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YMMV / Alice: Madness Returns

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  • Anticlimax Boss:
    • The March Hare and the Dormouse, much like the first game, are built up to be early bosses as you search for Hatter's arms and legs, but the only thing of note they do is try to impede your progress in your quest. They both flee after you break their machinery and defeat all the enemies in their area. At the end of the chapter they prepare to fight her inside a Humongous Mecha, but are ejected from it when the Mad Hatter throws a big ol' teapot at it.
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    • The Executioner chases you through the Queen of Hearts' castle and the now-rotting hedge maze, and is completely invincible... that is, until a cutscene kicks in where Alice finds and eats the cake that makes her grow much bigger in size. She simply stomps on the Executioner, who is now so scared he drops his scythe.
    • To be honest, the only real Boss Fight in the game is the final one against the Dollmaker on the Infernal Train.
    • Judging by the level design and concept arts there should be a boss battle at the end of each chapter. They're absent probably due to budget/deadline reasons.
      • Actually it's because symbolism. The March Hare, The Dormouse, and the Executioner are all parts of Alice's mind. They're all set up as if they would be boss battles because Alice thinks she's the problem. But she's not. Bumby is. So he's the only boss fight because he's the only real enemy.
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  • Awesome Art: The game's art direction is the most acclaimed aspect of the game, and for good reason. Every single asset looks lovingly hand-crafted, not to mention the impressive "moving papers" animated cutscenes.
  • Badass Decay: Last seen as a towering, shrieking 300-foot tall monstrosity spread across Wonderland, the Queen of Hearts is now trapped in her rotting kingdom, physically resembles Alice's older sister Lizzie (Alice's superego according to Mcgee), and besides Caterpillar is among the few helpful people in Wonderland.
  • Bizarro Episode: The Dollhouse initially seems to be this. Unlike the other levels, there are no hints or suggestions of dolls anywhere to foreshadow the theme of the next level, and Alice is abruptly placed there without so much as an entry cutscene. There are also no inhabitants from the original Wonderland to be found, aside from the Cheshire Cat, and the level of disturbing imagery reaches previously unprecedented heights. Of course, it later turns out to be perhaps the most important step in Alice's journey, as it is here that she finally learns the full truth of her family's demise as well as the real-world abuse of the orphans in Dr. Bumby's care.
  • Breather Level:
    • Cardsbridge, the first level of chapter 4. No enemies, no disturbing imagery, just peaceful jumping puzzles as you wind your way towards a horrible rotting castle inhabited by your worst Wonderland enemy.
    • All of chapter 6, what little there is, is a breather after chapter 5. No enemies, no platforms, no secrets; there's literally nothing at all except the final battle and a few cutscenes to close off the plot.
  • Complete Monster: Dr. Angus Bumby is Alice Liddell's shrink who uses hypnosis to erase Alice's traumatic memories of her family's death. Bumby's motivation is that he is the one who started the fire that burned down her house and killed said family, in an attempt to cover his tracks after raping Alice's sister Lizzie. Nowadays, he makes a profit on the side via pimping the children in his orphanage, who he's brainwashed and broken into Empty Shells. Bumby justifies his actions by acting like Lizzie was simply playing hard to get; claiming that he was providing a service to the community; and thinking that Alice would be better off as a prostitute. In his "Wonderland" persona, the Dollmaker, Bumby feeds the Insane Children-now turned into dolls-to the Infernal Train, with even the greatest villains of Wonderland terrified of him and his actions.
  • Crossover Ship: Alice/Daniel is pretty popular, due to their similarities (both being British, both mentally scarred etc.)
  • Demonic Spiders: Depends on the difficulty being played on. Once the 3x damage multiplier gets applied on Alice, the various enemies that usually connect hard hits frequently(and dodging from Alice's attacks quite often) will start to look like these.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: The Carpenter is wildly popular and considered the best character in the game. Even American Mcgee himself said that he's his favorite.
