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Video Game: Clive Barker's Jericho

Clive Barker's Jericho is a 2007 squad-based, First-Person Shooter video game with supernatural and horror themes. Horror author Clive Barker provides the storyline, and the game is developed by Mercury Steam and published by Codemasters. The game was released on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC on October 23, 2007 in the US, and November 2, 2007 in the UK. According to Barker himself, a trilogy is planned.

The story revolves around the legend of the Firstborn, a being created by God before Adam or Eve. However, disturbed by his own creation, God banished it into a slice of reality known as "the Box" or "the Pyxis", forever unloved and forsaken. Naturally, the Firstborn is not happy about this, and despises humanity for being given what it was never allowed to have, and makes several attempts to escape, using human beings as its pawns by seducing them with dreams of whatever they desire. Each time it attempts to escape, seven powerful warriors, skilled in supernatural arts, would be sent to trap the Firstborn back inside its domain one more. Each time it is sent back, it takes back a piece of the earth to add to its domain. Fragments of time and space would form layers around this domain, linked to the mortal world in the city Al-Khali. These layers would entrap pieces of history within its walls. Unfortunately for the seven warriors sent to seal the breach, they would also be trapped inside the Box for all eternity. Death in the Box has no meaning; if one is killed inside the Box, they are taken away by flies and are reanimated by the Firstborn's powers, transformed into twisted versions of their former selves.

In the 1930s, The Department of Occult Warfare (D.O.W. for short), a top-secret U.S. Special Forces organization, was created, to combat the supernatural and unexplained, with the general population kept unaware. The top-secret combat arm of this agency are Jericho Squad Teams, a seven-man elite commando unit trained in conventional and occult warfare. When the lost city of Al-Khali reappears in 2007, the latest Jericho squad - consisting of Cpt. Devin Ross, Sgt. Frank Delgado, Lt. Abigail Black, Cpl. Simone Cole,Cpl. Xavier Jones, Sgt. Wilhelmina "Billie" Church, and Father Paul Rawlings - is sent to Al-Khali to prevent Arnold Leach (a former D.O.W. member, now the leader of a cult that worships the Firstborn) from opening the breach and unleashing the Firstborn upon mankind once again, traveling to each time the breach was opened (known as "time slices"), in order to seal the Firstborn away once more. These time slices are, in order: Al-Khali (2007 A.D.), World War II (1942 A.D.), The Crusades (1213 A.D.), The Roman Empire (38 A.D.), and Sumeria (3000 B.C.).

The gameplay allows control of all Jericho Squad members by jumping to each character during certain points in the game. Each squad member has both a primary and a secondary attack. They also each have a unique supernatural abilities, which play a prominent role in the game.

Seems to be a Love It or Hate It kind of game - it received mixed reviews, with some critics slamming it, and others praising it. It has since developed a small but dedicated fanbase.

Not to be confused with the TV series Jericho or another kind of Jericho.

This game has a character sheet.

Provides examples of:

  • A Fate Worse Than Death: Poor, poor Tertius Longinus. In fact, being trapped in the Box is A Fate Worse Than Death by itself - anyone who is trapped there is forced to spend eternity battling monstrous Firstborn-warped creatures, and anyone who dies there become said monstrous creatures.
  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: A few areas in the Crusades levels.
  • Action Commands
  • Artificial Stupidity: The enemy AI is dense as lead, and the allied AI isn't very smart, either.
  • BFG: Delgado's primary weapon, a three-barreled gatling gun named "Hell's Keeper".
  • Blood Bath: The Sumerian demon Inanna is encountered while taking a blood shower. As a skilled sanguimancer, she can use the blood to summon the Sumerian Puppet God. Some of the pools in the Roman baths are also filled with blood.
  • Body Horror: All over the place.
  • Body of Bodies: The Behemoth enemies.
  • Boom, Headshot: Extras can be unlocked for exploding a certain number of heads. It is best to use Black's sniper rifle for this.
  • Boss Rush: The Sumeria levels.
  • The Caligula: The hedonistic Roman Governor Cassus Vicus was banished to Al-Khali by Caligula himself.
  • Came Back Wrong: Pretty much every single enemy (although most of them were evil and/or insane to begin with).
  • Cliff Hanger: Quite possibly one of the most frustrating "endings" in existence.
  • Clive Barker: Self-explanatory.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: This game is full of swearing, but Delgado and Black especially love this trope.
  • Combat Tentacles: The Child Crusaders have them, in place of hands.
    • Church's Blood Magic traps also use them to bind enemies.
  • The Crusades: A twisted version of the Fourth one (set eight years after the real fourth crusade ended).
  • Cult: The Brotherhood of the Dark Rapture.
  • Custom Uniform: Each character's military uniform is unique.
  • Cut Short
  • Death Is Cheap: For anyone as long as Ross or Rawlings is up.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?
  • Disc One Nuke: Every member of the squad(except Ross) has at least one, most of which become available about a third into the short game.
    • Black: Ghost Bullet is able to pop the heads of up to three Mooks in one shot, her underbarrel Grenade Launcher gibs most common enemies in one shot, and then she always has regular shots from her rifle. Black becomes a borderline jack of all trades once her telekinesis is upgraded and sets enemies on fire while repelling them.
    • Church: Blood Ward. It paralyzes a majority of enemies completely, even causing legionnaires to lower their shields.
    • Cole: Temporal loop. Activate it and you can usually chuck three grenades or fire two full clips from her rifle before you run out of "time" for it. Just one grenade is usually enough to kill common enemies if it's set to an impact fuse.
    • Delgado: Ababinili won't always kill enemies with one hit, but it can even hit legionnaires through their shields and usually doesn't take more than two hits to kill even on hard.
    • Jones: His possession gimmick allows him to cast Blood Ward from the target's hit points.
    • Rawlings: His twin .357 caliber magnums can be adjusted to fire explosive rounds which tend to kill most enemies in two shots and Rawlings' old arms can fire those desert eagles pretty damn fast.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: The Firstborn is trying to bring about this.
  • Five-Man Band: More a seven man band, but...
    • The Hero - Ross. He's the squad's leader, and even dying doesn't stop him from being one.
    • The Lancer - Church. Leading female and Foil to Ross.
    • The Big Guy - Delgado. The squad's heavy weapons specialist. Huge guy and abrasive personality to match.
    • The Smart Guy - Both Cole and Jones. Cole has no paranormal abilities but nonetheless provides squad support by using her intellect and advanced computer equipment to hack the fabric of reality. Jones is more a traditional Smart Guy; he's the squad's expert on ancient languages and the occult.
    • The Chick - Rawlings. The guy provides spiritual support to the squadmates, and he's the healer as well.
    • The Sixth Ranger - Black. The squad's sniper. She's a bit of a loner as well.
  • Foreshadowing: During the 'Spiritual Guide' level, Black (when AI-controlled) may randomly mention that she can hear the ocean. This foreshadows the cliffhanger ending, after the fight with the Firstborn.
  • Functional Magic: Most of the members of Jericho have extremely practical uses for their abilities.
  • Gainax Ending
  • Gallows Humor: Jones and Delgado sometimes like to use this trope.
  • Gameplay Ally Immortality: The game ends if every member of the Jericho Squad dies. However, if a few of them have died during battle but the player manages to finish the battle, the incapacitated squad members usually get right back up again, even without the intervention of Ross' or Rawlings' healing powers.
    • This could possibly be explained by Cole's reality-hacking powers, as at these points your ammo is also refilled by turning back time in the characters' ammunition belts. Of course, this doesn't explain how it still works if Cole is incapacitated.
  • Ghostapo: The Geheimnisvoll Abwehrmacht is an elite army of psychic German soldiers, heavily tied with the Nazi hierarchy, who, in an apparent attempt to further their war effort, are attempting to open the breach.
  • Ghostly Goals: Although the influence of the Firstborn makes them a whole lot more monstrous than they probably would be in "normal" circumstances, the Child Crusaders are violently angry spirits desiring revenge on those responsible for their deaths - especially Maltheus.
  • Gnosticism: Most of the plot's underlying mythology.
  • Gorn: Strong and omnipresent.
  • Groin Attack: This game seems very fond of this (both implied and executed), what with the gaping holes in the crotches of the Cultists, and Lichthammer's threat to Rawlings when they first meet.
    • Both Lichthammer and Maltheus' crotch areas appear to be bloody and mutilated, too.
  • Hey, It's That Voice!: Ross is Steve Blum, Vicus is The Fear and Raziel, Lichthammer is Wuya.
  • Hide Your Children: Subverted with the Child Crusaders - sure, they cannot die. You wish they could, though.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: A weakened Maltheus is torn apart by the children who died fighting for him.
  • In Case You Forgot Who Wrote It
  • Jiggle Physics: Very subtle, but definitely there. Check out Cole's rack in the intro, for example. Or Church's boobs during her battle stance.
  • Karmic Death: Lampshaded by Jones when the Children tear Maltheus apart after Jericho team weakens him.
  • Kill All Humans
  • Kill It with Fire: Black's telekinesis eventually adds a touch of fire with the knockback, Church has the ability to cast a spell that ignites all nearby enemies, Delgado can summon a fire demon to go on a rampage, and Jones can ignite any poor demonic sap he possesses. If that's not enough, Cole eventually gains the ability to make all attacks by the entire squad do fire damage. Being a pyromaniac may quite possibly be a prerequisite for being placed in a Jericho squad.
  • Leitmotif: A recurring piece of music throughout the game is the game's theme tune, which plays almost every time the Firstborn appears. It is sung acapella utilising the voice of a choirboy and a low, ominous background choir to haunting, beautiful, yet creepy effect. A similar-sounding piece of music is used on the main title screen.
  • Mildly Military
  • Nintendo Hard:
    • Try doing the levels 'Blackwatch' and 'Exorcism' on Hard Mode, without cheats, without dying the first time around. Curse you, Machinegunners!
    • Not to mention an utterly, utterly evil section in 'The Low Road'. Delgado, by himself, versus a vast number of constantly spawning Exploding Cultists, with long spaces between certain checkpoints. And this is just on the Easy difficulty mode.
    • Or just try playing Church on hard in any place involving splash damage or ranged enemies. Casting from hitpoints doesn't work when being a One Hitpoint Wonder.
  • No Sidepaths, No Exploration, No Freedom: This trope is one of the biggest reasons why the game has drawn criticism.
  • No Swastikas: Lichthammer's SS armband is completely devoid of one.
  • Not Using the Z Word: Very rarely are the former-humans-turned-demons referred to as "monsters"/"demons" or anything of the like.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: In between all the combat.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: Kyrie eleison (which is greek for "Lord have mercy") and Confutatis Maledictis, the theme of Cassus Vicus. The music that plays while you make your way alone, without your comrades, through the catacombs of the medieval fortress also counts.
  • Ominous Music Box Tune: The Child Crusaders' theme.
  • Our Demons Are Different: They're all humans who Came Back Wrong. Or rather, were brought back this way on purpose.
  • Path of Greatest Resistance: There are a number of places where there is no obvious direction until something tries to kill you.
  • Peek-A-Boo Corpse: When Cole is running away from a battlefield, a random mutilated corpse, possessed by Lichthammer, suddenly sits up and grabs her.
  • Personal Space Invader: The Cultists (regular and Flying variants).
  • Precision F-Strike / Sophisticated as Hell: Cole, Jones, and Rawlings; in stark contrast to the pottymouths of Black and Delgado.
  • Press X to Not Die: In certain cutscenes, and when grabbed by certain enemies and occasionally when the Mooks get too close they trigger such events.
  • Real Is Brown: A very unfortunate problem with the backgrounds and environments is that they all look extremely similar, and the limited color palette doesn't help. It's common to unwittingly find yourself backtracking just because the area behind you looks like the area in front of you.
