Although, considering just how outright 'horrible' those pickup lines and their responses are...
Liberal Crime Squad is a freeware game made by Tarn Adams, maker of Dwarf Fortress. Tarn ceased development of Liberal Crime Squad in 2004, but in mid-2007 the Liberal Cause was taken up once again by Jonathan S. Fox, a forum regular at Bay 12 Games.Picture a world where Political Cartoons are the truth- now, imagine that world erupting into civil war.As the name implies, LCS is a game about committing crimes in the name of the Liberal Cause (we need a slogan!), in the interests of making the world a freer and more tolerant place. Along the way, your noble cause will be opposed by many, including the police, extreme conservatives, and the nefarious Conservative Crime Squad (we also need a slogan!), who just want everyone to be safe and happy... under the iron fist of a fascist government!You and your liberal squadmates 'win' when your state's laws and regulations are rated L+ (Elite liberal) and the Government is Elite Liberal as well, and lose if the conservatives persuade those politicians to see things their way, and create a fascist police state (C+) where Reagan is god. Don't let that happen!There are a number of ways to persuade the people in power to see things liberally. First of all, you can free sweatshop workers and destroy the machinery to cut into the conservatives' budget. You can also make T-shirts for fun and profit, and also to spread your liberal word far and wide. You can also kidnap and brainwash numerous people, causing them to become 'sleepers' within their respective jobs, fighting for the liberal cause from the inside. You can of course also steal cars and cash to get around and to lubricate interactions with others, as these will become important parts of furthering the liberal cause as you progress.The last 'official' release can still be downloaded, and the latest open-source version can be found on SourceForge. The wiki can be found here.
Tropes in this game
Actual Pacifist: One of the few combat-heavy games which allows an ActualPacifist Run - there is absolutely no challenge in the game which cannot be solved nonviolently; even your Evil Counterpart the Conservative Crime Squad can be defeated without bloodshed.
A.K.A.-47: Averted - it's a freeware game, there are no worries about gun manufacturers suing.
Armor Is Useless: Averted - armor can degrade, though, so train your tailors well.
Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: "The defendant, Eric Read, is charged with 3 counts of treason, terrorism, 3 counts of kidnapping, 9 counts of aiding a prison escape, 82 counts of felony assault, 64 counts of murder, 3 counts of theft, 26 counts of breaking and entering, 28 counts of vandalism and disturbing the peace. How will you conduct the defense?"
A number of forum members have been able to successfully get accused of every possible crime in the game, including counts of murder and treason in the thousands.
Attack! Attack! Attack!: If the Death Squads respond in force to your presence at a site, they'll send in endless waves of heavily-armed, motivated troopers after you, never stopping or retreating until all of your militants are dead or gone, even if you slaughter them by the hundreds. Additionally, while you can beat back individual attacks on your safehouses and force them into retreat, they'll just regroup, bring additional forces, and try again in a few days. And then try again in a few more days, and again in a few more days, and again... They bring in bigger, stronger forces to deal with you every time - it starts with SWAT teams, and then escalates to National Guard troops, then regular army, and can eventually result in your compound getting carpet-bombed from the air, your barricades blown up by combat engineers, tanks covering the entrance to your compound, and Seal Team Sixleading the final assault on your fortifications.
A-Team Firing: Inexperienced characters are notoriously inaccurate in combat, almost to the point of uselessness against skilled and/or armored opponents. However, this no longer applies once a character gets weapon training or general experience.
Amusingly, particularly inexperienced/unskilled characters - friendly and hostile - have a tendency to be inaccurate when punching, leading to incidents where an enemy takes a swing at you and accidentally punches a random bystander, kicking off a huge brawl.
Arbitrary Headcount Limit: Averted; the number of people a squad member can recruit is determined by their rank and certain skills, and the number of people the Squad can recruit total is technically infinite - recruiting people to recruit more people to recruit more people like some sort of guerrilla warfare pyramid scheme.
Played straight with the actual squads, which can only have 6 members at a time. Of course, larger groups might rouse suspicion when moving around town, and might not even fit inside most vehicles, so that makes sense.
Asskicking Equals Authority: More skilled characters are more likely to live long enough to accumulate Juice, which directly impacts how many recruits a character can have under them.
Badass Driver: Anyone with sufficiently good driving skill. With 5 and a sports car, you can outrun everything. Driving (like all skills) caps at 20.
Bank Robbery: You can either hand the teller a threatening note (which nets you a relatively small sum of cash), force them to open the vault (which calls the police very quickly) or do it Heist Film style by having a skilled hacker, lockpicker and the bank manager (who, in order to rouse the least suspicion, should be a sleeper) open it for you.
