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[[quoteright:250:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Secret_World_cover_5788.png]]
[[caption-width-right:250:[[AStormIsComing Dark days are coming.]]]]
->''"Everything is true."''

An {{MMORPG}} from Funcom, makers of ''VideoGame/TheLongestJourney'', ''VideoGame/AnarchyOnline'', ''VideoGame/AgeOfConan'' and several other games, released on July 3rd, 2012. The premise of ''The Secret World'' is that ''all'' [[ConspiracyKitchenSink conspiracies are true]], and [[SecretWar major clandestine organizations compete to take over the world]], whilst keeping [[AllMythsAreTrue swarms of mythical creatures]] under wraps in the process. Players join up with one of three [[AncientConspiracy ancient conspiracies]]: [[WellIntentionedExtremist the Templar]], TheIlluminati, or [[TheChessmaster the Dragon]], to fight in a secret war waged in the shadows of our world.

An interesting draw is the reported lack of classes and levels -- rather than selecting a class such as "mage" or "warrior" and only learn certain skills as you level up, players will be able to choose skills to do whatever they want -- they are free to select both spells ''and'' melee, or stealth and healing magic or what have you.

The Templars, based in London are the most open of the three societies, as well as the most devoted to fighting evil in all forms. Pitted against them are the Illuminati, who are focused on personal gain and individualism. The third society, the Dragon is the most secretive of the three -- decentralised and secretive, the only thing sure about them is their dedication to their mathematical model that is said to represent the universe.

According to the developers, the game takes a lot of inspirations from works set in TheRoaringTwenties, from Creator/HPLovecraft's [[CosmicHorrorStory books]] to the ''Franchise/IndianaJones'' franchise. It was even originally intended to be set in 1920s, but concerns over the setting's accessibility have led to a PresentDay setting being chosen. The old setting was instead picked up again by the devs' later project, ''Draugen''.

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!!Examples of tropes in this game:

* ActionPrologue: The Tokyo Incident Flashback has you assume the role of Sarah in a combat tutorial teaching you the basics of the combat.
* AdvancedAncientHumans: It is generally accepted in the Secret World that there have been advanced civilizations long before the dawn of ours. However, they fell so long ago that most information is irrecoverable and the pursuit of such information is largely considered pointless, although when found, Third Age technology is considered extremely valuable.
* AdventurerArchaeologist: A lot of the Investigation Missions has you doing research while uncovering unearthly ruins.
* AllegedlyFreeGame: Averted. While there is a sizable micro-transaction store and several benefits to the optional subscription, nearly everything in the store is cosmetic and character progression happens at such a generous pace that a player is far more likely to find a pair of premium pants they absolutely must have than find themselves thinking they need one of the skill boosts.
%%* ALighterShadeOfGray: The Templar.
* AluminumChristmasTrees: The Wabanaki are a real-life confederacy of native tribes and not just made up for the game.
%%* ArcWords: [[TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt "Dark days are coming,"]] as well as its anagram, "Dark demons cry gaia."
* AllMythsAreTrue: One of the game's taglines is "Everything is True", referring to how every myth and legend told throughout human history not only has a grain of truth to it, but in fact can be taken more or less at face value. The tagline is also mentioned to the PlayerCharacter at some point during the prologue for each faction.
%%* AlternateRealityGame:
%%** Dark Demons Cry Gaia.
%%** Then there was [[TheEndIsNigh The End of Days is Coming]] leading up to 21/12-2012.
* AmusementParkOfDoom: Atlantic Island Amusement Park, haunted by the [[ThingsThatGoBumpInTheNight Bogeyman]]. Complete with ghostly echoes of children laughing and [[DeliberatelyMonochrome grainy, grayscale areas meant to evoke feelings of happier times]].
* AncientConspiracy: Three flavors for players to chose from, as well as at least one for the players to take down.
* AncientTradition: The MO of the Dragon, with a subtle mixture of both the "Passive Observation" and "Aiding" varieties.
* AndTheAdventureContinues: After completing your story mission, your faction leaders reward you with a leave of vacation [[spoiler: while hinting about going back to Tokyo where it all began.]]
* AnOfferYouCantRefuse: All three factions do different variants of this trope when recruiting you. Templars give you an open invitation and say you can walk way. However free player do not last long in The Secret World even with immortality. Illuminati come off as an arrogant prick that tells you to be there or else. And the Dragon.... They don't even let you have a chance to refuse as they kidnap you and throw you into Seoul knowing that you'll stumble upon them.
* AndYourRewardIsClothes:
** Completing "Decks", which are essentially player classes/build templates unlocks a unique outfit for your character. Additionally, unlocking the second tier of a weapon type's skill tree unlocks a special jacket thematic with that weapon, such as a camouflage jacket for the assault rifle, or, for blades, a yellow jacket like The Bride wears in the fight with Crazy 88 in ''Film/KillBill''.
** At certain faction ranks you get themed uniforms.
** Certain achievements give you new clothes. For example, completing all the quests for the Innsmouth Academy Faculty rewards you with an Innsmouth Academy Hoodie. [[spoiler: Completing all the Jack O'Lantern quests rewards you with a Pumpkin Head!]]
* AntiHero / AntiVillain: These sorts abound in the Secret World. Special mention goes to Wicker, though. [[spoiler: He sold his soul in order to survive in hell with plans of bringing it back to the paradise it once was.]]
* AntiPoopsocking: To some extent. Most quests can be repeated many times, but they reset after several hours of active playing time (not real-time or time being logged in) to prevent quest grinding.
%%* ApprovalOfGod: The entire [[http://www.thesecretworld.com/news/blog_the_twitterverse_experiment: Twitterverse Experiment]]
* ArcWords: [[spoiler: "You are all made of stars"]] shows up in Tokyo after it's initial use in Issue #7. It's a really big clue that something filth-related happened at [[spoiler: the Fear Nothing Foundation]] as opposed to run of the mill death cult stuff.
* AttackDrone: Pistol users can summon drones to use in combat for attack and support.
* AttackOfTheFiftyFootWhatever: The New York raid boss, The Unutterable Lurker, is a [[Franchise/CthulhuMythos Cthulhu-esque]] monster that attacks Manhattan.
* AcquiredPoisonImmunity: Dr. Klein, who exposed himself to small doses of the Filth to build up an immunity, although it also caused him to develop a dependency. [[spoiler: Subverted; according to the bees, this does ''not'' give one an immunity to Filth, and Klein is plain infected by it. He retains his own personality - but it's entirely devoted to the filth.]]
* AwesomeMcCoolname: There's an Orochi employee named Kitsune Hayabusa. "Kitsune" is the Japanese word (not commonly used as a name) for the fox and a [[{{Kitsune}} mythological foxlike creature]], while "Hayabusa" is a name meaning Peregrine Falcon, also used for several things including fighters, warships, spacecraft, and [[VideoGame/NinjaGaiden a fictional ninja clan]].
* BadassGrandpa:
** Montogmery de la Roche demonstrates his credentials in this field by casually impaling an approaching mummy on his SwordCane.
** Khalid, the immortal hermit living in the Egyptian wilderness. Implied to be have been [[spoiler: either Moses or Aaron]], more-than implied to be somewhat Angelic in nature, and somewhat reminiscent of [[LordOfTheRings Gandalf.]]
** Octavian, despite being in his seventies when made an immortal, is still able to wield a battle-axe with deadly skill when the need arises.
* BadassTeacher: Headmaster Montag of Innsmouth Academy, who admits to knowing how to decapitate a rampaging {{Familiar}} with a shovel.
* BazaarOfTheBizarre: The seedy 'Darkside' district in downtown London is a surreal collection of monsters and myths from the entire world. A ghoul runs a taco-cart there!
* BareFistedMonk: The Dragon healing deck (named Monk) is this. Subverted, in that the Monk deck also has access to assault rifles.
* BewareTheNiceOnes: Carter from Innsmouth Academy whom Montag describe as a walking thermonuclear bomb if her full power is unleashed.
* BigApplesauce: The Illuminati are based in New York City.
* BigCreepyCrawlies: The moth-like ak'ab on Solomon Island, and the demonic "locusts" of Egypt.
* BigDamnHeroes:
** During the player's visit to Egypt, three Council of Venice agents have been surrounded on all sides by Aten Cultists, are clearly outmatched and expecting this to be their last stand... up until the player appears, destroying the opposition with bolts of lightning.
** When the player finally manages to uncover the tunnel entrance in Kingsmouth, they're immediately confronted by a monstrous guardian; after a short boss-fight, the guardian is ready to finish you off -- [[spoiler:only to be suddenly dispatched by a barrage of fireballs from John Wolf]].
** In the Darkness War story, the Wabanaki are being beaten by Mayan invaders after just a day of battle. On the second day, Vikings show up with extra soldiers and Excalibur, which turns the battle around. This is after [[TravelingAtTheSpeedOfPlot sailing all the way from Europe]]
* BigfootSasquatchAndYeti: There's a whole tribe of Sasquatch living in the forests of Solomon Island, and for the most part they're fairly benevolent, if incapable of human speech. They're actually one of the very few things keeping the dark forces lurking beneath the island from escaping; unfortunately, they're also an endangered species.
