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Forget reality. Surrender to your darkest dreams.
The King of Limbooooooooooooo!
Limbo of the Lost is a horror Adventure Game in which you control Captain Benjamin Spooner Briggs, captain of the Mary Celeste as he will let no one forget. Briggs wakes up in a cell with an extremely flexible, spider-like man named Arach, who unlocks the door and lets him into the dungeons of an ogre named Grunger. Briggs eventually finds that he is in Limbo, and attempts to escape, with the help of his "Earthly Guide"; that'd be you.
Sounds fun, right? Think again.
For one, pretty much every background is shamelessly ripped from another game, without so much as a mention or acknowledgment to be found -- not even in the credits. Secondly, the items you need to pick up are often dark in color and hard to make out against the usually-dark backdrops, making progress a chore (in one instance, an item is partially obscured by your compass, which can't be taken off of the screen). Third, the game's animation, CGI and otherwise, would look primitive in the late 1980s, let alone for 2008, when it was actually released. Fourth, there's a constant and extremely annoying whisper of "Join us... Join us... Join us now!" in the background that plays every three minutes or so (shamefully ripped from the Thief series), which is fine and atmospheric up until you go stark staring mad.
Thankfully, the game's been pulled off store shelves due to its absolutely massive amount of plagiarism. It's still available in pirated form, though -- while we at All The Tropes don't encourage it, you can sweep the Web and find a copy, if you absolutely have to experience its legendary badness. Considering that most of the content was already pirated anyway, it'll probably even count as poetic justice. An alternative is to read the excellent Let's Play from the Something Awful forums: it does an excellent job pointing out each and every insult to your intelligence without forcing you to actually play it.
- Absurdly Spacious Sewer: The entirety of Chapter 2. At one point, you exit a sewer pipe and wind up in a swamp that can somehow exist below ground without collapsing in on itself.
- Anachronism Stew: Possibly justified by the otherworldly setting, but it's a tad odd how Briggs just takes it in stride.
- Apathetic Citizens: In Chapter 3, even though everyone knows about their fellow townies getting their souls sucked out, no one bothers to do anything about it, leaving Briggs with the dirty work.
- You Fail Biology Forever: Flaying the Mayor and wearing his skin does NOT WORK THAT WAY, GOOD NIGHT!
- When feeding the three-headed dog you feed it the same bone from the same body three times. The human body does not have three femurs.
- Back Tracking: You'll be doing a lot of this, over a bunch of mind-numbingly similar screens, in Chapter 1.
- Bag of Spilling: After you finish two the sections, a giant troll will come and shake the items out of your absurdly spacious pockets. No explanation is given for where the troll comes from, why he has it in for you, or why Briggs is so nonchalant about it happening.
- Bare Your Midriff: Mrs DoGood and the Mystic French woman.
- Broke the Rating Scale: At least one video game magazine tried hard to find a rating low enough for this... thing. For example, -1 out of 10. Yes, minus one.
- Chekhov's Gun: You start with a seal of some kind in your inventory; you don't see how it's supposed to be used until Chapter 3.
- Copy and Paste Environments: Quite literally.
- Within the same game, too. Expect yourself to be getting very tired of looking at the same cave bridge over and over. The fact that the environment is made up of screenshots from other games is hardly the game's only failure.
- Cruelty Is the Only Option: You don't need to look so happy about it, Briggs.
- Dark World: The entire setting, as it's supposed to be some kind of... symbolic... thing. It's also a dark world of the various video games from which it's plagiarized.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Grunger's big on this.
- Dramatic Unmask: The last person to be in the cult, murdering people and pretending to be the mayor is... a monster.
- Endless Corridor: Lots, thanks to the Copy and Paste Environments.
- The End - or Is It?
- Epic Fail: So, let's get this straight: This game has been in the making for 13 years. Its puzzles and plot haven't changed in the slightest in all that time. All of the graphics are either plagiarized or prefab Poser models. And the plagiarism comes from enormously popular million-selling critically-adored mega-games, and the creators didn't think anyone would catch on or care.
- Eyepatch of Power: One of the items which has no use whatsoever.
