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An imageboard-based RPG styled as a text adventure, created and DM'ed by Lagotrope on tgchan. Started in December 2011, currently ongoing.

Asteroid Quest is a somewhat episodic tale about the exploits of a cutthroat trade organization in a technologically advanced world, blending Noir crime drama with a Science Fiction background.

The titular asteroid exerts a powerful gravitational effect that sucks in nearby ships and prevents escape. Over time, many people have accumulated on the asteroid, many of them criminals and fugitives. Some prefer the seclusion and anarchic setting, while others are searching for a way off the rock. A Switching P.O.V. follows various members and employees of a trade hub on jobs around the asteroid. Complications always ensue.

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Interspersed with Asteroid Quest is "Polo Quest", a story about a Humanoid Alien Super Soldier who, on a routine hunting mission, ends up fighting for her life as she gets wrapped up in a colossal conspiracy involving the enemies of her species, long thought dead. Despite being considered an Asteroid Quest derivative on tgchan.org/wiki/, Polo Quest has more than double the number of threads and frequently outpaces its mother quest in popularity.

Read it here — although, this being tgchan, beware of NSFW things. The quest itself is tame, but fanart is less so.

Notable for making extensive use of "Inside the Quest", a thread on tgchan where posters can have Q&A sessions with quest characters. Setting information and character minutiae abound, and Asteroid Quest characters eventually became so popular that separate threads had to be created to give other quest characters room. In late 2015, one character celebrated her 100th ITQ appearance.

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Has also spawned a fan-quest by Jukashi, of Keychain of Creation fame (who also appears to have participated in the worldbuilding, if some ITQ answers are any indication).

See also Fen Quest, a fantasy quest by the same author, and Unnatural Selection, which is confirmed to be in the same Verse since Polo Quest thread 6.

Examples of tropes appearing in the Asteroidverse:

    open/close all folders 

    Asteroid Quest 
  • Action Girl: Rokoa, Sharpa, and Pilon's daughters.
  • Asexuality:
    • Hok. It's unclear if this is just because he's currently sexless or if it's a general preference.
    • Mikliks in general tend towards this due to their weird reproductive system (they don't grow genitals unless they want or need them, and it takes months, so it's not like they can decide on a whim).
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Compilation AIs, though not necessarily evil, have a tendency to be deranged, chaotic, and unreliable due to being Mind Hives. This is a commentary on tgchan in general, as CAIs are a metaphor for them.
  • All There in the Manual: There's a lot of character and setting information in the discussion thread and Inside the Quest. Most of it isn't relevant to the plot, but it does answer a lot of lingering questions many readers have.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: Parts 3 and 4 center on a different organization than the trade hub, and follow a single protagonist for the entire ride, a departure from the prior Switching P.O.V. format.
  • Arm Cannon: Among other implants, Sharpa has an explosive gel launcher in her arm.
  • Audience Surrogate: The compilation AI is the audience in the first thread; however, it was Demoted to Extra in following chapters and now simply serves as an Affectionate Parody of tgchan in general.
  • The Berserker: Rokoa is on the edge of this. She is still capable of functioning on a normal level, but her empathy is "broken", causing her to feel constant battle-lust.
  • Bizarre Alien Biology:
    • Neumono have a decentralized nervous system, multiple hearts, and abnormal diets and growth rates due to their Healing Factor.
    • Mikliks are just weird. They're plant-based, for starters, with a bizarre reproductive system involving seed-like eggs and genitals that can be grown and discarded at will. They have an incredible rate of mutation, resulting in a wide (and bizarre) variance of traits, such as multiple skin layers.
    • Discussed at some points, especially in the Inside the Quest posts. The variety of alien allergens and toxins has given the culinary and medicinal fields no end of grief. Some restaurants explicitly serve only certain species, others carefully prune their menus to accomodate everyone.
