Follow TV Tropes

Following

Website / Goodbye Strangers and the Fearful Frontier
aka: STRANGERS

Go To

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/str_9.png
and, bring on the menagerie
Goodbye Strangers and the Fearful Frontier is an online bestiary/ongoing interactive project that details mysterious, semi-tangible creatures called Strangers. Solid and visible but completely unnoticed to most of the world, they live exclusively in populated areas and cause various weird, often dangerous phenomena all around the world. Chewing wires, clogging gas tanks, inducing stutters, luring people to deserted areas to mangle them beyond recognition... Strangers are mostly disinterested in humans, but their influence is often more harm than good.
Advertisement:

Despite resembling living organisms, they defy any known laws of nature or physics. Possessing no digestive, nervous, reproductive, circulatory or skeletal systems, the exact mechanics of how they work are vastly unknown. Some strangers are completely hollow inside, others are filled with gas, motor oil, human tissue, or other seemingly meaningless substances. Their existence and behaviors largely incomprehensible to humans, the strangers are an alien yet familiar presence, and the few people who can perceive them have to struggle to investigate what they are and why they do these countless strange, unnerving things.

As of April 2021, the website has been taken down due to the project's head dealing with ongoing legal issues. At the time of writing, there are plans for the website to return 'in some form' once the conflict has been resolved, though no date has been given.

Advertisement:


"T R O P E S":

