Video Game: Holdover

A young girl named Marie wakes up in a dank, dark laboratory wearing nothing but a gray, one-piece swimsuit, and two metal anklets around her bare feet, designed to keep her healthy. A holographic message from her father says that she should have just woken up from a special chamber designed to cure an illness of hers, and that she should now try to leave the facility she resides in.

Easier said than done, of course, since the facility has long since been abandoned, is nearly completely flooded (and despite being suited for it, those anklets make it impossible to swim), and is full of various security robots out to vaporize her (and her swimsuit) with powerful lasers. She quickly finds an advanced armor swimsuit that can shield her from the lasers, at the cost of vaporizing the half that was hit.

Thus goes Holdover, a surprisingly good timing-based 2009 platformer from a doujin team known as FoxEye, with plenty of girl-running-around-completely-naked action. Find it here.

Holdover contains examples of:

  • Author Appeal - Cute girls wearing skintight or skimpy swimsuits, having those girls travel underwater a lot, and last but not least, the peril of drowning, and the struggle to avoid doing so. FoxEye's team leader, Fox, has made it his modus operandi to implement these concepts in almost every single game he's made in some shape or form.
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy - Played straight with Marie's sprite when the swimsuit is destroyed, but averted on the in-game CG art, as her nips are clearly visible under her swimsuit fabric.
  • Bonus Material - In addition of the suggestive picture mentioned below, another picture with little fanservice appears in the game's folder when you access a secret machine at the left of your starting room after collecting all blue hearts and the arm grab ability.
  • Blessed with Suck - You know, for devices intended to keep Marie alive, those heavy, buoyancy-killing computer anklets sure end up killing her a lot in the now-flooded installation.
  • Clothing Damage - Initially, you can only take one hit, which will vaporize your gray swimsuit and leave you naked (and dead). The first upgrade obtained upgrades your swimsuit, letting it take the damage instead of you, at the cost of that half getting vaporized. Marie proceeds to run around topless, bottomless or completely naked, seemingly without giving a care. This is actually a deliberate part of the gameplay - Marie will often have to let the swimsuit take a hit for her so she can run past various obstacles with the only loss being her dignity. As such, as fun as it is, running around naked can be counter-productive.
    • As a bonus, the image of Marie that shows up whenever she speaks also reflects her current clothing status. Even the ending image changes depending on whether she still had a swimsuit or burst out of the facility in the buff, although the ending itself remains the same.
  • Down the Drain - Water is the game's most prominent hazard, and you have to figure out how to navigate through all of the facility's submerged areas without letting Marie drown. With that said, you may end up seeing her drown a lot. Which leads to...
  • Drowning Pit - Occasionally, you may encounter bodies of water that Marie won't be able to escape from in any way. You'll hope you've saved at a good point before accidentally falling into these pits.
  • Expy - One can't help but admit that Marie looks a lot like Roll in a leotard.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You - Not as bad as, say, I Wanna Be the Guy, but the walls are lined with spikes, and there are security robots all over the place which will be more than glad to vaporize you with a quick laser beam. You don't ever get a way to fight back, either, so you're forced to sneak around pretty much everything in the entire game.
    • That's justified. You really are the little girl, with no weapons of any sort.
  • Fanservice - Marie's wearing a skin-tight leotard that will come apart in pieces, runs through sections of the game half or completely naked, with her portrait reflecting her state of (un)dress. Yeah.
    • And upon winning, a very suggestive picture of her will appear in the game's folder as a reward.
  • Girlish Pigtails: Marie sports these.
  • Good Bad Translation
    "Do you overwrite?"
    "Do you return to title?"
  • Hand or Object Underwear - If Marie loses the top half of her swimsuit (or the entire thing at once) she conveniently changes her CG pose so her chest gets covered by her arms.
    • During the ending scene, the arm Marie is using to open the final door is conveniently placed in front of her chest, so even if she arrived there naked, the player still can't see anything.
  • 100% Completion - Getting all the blue hearts yields a bonus picture.
  • Jump Physics: Marie's physical condition only lets her make small hops on the ground, though she fares better at this underwater. Upon getting the leg upgrade, however. She can jump twice as high on land and gain a huge amount of height underwater.
  • Leotard of Power - Marie's upgraded swimsuit literally becomes this.
  • Let's Play - There are a few good ones out there.
  • Lost Forever - After the SOS signal is sent, the game goes on, but if you left any blue hearts in other rooms, you won't be able to get them back. Also, if you predict that you might not be able to get the hearts back, you may save on a new slot next to the machine that sends the signal. However, due to a glitch, when you load a save, if you're near a sign or machine, the game will automatically read it/use it. This means that if you saved next to the final machine, the Point of No Return will be triggered when the game is loaded.
  • Malevolent Architecture - ...why are there rows of giant spikes in a research installation, again?
  • Metroidvania
  • One Hitpoint Wonder - Initially played completely straight, but tossed out the window when you get the upgraded suit. Running around naked leaves you as one of these, however. Unsurprisingly played straight in the shooter segment.
    • Slightly subverted in that you do have a health bar, but it drains very quickly when you come into contact with a hazard. Thus, Marie (and her upgraded swimsuit) can survive brief brushes with hazards, but not much more than that.
  • Oxygen Meter - The main feature of the game, and the cornerstone of the developer's Signature Style. If it gets too low underwater, Marie's movement will slow down a bit as she starts struggling to hold her breath. Getting blue hearts helps to upgrade the meter, and makes it easier to progress through the game.
  • Retraux - The game's graphics were intentionally made to resemble 16-bit graphics of computer games of The '90s, such as those that can be found on the MS-DOS. This also extends to the music, as it wouldn't sound too out of place from Super Metroid.
    • To take this further, Fox stated that that the game was designed to be as if it were made in 1994, the same year that Super Metroid made its debut.
  • Point of No Return - After the Unexpected Shmup Level, you can't go back to most rooms.
  • Save Scumming - The game makes sure to point out the Quicksave functionality. Which is good, because you're going to need it; you will die. A lot. (It even leaves a permanent splat of blood wherever you died from shots or spikes, so you can keep track of where you messed up!)
  • Stripperiffic - Somehow a swimsuit is supposed to qualify for armor. A swimsuit that gives way at the slightest bit of damage, leaving the user completely naked. Yeaaaaaaah.
  • Thanking the Viewer - At the very end. Warning: May make you cry.
  • Trial-and-Error Gameplay - Not thinking ahead of what's in front of you tends to end badly, such as running or falling straight into a line of spikes. Since Marie's oxygen runs out fast while moving underwater, taking the wrong turn, jump, or crawl while submerged may already be enough to drown her before she can get air.
  • Underwater Base/Underwater Ruins - The setting of the game counts as both, due to it being an abandoned facility that has become decayed and flooded.
  • Walk, Don't Swim - Due to the devices on her ankles, as stated above, Marie is forced to walk and crawl along submerged passageways, burning quite a bit of oxygen doing so.
  • Unexpected Shmup Level - After sending out the SOS, and being given some grim dialog suggesting a Shoot the Shaggy Dog ending... it gets picked up by two jet fighters who were coincidentally in the area. You then have to shoot down 70 blimps which apparently disrupts the SOS signal sent by Marie before the game gets back on track.