    • Yich eaters have three genders — males, females, and "carriers" that serve as incubators during pregnancy. Their genes are not passed on to the child they are incubating, so they gain no evolutionary benefit from this, a fact that was boggled at and discussed in Inside the Quest. They also seem to lack eyelids, which leads them to "blink" by using their long tongue to lick their own eye.
  • Blood Knight: Rokoa.
  • Boobs of Steel: Averted; well-endowed neumono soldiers frequently cut off their breasts to enable easier movement.
  • Boom, Headshot!: Neumono are immune to this; many can even survive decapitations if treated immediately. This is frequently used on other, less resilient characters however.
  • Born Lucky: Hok, possibly. He has an amazing tendency to both get in and get out of extremely dangerous situations.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: Things take a turn to the dramatic at the end of thread 2, with threads 3 and 4 dedicated to preventing this from happening. Thread 5 switches back to a happier tone.
  • Clap Your Hands If You Believe: Neumono biology has shades of this: Their empathy can actually cause physical mutations in others based on expectations or beliefs. This is why kings/queens are generally bigger and tougher than normal neumono; everyone expects them to be.
  • Combat Medic: ITQ mentions "Sniper Q", a sniper/surgeon with more that two thousand confirmed kills and three thousand other enemy casualties. Rumor has it he has around as many lifesaving medical interventions under his belt.
  • Cool Shades: Lukratsa rozu Steelnaut, the main actor of the Show Within a Show based on the events of Polo Quest, features them. However, she doesn't mind taking them off at request.
  • Coup de Grâce:
    • In the first thread, a wounded Lakkat tells Hok he'll keep pursuing him until one of them is dead, prompting Hok to finish him off.
    • After Red is beaten within an inch of his life, Jessica delivers the killing blow.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Rokoa versus Red in part 4.
  • Cyborg: Sharpa.
  • Damsel in Distress: Jessica in part 3 and 4. She does, however, take a somewhat active role in her "rescue" by creating an Engineered Public Confession for Red and performing the Coup de Grâce on him after Rokoa's attack.
  • Dangerous Forbidden Technique: The "needle trick", performed by impaling a certain nerve cluster in neumono. It temporarily shuts off empathy, allowing for stealth and combat advantages against other neumono, but is a fast track to insanity. Rokoa is fond of it.
  • Deadly Upgrade: Even with the right species, bio-armor will kill you from the strain if you aren't resilient enough. However, a "30% mortality" bio-armor doesn't mean it kills 30% of those who try it on: It merely means that the weakest 30-40% of the population know better than try.
  • Determinator: Rokoa. Even her name essentially means this.
  • The Dreaded: Rokoa. Not only is she a nigh-unstoppable tank of a soldier, neumono say her empathy is "broken", radiating constant bloodlust and a desire for battle.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: The first thread has a lot of this going on.
    • The use of the CAI as a viewpoint character. This placed more of a focus on resource management of the base (as opposed to the characters' stories). This was scrapped in later threads for the more standard approach of following single protagonists.
    • The tone is darker and grittier (and bloodier) than later threads, which are somewhat more madcap and lighthearted.
    • Rokoa's statement that neumono Cyborgs are impossible due to their Healing Factor is explicitly Retconned four threads later. The in-story explanation is simply that technology has had nearly fifty yearsnote  to improve since Rokoa's warhive crash-landed on the asteroid.
  • The Empath: All neumono broadcast their emotions and sense others', constantly. It's actually a biological signal that can be amplified, modified, and translated with various technologies, though it only applies to other neumono.
  • Enemies List: A lot of people in the asteroid seem to have a hit list, physical or not. Hok is on most of them, to the point of having an enemies book.
  • Engineered Public Confession: Jess starts playing a recording of what Red said about Rokoa as she approaches. In Red's defense, he doesn't lose his arrogance when facing her in-person, and is fully willing to fight her and turn his boast into truth. This turns out to be overconfidence on his part.
  • Ensemble Cast
  • Exact Words: Father Zozu doesn't kill his sons. But when they really cross the line, he can disown them first.
