Video Game: Bound by Flame
A French Dark Fantasy action RPG made by Spiders and released for all platforms on May 9th of 2014. Set on the continent of Vertiel, the story kicks off when a group called the Red Scholars attempt to build a mysterious artifact to help them defeat the seven Lords of Ice and their Deadwalker army. However, the ritual goes wrong and a mercenary named Vulcan finds him/herself possessed by a fire demon. Vulcan's possession forces players to choose between allowing the demon greater control in exchange for its infernal powers, or rejecting its influence and developing heroic skills on their own. The longer the game goes on, the greater threats become and the choice between giving in to the demon's influence becomes tougher. A choice-based game, how much influence you allow the demon to gain will affect Vulcan's relationship with companions as well as which missions are available to the player.
This game contains the following tropes:
- After the End: There are still a few remote settlements in very hard to reach places that the Deadwalkers havn't destroyed yet. While the elves and the sages have a plan that might defeat the Lords of Ice, there isn't really much left that could still be saved. When the sages are unable to get the gold they prommised as payment for the mercenaries, the captain doesn't really care, since there isn't any place left where they could spend it anyway.
- Ambiguous Gender: Throughout the course of the game, the demon is referred to by both male and female pronouns. The demon's voice and form actually is more masculine or feminine depending on the gender of your player character.
- Animal Theme Naming: The members of the Freeborn Blades are named as such: Hawk, Buffalo, Wolf...
- Blatant Lies: Don't trust anyone.
- BFS: Subverted with the two-handed play style. You will inflict a lot of damage, but it also takes a lot of time to swing the weapon, which leaves you exposed to surrounding Deadwalkers.
- Crapsack World: A world that is nearly overrun by Deadwalkers, and whose only saviours are a group of unpleasant,foul-mouthed mercenaries.
- Degraded Boss: The Deadwalker General is the Climax Boss of Valvenor Village, the first major arc. When you start reaching the tail end of the game, it's just another enemy type to kill.
- Demonic Possession: A major element of the game is choosing whether to allow the demon possessing you greater control for more power, or fighting off its influence and developing skills on your own.
- Dual Wielding: One of the two main combat styles is to dual-wield two daggers. Due to poor balancing, it's much easier to play the game like this and not bother with two-handed weapons or the fire magic.
- Expy: The Ice Lords and their Deadwalker minions are basically expies of the The Others/White Walkers and the wights from A Song of Ice and Fire.
- For the Evulz: We never really learn why the Ice Lords would spend decades building up their Deadwalker army to eradicate all living - though it's strongly hinted that it's because they simply want to Take Over the World, and will turn on each other once the opportunity arises.
- Giant Mook: The Swamp monsters, which are around three meters tall and very fat to boot.
- Item Crafting: A key mechanic. Usually you craft upgrades to existing equipment rather than new equipment.
- Just Before the End: This is the world where the Undead ounumber the living and are set on wiping out the resistance.
- Klingon Promotion: How The Captain attained his rank in the Freeborn Blades - and how Vulcan can attain the position, as The Captain wants to cut ties and run rather than help the Elven army.
- Magic Is Evil: Fire demons that possess people and steal their free will? Ice liches overrunning the world with a zombie horde? Take your pick!
- Magic Knight: Vulcan
- Meaningful Name: There are several within the Freeborn Blades
- Mook Chivalry: Averted. Deadwalkers have no qualms with attacking you in numbers, from multiple directions and at any time possible.
- Multiple Endings: Three of them.
- Vulcan separates the Ice Lords from their source of power and rule the world with the Demon's power. This ending can always be accessed.
- Sacrifice Vulcan and the Demon to destroy the Ice Lords and restore Vertiel while leaving the Worldheart crippled. Only possible with low demonic corruption.
- Restore the Worldheart, allowing the Demon to exterminate all life on Vertiel. Only possible if the Demon was allowed to corrupt Vulcan.
- Mundane Utility: Your character's fire powers. When you're not setting enemies on fire in combat, you can conjure up the flames to re-forge your weapons and armour.
- Noodle Incident: After meeting Mathras, Vulcan gets tasked with finding out about his love life. Upon doing so, Mathras mentions his 14th wife, the princess of Elephant City - after a quick Fade to Black, Vulcan mentions "But... that's gross!", causing Mathras to quip that that was one of his cleaner stories.
Vulcan: ... flesh... orgy... special trick... an elephant's... then an ice cube... plunged... and collect... coconut... the crowd... and drink it.
- One of the options on the quest turn-in involves whispered Noodle Implements.
- Not Using the Zed Word: All Undead are never referred to as anything but Deadwalkers.
- Optional Stealth: You're allowed to sneak by some of the enemy mobs instead of fighting them.
- Our Elves Are Better: Subverted. Although they start out looking like they hold all the expected Elven traits, it becomes clear that on the whole they are a decidedly unmagical bunch, and had no real advantage over any other races in the Zombie Apocalypse. And their Prince has the biggest, bushiest, manliest beard in game. Yes, you read that correctly.
Rhelmar: That joke's lasted fifteen generations!
- Most Elven NPC's delight in pointing out how silly the idea is, including Valvenor's smith claiming that the famous Elven bread that can "feed a family for six months" tastes like sand, and Rhelmar citing that humans and Elves are Not So Different, save for their very long (but not immortal!) life-spans.
- Playing with Fire: The player's magic, gained at the end of the prologue.
- Private Military Contractors: Our hero, Vulcan, is part of a mercenary group known as the Freeborn Blades.
- Ranged Emergency Weapon: The crossbow acts as one for Vulcan.
- Romance Sidequest: Based on their choices, the player will be able to romance some of their companions.
- She's Got Legs: Parodied grotesquely
- Swamps Are Evil: Subverted: the swamp surrounding the village of Valvenor is indeed a Hungry Jungle where Everything Is Trying to Kill You, but at the same time, the hostile terrain and wildlife does an excellent job at keeping the Deadwalker army away from Valvenor.
- Token Evil Team Mate: Edwyn's introduction has her killing Eolas, Sybil's father and leader of the Red Scribes.
- Trick Bomb: Vulcan can craft and throw flame bombs.
- "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: Mathras gives one of these about each of your party members in the "Sacrifice" ending. Presumably it changes depending on your actions throughout the game.
- Zombie Apocalypse: The game is set in the late stages of one, when Undead have already outnumbered most living and are advancing on the last vestiges of resistance.
Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night UsefulNotes/The Eighth Generation of Console Video Games Bravely Default