  • Religion of Evil: The Brotherhood of the Dark Rapture, again.
  • Religious Horror
  • Say My Name: When the Squad members die in battle, some of the other characters have a tendency to yell out their names if they are still incapacitated. However, story-wise, Black gets a pretty big one when Cole and Jones get blown to smithereens right in front of her eyes: "COOOOOOLLLLLE!!".
  • Scenery Gorn
  • Screw Destiny: Towards the end of the game, the Squad are told by Antadurunnu that, upon re-sealing the Firstborn, they will eventually enter a collective conscious and go into a dreamless sleep, only to be awakened by those who attempt to awaken the Firstborn. Although the team initially accepts this and try to say their final goodbyes to each other, Delgado decides that Antadurunnu is bullshitting them, stating that all they've seen of their predecessors is them being stuck to combat hellish horrors for all eternity, and, in the case of some of them, eventually going batshit insane. He states that they should just try and kill the Firstborn itself to end the cycle, proceeding to shoot Antadurunnu in the head.
  • Shooting Superman: The first thing that appears onscreen in the fight against the Firstborn is "bullets cannot harm the Firstborn." Guess what everyone immediately begins doing.
  • Shout-Out: When entering Vicus' gladiatorial arena, Delgado quips "I've seen this movie.". Later on, in the same level, Black mentions that her "spidey sense is tingling".
  • Sniper Rifle: Abigail Black is able to telekinetically control her bullets, steering them into the path of enemies. This helps a lot when trying to rack up multiple headshots. The rifle's regular bullets also work pretty well.
  • Spanish Civil War: Mentioned in some of the fluff as being where Lichthammer's mooks earned their stripes by doing absolutely horrific things to those fighting for the Loyalists.
  • The Squad
  • Stuff Blowing Up
  • Sword and Gun: Church's weapons are Nodachi (her sword) and Kenjuu (her sub-machine pistol). She prefers the sword.
  • Tactical Suicide Boss: In the first fight with Lichthammer, she conveniently teleports away whenever the player attempts to use Church's Blood Ward. In the second fight with her, however, she fails to be quite so alert - and it only takes one Blood Ward to end the fight...
  • Time Travel: Sort of. Time does not exist inside the Box, so the eras the Jericho Squad travel back to are actually frozen in time.
  • Timey-Wimey Ball: Cole can create temporal time loops using her equipment.
  • Torture Cellar: Lichthammer's lair. No prizes for guessing what those sharp, unpleasant looking instruments and that chair with straps on it are for...
  • The Unfought: Leach and Ereshkigall, who is also never seen. The game's unused ending would have featured her as the True Final Boss.
  • Unorthodox Reload: Cole is able to reload the Jericho Squad's weaponry by using her Timey-Wimey Ball to turn back time to a point where their weapons were already loaded.
  • Urban Legend of Zelda: There are two different rumours for this game - the first is that there is an extra scene after the end credits if you complete the game on Hard Mode (this rumour is probably due to wishful thinking), and the other is that - somehow - Ross will fight with Leach after the climactic battle with the Firstborn on a certain difficulty. None of these are remotely true.
  • Voice Actors: Many of the voice actors in this game are veteran voice actors of other games, Western animation, and anime. Steve Blum (Ross), Michael Bell (Vicus) and Susan Silo (Lichthammer) are some of the most notable examples.
    • To Biker Mice fans, Susan's performance can be QUITE jarring, considering it's her Karbunkle voice with a German accent. Then again, considering Karbunkle was based on German Nazi scientists, it all comes an odd full circle.
  • We Cannot Go On Without You: In the early chapters of the game (before Ross' Plotline Death), if Ross and Rawlings both die, then it's game over.
  • Wham Episode: The deaths of Cole and Jones towards the end of the game. Yikes.
  • What Could Have Been: There was going to be an Alternate Ending that ended up being Dummied Out. In it, the Firstborn turns out to be neither good nor evil. The High Priestess of Ur, Ereshkigall (who is also the True Final Boss in this ending), enslaved the Firstborn to use its power herself. The Firstborn was powerless to resist Ereshkigall, for it was lacking a soul. When Ross gives his disembodied soul to the Firstborn, it is finally able to destroy the vile priestess.
  • World War II: One of the time slices.
  • Your Head A Splode: There are actually Xbox 360 achievements for causing this.

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alternative title(s): Clive Barkers Jericho
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