- Everyone Comes Back Fantasy Party Ending/Gainax Ending
- Everything Sounds Sexier in French: The dialogue with the French Mystic.
- Fake Difficulty: You're not told how to solve a good deal of the game's puzzles.
- Flaying Alive: The real mayor is found without his skin.
- Gainax Ending: Really, the whole game is one long Mind Screw, but the ending is particularly weird even by the remaining game's standards.
- GIS Syndrome: If ripping from other games wasn't enough, the "creators" have apparently used the internet for item graphics as well.
- Hammerspace: At one point in the game you are forced to take along a coffin lid in your pocket. Never explained either. Then there's the near 30 items you're carrying around at the same time, in that same small pocket, in chapter three...
- Made all the more absurd as sometimes Briggs complains about picking up some smaller objects for similar space reasons.
- Hidden Depths: Arach busts you out of a jail cell at the start by pulling off a fingernail and handing it to you as a lockpick. Later, when you're locked up in Darkmere, he... pulls strings with Darkmere's town council. Huh. Spiderboy's got government connections.
- Historical Domain Character: And a very nasty case at that to those who have studied the real Captain Briggs and the Mary Celeste. Indeed, if Briggs had any estate, they would have been entirely capable of suing for quite a number of things.
- Humongous Mecha: ... We weren't expecting that either...
- I Can't Use These Things Together: This game is very particular about what kinds of liquid can go in which containers.
- Idle Animation: If you leave Briggs alone for long enough, he'll tap on the screen and tell you to get moving.
- Incredibly Lame Pun: All over the place. Many characters, on screen and off, have horrendous puns for names, but the absolute nadir of punnery would have to be the soul bottle labelled "Arse Soul".
- I Never Said It Was Poison: The mayor tells Briggs to nip the cult in the bud when Briggs says he suspects multiple people. "I never said it was a Cul..."
- Informed Attribute: The DoGoods do very little on screen that is notably "good" compared to other residents of Limbo. Mostly they seem to hang around corpses and make sympathetic noises.
- Jerkass: Cap'n Briggs rather unhesitatingly mutilates people to advance the plot... and sometimes, for no real reason.
- Not just that, he commits murder to get an arm to make gruel. Holy Hell.
- Let's not forget when he claps what can best be descried as a bear trap onto a guy's head so he could steal his pen.
- The pen is then used to blind a sea monster - which, as far as we know, has done nothing wrong. Blinding the sea monster doesn't actually do anything useful, but it turns the pen into a nib, which is then used as a lockpick to remove somebody from their chains, when we have no knowledge of why he's in them. All this to get a clue to get to the next area, which is cryptic to the point of uselessness.
- Laughing Mad: The subtitler. Not any of the characters, the subtitler himself. The subtitles are riddled with crazed laughter that doesn't feature in the spoken dialogue.
- Let's Play: Wields-Rulebook-Heavily takes a bullet for the team and plays the game so you don't have to.
- You Fail Logic Forever: The puzzles often make little sense. The "Soul Vial" puzzle is only the most notorious offender.
- Losing Your Head: Ed the Head.
- Meaningful Name: Mr and Mrs DoGood.
- No Fourth Wall: The player is cast as Briggs's "earthly guide", and at several points Briggs turns and talks to the camera. At the end, when Briggs is captured by the Sins, the "earthly guide" is unnoticed and must save him.
- Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Benjamin Briggs was from Massachusetts. His voice actor clearly either didn't know or didn't care.
- Obfuscating Disability: Miss Blackley isn't deaf... no reason why.
- Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: The French Mystic really doesn't sound all that French.
- Our Souls Are Different: The bottle-able variety.
- Pixel Hunt: Up to Eleven. Have fun locating a splinter of wood on a wooden desk! Or a thin scrap of dark cloth on a pitch-black background, with the pen-line-thin width facing the screen!
Wields-Rulebook-Heavily: An excellent adventure game has no haystacks. A good adventure game probably gives you a magnet. A bad one makes you look at straw for seven hours. This game is nothing but haystacks, and sometimes the needles are made of straw.
- Prop Recycling: Thor's mighty hammer is used several times, at several sizes, to solve the most mundane crap imaginable.
