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Video Game / Underhero

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Underhero is a 2D side-scroller Role-Playing Game, made by Paper Castle Games and released in September 2018, with ports for other game consoles becoming available over time. In it, the player is a nameless Mook of the Big Bad, who is convinced to subvert the plans of their master after the traditional hero has been defeated. The game is quite light-hearted in spirit, while its gameplay is a variant on Turn-Based Combat, where in-combat actions can be taken at any time, but they are limited by stamina.


Underhero contains examples of the following tropes:

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  • Airborne Mook: Pink and purple moths are an early one. They attack by dive-bombing the player, and are attacked with slingshots. Also, the bats. The ghosts also count, but one type of them can be attacked with the sword or hammer if they get close enough to you.
  • All The Worlds Are a Stage: The final area has floors based around the the first 3 Worlds, as well as music that uses the same motifs.
  • All There in the Manual: The official artbook has some information about parts of the game that aren't completely obvious:
    • When Mr. Stitches lets Princess Cereza go at the beginning, she was actually just pretending to cry to look more helpless than she really was.
    • The three Masked Kids that you encounter in the dark room in Heroes Road are actually just illusions created by Stitches, likely to mess with the player character.
    • The main menu is actually the ending; the place there, which isn't seen anywhere else in the game, is where the Masked Kid and Elizabeth ended up after going through the portal they found.
  • All There in the Script: The first enemy you fight is called La Valiente, but you don't get to find that out (unless you exploit a glitch in the demo) because you don't gain the ability to talk to enemies until your second encounter. That same enemy is encountered as a ghost later on and asks if they've met you before, which can easily be overlooked.
  • Ambiguous Gender: The playable Masked Kid. Their listed sex on their info card is blurred out, and Elizabeth settles on just calling them "kid" early on.
  • Animate Inanimate Object: Bella is a talking candle, although she isn't able to move on her own and relies on a disembodied ghost hand to carry her around. The other candles seen in the manor and the castle are implied to also be sentient as they have faces.
    • Elizabeth IV is a talking hilt who also seems to have limited movement.
  • Antepiece: The salsa-making minigame just before El Salserissimo's boss fight involves climbing up a rope to a conveyor belt and waiting for specific peppers to appear before jumping on the buttons they're attached to and making them fall (and it must be done in the right position as well). Then the boss fight itself involves doing the same thing, only on a larger scale.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • If you're not at full HP when you pass a checkpoint and then die after, you'll be at full HP when you go back to it.
    • You aren't actually required to win the race in the Moth Queen's Tree or the ice skating competition in the Long Woods, so you don't have to play them over and over again until you win (although you do miss out on achievements if you lose, so you'll probably want to keep reloading and playing them anyway).
      • In addition, the enemies you encounter during the race in World 1 only take two or three hits to defeat so you don't have your time wasted.
    • If you accidentally miss going to the Moth Queen's treasury in World 1 and get locked out of going back inside the tree, you will be able to go there later in the game (for story reasons) and there will be vines for you to climb up to the treasury (since the Tree is no longer flooded with beer).
    • Potions will restore your health if you can't carry more, and be converted into coins if it's full.
    • There are some instances where the game autosaves even though you haven't passed a checkpoint, most notably before the boss fight at the end of World 4 (which comes after a long cutscene), and between the stages of the final boss.
    • The Masked Kids in Heroes Road don't drop any coins or potions, so you're not missing out on a lot by not killing them should you choose that path. They also take less coins to bribe if you end up in an encounter with them.
    • During the final stages of the game, you will have some opportunities to pick up more potions since you'll most likely run out of them.
    • As an out-of-game example, the developers have made save files available to use in case you lose your files or want to earn any missable achievements without restarting the entire game.
  • Anti-Grinding: The enemies you fight don't respawn, and the ones you bribe won't ever fight you again, limiting how much EXP and money you can get from them.
  • Anti-Hero: The Masked Kid only agrees to go on their journey due to the money Elizabeth says they'll get from it, and they kill several of their co workers despite most of them being openly friendly when spoken to.They drop the anti part later in the game, being openly remorseful of their previous actions, and they instead finish their journey out of a desire to save their friends rather than any monetary reason.
  • Anti-Villain: T. Bur does everything he does out of loyalty and friendship for Mr. Stitches, no matter how upsetting it is for him. Stitches himself is only playing the role of evil king because if he doesn't, the world might end. Even his killing of the previous evil overlord, Queen Rena, is prompted by him trying to get a better life for his friends.
  • Artificial Human: It turns out that the Hero is this, having been created as part of a cycle that Mr. Stitches has been causing for centuries. It's implied that there have been other heroes who were artificially made or cloned, with Gregory being the first one.
    • Although they're not actually human, the majority of enemies in the game are clones of Stitches and T. Bur's friends, including the player character.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The hammer deals the most damage, and can even One-Hit Kill some enemies, and a later upgrade allows it to stun with each hit as well. However, it also uses up the most stamina, and it takes a bit of time to summon and attack with it, and if you're not careful the enemy might interrupt you while you're still preparing it; in fact, the Grey Kid will take advantage of the slow preparation and attack or run away.
  • Back for the Finale: In the final segment of the game, almost all relevant characters of the story show up. Together, the kid and Elizabeth, the bosses and Cereza work to defeat Stitches. T. Bur stops his final attack, while the other Masked Kids (if the player was merciful to them), show up to protect them too. Every other character shows up to cheer the fight on.
  • Background Boss: El Salserissimo is so big that he moves around in the background while attacking you as you jump between platforms and try to climb up to the conveyor belt above.
  • Bad Boss: Mr. Stitches generally treats his minions pretty poorly, even strangling one that witnessed the hero's defeat right in front of you. Or so it seems; the witness turns out to simply be banished to become T. Bur's assistant on the underground facility, to hide her from possibly spewing the truth to others.
    • It's implied that Queen Rena treated her minions poorly as well; Stitches says that she made them work too hard and that several of his friends died because of her, which is what prompted him to kill her in order to save the ones that remained.
  • Bandit Mook: The monkey enemies in Pica Pica Island can steal your money, and run off with it if you take too long to defeat them.
  • Big Boo's Haunt: Long Woods Manor in World 2 is full of ghosts, and outside there are zombie-like creatures that come out of the ground.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Puzzleman is defeated and the cycle of the hero is broken, but the Masked Kid and Elizabeth IV remain stuck in the Endzone and the way out they find is implied to lead to another world. However, the other characters move on with their lives, and there is a potential sequel hook as the epilogue shows that Mr. Stitches and T. Bur are searching for a way to bring Masked Kid and Elizabeth back.
  • Book Ends: The game begins with the Hero and Elizabeth travelling through two rooms before the former is killed. The Masked Kid and Elizabeth visit those same rooms just before facing Mr. Stitches, even passing the still-fallen chandelier that fell on the Hero.
    • The main menu can be seen as this, as it's strongly implied (and confirmed in the artbook) to be the place where the Masked Kid and Elizabeth arrived after going through the portal at the very end of the game.
  • Boss-Arena Idiocy: Partially justified with El Salserissimo's boss fight, as an NPC you meet earlier explains that the bomb peppers (which you have to feed him) aren't supposed to be on the conveyor belt but sometimes end up there anyway. However, it doesn't really make sense for there to be ropes aside from giving you a way to climb up there to drop said peppers, and somehow a lot of those peppers have ended up there. Maybe the enslaved villagers are helping you?
    • Also played with in T. Bur's boss fight; the switches that drain the water are clearly electrified to stop you from pressing them or going too close to the walls, but he himself isn't immune to being shocked by them, and you have to wonder why the room has a button that activates the big laser when he can just activate it remotely. To be fair, said button doesn't become available for you to press until the water is drained, and the switches that drain the water start moving about halfway through the fight to make things more difficult.
  • Boss Arena Recovery: Occasionally, the rooms in which you fight the bosses will have purple glowing orbs (like the ones that sometimes drop after regular battles) appear to heal you.
  • Boss Remix: Some of the boss themes use motifs from the area themes:
    • The music that plays when fighting Baron van Gregory uses the main motif from the main theme of World 2.
    • The music during El Salserissimo's boss fight has a brief moment where part of the tune that plays in the volcano can be heard.
    • This is most prominent in T. Bur's boss battle, which uses a remix of the Stitched Castle theme. Which makes sense, since he is responsible for the employment system that the majority of the underlings follow.
    • Inverted with the Grey Kid; a slower and more serious song that uses motifs from the battle theme plays when she reveals herself to be the Princess, and the credits also feature a variation of that same slow song in a major key.
  • Boss Subtitles: Each of the bosses get an introduction similar to the ones that appear when you enter a new area.
  • Braving the Blizzard: World 2 greets you with an intense blizzard that slowly damages you and prevents you from using your hoodie-chute, forcing you to take refuge in the manor. Even when the blizzard dies down, you still can't use your hoodie-chute.
  • Brick Joke:
    • After a long sequence of events, it looks like you're finally going to be able to get a fuse to fix the elevator in the Moth Queen's tree when you have to get some toilet paper for the NPC who has it, only for Tim to flood the place with beer, letting you swim to the top floor instead. When you re-visit the tree later, if you interact with the bathroom door again, that same NPC is either still waiting there or got into the same problem again.
    • When you reach the top of the tower in Long Woods Manor, Elizabeth decides to explain more to Bella and Handy about what she and the Masked Kid are up to, with a "One long story later" time skip card. It's used again when they go to the tower again to talk to the Baron and explain who he really was in his past life.
    • In the village on Pica Pica Island, an NPC asks if you've heard of technophobia, and explains that one of the chief's sons has it. You encounter him in the erupting volcano later on, and have the choice to help him escape or not.
  • But Thou Must!: In order to get the keys needed to progress in the Moth Queen's tree, you'll have to confront two different mooks, one of which you end up racing with for the key. If you lose, you'll have to fight her for it instead. If you win, she'll change her mind and you'll have to fight her for it anyway.
  • Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp": Most of the enemies are animals of some kind, but with different names. For example, the moths are called Mothys (although their ruler is referred to as a moth), and the monkeys are called Monkans.
  • Casual Danger Dialog: You can talk to enemies in combat to learn some history or trivia on the area, though sometimes the enemy simply chats about more casual things. However, you can only talk to enemies before you make the first attack.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: This comes up twice, both during World 4:
    • At the beginning of the game, Mr. Stitches lets Princess Cereza go after he's informed that the Hero has died. She then becomes the Grey Kid.
    • Throughout the game, you keep encountering a moth with a split personality. He turns out to be the Moth King.
  • Chekhov's Volcano: World 3 has one that inevitably starts to erupt right after you've defeated the boss, prompting you to escape before it does so.
  • Cognizant Limbs: The third phase of the boss battle against the Baron has his separate body parts attack you, and you have to attack them one by one.
  • Collapsing Lair: The Pica Pica volcano starts to erupt after you've beaten El Salserissimo. Fortunately, there's an elevator that saves you a lot of time. Unfortunately, there's also an NPC who is afraid to use it, so you'll have to choose between going back out the long way to save him or leaving him to die.
  • Combat Sadomasochist: Some enemies seem to actually enjoy getting attacked. Some of the ghost enemies (who are already dead anyway) want to be defeated so they can do something elsewhere.
  • Convection Shmonvection: Lampshaded when Elizabeth believes the signs and torches in the volcano aren't actually made of wood and instead just look like they are, thinking they would catch on fire if they were. Additionally, there are pools of water that should realistically be boiling but aren't; in fact, going in them can actually heal the burn status.
  • Crapsaccharine World: Most of the game's setting is bright and colourful, as are its inhabitants, but it's also a setting where said inhabitants are often killed by the hero while working for the evil overlord, among other things. Taken even further with the reveal that the "Chosen Heroes" have been artificially created for centuries in order to maintain a cycle to keep the world from ending, only for it to turn out to just be made up by something from another dimension entirely. Oh, and one of the bosses used to be a hero himself.
    • World 3 in itself qualifies; on the surface it looks like a nice tropical island with a peaceful beach and a fun jungle to explore, but the villagers have been kidnapping people and forcing them to fight to the death, and they did that because some of theirs were kidnapped and enslaved by the area's boss.
