Video Game: Breath of Death VII
A parody roleplaying game available on Xbox Live Indie as well as on Steam
on the PC. The game takes place after a nuclear apocalypse wipes out mankind,
leaving the undead to rebuild society. The main character is a heroic skeleton
. A sprightly ghost girl named Sara forcibly joins him on a quest to explore ruins and other such heroic nonsense.
Available for only 80 MSP, about a dollar, and taking about 5-10 hours to beat (depending on how deliberate you are at grinding and exploring). Designed with a deliberately nostalgic-retro vibe with few animations and many "modern" conveniences such as improved pacing, quicker Turn-Based Combat
mechanics, and a capped number of Random Encounters
in an area, the game was viewed favorably by reviewers and has sold over 40,000 copies. The developers even noted that about two-thirds of gamers who tried the demo ended up buying the already-cheap game anyway.
Since then, the creators have released another game with equal levels of snark and parody called Cthulhu Saves the World
. Yes, the title is indeed accurate in regards to the plot. Both games are also available on Steam
in a two-for-one pack; once again, they are still almost absurdly cheap for the content. The PC versions even include new content, such as new party members, more dungeons, and an alternate campaign in Cthulhu Saves the World
Tropes used in Breath of Death VII: The Beginning:
- Absurdly High Level Cap: Skills stop being obtained and upgraded after level 30, which can be comfortably reached with not too much grinding, but levels can still be gained for stat upgrades, with no such thing as a hard cap to stop you.
- Absurdly Spacious Sewer: Zeboyd would like you to know that, due to legal obligations, they were forced to include one of these levels.note
- Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: Lampshaded in Motherbound, one of the late-game towns, where a fellow adventurer laments that she can't buy any equipment because the shopkeeper charges such exorbitant prices, but the monsters outside the town are powerful late-game monsters, so she can't go farm for gold either, and wishes that she started out in Palad-Lenus instead.
- After Combat Recovery: After each fight, you regain full hit points and a few magic points. Unless you park at save points and enter battles from the menu until the random encounters turn off, you'll be scrambling to keep your party members' magic points afloat. Except for Sara, who regenerates a large chunk of her MP after every battle even if you don't elect to increase her post-battle MP regeneration when she levels up.
- After the End: Post-apocalyptic Earth is full of monsters, magic, and the undead. But it's pretty okay otherwise.
- Already Done for You: If there are multiple MacGuffins to collect, they're always found all at once.
- Anachronism Stew: Pre-apocalyptic technology, including robots and laser weapons, are sprinkled around the world, which has otherwise regressed to vaguely medieval levels.
- Bittersweet Ending: The party ends up sacrificing themselves (and, by extension, their whole timeline) so the last human can undo the event which created their world in the first place, saving the world (for the humans). You get memorialized for your efforts, though.
- Blatant Lies: Using Poison on a boss returns a message that he's immune, then the boss gets hit for damage at the end of every turn anyway.
- Bonus Dungeon: The Super Secret Cave, as well as the other secrets caves hidden in the world map.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall:
- At one point your party members ask the narrator where they're supposed to go next to advance the plot. The narrator gladly obliges.
- Later on, your characters make remarks about how short the game is and whether it was worth the $3 it cost the player to buy it.
- But Thou Must: No story-relevant choices are actual choices, from the beginning up to the end. For example, when given the choice to give up the crystals and completely erase the hero's timeline, the player is given a choice between "Yes" and "Sure".
- Boisterous Bruiser: Erik. An unusually snazzy one, as his armors are progressively fancier suits and his ultimate weapon is a chainsaw axe.
- Cute Ghost Girl: Sara.
- Cute Monster Girl: The female party members and a couple of NPCs.
- Deadpan Snarker: Dem. Unfortunately, since he doesn't have a tongue, only Sara can hear him snark. She's not above misrepresenting him, either...
- Dem Bones: Dem, of course.
- Disc One Nuke: Lita's early weapon, the Shotgun could be considered the best item in the whole game. A measly +20 Strength, but can hit all enemies. Just about every non-boss encounter in the game has at least three enemies, and you're going to see groups of four or five in about half the fights you have. Even the bosses have minions half the time. Add in the level-up bonus of +1 Hit she can get, and suddenly it's doing double the damage - around 250 per monster at the end of the game. With this you can go through the final dungeon without using any magic.
- Dynamic Difficulty: A variation: Enemies get gradually stronger with each turn, encouraging players to take down enemy encounters as quickly as possible.
- Engrish: Parodied, naturally. Imps use poorly-localized magic spells (Foiya Boru!).
- Everything Sounds Sexier in French: Erik sure hopes so, though it's not the case with Lita.
- Evil Counterpart: You fight your evil dopplegangers at one point.
- Failure Is the Only Option: You know how a lot of games put chests or locked doors in early towns you can only open much later by going back? You will never be able to open them in this one.
- They even Lampshade it/taunt you with this too.
- Friendly Neighborhood Vampire: Lita. She's no threat to the party and gets her fix with the Drain Life spell.