    Reboot Era 
  • After the End: Dead Cities is set an unspecified amount of time after Primer and Module II, after something caused entire cities to disappear. Word of God doesn't specify if this was because of the Strangers or something else entirely.
    • Walltown does this again, but with a worldwide flood that appears to have wiped out many, if not all strangers, and judging by the unnatural red water may have even been caused by strangers. What connection if any it has to Dead Cities is unclear.
    • Heck, even Primer might be this, considering that the appendices talk about strangers and sensitives in past tense...
  • Ancient Conspiracy: "Ancient" is questionable, but the Partisans certainly are a conspiracy. They're a cabal of authors who insert strangers into their own works of fiction, attempting to acclimate the public to their existence. This works so well that it continues working after their deaths, resulting in a religion focused around them and the strangers they recorded.
  • And I Must Scream: The Tindromi.
  • Apocalypse How: A Class 2 as revealed in the recently added timeline. Something causes the extruded strangers to suddenly reanimate during the V.H.Z. period, slaughtering humanity wholesale until the survivors get back on their feet and rebuild civilization... Somewhat.
  • Apocalyptic Log: The Red Module collection is much more weird than the "regular" entries, and it's literally described as "the destruction of meaning."
  • Arc Welding: The June 2020 update changes the formerly opaque home page to a quick run-down on the story thus far and confirming several things only insinuated before: that most of the sources in the modules know each other, humanity at large eventually discovers strangers, and technology advances to where strangers can be exploited for power. This is all in preparation of the upcoming V.H.Z. Module, which appears to be much more narratively heavy than the others.
  • Berserk Button: Xoridromella Oneirohazard does NOT like the souvredervish being on the site without her permission.
    • As of the March update, Barcey does something that has not been revealed that results in Xoridromella hiring Argona Cox to kill Bracey. This backfires, as Bracey and Argona find that they have a number of shared interests, and they become friends.
  • Chalk Outline: The Satsumon from Zeroworld is literally this.
  • Continuity Creep: And how. Primer can be read on its own, but if you look closely the extrusion plotline pops up as early as Module 2. Drug manufacturers like to dig up drasorome corpses? But how would they even know that they're there? Unless...
    • Heck, if you count the excerpts it goes even further back. Alex Muto, the leader of the Partisans, appears as early as the second entry of the entire series.
  • Crapsack World: Pick any given era of the Strangers continuity and you'll be challenged to find a single aspect of it that isn't this. To be fair, this aspect does quite accurately reflect the real world...
    • Even the superficially utopian VHZ timeline is glaringly closer to Brave New World than Star Trek, being founded on the capitalist exploitation of strangers and the destruction of the natural environment.
  • Darker and Edgier: The June 1st 2020 update might be considered an example of this type of shift, though it arguably only said bluntly what was merely implied before.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?:
    • Pretty much all of the Widower-class Strangers are this.
      • Madradrone often make obscene motions and sounds.
      • Thoradromi manage to combine Lust and Gluttony in one package.
      • A non-lewd example, the moradromir's entry has imaginary news headlines on it, and the stranger itself is described as filling its lair with arrangements of old newsprint. The part that makes it this trope? Its effects include making people (sensitives and nonsensitives alike in equal measure, which is very serious in stranger terms) unable to perceive the truth. Hmm... a news-themed stranger that distorts the truth... Oof.
  • Easter Egg:
    • Hovering your cursor over the Stranger's name at the top of its own page changes it to a title.
    • Hovering it on the Stranger's picture removes a section of skin, allowing you to see its insides.
      • The alt-text of the Stranger's portrait is a scientific name of sorts, although at least one word is not in correct Latin.
    • If you open a module's page in a new tab (except the main one), the tab name will not be the module's name, but a text specific for each page.
      • Dead Cities also reveals a hidden quote next to the normal entry.
    • Some words change colors when the cursor is placed over them. Clicking them leads to a hidden page.
    • At the time of writing, there's two distinct sections of the website that aren't listed in the module section:
      • Infrared is set after the cataclysmic red flood described in Walltown, apparently being the gospels of a stranger/sensitive-based religion. It can only be found by clicking an instance of the word 'flood' in Walltown, or by checking the module directory in the strain index.
      • Sonic & Eggman is something in its own league. Its nature as a Sonic the Hedgehog fanfiction means that it has a linear narrative, which is almost unheard of within the canon, and doesn't namedrop strangers at all, leaving it ambiguous as to what its relationship to the rest of the website even is. It's also very deliberately linked in the site's home page.
  • Endangered Species: Could arguably apply to the pepperdroli. Once they show up, their population peaks at no more than 250 individuals within the largest infested city. After this peak, they start generating less and less frequently. Once they go extinct in an area, they don't come back.
    • It is heavily implied that, during the VHZ timeline, strangers as a whole are endangered due to mass harvesting by humans. Why does this happen when strangers can just continue generating from nowhere, regardless of outside action? Search me!
  • Eyeless Face: Double Subverted. Most Strangers do not posses true eyes; what look like eyes are actually eye-shaped color patterns on their skin. Nonetheless they still provide thee creature with vision somehow, and scratching this area of skin will even blind the creature.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Strangers as a whole are classified into 4 categories. Cholerics are aggressive, and will actively try to harm all sensitives they come across; Sanguines either target specific "targets", are unaggressive but negatively affect nearby people, or are just hyperactive; Phlegmatics are concentrated on a specific task and don't care much about anything else; and Melancholics are described to "share" the "miseries" of humans.
  • Fun Size: strangers: minuet is an example of this, turning the first 52 strangers (plus some extras) into a "chibi" equivalent.
  • Healing Factor: Wounds applied to different strains will heal at wildly different rates, which can range from near-instantaneously to wounds never healing at all.
  • Interface Screw: The Holodrue's page has blue highlights, while every other entry in the "regular" modules has red highlights. Also done with two new strangers, being the Vordroni and the Souvredervish in the form of comments left behind by other people that cannot be removed.
  • Kudzu Plot: Strangers, being a non-chronological Scrapbook Story that spans several decades of in-universe history, is prone to this. The June 2020 home page update does something to nail the chronology and worldbuilding elements down, but still coyly leaves quite a few threads loose. What is Blue Hell? What caused the red flood? And what in the world are mattress camps?
  • Ludicrous Precision: "Exactly 16.7778% of sensitives who survive close zarodroni encounters report a phenomenon known as zarosorivritis or zaro zzyx", which means several million sensitives encountered and survived zarodroni, with exactly 167,778 being afflicted each million times.
  • Mind Screw: The existence of Strangers in general can be considered this, and some Strangers cause this.
    • Some of the more divergent strangers are examples of this too: the dorodroni is literally just a stranger-shaped hole in the ground extending to an infinite depth.... and can't be fallen down or interacted with in any other way. The contrivodrone, likewise, resembles a chalk drawing of a stylized stranger, and can be killed by the presence of its likeness.
    • The fact that we (or the author of the modules) knows what the tartreede does when it interacts with others of its strain despite the entry itself assuring us that only one has ever generated.
    • The "Noninveterate"note  class from the Red Module ramps the weirdness Up to Eleven.
  • Most Writers Are Writers: In an abstract way, yes, the interviewed character in Walltown is a writer. Specifically, they used to work for a company that created artificial strangers. Cue snipes about the creative process and how overused the "-droni" suffix is.
  • Myth Arc: Seems to be slowly growing one of these as the modules start connecting to each other.
    • Zeroworld takes place in a world where strangers are both common knowledge and heavily exploited for commercial reasons.
    • Walltown is almost a direct follow-up to Zeroworld, involving a character only referred to as "subject" who used to have a job creating artificial strangers for companies.
    • In addition, Walltown has in-universe files that namedrop Primer as an in-universe catalog of strangers, as well as a few of the "sources" in it.
  • Off with His Head!: The newest module, Hollow Crowns, is chock full of this.
  • One-Hit Point Wonder: Could arguably apply to the Cevidroni, whose flesh is so weak it loses its tail and mouth after generation. And they don't grow back. And when it tries to attack sensitives, it damages itself instead.
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: Happens in-universe. The module Zeroworld is set in a time period where strangers have become visible and interactable to everyone, and are ruthlessly exploited as a result. The Flood makes this future come true.
  • The Unmasqued World: Every module set after the discovery of extrusion.
  • The Vamp: Lindroni are essentially this towards men. Towards women and Lindroni who don't "fit" (including being old), they're much more brutal.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: Some Strangers don't react well to certain substances, like water or sunlight.
    • Notably, Simdroni can be killed by noise.