  • Critical Annoyance: When your health is low, a Heartbeat Soundtrack and some piano notes will keep playing until it's restored.
  • Crosshair Aware: Featured during the boss fight against T. Bur to let you know when to avoid getting hit by the huge laser when it locks on. You also use this to your advantage and get it to shoot at him once you're able to activate it yourself.
  • Cutscene Boss: When you visit the theatre after leaving World 3, it initially looks like you're going to have to fight the Grey Kid again and you can even attack them if you're fast enough, but then one of their attacks causes the stage to break, sending you both falling into an unknown place below.
  • Damage Over Time: Being outside during the blizzard in World 2 will gradually reduce your HP until you go indoors.
    • The poison and burn status effects both cause you to lose HP until you use an antidote or water respectively. They can also be cured by using a potion.
  • Dark Reprise:
    • A slower and more serious version of the Grey Kid's theme plays when they reveal that they're actually the Princess.
    • The music during World 4 uses the same notes and tempo as the Stitched Castle theme (you can easily sing the main motif along to it), and the main motif also makes up the music that plays during the boss battle with T. Bur.
  • Decoy Protagonist: Mostly Played for Laughs with the Scarf Boy, who's the character you control at the very beginning of the game, only for them to be anticlimactically killed by a chandelier falling on them, causing it to switch to the Masked Kid that killed them for the rest of the game.
  • Defeat Equals Explosion: The defeated enemies blow up in the cloud of purplish smoke. It even makes out a skull as it begins to fade! The same thing also happens to the protagonist if their HP reaches 0.
  • Developer's Foresight: In the demo, since the inside of the Moth Queen's Tree is skipped over, you're at a lower level than you are when you fight the first boss in the final game (and you also don't have access to the hammer or slingshot), and it fades to the credits about halfway through the battle. However, if you edit your save file to give yourself more coins and buy upgrades that increase your attack level, you can defeat her. Rather than cause the game to crash or freeze right away, the post-battle cutscene was actually included in the demo (but it does freeze after you take the portal back to the castle).
    • In the game proper, if you miss going to the treasury before going to the tree's upper levels, then when you return there later after the beer is gone and the elevator is fixed, there will be vines for you to climb that weren't there before so you're not completely locked out of it.
    • When you first arrive in the tree's roots, Mr. Stitches pops up in the background for a few seconds. Turning back around and talking to Elizabeth right after this will have her say that she didn't see anything.
    • If you look at your inventory after the cutscene that takes place before T. Bur's boss battle, you'll see that Elizabeth, Bella, and Handy have disappeared as they're not currently with you.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: The boss fight against Stitches has three different phases, the last of which has everyone showing up to help you. Once you've defeated him, that's it, right? Not quite. Puzzleman then shows up and forces you into a different dimension, and you have to navigate through it and fight him as the actual final boss.
  • The Dog Was the Mastermind: Puzzleman is the true Big Bad, believing his sole purpose is to keep the Hero Cycle going and having manipulated Mr. Stitches and his predecessor into maintaining it (or, in Stitches' case, his and T. Bur's charade of it) for centuries if not millennia.
  • Do Well, But Not Perfect: The gorilla enemies of World 3 will get angrier every time you attack or dodge, until they get so pissed they wallop you with a devastating and unavoidable attack. The key to avoiding this is to let them hit you with their far weaker normal attacks every now and then to calm them down.
  • Drop the Hammer: A large wooden mallet is used for heavy attacks.
  • Easily Forgiven: When Elizabeth finds out that the Masked Kid killed the Hero, she doesn't hold it against them, likely because she was more upset about the other things she learned, such as the fact that she was created by T. Bur as part of the Hero Cycle.
  • Eldritch Location: Puzzleman's dimension, known as the Endzone, is almost completely white with transparent walls (some of which have coding written on them), and is also 3D and you have to flip around in some places to navigate it.
  • Elite Mooks: Some of the mooks are a different color to the regular ones and have stronger attacks (which can also cause different status effects). Some of them also wear Triangle Shades.
  • Empty Room Until the Trap: At the end of the graveyard in World 2, you go through an area with no enemies or other dangers and retrieve one of the relics you need from the mausoleum. On your way back, however, you encounter the Grey Kid. Cue boss fight.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: During his Motive Rant, Mr. Stitches claims that if the cycle of the Hero defeating him and him returning over and over is broken or altered in any way, the world would be destroyed due to reality being unable to handle things going Off the Rails. This turns out to have been a lie fed to him by Puzzleman to ensure that he would go along with the cycle.
  • Epilogue Letter: The end credits show a letter from Princess Cereza, writing about what everyone's been up to since the Hero Cycle was broken. Even though she knows it's unlikely to actually reach Masked Kid and Elizabeth.
  • Escape Sequence: When escaping the volcano after fighting El Salserissimo, he chases the player character. They use a nearby sign as a board to glide down the mountain.
  • Every Man Has His Price: You can bribe enemies to end the battle peacefully and possibly earn some extra information out of them. Not all enemies can be bribed, however.
  • Everyone Can See It: One mook will comment that it seems everyone can notice El Salserissimo has a thing for Mr. Stitches, to the point he imagines that Stitches can also notice, and is probably using that to manipulate him.
  • Expendable Clone: Mr. Stitches explains that when he had to take up the role of the evil ruler, he didn't want to send his friends to be killed by the hero, so he had them cloned instead. When Elizabeth calls him out on it, he points out that she didn't have a problem with killing them at first.
    Elizabeth IV: Just because they're clones doesn't mean you could treat them like trash!
    Mr. Stitches: And you treated them any better? You always saw them as obstacles, too. Sweet experience points, right?
  • Expressive Health Bar: Your health bar shows the player character's mask at the side. It becomes more cracked the more damage you take, and turns green or red if you get poisoned or burned respectively.
  • Faceless Goons: The Masked Kids, basic minions who always wear a very shyguy-esque mask.
