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YMMV / It Lives

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  • Abandon Shipping: Most Noah/Devon shippers jump ship after the former's Face–Heel Turn, though the pairing does still have a decent-sized fanbase.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation
    • Redfield. Is he a lonely guy genuinely desperate to make friends and simply unable to realize that his methods of winning the gang back are harmful? Or is he a calculating psychopath who is plotting to become even stronger through murders? Complicating matters is the fact that he Was Once a Man who had a correspondent, whom he wrote to as much as possible. Possibly even more so when the current Redfield is revealed to be Jane, who either should've known better when trying to help her brother and their old friends or becoming Redfied has warped her mind.
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    • The surviving friends in the epilogue, particularly if Devon dies. Are they selfish people who immediately got over the events in the cave, just like they got over Jane's death? Or a bunch of traumatized kids who are trying to put their lives back together, who have actually made a lot of progress healing in the last year? It doesn't help that the Time Skip means we don't see anybody's immediate reaction, other than whoever agrees to let their friend sacrifice themselves to become Redfield.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Lily. On one hand, there are people who praise Pixelberry adding more diverse body representation through her (and Raj from Endless Summer), adoring her for being a Nice Girl who displays common sense when it comes to Redfield, and admiring her speculation on Redfield’s involvement in Ava’s telekinesis. On the other hand, there are people put off by her refusal to sense something off with Britney abruptly acting nice to her. It also doesn’t help that she called Ava out for nearly killing Jocelyn with her telekinesis while overlooking the fact that Jocelyn started the whole fight first.
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    • Noah. Upon his betrayal of his friends at Chapter 14, the fanbase is divided between those who defended him for his desperation to seek closure on Jane and those who were angry at him for his selfish and toxic attitude towards his old friends, especially when it's revealed that the current Redfield is the spirit of his sister Jane.
    • THE ENTIRE GANG, except for Connor ironically, became this after the Heroic Sacrifice ending route because they didn't even react to Devon's sacrifice in the final chapter
    • Parker from It Lives Beneath. Some playes think he's an endearing love interest who's willing to investigate the truth after years of police inaction. Others think he's a boring character whose involvement in the gang is superfluous because he barely interacts with other members except Danni and possibly Harper, and acts like he really doesn't enjoy their company. Views about him have become even more split due to his views on Chief Kelley. His supporters sympathize that it’s hard to admit that someone you look up to could be a bad guy. His detractors dislike that he refuses to look at the evidence that obviously proves that Kelley is a criminal. The developers seem to anticipate his polarised status since he is the only person that will leave the group if he fails his Nerve Check and has a rather convoluted condition for returning.
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    • Imogen became this after Chapter 6 of It Lives Beneath. Some believe that she overreacted when Harper mentioned that her parents might be in league with the cult. Others believe that her reaction was justified given that Harper kept her in the dark on the investigations so far and gave no evidence to prove her parents' suspicious behavior. Moreover, supporters consider her one of the most resilient characters of the story as she actively helps others to safety as much as she can, and her empathy is seen as necessary to help her friends move onward with their goals. Detractors think she's the weak link in the group and cited her cowering in fear instead of fighting against the Society in Chapter 11 as an example.
    • Grandpa Arthur. Whether him saving Josephine in the present redeemed him for letting her down in the past is up to debate.
  • Broken Base: It Lives Beneath's quality compared to It Lives in the Woods is subject to debate. Some players think the second book is better because of the focus on action, mystery, and how mankind has the tendency to ruin things beyond their control. Others think the second book is worse because it feels less scarier and the characters come across as less memorable.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: The achievements that pop up at the top of the screen often contain a play on words... even when they signify that someone has died. In It Lives Beneath, Tom's death is "No Tomorrow", Imogen's is "A Pale Horse", Parker's is "Officer Down", Danni's is "Out of the Picture", and Harper's is "It Dies Beneath".
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: When the kids, and particularly Dan, talk about what happened when they were little, it often sounds like they're talking about being sexually assaulted (e.g. needing a long time to realize what happened to them was real and wrong, learning not to be afraid of their attacker).
  • Draco in Leather Pants:
    • Josephine Vance. Some players fully support her vendetta against The Society and hate Arthur for allowing them to murder his wife instead of standing up to them, despite her killing countless innocent people in the process.
    • Jocelyn Wu. Despite being depicted as a violent bully for the majority of It Lives in the Woods, she has a decent fanbase due to her character design, physical strength, and Heroic Sacrifice during Homecoming. Her reappearance at the end of It Lives Beneath has fans hoping that she will be a love interest in the third It Lives book.
    • Noah. Even after he betrays his friends - and, depending on nerve scores, potentially gets all of them brutally murdered - his fans still love him and will defend his actions viciously.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Tom was this in It Lives in the Woods for being the most decent character outside the main group, and very understanding of Andy's situation, to the point many players wanted him to be a Love Interest for the main character or Andy. He gets to be one of the main characters in the sequel It Lives Beneath.
    • Ned Mallory from It Lives Beneath became this due to his sympathetic backstory, currently being the only non-main character who believes Harper about the lake entity, and wanting to find a way to stop it before it kills more people. Despite being stabbed by a cultist at the end of Chapter 2 of It Lives Beneath, several players have stated that if there is a premium choice to save him, they will gladly take it.
    • Despite his minimal plot involvement, Elliot from It Lives Beneath is beloved by the fans for his playful but loving interaction with Harper, and being an accurate portrayal of a kid discovering his romantic attraction to other guys.
    • Robbie from It Lives Beneath also became a fan favorite from the moment he was presented as Elliot’s Love Interest, starting with being the complete opposite to his father, his friendly approach to Harper, and his genuine care for Elliot’s safety. Many of the players paid for every chance to get them together.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple:
    • Noah/Devon is surprisingly still fairly popular after the former's Face–Heel Turn, with many fans expressing disappointment that he wasn't a love interest.
    • Dan/Devon also has a healthy fanbase.
  • Family-Unfriendly Aesop: The ending has this in spades thanks to Story Branch Favoritism: Sometimes, it's better to sacrifice someone else.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: During an argument, Mrs. Marshall tells Noah that she wishes he had died instead of Jane. This stings a lot more if Noah doesn't survive the final battle - and either way, she's still left with no surviving children, since he goes on the run if Devon ends up being the sacrifice.
  • Heartwarming Moments:
    • If Andy dies, Tom will interrupt Devon during the eulogy to start a chant of "KING KANG!" and the crowd will join in, including members of the rival school. Doubles as a Tearjerker.
    • Chapter 5 of "Beneath" is this if you imported an Everyone Lives save file from "In The Woods," getting to catch up with the survivors of the previous book.
    • In Chapter 12 of "Beneath," if the collective group has a high Nerve score (at least 250/500), they all come together in a group hug after surviving the latest attack by the Lake Ghost's monsters and The Society pulling going heel again.
    • Noah and Devon have a beautiful friendship. The survivor goes out of their way to help the monster regain their memories. If you choose to say goodbye to them in the finale, you see several cute interactions between them.
    • Despite Elliot’s initial insecurities about his feelings for Robbie, it’s endearing to see that Harper is supportive of their little brother dealing with his newfound sexuality, and especially better when everyone else is pretty cool with seeing them together in public.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships:
    • Devon, as usual with all the Choices main characters, has five Love Interests (Lucas, Ava, Stacy, Andy, and Connor), and on top of that Noah has a very strong fanbase wanting him to also be available until his betrayal, when many fans migrated towards Dan.
    • Harper from Beneath has four main Love Interests: Tom, Imogen, Parker, and Danni. Aditionally, they have been shipped too with Kyle and showed good chemistry with all the surviving characters from Book 1.
  • Moment of Awesome:
    • In "It Lives in the Woods", If you keep everyone's Nerve high enough, the scene of them one by one defiantly telling Jane they're not afraid of her is incredibly satisfying.
    • If Tom's nerve score is high enough he jumps into the water and pulls a zombie bear off of Harper with his bare hands in It Lives Beneath Chapter 10
    • If Danni's nerve score is high enough she resists Astrid's temptation to join The Society and basically tells her to screw off in It Lives Beneath Chapter 11. Bonus points if you got her the brass knuckles earlier in the chapter and she punches the zombie creatures hard enough to rip off their jaws or shatter their skulls.
    • In Chapter 13 of "Beneath," if you take the premium option to ambush Richard and his cronies, whether you decide to do it stealthily or just charge in, you get the honor of this single choice.
      "It's Richard. PUNCH HIM!"
    • In Chapter 15 of "Beneath", if the group's overall nerve score is high, they fight through an army of Josephine's monsters without breaking a sweat. The dialogue even states "The horde of monsters roar, and you all roar right back, charging straight at them!".
    • In the finale of "Beneath", when Richard throws Harper into the lake, survival means succeeding in an epic escape. It's more satisfying if you prompted Richard to say exactly what you would do before then.
  • Narm: Fairly minor example, but if you don't pay for the premium choice to bring a weapon, Ava will at one point save Devon, who will respond with, "Thanks...guess I should have brought a weapon, or something."
  • Nightmare Fuel: It’s expected, considering that it’s a Horror genre series of novels. See here for examples.
  • No Yay: The fandom's general reaction to Lily and Britney is this because of Britney acting suddenly nice towards Lily while acting mean towards her friends whenever Lily isn't around. Most people chose not to forgive Britney when her original intentions were exposed.
  • One-Scene Wonder:
    • Shannon, Lily’s new girlfriend if she decided to not forgive Britney, is beloved by the fans for her character design and sweet personality.
    • Diavolos, Imogen's horse, only has a handful of scenes and is only featured prominently in one chapter but its Heroic Sacrifice made an impression to the fans, even those who don't like Imogen herself.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
    • Connor, after being disliked by a majority of the fandom for being peripheral to the story, received a much warmer reception for being the only one to actually react if Devon became Redfield.
  • Rewatch Bonus:
    • Knowing that Redfield is Jane the entire time puts the entire book, especially Redfield's action, to a whole new light.
    • This also applies to the Society and the Ghost's true nature.
  • The Scrappy: Britney from It Lives In The Woods is hated for her cruelty towards Devon and their friends and only acting kind towards Lily. She didn't even try to hide her rude behavior even while Lily was present.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped:
    • Andy having to deal with transphobia from members of his basketball team is accepted by the fandom as a necessary means of showing the problems transgender people have to put up with.
    • If Dan survives, the scene featuring him as a peer counselor to troubled Westchester students isn't exactly subtle, but it's very touching, especially considering the PTSD he shows in his flashback.
    • Robbie Sutcliffe's tense relationship with his homophobic father is widely accepted as an important struggle LGBT children face when raised in a homophobic household.
  • Tear Jerker: See here.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Players have commented that Britney could've been an example of bullies being a part of a cycle of abuse as former victims of bullying themselves. This is evidenced by Stacy showing Devon a yearbook photo of Britney in pigtails and braces, which should've been used to indicate that she was bullied for her appearance until she changed her appearance. Players are also disappointed that Britney didn't comment on her past, but said that Lily's nice while she herself isn't instead, which boils down to the former saying that it's hard for her to be nice, which players find overdone among many redemption arcs Pixelberry uses.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • The ending where you make a Heroic Sacrifice to become Redfield lacks a LOT of reactions from the other characters (with only the mossy creature, a Premium character, Tom and Connor having any significant interaction) compared to the decision to let Noah takes over. Story Branch Favoritism is in full effect here. The benefits of following this path are not apparent until late in the sequel.
    • Despite Elliot having a relationship with Harper prior arriving to Pine Spring (as oppose to the four Love Interest), is well-liked by the fandom as well as having gone through the trauma that Harper had, he has no Nerve score or personal trial and only has one Premium scene.
  • True Art Is Angsty: One of the major criticism of the ending is that after a horrifically dark and depressing story, the ending tried way to hard to get a Bittersweet Ending that lacking reaction from the characters.
  • Ugly Cute: Thumper the jackalopenote . Elliot feels bad for it when he hears that the Society is planning to dissect it, so Harper has the premium option to rescue and adopt it. The siblings later comment on how creepy looking it is in comparison to how docile it became after they took it in.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Players think Britney’s reason for bullying Lily and then trying to explain her eventual abandonment to humiliate her is poorly justified, with some saying that it would’ve been more effective if Britney was Formerly Fat and sees Lily as a reminder of how she was bullied for her weight. Moreover, a premium option to hang out with Stacy in Chapter 7 reveals that Britney used to have Girlish Pigtails and Pubescent Braces, which could've been used as indicators of her insecurity of her appearance.
  • The Woobie:
    • It Lives in the Woods: Most of the gang is this.
      • Upon joining the basketball team for the first time, Andy has been singled out by everyone else except for Tom because he’s short, transgender, and Asian. He gets better after he helped the team win the first basketball game, only for him to be mocked again after a basketball game got disrupted by a Spider Swarm. He even gets kidnapped by vine monsters right after he was announced Homecoming king, and later watches his friend Tom possessed by Redfield. If he survives the showdown against Jane, he repeats senior year because his injured leg means he has to be put on medical leave. The silver lining is that he becomes captain of the basketball team.
      • Since Chapter 8, Ava has become this. After she was possessed by Redfield into nearly killing Jocelyn with telekinesis, most of the school saw her as a freak. Losing her power doesn’t help matters, as the school continues to see her differently.
      • Dan has been suffering from PTSD since Jane’s death, which leads him to suffering from mental breakdowns after every football game and getting wasted during Winter Formal. His desperate attempt to find closure goes awry when he gets kidnapped, setting the events of the story into motion.
      • Lily is often picked on by Britney, whom she befriended in the past. She continues to be nice to her, even trying to remind her of the time when they were friends. When it seems that Britney was finally being nice to her for the days leading to homecoming, she finally learns that it was merely a ploy to humiliate her. Granted, Britney abandoned this before the revelation, but it still hurt Lily when she heard Britney's original intention.
      • Lucas is under pressure from his parents to overachieve even when he has reached his limit. According to him, his parents often look down on his achievements, boasting that they’ve accomplished much more than him when they were his age. This caused him to take his mother’s focus pills, only to put himself at risk of developing an addiction. He got better after kicking his addiction, only for him to get suspended anyway when Redfield conjured focus pills in front of the principal.
      • Noah lost his twin sister Jane to Redfield during a game they played with their friends. Afterwards, his parents divorced and his mother blamed him for everything that happened to her ever since, even wishing that he who should’ve died instead of Jane. Since then, he harbors deep resentment towards his old friends for forgetting about his plight. The epilogue that shows him wandering the forest—alone and angry, hardly able to remember his own name or what happened to him—is pretty rough, too. By the time of "Beneath," he's just started being able to remember his name, but he needs Devon's help to remember.
      • Stacy often bears the brunt of her parents’ wrath whenever they’re not arguing against or cheating on each other. It gets worse when she confided in Britney about her situation, only for Britney to use it as blackmail to one-up on her by forcing her to not outshine Britney, follow her wherever she goes, and buy tacky clothes for her. It gets better when a vine monster turned the tables on Britney by snatching her phone and giving it to Stacy, who blackmailed Britney into hosting a party. Unfortunately, Stacy’s luck took a turn for the worse when Redfield broadcasted Britney’s recording of Stacy’s dysfunctional family life to everyone to school.
    • It Lives Beneath
      • Tom has become this in It Lives Beneath. Back in Westchester, he gets attacked by a venomous spider during one of Redfield's attacks, leaving him comatose, which enables Redfield to control him along with other victims. His best friend potentially dies or, if he survives, has his leg and basketball career ruined. The events in Westchester and the potential deaths of a lot of his schoolmates left him so traumatized that he opted to move away... only for this new town having something else too.
      • Ned Mallory. A few years ago, his wife was hypnotized by the lake monster into drowning herself to death in the lake. After observing the details on his wife's death, he warned people about the lake monster but was ridiculed and ostracized for it. After finding comfort on Harper believing in him, he was stabbed by a cultist.
      • Grandpa Arthur and Josephine. He was one of the realtors who tried to get Josephine’s land, until they fell in love with each other. His business partners eventually learned about the power of the river, and after forming the Society and building Pine Springs, they spiked his wife to the bottom of the lake, repeatedly killing her every time they want more of the power for new members, and forcing Arthur to obey by threatening his daughter and grandchildren. On top of that, Arthur is forced to watch all the drownings caused by Josephine’s rage going out of control, is controlled to take the blame of murdering his daughter, while the Society becomes stronger with time.
      • Imogen. She's a Spoiled Sweet young woman who starts the book with her best friend drowning in the lake. Afterwards, she learns that her parents are members of the Society. While they seem affable at first, they soon turn on her friends and try to kill them. Later on, she watches both of them being brutally murdered by the lake ghost. If she has a low nerve score, she rushes at the lake ghost in a blind rage.

Alternative Title(s): It Lives In The Woods


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