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Starcrawlers is a Science Fiction First Person Dungeon Crawling RPG developed by Juggernaut Games. Set in a distant Post-Cyberpunk future ruled by an eclectic assortment of MegaCorps, the player leads a team of "crawlers": adventuring guns-for-hire willing to do various shady and deniable doings for the numerous corporations and other organizations on the fringes of civilized space. Asset recovery, corporate espionage, personnel disputes, and general violence are all part of a day's work.

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The player assembles a team from eight distinct character classes, outfits them with a variety of weapons, armor, shields, and accessories, and enters various complexes and dungeons looking for loot, violence, and hopefully a shiny payday at the end, all the while managing their relationships with the various corporations and organizations. Winning favor with particular corporations gets perks such as gear, tools, and support, while earning their enmity results in hostile repercussions.

The main storyline of the game focuses on the exploration of a massive, derelict colony ship known as the Stella Marin, whose population has vanished without a trace. While the player's team tries to uncover the truth, they find themselves getting wrapped up in a complex web of corporate politics between the ruling United Federation for Prosperity, the corporations resenting their strict rules, and the anarchists and workers suffering under both groups' profit-centered dominance.

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The game was first released in Early Access in 2015, and received continuous development until it's final release on May 23, 2017. It is available on GOG.com, Steam, and the Juggernaut Games website.


Starcrawlers provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Actually Four Mooks: Enemies encountered while exploring usually only show a sprite representing the most powerful enemy in that group, but a single enemy can actually represent anything from one hapless mook to an entire squad out for your blood.
  • Affably Evil: Some of the corporate contract liaisons are positively nice and friendly people, who will still send kill teams against you and oppress their workers ruthlessly in the name of profit.
    • Dablue Yutakai's representative is a friendly, genial, old-soldier type who will be all too happy to chat with you and send you supplies and support when you get on their good side. He'll also remind you that if you betray them, they'll send out a cult of psykers who specialize in torturing you with your worst fears for hours on end before finally killing you. They also pay you simply for luring UFP security teams into ambushes to kill them. they're also responsible for part of the events on the Stella Marin.
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    • Chimera Biopharm's representatives are very straightforward and non-hostile. If you get on their bad side, they won't get angry. They'll just send you a letter expressing their displeasure and then endlessly dispatch kill teams to murder you. They're even willing to forgive you in exchange for testing their various chemical treatments. But they'll also lie through their teeth and let entire colonies die from plague if no one can pay for their cures.
    • Rassa the Hook, leader of Ragnarok, is polite, friendly, and erudite, and quite the charmer. He'll also take control of the robots overrunning the Stella Marin and turn them on everyone.
    • Agrigen is very serene and friendly, and specialize in producing various foodstuffs for the people of the world... except those foodstuffs are incredibly addicting. Their nutrient bars are as good as expensive medikits, but if a crawler eats one, they'll become addicted unless cured. Appropriately, their representative AI, Sunbeam 2.0, is a pleasant enough entity, but she's hungry for the emotions of other AIs and will reward the player for downloading them from robots... which will inevitably destroy those AIs.
    • The Social Stage's representative doesn't hide the fact that they engage in large-scale media manipulation for their own ends, but they're still quite friendly and a perfectly willing to bump your standings up with both allies and enemies for a substantial bi of credits and favor.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: A recurring theme over the game is artificial intelligences.
    • Early on, you end up in a discussion with Taarie about the various levels of AI. Levels I through IV are basic drone levels of intelligence, while V and VI are higher-end units like combat drones and domestics. VII and above are AI as intelligent as humans and are very much prohibited by the UFP, because of fears of an AI rebellion.
    • While exploring the Stella Marin, you'll encounter various drones and AI intelligences, including the Housekeeper, which has gone utterly insane due an unknown corruption, and has started turning the ship's domestic robot staff against you. You can talk it down to a degree, and if you spare it, the Housekeeper will help you later on in various ways.
    • While it remains loyal to you, the Prototype has numerous faults in its programming and can randomly malfunction. If enough malfunctions happen, erratic effects will start happening, although certain abilities allow it to weaponize it's malfunctions to increase its effectiveness.
    • Sunbeam 2.0, the representative of Agrigen, is pleasant enough... but she also craves the emotional programming of other AI and will reward the player's team if they copy those from other AI they meet, which drives said AI into a homicidal, berserk frenzy.
    • The ultimate threat in the story is an out of control artificial intelligence that seized control of the Stella Marin and was responsible for activating the Void hyperdrive that killed the crew and passengers.
  • The Alcoholic: Riggo's Fine Spirits takes this Up to Eleven: even their customer service AI is drunk!
  • Animal Wrongs Group: Hollow Earth, Hollow Soul is a minor faction that sends you angry letters if you loot boxes with rare animal hides or bones. It's actually pretty hard to get them angry enough to do anything worse. On the other hand, if you take the loot anyway and report it to them, not only do you get to sell the loot but also get a nice tote bag that you can sell for a few credits.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: UFP members will never send you against other UFP members, preventing you from negatively impacting allies' reputations. Similarly, the Accord's members will not have you attack each other, even before they form, to prevent you from accidentally getting your rep with them too low before that faction emerges. Galaxymart and Grey Solutions will also not attack each other, because their favor-gained mechanisms are dependent on each other.
