Funny story - no matter what choices you make in the game, you will never see this image.note Left to right: Ray, Anna, Ed, and Bennett. Not all of them will make it.
Twenty Minutes into the Future, the brilliant particle physicist, Professor Javier Morales, has figured out the final calculations to unlock a brand new form of energy - Resonance. By separating and storing the two subparticles of an electron, then releasing them, the resulting collision of particles releases an explosion of clean, reusable energy. The further the separation, the more power.However, "explosion" is the operative word, and like all new discoveries, more than a few unsavoury characters are interested in the new way to make things go "boom".In the aftermath of a Resonance-related tragedy, Ed, Dr. Morales' research assistant, Anna, a doctor and Morales's niece, Ray, a journalist and Bennett, a detective, are brought together to uncover the secret of Resonance before the more "explosively minded" do first.Developed by xii games and published by Wadjet Eye Games (of The Blackwell Series and Gemini Rue fame).
Resonance uses the following tropes
Anyone Can Die: Whichever way you play it, you're going to see at least two of the Player Characters and an indefinite number of Non Player Characters get killed over the course of this game.
Artistic License - Physics: The basic concept of Resonance as a matter-destroying, energy producing reaction is entirely made up. That said, most everything else is fairly realistic, so keep repeating that MST3K Mantra.
Big Applesauce: As is often typical of a Wadjet Eye Games production, the fictional city has a strong flavor of New York, complete with a secretary who has the accent, complex subways full of graffiti, nobody responding to a call for help, the specter of terrorism blowing holes in buildings...
Big Bad: The Eleven Foundation, really, as they set everything in motion. If you include Ed, it comes a Big Bad Ensemble.
Boring, but Practical: In the opening sections of the game, there is a puzzle involving rewiring a security panel to open a side-door, described by the developers as the hardest part of the game. Or you could just climb back out the window and go through the open front doors.
Bunny-Ears Lawyer: J.P. Tortoise, who, while being very obsessed with puzzle boxes, seems to have cornered the security market of the city.
But Thou Must: When Bennett asks what's going on at the hospital, trying to let him in on it will lead to Anna interrupting Ed before he can speak (at this point they're not sure if they can trust the police).
This is explored throughout the game: Anna being killed before she can make the choice, the Eleven Foundation's master plan, the fact that the game rewinds when you fail a (timed) puzzle, etc... all refer to how we cannot truly defy fate, how we never really have free will, and that every choice and event in life is always calculated and controlled by an unseen force.
Chekhov's Gun: The database "Antevorta" pops up at the beginning, before being mostly forgotten in all the Resonance-related shenanigans. Turns out they're pretty closely linked...
The Chessmaster: Both Ed and The Eleven Foundation, the former towards his three companions and the latter to Ed and the rest.
Cloudcuckoolander: Ozzy is a downplayed example. He has a thing for The Wizard of Oz, what with his emerald green cubicle concealed behind a red curtain and how he announces himself as "The Great and Powerful Oz".
Cowboy Cop: Bennett, which is made obvious during his introduction, where he violates orders to track a suspicious person down.
Death by Flashback: Anna is the only character amongst the four that has flashbacks to her childhood, and some serve as clues to the mystery. Guess what happens to her at the end of the second act.
Decoy Protagonist: Cleverly done. The first scene is played from Ed's perspective, and then during the four individual scenes, Ed feels like the one whose personality we get most inside. Thus he feels like the "real" protagonist of the four Player Characters... until two-thirds of the way through the game when he gives The Reveal.
The Dev Team Is Unusually Flexible: While your options as a player are by no means unlimited, there are many puzzles in the game that have more than one possible solution, using different combinations of the four characters you control. Unlocking all the achievements requires finding several of these alternative solutions.
Dropped a Bridge on Him: Just as Anna uncovers that Morales was her father, not uncle, she's unceremoniously shot in the head...by Ed.
False Flag Operation: The Eleven Foundation were never interested in Resonance as a power source. Instead, they wanted a weapon of mass destruction that could be blamed on terrorists and used to create global fear to justify the use of Antevorta, their Big Brother supercomputer capable of tracking every electronic activity of every person on Earth.
First Name Basis: During the prelude to the final confrontation with Ed, Bennett refrains from addressing Ray as "Jimmy", much to the latter's pleasant surprise.
Sanguine - Ray, a sometimes flirty, always outspoken writer.
Choleric - Bennett, a no-nonsense, driven detective.
Melancholic - Ed, a socially awkward mathematician.
Phlegmatic - Anna, a compassionate but secretly-insecure doctor.
Foreshadowing: There are several hints early in the game that Ed isn't what he seems. For one thing, he keeps saying that Dr. Morales is hurt inside the lab, even though he has no proof of this, and never tries to call Dr. Morales' phone. For another, he starts to get kind of... manic... whenever anyone starts discussing Resonance technology. Most obvious, though, is his reaction to Anna giving him a peck on the cheek - despite all the ship teasing between them before now, Ed doesn't look happy, or flustered, or even very surprised. He looks downcast.
Even more subtle are the two Red Herring notes that point toward Bennet (not counting the letter Bennet dropped by accident). In both instances where Ed hands something of Dr. Morales to Anna, she immediately finds a note attached to it. Coincidence?
Functional Addict: Ozzy, a friend of Ray who works at the National Credit Service. He has a comfocil addiction, but it doesn't interfere with his work... except when he runs out and gets panicky. You have to replenish his fill (this can also be done with a placebo) in order to get Morales' financial records.
Gratuitous Spanish: Happens once or twice with Dr. Morales talking to his niece, most notably with the password to the Resonance vault - Te Prometo, or 'I promise'.
Guide Dang It: The aptly-named "Insane" achievements fall under this trope. One requires you to go through a Time Trial without taking steps to increase the amount of time you have, and the other requires you to solve a four-part block-puzzle without being able to see the blocks. It may be that the developers meant they cannot be unlocked unless you know exactly what you're doing, either because you've played the game before or because you're looking at a walkthrough.
Hoist by His Own Petard: With a dash of Karmic death. In one of the endings, Eddings is taken out by one of the Resonance devices stolen from Morales.
Also happens to the Eleven Foundation, courtesy of Raymond Abbot, if the player so chooses. They manipulated him so the AbbotPost could become a reliable news source. But because of Ed's betrayal, they also had to reveal themselves to him, providing enough information to expose them. Normally, as Ray says, nobody would have listened to a mere blog written by an independant journalist. But since he exposed several scandals before...
How We Got Here: The game opens with the news report showing over a dozen cities world wide having suffered some sort of an attack, before jumping back 60 hours earlier.
New World Order endings: At the end of the game, you kill Ed with the resonance technology, and Ray gets to choose whether to post an article exposing the Eleven Foundation or drop the charges to go back to his normal life. If he does, the organisation initially succeeds in getting the US government to adopt Antevorta, but their victory is short-lived as they are ultimately exposed and arrested, but the two heroes are still on the run; if he doesn't, Antevorta is taken on by every nation in the world, just as the Eleven Foundation wanted.
Lesser of Two Evils ending: Alternatively, Ray can be sympathetic to Ed's cause and agree to help him destroy Antevorta - but Detective Bennett and several hospital patients die, and it's not clear how much damage has actually been done to the Eleven Foundation.
Necessarily Evil: Ed honestly hates himself for his actions, but he has a point when he says Antevorta would be a thousand times worse then a couple deaths and possible collateral damage to delay the project.
The Nicknamer: Not to the typical degree, but Bennett relies on these from time to time, such as "Sugar" for Anna, and "Jimmy" for Raynote As in, "Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen".
The latter is lampshaded late in the game, with Ray calling him out and explaining that Jimmy Olsen was in fact a photographer, not a reporter. Bennet retorts by requesting whether he should call him "Lois Lane" then.
Playing The Player: As it is hinted right from the beginning that at least one of the Player Characters are not completely trustworthy, the player is left in state of mild paranoia and speculation right up until the The Reveal.
Red Herring: Detective Bennett is not the traitor. The seemingly incriminating letter he drops is about something else.
Repressed Memories: Anna's nightmares are caused by the recollection of how her "father" really died: her "uncle" Javi (really her father) knocked him down a flight of stairs and then fled.
The Reveal: Approximately two-thirds through the game, after you locate Dr. Morales' hidden vault, Anna is given the choice whether to save or destroy the research, only for Ed to shoot her in the head, reveal himself to behind the murder of Dr Morales, and try to kill Ray and Bennett.
Sphere of Destruction: How Resonance-explosions operate. Anything sitting inside the sphere...isn't, afterwards.
Straight Gay: Bennett is implied to be gay and to have been involved with a fellow officer who was forced out of his job after being outed by a reporter. This explains his letter and his mistrust of Ray.
Well-Intentioned Extremist: Tolstoy "Ed" Eddings. He is perfectly right when he says that the Eleven Foundation needs to be stopped by any means necessary, and he's obviously torn up about his actions. On the other hand, he's a multiple murderer who betrayed everyone close to him.
Western Terrorists: The opening Flash Forward shows scenes of terror from around the globe. Naturally the perpetrators are revealed through the course of the plot.
Wild Card: Ray. He can choose to support either Bennett or Ed in the final confrontation, and if he chooses the former Bennett leaves it up to him if he want publish the truth about the The Eleven Foundation and potentially bring both of them in trouble, or just delete the article and walk away.
Will They or Won't They?: Ed and Anna form a pretty immediate connection. She even asks him to accompany her to her Uncle's grave for moral support. Then, near the end of the story, he shoots her in the head.