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Roleplay / Airlocked Round Four

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Tropes from round four of Airlocked and its intermission. Please note that the ending twist to Round One is treated as a Late-Arrival Spoiler on this page, as the remainder of the series cannot be discussed without it. For this round, the same applies to the concept of the round itself, which is a First-Episode Twist.

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    Round 4 
  • Accidental Kiss: Kaiba crashes into Akira face-first when Rox shocks them both with their PIPs. Akira even jokes that it's this.
  • Age-Gap Romance: While Bolton/Jamie doesn't really count (30/35 is barely a gap at their ages), the fact that it would be if they were from the same year (since Bolton is from the past) makes some in-universe fans call it one. The reverse happens with Luna/Noctis, as they would be the same age if they were from the same time but Luna is taken from much earlier by necessity.
  • All for Nothing: Osomatsu sees his sacrifice as this, since Karamatsu only got an extra week to live out of it and technically died because of the Twin Switch as he was made to use Osomatsu's podium, which set off Manaka's trap. The last of the group to die also feel this once they find out that they only bought Bolton an extra year and Jamie's whereabouts are unknown.
  • Armor-Piercing Response: In the third trial when the culprit is breaking down.
    Karamatsu-as-Osomatsu: Why the fuck would you let yourself get killed for Wan-chan!? What the hell is wrong with you, huh!?
    Osomatsu-as-Karamatsu: I did it for you!
  • Armor-Piercing Slap:
    • When Osomatsu is being especially insensitive during the first trial, Penny, of all people, slaps him for it. Though she does apologize for it later.
    • Later on, Osomatsu himself does this to Karamatsu after the latter had stated his intention to turn himself in for helping Zombina die (which is basically a death sentence).
  • invoked Big in Japan: Discussed with the real-life example of Bob Ross.
  • invoked Bile Fascination: Chloe cites this as a reason to watch Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, though her own reason is clearly attachment to her girlfriend.
  • Blackmail: A secrets motive in this round was mentioned once in deadland, and it does become the fourth motive here.
  • Blood-Splattered Innocents:
    • Akira and Penny get absolutely covered in Karamatsu's blood after he gets killed by Manaka's trap.
    • A variation happened earlier to Karamatsu himself. After helping Zombina kill herself in the trash compactor, his shirt ends up stained with her preservative fluids. However, he's so traumatized by that point he never actually seems to realize he's got the stuff on him, though Osomatsu definitely noticed...
  • Body Horror: It's not described explicitly, but Zombina rotting during Week 4 is pretty unpleasant.
  • Breaking Old Trends:
    • Out-of-universe, anyway, since this is a prequel in the real world but the first season in-universe. Due to the doomed premise of the round, the person guarded by the knife-wielding Roomba doesn't make survivor pool. Instead, she dies in the very first case.
    • Due to the presence of Prompto in this doomed round, being a Lucian king or in the service of one doesn't save you like it did in Rounds 2 and 3, either. This carries over to Round 5, with Yuuri being the first victim.
    • Round 4 doesn't end with an Early-Bird Cameo foreshadowing the next round's Overseer in a mysterious message or recording. The only thing close was a text Rox received, and we never see who it's from. We only know that it can't be either the Round 1 Overseers (who are physically present at the time) or the Round 5 Overseer (who hadn't yet been taken from his world).
  • Brought Down to Normal: In a meta sense. Two-thirds of the mod team were locked out of plotting for the case where Max is inevitably murdered and had to solve it along with the players.
  • Call-Forward: Prompto plays the exact same prank in the diner that Jane did in Round 1.
  • Cardboard Pal: Karamatsu regains a big cardboard cutout of himself.
  • Commonality Connection: Lucina and Prompto start to bond over growing up in fear and fighting to stop an unending, inhuman enemy army. As both learn once their memories start returning, they each have a connection to that enemy that shakes their sense of self and view of the world, too.
  • Doomed by Canon: Every single character but Bolton (who will die later), Jamie, and Rox (both of whom are still alive by the time the Round 4 intermission hits). Granted, all but Blaze (who perished for good in Round 3) haven't truly died.
