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'''''Anachronox''''' is a third-person RPG from 2001, developed by Creator/IonStorm Dallas (infamous for ''VideoGame/{{Daikatana}}''; the ''VideoGame/DeusEx'' team was Ion Storm Austin) for the PC. A sort of a love-letter to Japanese-style [=RPGs=] (especially games such as ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII''), it tells a Science Fiction story that follows the tale of a down-on-his-luck detective Sylvester "Sly Boots" Bucelli and his eclectic TrueCompanions, who range from a stripper/assassin to an old collector of seemingly inert Phlebotinum to an alcoholic superhero to a ''planet'' shrunken down to your size. In true JRPG tradition, Sly and his companions travel to a variety of planets, meet interesting and weird people, hunt for widgets, and engage in a lot of TurnBasedCombat.

Although intended to be a humorous game, it isn't really a parody of the genre. It features a wide variety of tropes commonly associated with Japanese [=RPGs=] of the period such as the 3D installments of the ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' series, as opposed to Western PC [=RPGs=] of the period such as the ''Franchise/BaldursGate'' series. The game did reasonably well with critics, but was not a big seller. Among those who did play it, it is notorious for its ending, which is a very obvious lead-up to the [[StillbornFranchise sequel that was never to be]].

The game was compiled into a feature-length {{Machinima}} in 2003 by one of its creators; [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XMh7OqVxhDk&feature=related it can be watched here.]]

The game is available for sale through Website/GOGDotCom and UsefulNotes/{{Steam}}.

!!This game provides examples of the following tropes:

* AbnormalAmmo: Shields and [=MysTech=] are powered by radioactive rodents.
* AdamSmithHatesYourGuts: Averted. Standard items cost the same anywhere, and inn prices vary logically according to location and accommodations, not how far along you are in the game when you first get there.
* AlienGeometries: Anachronox is a constantly shifting world which has gravity in all sorts of different direction. Ceilings, floors, walls: it's all fair game.
* ApocalypseHow: Sunder suffers of physical annihilation severity, which is itself merely one part of a larger plan by the villains to [[spoiler:perform a multiversal destruction. To be specific, since reality is an endless cycle of Big Bang/Big Crunch, they seek to eject enough matter from the past universe into the present universe so that universe has no Crunch, destroying not only the present universe but the future universe where their enemies are.]]
* ArbitraryHeadcountLimit: Only three out of seven party members can be active at the same time.
* BadassLongcoat: Boots, by the end -- especially with his "Cap" skill.
* BagOfSharing: Just one inventory, even in segments where everyone's spread out in totally different areas. Or on totally different planets. In prison.
* BigBadFriend: [[spoiler:Grumpos, the second party member, reveals he's with the bad guys and opens the Echo Gate in the end.]]
* BilingualBonus: One guy in the all-male strip club in the red light district refers to himself as "Blue", which seems odd, until you realise that in Russian, the word "Goluboj", literally meaning "Blue", is also the slang word meaning "Gay"
* BlackComedy: Plenty, as this is a comedic game with FilmNoir overtones. See BrokenBridge below for one example.
* BlindJump: The Sender Spikes going to and from Anachronox aren't fully mapped. You meet an NPC that makes a living testing new ones, even though he could be stranded on the other side or killed by whatever's there. The party also does one by accident when their attempt to use a Spike is disrupted by an explosion, causing it to fling them in an unintended direction.
* BonusBoss: The Mephad'in [=DoorLord=] is an optional encounter in the [=MysTech=] Tunnels after Limbus. He's the single most powerful enemy in the game, with a TotalPartyKill attack (9999 damage) that can only be prevented by stunning him. Defeating the [=DoorLord=] gets you the most powerful shield in the game.
* BrokenBridge: [[ParodiedTrope "Someone's on fire just around the corner. This area's closed off until he puts himself out."]] Just in case you think he's kidding, you can see a man behind him, fully aflame, running around and screaming. The guy you're talking to is a [[DirtyCop cop]], and [[PoliceAreUseless he's doing absolutely nothing]] to help the poor man. It's just that kind of game.
%%* ButtMonkey: Oh, the poor, poor Bipidri.
