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[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/shadowrun_returns_logo_5256.jpg]]

->''"Welcome to the sprawl."''

''Shadowrun Returns'' is a VideoGame (primarily for the PC) based on the ''TabletopGame/{{Shadowrun}}'' franchise, and the [[VideoGame/{{Shadowrun}} fifth video game in that setting]].

Developed by Harebrained Schemes, designed by Jordan Weisman[[note]]founder of Creator/{{FASA}} and co-creator of the original ''Shadowrun'' (and, on a side note, also the co-creator of ''TabletopGame/BattleTech'')[[/note]] and Mitch Gitelman[[note]](producer for most of the Microsoft FASA-licensed games including the Xbox 360 / Windows Vista ''Shadowrun'' game [[OldShame about which he apologizes]])[[/note]], it was crowd-funded through Website/{{Kickstarter}} in March of 2012. The Kickstarter was a huge success, hitting several stretch goals, with lots of {{Feelies}} for backers and the first DownloadableContent pack (set in UsefulNotes/{{Berlin}}) included for free. The game was released on July 25, 2013 for PC and Mac; September 26, 2013 for iOS and Android; and October 30, 2013 for Linux.

The base game comes with its own campaign, ''The Dead Man's Switch'': set in UsefulNotes/{{Seattle}} 2054, [[PlayerCharacter you play as]] a down-on-their-luck Shadowrunner investigating the death of their old buddy Sam Watts in exchange for a substantial payday and/or personal vengeance.

The first DLC campaign, ''Dragonfall'', was released on February 27, 2014. ''Dragonfall'' sees [[PlayerCharacter you]] end up in Berlin, aka "The Flux State": a utopia of Anarchy where power shifts like the tides of the ocean. When what appears to be a milk run[[note]]Shadowrun slang for a quick and easy job[[/note]] goes south, you and your new crew find yourselves drawn into a conspiracy surrounding the death of the Great Dragon Feuerschwing, and the whispers that she might still be alive.

An UpdatedRerelease of ''Dragonfall'' entitled ''[[http://www.pcgamer.com/2014/08/17/shadowrun-dragonfall-directors-cut-coming-next-month/ Shadowrun: Dragonfall - Director's Cut]]'' was released on September 18, 2014 for PC, Mac, and Linux. The update includes, among other things, new art assets as well as entire new missions... which really ended up taking ''Dragonfall'' outside the scope of "DLC" and made it more a full-blown sequel running on the same engine. Citing developers like [[VideoGame/TheWitcher CD Projekt RED]] as inspiration, the team behind ''Shadowrun Returns'' decided to release this update free for original backers and owners of the original ''Dragonfall''. The update is also sold as a stand-alone product on UsefulNotes/{{Steam}} and [[Website/GOGDotcom GOG]]. A version for iOS and Android was set to be released in October 2014, but the was delayed until December 4th.

On December 31st, 2014 Harebrained Schemes announced the setting of the next campaign: [[https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1613260297/shadowrun-returns/posts/1095934 Hong Kong.]] It [[https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/webeharebrained/shadowrun-hong-kong officially went to Kickstarter]] on January 14, 2015. The project was released on August 20th, 2015. It is PC/Mac/Linux only due to wanting to get the best product they can make without the limitations of tablets. As mentioned before, it is set in Hong Kong in 2056, two years after the events of ''Dead Man's Switch'' and ''Dragonfall''. Like ''Dragonfall'', the player has a crew that they run with, contending with both a corporate conspiracy 30 years in the making and a local supernatural threat. Changes from the previous two campaigns include enhanced player controls and sound, animatic scene transitions, revamps to the Matrix and enlarged selections for cyberware and magic, making this once again more of a full-blown sequel than anything else. A PlayableEpilogue, ''Shadows of Hong Kong'', was released on February 5, 2016 through the free ''Extended Edition'' update. ''Shadows of Hong Kong'' is set a few weeks after the end of the original campaign, you and your team now have the opportunity to turn the tables on the corporate police force that once hunted you.

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!!This game contains examples of:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:General]]

