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Video Game / The Endless Forest

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The Endless Forest is an MMORPG for Windows PCs, first released on February 15th, 2006. Every player is a deer in a forest, without goals or the ability to chat. Unique pictograms above registered deer's heads help to identify each individual. Players communicate with each other through sounds and body language. And that's all there is to it. You start the game as a fawn and play as one for 30 days before you mature into a stag. The entire time you run around in an endless forest as a deer, rubbing against trees, braying/mooing, and emoting to other players. You can also cast "forest magic" on each other, which changes pelts, masks, antlers, and even species.

The creators (also known for The Path) get a lot of feedback for the game through the official forums, though it only gets any major updates maybe once a year. However, there is an upcoming update known as Phase Four, which plans on bringing optimization, new scenery, new types of magic, pelts, and even a mysterious being known as the "Sundeer" into the game.

The community is very dedicated to the game, even going so far as to create in-game legends such as the Deermuda Triangle, a triangle formation of three glitched (duplicated) rocks in which strange things are supposed to happen.

And did we mention that all the deer have human faces?

You can find more and download it here.

This game provides examples of:

  • Action Bar: Players must click on various icons in order to cast spells, dance, emote, etc.
  • Alternate Animal Affection: Deer can affectionately nuzzle each other.
  • Amazing Technicolor Wildlife: The pelts your deer can wear come in many colors. From peacock, to bluejay, to bright red and more.
  • Animal Gender-Bender: For those who roleplay and insist on playing as does there is a set of antlers called "Doe Antlers," which are little nubs. All the playable deer are still male, though.
  • Attract Mode: When you make your deer lie down and leave the mouse idle for a few minutes, the game begins to pan around the forest for players to observe its beauty.
  • Bambification: Subverted. The deer are not completely pure and innocent, and are still capable of fighting and tormenting each other via Action Bar.
  • Bunnies for Cuteness: You can be transformed into an adorable white rabbit temporarily.
  • Calacas: The Day of the Dead set resembles a deer version of a calaca, with the mask resembling a human calaca skull while the pelt displays a deer skeleton and flower patterns.
  • Cool Mask: Many, but namely the festive masks like the Venetian Carnival, Luchador, and the Mardi Gras/Valentine masks, though the animal-based masks and even the Zombie Deer mask can also qualify.
  • Cute, but Cacophonic: The fawns are cute, but their call is just as loud as the adult deer. Something Awful once used this to their advantage during a long-ago raid on the game. Thanks this, the creators made it so the call gets quieter the more you use it consecutively.
  • Diurnal Nocturnal Animal: You can be turned into a bat, and it is usually daylight in the forest.
  • Emote Animation: The primary means of communication between players, as players have to bow, dance, shake and nod their heads in order to convey their feelings.
  • Endless Daytime: The forest is in constant daylight except during certain events, like Halloween for example.
  • Ghibli Hills: The setting of the game, as it's a vast forest that's set on the edge (or what once was the edge, if the ruins are any indication) of human civilization.
  • Hazardous Water: When you fall in the pond you lose your pelt, antlers, and mask.
  • Idle Animation: The deer shakes, scratches, and looks around when you leave it standing but idle.
  • In Harmony with Nature: The deer get their magic from not only the gods, but also from how well-tuned they are to the forest.
  • It's Always Spring: Most of the time it's spring, unless it's Halloween.
  • The Lost Woods: It's a magical forest that never ends, and new players may quickly find themselves lost as they will be literally running in circles due to lack of borders.
  • Magic Mushroom:
    • Eating the mushrooms you see growing on trees gives you the ability to cast magic on other deer, giving them new masks.
    • Letting your deer fall asleep in a circle of mushrooms will grant you the power to either shrink another player, or turn them into a small animal like a frog, dove, bunny, etc.
    • The fountain is located in its own special circle of mushrooms, which will strip away pelts and masks upon both entering and leaving the circle.
  • The Marvelous Deer: The deer are the only animals in the forest that can cast magic, and make any real changes to the environment. The gods are deer, and whenever they appear, they may occasionally wear golden pelts. On top of that, the god-statue-given white pelt is meant to enhance their mystique.
  • Ruins for Ruins' Sake: There are ruins in the game, which once served a purpose, but are now just there to look pretty.
  • Shout-Out: A certain red mask strongly resembles the face of the Deer God from Princess Mononoke.
  • Talking Animal: Averted. The deer cannot speak to each other, they can only sound out a call and use body language.
  • Themed Cursor: The cursor is shaped like a leaf.
  • Water Is Blue: Zigzagged. The murky pond erases all magic (along with masks and pelts) off a player, while the "clean" fountain water temporarily transforms players into Woodland Creatures like bunnies and squirrels. Usually, the former is an unwanted effect especially when rare or special event pelts are concerned, while the latter is seen as a neat effect albeit temporary. However, this quickly flips around when you consider dipping yourself into the pond as a quick way of cleansing your character of any unwanted spells, and the fountain water as cursed as it essentially transforms the deer into Forced Transformations with limited ways to communicate to their deer brethren due to lack of Emote Animation.
  • Woodland Creatures: You can be temporarily (and permanently, but it's very uncommon) transformed into doves, frogs, bunnies and squirrels, along with finding said animals scampering throughout the forest.
  • World Tree: There is a giant tree in the forest which hums when you enter it.