  • Fake Longevity: Featured in the Moth Queen's tree. First, you have to attempt to go up to the right, and then Elizabeth will tell you to reach the higher platforms with a wall jump, which your character can't do (and never learns to). Then you go back down to the elevator, only to find that it isn't working and you have to get a fuse from the basement to fix it, which of course is locked. So then you have to go to two different areas to fight the enemies that have the keys, and once you've unlocked the gates, there's a long drop down where you have to slow down to avoid touching the many spikes there. After that, there's an area where you have to activate some of the moving platforms to continue, and then you end up in a fetch quest that you don't get to complete because Tim and Timbolt end up flooding the tree with beer, so now you can just swim to the upper levels instead. It's even lampshaded:
    Elizabeth: No wall jump, no elevator... What a profound waste of time.
    • Interestingly, the artbook states that the racing minigame you play for one of the keys was added to make the level less monotonous.
    • In the Long Woods, there's one point where you have to take part in an ice skating competition, which consists of three rounds and a break in between each of them. Thankfully, you don't have to replay it if you lose (unless you want an achievement, and you will have to reload in order to try again).
    • Subverted later on when it looks like you're going to have to visit many different places to find Tim and Timbolt, but as soon as you set off, he shows up. This is once again lampshaded when Elizabeth says she's relieved because looking all over for them would have taken ages.
  • Falling Chandelier of Doom: Used to kill the Hero in the intro.
  • Fetch Quest: Played for laughs in World 1. You need a fuse to fix the elevator and reach the top of the tree. First you need to get two keys, which lets you into the basement. Then the bartender asks you to get something out of their cellar... then Tim yanks the bung out of a beer barrel and the entire tree floods with beer, letting you just swim to the top of the tree.
  • Final Boss, New Dimension: The Masked Kid and Elizabeth are forced into a different dimension by Puzzleman. After they defeat him, they have no way to get back to their own world.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: The Masked Kid and Elizabeth don't like each other that much at first - the former because she got annoyed when they couldn't wall jump, and the latter because she sees all mooks as evil enemies - but they end up fighting together because Elizabeth needs someone to defeat Mr. Stitches. Then they warm up to each other around World 2, with the Masked Kid even starting to call her Ellie just like Bella does.
  • Fisticuffs Boss: You don't have Elizabeth with you when you fight T. Bur, having to use his own weapons against him instead.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: If you talk to Elizabeth while on your way to the mausoleum, she'll say that the ice you have to cross doesn't look like a good place to fight, even though there are no enemies there. After finding one of the relics you need, you run into the Grey Kid on your way back.
  • Floating Platforms: Here, all the platforms are clearly attached to the background, and if they are moving, it's because there are belts and gears behind them.
  • Follow the Money: Most of the coins you'll find in the game are in the direction you need to go in, but there can be coins found in other places as well. Also, the coins inside El Salserissimo's body are a good indicator of which way you need to go to find his weak point.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • If you explore the other apartment floors, you'll find a robot that says it was created in a place that is just written in binary, but if you translate it, you'll find out that it says "SECRET LAB". Guess where you end up later in the game, where you'll encounter more of this type of enemy.
    • When the Masked Kid meets T. Bur after they've returned from World 1, he refers to them as "745", with the journal even drawing attention to it. It's later revealed that they and many of the other enemies seen in the game are actually clones.
      • Before this, he also says something about a subject going missing. He's referring to the Moth King, who turns out to be Tim and Timbolt.
    • The logs in World 4, specifically the ones that give the passwords needed to progress, suggest that something or someone is influencing the decisions of Mr. Stitches. The passwords even spell out "interloper in his mind" backwards. Said interloper turns out to be Puzzleman.
    • If you've been tracking data during the final areas of the game, you'll notice certain inconsistencies in the final Pop Quiz minigame. Although you learn that Stitches killed Rena to free his friends, and that he is still the evil king in order to stop the world from ending, those will be the wrong answers in the quiz, which clues you in that Puzzleman might be lying to you. Even things that you learn in the previous worlds that are supposedly correct in his earlier quizzes are contradicted by later reveals, such as Gregory's backstory.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: The second and third stages of the fight against Mr. Stitches have jump scares if you get caught by certain attacks, which show frightening images such as Stitches making terrifying faces, the Masked Kid getting impaled through the head by Elizabeth's sword form, the kid's mask breaking, revealing that they have actual horns underneath it as well as a jagged mouth, and Mr. Stitches posing in a bikini.
    • Additionally, one of the images of Mr. Stitches has two circles behind him that look a lot like Puzzleman's eyes.
  • Gameplay Ally Immortality: If you choose to rescue an NPC when escaping from the volcano, he won't take any damage from any of the things that can still damage you. Possibly justified since he's being carried by Handy.
  • Gameplay Roulette: The overall game is a Platformer RPG, but there are several instances of the gameplay changing:
    • Battles can become a rhythm game, as you do more damage if your attacks are done in time with the music; this is taken even further with Rush Mode.
    • There are four instances of Puzzleman showing up to make you do a Pop Quiz.
    • World 1 has a racing minigame, as does World 2 (although that one is optional).
    • At one point in the Long Woods you have to take part in an ice skating competition, where you have to press the corresponding keys when they appear in a certain place. Before that, you'll also have to sneak past ghosts, which you'll have to repeat later in the game.
    • After defeating the boss of World 3 and getting out of the volcano, he starts chasing after you and Handy comes up with the idea of using a nearby sign as a skateboard, turning the next sequence into a boarding minigame.
  • Gratuitous Spanish: El Salserissimo occasionally throws Spanish words into his speech. Unlike many examples, it's actually correct Spanish.
  • Green Hill Zone: The Moth Forest of World 1 consists of bright green fields and trees, although there is also a cave.
  • Grey-and-Gray Morality: It's hard to name a character in the game who is completely good or evil. Even before meeting Elizabeth and following her orders to kill underlings, the Masked Kid doesn't seem to mind two of their fellow mooks getting killed along with the Hero, although they along with Elizabeth come to regret their actions towards the end of the game. Elizabeth herself believed that most mooks were enemies to be fought until she got to know more about the Masked Kid and the others that they worked with. Additionally, while Mr. Stitches doesn't pay his employees very well, he only killed the previous evil ruler to save his friends, and ended up taking her place out of belief that the world would end if he didn't.
  • Hailfire Peaks:
  • Hello, [Insert Name Here]: You're prompted to enter a name for the player character when starting the game.