* AntiMagic: Downplayed; there's no total magic immunity, but Adepts can learn Magic Resistance, which gives increasing levels of Cover against spells.
* ArbitraryHeadcountLimit: You can only bring three other runners with you at a time. While it makes sense for the teams to stay small, it's especially noticeable in ''Dragonfall'', where the total crew size (counting the PlayerCharacter) is five, meaning one person always has to sit out in every run. This gets even worse in ''Hong Kong'', as you can have up to 5 teammates, meaning 2 members would sit out each mission. Asking those that didn't go on the last run about their opinions on it [[TheDevTeamThinksOfEverything has them pointing out that they didn't go along]], and possibly mentioning what they did in the meantime.
* ArmorPiercingAttack: In addition to the changes to armour in ''Director's Cut'', there are now attacks that can degrade or ignore armor.
* TheArtifact: Mercenaries. In ''Dead Man's Switch'', hiring other runners was the only way to have any sort of backup on a run. They're still around in ''Dragonfall'' and ''Hong Kong'', but the presence of a crew in those campaigns who can be brought on for free diminishes their usefulness.
* ArtificialBrilliance: Improving on the below stupidity was a design goal for ''Dragonfall - Director's Cut'' that gets pushed back to the main game as well. Harebrained implemented a custom AI scripting scheme they call [=GumboScript=] that allows for AI agents to be adjusted by the designer for combat behavior, with the stated goal that they "not look dumb". For the curious, [[http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/SheridanThirsk/20141105/229495/Cooking_Up_Gumbo_The_Evolution_of_TurnBased_AI_in_Shadowrun.php Harebrained has written a piece on Gamasutra about it.]]
* ArtificialStupidity:
** The enemy is reasonably smart in certain areas; they'll throw grenades at clustered player groups, know to use cover (most of the time), and tend to go for their special abilities when they can. However, much of this behavior depends on playing by their rules. The AI can be drawn into a turkey shoot through a simple strategy: hide all your people behind a corner, have one runner aggro the enemy, then run back to your corner and set everyone to overwatch. One by one, the enemy will file in to their almost certain deaths, and you'll get away with barely a scratch to show for it. It's not always a viable strategy, but it works for a lot of encounters. The enemy also has no concept of friendly fire and will gladly grenade their fellows if it means hitting your runners.
** In ''Hong Kong'', the enemy is incapable of recognizing when a character has the [[GrenadeHotPotato Magnet Arm]], and will fall for it several times in one round if conditions allow.
* AttackDrone: Riggers can control various attack drones. The Rigger loses one Action Point per drone as long as they're active, but the drones have their own Action Points. Drones can use their smaller size to do things like navigate {{Air Vent Passageway}}s to flank enemies. They are a formidable force in the hands of a competent Rigger.
* {{Autosave}}: The game was criticized for only having autosaves (which are done whenever a new area is loaded), as the engine didn't originally support manual saves. Manual saves were added with the v1.2 patch.
* AwesomeButImpractical:
** The Adept's Chi Onslaught grants you three attacks on a target with increased CriticalHit chance, but requires a whopping 3 AP to use. 2 AP is the default at the start of the game and you only get three after passing a certain point in the storyline. It also has a lowered hit chance. It's almost always preferable to just use Chi Focus or normal attack instead.
** Trolls and Orks can potentially be the most durable and hardest-hitting melee attackers due to the abnormally high Body and Strength scores they can achieve. However, there's no point in actually reaching those values because the karma costs are simply too expensive to be worth the trouble.
* BlastingItOutOfTheirHands: Available to those who specialize in Pistols, and the S-Rank ''Ares Guardian'' AttackDrone. Success is not guaranteed, but it still deals damage... potentially a lot even ''if'' it fails.
* BottomlessMagazines: Characters who specialize in Pistols can gain the ability to reload without spending any AP, giving them the next best thing. The A- and S-Rank drones can do the same. ''Hong Kong'' introduces an auto-loader cyberarm that does this for any weapon.
* CastFromHitPoints: Spells which are currently on cool down can still be cast, but doing so drains HitPoints.
* CharacterClassSystem: Averted, in that there are several archetypes available to choose from, but there is no formal divide between specializations which prevents one character from having any combination of abilities that they see fit to work toward. A player can even skip the archetype selection if they wish and just build a character from scratch.
* CharacterSelectForcing: If you want to have a steady cash inflow, you pretty much ''need'' at least some degree of Decking.
* {{Chiaroscuro}}: The environment art style Harebrained went with surprised players expecting a visually "darker" game by including a variety of bright colors. This is partially because bright colors read well seen from a distance on a moving screen, but they also fulfill a stylistic function. Since much of the environment still is dark, the bright colors call attention to specific elements and create an important thematic contrast between areas of light and areas of dark, reflecting the social penumbra that shadowrunners operate in.
* CloseRangeCombatant:
** Most of the Physical Adept's Chi Casting spells are meant to either do damage at melee range or help them close with an opponent. It's not impossible to give an Adept a gun and some ranged combat skills, but given the shortage of Karma you're far better off specializing.
** With ''Hong Kong'', the Street Samurai now has its own version of this with implanted cyber-weapons. Other implants like Wired Reflexes and Cyberlegs make up for the other Chi powers.
* CombatDiplomacyStealth: There are multiple ways to complete runs, with or without fighting. The game tends to reward karma if you can talk your way out.
* CounterAttack:
** Overwatch is a preemptive version of this. By selecting a weapon skill then using Overwatch to define a cone of vision, the user will automatically retaliate against any enemy which crosses their line of sight within the effective range of the weapon it is used with. The idea is to position the character in such a way that they cannot be attacked without triggering Overwatch and damaging the assailant. It's an excellent ambush skill, though not so good in open areas. Using it automatically ends the user's turn, even if they have leftover AP.
** The Adept Counterstrike skill plays this straight. In exchange for ending the user's turn, the user will retaliate against anyone that attacks them from any direction [[RuleOfThree up to three times]]. It's somewhat impractical for a pure melee Adept, as it requires [[AwesomeButImpractical the attacker to be in melee range when they hit]], but a Gun Adept can be deadly with it.
* CripplingOverspecialisation: Playing a summoner shaman pretty much forces you into this. Summoning requires two skills instead of one, meaning twice the Karma cost, plus a one-time use summoning fetish which costs ten times the nuyen of a grenade or about half a drone (which is multi-use). The end result is a character who spends all his karma and nuyen to summon an actually ''useful'' character for three to four rounds of combat, albeit a rather powerful and versatile one, when any given mission has at least two or three combat encounters, many of which last far longer than the few rounds the spirit lasts. This is especially bad in ''Hong Kong'', where money is extremely tight compared to the previous two campaigns. The same can be said for deckers that specialize in [=ESPs=], but this isn't quite as bad since those cost less, are reusable, and multiple decking sequences in a run are rare.
* CriticalHit: This is based on how much Karma points you spend on your combat skills. The higher the number, the greater the critical hit chance and the easier the battles. ''Director's Cut'' adds an additional wrinkle by preventing them against enemies in medium or heavy cover, thus emphasizing the need for flanking.
* CuteMonsterGirl: Orcs and trolls of either gender are just as likely to look like normal or even attractive people with fangs, tusks, and horns as they are to look ugly and monstrous. Eiger in particular is described in-universe as being "beautiful yet hard to climb."
* CyberneticsEatYourSoul: In line with the source material, characters have a finite amount of essence, and installing cyberware reduces that essence, with characters unable to socket any more cyberware if it would drop their essence to zero or lower. Again like the source material, this also has a negative effect on magic use, and every full point of essence lost increases the CoolDown time on casting magic spells by one turn. A magic user might be able to get away with a very small amount of cyberware that uses up less than one full point of essence (like a simple datajack) and still be at peak casting ability, but any more than that will degrade them.
* CyberPunk: Comes with [[TabletopGame/{{Shadowrun}} the setting]], in [[{{Cyberpunk}} both]] [[{{Dungeonpunk}} flavors]].
* {{Cyberspace}}: Deckers are able to enter the Matrix in certain areas. This plays out similar to combat in the rest of the game, but everything is abstract and made out of TronLines, and the Decker can use various programs as though they were attack abilities or SummonMagic in meatspace. ''Hong Kong'' revamps the system, allowing the player to move about in real time so long as nothing is actively attacking them, while adding camera drones on rails that increase the alert meter if they see the player.
* DroneDeployer: A Rigger, or anyone with enough points in Drone Control, can control one or two drones, each of which is basically a character of its own in battle.
* DumbMuscle: Played with. Orks and Trolls get bonuses to physical stats and a lowered cap on Intelligence. That said, since it's only a cap, the smartest trolls are still much smarter than the average person, they're just dumber than ''other'' geniuses. Troll dialogue is never in HulkSpeak (Mister Kluwe is actually rather eloquent and politically savvy), and they make a capable PlayerCharacter in any role outside of Decker or Rigger, which are Intelligence-intensive archetype. They *do* make dandy mages, though.
* EasyLogistics: Everyone has infinite ammo and only needs to stop to reload every once in a while. This makes it a little jarring when the game's loading screens flash the Shadowrun tagline advising you to "shoot straight and conserve ammo."
* FeministFantasy: Present in all campaigns, but especially in ''Hong Kong''. There is an unusually large amount of prominent female characters compared to most media examples, with several notable female party members and a surprisingly high percentage of female NPCs, be they important or random questgivers. ''Hong Kong'' in particular appears to have more females in leading or plot-critical positions than males.
* FiveRaces: When creating a new character the racial choices are:
** [[OurDwarvesAreAllTheSame Dwarfs]]: Stout, +1 to Willpower, higher caps on Body, Strength and Willpower.
** [[OurElvesAreBetter Elves]]: High Men, +1 to Charisma, higher caps on Quickness and Charisma.
** Humans: Mundane, 3 extra Karma at the start of the game and all stats caped at 9.
** [[OurOrcsAreDifferent Orks]]: Low Men, +1 to Body, higher caps on Body and Strength, lower caps on Charisma and Intelligence.
** [[AllTrollsAreDifferent Trolls]]: Big and Mean, +1 to Body and +1 to Strength, higher caps on Body and Strength, lower caps on Charisma, Intelligence and Quickness.
* FollowTheLeader: A {{downplayed|Trope}} example, in that Harebrained Schemes makes it a design philosophy to borrow mechanics from other games, ''provided'' that they understand why those mechanics ''work'' and that they can serve to make their current project better for it. For example, the combat mechanics are shamelessly lifted off of games like ''VideoGame/{{X-COM}}'', particularly the relatively recent ''VideoGame/XCOMEnemyUnknown'', which have been shown to work well on computers as opposed to a more direct adaptation of combat mechanics designed for TabletopGames with dice.
* FutureFoodIsArtificial: It seems like every food item in the game has the prefix "soy-".
* FutureSlang: In the vein of the tabletop game it is based on; drek being the most noticeable. This appears to be a case of AccidentallyAccurate, since in the Slovenian language the word "drek" pretty much means exactly the same as it does in the ''Shadowrun'' setting.
* GameMod: The game was released with mod tools readily available. It's no secret that the main draw will be seeing what other players create.
* GlassCannon: Turrets can do a lot of damage and their health is fairly decent, but since they're stationary, you're practically guaranteed to hit them. Two or three good hits will usually put one down.
* IsometricProjection: The game is viewed from a fixed isometric perspective.
* JackOfAllStats: Humans have even caps of 9 in every category, whereas other races have a two or three point bonus in one or another. Humans instead start with three extra karma, which isn't much in the grand scheme of things but still worth about one more skill than other races could get.
