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Video Game / BowMaster

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BowMaster is a series of Adobe Flash Web Games by Lost Vectors, a single developer. The original BowMaster was developed over three years and released in 2005. BowMaster: Prelude followed in 2006. Both games follow No Plot? No Problem! principle and are basically a series of areas where you play as the eponymous bow master.

The third, BowMaster: Winter Storm, was released nearly a decade after the first two, in 2014. The large time off resulted in an improvement to every aspect of the game, from graphics, to the addition of three abilities usable by the player character, to the addition of a rough plot.

Trope Arrows:

  • All Monks Know Kung-Fu: The heroic version of the ninja unit is called a Monk for some reason.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: In Winter Storm, any allied unit near you will not get hit by a harming arrow, but will still be healed by a healing arrow. This means you can stay near your troops without risking friendly fire.
  • Arrows on Fire: The flame arrows, which you may be using a lot to exploit weaknesses.
  • Attack Its Weakpoint: Every enemy has a weakpoint that makes it take more damage. Some are obvious (Pretty Little Headshots...), others are so small you're better off killing them bit by bit.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • Shot modifications can end up being this. They not only cost large amounts of mana, but they end forcing the arrow in question into a longer cooldown, which might range from "worth it" to "crippling" depending on the arrow in question.
    • The Light Dragon. On the one hand, he's fairly tough, has a homing attack that deals heavy damage, and is a dragon. On the other hand, he only attacks once every three blue moons, is prone to wasting attacks on absolutely nothing, and costs a metric ton of gold to get.
  • Bad Powers, Good People: The Holy Warlock has the same powers as the evil one, that is to say a barrier and an Animate Dead spell.
  • Beehive Barrier: Warlocks cast these over themselves and allies, but they give out after a few hits.
  • Boring, but Practical: Maxing out the basic arrows in all games is this. They deal a good amount of damage and getting a headshot will down an enemy quickly, as well as costing no mana and having a fast reload. There are times where other arrows like bomb arrows would come in handy more, but the plain arrows will always be usable.
    • Other no-mana mundane arrows count, such as pierce, because they still have effects, said pierce hitting multiple enemies in one shot or not being deflected by anything, and don't cost any mana to activate.
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  • Boom, Headshot!: Headshots deal bonus damage to all the enemies that have heads. However, the enemies like Orcs will soon start wearing helmets which'll deflect an arrow before getting shot off.
  • Cartoon Bomb: Catapults can be upgraded to throw these, which explode after a while into mushroom clouds. On occasion, a gigantic one will spawn at the beginning of the level, and it's up to you to stop the fuse or keep it going.
  • Cosmetically Different Sides: Averted in that the Evil Army has more variation in its unit types (five different types of dragon, for starters), but played straight in that the units you can send are model swaps of the enemy units, down to the spells.
  • Dem Bones: Skeletons are the basic enemy mooks in the games.
  • Elemental Rock–Paper–Scissors: it's opposites in terms of weakness. Fire vs. Ice, Healing vs. Poison, Dark vs. Light, and Air vs. Ground. For most of the time, weak enemies only take more damage from the elements, but sometimes, such as shooting at a dragon's projectile, it will result in more unique effects.
  • Fighter, Mage, Thief: Despite all three being ranged, the Destructor (a huge guy wearing armor), the Mage and the Hunter fall into this. The Destructor's special ability is a huge bomb, the Mage is Chain Lightning, and the Hunter can set traps.
  • Friendly Fireproof: Averted hard. This is not because of the enemies being tricky or allies being dumb, but because you're firing into a mix of allies and enemies most of the time, making it harder to avoid hitting friendly units. On the plus side, aside from civilians, you don't get any real penalty from accidentally killing friendly units aside from losing them. Winter Storm at least allowed arrows to pass through allies at close range; the previous games were not so generous, meaning that you pretty much needed to be standing on high ground far away from your army if you didn't want to end up shooting them in the back of the head.
  • Giant Mook: The orcs and dragons are the most obvious examples of this trope (Large dragons dwarf even your Light dragon). Averted with the Skeleton Giant and Spider Queen, which count as separate units.
  • Giant Spider: There are both the "regular" horse-sized spiders that are some of the fastest units in the game and can even leap to quickly close the distance, and the Spider Queen, which is bigger than the buildings you take refuge in, and continuously makes new spiders.
  • Gratuitous Ninja: There are ninja. You can buy one for your army. The ingame info on the friendly ninja even says "He's awesome".
  • Groin Attack: The codex outright tells you to aim for the crotch when shield-bearing units are guarding.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: The result of using explosive arrows.
