Video Game / Firefall

"Hey! I heard about you! Some new idiota thinking he can compete with the rest of us. Put your crystite where your mouth is, little one. You can find me at the bar."
El Terremoto, in his pre-Live NPC Amnesia glory

Firefall is an MMO shooter made by Red 5 Studios. Features jetpacks, The End of the World as We Know It, aliens that came from a sentient radiation storm, and cartoony Cel Shading.

The main premise of the story is that after a tragic cataclysm, the titular "Firefall", the world shatters, continents are rearranged, and countries are broken and fragmented. To top it all off a giant spaceship explodes and crashes on earth, unleashing a giant storm called The Melding which starts to cover the Earth leaving only New Eden, a piece of land in Brazil that survives only because the aforementioned starship crashed there and is repelling The Melding somehow. (At the front page of the website there is mention of repulsor technology that pushes back The Melding but it hasn't shown up in leaked lore yet.)

From this storm rises a new species called themselves the Chosen. They seek to eradicate the human race and eventually conquer the world.

The game is touted to be in an open persistent world in which "hundreds" of players can play together and try to defend themselves from the Melding.

The main website can be found here. The final version of Firefall was released for everyone on July 29th, 2014. The game officially went live on this day. Some beta patches have introduced overhauls to various parts of the game, so some tropes can be applicable to certain previous version of the game rather than any version.

Has a finished tie-in comic, Affinity, written by Orson Scott Card. Yes, that Orson Scott Card.

Firefall provides examples of

  • Advancing Wall of Doom:
    • In open beta, melding repulsors can be triggered to gradually push back the melding wall and temporarily hold it at its new front. The wall advances back into place after repulsor charge is spent (with time or due to mobs sabotage).
    • Major "town" repulsing towers if not properly defended in a Chosen invasion event (regular in open beta versions), get destroyed and result in melding gradually, if rather quickly, engulfing the place, wiping out all players still there by that time.
    • "Melding pocket" located at the other end of the portal left by freshly destroyed Melding Tornado is optional to visit and is essentially a contracting bubble somewhere withing the melding. Melding wall advances in with short pauses, leaving less and less safe space and killing anyone too slow to escape it.
  • After the End: After both of them. Surprisingly, humanity hasn't lost its technology; they've just lost population. A lot of it. In fact humanity has moved on and created even better tech.
  • A.K.A.-47: Weapons such as the FN P90 submachine gun are replaced with charmingly-named clones like the "Carnage Septu Slayer-Grade".
  • Allegedly Free Game: Notably averted. Red Beans (the real money currency) can be bought with in-game currency, and most of the items in the shop are cosmetic in nature or of the "temporary exp/currency boost" variety. The only thing that comes close to an exception is the advanced battleframes, which are still not overpowered compared to their basic free counterparts. In fact, an not-infrequent complaint is that people want to spend money but have nothing to spend it on!
  • Applied Phlebotinum: Crystite, a substance first brought to earth by the Firefall event. It's essentially used for super-power generators, and these days everything runs off it. It also is a form of currency. New lore indicates that actual pure crystite is rare. Most crystite is flawed in some way and mixed with other elements.
  • Artistic License Biology: Available in beta versions, Arsenal Battleframe passive ability is described as triggering Electromagnetic Pulse discharges upon ability use. Without much in the ways of visualization, it does the same AoE damage to anything from robotic "Chosen Drones" or turrets to organic-matter fauna or human bandits. EMP should be near-harmless to organics.
  • Awesome Backpack: Everybody gets a backpack and jet boots/packs (Except for the engineer who has the pack in their left arm.) The backpack holds class specific abilities (Such as Crater for Assault or Healing Wave for Medic)
  • The Battlestar: The Arclight, the largest spaceship built by man. Technically meant for 'research and colony aid,' its primary purpose was as a military ship to keep control of the faraway Alpha Prime colony and its vital crystite deposits. First ship to use arcfolding technology. Unfortunately, it exploded and crashed when humanity attempted their first arcfolding launch. The resulting crash created a rift to an alternate dimension which allowed the Melding to reach earth.
  • Beehive Barrier: The Dreadnaught can put up a small one on the end of his minigun to block some incoming damage, and the Engineer can drop a bigger, stationary one.
  • BFG: The Plasma Cannon for the Assault and the Minigun for the Dreadnaught count. The Chosen also carry Cannons and Miniguns.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Aranha is Portuguese for "spider", which is what the alien bugs resemble. You'll also seem them occasionally referred to as "spiders" (in English) as well.
  • Boom, Headshot: Some, not all, weapons deal extra damage on headshots.
    • In pre-"Live" versions, the signature sniping rifles of Nighthawk and Raptor battleframes — among other things, immediately grant a bonus of experience points for scoring a headshot (even if it weren't lethal). If killing a humanoid normally would net some 8 to 10 XP, these sniper rifles send it up to 100 XP with bonuses for one-shot-headshotting.
  • Bug War: Among the lower-level mobs, we have Aranhas (skinny spiders), Hissers (bigger spider/crab things), Skivvers (weird crayfish/bug things) and Culexes (giant-ass mosquitoes). They're all attracted to working thumpers, so when you go mining, you're bound to wind up fending some of all of them off.
  • Cel Shading: Reminisent of Borderlands, though they were developed separately. The devs have said that they were already leaning towards cell shading even before Borderlands came out. One version of the story even has a collective groan from everyone in the studio as the new design for Borderlands was shown.
  • Chainmail Bikini: The female Assault Armor is best described as armored Daisy Dukes... that weigh in at 8 tons.
  • Chainsaw-Grip BFG: The rotary weapons of Dreadnaught battleframes (mimicked by if not identical to some bandit weaponry) and Chosen Executioners.
  • Cleavage Window: The female model of Assault Armor is a bit, um, exposed.
  • Colony Drop: The titular Firefall. Originally one massive asteroid, it shattered for unknown reasons into a swarm of smaller ones. As a result, humanity was not wiped out, just severely fucked up. It also deposited the first crystite samples, though those weren't discovered until some time after.
    • The crash of the Arclight also counts as this. The biggest space ship ever built by man lands on Brazil and proceeds to wipe out an entire city.
  • Cool Bike: The Light Ground Vehicles. They come in two flavors; Standard, and Founders Only Locust chopper. Only the Founder LGVs are permanently available at the moment. While the standard ones can be found in single use call-downs by scavenging a damaged one.
    • The developers have stated everyone will be able to get their own at some point.
  • Deadpan Snarker: The Chosen, when you kill them. They sometimes say "Oh, you got me now," in a very sarcastic tone. Considering none of them are even remotely concerned about dying, there's either a Hive Mind involved, they respawn just like the player, or something else.