    • Factions who despise you will have a delay between sending their kill-teams after you, to give you time to resupply, heal dead/wounded crawlers, and gain levels and gear before the next fight. Usually only a couple of factions will be trying to kill you at any given time, and they'll send you letters warning you about the incoming attack.
    • You'll usually only be able to buy weapons and equipment that crawlers in your current employ can equip, and gear and weapon drops will favor your current total roster of crawlers.
    • If your total number of medkits starts dropping low, the next mission will usually have a decent number of medkits scattered around the map. If there's a significant level difference in the crawlers you're bringing on a mission, the map will spawn intellifoam canisters to let you catch up in experience points.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: You can only bring four Crawlers on a mission. Apparently Luna's ship can't fit any more.
  • Arbitrary Gun Power: All weapons have set levels and rarity that affect how much damage they do and the strength of their corresponding buffs. rarer weapons tend to do more damage than more common weapons of an equivalent level, and usually have more options to upgrade them.
  • Back-Alley Doctor: While Lucius Finch does run a very professional medical bay on STIX, and he'll revive dead Crawlers for pocket change, he will take... parts... out of revived Crawlers as compensation for bringing them back to life, and if you want that Crawler to get back to full health you'll need to pay a lot more to get those parts back. And he still charges an arm and a leg for normal medical supplies.
  • Barrier Warrior: A Sentinel or Warden-focused Force Psyker can create shields, barriers, and various types of battlefield-controlling prism constructs to protect their allies and lock down their enemies.
  • Being Good Sucks: Siding with Workers United and doing altruistic things usually costs you money in the short term, and ultimately will end up with you siding with Ragnarok and their world-ending goals. On the other hand, siding with the Accord is probably the best option for an altruistic player in the long term.
  • Black Market: STIX already has vendors of questionable reputation, but there's also the actual Black Market, where the proprietor trades "mystery crates" with random weapons and armor, as well as being able to auction off high-value loot you've stolen, trade high-value weapons and gear for collectable Eon Cubes, and give you special items if you find coded messages hidden in various missions.
  • Bolivian Army Ending: One possible ending has your team succeeding at stopping the robot horde, but in the process being overwhelmed by the alien drones.
  • Bomb-Throwing Anarchists: A loose collection of anarchist groups forms a faction opposing the UFP at the start of the game. Midway through the storyline, they unite under Ragnarok to form a third faction opposing the UFP and the Accord. Interestingly, both Galaxymart and Grey Solutions are considered "anarchist" groups and conduct a lot of shady business practices.
  • Booze-Based Buff: You can find and drink various alcoholic beverages in office, lab, and facility maps that boost some stats and lower others. You can also loot grog, whisky, "tekyilla" and other alcohol from Crimson Pact pirates. Riggo's will also give you free alcohol as you build favor with them, and PAR Entertainment's "swag bags" can contain booze as well. Predictably, drinking one results in the crawler in question getting a serious hangover that will end when the next mission is finished, unless they get the status effect cured.
  • Boss in Mook's Clothing: Surprise boss encounters can be hidden in seemingly normal enemies you encounter on the exploration map.
  • Cave Behind The Waterfall: In the "To Catch a Privateer" mission, one of the two switches to turn off the magma falls is hidden behind a waterfall on the other end of the map.
  • Character Class System: There are seven starting classes and an eighth that you can unlock after a couple of missions into the storyline.
    • Cyberninja: A mechnically-augmented ninja specializing in melee weaponry, whose abilities focus on setting up combos points to inflict massive damage on enemies. The Cyberninja can develop along branches that inflict damage across multiple enemies, focus on taking down single targets, or use stealth to evade attacks and set up devastating backstabs.
    • Engineer: a gifted specialist in building machines, the Engineer is able to build autonomous robots, either flooding the battlefield with multiple short-living machines or employing "Bolty" a single powerful robot who can draw damage and take hits. The Engineer can also focus on a "Rigger" path that allows them to focus on a more combat-oriented path centered on jury-rigged weaponry. The Engineer's expertise also has applications at disarming traps and bypassing locked doors.
    • Force Psyker: A heavily-armored Warrior Monk trained in wielding psychic powers to create barriers and weapons. Can serve as a dedicated protector of allies by creating shields and barriers, or an offensive warrior who smites foes with psychic hammers.
    • Hacker: A security specialist who focuses on defeating security and supporting their allies in combat through complex nanomachines used to buff his team and debuff their enemies. While not being particularly powerful in direct combat, the Hacker is a master at crowd control effects and support, as well as bypassing enemy security while exploring dungeons.
