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Video Game / Atom RPG

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Города, где я бывал, по которым тосковал, Мне знакомы от стен и до крыш...note note 

ATOM RPG is an indie, survival-horror RPG set in an Alternate Timeline, post-apocalyptic Soviet Russia. The game was released on December 19th, 2018 and is available for purchase here. Unlike in our world, the Cold War ended up turning hot in 1986, drowning the world in atomic fire. Civilization collapsed almost entirely, outside of a few small pockets, with the vast majority of humanity falling into amoral infighting.

When the bombs dropped, however, an organization sheltered itself from the carnage, and maintained a strong, if discreet, presence. This organization, ATOM, began a long, covert mission to rebuild pre-war society from the shadows. You are a cadet in this organization, about to be sent out to find a lost expedition, led by one General Morozov, which was last seen heading to a mysterious bunker, numbered 317...


You'll have to meet locals and learn to live in this new world while your mission unfolds, and hopefully you'll be able to get in contact with the ally they order you to seek out in Krasnoznamenny, the large settlement nested on a river in the southeastern section of the region.

ATOM RPG contains examples of these tropes:

  • Affectionate Parody: Equal parts this and Homage to Fallout. A large number of the quests are even ripped straight from the first two games, from the first village suffering from bandits lording over them, to making a porno, to stopping an organization devoted to "unifying" humanity by voiding individuality.
  • After the End: 19 years after, to be specific.
  • Alternate History: One in which the Cold War turned hot. A protest at the Berlin Wall escalated into a battle between NATO and USSR forces, with machinations attempting to scapegoat the conflict onto Russia. The resulting tensions boiled over in 1986, and the world was consumed with atomic fire.
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  • Always Chaotic Evil: The Army of Death is a handful of roving bands of marauders that butcher people in the name of darwinism. They have no redeeming qualities and, while they can be talked out of fighting you or tricked into fleeing, will otherwise be utterly ruthless and bloodthirsty.
  • All for Nothing: Kovalev's project to rebuild a car quickly bursts into flames when the man you sought help from in getting the parts for it orders a hit on the good comrade for bad blood. You lose your shot at a car after several quests for it, and Kovalev dies.
  • A.K.A.-47: Averted! Every gun is specifically named and detailed on in it's description.
  • And Then John Was a Zombie: General Morozov and almost all of his expedition have either been killed, assimilated into Mycelium or possessed by the Mushroom Mind. Morozov himself appears to be an egregious case of possession, for his eyes glow extremely brightly compared to other victims, and he even has crackles on his face when you meet him!
  • Arc Symbol: Mushrooms. In Otradnoye, your very first quest can potentially be to go pick mushrooms for Katya. In Bunker 317, you find several amulets with Mushroom-symbols on some of the dead expedition members. In Krasnoznamenny, Mycelium embraces mushroom symbolism in order to work towards their goal of achieving symbolic unity between people.
  • Assimilation Plot: This is Mycelium's end-goal. On the surface, it appears to be mere symbolism, with humanitarian and scientific efforts being their forefront activities. In reality, they seek to contaminate the water supplies of local settlements with the spores of a sentient mushroom, forming a Hive Mind.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The Vintorez. It's both an assault rifle and a sniper rifle. All three types of shots you can take with itnote  cost 4 AP, and it's silenced, allowing you to assassinate people left and right from afar. All of this said, burst shots are extremely tempting in close quarters, and the ammo isn't exactly common. Good luck restocking.
  • BFG: There are several toned-down, but prominent examples in the game: The PTRD, VVE, RPD, FN Minimi, and the Kalashnikov. Almost all of these are end-game weapons.
  • Bittersweet Ending: If the player destroys the Mushroom Mind, even if they protest to the ATOM squadron that entered Krasnoznamenny, they will annex the city, placing it under martial law. While "redevelopment" accelerates with their rule, the game notes that many of the personal freedoms people enjoyed in the city are stripped bare.
