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Visual Novel / It Lives

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It Lives is a series of Visual Novel horror stories. The series is a part of the larger collection of games within Pixelberry’s Choices: Stories You Play.

In It Lives In The Woods, released October 2017-January 2018, you are an Ordinary High-School Student named Devon (though you can choose both your name and gender), living in the quiet Oregon suburb of Westchester. You and a group of your old Childhood Friends are finding themselves the center of attention of something old, dangerous and evil living in the woods... something that knows your name.

The sequel, It Lives Beneath, released October 2018-January 2019, follows the story of a college student currently on vacation, Harper Vance (you can choose your gender and first name but your surname is fixed). One uneventful day, you and your half-brother Elliot Vance return home only to discover a shocking tragedy. Later that summer, you and Elliot move in with your estranged, controlling and strict grandfather Arthur in Pine Springs. You quickly begin to make friends, but despite the beautiful tranquil of this town, you quickly learn that there is something sinister living beneath the local lake.


Contains examples of:

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    Tropes applying to both books 
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: A prominent feature of It Lives in the Woods, in which the player frequently rotates between members of the main cast. However, this is only used twice in It Lives Beneath: first, the player has the option to play as Josephine on the night of her murder in a premium choice, and second, can briefly play as Elliot if Harper drowns in the last chapter.
  • Anyone Can Die: Everyone with a Nerve score can die in Chapter 15 or later in their respective books.
    • In It Lives in the Woods, the gang's nerve scores determine whether or not each individual will survive an "Are you scared" game with Jane. In Devon and Noah's cases, however, one or the other will have to replace Jane as the new Redfield. You only get to choose who if both you and Noah have high enough nerve scores.
    • In It Lives Beneath, the death begins with whoever has the lowest nerve score if the group score is too low. It continues with Arthur if you make too many wrong choices in the final battle. Finally, Harper can die in the Post-Climax Confrontation if their Nerve score is too low and/or you make too many wrong choices.
  • Badass Boast: Everyone who passes their Nerve check will deliver one.
    • The It Lives in the Woods gang tells Redfield "I'm not scared!"
    • Tom says he's done watching people get hurt after he saves Harper from being attacked by monsters.
    • Danni tells Astrid off for believing she would betray her friends.
    • Imogen takes joy in having a dramatic showdown against her parents.
    • Parker tells Chief Kelley the correct way to make a difference.
  • Bears Are Bad News:
    • In Chapter 4 of It Lives in the Woods, there are warnings about bear attacks in a student assembly. As Andy is about to confront Ben, a bear mauls the latter and rips his arm.
    • In Chapter 15 of It Lives Beneath, three of four possible deaths involve a bear monster. Imogen gets gored to death, Parker gets his head bitten off and crushed, and Danni gets torn in half when the bear's two heads go in opposite directions.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: It Lives in the Woods opens with a Dan-shaped monster's face melting off and possibly closes with a view of corpses. It Lives Beneath spares you the gruesome visuals but describes the violence in much more detail to make up for it.
  • Breather Episode:
    • In Chapter 12 of It Lives in the Woods, the group celebrates sealing Redfield at homecoming... then Cora walks in bleeding to death and reveals that the ritual failed, and Redfield attacks the school.
    • In Chapter 10 of It Lives Beneath, the group goes out to the town festival to relax... until the monsters attack.
  • Content Warning: Both books start with one, claiming that they contain disturbing images, violence and either bullying (It Lives in the Woods) or trauma (It Lives Beneath).
  • Creepy Crows: They're bad news for the bad guys.
    • In Chapter 4 of It Lives in the Woods, as Cody and Jocelyn are about to beat on Devon and Lily, a murder of crows come out of nowhere and attack the bullies. Devon adopts one of them in Chapter 5 after nursing it back to health.
    • In Chapter 12 of It Lives Beneath, Imogen summons a murder of crows to attack the Society, including her mother. If her Nerve is low, she loses her power to command them. If it's high, they swarm the cult.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death:
    • During the "Are You Scared" game, some people are killed quickly and mercifully, but others aren't as lucky. Ava is forced to dance until she is dropped from a great height with her body twisted, Andy is filled with spiders, Lily is pecked to death by bird monsters, and Lucas literally gets his heart crushed.
