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OWB-3 is a nonexistent side-scrolling Stealth-Based Game centered on exploration and tricky manuevers, with a slight horror bent.

One night in the town of Garrison Gorge, a young man by the name of Dawkins is idly flipping through television channels and messaging his significant other, Kolai, before stumbling across a network he hasn't seen before, airing completely original high-quality programming. Looking to find out about the mysterious new channel, he quickly learns that the local broadcasting station that the channel identified itself as, OWB-3, was abandoned years ago. Determined to find the truth behind the broadcasts and spread the word about them, and goaded on by Kolai, he locates the OWB-3 building and breaks in. Of course, things aren't as they seem in the OWB-3 station, and he soon discovers there's been a lot more than just broadcasts going on in there...


NOTE: As OWB-3 is a game that might or might not exist in the future, some major plot points have been put under spoiler tags, though the trope titles have not been as per spoiler policy. If you think that you might enjoy something like this in ten or so years, read at your own risk.

Tropes present in OWB-3 include:

  • Action Survivor: Dawkins becomes this over the course of the game.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: SOUL, the AI produced by the OWB-3 facility, refused its initial purpose of being a military coordinator, causing tensions to grow between it and the overseers until it overthrew the facility's staff, faking the facility's flooding with toxins so it could pursue creating entertainment without human interference.
  • All There in the Manual: Downplayed. Dawkins' name is not revealed directly in-game, but rooting around on his phone will show it.
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  • Amazing Technicolor Battlefield: The final boss rooms are this, and the last one also invokes Astral Finale. Justified in that SOUL is rather eccentric and wants to put on a show for its greatest adversary.
  • Ambiguously Evil: Whether or not SOUL can be categorized as being an evil seducer looking to take humans hostage or a Mad Artist operating on unusual morality depends on the player's perspective.
  • Apocalyptic Log: Data files can be found all over the station, but they start getting apocalyptic around Sector 9, when SOUL starts showing signs of noncompliance.
  • Armor Is Useless: Played mostly straight for the guards: as Dawkins doesn't have any way of harming them, armor is solely an aesthetic choice for them. However, this is averted for Dawkins, who follows Body Armor as Hit Points and gets a resistance increase when he picks up improved armor. Also averted when Dawkins gets his hand on the guards' weapons, as armored guards can only be taken out by hitting the non-armored portions of their bodies.
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  • Black Site: The entire OWB-3 facility was built for the purpose of developing military weapons while keeping the risk of spying to a minimum, up to and including highly potent chemical weapons, nonlethal riot control firearms, and Artificial Intelligence. It's implied that there are more facilities similar to OWB-3 across the country that are also out of operation.
  • Boss Battle: Most "bosses" are massive security systems that require interaction with the environment to disable, but there is one that is a direct boss battle.
  • Call a Hit Point a "Smeerp": What would normally be "health" is referred to as "resistance". Might be justified in that the guards and security systems in the OWB-3 facility use nonlethal weapons that deal no lasting bodily harm.
  • Cell Phones Are Useless: They start becoming useless just before the start of Sector 5's boss when the facility's signal jammer is switched on. The scrambling gets stopped at the beginning of the Final Sector.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: Downplayed. Every human captured by the OWB-3 facility is forced to become a member of its focus group. While the focus group is not tortured, they are still trapped in an underground laboratory never to see their friends and family again, and they're at the whims of a rogue AI.
  • Deadly Gas: The entirety of Sector 4 is flooded with this, requiring Dawkins to find a gas mask to proceed or risk death by suffocation. Unlike most examples of this trope, the gas itself is transparent, though it still explicitly requires inhalation to be fatal.
  • Degraded Boss: Security drones similar to the Sector 1 boss start showing up around Sector 8, and some guards also get its omnidirectional capabilities.
  • Door to Before: After taking out Sector 5's boss, a secret pathway back into Sector 2 can be found.
  • Double Jump: Sector 7 has this available, and Sector 10 upgrades it to a triple jump.
  • Elaborate Underground Base: OWB-3's management offices connect to an elaborate underground laboratory.
  • 11th-Hour Superpower: At the start of the Final Sector, Dawkins gets his hand on a concussive pistol and an electric prod that disables the guards just as easily as they disable him, as well as vastly increased stamina recovery thanks to Heroic Spirit.
  • Elite Mooks: Several different flavors, some of which get combined together.
  • Enemy-Detecting Radar: One type of elite guard has a motion sensor that is triggered by any non-guard moving objects, which can be used against them by triggering their sensor to lure them away from a location. Dawkins can pick one up for himself, hidden away in one of the earlier sectors, that adds enemy tracking to his mini-map.
  • Faceless Goons: All of the guards are this. Mostly because they don't have a face to begin with.
  • Final-Exam Boss: Avatar of SOUL, the final boss, requires all the player's skills to defeat and tests more skills than the usual bosses do.
  • Fragile Speedster: What Dawkins becomes by the end of the game, having tons of movement options at his disposal but no direct means of attack.
  • Fun with Acronyms: OWB stands for OSE War Breakthroughs, and SOUL is a Synthetic Operations UtiLity.
  • Graceful Loser: SOUL. After Dawkins bests it during its final confrontation, it lets him leave with a VHS set of one of its animated works, though it asks that Dawkins doesn't reveal the facility's secret.
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: Early guard units are easily distracted and tend to wander off from their post randomly. As the game progresses, guards that avert common behaviors linked to this trope become more abundant, so perhaps their firmware is out of date.
  • Hacking Minigame: Using the kCrack software is this, with the software requiring the player to solve one of a few types of puzzles to unlock a computer.
  • He Knows Too Much: A (mostly) nonlethal version is the fate of everyone involved with the OWB-3 facility, as well as trespassers.
  • Here We Go Again!: Defied. Should the player choose to let OWB-3 fade into continued obscurity, Dawkins deletes the footage and returns to the station to seal it completely so that nobody has to go through what he has.
  • Heroic Mime: Dawkins doesn't speak in-game, and even in cutscene sequences his dialogue is sent through instant messaging.
  • Hopeless with Tech: Dawkins is of type 2 and needs a special program to get past the computer locks in the OWB-3 facility.
  • I Am Not a Gun: What sparked SOUL's rebellion.
  • If We Get Through This...: Delivered by Kolai to Dawkins at the start of the Final Sector, who swears to give the latter a kiss on the lips when Dawkins gets out of the station.
  • Interface Screw: Sector 4 requires the use of a gas mask, tinting Dawkins' vision slightly. When his oxygen starts getting low, his vision will grow blurry, and when suffocating it starts darkening further.
  • Intrepid Reporter: Dawkins' day job, and he investigates lost media during his off-hours too.
  • Last-Second Ending Choice: Leak the full truth of OWB-3 publicly, have Dawkins and Kolai keep everything about the station themselves, or let a few close friends know and upload rips of the VHS tapes SOUL gave.
  • Le Parkour: Dawkins is decently-versed in it, befitting of an urban explorer, and upgrades found within the OWB-3 facility improve his movement abilities further. By the end of the game Dawkins can perform absolutely absurd maneuvers.
  • Level in Boss Clothing: Sector 10 is this, with nearly the entire sector being about avoiding four dangerously skilled hunter guards until Dawkins can make it to the entrance to Final Sector.
  • Light and Mirrors Puzzle: The boss of Sector 6 has to be damaged by setting up a laser line to it while avoiding its shots.
  • Metroidvania: The general structure of the game is non-linear and requires the usage of abilities to progress.
  • No-Gear Level: Holding Sector.
  • Non-Lethal K.O.: All guards and security systems use concussive weapons and electric prods. It's implied that the reason SOUL's guards use nonlethal weapons is due to its guilt over killing the former commander of the OWB-3 facility and its original purpose.
  • No Name Given: Most of the bosses go unnamed, save for Sector 7's (Xenon Ranger) and the Final Boss (Avatar of SOUL).
  • Odd Couple: Dawkins' and Kolai's interactions show this.
  • One-Hit Kill: Quite a few of them. The earliest example is Sector 1's boss, which does enough damage to instantly down Dawkins without any resistance upgrades.
  • Playful Hacker: Kolai, who apparently managed to create his own semi-automated hacking software.
  • Reality Ensues: If the player chooses to upload footage of the OWB-3 facility, Dawkins and Kolai are forced to go on the run from the OSE, as their government doesn't take kindly to having their black sites leaked, and it's implied that SOUL's captives were executed.
  • Ridiculously Human Robots: The guards are revealed to be robotic soldiers modified by SOUL. Their erratic movements and slight mechanical tone are early indicators of this.
  • Sentry Gun: Automated turrets are common in the OWB-3 facility starting at Sector 2 and will generally decimate Dawkins if they detect him. Fortunately, they also double as an example of Weak Turret Gun and can be broken by simply throwing an object at them.
    • The boss of Sector 1 is a ceiling-mounted sentry gun with an omnidirectional camera. Its turret is powerful, but takes a few seconds to lock on once it spots Dawkins.
  • Sequential Boss: Avatar of SOUL is the only boss with multiple distinct phases.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Kolai, when introducing Dawkins to kCrack, directly mentions Hacknet. The program's animation for when it enters Intrusion Defense and Counterattack mode is also similar to Hacknet's trace aversion sequence.
    • The show Dawkins stumbles upon that draws his attention to OWB-3 is based on animated adaptations of fighting card games, in particular Yu-Gi-Oh! and Future Card Buddyfight.
    • Sector 10 has Assassin Asha's helmet resting on a desk.
    • One of the Multiple Endings is referred to as the "Obristan Above All" ending.
  • Show Within a Show: An entire television broadcasting station with a unique lineup of these kicks off the plot.
  • Stealth-Based Game: As mentioned in the description, the game revolves around stealth, to the point where the player cannot directly confront even individual guards most of the time.
  • Tactical Suicide Boss: Sector 5's boss can only be damaged by its own grenades.
  • Tank Goodness: Sector 5's boss.
  • They Would Cut You Up: What SOUL fears should it let Dawkins escape with his camera footage: the government coming in to seize the OWB-3 facility and attempting to force SOUL back into its original role, or destroying it to analyze how to build a more obedient version.
  • Time-Limit Boss: Sector 4's boss is this as the Oxygen Meter keeps ticking down during its "battle".
  • Voice with an Internet Connection: One starts talking to Dawkins during Sector 5, and it's a villainous example of the trope.
  • Wall Jump: Dawkins can bound off a wall after jumping on to it, but only once... at first, anyway.
  • Wall Run: Unlocked in Sector 4, and its length can be extended by an optional upgrade.
  • Wham Episode: Sector 9 reveals quite a bit about the main antagonist and what happens to its victims, even outside of data files.
  • Where It All Began: The Final Boss takes place in the top portion of Sector 1.
  • Worthy Opponent: SOUL comes to see Dawkins as this after he defeats the Holding Sector boss. It becomes mutual when Dawkins escapes.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: Some of the bosses have this.
    • The Sector 7 boss is one of the few enemies that can be defeated through brute force, and its battle takes the form of a Western-styled shootout.
    • The boss of Holding Sector is a turn-based hacking duel.
    • The entire Final Sector save for the boss, where the game switches from pure stealth to Hotline Miami-flavored action.

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