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The game revolves around a boy named Andy with a fear of the dark, who during a solar eclipse gets his dog Whiskey mysteriously kidnapped by a dark force. Determined to get his best friend back, he sets out in his spaceship to retrieve him from the alien Darklands to where he was taken.
The gameplay revolves mostly around puzzles, precision jumps, and predicting the environment. Occasionally you'll have access to a weapon, but most of the time you'll be unarmed and have to resort to have to either avoiding your enemies or turning their Malevolent Architecture against them.
Heart of Darkness provides examples of:
- Aliens Speaking English
- All Just a Dream: According to the ending.
- Or Was It a Dream?: According to the credits.
- Bloodless Carnage: Possibly the only reason that the game is rated E.
- Child Prodigy: How many kids do you know who invented their own makeshift lightning gun and spaceship?
- Cinematic Platform Game
- Conservation of Competence: The dog wasn't the one supposed to be kidnapped.
- Cutscene Boss: The Master at the end.
- Dark Is Evil: Darkland, Dark kingdom... yeah...
- Death Is a Slap on The Wrist: Infinite lives, for a perfectly good reason.
- Death World: Getting crushed by rocks, falling into lava, falling off cliffs, being crushed by giant fossils, the ground crumbling beneath your feet, being generally loathed by all its living inhabitants....
- Dramatic Irony: Used in one of the Amigo cut-scenes.
- Double Entendre: "I'm going back to find Whiskey!".
- Everything Trying to Kill You: The plant life, the underwater creatures, the dark beings, the environment, shadows cast by the environment.
- Evil Overlord / Evil Sorcerer: The Master
- Excuse Plot: A largely unexplained one anyway (for example, why did the Evil Overlord want to kidnap Andy in the first place?); though the end suggests it was All Just a Dream.
- Family-Unfriendly Death: There's almost no blood. However, many of the deaths involve broken and dislocated bones with a properly sickening crunch as a monster pulls them loose, or flesh getting torn off.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: A snuck-in pin-up of a female... alien.
- Green Thumb: A beneficial side-effect Andy receives from touching an illuminated underwater rock.
- Lightning Gun
- Ludicrous Gibs: You won't see any blood, but you're still going to see yourself die in a wide variety of gruesome ways.
- The Master: The villain.
- The Many Deaths of You: See Ludicrous Gibs, above.
- Mooks but No Bosses: Because you will have your hands full enough with all the things that want to see you dead.
- Nintendo Hard
- One-Hit-Point Wonder: There is no Life Meter. Everything just instakills you.
- Our Wormholes Are Different: How Andy travels to the Darklands.
- Power Glows: Both the Magic Stone's green and the "bat"'s red energy balls.
- Rube Goldberg Device: Andy's treehouse elevator.
- Scenery Porn: Beautiful but deadly environments.
- Spiritual Successor: To Another World.
- A Taste of Power: Your start the game with a lightning gun and spend the first few screens using it to kick monster ass. Then it breaks, leaving you unable to fight. Not that you'll let a little thing like that stop you...
- Title Drop: "Are you ready now to face the Heart of Darkness?!"
- Total Eclipse of the Plot