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Video Game: Space Station 13
aka: Spacestation 13
"It's like playing an episode of Sealab 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, Facepunch, 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 recently 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.


This work gives examples of:
  • Abandoned Area: The derelict station, which you can find by exploring space. Allegedly you can even repair it.
  • Absent Aliens: Averted on Baystation, where there are about five sentient races coexisting with humanity. Played somewhat straight on Goonstation and /tg/station; there are alien monsters and the crew can discover alien artifacts, but there's nothing truly sentient around.
  • The Ace: Goonstation servers have a job only available to whitelisted players, called the Head of Security. As such 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: One of the available jobs is as the AI of the station. When the AI is the traitor, things don't go well. This has been made even worse with the addition of Cyborgs who follow the AI's commands and laws.
    • 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 on the Goonservers can also mess up the AI with strange laws such as telling it to lock all the doors or that the command staff doesn’t exist.
    • The AI is also a crapshoot when a terminally inexperienced player gets chosen to play the AI.
    • Really, this trope as kind of a given, as there are many, many ways to accidentally give the AI a free license to kill everyone on the station, and considering the playerbase's fondness for using the names of famous psychotic AIs like GLaDOS, SHODAN or HAL 9000, the average AI player is entirely willing to do so.
    • Subverted heavily on the current Goonstation versions, 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.
    • Downplayed on Baystation12. Without a very good reason to be a homicidal maniac explicitly stated in your laws you will face a job-ban.
  • 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.
    • Note that other versions, like the Baystation 12 version, or /TG/station, have their own wikis. Respectively, [1] and [2].
  • Art Evolution: The original version's sprites versus the aesthetically superior resprited versions.
  • Artifact of Doom: Various kinds of Alien Artifacts can be found scattered around in space or ordered from NanoTrasen's reserves. 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.
    • Note that this doesn't apply for all versions. Some versions don't have it.
  • Artificial Gravity: The gravitational generator in engineering provides gravity for the rest of the station. If it gets disabled or bombed, fun things happen.
  • 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. It's pretty much the whole reason the crew is where they are. Since Plasma is the best and most valuable energy source around, Nanotransen is dominant in 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 player in Medlab 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.
  • Ascended Meme: Pretty much the rule on the Gibbed servers.
    • "Buy Tramadol Today" is frequently mentioned on /tg/station, as a result of a particularly virulent spambot.
  • 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.
    • Or surgically cut their ass off, grind it into meat, cook it into burgers and then feed them 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.
  • 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 or your brain stuffed into a Cyborg. Being spaced or gibbed, however, means you're more or less out for the remainder of the round, regardless of server.
    • Now even more possible, regardless of corpse, as the Alien gamemode randomly picks a dead player to control an Alien larva that busts out of an infected (and usually unconscious) player
    • the /tg server allows botonists to create plant based clones of players using only a syringe of their blood and a type of seeds. This ability is often ignored but can lead to some unexpected revivals.
  • Back Story: The original version of SS13 had an excessively complex backstory with complex bureaucratic diagrams describing NanoTrasen's corporate hierarchy. The Goonstation devs made up a more well-received backstory through a disgruntled station Captain's Apocalyptic Log.
  • 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.
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space: Averted. Going into space without air and protection will kill you very quickly. Though oddly on the Goon servers, as long as you're standing on solid ground you won't fall victim to decompression.
  • Berserk Button: For the entire crew, AI included, Woody's Got Wood. Read at risk of your humanity.
  • Black Comedy: So, so, so much potential. Basically, a proper game should become a comedy-horror.
  • Blazing Inferno Hellfire Sauce: Some servers in Space Station 13 let you create 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.
    • Gargle Blaster: The Dragon's Breath cocktail also causes this, minus the vomiting, and plus getting amazingly wasted should the drinker somehow not turn to ash (unlikely, but not impossible). Also makes for a really nasty flamethrower fuel.
  • Body Horror: What happens to you if you eat a Roburger is entirely your own fault. GBS also qualifies.
    • Goonstation had an update where you can have your arms blown/cut off by various hazards.
    • Speaking of Goonstation, when they did away with Poo - and thus the Port-A-Poo Traitor item - it was replaced with a Trash Compactor which crushes its victims into a screaming, crying cube of meat that eventually explodes from being compressed so hard. Yeesh.
    • Cyborg Docking Stations are obviously meant for Cyborgs only. However, through a random chance or just Admin intervention on Goon servers, they docking stations can instead spawn as "Cyborg Converters" that will painfully turn a human who is moved inside into a Cyborg.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Averted, all the traditional firearms in the game have an ammo or battery system in place that requires reloading/recharging when expended. Even the traitor-only Syringe Gun, while it generates its own syringes, still needs refills of its chemical reservoir.
