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Web Video / Petscop

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Alright, so, uh... this is just to, um, prove to you that I'm not lying about this game that I found...
Paul, in the first video

Petscop is a series of YouTube videos chronicling someone's bizarre experiences with a mysterious and unfinished PlayStation game known as the titular "Petscop". The first video was uploaded on March 12, 2017.

The series begins with the uploader of the videos, known as "Paul", saying he found the game with a strange note attached and wants to show a secret he discovered. At first, the game starts off normally, with Paul traversing through a colorful and cheery world with the goal of collecting "pets". However, once Paul inputs a code written on the note, it becomes clear that there is much more to be uncovered about the game...

After years of anonymity, the project's sole creator, Tony Domenico, revealed himself in November 2019. On Thanksgiving 2019, the series officially concluded with a total of 24 videos and a soundtrack.


Petscop shows examples of the following tropes:

  • Abusive Parents: Once things go dark, this appears to be a Central Theme.
  • Absentee Actor: Petscop 12 goes entirely without commentary from Paul, and it's implied that he's no longer playing the game during that part. Paul also does not speak at all from Petscop 15 through 21, though we may have seen him as the red dot whose position is being tracked in Petscop 16. He speaks again in 22 (although, considering the series' Anachronic Order, it seems the events of that episode happen immediately after 10).
  • Aerith and Bob: Some of the pets have strange names like Pen, Wavey, Roneth, and Toneth... but then you have Amber and Randice.
  • All There in the Manual: Once the series was finished, Tony finally added subtitles to every video. The subtitles confirm that Paul is playing the game while seated in an unmoving car; the caller on the other end of the line is Belle; and that the weird object that is clicking in the school in Petscop 23 is considered an in-game boss.
  • Advertisement:
  • Amazing Technicolor Population: Character colours in the game range from green, to blue, to purple, to red, to yellow, to pink.
  • Ambiguous Gender:
    • All of the Pets appear as this, but their gender seems to be clarified in their pause menu descriptions.
    • As well as the in-game protagonist "Guardian", since neither Paul or the game ever refer to it directly.
  • Anachronic Order: Petscop 1 through 10 seem to be in chronological order. Everything afterward is suspect due to the inclusion of demo footage. Paul uses some of that footage to explore new areas, but his movements also appear later in those demo videos that were presumably recorded before he even started playing. Furthermore, Petscop 22 continues directly after Petscop 10. Sections without Paul speaking may or may not have been recorded by him.
  • Anachronism Stew: Despite being a PS1 game released in 1997, Petscop has functions that could not have possibly been in a console game of the time.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: An increasing number of later videos feature gameplay from players other than Paul.
  • And the Adventure Continues: The story ends with Tiara inviting Paul to investigate something together with her. They both walk in front of Lina sitting on a bench and disappear.
  • Anti-Poopsocking: The game's pause screen leaves the rather goofy message of "Your butt leaves a cavity in the chair," at the end of Petscop 20, which is likely an attempt to get people to stand up and do something else if they've been playing for a while. This likely ends up referring to the "ghost room", where players are presumably trapped in a room with only a chair and Petscop.
  • Arc Symbol:
    • The Tool.
    • The house, school, and windmill also qualify.
    • Later videos would add cars and wheels to this list.
  • Arc Words: "Rebirthing", and, related, "Do you remember being born"?
  • Armless Biped: Guardian, Marvin, and the Quitter are all armless - they actually share an identical armless torso sprite. At one point it's mentioned (and later confirmed) that Guardian doesn't know how to open doors due to this. A popular theory is that they're wearing straitjackets.
  • Art Shift: After Paul inputs the code written on the note and leaves the first level, the art style suddenly shifts from a cheery, bright and colorful world to a dark field with more realistic graphics and thick shadows obscuring the surroundings.
  • Book-Ends: In the second video, Paul tells his friend that “we can investigate this together”. The Stinger has Tiara saying the same thing to Paul at the very end.
  • Breather Episode: Petscop 21 is simply a recording of Care playing the game and "dancing" around in-game. It turns out that the video syncs up with the Ace of Base song "The Sign". Considering the numerous lore-heavy episodes released on the same day, it's definitely a relief.
