Video Game: Noctropolis

Noctropolis is a 1994 Adventure Game with a twist. Rather than being a daring adventurer in a fantasy kingdom or a clever astronaut in deep space, you play a Superhero.

Peter Grey's world has come crashing down with the failure of his book store and his wife's infidelity. His only solace is the monthly adventures of Darksheer, the grim avenger of the night who protects an eternally darkened city called Noctropolis. But he's about to lose that too, as the latest issue ends with Darksheer capturing the last of Noctropolis's supervillain community and hanging up his cape.

But then Peter finds out he's the winner of the "I Want to be Darksheer!" contest and receives a new issue showing a new villain named Flux breaking the worst members of Darksheer's Rogues Gallery out of jail, as well as a magical coin that teleports Peter to Noctropolis itself. After bumbling through a beginning adventure he assumes Darksheer's mantle, but is he up to the job of saving the city from the forces of evil?

This Game Provides Examples Of:

  • Ascended Fanboy / Summon Everyman Hero
  • Captain Ersatz: This game seems to take a lot of inspiration from Batman.
  • The Dark Age of Comic Books: A rather blatant attempt to cash in on it.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Darksheer's devices are fueled by a substance that's basically liquid darkness, created by a brotherhood who wished to use the substance for good. Nearly every encounter with a villain in the game also ends with Peter grievously wounded and needing to hurry back to the lair and use it to heal himself.
  • Downer Ending: The game ends on the triumphant note of no less than primordial beings telling Peter he's a worthy inheritor of the Darksheer name. It totally ignores how the previous Darksheer went evil from a soul-destroying addiction to liquidark, and that by warring on the forces of evil with the same tools there's no reason the same won't eventually happen to Peter.
  • Faux Action Girl: Darksheer's sidekick Stiletto doesn't win a single fight in this entire game.
  • Fingore: Stiletto gets one of her fingers chopped off by Master Macabre.
  • I Have Boobs, You Must Obey!: Stiletto's main form of aid; talking guys into helping the duo or distracting them, both by showing off her costume's boob window.
  • Instant Expert: Even though no indication whatsoever is given that Peter had any such skills beforehand, he's able to hold his own against Stiletto in a fight when she tests his mettle. Guess reading comic books taught him to kick butt.
  • Light Is Not Good: It turns out the Big Bad who broke out the other villains is the original Darksheer, who now has a light-motif.
  • Moon Logic Puzzle: One of the earliest examples consists of: To enter a cathedral guarded by a lethal flying gargoyle, the player must A) locate the couple pixels representative of the only loose bar in the iron-wrought fence, B) open utility panel of a nearby streetlight, C) attach fifty-pounds worth of cable to connect the fence post to an arbitrary lead, and d.) throw the bar, like a spear, some 20 yards so that it lands upon the fountain on which the beast occasionally perches so that it is electrocuted the following time it does. This puzzle was one of the first in the game and significantly simpler that later examples.
    • If nothing else the game is slightly more merciful than others in this genre because if you have all the right items to solve the current puzzle and try to use one of them on the correct screen, Peter will just implement whatever solution the designers had in mind no matter how strange. There's no having to combine the three items in some inane way first or click all over the screen trying to find the one spot where the game recognizes you making the correct input.
  • Non-Action Guy: Despite supposedly being a worthy successor of the Darksheer mantle, it turns out the main villain's plan actually hinges on Peter completely failing at catching villains, getting his ass handed to him in every encounter and repeatedly having to hurry back to the lair and subject himself to a healing bath in magical liquid darkness. It works like a charm.
  • Pixel Hunt: And in parts of the game where you're under a strict time limit to escape from the area and get back to your lair or you'll die, too.
  • Stripperific: Stiletto.
  • This Loser Is You: Peter.
  • Timed Mission: Every single encounter with a villain ends with Peter mortally wounded and needing to solve some puzzles to escape the area so he can return to Darksheer's lair to heal himself before he dies.
  • Totally Radical: They seemed to be trying to write a game in the style of a gritty 90's comic book... without having read any gritty 90's comic books. Or just a few of the worse ones. So a lot of their attempts to write edgy dialogue sounds silly even by 90's comic standards.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The first of Darksheer's rogues Peter takes on is the Succubus, a nun who is demonically possessed and impregnates herself via Peter after kidnapping him. Even after the nun is saved this is still presumably true, but you never hear about it again.