    • If Dan and his gang are facilitated and their opposition defeated/diverted, they continue to lord over small local settlements like thugs. Despite this, however, they develop from a gang into a respected Mercenary army, much like how the Wolves (and Guards) of Peregon did.
  • Boring, but Practical: Pistols. They're lightweight, their ammo is plentiful, and as you progress through the game there's usually a decent pistol around that can be swapped out if your skill is high enough. Their attacks have extremely low AP costs, which only go down further if you invest in pistol perks! And the final cherry on top? Being one-handed weapons, you can equip shields with them!
  • Break the Cutie: Katya suffers this if you tell her about Kovalev's real fate. After first angrily denying what you're saying, breaks down into inconsolable sobbing. If you return after that point, she's immersed in her work and won't give you the time of day; not out of malice, but just because she's worn down and broken. The game even says point-blank that something broke inside of her because of this.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Land: The wastes are full of nutjobs, ranging from Doomsday Cults, to Talkative Loons whose brains are rotting from mutation, to a circus full of mutants using their mutations to gain money! But Krasnoznamenny truly takes the cake. Citizens in the city, when not cranky, corrupt or otherwise preoccupied, are generally spouting complete nonsense!
    • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Hexogen. Good lord, Hexogen. You meet the guy holed up inside an abandoned house, sniping at giant spiders. When you finally get his barricades down to talk to him, he goes on a continuous tirade about the glory of Communism, referring to your character as his son/daughter.
  • Cool Old Guy: Comrade Kovalev, the head of Otradnoye.
  • Deconstruction: Of many of Fallout's recurring themes and ideas. To name a few:
    • Bottlecaps as currency. The description for Rubles states that bottlecaps as currency were poked at as an idea once, but quickly discarded.
    • Couriers in the Wastes seem to not be as lucky, determined or durable as a certain Courier that longtime Fallout fans might be accustomed to.
    • While ATOM RPG has a near-identical equivalent to Feral Ghouls in the form of Shadows, non-feral mutants are marginally different, not just from their feral counterparts, but from each-other. The mutations you encounter in the game are incredibly diverse; some people turn into repugnant cavities oozing green fluids out of their nose and ears, some develop the ability to lay fertilized eggs, containing human fetuses. Not only that, but unlike in Fallout, where there are plenty of settlements that accept ghouls into their folds, you almost never see any more than 1 mutant per human settlement, and in general, mutants are considered a footnote at best in conversations or something to be shot on sight at worst.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: Automatic Firearms. In most cases, they're heavy, and short of surviving the bandits that mug you at the beginning, you're hard-pressed to find one that isn't rusted out until you reach Krasnoznamenny, or scrape up enough money to buy one off the caravans. Even then, they tend to have high Strength requirements, and a high Dexterity to ensure you'll have enough AP to use the damn things. But once you get through the skill tree for them, you'll eventually get a perk that nulls Strength requirements for these weapons, allowing, with proper planning on character creation, for you to have a BFG in your hands that shreds everything in it's path.
  • Dirty Communists: Even though the game is set in a post-apocalyptic USSR, the game is not afraid to prod at various glaring flaws of the Soviet Union, such as the brainwashing, cults of personality, authoritarian regime, and so on. Things like Dan, a former KGB agent who founded a gang of thieves and thugs to extort money out of protection rackets, is very much Truth in Television in post-USSR countries with minimal revenue. Hexogen is easily the biggest example of a realistic view on the Soviet Union; yes, they were oppressive, brutal and authoritarian, but at the end of the day, the cause that it was originally for, the extermination of class, wealthy disparity and so on, was nevertheless a noble goal.
  • Expy: Being a game based on Fallout, there's quite a few:
    • Morlocks are the game's answer to Deathclaws; incredibly durable, incredibly quick, and hugging high-radiation areas. But fear not! Aim for their eyes!
    • Shadows in the Dead City are Feral Ghouls: Fragile Speedsters on their own, but form zombie-like packs and rush parties of people.
