We Know The Devil (2015)
We Know The Devil is a group relationship horror visual novel created by weirdo games critic and indefensible twitter account haver Aevee Bee (Mammon Machine:ZEAL) and illustrator and comics artist Mia Schwartz (http://www.super-villain.org), with a chilling 80s horror synth soundtrack by Alec Lambert (Antibody Productions), live photo backgrounds taken with disposable cameras in the terrifying woods where we live, and aesthetic touches and UI by Lulu Blue.
We Know The Devil is a story about everyone who made you cry at summer camp. It’s about missing your Sailor Moon VHS tapes. It’s about how being irresponsible is contagious. It’s about knowing that in a group of three, two of you will be closer than the other. And it’s about being weird and queer and wrong and hoping against hope no one will find out when the actual, literal devil comes for you.
We Know The Devil truly has no one protagonist; but someone will always be left out. It’s up to you to decide who that is. Instead of choosing a partner, you follow pairs of characters as they learn about themselves and wait for the devil to appear. Will Venus and Neptune stop hating themselves long enough to be friends? Will Jupiter finally tell Neptune what’s been on her mind? Will Venus and Jupiter make it to morning as the only good kids left alive? Hopefully it turns out the way you want it to. Don’t forget: the price the two pay will be the third. (Source: Date Nighto)
ESRB Rating: Not Rated
Developer: Aevee Bee & Mia Schwartz (Published by Date Nighto)
Genre: Horror, Visual Novel
Violence, Blood, & Gore
- Frightening situations: The central plot of the game revolves around a group of teenagers being required to wait in a summer camp cabin for the devil to arrive, with the understanding that he will take someone over once he is there.
- Unsettling sound: At various points where there is no music, several strange or unsettling sound effects are played, such as a bizarre crackling sound (somewhat like radio static), a tone rising in pitch and volume that plays like a siren, or a sudden noise like splitting wood. Several intense pieces of music play at various points that include dissonant or unsettling beeps and sound effects.
- Minor pain or injury: A character expresses pain at an unspecified head injury they have just sustained; two characters remark that it looks like it hurt, but the injured character asserts that they are fine. One character advises not to fall asleep with a concussion, then jokingly advises to do so, so she would be allowed to leave camp. A character holds back from expressing pain in their head. A character wears a hair tie around their wrist, and repeatedly snaps it against their wrist on purpose. During various points in the game, several characters joke about hitting someone. A character remarks that they got in their share of fights when they were young. A character says that getting hurt is less frightening than being embarrassed. A drink is described as containing additives that will shave years off someone’s life (See “Substance Use” for more information). A character says that they feel as though their stomach is trying to punch them in the face (See “Substance Use” for more information). A girl has a coughing fit that worries her friend; they accompany one another to the bathroom until the coughing subsides. It is unclear if the girl is vomiting or not, or how serious the coughing is, or what the cause of it may be. A character briefly feels something tighten around their neck, causing them trouble breathing. A character grabs another character and pushes them hard into a wall. A character pushes and punches another character ineffectively. A character hits another character in the shoulder with a large blunt object, knocking the injured party to the ground for a moment. Several characters are knocked unconscious after their interaction with the devil. A girl trips while running and knocks another character down; they stumble getting up and she falls again, pulling the other character down again and injuring her foot, which she then says hurts very badly. Two characters sit in a tree, and discuss that they should not fall asleep so they do not fall. A character remarks that they and two other characters will be briefly attacked, but that it will be over soon. This fight is later implied to have occurred, though it is not discussed in detail. A character asks if another character would fight if they knew they could win.
- Reference to death: At various points in the game, several characters joke about dying, wanting to die, killing themselves, or killing each other, in a sarcastic manner. A smell is described (in a slightly metaphorical context) as being partially that of ashes of monsters. It is remarked that one is statistically more likely to be killed by a human than by the devil. In a photograph on screen, graffiti of a skull is shown painted on a wall. It is remarked that a kid can kill the devil if she tries. A girl remarks that if someone wants to stop her, they will have to kill her; she later asks them to try not to kill her. A character’s stare is described with the imagery of an icy lake; reference is made to drowning and freezing to death. A character remarks that if god hates the devil so much he should kill it himself. A character remarks that if they have to be in their old body again, they’ll die.
- Disturbing imagery & body horror: A character comments on extracting bile by making an incision on one’s finger. At various points in the game, water imagery is used to describe the human body as water, or flowing like a liquid. A character in two separate images is shown covered in a dark liquid referred to as “ichor”. In one of the images the liquid appears to be indistinguishable from parts of her body. Later, reference is made to needing to drain and clean the girl of this liquid. A character describes being unable to look away from horrible light, and wanting it to take them over. A character uses descriptive imagery of feathers being inside their body to discuss the urge to be free. An image is shown of a character surrounded by a large wing that is covered in eyes. A character is described as hanging unconscious from a tree branch, with steam coming off of them. A humid scenario is described like the air is thick with hands and fingers that the characters can feel on their skin. The feeling of the devil being present is described as licking at the inside of one’s throat. An image is shown of a character being cradled and held by an unnatural number of hands. A character is described as reaching out to other characters with an unnatural number of hands and pulling at them. Several times there is discussion of discomfort in one’s body, or describing someone who was unhappy with their body, and got a new one; two characters ask that they not be forced to keep bodies that they hate. Two characters are shown being held by another character, who has an unnatural number of hands surrounding them. A feeling is described as fingers pushing painlessly through skin, muscle, and fat. A character’s body is described as peeling off like the shell of an egg. Descriptions of another character’s transformation refer to her changes as “messier”, describing her blood as lighter than air, like a mist. A character pulls at another character’s shoulder blade with too many hands, attempting to remove it.