  • Heroic BSoD: Elizabeth has one when she finds out that the Masked Kid killed the Hero (who has been resurrected or cloned and doesn't remember her), Stitches already knows that they're acting as the hero now, and she was created by T. Bur as part of the Hero Cycle, which Stitches believes must continue or the world will end. It's enough for her to temporarily not want to fight, leaving the Masked Kid to face the next boss all by themselves.
    • Played for Laughs with the party hat-wearing ghosts; if you manage to knock their hats off, they'll become sad and stop fighting you until another ghost comes along and puts the hat back on.
  • Healing Checkpoint: The Save Stations have coffee which fully restores the player's HP.
  • Heroic Mime: The Masked Kid, whose dialogue only ever consists of Visible Silence. Curiously, every other Masked Kid talks just fine. They do write their own journal entries, however, and they avert this near the end of the game, giving a Little "No" when Mr. Stiches asks them to kill him, and a goodbye after the final boss.
  • Horned Humanoid: The Masked Kids have actual horns under their masks, as shown when the player character gets shocked by the robots in World 4, and in a Freeze-Frame Bonus during one of the jump scares in the boss fight with Stitches.
  • Hub Level: The main area of Stitched Castle acts as this, with a room that has portals to the first three worlds.
  • Hypocrite: A theme that shows up throughout the game.
    • The Masked Kid killed the hero because they were fearing for their life and gets saddened when one minion they encounter talks happily about his daughter, whom they saw Mr. Stitches kill or so they thought, yet they have no problem killing other minions even though they might also have family members.
    • The villagers on Pica Pica Island have been kidnapping people, yet some of theirs were also kidnapped by the area's boss. They even say they know they're being hypocritical but don't care.
    • Towards the end of the game, Mr. Stitches calls out the Masked Kid for following Elizabeth's commands, but she calls him a hypocrite for blindly obeying someone (who turns out to be Puzzleman).
  • I Have Your Wife: Part of the reason why Queen Alexandria follows Mr. Stitches is because he supposedly is healing her husband, but because she never sees him; his real status is unknown, and she follows Stitches to make sure he's safe.
  • Incoming Ham: Most of Puzzleman's entrances have him cheerfully saying something before he appears, usually involving the line "DO YOU KNOW WHAT TIME IT IS?"
  • Inconveniently-Placed Conveyor Belt: The Factory naturally contains a lot of these, with switches that can change the direction they go in. Some of them have hydraulic presses which you have to avoid getting hit by or you'll not only lose HP but also be sent back to the beginning.
  • Ironic Echo: When you're about to fight your first enemy, Elizabeth declares "Sweet experience points, baby!" Near the end of the game, when you confront Stitches, he calls the player character and Elizabeth out on killing his mooks, saying the latter saw them as "Sweet experience points, right?"
  • Kill the Lights: Mr. Stitches does this for the second phase of his boss battle, and you have to make sure he doesn't catch you.
  • King Mook: The first boss is a large moth, who is the queen of the standard moths. She even wears a crown on her head as well!
  • Lampshade Hanging: Just one example: "Now that you're in the hero business, you better get used to absurd minigames."
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: An important plot point. It's revealed that Greg was once a "chosen hero" who was part of the Hero Cycle, but he found out that Mr. Stitches was still alive and he went to face him again, only to get killed. He was brought back as a ghost by T. Bur , who also erased his memories of his previous life, but it caused him to become constantly forgetful. The Moth King also had his memories erased after he stumbled upon the Factory, but it caused him to develop a split personality.
    • It's also revealed through reading one of the logs in World 4 that the mooks that are made in the Factory (which includes the player character) have their memories of it erased after they've been created and given their combat training. It's implied that this was done to avert Cloning Blues.
  • Lava Is Boiling Kool-Aid: Or extremely hot Salsa in this case. There is even a splashing sound whenever something falls into it. It isn't any less dangerous, though.
  • Lethal Lava Land: The volcano on Pica Pica Island, which you have to travel through to find El Salserissimo.
  • Level Ate: Downplayed with World 3's volcano, where the lava is actually spicy salsa and the boulders are actually giant meatballs.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: Masked Kid can use a shield to protect themself, even when exhausted, and can even parry enemy attacks if timed right. However, it will break after taking too much damage, forcing you to spend some money to repair it. Parrying requires careful timing, but unlike blocking, doesn't damage your shield at all.
  • Malevolent Mugshot: Mr. Stitches has sent creepy-looking portraits of himself to each of the three main bosses, and he has statues all over Heroes Road. At one point, he pretends to be one of the statues.
  • Meaningful Background Event: There's a point during each of the first three worlds where Mr. Stitches can briefly be seen in the background before disappearing. So it's not much of a surprise when it's revealed that he knew what you were really up to all along.
    • Additionally, at one point during Heroes Road, one of the statues of Mr. Stitches is actually the real Stitches. When you return from the hallway of darkness (which according to the artbook doesn't actually contain any Masked Kids but instead just illusions that he created), you'll hear him laughing, and the "statue" is gone.
  • Mineral Macguffin: The Triviality Stones, which are taken from the bosses by the chosen heroes and used to defeat the evil overlords. The Masked Kid takes them from the Hero after he's killed, and Mr. Stitches asks them to give them back to the bosses. They're actually worthless; loads more of them are found when the Masked Kid and the Grey kid discover the entrance to the secret lab, and it's implied they were just another part of the Hero Cycle.
  • Mini-Dungeon: The Pica Pica Jungle acts as one, where you'll have to travel through the maze-like place to find an item for an NPC so that they'll let you pass through to the volcano.
  • Mirror Boss: A mook example, but the enemy Masked Kids in the last world can dodge and parry your attacks just like you've been able to do for most of the game, and they even have the same stats you started out with. They have different attacks due to fighting unarmed however.
  • Mook Bouncer: The ghosts in the Manor will take you outside or to a different room if you don't have a blue flame with you. Some areas will gradually reduce the flame even during encounters with the ghosts, who will send you away if it runs out before you defeat them.
  • Multi-Mook Melee: When you arrive at Pica Pica Island, you are immediately captured by the tribe and forced to fight against several other captured enemies, the last of which is one you haven't fought before.
