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The Imps, also known as the Little People according to "The Funeral", are child-sized, disfigured creatures and the most common enemies of Rule of Rose. Throughout the game, hundreds of these monstrous little beings stalk and attack Jennifer and Brown, especially in hoards.
The Imps vaguely resemble children, with distorted faces and bodies. The normal Imps are completely white, and wear black clothing. Some of the other Imps resemble animals, having animal heads and features. Some Imps are occasionally seen with paper bags over their heads.
While individual Imps are rather easy to deal with, the danger of Imps stems from their high amounts of numbers. Passing through narrow hallways with lots of Imps is a recipe for disaster. Often times, figuring out another way to Jennifer's destination and avoiding Imps, while navigating through Imps when forced to, is the real challenge.
Many Imps attack with weapons such as brooms and knives. They tend to swarm Jennifer in groups and jump on her, latching onto her. If Jennifer is being strangled by an Imp, wiggling the analog stick will get them off faster and lessen the damage. Some Imps will attempt to bite Jennifer, while others simply clap their hands in excitement.
In one instance, in the Sector 8 Cargo Bay after obtaining the Blue Butterfly during "The Clover Field" chapter, four Imps can be seen cleaning the floor in unison. In the "Sir Peter" chapter, knocking on one of the Imp's bathroom stall doors will result in the Imp knocking back.
Throughout the game, the Imps attempt to stop Jennifer from recalling her lost memories. In that sense, they are a hallucinations of Jennifer's; they represent her fear of discovering the truth. Jennifer comments on this, stating that her 'weak heart' is what attracted them. The way they gang up on Jennifer in numbers may symbolize how Jennifer felt the children of the orphanage would gang up on her and bully her.
The Imps were originally creatures from a scary story that the girls told at the orphanage, relating to Wendy and Stray Dog. It was rumored that they swept away naughty children who didn't do their chores. According to Jennifer, the story spread like a wildfire. The Imps love to clean which is why they carry mops and brooms, and kidnap those who don't clean.
In one of the cells in the basement of the orphanage is a small table with what appears to be figurines of the regular Imps. This may reveal where the appearance of the Horrible Imps come from. They seem to be surrounding a doll of Peter being hung.
The animal heads represent the paper bag masks that the children wear, hinting that the Imps are based from the children that wear the masks.