Mutant Chronicles is a post-apocalyptic role playing game created by the Swedish company Target Games. It also spawned a semi-successful franchise: two Collectible Card Games (Doom Trooper and Dark Eden), three Board Games (Fury of the Clansmen, Blood Berets and Doom Troopers: Siege of the Citadel) two tabletop wargames (War Zone and Mutant Chronicles: Collectible Miniatures Game), a Video Game (Doom Troopers, the second one planned to be a RTS in the vein of Dawn of War was canned), a novel trilogy, a short Comic Book series and a film whose writers apparently just didn't know or Just Didn't Care, not to say it wasn't still good on its own.What's it all about? Earth gets too tight for the MegaCorps, so after battling for quite a time, they go and colonize the whole inner Solar System (and a few outposts beyond), since All Planets Are Earth-Like (MASSIVE terraforming). Sadly, Imperial colonizers go a planet too far, reaching the mysterious Tenth Planet (named Nero) and unleashing the Cosmic Horror - The Dark Soul along with its Apostles and their Dark Legion. People go nuts and form evil cults, the Dark Symmetry makes all sufficiently powerful computers go evil, DemonicAlien Invaders expand their ranks with SquickyBody Horror Shop creations from cybernetic zombies and mutants of different kinds to Godzilla-sized zombies to biomechanical Spider Tanks. In short: The End of the World as We Know It.Of course, the MegaCorps try to stop them, get their asses handed to them a couple of times, and if not for a Church Militia called the Brotherhood, they'd fail forever. With the Brotherhood's help, the bigger part of humanity repents (mainly because the Brotherhood'smethods are brutal,but work for humanity's good), leveling the playing field. On the other hand, corporate rivalries aren't forgotten; if the Corporations aren't kicking Legion ass, they're most probably butting heads over resources. If the Cartel, a body formed especially to mediate among the MegaCorps, allows it. Most of the time, it does.Most of the franchise is set about a thousand years after the defeat of the Dark Legion's first onslaught; humanity has rebuilt, but much of its past achievements have been impossible to equal (computers are usually based on vacuum-tube technology, most firearms still use jacketed lead bullets, and anything terraformation-related is still Lost Technology save for maintenance). And while the Megacorporations are once again at each others' throats, corruption and moral decay are spreading everywhere, even the vaunted Brotherhood, just as the Dark Legions and Dark Symmetry, which by then were barely more than a myth to most people, are making a comeback after marshalling their forces for another go at destroying humanity...As of February 2013, a third edition of the pen-and-paper RPG rules, as well as a complete reboot of Warzone have been announced.
Amazon Brigade: Lots. Etoiles Mortant, Mourning Wolves, Vestals and Valkyries to name a few. All supremely Bad Ass Special Forces within their respective organizations.
Ambiguously Evil: Cybertronic. They use AIs, which have proven themselves to be a conduit for the Dark Symmetry, seemingly without ill effects. They mysteriously lure employees away from other corporations. They seem to have developed some form of Mind Control. Their contributions to the Brotherhood are token at best. But they also send plenty of their troops to become Doomtroopers, provide other Doomtroopers with weapons, and no Cybertronic employee has ever shown signs of following the Dark Symmetry.
Army of Thieves and Whores: Capitol has two flavors. The conventional flavor is the Freedom Brigades, men and women who are trading ten years of brutal service in the most Light-forsaken hellholes in the solar system for a clean rap sheet and Capitol citizenship. The less conventional one is the Free Marines, which is a penal battalion for highly decorated Spec Ops veterans who for some reason have been sentenced to death.
Artificial Limbs: Domain of Cybertronic. Even if not entirely metal/plastic/inhuman, they will have metal bits and wires sticking out as a hint.
The Atoner: The entire Imperial corporation. It was Imperial explorers who broke the Seal of Repulsion, and released the Dark Soul. Imperial has done everything in its power to make up for their great shame since.
Axe Crazy: Heretic Corruptors and Destroyers, most of Muawijhe's Legions, Imperial Wolf Packs.
Body Horror: Dark Legion is rife with this. Heretic Corruptors, Metropolitan Prophets and Cairaths to name a few. And if you're a Heretic, pray to your Apostle you don't start succumbing to The Corruption, because only being turned into a full monster can save you from a Fate Worse Than Death.
Brainwashed: Dark Legion Cultists. And Cybertronic too.
Canine Companion: Pride to Mitch Hunter. As of Resurrection, Pride has gone from appearing in one unpublished comic to becoming a playable character.
Chainsaw Good: Capitol Sergeants have chain swords. Brotherhood Inquisitors have flamethrowers with chainsaw bayonets. And Legion has guys with chainsaw halberds.
Chance Meeting Between Antagonists:One War Zone battle scenario works like this, pitting two scout teams (the Bauhaus and Mishima) against each other. The scenario starts with the sergeants of both sides already dead; both scout teams have been crawling through tall grass and somehow Failed a Spot Check until the leaders nearly bumped into each other.
Child Soldiers: Literally, and powered by horror. The Children of Illian are kid-sized zombies that overrun their enemies and bludgeon them to death with maces shaped like rattles. Or snipe them with high-impact slingshots. It's much, much less funny than it sounds.
Church Militant: The Brotherhood. On the flipside, Dark Legion Cultists are an evil version of this.
Cold Sniper: Cybertronic Chem.IMN. Basically, a Terminator with sniper rifle and chemical weapons. Calistonian Sundancers (space demons with sniper rifles and Cool Helmets) as well.
Combat Medic: Most Corporations field them. Cybertronic "personality" Dr Diana is an example.
The Legions of Demnogonis have a spectacularly squicky version in the Curators, intelligent plague-spreading zombie medics that double as deadly doctors. Demnogonis's troops are about the only one who'd care for their treatment.
Combat Tentacles: Vahldredd The Hunter and Tekron Warmasters, both from the Dark Legion. Also from Team Evil, the Nepharite Overlord of Algeroth Golgotha has a segmented variant (they look like spider legs, but are as flexible and versatile as less rigid types), and all Nepharites of Ilian go in combat with animated spiked chains attached to their armor.
Cool Helmet: Bauhaus troops wear pickelhaubes and skull-shaped helmets, some Mishima troops wear kabutos, old figures of Capitol heavy infantry wore football helmets, Calistonians wear bone masks and Brotherhood Mortificator and Inquisitor helmets became iconic of the game.
Cool Old Guy: Sebastian Crenshaw. The best assassin The Brotherhood has, not only doing his job, but also mentoring the younger Mortificators. And being a hit at parties.
Creepy Child: Voice of Demnogonis. Looks like a perfectly normal child and drains life from your troops pretty quickly. Also the Children of Ilian (see Child Soldiers above).
Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: That's what The Brotherhood thinks about Cybertronic. They just wait for a bigger screw-up to round up the whole corporation and burn them. Whether it's true or not is intentionally left a mystery.
The Dark Side: Dark Symmetry. Use anything touched by it, and you will likely be touched by Corruption and turn into a Brainwashed and Crazy Heretic if the Inquisition can't cure it.
Deadly Decadent Court: Any of the three nobility-styled MegaCorps can have some aspects of this among its constituent noble houses, but the courts of Overlord Mishima and his three heirs are the best example.
Death Seeker: Imperial Mourning Wolves, as they're all widows of Imperial Wolfsbane killed in combat with the Dark Legion. Think woad-painted Action Girls with spiked chains, Wolverine-style claw bracers and the attitude of a dwarf Slayer and you're not too far off the mark. Capitol's Martian Banshees as well (although either gender can be part of those).
The Dragon: Ilian, eldest of the Dark Apostles and mistress of sorcery.
Drop the Hammer: Dark Legion's Gomorrean Emasculators wield big-ass warhammers. And dual gatling guns implanted in their shoulders.
Dual Wield / Guns Akimbo : Happens often, with units using swords and guns (or two melee weapons) at the same time. Played way too straight with Crucifiers, who have FOUR arms and a weapon in every one.
Earth That Used to Be Better: A blasted, post-apocalyptic wasteland, which is too polluted, resource-poor and sparsely populated to be of much interest to anyone.
Eldritch Abomination: The Dark Soul. It's a piece of the original Nothing that "was" before the Big Bang that wants a return to the good old days of nonexistence. Badly.
Bauhaus - Germany, Russia, France and Italy, served as 19th Century-style Evil Aristocracy.
Capitol - the friggin' Eagleland looking like they're still stuck in the Vietnam War (and Canada too, according to one of the novels).
Cybertronic - multinational corporate hive.
Imperial - United Kingdom, mostly with an Elisabethan/Victorian feel. Some of the units are violentScotirish Highlanders with a berserk streak and love for facepaint.
Mishima - Mostly Edo Japan, with samurai, ninjas and warrior monks. A few bits and pieces of other asian cultures are present, such as The Triads and the Tongs as the main criminal organisation, and the city of Fukido, which is basically Hong Kong (it's on lease to Imperial for 99 years following a lost war, natch).
Fate Worse Than Death: Being processed into any of the Legionnaire or Necromutant variants. Or even "reanimated" into Cybertronic service... when your original Corporation manages to capture you alive.
