Waking up in an unfamiliar place
can be an unsettling event. It's more so when you wake up alone and strapped to an operating table
. Especially with psychic powers
That's the boat that the protagonist of Galerians
, 15-year-old Rion Steiner, finds himself in. When Rion hears a girl's voice calling to him for help inside his mind, he psychokinetically frees himself and sets about trying to find his way to her. Little does he know that the attempt will pit him against several other psychics known as Galerians, a whole lotta robots, his growing addiction to PPECs and one very angry supercomputer with a god complex.
The second game involves the characters of the future reviving him from the dead in order to fight a new group of Galerians whose intent is to restore the aforementioned supercomputer at all costs. It has one of the strangest endings ever seen in a survival horror game.
There is also a CG-based movie which retells the first game, part of which is used in the "recap" sequence of the second game.
As with Over Blood
and Blue Stinger
, there's a good chance (but not always) you know of this game from Game Informer's Super Replay
This game series provides examples of:
- A God Am I: The true purpose of Dorothy's Family Project is to deify herself; she operates under the understanding that any life she creates is subservient to her. Likewise, Ash operates under the same idea after he gets rid of Dorothy.
- Abstract Apotheosis: Based on his claim in Galerians: Ash, Rion became the embodiment of the Virus Program after being brought back from the dead.
- Abusive Parents: Supercomputers with god complexes not withstanding, embedding your failsafe program in your child's brain is a little... questionable.
- Aerith and Bob: 'Birdman,' 'Rainheart,' and...'Rita.' Okay.
- The Aggressive Drug Dealer: Joule in the Babylon Hotel.
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot: To make her subservient, her creator taught Dorothy that humans served God as their creator and she must serve them as hers. The response? The Family Project. Dorothy decides to make her own super-powered children who will be subservient to her and wipe out her own creators. Ash is also a computer program, not a Galerian.
- Alas, Poor Villain: Rainheart, Rita, Spider, Nitro, Ash... Indeed, almost all the Galerians.
- Aliens and Monsters: There is quite a bit of variety in the monster designs for the series thanks to the diversity of science fiction films it borrows from. The Rabbits (guys in bandages/trenchcoats) walked right out of Dark City, and the Arabesques are Alienesque with a coat of Resident Evil.
- Amnesiac Hero: Rion spends the first game trying to recover his identity.
- Anguished Declaration of Love: Not a terrifically dramatic example, but Lilia says that she loves Rion right before the radiation poisoning gets her in Galerians: ASH.
- Arachnid Appearance and Attire: Spider has a black and yellow costume theme reminiscent of orb weaver spiders.
- Asshole Victim: The majority the Babylon Hotel lodgers are unsavory, and they all end up dead, with the exception of the plumber, who's probably the most helpful character in the building.
- Ax-Crazy: Birdman in the first game and Parano in the sequel.
- Back from the Dead: Rion in the sequel. It also is a case of Fish out of Temporal Water.
- Bandaged Face: First generation Rabbits, for whatever reason.
- Barbie Doll Anatomy: Rion is depicted in various states undress, and tends to lack...features. No nipples. Except in the official art. Huh? However, Nitro's costume strongly suggests that she does have 'em. Additionally, Rion gets some full frontal nudity in Galerians: ASH, and apparently has no penis.
- Being Tortured Makes You Evil: Ash manifested his multiple personalities after the equivalent of thousands of years of torment and isolation at the hands of his creator.
- Bizarrchitecture: Gigantic iron globe balanced on an absurdly long metal toothpick aside, whoever put the Mushroom Tower's elevator systems together is completely insane.
- Blessed with Suck: PPECs (Psychic Power Enhancement Chemicals) grant psychic abilities such as pyrokinesis and telekinesis. The downside is that they're highly addictive, dangerous and overuse can result in a condition known as 'shorting', where the victim psychically destroys everything nearby instantly by blowing their minds - and his own. There is a drug to stop it, but the question is whether the victim - or someone nearby - is able to inject it/shoot them with it in time.
- Blond Guys Are Evil: Played straight with Cain, averted with Rion.
- Bowdlerization: The term PPEC only exists in the English version, evidently to avoid calling the drugs what they are.
- Body Horror: Dorothy, you've got something in your mouth...
- Broke Your Arm Punching Out Cthulhu: Sure Rion, you may have defeated Dorothy, but you also just succeeded in killing yourself, plunging the whole city into darkness, and waking up Ash.
- Brought to You by the Letter "S": Ash has his initial written on his chest for some reason.
- Cain and Abel: Rion and, uh... Cain.
- Captain Oblivious: Crovic, the plumber of the Babylon Hotel, does not notice that every single resident, including the guy at the front desk, has been horribly killed by Rainheart.
- City Noir: Michelangelo City is an ideal example, complete with dismal rain and Apathetic Citizens galore.
- The Computer Is Your Friend: Dorothy was originally intended to just maintain the city. She ends up plotting to destroy humanity.
- Computer Virus: Once Dr. Steiner and Dr. Pascalle realized Dorothy was out of control, they developed a failsafe program to destroy her — the Virus Program. They wrote the Virus Program into the brain of Lilia, Dr. Pascalle's daughter. Rion has a program to activate the Virus Program in his head, so the two must be united in order to destroy Dorothhy.
- Contractual Boss Immunity: Galerians are immune to instadeath from another Galerian shorting out, and most of the bosses are Galerians. Averted with the first boss of the first game, however; Dr. Lem is not a Galerian, and will die instantly if you short out during his boss fight.
- Cover Version: Within the first game's first few minutes of actual gameplay, an instrumental remix of Nine Inch Nails' Terrible Lie can be heard.
- Creepy Child: Rainheart and to a lesser extent Rion.
- Deadly Upgrade: One of the drugs causes you to Short instantly. Seems like a Press X to Die, right? Not if you need to kill a lot of mooks really, really fast and have Delmetor on hand...
- Died in Your Arms Tonight: Rion dies as Lilia holds him. Galerians: ASH reverses the roles, with Lilia dying in Rion's arms.
- Disposable Sex Worker: Rainheart's rather gruesome murder of the prostitute Susan in the Babylon Hotel.
- Distressed Damsel: Lilia, for nearly all of the first game and chunks of the second.
- Epic Instrumental Opener: Release me, I wanna be free.
- Empty Room Psych: The bathrooms seem like great places for shock horror, but the game never goes for it.
- Evil Albino: The Rabbits, and Ash.
- Evil Matriarch: Dorothy is this for all of the Galerians, particularly Ash and Rainheart.
- Evilutionary Biologist: Dorothy... kind of. It seems that she wants to eliminate humans and replace them with her more "advanced" children. In reality, her goal is more selfish - she just wants to be superior to humans herself, and the Galerians are mere tools to reach that end.
- Fake Ultimate Hero: Romero, who also happens to be a fine case of Dirty Coward.
- Fangs Are Evil: Every single tooth in Parano's mouth is filed to a point.
- Fashions Never Change: The year is 2522, and yet people are still dressing like it's the 90s.
- Flashback Cut: In the first game, Stage B is chock full of them.
- For Science!: Dr. Steiner and Dr. Pascalle only realized that developing an artificial intelligence that could expand itself indefinitely was a bad idea once it slipped its leash. It was lucky for them that it was only almost too late by the time they figured it out.
- Fun with Acronyms: Ash's entire name is an acronym for the three fractured pieces of his personality: Anger, Sadness, and Hate.
- Gadgeteer Genius: Pat.
- Genetic Engineering Is the New Nuke: Our villains: a group of genetically engineered superhumans designed to supplant the human race.
- Giggling Villain: Birdman. Nonstop. Forever.
- Goggles Do Nothing: Pat wears goggles, evidently just for pilot chic.
- Guinea Pig Family: Dr. Steiner and Dr. Pascalle see no alternative for combating Dorothy besides implanting dangerous viruses in their children's brains.
- Green-Eyed Monster: Cain, whose green eyes are the main characteristic distinguishing him from Rion, ironically.
- I Cannot Self-Terminate: Rita, for whatever reason, is unable to kill herself, and thus relies on Rion to do the job for her.
- The Idealist: Pat, in the secret ending. He seems to represent all of humanity in that — saying that they are "looking towards a brighter future."
- Identity Amnesia: Rion has no memories of his life before waking up in the hospital. He wouldn't know his own name if other people hadn't told him. The twist he's not really an amnesiac, but rather a blank slate who spends the game "becoming Rion."
- I'm a Humanitarian: In the subtitled movie, it is subtly implied that Rainheart is a cannibal.
- Inside a Computer System: A large portion of the second game is set inside the remnants of the Mushroom Tower computer system.
- Kid Hero: It's easy to forget that Rion is fourteen during the first game.
- Kill It with Fire: Red, the aptly named pyrokinetic drug. Also, this trope is Rainheart's preferred method of fighting. Using Red against him is not wise.
- Kiss of Death: Let the Ho Yay commence! Ash ingests uranium and transfers it to Rion by mouth. Later, Rion returns the favor by transferring a deletion program to Ash by mouth.
- Kung-Fu Wizard: Ash and his completely ridiculous karate chops.
- Licking the Blade: In Galerians: Ash, Parano does this as a part of his Knife Nut shtick.
- Limit Break: The Shorting mechanic. Rion's AP gauge slowly ticks up, based on damage taken, exertion, and Rion's level of tension. Once full, Rion's powers will go berserk the next time he tries to use them, instakilling any nearby mooks.
- Loads and Loads of Loading: Not an egregious case, but it does occur every time you walk through a door. galerians... galerians... galerians... galerians... galerians...
- MacGuffin Girl: Lilia mostly just stands around in the first game. Her plot significance comes from the fact that she carries the Virus Program.
- Mad Doctor: Dr. Lem is completely sold on Dorothy's plan to become the "New Master of Creation," and his contribution to the cause involves lots of human experimentation.
- Make Me Wanna Shout: Nalcon creates a sonic boom.
- Mental World: Appears many times in both games. In the first game, it showed up during the deaths of Rainheart and Rita when Rion pulls their psyche into his own mind for a few moments in their last minutes of life, but most prevalent in the sequel when it is revealed that Rion has been in a digital world during all of his encounters with the Last Galerians.
- Missing Mom: Lilia's mother is never heard from or even spoken of at any point.
- Mr. Exposition: Dr. Albert Steiner pretty much dumps the entire plot of the game into the player's lap in a ten minute long prerecorded monologue and then vanishes from the plot. That's justifiable since he's dead.
- My Beloved Smother: Dorothy to all of her children, though arguably the most to Ash.
- Name of Cain: Uh, Cain.
- Names to Know in Anime: The Japanese casts contains number of notables:
- Not Distracted by the Sexy: In the sequel, nobody seems to notice or care that Nitro is headlighting through an iron breastplate or that Dr. Lilia's dress shows off her underthings.
- Offing the Offspring: Dorothy seems to have no problem with sending her own creations to their doom, if creating Cain for the sole purpose of killing her other child Rion is any indicator.
- Ominous Latin Chanting: "Memina Tui" from the sequel. It's a little bit jarring next to the electro-industrial noise that comprises most of the rest of the soundtrack.
- Only I Can Kill Him: According to Rion, only a Child of Dorothy can kill another Child of Dorothy. Considering the opposition is psychic, or non-corporeal, and/or hangs out in a radiation-riddled derelict power plant, he's probably right.
- Overdrawn at the Blood Bank: The impressive fountains of blood generated by victims of Rion's head-explody mode.
- Overlord Jr.: Ash is Dorothy's progeny and takes her place as Big Bad in Galerians: Ash.
- Pedophile Priest: "DO YOU KEEP THE MONEY IN YOUR POCKETS?"
- Plot Hole: Oh god, they're everywhere.
- Poor Communication Kills: Why didn't Rita or Rainheart just tell Birdman that they had Lilia trapped in the Babylon Hotel?
- In that same vein, why didn't 'anyone' tell Rion about what he really is?
- Psychic Link: Lilia and Rion, to the extent that whenever Rion feels pain, Lilia feels it as well.
- Psychic Nosebleed: Occurs frequently when a lot of mental exertion is going on. Sometimes coupled with Tears of Blood.
- Psychic Powers: Oh so much...
- In the first game alone, we have the drugs D-Felon (telekinesis), Red (pyrokinesis), and Nalcon (sonic waves generated through the mind). Rion is also permanently under the effect of a drug that gives him telepathy and the ability to read psychic impressions on objects.
- Psycho Electro: Parano's main abilities, aside from cutting and spinning around nonstop, involve electricity.
- Shapeshifting Nitro disguises herself as Lilia.
- Squishy Wizard: Lilia, the carrier of the virus program and a girl with the ability to stop Galerians from using their powers. Her greatest weakness is being hit in the face with tables.
- Stripperiffic: Characters in this series tend not to be heavily dressed, and midriffs are bared rampantly. Naturally, the bad guys are more stripperiffic; Rita (Cleavage Window, Bare Your Midriff, Zettai Ryouiki) and Nitro (Vapor Wear, Showgirl Skirt, Fetish Fuel Station Attendant) are the prime examples. Birdman wears overalls...and that's about it.
- Incorruptibly pure Lilia clearly sports a Black Bra And Panties in the Galerians: Ash...and at least black panties in the first game.
- Averted with the military personnel in Galerians: Ash, who wear convincing fatigues and body armor.
- Really 700 Years Old: According to the sequel's logic, time in a computer passes infinitely slower than time in the real world. With that in mind, Ash has been stuck in isolation in the computer for what would be equivalent to thousands of years.
- Selective Condemnation: Despite having just killed dozens upon dozens of hospital employee NPCs without even blinking during his escape, Rion inexplicably feels bad about killing Birdman.
- Skele Bot 9000: Ties in with a rather unexpected Robotic Reveal. In the middle of the first bossfight, Clinic Chief Lem suddenly sheds his skin and turns into the Terminator.
- Snow Means Death: Seen in Rita's Mental World after the Boss Battle with her.
- So Last Season: The drug Skip changes functions from the first game to the second. In the first game, Skip is a temporary Power-Up that boosts Rion's psychic power level until his health goes critical. In Galerians: Ash, a Skip tablet is Rare Candy — it raises the power level of one of Rion's abilities permanently. They're often given out as reward for defeating a boss.
- Sole Survivor: Out of both games, Pat is the only named character to survive.
- Split Personality: Parano, Spider, and Nitro are actually all fragments of Ash's personality. Also, Rainheart seems to suffer from an alternate personality, one that is brought out into the open by the PPECs.
- The Starscream: Ash plans to kill Dorothy instead of resurrecting her and take all remaining power for himself.
- Strapped to an Operating Table: Rion, at the beginning of the game.
- Stuffed Into the Fridge:
Most of Rion's childhood. Childhood home a shambles. Dad dead in the closet. Mom in the fridge.
- Super Power Meltdown: Happens to the player as part of the game's mechanics whenever they overuse their psychic powers and short out.
- Also, the second half of the final Ash Boss Fight when he and his multiple personalities all just start freaking out.
- Super Serum: PPECs (Psychic Power Enhancement Chemicals) allow Rion and others to use psychic powers.
- Tomato in the Mirror: This trope is the Galerians series' big twist of choice.
- In Galerians, Rion isn't the real Rion. The real Rion is dead, and the protagonist is a Galerian clone of Rion Steiner created to lure Lilia out of hiding.
- In Galerians: Ash, Ash is the only Last Galerian. The other three are split personalities Ash manifested due to Dorothy's abuse and neglect.
- Tykebomb: The Galerians are a group of Designer Babies who live in fear of their "mother", and will do anything she orders.
- Unexplained Accent: Parano rolls his 'R's very faintly. This may be an echo of Parano's Japanese VA, who rolls his 'R's with impunity because it sounds tough in that language. However, in English it just becomes a head-scratcher.
- Unwinnable by Design: It may not be immediately evident, but Galerians does not want to you kill every mook you come across. By the time you realize that the supply of drugs is finite but the enemies respawn indefinitely, you might already be stuck. The game does have an Emergency Weapon, and shorting is a poor fallback since it drains Rion's health. It probably won't work out in the player's favor.
- Uterine Replicator: In Mushroom Tower, Rion finds the devices in which the Galerians were created. Including one for himself.
- Vasquez Always Dies: Cas is a Vasquez expy. Guess what happens to her?
- Voice with an Internet Connection: Lilia serves as remote mission control to Rion in Galerians: Ash.
- White Hair, Black Heart: Ash is a pretty classic pretty boy baddie.
- Whole Costume Reference: The second generation Rabbits are all dressed exactly like the Strangers.
- You Are The Translated Foreign Word: Somewhat averted in that it's never explicitly mentioned in-game and the term itself is more of a vague prisoner metaphor, but the term 'Galerian' seems to be a corruption of the French word 'galérien,' which translates to 'galley slave,' a criminal or prisoner of war forced to row in galleys.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Parano repeatedly loses to Rion, so Ash shoots him in the head. When Parano re-manifests before the final boss fight, he returns the favor to Ash.
- You Shall Not Pass: In a moment of considerable badassery, Cas uses explosives to take out a bunch of Ash's forces and close a security breach, but sacrifices herself in the process.
- You Wake Up in a Room: How it all begins. The player knows exactly as much about Rion as Rion knows about himself — which is nothing.
- Your Head Asplode: When Rion loses control of his powers, his brainwaves will pop the heads of any mooks in his vicinity. The caveat is that Rion's health slowly drains away in this state.