- Refuge in Audacity: Possibly invoked but it didn't work out for them. These guys blatantly stole from mega-blockbuster video games and a couple of summer action movies and weren't instantly sued into the ground, and still managed to get published twice? That'd be amazing if it weren't so very, very stupid.
- Rouge Angles of Satin: Everywhere if you turn on the subtitles. If you can't get those to work (likely), go into your inventory and read your item descriptions. It's a lot more entertaining than actually playing the game.
- Sequel Hook: After the ending, there's The Stinger and the title card for Limbo 2.
- Screw Fate: Benjamin is the pawn of Destiny, who favors free will and is in a contest against Fate. Not that the game ever says this.
- Incidentally, this may be also a ripoff, this time of the Shin Megami Tensei series.
- Shout-Out: The French Mystic saying: "Monsieur Detective I shall tell you this... but only once!"
- Silence, You Fool: One of the characters you meet early in the game says that.
- Sinister Subway: In Chapter Four.
- Solve the Soup Cans: pretty much all the puzzles. Some of them are needlessly roundabout solutions to simple problems, and frequently the "logic" behind them makes no sense whatsoever.
- One puzzle involves putting a sleeping potion in a jailer's gruel. It involves a worm, 2 bottles, an unlit torch, human fat, an arm, a skull, sewage water, and snot. Good luck!
- The Stinger: Fate and Destiny talking.
- Summation Gathering: When revealing who the murderers are at the end of Chapter 3.
- Talking to Himself: Let's just say the studio didn't overspend on voice actors. This wouldn't be as much of a problem if the guy could actually, y'know, act.
- Timed Mission: The final puzzle in the game gives you a limited amount of time to save Briggs from the Sins. Run out and you get the bad ending.
- Unfortunate Names: Cranny Faggot, that is all.
- The Unintelligible: Some of the characters are very hard to understand.
- Verbal Tic: one of the designers has an odd habit of peppering his writing with mad laughter ("HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA"), and this sometimes shows up in the game's subtitled dialogue - but not in the voice acting.
- Water Is Blue: At one point you must put saffron in water to turn it green. This utterly insane break from reality is supposed to be justified by the water being rendered as blue.
- What Do You Mean It's Not Awesome?: Sawdust!!... Sawdust!!... Sawdust!! Yes, you guessed it, it's sawdust!!
- Who Forgot the Lights?: In the worst possible genre for it. Then again, it's a horror game...
- Why Did it Have to be Grubs? Briggs has no issues with tearing bones right out of a corpse, digging through rotted eye sockets for a key, or just outright maiming the inhabitants of Limbo to progress his goals. But he flat out refuses to pick up a grub with his bare hands. Said grub later morphs into a horrific fly-like creature, which he has no problem stuffing into his pants.
- Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: No reason is given for why the murderers in Chapter Three didn't kill the mayor when they so easily had the chance. Had they killed him, they wouldn't have gotten caught.
- Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: Pie Shoppe and the Pawn Shoppe.
- Apocalyptic Log: It reads like one at times.
- Bilingual Bonus: When a character deliberately leaves part of his lines untranslated, Wields responds by cussing him out in Icelandic.
- Brown Note: The game itself.
- Department of Redundancy Department: Upon beating the game and discovering the Sequel Hook, "I have suffered your thievery, vocals, Nilmates, editing, lies, Nilmates and blather,..."
- Eldritch Abomination: It's suggested that Briggs' willingness to pick up rotting meat without complaint is the result of having witnessed one of these.
- Sanity Slippage: Culminating in him declaring that Limbo of the Lost is to him what Moby Dick was to Captain Ahab, after seeing the game's infamous ending.
- Story Arc: Not intentionally (probably) on the creator's part, but WRH is able to identify each level with an ongoing theme: Level 1 was a game show, Level 2 was pinball, Level 3 was a JRPG, Level 4 was a Christmas Special, and Level 5 was a band.
- Through the Eyes of Madness
- Briggs was a real person: in 1872 his ship, the infamous Mary Celeste, was found abandoned in the Atlantic Ocean with no crew on board and all cargo still intact. What really happened to Briggs and the others remained a mystery though a plausible recent theory suggests it was a freak booze explosion.