  • Brick Joke:
    • Paul is unable to catch one of the pets (Toneth) in Petscop 1 due to them not being in Even Care, otherwise capturing everything else available (except Roneth) before heading to the Newmaker Plane - where the rest of the series takes place, and any business about pets and catching them is long forgotten. In Petscop 6, after a very tense scene, Toneth finally appears in the Newmaker Plane, and Paul is able to catch it.
    • Roneth is an even longer example of this, as he is also left uncaught in Petscop 1 and is caught in Petscop 13, exactly a year later.
    • Petscop 19 has a few in regards to the 1st episode. Previous player phil simply stands in front of the off-the-ground Roneth. Another player, amber2, has trapped themselves in the cage with Amber and is also unmoving.
  • Bystander Syndrome: In Petscop 5, Pink TOOL's responses beg Paul to turn off the PlayStation, and tell him that Marvin picks TOOL up and hurts an unnamed individual while it continues to run. Paul seems to shrug the warnings off as the game pretending to be haunted, and it's implied that Paul keeps the console on for the entire series, the most egregious example being when he leaves the game alone for four hours, recording it the entire time, to fulfill TOOL's earlier request to keep watching the windmill.
  • Call-Back: In the secret ending of the Soundtrack video, Belle says "Do You Remember Being Born?" and "We can investigate this together"
    • Petscop 14 finally features images of the website mentioned in the note that came with the game. It appears to be a set of “discovery pages” documenting aspects of the game, though the low resolution prevents the viewer from making out any details beyond in-game screenshots and title text, let alone the URL.
    • Petscop 19 and 24 prove that Belle/Tiara is indeed a "Petscop kid" and "very smart."
    • Petscop 20 shows what Marvin did when the secret code from Petscop 1 was entered. It also features a call back to Petscop 5 and 6: Paul notices that the camera has changed positions; in 20, Marvin has the option to position the camera himself.
  • Cartoon Creature:
    • Amber is a ball, Wavey is a cloud, Randice is a flower, Toneth is a bird (possibly a robin) and Roneth is an odd mixture of a head almost identical to Toneth's, a body that looks like a drillbit, and a green bean at the bottom. But what is Pen supposed to be? Her torso seems to be sort of an umbrella, but that's all you can really compare to real life besides the fact that she has a face.
    • Also the in-game Protagonist "Guardian".
  • Censor Box: Whoever is uploading to the channel is censoring objects and presumably cutting out footage. Petscop 7 ended with a message listing objects to be censored in future videos and that "they" can't state their reasons for doing so at the time.
    • In Petscop 7, it was an object on a table in a child's room - whatever it was confused Paul. Petscop 20 revealed it was a red vase with a sunflower in it, on its side.
    • In Petscop 9, the big present appears. Instead of censoring the box itself, what's censored is the giant, red, upside-down, spinning pyramid that comes out of it; the object seems to disturb Paul, who makes this evident. Petscop 20 revealed the pyramid had Care's icon on it.
    • In Petscop 10, Tool's answer to Paul's question "Where was the windmill?" is censored.
    • In Petscop 14, something on the wall of Care's house is censored. Petscop 20 revealed this to be one of Marvin's stenciled murals. At the very end of the video, when re-entering the parents' bedroom, the text box at the bottom of the screen is censored, prompting Paul to drop a very concerned "Fuck."
    • In Petscop 16, the phone number that the game provides is censored, although the area code can be briefly glimpsed during a transition.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: Petscop goes from a fun (albeit unfinished) game about collecting pets and finding their homes to a dark and twisted story that increasingly seems like Paul is a key figure in.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • In Petscop 1, Paul's note describes how to "walk downstairs and, in the bottom, turn right instead of proceeding" to become a "shadow monster man". Paul ignores this, instead repeating a cheat code to enter the Newmaker Plane. Eight videos later, Paul finally tries the original instructions and becomes a Living Shadow, allowing him to progress further.
    • An inverse of this: Paul catches the moving tool in a later part of the game by luring it into the bucket. He caught Roneth (via a new file) the same way.
  • Closing Credits: Done In Petscop 24 through the Book of Baby Names in the Pause menu, but not directly for the series, but many think it’s trying to imply that.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: To help identify certain characters, they are represented with color coded text:
    • Tool is red, unless it switches to Pink Tool, in which it is pink. In Petscop 22, Paul's name is written in red.
    • Michael Hammond is a faded reddish pinkish colour. Petscop 17 associates Lina with the same color.