  • Harmless Freezing: Enemies can be frozen solid with no issues if they have the time to thaw. Generally they won't have that time.
  • Healing Shiv / Revive Kills Zombie: The healing arrows. you shoot somebody and it heals the same way other arrows deal damage, meaning that shooting somebody int he head with one will increase its ability. Also undead creatures are week to healing.
  • Human Pincushion: Units that take arrows keep them until death. Especially visible on bosses who've tanked a rapid shot or two.
  • Hunter of His Own Kind: Ninja, Warlock, Dragon, and wolf will all be slaying their kin when they fight with you. It even outright says the ninja is enacting vengeance against his clan for unknown reasons.
  • Hyper-Destructive Bouncing Ball: The Destructor's special arrow is a bomb that bounces off units causing an explosion each time until the final, even bigger explosion. Note, however, that it also damages allies - and more importantly, yourself.
  • I Have the High Ground: Just about every level features a tower or tree that you can climb to avoid melee attacks. It's not always the better choice though, as some arrows are more effective if fired from ground level.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Easiest with auto-aim, but there are rewards for doing this. A good example of an easy one is getting your arrow deflected and hitting another enemy in the head with the deflected arrow. There are many others (qhooting a far-off enemy tends to get coins, and any coins shot out of the air are worth double), and part of the fun is pulling them off. There are also unrewarded cases that just feel awesome, such as shooting a boulder out of the air.
  • Literally Shattered Lives: An enemy can be frozen solid, but you have to either use a bomb or kill them before they will shatter apart in the ice. Freeze up a flying enemy, however...
  • One Hit Multi Kill: Several arrows can be used to do this, notably the piercing and bomb arrows. Once the rapid fire mod is maxed out, you can send half a dozen of any arrow into a crowd in a single click.
  • One-Man Army: The hero. He doesn't even need any army to take down all of his enemies, he could just use his bow. This is downplayed in Winter Storm, as some objectives either require or heavily push for the use of an army. If you don't get one of those, though, feel free to go at it solo.
  • Metal Slime: The Earth Golem, surprisingly enough. Tall as half the screen, huge amount of life, has a devastating (almost) Always Accurate Attack, often show up in pairs... but they give thousands of gold and experience, and a maxed-out sextuple rapid shot with an electric arrow will fell even two of them in seconds.
  • Mook / Redshirt Army: The basic units on each side are basically this. They most likely will be dying a lot, more due to your arrows than their enemies' ferocity, but make no mistake, they are competent and they will at the very least hold back the enemy, if not deal a hefty amount of damage.
  • More Dakka: Some maxed-out modifiers send out six arrows at a time, with the total amount limited only by your mana and the cooldowns.
  • No "Arc" in "Archery": "zero gravity" arrows do this, for extra mana it will be "unaffected by gravity" and fly straight. The rest of the time this trope is averted.
    • It's possible to lob arrows at a target point, this avoids friendly fire but is slower and less accurate.
  • Noble Wolf: One of the unit choices in Winter Storm, most useful for grabbing artifacts.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: By the end of the game, your character can call up fire/hail/thunderstorms, snipe dozens of units in a row from across the map, fire dozens of arrows seconds and commands an army containing dragons and necromancers.
  • Rain of Arrows: This is not only a command you can use to focus your archer units, but also if you choose the "frenzy" upgrade path (which sacrifices power for faster arrow reload) you can do this yourself. It's helpfulness tends to vary from "helpful and deadly" to "wasting time".
  • Resurrective Immortality: implied, as it's stated the dragon, ninja, and warlock units are all the same person, if they go down in battle they come back assuming your unit has space.
  • Right Makes Might: The enemy units on your side seem stronger than those who are still part of the evil army.
  • Siege Engines: Catatpults and trebuchets are available for hire, with the catapult throwing bombs when upgraded.
  • Shield-Bearing Mook: In Winter Storm, there are skeletons and soldiers who have large shields. They deflect projectiles aside from "piercing" arrows, but don't cover their entire body (see Groin Attack).
  • Sucking-In Lines: The Earth wave arrow if it hits a unit instead of the ground, will form a floating sphere of lava before exploding into boulders all over the battlefield.
  • Trick Arrows: What makes the game more interesting. Everything ranging from bombs to flak to thunder clouds will be compressed into an arrow and shot at the enemy. Half the fun is using them all.
  • Useless Useful Spell:
    • As of the latest version of Winter Storm, the Unit Build Point upgrade (increases the number of army units you get) is bugged and does absolutely nothing beyond the first point, meaning that you're stuck with an "army" of about 10 troops. Have fun.
    • Poison and earth damage tend to be this, as there are no enemies that are weak to either, and in fact, many enemies are resistant to one of the two.
  • Yin-Yang Bomb: Hitting fire with ice or vice versa will cause a small explosion.


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