The Happyhills Homicide - TV Tropes (2024)

The Happyhills Homicide - TV Tropes (1)

You'll have a killer time

The Happyhills Homicide is an indie horror/puzzle game in the style of an 80's slasher movie created by Copperbolts. It was released on December 28, 2020.

You play as the Pale Grin, a mysterious killer wearing a clown mask. Each victim has you find new and creative ways to end their life and bring justice to Happyhills.

You also play as a detective in the Happyhills Police Department, hot on the trail of a sad*stic and creative serial killer. Will you find out the truth or end up becoming a victim?

The game is available for free on its GamejoltThe Happyhills Homicide - TV Tropes (2) page. A spinoff game called The Rainman would be released in October 2023. A demo for the sequel available hereThe Happyhills Homicide - TV Tropes (3).

  • The '80s: The time period in which the game takes place.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: John Wade was an outcast among his coworkers and the students. The teachers called him disgusting and a freak, and told him not to go into the teacher lounge. His fellow janitor called him an idiot. The students considered him creepy. The only person who was kind to him was Madison Carpenter, who he became obsessed with, leaving her gifts that she accepted and thanked him for. His gifts to Madison also drew further criticism from the teachers and students.
  • Angry Guard Dog: The victim in tape 2 has one and it is very aggressive. In order to get around it, the Pale Grin has to use the regularly occuring thunderclaps as cover for his footsteps.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: In addition to playing as the Pale Grin, you get to take control of the detective investigating the Pale Grin's killing spree. In the climax, you even get to take down the killer as him.
  • Asshole Victim: Zig Zagged. The trope appears to be the case with the Pale Grin's victims at first. The first one who got viciously stabbed to death turns out to be a pedophile, the one the Pale Grin burns alive in his shower was himself guilty of arson. But the one who gets pushed into his own hay bale maker turns out to have no criminal record whatsoever, making it clear that the Pale Grin isn't just a typical vigilante killer dishing out justice where the system failed, but has a much more selfish motive for what he does. The people the Pale Grin kills all turn out to have been either students or employees at Westpine High who bullied him when he was John Wade, before his near-death in a prank gone wrong. Funnily enough, the two jocks who accidentally "killed" John might have thought of him as this trope, since it's implied he was stalking Madison.
  • Ax-Crazy: What else can you expect from a deranged Serial Killer who loves giving his victims a Cruel and Unusual Death?
  • The Bad Guy Wins: The Pale Grin successfully gets his revenge, killing everyone who abused and bullied him in his old life as John Wade. The only loss the Pale Grin suffers is when he accidentally kills Madison Carpenter, the one person he remembered fondly due to her being the only one who treated him well.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: Madison Carpenter is the only victim whose death the Pale Grin shows remorse for, even calling her "the only kind one". When he was still John Wade, Madison was the only one at Westpine High who treated him with any decency, which led to him developing a crush on her. It's even implied that her death was an accident and that he never intended to kill her to begin with.
  • The Butler Did It: The Pale Grin's real identity is John Wade, a former janitor at Westpine High who was horrifically burned in the fire that destroyed the school in 1982. Even worse, the fire was set by two jocks who wanted to mess with John and then didn't bother to save him when it got out of control.
  • Couldn't Find a Pen: After each murder, the Pale Grin leaves messages in the victim's blood, venting his rage about the things they did and announcing that he's far from done.
  • Create Your Own Villain: The Pale Grin was an unpopular janitor at Westpine High named John Wade who was mistreated by the staff and students. The only person who was kind to him was a female student named Madison Carpenter, who he developed an obsession with. One day two jocks played a prank on him by lighting a fire in front of his closet's door. When the fire went out of control, even though the jocks noticed that he was trapped, they chose not to save John, feeling that he was not worth saving. After narrowly surviving the experience, John snapped and went on a killing spree in his new persona, the Pale Grin, murdering everyone who abused him, including the aforementioned two jocks.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: The Pale Grin's bread and butter. Each tape where you play as him has you prepare and carry out creative ways to get the poor victim gruesomely disemboweled, burned, stabbed and/or dismembered.
  • Deadly Prank: One that directly led to the events of the game. When the Pale Grin was still a janitor named John Wade, two jocks at the high school he worked at decided to mess with him by locking him into his janitor's closet and lighting a fire in front of the door. The fire got out of control and the jocks fled without freeing John, who survived but was horrifically burned and swore vengeance on all who had wronged him.
