Video Game: Risk of Rain

...and so he left, with everything but his humanity.
Risk of Rain is a Sci-Fi Action Roguelike for PC which was released on Steam on November 8, 2013.

The game plays as a 2D platformer in which you play as one of ten different character classes, each with varying strengths and weaknesses. You must defeat enemies to level up and gain gold, whilst the difficulty steadily increases as time goes on. The main goal of the game is to find the teleporter and use it to summon the level's boss; after slaying the boss (and an accompanying horde of enemies) you may advance to the next level. Your ultimate goal is to make your way back to the UES Contact Light so you can take off and escape the planet.

Risk of Rain contains examples of:

  • Adult Fear: Those small little multi-colored spirits? They're children. The giants trying to kill you? Their parents driven mad with rage and grief.
  • All Your Powers Combined: Fitting its subtitle, the Scavenger uses a missile attack reminiscent of the Engineer's Thermal Harpoons or the Disposable Missile Launcher, and a line attack similar to the Commando's Full Metal Jacket ability. When reduced to low health, it starts to glow/pulse yellow and begins to attack faster, similar to HAN-D's Overclock ability. It also has a couple of its own unique attacks, of course. In addition, it seems to be using or wearing the items you can find.
    • With the addition of game mutating artifacts, some classes can do better than others to reach the various artifacts across all the map types.
  • Ambiguous Gender: The Sniper's end quote uses "they", as opposed to the other human classes which are all clearly referred to as "he", or "she" for the Huntress. This use of they is most likely plural due to counting the Sniper's Spotter Drone as part of the character (there's no qualms about calling Acrid "it"), but has resulted in fan speculation that the Sniper may actually be robotic, intersexed, or just highly mysterious.
  • Artifact of Doom: Played for Laughs. The item logs are often darkly comedic, as a distressingly large number of the items you can and will be collecting en masse are either outright stated or implied to be harmful or fatal to the Survivor and its body in the long run. Infection, infestation, poisoning, unstable explosives, fatal reproduction, a mysterious curse, or even medication that hasn't gone through rigorous enough testing... The list of horrid ailments the player character racks up casually can be quite long.
    • And now there are literal Artifacts that can alter how the game works. From making you and enemies move faster as you/they take damage to locking your skills theres a LOT of things that happen thanks to them.
    • Both of these are played straight in the ending, where due to the constant exposure to harmful elements, the player has been driven insane or horrifically mutated.
  • Attack Drone: The player can use gold to repair robot drones that will fly around the player and shoot any enemy in range. After taking enough damage they will breakdown and have to be repaired, which costs more money each time. The Engineer can also deploy his own drones and turrets, and HAN-D's drones can be launched for both damage and repairs.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The survivors manage to leave the planet... but a part of the player character remains irrevocably changed. Some for the better- CHEF gains sentience, the Loader gains a new sense of purpose in life, the Miner had the time of his life, and Han-D becomes half-robotic, half-organic- and some for the far worse- the Commando loses his pragmatic nature, the Enforcer is turned into a horrific mutant, the Bandit gains his treasure but loses his mind in the process, the Huntress feels dead inside, the Engineer is a horrific hybrid of man and machine, the Mercenary realizes he will never be human again, Acrid has lost his aggressive nature and now seeks solitude, and the Sniper has gone deaf.
  • Boom, Headshot: The Bandit's Lights Out ability, which, when successfully used, can be activated repeatedly.
  • Boss Subtitles: All bosses have a short description under their name. Examples include:
    Magma WormAncient Lava Swimmer
    ScavengerTasting your own medicine
  • Death World: For a planet that was supposedly peaceful before you came here, every single creature on it is remarkably good at killing things dead quick.
  • Degraded Boss: Inverted. Once the difficulty gets high enough, bosses will start spawning among the regular enemies... chosen from the same pool as the actual boss of the current level. Meaning you now have to kill two level-appropriate bosses before you can exit the level instead of one. Also, if you take the option to loop back to earlier levels before tackling the final one, you will encounter the bosses from the beginning of the game, but they'll be much nastier elite versions and/or come in greater numbers. Played straight, however, with smaller clones of the Wandering Vagrant boss who spawn frequently on the final level. Also, if you loop through the levels long enough eventually it'll just throwing out the normal bosses like candy, easily resulting in over a dozen bosses on each level... but you'll be powerful enough to wipe out even the elite bosses with ease.