    • Some bandits make a dying joke - "Oh, you shot me for reals!".
  • Drop the Hammer: The "Scanhammer" is a giant sledgehammer that players can slam onto the ground to find resources and minerals. It can also be used as a melee weapon in a pinch.
    • Lampshaded by the game in the intro quest "Drop the Hammer" which introduces the scanhammer.
    • One of the Male Assault voices also shouts this on occasion when activating the Crater ability.
  • Earth Is a Battlefield: The entire planet is covered with an energy storm and the places that are free of the Melding are under attack by Chosen.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: Twice. First through a massive asteroid swarm that pummels the Earth, and then from a bizarre energy storm that spawns a new race and mutates already existing ones. Poor Earth just can't catch a break.
  • Enemy Civil War: According to this post, this is why the Chosen haven't won yet.
  • Everything Is Online: Subverted. Almost everything is now online - soldier interfaces, the computers of the homeless, hallucinogenic drugs - but not instant messaging. Justified by the small population of humanity's survivors - now it's easier to give out free internet than military-grade food, but there's less junk data to sift through so hacking is super-effective.
  • Fashionable Asymmetry: The engineer. Downplayed in female engineer after the "Live" patch, as her lower body armor now is symmetrical, only heavy-handedness is left.
  • Fanservice: Some of the female Battleframes are a bit more... revealing than the male counterparts.
  • Gang Up on the Human : Averted; the aggressive wildlife, bandits/Ophanim and Chosen will all fight each other. Humanoid targets will also stop attacking players to fight back against wildlife that wandered by. This is even lampshaded in an early mission where you drop pheromones in a bandit camp. There's a mission where you need to bolster the bandit's morale against the Chosen. Later on, the Chosen will deploy mining thumpers and be completely swarmed by angry wildlife, just like it would be for players.
  • Gatling Good: The vanilla Dreadnaught has a giant Minigun ("Heavy Machine Gun"). The offensive dreadnaught Rhino has a Hit Scan Laser HMG. The defensive dreadnaught Mammoth has a Plasma HMG with projectiles falling-off after some distance.
    • Some of the Engineer's turrets have these (standard turrets upgrade from semi-automatic to raging twin firearms). Beg for mercy if you're at the business end(s) of an HKM turret - two miniguns twice the size of a Dreadnaught's on a turret that's twice as large as the user.
  • Glass Cannon: Recon classes have ludicrously high damage, but are also the most fragile of all the Battleframes.
  • Goomba Stomp: Land it right, and the assault class can deliver a rather awesome rocket powered one.
  • Hit Scan: A few of the weapons. Rhino battleframe signature weapon, the Laser HMG, combines this with Gatling Good. Other examples: Chosen Sniper charging rifle, Bastion battleframe signature Tesla Rifle.
  • Improperly Placed Firearms: The Suppression Rifle is a P90, and the revolver shown here is a Mateba revolver.
  • Item Crafting: A heavy part of the game is gathering resources from thumping and from dead enemies, and then using them to craft your gear.
  • Kill It with Water: Inverted, in that it happens to ''you''. While you can splash through shallow water and puddles, over a certain depth, and increasingly so with depth, being in water will kill you, sometimes near-instantly. May have something to do with the hundred-megawatt Crystite Reactor on your back. Or the battleframe weighing an awful lot.
  • Limit Break: HKM abilities. They can only be activated after dealing a consecutive amount of damage, and involve summoning a weapon/force of mass destruction onto the battlefield. Most of the limit breaks involve arkfolding, and some are just really powerful copies of other techniques.
  • Mega Corp.: The massive Omnidyne Corporation.
  • Microtransactions: Firefall is getting some attention (for example, the Extra Credits team) for its commitment to the free to play model and using strictly microtransactions to fund the game. According to Extra Credits, this game is the first Triple-A quality game to be this committed to this model.
  • Negative Space Wedgie: The Melding, a colossal stellar storm from hyperspace, that caused the second End of the World as We Know It, and threatens the end of humanity altogether due to the Scary Dogmatic Aliens that arrived with it.
  • Non-Lethal K.O.: Friendly players can simply interact with downed players to revive them, and some abilities make this REALLY easy. Bleeding out is possible. Dying to additional damage (like getting eaten alive by wargrims) is possible. Opponents can be executed (not that you get to see many opponents with instanced pvp having been Put on a Bus). And some V.I.P. enemies will be captured alive thanks to your battleframe's non-lethal weapon settings - even if you shot them in the head with a nuclear-neurotoxic grenade.
  • Not So Different: One of the major themes of the game. At first, it seems like the Chosen are a Blue and Orange Morality invasion force from another dimension. But as you slaughter their ranks you'll notice that they act exactly like the human enemies of the game, with slightly different tactics, and slightly different goals. They even have their own civil wars in the middle of an invasion, just like the Accord and gangs do. On the human side, lots of villains call out the player character for being just as bloodthirsty and violent as they are, which is usually an accurate description for a casual gamer: the Somalian look-alikes are trying to survive while the Accord starves humanity's remaining lower-class citizens (the ones you did quests for in Copa), Black Hills gang members consist of former mercenaries who stopped fighting for the good of humanity and started fighting for exp, money, and fun (much like the player), and the poachers will call out the player on all the death and suffering they've caused other beings while fighting to protect a few dumb animals (and sometimes, the player will kill innocent animals in their downtime for fair game).
  • One Nation Under Copyright: Sort of. Omnidyne controls the technology, controls most of the crystite, and, therefore, controls the governments. This is hinted not to be a bad thing; Omnidyne influence was implied to be the only thing stopping the various superpowers from going at each other's throats. Again. At least, until the Melding. And even then they retain most of their power as seen in the "Dreadnaught" trailer.
  • Path of Inspiration: Charon the Sin Hacker. He uses sin hacks (a data-drug that affects the user's brain implant to trip out) to mind-control his followers into believing that he's leading them to rapture. At first, it looks like he's just another power-hungry drug-lord, but it turns out that he believes his own twisted Melding religion, and will destroy New Eden to lead everyone into this twisted new form.
  • Powered Armor: Battleframes. Not much is known about them, other than the fact that most of them can fly somehow.
    • Is now known to be powered by Crystite Reactors.
  • Ranged Emergency Weapon: Optionally equipped secondary weapon (possible types: assault rifle, burst rifle, smg, grenade launcher, shotgun) can be switched to from the signature weapon. In "Live" version of the game, secondary weapons have unlimited pool of ammo (clip size is still finite). Before "Live", not having a secondary weapon freed more mass and power limits for perhaps equipping better (and more demanding) gear in other slots.
  • Red Sky, Take Warning: The melding appears as a large blue cloud.
  • Rocket Tag Gameplay: You versus large armies / giant angry animals. Your battleframe and its weapons are almost always superior to any equally levelled enemy, but they more than make up for that in sheer numbers. If you are out in the open, have attracted the violent hatred of every enemy on the field, and don't have enough jet power or the right skills to evade their shots, you are likely going to die in seconds. If you play your cards right, you can pick off their army like flies while they're desperately trying to find and hit you. Giant animals, on the other hand, play this more straight: your attacks will decimate these goliaths in a matter of seconds, but a Claw or a Slinger can kill you in one direct hit. Hell Slingers can do instant-kill damage on fully-levelled players.
  • Scary Dogmatic Aliens: The Chosen. They like to rant about their superiority and your inevitable demise during fights.
  • Scenery Porn: Surprisingly for an After the End work, there's quite a lot of greenery and nice views around.
  • Short-Range Shotgun: Secondary weapon shotguns, and some primary weapons' shotgun-like alt-fire. Pellets spread so wide, range other than short is hardly feasible.
  • Shout-Out: Crystite originally occurred in the early sci-fi mining sim M.U.L.E., where it was the only commodity that wasn't used for anything.
  • Spider Tank: More like Spider Battleships, but still. The Chosen war machines shown so far tend to be on the order or massive, multi-legged, and heavily armed. The small bits that we have seen. They also have a lot of Spiky Doom bits and are darker to contrast the lighter and more shiny parts of the Accord.
  • The Capital Of Brazil Is Buenos Aires: Mostly averted, however the game takes place in the ruins of Fortaleza in Brazil, and the main town is Copacabana. Most all other non-English (and non-Alpha Primean) terms are Portuguese, however.
  • The Merch: A more literal example. The Merch, or Merchai is a free unlockable pet you could get by doing the crystite challenge. True to the comic, it will turn into the Flesh Reaper if not fed crystite. And it shares the exact same type of "insight" as in the comic.
  • Tele-Frag: The Tier 2 Dreadnaught Mammoth frames have a skill "Teleport Shot" that is basically this, weaponized.
  • Tripod Terror: Titans. Word of God states that they're not controlled by the Chosen but usually show up when they invade cities anyways. You know, to hammer home the point that shit just got worse.
  • Universal Ammunition: Heavy Laser Machine Gun (Dreadnaught), balls-of-plasma-firing Fusion Cannon (Assault), toxin-themed Bio-Rifle (Medic), forearm-mounted Electric/Lazer Gun (Engineer), hyper-accurate fully-automatic Sniper Rifle (Recon), delayed/at-will blast Sticky Grenade Launcher, all have ammo replenished by the universal powerups. When a battleframe is equipped with both the signature and secondary weapons, the two have separate clips/ammo pool, but an ammo pick up restores both.
    • More Dakka: And as of the release date, secondary weapons have infinite ammo. You still need to reload them though.
  • Voice with an Internet Connection: Aero, your handler, who serves as Ms. Exposition.
  • We All Live in America: Despite the game taking place in a future Brazil, in places such as Broken Shores, there's signage for the American Interstate System.
    • There are also various Japanese signs around as well.
  • We Will Spend Credits in the Future: An additional currency introduced with "Live" patch is called "credits". It deposed crystite as currency for selling and buying items between players (players can convert their crystite into credits, with a daily quota in place). Player driven exchange of credits with "cash shop" currency (Red Beans) is available.
    • Credits have their uses as instant-revives, but at a price of 250 credits (6250 crystite) per revive, it's really not worth it.
  • You Are Number Six: Your character is designated as "ARES three-five".