    • Smuggler: A gunslinging, dirty-fighting, smooth-talking criminal who specializes in larceny. The Smuggler can focus on dealing direct damage by dual-wielding pistols, using a variety of traps and crowd-controlling grenades, or simply relying on pure luck and chance. The Smuggler's esoteric criminal knowledge also comes in handy while exploring and dealing with drugs and stolen goods.
    • Soldier: A gun-toting berserker-packing man and a half, the Soldier is heavily-armed and specializes in violence in various forms. He can focus on high-damage critical hits, massive overuse of explosives and fire, or using his experience to protect and lead his teammates.
    • Void Psyker: Connecting to powers from beyond normal time and space, the Void Psyker calls upon eldritch energies to tear apart foes, driving them mad or hammering them with the energies of the void. These abilities come at a price, for the Void Psyker him/herself is not entirely stable, and channeling too much of the power of the Void can cause a devastating, self-destructive backlash.
    • Prototype: A robotic killing machine that you acquire a couple of missions into the game (depending on your choices), and capable of withstanding great punishment and dishing it back out in various forms. However, it's artificial intelligence is somewhat unstable, leaving it prone to random malfunctions, and it communicates almost entirely in haiku. It is also highly adept at negotiating with robots you encounter throughout the game.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: You can suffer from this, depending on how you treat factions. There's nothing stopping you from turning on a trusted ally and doing a job for one of their enemies to curry favor with them, or simply because they're offering more money or the job is on a map where you want to go. This can backfire if you claim to join Ragnarok, betray the corp extraction team, and then turn around and tell your contacts that Rassa is still alive afterward, since Rassa bugs the saloon and will hear your conversation with your contact and cut off all communication with you.
  • Contract on the Hitman: You will inevitably end up taking jobs to assassinate defecting or rival security officers for corporations, and just as inevitably, you will be targeted by hitmen yourself in response.
  • Corporate Warfare: The Crawlers avert this, serving as deniable agents to let the corporations fight each other covertly without having to resort to overt attacks. Partway through the storyline, the prospect is brought up where either the UFP or the Accord can launch an open attack on their rival, but it gets shot down then they realize how much damage (in terms of both money and PR) it would cause.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: With so many MegaCorps running around, it shouldn't be any surprise that these are a dime a dozen. That being said, the most obvious example is Chimera Biopharm, who hire you in the first mission to recover medical supplies that they were never paid for. A quick check of the supplies shows that they were already paid for, and the Chimera is lying through their teeth just to save some money.
    • Horizon Robotics' liaison will also outright lie to you on the first Stella Marin mission when he says that transmitting the black box's contents won't corrupt it and you can still return it to Aurora.
  • Deflector Shield: Shields are an ubiquitous tool for Crawlers and technologically-capable enemies such as CorpSec troops and robots. They mitigate incoming damage, but have a set number of charges. Once the charges are expended, the target starts taking full damage. They also only lose charges when hit by single-target attacks, which mitigates the effectiveness of massive Herd Hitting Attacks. There are three types of shields for Crawlers:
    • Light shields have lots of charges, and can recharge over time, but have reduced damage mitigation. These are most useful on tankier crawlers because they will be taking a lot of hits, and they usually have other forms of damage mitigation or regeneration to offset the pain that will get through the shield.
    • Tactical shields have an even balance of charges and damage mitigation, and have a backup system that boosts the wearer's combat abilities when the shield's charges run out.
    • Heavy shields have a low number of charges but enormous damage mitigation, practically neutralizing all damage taken while the shield is still up. ironically, these are most useful for your squishier classes who won't be drawing as much aggro.
  • Difficulty Spike: Story missions are much harder than the corresponding randomly-generated missions at the same level, and often throw curveballs in terms of the enemies you'll fight. For the random missions themselves, anything involving Crimson Pact pirates is notably harder than comparable missions at the same level. On the flip side, pirate missions usually come without the risk of being attacked by corporate hit squads.
  • Disc-One Nuke: Certain background choices can land you with rare weapons at the start of the game, giving you a powerful advantage early on. The Smuggler, for example, can end up with a rare-quality pistol. Coupled with the Gunslinger tree's first ability, the Smuggler can one-shot most enemies in the first few missions and even kill the first boss in two shots.
  • Doomed Hometown: Several of the selectable backgrounds involve the player's Crawler having survived the destruction of their hometown through various means, such as the Hacker having survived a massive plague during their childhood.
  • Elemental Weapon: There are several elemental weapon damage types with particular applications:
    • Fire deals extra damage to organic enemies and can inflict damage over time. Electrical weapons can stun enemies, costing them turns. Cryo weapons can slow enemies down, increasing Time Unit costs. Corrosive weapons deal additional damage to armored enemies and increase damage taken. Nanite weapons deal large damage-over-time effects for short periods. Energy weapons disrupt shields. Void weapons are rare and deal reduced damage overall, but pierce shields and almost nothing has an inherent resistance to it.
  • Elite Mooks: Quite a few.