    • Care is yellow. In Petscop 14, Paul's words are written in yellow.
    • Marvin is heavily associated with green.
    • The Wife is blue.
    • Tiara/Belle is purple.
    • The unknown character in Petscop 9-12, heavily implied to be Rainer or another developer, addresses the player(s) and appears to have a conversation with the Wife in the default white color of the text box, and might be the writer of at least a few of the short messages in black text in the pause menu.
  • Darker and Edgier: Petscop 11 marks a definitive shift in tone from the first 10 episodes. Beforehand, there were hints that the game might be haunted and trying to communicate to Paul; in Petscop 11 we learn that there's a lot more going on than a simple "haunted game" story, with an in-game child abduction taking place that includes events that Paul has memories of.
  • Death of a Child:
    • Michael Hammond, who lived from 1988 to 1995, which would make him six or seven years old at the time of death. His tombstone is found in video 2, along with the inscription "Mike was a gift".
    • As of Petscop 17, another has been revealed: Lina Leskowitz, the windmill girl, who lived from 1968 to 1977.
  • Disappeared Dad: While Paul has mentioned his mother two times, he never refers to his father.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?:
    • In Even Care, there are signs about bringing pets home. Two of them say "When choosing pets, pick somebody that you like. You don't have to love them right away," and "Don't be discouraged if they run from you! They really want a home. They're afraid. Show them there's nothing to be afraid of." (emphasis ours) It's worth mentioning that in Petscop 9 the sign changes from 'find somebody that you like' to 'find one that you like'.
    • There's a pet who's kept in a cage, and is awarded for staying there. Her description is "Amber is a young ball. She's afraid to leave home. If her home is good, this is not a problem. She is very heavy, and that makes her life a little harder, as well as yours. What's the safest place you can put her in? You should start thinking about that." In hindsight, the reactive attachment disorder themes were there from the beginning. And to bring it home, there are human children later available as "pets".
    • "Child Library accepts people." (emphasis ours) Paul gives Care N.L.M.—a haggard-looking child—to the Child Library despite knowing that he can turn them into Child A, a happier version. It can easily be seen as an allegory for (adoptive) parents who "give up" on their child and "give them back" rather than raise and treat them properly. He immediately enters her room and “catches” her again, suggesting that he was simply testing the Child Library’s return slot.
  • Domestic Abuse: Petscop 11 implies that Marvin is this, if the note left behind by the Wife is a clue and the fact that Marvin is shown to kidnap Care.
  • Doppelgänger: A recurring theme in the series, likely related to the “rebirthing” process. Some characters possess doubles who are strangely and contradictorily identical to them:
    • The biggest example is Paul and Care. They have the same facial features and are the exact same age. Paul has no recollection of Care, though it seems that others do.
    • Care may be an attempt at one for her aunt Lina via rebirthing.
    • Tiara is one for Belle. Marvin introduces her as such, but she insists that she is Tiara.
  • Double Take: Marvin does one in Petscop 20. The picture of the windmill is the only one he looks at twice - he approaches it, examines it, exits out, stands there for a few seconds, and then examines it again. The scene cuts before we get to see what he does afterwards. Given his involvement with the windmill, this is telling.
  • Everyone Is Related:
    • It is heavily implied that almost all of the major figures in the story are a part of the same extended family. The in-game "Child Library" is evidence to this, as it is explicitly stated that only family members have their facial features recorded in it. The biggest bombshell in this regard? It includes Paul, who finds his own room in the Child Library by inputting the facial features of Care and the eyebrows of Michael Hammond.
    • Curiously subverted with Belle/Tiara, who is explicitly stated to not be part of the family in Petscop 12; why exactly she is the only one in the game not to fit this pattern is currently unknown. What makes this even stranger is that Tiara's last name is apparently Leskowitz which is the same as Lina/ The windmill girl
    • Also subverted with whoever Paul is talking to on the phone and making the video recordings for, since Petscop 22 confirms that they aren't family either. The subtitles for the episode, released later, would confirm that this person is in fact Belle.
