Trine is a critically-acclaimed 2009 puzzle-platformer developed by Frozen Byte and published by Atlus. It features gameplay similar to the old classic The Lost Vikings mixed with the physics challenges of LittleBigPlanet, with three characters who all have different powers and gameplay mechanics. The levels are mostly linear, but exploring them thoroughly will yield rewards in the form of treasure (which gives you special enhancements) and experience vials (which let you level up your skills).Three characters, opposed by an undead horde, each find themselves meeting face to face over an ancient artifact called the Trine. Their souls are sucked into the device, and they become merged into one body (or up to three bodies in co-op play).
A sequel, Trine 2, was released in 2011, revolving around a new threat that the three heroes must unite together to face. The game received an expansion, Goblin Menace, in early 2012. In mid-2014, Frozenbyte ported the original game to the sequel's engine and released it as Trine: Enchanted Edition, a free update for PC owners and set to be released on two eighth generation consoles, the Wii U and the PlayStation 4.
This game provides examples of:
2½D: 3D graphics, sidescrolling movement. This occasionally gets you an odd camera angle that lets you see something that should be Behind the Black.
Apocalyptic Log: In Trine 2, the poems found in secret areas and the letters between Isabel and Rosabel. The poems are written by Rosabel detailing her jealously of her sister during their youth, while the letters explain how she lured Isabel into being sealed away.
Artificial Stupidity: The skeletons have a habit of leaping to their deaths and/or climbing into the range of your weapons. Exploiting their simplistic behavior patterns makes them easier to take down in large groups. The goblins in 2 are faster (allowing them to usually get some hits in if you're not quick enough) and no longer jump to their deaths, but are just as quick to run themselves into Zoya's arrows or Pontius' blade or hammer as the skeletons were.
Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Trine 2 has the heroes run through lands with a variety of larger-then-usual fauna, including giant frogs, snails and spiders, not to mention giant mushrooms to bounce off of. The characters believe that the water is likely the source of the huge wildlife.
Bag of Spilling: In Trine 2, with the exception of the knight's hammer, the heroes are conspicuously missing all the skills they learned, not to mention the items they used, from the original, and have to learn those skills all over again (the item system, on the other hand, was done away with in 2). Lampshaded by a conversation that takes place after the first time the characters swim in the sequel:
Benevolent Architecture: More or less omnipresent. For fun, try playing through a level without using the Wizard's object-summoning powers once. You may be surprised how far you can get with running and jumping alone.
Building Swing: Technically not from buildings, but Zoya has a grappling hook that allows her to do this from anything made of wood, bypassing pits or swinging into foes for a One-Hit Kill.
Cain and Abel: Isabel and Rosabel in the backstory for 2. Isabel was the heir to their father's kingdom, to Rosabel's chagrin. On their 18th birthday, Rosabel locked away her sister and usurped the kingdom for herself.
Cast from Hit Points: The first game has an item that lets you do this in the event you run out of magic points.
Clock Punk: About 75% of the levels feature gear powered mechanisms, and plenty of fast flowing water to power them. Some are just for show, others can be interacted with. In addition, all of Amadeus' objects have gears inside them.
Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: And a free teleport back to the last checkpoint, too, unless it's the final or bonus levels of the original. For that matter, every time you touch a checkpoint stone, all dead characters are revived with 75% health and mana.
Moreso in the sequel, where characters are returned with full health, and mana was removed from the game entirely. Makes it entirely feasible to kill off a character to backtrack faster, or to grab items in dangerous positions without even bothering coming back up.
Dem Bones: 95% of the enemies in the first game are of this variety.
Does Not Like Shoes: Concept art for the second game depicts Zoya, Isabel, and Rosabel all as being barefoot. Isabel and Rosabel retain this status in the game itself; Zoya, however, reuses her character model from the original Trine and is therefore wearing boots.
The Dragon: In Trine 2, Rosabel has a literal one at her command.
Excuse Plot: The original: An ancient trinket unites three people into one body for whatever reason, there's multiple levels and undead between you and where you need to be. Charge!
The Faceless: Zoya never removes her mask in the first game. She takes it off in the sequel.
The same goes for Margaret, Amadeus' wife, throughout Goblin Menace. She spends most of the expansion stuffed in a burlap sack. She's freed at the very end of the expansion, but the only glimpse the player gets to see of her is a shot of her back during the ending custscene.
Fighter, Mage, Thief: As the character lineup above shows, you get to play as all three of these classes.
Final Boss Preview: The Lich makes several appearances in the first game before the final confrontation with him. You also occassionally hear his Evil Laugh.
In Trine 2, the Dragon first appears at the end of Mosslight Marsh.
Flaming Sword: Pontius' upgraded sword is of the flaming variety.
Large Ham: Done on purpose. The narration and dialogue is brilliantly over-the-top; the page quote is just the beginning. The sequel somehow is even more hammy and self-aware, as the Insistent Terminology example above shows.
Lost Forever: Averted; levels can be revisited in the "Choose level" option in the main menu, and puzzle progress is reset at each revisit, so you get additional opportunities to get into areas that you may have missed or were made inaccessible progressing during your first visit.
Nameless Narrative: The main characters are given names on the inventory screen, but only in the very last minutes of the game is any character named in dialogue or narration (that character being Margaret, Amadeus's wife.) Instead, they're referred to by their professions. Averted in Trine 2; the characters address each other by name, and the narrator refers to them by their names as well.
No Arc in Archery: Averted, leading to, optionally, Zoya riddling with arrows foes who are stuck on the other side of a box or terrain.
Opening Narration: Used to describe the backstory of the game. There is also a narration at the beginning of each level, as well as for each character that's introduced. For those interested in minor Script Breaking in the first game, Amadeus's introductory narration can play at the same time as the narration for when he arrives at the shrine, if the player is fast enough in the two rooms.
Our Dragons Are Different: About a third of the way through Trine 2, the heroes run into a dragon that, oddly, does not attack them. It's Rosabel's pet, and it serves as her proxy in final level of the game.
Pietà Plagiarism: In the ending, Isabel is holding Rosabel's dead body in this way.
Playing with Fire: Amadeus begins the game trying and failing to learn how to do this—it's apparently one of the most basic spells available to wizards. In the end he gives up trying to learn it - and instead, the kids he has with his wife learn it instead. He's revealed to still be studying to get it right as the second game starts.
Power Trio: Sort of — Zoya and Amadeus could each be viewed as either the id or the ego, and even Pontius has some aspects of the id.
The Soulless: Mind, body, and soul are normally kept in harmony by three artifacts, creating life in the region. Now that the soul artifact is gone, the undead are being created instead, as they have minds and bodies but no souls.
Super Not-Drowning Skills: Your characters can hold their breath for an impressive amount of time; what's more, you can switch between characters to save on oxygen for the whole group. The original game even has an equipable item that allows one (and only one) of the heroes to swim underwater indefinitely.
Updated Re-release: Trine: Enchanted Edition, a port of the original game to Trine 2's engine, giving it mid-level saving, Internet play and other features from the sequel.
Wall Jump: Available in the sequel, but very short—about half the height of one character.
"Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: The first game's ending. Pontius becomes the ale provider for the new king, Zoya is named the protector of the forest the trio visited during the game, and Amadeus gets married and becomes the father of triplets who, at age one, learn the fireball spell he could never master. The sequel reveals that this situation didn't last long.