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Video Game: Sonny

"Zombies. You've shot them, stabbed them, sliced and diced them. Today I put you in the shoes of a Zombie. Fight for your life in this crazy and twisted world."

A series of Flash games (two thus far with a third currently in the works) made by KrinLabs and published by Armor Games, Sonny puts the player in the shoes of a recently deceased young man who, through some sort of experiment, was brought back from the dead as a zombie. On top of this, the man has no memory of his life before death. A blind man by the name of Louis finds him aboard a research vessel, and leads the first man (whom Louis named Sonny because the man cannot recall his real name) to lifeboats that will allow Sonny to escape from the vessel.

Things take a turn for the worst when soldiers from a corporation known as Zombie Pest Control Incorporated (ZPCI for short) come aboard the vessel with the apparent intent of destroying the ship and all aboard it. Sonny manages to escape, but now he must figure out why he had been turned into a zombie in the first place (as well as who did it) and survive in a world where he and others like him are hunted as vermin.

The first game can be found here, and the second game is here.

This work contains examples of:

  • Aerith and Bob: Discounting Sonny himself (as it's a nickname), we have as his companions Louis, Roald, Felicity, Galiant (a bit more out there, but still relatively normal), and... Veradux. Buh?
  • A.I. Roulette: Sonny's teammates cannot be directly controlled, but can be given general orders to focus on damage or healing.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Baron Brixius. Just... Baron Brixius. What else would you expect from a guy who says "Ooh, scratchy bitch" when you hit him... that, or "Owwwww" in an alluring voice? Veradux goes so far as to lampshade it in the second game:
    Baron Brixius: My loyal subjects are on their way here. This time, you're mine!
    Veradux: Let's break this bowl of fruit before the guards arrive!
  • An Ice Person / Making a Splash: The Hydraulic class of the second game is based around this, used to lock down enemies and make your allies stronger.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: Neither Sonny's party nor the enemy group in a battle can be composed of more than three characters. Near the end of the first game, this is lampshaded by Gailant the Paladin, who mistakes Sonny and a fellow zombie named Veradux for two members of a three-person group of soldiers sent to help him, and wonders why the third person is missing. (The answer: Because Sonny and Veradux just finished murdering said group of soldiers, and are now impersonating them... by accident. Veradux continues the lampshading further by telling Sonny to play along. Good idea, because this is your first fight with Baron Brixius, and the only way you're getting his 40,000+ HP down to nothing is with Gailant's help.)
  • Attack Its Weak Point: If a boss has thousands and thousands and thousands and thousands of health, it will have one of these. The police colonel, for example, will cast a buff on himself that boosts his damage output by 400%, but always gets a debuff that boosts the damage he takes by 400% after it expires.
    • The king of this is Dr. Klima from the second game, who has 2,600,000 HP and heals himself for 500,000 every 6 turns; the player has to use an ability to switch damage/healing.
  • Badass Boast: Sonny gets one in the second game.
    Cultist: Sacrifice the intruders! Their blood will save us from death!
    Sonny: But nothing will save you from me.
    • He does this even in the first, soon after defeating several enemies in the second zone and starting to become powerful.
    ZCPI: There's another one, shoot it down!"
    Sonny: By all means, try!
  • Badass Normal: Roald is the only non-zombie on your team. He does just fine.
  • Bag of Spilling: In Sonny 2, Sonny and Veradux start the game with their respective starting equipment from the first game. Sonny's equipment includes a white T-shirt (which in the first game originally had to be purchased in the first zone's shop), a pair of old sneakers, a pair of jeans, and a length of broken pipe that serves as his starting weapon (the pipe is lampshaded in the weapon's description, which reads "Me and the pipe...we go way back."). Veradux's starting arsenal includes a BFG and a set of Powered Armor that he stole from the ZPCI in the first game.
  • Baleful Polymorph: This is thoroughly inverted multiple times in the game. Some of the enemies you fight are in this form to make them more distinct and powerful from conventional enemies, and Sonny in the second game can transform himself into one of six different kinds (two to a class), each with its own benefits. To top it off, Doctor Leath in Zone 1 of the second game will transform his two accompanying Prison Guards into these (specifically said to be with a mutant injection) once his health gets low enough.
  • BFS: So, so many.
  • The Big Guy: Veradux has shades of this, despite being a medic. He generally seems bigger and burlier than Sonny in the cutscenes, can pack a good punch in combat, and has a husky stereotypical brawler-type voice.
  • Blatant Lies: During one encounter, Sonny tells his opponent that he doesn't usually solve problems with violence.
  • Bling Bling Bang: The ZPCI Sniper Rifle.
    "An excellent gun, though the gold plating seems a bit over the top."
  • Brick Joke: In the beginning of the second game, Sonny and Veradux are attacked by a female zombie named Felicity, who hurls a knife into Veradux's face, prompting him to cry out, "MY FACE!" Later in the first zone, the pair catch up with Felicity, who after being defeated in battle, hurls a second knife into Veradux's face, to which he responds by yelling "MY FACE! AGAIN!" before pulling the knife out of his face. By the time he does so, Felicity has already escaped. A weapon you get from Felicity in the battle has the description "Felicity's knife. Keep it away from Veradux." Still later in Sonny 2, you meet Felicity a third time, and Sonny says to Veradux something to the effect of "Quick, cover your face." When she joins your party, one of her moves is "Knife To The Face".
    • Not to mention the contents of the tape, namely "You Are My Sunshine", being sung by Veradux during the Mushroom Samba segment.
  • Boring, but Practical: The Magic Bolt ability: Only takes 10 focus to use, does 120% of your magic level in damage, and gives any follow up attacks a decent damage boost.
  • Casting a Shadow / Shock and Awe: The Psychological, which is based on mentally destroying the opponent, or shocking them into submission (because, you know, the brain runs on electrical impulses).
  • Classical Anti-Hero: Sonny.
  • Clipped Wing Angel: Many of the later enemies inflict statuses on themselves which have a major positive effect as well as a major negative effect, making taking them down an exercise in using this status to your advantage.
  • Combat Medic: Veradux's official character class on the inventory screen is actually specifically called "Combat Medic". He's still primarily a healer, but his damage output isn't terrible, so having him on the offensive now and again isn't a bad idea, especially when even that little oomph in damage can help or when you really want his Electro Bolt to knock off that enemy buff. Sonny can also be like this depending on your build (the Hydraulic class of the second game is most true to this trope, though).
  • Crapsack World: The world's in the middle of a Zombie Apocalypse, the "heroes" fighting them are an amoral Mega Corp. that's implied to be perpetuating the problem so they'll always have business, the government has devolved into a complete totalitarian state, any research into fixing the problem (like Roald's resistance group) is being suppressed, and regular people are forming cults and tribes that kill you on sight if you so much as wander into their territory.
  • Cult: you run into one in the second game. They sacrifice intruders, thinking it will ward off the undead. Ironically, unbeknownst to them, their leader is himself a zombie, albeit a sentient one: Baron Brixius. Once they realize this, the cult disbands.
  • Damage-Sponge Boss: The Bomb in Sonny 2, which can't even attack. It just has lots and lots of health and has to be destroyed before it detonates.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: The Psychological, one of the classes in Sonny 2, has a strong focus on Shadow-typed damage over time and debilitating status effects. However, it also has a few healing and buffing spells.
    • Averted, if the player so desires. Another ability lets you kill one of your allies to gain a 60% stat boost and 100% health regeneration for a few turns.
    • In fact, the series seems to be built on this trope; Sonny and Veradux are both zombies who are intelligent and don't seem to follow any zombie stereotypes (apart from being undead).
      • Although, if you click on the well in the Frozen Village, Sonny states that he has "other ways to maintain his hydration," possibly suggesting that he may indeed engage in zombie-like behavior — just not on-screen.
      • I thought he was implying that he drank his own urine. That or implying that he used his special abilities to maintain his hydration if he was a hydraulic class.
  • Dead to Begin With: Sonny (or at least his memories) begins the first game as a zombie.
  • Dual Boss: The City Council in Zone 5 and the Twin Guardians in Zone 7 act as this. Notably, they both become supercharged when one of the pair dies, with the surviving Councilor gaining the ability to charge up a One-Hit Kill attack every 3 turns, and the surviving Guardian shooting them right out of the box.
  • Duel Boss: In order to get the Black Magic achievement, Clemons the Deceiver must be fought as one by setting your party to consist only of Sonny for the fight.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: Sonny has more fantastic elements from Krin's earlier RPG's, including the inclusion of a Magic stat as well as fairly standard RPG classes that only differ in starting stats (as opposed to each having separate skill trees). Sonny 2 replaces Magic with Instinct and makes most abilities either technology-based or implied to be the result of zombification mutating Sonny. The three player classes are more unique and represent a particular emphasis of the bodily system corrupted-but-enhanced by being a zombie and each has their own skill tree with multiple build paths within.
  • Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors: Subverted. The system that the Sonny games use divides the elements into two systems: Piercing and Defense. Piercing governs attack in that you'll be more likely to critical with an attack of that element if your Piercing rating is higher than level one (equip items and certain techs can influence defense and piercing). Defense offers damage reduction against that element.
  • Emo Teen: Given that Sonny starts out equipped with skinny jeans and high-top sneakers, this is probably what he was when he was alive.
  • Everybody Must Get Stoned: As mentioned in the below Mind Screw and Mushroom Samba examples, Sonny and his party get stoned in Zone 4 due to a toxic gas. At one point, Veradux begins to sing "You are my Sunshine" before Sonny tells him to stop, and later during a fight with a hippie zombie, after the first time the zombie casts a particular attack, Sonny says, "I'm... freaking out, man...".
  • Flunky Boss: Sinjid's Shadow, the Hydra and the Mayor, accompanied by two Shadow's Shadows, two Fire Claws and a Guardian Cannon, respectively.
  • Gamebreaker: In the first game, you can drag an item into the options menu and click anywhere, the item will disappear, with the stats added to the character you had selected before going to options, permanently. Simply doing this instead of selling off equipment you don't need gives you a powerhouse.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Surprisingly, averted... when Felicity throws her knife at you, you get to keep it!
  • Glass Cannon: The Shadow Psychological build. Using the "Overdrive" ability doubles your damage and healing over time, but at the cost of 10% of your health each turn. However, a healing-over-time ability such as Terrify can easily offset the loss.
    • A Biological build can quickly turn into this with enough agility, piercing damage, and critical chance... but hope that the fight ends before the damage you take exceeds Veradux's ability to heal you.
    • Felicity, once she finally joins your party in Zone 5 of Sonny 2, mixes this with Fragile Speedster. She had about 2,500 HP when you fought her as a boss at the end of Zone 1... and she doesn't have any more when she teams up with you, despite being about 16 or so levels higher.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Sonny, Veradux, Felicity. The ZPCI helmets too, although if you're focusing on the "doom" part then Baron Brixius takes the cake.
  • Guns Are Useless: Played with, gun bayonets are used for melee and the guns themselves fire magical beam attacks, but no one is seen actually firing bullets with their firearms.
  • The Hunter Becomes The Hunted: The description for Sonny 2 implies that Sonny is sick of getting kicked around and is adapting to fight back:
    Dear Human, [...] By now you know what it's like to be a Zombie. To be hunted. To be hated. You fought to survive in a world that didn't make any sense. [...] But now you're getting used to it. Your senses have sharpened. You finally begin to understand. Why be the prey ... When you can be the predator?
  • It Can Think: The main difference between the "good guys" and "bad guys" is who actually cares that the protagonists are sentient (and non-evil) zombies. Roald's group is fascinated by the prospect and seem to regard them as people still ("We were a group devoted to finding a cure for your... condition.") and the oppressed citizens of Hew accept the party as they are once they find out that their liberators are undead. The ZCPI and corrupt police, on the other hand, couldn't care less and just see a few more targets to aim at.
  • Kill It with Fire: Roald and soldier-type enemies tend to specialize in this. There is also a flame-based boss in Zone 7 that drops a suit of armor and a sword, both of which give incredible bonuses to fire-piercing.
  • The Lancer: Obviously, this distinction goes to Veradux, being Sonny's main companion/support character for the majority of both games, unless he's dropped from the party during Zone 5 of Sonny 2 (which is unlikely, due to his value as a healer).
  • La Résistance: Roald's group, and the people in towns oppressed by the ZPCI.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia
  • Light Is Not Good: The ZPCI.
  • Lightning Bruiser / Poisonous Person: The Biological, which is made to tear apart the enemy with physical damage, or wear them down with a large arsenal of poisons with various damage-over-time effects.
  • Limited Move Arsenal: Sonny can only have up to 8 abilities equipped at a time.
  • MacGuffin: A cassette tape given to Sonny by Louis before Sonny escapes the White November research vessel in the first game; its exact purpose is unknown. After completing the first zone in the second game, Sonny learns the contents of the tape (it's the popular children's song "You Are My Sunshine",) but is confused as to how it helps him.
    • Actually, it's a MacGuffin of a different sort. Felicity switched the real tape with the one conveniently in her back pocket (or something), so while we don't get to learn the contents of original tape, we get a sliver of information on Felicity. Will probably come to light in further installments.
  • Magic Knight: Well, not magic per se, but Veradux both heals and casts poison and Electrobolt attacks in addition to wearing Powered Armor and having decent melee damage.
  • Manual Leader, AI Party: You always control only the eponymous character, with your other members being AI-controlled. In the first game, there's three settings: Defensive, Tactical, and Aggressive, which can only be changed in between battles. In the second game there is five settings: Phalanx, Defensive, Tactical, Aggressive, and Relentless, which can be changed at the start of every turn.
  • The Medic: For both games, Veradux acts as the team medic, although Sonny can sometimes fulfill this role in either game depending on which class/abilities he takes.
  • Mega Corp.: Zombie Pest Control Incorporated, more commonly known as the ZPCI, as shown when it is revealed that they are trying to stop people like Roald's insurgents from creating a cure, so that they will always have more business. Seeing as they control everything because of the zombie outbreak and the fear that it instilled, they fit this trope quite nicely.
    • The ZPCI make money hand over fist by exterminating zombies, and they even have an entire city in their pocket, with the city's taxes being used as protection money. They also try to ruthlessly quash anything with the potential for ending the Zombie Apocalypse, such as the cure for zombiism that Roald and his team were working on. Oh, and they also like to kill everybody who was involved in said attempts to end the zombie threat.
  • Mind Rape: The Psychological class in the second game does this.
  • Mind Screw: The fourth zone in Sonny 2 is one big Mind Screw. Justified due to the fact that the sewer is filled with a toxic gas that causes hallucinations in all who inhale it. The weird things found in there include a zombie hippie, a clone of Sonny, and a pink rabbit that periodically gets blown up by blows itself up like a Holy Hand Grenade. No, really, that's what the game calls it.
    • Also in the sewer is a kitsune enemy, Vivian Vixen, who buffs herself with something called "Vulpes Dulosus" right as the fight begins. This condition claims that it vastly weakens Vivian, but it actually vastly reduces the amount of damage she takes, which means that she takes a while to go down, despite only having 438 HP. But when she's almost dead, she shapeshifts into a fox, fully healing herself and applying a tenfold boost to her max HP! Luckily, Vulpes Dulosus will probably be about to wear off by then, if it hasn't already.
  • Mugging the Monster: Well, all zombies are monsters, but many, many times the ZCPI try to exterminate Sonny and Veradux, thinking they're just regular mindless ones. They're not.
  • Mushroom Samba: Referenced in the above Mind Screw example; Sonny and friends find themselves in a sewer that is full of a hallucinogenic gas. They're rescued by a group of miners at the very end, but not before fighting some really weird enemies that themselves may have been hallucinations.
  • Mighty Glacier / Stone Wall: The damage output of a Hydraulic isn't terribly great, but it can soak damage like a champ.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: In the cinematic before the first fight with Felicity in the second game, Veradux disables her truck with a well-aimed Electro Bolt. After the fight, Sonny and Veradux use the truck to learn the contents of the Tape, and then drive towards a destination on a map in the glovebox. When you get to zone 2, clicking the truck will bring up a message saying that Vera's shot wrecked the battery, and the dialogue between the pair in the first battle of zone 2 has Sonny complaining about the long walk to their destination.
  • No Plans, No Prototype, No Backup: This is played straight in the first game when Veradux steals a suit of armor from the ZPCI that is meant for use by medics, but then subverted in Sonny 2 with one of the mooks of the Zone 2 boss wearing armor very similar in appearance to Vera's armor.
  • One-Hit Kill: Perhaps the only enemy to invoke this is the ZPCI Sniper in Zone 2 of the second game. It takes two of his turns to rev himself up, stacking two buffs geared toward making his damage and Physical Piercing sky-high, but once he lets loose his attack (and the bolt is pretty much a sure-fire hit), then the one he hits is guaranteed to die. If he is unable to stack even one of these buffs, then he most likely will not kill you in a single shot, so you either need to interrupt his shot, or knock off at least one of his buffs, or you can kiss a teammate good-bye.
  • One-Winged Angel: Doctor Leath, Clemons the Deceiver, Vivian Vixen and Versu the Corruptor, all from Sonny 2.
  • Oop North: Roald's accent comes from somewhere in the U.K. and where his group was forced is Grim Up North to boot.
    • He's Irish.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: Specifically, Sonny, Veradux, and Felicity, aside from being undead, are nothing like conventional zombies. Averted with any other zombies you happen to run into, with the possible exception that they vary a bit more than average.
    • Baron Brixius, like the protagonists, is a sentient zombie. Unlike the protagonists, he is very much evil.
  • Perspective Flip: It's a turn-based RPG that takes place in a Zombie Apocalypse... except you're the zombie, albeit a sentient and very sympathetic one.
  • Plot-Driven Breakdown: Lampshaded by Sonny after the truck breaks down (forcing them to go through the frozen village by foot) then the train breaking down (forcing them to walk through the mines).
    Sonny: Just our luck. Why does everything break around us?
    • The Biological class can be built like this if one only invests in piercing and physical damage.
  • Pistol-Whipping: Physical attacks with guns use the bayonet; instead of bullets, characters use the guns to fire their spells.
  • Powered Armor: The soldiers of the ZPCI wear these in battle. Veradux also starts out with one when Sonny first meets him in the first game, and starts out with it at the beginning of Sonny 2. Veradux's armor is a prototype armor stolen from the ZPCI that was meant for medics to wear in combat zones.
  • Psycho Electro: The other (and more popular) build for the Psychological class. Electro Bolt is also an extremely useful skill in the first game which returns in the second game as one of Veradux's skills.
  • Rainbow Pimp Gear: While there are a few item "sets", with a shared visual theme, similar bonuses, and available around the same level, most of the time the party is going to be wearing a profoundly weird assortment of stuff.
  • Secret Weapon: The Seed, which was referred to towards the end of Sonny 2. Not much is known about this, but it is much more terrifying than nuclear warfare, as indicated by the reaction of the committee in the cinematic.
  • Shout-Out: As from the official Forums (currently down), there were a number of these
    • The Crowbar in Sonny 2, the "weapon of Free Men"
    • From Starcraft, the 'Night Vision' Headgear (worn by Ghosts)
    • The Rabbit from the sewers inflicts on itself a status ailment known as "Holy Hand Grenade"
    • The White November research vessel references the submarine from The Hunt for Red October.
    • A headgear item purchasable in the sewer shop closely resembles Elvis' trademark hairstyle.
    • Doctors "Leath" and "Hedger" make an appearance in the second game. Guess who they sound like.
    • The Host: a "man" in a white tux in the middle of a zombie invasion. Hmm...
      • And he wears a "Bugo Hoss" suit.
    • Gregor is the name of the protagonist of one of Kafka's novels, who finds himself turned into a cockroach...
      • It goes further than that. It gives itself the "Schadenfreude" buff (Kafka was German) and inflicts the "Apple Throw" debuff, described as having an apple stuck in your back (which happens to Gregor Samsa in the story).
    • The BFS "Burk's Precision" is a Shout-Out to Krin's other game, Tainted Kingdom.
    • A number of enemies are named after users from the Forums such as "Shunny" (the Sonny clone) and "Flower Zombie" (the hippie zombie)
    • See You Meddling Kids below.
    • And many more.
  • Status Buff; oh so many...
  • Standard Status Effects: Averted. There are lots of similar status effects which have different flavor to them. For example: rather than have just one Universal Poison, a character might lose HP over time due to bruising, bleeding wounds, being on fire, or even lingering shadow magic.
    • Said lingering shadow magic also causes the victim to regenerate Focus, so Sonny can actually profit from shooting himself in a pinch.
  • Super Mode: The second game has several: The Biological splat has Predator and Toxicant forms, the Psychological has the Psychopath and Wraith forms, and the Hydraulic has the Avenger and Guardian forms.
  • Sure, Let's Go with That: In the first game, Galiant the Paladin assumes that Veradux and Sonny are his reinforcements he requested to fight Baron Brixius... except that they just slew the real reinforcements the battle previous. Veradux whispers, "Just shut up and nod, Sonny. Shut up and nod."
  • True Final Boss: Versu the Corruptor in Sonny 2, whose entire zone is only accessible after obtaining the Legend achievement.
  • Verb This!: When Baron Brixius is revealed to be controlling the zombies in the 3rd stage of Sonny.
    Zombie Ambassador: He is your new master. You shall obey.
    Sonny: Obey this, you twat!
  • Violence is the Only Option: There's basically no encounters that end without fighting. At one point the group beats up a hobo because they have no reason not to.
    Vagabond: Spare some change?
    Veradux: (after a few rounds of combat) Hey, wait a minute, this guy's not a zombie!
    Sonny: Well, I couldn't just let him have my well-earned cash now could I?
    • Subverted with the fight against Roald and his buddy. After a couple of rounds, they realize there's more to Sonny and Veradux than meets the eye, and agree to stand down. Roald then joins your team.
  • Voluntary Shape Shifting: The Beast Form ability.
  • Wacky Wayside Tribe: The Shaman Tribe in Gadi'Kala serve as an almost literal example. They don't affect the plot, serve as enemies for the sake of being enemies, and act as filler before the combat starts involving relevant characters again. But only after you've eradicated the whole lot of them.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Sonny and Veradux beating up a homeless man two homeless men because they don't want to give them their change.
    Veradux: Hang on, that wasn't a zombie!
    Sonny: Well, I couldn't let him have our hard-earned cash, now could I?
    • Sonny also gives Veradux a serious one in the first game before the fight with the Final Boss:
    Veradux: The Baron's dead. Let's kill this whoopy superhero and leave!
    Sonny: But why? He helped us.
    Veradux: Listen Sonny. To them, we're monsters. Now we can either be alive monsters, or dead ones. You choose.
  • Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?: Actually, "Sonny" was a nickname given to the protagonist by Louis; he can't remember his real one.
  • Wolfpack Boss: Several:
    • The ZPCI Captain - ZPCI Assault - ZPCI Medic squad at the end of the first zone of Sonny, and their more powerful versions, the ZPCI Elite - ZPCI Sniper - Elite Medic in zone 3 of the same game, and the Captain Hunt - ZPCI Sniper - ZPCI Medic at the end of the second zone in Sonny 2.
    • The Shaman Council (Dokebi the Striker, Vendetta the Breaker and Argalla the Mender) in Sonny.
    • The Antagonist, Phantom, Beast trio in zone 3 of Sonny 2.
  • World of Snark: So, so many interactions within the party and with enemies.
    Sonny: So... how long do you plan on sticking around?
    Veradux: Um, 'till death do we part'?
  • You Meddling Kids: Baron Brixius calls the heroes this when you're about to kill him in Sonny 2, in a line that seems to be blatantly ripped off from an episode of Scooby-Doo:
    Baron Brixius: No... not again... and I would have gotten away with it... if it weren't for you meddling kids!
  • Zombie Apocalypse: Subverted. What zombie activity there is is played up by the ZPCI in order to stay in business and make a massive profit.


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