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Video Game / The Night of the Rabbit

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"Nothing is impossible in a day of summer vacation."
Marquis de Hoto

The Night of the Rabbit is a 2013 point-and-click Adventure Game developed by Daedalic Entertainment and designed by Matthias Kempke, who is known for the indie game What Makes You Tick: A Stitch in Time.

Jeremiah "Jerry" Hazelnut is a 12-year-old boy who dreams of becoming a magician. He is on summer vacation, which is going to end in just two days. Jerry is visited by the mysterious rabbit Marquis de Hoto who invites him to Mousewood, a fairytale-like place populated by colorful sentient animals, where he will be trained to be a magician.

The game starts very innocent and light-hearted, but there are signs that something somber is going on...

Not to be confused with Night of the Lepus.

The Tropes of the Rabbit:

  • Adults Are Useless: Played with. During the second encounter with Humbert, Spitsweg could easily use his adult superiority and wisdom (which Humbert took to in one of the audiobooks) so the brat would let them pass. He acknowledges this yet refuse to, telling Jerry that kids can work out their differences just fine... turning the whole thing an into a moral lesson how kids have to learn how to solve their own simple problems with one another without always resorting for adults to shut it down by force.
  • All in the Manual: Minor example with the woodsprite's stories. They flesh out minor or one-note characters (Steinberg's dwarfmates; Humbert who seemed like a spoiled Know-Nothing Know-It-All in-game, really is one of most critical and smartest member of Mousewood and is a very responsible and attentive brother to his own little sister) or expand cryptic lines and Noodle Incidents (Plato and his giant tree with a raven dream).
  • Amphibian at Large: One of the magical realms has a giant, sleeping toad. Jerry must speak to it to learn a new spell. Jerry is initially scared of the toad, but he calms down when he realizes that the toad is harmless, if a bit grumpy. The toad later appears in the villain, Zaroff's, Perilous Play. Zaroff insists that the toad is a monster that will eat Jerry if Jerry gets too close, and brainwashes the toad to think so as well. Jerry restores the toad's memory, saving him from Zaroff's spell before he can do any harm.
  • Arc Number: The number four appears throughout the game. Jerry visits four different worlds through four portals; he learns four different spells; four foreign lizards come to Mousewood and Zaroff creates the curse on the First Tree by driving four nails, each made of a cursed metal, into its bark. The real Marquis de Hoto also carries 4 swords.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: After the prologue of the game, which acts as the first part of the tutorial, the rest of said tutorial is delivered by a radio program using a tone somewhere between a sport coach and a meditation teacher to tell the character to imagine a mouse cursor in front of him... and then proceeds to explain how to use the buttons of the mouse to interact with the environment. The character comments about how it feels like he really sees a cursor.
  • Carnivore Confusion: Averted. In Mousewood there is a law that states "if it breathes, it is not food".
  • Childhood Memory Demolition Team: After returning to Jerry's home after a long time skip you see one near the woods with purpose to cut it down to make way for expanding city.
    Jerry: The city looks like a huge gray wave rolling toward me.
  • Creepy Circus Music: "Zaroff's Show," a whimsical circus march tune that plays when Jerry finally meets the Great Zaroff, the only magician in the game who embraces the image of a Stage Magician, and also, being the Big Bad, the only evil magician.
  • Darker and Edgier: The story starts as an innocent quest of a kid pursuing his dream, but after Jerry learns his 5th spell the game and the story take a sharp darker turn and his quest becomes more personal. More specifically, the Big Bad casts a curse in Mousewood and Jerry is thrown to his home just to find out that he had been missing for years and that his mother is no longer around (possibly dead). On top of that, his father has been expelled from Jerry's world, erased from everyone's memory and is lost in the space between worlds.
  • Dark Reprise: The music of each one of the four acts of the Big Bad's play is a twisted version of a background music you heard before.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Facing their darkest flaws in the Mirror of Shadows planted in both the Marquis and Zaroff seeds of darkness that gradually corrupted them.
  • Disappeared Dad: Jerry's father is nowhere to be seen in the opening sequences of the game. This is made into a plot point very later in the game. Actually when the memory of Marquis de Hoto entered Jerry's world, this forced Jerry's father to exit the world and even the memories about him were erased from the other people.
