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Video Game / The Splitting

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The Splitting is an online Adventure Game series by Fireberry Studio. The original game was released in January 2015, chapter 2 followed in September 2016, and chapter 3 was released in March 2022.

It begins when a man named Daniel wakes up one morning without a reflection. It turns out that having a reflection is the only thing preventing people from passing through the mirror and ending up in the mirror world on the other side. Daniel meets a reflection named llehctiM, and the two of them start on a journey to find their other selves.

Puzzles revolve around manipulating items from both worlds. The mirror world is a great way to get duplicates of items. It can also cause trouble as the mirror world is falling apart in any area without a mirror, destroying important items and blocking some paths with rubble.

This game provides examples of:

  • Abandoned Hospital: The east wing of the asylum in chapter 2.
  • A Bloody Mess: In Chapter 3, geM smears ketchup on a reflection's face, making her original think she has a nosebleed when she sees it.
  • Cats Are Magic: geM states in Chapter 3 that cats seem able to sense unbound reflections acting in the mirror world. She can interact with two of them from the mirror plane.
  • Color Contrast: Shadowed areas of the mirror prison in Chapter 3 are painted with neon blue and green eye-mandala motifs that stick out brilliantly against the muted colors of the shadows.
  • Cordon Bleugh Chef: The prison cooks in Chapter 3 seem to be some of these, since someone has crossed out "Lentil Soup" on the menu and written "Sticky Soup" in its place.
  • Deadly Rotary Fan: In Chapter 2, Daniel can't put a fork into the relatively slow-moving AC exhaust fan while it's still moving, citing that he's liable to lose a finger.
  • Deadpan Snarker: geM.
  • Developer's Foresight: If you ask the inmate by the prison's garden to look through the third eye while geM is near his reflection, he'll describe her, though he thinks she's a spirit.
  • Dialogue Tree: A major mechanic of these games.
  • Dream Intro: The game starts with a scene that Daniel perceives as a dream.
  • Dual-World Gameplay: It is important to find and manipulate items from both the normal world and the mirror world to solve the puzzles.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: An early puzzle in Chapter 3 requires you to get yourself stuck behind a wall of boxes that regenerates when you reset the room. It illustrates that it's possible to get stuck sometimes if you misuse the pocket mirror, but you can talk to Stella through the pocket mirror if you need help.
  • Fantastically Indifferent: Daniel's reaction to losing his reflection is basically "Well, how am I supposed to shave now?"
  • Fantastic Scientist: Stella is an unbound original doing research and interviews in the mirror world to elucidate the mechanism behind splittings. She had been a graduate student but abandoned her doctoral research to study splittings after undergoing one of her own.
  • Flashback: geM has a playable one at the start of Chapter 3.
  • Hanging Around: How David kills himself.
  • Heart in the Wrong Place: Unbound reflections can be distinguished from original people by the position of their hearts. Originals' hearts will be on the left side and reflections' on the right. The two groups of unbound in the mirror world even call each other "righties" and "lefties," referring to this difference.
  • Hint System: There's usually someone Daniel can talk to for a hint at what to do next. In Chapter 1, it's llehctiM that fills this role.
  • Impersonating an Officer: Daniel manages to do this even while wearing a prison jumpsuit by saying he's on an undercover mission. Why the guard he talks to doesn't notice his badge is printed backwards is another topic altogether.
  • Imposter Exposing Test: When Daniel questions llehctiM's actually being a reflection, llehctiM proves it by demonstrating that his heart is on the right side of his chest, whereas an original's would be on the left.
  • Informing the Fourth Wall: As with most adventure games, Daniel does this when examining objects or when combining or using items. There are a lot of reactions specific to particular items and combinations, which can include hints of the correct object to use.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: As a general rule, it's okay to take anything from the mirror world, as long as its removal won't hurt any of the reflections when they try to mimic what's going on in the real world.
