Follow TV Tropes


Video Game / A Legionarys Tale

Go To

"A Legionary's Life" is a single-player Role-Playing Game developed by Alessandro Roberti. It war released in 2919 for PC on Steam.

The story follows a roman citizen who was conscripted into the Legions just after the Battle of Cannae to fight in the Second Punic War and the Second Macedonian War. Your only true goal is to stay alive, but there is also the opportunity to gain wealth and glory in your military career.


Tropes found in A Legionary's Life:

  • Academic Athlete: A player character with high intelligence will inevitably become this, as physical training will increase increase your ability to survive.
    • There's one event where the army is building a bridge, and you can choose how to help. If you have high intelligence and help the engineers than the narration mentions that this trope being in effect will make you a prime candidate for promotions.
  • Back from the Brink: The game begins just after the disastrous Battle of Cannae, when the largest force Rome assembled up to that point was wiped out and Hannibal was rampaging through Italy.
  • Badass Army: The Roman Legions are shown to be this, triumphing over Carthage in a death-struggle between the two countries.
  • Belief Makes You Stupid: One of the options in your downtime between battles is to make a sacrifice to the Gods for a morale boost. The game outright states that this becomes more effective the less intelligent you are.
  • Advertisement:
  • Big Damn Heroes: There's at least one point in the campaign when you can become this. In the African Campaign, there's one battle where a veles is injured with enemy spearmen advancing on him. You have the risky option of breaking from formation to protect him, and if you can kill all five Carthaginian Spearmen without dying then you'll have saved the poor skirmisher's life. In addition to his gratitude, you'll receive a Civic Crown for your heroism.
  • Colonel Badass: You can become one given enough promotions, rising to the rank of Centurion.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: Given that the game is set in Ancient Rome, slavery and looting are considered normal facts of life which the player has no chance to even voice opposition to.
  • Den of Iniquity: Implied with the "Have Fun" option for downtime. While the specifics aren't stated, overindulging in this will erode your virtue.
  • Advertisement:
  • The Dreaded: Hannibal Barca is portrayed as this, with the player never meeting him in person and with all descriptions of him being about how terrifying he is. Later on, Scipio Africanus comes to be seen as this by the Carthaginians.
  • End of an Age: Carthage and Macedonia both fall into ruin within the span of this campaign.
  • Forced into Evil: The Bruttian Warriors. They come from an Italian city which sided with Carthage in the Punic War, and you can choose to hate them in battle, but doing so with high virtue causes you to lose morale as you realize many of them were probably coerced into fighting against Rome.
  • Fortune Teller: There's one event to visit one. If you have a high intelligence you'll realize that her prediction is vague enough that'll come true whether you survive or die in battle.
  • For the Evulz: An opportunity for the player to do this occurs at the end of the third campaign. If you have high intelligence you'll figure out the phalanx is trying to surrender. If you choose to ignore this, rather than stop your comrades from butchering them, the game outright states you let hundreds of people died whom you could have saved and grants you -40 virtue at a point where there's no longer in-game benefit.
  • Historical Domain Character: A number of them are referenced, such as Hannibal Barca and Scipio Africanus.
  • I Lied: While foraging for food, it is possible one hamlet will try to bribe you to let them keep their food. If you have low virtue, you can take the bribe and take their food anyway.
  • Karmic Jackpot: There are a few events of this nature.
  • Karma Meter: There's a virtue meter which fills this role. You gain virtue by showing mercy to defeated enemies, showing valor in battle, and telling the truth.
  • Nepotism: At one point a soldier in your unit will be acting out of order and getting away with it because he's related to the Centurion. You have the option of call the Centurion out on this, though you need high charisma for this to take any effect.
  • Mentor Archetype: Once you are high enough in rank, one of the uses of your free time is to give guidance and training to lower rank soldiers. This improves the opinion of the troops and of the officers.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: It is possible to rise from a lowly conscript struggling to survive to high ranking officer in the Roman Legions and a masterful warrior capable of taking down the best champions of Carthage and Macedonia, and even later to become Consul.
  • Officer and a Gentleman: It's possible to become one if a player gains a high rank while possessing high intelligence and high virtue.
  • The Paragon: You become seen as this if your virtue and your standing with fellow soldiers is high enough.
  • Pet the Dog: There are some instances when you can show mercy to enemies.
    • While climbing up the walls in a siege of a Carthaginian town in Hispania, you'll see a fellow soldier fall from his ladder. You can, at risk to yourself, reach out and steady him.
    • While sacking one Carthaginian town in Africa, you come across two children in hiding and their mother begs you not to reveal them. You have the option of not only granting her request but leaving some of your food for the children so they can survive a little longer.
