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Video Game / the white chamber

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This doesn't even begin to describe the madness.
Do you know where you are?
Do you regret?
Are you ready?

the white chamber [sic] is a freeware Point and Click horror-themed Adventure Game designed by British indie group Studio Trophis (which also specialized in animation), and released in March 2005.

the white chamber follows a young woman who awakens within a strange glowing coffin. She soon discovers that she is trapped on-board a space station, and that something has killed the rest of the crew. The only clues point towards something called the "white chamber", but to learn the truth the young woman must first survive whatever malevolent presence still pervades the ship...

The game has been applauded for its impressive Animesque artwork (and surprisingly high-quality animation), high-quality sounds, and its creepy atmosphere that has been compared to the likes of Silent Hill. Just keep an eye on the blackboard in the lab room, while you're at it.

The lead designer went on to develop another game, Kairo.

Not to be confused with the Crimson Room sequel.

the white chamber also has a prequel Audio Play called the grey tower.

This game provides examples of:

  • Abandoned Laboratory: The game takes place in one.
  • all lowercase letters: The game’s title, as can be seen above.
  • Alignment-Based Endings: There's a bunch of endings based on the main heroine's (and therefore player's) attempts to act good and to redeem her sins, none of which actually affect the gameplay otherwise.
  • All There in the Manual: the grey tower is a prequel audio drama that basically gives insight into the backstory of the game, and even hints at a greater tragedy that has yet to occur.
  • Amnesiac Dissonance: Sarah murdered the entire crew, and it all comes back at the end, though if you get the Redemption Ending, it doesn't turn her back to evil, since she regrets it all.
  • And I Must Scream: The fate of the souls trapped within the artifact. Sarah herself suffers this in the bad ending.
  • Animesque: Large eyes and Yu-Gi-Oh! styled character design abound.
  • Apocalyptic Log: Arthur's reports. He also turns out to be the one behind the horror. (Though if you compare his logs to "the grey tower"'s logs, he could simply be another victim.)
  • Arc Words: "Do you regret?" or some variation of it.
  • Artifact of Doom: The artefact, which is some sort of execution device for the guilty.
  • Art-Style Dissonance: The game is full of gorny content and scenery, while the main character looks like a Yu-Gi-Oh! character. It can be silly at first, though the contrast gets more disturbing whenever the main character is put through horrific stuff like the various Have a Nice Deaths and the torture scene.
  • The Atoner: Sarah. Until she redeems herself, Arthur forces her to relive the events of the game again and again.
  • Awful Truth: No matter how you end up playing her, Sarah is always the one who murdered the rest of the crew in cold blood just so she could get at the artefact.
  • Beyond Redemption: The Tormented ending. You failed to do anything good, resulting in Sarah awakening to find herself trapped in the coffin again except she's torn apart by disembodied figures as punishment for being unwilling to make up for her past sins.
  • Big Bad: Played with. The one responsible for trapping the protagonist in the hellish Dark World is the ship's technician Arthur Anderson, but he's doing it because the one who killed him and killed the other crew members is Sarah herself, to get to the artefact which is hinted to have influenced her and shown to have corrupted Arthur.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The chalkboard. It's the game's Karma Meter, and how many tics you have on it at the end of the game determines which ending you get.
  • Cliffhanger: The good ending has Sarah end up marooned alone on a deserted planet. What happens to her after this is presumably up to the player's imagination.
  • Creator In-Joke: The characters in the comedy ending are parodies of the creators' personalities. Also, the fridge, which smells so awful it can kill strongly resembles an actual fridge in one of the authors' student lodgings.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: The various death "endings".
    • The Venomous ending. Go into the fridge room too many times without disposing of the fridge soon results in the miasma choking out Sarah and melting her head off from the lower jaw up.
    • The Decayed ending. Answer "no" to the prompt asking you if you want to escape from the quarantine room and it cuts to an undetermined amount of time later of Sarah's skeleton still stuck in there, with evidence that Sarah tried to break out and spent a long and agonizing death trapped there.
    • In the Tormented ending, Sarah awakens to find herself trapped in the coffin again, except she gets torn apart by disembodied hands.
  • Dark World: This pops up every once in a while. Technically, this "dark world" is darker than usual, as the entire game sans the ending is spent in a dark world.
  • Death Is the Only Option: A trap involves your character caught in a pixelated game screen. The only way to get out is to set off a barrel of explosives, killing you in-game and restoring you to the real world. It is not the strangest thing you will see in the game.
  • Deadly Rotary Fan: Sarah tossed one of her colleagues into this.
