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YMMV / Hypnospace Outlaw

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  • Heartwarming in Hindsight: By the end of the game, Hypnospace is shut down, preserved only in an archived form with none of its creative potential... that is, until the developers of the game released the tools for players to make and share their own Hypnospace pages, in effect making Hypnospace a living, developing entity just like the real internet.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Even the most obnoxious people on Hypnospace aren't totally unsympathetic.
    • T1MAGEDDON is arrogant, malicious, and the cause of many of your troubles early on, but he genuinely cares for his friends, is as good as his word when the player buys a FLST password from him (even if he mocks them afterwards for overpaying), deliberately only makes "annoying" viruses rather than actually harmful ones, frequently shows remorse when he crosses the line, and certainly doesn't deserve to be framed for the death of several users during the Mindcrash, though it results in him Taking A Level In Kindness.
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    • Zane is an arrogant dick who writes bad Self Insert Fics for his favorite Nu Metal band, crudely insults his classmates, harasses Tiff... but he's just a teenager desperately trying to imitate the caustic critic he idolizes, and whatever his flaws, it's genuinely tragic if he isn't banned and his life is cut short by the Mindcrash.
    • Chowder Man, writer and performer of cheesy dad rock and advertising jingles with a very high opinion of himself. Also a recovering alcoholic who is genuinely heart-broken when he inadvertently causes the death of his friend.
    • And most of all, Dylan Merchant. Pointy-Haired Boss. Hypocritical music pirate. Dubious programmer. Spends more time on his video game side project than the job he's supposed to be doing. And in the endgame, he ends up accidentally responsible for several deaths and many traumatic experiences because he arrogantly assumed some code he hadn't properly tested was ready to be uploaded to a live Brain–Computer Interface. And yet, he truly does care about making Hypnospace not just profitable, but a great community, and the personalized letters of apology to those who died because of his negligence are entirely genuine and absolutely heartbreaking; though he was too cowardly to admit responsibility with such an easy scapegoat, the burden of guilt on his mind has been eating away at him for two decades, and when the truth comes out, he makes no effort to defend himself and confesses everything.
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  • Memetic Mutation: The utter earworm and completely baffling premise that is Granny Cream's Hot Butter Ice Cream. No doubt in part due to Vinny of Vinesauce finding the bit vastly amusing, and its rather infamous sentence mix on GiIvaSunner.
  • Moment of Awesome: Just about every event following the Mindcrash incident. In the present day, you log back into Hypnospace to find that a group of former users have come together in an attempt to permanently archive the janky-but-close-knit Hypnospace community. That's where you come in: it turns out that Enforcer-model Hypnospace kits inexplicably came with enough memory to store the entire service several times over, and you begin one last mission to save all of Hypnospace, in all three of its iterations, to your device. Soon, one of the archivists reveals herself to be a former MS employee, and she asks you to look further into the case of Tim, the teenager who supposedly triggered the Mindcrash with a virus. Long story short: the two of you put together enough evidence to conclusively prove that Tim was innocent all along; that the real cause was the lead programmer rushing an unnecessary feature without Q&A; and that he and the CEO knew about the headbands posing a health hazard but intentionally buried the report on it.
  • Nightmare Fuel:
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    • While definitely much more downplayed than real life, some of the computer viruses and hacked pages can be a little creepy. Such as pages that have been hacked to feature a shock image of a realistic heart with staring eyeballs, while a low drone plays.
    • Throughout the game, it's hinted that Hypnospace's Brain–Computer Interface is not entirely safe. This comes to a head in the Mindcrash incident, which actually kills several people — just about all of them being people the player has gotten to know through their quirky online presence. And if that wasn't bad enough, you get to experience what they saw and are faced with Hyppi desperately trying to save you from any damage it may cause by telling you to shut the headband off even as its own reality begins to fall apart around it.
      • Now think about this from Tim's perspective. The news report after the Mindcrash explains that Tim, a teenager who was ultimately just playing around, was tried as an adult and will spend six years in prison. Come the time skip to present-day, and you learn that he served his full sentence, and is haunted to this day by the thought that what he meant to be a harmless prank somehow killed people. Including one of Merchant Soft's lead programmers, an old woman in a nursing home, and the girl he had a crush on.
  • Paranoia Fuel: T1MAGEDDON sets his status to imply that he knows you're watching.
    • A number of pages refer to you by the name you gave when you started the game, presumably pulled from the same headband metadata you can see for other users. Unsurprisingly, it turns out Merchantsoft isn't very good at keeping the Enforcers anonymous.
  • Rewatch Bonus: Due to the nature of the game, it's possible to find pages that help contextualize other pages and events in new ways. For example, in late November, Re3cknoning jokes about Dylan's latest project being so poorly programmed that it'll cause the headbands to explode. Which it did in early November. This also plays into the fact that Dylan's attempts to push things out on-time seems to make hoaxes come true with the different ways it crashes the system, causing the headbands to either fry themselves or give people fatal seizures in their sleep.
  • Squick: Granny Cream's Hot Butter Ice Cream isn't the most appetizing-sounding product already, but the (incredibly NSFW) implications of the name "Granny Cream" only make it worse, as many have pointed out.
  • Tearjerker: During the game's final stretch, you can access the HAP Intranet in 2019. One of the pages lists the victims of the Mindcrash event. These include the Jerkass 15-year old Zane, a woman in a nursing home, Hypnospace programmer and pioneer of Axxelerator Randy Wall, and Tiffany Wright... Tim's internet friend, whom he had a crush on. This gets worse once you realize that Tim was in prison for six years for this, during which he had to grapple with the fact that he may have killed her by accident.
    • In Outlaw v1.00, you have to “apprehend” the users who were killed by Dylan. Each one downloads a unique note to your desktop when you catch them: personalized letters to his victims, apologizing and (in Tiff and Zane's cases) mourning the wonderful young people they could have become if he hadn't cut their lives short. Even to Rodney, the loudmouthed conspiracy theorist asshole, Dylan describes how awful and crude Rod's poor, redneck family were when they met him... but admires the determination they had to hold him responsible Rod's death, and swears that he will use his resources to make things right, somehow.
    • The whole game can feel this way for older players. Its portrayal of late 90s internet is spot on enough to be funny, but there's an undercurrent of wistful nostalgia that anyone who experienced that era of the web can probably relate to. Especially in the later sections of the game, where Hypnospace is completely abandoned, but still preserved in a bittersweet time capsule, not unlike the Geocities and Angelfire fan pages of the real world.
  • The Woobie: RebeRuthPin, a Squisherz fan who's also a Christian who doesn't believe Squisherz is Satanic. She enters a Squisherz art contest... and wins! ...right before we learn via a farewell message on her webpage that she found out the hard way that her father DOES NOT approve of her being a Squisherz fan, contrary to what she had previously believed, because another member of her church found her webpage and ratted her out. He throws her Squisherz game away AND bans her from Hypnospace... before she can even learn that she won the contest. It's a heartbreaking moment, especially for anyone who's had to live with parents caught in the grip of the Satanic Panic. The one upside to what happens to her is that this means she avoids the Mindcrash.
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