is a indie game series consisting of two side scrollers developed by Konjak
The first game is a mix of an action game
and a platformer
, whereas the second one eschews the platform element to make a significantly faster paced action game. The plot from the games is relatively simple
. The first game set in The Future
pits the protagonist, Noitu Love, against Mad Scientist
Darnacus Damnation and his army of Mecha-Mooks
, the Grinning Darns. The second game takes place in the future and pits Noitu Love's Distaff Counterpart
and Action Girl
Xoda Rap against the Grinning Darns who've mysteriously risen again.
The first episode can be freely downloaded here
. The sequel can be bought here
, through Desura
, or on Steam
This series contains examples of:
- Action Girl: Xoda Rap, a ninja girl capable of agile attacks and swift maneuvers.
- Actionized Sequel: While both games have a strong emphasis on combat, the first one has a fair amount of puzzle/platforming elements to go with the action, while the sequel is more of a straight Beat 'em Up.
- Ascended Extra: In the first game, Rilo Doppelori was only in one level, and was just another boss with minor plot importance. Come Devolution, and she's one of the main characters, and the only one other than some bosses to return from the original game.
- After the End: The sequel.
- A God Am I: Tango attempts this in the finale of Devolution by fusing with the last Evomatic.
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot:
- Tango in the sequel was originally the Darn Base's main computer, until she started thinking independently and using the Darn Army to her advantage.
- Rilo's a subversion; her loyalty to Darnacus is a major reason why she hates Tango so much.
- Anachronism Stew: Actually used as a plot point in the sequel; in addition to the Darns being back, the areas visited have been "devolved" from the modern day to other time periods.
- Anchors Away: The Sailorman boss in Devolution wields a chained anchor as a weapon.
- And I Must Scream: Rilo states in the sequel that Tango was left by herself for hundreds of years after the Grinning Darns were defeated by Noitu. No wonder she's gone mad.
- Animesque: The games' art-style features some influences from Japanese video games and anime.
- Animorphism: Used in the first game to help Noitu Love get places and defeat bosses.
- Another Side, Another Story: After beating Devolution as Xoda, you can play the story again while playing as Rilo Doppelori. The plot shows her beating all the bosses Xoda faced, including the Sea Serpent that clearly blasted her away in Xoda's story. It ends up tying into the main story by the end, though, where the two characters meet at the Darn Base, and both go different ways, with Rilo going to activate the base's self-destruct and fight a new boss.
- After beating the game as Rilo, Almond is playable. His story doesn't tie into anyone else's, though, and since a good amount of the plot revolves around Almond's capture, it's clearly non-canon.
- Attack Its Weakpoint: Just about every boss in both games. The only ones who don't have one are either defeated in a non-fighting way, or are small enough for their entire body to count as a hitbox.
- Auto-Scrolling Level: One segment in the second stage of Devolution has one after the first mini-boss.
- Background Boss:
- Omega Darn in both games.
- O2-Joy in the second game starts like this, but heads into the same area as you after being smacked by hammers enough.
- Bad Future: Year 2888 (AKA, the actual year the game takes place) in the sequel, where the Darns have destroyed everything, and Tango's taken over with her towers. Partially fixed after Tango is destroyed.
- Bishonen Line: The final boss of Noitu Love 2 crosses it between forms two and three.
- Bigger on the Inside: The sequel is only about 12MB in size yet packs in a lot of fast-paced action.
- Bittersweet Ending: In Devolution. Tango's gone, her towers are gone, and with the Darn Base discovered and destroyed in the past, the Darn uprising is averted. However, most of the world stays devolved to earlier time periods, and with Tango and the base gone, Rilo is free to rebuild the Darn army.
- Bird Run: Xoda Rap.
- Bonus Boss: Shady Hans in the second game, who can only be fought on higher difficulties as Xoda, and only if a secret area is found.
- Boss Rush: The first game has a mode to do so. Despite having more focus on bosses, it's absent from Devolution.
- Brick Joke: In the first level of Devolution, you have to duck behind trees as they get gunned down and fall in the water. After that segment, a Darn Dimwit attacks in a boat from the background. Guess what takes him out so that you can progress.
- Camp Gay: Darn Fab. Less so in the second game.
- Charged Attack: Xoda Rap has two, one being a grab-and-throw, and one being a charged projectile. Rilo can charge up a laser blast that can target up to four enemies.
- Cool Boat: The Mordecai Fluke in the sequel pilots one on land. With giant wheels, a cannonball shooter, and a chargeable laser beam.
- Cool Train: The Sleeper Brakeman in the sequel pilots one that looks normal... until you beat the mini-boss before him, which causes the train to turn into a walking robot and give chase while shooting a cannon.
