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Video Game: Hammerfight
An Emerald Singing Stone in action. Sort of like a Flash Step, except you can still see where they're going.

From the earliest times, people had been finding broken machines beneath the vaults of the Abyss.

Machines that, with skillful hands, could be made to fly.

And they discovered that there was no task under the sky in which these machines could not be useful.

So, whether in times of war or of peace, those who could control the machines received the most honor.

A crazy physics-based action game (previously known as Hammerfall) made by Konstantin Koshutin, Hammerfight follows a young member of the House of Gaiar as he begins his training as a Rider, those who are capable of piloting flying machines, especially for the purpose of war. As the young Gaiar will soon find out, he has many life-changing ordeals ahead of him—starting with The Empire declaring a war of extermination on the Gaiar's people, to fulfill an ancient oath by Cyrus Arguseed ...

And just what does a rookie rider take into battle? A giant rock on a chain—and that's just the starter weapon.

Not related to Hammertime, although it could hurt you just as bad.

Tropes:

  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Seraph, potential end-boss of the game. He did his job, and he did it well, splitting a chunk of the Family off from itself as ordered. He simply didn't care he had to send an entire tribe of innocent humans into the abyss, locking them away along with the beasts, just because they were in the way.
  • Aluminum Christmas Trees: "Flying machines swinging maces as weapons? That defies the laws of physics!" Noooot exactly. Albeit it's not as intense as it is in Hammerfight.
  • Artistic License - Physics: Justified by an explanation by Seraph. Let's just say that the Giant Flyers and Floating Continents should be your first clue the world of Hammerfight isn't reality as you know it, rather than complaining how unrealistic it all is.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: Your many-titled enemies are suggested to have fought and won many battles to get where they are. You get all sorts of fancy titles too, for various feats, achievements and suchlike.
  • Audible Sharpness: Heard whenever a hit is scored with a slashing weapon.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Many of the weapons, especially the guns.
    • Whisper, a sort of rocket/grenade launcher. It can fire three slow-moving, explosive rockets between reloading. They have exceptionally fickle fuses, sometimes detonating at the lightest touch, and other times letting you catch them on your weapon and sling them back at the enemy who fired them.
    • Mortar, the... uh... Mortar. Sometimes it misfires, and it can have some undesirable recoil (particularly if you're next to a wall, the bounce can stun you for a bit), but other times you can disarm an enemy with the force of the shot, smash through armour and inflict Massive Damage, or simply send them hurtling offscreen into the nearest solid object.
    • The Iblis' Claw. The heaviest weapon in the game, capable of destroying an armoured machine in two or three normal hits. However, due to its weight, once you've swung it, you have very little control over where it goes. And it's on a long chain, so you can't defend with it and a slight miss will leave your intended target unharmed while throwing you forcefully against their weapon.
  • Badass: Several of the characters.
  • Badass Boast: As you defeat enemies in the arenas and perform various feats (smashing many pieces of armour, etc.) you gain some fairly impressive titles. The main titles are read out prior to each Arena fight.
  • BFS: Flying machines are slightly taller than humans in the background. Said machines swing weapons as large as they are, so pretty much every weapon qualifies.
  • Blasting It out of Their Hands: It's very possible to whack an enemy rider so hard their weapon falls right off their machine. It's also possible to loot these weapons.
  • Bottomless Magazines: The guns automatically reload after about five seconds. Where does the ammo come from? Nobody knows.
  • Breakable Weapons: Weapons can break, if abused. If struck repeatedly with an ice-enchanted weapon, they also become more brittle and easier to break. Armour can also be smashed through; the better stuff is heavier and more expensive, but tends to be very resilient and will only shatter if it takes a seriously solid hit from a heavy weapon like the Colossus or Iblis' Claw.
