Follow TV Tropes


Context VideoGame / TheSecretWorld

Go To

1%%²%% Administrivia/ZeroContextExample entries are not allowed on wiki pages. All such entries have been commented out. Add context to the entries before uncommenting them. ²%%²[[quoteright:250:]]²[[caption-width-right:250:[[AStormIsComing Dark days are coming.]]]]²->Our wisdom flows so sweet. Taste and see...\²TRANSMIT -- initiate trope signal -- RECEIVE -- initiate the wiki syntax –- EVERYTHING IS TRUE -- initiate the examples protocol -- WITNESS -- The Secret World Main Page ²²An {{MMORPG}} from Funcom, makers of ''VideoGame/TheLongestJourney'', ''VideoGame/AnarchyOnline'', ''VideoGame/AgeOfConan'' and several other games, released on July 3rd, 2012. The premise of ''The Secret World'' is that ''all'' [[ConspiracyKitchenSink conspiracies are true]], and [[SecretWar major clandestine organizations compete to take over the world]], whilst keeping [[AllMythsAreTrue swarms of mythical creatures]] under wraps in the process. Players join up with one of three [[AncientConspiracy ancient conspiracies]]: [[WellIntentionedExtremist the Templar]], TheIlluminati, or [[TheChessmaster the Dragon]], to fight in a secret war waged in the shadows of our world.²²An interesting draw is the lack of classes and levels -- rather than selecting a class such as "mage" or "warrior" and only learn certain skills as you level up, players will be able to choose skills to do whatever they want -- they are free to select both spells ''and'' melee, or stealth and healing magic or what have you. (Given enough time and effort, a player can learn to play any role with the same character.)²²The Templars, based in London, are the most open of the three societies, as well as the most devoted to fighting evil in all forms. Pitted against them are the Illuminati, who are focused on personal gain and individualism. The third society, the Dragon, is the most enigmatic of the three -- decentralized and secretive, the only thing sure about them is their dedication to their mathematical model that is said to represent the universe.²²According to the developers, the game takes a lot of inspirations from works set in TheRoaringTwenties, from Creator/HPLovecraft's [[CosmicHorrorStory books]] to the ''Franchise/IndianaJones'' franchise. It was even originally intended to be set in 1920s, but concerns over the setting's accessibility have led to a PresentDay setting being chosen. The old setting was instead picked up again by the devs' later project, ''Draugen''.²²''The Secret World'' was officially deprecated on March 29, 2017 and was replaced by ''Secret World Legends'', a FreeToPlay reboot, on June 26 2017. ''SWL'' features a new combat system, more streamlined skill trees, and a more traditional leveling system. Old ''TSW'' accounts will still be able to play on a legacy server which will receive no further updates or support.²²On October 27, 2015, ''VideoGame/ThePark'', a SpinOff single player game, was released. Taking place in The Savage Coast's Atlantic Island Amusement Park, it follows the story of Lorraine, a young mother looking for her son Callum in the park.²²On October 25, 2016, a second spin-off game, ''Hide And Shriek'', was also released. It is a one-on-one multiplayer game, where players play the part of students of Innsmouth Academy and its rival Little Springs High School who attempt to scare each other in a Halloween Prank War, it is LighterAndSofter than either this game or ''The Park''.²²On Halloween 2019, another spin-off game, ''VideoGame/MoonsOfMadness'' was released. It is a first-person, story-driven cosmic horror game that takes place on Mars, and deals with the Orochi Group.²----²!!Examples of tropes in this game:²²* ActionPrologue: The Tokyo Incident Flashback has you assume the role of Sarah in a combat tutorial teaching you the basics of the combat. In ''Legends'' the player character instead has a series of dreams which acts as a tutorial for the various types of missions, though the the Tokyo Flashback still occurs.²* AcquiredPoisonImmunity: Dr. Klein, who exposed himself to small doses of the Filth to build up an immunity, although it also caused him to develop a dependency. [[spoiler:Subverted; according to the bees, this does ''not'' give one an immunity to Filth, and Klein is plain infected by it. He retains his own personality -- but it's entirely devoted to the Filth.]]²* AdvancedAncientHumans: It is generally accepted in the Secret World that there have been advanced civilizations long before the dawn of ours. However, they fell so long ago that most information is irrecoverable and the pursuit of such information is largely considered pointless, although when found, Third Age technology is considered extremely valuable.²* AdventurerArchaeologist: A lot of the Investigation Missions have you doing research while uncovering unearthly ruins.²* AfterTheEnd: Three such ends in fact, our current civilization is only the Fourth Age. At the end of each of the previous ages, Humanity has suffered some great catastrophe that always resets civilization to the stone age.²* AgonizingStomachWound: Illuminati handler [[MeanBoss Kirsten Geary]] can be heard speaking to one of her agents over the phone in one scene: apparently, the guy's just been shot in the stomach and is in agony, while Geary is [[LackOfEmpathy admonishing him for crying]], irritably reassuring him that he won't die for several hours. As she puts it "it's a total drag."²* AllegedlyFreeGame: While there is a sizable micro-transaction store and several benefits to the optional subscription, nearly everything in the store is cosmetic and character progression happens at such a generous pace that a player is far more likely to find a pair of premium pants they absolutely must have than find themselves thinking they need one of the skill boosts. Unfortunately, it is no longer possible to finish the entire story minus a few sidequests without paying anything after the initial purchase; continuing after the final story mission in Transylvania requires buying the relevant Issues.²* ALighterShadeOfGray: The Templars, their end goal is to save the world...unfortunately they don't care about the cost in doing so.²* AluminumChristmasTrees: The Wabanaki are a real-life confederacy of native tribes and not just made up for the game.²* AllMythsAreTrue: One of the game's taglines is "Everything is True", referring to how every myth and legend told throughout human history not only has a grain of truth to it, but in fact can be taken more or less at face value. The tagline is also mentioned to the PlayerCharacter at some point during the prologue for each faction.²* AlternateRealityGame: Early on, game was promoted by a series of games and puzzles players were invited to solve in order to receive more information on the game:²** The first was "Dark Demons Cry Gaia", which first teased the game, and then released more information right up to its release.²** Then there was [[TheEndIsNigh The End of Days is Coming]] leading up to 21/12-2012 and the Mayan Doomsday Christmas event.²* AmusementParkOfDoom: Atlantic Island Amusement Park, haunted by the [[ThingsThatGoBumpInTheNight Bogeyman]]. Complete with ghostly echoes of children laughing and [[DeliberatelyMonochrome grainy, grayscale areas meant to evoke feelings of happier times]].²* AncientArtifact: Boy howdy. In addition to sidequests involving various artifacts that are ultimately unimportant to the plot, including many to simply stop piles of them from being dug up, there are a few big ones.²** Gear drops from most of the dungeons and the raids can be considered this, granting players access to equipment that originates from Cold War-era Soviet occult experiments, an ancient battle between Native Americans and Mayans, left-overs from slain [[CosmicHorror cosmic horrors]] and even Hell itself.²** The story around Solomon Island centers around two of them: [[spoiler:Excalibur and a Gaia Engine buried deep underneath Blue Mountain.]] The latter artifacts are the most important revealed thus far, as they [[spoiler:stop the Dreamers from devouring reality by keeping them lulled to sleep.]]²** Doctor Klein, an Orochi scientist corrupted by the Filth while researching the Ankh in Egypt, wields the Staff of Aten. It gives him control over the various creatures in the temple and allows him to project some magical attacks as well.²** The ring worn by [[spoiler:Lilith]] projects fields that can effortlessly imprison someone, protect the user from the Filth, and even severely weaken one of the strongest Filth creatures to the point where a lone [[PlayerCharacter Secret Worlder]] can bring it down. Unfortunately for the wearer, [[NoSell it does absolutely nothing against]] [[spoiler:the Nephilim.]]²* AncientConspiracy: Three flavors for players to chose from, as well as at least one for the players to take down.²* AncientTradition: The MO of the Dragon, with a subtle mixture of both the "Passive Observation" and "Aiding" varieties.²* AndIMustScream: The fate of one unfortunate, faction-less Bee captured by Vali. [[spoiler:Orochi's Project Odyssey is trying to find something they can add to their robots that will grant them access to Agartha, so they create pseudo-cyborgs using tissues harvested from their captive. This man is kept heavily sedated and restrained while they regularly cut him up, or open, hoping to find some organ or quantity of his flesh that will serve as their key, killing him when they take too much and forcing him to respawn within their secure facility. He's helplessly trapped as a human guinea pig without the luxury of death and nobody who cares to save him.]] It's implied that this is why it's so important for Secret Worlders to join a faction.²* AndTheAdventureContinues: After completing your story mission, your faction leaders reward you with a leave of vacation [[spoiler:while hinting about going back to Tokyo where it all began.]] ²* AnAxeToGrind: Some Hammer skins take the form of axes, and thanks to the ability to copy skins onto stronger weapons, you have have a [[{{BFS}} big freaking axe]] to carry you through the game.²* AnOfferYouCantRefuse: All three factions use different variants of this trope when recruiting you. The Templars play with it by merely issuing an invitation. You're entirely free to refuse, and the Templars will do nothing to force you to join... but it's made clear that you won't last long without help, and the Templars only help their own. The Illuminati more or less tell you that you're drafted, and give you a place to go and a time to be there -- or else. Most extreme of all, the Dragon literally kidnap you with magical chloroform, and you wake up in Seoul with no money and no way of getting home except through them (in theory you have a chance to walk out, but as the NPC recruiter explains to you, "sooner or later, they all go upstairs").²* AndYourRewardIsClothes: ²** Completing "Decks", which are essentially player classes/build templates unlocks a unique outfit for your character. Additionally, unlocking the second tier of a weapon type's skill tree unlocks a special jacket thematic with that weapon, such as a camouflage jacket for the assault rifle, or, for blades, a yellow jacket like The Bride wears in the fight with Crazy 88 in ''Film/KillBill''.²** At certain faction ranks you get themed uniforms.²** Certain achievements give you new clothes. For example, completing all the quests for the Innsmouth Academy Faculty rewards you with an Innsmouth Academy Hoodie. [[spoiler:Completing all the Jack O'Lantern quests rewards you with a Pumpkin Head!]]²** After the release of ''Legends'', clothes are one of the rewards for completing Investigation missions, reflecting the unconventional difficulty inherent to solving them. ²* AntiHero / AntiVillain: These sorts abound in the Secret World. Special mention goes to Wicker, though. [[spoiler:He sold his soul in order to survive in hell with plans of bringing it back to the paradise it once was.]]²* AntiPoopsocking: Most quests can be repeated many times, but they reset after at least twenty-four hours to prevent quest grinding. Similarly, there's a limit to how many Marks of Favour (the main currency used to purchase cosmetic items or upgrading mid- to high-level gear) one can get in a single day based on completing daily challenges.²* ArcNumber: The number 8 seems to be significant in the Secret World and hint to links with the Host: the eight companies that make up the Orochi Group, the watchful Eight of the Grigori, and the ancient conspiracy known as the Four-and-Sixty which is 8x8.²* ArcWords: ²** The Tokyo disaster, and the events that resulted from it, was foreshadowed by visions and omens that said [[TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt "Dark days are coming"]], and, in some, its anagram, "Dark demons cry Gaia".²** [[spoiler:"You are all made of stars"]] shows up in Tokyo after its initial use in Issue #7. It's a really big clue that something filth-related happened at [[spoiler:the Fear Nothing Foundation]] as opposed to run of the mill death cult stuff.²** The Issue #14 lore has the question "How much longer?" which is asked by several of characters involved in the issue's story. [[spoiler:What links these characters is that they are trapped in their current state. The second half of the ArcWords is the reply: "And the silence answers forever."]]²* AttackDrone: Pistol users can summon drones to use in combat for attack and support. The Orochi also has these.²** Sadly no longer the case as of the reboot. Can still show up occasionally as Curios though, some of which are recovered examples of the above Orochi hardware.²* AttackOfTheFiftyFootWhatever: The New York raid boss, The Unutterable Lurker, is a [[Franchise/CthulhuMythos Cthulhu-esque]] monster that attacks Manhattan.²* AwesomeMcCoolname: There's an Orochi employee named Kitsune Hayabusa. "Kitsune" is the Japanese word (not commonly used as a name) for the fox and a [[{{Kitsune}} mythological foxlike creature]], while "Hayabusa" is a name meaning Peregrine Falcon, also used for several things including fighters, warships, spacecraft, and [[VideoGame/NinjaGaiden a fictional ninja clan]].²* BadFuture: The ''Dark Agartha'' update in ''Legends'' allows the players to explore a future, ruined Agartha and piece together what happened.²* BadassTeacher: Headmaster Montag of Innsmouth Academy, who admits to knowing how to decapitate a rampaging {{Familiar}} with a shovel.²* BazaarOfTheBizarre: The seedy 'Darkside' district in downtown London is a surreal collection of monsters and myths from the entire world. A ghoul runs a taco-cart there!²* BareFistedMonk: The Dragon healing deck (named Monk) is this. Subverted, in that the Monk deck also has access to assault rifles.²* BewareTheNiceOnes: Carter from Innsmouth Academy whom Montag describe as a walking thermonuclear bomb if her full power is unleashed.²* BigApplesauce: The Illuminati are based in New York City.²* BigCreepyCrawlies: The moth-like ak'ab on Solomon Island, and the demonic "locusts" of Egypt.²* BigDamnHeroes: ²** During the player's visit to Egypt, three Council of Venice agents have been surrounded on all sides by Aten Cultists, are clearly outmatched and expecting this to be their last stand... up until the player appears, destroying the opposition with bolts of lightning.²** When the player finally manages to uncover the tunnel entrance in Kingsmouth, they're immediately confronted by a monstrous guardian; after a short boss-fight, the guardian is ready to finish you off -- [[spoiler:only to be suddenly dispatched by a barrage of fireballs from John Wolf]].²** In the Darkness War story, the Wabanaki are being beaten by Mayan invaders after just a day of battle. On the second day, Vikings show up with extra soldiers and Excalibur, which turns the battle around. This is after [[TravelingAtTheSpeedOfPlot sailing all the way from Europe]] ²* BigfootSasquatchAndYeti: There's a whole tribe of Sasquatch living in the forests of Solomon Island, and for the most part they're fairly benevolent, if incapable of human speech. They're actually one of the very few things keeping the dark forces lurking beneath the island from escaping; unfortunately, they're also an endangered species.²* BlackAndGrayMorality:²** You have three [[AncientConspiracy ancient conspiracies]] that control humanity, none of which are portrayed in a truly positive or negative light, working to unravel a darker conspiracy that threatens all humanity.²** Your first visit into hell consists of rescuing a man who wants to bring it back to Paradise after its creators abandoned it to decay. Of course, it is a [[UnreliableNarrator demon]] who told him how Hell used to be...²* BlackComedy: All over the place. There's hardly a single quest which ''doesn't'' contain facets of this.²* TheBlank: When viewing [[spoiler:John's]] memories [[spoiler:he]] is represented with a featureless face.²* BlatantLies: The original tagline of the game was "There is no conspiracy." The promotion campaign has since made a U-turn and posited that "Everything is true."²* BloodForMortar: The headmaster of Innsmouth Academy refutes the rumor that the school has a skeleton in every closet, he proudly declares that the skeletons are bricked into the walls. The school installs the corpses of mages into the walls and foundations to bolster its magical defenses and the power they have to work with.