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Video Game / Anaksha: Female Assassin

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From the ashes will arise a pure and virtuous angel, wearing a crown of fire upon her head and carrying a bright white star in her right hand. She will speak with a voice of thunder, and will be feared by both men and demons alike.
Unknown Indian Philosopher and Astrologer, 400 AD

What separates a vigilante from a criminal? I've asked myself this question many times. Yet I don't know the answer. I only know what I stand for...and what I believe in.

An Adobe Flash game series created by Arif Majothi, Anaksha focuses on the titular vigilante assassin who takes down the scum of the society of Santa Lina, one of the most corrupt cities in the US.

The first major game, Anaksha: Female Assassin, was released on 1st of August, 2008. There, she starts by targeting domestic abusers, but slowly widens her net, and in doing so makes the city safer. When Vincent St. Claire, the man whose act of evil first encouraged her to start her crusade, resurfaces, Anaksha becomes determined to take him down once and for all.

The official second installment, Anaksha: Dark Angel, was released on 10th December, 2011. It has Anaksha, known to the media as the "Virgo Killer," in perhaps her most epic adventure yet as she is framed for the murder of an innocent teenager and must find a way to clear her name in addition to finding a kidnapped orphan and putting a stop to a deadly drug epidemic sweeping Santa Lina.

Three Mini-Adventures were also released in between the two main installments. They play like graphical adventure games and are structured with a Fetch Quest/Chain of Deals setup, helping to explore Anaksha's character a bit more. In the first Mini-Adventure, A Sea of Fire, Anaksha is charged with finding and killing the dangerous owner of a club while helping various people out along the way. The second Mini-Adventure, A New Threat, focuses on Anaksha's quest to get to the bottom of the trade of a new drug that is sweeping through the Hell's Cats district of Santa Lina like wildfire, a quest that leads to the events of Dark Angel. In addition, there's another short Mini-Adventure, Quick Stop, that acts as an interquel between A Sea of Fire and A New Threat, where Anaksha has to make a pit stop and get on the phone with her contact, which proves a bit tougher than it sounds.

Tropes Featured in the series:

  • All There in the Manual: There are large game manuals with descriptions of characters and places on Anaksha's official site. Also, Anaksha has a Twitter account.
  • Anti-Hero: Anaksha is a vigilante assassin who targets the corrupt scumbags who escape punishment.
  • Ascended Fanboy: The online manual describes Jack Goldwyn as being a huge fan of Film Noir, which is why he, as a detective, behaves like a typical Hardboiled Detective.
  • Asshole Victim: Every single one of Anaksha's targets qualifies, as many of them are racists, wife-beaters, drug dealers, Dirty Cops, murderous hookers, and the like.
  • Author Avatar: In "A New Threat" there is a British Indian, Arif, hanging out in a nightclub. He is a programmer who wants to create his own game website, and decides to name it after herself.
  • Badass Boast/Throwing Down the Gauntlet: Anaksha's awesome speech after coming out of her 10-Minute Retirement:
    This is my promise to all you sick bastards who have turned this city into a hellhole! All you parasites who've abused the system for your own gain; abused people for your own pleasure — retribution has arrived! Go ahead. Run and hide, bury your cowardly heads in the ground; I swear I'll hunt you down and show you the mercy you deserve — none! The angel of death is here...and your punishment is due!
  • Bad Cop/Incompetent Cop: Most of the cops of Santa Lina are either incompetent at their job (such as Sam Mitchell, who Anaksha nicknames "Chief Wiggum") or utterly corrupt bastards (such as the four Dirty Cops that Anaksha takes down before the final mission).
  • Bad People Abuse Animals: One of Anaksha's missions in Dark Angel has her going after a group that likes to abuse and kill animals and post vids of it online, as well as stealing exotic pets from people's homes and auctioning them off online.
  • Based on a True Story: Arif has stated that some of the plot elements in "Female Assassin" were inspired by true stories - in particular, the story of a girl sold in a marriage is something that happened to one of his friends.
  • Big Bad: Each game with the exception of Quick Stop has one.
    • The original game has Vincent St. Claire, a school principal who runs a criminal empire that is the cause of much of the rampant crime in Santa Lina. His drug dealing was foreshadowed as far back as mission 4, and it's his actions that start Anaksha on her quest.
    • A Sea of Fire has Frank, a local club owner who has plans to import and sell anti-tank weapons to local gangs, which could escalate gang war. He's also an asshole to women, as one of the women you meet at Kool Kats can attest.
    • A New Threat has Trent, a drug dealer who is a minion in an organization that is spreading a new drug, “Pixie Dust”, throughout the Hell's Cats district.
    • Dark Angel has Tony Valentino, aka Big-V, the head of his aptly-named V-syndicate that is responsible for spreading and dealing Pixie Dust, as well as the kidnapping of Ivonne and the murder of DeMartini, which Anaksha was framed for.
  • Black-and-Grey Morality: Most of the police are either incompetent or corrupt, and the only one who has the power to challenge the monsters is a vigilante assassin with mental issues.
  • Blackmail: One of Anaksha's targets from Dark Angel is a vicious blackmailer who targets the rich, hacking into their cellphones or straight up breaking into their homes before threatening to expose them if they don't pay up. The blackmailer's favorite tactic for dealing with male victims is to seduce them, entrap them and make her demands, hollering rape if they can't or won't pay up, which has landed seven innocent guys in jail.
  • Black Widow: Another target from Dark Angel is a Black Widow who has married and murdered seven husbands with cyanide and rat poison, paying off forensics labs to tamper with the evidence.
  • Boom, Headshot!: Anaksha's preferred method of offing her targets. Since most people in Santa Lina wear body armor because of the rampant gun crime, this is justified, to the point of Vincent taking advantage of this in the final mission by wearing a bulletproof helmet so Anaksha can't kill him the usual way.
  • Breather Episode: Quick Stop, which comes after the action-packed first game and mini-adventure dealing with vigilante sniping, crime, rape, domestic abuse, and other mature topics, has the vigilante Player Character making herself a pit stop, then trying to repair a pay phone so she can use it to call her Mission Control Dee. The game is short and focuses on humor and amusing situations, and lacks any criminals or villains to kill- the only real antagonist, Tracy, is merely a Jerkass worker in a convenience store.
  • Can't Kill You, Still Need You: In the beginning of "Dark Angel", Anaksha has to keep the drug-dealer alive to torture him for information.
  • Captain Ethnic: Anaksha herself, who is Indian.
  • Chain of Deals: The general format of the Mini-Adventures. Anaksha even lampshades it at the beginning of A New Threat:
    Anaksha: *sigh* Here we go again on another treasure hunt! Find this, give it to him, find that, give it to her. Story of my freakin' life!
  • Chekhov's Gun: The lighter Slug sells to Jack is a literal example of this trope, as it is actually a hidden gun, and Jack uses it to trick his kidnapper into shooting himself.
  • Co-Dragons: Big-V in the second game has two direct subordinates, Rose DeMartini/Wolf, and Marc LaPierre/Bully. The former is the woman who spurned Jack on his investigation of her sister’s death, while the latter is the Final Boss.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Quite a few of Anaksha's targets engage in this, and Anaksha herself is not afraid to get brutal when she has to.
  • Cold Sniper: Anaksha, though she can get a bit Hot-Blooded and has a genuine friendship with D.
  • Crapsack World: Santa Lina starts out as this; rampant crime, murders left-and-right, cops that are either corrupt or stupid... but after Anaksha takes down the serial killer in Mission 9, and Vincent St. Claire in the final level, things finally start to get better. Then they get worse in the sequel with the introduction of a new, unbelievably addictive drug, and a crime syndicate that profits off the distribution.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Sarah, the teenage wife of one of the targets, dies perhaps the most horrible death of any of the victims of Anaksha's targets. Eamon, the husband in question, has already shown himself to be a nasty piece of work by killing the poor girl's cat, probably her only source of joy during her marriage to him, in sickening fashion by dousing it with butane and burning it alive, most likely to "show her who's boss." When she finally decides to divorce him, both he and Cal do the same to her, right after viciously beating her to within an inch of her life and cutting out her tongue. And yes, poor Sarah is conscious for all of this.
  • Cult:
    • The Children of the Pyramid Cube from Female Assassin, whose leaders want to organize a mass suicide of their members, including children and babies. Some of their members show up as targets.
    • Luna's Temple of Blood from Dark Angel, an all-girl cult whose members practice animal sacrifice and drink blood mixed with vodka, and who have taken to ritualistically murdering homeless people.
  • Dark Action Girl: Anaksha may well be the poster girl, as a Vigilante Woman and Cold Sniper who has taken it upon herself to rid the city of crime. Rose also qualifies, once she is revealed as Wolf, one of Big-V’s Co-Dragons.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Anaksha is haunted by her failure to save her friend from Vincent St. Claire. When Anaksha kills him in the final level, she finally moves on.
  • Dirty Cop:
    • Anaksha kills four of them in the penultimate mission of the first game, all of whom have been destroying evidence for St. Claire, as well as gang-raping a 13-year-old girl in their patrol vehicle and getting her sent to prison on a false drug possession charge.
    • She kills another one in Dark Angel, who was friends with an abusive prick (her other main target in this mission) and who put the guy's pregnant teenage wife through hell when she went to the police after very nearly getting beaten to death by said abusive prick. He threw her in a cell, treated her like a suspect, and even stripped her naked for kicks and left her there for 48 hours to "teach her a lesson." This hellish ordeal led to the poor girl losing her baby, getting an undeserved criminal record for "antisocial behavior" and unnecessary treatment for "psychosis" at a mental institution.
  • Domestic Abuse: Anaksha's early targets are guilty of this, often brutalizing and/or out-and-out murdering their significant others. There's another mission in Dark Angel (the one involving the abusive prick and the Dirty Cop mentioned above), which D says Anaksha will love, because it's been a while since they've tackled one of those.
  • Driven to Suicide:
    • The victim of the first three child-rapists Anaksha is charged with taking down in Female Assassin, hanging herself in the hospital due to the horror of what she went through.
    • In Dark Angel, this is what marks the online scammers for death by Anaksha's hand, their scams being enough to make several of their victims kill themselves after losing their life savings and college funds to them. And they did not give a single crap at all.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Anaksha, and the whole city, earn this after Anaksha takes down Vincent St. Claire (who happens to be one of the most powerful crime bosses in the whole city). The sequel has this even more, when the V-syndicate is finally brought down thanks to the efforts of Anaksha and Jack, the latter of whom gets to live a happy life with Jessi.
  • Endearingly Dorky: Kurt from A New Threat is one of the simpler souls of the game, but his awkward earnestness and adorable manner quickly win Anaksha over.
  • Exact Words: Ziggy begs Anaksha not to shoot him. She throws him out of the window, not even bothering to open it.
  • Excuse Plot: Quick Stop, which was created to test a new game engine, has Anaksha trying to call D after her pit stop with a broken pay phone, and going around to fix it.
  • Femme Fatale: Aside from being blonde and wearing red rather than black, Rose DeMartini seems to fit this rather well, as the client of Hardboiled Detective Jack Goldwyn who wants him to find out who killed her sister, and does not seem to be all that trustworthy. Sure enough, it turns out she did it.
  • Film Noir: The game is outright stated to have been inspired by classics like The Crow and Sin City.
  • Forced Miscarriage: The first guy Anaksha kills in the first game did this to his wife, kicking her in the stomach when she tried to divorce him for being an abusive asshole and causing a miscarriage. The trauma is so bad for her that she ends up in a mental institution.
  • Forged Letter: In the Mini-Adventure "Quick Stop," Anaksha does this to save the job of a convenience store clerk who did her a good turn by allowing her to use the store's restroom, which is normally reserved for employees only, but was ratted out by her rather crankish co-worker. The document in question is a letter of apology, which some unscrupulous employers use as a trick to get a signed confession out of someone so they can have a legal excuse to fire the person anyway, denying them any grounds for a lawsuit. Anaksha does this to allow the clerk an "out" in this should they indeed decide to fire her, and offers her a job at the Zaranna Corporation in case all else fails.
