Video Game / Blade Runner

"Tiger, tiger, burning bright; in the forest of the night."
Clovis
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/bladerunnergame_7605.jpg
Original Box Art

Not to be confused with the 1982 film or the 1985 game for the Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum and Amstrad CPC.

Blade Runner is a 1997 point-and-click Adventure Game developed by Westwood Studios for the PC and published by Virgin Interactive. It is a rare example of a Video Game based on a movie which elects to develop a plot in parallel with that of the movie, rather than attempt to replicate the movie's plot (and, as a result, was actually well-received). The game follows the story of Ray McCoy, a Blade Runner, who works at the same precinct as Rick Deckard, the protagonist of the Blade Runner movie.

Blade Runner was the first real-time 3D adventure game and cleverly used voxels rather than polygon-based renderers. It also featured a randomized plot, randomly choosing which characters to make replicants, which would affect the storyline, adding rare replayability to an adventure game. It was well-received by many critics for its compelling story and exploration of the Blade Runner universe, receiving an aggregate score of 76.78% on GameRankings.

Blade Runner provides examples of:

  • Action Commands: There are at least two "ticking bomb" scenarios within the game, requiring you to act fast if you want to save a helpful witness.
  • Action Girl: Crystal Steele, who carries a shotgun rather than a pistol as her sidearm.
  • Advert Overloaded Future: Much like the film, the game also features many, many adverts and billboards.
  • Already Done for You: Frequently; many witnesses complain that they were already interviewed by another cop. (Guess who?)
  • Ambiguously Human: Replicants, naturally. And McCoy's status is hotly debated from the third act onwards.
  • Anti-Villain: Clovis. Much like Batty from the movie, he's a violent terrorist, but also an escaped slave who just wants to live in peace and extend his people's artificially-limited lifespan.
  • Arc Words: "That can't be me!"
  • Artificial Human: Replicants. And possibly McCoy.
  • Asian Speekee Engrish: Most Asian characters speak like this, but especially Zubin.
  • Ask a Stupid Question...: This gem from the first area:
    Ray: Hmm, a piece of chrome.
    Cop: From a car?
    Ray: No, I think it's horse chrome.
  • Backtracking: It's an Adventure Game. Go figure.
  • Ballistic Discount: The gun store has a robotic gun that tracks the move of every customer. However, you can shoot the proprietor and the robot gun will not fire. Doing so does not yield any loot, however.
  • Big Bad: Clovis, being the leader of the replicants.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Some of the endings are this. Such as escaping the city but having your love interest killed, or realizing you're a replicant and that you don't have much time to live.
  • Bottomless Magazines: No one ever seems to need to reload in this game. Played straight with your gun's normal ammo, but ammo upgrades only last a finite number of shots.
  • City Noir: Well, it is set in the same city as the film.
  • The Computer Shall Taunt You: Many irate witnesses will take jabs at your character.
  • Conjoined Twins: Luther and Lance.
  • Crapsack World: Like the film, though some elements from the book are used as well (e.g. humans using robotic animals as pets, or the kipple).
  • Critical Existence Failure: The player, and every single person you get to shoot at.
  • Culture Chop Suey: Chinatown serves sushi.
  • Cutscene: Usually at major plot points.
  • Cyber Punk: Like the film.
  • Cyberpunk with a Chance of Rain: Just like the film.
  • Deadly Euphemism: Just like the film, "retire" instead of "execution".
  • Deadpan Snarker: Many characters, sometimes even your own.
  • Defective Detective: Ray often seems a bit dim, and is undeniably impressionable.
  • Delivery Guy Infiltration: How the rasta man manages to get into the Tyrell building to assassinate one of the employees.
  • Dialog During Gameplay: Talking to people is required to advance the plot.
  • Dialogue Tree: Usually whenever talking to people, though the player can also set Ray's "mood" so he'll automatically pick a response in line with that during dialogue.
  • Dirty Cop: Guzza and Baker.
  • Do Androids Dream?: Like the film.
  • Down the Drain: At several points in the game you must trek through the sewers. Beware of rodents.
  • Downer Ending: Some of the endings are this.
  • The Dragon: Sadik is Clovis's right-hand man and a proficient fighter.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: If you're a replicant or their sympathizer, finding all four pieces of DNA information will give them a chance to extend their life. If you play as a true blade runner, saving Crystal will result in you two becoming partners and a much more upbeat ending than if only you survive.
  • Earth That Used to Be Better: Like the film.