Batter Up: Baseball bats are one of the many weapons available.
This method of infiltration has a benefit compared to using a high stealth skill and ninja suit: if the conservatives at the infiltrated site are alarmed, you can still talk yourself out of a fight by acting like you belong there.
Booby Trap: You can put these in some safehouses. In earlier versions, they were horrendously overpowered and made defending your safehouses trivial. They've since been nerfed; while still extremely useful, they're no longer sufficient for holding off swarms of soldiers all by themselves.
Boring, but Practical: The Liberal Guardian. Risk free (unless publishing at C+ free speech or secret CIA documents), one time cost of 3000 to buy a printing press, consistent positive effect on public opinion concerning laws. Not really fun, but quite effective.
Community service. Shifts public opinion slightly, gives juice if one is in the negative, heat at the safehouse is shaken off faster.
Sleeper agents. They act during their day jobs. Completely safe (since they are not part of the active LCS, they do not commit crimes), can shift public opinion depending on their profession, can smuggle items or money to one's safehouses (and, at 100% efficiency, they are never caught). Gain 1% or 2% efficiency at the end of each month. Plus some little extras (Cops can warn the LCS from imminent police raids, lawyers can defend liberals in a trial, and so on).
Spray paint. It can win you the game for a mere 20$. Since crimes on site cap at 10, going somewhere, spraying 10 tags, going out, rinse, repeat, is an incredibly boring way to play the game, but is a surefire and almost foolproof way to win to victory.
Shotguns. Common, inexpensive, easy to use, powerful, relatively simple to conceal (can be hidden under a trenchcoat), and the only firearms that are always legal no matter how liberal the gun control laws are, they're also single-shot-only, have virtually no critical hit chance, have poor armor penetration, and overall have substantially less 'cool' factor than assault rifles or SMGs.
Cannon Fodder: Hippies and gang members are easy to find and very likely to be liberal (always liberal, in the case of hippies), making them easy to recruit in large numbers. Additionally, many gang members come packing guns already.
Cardboard Prison: It's relatively easy to repeatedly break someone out of prison, although the escapee will always be wanted for breaking out, and this is the one crime that no lawyer, no matter how slick, can ever get you acquitted for.
Chain Pain: Chains are the main weapons for bikers and non-union workers.
Charles Atlas Superpower: 11 points in a skill is about the maximum an average human being can hope to attain; a normal skill level for a person with reasonable aptitude in a skill is 5, which is more than sufficient to perform that skill competently. With appropriate stats and Juice, all skills can potentially cap at 20. Do the math. In particular, a character with maxed-out Dodge and Martial Arts turns into a physics-defying superhuman murder machine, able to dodge bullets and literally beat people to death in seconds in an impossibly fast hurricane of blows, while a character with maxed-out Driving can do things with a car that would make a Hollywood stunt driver green with envy. Maxed-out Persuasion and Seduction essentially gives your character a Compelling Voice, capable of convincing absolutely anyone to do absolutely anything regardless of their personal beliefs or convictions.
Child Soldiers: The LCS can field an army of underage soldiers by recruiting teenagers or rescuing child workers (if child labor is legalized).
CIA Evil, FBI Good: The CIA are evil and may even devolve into Ministry of Love, engaged in all sorts of abuses and will retaliate by sending agents on wetwork to murder you. The FBI don't appear directly. However they will carry out the dismantling of the CCS once you expose their backers list - down to storming their last warehouse.
Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Liberals are colored green, moderates white, and Conservative Scum are red like the blood on their hands. Just how you are able to determine the political alignment of someone just by looking at them is never addressed.
Combat Medic: Anyone with Intelligence (First aid) and Agility (Weapon skills) can qualify for becoming one, after some skill training.
Crapsack World: Starting the game in 'Nightmare' mode sets the game in an ultra-right-wing pseudo-fascist dystopia, complete with armored squads tasked to suppress 'Unacceptable Speech', Death Squads who deal with any crime, no matter how minor, by shooting it, and legalized slavery and child labor.
Cursed with Awesome: Mutants, the result of severe pollution and unregulated genetic experimentation, are generally horrifying deformed freaks who are extremely easy to recruit but effectively useless. However, about a quarter of them are instead superhuman Badasses who have the highest base stats in the game... and are still just as easy to recruit.
The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: The CCS, your Conservative counterpart, is not only ignored by the police, army, and other government entities, but also can get some of the best weapons in the game regardless of weapon laws, and has exclusive access to the best armor in the game.
They're confirmed to be government-funded. You can even completely crush them by finding and publishing their backers list.
Courtroom Antic: Particularly good performance in court will have the jury, judge, and prosecution "crying for freedom".
Causing an alert will, regardless of the reason, cause the Conservatives to open fire and summon reinforcements. And one can cause alerts by simply playing the guitar or hanging around in a club.
The Death Squads are made of this trope, and will summarily execute people for such heinous crimes as disturbing the peace, vandalism, and loitering.
In general, Arch-Conservative Death Penalty laws makes execution the default punishment for any crime.
Distracted by the Sexy: The seduction skill maxes out at 20, in theory. This is high enough to convince undercover government agents to follow you to your apartment for a good time... using terrible, terrible pick-up lines.
Driven to Suicide: Hostages not physically restrained at all times are prone to killing themselves, especially if they've been tortured. In addition, your own squad members can have this happen if prisoners under their care die or they are forced to execute their fellow squad members.
Drop the Hammer: One of the available weapon at the Oubliette (called the Dwarven Hammer).
Dystopia: Nightmare Mode starts you off in a hellish shadow of the USA where free speech is prohibited and suppressed by the Firemen, corporations run the country with legalized slavery and have full access to everyone's information at all times, pollution is sold as food (resulting in the poor starting to become mutants), the CIA have been replaced by the freaking Ministry of Love, prisons are re-education facilities (not that it matters, as virtually everyone is sentenced to death, even down to crimes such as loitering and disturbing the peace), women have been reduced to second-class citizens, homosexuals are openly hated and prosecuted (one of the random newspapers shows the writer being shocked at someone who publicly lynched a homosexual being brought to trial for murder), virtually all government spending goes to the military, there is no immigration at all and anyone found in the country illegally is executed, the police have a division that is literally called the Death Squad (who go around shooting at any and all criminals with M16s and will execute anyone who surrenders to them), and the CCS (if present) is loved by the public. During a normal game, you might feel that the LCS's actions are unjustified. During Nightmare Mode, you will absolutely not. Even better, this is all bound to happen in normal mode if the LCS doesn't prevent public opinion from becoming conservative. Finally, if the USA stays in this state for too long, an Arch-Conservative Amendment repealing the Constitution and making the United States into the Confederate States (where instead of a president, Ronald Reagan is King for all time, Congress is made up of CEOs and televangelists, and anyone may write a petition to Jesus for a redress of grievances, because no one else will be listening), will be passed, ending the game.
With one exception: if gender equality becomes conservative enough, women aren't allowed into the Gentlemen's Club.
Further exception: trying to seduce CEOs or other Arch Conservatives can result in them outright shooting at you. To put this in perspective you can attempt seduction with no impact other than being ignored even when homosexuality is illegal.
Hide Your Children: Massively averted; teenagers are fairly common in areas you would expect to find them, while legalized child labor will result in the factories being staffed by swarms of young children.
Hollywood Law: Do well enough in court and you can be acquitted for dozens of counts of homicide, treason, and kidnapping in front of numerous witnesses.
Even the most insane cases◊ can go Not Guilty if the jury and judge are liberal enough and the lawyers are good enough.
Infinite Supplies: As long as you stay in the homeless shelter, your needs will be provided for. Anywhere else, and you will need to pay for rent and groceries. This is balanced out by the homeless shelter being impossible to upgrade, and effectively impossible to defend if raided.
Instant Death Bullet: Gruesomely averted. Tales abound of players and their allies receiving near-fatal heart wounds which can be patched up on the scene by an LCS member with a decent first-aid skill... only for the character to later bleed out from the hole left in their heart by the bullet. (The coding reason for this is that the game tracks internal wounds, and since wounds to internal organs can't be treated by field medicine, it continues to hemorrhage, dealing damage until the character dies.)
Instant-Win Condition: Averted and Inverted. The Elite Liberal Amendments are extremely helpful to the player, but don't instantly win the game as one might suspect. The one and only Arch-Conservative Amendment, on the other hand, reorganizes the United States of America into the Confederate States of America. Once this happens, all living LCS members go underground and you lose instantly.
Interface Screw: A minor one. If free speech laws go arch-conservative, all swear words, pick-up lines and replies to successful ones are replaced by [words more appropriate for the public, written between brackets]. This even applies to combat descriptions of brutality. For added fun, it also applies to newspaper headlines and articles that might be considered objectionable, controversial, or detrimental to the government - so an article about a judge being caught with a prostitute instead reads 'caught with a [civil servant]', the word 'homosexual' is replaced with 'sexual deviant', and in one particularly hilarious example a terrorist attack will result in a giant front-page headline simply reading 'JERKS'.