  • Drugs Are Bad: The round where recreational drugs are in the regain pool is the round where almost everyone dies.
  • Disappointed by the Motive: Subverted. The first incentive is so dumb, with everyone immediately judging whoever might fall for it, that no one does, granting the group a surprise peace week.
  • Doomed Protagonist: Every player character who isn't a GMPC, and two out of three of those are doomed too (though only one dies in this particular round).
  • Dramatic Irony: C.E.C.E. says she's never met her own creator or anyone who could be called a father. We know that she has, but the network wiped her memory of the time she was Wilhelmina.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: While it isn't this in real life because it's a prequel, Round 4 is treated like this by the in-universe fans, to whom it was Season 1. It's stated to be unpopular because of its Downer Ending, though while it's rerunning, more fans are looking into it.
  • Eye Scream:
    • We see how Blaze lost his eye, or at least how he did in the sim as we know he lost the real one when he was jettisoned from the ship. It wasn't against Bolton as had been assumed, but against Yuri.
    • Later, Kaiba and Akira lose eyes as well due to Rox's Electric Torture.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: No matter how hard they try, all the characters who try to attack or kill the Overseers end up dead or mutilated, though Yuri succeeds in taking out Blaze's eye and Bolton ends up killing Blaze (albeit not permanently).
  • Fainting: Jamie at the first motive.
  • Fairytale Wedding Dress: Lunafreya regains hers, leading to a heartbreaking scene where she's wearing it and dancing by herself, and her fiancé, watching at home, goes off to brood about everything they've both lost.
  • Family of Choice: A lot of the characters declare themselves to now be siblings, especially those without any.
  • First-Episode Twist: More like an Immediately-After-Reserves-Close Spoiler. This round is actually Round Zero/Season One, with the concept being that it's being rerun on television.
  • Flower Motifs: While the living are having an art party, Bolton dips into foreshadowing by painting red flowers on his and Jamie's piece. In Round 1, red flowers were the Icon of Rebellion, and poppies were associated with Bolton, roses with Jamie.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Max will be killed in the mid-game, everyone else but Bolton and Jamie will die, Rox Petuu will disappear, and Bolton will kill Blaze Dudely.
  • Foreshadowing: Shortly before being killed by Korra, 'Karamatsu' says that he doesn't want to die in space alone. "Alone" is the keyword here, because guess who's been explicitly shown to hate being alone? None other than Osomatsu, Karamatsu's identical older brother.
  • Four Is Death: Jamie, the Sole Survivor by the end of Round 1, is in room 4.
  • From Bad to Worse: Being an ultimately doomed round, things keep getting worse as the weeks go by and the deaths stack.
  • Full-Name Ultimatum: Prompto says Noct only gets called "Noctis" when he's in trouble. Chloe says she knows how it feels to get full-named.
  • Generic Graffiti: Chloe covers the Overseers' door with unflattering caricatures of them surrounded by a Cluster F-Bomb.
  • Going to the Store: Subverted in the Halloween event run for the survivors concurrent to this round, where Kip and Jamie disappear with a vague note. They actually were just going to the store.
  • Good Cop/Bad Cop: Blaze is the good cop to Rox's bad this time, despite having been the bad cop to Price's good in Round 3, because we already know his backstory and because he's just being forced to do this rather than tricked with a promise of revenge like in Round 3. Yuri even calls them the good and bad cop.
  • Hair-Contrast Duo: Silly blond Prompto and serious dark blue Lucina. Their contrast on the surface underlines the Hidden Depths they have in common.
  • I Have Your Wife: The second motive is a hostage situation threatening to put the captive loved ones into the program. Some of those loved ones are player characters from rounds 1-3.
  • Incompatible Orientation: Max's first thought when Jamie tells him he embarrassed himself in front of Bolton after coming on to him is to ask if Bolton is straight. We know, of course, that this is not the case.
  • Interface Screw: To reflect that the streaming service is available to everyone for a limited time, every round of deadland is unlocked, including Round 4 itself.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Happens in Deadland when Osomatsu punches the crap out of Manaka and then strangles her to (temporary) death. Normally a guy doing that to a 14-year-old girl would be cruel, but considering said girl gruesomely killed Karamatsu and Max (and also tried to kill everyone else) and shows no remorse whatsoever for doing so, you can't really blame Osomatsu for going that far.
  • Marry Them All: Akira never actually seems to choose between Miki, Kaiba, and Marisa, even after he confesses to one of them.
  • Motivational Kiss: Marisa gets one of these from Akira after she confesses her affection for him in the lead up to the last trial.
  • Murder Tropes
  • My Name Is Inigo Montoya: Akira gets this moment in the final fight, striking back against Rox, who always calls the Champions by their titles.
  • Never Live It Down: In-Universe. Akira tried to check everyone's blood colors during the first trial; several characters objected on the basis of it being unsanitary to cut people open with an already-bloody knife. It gets mentioned when he suggests checks in the future.
  • No One Gets Left Behind: Arc Words for the round, tying into the large number of Champions who have issues with loneliness or abandonment. Especially made worse with the knowledge that Max will be isolated for a year or two in a Psychological Torment Zone and Bolton and Jamie will be left behind on the station.
  • No Place for Me There: Max retreats from the others once the dead of his round begin to appear, fearing that he can't be the person they knew anymore after his years of isolation. New and old denizens of deadland keep reaching out to him anyway.
  • Numerological Motif: The room number assignments have a lot of accidental hidden meanings. For example, Akira is in room 5, and he's from Persona 5; Roxy is in room 21, she's an American teenager known for drinking too much, and 21 is the American legal drinking age; Penny is in room 9, and episode 9 of season 3 is where she died in canon; and Osomatsu is in room 1 and is the eldest of his brothers.
  • Or Was It a Dream?: Max brings up proof of this nature that the memory dreams are real; he remembered getting his dog right before regaining one of her toys.
  • Pietà Plagiarism: Combined with Cradling Your Kill when Blaze carries Yuri off the ice.
  • Pink Mist: Used to describe Manaka's trap going off and exploding Karamatsu.
  • Please Spare Him, My Liege!: While they're supposed to be equal Overseers, Rox runs roughshod over Blaze, and so his trying to convince her not to kill Chloe for scratching her comes off as this. When she wants to have Jamie killed to ensure only one Champion is left standing, Blaze just accepts it.
  • Please Wake Up: Upon finding the first victim's body, Akira, in a fit of denial, attempts CPR. Ruri the Roomba, having failed to protect Miki, bumps up against her body uselessly at the same time.
  • Precision F-Strike:
    • Penny, of all people, spits an F-bomb at the Overseers' podium during the third trial's voting period.
    • Karamatsu drops an f-bomb when he discovers a traumatized Jamie with Max's severed tongue.
  • Prequel: Out-of-universe, it is. In-universe, it aired before the other rounds, but is reairing now to be presented like a prequel.
  • The Promise: Yuri makes one to Korra, which spurs him to provoke the Overseers and try to kill one.
  • Reality Ensues: Unfortunately for Zombina, a corpse, even a living one, can only go for so long without preservatives and she ends up slowly rotting away as a result.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Tired of being an Extreme Doormat and letting people be killed to curry the favour of people who never cared about him, Thomas makes a Heroic Sacrifice, killing Manaka before she can blow up the courtroom.
  • Remember the Dead: Discussed when Akira tells Penny that no one's really gone as long as she remembers them, tying into his belief that the world is how you perceive it.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: During the third trial, Marisa correctly guesses that Osomatsu and Karamatsu pulled a Twin Switch, but not to trick Zombina (or that they were currently switched when she was accusing them.)
  • Running Gag: Akira doing disgusting or questionable checks during trials, and suspecting Marisa to be the culprit.
  • Saved by Canon: Bolton, Jamie, and Rox, though we know it won't be long for Bolton.
  • Say My Name:
    • Prompto at the first execution.
    • Also used for Thomas when Akira sees him tackle Manaka in the fourth trial.
  • Secretly Dying: Zombina in Week 4.
  • Slow-Motion Drop: Parodied when Kaiba knocks over Karamatsu's cutout of himself.
  • Take My Hand: Bolton and Jamie try to save the remaining Champions when the airlock opens during the riot. They nearly make it, but fail.
  • Taking You with Me: Blaze tries to do this to Bolton, knowing that Bolton is determined to kill him to save Jamie and Rox doesn't want to abide multiple final survivors, so Bolton dying would save Jamie too. However, Bolton remembers his promise to live and fights Blaze off.
  • Theme Music Power-Up: Yuri gets one when he goes down fighting against Blaze. He still loses, but it's definitely cool.
  • There Is Another: Roxy says someone else survived the end of her homeworld with her and helped her fix it. From Jane's perspective, this is an example of this trope, as she thought she was the only one left.
  • Twin Switch: The twist after the third trial. Rox forces it to be permanent after Osomatsu dies in Karamatsu's place, insisting that Karamatsu is now Osomatsu.
  • Wham Episode:
    • Case 3. We find out that Karamatsu had helped Zombina kill herself and then it goes downhill from there, from Korra mercy killing him so he wouldn't be executed via airlock to her entering the Avatar State and trying to kill the overseers, only to fail and end up getting executed. And if that wasn't enough, then there's The Reveal at the afterparty that Karamatsu and Osomatsu had pulled a Twin Switch, meaning that Osomatsu was the one who died rather than Karamatsu. And to top it all off, Rox forces the guilt-ridden Karamatsu to inherit Osomatsu's title of Champion Waste of Space, meaning the system declared Karamatsu dead and Osomatsu still alive.
    • Case 4, where we finally learn how Max died. It's not pretty. At all.
  • Wham Line: After the third trial:
    • "I...I did not think about it, at the time...but...we didn't think...the cameras, you saw everything. You know! You know, don't you!? You stood there....YOU STOOD THERE- AND LET ME WATCH OSOMATSU DIE!!!"
    • And then there's Rox's response to this... "It's hard but you have to understand. You've done nothing wrong... Champion Waste of Space."
  • Your Cheating Heart: Subverted. Korra has no intention of actually leaving her significant other or sneaking around on her, and she only gives Osomatsu a pity date that she clearly outlines won't lead to anything.
    Round 4 Intermission 
  • Air Vent Escape: The distraction team attempts this on the prison ship. The vent's even big enough for Xander!
  • Big Damn Heroes: When Rox disables everyone's powers and sends them to the ground with their PIPs, the only remaining party member without one — Kip — marches in and disarms the guards.
  • Blue Is Heroic: We finally see the colour of Rad's lazersword: blue.
  • Break the Cutie: Nobody gets off lightly, but Kip explicitly names Arianna, Choromatsu, and Clarith as "the cuter ones," and all three are hit especially hard at the end.
  • Call a Human a "Meatbag": Kip calls Rox a meatsack. This isn't out of a hatred for organic beings but out of hatred for her specifically, but it fits.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Church's reaction when Rox depowers everyone.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: This is the fate of the deadland interns after their strike against the Starfield base.
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: Kip, who dies being held by Ardyn.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Some of the airport employees are distracted by Kip in hardlight in a skimpy outfit.
  • Dark Reprise: 'Stand By Me' makes a return as the survivors sing to a dying Kip.
  • Downer Ending: For both sides of the intermission. The interns' raid on Intergal presumably goes poorly and the dead return to stasis, shutting down the bonus content entirely. On the living side of things, Cece and the other dead are presumed captured if not worse by the network and the rescue mission to bring them home leads the survivor pool into a trap. PAL, Kip and the Doctor are dead and the remaining survivors are captured by Intergal to be put into the final round of the game.
  • Electromagnetic Ghosts: How the dead Round 3 NPCs connect to the conversation.
