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  • Awesome Music: First, Second, and Third Warning, which sound during breaches. A slow and foreboding tune that escalates into panic and to despair that captures the feeling of losing control perfectly.
  • Breather Boss:
    • Tiphereth's Meltdown takes away the Qliphoth Immunity from previous branches, but the player should at this point be capable of handling it. Aside from that, all she does is mess with the background music. The real boss is the Midnight Ordeal rampaging once the end is in sight.
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    • Netzach's suppression involves your people not healing outside of Qliphoth meltdowns. This is absolutely nothing in comparision to Hod, whom you have to beat to even suppress Netzach.
    • The Green Midnight Ordeal is the easiest of the four Midnights, considering that it is a sole immobile enemy and while it has more HP than anything else in the game and its sole attack is a One-Hit KO laser, it slowly rotates in a single direction and can be completely avoided using the elevators.
    • CENSORED is easily considered one of the weakest ALEPH Abnormalities due to its inability to drastically damage high level facilities or hamper progress unlike the rest. While a low level facility drafting it means absolute death because any agent that is not a Rank 5 who works on it will instantly panic and it uses the same Sacrifice mechanic as the Nameless Fetus, the damage it causes to a facility laden with elite agents is relatively minor for an ALEPH and it is not difficult to kill with the right weapons and SP bullets.
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  • Breather Level: The last day of the game, Day 50, is this. After the utter hell of the four days preceding it, Day 50 comes with no Ordeals and no Meltdowns, not even Qliphoth Meltdowns, and minimal Interface Screw. Overall leading to essentially a triumphant victory lap as Ayin sets off the Seed of Light.
  • Designated Hero: You. Yes, YOU as in X, A, or Ayin. Your goal is to reconcile with all of your fellow inner circle operatives and purify humanity's "illness"...aside that to do this, you would purposefully (and might have to) sacrifice and kill fellow human beings by heaps, brutally neglect and possibly murder people close to you (with one of these being a kid you picked out from the Outskirts!!), sacrifice your love interest to extract more Cogito and turn her into an omnipresent nightmare, and finally in Library of Ruina, it turns out you also driven your secretary AI Angela into despair by forcing her to see the deaths of employees, the Sephirah Meltdowns, to enable the Welfare Team incident...and among other things. It is not surprising when Angela began to act more and more like the past you in there.
  • Difficulty Spike:
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    • Accidentally choose an Abnormality that your facility has no hope of handling early on? Prepare for the difficulty to suddenly skyrocket or to restart the day.
    • The Sephirah Meltdowns can be considered ones as well, as they tend to completely throw off the player's strategies that they have been using throughout the game.
  • Demonic Spiders:
    • In the Legacy version, Price of Silence is infamous for this because of its overly destructive effect that prevents pausing from working correctly even during subsequent runs 12 times, and at the 13th time the game is paused...expect mass havoc before the Abnormality resets itself. Thankfully, it's removed in the finalized version (unless one installs a mod with it).
    • Nameless Fetus. This is one of the most annoying and difficult to manage abnormalities in the game, and even late-game parties will have trouble against it even if it was a HE. It only has 1 Qliphoth Counter, which can be depleted very easily even with maximum Fortitude, and anything but instinct work will flat out not work on it. If the Qliphoth Counter drops to 0, it will slowly cause any nearby abnormalities to breach and deal huge amounts of white damage against your employees. Perhaps the worst however, is the fetus can only be calmed down by randomly selecting an employee or clerk for the fetus to eat. No matter how strong the employee is, they WILL die, and don't be surprised if you chose and sent your strongest employees to death. It's a chore to deal with on its own, and GOD FORBID if this thing gets chosen during a Sephirah Meltdown or any other high risk scenario.
      • While CENSORED uses the same Sacrifice mechanic as the Fetus, it's nowhere near as annoying since it's a lot less fickle to manage and it doesn't pose that much of a threat to facilities loaded with Rank V agents.
