Video Game: Teslagrad

Teslagrad is a 2D, hand-drawn, side scrolling, metroidvania, puzzle platformer developed by Rain Games. It was released on Steam and is scheduled for release on Wii U, PS3, and the PS Vita.

It's set in an alternate universe steampunk European country ruled over by a tyrannical king; the player character is a young adopted child who is forced to run away from home in order to avoid government troops who want to capture him for an unknown reason. His flight leads him to a mysterious tower, the secrets of which he must discover if he wishes to evade capture.

The major mechanic of the game is magnetism: The player gains the ability to magnetize certain objects early on, and must use this ability to solve puzzles, move around the levels, and activate contraptions. The more he explores the tower the more abilities he gains, leading to a large variety of puzzles.

The game is done entirely with hand-drawn sprites, and looks absolutely gorgeous, with an excellent sense of atmosphere.

This video game provides examples of:

  • Action Bomb: The mini-birds spawned by Faradeus, the bird boss.
  • Attack Reflector: The King's cloak lets him bounce your attacks back at you, so he can only be harmed while trying to pull his sword out of the wall.
  • Bald of Evil: The King combines this with Lean and Mean.
  • Bilingual Bonus: "Teslagradensangen", the song that plays during the Playable Epilogue you get in the best ending. It's in Norwegian.
  • Black Bead Eyes: Pretty much everybody except Oleg and the King have these.
  • Blackout Basement: Some of the lower areas of Teslagrad Tower as well as the King's dungeons. Fortunately, most of the really dark areas have little glowing bugs that you can attract to you with magnetism.
  • Clockwork Creature: Faradeus, the bird boss. Gets double creepy points for having lost its artificial skin over the years, so that only a bronze skeleton remains.
  • Cool Crown: The King's crown, which was a gift from the Wizard, head of the Teslamancers. It doubles as a sword and lets him control electricity.
  • Disappeared Dad: The protagonist's father, who leaves after the opening cutscene, never to be seen again until the end, where you learn he died trying to escape the King's dungeons.
  • The Dragon: Oleg, the leader of the King's soldiers. He chases after the protagonist relentlessly at the start, and is the only one of the soldiers to make it into the Tower. You later fight him as the third boss, after which he makes a Heel-Face Turn.
  • Eternal Engine: Of course.
  • Fallen Hero: The King of Elektopia - once a noble ruler, now a cruel tyrant who oppresses the public and casts down his former allies with propaganda. Shown very well before the final fight with him, as you pass by portraits in his palace; he gets progressively creepier in the more recent portraits.
  • Feed It a Bomb: How you defeat the first boss, Fernus. You magnetize the various crates going by so he sucks them into his mouth, which damages him.
  • Flash Step: The kid finds boots that allow him to do this early on. They seem to work by allowing him to Ride The Lightning, so he needs to have a clear line-of-sight to his destination.
  • Free-Fall Fight: The final phase of the fight against the fourth boss, the Orb. During the battle, the boss breaks through the floor of its arena (which is located in the top of the tower); the rest of the fight is one long fall down the tower's central shaft, dodging the boss's attacks until it hits the ground.
  • Hollywood Magnetism: Magnetic fields seem to be constant strength up to a certain distance, at which point they simply stop affecting things. Magnetic charge also seems to attract lightning bolts.
  • Horny Vikings: The barbarians, as depicted in the animatronic theatres.
  • I Am A Humanitarian: A chalkboard in the king's chambers seems to indicate that he derives some form of the Immortality Inducer discovered by the Teslamancers (see below) by crushing up people and distilling their blood.
  • Immortality Inducer: Murals in the greenhouse area show the Teslamancers processing a certain kind of fruit into an elixir that restore a person's youth. One mural hints that if you take too much elixir, it starts acting as a Psycho Serum instead...
  • Lightning Gun: The last powerup you find gives you the ability to shoot beams of magnetism. Handy for vaporizing things or magnetizing stuff at a distance.
    • Then there's the weapon Oleg uses in his boss battle, which shoots balls of magnetic energy.
  • Magi Tech: The things the Wizard does with electromagnetism would be completely impossible without a significant helping of magic.
  • Mage Tower: The game is set in a technological version of one.
  • Metroidvania: An interesting example in that it's largely combat-free. You still do plenty of exploring and backtracking with new powers, though.
  • Mook Maker: Faradeus, the bird boss, which creates little exploding robot birds.
  • New Game+: Beating the game with 100% Completion lets you continue the file from the beginning, but with all of the upgrades you've gathered.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: The protagonist. Presumably because he's just a young kid.
  • Psycho Electro: The King isn't very stable, what with his Face-Heel Turn, wholesale slaughter of the Teslamancers, and possibly ingesting quite a bit of Psycho Serum.
  • Puzzle Boss: The protagonist is a One-Hit-Point Wonder with (almost) no direct offensive abilities, so all the bosses are this.
  • Ride The Lightning: The kid gains boots that allow him to do this over short distances fairly early on.
  • Scenery Gorn: The tower is old and collapsing with age, while a storm rages outside of it. It still looks gorgeous.
  • Scenery Porn: Most of the game, but the greenhouse especially stands out.
  • Steampunk: The game's aesthetic is very much post-revolutionary Russia melded with steampunk, with some clockpunk thrown in for good measure.
  • Shout-Out: Those monsters you find in the very dark areas? They're called Grues.
  • Tennis Boss: Oleg, who uses a gun that fires magnetic energy balls that can be repelled back into him with your magnetic cloak.
  • We Used to Be Friends: The animatronic plays in the theatres throughout the castle reveal that the Wizard and the King once worked together to repel barbarians, and the Wizard even gave the King his crown. Things changed when the King decided to use the Wizard's artifacts to conquer neighbouring countries; he failed in his conquests and took that as a betrayal, prompting his Face-Heel Turn.
  • X-Ray Sparks: Oleg, whenever he takes a hit.