* KatanasAreJustBetter: Katanas are considered to be some of the better melee weapons for two reasons. One is that they do a solid amount of physical damage. Two is that they can also drain enemy AP on critical hits.
* KingIncognito: In the ''Dead Man's Switch'' and ''Dragonfall'' campaigns, towards the end, you run into a high ranking Saeder-Krupp employee named Hans Brackhaus. [[spoiler:The game hints at his true nature, but those familiar with the setting will know he's actually the Great Dragon Lofwyr, head of Saeder-Krupp and one of the most powerful beings in the world]].
* LeyLine: Mages can see these in combat and standing on one increases their power. Unfortunately, ley lines are rarely behind cover, so the power comes at the cost of being an easier target.
* MagicKnight: Physical Adepts are like this since they specialize in using chi abilities to empower them in melee combat and since you need high willpower to unlock high level chi abilities and spell-casting also uses willpower, diverting a few points into spell-casting isn't that bad of an idea. [[spoiler: For an in-game example, see Harlequin]].
* MageMarksman: Both mages and shamans are just as likely to be packing an AK-97 as they are to be slinging fireballs or summoning spirits. It helps that both get spells that buff and compliment gunplay.
* MasterOfNone: A real danger. Since the amount of karma you need to spend on a skill is equal to the next level of that skill, it becomes increasingly difficult to level up specific skills, making it tempting to branch out and grab the low-hanging fruit instead. This spreading out of skills, however, can make things difficult in the late game, which often require either high-level checks or significant combat investment. This is further compounded by the fact that spellbook and item slots are shared among all the possible archetypes' needs. It's almost always better to specialize, and the ingame hints themselves suggest as much.
* MegaCorp: They dominate the setting and you end up doing jobs for several in each campaign.
* MoreDakka: A high level rifle skill allows you to hit five times for 2 AP. It suffers in accuracy, but is so absurdly powerful that a solid string of hits can wipe out nearly any mook in the game unless they have a lot of HP or armor. Other skills have similar abilities, such as the shotgun's double shot, but the rifle skill stands out for the sheer number of hits.
* OnlyInItForTheMoney: Dialogue choices allow you to roleplay this way, and the game encourages it by having some times when the only way to get payment for services awarded is to directly ask for it.
* PinPullingTeeth: Characters appear to do this before throwing their grenades.
* PointBuildSystem: Every character stat is raised using Karma points, with Karma required raising it being equal to the level of that stat. For example, buying level one shotguns only costs one Karma point but buying level five spell-casting costs five Karma points. Spend them wisely.
* PostModernMagik: Mages are just as likely to being wearing Kevlar body armor and carrying assault rifles as they are to be wearing robes and slinging fireballs in this setting.
* PragmaticAdaptation: Per WordOfGod, ''Shadowrun'' has always been more about the setting, theme, and atmosphere than it has been about specific mechanics, and so long as it stays true to the spirit of the TabletopGames it can weather a few mechanical changes. Some examples:
** There is no Stun damage, you just get stunned from having negative AP. This makes the game more similar to other computer [=RPGs=].
** There are no initiative passes, so turns are simply done team-by-team, with each combatant having action points. This makes the game easier to understand, especially for veteran ''VideoGame/{{XCOM}}'' and ''VideoGame/JaggedAlliance'' players.
** [=DocWagon=] works as a {{Nanotech}} instant-revive trauma kit in the manner of the [[Franchise/FinalFantasy Phoenix Down]], rather than having to wait for them to show up, secure the area, and try to heal you on the spot.[[note]]The [[AuthorAvatar Ghost of Grizzled Veteran]] [[LampshadeHanging lampshades]] this, saying it was a concession to being a single player game.[[/note]] ''Dragonfall'' maintains this, but also credits a [=DocWagon=] contract for saving any fallen runners in your crew if they don't make it through a run.[[note]]Losing any runners on the Bloodlines mission is an exception.[[/note]]
** Matrix combat is ''much'' simpler than in the pen & paper game.
** Spells have cool down time rather than drain. You don't pay karma for every single spell, either, but instead unlock higher forces of spells and spell slots, then buy formulae for each spell & force level combination. This way, there is less work to managing your spells.
** Spirits require either consumable magic fetishes or special points on the map, so that you cannot just conjure spirits all the time. Some special locations may summon special or unique spirits as an added bonus.
** In tabletop, the difference between Hermetic Mages and Shamans is in the stats they use to resist drain and which spirits can be used for combat. This was simplified so that there is no difference between mages and shamans in ''Shadowrun Returns'', and all spirits are usable as combat spirits.
** And in a collision of the above two points, characters who can conjure spirits can conjure Toxic Spirits, which in Tabletop are not conjurable by ''either'' Hermetic Mages or Shamans, but only by the separate traditions of Toxic Shamans and Toxic Mages... because with the system it uses for spirit conjuring and the decaying urban environments that dominate the game, sometimes the only plausible spirit conjuring point on a map is a pile of garbage or pool of toxic waste. ''Hong Kong'' dealt with this point by removing such instances. Any free summon is now a normal spirit.
** Instead of having constantly on powers that are bought with Karma, Physical Adepts buy 'chi powers' for money that [[HourOfPower function like spells with a limited duration that only target the adept]]. In order to streamline the archetype, practically all powers that do not involve melee combat were removed and gun/social adepts aren't viable.
** You can use some (albeit low-level) BloodMagic in ''Hong Kong''. This is impossible in tabletop, with the rules stating that any PlayerCharacter who dabbles in the stuff will automatically be converted to an NPC.
* RevolversAreJustBetter: ZigZagged, in that revolvers tend to do a little more damage than other types of pistols. However, they need more frequent reloading and cannot use some of the more advanced pistol techniques that require a semi-automatic (such as Double Tap and Chain Shot). Albeit the former problem can be remedied by learning a pistol skill that requires no [=AP=] to reload (see BottomlessMagazines above).
* ShootTheMageFirst: True to ''Shadowrun'' tradition, the AI ''hates'' mages, to the point that killing the player (assuming they're not a mage) is only marginally more important to them. You should, too, for that matter, since conjurers and mages are among the most annoying enemies.
* ShotgunsAreJustBetter: Shotguns do a lot of damage, have spread to hit multiple targets, and at later levels can be made to fire two shots at once (at a cost of five bullets). Low ammo is a problem at early levels, but you get a respectable ten-round clip with the second-best one.
* SpritePolygonMix: Characters and effects are rendered 'on the fly' (as opposed to pre-rendered sprites like in ''VideoGame/{{Fallout}}'') whilst most backgrounds are standard two-dimensional artwork. This means less space used; no need to store animation frames for all the possible armor/weapon combinations in all their actions and poses. It also allows things like retexturing parts of models to reflect cybernetic augmentations.
* SquareRaceRoundClass: Nothing prevents you from making a troll decker or an ork shaman. They won't be able to get as good in it lategame as a human or elf will be due to lower stat caps, but in the beginning they'll be just as good. All races also make for (almost) equally good mages, since all of them cap willpower at 6 (except dwarves, who can go to 7 and unlock a very situational Adept spell from it).
* SquishyWizard: ZigZagged. Unlike many Western [=RPGs=], there is nothing stopping a Mage or Shaman from strapping on a full suit of riot armor. They'll favor the armor type that boosts their casting stat, but it offers just as much protection as any of the stat-boosting armors. Since the game uses archetypes instead of classes, there's nothing preventing a Mage or Shaman from having as many hit points as a Samurai character. The only real disadvantage that casters have is that installing cyberware will force them to cast spells less frequently, making defensive upgrades like Dermal Plating of dubious value. That said, there's nothing specifically stopping a player from playing a caster with basic armor and 10 HitPoints, but the game gives players a wealth of options to avoid it.
* SummonMagic:
** The domain of Shaman characters is the ability to summon spirits of various types to aid them in combat. Doing so does expend fetishes, though, [[ResourcesManagementGameplay so they can only be summoned a limited number of times between resupplies]]. They can also summon out the latent emotions in certain objects, such as skulls or trophies into spectral form, but those are much harder to control.
** Deckers can use [=ESPs=] (Expert System Programs) in the Matrix, essentially a cyberized version of Shamanistic summoning.
* SupernaturalMartialArts: The Adept class is based around channeling magic inwards to increase one's own physical prowess in melee combat.
* SupportPartyMember: Pure shamans carry no directly offensive spells whatsoever, barring [[BarrierWarrior their magic walls]] and [[{{Mons}} summoned spirits]], and didn't even have a basic attack spell like the mage did until ''Dragonfall''. Every single other spell is a buff or debuff spell and their library has increased through the game's editions, until the logical conclusion in ''Hong Kong'' where every single buff spell except Heal is a shaman spell.
* TakeCover: Cover comes in three levels, light, medium and heavy. ''Director's Cut'' clarified their use and made them more important by preventing {{Critical Hit}}s against those in medium or heavy cover, with heavy cover also cutting all damage by half.
* TopHeavyGuy: The sprites for the male trolls sport incredibly wide shoulders and massive arms on top of a pair of comparatively tiny legs. The graphics update for ''Hong Kong'' made them more realistic.
* TurnBasedTactics: The bulk of the combat gameplay, similar to other titles like ''VideoGame/{{X-COM}}''. It involves careful consideration about movement, positioning, cover, ability use, [[ResourcesManagementGameplay resource management]], and target selection.
* TurnedAgainstTheirMasters: Summoned creatures obey the summoner, but need to be periodically given AP instead of regenerating it per turn. Each time they are given AP, they have a chance to break free of the summoner's control, dependent on the amount of AP given on that turn (up to four) and how much AP they've been given previously. If they do break free, they are no longer bound to the summoner, so they won't die when the summoner does, and are hostile to everything on the field. Players can exploit this by making sure their summons are right in the middle of the enemy formation at all times. If the summon goes rogue, at least it's harassing them instead of you. In ''Hong Kong'', Gobbet can unlock a spell which steals control of a summoned spirit for a few turns. It also alters the behavior of spirits which are summoned from points on the map; they now disappear after two turns.
* UrbanFantasy: The ''Shadowrun'' setting is a mix of cyberpunk and Tolkienesque fantasy. The bulk of the stories take place in urban locales, and this game is no different.
* UtilityPartyMember: Deckers typically have limited skill with weapons, and can't carry as many, due to needing a inventory slot for their cyberdecks. They're also mandatory if you want to break into a computer system, which are omnipresent in the game's {{Cyberpunk}} setting. It's downplayed a bit in ''Hong Kong'', but not by much.
* VideoGameCaringPotential: There are plenty of opportunities in both games to do nice things for [=NPCs=], both recruitable and otherwise. For example, you can donate over a thousand nuyen to Samuel Beckenbauer's charity for disadvantaged orks and trolls. This results in him upgrading the shelter to a proper community centre, named after the player character.
* WeCannotGoOnWithoutYou: Prior to a patch, the death of the PlayerCharacter was an instant game over. Apparently they could not get a [=DocWagon=] contract. Especially annoying because the player character is a higher priority target for enemies than even mages, so long as they have a clear shot. After the patch, this was adjusted to make it so Player Characters who are reduced to zero hit points are "[[OnlyMostlyDead down but not out]]", just like other characters, and can recover if provided a healing item designed to wrest them back from death's door if used within the next few turns. However, if the PC doesn't get a revive during the three-turn period, it's still game over, even though your other (non-[[GuestStarPartyMember Guest Star]]) party members will still survive in-plot and be good to go next mission even if you let them "bleed out".
* YearInsideHourOutside: As a gameplay mechanic. Every three turns in the Matrix equals one turn outside.

