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YMMV / Harvester

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  • Anti-Climax Boss: Mr. Pottsdam. By the time you fight him, it's been established that he's probably the most evil person in Harvest (save possibly for the Sergeant-At-Arms). However, by that point you also have the scythe, which allows you to kill pretty much any enemy in about three hits. The resulting "battle" will most likely end up being Mr. Pottsdam hopelessly charging at Steve with two meat hooks and getting killed without even landing a hit on him.
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  • Anvilicious: Only if the story is serious about it's "fictional violence makes you violent" message, which is doubtful; see the entry for Applicability below.
  • Applicability: Is the message of the story (that video games create violent individuals) a critique on media or a Spoof Aesop? According to the game's creator, either interpretation can work.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment:
    • The Wasp Woman is practically a Big Lipped Alligator Character. She contributes nothing to the plot, you don't have to visit her house for any reason, and Steve can kill her without any repercussions. Which then leads to another example when she turns out to actually be half-wasp.
    • Most of the enemies and locations in the Lodge. Notable examples include a carnivorous plant and a clown with a chainsaw in a bloodstained birthday party room. The story explains why this is later on, though.
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    • If you kill someone and get caught, but you have a Get Out of Jail Free Card, the sheriff drives you back home, puts you in bed, and kisses you while Steve looks on completely flabbergasted.
    • At the end of the day, Steve goes to bed and has nightmares of various gory scenes in the game...and a cheeseburger.
    • When Steve enters the Pottsdam crypt to retrieve what seems to be Stephanie's skull and spinal cord, he's attacked by a strange wolf-like monster. While many similar monsters are seen later inside the Lodge, it makes very little sense for one to be there, nothing beforehand indicates that it'd be there, and nobody comments on it afterward.
  • Crazy Awesome: Colonel Buster Monroe, the shell-shocked commie hunter.
  • Critical Dissonance: When the game came out, it didn't sell very well, and was poorly received by critics. Nowadays, people generally seem to agree that it is competently made and actually has some interesting concepts. The implementation of real time combat in certain sections is still unpopular, however.
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  • Crosses the Line Twice: So so much. Even when the game tries to be "serious" the game loves the dance across the line. Often times the player will likely struggle between being horrified and wanting to laugh.
  • Cult Classic: The game has gathered a small (but devoted) fanbase over time, especially after the Something Awful Let's Play and the subsequent Wrongpurae.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: The sheer level of depravity on display in Harvest can lead to this reaction among some players.
  • Demonic Spiders: Jimmy James, the paperboy, is a damage sponge who can kill you in quite literally a second if you don't have the right weapon.
  • Disappointing Last Level: The Lodge part of the game seems like it was rushed through development. Many of its ideas seems like they were squeezed in at the last minute and come across as rather half-finished.
    • Others may find it to be the game's Best Level Ever for throwing everything out the window and going completely insane with the concept of the game.
  • Ear Worm: A lot of the music for the game, while simplistic, is rather good, especially Colonel Buster Monroe's theme and the Chessmaster's theme.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Mr. Pottsdam, due to the funny moments stemming from his meat obsession.
    • Sheriff Duane Dwayne and Deputy Loomis as well.
    • Out of the townspeople with minimal importance to the plot, Clem Parsons and Colonel Buster Monroe seem to be the most popular.
    • Edna Fitzpatrick as well for being one of the few sane people in Harvest.
  • Family-Unfriendly Aesop: Deliberately Invoked to show how awful the people in Harvest really are. Some highlights of their moral code: It’s all right to murder people, mercy and charity are lies, and violence is always the best way.
    • Then again, the family shouldn't be anywhere near this game.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: If you show the photo of Miss Whaley and Principal Herill having sex to Karin, an eight-year old, twice, you'll get arrested. This becomes so much worse once you learn that Steve's actor got arrested for owning child pornography in his later years. Actually, knowing this, everything about Steve saving Karin after she got molested and buried alive by Mr. Pottsdam becomes Dramatic Irony.
    • With this information in mind, the overuse of the phrase "You always were a kidder, Steve" become's a lot worse.
  • Game-Breaker: The scythe. It can kill just about any enemy in around three or four hits.
  • Good Bad Bugs: If you kill Jimmy James the paperboy and then go back into your house, then you won't get arrested regardless of whether or not you have the Get Out of Jail Free card.
  • Heartwarming Moments:
    • Saving Karin brings about a sweet cutscene where she is reunited with Edna. Unfortunately, this makes the Player Punch involving the diner that much more heartbreaking.
    • The good ending. Steve chooses to spare Stephanie's life, declaring that he'd rather die than become a serial killer. The two both die, but they spend a peaceful lifetime together Happily Married in the simulation.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: The guy on the cover looks an awful lot like the Raincoat Killer.
  • It Was His Sled: Harvest isn't real. It's a virtual reality simulation designed to breed serial killers.