  • Exact Words: For a long time, the description of the Petscop channel (believed to have been written by the mysterious people running the channel) read as follows: "The purpose of this YouTube channel is to preserve and display the recordings within the video game "Petscop" while keeping some of their content private." Note the use of the phrase "recordings within the video game", rather than "recordings of the video game". That's because, as revealed in the Easter 2019 uploads, the game actually contains a hidden recording function with a huge amount of stored data on past players, including Marvin and Care.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus:
    • In Petscop 19, a couple of times, the pause menu appears for a second before the game screen zooms in and covers it completely. Pausing at the right time (if you need help, the "comma" and "period" keys make the video advance by one frame at the time) it's possible to see that the text under the score changed:
      • At 2:03, the text became "Everything is a trick".
      • At 3:15, it became "There are no changes, only replacements."
    • In Petscop 23, at 4:12, some pink text can be seen that reads "Push bed against hidden door", which sound ominous considering what happens immediately after...
  • The Ghost / Unknown Character: Quite a few actually:
    • On the Ghost side: Michael Hammond, on account of being actually dead. Later Rainer, a figure who is possibly Petscop's developer or at least responsible for the Newmaker Plane part of the game, joins him.
    • On the Unknown side: In-game notes refers to a wife, a husband, a sister... we don't know which names refer to who, or who's even writing the notes. Paul also spends a lot of time talking on the phone to an unknown person, and never explains or acknowledges this, though they seem to be a family member.
    • Who are the people who force Paul to play Petscop? Are they benelovent? A bigger threat than Marvin out there? We know nothing about them.
  • Haunted Technology: Many fans believe this is the source of the game's strangeness, but Paul himself subverts this trope, expressing his belief that it's not "ghosts", but that the happenings are pre-recorded. It was left ambiguous until Paul himself seems to be mentally affected by the game looping and resetting.
    • As of Petscop 14, Paul has encountered an in-game conversation that he remembers having in real life shortly before he acquired the game, negating any possibility of coincidence. Despite his insistence that it has to be a prank, he quickly looks up how to modify a CD-R and is disappointed to find that doing so in a way that would explain the existence of the conversation would have been impossible.
  • Hidden Villain: In Petscop 5, a character named "Marvin" is revealed, described as hitting somebody (possibly a child) with a tool for having the PlayStation on. From this it can be assumed he is an evil person, but he doesn't appear until Petscop 8 - as a Newmaker body with a strange, green blob for a head - to guide the player.
  • Holiday Episode: Many of the episode uploads have occured on special days, with the involved episodes slightly themed around that holiday:
    • Christmas Episode: Petscop 11 was uploaded on Christmas Day, 2017. Apart from a house with a Christmas tree in it, this video is devoid of actually celebrating the holiday, to the point that Paul doesn't seem to recognize the significance of what looks like a fir tree on December 25 on the calendars.
    • Halloween Episode: Petscop 16 was released to Youtube on 10/31/2018, which is Halloween. Despite its short duration, its content was quite disturbing.
    • Petscop 17 to 21 were uploaded on Easter, 2019. The episodes were themed around Easter eggs, showing in-universe behind-the-scenes.
    • Petscop 22 to 24 were uploaded on Labor Day, 2019. This holiday is also associated with the first day of school, and the episodes were focused on the school which had sometimes appeared in previous episodes.
    • Petscop Soundtrack was uploaded on American Thanksgiving, 2019. On Twitter, Tony thanked everyone who had followed the story to its completion, and released the soundtrack to Youtube and Bandcamp in return.
  • Lampshade Hanging:
    • The first few episodes contain things that are typical for a story about a video game that is haunted. From graves, to weird messages, to just being creepy. Near the end of Petscop 6, Paul does a long talk addressing this, talking about how the game is trying to seem haunted, and he addresses things like the hidden messages, and basically says he doesn't buy it.
    • In Petscop 14, when Paul is doing the Moon Logic Puzzle of getting into the parent's room, when he goes up to the table with the disk, not knowing what's going on, he assumes if he presses x, a text box will appear. He says "I’m gonna press–I pressed X, and a text box appeared with text in it, that is probably cryptic, and we don’t really care too much about it, so we’re gonna press X a bunch of times..." He acknowledges the fact that most stuff in the game is cryptic.
  • The Last of These Is Not Like the Others: The pause menu shows Resume Game, Options, Pets, and Book of Baby Names. Its content isn't revealed until Petscop 24, where it's revealed to be a list of beta testers.