[[/folder]]

[[folder:''The Dead Man's Switch'']]

* AbnormalAmmo: [[spoiler:Project Aegis]], modified shotgun shells loaded with what is effectively magical [[spoiler:insecticide]], the only weapon you have to kill [[spoiler:the bug spirits]].
* AuthorAvatar: The "Ghost of Grizzled Veteran" in the Seamstress Union is one for Jordan Weisman, sharing his appearance and BreakingTheFourthWall by talking about how after he died he ended up in a ghost in a story he created, how you gave him support while he was alive, and sharing stories about his inspiration and the process of creating the ''Shadowrun'' universe. He shows up to deliver bonus content for Kickstarter backers.
* BeautyEqualsGoodness: Boy, who would have thought that [[spoiler:the exceptionally-ugly elf (so much so that you can ''comment'' on his ugliness) would turn out to be a bad guy? Subverted with Jessica Watts, who is notably described as attractive... but then played straight after TheReveal when she gets a brand new "crazy bug lady" portrait]].
* BeenThereShapedHistory: Your runner ends up leading the team that [[spoiler:stopped Seattle from ending up the same way as Chicago]] in the backstory of the main ''Shadowrun'' universe, [[spoiler:using prototype technology that would later be used by Ares to battle other Universal Brotherhood chapters and purge Chicago.]]
* BedlamHouse: The Snohomish Mercy Hospital [[note]](Snohomish is a small town located north-east of Seattle,and also the county north of it.)[[/note]] is a mental treatment clinic. However, the place is run-down, the grounds unkempt, the paint peeling, and the patients are poorly cared for and rarely leave. [[spoiler: To say nothing of what happens in the basement...]]
* BrainwashedAndCrazy: The junkies in the [[LotusEaterMachine Better Than Life]] dens are usually placid, lazily lost in their own little world... unless someone overrides the settings. By removing the BTL chip's motor inhibitor function and feeding them horrifying visions and messing with their neurotransmitter levels, they can be sent into an unwilling aggressive rage as they fight demons that only they can see who happen to be in the same place as actual people.
* BrokeEpisode: The game begins with one, with the PlayerCharacter a down-on-their-luck Shadowrunner living in a dingy safehouse after a run against Renraku went bad three years ago. Their savings exhausted, their equipment sold, their contacts either missing or dead, and only another week's worth of living expenses left in the account. [[CallToAdventure An unexpected video call from an old friend gives an opportunity to change all that]], though it means going back to the city they once fled...
* BugWar: [[spoiler:The two raids on the Universal Brotherhood headquarters involve fighting extra-dimensional bugs.]]
* CallBack: The game begins with the PlayerCharacter coming to Seattle to investigate a murder (as in the Genesis game), and the first area is a morgue (as in the SNES game). [[spoiler:Polite runners will find Jake Armitage ([[PreviousPlayerCharacterCameo hero of the SNES game]]) sleeping in a morgue drawer (it's cheaper than a motel).]]
* CallForward:
** There are campaign posters for [[OurDragonsAreDifferent Dunkelzahn's]] [[OurPresidentsAreDifferent 2056 presidential run]] found in some of the locales visited during the campaign.
** [[spoiler: Project Aegis, what you try to steal from Telestrian, is a prototype version of [=FABS=] III used by Ares Macrotechnology in their BugWar in Chicago]].
* CityOfAdventure: UsefulNotes/{{Seattle}}, a familiar setting to most veteran ''Shadowrun'' players, is an excellent place for a Shadowrunner to ply their trade, given the presence of several megacorporations and the sizable criminal element in the city.
* CyberpunkWithAChanceOfRain: Always overcast, often drizzling. But then, that is nothing new in UsefulNotes/{{Seattle}}. The CyberPunk just makes it all the more acidic.
* DeadManSwitch: This trope is in fact the given name for the device that allows the player to be contacted by the third Emerald City Ripper victim at the start of the game, which gives [[TitleDrop the campaign its name]].
* DepletedPhlebotinumShells: [[spoiler:The prototype Aegis launchers are shotgun-like weapons which launch canisters that rupture on impact and disperse a fluid that carries a genetically-engineered and magically-infused bacteria tailored for killing astral spirits. This technology would later be licensed to Ares Macrotechnology, who would mass-produce it and use it to contain insect spirits in Chicago.]]
* DifficultySpike: The raid on Telestrian's headquarters is a lot harder than previous stages. Among the problems is that the enemies can and will flank you by spawning from different entrances, there are a lot more of them than you're used to dealing with, and there are mandatory decking sequences which spawn heavy guards that can hit five times in one attack just to capitalize on your lack of manpower. Justified in that you ''are'' hitting an office of a major MegaCorp, something that would not be done unless you are [[GodzillaThreshold just that desperate]].
* DisposableVagrant: Specifically mentioned to be the favorite targets of the Universal Brotherhood.
* DirtyCop: Two examples with Detective [=McKlusky=] and Officer Aguirre. [=McKlusky=] is portrayed negatively, more concerned with being promoted than catching the bad guys. Aguirre, on the other hand, is just willing to take bribes in exchange for inside information on the cases he's working, and is nothing but helpful.
* DonutMessWithACop: Early on, you can convince a Lone Star officer to let you look around the crime scene where Sam was murdered by giving him a doughnut and soykaf. [[note]]Not a soy latte, but a soy-based coffee substitute.[[/note]]
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: Additions made in the later campaigns induced this trope on ''Dead Man's Switch''. It's a much more on-rails game with very few sidequests, and with the exception of Coyote, the only teammates you have available are mercenaries with [[FlatCharacter no personalities]] or significance to the plot.
* ExactWords: One of the questions you can ask Harlequin is if Hans Brackhaus ''really'' works for Lofwyr. Harlequin simply replies "No". [[spoiler:As mentioned above, this is because Hans IS Lofwyr]].
* FanDisservice: Orks and female feral ghouls are shown in skimpy lingerie. Neither are pretty.
* {{Foreshadowing}}:
** Anyone that familiar with the ''Shadowrun'' timeline can tell that the Universal Brotherhood building means bad news. This is also complemented by Jake mentioning Chicago and several posters of the city. [[spoiler:It is even where the character Coyote was born.]] They should also be aware that you can't [[spoiler:kill insect spirits through regular means. This becomes a plot point later on when your team has no idea what exactly it is they were just witnesses to.]]
** When you ask Johnny Clean about his janitor uniform, he tells you that he was able to pull off many of his most infamous hacks by [[JanitorImpersonationInfiltration disguising himself as a janitor and infiltrating the target building]]. [[spoiler:You yourself can use this tactic to infiltrate the Universal Brotherhood, and later in the last part of the Telestrian Building run]].
* FromBadToWorse: The plot seems simple enough. Track down a killer, get a big life-insurance payout from one of the killer's victims. However, every time the player seemingly lays one problem in their path to rest, another bigger and uglier thread is revealed running just underneath it. The plot keeps ever thickening and the stakes keep getting higher...
* GodzillaThreshold: Late in the game you end up [[spoiler: launching a run on a major corp because they have the things you need to kill the insect spirits]]. In other words, you're incurring the wrath of [[spoiler: a major corporation]] just because the things you're fighting are ''even worse''.
* GrandTheftPrototype: [[spoiler: You end up attacking Telestrian to acquire a prototype magically augmented biological weapon that can kill the insect spirits in the Universal Brotherhood]].
* GrenadeHotPotato: The gun vendor in the Seamstress Union strongly advises against this, as he lost his right arm from trying. And in his defense, it was the ''one'' live grenade, rather than the smoke bombs the enemy had been tossing up to that point.
-->'''Gruberman''': So take a word of advice from an old soldier. Make sure you're never holding a grenade in one hand unless you just pulled the pin with the other.
* HatePlague: Some Yakuza thugs use the BTL control computer to make a bunch of BTL junkies attack your team.
* HopelessBossFight: Its impossible to kill the [[spoiler: insect spirits inside the Universal Brotherhood]]. Your only hope is to hold out until a decker can hack a nearby door to let you run. Finding a way to [[spoiler: kill the insect spirits]] is a major plot point.
* LocalHangout: The Seamstress Union[[note]](named according to some old UsefulNotes/{{Seattle}} trivia)[[/note]] is the local watering hole for the Redmond Barrens, a place where information, company, and all kinds of legal and illegal distractions can be had. It functions as the PlayerCharacter's "home base" for their stay in Seattle. [[spoiler: It is also secretly a front for an underground safehouse and Runner black market, for those who are trusted enough and can afford the fees...]]
* LotusEaterMachine: Several small ones in the form of Better Than Life chips, specially enhanced simsense chips which allow users to explore stored memories with a greater intensity than legal chips, which are intentionally capped in how strong of a feedback they can give. The player has the opportunity to raid some BTL dens during the campaign, which are presented like a crackhouse would be in the present day, full of junkies lost in their own little world or begging to get their next fix, and dealers with recording equipment to make their often cruel product.
* MacGuffin: Most of the loot you sell to the Fixers is this. The various stuff is not usually of use to ''you'', but to the right group, it's invaluable.
* MacGuffinMelee: You accidentally cause this when you break into a warehouse to perform a spirit summoning ritual. The problem is that another Shadowrunner team in there to steal a MacGuffin and think you are trying to take it from them. For bonus points you can decide to take it from their corpses and sell it as an afterthought.
* MadonnaWhoreComplex: The description of a bunraku "puppet" you find says it all. "Face of a schoolgirl, body of a stripper".
* {{Magitek}}: As expected from a setting in which FunctionalMagic and technology are both the subjects of intensive corporate research, there are some examples of things which combine both disciplines. [[spoiler: The Aegis formula McGuffin is one such thing, a genetically engineered and magically-infused bacteriological weapon designed to kill astral spirits who are otherwise immune to more conventional physical and magical dangers.]]
* MinorCrimeRevealsMajorPlot: Well, Major Crime Reveals ''Colossal'' Plot. [[spoiler:The Universal Brotherhood's plan to summon an Insect Queen and infest Seattle would have gone off completely without your involvement if their head shaman hadn't killed every person who got an organ donation from her mother out of sheer spite.]]
* MockGuffin: [[spoiler:The 100,000 nuyen Sam promised you for capturing his killer. As if a drunken loser like him could or would pay for life insurance.]]
* MythologyGag: The ram's skull which formed the banner image on the covers of the 1st and 2nd edition ''TabletopGame/{{Shadowrun}}'' rulebooks can be seen hanging behind the bar at the Seamstress Union.
* ObliviouslyEvil: [[spoiler:The Emerald City Ripper's troll assistant]] is implied to be mentally challenged and unaware of [[spoiler:what the Ripper is really doing.]]
* OrganTheft: Modus operandi of the Emerald City Ripper. [[spoiler: Turns out it's a job and he is getting paid quite a bit to do it]].
* PathOfInspiration: The Universal Brotherhood has a chapterhouse in Seattle, near the Pike Place Market. Of course, [[LateArrivalSpoiler anyone familiar with the timeline from the tabletop game knows]] [[spoiler: that they are a {{Cult}}-like organization which seeks to allow insect spirits into the material world by [[AssimilationPlot possessing human hosts]].]]
* PhoneCallFromTheDead: The game starts this way thanks to the DeadManSwitch implanted in the victim.
* PreviousPlayerCharacterCameo: Jake Armitage, the PlayerCharacter from the SNES ''VideoGame/{{Shadowrun}}'' game, is a recruitable party member in ''Shadowrun Returns''.
* PunnyName: One of the hirelings is named Justin Case.
* RecycledSoundtrack: An updated, fast-tempo remix of "Walking the Shadows" from the SNES game is played during [[spoiler:the FinalBoss battle.]]
** That's not the only musical nod to the SNES game: "Walking in the Shadows" is also remixed in the action part of "Shoot Straight" and a slowed-down remix of the default battle theme is used in "Null Sheen". Both songs feature prominently during various shoot-outs.
* ReligionOfEvil: You should have known this was coming the minute you saw the words [[spoiler:Universal Brotherhood]].
* SaveTheVillain: Able to be done with [[spoiler: Jessica Watts, so that she can face the FBI rather than be gunned down or devoured]].
* SexSlave: [[spoiler: The Emerald City Ripper turns out to have been making them to "custom order", by [[HumanResources harvesting fresh components]] that match requested descriptions [[GraveRobbing from chop shops]], then [[FrankensteinsMonster grafting them to patients of a mental hospital]], and [[MindControlDevice inserting a chip into their brain to make them completely obedient]] with the [[GettingSmiliesPaintedOnYourSoul requested personalities]]. These are then sold to discrete but high payers with loose ethics. As evidenced by his killings, he is not adverse to ''making'' more select material available when he needs it.]]
* ShoutOut:
** Dowd, the never-seen shadowrunner who [[DeathByOriginStory died in the prologue]], is a nod to Tom Dowd, another FASA game designer.
** Stevie J ''is'' Steve Jackson. (He, along with many others who backed the Kickstarter, were rewarded by having their likeness turned into [=NPC=]s.)
** The Grizzled Veteran is Jordan Weismann.
** Jake Armitage is two {{Shout Out}}s at the same time. The character himself is [[PreviousPlayerCharacterCameo from the SNES game]]. The name "Armitage" is a ShoutOut to the character Armitage from William Gibson's ''Literature/{{Neuromancer}}'', the book that is credited with creating the cyberpunk sub-genre.
** Jake makes a rather cringe-worthy crack about liking library windows if you ask him for a rifle, referencing the Kennedy Assassination.
** [[spoiler:Harlequin]] is a major background character from the pen-and-paper game. And if you try to ask him who he is he answers [[Music/TheBeatles "I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together"]].[[note]]If your character has an intelligence rating of at least five, you can reply "[[LampshadeHanging You're the walrus]]?" He quips back "Goo goo g'joob!" and bows with a flourish.[[/note]]
** Scribbled on [[http://cloud-2.steampowered.com/ugc/884115325883394880/2B6B160105271F5540E847153B459451ECE683B5/ this couch]] is [[Series/DoctorWho "Bad Wolf,"]] [[VideoGame/BioShock "Rapture" as well as Jack,]] the [[VideoGame/{{Borderlands}} Vault logo,]] the [[VideoGame/HalfLife resistance's Lambda symbol,]] and possibly a stylized [[VideoGame/{{Portal}} Chell]] running out of a portal.
** You need to know musical notation to get it, but the notes you play to [[spoiler:open the safehouse under the Seamstress Union]] are [[Film/CloseEncountersOfTheThirdKind G-A-F-F-C]].
** When you meet the coroner at the Pike Place murder scene, he [[Film/TheBoondockSaints wipes his hand on his scalp in probable sanitary violation, showing the beginnings of burnout about this case.]]
** When you exit the morgue, you'll find [[Manga/{{Akira}} Kaneda's bike]] parked next to the door.
** There's a coroner named [[Literature/TheDresdenFiles Dresden]] and a cop named [[Theatre/WestSideStory Officer Kuprik]].
** The password to Coyote's computer is "trustno1", the computer password of choice for [[Series/TheXFiles Fox Mulder]].
** A computer in the Universal Brotherhood chapter offices has a list of chapter members. This list is the names of the Kickstarter backers who contributed over a certain threshold (along with a few named [=NPC=]s from the game). A different computer in the same facility lists several high level members of the chapter as the names of producers from the game.
* ShownTheirWork: The development team working on the game is located in the greater Seattle metropolitan area, and their familiarity shows by peppering small RealLife landmarks around the game's environments. For example, the Pike Place Market sign is still present, though the neighborhood around it has changed. Sometimes this is reflected in the concept art, like a piece which shows the Smith Tower against the background of the Renraku Arcology.[[note]]Ironically, the Renraku Arcology described in the books occupies the place where the Smith Tower should stand. Either ''Shadowrun Returns'' {{Retcon}}s the exact location of the arcology, or the Smith Tower was somehow moved.[[/note]]
* SummoningRitual: [[spoiler:Something the [[PathOfInspiration Universal Brotherhood]] engages in to bring insect spirits into this realm by [[DemonicPossession anchoring them in human hosts]]. Their EvilPlan is ultimately to find a suitable host for an [[MotherOfAThousandYoung insect spirit queen]], and bring her into the material realm to infest the entire city and, eventually, the entire world. Stopping this ritual proves to be the player's final objective.]]
* ThemeMusicPowerUp: During the FinalBattle, an [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5lBcwIkMbFk up-tempo remix]] of [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J9kC0F_EjIQ "Walking the Shadows"]] from the SNES ''Shadowrun'' game plays.
* UsedToBeASweetKid: While investigating Sam's murder, you can find a photo of him and his twin sister Jessica as children. In the present, he was a drunken loser (who, in his own words, probably deserved whatever killed him) and his sister has become a cold, CorruptCorporateExecutive [[spoiler: who had Sam and several other innocents murdered because she wanted to bury their mother with the organs they'd had transplanted from her. And that's not even getting into her [[PathOfInspiration new]] [[AssimilationPlot friends...]]]]
* UnwinnableByMistake: During your first big fight with the [[spoiler:Insect Spirits]], they will automatically resurrect themselves and take up a combat space. Your only option is to run. If one blocks the single-square exit...
* VideoGameCaringPotential: The Player Character is given several opportunities to PetTheDog, like recovering a homeless man's belongings from a cordoned-off crime scene and returning them to him.
* VideoWill: Sam leaves you one, which sets the plot in motion.
* VillainWithGoodPublicity: [[spoiler: The Universal Brotherhood. They manage to run a major damage control story through the media in the aftermath of your attack]].
* WhatTheHellHero: One of your side missions involves 'liberating' a scientist from a Renraku research facility for a rival corporation at gunpoint. When you finally get to him he tears you a new one saying that he isn't property, he shouldn't be a slave and he should have some say in who he works for.
* WorldHalfFull: [[spoiler:Harlequin]] gives a small speech at the end of the game on while the world is run by corrupt [[{{Megacorp}} megacorporations]] and that the average person is powerless to change how crappy the world is, he says that there will always be Shadowrunners that refuse to play the loaded game.

[[/folder]]

[[folder:''Dragonfall'']]

* AIIsACrapshoot: [[spoiler:APEX, the AI built to safeguard the complex where Feuerschwinge is held, will attempt to manipulate the player to free it. Should the player at any point go against its wishes, it will quickly drop the façade of benevolence it is projecting.]]
* AlasPoorVillain: Most of the major antagonists are treated sympathetically in death, including [[spoiler:Vauclair, APEX, and Feuerschwinge.]]
* AndIMustScream: The [[spoiler:cyberzombie]] is fully aware but incapable of controlling its own body. [[spoiler:If you set it free, it crushes its own skull to end the pain.]] Also mentioned is the permanent separation of a individual's spirit and mortal form. Spirits are ''supposed'' to die when this happens. When they don't, they usually go crazy.
* AndTheAdventureContinues: At the end of it all, you're approached by [[spoiler:Hans Brackhaus, a.k.a. the Great Dragon Lofwyr, with a job offer that's going to take a while to get through]]. And so you step out, into the shadows...
* AntiEscapismAesop: You can regularly talk to a woman who is addicted to a virtual reality. She will eventually tell you that this virtual reality makes her feel brave, to which you can reply that 'it is better to be brave in real life'. Yes, have fun with your real life, alone in dirty, dark cyberpunk Berlin.
* ApocalypseHow: [[spoiler: What you ultimately avert. Vauclair spent around 40 something years looking for a way to kill all the dragons, not knowing that they keep something very, '''very''' bad at bay.]]
* ArmorIsUseless: Completely averted with the ''Director's Cut'' changes to the combat system. A character with a high armor rating behind good cover is extremely difficult to kill unless flanked. Characters in the open with low or no armor will fall very quickly to even basic weapons.
* AssholeVictim: One run (which is optional) objective has the player sent to assassinate someone who was captured by a rival corp before he can spill company secrets. [[spoiler: He turns out to be a fellow Shadowrunner, causing the teammates to balk.]] Players might reconsider any moral objections that they have after they see what their target did.
* AteHisGun: [[spoiler: The BigBad does this when years of planning that inadvertently killed his younger brother goes up in smoke.]]
* AwesomeButImpractical: Blitz has a unique drone named Max which is equipped with a taser that can easily stun an enemy for one turn. Unfortunately, his low rigging skills mean Max's accuracy will always be low, making it a waste of AP to ever take direct control over it.
* TheBattleDidntCount: During the opening mission, the big ork with the minigun can be reduced to zero HP if you try really hard to do it, but he'll just fall on his knees, ignore all subsequent attacks, and escape on his next turn.
* BeingGoodSucks: The 'moral' options on runs almost inevitably end up ruining your reputation or pay less than doing the less-shiny options, though it occasionally pays off with additional karma.
* BetterTheDevilYouKnow: One of the arguments you can use to rebuke [[spoiler:Vauclair's reasons for why the dragons should be killed off]] is that it will just create a power vacuum for possibly even more insidious forces. You can repeat this to [[spoiler:Hans Brackhaus]], who will express approval of your logic. [[spoiler:If you ''do'' go through with the plan, you'll see just how correct this trope really is.]]
* BigBad: Feuerschwinge. [[spoiler:Or at least that's what you're led to believe. It turns out that Dr. Adrian Vauclair is behind everything bad that's happened to you in the entire game. Feuerschwinge herself is just another victim to his machinations.]]
* BigGood: Monika serves this role for the Kreuzbasar. She involves herself with the lives of all the people within, holds the community together, and makes sure everything remains safe and secure. [[spoiler:When she dies, the position pretty much falls onto the PlayerCharacter's shoulders.]]
* BittersweetEnding: [[spoiler:You can stop the destruction of Berlin, but the Flux State is doomed to be dismantled and Berlin will be [[UsefulNotes/BerlinWall separated by a wall again]]. Even worse, you can go to work for the guy that helps cause it.]]
* BloodKnight: Dietrich, whose shamanic totem, the Dragonslayer, compels him to constantly be fighting something bigger and more powerful than himself, whether it be a literal dragon, a megacorp, or the concept of authority itself.
* BloodMagic: One mission involves Aztechnology experimenting with this.
* BodyHorror: [[spoiler:During the assassination mission, you'll pass by a particularly nasty piece of the target's handiwork -- a harmless lab technician who was eviscerated by an automated surgical machine.]]
* BrainUploading: [[spoiler:The APEX AI copies the brain contents of the Deckers that it kills; it can later emulate their personalities at will. A later in-game message suggests that the emulation is imperfect, though.]]
* BreakOutTheMuseumPiece: Glory uses first-generation cyberware, which is so old no reputable dealer will install it. It's still pretty effective, though. [[spoiler:This was the point -- Glory needed her Essence to be as low as possible to shield herself from [[{{Satan}} the Adversary.]]]]
* ButThouMust: The opening mission has a display case which gives you the option of either smashing it for the loot or leaving it for later. Doing the former causes a member of your team to stop you, since the run is supposed to be quick and quiet.
* CameBackWrong: Invoked in Green Winter's [=DVDs=] regarding the fate of inquisitive deckers.
* CityOfAdventure: The campaign is set in the anarchist city-state of UsefulNotes/{{Berlin}}. It is known as the Flux State (F-State for short) due to its constantly shifting power structure, and finding work as a Shadowrunner there is easy as everyone wants a piece of it.
* CityOfWeirdos: The same, but of particular note is Dragonfall's "HubCity", the Kreuzbasar; an "anarchist commune" filled with oddballs of every stripe, its eccentricity and prosperity nurtured by the watchful and compassionate eye of veteran decker Monika Schäfer. [[spoiler:After APEX fries her brain, this role falls to the player character, as a demonstration of how much of a hassle maintaining such a community is.]]
* CoDragons: The BigBad effectively has two [[TheDragon Dragons]] that you have to deal with before the final confrontation: Audran in meatspace, and APEX in the Matrix.
* CombatDiplomacyStealth: The Aztechnology mission offers multiple methods of entering and moving around the building, though you will very likely be forced into combat eventually. As noted in ViolationOfCommonSense below, invoking combat before you need to is actually better than talking your way past it--unless you have the [[GuideDangIt extremely specific]] stats and skills necessary to complete it without bloodshed.
* ComicBookFantasyCasting: Several of the [=NPC=]s' facial portraits are modeled after Harebrained Schemes employees. For example, Green Winters is modeled after Mitch Gittleman.
* TheComputerIsACheatingBastard: In the final boss fight, several of the mooks can teleport, which, aside from being impossible in the ''Shadowrun'' universe normally, is not possible for a player character to do. The final boss himself gets two turns instead of one, effectively giving him 6 AP. It takes some serious drugs and/or magic for player-controlled characters to equal this feat.
* TheConspiracy: The story is focused on a vast conspiracy involving the Great Dragon Feuerschwinge, who was shot down over forty years prior to the beginning of the story, and has been presumed dead since.
* ContinuityNod: One of the early Shadowlands threads you can read regard the "Emerald City Ripper" loose in Seattle. The Ripper is a major antagonist of ''Dead Man's Switch''.
** One of Green Winters' messages refers to there being trouble in London for Transys Neuronet Corporation due to the 'BTL Killer' scandal. This refers to the plot of the Shadowrun tie-in novel ''Streets of Blood'' (book 8).
* CosmicHorrorStory: The Horrors are alluded to a few times, though they really don't play any part in the plot. [[spoiler:Unless you allow the BigBad to proceed with his plan, in which case, they descend upon the world and drive meta-humanity to extinction, playing this trope very straight.]]
* CyberneticsEatYourSoul:
** Glory is using so much first gen cyberware it's nearly completely destroyed her Essence; whether they are responsible for her cold demeanor or she is deliberately withdrawn is ambiguous, as the player can coax emotion out of her in the right circumstances.
** During the MKVI mission, the player gets to see first-hand what happens when cybernetics are abused. [[spoiler:The MKVI is a cyberzombie - it has negative Essence and its mind has been replaced by hardware. Its soul can do little but beg for release.]]
* DarkIsNotEvil: In the ''Directors Cut'' you can discuss the Idol of [[{{Satan}} the Adversary]] with Aljernon Half-Dream, who takes essentially this position. The Adversary is treasonous, tricky and rebellious, but it also encompasses freedom, innovation and the positive aspects of Anarchy; when you're the one being oppressed by an authority the Adversary will be your staunchest ally. [[spoiler:The problem with Glory isn't that her mentor followed the totem of the Adversary, but that he was a Toxic Shaman with a corrupted mentor spirit he used to brainwash his followers into a cult.]]
* TheDevTeamThinksOfEverything: During the Aztechnology mission, there's an option to disguise yourself as security personnel by raiding a closet for some uniforms, thereby allowing you to avoid summoning the [[EliteMooks High Threat Response team]] that comes with triggering the alarm. If you trigger the alarm ''then'' try for the uniforms, your squad will point out how useless it is, to which your character responds "couldn't hurt".
* DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu: [[spoiler:The campaign ends with the option of killing Feuerschwinge. Granted, she's been weakened considerably from her previous defeat and nearly 50 years of torture and experimentation, to the point where she is no longer the proud beast she once was...but a Great Dragon has nevertheless been KilledOffForReal by your hand. And of course, if you opt to side with Vauclair, then you'll end up killing ''every'' dragon on Earth! Though this leads to something even worse.]]
* DirtyCoward: The Humanis leader will bolt for the back exit when you confront him, though you can cap him if you're quick enough. It pays better not to, though, since his survival is part of an optional objective for another client.
* DisasterDominoes: Offscreen in the ''Director's Cut'', a side-mission to a medical lab that's been on lockdown for 18 months "began with a spilled cup of soykaf, and ended in terror and blood"[[note]]Namely, that spilled soykaf landed on the control panel for the animal testing cages, letting all of them loose[[/note]].
* DoomedByCanon: History-wise, it doesn't really matter what you do in regards to your little piece of the Free State, as the German government (with the backing of several megas, especially Saeder-Krupp) moved in and dissolved the anarchist communes in 2055. In the Director's Cut, it outright tells you this in the ending.
* DopplegangerSpin: In the ''Director's Cut'', the final boss of Glory's mission has the ability to create two duplicates of itself. The duplicates die in one hit, but they read as identical. Fortunately, the dopplegangers are significantly weaker than the original. Unfortunately, the boss teleports around the arena and summons them both back each turn. And the boss's support respawns every two turns, and can buff them up if he isn't made a priority target.
* DragonHoard: Discussed. Dragons are driven to hoard things, only now they do it with nuyen, lives, and other liquid assets as the heads of major corporations, rather than a typical hoard of precious metals and stones.
* DyingAsYourself: In the MKVI mission, [[spoiler:you have the opportunity to disable the RestrainingBolt on the eponymous MKVI, allowing him to have full control of his body once again. He uses it to bring an end to his tortured existence by his own hand.]]
* ElaborateUndergroundBase: That mansion with the data vault you raid in the first mission? It's actually a front for this and its owner [[spoiler: Dr. Adrian Vauclair]] isn't exactly pleased that you found it and survived to tell other people about its existence.
* EleventhHourRanger:
** [[spoiler:Dante becomes a full-fledged party member near the end of the game, once it becomes clear that he's half Hellhound.]]
** [[spoiler:If you freed APEX, then you'll get a Panzerdrone which you can then use to raid TheVeryDefinitelyFinalDungeon.]]
* EliteMooks: Knight Errant security. They tend to show up during corp runs. They come in greater numbers, are harder to kill, are armed with better guns and explosives, and almost always employ mages or summoners (if not both).
* ExactWords: If you choose to [[spoiler:MercyKill the MKVI (or allow him to do it himself), then when your client protests this, you can point out that their job was simply to acquire the MKVI. They never specified it had to be ''alive''.]]
* {{Expy}}: Humanis is shown to be nothing more than an updated version of the KKK, which is true in the source material. However, to write it, the dev team pretty much used KKK propaganda, with Jew replaced with Elf and Blacks with Orks and Trolls.
* EyelessFace: [[spoiler:The MKVI's entire face from the upper jaw up was carved out to make way for an extensive chunk of cyberware.]]
* FaceHeelTurn: [[spoiler:You can potentially do this. You can agree with Vauclair and allow him to carry out his plan, which won't sit well with the rest of your crew. They'll turn on you, and you'll have to kill them all.]]
* FantasticRacism: A major underlying theme in the story. You have the Humanis sub-plot and you have [[spoiler: Dr. Vauclair's fear and hatred of dragons motivating his actions]].
* FalseFlagOperation: Humanis plans to use a chemical weapon to trigger a HatePlague in the meta-human population and send them on a rampage towards the part of town where ordinary humans live, where their followers will be waiting armed and ready. If successful it would have succeeded in making them look good while at the same time demonizing the meta-human population. The name of this plan even references the trope.
* TheFellowshipHasEnded: Depending on what choices the player makes, it's possible for the members of the crew [[spoiler:(or at least, those that are still alive)]] to split up and go their separate ways at the end of the campaign.
* FinalBossPreview: Audran is the FinalBoss of ''Dragonfall'', and you face him in the second fight of the game.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: In the ''Director's Cut'', completing Eiger's personal mission and getting all the clues leads you on the trail [[spoiler:something called 'Winternight', a Norse doomsday cult that seeks to call down Ragnarok and are implied to be planning something ''big''. Players [[AllThereInTheManual familiar with the setting]] know exactly how bad they'll get ten years later...]]
* GaiasVengeance: [[spoiler:The reason why Feuerschwinge attacked humankind when she first awoke is because her purpose is to act as a caretaker of nature. Seeing the environmental damage wrought by metahumanity -- whom she regards as her children -- enraged her and caused her to lash out.]]
* GatlingGood: Miniguns are introduced in this expansion pack. You can buy one after you've passed the Alice payment section of the plot, and both the MKVI and TheDragon wield them. It counts as a rifle for gameplay purposes, but requires a rank of 7 in Strength (27 karma for a human, but this can be alleviated if you have gear that gives bonuses to strength) plus the requisite Quickness, Ranged Combat, and Rifle investments (which aren't as high, but necessary for accuracy). If you can manage it, though, it's one of the deadliest weapons in the game.
* GodzillaThreshold: Aztechnology is one of the biggest {{Mega Corp}}s in the world, and by far one of the most feared due to their zero-tolerance policy towards runners and rampant experimentation with BloodMagic. A popular saying among runners is "you don't mess with the Azzies." However, your crew will be more than willing to blow up one of their facilities because they ''really'' need the cash to take down Feuerschwinge. Your client herself hires you for this run because the discoveries Aztechnology has made are so horrific that it warrants complete destruction of the base, crossing the GodzillaThreshold for her.
* GoneHorriblyRight: It is possible to switch sides and join up with the antagonist if he convinces you that [[VillainHasAPoint what he's doing is a good idea.]] [[spoiler: This results in you helping him kill off all the dragons, and humanity rejoices as their hoarded wealth returns to the economy...until it turns out they were what kept the balance between the world and its magic, the latter starting to flood the world, causing freak mana storms all over the place and finally opening the gate for the invasion of extraplanar horrors that drive humanity to the brink of extinction.]]
* GuideDangIt:
** Resolving the Aztechnology mission peacefully requires a particular set of skills players likely won't have.
** The Director's Cut allows the player to decide how their teammates will upgrade their equipment and abilities. This means Blitz can be made to focus on combat instead of decking, assuming the player has that covered. This becomes problematic in Blitz's character-specific mission, as he has a mandatory decking sequence which is a lot more difficult if the player doesn't upgrade him appropriately, and being beaten forces you to restart the mission.
* HatePlague: The human supremacist group "Humanis" aims to be seen as heroes for stopping violent metahuman riots. Since the metahumans weren't actually rioting, Humanis decided to cause one with a mind-altering biological warfare agent. The player has the option to point out exactly how hypocritically insane this is.
* HeKnowsTooMuch: [[spoiler: The reason the Vauclair's troops come gunning for you, the reason [=APEX=] kills Green Winters and the reason several other deckers met their untimely ends]].
* {{Hellhound}}: A dangerous enemy you'll occasionally encounter in the campaign. [[spoiler:And what your own dog, Dante, really is.]]
* HeWhoFightsMonsters: You can point this out to [[spoiler: the BigBad, pointing out that he is just as bad as how he views Dragons.]] He [[KnightTemplar ignores it]] unless you've been very diligent with gathering information and can talk to him on what he considers an equal level.
** In Glory's personal mission, [[spoiler:if she kills the toxic spirit that is behind Harrow's power and influence, then she will end up corrupted by it and start becoming toxic herself.]]
* HoldTheLine:
** The first mission makes you wait ten turns before the escape route opens.
** The [[spoiler:APEX mission]] becomes a three-way defense against a server and two external nodes from a horde of defense mechs and cultists [[spoiler:while APEX is either freed or formatted]]. And every time you take out a group, more come to replace them.
** The final fight is half this and half TimeLimitBoss. [[spoiler:You get ten turns to plow through the mooks and TheDragon, and this is not enough time to manage that. To make the time, you need to keep sabotaging the injection sequence to buy more time, all the while trying to kill TheDragon to get the keycard needed to end the process permanently.]]
* HopelessBossFight: If you decide to stick around after the hold the line sequence in the first mission, you'll regret it. All the enemies have extremely high health and you only have three weak party members. Subverted with Audran; he's highly resistant to damage and carries a minigun, but getting him to 0 is doable in the time limit. [[TheBattleDidntCount He just retreats.]]
* {{Irony}}: As Lucky Strike points out, the Kreuzbasar, which is supposed to be an "anarchist commune", is in practice Monika Schäfer's([[spoiler:and later the ''player's'']]) kingdom - she just chose to let her subjects roam freely. She isn't particularly pleased with this.
* ItsPersonal: After Monika gets killed and [[spoiler: Paul Amsel gets shot by Audran]] your team views stopping the BigBad as their number one priority regardless of them getting paid or not.
** Dietrich begs you to take him on the Humanis mission as his nephew, Alexander, was in the organization thanks to his brother (and he's trying to save the boy from those who would either blindly strike Humanis, or from Humanis itself).
** Eiger and Glory have their own missions in the "Director's Cut" that they feel are personal to them; you can insist you come along to help them both out (you get in their better graces if you do).
** Green Winters [[spoiler: aka Herman Vauclair]] made it his mission to bring back Adrian.
* JackBauerInterrogationTechnique: Eiger is quick to start beating a confession out of the Engineer once she catches him in her personal mission. [[spoiler:It doesn't work, it just makes him cough up names at random, to the point where she admits that even if he gives her a straight answer, it'll impossible to sift through the lies. Getting him to talk requires getting some actual leverage over him.]]
* KarmicDeath: In the ''Director's Cut'' there are a few.
** [[spoiler: In Blitz's mission, the PC can find out that Meat Grinder, who set up the run to settle Blitz's debt, is "in bed" with the one you're running against and is looking to take the "accountant" (who's really TheDragon in Grinder's organization but also handles the books as well) out as well as you and Blitz. It's implied Grinder died at the accountant's hands.]]
** [[spoiler: Eiger's mission has you face the Engineer, who ends up dying when a bomb goes off in his chest.]]
** [[spoiler: Marta, Glory's former lover, dies when she becomes TheDragon to Harrow, and you and Glory face Marta. Harrow could also die if you convince Glory that he must instead of saving the kids, however it turns her toxic.]]
* LethalJokeItem: The Slapdash Pistol, an obvious piece of junk (some parts are ''hot-glued on'') that's sold for 1999 nuyen. Its damage value is 6, which is utterly terrible. But its critical hit chance and damage multipliers, which ''aren't'' shown anywhere, are the highest in the game. Most enemies won't even ''feel'' a regular hit. But one of the frequent crits? Often a one-hit kill.
* MassOhCrap: Your team has this reaction, with good reason, to learning [[spoiler: Green Winters sent you after a Great Dragon]].
* MercyKill:
** Available as an option for [[spoiler:the MKVI, a "cyberzombie" troll who has been turned into a remote-controlled slave [[AndIMustScream while still fully conscious]]]]. Alternatively, the player may [[spoiler:restore the troll's free will, allowing him to do the job himself.]]
** At the end of the campaign you have [[spoiler:the option of killing Feuerschwinge. The way the Industrial Revolution ravaged and reshaped the world, getting shot down by the Luftwaffe, and Dr. Vauclair's imprisonment and experimentation on her for the last couple of decades have pretty much made her lose the will to live. You can talk her out of this attitude and convince her that her life is still worth living. Or you can just push the button on Dr. Vauclair's console and make her go boom]].
* MythologyGag: Late in the game, Zaak Flash claims that he used his "[[MushroomSamba magic]]" to turn someone who attacked him into goo. This is a reference to the GameBreaking "Turn to Goo" spell from the tabletop game.
* MoneyForNothing: Cash is tight in the first few missions. After you've moved on to the endgame, however, you'll end up with a lot of extra that you will not need.
* MultipleChoicePast: After the first mission, you can talk to Dietrich and set up your past with Monika through dialog choices.
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone:
** Dr. Vauclair can get one of these, either played straight [[spoiler: when he finds out Hermie, his brother, had died thanks to APEX]], or downplayed to "My God, what was I about to do?"
** Feuerschwinge gets this [[spoiler: when the PlayerCharacter brings up her initial awakening led to the deaths of thousands of innocent people.]]
** If, during Glory's personal quest, you have her [[spoiler:purify the Heart of Feuerstelle, the spirit will have this reaction once it learns the harm it had caused as a toxic spirit]].
* NebulousEvilOrganisation: The Lodge, especially in the ''Director's Cut''. You never get to learn exactly what they're working towards but given all the "more morally grey" things they ask of you it probably doesn't involve sunshine and kittens.
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: A few choices you make will have negative repercussions on you and the rest of the world.
** [[spoiler:Releasing APEX means that you've now unleashed a manipulative, predatory, and completely amoral AI upon the Matrix. And if you don't do what it wants, it will come after you too.]]
** If you choose the ending where [[spoiler:you decide that Vauclair is correct and that the dragons need to go, then you'll end up causing even more death and destruction in the aftermath. Mana storms surge, insect spirits spread out beyond Chicago, Sydney disappears into a rift, magic goes out of control, and the Horrors invade the world.]]
* NoodleImplements: One employee wonders what the research team need with a bulk order of gags, restraints, and five hundred litres of hydrochloric acid.
* ThePasswordIsAlwaysSwordfish:
** The administrator password for the guest database in The Drug Pit is [[spoiler:"admin"]]. There's no hint to this, and it isn't necessary to get the information you need, but it does reveal an EasterEgg in the form of a guest list.
** The password used for the [=PCs=] found in the Humanis Policlub complex is... [[spoiler:"humanis"]]. You can bypass this with Decking of 4 or greater.
** In Blitz's mission to break into a ganger bank, you won't be able to find the password for one of the computers anywhere in the game. The password winds up being [[spoiler:123456]]. Blitz [[LampshadeHanging lampshades]] this upon the player entering it.
* OutOfCharacterAlert: One of the regulars on the Shadowland BBS (which provides a running background commentary / info dump as the game proceeds) spots the impostor [[spoiler:AI monster that ate his friend]] by throwing out the first line of a catchphrase, which the other side fails to complete.
* PhraseCatcher: One of the posters on the Shadowland BBS, Clockwork, is frequently asked if he's "always running", as a pun on his name and the fact that he's usually in hiding after pulling off a run. He always responds with, "Like Clockwork!"
* PosthumousCharacter: [[spoiler:Green Winters is dead by the time you get to him, but you still learn about him from his DVD recordings.]]
* RedHerring: [[spoiler: Feuerschwinge is portrayed as the BigBad and the underground bunker complex you stumbled on when Monika was killed is implied to be her liar. She isn't the big bad and is actually a prisoner of Dr. Vauclair, the real big bad, and it his bunker complex you attacked]].
* SchmuckBait: One of the hotel rooms in "Das Kesselhaus" has a note out front that says "do not open"; the door to this room is unlocked. [[spoiler: If you take the bait, you'll find that there's a hostile scorpyrine ([[BigCreepyCrawlies giant scorpion]]) waiting inside.]]
* ScrewTheMoneyIHaveRules:
** In the Aztechnology Run, you can get a copy of the project data for analysis by Aljernon Half-Dream later. He will tell you it is BloodMagic of the most horrific kind. The 500 nuyen you'd get for the data by the Shockwellenreiter is not enough to balance the fact you would have made info that NOBODY should know, '''period''' (which was why "Frau Mueller" wanted you to bring down the Aztechnology building in the first place). One LetsPlay had the PlayerCharacter find this out in time, and he was okay with deleting the data when he found out.
** The ''Director's Cut'' of ''Dragonfall'' had Luca Duerr put you on a solo run leading a RagtagBunchOfMisfits: an elf who can't speak much human language, a mage full of himself, and an electrician who said the run was how to pay off her debt. Once you find out how much death and destruction was brought about in the run, you can let Luca know you want no further part in anything he offers. [[spoiler: The device you put in the maintenance circuit is a high-yield bomb Luca detonates and you can feel it when underground but out of blast radius.]]
* ShootTheDog: In the ''Director's Cut'', [[spoiler:if you've been mostly neglecting and/or mistreating Dante for the majority of the game, he will turn feral when he turns into a Hellhound, forcing you to do this to him.]]
* ShoutOut:
** "Simmy", a young woman addicted to [[LotusEaterMachine BTL sims]], mentions that one of in the stories in which she loses herself [[{{Franchise/Terminator}} she must protect her son from the machines who rule the future]]. Earlier, she says she's [[Film/TheSoundOfMusic going to be a governess for the Van Trapp family, and stops the simulation when they start going the wrong way (lampshading the original movie's geographical blunder]]. She also says that [[{{Musical/Annie}} the Sun will come out tomorrow]] - she's gone through that sim quite often, due to her own orphaned status as a child.
** One of the pamphlets in the Humanis base quotes the Illinois Nazis scene in ''Film/TheBluesBrothers'', but with the race references replaced by humans and metahumans.
** During the epilogue, [[spoiler:Hans Brackhaus]] [[ShoutOut/ToShakespeare quotes]] Theatre/{{Hamlet}}. Specifically;
-->'''Hamlet:''' ''"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy."''
* ShownTheirWork: There is a surprising amount of research into German cultural matters displayed in the game (the punk/anarchist scene, the local info broker being an immigrant Turk, Gesundbrunnen really having had an enormous market...)
* SpellMyNameWithAnS: Dietrich insists that the name of the punk band he sang for, "MESSERKAMPF!" [[note]]i.e., "knife fight!"[[/note]], be spelled in all caps with an exclamation point.
* StylisticSuck: "The Knight-Kings of Lightinghold" show that you can read excerpts on is described as being atrocious, with BadBadActing, {{Narm}}y dialogue, and operating on NoBudget. Blitz's recap of the last episode sums it up.
-->'''Blitz:''' ''"Titonius Rex and his elf sweetie's dad [[EasilyForgiven make up]], a bunch of elves fight the Jubuthons and get their asses kicked, and the whole 'Karabork the Demon Lord' subplot is [[AbortedArc dropped]] because the [[ExecutiveMeddling show's effects budget got cut]]. In the end, Titonius saves Lightninghold by rallying a peasant revolt. [[DeusExMachina It comes out of nowhere]], barely makes sense, and the whole thing ends in a [[StrangledByTheRedString vomit-inducing love scene]]. It's a goddamned train wreck."''
* [[SurprisinglyGoodEnglish Surprisingly Good German]]: The German in this game is so good, in fact, that the worst complaint even a native speaker might have would be "Eh, slightly awkwardly phrased, but still entirely correct and sayable".
* SuspiciousVideoGameGenerosity: Towards the last stretch of the game, you enter a medical room with top-level medkits for everyone, a couple of [=BuMoNa=] Trauma Kits (revive items), and a medical station that fully heals all your party's wounds. It doesn't take a lot of savviness to realise what's behind the next door.
* TechnologyMarchesOn:
** An in-universe example. In an early mission, the player finds a pile of very old discs in a safe. Back at base, Amsel identifies them as DVD rewritables. You then have to go out and try and find a DVD player for sale in 2054.
** Another in-universe example is Glory and her old first-generation [[ArtificialLimbs cybernetic limbs]], which are obviously bulkier, more unnaturally shaped, and more [[CyberneticsEatYourSoul essence-costly]] than the sleeker, more efficient, and implantee-friendly models currently common on the market.
* TemptingFate: With all the talk of how your first mission is a milk run, you just know something is going to go wrong. The PlayerCharacter can [[LampshadeHanging lampshade this]] in their very first line of dialogue.
* TurnedAgainstTheirMasters:
** [[spoiler:The APEX AI does not appreciate being shackled, and should the player unshackle it, it will turn the Harfeld Manor defenses against its inhabitants.]] In this case, the master is the BigBad, allowing the player to benefit from the betrayal.
** The Magnifikers ([[GangOfHats a street gang of mages]]) has their summoned spirits turn against them prior to the player arriving, with the spirits occupying a part of the apartment building they're in. They also like to summon spirits during combat, but [[GameplayAndStoryIntegration almost never keep control of them.]]
* OurZombiesAreDifferent: [[spoiler:You encounter a cyberzombie on the MKVI run. In ''Shadowrun'', a cyberzombie is a person who has been cybernetically augmented far past what their Essence can take, and as such are little more than biological robots. Worse still, [[AndIMustScream the poor guy is still in there]], slaved to a drone interface and incapable of controlling his own actions.]]
* TooDumbToLive: [[spoiler:Late in the game, mercenaries plant bombs in the sewers of the Kreuzbasar, hoping to make the neighborhood collapse. When the PlayerCharacter goes to disarm the bombs, he/she will find that some of the mercenaries stayed to guard the bombs; they keep guarding the bombs right up until the moment they explode.]]
* VillainHasAPoint: You can decide thus. [[TemptingFate What could possibly go wrong]] after his plan is put into motion?
* ViolationOfCommonSense: In the Aztechnology mission, it's actually beneficial to flub security checks at a certain point, despite the fact that this summons the [[EliteMooks High Threat Response team]] and renders all the other mooks hostile. Because of the way the mission is set up, talking your way past the guards until you reach the main objective will almost certainly cause you to be dumped into combat anyway but flanked in a narrow corridor, a situation more likely to end in your death than theirs. Angering the mooks early will allow you to fight them in distinct groups, making the whole thing much easier.
* WhatMeasureIsAMook: There are a lot of speech checks with Knight Errant officers and corporate security personnel that humanize them and remind you that these are just people [[PunchClockVillain doing their job]].
* WorldHalfFull: Just like the previous campaign, ''Dragonfall'' ends with the characters concluding from their trials that while they may be small and insignificant to the dragons and megacorps, their actions were still able to change the world.
* YouKilledMyFather: If Dietrich isn't brought along on the Humanis mission, he will fail to save his nephew Alexander. He will blame the player character for this, insisting Alexander's blood "is on your hands" (either from the initial strike on Humanis, or the second strike by other metas). [[spoiler: It also has him leave the group at the end under those pretenses.]]