* ColorCodedForYourConvenience: Every type of mystech has a specific color, and every character in the party has their own type they have the best affinity for -- the matching color will be prominent in their appearance. For example, Rho is best with poison (green) while Paco has affinity for fire - thus Rho wears a big green coat while Paco's hero spandex is red and black.
* CombatStilettos: [[MeaningfulName Stiletto]] wears them, naturally.
* DemocracyIsBad: Or at least Democratus is stupid. ''Painfully'' stupid. '''"Almost let itself be annihilated by a HordeOfAlienLocusts"''' stupid.
-->'''ObstructiveBureaucrat''': ''We have no evidence that the missiles are even destructive in nature!''\\
'''OnlySaneMan''': '' '''Evidence?''' The Verilent Hive has been doing this for hundreds of years: Bomb planet, wait for dust to settle, then re-colonize to expand hive! What exactly do you think is inside those warheads? '''Gift baskets?''' ''
** The only reason they survive their introduction is because the OnlySaneMan gets ''really'' good at yelling the other seven council members into agreeing with him.
** The quickest (and only unanimous) vote that they have is when the entire team is about to die on the prison ship.
* DiscOneNuke: Paco's InfinityPlusOneSword is obtained by photographing eight red Bipidri and turning the photos in to an NPC on Anachronox. Said eight Bipidri are all placed in areas you'll visit before meeting Paco. As a result, you can get his weapon well before he should have it, making his initial level (and several after it) a cakewalk.
* {{Dungeonpunk}}: The setting is completely cyberpunk, but it feels like magic wouldn't feel out of place.
* EmergencyTransformation: Fatima was put in the Life Cursor after she was thrown from Boots' crashing car, which ultimately crashed into ''her''.
* FasterThanLightTravel: The Sender Spikes launch ships to Anachronox, and Anachronox sends ships to Sender Spikes around the galaxy, making it the hub of galactic transportation.
* FunWithAcronyms: The Totally Arbitrary Collectible Objects, or [=TACOs=] for short. They look like golden taco statuettes.
* TheFutureIsNoir: The Bricks, the first area of the game, is a place a ''Film/BladeRunner'' character might find comfy.
* GlobalCurrency: The galactic currency is the Canadian Dollar.
** It's the ''de facto'' Galactic Currency. One of the newsfeeds you can read in the game mentions that a conference will be taking place soon to decide if the "Loonie" should become the ''de jure'' currency.
* GreenRocks: The [=MysTech=] "stones", [[spoiler:which are really what let you cast your spells, once they are eventually "awakened." Each one corresponds to different elements, such as wind or healing.]]
* GuideDangIt:
** The red Bipidri, one of which is inexplicably in space. The same goes for the [=TACOs=], which are more numerous and even more difficult to find.
** A very mild version, as it's not spelled out in black and white and thus easy to miss. Spells have certain types: confusion, damage, poison, etc. Casting these on enemies does as you would expect. Casting them on yourself, on the other hand, does the opposite (cure poison, remove confusion, etc.). Nowhere in the menu is this mechanic actually discussed. Instead, it is Rho who tells you about it when you first arrive at Votowne, and she isn't perfectly clear about it (the idea was that you're supposed to test it yourself, it being a new frontier and all). It's quite possible to go through the entire game without realizing this helpful fact.
* TheGunslinger: Boots, and Rho depending on the weapon she's using.
* HealingPotion: "Healgrease", just to HandWave why it works on the RobotBuddy.
* HowTheMightyHaveFallen: Hints are dropped here and there in the game that Sly Boots wasn't always the bum he is at the start of the game. Then a pair of cutscenes roughly halfway to three-quarters of the way through the game show that he was once a respected Private Eye in the fashionable section of Anachronox, with a nice office, a snappy suit, and a CoolCar.
* IdiotHero: Boots. He can't spell "Anachronox". He lives on the planet Anachronox.
-->"''Unachronox!'' Man, you guys are dumb."
* ImprobableWeaponUser: Rho Bowman uses devices that attack with '''SCIENCE!''' Democratus attacks with orbital lasers and ''nukes''. Paco, being a comic-style superhero, equips old issues of his own comic to access his fighting moves. In addition to all this, spells are powered by ''insects''.
