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"If Jacob's Ladder was reality squared, this is reality cubed"
J.C. Herz (The New York Times) on the game

Sanitarium is a Point and Click Adventure Game by ASC Games. It is set in a mental hospital, except when it isn't.

More clearly, it begins with the main character losing his memory and being instituted in a sanitarium. Occasionally, he is transported to strange, alternate worlds, sometimes changing his form, sometimes not. A constant feeling of bewilderment and fear follow you as the worlds you visit become stranger and stranger.

You need to figure out many things: Why have you lost your memory? Why are you in an insane asylum? Is the asylum the "real" world, or is it just another dream?

Tropes used in Sanitarium (video game) include:

"Now that evil machine will be silent for a while!"
"No More Genocide Today!"

  • Little Miss Badass: Sarah (again).
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: It may be an Adventure Game, but it utterly averts the Beautiful Void trope.
  • Lotus Eater Machine: After the Maze, Morgan attempts to trick Max into believing he's in the real world and just had a nasty bump on the head, and dreamt everything. Max breaks out of it when he realizes SARAH IS SUPPOSED TO BE DEAD, even though she's alive and living with him and his wife. Still a kid. And levitating. A very eerie scene, all in all.
  • Mad Scientist: Morgan, the dream world version. Given the real Morgan's personality, it isn't a stretch to see why Max thought of him this way.
  • Make It Look Like an Accident
  • Mama Bear: "Mother".
  • Manipulative Bastard: Morgan.
  • Mental World
  • The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body: Multiple shape-shifting events.
    • At its most extreme with Olmec, who is almost the exact opposite of the kind, compassionate Max.
  • Mind Screw: A good example is the pumpkin children. In fact, there's a lot of unexplained symbolism.
  • Mommy Issues: Lenny. Surprisingly averted in Max's case despite his banters with "Mother".
  • Mummies At the Dinner Table: Made extra disturbing by the fact that it's a kid.
  • Nice Guy: The Main Character and Timmy O'Toole.
  • Non-Identical Twins
  • One-Winged Angel: Morgan.
  • One Bad Mother: "Mother".
  • Plant Aliens: "Mother".
  • Preacher Man: Preacher Bob takes himself seriously but is a comical instance of this trope. In addition, Chapter 2 makes mention of an influential small-town preacher.
  • Red Herring: Three literal red herrings. One is a red fish painted on the roof of a building. The main character even comments that he was sure he would find something inside.
  • The Reveal: A whole lot.
    • "Mother" is an alien, Chapter 2.
    • Max was called by his parents because his sister was dying, Chapter 3.
    • Morgan is behind everything, Chapter 4.
    • Everything other than the opening and the flashbacks was a Dying Dream resulting from Morgan trying to kill Max; also, there are two Morgans; the one who sabotaged Max's car and the one who exists in the dream world and tries to prevent Max from making any progress, Chapter 8.
    • Max's wife is pregnant, Chapter 9.
  • Rhymes on a Dime: Vera.
  • Romancing the Widow
  • Rule of Scary: Subverted near the end when it turns out it was All Just a Dream, which perfectly explains away all the outlandish stuff.
  • Scary Scarecrows
  • See You in Hell
  • Shape Shifter: Max (the main character) does this involuntarily throughout most of the game, and voluntarily in the second-to-last level. With one exception, each of his forms has a different voice actor.
  • Sliding Scale of Anti-Heroes: Olmec is Type III.
    • Appropriately, as he is the least likable of the playable characters, Olmec is voiced by the same actor who plays the Big Bad.
  • Songs in the Key of Lock: One of the doors in the Hive has a lock with keypad buttons that produce individual musical tones.
  • Surreal Horror
  • Theme Naming: All of the cyclopses have names beginning with "GR".
  • Timeshifted Actor: Frank Schurter plays Adult Max while Paul Crocker plays him during his childhood flashbacks.
  • Town with a Dark Secret: The entirety of Chapter 2.
  • Twist Ending
  • The Un-Reveal: The Cure.
  • The Unseen: A big part of Max's arc. His face is covered in bandages. When he is seen in flashbacks, his face is always hidden. The one exception is a flashback from his childhood.
    • This is a rare case of the main character pulling off this trope.
  • Unusual Euphemism: Grimwall's favorite exclamation, "Grap".
  • Unwitting Pawn: Arguably Dream World Morgan. He believes that he and Real World Morgan are the same person and doesn't realize that his fighting Max and enabling the poison to work its way through his veins will actually kill him along with Max. The example has the oddity of both the pawn and the manipulator being unaware of the manipulation due to Real World Morgan being unaware of Dream World Morgan's existence.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Morgan and Gromna.
  • Waking Up At the Morgue
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: Morgan.
  • Wicked Cultured: Morgan.
  • Womb Level: The Hive is unpleasantly organic.