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Video Game / The Hanged Man

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The Hanged Man is the fourth (and, chronologically, last) installment of Uri's Strange Men Series.

William Morton is in a snowy town. After getting into some trouble, he meets up and gets taken in by David Hoover, which his original goal was. However, Will feels uncomfortable in David's presence and sneaks out of the house in the dead of night, choosing to stay in a motel instead.

The next day, he wanders around town and finds an old, abandoned building deep in the woods. Will enters it and has a look around, then his pet rat Pop runs away from him. He comes across Keith Baring, who tells him that he has to leave. Will refuses to leave until he finds Pop, so he begins to search the building, meeting and befriending a homeless guy, Edward, along the way. Unfortunately, a killer whom Keith is chasing is also inside said building...


The translated game can be found here.

The Hanged Man contains examples of:

  • Abandoned Hospital: The main location of the game is a former mental asylum, which was turned into a homeless shelter after several years. It was closed and abandoned after the Happy Murders incident.
  • Accidental Murder: The truth about Ed only amplifies the dangers Will is in. Ed accidentally killed his father in a blind rage and wants to make amends by performing a “Happy Murder” with Will as the victim. It’s even worse because he seemed friendly with Will in earlier scenes. The only reason he didn’t kill Will was because he didn’t have George Schmid’s notebook, which contains the method of performing the murder.
  • The Adjectival Man: The game's title, as usual. Though unlike the previous installments in the Strange Men series which were named for their main antagonist, the titular hanged man appears only briefly in one of Will's flashbacks and was simply a frail old man who decided to end his life. It was only his final Inspirational Speech he gave to Will that bears any importance to the plot, specifically to Will's Character Development.
  • Berserk Button: Played straight with Edward, who becomes dangerously unstable when someone swears in front of him. This was a result of his father's verbal abuse, alongside the physical abuse. Will learns to tone down his language the first time when Ed politely asks him to. Rob doesn't, and the next time he swears, Ed beats him to near-death.
    • Serves as a Chekhov's Gun for Will (see Cluster F-Bomb).
  • Big Bad: The killer that Keith is chasing haunts the hospital where William Morton is exploring, and plots to make Will his next victim. It turns out to be Edward Hayes, the homeless guy that Will befriended, who killed his abusive father and is the last remaining member of the cult behind the Happy Murders.
  • Big "SHUT UP!": Keith yells at Will and Sophie to shut up when they run up to him and start rambling about seeing ghosts.
  • Big, Stupid Doodoo-Head: Will regularly calls Sophie a "dummy" when she either doesn't believe his ghost stories or when she's getting just a little too touchy with him.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • Several items found by Will end up being needed to advance through the building. This includes a nametag found in a letter, a knife hidden under a table, and even the Hanged Man tarot card he starts the game with.
    • Keith's gun is a literal example. He's forced to kick it away from him during a scene. If the player picks it up and manages to return it to Keith before the Point of No Return, it will determine which ending their current branch gets.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Invoked. Will pulls one off to trigger Ed's buttons and distract him, which gives Keith time to escape.
  • Continuity Nod: Keith mentions the worst castle tour and Sophie's insistent belief in fairies.
  • Creepy Child: One patient of the asylum is mentioned to have been incredibly creepy, and she was the source of the headless doll. She was so bad that she ended up forcing one of the psychiatrists into taking an extended leave.
  • Creepy Doll: The Headless Doll, which keeps appearing in certain places.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: The Happy Murder victims were hung, their stomachs cut open, and left to bleed out.
  • Eek, a Mouse!!: Sophie freaks out when Will briefly reunites with Pop. Because of her reaction, Will loses Pop yet again and Will demands that Sophie leave him.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Robert and Ed care deeply for each other. Even if Ed is a murderer, and Robert is willing to become one himself, in an attempt to make up for abandoning Ed years ago.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Unlike the preceding games, in none of the bad endings does the protagonist (Will in this case) die. However, he either goes insane, gets mutilated and mentally scarred to the point he becomes afraid to ever go out again, or is haunted by what he has experienced and threatened into silence while two murderers get away with their crimes.
  • Foreshadowing: Early in the game, the player can observe a map in the asylum that urges people to use the nearest, fastest route to leave the building in case of fire. Will isn't escaping from a fire, but the knowledge and usage of the connecting paths allows him to flee the building without getting caught by Ed.
  • Four Is Death: The asylum is made up of four buildings, with the fourth being the darkest and most decrepit of the bunch. It's also the location where the playable characters begin to die during certain endings.
  • Happily Married: Helena and Keith, considering any plans of divorce from the previous game aren't mentioned.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: Just like in The Boogie Man, the real villains behind the scenes are regular humans with no connections to the supernatural — and they're every bit as deranged and dangerous as they can be.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane:
    • It's unclear if Will is talking to the dead, just hallucinating it, or a mixture of both. There's evidence that could support either interpretation.
    • In the flashback with Old Billy, the dog told Will about his owner being cruel to him and having an affair with another woman. Will accused his counselor about mistreating his dog and bringing a woman to the operating room. While Will never got an answer about the woman, the doctor was apparently not feeding his dog regularly.
  • Multiple Endings:
    • A Cornered Rat: Choose to not follow Sophie and don't return the gun to Keith. Ed brings Will and an unconscious Keith into the storage room to perform the Happy Murders and become happy again. Keith wakes up and attacks Ed, yelling at Will to run away during the resulting struggle, who does as told. Will hides in a nearby patient room. Once the air is clear, he returns to the storage room and sees Keith's corpse hung from the ceiling. Ed returns and Will freaks out, shooting Ed multiple times and, finally, blowing his head off. Will loses his mind and keeps Keith's gun, determined to rid himself of anyone that may try to corner him.
    • Out Of The Window: Choose to follow Sophie and don't return the gun to Keith. When Will returns to aid an injured Keith, he sees Ed and demands he stay away from Keith, pointing the gun at him. Keith tries to stop Will from using the broken gun, but Will shoots and the gun backfires, blasting several of his fingers off. In the hospital, Will's hands have been amputated, but he's relieved to hear that Sophie is alive, despite his initial belief. Keith leaves, and Will is last seen in his room, listening to Old Billy talking to him.
    • Deep In The Woods: Choose to follow Sophie and return the gun to Keith. Will and Sophie are heading for the exit when they see Ed and Keith has his gun trained on him. Robert shoots Keith from behind and then kills Sophie, forcing Will to help him and Ed hide the bodies. Before they leave, Robert warns Will to never talk about what happened, otherwise his and his family's life will be in danger. Will is on his way home with his mother, defiantly telling himself that nothing happened in those woods.
    • Real Good Man: Choose to not follow Sophie and return the gun to Keith. Will escapes the building with Ed hot on his heels, which gives an injured Keith enough time to safely get away. Will confronts Ed in the woods, and Keith and Sophie arrive in time to keep Will safe. Ed gets taken into police custody and admits to killing his father; Robert is on his way to recovery; David and Will have a good talk about their relation, and Keith returns Pop to Will. On his way home with his mother, Will realizes that Pop won't talk to him anymore, but promises to grow up and become someone to be proud of.
  • New Game Plus: Should the player obtain the Real Good Man ending, then replay the game and aim for the same ending, a few scenes are added to the story. This turns it into the Golden Ending, which Uri says is the game's real ending.
  • Not in Front of the Kid: In Real Good Man, Helena won't kiss Keith's injury because Will is in the room. Keith tells her that Will isn't a kid anymore, who promptly sits up and agrees, telling her to go ahead.
  • Not Quite the Right Thing: You would think that going after Sophie after Will yells at her would be the right thing, correct? Wrong! In two of the Bad Endings, Sophie is hurt or killed because she promised to come back to help Will look for Pop. By not going after her, she's spared from being killed or strangled by Rob.
  • Point of No Return:
    • The game locks itself into a Bad or Good ending branch halfway through the game when the player enters the Dining Room in Building 2, and the scene ends with Will yelling at Sophie to go away. The choice comes in the form of going after Sophie or ignoring her.
    • In Building 4, the last point of making a choice to alter the ending is after the scene between Robert, Will, and Keith in the Day Room, when Will realizes that he has to tell Keith that Ed is in the building. The choice comes in the form of heading into the Shower Room first and grabbing Keith's gun. Doing so allows Will to return the gun to Keith, while not going there leads to Will grabbing the gun later, but unable to return it.
  • Previous Player-Character Cameo: David Hoover, Sophie Grundler, and Keith Baring have their share of a role to play.
  • Reliably Unreliable Guns: Keith's gun ends up exploding in Will's hands in Bad Ending 2, blowing his fingers off.
  • The Runaway: Will left home and went off to meet with David, without letting his mother know where he was going or what he was planning. She isn't seen except for certain endings, but must be going through hell because she doesn't know where her child is. Fortunately, David can call Will out on this during certain endings, as Will put David through something similar when he snuck out.
  • Shout-Out: Will can find a book depicting Oedipus killing Laius. It's a parallel to Ed killing his father.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: Unlike in the other games of the Strange Men Series, the titular Hanged Man is not the game's Big Bad and is only shown in a flashback scene. That said, it was after seeing him that Will started seeing ghosts and hearing animals speak.
  • Stalker with a Crush/Stalker Without A Crush: Either interpretation is given for the creepy patient and her frequent gifts to one of the doctors.
  • Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl: One's shadow can be seen walking around the asylum a few times. Will eventually recognizes her as Misery, what he called her ghost years ago.
  • Title Drop: The Hanged Man is referenced a few times, in its tarot card form and being a dead person that talked to Will when he was a child.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: The homeless people ignored the hung corpses after the Happy Murders occurred.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Will throwing up in some endings is shown in all its sprite-based glory.
  • Waxing Lyrical: When Pop suggests Will to "Beat it" during the Good Ending, he'll say to "show them the funky strength of your fight".
  • Wham Line: This line from Robert reveals both the killer's identity and a second bombshell:
    Robert: Detective, please... won't you let my little brother Ed go?