Video Game: Shadow Of Rome
A PS2 Hack and Slash
set in Ancient Rome. Julius Caesar has been assassinated, and the father of Roman General Agrippa has been accused.
This ultra-fun game is split between combat scenes in various arenas (Agrippa becomes a gladiator, since the winner of eventual games will have the honor of executing Agrippa's father) and stealth scenes where you play as Caesar's nephew Octavianus, trying to unravel the mystery.
This game provides examples of:
- All Gays Are Pedophiles: Octavianus receives a (mercifully text-only) come-on from a grown man late at night, even if he's in his male clothes.
- Attack! Attack! Attack!: It doesn't matter if you've broken and/or cut both their arms off thus rendering them unable to use weapons; they will probably still be attacking you. They will also ocasionally try to fight you with shortswords and maces in hand while you have a Grand Halberd or Magnus seconds away from slicing them apart. They don't even bother staying out of range (save for bosses ocasionally).
- Awesomeness Meter: Salvo meter, which you can use to Win the Crowd over and get better weapons.
- Back Stab: The Stuck Pig Salvo: attack an enemy that has their backs to you while groggy (usually because they took plenty of damage beforehand) with a dagger, and an animation of Agrippa stealth killing them will be triggered.
- Batman Gambit/Gambit Pile Up: Maecenas suspects that Vipsanius is not Caesar's murderer, then he learns that Caesar is still alive, and that Decius killed an impostor under Antonius' orders, who had learned that Caesar was passing him over in favour of Octavianus. He proposes the gladiatorial games as a way of revealing the plot to a wide audience, and introducing the people to the true heir of Caesar, Octavianus.
- BFS: Magnus, the Great Sword.
- Big Bad: Antonius
- Big Bad Friend: Sextus
- Blade on a Stick: Halberds and Grand Halberds. Also, Long Axes, the standard chariot racing weapon.
- Breakable Weapons: All of them — from the big badass Magnus, to the jugs Octavianus can strike guards with. Justified because there has to be some reason why you can't just plow through every stage with a big awesome two-handed weapon that kills every foe with a single charged hit (or, in the stealth stages, any weapon). Also, if they're throwing that stuff to the gladiators, it must mean they've been used more than enough.
- Bring My Brown Pants: Weakened enemies will ocasionally pee when you aim at them. The Urine Trouble salvo is awarded for when you hit them while they're in that condition.
- The Dragon: Decius is one to Antonius. Maecenas is another one to the same person, but it's revealed towards the end of the game that Maecenas is The Mole.
- Escort Mission: A few of the gladiatorial matches involve Agrippa trying to protect noncombatants from other gladiators. They have remarkably low health and can't use anything to defend themselves.
- Gameplay Roulette: Not satisfied with the sudden, often criticized switches back and forth between Hack and Slash and Stealth-Based Game styles, the game also has one part when you play a Driving Game with chariots. Granted, it's still far easier to win it by killing all opponents as the player always does, not to mention the player is forced to do that in the race against That One Boss, but it's still different enough from the rest of the game that it warrants a totally different set of controls.
- Gorn: Saying there's plenty of it in this game is a bit like saying there's plenty of ice in the Arctic.
- Gosh Dang It to Heck!: Despite the mature rating of this game, nobody ever swears, even though they're flung into plenty of situations where you would highly expect them to.
- The Guards Must Be Crazy: You'd think they'd know the difference between a senator and a dude in a toga. Also, they never think to looking inside the massive vases unless they see you jumping into them. They also reach It's Probably Nothing mode with hilarious ease.
- Guide Dang It: 100% Completion of the Salvo List will require you to guess some very specific salvos exist, specially the ones that require you to be holding an exact set of weapons (e.g. Dimacheri, though you're likely to bump into this one accidentally). Also, Rolling Thunders are hard to time, so most players don't bother trying to pull the off, let alone figure out the Rolling Thunder based attacks.
- Hopeless Boss Fight: Agrippa versus Decius early in the game prior to Agrippa becoming a gladiator. To add insult to injury, Decius fights with nothing more than his tiger paw gloves and wins by a mile.
- Hurricane of Puns - The Salvo List. Balls of Steel for scoring a killing blow with an Overhead Bomber from a Morningstar (actually, it's a flail), Big Balls of Steel for scoring a killing blow with an Overhead Bomber from a War Chain, Im-Pressed for crushing an opponent under a press, Second Im-Pression for crushing more than one opponent with a single trigger of a press, Fire-Fighter for attacking a foe while they are on fire, so on forth.
- Improbable Weapon User: Sticks, roses and severed limbs are all usable as weapons, though roses break in one use and cause minimal to no damage, so, there are better ways to use them. The stealth scenes take it a step further; advancing will often require that you knock people out with jugs, ropes and the dreaded Banana Peel. The final stages will have you breaking oil jugs for the enemies to slip on, flour to create an opportunity to strike an armored soldier with a jug and rats and frogs to scare the shit out of women (as well as force the silly guards to follow them and try to console them).
- Infinity–1 Sword: The Great Halberd, the Great Maul, and the Apollo Spear.
- Infinity+1 Sword: The Magnus.
- No One Should Survive That: Some characters will survive for long after you've sliced both of their arms out. Slicing through torsos and necks will always be lethal, though.
- Playing with Fire: First you get the target soaked with oil (contained in oil slings and in some barrels), then you attack them with a torch or Arrows on Fire. Later on, you gain access to the Epic Flail that can set things on fire (War Chain) and fire traps that burn enemies standing over them when you press a switch.
- Precision F-Strike: The Big Roman Balls salvo is obtained when you enter the arena willingly unarmed. The Kick Ass salvo is obtained when you kick Antonius while he has his back to you.
- Smug Snake: Maecenas. It's revealed to be a Jerkass Façade.
- So Much for Stealth: During the battle against German tribes in the beginning of the game, at one point, Agrippa can sneak up on a German camp whose men are asleep. One step too close and they're awake — the only way you can score a stealth kill there is by throwing a weapon.
- Throwing the Distraction: Has to be done ocasionally during the stealth stages. When you throw a stone and take cover quickly, the guards will stare at the stone, giving you wide room to sneak around them.
- Throwing Your Sword Always Works: You can throw most weapons. Maces are particularly effective — throwing them will often cause the victim to drop their weapon, which not only gives you a good opportunity to strike, it's also beautiful when your opponent has a good weapon in hands.
- Trial-and-Error Gameplay: During Octavianus' parts, you may be forced to restart/die constantly in order to figure out how the guards move and how to sneak past them or knock them out.
- The Unfought: Iris and Charmian, the creepy Egyptian twins who give orders to Sextus on behalf of their mistress.
- Very Loosely Based on a True Story: The game is very loosely based on the Roman Empire roughly around the rise of Emperor Augustus. Knowledge of the time period gives some hints on just who is and isn't out to take out Octavianus also known as the future Augustus.
- Video Game Cruelty Potential: The game rewards you for doing terrible things in the arena, so, you might as well get it done.
- Whip It Good: Available during chariot races. That One Boss uses a rose-themed version.
- Wholesome Crossdresser: Octavianus can disguise himself as a maid without raising the slightest suspicion (not about his gender, anyway).
- Win the Crowd: An actual game mechanic. The player can fill up a Salvo meter by pulling off Salvos, which tend to be crazy stunts and special kills. When it's full, you can beckon to them and they will throw useful things your way, like special weapons and food.
- You Have Failed Me: Decius kills Narclastese for losing his chariot race against Agrippa.
- Your Head A Splode: Some attacks will smash enemies' heads into what the game describes as "a bloody pulp".