  • Faux Symbolism: Alice prominently wears a necklace of the Greek letter omega. At the bottom of the front of her dress are the alchemical symbols for copper (which is upside down for some reason) and tin. These and other alchemical symbols also show up in the environments. However, there does not appear to be any kind of meaning behind how they are used.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: The things the orphanage kids say to Alice during the first London segment come off as innocent, if a little odd, first time round. Then you look back on them with the knowledge of what Dr Bumby is using them for. One notable example is this conversation between two little boys- "She [Alice] hates being touched" "Who likes it, then?". They're being used as prostitutes. You do the math.
  • Game-Breaker: The fully-upgraded Teapot Cannon. Shatters enemy defences with one hit, is able to kill them with another.
  • Goddamned Bats: Quite a few enemies may qualify, but especially the Bolterflies and Ink Wasps if they make contact.
  • Good Bad Bugs: This, which will in about twenty minutes get you an 80G achievement you'd normally have to replay the entire game for.
  • Jerkass Woobie: The March Hare and the Dormouse. Yes they've gone too far, being bad bosses and all, but it's justified revenge in their eyes. Not to mention them being taken down quite easily, it makes them seem ineffective, in a way.
  • Most Annoying Sound: "A good worker is a live worker! Paid to live and work! A bad worker, is a dead worker; and vice versa! Don't be a bad worker, bad workers are slaves! And dead! Payday for good workers has been suspended indefinitely! Payday for bad workers is CANCELED! A good worker is a live worker! Paid to live and work! A bad worker—"
    • Don't forget his other speeches.
    • Mini!Alice's hiccups.
  • Scrappy Mechanic: Pressure pads, specifically when Alice must hold one down with a clockwork bomb then rush somewhere else before the timer runs out. Not so bad when she just has to get to a lift or something. Very irritating when she has to shoot a clock that's so far away most of the time has run out before she even gets there.
    • To find the pig snouts, you need to have VERY good hearing (and that's not counting the invisible pig snouts the game likes to throw at you). If you have a hearing problem, then you're out of luck without a guide.
  • Slow-Paced Beginning: The Foundry, which is only the second area you visit, is easily the dullest area of the game, and one of the longest. This led to many a bad review from people who didn't know it gets better after that.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: Children forced into being sex workers. This is a massive problem, especially in third world countries, that doesn't get much attention.
    • Don't let your own issues blind you to reality. Alice saw several red flags (if her scattered memory fragments of him are any indication) that Dr. Bumby didn't have her best interests at heart, but she allowed him to try and erase her memories because forgetting her past was easier than dealing with her pain. She was also so caught up in her own problems that she completely failed to see the abuse that was happening to the other orphans.
  • Uncanny Valley: Not just the Wonderlanders, but if you really find those prostitutes in London attractive, you either have an awful taste in women or a REALLY frustrated Libido.
  • What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs?: Not surprising, considering that the game is a mature parody of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. On its own though, it has flying pig snouts which requires to be shot with a pepper gun, making them disignate followed by a passageway or basket appearing. One moment in the game which can be really considered a "drug trip" is the beginning of chapter 5, in which you are treated to disturbing hallucinating images and visions as you walk through an insane asylum.
  • The Woobie: Every. Single. Character in one way or another (although there are a few exceptions, like Pris Witless and Bumby). But special mention goes to the following:
    • Alice, who gots through much more mental (and somewhat psychical) abuse and manipulation than the first game, to the point where she's, without a doubt, the series most sympathetic character.
    • Lizzie, who, after she refuses what he wants ("I'm no toy! He wanted me to do things I didn't want to do."), gets stalked, harassed ("Once the bounder followed me into the Ladies at Waterloo Station. I had to call the attendant."), and eventually raped and killed by Bumby.
    • The Oysters, who get eaten and maimed by the Walrus.
    • The White King who you have to kill in order to proceed.
    • The poor tortured, experimented-on Dodos.
    • The Mad Hatter, who admits that all he wanted was for everything to go back to normal before being crushed.


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