    Original Era 
  • Alien Geometries: The Zinvinzidrinzi are mostly flat strangers that pop up in walls, but rarely ever crack them when they pop up.
  • Apocalyptic Log: Not necessarily apocalyptic, but the website takes a catalog/encyclopedia format, and is certainly a little worrying when it comes to its descriptions of the strangers and their abilities.
  • Arc Number: Every stranger has one. Word of God states that there is a pattern to the numbers, though not an extremely strict one; for example, #32 (vermillieri) is similar to #8 (lindroni) and #16 (ganeshidroni), and #30 (smoldroni) has traits of both #3 (hale) and #10 (miduradroni).
  • Beneath the Earth: A common stranger hangout.
  • Big Bad: The Condroni are heavily implied to be the masterminds behind the Strangers' collective "invasion" of our reality, notably being one of the few strains that are unambiguously sapient.
  • Bizarre Alien Psychology: Very few strains are unambiguously sapient, with even the ones that are having strange and ineffable behavior patterns. Many of the others outright behave in ways that almost resemble parodies or apings of sapience than anything. Of those strains that vocalize in some manner, very few approach actual, legible speech in a human language, and even the small handful that produce fully articulate sentences would be better described as talking at you like a parrot than to you, as even with them an actual conversation is still impossible.
  • Body Horror: Several strangers, such as the ladroni; whose body is filled with bile duplicated from the stomachs of people nearby and is constantly vomiting the corrosive mixture everywhere it goes.
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: The strangers are mostly uninterested in humans, going about their own weird business regardless of people. Their influence, however, is noticeable and often detrimental, and those who do acknowledge humans tend to be malevolent.
  • Brown Note: Strangers are full of these; many cause adverse effects to humans just by existing in their general area.
  • Cosmic Horror: A lot of the tension in this 'story' comes from the fact that the strangers are just so alien, and their role to humans so unknown (but often disconcerting). In addition, most of them are dangerous, with only a very precious few that seem to be purely beneficial.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Both strangers and their victims suffer some weird and unpleasant deaths.
  • Driven to Suicide: Victims of some strangers, such as those affected by the endless, blaring voice of the zarodroni.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The strangers themselves. Though not all of them are exactly intimidating or hideous in form, their abilities and effects on people can be disturbing. For instance, encountering the zarodroni causes some survivors to hear a siren that persists even in dreams or when the ears themselves are destroyed, and the es indirectly compels people to push themselves into its doughy body.
  • Extra Eyes / Eyes Do Not Belong There: Some strangers, like condroni and mimetidrene.
    • The condroni in particular has a body composed of alternating blue and black segments, with eye markings covering the entirety of either the blue segments or the black ones, depending on the individual.
    • the ladroni appears to have its eye markings located on its neck rather than its actual head.
    • the pinzidrote has a single large eye marking located on the side of its midsection.
  • Extreme Omnivore: Though they don't seem to need food or water, some strangers eat anyway, and those that do often have... interesting diets.
  • Eyeless Face: double subverted.All of the strangers, technically. Though they appear to have eyes (which can even move and secrete substances like tears or acid) these are only superficial markings. They lack any real eyes, ears or other sensory organs. They still need them to see, however, and will go blind if they are damaged.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Certain strangers can inflict them, such as the boguldromi, whose close proximity slows the perceived flow of time. Those who stray too close will find themselves in a state where they experience a single minute as several hundred years. Though it inflicts no physical harm, the psychological damage of being rooted to the same spot of hundreds of years is usually irreparable.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: A few entries imply this of the unnamed author and/or the strangers' victims.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: The Leuridrene is this by default.
  • Invisible to Normals: Only sensitives can see Strangers. Notably, sensitivity is not genetic, and individuals who belong to local minorities then to have a higher chance to become a sensitive.
  • Knife Nut: The Covecroni always have knives embedded in their heads and bodies. And they don't even need said knives to cut up corpses and sensitives alike.
  • Mirror Monster: The Trasodroni looks almost just like a puddle at first, but looking into it will lose the ability recognize their own face. And depending on how long you look into it, you'll either be able to recognize your face again or never be able to recognize your face ever again.
  • Ominous Music Box Tune: Dovadroni have incomprehensible, music box-like voices; however, they're one of the relatively benign strangers.
  • Our Monsters Are Weird: Strangers has been attracting attention on the internet because of its unique, slick, often disturbing creature designs. While the appearance of a Stranger varies wildly from strain to strain, they all build upon the same general body plan: outwardly resembling something of a cross between a crocodile and a worm (though some incorporate avian, amphibian, or dinosaur-like traits as well), save that their "eyes" are actually markings on their skin, as noted above. Most strains have exactly two eye markings, located exactly where you'd expect them to be, although this can vary. Internally, a Stranger actually possesses no organs, amounting to little more than a skin-tube containing some substance or collection of materials or objects that varies wildly from strain to strain, with no two strains having the same contents. Depending on the degree to which a given strain possesses a functional mouth, it may or may not connect to the body cavity to some degree. The size, shape, quantity, and even presence of arms or legs varies wildly from strain to strain, and in some strains, from individual to individual. Frequently a strain will also possesses some unique off-the-wall physical feature, such as the Condroni being covered in eye markings or the Covecroni having cutting implements embedded in it's head. The strain that comes closest to boiling the body plan down to it's basics would probably be the coldroni.
    • Additionally, no Stranger possesses anything that could be called reproductive organs, and a slect few posses a reproductive process, instead simply spontaneously arising abiogenesis-style in ways and under environmental conditions specific to each strain. It's heavily implied however that they are actually manifesting into our reality from some other reality.
  • Starfish Aliens: The strangers don't even follow the laws of physics, much less of earthly nature.
  • Theme Naming: You're going to see a lot of monsters named '-droni'.
    • Word of God states that there's a pattern to the suffixes: they're mostly chosen based on sound, but as the numbers get higher, there's more "atypical" ones like -dretzi and -croni and strange ones like -lo and -ro. The es and lume appear to be the two exceptions to this rule, lacking suffixes entirely.

Alternative Title(s): STRANGERS, Goodbye Strangers And The Fearful Frontier

Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report