    • CorpSec security guards start off lightly armored and carrying simple scanners and blaster pistols. These get upgraded to more elite Officers and Specialists, who can heal and summon reinforcements. Eventually they start getting led by dedicated combat soldiers in enormous Powered Armor and carrying blaster miniguns.
    • The regular CorpSec security drones are supplemented by Hoplites, which are much larger and tougher drones able to buff their allies. These, in turn, get replaced by much, much larger boss-level commander drones and the enormous, humanoid R1GG0 battle machines.
    • The UFP employs special, rarely-encountered strike teams known as Paladins to protect high-value installations. One corporation, Dablue Yutakai, will start paying you to lure out and eliminate these particular Elite Mooks.
  • Escort Mission: These will be helpfully titled as "Escort a Scientist/Engineer" in the mission selection menu. The escorted agent is a part of your party, and he'll even shoot at enemies you encounter. Thankfully, the escortees are not really a hassle to protect, since they have a naturally low threat level and only shoot one enemy at a time. Enemies will prioritize killing your Crawlers over the escort.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Some of the corps' representatives are outwardly friendly, but it's little more than a facade to hide some nasty depravity underneath. Horizon Robotics' liaison in particular is an oily, dishonest PR hack who starts out friendly, but gets cross and unpleasant the moment you start asking questions or demanding more money for high-risk work.
  • Fighter, Mage, Thief: The lines get a little blurred with some of the classes, but the Soldier, Force Psyker, and Prototype are obvious fighters, with high HP, heavy armor, all weapon options, and abilities focused on drawing threat and protecting the party while also hurting the enemy. The Smuggler and Cyberninja are the Thieves, with stealthy abilities that direct threat elsewhere and classical thief-styled powers like backstabbing and traps. The Void Psyker, Hacker, and Engineer are Mages, with high-damage abilities or battlefield control powers that let them manipulate the enemy or call up summoned allies, but lighter armor and limited weapon options. The blurriness comes with certain builds, as the Hacker has many of the Thief's traditional roles in the party (unlocking doors and traps) while the Smuggler can become a battlefield controller or massive damage dealer with the proper builds, turning them into a Mage.
  • Ghost Ship: The Stella Marin is the main one. You also investigate another abandoned ship in the game's first real mission, and various random contracts may involve you boarding ships whose crews were killed or otherwise abandoned the ship.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: The Void Psyker has been driven either a little bit or a whole lot of crazy due to their powers and the things they've been in contact with. You can actually choose just how crazy the Void Psyker is if you start as one.
  • The Gunslinger: Smugglers going down the Gunslinger path can engage in the classic twirling Guns Akimbo and trick shooting.
  • Hired Guns: Your team, plus virtually everyone else you meet and end up shooting it out with, are made up of corp-hired mercenaries.
  • Hollywood Hacking: Averted in many ways, despite there being a Hacker class who uses hacking on enemies in combat. In battle, the Hacker is actually programming and deploying clouds of combat nanomachines to enhance allies or weaken, confuse, and paralyze enemies. When exploring on the map, the Hacker also has to get physical access to computer terminals to access their information. Even when hacking into a physical terminal, the Hacker runs the risk of triggering security protocols, and the only surefire way to get through some terminals or security locks is to get the passcode or keycards.
    • Kage Enterprises specializes in tools designed to bypass security. Unsurprisingly, they don't have one-shot insta-hacking equipment. Instead, they include spy gadgetry: camera scramblers, laser beam disruptors, safe-cracking explosives, communications scramblers, and "omnipasses" which attempt to scan ambient communications and spoof them to fool security into thinking you belong.
    • Server rooms, interestingly, follow traditional security techniques in that the actual server hardware cannot be accessed as part of the facility networks, so even your best-equipped Hacker can't do anything with them. The only way to access them is with very specialized keys given out by the Rhyzom corporation.
    • Early on in the storyline, the player can talk to the Housekeeper and, with the right choices or party members, put it into repair mode. What follows is a series of dialogue choices where you pick out a series of compiler errors in the machine's code. The Hacker can easily identify them, but otherwise you'll need to either guess or have some familiarity with real-world programming languages to know what the errors are.
  • Honest Corporate Executive: Several corporations have liaisons who are honest and won't try to lie or cheat.
    • Eliana North, Aurora Starliner's Vice President of Public Relations, is very honest and open with you about their plans and why she's doing what she's doing, and generally treats the crew like valued employees (at least as long as you don't betray them for Ragnarok). She'll even give you warning when her bosses are being less than honest with you, and when you uncover the truth behind Dablue-Yutakai's labs and Void experiments, she'll personally come to warn you at great personal risk. In fact, she's probably the only character you can trust in the main storyline.
    • FoxKin Armory's representative is probably the most trustworthy of the entire lot of corporate liaisons, being a straightforward and honest soldier who consistently rewards honorable behavior and loyalty.
    • GalaxyMart's representative is kind of shady, but he's perfectly willing to give you discounts and access to the company's machines just for doing them a favor and never betrays or lies to the player.
    • TEC Engineer's Corps is generally direct and non-duplicitous, simply because they're too busy doing actual engineering work to try to be sneaky.
  • Hub City: Station Terminus IX, also known as "STIX," serves as your base of operations between missions. As a neutral place on the fringes of authority, it's a safe hub from the various corporations, and features various services such as an auction house, medical clinic, saloon, engineering shop, and a Wire terminal to let you get in touch with your various contacts.
  • Hyperspace Is a Scary Place: Dablue Yutaki was trying to research a new faster-than-light drive to traverse the Void instead of normal warp space. It backfired rather horribly on them when the Stella Marin was attacked.
  • Karma Meter: You have one for each corporation and organization, which will rise and fall depending on your actions. If your karma gets high enough, you can call them on the Wire to arrange special missions or get perks and supplies. If it drops low, however, they'll refuse to talk to you and start sending kill teams and assassin drones after you.
    • Most corps also have a second resource, known as Favor, which accumulates in various ways and is spent on getting benefits and gear. With some corps, favor accumulates automatically as long as you stay on their side, while others require you to do certain tasks to gain favor.
  • Kill It with Fire: Fire-based weapons deal damage over time when they hit, generating a visible flame effect on a target. Since the fire damage applies at the start of the victim's turn, it is good against fast-moving and organic enemies, who rarely have fire resistance. The Soldier's Demolitions tree has abilities that actively encourage setting enemies on fire, as doing so adds charges to the Rocket Barrage ability and the This Is Fine passive increases the fire damage inflicted by the Soldier's other explosive abilities. Midway through the game, after defeating the trash compactor boss, you will get a special flamethrower heavy weapon that will outclass a lot of other heavy weapons for the next ten or so levels.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: Crawlers are expected to loot everything they can, and in a typical mission you're expected to grab anything that isn't nailed down. Credit sticks are a readily-available source of money, but you can also steals data chips, coffee cups, and stashes of booze, as well as more high-value items. During one of the story missions, your liaison will lampshade this tendency by saying that a certain route only leads to a janitorial closet, and still expects you to loot all the worthless cleaning supplies.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Fitting the game's self-aware tone and style, characters lampshade the hell out of some tropes they run into.
    • Luna will comment on how forgetful you are if you ask her to repeat the objectives of a mission when you were just on the mission select screen detailing the objectives of the job.
    • In the tutorial, when Doc Sams asks you to fetch the "Wire doodad" from the maintenance tunnels, you can accuse him of "tutorialing" you.
    • There's no shortage of your crew lampshading the various horror movie tropes and robotic AI rebellion tropes associated with the Stella Marin storyline.
    • Every single piece of Vendor Trash has a description that lampshades how useless it is, except as some form of loot.
    • You can try bribing people with Alyssa Tickets. The game will happily lampshade how bizarre it is that you're trying to bribe an automated gun turret with tickets to a concert, right before it accepts them and lets you go.
  • Luck-Based Mission: Many factions' favor-gaining tasks are based on luck.
    • In order to get favor with Grey Solutions, you need to pick up dead drops at Galaxymart vending machines. This is dependent on those machines spawning on the map in the first place, and then on whether that machine actually has a package to pick up.
    • Dablue Yutakai requires you to ambush UFP Paladins on missions marked as "Challenging" or higher. This means you need to not only get a mission marked as "Challenging" or higher for a UFP target (which isn't always available) but that you need to also get through the entire mission in a good enough shape to handle a tough boss fight at the end. If you get some bad luck on security systems or simply run into tough or boss-tier enemies on the mission, you might not be able to survive a fight against the Paladins.
    • PAR Entertainment requires you to activate a camera drone and follow its instructions. Sometimes the drone will ask you to record footage of your team missing in combat, which can be... frustrating to do on purpose.
    • Jiyin Biotech will grant favor if you scan the boluses recovered from Giga Worms. This is, of course, dependent on you actually finding Giga Worms on any given map, as they only spawn on maps that specifically say that the area is overrun by indigenous life, and even then, they're not guaranteed to show up.
    • Kage Industries requires you to attack Kage sites while wearing a certain accessory that marks you as a security consultant who is testing the defenses. This is, of course, dependent on a mission targeting a Kage site showing up in the first place.
    • In rare cases, your objective may randomly spawn inside a security or server room. if you didn't bring an Enginner, hacker, or an omnipass, and can't find any keycards, you're in trouble.
  • Meaningful Name: Ragnarok has that name for a reason.
  • Mecha-Mooks: Mechanized enemies are the most commonly-encountered enemies in the game, and form the bulk of the corporate security forces you'll fight.
    • CorpSec Walkers, Hoplites, and Watchers, as well as their progressively tougher versions, form the main enemies in most corporate maps (labs, Facilities, and Offices).
    • P.E.A.s (Personal Emergency Automotons) form one of the main enemy types encountered on ship maps.
    • B.R.A.H.s and Surveyors are a common enemy type in Mines.
    • Crimson Pact bases will have R.U.M. drones running around, yelling "Avast!" and "Matey!" in combat.
    • On the Stella Marin, you'll encounter virtually nothing but hostile robots, starting with hostile housekeeping bots, medical robots, and mall police drones and progressing to custom-built war machines as you push further into the storyline.
  • Mega-Corp: Nearly two dozen of them, many of whom have exclusive rights to develop and manufacture certain products, while the corporations that do compete do in a manner that is ruthless and brutal (and often requires Crawlers). On top of this, there is the UFP, an alliance of the biggest mega-corps devoted to quashing competition and making as much profit as possible.
    • The dynamics of a world controlled by a collection of mega-corporations is explored in the story. According to the background lore, the previous galactic government was a tyrannical dictatorship that was overthrown about a century ago, and the corporations rose in the ensuing power vacuum. However, while the UFP kept the trains running on time, their strict regulations on certain products, domination of the markets, and mistreatment of workers led to growing unrest, resulting in the formation of anarchist organizations and opposition groups among other corporate powers. The Stella Marin incident is the catalyst for the formation of the Accord by an alliance of other corporations to bring back a central, non-corporate authority in response to the simmering resentment toward the UFP.
  • Mind Rape: The Void Psyker specializes in this, particularly if you follow the Manipulation ability line. The Psyker can terrify random corporate employees into submission to prevent them from sounding alarms, and against the leaders of pirate and CorpSec ambushes to make them flee in terror. They can try to do the same against the leader of Paladin teams, but that will result in the leader of the Paladins being killed by his second in command and the battle starting as normal, minus the leader. You can also try it on Riggo, the boss of the "Black Box" mission, but all it will do is briefly stun him.
  • Minion Master:
    • The Engineer, if they focus on the Constructor and Bolty ability paths. The former allows the Engineer to deploy multiple minions, while the latter focuses on creating and upgrading Bolty, a single powerful minion who can attack, block enemy shots, and taunt.
    • Riggo, the boss of "The Black Box" mission and possibly the boss of "The Train Job" is you spared him will come with a pack of "dogbots" he commands.
    • CorpSec Officers, Specialists, and Commandos can summon and repair drones indefinitely, making them a pain to fight.
  • Mirror Universe: The Void, where Void Psykers draw their power from, is a twisted and bizarre version of the normal universe where humans can't survive for very long, and populated by monstrous horrors. You end up being pulled into it during one of the missions on the Stella Marin and find yourself surrounded by the corrupted remains of the ships' crew, along with tentacled horrors and an Eldritch Abomination known as the Demogorgon which relentlessly chases you through the ship.
  • Mission Control: The closest thing you'll get to it is Luna, who will keep you updated and in communication with your clients and STIX over the course of the story missions.
  • Mood Whiplash: Most of the endings are surprisingly dark, somber and even tragic for a game that up until then had been a tongue-in-cheek Black Comedy. Even the better endings have victory coming at a great cost.
  • Multiple-Choice Past: Quite literally. At character creation, you can choose a background for your starting Crawler, detailing their childhood, adulthood, and how they became a Crawler on the Fringe.
  • Multiple Endings: The game has three "main" endings for the UFP, Accord and Ragnarok factions, and each ending has a wide variety possible events depending on your actions throughout the main quest.
  • Nanomachines: Nanites are a very common weapon and tool in the game. The Hacker relies heavily on them, and nanites are a devastating special elemental damage type for certain weapons. Certain accessories and tools use nanites to achieve their effects, and there are booby traps in certain maps that deploy clouds of damaging nanites that will chase you across the environment.
  • One-Time Dungeon: Most of the dungeons can only be visited once, both storyline and randomly-generated. There are a couple of exceptions, such as the mission to investigate the signal coming from the trash compactor.
  • Only in It for the Money: Luna, your pilot, is mostly concerned about her paycheck, and gets a cut of the payout on each mission. She normally covers the fuel costs for each mission herself, but if you try to have her haul things outside of carrying your team, she'll charge you for the expenses. Later on, during "The Train Job", if you spared Riggo in the earlier encounter with him at the end of "The Black Box," he'll be willing to step aside and forget he ever saw you, but only if you pay him a substantial bribe.
  • Optional Party Member: Technically, all of the Crawlers count as these, since you can hire them at will, but the Prototype can be missed if you have Taarie strip out the AI core and sell it.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: The Corrupted Crewmen encountered in the "Anomalous Energy" mission are, effectively, super-zombies reanimated by the energies of the Void. They're very tough and can vomit damaging clouds of void energy, and typically come in large numbers.
  • Permanently Missable Content: The Prototype can be lost forever depending on your decision in an early choice in the game, though you'll still get its AI core as an accessory.
  • Powered Armor: Ubiquitous, to the point that most of your Crawlers and elite enemy troops are carrying some variation of it. Individual armor gear varies between light armor (which is just minimal plating designed to allow freedom of movement) to lightly-powered tactical armor, to heavy powered armor plating that impedes movement but is incredibly resistant to damage.
  • Practical Taunt: Several Crawlers can gain taunts to pull threat from enemies. The most obvious is the Prototype's Demean ability as well as Aegis Mode, while the Engineer can have either Bolty or another construct taunting enemies. The Soldier's Tactician tree has a couple of taunting or threat-boosting otpions. The Smuggler can use a particular trap in the Dirty Moves path or another taunt that boosts their defensive abilities in the Gunslinger tree to draw attention. The Force Psyker's various Prisms will also generate large amounts of threat to draw attention.
  • Pre-Asskicking One-Liner:
    • Certain abilities, when activated, have your Crawlers make a one-liner as they get ready to lay down the hurt.
    • Every boss you encounter in a non-story mission will announce their presence with one the moment you open the door to their room. Some will be coherent threats and challenges, while others are bestial screams, and in the case of some robot bosses, will be broken and garbled nonsense.
  • Psychic Powers: Psykers are humans who are born with unusual psychic abilities. They typically form into various cults who are carefully monitored - and frequently employed - by the corporations. Force Psykers are a subset who operate on a vast monastery ship and work as warrior monks who use their powers to create barriers and weapons, while the much rarer Void Psykers are able to tap into the powers of a maddening alternate realm to inflict horrors upon their enemies.
  • Randomly Generated Levels: Most of the levels are randomly generated with a particular logic to how they're created (hallways interconnecting offices, engine sections on the rear end of ships, etc) and are selected from a base type (Mines, Offices, Labs, Ships, etc) and may have components of other map types included.
  • Resignations Not Accepted: Though lesser workers can get fired or quit without repercussions, the corps are less happy about highly-placed security officers defecting and bringing their secrets to another corporation, and often hire Crawlers to... "settle a labor dispute" and "deliver their severance packages."
  • Roguelike: The game uses elements of it, with procedural equipment and map generation. You can go further with this and enable persistent damage with higher difficulties, as well as permanent death and even an Ironman difficulty.
  • Sadistic Choice: The Accord is faced with one once the truth behind the Stella Marin's disappearing crew comes to light: Dablue Yutakai was responsible for unsafe, undocumented, and illegal experimentation with Void-based faster-than-light travel without telling any of the other corporations involved in the Stella Marin colony project. The Accord can justifiably censure Dablue-Yutakai for their crimes, but if they do so they risk losing D-Y's military support for their inevitable war with the UFP.
  • Science Fantasy: While the game mostly involves gunplay and spacecraft and futuristic megacorporations, the presence of melee weaponry and magic (in the form the wizard-like Void Psyker and paladin-like Force Psyker) gives the game shades of fantasy.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: Bribery is an entirely valid way to get out of fights and improve your reputation.
    • You can bribe corporate security, mercenaries, and pirates to go away, and use money and favor with The Social Stage to improve your reputation with various corporations. You'll also need to spend at 1500 credits just to be able to talk to anyone in Hollow Earth, Hollow Soul (unless you manage to report a lot of stolen animal skins to them).
    • Certain story missions have options to bribe people to get out of fights or get benefits as well, such as "The Train Job", if you spared Riggo when you first fought him.
    • Amusingly, there are a couple of other bribery options that don't involve money. If you're on good terms with Allure Cybergenetics, it turns out that you can bribe a surprising number of people with Alyssa Tickets, ranging from security guards to gun turrets.
  • Soul Jar: During Anomalous Energy", you can create one of these for Rae'il so that when the Void Drive is destroyed, his spirit can live on. The downside is you have to make it out of the eye of one of the corpses of the zombiefied crewmen.
  • Space Pirates: Quite literally, complete with hilariously stereotypical pirate jargon and speech patterns. They're technically an "anarchist" faction, although no one is terribly concerned if you attack them, at least before Ragnarok forms. It's noted that many pirate crews consist of Crawlers who have pissed off too many corporations and have joined pirate crews for safety... not realizing that this just cuts their life expectancy even shorter.
  • Space Western: While the game mostly involves trawling through industrial corridors and mines and shiny corporate offices, the lawless frontier, self-reliant nature of the characters, and competing corporations and outlaws very much lends to the traditional Wild West themes. There's even the Western theme of expanding civilization encroaching on the wild, free frontier with the Accord's formation partway through the story in response to the UFP's profiteering.
  • Squishy Wizard: Your two "wizard" classes, the Hacker and the Void Pyker, also have the lowest total health and cannot equip heavy or tactical armor, and usually have next to no options to directly mitigate damage. In addition, they hit for stupendous amounts of damage with the right skills, which draws massive threat toward them.
  • Standard FPS Guns: While the game isn't a first-person shooter, the ranged weapon types still apply due to how they're used in combat. of note is that weapons' stats also impact the effectiveness of various abilities, both in terms of accuracy and how much damage they do.
    • Pistols: Lightweight and fast with a low Time Unit cost and high accuracy, offset by low damage output. This makes them ideal weapons for characters more focused on rapidly laying down abilities such as Manipulation-focused Void Psykers, defensive-focused Force Psykers, or Hackers and Engineers. The Smuggler uses them as their Weapon of Choice, and is able to go Guns Akimbo with them for massive damage. Pistols have a passive "Zeroing" buff that increases their damage with each shot to the same target.
    • Shotguns: Heavy weapons firing multiple slugs, with a very high damage output and also a high Time Unit cost. The multiple slugs they fire mean that at least some of the shots are going to hit, making them useful for guaranteed damage, and they have a very high critical hit chance.
    • Submachineguns: Able to lay down large amounts of bullets, but with low damage output. Their high rate of fire makes it hard for enemies to dodge them, and the hail of bullets has a passive armor-shredding effect that reduces damage reduction from armor.
    • Rifles: A mixture of assault rifles, marksmen rifles, and sniper rifles, these weapons have a high Time Unit cost but also extremely high accuracy, making them reliable weapons, especially when you need to make sure that you abilities always hit home.
    • Heavy Weapons: Consisting of miniguns and rocket launchers, these weapons have very high Time Unit costs but do enormous damage when they hit. These weapons are ideal for characters focused on high-damage skills, though they are restricted to the Soldier and Prototype. They also have a passive "Tracking" bonus that increases accuracy every time they miss a target.
    • Melee Weapons: Melee weaponry has an advantage of being highly accurate and able to pierce shields, and typically comes in the form of one-handed swords, paired swords, or enormous warhammers or axes.
  • Sudden Downer Ending: While the game as a whole is a campy, tongue in cheek Black Comedy, every ending is surprisingly bleak, especially the Ragnarok ending. [[Guidedangit If you're not careful, the game can end with Rassa escaping and killing the leader of the Accord or the UFP.]]
  • Talkative Loon: Void Psykers tend to alternate between sane and normal speech, slightly off-kilter babbling, and outright insane gibberish. If you bring the Void Psyker with you on the "Anomalous Signal" mission, when you transfer to the alternate dimension, s/he starts talking in a much more sane and understandable manner.
  • Train Job: One of the storyline mission is a raid on a corporate train, and it even has the trope name in it's title.
  • Trauma Inn: Returning to STIX after a mission will automatically heal health damage taken during the mission, although status effects will linger until cured by using a CureAll dose or visiting the medbay. This gets averte don higher difficulty levels, where health isn't automatically recovered upon returning and you'll always need to visit the medbay if you're not carrying a pile of medkits around.
  • Utility Party Member: Non-Gunslinger Smugglers, Hackers, and Engineers can all serve this role, as they are indispensable for their ability to control the battlefield and buff allies, as well as unlock doors, disarm traps, and talk down enemies, but have relatively low damage output.
  • Vendor Trash: Items labeled as "loot" only serve to be sold to vendors. They're usually low in value, and typically come in the form of stolen office supplies and broken parts taken from damaged robots.
  • Video Game Settings:
    • Abandoned Laboratory: Lab complexes form a common random mission type, although they're not entirely abandoned, as you may encounter the random janitor, worker robot, or security guard.
    • Abandoned Mine: Mines are another common map type. You will almost never encounter workers, but you'll run into mining drones and native animals.
    • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: Several missions on the Stella Marin put you inside the ship's enormous sewer system.
    • Noob Cave: The tutorial mission, where Doc Sams sends you down into the STIX maintenance corridors to find a part to fix the station's Wire connection.
    • Techno Wreckage: Most of the Stella Marin missions involve moving through damaged sections of the derelict spacecraft.
  • Utility Party Member: Each class's skill tree has a use during exploration.
    • Smuggler: They can potentially negotiate during exploration events, Gunslingers can shoot first like Han Solo if they encounter security teams or ambushed by mercenaries, Cheap tricks allows them to win at the g-ball betting pool terminals during some office missions.
    • Cyber Ninja: They can easily slip into tight squeeze tunnels in mining missions, Assassination can kill targets just like the Smuggler's abilties, but includes everyone including the negotiating targets during exploration.
    • Void Psyker: Manipulator can Mind Rape targets.
    • Hacker: Rootkit/Malware can disable security cameras or hack into terminals, Optimization can fix red terminals allowing the group to get into secret chests for extra loot.
  • Wrench Wench: Taarie Hobbs, a Child Prodigy of an engineer, runs a parts and equipment store on STIX that sells upgrade parts, accessories, and utility items. She also maintains a lot of STIX's systems, including repairing Sudsy if you went through the tutorial, and fixes up the Prototype if you opted to fix up it's AI core instead of selling it for scrap.
  • You Have Failed Me:
    • Corps don't take screw-ups well. If you fail a mission, not only do you not get paid but you lose rep with that corporation. Dablue Yutakai apparently takes it a step further, as dialogue with one of their engineers on the Stella Marin indicates they'll do worse than fire him if he fails to find the intelligence he's looking for.
    • If a team of Paladins attacks you, you can use the Void Psyker's Manipulation ability tree to inflict a Mind Rape on their leader. His subordinates will immediately gun him down and take command.
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