- Dismemberment: A character’s arm is described as being suddenly not part of their body anymore, and they remark that they pulled it and it came off, because they didn’t want it anymore. This is not described in a gory way, and in fact it is pointed out that there is no blood, and that it did not hurt to remove. A character remarks that the edges of the arm look rough, and the character whose arm it was says that they shouldn’t touch it. A character pulls the other arm off the character who lost the first one, and remarks that it feels like plastic, and again comments on the lack of blood, and that the arm is soft. The character whose arms have been removed remarks that their body was bothering them, and that it feels more normal to have their arms off. A character remarks that the girl who lost her arms needs them back. A character pulls the girl’s shoulder blade to remove it, much like her arms were previously removed.
Nudity & Sexual Content
- References to romance or attractioin: Two characters discuss how sometimes people treat each other poorly when they don’t know how to express romantic feelings. Two characters flirt and tease each other; through the course of the game their actions and speech towards each other carries romantic overtones in many moments. Characters talk about a man going home with someone, who they refer to as his girlfriend; one of them comments that this is irresponsible and gross. A character remarks that a fictional character reads as “kind of gay”. One character asks if another character is their “wingman”. One character asks another who they have feelings for; her response, though cut short, implies she has feelings for the asker and that the asker should already know that. A character remarks that they can not picture another character “fawning over some dude”, and that they aren’t the sort of person who would chase after someone. A character remarks that no one will probably want to date them, and another character asks if they want anyone to; it is implied that they are hinting at wanting to be involved with each other. A character asks her friend who a third person has a crush on; they guess that the third person has a crush on the asker of the question. A character asks if another character is the lovechild of two famous figures. A character refers to her reputation as that of an “untouchable tomboy prude”, and another refers to her own reputation as “most touchable”, but says it is not true, and that she is “not half as bad” as girls in a different camp group. A character asks someone if they have feelings for a third person who is not present. A character asks another if they consider her a flirt, among other stronger words (See “Profanity” for more information); she says that she is perceived as a flirt because men talk to her and won’t leave her alone, and that it makes her very angry. A character says that her father taught her not to let others touch her, and protect herself, since she is a girl. A girl asks if another girl thinks it is ugly or wrong that she likes her so much. A joyful feeling is described as a first kiss, and a love story. Several pairs of characters hold hands and lean on each other at various times.
- Romantic behaviour: Three characters play “Seven Minutes In Heaven”, a game where two people go to a dark room alone and generally are expected to engage in romantic behaviour. Two characters go to the room together, but just talk; they briefly discuss the attraction one of them has for a character that is not present. Two characters go to the room together and flirt; though not depicted, through their conversation it is implied that they are kissing. They briefly discuss their feelings for one another, and not wanting this interaction to be made public due to societal judgement or taboos.
- Discussion of underage alcohol use: A teenage character (under the legal drinking age in the US, where the game takes place) secretly possesses a bottle of alcohol, and discusses having traded with someone to obtain it; the bottle is half full, and it is implied she has consumed the first half at an earlier time. The drink is described as smelling of paint thinner and it is remarked that that may be what it contains. A teenage character expresses shock at the idea of drinking underage, and remarks that they have never had alcohol. The teenage character with the alcohol sarcastically apologises for not bringing better alcohol, or glasses, or dressings for cocktails. They also assert that adults lie about alcohol, and that regardless of the type, it is all bad-tasting; they also say that the alcohol they have already has the “chaser” in it, and that this will prevent anyone from getting sick. A character remarks that the devil gave humans the idea for alcohol, and that there are different kinds of evil in each kind of alcohol.
- Underage alcohol use: A girl with alcohol asks her friends (also teenagers) to drink with her until they aren’t so annoying or anxious, or she is going to drink until she doesn’t find them annoying or anxious. A girl asks one of her friends to take a shot of alcohol with her. She asks one character, who initially resists due to the risk, but she pressures them into accepting. A character tells another character that just by being around teenage alcohol use, they could get in trouble, so they might as well drink as well. A girl asks a friend to drink with her, and says that she is using peer pressure, and that it isn’t cool to not drink. Three teenagers take shots of hard alcohol; their text and speech patterns begin to reflect their intoxication, they discuss how it feels to be intoxicated, and they begin to tease each other about being intoxicated. The visual images of the characters change to show blushing cheeks. A character remarks that they plan on finishing the bottle of alcohol. One character asks their friend in a joking manner to hold a third character down until they drink more. A character says their parents have given them alcohol before, so they would appreciate it and not drink for the purposes of getting intoxicated. A character remarks that another character should drink until they are drunk and hungover. A character tells another that they shouldn’t drink so fast.
- 4 uses of religious profanity
- 4 uses of su*ks
- 1 use of scr*w
- 5 anatomical terms (including uses in chatspeak-style acronyms)
- 7 scatalogical terms
- 4 B-words (as well as 1 use of the word “witch” in a phrase to imply the B-word)
- 2 uses of sl*t
- 32 F-words (including uses in chatspeak-style acronyms)
The browser version of this game requires access to Date Nighto’s website to play. No version of the game has any online gameplay features.
Themes & Discussion Topics
Identity, romantic/sexual orientation, gender and gender identity, isolation and abandonment, queer youth, religion and religious culture, god and the devil, difficulties associated with being a teenager, personal relationships and interaction, societal expectations, depression and anxiety, bullying, love and friendship, discomfort with the current state of one’s body.