  • Door to Before: After you cure Steinberg's sickness, he tells you about a shortcut to Tree Trunk Café which is in a tunnel next to his bed, saving him from a long trip back to Mousewood. Jerry wonders why he wasn't told before about itnote .
  • Drunk on Milk: One of the guests of the Hares' party, a brown mouse with hat, is drunk with coffee.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: In-universe example. Zaroff mocks Jerry that he won't see his mother again, when the player clicks on the Christmas tree in the fourth act of his play. The audience instantly sides with Jerry and boos at Zaroff for bringing his mother into this.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: If you play Quartets with the fox statue it shows Kitsune's human form despite you don't actually see this form in-canon for quite a while, this is even before you know what the statue is. if it's benevolent or evil.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Despite all hardships, Jerry manages to get one. He overcomes his fears, defeats the Big Bad, restores his father back into his world, returns back to his own time and place in time for dinner and is greeted by both of his parents.
  • Entendre Failure: Jerry, being 12, doesn't get some of Ludwig's inappropriate punchlines.
  • Eyepatch After Time Skip: Of a sort: the Marquis de Hoto that Jeremy meets is actually a memory of his past self, before his Face–Heel Turn. The real, "present", one, seen in The Stinger, is sporting an eyepatch.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • The very first scene of the game shows an important place that you will visit very later on.
    • The posters in Jerry's room show some places where you will go during the game.
    • You see posters of The Great Zaroff very early in the game, but it will take a while until you learn more about him.
  • Forgotten First Meeting: The Marquis only has a slight Dejavu upon seeing the wood sprite in the old magicians home despite encountering him in the beginning of the game.
  • Glory Seeker: This is among the motivations of the Big Bad The Great Zaroff, who hypnotizes the Mousewood people so they can watch his show.
  • Green Thumb: Jerry learns a spell that allows him to make plants grow.
  • Guest-Star Party Member: In the prologue of the game, you briefly play as the fake Marquis before you meet Jerry.
  • Guide Dang It!: The chain of actions you need to accomplish to get enough Blue Juice for the festival might get you stuck at one or two points, at least. Special mention goes to passing through Humbert for the second time. solution.
  • The Hero's Journey: Jerry's journey is this. He departs from his world, he is initiated is magic so he can return to his home.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: In the fight against the Big Bad the nails that he used to curse the First Tree with are used by Jerry to counter and seal away his magic for good.
  • Hugh Mann: The lizards, who wear wooden human masks and insist that they are humans.
  • In the End, You Are on Your Own: Played with. Before entering the 5th portal to go after the Big Bad, Jerry states this trope verbatim, however his friends Kitsune and Plato arrive and go with him. But they disappear right after Jerry get to the other side. Fortunately Jerry eventually finds them.
  • Ironic Echo: Marquis de Hoto's catch phrase "Nothing is impossible" is used by the real (and evil) Marquis de Hoto in the very last scene after being told that he cannot escape from his seal.
  • Jackass Genie: The leprechaun Jerry meets. Jerry wishes to be successful, and he is turned into an Italian plumber with a mustache.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Jerry ponders at first about the giant pumpkins, but he states that it is no surprise considering that he is in a world with talking mice of his size.
  • Leit Motif: All of the Magician characters - de Hoto, Molena, and Zaroff - have a theme tune that is a variation on the main menu music.
  • Lost in Translation: Ludwig the mole's radio ident in the original German is "Welle Sumpf 103 Punkt Funf … fünf!" — intentionally mispronouncing the word fünf ('five') to sort of rhyme with Sumpf ('swamp'). In English, this is changed to "Swamp Radio 103 Point Six…er…five", transforming the radio presenter from one who's fond of bad puns to one who can't remember the number of his own station.
  • Mass Hypnosis: The magic of the four cursed nails seeps through the First Tree into all connected worlds. Everybody affected by the curse gains an intolerable compulsion to gain a ticket to see 'The Great Zaroff's' show.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise:
    • The lizards with human masks that you find through Mousewood.
