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Video Game / The Evil Within 2

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Sebastian: Are you coming with me or not?
O'Neal: I told you I wasn't going to leave this place. It's fucking EVIL out there.
Sebastian: That may be... but there's evil within, too...

The Evil Within 2 is a Survival Horror title developed by Tango Gameworks, published by Bethesda, and the sequel to The Evil Within released in 2014, and released Friday the 13th on October 2017. Unlike the last game, Shinji Mikami is not directing the game, instead acting as a producer with the helm being given to John Johanas, who worked on the Kidman DLC for the first game.

Three years have passed since Sebastian Castellanos fought the horrors of STEM. Since then, he has been investigating Mobius in search of answers regarding the death of his daughter Lily, and disappearance of his wife Myra. Eventually, Sebastian learns from Juli Kidman that Lily isn't dead. Mobius had been watching Sebastian and his family for a long time, staged Lily's death, and used her mind to create another STEM system. However, the inside of the system has gone completely dark with no response to the outside world, and the Administrator of Mobius offers Sebastian the chance to reunite with his daughter, but to do so, he must go back inside STEM.

Due to the Late-Arrival Spoiler nature of this game, expect unmarked spoilers for the first game.

The Evil Within 2 has the following Tropes:

  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: You get to play as Kidman when she rebels against Mobius at the end of the game.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: Beating the game unlocks various new costumes for Sebastian, including his waistcoat from the first game.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • Levels are more open-ended this time around, so to help keep track of your location, you now have access to a menu with a map, and Sebastian's communicator allows him to track objectives and certain collectibles.
    • Safe houses have coffee brewers that can restore Sebastian to full health, but take time to refill after each use. Ditto for the small chests in some of the safe houses that hold supplies like ammo or crafting parts.
    • In yet another nod to Resident Evil, Sebastian can now find herbs to make additional healing items, as well as gunpowder to craft extra ammo. He can do this at crafting stations or in the field but in the latter case it consumes more resources, making it more of a last resort.
    • Sebastian can now stockpile and carry multiple bottles at a time. Unfortunately, he still can't carry more than one ax but the bottles do have some use if you decide to purchase the bottle break skill.
    • With the right upgrade, stealth attacks can now be performed while in cover.
    • The crossbow now has an indicator that shows the arc its shots will take when fired. In addition, all special crossbow bolts automatically come with a proximity mine and tripwire mode.
    • Partway through the game, a shooting gallery is unlocked in Sebastian's saferoom, with rewards ranging from extra green gel and weapon parts to a couple locker keys that can only be obtained through said shooting gallery.
    • Enemies no longer need to be set on fire to permanently kill them. Justified, since Stefano, Theodore, and Myra aren't afraid of fire like Ruvik is.
    • While some One-Hit Kill enemy attacks are still present, they are much, much less common compared to the first game, and the strongest, fastest enemies and bosses thankfully don't use any this time around.
    • Unlike the first game, enemies aren't alerted by your flashlight, which is very useful when trying to avoid them in darker areas.
    • Also unlike the first game, your sprint is no longer disabled when your health is below a certain point (though this is compensated by the fact that you don't get to sprint as fast).
    • Making a cleared save doesn't count towards the allotted 7 while playing on Classic difficulty.
  • Arc Symbol: Each of the Big Bad Ensemble have motifs that permeate the areas they have influence over in Union. Stefano has curtains, cameras, studio lights and tiled floors. Theodore has catacombs, the symbol of his religious order, medieval torture devices, and fire. Myra and her followers have some sort of white substance similar to wax, glowing red eyes, tentacles, and exposed organs.
  • Asshole Victim: Turner and Hayes, the two Mobius agents who planned to go rogue and met their gristly deaths at the hands of Serial Killer Stefano and Humanoid Abomination Anima, respectively. Any sympathy one may have had for them vanishes when they agree to gun down a bunch of frightened survivors, simply because it'd be easier than dealing with them if they turned into monsters.
  • Award-Bait Song: The cover of Duran Duran's "Ordinary World" that serves as the game's main theme.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • The assault rifle, magnum, and sniper rifle are some of the best weapons to use in the game, but sniper rifle ammo pickups are extremely rare while pickups for the other two don't exist at all, meaning you'll have to use up loads of your gunpowder to get any real use out of them.
    • The double-barreled shotgun you get from Sykes if you decided to help him escape STEM is much stronger than the normal shotgun, but it only holds two shells at a time and has to be reloaded a lot due to a very fast firing rate.
  • Ax-Crazy: Stefano Valentini, as he himself is willing to admit in his trailer.