  • Follow the Leader: Using the compilation AI as the physical embodiment of /quest/ was a clear Expy of the Orb of Infinite Psyche. However, after thread 1, the story uses the more traditional approach of following single protagonists, with the CAI as a background character.
  • Fragile Speedster: Mikliks are highly agile with quick reflexes, but can't take many hits.
  • From a Single Cell: Averted with the neumono's Healing Factor; there are body mass requirements of at least 50% or so. Beyond that, even they can't recover.
  • Great Offscreen War: The Ultrahive Wars. It was mentioned in Unnatural Selection that they're mostly over and in ITQ that they lasted at least five years, which helps pin them down on the timeline.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Frequently, most notably for the effect of the bio-armor on the police officer in the prologue. The majority of Red's No-Holds-Barred Beatdown and death is also out of frame.
  • Groin Attack: Rokoa's final blow against Red is a full-body canonball centered on his pelvis.
  • Healing Factor:
    • Neumono. They can suvive incredibly grevious injuries — including, if they're tough, lucky, and have access to immediate medical care, decapitations. There are body mass limitations, though — they can't survive being torn in half for instance.note 
    • Mikliks too can regenerate from any injury they survive, but since they lack the organ redundancy of neumono, they can survive much less.
  • He Knows Too Much: After foiling Nulba's attempted kidnapping of ill-chosen targets, Hok executes him partly for pissing Mimi off with such a boneheaded move, and partly because he could tell Waska that "Pip" is really Hok. It later proves a bit of a waste, as Mimi soon brokers peace between Hok and Waska.
  • He Who Must Not Be Seen: Father Zozu, to the point where even Inside the Quest posts only show a picture of his clampers.
  • Honor Among Thieves: Mimi cares for those who work for her, enough to call in a few favors to bail Hok and Miss out of jail.
  • Humanoid Aliens: Every sapient except yich eaters and salikai, but even they mimic the body plans of Earth animals, keeping the spirit of the trope. Curiously, the author has said he has difficulty drawing actual humans (there's been a grand total of two so far, and one of them was wearing a helmet), and prefers these stylized alien races instead.
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick: Mimi to Waska.
  • I Have a Family: Itcher uses this as an excuse to get out of dangerous assignments from his Mafia bosses, claiming he has a wife and three kids. He's lying, unlike one of his colleagues.
  • I Have No Son!: Father Zozu announcing to Maklata that he crossed the line.
    Father Zozu: Now.... as I have said, I do not kill my sons. But in light of your recent actions, you are no longer any son of mine. (Maklata gets dakka'd)
  • I'm a Humanitarian:
    • A semi-common practice among neumono due to their religious beliefs. Pre-contact, this was a big problem for rogues, who were sometimes eaten alive to be forcibly reintegrated into the hive.
    • This is also done pragmatically; neumono ears are detachable precisely to provide an additional food source when resources are tight. Due to Healing Factor the ears can be regrown in times of plenty, allowing for a continuous cycle.
  • Implacable Woman: Rokoa. This is partially due to her neumono resilience, and partially just her.
  • Improvised Weapon: Hok tosses a neumono bioarmor at a heef police officer, killing him due to species incompatibility.
  • Karmic Death: Red, after spending two threads being an amoral, womanizing psychopath, is beaten within an inch of his life by a Groin Attack issued by Rokoa, a woman he claimed he had humilated in battle before. He is then finished off by Jessica, a woman he abused since his first appearance.
  • Kudzu Plot: Averted; the plot is fairly simple and straightforward. This is highly unusual for Lagotrope.
  • Large and in Charge: Neumono hive queens and kings, see Clap Your Hands If You Believe above.
  • Lighter and Softer: Later threads to thread 1, slightly. Thread 1 portrayed a gritty and cutthroat world with a lot of Grey and Grey Morality, and had an alarmingly high body count. Later threads are more madcap in tone, characters display more compassion and companionship, and there are far fewer bloodbaths.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Rokoa.