  • Dissonant Serenity: Several of the levels are designed to contrast strongly with the violent nature of the gameplay. The Field of Sprites and the Sunken Catacombs, in particular, have very serene music, and gorgeous settings — one is a peaceful nighttime field with a massive moon taking up most of the screen, and the other is a water level that manages to be both calm and beautiful. Both are also host to particularly nasty enemies, the Field of Sprites being full of the murderous Children and their giant Parents, and the Sunken Catacombs occasionally plays host to Acrid, a biological experiment that fights with poison and disease.
  • Double Unlock: Items are unlocked by completing certain tasks in the game, but there is no immediate benefit to doing so; rather, unlocked items start appearing in the game normally on all subsequent playthroughs.
  • Easter Egg:
    • The final level has a secret room where some enemies are rocking out to a boom box.
    • At the top of the final level is the head of the final boss from Iji.
    • During the beta phase, a secret room in one of the permutations of Desolate Forest contained a useless item called the Cubic Artifact. This was removed, but with the Artifacts update, is now back in the game as the Artifact of Elite Mook Honor.
  • Electric Jellyfish: The flying jellyfish enemy will shock you if you touch them. It deals little damage by itself but can be hazardous due to their tendency to attack in swarms. Interestingly its boss cousin the "Wandering Vagrant" does not shock you even though its AI similarly tries to chase you; instead it summons explosive orbs.
  • Elite Mook: Enemies can spawn with various modifiers as difficulty increases, such as flame trails or the ability to teleport. All of these modifiers include increased health and armour. Later in the game, this can happen with bosses too.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: The monster logs suggest that most of the planet's inhabitants are actually very peaceful and live in harmony, more or less. But for some reason, everything instantly becomes murderously enraged upon seeing the survivor...
  • Eye Scream: One of the powerups involves tearing out your own eye and replacing it with a Magma Worm's.
  • Flunky Boss: The Stone Guardian and Toxic Beast summon enemies as their main attack; the former summons rock golems right where he's standing which are often incapable of reaching you, but the latter summons a swarm of small pigs right next to you anywhere on the level.
  • Giant Enemy Crab: Sand Crabs are about twice as big as the player, and several times as wide, capable of snapping their claws with tremendous force comparable to the golem's clap. They're also sneaky enough to dig themselves into the sand so completely they can't be seen from the surface until they decide to go hunting. Also, according to the monster logs, they're rather tasty.
  • Goddamned Bats: invokedParodied by the Archer Bugs in their monster logs. Nobody likes those buzzing, circling, smelly insects, not even the other monsters.
  • Golem: Rock Golems appear as enemies. They are highly resilient to damage and their smash attack can be deadly to low leveled players, however they are restricted by low mobility which makes them easy to avoid or out maneuver using hit and run tactics. The Stone Guardian/Colossus boss is a massive version of this enemy. Icy versions appear in the Frozen Tundra, but are otherwise identical.
  • Heroic BSOD: The monster log for the Parent suggest the survivor goes through one of these after they see the heartbroken fury they come at them with, and that they feel guilt enough that they consider letting them have their vindication.
  • Herd Hitting Attack: The Enforcer is at his best when fighting large groups of enemies, as his standard attack — a shotgun blast — hits everything in a cone in front of him, and his two other offensive abilities — a smoke grenade and a shield swipe — affect everything in their area of effect. Most of the other characters also have at least one attack that can affect many enemies, though not all of them recharge fast enough that you can whittle groups down using just it.
  • Hit-and-Run Tactics: Acrid's designed around guerilla tactics, since he deals lots of damage over time but can't kill much quickly. The Miner approaches it from the opposite direction, with strong abilities that all provide great mobility but long cooldowns and a pathetic main attack. The Mercenary is also something of a hit-and-run combatant, though his abilities focus on providing invulnerability to attacks and mobility.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: Since there's no limit on the number of items you can carry at the same time, you can easily find yourself carrying ridiculous amounts of gear if you make it a point to open every chest you come across: it's entirely possible to end up carrying multiple copies of every item in the game if you keep replaying the levels long enough or abuse the Easter Egg area in the third level by endlessly killing the respawning boss.
  • Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels: It has three difficulty levels above "Impossible" (itself above "Insane"), titled "I SEE YOU", "I'M COMING FOR YOU", and "HAHAHAHA". The actual campaign difficulty levels themselves are "Drizzle", "Rainstorm", and "Monsoon", which, in addition to increasing or decreasing enemy stats, also increase or decrease the amount of time you need to survive after activating a teleporter before the enemies stop spawning as well as the amount of time that needs to pass for the Dynamic Difficulty to increase.
  • Incendiary Exponent: The Magma Worm boss, naturally. Also, as the difficulty rises flaming versions of normal enemies will sometimes spawn, and leave behind trails of fire. After finding the Gasoline item, any enemies killed by the Survivor will create a pool of fire. Finally, a rare drop from the Magma Worm itself also causes the player to move and attack faster after killing an enemy, and leave trails of fire behind them as they move.
  • Instrument of Murder: One of the items that can be found is the Ukulele — although rather than being used as a bludgeon, it causes the player character to sometimes shoot Chain Lightning when they attack.
  • Interchangeable Antimatter Keys: On the final level, keycards are treated this way.
  • Jigsaw Puzzle Plot: Aside from one line at the end of the game, no exposition is provided. While it is generally accepted that the UES has been exploiting the planet in some way, and Providence was responsible for the crash, none of this is revealed through gameplay. Item descriptions and monster logs are the only source of backstory.
  • King Mook: Many of the bosses, though not all. The Imp Overlord and Colossus are two main examples.
  • Lethal Lava Land: One of the two possibilities for level four is "Magma Barracks - The Core". It often includes a boss who swims around in the lava.
  • Macrogame: Completing various tasks like finishing stages quickly or killing a certain number of enemies unlocks new items for you to acquire during a playthrough.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: Small homing missiles both allied and enemy are common sights, but the Disposable Missile Launcher item and the Scavenger boss both unleash huge swarms. If you manage to get multiple items that randomly launch missiles upon connecting with an attack and use a character with attacks that hit repeatedly coupled with items that increase your attack speed, you can essentially unleash endless streams of missiles as long as you have enemies to hit.
  • Mama Bear: The Parent enemies, whose description explicitly states they've gone insane with rage and grief when finding their dead children, and who hit as hard as golems and yet run faster than almost any other enemies in the level they show up in. It's not uncommon for playthroughs to be cut short by a mob of parents coming down on the player and smashing him into the floor within seconds. Your only fortune is that they're not as durable as their large size suggests.
  • Nintendo Hard: Depending on how long you take, you'll be facing literally hundreds of monsters, each tougher than the last.
  • Noodle Incident: The item log is absolutely chock-full of these. Every item shipped has notes on it from the sender, and quite a few only give enough info to make conjectures, or allude to completely different incidents where the item was involved. Examples include whatever's going on in the circus that had the happiest mask, whatever was done to a rotten brain that turned it into a deadly bouncing weapon, and the jar of souls, period.
  • Not the Intended Use: Beating the game as a Chef notes that the humble food maker has completely forgotten its purpose.
  • Power Copying: Some of the rarer item drops you can get off of defeated bosses appear to be actual chunks or organs from the bosses themselves. Naturally, these give you abilities similar to the respective boss it was acquired from.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: Almost all of the closing lines when you beat the game with each character.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: The Lemurians are freaky Lizard Folk monsters who have quite a nasty bite. The playable lizardman Acrid isn't treated much nicer, starting the game as a prisoner of some description and having a playstyle based around poisons, disease, and biotoxins.
  • Sad Battle Music: The final stage's theme, which only adds to the ambiguity.
  • Sanity Slippage: Some characters have their endings strongly imply they've gone insane, monstrous, mutated, or all three.
  • Shipshape Shipwreck: The Contact Light is still somehow spaceworthy after its crash.
  • Shout-Out: Many of the item descriptions are references to other sci-fi universes:
    • The crowbar's description mentions that it should last until the third edition.
    • The Heaven Cracker is a drill made specifically to pierce through heavenly materials.
    • The item log for the Golden Gun mentions that it's being shipped to one James B.
    • If the player obtains the item that upgrades a classes' fourth ability, the Miner's fourth ability, To The Stars, will be renamed Starbound. Considering who published the game, this is almost definitely intentional.
    • The "Ancient Scepter" is a reference to DotA, which has an item named "Aghanim's Scepter", which functions almost exactly the same as the Ancient Scepter in this game, which is to upgrade the fourth ("ultimate") ability of the character. The shipping log even mentions "it's much better than your Lance of Legends".
      • It is also a reference to A Link To The Past, which features an evil wizard named Aghanim as initial antagonist. He does not actually wield a scepter, though his true identity, Ganon, wields a scepter-like trident.
    • There's a secret stage accessible in the frozen tundra: the Boar Beach, which is accessed through a broken gate, and has both normal (for the planet) boars, and boars coated in iron armor. All this, even the method of access, is a homage to MapleStory's Pig Beach. The subtitle is even "Simpler Times".
    • The Miner looks very much like Isaac Clarke in his first RIG suit. This may be a reference to the fact that most people believed Isaac to be a Miner instead of an Engineer.
    • There's an "AGDG" statue on the planet in the title screen. AGDG (Amateur Game Dev General) is a 4chan-based video game development thread that the developer frequented.
  • Shotguns Are Just Better: The Enforcer's weapon of choice is a shotgun. When using his Deployable Cover his fire rate goes up dramatically, letting him take a huge chunk out of anything standing in front of him. It can also launch stun grenades.
  • Snowlems: The Snow Golems.
  • Smoke Out: The Bandit can drop a Smoke Bomb, and whilst invisible he is immune to attacks. Upon reappearing (either after three seconds, or using another ability), enemies nearby are slightly damaged and stunned.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: The theme for the final level set on the UES Contact Light, Coalescence. Fairly calm and peaceful — despite the level itself swarming with hundreds of foes. A bloody fight ensues as the survivors must make their way to the end of the level.
  • Speed Run: Actively encouraged in the early levels, because the difficulty rises dramatically over time. Less so near the end since it mostly caps out after 40 minutes.
  • Take That: The "Telescopic Sight" item has a stab at 360 noscope kills, the ability to kill opponents without using the scope on a sniper rifle in video game shooters:
    "...And please actually use the scope. We are all impressed that you can hit a target without it, but I'm tired of watching your videos. Spinning while firing is also a great way of losing your license."
  • Theme Naming: Every song on the soundtrack has a name related to either water or heavy weather. These are often fairly obscure names, like Arctic Oscillationnote  or 25.3N 91.7Enote .
  • Too Dumb to Live: The item logs suggest that some of the items you're using were meant to be shipped to (or from) some very dumb people.
  • Turns Red: While the most obvious example is the Scavenger, many bosses become more aggressive when they are closer to death, attacking more frequently, though the difference can be very subtle.
  • Underwater Ruins: One of the two possibilities for level 3: "Sunken Tomb — Underwater Catacombs".
  • Super Not-Drowning Skills: The survivors cannot drown, and neither can enemies — but an achievement is unlocked for knocking 20 Whorls (nautilus-like enemies) into the bottomless pits at the bottom of the Underwater Catacombs map.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: The Magma Worm, alone, would already have a bit of difficulty. When you have swarms of enemies on top of that, it becomes quite the introduction to the challenges that await you.
  • Warmup Boss: The Wandering Vagrant, who has only one attack that's easily dodged if you keep moving, and the Colossus, whose strategy amounts to "stay a bit away from the massive stone thing while it slowly strolls at you".
  • Wham Line: Easy to miss, being in the very last boss' monster log, but it's there:
    "...Why did we have a teleporter from this planet in our cargo hold?"
  • You Monster!: The final boss will call the survivors monsters when he dies. It is unclear why, but it is implied to be as much an accurate statement as it is frustration on the final boss's part — in the next shot, the camera pans over the interior of the ship, revealing that it is filled to the brim with dead aliens killed by the survivors.