A City of Nightmares
We have entered the spooky season and many new games have graced the various consoles and PCs of gamers everywhere. One of the most highly anticipated and lauded of these games was NEOWIZ’s new soulslike game, Lies of P. In fact, the arrival of Lies of P corresponds perfectly with the ushering in of the Halloween season because the game is actually nightmare fuel.
Of course, on the surface, the game is an RPG that pits players in soulslike battles against puppets. Yet, when one digs into the world of the game, into the nightmarish existence of the City of Krat, it becomes apparent that the game is genuinely terrifying. Its overall setting and the concepts it presents paint a dark picture of the game’s world. Here are five reasons that Lies of P is actually a terrifying game. Importantly, there will be spoilers, so if you are still playing through Lies of P, maybe bookmark this list and come back to it later. So, let’s dive into the horrifying reality of Lies of P.
1. The Puppet Lie
Now, anyone who enters the city of Krat will be met with a horrific scene. Of course, this is the realization that the puppets that have made the city so great are going mad and slaughtering people. This in and of itself is horrifying. Animatronic puppets killing the populace of a city is already a horrifying concept to imagine. Yet, Lies of P takes this macabre mannequin massacre a step further. It adds an element beyond the cold metal of the puppets.
As players play through the narrative of the game and uncover more and more about the Puppet Frenzy, Geppetto, and the Petrification Disease, they will learn a horrific detail: The Puppets were once human beings. In fact, these creations of Geppetto’s, built to serve humankind, were humans themselves. Furthermore, the awakened puppets have essentially regained their humanity. This fact boils down to the idea that throughout the game, players have been killing humans all because of a lie fostered by Geppetto himself.
It calls into question what makes a human, and what happens when someone takes it upon themselves to decide what makes a human. A horrific world emerges where humans can be turned into mindless slaves forced to kill and be killed.
The King of Riddles himself is a twisted and interesting character. However, in addition to his philosophizing and riddles, the awakened puppet has some dark history. As players complete the riddles and tasks for this jester-like character, secrets begin to leak out of him. In fact, a bloody history rears its head as players learn that Arlecchino was a serial killer when he was a human being.
When he became a puppet, he killed an important character’s family. The horror begins to dawn, not from the killings, but from the implication of what Arlecchino claims the killings did. This murderous, and now immobile puppet, believes that murdering this character’s family helped shape him in a way. The horrific implication is that, to Arlecchino, human beings are simply objects to be molded, their futures are his to decide and murder is his art form. This horrific revelation is a slow burn. It builds and you learn more and more about this messed-up little puppet. He gets inside the player’s head and makes them question their own humanity in this instance. The psychological horror of this reveal requires no graphic display to paint a dark picture of the world of Lies of P. Murder. Lies. Lost humanity. It all compounds inside of a psychotic puppet.
3. The Petrification Disease
Few things are as horrifying as a plague. Especially when that plague renders you completely immobile and covered in scales that take, not only your movement but your sight and life. In Lies of P, such a plague is devastating the city of Krat. Here, players will find corpses torn apart by puppets, covered in hardened scales, or simply stuck, dead, and frozen in time. The idea of a fatal plague with no cure that causes horrific effects is not pleasant. In fact, it’s terrifying. The game shows the player a reality where people are literally trapped within their own bodies, dying miserably.
Not only is the very concept of the Petrification Disease scary, but it also introduces a taste of body horror to the game’s world. For lack of a better term, the disease is disturbing. The afflicted peoples become crystalline monsters, almost eldritch in appearance. Additionally, those with the disease deteriorate mentally, becoming psychotic and losing touch with reality. The disease is a classic and horrifying take on the apocalypse-by-disease approach. And it is scarily effective.
4. The Nameless Puppet
You know what’s scarier than a shambling corpse? Half of a shambling corpse that is attached to a puppet that is also trying to kill you and steal your soul. Oh, also his father is puppeteering him in some sick, murderous, puppet show. The nameless puppet is an optional boss and it is a terrifying marriage of theme and function. The game presents you with a boss designed to merge puppet and human that horrifically captures the spirit of the game. The question of what makes a human comes to life, and this living hybrid wants you dead. It’s half corpse and half puppet being controlled by Geppetto.
Not only is it half of a corpse, it is the resurrected body of Geppetto’s dead son. The man is using his son’s decayed corpse to try and revive him by murdering the player character. It’s disturbingly awesome but really drives home how terrifying the world of the game truly is. This is a universe in which people can be made into puppets, engineered into soulless machines made for one purpose or another. The Nameless Puppet demonstrates just how far someone may go when the technology, and a little magic, is available to them.
5. A Horrific Setting
Of course, there are many instances that one could pick out to identify the horror of Lies of P. Yet, these instances all work to make the overall setting of the game terrifying. Krat is a nightmare of a city. It is full of claustrophobic streets, dark alleys, and threats looming around every corner. Aside from the safety of the hotel, players can never feel at ease.
Lies of P’s City is developed to make players feel terror. It is a fight for survival at every turn. From the city streets to the workshops and anywhere else. Death is creeping in multiple forms and there is no mercy in the lifeless eyes of the puppets players fight against. The streets of Krat are painted with blood and disease. Even in the early morning, or the middle of the day, darkness hangs over Krat. It is chilling and a reminder that you are making your way through a morgue of a setting.
So, keep all of these things in mind as you adventure through Krat. And remember to stay human out there.
Thank you for keeping it locked on COGconnected.
- For amazing videos, head over to our YouTube page HERE.
- Follow us on Twitter HERE.
- Our Facebook page HERE.
- Our Instagram page HERE.
- Listen to our podcast on Spotify or anywhere you listen to podcasts.
- If you are a fan of cosplay, check out more of our cosplay features HERE.