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Video Game / Black Future '88

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Black Future '88 is a Roguelike Run-and-Gun game that was developed by Super Scary Snakes, published by Good Shepherd Entertainment, and released for PC through Steam and on Nintendo Switch on November 21st, 2019. It is very fast and can be played alone or in co-op.

It is set in a particularly dark Cyberpunk world where a crazed billionaire named Duncan has begun a nuclear bombardment of the Earth in 1988, which hasn't stopped since, to the point none of the survivors are even sure how much time has passed, and prefer to think it's still 1988 out of convenience. Now, you control one of the 5 available characters and must scale an ever-evolving tower of Skymelt, whose floors are full of guards and drones in order to finally put an end to Duncan's carnage.

Black Future '88 contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Airborne Mook: Besides the drones, there are also the jetpack-equipped guards encountered from the third area onwards.
  • Attack Drone: Flying, armed drones are present from the very first floors. Prophet-5 is a flying drone boss who summons basic drones and has two components detach halfway through. Juno is a drone with a machine gun and a powerful laser, and is one half of the Juno and Jupiter boss fight.
  • Bloodless Carnage: The guards don't bleed when they die, and instead they instantly turn black and fall into the background.
  • Disturbed Doves: Whenever you complete the final fight before a boss room, a holographic projection of a flock of white doves will emerge from the direction of its entrance.
  • Doppelgänger Attack: Dr. Avalanche can create multiple shadow doppelgangers, all of whom will then simultaneously fire a burst from their pistols. You can interrupt this by managing to hit the real one out of the group.
  • Dual Boss: The battle with Juno (a drone) and Jupiter (a human with the laser sword and the ability to teleport).
  • Excuse Plot: There's a brief premise and insane quotes from Duncan at the start of every level, but that's as far as the storyline goes.
  • Faceless Goons: The guards wear full face-covering helmets with their armor.
  • Flunky Boss: Prophet-5 will constantly have the basic drones arriving to back it up.
  • Homing Projectile: Some enemies fire self-guiding missiles.
  • Jet Pack: The more elite guard varieties can stay constantly airborne thanks to these. A boss named Uberheim also possesses a jet pack, though he only occasionally uses it as he often prefers to outright melee the player.
  • Laser Blade: The so-called Night Stiletto is a laser sword with a pure white blade. It is also the weapon wielded by the Jupiter boss, and Dr. Avalanche has a very similar one.
  • Laser Sight: Various ranged enemies with beam attacks have these, which again mainly let you know when to dodge.
  • Limit Break: The Animal Heart upgrade increases your firing speed if you have a low blood count (i.e. health).
  • Mad Scientist:
    • Duncan, who essentially created the entire tower of Skymelt just so that he could destroy the world on what is pretty much a whim. While playing the game, he'll say some line every time you reach a new level (and one upon his death) but they are all faux-philosophical statements like "And the gods of the tower whispered their secrets through a hole in the air." or "To live deliciously was my only sin", which only accentuate his madness.
    • Dr. Avalanche should also count, since he is clearly another scientist and seems to willingly serve Duncan for whatever reason. You don't really learn anything about him, though, while he looks less like a stereotypical scientist and more like an anime villain with a nice suit, bright white hair and a laser sword.
  • Our Weapons Will Be Boxy in the Future: The guns of Skymelt's guards are all certainly much more rectangular than any weapon in the real-world 1988.
  • Spread Shot: Some drones shoot a spread of three bullets. Prophet-5 fires a wide spread of around a dozen bullets.
  • Timed Mission: The entire game is on a timer, as your character's heart will literally burst if you take too long. You can regain some of the lost time by buying chrono at the vendors, though.
  • Video Game Dashing: Present by default. Getting boss cores also lets you add upgrades like a Local Power Nullifier, which displaces all the enemy projectiles in the vicinity, or Juno Core, which leaves a damaging laser beam in your wake. A Saving Grace upgrade even gives you a chance to heal when dashing through the bullets.
  • A Winner Is You: Beating the game by killing Duncan presents you with the following message: Duncan is dead and The Echoplex has been destroyed, but you must go back in time. Your time in Skymelt is far from over.