  • Bag of Spilling: Sebastian doesn’t retain any of his brain gel upgrades from the previous game. Justified in that he would only have them inside STEM and he possibly would’ve lost them after not being in it for years (that, and Kidman explains that this is an entirely new STEM he's entering). The single exception is his stamina meter, which is much longer at default than it was in the first game; at level 1 it's roughly equal to level 4 or 5 of the original gamenote .
  • Beard of Sorrow: Sebastian has grown one between the events of the first game and this one, and it's easy to see why.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: There are some signs of people within the STEM who decided to take their own lives when things started to go horribly wrong.
  • BFG: You can get the flamethrower the Harbingers use. Its huge size means you will be barely able to move at all while operating it, though.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: There are multiple Serial Killers in STEM now, and they are all Reality Warpers within their section of the Mental World.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Sebastian is finally reunited with Lily, and with Mobius all but wiped out, the two of them are free to live their lives. However, the entire search team, with the possible exception of Sykesnote , is dead, and Myra had to stay inside the STEM as it collapsed so she could bring down Mobius. Joseph's fate is also left unknown, even after the defeat of Mobius, and the post-credits scene shows the STEM system mysteriously reactivating itself.
  • Black Dude Dies First: Averted. Of the Mobius search team, Sykes is the only one to have any shot of getting out alive at all (and even then, his odds of doing so are 3:1 against).
  • Body Horror:
    • Some baddies appear to have a "melting wax" motif this time around. This is a sign of Myra's influence.
    • The Guardian is a twisted amalgamation of mutilated female bodies and severed heads, apparently representing the women Valentini murdered and beheaded for trophies.
  • Bond One-Liner: Sebastian has some choice words for both Stefano and Theodore if you revisit their portraits in Sebastian's Room after they kick it.
    "A giant, red X... Now that's art."
    "Let's hear you talk your way out of Hell, Wallace."
  • Boring, but Practical:
    • The silenced handgun you get from completing Sykes' first quest. It's weaker than the standard handgun but, as the name suggests, it has a silencer which makes it much more quieter and is a preferred choice when wanting to lure away enemies from groups.
    • Similarly, you can find another handgun early in the game that has a laser-sight, giving it better accuracy.
    • The full-barreled shotgun can be found in a storage room after finding a key from a fallen Mobius in an alleyway in the Business District. It's pretty much the same as the regular shotgun, but its longer barrel gives it better range.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Beat the game on "Classic Mode" and you can unlock infinite ammo for all your firearms.
  • Bragging Rights Reward: If you are awesome enough to complete the game on "Classic Mode", you will be rewarded with Infinite Ammo. However, getting this means that you are enough of a badass to conquer the absolute worst of the horrors that STEM can possibly throw at you, all while beating the game using the base values of your weapons and abilities and clearly shows that you have no need for Infinite Ammo. However, it is immensely satisfying to finally go to town on the Lost without fear of ammo management for all the hell they put you through.
  • Brain/Computer Interface: Everyone in the Mobius conspiracy has neural chips surgically jammed into their brains so they can remotely access the outer shells of the VR world S.T.E.M., see the world in augmented vision, and identify other agents, among other company perks. Unfortunately for them, even the chips that don't have bombs in them are neurologically sensitive enough to cause a lethal brain hemorrhage if they are hacked by someone controlling STEM. Boom.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: During the scene where Sebastian tries to convince O'Neal to come with him, the latter refuses. Saying "it's fucking evil out there". Upon which Sebastian replies there's "evil within too", followed by both of them turning their eyes to the player.
  • Bullet Time: Not for nothing that the Synaptic Focus ability is the most expensive upgrade in the game, as it allows you to slow down your surroundings to a crawl and pick off enemy weak points before they're able to react (it's also a boon for those who don't care about showing off and just want to unlock all goodies in the shooting gallery). The only thing keeping you from leveling everything in your way is that it drains your stamina just by being activated, and sharply decreases it each time you fire a shot.
  • Call-Back: Quite a few, but the most obvious one is the Boss Rush against the Sadist, Keeper, and Rebirth Laura from the first game at the end of chapter 14.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: In Sebastian's nightmare at the start of the game, Lily coldly blames him for not being there to save her from the fire. Theodore also uses Sebastian's guilt against him, which takes the form of Lily blaming him yet again.
  • Checkpoint Starvation: Exaggerated in "Classic Mode", where the autosave feature has literally been disabled. You are instead allotted 7 chances to save across an unbroken 17-chapter narrativenote . Better hope you didn't squander your saves during the early chapters.