  • Foregone Conclusion: The intermission announcement tells the players to expect a Downer Ending due to this, since Round 5's premise means that most of the survivors will be recaptured and forced through the game again.
  • Genuine Imposter: Leon pretends to be an actor playing the "fictional" Leon when Moses shows up. Later, part of the survivors' plan involves Xander, Jane, Arianna, Clarith, Ardyn, and Choromatsu doing the same thing and making a surprise public appearance.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: The Doctor is killed protecting Junpei from the guard who's got Jaycee. The group also loses Kip, who sacrifices himself to try and save the group and dies as a result of being separated from his equipment.
  • Hope Spot: The captured Team Celeb actually makes it to the exit of the prison and reunite with the other teams... and then Rox shows up, closing the doors and recapturing everyone.
  • Interface Screw: After deadland's half of the intermission, every round of deadland is re-locked.
  • Just Following Orders: Rox justifies her treatment of the Champions by saying she's just doing her job.
  • Kill the Cutie: PAL. It's possible that he could be fixed, but everyone who could manage it at that point is either dead or captured.
  • The Loins Sleep Tonight: Nishitani's embellished version of Ardyn's redemption story has him speculate, once Ardyn rejects Nishitani's initial theory, that the Starscourge causes impotence. Ardyn is unimpressed.
  • Not So Different: Ardyn starts telling Rox this, only to subvert it.
    "Of course. Because you and I, we're not really that different. Or we weren't, once. Except you haven't the millennia of anger and a gods-borne scourge shrieking in your head every waking minute of every sleepless day. While I was a psychotic immortal too far gone to see anything else as one grand chessboard with a long-awaited finale... You're just a sad little girl playing with your dollhouse, and you want to wring one last session out of us because you're throwing a tantrum that your precious toys tried to revolt when it was time to grow up."
  • OOC Is Serious Business: Of all people, Clarith, after everything is said and done, declares her undying hatred of Rox Petuu for killing Kip.
    "...Hey. If we get the chance... If I live long enough... ...Golden key or not, I want to be the one to drive something into the cold, black chasm where a heart never has beat in that vile creature's chest."
  • Phone Call from the Dead: Rad sets up a channel to connect deadland to the living.
  • Poor Communication Kills: The group as a whole didn't have any preparation for Officer Moses crashing the broadcast, so while most insist the show is real, Leon pretends to be an actor and Akira, wary of law enforcement, clams up.
  • Precision F-Strike: Arianna drops another rare F-bomb after Rox shuts down her Status Buff abilities.
  • Regretful Traitor: Jaycee. He's forced to lead the survivors into a trap after he's caught thanks to showing up to interact with the dead at the deadland intermission.
  • Robbing the Dead: Rox stole Blaze's original lazersword.
  • Shapeshifter Guilt Trip: Something that looks like Blaze Dudely, presumably E.P., appears to Rad in the finale of the deadland half of the intermission. The scene cuts away before we see Rad's fate, but InterGal 7 pulls the plug on all of deadland afterwards.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: While the intermission was never particularly light-hearted, the deaths of PAL and Kip sends a very clear message about the expected tone of Round 5.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The intermission was heavy on Star Wars alien species, but this didn't seem new as they'd appeared before. However, it proved to be foreshadowing when the scene of Jaycee leading the distraction team to Rox was framed to reference a similar scene from The Empire Strikes Back. The same goes for their source of information: BDecal references Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian in the same film, revealed when his memorable scene is reenacted.
    • "You called for help. But nobody came."
  • Take My Hand: Jamie as he tries to save Kip, a Call-Back to Round 4 proper.
  • [Verb] This!: In the Kip/Rox confrontation.
    Rox: Didn't we fire you two seasons ago?
    Kip: Fire this!
  • You Killed My Father: Most of the survivors are overcome with murderous rage when they see Rox in the flesh, especially those who knew Blaze or had canonmates in Round 4. Choromatsu's reaction is especially potent as he flashes back to what she did to his brothers.
  • You Shall Not Pass!: Jamie does this to fend off the guards and get the rest of Team Celeb through a corridor.


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