  • Bullfight Boss: Sophits (and some other enemies) will charge at you. The best strategy is to sidestep, swing your weapon around, and let them slam into it at top speed, dealing massive damage.
  • Catch and Return: Throwing weapons like the throwing stars or darts can be caught mid flight and thrown back at their previous owner by a skilled pilot. Very rarely, Whisper rockets can sometimes be caught and then thrown back at your opponent with certain flails.
  • Combat Commentator: In the Arena mode, a commentator will compare your performance to the warriors of legend ... or jeer at you if you take too many hits.
  • Critical Existence Failure: Averted. As your HP nears 0, your machine starts emitting smoke, and you become easier to stun and disarm.
  • Determinator: The young Gaiar has been through a lot—to what some might call hell (and maybe back), even. He never gives up, though. Unless you get one of the Downer Ending routes.
  • Downer Ending: If you accept the Emperor's offer to destroy Seraph, or fight it of your own free will after rejecting the Emperor's offer, there is no escape from the Abyss.
  • Epic Flail: The basic flails are giant balls of rock or iron on chains ... and then you've got monsters like Iblis' Claw and Colossus.
  • Epigraph: The splash screen has a strangely-selected quote from The Bible admonishing one to not sin in anger. Also, most chapters begin with a quotation from The Bible, sans verse reference.
  • Escort Mission: Helping a giant worm-based zeppelin across the sky, and protecting it from bees—especially the glowing, EXPLODING bees—is an exemplary case.
  • Expendable Alternate Universe: Seraph and the civilization that created him hold views like this.
    Gaiar: Three hundred years ago the Abyss collapsed, devouring my people!
    Seraph: The creators presumed the existence of many separate tribes in the chain. But that was the price of salvation—their fate was not a consideration.
  • For Massive Damage: Weapons with fire gems slotted into them, when used against beasts, will make for instant barbecue. Weapons with lightning gems slotted are almost as useful against machines.
  • Giant Enemy Crab: Sophits. They're more like flying lobsters, but they can grow to be bigger than all of the flying machines of man. They are only beaten in terms of size by Seraph and his mechanical minions.
  • Giant Flyer: All of the "beasts of firmament" encountered—giant bees, giant airborne worms, the Sophits themselves. Even the smallest ones are larger than a man. The worms are often used as organic airships.
  • Green Rocks + Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors: There are "Singing Stones" that are retrieved from slain monsters; these stones come in three elemental flavours (fire, ice and electricity) plus two more unusual types.
    • Red - Ruby: When charged up and used to strike an enemy with great force, a ruby will restore some of your flying machine's health. One of the most common - and by far the most useful - singing stones at your disposal.
    • Orange - Topaz: When fully charged, they burst into flame for a few seconds. Wooden objects and enemies will be set on fire if struck, dealing damage over time. Also quite useful in the dark, since they make a lot of light.
    • Green - Emerald: The other non-elemental singing stone, Emeralds let the wielder temporarily phase through attacks. Movement is slower, and your weapon is phased as well, making attacking impossible. The page image shows an enemy phasing to avoid the player's attack. Dephasing inside a weapon will reduce your health.
    • Blue - Sapphire: The rarest of the lot (on par with Emeralds) but quite effective. If they strike an enemy weapon when charged, they'll coat it in ice crystals, freezing it. Frozen weapons and armour are made more brittle, and therefore, are much easier to break.
    • Purple - Amethyst: Terrifyingly effective against metallic enemies, these unleash vicious electrical shocks. If fully charged, any enemies that get too close to the gem will be shocked without releasing the main charge. Additionally, striking an enemy with a fully charged Amethyst will unleash an additional shock that amplifies the force of an attack, making it easier to smash through armour and send your foe flying.