  • Color Motif: Each member of the Big Bad Ensemble is related to a color, and paints Union with that color when they take over.
    • Stefano makes puts Union in constant night time and lights everything in blue, especially with a huge monstrous lens of blue light hoovering the area he is in. He also wears a blue coat and has blue eyes.
    • Theodore's world is colored by fire in a red/orange tint and all of his areas have this color within it. His Sinister Minister attire also includes red fabric in it.
    • The final enemy, Myra, tints the entire place in white through the use of a white gooey substance called psychoplasm and is constantly dressed in a white coat, with a white mask. Myra also brings white to the centre of Union by setting gentle snowfall around the recreation of the home she once shared with Sebastian and Lily. Even when Myra phases back to her usual attire, she wears big white pearl earrings and a white sweater, while the snow picks up into a full-blown blizzard when the plan to replace Lily as the STEM core gets underway.
  • The Conspiracy: Woo boy, where do we start....?
    • The first game leads the player to believe that Lily's death was a freak accident that killed her and her sitter. However, even then, Myra didn't believe it and supposedly found the truth, but disappeared without explanation. Right from the beginning, Kidman confirms Myra's suspicions that the fire wasn't a freak accident, that Lily was kidnapped by Mobius, and the investigations staged to look like an accident and that she had died. Lily's intelligence as shown on her standardized tests and such was the reason Mobius chose her as the Core for their new STEM.
    • Mobius itself. Super shady organization, only found when they want to be found, their plans involve human experimentation and utopian society, and they even confirm they are researching a wireless method of implanting human minds in STEM without directly connecting them. Oh, and they eliminate anyone who has learned too much or gets in their way.
    • Mobius's gaslighting Sebastian. While the events of the first game were pretty bizarre and difficult to believe anyway, the final Anima sequence contains files that reveal Mobius personally began monitoring Sebastian due to how much he was aware of after his last endeavor in STEM. To make sure he couldn't learn too much or even make others aware of them, they used their influence even in the KCPD in order to set up "psychiatric evaluation" by one of their own, insisting that he was crazy. Because of this, by the time the game starts, Sebastian has lost his job, his credibility, and most of what last bit of sanity he had left..
  • Contrasting Sequel Antagonist: In the first game, Ruvik's main goal was to escape back to the real world. This game's antagonists, Stefano and Theodore, have no intention of leaving; Stefano wanting to stay to "make [his] art forever", while Theodore wants to take control of Mobius (and by extension, the rest of the world) through the influence Union gives him. Subverted with Myra, as she originally entered Union to get her daughter out while she stayed behind to destroy Mobius, only for Union's malleable nature to corrupt her. Also, Ruvik was sinister and mysterious whereas Stefano and Theodore behave in a more theatrical and flamboyant manner that wouldn't be out of place in, say, Dead Rising.
  • Contrived Coincidence: There appears to be no logical connection between Sebastian's daughter being used as the core of a STEM project which started years ago, and that he previously got involved with the STEM built around Ruvik seemingly by pure chance. By all indications these two are the only STEM machines in the entire world. Kidman lampshades this, as she was keeping tabs on Sebastian for Mobius at the time and also got drawn into the incident by pure chance.
  • The Corruption: An unusual case of this as instead of a disease or plague of any kind, Anima is theorized to be the cause of a person's transformation into the Lost. According to the wiki, STEM attempts to dominate a person's mind and Anima seems to appear when a person is on the verge of completely losing themselves to it, with her taking full control once she catches them. Likely then, it's no coincidence that a Lost is typically nearby journal entries of her appearance to victims, Sebastian is killed and turned into a Lost by her if caught, and the priest in the Union Church turns into a Lost that must be fought in a similar manner.
  • Daylight Horror: The final act takes place in a bright daylight. At least in the STEM.
  • Dented Iron: Not physically, but the events of the first game have left Sebastian psychologically scarred. But he's still willing to enter the nightmare world of STEM if it means seeing his daughter again.
  • Degraded Boss: The Guardian reappears in the Business District once you've defeated her at City Hall. Be forewarned, however- there's more than one lurking about. This also happens to the Harbinger.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Sebastian has clearly gone over this with his brakes cut since the end of the first game; nobody believed his story about what happened at Beacon, he was fired from his job, he started drinking again (likely to cope with what happened to Joseph and Leslie as well the nightmares he no doubt started having), and if the bandages on his hand are anything to go by, he may have tried to kill himself shortly before this game begins.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: Your old revolver from the previous game that you can receive if you complete the entire Anima sidequest. It's accuracy isn't as good as the other handguns but is considerably stronger than any of them.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Surprisingly, yes. Sebastian fights long and hard to get to the center of Union, and in doing so regains his daughter, takes the first steps towards fixing his life and with the help of Kidman completely dismantles Mobius from the inside out.
  • Eldritch Location: As in the first game, the STEM environment is this. And it gets more twisted as the game progresses.
  • Emotionless Girl: Nurse Tatiana returns in Sebastian's room, and so does her creepy monotone.
  • Everytown, America: Union was designed by Mobius to be this, in order to keep their test subjects calm and relaxed. Even Sebastian himself refers to it as "Anytown, USA". Judging by maps of Union you can find, as well as a scale model in the Marrow, Union was going to be quite expansive, featuring most of the subtropes of this trope in play. It's worth wondering what sort of place Union would be like had it never been sabotaged by Stefano and Theodore.
  • Eye Motifs: In addition to motifs of dripping paint and melted wax, Stefano's territory inside STEM has camera lenses as a recurring theme, representing his obsession with photography and how his camera acts as a proxy for his missing eye.
  • Faking the Dead: Lily was believed to have been killed in a fire, when in fact, Mobius kidnapped her and used her to make another STEM.
  • Foreshadowing: The first area proper in the game, you come across things that represent the three antagonists in the game:
    • You come across one of Stefano's victims and works of art.
    • You find a letter about being accepted in a cult with "Lies, all lies" written on the back. For Theordore's cult that is.
    • And finally, you come across another one of Stefano's pieces of art titled Rebirth, a woman with bodies coming out of her. Represents Myra and her Mook Maker powers.
  • Funny Background Event: Checking out the billboards at the movie theater Stefano is hiding out in has some pretty cheeky movie names, like "A Father's Nightmare", "Snap Shot", "Rotten to the Core" and a potential Silent Hill reference called "White Fog". One that most players wouldn't think to check is a poster in the taproom that contains a hilariously insane ad copy; you can only read it by looking through the sniper rifle's scope.
  • Gone Horribly Wrong: Union was supposed to be the first step in creating an utopian Matrix-like world in which all mankind except MOBIUS was to be included. Once Lily goes missing, the whole thing goes to hell in a handbasket almost immediately.
  • Guide Dang It!: There are a lot of hidden aspects in the game that you'll have to find out on your own, such as the location of locker keys, the location of the full-barreled shotgun, and being able to skip the battle with the Guardian outside City Hall.
    • You can actually sneak attack more enemies than you'd think you're able to— in particular, the massive Gluttons that roam around past Chapter 12 can actually be sneak killed, and the Harbingers are also vulnerable to them- but they will take at least four or five, meaning it's not advised.
  • Hard Mode Perks: Two of them on separate difficulties:
    • Beat the game on "Nightmare" and you can get equipable brass knuckles that can take out any of the regular Lost in one hit (the sole exception being the Hysteric, which take about two hits to go down).
    • Beat the game on "Classic Mode" and you can get infinite ammo, which is mostly a Bragging Rights Reward but is so worth it.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: The chips Mobius use to protect themselves from the effects of the STEM as well as act as a failsafe against rogue agents are used against them with Myra hijacks the system and overloads the chips.
  • Homemade Flamethrower: The Harbingers carry around large strange and rusty flamethrowers. Sebastian gets one in a broken state after fighting the boss of Chapter 11, Sebastian must kill two further Harbingers in free roam out in Union in order to recover parts to repair it.
  • Hub Level:
    • Union itself acts as one, where you can access different missions and quests by exploring the residences and businesses. This suburb is not any kind of a safe zone, however.
    • In addition, there is the Marrow, a secret facility Mobius built to allow fast travel between the various areas of Union. The Marrow isn't all that safe, either.
  • Instant Waking Skills: Averted when Sebastian climbs out of the STEM pod in the ending. Trying to get up and walk right after his body has laid motionless for hours on end results in him pitifully sprawling to the ground. Thankfully, since every possible threat to him had been killed at this point, it's not much of a problem.
  • Item Crafting: You can find gunpowder, herbs, and various components to craft ammo and healing throughout the game. You can either do such by going to a work bench or field crafting (although a work bench is more recommended since field crafting consumes more resources).
  • Kick Them While They Are Down: A special upgrade allows Sebastian to kick enemies away when they're staggered.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Several of the victims in the new STEM are Mobius staff members who were charged with monitoring Union's inhabitants from the Marrow. Once Lily disappears and things start going to hell, they're trapped inside their own creation with two reality warping psychopaths and a multitude of horrific creatures, and suffer all manner of brutal deaths.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: The E3 trailers pretty much give away three of the first game's biggest plot points; that Sebastian was trapped in a Mental World by the STEM machine created by Ruvik and Mobius, that Kidman was a double agent working for them but is helping Sebastian, and that Mobius staged his daughter's death to use her in their STEM experiments.
