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Video Game / UNKNOWN

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The slightly altered title screen of the original.
" I should have known it wasn't going to be that simple."

UNKNOWN is a fan spinoff of freeware RPG Maker OFF, created by Claude Huggins (a.k.a. Zachariecide) in 2013, with the help of TechNijui and Seridan.

The switch had been turned OFF. A world died and the credits rolled. Now, returning to the dead realm, you come face to face with the former merchant Zacharie, who offers his help in restoring the world that you and The Batter destroyed. With a mission of your own, you and Zacharie set off to right a great wrong.

Unfortunately, it will not be easy — standing in your way is Seneca, a wicked fox who wants to remake the world in his own image.

You can get the game here. A sequel was in the works, but was canceled. A spinoff entitled 365 can be found here.

Not to be confused with the films Unknown (2011) or Unknown (2006).


UNKNOWN provides examples of:

  • Affably Evil: Seneca was considered this in the beta.
  • Animal Superheroes: Or supervillain. Seneca is canonically vulpine and minutely resembles a deer.
  • The Atoner:
    • The Puppeteer/Player goes on the journey with Zacharie to restore the world they destroyed. Possibly downplayed due to the ambiguity of the Player's role in OFF.
    • Ghost Batter regrets what his mortal self did and wants to help restore it.
  • Bittersweet Ending: In the canon ending of the game, the world is restored, but Zacharie and the Batter have both passed on.
  • Big Bad: Seneca is a tiny fox descendant of the Secretaries who intends to take over the remains of the world and torment all who stand in his way.
  • Body Horror: The Falses. Many of them are visibly decaying, with body parts sticking out where they should not be.
  • Breakout Character: The 11th-Hour Ranger Zack was originally just a minor character who helped in the final boss fight, but reception to him made him popular enough to warrant him getting his own spinoff, 365.
  • The Cameo:
    • The Observer was first seen in another one of Claude's fangames, Clueless.
    • Also from Clueless is Shitai, as seen in the battle that takes place in the Falses' room. He’s the only moving enemy in the cluster.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: After the player saves Zacharie in one of the endings, he begins to say something before waving it off. Considering that the relationship needed for this ending is one step below love, it's safe to say that this trope applies.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The music box is played as a simple game mechanic, but it makes a dark return later in the game.
  • Deal with the Devil: An off-kilter Zacharie makes a deal with Seneca to reset time if the former merchant gives up all of his life energy.
    • I Lied: Instead of fulfilling his part of the bargain, Seneca simply drains Zacharie's energy in another room without affecting time in any way. Later, Seneca tells the remaining characters that he cannot control time at all.
  • Death by Origin Story: The Batter and the game itself.
  • Didn't See That Coming: Type 3, in which one thinks that they have saved Zacharie from the energy sapper, only to see him be blown across the room and killed by a piece of debris that flies out of the broken chamber. Thus, the chamber still kills him, just not in the way it was supposed to.
  • Downer Ending: More than a few.
  • Earn Your Bad Ending: If you wind up in the Player v. Zacharie fight, there is different dialogue if you lose. However, it is time-consuming waiting for him to whittle down your health to zero when it would be much easier to beat some sense into him.
    • The dialogue you get is a bit different depending on the variables. If you told Seneca that you didn't like Zacharie, then he waves off your death. If you chose the "Hoh boy" option, then he mourns your death, saying that he didn't hate you and that he needs you. Having Zack present has him begging for the player to wake up, regardless of what was said to Seneca. However, Zack will say nothing if Ghost Batter left Bandit in his illusion.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: You can save (almost) everyone, but it's not easy and most players won't get it on their first try.
  • Gratuitous Rape: The part in Zone 2 where Seneca is implied to have raped The Observer.
  • Hell Is That Noise: The 'music' playing in the second False fight is... something.
    • Additionally, the sounds made by most of the Falses themselves.
    • The scream from the zapper, if you manage to find the 'easter egg' or get an ending with the broken lock.