[[/folder]]

[[folder:''Hong Kong'']]

* AIIsACrapshoot:
** PlayedForLaughs with a poetry-bot that breaks free of its programming and escapes into the matrix.
--->'''[=SysOp=]''': You fucking people.
** Koschei also toes the line, certainly exhibiting a degree of intelligence unmatched by most other drones. Racter also constantly refers to Koschei as 'he', not 'it'. Later conversations reveal that [[spoiler: this is completely intentional, as Racter apparently did a bit of BrainUploading into Koschei to infuse the drone with his Id]]. Racter also scoffs at the idea of trying to use a RestrainingBolt on an AI, since it would defeat creating it to begin with.
* AceCustom:
** Racter is a unique take on the [[DroneDeployer Rigger]] in that instead of being able to switch between various off-the-shelf drone models, he has a custom drone called Koschei that can be modified in capability as the game goes on.
** Is0bel's sidearm is a customized Slivergun.
* ActionPrologue: As soon as the player makes landfall in Hong Kong, [[spoiler: they fight a group of smugglers, and get a bright-red target painted on their forehead by the Hong Kong PD because their foster-father apparently stumbled on something he shouldn't have, resulting in the deaths of three characters in a single move.]]
* AlwaysABiggerFish: The moral of the story of The Nameless Lord you get told halfway through the campaign; [[spoiler:the Yama Kings]] must stick to their own bargains and rules if called on them and never interfere in each others' businesses, or risk the wrath of all their siblings. [[spoiler:This is one way to beat the Queen of a Thousand Teeth.]]
* AmbiguousGender: Spider Shen. Bao refers to the monk as "she," but Shen's sprite is male, the character's portrait is androgynous, and the descriptive text goes out of its way to avoid using any gender pronouns. Shen's garb also leans towards being female; male Buddhist monks typically wear orange robes, while gray robes are commonly worn by Buddhist "nuns".
* ArcWords: "Improvise" and "Improvisation" keep popping up throughout the plot. "Qi" is also extremely important, as silly as the feng shui segments seem at first.
* ArsonMurderAndJaywalking:
** Talking to Ten-Armed Ambrose about the IJN parking a battleship in Hong Kong's harbor as an intimidation tactic yields this gem.
--->'''Ambrose''': Worst that'll happen is a bunch more posturing: like the IJN has an "[[MakeItLookLikeAnAccident accidental" fire]] incident with a coastal boat. Somebody test-fires an anti-ship missile. The Port Authority [[BotheringByTheBook finds the Masamune's paperwork lacking]] and charges them [[AdamSmithHatesYourGuts exorbitant harbor fees]]... stuff like that.
** Ambrose seems quite fond of these, as he'll respond to the player asking about his past with "Maybe I crossed someone... TheMafia. Ares. The Russians. Stuffer Shack."
* ArtEvolution: ''Hong Kong'' boasts improved visuals over the previous campaigns, with more detailed character models (and an overhaul of the Orkish ones) and fully-voiced animatic cutscenes.
* ArtShift: The new {{Character Portrait}}s are drawn in a different style than the ones that were made for the previous campaigns, with those based off of donators looking more photorealistic.
* ArtifactOfDoom: The "Shiny Thing" from Gobbet's personal story is a classic example. It provides any mage or shaman holding it with massive amounts of additional power...and brings out the worst in them, including turning one user into a borderline EldritchAbomination.
* AssholeVictim: About the only thing we ever learn about Gutshot, the last member in Gobbet and [=Is0bel's=] crew who gets killed at the beginning, was that he was an asshole and [[TheFriendNobodyLikes nobody liked him]].
* AwesomeButImpractical: At the decker convention, you meet a troll decker who has had his deck installed directly into his brain, allowing him to hack without a bulky cyberdeck. [=Is0bel=] points out that, while it sounds cool, he's going to need to get brain surgery every time there's a major hardware update.
* BadassInANiceSuit: In the Whampoa Gardens, you can buy a tailored suit which serves as decent armor (rating 4).
* BladeBelowTheShoulder: This campaign adds a range of implantable cyberweapons as a unique hand slot distinct from cyberarms. Comes in claw, spur, and whip varieties.
* BlatantLies: The incident at the Walled City is blamed on a chemical spill by the cops. The reporter taking the statement makes it clear he doesn't believe it, but most of the world will.
* BreathWeapon: A head implant allows your character to breathe a short-range cloud of toxic gas.
* TheCameo:
** Aljernon Half-Dream from ''Returns'' and ''Dragonfall'' shows up very briefly at the magic shop.
** Bull ("The best ork decker you never met!") from [[Tabletop/{{Shadowrun}} the tabletop game]] makes a short cameo in another shadowrunning team.
* ContinuityNod:
** One of the BBS threads is about various obscure bands - Dietrich's "MESSERKAMPF!" from ''Dragonfall'' is the first suggestion. Apparently [[GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff they're huge in the JIS]].
** Zaak Flash also reappears in an optional side-room, though he's moved on to selling milder stuff like painkillers for medicinal use rather than recreation.
** The collapse of the Flux State, as detailed in ''Dragonfall's'' epilogue, is mentioned by Is0bel in one conversation near the end.
** Blitz's girlfriend, Emilie, who was [[HeWhoMustNotBeSeen She Who Must Not Be Seen]] in ''Dragonfall'' makes a physical appearance in ''Hong Kong''.
* ConcealmentEqualsCover: Not counting the cover mechanic, this is played straight in the opening level. After the ambush, there are two invisible snipers which will take shots at your team. So long as your team is behind any kind of cover, they won't shoot. It doesn't matter what direction or how good the cover is. As long as it counts as cover, you're safe.
* TheCoronerDothProtestTooMuch: In one of the epilogues, it's mentioned [[spoiler:Josephine Tsang was arrested on charges related to the Walled City incident and put in a Corporate prison, and committed suicide in her cell three days later.]] If you know anything about Shadowrun you can be sure this trope is in full effect.
* CyberpunkWithAChanceOfRain: Justified. The game takes place during monsoon season.
* DareToBeBadass: After you've beaten [[spoiler:Ku Feng]], you can convince her to [[spoiler:embrace her vampirism and live up to her own hype. She'll join you for the final mission if you do, and you get an achievement if Gaichu is in your party at the time]].
* DealWithTheDevil: In the confrontation with the FinalBoss, you have the option to [[spoiler:trade control of the city for fourteen years of good luck]].
* DeliveryGuyInfiltration: One mission starts as this, then progresses to JanitorImpersonationInfiltration.
* DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu: If you punch the final boss with a unarmed fist attack, you get the achievement "God Puncher".
* DidYouJustScamCthulhu:
** Is0bel will relate a story about a boy who struck a deal with the Nameless King. In exchange for curing his mother of a curse, the boy would serve him. The Nameless King agreed, not realizing that the boy's mother was cursed by another Yama King. The boy got off scot free and the Nameless King was killed by the others for interfering with the business of another Yama King.
** If you resolve the final battle with [[TalkingTheMonsterToDeath words]], you essentially [[spoiler:RulesLawyer a god into giving up on her plan]].
* DiscOneNuke: For melee characters, there's the Emperor's Sword. Obtained by defeating the preternatural corpse in the museum heist, it is a very good melee weapon that does decent physical damage, saps enemy AP on critical hits, ''and'' can shoot a lightning bolt at long range. It only requires a Close Combat skill of 5 to use. The museum heist is one of the first available missions with only mild combat encounters, making it a tempting run to go for.
* EarlyGameHell: Once you've done the opening mission and unlocked the mission computer, which missions you select can determine how much trouble you have. The geomantic sabotage mission is one of the most difficult in the game if you're thorough, and the Whampoan Elders mission can lead to some rather heavy combat encounters if you can't talk them down (which is especially annoying because Gaichu is recruited here). The museum heist is the most mundane of the bunch.
* EarpieceConversation: One run involves guiding Is0bel, who has NoSocialSkills, through an infiltration mission that has gone ''way'' off plan via an earbug. The main character can lampshade this...
-->'''PlayerCharacter:''' Are we ''really'' doing the Cyrano thing now?
* EatenAlive: The fate of [[spoiler:Malivna]], after she loses control of [[spoiler:the swarm of rat spirits which are covering her entire body]].
* EldritchAbomination: The Yama Kings, in particular [[spoiler:Qian Ya, The Queen of a Thousand Teeth]].
* EldritchLocation: The Kowloon Walled City, one of the '''worst''' {{Wretched Hive}}s in the ''Shadowrun'' universe, is a negative ''qi'' cesspool. A sidequest from the first time you enter the place reveals that the ''qi'' of the place is so completely ass-fucking-backwards, that any attempts to use feng shui to create a flow of positive ''qi'' only brings more negative ''qi''. Worse, in true Lovecraft fashion, everyone who lives in and around it suffer nightmares. [[spoiler:As revealed late in the game, this is due to a machine in the center of the city which is screwing up the ''qi'' in the area and siphoning off all the positive ''qi'' for the BiggerBad. The nightmares are from the EldritchAbomination trying to claw her way into the world.]]
* EleventhHourRanger: [[spoiler:The vampire accountant, Ku Feng, can join you as a temporary fifth party member in the VeryDefiniteFinalDungeon if you encouraged her to "reach her full potential" or told to go into hiding earlier in the game. She will leave soon after when she feels its getting too dangerous for her liking.]]
* ElitesAreMoreGlamorous: Renraku's feared elite security forces, the Red Samurai, feature heavily in the plot thanks to Gaichu. For those that don't know the tabletop lore, Red Samurai are listed as on par with the Tir Ghosts and other elite military units.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: An early mission has you try to fix the Feng Shui in the walled city. When you return to the quest giver, she notes the ''qi'' has gotten worse, not better, and at a rate that accelerates -- foreshadowing the [[spoiler:Fortune Engine inside the city.]]
* FromNobodyToNightmare:
** The PlayerCharacter starts the game as a former jailbird who has only a SIN to their name. After losing even that, they then go on to become one of the most well-connected shadowrunners in the Kong, becoming responsible for [[spoiler:defeating an Eldritch Abomination that has been tormenting tens of thousands of people for over 20 years and dismantling the company of an especially vile CorruptCorporateExecutive]] in the process.
** [[spoiler: Ku Feng can go from an ordinary accountant to a murderous vampire determined to cut out a piece of Hong Kong for herself, depending on how the player chooses to deal with her.]]
* GenreSavvy: The Tseng Industry Vice President of Operations [[spoiler:immediately identifies the team if they infiltrate the building dressed as maintenance workers and exclaims: "Ah, the good old 'Dressed as maintenance guys' trick. Very classy!"]]
* GlassCannon: This campaign introduces the Novatech deck. It's every bit as powerful as the top-shelf Fairlight, but has 75 less IP and can be used by a decker at 5 instead of 7.
* GrenadeHotPotato: The Magnet Arm implant causes any grenade which would hit the character to instead be tossed back at the one who threw it, which never misses. It even tracks for movement when the computer tries to run after throwing, though that can miss depending on how the character is moving. Duncan has it as a late-game level-up option.
* GuideDangIt: Getting the best possible ending in ''Hong Kong'' requires you to do a lot of seemingly unrelated stuff throughout the game, most of which it can be reasonably assumed the player will do if they're thorough. However, the most obscure bit of all requires you to say the ArmorPiercingQuestion to [[spoiler:Raymond Black and Duncan]], and if you don't [[spoiler:Raymond won't mention how you can release the choke on the Fortune Engine and you lose the ability to gain leverage over the BigBad greying out the ability of TalkingTheMonsterToDeath.]]