  • Legacy Boss Battle: Father Theodore forces Sebastian to fight the Sadist, the Keeper and Laura in a sort of mini-Boss Rush. You even get to briefly recreate the Sadist's hallway chase before Sebastian has enough.
  • Lighter and Softer: While simultaneously being Darker and Edgier than the first game; on one hand, the game features a pair of murderers who are far more sadistic than Ruvik and deals with themes of guilt and despair. On the the other hand, it's not nearly as gory as the previous game, with the surrealism and Body Horror being toned down to a certain extent. Not to mention the unambiguously happy ending.
  • Lovable Coward: Liam O'Neil, an Insufferable Genius STEM tech who helps Sebastian throughout the game.
  • Mad Artist: Stefano Valentini, a photographer obsessed with catching the moment of death. In STEM, his victims are also caught in a Stable Time Loop at the moment of the point he takes a photo.
  • Magic Mirror: Much like in the first game, mirrors are used as gateways between the main STEM world (in this case Union) to the game's safehouse (in this case Sebastian's old precinct) and vice-versa.
  • The Many Deaths of You: Just like in the first game, Sebastian can die in a lot of horrific ways.
  • Meat Moss: Played with; the stringy white substance that can be found wherever Myra has been appearing to be cast from the same substance which makes up her body inside STEM.
  • Mistaken for Racist: A hilarious exchange between Seb and Sykes. Seb asks why a guy like him joined Mobius. When Sykes asks what he means by that, Seb states that a compassionate, free spirited guy like him probably wouldn't be allowed into Mobius normally. Skyes quickly backpedals after receiving the compliment and explains he sought them out.
  • My Greatest Failure: The point of the entire game as this time around, the story focuses entirely on Sebastian's past and his failure to protect Lily from the fire. Ultimately subverted however, as even from the get-go, Kidman points out that Lily never died and Mobius staged everything. It takes all the way up to Chapter 12, where Sebastian awakes in a recreation of his house and has a meltdown in front of Myra that he gets the pep talk he needs about not blaming himself for something that not only wasn't ever his fault, but didn't truly happen. From this point til the end of the game, he stops blaming himself and finds the strength he needs to save Lily.
  • My Greatest Second Chance: The game's official website describes it as a story of redemption. Sebastian has been haunted by his daughter's apparent death and his failure to save her for years, and when he finds out she's alive, but trapped inside the same machine he once was, he goes back in with no hesitation if it means he can see her again.
  • Mythology Gag: At the very end of the game, right before Sebastian escapes from the STEM with Lily, one can find a collectible figurine that resembles the Keeper.
    • When Sebastian is first introduced to the Administrator, the latter's face is obscured in shadow until he steps into the light, referencing how he was The Faceless for most of the first game's DLC.
    • One of the Residual Memories shows a Mobius Soldier trying to burn a pile of corpses so that they don't turn into the Guardian, like you would do to prevent enemies from respawning in the first game. It doesn't work.
    • During the first trek through Father Theodore's stronghold, Sebastian falls through a hallway and smacks into the ground, only for gravity to re-adjust itself so that the floor he smacks into is now a wall facing his back. Ruvik pulled the same trick on him twice in the first game.
  • Never Grew Up: Even though she has been missing for the better part of a decade, by the time Lily shows up in STEM it seems as if she hasn't aged a day. No one ever comments on this throughout the entire game.
  • New Game Plus: Unlocked after beating the game. You start with 40000 Green Gel and a Hand Cannon, and resource drops are tripled in value, making it easier to mop up the rest of your unpurchased upgrades.
  • Nigh-Invulnerability: The Invincibility mode added in the 1.05 update makes you immune to almost everything, but things that are an instant-death condition on all difficulty levels (getting caught by The Guardian, Anima or a Lament, for example) are still an instant-death condition even when you otherwise can't be killed.
  • Nintendo Hard: The "Classic Mode" difficulty in a nutshell. Take everything from “Nightmare” mode and turn it up to eleven. This difficulty is meant to emulate the difficulty from the first game and it certainly shows. 95% of enemies drop nothing when they are killed, ammo and crafting components are very rare, you can save only 7 times throughout the campaign, checkpoints are literally non-existent and Sebastian must complete the entire ordeal without being able to upgrade his abilities or guns. However, your reward is the Catharsis Factor prize of Infinite Ammo, which is certainly fun to use even if it is mostly a Bragging Rights Reward.
    • Update 1.05 reintroduced the ever-so-irritating AKUMU difficulty from the first game as an extra mode. Have fun playing through the entire game again with one measly hit point. Unlike Nightmare and Classic, beating AKUMU gives nothing new, so it's more of a Self-Imposed Challenge than anything else.
  • No Fair Cheating:
    • Toggling Infinite Ammo lets you go to town on anything within Union with your strongest guns without ever having to worry about ammo problems. It also doesn't disable achievements, but considering the hell you had to slough through to get it, you probably don't have a lot else to accomplish by the time it's available to you.
    • Averted completely with the cheat options added in Update 1.05, which consists of One-Hit Kill, Invincibility and Unlimited Stamina. Using these makes even AKUMU a complete cakewalk, and they don't penalize anything, either i.e. you can clear Nightmare and Classic modes with cheats on and still get the unlockable rewards for it.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: Tatiana tries to invoke this if Sebastian speaks to her about Stefano. An irritated Seb shuts it down pretty quickly, though, having little patience for her equating Stefano's gruesome murders with his killing in self-defense.
  • Not Using the "Z" Word: In a few documents Sebastian finds in Union, the Haunted are referred as "Things", and a woman, likely working for Mobius, can be heard in a trailer calling them "the Lost". And when Sebastian meets a dying Mobius operative inside Union City Hall, he tells him he isn't one of "them".
  • Offscreen Teleportation: To be expected from a game of the Horror genre. Oddly enough, it's not done by any of the enemies or bosses, but by Sebastian himself during his rematch with the Sadist.
  • One-Hit Kill: Though greatly dialed-down compared to the first game, some enemies and bosses still possess these. Bonus points go to Laments, who can kill Sebastian instantly with an acid vomit if he doesn't break out of their grasp with a bottle. The Optional Boss Anima also has this as her only attack, since all of her segments have forced stealth, and getting noticed means death.
    • Update 1.05 lets anything do this to you with the reintroduced AKUMU difficulty. Conversely, the update also gives you a cheat that lets you do this to most things in Union completely free of consequence, even most bosses.
  • Optional Boss:
    • The Watcher, a vaguely-serpentine Blob Monster Sebastian encounters in the Marrow. You are forced to encounter it, but you can quite easily avoid fighting it if you manage to sneak past. You'll still have to drive it off by firing off a few rounds after you get out of the room it's hiding in, but by sneaking you can avoid a rather difficult battle beforehand.
    • Then there's also Anima, the resident Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl. Entering 336 Cedar Avenue in the residential area triggers her entire unmarked questline that culminates in Sebastian getting his old revolver back. She will occasionally pop up randomly around town to hinder Sebastian's progress, though none of this will happen should the player decide to skip the initial trigger.
  • Papa Wolf: No matter how many unspeakable horrors STEM throws at Sebastian, he will stop at nothing to save his daughter.
  • Personality Powers:
    • Stefano Valentini was an artist who photographed the horrors of war whose eye was lacerated from shrapnel. In Union, Stefano's powers manifest in the form of creating Stable Time Loops to capture the gruesome deaths of his victims with his cameras. He is also able to manifest a massive eye resembling a camera lens that both watches Sebastian for him and attacks on his command.
    • Theodore Wallace was a Manipulative Bastard capable of digging into the repressed guilt of others to manipulate them, converting them to his cause. In Union, he takes the form of a Sinister Minister with a God complex, taking on a Religious Horror motif with command over fire and can mold people in both mind and body with his words.
  • Post-Final Boss: After Sebastian's fight against the evil apparition of Myra, the game switches to the real world where Kidman finds out that the head of Mobius planned a You Have Outlived Your Usefulness towards Sebastian. Kidman didn't take it very well, and proceeding cutscenes where Sebastian finds the manifestation of his family home and is reunited with Lily are interspersed by brief segments where Kidman shoots several of the Mobius mooks as she heads to the main machine to manually override it.
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: Mobius built a second STEM machine, though this time it's powered by using Lily as its core instead of a psychopath like Ruvik; apparently they only work if the Core is a child or The Sociopath. A file in the game explains that a functioning Core requires a person who has "limitless ego". Which is to say, you view the world around you only in terms of how it can be of benefit to yourself. This is a natural mindset for a very young child who only think of satisfying their own needs, before they develop a sense of self and begin to understand other people as differentiated individuals with their own wants and needs that should also be considered.
    • The reason that Stefano and Theodore are after Lily is that despite them being Reality Warpers is that since they aren't the core, they are nowhere near as strong as Ruvik was, so they want Lily so they can amplify their own powers.