* BlackAndGrayMorality:
** You have three [[AncientConspiracy ancient conspiracies]] that control humanity, none of which are portrayed in a truly positive or negative light, working to unravel a darker conspiracy that threatens all humanity.
** Your first visit into hell consists of rescuing a man who wants to bring it back to Paradise after its creators abandoned it to decay. Of course, it is a [[UnreliableNarrator demon]] who told him how Hell used to be...
* BlatantLies: The original tagline of the game was "There is no conspiracy." The promotion campaign has since made a U-turn and posited that "Everything is true."
* BloodSplatteredInnocents: Carter, the last surviving student of Innsmouth Academy, still wearing a blood-splattered hoodie and still looking mildly traumatized.
* BlindIdiotTranslation: While fluid, the Dragon [=NPCs=]' Korean dialogue uses odd constructions, varies wildly between overly formal and extremely rude, and generally gives the impression that either the translator or the voice actors were more accustomed to using a dialect other than modern standard Korean.
* BodyHorror: The transformation process inherent to both the Filth and the Draugr. Not only do the lore entries go into horrific detail, but you actually get to see the transformation at a mid-point in the case of [[spoiler: Joe Slater, PatientZero for the Draugr attack on Kingsmouth]]: when you finally track him down, he still looks vaguely human, [[spoiler: but his left arm has been distorted into massive club of bone and coral, his right arm is covered in wriggling tentacles, and his face is pockmarked with what look like barnacles.]]
* BottomlessMagazines: Justified that you channel your Anima through your firearms, so you are essentially firing [[DepletedPhlebotinumShells Anima Bullets]]. This also explains why your firearms don't drop any brass casing or that you'll able to leech heal with an assault rifle.
* BreadEggsMilkSquick: Deputy Andy, one of the first [=NPCs=] you meet has rather... interesting view of policing the small town.
--> '''Deputy Andy:''' Kingsmouth was a sleepy little burg. Nothing stronger on the streets than a hot cup of coffee and chocolate glazed donuts from Suzie's. The occasional DUI, domestic disturbance, human sacrifice... But every town has a dark side, right?
* BulletHell: The devs seem to have really had fun with the CrossHairAware nature of boss attacks. Of particular note is the last boss in the second dungeon on Solomon's Island, which creates some pretty impressive spiral designs made out of explosions that [[NintendoHard will pretty much instantly kill you]] if you can't avoid them or don't have a lot of health.
* BunnyEarsLawyer: The Illuminati's highest of high-ups, The Pyramidion. He speaks in a calm, evenly-paced tone, and you can tell he obviously knows everything worth knowing. Too bad about that curious habit of peppering his speech with Public Announcements and context-relevant memes...
** Headmaster Montag of Innsmouth Academy; along with his habit of wearing latex gloves and [[HatesBeingTouched refusing handshakes out of aversion to human contact]], he tends to launch into rambling, [[SesquipedalianLoquaciousness overly-verbose]] monologues at the drop of a hat, and is almost hilariously unresponsive to human emotion. On the other hand, he's a very capable administrator, a highly-experienced magician, and stoic enough not to be unnerved by the monsters trying to claw their way into his inner sanctum. Appropriately, he's an Illuminati employee.
* TheCallKnowsWhereYouLive: Especially for members of the Dragon. All characters start off by swallowing a bee and [[PowerIncontinence accidentally]] destroying their apartment. Templars players are given an option to join up, Illuminati players are given an appointment and a veiled threat, while the Dragon players get kidnapped, dropped off in an alley in Korea, and then get a recruitment pitch from a [[ItMakesSenseInContext former professor and a prostitute]].
* CannibalClan: Subverted in the case of the the Dimirs; though very happy to kill and eat magical creatures of any description, Silviu claims that people "are not for sausages."
* CastFromHitPoints: BloodMagic specializes in this.
* {{Catchphrase}}: The lore entries -- narrated by the bees -- almost always begin with, "Our Wisdom flows so sweet. Taste and See."
** "Initiate the secret histories."
** "What is time to us? We stand outside. Everything has happened. Everything is happening."
* CharacterBlog: Many minor characters have them, and some of them are actually [[LoggingOntoTheFourthWall integral to investigation quests]].
* ChekhovsGun: {{Lampshaded}} by Sam Krieg: ''"I'm sure you know this one: show a gun on the mantlepiece in the first act, before the curtain goes down it's gonna blow someone's scrotum off."''
* TheChessmaster:
** The Dragon, who frequently manipulate the other two societies (as well as their other enemies) for their own purposes; in one case, thanks to their predictive equations, they were willing to engineer the birth of an individual who would grow up to join the Templars and eventually betray them, just so they could get their hands on the artefact he'd steal from them in the process.
** The Illuminati, particularly their head, The Pyramidion. They would prefer to solve issues through back-room political influence, blackmail, and bribery, rather than resort to cruder methods like violence or terrorism.
%%* ChurchOfHappyology: The Morninglight, at first glance.
* ClassAndLevelSystem: Essentially averted. A PC can eventually collect every single talent and ability in the game if played long enough. You do gain XP, but gain Ability Points you can spend however you want.
* CloudCuckooLander: About every second NPC you meet, in one way or another. Of course, the game [[ConspiracyKitchenSink being what it is]], many of those turn out to [[TheCuckooLanderWasRight be]] [[ObfuscatingStupidity something]] [[MadOracle else]] [[CassandraTruth entirely]]...
* ClockPunk: Apparently what Third Age technology ran on. Heck, it still does in the case of the Agartha Custodians.
* ClosedCircle: For the citizens of the [[ZombieApocalypse Kingsmouth]].
* CommonCharacterClasses: Zig-zagged; play for long enough and you will eventually learn every ability, max out every skill and have endgame-level gear of every type. Players in groups are required to fulfill a tank, healer or damage dealer archetype, but there is significant wiggle-room in how this can be done. It's virtually impossible to accomplish everything with a single build even for a player sticking to one role.
** Leech healing for groups is entirely viable and in many cases more efficient than direct healing, as the healer is also a damage dealer and will help bring the bosses down faster. This can backfire in some places like "Hell Fallen" where many of the bosses have damage-reducing shields, lowering the damage the leech healer inflicts and, with it, their healing.
** Damage dealers are usually the players who provide needed support abilities. Particularly noticeable in "Hell Raised" where the bosses love to stack damage-over-time effects that must be cleansed off of the group.
** "The Facility" is often done with a self-healing tank, while the group member who would normally be the dedicated healer provides more direct damage.
* ConfusionFu: Chaos Magic is up close and personal used for many purposes such as generating hate (drawing enemy attention), evade tanking (relying on not getting hit while keeping the enemy occupied), debuffing (weakening or adding vulnerabilities to) the enemy, redirecting attacks back at the attacker, etc.
* ConspiracyKitchenSink: Part of the basis of the game. And the writer are not at all [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?gl=US&v=CYHJ-Od5WrM not shy]] to [[ShownTheirWork show their work]] (the list starts ca. 1:10 in).
* TheCorruption: The Filth, a universe-hopping life form with the ability to change people into tentacle-covered monsters and manifests as toxic mold, black sludge, and even a BrownNote radio signal. It is said in the lore to be the creation of a MultiversalConqueror.
* CovertDistressCode: According to Sonnac, a post card from Cairo bearing [[Creator/PercyByssheShelley Ozymandias]] is the universal sign of a imminent apocalypse in Egypt.
* CrosshairAware: A lot of enemies telegraph their biggest and powerful attacks with AOE circles telling you to dodge and get out of the area.
* CrystalDragonJesus: With the name of Templars, referring to having faith when speaking of them often, and using the Iron Cross as their symbol, many assume the Templars are Christians. It has been explicitly stated that they are not, though. More specifically, they were around before Christianity, adopted it as one of their tools for a while and then dropped it when a GambitPileup resulted in their Knights Templar branch being wiped out.
* DangerouslyGenreSavvy:
** Fredrick 'Freddy' Beaumont. He knows that if he kills you, you'll just be revived and continue to meddle with his plans. So instead he knocks you out and imprisons you so that he can finish his plan without you being in the way.
** A far more blunt solution is presented in Issue #7 [[spoiler: by Lilith, who simply cuts off your legs.]]
* DeathIsASlapOnTheWrist: Dying doesn't have any particularly high penalties. Your gear suffers some minor damage, and you have to either walk back to your corpse or respawn at an Anima Well. Death is ''so'' cheap, in fact, players commit suicide and respawn at the Anima Wells as a form of stopgap fast-traveling. Killing yourself is even required in some quests, to access areas that are blocked to the living and to interact with ghostly entities. This is justified and even lampshaded in game -- when you go down, the Bees (the same ones that give your your powers) whisk you away to save you, and the first major villain you face actually says that he can't kill you because, unless he grinds you down to atoms -- which he honestly doesn't have time to do -- you'll just come back again. [[spoiler:So instead he traps you in a large underground library while he proceeds with his plans.]]