    • Arachnids are ATOM's resident Radscorpions.
    • Otradnoye is a Shout-Out to Shady Sands in Fallout, and you can even continue the similarities, if you get them to vote Katya into the position of village head!
  • Faking Another Person's Illness: The front gate guard of Krasnoznamenny pulls a particularly annoying example of this. He claims you have a disease called Krasnov's Syndrome, which is largely regarded as a hoax, and uses that as an excuse to demand a bribe to let you into the city. The best you can do is either convince him to lower the price or circumvent the front gates entirely by entering through the tunnels and sewers.
  • Fantastic Racism: Humans are prejudiced towards mutants. It's both more and less Justified, given how unpredictable and downright crazy mutants can be.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: You get Dzhulbars as a companion during a random encounter; a man and his dog are attacked by bandits, and you have to intervene. To get him as a companion the man needs to die. If you intervene too quickly and save him, Dzhulbars is locked out of your party.
  • Five-Man Band: A complete party has:
    • The Cadet: The Leader - This is reinforced by your companions refusing to allow some of their skills to be accessed, such as barter, speechcraft, pickpocketing, etc. They expect you to handle a lot of those things as you're calling the shots.
    • Fidel: The Lancer - He is constantly urging you to make certain decisions, is a more experienced and integrated agent than you, the rookie, and will go down fighting if you side with the Mushroom Mind.
    • Hexogen: The Smart Guy - Despite his being bonkers, he's got the highest intelligence of your companions, only being potentially topped by you. On top of this, he claims to be an accomplished writer. As you travel with him, this is revealed to be true.
    • Alexander: The Big Guy - He's got the highest Strength and Endurance of all your companions, and starts off with a proficiency in Martial Arts.
    • Dzuhlbars: Team Pet - Your faithful companion in a cruel, unforgiving world.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: The Hesperus Star, albeit it's more of a looming threat than a villain. The Mushroom Mind claims to only wish to achieve Unity so that it can rebuild civilization in time to properly dispose of the asteroid.
    • On a more grounded note, the area in which the game takes place is regarded in-lore as being extremely well-off compared to it's neighboring territories, which are overrun and teeming with marauders and misery. If you kill Dan and disband the factory gang, the ending will reveal that Otradnoye, for all the chafing they suffer from their bullying, get overrun by these marauders with no real military protecting them.
  • Future Imperfect: Many people in post-apocalyptic Russia seem to have a different view of Lenin than history details. In their view, Lenin was a deity of sorts whom slayed mutant ants before ascending to a divine realm.
  • Heroic Willpower: What can only be described as this allows you to power through several attempts from The Mushroom Mind to overwhelm your consciousness. Depending on your choices, though...
  • I'm a Humanitarian: The barbecue vendors in Peregon are revealed to be this, kidnapping and torturing slaves before butchering them for meat.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: Shields are a thing in the lands of ATOM RPG! They act as a bonus to armor and defense against melee attacks. The downside of this, however, is that you can't equip shields and backpacks simultaneously, meaning you'll miss out on a big carry weight bonus.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Killing Dan and the Factory Gang are revealed to be incredibly disastrous for Otradnoye, as even with Katya in charge, the village will get razed to the ground, as they're woefully underequipped to deal with the swarms of raiders and psychos running around the wastes.
  • Reality Ensues: In a post-apocalyptic wasteland, humanity would be even more helpless against a cosmic phenomena, such as an asteroid striking the planet, causing untold destruction beyond atomic bombs.
    • Getting rid of a tyrannical power with a large armed presence without actually replacing the military force will only create a power vacuum, often leading to worse, more chaotic forces taking hold of the area.
    • A large part of your ability to interact with people is affected by your player's Personality (Charisma) stat. Of course, most people in the wastes are mistrustful of strangers, and unless that stranger makes a really good impression when they approach, chances are you're not going to want to talk to them.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: In the Tunnel of Death's hidden nuclear silo control center, it's revealed that the missiles inside are unfired, as the officer in charge refused to fire them. Even after being reminded that doing so is treason, and he'd be executed, he persisted, and barricaded himself in one of the rooms with the access codes. You can potentially make it All for Nothing if you're really hungry for XP.
  • Seemingly Hopeless Boss Fight: At the very beginning of the game, no less! You're sitting at a campfire, alone at night, when suddenly, a group of bandits surrounds your camp. They attempt to mug you; if you try to talk them down and have a high enough sequence, or choose to defend yourself, you can hurry to your AK-47, then rush away to put some distance between you and them before spraying them down. Succeeding this gives you the hefty starting bonus of extra ammo and the AK.
  • Shout-Out: There's quite a few:
    • In the Tunnel of Death, there's a missile control facility that still has power over unlaunched nukes. You can opt to launch one at a chosen location for a boatload of EXP. One of the locations is Bethesda, UK; another is California.
    • There's scavengers known as Stalkers, and places like the Dead City [[Video Game/STALKER are almost exclusively occupied by them]].
  • Shown Their Work / Truth in Television: The developers behind the game were very eager to demonstrate how an apocalypse would affect the Soviet Union, and it shows:
    • The car dealer in Peregon has an entire quest centered around you buying a car from him. He gives you a price based on what model car you want, and when you have the money, you pay it down and proceed to wait 2 weeks for his quest to progress. After another week of "delays" and an additional payment towards the car, he books it without a word for a casino in Krasnoznamenny. If you confront him, he gives a bogus story about bandits stealing the car, as well as commandeering his warehouse. While this seems like just another example of people being awful and conning one another, this was genuinely how buying a car in the USSR worked. You paid down and waited for months, if not years, before ever seeing your purchase. And this is if you actually got it.
    • Dan was a former agent of the KGB, who meticulously built up power until he became leader of a large gang taking residence in an abandoned factory. This gang extorts local villages for taxes in exchange for protection against marauders from outside the area around Krasnoznamenny. This may sound like a cool backstory at first, but this is actually what happened in a lot of post-Soviet states. Former KGB agents have been known for infiltrating various facets of societies to build up power bases for themselves, the absolute most prominent example being Vladimir Putin.
  • The Evils of Free Will: This is the primary thing the Mushroom Mind wants to stop, as it believes this is what keeps humanity from re-developing itself at the speed necessary to be able to deal with the Hesperus Star.
  • The Extremist Was Right: Dan is a borderline tyrant, but endings in which he's dead reveal his gang was indeed integral to protecting settlements like Otradnoye from being overrun by psychopaths.
  • The Freakshow: The Circus is a fine example of this, and then some! The most tame person there, apart from the Wasteland Elder leading the show, is both a Bearded Lady and a Fortune Teller. The guards are clowns - one whom is The Grotesque who has a mouth on his stomach - a Contortionist who has a voice in her spleen that shouts lewd things, a man with a beak, and a woman who can lay actual, fertilized human eggs!
  • The Man Behind the Man: ATOM is a more benign example of this. They scatter agents across the wastes to work covertly in restoring civilization, be it by founding settlements or reintroducing technologies lost to the world. It's implied they more or less founded Krasnoznamenny.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: While certainly more of a selfish variety than most, Dan believes he's bringing order to the wastes by subjugating the smaller settlements, and that his gang protects them from legitimate threats in the form of hordes of marauders.
  • Wolfpack Boss: Parties of human enemies armed with armor and weaponry tend to be magnitudes more difficult than any singular boss could be, the exception being VIL-a.
  • Wretched Hive: Almost any settlement is this, but standout examples include Krasnoznamenny and Trudograd, the latter of which is only mentioned in dialogue.

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