  • Lock and Key Puzzle: There are a few puzzles like this. Frequently the key is from the wrong world, and Daniel needs to find some way to flip it.
  • Mailman vs. Dog: The newspaper kid in Chapter 1 won't give you the newspaper until you give him money because your dog ruined his new jeans.
  • The Man in the Mirror Talks Back: In Chapter 2, geM and Meg can be seen having a conversation with each other through a mirror.
  • Mirror World: The world on the other side of the mirror. Areas that don't have reflections are considered shadow rooms and fall into decay and disrepair.
  • Missing Secret: In Chapter 1, there's a pair of socks that go in your inventory and do nothing. They're supposed to be a hint that you need a pair of the more useful thermal socks.
  • Mistaken for Afterlife: David's reflection survives David's suicide and ends up believing that he is a ghost because no one can see or hear him and that the mirror world is a strange afterlife.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: In Chapter 2, Daniel helps llehctiM meet with someone who can help him find Mitchell. He doesn't realize until afterward that this was a mistake and he had likely put llehctiM in danger.
  • One Myth to Explain Them All: Stella theorizes that a lot of myths are based off splittings. The example she gives is vampires not having reflections. Later in Coldwin Prison, you find a book that describes how to see through the eyes of your reflection, but framed in mysticism, calling reflections "twin spirits," unbound reflections "lone spirits," and seeing the mirror world "seeing through the third eye."
  • Poor Communication Kills: In Chapter 2, Daniel helps llehctiM meet with someone that can help him find Mitchell. geM was trying to prevent llehctiM from finding Mitchell since Mitchell probably tried to kill llehctiM, but she didn't tell Daniel this because she didn't trust him.
  • Prison Episode: In Chapter 3, Daniel and geM search Coldwin Prison for clues about Mitchell.
  • Sdrawkcab Name: People from the mirror world use the original's name spelled backwards to differentiate themselves. They even put the capital letter at the end.
  • Stock Animal Diet: You can feed a cat in Chapter 2 and Chapter 3. In both cases, the food is fish (an employee's tuna sandwich in Chapter 2, and a fish skeleton in Chapter 3).
  • The Password Is Always "Swordfish": The combination for the warden's safe in Chapter 3 is her birthday.
  • Unending End Card: Chapter 1 stops on the credits. While the player can return to the main menu during the game, the credits page doesn't give that option.
  • Uniqueness Rule: Some puzzles involve duplicating objects, but you can only carry one instance of an item at a given time. You can't take two cleaning fluids even though you can duplicate them, nor can you take more than one book at a time in order to build a makeshift stepstool.
    • Subverted with four pairs of handcuffs geM gathers in Chapter 3. They look identical in inventory but are taken from four different guards and can't be duplicated because (from a Watsonian perspective) resetting the rooms the guards are in would destroy important clues.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: People in the mirror world don't react to Daniel because reflections still bound to their original will only react to things happening in the original world. This lets him sneak into places he wouldn't otherwise be allowed to go.
  • Vampires Hate Garlic: Referenced by geM in Chapter 3 when she sees the mirror prison's back door festooned with onions and garlic.
  • Variable Mix: The soundtrack changes based on mirror state, seemingly using a cross-fade method.
  • Wainscot World: The mirror world exists on the other side of any mirror in the original world and is populated by people who act exactly like their reflections... except in the event of a splitting. Furthermore, unbound righties and lefties also have their own society within the mirror world.
  • Water Wake Up: Stella employs an extreme version to complete llehctiM's splitting in the flashback sequence of Chapter 3. Specifically, she submerges him in a bathtub and lets him almost drown.
  • Wham Line: geM's explanation of how a splitting occurs counts as one.
  • What Are You in For?: Steven asks Daniel this question while the latter is disguised as an inmate. Daniel's response is that he had some problems with his taxes.
  • You Shouldn't Know This Already: There are some items that Daniel will refuse to pick up before it becomes apparent that they're relevant, such as a family photo that he won't pick up until he sees that it's missing in the reflection world.