Video Game / Ares
There is going to be a lot of scrap metal when he's done.
A.R.E.S. is a series of episodic games (with only the first episode currently released, Extinction Agenda) developed by indie developer Extend Interactive and ORiGO Games. The first episode is available on PC (the Steam version has two exclusive suits) and Xbox 360.

The plot of Extinction Agenda is as follows: In the late 21st century, humanity has contaminated the Earth to such a dire state that an organization of scientists, United Earth (UE) had formed in an effort to save it. Governments from around the world collectively contributed trillions to UE, funding its expensive and highly experimental research. They managed to hit success, with Dr. Julia Carson's innovative concept, known as Deep Space Reprocessing (DSR), which allowed humans to recycle waste into organic materials through abiogenesis, a process that would essentially recycle the planet and transform it into a more habitable state. It turns out to be a success, Earth's state is improving, and things are beginning to look up for humanity.

Then disaster strikes. The only DSR space station, Junk Sector, is hit by an unidentified crystalline object, which emits a mysterious green gas, and all contact with the crew is lost. Dr. Carson herself leads a team onto the station to investigate, and discover that the robots on board are being controlled by the gas. Their first actions are to 1) head to the armory, and 2) send samples of the gas back to HQ. Using the samples, UE manages to figure out how to make robots immune to the gas, now called "Zytron". The answer was to create a Zytron-immune robot more technically advanced than any robot UE had ever created. The robot would need to excel at combat and have a name akin to its strength and brutal efficiency — Ares.

The first episode, at least, is a side-scrolling shooter. Ares has a array of weaponry to use, as well as two types of grenades. He also has back-up from Valkyl, a military-support satellite, who can rain down laser death once her bar is full. The game uses a "combo" system with a maximum of 99 hits, and each stage you complete has a letter rank, with a maximum rank in Normal mode being A while Hard mode has SS. These ranks are determined by factors such as how quickly you completed the stage, your highest combo, how much damage you take during boss fights, and how much materials you collected. The materials from destroyed enemies and scattered throughout levels allows you to upgrade your arsenal, create more grenades, and use repair-kits. Though the first episode is a fairly short game, its replayability comes from the hidden secrets, unlocking achievements, and getting higher ranks.

An updated version of the first game published by Aksys Games, the same company that worked on the ports of the BlazBlue series and Deathsmiles, was released for the Xbox 360 through Xbox LIVE Arcade as A.R.E.S. Extinction Agenda EX on October 2, 2013 and roughly a year later on Steam, featuring updated graphics, redesigned levels, new animated cut-scenes, and promotes Tarus to playable status. With a $1,500 contribution made by ORiGO Games for the Kickstarter-funded indie arena fighter, Combat Core, Ares is set is appear a Guest Fighter in the game along with Zetto and Kizuna of TOME.

A.R.E.S. provides trope examples of:

  • Achievement System: The original game comes with 25 obtainable achievements that adds up to a total of 330 achievement points similar Xbox LIVE Achievements and Gamerscore. Each achievement requires the player to perform certain feats such as never using a repair kit across all levels, getting the combo counter to 99, and no damage running a boss battle. These also return in EX.
  • Action Girl: Surprisingly, Dr. Carson, and she doubles a Badass Bookworm. Despite being a scientist, it's heavily implied that she is quite capable with a weapon. When Ares actually rescues her, the first thing she does is point her gun at him and threatens to shoot. She was holding out mostly on her own for at least a few days, and she hasn't been captured or killed, which is quite an achievement.
  • Advancing Boss of Doom: The Leviathan mini-boss chases the player from a bottomless shaft at first.
  • Art Shift: Valkyl's design got a more Western look in Extinction Agenda EX, while Dr. Carson became even more of an action girl.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: In EX, in Tarus's storyline, Zytron deems Tarus a worthy successor and he proceeds to take over Zytron's role and fire the Minos Cannon.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Dr. Carson wears a tube top underneath her lab coat in the original game.
  • Bittersweet Ending: While the Minos Cannon has been destroyed and humanity is safe, Junk Sector, humanity's only hope for bringing Earth back to its former glory, has been destroyed along with it. On the other hand, humanity can rebuild, and there's still more episodes...
  • Boobs of Steel: There are exactly two women in Extinction Agenda: Dr. Carson, and Valkyl. The former has a decent bust, and is an Action Girl. Valkyl, on the other hand, is quite well-endowed, and carries a BFG which she can use to rain down death when Ares needs it (in the original).
  • Bragging Rights Reward: The Genesis Suit from the original, which requires an SS Rank. However, in order to get SS Rank, you need SS ranks on all chapters except Chapter 5, which requires an S rank, which averts the trope. There is a good reason for this, however — the Minos Cannon is that hard to perfect.
  • Charged Attack: The hold type for the Power and Gravity Boost ability Ares unlock after defeating Carrion in the original. By using the grenade's energy, he can propel himself forward, upwards, or downwards while damaging anything in his path.
  • Combos: Akin to Axel's and X's gameplay in Mega Man X8, you can rack up combos as you destroy enemies.
  • Combo Breaker: Taking damage from an enemy will reset your combo counter to zero.
  • Curtains Match the Window: Dr. Carson's brown hair matches with her eyes in the original.
  • Dash Attack: Ares gets an upgrade along with the Prototype Suit that allows him to perform dash attacks that harms enemies and gives him invincibility frames while dashing (which can be upgraded to extend to the air boost). Tarus also gets this with his roll with Fusion Form, which makes him invincible while rolling and stuns enemies/breaks shields.
  • Denial of Diagonal Attack: Averted. Ares and Tarus can aim their shots in any direction.
  • Double Jump: Ares and Tarus have this as a starting ability.
  • Dub Name Change: In EX, the Junk Sector has been renamed to Minos Station, as well as the Minos Cannon boss having its name changed to Minos Core.
  • Elemental Punch: Ares' Blazing Fist, an ability acquired after defeating Goliath in EX, is a firey punch that can break explosive containers.
  • Emergency Energy Tank: In the original game, Ares can craft a repair kit with the materials he picks up laying around the level or dropped from enemies and use them at a later time to recover a portion of his HP. In EX, the repair kit is an upgradeable skill that takes time to recharge and costs 100 materials to use.
  • Fighting Your Friend: In EX, the boss of Chapter 5 is whatever character you aren't playing as because Tarus is infected by Zytron at this point.
  • Future Spandex: Valkyl's outfit certainly fits the description.
  • Gameplay Grading: You are rewarded based on how quickly you clear the level, how few hits you've taken during boss battles, how high you can get your combo counter, how much damage you've dealt, and how many upgrades you've uncovered.
  • Glass Cannon: The Steam-exclusive Berzerker Suit DLC from the original is this through and through. Its weapon kills things with fire, but as long as you are equipped with it, you take more damage than usual.
  • Guest Fighter: Ares became a playable character the indie game Combat Core after a $1,500 contribution from ORiGO Games for the game's Kickstarter campaign.
  • Hard Mode Perks: Playing on the harder difficulties allows you to get SS ranks for clearing a level, and, in the case of EX, go past the 99-hit combo limit. Also in EX, playing on Hardcore allows you to exceed the 10,000-point score limit that Normal has (10,000 is the requirement for an SS rank).
  • Heart Container: Some of the datacubes in the original game can raise Ares' maximum HP. This was removed from EX.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Ares pulls one in EX, disabling his inhibitors and overloading his core to destroy the Minos Core before the cannon is fired.
  • Hot Scientist: Dr. Julia Carson in the original, by far. Hell, she wears a tube top under that lab coat and rockin' a mini-skirt!
  • Humans Are Flawed: Though humans have been trying to clean up their act as a whole, it seems, Zytron thinks humanity are a mistake, and one that must be corrected.
  • Idiosyncratic Combo Levels: As you shoot stuff up, you get a phrase associated with your chain of destruction like "Superb!" and "Bursted!" In EX, exceeding 99 hits earns you "Wicked!"
  • Jet Pack: Rather than get a mid-air dash like Ares does, Tarus gets the ability to hover for a few seconds after defeating Carrion in EX.
  • Kill Sat: Valkyl, our Spaceship Girl, at least in the original.
    • And there is the Minos Cannon, UE's secret weapon, speculated by Dr. Carson to have been created for a political agenda. Ares is forced to destroy it in order to prevent Zytron from using it to destroy humanity.
  • Life Drain: Ares' Solar Strike in EX can be upgraded to have this effect.
  • Limit Break: Valkyl's Zypher Cannon in the original. EX replaced it with Ares' Solar Strike, and Tarus has Power Infusion.
  • Mid-Season Upgrade: Ares gets an upgrade to his suit literally halfway through the first episode. Halfway through Chapter 3 (Chapter 4 in EX), to be precise. It improves your dash ability so that you're invincible during it. (Tarus also gets a similar upgrade for his roll in his story.)
  • Nintendo Hard: Lots of enemies, hazards, traps, and difficult boss battles. Even on Normal difficulty and no Casual difficulty to speak of in the original game, the game will punish you hard. EX added an "Casual" difficulty, but it comes with some gameplay restrictions.
  • Peninsula of Power Leveling: Each stage has at least one ideal area to rack up a high combo.
  • Precursors: Zytron, who claims to have created humanity, and believes that doing this was ultimately a mistake, which leads it to attempting to use the Minos Cannon to wipe them out. It's not abusive or neglectful, it's just simply doing what it thinks is right.
  • Promoted to Playable: Tarus gets his own campaign in EX.
  • Rank Inflation: You get a letter rank based on your performance. From lowest to highest: D, C, B, A, S, and SS. Casual gives you a cap of S while Normal and Hardcore allow you to go up to SS.
  • Red Shirt Army: Averted. Tarus Group knows how to hold their own, even if they're not as good as Ares — their leader saves Ares from the Sentinel boss with one shot.
  • RPG Elements: As you clear stages, you earn experience points to level up your character. However, to prevent players from Level Grinding by repeatedly clearing one stage multiple times, the experience points you earn is based on the score you cleared the stage with. For example, if you cleared the first stage with an S (9000-9999 points), you'll get more than enough experience to level-up once; clearing it again with a lesser score than your highest yields no progress.
  • Shock and Awe: The Prime Guardian specializes in this. Then there's the Photon Launcher, which is basically, when fully upgraded, the most powerful weapon in the game aside from Valkyl's Zypher Cannon from the original.
    • Ares and Tarus also get Plasma Shock and Lock Down respectively, which both stun enemies and break shields.
  • Spaceship Girl: However, unlike other examples, Valkyl is a satellite in a humanoid form. Her laser cannon attack comes from the Zypher Cannon she carries.
    • Not quite so much in EX, where she's just an AI construct operating from an unknown location.
  • Title Drop: The final chapter in EX is titled "Extinction Agenda".
  • Updated Re-release: A.R.E.S. Extinction Agenda EX features higher quality visuals, Tarus becomes playable along with his own story and soundtrack, new animated cutscenes, a Casual difficulty, redesigned levels and streamlined gameplay.
  • Video Game Dashing: Ares can air-boost sideways or straight up, and the air-boost can be upgraded so that he can do ''three' without having to touch the ground.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Valkyl has purple hair.
  • Zettai Ryouiki: Dr. Carson wears grade-A thigh-highs with her mini-skirt in the original game.