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  • Alternate Character Interpretation:
    • Spooky herself. Her backstory reveals that on one Halloween, after not being able to scare anyone with her costume, she does something that involves firing a gun. It's not clear whether she used the gun on someone or if she finally managed to scare someone and got shot for her trouble, as one of the trailers show that even her ghostly appearance might be a facade. Or not. One of the endings reveals that she really is a ghost, and her entire reason for sending people into the labyrinth is to raise up an army of ghosts so living people stop calling her cute.
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    • Karamari Hospital elaborates on this. It heavily implies that Spooky became a ghost when she tried to scare someone with an obscuring costume and fireworks. What she didn't realize was that her victim was suffering from PTSD, and shot her out of fear in self-defense.
    • The above expansion also includes hints of The Dark Side Will Make You Forget, in that Spooky isn't really sure just how many of the hinted-at horrible things going on in the hospital and her life were real and contributed to her origin - she barely remembered her mansion had assimilated the hospital itself. Despite being mistress of her domain, all her blatantly fake uncertainty regarding its contents and extents may have become the honest truth by this point. It's possible to interpret events after the original game as Spooky, her obsessive drive finally having reached a goalpost, now trying to take inventory and see who she is now, how she got there and what she really wants. Combined with her criteria for souls she actually wants on her side rather than just as tenants and the evidence that there are things in Spooky's world which really do deserve the worst she could do, it is possible to cast her as something other than a pure, or even a misunderstood, villain.
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    • Some of the Specimens and Monsters are good examples. In Specimen 10's case, it seems to think it's doing you a favor in assimilating you when you're killed by it, as the text implies it's easier than to think and experience human concepts, all while calling the player just an animal. Yet a translated set of binary code tells the player that they're more than that, to use the brain they were given and to take responsibility in their actions. Is this a case of Specimen 10's Blue and Orange Morality at work, a direct message to the player themselves, or something else entirely?
  • Anti-Climax Boss: A few specimens can be like this, but the original version Specimen 10 had it the worst. One reason was that this specimen was so late in the game, after a couple very dangerous specimens. Another reason was that its design can be dull to some. Just a white eel with a somewhat unnerving face that really has no gimmick at all. This came after a huge, atmospheric, buildup. The developers have acknowledged this, ultimately replacing it with a much more intimidating monster.
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  • Author's Saving Throw: After the lackluster reception of the original Specimen 10, the developers decided to replace it with a much more dangerous and terrifying Specimen. There is even a little Take That! to the previous Specimen 10 by the new one literally bursting out of its head when the old one tries to attack you. Word of God admitted that the original design of Specimen 10 was the result of them running out of ideas.
  • Awesome Music:
    • Some of the tracks in the game are quite impressive, such as "Your Consenting Mind," "Here Comes Trouble," and "We Have the Beef," which wouldn't be out of place in horror movies.
    • "Empty Places", the theme used for the trailer of the DLC, Karamari Hospital, is a very atmospheric tune that gives a feeling of mystery and trying to find the truth.
    • The music for the mall minigame, "VIOLENT," would only vaguely sound out of place in Terraria.
    • A meta example, 1000 Doors by The Living Tombstone is an upbeat fan song based on the game.
    • Don't forget the final boss theme, "Fried Calamari,' a dark and oppressive tune that greatly fits the showdown with Specimen 9.
  • Best Boss Ever: Specimen 6 a.k.a The Puppet Merchant, is very likely the most memorable Specimen in the game. For one, he resembles the Happy Mask Salesman and has a gimmick like the Weeping Angels or SCP-173. He also has one of, if not, the most disturbing kill screens in the game.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: Everything about Specimen 7, from the room preluding it with a weird cat that gives Cryptic Conversations to the actual chase itself. Especially since, unlike the other Specimens in the game, it actually doesn't reappear after the area it is introduced in and it's not included in Endless Mode.
  • Breather Boss:
    • Specimens 3, 7, and 10, which are considered much more easy to avoid compared to the Specimens that come before and after them. The latter is ultimately averted with the introduction of the new 10, and 3 becomes a much bigger threat in the HD Renovation.
    • The second new Specimen in Endless Mode "Otto the Otter Animatronic", a waddling animatronic otter that moves at a glacial pace, barely does any damage, and doesn't have any Interface Screw gimmicks. Intentionally done as a Take That! to those who wanted a Five Nights at Freddy's-like Specimen in the game.
    • It's entirely possible to go through the entire game without seeing Specimen 3 or being attacked by it. It can spawn, but unless the player is walking everywhere or they end up in a dead end, it's likely they'll be out of the room before Specimen 3 can catch up. It doesn't help that Specimen 3 spawns out of holes in the ceiling, meaning that not only can the player tell if it's going to chase them before it even spawns, but also it can get stuck in the wall if the hole it spawns from has a wall right under it. Most hilariously, if a Specimen 1 spawns while Specimen 3 is chasing you, Specimen 3's size would prevent it from reaching you behind the Specimen 1! The HD remake addresses this problem by making the former Anticlimax Boss move way faster, and giving it the ability to phase through Specimen 1.
    • Specimen 13 becomes this once you figure out how to deal with it. The boxes in the rooms are always placed in such a way that you can get from one to the other in a single sprint. On top of that, unlike Specimen 6, 13 doesn't have any means of stopping you from stalling it out by standing on a box until your health reaches full.
  • Breather Level: Between the unnerving Specimen 6 and the Bait-and-Switch Specimen 8 area is Specimen 7. Before encountering it, you meet with a friendly cat who guides the player with cryptic advice. It is a nice break in the game, which is also helped by Specimen 7 themselves being easy to avoid.
  • Demonic Spiders: The Violent Deer in Specimen 8's area. They're fast, can hit fairly hard and are absolutely everywhere.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • The fake Specimen 10, despite being an Anti-Climax Boss when it was first introduced in the game, has been found endearing by some. It helps that it becomes a bit sympathetic with its entry revealing that it's harmless and was treated as a pet by GL Labs. Many fans of it were horrified when the true Specimen 10 bursts out of its head, killing it.
    • As mentioned under Best Boss Ever, Specimen 6 is popular for the opposite reasons, being a genuinely horrifying Shout-Out to a very popular video game and the first genuinely difficult opponent the player faces, since 2 and 3 were Warmup Bosses and there was a lot of Fake Difficulty involved in Specimens 4 and 5.
    • Specimen 8 is also pretty popular, due to its unique design, looking like a deer Wendigo with an All-Encompassing Mantle. It also has a pretty cool theme and has some pretty disturbing lines when it gets close.
    • Tirsiak from Endless Mode quickly became very popular for being the only Cute Monster Girl other than Spooky...and her legitimately terrifying death screen, where she banishes you to a forest to be eaten alive by wolves.
    • Specimen 4 has quite a following as well, owing to the fact she's the resident Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl and for being the first Specimen to pose a true threat. Also helps that she's a possible candidate for Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds.
    • The cat that appears before you encounter Specimen 7. A lot of players found her design cute and the Mind Screw in the rooms around her to be one of the memorable parts of the game.
  • Genius Bonus:
    • Specimen 7, the area leading up to it, and the cat's Cryptic Conversation is simply full of Mind Screw, but it starts to make sense once you realize it's all references to Jungian psychology.
    • The radio message that plays before Specimen 9's true form reads "I'm taking all these 'logs' they're throwing out... and I'm nailing them together." This is a reference to Japanese Unit 731, who referred to the test subjects they gathered as "logs".
  • Goddamned Bats: The actual jump scares of the title, Specimen 1, are completely harmless in and of themselves and easily maneuvered around, but when you're running from something else, they can appear and obstruct your path at any time. For a split second, they make your character stop, likely surprised by the jump scare themselves. This is not helpful when running from something.
  • Heartwarming Moments: When you really think about it, Spooky including Lisa from P.T. can count as one, because it essentially means she gave an abandoned and unappreciated horror villain a new home to scare audiences. In similar vein, Spooky adopting White Face in meant that he finally has a place to call his own with willing people wanting to "play" with him.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: One of the rooms contains an anime-styled dating sim that eventually starts to glitch into something much darker. Then came Doki Doki Literature Club!...
    • In the "bad ending" the player character ends up becoming another Specimen, showing off their longish hair, red eyes, and a blood-stained axe. Because of this, some players have compared them to Chara/the fallen human from Undertale.
  • Love to Hate: The new Specimen 10, which fans jokingly hate for killing the old Specimen 10. Jokingly because despite this, people legitimately like the Specimen for its disturbing appearance and unique (if frustrating) chase mechanic.
  • Memetic Loser: Meanwhile, the original Specimen 10 has become this ever since it's replacement.
  • Memetic Mutation:
  • Nightmare Retardant:
    • Some Italian LPlayers have noticed how Specimen 12 looks similar to the often-mocked premier Silvio Berlusconi.
    • The screaming room with the rising blood in Karamari Hospital is pretty disturbing, until you realize that the screaming is Matt from Two Best Friends Play.
    • Want a way to make the Hallway Girl from Karamari Hospital less scary? Consider that the filename for her is "Bekka", and that she says "Don't get up before Saturday" upon killing you. That's right, she might be a Rebecca Black reference. She even looks like a more demonic version of her.
    • Monster 2's chase might be a bit more panic inducing if it's walking animation didn't consist of it rocking back and forth quickly.
    • Several people used to think this with Specimen 4's kill screen, due to it containing a noticeable spelling error.
    • Specimen 12 can also suffer this, due to his A.I. not being the best and easily getting stuck in walls or corners.
    • Endless Mode's Otto the Otter, who is more cartoonish-looking than the other Specimens, doesn't move very fast, does pitifully low damage, and doesn't even have a chase theme. Given that the developers were pestered to include a Five Nights at Freddy's reference, this is most certainly deliberate.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Several of the Specimens are only known to chase the player for a set amount of rooms before never popping up again. And thank God.
  • Polished Port: The HD Renovation is generally considered this, with the only sore points being the death screens having less polish to them.
  • Popular with Furries: Not the game itself, but Specimen 8 seems to be pretty popular with furry artists. Most of their popularity seems to come from Self-Fanservice.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: People really began to appreciate the old Specimen 10 after it was turned into a seemingly-sympathetic Bait-and-Switch Boss.
  • The Scrappy: Meanwhile, Lisa is arguably the closest to this in comparison to the other Specimens and Monsters. This comes from her absolutely tedious and frustrating chase with confusing rules for escape, and her Leitmotif is only considered just okay by the majority. Being the second enemy that's essentially an even stronger Specimen 6 and her disgusting death screen don't help matters either.
  • Spiritual Licensee:
    • The game is probably the closest thing to a video game adaption of the Creepypasta NoEnd House.
    • It's also the closest thing to a The Cabin in the Woods game, what with Spooky's Mansion containing various supernatural monsters (several of which being references to various parts of horror media) being strikingly similar to the Facility.
  • Tear Jerker: Spooky's death, as mentioned in Alternate Character Interpretation. All she wanted was to scare someone, and the person she happened to be scaring suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and shot her by accident. She got her wish, but is now roaming as a ghost after it's implied her parents used arcane spells to try to speak to her again.
  • That One Boss: A few of the Specimens are particularly nasty to avoid:
    • Specimen 4's ability to transverse through walls makes her a bitch to run from. There are certain spiral hallway type rooms that make it near impossible to not get hit by her at least once when running from her. That's not even mentioning the rooms with dead ends...
    • Specimen 5 due to having the worst kind of Interface Screw and making it hard to see where you are going.
    • Specimen 6, due to his ability to attack you when you are not looking at him or behind you, which can be a little finicky at times depending on the size of the room.
    • The true Specimen 10: It has an extremely annoying gimmick that when you move away from it to where it can't directly see you, it transforms into a weaker, yet much faster, form that can quickly bum rush you. And since the game up to this point, aside from Specimen 6, has conditioned players to sprint whenever a monster spawns, Specimen 10 is likely going to get at least one hit off. This forces you to keep at a certain pace with it. It also does a fair bit of damage and causes some mildly annoying Interface Screw when you get damaged by it.
    • Specimen 11: It first triggers when you are in a small room with only the door you came in from. Meaning that unless if you run out of the room right away it will corner you and kill you. It also is one of the fastest and damaging Specimens in the game. And like Specimen 5, it can remove the door from view. The only saving grace is that if you're in a tight spot, you can swing at it with your axe and force it to teleport away to buy you some time. That is, if you've figured that the ax can even harm Specimen in the first place.
    • From Karamari Hospital, it is generally agreed upon that the fifth monster encountered is the hardest, considering its sheer speed, being able to catch you while sprinting and the maze you encounter it in being full of dead ends with no way to loop around it. There's even a bug associated with this monster where the player can get stuck inside of the monster's model at a dead end, guaranteeing death.
    • Monster 4 is no slouch, either. Essentially Specimen 6 on steroids, it cannot move while you're looking at it but teleports away much faster than Specimen 6 when you do get your eyes on it, making it next to impossible to keep track of it reliably. And once it reaches you, the odds are good that by the time you can get away, it'll get at least two hits in. Thankfully the area it's found in is not very long, but still.
    • Lisa from Endless mode is basically Specimen 6 on even more steroids. It inflicts a lot more damage and she can move even when you're looking at her - and she's faster than your regular walk. Worst of all, her main gimmick is that she forces you into a loop of rooms where she doesn't ever stop chasing you. And your only means of escape is a Guide Dang It! (you have to proceed until the room numbers start repeating themselves, and then work your way backwards to the "beginning" of the loop).
  • That One Level:
    • The "Chasm" rooms, which consist of either a long winding path or a fork with RNG dead-ends. Both styles take forever to get through and give any pursuing specimens an easy chance to catch up, especially if the specimen can float.
    • Sometimes the player comes across a room that forks into two small hallways. There is a chance that one of the doors will be locked. This room can spawn during chases so if the player is getting chased by a high damaging specimen or is low on health the room essentially becomes a Luck-Based Mission.
    • Looping corridor rooms can be this against floating, wall-bypassing Specimen. For you, the exit requires walking the entire corridor, but they can just bypass the walls in the way and wail on you just as you're trying to go through the door. In such rooms, Specimen 6 has sometimes been observed clipping through of the exit door, making it impossible to leave without taking damage unless you force it to relocate.
    • Rooms that are essentially a large spiral, especially when you're being chased by a Specimen like Specimen 4, who can easily catch up with you due to being able to fly through walls.
  • Ugly Cute:
    • The fake Specimen 10, which some fans find a little adorable despite its Nightmare Face. Seems to be this in-universe as well since its CAT_DOS entry shows that it's harmless and GL Labs treats it as a Team Pet.
    • Some also find Specimen 8 to fit this, along with the deer seen before encountering it.
  • Uncanny Valley: Specimen 5, the new Specimen 10, Specimen 12 and the Monsters by a good margin. This was likely intentional.
  • Unexpected Character: For a game that is a love-letter to horror tropes and games, nobody expected it to have an actual Guest Fighter since the specimen are instead expies. Enter White Face and Lisa in Endless Mode.

Alternative Title(s): Spookys House Of Jump Scares

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