* DidWeJustHaveTeaWithCthulhu: The game features many occasions when the player can encounter nightmarish creatures of best-forgotten myths and legends... and have pleasant conversations with them. Several examples of many:
** During your first meeting with him, the Transylvanian Forest God is getting drunk at a tavern and writing poetry about the barmaid. Sadly, he doesn't offer to buy you a pint.
** Dragon players experience a "Did You Just Shake Hands With Cthulhu" moment when [[spoiler: the Golden Child -- TheChosenOne on which the entire Dragon is based upon, the child that you've been explicitly ordered ''never'' to speak to - quite unexpectedly beckons you over and shakes your hand.]] Judging by [[TheConsigliere Bong Cha's]] stunned expression and the bow one of the servants gives you on your way out, it's clear that this trope was running through their heads.
* DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu:
** One of the main points of the game is doing battle with the eldritch horrors of myth and legend, so one would expect this trope to be come into effect at some point in the game.
** The very first "dungeon" of the game, Polaris, features a Cthulhu {{Expy}} as the final boss. Bonus points go to players who make use of the martial arts-like Chaos Magic, which allows them to ''literally'' punch-out the Cthulhu wannabe.
* TheDogBitesBack: After being defeated by the player character at the end of the first story quest, [[spoiler:Beaumont has his magic sword stolen from him by the groupie he dumped earlier in the mission.]]
* EarlyBirdCameo: The boss of the Manhattan Exclusion Zone raid, [[EldritchAbomination The Unutterable Lurker]] first appeared in the fourth CGI trailer for the game.
* EldritchLocation: Several of them in the game. The ones most encountered are probably Agartha (The world tree in the center of the earth, allowing extremely fast travel between different parts of the surface, used by players for travel between zones), and the Dreaming Prison (Seen during a few quests and cutscenes, and also seen in areas where the Filth is particularly strong), looking like a distorted version of outer space, with circling planets and asteroids, and some odd icy terrain, much of it floating.
* EmoteCommand: The usual assortment. ''Un''usually, these can be functional in interacting with the setting... just rarely enough to be a source of confusion for new players, who will soon learn how to "Use" anything and everything but will get stuck trying to figure out that the best way to, say, salute is to /salute.
* EndOfAnAge: Has happened several times in the past, and involved varying degrees of TheMagicGoesAway and LostTechnology. The world is currently in the Fourth Age; the Third Age is heavily implied to have been an AgeOfWonder but is so far gone that only a few bits and pieces of it are left, like [[spoiler: Excalibur.]] There is nothing discernible left over from the Second Age, although the bees describe it as having been "toxic," so this may be for the best.
* EverybodyKnewAlready: Since every NPC you meet is at best acquainted to the secret world. Justified, as you don't venture far from your faction hub where many of the NPC's are aware of the Secret World or a part of it (and honestly in terms of subtlety it goes Templars, Dragons, Illuminati in ascending order) or from places where all hell has broken loose and the masquerade has become pointless.
* EvilSorcerer: Frederick Beaumont. He's even called exactly that in his first appearance.
%%* ExorcistHead: Some ghosts can be seen doing this as an IdleAnimation.
* {{Expy}}: The Secret World attempts to be closely parallel to reality, so the fictional characters of the novel, {{Dracula}} are just as fictional in TSW. An in-game equivalent does exist to Van Helsing, the greatest vampire hunter ever and whose lore is what allows humans to hunt vampires so effectively. [[spoiler: It's Dracula himself, who was never a vampire in this setting. For the record, his heirs are not fans of Bram Stoker.]]
* ExtraDimensionalShortcut: The alternate dimension of Agartha acts as a sort of [[PortalNetwork trans-dimensional subway system]], complete with [[QuintessentialBritishGentleman quintessential British stationmaster]].
* ExtraStrengthMasquerade: The world the players inhabit is full of supernatural goings on and many {{Muggles}} are even aware of it and independently fight the darkness on a day-to-day basis, yet it's implied that the vast majority of people in the world are still in the dark.
* {{Familiar}}: One of the most common enemies found at Innsmouth Academy; according to Annabel Usher, prior to the disaster, they were created by the students in the magical equivalent of shop class- hence the reason why they look so repulsive. Unfortunately, they've gone feral following the death of the students, leaving the player with the job of trimming the herd before they overrun the remaining defenders.
** Players can acquire their own animal familiars through the TSW marketplace. Three of them are available as a pre-orders for the deluxe edition game.
* FanDisservice: Female Draugr and most of the female demons (not just the succubi) are completely nude. It seems like the devs intended this to be as unsexy as possible between the rotting, waterlogged flesh of the Draugr, and the dark veiny breasts on the demons.
* FantasticRacism: The Dimir family justify the murder and cannibalization of numerous supernatural beings by reminding you that none of them were human, so technically they didn't break any laws. The vast majority of Secret Worlders do not share this sentiment.
* FishPeople: Lovecraft's own Deep Ones roam the New England coast near old Innsmouth, having apparently been herded out of the ocean by Draugr to assist in the invasion.
* Foreshadowing: This game is full of foreshadowing, from mentions of Soviet supersoldiers to the incident in Japan to mentions of various locales not yet explored. One of the most disturbing, however, is that the Illuminati headquarters, the Labyrinth, is modelled after Mayan underground caverns. [[spoiler: As you learn in the third dungeon, the Mayans may well have DugTooDeep, and were touched by the filth. Are the Illuminati, then, corrupted as well?]]
* FullFrontalAssault: Female Draugr and most female demons fight in the nude. As they are only vaguely human-like, they are not exactly attractive.
* FunctionalMagic: Thanks to being symbiotically bonded with one of the Bees, players have the ability to use magic in the fashion of Inherent Gifts; however, many other magical prodigies were simply born with their powers without the intervention of the Bees, in some cases because of genetic inheritance, in others for no perceivable reason at all. Secret Worlders who haven't been touched by "The Buzzing" or inherited magic need to learn spells through Rule Magic, which can take years to master. Meanwhile, the Illuminati have taken Device Magic to an artform in crafting various MagiTek objects to control or enhance magical processes: Lore entries mention imprisoning demons inside specially-made hard drives, Dr. Zurn provides a full-body workout for your powers and a flashback to the Tokyo incident with a simple injection, and the faculty at Innsmouth Academy reinforce their wards with W.A.N.D. anima devices.
* FungusHumongous: The forests of Transylvania are home to at least two large colonies of gigantic fungus, one in the power station, the other in the water treatment plant. Several species here are mobile and extremely dangerous, requiring you to head in and destroy them before they start endangering the locals.
* GameplayAndStorySegregation:
** In most online games, characters not being permanently killable is ignored -- you can always be resurrected, but enemies you kill will generally stay that way. Player characters in ''The Secret World'' are routinely acknowledged in dialogue to be deathless, because of their supernatural empowerment. Enemies complain about being unable to do away with you permanently, and ticked-off allies call in the heavy sorcerers to threaten the death penalty. Some puzzles even involve deliberately dying to explore as a ghost or escape from a trap.
** Unlike many online games which have every single character doing the same quests that would realistically only ever have been done once with no one mentioning the fact, mission completion dialogues in TSW occasionally reference the fact that you're not the only one being sent on these particular missions ("I'm sure one of you will get it right eventually"-type responses after "successfully" completed tasks).
* GasMaskMooks: The Illuminati describe their fashion sense as 'gas-mask chic'; several Illuminati [=NPC=]s can be seen wandering around their New York headquarters (The Labyrinth) wearing gas masks. Attaining higher Faction Rankings within the Illuminati [[YourRewardIsClothes rewards]] the player with a full uniform including, yes, a gas mask.
%%* GenreSavvy: ''Everyone''.
* {{Golem}}: Several are featured as particularly powerful enemies, made of either mud, scrap metal, broken chunks of concrete, lava, and sandstone. Some after-mission reports note how odd it is that several of these Golems are active without being brought to life by a magician. However, in one mission, Cucuvea gives you the materials to make a golem bodyguard to help you kill your way through the army of werewolves and vampires.
* GrimyWater: There are several hazardous liquids that will severely harm the player upon contact. You'll have scant seconds to jump back out before you're rapidly poisoned to death, no matter how tough you ''think'' you are.
* GroinAttack: It is possible to visibly plant timed explosive charges on a monster. For some races of ghoul, the player character seems to favor the groin as an attachment point.
* {{Handwave}}: A notable aversion in the metagame; because of the setting, roleplayers ''don't'' need handwaves for whatever tools they use. For example, a twitter account isn't a "long range communication spell," it's the character's twitter account.