  • Memetic Badass: In the Retsupurae fandom - Steve is one when compared to Mike Dawson, the Memetic Loser protagonist of the Dark Seed duology. Many people like to point out the similarities between the two games, but they are usually in agreement that Steve is a much better protagonist than Mike. To quote a YouTube comment, and a reply to said comment:
    "If Steve were in DarkSeed he would've killed all of the Ancients with his scythe, scored on his first ring toss throw, and fucked Rita (while her dad watched from behind a painting)."
    "And mike would still be in the bathroom...thinking."
    • Also worth noting that in the censored version of Harvester, Steve was renamed to Mike.
  • Memetic Mutation: Retsupurae's Wrongpurae of Harvester appears to have started popularizing "You always were a kidder, Steve" (the oft-repeated response to Steve insisting his amnesia is real) and "BYE" (the almost universal prompt to end a conversation).
    • It helps that "BYE" is a very appropriate response to any of the creepier residents of Harvest.
  • Moral Event Horizon: This is ultimately a game about them, but there are two characters in particular worth discussing.
    • Mr. Pottsdam crosses it when he molests a girl and buries her alive just so he can get into the Lodge.
    • Steve can pass it at any point in the game once the player obtains a weapon, should the player choose to kill someone and use the "Get Out Of Jail Free" Card - the player can even murder a kid and get away with it. The official example occurs in the Bad Ending, where he can kill Stephanie in order to become a real serial killer.
  • Narm Charm: Say what you want about the goofy FMVs or the silly acting. Occasionally, the game will blindside you with a rather creepy (and jarringly well-acted) character comment. And other times, its cheesy special effects only makes some of the scary scenes worse than they would have been with modern graphics.
  • Nausea Fuel: For those who don't find it Narm considering the outdated graphics, the gore can be this. Special mention goes to the examples under Nightmare Fuel below, especially the second example which shows Steve's "sister"'s eyes popping out due to baby wasps crawling out and her mother popping them when trying to push them back in.
  • Nightmare Fuel: The Temple of Motherly Love. A woman is surrounded by her three children, who are actually eating her alive. In between WHAT IS NOT an Author Tract, the game cuts to a FMV of the kids, mouths covered in gore, commenting on how good mommy tastes. Oh, and then one of the kids takes a chunk out of her thigh. Also doubles as Nausea Fuel.
  • Player Punch: The game frequently highlights the consequences of Steve's actions (albeit very exaggerated), but none works quite like the fallout from Day 5’s little bit of vandalism. Steve burns down Edna’s Diner. Edna is so distraught that she hangs both herself and Karin, IF you had just saved a few days ago.
    • Without giving anything away, the Bad Ending is the epitome of this in the game, also serving as a You Bastard! moment for the player.
  • Rewatch Bonus: There's actually a lot of foreshadowing towards the big twist and a lot of seemingly inexplicable things make much more sense upon replay. A very good example is how almost all the mothers in Harvest look the same; the programmers of the simulation got lazy and reused the template with a few tweaks.
  • Scrappy Mechanic: Real-time combat in a point and click rarely works very well. This is not one of the times it does.
  • Special Effects Failure: The game's many attempts at gore during the FMVs fall short; the effects were rotoscoped in afterwards, with many looking like they were edited in two minutes with MS Paint.
    • The most horrifying scene in the game detailed under Nightmare Fuel is somewhat blunted by the fact that the cannibal children are plainly just the same kid copied three times (even if there might be an in-story reason for it).
  • Values Resonance: Harvester's satire has surprisingly aged well because of the fact that Moral Guardians are still using violent video games as a scapegoat for big murder crimes and are still under the belief that they create serial killers.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Aside from her first and only appearance (which is optional to begin with), the Wasp Woman has absolutely no impact on the plot. If you talk with her about her philosophy on wasps, there is some foreshadowing there, but that's about it.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: The ending can be seen as this, because rationalizing the screwed up nature of the town somewhat takes away from how creepy it is once you know it's just a simulation. The fact that it's somewhat metaphorical makes up for it a little, but it still makes the game far less of a Mind Screw.
  • What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs?: The Lodge, all of it. It's like the developers just threw in random elements of the game, or that that part of the game isn't even finished.
  • The Woobie: Pretty much any character deserving of sympathy.
    • Steve is this, should the player try and take the high road throughout the game.
    • Stephanie, who is put through a situation worse than Steve's and is the only normal person in Harvest.
    • Steve's dad is a victim of some serious psychological, physical, and sexual abuse.
    • Deputy Loomis. Sure, he may be kinda creepy and obsessed with porn, but unlike a lot of the other sexually-obsessed characters in Harvest, he never actually does anything wrong - he's not a child molester and he doesn't harass anyone, he just wants some adult magazines.
    • Edna Fitzpatrick, especially if the player waits too long and allows Karin to die.


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