  • Lightspeed Leapfrog: The humans' first interstellar Sleeper Starship, in what is now known as "the galaxy's biggest practical joke". After discovering FTL they did send a fast ship to pick up the slow one, but couldn't find it because it had veered off-course from its initial flight plan. It reached its destination roughly on time anyway, finding a big human colony there.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Within Waska's gang, almost everyone but him knew "Pip" was actually Hok, against whom he had a grudge.
  • Loveable Rogue:
    • Hok deviates a bit from the norm in that he's willing to kill, but all his victims so far were either trying to kill him, or kidnapping hostages. Regardless, he stays loyal to the trade hub and his friends though thick and thin.
    • Miss has many similarities to Hok, with the major difference of being extremely flirty.
  • Mad Scientist: Downplayed by Ben, who, though eccentric and brusque, is sane enough to provide useful and practical services to the trade hub (and to provide a wealth of scientific information to curious readers in ITQ).
  • Matriarchy: Neumono are slightly tilted towards this, with female rulers being more common than male ones and females being seen as slightly more dominant. They're largely egalitarian, however.
  • Make Sure He's Dead: Red is chopped to pieces to make sure he can't regenerate enough to survive; he's just that dangerous a threat.
  • Mighty Glacier: Neumono are strong and nigh-unkillable, but their decentralized nervous system means they have the poorest reaction time out of all the alien species.
  • Mind Hive: Compilation AIs are conglomerations of countless sentient AIs. This gives them incredible processing power, but can also make them mentally unstable and unreliable.
  • Named After Their Planet: Belenos/Belenosians (the terms are used interchangeably). Their dystopian society ended up bombing itself back to the stone age, so they had forgotten both their planet and their own species' names. When humans came, they named their star after a Celtic sun-god, numbered the planet after the star (as Belenos IV), and the sapient inhabitants after both.
  • Non-Action Guy: Kappi, though that may change now that Rokoa has taken an interest in him.
  • Not Good with Rejection: Neumono hives towards "rogues" (those who leave them), developing murderous hatred towards them because of reflected and amplified feelings of rejection. Pre-contact, it went to the point of holding an unlucky rogue down to eat them alive.
  • Numbered Homeworld: Humans use the "star name and planet number" convention, at least on worlds that haven't been officially named by their inhabitants.
  • Offing the Offspring: Father Zozu to Maklata at the end of the Zozu arc.
  • Off With Her Head: Karri does this to Jessica in the thread 2 Bad End.
    • Discussed in Inside the Quest by a neumono, as neumono are theoretically capable of surviving this if they're lucky.
  • Older Than They Look: Neumono can live for over two centuries without visibly aging, so this is inevitable. Rokoa and Pilon, in particular, are well over a century old.
  • Petting Zoo People: Neumono (dogs), belenos (sheep), pomi (fish), and heef (birds).
  • Player Character: The compilation AI in thread 1. Later chapters follow other characters in a Switching P.O.V. format.
  • Power Armor: Bio-armor, especially for neumono, which augments their already-impressive physical capabilities even further. Don't try on one made for another species than yours, though.
    • Ordinary power armor also exists, though since they're heavier, they're mostly used by larger neumono and voklits.
  • Prehensile Tail: Both mikliks and pomi can manipulate stuff with their tail, and it's noted pomi can be pretty strong with it.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Red is the only villain so far whose aggression is sexual in nature, and much of the drama of threads 3 and 4 involve him trying to rape Jessica. He's also by far the most monstrous villain in the main AQ story.
  • Retcon:
    • The Bad End in part 2. Part 3 starts at an earlier point in time, and posters took different actions that led to a better result. The new ending became canon for the larger storyline.
    • In the Pilot, Rokoa says that mechanical augmentations for neumono are impossible due to their Healing Factor. Part 5 introduces a Cyborg neumono with little fanfare; Word of God says he simply changed his mind.
  • Show Within a Show: Kappi and Rokoa watch one that's based on the events of Polo Quest. It contains a hidden message from Polo to Rokoa requesting a rematch. This will likely motivate Rokoa in the future, but the rematch plotline hasn't started yet.
  • Slasher Smile: Rokoa. Her actress in the Show Within a Show, Tammi, has become quite good at portraying it.
  • Stronger with Age: Neumono do not visibly age; they tend to only get bigger and stronger, if anything. It's later explained that sometime after their second century, they do start visibly aging and die within ten years. Doesn't happen much though, because it's been less than a neumono lifetime since the tribal days, in which few neumono lived long enough to die of old age.
  • Switching P.O.V.: Usually in effect; protagonists tend to switch every thread at least. Averted in parts 3 and 4, which followed a single protagonist for the entire journey. The story returned to Switching P.O.V. in part 5, however.
  • Was It All a Lie?: Asked by Itcher to the "obvious Honey Trap" whom he let seduce him anyway.
    Itcher: How much of it was a lie?
    Whiskers: Surprisingly little!
  • Writing by the Seat of Your Pants: As an interactive medium, this is pretty much inevitable. It occasionally leads to continuity snarls and Retcons such as those mentioned in Early Installment Weirdness, above.
  • You Wake Up in a Room: Hok begins the quest inside a sealed container.

    Polo Quest 
This includes both the "AsteroidQuest Intermission" and Polo Quest proper.
  • Action Girl: Polo, Rokoa, Rakae, Marra, and Rokann.
  • Action Hero: Polo may be a deconstruction. She is incredibly good at what she does, but it's all she can do; she has no hobbies and finds the concept of functioning in peacetime difficult to contemplate. The fact that her personality has little description outside of "soldier" is discussed, and the resident psychologist character even points out how subsuming her personality into her role is a dangerous psychological risk.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different:
    • The Three Stripes intermission, a lighthearted interlude involving Three Stripes' training to become a neumono therapist.
    • Polo Quest 4 is also from the perspective of Biles instead of Polo.
    • Polo Quest 6 switches perspective to Penn, a completely new character who becomes involved in the salikai's machinations.
  • Art Shift: When things get serious, pictures are shaded using hard shadows, producing Chiaroscuro-like images.
  • Badass Adorable: Pilon has giant puppy eyes and enormous fluffy ears. He's also an elite soldier.
  • Battle in the Center of the Mind: Polo has one with a Rokoa clone after being injected with a brain dart in Polo Quest. The actual battle takes place during parts 3 and 5.
  • Blood Knight: Rokoa is obsessed with fighting Polo. She cooperates with Polo towards a greater goal only on the condition that they fight a rematch at a later date.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Az, ultraking of the Tree.
  • The Cavalry: The second wave of reinforcements, sent by the Tree.
  • Cavalry Betrayal: The hive sent by the Coalition as reinforcements turn out to be entirely compromised by mind-control bugs. Fortunately, Polo anticipated it enough to escape.
  • Chest of Medals: Polo was awarded a bunch of medals between the end of the Intermission and the start of Polo Quest. They add up to five full rows of service ribbons.
  • Clone by Conversion: This is how the Rokoa clones are created.
  • Crapsaccharine World: The farm Penn visits in part 6. There are far more kids than adults, and everyone is exceptionally hospitable and accommodating... except for some visiting neumono, who are extremely aggressive and even abusive towards their own hivemates. Penn discovers that some scientists are using a predator to forcefully rewrite every neumono's personality to suit their needs, usually making them extremely subservient to the crime bosses and visiting hivemates. This includes forcing them to feel happy even if their aggressive hivemates decide to abuse them.
  • Cold Sniper: Played with. Polo is extremely stoic and goal-oriented, but she frequently displays compassion and sympathy for her friends when they need her.
  • The Comically Serious: Polo in Inside the Quest, when posters try to bait her with silly questions.
  • Darker and Edgier:
    • To mainstream Asteroid Quest. While things can get serious in Asteroid Quest, overall the tone is more lighthearted and tongue-in-cheek. Polo Quest has a tighter and more serious plot with higher stakes, and doesn't shy away from the more disturbing aspects of the Verse such as Body Horror and Mind Control.
    • Polo Quest 6 is particularly dark even by the rest of the quest's standards, thanks to having a squishy civilian for a protagonist and a plot that focuses on incredibly disturbing and unethical experiments. The prologue involves the protagonist helping a criminal bury the bodies from a twisted experiment gone wrong, and only goes downhill from there.
  • Deuteragonist: Biles in Polo Quest, who is possibly the only soldier in Polo's group who is anywhere near her level of competency. Thread 4 even centers around him.
  • Doomed Hometown: Rokoa and Ohidi claim that Polo's hive was nuked. Subverted in that the inhabitants were later revealed to have escaped, so the location may be gone but Polo's family and friends are still alive.
  • The Dreaded: Polo gains a reputation as "The Ghost" for her empathy invisibility, an unusal power that makes her strange and dangerous. Taking down a group of maniacal salikai and a powerful warhive almost single-handedly probably earned her some points too.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Some of the setting information provided in the intermission (especially about neumono empathy) is at odds with later chapters and supplemental materials.
  • Enemy Mine: In the intermission, many of the salikai, normally feared as an enemy of the neumono species, are willing to ally with Polo to take out Rokoa. Subverted in that most of them at least were planning to backstab her, as they were pulling the strings in Rokoa's hive to begin with.
    • Also in the intermission, Rokoa and Polo join forces to assault the salikai-controlled warhive.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Well, not really "evil", but Rokoa had numerous children she cared about very much, even in her Blood Knight state.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Rokoa's sniper clone whenever she appears on ITQ. Same goes for the NCO Arkot or the Smartest Fufa.
  • Faking the Dead: After the intermission, Polo is officially stated to be dead by the authorities.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Rokoa's sniper "clone" documents her transformation, mind-control and slavery to the Salikai as this.
    • Averted for wild predators, whose victims merely suffer mental death over about a month of oblivious bliss. As a soldier from Rokoa's warhive points out, there are some much worse ways to die (or live through) out there.
  • Foil: Rokoa to Polo. Rokoa is a giant, emotional Proud Warrior Race Guy obsessed with battle who grew up pre-contact; she is also disillusioned with her hive and in danger of going rogue. Polo is a dwarfish stoic who uses stealth, knowledge, and sniping to win her battles; she also grew up post-contact and has an obsessive sense of duty to her role and hive. Both are skilled warriors with a strong sense of honor and duty.
  • Gender-Equal Ensemble: It's difficult to be certain, but Polo Quest mostly fits this. All of the villains being male does tip the scales a bit, however.
  • Gentle Giant: Three Stripes, like all Predators, is huge compared to neumono, but he's one of the most compassionate creatures around. Katzati comparable in size to Rokoa but her polar opposite.
  • Guilt-Free Extermination War: Between neumono and salikai. The latter's actions tend to protect anyone killing them from guilt, and themselves seem incapable of feeling it.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Likol blowing himself up in the salikai's faces, right before they could nuke everyone, saving countless neumono lives. Given his involvement in Unnatural Selection, it's possible he was also looking for redemption.
  • The High King: The title of ultraking/ultraqueen is pretty much this for ultrahives, which are alliances of neumono hives.
  • In Medias Res: The intermission starts during the training mission, "scale the mountain and bring back a moton egg".
  • Ironic Echo Cut: The second variant is exhibited during a set of answers in Inside the Quest:
    Poirin: [The Coalition is] far from perfect, even we must admit that, but it's working out well and it's improving every day. It's far better I think than the insanity of the Tree.
    Az: The Tree is awesome and I'm going to tell you why.
  • I Want Them Alive / If I Wanted You Dead...: When Polo learns just how widespread the salikai's mind-control conspiracy is, she notes that they had lots of opportunities to give her an "accident"; an escaped science hiver tells her the salikai are obsessed with capturing her alive. Documents mention plans to use her for creating a "psi-bomb".note 
  • Lighter and Softer: The Three Stripes intermission, in stark contrast with the salikai experiments.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: Not as much as in UnSe, but still a lot of named main characters (from various neumono hives, the salikai, a pair of voklit) and a few others only known by some nickname.
