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Something strange is going on at Leafmore High. Students are disappearing, teachers are acting oddly... When Kenny Matthews, a varsity athlete, makes an horrific discovery under the school, four of his friends -- his cheerleader girlfriend Ashley Thompson, school reporter Josh Carter, stoner friend Stanley "Stan" Jones, and little sister Shannon -- join him in investigating what exactly the hell is happening. However, they quickly find themselves locked in the school overnight, and now there're things roaming the halls...
Essentially Resident Evil IN HIGH SCHOOL!, one of its most notable features was its two-player cooperative mode. Instead of exploring the haunted halls alone, the teens were Genre Savvy enough to stick together in pairs, with the player selecting who to take along as a partner. Said partner was either controlled by the game's AI or a second player. Each of the heroes had a unique skill to make parts of the game easier; for instance, Kenny was the fastest and strongest teammate, while Ashley had a rapid-fire ability and could deal greater damage with most weapons. Josh could detect if there was anything left to do in a room, Stan could crack locks and break into rooms, and Shannon offered puzzle tips and was the best at healing others.
However, none of these skills were ever required to advance the plot... mainly because all of them could be easily Killed Off for Real at any time. Losing somebody didn't instantly equal a Game Over; you could continue without them so long as you had somebody left to play as.
The sequel, ObsCure II, takes place two years after the events at Leafmore. Shannon and Kenny are attending the nearby Fallcreek University, while Stan dropped out and is working as a pizza delivery boy. Stan and Kenny have to take medication to stave off the aftereffects of what happened at Leafmore, while Shannon has managed to adapt on her own... something she frequently snipes at the boys about.
Unfortunately, there's a new recreational drug that's become trendy among the students, one that's made from a strange-looking flower that keeps appearing all over the campus. Naturally, it isn't long before the survivors of Leafmore High, along with a small group of other students, find themselves facing hordes of mutants and struggling to stop the contagion from spreading too far.
Unlike the first game, the partners (and deaths) for each section of the game are decided automatically as part of the plot, and each hero's skills are actually required to nagivate past the various puzzles and obstacles. The original heroes suffer heavily from Not as You Know Them, and the game becomes a parade of Cruel And Unusual Deaths. A third is being planned, though details on it are currently scarce.
The Obs Cure series contains examples of:
- Academy of Adventure: Leafmore High in the first game, Fallcreek University in the second.
- Ambiguously Brown/But Not Too Black: Ashley.
- Anyone Can Die: No, really. No matter what combination of characters you have, it is possible for one or both of them to die. For unskilled or new players, its almost a certainty.
- Body Horror
- The Cheerleader: Ashley.
- Development Hell: Development of a third game was first mentioned in early 2008. That was also the last time.
- Evil Teacher
- Expy: Stan looks and dresses much like Josh Hartnett did in The Faculty, a high school alien film from the 90's.
- One of the creators stated that if a movie was made about this game, he'd want Josh Hartnett to play Stan.
- Final Death
- High School
- Hollywood Nerd: Shannon and Josh in the first game, and Mei and Jun in the second one.
- Homage / George Lucas Throwback: The games were basically homages to the post-modern, Genre Savvy teen horror films of The Nineties, particularly The Faculty. The first game even had Sum 41's "Still Waiting" as its theme song, a Shout-Out to the "hip" soundtracks that those movies had.
- Love Makes You Evil: The Big Bad of the first game, Principal Herbert Friedman, is kidnapping and experimenting on students in order to find a cure for his brother Leonard's illness.
- Madwoman in the Attic: Principal Friedman's grotesquely mutated brother is hidden in the school basement.
- Male Gaze: It's a good thing the girls couldn't tell where Josh was always pointing his camera.
- Multiple Endings: The original game has two, with the deciding factor being whether all five characters survive to the end or not. The sequel only has one.
- Ominous Latin Chanting: As performed by a creepy boy choir.
- Ordinary High School Student
- Plotline Death: Played straight in the second game, but averted in the first one, where characters could only be killed off through player incompetence. You could theoretically finish the game with all five characters still alive, or with only one. It takes a Total Party Kill to get a Game Over.
- Sassy Black Woman: Ashley.
- School for Scheming: Leafmore was founded as a way to gain test subjects for Principal Friedman's experiments.
- Shout-Out: There has to be a reason why the series features characters named Stan, Kenny and Mr. Garrison...
- Solve the Soup Cans: Played straight in many puzzles (as per survival horror tradition), but thankfully averted whenever you face a locked door with a glass window. The solution? It's not finding a key three rooms away. It's using a baseball bat to smash the window, then reaching through the broken glass to open it from the inside.
- Stylistic Suck: The games' Totally Radical, "too-cool-for-school" attitude is part of their homage to late '90s horror movies.
- Survival Horror
- Totally Radical: Deliberate.
- Two-Teacher School: The biology teacher, Denny Walden, is the only teacher shown running around the school (besides Friedman, for obvious reasons). Keeping in mind that most of this game takes place after school hours, there are no other teachers present during the opening scenes where school is in session. Just who's teaching these kids anyway?
- On an ironic note, the only teacher present in the sequel is also a biology teacher.
- Weakened by the Light: Direct sunlight kills the monsters, and flashlights help weaken them.
- We All Live in America: While the games are ostensibly set in the United States, they were made by a French developer, and metric measurements are frequently used in place of American Customary Measurements.
ObsCure II also contains examples of:
- Abandoned Hospital
- Action Girl: Shannon
- Asian and Nerdy: Twin sisters Mei and Jun are both gamers, and Mei is also a skilled hacker who can break electronic locks with her PDA.
- Awesome but Impractical: Most of the weapons within the special boxes are powerful, but crippled by either a lack of ammo or a tendency to quickly drain the battery. The taser is a notable exception.
- Back for the Dead: The secret cutscene is a video showing what happened to Josh and Ashley, the two heroes from the previous game that didn't reappear in the sequel. They basically went back to the abandoned ruins of the school with a handheld camera to investigate, and got attacked by creatures. The footage cuts out before we see a confirmed kill, but it's pretty clear that things didn't turn out well for them.
- Badass Crew/Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: They all fit neatly into every cliched category you can think of and still manage to be friends on some level. Then they find melee weapons and firearms. Cue the drug induced, one-liner filled chaos.
- Berserk Button: Don't mess with Corey's car or you'll never hear the end of it
- Book Dumb: Stan. It's implied that he shouldn't have graduated high school, and judging by what he's like in the second game, there's a chance that he dropped out altogether. Not that it matters by the sequel, mind you.
Stan: 'Stan Jones. Average: F'
Shannon: 'Shannon Matthews. A+' And look where it has gotten us.
- Better to Die Than Be Killed: Corey blows his brains out before the final boss battle. You can't blame the kid, given that he's lost his girlfriend, his car and any chance at a normal life.
- Bolivian Army Ending: In the end, only Shannon and Stan are left alive, and they're facing down a massive cloud of black spores, with the implication that they're about to face Kenny's monstrous spawn.
- Chainsaw Good: Subverted. The chainsaw is not used as a weapon, but only for cutting through obstacles, and it requires battery power to run. Played straight with Jedidiah, who impales Sven with his chainsaw and tries to do the same to you when you fight him and Leonard.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: Take your pick.
- Darker and Edgier: Along with Bloodier and Gorier.
- Disc One Final Boss: Leonard/Jedidiah.
- Dreaming of Things to Come: The nightmarish drug trip sequence at the beginning is ripe with foreshadowing.
- Driven to Suicide: Corey, right before the Final Battle, just to twist the knife.
- Drugs Are Bad: Especially when they release spores that turn you into mutated monsters.
- Dwindling Party: Out of the entire cast, Shannon and Stan are the only ones standing at the end.
- Dying as Yourself: Kenny. In his last words, he tells Shannon to take care of the child that he had with Amy. Subverted in that the child is a monster. Shannon vows that she will not let it live.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: The entire premise of both games is one of the Friedman brothers trying to save the life of the other. Even their children get involved, human and plant alike.
- Express Delivery: It only takes one night for the mutant spawn of Kenny and Amy to go from a zygote to a helicopter-destroying, black-spore-releasing monstrosity.
- Face Monster Turn: Kenny, who crosses the Moral Event Horizon along with it.
- Final Girl: Shannon, along with her friend Stan.
- Funny Foreigner: Sven, the hockey player from Norway. He was only born there, but he ships his heritage for the entire game.
- Goth: Shannon's turned into one.
- Hollywood Hacking
- Hot-Blooded: Corey.
- How Much More Can He Take?: Seriously, Kenny, just stay down. The school only has so many things it can crush you with.
- I Have You Now, My Pretty: Poor Amy...
- It Got Worse: Basically, everything after Jun's death can be summed up thusly.
- Kill'Em All: Well, it is based on '90s teen horror movies. By the end, only Shannon and Stan are left alive.
- Market-Based Title: The game was sold in America as ObsCure: The Aftermath.
- The Mole: Professor James.
- Mood Whiplash: No matter how horrible things get, the characters never stop making quips. It's like they get over their trauma almost instantly. It fits, seeing as how this is basically a teen slasher flick in video game form.
- Not as You Know Them: Shannon, Stan and Kenny all have darker personalities as a result of their experiences.
- Obviously Evil: The biology teacher.
- Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Probably one of the most disturbing aspects of the game. It's hard to tell how much of an impact its supposed to have on the game though, considering that Amy groans occasionally but shows no other signs of having gone through a traumatic experience. One would think she'd be freaking out when Kenny appears, or at least be more twitchy around the male members of the cast. Also, depending on your interpretation of the ending, her pregnancy literally spawns a possible sequel or hands out justice to the final antagonist.
- Shoot the Shaggy Dog: Mei spends the first half of the game trying to track down her twin sister Jun and save her. When she finally tracks her down, the game lets you control Jun's escape attempts, only to have her brutally killed literally seconds after yanking that control away. Things go downhill from there.
- Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: After surviving the events of the first game, Kenny gets killed in the sequel -- in the most drawn-out, painful way possible, involving Body Horror and a Face Heel Turn into a Complete Monster. Oh, and the other two heroes who don't return are eventually implied to have been horribly killed off-screen.
- The Big Guy: Sven and Kenny have the ability to move large objects the others can't.
- Theme Twin Naming: Mei and Jun.
- Took a Level In Badass: Shannon and Stan (especially Shannon) take several of them since the first game.
- Trailers Always Spoil: Trailers? Try game covers. Mutant Kenny appears right there on the cover as an Evil Overlooker.
- Unskilled but Strong/Weak but Skilled: Each member of the cast falls into one of these. The bruiser characters don't do much of anything besides push and hit things, and they can withstand more damage. The weaker characters can do some pretty cool things, from hacking to puzzle solving to aura sucking.
- None of them seem to struggle with guns or chainsaws though. Gun Slinging 101 must be a requirement in college.
- Wacky Fratboy Hijinx: One of the early levels has you sneaking into a frat house party, which is soon followed by you fighting your way out.
- Was Once a Man: Kenny, after refusing to take his meds, turns into a giant, mutated freak with an enormous arm/mouth on his back that he uses to spit balls of spores.
- Your Head Asplode: Mei is killed by getting her head crushed under mutant Kenny's foot, right in front of her boyfriend.