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Video Game / Tormentum Dark Sorrow

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Tormentum - Dark Sorrow is a point-and-click horror adventure game from publisher OhNooo Studio. The player assumes the role of a faceless person clad in rags who awakens in a cage being flown over a meteor-blasted hellscape with no memory of how they got there. Your destination is a terrifying castle whose inhabitants terrorize the inhabitants of the surrounding wasteland and where captives of such raids are punished for their sins. Your only choice is to attempt an escape before the guards come to torture you to death. But what starts out as a single-minded quest for survival will lead to disturbing revelations about who you really are.

What sets Tormentum apart is its artwork style. Every room is an opulent scene of surreal horror in the style of artists such as H.R. Giger and Zdzislaw Bekskinski. The visuals are a big clue that something more than just a castle full of tyrants is in play here and the images are designed in such a way to prevent the player from growing comfortable with them as the story unfolds.

Tormentum was released for Windows and OS X in 2015, while Android, and iOS versions followed in 2016. It is available for purchase on Steam.


This work contains examples of the following Tropes:

  • Affably Evil: The Rat is doing terrible things in the basement, but is always friendly toward the player and deals honestly with them.
  • And I Must Scream: Those who cross the castle's leadership might find themselves permanently fused into the architecture while still alive.
  • Apocalyptic Log: The series of notes scattered throughout the mind that describe the conditions there as having grown more and more intolerable until the messages finally end on a Wham Line.
  • Ascend To A Higher Planeof Existence: The player character's ultimate fate, for good or ill.
  • Black-and-White Morality: Played With: there is a secret tally of good and bad acts, but it's based more on actions the characters, and thus the player, couldn't have known will end badly at the time. Saving the Rat is a good act and killing him is an evil act, even though he and his family eat people, but the character has no way of knowing that is the case at the time. Killing creatures that are necessary for progressing through the game are also not counted as evil, as the player has no choice in the matter.
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  • Body Horror: Given the Gigeresque nature of the character designs, it is unsurprising that horrific biomechanical creatures abound.
  • Caper Rationalization: You have to steal the Lizard's Storm Egg regardless, but it only counts as an evil act if you give it to the wrong person. Giving it to the Bird, an egg thief, is evil because you can discover that fact before hand, while giving it to the Tree to protect him from the crows tormenting him is the good decision, as it's helping someone.
  • Cardboard Prison: For a place that people supposedly never come back from, security in the castle is surprisingly lax because it's not really a prison, but a test of character.
  • Cats Are Mean: The talking, multi-eyed creature you meet doesn't look much like a cat, but it claims to be one nonetheless and takes a surprisingly cruel attitude toward its owner.
  • The Chosen One: You are given implications at first that you're this. Amnesia except for a prophetic dream of a statue of a woman with hands raised up to the sky that you feel an urge to find? The knight in the castle telling you that "You may think nothing depends on you, but it is you and your actions alone on which everything depends." Played With ultimately: the amnesia is so you don't realize you're dead. The dreams of the statue to give a goal and motivation as part of your test of character. And the knight's words are correct: the world is constructed and 'everything' refers to your soul.
  • The Chosen Many: Despite the above, By the time you get to Frozen Tears, people chat about you being 'another one' (though you were apparently the first one to be someone who escaped from the castle), and you find several swords around the statue, and listless bodies seated in chairs around it. The remarks of those who live in Frozen Tears, all could lead you to believe that you're just the latest in a long line of suckers in some unknown task or scheme. Ultimately subverted: none of this is real and is a test of your morality. It's just a set up to make it appear as such.
  • Constructed World: Everything is just a construction to test your character's morality.
  • Cool Train: An aged, weathered out, creepy but cool looking biomechanical train like its engineer is good for only one last trip.
  • Creepy Crows: One has a puzzle piece you need to progress. They're also tormenting the Tree unless you give him the Storm Egg.
  • Creepy Doll: The marionette in the spider room, along with the faces on the mining drill.
  • Dead All Along: The player character is recently deceased and the game is his test for entering the afterlife.
  • Death World: If the sadistic regime of the castle doesn't get you, the constant meteor storms and giant beasts that dominate the wasteland will. Justified, as you're pretty much in Purgatory.
  • Dem Bones: The protagonist is actually this, being covered in clothing and shadow until The Reveal. They're Dead All Along. No one comments on or notices this because it's all a Secret Test of Character.
  • Dragged Off to Hell: Your fate if you commit more evil acts than good in the ending.
  • Driven to Suicide: The player character, before the start of the game and after killing his wife.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: The Rat has a wife and son whom he seems to care for.
  • Evil vs. Evil: There is a power struggle within the castle between the Queen and the Court Jester.
  • Exact Words: The Rat tells you he's not evil, he's simply "always lived the life of a simple hunter. Doing what I could to feed my family." He's not mentioning the fact they hunt humans.
  • Fantastic Racism: The game doesn't delve very much into what the exact hierarchy is among the game world's sentient races, but humans are clearly at the bottom of it.
  • Fling a Light into the Future: In the castle, you seem to find a slew of clues and puzzle pieces left over from previous prisoners and their only partially successful escape attempts. Subverted, as it turns out they never existed, and the it's all part of your test.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • When asking you to kill the Queen, the Jester mentions that given what you did to get here, it shouldn't be a problem. Given you're in this mess for killing your wife...
    • As part of the quest to get the Crown of the Damned, you are exposed to gas that puts you into a room where you meet the ghost of a man who was executed via electrocution. He warns that no one in this land is what they seem, and you wake up from what was apparently a hallucination. He's also right, (the Lizard is a decent person, the Bird is a liar, and the Rat's family traps humans for food). In fact, nothing is what it seems, as everything is simply a Secret Test of Character.
    • You enter the final area by driving a sword into the statue of the woman you've been searching for. It turns out its how you killed your lover.
  • Green Rocks: The castle runs on them quite literally.
  • Heel–Face Turn: The Jester, should the player choose to spare his life.
  • Hero of Another Story: The slave who wrote about the mine assuming he ever even existed and isn't just a character made up for the player character's test.
  • Ice-Cream Koan: At the start of the adventure, the Knight tells you "the dagger of destiny has two edges. One side there is torture, on the other is yourself." Nothing comes of this.
  • If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him: You can kill one of the knights torturing a prisoner, something they're shown to do quite frequently to 'punish' others for their 'sins'. It counts towards your evil tally however.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: The Rats.
  • Karma Houdini: Most of the NPC's become this if you choose to spare them. However, the player explicitly doesn't know in most cases they're evil at the time, and thus they count as evil acts if you kill them, resulting in the worst ending and your bad deeds catching up with you.
  • Karma Meter: A secret one exists, but there's some unique twists on it. At the end of the game, you're offered a black key and a white key. If the player takes the black key having done evil deeds, but still more good than bad, it gives them a better chance of getting a good ending, but they get a worse one if they pick the white key in the same situation. This is because the black key actually represents accepting you did wrong rather than ignoring it, and the world is ultimately a test of your morality to see if you deserve a second chance at getting into Heaven.
  • Kill 'Em All: One way to prevent the various evil NPC's from becoming Karma Houdinis as listed above. If you don't mind getting the bad ending...
  • Laser-Guided Karma:
    • Whether you kill the Queen or not, karma ultimately catches up with the Jester and he dies regardless. The same applies the Bird if he's given the Storm Egg.
    • Everything that happens to the player is karma for murdering their wife, and if they do more evil acts than good, they're Dragged Off to Hell.
  • "Leave Your Quest" Test: The people in Frozen Tears hint that the world on the other side of the statue's portal is horrific, as do the corpses surrounding it. It's not, the actual catalyst for succeeding or failing is your morality, it's a test to try and stop you from leaving.
  • Load-Bearing Boss: After you defeat the monster in the mine and retrieve the plot coupon in the room behind it the entrance to the mine promptly collapses behind you.
  • Missing Mom: The Rat wife/mother doesn't appear normally except for in the portrait with her husband and son. If you kill the Rat in the castle, she'll show up at the hut.
  • MockGuffin: The Crown of the Damned is actually a useless crown and doesn't give its user any power. Of course you and the people you can give it to don't know that at the time.
  • Monster Clown: One of the characters you meet on your journey is an evil court jester.
  • Morton's Fork:
    • The Jester ends up dead rather you kill the Queen or not: either she has him executed or his reign is a 'joke' and he's buried alive either way. Killing the Queen or not still counts towards your morality, however.
    • Whether you give the Storm Egg to the Bird or not, he still ends up dying. However, giving it to him counts as an evil act and thus acts against getting the best ending.
    • No matter if you give the Crown of the Damned to the Rat or the Lizard, they'll be found bleeding out at Frozen Tears regardless. However, in terms of ending, the Lizard is the 'good' act required for the best ending.
  • No Name Given: Every single character in the game, up to and including the player character, is only ever addressed by their occupation or species.
  • Ontological Mystery
  • Plot Twist: The creators have admitted to have taken inspiration from Dark Souls and it shows, however the game uses that against the player for legitimate twists and turns an experienced Souls will be blindsided by.
  • Poison Is Evil: Played With: cooks were turned into part of the castle for 'treachery' after making poisoned meat, but you poison a monster guarding the Rat.
  • Reality Ensues: The Jester's reign doesn't last long if you kill the Queen and help him usurp her. Just because he can take the throne, doesn't automatically mean he has the charisma or leadership skills to keep it.
  • Reality Is Unrealistic: The Knights in the castle torture people for 'their sins', believing it's purifying them. This was an actual belief people had in real life in the past.
  • Red Herring: There are multiple things that imply the hero's quest is them being used for sinister ends or there's something darker going on, such as people at Frozen Tears and a witnessing a cult supposedly worshiping an idol at the castle. These are all intended to lead a player expecting Dark Souls game (where such things are common and the creators admit to having taken inspiration from) astray so the real twist (that you're a murderer who's soul is being tested to see if he can redeem himself and be saved from Hell) will surprise them.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Inverted. Of all the characters you meet, the Lizard is one of the more decent ones.
  • Ruins for Ruins' Sake: While you're nominally given bits and pieces of how the castle was built and the knights began their ruthless reign and other locations, other ruined places defy explanation. It turns out this trope is literally in effect, the world was created solely to test your wife murdering soul's ability to change for the better, so the ruins exist for the same reason In-Universe as they do out of it: to be set dress.
  • Rule of Symbolism: The giant woman at the moment of judgment implies everything is drawn from the player character's fears, fantasies, and memories, as the entire game is set in a world created solely to test to see if they can be redeemed or should be sent to Hell for their murder of their wife.
  • Scenery Gorn
  • Schmuck Bait: Those hanging around the statue and the blind painter not too subtly hint at the world on the other side of the statue's gateway itself is this. And some of the bodies around support this. The painter claims he went blind after visiting the other side, and has been painting to recreate what he saw to warn others away. His paintings show several bizarre, strange and horrifying landscapes. Subverted, however, and nothing like what the painter painted never shows up on the other side. And those who tried to pass on through the portal and failed or met a horrible fate never existed. Given the true nature of things, could also be a "Leave Your Quest" Test.
  • Secret Test of Character: The entire game is one for the recently deceased protagonist to test where they'll end up in the afterlife.
  • Surreal Horror
  • This Is a Drill: What you use to defeat the creature in the mine. It has creepy doll faces on the front of it for some reason.
  • Unwitting Pawn:
    • The Jester asks for you to 'kill the Witch.' Given the naming conventions of the game, the player is unlikely to question this. The Witch is actually the Queen.
    • There's several implications that the player may be this for someone and their journey might not be leading to a favorable outcome for them. Subverted in that they're not being manipulated to accomplish anything: the whole thing is a Secret Test of Character, but whether or not they're saved or doomed is up to the player's morality rather than anyone's mechanization behind the scenes.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: A good way to tell you've made a decision that puts you toward the bad ending is when a character reacts to it with this.
  • White Mask of Doom: The mage of the catacombs wears one.
  • World Limited to the Plot: Literally. The world was literally created for the purpose of testing the player character's morality and nothing else.
  • You Dirty Rat!: Subverted. The Rat you meet is a nice person who is another victim of the Knights' draconian sense of justice. Double Subverted when it turns out he and his family trap and eat humans.
  • Zeppelins from Another World: The castle's prisoner transport, which you awaken dangling from the bottom of.


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