  • Frameup: Anaksha is targeted with one of these in Dark Angel, in this case the murder of an innocent teen. It works, and not only do law enforcement buy it, but even the public turns against her.
  • Genius Ditz: D is a computer genius, but it takes her a while to finally pass her driving test.
  • Girls Love Stuffed Animals: In Anaksha's case, stuffed chimps, as revealed in the Mini-Adventures.
  • Gorn: Many of Anaksha's killings, especially later on, fall under this. And that's not even speaking of what the Serial Killer she takes down likes to do to his victims.
  • Hardboiled Detective: Jack Goldwyn. Lampshaded by the manual, which describes him as “your typical cliched hardboiled PI straight out of a 1940's crime novel”.
  • Heroic BSoD:
    • In Female Assassin, Anaksha has a brief breakdown early in the game when she believes she killed an innocent man, resulting in a 10-Minute Retirement. Her uncle, BabaJi, sets her straight on who he really was, and after she takes out three vicious child-rapists, she is more than ready to take on the scum of the city again with a new resolve.
    • In Dark Angel, Anaksha has another BSOD when she is branded as a bogeyman by the children she wanted to protect. Dee helps her get out of it.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Anti-Hero bordering on Nominal Hero, but Anaksha, a Vigilante Woman who kills the corrupt to protect the innocent, is initially loved by the public. Once she become the victim of a Frame-Up involving a murdered teen girl, those previously-supportive citizens want her dead, calling her a child-murderer.
  • Human Traffickers: Both Vincent St. Claire from Female Assassin and the V-Syndicate from Dark Angel have this as a sideline to their other work.
  • Hypocrite: Several of Anaksha's targets are moral and religious hypocrites.
    • In "Female Assassin", Anaksha takes down a man who is known for his preachings of good behavior and sexual abstinence, but at night stalks women at bars, blows his cash on teenage hookers and backstreet casinos, then comes home broke and drunk to beat seven shades of hell out of his wife, who works two jobs to keep their home from being repossessed.
    • In "Dark Angel", one of Anaksha's targets is "a firebrand preacher" - a highly religious man who loves to engage in petty theft, arson and having sex with his 11-year-old granddaughter.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: The Serial Killer that Anaksha takes down.
  • Kick the Dog: Every one of Anaksha’s targets has done something heinous or horrific to wind up on her hit list.
    • In "Quick Stop," Tracy rats out Melissa, her co-worker, to their boss about letting Anaksha use their store's bathroom which is reserved for employees only — technically "following the rules," but most likely done out of spite and still a jerkass thing to do under the circumstances, particularly since Melissa has two pre-school age kids to support and the boss puts her into the bind of having to write an apology letter to keep her job, which could get her fired anyway with no grounds for a lawsuit (some less-than-scrupulous employers use letters of apology as a dirty trick to get a signed confession out of someone so they can have a legal excuse to fire them).
  • Karmic Death: What happens to the man who intended to kill Jack.
  • Karma Houdini: Big-V in Dark Angel is never seen receiving justice, either arrest by Jack or a bullet from Anaksha. A newspaper in the ending does say that Jack busted the syndicate, possibly implying he got arrested offscreen.
  • Kill It with Fire: Eamon and Cal do this to both Sarah and her cat, alive.
  • Kung Fu-Proof Mook: Vincent, Anaksha's final target in the first game, wears headgear that renders him immune to your Boom, Headshot!. You need to Shoot the Rope above a set of heavy steel girders to crush him and take him out once and for all.
  • Meaningful Name: Anaksha's company is named 'Zaranna." This is a combination of "Zara" (Anaksha's friend whose death sent her on the vigilante's road) and "Anna" (short for "Anaksha").
  • Mentor: Anaksha has one in Edward, her adoptive grandfather, whom she calls "BabaJi," and who taught her how to use the sniper rifle.
  • Mission Control: Anaksha gains one of these in D, a computer expert and granddaughter of a guy who Edward fought alongside during the war.
  • No Antagonist: Quick Stop has no real criminals or villains for Anaksha to hunt down, as the conflict stems from her attempt to call D using a broken pay phone (as her own phone is broken). The closest thing to an antagonist is Tracy, the woman who rats out her co-worker for letting Anaksha use the bathroom in an attempt to get her fired, but this does not have much relation to Anaksha herself and is more of a subplot.
  • Off with His Head!: Several of Anaksha's later missions require her to decapitate a target with her sniper rifle. If you can do this and then land a second shot on the head to make it explode, it's called the Kiss of Death.
  • One-Woman Army: Anaksha. At least, in the beginning of "Female Assassin". Later, she meets BabaJi and D, though they're mostly support.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Many of the targets are this. Trent is a misogynist, just like the guy Anaksha kills in "Sea of Fire" and the drug-dealer she tortures in the beginning of 'Dark Angel". Anaksha also takes down a couple of racist murderers who also sideline as pedophiles.
  • Pædo Hunt: Pedophiles and child rapists are some of the viler of Anaksha's targets, such as her first three-man hit, the child pornographers and the dirty cops from Female Assassin; and the racist couple, the religious hypocrite, and the hooker who pimps out her own underage daughter from Dark Angel.
  • Panty Thief: Anaksha gets to take one (of a genuinely dangerous kind) down.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: As a vigilante assassin, this kind of thing is par for the course for Anaksha.
  • Potty Emergency: Anaksha is in the middle of one at the start of Quick Stop.
  • Pretty Little Headshots: Averted. When Anaksha snipes somebody off, it is not pretty. Especially when she gets her hands on Edward's new "Hellhound" ammo, which can not only tear big chunks out of targets' heads, but can also make people's heads a splode or even blow them right off if they hit the right spots.
  • Rape as Drama: Quite a few of Anaksha's targets have raped people, with the worst of them, such as her first three-man hit and the four Dirty Cops that cover for St. Claire, doing it to children.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: And child rape even more so. Many of Anaksha's worst targets are characterized by having done this.
  • Red Baron: Anaksha is known as the "Virgo Killer" after someone snapped a picture of her shoulder tattoo of the Zodiac symbol Virgo during the game.
  • Red Light District: Santa Lina's Hell's Cats district. Its portrayal is halfway between pitiful and hostile.
  • Religion of Evil: "The Children of Pyramid Cube" looks like this. Also, in "Dark Angel", four of Anaksha's targets are the followers of a cult which requires drinking animal and human blood.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Anaksha first targets abusive husbands, child rapists and other assorted scumbags, but after Vincent St. Claire resurfaces, she spends the entire 3rd act disrupting his operations before finally taking him down in the final mission.
  • Serial Killer: One of the targets, Edward Riley, is a cannibalistic serial killer. He's murdered, skinned and eaten at least forty people, all of them hookers. He is the first target who you get to give the full Your Head A-Splode treatment to, and it couldn't happen to a more deserving piece of work.
  • Samus Is a Girl: Interestingly, while the player is aware that the Virgo Killer is the female Anaksha, everyone (aside from D and a crazy psychic in a TV interview) seems to believe the Virgo Killer to be a man, and Anaksha does nothing to disprove such speculations. This becomes particularly prominent in Dark Angel, where the gender of the Virgo Killer is brought up as a subject of debate. Also in the sequel is Wolf, one of Big-V's Co-Dragons, who turns out to be Rose.
  • Shadow Archetype: A rare non-evil example in Jack Goldwyn. Jack is reasonably pleasant if abrasive, refuses to kill and has a strong belief in the law. Anaksha cares about justice, but has disdain for the cops, is more than willing to kill and has a lot of deep seated mental issues to the point where her only friend is a computer geek.
  • A Simple Plan: All Anaksha wants to do in Quick Stop is go to the bathroom and call D. While getting the former is relatively simple, getting the latter proves to be the harder task, particularly since her cellphone is dead and the pay phone has been vandalized.
  • She Who Fights Monsters: Anaksha worries about becoming this at several points in "Female Assassin": "Killing that piece of scum was exhilarating, but is it wrong to enjoy this? Will I become like them, reveling in pain of others?"
  • Shout-Out: The entire Pyramid Cube cult is a shout-out to Time Cube, what with the talk about "educated stupid" and such.
  • Slashed Throat: How several of Anaksha's targets have murdered people.
  • Sniping Mission: Both Female Assassin and Dark Angel are "assassin" games primarily focused upon sniping people off.
  • Tampering with Food and Drink: During A New Threat, Anaksha tries this to get rid of Trent, poisoning his whiskey using a nasty concoction whipped up by Brad. It doesn't work, but fortunately, Brad was able to create another poison pill just before he died, which she can use to poison an insulin syringe that becomes her final weapon against him.
  • Talkative Loon: In the Mini-Adventure "A New Threat," Anaksha meets a lunatic who is a member of The Children of the Pyramid Cube; he goes on about "truth mucus" and how circles are the devil.
  • 10-Minute Retirement: Anaksha nearly suffers a breakdown after she thought she killed an innocent man, fearing that she has become like the scum she's been sniping off. Edward helps set her straight on what he really was, however.
  • That Woman Is Dead:
    Anaksha: That was the day I died...and the vengeful spirit within me was born.
  • Vigilante Woman: Anaksha specifically targets criminals who have escaped the law, or are on the enforcer side of it.
  • Villainous Breakdown: The reason Vincent St. Claire tries to obliterate his school is because Anaksha has seriously damaged his operations, and made it harder for him to conceal them. The bogus email he sent to the police and the media in the name of the Virgo Killer flat-out shows that Anaksha "made his blood boil."
  • Wretched Hive: The city of Santa Lina, especially the Hell's Cats district, is so crime-ridden that it takes a Vigilante Woman shooting the people responsible for the mess before the city starts to improve.
  • Your Head A-Splode: After the first five missions, Anaksha gets her hands on some new bullets from Edward that can do this to her targets. Certain missions require you to asplode a target's head in a certain way. For example: one mission dealing with a crazy cult requires you to destroy the leader's brain so that the cult has nothing to preserve.
    • The Temple Shot allows you to give a target the full head-explosion treatment, and is first seen in action against Edward Riley, the Serial Killer.
    • The Kiss of Death is the name for doing this after decapitating the target, while the head is in mid-air. Doing this is actually required to beat the final mission in the second game.

Alternative Title(s): Anaksha Dark Angel