When Hell Freezes Over is an adventure-horror title that serves as a long-awaited reboot of The Reminder and all associated projects with it. It features Devina Kilmister as she struggles with her new life, having become the forced prisoner and love interest of Black Eyes, forcing her to try and find a way to escape and get help before the villain does any big damage. As she attempts to make her escape, she must try and wiggle out of the grip of The Echeno and the resurrected Jefferson Jackson, who have both been set to target and sever Devina in case she attempts to make an escape. As she does this, she must put up with endless hallucinations and carry her baby safely and soundly to her friend Pierce Hazel, who she believes will help her through the problem. The game shows off the new Zaxinian Lifts location known as Channel X, an alien landscape designed by Zyvoline, the "complete Lifts deity".
The game marks new territory for Goddess Studios, with the objective being to safely navigate the provided levels while being careful with how they move her or otherwise suffer jumpscares that build up her Scare Meter. Enough scares will cause her to faint and lose a life, usually ending with an animation that takes over the screen in an attempt to frighten the player. Not only must they keep Devina safe by moving the control stick in precise, careful motions, but they must prevent her baby Larry from being scared or the beasts will come after it, attracted to its wails for help. The taking of drugs found throughout the game's levels can help Devina push forward in the levels, but these often come with side-effects that can severely hamper gameplay for a short amount of time. Weapons can be picked up, although they're mostly designed to distract opponents or push them away. Interaction with NPCs is non-existent: Devina must work alone using her instincts.
When Hell Freezes Over prioritizes story over gameplay, detailing Devina's quest to escape Black Eyes and to find Pierce Hazel so she can fix up her own life. Channel X, the main location, takes place in Hisplit and is filled with demons, linked to a nearby metropolitan capital and a once-abundant town of devils. Along the way, Devina must put up with constant suffering and new "elements" of gameplay, such as starvation, thirst, poison effects...in other words, escaping Black Eyes is about as hell of a task as it is to cope with him. If freed, however, Devina can arrest his ass and save not only herself, but others who are victim to this violent beast. But can Hell ever freeze over? It is ultimately up to the player who controls Devina throughout the course of the game.
The game centers around controlling Devina through the game's thirty levels, carefully moving the control stick so to keep Devina nice and calm. If the control stick is pushed forward slightly, Devina will comfortably begin taking a small jog. If it's pushed forward quickly, however, then she'll panic and run at a faster speed, overfilled with worry. The control stick influences Devina's mood; sharp changes in direction can slightly fill up her Scare Meter as it gives the impression that the player, like Devina, is panicking. Things must be done in a rhythm between slow and quick so that Devina can make careful getaways from enemies while not risking being frightened to death. As Devina goes, the player must be careful to not alarm the baby in Devina's arms, or they will draw attention. Each level ends when Devina makes it from the starting point to the ending point safely.
The red action button is used to jump, although the player should only jump when necessary so they don't tire Devina out. Pushing the green action button allows Devina to use her weapons, but it should only be used when the player really needs to, as it can also aid in exhausting Devina. The blue action button allows Devina to use a drug, while the shoulder buttons allow her to alternate between the different ones she has. Pressing the purple action button allows her to interact with an object. Circling the right thumbstick will allow Devina to feed her baby, Larry, through a bottle. It should be done at a careful pace so that the baby doesn't die, and they must pull out the bottle at a good time to prevent suffocation on the item. Feeding Larry will result in the chances of him crying at scary moments decreasing, which can be very helpful at times.
Levels are rather large in this game and don't support any checkpoints, making this a rather hardcore type of game. The player must use their instincts to make it through the levels, checking out odd places or finding suspicious objects/areas in levels. While poking around for items to get past certain areas is very wise, the chances of coming across the antagonists increases. These enemies often lurk in the shadows or attack in open spaces, and need to be carefully avoided by Devina. If they approach, they will take up the entire screen with a scare and quickly fill up a large portion of the Scare Meter, and will get Larry to cry immediately. The player must run in these scenarios and work their way towards feeding Larry to shut him up and attempt to distract the enemies if she can. If she comes across Black Eyes and gets scared by him, however, it's an immediate game over. Alien heartbeats often alert the player of their presence.