* HauntedHouse:
** What happens when you shun a woman for practicing witchcraft, then whip out the TorchesAndPitchforks when some kids get mauled by wild animals on her property, and then, just to piss her off even more, do the exact opposite of her burial wishes? You get the Black House. A house so evil that even a hardened monster hunter refuses to go into. And for good reason too. Just trying to approach the front door gets you thrown about twenty feet away, and if you do manage to get in, you're greeted with ghostly shapes moving through the place, bleeding walls, tortured wailing, and the house itself trying to kill you.
** The Franklin Mansion has a dark history and plenty of ghosts, but said ghosts are generally pretty benign, and the mansion is, in fact, one of the safest places on Blue Mountain.
* HealingShiv: The specialty of a healer who went the Assault Rifle route. They can hit enemies with a LifeDrain effect and transfer stolen health to an ally, or cut out the middleman and fill their pals with medibullets directly.
* HellHotel: The Overlook Motel, which is ground zero for a demonic invasion, with one of the rooms featuring a literal doorway into Hell.
* TheHermit: Khalid in Egypt. An immortal [[spoiler: implied to be Moses or Aaron.]]
* HeroicMime: The PlayerCharacter. Never says a word of dialogue, but people like to spill everything to them. At one point, Beaumont jokingly calls them, "my silent friend".
* HistoricalBadassUpgrade:
** TheIlluminati is an enormously powerful organization run like a corporation that secretly controls the Americas. It has surveillance everywhere, and uses every manipulative trick in the book, from simple blackmail to brokering deals with demons to controlling the Internet, to reach its goals. Historically, the Illuminati was a short-lived secret society of intellectuals in the 18th century that was dedicated to humanist issues. The society disbanded less than ten years after its formation due to internal strife and the introduction of laws outlawing secret societies.
** TheKnightsTemplar, now known as just the Templars, is a military powerhouse that secretly rules all of Europe. They are very proud of their thousand-year-long history to the point that they barely bother to remain secret, and can tackle almost any problem just by throwing resources at it. Historically, the Knights Templar was a military order and early Christian banking organization during the Crusades. They were formally disbanded by the Pope almost two hundred years after their formation after a long decline in power as Christian influence in the Middle East waned.
* HistoricalHeroUpgrade:
** King Tutankhamun, who is mostly known for merely undoing Akhenaten's impact on Egyptian culture by reintroducing polytheism after his father abolished it in favour of monotheistic sun worship called Atenism, actually went so far as to oppose him while he was still alive in the game, as Aten is a kind of universe-threatening monstrosity. His legacy includes the Marya, an AncientOrderOfProtectors, who still oppose Aten to this day.
** Dracula is now [[spoiler:a vampire hunter.]]
* HistoricalVillainUpgrade: Akhenaten, who is mostly known for abolishing polytheism during his reign in favour of a monotheistic religion centred on sun worship called Atenism, is upgraded to "The Black Pharaoh," an OmnicidalManiac dedicated to the world-destroying [[GodOfEvil Aten]]; for good measure, he's identified as the Pharaoh who opposed Moses in the Old Testament.
* HopelessWithTech: Subverted; Cucuvea asks the player if they know how to use the computer she has in her tree, but it turns out she doesn't have problems with technology itself, it's just that a modern day computer is far less user-friendly than the Third Age tech she was used to. As the player leaves, she goes back to figuring it out.
* TheHunter: Apart from Jack Boone and John Wolf, Solomon Island features the League of Monster Slayers, an entire club of monster hunters... comprised entirely of ''kids.'' Surprisingly, they actually have had quite a bit of success in the past, though the Lore entries reveal that their initial successes were largely due to having an [[ChildMage Innsmouth Academy student in their ranks]] and up until comparatively recently, it took a lot of effort to get them to [[GirlsHaveCooties allow girls into the league]]. Unfortunately, most of the league's current membership were killed when the Fog descended on Kingsmouth, leaving only Danny Dufresne and their well-fortified treehouse base.
* HoldYourHippogriffs: Some characters who a deeply involved in the secret world tend to swear by Gaia.
* HollowEarth: The travel nexus between major cities and locations is the fabled Agartha, [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin in the center of the Earth]]. How did you manage to ''find'' Agartha? Well, see, [[{{Yggdrasil}} The World Tree]] just sort of stuck out its branches...
* HotSkittyOnWailordAction: Sophie the barmaid is in a somewhat flirtatious relationship with the Forest God -- who looks like a stag that's learned to walk upright. [[spoiler:Sophie is unknowingly a HalfHumanHybrid of the fae kind.]]
* IAlwaysWantedToSayThat: Templar guards in London really do try to be aloof and serious, but they're not entirely immune to a bit of silliness: "Ho there, what news from the crusades?...I always wanted to say that."
* {{Immortality}}:
** The Bees -- people who have a connection with the insects of the same name -- are very difficult to kill, and the {{Player Character}}s are counted among their numbers. They ''can'' die, but their anima form (soul) just gets back up at the nearest Anima Well (a sort of fountain of raw magic) where it can either just spawn a new body, or hike its incorporeal form back to the old body and revive that. The Buzzing implies that unless they are killed deliberately, they will survive "until the heat death of the universe".
** Certain [=NPCs=] enjoy their own forms of immortality ([[WhoWantsToLiveForever or not]]): Khalid and Ptahmose are -- at the very least -- [[TheAgeless ageless]], though its implied that they're much more; the Sentinels have CompleteImmortality, as nobody has worked out how to destroy them completely; Säid and the rest of the Kingdom are all undead, being mummies, though it's implied that there are ways of killing them off for good; the vampires enjoy undead immortality; and Elders have a certain degree of [[FromASingleCell Regenerative Immortality]]. If lore entries and his own claims are to be believed, [[spoiler:Beaumont]] has CompleteImmortality, being a former Norse God.
* IdleAnimation:
** Players will rub a hand over their face while idle.
** The ak'ab hatchling will normally just sit up and beg every now and again, but if another player has a pet nearby, the hatchling will perform the ak'ab's signature column dash attack on it, knocking it over.
** Nermegal, the "filth kitty," will open a tiny portal and jump through, not returning for about thirty seconds. Very rarely, it will return chasing down a tiny filth-infected Orochi operative like a mouse.
** The Orochi security drone will zap other pets with a laser.
** The Draug Lord Puppy will jump into the air and backflip.
** The mini-Djinn will disco dance.
** If two New Years Dragons owned by players from different factions are near each other, they'll start chasing each other while spitting fire.
** If nine different Shem (golem) pets are near each other, they'll form a circle and perform a ritual, briefly summoning the Gatekeeper.
* ImpracticallyFancyOutfit: A lot of the clothes in the microstransaction store and from event rewards fall under this, especially the full outfits. In contrast, clothes from the in-game clothing store are the normal clothes you would expect to find in a clothing store.
* InscrutableOriental: The Dragon have this as their hat.
* InterfaceScrew: Whenever the player enters an area contaminated by the Filth, the screen dims slightly, and spots of black fluid coat the edges of the screen, presumably to simulate the Filth's attempts at infecting them. Additionally, when close to death the screen will be tinged red and the player will start to hear their own heartbeat.
* InterfaceSpoiler: On the testlive server for Issue #9, [[spoiler:The Black Signal lore entries were categorized as the Filth and listed before picking up the first black lore.]]
* InternetIncorporated: The Illuminati were responsible for the Internet's creation and have a major role in its continuing development and specifications. While they don't precisely own it, they've got the best real-time maps of it, the best monitoring of content and backdoor access to anything connected to the Internet... and, supposedly, a "kill switch" which entirely breaks connectivity worldwide.
* IntrepidReporter: Daniel Bach is a freelance reporter who has been obsessively chasing a particular lead for many years. His current scoop is ''the open Hellmouth'' under the Overlook Motel.
* InUniverseGameClock: The game's HUD has a clock in the upper right-hand corner to give you the time of day in-universe.
* KatanasAreJustBetter: One of the favored weapons of the Dragon is the katana.
* KnightTemplar: The Templar will 'burn down a village to kill one demon'. They also created the TheKnightsTemplar as an amusing diversion.
* LampshadeHanging: The {{Player Character}}s [[HeroicMime never say a word or display much body language]], which is occasionally brought up as a source of humour. In cut-scenes, for instance, [=NPCs=] get embarrassed when they ask a non-rhetorical question and don't get a reply, and attempting to perform handshakes only leads to awkward silences.
* LaResistance: The Marya ("young warriors") of Egypt are an ancient order formed by Tutankhamen that are devoted to thwarting the Cult of Aten.
%%* LargeHam: Dr. Klein. Oh yes. Dr. Klein. "No words! No words!" in response to the party's actions.
* LeaningOnTheFourthWall: Apis of the mysterious Sanctuary of Secrets is fully aware of the Funcom forums for the game, and hints that the AlternateRealityGame is his organization's doing.
* LevelLockedLoot: Gear (weapons and talismans) are restricted by the amount of points invested in the relevant skill. Stronger gear has higher skill requirements.
