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Video Game / The Witch's House

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The Witch's House (Majo no Ie) is a freeware puzzle-oriented Explorer Horror game by Fummy, made with RPG Maker VX. A young girl named Viola has gone to visit her friend, Ellen, who lives in the woods. However, those same woods are said to be haunted by a Wicked Witch who kidnaps children. When Viola finds her way blocked by magical roses, it seems that her only option is to enter the eponymous witch's house and find a way to break the spell, in hopes of reuniting with Ellen. Accompanied by a snarky talking black cat, Viola must navigate the dangers of the house and its murderous inhabitants.

An English translation of the game can be downloaded here.

The game also followed by The Witch's House: The Diary of Ellen, a spoiler-heavy prequel novel which stars Ellen and also explains the origins of the Witch. On August 2017, the novel received a manga adaptation as well.

A remake made in RPG Maker MV titled The Witch's House MV was released on October 31, 2018, and published by Dangen Entertainment. In addition to updated graphics, it includes a brand new "Extra Mode" with modified puzzles and a brand new ending.

Compare to Witch's Heart, another horror game made in RPG Maker with similar themes.

This game provides examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: Detailed in the novel; the Demon and the House isolated Ellen in order to raise her to become their next witch, slowly turning her into a heartless murderer (although she herself was already a violent narcissist, the demon only needing to exacerbate it). The Demon likely did the same thing with the House, who was his original witch. Also, Ellen’s birth parents aren’t prize-winners as well, but they fall more under Parental Neglect.
  • Achievements in Ignorance: As detailed under Loophole Abuse, if you don't read the note warning you to not get distracted during a certain part of the game, you can get as distracted as you like with none of the ill effects you'd suffer if you had read the note.
  • A Day in the Limelight: "The Diary of Ellen" is a novel written from the point of view of Viola's friend, Ellen. Technically subverted since Ellen is actually the protagonist in Viola's body. A straighter example would be the real Viola, the Hero Antagonist- Chapter 4 and the Epilogue are written from her point of view.
  • Alien Geometries: The eponymous house, which has several hallways and doors that connect and re-connect at odd and contradictory locations. The foyer in particular has multiple shapes and the door in the center of the back wall — which isn't always there — connects to at least two different locations.
  • All There in the Manual: The Diary of Ellen provides a massive amount of backstory for the primary characters and gives insight as to how the rules of the world work. The remake's Extra Mode difficulty has some additional text that touches upon the details provided by the novel.
  • All Witches Have Cats: A talking black cat, who seems to live in the house, serves as something of a guide and a helper (and a save point) to the protagonist. The cat is in fact possessed by the demon who gave the witch her powers, so the "cat" is actually the master in the relationship.
  • Already Done for You: In Extra Mode, the skull puzzle is already solved. The only purpose of the room is to pull the lever to get the water flowing, and serve as a death trap in case you attempt to escape back into the room like in the original puzzle.
  • Always Night: Almost all of the windows are dark and the text box will read that it is pitch-black, though this isn't the case when you are actually outside or right before the escape.
  • An Arm and a Leg: The invisible chef wants a hand. He'll accept a teddy bear's arm.
  • And I Must Scream: Pretty much the raw trade, along with the effects of the potion.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: In one of the endings, or rather, in every ending, Ellen succeeds in killing Viola and escaping the house.
  • Behind the Black: In the Extra Mode version of the "wall eyes" puzzle, all of the eyes on the wall are open, but the hint is still the same. The solution is on the opposite wall, which also has eyes and mouths on it but because of the top-down perspective it is hidden from the player's view.
  • Beneath the Mask: In the room where you need to find your way around using a small light, after getting the jade pipe, you start to hear noises of the statues "chasing" after you. At one point when you drop the Light bottle (or after picking up the wristwatch earlier), going into the main menu will show Viola with black hair, red skin, and a Slasher Smile, as Foreshadowing to who Viola really is (Ellen in her body).
  • Beware the Nice Ones: The white flower will politely ask how you're doing, but if you don't kill her just right when the time comes, she will end you.
  • Big Bad: The titular witch is the one who traps Viola in her Haunted House and has killed tons of children before her. It's actually Ellen, Viola's False Friend, possessing Viola's body all along, making her the real protagonist. Viola, in Ellen's body, is the Hero Antagonist trying to stop Ellen from killing her. However, Ellen turns out to be a puppet for the true villain, the Black Cat Demon who made her his witch and gets her to kill people so he can eat their souls.
  • Big Damn Heroes: In the normal ending, Viola's father arrives and blasts the witch to bits with his shotgun when it follows Viola out of the house. Subverted in a cruel manner by the true ending; he unknowingly murdered his daughter and took the witch home in her place.
  • Blackout Basement: One room is completely black and you need to create a light source before it will let you explore it.
  • Blatant Lies:
    • Ellen in the backstory promised Viola that they would only switch bodies for a day. "Just for a day...Hee hee, I guess I did say that."
    • A text box description reads "A toy soldier with a fake gun". It's not, as it can and will kill you if you use the wrong key (or no key) before turning on the music box in the room to its left.
  • Bloody Handprint: All over the place. They're usually a sign that a pursuer is coming up soon.
  • Body Surf: The demon possesses cats in order to interact with the world. Apparently it wears through them quite quickly - at one point the player comes across a stairwell full of bags and bags of dead cats.
  • Breakable Weapons: At the beginning of the game, you pick up a rusty machete. You then immediately break it (cutting roses of all things) to get to the witch's house. It's also completely ineffective on the roses that lead to the way out.Just don't try the latter on Extra difficulty. It will kill you.
  • Breather Episode: The rose garden containing the elder tree on the top floor of the witch's house acts as this. In this area, you are safe in the way that nothing will jump out and kill you. You can still die, of course, but it won't be something that caught you completely off guard, as it usually is in this game.
  • Brought Down to Normal: Ellen loses her abilities as a Witch upon gaining Viola's body. Conversely, Viola now has Ellen's former powers now that she is in Ellen's body, which allows her to, among other things, gain a Witch's immortality (a Fate Worse than Death considering what Ellen did to her) and trap Ellen with a large mass of impassable roses right outside the house.
  • Brown Note: The Book of Death. Reading it leads to Viola scratching out her own eyes and dying.
  • Captain Obvious: At one point, the cat says, "By the way, this is a witch's house. You know that, right? Right?!"
  • Cats Are Mean: Zigzagged. A black cat follows the protagonist throughout the witch's house, providing friendly chatter and acting as a save point. While he comes off as aloof at times, he seems genuinely concerned about her. However, he isn't really a cat at all, he is a demon who merely uses cat bodies as hosts to interact with the physical world. Not only that, but he is also the very demon who gave the witch her powers, so she could feed him human souls.
  • Cats Are Snarkers: At the half-way point in the game, the Black Cat says: "By the way, this is a witch's house. You know that, right? Right?!" The line is even more snarky given that the girl we are playing as is the witch, in Viola's body.
  • Creepy Doll: At one point in the game, you have to solve a puzzle involving a bunch of dolls. After solving the puzzle, all of the dolls turn their heads to look at you as you're leaving through the door.
  • Cruelty Is the Only Option:
    • Several times if you want to progress. You have to cut off the limbs of a living teddy bear, feed a frog to a monster when it has done nothing but help you, kill a friendly flower... Justified since you are actually playing as the Witch, Ellen. Of course she wouldn't hesitate in the slightest to commit evil actions to save herself.
    • Special note goes to the Extra Mode version of the frog puzzle, which is even more cruel than the original. Upon attempting to feed the frog to the snake, it runs away into a hole you can't get into, requiring you to get a stuffed frog and feed it to the snake so it will open the hole. You then take the frog (who is stated to no longer look you in the eyes), then feed it to the snake. The poor frog attempts to resist, but to complete the puzzle you are forced to shove it into the hole against its will.
  • Cruel Twist Ending: You’ve finally escaped the Witch’s house, only for it to be revealed that you were playing as Ellen all along, who stole Viola’s body and just made a clean getaway. The real Viola is shot to death by her own father.
  • Cutting the Knot: 1.07's new ending, '___', involves this. Instead of entering the house at all, Ellen just sits outside for an hour until it goes away.
  • Deadly Book: The Book of Death, which causes Viola to scratch out her own eyes if she tries to read it, killing her.
  • Deal with the Devil: The Witch is said to be in one with a demon, who can't use its powers to kill in our world, so she sacrifices souls to it in exchange for magic. Ellen entered the contract because the demon said he could cure her illness.
  • Death by Despair: Despair is the only thing that can kill a witch. This is what does Viola in- her own father shooting her, mistakenly thinking she is a monster, causes her to give up completely.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: MV has an Easy difficulty that allows you to retry from the spot you died instead of reloading a previous save.
  • Despair Event Horizon: A witch only loses her immortality and dies if she falls into despair, which puts the ending in a new perspective: as she is in the body of a witch, Viola is now technically a witch herself, with all the powers and vulnerabilities that come along with it. After her father fails to recognize her, calls her a monster, shoots her twice, and then leaves with a giggling Ellen, Viola loses all hope and therefore loses her witchy immortality, finally succumbing to her injuries.
  • Determinator:
    • Viola never gives up trying to get out of the house, no matter what tries to kill her. The girl (really Ellen) is a determinator not just in trying to escape the house, but in how far she's willing to go just to get a body that doesn't hurt. The lengths she went to get Viola's body are quite extreme.
    • The Witch is also extremely determined. She chases you despite having no legs, no eyes, no voice, and should be dead that point. Justified as Viola is not only is royally angered at Ellen for what she did to her, but she also wants to hurry back to her father's side. Despite how much pain she's in, she doesn't give up. The only thing that stops her is hitting the Despair Event Horizon when she sees that Ellen has won.
  • Developer's Foresight: There are some very creative deaths in there for doing particularly stupid things. There are also a couple of deaths that are extremely easy to miss because they're so out of the way. For example:
    • If you come back into the room where you picked up the frog after killing him (there's absolutely no reason you ever would), a giant black hand comes out of the pool to crush you.
    • You can also be sandwiched between two giant skulls in the tunnel that leads to the Skull puzzle if you return there (again, there's no reason to ever do so).
    • By far the most obscure, and easily one of the most bizarre and creepy deaths: when you climb down the chimney on the fourth floor, you will find yourself back in the dining room on the first floor, which is now dark and has male bust statues sitting around the table. If you try to open the door in the kitchen that leads to the second floor stairs, you will find it is now locked. If you go back up the chimney and descend down the floors to the stairs leading to the first floor, and attempt to open the door from the other side, you will still find it locked. When you turn back, a male bust statue will suddenly appear in front of you. If you don't get out of its way, the statue will promptly crush you to death.
    • The Extra Mode of the MV remake has even more out of the way deaths. The best example is when you are given water to throw on the grandfather clock in the garden area to silence it. If you instead decide to backtrack all the way to the first floor of the house and use it on the first floor grandfather clock, the music will stop, then when she exits the hallway, she will end up in a black void with no exit, eventually the screen will darken until it becomes pitch black while clock chimes can be heard.
    • In the room with the clock puzzle, you need to select an item that corresponds to the clues the note gives you. Select all of the items but the correct one, and if you read the note again, it will now ask you if you meant to answer wrong on purpose. Nod, and the statues placed on either side of you will crush you between them.
    • If you drink the poisonous soup and then try to read the letter in your inventory, it will say that your vision is getting too blurry to read it.
  • Difficulty Levels: MV has three, Easy, Normal, and Extra.
    • Easy Mode gives you the ability to reload from the place that you died instead of being sent back to the title screen.
    • Normal Mode is the original game.
    • Extra Mode is a Harder Than Hard difficulty that remixes the puzzles, making them brutally challenging. Some of the text in this difficulty is also changed to reflect the additional lore explained in The Diary of Ellen.
  • The Dog Was the Mastermind: The "pseudo-third" ending reveals that the savepoint cat is the demon which gave Ellen her powers.
  • Don't Go Into the Woods: The letter from your father tells you to not go into the woods, though it's actually your way out.
  • Downer Ending: The player character always makes it out perfectly fine. Unfortunately, your protagonist is not Viola, but Ellen in Viola's body, who has Viola killed and fed to the Black Cat Demon.
  • Driven to Suicide:
    • When you first enter the library, there's an invisible person who says that they are sorting books and need something to tie them together. After you give him a rope to solve a puzzle, the person thanks you. If you backtrack to the room after that, you'll find that he tied the rope into a noose and killed himself. The prequel reveals that he's the trapped soul of a boy that befriended and eventually "betrayed" Ellen.
    • If you return to the garden after getting the purple doll head and go to the room on the right, you'll see that the red grasses hanging from the ceiling. Though they may or may not have been attempting suicide, as other clues in the room seem to indicate the house may have done it.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: In the '___', ending, Ellen, instead of going into the house, waits outside the house (and outside its reach) until the already heavily wounded Viola trapped in Ellen's body dies.
  • Earn Your Bad Ending: Although each ending isn't really any better or worse than the other as the major events don't change, the player learns more with each ending, which always shows that things are worse than the player thought before.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Played with. The only "happy" ending, given the True End Reveal, is to work through most of the game without dying, then letting the "witch" catch you in her chase scene, presumably allowing Viola to return to her original body. Although one book states that the body-swapping spell required a bond of genuine trust to succeed, and since Ellen is too sociopathic for such a bond to work, and since Viola's trust in Ellen was broken irreparably by the latter's horrible betrayal, that won't be happening anytime soon.
  • Eldritch Location: The house. It is explicitly stated that it can change to the witch's will. According to the novel, this is because the house is possessed by the spirit of the first witch.
  • Escape Sequence: Essentially any chase sequence. Notably, your final trial is to escape from the witch herself, or rather, from Viola trapped in her body.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You:
    • Viola can meet her end by sliding walls, getting eaten by a piano, being shot by a giant toy soldier, having a grandfather clock fall on her, a flower impaling her when she tries to uproot it... You're either going to get paranoid and possibly survive, or get through by Trial-and-Error Gameplay.
    • The prequel also reveals that all the inhabitants of the house are the spirits of people killed by Ellen in the past. Since Ellen has no magic or immortality now that she's in Viola's body, it's no surprise that her past victims want their revenge.
  • Evil Laugh:
    • After you read "A Funny Story", you hear a pretty demented laugh and see one of the chairs in the library rock in rhythm with it. In the MV mode, it does this as it kills you.
    • Ellen, in Viola's body, gives a wicked little (soundless) snicker after Viola's father shoots Viola (in Ellen's body).
  • Exact Words:
    • When the invisible chef accepts your offer of lending them a hand, he takes it literally and chops them off.
    • The Book of Death kills you upon opening.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: The whole game (well, 99% of it) takes place in a witch's house.
  • Eye Scream:
    • The witch's eyes have been gouged out.
    • The Book of Death causes you to scratch out your own eyeballs.
    • If you retrieve Ellen's knife and unlock the true ending, Ellen stabs a relentless Viola in her right eye socket.
    • In Extra Mode, the four rooms puzzle involves finding four sets of eyeballs and returning them to their rightful sockets.
  • Fairytale Motifs: At one point you are granted red shoes which, if worn, will kill you. You have to wash them off so that they're clear before you can properly use them.
  • The Farmer and the Viper: Viola, feeling sorry for how Ellen was so ill that she couldn't even get out of her bed, allowed her to switch bodies with her "for a day". In return, "Viola" left "Ellen" in a body that she herself mutilated (cutting off her own legs and gouging out her own eyes), and forced burning "medicine" down her throat to render her mute. And that's before the start of the game.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • "A Funny Story." Both it and the game ends with a hunter killing someone near and dear to him because of a misunderstanding.
    • The fact that a number of the actions you take in the game fall under Cruelty Is the Only Option foreshadows that your player character is a cruel Villain Protagonist.
    • The giant spider is a metaphor for the demon keeping Ellen in the house with an ill and broken body. The web is the house. Of course, Ellen can't safely leave on her own, which is why the spider will eat you if you take the butterfly without replacing it with the butterfly model. If Ellen does leave, the magic of the house will wear off and she will be subject to the painful symptoms of her illness. It is presumed that, after Ellen gives up and despairs, she will die and the demon will then eat her. The butterfly swap represents Ellen switching places with Viola to free herself.
    • After choosing the right path in the mouth hallway, there are some spikes right next to the door, out of your way. Deliberately stepping on them causes Viola to die. If you reload the game and go back to the same area, you'll notice that the spikes are now bloody, implying that Viola really died there and is being repeatedly brought back to life.
  • Freaky Friday Sabotage: The eponymous witch is revealed to have cut off her own legs and gouged out her eyes before convincing Viola to trade bodies with her, leaving her blind and crippled.
  • Freudian Excuse: The witch's diaries reveal that she was an ill girl who had no friends and was neglected by her parents, which is why she killed them and turned to magic. In addition, her Parental Substitute were the ones who raised her to be a killer. Her backstory is further detailed in The Diary of Ellen.
  • Genius Loci: The eponymous witch's house, which has a mind of its own and actively helps the player with notes containing hints about the game's puzzles. The prequel novel reveals that the house's consciousness is actually the spirit of the demon's original witch, who "retired" for reasons unknown. She is completely loyal to Ellen and recognizes her as her mistress, even though she is now in Viola's body and has lost her magic, hence all the helpful notes.
  • Glamour Failure: Bringing up the inventory screen while stumbling through the dark maze after breaking the glowing bottle will show Viola's face discolored and twisted into an absolutely demonic looking Slasher Smile. It's a big clue that she's not the real Viola - she's the witch, who has already taken possession of Viola's body.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: The witch right before the final chase.
  • Grand Theft Me: The true ending reveals that, before the start of the game, Ellen and Viola had swapped bodies. The third pseudo-ending implies that Ellen had planned on stealing someone's body from the beginning, as that was the spell she received from the demon's contract.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • Entering the cell on the right side of the dungeon on the fifth floor. Doing so is completely optional, as it contains nothing of note aside from an extra jump scare, but accessing it requires the player to perform a precise series of actions at exactly the right time that you're very unlikely to figure out on your own, as the game offers absolutely no clues. In fact, without a guide, most players will never realize that it's even possible to enter the right side cell.
    • At one point, the player must solve a math/logic puzzle, finding the numbers that correspond with the top-left corner, the top-right corner, the bottom-left corner, and the bottom-right corner of the room in that respective order to obtain a 4-digit code that will open the door to the next area. As of version 1.07, translator vgperson has removed this puzzle from the game, and the MV remake lacks it as well.
    • Extra Mode in the remake, befitting a Harder Than Hard mode, has some very obtuse puzzle solutions. For example, the modified doll puzzle has dolls on the tables that don't correspond to the table cloths. Have you tried flipping the table cloth over?
    • Getting the "True Ending" requires an extremely irrational detour. During the final confrontation, where Viola chases you through the house until you make it outside, you have to run past the front door, go open a previously-locked cabinet to get a knife, strafe around the corpse chasing you to get back out of the room, and then run outside. The only hint about this secret is that if you examined that cupboard early in the game, it says it "opens when the house has returned to normal." You can't go back in after escaping the house, either.
  • Half the Woman She Used to Be:
    • When Viola finally comes face-to-face with the witch, all that's left of her is her mangled upper body. In the third pseudo-ending, it's revealed that Ellen cut her legs off and gouged her eyes out so that Viola would despair and die (see Death by Despair). To add insult to injury, Ellen gave Viola a throat-burning "medicine" so that she would no longer be able to scream or even speak, as the sound of her old body screaming upset Ellen. This was to ensure Viola died, because a witch's immortality and glamour fails if she suffers great despair, according to the novel.
    • In Extra Mode, attempting to take the original solution to the wall eyes puzzle will result in the wall mouth promptly biting down on Viola straight through her midsection.
  • Hard Mode Perks: Of a sort, as Extra Mode un-manuals some of the additional lore written after the original game's release, thus providing further explanation on the setting and characters that would otherwise require reading the novel. Getting the True Ending on this difficulty also adds a few bonus scenes that aren't present on the other difficulties.
  • Harder Than Hard: The "Extra" mode added in the remake, which is only unlocked after beating the game at least once on regular difficulty. It makes most of the puzzles far more difficult, and adds a lot more ways to die, including making enemies much harder to evade during chase sequences.
  • Hate Sink: The Black Cat Demon is the true villain who is responsible for turning the Tragic Villain Ellen into a monster. Manipulating the unloved Ellen and her predecessor into becoming his witches, he emotionally abuses Ellen into becoming a murderer and uses her to kill hundreds of innocents for centuries so he can eat their souls, eventually screwing over the innocent and kind Viola while leaving Ellen to live a hollow, empty life and getting away with it. Whereas Ellen just wants to be loved, the Demon, while humorous, cares only for his insatiable appetite.
  • Haunted House: The eponymous witch's house. It's actually a living being, as the spirit of the witch who lived there before Ellen, and the one providing the hints she finds throughout the game.
  • Injured Self-Drag: The purple-haired girl who serves as the Final Boss drags herself after the player character, Viola, through the titular house to the exit. She has to move this way because her legs have been cut off.
  • Invisible to Normals: The house appears to be devoid of any human residents. It actually isn't, but Viola can't see them, because she does not have magical powers.
  • It Amused Me: At the beginning, the cat outright says that he's following you around for laughs.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: If you don't kill the white flower with the correct method, it runs you through with a root, killing you instantly.
  • Justified Save Point: Not stated outright, but since the cat is actually a powerful demon, it makes sense he could return the Witch from the grave.
  • Jump Scare: So many, you can lose count. Some more dangerous than others.
  • Karma Houdini:
    • Ellen gets away with sacrificing an untold number of lost children to a demon and stealing Viola's body. Unless, of course, you count getting painfully killed every time you screw up.
    • Subverted at one point. Remember the frog Ellen fed to a snake earlier? Turns out he had tadpoles. They're not happy with her, and if she talks to them enough, they kill her.
  • Karmic Death: An easily missable Easter Egg: When you return to the garden, you'll see everything has wilted. The yellow flowers that ordered an assassination on the white flower are dead, with one of them being eaten by a clock.
  • Killed Mid-Sentence: If you touch the clock on the top floor, it will fall over and kill you while the text in the box is still loading.
  • Killer Teddy Bear: The very first pursuer is a giant demonic teddy bear.
  • Loophole Abuse: There is a room where a note on the wall tells you not to let anything distract you on the following hallway. Normally, doing anything but walking in a straight line to the exit would result in death by giant rock, but if you proceed into the hallway without reading the note, you CAN let things distract you, and nothing will happen. Ignorance of the rule excuses you. However, if you read the note on previous playthroughs, the game will remember.
  • The Magic Goes Away: With the death of the witch (or her body at least), the house and the inhabitants will disappear. This is why the demon leaves the cat's body, since he would vanish along with everything else.
  • The Many Deaths of You: There is a large variety of deaths that you can experience while venturing in the house. Deaths can result from traps, getting caught while being chased by an enemy, spending more time in a dangerous area than the timer permits, or making poor decisions while solving a particular puzzle.
  • Mature Work, Child Protagonists: Player character Viola is stated to be 13 years old but the game is defintely aimed at older players. The game has a lot of creepy moments, jump scares and bloody violence, and the true ending is highly disturbing given its revealed "Viola" is actually the witch in Viola's body, who tricks Viola's father into killing his own daughter.
  • Medium Awareness: In the hallway with the line of cat statues, the black cat is sitting on a pedestal. When you talk to him, he says "A Cat Statue" in an attempt to trick you. This would only work if he knew his text showed up in a text box just like the descriptions of objects.
  • Mercy Kill: Viola's death at the hands of her father in the end could be considered this, as she was in a decaying body and being assaulted by the memoirs of the victims of the House.
  • Mirror Scare:
    • If you check the mirror in the library enough times, the witch will appear to be behind you in the reflection for a second before the mirror breaks.
    • Same thing with the dresser mirror in the music box room, except your face is replaced with a red splotch. In Extra Mode, she lacks eyes and you have to give them to her as part of a puzzle.
  • Missing Child: A child going missing, and you possibly never seeing them again, or knowing what happened to them. A child being lured away by a seemingly kind stranger, who does not have kind intentions. The idea of horrible things happening to your child, and you never even finding out about it. It's impossible to not feel extremely sad for Viola's father. Or the parents of the countless children whom Ellen has murdered over several centuries.
  • Mission Control: You regularly run into notes pinned to the walls that hint you on how to avoid obstacles and solve puzzles. In the True Ending, it is revealed this is the house itself helping its real mistress.
  • Mission Control Is Off Its Meds: While usually helpful, the notes on the wall are always extremely vague and cryptic, and occasionally completely insane.
  • Mood Whiplash: The true ending, where the player is rooting for "Viola" one minute and realizing that she is Ellen the next, turning what seems like a happy ending into a Cruel Twist Ending.
  • Multiple Endings:
    • Normal Ending: If you manage to just escape from the final chase, Viola finally reunite with her father, only for The Witch suddenly appear and barely follows Viola outside the house. Although luckily, her father kills it just in time and they hurry to leave. We last see Viola giving the house a long look before leaving.
    • True Ending: If you able to pick up Ellen's knife in the cabinet before escaping the house, Viola will use it to stab the witch's eye & taunts her when she can no longer continue to chase her, followed by the reveal that she is, in fact, Ellen, having traded bodies with the real Viola. Ellen also explains how she managed to do it before Viola's father appears, who's mistaking Viola to be Ellen in her crippled body and proceed to kills her with his shotgun. Viola's father and Ellen give a brief look before leaving, with her pausing for a second to giggles. After that, the black cat appears for a moment before it disappears along with the body.
    • Extra True Ending: Obtained by fulfilling the True Ending conditions on Extra Mode in the remake. It is a slightly extended version of the True Ending. Returning the front of the house before leaving will cause the predecessor witch/the house's spirit to appear before Ellen before the house disintegrates. The final scene is appended by an added monologue by Ellen, who realizes that Viola finally gave up after her father failed to recognize her.
    • Pseudo Third Ending: This is an additional event before the either two ending above and acquired by not interacting to the cat at all throughout the game until you reach the witch's room, which means you have to beat it without saving your progress and dying once (Except when you talk to the cat in a certain hallway). Instead of lying on the floor, the black cat is still alive, and will congratulate you and wish you well, and reveal his true identity as the demon who gave Ellen her powers. There's also some change in the witch's room such as the items descriptions change to reflect that the protagonist is the one who owns them as Ellen, the diary entry changes to describe what happened during the body swap, the Legless Girl (Viola) struggling to say "Give it back" before chasing Viola (Ellen), the room's name in the save file change from "The Witch's Room" to "My Room", and if you look closely to Viola's portrait on the menu, she has a small smirk on her face.
    • '____' Ending: Ellen waits outside the house for 60 minutes until the roses blocking the path disappears.
  • Musical Spoiler: A sudden lack of music is a fairly good indication that you are about to die. Assuming you're not already dead.
  • Never Say "Die":
    • Parodied in a sense with the books and articles. Where it would read "die" or "killed" or the like, it instead just reads "X".
    • Averted when the tadpoles outright tell you that their father is dead, and you killed him.
    • Also averted in the Extra True Ending. In the True Ending, Ellen's last words to Viola are interrupted by the sudden appearance of Viola's Father. However, in Extra Mode, Ellen finishes her sentence right before Viola's Father appears, and the word in question is accompanied by the screen darkening and the music suddenly cutting out for one text box.
      Ellen: So just... Die.
  • Nightmare Face:
    • If you open the menu and look at Viola's portrait in total darkness (or after picking up the wristwatch), you'll see her face terrifyingly distorted and sporting a huge Slasher Smile.
    • The witch's has one when you get caught in the chase scene towards the end.
  • No-Damage Run: If you manage to get through the game without dying and not interacting with the black cat even once, you get a bit of extra dialogue at the end. Right before you get to the Witch's room, where you would normally only find the cat's corpse, you will instead find him alive and can speak to him. He praises Ellen for not needing his help, before abandoning the cat's body and fleeing the house, revealing his true demonic form as a cloud of purple mist.