  • Enhance Button: The esper machine, like the one Deckard uses in the film, is capable of enhancing still photos and even changing the viewing angle. Still photos do not work that way.
  • The Everyman: Ray doesn't really have any outstanding personality quirks, and pretty much serves as a "blank slate" for the player to project himself onto.
  • Exposition Break: Generally takes the form of fairly brief narrations by Ray upon entering an area for the first time.
  • Fantastic Aesop: Like the film, making poignant points about human nature and understanding.
  • Fantastic Racism: "Skin-job", and "Synthetic", to name a couple of slurs.
  • Femme Fatale: Dektora is a classic example, being highly attractive, classy and manipulative.
  • Final Speech: Can be invoked by many prominent characters, such as Crystal Steele or Runciter.
  • Flipping Helpless: As in the film, one of the questions asked during the Voight-Kampff test involves flipping a tortoise over onto its back.
  • Foreshadowing: Quite a few examples:
    • Early in the game you'll find a brocuhre advertising a type of replicant model. This is a hint about who the game's randomly picked as a replicant. E.g. if it mentions a Lolita model, Lucy will be a replicant.
    • When investigating a bombing scene, Ray will comment on whether the bomber was an expert who could have only been trained off-world or an amateur. This is important because the replicants are all off-worlders. If the bomber is an expert trained off-world, this means Sadik is a replicant. Otherwise he's just a sympathizer.
    • Ray can withstand several bullets and keep going. This might be a case of Arbitrary Gun Power. Or it might indicate he's a replicant with superhuman toughness.
  • The Future Is Noir: Just like the film.
  • Fixed Camera: Each area's camera is fixed.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Dependent on your actions, Ray can go from a rookie cop to a dangerous fugitive who's slaughtered more than a dozen policemen.
  • Gameplay Automation: You have the option of allowing the game to automatically choose what questions your character will ask.
  • Going Through the Motions: You'll see Ray wave his hands around more than an air traffic controller.
  • Hand Cannon: Crystal's gun, a sawn-off shotgun. Once you get the best ammo, your gun also becomes one - it can drop almost any human in only one hit, and even replicants usually take only 2-3.
  • Haunted House: The Bradbury Hotel - along with some of its decorations - can be downright creepy.
  • Hitscan: Guns in general.
  • I Can't Reach It: Just try examining an object from across a chasm. Go on, try.
  • I Fought the Law and the Law Won: Good luck not getting arrested at some point.
  • Impostor Exposing Test: The Voight-Kampff test. It even uses some of the same questions from the film.
    McCoy: You're in a desert walking along in the sand when all of a sudden you look down and you see a tortoise. It's crawling towards you. You reach down and you flip the tortoise over on its back. The tortoise lays on its back, its belly baking in the hot sun beating its legs, trying to turn itself over, but it can't. Not without your help. But you're not helping. Why is that?
    • However, the test isn't one-hundred percent accurate; ask too many low-intensity questions and you won't evoke a strong enough response from the subject to confirm whether they're a Replicant, but ask too many high-intensity ones and they'll demand you to stop the test before you can get a conclusive result. In addition, the test can give an inaccurate result if the subject is mentally unstable (e.g. Bullet Bob).
  • The Ingenue: Lucy Devlin is very much this, making her an unwitting pawn in someone else's plan.
  • Interquel: The game takes place during the 1982 film, and you can meet Tyrell and Leon (before they're killed, of course), and Leon's hotel room has already been searched through by Deckard. You can even see Deckard from the "snake scale" scene in the film in a photo you can analyze at one point.
  • Journey to Find Oneself: Some of the endings feature characters doing this.
  • Kick the Dog: That cute dog of yours? Don't expect it to live to see a new day.
  • Lack of Empathy: One of the Replicantss distinctive features, along with a planned obsolescence scheme.
    • What's especially chilling is that it's very easy to look at the situation in reverse; the replicants you are ruthlessly "retiring" are self-aware, sentient beings, capable of pondering their own identity and existence, begging the question: "Who really lacks empathy in this story?"
  • Late to the Tragedy: An investigator is you.
  • Level Goal: Once you've completed the important plot points in a chapter, you can go to sleep. Or be abducted.
  • Loading Screen: In 1997? No, how can it be?
  • Locked Door: Thankfully not too frequent, but there is the occasional locked door.
  • Love Hurts: All your potential love interests can get killed.
  • Mega Corp.: The Tyrell Corp.
  • Mercy Kill: This is an option with Runciter, later on in the game.
  • Multiple Endings: There are thirteen different endings. What's more, it's not possible to get all of them from a single playthrough, as some of the variables involved are calculated when a new game is started.
  • The Nicknamer: Crystal does this to Ray, always calling him "Slim".
  • Non-Combatant Immunity: You always have a gun, and even when you can't use it, such as while climbing down ladders, enemies will refrain from shooting at you. Until the very second you climb off of the ladder. Still, it's the thought that counts.
  • Now, Where Was I Going Again?: Well, it is an adventure game.
  • NPC Scheduling: NPCs important to the plot move around and complete their objectives in real time.
  • Only Idiots May Pass: You still have to go through most of the same conversations, no matter how many times you've played the game.
  • Or Are You Just Happy to See Me?: Bullet Bob says this upon the player entering his store.
    Bullet Bob: Is that a .45 blaster under your coat, or are you just happy to be here?
  • Paused Interrupt: This can result in laughable scenarios, where a character is interrupted mid-sentence, by another character simply starting to walk towards them, waiting until they're next to them to begin speaking. Although, you'll be grateful for this if the guy you were talking to has a gun trained on you.
  • The Plan: Guzza, your superior, has one of these going that actually leads to most of the things in Act III.
  • Point of No Return: These are generally marked by the end of each act (chapter).
  • Police Brutality: There are a few scenes depicting this; and if you mistakenly retire a human, even you are guilty of this.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: The game uses several characters from the film, but follows a plot happening in parallel to that of the movie, and further fleshes out the Blade Runner universe.
  • Private Eye Monologue: Ray gives one of these in the opening sequence.
  • Punch Clock Hero: Ray McCoy.
  • Questionable Consent: Ray can hook up with 14-year-old Lucy. They don't have any sexual contact, but their relationship is definitely shown as one of romantic partners rather than father-daughter.
  • Race Lift: Gaff, one of the few characters from the film who wasn't voiced by the original actor, now speaks fluent English with a decidedly Caucasian dialect.
  • Reality Has No Subtitles: It doesn't matter whether people are talking to you in English or not. You don't get subtitles. Deal with it.
  • Refuge in Audacity: A comedian takes the opportunity to publicly mock you onstage. While you're on stage with him.
  • Ridiculously Human Robots: The Replicants. Some of them also believe that they're human with implanted memories recycled from real people.
  • Robosexual: Possibly. In some of the endings. And even then, it's still not entirely clear or certain.
  • Scenery Porn: Oh, God, yes.
  • Scripted Event: Several chase sequences and ticking-bomb scenarios.
  • Shotguns Are Just Better: Crystal Steele carries one as her sidearm. And shoots it one-handed, too.
  • Shoplift and Die: A slight variant. Just try pulling out your gun too often in Bullet Bob's store.
  • Shout-Out: Many characters erroneously refer to Ray as "Roy". Guess why.
  • Smart People Play Chess: Sebastian and Tyrell.
  • Smug Snake: Gaff, if you take the rep sympathizer route.
  • Stupidity Is the Only Option: Only once or twice, thankfully.
  • Subtitles Are Superfluous: No subtitles are used in this game.
  • Talk to Everyone: Well, you are a detective.
  • Take That: In the firing range, Deckard is shown to have a far lower score than anyone else on the scoreboard. Deckard's score is 10, whereas the next-lowest score is 23.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: The player may or may not be a replicant themselves.
  • Turned Against Their Masters: The Replicants, of course.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: A persistent theme throughout the game.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Killing Bullet Bob makes Ray wonder about this aloud; for even if Bob were a Replicant, he was a pretty fun and benign one. He's actually always human, albeit seriously mentally unstable. The game will treat killing Bob as having killed a human, and this will be mentioned in a dialogue later in the game.
  • What the Hell, Player?: Killing a character without confirming whether or not they are a replicant leads to Ray giving a short monologue about it, filled with philosophical and occasionally ominous/foreboding undertones.
  • Woman in Black: Dektora wears a black dress off-stage and she's quite dangerous. She's either a replicant or their sympathizer.
  • You Dirty Rat: Rats really don't like your character, and have nothing but scorn for your desire to run around in sewers.
  • Zettai Ryouiki: Lucy Devlin, with her black skirt.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/VideoGame/BladeRunner