The Whispered World is a traditional point-and-click adventure game designed by Marco Hullen and developed by Daedalic Entertainment, featuring beautiful hand-drawn 2D graphics.
It tells the story of Sadwick, a young, sad clown beset by nightmares which seem to foretell the End of the World. One day, Sadwick meets a messenger of the king on an important mission to prevent the impending apocalypse. At the messenger's direction, Sadwick seeks out the oracle Shana, who tells him the meaning of his dreams: that he himself is prophesied to be the harbinger of the world's destruction.
Sadwick, despite his tendency towards pessimism, refuses to accept his destiny as a destroyer, and takes it upon himself to save the world. To do that, he needs to carry a magical artifact called the Whispering Stone to Corona, to the King's Castle. It's a long journey, full of trials and tribulations, but Sadwick refuses to let either his own insecurities or the very real dangers in his path dissuade him from fighting against fate.
Has a Sequel titled Silence, which tales place a few years after this game, and where we follow the ill boy, whose name is Noah, and his sister Renie as they travel to this world, called Silence.
The game provides examples of the following tropes:
- Aerith and Bob: Sadwick and his brother Ben.
- All for Nothing: In the end, none of Sadwick's attempts to save his world amount to anything. Silence is nothing but the comatose dream of a sick boy whose father is reading him a story and Sadwick's forced to wake him up, effectively destroying both Silence and himself.
- All Just a Dream: Turns out, Sadwick is the avatar of a dreaming, comatose boy whose father is trying to wake him up by telling him a carefully crafted story. Really makes you rethink the title and opening narration, huh?
- Animal Companion: A caterpillar named Spot who can take on various useful forms.
- Aloof Big Brother: Sadwick's older brother Ben, who constantly reminds Sadwick of how much better he is at everything.
- Bittersweet Ending: Sadwick chooses to sacrifice himself and Silence to save the sick boy, leading to a heartwarming scene of the boy waking up in the hospital and his overjoyed father hugging him. The bitter part comes into play when the final scene shows the boy looking into a mirror to see Sadwick watch him with pure sorrow in his eyes.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: Sadwick does this occasionally. For instance, if you keep trying to make him grab things on a high shelf:Sadwick: I'm too short to reach the shelf. Thanks for reminding me, by the way.
- Broken Ace: It becomes apparent that Bobby the Chaski (elite messenger/spy/warrior) is a Lovable Coward at best after a few minutes conversation with him. That's one reason why Sadwick volunteers to do his job.
- But Thou Must!: The only way to end the game is to smash the mirror that leads to the real world. Trying to go back to Silence won't work, unless you're stubborn enough to try ten times in a row, and even then all you get is a Fake-Out Fade-Out. Attacking the sick boy between the mirrors is also not an option, even though Sadwick briefly considers doing it.
- Chekhov's Boomerang: Grandpa's pantaloons.
- Circus Brat: Sadwick, who lives at the circus with his grandfather and older brother.
- Cruelty Is the Only Option: You'll need all of Spot's transformation abilities to progress through the game, but getting those abilities often involves doing things to Spot that would kill or seriously injure a non-shapeshifter.Sadwick: No animals were harmed in the making of this game. Except Spot.
- Deadpan Snarker: Sadwick is often this.
- Dreaming of Things to Come
- The End of the World as We Know It: What Sadwick is prophesied to bring about. He does.
- The Eeyore: Sadwick often waxes on his own uselessness and the futility of his existence.
- Evil Overlord: Loucaux, Lord of the Asgil.
- Fainting Seer: Shana, the oracle of the Autumn Forest.
- Fake-Out Fade-Out: If you try to get back into Silence ten times when between the mirrors, you get to see a fake ending with Sadwick sitting in nothingness as king, pouting before he complains how bored he is and the game putting you back between the mirrors.
- Harmless Villain: The Rock Bros., who wish to enslave the world, but are hindered by the fact that they're merely a couple of talking rocks.
- Human Cannonball: Part of Sadwick's act, and also used for multiple puzzles.
- I Can't Reach It: Typical for an adventure game, but somewhat justified by Sadwick's self-defeating attitude; he often won't even try to do something because he assumes that he will fail.
- Ill Boy: The little boy in the hospital in the real world. We don't know what happened to him, only that he is in a very deep coma.
- Jerkass: Ben isn't shy about giving Sadwick shit; he doesn't even take Sadwick seriously about how deeply the kid resents him for all the abuse.
- King on His Deathbed: The King of Corona
- Lethal Chef: Sadwick's grandpa makes petroleum soup, among other abhorrent concoctions. Sadwick tells of a time when Grandpa accidentally read the map instead of a recipe and made Northeast for lunch. The Asgil chefs are this as well, though their food is delicious for other Asgil.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Repeatedly in chapter 4. Sadwick just can't catch a break. He fixes the astrolab only to summon the big talking Sphere that plans to destroy the world, then stops the Sphere only to freeze time and enable the Asgil to take over, then stops Loucaux only to summon the Sphere again.Creator commentary: I love this part. Everytime the player solves a puzzle and thinks "I did it, I made it better", they realize they made it much, much worse.
- No Indoor Voice: BANDO!!!
- Noodle Incident: Sadwick tells us that grandpa's pantaloons supposedly saved his life twice, and once started a war. He also founded a cult based around how they were supposed to save the world.
- Sad Clown: Sadwick, Sadwick, Sadwick. It's right there in the opening narration, too.
- Scenery Porn: Many of the backgrounds in the game are gorgeous.
- Shaped Like Itself: "Rusty nails. About as handy as rusty nails."
- To I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream:Sadwick: Hey, you have a mouse.
Bando: Of course I have a mouth...AND I MUST SCREAM!
- When Sadwick comes across a wall that seems like it should open, he tries "Open Sesame", "Mellon" and "Ken sent me". Neither work.
- When asked about how he reached the capital so quickly, which was what Sadwick was trying to accomplish through majority proportion of the game, Bobby said he just had his Hearthstone still set to the castle courtyard.
- To I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream:
- Sssssnake Talk: Some of the Asgil talk like this.
- Speech Impediment: Sadwick has a bit of one. Probably because Ben once tricked him into eating rocks.
- Turtle Island: Kalida's island. As it turns out, the island is on Kalida's back.
- Violation of Common Sense: Some puzzle solutions, although they do still make sense according to Adventure Game logic. Sadwick lampshades:Sadwick: Do I really want to live in a world where behavior like this is rewarded?
- You Can't Fight Fate: Sadwick is understandably not happy about having been prophesied to end the world and does everything he can to prevent it from coming true. He fails.
- You Have to Burn the Web: A solution to a puzzle.