  • Multi-Stage Battle: The boss fight against Mr. Stitches has three stages in total. The first stage is fighting him in his room, the second stage involves trying to avoid him while you and Cereza set up bombs, and the third stage is fought in the remains of his room with the help of the other bosses.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: While not saying anything, Masked Kid's expression definitely suggests this when realizing they just killed the Hero and two of their colleagues.
  • Non-Indicative Name: One of the enemy types is called "Metal Slug" even though they're actually snails.
    • At one point you have to find a "King Pepper", which looks like a nose. The ones that look like crowns are just called Crown Peppers.
  • Non-Player Companion: Elizabeth IV is your weapon and Exposition Fairy, and you later get Bella and Handy, who can help you encounter ghosts without them throwing you out as long as they have a blue flame.
  • Not Quite Dead: Frankie, the lizard who was seemingly killed at the start of the game, is found alive and well in the clone factory.
  • NPC Roadblock: In the Stitched Castle, there is an NPC blocking the door that leads to the last rooms of Heroes Road, who even proclaims how fun it is to block said door. There are a few other instances in the same area; several mooks in particular block the way to Worlds 2 and 3 until it's time for you to visit them.
    • The Volcanoids in the Pica Pica volcano block your path by shooting up lava, forcing you to find another way round the room, and they must be defeated to clear the way.
  • Ominous Visual Glitch: Several glitch effects are used after Puzzleman shows his true colors, especially when you end up travelling through what appears to be his dimension.
  • One-Time Dungeon: The volcano in World 3 can't be backtracked to after you leave it. You also can't go back inside the Moth Queen's tree in World 1 until later in the game.
  • Only in It for the Money: Masked Kid is understandably apprehensive about rebelling against their boss, at least until Elizabeth points out they can keep Mr. Stitches' horde of loot. They're also willing to go into dangerous mazes at the prospect of finding more treasure.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: The ghosts you encounter in the game are actually dead underlings, with some of them even recounting how they died, but they have three different versions: the small ones that wear wooden masks, the large ones with Gag Lips that can suck your stamina and blow out flames, and the ones that act as platforms but don't like to be stepped on. You later learn that the dead underlings were originally revived or reincarnated but became too unstable after repeating this process, which was solved by having them turned into ghosts instead.
  • Outliving One's Offspring: That underling that Mr. Stitches killed at the beginning of the game? Her father can be found in the castle, talking about how proud he is of her, while the Masked Kid becomes saddened. Before you visit World 3, he starts to worry that he hasn't heard from her in a while. Thankfully, she turns out to be alive, and you can tell him this when you see him again after finding that out.
  • Permanently Missable Content: You won't be able to return to the volcano after defeating the World 3 boss, so anything you didn't pick up while you were there is lost. You also have the opportunity to save an NPC who is too scared to use the elevator; not doing so means you miss out on a sword upgrade.
    • An example with dialogue rather than items: If you make it to the end of Heroes Road without killing any of the Masked Kids (except for the three in the dark hallway that weren't real), then Mr. Stitches' speech will be different, with him explaining why he killed his predecessor, Queen Rena. Kill even a single Masked Kid, though, and his speech will be much shorter and won't include that bit of lore.
  • The Power of Friendship: In the fight against Puzzleman, the multiple characters you've met cheering you on make platforms you can use to reach and attack him...
  • Pop Quiz: At certain points in the game, Puzzleman takes you to a quiz show with questions mostly based on the world you're in at the time, rewarding more prize money depending on how well you do. The final quiz does have a significant amount of foreshadowing about the true nature of Stiches's goals...
  • Punch-Clock Villain: The underlings are shown as employees who are paid to patrol the places that the heroes travel through. The game's save files are even represented as punch clocks, and you have to interact with one to save your progress.
  • Puzzle Boss: All of the bosses qualify to varying degrees, often requiring the player either exploit a weakness to even engage them in turn-based combat or engage in broader platforming to avoid the boss's attacks. It's usually a combination of both.
    • Exaggerated with T. Bur's fight, as you don't have a weapon at all and are forced to use the environment to defeat him.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Mr. Stitches is said to be hundreds of years old, as the Baron says that he hasn't seen him in about 200 or 400 years.
    Elizabeth: What!? How OLD is that guy?!
    Baron van Gregory: Older than me, that is certain...
    • T. Bur is also implied to be centuries old, and an NPC in World 3 says that El Salserissimo is almost as old as Stitches.
  • Racing Ghost: During the races mentioned below, there is an indicator at the bottom of the screen showing the positions of you and your opponent (one of which is an actual ghost, though both are represented by the same image).
  • Racing Minigame: You have to do one in the Moth Queen's Tree against the leader of a gang of Ant Rovers. It doesn't matter whether you win or lose - you'll end up fighting her for the key anyway.
    • There's an optional race against a ghost in the Long Woods not far from the graveyard, but you won't be able to replay it after you win.
  • Recurring Traveler: An Ant Rover called Bachi appears in various areas of the game (usually in or outside Save Stations, but sometimes near checkpoints too) to sell you items. You'll even find them in World 4, where they'll say they don't know how they ended up there.
  • Rhythm Game: Attacking in tune with the music is considered a "Groovy" attack, and deals bonus damage.
  • Robotic Reveal: In World 4, the women at the Save Stations are revealed to be robots when you encounter an incomplete one and if you read one of the logs after defeating an enemy.
  • Running Gag: The sound of a whip cracking is sometimes heard when El Salserissimo is mentioned, which Elizabeth is somehow aware of and gets annoyed by.
  • Samus Is a Girl: The Grey Kid is initially referred to with male pronouns, but "he" is later revealed to be Princess Cereza.
  • Save-Game Limits: You have to pay to use the Save Stations, but it usually only costs 10 or 20 coins and only needs to be done once at each one; you can save for free after that.
  • Save the Princess: For years, princesses have been captured by the evil overlord, and then rescued by the chosen hero. When the current hero is killed, Mr. Stitches lets the current princess go, seeing no need to keep her around. Strangely, the princesses don't seem to be artificially created like the heroes are.
  • Seemingly Hopeless Boss Fight: At first, it seems like there's no way for Masked Kid and Elizabeth to defeat Puzzleman, but then the other characters start encouraging them, resulting in their dialogue appearing as platforms that the player can move and climb up to reach and attack him.
