Ancient Chinese literature as told by Ninja Theory
Enslaved: Odyssey to the West is an Action AdventureVideo Game developed by Ninja Theory. The game is published by Namco Bandai and out for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.Enslaved is a story set one hundred and fifty years in the future where a global war has devastated the Earth. In this future, nearly the entire human race has been eradicated, but robots still plague the land. Although they are from a bygone era, they are still following their orders to eradicate the humans. The storyline is loosely based on the ancient Chinese novel Journey to the West.The main character of the game, Monkey, is a lone wolf who's spent his entire life running from the machines. Eventually, Monkey is captured by the death machines, where he is placed on an airship for transport to the city of Pyramid. It is there that he meets a technologically adept woman named Trip. Trip manages to escape, freeing Monkey in the process, who goes after her in an effort to get to an escape pod. He ends up trying to hijack hers, and is knocked unconscious in the landing. When he comes to, Monkey finds that Trip has placed a slaver's headband on him in order to compel him to help her get home. She explains that she has hacked the headband so she can give him jolts of pain at will; and further that if Trip's heart ever stops then the headband will kill Monkey outright. As they try to make their way back to Trip's village they must fight robots that have been lying dormant for years. The two of them have a strained relationship but in order to survive this perilous world they need each other's help.
When you consider that Monkey is based on the Monkey King the same as Goku, it seems all the more fitting.
Anti-Hero: Trip, for enslaving a stranger after locking him out of an escape pod. Though justified in that her first encounters with Monkey make him seem like a sociopath. Pigsy as well. All three characters fit the trope.
Big Applesauce: The first part of the game is spent in the ruins of NYC.
Big "NO!": Monkey, courtesy of clinging to the outside of an escape pod right before it launches.
Belligerent Sexual Tension: Oh so very much, between Monkey and Trip. Also lampshaded by Pigsy when asking whether or not the two are "together". And again in the very next cut scene as Pigsy looks towards the back of the boat where Monkey and Trip are standing, only to have conveniently shaped rubble form a heart behind them.
Curse Cut Short: We hear Monkey curse out Trip for locking him away from the escape pods, but severely muffled by a sound-proof door.
Cursed with Awesome: Despite being, you know, a slave crown that shocks him if he gets uppity, the headband does offer a great deal of utility to Monkey, allowing him a HUD, communicator, and Augmented Reality in general.
Doomed Hometown: Trip ends up getting to her home only to find that the slavers have burned it to the ground and killed the inhabitants.
Enemy Summoner: Broadcasters. if they aren't killed within a certain amount of time, they will send out a signal for more mechs to show up. Stunning them will freeze the countdown for its duration, however.
Escort Mission: Basically the premise of the game, but Ninja Theory has assured us it would not fall into the usual problems with escort missions.
Essence Drop: Tech Orbs, found in the environment or dropped by robots are used to improve Monkey's abilities and weapons.
Leviathan is possibly Sha Wujing, due to his links with water and sand, (key features of the levels featuring Leviathan - an underwater base and a giant desert). It could also be a reference to the Dragon Prince/Horse, although the "dragonfly" that Trip uses as a scanning and scouting device may be a more direct nod to that role.
Hair Decorations: After reprogramming the robotic dragonfly, Trip usually wears it in her hair where it looks like feathers.
He Was Right There All Along - There's a section where Monkey, Trip and Pigsy are looking for parts to repair Pigsy's flying craft. The last part they need is a power cell, which they find sitting out in an open area, otherwise occupied only by large piles of junked machinery. Monkey and Pigsy have a brief discussion about how lucky they are to just find it sitting there, Monkey clearly not believing the group's apparent luck. Only after Monkey jumps down into the area and gets the cell does Pigsy warn him to "watch out for the Rhino." Monkey doesn't know what he's talking about - until one of the junk piles shifts, and a huge mech emerges from it.
Hey, It's That Voice!: The main characters are Gollum and-wait, Moze? (However, Monkey sounds nothing like Gollum. Andy Serkis is a pretty versatile voice actor.)
Historical Beauty Update: Xuanzang was probably not an attractive red-headed Wrench Wench. Or female. Having said that, though, the original novel stressed that Xuanzang was a very attractive young man - to the extent that in plays of the novel, the role of Xuanzang is often played by a woman.
Hit Stop: Occasionally used on the last in a group of mooks, as well as every time Monkey scores a hit on the Rhino.
Trip on two levels since, one, trip is a journey but also Tripitaka (Trip's full name) was an alternative name for the person Trip was based on.
Mr. Fanservice: Monkey. And how. A tall, gruff, perpetually-shirtless man with six-pack abs, decorative scars, warpaint and acrobatic skills topped off with gorgeous, expressive blue eyes? Sign me up.
Ms. Fanservice: Trip. Especially when you toss her up to a ledge; she bends over as she scrambles up, showing off her shapely rear.
Neck Snap: Monkey's first takedown of a turret is clearly meant to evoke this, despite the fact that he's snapping the turret's barrel.
New Eden: A large portion of the game takes place in breathtaking ruins of cities so post-apocalyptic that they're covered in lush greenery.
New Game+: You can play through the game again - even on a higher difficulty - with all the upgrades you purchased on your last playthrough.
Nonindicative Name: There are mechs called Dogs. Now, by normal video game logic, you'd expect them to be small Fragile Speedster support units for the ordinary humanoid mechs. Nope - they're hulking, razor-toothed behemoths that even Monkey is terrified of.
The little scarf thing hanging from Monkey's back pocket resembles a tail, something his source character (The Monkey King) had. Many of his movements and postures are more simian than human as well.
Shown Their Work: The game's creators claim to have researched just how long it would take for cities like New York and Los Angeles to become jungles and wrote the plot accordingly.
This is actually a bit of an aversion. New York City is built on marshland, and requires a functioning sewer system to avoid flooding. (This is dealt with extensively and specifically in Alan Weisman's The World Without Us.) Within a few decades of humans abandoning New York City, seepage would weaken the foundations and cause all the skyscrapers to collapse, with the arguable exception of the Empire State Building. Enslaved is set hundreds of years in the future, long enough for enormous oak trees to have grown in the wreckage, but by that point, the city should be overgrown swampland with chunks of vaguely-identifiable rubble sticking out of it.
Averted with the story the game is based upon. Outside of Monkey and his iconic equipment (staff, cloud, headband) and the names of the three main characters, the game leaves out many of the elements that were originally in Journey to the West, such as the remainder of Tripitaka's party, Monkey and Pigsy's transformation abilities, Pigsy's weapon (a magical rake instead of a gun), any of the monsters or foes the characters encounter, and the overarching story of a pilgrimage to bring back knowledge.
Simple Staff: Monkey's power staff is a little less simple than most examples; it's collapsible, for one thing.
Not to mention the fact that it also shoots plasma bolts. And EMP bolts.
Small Name, Big Ego: Pigsy doesn't stop reminding everyone how great he is. This annoys Monkey even more than the many other things that annoy Monkey.
Monkey: Pigsy, if you don't shut up I'm switching sides!
Stripperiffic: Trip runs around in a tube-top and extremely tight pants with strategic holes.
Tempting Fate: Monkey sees a bunch of combat mechs lined up, ready to be deployed. "At least they're not active." Nope - but they become active moments later.
Unexpected Gameplay Change: Pigsy's Perfect 10. While Monkey can easily tear through most of the Mecha-Mooks, Pigsy cannot take a direct hit and must rely on a mix of gadgetry, stealth and a sniper rifle to get to where he needs to.
The Unfair Sex: The game tends to swing towards this with Trip's enforced slavery over Monkey.
Unspecified Apocalypse: What exactly happened to nearly wipe out humanity is never even discussed, characters mostly focus on continuing their survival and barely question the relics of the past.
What the Hell, Hero?: Trip doesn't start her relation with Monkey on the best footing. She ignores him as he tries to escape the airship they're on as it crashes from what looks very much like her sabotage, she ejects her escape pod from the airship without him even as he's pounding and howling in terror on its window, and finally, she attaches a slave headband to him while he's unconscious that forces him to protect her life and obey her orders. His threat — and attempt — to rip her head off is pretty understandable.