[[quoteright:250:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/vexx_1_6022.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:250: The fate of Astara rests in his hands.]]
''Vexx'' is an obscure action-platformer that was released in 2003 for the UsefulNotes/PlayStation2, Gamecube, and Xbox. The game combined run of the mill platforming with with some offbeat powerups and a combo fighting system. While the gameplay was nothing special, the art design and look of the game were truly outstanding, featuring ridiculous amounts of SceneryPorn.

The "plot" of the game, [[ExcusePlot such as it was]], was about the world of Astara, which is currently experiencing the effects of AfterTheEnd. The planet's original inhabitants developed interdimensional technology, and promptly opened a portal that released demonic hordes into their realm. Seven hundred years later, the Astani are gone, and the inhabitable chunks of Astara are populated by little elf/werewolf/pointy eared critters (confirmed in source material as the Valdar), one of which is our eponymous hero. One day these creatures are attacked by one of the aforementioned demons and his underlings, and forced into slavery. Our hero attempts to fight back, only to have the full wrath of the demon lord, named Dark Yabu, turned on him. Vexx's grandfather Vargas attacks Yabu in turn to gain his attention, sacrificing himself to save his grandson.

That night, Vexx sneaks onboard Dark Yabu's airship and finds the magical Astani war talons, [[EmpathicWeapon big clawed gauntlets that promptly fuse themselves to Vexx's hands]] and blow up the airship.

Vexx awakens in the land of Timberdale, and he is told by a wizened old coot named Darby that he must collect [[MacGuffin Wraithearts]], the undead hearts of defeated demon lords, to power the ancient Astani portal system and ultimately open a portal to Dark Yabu's fortress and defeat him.

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!!This work provides examples of:

* AfterTheEnd: Astara has basically been reduced to an asteroid field. All the worlds you visit feature floating rocks in the sky.
* AllThereInTheManual: The eighth heart in "The Below" requires a three-button sequence to open a chest. If you happened to take a look in the game manual, it gives that combination to you outright.
* AnAxeToGrind: Yabu's Guard. The manual even uses the trope name when describing them.
* {{Backtracking}}: Sand Castle requires you to go back to Timberdale in order to get a Wraitheart in Dragonreach.
* BandLand: The mini-level inside the piano in Tempest Peak Manor.
* BiggerOnTheInside: Justified considering the tech they had available at that time. Some entrances to other parts of every level are unbelievably small.
* BilingualBonus: The game itself has a series of symbols called [[http://vignette2.wikia.nocookie.net/vexx/images/f/f7/AstaranRunes.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20160320030344 Astarian]] that actually translate into English symbols and numbers when examined. A careful player can actually translate some of the random occurrences of the symbols in many levels.
* BraggingRightsReward: Guess what happens if you get every wraithheart, journal entry and beat the game: NOTHING!
* BubblegloopSwamp: The Neverglades, mixed with a little bit of JungleJapes.
* ClingyMacGuffin: It's implied that the Astani War Talons are these. However, Vexx never feels the need to try taking them off, so we don't know for sure.
** A case of AllThereInTheManual, as the extra comic confirms the talons are indeed bound to Vexx forever. [[http://butterfly-of-pearls.deviantart.com/art/Vexx-comic-page-4-92830564 See the page here.]]
* CrosshairAware: The second fight against the sumo boss equips him with a pair of bracelets that can... control flying rocks, for some reason. (Just run with it.) When he's about to summon from stones from the sky to hit you, a crosshair appears on the ground, telling you to get away.
** Also used during the fight against the Mummy in Daggercrag. Every time he leaps while in ball form, a crosshair will appear on the ground warning you to get away.
** And once again used in Yabu's fight during the first stage, as crosshairs will show you where the bursts of fire will land.
* DarkerAndEdgier: Seems to be what the game is going for, what with the decidedly creepy enemy design and the fact that you're collecting ''floating disembodied hearts.''
** Which also counts as a subversion of the traditional hearts powerup in platformers and adventure games - not quite as cutesy and inoffensive, when it's rendered in this much detail, eh?
* DeathMountain: Both Dragonreach and the later level Daggercrag, which uses the same visual style and assets as the former. Then again, they were originally conceived as being one world, until a last-minute decision split them into two worlds.
* DoubleEntendre: When you talk to Short (the head pirate) while inside of the Leviathan, he talks about how [[ThatCameOutWrong "if you can't open the chest, you'll get thrown out of the back hole."]] Upon failing to open the chest, the screen fades to black with the sounds of Vexx getting damaged before it reveals that he was tossed out through the blow hole.
* DoubleX: Vexx's name of course.
* DownerEnding: [[spoiler:Unable to get back through the portal, Vexx throws the staff through, successfully closing the rift and thus saving Astara, but also trapping himself in the shadow realm. He is last seen roaming the desolate, wraith-infested lands, fighting a massive hoard of Shadowcreeps surrounding him.]]
* EmpathicWeapon: The Astani War Talons, sort of. They talk to you during the game's tutorial, but once that's over, they shut up for the remainder of the game.
** It could be theorized that the instruction-orbs you find scattered in many worlds could be the War Talons instructing you on how or what to do.
* EmptyRoomPsych[=/=]MissingSecret: In one area of the ring of land surrounding the main bubble in The Under, there's a strange pipe that hangs above you. You can wall jump a little ways into it, but usually, you'll just fall. There's nothing up there, you.
* EnemyWithout: The minigames that pit you against your "inner demons," who are blue-black versions of Vexx with reddish-orange eyes.
* EvilPlan: Darby is actually [[spoiler:BigBad Dark Yabu in disguise, and Vexx has actually been helping him by collecting Wraithearts, opening portals to other worlds so HE can access them and take them over. Might also qualify as NiceJobBreakingItHero.]]
* FlippingTheBird: Very rarely, instead of striking a BringIt pose just before the final fight with Yabu, Vexx will do this instead.
* FlunkyBoss: [[spoiler:Dark Yabu's first phase.]]
* FlyAtTheCameraEnding: [[spoiler:Vexx punches the camera (presumably a shadow wraith) in the face at the end, leaving us with just the title logo.]]
* ForcedTutorial / JustifiedTutorial: In a dream sequence at the start of the game, where the Astani War Talons themselves teach Vexx how to do various moves.
** Actually, through the pause menu, you can skip the tutorial by selecting the 'Exit Dream' option.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: Darby inadvertently hints this when he warns Vexx, "Be careful! Wraiths are shape changers. Trust no one along your journey!"
* GiantSpider: [[spoiler:Dark Yabu's second phase.]]
* GroinAttack: Getting one of the Soul Jars in the fifth world requires you to give one good uppercut in the crotch of a strange goblin holding it out of your reach.
* GroundPound: Rather than smashing into the ground himself, Vexx fires a blast of energy directly below him instead.
* GuideDangIt: The Sand Castle Wraitheart. Honestly, who would figure out how to get there without a guide?
* HeroicMime: Vexx. He has a voice (he growls, grunts, and yells throughout cutscenes and gameplay), but he never actually talks.
** In the intro cutscene detailing Vexx's enslavement, he can be briefly heard yelling what sounds like "no" when Yabu kills Vargas.
* HundredPercentCompletion: [[GottaCatchThemAll Getting every Wraithheart in the game]], which will take your '''soul'''.
* InterfaceScrew: One of the earliest Wraithearts in The Below requires you to do a simple platform jumping puzzle... while the screen is ''upside down.'' Woah... gettin' dizzy...
** This heart is easy to get by doing the puzzle while playing upside-down however.
* InUniverseGameClock: The game cycles from day to night, though you only really see this when outside. At night, the enemies get stronger. You can also change the time of day using a sundial, and putting it at the right time unlocks a sundial portal, which you can use to get a Wraitheart.
* InvincibleMinorMinion: Rex in Tempest Peak Manor. The manual even says "if you think you can defeat him, here's a hint: you can't."
* {{Jerkass}}: One of the Soul Jars in The Below is being held by some strange creature, who will hold it out of reach and laugh at you if you try to grab it. The only way to get him to drop it is to [[GroinAttack hit him in the crotch.]]
* KamehameHadoken: Talon Blasts, which are only available when [[LimitBreak the Charged Talons have been activated.]]
* LastOfHisKind: Reia, and probably Vexx.
* LawOfOneHundred: The Wraitheart shards, which, as you might have guessed, give you a Wraitheart when you collect 100 of them. You have to do this in every world.
* LimitBreak: The Charged Talons, which has a meter you fill by pounding the crap out of enemies.
* LongSongShortScene: Each song for the inner-demon minigames is longer than the 30 second round limit.
** There's a hidden song in one challenge on Citadel of Shadows that's almost 4 minutes long, but it only takes about a minute at most to get the wraithheart.
* LostWoods: Subverted. You'd think Timberdale would be a forest world, but there are suprisingly few trees, aside from the huge one that serves as the level's centerpiece.
** Had it made it in the game, Overwood(Vexx's village) would've fit this.
* MacroZone: Tempest Peak Manor. It's explicitly stated to be the inside of a giant's house.
* MagmaMan: The Rock Suit.
* MeaningfulName: The three pirates you meet in The Below have this:
** Short, the leader of the crew, is about Vexx's height.
** Nasty, the tallest, is rather grotesque in appearance.
** Brutish, the largest, is the most muscular looking.
* MiniGame: The fact that the minigames pit you against three other Vexxes kind of suggests that maybe the game featured multiplayer at some point in development. Shame it never made it to the final product...
* MirrorMatch: The minigames have you competing against three other Vexxes, described as being your "inner demons".
* NintendoHard: Like you would not BELIEVE. Anyone who got 100% on this game without breaking at least one controller is a gaming '''god'''.
* ObviousBeta: Well, ''sort'' of. The gameplay and controls themselves are just fine, and just about everything works exactly the way you'd want it to. However, there are hints here and there of a completely ''epic'' story, which the developers just plain ran out of time to complete. (Not unlikely, since Acclaim ''was'' on its last legs while this was being made.) So while gameplay-wise, it's not "Beta" at all, the way the story just kind of... drops off after a point makes you wonder...
** Perhaps the most obvious part of this is the mysterious floating tower visible in the background of every level (except for the ones taking place entirely indoors.) It never comes into the play in the game, while one of the trailers show Vexx running around on the island it's sitting on, hinting that the player was supposed to get there eventually. It's believed that this tower is Landspire, as shown in the promotional comic, and many early promotional reviews hints that Vexx was originally going to confront Yabu there instead of the Shadow Realm.
* OffscreenStartBonus: While most of the stages have their entry and exit portals plopped in a corner, The Neverglades has an extra little area with some lives and the entrance to a Wraithheart chamber hidden behind its gateway. [[ScrappyLevel The Citadel of Shadows]] has this too, featuring two possible wraithhearts hidden behind the Rift Hub door.
* OxygenatedUnderwaterBubbles: There are bubbles in The Below (and a side-area in Dragonreach) that refill your air. Vexx can hold his breath a long time without them, though.
* PlatformHell: Yeah.
* PlayingTennisWithTheBoss: [[spoiler:Dark Yabu's third stage.]]
* ProudWarriorRace / ProudScholarRace: With what little is revealed of the Astani, they are hinted to be something like this.
* RecurringBoss: Sumo Guy. You fight him once in Timberdale and then a rematch in The Below.
* RibcageRidge: Dragonreach, in which a good portion of the level is spent clambering over the eponymous dinosaur's bones.
* RingOutBoss: Again, Sumo Guy.
* ScareChord: Happens in the night themes of the main parts of each world at sporadic times due to a VariableMix.
* SceneryPorn: Like nobody's business.
* ScrapbookStory: Backstory is provided by finding fragments of Reia's journal, floating around the world.
* SesquipedalianLoquaciousness: Done once in the Hydro-Charger of The Below, where a hint node reads spouts a bunch of borderline TechnoBabble before finally saying "In other words, find the button to turn off the beam."
* StillbornFranchise / SequelHook: Some concept art by former developers, along with [[spoiler: the unclear status of Vexx in the ending cutscene]] shows that had the game succeeded there might have been another game.
* ShatteredWorld: Astara, somehow habitable despite being transformed into a cluster of asteroids floating in space with gravity that also somehow can pull anyone who falls off these rocks into the void.
* SlippySlideyIceWorld: Frostblight Mill, which makes one wonder who would build a windmill in a desolate icy wasteland.
** It's been hinted that Frostblight Mill wasn't originally a wasteland but had [[spoiler: the energy drained out of it by the Citadel of Shadows]].
* ShockwaveStomp: Vexx's GroundPound, and also a charged move in one of his {{Combos}}.
* ShoutOut
** [[BreakingOut You have to play a Breakout-style minigame]] to get one Wraithheart in Tempest Peak Manor. The riddle for this heart even [[LampshadeHanging lampshades this]]:
-->If you play it clean
-->Despite your lack of size
-->You'll '''break out''' of the screen
-->A [[IncrediblyLamePun console-ation]] prize
** The Wraithheart mentioned in the AllThereInTheManual trope is accompanied by three pirates trying to open it as well. After opening the chest, talking to one of the pirates will have him declare that [[Literature/TheHobbit "We hates it! We hates it forever!"]]
** On the back of the game's box, the tagline reads [[Franchise/SuperMarioBros "To Hell with a princess, save the world!"]]
* SmashingSurvival: Wiggling the joystick left and right will allow you to break free from the Hobbletrods' electric leashes. The game even indicates on screen that you should do this. Also, when Sumo-Kun grabs you during the first fight against him, you have to wiggle the joystick to break free or risk being thrown out of the ring.
* SubtitlesAreSuperfluous: Which makes you wish Reia would talk louder, particularly in the opening.
* TempleOfDoom: This game loves this trope. Most of the worlds have a temple-esque structure to explore, ranging from actual temples to abandoned mills, to ancient factories. Some of the worlds give up the pretext entirely and just have the world BE the temple.
* UnwittingPawn: [[spoiler:Vexx]]
* VideoGameCrueltyPotential: Enemies aren't destroyed until they hit the ground, meaning you can beat the ever-living crap out of them for as long as you want if you can just keep them in the air while you do so. The game actually encourages you to do this, as it helps charge up your War Talons for their LimitBreak.
* WallJump: It's there. What else needs to be said? A bit clunky, but it's there.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: In The Neverglades, there's a special cloud that completely fills your combo meter and allows you to access your "special" form, mostly so you can shoot energy blasts for a puzzle. However, after said puzzle is complete, the "energy cloud" completely disappears. There's also only ''one'' area with a minimap, and as to why ''it'' would get one, it's not completely clear.
** Plot-wise, it's never mentioned what happens to the Valdar (Vexx's people) after Yabu is defeated, nor is the essence of Vexx's grandfather Vargas ever mentioned.
* WolverineClaws: The Astani War Claws allow Vexx to produce these to various degrees, depending on the situation.
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