    • In the Macedonian campaign, while sacking a city with orders to kill anyone spotted on the street, you will see an old man who is a native of the city about to be killed by Roman soldiers. If you are a high enough officer you can order them to stand down and escort the elder to a Temple of Ceres.
    • At one point you will catch a Roman soldier sleeping on his watch - an offense punishable by death - and he will offer a bribe to keep quiet You can agree not to report him without accepting his money, effectively extending mercy to him out of the goodness of your heart.
    • On one occasion in the Hispanian Campaign a fellow legionary might seem afraid and you can ask if he is alright - with high enough charisma he will admit he is not because his father died at Cannae and, while he joined to avenge him, this young man is afraid of dying himself.
    • On another occasion, in the beginning of the African campaign, you can ask the same question to a nervous veteran legionary - again, if your charisma is high enough He will admit he's one of the survivors of Cannae and that his trauma is compounded by the fact that he is shamed in Roman society for losing. You can then tell him he should have been praised for surviving such a bloodbath.
  • Phony Veteran: Downplayed in the siege of one North African town, when a Centurion tries lying about being the first man on the wall to gain a Mural Crown. A player with high virtue can testify against him and thereby guarantee the award goes to the man who truly deserves it, while a player with low virtue can falsely testify on the Centurion's behalf.
  • Rape, Pillage, and Burn:
    • On occasion you will be asked to forage in the countryside to feed your legion, and in order to complete this task you will have to go into local hamlets and confiscate their supplies. Most of the hamlets hand them over without complaint, but some hide their provisions away from you or try to fight back, and occasionally you'll end up fighting Gallic Mercenary bands in the process of raiding a hamlet you encountered.
    • When enemy towns fall, the legions loot them and you receive a portion of the wealth gained by plunder as well as by the sell of civilians and prisoners of war into slavery. Often you're also ordered to kill any civilian still on the streets, though this is an order you can defy with minimal consequences.
  • Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: A possible choice in some moral dilemmas. It's usually the one that will increase your virtue, unless Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right! is in effect.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: You can encounter one in the campaign who survived Cannae. It's also implied you become one after your military career finally ends if you have high virtue.
  • Smart People Play Chess: One of the options in your spare time is to play Latrunculi, an ancient roman bored game. Your chance of winning depends on your intelligence level.
  • Sociopathic Soldier: You can become this if your virtue dips too low, with access to events that allow you to actively hurt others for personal gain.
  • Treachery Is a Special Kind of Evil: Played with. The Scutarii and the Bruttians are mentioned as being two groups in Italy who defected to the Carthaginians during Hannibal's invasion. The last of the Scutarii soldiers are wiped out in the North African campaign after being abandoned by the Carthaginians. While they are a straight example, the Bruttians are a subversion; you have the option to hate them in the Battle of Zama but if you have high virtue you realize a lot of them were probably coerced and lose morale.
  • Underequipped Charge:
    • In the siege of New Carthage, when the main city falls, the citadel will still be holding out and the officers will be taking volunteers to attack it. As this is your first real battle, volunteering for this is highly risky to say the least.
    • At one point in the Macedonian campaign you'll lose your shield, and have the option of either running or staying to fight without it. Subverted if you're of a high enough rank, as you can then order one of your men to give you theirs.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: In the Macedonian Campaign there's one event where three veterans are bullying a younger Umbrian soldier. The narration specifically mentions that the Umbrians helped preserve Rome during the darkest days of the second Punic War and that this specific soldier was a volunteer. You can choose to do nothing, to join the bullies, or to make the bullies stop.
  • War Is Glorious: As you progress in the campaign you win promotions, awards, loot, and the approval of your comrades. You also get opportunities to preform acts of genuine heroism and valor, all the while watching your civilization as it becomes ascendant in the world. Your veterancy can even see you promoted to the Senatorial class and even become Consul.
  • War Is Hell: You play as a conscripted teenager who is afraid of death in a foreign land, all your injuries heal at the cost of morale, training costs morale as well (meaning you'll become miserable if you don't balance out training with relaxing or prayer), and you'll see comrades die. Some events imply you're experiencing PTSD from the war experiences, and it's clear spending years at war is tolling.
  • We ARE Struggling Together: At the end of the Macedonian Campaign, the narration states this as the ultimate reason why Greece will lose it's independence - it's city-states are unwilling to put aside their quarrels.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: