Video Game: Technobabylon

Drs Lao and Regis, Latha and her Trance alter-ego Mandala

A jobless agoraphobe, addicted to the man-made worlds of a distant descendant of the internet, has become targeted for assassination by forces beyond her understanding. With nobody she could really call an enemy or a friend, she must face the dangers of reality, and survive a conspiracy that has invisibly ruled her entire life.

An agent of the city's all-seeing secret police finds himself blackmailed with the lives of the unborn children of his long-dead wife. Pushed to the limits by his deceit and his past, how far is he willing to go to save his legacy?

Technobabylon is a Cyberpunk point-and-click adventure game. Taking place im the year 2087, in futuristic city of Newtown, the game follows three protagonists. From their perspectives, the player gets a view from the ground of their society and how technology has altered the way we think.:

The first is the unemployed agoraphobic, Latha, who prefers living her life inside the online world of the Trance as her avatar Mandala, and not spend any more time in the real world, or "Meatspace" as she calls it, than she absolutely has to. When she’s nearly killed in an explosion in her apartment complex, she's forced to leave her sanctuary and try to figure out who's after her and why.

The second is the world-weary, technophobic Doctor Charlie Regis. As an experienced agent for city's police force, CEL, the extended arm of Central, the AI responsible for controlling the city, is chasing an outlandish Serial Killer, known only as "the Mindjacker" for his MO of extracting all of his victims' information directly from the brains, killing them in the process. As he investigates the case, however, Regis soon finds himself embroiled in strange case of cloak and daggers which involves Newtown's seedy underworld, hacking, blackmailing, and even Central doesn't appear to be entirely on the level...

The third is Regis' younger, more headstrong and optimistic partner in CEL, Max Lao. Where Regis distrusts newer forms of technology, Max fully embraces them, and works on his on-hand technician. Despite Regis' reputation for being difficult to work together with, he and Max have gradually carved out a bound of mutual trust. And when Regis lands himself in trouble, Max takes it upon herself to help him out.

Formerly an episodic freeware series for its first three parts (of what was originally planned to be eleven), the game was adapted into a full-length adventure by Technocrat Games and published by Wadjet Eye Games in 2015, adding to their sci-fi collection that includes Primordia and Gemini Rue.

This series provides examples of:

  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: A flashback sequence has you playing as Regis' dead wife, Vicky.
  • Ambiguously Bi: The Van der Waal couple. While they were a gay couple, they liked to have threesomes involving an "anatomically correct" female sexbot, which would make them this, or at least robosexuals.
  • Animesque: The Trance world.
  • Biopunk: Organic nanomachines called "wetware" are used for many different purposes, from hacking to genetic engineering. Many of the characters' jobs involve altering existing plants and animals on a commercial scale!
  • Body Horror: The suicide bomber, who needs to walk around on crutches and suffers numerous health problems because he's been biologically engineered to grow explosives in his bones.
  • Brain-Computer Interface: Rather than a mechanical plug, people join other systems by coating them in their own organic wetware to establish a connection
  • Brain Uploading: Carried out against his victims' wills by the Mindjacker.
  • Cyberpunk
  • Cyberspace: Called "Trance" in the setting.
  • Driven to Suicide: A random young woman, who decides to slit her wrists and hang herself from Regis' special tree.
  • Easy Sex Change: Max Lao had this when she was 16. It is justified with sex changes having been made much easier and painless to perform through newer technology.
  • Foreshadowing: Plenty towards the fact that Jinsil is actually Nina Jeong. Most notably, their speech in the same shade of magenta. There are also other hints, like the fact she tells Latha, she that is having some old friends over for dinner, and the next section has you playing as Regis meeting her and her co-conspirators in a restaurant, and that Latha correctly guesses that she is a scientist.
  • French Maid: A robotic one, no less.
  • Hollywood Hacking: Totally averted despite the Cyberpunk setting. All subversion of programs is helped by pre-written exploits, and one has to be delivered in an old-fashioned way (sticking a memory card in the thing).
  • I'm a Doctor, Not a Placeholder: Latha gets to complain that she is "a hacker, not a plumber!"
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Well, in a somewhat technical manner. Regis meets the people behind The Conspiracy in a fancy restaurant serving human meat... though he is ensured that is only meat taken from brainless, fast-grown clones who where never actually alive, making it all perfectly legal. Regis is still understandably quite squicked out about the whole thing, especially when he has a look in the kitchen and sees partially cut-apart human bodies on display in the freezer.
    • Notably, Ran Shu-Man is disappointed to learn that the meat is from brainless clones, as he likes the idea of cannibalism being the ultimate symbol of the rich elites' utter power over the poor.
  • I Have Your Embryos: Regis is being blackmailed by someone holding him and Vicky's frozen embryos hostage, which both represents a threat against the his only chance of having children of his own and one of the last things he has left of Vicky. Both Regis and his blackmailer compares it to effectively keeping his legacy hostage.
  • Kawaiiko: Cheffie the Chef's obnoxious appearance and personality has been designed by committee with heavy overtones of this. At least she'll do anything to help.
  • Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: Nina Jeong. While her research actually has quite noble goals in and of themselves, she has a blatant disregard for ethical boundaries and can be quite the vicious cut-throat in her attempts to achieve them. She also frequents a restaurant that serves meat cloned from humans.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Regis is able to pinpoint a suicide bomber as hailing from Texas by his accent, when said character has nothing even resembling a Texas accent.
  • People Farms: A fancy restaurant that is the setting for one of Regis' chapters serves human meat cut from flash-grown clones. Though the horror aspect is somewhat downplayed by the fact that Regis is ensured that the clones where grown without brains and have never truly been "alive", the grossness and troubling moral aspects of such a businesses and its costumers are certainly not.
  • Robot Girl: The robotic French maid, who believes that she is a real human being.
  • Sexbot: The robotic French maid was this to the Van der Waal couple. When programmed with the right personality, she will boast that she is "anatomically correct".
  • Schrödinger's Gun: Thomas, the suicide bomber, always dies, whether by blowing himself up, getting shot by Lao, or being taken to the police station and euthanized by Central under claims of being too big a threat to be kept alive. This is because his femur is needed as a bomb later in the story.
  • Suicide Attack: A suicide bomber has organic explosives integrated in his bones, and he was raised to have them in his body from birth.
  • United Europe: Some of the characters came to the city from "Eurofed". According to the newspapers, Europe has just adopted metric time.
  • Uncanny Valley: Invoked. Even before Mr. Stepford's Robotic Reveal, Regis notices that there is something seriously wrong about him, especially with his eyes.
  • Unusual Euphemism: "Ah, nuke it!"