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Video Game / The Company of Myself

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If you have a minute, I'd like to tell you a bit about myself....

The Company of Myself is a 2009 Puzzle Platformer made in Adobe Flash, which tells the story of a hermit who lives in a green, grass-filled world. He is the only human left for unexplained reasons, but there was once also a woman whom the main character loved. The objective of the game is obviously to reach the goal point, but unlike other platformers, the character achieves this by duplicating his very actions with the simple act of pressing the spacebar. Thus, he can create a doppelganger that will assist him with his adventures. He will be needing them later in the game.

The Newgrounds version can be found here. There is also a 2012 prequel, called Fixation, which focuses on a different character, but the hermit plays a significant role.

I am aware of the tropes that populate this online game, so I wish to list them below:

  • Bottomless Pits: At least you have infinite "lives".
  • Collateral Angst: Throughout the game, Kathryn is a flat character with no dialogue. She only exists so her death can drive Jack's melancholy and lonely outlook on life.
  • Downer Ending: Turns out, the protagonist, Jack, lost his will to socialize with the death of after killing his lover Kathryn, and became a mental hermit. We are encountering the last possible attempt by a professional psychologist to reach out to him, which like always is doomed to failure.
  • Face of a Thug: The main character of the first game is said to have it by the main character of the second.
  • Flashback: To when the hero and his Love Interest in real life were once together. Includes intentionally coarse-grained video effects.
  • Foreshadowing: Jack talks about "jumping around like a crazy person" in one of the early levels, before we learn he is in a psychiatric ward.
  • Last of His Kind: The main character believes himself to be the last remaining human. He isn't, as shown by the depiction of other people in the psych ward that he is in.
  • Love Hurts: And how.
  • Medium Awareness: (It bewilders me to think that I would be dictating my life story to a TV Tropes editor, so that he may create an article for a game which I am in.)
  • Title Drop: "I used to find joy in the company of others. Now, I have only the company of myself."
  • Tomato Surprise: Jack isn't an actual hermit. He's in the crazy bin.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: A mild variation; instead of creating duplicates, you have a partner to help you, who must also come with you for all but one of the flashback levels.

The prequel, Fixation, has these tropes:

  • Addiction-Powered: Kathryn's smoking habit ties into the gameplay. Several puzzles require you to use your cigarette smoke to solve them. This is highly symbolic of real-life addiction, too: At one point Kathryn laments how other people don't need to burn through several packs to go through life's obstacles like she does.
  • Art Evolution: The characters have their own proportions now.
  • Dark Reprise: Jack's theme from The Company of Myself is a bit of a motif in the Background Music when you meet him and in the very last level, which may be a Dark Reprise itself.
  • Domestic Abuser: Thomas. Penelope puts up with it until Kathryn tricks him into badmouthing Henry as he did before so that Penelope hears it.
  • Escort Mission: In some levels, the main character must get her companion to various levers she cannot pull.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Fixation ends with Jack (probably) killing Kathryn.
  • Hesitation Equals Dishonesty: In the last level of Fixation.
    Jack: I'll take... this left path. The path to the right leads home.
  • Leitmotif:
    • As mentioned above, musical elements of Jack's eponymous theme from the previous game return in the song "To Adumbrate."
    • Though much more subtle about it, "Citalopram," the BGM for the Meadow, has traces of Kathryn's eponymous theme from The Company of Myself
  • Malevolent Architecture: There are no smoking zones in caves and swamps, and deadly lasers in houses. Apparently, they only appear for the main character to represent her struggles.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: The main underlying struggle for Kathryn is trying to kick her smoking habit. See Malevolent Architecture above.
  • Nostalgia Level: The final level of Fixation is also one of the last levels (but chronologically the first) of The Company of Myself.
  • P.O.V. Sequel: While in the previous game Kathryn was a flat character whose death drives the narrator's angst, here she is the protagonist and she has much more depth.
  • Sequel Escalation: The story is much more in-depth now. While The Company of Myself had a very minimalistic narrative that left a lot of things ambiguous thanks in part to an extreme case of Unreliable Narrator, Fixation expands massively upon the world and the characters. Kathryn is no longer a flat character and is now a full fledged protagonist with her own conflicts, Jack's life is shown in much more detail (in TCOM he describes himself as an entertainer of some sort. Here, it is confirmed that he was an aspiring stage magician), and there are now more characters, and all of them have names and dialogue.
  • There Are No Therapists: There is, but when he dies, there is nobody else.
  • Wham Line: The music even stops when the line is said:
    Penelope: Henry's dead.