  • Do Well, But Not Perfect: If you do everything right and fill the blackboard with all six marks, you get the bizarre comedy ending. If you want an ending that makes sense, you have to only have three to five marks on the blackboard.
  • Downer Ending: Several of them. Besides the instant deaths, you can be tortured forever by the spirits in the artefact, trapped to repeat the cycle again, or... The surreal comedy ending, which still ends with everyone dying.
    • Even the Redemption ending isn't that good either. The station exploded, removing traces of its existence except for those who stumble across any pieces of the wreckage left behind, and even if the wreckage is found, Sarah is on a deserted planet all alone with no other people, the ending image implying she's having to survive on her own. It's still highly likely that any passing ships investigating the wreckage will have no idea to look at that planet for survivors. Even though she is alive, she's effectively doomed to live on this planet by herself until she dies of any number of reasons. It can be seen as acceptable punishment given the situation, but regardless there's no happy ending.
  • Dull Surprise: While the written lines and character portrait suggest the situation is shocking and emotional, the VA continues to talk in the same neutral, measured tones even when discovering monstrosities or being forced to relive murders. This might have been a good sign of a detached, scientific, and/or sociopathic mind, but looks more like a failure to convey the emotion the character portrait suggests.
  • Easter Egg: A few. For starters, interacting with the MES console multiple times results in the protagonist ending up in a pixelated version of the room, complete with 8-bit music and and a pixel-art portrait. And if you use the droid code before your character is able to learn it, the corpse you assemble later on appears on-screen, glaring at you with the words "NOT YET" engraved in the place where its eyes would be. Also, there's the comedic ending.
  • Electric Torture: The protagonist ends up watching a tape of herself being electrically tortured... And this causes her to be literally warped onto that same table and tortured in the same manner.
  • Epiphanic Prison: The artefact traps prisoners in their own mind, forcing them to relieve their crime again and again until they realize why they're there, and atone.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: Arthur reveals to Sarah that he had a crush on her before she murdered him.
  • Everybody's Dead, Dave: And the protagonist killed them herself.
  • Eye Scream: There's an FMV devoted to a decapitated head with its eyes missing, and said eyes glow as if they were opening. And you find the eyes in a sealed box. Even with the eyes back in, it's not a pretty sight.
  • Fanservice: You get an image of Sarah in the background in a bikini as the credits roll in the good ending. The creators even have a wallpaper of it on their website named "Fan Service." The other endings... not so much.
  • Final Girl: Subverted — Sarah killed everyone else.
  • Friendly Scheming: The comedy ending.
  • Gainax Ending: The comedy ending. The devs even lampshade it, with the "You were confused by the Comedy Ending" message. This review by The Gaming Pixie had some fun with that one.
  • "Groundhog Day" Loop: The "Damned" ending. Until Sarah can redeem herself, she will continue to repeat the events of the game over and over again.
  • Hammerspace: You end up carrying an entire human corpse bigger than yourself, a barrel of explosives, and an assortment of odds and ends and can't tell by looking at the character. She even Lampshades it at one point.
  • It Came from the Fridge: Partway through the game, a fridge that emits an awful smell actuallly, acidic gas appears in the central chamber. Failing to deal with it appropriately results in one of the death endings. Although it only kills you if you exit and enter the room three times. On the fourth, Have a Nice Death.
  • Joke Ending: Getting a perfect score on the Karma Meter leads to the Comedy Ending, where the entire horror plot becomes the setup to a Scary Surprise Party for the player character.
  • Karma Meter: The Blackboard keeps track of the points you currently have, which determine which end you get.
  • The Killer in Me: Sarah is the one who murdered the rest of the crew. She finds out at the exact same time as the player.
  • Lecherous Licking: In the Tormented ending, one of the disembodied corpses is licking Sarah's abdomen as they tear her apart. Another disembodied face (or rather mouth) is also rather uncomfortably close to her face.
  • Mad Scientist: Sarah, before the events of the game.
  • Mobile Maze: The hallway with the giant eyeball. One of the most terrifying Mobile Mazes ever.
  • Mind Screw: The story is... Vague on some points.
  • Multiple Endings: Eight endings, that result in either Sarah dying or her escaping. The four ways you can die in the game are all labeled as "endings." As for actual story endings, there's four of them: A bad ending where Sarah gets torn apart by disembodied hands while trapped in a hibernation "coffin," a neutral Reset Button ending where the game starts over, a good ending where Sarah escapes to the planet below, and a Mind Screw comedy ending.
  • Never One Murder: When it conspires that you're a murderer, you get flashbacks to not one murder, but massacring the entire crew, one by one.
  • Non Standard Game Over: Unless you saved frequently, any of the four death "endings" will make you start all over.
  • No OSHA Compliance: The doors leading out into space and a perfectly accessible rotating fan. Who the hell designed this space station?