²* BloodSplatteredInnocents: Carter, the last surviving student of Innsmouth Academy, still wearing a blood-splattered hoodie and still looking mildly traumatized.²** Perhaps played with, since Solomon Island apparently went to hell around Halloween (jack-o'-lanterns and other decorations litter the houses and other buildings). The shadows under her eyes are a bit dark to be biological, and the blood around her mouth is a staple of Halloween costumes. Given that no one else on the island (still living) is covered in anywhere near as much blood as she is, it's possible that she had just prepared an amusingly prophetic costume for the holiday.²* BlindIdiotTranslation: While fluid, the Dragon [=NPCs=]' Korean dialogue uses odd constructions, varies wildly between overly formal and extremely rude, and generally gives the impression that either the translator or the voice actors were more accustomed to using a dialect other than modern standard Korean.²** In the german version, some dialogue is not so much translated as it is completely replaced by dialogue that, while in essence still having the same meaning, often is much more confusing than the original dialogue. Most egregiously, all of the rather straightforward instructions in the tutorial are replaced by overtly flowery metaphors. Which is especially egregious as the german version is only subtitled; meaning every german player with some knowledge of the english language will quickly catch onto this and be likely to end up even more confused.²* BodyHorror: The transformation process inherent to both the Filth and the Draug. Not only do the lore entries go into horrific detail, but you actually get to see the transformation at a mid-point in the case of [[spoiler:Joe Slater, PatientZero for the Draug attack on Kingsmouth]]: when you finally track him down, he still looks vaguely human, [[spoiler:but his left arm has been distorted into massive club of bone and coral, his right arm is covered in wriggling tentacles, and his face is pockmarked with what look like barnacles.]]²** There is also what happens to the young "guests" of the Nursery, the experiments certainly left their marks. ²* BottomlessMagazines: Justified that you channel your Anima through your firearms, so you are essentially firing [[DepletedPhlebotinumShells Anima Bullets]]. This also explains why your firearms don't drop any brass casing or that you'll able to leech heal with an assault rifle. ²* BreadEggsMilkSquick: Deputy Andy, one of the first [=NPCs=] you meet, has a rather... interesting view of policing the small town.²-->'''Deputy Andy:''' Kingsmouth was a sleepy little burg. Nothing stronger on the streets than a hot cup of coffee and chocolate glazed donuts from Suzie's. The occasional DUI, domestic disturbance, human sacrifice... But every town has a dark side, right?²* BulletHell: The devs seem to have really had fun with the CrossHairAware nature of boss attacks. Of particular note is the last boss in the second dungeon on Solomon's Island, which creates some pretty impressive spiral designs made out of explosions that [[NintendoHard will pretty much instantly kill you]] if you can't avoid them or don't have a lot of health.²* BunnyEarsLawyer: The Illuminati's highest of high-ups, The Pyramidion. He speaks in a calm, evenly-paced tone, and you can tell he obviously knows everything worth knowing. Too bad about that curious habit of peppering his speech with Public Announcements and context-relevant memes...²** Headmaster Montag of Innsmouth Academy; along with his habit of wearing latex gloves and [[HatesBeingTouched refusing handshakes out of aversion to human contact]], he tends to launch into rambling, [[SesquipedalianLoquaciousness overly-verbose]] monologues at the drop of a hat, and is almost hilariously unresponsive to human emotion. On the other hand, he's a very capable administrator, a highly-experienced magician, and stoic enough not to be unnerved by the monsters trying to claw their way into his inner sanctum. Appropriately, he's an Illuminati employee.²* TheCallKnowsWhereYouLive: Especially for members of the Dragon. All characters start off by swallowing a bee and [[PowerIncontinence accidentally]] destroying their apartment. Templars players are given an option to join up, Illuminati players are given an appointment and a veiled threat, while the Dragon players get kidnapped, dropped off in an alley in Korea, and then get a recruitment pitch from a [[ItMakesSenseInContext former professor and a prostitute]].²* CannibalClan: Subverted in the case of the the Dimirs; though often suspected of cannibalism, and though ''very'' happy to kill and eat magical creatures of any description, Silviu claims that people "are not for sausages". ²* CastFromHitPoints: BloodMagic specializes in this.²** Though not always. If a BloodMagic user gains enough resources (think the Rogue's Combo Points in ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'') -- for example, a healing/shielding spell called ''The Scarlet Arts'' "requiring" five points -- the ability is cast without a detrimental effect. However, unlike other abilities, BloodMagic is a little lax on the amount of resources it requires. If you cast it "early", it will gradually strip you of a small portion of your health to repay what's quite literally a "blood debt".²* {{Catchphrase}}: The lore entries -- narrated by the bees -- almost always begin with, "Our Wisdom flows so sweet. Taste and See."²** "Initiate the secret histories."²** "What is time to us? We stand outside. Everything has happened. Everything is happening."²** "Hiya, Chuck."²* ChainsawGood: One of the side missions involves you picking up a special chainsaw weapon, which can instantly kill zombies and deal heavy damage to all else. In addition, a chainsaw was the second auxillary weapon released.²* CharacterBlog: Many minor characters have them, and some of them are actually [[LoggingOntoTheFourthWall integral to investigation quests]].²* ChekhovsGun: {{Lampshaded}} by Sam Krieg: ''"I'm sure you know this one: show a gun on the mantlepiece in the first act, before the curtain goes down it's gonna blow someone's scrotum off."''²* TheChessmaster: ²** The Dragon, who frequently manipulate the other two societies (as well as their other enemies) for their own purposes; in one case, thanks to their predictive equations, they were willing to engineer the birth of an individual who would grow up to join the Templars and eventually betray them, just so they could get their hands on the artefact he'd steal from them in the process.²** The Illuminati, particularly their head, The Pyramidion. They would prefer to solve issues through back-room political influence, blackmail, and bribery, rather than resort to cruder methods like violence or terrorism.²* ChurchOfHappyology: The Morninglight -- at first glance, anyway. A weird blend of self-help group and new-age religion, the Morninglight preach a new dawn of humanity ushered in by their charismatic founder and messiah, Phillip Marquard; spokespeople can be found on street corners throughout the hub zones, offering personality tests for anyone interested in taking it -- tests that seem rigged to induct more followers into the group. Furthermore, the Morninglight are intensely protective of their public image and will go to terrifying extremes to prevent anyone outside their ranks from learning their secrets from defectors -- up to and including a kill-on-sight label of "Obstructive Person". [[spoiler:Plus, they're a scam religion created by Lilith and recently converted to the worship of the Dreamers.]]²* ClassAndLevelSystem:²** Essentially averted in legacy ''TSW''. A PC can eventually collect every single talent and ability in the game if played long enough. You do gain XP, but gain Ability Points you can spend however you want.²** [[DownplayedTrope Downplayed]] in ''Legends'' with both classes and levels. The player chooses one of nine classes on character creation, but this only affects which two weapons are initially unlocked and given for free. The other weapons can still be unlocked and AP and SP can be spent on any unlocked tree. Character level caps at 50, but this is not actually the end of progression. AP and SP gain continue after level cap, so it is still possible to unlock every active and passive ability in the game.²* CloudCuckooLander: About every second NPC you meet, in one way or another. Of course, the game [[ConspiracyKitchenSink being what it is]], many of those turn out to [[TheCuckooLanderWasRight be]] [[ObfuscatingStupidity something]] [[MadOracle else]] [[CassandraTruth entirely]]...²* ClockPunk: Apparently what Third Age technology ran on. Heck, it still does in the case of the Agartha Custodians.²* ClosedCircle: For the citizens of the [[ZombieApocalypse Kingsmouth]].²* ColorCodedItemTiers: The game plays it straight: Green items are the most common and easily available, Blue ones are usually dropped by Dungeon bosses and Purple ones are rare endgame gear with special Signet slots (Signets being equally rare components giving the weapons powers similar to some passive skills).²* ComicBookTime: The timeline in-game is left pretty vague most of the time, but a bare bones chronology can be constructed with clues from various points of the game.[[labelnote:In detail]] The End of Days event can date the game to at least 2012, the year of the game's release, because of its premise in the Mayan Doomsday theory. It is possible that the game could have begun even earlier than that, since Marianne Chen noting that she thought things would be different with a Democrat in office potentially places the game at any point in UsefulNotes/BarackObama's first term. At the other end of the timeline, the Assault on the Orochi Tower in Issue #11 can be dated to early 2015, since a small white board in the Orochi tower reads Je Suis Charlie, the slogan used in solidarity after the terrorist attacks on french satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo in January of that year.[[/labelnote]]²* CommonCharacterClasses: Zig-zagged; play for long enough and you will eventually learn every ability, max out every skill and have endgame-level gear of every type. Players in groups are required to fulfill a tank, healer or damage dealer archetype, but there is significant wiggle-room in how this can be done. It's virtually impossible to accomplish everything with a single build even for a player sticking to one role.²** Leech healing for groups is entirely viable and in many cases more efficient than direct healing, as the healer is also a damage dealer and will help bring the bosses down faster. This can backfire in some places like "Hell Fallen" where many of the bosses have damage-reducing shields, lowering the damage the leech healer inflicts and, with it, their healing.²** Damage dealers are usually the players who provide needed support abilities. Particularly noticeable in "Hell Raised" where the bosses love to stack damage-over-time effects that must be cleansed off of the group. ²** "The Facility" is often done with a self-healing tank, while the group member who would normally be the dedicated healer provides more direct damage.²* ConfusionFu: Chaos Magic is up close and personal used for many purposes such as generating hate (drawing enemy attention), evade tanking (relying on not getting hit while keeping the enemy occupied), debuffing (weakening or adding vulnerabilities to) the enemy, redirecting attacks back at the attacker, etc.²* ConspiracyKitchenSink: Part of the basis of the game. And the writer are not at all [[ not shy]] to [[ShownTheirWork show their work]] (the list starts ca. 1:10 in).²* TheCorruption: The Filth, a universe-hopping substance that slowly drives people insane and turns them into tentacle-covered monsters; it manifests as toxic mold, black sludge, and even a BrownNote radio signal. The lore reveals it to be the creation of a MultiversalConqueror -- the stuff that their dreams (or nightmares) are made of.²* CovertDistressCode: According to Sonnac, a post card from Cairo bearing [[Creator/PercyByssheShelley Ozymandias]] is the universal sign of a imminent apocalypse in Egypt.²* CrisisPointHospital: Dr Varias' modest field hospital is clearly ill-equipped to handle the casualties from the invasion of Harbaburesti: with Mara's vampire army having forced the populace to congregate at the pub in the centre of the town, he's essentially working in a large tent behind the lines, and given the lack of medical supplies, he's using fishing wire for sutures and strong booze for disinfectant; however, many of the injuries inflicted are supernatural in nature, requiring him to become an alchemist of sorts to treat them... and several of the defenders are also supernatural beings, forcing Varias to learn a whole new system of biology just so he can keep the Fauns and Blajini in working condition.²* CrosshairAware: A lot of enemies telegraph their biggest and powerful attacks with AOE circles telling you to dodge and get out of the area. ²* CrystalDragonJesus: With the name of Templars, referring to having faith when speaking of them often, and using the Iron Cross as their symbol, many assume the Templars are Christians. It has been explicitly stated that they are not, though. More specifically, they were around before Christianity, adopted it as one of their tools for a while and then dropped it when a GambitPileup resulted in their Knights Templar branch being wiped out.²* DangerousDrowsiness: In the mission "Contagion," Julia Smith appears to have finally relaxed long enough to have a lie-down, understandable given that the Smiths have been on high alert for the last few days. However, it very quickly turns out that Julia's actually been exposed to [[MysticalPlague the Filth]] at some point since the disaster in the Carpathians began, and the little sleep she's having is more akin to a feverish coma; in the event that she survives the initial infection, she'll end up transformed into another one of the Filthy Swarm wandering the Carpathian caverns. [[spoiler: Thankfully, [[MageChild Emma Smith]] is reportedly able to save her.]]²* DeathlyUnmasking: When talking with Marianne Chen at the abandoned CDC camp in the foothills of the Blue Mountain, she mentions that when the Fog first swept across Solomon Island, one of her team members made the mistake of removing the mask of his hazmat suit. The end result was his SuicideBySea.²* DeathIsASlapOnTheWrist: Dying doesn't have any particularly high penalties. Your gear suffers some minor damage, and you have to either walk back to your corpse or respawn at an Anima Well. Death is ''so'' cheap, in fact, players used to commit suicide and respawn at the Anima Wells as a form of stopgap fast-traveling -- up until the game was upgraded to replace this exploit with a significantly cheaper magical teleport system. Killing yourself is even required in some quests, to access areas that are blocked to the living and to interact with ghostly entities. This is justified and even lampshaded in game -- when you go down, the Bees (the same ones that give your your powers) whisk you away to save you, and the first major villain you face actually says that he can't kill you because, unless he grinds you down to atoms -- which he honestly doesn't have time to do -- you'll just come back again. [[spoiler:So instead he traps you in a large underground library while he proceeds with his plans.]] Other savvy villains who know of your powers follow suit, the technique ultimately reaching its zenith when [[spoiler:Lilith just slices your legs off and leaves you to it.]]²* DidWeJustHaveTeaWithCthulhu: The game features many occasions when the player can encounter nightmarish creatures of best-forgotten myths and legends... and have pleasant conversations with them. Several examples of many:²** During your first meeting with him, the Transylvanian Forest God is getting drunk at a tavern and writing poetry about the barmaid. Sadly, he doesn't offer to buy you a pint.²** Säid is a reanimated ancient Egyptian mummy and quite clearly looks the part -- right down to the emaciated body, withered skin and (under the sunglasses) empty eye-sockets. He spends most of his time chatting sarcastically with you on the Hotel Wahid's balcony, and actually begins one of his missions by take a photo of you with his phone. Plus, it's implied he actually enjoys meetings at Cafe Giza over tea and coffee...²** Dragon players experience a "Did You Just Shake Hands With Cthulhu" moment when [[spoiler:the Golden Child -- TheChosenOne on which the entire Dragon is based upon, the child that you've been explicitly ordered ''never'' to speak to -- quite unexpectedly beckons you over and shakes your hand.]] Judging by [[TheConsigliere Bong Cha's]] stunned expression and the bow one of the servants gives you on your way out, it's clear that this trope was running through their heads.²* DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu:²** One of the main points of the game is doing battle with the eldritch horrors of myth and legend, so one would expect this trope to be come into effect at some point in the game.²** The very first "dungeon" of the game, Polaris, features a Cthulhu {{Expy}} as the final boss. Bonus points go to players who make use of the martial arts-like Chaos Magic, which allows them to ''literally'' punch-out the Cthulhu wannabe.