    • If the group nerve score is low, the friend with the lowest Nerve score gets a bloodier death than anyone in the previous story. Tom is impaled by an elk monster's antlers, Imogen is clawed by a bear monster, Parker gets his head crushed, and Danni is ripped in half.
  • Darker and Edgier: These are the darkest and most emotionally draining of the books produced for Choices, featuring character deaths, bullying, mental health issues, and very graphic content.
  • Downer Ending:
    • If too many people died in It Lives in the Woods, the memorial will be very somber in contrast to the celebration that happens when everyone except Noah survives.
    • In It Lives Beneath, if you let Harper's nerve fall too low and/or fail the quick-time events, they drown in the lake. Elliot comes home to a mess, calls out for Harper, asks all their friends about their whereabouts, and sends Harper several panicked texts, but Harper never answers.
  • Gallows Humor: Characters often make light of their anxieties and experiences. Even whoever became Redfield will joke that they've "been better" if Harper them how they're doing.
  • Hello, [Insert Name Here]: Like all Choices games, you get to name the main character and any animals you find along the way, though they all have default names.
    • The default names are Devon and Harper for the respective books.
    • In It Lives in the Woods, you get a baby crow whose default name is Russell. You then get premium choices for a stray kitten named Cattywampus and Cora Pritchard's moss creature named Maurice.
    • In It Lives Beneath, you get premium choices for an otter named Skipper, a coyote named Munch, an owl named Bowie, and a jackalope named Thumper.
  • It's All My Fault: Unsurprisingly due to the number of traumas the characters experience, there are points in both books where characters blame themselves for things that either were or weren't under their control. However, choosing to assign blame is rarely the correct dialogue option, and sometimes even damages nerve scores.
  • More Friends, More Benefits: Since dates are a good way to boost nerve, dating all of the love interests is a good strategy. However, equivalent nerve boosts are usually offered for choosing friendly interactions on “date” scenes, so the player can get the same benefits without romancing the other characters.
  • No Canon for the Wicked: Averted. Although the player can carry over any ending to the first book when starting the sequel, the default settings represent what many players would consider the "worst" ending: Devon takes Jane's place as Redfield and everyone else loses the game of Are You Scared, leaving Noah as the only survivor.
  • The Power of Friendship:
    • Devon can make a lot of comments about the group loving and supporting each other to cheer the others up. They're usually lampshaded by a snarky friend, but nevertheless will often provided a Nerve boost.
    • Such a power does not come so easily in the sequel. You have to increase everyone's Nerve for them to help you out in the toughest moments. Failure to do so will result in the group falling apart during the battle and the death of one of the members.
  • Reality Ensues: If they survive, many of the characters have an epilogue scene that shows that the events of the final battle still haunt them.
    • Devon has nightmares and can confess to barely making it through the day a lot of the time. Andy had to repeat senior year due to medical leave while his leg healed, and it still hurts him to the point where he can't play sometimes. Noah is on the run and can't go back to his old life.
    • If Parker's Nerve is too low, it results in a domino effect. He isn't in the right mind when he struggles with Kelley for the gun, leading him to accidentally shoot. He is then traumatized from shooting his father figure and cannot continue fighting. If he survives, he can't bear to face the other cops or the main gang, so he leaves Pine Springs behind forever.
  • Redemption Equals Death:
    • After Noah betrays the group, if he has a change of heart near the end, he and Devon can agree that he should become Redfield, resulting in his death.
    • If Parker leaves the group due to low Nerve, there are two possibilities for his future. If the group score is high enough or his score is not the lowest, he runs away forever with a guilty conscience weighing on him. Otherwise, he comes back in the nick of time and dies a hero.
  • Sanity Meter: Nerve, in this case, which is decreased by stressful choices or just life in general. Positive things help increase it. It determines the fate of all the characters who have it.
  • Screen Shake: When something especially scary happens, accompanied by a red border.
  • Sequel Hook:
    • The final premium choice of It Lives in the Woods is one of these with a stranger at a lake being possessed by something, then going into the lake.
    • If you bought the premium choice to visit Noah and Devon, an epilogue plays of Connor meeting Jocelyn, letting her know the actual events during homecoming and that he, along with the Woods and Beneath teams and anyone else who finds the Power will be grouping up to stop it.
  • Shoo the Dog: Happens fairly often as the climax approaches. In the first book, breaking Redfield's psychic hold on Tom leads to him being sent away from the danger that the main group is heading into to save their friends. Harper can also send Robbie away instead of letting him stay to help save Elliot when the lake ghost takes him in the second book.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Woods
      • One of the lines Devon can shout before charging the vine monsters in Chapter 3 is “Witness me!
      • A barbed wire bat with a girl’s name. You sure Devon doesn’t mean Lucille?
      • The default name of the crow Devon adopts is Russell.
      • The achievement for taking Connor's boxing lessons in Chapter 9 is “Sting Like A Bee.”
    • Beneath
      • The otter’s default name in It Lives Beneath Chapter 4 is Skipper.
      • In Chapter 7, Imogen's horse is named Diavolos.
      • The owl’s default name in Chapter 8 is Bowie.
      • The jackalope's default name in Chapter 9 is Thumper.
      • In Chapter 10, if you go out on a premium choice date with Parker and aren't romantic with him, the achievement is Parker and Recreation.
      • In Chapter 10, if you go on a premium choice date with Tom, he has this quote to say.
    My name is Tomoichi Sato. You milk bottles killed my father. Prepare to die.”
    • If Harper wins the bottle game in Tom's premium choice date in Chapter 10, he calls Harper the Super Bottle Saiyan.
    • In Chapter 12, Harper has this to say at Astrid.
    “Bite me, Norma Bates, I'm not saying the damn words!”
    • In Chapter 13, if you take the premium choice to go with Parker into Sutcliffe Manor, Harper calls him Solid Snake while asking what the plan is.
    • In Chapter 13 if you take the opportunity to ambush Richard for a disguise, Parker asks how he looks. Harper says he looks like an NPC from Skyrim. Grandpa doesn't know what they're talking about.
    • In Chapter 14, if Harper confesses their love for Tom, the achievement is “Sato-Day Night Fever.
    • In Chapter 17, one of the things Harper can suggest they an Elliot do is an all-day marathon of the latest Assassins Bleed game.
  • Story Branch Favoritism: The game clearly favors the decision to let Noah take over as Redfield since it requires Noah to have high Nerve score and the other ending draws very little reaction from the other characters. It continues into the next book, in which making the favored decision gives Tom a net of +8 nerve while the converse gives him -5.
  • Think in Text: The player character's thoughts are shown with parentheses on both sides.
  • Time Skip:
    • It Lives in the Woods Chapter 16 takes place one year after homecoming, catching up on the survivors and hosting a memorial for Cora and anyone who died in the final confrontation with Mr. Red.
    • It Lives Beneath itself takes place three years after the homecoming disaster.
    • It Lives Beneath Chapter 17 takes place two months after the disaster in Pine Springs.
  • Title Drop:
    • It Lives in the Woods has one in the first Mysterious Letter, which Devon finds in Chapter 5.
    • If Harper survives in the Post-Climax Confrontation, the achievement is It Lives Beneath. Otherwise, it is subverted as It Dies Beneath.
  • Town with a Dark Secret:
    • Westchester has a history of cults, witch trials, massacres, and unexplained coma cases.
    • Unlike the first book, where it seems like Redfield keeps to himself and is undetected by the town at large, it appears that the people of Pine Springs know that there is something out there on the lake. This is substantiated by how concerned the parents are when their (adult) children are out on a yacht party late at night and how a police officer enforces a curfew.
  • Wham Shot:
    • Golem!Dan's face melting off is almost certainly the most disturbing visual ever to appear in a Choices novel, and it's in the first scene of the first chapter.
    • Cody impaled on a tree.
    • The animation of Redfield's name being crossed out and Jane's being written underneath, signifying that Jane took his place.
    • It Lives Beneath opens with a shot of Harper's parents lying dead in their apartment and Harper losing all of their nerve. This establishes that this story is darker and more difficult than the last.
    • The first chapter also ends with Kyle staring up at Harper in helpless terror as he's dragged into the lake by a skeletal ghost.
    • Chapter 15 has one of the town being flooded as a result of Josephine's rampage.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: The final chapter of each story rotates between all the surviving characters, hosts a memorial for those who died, gives a premium option to see "Redfield", and gives a Sequel Hook as a bonus for buying that scene.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • Lily to Ava, when she nearly strangles Jocelyn in a fight after Cody dies.
    • Stacy and Ava to Devon, when Devon decides to tell Redfield they're no longer friends and to leave them alone without consulting the others, leading to repercussions against the whole group and the town.
    • Devon can also respond this way when Noah reveals he's helping Redfield. The others, Stacy in particular, will act this way regardless.
    • If the group fails the first nerve check in Chapter 12, Imogen, Danni, and Parker give one to Tom after he impulsively (but not unjustifiably) tells Harper that Elliot is probably dead.
    • Tom, Imogen, and Harper will also give multiple to Danni if she fails her nerve check and betrays the team in Chapter 11.
    • Danni gives one to Parker if he leaves the group after failing his nerve check and shooting Chief Kelley. If Danni failed her nerve check, Tom calls her out on her hypocrisy.

    It Lives in the Woods 

  • Abusive Parents: Stacy and Connor Green's parents to the point that Connor has cut off communication with them. Noah's mother is also this, even wishing that Noah had died in the incident with Redfield instead of Jane.
  • Adults Are Useless: With the exceptions of Connor Green and Cora Pritchard, the adult characters of the story are either absent (Devon's parents) or oblivious to what's really going on (Mayor Green). If Lucas lives, Professor Bhatt will be another exception to this.
  • Aerosol Flamethrower: During the spider swarm in Chapter 9, Andy has the premium option to make one of these.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: If Ava lives, her epilogue scene has her continuing her research into Westchester's occult history, while simultaneously sneering at the thought that people could believe Bigfoot lives there.
  • Arc Words: "We all play together." First said when the kids were first getting to know Mr. Red, ultimately the basis for the contract between Jane and her friends, and the only way they can free her spirit.
  • Barred from the Afterlife: The fate of whoever becomes Redfield, until they find someone to take their place.
  • Batter Up!: You can buy a barbwire bat in a premium choice in Chapter 3. Devon then names it whatever the player decides, with the default name being “Candy”.
  • Beauty Equals Goodness: Averted by Britney and her posse. She is the hottest girl in school along with Jocelyn, but they mercilessly bully other students like Lily, Devon or Stacy. On the other hand, Lily is chubby, average looking, and the nicest person in the school.
  • Big Bad: Redfield, aka Mr. Red, revealed to be Jane.
  • The Big Damn Kiss: Chapter 7 allows you to have one, more, or all of these with Andy, Lucas, Ava, and Connor or Stacy in premium choices.
  • Black Dude Dies First: Downplayed. In chapter 15, Ava is the first one to play the game with Jane and so is possibly the first one to die out of the gang.
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: In Chapter 2 when Devon says Dan could be in trouble, Stacy says he needs help from adults... and professionals... professional adults.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Jocelyn attacks Ava and says that she knows Ava has real powers. Ava points out that that makes sucker punching her in the stomach a really terrible idea.
  • Cassandra Truth: Claiming that the deaths were due to supernatural forces while Mayor Green speaks at the memorial will earn you nothing but a lot of mumbling and sideways glances, but that could be due to fear as well as disbelief. If Noah becomes Redfield, Devon also has the option to promise to try to save him during the eulogy, with a similar non-response.
  • Chainsaw Good: In Chapter 3, you are shown a pole saw at the hardware store by Connor, but the one you see is just a display model while it's on back order. You finally have the opportunity to buy an actual pole saw in Chapter 11.
  • Convenient Coma: After some premium choice research, Ava and Devon figure out that most of Redfield's victims have been comatose and the number of patients has increased by the time Redfield returns, including Dan and Mr. Cooper. Unfortunately for Cody, that’s not the case for him.
  • Curiosity Killed the Cast: It was Jane and Devon exploring the ruins as children that woke the dormant Redfield's powers.
  • Cute Kitten: In Chapter 6, you have the premium option to adopt a stray kitten.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Britney tries to force Stacy to host a Wild Teen Party, only for Stacy to get ahold of her phone. With Britney’s blackmail deleted and plenty of dirt on how she treats her friends behind their backs, Stacy agrees that they’ll have a party after Britney’s house.
  • Epic Fail: In a premium choice with Noah in Chapter 7, Devon can reveal s/he got points off his/her Language Arts homework by misspelling “orange”.
  • Everybody's Dead, Dave: If the whole group hits critical Nerve in the final confrontation, only Devon or Noah will stumble out before the cave collapses to tell the search party what happened to their friends.
  • Evil-Detecting Dog:
    • The kitten you can adopt in this case. In Chapter 6, if it is brought with you when you visit Dan, it detects Mr. Red’s spirit possessing Dan.
    • Played straight in Chapter 8 if you have Hilda with you when you meet Mr. Red, going from friendly dog to snarling.
  • Facial Horror: In Chapter 1, you get a very close up detail of Dan’s face melting in front of you.
  • The Fellowship Has Ended: Defied. After the memorial, either Devon or Connor will get the others to promise they'll never leave each other again the way they did after Jane's death.
  • Foreshadowing
    • In hindsight, the betrayal in In The Dark makes a lot of sense. Noah is always the one agitating to charge straight into dangerous situations. He also gets upset when even a single person refuses, because they all have to play together. Finally, "Redfield" never gives him any gifts, because Jane already knows he'll help her.
    • Similarly, the fact that Noah has Andy's phone is heavily hinted. If you pay close attention to the phone interface while texting, you'll see that they have totally different typing styles.
    • Redfield is a pretty weird demon: malevolent and violent, yet simplistic, out of touch, always wanting to play... It's because he's actually the twisted spirit of Jane, who died at age eight to be trapped into a shadowy afterlife, frightened, angry, and completely alone.
  • Framing the Guilty Party: Throwing the focus pills out won't help Lucas avoid suspension, because Redfield will plant way more bottles than he ever actually had in his locker.
  • Golem: Speaking with Ava in a premium choice in Chapter 1 lets you learn about golems and that it may be what Dan was when he attacked you. If Devon asks Cora about it in Chapter 11, she’ll say they used to be called “stone horrors” by the townsfolk.
  • Goth: Ava is this big time. Devon also has premium clothes and hairstyles to look like this as well.
  • Green Aesop: If Lucas survives, his plotline in the last chapter features him declaring his desire to enter politics and use his influence to protect the environment. Which makes sense for an Oregon yuppie and all, but doesn't ever really come up before that.
  • High-School Dance: Chapter 12 takes place during Homecoming prom.
  • History Repeats: In a premium choice in Chapter 6, the group finds out that there's a pattern to Mr. Red. It starts off with nature going crazy, one or more murders, then it dies down. It's happened in the 1870s, 1973, 2007, and now the present day.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Devon attempts this twice with Dan. It fails in the hospital, but Devon can reach him in the forest. It's also an option to try this on Tom, as a premium choice.
  • It's All My Fault: One of the choices after the Spider Swarm in Chapter 9 has Devon able to say this because of what happened with Mr. Red.
  • Jerk Jock: According to Ava, Westchester High's basketball team Westchester Wolves enjoys excluding minorities.
  • Kill 'Em All: Depending on the nerve meter of the characters, one of the outcomes of the finale is that everyone dies.
  • Left Your Lifesaver Behind: If you're not willing to pay to make premium choices, your character will constantly pass up weapons, information, and allies for paper-thin reasons (e.g. not taking a domesticated vine monster along to a major fight because you're "intimidated by it") or for no reason at all.
  • Let Me Get This Straight...: Ava has this reaction when Devon says his angering Mr. Red is why she lost her powers.
  • Love Floats: In a premium choice in Chapter 7, if Devon confesses to loving Ava, the two of them kiss and end up in this trope due to Ava's new powers.
  • Modular Epilogue: You and your friends get these in Chapter 16, depending on who survived. Those who didn't survive are remembered in the memorial, the final non-premium segment.
  • Multiple Endings: In the penultimate chapter, the player is presented with two options:
    • If the player chooses to have Devon take Jane's spot as the next Mr. Red, then at the memorial, Connor will give a speech about your death.
    • If the player chooses to have Noah take Jane's spot as the next Mr. Red, then at the memorial, Devon will give a speech about Noah's death.
    • The ending also varies depending on who survives and who doesn't. Each character that survives unlocks a scene pertaining to them. Each that doesn't unlocks a portion of Devon/Connor's memorial speech dedicated to them.
  • Never Speak Ill of the Dead / Speak Ill of the Dead: Depending on what you choose in In Memoriam. If Devon survives, you're given the choice of whether or not to speak warmly of Noah at the memorial. Players who can't forgive the betrayal can publicly refuse forgiveness, and some may quite enjoy it.
  • One Steve Limit: Deliberately averted in the final chapter. If Noah survives the confrontation with Redfield, he'll meet a waitress named Jane, and Noah is shown to be in shock hearing that her name is Jane.
  • Painting the Medium: Redfield's lines shake and glitch as they appear, unlike the human characters.
  • Police Are Useless: There are no police officer characters in this game, but its clear that they aren't exactly capable of suppressing Mr. Red's campaign of terror on the town.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Noah was the one who figured out what actually needed to be done to seal Redfield. The problem is, he didn't tell the gang until they actually had to do it, with predictable reactions.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Noah gets one in the first fight against the vine dogs.
    Noah: I'm sick... of these freaking... WOODS!
  • Rousing Speech: Andy can rally the basketball team as they fall behind in the second game, given the right dialogue options.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: What Cora Pritchard and her friends did to Redfield, and what the gang has to do to Jane through Noah or Devon's death.
  • Significant Anagram: Goddard E. Filleus is Douglas Redfield.
  • Spider Swarm:
    • In Chapter 9, the basketball court of Westchester High gets swarmed by spiders during a basketball game, and one of them bites Tom.
    • In Chapter 15, Andy is swarmed by spiders during the "Are You Scared?" game. If his Nerve score isn't high enough, he'll die from it.
  • Straight Gay: Principal Flores is married to another woman. Lily is confirmed to be in love with Britney.
  • Stuffed into a Locker: In Chapter 2, regardless of whether or not you try to listen to Lucas's conversation with the teacher, Britney and her gang will stuff you into a locker. Lucas lets you out due to a trick that hasn't been corrected in years.
  • Too Dumb to Live: If you don't pay for premium choices, Devon will do this often. For example, turning down the fire ax before heading into the forest to save Andy will result in the absurd response of, "No thanks, I'll just find a stick or something" for no reason other than the game says so.
  • Unexplained Recovery: Jocelyn survives disappearing under a pile of snarling vine monsters because...just because.
  • Wild Teen Party: Britney has two of them. The first time is in a premium choice flashback in Chapter 3, then the main focus of Chapter 7.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Whatever happened between the group and Mr. Red when they were kids forced them all apart until the story starts.
  • The Wildcats: In Chapter 5, the Westchester Wolves take on their rivals the Anderton Cougars in a basketball game.
  • Wham Episode: Chapter 7 firmly establishes that Anyone Can Die and suggests that Redfield is on the protagonists' side in his own twisted way. After Cody goes too far with bullying Devon in front of everyone during the party, he is found impaled on a tree in Devon's yard.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: The final chapter rotates between all surviving characters before the memorial, and then remembers each of the fallen during the eulogy.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: One way or another, Noah's storyline ends this way. If he takes Jane's place as Redfield, he becomes a monster wandering the forest and trying to remember who he was. If Devon is the one to die, Noah ends up on the run from the police, under suspicion of being involved in the tragedy on homecoming night.

    It Lives Beneath 

  • Achievement Mockery: The achievement-style pop-ups will not cease to include puns even if they signify that somebody just died. If that person happens to be Harper, the achievement subverts the Title Drop that would have occurred if Harper survived.
  • Ascended Extra: Tom moves to Pine Springs after the events of It Lives in the Woods, clearly traumatized by the experience.
  • Auto-Incorrect: Elliot repeatedly tries to text Harper after he has been kidnapped and Harper's phone has died. He gets more and more frustrated, leading to this:
  • Chekhov's Armory: By the endgame, if you've bought each and every premium choice to help you, it all comes together. Chapter 14 has the otter helping Harper find Josephine's body. Chapter 15 has the coyote and owl assisting in the fight against the monsters. The group not only use their weapons to gory effect on the monsters, but also save survivors with their own items. Danni's seeing stone lets her see a path that allows them to get through safely. Harper's bracelet warns them of danger. Imogen's skeleton key opens up the police station easily. Tom uses his spell book to hold off the monsters, and Parker handcuffs a bear with magic cuffs to keep it from attacking.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Chapter 7 has every premium item you've bought for the party up to that point ( Tom's book from Mr. Red, Danni's seeing stone, and Imogen's skeleton key from Ned's house) finally have a use in infiltrating the cult meeting.
  • Color-Coded Characters: Each of Harper's love interests wear a certain color: red for Tom, blue for Imogen, beige for Parker, and yellow for Danni.
  • Cruel Twist Ending: If Harper's nerve is low enough, they will automatically fail to escape the coffin that Richard Sutcliffe locks them in and drown at the last possible moment. Higher nerve averts this, with Harper having the chance to escape with the right choices.
  • Cult: Chapter 2 shows what look like cultists wearing the same symbol Harper's mother drew break into Ned's house and kill him. Chapter 3 has Harper having to escape from the house. Chapter 7 reveals who they are, and that they seem to be worshiping the Power.
  • Cute Owl: Chapter 8 has one land on Elliot's shoulder when he and Harper are in the woods. A premium choice allows you to befriend it with the default name “Bowie”.
  • Deadly Euphemism: If you choose to kill Richard with a fire extinguisher, you get the achievement "Extinguished" with the description "You fixed a situation."
  • Downer Beginning: A rock hard case of this trope. You're literally not two minutes into the book before you get the Wham Shot of the corpses of both of your parents.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: Chapter 13 has the premium option to knock out Richard and two other cultists, stealing their robes to get past the others.
  • Drowning Pit: In the finale, Richard drugs Harper, ties them up, puts them in a coffin, and throws them into the lake. Depending on their actions or Nerve, Harper can break out and get revenge or die alone.
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: In Chapter 13, if you've been buying all the journal entries, Harper describes how Josephine fell in love with one of the people trying to get her to sell her land. They realize that person was Grandpa Arthur.
  • "Fawlty Towers" Plot: Very briefly after Tom saves the others from the first bear monster. When interrogated about why he was there, he claims to be jogging. When the others point out he has a baseball bat, he clarifies he was jogging to baseball practice. When Parker skeptically asks why he's playing baseball so late at night, Tom gives up and just tells them all the truth.
  • Five-Man Band:
  • Gratuitous Latin: The cult in Chapter 7 opens their meeting chanting “O Numen Magnus, audi nos, da ad nobis vim, da ad nobis foritudinem.”
  • Hotter and Sexier: Than It Lives in the Woods, as the characters are all adults.
  • How Did We Get Back Home?: After escaping from the cultists in Chapter 3 and falling out the window, Harper wakes up in their room and wonders how they got home. Chapter 9 reveals that Arthur was one of the cultists at the house and brought Harper home afterwards.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: All the chapter names have to do with water. The only exception is the final chapter, “Fishsticks.”
  • Internal Reveal: If you've collected each journal entry, Chapter 13 is this for the group about them.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Chapter 15 has Danni quite confused of who or what Mr. Red (Devon or Noah) is when he pulls a Big Damn Heroes moment.
  • Making Love in All the Wrong Places: Harper can have sex with Tom in the Lake Day fair photobooth, of all places.
  • Message in a Bottle: The Lore entries are found in this form. The first one in Chapter 1 is free. Each one after is a premium choice paid for in diamonds. Chapter 13 reveals they were all written by Josephine Vance, A.K.A. the Lake Ghost.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: The monsters spawned by the Lake Ghost appear as such.
    • At the end of Chapter 4, Harper, Parker, and Danni encounter a zombie bear with two faces and a snake for a tail attacking them.
    • Another one appears in Chapter 8, this one looking like a two headed zombie elk and one having a snake for an antler.
    • Chapter 9 allows you to adopt a jackalope in a premium choice, with the default name being Thumper.
  • The Needs of the Many: Chapter 15 has Parker and Danni arguing over whether to immediately stop Josephine or save as many people as they can along the way. Depending on how many premium choices were taken, you help save quite a few people along the way.
  • Never Say Goodbye: When Harper leaves to go save Arthur from Josephine, none of their friends let them say goodbye.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Just when it appears that Harper has successfully talked down Josephine, they let slip that Marie is dead, igniting the Roaring Rampage of Revenge that drives the last few chapters.
  • Non-Standard Game Over: Chapter 14 involves having to move water from one tank to another so you can flood it out safely. Making the wrong move drowns the party in a game over, making it restart from the puzzle.
  • Old Save Bonus: If you import your choices from It Lives In The Woods, the visit to Westchester includes scenes from each survivor and increases Tom's Nerve score depending on how well you did. On the other hand, the default choices assume the worst outcome and Tom's Nerve plummets.
  • Playful Otter: Chapter 4 allows you to befriend an otter with the default name of Skipper. Should you befriend her, she helps Harper find Josephine's body.
  • Plot-Triggering Death: See Downer Beginning above.
  • Raised by Grandparents: Siblings Harper (college student) and Elliot (under eighteen) are sent to live with their estranged grandfather Arthur after the murder of their parents, because Harper refuses to see their biological deadbeat father. While Arthur of course cares about the siblings enough to take them in, he's very strict and controlling, as shown by how he makes Harper go work with Tom on boat repair literally just after they first enter Arthur's house, despite Harper knowing nothing about boats.
  • Rule of Symbolism: A premium scene in Chapter 7 has this with Danni asking what you think her picture of a yacht cresting by a smaller boat. To her it represents class division, but you can also answer with social anxiety or be literal minded and think it's just about boats.
  • Sea Monster: Or in this case, "Lake Monster" living at the bottom of Pine Springs' lake.
  • Sequel Difficulty Spike: In It Lives In The Woods, everyone's Nerve scores except Dan's start at 100, and you have to avoid losing too much. In It Lives Beneath, everyone's Nerve score starts at 0, and you have to gain nerve in addition to not losing what you have. Nerve checks are also harder to pass in the latter.
  • Sequel Hook: If you bought the premium choice to go with the Survivor (Devon/Noah) to see Mr. Red (whoever was chosen), an epilogue plays of Connor meeting Jocelyn, letting her know just what happened that day at the prom and that he, along with the Woods and Beneath teams and anyone else who finds the Power will be grouping up to stop it.
  • Shock Stick: The cult has batons that can be electrified with a switch. Parker can get one as a weapon in a premium choice in Chapter 8.
  • Shut Up, Kirk!: When Josephine interrupts Harper to shoot Arthur with the marlinspike.
  • Significant Monogram: Chapter 7 has the initials RWS - Robert William Sutcliffe - be the password to get into the secret chamber in Richard's house.
  • Stealth-Based Mission: The beginning of Chapter 3 turns into this with Harper having to not only hide, but escape from the cultists who killed Ned.
  • That Came Out Wrong: In the bonus scene at the end, Jocelyn can say that there's no such thing as monsters, to which Connor will reply that "[her] face" tells him that she doesn't really believe what she's saying. She immediately gets mad, assuming he's referring to the horrific scarring she received saving people during homecoming, and he hurries to clarify that he meant her expression.
  • This Is Something He's Got to Do Himself: Whether someone in the party dies or everyone's still alive, Harper realizes they, as Josephine's grandchild, can they hope to stop her and goes off on their own back to Arthur's house.
  • Those Wily Coyotes: Chapter 5 allows you to befriend a coyote with the default name of Munch. He finally comes back in Chapter 15, saving you from a zombie.
  • Wealthy Yacht Owner: There are at least several homes in the town that own yachts, though Imogen's family is perhaps the wealthiest yacht owners.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: If Harper escapes Richard's death trap, Richard laments that he should have bashed Harper's head in with a rock and gotten it over with. Harper agrees.
  • Wicked Wasps: If Stacy survived the previous story, one of the stories she investigated was a rash of bee stings. Turns out there was a huge wasp hive within the walls of the school cafeteria from floor to ceiling.

Alternative Title(s): It Lives In The Woods


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