    • If you inspect more than one crate in the illusion right before the zapper room.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Zacharie decides to allow Seneca to zap his soul so Seneca can use it to rewind time and restore the world that way. Once Seneca has sucked out the soul, he admits that he has no idea how to turn back time.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Depending on your actions, you get to kill Seneca with his own energy zapper. Except everybody else dies, too.
  • Idiot Ball: Zacharie completely trusts and believes Seneca when the latter offers to reset time in exchange for the former's entire life energy.
  • I Lied: After Zacharie sacrifices his soul to Seneca to allow him to reset time, Seneca admits that he has no idea how to do so and was just tricking Zacharie.
  • Interface Screw: In the player’s illusions, there’s one point where it seems that the game has crashed.
  • Killed Off for Real: Zacharie and the Batter, depending on the ending.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Seneca manages to trick Zacharie into giving him his soul to reset time, a deal that he had no intention of honoring.
  • Meanwhile, Back at the...:
    • During the illusions, every time you switch to another character, you go back in time and play out their personal hell.
    • This is how Louis was able to allow the player to access the restricted area. While Seneca was tormenting the Judge with a Valerie look-alike, the player was able to sneak in with Seneca being none the wiser.
  • Minor Injury Overreaction: Subverted. When the Judge is hit by Zacharie so hard that the Player sees a quick splash of blood, he seems to only be hurt emotionally.
  • Mood Whiplash: A large portion of the humor in the game is concentrated into Zone 0 and sprinkled lightly throughout Zone 1 and Zone 2. After that, however, Seneca gets serious.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Several bad ends.
  • Not Quite Saved Enough: You'd think breaking Seneca's Room101 would help, but in one ending, upon being convinced that his suicide mission is NOT a good idea, Zacharie is killed by a piece of shrapnel shot from the damaged device.
    • In another ending, the chamber's door fails to lock and opens on its own, treating the player to the wonderfully pleasant sound of Zacharie's screams of pain, and the knowledge that they've just killed every single character in the entire game.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: Seneca initially comes across as The Napoleon, a tiny fox with a big temper and bigger ego who seems to be too funny and non-threatening to take seriously. Then he rapes Charlotte, traps the heroes in his maze of psychological torture, and shows off just how disgustingly vile he really is.
  • Oh, Crap!: Zacharie, in the beta's Bad End.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Right after the final battle with Seneca, the vulpine returns to his normal size. Zacharie then says he plans on killing Seneca. When the Judge tries to talk to Zacharie about their best course of action, he strikes the Judge in a fit of rage while telling him to leave, before attacking the player. It then becomes clear that he is Brainwashed and Crazy.
  • Please Wake Up: Zack does this to the Player in two of the endings if you fail the final battle.
  • Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: Seneca has plenty of these.
  • Rape Discretion Shot: In Zone 2, Seneca corners The Observer, after severely weakening her, and it's implied that he rapes her off-screen. Ghost Batter even tells Zacherie "Don't look." The fact that she's obviously traumatized, begging not to be hurt, and Seneca suddenly refers to The Observer as his "love" makes this implication even stronger.
    • There's also the fact that the specific event switch is called "Deflowered."
  • Redemption Quest: You have started on one, to restore the world you helped the Batter destroy, and Zacharie has decided to help out.
  • Signature Style:
    • Claude isn't exactly known for keeping Zacharie alive in his games.
    • The ratio of good endings to bad endings.
  • Switching P.O.V.: Happens in Illusion Rooms.
  • Take Over the World: Seneca seems to want nothing but to do this.
  • Theme Song:
    • Charlotte has one of these, although it doesn't show up until the end.
    • Seneca's theme is more easily recognizable.
    • As of the "megaupdate", Bandit has his own theme as well.
  • This Is Something He's Got to Do Himself: Zacharie insists on the Judge and the Player leaving the room while he kills Seneca himself.

Alternative Title(s): UNKNOWN Game


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