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Video Game / Visage (2020)
aka: Visage

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Each death has its visage. How will you face them?

Visage is a first-person Psychological Horror video game developed independently by SadSquare Studio, and made as a Spiritual Successor to P.T.. It was first announced in September 2015 and crowdfunded on Kickstarter. After two years in early access, the full game was released on October 30, 2020, for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.

Set in the 1980s, Visage centers on Dwayne Anderson, who finds himself trapped inside a large, seemingly deserted house with a bloody history. As he explores the rooms and halls, Dwayne is haunted by surreal and terrifying remnants of the past as he uncovers the gruesome secrets that tie him to this place.

Tropes found in Visage:

  • The '80s: The game specifically takes place in this decade, and numerous period appropriate items can be found around the house, such as the old CRT Television in the lounge.
  • Always Night: No matter how long you play, it'll never reach daybreak. You are stuck in a dark, rainy night the whole game. Except for the graveyard scene, which is highly overcast instead. Same with Lucy's Treehouse with the bonus of rain. During Dolores' chapter, some of the mirror rooms have a bright or foggy day, but you can't see much despite it.
  • Animate Inanimate Object: Inexplicably, some kitchen appliances can talk.
  • Arc Number: The number 3 appears on various digital readouts around the house.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: Each chapter is dedicated to a different apparition, who will pursue and torment Dwayne throughout their part of the game's story, which includes Lucy, and Dolores. However, the ultimate nemesis of the game, and the one responsible for the supernatural happenings of the house is Lucy's "Imaginary Friend" Shadow.
  • Blood Bath: Appears during the nightmare you have while you are drowning in the tub
  • Body Horror: Many examples.
    • Lucy, the default ghost enemy, has no jaw. Not only can you hear her gurgling, you can see the tongue hanging out when she gets dangerously close to catching you. When she DOES catch you, you get to watch in first person as she makes sure you don't have one either.
    • A yet unnamed (as of the early access version) ghost who occasionally appears looks like an uncannily large man with impossibly long arms and a horrifically bent spine.
    • You get to see Lucy's suicide and severed jaw up close during the ending of her chapter.
  • Casting a Shadow:
    • The various lesser apparitions around the house manifest an ability to do this to a limited extent, such as being able to turn lights off, surround themselves in darkness, and cause lighters to malfunction when in their presence.
    • Shadow displays a mastery of this, implied to be a Living Shadow himself, and able to conjure pure darkness around itself.
  • Creepy Basement: but of course, an unfinished basement filled with clutter and various household rooms. Lucy likes to manifest there more than anywhere else in the house, a holdover from when she was still alive, and obsessed with watching T.V.
  • Darkness Equals Death: Staying in the darkness for too long will reduce Dwayne's sanity, causing a myriad of various effects, such as hallucinations, before eventually culminating in an apparition manifesting, and killing him as a result.
  • Eldritch Location: The house, courtesy of its ever-changing architecture and its seemingly pristine state after centuries of existence.
  • Evil Is Not Well-Lit: As the game progresses, it starts to become much darker as the house continues to lose light bulbs.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: By the end we learn Dwayne worked for a pharmaceutical company that had been polluting the town water, causing the mental issues of Lucy, Dolores, and Rakan. They then release a medication that Dwayne may have accidently altered which only made them worse.
  • Non-Standard Game Over: Take too long on some puzzles, and the demon takes you away to... somewhere... instead of impaling you, with the game over screen featuring a unique message explaining that it got "tired of playing games".
  • Pater Familicide: The opening cutscene depicts a rather disturbing sequence in which a crazed father murders his entire family with a revolver, before putting the weapon to himself.
  • Sanity Meter: Rises and falls dramatically, unlike the slower meters of other games. The lower your sanity, the more of a foothold the ghosts gain in the world and the more they can manifest and/or break things.
  • Shared Universe: Despite the many Shout-Outs to the franchise, the presence of the exact Room 302 heavily implies this isn't merely a Spirtual Successor, but is actually set in the Silent Hill universe (though the questionable canonicity of the Easter Egg makes it ambiguous). Chapter 2 begins to add The Room's iconic chained doorway to several areas, and takes you to an derelict, fog-shrouded townscape, extremely reminiscent of the iconic town itself.
  • Shout-Out: Many to Silent Hill.
    • The scene after the introduction, where Dwayne awakens in a dark room, is almost exactly like when your character awakens in P.T.
    • The entryway has a constantly creaking, swinging small chandelier just like in P.T.
    • There is a radio that looks almost exactly like the one from P.T, though it seems far less actively malicious and may not be anything more than a radio being messed with by ghosts.
    • The pill packs scattered throughout are dead ringers for the ones that cover on the phone desk in P.T.
    • The loading screen is an obvious one to the iconic chained door of Silent Hill 4.
    • There is another from Silent Hill 4 in Lucy's chapter. Not only is the room you find arranged similarly, but it also has the chains on the door. as seen here
    • The way Lewis comes out of the black stains on the walls is similar to the way ghosts attempt to enter in Room 302
  • Surreal Horror: At times the house drops all pretense of being a normal building and brings Dwayne into some truly bizarre environments, such as an industrial hellscape, a subterranean lake, and an M.C. Escher-esque series of doors and stairways.
  • Things That Go "Bump" in the Night: One of the ghosts appears to be the boogeyman, hiding in closets and all, played straight for as much horror as possible.
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: Lucy after being possessed became obsessed with television, began sketching extremely weird things about doors and a smiling black shadow, and eventually began hurting herself after killing her pet bird. This culminates in her suicide.
  • Weakened by the Light: All the ghosts, to various degrees.
    • Lucy will vanish quicker if brought through bright areas. Sometimes she will stop in her tracks and stare at you if there is a bright spot between you and her. Oddly, she is immune to the camera, which is much brighter.
    • The demon doesn't seem to be hindered by weak candles or light bulbs, but the high intensity flash of the camera freezes him. About the only way to survive encounters with him is to use the flash where you think he might be and hope it connects enough times that his encounter timer wears out before he impales you.
  • Wham Line: Quite a few but this one stands out. Dwayne meets Dolores in her dining table, where she talks as if Dwayne is her husband, George. At first you thought that it was just another flashback or Dolores is just hallucinating but then when you leave, she said this..
    Dolores See you soon, Dwayne (laughs)

Alternative Title(s): Visage