Video Game: One Finger Death Punch
One Finger Death Punch
is a deceptively simple Stick Figure Rhythm Game
styled after East Asian Martial Arts Movies
in the vein of Bruce Lee
and Xiao Xiao
. You play as a lone martial arts hero fighting off scores of enemies charging him from all sides. The controls boil down to pressing the left and right mouse buttons (not just one of them, as the title would suggest) whenever an enemy comes within striking range left or right, respectively. If that sounds boring, wait until special enemy types and weapons come into play, to speak nothing of special stages...There is no story to speak of.
The game was featured by The Cynical Brit
and Extra Credits
Tropes found in the game:
- Button Mashing: The game explicitly makes it a point that trying to do this will get you killed even on the earliest levels: pressing either attack button when you have no valid target to hit or weapon to grab will cause you to miss, both impacting your score negatively and leaving you open for enemy attacks. That being said, towards the end of the game when you're up against multiple enemies that take several hits to kill, you still need to mash the respective attack button sufficiently quickly before the enemies reach you.
- Battle in the Rain: The Thunderstorm Rounds take place during a storm—so you cannot easily see the type of enemies coming at you.
- Boss Battle: The Boss Rounds feature just one enemy, the boss, who alternates between several colored mook patterns as you deplete his health.
- Dual Boss: Several boss rounds late in the campaign (including the very last round of it) pit you against two boss-type enemies at once.
- Final Boss: At the end of every Lightsword and Nunchaku Round, you always have to fight a Brawler with a particularly long, fast, and tricky sequence of hits.
- Mini-Boss: The Brawlers require a specific (often randomized) sequence of timed hits to defeat.
- Bruce Lee Clone: The protagonist.
- Coup de Grāce Cutscene: Sometimes the game will enter ultra slo-mo to show off a particularly brutal demise of a random enemy at the hands of the protagonist, or at least as brutal as it can be with stick figures that're Overdrawn at the Blood Bank: the variations involve breaking the enemy's neck or ribs with an x-ray view of the damage, punching out their heart through their back, punching out one of their eyes, slicing off a part of their head, impaling them on an upright spear or crushing their head with a mace. Another variant is a quick button-mashing prompt. Yet another is throwing your weapon only to impale the enemy on it, which actually lets you reuse the same weapon again.
- Critical Status Buff: When you're left with just one HP in a regular mob round, there's a chance that the game grants you the Golden Sword that, unlike regular swords, is not discarded after a few hits but can be wielded until the end of the round (or, more likely, until your hasty demise).
- Deliberately Monochrome: The Classic Film Rounds are this—preventing you from seeing the color of the charging enemies (like the Thunderstorm Rounds).
- Difficulty By Acceleration: The game gradually picks up speed towards the end of the each stage and performing particularly well makes it carry some of that additional speed to the next levels. Furthermore, higher difficulty modes automatically set the game speed higher.
- Failure Is the Only Option: In the Survival Rounds/Mode, the enemies keep coming infinitely, so the only challenge is how many of them you'll outlast.
- Foe-Tossing Charge: Occasionally, the protagonist enters the Rage Mode, which basically lets him charge through every enemy on and off screen in both directions.
- Funny Bruce Lee Noises: Both the hero and the enemies make them all the time.
- Gameplay Grading: At the end of every level, you may be given a medal, based on how many times you missed (Platinum for no misses, Gold for 1-3, Siver for 4-6, and Bronze for 7-9). Also, if you haven't lost any health, you get a Perfect Round distinction.
- Grievous Harm with a Body: Rarely, you can use one of your enemies as a thrown weapon.
- Ground Pound: One of the unlockable skills allows you to kill every enemy on the screen. However, since it's hard to notice when it's available and it replaces your next normal attack, it's difficult to use efficiently.
- Heal Thyself: The Heal skill restores one hit point for every 99 enemies you kill.
- Heavily Armored Mook: The colored enemies take more than one hit before going down—but unlike Brawlers, their required hit patterns are always the same (per color). This is especially true of colored mooks who only attack from one side, since they block incoming punches rather than evade them.
- Heroes Fight Barehanded: While the enemies will often charge you with weapons, you will dispatch most of them with punches and kicks.
- Hit Points: By default, you can be hit ten times before having to restart the level. Depending on the type of the level, your HP can be reduced.
- Hyper-Destructive Bouncing Ball: The fittingly-named Ball of Death. You can keep bouncing it off enemies, killing them in a single hit, but it's easy to either miss a bounce or get hit by another enemy from behind.
- Interface Screw: Blind Survival removes the hints that show you your range and the enemy fighters' key presses.
- Joke Weapon: The swords may be rarely be replaced with a fish and the maces might take the form of grinning spiked stars. They're just as deadly as their less-humorous counterparts though.
- Kung-Shui: Parodied, enemies break background objects whenever you hit them near one and new ones are lowered onto the level on a regular basis just so that you have more things break, including market stalls and entire houses.
- Laser Blade: The protagonist wields one in the Lightsword Rounds—though the game emphatically denies that it's a lightsaber. There's also beam nunchaku, of all things.
- Luck-Based Mission: Due to the innate randomness of the various special attacks that can give you a much-needed single attack with extra range or let you annihilate every enemy on the screen, some of the harder levels suffer from this if the game's not feeling generous. There's also the fact that thrown weapons can stay active when you're fighting a brawler and if you're unlucky, suddenly kill off the said brawler with no warning, causing you to miss your attack and possibly get hit.
- That said, the levels themselves are not inherently random - if you follow the same sequence of actions, they will spawn the same sequence of enemies. the problem is that random effects can change your sequence - you might randomly enter Rage mode, for example. More subtly, while the same enemies will be armed every time, the weapon itself is random (which matters with thrown weapons), and it drops in a random location when the enemy is killed, which may be or not be in reach.
- Mook Chivalry: When you're fighting a Brawler, no other enemy will attack you. They don't have trouble attacking you from both sides at exactly the same time, however.
- Old Master: The narrator especially functions as one, at least as far as his exaggerated Asian accent is concerned. Subverted in that outside of announcing when your skills activate during gameplay and your level ranking, he doesn't comment how well or badly you're doing and mostly serves as a voiced tutorial.
- One-Hit-Point Wonder: Defender, Dagger, Bomb and some Mob Rounds start you off with a single life point, meaning that you cannot miss any hits at all.
- Powers as Programs: You only have a limited number of slots to "install" the skills you unlocked, but you can change your active skill composition at any time between rounds. Additional skill slots can be unlocked by beating the game's campaign mode.
- Power-Up: You can pick up weapons left behind by enemies and wield them for a few seconds to extend your reach. Ranged weapons guarantee one-shot kills but bring less points.
- Regenerating Health: With the Heal skill active, the protagonist regenerates one HP every 99 kills.
- Rubber Band AI: The less hits you miss and take, the faster the enemies become—and vice versa, though the speed never drops below the default and later stages increase it automatically.
- Simple Yet Awesome: The Fighting Game.
- Skill Scores and Perks: Completing certain stages unlocks passive skills that give you bonuses (except in certain stage types). You can only have three skills active at any time but can swap them out freely between levels.
- Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Grabbing some thrown weapons, picking up a weapon you're already wielding or having the eponymous skill lets you throw a weapon. Swords take out everyone in a line, spears rebound off the first two targets and impale the third and maces bounce around uncontrollably, killing enemies at random.
- Timed Mission: In Timed Rounds, you need to beat all enemies within a time limit, but in return you have infinite HP and the enemies are massively slowed down whenever you're not moving. Getting hit will still net you both a time penalty and slow you down, and towards the end of the game, it's extremely easy to fail one of these levels if you get hit even once.
- Unexpected Gameplay Change: One of the unlockable survival modes features Luca the cat from one of Silver Dollar Games' Xbox Indie game No Luca No, whom you need to keep from blocking the screen by pushing it away with the cursor while playing the game normally at the same time.
- Zerg Rush: The standard tactic of the regular one-hit enemies. Also the standard tactic of all enemies (except the last one) in Lightsword and Nunchaku Rounds.