  • Living Shadow: The "Shadow Monster Man", implied to be Marvin. In early episodes, he was only seen as a pitch black figure roaming the Newmaker Plane. In Petscop 9, Paul glitches the game's lighting system to temporarily become one, gaining access to the Windmill.
  • Ludicrous Precision: Petscop 12 reveals how long the game has been played down to the second. Or, to be more specific, 553758221 seconds or 153822 hours. That's over 17 years. Justified as the game is probably reading off the system's internal clock, which has the capacity to be just that accurate.
  • Magic Music: Songs played on the Needles Piano are this, implied to be the final step of the "rebirthing" process. There are two known songs, whose titles are revealed via subtitles:
    • The song played in Petscop 11 (which Paul also hums in Petscop 14) is "Care's melody".
    • The song played in Petscop 23 is "Paul's melody".
  • Mercy Kill: Toneth's description has a story about a person whose dog gets hit by a car and survives, and they end up being the only person who still wants to put it down. This story ends up going off the text box because of how long it is.
    It makes me think about the dog actually. Because when the car hit him I thought "at least it will be over soon." He survived it, and I was the only one who still wanted to put him down.
  • Mind Screw: The cryptic writing and puzzles are strange enough, but things start to really get into this territory when inexplicable anomalies happen, such as the game perfectly mimicking the player's movements *before* they've performed them. In general the story and backstory are incredibly ambigious and strange even as the series gives more and more content to work with.
  • Mickey Mousing: Petscop 21 syncs up perfectly with the classic Ace of Base hit "The Sign".
  • Mirror Routine / The Mirror Shows Your True Self:
    • Mirrors, and mirrored actions, are a repeating motif. The Quitter Room has a girl on one side and Paul on the other, their movements synced, most of the time. In Petscop 12, the Mirror Routine incident from Petscop 10 is repeated, only from the other person's perspective; they now sport Guardian's face, while the original Guardian sports a pyramid head.
    • As the series goes on, the player character in the “DEMO” recordings starts to precisely mimic Paul’s earlier actions. The first obvious example is in Petscop 9: in the first scene, the demo player lowers the number on the treadmill with the exact same timing that Paul pulled the petals off of the giant daisy in Petscop 2. The demo deviating by lowering the count to -1 gives Paul the hint he needs to catch Care NLM. Later, Paul realizes that mimicking what the green-headed man does helps him make progress, but he also starts falling into new loops that he doesn’t seem to recognize...
  • Mons: The game appears to have a focus on collecting strange creatures referred to as Pets.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • When Paul catches Toneth in video 6, the same fun, colorful animation that played in video 1 whenever he caught a pet appears, clashing with the dark ambience that's been shown ever since Paul entered the Newmaker Plane.
    • The pause screen remains the same as it was from the beginning, bright and pink.
    • A small part of Petscop 9 involves "Paul" going back to the original beginning of the game, before he entered the Newmaker Plane. At least, it looks like Even Care. Pay attention, and you’ll notice that a few things are a bit off now...
  • Moon Logic Puzzle: In-universe. 14 opens with the revelation that several of the segments marked "Demo" are actually the game having recorded Paul's inputs for its demo mode and proceeding to play them back in a different area of the game, or the same area with different rules. As a result, some parts of his progression have involved closing his eyes and pretending he's navigating the rooms he sees in some demos, then wait for the game to play it back at a time of its own choosing to see what his previous actions produced.
  • Mr. Exposition: The strange artifact "Tool" is the closest thing to an expositor we have, providing a text box to ask questions - though it rarely returns a helpful answer. The person speaking through the text boxes (most likely Rainer) does a better job in Petscop 12, 17, and 20, though he still leaves a lot of things unsaid.
  • Mythology Gag: One which flew under the community's radar for over a year, due to the creator's anonymity, is buried in Petscop 15: Belle / Tiara tells the player to "Press Nifty" to unlock the texture editor. Nifty turns out to be the name of a previous game made by the creator of Petscop.note 
  • No Pronunciation Guide: For a very long time, viewers did not know how "Petscop" was officially pronounced. Petscop 22 was the first time Paul actually said the game's title out loud.
  • No Name Given:
    • The game's controllable character was unnamed for several videos, and until "Tool" answers the question "Who am I?" with "Newmaker". This is still vague as "Newmaker" also seems to be used as a title, as Rainer refers to himself as one.
    • Petscop 18 shows that the sprite name of the game's controllable character is called "Guardian," giving another possible name for it.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • The "Windmill Incident" of 1977 mentioned in Petscop 9. It's not really said what happened, besides that the windmill disappeared and the Wife's sister didn't come back with them, either. However, the video implies that it was a crime (the which is interpreted to be a murder).
    • Why the Gift Plane staff left isn't said and neither is it said if they left of their own accord, if something happened, or if they simply weren't programmed into the game. Likewise, we don't really know what happened to the other forty-three pets besides the ones we see.
    • How Micheal died isn't known either.
    • The circumstances of Lina's death are also unknown, but its heavily implied she was run over by a car while no one was paying attention to her.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: This whole playthrough has much of the "Nothing At All" type.
    • As of Petscop 13, nothing seen in a typical horror game or creepypasta is present, aside from darkness and disturbing text. Usually, the only source of light emanates from the player character, making every room unusually disturbing. Even when the room is lit, there's always something very off about how the room looks; especially, the school.
    • We don't know what the black boxes were censoring in Petscop 7 and 9. All we know is that it noticeably shocked and confused Paul, based on the shakiness in his voice afterwards. He talks less and less after this event. The censor in Petscop 9 is strong enough for a Precision F-Strike. The later videos strongly imply that the censored objects tie Paul to the game in some way.
    • At the end of Petscop 22, the Guardian enters the basement of the school. A Drone of Dread plays as Guardian walks through a doorway on the left. The camera pans over increment by increment and the video ends. The atmosphere is crushingly brutal.
    • In Petscop 23, Marvin asks Paul which room he is in. After getting the answer, he says "Thanks Here I Come". Paul responds fearfully and then both are away from the game for a long time. After whatever happened to him, Paul picks up the controller and pleads to Tiara with a single "Help".
  • Ominous Visual Glitch
    • Throughout the series, some text appears to be fluttering. The most famous example is in the first installment, when Paul is putting in his name, and the button options are below. The Triangle button is shown to mean "Go Back" this seems like it means if you press that button, you'll go back, but the triangle is fluttering, almost like it's scared. This can be seen as a warning, telling the player to go back.
    • In Petscop 2, when Paul removes all petals from the daisy, and goes to see Care under the shack, Care's whole body is glitched, pixelated, has no face. Care now is moving in a weird way, almost like they're melted.
    • The face on Mike's grave appears to randomly move throughout the series
    • Near the end of Petscop 5, when Paul is wrapping up, his avatar's face and body and the area around it suddenly glitches a bit, and it kind of looks like the avatar's face is melted a bit.
    • In Petscop 15 around 2:50, when the avatar is sitting on a chair, for a split second a small amount of a copy of the avatar appears to the right of it.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: Paul appears to be swearing far more in Petscop 11 than in previous videos. Conveniently, this is just after it is revealed that Paul "passed ownership of the channel" to an enigmatic "us", and it is strongly implied that Paul is being forced against his will to continue making videos.
  • Precision F-Strike:
    • Whatever Paul saw in Petscop 9 has him give this reaction:
      Paul: What the fuck?
    • Rainer gets one in Petscop 11:
      Fuck you all, and fuck me as well. Merry Christmas.
    • In Petscop 14, when the game crashes simply by Paul attempting to enter a room, Paul emits a single "fuck" right before the video ends.
    • In Petscop 23, Marvin delivers one when Paul plays wrong the needle piano.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Due to the way the in-game communication system works note , every sentence made by a player is presented as this. This is used to great effect in Petscop 23, when Paul tells Marvin which room he is in.
    Marvin: Thanks. Here. I. Come.
  • Reality Ensues: Yeah, it's not very easy for a character with no arms to open doors, now is it?
  • Recycled Soundtrack:
    • One sound effect in Petscop is recycled from Tony's old project Nifty. Also the song "explore" is a revamped version of a song from Nifty, with the song "explore-min" mixed in.
    • The Credits Medley is just the bass and drum parts of the song "level1".
  • Red Herring: The real-life Candice Newmaker case is referenced a few times early in the series. While it originally led many to view the game as re-exploring the child abuse involved in that case, it became clear by Petscop 11 that the series was more of an exploration of the damage done to children by adoptive and ex-parents who treat them more like objects than people, and that all Newmaker references were merely easily digestible allusions to fill in the hidden game's setting.
  • Retcon: The reveal of the Player Character's name as "Guardian" instead of "Newmaker" is most likely one, considering that Tony considers the references to the Candace Newmaker case an Old Shame. The term Newmaker was phased out before Petscop 10.
  • The Reveal:
    • Petscop 11 reveals a good chunk of the backstory when the house and school are finally discovered. In the house, a note left by Care's mother explains that "he" may come around after dark and pleads with the intended reader to stay overnight if possible. Later that night, Marvin abducts Care.
    • Petscop 14 drops the bombshell that Marvin is Care's father.
    • Petscop 17 through 20 are essentially reveal after reveal after reveal, including a sound test option, Care's full name, the names of various family members, the windmill girl's identity, recordings of at least 48 different people who took part in Petscop, and the censored objects. We also see what happened during Marvin's playthrough of the game: after entering in the secret code to access the Newmaker Plane, the game/Rainer taunts him, stating that he's going to remain there until he uncovers the unmarked grave that Rainer is looking for.
    • Petscop 22 reveals the person on the other end of Paul's phone call is Belle (by way of the subtitles.) It's also implied that his family is the "they" that took over the channel and was presumably ordering Paul to record more videos against his will.
    • Petscop 23 gives us Tiara's last name. It's Leskowitz, which is Paul's last name. The note he finds with her name has her referring to herself as "Mommy".
  • Self-Deprecation: The creator of the series is known as Tony. In the Book of Baby Names, Tony is credited as a "dummy".
  • Shout-Out:
    • The phrase "good grief and alas" is a reference to Daisy-Head Mayzie by Dr. Seuss.
    • "Sit here for the present", which Marvin says in Petscop 15, is a reference to Ramona the Pest by Beverly Cleary. This book is referenced again in Petscop 24, where the name "Ramona" is linked to "pest".
    • In Petscop 21, the movements of Guardian (presumably controlled by Care) perfectly sync up with "The Sign" by Ace of Base. The video's description even consists solely of the song's title.
    • In Petscop 24, there is a list of names, each associated with a word. Mike is associated with "painter". mike_painter65 is one of the posters in the forum thread that comprises the text of Candle Cove.
  • Sound Test: Shown in Petscop 17.
  • Special Thanks: The credits scene in Petscop 24 ends with a happy birthday message to Michael Hammond.
  • The Stinger: At the end of the soundtrack video is one final conversation between Paul and Tiara.
  • The Stoic: Despite all the crazy stuff he sees, Paul manages to keep a calm attitude most of the time. Key word being most.
  • Subverted Kids Show: It seems to be the type of game you might have played in your childhood, but as it progresses it becomes more subtly creepy and depressing with themes of many an allusion to child abuse.
  • Surreal Symbolic Heads: Paul encounters two other in-game entities who share his avatar's torso but have different heads. One is a seemingly unfinished, crudely drawn black and white girl's face, while the other is a strange green and black blob, who Paul identifies as Marvin. Later episodes reveal that the player sees themselves as the default 'Guardian' head while others see them as their 'true' head. Paul has his own, which is a red triangle.
  • Take That, Audience!: A debate ensued over the final scene of Petscop 13, in which Paul is instructed to leave the Playstation on, as he has completed the game. Fans theorized he was either exiting or being forced into a car. In Petscop 22, at one point Paul says, "What? Why would I be in a car? I'm playing Petscop. Why would I be playing Petscop in a car?". Subverted in that when the creator added in subtitles for Petscop 13, it clearly says that a car door is opening and closing at the end of the video.
  • Timey-Wimey Ball:
    • A windmill disappeared in 1977, along with a girl. There is a hovering, translucent disc in the Newmaker Plane, and "becoming a shadow monster man" allows one to visit the windmill in the same spot.
    • The channel's description during the hiatus between Petscop 10 and 11 persistently referred to events that somehow took place on Christmas Day in 1997 and 2000, “the longest day of our lives.”
    • The house is "frozen three times" and may be stuck between 1977, 1997 and 2000, showing significant events that occured during those years.
    • Marvin is seen wandering the Newmaker Plane in the exact same way in Petscop 11 and 12; in 11, Guardian interacts with him, while in 12, it's Belle.
  • The Unreveal:
    • The message on the chalkboard is not shown uncensored, but is described as a message of five words.
    • Likewise, Tool's answer to "Where was the windmill?" remains censored but is implied by dialogue to be a pair of co-ordinates that is close enough to Paul's location.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: Paul does some morally ambiguous actions with the pets:
    • Paul deceives Amber to catch her.
    • He plays "Love Me, Love Me Not" with a daisy, affecting Care in a different room. It lands on "Love Me Not", leaving her a crying, disfigured mess.
    • Later, it's revealed he has to "lie" by manipulating the flower to have another petal. He is able to catch her, and the text box explains that while it may be a lie that someone loves her, "it may not be a lie forever". He later abandons her in the Children Library, then enters her room there and picks her back up, like an item.
    • He's eventually able to catch Care A. However, the process involves bursting into her bedroom window in the middle of the night and running away. As in, kidnapping her.
    • In Petscop 5, Paul is asking the tool questions, when it suddenly turns pink. Paul tries to ask a question and he get this: "TURN OFF PLAYSTATION" He asks why, and it responds with "MARVIN PICKS UP TOOL HURTS ME WHEN PLAYSTATION ON". This is a disturbing response, implying someone is getting hurt when the PlayStation is on. But Paul ignores it. It's heavily implied that the PlayStation has been on the entire series. Paul is letting this Suffering continue. The game itself supports this suffering. At the end of Petscop 13, after all the Pets are caught, Paul gets a message, one that ends with this: "Please leave the PlayStation on when you leave. You can stand up now." Also In Petscop 16, This Message appears: "No controller input has been detected for a very long time. Family, neighbors, police, (or whoever,) [KEEP GAME CONSOLE RUNNING,] Call provided phone number."
  • Villain Episode: Petscop 20 is all Marvin's gameplay.
  • The Voice: As the series is just recordings of "a game [Paul] found", we never see him—only hear his commentary.
  • Wall Bonking: Marvin does this in Petscop 8 before glitching out of bounds.
  • Wall of Text: Toneth's description has two of these that go off the text box. One of them is about someone wanting to put down a dog after it's been hit by a car, and the other is a repeat of the word 'toneth' 17 times before ending with 'the end' and 'it's yucky outside'.
  • Wham Episode: Petscop 17 through 20, all released on Easter 2019. Petscop 21, a Breather Episode, was also uploaded the same day.
  • Wham Line: A number of them.
    • For most of the first few episodes, the game is eerie but not necessarily disturbing; Paul is simply exploring a dimly-lit space under the main game, with the occasional momentary surprise or cryptic event. Pink Tool's first line in Petscop 5 immediately puts that to rest.
    • Paul's first spoken lines in Petscop 11 reveal that he's quite possibly connected to the game and its creation.
      Paul: ...when I found my room... I was shocked at first, but it made sense. Especially considering where I found the game in the first place... that it'd be tied in some way to me through you.
    • Also in Petscop 11, the line "I met him at a birthday party once." That is, Paul had met Rainer well before his playthrough of Petscop.
    • Petscop 12 seems to hint the player is Tiara, and/or the presence of someone other than Paul playing the demo.
      Note Writer: I'm calling you Belle because that's who you are. You might be confused as to what happened. I was overeager before, and started calling you Tiara prematurely.
    • In Petscop 13, we get the reveal that Roneth is Toneth's baby half brother. We also get the even more shocking reveal that Toneth was hit by a car in one of the most chilling lines in the series during Roneth's description.
      Roneth's description: Because he's younger, he gets to learn from all of Toneth's mistakes. That's why he always looks both ways.
    • In Petscop 14, after a conversation between Care and her mom is shown on screen, Paul decides to bring something up:
      Paul: ...I think... ...I think... ...I think... ...that was based... off of a... conversation... that I had last year on my birthday...
    • Just about everything that is said in Petscop 17 is one of these.
    • In Petscop 23, Marvin asks Paul what room he's in, and Paul shows him it.
      Marvin: Thanks. Here I come.
  • Wham Shot:
    • Lina Leskowitz's grave rising from the ground in Petscop 17.
    • All of the censored objects are seen in mini form in Petscop 20.
    • Paul getting run over by a car in Petscop 22.
  • Windmill Scenery: One of the main mysteries is an example of this trope. It keeps disappearing, it rotates the opposite way multiple times, and it's an integral plot point. Apparently even mentioning the location is enough to get censored.



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