  • Precision F-Strike: Kidman delivers a fairly epic one against her boss when she's extracting Sebastian during the finale.
    Kidman: A world without choice isn't a utopia. A hivemind only works with a queen that controls it. 'Join us or die'? Well guess what, there's a third choice...and that's FUCK YOU!
  • Public Domain Soundtrack:
  • Recurring Boss: Anima, an intangible Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl that pulls Sebastian into visions of Beacon Mental Hospital, and tasks him with evading her. She can also randomly appear in the Residential District too, often if you're walking along the East side of the map in the suburbs.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning:
    • While mooks had glowing eyes in the first game too, the enemies in this game have eyes that brightly glow an intense, bloody red.
    • After Sebastian shoots Myra in desperation, she recoils back to reveal that underneath her tangled hair is a mass of glowing red eyes.
  • Red Shirt Army: Pretty much every Mobius operative within STEM has been butchered by the monsters by the time Sebastian gets there. The Search Team members don't fare much better.
  • Revolvers Are Just Better: Sebastian can acquire his old revolver after his final encounter with Anima. He even refers to it as "his trusty revolver" after he gets it.
  • Scenery Gorn: As the stem starts to fall apart, we get scenes of mind-bending and downright apocalyptic devastation happening to Union.
  • Scenery Porn: The center of Union, where Myra resides, is a huge expanse of snow with the remnants of Union orbiting high above. It's a very striking area, and the string quartet playing in the background allows the player to relax and prepare for the inevitable final battle.
  • Scripted Event: Happens all the time in Union, especially in the early chapters. To make the open world actually scary, the developers constrained the size of it, then filled just about every corner with some unique challenge or interesting reward- for example, climbing a building on the same street of the first hideout you get to allows you to obtain the sniper rifle.
  • Sequel Escalation:
    • The crossbow from the first game returns, and can now create tripwire traps.
    • Weapons and character upgrades are now full fledged upgrade trees. Higher tier upgrades include powerful new abilities like Bullet Time aiming but require rare items.
  • Sequel Hook: If you find all the photo slides, Kidman reveals to Sebastian that Joseph is still alive, and promises to tell him more later. Ruvik is also still out there somewhere, assuming he really did take over Leslie's mind in the first game, planning who knows what, and is implied to be the one who reactivates the STEM machine at the end of the game. He also might not be very happy that Kidman destroyed Mobius before he could. There's also a file that mentions Mobius' plans to create a wireless STEM capable of inserting people into it with no direct connection to the STEM machine.
  • Serrated Blade of Pain: One of the new antagonists, Stefano Valentini, is a Mad Artist who carves up his victims with a large, serrated dagger that makes "Crocodile" Dundee's Bowie knife look like a butter knife.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Sidetracked by the Gold Saucer: Discussed / acknowledged In-Universe — if you hit the maximum 100k point prize on the Candy Crush-esque shooting minigame, Sebastion remarks that he should go back to the whole "finding [his] daughter thing".
  • Sinister Minister: Another new villain, Father Theodore, is in charge of a Religion of Evil within STEM and wants to get his hands on Lily, likely for the same reason Valentini does.
  • Skill Scores and Perks: Like the first game, you have skills that can be upgraded by taking a visit to Nurse Tatiana. However, the sequel adds a few additional skills to your tree, such as the ability to dodge certain attacks, break out of an enemy's grasp, and improve your stealth.
  • Sliding Scale of Antagonist Vileness: Inverted. The first major villain, Stefano, is a monstrous Mad Artist, followed by Father Theodore, who is a cruel and egotistical Manipulative Bastard but also a Knight Templar who earnestly believes he's building a perfect utopia, and then Myra, who is outright pitiable and only acted the way she did because of Union warping her motherly instincts. Of course, if one counts the Administrator, it could be a Zigzagged Trope, as it turns back around again.
  • Spy Speak: Sebastian employs a bit of this after meeting Torres to let Kidman know that he's in on the plan to take down MOBIUS.
  • The Stinger: Someone reactivates the STEM machine.
  • Stupidity Is the Only Option: You'll occasionally come across obvious, gleaming tripwires set up by Stefano that trap you in slow-motion and usually send enemies after you (who also, thankfully, move in slo-mo). As plainly visible as they are, there's no way to disarm or shimmy under these, so if one is in your way and there's no alternate path, you'll just have to trip it.
  • Take That Us: A lighthearted one: the final reward for beating the game, following "legitimate" rewards like cosmetic outfits, Classic difficulty, and New Game Plus, is cinematic letterboxing mode (for the "ultimate" experience)! This is after the first game's complaints about letterboxing, which resulted in a patch allowing letterboxing to be removed.