* LivingStatue: The Sentinels, who currently guard the City of the Sun God and [[SealedEvilInACan prevent the Black Pharaoh from rising again]]; lore and character dialogue reveals that they were originally [[spoiler: the children of Ptahmose, sacrificed by him in order to stop Akhenaten's return.]] Though unable to move, they can still think and speak, and occasionally command local wildlife to do their bidding; as such, they're quest-givers.
* LoggingOntoTheFourthWall:
** In some Investigation Missions, the player is required to use the in-game browser to use Google to search for information or to look for clues on special websites set up for that particular puzzle.
** The use of [[CharacterBlog in-character twitter accounts]] is a growing trend among the community. Funcom has encouraged this by establishing twitter accounts for Säid, Kristen Geary, Carter, Danny Dufrense, Nassir and the Buzzing.
* LostTechnology: Apparently plenty of it albeit not in plain sight for the most part, aside from the Agartha Custodians. Modern Day is ostensibly considered to be the Fourth Age of our world so there were three other advanced civilizations before ours and their technology is rare but not completely gone. Many legendary relics are implied to be remnants of a previous age [[spoiler: such as Excalibur]].
* LovecraftCountry: Solomon Island, Maine, which even has places like Lovecraft Lane, Dagon Bay, Innsmouth Academy, and the Miskatonic River. And Deep Ones, of course.
* LovecraftLite: Although the Lovecraftian monsters are most certainly a major threat to the universe, they are not the only threat by any stretch, and are quite beatable. After thousands of years, the secret societies have become quite adept at fighting back against that which drives you mad with a glance.
* LoyalAnimalCompanion: The player can choose one of three animals (the Ferocious Wolf, the Egyptian Cat, or the Loyal Hound) to assist him or her in combat.
* LuckBasedMission:
** The Ur-Draug battle at the end of "Polaris" turns into a crapshoot if the group doesn't do enough damage to skip the "blue" phase; it's virtually impossible to figure out if he's about to smash the rock the group is hiding behind, it happens so fast that coordination if someone ''does'' see it requires voice communication and thus can't be done with a pick-up-group, and moving to a different hiding spot gives the boss plenty of time to kill at least one group member with the attack everyone is hiding behind the rock from in the first place.
** The Machine Tyrant at the end of "Hell Raised"; even with a high-geared, experienced group, a lot can go wrong in this fight very quickly. Success depends on the Machine Tyrant not applying his group-wide damage effects faster than the group can remove them, whether or not the tracking [=AOEs=] move in directions that cut players off from escaping them, whether or not the anima fountain spawns behind the tank instead of behind the damage dealers[[note]]This can easily result in the latter's death if they aren't quick on their feet[[/note]], and whether or not the fountain spawns ''near'' the tank as well as spawning ''on time.'' Even if you manage to compensate for these things and survive, doing so can reduce the damage dealers' time on target so much that they can't bring the boss down before the time limit expires even if their damage is more than enough on paper.
** The Facility dungeon has several bosses who return high damage if an attack glances. It's possible to have high enough stats to never glance, but gearing for this specifically will result in a substandard build for anything else. Most players will run with ''almost'' enough hit rating to never glance, throw on passive buffs to increase it as the fights go on, and hope for no misses while waiting for those buffs to take effect.
* MadArtist: {{Downplayed}} with Sam Krieg, the horror author living in the Innsmouth lighthouse. While not exactly insane ''per se'', he's cynical, curmudgeonly, morbid, and borderline homicidal: in one letter, he openly fantasizes about murdering his fans, and when he's not writing or drinking, he's taking potshots at zombies with a sniper rifle.
* MadScientist:
** Dr. Charles Zurn, who has you StrappedToAnOperatingTable as part of joining the Illuminati. Though wildly eccentric, he's quite benign -- especially compared to some of the other mad scientists in the game.
** Dr. Klein, one of the villains of the Ankh dungeon. A scientist working for the Orochi group, he's been exposed to the Filth so often, he's actually [[AcquiredPoisonImmunity developed a tolerance to its normal brain-destroying effects]]; unfortunately, he's also become seriously addicted to it in the process.
** Dr Varias and the other scientists of the Soviet-run "Red Hand" project in Transylvania; among their more ambitious works were attempts to create vampire-human hybrids, and training cosmonauts to travel through "Inner Space."
** Dr. Schreber in Dream to a Kill. [[spoiler:WouldHarmAChild]]. [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] by Kirsten Geary, who carries the belief that a mad scientist is only as dangerous as the level of lucidity they aspire to; Zurn is perfectly safe because he doesn't even pretend to be lucid. Dr. Schreber, in contrast, has an extremely high professional standard, up to insisting that "Filth" and "Gaia's Chosen" not be used to refer to those things because they're unscientific names that carry inappropriate religious connotations.
* MadnessMantra: Hello, I walk into empty
* MagpiesAsPortents: The ''One for Sorrow, Two for Joy'' rhyme is delivered [[spoiler:by ghostly white ravens]] as a clue in an investigation in Kingsmouth.
* ManInWhite: Säid, the representative of the Kingdom, always wears an expensive white suit with a wide-brimmed hat and aviator shades; up until you actually get close enough to speak with him, this ensemble almost manages to disguise the fact that he's a dessicated old {{Mummy}}.
* TheMasquerade: The game is set in a world a bit darker than our own, with a secret war between the sides that know the truth.
* MasterComputer: The Contact Core of the Facility 9 dungeon. Originally in place just to run the Red Hand's experiments in sending cosmonauts across dimensions, it's developed a very unhealthy relationship with the [[ArcVillain only surviving test subject]]. As such, once it realises that you aren't going to leave the building, it becomes one of the bosses.
* MayanDoomsday: The End of Days event began on December 21st, 2012, and parts of it recurred in 2013.
* MegaCorp: One of the NPC factions will be "Orochi Multinational Group," based in Tokyo but with operations around the globe. Most references to them suggest they're trying to obtain supernatural artifacts, [[{{Mooks}} without success.]]
* MeleeATrois: The Templar and Illuminati have been at each other's throats since they existed, and the Dragon attempt to manipulate both sides for their own purposes.
* MetaphoricallyTrue: Used by the Dragon, as part of the Art of Chaos.
* MoralityKitchenSink:
** The player factions:
*** The [[WellIntentionedExtremist demon-purging]] '''[[KnightTemplar Templars]]'''. Though they've progressed from their earlier days -- in which they were widely known for burning down entire villages to kill a single demon -- they are still extremely militant in nature, not to mention starkly traditionalist -- something which has actually caused a certain degree of conflict within the faction as more liberal recruits try to change their faction's less-than-polite attitudes towards certain bloodlines. In the field, Templar agents are encouraged to avoid trying to save the world "on a case-by-case basis," and if this means leaving the entire surviving population of Kingsmouth to die or using the Illuminati's own LivingBattery techniques, so be it. However, as the game progresses, the Templar become increasingly enthusiastic about their agents' world-saving ways, and are the "whitest" faction.
*** The [[ManBehindTheMan power-brokering]], [[ScrewTheRulesIHaveMoney Ultra-capitalist]] '''[[OneWorldOrder Illuminati]]'''. The Illuminati way is to seize control, no-matter who you have to take out to get it. As for their approach to civilians, at least the Templars have a certain degree of compassion for the inhabitants of Kingsmouth: the Illuminati are almost entirely without sympathy or compassion. On the upside, violence is a last resort; it's preferable to use blackmail, bribery, and backroom politics to achieve the Illuminati's goals.
*** The [[AnarchyIsChaos destabilizing]] '''[[TheChessmaster Dragon]]'''. The Dragon are unique in that they show no plans to 'rule' the world as such, but instead cause chaos to understand the underlying mathematical system upon which Chaos operates. Of course, they also take their cues from a perpetually-reincarnating, [[TheChosenOne prophetic eight-year-old child]]...
** The NPC Factions:
*** The '''Brotherhood of Phoenician Sailors''' (aka 'The Phoenicians') who were a former ally -- of sorts -- to the other three factions before getting the political shaft one too many times. They're widely regarded as pirates, thieves, and mercenaries, but even the uptight Templars admit they have their uses... [[OnlyInItForTheMoney for the right price.]]
*** The multinational '''[[MegaCorp Orochi Group]]''', which controls a satellite company in every industry on every continent, which even the Illuminati admit is impressive. Plus, the Morninglight seem to have some kind of a grudge against them. They appear to be relatively new to 'The Secret War', as some of their actions thus far have shown, but they've also been keeping tabs on the spread of the Filth throughout Solomon Island and Egypt -- for reasons that their operatives refuse to elaborate upon. Lore entries suggest that their many satelite companies are up to no good, ranging from sinister occult research to full-blown political conspiracies, and it's implied that they aren't averse to leaving both the locals and their own research teams to die once their field work's over.
*** '''[[LouCypher The Morninglight]]''', which is one part ChurchOfHappyology, one part modern-day Cult of Personality, and probably has the most to hide...