    • Do not be fooled by Meat Lantern's cute and cuddly appearance and its status as a TETH, this is one of the most reviled Abnormalities that one should never run in their endgame lineup. It will automatically breach if the time worked on it is below 40 seconds, which means that later on in the game, it will breach as soon as it is worked upon, no matter what. And not only if it breaches its HP bar is not visible and it will just randomly spawn on top of corridors, it will kill almost anything that steps on it or gets close to it, and the only way to counter it is to shoot it with a long ranged weapon.
    • Army In Black is a ZAYIN-class abnormality, meaning you can get it as soon as day 2. However, when it breaches it is actually four ALEPH entities that deal nasty Black damage to anyone nearby and capable of dealing heavy white damage if it breaches and reaches the main room of a department, where it explodes dealing damage to everyone that works for said department. How heavy? Guaranteed to cause just about anyone with a Prudence level below three to go insane. Oh, and the worst part? If you still don't know what the aforementioned ALEPH means, that is the highest rank of all Abnormalities, meaning that your early-game employees will just outright panic just by seeing these things breaching, and any employees who panic because of it will always end up trying to kill each other. Its saving graces are its higher than average Qliphoth counter (3), the fact that its counter can go up if you suppress something else, and its ability to keep your people alive (assisting in said suppression), but there's so many ways to reduce the counter that it almost doesn't matter (including receiving said assistance), and assigning it to a low level employee automatically causes them to panic. Absolutely not ideal for someone who was first interacting with the game despite being obtainable early on.
    • The Queen of Hatred is another Abnormality which caused frustration to many, mostly due to her gimmick that her Qliphoth Counter decreases if there hasn't been three employee deaths between each Meltdown. Sure she can be calmed down but the counter will just decrease again next Meltdown, which are frequent by the point of the game where you get her. In addition she is no pushover when she escapes either, transforming into a dragon that can shoot a horizontal beam that can decimate the entire floor she is on at once.
    • Schadenfreude can easily be gotten early game and easily turn into this. If the player doesn't know the gimmick behind it, it's only a matter of time until it breaks out and starts mowing through employees. Depending on how early game the player is, it can likely kill your current staff in only a few hits.
    • Melting Love isn't a particularly impressive Abnormality by herself as far as ALEPHs go, but it will literally cause chaos just by working on it. The employee who worked with her becomes a Patient Zero, and if you do not keep an eye on that employee and stave your main employees away from the hallway that employee was in or move that employee around the facility, there's a fat chance the whole facility will sink into chaos as anyone infected by that employee will become a slime creature. Doing Insight work with the employee that worked on it delays the infection, but it requires them to generate 24 PE Boxes or all the affected employees or clerks will instantly become Slime creatures, so it hardly matters in the long run, and if you decide to work in this abnormality be prepared for an extensive plan to take it down if things go wrong, and god forbid if you happen to choose this and plan on doing Sephirah Meltdowns on any 50-day cycle. The only saving grace is that Repression prevents her from causing a catastrophic infection. It's just asking for her to breach at that point and anyone without thick BLACK resistances will suffer from big sums of damage, but at least she has some leeway for that and you only need to deal with a single, non-infectious and relatively easy to suppress Abnormality if she ever breaches.
  • Enjoy the Story, Skip the Game: While this game's excellent story has attracted praise, its over-the-place difficulty, Game-Breaking Bug (such as memory leaks, even on recommended specs), and decent but overly simple art has been more contentious. It's no wonder a growing sentiment has been to just skip to Library Of Ruina and garner the story from there.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • A lot of people like Der Freichütz, Little Red Riding Hooded Mercenary, and Funeral of the Dead Butterflies.
    • Nothing There is arguably the most famous of all the Abnormalities, with fans either loving it for being a truly abominable horror, its odd sense of Ugly Cute, or both.
    • With the Sephirahs concerned (all of whom are practically an actual ensemble of Ensemble Darkhorses), Netzach's Long-Haired Pretty Boy appearance has won some people over.
    • On the female spectrum, Gebura certainly has her fans, and quite a few appreciate her more "aggressive" approach to the job.
    • Myo was greeted with plenty of fanart and love upon her and the Rabbit Team's implementation. Helps that her personality is pretty laid back and comedic compared to everyone else while still retaining a sense of professionalism.
    • Punishing Bird, Big Bird and Judgement Bird are extremely popular due to being among the few Abnormalities with explicit links to each other and for joining up into the Apocalypse Bird. Punishing Bird in particular has a ton of fanart thanks to being a Ridiculously Cute Critter.
  • Genius Bonus: A working knowledge of the Jewish Kabbalah will help you make sense of several of the references in the game.
  • Goddamned Boss: Abnormalities who require a maximum or lower of a certain stat to operate as opposed to a minimum or higher tend to be very aggravating as agents naturally gain stats over time, forcing you to either keep low-level agents specifically to operate them during Qliphoth Meltdowns or flat out ignore them and deal with their resulting breaches. Examples include Meat Lantern, the Scarecrow Searching for Wisdom and the Warm-Hearted Woodsman.
    • The Express Train to Hell forces you to spend time micromanaging it in particular, as its gimmick takes place every 2 real-life minutes, independent of Qliphoth Meltdowns. Ignoring it leads to a demonic train passing across your facility, probably killing a good chunk of people along the way.
    • Punishing Bird can be real annoying as if it escapes you just have to let it go around the facility delivering Scratch Damage to employees, which can lead to Cherry Tapping if said employee has taken a lot of health damage from another Abnormality or Ordeal.
  • Heartwarming Moments: Whenever an employee frozen by the Snow Queen is saved by one of your agents, both the formerly frozen employee and the agent will hold hands together with a gleeful smile.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Netzach isn't quiet about how much distaste he has for you and abrasively shoves off your attempts at getting to know him, but it's all but stated to be a coping mechanism from enduring the Corporation and Angela's constant disregard of his employees. The Woobie comes from Giovanni trying to save his childhood friend, Carmen, who couldn't be revived in the first place, and then you outright lied to him and experimented him to death with your own hands.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • We don't talk about Hod Supression Explanation (Spoilers!) 
    • Yesod doesn't know what a .jpeg is. And "HAALY SHIT DEEM GREEPICS!!" Explanation (Spoilers!) 
    • GREAT. LOVE. FOR. US. Explanation 
  • Narm: The game's original dodgy English translation led to some... odd abnormality names. While this worked out well for some abnormalities/ordeals which received unusual, poetic-sounding names like Great Love for Us (the Violet Noon Ordeal), others have names that are awkward, like Shy Look Today, for instance.
    • The pre-May 2020 English translation also affected all dialogue in the story and the exposition in the Abnormalities' dossiers. It was rather hit or miss; it led to either appropriately thematic dialogue as human employees try to describe the indescribable beings they're forced to interact with (as their minds break down under the strain) in an isolated environment, and give the impression that there's something subtly wrong with the A.I.'s running the place... or it came across as awkward and unnecessary Purple Prose that was confusing/hilarious for English speakers to read.
    • In May 2020, the game received a complete rehaul of its English translation, which made massive changes to basically every aspect of the game, including UI, story dialogue, and abnormality names.
    • On the other hand, there were some fans who enjoyed some of the awkward translations for the Abnormalities and Ordeals for their Narm Charm, which they felt added to their overall alien-ness, and were saddened when they were changed in the May 2020 re-translation.
  • Scrappy Mechanic: Clerks for some have been the source of much frustration depending on what abnormalities one chooses. Clerks cannot be directly controlled and die in a hit or two. Wouldn't be so bad if there weren't several different abnormalities whose abilities trigger to employee deaths, clerks included. And considering that Ordeals are a thing, clerk deaths are more or less inevitable. It says something that when someone makes a mod that removes them entirety.
  • Spiritual Licensee: Some have likened the game to a Darker and Edgier role-reversed version of Monsters, Inc., where the humans are the ones harvesting monster energy.
  • That One Attack:
    • Nothing There's scythe "Goodbye" attack. While it is used less frequently than its other attacks and can be dodged more easily, it deals a whopping 300 RED damage to those it hits. While other Abnormalities can deal higher damage through specific and easier to avoid attacks, this attack has comparatively far less start-up time and can easily kill in two blows even the strongest of employees.
    • The scythes of the Apostles defending WhiteNight's room deal 280 or 240 PALE Damage depending if they were upward or downward swings. If you don't really understand what is wrong here, remember that PALE is not like any other damage, it's percentage-based on the target's maximum HP. Therefore the attacks actually do over 200% of your Employees Max HP, or in other words, the Apostle will just instantly kill anyone caught within its blades without fail. This makes running in circles to avoid the Apostle's instant-kills required to suppress WhiteNight, because they WILL kill the whole combat force otherwise.
    • The Red Mist's charging attack during its 4th phase, which basically has them charging directly to an employee from anywhere in the facility and inflicting an attack that like the above "Goodbye" attack, does an insane amount of damage, and can hit multiple employees at once. While they are winded for a while after this attack it still can be stressful to get your employees to safety in the split second before the boss attacks.
    • An Arbiter's pillar attack during their 3rd and final phase can quickly turn an already difficult battle into a disaster. Like their previous phases, the player needs to send their employees to solve specific Qliphoth Meltdowns in time. The problem is that not only is there a very tight window to clear all of them but the player can't pause at all during this. Fail to clear them and the boss shoots off their 8 pillars in the cardinal directions, not only doing massive damage of a certain type but also instantly triggering Meltdowns for every Abnormality in the way. Oh and they can do this multiple times.
  • That One Boss:
    • On a more traditional level, WhiteNight is a huge source of frustration among completionists. While it doesn’t attack directly very often, its Twelve Apostles are demonic spiders in their own right, made even worse by the fact that WhiteNight will regularly resurrect and heal its Apostles. This is all made even worse by the fact that the same healing pulse it emits is also a source of huge Pale damage, making it very capable of bringing even the toughest of employees to near death in a single hit. To put it simply, if you want that last E.G.O Weapon for your collection you’re going to have to beat a Combat Medic / Stone Wall of a God and its Mighty Glacier servants to the death.
    • As far as Sephirah Meltdowns go, Hod's is considered to be one of the most difficult ones to deal with as far as the upper floor goes, as the stats of your employees will start with a 15 decrease that will eventually worsen to 25 and then to 35 as the event progresses, especially terrifying if you have an ALEPH while dealing with it.
    • Gebura's Meltdown, aka The Red Mist is a pretty infamous fight. As unlike all the previous Meltdowns before this point, which was mostly just a regular work day with extra stipulations, the Red Mist manifests as a suppressible entity. Good luck though, as Red Mist has an immense 3000 HP which you have to deplete four times, changing up her weapons, tactics, and weaknesses with each depletion. The main difficulty comes from how insanely powerful her attacks are, and even a single hit can and will kill almost any employee 99% of the time. She's also extremely fast and difficult to track down. The only saving grace is that she takes double damage from Abnormalities, but that will likely mean you will need to purposefully release the most dangerous ones to even stand a chance, and it takes lots of patience for the Abnormalities to actually reach a room she's in. (there is an easy method for this involving Shelter of 27th of March and many breachable Abnormalities).
    • Binah's Meltdown, aka An Arbiter goes further beyond Gebura's Meltdown. Similarly to the Red Mist, An Arbiter appears as a suppressible entity, and has lower HP than the Red Mist. However, An Arbiter is initially immune to every damage, and creates different type of Meltdowns. These meltdowns are the only way to bring An Arbiter's immunity down to Vulnerable. And that's not enough, An Arbiter can also charge three different attacks that deals great amount of damage of all four elements. These attacks can only be avoided by clearing color-coded meltdowns (which works the same way as the aforementioned special meltdown). On top of that, An Arbiter will cause regular Qliphoth Meltdowns in every hallway/area An Arbiter passes through, and through ranged attacks, and in the final phase of her fight, you can't even PAUSE the game!. This leaves the player in a far harder situation than the Red Mist fight, where not only they have to suppress An Arbiter, but also requiring them to work on Abnormalities to even stand a chance to suppress An Arbiter. On the brighter side, these meltdowns can be cleared instantly using the Backwards Clock, but it requires you to sacrifice a Level V employee, and you can only use it once a day. Fortunately, An Arbiter moves slowly and has a noticeable delay between responses, so swarms of employees could easily attack them from behind. The Rabbit Team can also be called in to suppress An Arbiter, as unlike The Red Mist, will not leave areas under Rabbit Team purification. The Rabbit Team can defeat An Arbiter, but that still mean that you have to deal with the immense amount of Meltdowns (and possible breaches from the locked-down facility).
    • As far as the Midnight Ordeals go, the one players consider the hardest is Purple Midnight, a.k.a. The God Delusion, because unlike the other two Midnight Ordeals, the player is forced to divide their team up into four different groups to take out the monoliths, all while dodging various attacks that can spawn on any point in the facility. Not only that, the BLACK horns and PALE eye attacks an entire hallway and the WHITE tentacle attack affect a whole quarter of the screen, so expect facility wide chaos as it appears. Especially annoying with the eye which doesn't even have a wind up like the other attacks, can continually follow your employees from room to room, and inflicts constant Pale damage.
  • That One Level:
    • Should you complete all the Sephirah Core Suppressions, you will be able to do the last part of the game, that is Days 46 through 50. Unfortunately, Days 47 through 49 are Boss Rush levels, where Day 47 has you doing work while the effects of all Asiyah Sephirah is applied, meaning that not only you have to deal with Malkuth's mixed work effect again, but also Hod's stat lowering effect, now reducing your agents' stats by 50.
    • Day 48 is no slouch either, with the player having to suppress the Red Mist again. However, her HP is significantly decreased than her previous suppression, and fortunately, Chesed's suppression effect is not applied during your fight with The Red Mist.
    • Day 49 tops the previous two days with the player having to suppress An Arbiter again, now with Hokma's suppression effect being applied, as a tradeoff for her decreased amount of HP. That's right, you have to beat An Arbiter's first two phase without pausing this time, because trying to pause would only panic/kill an employee. Good luck, and be prepared to lose some of your employees in this day.
      • Alternatively, players can reach Level 8 Meltdown to disable An Arbiter, but it's far harder to do than suppressing since you have to deal with White Ordeals and the Claw at the same time as clearing her meltdowns.
  • That One Sidequest: Out of the Sephirah Missions, Gebura's second and third can be difficult to complete. In the former the player has to suppress 5 WAWs in a day, which can be very difficult depending on the set up of the Abnormalities. Even worse her third mission you have to suppress 3 different ALEPHs. Emphases on 'different', as in you cannot just suppress the same abnormality multiple times.
  • The Woobie:
    • Hod and Chesed are the only two Sephirah who care about their employees, are nice to you, and mean well. Hod is also an Extreme Doormat who gets no respect from anyone in the facility, and Chesed spends his days trying to make sure the employees he cares so much about are as happy as possible before Angela inevitably sends them to their demise. Furthermore, Michelle killed herself and Daniel caused a massacre against his will because he just wanted to give people time to escape by following orders.
    • Hokma. He's easily the most polite of the Sephirah towards just about everyone, employees included, yet has arguably the most heartbreaking story as Benjamin, who was already killed by Angela upon an attempt to warn X about Angela being dishonest. He was killed on the spot and you have to kill him off for real by solidifying his fate to achieve the true ending of the game. Even worse, if Abel's words were to be true, you did programmed Angela to kill him as a part of his playbook. Only for A's plans to be ruined anyway and Hokma brought back in the sequel.
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