- Well, the party consists of a Skeleton, a Ghost, a Zombie, and her. There's not a lot of blood to be had.
- Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: Most of the bosses come out of nowhere with no narration beyond "you feel the presence of a terrifying [monster]" including the final boss who is some random reaper-like thing called Ultimate Evil.
- Healing Checkpoint: Checkpoints restore mana.
- Heroic Mime: Parodied. Dem can not speak, due to lacking a tongue and vocal chords. Yet you hear his inner monologue often. However, everyone interacts with him like he's a classic Heroic Mime, even if it runs counter to what he's actually thinking.
- Sara can hear him though, but happily ignores everything that doesn't suit her.
- HP to One: The final boss has an attack that does this.
- 100% Completion: Played with: Pretty much every town torments you with a chest or locked door you will never be able to open.
- Increasingly Lethal Enemy: Every enemy gets stronger the longer the fight drags on, pretty much ruling out any turtling strategy.
- Interface Spoiler: The descriptions on weapons and armor dutifully inform you of who can equip them, even if you haven't met them yet.
- Infinity+1 Sword: Dem refuses to steal from townsfolk, though, so despite the chest screaming Bazooka of Ultimate Awesomeness, you aren't getting it. Ever.
- Beating the Bonus Dungeon nets you Excalibur, which is appropriately awesome.
- Kleptomaniac Hero: Averted when you discover a shiny golden loot chest in a village building, only for your main character to proclaim his refusal of involuntary donations to the saving-the-world arsenal.
- Lampshade Hanging: A lot.
- Last Disc Magic: The "Death Breath" ability is gained when you defeat your evil doppelgangers. It's extremely powerful and can annihilate just about any group of enemies in just one hit, albeit at a high mana cost. However since you get this spell right before facing the final boss, there's not really much to do with it unless you want to level grind before (or after) facing the boss.
- Loophole Abuse: Since random encounters are limited and can be triggered manually if you desire, it's a viable strategy to simply park by a save point and trigger encounters over and over again until you've hit the limit, using the unlimited MP you get from the save point to spam your most powerful spells and win with ease.
- No Hero Discount: Lampshaded with weaponsmiths, averted with inns. One NPC comments that weaponsmiths will never give you a discount no matter how famous your are, but inns let you sleep free on account of being famous.
- Our Zombies Are Different: Erik. He's outrageously French and hypothetically a Casanova. Unfortunately, he's prone to blurting out "LE BRAINS!" now and then.
- Plot Coupon: There are crystals to collect! Good thing they're all in one place already.
- Random Encounters: Present, but refreshingly limited. There's a set number in each area, and once you've done enough the attacks stop. You can even trigger them manually with the Fight command, which also works once you've exhausted the limit. The limit is in the hundreds in the open, but limited to about 20 or so in most dungeons.
- Ret Gone: You do this to yourself so the human race can be revived.
- Retraux: The game is an 8-bit throwback with 16-bit-quality monster and character portraits.
- Some enemies have attacks in Engrish on purpose, such as "Fureezu Aro", as a reference to translation errors in old 8-bit/16-bit games.
- Required Secondary Powers: Dem can't actually speak, on account of lacking nearly every part of human anatomy required to do that. Luckily his party has a telepath, and the player gets to hear his thoughts.
- Satire/Parody/Pastiche: The game is a pastiche of NES-era RPG mechanics and a parody of 16- and 32-bit RPGs.
- Satellite Love Interest: Parodied with Dem and Sara. They're arbitrarily granted the True Love power near the end, though Dem's last words—so to, uh, speak—may imply it's not so arbitrary after all... In contrast, after Lita refuses to reciprocate Erik's advances, they gained the Scorned Love tech.
- Sequence Breaking: Denied! Right in the text, too.
- Shout-Out: There are tons of quotes from, and gags about, a number of other games.
- Space-Filling Path: If an area has enemies you can bet that you will need to snake your way through it. The city ruins are especially contrived with shrubs and overturned garbage cans teaming up to barely block your path and force you to tour every building in the city to reach the goal. This is necessary as a good amount of distance can be covered between random encounters. It's not so bad if you grind through the encounters first, which just makes finding the right path a minor chore.
- Spiritual Successor: Cthulhu Saves the World, which features similar gameplay and writing.
- Take That: Dem grumbling about the shortness of the game is a jab at players who complain about the (fairly modest) price of Indie games.
- Theme Naming: The towns' names are all portmanteaus of classic RPGs' Japanese and English titles - Lufestpolis, Palad-Lennus, Motherbound and Langsong. The party members realize this and think that it's an odd thing to do.
- Useless Useful Spell: The trend of bosses being immune to status effects is lampshaded by one of the Motherbound NP Cs.
- A Winner Is You: The last screen, right after everybody dis-exists.
- Wrench Wench: Lita is a gearhead who specializes in taking out machines. She's in on the mission to get her hands on abandoned equipment.
- Zombie Puke Attack: Zombie prince Erik has a technique that lets him puke at enemies to inflict poison. Other zombies can do this as well.