Video Game / Holdover

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/holdovertvtropes.png
Take your pick. Is that Roll or Samus?

A young girl named Marie wakes up in a dank, dark laboratory wearing nothing but a white, 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 Platform Game by a Doujin Soft circle known as Fox Eye, with plenty of girl-running-around-completely-naked action, Metroidvania-based navigation, and a large emphasis on maintaining an Oxygen Meter. Find its website here.

Holdover contains examples of:

  • 100% Completion: Getting all the blue hearts yields a bonus picture.
  • All There in the Manual: According to a Japanese-only pre-release image, Marie's full name is Marie Annette. However, her last name is never brought up in the game proper.
  • Author Appeal: One of the first Fox Eye games to incorporate Clothing Damage and skintight or skimpy swimsuits for cute girls, but underwater exploration and the struggle of not drowning remains Fox Eye's modus operandi as this game and its successors has had this implemented in all of them 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.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Marie eventually escapes from the flooded facility after her SOS sends jet fighters to rescue her, but the world was now ruined by nuclear war, and she must now live among a recovering community and work with archeologists to find ways to fix what was lost. Also, her father, Tanner, wasn't heard from again beyond the holograms she found in the facility, and is largely implied to have been Killed Mid-Sentence by the outbreak during his final hologram to Marie.
  • 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.
  • Changing of the Guard: After Marie is rescued by the jet fighters, she lives on working with archeologists on further scientific research in a now war-torn world to find ways to fix it, just like her dad, who has been long gone from her life after the efforts taken to rejuvenate her before the nuclear outbreak happened.
  • Clothing Damage: Initially, you can only take one hit, which will vaporize your white 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.
  • Darker and Edgier: A darker game compared to Fox Eye's previous fare at the time, such as the cutesy widget Puzzle Platformer Aqua Cube, and the Slice of Life Summer Adventure Game that is Blue Port. This game in contrast is a Bad Future Sci-Fi story with decayed environments and a sense of loneliness and isolation for its protagonist throughout its entirety, hence its title. Also, besides drowning, other things that can kill Marie include being impaled by spikes and shot by security lasers, both of which leave a blood splat behind right as she gets fatally hit. All blood spawned from these violent deaths will stay until the game is completely removed from the player's computer, but it can be toggled off, however. The ending of the game also describes some rather bleak notes of what has happened to the world during Marie's slumber, but nonetheless finishes off on an encouraging, if not somewhat bittersweet note.
  • Disappeared Dad: Tanner. He was forced to leave his daughter Marie behind for her to heal in her chamber before a nuclear disaster could take place in the future. His final efforts to help Marie afterwards is to leave behind several holograms that help guide her out of the now-abandoned facility. And then it's implied in his final holographic message that he was Killed Mid-Sentence after giving Marie one more hint to escape the facility...
  • 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.
  • Dub Text: There is an option to change all of the dialogue in the game and its font, which can range between the player fixing any instances of Good Bad Translation to completely rewriting the game's script from scratch. This also allows you to change Marie's expressions during the dialogue and temporarily change the game's music through the use of Tanner's hologram portrait or that of an unknown, unseen person that he speaks to during some of the holograms.
  • Expy: One can't help but admit that Marie looks a lot like a slightly-older Roll if Roll were human and wore a white or dark blue leotard. Both Marie and Roll have scientist fathers that eventually disappear during a distant future and leave behind several holographic messages for specific people to find and read. Due to the game being a Metroidvania, others will joke that Marie is a younger, unarmed Samus. Check the page image at the top for a reference.
    • As lampshaded by Fox in this 2017 Twitter post, Marie (with some minor Art Evolution since Holdover's release) also resembles a previous blonde-haired, pony-tailed Fox Eye protagonist: Riko from the original Blue Port. Natika, from an 18+ mini-animation called Underwater Pinch of Natika!, likewise resembles both of the former two.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Frickin' Laser Beams: There are 2 types of security robots with this weapon in the game, and make up one-third of the game's hazards (the other two thirds being the Spikes of Doom and maintaining the Oxygen Meter while underwater). One type of security robot has an active laser that hits Marie the moment she moves into its line of sight. The second type uses a yellow cone of light that shoots Marie with greater precision should she touch the light. Some rooms contain switches that allow you to turn off these lasers for a limited time in order to get through areas that would've been otherwise impossible to do without getting vaporized.
  • Good Bad Translation: Fox admits that his English isn't top notch, and the game was originally released in English with a very shoddy script, but thanks to the proofreading assistance of DeafDefiler, this trope gets mostly averted as the game gained a much more coherent English translation later on. However, as explained above in Dub Text, this can be further circumvented by the players themselves.
    "Do you overwrite?"
    "Do you return to title?"
  • Hair Decorations: Marie has a blonde ponytail through a pink ribbon.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Marie is one of the earliest examples of this within Fox Eye's rather-long list of blonde heroines in their games, though this is initially subverted due to her recovering illness and the nature of her adventure making her feel hopeless and wary at first.
  • 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.
  • Ill Girl: Marie, herself. The reason she was put into the facility in the first place was that so her father could cure her from an illness she got in an accident 10 years ago. Even after she wakes up in the beginning of the game, she has to wear heavy computer anklets that are meant to repair her organs, and her motor skills have suffered due to being in her sleeping chamber for so long, giving her numb legs and arms and limiting her ability to jump and climb. She also has the worst Oxygen Meter length out of all of Fox Eye's protagonists, even after it has been fully upgraded, and it drops at a faster rate compared to other Fox Eye games while moving underwater. Collecting blue hearts, as well as finding certain upgrades for her legs and arms, improve her condition in different ways.
  • Jump Physics: Marie's physical condition and life-preserving anklets only lets her make small hops from 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 dark blue swimsuit literally becomes this. It has its own thin light-blue meter that's split into two halves representing the swimsuit's own top half and bottom half. Taking damage in either half will only tear off that section without killing Marie, but taking too much damage in the same exposed area quickly drains her Life Meter and kills her, anyway, even if the opposite half of the swimsuit was still intact. As such, if Marie loses the entire "armored" swimsuit and becomes naked, surviving against lasers and spikes from any angle won't be any different from her sticking with her original white swimsuit.
  • Malevolent Architecture: ...why are there rows of giant spikes in a research installation, again?
  • Metroidvania: Fox Eye's first. The game takes place in a labyrinth of an abandoned flooded facility. You must figure out different ways to reach certain areas and collect powerups and blue hearts to improve Marie's skills and her survivability underwater, respectively, so you can go further through the game and reach places you couldn't reach, before. Owing itself to its inspiration, as mentioned above in Expy, it helps that the girl herself looks like a younger Samus.
  • One Hitpoint Wonder: Initially played completely straight when you start out in the white swimsuit, but tossed out the window when you get the upgraded dark blue 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 cornerstone of the developer's Signature Style. At the beginning of the game, Marie starts out with the shortest, and fastest-dropping one out of all of Fox Eye's protagonists due to her condition, and it's completely separate from her very fragile Life Meter. If it gets too low while she's underwater, Marie will struggle to hold her breath and move at a slower rate until she drowns or reaches a spot to breathe in. Getting enough blue hearts upgrades the meter, and makes it easier to progress further through the game. This is the most important feature of the game, as she spends a lot of time underwater.
  • Permanently Missable Content: 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.
  • Post-Victory Collapse: A non-fighting example. After Marie finally meets other people - the jet fighters who got her SOS - to help her out of the facility, she promptly passes out from hunger and exhaustion. Note that this exhaustion was brought on by her from having to constantly survive against deadly lasers, dodge endless amounts of Spikes of Doom, and avoid drowning in the facility's many flooded areas. As the rest of the ending explains, however, she does get better.
  • Retraux: The game's graphics were intentionally made to resemble the graphics of computer games of The '80s and The '90s, such as those that can be found on the MS-DOS, MSX, and the PC-98. This also extends to the ambient music that plays through nearly the whole game, as it wouldn't sound too out of place from Super Metroid. Fox even 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 and further codified the Metroidvania sub-genre it established that Holdover bases itself on.
  • 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.
  • Spikes of Doom: Whether they're on the ground, sticking out from walls, or hanging from the ceiling, stay away from them or say goodbye to your health (or armor) really fast.
  • Stripperiffic: Somehow a dark-blue 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: Marie 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 faster while maneuvering underwater, taking the wrong turn, jump, or crawl while submerged may already be enough to drown her before she backtrack to get air. Much of the challenge of this game involves memorizing layouts and figuring out the safest way to get through them.
  • Underwater Ruins: The setting of the game is of an abandoned facility that has since decayed and flooded into a dark mechanical labyrinth. According to the ending, this is due to the rising ocean levels that have taken place in the future within the whole time Marie was sealed in her healing chamber.
  • 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 disrupted the SOS signal sent by Marie before the game gets back on track.
  • Unwinnable by Mistake: If you have less than 400 hearts, although you are still able to enter the administration section after unlocking Network Room B, you won't be able to exit it due to insufficient oxygen.
  • Walk, Don't Swim: Due to the weight of devices on her ankles, as stated above, Marie is forced to walk, crawl, jump, and sink her way through submerged passageways, burning quite a bit of oxygen doing so.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/VideoGame/Holdover?from=Main.Holdover