  • Sequence Breaking: It is possible to skip going through all the rooms in World 4 if you know the passwords, (although you will miss out on coins, EXP, and upgrades, so it might be better to make use of this on speedruns).
    • During Brono's sidequest in World 2, it's possible to find and collect the items his brothers are looking for before you actually meet them.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: Tim and Timbolt don't follow you into the room in World 4 where you learn the truth about the chosen heroes and the quests they complete. Their themes also don't play during the game's final stages.
  • Silly Spook: The ghosts in the Long Woods aren't that scary, and care more about partying than patrolling (although they can and will still kick you out or fight you).
  • Smashing Hallway Traps of Doom: The hydraulic presses in the Factory, made even more difficult to avoid by the conveyor belts. Thankfully, you can turn off some of them after you make it past them and into a different part of the room. There are also some in a room in Heroes Road, but no conveyor belts this time (and again they can be turned off after you get past them).
  • Smashing Survival: Some enemy attacks can leave you stunned or stuck, and you have to repeatedly press a button to break free from it.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Queen Alexandria is the only female boss in the game. Unless you count the Grey Kid.
  • Songs in the Key of Panic: When dropping down into the basement of the Moth Queen's tree, the music speeds up once Elizabeth mentions that there are spikes below. You then have to avoid many of these spikes as you descend, with the music only going back to normal once you've passed them all.
    • The background music also speeds up when you have to escape from World 3's volcano.
  • Sound Test: All but one of the Save Stations have a stereo playing music, for which you can acquire cassette tapes that let you listen to various songs from the game. The same song you leave it on will even be playing at the other Save Stations.
  • Speaking Simlish: The majority of dialogue in the game is audibly accompanied by gibberish that can sound like words in a few cases depending on what's being said, and is at different pitches for different characters, although Stitches, Alexandria, Greg, and El Salserissimo have different sound effects to represent their voices used instead, and Puzzleman starts off with the standard voice used for most characters but it changes to some kind of electronic noise when he turns into his final boss form.
  • Spikes of Doom: What kind of Overlord would your master be if he didn't place a bunch of these around the place? Everyone knows the minions who get pinioned on those weren't good enough anyway.
  • Split Personality: Timothy the moth, who constantly talks to himself as either Timbolt, an eloquent gentleman, or Tim, a childish doofus, as if they were separate people. His theme and outfit even changes depending on who's talking.
  • Sprint Meter: Mainly used during combat, where it replaces the standard ATB progress bar. Thus, you can spam several attacks all at once, but this isn't advised at the start of the battle, as you'll get winded, and unable to dodge the inevitable counter-attack from your enemy.
  • Stealth-Based Mission: When climbing the tower in Long Woods Manor, you have to make sure not to get caught by the ghosts or you'll be forced to start over. Once you reach the top, there will be a blue fire for you to light Bella with so you can encounter the ghosts on the way back down.
    • When you return there later in the game, you have to sneak past the ghosts again, this time not just in the tower but on the way to it as well, and all of the blue fires are out so Bella can't help you this time.
    • Heroes Road becomes this if you decide not to kill any of the Masked Kids and you'd rather not encounter them; there will be doorways for you to hide in to help you sneak past them.
    • The second stage of the boss fight against Mr. Stitches involves you having to sneak around his room and avoid being caught by him as you activate the bombs Cereza sets up.
  • Suffer the Slings: Used for ranged attacks against enemies like moths and bats, who would otherwise be out of reach.
  • Super Not-Drowning Skills: No matter how long you spend underwater, you won't take damage or drown, and you can even encounter and talk to enemies that also seem to be immune. Interestingly, the player character mentions in their journal that they managed to get through an area (where you have to keep changing the water levels) without drowning, suggesting that it is possible for them to drown but the game doesn't allow it.
  • Suspicious Video-Game Generosity: There is usually a Save Station or checkpoint not too far from where you will end up in a boss battle, and Bachi the travelling merchant will sometimes be there too. The most obvious one is in World 2's graveyard - while it does make a good point to stop and take a break, the next area involves a fight against the Grey Kid.
    • There are several potions to be found throughout the Endzone, the area you have to travel through before fighting Puzzleman.
  • Tactical Suicide Boss: Most of the bosses make use of this:
    • The Moth Queen will eventually wear herself out with her attacks and have moments of vulnerability where you can encounter and attack her.
    • Played with in the Grey Kid's fight; you can attack them when they get their sword stuck in the ice, but you can also parry their attacks and stun them during encounters at other points, allowing you to attack again without being blocked.
    • Similar to the Moth Queen, the different parts of the Baron during the third stage of his fight will get tired after attacking you.
    • El Salserissimo will eventually start dancing and open his mouth to eat the peppers you can drop from above - Elizabeth even tells you to wait until he does so.
    • T. Bur has a specific move where he swims right at you, but can accidentally stun himself on one of the electrified switches depending on your positioning.
  • Talking Weapon: Elizabeth IV, the Hero's weapon. Although she's just a hilt, she's capable of transforming into different weapons, including a sword, slingshot, and hammer.
  • Temporary Platform: The ghost platforms will make a whining noise as soon as you land on them before becoming intangible, making you fall if you haven't already jumped off by then.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Masked Kid at many times. They really don't want to be involved in this adventure.
  • Tide Level: Both the volcano in World 3 and the Factory in World 4 make use of raising the levels of lava/salsa and water respectively. The former also makes a return during Heroes Road.
  • Timed Mission: Twice at the end of World 3:
    • When you go inside El Salserissimo to find his weak point, you only have just over a minute to reach there and attack it before you get thrown back out.
    • After the above boss is defeated, you have about seven minutes to get out of the volcano before it erupts, especially if you want to help an NPC escape as well. Luckily, when Puzzleman makes you do another quiz, he conveniently drops you off outside afterwards.
  • Title Drop: "Underhero" is the agency that turns Mooks into part-time heroes that Cereza starts after she takes over the castle.
  • Tree Trunk Tour: The Moth Queen's Tree in World 1.
  • Tropical Island Adventure: World 3, known as Pica Pica Island, has a peaceful beach area, a jungle with many different paths, and a volcano where the boss is fought.
  • Two Aliases, One Character: Princess Cereza and the Grey Kid are eventually revealed to be the same person.