Drugs are present all over the game's levels, and each usually has a great benefit and a number of small issues. Each drug has three uses before being considered null and unusable. Taking too many drugs at once, however, can kill Devina and result in a disturbing, melodic death sequence. Some drugs can improve her bravery and make her less likely to get taken down by enemies, but those kinds of drugs can make controlling Devina more difficult or reduce her speed when feeding Larry, which can prove troublesome. Weapons are present too, but they're generally weak and should be used only for fending off enemies or triggering switches by providing extra weight. Dumbells and other weights can also be used to activate those switches. Some helpful tools can be obtained in levels -- such as grappling hooks -- to help push Devina forward and through the levels.
The Scare Meter is a major mechanic in When Hell Freezes Over. If Devina is scared at any point or she moves quickly, the meter will rise, especially if she encounters beasts like the Echeno. If she has taken too many scares, she will collapse and receive a game over, forcing her to restart from the level's beginning. Doing calm exercises or simply walking around peacefully can help drain the Scare Meter to improve progress in the game's levels. The game is saved for every level that's completed by the player, and depending on how filled the meter was prior to completing it, Devina's portrait on her save file will show a different expression. If the meter was near filled, it'll show a very frightened, completely weak Devina who shudders and shakes in the portrait. If it's empty, she'll look somewhat relaxed, breathing slowly. Should the player get a game over in any level, the portrait will be replaced temporarily by a laughing Black Eyes.
Devina also possesses a flashlight. It can be clicked on and off to scare most villains away (or in the Echeno's case, provoke him) and can be aimed in any direction.
The Joy Gimmick
Devina tends to react differently to each presented location in the game, each bringing a fear to Devina that the player should try to remedy. In each location, despite their generally shared tranquility, Devina will feel bothered by a different fear in each. This fear can make the Scare Meter rise higher than usual if she gets scared by one of the various enemies and make her vulnerable to heart attacks, which only occur if the Scare Meter sees a massive increase. For example, in the level Waxen Earth, Devina is sensitive to being around bloody figures after witnessing Black Eyes tap a frozen resident, which peeled apart and spilled blood everywhere. To get her over this fear, the player needs to find a way to make Devina happy and to help make approaching such figures way less dangerous to her altogether. If Devina runs around a little in the "snow", she will pile up in it and feel a little more cheery about it -- this new joy overpowers her fears temporarily and makes going by those obstacles more of a breeze if anything. Joy also turns off all of the opposing characters except for the Echeno.
The way to receive joy highly depends on the level in question. Different fears are caused by different scenarios, and some levels can have more than one fear for Devina to try and overcome. Sometimes she outright refuses to go somewhere because of how scary the sight is, leaving her behind and therefore making her more vulnerable to the game's antagonists. Free joy, however, can be provided by the sparsely positioned "Outhouse Wormholes", where she can visit one and visit a bar to order drinks for herself to use. In bars, she can fill herself up with joy before having to go back out. As souls have to be pure and innocent, evil ones cannot travel through the wormholes to follow Devina, except for the Echeno if she happens to be in any enclosed space. Some bars can be traps however, with pure red color schemes and a lack of anyone in sight. If the player chooses to venture into the ominous bar, the door shuts behind them, and they will be prey for the Echeno. But these are rare and are often triggered by being near the Echeno to begin with.
The Black Eyes Gimmick
In When Hell Freezes Over, Black Eyes plays a very prominent role in the game, his presence being super strong. In fact, the game is coded in a way that he has a lot of control over it. If the game detects unusual coding or altered data, the game will become corrupted and lead the player to a screen where Black Eyes asks the player if they want to acknowledge their "sins" and start over. If "yes" is chosen, the game will start with completely wiped save data. Otherwise, the game becomes completely corrupted and the player will have to download an entirely new copy of the game. Usage of legitimate cheats will result in a black-and-red version of the character rising up from the ground to immediately murder Devina and bring their amount of lives down to just one. If the player is idle too long, the game will make a check to make sure that recent browser history around the specified area doesn't indicate walkthroughs are looked up. If so, Black Eyes will ask the player if they are using a walkthrough. If they answer honestly, they can continue. If not, they will immediately lose a life.
Black Eyes will also act as a permanent navigator on the game's main menu and elsewhere, where he will speak to the player and instruct them on how to play. If the game detects that his voice is off and also low, he will immediately demand that the volume is raised so they can hear his voice; if the player gives a legitimate reason why they shouldn't have the volume on, he will let them pass, but if it's just so that they can't hear him, he will lock all of the other modes until the volume is raised by at least one bar. He also manages the game's save data and eliminates save files if they have been tampered with. If the player receives the bad ending, the entire main menu for the V² becomes corrupted, showing a Black Eyes skin and only allows them to choose When Hell Freezes Over or play the minigame associated with it: Black Lust. The menu becomes bloody red and plays a remix of the "Giygas' Lair" theme from Earthbound, with an added heartbeat. Terminating the save file or getting the good ending will restore the V² to its proper state.
The game does not save where the player has been and only searches for information related to itself. The player is also told of all of these in the game's instruction manual just to prepare them for what the game offers.
The Calls Gimmick
Throughout Devina's journey in Channel X, she will receive calls from an unknown entity that had grabbed ahold of her phone number and a lot of her information. This entity will explain the world of Channel X, the dangers that lurk within, and its mechanics by using old recordings left by the last manager of the channel, who had been mysteriously murdered in recent times. When not discussing the properties of Channel X, the entity will talk about Black Eyes and share notes of him and his gang, which can aid the player in gameplay. They may also talk about Devina herself and try to help them, especially when she talks to them through the phone. The entity starts out rather quiet and just spreads out just a little bit of advice while Black Eyes is stalking Devina and not malevolent around her. When the game changes so that Black Eyes tries to get Devina back and the others try to murder her, they become much more active and become notably more helpful, especially as the game's plot progresses. Sometimes Devina may lose connection with the entity and will be replaced with static noise or Black Eyes' own special, distorted garble.
This mysterious entity is not the only person who will call Devina or at least transfer messages to her. Black Eyes may instead speak through it or Mallory's Ghost (as she can hijack it) with the purpose of scaring her as well as distracting her overall. Other characters from the Zaxinian Lifts may also try and get in contact with Devina regardless of the situation she's in, with Pierce Hazel, Snickers Caramel, Syi Wyne and Waxy being the most frequent. These characters don't actually add much to gameplay overall, but can send either support or tips they know about the beasts, with their tips often being very useful. For instance, Snickers points out that Black Eyes hates it when people lurk underneath lights as he finds it difficult to get near them, and Waxy suggests medication to help drain the Scare Meter, which can help her recover if she's in a safe place. Their support only comes rather rarely, but when it does come, her Scare Meter depletes and she overall becomes happier and a lot of things can suddenly become less risky.
The player can choose to answer phone calls or not, with the screen of the phone giving a slightly blurred out version of the character's name. If garble is shown, then it is not anyone she should trust. For the main entity calling her, the name is just "???????".
The game that When Hell Freezes Over is has dangerous characters spread throughout the game, all of which are capable of causing jumpscares. These enemies all have patterns and strategies that the player must adapt to. Jumpscares can be lethal or non-lethal, with the former caused by horrid mistakes and the latter caused by minor causes that don't cause major disruptions in gameplay. If Devina is close to any of these enemies, her heartbeat rate goes up, but other cues can indicate their presence.
Given his extreme prominence in this game, Black Eyes has the most amount of available jumpscares, with a total of ten different ways he can grant the player an ugly game over. All of his jumpscares from the original game return, and six more are added to them, giving the player a wide number of ways to be scared. Black Eyes will not try to kill Devina, but rather take her in as his labor slave. Black Eyes will often stalk Devina, typically following her around and only showing up from the front if he wants to mix it up (which occurs 1/3 of the time). No matter how hard the player tries to fend him off, Black Eyes is extremely intelligent and dead-set on catching her. However, all of its jumpscares are lethal, leaving no room for annoying ones that the other beasts share.
Patterns & Strategy
Black Eyes travels around Devina almost like in a circle, working his strategy in a way so that no matter where Devina turned, she wouldn't be allowed to see his position. Because of this, he seems like a very inactive opponent, only really showing up a few times. This is far from the truth -- if Devina doesn't look around often enough, Black Eyes will start to slip into the scene, ditching his "invisibliity" and trying to get in on Devina. He will often try lures, like making certain places easier to get to through magic or by disguising as characters she's seen before, but if they're appearing in strange locations, they cannot actually be that character. Using the flashlight often is recommended, as the light will drive Black Eyes away and also wind him back into his first phase (invisibility). If suspicious characters or objects are flashed, Black Eyes will make a groaning noise and hide away.
He is easier to deal with in narrow spaces than open-ended ones, as he will not be able to actually avoid her if she turns around, causing him to be spotted if he had been following Devina. Flashing the light at him will cause him to simply run away. Because of this flaw in his strategy, he will not always follow Devina into narrow spaces and instead try to find a way to approach her from ahead, sometimes teleporting a fair distance ahead of her to do this. He may go into his drain kiss strategy or start crawling on the ceiling, which can both be stopped with good light flashes. If he isn't behind Devina, then he will be ahead of her, preventing the player from having to deal with insanely difficult mindgames by having her prepare to flash a bunch of light in his face. Writings on a wall will only really be seen in more "personal locations", like bedrooms and therapy rooms. If these are shown, Devina should flash behind herself before wheeling around.
If caught too often within a short amount of time, Black Eyes will actually disappear for about four minutes before returning to the action. This break is caused by him believing he needs to regain his confidence and try again. This break is quite long -- she can cross several areas without having to worry about Black Eyes being right behind her. With the several ways he can scare her too, she can rid of at least ten jumpscares until he gets back into the game. If he returns, however, he will be more aggressive than before and will require more catching before going off again for a total of six minutes. WIth each return, he will pull his moves off faster, but he will go away for longer periods of time. Having Black Eyes off the map can be very useful if she's dealing with the very aggressive Dysini and Jefferson Jackson enemies, who pose as just as much of a threat if not just a little less worse than he is.
Jumpscares & Tips to Avoid Them
- If engaging Black Eyes in a conversation, saying answers that don't please Black Eyes or won't get Devina anywhere good will have him fade away from the space. The player has anywhere from eight seconds to forty to prepare themselves for the jumpscare, which has him rush up from the ground and tackle them. Just obeying Black Eyes' commands -- other than in entirely red spaces -- will prevent this type of jumpscare from happening.
- Black Eyes will hold down on Devina's shoulders, making a cackling noise as he strangely soothes out her broad shoulders. If Devina spins her head around, she will see Black Eyes, who will then roar at her and shatter her shoulders, throwing her down to the ground for an ugly game over that shows her bleeding on the ground with Black Eyes devouring her baby. This can all be prevented by Devina checking behind herself for Black Eyes when a low cackling noise is heard.
- In areas that provide a large enough ceiling, Black Eyes may end up crawling on it. If spotted in front of Devina, he will stop moving altogether, and if flashed at, will have him retreat. If he happens to be behind Devina, a cackling noise will be heard, giving Devina a chance to turn around and stop him. If they fail, he will descend from the ceiling, roar in Devina's face, and strike her into the earth.
- If Devina is in a building with doors, she should shut them behind her as Black Eyes has a chance of following her through open doors and striking whenever she turns around. If a door is being knocked on and a soft cackle is heard, it is definitely Black Eyes on the other side. He will eventually open the door -- so Devina should try to find other ways out. If he catches her, he will stab her sides and open his mouth and eyes in front of her, showing his many rows of teeth while scaring her.
- If red writing on any wall says: "I FOUND YOU" "LOOK BEHIND YOU" "DYING TIME IS HERE" "YOU WILL DIE" "NO REST FOR THE WICKED", then Black Eyes is right behind Devina. To evade this, the player should shine a light backwards to stun Black Eyes, and then have Devina turn around. If Black Eyes is shown shielding his eyes, then the defense was successful. But if it failed or if the player didn't do this, turning around will have Black Eyes sack the player in a bag, shoving his head in the bag to unleash a roar at her.
- If the sound of a knife being brandished is heard, Devina should look around. If Black Eyes is spotted with a butcher knife, he will drop it and run off. But if he's not spotted, he will chop off Devina's legs suddenly from behind, leaving her to bleed. Just when she seems ready to die, Black Eyes' head will show up in front of her and scream, causing the screen to black out. Devina will be shown in a hospital "sponsored by Black Eyes" in a game over screen.
- Black Eyes may simply try to approach Devina from the front without doing any hiding or trickery. If he touches Devina, however, he will try to kiss her lips, draining her of air in order to suffocate her. Black Eyes will never approach from behind with his strategy, so the player will always notice it happen from the front. When the deed is done, Black Eyes will seemingly disappear, before coming up with a roar that blanks out the screen. To evade this attack, the player should flash the light at him several times until he gives up.
- If Devina is under the influence of drugs, Black Eyes will try to lure Devina with soothing music and a refreshment, which will have her walk automatically to him. The player needs to hold against the direction Black Eyes is aiming her in and break her free of the curse. If she makes it to Black Eyes, he will screech in her face and smash her head with a glass container, knocking her out.
- Flicking a light on and off at him quickly will have him rush over to Devina, agitated, and knock the light out of her hand. If the player looks down to look for it, raising Devina's head up will result in him directly attacking and pushing down Devina.
- If Black Eyes' shadow is seen, approaching it will enclose the player in an entirely red space. THEY MUST DISOBEY ALL OF BLACK EYES' COMMANDS AND LOOK FOR AN EXIT WHILE ALSO AVOIDING ALL ENCLOSED SPACES. If they succeed, they'll go back to where they just were. If they fail or see Black Eyes, he will go up to the player instantly with a jumpscare and trap them in a roulette of his different faces before crashing the game. When the player views the V² menu, the background is replaced with "YOU FAILED" with the roulette still going. It only stops when the player returns to the game and admits their inferiority to Black Eyes.
This dark, scary robotic abomination based off of Flare appears as a minor character who has a total of six ways of scaring the player. While all of Black Eyes' attacks are lethal, Dysini has only one fatal one and most of them just fill up Devina's scare meter. Dysini's scare effects include temporarily reversing Devina's controls. Instead of actively seeking out Devina, she sets up traps designed in such a way to deceive her, such as setting up lights, putting useful items out in the open, making signs that point towards her direction, or even disguising as different people to offer Devina items, only to scare her instantly. However, a flaw with Dysini's overall strategy is that there are almost always cues to find out if the traps are actually her traps -- if something looks off color, has a suspicious item around it, a person has a weird feature, it's likely Dysini's doing.
Patterns & Strategy
Dysini always tries to be ahead of Devina, staying several hundred feet away and therefore keeping out of view. She is typically found outside of buildings (due to claustrophobia), leaving her traps out in the open to make Devina stay on alert. In some cases, she'll leave out harmful weapons in the open like mines or timed explosives. Devina should be watching the ground just as often as her backside, because any explosions made will trigger the Echeno and Jefferson Jackson, making them wary of where she is. Moreover, if Devina falls for any of these traps, Dysini will scare her and reverse her controls, sometimes pushing her into other traps if the player isn't ready for it. Shining a flashlight is crucial to avoiding these traps, as the flashlight being aimed at the ground can reveal any possible traps set up. The chance of a certain acre containing a trap is 20%, with two having 10%, three having 5%, and four also having 5%.
While not being as threatening as Black Eyes, the Echeno or Jefferson Jackson, she is still a threat and her reversed controls can result in her falling into more chaos and leaving her more open to the other monsters. The best strategy is for Devina to search each new acre she climbs across for traps with her flashlight, and using any weapons she has on hand to push them away or give Dysini bait to combat her own. If Dysini takes fake bait, she will feel very discouraged and not be active for about three minutes, leaving the level free of new traps until she returns. Should the player feel the need to get away from her, they can step into any building, as Dysini's aforementioned claustrophobia will prevent her from entering enclosed locations.
Jumpscares & How to Avoid Them
- If Devina has her scare meter mostly full and has taken too much damage, and if she was last hit by one of Dysini's traps, she will sprawl down to the ground. Footsteps will be heard, and then Dysini will come over to her, her open face revealing her inner endoskeleton and her arms kidnapping her. To avoid this from happening, Devina should try to avoid her traps and stay on high health whenever possible.
- REVERSAL A: Should Devina walk up to a fake shopkeeper, she will give her an explosive and knock her down, following up by unleashing a roar in her face, making her nervous and messing up her controls temporarily.
- REVERSAL B: If she follows bait to a dark location, Devina will be met with Dysini's scare, who will knock her backwards and once again reverse her control scheme. She simply should not take the bait.
- REVERSAL C: If Dysini makes a fake "EXIT" location and Devina takes the bait, the exit will be removed only for Dysini to once again get into her face, messing up her controls. The player should flash a light at the "EXIT" to reveal Dysini's shadow behind it.
- REVERSAL D: Sometimes signs will be set up in levels to point Devina in the right direction, but those with misspelled names or obvious vandalism will point towards where Dysini is. Flashing the light on her will make her run off. Otherwise, she will take her scare and her controls will be reversed.
- REVERSAL E: If Devina stands still for too long in an area filled with three to four traps, turning around at any point will have Dysini scare her. To prevent this from happening, Devina should always be moving.
Ghost of Mallory
Mallory wasn't really available for helping out Black Eyes, so he created a hideous version of her that appears an evil spirit. She has six different ways of scaring Devina, but only one of them is fatal. Like how Dysini can make Devina dizzy with her scares, the Ghost of Mallory can poison and weaken Devina for a short time. She only hangs out in buildings, often in very enclosed spaces, making her a polar opposite to Dysini. Her ghostly form can hide in garbage bins and vents and small passageways to scare her, never appearing anywhere outside of tight spaces. She appears most often when Devina needs to search for objects, like in puzzles. The Ghost of Mallory may try to hide where valuable items may be hiding in, like keys or certain drugs. Like Dysini, she only poses as a minor threat and is only really a danger indoors, and isn't nearly as threatening as the likes of Black Eyes or the Echeno.
Patterns & Strategy
Unlike the other characters, the Ghost of Mallory doesn't exactly follow where Devina is directly, instead hiding wherever she pleases but typically being around the other dangers. The player can tell how many dangers are around them depending on the frequency of Mallory's ghost appearing. As she sits in enclosed containers, they are primarily where she tends to be hiding. If something appears to be shaking, lowly breathing, or whispering random names, it shouldn't be safe to approach. However, Devina isn't the only thing that can shake her loose from her miniature prisons. Jefferson Jackson cracking the jar on purpose or things in general breaking the container will also set her free. Mallory only floats in the open air when she's broken free -- which is dangerous because she can end the player's run in that form. Whenever Devina knows she's around Mallory, she should try to get out of the immediate area in case there are ways the container can be broken / Jefferson Jackson is near.
Mallory tends to not really have a pattern as to where she goes. The player should just always be wary inside buildings and stand away from objects for roughly 20 seconds. If they don't shake in that length of time, then they're safe to open or peer into without Mallory potentially bothering the player. But if some do shake, the player should look elsewhere and go back later if there was an important item in there. When let out of her imprisonment by violent means, she will actively chase down Devina until she finds another enclosed space to duck into. However, if she's still chasing Devina and had her eyes on her, she will ignore all items until she can no longer see Devina. An important note is that Mallory can pass through doors, even when closed, so locking them on her will not work. Shining a light on Mallory's ghost will just temporarily stun her.
- If Mallory had been unleashed by Jefferson Jackson or was broken free, the player can be damn sure that confronting Mallory will result in a game over. They should just run. Mallory's jumpscare is her roaring before inhaling Devina, with the game over screen showing her in her ghostly stomach and the monster clutching it, her mouthing "you're safe, you're safe".
- POISON A: Mallory's soul pops out of jars or similarly done objects, her teeth chattering in her face and her using a needle to inject poison into Devina's blood, slowing her down and damaging her over a short period of time.
- POISON B: Alternatively, she may stretch out her arms and claw at Devina, damaging her and pushing a needle in her neck, effectively poisoning her. Devina may have a little difficulty standing back up.
- POISON C: When Devina's not looking, an arm of Mallory's may slip from her hiding spot and drop toxic needles on the ground. Stepping on these will result in Devina taking poison and Mallory getting into her face with a bloody, jagged up one.
- POISON D: If Devina turns on any water-related device and sees purple fluid rush out, she should immediately turn off the tap and run away. Staying near will have a hand from the toxic water grab her and result in Mallory's face rushing into hers.
- POISON E: If Devina sees puddles of purple across the ground, she should turn away as they will quickly reassemble into Mallory's shape and throw her face into hers before rushing in for the kill.
The literal embodiment of fright and evil itself, the Echeno has a total of eight ways to scare the player, with four of these methods being lethal. While the easiest to avoid when the timing is right, its effect is the nastiest: all of its non-lethal jumpscares can paralyze Devina and leave her open to other enemies. The Echeno typically hides in enclosed spaces or in dark areas, usually in places that only have one entrance and also have a doorway. Wandering into those rooms will often summon the Echeno, who will end the player's life in some way unless they outlast the Echeno's "surge energy", allowing the doors to reopen and forcing it to disappear.
The player will never have to worry about the Echeno in places apart from darkness and buildings, as it never appears in broad daylight in the outside world and the nights are often not dark enough to be suitable for its appearance.
Patterns & Strategy
The Echeno is a character that tends to rest much of the time, sitting in isolated rooms and materializing whenever it can detect Devina's presence. Should Devina be in a building with the Echeno, the beast knows of her being near it, and that she is less than 300 feet away from the monster, all doors will be opened automatically, with them shutting and locking automatically if she goes through them. If she is within at least 50 feet of range, it will wake from any nap to seek her out out of hunger. It will generally move in the direction it senses Devina in, but doesn't have a good sense of direction as it will try to go towards her even if walls are in its way. As such, it can be fairly easy to fool its A.I. If she moves out of the 300 foot radius, doors that auto-locked before can be reopened with the exception of those that were already locked by default. The Echeno seems to be disturbed if it hears any noise within 80 feet, moving from a stationary position to check to see what occured.
When resting, the Echeno tends to not notice Devina's presence unless one of the aforementioned triggers is set off. This means that the Echeno can be passed harmlessly without the player even noticing it was there (same with the Echeno itself). There are cues that allow the player to know if the Echeno is nearby should no trigger be set off. First, if lights tend to flicker for no apparent reason, it indicates that the beast's paranormal activities are occuring from at least 300 feet away. If some lights flicker and some don't, then the player is within the maximum detection range of the Echeno. If Devina's vision seems to occasionally black out or if she starts seeing more hallucinations, then she is within 100 feet of the Echeno and is near its nightmarish body. Should the Echeno notice her at any point or hear noises related to her, aggressive ambience will be heard and the entire screen will feature red hues.
The best way to deal with the Echeno is, if possible, to stay away from houses that have any unusual writings on the walls or from dark spaces in general. The Echeno will never approach the player in the outside world unless there is absolutely a space dark enough for it to appear. Avoiding eye contact with the Echeno will guarantee the most safety, as will only stepping into known safe spots. Watching lights flicker and the hallucinations happen can help the player decide whether they should move forward or back. If the Echeno sees her and is standing still, she needs to absolutely stay still. While staring into its eyes will usually trigger a jumpscare, this does not happen if it is being confrontational on purpose. It will teleport to a new location, but can also lead into a jumpscare if the player had for some reason failed the challenge. If the player enters a building that they know hadn't been infiltrated by the Echeno, a red flash will indicate that it had just entered, while a green flash means opposite.
Jumpscares & Tips to Avoid Them
- If the Echeno makes direct eye contact with Devina in the dark, it will seemingly disappear before appearing up close, opening its mouth and chewing Devina into several pieces, the camera shifting away from her to show her as a bleeding corpse, the monster gulping down her body. Evading direct eye contact will help the player avoid this particular scare. The jumpscare will only trigger if Devina is in a dark place alongside it. For example, if Devina directly makes eye contact with the Echeno while standing in light while the beast is enveloped in shadows, it will simply vanish away rather than fatally attack her.
- In buildings, standing close to a door can indicate if the Echeno is in the room on its opposite side. If Devina hears thumping noises, it indicates that the beast is on the other side, advancing towards her position to escape and break out after hearing her heart pumping. If there are any windows, Devina can look through them, but must stand absolutely still immediately if she sees its red eyes. If the Echeno breaks out of the door, it will look around and sprint in any direction it is given. If it sees Devina, it will pop up in front of her and tear its teeth at her face. This is also the case for if the beast spots her moving through the window.
- If a door closes right behind Devina and locks itself, it indicates that the Echeno is indeed in the building and that she will need to find a way out. Windows are also automatically shut, meaning that she needs to get creative without making much noise. For every room Devina walks into, the door behind her will lock itself assuming the Echeno is within 300 feet of range. It will often be prowling around. In cases where the Echeno is resting in just one room, it will not lock any doors because it will not be aware of her presence until it hears her heart pumping. If Devina is spotted by the Echeno from in front, it will immediately lunge at her and rip her apart. If the Echeno is behind her, the game will slow down and become greyscale, suggesting the player stands absolutely still and wait for it to go away.
- Should the Echeno suddenly teleport in front of her in the darkest of places, the screen will flash and Devina has just a few seconds to stun it with her flashlight or put on a mask resembling Black Eyes (assuming she has one) to drive it off. If she fails, it will seem to have disappeared, but in reality it will crawl in her shadow and emerge when she is about to step out into the light, pulling itself up from the ground and tearing into her head, cracking it and gobling it up, resulting in an immediate game over.
- PARALYSIS A: If Devina explores a dark place for too long without turning around, the Echeno will be there to swipe at her, stunning her and leaving her open to enemy attacks. If the player's stamina is enough, they can escape before the Echeno comes back to attack in thirty seconds.
- PARALYSIS B: The Echeno may sometimes let out a loud screech if it is on the exact opposite side of a wall that Devina is on. While this causes the weakest paralysis, it is still enough for her to potentially be caught by other animatronics. The stun will be longer if she happens to be closer to a door.
- PARALYSIS C: Should Devina reach a dead end while knowing the Echeno is after her, she will be frozen stiff out of fear. This will let the Echeno or any other creature take advantage and fatally scare her. The player is best off trying to take paths they know that lead into other locations.
- PARALYSIS D: If Devina is again in a dark place and looks into a mirror, there is a chance that she will see the Echeno as her reflection. If the player sees at least half the body, it will burst from the mirror and knock her down, leaving her as prey for other enemies. This can be avoided by simply not looking at any mirrors in dark spaces.
A serial killer that was resurrected by Black Eyes to track and harm Devina in case she tried to escape. Two of his attack methods are lethal, but the other four are relatively harmless. When Devina receives a scare from Jefferson Jackson, she loses her ability to breathe properly for a short period of time and stumbles in her movements.
Patterns & Strategy
Jumpscares & How to Avoid Them
The Horror Four are obnoxious enemy species that are incredibly difficult to deal with, from the ferocious Scorpage to the fearless Hypnoxious. Both Manglare and Forever are difficult to outwit as well. These dangerous enemies will be among uncommon to find on the game, but should be looked out for regardless. Except for the latter of the four enemies, they all dislike sunlight and can be repelled temporarily with the flashlight tool. However they cannot be defeated unless stronger forces are attempting to help defeat these enemies. Out of them, Forever is the most dangerous since it can only be defeated by pure happiness, which is tough to achieve in this game. However, the former three enemies can be potential allies for Devina if the player sets up things properly.
Friendly Hypnoxious, for instance, can fuel Devina with an intensified lust or increased fear that makes her less likely to get scared in both ways, with more lust making her more likely to succeed in flirting with the enemies, especially Jefferson Jackson. Scorpage can be tagged with Devina on her travels and help her battle off stronger enemies, including the dangerous Manglare. These Scorpage can also help take care of Larry if they trust Devina enough to not hurt them, but will kill him if she messes up. Having Larry being taken care of by someone else for a while is extremely helpful, but she also becomes more alert and scared as she won't have a "friend" in most scenarios. Manglare are rarely helpful to Devina, but their presence can alert Devina that she's near urban locations or children, which can help her base where she's at.
- The concept for "Channel X" was derived from the message and theme from the Rob Zombie song "What Lurks On Channel X?".