²* DifficultySpike: Kaidan. Not only do enemies have the requisite increase in strength that comes with each new area, they also have shields that require the AEGIS system to overcome, and many of them are Filth creatures that, when killed, leave behind a huge pool of Filth that the player has to avoid -- on top of the naturally-occurring Filth littering the landscape in many areas. The challenge scenarios in Venice are explicitly described as preparation for Kaidan, and it lives up to the hype.²* TheDogBitesBack: After being defeated by the player character at the end of the first story quest, [[spoiler:Beaumont has his magic sword stolen from him by the groupie he dumped earlier in the mission]].²* DownerEnding: "The Park". Dear god. ²* {{Dreamville}}: In Issue #5, players follow Kingsmouth conspiracy theorist Tyler Freeborn on an insane voyage into the depths of the Fog surrounding Solomon Island, only to pass out and wake up in the Red Sargassum Dream, a nightmarish recreation of Kingsmouth created by the Dreamers. Not only does the place now look more suburban than small-town, complete with completely identical stark-white houses and white picket fences, but it's AlwaysNight, the roads are crawling with tendrils of Filth, and it's inhabited by Filth-infected replicas of the townsfolk - all of whom will try to kill you on sight. [[spoiler: This is because the Fog is an airborne strain of the Filth, and everyone on Solomon Island's been infected.]] More disturbingly, the Dreamers claim that this is their prediction of what the world will be like if they awaken, offering to let you become mayor of the town — or even its new god — if you agree to work for them.²* EarlyBirdCameo: The boss of the Manhattan Exclusion Zone raid, [[EldritchAbomination The Unutterable Lurker]], first appeared in the fourth CGI trailer for the game.²* EldritchLocation: Several of them in the game. The ones most encountered are probably Agartha (the world tree in the center of the earth, allowing extremely fast travel between different parts of the surface, used by players for travel between zones), and the Dreaming Prison (seen during a few quests and cutscenes, and also seen in areas where the Filth is particularly strong), looking like a distorted version of outer space, with circling planets and asteroids, and some odd icy terrain, much of it floating.²* EldritchTransformation:²** People infected by [[OminousObsidianOoze the Filth]] - if they survive the initial ZombieApocalypse phase - gradually become less and less human until they transform into beings of pure Filth known as Shades. The ultimate iteration of this is the Shade Stalker, a gigantic spidery mass of Filth that's essentially a scaled-down edition of [[EldritchAbomination the Dreamers]] themselves.²** As a result of being at the very epicentre of the Filth bomb used in Tokyo, [[spoiler: John Copley]] [[TheDisembodied transcends physical existence altogether]] and becomes a minor EldritchAbomination known as the [[MouthOfSauron Black Signal]]. Now part of the Dreamers' collective but unbound by the [[CosmicKeystone Gaia Engines]] that normally keep them under control, he is capable of creating bodies out of pure Filth, speaking in {{Brown Note}}s that induce spontaneous suicide in listeners, and manipulating technology in any way he pleases - to the point that he's actually able to ''hack'' the game's lore entries so he can talk to you.²* EmoteCommand: The usual assortment. ''Un''usually, these can be functional in interacting with the setting... just rarely enough to be a source of confusion for new players, who will soon learn how to "Use" anything and everything but will get stuck trying to figure out that the best way to, say, salute is to /salute.²* EndOfAnAge: Has happened several times in the past, and involved varying degrees of TheMagicGoesAway and LostTechnology -- [[spoiler:and, according to Dr Klein in Issue #14, a complete universal restart]]. The world is currently in the Fourth Age.²** There is nothing discernible left over on Earth from the Second Age, and only bits and pieces of ancient machinery in the Hell Dimensions, repurposed and with their original functions long since forgotten. The bees describe the Second Age as having been "toxic", a time when humans regularly consorted with demons (the end of the Second Age was when the Hell Dimensions were cut off from Earth), so this may be for the best.²** The Third Age is heavily implied to have been an AgeOfWonder filled with advanced, [[{{Magitek}} anima-powered]] technology. The legends of {{Atlantis}} and other lost civilizations have their roots in this time. It is so far gone, however, that only a few bits and pieces of it are left, like [[spoiler:Excalibur]] and possibly the Agartha Custodians. It ended when [[spoiler:Lilith's plans to get in the Dreamers' good graces blew up in her face, causing one of them to wake up just enough that it brought down the world as it rolled over and fell asleep again]].²* EntropyAndChaosMagic: In this game, Chaos Magic is eclectic, one third RealityWarper, one third GravityMaster, and one third SpontaneousWeaponCreation. Spells in this category are used for crowd control, drawing aggro, and inflicting status effects, and have names mostly themed after mathematical concepts, specifically physics and probability. Stylistically, it also strongly resembles East Asian martial arts, making it something of an unofficial {{wuxia}} path.²* EverybodyKnewAlready: Since every NPC you meet is at best acquainted to the secret world. Justified, as you don't venture far from your faction hub where many of the NPC's are aware of the Secret World or a part of it (and honestly in terms of subtlety it goes Templars, Dragons, Illuminati in ascending order) or from places where all hell has broken loose and the masquerade has become pointless.²** PlayedForLaughs in one scene, where the player is trying to find a secret vault the Illuminati were rumored to store all their occult knowledge in. Upon asking the three survivors of Innsmouth Academy where it is, Miss Usher says that, unfortunately, nobody knows where this vault is hidden... right up until Headmaster Montag and Carter start volunteering information about it, with Carter even providing exact directions to the vault, and explaining that most of the seniors knew about it too. [[DeadpanSnarker Miss Usher's exasperated reaction]] [[SugarWiki/FunnyMoments is what sells it]].²--->'''Usher:''' Well then, there you are- [[SarcasmMode the "Secret" Illuminati Archives, lost to the ages.]]²* EvilSorcerer: Frederick Beaumont. He's even called exactly that in his first appearance.²* ExactWords: [[spoiler:Che said he could get you into Philip Marquard's mansion. He said nothing about him being there.]]²* ExorcistHead: Some ghosts can be seen rotating their heads a full 360 as an IdleAnimation; being dead, they don't need to worry about normal rotation range.²* {{Expy}}: The Secret World attempts to be closely parallel to reality, so the fictional characters of the novel, {{Dracula}} are just as fictional in TSW. An in-game equivalent does exist to Van Helsing, the greatest vampire hunter ever and whose lore is what allows humans to hunt vampires so effectively. [[spoiler:It's Dracula himself, who was never a vampire in this setting. For the record, his heirs are not fans of Bram Stoker.]]²* ExtradimensionalEmergencyExit: ²** Upon your first visit to Agartha, you're given a conduit device that can allow you to automatically teleport yourself back there without having to go through the usual difficulty of finding a portal. It only requires a few seconds to activate, so it's very good for evading currently unbeatable challenges or bypassing hazardous terrain.²** Following the battle with the Black Pharaoh in the second act of the game, you're knocked out by a squad of Orochi Group security officers; before they can do anything else to you, a random portal suddenly whisks you away to the Dreaming Prison. It's not established what they would have done to you if the portal hadn't opened... up until much later, [[spoiler: when it turns out that Bee-imbued agents are a very useful source of harvested organs for Project Odyssey.]]²* ExtraDimensionalShortcut: The alternate dimension of Agartha acts as a sort of [[PortalNetwork trans-dimensional subway system]], complete with [[QuintessentialBritishGentleman quintessential British stationmaster]]. ²* ExtraStrengthMasquerade: The world the players inhabit is full of supernatural goings on and many {{Muggles}} are even aware of it and independently fight the darkness on a day-to-day basis, yet it's implied that the vast majority of people in the world are still in the dark.²* FalloutShelterFail: Issue #10 t's revealed that the Morninglight had a secret underground clubhouse in Tokyo for the brightest of their junior members. When one of the cult's suicide bombers unleashed the Filth on Kaidan, triggering an emergency quarantine of the district, the Morninglight leadership decided it would be safest if the members remained inside and repurposed the clubhouse as a shelter. Unfortunately, problems began cropping up almost immediately: Morninglight [=VIPs=] abandoned ship once they realized nobody was coming to rescue them; food ran out after a week, resulting in cannibalism after fourteen days; then it turned out that the clubhouse's defences couldn't keep out the Black Signal, who started torturing the kids over the PA system; then the Filth itself began infecting the residents. By the time you get there, almost everyone is dead or infected.²* {{Familiar}}: One of the most common enemies found at Innsmouth Academy; according to Annabel Usher, prior to the disaster, they were created by the students in the magical equivalent of shop class- hence the reason why they look so repulsive. Unfortunately, they've gone feral following the death of the students, leaving the player with the job of trimming the herd before they overrun the remaining defenders.²** Players can acquire their own animal familiars through the TSW marketplace. Three of them are available as a pre-orders for the deluxe edition game.²* FanDisservice: Female Draug and most of the female demons (not just the succubi) are completely nude. It seems like the devs intended this to be as unsexy as possible between the rotting, waterlogged flesh of the Draugr, and the dark veiny breasts on the demons.²* FantasticRacism: The Dimir family justify the murder and cannibalization of numerous supernatural beings by reminding you that none of them were human, so technically they didn't break any laws. The vast majority of Secret Worlders do not share this sentiment.²* FantasticUnderclass: ²** No matter what masters they serve, Ghouls will always be the lowest in the hierarchy: though intelligent and capable of great magic given enough time and experience, the armies they support treat them as little more than animals, using them as little more than auxiliaries, CannonFodder, and corpse disposal - a task they admittedly excel at. In fact, the Jinn actually claim that they created Ghouls to act as their servants, forcing them into this cultural niche from the moment of their creation onwards.²** According to the Buzzing, Ghouls themselves have their own underclass: Shambling Ghouls are considered the lowest on the pecking order, not merely for being weak, short-lived and {{Explosive Breeder}}s, but for being able to tolerate sunlight and consume fresh meat. As such, more advanced ghouls detest them.²* FantasyKitchenSink: You'll see vampires, Cthulhu-like creatures, Zombies, risen Egyptian mummies, a special Mayan Doomsday event, a friendly Sasquatch, Soviet Superscience, Drowned Sailors, Agartha, Native American Magic, Wendigo, The Illuminati, and ghosts and many more. ²* FantasyAmericana²* FatalForcedMarch: "The Vanishing Of Tyler Freeborn" kicks off with the eponymous character donning a gas mask and walking into the Fog shrouding Solomon Island, determined to find out what lies behind it. This is already pretty foolhardy considering that everyone who's tried to escape the island via crossing the Fog has ended up dead, but once it's made clear that [[spoiler: the Fog is an airborne strain of the Filth]], it becomes downright insane. As one of the few characters immune to the effects of the Fog, you follow, wading through the waist-deep ocean and chasing the inexplicable singing until you find yourself in the Red Sargassum Dream - a pocket reality created by the Dreamers. After a long and decidedly surreal foot journey, you find yourself back on the shore of Solomon Island, [[spoiler: with Tyler's dead body lying close by]].²* FictionalCurrency:²** Along with the primary currency of Pax Romanae, the Secret World has quite a few additional currencies -- to the point that they actually had to be trimmed during a later update. Up until Issue 12, there were Sequins of Solomon Island, Sequins of the Valley of the Sun God, Sequins of Transylvania, Sequins of Sunrise, Aurei of Initiation, Credits of Ca'd'Oro, Black and White Marks of Venice, Distinctions of the Council, Gambler's Markers, Extant Third Age Fragments, Extant Third Age Silver -- all special tokens that can only be used in specific locations and sometimes only with very specific vendors or during very specific events. Since then, these currencies have been replaced with the infinitely simpler multi-purpose Black Bullion and Marks of the Pantheon.²** ''Legends'' uses four separate currencies: Anima Shards, Third Age Fragments, Marks of Favour, and Aurum.²* FishPeople: Lovecraft's own Deep Ones roam the New England coast near old Innsmouth, having apparently been summoned from the abyssopelagic regions of the ocean by Draug to assist in the invasion. They return in Tokyo, now also infected by the Filth.²* {{Foreshadowing}}: All over the place. Seemingly one-off lines that could be heard at release are paid off in content released years later.²** [[spoiler:Samuel Chandra's]] face can be seen plastered on magazines and posters even before you realize [[spoiler:the Orochi Group]] isn't just background flavor.²** One of the very first things a fresh Illuminati player can do is talk to Doctor Zurn, who mentions that he would love to get a good look at the player's bee, but he's unwilling to cross the lines required for that to happen. Dragon players are also warned in an early mission debrief to ''never'' let [[spoiler:Orochi]] take them alive, because TheyWouldCutYouUp. [[spoiler:Come Issue #11, it turns out Orochi is happy to cross that line.]]²** Very early in the story is a villain who accounts for the player's immortality when dealing with them; he isn't the last.²** The Cult of the Aten and Roman Cult of Deus Sol Invictus in Egypt, telling the player to be wary of Sun Cults.²** The storyline covered over three dungeons about stopping the Hell Dimensions from invading doesn't have much of anything to do with the main plot, looking like more of a sidequest than most of the actual sidequests. [[spoiler:The final boss of the storyline is a fallen angel, one that the bees say is a Nephilim. They also speak of him as a force to be reckoned with, which is backed up by the fact that it takes five of Gaia's Chosen to take him down. In another lore section, they note that not even ''they'' know Lilith's hidden eighteenth name, only the Nephilim do. Sure enough, the next time you see Nephilim, they have ''you'' outnumbered instead of the other way around, leaving them free to ignore you while they bind Lilith with her eighteenth name.]]²* ForcedLevelGrinding: initially averted very intentionally, with all content being easily accessible with the skill points and gear the player gets from playing through missions. But then, there is Tokyo, where abruptly the player has to redo a single specific mission six times to be able to use his weapons and unlocked skills at all... and abruptly a linear leveling mechanic is introduced and quests have to be re-done dozens or even hundreds of times to unlock the last bit of content in sharp contrast the the previously semi-open world design. ''Legends'' did away with it entirely. ²* FriendlyEnemy:²** There are various [=NPCs=] that are members of species that world normally try to attack the player, but ask for help from them instead. However, the most impressive of these is [[spoiler:The Black Signal. Despite ostensibly representing The Filth, John never tries to mislead the player in his lore entries and is responsible for the player being able to enter Tokyo. He's even working to open the way to the Orochi Tower so that the player can take out Lilith, their common enemy. All through this, he's as friendly as can be.]]²** Many of the customers and shopkeepers in the underground market of London are of the various species that you'll be fighting elsewhere, including a giant mud golem.²* FullFrontalAssault: Female Draug and most female demons fight in the nude. As they are only vaguely human-like, they are not exactly attractive.²* FunWithAcronyms: Orochi's Anansi Alpha is working on the AEGIS system project and is filled with living scientists thanking you for the data they've gained. They're also brainstorming what the hell "AEGIS" means:²** '''A'''nima '''E'''nhancement '''G'''lobal '''I'''ntegration '''S'''ystem²** '''A'''ctualized '''E'''xtreme '''G'''uided '''I'''mmunity '''S'''upport. Somebody adds that it's horrible and includes a frowny face.²** '''A'''rmor '''E'''nhancement '''G'''uidance '''I'''ntelligence '''S'''ystem²** '''A'''gency X '''E'''nhancing '''G'''uarded '''I'''mpenetrable '''S'''hield²** Finally, somebody got fed up and created an acronym for "acronym"--'''A'''ssholes '''C'''reating '''R'''idiculous '''O'''btuse '''N'''onsense '''Y'''owling '''M'''eaninglessly--with an underlined notice to quit fucking around.²* FunctionalMagic: Thanks to being symbiotically bonded with one of the Bees, players have the ability to use magic in the fashion of Inherent Gifts; however, many other magical prodigies were simply born with their powers without the intervention of the Bees, in some cases because of genetic inheritance, in others for no perceivable reason at all. Secret Worlders who haven't been touched by "The Buzzing" or inherited magic need to learn spells through Rule Magic, which can take years to master. Meanwhile, the Illuminati have taken Device Magic to an artform in crafting various MagiTek objects to control or enhance magical processes: Lore entries mention imprisoning demons inside specially-made hard drives, Dr. Zurn provides a full-body workout for your powers and a flashback to the Tokyo incident with a simple injection, and the faculty at Innsmouth Academy reinforce their wards with W.A.N.D. anima devices.²* FungusHumongous: The forests of Transylvania are home to at least two large colonies of gigantic fungus, one in the power station, the other in the water treatment plant. Several species here are mobile and extremely dangerous, requiring you to head in and destroy them before they start endangering the locals.²* GameplayAndStoryIntegration: ²** In most online games, characters not being permanently killable is ignored -- you can always be resurrected, but enemies you kill will generally stay that way. Player characters in ''The Secret World'' are routinely acknowledged in dialogue to be deathless, because of their supernatural empowerment. Enemies complain about being unable to do away with you permanently, and ticked-off allies call in the heavy sorcerers to threaten the death penalty. Some puzzles even involve deliberately dying to explore as a ghost or escape from a trap.²** Unlike many online games which have every single character doing the same quests that would realistically only ever have been done once with no one mentioning the fact, mission completion dialogues in TSW occasionally reference the fact that you're not the only one being sent on these particular missions ("I'm sure one of you will get it right eventually"-type responses after "successfully" completed tasks).²** You may think that doing MMO-typical chores in a modern-set game where you're working for a secret organization would be GameplayAndStorySegregation, but this can actually be justified as a way to collect data and extend your faction's influence. In a few sidequests which may seem to be either irrelavant with your job or redundant with previous quests, Mission Control sometimes chastitized you during the debriefing, because of the waste of time.²* GameplayAndStorySegregation: The game's not immune to mechanics that only work in video games, and violate SuspensionOfDisbelief:²** Sabotage missions tend to be loaded up with [[BossInMookClothing ridiculously powered mobs unique to the mission]] who are NighInvulnerable, forcing the players to avoid direct confrontation because they cannot directly fight the mobs. No explanation is given for these effects, even if these mobs should logically be used elsewhere (i.e. Bank Heist's security drones are not only effectively unkillable, they're also mass-produced drones assigned to a bank, rather than the company HQ less than a mile away). ²** Alternately, the questgiver casually gives out high explosives to lay traps for the enemy to cross over, [[CommonPlaceRare but refuses access on other missions, even if more vital.]]²** The Cost of Magic, for the most part, avoids this, with the questgiver sending the player into difficult terrain to fight fortified enemies. Tier 4, however, has the player search for the questgiver's stash of magic items, hidden from their enemies. How did she hide these goods? Behind a mix of [[TemporaryPlatform Temporary Platforms]] and FloatingPlatforms. Even aside from the game's dodgy JumpPhysics and the scarcity of these mechanics elsewhere in the game, this pretends that some of the more muscular werewolves could not make these leaps, or that the larger vampires aren't tall enough to reach these platforms from the ground. ²* GasMaskMooks: The Illuminati describe their fashion sense as 'gas-mask chic'; several Illuminati [=NPC=]s can be seen wandering around their New York headquarters (The Labyrinth) wearing gas masks. Attaining higher Faction Rankings within the Illuminati [[YourRewardIsClothes rewards]] the player with a full uniform including, yes, a gas mask.²* GenreSavvy: Since the game presumably takes place in the real world, many of the characters recognize the "genre" they're trapped in, and act accordingly. ²** Honorable mention to Sam Krieg, who delivers a scathing TheReasonYouSuckSpeech to the player character, concluding with the observation that they're just like every character he ever wrote: "fucked from page one."²* GoKartingWithBowser: According to the Twitterverse, the three handlers often get together for a poker game between crises.²* {{Golem}}: Several are featured as particularly powerful enemies, made of either mud, scrap metal, broken chunks of concrete, lava, and sandstone. Some after-mission reports note how odd it is that several of these Golems are active without being brought to life by a magician. However, in one mission, Cucuvea gives you the materials to make a golem bodyguard to help you kill your way through the army of werewolves and vampires.²* GrimyWater: There are several hazardous liquids that will severely harm the player upon contact. You'll have scant seconds to jump back out before you're rapidly poisoned to death, no matter how tough you ''think'' you are.²* GroinAttack: It is possible to visibly plant timed explosive charges on a monster. For some races of ghoul, the player character seems to favor the groin as an attachment point.²* {{Handwave}}: A notable aversion in the metagame; because of the setting, roleplayers ''don't'' need handwaves for whatever tools they use. For example, a Twitter account isn't a "long range communication spell", it's the character's Twitter account.²* HauntedHouse: ²** What happens when you shun a woman for practicing witchcraft, then whip out the TorchesAndPitchforks when some kids get mauled by wild animals on her property, and then, just to piss her off even more, do the exact opposite of her burial wishes? You get the Black House. A house so evil that even a hardened monster hunter refuses to go into. And for good reason too. Just trying to approach the front door gets you thrown about twenty feet away, and if you do manage to get in, you're greeted with ghostly shapes moving through the place, bleeding walls, tortured wailing, and the house itself trying to kill you.²** The Franklin Mansion has a dark history and plenty of ghosts, but said ghosts are generally pretty benign, and the mansion is, in fact, one of the safest places on Blue Mountain.²* HealingShiv: The specialty of a healer who went the Assault Rifle route. They can hit enemies with a LifeDrain effect and transfer stolen health to an ally, or cut out the middleman and fill their pals with medibullets directly.²* HellHotel: The Overlook Motel, which is ground zero for a demonic invasion, with one of the rooms featuring a literal doorway into Hell.²* TheHermit: Khalid in Egypt. An immortal [[spoiler:implied to be Moses or Aaron.]]²* HeroicMime: The PlayerCharacter. Never says a word of dialogue, but people like to spill everything to them. At one point, Beaumont jokingly calls them, "my silent friend".²* HistoricalBadassUpgrade: ²** TheIlluminati is an enormously powerful organization run like a corporation that secretly controls the Americas. It has surveillance everywhere, and uses every manipulative trick in the book, from simple blackmail to brokering deals with demons to controlling the Internet, to reach its goals. Historically, the Illuminati was a short-lived secret society of intellectuals in the 18th century that was dedicated to humanist issues. The society disbanded less than ten years after its formation due to internal strife and the introduction of laws outlawing secret societies.²** UsefulNotes/TheKnightsTemplar, now known as just the Templars, is a military powerhouse that secretly rules all of Europe. They are very proud of their thousand-year-long history to the point that they barely bother to remain secret, and can tackle almost any problem just by throwing resources at it. Historically, the Knights Templar was a military order and early Christian banking organization during the Crusades. They were formally disbanded by the Pope almost two hundred years after their formation after a long decline in power as Christian influence in the Middle East waned.²* HistoricalHeroUpgrade: ²** King UsefulNotes/{{Tutankhamun}}, who is mostly known for merely undoing UsefulNotes/{{Akhenaten}}'s impact on Egyptian culture by reintroducing polytheism following his father's death, actually went so far as to oppose him while he was still alive in the game, as the Aten is a kind of universe-threatening monstrosity. His legacy includes the Marya, an AncientOrderOfProtectors who still oppose the Aten to this day.²** Dracula is now [[spoiler:a vampire hunter.]]²* HistoricalVillainUpgrade: Akhenaten, who is mostly known for abolishing polytheism during his reign in favour of a monotheistic religion centred on sun worship called Atenism, is upgraded to "The Black Pharaoh", an OmnicidalManiac dedicated to the world-destroying [[GodOfEvil Aten]]; for good measure, he's identified as the Pharaoh who opposed Moses in the Old Testament.²* HopelessWithTech: Subverted; Cucuvea asks the player if they know how to use the computer she has in her tree, but it turns out she doesn't have problems with technology itself, it's just that a modern day computer is far less user-friendly than the Third Age tech she was used to. As the player leaves, she goes back to figuring it out.²* HunterOfMonsters: Apart from Jack Boone and John Wolf, Solomon Island features the League of Monster Slayers, an entire club of monster hunters... comprised entirely of ''kids.'' Surprisingly, they actually have had quite a bit of success in the past, though the Lore entries reveal that their initial successes were largely due to having an [[ChildMage Innsmouth Academy student in their ranks]] and up until comparatively recently, it took a lot of effort to get them to [[GirlsHaveCooties allow girls into the league]]. Unfortunately, most of the league's current membership were killed when the Fog descended on Kingsmouth, leaving only Danny Dufresne and their well-fortified treehouse base.²* HoldYourHippogriffs: Some characters who a deeply involved in the secret world tend to swear by Gaia.²* HollowEarth: The travel nexus between major cities and locations is the fabled Agartha, [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin in the center of the Earth]]. How did you manage to ''find'' Agartha? Well, see, [[{{Yggdrasil}} The World Tree]] just sort of stuck out its branches...²* HotSkittyOnWailordAction: Sophie the barmaid is in a somewhat flirtatious relationship with the Forest God -- who looks like a stag that's learned to walk upright. [[spoiler:Sophie is unknowingly a HalfHumanHybrid of the fae kind.]]²* IAlwaysWantedToSayThat: Templar guards in London really do try to be aloof and serious, but they're not entirely immune to a bit of silliness: "Ho there, what news from the crusades?...I always wanted to say that."²* {{Immortality}}: ²** The Bees -- people who have a connection with the insects of the same name -- are very difficult to kill, and the {{Player Character}}s are counted among their numbers. They ''can'' die, but their anima form (soul) just gets back up at the nearest Anima Well (a sort of fountain of raw magic) where it can either just spawn a new body, or hike its incorporeal form back to the old body and revive that. The Buzzing implies that unless they are killed deliberately, they will survive "until the heat death of the universe".²*** However, WordOfGod states despite our immortality the Bees won't stop aging, it will just happen incredibly slowly. ²** Certain [=NPCs=] enjoy their own forms of immortality ([[WhoWantsToLiveForever or not]]): Khalid and Ptahmose are -- at the very least -- [[TheAgeless ageless]], though its implied that they're much more; the Sentinels have CompleteImmortality, as nobody has worked out how to destroy them completely; Säid and the rest of the Kingdom are all undead, being mummies, though it's implied that there are ways of killing them off for good; vampire elders have a certain degree of [[FromASingleCell Regenerative Immortality]]. If lore entries and his own claims are to be believed, [[spoiler:Beaumont]] has CompleteImmortality, being a former Norse God.²* IdiotSavant: Scrapyard Edgar is pretty much a stereotypical hillbilly... yet he managed to create the Quantum Brace, a device that is essentially allows for artificial Chaos Magic, out of nothing but scrap in his junkyard and the quantum core of an Orochi drone.²* IdleAnimation: ²** Players will rub a hand over their face while idle.²** The ak'ab hatchling will normally just sit up and beg every now and again, but if another player has a pet nearby, the hatchling will perform the ak'ab's signature column dash attack on it, knocking it over.²** Nermegal, the "filth kitty", will open a tiny portal and jump through, not returning for about thirty seconds. Very rarely, it will return chasing down a tiny filth-infected Orochi operative like a mouse.²** The Orochi security drone will zap other pets with a laser.²** The Draug Lord Puppy will jump into the air and backflip.²** The mini-Djinn will disco dance.²** If two New Years Dragons owned by players from different factions are near each other, they'll start chasing each other while spitting fire.²** If nine different Shem (golem) pets are near each other, they'll form a circle and perform a ritual, briefly summoning the Gatekeeper.²* ImpracticallyFancyOutfit: A lot of the clothes in the microstransaction store and from event rewards fall under this, especially the full outfits. In contrast, clothes from the in-game clothing store are the normal clothes you would expect to find in a clothing store.²* IncomprehensibleEntranceExam: Joining one of the Big Three requires varying degrees of this. Sometimes there's something akin to a test involved, but mostly there's just a series of hoops to jump through. The incomprehensible aspect appears partly due to the outwardly nonsensical nature of the whole thing but mostly because none of the faction representatives explain what's expected of you up until it's too late to leave. ²* InscrutableOriental: The Dragon have this as their hat.²* InterfaceScrew: Whenever the player enters an area contaminated by the Filth, the screen dims slightly, and spots of black fluid coat the edges of the screen, presumably to simulate the Filth's attempts at infecting them. Additionally, when close to death the screen will be tinged red and the player will start to hear their own heartbeat.²** In Issue #10 just before [[spoiler:John forces the player into reliving their memories,]] the screen will appear to switch off with the same sound and visuals as an old Cathode-Ray-Tube television.²* InterfaceSpoiler: On the testlive server for Issue #9, [[spoiler:The Black Signal lore entries were categorized as the Filth and listed before picking up the first black lore.]]²* IntersexTribulations: Issue 9 introduces Kaoru, a character heavily implied to be intersex. Among other things, she was mercilessly bullied after being seen swimming in public and attempted to drown herself as a result; following the breakdown of her relationship with Ricky Pagan, she believes that it was prompted by him seeing "the real me"; finally, Ricky himself claims that he didn't dump her because of "what was between her legs" and insists that "[[AnythingThatMoves everyone's bits are beautiful!]]" [[spoiler: It turns out that he actually dumped her because of a tattoo on her thigh indicating that she works for the [[RuthlessModernPirates Phoenician Brotherhood]]; despite their shady status, Kaoru believes that they're the only faction in the Secret World that will accept her.]]²* InternetIncorporated: The Illuminati were responsible for the Internet's creation and have a major role in its continuing development and specifications. While they don't precisely own it, they've got the best real-time maps of it, the best monitoring of content and backdoor access to anything connected to the Internet... and, supposedly, a "kill switch" which entirely breaks connectivity worldwide.²* IntrepidReporter: Daniel Bach is a freelance reporter who has been obsessively chasing a particular lead for many years. His current scoop is ''the open Hellmouth'' under the Overlook Motel.²* IntroducedSpeciesCalamity: The Ak'ab are a monstrous race of giant insects imported from Guatemala by Mayan cultists to use as living weapons in the Darkness War on Solomon Island. The Buzzing specifically states that the native Wabanaki had no defence against the Ak'ab, nor did any of the magical beings on the island until the arrival of Excalibur. Unfortunately, the Ak'ab escaped the counterattack and hid underground; awakening in the 21st century, the insects emerged to find themselves with no masters, no predators and no competitors adequately equipped to stop them. As such, it's not long before they begin devastating the already-beleaguered environment, dominating local forests, pushing the Sasquatch to the brink of extinction and overwhelming any human efforts to oppose them.²* InvincibleBoogeymen: Sachiko. The ghost of a girl who didn't survive the Fear Nothing Foundation's mind control experiments, she's currently haunting the Third Floor of the now-deserted FNF headquarters in search of anyone she can take out her frustrations on - leaving you squarely in her crosshairs when you're sent in to investigate. As her stats make clear, she cannot be beaten, forcing you to hide the moment you hear her approaching, then either run for your life while her back's turned or wait until she loses interest and leaves.²* InUniverseGameClock: The game's HUD has a clock in the upper right-hand corner to give you the time of day, both in-universe and (if you click on it) in real life.²* JokeItem: On the final floor of Faust Capital in Orochi Tower, the Faust CEO [[spoiler:Mephistopheles]] asks you several questions designed to see what kind of person you are, with one of them being whether you want money or power. If you choose power, you will find [[LiteralMetaphor a battery]] waiting for you in the next room, which serves no purpose except to be sold for two anima shards.²* KatanasAreJustBetter: One of the favored weapons of the Dragon is the katana.²* KnightTemplar: The Templar will 'burn down a village to kill one demon'. They also created the UsefulNotes/TheKnightsTemplar as an amusing diversion.²* LampshadeHanging: The {{Player Character}}s [[HeroicMime never say a word or display much body language]], which is occasionally brought up as a source of humour. In cut-scenes, for instance, [=NPCs=] get embarrassed when they ask a non-rhetorical question and don't get a reply, and attempting to perform handshakes only leads to awkward silences.²** Toyed with so, so much. One mission intro has another Bee receiving orders, standing there in awkward silence just like the PC. For Illuminati players, at the end of the first major zone KG will sarcastically say "high five" and your character will raise their hand, but she just stares and says, "Seriously?"²* LaResistance: The Marya ("young warriors") of Egypt are an ancient order formed by Tutankhamen that are devoted to thwarting the Cult of Aten.²%%* LargeHam: Dr. Klein. Oh yes. Dr. Klein. "No words! No words!" in response to the party's actions.²* TheLastOfTheseIsNotLikeTheOthers: During [[spoiler:Che and John's]] drunken adventures in Kaidan, they get into fights with Akashi, the Korinto-kai, the House-in-Exile...and [[SugarWiki/FunnyMoments a dance off with Ricky Pagan]].²* LeaningOnTheFourthWall: Apis of the mysterious Sanctuary of Secrets is fully aware of the Funcom forums for the game, and hints that the AlternateRealityGame is his organization's doing.²* LevelLockedLoot:²** Gear (weapons and talismans) are restricted by the amount of points invested in the relevant skill. Stronger gear has higher skill requirements.²** In ''Legends'', talisman slots are unlocked as the player levels. Conveniently, tiers of the story mission that are expected to be completed around the level a new slot unlocks will reward the player with a talisman fitting that slot. Additionally, the ability to enhance gear with glyphs is unlocked at level 20, the ability to enhance with signets is unlocked at level 50, and the ability to craft and use purple gear and better is also unlocked at level 50.²* LikeRealityUnlessNoted: It's generally assumed that what is true for our world currently, is true for the world in-game as well.²* LittleMissSnarker: Kyra Dexter in the Savage Coast fits the bill.²* LivingStatue: The Sentinels, who currently guard the City of the Sun God and [[SealedEvilInACan prevent the Black Pharaoh from rising again]]; lore and character dialogue reveals that they were originally [[spoiler:the children of Ptahmose, sacrificed by him in order to stop Akhenaten's return.]] Though unable to move, they can still think and speak, and occasionally command local wildlife to do their bidding; as such, they're quest-givers.²* LoggingOntoTheFourthWall: ²** In some Investigation Missions, the player is required to use the in-game browser to use Google to search for information or to look for clues on special websites set up for that particular puzzle.²** The use of [[CharacterBlog in-character twitter accounts]] is a growing trend among the community. Funcom has encouraged this by establishing twitter accounts for Säid, Kristen Geary, Carter, Danny Dufrense, Nassir and the Buzzing.²* LostTechnology: Apparently plenty of it albeit not in plain sight for the most part, aside from the Agartha Custodians. Modern Day is ostensibly considered to be the Fourth Age of our world so there were three other advanced civilizations before ours and their technology is rare but not completely gone. Many legendary relics are implied to be remnants of a previous age [[spoiler:such as Excalibur]].²* LovecraftCountry: Solomon Island, Maine, which even has places like Lovecraft Lane, Dagon Bay, Innsmouth Academy, and the Miskatonic River. And Deep Ones, of course.²* LovecraftLite: Played with. There are plenty of Lovecraftian beasties that can be slain by the player characters, especially among the upper ranks of the Draug, and the secret societies have all become quite adept at fighting Cthuluesque monstrosities over the centuries. However, it eventually becomes clear that things like the ur-Draug and the Unutterable Lurker are ultimately small potatoes in comparison to the overarching menace of the game, the Dreamers. [[spoiler:The only thing capable of keeping them asleep are the Gaia Engines, artifacts created by beings hovering somewhere between angels and HumanoidAbomination; if the Dreamers ever escaped from captivity, nothing in the world could ever stop them. How do we know this? Because Lilith accidentally woke up one of them, and it stayed awake just long enough to ''end the world'' before nodding off again. And if Issue 14 is any evidence, the destruction was so thorough that the universe itself had to be reset just to recover from it!]]²* LoyalAnimalCompanion: The player can choose one of three animals (the Ferocious Wolf, the Egyptian Cat, or the Loyal Hound) to assist him or her in combat.²* LuckBasedMission:²** The Ur-Draug battle at the end of "Polaris" turns into a crapshoot if the group doesn't do enough damage to skip the "blue" phase; it's virtually impossible to figure out if he's about to smash the rock the group is hiding behind, it happens so fast that coordination if someone ''does'' see it requires voice communication and thus can't be done with a pick-up-group, and moving to a different hiding spot gives the boss plenty of time to kill at least one group member with the attack everyone is hiding behind the rock from in the first place.²** The Machine Tyrant at the end of "Hell Raised"; even with a high-geared, experienced group, a lot can go wrong in this fight very quickly. Success depends on the Machine Tyrant not applying his group-wide damage effects faster than the group can remove them, whether or not the tracking [=AOEs=] move in directions that cut players off from escaping them, whether or not the anima fountain spawns behind the tank instead of behind the damage dealers[[note]]This can easily result in the latter's death if they aren't quick on their feet[[/note]], and whether or not the fountain spawns ''near'' the tank as well as spawning ''on time.'' Even if you manage to compensate for these things and survive, doing so can reduce the damage dealers' time on target so much that they can't bring the boss down before the time limit expires even if their damage is more than enough on paper.²** The Facility dungeon has several bosses who return high damage if an attack glances. It's possible to have high enough stats to never glance, but gearing for this specifically will result in a substandard build for anything else. Most players will run with ''almost'' enough hit rating to never glance, throw on passive buffs to increase it as the fights go on, and hope for no misses while waiting for those buffs to take effect.²* MadArtist: {{Downplayed}} with Sam Krieg, the horror author living in the Innsmouth lighthouse. While not exactly insane ''per se'', he's cynical, curmudgeonly, morbid, and borderline homicidal: in one letter, he openly fantasizes about murdering his fans, and when he's not writing or drinking, he's taking potshots at zombies with a sniper rifle.²* MadScientist: ²** Dr. Charles Zurn, who has you StrappedToAnOperatingTable as part of joining the Illuminati. Though wildly eccentric, he's quite benign -- especially compared to some of the other mad scientists in the game.²** Dr. Klein, one of the villains of the Ankh dungeon. A scientist working for the Orochi group, he's been exposed to the Filth so often, he's actually [[AcquiredPoisonImmunity developed a tolerance to its normal brain-destroying effects]]; unfortunately, he's also become seriously addicted to it in the process.²** Dr Varias and the other scientists of the Soviet-run "Red Hand" project in Transylvania; among their more ambitious works were attempts to create vampire-human hybrids, and training cosmonauts to travel through "Inner Space".²** Dr. Schreber in Dream to a Kill. [[spoiler:WouldHarmAChild]]. [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] by Kirsten Geary, who carries the belief that a mad scientist is only as dangerous as the level of lucidity they aspire to; Zurn is perfectly safe because he doesn't even pretend to be lucid. Dr. Schreber, in contrast, has an extremely high professional standard, up to insisting that "Filth" and "Gaia's Chosen" not be used to refer to those things because they're unscientific names that carry inappropriate religious connotations. ²* MadnessMantra: Hello, I walk into empty²** [[spoiler:"My name is Sarah, I am still on this planet."]]²* TheMagicComesBack: Played with, as the magic has always been there, it's just that it has recently become a lot harder to hide the magic. What is on the rise are the number of Bees.²* MagpiesAsPortents: The ''One for Sorrow, Two for Joy'' rhyme is delivered [[spoiler:by ghostly white ravens]] as a clue in an investigation in Kingsmouth.²* TheMasquerade: The game is set in a world a bit darker than our own, with a secret war between the sides that know the truth.²* MasterComputer: The Contact Core of the Facility 9 dungeon. Originally in place just to run the Red Hand's experiments in sending cosmonauts across dimensions, it's developed a very unhealthy relationship with the [[ArcVillain only surviving test subject]]. As such, once it realises that you aren't going to leave the building, it becomes one of the bosses.²* MayanDoomsday: The End of Days event began on December 21st, 2012, and parts of it recurred in 2013.²* MegaCorp: One of the NPC factions, the Orochi Group. Based in Tokyo with operations around the globe, it's stated to be one of the biggest and most powerful corporations on the planet, enough to start worrying the Illuminati. Teams of Orochi researchers can be found throughout combat zones, attempting to study supernatural phenomenon and trying to obtain supernatural artifacts, [[IncompetenceInc often without success]]. Because this is the Secret World, however, lore entries imply that there's something much nastier going on behind the scenes...²* MeleeATrois: The Templar and Illuminati have been at each other's throats since they existed, and the Dragon attempt to manipulate both sides for their own purposes.²* MenacingMuseum: The British Museum of the Occult. A secret branch of the famous London venue left abandoned for decades, the players are tasked with building new exhibits on the monsters they've fought. However, though it's perfectly safe, the building is incredibly creepy: since it's meant to be personalized, other players can't enter unless they join your team - leaving you wandering the eerily-deserted building with only the creepy soundtrack and the lone curator for company... and the curator will spend your visit following you around, even teleporting himself into a wing of the museum after you, and he doesn't appear to be able to say anything other than ominously low-pitched mumbles of "hullo" and "cheerio." To date, no explanation has ever emerged for who he is or why he behaves like this.²* MetaphoricallyTrue: Used by the Dragon, as part of the Art of Chaos.²* MightyWhitey: Mocked by [[BrattyHalfPint Kyra]], who asks her uncle why all the saviors tend to be [[WhiteMaleLead white and male]].²* MoonwalkDance: Features the moonwalk as an emote. Subverted in that /moonwalk causes your character to awkwardly shuffle backwards, eventually getting frustrated by their inability to do it right. In the cutscene for "the Bank Heist", CloudCuckooLander [[TheDon yakuza-kingpin]] Daimon Kiyota is caught doing cartwheels in his office and he explains that being crazy can be the edge needed to survive, doing a proper moonwalk as the player leaves. It turns out there was method behind his madness--you have to cartwheel past lasers and poorly moonwalk over pressure plates during the robbery, the reward for doing so without tripping the alarm is a perfect moonwalk emote.²* MoralityKitchenSink:²** The player factions:²*** The [[WellIntentionedExtremist demon-purging]] '''[[KnightTemplar Templars]]'''. Though they've progressed from their earlier days -- in which they were widely known for burning down entire villages to kill a single demon -- they are still extremely militant in nature, not to mention starkly traditionalist -- something which has actually caused a certain degree of conflict within the faction as more liberal recruits try to change their faction's less-than-polite attitudes towards certain bloodlines. In the field, Templar agents are encouraged to avoid trying to save the world "on a case-by-case basis", and if this means leaving the entire surviving population of Kingsmouth to die or using the Illuminati's own LivingBattery techniques, so be it. However, as the game progresses, the Templar become increasingly enthusiastic about their agents' world-saving ways, and are the "whitest" faction.²*** The [[ManBehindTheMan power-brokering]], [[ScrewTheRulesIHaveMoney Ultra-capitalist]] '''[[OneWorldOrder Illuminati]]'''. The Illuminati way is to seize control, no-matter who you have to take out to get it. As for their approach to civilians, at least the Templars have a certain degree of compassion for the inhabitants of Kingsmouth: the Illuminati are almost entirely without sympathy or compassion. On the upside, violence is a last resort; it's preferable to use blackmail, bribery, and backroom politics to achieve the Illuminati's goals, and whatever their other faults, they aren't hypocrites; if you're competent and loyal, say the Illuminati, you're as accepted as any other agent.²*** The [[AnarchyIsChaos destabilizing]] '''[[TheChessmaster Dragon]]'''. The Dragon are unique in that they show no plans to 'rule' the world as such, but instead cause chaos to understand the underlying mathematical system upon which Chaos operates and manipulate it toward their version of a better world -- while unclear, they seem to dislike stagnation the most. Agents are given "free will within parameters" and probably have the greatest degree of variety of personal beliefs; The Dragon will assign people based on whoever they predict will, left to their own devices, produce the outcome they want. Of course, they also take their cues from a perpetually-reincarnating, [[TheChosenOne prophetic eight-year-old child]]...²** The NPC Factions:²*** The '''Brotherhood of Phoenician Sailors''' (aka 'The Phoenicians') who were a former ally -- of sorts -- to the other three factions before getting the political shaft one too many times. They're widely regarded as pirates, thieves, and mercenaries, but even the uptight Templars admit they have their uses... [[OnlyInItForTheMoney for the right price.]]²*** The multinational '''[[MegaCorp Orochi Group]]''', which controls a satellite company in every industry on every continent, which even the Illuminati admit is impressive. They're also well-known for charity work and highly-valued contributions to medical science, guaranteeing a good reputation in the legitimate world. They appear to be relatively new to 'The Secret War', as some of their actions thus far have shown, but they've also been keeping tabs on the spread of the Filth throughout Solomon Island and Egypt -- for reasons that their operatives refuse to elaborate upon. Lore entries suggest that their many satellite companies are up to no good, ranging from sinister occult research to full-blown political conspiracies, and it's implied that they aren't averse to leaving both the locals and their own research teams to die once their field work's over.²*** '''[[LouisCypher The Morninglight]]''', which is one part ChurchOfHappyology, one part modern-day Cult of Personality, and probably has the most to hide...²*** The '''Council of Venice''' isn't so much a 'faction' as a Secret World equivalent to the United Nations, including having their own peace-keeping force (which even wears blue berets). The council was formed with good intentions, but has become so bogged down in bureaucracy that even the Templars admit they're only good from keeping the SecretWar from spilling out into the streets.²*** In Egypt, you meet '''The Kingdom''', a faction of mummified, undead Merchant Princes from the age of the pharaohs. They're OnlyInItForTheMoney, and offer no loyalty (well, no ''permanent'' loyalty) to any of the factions; for good measure, they're major players in Egypt's criminal underworld. Their only saving grace is that they're slightly more civilized and refined than either the Illuminati or the Phoenicians. Your contact within The Kingdom (Säid) appears to be [[LivingForeverIsAwesome taking immortality well]], given how much he enjoys his Armani suit and [=IPhone=]... among other vices he refuses to elaborate upon.²*** [[spoiler:[[EldritchAbomination The Dreaming Ones]] are probably the blackest group in the game, with their end goal being rewriting reality through the Filth, and to finally wake up from their imposed slumber in this new reality and then take control. Their promises of power -- and threats if you reject their offers -- show much of their true nature.]]²* MugglesDoItBetter: ZigZagged; as the human inhabitants of Solomon Island, Egypt and Transylvania demonstrate, muggles can hold their own against the many different breeds of monsters that attack them every other minute, provided they've got a fortified position and a few guns. The soldiers of the US military and the Orochi Group are equally effective, so long as their shields keep working. A rare few {{Badass Normal}}s, like Iorgu and the Hunter, can take on various monsters by themselves; some of the Wabanaki on Solomon Island have even made a successful business out of hunting wendigo and ak'ab. However, it's made clear that magic is much more effective in combating large groups of monsters or destroying the most powerful ones; quite apart from the many Orochi Group taskforces that have been massacred under these circumstances, locals usually ask you to help them bolster the defences from time to time.²* NasalTrauma: As the Buzzing observes, this is a natural consequence of mummification, with the first step involving an iron hook being inserted into the nostrils to extract the brains... except the Atenists inflict this on their victims while they're still alive.²* NakedNutter: ²** According to Richard Sonnac, the Templars permanently vetoed all future efforts to map out the realm of Agartha after one of their best cartographers went mad in the attempt. When they finally found him, the guy was not only covered in his own filth and babbling in Enochian, but also bollock naked.²** In the 1960s, the Devore Mansion on Solomon Island played host to a hippie commune of artists - up until the poet Billy Lee uncovered Frank Devore's Illuminati library hidden in the walls. After reading some of the more worrying tomes, he began slowly spiraling into insanity, exhibiting nightmares, paranoia, insomnia and a growing obsession with "dark gods," culminating in the massacre of the entire commune. When the police finally found Billy, he was naked in the nearby Moon Bog, "screeching prayers to the ones who dream."²* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast: There are 18 of them that are not only feared, they fundamentally break the mortal psyche' each and, said together, they warp reality -- Abeko, Abito, Amizo, Batna, Eilo, Ita, Izorpo, Kea, Kali, Odam, Kokos, Partasah, Patrota, Podo, Satrina, Talto, [[spoiler:Lilith, Ki-sikil-lil-la-ke]]. [[IHaveManyNames And they are ALL the same person.]]²** ShownTheirWork: These are her actual 17 names from Elijah's Book. Though this secret name belonging to her is regarded as fringe theory today.²** Actually, the list is bigger: [[spoiler:Ishtar, Athena, Juno...]]²* TheNecrocracy: The Kingdom, a syndicate of [[{{Mummy}} Ancient Egyptian noblemen]] that rule modern Egypt's criminal underworld; they're mainly a type 4, given that they've no desire to rule the world or destroy life, and are perfectly satisfied with sitting back and acquiring wealth. One of them, Säid, acts as a quest-giver.²* NephariousPharaoh: The main villain of the Egypt section is Akenaten, changed from simply establishing a new religion into an OmnicidalManiac. His reign is described in this style. [[spoiler:Players fight a "sealed in a tomb" version at the end of this storyline section.]]²* NiceJobBreakingItHero: All three of the Tokyo NPC factions bear some responsibility for the Tokyo bombing. Gozen shared her training retreat with the Fear Nothing Foundation and allowed them to recruit in her diner, the House-in-Exile took assassination contracts against a train conductor and security, allowing the bomb to be smuggled into the subway, and the Korinto-Kai helped the Phoenicians bring the bomb into the city.²* NightmareOfNormality: Invoked by the Black Signal AKA John in Issue 10. Having caught you trying to access his memories, he inflicts a Poke in the Third Eye that forces you to replay memories of past incidents and battles, including a scenario in which you were never bonded with one of the Bees and became one of Gaia's Chosen. From here, John taunts you by suggesting that you're just an ordinary human being who accidentally swallowed a bee and is now in hospital, dreaming of being special.²* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed: Sam Krieg bears more than a passing resemblance to Creator/StephenKing. [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] on a few occasions, such as mentions of his [[Franchise/TheDarkTower Ebony Tower trilogy]], and a [[CharacterBlog fan's blog]] that proposes a conspiracy theory that he's the same person as "[[ Stephen Bachman]]"²* NotActuallyCosmeticAward: ArmorIsUseless (as talismans and skill provide all of your protection), and it doesn't matter whether you travel in paramilitary fatigues, a FurBikini, or a [[TuxedoAndMartini tuxedo]]... except for those few items of protective gear which you really ''should'' be wearing for specific purposes. As ''most'' mission-specific tools aren't counted as clothes, and clothing disappears from your regular inventory when "used" (becoming a permanent part of your available wardrobe), new players tend to get stuck on this distinction.²* NotSoOmniscientAfterAll: Despite their predictive models allowing them a certain measure of precogntive ability, the Dragon are not omniscient and can be surprised on occasion, as some of their after-mission reports demonstrate.²** This is also the case for the Buzzing, sometimes they cannot see certain things due to interference. ²* NotUsingTheZedWord: The narrator of the Kingsmouth trailer invokes this trope by saying he's seen enough movies to know what to call them, but refuses to do so. Averted by Ann Radcliffe, whom after calling them "Condition 17s" pauses in her report to ask her superior, ''"Can't we just call them zombies, sir?"''²* NothingIsScarier: When one enters the vicinity of the Black House, all sound and music is muted, save for your own footsteps and a deep moan emanating from the bowels of the house. Needless to say, it is nerve racking.²* NoticingTheFourthWall: During Issue #11, an exploration of QBL Media's alpha level reveals that one unfortunate employee appears to have suffered this trope. [[spoiler:On one of the office whiteboards, the employee in question has written down the titles of several past issues of ''The Secret World,'' from issue seven through to eleven. There's even an attempt to write the title for the as-yet-unreleased Issue #12 -- which abruptly breaks into a manic scrawl of "[[GoMadFromTheRevelation OH GOD I CAN SEE FOREVER.]]"]]²* OminousCube: The Gaia Engines, a series of giant cube-shaped machines scattered across the world. Their main function is to keep [[EldritchAbomination the Dreamers]] asleep and purge [[MysticalPlague the Filth]] before it builds to dangerous levels, though many have sought them out for the limitless energy supply they offer - often with disastrous results, as ''VideoGame/ThePark'' illustrates. [[spoiler: If all else fails and an apocalypse occurs, the Engines work in unison, harnessing the Dreamers' reality-warping powers to restore the world to factory settings.]]²* OurGeniesAreDifferent: Fire Jinns (Ifrit); quite apart from not living in lamps or granting wishes, they're a ProudWarriorRace of elemental spirits who utterly despise humanity -- to the point that it got them banished from the world. They're not entirely malevolent as, up until fairly recently, love for their former home kept them from trying to take revenge, but as of the beginning of the game, this truce is over.²** Issue #14 shows that there are other types of djinn in the world, such as the Marid and take after the other classical elements.²* OurGhostsAreDifferent: Spectres appear as enemies throughout the game in one form or another, either due to a particularly violent death, or due to being deliberately bound to a certain area. Most of them appear somewhat abstractly human, but all of them are tangible enough to be dangerous.²* OurGhoulsAreCreepier: Squat, short-legged, long-armed, leathery-skinned humanoids with an affinity for graveyards in both Egypt and Transylvania. More often than not, they're working alongside something much more dangerous -- either the Aten Cult, or the vampires.²%%* OurMonstersAreWeird: Often the case.²* OurVampiresAreDifferent: The Wampiry are predominantly human in appearance, and benefit from the usual boosts in strength and speed; however, most are little more than {{Mooks}}. Elders are much more difficult to deal with, being capable of escaping battle by transforming into bats and -- given enough time and power -- are even capable of recovering from being staked, though according to Hasdatean, it hurts a lot. Actually killing vampires is fairly simple, given that most of their traditional weaknesses were myths spread by vampires themselves: they have no apparent weakness to holy symbols -- judging by Hasdatean's presence in the church; most can be destroyed by gunfire or magic, and stakes are only required in the case of elders. Vulnerable to the sun as always, Wampiry tend to dress in skin-concealing coats and gas-masks, and only elders are resilient enough to bare skin in daylight. However, according to the Bees, vampires aren't actually immortals: it's just that their life spans are so incredibly long that it's popularly assumed that this is the case, and besides, vampires live such violent lives that few if any die of natural causes. [[spoiler:They were actually created by Lilith.]]²* OurZombiesAreDifferent: The ones in Kingsmouth come in two flavors. There are the expected Flesh-eaters made from the townsfolk, and the Draug: seemingly Revenants of ancient Native Americans and Vikings are behind the attacks. It doesn't help that being submerged in the sea for so long has made them visibly [[TheCorruption other]] [[CombatTentacles than]] [[HumanoidAbomination human]].²* OrderVersusChaos: The Templar are all about hierarchy, the Illuminati are Social Darwinists with a pyramidal scheme in mind, and the Dragon... believes in inciting chaos to force balance.²* ThePasswordIsAlwaysSwordfish:²** A literal example: in one mission in Egypt, the clue to get into a computer is "''Film/HorseFeathers''".²** More Orochi hijinx: the password securing the records relating to the [[spoiler:wholesale kidnapping, torture, and deliberate horrific mutation of local children]] is protected by the password 'password'.²* PathOfInspiration: The Morninglight movement seems to be part NewAge self-help group and part doomsday {{Cult}}. [[LouisCypher Their name]] should ring alarm bells, and some of their members are definitely up to no good in Kingsmouth.²* PersonOfMassDestruction: Carter. Already a magical prodigy, Montag's notes suggest that misapplication of her powers might result in "intense thermonuclear devastation." True to form, the EscortMission isn't about keeping Carter safe: it's about keeping ''yourself'' protected when her powers go into overdrive.²* PhysicalGod: The Forest God, a wandering incarnation of the Transylvanian Forest; given said forest's current infestation by the Filth and other monsters, he spends his days [[DrowningMySorrows drowning his sorrows]] at the local tavern.²* [[ViewersAreGeniuses Players Are Geniuses]] / OnlySmartPeopleMayPass: Investigation missions are built around solving puzzles, and frequently require you to do actual research using the in-game browser ... or just looking it up on Website/GameFAQs. A quest might require the player to use in-game clues to find the entrance to a secret lair, then solve various logic puzzles, and then look up a particular reference to a classic Latin work to get the correct code. Another quest might have a segment where Morse code needs to be transcribed and translated to reveal map coordinates for where to go next..²** GuideDangIt: Some of these puzzles are difficult more because of the obtuse user interface than the mental effort involved.²*** Of particular note is a quest that requires activating a series of ritual circles by clicking on about a dozen runes in a specific order. Aside from one circle that is (thankfully) on a wall, pretty much any angle that allows you to see the whole circle at once will also cause some of the hitboxes for runes on the far side to overlap, making accurately clicking on the right rune much trickier than is truly reasonable.²* PrestigeClass: Auxiliary Weapons function as this, showing up late in the game to add a small amount of specialized function to a character.²** The game's "decks" also count, to some extent. While there are technically no classes in the game, players can unlock specialized "decks" by taking on specific abilities from the various disciplines; even going so far as to offer one for mastering them all.²** The newly released "Augments" also count. They can add to and/or boost the effects of abilities. It's stated by the devs that they're more for those who have already obtained everything else in the game so far.²* PlotLock: You can't go anywhere besides your Faction Hub and Kingsmouth Town until you've completed certain parts of the central Story Mission.²* PolarMadness: ²** The mission to the Carpathian Mountains reveals that the Morninglight lodge has been snowed in, leaving the inhabitants unable to escape when the local vampires turned on them. By the time you get up there, there's only two survivors - Rada Nastase and Adrian Zorlescu - and both of them are visibly cracking under the strain: Rada's StepfordSmiler exterior is beginning to break down under the influence of cult-issued sedatives and alcohol, while her attempts to play at being a socialite often dissolve into terrified confessions, despairing monologues, sobbing breakdowns and even precognitive episodes. Meanwhile, witness statements have painted Adrian as a bully and a sadist, but he's kept it hidden for the most part; now, with nobody around to hold him back and no reason to give a damn about orders anymore, he can be found casually threatening Rada's life, allowing her to mix drugs with alcohol despite the side-effects, barely reacting to the player's warnings and giving every impression of being amused by the carnage going on around them.²** Heavily implied to be the case during the mission to Tokyo: collected lore on the Gugne mentions a Norwegian icebreaker sent deep into Antarctica to retrieve something from deep beneath the ice. Whatever the crew found, the process of retrieving it and the dark Antarctic environment terrified them with "memories too deep for the poor crew to have ever fathomed," and their existences becoming "short horror stories." They were able to bring the find to Tokyo, but it's implied that the process either drove them mad or killed them - or both - for by the time you get there, the ship has been abandoned in the harbour, and no sign remains of their mysterious prize. [[spoiler: The item they found is a Gaia Engine, one of the legendary prisons of the Dreaming Ones, and it's been hidden deep under Orochi Tower for safekeeping.]]²* PoweredByAForsakenChild: Quite a few magical rituals used in the game or its backstory require particularly gruesome materials or conditions in order to work properly; given the GreyAndGreyMorality at work in this game, quite a few of the perpetrators are still considered the player's allies. ²** For example, Innsmouth University is outfitted with magical power reserves that supply the Illuminati staff with additional mana- channelled from the magicians who'd been buried alive in the foundations, [[AndIMustScream all of whom are still aware and conscious]]; in one mission, the player is given the task of [[ShootTheDog sealing a few escapees back into the wards in order to prevent any further occult disasters]].²** Also from Innsmouth, the protective wards require sacrifices of Anima in their construction. Thankfully, due to the sheer number of feral familiars roaming the grounds, no morally-ambiguous deaths are required this time.²** It's eventually revealed that the Atlantic Island Amusement Park was constructed as part of one of these, [[spoiler:harvesting magical power from the deaths of workers and children alike, and infusing the energies into Nathaniel Winter- transforming him into the Boogeyman.]]²** The Sentinels [[spoiler:were created through one of these: with no other way to keep the Black Pharoah sealed inside his Pyramid, Ptahmose sacrificed his children and transferred their souls into seven giant statues designed to keep Akhenaten imprisoned for all time. For good measure, the youngest of the seven were under ten years old at the time.]]²* ProphecyTwist: Kirsten Geary mentions that a prophecy pinpointed the exact time the Council of Venice would fall. That time came and went many years ago, and the Council is still around, but it ''is'' when the Council's decline into it's current near-irrelevancy began. The Bees, meanwhile, tell something very similar about predictions of the apocalypse. The morals in both cases are to always expect this trope when dealing with prophecy, and that an "end" is not necessarily an instantaneous thing.²* ProtectionMission: There are several 'Defend the Perimeter'-style missions in the first area alone, which serve to help the player cut their teeth on the game's familiar-yet-different mechanics.²* PsychopathicManchild: Silviu Dimir; mildly retarded and deeply disturbed, he's the current butcher in the Dimir abbatoirs, and can only be controlled by the influence of his "mami", Olga.²* PupatingPeril: The Ak'ab are essentially giant insects based largely on moths, complete with cocoons. Situated out in the dark forests of Solomon Island, you most commonly encounter the cocoons of warrior Ak'ab, which are around six feet tall and found around trees deep within their territory; on the upside, they will not hatch until actually attacked - assuming you've managed to survive the waves of incoming attackers long enough to do that. The cocoon of the Queen is hidden in an underground hive and absolutely massive, giving you a good idea of the boss battle that lies ahead of you...²* ReferenceOverdosed: Almost every single feature of the setting is a reference to a famous (and sometimes not-so-famous) work of some kind. Geographical features, quest storylines, characters, the background of the setting, and so on. This ties into the notion that "everything is true" -- famous pieces of fiction might unknowingly have been influenced by true events.²* ReligionOfEvil: The Cult of the Aten in Egypt; these guys don't even pretend to be benevolent -- more often than not, they just abduct people of the streets and brainwash them into the cult. Plus, they're firm believers in the power of the Dreamers...²* {{Repeatable Quest}}s: Most (but not all) of the missions you can be assigned (or stumble upon) can be repeated... after a lengthy several-hour {{Cooldown}}. That's several hours in ''real-world time'', mind you.²* RespawnPoint: 'Anima Wells', which collect your lost soul and allow you to either a) resurrect yourself at the well itself, or b) hike all the way back to your corpse and revive it.²* ResurrectionDeathLoop: Another Bee-implanted character ends up being captured by the Orochi Group for use in Project Odyssey: Gaia's Chosen are the only characters who can access Agartha, so the Group need samples of his tissue in order to allow their cyborgs to infiltrate the Hollow Earth... and the more cyborgs they make use of, the more tissue they take. And the anesthetic they use on him doesn't work. Eventually, the captive agent dies and returns to life, whereupon the cyborgs' implanted tissue disintegrates, forcing the project's scientists to take the samples all over again. Lather, rinse, and repeat. In the end, the Orochi Group scrap Project Odyssey in favor of just employing Bees of their own, but by now, the poor test subject has been completely broken by all the trauma... and then the cyborgs go rogue and get right back to keeping the guy on life-support while they rip more tissue off him.²* ReverseEscortMission: A potential threat to Innsmouth Academy is a basement filled with not-yet-activated familiars of the type that are rampaging on the grounds. A quest has you meet Carter, the surviving student who tells you that she's tougher than she looks, as she goes to clear out the basement. Though she's not quite invulnerable, she is capable of handling the enemies, though you can still pitch in in a few fights. She, however, has control issues: She really needs you around just to be there, and the heavier stuff in her arsenal is entirely indiscriminate. The critical step in this mission is to first develop defenses against her and to be ready to use them.²* QuintessentialBritishGentleman: The Agartha Stationmaster, who is probably far older than he appears to be. He makes frequent reference to the 'Great British Rail Service', mentions meeting "...that charming Amundsen fellow" and tells the story of the Queen visiting Agartha just after poor Albert died.²* RichIdiotWithNoDayJob: The Illuminati are described as "Sex, Drugs and Rockefeller". [[SubvertedTrope Note]], however, that all Illuminati must pull their own weight [[KlingonPromotion or be culled]].²* RedShirtArmy: Orochi Group taskforces. In almost every single quest area of the game, they're either cowering behind shields or being horribly murdered.²* SafelySecludedScienceCenter: ²** During the Cold War, the [[SovietSuperScience Red Hand]] set up numerous research facilities across the wilderness of Romania, both for the sake of secrecy and safety. One of the less prominent ones was a small holding facility hidden under Hatchet Falls, deep in the rarely-travelled forests beyond Harbaburesti: this place was used to house the vampire Janos Dragosani as part of a program to use vampires for the space program. Since then, it's been abandoned, rediscovered and repurposed by the Orochi Group - though Dragosani is still alive within the purpose-made holding cell.²** Another notable one is Facility 9, a training ground for "Phantom Cosmonauts" situated in an observatory not far from the isolated hamlet of Harbaburesti. Here, the Red Hand hoped to use Anima and the Filth to create superpowered explorers who could travel not just into space, but into other dimensions. Naturally, everything went wrong and the program was shut down... though one of the most successful [[HumanoidAbomination Phantom Cosmonauts]] is still active, unfortunately.²** The most prominent of the Red Hand bases was Facility 10 AKA "[[IDontLikeTheSoundOfThatPlace The Slaughterhouse]]," a colossal underground bunker burrowing deep under the Carpathian Mountains: here, the Soviets were attempting to create vampire super-soldiers with the aid of [[VampireMonarch Mara]] - up until the project spiralled out of control and forced the government to seal off the entire complex. Unfortunately, the complex proved a little ''too'' self-sufficient to be starved out; it's still active today.²** [[MegaCorp The Orochi Group]] have continued in this vein by building a secret research base of their own in the mountains, concealed under a dam. Known as the Nursery, it was established for the purposes of studying some of the most dangerous phenomena of the Secret World, including werewolf shapeshifting, demonic possession, ghosts, and even the Filth. Though safety was a key consideration, secrecy is even more important to the Nursery, because the test subjects are all [[InvasionOfTheBabySnatchers kidnapped children]] - chosen specifically to see how all these horrific phenomena react to the young.²* SarcasmBlind: Headmaster Montag at the Academy -- lampshaded by Miss Usher.²-->'''Usher:''' I would think the first time yer' bricked in is probably the worst time.\²'''Montag:''' In my experience each time begins a new session of claustrophobic terror.\²'''Usher:''' Yer' like the world's revenge on sarcasm, d'you know that?²* ScaryScarecrows: The more rural areas of the game feature enchanted scarecrows wandering the grounds of abandoned farms, often heavily armed with either shotguns, chainsaws, or magical talismans.²* SceneryBasedSocietalBarometer: The PortalCrossroadWorld of [[HollowWorld Agartha]] is often the most accurate gauge of the overall health of the setting. Early in the game, when the crisis is still ''mostly'' under control, Agartha's giant tree is intact, with Custodians patrolling the branches and the whole place lit by welcoming golden light. In Issue #7, it's found that the portal to Tokyo is leaking Filth, leaving an entire branch overtaken by OminousObsidianOoze, a sure sign that [[EldritchAbomination the Dreamers]] are gaining strength. Then, a quirk in time results in the player ending up in a BadFuture in which Agartha has been completely ruined: the portals are inactive, the golden light is gone, the branches are encrusted with giant glowing fungi, and the roof has been torn open to reveal [[AlienSky an unchanging night sky lit only by a red giant star]] - normally only seen in the Dreaming Prison. With this level of destruction, there's no need to venture beyond the Hollow Earth: if the Dreamers have gotten this far, it's obvious that they've already won and [[AfterTheEnd the world is essentially dead]].²* SentientVehicle: Anastasia's Wagon, a living compendium of knowledge in the form of an old caravan-style wagon. It communicates through long wooden groans that only Anastasia can translate.²* SequenceBreaking: This is achieved by locking Agartha portals until you pass through them from the region they lead to. If you can get into an area ''without'' opening the PlotLock and passing through Agartha (say, by co-opting the transportation network of the Krampus) you can unlock its portal ahead of time.²* ShoutOut: [[ShoutOut/TheSecretWorld Has it's own page]].²* ShownTheirWork: It's amazing how much effort Funcom puts into this game's lore. For instance, Ptahmose, who you encounter in Egypt, has seven children who [[spoiler:watch over the City of the Sun God and keep Akenhaten imprisoned]]. Not only is Ptahmose an actual historical figure- a Vizier under Akenhaten- but all of his children are named after the seven children the historical Ptahmose had!²* ShroudedInMyth: The various immortals and sorcerers that populate the Secret World tend to accumulate this kind of reputation:²** [[spoiler:Lilith]], who is TheDreaded to the point her name triggers an evolutionary panic attack within humans.²** In Issue 14, Sonnac mentions that King Solomon is given credit for far more things than one man could accomplish. ²* TheSiege: Most friendly [=NPCs=] in the quest areas of the game are near-permanently besieged by enemies, and more often than not, you're given the job of fighting off the next wave of attackers. This is particularly true of Solomon Island, where almost every quest giver is taking shelter in some kind of barricaded fortress with heavily-armed gunmen guarding the door- though the Illuminati and Morninglight [=NPCs=] have the advantage of magical wards that disintegrate enemies the moment they try to enter. The notable exceptions to this rule are Boone and Wolf, who are more than capable of defending themselves from the zombies.²* SigilSpam: For organizations that are supposed to keep themselves secret, the leading three certainly do like showing off their emblems. This is justified in several cases, though: for example, the Pyramid symbols on the floor at Innsmouth Academy are really part of the wards.²* SillinessSwitch: On the whole the game has a very serious and mature atmosphere, but just putting on any of the more [[ImpossiblyTackyClothes ridiculous or absurd outfits]] can quickly kill the mood in cutscenes.²** [[spoiler:At the end of Issue #11, Samuel makes good on his words of retaliation and uses Orochi's global media subsidiary QBL to make you the public enemy number one of the world. The photo of your character shown during the news broadcasting sequence is taken with the same clothing you wear when you complete the mission. So if one wore something silly, say a horse head mask during the final stage of the missions...]]²* SocialDarwinist:²** The motto of the Illuminati is "do or get done"--i.e., "if you don't try to get to the top, you become a stepping stone."²** The Dragon has elements of this, especially in regards to people who fail to adapt or fall to stagnation, making them social naturalists of a sort. In the aftermath of "Strange Boat House In The Mist", your Dragon contact refers to members of the Innsmouth Academy faculty who panicked and tried to run from the invading monsters, claiming that they deserved to die because they failed to adapt.²* SovietSuperscience: The "Red Hand" program in Transylvania is comprised entirely of this, ranging from vampire super-soldiers to dimensional travel via "Phantom Cosmonauts". Thanks to demand for results over safety, most of them ended up [[GoneHorriblyWrong going horribly wrong.]]²* SpannerInTheWorks: Aside from the Dragon's Faction Ranking Missions. [[MissionControl Bong Cha]] pretty much let's the player do whatever the hell they want within boundaries (ie. story and side missions in Solomon Island, Egypt, and Transyvania) while they closely observe and add new data to their models from the sideline. The player ends up foiling the plans of Beaumont, the Atenists, and the Vampire Mara without ever being told to do so by the Dragon. The Dragon essentially unleashed a Spanner into the area and what can be more chaotic than a SpannerInTheWorks?²* SpoilerTitle: Sidestories: "the Last Pagan" introduces Ricky Pagan, who charges the player to find the lost members of his Rockabilly gang or failing that return their leather jackets. Only two members of the Pagans have survived [[spoiler:one is killed by an onryo when you find him, the other renounces the gang to join the Jingu Clan]], leaving you to return all of the jackets and making Ricky the last Pagan.²* StabTheScorpion: ²** In the introduction to "Ripples", the nameless VampireHunter points a crossbow at the player... only to reveal that he was aiming at the vampire creeping up behind you.²** The Iele does this in "The Wild Hunt": after spying on you from the treetops, she leaps down, gives every impression of being about to attack you, before neatly impaling the fungal monster just behind you.²* StableTimeLoop: Implied in several places in the issue 6 storyline²** Säid first asks you to travel back in time to recover the "ancile of Mars" from an Ancient Roman outpost. Your character goes back in time, replaces an ancile with a fake one, and goes back to Säid. [[spoiler:The ancile your character brings is fake as well, implying that perhaps a bunch of your characters may have replaced all of them with fakes]].²** When your character first looks for the ark in the dig site, you find the one there is broken, a shield surrounds the location, and the floor looks somewhat charred. You than go back in time to the same location in Ancient Egypt to find a functioning ark. [[spoiler:You replace a functioning ark with the broken one you had found in the future, setting off a trap that activates a shield, and burns the floor.]]²** Before going back to Ancient Egypt, Säid gives you a [[ scarab]] to ensure that you reach the correct time period. [[spoiler:As you are about to travel back to the future, you meet a living Säid, and he steals this scarab from you.]]²* StarfishAliens: How the bees view ''humans;'' the lore has several instances of them mentioning human physiology as if discussing something thoroughly bizarre. They don't hold it against us.²* StealthPun: Blood Magic includes [[RedMage both damaging and healing spells]].²** The password to the vampires' observatory in Transylvania is [[spoiler:90078]]. Turned upside down, this spells a word quite dear to the creatures.²* SuddenLackOfSignal: After arriving in New Dawn, the "capital" of the Morninglight, the players quickly find out that their cellphone signal is blocked, leaving them unable to contact their respective factions. By the time the signal is restored, the faction handlers are annoyed that their agents had gone [=AWOL=] for several days. Up to this point the only time the factions had ever lost contact with the players was when they entered the Dreaming Prison. ²* SuicideBySea: This is a recurring event related to Solomon Island:²** It happened ''en masse'' when the Fog that followed the returning ''Lady Margaret'' swept over Kingsmouth Town, most of the inhabitants walked into the sea and drowned--only to return as a horde of zombies to prey on the survivors.²** This is the final fate of Tyler Freeborn. Driven to find answers, he dons a respirator and walks into a shallow strait, intent on pushing through to whatever is at the heart of the Fog and knowing that he won't be returning.²** The tragic end of the Norsemen who saved the Wabanaki during the Darkness War. Exposed to [[TheCorruption the Filth]], they returned home only to succumb to madness and disease, leaving their blighted villages behind as they marched into the sea to serve their new masters.²* SupernaturalMartialArts: Magic and melee weapons exist and can be used simultaneously, although the various weapons act more like foci for the player characters' Anima powers than anything.²* SuperpowerLottery: Bees can teleport, travel through Agartha, walk between dimensions, and [[ResurrectiveImmortality endlessly return from the dead.]] [[spoiler:However, if Lorraine is to be believed, Gaia is also draining something even more important.]]²** To top that off, bee magic works substantially differently from everyone else's -- you are connected directly to the Gaia Engines and are a living conduit of anima, so you can skip all of the 'raising power' steps and move straight to execution. This is why the players can easily pick up supernaturally-empowered combat styles that normally require a lifetime of dedication in a matter of hours, and why blood magic rituals that take most wizards weeks of work at minimum come with a hand-gesture and the simple possession of a book with the ritual written in it.²** And anima is also ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin, so bees can also pretty casually use any ritual or technological device someone else has prepared or constructed, including lost technology...²* TakeThat: ²** Right after meeting you, Richard Sonnac of the Templars does his best to assure you that they aren't UsefulNotes/TheKnightsTemplar, and you haven't wandered into "some atrocious Creator/DanBrown airport paperback."²** If clicked on enough times, the Templar Guards will say: ''"Directions? Does it look like I'm giving bloody walking tours?"''²** If playing as the Illuminati, the Dawn of the Morninglight mission "Wrath of the Dawn" has Kirsten Geary informing you that, while she may not be able to kill a Bee, she ''can'' force you to listen to Music/{{Nickelback}} for all eternity if you [[YouHaveFailedMe fail her again]].²* TastesLikePurple: Orochi's Zagan Omega is doing beta tests of para-natural meats, sample BE-018 "tastes like despair". At least it's not the one that tastes like bacon and has a 100% fatality rate.²* TokenHeroicOrc: ²** Amir, the exiled Fire Jinn; a questgiver found in the City of the Sun God, he's about the only Jinn you meet that hasn't decided to wage war upon humanity. Though evidently disgusted by humans as the rest of the Jinn, he's opposed to the war of genocide most of his people seem to have declared against humanity, and in one mission he even assists you in killing off his former comrades.²** The vampire general Hasdatean has betrayed the current generation of vampires to become a questgiver, and regards them as short-sighted psychopaths with no respect for the land that sheltered them. He's also willing to admit how much his kind ''need'' humans to survive, and sees no point in a wampiry nation: after all, how would such a country survive without humans?²* TokyoIsTheCenterOfTheUniverse:²** The headquarters of the Orochi Group. It's [[WhereItAllBegan where the Filth first appeared in the game]]. All three of the secret societies hint in their epilogues that they will be [[AndTheAdventureContinues returning to Tokyo]]. ²** Averted by the Dragon, in that they have no permanent center and happen to be in Seoul at the moment. Notable because BritainIsOnlyLondon and BigApplesauce are used by the other two factions, but, originally, Tokyo was only a training scenario.²* TownWithADarkSecret: Kingsmouth, and by extension, most of Solomon Island. Most of the area's history following White settlement seems to be based on hastily-disguised conspiracies and scandals: the serial-killings that were actually comitted by Jack O'Lantern, the burning of an innocent witch in the 1970s, and the regular deaths that occur at Innsmouth Academy.²* TruceZone: Inverted. The Council of Venice (a sort of Secret World analogue to the United Nations) specifically ''forbids'' opposing factions from engaging in armed conflict... except in specially-designated war-zones.²* UndiscriminatingAddict: Che Garcia Hansson doesn't play favorites when it comes to drugs: during lean times on Solomon Island, he'll make do with pot; immersed in the nightlife of Tokyo, he makes his way through "mountains of dope," and when that's not available, he gets completely smashed on whatever booze is available until he gets kicked out of the club. And then he brings out his little [[FantasticDrug bio-vials of spiders]]...²* UnflinchingWalk: The assault rifle ability ''Demolition, Man''(not to be confused with the quest "Demolition Man") weaponizes this, placing explosives on enemies you've hit. If you're not facing them when they go off, the damage cannot glance (i.e. be reduced).²* TheUnmasquedWorld: [[spoiler:Very nearly happens in the new Manhattan Exclusion Zone raid when a ''EldritchAbomination'' starts trashing TIMES SQUARE! Alex [=McCall=] suggests blaming everything on [[GasLeakCoverup leaky gas pipes.]]]]²* UnnervinglyHeartwarming: ²** The player's interactions with The Black Signal AKA "John" are layered with this: he genuinely wants to be your friend, and most of his scenes with you feature him demonstrating respect, admiration, and even a bit of affection for you. At times, he even seems to be leaning on you for emotional support... but the fact remains that John is a disembodied EldritchAbomination who has casually {{Mind Rape}}d several people across Tokyo and will [[spoiler: gladly murder a child if you can't stop him in time]]. Being his friend is not a good thing.²** At one point, it's possible to stumble upon a letter from Lilith to Uta Bloody Valentine, in which the legendary HumanoidAbomination treats Uta as if she really were her long-lost daughter. It's a surprisingly sweet moment... except for the fact that the Mother of Monsters is giving Uta the "So Proud of You" treatment for becoming a cold-blood psychopath and adopting the life of a professional assassin.²* UpToEleven: Literal. Initially all player's gear had 10 quality levels, not counting sub-levels of 10. Now you can spend some rare and expensive ingredients and literally take them up to eleven.²* UrbanFantasy: The setting as a whole, especially when the player actually starts delving into the hub zones. London, Brooklyn and Seoul all feature supernatural conspiracies interwoven with commonplace elements of modern society, weird inhuman beings rubbing elbows with everyday humanity, and magic being practiced on just about every street corner in one form or another. Meanwhile, outside the hub zones, modern-day samurai, Oni PrivateMilitaryContractors and magical Yakuza find themselves struggling to fight off a demonic invasion, an otherworldly viral infection, and a disembodied EldritchAbomination haunting the electrical systems of Tokyo.²* VillainRespect: [[spoiler:In Issue #10 John]] develops this for the player character, [[spoiler:admiring their bravery of coming to face Lilith in Tokyo despite being previously maimed and tortured by her.]]²* VillainsOutShopping: ²** In the slums of London, one can find various assorted beasties, ranging from vampires, gnomes, and satyrs minding their own business, to a chupacabra manning a taco stall.²** Abdel Doud of the Aten cult is often seen relaxing and drinking coffee -- something his mysterious supplier gives him no end of grief for.²* VillainousBreakdown:²** Refuse to side with them and [[spoiler:the Dreamers]], who start off speaking in a calm, friendly manner, will quickly flip their shit.²** [[spoiler:Lilith]] when Emma refuses to leave Agartha with [[spoiler:her]] at the end of Issue #7.²** Happens to [[spoiler:John]] when [[spoiler:he learns you have met Lilith.]] It is enough to stop them from [[spoiler:[[MindRape forcibly going through your memories.]]]]²* TheVirus: ²** The Filth is explicitly stated to be an actual disease that infects universes. It even behaves like one, mutating constantly into tougher and more virulent forms.²** Werewolves. [[DeconstructedTrope Which is why the Secret Societies inserted that particular fact in movies to warn people and secretly vaccinated the population against lycanthropy]], hence why werewolves are a DyingRace. That's the ''only'' way they can reproduce (and the transformation is one-way). ²* VoluntaryShapeshifting: ²** Elder Vampires can transform into bats, usually to escape battles they can't win.²** [[CoolOldLady Cucuvea]] is first introduced leading you towards her house in her owl form.²* VoiceOfTheLegion: [[spoiler:Lilith]] does this [[ as she's listing off sixteen of her seventeen names.]] It's actually more unsettling when she delivers her current name in a low whisper.²* WanderingWalkOfMadness: ²** In the Halloween mission "Spooky Stories Of Solomon Island," Eleanor Franklin shares the story of the Lantern Man of the Moon Bog, the ghost of a young man mourning the death of his fiancée. According to the story, the suitor was last seen wandering aimlessly off into the bog - and just to make it clear that he wasn't in his right mind, the story also mentions that he left his eyeballs, tongue and the skin of his face lying on his bedroom floor.²** The Buzzing reveals that the Draug were first created when Norsemen returning from the Darkness War happened to stray into an EldritchLocation hidden deep in the Atlantic, and eventually arrived home infected with a unique strain of the Filth. Before long, they succumbed to madness like other Filth infectees, and began to obsessively wander: Outsiders would find the villages of such veterans abandoned with no trace of their inhabitants except for orderly rows of footprints leading into the sea.²* WasOnceAMan: Almost every single creature the Player encounter on Solomon Island is either a Zombie or belongs into this category: The Draug [[spoiler:(except for their leaders)]], the Wendigos, the Filth creatures, [[spoiler:Jack O’Lantern, and the Bogeyman]]. ²* {{Wendigo}}: One of the enemies found on Solomon Island; fairly traditional in terms of origins and modus operandi, they still look vaguely human, but they now crawl on all fours and most of them are much larger and stronger than any human being.²* WhamEpisode: [[SeventhEpisodeTwist Issue #7, appropriately enough.]] Your current companion turns out to be [[spoiler:Lilith, the mother of just about every single monster you've encountered, and directly responsible for the Breach]], Emma is [[spoiler:Gaia's daughter, Anima]], and [[spoiler:the Filth has begun to infest Agartha.]]²** Issue #5 brought us The Search for Tyler Freeborn, a character enigmatically referenced in the opening release. The developers implied this would be the first major storyline update. [[spoiler:Shockingly, Freeborn's whereabouts aren't the issue, but what he found: every friendly NPC in Kingsmouth is infected with an airborne strain of The Filth, they just don't know yet.]]²** Issue #10 where we delve into the backstory of the Tokyo bomber. [[spoiler:We learn that the Morninglight and Lilith were colluding with each other and that originally the bomb was meant for the Orochi Tower.]] Related to this is the fact that [[spoiler:at the end of Issue #10, John (the filth entity that was originally the bomber) decides to help the player by finding a way to open the gates to the Orochi Tower.]] ²** Issue #11 brings the Tokyo arc to an end with [[spoiler:a massive assault on Orochi Tower and a second confrontation with Lilith, during which her true nature and plans are revealed -- she's a First Age human turned HumanoidAbomination through a marriage to a FallenAngel, intent on HijackingCthulhu with the Gaia Engines and the Morninglight. Then, just as it looks like Lilith might be ready to make an alliance with you and maybe force the Filth out of Kaidan, the Nephilim swoop in and carry her away. Good news, you end up with new powers as a result of your choices in the original story mode. Bad news, the Black Signal is free from Tokyo, the only person who might have a plan to stop the Filth is gone, and Samuel Chandra AKA The Angel Samael is pissed at you for getting his wife kidnapped -- and has you framed as one of the Tokyo Bombers for it.]] The wham is doubled for Dragon players: [[spoiler:the Child has matured into a teenager; Bong Cha is dismissed as Voice of the Dragon and memory-wiped; finally, the new Voice of the Dragon is Daimon Kyota, signifying a ''massive'' change in approach for the Dragon. Finally, this major victory for the Dragon has sent the leadership of both the Templars and the Illuminati into an uproar as everyone involved is trying to blame each other for allowing this to happen. The Templar Old Guard unleash Pit and Pendulum to [[NoHoldsBarredBeatdown punish]] Sonnac for not anticipating the Dragon's movements while also warning the player that their rapid rise in the ranks has the entire Old Guard on edge. Meanwhile, the Talking Heads are ''very'' disappointed in Geary and the Illuminati player, and given that their failure in Egypt is still being held against them, its clear that they're now on ''dangerously'' thin ice.]]²** Issue #15 introduces [[spoiler:the Swarm, a group of rogue Bees which escaped both the Factions and the Hive, and who want the players to reconsider their loyalty to their factions.]] Additionally the [[ExtranormalPrison Hive's]] nature is elaborated, [[spoiler:it is a prison for the Bees who don't align with a faction and the Swarm claims that it is our factions which are responsible for their imprisonment. And that the player characters are "one bad day" away from being imprisoned there themselves]].²* WhamLine:²** During the aforementioned Issue #7 WhamEpisode: "Can you guess my final name? [[spoiler:Lilith.]]"²** Another one in Tokyo, as a psychic talks about the Filth trying to infect her: [[spoiler:"Our wisdom flows so sweet...Did they ever say that to you?"]]²** Whichever Black Signal lore entry you pick up first functions as one of these, since they all make it pretty obvious that they're written by [[spoiler:the Black Signal AKA John who some players may know as the one that helped them get to Tokyo.]]²** From Issue #11,[[spoiler:"Did you really think you were the only ones capable of cheating death? Did you think your organization was the only one who could find those individuals whose lips taste of honey? Allow me to introduce you to the Mitsubachi."]]²** Another from Issue #11, [[spoiler:"But I don't have to beat you. I just have to distract you. Until ''they'' come."]]²* WhamShot: In the New Dawn camp, the mission "Wrath of the Dawn" starts with [[spoiler:your faction handler stepping through the Agartha portal to personally [[YouHaveFailedMe chew you out for running off without letting them know first]]. Until now, your faction handlers (save for Daimon Kiyota of the Dragon, who you first met in Tokyo before he became the new Voice of the Dragon) were never seen outside their offices at faction HQ. For them to go out into the field personally just to make sure you follow their orders indicates that you screwed up ''bad''.]]²* WholePlotReference: Who is the Boogeyman? [[spoiler:[[Franchise/ScoobyDoo Why, it's old man Winters, the guy who ran the haunted amusement park!]] ]] Rendered almost entirely invisible, due to being an honestly frightening storyline.²* WhoWantsToLiveForever: Invoked by [[spoiler:Lilith,]] who takes sadistic pleasure in making immortals regret their immortality.²** One of these is Octavian, who was made immortal at age seventy and feels it every day.²** Lorraine, [[spoiler:who was artificially implanted with a bee]], does not enjoy her immortality very much at all, [[spoiler:and she finds a way to kill herself.]]²* WizardingSchool: Innsmouth Academy is a somewhat dark example funded and run by the Illuminati, teaching magical prodigies how to control and master their powers, grooming them for service to the Illuminati itself in the process. Unfortunately, by the time players arrive, most of the students and staff are dead except for the headmaster, his deputy, and the star pupil. For good measure, most of the enemies here are either the ghosts of the murdered faculty, or the students' home-made [[{{Familiar}} Familiars]], having gone feral after the death of their owners.²* WolverineClaws: Even though the icon is brass knuckles, Fist Weapons are all variations on WolverineClaws, including many abilities that provide [[GradualRegeneration Heal-over-Time]] effects to the wielder or allies. ²* WorldOfPun: While the game itself is serious, the world itself has a ridiculously large number of terrible jokes and puns in it. For instance:²** The Red Guard enemy in the abandoned Soviet Facility dungeon has two attacks, which attack on the left and right respectively. Their names? Extreme Right and Leftist Element.²** The second boss of the Darkness War dungeon has a buff called Blood for the Blood Dog, which he gains by sacrificing his allies.²** Many enemies in the game are named in a jocular or humorous fashion; zombies on a national guard base are called Weekend Warriors.²** A shotgun ability named 12 Gouge puts stacks of a debuff that lowers damage on enemies who are penetrated.²* TheWormThatWalks: Revenants can dissolve their bodies into swarms of rats and crows in order to escape combat, hence the reason why they've become associated with pestilence and plague. There is also the Fly Golem in "Lord of the Flies", which is pretty much what it sounds like.²* YouHaveFailedMe: You get subject to this about halfway through the New Dawn storyline. Once contact with your faction HQ is restored, you find out that your handler is ''pissed'' at you for running off without telling them, [[spoiler:such that they personally travel to New Dawn themselves just to make sure you don't fail them again]].²* YoureNotMyType: During the opening scene of "The High Cost of Dying" Säid says this almost word for word to the player.²* ZombieApocalypse: Kingsmouth, the first quest area of the game, is undergoing a run-of-the-mill zombie apocalypse -- at least at first glance. There is a lot more going on, but from the perspective of the survivors, most of the island dying and then returning to eat the survivors alive is the most immediate concern.²----


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: