Follow TV Tropes


Video Game / Tormented Souls

Go To

"Do you think you can simply abandon us here?"

Tormented Souls is a third-person Survival Horror game developed by Dual Effect and published by PQube, released in August 2021 for Xbox, Playstation, Nintendo Switch, and PC. The game is a homage to classic survival horror series such as Resident Evil, Silent Hill, and Alone in the Dark.

In 1994, Caroline Walker travels to Wildberger Hospital, built inside an abandoned mansion on the remote Winterlake island, in search of a pair of twins - Anna and Emma Wildbergers - whose photograph was mailed to her a week earlier. At some point, she loses consciousness and wakes up in a bathtub hooked up to an old ventilator, with one of her eyes having been surgically removed. Now she must find a way to uncover the mystery of the mansion as well as survive and escape.

A sequel, Tormented Souls II, was announced in August 2023 and slated for release at some point in 2024.

Tropes in this game:

  • Abandoned Hospital: The main setting is a mansion-turned-hospital of this kind with a variety of mutated creatures in it.
  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: The Sewers level has standard-issue wide tunnels with narrow walkways along the sides. You find evidence that someone used to live down there, but their diaries do at least complain about the smell.
  • Abusive Parents: The first entry of Maria Wildberger's diary states she was whipped a lot by her father Noah and his treatment to her daughters is even worse.
  • Achievement Mockery: There's one achievement for "letting the shadows embrace you".
  • An Arm and a Leg: Father Noah winds up losing one of his arms the third time you run into him, as it becomes obvious that even his fellow cult members view him as a target.
  • Apocalyptic Log: Much of the game's lore is uncovered through diary notes found within the mansion. A handful of notes also provide hints to the puzzles.
  • Bare Midriffs Are Feminine: An alternate costume for Caroline added with the Halloween update involves a scarf, brown jacket, jean pants and a shirt not big enough to cover the midriff.
  • Big Fancy House: The hospital is in a converted mansion.
  • A Birthday, Not a Break: The Wildberger Twins were born on September 15th, 1970 and exactly on their 10th birthday they end up getting abducted by the Pollux Sect.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: The seemingly kind and helpful Father Noah in reality is the Big Bad, a complete lunatic, and the one responsible for all the nightmares occurring in Wildberger Hospital.
  • Bland-Name Product: One of the items to be collected is a can of "WE-40" lubricating oil, as opposed to the actual product of WD-40.
  • Borrowed Biometric Bypass: Late in the game, Caroline has to access the bunker, which is locked with two retinal scanners so the door is intended to be accessed by a pair of twins at once. Caroline finds a way around this by finding and entering into the VHS tape from the day she was unconscious in the bathtub and taking out her own eye.
  • Boss in Mook's Clothing: The first time you come across the slasher enemy, it not only absorbs a number of shotgun shells, it's also fought with klaxons and sirens are going off to warn you this is no joke.
  • Bragging Rights Reward: The triple nail gun is more powerful than the standard nail gun, uses less ammo, and can be found in the second room of the game. Clearly it makes things much easier. If you aren't using a guide, you only find out about it from a hint in the results screen, after you've already beaten the game without it. It is, however, not restricted to a New Game Plus, so if you did look up how to find it, then enjoy your Disc-One Nuke.
  • Censor Shadow: When Caroline gets out of the bath, everything below her waist is hidden by shadows.
  • Chair Reveal: How Caroline finds William's corpse.
  • Chekhov's Gun: After solving the very first padlock puzzle, Caroline gets to keep the padlock for later use once she reaches the bunker to connect both rings of the engine in order to open an entrance.
  • Content Warnings: In the vein similar to the early Resident Evil games, the game has a "this game contains scenes of explicit violence and gore" message in between the logos and the main menu. Curiously, it doesn't bring up instances of nudity.
  • Crowbar Combatant: The melee weapon of the game is a crowbar. It's also used in one puzzle for its actual purpose of prying off wooden planks.
  • Cutting Off the Branches: Tormented Souls 2 has Caroline looking for a cure for the radiation poisoning that Anna is going through, making the best ending the canon one.
  • Cyborg: The enemies are humans who have been mutated by exposure to otherworldly radiation, who have additionally had their limbs extended or replaced with crude prosthetics, often in the form of blades for arms.
  • Darkness Equals Death: You die instantly if you enter a completely dark area, because the "shadows" are hunting you (which is never explicitly further explained at all, at most it could be implied that something out there is out to abduct Caroline), so you need to have your lighter equipped when entering such areas. You also can't have a weapon equipped when holding the lighter. The trope becomes less of an issue after you'd get an electric lamp mounted onto the jacket after you "heal" Noah's arm.
  • Dark World: The game features a literal Mirror World Caroline traverses through to solve some puzzles, which have an effect to the 'real' world.
  • Do Not Run with a Gun: Much like in the Survival Horror games it was influenced by, Caroline is unable to walk forward while aiming, although the trope is downplayed by the ability to do an evasive backstep with the run button during aiming.
  • Dual-World Gameplay: Video tapes and magic mirrors enable Caroline to travel to specific points in the past (the very recent past in one case), to solve puzzles and reach areas that are unreachable in the present.
  • Dying as Yourself: We learn from a diary page that the antidote for monster status swiftly kills the afflicted person, but also that they will at least spend their last moments in their right mind, and in their right body.
  • Early Game Hell: The start can be very hard: combat is barely explained, the enemies hit hard, and health items and save tapes are rare.
  • Evil All Along: Father Noah, the seemingly kind priest you meet at the beginning of the game, is actually the one indirectly and directly responsible for all the horror Caroline endures in the game, as well as kidnapping her long-lost sister, Anna.
  • Eye Scream: As the game begins, Caroline quickly learns that one of her eyes has been surgically removed. It later turns out Caroline did this to herself on purpose, see Borrowed Biometric Bypass above.
  • Fan Disservice: None of the nudity is played for fanservice.
    • First off, young, sultry Caroline Walker who dresses like a biker, gets a scene where she is naked in a bathtub. That is, in a creepy mansion, with some kind of invasive tube stuck down her throat and she nearly vomits pulling it out. Then she finds out her right eye has been cut out, and you're even treated to a Gross-Up Close-Up of the cavity!
    • The ghostly mutant from Implacable Man below takes the form of a bloated, saggy woman with visible mammaries, to say nothing of said mutant being what Anna has devolved into in the current day. Injecting the antidote does restore her to a woman around as shapely as her twin sister that injected that to her, but sadly she's dead after years of torment at this point.
  • Foreshadowing: When Caroline meets Anna in the past, Anna has a small bow on the front of her outfit which matches the larger bow on the back of Caroline's dress. This hints at their relationship.
  • Gas Mask Mook: Alluded to a bit in some diaries, Caroline eventually gets face to face with Atomic Men - giant hammer-wielding mooks in odd radiation suits in one of the last stretches of the game, the Bunkers.
  • Genre Throwback: The game is made in the style of old-school Survival Horror games with fixed cameras like the early Resident Evil and Silent Hill titles, but with modern graphics (specifically it uses a fixed perspective, moving dynamic camera similar to Resident Evil – Code: Veronica or the first 4 Silent Hill games). It even includes Tank Controls as an optional manner of playing.
  • Girly Bruiser: As obvious from her default outfit, Supermodel Strut, and vanity stacked with makeup in the opening scene, Caroline is a rather feminine young lady, but she's also a capable fighter who isn't afraid to get up in some ghastly mutant's business with a crowbar.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: The Atomic Men, whose eyes are apparently car headlights.
  • Guide Dang It!: The game does not even hint that the best way to deal with the Implacable Man floating monster is to leave the room and then come back. It usually de-spawns.
  • Implacable Man: A slow, floating fat mutant rather reminiscent of the ghosts from Silent Hill 4 appears about halfway through the game. It cannot be killed, only stunned by enough damage, and appears at random throughout the mansion to hunt you. It turns out to be Caroline's twin sister, mutated due to over a decade of exposure to the mutating radiation of the "divine fetus" the cult discovered buried deep underground in the ancient vault.
  • Improvised Weapon: Every weapon in the game, as the melee weapons are a basic crowbar, a homemade cattle prod, nail guns modified to shoot their nails out at very high velocity, and a shotgun made by combining together a pipe apparatus and a firing mechanism.
  • Infinity +1 Sword: The Halloween update - in addition to providing an optional alternate costume for Caroline - also introduces the triple nailgun, which fires in bursts and tends to knock down targets in a single burst, making it actually quite an ammo-efficient weapon if you know to whack downed enemies with a crowbar. It is hidden behind a puzzle whose existence is only hinted at the results screen after you'd beat the game.
  • Insurmountable Waist-High Fence: Caroline can move a fridge to reveal a hidden area, but cannot move a few boxes to reach a door that the developers don't want you to get through.
  • Late to the Tragedy: A staple of survival horror. Particularly when Caroline encounters William's corpse in his office, noting he deceased out of poisoning just few hours ago before she showed up in the room.
  • Menu Time Lockout: The game action pauses when you open the menu (allowing you to reload and heal in the middle of combat), but the game timer keeps on going. Be aware of the distinction if you want the Achievement for speed running the game.
  • Metaphorically True: When Caroline meets the reverend Noah for the first time, he claims "they have met before", which Caroline denies. But then she ends up traveling few days back in time through a VHS projector, and meets up with Noah before most of the game's events happen. Not to mention those two have definitely met 14 years before.
  • Minimalist Cast: The game features few named characters, and even fewer of those Caroline gets to meet in person, alive.
  • Monkey Morality Pose: One of the puzzles is themed around this. You'd have to find a hammer and a parchment containing a story about a monkey thief getting tried and executed, and arrange the dials to correspond how the story goes. Solving this nets you a staple gun, key for healing Noah's wounded arm.
  • Multiple Endings: The game features three of them, mostly dictated in the final areas as well as by having items required to achieve them:
    • Remorse - Caroline tries to leave the mansion after leaving Anna in the mutated state, only to get chased out by Anna's apparition.
    • Forgetfulness - Caroline gets the antidote by solving the seemingly-infinite room puzzle, and injects it to mutated Anna, who gets her humanity restored but also dies soon after. Caroline laments not being able to change the past that much.
    • Adoption - Caroline injects the antidote into Anna like in the Forgetfulness ending, takes the bolt cutters, then on the way out travels back to 1980 via the VHS projector, frees the young Anna and pulls her into the present day. Tormented Souls 2 goes with this ending.
  • Nail 'Em: The first ranged weapon Caroline gets is a nail gun from the Reverend that's been modified with an external air tank to fire at much higher pressure than intended.
  • Nightmare Fuel Colouring Book: The Children's Bedroom has some pictures on the wall. If you click on them, you get the message "These children's drawings are unsettling."
  • The '90s: The game proper takes place on December 16th, 1994, with Caroline briefly transposing herself into 1980 at two points.
  • No Canon for the Wicked: Tormented Souls 2 has Anna with Caroline, meaning the endings where you don't cure present day Anna or leave her child self behind non-canon.
  • Non-Standard Game Over: Letting the shadows consume Caroline, which results in something attacking her, and dragging her off to an uncertain doom.
  • Notice This: Some important items sparkle. For everything else, you have to rummage around the room until the "interact with this" icon appears.
  • Puzzle Boss: "The creator", the only boss in the entire game. Shoot it to weaken the tentacles that wrap around the machines you'd have to operate in order to loosen the screws holding a giant drill on top of the abomination.
  • Safecracking: The game has quite a spin of this. Late in the game Caroline stumbles upon a safe and a diary note with the combination, but the dial is missing. Caroline has to enter the nearby Mirror World - that happens to resemble her own home room - turn on the TV, and with the dial that could be found in the sewers, hop through the channels in order that would correspond with the combination as each of the "channels" represent a number.
  • Save-Game Limits: As per one of the game's inspirations, the game only allows saving at tape recorders found in few places, and they require a Save Token, specifically a consumable 7-inch tape reel. There are also only three save slots.
  • Shotguns Are Just Better: Even in the form of two pipe pieces cobbled together, the shotgun is capable of one-shotting most of the lower-tier mooks.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Resident Evil has a puzzle which is solved by playing the piano. In this game, there is a piano in the main hall. If you click on it, Caroline says "An old piano. Sadly, I don't know how to play."
    • Along with the more obvious reference to Silent Hill of the mansion having a decayed, rusted-out Dark World version you visit (with it being accessed via mirror seemingly evoking Origins in particular), the hallway where you meet your first enemy has a severely mutilated corpse strung up in a cruciform pose at a dead end, in homage to the now-famous Establishing Series Moment in the original Silent Hill.
    • The Slasher enemy, which looks too much like the Slayers from The Suffering for them to be a coincidence.
  • Sinister Minister: Father Noah turns out to be the fanatical leader of the Pollux Sect, committing numerous atrocities to birth his religion's god.
  • Solve the Soup Cans: Some puzzles are more of this trope than others.
    • Working out the password for an electronic lock and writing it on a floppy disk: not soupy.
    • Setting the right time and date on a clock to get a jade eye to put in a stone head to open a case with a musical puzzle which opens a hidden door: very soupy.
  • Stable Time Loop: Magic mirrors and video tapes allow travel to specific points in the past, mostly for solving puzzles. The game starts with Caroline waking up in a bathtub in a spooky mansion, with one eye missing. Much later, she has to open a door which is locked with two widely separated eye scanners, which is meant to be opened by twins. You can probably see where this is going.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Invoked by Anna's Diary log taken after Caroline enables escape from her cell by pouring acid on the padlock, stating Caroline's features "remind of her mother". After all, Caroline is the grown-up Emma from the present.
  • Supermodel Strut: Caroline has a rather noticeable swing to her hips as she walks, both in her slow and speedier walking animations.
  • Tap on the Head: How Caroline gets knocked down soon after entering the mansion before waking up in the bathtub. William did it to her, not realizing she's one of his own twin daughters he hasn't seen in years. You find a diary entry from him:
    I hit her over the head with a lead pipe, which I admit was unwise. Had I hit her much harder, she would not have survived, and a potential test subject would have been wasted.
  • Timey-Wimey Ball: The VHS tapes you can find work as time machines, allowing you to travel back to the past and change history. Whatever happens in the tapes' world will affect both the past and the present. For example, Caroline waking up at the beginning of the game without her eye is the result of her traveling back to the past through the Dentist tape and cutting her own eye out herself to solve a puzzle. However, in one of the game's endings, Caroline takes Anna with her to the present, essentially erasing her from the past, but for some reason, this action does not change the past nor cause any repercussions in the present. At no point is any of the time travel ever explained in the story, or even referenced in any of the notes you find except perhaps in a very vague way.
  • A Tragedy of Impulsiveness: One of the later diary logs reveal it was William who snuck up to Caroline and knocked her out at the beginning of the game, never realizing the "young and reckless woman" was in fact his daughter Emma, whom he hasn't seen in years. The guy doesn't even realize Noah has taken the daughters before passing away after tasting the poisoned wine.
  • Treacherous Quest Giver: Noah, the Reverend, the only living supporting character you encounter in the mansion's present, turns out to be the game's Big Bad.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: Caroline Walker is one of the very twins she was looking for, Emma Wildberger.
  • Undressing the Unconscious: Soon after entering the mansion, Caroline gets knocked out by an unknown assailant via Tap on the Head. When she next wakes up, she's in a bathtub, having been completely stripped by her assailant while she was out, though she's much more perturbed by the fact her eye was surgically removed. Her clothes are at least, conveniently placed right next to her.
  • Unorthodox Reload: As unorthodox as the design of the shotgun demands to be. As it's basically a glorified zip gun, Caroline splits the shotgun into two halves dropping the spent shell, inserts a new shell onto one of the pipes and then combines the parts back in.
  • Visual Pun: A few of the puzzles (especially the Safecracking Television puzzle) involve this.
  • Would Hurt a Child: On display after analyzing the diaries. William Wildberger marries a woman who happens to be the daughter of a cult leader, who then decades later proceeds to abduct his twin daughters for a twisted ritual, with one of them barely escaping with their mother and the other one being alone in the dark for many years.


Video Example(s):


Tormented Souls

Tormented Souls is a third-person Survival Horror game developed by Dual Effect and published by PQube, released in August 2021 for Xbox, Playstation, Nintendo Switch, and PC. The game is a homage to classic survival horror series such as Resident Evil, Silent Hill, and Alone in the Dark.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / SurvivalHorror

Media sources: