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Visual Novel / Don't Toy With Me

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Don't Toy With Me is a Ren'Py-based Visual Novel by Karmic Punishment.

In an unknown location lies a dollhouse with sentient dolls, given life by their owner. You play as the mysterious owner as you watch over your creations. Dahlia, the owner's favorite doll, has lived in the dollhouse with only Wisker, a stuffed rabbit, for company. The owner decides to give her a new friend- a dour clown puppet by the name of Huxley. Though they have their differences at first, the two try to get along and become friends. A bond does develop between them soon enough.

But that bond is challenged when the owner decides to play favorites. The two previously inseparable friends become strained, and a dark end may be in store.

This visual novel contains examples of:

  • Alas, Poor Villain: The antagonists in both routes aren't really villainous. Huxley only kills Dahlia because she mistreated him horribly and implied she was going to do worse in the future. Dahlia is emotionally dependent on the owner and dreads the idea that she could be replaced like all the other toys before her.
  • Big Bad: The Owner is shown to be the one responsible for destroying Dahlia and Huxley's friendship by playing favorites, leading to one killing the other.
  • Disguised Horror Story: On the surface, it is a cute story about two adorable Living Toys learning to befriend each other in spite of their differences. Then the owner starts playing favorites and antagonizing the other toy, and it eventually leads to one of them snapping and murdering the other, with one of the routes revealing that the owner has previously killed other toys for not getting along with Dahlia.
  • Downer Ending: It doesn't matter which ending you get- Dahlia and Huxley's friendship will be torn apart, and at least one of the dolls will be murdered by the end.
  • Facial Horror: The porcelain doll equivalent. Dahlia has a visible crack on the side of her cheek. In one route, Huxley kills her via bashing a knight into her face, leading to it being broken beyond repair.
  • Feminine Women Can Cook: Downplayed. Dahlia enjoys cooking and makes most of the meals by herself, but it's justified in that Huxley is unable to cook and Wisker probably doesn't know how to.
  • Hate Sink: The Owner, in contrast to both Dahlia and Huxley, who are both portrayed sympathetically (the latter moreso than the former), is portrayed as a sadistic Control Freak with no actual care for either one of them in general, and is the vilest character in the game.
  • Haughty "Hmph": A couple times Dahlia goes "hmph" to express annoyance.
  • Humans Are Cthulhu: The Owner of the Living Toys is treated as a sort of deity for creating them and housing them in the dollhouse. Whenever the owner appears, their hand is all that is described, adding to their mystique. Dahlia in particular acts like a devoted disciple. The story can be said to become somewhat of a Cosmic Horror Story with the dolls being at the mercy of the cruel, uncaring human owner, who only cares for their creations as toys and sees nothing wrong with destroying them if they cease to be fun to play with.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: Despite the cast mostly being Living Toys and two of them- Dahlia and Huxley- going Yandere and killing each other depending on the route, the true monster is shown to be their human owner, who gave the dolls sentience only to treat them as toys to be used and discarded when they are no longer fun to play with, and encouraged the two to antagonize each other.
  • Last-Second Ending Choice: Which of the two routes you end up on depends on a single choice (whether the owner favors Dahlia or Huxley), and the ending for the route also depends on a single choice in the end (whether to accept the new Yandere version of the surviving character).
  • Living Toys: The story stars a group of dolls who were somehow brought to life by the owner of the dollhouse.
  • Off with His Head!: The narration reveals the owner speculates doing this to Huxley via "pop[ping] his little sculpted head off his shoulders" in the route in which Dahlia is favored.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: In the route Huxley is favored, Dahlia says, "I need to know that you won't come back" before killing him.
  • Slain in Their Sleep: In one route, Huxley kills Dahlia while the latter is asleep.
  • Spiders Are Scary: Subverted. After Huxley states spiders keep him company while he's sleeping in the dollhouse's attic, Dahlia becomes scared. However, he soon reveals he was joking.
  • Spring Coil: Huxley, a living puppet, is given one of these by the owner to help them move around in place of legs and feet, which he lacks. It is hard to get used to at first since he has to avoid bouncing to the ceiling, but he eventually manages. In the Dahlia route, it gets ripped from him by the owner as a cruel torture for talking back to Dahlia.
  • Sweat Drop: In one of her sprites, a rather noticeable bead of sweat appears on Dahlia's temple.
  • Would Rather Suffer: In the route in which Dahlia is favored, Huxley tells her he'd "rather eat paint than get jerked around".