, considered that David already made peace with his shortcomings in the first game, while Keith is slowly becoming mad himself.
  • Kill It with Fire: The nature of the Boogie Man's trap for David and Shirley.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Just before the Final Boss fight against him in the Happy End route, the Boogie Man says this:
    Can you beat this final boss, and take back your beloved wife?
  • Loser Son of Loser Dad: The Boogie Man gives a Breaking Speech to David of this nature, implying that he'll end up abandoning Shirley much like his father ditched his mother.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Shirley is emotionally tougher than her husband David (who is more shown to be sensitive guy when you compare him to Keith's manly man). Keith also said to David that Shirley is a tough woman.
  • Mood Whiplash: Very noticeable in Bad End 4. Right after Keith's death, the scene switches to Helena waking up in bed with a very alive Keith. Only for it to whip back as Keith tells her to wake up again, revealing that his death did happen. Then it goes softer again with Shirley having a heart-to-heart with Helena, before getting into a petty argument with David - and a fourth whiplash as Helena throws herself out the window.
  • Multiple Endings: There are five, based on who you are able to save and whether or not you activate all the necessary events.
    • Bad End 1: The Boogie's Fine Tonight. Sophie and David are both dead. Keith finds Helena's dead body and realizes that he, accidentally, caused her death and kills the Boogie Man in a fit of rage. After being interrogated by the police, he heads outside, but tells the Boogie Man to come out - which he does. The Boogie Man reveals himself to be Keith, who proceeds to commit suicide.
    • Bad End 2: The White Room. Sophie is dead, but David is alive. The stairs in the hallway are collapsing and Keith pushes David out of the way, but falls himself. He cannot find any of the others and, according to the police, no witnesses are around. Keith heads into his son's room and begins to hallucinate Tod being there, asking when Helena will come back. Keith joins his son, both waiting for Helena to return...
    • Bad End 3: Precious Box. Sophie lives, but David dies. Keith defeats the Boogie Man and throws him off a balcony, killing him. Keith and Helena go through with their divorce, but meet up for a nice dinner to talk a week later. At night, Keith kills Helena and lays her on the bed, lamenting that he wasn't able to protect either her or Tod. Keith goes into the bathroom to commit suicide.
    • Bad End 4: Happy Dream. Sophie and David are both alive, but none of the Happy End events have been triggered. Keith defeats the Boogie Man, but gets killed in the process. Helena sits at a window, having dreamt that Keith was alive, only for reality to pull her back - with Shirley and David there to support her. While the two get into an argument, Helena throws herself out of the window.
    • Happy End: Come Rain, Come Shine. Sophie and David are both alive and all the Happy End events must be done. Keith mocks the Boogie Man and defeats him, revealing him to have been Brendon all along. Brendon injures Keith, just as the others arrive. Brendon is restrained and taken into custody, the others give testimony to the events. Keith and Helena head to Tod's grave and Keith vows to get therapy, to better himself and asks Helena for her support. Which she gladly gives.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: In the worst of the bad endings, Keith unintentionally kills his own wife by pulling a lever connected to a collapsable staircase while she's on it.
  • Outliving One's Offspring: Keith and Helena's son died before the main story.
  • Paparazzi: Keith is one of their favorite targets, since they're able to paint him as a dangerously obsessive cop who doesn't care who gets hurt by his antics.
    • Lance denies being one of these, but is more than willing to sell information to his gossipy brethren.
    • The Boogie Man opines about why these kind of reporters suck before starting up Lance's death trap.
  • Red Herring: Many of them.
    • When trying to save Lance from buzzsaw you'll find a console behind iron shelves. The writing "BOGIE" on console and writing on wall about it room before, may hint at 5-digit password to stop the buzzsaw. You need to break door with axe in buzzsaw room for keys to unlock his restraints.
    • Later in game in one room you'll find a chessboard with arranged pieces. Outside the room there are much bigger pieces and locked gate. You would think that you need to arrange them like in the room before? Actually you have to move the pieces out of board to be like "before the battle" as one note mentions. You can notice that some of the pieces in the room are placed between the squares and there are additional pieces on board.
    • Some of items and puzzles seems to be out of the way and unnecessary to advance. Subverted, because they are used to unlock special events, essential for good ending.
  • Room Full of Crazy: The Boogie Man likes to write on the walls and floors. However, the best ending implies that most, if not all, of these writings were Keith's delusions as neither David nor Shirley remember seeing anything like that.
  • Sacrificial Lamb: To prove that he's serious, the Boogie Man kills Brenden in front of Keith and then lets Stevie bleed to death before Keith can save him to demonstrate how the "game" functions. The former is an averted case as Brandon's death turns out to have been faked and the body used was a very convincing doll.
  • Sadistic Choice: Boogie Man forces Keith to choose between Sophie's and her father's life. He saves both of them.
  • "Scooby-Doo" Hoax: The seemingly-normal tour at Livingstone Castle is quickly hijacked by the titular Boogie Man, the creature from myth himself, who traps the tourists and their guide in a Deadly Game, challenging Detective Keith Baring to venture through the castle and save them from his many death traps. He also shows off intimate knowledge of the characters and claims that he has been watching humans through the closet for ages, and thus knows everything about their lives. He also appears to have teleportation abilities. But Keith himself is convinced the Boogie Man does not exist and this guy is simply a man in a costume playing tricks. He's half-right; although the Boogie Man does exist, this one is a human imposter- the owner of the castle, Brendon Dumont. He was able to gather knowledge about the characters through simple-but-extensive research. His supposed teleportation was really him going through secret passages thanks to his extensive knowledge of the castle. It's still darker than most examples, since the perpetrator may not be a supernatural monster, but he is a sadistic mass-murderer who desires Fame Through Infamy, rather than simply frightening locals.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Early on, Brendon mentions that he likes to watch Law & Order.
    • A little later, David compares Keith to Robocop. Richard mentions an argument he had with his late wife over whether to see it or Platoon in a theater.
    • One of the puzzles makes one to Silence of the Lambs with the line "Have the lambs stopped screaming yet, detective?".
    • When talking about Shirley to David, the Boogie Man sets a bloody box down in front of him.
    Boogie Man: Now let's see, you'd be Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman... So I'm 'John Doe', hm?
    • The trailer features these lines. See if you recognize them.
  • Take a Third Option: The Boogie Man forces Keith to choose between saving Sophie or Richard. Keith can save both by putting a table on the spikes below Sophie.
  • Tempting Fate: In one of the bonus room scenes, Keith teases Sophie about believing in fairies, and jokes about the chances of one of her fairy friends punishing him. The Sand Man is watching the whole exchange. Cue a sudden bout of insomnia for the detective.
  • Timed Mission: Keith gets two minutes to figure out how to stop or disable the Death Trap threatening to bisect Lance.
    • He also gets less than a minute to help David save Shirley, followed by two minutes to get them out of the Chapel.
    • Other survival sequences feature Sophie and David trying to save themselves.
  • Umbrella of Togetherness: Helena mentions the metaphor for her and Keith in the happy ending.
  • Wham Line:
    Keith: I hate hearing phones ring... It’s yours, right? Make it stop already!
    David: C-Calm down.
    Keith: MAKE IT STOP!
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: David stops Keith as he's about to enter the room where Sophie was cornered by the pack of dogs and asks if he's really going in there. When Keith asks if he's scared, David replies that when he was a kid, "a wild dog" chased him for about an hour, so now he's afraid of dogs. He won't go in the room, so Keith has to go alone.