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Video Game / BioForge

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"Return the fork, or I'll command it to destroy you!"

A 1995 Action-Adventure game by Origin Systems for DOS and Windows PCs.

He wakes up in a cell. He doesn't know who he is. He doesn't remember where he is. He is within the depths of an abandoned sprawling base on a lonely moon; apparently, he is the victim of an insane radical group's cruel experiments, which have turned him into a Cyborg — a grotesque killing machine.

It is up to him to escape the base, discover the secret of his true identity and the moon, and hopefully get revenge on the Mad Scientist responsible for his ordeal, Dr. Mastaba.

The game was technologically innovative for its usage of fully-textured 3D models (imagine the first Alone in the Dark, only with PlayStation quality models), but didn't have great sales, owing perhaps to its very high system requirements and it being advertised as an "Interactive Movie" (while having little do to with them) just as that genre was losing its popularity.

Not to be confused with Geneforge.

A Let's Play of the game is available.

This game features examples of:

  • Advanced Ancient Acropolis: The Phyxx base, the last relic of this civilization.
  • Amnesiac Hero: The protagonist wakes up at the start with no idea who or where or even what he is.
  • Anti-Air: The protagonist must shoot down a dropship at close quarters using a large turret gun in the complex's tower.
  • Arm Cannon: One of Dr. Mastaba's "enhancements" for you.
  • Apocalyptic Log: Various logs scattered around the base chronicle how it came to be in such a ruined state before you woke up.
  • Artistic License – Music: In a game full of alien monsters, mad science, and transhuman cultists, perhaps the greatest absurdity is how the protagonist can play a flute that well with only six total fingers.
  • Ax-Crazy: The victims of the cyborgization process kept going completely insane until Mastaba found out how to stop it. The player also has the option of acting Ax-Crazy themselves, as there are points where you can kill someone even though they pose no threat to you.
  • Bare-Fisted Monk: There are firearms in the game (and the severed arm), but for the most part you can complete it beating up enemies with your hands and feet.
  • BFG: Originally carried by Tumolt.
  • Blessed with Suck: Yes, you're a cyborg with an Arm Cannon and a Healing Factor, but you're also a deformed freak. Also, both the cannon and the healing are powered by the same batteries that the escape ship needs. Use them too much, and you'll lock yourself out of winning the game.
  • Chicken Walker: The security bots in the corridors.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander:
    • Caynan ends up in this state (with a heavy dose of Ax-Crazy) after Dr. Mastaba's experiments drive him insane.
    • The Prime Paragon's logs spend time in this territory when he's not being The Fundamentalist.
  • Cursed with Awesome: Dr. Mastaba's experiments have destroyed the protagonist's identity (and appearance), but they have also given him powers which are his only hope of escaping the doomed base.
  • Cyborg: The protagonist. And, well, all of Dr. Mastaba's victims.
  • Death World: Daedalus, the moon where the Mondite base is located, is a deeply unpleasant world with horrid fauna, unbreathable air, and an acid lake.
  • Deadly Euphemism: Where did Dr. Mastaba put his failed past experiments? "In the lake."
  • Dressing as the Enemy: When wearing the enviro suit, the station personnel will leave you alone unless you attack them.
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom: The reactor explosion of your base somehow manages to blow up the entire moon.
  • 11th-Hour Superpower: Near the end of the game, your character acquires the ability to fire a destructive beam out of his wrist.
  • Elaborate Underground Base: complete with hangar bay, cryogenics lab, prison, defense tower, medical experimentation lab. Associated problems include earthquakes and Mole Men tunnelling.
  • Electronic Speech Impediment: The nurse robot at the beginning of the game experiences this problem when it receives damage.
  • Enemy Civil War: One reason for the decline of the Phyxx civilization.
  • Enter Solution Here: The various security codes (randomized with every game).
  • From Bad to Worse: Yes, you just woke up in a prison cell as a subject of monstrous experiments which have left you deformed. And you'll soon learn that the base you're in is a) on a Death World and b) self-destructing.
  • The Fundamentalist: The Prime Paragon, insane leader of the Mondites.
  • Going Critical: Stopping a reactor from meltdown is one of the stages of your quest.