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: The salikai's hallucinogenic gas seems to partially work like this, though this may be because of neumono empathy.
  • Mad Scientist: The salikai family, to the point of enslaving a neumono science hive.
  • The Man Behind the Man: In the intermission, the salikai turn out to be manipulating Rokoa's warhive. They take a more direct approach in the intermission's last thread, taking control of the warhive's ship to try and nuke the entire area; it takes Likol's Heroic Sacrifice to stop them.
  • Metaphorically True: Polo's hive was nuked — Ohidi just left out the critical information that the inhabitants managed to evacuate in time.
  • Mind Control: The salikai bugs.
  • Mind Rape / Emotion Control: Creatures known only as "neumono predators" are capable of this by broadcasting false empathy that overwrites a victim's and turns them into a mindless slave. Rikek briefly falls under the sway of one early on.
  • Noble Demon: Three Stripes can probably be seen this way from a neumono perspective; he's a member of a species specifically evolved to hunt neumono, but he is very gentle and compassionate towards them.
  • Non-Malicious Monster: There are a lot of monstrous creatures on the neumono homeworld, that are only trying to eat: Windbeasts, motons, needleballs and even predators, which have been proven to need neumono flesh to stay healthy.
    • Three Stripes does note however that Four Stripes is a jerk.
  • Non-Action Guy: Rikek, Lucera, and Kort.
  • No-Sell: Giant is totally immune to predator Emotion Control.
  • Offing the Offspring: While viewing Rokoa's false memories, one of the corruptions involves her mother killing her.
  • Off With Her Head: Rokoa's mother kills Rokoa this way in Rokoa's false memories.
  • Origins Issue:
    • The beginning of part 5 of the intermission is one for Polo, as the hallucinogenic gas causes her to revisit her childhood memories.
    • Polo Quest 3 and 5 are this for Rokoa. During the Battle in the Center of the Mind, Polo goes through all of Rokoa's early memories, so we see her early life and how she became The Berserker.
  • Pintsized Powerhouse: Played with with Polo. She is actually rather poor at hand-to-hand combat, but she is incredibly skilled with Sniper Rifles and can silence her empathy, giving her numerous combat advantages. All of this allows her to routinely defeat enemies twice her size.
  • Prequel
  • Properly Paranoid: Polo. Given she's up against Mad Scientists with hallucinogens, Mind Control, and a Mind Rape creature on their side, this is understandable (and she is often proven right).
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy:
    • Rokoa loves to fight, comes from a militaristic hive, and tends to adhere pretty strictly to principles of honorable combat. However, in a subversion, she is Ax-Crazy even by her hive's standards, so her Blood Knight tendencies cannot be attributed to her culture alone.
    • The Tree is, itself, a Proud Warrior Race. Ultraking Az particularly exemplifies the mentality.
  • Reluctant Mad Scientist: The science hivers living under the salikai's boot.
  • The Reveal: In Polo Quest 5, the reason for Rokoa's broken empathy is revealed: during her Training from Hell, she accidentally triggered the "needle trick", shifting her baseline empathy to the battle high she felt at the time and erasing her memory of the event.
  • The Rival: A dark version; Polo is quickly possessed by a murderous obsession with Rokoa, perhaps because she sees herself in her. This eventually subsides and they work together for the Final Battle of the intermission, but Polo still feels an enmity toward Rokoa for a long time afterwards.
  • Sanity Slippage:
    • Averted. Polo is frequently thrown into harrowing, stressful situations, but even having her memories and personality attacked by an implanted Rokoa clone has had little effect on her mental health outside of making her Properly Paranoid. Some suggestions are trying to play this trope straight, however.
    • Implied to happen to Polo's enemies on the other hand: Some of the salikai Big Bad's underlings complain that his hatred of her has reached dangerously obsessive levels.
    • In part 6, Penn starts experiencing hallucinations as her guilt and fear for her friends' safety spirals out of control. Fortunately, she can keep it under control by removing her contacts and becoming an Emotionless Girl.