Interspecies Romance: With sufficiently Liberal animal rights laws, it becomes socially acceptable to date and seduce anything and everything. Otherwise, you'll be in for a world of hurt.
In The Future Humans Will Be One Race: Averted. Individual characters are not of a defined racial background, but civil rights remains an issue from the beginning of the game up through any possible future end date.
Joke Item: Mithril Armor. The original developer, Tarn Adams, insisted that it was just as effective as in real life whenever asked about it. Which is to say that it's just spraypainted cardboard. It is the least useful clothing type in the game, having no disguise value and an armor rating of 0. To contrast, basic, everyday clothing has an armor rating of one.
Kick the Dog: Attacking the fire department at anything other than C+ Free Speech laws (i.e. when they just fight fires, rather than suppressing unlawful speech) will make everyone hate you, regardless of ideology. So will accidentally killing bystanders during combat.
Knife Nut: Knives are one of the available weapons in LCS.
Lethal Joke Item: With the exception of the completely worthless Mithril Armor, most of the replica medieval gear you can buy at the costume shop is surprisingly effective in skilled hands, with the Sword and Katana being the best melee weapons in the game.
Lightning Bruiser: Dancers and yoga instructors. 10 base health, agility and strengh. Super tough, and may god help the conservatives if they are trained with weapons.
The Men in Black: The Agents wear black suits and are probably the most competent profession, possibly except CCS bosses.
Like most other things, the MIB are taken to a extreme conclusions at Arch-Conservatve Privacy Law, renaming their Intelligence HQ the Ministry Of Love.
Modern Stasis: Lampshaded. If the game goes on long enough, everything remains the same mechanically, but things get renamed - Nightsticks become Electro-Shock Sticks, Spraypaint becomes Holo-Paint, Pitchforks become Space Pitchforks, Gavels become Laser Gavels, etc.
The Mole: Any liberal you recruit or conservative you kidnap and brainwash can be set to be a sleeper agent at their current jobs rather than joining the active LCS. This can provide various benefits depending on their job, such as tip offs on raids, drop offs of sensitive information, and maps of buildings, among other things.
Moral Dissonance: Played for laughs. The LCS aims to establish a Liberal Paradise by murdering their political rivals with the guns they wish to ban, and firebombing Conservative media outlets to promote free speech.
Liberal guns using Liberal ammo applied Liberally is justified when used against Conservatives (it is possible to alienate neutrals by shooting a non-conservative).
Additionally, getting gun law to L+ (maximum liberalism) doesn't ban guns outright, it just prohibits them from being carried or sold in public places.
Which, ironically, is perhaps the one thing in this game that some Real Life liberals think still isn't enough.
It makes sense, though. Killing Conservatives with guns is their way of showing that guns are bad and should be banned.
One of the most effective ways to survive the game is to simply sleep with the entire justice system - boosting your seduction stat and hooking up with enough lawyers and judges virtually guarantees getting off lightly, even on charges of high treason and mass murder.
Mugging the Monster: Some conservatives are member of the Conservative Crime Squad, and good with the guns they carry. And at C+ gun control laws, any random conservative can carry a 9 mm or .45 semi auto.
Multiple-Choice Past: At the beginning of the game, the player may choose events in the squad founder's past, which inform their in-game attributes and skills.
My Greatest Failure: If one of your subordinates dies, you lose juice. Extra What the Hell, Hero? points if they die in the death row: "If you can't protect your own people, who can you protect? X has failed the Liberal Crime Squad."
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: The more you succeed in making gun control a reality, the harder it is to get weapons for your raids. Pawn shops will stop carrying certain weapons and jack up their prices on those that remain. Gang members will still sell you guns, but their prices go up exponentially as well.
Also, making police laws elite liberal will cause them to be accompanied by moderate Police Negotiators, which makes the game much harder (because now, if you fight them, you'll risk alienating public opinion by injuring a moderate.)
Not So Different: If the conservatives will win, they'll make an amendment to make the US conservative forever. But if the liberals win, they'll make an amendment to make sure the US will keep their ideology... forever...
Older and Wiser: Every character literally gets wiser with age, as their wisdom stat grows.
Pacifist Run: Entirely possible, with multiple potential strategies for doing so. It's even possible to win without ever recruiting any members if you're good enough or Save Scum a lot.
Plot Armor: The leader of the LCS has 75% damage reduction simply for being the leader.
Police Brutality: It's not uncommon for people who fall behind during escapes from crime scenes to be pinned down and beaten to death by the cops. Additionally, there's random events where Police Brutality will be reported in the news. Then there's Death Squad Officers, who take this to Up to Eleven levels and execute criminals on the spot when police regulation and death penalty laws are C+ .
Pistol Whipping: Characters skilled in martial arts will use their guns as bludgeons when counterattacking, and everyone uses unloaded ones as such.
The Power of Rock: The guitar is possibly one of the best weapons in the game. Playing inspiring music in combat turns conservatives liberal, stopping them from attacking you and letting you recruit them to your cause. You can also use it to play street music to fund the Revolution.
Roguelike: The game uses non-traditional ASCII graphics. Some objects are represented with words instead of ASCII characters.
Running Gag: Lots of things in the game are referred to liberal or conservative. You can buy Liberal guns, clips or tools at the pawn shop, if you are unhurt, your health is Liberal (and unhurt conservatives have a Conservative health meter), you can equip a Liberal weapon (or drop a Conservative weapon), you can spray Liberal graffiti... And if your squad suffers a Total Party Kill, you can reflect on your Conservative ineptitude.
Save Scumming: Any accidental death can be prevented and any prison sentence reduced by reloading a game auto saved from the day before.
Scary Impractical Armor: Given their interrogation bonus and their nonexistent armor rating, the Death Squad uniforms are technically these.
Stat Grinding: Skills can only increase when used. You can only get halfway through next level during on site actions.
Stealth Run: It's possible to win the game without ever using weapons. It's very, very difficult, but it can be done. It's also possible, though even harder, to sneak your way through the entire game with stealth, proper disguises, and fast talking, never sounding an alarm or rousing suspicion as you rob people blind, spirit away secret files and press the Big Red Button.
Stockholm Syndrome: As time passes, kidnapped conservatives will start liking their captor. Really fast if your psychology skill is high.
Actually, this depends partly on how the captor(s) treat the prisoner. If you beat the crap out of them constantly and refuse any verbal contact, for example, they're not likely to react very positively.
Strawman Political: Played for laughs. The game treats Conservatives as evil fascists and Liberals as the second coming. Both liberal and conservative ideological tenets are deliberately exaggerated to the point of implausibility for the sake of comedy - the game's 'liberals' have such goals as granting animals full personhood, and the game's 'conservatives' burn buildings where free speech has happened if not stopped.
Suicide by Cop: In earlier versions of the game, this was the standard method of freeing up space in the squad. As of the latest version, you can either release (i.e. fire) or execute unwanted squad members instead.
Each of these options has a potential downside, too - if a squad member with low Heart is fired, they might very well go to the police, while executing a squad member has a chance to cause a significant (and permanent) stat drop in the person doing the executing.
There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Accruing sufficiently high Heat might result in one of your safehouses being stormed by literally hundreds of regular Army troops, supported by tank platoons, combat engineer detachments, and bomber aircraft.
Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Some 8 years old in an oversized black suit walking around at the Intelligence HQ is pretty normal for everyone if they have enough disguise.
The Uriah Gambit: One of the option for dealing with Conservatives enlightened too late. Selling brownies with Death Squads roaming the streets works good for this.
Vendor Trash: A successful infiltration in the downtown apartments can give you 20 laptops, 10 cheap jewelry, 5 expensive jewelry... Which are good for nothing, but sell for a pretty good price.
Videogame Cruelty Potential: You can make the Liberal Crime Squad fight conservatism as violently as you want, from being a peaceful protest organization to full-on urban terrorists. The previously mentioned torture and brainwash minigame deserves a special mention though, since it allows you to do some ridiculously nasty things to people, such as beating them, starving them, and forcing them to watchBible Black.
Videogame Flamethrowers Suck: Oh sure, the M2 will make most Conservatives scatter, but it's next to useless for a few reasons. Even with Bunker Gear, you still get burned by it, and will every single turn because any attack, hit or miss, will set the square you are on on fire. Said fire also spreads to other squares, destroying the area you are in quickly. Finally, M2 Flamethrowers and their ammunition can only be gotten from the Firemen, who only appear at Arch-Conservative Free Speech and can generally be legislated away even without LCS action.
Weapon For Intimidation: Weapons can be used to intimidate and abduct conservative, and help a lot for datenapping.
We Interrupt This Program: You can sneak (or gun) your way to the AM Radio Station or Cable News Studio stage, and mount your own broadcast.
What the Hell, Hero?: if you leave one of your liberals to die in the death row, the game tells you: "If you can't protect your own people, who can you protect? X has failed the Liberal Crime Squad".
Zerg Rush: Basically, any conservative response at any site, but more obvious with the radio station or cable news: waves and waves of angry mobs with Torches and Pitchforks getting slaughtered by liberals with M-16s.