*** The '''Council of Venice''' isn't so much a 'faction' as a Secret World equivalent to the United Nations, including having their own peace-keeping force (which even wears blue berets). The council was formed with good intentions, but has become so bogged down in bureaucracy that even the Templars admit they're only good from keeping the SecretWar from spilling out into the streets.
*** In Egypt, you meet '''The Kingdom''', a faction of mummified, undead Merchant Princes from the age of the pharaohs. They're OnlyInItForTheMoney, and offer no loyalty (well, no ''permanent'' loyalty) to any of the factions; for good measure, they're major players in Egypt's criminal underworld. Their only saving grace is that they're slightly more civilized and refined than either the Illuminati or the Phoenicians. Your contact within The Kingdom (Säid) appears to be [[LivingForeverIsAwesome taking immortality well]], given how much he enjoys his Armani suit and [=IPhone=]... among other vices he refuses to elaborate upon.
*** [[spoiler: [[EldritchHorror The dreamers]] are probably the blackest group in the game, though their end goals are unclear, their promises of power -- and threats if you reject their offers -- show their true nature.]]
* MugglesDoItBetter: ZigZagged; as the human inhabitants of Solomon Island, Egypt and Transylvania demonstrate, muggles can hold their own against the many different breeds of monsters that attack them every other minute, provided they've got a fortified position and a few guns. The soldiers of the US military and the Orochi Group are equally effective, so long as their shields keep working. A rare few {{Badass Normal}}s, like Iorgu and the Hunter, can take on various monsters by themselves; some of the Wabanaki on Solomon Island have even made a successful business out of hunting wendigo and ak'ab. However, it's made clear that magic is much more effective in combating large groups of monsters or destroying the most powerful ones; quite apart from the many Orochi Group taskforces that have been massacred under these circumstances, locals usually ask you to help them bolster the defences from time to time.
* TheNecrocracy: The Kingdom, a syndicate of [[{{Mummy}} Ancient Egyptian noblemen]] that rule modern Egypt's criminal underworld; they're mainly a type 4, given that they've no desire to rule the world or destroy life, and are perfectly satisfied with sitting back and acquiring wealth. One of them, Säid, acts as a quest-giver.
* NephariousPharaoh: The main villain of the Egypt section is Akenaten, changed from simply establishing a new religion into an OmnicidalManiac. His reign is described in this style. [[spoiler: Players fight a "sealed in a tomb" version at the end of this storyline section.]]
* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed: Sam Krieg bears more than a passing resemblance to StephenKing. [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] on a few occasions, such as mentions of his [[Franchise/TheDarkTower Ebony Tower trilogy]], and a [[CharacterBlog fan's blog]] that proposes a conspiracy theory that he's the same person as "[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Bachman Stephen Bachman]]"
* NotActuallyCosmeticAward: ArmorIsUseless (as talismans and skill provide all of your protection), and it doesn't matter whether you travel in paramilitary fatigues, a FurBikini, or a [[TuxedoAndMartini tuxedo]]... except for those few items of protective gear which you really ''should'' be wearing for specific purposes. As ''most'' mission-specific tools aren't counted as clothes, and clothing disappears from your regular inventory when "used" (becoming a permanent part of your available wardrobe), new players tend to get stuck on this distinction.
* NotSoOmniscientAfterAll: Despite their predictive models allowing them a certain measure of precogntive ability, the Dragon are not omniscient and can be surprised on occasion, as some of their after-mission reports demonstrate.
* NotUsingTheZedWord: The narrator of the Kingsmouth trailer invokes this trope by saying he's seen enough movies to know what to call them, but refuses to do so. Averted by Ann Radcliffe, whom after calling them "Condition 17s" pauses in her report to ask her superior, ''"Can't we just call them zombies, sir?"''
* NothingIsScarier: When one enters the vicinity of the Black House, all sound and music is muted, save for your own footsteps and a deep moan emanating from the bowels of the house. Needless to say, it is nerve racking.
* OurGeniesAreDifferent: Fire Jinns; quite apart from not living in lamps or granting wishes, they're a ProudWarriorRace of elemental spirits who utterly despise humanity- to the point that it got them banished from the world. They're not entirely malevolent as, up until fairly recently, love for their former home kept them from trying to take revenge, but as of the beginning of the game, this truce is over.
* OurGhostsAreDifferent: Spectres appear as enemies throughout the game in one form or another, either due to a particularly violent death, or due to being deliberately bound to a certain area. Most of them appear somewhat abstractly human, but all of them are tangible enough to be dangerous.
* OurGhoulsAreCreepier: Squat, short-legged, long-armed, leathery-skinned humanoids with an affinity for graveyards in both Egypt and Transylvania. More often than not, they're working alongside something much more dangerous- either the Aten Cult, or the vampires.
%%* OurMonstersAreWeird: Often the case.
* OurVampiresAreDifferent: The Wampiry are predominantly human in appearance, and benefit from the usual boosts in strength and speed; however, most are little more than {{Mooks}}. Elders are much more difficult to deal with, in no small part due to the fact that they can easily escape from losing battles by transforming into bats. It's revealed that actually killing vampires is fairly simple, given that most of their traditional weaknesses were myths spread by vampires themselves: they have no apparent weakness to holy symbols- if Hasdatean's presence in the church is any evidence; most can be destroyed by gunfire or magic, and stakes are only required in the case of elders. Vulnerable to the sun as always, all Wampiry dress in skin-concealing coats and gas-masks- replacing the filters with straws to drink blood through. According to Hasdatean, it's also possible for vampire elders to return from being killed if allowed time for their ashes to reintegrate- though it's apparently a slow and agonizing process.
* OurZombiesAreDifferent: The ones in Kingsmouth come in two flavors. There are the expected Flesh-eaters made from the townsfolk, and the Draug: seemingly Revenants of ancient Native Americans and Vikings are behind the attacks. It doesn't help that being submerged in the sea for so long has made them visibly [[TheCorruption other]] [[CombatTentacles than]] [[HumanoidAbomination human]].
* OrderVersusChaos: The Templar are all about hierarchy, the Illuminati are Social Darwinists with a pyramidal scheme in mind, and the Dragon... believes in inciting chaos to force balance.
* PathOfInspiration: The Morninglight movement seems to be part NewAge self-help group and part doomsday {{Cult}}. [[LouCypher Their name]] should ring alarm bells, and some of their members are definitely up to no good in Kingsmouth.
* PersonOfMassDestruction: Carter. Already a magical prodigy, Montag's notes suggest that misapplication of her powers might result in "intense thermonuclear devastation." True to form, the EscortMission isn't about keeping Carter safe: it's about keeping ''yourself'' protected when her powers go into overdrive.
* PhysicalGod: The Forest God, a wandering incarnation of the Transylvanian Forest; given said forest's current infestation by the Filth and other monsters, he spends his days [[DrowningMySorrows drowning his sorrows]] at the local tavern.
* [[ViewersAreGeniuses Players Are Geniuses]] / OnlySmartPeopleMayPass: Investigation missions are built around solving puzzles, and frequently require you to do actual research using the in-game browser ... or just looking it up on GameFAQs. A quest might require the player to use in-game clues to find the entrance to a secret lair, then solve various logic puzzles, and then look up a particular reference to a classic Latin work to get the correct code. Another quest might have a segment where Morse code needs to be transcribed and translated to reveal map coordinates for where to go next..
** GuideDangIt: Some of these puzzles are difficult more because of the obtuse user interface than the mental effort involved.
* PrestigeClass: Auxiliary Weapons function as this, showing up late in the game to add a small amount of specialized function to a character.
** The game's "decks" also count, to some extent. While there are technically no classes in the game, players can unlock specialized "decks" by taking on specific abilities from the various disciplines; even going so far as to offer one for mastering them all.
** The newly released "Augments" also count. They can add to and/or boost the effects of abilities. It's stated by the devs that they're more for those who have already obtained everything else in the game so far.
* PlotLock: You can't go anywhere besides your Faction Hub and Kingsmouth Town until you've completed certain parts of the central Story Mission.
* PoweredByAForsakenChild: Quite a few magical rituals used in the game or its backstory require particularly gruesome materials or conditions in order to work properly; given the GreyAndGreyMorality at work in this game, quite a few of the perpetrators are still considered the player's allies.
** For example, Innsmouth University is outfitted with magical power reserves that supply the Illuminati staff with additional mana- channelled from the magicians who'd been buried alive in the foundations, [[AndIMustScream all of whom are still aware and conscious]]; in one mission, the player is given the task of [[ShootTheDog sealing a few escapees back into the wards in order to prevent any further occult disasters]].
** Also from Innsmouth, the protective wards require sacrifices of Anima in their construction. Thankfully, due to the sheer number of feral familiars roaming the grounds, no morally-ambiguous deaths are required this time.
** It's eventually revealed that the Atlantic Island Amusement Park was constructed as part of one of these, [[spoiler: harvesting magical power from the deaths of workers and children alike, and infusing the energies into Nathaniel Winter- transforming him into the Boogeyman.]]