  • Science Hero: Korli.
  • Sleep Cute: Three Stripes and his neumono buddies, brainwashed or not.
    • Or any group of neumono.
  • Sniper Rifle: Polo's Weapon of Choice.
  • Spotting the Thread: Rakae notices the reports "from Polo" feel off, prompting her ultrahive to intervene.
  • The Stoic: Polo. There have been some theories that this contributed to her silencing ability.
  • Super Soldier: Polo. She can turn her empathy off at will, a feat managed only by a few others who were in the same training program as her. This allows her to perform stealth missions (normally all but impossible for neumono) and gives her an advantage in combat, as opponents cannot predict her moves.
  • Training from Hell:
    • Rokoa suffered this at the hands of her mother in order to survive in her ruthless hive.
    • Biles's survival training — especially the "final exam" part — was also quite brutal, but wasn't nearly as bad psychologically.
  • Wham Shot: Two in the same update, at the end of Polo Quest 6. First we see what Penn looks like without her contacts, (accompanied with a noticeable shift in narration style), then we see her through the eyes of everyone else, discovering the database's title for her: "biological reincarnation of the Sapphire Emperor".
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    Polokoa Quest 

    The Christmasverse 
An Alternate Universe featuring Polo and Rokoa in a Buddy Cop Show. Currently contains two stories, "The First Neumono Christmas" and "The First Neumono Valentine" (the latter of which contains NSFW elements).
  • Air-Vent Passageway: Double Subverted: Rokoa mentions that these days no one builds air vents big enough for people anymore... except those with arkots on their payroll (which is pretty much only salikai).
  • Bluff the Eavesdropper: Jules knows his house is bugged, and uses sign language to give information to Polo.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Midway through, the possibility of empathically-powered weapons are brought up only to be dismissed as impossible. Naturally, a Power Rangers parody under the control of the Big Bad immediately shows up wielding said weapon. Easily dismissed as a one-off gag, but in fact, the Big Bad's plan involves a similar superweapon, powered by the collective sadness the neumono race will experience upon discovering that Christmas has been ruined.
  • Christmas Special: Started on Christmas Eve 2014. It went a little long, though, ending in May of 2015. It also has shades of parody — this is the first time neumono are trying out the experience, so everyone is rather awkward and confused about the whole thing. The villain is also literally called "The Grinch" by everyone who doesn't know their true identity, and provides an absurdly over-the-top Final Battle.
  • Impostor Exposing Test: The fake Rokoa cuts herself to prove she can bleed, but the drop of blood refuses to completely detach from her, exposing her as a fufa.
  • Fatal Family Photo: Lampshaded by Polo, who immediately asks Rokoa if she's going to also tell her she's two days from retirement.
  • How the Character Stole Christmas: Subverted and spoofed. How the Grinch Stole Christmas! is explicitly referenced, and the Big Bad's plan is to use the resultant sadness of the neumono race to power his superweapon. However, these being neumono, they instead react with anger, foiling his plans and causing a huge mess for the police to clean up.
  • Mall Santa: Pilon works as one, much to Polo's denial and horror (because it means she'll have to pass as a child, and she hates when that happens).
  • Mythology Gag: In Unnatural Selection, there was a one-off gag in a discussion thread about Alison being a cruel crime boss in cycle #1700. Here, while Polo's ultrahive's CAI uses Alison as a spokesperson, the Grinch's CAI has mafia!Alison.
  • Saving Christmas: The gifts have been stolen! It's up to Polo and Rokoa to get them back.
  • Revealing Cover-Up: Jamming communications ends up warning Polo of the incoming attack.
  • Running Gag: Polo's denial of alternate universes extends to the cop version of her.
  • Voklit Casino: Lots of such places in Voklit territory.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Heroic example. Many players asked this upon seeing the Big Bad try to make his getaway within range of Polo's guns. Polo obliges, ending the Final Battle somewhat anticlimactically.

Alternative Title(s): Polo Quest

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