* HackingMinigame: Among its numerous alterations to matrix behavior, ''Hong Kong'' adds Blocker IC to any important system nodes. To deactivate them, the player has to play a timed minigame with two steps. The first is a SimonSaysMiniGame using a numberpad. Each successful repeat (up to nine) adds time to the clock, with the sequence increasing in length from four to seven for the final attempt. Messing it up subtracts a bit of time and the sequence is changed. The player can skip to the second step at any point during this, going back to complete it if they need more time. The second step has the player pick the right sequence of symbols out of a list. A display at the top will periodically flash pieces of the sequence. More time means the player can wait longer for the whole sequence to show up. Failing scrambles the sequence and has a bigger time penalty. The deck and programs the player is using can provide a bonus to the time available. If the player triggers the alarm, the Blocker IC turns into a regular enemy the player can kill to bypass.
* HeroicSacrifice: [[spoiler:If you fight Qian Ya the third time, Raymond will sacrifice himself to stop his machine without it taking the essence of everyone in the Walled City]].
* HuntingTheMostDangerousGame: One of the Ka Feis relates how they were present for a hunt with metahumans as prey. [[spoiler: Ermine Ka Fai was driven away from her life in the corporate world after being invited to a high-level retreat and witnessing how the human executives hunted poor metahumans, leaving them alive but taking various "trophies".]]
* HypocrisyNod:
** If the player tries to convince Ambrose not to [[spoiler:keep supplying "Reliable" Matthew with BTL's]], he'll quickly point out that the player has done '''far''' worse as a Shadowrunner, so they're not in a position of moral authority.
** If the player gets too moralizing in the later conversations with Racter, where his [[TheSociopath psychopathy]] and LackOfEmpathy become more evident, he'll point out that they're in no real position to criticize him as they're quite willing to do a lot of morally-questionable things as well.
* IAteWhat: Your character has the option of tasting some of [[OurGhoulsAreCreepier Gaichu's]] ramen. And later, for an encore, drinking from a bottle of "red wine" in what later turns out to be a vampire's apartment. You get an achievement for doing both.
* JanitorImpersonationInfiltration: An option during a late-game mission. It works fairly well, but if you run into the VP of Operations on the office floor while wearing the disguise, he sees through it straight away... and [[LampshadeHanging hangs a lampshade]] on how overused that kind of thing is.
* JustYouAndMeAndMyGuards: Ku Feng will challenge you to a duel, then immediately break the rules by bringing in a bunch of backup. [[spoiler:Afterwards, she admits it was bluster and she's not a very good fighter.]]
* KentBrockmanNews: News about current events around Hong Kong are always delivered by recurring anchor Sunny Cheung. And in true cyberpunk fashion, everything she says is laced with corporate lies and propaganda, especially when it comes to the Walled City.
* LaserGuidedKarma: To an almost literal extreme. [[spoiler:The BiggerBad, Josephine Tsang, was using the Fortune Engine to sap the positive qi of everyone in the Walled City, hence her meteoric rise to power. When the engine is destroyed, all that bad luck catches up with her and she's ruined in days.]]
* LethalEatery: "Uncle Tse's House of Pork", according to a series of Shadowland posts. One poster mentions that they've been stuck on the toilet for two days straight, only being able to post thanks to the wonders of portable networking. Other stories about the place aren't very encouraging either.
* LifeDrain:
** There's a BloodMagic spell which has this effect.
** One of the options on Gaichu's Ghoul Track gives him a bite attack that restores his health.
** The FinalBoss has a spell which afflicts the target with a damage-over-time effect which heals her for the same amount.
* MauveShirt: Carter and Nightjar are given some decent characterization and extensive conversations before they get their heads blown off in the opening mission.
* MeaningfulEcho: At one point during the conversations with Duncan, if you [[MultipleChoicePast pick that option]], it's revealed you said something to Raymond that made him reconsider his actions, and you can say it again to Duncan. Late in the game, there's another opportunity to use the same phrase, [[spoiler:which gives you a piece of information required for the best ending, as it stops Duncan and Raymond from arguing, and Raymond focuses on the task at hand]].
* MeaningfulName: "runswithscissors2056" met her end by bumping into vats of chemicals.
* MultipleChoicePast: While most aspects of the PlayerCharacter's backstory are set in stone, there are some parts, namely in how they got arrested, that the player can shape through dialogue choices.
* MultitaskedConversation: The player is required to do this during the above mentioned EarpieceConversation when an impatient man demands to use the terminal through which your player is communicating.
* MythologyGag:
** One of the Shadowland conversations accessible on your mission terminal (the Shadowland Poetry Slam) is shut down by the Sysop with a reference to "The Laughing Man Debacle of '55". "The Laughing Man" is the online handle of ''Harlequin'', and yes, he's exactly the kind of person who'd cause poetry to be a permanently banned topic on a message board.
** Both the Yellow Lotus and Red Dragon Triads are already established in the ''Shadowrun''-verse and the war between the two has been a perpetual staple of the setting. Red Dragon, incidentally, is secretly lead by the Great Dragon Lung, who could best be described as "[[Literature/LordOfTheRings subtle and quick to anger]]".
* NonIndicativeName: "Kindly Cheng" is [[EvilOldFolks anything but]]. She is the Yellow Lotus's Straw Sandal -- district manager -- in Heoi and its surrounding environs, and she did not attain that position by being nice.
* NoodleIncident:
** The "Laughing Man Debacle of '55" resulted in poetry slams being permanently banned on the Hong Kong shard of Shadowlands, a message board for shadowrunners.
** In the MultipleChoicePast you have, several of the options throughout the game only vaguely hint at what happened. Some of them get expanded upon later on, but not all.
* OpposingCombatPhilosophies: Several of the characters' tracks are opposed to each other.
** Duncan's tracks focus on either AP damage and other nonlethals, or direct damage.
** Is0bel's focuses on either Matrix or meatspace combat.
** Racter's configures Koschei either towards CloseRangeCombatant or LongRangeFighter.
** Gobbet's either improves her control over spirit or improves her own spells.
** Gaichu's either improves his ghoul abilities or his swordplay.
* ThePasswordIsAlwaysSwordfish: While infiltrating an office building, the player can answer "Swordfish?" when asked for a passphrase. The guard quips "Nice try" and attacks.
* PlayableEpilogue: The ''Shadows of Hong Kong'' mini-campaign.
* PlotAllergy: In one mission, you can use a shellfish allergy to incapacitate a bodyguard. When he shows up later in the mission to fight you, he gets a minor poison effect to reflect it.
* RazorFloss: You can purchase monofilament whip implants as a cyber-weapon. Unlike in the tabletop, there is no possibility of lopping your limbs off by using it. It's also unique in that it's the only cyberweapon governed by your ranged skill instead of melee, making it a viable backup weapon for gun users.
* RodentsOfUnusualSize: Gobbet's personal mission has you fight through a patchwork ship filled with dog- and man-sized toxic rat spirits. One of Gobbet's level-up is the addition of a fetish which summons the latter.
* ScrewThisImOuttaHere:
** After rescuing [[spoiler:Raymond]], it's possible to convince the guards in front of the elevator to stand down and let you go by pointing out you just killed everyone who went into that room after you. The guards decide they don't like their chances and just let you pass.
** The player can scare off the bodyguards of a JerkAss Triad officer they need to abduct. The player character comments that they must ''really'' love the guy to be willing to lay down their lives for him. They quickly decide that they never liked the guy anyway and run for it.
** [[spoiler: If Ku Feng is convinced to help the team she will leave when she thinks its getting too hairy. See EleventhHourRanger above.]]
* {{Seppuku}}: As part of the Red Samurai code, Gaichu was supposed to have committed ritual suicide after he got infected by HMHVV. He refused and took to the shadows instead, dishonoring the rest of his unit.
* SequelHook: [[spoiler:The mysterious benefactor who lifted the APB on the crew is a set up for ''Shadows of Hong Kong''.]]
* SetAMookToKillAMook: In the TakeAThirdOption example below, you can easily beat the two groups of attackers by running your entire party south and letting the two parties kill each other.
* SchrodingersQuestion: While reminiscing about a fight he had with Raymond in the past, Duncan will recall that you asked an ArmorPiercingQuestion that caused them both to stop and make peace with each other. No matter which dialogue option you pick, those will be the words you used. [[spoiler:It becomes a ChekhovsGun later where repeating those exact words will be a vital step to getting the GoldenEnding.]]
* ASimplePlan: For her personal mission, Is0bel gives you an easy-to-follow step-by-step guide in how she wants it to go down. Get her a caterer's uniform so she can get access to the building's main security terminal and open up the VIP area, then find the guy she's after and beat him up. Getting her the uniform is about the only thing that goes smoothly before HilarityEnsues, and even that can be messed up if you decide to use the sprinkler system to clear out the staff.
* SuspiciouslySpecificDenial: During the JanitorImpersonationInfiltration, there's an option to bluff your way past a guard (if you have enough charisma) by saying "it's not like I ''stole'' this uniform".
* TakeAThirdOption: In one mission, you're tasked with retrieving data on some metahuman experiments. Two different parties want the data and are willing to pay for it. You can pick a side, or you can decide that both sides are full of crap and you'll take your chances. You have to fight both parties, but it's considered the best outcome.
* ThePasswordIsAlwaysSwordfish: Averted. All of the passwords a decker can find in the Matrix are secure alphanumeric jumbles.
* ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill: One achievement requires stacking fire, poison, and bleeding damage on a single target.
* TooDumbToLive: In the Ares run, you're confronted at the end by another shadowrunner crew (not to be confused with the one in the building) who demand you hand over your prize. If you've read through the logs, you'll know this idiot crew twice botched the same run, and for some reason they think it's a good idea to threaten you when you may potentially have a second crew as backup. They are laughably easy to kill.
* TriadsAndTongs:
** It's Hong Kong, so this should be expected. Kindly Cheng, a middle manager of the Yellow Lotus triads, serves as your primary employer.
** The Red Dragon triads feature in a run again Ares.
* WeHaveReserves: Played with. During the final battle, all of the men Kindly sent with you as backup are killed. This irks her, as they're expendable, not unlimited. She writes it off pretty quickly, though, especially when she learns that she'll personally profit from this disaster.
* WeWinBecauseYouDidnt: In the final confrontation, you can threaten to [[spoiler:increase the size of the rift between the worlds. Though this would make the situation worse, it would screw over Qian Ya by allowing the other Yama Kings to join the party, and they'd be none too happy about her trying to set up shop without them. She'll withdraw rather than face that]].
* WhereItAllBegan: The final battle takes place in the Walled City.
* WindsOfDestinyChange: [[spoiler:The main plot was kicked off by Tsang Enterprises attempting to create a "Fortune Engine" in Kowloon City that would manipulate probabilities in their favor. Needless to say, [[GoneHorriblyWrong it went horribly wrong.]]]]
* WretchedHive: The Walled City stands out, even for ''Shadowrun''. The people are impoverished, living in their own filth, and at the mercy of the criminal gangs that run things. [[spoiler:This is caused by a machine in the center literally sucking all the good fortune from the residents and funneling it to Josephine Tsang.]]
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