** The Sentinels [[spoiler: were created through one of these: with no other way to keep the Black Pharoah sealed inside his Pyramid, Ptahmose sacrificed his children and transferred their souls into seven giant statues designed to keep Akhenaten imprisoned for all time. For good measure, the youngest of the seven were under ten years old at the time.]]
* ProphecyTwist: Kirsten Geary mentions that a prophecy pinpointed the exact time the Council of Venice would fall. That time came and went many years ago, and the Council is still around, but it ''is'' when the Council's decline into it's current near-irrelevancy began. The Bees, meanwhile, tell something very similar about predictions of the apocalypse. The morals in both cases are to always expect this trope when dealing with prophecy, and that an "end" is not necessarily an instantaneous thing.
* ProtectionMission: There are several 'Defend the Perimeter'-style missions in the first area alone, which serve to help the player cut their teeth on the game's familiar-yet-different mechanics.
* PsychopathicManchild: Silviu Dimir; mildly retarded and deeply disturbed, he's the current butcher in the Dimir abbatoirs, and can only be controlled by the influence of his "mami," Olga.
* ReferenceOverdosed: Almost every single feature of the setting is a reference to a famous (and sometimes not-so-famous) work of some kind. Geographical features, quest storylines, characters, the background of the setting, and so on. This ties into the notion that "everything is true" -- famous pieces of fiction might unknowingly have been influenced by true events.
%%* ReligionOfEvil: The cult of Aten in Egypt, apocalyptic and brainwashing.
* {{Repeatable Quest}}s: Most (but not all) of the missions you can be assigned (or stumble upon) can be repeated... after a lengthy several-hour {{Cooldown}}. That's several hours in ''real-world time'', mind you.
* RespawnPoint: 'Anima Wells', which collect your lost soul and allow you to either a) resurrect yourself at the well itself, or b) hike your ghostly butt all the way back to your corpse and revive it.
* QuintessentialBritishGentleman: The Agartha Stationmaster, who is probably far older than he appears to be. He makes frequent reference to the 'Great British Rail Service', mentions meeting "...that charming Amundsen fellow" and tells the story of the Queen visiting Agartha just after poor Albert died.
* RichIdiotWithNoDayJob: The Illuminati are described as "Sex, Drugs and Rockefeller." [[SubvertedTrope Note]], however, that all Illuminati must pull their own weight [[KlingonPromotion or be culled]].
* RedShirtArmy: Orochi Group taskforces. In almost every single quest area of the game, they're either cowering behind shields or being horribly murdered.
* ScaryScarecrows: The more rural areas of the game feature enchanted scarecrows wandering the grounds of abandoned farms, often heavily armed with either shotguns, chainsaws, or magical talismans.
* SentientVehicle: Anastasia's Wagon, a living compendium of knowledge in the form of an old caravan-style wagon. It communicates through long wooden groans that only Anastasia can translate.
* SequenceBreaking: This is achieved by locking Agartha portals until you pass through them from the region they lead to. If you can get into an area ''without'' opening the PlotLock and passing through Agartha (say, by co-opting the transportation network of the Krampus) you can unlock its portal ahead of time.
* ShoutOut:
** One of the Kingsmouth trailers briefly shows a street sign, at the corner of [[CthulhuMythos Lovecraft]] and [[Creator/HPLovecraft Arkham]].
** Kingsmouth is full of those: there's an Elm Street, a Poe Cove, a Belmont Avenue, a [[Franchise/CthulhuMythos Lovecraft Lane]], an [[Creator/HPLovecraft Arkham Avenue]] and a Journey's End.
** In London, there's an underground pit fighting ring in the middle of the slums. Among the crowd there is an immediately recognizeable reference for those who've played ''Videogame/AnarchyOnline'': A mud golem named [[MascotMook Heckler]]. The first quest in London is called [[Creator/TheClash London Calling]].
** The entrance to the first hell dungeon is in a motel called [[Film/TheShining The Overlook Motel]].
** There are several ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' references in the game: a blink-and-you'll-miss-it reference to Leroy Jenkins with Mission Control predicting a repeating 33.3% chance of survival on the [[CthulhuMythos Ur-Draug]], and flavor text on a weapon called "Warlock's Dying Wish" which mentions a flicker of green flame, referring to the fact that the Warlocks in ''[=WoW=]'' have been crying for green fireballs for at least two expansions.
** There's a questgiver in [[ZombieApocalypse Kingsmouth]]. [[VideoGame/Left4Dead2 He's a mechanic named Ellis, although he looks a lot more like Coach.]] [[VideoGame/Left4Dead He's also stuck in an airport, and one of the quests he gives is called Dead Air.]]
** [=NPCs=] in London will complain that only Templars are allowed into Temple Club, but say [[Film/MontyPythonAndTheHolyGrail it's a silly place]] anyway.
** Civilians in London sometimes ask, "Is this about that [[Film/AnAmericanWerewolfInLondon American Werewolf]]? 'Cause he's quite tame really."
** Templar guards will occasionally tell you to "Keep calm and carry on".
** Templar guards will complain about missing the [[Film/AClockworkOrange "old ultraviolence"]].
** In the Illuminati introduction, while Dr Zurn has you StrappedToAnOperatingTable, he raises a syringe and jokingly asks [[Film/MarathonMan "Is it safe?"]]
** Carter sarcastically refers to Innsmouth Academy as [[Franchise/HarryPotter Hogwarts]].
** The last words of [[MadScientist Doctor Klein]], final boss of the Ankh are [[VideoGame/Wolfenstein3D "Mein... Leben."]]
** One of the lore entries in "The Facility" dungeon feature the words [[Film/TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey "My God, It's Full Of Stars!"]]
** One of the Pistol skills involves curving the bullet, appropriately named ''Film/{{Wanted}}''.
** One of the investigation quests in Kingsmouth is called [[Literature/TheDaVinciCode The Kingsmouth Code]]. It is, quite appropriately, a clue scavenger hunt.
** Issue 7 brings us [[Film/DarkCity Dr. Schreber]], who's decidedly [[UpToEleven creepier than the original article.]] For good measure, he even has an assistant called J. Murdoch.
* TheSiege: Most friendly [=NPCs=] in the quest areas of the game are near-permanently besieged by enemies, and more often than not, you're given the job of fighting off the next wave of attackers. This is particularly true of Solomon Island, where almost every quest giver is taking shelter in some kind of barricaded fortress with heavily-armed gunmen guarding the door- though the Illuminati and Morninglight [=NPCs=] have the advantage of magical wards that disintegrate enemies the moment they try to enter. The notable exceptions to this rule are Boone and Wolf, who are more than capable of defending themselves from the zombies.
* SigilSpam: For organizations that are supposed to keep themselves secret, the leading three certainly do like showing off their emblems. This is justified in several cases, though: for example, the Pyramid symbols on the floor at Innsmouth Academy are really part of the wards.
* SocialDarwinist:
** The motto of the Illuminati is "do or get done"--i.e., "if you don't try to get to the top, you become a stepping stone."
** The Dragon has elements of this, especially in regards to people who fail to adapt or fall to stagnation, making them social naturalists of a sort. In the aftermath of "Strange Boat House In The Mist," your Dragon contact refers to members of the Innsmouth Academy faculty who panicked and tried to run from the invading monsters, claiming that they deserved to die because they failed to adapt.
* SovietSuperscience: The "Red Hand" program in Transylvania is comprised entirely of this, ranging from vampire super-soldiers to dimensional travel via "Phantom Cosmonauts". Thanks to demand for results over safety, most of them ended up [[GoneHorriblyWrong going horribly wrong.]]
* SpannerInTheWorks: Aside from the Dragon's Faction Ranking Missions. [[MissionControl Bong Cha]] pretty much let's the player do whatever the hell they want within boundaries (ie. story and side missions in Solomon Island, Egypt, and Transyvania) while they closely observe and add new data to their models from the sideline. The player ends up foiling the plans of Beaumont, the Atenists, and the Vampire Mara without ever being told to do so by the Dragon. The Dragon essentially unleashed a Spanner into the area and what can be more chaotic than a SpannerInTheWorks?
* SpoilerTitle: Sidestories: "the Last Pagan" introduces Ricky Pagan, who charges the player to find the lost members of his Rockabilly gang or failing that return their leather jackets. Only two members of the Pagans have survived [[spoiler: one is killed by an onryo when you find him, the other renounces the gang to join the Jingu Clan]], leaving you to return all of the jackets and making Ricky the last Pagan.
* StabTheScorpion:
** In the introduction to "Ripples," the nameless VampireHunter points a crossbow at the player... only to reveal that he was aiming at the vampire creeping up behind you.
** The Iele does this in "The Wild Hunt": after spying on you from the treetops, she leaps down, gives every impression of being about to attack you, before neatly impaling the fungal monster just behind you.
