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Video Game / Abyss Odyssey

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Abyss Odyssey is a side-scrolling Beat 'em Up with Fighting Game and Roguelike elements by ACE Team, creators of the Zeno Clash series and Rock of Ages, and distribuited by Atlus.

The eponymous Abyss is the creation of a powerful warlock's nightmares come to life, and it is threatening to engulf all of Chile. The three main characters — Katrien, the Ghost Monk, and the Pincoya — each delve into the Abyss for their own reasons, all seeking to either awaken or slay the Warlock.

Not to be confused with Abe's Oddysee, the first game in the Oddworld series.

Abyss Odyssey contains examples of:

  • Accidental Murder: The Warlock tries to cast a spell to make his wife forget he's a warlock. It fails, killing her instead.
  • All Myths Are True: The creatures of Chilean folklore are proven to be quite real, and the Warlock's nightmares add a few other creatures, such as the Horsemen of the Apocalypse, and a swordsman in a Venetian Bauta mask that terrified the Warlock as a young child.
  • Author Appeal: Women with massive hair, and other Art Nouveau touches can be seen everywhere.
    • Particularly lampshaded in the case of Katrien; as the Warlock is dreaming of his wife in the best light, Katrien's manifestation is idealized as a direct result.
  • Badass Normal: The Chilean soldiers do a pretty good job of fighting through the Abyss should the main character die, though they happily let them take over when they reach an altar to resurrect them.
  • Battle Theme Music: There's a theme for each level type and one each for Verbum Dei, the Living Creature, and the Warlock. When Paganini attacks you his violin overrides the current background music until you beat him.
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: The Pincoya, and various other female enemies traditionally portrayed as nude.
    • The Pincoya, as a water spirit, actually wears a sheath of water right up to the shoulders, for a painted-on look.
  • Blade on a Stick: The Pincoya's weapons of choice.
  • Boring, but Practical: Normally it's hard to combo, if you treat the combat like a traditional fighting game. However, if you use Smash Bros.-styled throw confirms, combos are much shorter, but more reliable.
  • Bottomless Pit: A variant. They aren't "bottomless", and you'll often end up "under" them. They're more like pits filled with churning shadows that serve the same overall purpose.
  • Bragging Rights Reward: Capturing a high-level monster or boss. By the time you can do this, you have probably already beaten the game at least once.
  • Composite Character: Verbum Dei, a Book of Revelations inspired nightmare who has aspects of all four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
    • Also the Ghost Monk, as the composite revenant of all who die in the Abyss.
  • Creator Provincialism: ACE Team is a Chilian dev team, and the game is set in Chile (in the same city ACE Team is based out of, in fact.)
    • The Jackal's sayings are not only hints at game mechanics, they are actually sayings taken from Chilean oral tradition.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: The Ghost Monk is nasty looking jumble of shadow and randomly arranged bones wrapped a shroud, but he's basically on the side of good.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: An interesting case where, depending on the player's skill, this can be played straight or averted. Dying as one of main three without a checkpoint token causes a member of the Badass Normal army to replace them, and if you manage to get to an altar as one of the soldiers, the dead character is revived with all their mana and inventory gone (the replacement soldier can salvage your weapon, keys, and occasionally your jewelry, but nothing else). Die as the soldier though, and it's back to the top of the Abyss with you.
    • This also has a conditional aspect, as using a camp token at an altar or a Warlock shrine will set Chilean military guards to protect it, and dying sets you back to that spot a number of times equal to the level of camp token you applied.
  • Deal with the Devil:
    • Accept Paganini, the Demon Violinist's gift and he will hunt you thereafter.
    • Paganini himself got both his violin skills and his demonic powers from a deal with the devil:
      Paganini: "Everyone makes a deal with the Devil; I made one. You should see the powers he gave me!"
  • Dem Bones: The abyss has everything from skeleton swordsmen who shoot fireballs to flaming skulls that fly through the air and try to murder anything that gets close.
    • Paganini's buddy the Jackal is often seen strumming guitar at various spots in the Abyss. His sayings, at a hundred coin a pop, give minor experience boosts and are in fact vague references to game mechanics.
    • The Ghost Monk is less a skeleton and more a jumble of red bones suspended in a shadow and wrapped in a cloak. Oddly, he has human hands (and apparently feet, under metal greaves).
    • The nightmare versions of the characters are red skeletons wrapped in shadow.
  • Dual Boss: The dark versions of the characters in Nightmare Mode. And regardless of difficulty, the Warlock and the Titan.