  • Underwater Boss Battle: The majority of the boss battle against T. Bur takes place underwater since he is a shark, but there are various points where the water is drained.
  • Unexpectedly Realistic Gameplay: Losing the race in World 1 and the ice skating competition in World 2 won't give you another chance to play them until you win as most mandatory minigames usually would. Instead, you'll have to fight the winner of the race for the key (which you also end up doing anyway if you win), and convince the winner of the skating contest to give you the prize.
  • The Unreveal: In World 4, you find out that the majority of the underlings are actually clones, and you see the originals in People Jars, but the one for the original Masked Kid is empty and you never find out who they were, or why they're apparently missing.
    • You also never find out who Queen Rena's follower is, or if they're even still alive.
  • Variable Mix: The background music gets more instruments added to it during enemy encounters. Worlds 2 and 3 also have different variations of the main area theme for different places (World 3 in particular has 3 tracks that make a full song when layered over each other).
  • Vicious Cycle: Puzzleman has been perpetuating the cycle of Mr. Stitches rising up, the Hero defeating him, and then Mr. Stitches returning for centuries as part of his warped desire to have the world follow his "script".
  • Victory Fakeout: After the second phase of the fight against Greg, the victory fanfare plays, but then a third phase of the fight begins.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: If you really don't want to kill any enemies, you can give them money instead. It doesn't work on everyone, though.
    • There is an NPC who ended up trapped in their apartment after a ghost stole their key; you are not required to find the key to progress the game, but you'll likely find yourself wanting to help them anyway, and there's even a reward if you do.
    • When you have to escape from the volcano before it erupts, you have the option to just take the elevator which will get you out more quickly. However, one of the villagers refuses to use it, and you can save him by taking him the long way round instead (even though it's more of a disadvantage to you). Again, you'll be rewarded for it if you do.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Puzzleman absolutely loses it when Masked Kid breaks the cycle and sends his "script" for the world Off the Rails.
  • Voice for the Voiceless: Elizabeth IV does most of the talking for the Masked Kid, who only seems to talk in punctuation and is said to be quiet. Bella also does this for Handy, who is similar, although she says she has to leave out a lot of rude words that he apparently uses.
  • Voice Grunting: The Masked Kid often makes noises when they jump, and also when they take damage. Most of the bosses also have their own sound effects when they talk.
  • Waiting Puzzle: Any time there are moving platforms, expect to have to wait in order to work out when the right time to jump to the next moving platform is.
    • During encounters with the computer robots in World 4, you won't be able to attack until you correctly guess which button you have to press that corresponds to the pattern it shows you beforehand (it also doubles as a memory game).
    • Some of the bosses involve just having to survive until a specific point where they are vulnerable. The battle with El Salserissimo takes it further; you have to wait until some ropes appear so you can climb up to the conveyor belt above and drop some bomb peppers (which you may also have to wait for).
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: The main boss of World 2, Baron van Gregory, has not one but three phases, so you'll have to be more careful with your potions and dodging attacks if you want to make it through all of them.
  • Wham Episode: World 4. The laboratory beneath the castle, which makes almost all major reveals of the game. Grey Kid reveals their real identity to be Princess Cereza in a quest for vengence. Tim and Timbolt, the strange moth that has been following you, is King Timothy, Alexandria's missing husband whose personality was split accidentally by T. Bur trying to erase his memory when he found the laboratory. The Mooks all around the place are clones of the original Mooks, Stitches' friends that he was trying to protect. Stitches knew the Masked Kid had Elizabeth all along, his request to return the stones was an experiment he was running by letting his mook hold the weapon that can defeat him. T. Bur was creating a clone of the Hero or reviving him so they can re-start the Hero Cycle, which Stitches believes that if it ever stopped, the world will end.
  • Wham Shot: Twice at the end of World 4:
    • After travelling through a room that has various enemies from the game in tubes, in addition to finding out that Frankie is alive and Tim and Timbolt are actually the Moth King, the Masked Kid and Elizabeth go into the next room and find another tube containing the Hero.
    • After T. Bur explains the Hero Cycle and why it must be continued, the Grey Kid takes off her mask and reveals that she is actually the Princess.
  • What Measure Is a Mook?: While all of the major bosses sans the final one survive their boss fights, the Masked Kid and Elizabeth kill several of the mooks without any hesitation, despite them being shown to have their own distinct personalities if spoken to. They both have a Heel Realization in regards to this near the end of the game however, and you're actively encouraged not to kill any of the enemy Masked Kids in the last world.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: The credits feature a letter to the Masked Kid and Elizabeth from Princess Cereza explaining what everyone is up to now that the Hero Cycle is no more:
    • Cereza herself took over the Stitched Castle and started a service that allowed the mooks to become heroes for hire, though only if they wanted to.
    • The Moth King recovered most of his memories but sometimes still splits into Tim and Timbolt; however, Alexandria doesn't seem to mind, just being happy to have her husband back.
    • Baron van Gregory got his missing hand back and was convinced to go travelling by Bella (mostly to give her a chance to see other places).
    • El Salserissimo was offered a job as a chef by Cereza when she was recruiting him earlier.
    • Mr Stitches and T. Bur left to go and find a way to bring the Masked Kid and Elizabeth back to their world.
  • Whispering Ghosts: Rooms in Long Woods Manor that have ghost enemies in them will have what sounds like wind or whispering to let you know that you'll need a blue flame if you don't want to get taken to another room.
  • Womb Level: You have to go inside El Salserissimo a few times during his boss fight in order to attack his only vulnerable part.
  • X-Ray Sparks: The skeletons of the Masked Kid and T. Bur are visible when they're shocked by the robot enemies and electrified switches respectively. In the former's case, it reveals that they have actual horns under their mask.
  • Yaoi Fangirl: One of the villagers you meet in Pica Pica Island will mention how odd it is that El Salserissimo plays along with Mr. Stitches plans when he is so powerful. Her friend suggests he is as afraid of him as anyone else, but she herself thinks he might be in love with him; the friend casually remarks she is spending too much time in certain forums.


Video Example(s):



They may be silent, but their expression says it all...

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Main / MyGodWhatHaveIDone

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