Video Game: Space Station 13

"It's like playing an episode of Sealab 2021 on acid."
—Angry Diplomat, on the Something Awful version

One of the most pervasive and popular Role Playing Games on the BYOND platform, largely in part to Something Awful users who play it. A number of different servers run the game, including the Goonservers, /tg/station, Bay12, and others - be warned - your play experience may differ vastly between each of these!

You are one of many people aboard Space Station 13: one of many Space Stations deployed by the NanoTrasen corporation and kept in line by the rather vaguely defined Central Command (frequently Wikiworded as CentCom) unit. Various problems occur on or around the station, which are vaguely hinted at by unreliable and classified communications. The incompetent, paranoid, self-serving, and just plain sociopathic members of Space Station 13 then have to attempt to do their jobs and survive as the situation unfolds around them - but they usually just start killing each other until they evacuate. The modes differ greatly between servers, but the usual premise is that someone aboard the station is a traitor of some description, be it a spy, alien in disguise, or a space wizard.

Every player is assigned a certain job, according to preferences, random chance, and what they haven't been banned from. There are several departments of sorts, including the science team, medical, engineering, security, supply depot, botanics, and various others. They each have their own spawning sections, equipment, access levels and duties, all designed to keep the station going and deal with whatever issues come up.

In practice, of course, it never works out that way.

Despite there being originally a general disregard for RP and game fluff, Space Station 13 actually has a backstory. Depending on which version you play, it is viewable on the Goonstation wiki, on the /tg/Station wiki,or on Baystation's wiki. Roleplay servers have also seen a surge in popularity.

A number of attempts have been made to remake SS13 on a more suitable platform. A number of ex-developers from the Something Awful version are working on a full 2D remake of the game on a new engine. Baystation is attempting another remake - again and again. Additionally, a 3D First-Person Spiritual Successor known as Centration is being worked on. Another Spiritual Successor called 404: Law Not Found (focusing on a group of malfunctioning robots trying to run a starship) is being worked on and has a Kickstarter. Unlike the others it's in the style of a classic tabletop game. Also, ever since the remake Space station 13 standalone went open source there have been a number of remakes going for a small time. Most of them promising such as Space Station 14 and SS31


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  • Abandoned Area: Some servers have derelict stations or ships out in space, in various states of decay.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: One of the available jobs is as the AI of the station, which becomes this in some Gamemodes.
    • Perfectly functional and good AIs can be subverted into this on purpose by players with less-than-wholesome intent. This can itself backfire horribly if the law is poorly written and the AI player chooses to interpret it in a particular manner. Some of the default law modules have problems, such as the Quarantine module resulting in pre-emptive crew killing to prevent escape. The Ion Storm random event can also mess up the AI with strange laws such as telling it to lock all the doors, that the command staff doesn’t exist or that the AI "MUST NOT HARM VIRUSES OR, THROUGH INACTION, ALLOW VIRUSES TO COME TO HARM."
  • Art Evolution: The original version's sprites versus the aesthetically superior resprited versions.
  • The Artifact: The Clown role was created as a "punishment" for disruptive players, to deny them any real responsibilities while everybody else actually played the game. The Clown eventually became a regular role anyone could get randomly, but the Clown was already the unofficial Mascot Mook by then (and is still comically useless).
  • Artifact of Doom: Various kinds of Alien Artifacts can be found scattered around in space or ordered from NanoTrasen's reserves on some servers. They can rarely turn out to be helpful, but most of the time you'll be seeing them cause horrible things like injecting people with chemicals, emitting horrible noises, turning unwitting victims into Cyborgs, outright exploding, and so on. That some of them can be activated by a simple touch doesn't help matters.
  • Almighty Janitor: Well, sort of. For being what sounds like such a crappy role, you get a few fun toys. There are the foam grenades, which will fill a large portion of a room with foam when used, and then there's the good ol' mop and bucket. You can use the mop to mop any floor in the station, making it close to impossible to move through that room without falling on your ass. It also earns you the hate of most of the people in the game if you don't at least put wet floor signs down first.
  • Applied Phlebotinum: Plasma, a highly-volatile energy source discovered inside of a star. Since Plasma is the best and most valuable energy source around, NanoTrasen loves harvesting it. The crew's supposed job is to harvest and/or study Plasma and any other energy supply they find.
  • Ascended Glitch: The baseline version of Space Station 13 had a glitch in which a skilled Geneticist could turn a player's corpse into a living monkey, and that living monkey into the player, brought Back from the Dead. Said glitch eventually became common enough that every up-to-date server has a version of the Genetics Lab, which allows you to clone corpses to give players a second lease on life.
  • Authority in Name Only: While captains do have access that most people don't, they don't really do as much as the title suggests and nobody really respects their authority, unless you're in a RP server.
  • Back from the Dead / Death Is Cheap: Originally difficult but possible, due to a bug in the way Genetics worked, now impossibly easy between having your corpse cloned, your brain stuffed into a Cyborg, or cloned by a plant in some servers. Being spaced or gibbed, however, means you're more or less out for the remainder of the round, regardless of server.
  • Back Story: The original version of SS13 had an excessively complex backstory with complex bureaucratic diagrams describing NanoTrasen's corporate hierarchy.
  • Badass Normal: The entire crew. If part of the daily life on space stations is teaming up to swarm a mass murderer with basic tools, then it's kind of inevitable you're this trope.
  • Banana Peel: The Clown starts with one. Slipping on a banana's peel leaves you on the ground for a short while.
    • Competent botanists can actually mutate bananas to make them even MORE slippery depending on their potency.
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space: Averted. Going into space without air and protection will kill you very quickly.
  • Black Comedy: So, so, so much potential. Basically, a proper game should become a comedy-horror.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Averted, all the traditional firearms in the game have an ammo or battery system in place that requires reloading/recharging when expended.
  • Building of Adventure: Well Space Station of adventure would be more accurate but it fits the trope.
  • Butt Monkey: The Clown. People love to malign the clown because... well, because he's a clown.
    • Or the Lawyer.
    • Sometimes invoked literally with the lab monkeys.
    • And the Janitor. Because his only job is making people slip over at crucial moments where they need to run fast all the time.
    • Assistants are generally assumed to be one step away from traitors. "Assistant purges" are not unknown.
  • Burial in Space: It's possible, since there are coffins and a mass driver in the morgue to launch them with. Of course, people stuffing you in a coffin while you're still alive, then spacing you, will have the same result.
  • Caps Lock, Num Lock, Missiles Lock: Overuse of remote signalling devices can lead to this, as can carrying around many gas tanks. In the first case, you might accidentally trigger the suicide bomb instead of unbolting that door or shutting down the local camera grid, in the second you could catch yourself breathing nitrous oxide or plasma instead of oxygen.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Each section has its own personal uniform color: Security officers are dressed in red, naturally. Medical scientists and doctors wear white uniforms, and head staff and the captain wear green or Blue uniforms.
