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Video Game / Doctor Who Legacy

Legacy is a tactical Match Three Game with Role-Playing Game elements based on Doctor Who, published for tablets, smartphones and Facebook by Tiny Rebel Games. It's part of the Doctor Who Expanded Universe.

Notable for its gorgeous art and its Continuity Porn, Doctor Who: Legacy proves that there's No Problem with Licensed Games. It's made for dorks, by dorks, and aims to celebrate all 50 years of the show. The game makes no division between "new" and "classic" Doctor Who, nor between the Whoniverse and the Doctor Who Expanded Universe: the game is filled to the brim with references and Continuity Nod moments, going beyond the televised canon and into the worlds of Big Finish, Titan comics, novels, and so on. Although solid in plot, Legacy also thrives on Rule of Cool and never takes itself too seriously. (Playable characters, for example, include Stormageddon, Tricey the Triceratops and Bessie.)

The story starts with the Sontaran empire, which has gotten its hands on time travel technology and is causing a massive Time Crash in the process. The Eleventh Doctor, Madame Vastra and Jenny Flint resolve to prevent the universe from collapsing, using colourful orbs of Circular Gallifreyan. They soon stumble upon the Tenth and Seventh Doctors, and eventually encounter Doctors, companions and friends from all over time and space. Scenes and battles from throughout history get mashed up together by the Time Crash — not that the Sontarans care, because if the glorious Sontaran empire becomes the last surviving stable point in time, it means they'll have conquered the universe. And there are others, much more cunning than the Sontarans, who would use the shredded Web of Time for their own purposes...

The game has an active fan community, and the creators frequently ask the fans for input and suggestions, which are directly reflected in new updates.

The story is a work-in-progress, adding significant new characters as they appear in the series, and is gradually released in chapters, four as of 2015. Gamers who spend a little bit of money are also allowed access to beta levels, bonus levels (including ones inspired by the latest episodes of the show starting with Series 8), fan-created content, and a Lighter and Softer set of levels for kids complete with cartoon-esque art.

Doctor Who: Legacy provides examples of the following tropes:

  • The Ace: Who else but Ace herself? Ace has one of the most powerful attacks in the game, although it's not surprising when the in-game art depicts her wielding her Anti-Dalek Rocket Launcher!
  • Always Save The Guy: Jack convinces the Doctor to make a detour and take him back to Cardiff, just so they can pick up Ianto.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: Alternate outfits are available for many characters. The Third Doctor, of course, has about thrice as many outfits as any of the others, though Twelve's wardrobe has been growing quickly via his bonus content levels.
  • Artificial Stupidity: Some monsters, the snowmen especially, are very fond of changing your gems' colors to the ones they're weak to.
  • Babies Make Everything Better: Stormageddon, Dark Lord of All is a pretty powerful character. (But he's still carried around by Craig.)
  • Beyond the Impossible: The Eleventh Doctor was supposed to be the final incarnation of The Doctor. Thus he is appropriately freaked out at the Twelfth's existence.
  • Big Damn Heroes: River and the TARDIS, rescuing the group from falling to their deaths in Bubble Universe Beta.
  • The Big Guy: Ironically, Porridge — his HP and attack power are both massive.
  • Break the Cutie: Rory tells the Doctor he can't bring himself to go back to Apalapucia. But he has to, of course. As Eleven explains that there's much worse in his own past, the Eighth Doctor just gives Rory a sorrowful look...
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: The tutorial level starts off with the Doctor and Vastra noticing the player hiding behind some bins, and they give a quick introduction on the game's mechanics.
  • Brutal Bonus Level: Every one of the Expert levels is a staggering hike in difficulty, some with the potential to one-hit-KO your whole team even if everyone's been raised up to 5 stars.
  • Call Back: While wandering around the Library, the team finds several books previously used by or involving the Doctor such as an ancient tale involving the doctor saving the town with a magical stick, The Time Machine and even Teach Yourself Tibetan!
  • Calling Your Attacks: The Tenza dolls combine this, rather creepily, with Finishing Each Other's Sentences. It's used for plot foreshadowing — two Tenza dolls attacks in a row will spell out "HE IS" / "COMING" or "SAY" / "HIS NAME"..
    • This was also used in a more lighthearted way for a Christmas 2013 Special Level, where the attack names of three Santa robots show the message "Happy Holidays Whovians!".
    • This was used again in an Advent 2014 level featuring the Tenza dolls.
  • Cast Full of Gay: The plot starts off with Jenny and Vastra, and two versions of Canton Everett Delaware III can join the crew shortly after that; Jack and Ianto show up later, as do Cinder and Ace.
  • Character Focus: Several characters have unlockable storylines built around them for those willing to pay.
    • "The Hunt For Greyhound One", which takes place in the second half of Season 5 (and expands upon material in Chapter 3 of the main game), is entirely about the search for the Brigadier.
    • The Eighth Doctor will have his own separate plotline in a future release.
    • The War Doctor will have a storyline written by Engines of War author George Mann, who contacted the game's designers because he'd gotten addicted to the game and wanted in on the fun.
    • The Twelfth Doctor's adventures in Series 8 and 9 are the basis for two different sets of levels, with almost every episode represented and each level released the day after it initially airs. The exceptions are "Listen" in Series 8 and "Heaven Sent" in Series 9, due to the former having No Antagonist and the latter (a Minimalist Cast episode) having one that can't be fought. (To compensate, an extra "Into the Dalek" level appeared in Series 8, while the 2nd Anniversary levels "The Event" debuted the day a "Heaven Sent" level would have.)
  • Continuity Porn: Lots of characters and concepts from Doctor Who are included in the game. The story first dabbled in Expanded Universe references by mentioning Frobisher and Liam McShane, as well as Charley, C'rizz, Lucie, Tamsin and Molly. Later on, characters from the Doctor Who Expanded Universe were included as playable characters, including Charley Pollard, Cinder, Gabby, and Alice Obiefune.
  • Cool Shades / Goggles Do Something Unusual: With the arrival of Series 9 comes the addition of the Twelfth Doctor's sonic sunglasses as a winnable, playable item.
  • Crisis Crossover: Once the Seventh Doctor shows up, it becomes clear that this crisis is going to require every single Doctor to solve.
  • Death Glare: The Twelfth Doctor's infamous for this trope, and this game playfully literalizes it — his most powerful ability, "Attack Eyebrows", dishes out tons of damage (96,000 points worth at level six).
  • Distracted by My Own Sexy: Jack has a bit of a moment when confronted with himself:
    That may be a Zygon body-print, but it's a damn good looking one!
  • Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors: Can halve or double the damage, meaning they're a core part of each team's strategy.
  • Excuse Plot: Something something time crash something something every Doctor and companion ever!
  • Expanded Universe: Not all companions are from the TV series. Some are from non-televised Doctor Who media, such as Gabby and Alice from the Titan comics, and Charley Pollard from Big Finish Doctor Who.
    • This has led to a bit of Ascended Fanon in the character design, since many Expanded Universe characters don't have a clearly defined look. Cinder (from Engines of War) is designed for the game by Paul Hanley, based on a cosplay done by Athena Stamos & Brian Uiga based on Hanley's first fanart of the character. The design for Charlotte Pollard's outfit was based on a photomanipulation done by a fan years before.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Although Tiny Rebel's definition of "ally" is very loose (see "Rule of Cool" below), they have stated that Arch Enemies such as Davros and The Master will not become playable, even if they, like The Master did in Series 9, become temporary allies on the series. However, they did allow the addition of a fan level inspired by that episode (called "Frienemies") in which The Master is a playable character on a default team.
  • Finishing Each Other's Sentences: The Doctors have a habit of this. So do the Tenza dolls (see Calling Your Attacks).
  • Glass Cannon: Offensive companions have high Attack, but low HP and Heal. Using them without proper support relies a lot of presence of mind when moving your gems.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Characters show up as the plot progresses, and sometimes get a proper introduction scene, but they can also simply be bought with crystals and added to the team as soon as the game starts. Additionally, the alternate outfits that the characters can wear are shown whenever they level up, but their cutscenes only show the default outfits. It's not exactly the most serious game in the world, though, so you're not meant to think about it too hard.
    • Several optional characters get dialogue in the Greyhound One expansion, even if you haven't unlocked them yet. Compare this to the main storyline, where the only companions who have any lines are 100% drops like Porridge, Vastra and Jack.