* InfinityPlusOneSword: Each character has their own. Notably, Paco's can be obtained earlier than you actually get the character, making him stupidly overpowered in the short term. Also, the "harmonic" mystechs, one for each color, are the most powerful mystech in the game, short of the eight super-bug modular mystech.
* JerkAss: Sly Boots. This is even mentioned [[AllThereInTheManual in the manual]] when after giving the sob story of his life up until that point in his bio, Fatima (who narrates the manual) says "But don't feel bad for him. He's a jerk."
* JustifiedSavePoint: Most areas of the game have a frog-like creature called a "Time Minder" somewhere. Touching one lets the player save the game, with the justification that the Time Minders experience the entire continuum of their lives simultaneously, and thus touching it makes you part of their entire life. Exactly how this relates to saving the game is left unclear, but touching one is supposed to bring good luck -- that is to say, the person who touched it probably reloaded the game and tried again.
* KleptomaniacHero: Lampshaded. At one point you can break into someone's room. They'll acknowledge that you're probably here to rob them and make no effort to stop you, nor is there any punishment for it.
* KnifeNut: [[MeaningfulName Stiletto]] has plenty of throwing knives to go along with her CombatStilettos.
* LevelScaling: Enemies are scaled to Boots' level after leaving an area, and his fellow teammates are likewise scaled to ''close'' his current level. This had the effect of discouraging LevelGrinding, as doing so excessively made the game impossible to win (almost all your teammates would be useless against even mooks).
%%* LimitBreak
* MiniGame: All of the characters' "world skills," which let you do things like pick locks and hack computers, are controlled by playing simple games.
* MoodWhiplash: The story immediately goes from [[EarthShatteringKaboom having an entire planet getting blown up]] (with the entire population save one dying) to [[CabinFever your party comically going stir crazy trapped in a damaged spaceship]].
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast: Vendelin Detta, the Anachronox mob boss.
* NotSoOmniscientCouncilOfBickering: The Democratus High Council.
* OrderVersusChaos: Two civilizations are literally named Order and Chaos, and Order banished Chaos [[spoiler:into the current universe so they could live in peace in the next universe]].
* ObviousBeta: The original game shipped with a number of rather obvous minor bugs. Pathing was an issue, causing characters to jitter around in circles or be unable to figure out how to get where they needed to for an ability, and the camera would often end up behind a character for a few seconds, blocking ones view or looking 'through' their chest. Most such bugs were minor and didn't have a significant impact on the game or enjoyability, but it does give a feeling that the game wasn't quite done
** The most obvious example, which is a sort of good GameBreakingBug was the shields. The idea was that a shield would absorb a small amount of damage in battle before the character's hp took damage, and unlike health the barrier's would recharge to full after each battle. However, instead of adding a barrier of damage as intended instead the game simply increased the players health if it was lower the then maximum health of player + shield at the start of battle. This meant if any character took less damage then their shield could absorb in a battle they got to keep the extra health, effectively being healed. The mechanics of combat made it entirely possible for one character to never get targeted in a given battle, so the free 'healing' from this bug happened pretty often, and could add up enough to save using a healing potion or two.
** There was also an issue with incomplete abilities. For instance Grumpos starts with a Yammer ability, all the players are told is that he could probably talk characters to death by yammering at them. The intent was for the ability to be a short duration stun when used, but it didn't work as advertised for all players. For some it would do nothing at all, making it a complete waste of time and resources to use. Considering the description provided some players presumed it was intended to be an instant death ability which [[UselessUsefullSpell usually missed]].
*** Stun abilities from other characters had similar issues. Grumpos was simply the most obvious since he had no other abilities which he could use Bouge on for awhile, making the Yammer ability more tempting to use, and the in-game description left it so unclear what the ability was intended to do.
* OverlyLongFightingAnimation: As the game draws much of its inspiration from ''Videogame/FinalFantasyVII'' and other JRPGs of the era, some of the game's "Bouge" skills ({{Limit Break}}s) have cutscene-like animations. A "speed up" key was added in a later patch, which greatly remedies this situation.
* PowerWalk: The entire team that's still around does one in the ending cutscene.
* RagtagBunchOfMisfits: Come on, you have to guide a team of [[spoiler: a loser detective, a sadist old bruiser, a robot that would make Asimov cry, a geek scientist who accidentally destroyed a planet and killed a lot of other scientists (though to be fair, you find out it wasn't actually her), a planet shrunk down to human size, a killer stripper and a drunkard superhero]].
* RidiculouslyHumanRobots: PAL, which is a plot point since robots do not usually act this way.
* SelfImposedChallenge: You may save only with "Time Minders" ({{Justified Save Point}}s) if you want.
* SequelHook: The game ends [[spoiler:with the bad guys released into the previous universe, free to enact their plan to destroy this one.]] Boots and the rest of the team do a PowerWalk implying they're off to fix the problem. Unfortunately, the studio was closed before the game was even released.
* ShoutOut: If you look closely at the objects above a characters head when they are affected with "Nuts", the textures of the cubes look similar, if not identical, to the walls from the rooms in the the movie ''Film/{{Cube}}''. The animation also has the objects move around erratically, as the rooms did in said movie, though that just may be over speculation.
** Votown pretty obviously refers to Motown.
** The guards on Anachronox are practically recolors of ''ComicBook/{{JudgeDredd}}''
* SpaceFriction: Averted for a good spot of suspense: The Verilent Hive has launched missiles at Democratus, and the team makes an assault on the Hive to remotely disable the missiles. After they are done, the missiles are still approaching. Rho points out that since there is no friction in space, they won't know whether they were successful until they see whether the warheads will detonate on impact.
* StandardStatusEffects: Although they have weird names, in keeping with the game's tendency to have everything a standard RPG does but with odd names.
* StealthPun: For starters, both your characters' DeflectorShields and AppliedPhlebotinum run on "Neutron Radiated Glodents"; [[FunWithAcronyms N-R-G.]] There are also "Batts" AKA "Bat Batteries".
* TimeyWimeyBall: The ultimate cause behind all the cataclysmic events seems to form one: [[spoiler:The universe forms an endless cycle of Big Bang - Big Crunch events. A war between Order and Chaos in the next universe ended with Order banishing Chaos into the current universe. Chaos has set plans in motion to escape into the previous universe, and shunt enough mass from that universe to the current universe so that the total mass of the previous universe does not provide enough gravitational pull to cause a Big Crunch, and the future universes will never be born. How this can be successful when logically it should mean that a) Chaos erases its own existence and b) also erases the universe where they were sending all that matter, is never brought up. Nor is why Chaos's presence in the current universe does not alter the course of the next one-- no ButterflyEffect here. [[NoOntologicalInertia Apparently what happens in one universe stays in that universe.]]]]
* TraitorShot: [[spoiler:just as Grumpos approaches the Echo Gate, a breeze ruffles his beard, revealing the emblem of the Dark Servants on his chest. He's been in league with the BigBad all along.]]
* TrueCompanions: And a bizarre set of one, at that. One of your companions is [[spoiler: an ''entire planet'', shrunk down to your scale.]]
* UnexpectedGameplayChange: The game features at least one short stealth sequence, a side-scrolling shooter section and a mandatory rail shooting section.
* VirtualGhost: Fatima, Boots's "[=LifeCursor=]", is actually the mind of Boots' secretary downloaded into a little flying apparatus that acts as a sort of a combination of futuristic PDA [[DiegeticInterface and the game cursor]]. She appears to Boots as a hologram since she doesn't actually have a body. She is not overly happy with this arrangement.
* WelcomeToCorneria: Played straight and [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]]. Every character in the game is nothing but a stock set of phrases. One particular fellow in the Anachronox train station, however, is aware of this fact and preaches it to the masses. They don't believe him, of course. Near the end of the game, speaking to him will reward you with a Harmonic [=MysTech=], his way of making sure you remember who he is.
* YouALLLookFamiliar: Lampshaded via the character Multidude, who can create copies of himself. They all have their own minds and several have gone off to live their own lives.
* YouCantFightFate: Subtle, but it's there: [[spoiler:When you meet Rho, she theorizes that mass from the previous universe has started destabilizing the current one; the Chatagra and their servants have already escaped into the past, and everything you do just leads up to their release.]]