    • You use a pair of ethereal wings to get access to the moths place.
  • Perilous Play: The Great Zaroff has turned the inside of the First Tree into a theater, with the audience being the brainwashed people of Mousewood. In an attempt to break Jerry's spirit, he forces him to reenact various scenes from his adventure with a darker twist. Even worse is that his friends have been brainwashed into going along with the play as well.
  • Playable Epilogue: You get to talk with Mousewood's inhabitants during the credits.
  • Point of No Return: It happens twice.
    • After you enter the 4th portal. Right before that, the game is kind enough to warn you that things won't be like before once you come out and that if you are still looking for something you should not enter yet (all the sidequests become unavailable from this point on and Mousewood's citizens will be cursed).
    • After you enter the 5th portal for the endgame scenario. You will not able to return until the Big Bad is defeated.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The Hedgehog Brothers wear red and blue and fit this dynamic, but the colors are actually inverted: The red one is analytical and likes to plan things out before woodcutting, and the blue one likes to just jump right into it.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: The only reptiles in the game proper end up being evil. Kind of uselessly evil if they hadn't had Zaroff's power, though.
  • Righteous Rabbit: He may be a bit eccentric and even enigmatic, but the Marquis de Hoto is decidedly on the side of good. Some characters later imply that he has done terrible things in the past and hint that he may have sinister motives. He does not. But, then, he isn't the real Marquis de Hoto.
  • Scenery Porn: The game shows two distinct art styles — one for the gameplay, one for the narration of background story and for the quartet cards — which resemble the illustrations of a children's book. Characters, settings and items are all hand-drawn.
  • Sequel Hook: Even though Jerry's journey is self contained, the game leaves a few open threads. The high priestess of the moths is yet to arrive, the crow attacks have not been sorted out (though the backpack mouse, who disappeared early on the game, seems to be going to do something about it), and the real Marquis de Hoto might have or might have not escaped his imprisonment.
  • Shout-Out:
    • At some point a leprechaun turns you into a plumber with a mustache and Italian accent.
    • Late in the game, in the area past the 5th portal, some of the locations seen are actually from Daedalus Entertainment's previous games:
      • An image showing a suitcase being packed with a bolt cutter refers to one of the very first puzzles you can find in Deponia.
      • An image of a flooded and abandoned city with a giant red bridge in the background, sets up the Bad Future in A New Beginning
      • An image of a giant petrified many-eyed fish is actually seen in a dark cave in The Whispered World
    • Early on in the game, you have to deliver a letter to A. Molena. Sent by one M. Calavera, travel agent.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Throughout the last legs of the game, the Big Bad is constantly trying to get Jerry to give up and die. Jerry often talks back to him. This is best shown when the player clicks on the fourth and final magical nail. Jerry says that the nail must go, and the Big Bad tries to convince him otherwise, and they start to go back and forth in an argument. The Big Bad eventually gives up, grumbling.
  • Start of Darkness: A. Molena relays in a very well animated sequence how the Big Bad came to be the person they are in the game. It's also the story of how his mentor, the Marquis de Hoto, lost his way.
  • The Theme Park Version: The sets in Zaroff's play are all replicas with cheap props of the four realms where Jerry learned his spells earlier.
  • Troll Bridge: Happens twice in the game. In both of them Humbert is guarding the bridge and demands an absurdly high amount of money in order to let you pass.
  • Violation of Common Sense: One achievement requires you to click on Junior's beetle 1000 times. Jerry lampshades the insanity of this if you do it.
    Jerry: Who would click on a beetle 1000 times, dude?
  • Wilhelm Scream: Heard when Jerry is inside the Hedgehog Brothers' boat and seems to plummet down the Inevitable Waterfall. He manages to get out at the last second thanks to the grappling hook.
  • Year Inside, Hour Outside: Thanks to Portal Tree magic, Jerry's adventures in Mousewood can last for days, even weeks, but only half a day at most passes by back in his home world. This is even addressed when Jerry tells the Marquis that he needs to be home by dinnertime. However, when the Big Bad puts his plan into motion and things start to go horribly wrong, Jerry is temporarily sent back to his own world several years in the future.