[[quoteright:307:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/motherload_726.png]]
[[caption-width-right:307:[[TengenToppaGurrenLagann Digging tunnels, day after day. That's my job.]]]]''[[http://www.miniclip.com/games/motherload/en/ Motherload]]'' is a flash game developed by [=XGen=] Studios in 2004. The game takes place on Mars [[TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture sometime in the future]] in a small martian mining outpost. The player controls a lone [[DrillTank mining pod]] and is tasked to drill underneath the planet's surface in search of valuable ores. The gameplay is based on the mechanics of {{Dig Dug}}, except that there are no [[{{Mooks}} Pookas and Fygars]] to be seen under the surface--the entire challenge of the game comes solely from navigating the hazardous Martian sub terrain for ore and hauling it to the surface alive with the mining pod intact and without running out of fuel. As the miner reaches deeper under the Martian surface, [[ApocalypticLog various clues and transmissions]] begin to hint at something [[DarkSecret larger and more sinister going on]], of which the answer seems to be hidden even deeper under the planet.

Despite its infamously random [[spoiler:{{Gainax Ending}}]] of sorts, Motherload is easily one of [=XGen=]'s most popular, if not their most popular game to date. Another game based on the original, [[http://supermotherload.tumblr.com Super Motherload]], was recently announced and will be available upon the release of the Playstation 4.

!!This video game provides examples of:
* ArtisticLicenseAstronomy: Mars doesn't have one big moon. It has two tiny ones.
* AttackOfTheFiftyFootWhatever: [[spoiler:Both forms of Mr. Natas.]]
* AwesomeButImpractical: Flying mining machines!
** A super-fast drill made of ''gold''? [[ArtisticLicensePhysics Really?]]
* CaneFu: [[spoiler:Mr. Natas does this in his first form.]]
* CollisionDamage
* CriticalAnnoyance: When the fuel tank gets close to empty, it starts beeping. When it reaches critical levels, the beeps happen so rapidly it's more like one long high-pitched note.
* DrillTank: [[spoiler:The drill can't damage the boss, ironically enough.]]
* DugTooDeep
* [[spoiler:EvilIsHammy]]
-->[[spoiler:'''Mr. Natas''': HAHAHA!! YOU FOOL!!! SEE YOU IN HELL!!!]]
-->[[spoiler:'''Mr. Natas''': [[EvilLaugh MWAHAHAHA!]] Imbecile! You really think you can defeat me? [[CardCarryingVillain I am the master of all EVIL]]! BEHOLD MY TRUE FORM!!!]]
* FastTunnelling: 120 ft per second for the amazonite drill.
* GiantSpaceFleaFromNowhere: [[spoiler:Other than the [[MeaningfulName name]], there is no clue.]]
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: [[spoiler:Mr. Natas' provision of repair nanobots and explosives eventually led to his defeat.]]
* InterfaceSpoiler: Inventory screen shows ore all the way up to [[{{Unobtainium}} Amazonium]].
* [[spoiler:OneWingedAngel: Mr. Natas' second form, which looks vaguely like a [[NinjaZombiePirateRobot giant mechanical demonic tiger]] standing on two feet.]]
* ReadingsAreOffTheScale: The meter starts to display as ?XXXXX with the Xs being random, rapidly flashing numbers after reaching -5800ft. [[spoiler:On the boss level, it reads -[[NumberOfTheBeast 66666]]ft.]]
* [[spoiler:RedAndBlackAndEvilAllOver: Mr. Natas' true form. Heck, he wears red and black and has [[RedEyesTakeWarning RED EYES]] [[ObviouslyEvil in his human form!]]]]
* {{Retirony}}: The friendly veteran miner who is the only other worker left on Mars dies trapped underground after mentioning that he is a few days from retirement.
* [[spoiler:SdrawkcabAlias: [[{{Satan}} Mr. Natas]].]]
* SerialEscalation: There are 10 kinds of ores, from ironium ($30) to amazonite ('''$500,000''').
* SplashDamageAbuse: [[spoiler:Mr. Natas' second form's claw attack can hit through the ceiling of the boss level.]]
* StealthPun: [[spoiler:The final boss is...[[ShapedLikeItself well, your boss.]]]]
* StuffBlowingUp: The dynamite and the more powerful plastic explosives. Around -1000ft rocks that cannot be dug into appears, and insta-kill lava pockets show up around -3000ft. Both must be dealt with explosives ([[ArtisticLicensePhysics because the best way to get rid of lava is to blow it up]]). [[spoiler:Around -5000ft invisible natural gas pockets may blow everything next to you up like dynamite but also causes heavy damage, and the boss can only be defeated with explosives.]]