  • Title Drop: Spoofed via an Easter Egg if the player goes back to O'Neal's safehouse during Chapter 8 (note, emphasis is in the subtitles):
    O'Neal: I told you I wasn't going to leave this place. It's fucking EVIL out there.
    Sebastian: That may be...but there's EVIL WITHIN, TOO...
    (Both slowly turn and look at the camera.)
  • There Are No Therapists: Averted. It's revealed that Sebastian was left psychologically traumatized from the events of the first game, to the point where he had to seek counseling.
  • Too Awesome to Use: Averted, thanks to the crafting system. Bullets for the Sniper Rifle, Assault Rifle and the unlockable Magnum are seldom-to-never found in the wild or dropped by enemies, but you can make whatever ammo you're short on using gunpowder, which is commonly found even if you don't do a lot of snooping around the maps, and is quite abundant if you do.
  • Too Dumb to Live: MOBIUS as a whole for thinking it was a good idea implanting chips directly connected to the STEM into the brains of ALL of their members, making it easy for Myra to wipe them all out in one fell swoop.
  • Uncanny Valley: Invoked; Just like in the first game, a lot of the monsters you encounter throughout the game fall under this category with their creepy facial expressions and inhuman characteristics.
  • Utopia Justifies the Means: Mobius' ultimate goal is to connect all of humanity through the STEM to bring about world peace, even if it means creating a Lotus-Eater Machine, performing highly inhumane experiments, and ruthlessly eliminating anybody that gets in their way.
  • Video Game Flamethrowers Suck: You can kill Harbingers to get flamethrower fuel tanks and combine them with the Broken Flamethrower you get from defeating O’Neal to make a flamethrower for Sebastian. While its coverage is huge, it slows Sebastian’s movement speed to a crawl and chews through ammo so quickly that it’s hardly worth the effort it takes to make it. It does work pretty well against Laura, should you go to the extra trouble.
  • Voice with an Internet Connection: Sebastian has a communicator that allows him to talk to Kidman outside of STEM, though he doesn't think too highly of her after she revealed her true colors three years ago.
  • Waxing Lyrical: After a good round at the shooting gallery, the following exchange may take place:
    Tatiana: You're the best around, detective.
    Sebastian: And nothing's ever gonna keep me down.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • At one point in the game it's possible to rescue and have a conversation with an unmutated Union citizen. You don't learn her name and she's never seen again.
    • After you complete Sykes' sidequest, he takes a backdoor out of STEM. However, a file you can read afterwards reveals that the method Sykes used only has a 25% success rate, with the failures possibly being sent into a deeper level of the STEM with no hope of escape. No mention is made of Sykes again, and even Sebastian wonders if he actually made it out.
    • Later in the game, after you collect all of the photo slides, Sebastian finds out from Kidman that Joseph is in fact still alive. However, this is not elaborated on as Kidman only vaguely promises to tell Sebastian the full story later.
  • Wide-Open Sandbox: Zigzagged. Unlike the first game, which was largely linear, the sequel is more open ended as Sebastian can freely roam around the Union in search of supplies, Residual Memories, equipment upgrades, and optional side events. However, plot related events still take place primarily on fixed paths that leave little in the way of exploration.
  • Yet Another Stupid Death: Failing to stay out of Stefano's sight early in the game prompts him to freeze Sebastian with his camera and slash open his throat faster than you can say "cheese".
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: The head of Mobius planned to do this to Sebastian in the end. Kidman attempted to stop him from terminating Sebastian at the same time Sebastian finds his daughter in STEM. With the help of Myra's psychic influence, they succeed in stopping the head of Mobius and his mooks.
  • You Have Researched Breathing: Sebastian starts the game with the knowledge on how to perform sneak attacks on unaware enemies from behind, but needs some Green Gel to learn how to sneak attack monsters from cover. He also can throw bottles to distract enemies, but needs a trip to the nurse’s office to figure out how to smash them into someone’s face to escape a grab (though he has this skill by default if playing on Casual mode).
  • You Shouldn't Know This Already: You cannot craft special bolts for the Warden Crossbow until you find a completed one somewhere in the game, even if you have the parts to make it yourself. Presumably Sebastian has to reverse-engineer a bolt to figure out how it's made.


Stefano Valentino

Stefano Valentino, serial killer and fine-artist, given god-like powers within the mindscape of Union

How well does it match the trope?

5 (7 votes)

Example of:

Main / MadArtist

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