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Visual Novel / The Last Birdling

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The Last Birdling is a visual novel developed and published by InvertMouse (Unhack, Bermuda, Without Within, Cursed Sight), and released on August 31, 2017.

Bimonia and her mother are two of what may be the last Birdlings on Earth. One day, Bimonia happens across Tayo, a human girl, but instead of killing her, she ends up becoming her friend. The two girls are determined to keep their friendship alive, but how will they fare against a world that insists they stay apart?


This visual novel contains the following tropes:

  • Affectionate Nickname: "Yoyo" for Tayo and "Bibi" for Bimonia.
  • All There in the Manual: The game features a glossary that covers a lot of facts about Birdlings and the lore behind the human-Birdling war.
  • Awful Truth: Adult Birdlings eat humans. It's only revealed in two of the five endings.
    • There's also another one revealed in all the routes: the King was lying to Tayo about wanting humans and Birdlings to be at peace, and Tayo led Vi to a horrible death as a result.
  • The Caretaker: After Airin is mutilated, raped, and driven to near insanity by the side effects of the medicine keeping her from dying of poison, Tayo is forced to become her caretaker for several years.
  • Fantastic Racism: Humans towards Birdlings and vice versa.
  • Forbidden Friendship: Lulululu forbids Bimonia and Tayo's friendship once she finds out about it despite Bimonia's attempts to mediate the situation, and this leads to a fight, after which Bimonia impulsively goes to the human village to see Tayo in person, which ends disastrously for all involved.
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  • Foreshadowing: When Bimonia and Tayo are approaching a cave after running away, Bimonia mentions smelling something strange, though she can't tell what it is because of the rain. In two of the endings, Bimonia enters the cave to find it is full of human skeletons that her mother ate the meat from.
  • Horror Hunger: The sickness that Bimonia and Vi suffer as they reach adulthood comes from their need to feed on humans. Bimonia only figures it out in two of the endings; in one, Tayo is dead and Bimonia refuses to eat her best friend's corpse, and in the other, Tayo is alive and suggests that she go out and hunt humans for Bimonia to eat.
  • Innocent Inaccurate: Used to horrific effect when the nine-year-old Tayo walks in on her mother being raped.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Both Bimonia and Tayo at times due to their complete lack of understanding of the others' culture. Tayo thinks that she is helping by teaching Bimonia to be "civilized", and Bimonia casually refers to humans as scum, but neither of them think anything of it; simply put, they're children who haven't been exposed to anything outside their respective worldviews.
  • Interspecies Friendship: The core of the story is the friendship between Bimonia and Tayo. According to the game's glossary, this actually used to be common between humans and Birdlings, and no one is sure anymore why the peaceful relations between the races ended. It probably has something to do with the fact that adult Birdlings eat humans.
  • Language Barrier: Bimonia and Vi have a hard time communicating at first since Vi doesn't seem to know how to say anything besides her own name. Reading the glossary reveals that Snow Birdlings actually speak a completely different language that they invented themselves, but they are forbidden from using it around other species.
  • Last of His Kind: Lulululu believes herself and Bimonia to be the last Birdlings alive, while the humans of the village believe them to be extinct. Vi's introduction subverts it. By the end of the game it's Double Subverted, since neither Lulululu nor Vi survive the story.
  • Lonely Together: Neither Bimonia nor Tayo has ever had other friends their own age, and thus both are happy to finally have someone to be friends with.
  • Multiple Endings: There are five endings, depending on how many points for Bimonia and Tayo you've earned through your choices.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Tayo, when she accidentally comes across the King and his family eating Vi.
  • No Name Given: Possibly; it isn't exactly made clear if Vi's name really is "Vi" or not. Bimonia begins referring to her as such because she has to call her something and that's the only thing she can say at that point in time.
  • Older Than They Look: Birdlings age at a much slower rate than humans and never visually age much beyond the appearance of a thirty-year-old.
  • Parental Abandonment: Bimonia's father was killed by humans. Her mother does not survive the story.
    • Tayo's father died when she was young. Later, Airin confesses to Tayo that she had him killed because she caught him cheating on her, but by the time she mentions this, her mental state has deteriorated to the point that Tayo isn't sure if she can trust her mother's word.
    • Vi's parents also died when she was young, and she seems to have been raising herself before meeting Bimonia.
  • Pokémon Speak: The reason Bimonia ends up referring to Vi as "Vi" is because that's all she can say when they first meet; it's a bit unclear if this actually is her name, but she never seems to object to being called that. As they spend more time together, Vi gradually learns to speak more words in English. As revealed in the glossary, Snow Birdlings like Vi have their own unique language, but they are forbidden to use it around other species.
  • Population Control: The in-game glossary reveals that out of respect for nature and the food chain, Birdlings deliberately limit the number of births in their species; only certain couples are permitted to have children, and anyone who breaks the rules is quietly executed. If too many adult Birdlings were around, they would eventually run out of humans to feed on.
  • Primal Scene: A dramatic variant. Tayo walks in on a man raping her mother, and the player is given the choice between killing the man or scaring him off.
  • Rape as Drama: After losing her arms in the confrontation with Lulululu, Airin is later raped by a man who had earlier tried to rob her. As Tayo, you have the choice of killing the man or just scaring him off.
  • Reality Ensues: Two kids whose races have hated each other for centuries meet, see past their ancestors' differences, and become friends. Surely everything will be fine. Except as Lulululu foreshadows early on, history can't be changed by a couple of kids. Bimonia and Tayo's stubborn devotion to their friendship ends up leading to the destruction of the forest, the death of Lulululu, and the mutilation and subsequent rape of Airin. None of the endings are particularly happy, either; only one of them ends with both Bimonia and Tayo surviving, and it's probably the darkest ending of them all.
  • Red Herring: Shortly after running away as children, Bimonia and Tayo make it to a cave in the forest. Bimonia mentions smelling something strange, but she can't quite tell what it is because of the rain. Shortly afterwards, their pursuers from the village find them, revealing the source of the strange smell. Except the smell was actually coming from all the human skeletons that Lulululu has been keeping hidden in the cave, to conceal the fact that she eats humans.
  • Sadistic Choice: Ending 4. Eat your best friend, or die of starvation. Luckily for Bimonia, Tayo points out the third option of hunting humans from the village.
  • Sanity Slippage: After being poisoned by Lulululu, the medicine that is used to keep Airin alive has the side effect of slowly driving her insane. It doesn't help that she was raped shortly after the initial attack.
  • Soap Opera Disease: A rare justified case in the latter half of the story. When Vi and then Bimonia begin falling violently ill, there are no adult Birdlings left to tell them why they're sick. Their sickness does in fact have a specific cause, though it isn't revealed in every ending.
  • Take a Third Option: Used very darkly in one of the endings. Bimonia and Tayo make it out of the village together and subsequently uncover the Awful Truth: Adult Birdlings like Bimonia feed on humans like Tayo. Bimonia is starving and near death by this point, and she asks Tayo to kill her, as she doesn't want to eat her best friend. It's Tayo who proposes the solution of her hunting villagers instead.
  • Time Skip: There's one of roughly nine years midway through the game.
  • Together in Death: In Ending 5, Bimonia learns the truth about Birdlings after Tayo's death, but she refuses to eat her best friend's corpse and instead decides to let herself starve.
  • Undying Loyalty: Played with; Bimonia and Tayo quickly develop this for each other despite their lives taking them on different and opposing paths, but the player's choices throughout the game determine whether or not they keep this during the endings.
  • Wham Line: "Silly Bibi. Who says it has to be me?"
  • Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: If, as Tayo, you choose to kill the man raping Airin, she will congratulate you, and Tayo feels extremely unnerved by the compliment.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Possibly. Later in the story, Airin reveals that she murdered Tayo's father after catching him cheating. However, Airin's mental health has degraded so much by this point that Tayo isn't sure whether or not to believe her.

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