  • Final Girl: Seems to be set up with Madison Carpenter. She is the first and only victim to survive the Pale Grin's attempt on her life, even getting police protection afterwards. Sadly it's a subverted example in the end. The Pale Grin simply finds out where Madison lives, kills the cop stationed in front of her house and breaks in. Though Madison does put up a good fight, she ultimately dies when the Pale Grin throws a baseball bat at her, causing her to fall down the stairs and break her neck. What's even more tragic however was that the Pale Grin seemingly was going to spare her, which would have played this trope straight.
  • Foreshadowing: Detective Pawalski's notes for the second victim point out that the torn cloth that seems to have come from the killer belongs to a janitor suit. This is an early hint toward the Pale Grin's true identity. Or former identitiy.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: The Pale Grin, a One-Man Army Serial Killer was initially just an unpopular janitor at a high school. Then two jocks decided to scare him by setting a fire, and it all went downhill from there.
  • Genre Savvy: The more corpses pile up, the more your future victims will be on their guard. Some of them even actively arm and barricade themselves inside their homes. Too bad none of that helps them against the Pale Grin.
  • Hero Antagonist: Investigating and later seeking to out an end to the murders, Detective Bryan Pawalski fills this role in contrast to the Pale Grin's Villain Protagonist.
  • Hope Spot: The two victims in tape 9 are about to be decapitated by a fan the Pale Grin lowered - when suddenly the wagon malfunctions and gets stuck on the tracks, stopping just short of the fan's blades. The Pale Grin simply repairs the haunted house and the victims die anyway.
  • Hypocrite: During the Pale Grin's past life as John Wade, his coworker Gordon Barker called him disgusting for giving gifts to student Madison Carpenter. After John becomes the Pale Grin and murders Gordon as revenge, the police investigation after the fact reveals that Gordon was a pedophile with a criminal record of producing and distributing underage p*rnography and stalking playgrounds.
  • Jerk Jock:
    • An adult variant. If the Pale Grin doesn't disguise himself in tape 7, the football player in the changing room will snap at him that mascots aren't allowed to enter.
    • Two of these end up being the Unwitting Instigator of Doom for the whole plot in the tape detailing the Pale Grin's past. It's their constant bullying, coupled with a prank gone horribly wrong that ends up turning the unassuming janitor John Wade into the homicidal Pale Grin.
  • Police Are Useless: Zigzagged. Pretty much all of the cops, aside from Detective Pawalski, are shown to be bumbling idiots, completely incapable of following the various clues the Pale Grin leaves. Special mention goes to the officer assigned to Madison Carpenter as protection. He just lazes about in his car waiting for his partner to get donuts and when the Pale Grin gets onto the backseat he doesn't even bother to turn around to check who it is and just assumes his partner's back. Detective Pawalski himself at least manages to completely subvert this as he succesfully tracks down the Pale Grin and seemingly shoots him to death in the last tape.
  • Refuse to Rescue the Disliked: Part of the Pale Grin's backstory. Though the jocks only wanted to mess with John, they chose to flee without putting out the fire, leaving him to burn.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: The Pale Grin's murdering spree across Happyhills is this, as he seeks to repay an injustice done that seemingly all of his victims were part of. It turns out that all of the victims (except for Madison) were his bullies when he was still a janitor at Westpine High named John Wade, with two of them even nearly killing him through a prank gone wrong.
  • Shout-Out: The game references several well-known horror/slasher franchises through Easter Eggs in practically every tape.
    • In Tape 1 there's a Redrum graffiti on the building's wall.
    • The victim's house in Tape 2 is on Lampkin Lane.
    • The Haunted House in Tape 9 has the masks of Michael Myers, Jason Voorhees and Ghostface hanging on a wall backstage.
    • The motel in Tape 12 is the Bates' Motel.
    • Madison Carpenter is obviously named after famous horror and science fiction director John Carpenter.
    • Tape 16 takes place in and around a house on Elm Street.
    • The hospital in Tape 17 lists a certain Dr. Voorhees as its cardiologist and one Dr. Loomis as its psychologist.
  • The Unreveal: The Pale Grin is never unmasked in the present, so his appearance remains a mystery.
  • Villain Protagonist: Most of the game is played from the Pale Grin's perspective as he commits his many murders in Happyhills.
  • Would Hit a Girl:
    • Several of the Pale Grin's victims are women. The Pale Grin doesn't show any hesitance to murder them at all.
    • Madison Carpenter dies when the Pale Grin throws a baseball bat at her.
The Happyhills Homicide - TV Tropes (2024)
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