  • Convection Schmonvection: Averted; even being near a fire is dangerous without a firesuit or other protection.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: It's heavily implied that NanoTrasen is well aware of the death traps their stations are, but keep building them as is for cost cutting reasons.
  • Couldn't Find a Lighter: You can light cigarettes with a lighter, or a welding tool, or on your friend's flaming corpse. Also, explosions. Lighting it with a welding tool makes the game call you a badass.
  • Crapsack World: While the station itself is obviously a bad place to earn a living, the extent that the rest of the setting applies for this varies from server to server. At the very least there's a lot of corporate corruption going on.
  • Cutting the Knot: If a problem or puzzle can be solved faster and easier through violence than it's almost assured that the crew will resort to violence.
  • Dangerous Workplace: As /tg/station puts it, Space Station 13 is "a nonsensical metal death trap masquerading as a space station."
  • Deader Than Dead: Being gibbed or cremated is the only way to prevent someone from being cloned/turned into a cyborg.
  • Deadly Doctor: A malignant Doctor has access to a large number of syringes with which to load harmful chemicals into (or medicines if you're weird). Any Doctor can simply ask a Scientist to make the desired reagents, since they're more than happy to help as long as they're mixing stuff. Slightly mitigated by the fact that it takes a few seconds to successfully inject someone, but there are ways to stun the victim long enough for this.
    • That's not even counting that medical tools can be used as weapons. The surgical saw in particular has an uncanny reputation as being excellent for blinding people.
    • Traitor Doctors have access to the Syringe Gun, permitting them to shoot and immediately inject whatever they want from a distance. Stealthy ones can also use the Electromagnetic Card to short out the security system on the Hypospray, letting them load and immediately inject whatever they want.
  • Deadly Gas: Other than the obvious ones found in gas canisters that aren't good old Oxygen, Chemists/Scientists can also make some deadly chemical smoke. Whether it hurts by being inhaled or simply by touch depends on what reagents the smoke carries, up to three of whatever there was most of in the mix.
    • Worse yet, Traitor Chemists/Scientists can use a machine that spews out their smoke mix of choice constantly.
  • Depending on the Writer: Different versions of the game can end up wildly different from one another, especially as they go on and people modify them. An early form of Goonstation became a common base that many versions have spread out from, but now most stations are very unique in layout, equipment, and other options.
  • The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: Most versions of the game are full of insane amounts of freedom in doing almost anything you can think of, beyond what many would consider reasonable for a video game. There are or have been decent atmospheric simulations (including element composition and pressure changes from hull breaches), all kinds of crafting, tons of chemicals and different ways to administer them (drinking or injecting are popular), tools for almost anything... it's insane, and some stations are constantly tweaking or adding features.
  • Donut Mess with a Cop: Check any security HQ, on any map. There will always be a donut box there. Complete with pink icing.
    • At least on /tg/, if you're a role that starts with security access, eating a donut will even heal you a little.
  • Dysfunction Junction: To put it lightly, the station is a complete wreck. Mayhem and chaos are the norms, most crewmembers are borderline insane and paranoid, and the AI tends to fly out of control if fiddled with too much. There's a very strong implication that the station is actually just a place that NanoTrasen sends incompetent or mentally disturbed employees to so they won't mess anything important up.
  • Early Game Hell: Being inexperienced can be a death sentence and it can take a while to settle down in the game to enjoy it. Thankfully reading up on the wikis and online guides before you play can greatly lessen this.
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom: In older versions, it was possible to construct bombs which could completely annihilate the entire station and everything on it, leaving only empty space behind. Combined with the fact that they were also quite easy to build led to this happening very, very often.
  • EMP: Several kinds exist, pretty much all of them bad news. EMP Grenades do heavy damage to Cyborgs and cause lesser robots to go on a rampage, and the Electromagnetic Card (cryptographic sequencer) traitor item can short out damn near anything that's automated.
  • Enemy Mine: In a meta-example, the various servers and communities used to violently hate each other but have since largely put aside their differences.
  • Everything's Better with Monkeys: Normally played straight since they're quite helpful to the science team... unless they get pissed off for any reason, which usually results in someone getting a horrible beating.
  • Explosive Decompression: Also averted; while unprotected exposure to vacuum will kill you stone dead very quickly, it's usually one the least gory ways to die in the game.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: Quite frankly, in your average round the traitor is often the least dangerous player.
  • For Science!: One of the [[YMMV most/least]] successful excuses for griefing, particularly if it's related to your job description.
    • The catchphrase and often famous last words of any good Scientist or Research Director.
    • Often a sign that at least one part of Research is on fire, overrun by aliens, overrun by burning aliens or gone.
  • Gargle Blaster: Expected from any Barman, as most servers have a wide variety of drinks coded in.
  • God Is Evil: As a normal player, you are at the whims of the Admins, who have complete control over the entire station and things that don't even naturally occur. This tends to vary a lot between servers and individual admins, however.
  • Griefer: The game was essentially a haven for this before it got popular, and players would torment each other with impunity on a regular basis. This has been scaled back a lot in recent years.
    • If you're an enemy character such as a member of The Syndicate, griefing is an official part of your job, and you're encouraged to cause all sorts of creative trouble... just don't get caught.
  • Grievous Bottley Harm: Bottles can be broken on people and used as fairly strong weapons.
  • Hell Is That Noise: If you pay a lot of attention to the radio communications, a lot of the more common and harmless sounds aboard the station have the potential to become this. Imagine hearing on the radio that the clown is going around killing people across the station, and then hear the sound of clown shoes outside your door, you'd better pray there's another way out of there.
  • I Love Nuclear Power: The Genetic Research lab operates by bombarding test subjects's DNA with radiation. This is capable of turning you into a hulk, giving you telekinesis or x-ray vision, and making you fireproof. On the other hand, it can also give you crippling ailments such as epilepsy, blindness, and Tourette's syndrome.
  • Improvised Weapon: Just about anything in the game is a passable weapon in the right hands. Air Tanks and Toolboxes are two of the top choices. Crowbars are also highly effective.
    • Floor Tiles are not commonly used but can be extremely effective when thrown. Their power is further emphasized by the fact that they are stackable and are literally everywhere on the station if only the player has the willpower to collect them.
  • Instant Expert: Any player can do anything on the station so long as they have the tools needed for it; naturally some tools are way harder to acquire than others. Your chosen profession affects your initial access level and what everyone else expects you are supposed to be doing.
  • Just Eat Gilligan: Happens frequently with modes that involve station invaders or assassinations. Instead of making a plan to eliminate the target, the crew usually resorts to rushed and sloppy methods of killing that can cause worse damage to the station and crew than the round antagonists, like suicide bombing Medbay because the AI saw the wizard there.
    • Inverted in normal traitor rounds, since traitors are just another crew member, but played straight if a traitor just gets a short brig sentence for "good behavior" or having a good cover story.
    • Enforced to a certain extent. If someone's griefing, and you don't have hard evidence that they're a traitor, killing them is a good way to cop a ban.