  • Nothing Is Scarier:
    • There is one room which is completely dark and can only traverse if you have a certain item. Even with said certain item, however, you only have a small bit of light as you walk through very narrow halls. And as you make your way back to the door, you drop it, causing the last few seconds of that stage to be completed in complete darkness, with the sounds of statues moving all around. It's even worse if you decide to open the menu, because you'll see the normally innocent-looking Viola look absolutely demonic.
    • When you return to the kitchen and dining room area, you find it much darker than it was when you were there earlier, and is eerily quiet, save for the sound of a pot boiling on the stove. In order to progress, you need to take a pair of golden chopsticks from the ribs of a skeleton in the cellar at the back of the kitchen (which was inaccessible earlier), to retrieve a necessary item from the boiling pot. The game won't let you exit the room without returning the chopsticks to the skeleton, and if you put them back anywhere besides the ribs, the cook from before will suddenly appear and kill you as you try to leave the kitchen. Furthermore, after replacing the chopsticks in the ribs and heading back to the dining room, you'll hear ominous footsteps coming down the stairs beside the kitchen, and you have five seconds to run back to the chimney and escape; if not, the cook will catch you and kill you. Meaning, the whole time you're down there, the cook is still lurking around somewhere, probably watching you, but you can't see him, though why he's suddenly so eager to kill you is unclear — it's likely because you messed with his cooking, found his cellar full of handless skeletons, or both.
  • Not His Sled: The main source of difficulty in the Extra mode: attempting to solve puzzles with the solutions they had in the original game will either be fruitless or end in your death. For example, an early game puzzle requires you to put the Book of Death inside a bookcase. In Extra Mode, the bookcase which you needed to insert the book into in normal mode is now blue instead of red. Attempting to put the book in anyway results in the bookcase falling on you. What you are actually supposed to do is find a hidden red bookcase.
  • Number of the Beast: A hint to the number puzzle (removed in the 1.07 version) that opens the door to the room full of medicines and eyes is "bottom-left times 666."
  • Offing the Offspring: The true ending reveals that Viola's father (unknowingly) killed his own daughter.
  • Off with Her Head!:
    • In addition to the decapitation-by-Giant Spider, putting on the red shoes instead of washing them results in Viola's body running off without its head.
    • Forcing open a door at one point causes Viola's head to suddenly snap off.
  • Ominous Save Prompt: When you finally get to the witch, the game saving screen appears one last time.
  • One-Hit Kill: Every pursuer and obstacle in the game will kill Viola instantly (well, the poison from the dining room takes a few steps to kick in).
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: The menu shows Viola has 10 hit points, but they have absolutely no incidence on gameplay. All of the house's traps and enemies will kill the player instantly.
  • Only the Knowledgable May Pass: One of the new puzzles in Extra Mode quizzes you on the Witch's backstory in order to receive a puzzle item, which is only mentioned in the prequel novel/manga and the diaries in this difficulty.
  • Origins Episode: The Diary of Ellen is a novel written from Ellen's point of view, and explains various things about the game's backstory. The significance of certain rooms and items are also expanded upon.
  • Our Demons Are Different: The demon seems to be the possessing kind, prefers the body of a cat, eats the souls of children, and mentions that even though it doesn't have a physical form, that doesn't make it immortal.
  • Parasol of Prettiness: One room has a picture of a lady with a parasol. After solving the puzzle there, it changes with the lady now looking at you and grinning.
  • Parental Neglect: In the prequel novel, Ellen's mother tried to abandon her after getting fed up with dealing with her illness and her father actively ignored her existence entirely. It's outright shown that the father had a drug addiction and neglected her until the very end.
  • Parental Substitute: According to the novel, The Demon and The House acted as this for Ellen, and guided her into becoming the ruthless villain she is in-game.
  • The Points Mean Nothing: Viola has hit points, because this is an RPG Maker game. They're functionally useless, though, since only one of the game's many death traps doesn't kill you instantly and even it is inescapable.
  • Press X to Die: A lot of the really obvious ways to die are usually preempted by the game making absolutely sure you want to go ahead with whatever you're doing. The ones that don't are so dang obvious that you'd most likely have to be intentionally trying to kill yourself.
  • Really 700 Years Old: In The Diary of Ellen, it is revealed that the Witch herself has been around for what she guesses to be decades or even centuries, though she has retained the physical appearance of a seven year old.
  • Red Herring:
    • In the dark area, you can find a wristwatch, but not only is it not a plot-necessary object, picking it up and trying to walk away gets you hanged. If you look at the description, it reads "DIE".
    • In Extra Mode, the Toy Soldier has an unsettling habit of following you around (with Offscreen Teleportation) and at one point surprises you by appearing in front of you with its gun pointed. However, unlike the original puzzle, not only is the Toy Soldier relatively benign its gun is actually required to solve part of the new puzzle. Subverted when it chases you afterwards.
  • Rewarding Inactivity: As of the 1.07 update. By waiting for 60 minutes doing absolutely nothing but letting the game run, the roses that blocked the path wilt and vanish, allowing Viola to leave and bypass the house altogether.
  • Save Point: The Black Cat functions as this. Also a Justified Save Point since he is a demon with the power of resurrection.
  • Scare Chord: The chase theme is made of these.
  • Scary Jack-in-the-Box: You encounter one of these on the third floor. It does not chase you, but going back to it has it reveal a bloody face, and in Extra Mode it falls from the also bloody box completely. Ellen also needs to reach into said box to get a pair of eyes needed to solve a puzzle.
  • Scenery Porn: The forest outside the witch's house is gorgeous in the remake, with gently falling leaves and sunlight filtering down onto the ground.
  • Schmuck Bait:
    • Don't step on that blood pool in the middle of the first note room. Don't lend the invisible chef a hand (unless it's not yours). Don't read The Book of Death. And don't touch the clock on the fourth floor. There's also one room where Viola is explicitly told to let nothing distract her, and doing anything but walking in a straight line to the exit, such as investigating items or dodging (fake) traps, results in her being crushed by a boulder.
    • One of the best examples is the spikes to the side of one of the doors. You don't need to dodge them, as they're out of the way, so basically the only way to die from the spikes is to voluntarily walk into them.
    • If the game asks you if you really want to do something, you could possibly die from it.
    • The modified flower puzzle in Extra Mode involves a candle. However, as it belongs to one of the Yellow Flowers, she politely tells you that you can't take it. Repeatedly attempting to take the candle will cause the Yellow Flower become increasingly exasperated at your persistence, and if you attempt to take the candle too many times she teleports behind you and kills you.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Solitary Sorceress: How the witch lives. Her house is isolated from civilization, in the middle of the woods. This makes it easier to manipulate the forest to cause victims to lose their way and reach her house. The house will kill any who wander in, if the witch wishes it. This would not be possible if the house is in the middle of a village.
  • Solve the Soup Cans: You never get through a locked door by using a key, at least in the normal way. The game hangs a lampshade on this in the library where one book reads "Keys do not open doors in the witch's house. Something else must serve as a key." It's justified since the witch controls reality in the house, so the place doesn't have to obey the normal laws of the universe or common sense.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: In the Extra mode of the MV remake, the tadpoles survive you washing the shoes in their pond, and will kill you on the spot if you talk to them just once afterward.
  • Spikes of Doom: The puzzle with the mouths on the wall will kill the player with these if they pick the wrong entrance.
  • Spooky Painting: One of the pursuers is a Mona Lisa-esque portrait which will turn Viola into a painting if it catches her. The only way to defeat it is by tearing its canvas up. Possible Shout-Out to a certain other survival horror game made with RPG Maker.
  • A Taste of Their Own Medicine: Doubles as a variation of Hoist by Her Own Petard. All the ways Ellen (in Viola's bod) can die involve the same methods she used to kill her previous victims.
  • Tears of Blood: Viola's reflection in one room has these, as does the witch.
  • The Many Deaths of You: Very, very many.
  • Tomato Surprise: "Viola" is the witch, Ellen, who switched her bodies with the real Viola, who was the Hero Antagonist all along. You were playing as the villain all along. All the deaths you had? You probably had it coming.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Several of the ways to die are this, such as drinking a bowl of poison or trying to walk across a beam that the narration notes would snap in an instant from your weight. The game usually has you confirm these options a second time to hammer in what a bad idea they are.
  • The Walls Are Closing In: The first trap you encounter is this. It also happens later should you somehow manage to enter the cell of Ellen's father (the person you give powder and a pipe to), only slower.
  • Turns Red: The pursuers does this if you take too long to flee the room/deactivate them. It increases their speed greatly.
  • Waiting Puzzle: In 1.07, this is added in as an Easter Egg. Viola has to wait at the first screen for a full hour to obtain the third ending, '___'.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Viola clearly cared a lot about Ellen, as one book states that the body-swapping spell required a bond of sincere trust to succeed. When Ellen betrayed her, Viola was forced to try trapping and killing her to get her body back.
  • Wham Line:
  • You Fool!: If you wear the red shoes, upon reloading, you'll find the message that originally read "TRY THEM ON" has turned into "YOU ACTUALLY PUT THEM ON! AHAHAHA!".
  • You Killed My Father: You can be killed by the frog's tadpoles in revenge for feeding their father to a monster earlier. You can speak with them twice and be safe- the third time, the floor collapses underneath you and you drown.
    Tadpole: My dad is dead. My dad was eaten by a snake. You killed him.


Video Example(s):


Cyndago laughs at "gaze"

Markiplier's off-camera company mistakes him reading "gaze" aloud for something else.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / HehHehYouSaidX

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