  • Guide Dang It: Some missions, but the storyline branches in particular can be confusing. One particular path ends up presenting two choices at a certain point, one whose dialogue beforehand would make some players go, "Oh, I definitely want THIS choice." However, the description of neither choice clearly talks about why you're going there—just some background on the places. While weapons are sometimes awarded after certain levels, apart from buying common varieties from the randomly-stocked store, it's never clearly stated that disarming foes is the only way to get certain weapons. (Good luck getting that nifty sword!)
  • Improbable Weapon User: You and just about everyone else. Weapons vary from fairly normal swords, axes and hammers to a circular sawblades on a chain, repurposed pickaxes, pickaxe heads on a chain, steampunk guns, a crude ball of iron on a chain... and more.
  • Interface Screw: Bombs will give you a loud ringing in your ears, make everything go blurry, and slightly slow down time.
  • He Knows About Timed Hits: Subverted - the machines are controlled in-universe with a mouse, thus the tutorial instructions are justified.
  • Hello, Insert Name Here: Your profile name is used off and on, but your character is just as likely to be addressed as Gaiar.
  • Infinity Plus One Epic Flail: The Colossus, shown in the page image. Imagine if you were to affix a circular saw blade to the end of a long chain, which also has several spikes on it. Allow said saw blade to rotate freely upon the end of that chain, with razor-edged, razor-tipped blades that can slice through beast-flesh and enough weight to smash armour like tinfoil. According to the weapon's backstory, just a single rider with one of these mighty weapons could cause an entire army to turn and run.
  • I Shall Taunt You: Shaking the mouse back and forth makes your character swing jauntily back and forth, laughing. You had better be ready for the sheer onslaught of sharp objects propelled your way.
  • Jigsaw Puzzle Plot: You will never really get to see the big picture without playing through the game's various endings. The plot itself is a loose jigsaw of Hinduism and Middle Eastern culture.
    • It also becomes easier to understand the plot when the chapter prologues are read as pieces of the game's prologue.
  • Karma Meter: Glory, though it's only really a one-way meter, since you get so much positive Glory for performing feats such as disarming an enemy, landing an exceptionally powerful or skillful blow, or making a very accurate shot. Striking a disarmed foe loses you glory, as does using poison/acid on your weapon.
  • Last of His Kind: After the attack on the House of Gaiar's realm, the player is taken prisoner and is essentially the last of the Gaiar left alive. Depending on choices made, however, you'll find out otherwise.
  • Ludicrous Gibs: Any level with a lot of beasts will quickly see little bits and pieces of giant floating bug splattered everywhere. Certain weapons can end up liquefying worms into a green slush with a couple chunks in it with a well-aimed swing, and pretty much anything will make a spatter out of a bee or a small sophit.
  • MacGuffin: The Emperor wants the gems that each Great House holds, but this fact is not revealed until very late in the story, and what they do is not clearly explained.
  • More Dakka: The Tribune, a massive rapid-fire gun that holds 40 rounds at a time, expelling them rapidly. The second highest, the Assault Arquebus, holds 20. Tied for third highest are the Arquebus Shotcannon and Whisper Grenade Launcher with 3 each.
  • Multiple Endings: Three or four, basically;
    • 1: Accept the Emperor's offer, fight your way through the Abyss, and destroy Seraph. The Gaiar is lost in the Abyss. Downer Ending!
    • 2: Reject the Emperor's offer. Get thrown into the Abyss with no weapons, armour or anything. Battle your way to Seraph despite everything in your way.
      • 2a: Accept Seraph's offer and return to the sky leading an army of the machines against the beasts.
      • 2b: Reject Seraph's offer, destroy it, and get stuck in the Abyss. Again. Downer Ending!
    • No matter what you do, though, you get a Cliffhanger that's part Sequel Hook.
  • My Rules Are Not Your Rules: Enemy riders don't have the same challenges in combat that players do. Some examples:
    • In order to use guns, the player must link them to another weapon. Aiming is a matter of swinging the other weapon until the gun is pointed in the right direction, and firing the gun requires "using" it while it's selected in the cargo hold. In short, using guns becomes a game of roulette. Enemy riders, however, do not need to link their guns to another weapon and can manually aim their guns however they like.
    • If the player manages to knock an enemy rider's melee weapon off of their machine, the rider can still attack the player if they have a gun as their other weapon. Some riders will opt to sit and shoot at the player without attempting to pick up their melee weapon first. Even though this logically means they're still armed and dangerous, the player will be penalized for fighting back, as it's still considered dishonorably attacking an unarmed foe.
    • To damage enemies, the player must build up momentum in his weapons before striking. However, the player can take a lot of damage just by bumping into an enemy's weapon (or most parts of a monster). Even if the enemy is stunned and idle on the ground, grazing their weapon will cause considerable damage.
  • Nintendo Hard: Owing to the fact that the enemy isn't playing by the same rules, death comes very easily, especially against bosses or crowded fights. The game offers you a level skip token if you lose the same level a certain number of times, at the cost of all your money.
  • Older Is Better: The Colossus weapon's backstory mentions that none have been forged for centuries, but it is by far one of the best flails in the game.
  • Power Glows: The Singing Stones. Also, the sharper your weapon is, the more light it reflects, giving it the effect of glowing.
  • Rush Boss: Seraph. Either you get snipped and zapped into oblivion by the thing's electrotentacles, or you smash its head off in three well-aimed swings or so, but the battle won't go past a minute.
  • Scavenger World: As mentioned in the Opening Narration, the flying machines are repaired or modified from broken machines found in the Abyss. It's unclear if anyone outside of Seraph's minions has the capability to build them from scratch.
  • Schmuck Bait: Some enemies will explode when destroyed. If they are severely damaged (where anyone else would surrender), they will instead taunt you into killing them.
  • Shout-Out: To Vangers, a Russian videogame from 1997. Not surprising considering the developer worked on it.
  • Socketed Equipment: There are three sizes; small, medium, and large. Most weapons (bar the guns) have at least one small slot for Green Rocks, whilst the higher-tier swords tend to have several. The gems cannot be removed once inserted into a socket and may only be recovered by destroying the weapon, which is only really possible if an ice-gemmed weapon is used to make them brittle enough to smash easily.
  • Sword Sparks: Bright bursts of light that accompany each clash of the blade/hammer/whatever. During night they light up hills for miles around and provide glimpses of enemies in the darkness.
  • The Virus: The Family, mentioned by Seraph—a "heterogeneous polymorphous race" that can assimilate other species. They had all but beaten the civilization that created Seraph and other "assault complexes" like it, whose purpose is to break apart the Family by banishing pieces of it to other realities. The "beasts of firmament" are one of those pieces.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Weapons can be thrown with considerable force by skilled 'riders', and the AI will pull this against you. Nothing says "ouch" quite like catching a giant morning-star or a hammer with your face.
  • Too Awesome to Use: Siege Bombs are fairly expensive, but are utterly devastating. The AI tosses them around like candy sometimes. You'll probably want to hang on to yours if you bother with them at all.
  • Unusual User Interface: According to Seraph, some of the Singing Stones are supposedly part of a control system for... something. Something very important.
  • Videogame Caring Potential: You can try your damnedest not to kill a single human foe in the entire game. You might even succeed. The monsters will not surrender or withdraw, though.
    • Certain enemies, when incapacitated, will beg for their lives. You can opt to spare them ... or strike them down for their cowardice.
  • Videogame Cruelty Potential: On the other hand, you can carve a bloody swathe through all who would dare oppose you, and kill as many of your foes as possible, even if they are incapacitated and helpless.
    • You even get a title for it! You lose Glory for striking an unarmed or incapacitated foe, however.
  • Who Forgot The Lights?: Night sequences, despite a full moon.
  • Wreaking Havok: Physics-based gameplay, 'nuff said. Smashing pieces of scenery and batting them at your foes is one particularly entertaining application.


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alternative title(s): Hammerfight
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