  • Eldritch Location: The eponymous Abyss.
  • Enemy Mine: The main reason why soldiers help the Ghost Monk is because, if the Ghost Monk fails, then the soldiers will be more vulnerable to being made a part of the Ghost Monk.
    • It is more complex than that, although a frequent entry line by the Firefighter that fills in when Ghost Monk falls states plainly he doesn't want to die and be part of Ghost Monk. The Monk himself is the dream's personification of every soldier death in the Abyss to date.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": The Warlock. Only Katrien knows his name, and she refuses to call him by it.
    The Warlock: Ah, Katrien, why don't you address me by name?
    Katrien: You're a stranger to me now... I don't know you.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Nightmare Katrien and Nightmare Pincoya, miniboss versions of two of the playable characters, have noticeably deeper voices. The Ghost Monk was already a deep-voiced mass of souls in a cloak, so the Nightmare Monk isn't much different.
  • Fake Difficulty: At lower levels of the Abyss you will regularly find yourself outnumbered by multiple agile, hard-hitting enemies who will press in on you from all sides and juggle you to death repeatedly, particularly the bastard controller-reading Jackals.
  • Golem: The Stone Golem, Frost Golem, and Wood Golems are among the biggest, hardest-hitting enemies.
  • Gone Horribly Right: The Warlock's plan was for Katrien to be herself. Which is to say, a pure-hearted woman who wants to bring an end to the Warlock's plan.
  • Gotta Catch 'Em All: Capturing every single monster, then unlocking them for versus & training mode.
  • Historical Domain Character: Paganini the violinist.
  • Historical Villain Upgrade: As far as we know, the real Paganini did not turn into a cursed devil after he died. There were a lot of dark rumors surrounding his life, but not of his undeath.
  • I Am Legion: The Ghost Monk is composed of the soldiers who died fighting in the abyss, among other things.
    Ghost Monk: I am the embodiment of everyone who's died trying to put an end to the nightmare.
  • I Am the Noun: The Ghost Monk and the Warlock both pull this out during their Badass Boast pre-fight conversation.
    The Warlock: I am infinite. I am POWER ITSELF!
    Ghost Monk: And I am vengeance, here to strip you of your power.
  • Intercontinuity Crossover: Kax-Teh makes a guest appearance as a boss.
  • Full-Frontal Assault: The Pincoya, though there's nothing to see.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Averted with the Fire Katana, a low-tier weapon.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Attempted by the Warlock.
  • Lightning Bruiser: The Warlock, Titan, and The Living Creature move fast, hit hard, and have a lot of health.
  • Malevolent Masked Men: The game is full of them. The Warlock and Titan wear matching masks, as do the Bauta swordsmen, the Acolytes, and the Jesters.
  • Mind Hive: The Ghost Monk initially comes across as this, saying he is born of the souls of all those who have died in the Abyss. However, the Monk also says that he doesn't remember the lives of his component soldiers, merely their deaths and presumably their time in the Abyss up to that death. He is the acknowledgement of those lost souls by the dream. You even unlock him by dying as Katrien enough times.
  • Mighty Glacier: Of the three protagonists, the Ghost Monk is the slowest and hits the hardest. Most of the golem type monsters (which you can transform into) only slower and with bigger hitboxes. The boss Verbum Dei (who is playable in versus mode or via transformation in single player) is even bigger and just as slow, but hits like an apocalyptic truck.
  • Power Copying: With the exception of a few very simple enemies, the player can steal the soul and assume the form of any enemy in the game. This does include bosses.
  • Royal Rapier: Katrien's starting weapon. Also used by the Jackal and Ekeko.
  • Shamu Fu: On the ice stages, occasionally large blue fish swim through the air, freezing you if they connect.
    • One of the Warlock's attacks is conjuring a surprisingly devastating stream of fish that swim through the air like it was water.
  • Shoplift and Die: A low level character who attempts to fight the shopkeepers hanging out in the Abyss is liable to get murdered really quickly. The shopkeeper wouldn't be down in the Abyss selling things if he wasn't incredibly hardcore.
    • Not to mention he's actually the Tiwanakan god of abundance and prosperity (as dreamt by the Warlock). Fight him and you're basically blaspheming a deity.
  • Shotoclone: Katrien is the most direct example, with a fireball, uppercut, and spinning attack. The Ghost Monk can be also built this way, and several enemies fit the mold inherently.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Sure enough, there are ice levels with slippery floors.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Averted. Not only do all the main characters have a form of projectile attack, the Chilean Firefighter and Soldier can, as a special attack, draw and use their firearms.
  • Widget Series: Well, Weird Chilean Thing. But downplayed, at least by ACE team's standards; it's probably their most conventional game yet.