Mishima is based on Tokugawa-era bushido, and a particularly brutal brand at that. Land and industrial rights are given as fiefdoms, with the High Lords doing as they please. Social mobility is pretty much non-existent, though that is changing.
Bauhaus are also purely feudal, but less oppressive. Bauhaus nobles, unlike their Mishiman counterparts, have a strong sense of noblesse obligé, and commoners who distinguish themselves can be raised to the nobility. That said, commoners are second-class citizens in Bauhaus, and no bones are made about that.
Imperial flip-flops a bit. While less extreme than Bauhaus or Mishima, power lies firmly with the clan chiefs and their families. Commoners have little power, but they do have a fair bit of influence. It is very possible for commoners to rise to power by working their way up in the civil service, distinguishing themselves in battle or taking advisory positions with powerful people.
Capitol is a subversion. The corporation is governed by shareholders voting their stock like a modern day corporation, with the CEO holding a position analogue to that of the president of the United States.
Cybertronic gets things done. Somehow.
The Brotherhood are an electory theocracy led by the Cardinal, who is elected by the leading figures in the Brotherhood and holds his position until death.
Girl with Psycho Weapon: Mourning Wolves, who wield a length of chain with a weighted end on one hand and Wolverine-like claws on the other. And Bauhaus personality Valerie Duval, who uses blade-tipped tonfas with one shot 20mm autocannon rounds in the other end.
Golem: Dark Legion creations (hence the full name being 'Golem of Darkness').
Hellgate: Nero has one to the Dark Legion's strongholds. Closing it would be a decisive victory.
Humongous Mecha: Imperial Hurricane Walkers. Not as humongous as Praetorian Behemoths, but still pretty big.
Cybertronic's Eradicator Deathdroids approach this scale; however, the absolute king of this trope in-universe is (unsurprisingly) Mishima, ranging from the 8-10 ft. Shoa Ace custom battle armor to the 100-ft. Gigameka.
Interservice Rivalry: Introduced in Warzone: Universe Under Siege, where each faction has units divided between separate "services" that usually don't mix up.
The Juggernaut: Dark Legion has a good few of 'em, size XXXL. The Mercurian Maculator and Praetorian Behemoth, for instance. The biggest of all though is the Bio-Giant.
Katanas Are Just Better: Zig-zagged. Katanas are the best standard-pattern swords. There are several other types of swords, such as claymores forged by clan Gallagher, which are significantly better, but they are either Ace Customs or AncestralWeapons.
A common reason to go Freelancer. Most often inverted later on, when the would-be tough guy realises knowing you get a paycheck at the end of the month, instead of having to queue at the Brotherhood soup kitchen, was pretty sweet.
A source of a lot of conflict between Bauhaus and Capitol. Capitol likes to portray Bauhaus as a Bread and CircusesDystopia, whereas Bauhaus are equally prone to point to Capitol's anarchic nature, the astronomical violent crime rates and the hypocrisy of claiming democracy when 11 families control 50% of the votes. Neither side is portrayed as completely right, though. It's just a matter of deciding which you prefer.
Lighter and Softer: Has a lot of the same elements and feel as Warhammer 40,000, but is a lot more hopeful. Oh, Mutant Chronicles is plenty grimdark by most standards, but here compassion and respect for human life are still important, the Emperor-analogue still leads humanity from the front and it feels like humanity actually has a chance.
Longevity Treatment: Exists but between the exorbitant cost, the invasive surgeries and the severity of the diet and exercise regimens required for the treatment to be effective, few people bother.
Lost Technology: Averted: Technology from before the arrival of the Dark Symmetry still exists, but has been deactivated. All corporations still have blueprints for targeting computers, laser weaponry and orbital attack platforms archived, just waiting for the day when someone figures out a way to shield them from Dark Symmetry.
Magic Knight: Most Brotherhood sergeants in Warzone. Most Brothehood personel period (yes, even the ostensibly noncombatant missionaries and administrators) in the RPG.
Mars: Capitol has its capital there, they even dragged a whole freaking ASTEROID to serve as a third moon stabilizing the planet's orbit.
Medal of Dishonor: The Capitolian Shooting Star medal. It is given to pilots and air crews who have bailed out over enemy territory and made their own way home. The Capitol Air Force considers it an award for getting shot down or otherwise screwing up, and derisively refers to it as "The Golden Parachute".
Mega Corp.: Subverted in most cases. The major players are referred to as "megacorps", but Capitol is the only one which is a corporation by the modern definition.
Mercy Kill: Units can be outfitted with a special auto-injectors pumping them full of toxins whenever they get under the influence of Dark Symmetry.
More Dakka: A good couple of weapons fall under this one, Bauhaus AZ61 Twin Rotary Shotgun being one of the most egregious examples.
Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Dark Legion runs on those. Algeroth The Apostle Of War, Demnogonis The Befouler, Ilian The Mistress Of The Void, Muawijhe (pronounced "moo-ah-jee") The Lord Of Visions, Semai The Lord Of Spite - and that's just the beginning. Their units have equally colorful names - Immaculate Furies, Gomorrean Emasculators and Zenithian Soulslayers, for example. The Nepharites, for their part, ave names mostly inspired from Abrahamic religions like Golgotha or Absalom. Not mentioning the weapons, like Ashreketh, Azoghar, Kratach or Vassht.
New Technology Is Evil: People are afraid to build too capable computers after the last ones they had went on the fritz, and murderously so, due to Dark Symmetry. Of course, Cybertronic just doesn't care.
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: The Imperials done this twice, first is when they went to Pluto they unleashed the Dark Legion, and again when they reached another planet beyond Pluto they released the Dark Symmetry.
Original Position Gambit: In Ilian, there are two short stories on this theme. Humans join the cult of Ilian because they want to become the exploiters rather then the exploited. And of course, their futures are so bright, since Ilian will smile upon them forever... until they fail or get backstabbed by each other, that is. Suckers.
Pistol-Whipping: Averted. Pistols work in close combat, but in the shooty way.
Powered Armor: Bauhaus and Mishima mecha are basically those. And in Warzone: Resurrection, heavy infantry of most corporations got upgraded to Powered Armor status.
Religion of Evil: Dark Symmetry (the philosophy of the Dark Legion) and its Apostles.
Room 101: Mentioned a couple of times in the fluff. Both literally and metaphorically.
Saintly Church: The Brotherhood. Yes, the Brotherhood runs an Inquisition, executes heretics, suppresses other religions, demands attendance and tithes (in practice if not theory) and violently opposes any new technology. And guess what? It's all at the very least justifiable, and in most cases necessary. The Brotherhood is also the one unifying factor among the corporations, and runs banks, schools, soup kitchens and hospitals.
Unfortunately, likely due to renewed efforts by the Dark Soul to crush humanity, corruption has begun to take root in many of the less rigtheous individuals and subgroups.
Samurai: Mishima's nobles and military, of course. They recently integrated ashigaru commoner-soldier units into the military, though, due to growing manpower needs and changing times. The enticement of escaping second-class citizen status (i.e. become a samurai yourself) if you perform well enough makes recruitment easy.
Shoulders of Doom: One of the worst offenders in existence. Some figures have no armor apart from gargantuan shoulderpads. Old Capitol figures and Imperial special forces units stand out even by the standards of the setting. Then there's Erwin Stahler...
Soulsaving Crusader: The Inquisition, again. Bonus points for being actually effective (their primary goal is curing Dark Symmetry Corruption before it overtakes Heretics completely and returning them to human society).
And then there are the Capitol Navy Special Forces, the Sea Lions.
Spider Limbs: Golgotha. In Warzone: Resurrection Cybertronic hero Doctor Diana got a backpack with medical implements on spider limbs too, akin to Warhammer 40000's Mad Scientist Fabius Bile.
Spider Tank: First created as a prop for miniature battle photos, the Dark Legion Black Widow was upgraded to a real unit in Warzone: Resurrection. Other examples are Dark Legion's Tekron Warmasters, Cybertronic Cancer Machine Guns and Warzone: Resurrection redesign of the Cybertronic Scorpion LMG.
Taking You with Me: Mishima Faceless Ones are Kamikaze on foot, and their Suicide Warheads are essentially Mini-MechaAction Bombs. Crescentian Martyrs and Blessed Tears fit here in the "Allahu akbar KABOOM!" way as well.
Torture Technician: In the fluff, Inquisitors. In Warzone, and very squickily, Eonian Justifiers. To name a few.
Undead Child: Children of Ilian. They beat the crap out of your units with rattles and slingshots.
Warfare Regression: Considering what the Dark Symmetry does to advanced electronics, it's no surprise that weapons tech also declines.
War for Fun and Profit: The second part happens when Megacorps start butting heads over resources. No fun for the troops, though.
The Wild Hunt: They're Illian's executioners of failures and people who need to be disappeared. Be sent to their dimension and it's a one-way trip, with your future existence either being a hardscrabble run from them or having your very soul torn apart.
World Half Full: There's a Dark Legion of quasi-demonic aliens out there, humanity cannot seem to get its act together, people have been forced into the perpetual misery of war...and yet humanity's factions honestly want the best for it, there is no shortage of genuine heroes, and the Dark Legion can be defeated.