* StableTimeLoop: Implied in several places in the issue 6 storyline
** Säid first asks you to travel back in time to recover the "ancile of Mars" from an Ancient Roman outpost. Your character goes back in time, replaces an ancile with a fake one, and goes back to Säid. [[spoiler: The ancile your character brings is fake as well, implying that perhaps a bunch of your characters may have replaced all of them with fakes]]
** When your character first looks for the ark in the dig site, you find the one there is broken, a shield surrounds the lo0cation, and the floor looks somewhat dirty. You than go back in time to the same location in Ancient Egypt to find a functioning ark. [[spoiler: You replace a functioning ark with the broken one you had found in the future, setting off a trap that activates a shield, and burns the floor.]]
** Before going back to Ancient Egypt, Säid gives you a jewel to ensure that you reach the correct time period. [[spoiler: As you are about to travel back to the future, you meet a living Säid, and he steals this jewel from you.]]
* StarfishAliens: How the bees view ''humans;'' the lore has several instances of them mentioning human physiology as if discussing something thoroughly bizarre. They don't hold it against us.
* SupernaturalMartialArts: Magic and melee weapons exist and can be used simultaneously, although the various weapons act more like foci for the player characters' Anima powers than anything.
* TakeThat:
** Right after meeting you, Richard Sonnac of the Templars does his best to assure you that they aren't TheKnightsTemplar, and you haven't wandered into "some atrocious Creator/DanBrown airport paperback."
** If clicked on enough times, the Templar Guards will say: ''"Directions? Does it look like I'm giving bloody walking tours?"''
* TokenHeroicOrc: Amir, the exiled Fire Jinn; a questgiver found in the City of the Sun God, he's about the only Jinn you meet that hasn't decided to wage war upon humanity. Though evidently disgusted by humans as the rest of the Jinn, he's opposed to the war of genocide most of his people seem to have declared against humanity, and in one mission he even assists you in killing off his former comrades.
** The vampire general Hasdatean has betrayed the current generation of vampires to become a questgiver, and regards them as short-sighted psychopaths with no respect for the land that sheltered them. He's also willing to admit how much his kind ''need'' humans to survive, and sees no point in a wampiry nation: after all, how would such a country survive without humans?
* TokyoIsTheCenterOfTheUniverse: The headquarters of the Orochi Group. It's [[WhereItAllBegan where the Filth first appeared in the game]]. All three of the secret societies hint in their epilogues that they will be [[AndTheAdventureContinues returning to Tokyo]].
** Averted by the Dragon, in that they have no permanent center and happen to be in Seoul at the moment. Notable because BritainIsOnlyLondon and BigApplesauce are used by the other two factions, but, originally, Tokyo was only a training scenario.
* TownWithADarkSecret: Kingsmouth, and by extension, most of Solomon Island. Most of the area's history following White settlement seems to be based on hastily-disguised conspiracies and scandals: the serial-killings that were actually comitted by Jack O'Lantern, the lynching of the innocent witch in the 1970s, and the regular deaths that occur at Innsmouth Academy.
* TruceZone: Inverted. The Council of Venice (a sort of Secret World analogue to the United Nations) specifically ''forbids'' opposing factions from engaging in armed conflict... except in specially-designated war-zones.
* TheUnmasquedWorld:[[spoiler: Very nearly happens in the new Manhattan Exclusion Zone raid when a ''EldritchAbomination'' starts trashing TIMES SQUARE! Alex [=McCall=] suggests blaming everthing on [[GasLeakCoverup leaky gas pipes.]]]]
* UrbanFantasy: Has elements of it, but players can only be human beings, and it's unknown what the extent of the demons' goals and intellects are. Signs point towards the demons having a sort of caste-based society of sorts, and they're at least intelligent enough to sabotage other demons' efforts.
* VillainsOutShopping:
** In the slums of London, one can find various assorted beasties, ranging from vampires, gnomes, and satyrs minding their own business, to a chupacabra manning a taco stall.
** Abdel Doud of the Aten cult is often seen relaxing and drinking coffee -- something his mysterious supplier gives him no end of grief for.
* VillainousBreakdown:
** Refuse to side with them and [[spoiler: the Dreamers]], who start off speaking in a calm, caring manner, will quickly flip their shit.
** [[spoiler: Lilith]] when Emma refuses to leave Agartha with her at the end of Issue #7.
* TheVirus:
** The Filth is explicitly stated to be an actual disease that infects universes. It even behaves like one, mutating constantly into tougher and more virulent forms.
** Werewolves. [[DeconstructedTrope Which is why the Secret Societies inserted that particular fact in movies to warn people and secretly vaccinated the population against lycanthropy]], hence why werewolves are a DyingRace. That's the ''only'' way they can reproduce (and the transformation is one-way).
* VoluntaryShapeshifting:
** Elder Vampires can transform into bats, usually to escape battles they can't win.
** [[CoolOldLady Cucuvea]] is first introduced leading you towards her house in her owl form.
* VoiceOfTheLegion: [[spoiler: Lilith]] does this [[http://youtu.be/nvBYXUg6ESg?t=12m10s as she's listing off sixteen of her seventeen names.]] It's actually more unsettling when she delivers her current name in a low whisper.
* WasOnceAMan: Almost every single creature the Player encounter on Solomon Island is either a Zombie or belongs into this category: The Draug [[spoiler: (except for their leaders)]], the Wendigos, the Filth creatures, [[spoiler: Jack O’Lantern and the Black Man]].
* {{Wendigo}}: One of the enemies found on Solomon Island; fairly traditional in terms of origins and modus operandi, they still look vaguely human, but they now crawl on all fours and most of them are much larger and stronger than any human being.
* WhamEpisode: [[SeventhEpisodeTwist Issue #7, appropriately enough.]] Your current companion turns out to be [[spoiler: Lilith, the mother of just about every single monster you've encountered, and directly responsible for the Breach]], Emma is [[spoiler: Gaia's daughter, Anima]], and [[spoiler:the Filth has begun to infest Agartha.]]
** Issue #5 brought us The Search for Tyler Freeborn, a character enigmatically referenced in the opening release. The developers implied this would be the first major storyline update. [[spoiler: Shockingly, Freeborn's whereabouts aren't the issue, but what he found: every friendly NPC in Kingsmouth is infected with an airborne strain of The Filth, they just don't know yet.]]
* WhamLine:
** During the aforementioned Issue #7 WhamEpisode: "Can you guess my final name? [[spoiler: Lilith.]]"
** Another one in Tokyo, as a psychic talks about the Filth trying to infect her: [[spoiler:"Our wisdom flows so sweet...Did they ever say that to you?"]]
** Whichever Black Signal lore entry you pick up first functions as one of these, since they all make it pretty obvious that they're written by [[spoiler: the Dreamers.]]
* WholePlotReference: Who is the Boogeyman? [[spoiler: [[ScoobyDoo Why, it's old man Winters, the guy who ran the haunted amusement park!]] ]] Rendered almost entirely invisible, due to being an honestly frightening storyline.
* WhoWantsToLiveForever: Invoked by [[spoiler: Lilith,]] who takes sadistic pleasure in making immortals regret their immortality.
* WizardingSchool: Innsmouth Academy is a somewhat dark example funded and run by the Illuminati, teaching magical prodigies how to control and master their powers, grooming them for service to the Illuminati itself in the process. Unfortunately, by the time players arrive, most of the students and staff are dead except for the headmaster, his deputy, and the star pupil. For good measure, most of the enemies here are either the ghosts of the murdered faculty, or the students' home-made [[{{Familiar}} Familiars]], having gone feral after the death of their owners.
* WolverineClaws: Even though the icon is brass knuckles, Fist Weapons are all variations on WolverineClaws, including many abilities that provide [[GradualRegeneration Heal-over-Time]] effects to the wielder or allies.
* WorldOfPun: While the game itself is serious, the world itself has a ridiculously large number of terrible jokes and puns in it. For instance:
** The Red Guard enemy in the abandoned Soviet Facility dungeon has two attacks, which attack on the left and right respectively. Their names? Extreme Right and Leftist Element.
** The second boss of the Darkness War dungeon has a buff called Blood for the Blood Dog, which he gains by sacrificing his allies.
** Many enemies in the game are named in a jocular or humorous fashion; zombies on a national guard base are called Weekend Warriors.
** A shotgun ability named 12 Gouge puts stacks of a debuff that lowers damage on enemies who are penetrated.
* TheWormThatWalks: Revenants can dissolve their bodies into swarms of rats and crows in order to escape combat, hence the reason why they've become associated with pestilence and plague. There is also the Fly Golem in "Lord of the Flies", which is pretty much what it sounds like.
* YoureNotMyType: During the opening scene of "The High Cost of Dying" Säid says this almost word for word to the player.
* ZombieApocalypse: Kingsmouth, the first quest area of the game, is undergoing a run-of-the-mill zombie apocalypse -- at least at first glance. There is a lot more going on, but from the perspective of the survivors, most of the island dying and then returning to eat the survivors alive is the most immediate concern.
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