  • Heal Thyself: Aside from being the Eight Doctor's power and Famous Last Words, Pink gems have this effect. Certain companions have this as their special ability.
  • Heel–Face Turn: The Winders from Starship UK are recruitable, since the TARDIS lands several years after the events of "The Beast Below"; the Doctor cites his and Amy's special relationship with the ship's "driver".
  • Instant Seduction: Jack's skill is simply called "Hello". It instantly cures paralysis.
    • On the flip side, the Zygon imitating him has a stun power simply called "Charm".
  • Internal Homage: The level "When Rorybots Attack!" in the second season/chapter is a repeat of one of the Weeping Angel levels from the first season/chapter, but with all the Angels replaced with copies of Rory the Handbot from "The Girl Who Waited" — including a giant Rorybot at the end in place of the Weeping Statue of Liberty.
  • Knight in Sour Armor: The Eighth Doctor is lifted straight from the Time War to join the plot. He's not exactly thrilled.
    • Neither is the War Doctor.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: "I haven't seen "Asylum of the Daleks" yet but I'm sure this will be fine. Why is the shop selling a character called 'Oswin Oswald (Clara Dalek)'?"
    • Sonic Adventures spoils the big reveal of Series 8 ( Missy is the Master) right off the bat, and the Special levels based on episodes from that series onward occasionally drop spoilers as well.
  • Large Ham: THE MASTER.
  • Loading Screen: The game has quite a long load time on startup for a mobile game; to break up the monotony a bit, the genuine status messages are interspersed with messages like "Installing the Rassilon Imprimatur", "Repairing the Fast Return Switch", and "Negiotiating with the Silurians".
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: Let's just say you won't be running out of team options anytime soon.
  • Leitmotif: The Master has his four-beat drums.
  • Mad Bomber: Ace does awesome damage with her Nitro-9.
  • Me's a Crowd: Several alternate versions of characters can be used at the same time, and on the same team. Amy has four different character slots (Amy, Special Agent Amy, the Girl Who Waited, and Amy Pond+), even more than Impossible Girl Clara. And, of course, there's the Doctor. Having all these different incarnations of multiple people doesn't really affect the TARDIS, even though (or maybe because) the space-time continuum has much bigger problems to solve.
    • In the Sonic Adventures story, the Master's various incarnations team up to stop the heroes.
  • Mighty Glacier: Some Tank-type companions are this, having high HP and good attack. The others are more Stone Wall-like.
  • Non-Action Guy: Basically any Healer-type Companion. However, you'll usually only need one because they're capable of healing more than enough HP with just a modest combo chain.
  • One-Man Army: The Brigadier, to the point where the Doctors spend a very long time rigging the TARDIS just so she can jump into the right time track and recruit him, because the team needs his guidance to "think like an army".
  • Personality Powers: Naturally, due to the adaptation medium. The gem colours seem to loosely align with both an element and a personality:
    • Red aligns with Fire and is used for fire monsters. Characters with this colour tend to be Hot-Blooded (Strax, the Fourth Doctor), sexy and passionate (Jenny and Clara), willing to pursue scorched-earth policies (War Doctor) or all of these (River Song, the Tenth Doctor).
    • Yellow aligns with Electricity and is used by many robots. It also applies to moralising and martial characters with prickly personalities (like the Third Doctor, the Sixth Doctor, Vastra, Amy, the older Sarah Jane Smith and Danny Pink).
    • Blue aligns with Ice and Time and seems to be given to misfit intellectuals (Vincent Van Gogh, the young Sarah Jane Smith) and Timey-Wimey Ball enthusiast mad intellectuals (the First and Eleventh Doctors) as well as to ice monsters.
    • Green aligns with Nature. It's associated with plant or organic monsters as well as with gentle and easygoing characters with plenty of hidden strength (like the Second Doctor, the Fifth Doctor, the Seventh Doctor and Rory Williams).
    • Black aligns with Darkness. It's associated with Eldritch Abomination monsters (Oswin, Stormageddon Dark Lord Of All) as well as Loveable Rogue characters (Porridge, Charley), unfeeling machines (K-9), and tortured Byronic Hero types (namely the Eighth, Ninth, and Twelfth Doctors).
    • Stone, a sixth petrified type of gem with no way of bumping, appears when Weeping Angels show up.
    • Each Doctor eventually learns a secondary colour based on their previous incarnation's primary colour, as that side of their personality tends to carry over. The Second Doctor is green with blue as secondary. The Third is yellow with green as secondary. The Fourth is red with yellow as secondary. Fifth is green with red as secondary. The Tenth is red with black as secondary. Etcetera, etcetera.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: The Series 9 level inspired by Wham Episode "Face the Raven" is this, allowing the player to destroy the raven, trap street residents, and finally Ashildr — what the Twelfth Doctor threatened but couldn't carry out. It was even hyped with the phrase "Need Revenge?"
  • Rule of Cool: Go ahead and fill your team with a dinosaur, a pirate, a robot dog, a Gallifreyan WMD, or a Dalek. The game won't mind (even though some of them, like Tricey and Oswin, died at the end of their debut episodes).
    • There is literally a level titled "Eighth Doctor is awesome" in the 2014 Advent collection of levels, because creator Lee Cummings is "the most hardcore Eighth Doctor fan you could possibly imagine".
  • The Sacred Darkness: Black/darkness powers are as powerful as any of the other elemental powers represented, and used by both good and evil characters. It's also the yin to Yellow/Electricity's (or lightning) yang in that each deals double damage to the other.
  • Sapient Ship: The TARDIS is, of course, a playable character.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right: The War Doctor steers the TARDIS straight back into the Time War, just so he can pluck out Cinder from the events of Engines of War. He knows it's wrong (and Jack tries his best to dissuade him), but he does it anyway.
  • Shout-Out: Version 3.0 adds the optional bonus story Sonic Adventures. This may be a bit of YMMV, but there's no page for that...yet.
  • Status Effect: Paralysis, locked orbs, poison, etc.
  • Super Move Portrait Attack: Characters get these whenever they use their abilities.
  • Talking the Monster to Death: One of the Seventh Doctor's attacks is "Dundrearyism".
  • Taken for Granite: The Weeping Angels can make stone gems appear, or petrify normal gems into stone. Though they can be matched up and used to bolster combos, the stone gems chiefly serve to obstruct the player's board. Fortunately, the Third Doctor can convert them to pink gems.
  • Time Crash: The Sontaran plan starts literally ripping time apart, deleting entire races and planets... until even Sontar itself falls.
  • Title Drop: One of the First Doctor's abilities is called "Doctor Who?"
  • Villain Team-Up: Sontarans working together with Zygons!
  • Words Can Break My Bones: The default "gem" equivalents in this game are Circular Gallifreyan glyphs.