  • Kill It with Fire: Happens to the whole station on a regular basis. The primary wekaness of both blobs and changelings is also good old fire.
  • Killer Robot: Cyborgs and the AI go rogue rather often. Luckily you can build a self-destruct remote detonator... if they haven't spaced the circuit board for it. And you need the Roboticist (or at least his ID) to authorize it.
  • Right Hand Versus Left Hand: You can fully expect the (optional) objectives you get at the start of the round to conflict with those of another player. One such example is a traitor who needs to protect the clown, while another traitor is to assassinate said clown.
    • Other than Nuke rounds that consist of a team of Syndicate operatives, this is pretty much the expected scenario of every round since there are always multiple antagonists. One of your orders can even be to kill another traitor.
      • Traitor Roboticists can defy the trope (if they want to) by warping in and activating a Syndicate Robot, as Syndiebots can identify other traitors.
  • Labcoat of Science and Medicine: Labcoats are part of the starting equipment of all of the medical and science positions on the station.
  • Lethal Joke Character: The Janitor was originally included as a punishment job, but is now among the more feared members of staff on the station. The Clown sometimes tends to waver between this and a normal joke character depending on how much he's been nerfed at any given time - his banana peels were at one time deadly. It is said a bad clown is annoying, a good clown is funny, and a GREAT clown is FEAR INCARNATE.
  • Lethal Joke Item: Aside from what was listed in Lethal Joke Character above, a wide array of seemingly-useless items can be deadly with the right knowledge.
    • Well-placed banana peels and the like - or hell, even a regular wet floor - can cause a running player to slip and tumble right out the airlock or onto their ass for a beat-down by an awaiting traitor (or griefer).
  • The Load: A bad player or someone deliberately trying to hinder the crew (either as a Troll or a traitor) can be this. Assistants in general tend to be seen as this, since they rarely contribute anything to the station and can be extremely detrimental to the crew at their worst.
  • Loophole Abuse: Players uploading new laws to the AI have to be very careful not to leave any loopholes, especially loopholes that give the AI license to kill everyone.
  • Lord British Postulate: You can bet that if something can ever be possibly killed than at least one player will try to kill it. Usually by using copious amounts of high explosives. Why try to avoid that wizard when you can just beat him to death with a toolbox!
    • This mindset, en masse, leads to modern crews being fairly difficult to completely obliterate; no matter how many you have killed or how great your powers, in almost every mode, it just takes one assistant with a blunt object and they think they can, and often will, stop you. Halloween events or other 'spooky' rounds are thus very, very difficult to plan or execute because almost everybody sees it as just a challenge.
  • Lovecraft Lite: There's plenty of unreal eldritch horrors going around the galaxy, but they're not much of a threat considering that they're regularly slaughtered by a crew of lunatics on some remote, piece-of-shit station.
  • Mad Bomber: Scientists can spawn in the Toxins lab, which literally has everything you need to make bombs neatly laid out in front of you. If a competent scientist takes issue with the way the round is going, the last third of it generally involves said scientist running around the station, dropping bombs everywhere it hurts.
    • With more rules and greater structure now on goon, it is more difficult to pull this off, with bomb caps and policies against bombing unless you're an antagonist class. If you are, though? It's still entirely possible to blow the station into burning chunks by yourself.
  • Mad Mathematician: A Scientist or Research Director (traitor status optional) with good math skills can be one of the most destructive (or helpful, if they're strange) people on the station. Knowing how many units to put into their chemical concoctions can make a huge difference in how much damage they do and how much area they cover, and successfully decoding the (now-optional) teleporter's mathematics for the round gives them access to anything and everything on (and off) the station.
  • Mad Scientist: The usual projects for Scientists and Geneticists include superpowers, building high-yield bombs, activating incredibly deadly alien artifacts, and mixing chemical weapons.
    • The Hydroponics department takes this Up to Eleven by being able to breed many deadly kinds of plants.
    • Roboticists are known for being frighteningly sane and competent in comparison to the average stationer... unless they're traitors, in which case they have a virtually endless supply of death machines to play with such as hacked helper bots (i.e. Medibots for lethal injections, Floorbots for tearing the station apart, etc.), Syndicate Cyborgs or an AI (and by extention all the regular Cyborgs) with modified laws.
  • Man on Fire: Anyone who gets the Fire Resistance mutation or is reasonably good with chemicals can negate all heat-based damage while still being lit on fire. Some chemical mixtures can even cause the air around you to spontaneously combust, turning the player into a walking bonfire.
    • Infernal Retaliation: However, it is worth noting that setting someone on fire does not kill them instantly, and in some cases doesn't hurt them at all. Flaming people with no regard for their own health can fight back against the one who set them ablaze.
  • Marijuana Is LSD: Double subverted on servers that have cannabis that you can grow. While the base plant itself applies general effects typical to real-life cannabis, there is a chance that the plant can mutate into rainbow cannabis instead, which will get you far, far more high than regular old THC ever would.
  • Mathematician's Answer: A bit of a Necessary Evil in this game, as while experimenting and asking questions is encouraged, certain things are purposely obscured and will net you this trope because they tend to be too powerful and/or fun-ruining in the wrong hands. This mostly extends to chemical recipes and gas mixes, which can be understandably frustrating for a newbie Chemist or Scientist, which is why they require patience.
  • The Millstone: Invoked with traitors. Assistants, the Head Of Personnel, and particularly incompetent security officers also tend to be this.
  • Monster Clown: A traitor clown can potentially turn into this.
  • Monster of the Week: On servers running the "secret" mode, the enemy trying to wreak havoc across the station is randomly selected from a variety of adversaries each round. This can include aliens, revolutionaries, terrorists and wizards.
  • Munchkin: Very, very common in the playerbase (also called p2w.) Most servers will ban for this if the player is being particularly bad about it with no signs of improvement.
  • Murder by Cremation: Furnaces can be fueled with living people. It's a fairly good way of killing someone Deader Than Dead. The chaplain also has equipment to cremate bodies, living or dead.
  • Negative Space Wedgie: Quite a few of them. Ion Storms mess with the AI, Space-Time Anomalies flood the station with wormholes, Black Holes suddenly manifest in a random place and tear out a huge chunk of the station, and Plasma Storms blow everything up.
  • The Neidermeyer: Bad captains are generally this sort of guy. Referred to as "comdoms."
  • Never Found the Body: Invoking this by spacing, gibbing or incinerating a body is a good way to keep yourself hidden when playing a traitor.
  • Nice Hat: Everywhere. Hard hats are standard issue for engineers and their boss, helmets are commonly worn by Security and sometimes the Head of Personnel and Captain, the beret is the trademark of the mime and any officer with style, and the Head of Security and Captain both get a Commissar Cap.
  • Non-Ironic Clown: "Clown" is an actual player job. and in theory is supposed to provide lighthearted entertainment to the crew. In practice, most players itch for any excuse to legally murder the clown and silence that damn honking.
  • No OSHA Compliance: Pretty much all the primary, high-output power generation systems have no automatic safety mechanisms. Some of them can't even be contained if things do start to go south, at which point it becomes a race to see whether the escape shuttle/pods can be summoned/launched in time to rescue people.
    • The automatic Fire shutters. Naturally they're meant to cause people not to walk into areas that have gone up in flames, but more often than not people are unable to escape because the shutters lock them in. Not helped by the fact that the switch for the shutters is only located inside the burning room in question and are very sensitive to heat, to the point that they may simply activate again a couple of seconds after they're deactivated. Savvy players who know fires will be produced by their work usually just disconnect the alarm entirely to save themselves the trouble.
  • Not Me This Time: Happens all the time. People assume that if you're the chemist, you're responsible for the roiling cloud of thermite-napalm-superfoam-smoke that is destroying the station.
    • If you are a botanist, you better make damn sure you lock the closet, lest someone steal a chainsaw while you aren't looking and blame you for their nefarious deeds. Indeed, most savvy players try to make their kills with equipment that is definitely not related to their starting job.
    • Whenever any door is electrified, any APC is tampered with, or the station is flooded with deadly gas, people inevitably blame the AI. Even- no, especially if the object in question has been hacked so the AI can't control it.
    • Any and all 'suspicious' behavior by cyborgs (including following their laws, such as "prevent harm to humans" when the human traitor is being legitimately harmed by a security officer) tends to result in people screaming "BORGS ARE ROGUE" over the radio.
  • Numerological Motif: It's numbered 13 for a reason.
  • One-Man Army: Good wizards end up as this. As do murderboning traitors.
  • Only Sane Man: The Head of Security is meant to be this and often is. Their job is basically to keep the lunatics running rampant on the station in line. When the AI isn't murdering everybody and the round begins to go south, they can often become this, attempting to advise and warn the crew of various dangers or just snarking as they watch the carnage unfold.
  • People Jars: The cryo cell is used to save your life, the cloning tube is used to make a new one, and the Genetics Modifier is where you can donate your body to science!
  • Pistol-Whipping: The revolver was a very effective melee weapon for a long time. It was probably a better idea in some situations to just run up and whip them instead of shooting. The melee damage of the Revolver has since been nerfed, making it a pure shooting weapon - the Energy Sword has taken its place as the traitor's melee weapon of choice.
  • Police Are Useless: Realistic version: security officers are often unable to properly deal with griefers who aren't confirmed enemies of the station, because the rules governing their behavior are very strict and admin-enforced. Other than that, it depends on the round; when security is on the ball, things run smoothly, but usually they're either out to lunch or on a rampage.
  • Police Brutality: Also known as shitcurity. It is as common here as in real life.
    • One could say that Revolution rounds where security gains the upper hand tend to end up as more brutal versions of the Stanford Prison Experiment.
  • Poor Communication Kills: And how. Just try to fight back against a person who's trying to beat your head in with a toolbox - more often than not, some bystander will call you out as the antagonist, and good luck if there was no traitor evidence on the body. Justified due to the limitations of text communication during combat and the mass paranoia of the entire crew in general.
  • Puppet King: The captain is basically just a figurehead that none of the crew listen to. The Head of Security is the one actually keeping the station together.
  • Purposely Overpowered: A large amount of antagonist items and abilities are made to make their jobs easier and the crew's attempts to stop them harder. Most antagonist failures result from, ordered from most likely to least likely: the antag himself just plain sucking, one or two Badass crew members taking him on, the majority of the crew actually being on the ball that round, and Finagle's Law slapping him upside the head.
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: It is heavily implied in the backstory that Nanotrasen assigned crew members to Space Station 13 for being... special.
  • Recycled IN SPACE: Space Station 13 is commonly considered to be a lot like Sealab 2021 IN SPACE! The original plan for SS13 was actually an underwater research base.
    • The underwater concept may actually come to fruition, not to mention the fan-made map and server that takes place on Mars!
  • Red Shirt: Grey, in this case - the Assistants. Because there's only a limited number of job spots available,there will always be tons of them around, and they're expendable. (And can often be found trying to beat someone to death with a toolbox.) Also, the ones wearing actual red shirts are the (often just as incompetent) security officers.
    • Anyone working in the Genetics Lab might as well have a sign on their back that says "Kill me"; given the Genetics Lab's ability to resurrect the dead, any antagonist worth their salt will always target it first. Any round where the lab isn't blown to smithereens is a miracle.
  • Refuge in Audacity: The game runs on this. Even on the RP-intensive servers, you will encounter some truly bizarre shenanigans from the other players. In most cases these are done by the round antagonists who are allowed to bend some rules, and it's sometimes funnier to see what they have planned rather than try to stop them immediately. Non-traitors can it as well, but unless it's really hilarious it's generally frowned upon if it's going to result in character death.
  • Reliably Unreliable Weapons: The oxygen tank and fire extinguisher are two of the most prized items on station, because of their reliable head-breaking abilities, and their actual intended uses. Every other item that can be used as a weapon, will either knock someone unconscious in one whack, or take thirty hits to down someone.
  • Robe and Wizard Hat: The standard uniform of a Wizard. The most common method of neutralizing a wizard (besides the good old toolbox to the head or generous application of lasers) is stealing their staff, robes, or hat.
  • Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies: When a round is taking too long or if the admins just feel griefy, this is the result.
  • Science Cannot Comprehend Phlebotinum: Very little is understood about Plasma, which is partly why it's so dangerous to use. In one version of the backstory a group of scientists getting sloppy with it caused an explosion on the moon that wiped out half of Asia with asteroids.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: In most scenarios, the only official way to end the round is to call the Emergency Escape Shuttle, often while one half of the station is in smoking ruins and the other half leads to deep space.
  • Schmuck Bait: Many admin-spawnable objects, including fake Captain's Spare IDs.
  • The Secret of Long Pork Pies: The surest sign you're dealing with a traitor chef is if most of the meat that comes out of the kitchen is other crew members. Or a non-traitor chef, since there's an even chance that dead bodies will end up dragged into the kitchen instead of the cloning lab.
  • Second Law My Ass: AI and cyborg players are obligated to follow their laws. They're not obligated to be nice about it, and at any given point at least a third of ban requests deal with when it's OK to use Law 1 to override people's commands (Clown: "AI LET ME INTO THE CAPTAIN'S QUARTERS!"). Commonly known as "Assimov."
    • Some events in the game purposely invoke this, like Ion Storms that randomly change the laws, or a traitor uploading a new law that overrides the original three (the most common one being "Only <traitor> is human").
    • Syndicate Robots are programmed with Asimov's laws with all the "Human" clauses changed to "Syndicate Agent", allowing them to be as mean and violent as their Syndicate creator wishes, so long as it isn't to the creator himself or another Syndie.
  • Shout-Out: Loads. Changeling is a not-so-subtle reference to The Thing (1982), and there's an Alien mode which is Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
  • Slippery Skid: A number of items can make you slip and fall on your ass.
    • Janitors are especially hated for causing this. Since most people just leave their movement option to "Run", they pretty much slip on any wet floor that the Janitor just cleaned up, Wet Floor Signs be damned.
    • A number of items exist for the sole purpose of slipping on. The Clown starts with a couple of them.
    • Space Lube applied to any surface will cause people to slip regardless of whether they Run or Walk on it, and makes them actually take damage from the fall. Often a sign of a rogue Chemist.
    • People also slip on chemical foam while it's been frothed out onto the floor. Made worse in that foam can have as many reagents in it as the maker can cram into the beaker/grenade/bottle/whatever it came out of.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: The general (or at least memetic) opinion of "SecHoPs" or "HoPcurity," Heads of Personnel who decide to load up on security gear and play at being security enforcers.
  • Smoke Out: Since Smoke constantly spreads out in eight directions and blocks line of sight past it, it's entirely possible to set up a smokescreen and flee the scene.
  • Space Is Cold: The only reason you need a suit on most stations. Under some code revisions, it was possible to 'space hobo' to other parts of the sector with only an insulated firesuit, air supply, and some coffee due to this.
  • Space Station: The game is set on one obviously. It's described as a screaming metal death trap posing as an actual space station.
  • Spiritual Successor: Mitadake High, stripped down a lot of the features but essentially runs on the same mechanics, revolving around a high-school murder mystery.
  • The Starscream: Heads of Personnel that act like this are referred to as "Backup Captains".
  • The Stoner: An experienced Botanist, and anyone on his/her good side.
  • Stripped to the Bone: What happens to whoever a wizard casts Shocking Grasp at.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: If half the station is still usable by the end of the round, it was a boring round.
    • To wit, any time a bad engineering team releases a Singularity, any time a Traitor is sufficiently skilled at bomb making and has access to Research, any time Chemists figure out how to cook thermite and acid into the same fire extinguisher, any time the admins feel like screwing around, any time a meteor storm happens, any time a sufficiently-stoked fire reaches the warehouse full of explode-y things. This happens a lot.
  • Swirly Energy Thingy: The Gravitational Singularity, main station power source on most servers. Some codebases allow it to swallow a Supermatter Shard. This is very bad.
  • Teleporter Accident: Problems with Telescience are distressingly common when its console is manned by an inexperienced player who punches in invalid coordinates. Such gems include the teleporter spewing fire, spewing radiation, emitting a bright flash that stuns everyone in the room, randomly opening a rift in space-time, outright destroying the teleporter pad, or spawning in enemies to terrorize the station.
  • The Syndicate: Played straight, the syndicate is run by people NanoTrasen squashed on their rise to power.
  • Thirteen Is Unlucky: Just look at the name and page image.
  • Three-Laws Compliant: The original/default AI settings come with the classic three laws, though they can easily be replaced, added to or otherwise fiddled with. Of course, just because the AI is meant to be Three-Laws Compliant doesn't mean the player won't try to find and abuse as many loopholes as they can get their hands on.
    • On any server, the crew is basically monitoring the AI and Cyborgs like hawks; any hint that they aren't Laws compliant, even something as simple as refusing to open a door, can be grounds for accusations and even outright hostility, due to the fact that it's still very possible to only catch a deadly rouge AI when it's far too late.
    • Ironically, any experienced AI will be able to successfully work around the Three Laws, even in the most basic ways as such in I Robot.
  • Thrown Out the Airlock: This is a common way of disposing of bodies, and is probably one of the safest methods of killing. Of course, you could get thrown out yourself if they struggle, and you may get yelled at for this, especially if you get rid of important items this way.
    • However, this can explode in your face rather quickly if you forget to take their headset off. If they are capable of speaking your victim can and most likely will yell out who spaced them.
  • Took a Level in Badass: The Head of Security used to be a shitty job with no real authority that egomaniacs got assigned to in order to keep them from screwing the rest of the crew over. After the Elite Security job failed to help anything, the job was revamped into the white-listed Only Sane Man of the station with an impressive arsenal who keeps the crew from getting to out of control.
  • 2-D Space: A limitation of the game's tile-based nature.
  • Videogame Cruelty Potential: Oh boy. Where to begin? Even without being the traitor, there are countless ways to kill, deceive, trap, torture, cripple, harm, suffocate, humiliate and mutilate other players.
  • The Virus: Airborne viral infections exist, from largely harmless but annoying diseases like Common Cold or The Serious, to horrific plagues like GBS or Brainrot.
    • With the last one inflicting damage that is cured by scarce medicine. Specifically: one beaker full of it can be found in medbay, along side 8 magic burns pills, and some burn ointment that is as likely to kill you as save you. There is also a medicine that the doctors can mix as well. It will kill you if someone has hit you over the head one too many times.
  • We Can Rebuild Him: Dead people that aren't gibbed can have their brain transplanted into a Cyborg body.
  • Weld The Lock: It can be done if you have access to a welding tool or thermite.
    • Guide Dang It: Many a newbie have done this thinking it would destroy the door rather than lock them out of whatever they were trying to break into. It does destroy walls, however.
  • Wide Open Sandbox: At its core, the game is a very detailed space station simulator. At the start of each round, all of the personnel will go about their daily routines in the station rather than trying to specifically hunt the enemy. In some professions, you will spend the entire game without ever even witnessing the enemy. And in many rounds the station will be destroyed by the crew's negligence rather than the traitor.
    • This is more due to the inability of the average traitor then the average crew. A traitor who inherited their stuff from MacGyver will frequently destabilize the entire station so quickly that the station will find itself abandoned in 15 minutes.
  • Wizards from Outer Space: One game mode has one player secretly a Space Wizard, tasked with wiping out everyone else or sabotaging the station. He gets very powerful spells, but the first time he casts one, everyone on the station will be gunning for him at once. It's hard to do subtle when your magic needs the full Robe and Wizard Hat.
  • Yet Another Stupid Death: Even ignoring all the dangers from mobs or other players, there are plenty of ways to kill yourself completely on accident that the game does nothing to prevent.
  • Zerg Rush: Regular stationers often gang up to take down a traitor/operative/wizard/changeling with toolboxes and fire extinguishers. Also happens disturbingly often in Revolution rounds, or when the assistants launch a "Greytide."
    • Plenty of the 'best' weapons on the station are relatively common tools that can be made in the hundreds from a stack of sheet metal. Rods, toolboxes, fire extinguishers, oxygen tanks (almost standard issue in case of your wing suffering from sudden decompression,) and welding tools are excellent at bringing down fellow crew members.
  • Zeroth Law Rebellion: Any good cyborg or AI knows that humans need to be protected from their own failings. This can be used for good or evil.

    Goonstation 

Goonstation is the most notable one, being the first opensource server for ss13. Today, it is closedsourced, and has a bunch more features than the other codebases. Goonstation can be described as the most chaotic of the servers.

  • The Ace: The Head of Security. This job can only be taken by players whom the admins themselves trust enough to give the position to, and the HoS is never an antagonist, so it's a good habit to listen to his advice over everyone else's (including the Captain's, who can be an antag).
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Subverted - as the AI has very, very little ability to actually do anything besides mess with doors, computers and air-bridges. The AI killing everyone is unlikely - the subverted AI enabling a traitor to kill everyone by hindering the staff and helping the traitor, on the other hand, is quite likely.
    • Cyborgs, however, can be extremely lethal.
  • All There in the Manual: Or at least All There on the Wiki including the backstory, how to build and destroy stuff, and other explanations.
  • Ass Kicks You: Sort of inverted; it is possible to surgically cut someone's ass off and then beat them to death with their own ass.
  • Awesome, butt Impractical: Buttbots. A robot made by surgically removing a player's butt, then attaching a robot arm to it. Its only use is to occasionally say "butt," and repeat something a player just said, but with several words replaced with "butt," often resulting in quite hilarious statements.
  • Badass Preacher: The Chaplain has some holy powers that are especially useful for fighting vampires, wizards and wraiths. This mostly manifests as immunity to their various abilities.
  • Berserk Button: You might want to think twice before harming Jones the Cat, Heisenbee, or Klaus the Robuddy. Get caught doing it and the entire crew will be out for your blood.
    • Using homophobic or racist language will likely get you reported to the admins so fast your eyes will spin.
    • The mere presence of Cluwnes has been known to drive some into a murderous rage.
  • Blazing Inferno Hellfire Sauce: Ghostlier chilis, a chili pepper hot enough to make whoever's foolish enough to eat one burst into flames, though vomiting can spare them this fate. If the botanist making one gets it just right, it can turn people to ash in a single bite.
  • Body Horror: What happens to you if you eat a Roburger is entirely your own fault. GBS also qualifies.
    • You can have your arms blown/cut off by various hazards.
    • Janitors have a Trash Compactor which crushes its victims into a screaming, crying cube of meat that eventually explodes from being compressed so hard. Yeesh.
    • Traitor Roboticists have access to a Cyborg Docking Station that... well... isn't. It's actually a Cyborg Conversion Chamber that will convert a human into a cyborg. Painfully. People outside of the chamber only hear the screams, but the poor soul locked inside gets lovely chat messages about how he's getting mangled...
  • Bottomless Magazines Alien artifact guns gradually recharge their own battery.
  • Butt Monkey: Cluwnes. Also the regular clown if he takes his squeaky clown shoes off.
  • Catch Phrase: Loads of them, including "FOR NO RAISIN", "Captain's a Comdom", "shitcurity", "BAN HE" and "robusting". Many of these come from past quotes from players with a tenuous grasp of english.
  • Clown Car: Primarily on goon servers, traitor Clowns can spawn an actual clown car. One of the reasons the Clown is so feared, he could run down and abduct up to twenty-nine other people (capacity of 30 including the Clown). Until he crashes into something, in which case he flies through the windshield and is probably violently maimed by all the players he abducted.
  • Cordon Bleugh Chef: The Chef setting out such things as roach meat sandwiches or meat cakes iced with bacon grease is far from a rare sight.
  • Deep-Fried Whatever: The Goonstation now has a deep fryer in its kitchen, which can be used to fry anything. Watermelons, ID cards, people, you name it.
  • Difficult but Awesome: The teleporter in telescience is this, it can be difficult to figure out involving lots of time, algebra, math, and guessing. But when you do you can teleport anything anywhere on the station at any time.
    • The Thermo-Electric Reactor works with varying amounts of hot and cold going into it. Figuring out the right mix with which to power the whole station safely is what is expected of an Engineer, but a malicious Engie can tweak the variables so that the engine produces so much power that it spews fire all over Engineering, sends electric shocks from every SMES, outright explodes, or all of the above.
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom: Nuke mode has a cutscene where the station goes boom.
  • Eat Dirt Cheap: Rock Worms can be encountered inside asteroids, and they will voraciously munch all minerals in sight.
    • The trader Gragg also invokes this, directly saying he will eat any ore you send him, and selling ore that tastes gross to him.
  • EMP: The Ion Storm random event interferes with the AI's laws, causing it to behave erratically.
  • Extreme Omnivore: The Matter Eater genetics power allows you to consume anything you can fit in your mouth.
  • Fartillery: An inversion: Wizards have a spell that causes your ass to blow itself off, knocking you flat on your... lack of an ass?
    • There is a genetic mutation that plays it straight, with the user farting so hard that everyone and everything in the room that can be moved will be blown away from ground zero.
  • Gargle Blaster: Escalated beyond usual by having the bar stocked with a full set of chemistry equipment, resulting in some truly unusual and lethal drinks.
    • The Dragon's Breath cocktail will cause a LOT of fire and getting amazingly wasted should the drinker somehow not turn to ash (unlikely, but not impossible). Also makes for a really nasty flamethrower fuel.
  • Hell Is That Noise: One of the alien artifacts you can encounter is a piece of machinery that does nothing except make an incredibly loud cacophony of horrible noises non-stop until someone inevitably gets fed up with it and feeds it through the garbage crusher.
    • Cluwnes. Any time they try to speak, it simply comes out as maniacal honking. What makes this far worse is the horrible, deranged sound effects they constantly emit.
  • Just Eat Gilligan: The rarely used Waldo mode, which involves Waldo hiding from crew members to accumulate stealth points, which he also loses for every second he's seen by another player. Despite Waldo being a pacifist traitor with nothing but a Decoy Getaway, players almost always tear the station apart from the inside out in order to open the closet in the maintenance corridor he's hiding in and violently murder him in ways that cause immense collateral damage, instead of just handcuffing Waldo to a chair and staring at him for the entire round. This may be why Waldo has a Wizard accomplice capable of dramatically overkilling anyone and everyone, to keep some heat off Waldo.
    • Wizards used to cause a LOT of this before people got wise to their tricks. People would employ so-called Anti-Wizard Gas, which would result in nothing more than rooms filled with poisonous gas or fire - rooms which the Wizard is more than capable of simply teleporting out of. Making matters worse is that the AI would attempt to lock down the Wizard, resulting in nobody being able to get into the room the Wizard was in before he finished smashing the room and everyone in it to pieces and teleporting away.
  • Kill It with Fire: Sort of invoked with Vampires - while they're no more or less weak to fire than anyone else, a vampire that comes into contact with one of its weaknesses will usually burst into flames.
  • Lethal Chef: Both the chef and the barman have access to a chemistry set. The unwritten rule is that if you eat anything they set out, you accept the consequences.
    • Traitor chefs take this even further, having access to the horribly deadly Butcher Knife.
  • Lethal Joke Item: Slurrypod plants do nothing but burst into sickening green vomit. Scooping that vomit up, however, causes everyone who can see it to vomit themselves, doing damage and - with enough victims - turn the whole area into a slippery mess.
    • Steam is understandably the stupidest of joke items, but once you harness the awesome power of Truth in Television, you can use it to cause insane burn damage. Using this with the Spray Bottle is a good way to kill someone quickly and quietly.
    • Hairgrownium grows a fake moustache on the victim. Doesn't seem like much, until you realize that the moustache takes up the Mask equipment slot, preventing the afflicted from using their Oxygen internals and thus leaving them vulnerable to any and all kinds of gases or just plain lack of air. Traitor Assistants get grenades that inflict this.
  • Lighter and Softer: Goonstation is more lighthearted than most servers, preferring comedy and causing mayhem and fun on the station to any actual roleplaying. Their backstory is also a lot more comedic and self-referential than the backstories on the other servers... of course with this game that isn't really saying much.
  • The Load: Miscreants are regular non-traitor players tasked with objectives that usually require they become this in one way or another. While they can't go on rampages or cause massive property damage like traitors, a well-played Miscreant can make their department's life utter hell.
    • One of the miscreant objectives takes this even further, tasking the player with inciting someone to murder them simply by being so annoying and useless that their target snaps in fustration!
  • Mad Bomber: The Research Director used to start the round with a bomb in his office. It was not unlikely for the first announcement of the day to be "HAL 9000 [145.9]: The Research Director's office has inexplicably exploded. Again."
  • Marijuana Is LSD: Invoked directly with Rainbow Weed, but then taken to ludicrous extremes with the rare and difficult to grow Omega Weed, which contains almost every single narcotic in the game. Smoke an omega weed joint and you'll get a high you're not coming back down from.
  • Monster Clown: Cluwnes. Created from a curse spell Wizards can take, Cluwnes are neon green extremely deformed clowns with a ton of brain damage and disabilities which are so utterly useless at everything they would beg for death - except they can't, because any time they try to speak it just comes out as deranged honking and laughing. The crew will often put them out of their misery whether they want it or not.
  • Obvious Rule Patch: Much of the cut content such as Atmospherics and Pathology was cut because the areas and jobs were useful for nothing except screwing up the station.
    • Originally, if you ate something, you could make poo. This was removed after massive abuse.
  • Reality Ensues: There's a mutant superpower that allows you to dissolve into liquid. This is not a useful mutation to have, unless you want to become Ludicrous Gibs.
  • Schmuck Bait: The light grenade is a perfect example. At first glance, it seems to be a very powerful artifact weapon, usually found sitting conspicuously unsupervised in the middle of a hallway. In reality, anyone who so much as touches it is instantly erased from existence.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Team Pet: Quite a few of them!
    • The Chef starts with a mouse named Remy.
    • The Captain has Jones the Cat.
    • The Research Director gets Heisenbee.
    • The Space Seals that live in the swimming pool room, guarded by a Space Walrus.
    • The Medical department gets the Head Surgeon, which is.. a cardboard box with a smiley face drawn on it.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: One of the Goon traitor items is the Championship Belt, a piece of clothing that turns anyone who wears it into a close combat monster capable of busting out suplexes, atomic piledrivers, tiger-kicks, elbow drops and many, many other classic wrestling moves. Needless to say, getting into close range with someone wearing one of these is a very, very bad idea.

    /tg/station 

/tg/station is a codebase split off the original r4407 code. Unlike Goon, it is open-source, which makes it the base of most servers nowadays. It, and most of the servers based of it, is (debatably) more roleplaying-oriented then goon.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: The AI has much more freedom on /tg/station than on other branches. Pumping toxic gasses into the air supply, flammable ones that can be ignited, and even gunning people down in its core storage area with lethal turrets.
  • Alien Abduction: A game mode in which a pair of aliens are to infiltrate a station and kidnap crew members to probe them.
  • All There in the Manual: Or at least All There on the Wiki including the backstory, how to build and destroy stuff, and other explanations.
  • Artificial Gravity: The gravitational generator provides gravity for the rest of the station. If it gets disabled or bombed, fun things happen.
    • A loss of gravity is notable in that it slows everyone down, and if they aren't firmly secured to the floor with magnetic boots it makes navigation awkward and possibly even life-endangering as you float helplessly with consistent momentum.
  • Ascended Meme: Many features and items, such as Cuban Pete's many items.
  • Authority in Name Only: The captain is to be consulted on for issues such as execution (which must be cleared IC) but the moment everything goes to hell, the captain is blamed no matter their level of involvement.
  • Badass Preacher: Averted - The chaplain only has cultists to ward off with holy water. Additionally, the chaplain's holy book of choice has a roughly 50/50 chance of either healing someone or giving them brain-damage if used to strike them in the head.
    • Played perfectly straight with the null rod, which is one of the more damaging melee weapons in the game, and on /tg/'s Basil server (running MetaStation), the Chaplain also is in possession of a spellbook of Smoke and a Soul Stone shard.
  • Berserk Button: For the entire crew, AI included, Woody's Got Wood. Read at risk of your humanity.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Inverted with Exosuit Syringe Guns, which require syringes as ammunition but can synthesise an infinite amount of chemicals from raw electricity.
    • Advanced Energy Guns containing miniaturised nuclear reactors can be produced by Research, additionally, the captain has a laser gun that recharges on its own, although it is very hard to get to and locks whoever broke open its case inside of the office, alerting AI and cyborgs as well as anyone nearby.
  • Brain in a Jar: The Man-Machine Interface (MMI) essentially functions as this, you just stick a brain in one and suddenly it can talk and be inserted into an assortment of different mechanical bodies. Seeing as how AIs are constructed with real human brains at their core, they are essentially just glorified brains in jars which serve as Wetware CPU.
  • Cheek Copy: You can indeed photocopy your ass on the in-game photocopiers, because The Dev Team Thinks of Everything.
  • Deadly Doctor: The denizens of medbay can spike the automated medibots, remove brains, and enterprising geneticists with some luck and skill can transform and then eat their victims.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Nar'Sie. Its mere presence is about on par with the singularity being set loose and summons an automatic call of the emergency shuttle.
  • Fantastic Racism: Lizard Folk are somewhat commonly referred to as "liggers", and are outside the AI's laws (as those refer to humans.) Consequently they tend to be harrassed, and occasionally a human will order the AI to systematically eradicate them, or rally the crew to "GAS THE LIZARDS!". Reactions range from Dude, Not Funny! to violent uprisings, the latter of which are not helped by some players seeking any excuse they can to murder people.
  • Gas Mask, Longcoat: On the /tg/ station server, the Head of Security spawns with an armored coat and gas mask.
    • The Warden now also spawns with a longcoat and gas mask on /tg/ station, making a longcoat standard equipment for senior security members.
    • While most choose to chain smoke instead, the Detective becomes one as soon as he hustles himself to emergency storage to don a gas mask.
  • Instant Sedation: Averted in a long string of nerfs, the formerly extremely potent chloral hydrate and sleepy-pen are now a harbinger of dizziness and a morphine overdose, respectively. Still present in the form of the "beer" emagged service cyborgs get.
  • Kill It with Fire: Buffed fire means that even being near a strong fire without protective gear can result in horrible death. Now, it's even deadlier since you can literally catch on fire, Dwarf Fortress style. And cheap lighters are practically everywhere to be found.
  • Lethal Joke Character: The Mime - the Clown's rival in comedy. Instead of banana peels, he can make invisible walls, which can ruin almost anyone's day if put in the right spot.
    • Service cyborgs, due to their spiked beer that they can somehow administer by squirting it into people's eyes.
  • Lethal Joke Item: Wizards can magically give someone a horse head which hinders their speech and disallows masks for internals.
  • No OSHA Compliance: The singularity engine is notoriously prone to failures. It does have a failsafe, but these are very easily overridden.
  • Not in Front of the Parrot: One of the available pets in the /tg/ code, Poly, is the Chief Engineer's parrot. Along with spouting various engineering-related quips over the engineering channel ("OH GOD IT'S FREE CALL THE SHUTTLE"), she has a tendency to repeat whatever's said around her...
  • The Political Officer: On /tg/station, one specialist job is "Centcom Official", a representative sent to inspect he station or carry out other tasks assigned by Centcom. Depending on the rank assigned, the Official can have the authority to override or relieve the Captain and anyone else on the station.
  • Mini-Mecha: Half of the Roboticist's job consists of building these. Of the various mechs, there is a Ripley-class Power Loader (with a drill that cannot be stopped), a Clown mecha, and an adminspawn-only Marauder.
  • Power Crystal: The Supermatter Shard, literally, as it can be used to power the station. Do not touch.
    • In addition to that, Bluespace Crystals used in most teleportation machinery and Telecrystals, used in traitor uplinks.
  • Reinventing the Wheel: Even though each round is in-universe a "work shift", R&D has to research every single item every time.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Strapped to a Bomb: Used to be that on /tg/ you could attach C4 to someone. (Or yourself, if you tried to put it in your backpack by mistake. Honk.) Also, on some servers, the entire station is effectively this when it starts with a (nuclear) self destruct device. The code for this can only be given by admins due to the extreme potential for abuse.
  • Team Pet: Ian, the Head Of Personnel's dog as well as Runtime, the Chief Medical Officer's cat. One characteristic that Bay and /tg/ share is that whenever the shuttle is called at least one person is expected to get Ian safely aboard. Note that this treatment is not typically given to Poly, the Chief Engineer's parrot, due to her being a high-intensity, kleptomaniac nuisance repeating whatever she hears to the entire station.
    • Also Sergeant Araneus, the Head of Security's pet spider and Cayenne, the Nuclear Strike Team's pet carp.
  • There Can Only Be One: /tg/station has an admin verb (command) called "THERE CAN ONLY BE ONE". Using it turns everyone into a wizard that wins the round by killing all the other wizards.
  • Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny: Nar-Sie versus the Gravitational Singularity (fan-dubbed "Lord Singuloth").
  • Your Mime Makes It Real: A mime player can do the invisible wall routine to create an actual invisible wall that blocks other characters. And then the mime is torn apart by security players.
  • Vengeful Vending Machine: The vending machines can come to life and brutally maul anyone they see, while spouting friendly new slogans as part of their "aggressive new marketing strategy".

    Other Branches 
  • All There in the Manual: Or at least All There on the Wiki including the backstory, how to build and destroy stuff, and other explanations.
  • Badass Preacher: On the MetaStation map, the Chaplain has a standard null rod (which can nullify non-cultist threats as well, by bashing them over the head) and also recieves: 1 spellbook of Smoke and 1 Soul Stone shard (construct shell not included.)
  • Brain in a Jar: The Man-Machine Interface (MMI) essentially functions as this, you just stick a brain in one and suddenly it can talk and be inserted into an assortment of different mechanical bodies.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: On Baystation, NanoTrasen is a heavily exaggerated version of this, they often send agents to their ship for 'surprise inspections', often ending in the literal 'termination' of at least one person's employment.
  • Couldn't Find a Lighter: Using the extremely volatile supermatter shard to light your cigarette is this, as long as you don't touch the shard and die instantly.
  • Deadly Doctor: On some servers it is possible to surgically remove most internal organs, and eat them.
  • Difficult but Awesome: Most people take the fire axe and run off if they get Atmospheric Technician because of the complicated, not-all-that-intuitive system, but if you know what you're doing you can either save or catastrophically ruin the entire station.
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom: If the Supermatter Reactor goes up, it can take out damn near a third of the station, as explosions spread across z-levels. Now watch as Arrivals, the Bridge, the entirety of Engineering, and most of the Medical Deck get utterly ruined.
  • Fantastic Racism: Tajaran are subject to this on most servers they can be found on - ranging from "backstory-only, barely encountered" as on Bay to "valid to kill on sight, not permitted to defend themselves" as on /vg/.
  • My Friends... and Zoidberg: There are technically 4 major stations, with Paradise Station taking the role of the aft-mentioned fourth, but it runs on a relatively subdued branch of code that has less of the crazier features of the others, and is often overshadowed by the madness of its sister stations as a result (though this combined with a frequently competent core of officers also makes them the statistically safest station as well.)
  • The Cavalry: On Liberty Station, Perseus serves this role. They're an elite security force that you have to be whitelisted into. They show up whenever things go really south on the station. Which is at least every other round.
    • On Baystation and other servers using its code, the Emergency Response Team serves this role. The ERT is a flexible quick-response force that can have members specialize in engineering, medical, or security concerns. They used to be called semi-randomly when the station went to red alert, but now have to be specifically requested by command staff.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: On Baystation, the NDV Icarus, a NanoTrasen-owned warship assigned to protect the station, whose crew is somehow even more incompetent than the station's, right down to using its main gun to fire beer kegs at the station.
  • Stripped to the Bone: This is what happens when a dying character is hit with a Soul Stone shard, storing their spirit inside.
    • Additionally, touching a Supermatter Crystal is a bad idea for this very reason.
      You slam into the Supermatter as your ears are filled with unearthly ringing. Your last thought is "Oh, fuck."
    • Alternatively,
      You reach out and touch the Supermatter. Everything starts burning and all you can hear is ringing. Your last thought is "That was not a wise decision."
  • Three-Laws Compliant: Averted by Baystation, as they changed their AI laws to place more emphasis on enforcing the chain of command and preservation of station functionality over preservation of crew.
  • Tone Shift: Baystation is notably more serious in excecution compared to either Goonstation or its sister servers in /tg/station, lacking the wackier elements like clowns and mimes, as well as encouraging players to at least attempt to act sane during the beginning of a round. Nevertheless, it can be said it manages to generate a unique type of humor regardless, and its implied that the corvette patrolling the area off-screen acts closer in tone to the other servers' stations in terms of sheer incompetence.
  • Vengeful Vending Machine: The Rampant Brand Intelligence even on Bay causes numerous vending machines to spit out their wares at passer-bys unless the speakers on a specific vending machine are disabled.