Video Game: Alter A.I.L.A.
In a post-apocalyptic world
, on a pocket of land run by the evil Emperor Kugar
, prisoners fight for their lives everyday for the entertainment of the masses. Only nine survive to this day. They are known only by their color designation:
One day, however, an opportunity presents itself: rebels fighting against Kugar attack and give the prisoners an opportunity to escape, at which point you join one of three factions:
- Rebellion: Putting an end to Kugar's regime.
- Imperials: Squashing the rebel scum between your fingertips.
- Independents: Not joining any sides, and simply trying to find freedom.
As it soon becomes apparent, however, fighting for one's faction is just the tip of the iceberg...
Okay, getting past the movie-trailer-speak, Alter A.I.L.A
is a popular and very highly-regarded RPG made in RPG Maker 2003
by Neok. As mentioned above, the game has three different routes, making for very high replay value. But what makes it even better is that completing all three routes unlocks a fourth route
, which outclasses the first three in almost every way. The plotline is rife with twists, turns, and interesting developments, the characters are fleshed-out and engaging, and the music is top notch. Definitely worth checking out.
Can be downloaded here
called "Alter A.I.L.A. Genesis" was released on October 10th, 2010. Can be downloaded here
. It removes the multiple-route mechanism in favour of a more linear plot, allowing for far better plot development and Foreshadowing
. Notably, the entire cast from the original game is playable, which, combined with a longer plotline, allows for far greater Character Development
. The combat system has also become much more unique, enjoyable, and balanced. In addition, all playable characters have been given set names rather than being Hello, Insert Name Here
, and Celia
A sequel, Alter A.I.L.A. Variant
, was in the works. However, it was cancelled, revived, then cancelled a second time
when Neok retired from the indie game scene. More information here
Tropes used in Alter A.I.L.A.:
- Action Girl: Green, Violet and Black fit this trope.
- After the End
- Anyone Can Die: Even the Golden Ending leaves a lot of important bodies on the floor. The other routes leave most of the playable characters dead.
- Arbitrary Gun Power
- Arm Cannon: Gold is in possession of one.
- Barbie Doll Anatomy: Black, when fought at the end of the Rebellion route, is naked.
- Battle in the Center of the Mind: Happens in multiple instances, though only played unambiguously straight when getting the EX Guns and fighting the character's shadow self. Other cases might include the Shadow characters and, for certain values of "mind," Heaven.
- Battle Theme Music: Each faction has their own unique theme music, the theme for whichever faction you play only playing for that route's Final Boss.
- Big Good: Gold.
- Bittersweet Ending: The Independent ending. Violet is dead and President Gold is doomed to be assassinated, but the surviving heroes are free to explore the world without the Rebels and Imperialists dogging their trail.
- Black and Grey Morality: The Empire is straight-up evil, but the Rebels are no saints either, and the Independents start out just wanting to be left alone and end up trying to take both sides out; the Empire because It's Personal, and the Rebels because...um, Black had a feeling about White and went Knight Templar.
- Subverted. Except for Red, all the playable characters and Kugar are heroes by nature, but some are being secretly manipulated by Aila. Oh, and Black was both right and wrong about White; White was one of Aila's pawns, but by nature he's good and makes a Heroic Sacrifice in the Innovator path.
- Bloodless Carnage: Averted somewhat. When at critical health, playable characters will start showing signs of bleeding.
- Bonus Boss: One of Jackal's forms, others are required to get everyone's Infinity Plus One Gun. Except Blue, who gets his from Gray. Who is himself a Bonus Boss.
- There's also the Shadow characters in the Innovator route, plus Shadow Omega Weapon, which is the hardest boss in the game.
- Bottled Heroic Resolve: Stimulants.
- Character Portrait
- Climax Boss: Limit Green, fought at the end of part 1.
- Gold in Imperial Chapter 2.
- Red and Violet in Independent Chapter 2. Also Rebellion Chapter 2, but it doesn't mean quite as much as it does in the Independent Route.
- Crapsack World: Yep.
- Crutch Character: Gray.
- Cutscene Power to the Max: Black taking out Ultima Weapon with one Mind Blast when she can't even use the power normally.
- Downer Ending: Almost all of them, except the one gotten for completing the Innovator route perfectly.
- Down the Drain: One of the low points, unfortunately.
- Driven to Suicide: Green.
- Duel Boss: Limit Green, and Blue on the Innovator route.
- Dummied Out: Silver and Gold were originally intended to be playable characters, but were removed during development.
- Enemy Scan: Blue's skill, Analyze.
- Final Boss: One for each route.
- Rebels: Black on a power trip
- Imperials: Experiment 13, the Rebellion's secret weapon
- Independents: Jackal Epsilon
- Innovators: Aila
- Glass Cannon: Black, without the mask.
- Golden Ending: You'll need to play through the game four times to see it, though.
- Guns Akimbo: Only Blue can do this. Everyone else is out of luck.
- Heel-Face Turn: Orange, sort of.
- Hello, Insert Name Here / No Name Given: The entire cast. Genesis does give everyone canonical names, however.
- Hopeless Boss Fight: The first battle against Aila.
- Also, the battle against Ultima Weapon between part 1 and 2.
- Ho Yay: Kugar and Tinder. The latter lampshades it ruthlessly.
- A darker version is revealed in Orange's case. His duel with Shadow Red is about him sorting out his conflicting feelings about Red.
- Joke Item: Throughout the game, one can find such items as "Revealing Suit", "Masochist Suit", and "Pants".
- Handguns also border on this — they're by far the least useful of the different guns and are easily outclassed by anything, except for possibly shotguns, which have terrible accuracy. And even then, Yellow's EX Shotgun is no lightweight weapon.
- Kill 'em All: In all three of the routes, 5 out of the 8 main characters (Indigo doesn't show up again after the prologue) will die, invariably at the hands of Blue and his team. Considering each path has a strong Hero of Another Story vibe to it, this makes Blue a Hero Killer from their perspective. The casualties are:
- Loyalists: Green, Black, Yellow, Orange and White.
- Rebellion: Green, Red, Violet, Yellow and Black.
- Independents: Green, White, Orange, Red and Violet.
- Kudzu Plot: Several plot questions, such as why Black betrays the Rebellion and why White becomes just like Kugar in the Rebel ending, are only answered in the Innovator path.
- Lightning Bruiser: Black, masked. Gets a bit more fragile without the mask, but her PK abilities more than make up for it.
- The Man Behind the Man: Aila behind Kugar.
- The Medic: Green, though she's capable of using one of the best weapon types in the game, meaning she's strong offensively as well.
- The Men in Black: Kugar's black-suited, white shirted flunkies. In the innovator route, the one named Agent Smith kills Yellow.
Tropes used in the remake, Alter A.I.L.A. Genesis:
- Friendly Fireproof
- Fun with Acronyms: S.P.E.A.R., G.U.A.R.D.I.A.N., and C.R.I.S.I.S. We never actually learn what they stand for.
- Word of God says that "C.R.I.S.I.S." stands for "Covert Reactant Intelligence Systematic Integral Special Force". He doesn't have any secret definitions of for the other two, though.
- Game Breaker: Zero system. More damaged dealt depending on reduced HP. Certain Modes can give you Exceed at a decent rate for a small percentage of HP per turn. Combine the 2 and you have a nigh unstoppable force.
- You can actually buy Zero Systems from Tinder if you can find him.
- Game-Breaking Bug: Due to the fact that the game is made in the (incredibly buggy) default battle system, the Guard stat does absolutely nothing.
- Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: Some bosses are just really random and only seem to be there because every dungeon has to have a boss. The greatest example of this is definitely Ultima Weapon, though. It's That One Boss, comes after two other legitimate Climax Bosses, and is never explained or mentioned again.
- Gladiator Subquest: The Arena, natch.
- Global Currency: Justified, since the entire game (and known world) only spans two tiny islands that are right next to each other, and all of that space is theoretically under the control of a One World Order.
- Good Wings, Evil Wings: Played with. Kugar has regular white angel wings (they can also sprout six larger wings that look more like they're made of energy).
- Gender-Equal Ensemble: Almost manages this, but is slightly slanted in favor of guys. The playable character balance is 6 male/4 female, and the list of major NPCs would be perfectly balanced if not for Tinder's crew (3 guys).
- Gory Discretion Shot: Scott's death. Enforcers advance on him, then the screen goes black and the sounds of gunshots are heard, then the sound of a body slumping to the ground.
- Also Kugar's "death" at the end of phase 4. Though the screen doesn't turn completely black, the characters are reduced to silhouettes.
- Guide Dang It: Getting through the Underwater Facility. Especially the teleporter mazes.
- Also, finding some of the shards. The ones in Oberon Tower requires you to press the four switches in the order south, north, east, west, south (SNEWS). You are given no hint as to how to do this.
- Heel-Face Turn: Jake and Dread.
- Also, Scott and Violet almost immediately after being outed as The Moles.
- The Hero: It's hard to label any one character as this, as it's an ensemble piece, but Erin quite possibly qualifies. She tends to be the character the plot revolves around the most, and the one who relates to many of the plot elements the most. She certainly has the personality, as well.
- Heroic BSOD: Celia, once she sees Aila in phase 6. Indy manages to cheer her up again in phase 7.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Hawk, Dread, and Scott during the ending.
- Also Kugar, during the game's backstory, who gave up his life to resurrect Erin after she was shot by Tinder.
- Human Aliens: Gray, Leon, and Celia.
- Inexplicable Treasure Chests: Lampshaded by Scott in the game's tutorial section.
- Infinity+1 Sword: Each character has one, obtainable by defeating their darkside.
- The Tear of All Ocean is a more general example. Incredible stat boosts across the board, and has the properties of every element, meaning that if an enemy has an elemental weakness, it will hit it, no matter what.
- Informed Equipment: Justified; equipment for the "wear" slot is usually more akin to a small accessory, so not seeing any difference on the character's model makes sense. And if it's not an accessory, it's probably a jacket, but given how many characters wear Badass Longcoats the difference wouldn't be very noticeable.
- Item Caddy: Tinderbot. It literally has zero offensive abilities except for its Limit Break.
- Jack of All Stats: Leon. Also Scott and Jake, to a lesser extent.
- Justified Tutorial
- Killed Off for Real: Scott, Dread, and Hawk during the ending. Also Kugar, possibly.
- Late to the Tragedy: In the Orbital Prison. Something really awful happened there, but your only clues are a few notes in the form of an Apocalyptic Log and someone who has gone insane and mutated into a Body Horror.
- Law of Inverse Recoil: Magnums have incredible recoil; firing them one-handed is a good way to end up with broken wrists. However, Hawk manages to fire one one-handed with no problem at all during a cutscene.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Scott loves this trope.
- Lethal Joke Character / Glass Cannon: Indy; see the above note on Game Breaker.
- Let's Split Up, Gang: Avalon.
- Lighter and Softer: The game is still pretty dark, but is a bit lighter than the original overall.
- Lightning Bruiser: Lavitz, as a bonus character. Has even higher speed than Violet, and pretty high ATK and MND as well.
- For another bonus character example, Aila. Has the highest stat growth in the game, in every stat, period. Too bad they're a bonus character; see Bonus Feature Failure, above.
- Limit Break: Exceed abilities.
- Loads and Loads of Characters: There are ten playable characters total. Only three can be in your party at any one time. The game has no Leaked Experience. Have fun Level Grinding. If you beat the game, you can unlock ten additional bonus characters, who all start at level one. Forced Level Grinding indeed.
- Word of Neok says that he realized his error in including so many playable characters, and intends to make a smaller cast for the sequel.
- Lost In Transmission: In a secret area of the Dam Facility, where there is a computer that contains a log of the Underwater Facility, but is missing pieces and terminates itself halfway through. Also overlaps with Foreshadowing, naturally.
- Love Triangle: Between Scott, Violet, and Lavitz.
- MacGuffin Girl: Celia, somewhat. She takes it completely in stride, however.
- The Man Behind the Man: Aila.
- Marathon Boss: Kugar.
- The Medic: Erin and Reeves.
- The Mentor: Scott to Leon during the first two phases of the game.
- Metal Slime: Significant Bits in No Man's Land 3. They give out a whopping 50,000 exp; and can drop Rare Parts but are unkillable without static-damage syncs and flee when their EX is maxed out.
- Them running away can be minimalized by using EX or Speed Crush Fields, even using Breakdown (Reduces EX Gain per round/ability) can make it easier to kill them.
- Melons in the Orbital Prison core which have a countdown timer can drop Enhancers