    • Alien artifact guns play it straight, gradually recharging their own battery. They don't recharge very fast however.
  • Brain in a Jar: The Man-Machine Interface (MMI) on TGstation(and Baystation) 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 on TGstation are constructed with real human brains at their core, they are essentially just glorified brains in jars which serve as Wetware CPU.
  • 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.
    • On the other hand, Clowns are well-known for causing mayhem.
      • Clowns are infamous for being very unsuspecting traitors. Clowns act suspicious because everyone wants to murder them anyways so it's not too much a stretch to hear conspicuous squeeks and honks rushing down maintenance tunnels.
    • 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.
    • Just try to be all 'edgy' and join up as Adolf Hitler, Space Hitler, or some variant. You will literally not last five minutes.
    • Assistants are generally assumed to be one step away from traitors. "Assistant purges" are not unknown.
      • Though the opposite can also happen, at least in /tg server. When assistants reach critical mass they sometimes decide to gang together and attempt to raid security all while shouting (and often stammering) about assistant superiority. This is known as a Grey Tide.
    • Whenever the botanists try to help the barman, you can almost be assured that the "Bermun ees teesty booger! Bork Bork Bork!" due to the fact that the chef, with his human butchering machine, has access almost everywhere that the barman can go.
  • 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.
    • Great for hiding a body...
  • Catch Phrase: Loads of them, including (but far from limited to) "No OOC in IC", "FOR NO RAISIN", "Captain's a Comdom," "shitcurity," and "robusting".
    • Goonservers have strict rules about bigotry and homophobia though for a while, and some of this stuff might just get you banned because the admins were tired of hearing it.
    • (Followed by someone breaking the no IC in OOC rule): MY IMMERSION
    • Typically an answer to a newcomer's question on how to operate/achieve something: "Very carefully".
      • "How do I make killallhumaniuminzombieapocalypsium" to "You don't"
  • Cheek Copy: You can indeed photocopy your ass on the in-game photocopiers, because The Dev Team Thinks of Everything.
  • Clown Car: Traitor Clowns can spawn an actual clown car. One of the reasons the Clown was 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.
  • 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 uniforms.
  • Convection Schmonvection: Averted; even being near a fire is dangerous without a firesuit or other protection.
  • 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.
    • Still present on all other servers, 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. Probably most notable in the "Where's Waldo" mode, where the crew would rather murder the shit out of Waldo rather than go through the time, difficulty, and effort of capturing and imprisoning him.
  • 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.
    • Present in /tg where 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Demonic Spiders: The Mining area tends to feature these on every server to some extent. Things to avoid include Fermids, Goliaths and Basilisks.
  • 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.
  • Difficult but Awesome: Most people take the fire axe and fuck 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 fuck up the entire station.
  • Discredited Meme: Even talking about memes on Goonstation is verboten. invoked
    • The term "shitcurity" has also been squelched on Goonstation.
  • Donut Mess with a Cop: Check any security HQ, on any map. There will always be a donut box there. Complete with pink icing.
  • Dreadlock Rasta: Any Chaplain who chooses the "Rastafarian" religion gets a free dreadlock/rasta getup, complete with weed and lighter.
  • 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 Nanotransen 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.
    • Still happens on Baystation, but made harder.
      • But when it does happen... boy does it happen. 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.
    • Nuke mode on Goonservers and /tg/station servers even have a cutscene where the station goes boom.
      • Goonservers Nuke mode's animation was removed and replaced with everyone still alive dying instantly when the nuke goes off. Plus some damage to the walls.
      • Ditto during Alien rounds when the crew can't manage to save the station.
      • Releasing the singularity. Easier to stop, but a released singularity is grounds for a shuttle call.
      • Though the goonservers singularity was eventually replaced with a new station and a giant gas turbine. You are more likely to be set on fire or electrocuted now though.
  • 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, the Electromagnetic Card (cryptographic sequencer) traitor item can short out damn near anything that's automated, and Goonstation-specific electromagnetic storms screw with the AI's laws.
  • Everything's Better with Monkeys: Normally played straight since they're quite helpful to the science team... unless they contract Jungle Fever that round, in which case they become psychotic death machines.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Even with the Munchkin-infested, Crazy Awesome badasses that make up the crew, there's still some things that are simply too much. For example; throwing the captain's dog into the dryer.
  • Explosive Decompression: Also averted; while unprotected exposure to vaccuum will kill you stone dead very quickly, it's actually one the least gory ways to die in the game.
    • Happens literally in Baystation. The A.I. is much deadlier now.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: Quite frankly, in your average round the traitor is often the least dangerous player.
    • Except in Baystation, where it's averted by rules.
  • Fartillery: An inversion: Wizards have a spell that causes your ass to blow itself off, knocking you flat on your... lack of an ass?
    • Goonstation has 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.
  • For Science!: One of the most 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.
  • 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 detectives choose to chain smoke instead, the Detective becomes one as soon as he hustles himself to emergency storage to don a gas mask.
    • If lab coats count, the Chemists (or Scientists on Goonstation) start with this.
  • Goddamned Bats: Anywhere that isn't the Station area tends to be crawling with all sorts of violent creatures/robots. Thankfully most of them go down quickly if you're well-armed (which you should be before you even think about exploring).
  • 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. Things that happen when they get bored include turning any game into a Highlander-like competition where everyone is Wizard, giving the Clown an inexhaustible supply of its special battle-mech, and empowering the Cluwne with all superpowers, near invincibility, Gremlin allies, support from all natural and unnatural disasters, and constantly bringing it back from the dead, Chaos God style.
    • The frequency and intensity of admin events is largely determined by the server and its policy; Goonstation is a complete free-for-allnote , whereas on Bay and /tg/, admins have certain lines they never, or almost never, cross.
  • Griefer: The average player. Goes double for the admins.
    • Assistants. After a job preferences overhaul on /tg/station resulted in a bug where 30+ players at once would spawn as assistants at round start, prompting them to grief the station en masse. This has been given the nickname of "Grey Tide."
    • 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.
  • 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 flipside it can also give you crippling ailments such as epilepsy, blindness, and Tourette's syndrome.
    • Temporarily applied to Goonstation, as their servers had been updated with "reactor core" and "nucleus" placeholders.
  • 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.
  • Instant Sedation: Chloral hydrate, which even in the smallest dose can knock someone out faster than they can shout for help. A CMO favorite on /tg/station, as the hypospray is a guaranteed injection per click, which results in an excellent personal defense weapon when combined with chloral. Syndicates can also spawn a Sleepy Pen, a concealed injector loaded with two doses of high-power sedative. Averted with the Changeling's neurotoxic venom, which takes a few seconds to knock the target out.
  • 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.
    • One of the modes-in-progress on Goonstation 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 (literally) 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.
    • 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.
    • Also the blob, which is vulnerable to fire.
    • One of the few ways to permanently kill a changeling is by invoking this.
    • Buffed fire in /tg/ 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.
  • 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 one Chemist who needs to keep the Chemlab floor unscorched by fire, while another Chemist is supposed to scorch the floor.
    • 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.
  • 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.
    • /tg/ introduced Mimes as 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.
    • A bad clown is annoying. A good one is funny. A GREAT one 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.
    • Slurrypod plants do nothing but vomit on the floor. 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.
    • Hairgrowthinium 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.
    • 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.
  • Lighter and Softer: Of the servers, Goonstation is more lighthearted, 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: 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. There's a reason rounds sometimes begin with a preemptive "Assistant Purge".
  • 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 (so, most loopholes.)
  • 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 spawn in 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.
    • On Goonstation, 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."
    • With more rules and greater structure now, 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 Teleporter mathematics for the round gives them access to anything and everything on (and off) the station.
    • On Goonstation, the new 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.
  • 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 including Death Weed and Killer Tomatoes.
    • Chemistry has gotten a number of major buffs on Goonstation, and now can produce napalm thermite welding fuel smoke grenades, pills that are also bombs, zombie producing liquids, aerosolized diseases, and various types of deadly foam, including one where the foam itself explodes after being spread.
      • On Goonstation, many of these have been nerfed (or removed altogether) thanks to overuse and griefing. However, it is possible to make steam in a pill. Lampshaded in its insanity in that its in game description claims "Yep, it's steam, in a pill. You don't know really know how that's possible. Science!"
      • Good Scientists still have a few handy survival skills though: they can still burn down walls with clever application of pills and beakers, and one that gets ahold of a Spray Bottle can quickly apply deadly chemicals to the enemy's face. Cunning ones can throw a weird assembly of a timer, igniter and beaker to activate any heat-reactant chemicals in the beaker from a distance.
      • Traitor Scientists and/or Research Directors are widely regarded as one of the most dangerous threats in the game, being given a blank check for mayhem while being limited only by their own experience and imagination. The Chemical Grenades in particular can be devastating in the hands of a traitor with enough time and patience.
    • 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), Syndicate Robots or an AI 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: Usually what happens when someone tries to ignite the heat-resistant player somehow, intentionally or not.
  • 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.
  • Mini-Mecha: a newly implemented feature of the /tg/station server. Of the various mechs, there is a Power loader (with a drill that cannot be stopped), a Clown mecha, and an adminspawn-only Marauder.
  • 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, wizards, and Waldo.
  • Munchkin: Very, very common in the playerbase (also called p2w.) Some servers, like Bay, will ban for this.
  • Murder by Cremation: The furnaces on Goonstation can be fueled with living people. It's a fairly good way of killing someone Deader than Dead.
    • On tgstation you can throw people into the chaplain's furnace.
  • 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 or incinerating a body is a good way to keep yourself hidden when your playing a traitor.
  • No OSHA Compliance meets Failsafe Failure: 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 singularity engine on /tg/station is notoriously prone to failures. It does have a failsafe, but these are very easily overridden. Baystation 12, since it now uses modified /tg/station code, has the same issue.
    • 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, meaning if the victims can't reach it, they're pretty much dead.
  • 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"), he has a tendency to repeat whatever's said around him...
  • 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.
  • Numerological Motif: It's numbered 13 for a reason.
  • Obvious Rule Patch: Much of the cut content from the Goonservers, 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 from nearly every server after massive abuse.
  • 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!
    • The Port-a-Medbay, Port-a-Brig, and traitor-item Port-a-Poo all work as this, too.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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!
    • And for Bay12, although not very similar, it can be considered Dwarf Fortress IN SPACE!
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Reinventing the Wheel: Even though each round is in-universe a "work shift", R&D has to research every single item every time.
  • 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.
  • 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 experimental (now functioning!) 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.
  • 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: Head Of Personnel that act like this are referred to as "Backup Captains".
  • The Stoner: An experienced Botanist, and anyone on his/her good side.
    • Chaplains who choose the Rastafarian religion.
  • Strapped to a Bomb: You can attach C4 to someone. (Or yourself, if you try 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.
  • 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.
  • Team Pet: Each server has at least one. Baystation has Ian, the Head Of Personnel's dog. Goonstation has the captain's cat Jones, some seals and an owl. Amusingly, the team pets are usually the one thing on the station that everyone universally love and protect. On Baystation whenever the shuttle is called at least one person is expected to get Ian safely aboard.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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. Also averted by Baystation, as they recently changed their AI laws to place more emphasis on preservation of property over preservation of crew, and enforcing the chain of command.
    • 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 rogue 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.
    • Though if you attempt loopholes on Baystation, you'll probably get a job ban.
    • /tg/station has had to deal with an insane amount of loopholing and interpretation, to the point where certain actions which are completely laws-compliant, like bolting down the Armory full of laser guns or the Toxins mixing room where bombs are made, are forbidden. There is a patchwork of stated and unstated policy around AIs and at any given point, if you're not fluent in how to do it how it should be done, you risk getting yelled at or just banned. Even the Captain doesn't get as much scrutiny.
  • 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.
  • Toilet Humor: It figures that the Goonservers have implemented poo and many poo-related puns. The latest public release has most of the Goonstation improvements/bugfixes, but without the esoteric features (like poo). Some servers like /tg/station still have toilets on their station maps but are very adamant about not including poo. The toilets connect to the disposal system and it's a favorite way of trying to escape from prison. Unfortunately, the toilets on the prison station are the only ones that go directly into space.
    • Poo has since been removed from Goonstation completely, making toilets useless for anything other than swirlies.
    • Toilets on /tg/station can be sat on, but as a stab at the games clunky interface it must be done very carefully or your character will "eagerly" lap up water from the bowl.
  • 2-D Space: A limitation of the game's tile-based nature.
    • Averted for Baystation in much the same way as Dwarf Fortress.
      • Not anymore! Baystation switched over to /tg/station code because their 3D system and air system (atmos) were too laggy.
      • And again, Baystation has gone back to a new and improved atmos system.
  • 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 Goonserver admins have even been known to let normally bannable offenses (such as unprovoked killing when not the traitor) slide if they were creative and/or entertaining enough.
    • Speaking of which, the Goonserver admins will engage in various shenanigans with impunity.
  • Video Game Remake: A ss13 remake is in progress. http://spacestation13.com/
  • 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.
    • Newer diseases can transform their victims into clowns, robots, genetic copies of a crew member, or even certain sitcom dads fond of Jell-O pudding.
  • We Can Rebuild Him: Dead people that aren't gibbed can have their brain transplanted into a Cyborg body. Goonstation also allows you to replace severed limbs with robot limbs.
  • Weld The Lock: It can be done if you have access to a Welding Torch and 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 an "assistant revolution."
    • 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.

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