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Video Game / Avarice

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There is a saying where I come from: "there's no more dangerous place to be than between a man and something he wants." Today, my friend, I am that man, and you are in that place.

Avarice is a non-linear freeware Action RPG for PC, made in RPG Maker VX by Anaryu, Solitayre, and Krisanna in 2009. The game was based on the idea of "opposite forces", in this case, magic and technology. It is rather short, (only three dungeons) but the gameplay and storyline are both polished and engaging. It is available here.

The plot centers around Lexi, a tech-savvy Action Girl, and Vandeli, an arrogant mage with loose morals. The duo goes through three different dungeons to deal with mages (that were previously Vandeli's allies) that have been causing trouble.

Not to be confused with the Deadly Sin, which is under Greed.

Tropes used in Avarice:

  • Action Girl: Lexi, who easily fights various opponents with her guns and daggers.
  • Action Prologue: The prologue consists of Vandeli walking through the charred remains of the desert town he set on fire in order to flush a mage called Inan, whom he then defeats in a magical duel.
  • Arbitrary Weapon Range: Bullets from Lexi's starting pistol barely travel a few steps forward before disappearing. If anything, a bee's spike attack appears to outrange them.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Played for Drama in a rather disturbing manner after Vandeli teleports Elyne to the Nine Circles. His response to Lexi's What the Hell, Hero? is "Look, if it makes you feel any better, she was a very bad person. She robbed, murdered, took candy from babies."
  • Bee Afraid: The first enemy type is a bee/wasp/hornet that shoots spikes in a tight cluster of four.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Averted, as all of Lexi's guns have a limited amount of ammo.
  • Bullet Hell: Bosses will frequently spam you with tons of projectiles. For that matter, with the right weapons, you can unleash bullet hell on other people.
  • Creepy Blue Eyes: Vandeli possesses unsettlingly large blue-greenish eyes that complement his Slasher Smile. At times, they'll glow as well.
  • Devil in Plain Sight: Vandeli for a long time after the prologue. While the audience already knows how evil he is, he successfully convinces Lexi that he is a mere travelling mage, and only intends to escort.
  • Destructive Savior: Lexi has these tendencies, which is why she is forced to constantly travel in search of employers who do not yet know of her.
    Trent: You caused 5000 Jade of collateral damage! It'll take the Guild weeks to restore the excavation site you ruined!
  • Difficulty Levels: Easy, Normal, Hard and Insane.
  • Doomed Hometown: Played with, in that this is done by one of the protagonists, Vandeli, to the desert town Inan is hiding in, shortly before he defeats the latter in a fight, and murders him as he is begging for his life.
  • Energy Ball: Vandeli's default attack, Aura Bolt, is a red orb. Inan attacks at range with a greenish ball.
  • Fake Difficulty: The bosses are sometimes a lot harder than they should be because they usually unleash a Bullet Hell, which makes the game lag heavily on most computers. The subpar engine of the RPG Maker VX does not help.
    • Especially jarring with the Final Boss fight. Both of them have one extremely powerful move (the rocket launcher for Lexi and the shotgun iceshards for Vandeli), that also covers a large area and can be hard to avoid. Sometimes it even hits the player without actually connecting (when hitting the pillar in the middle), often resulting in a frustrating death.
  • Final Boss: Either Vandeli or Lexi; you get to choose which one you play as before the battle.
  • Inexplicable Treasure Chest: Wooden boxes with items are just present all over the areas you explore, even in the woods by the side of the road.
  • Goggles Do Nothing: Lexi is another in the long line of redheaded mechanic girls who only ever carries goggles on her forehead.
  • He Knows About Timed Hits: After he is done with the pre-battle conversation with Inan, Vandeli immediately segues into addressing the player, asking "And I suppose you expect me to explain the nature of combat to you?" Choosing "Could you?" has him proceed with narrating the tutorial.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Done very cruelly with Elyne, a demon summoner. In order to do so, of course, she needs to make a portal to Hell. After you beat her, Vandeli opens the portal and throws her in while she begs for mercy.
  • Hope Spot: One occurs right at the end of the prologue, when the players may yet hope that Vandeli still has some good in him. It is quickly dashed.
    Vandeli: ''Thank you Inan, you have been most helpful! In exchange for your information, I have decided not to kill you!"
    Inan: Really!?
    Vandeli: No, not really.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: While Lexi carry dozens of heavy weapons at a time, and pull them seemingly from nowhere. It's even lampshaded by the gun salesman when you first meet him: "I bet you're carrying at least three concealed weapons right now."
  • Justified Save Point: The saving is done at Way Markers, which are an ancient creation whose work principle no-one is exactly sure about.
  • Magic Versus Science: Though they aren't actually diametrically opposed, there is definitely something going on here with Vandeli and Lexi...
  • Mentor: Haldez used to be this to Vandeli.
  • More Dakka: Lexi starts with a one-shot flintlock, and works her way up the rapid-fire ladder to a gatling gun
  • Playing with Fire: Vandeli starts with a Fireball as his alternate attack.
  • Point Build System: There are no levels, but experience is instead used to purchase "talents", which either improve passive exploration skills like Mechanics or Acrobatics, or will increase the damage of certain weapons, reduce the MP cost, etc.
  • Redemption Demotion: Turned around from its usual form; whoever you fight against in the final battle becomes much more powerful than when they were a playable character. All of their stats skyrocket and they gain their most powerful skills even if you never found them. (In Vandeli's case, he even gains superpowerful shotgun-like spells that aren't available when he's playable, and in Lexi's case, she never has to reload and has infinite ammo.)
  • Scavenger World / Lost Technology: As stated above, the game's theme is magic and technology. The idea is that the Kydera were once a great civilization, but once they died out, people were left with an abundance of both magic and technology, but an understanding of neither.
  • Slasher Smile: Vandeli is often drawn with one when he talks.
  • Smug Snake: Vandeli, whose arrogance and disregard for others is seen from the very start. As he finishes narrating the tutorial, he coolly remarks of his opponent.
    "I can relax and take my time with this one. Inan was never a challenge."
    • After he kills him, he tops that by going, "Poor Inan. I hope that if someone kills me, I would die with more dignity than that! Ah, who am I kidding? No-one will ever kill me! Ha ha ha!"
    • While he tries to downplay it when talking to Lexi, he still lets this slip through.
    Vandeli: Remember that name. One day, it'll be celebrated throughout the Empire!
    Lexi: Well, aren't we a humble one? All right, let's go!
  • Take Over the World: The motivation of Vandeli once he is done getting revenge.
    "Once I have "it", the world will be my playground!"
  • What Measure Is a Mook?: Vandeli goes a step further by taking that attitude to civilians in Inan's town.
    Vandeli: "Well, I had to get your attention somehow. Setting the town on fire seemed suitably theatrical. Besides, it's not like anybody is going to miss these peasants, except maybe their tax collectors. Now, let's talk business.''
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Lexi subverts this by showing that she is not so easily disposed of.