Video Game / Marlow Briggs And The Mask Of Death

"It's God of War starring SOME GUY"
Random Steam review

A Hack and Slash / Action-Adventure game by ZootFly for Xbox 360 and Steam. It is a send-up of over-the-top Eighties action movies.

The eponymous Marlow Briggs, a smokejumper, starts the game by getting dead. He is executed on orders of Heng Long, a Corrupt Corporate Executive who needs the services of Marlow's archaeologist girlfriend Eva Torres to translate some Mayan codices. Long's Dragon, Ms. Carreras, uses a giant double-sided ceremonial scythe to make the kill... which comes back to haunt them all, as the scythe is ornamented by the titular Mask Of Death, home to the soul of King Tep. The Mask revives Briggs, and together They Fight Crime!, with the dual plans of: driving Long's out of King Tep's homeland; and: rescuing Eva.

Gameplay is basically God of War, right down to play control, but with a slightly less absurd primary weapon and set in a modern era. Enemies have rocket launchers... But with properly-timed use of the Block button, you can tennis the rockets right back at them. It's that kind of game.


  • Awesome Mccoolname: "Marlow Briggs," seriously.
  • Back from the Dead: Briggs.
  • Badass Normal: Smokejumpers are firefighters who deploy by parachute.
    • For a good chunk of the game, Kim Carreras survives through a lot without any mystical superpower.
  • Bifurcated Weapon: The scythe.
  • Bond One-Liner: Briggs has a variety of them to throw around.
  • Canis Latinicus: Long owns a giant ore harvester called the "Indefenistrable III." The word "defenestrate" is a real Latin word—it means "to throw out a window"—but it isn't spelled with an "I".
    • Fridge Logic: did Indefenistrables No. I and II meet with the ending we hope they did? And if so, how?—these things are huge!
  • Canned Orders over Loudspeaker: An unnamed administrator, as well as Long, address both the workers and Briggs on a regular basis. The former seems to be going for a GLaDOS-esque style of Black Humor, reminding people to respond to injured coworkers without health insurance as fatalities.
  • Combat Commentator: The Mask of Death. He compliments good performances; get the Awesomeness Meter to a 100-hit combo and he starts positively gushing.
  • The Chosen One: Briggs, by the Mask of Death, to become the "Sacred Warrior." Possibly pragmatism, as it is implied that Marlow was simply the only victim available.
  • Colossus Climb: The Water God.
  • Chunky Updraft: Late in the game (the second Unexpected Shmup Level specifically).
  • Cut Lex Luthor a Check: The Indefinistrable alone. The materials and power technologies needed to build a moving machine of this size would be worth far more than whatever they're trying to dig up here.
  • Cutscene: Using machinima. However, they come in two flavors. One is fully animated and voiced, while the other uses in-game models frozen in place and then swoops the camera around to show the ongoing action. Close-ups double as Whip Pans: for instance, the first scene might show Briggs squaring off against mooks and the next the fight beginning, with an extreme close-up of something (a scythe blade; Marlow's leg) serving as a Scenery Censor for the scene switch.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Her: Kim Carreras is killed offscreen very anticlimactically.
  • Dull Surprise: Now and then there are cutscenes that swoop around a shifting tableau of badass action scenes, such as Marlow scything mooks apart or jumping from an exploding helicopter to attack another helicopter, all while bearing an utterly neutral expression on his face, as if all the explosions, swordplay and supernatural forces have become a dull chore.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: The Mask calls Marlow "Chuchu," which is short for "Sacred Warrior" in Mayincatec ("Ek Chuah Ix").
    • In one of his mid-battle lines, the Mask declares he has another name for Marlow, which he translates as "dancing sword princess".
  • Elemental Powers: Briggs gets four spells over the course of the game in each of the classical elements.
  • Enemy Mine: The reason Kim Carreras convinces Marlow to help each other, even if she's the person who killed him at the beginning: she wants to be free from Long. Even if her story of being an infiltrated federal agent who was busted and forced to be Long's right hand was just a made-up excuse, you can't blame her for wanting to get rid of Long.
  • Excuse Plot: Aside from the description at the top of the page, basically every other plot development in the story is documented here under spoiler tags. Notice how few of them there are.
  • Exposition Fairy: The Mask of Death.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body: One of your combat options. Some puzzles require you to throw foes at obstacles.
  • Heel–Face Brainwashing: One of Briggs' powers is to turn mooks to his side using the Grapple function.
  • High-Heel–Face Turn: Kim Carreras. Voluntarily. Even Evil Has Standards.
  • Instant Awesome: Just Add Dragons!: The God of Air.
  • Large Ham: Steve Blum as the Mask of Death.
    • The voice actors for Marlow and Heng Long are no slouches either.
  • Made of Explodium: Pretty much everything modern in the scenarios. Heng Long even complains to Marlow to "not make everything explode".
  • Malevolent Architecture: Heng Long after actually fires his maintenance crew on the ore harvester and employs No OSHA Compliance so the harvester's obstacles can kill Marlow.
  • Mayincatec: The game's setting.
  • Minigame Credits: An Asteroids-style game where you dodge through the credits and collect stuff. As the Mask. As a rocket-powered Mask.
  • No OSHA Compliance: Invoked by Heng Long once Marlow boards the Indefenistrable III. Soon after the boarding, Heng promptly fires all his safety and maintenance personnel, then orders them to make their workplace as unsafe as possible before they leave, all to either kill Marlow or put more obstacles between him and Heng.
  • Offscreen Villain Dark Matter: Heng Long has a lot of resources at his disposal. Over the course of the game Marlow destroys about a hundred of his helicopters, and that's just one category of hardware!
    • To say nothing of the Indefinistrable, a tank the size of a mountain. You'll break the cloud line climbing this thing.
  • Obviously Evil: Heng Long. In the words of Unskippable:
  • Physical God: Heng Long's ultimate transformation.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Human mooks start displaying them towards the end of the game. Their nametags indicate they are "Possessed."
  • Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: Carreras, by Long. Offscreen too.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: By both Briggs and the Mask of Death.
  • Sequel Hook: After defeating Long, Briggs gains his sorcerer powers and rewinds time... ending up in the era of King Tep.
  • Sinister Scythe: Marlow's primary weapon.
  • Smug Snake: James Hong (Covetous Shen) as Heng Long.
  • Soul Jar: The Mask of Death contains the personality and memories of King Tep.
  • Sour Supporter: The Mask of Death. He'll berate you for taking too long in fights, and make fun of you if you Game Over.
    Mask of Death: Oh ho ho ho, you jumped straight to Xibalba!
  • Super Strength: One of Briggs' post-mortem enhancements.
  • Stealth Pun: The pilots of the helicopters Marlow keeps destroying in cutscenes are invariably Flamethrower grunts. There's a crash n' burn joke in there somewhere...
  • Swiss Army Weapon: The scythe, "Kulkulkan's Fangs," gains several other modes: dual swords wielded backhand, a whip, and a giant hammer.
  • Unexpected Shmup Level: In which Marlow hijacks a helicopter. A second involves a propeller aircraft but uses the exact same controls and mechanics.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Briggs.
  • We Have Reserves: Long's MO.
  • Whip It Good: The weapon's third mode, very similar to Kratos's standard weapon.