  • Nothing Is Scarier: One section of the game has you traversing the same hellish corridor over and over, with a giant eyeball on one wall. As you repeatedly cross the hallway, the eye opens, and then starts twitching wildly as the music gets louder and more tense. In the end, though, nothing happens.
    • In the voiced version of the game, you have a life bar which goes down while being electrocuted, but very slowly, so there's no real risk that you'll die. In the original unvoiced version, there was no life bar; you could never die at that point — but you didn't know that...
  • Once More, with Clarity!: After entering the White Chamber, the station returns to normal as Sarah remembers what she did to start off the events of the game.
  • One-Book Author: the white chamber is the only game that Studio Trophis ever released.
  • Only Sane Man: If the comedy ending is anything to go by, everyone on the crew but Sarah was an unhinged weirdo. The actual story inverts this with Sarah being a maniac who killed everyone else to get the artefact.
  • Precision F-Strike: If you try the laser cutter on the protagonist's shackles while she's being shocked to death, you get this.
  • Press X to Die: The "Fell Through Space" and "Decayed" endings. The former also falls under Too Dumb to Live.
  • Quest for Identity: In the beginning, the protagonist has amnesia. After The Reveal, it all comes flooding back to her.
  • Reality Warper: It's implied that Arthur might have become one after fusing with the artefact, explaining how he keeps Sarah in a loop and causes all the various hellish scenarios on the station.
  • Red Herring:
    • The Fire Extinguisher and Soda Can don't do anything. Try to use the soda can and you're informed it smells like dead fish.
    • Also, the spam e-mail really is just spam. You are NOT the pop singer; you were in fact a scientist and member of the crew.
  • The Reveal: Sarah murdered the entire crew to gain the artifact's power, and Arthur forced her into the nightmare to see if she could redeem herself.
  • Room Full of Crazy: This pops up whenever the Dark World occurs. The red writing is everywhere.
  • Scary Surprise Party: The comedy ending, thrown by your psychotic, nonsensical crew members.
  • Sequel Hook: In the good ending, the artefact isn't gone...
    • the grey tower also hints at a “greater tragedy” coming.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Slowly Slipping Into Evil: After remembering that she killed the rest of the crew, Sarah claims that the first murder came about during an argument, in the heat of the moment. The second murder was to cover up the first after the second victim discovered the first victim's body. The next two came about as Sarah began to spiral more and more into paranoia, and by the time she got around to Arthur, she admits there was no compelling reason to kill him (since he was locked up) other than the fact that he was the last one left and she could.
  • Sole Survivor: Sarah ends up as this in the good ending, as the only member of the crew to escape the station with her life. Of course, everyone else is dead because she's the one who killed them.
  • Solve the Soup Cans: Lampshaded. The protagonist has to collect a set of body parts including one she lops off herself (and it's not pretty, either), and assemble them on a bed. Once this is done, the protagonist wonders why she even did that in the first place. Then said parts actually come to life, fused together as if he wasn't dead in the first place, once she leaves the room. This is required to continue the plot.
  • Stupidity Is the Only Option: At one point, there is suddenly a horrific monster sitting in the middle of the console room, which has changed into a room full of crazy. The only way to move on to the next part of the game is to walk right up to it and get skewered through the chest, only to wake up in the crew quarters afterwards.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: The game ends with the revelation that Sarah is the one who killed her entire crew. At this point, her ending fate is already sealed by in-game choices.
  • Unfinished Business: Arthur practically becomes one with the artefact and forces Sarah through a loop that will only be broken by redemption. The portrait used to show that he is speaking in the titular white chamber is his corpse.
  • Unintentionally Unwinnable:
    • There's a particular puzzle piece that can only be acquired during one of the dark(er) world scenes; once you leave the room, that event can't be triggered again, and the item is lost. It's right next to the door, and it's easy to assume the protagonist picks it up when she becomes aware of it.
    • One room has a stench bad enough to kill you after some time, which is measured by how many times you've exited and re-entered the room. If re-entering the room one more time would kill you, and you save outside of the room, the game is now unwinnable: you'll die the moment you re-enter it, unable to complete the puzzle within to remove the stench.
  • Violation of Common Sense: You're required to collect a body's worth of loose body parts, without any motivation. Once you have the complete set and assemble them on a hospital bed, the protagonist will remark that she had no idea why she did all that.
  • You Shouldn't Know This Already: The color code to control the robot. You know that eyeless head you have to collect? Enter it before you get the note and the room camera will show that eyeless face, glaring at you. If you dare look closely, you will see the words "NOT YET" on the spaces where the eyes should be!