- Creative Closing Credits: Devolution ends with an old-fashioned credits reel accompanied by pictures of Xoda thumbing-up various people. It's followed by all the characters, enemies, and bosses in the game in a yearbook.
- Crosshair Aware: In Devolution, attacks and movement are controlled by positioning a crosshair with the mouse. Also happens with enemy attacks.
- Dark Action Girl: Rilo Doppelori and Tango.
- Death by Falling Over: How the Sleeper Brakeman's vehicle meets its end. Given that it's a Transforming Mecha train, this is more humorous than it sounds.
- Demoted to Extra: Due to the Time Skip, every character in the first game except for a few major Grinning Darns (Rilo Doppelori, The Grin Reaper, O2-Joy, Darn Fab, Grinsley Gumsburrow, and the Omega Darn) is only mentioned or briefly seen in pictures. Of the returning Darns, only Rilo gets any dialogue and plot importance, with the others just being bosses.
- Devolution Device: The Evomatics can do this, and they works forwards as well. Darnacus' plan is to use them to turn all the world's humans into monkeys.
- Drop the Hammer:
- Darn Fab carries a huge one in the first game. It's about twice his size, yet doesn't hamper his movement speed at all.
- Poundelita in the sequel also carries one. Again, doesn't seem to slow her down.
- Distaff Legacy Character: Xoda to Noitu.
- Easy-Mode Mockery: The first game ends prematurely on the easiest difficulty level.
- Evil Knockoff: Rilo Doppelori is this to Lori.
- Exact Words / Visual Pun: Yes, Grinsley Gumsburrow does have a nuclear arm aboard his blimp. It's his left arm, to be exact.
- Excuse Plot: The first game boils down to "there are bad guys, go kill them". The sequel has a more complex plot underneath that, but most of it is restricted to the final levels, and there's a lot of unanswered questions by the end.
- Flash Step: Xoda can do this, flying through the air if necessary.
- Fluffy the Terrible: Judging by the writing on the side of it, the Mordecai Fluke's ship is named "Daisy". Said ship is outfitted with crushing wheels and several cannons.
- Go for the Eye: The Omega Darn's weak point in the second game is his still-attached eye.
- Gosh Dang It to Heck!: Played for Laughs. "Grinning Darns" is the name of Darnacus's army. Ironically, most major Darns in the first game swear at least once.
- The Grim Reaper: The Darn Army has a robot form of one that appears in both games. Fittingly, it's called the Grin Reaper.
- Helpful Mook: In Xoda's Unexpected Shmup Level in the sequel, Darn Nitwits can be used to chain Xoda's Combolt Battery beam so it can get behind shields. They're required to beat the Sleeper Brakeman.
- Heroic Mime: Noitu Love and Xoda Rap.
- Hoist By Their Own Petard: A few bosses in the series are beat like this.
- A giant flying Darn head in the first game is defeated by having it chomp down on the homing missiles that it shoots at you.
- The Janitor robot in Devolution has no weak point. Instead, it must be hurt by manipulating gravity so that its electricity bombs fly back at it.
- Humongous Mecha:
- Omega Darn in the first game. He gets scaled down quite a bit in the second game, but is still one of the largest bosses.
- Penultimate Tango may also count.
- In Case of Boss Fight, Break Glass: A common weak spot for some Darn vehicles. For example, the Sky Crawler, the first mini-boss of Devolution.
- Intentional Engrish for Funny: "Is Noitu we see! Is going to die!"
- It's Up to You: That Peacekeeper group both Noitu and Xoda are a part of? Yeah, don't expect them to be helping you stop the Grinning Darns. Even when the Darns invade the Peacekeeper headquarters in both games, no one's doing anything but cowering in fear.
- Lampshade Hanging: Sergeant Killburne's Weak Spot is a banner that says "weak point".
- Load-Bearing Boss: A minor example; after beating Poundelita in Stage 3 of the sequel, her hammer breaks the bridge you've been fighting on, sending you into the next section of the level.
- Mecha-Mooks: The Grinning Darns throughout the series.
- Mission Control: Lori in the first game, and Almond in the second. Tango briefly takes over in the second game after Almond is captured.
- Metaphorgotten: At the end of Xoda's Story Mode, the final boss and our heroes talk about the villain's evil plan, where Almond says it is playing God, but the villain retorts that they will become God, and then goes back to the Heroes' statement, pronouncing, proudly, something along the lines of "It will be just like playing with myself".
- Musical Assassin: There's a lot of music-themed bosses—the first game has O2-Joy and the disco dancer enemies, while the latter has O2-Joy again, Darn Fab and The Grinning Four. The only one for whom music plays a role in defeating the boss is O2-Joy, however.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Tango gives away the locations of the Darn base, sending Xoda there on what is essentially a suicide mission with the intent to be rid of her. Funny thing is, the heroes couldn't have found the base themselves, and the Darns would have eventually destroyed all human resistance.
- No Ending: While Xoda's and Rilo's stories conclude in a way, Almond's doesn't. After beating his final boss, he congratulates himself for taking out the Darns, and the credits roll.
- No Final Boss for You: While Xoda and Rilo both get unique final bosses, playing as Almond ends the game after beating the Tango Source, who's already fought in Xoda's game.
- Non-Action Guy: Almond, to the point where (when you play as him) he does nothing except dodge. The mouse cursor can shoot enemies and cause Almond to fly, but neither action appears to be performed by him on-screen.
- Puzzle Boss:
- O2-Joy in both games. In the first, you must trigger his Berserk Button (jumping on his piano) so he'll move down to hitting distance. In the second, he's on a background stage, and to hit him, piano keys must be stepped on when he moves to the left or right, causing a piano hammer to hit him. He becomes a more conventional boss after hitting half health, though.
- Janitor in Devolution. He lacks a weak-point, but will drop bombs that create electric fields. The trick is to wait for them to activate, then flip gravity so they fly back at the boss.
- Every boss except Darn Reckless in Devolution's Level 4 (as Xoda). They all involve using the Combolt Battery's chaining to get past shields.
- Only I Can Kill Him: Tango chose to bring back 2288 instead of 2188, when Evomatics were common, because she believes only Noitu Love can defeat her, and he's gone by 2288. It's left ambiguous if she meant it literally or if it's a case of The Only One Allowed to Defeat You. Either way, she's wrong.
- Quintessential British Gentleman: Grinsley Gumsburrow, one of the more major Darns.
- Rank Inflation: The sequel gives you a letter grade based your performance at the end of each stage.
- Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs: Noitu's and Xoda's primary attack, though in Xoda's case it's much more rapid.
- "Rashomon"-Style: If you play as Xoda in Devolution, then in Level 3 you're ambushed by Rilo Doppelori, and then when the Sea Serpent strikes, she helps you but quickly falls off. If you play as Rilo, the roles are reversed. On the other hand, in Xoda's Level 6/Rilo's Level 5, the ending cutscene for Xoda and Rilo mesh perfectly (Xoda goes off with Almond, whereas Rilo goes in the other direction to set the self-destruct).
- Robot Girl: Rilo Doppelori. Also, any female-looking Darn.
- Rule of Cool: Flying skateboards, dash kicks starting from mid air, spinning somersault kicks, wall jumps, etc.
- Rule of Funny: Almost all of the bosses.
- Sdrawkcab Name: Noitu Love and Xoda Rap.
- Secret A.I. Moves: In the fights with Rilo and Xoda in Devolution, they can perform moves that can't be done while playing as them.
- Slasher Smile: They don't call the Darns the Grinning Darns for nothing.
- Squick: In-universe, one of Darnacus's lines after Noitu Love defeats Rilo has this effect on the others.
- Super-Deformed: The series is presented in this style.
- Tactical Suicide Boss: Nearly all of them in both games.
- Theme Naming: Tango and Waltz. Pretty much every Grinning Darn is some variation of "Darn Enemy".
- The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Doppelori states that only Darnacus and his true servants (meaning herself) are allowed to take over the world - this is her reason for stopping Tango from doing that.
- Time-Limit Boss: When playing as Rilo in the sequel, Waltz/Shadowaltz must be beaten before the timer on the Darn Base's self-destruct expires.
- Time Skip: The sequel takes place in 2288, a century after the original game. Except not. It's actually 2888, and everything from 2288 is there because of Tango's time towers.
- Tomato in the Mirror: The sequel revolves around figuring out why areas are being regressed to time periods before modern day. Except by the end of the game, you discover that year 2288 is not modern day either; it's actually 600 years old by this point.
- Transforming Mecha: The Sleeper Brakeman drives a transforming train.
- Trick Boss: In Level 3 of the sequel, the boss of the level appears to be Rilo (or Xoda, if Rilo is being used). About halfway through the battle, the Sea Serpent you beat up earlier blows both of the fighters into the river on a wheel, and said Sea Serpent is fought as the real boss of the level.
- Unusual User Interface: Okay, so you fire the plane's missiles by evolving into a psychic, pushing two buttons, evolving back into normal, shoot a wind-up gear about a dozen times to make a missile come down, devolving into a monkey and jumping on the button on top of the missile. How realistic!
- Unexpected Shmup Level: Level 4 of the second game is this for Xoda, as she flies on a hoverboard while using the Combolt Battery, a gun that can chain-hit enemies. It's skipped as Rilo and Almond due to redundancy.
- Video Game Dashing: Xoda can perform a dash kick on ground and mid-air.