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From the ashes will arise a pure and virtuous angel, wearing a crown of fire upon her head and carrying a bright white star in her right hand. She will speak with a voice of thunder, and will be feared by both men and demons alike.
— Unknown Indian Philosopher and Astrologer, 400 AD
What separates a vigilante from a criminal? I've asked myself this question many times. Yet I don't know the answer. I only know what I stand for...and what I believe in.
A Flash game series created by Arif Majothi, Anaksha focuses on a vigilante assassin who takes down the scum of the society of Santa Lina, one of the most corrupt cities in the US.In the first major game, Anaksha: Female Assassin, Anaksha starts by targeting domestic abusers, but slowly widens her net, and in doing so makes the city safer. When the man whose act of evil first encouraged her to start her crusade resurfaces, Anaksha becomes determined to take him down.The first game is followed by three Mini-Adventures, which are more graphical adventure games than assassin games like the first game. They work on a standard Chain of Deals setup and explore Anaksha's character a bit more. In the first Mini-Adventure, A Sea of Fire, Anaksha is charged with finding and killing the dangerous owner of a club while helping various people out along the way. The second Mini-Adventure, A New Threat, focuses on Anaksha's quest to get to the bottom of the trade of a new drug that is sweeping through the Hell's Cats district of Santa Lina like wildfire. In addition, there's another short Mini-Adventure, Quick Stop, that acts as an interquel between A Sea of Fire and A New Threat, where Anaksha has to make a pit stop and get on the phone with her contact, which proves a bit tougher than it sounds.The official second installment, Anaksha: Dark Angel, has Anaksha, known to the media as the "Virgo Killer," in perhaps her most epic adventure yet as she is framed for the murder of an innocent teenager and must find a way to clear her name in addition to finding a kidnapped orphan and putting a stop to a deadly drug epidemic sweeping Santa Lina.
This is my promise to all you sick bastards who have turned this city into a hellhole! All you parasites who've abused the system for your own gain; abused people for your own pleasure — retribution has arrived! Go ahead. Run and hide, bury your cowardly heads in the ground; I swear I'll hunt you down and show you the mercy you deserve — none! The angel of death is here...and your punishment is due!
Bad Cop/Incompetent Cop: Most of the cops of Santa Lina are either incompetent at their job (such as Sam Mitchell, who Anaksha nicknames "ChiefWiggum") or utterly corrupt bastards (such as the four Dirty Cops that Anaksha takes down before the final mission).
Based on a True Story: Arif has stated that some of the plot elements in "Female Assassin" were inspired by true stories - in particular, the story of a girl sold in a marriage is something that happened to one of his friends. Ouch...
Big Bad: Vincent St. Claire. His drug dealing was foreshadowed as far back as mission 4, and it's his actions that start Anaksha on her quest. In Dark Angel there are Three (Wolf, Big V and Bully).
Black and Grey Morality: Most of the police are either incompetent or corrupt, and the only one who has the power to challenge the monsters is a vigilante assassin with mental issues.
Boom, Headshot: Anaksha's preferred method of offing her targets. Since most people in Santa Lina wear body armor because of the rampant gun crime, this is justified.
Cruel and Unusual Death: Sarah, the teenage wife of one of your targets, dies perhaps the most horrible death of any of the victims of Anaksha's targets. Eamon, the husband in question, has already shown himself to be a nasty piece of work by killing the poor girl's cat, probably her only source of joy during her marriage to him, in sickening fashion by dousing it with butane and burning it alive, most likely to "show her who's boss." When she finally decides to divorce him, both he and Cal do the same to her, right after viciously beating her to within an inch of her life and cutting out her tongue. And yes, poor Sarah is conscious for all of this.
Cult: The Children of the Pyramid Cube, whose leaders want to organize a mass suicide of their members, including children and babies. Their lunacy is largely inspired by Time Cube.
In the Mini-Adventure "A New Threat," you meet a lunatic who is apparently a member of the cult in question, who goes on about "truth mucus" and how circles are the devil.
Dark and Troubled Past: Anaksha is haunted by her failure to save her friend from Vincent St. Claire. When Anaksha defeats St. Claire in the final level, she finally moves on.
Dirty Cop: Anaksha kills four of them who have been destroying evidence for St. Claire, as well as gang-raping a 13-year-old girl in their patrol vehicle and getting her sent to prison on a false drug possession charge.
Domestic Abuser: Anaksha's early targets are these, often brutalizing and/or out-and-out murdering their significant others.
Driven to Suicide: The victim of the first three child-rapists Anaksha is charged with taking down, hanging herself in the hospital due to the horror of what she went through.
Dumb Blonde: Both played straight and inverted with D. She is a computer genius, but it takes her a while to finally pass the driving test.
Earn Your Happy Ending: Anaksha, and the whole city, earn this after Anaksha takes down St. Claire (who happens to be one of the most powerful crime bosses in the whole city.)
Forged Letter: In the Mini-Adventure "Quick Stop," Anaksha does this to save the job of a convenience store clerk who did her a good turn by allowing her to use the store's restroom, which is normally reserved for employees only, but was ratted out by her rather crankish co-worker. The document in question is a letter of apology, which some unscrupulous employers use as a trick to get a signed confession out of someone so they can have a legal excuse to fire the person anyway, denying them any grounds for a lawsuit. Anaksha does this to allow the clerk an "out" in this should they indeed decide to fire her, and offers her a job at the Zaranna Corporation in case all else fails.
Frameup: Anaksha is targeted with one of these in Dark Angel.
In Female Assassin, Anaksha has a brief breakdown early in the game when she believes she killed an innocent man, resulting in a 10-Minute Retirement. Her uncle, BabaJi, sets her straight on who he really was, and after she takes out three vicious child-rapists, she is more than ready to take on the scum of the city again with a new resolve.
In Dark Angel, Anaksha has another BSOD when she is branded as a bogeyman by the children she wanted to protect. Dee helps her get out of it.
Hypocrite: Several of Anaksha's targets are moral and religious hypocrites.
In "Female Assassin", Anaksha takes down a man who is known for his preachings of good behavior and sexual abstinence, but at night stalks women at bars, blows his cash on teenage hookers and backstreet casinos, then comes home broke and drunk to beat seven shades of hell out of his wife, who works two jobs to keep their home from being repossessed.
In "Dark Angel", one of Anaksha's targets is "a firebrand preacher" - a highly religious man who loves to engage in petty theft, arson and having sex with his 11-year-old granddaughter.
Ironic Death: Ziggy begs Anaksha not to shoot him. So she throws him out of the window, not even bothering to open it.
Kick the Dog: Every one of your targets has done something heinous or horrific to wind up on Anaksha's hit list.
In "Quick Stop," Tracy rats out Melissa, her co-worker, to their boss about letting Anaksha use their store's bathroom which is reserved for employees only — technically "following the rules," but most likely done out of spite and still a jerkass thing to do under the circumstances, particularly since Melissa has two pre-school age kids to support and the boss puts her into the bind of having to write an apology letter to keep her job, which could get her fired anyway with no grounds for a lawsuit (some less-than-scrupulous employers use letters of apology as a dirty trick to get a signed confession out of someone so they can have a legal excuse to fire them).
Karmic Death: What happens to the man who intended to kill Jack.
Karma Houdini: Big-V in Dark Angel never receives justice, either arrest by Jack or a bullet from Anaksha. To be fair, this could just be a Sequel Hook.
Meaningful Name: Anaksha's company is named 'Zaranna." This is a combination of "Zara" (Anaksha's friend whose death sent her on the vigilante's road) and "Anna" (short for "Anaksha").
Mentor: Anaksha has one in Edward, her adoptive grandfather, whom she calls "BabaJi," and who taught her how to use the sniper rifle.
Mission Control: Anaksha gains one of these in D, a computer expert and granddaughter of a guy who Edward fought alongside during the war.
Off with His Head!: Several of Anaksha's later missions require her to decapitate a target with her sniper rifle.
One-Woman Army: Anaksha. At least, in the beginning of "Female Assassin". Later, she meets BabaJi and D, though they're mostly support.
Politically Incorrect Villain: Trent is a misogynist, just like the guy Anaksha kills in "Sea of Fire" and the drug-dealer she tortures in the beginning of 'Dark Angel". Anaksha also takes down a couple of racist murderers.
Panty Thief: Anaksha gets to take one (of a genuinely dangerous kind) down.
Pay Evil unto Evil: As a vigilante assassin, this kind of thing is par for the course for Anaksha.
Potty Emergency: Anaksha is in the middle of one at the start of Quick Stop.
Red Baron: Anaksha is known as the "Virgo Killer" after someone snapped a picture of her shoulder tattoo of the Zodiac symbol Virgo during the game. Interestingly, everyone (aside from a crazy psychic in a TV interview) seems to believe the Virgo Killer to be a man, and Anaksha does nothing to disprove such speculations.
Religion of Evil: "Children of Pyramid Cube" look like this. Also, in "Dark Angel" four of Anaksha's targets are the followers of the cult which requires drinking animal and human blood.
Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Anaksha first targets abusive husbands, child rapists and other assorted scumbags, but after St. Claire resurfaces, she spends the entire 3rd act disrupting his operations before finally taking him down in the final mission.
Serial Killer: One of the targets, Edward Riley, is a cannibalistic serial killer. He's murdered, skinned and eaten at least forty people, all of them hookers. He is the first target who you get to give the full Your Head A Splode treatment to, and it couldn't happen to a more deserving piece of work.
Shadow Archetype: A rare nonevil example in Jack Goldwyn. Jack is reasonably pleasant if abrasive, refuses to kill and has a strong belief in the law. Anaksha cares about justice, but has disdain for the cops, is more than willing to kill and has a lot of deep seated mental issues to the point where her only friend is a computer geek.
A Simple Plan: All Anaksha wants to do in Quick Stop is go to the bathroom and call D. While getting the former is relatively simple, getting the latter proves to be the harder task, particularly since her cellphone is dead and the pay phone has been vandalized.
She Who Fights Monsters: Anaksha worries about becoming this at several points in "Female Assassin": "Killing that piece of scum was exhilarating, but is it wrong to enjoy this? Will I become like them, reveling in pain of others?"
Shout-Out: The entire Pyramid Cube cult is a shout-out to Time Cube, what with the talk about "educated stupid" and such.
Slashed Throat: How several of Anaksha's targets have murdered people.
Straight Edge: Anaksha doesn't smoke, doesn't drink and doesn't do drugs. She's also not too fond of porn in general, and the only ink on her is the Virgo symbol on her left shoulder.
Tampering with Food and Drink: During A New Threat, Anaksha tries this to get rid of Trent, poisoning his whiskey using a nasty concoction whipped up by Brad. It doesn't work, but fortunately, Brad was able to create another poison pill just before he died, which she can use to poison an insulin syringe, which becomes her final weapon against him.
10-Minute Retirement: Anaksha nearly suffers a breakdown after she thought she killed an innocent man, fearing that she has become like the scum she's been sniping off. Edward helps set her straight on what he really was, however.
Villainous Breakdown: The reason Vincent St. Claire tries to obliterate his school is because Anaksha has seriously damaged his operations, and made it harder for him to conceal them. The bogus email he sent to the police and the media in the name of the Virgo Killer flat out shows that Anaksha "made his blood boil."
Weapon of Choice: Most of Anaksha's killings are done with a sniper rifle, but during the Mini-Adventures, she also uses a .45 Automatic.
Wretched Hive: The city of Santa Lina, especially the Hell's Cats district.
Your Head A Splode: After the first five missions, Anaksha gets her hands on some new bullets from Edward that can do this to her targets. Certain missions require you to asplode a target's head in a certain way. For example: one mission dealing with a crazy cult requires you to destroy the leader's brain so that the cult has nothing to preserve.
The Temple Shot allows you to give a target the full head-explosion treatment, and is first seen in action against Edward Riley, the Serial Killer.