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Video Game / Why Am I Dead At Sea

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"You are on a boat at sea."
"Also, you are dead."
From the "About This Game" section on Steam

Published and developed by Peltast Software, Why Am I Dead At Sea is an RPG in which the player attempts to solve their own murder. As a ghost, the player can possess various characters to investigate, and unique conversations can occur depending on which people you make talk to each other.

Tropes featured in this game:

  • All Love Is Unrequited: Alton towards Xu/Sue.
  • Ate His Gun: Donovan does this in all endings.
  • Almost Dead Guy: Donovan reappears for the climax, but does not survive it.
  • Bittersweet Ending: No matter how the climax plays out, someone dies, and the main character must pass on. While most passengers can get relatively happy endings (Alton decides to pursue his actual dreams, Xu makes plans to head home and face up to her family, Quella and Darryl reserve to stick together to run out their clocks side by side), Gwen can leave still paranoid and haunted, and Marcurio can get no closure at all and/or be goaded into the very crime ring that caused the entire chain of events.
  • Canon Character All Along:
    • "L" from Donovan's e-mails is Lucille, from the first Why Am I Dead.
    • Maybe. Given the resemblance in appearance and personality, Ferdinand revealing his real name is Ted implies he's the same Ted from the first Why Am I Dead flash game.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Ferdinand. He seems to have permanent blinders on to the various flaws of the ship and its crew. Or, more importantly, he doesn't feel anything like guilt or shame.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Almost all the characters, but especially Gwen.
  • Doppelgänger Replacement Love Interest: Implied between Darryl and the captain, who apparently reminded him of his dead wife, to his dismay.
  • Dramatic Irony: Several characters theorize about the safety of the player character, the Captain, but generally believe that she's alive. Since you're playing a ghost, those theories are somewhat awkward for the player. Also, when people wonder what happened to Donovan after he's shot multiple times and thrown overboard.
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  • Dysfunction Junction: What happens when you shove multiple people with numerous Dark And Troubled Pasts into a cramped, waterlocked vessel for a week? Most of the conflict in the game.
  • Evil Old Folks: Garv
  • FBI Agent: Donovan, though he's gone rogue.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Darryl in the Living Nightmare end.
  • Foreshadowing: Talking to Paulo about what's to come has him talk about a cloaked man that splits into two and fights each other, hinting that there are two criminals on the ship, at odds with each other.
    • The headspaces of certain characters hints at certain plot points well before the protagonist uncovers them:
      • Quella's features an hourglass close to running out, representing the fact that she has a terminal condition.
      • Garv's contains many, many faceless people - which hints towards him being involved in human trafficking.
      • Xu/Sue's mentions that the Captain is missing.
  • He Knows Too Much: Why Donovan is attacked at the end of the third chapter, as well as why the Captain died.
  • Identity Amnesia: One of the player's goals is to learn who they were before their death. They're the female captain, Smilla.
  • The Illegal: Xu/Sue, whose student visa expired, forcing her to work on the ship for cheap.
  • Ill Girl: Quella is a cancer patient with only months left to live.
  • It's All About Me: Marcurio
  • Journey to the Center of the Mind: Darryl and Gwen both require the protagonist to enter their thoughts and help them confront their pasts in order to be fully possessed.
  • Knight Templar: In the climax, Donovan is willing to kill innocents to solve the case.
  • Meaningful Name: The name of the ship is the Douce Amere, which translates to "Bittersweet".
  • Multiple Endings: There are five possible conclusions:
    • "Living Nightmare": Fail to solve any of the mysteries during the climax.
    • "Retribution": Identify the Serial Killer, but not the human trafficker.
    • "Justice": Identify the human trafficker, but not the Serial Killer.
    • "False Awakening": Prove that there are multiple criminals on board, but fail to identify both.
    • "Douce Amere": Identify both the Serial Killer and the human trafficker.
  • Miles to Go Before I Sleep: Donovan, who boards the ship with the sole aim of finding and killing the serial killer who murdered his partner. Once the deed is done, they promptly kill themselves.
  • My Greatest Failure: Darryl's failure to prevent his wife's suicide.
  • No Ending: The player character gets no coverage in the credits. Though it's likely justified, as their body is now far, far away from the ship.
  • Odd Friendship: One forms between Quella and Darryl. It's all but stated to be because of Darryl's suicidal mindset and Quella's condition.
  • Only in It for the Money: Marcurio, who only goes along with Garv's schemes for the extra cash.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: The player character. They start out weak, unable to enter rooms they never remember seeing before, and unable to possess any human they do not know enough about. However, recovering their identity and learning more about the ship's passengers gives them new abilities, such as reading thoughts and entering minds to help people deal with past trauma.
  • The Perfect Crime: One is nearly committed by Garv, and it is only foiled by something they couldn't have possibly predicted: him confessing while being possessed by a ghost.
  • Psychic Children: Paulo can talk to ghosts, and has visions of the future.
  • Race Against the Clock: A ghost's ability to stay in the mortal plane weakens the further it gets from its body; as the player's was dropped into the ocean, they have to solve their own death before the ship reaches port and their soul passes on.
  • Rich in Dollars, Poor in Sense: Alton's easily the most fortunate of the ship's crew, if it wasn't for his lack of responsibility and negligence hurting his life.
  • Scary Black Man: Marcurio
  • Serial Killer: Ferdinand
  • Slavery Is a Special Kind of Evil: The ship is secretly being used for human trafficking.
  • Spanner in the Works: The ghostly player character, who nobody but Paulo even knows exists, yet is vital to revealing everyone's secrets.
  • Starving Artist: Quella
  • Street Urchin: Xu/Sue is an odd variation, having no home but the ship, and pilfering from guests on the ship to cover her very low salary.
  • Taking the Bullet: In the Living Nightmare end, Quella takes a fatal bullet which was meant for Darryl. Unfortunately for her Donovan simply shoots Darryl with his next round.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Xu/Sue views Alton as this, since he's working on the ship for fun while she, Marcurio, and the Captain struggle to make ends meet.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Garv's rant about his ex-wife making up stories about him to the courts for custody becomes a lot more suspect after it turns out he's part of a human trafficking ring.

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