  • Gravity Master: The Phyxx race. Their civilization was built upon the mastery of gravity. The upper learner/leader class lived in low gravity cities where little physical effort is needed, while the worker/soldier class were grown in high gravity environments to make them stronger. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Gravity Screw: There is a room deep in the alien ruins where you're stuck in orbit around an object in the middle.
  • Grenade Hot Potato: At one point, a marine chucks a grenade into the room you're in. (A grenade with a ridiculously long fuse.) Return to sender.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body: The fight right at the beginning of the game, where you beat up an Ax-Crazy psychopath with his own severed limb. All while shouting that you have no wish to harm him.
  • Heel–Face Turn:
    • Caynan, one of the Mondite guards. Unfortunately, it didn't turn out well for him and he was made into a test subject himself.
    • Dr. Escher, although she was never that committed to the Mondite cause.
  • Higher-Tech Species: The Phyxx.
  • Human Popsicle: Well, an "alien popsicle". The few surviving Phyxx are cryogenically frozen.
  • Identity Amnesia: Bioforge is but one of many stories to kick off with this trope.
  • Karma Houdini: Despite conducting horrendous Unwilling Robotization experiments Dr. Mastaba gets away scot-free.
  • Machine Worship: The Mondite movement. A quite powerful terrorist organization who believes firmly in transhumanism, and won't stop at anything to "evolve" humanity.
  • Mad Scientist: Dr. Mastaba, and how!
  • Mana Meter: Your battery meter, used to regenerate health and to power your built-in gun.
  • Nintendo Hard: Clunky tank controls and melee combat that doesn't cooperate with it, Trial-and-Error Gameplay puzzles and potential instant deaths, an early part of the game is a Timed Mission that is so difficult to deal with that it can come down to pure luck (and trying to savescum inside this part will automatically run out the timer every time the save is loaded, making the game impossible and thus forcing it to have to be done in one go), and the Unintentionally Unwinnable situation listed below. This game doesn't mess around.
  • Phlebotinum Rebel: You and (somewhat) Dane, at least.
  • Playing with Syringes
  • Pro-Human Transhuman: Dr. Mastaba hoped that you would succumb to Transhuman Treachery after he upgraded (and deformed) you, but instead made you into a vengeful Phlebotinum Rebel.
  • Protagonist Without a Past: There are several possible identities, from common bandits to noble captains — depending on your behavior throughout the game, one of them turns out to be your own.
  • Puzzle Boss: There are two or three of these. Though you must engage in actual combat with the cyber-raptor, you can't beat it until you knock it onto the Dilating Door on the floor and open door, dropping it into a cryo tank where it will fight with another unbeatable monster serving as a Beef Gate. Later on there is another acid-dwelling monster that you must blow up with a missile from a crashed dropship.
  • Ragnarök Proofing: The Phyxx ruins at the Excavation Site survived really well for being a hundred thousand years old.
  • Quest for Identity: One of the points of the game. Interestingly, your decisions at four key places in the game determine which of Dr. Mastaba's possible test subjects you were. In all cases, it's ultimately All for Nothing, in a sense. After unlocking the file that reveals who he was, the protagonist concludes that he can never be that person again.
  • Recoil Boost: The aforementioned Gravity Screw room forces you to use this.
  • See You in Hell: At one point, the protagonist utters a variant of this that is more somber than usual: "I'm sure I'll be joining you and your men in hell very shortly." (This is a Post-Mortem One-Liner the protagonist utters while the base's nuclear reactor is still on the verge of exploding.)
  • Sequel Hook: Dr. Escher survived but was captured, with Dr. Mastaba gloating that she will be his next test subject. But alas, all hope for a sequel/expansion is long since gone.
  • Shout-Out: The two dropships are named Roenick and Chelios. Jeremy Roenick and Chris Chelios were both players with the Chicago Blackhawks in 1995 when the game was made.
  • Sprite/Polygon Mix: Flat backgrounds, 3D objects, like in Alone in the Dark.
  • Strapped to an Operating Table: Happens to Dane, the hero in the opening cutscene, and presumably all of Dr. Mastaba's other victims.
  • The Unfought: Dr. Mastaba escapes your wrath, and will continue his hideous experiments.
  • Transhuman Treachery: Dr. Mastaba was hoping this trope would result with his victims.
  • Unintentionally Unwinnable: Draining the alien battery you got from the first alien leader too much (either by healing or firing your Arm Cannon), and you will not have enough power to charge up your escape vehicle.
  • Unwilling Roboticisation: All the victims of Dr. Mastaba.