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Video Game / Brigador

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Brigador is an isometric sci-fi vehicular combat game. The game was released in Early Access on Steam on October 16th, 2015 and officially released on June 2, 2016. It received an Updated Re-release, the Up-Armored Edition, on June 2, 2017.

The game uses a unique art style using pre-rendered sprites created from 3D models, with 64 degrees of rotation, making for a very smooth yet distinctly 2D appearance.

On the planet of Novo Solo, in the city of Solo Nobre, the "Great Leader" has just passed away. Now you, a mercenary soldier, are tasked with destabilizing the situation further by attacking the forces occupying the city and destroying defensive installations so that foreign corporate interests can invade and stabilize the rapidly decaying society of Novo Solo. To achieve your goals, you have at your disposal a selection of mechs, tanks and anti-gravity vehicles with customizable armaments and special abilities. You will need these and a considerable amount of skill to stand a chance against the armies opposing you.


Gameplay takes the form of isometric mecha action, following your Brigador pilot as they run through Solo Nobre completing missions. There are two modes of play: "Campaign" is a set of smaller, hand-crafted missions meant to teach you the basics and set you up with some cash. The second mode, "Freelancer", is the main meat of the game, and is a sort of rogue-like mode where you pick a vehicle, pilot, and weaponry before heading in to complete set missions for cash reward.

A sequel, Brigador Killers, is set for a 2021 release. Featuring a stronger emphasis on story, it follows a Solo Nobre hit team tracking down traitors in enemy territory.


Tropes present in Brigador:

  • Action Bomb: Each faction has their own take on this venerated trope; the Corvids have tuk-tuks loaded with explosives and regular human suicide bombers, the Spacers use expendable recon drones, and the Loyalists have anti-starship torpedoes retrofitted with cheap anti-grav drives. They might be slow and handle like a bathtub, but you really don't want one of those things to hit you.
  • Admiring the Abomination: Cephei Chatfield often shows his respect to bloodthirsty or insanely violent Brigadors when he describes about them.
  • The Aesthetics of Technology: Each faction has a distinct aesthetic for their units.
    • Loyalist units usually have rugged and industrial looks, reflecting their need to make vehicles that last due to a lack of resources, and their technology being based off of ancient colonial designs.
    • Corvid units are made from old cars, farming vehicles, aircrafts, or scrapped loyalist vehicles.
    • Spacer units resemble 60s/70s old sci-fi, plus a bit of modern-day spaceflight (such as their tanks greatly resembling lunar rovers). They use ball wheels for tanks instead of tank treads.
  • A.K.A.-47: There are 5 weapons that are based on real life guns (although only 3 are explicitly stated to be pre-space weapons), namely Carlos/Carl Gustaf recoilless rifle, Mãe Dois/M2 Browning, Abbot/Royal Ordnance L7 (although its name is reference to FV433 Abbot which is an SPG), Bonesaw/MG 42 a.k.a. "Hitler's Buzzsaw"note  and König/GAU-8 Avenger.
  • All Hail the Great God Mickey!: Voltan culture and tribes, or at least the one Man from Volta hails from, places a great emphasis on wearing masks to obscure warrior identities, and that anyone without a mask is someone without an identity - as such, they often take masks from enemy tribes as trophies. Said masks are paper plates and are due to the initial mutiny against corporate rule on Volta being carried out by workers wearing paper masks (one of their only supplies) to obscure their identity from reprisal by the corporate overlords.
  • All There in the Manual: Much of the backstory, as well as various details about the culture of Solo Nobre, is delivered through information available for purchase, along with tidbits of lore delivered through the descriptions of the mercenary pilots, weapons, and vehicles - most of which is also delivered from the perspective of other characters rather than a detached narrator. A separately purchasable audiobook expands further on the story.
  • Alliterative Name: Cephei Chatfield, a Spacer intelligence agent and pilot. He wrote most of the pilot profiles, and his entries are signed m.p.C.C.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: Spacers, descended from ultra-rich communities forming their own colony ships. They consider themselves (and are considered) the elite of the elite. They live hedonistic, glamorous, hi-tech lives... funded by raiding colonies. Much of their "morals" are either inscrutable or Bad is Good and Good is Bad. Amusement to them is mass genocide and torture of planets they occupy.
    • Much of the corrupt regime of Solo Nobre under Great Leader were generations of old-money family who hoarded wealth and resources at the expense of their people.
  • Asian and Nerdy: Efigénia "Efi" Tseng is Asian, and is noted to be loquacious and anal-retentive, especially when it comes to technology. Her motivation for joining the SNC lies primarily in signing up for their research labs, and a great deal of the game's writeups on weaponry and vehicles are from her.
  • Audio Play: Brigador Deluxe DLC has the Brigador audiobook.
  • Autobots, Rock Out!: A horn of The Duke grav-tank plays some epic rock tunes, so you can invoke this trope.
  • Bad-Guy Bar: A common sight in the city-based areas. Lore entries expand on two particular franchises:
    • Texas 7, described as a combination "casino, roadhouse, buffet, strip club, and by most accounts bordello". NEP soldiers often spend a significant portion of their earnings in these establishments, and they apparently get quite rowdy, especially on paydays. Katar Joutsen's profile reveals that Texas 7 employs genetically-modified human clones who tend to sway towards Brainless Beauty.
    • Tip of the Tail is described as basically inferior to Texas 7 in every way: smaller food and drink selection, ill-maintained furniture, lots of muggings and/or stabbings, things like that. Nevertheless, it has its fans, including Marvin Beck, the character who wrote many of the vehicle and weapon entries.
  • Back Stab: Regardless of player or enemy, units will receive 2x damage when attacked from behind.
  • Banana Republic: Solo Nobre is effectively a Portuguese-influenced one Recycled IN SPACE! and filtered through the lens of Cyberpunk with a dash of North Korea-style Juche philosophy for flavor, being a military dictatorship that enforcing its rule by martial law and having characteristic features such as sprawling favelas, soul-crushing poverty, colliding cultures, and meddling outside influences.
  • BFG: Heavy-class weapons. Also, the Orbital Guns.
    • Invoked by the Dorothy powersuit, which has a Main weapon slot. To give this context, Main-class guns are intended to be mounted on mid-sized tanks. In-universe, the Dorothy comes standard with a Balão (a 240mm mortar launcher with an enormous blast radius) mounted on its shoulder.
  • Bilingual Bonus: There's a great deal of Portuguese used in the game.
    • Brigador is Portuguese for "fighter".
    • One component of the corrosive gas used in the Ploughman weapon is "tubarão" - shark. Fitting, given it basically eats everything it comes in contact with.
    • One of the mainstay turret weapons is the 12.7mm machine gun "Mãe Dois" - Ma Deuce, the nickname of the real-world M2 machine gun. Its description even notes that it dates back to pre-space times.
    • Similarly, the "Carlos" 84mm recoil-less rifle uses the latinized version of the name of a decidedly non-fictional 84mm recoilless rifle.
    • One of the Corvid Chicken Walker type mechs is called "Chook" - "chicken" in Lowland Scots.
  • Body Horror: Some of the weapon effect descriptions veer into this. Of note are the Black Hand and Temblor, a gamma ray emitter and 'acoustic laser' respectively. The former will give you cancer at several hundred paces assuming it doesn't just make you melt, and the latter was used for mouse-holing, creating openings for Loyalist units to fire or move through... and it turns out it pulverizes bones and teeth just as well. It's implied that the Temblor's effects on the human body have been covered up, but the injuries it causes are so distinctive that not all of them can easily be blamed on Mafia Knee Capping.
  • Boring, but Practical: Pretty much all machine gun type weapons. They're usually loud, chew through ammo, and aren't very flashy, but can fire continuously and deal consistent damage at all ranges.
  • Brain–Computer Interface: Vehicles are outfitted with cranial jacks, which generally help with movement, aim, and vision. Spacers opt for "gel", a gel that serves as a conductive control medium which isn't physically intrusive and thus more socially refined than a "crude" cranial jack.
  • Cassette Futurism: A design aspect was to treat Brigador as if microprocessors were not invented, as well as Brazil's historically high taxes on foreign technology. As such, you receive marching orders from a deep-red CRT, the synthesized voice is an old Audio Blaster proof-of-concept DOS program from the 90s, and even the high-tech nature of the Spacers still resembles blocky seventies/eighties tech, such as tanks greatly resembling old Space Race lunar rovers.
  • Cannon Fodder: Loyalist infantries. Almost any attack can kill them instantly. They will try to attack you with their guns or mortars, but their attacks won't hurt you much. In the novel, Corvids rely on angry rioters swarming powered armor by the hundreds to make a dent, as well as cheap scrap-metal tanks, mechs, and powered armor that are no match for even outdated Loyalist tech.
  • Cast of Snowflakes: Appearances of pilots are very different from each other.
  • Chicken Walker: One of the vehicle types available in the game. In particular, the Spacers are extremely fond of this design - Lore files state they really enjoy placing as much hi-tech weaponry as they can on legs that would fall over, if it weren't for the hi-tech weight distributions, alloys, and motors used in Spacer tech. Corvid power armor and light mecha are also these, due to how jury-rigged they are. In the audiobook, the Buckmaster, one of the Loyalist's standard light mechs, is described as a "nightmare chicken roosting" when it's crouched down.
  • Child Soldiers: One of Cephei's intel logs for a Spacer pilot notes they met in an "intelligence creche", heavily implying the Spacers start training their kids for war at a young age, and that there's an attrition rate.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: One of the tenets of Spacer morality is to betray anyone at a moment's notice - be it for money, power, or kicks. Some of your missions deal with Spacer detachments who were working with the SNC, up until they found better opportunities in trying to screw them over.
    • SNC aren't above this. Early in the war, the Spacers cooperated heavily with the SNC, until the SNC received a hefty contract to wrest a rich man's neighborhood from Spacer control.
  • Colony Drop: Specifically, a Colony Ship Drop. They held the first settlers to come to Novo Solo (who were fleeing there to escape corporate rule), and underwent a controlled crash-landing in the area that would become the Necropolis district.
  • Collision Damage: Inverted. You don't take damage from impacts, but everyone else sure does - it's a good way to smash things sans ammo. Unsurprisingly, the Killdozer is really good at exploiting this, hitting far outside its weight class when used to just ram into things.
  • Competitive Balance: With dozens of vehicles, weapons, and pilots to choose from, much of the fun and challenge in Brigador comes from designing a loadout that is effective enough to tackle the higher difficulty levels.
  • Concealment Equals Cover: Averted. Fragile structures like shacks or hedges will be penetrated easily. Weapons with high penetration rating can shoot through almost anything, like apartments or thick barrier walls. Guns like the Zeus laugh at anything short of fortress walls.
  • Conveniently Empty Building: Averted. When you destroy small buildings like shanty houses or tents, you can see flying red bits aside debris.
  • Crapsack World: Prior to Great Leader's death, Solo Nobre was the bastard child of poverty-stricken South/Central American dictatorships and North Korea, where a corrupt, militaristic regime lorded over everything. Prior to that, Solo Nobre's history was a long series of wars, with "peace" meaning rampant crime and a hefty chance of getting stabbed or disappeared each night. Now, it's currently being ripped apart by a Mega-Corp that wants everything razed from the ground and pays mercenaries to do it, the remnants of the brutal dictatorship, a far-left wing of bloodthirsty rebels that routinely use suicide bombers, and depraved transhumans hellbent on genocide.
    • It's not the only hellhole - the Outer Colonies are generally implied to be very third-world, Spacer raids and colonizations on worlds result in the mass torture and destruction of the populace for amusement, and Volta, one of many "efficiency societies", slid so far back, its society has become tribal combat over "nutrient pipelines".
  • Creator Cameo: Hugh Armbruster's pilot portrait looks very similar to one of lead developers, Hugh Monahan. The Buckmaster is also named for Brad Buckmaster, author of the audiobook.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Anyone hit with the Ploughman, Chuffer, Black Hand, Temblor, or AK Pulse experiences this. The Ploughman and Chuffer combine the worst parts of Deadly Gas and Hollywood Acid, the Black Hand gives the target an extreme dose of radiation that's enough to liquefy organs at close range, the Temblor will reduce your teeth and bones to dust, and the AK Pulse is a sonic boom that crushes anyone in its radius, and anyone outside of its radius (in lore) will suffer from burst eardrums and crushed organs.
    • The inventor of the infamous "Tubarão" element of the chemical warfare cocktail suffers one, in particular; he and his assistants were rounded up by an armed mob and forced to inhale the very substance they'd created. The results were predictably grisly, according to Efi's report on the Chuffer.
  • Damage Reduction: It's not given much mention, but using the crouch mode on most walkers massively reduces any incoming damage you take. Whilst it does render you immobile (and thus far easier to hit in the first place) it also presents a smaller, tougher target. Mostly useful for the mechs that turn and move slowly but have full torso/turret rotation.
  • Daylight Horror: The special campaign's end level is set in broad daylight. Naturally, you're free to continue your war crimes there. And with the updated rerelease, any level can take place in broad daylight depending on the Operation settings. It can be an interesting experience replaying familiar zones with unfamiliar lighting conditions.
  • Death Seeker: Deni Haapala is one of the most renowned pliots and the last survivor of a clan ship with warrior religion. His religion prevents him from committing suicide, so he aims to die in battle to join his people in the afterlife.
  • Death World: It is heavily implied that the rest of Novo Solo outside of Solo Nobre is this - the extremely big concrete fence wasn't just to keep out military action, but the fauna of Novo Solo.
  • Dem Bones: "Precursor James", the most expensive mercenary that can be unlocked, is represented in his file as a skeleton wearing a death mask - or, perhaps, he is one.
    • Steve Lichman, a Guest Fighter from a comic book series that centered around the titular lich having to deal with aggravating fantasy cliches.
  • Depth Deception: Despite being lovingly rendered in nostalgic 2D, the game plays entirely in 3D. Buildings, vehicles, and rubble have relative height, this combined with the exact location of weapon hardpoints can make a big difference in whether you can shoot over/through something or not. Wrapping your head around this is part of the challenge. Community mods also allow agravs to control their altitude, allowing them to slip over or under scenery.
  • Deflector Shields: Each player controlled vehicle has their own, which unlike their armour can be replenished by picking up energy drops from defeated enemy vehicles. Various enemy vehicles also sport these - Spacers are particularly fond of them. Enemy shields tend to be powered off at mission start, and remain so as long as the unit isn't alerted, rewarding stealthy approaches.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: Artillery type weapons in general. They all have a low rate of fire, and some have splash damage that can harm Brigadors, but most have arcing trajectories, meaning you can shoot them over buildings or walls, and are quiet, allowing for hit and run tactics. Also, projectiles from these weapons tend to have larger damage and blast radius compared to other explosive weapons, and can take out entire groups of enemies at once.
  • The Dreaded: A gameplay mechanic with Freelance mode pilots. The more expensive pilots you unlock tend to be more well-known - and have higher difficulty modifiers due to their notoriety, affecting the amount of enemies encountered in each district. In exchange, these pilots also have high payout bonuses and multipliers, as the SNC is willing to shell out far more money for their services than low-ranking nobodies and unproven pilots that don't attract nearly as much attention, but work for pennies in comparison.
    • "Precursor James", the most expensive mercenary you can unlock. Cephei, the Knowledge Broker of the mercenaries, notes that no matter how loyal or corrupt the Loyalists he tried to bribe with - even if it was money or ultra-expensive biomods - every Loyalist immediately shuts up when you mention Precursor James and goes on the highest alert available. The difficulty modifier - set to max, which means massive zerg rushes - implies every faction is putting out all the stops to kill him.
    • Spacers appear to have this mystique around them - enough to be used as a (semi-accurate) boogeyman for a mass-produced horror/explotation movie.
    • "The Auditor", a Spacer who the other Spacers fear and respect - where torture, genocide, mass murder, backstabbing, and warfare are the norm. They're known for hanging around empty/evacuated war zones and doing... something. Playing as The Auditor reduces the difficulty to 0, implying that they are so dreaded that any non-civilian forces in the area simply retreat when they approach.
  • Drunk Driver: The description for the Party Van says pretty much all Party Van crews drive drunk. It describes one particular Party Van where they hadn't completely cleaned out the remains of the previous driver before repurposing it, so the vehicle had a horrible stench that wouldn't go away, but the crew were so drunk that they apparently either didn't notice or didn't care.
  • Dummied Out:
    • There are unfinished flame-based weapons in the data files, but they were largely abandoned due to persistent performance issues and difficulties fitting them into the arsenal in terms of power and viability. Some of their code was ultimately used for the Chemical Projectors.
    • One cut vehicle still accessible in the console is a massive Spacer agrav that's bigger than some city blocks, meant to be used as a boss battle that never materalized. The element of fighting specialized vehicles as bosses is being saved for the sequel.
  • Eats Babies: Clotilde Aalto, one of the Spacer pilots, turned the gestation vats of her children into sou-vides for "Spacer balut". In other words, fetuses that have been boiled alive.
  • EMP: One of the available special abilities is an EMP grenade; it's highly effective if used correctly as it'll ruin hardshields, freeze vehicles in their tracks, pin anti-grav vehicles to the ground, and stop spotter units from setting off alarms.
  • Everything Breaks: Any structure you can see can be leveled to the ground with the application of brute force and high explosives.
  • Evil vs. Evil: None of the factions here could be called good or even morally grey.
    • The SNC is a collection of brutal Mega Corps who give healthy payouts to the various mercenaries for destroying everything in sight - buildings, houses, civilians, and plan to take over the ashes of Solo Nobre with their own brand of fascism bundled up in a nice stack of credits. It's also implied at least part of the upper management really want to emulate (or at least heavily admire) Spacers - see below.
    • The Loyalists are the remnants of "Great Leader"'s government: a brutal, militaristic dictator who gave massive benefits to his military at everyone else's expense, encouraged war crimes, and cared more about going to war than lifting their world out of the third-world hellhole it was. Despite this, many of them are still willing to fight in his memory - mainly because Great Leader greatly decreased the rampant crime that infested Solo Nobre, and kept said Mega Corps at bay. And lowered the price of water.
    • The Corvids are an Anarcho-syndicalist revolution movement taken to extremes; they regularly use suicide bombers mixed in with the civilian population and build their outposts around civilian centers to use them as human shields. Many of their followers are so fanatical they are perfectly willing to die for their cause, and bloodthirsty enough to regularly shoot down civilian aerospace craft, especially at spaceports. One of the main reasons for keeping them away from the Orbital Guns is to stop them from showering all of Solo Nobre in flaming debris because they got bored.
    • And quite possibly the worst of the lot are Spacers; sadistic, hyperelite Space Pirates in the extreme who follow a Bad is Good and Good is Bad morality (where being reliable and not backstabbing is seen as an evil and untrustworthy trait). They are extremely proud of their numerous raids, deliberate targeting of civilian populaces, the mass torture of populations they occupy, and nihilistic worldview. Bits of Spacer vehicle information implies they've added more weapon ports to their vehicles simply so they can take more potshots at civilians. As mentioned above, one playable Spacer pilot literally Eats Babies, and even the Spacer considered "good" by normal standards (and thus despised by others for weakness) is still known to change sides on a whim to cause the most amount of damage on the battlefield.
  • Excuse Plot: The SNC is paying you to destroy all resistance within the city and leave it ripe for a takeover. That's pretty much the extent of how much the plot affects you.
  • Exploding Barrels: Many, many structures in the environment will violently explode when touched off by weapons fire - taking out any nearby enemies, structures, and quite often the player. Be wary of gas stations, pipelines, orbital guns, fuel depots, ammo dumps, etc.
  • Expy: The Corvid are basically a Cyberpunk version of the Warboys, using vehicles built out of civilian cars and scrapped parts, being bloodthirsty fanatics, and according to at least one pilot's profile, use white facepaint to identify themselves.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: The events of the whole game, campaign and freelance, takes place over a single night as the Solo Nobre Concern seek to exploit the chaos surrounding Great Leader's demise.
  • Eye Beams: The Zed Prime spacer agrav shoots concentrated beams from eyes of its "face".
    • With the Zed Prime being made playable in the Blood Anniversary update, both of its weapon mounts are located within its eyes, allowing players to lean into this. Additionally, Cephei Chatfield drives a Zed Prime in a quartet of side missions which he saw fit to arm with a pair of Otomo-class lasers.
  • Eyeless Face: Oscar Allard, the second most expensive mercenary. According to Cephei, he "reshaped his sense organs" to join the cyclolucidites, who are essentially human calculators put in an extremely deep dream state to process FTL calculations safely.
  • Eye Scream: Phil Bromlin has an injured eye and broken glasses.
  • The Faceless:
    • Precursor James, the most expensive pilot in Freelance mode. It is not clear who or even what he is; His avatar picture is what appears to be a skull wearing a ceremonial mask. His description states that Loyalist, Corvid, and Spacer forces regard him as The Dreaded, to the point that they deploy all available forces at the mere mention of his name, so it is possible that this "Precursor James" isn't actually the real one.
    • According to the Man from Volta, the tribal warrior society he hails from considers anyone not wearing a mask an Un-person and without identity. In his case, his mask is a paper plate.
  • Faction Calculus: Three Faction variants;
    • Loyalists being Powerhouse/Balanced: Most of their units are well-balanced, and a few are extremely expensive but have mountains of armour and devastating firepower.
    • The freedom fighter/terrorist Corvids being Subversive/Horde, most of their units being made from junkers and scrap, with many of them entirely lacking dedicated shield units.
    • Finally, the ultra-elite Spacers as Subversive-Powerhouse hybrid; they do not work well together, have lightweight units that use high tech weapons, and rely on shielding over armour.
  • Fantastic Racism: Lore states that Spacers despise anyone who lives planetside, because they consider their "culture" and bodies so far evolved from the "soil vermin" that their very existence is an insult, only good for murder or torture, and even more insulting that the Spacers evolved from such animals. Even more despicable to Spacers is that they must return to a planet - any will do - in order to ensure their bodies won't grow weak from a lack of gravity, and to breed and raise children who won't die the first time they enter a gravity well.
  • Fantastic Slurs: Spacers often refer people who live on planets as "soil vermin", "groundlings", or "dirt eaters".
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: The use of Portuguese for names of people, locations, vehicles and weapons, as well the whole "Banana Republic" aesthetics makes Solo Nobre one for Brazil.
  • Flying Car: Corvid agravs, in keeping with their scavenger/improvised theme, are largely modified cars with anti-gravity engines - they range from junkers strapped with second-rate agrav modules, floating tractors converted into artillery platforms, custom-crafted hot rods hastily converted into technicals, luxury sedans strapped with cannons meant for battleships...
  • Game Mod: Some primitive modding was possible since the release, but a "modkit" was officially released on the 29th of July, 2019, a couple of months after the rerelease. It came bundled with a curated selection of community mods.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: Why does every district, including the wealthy and upper class ones, feature identical ammo dumps and orbital cannons for Brigadors to destroy? Because Great Leader's regime was intensely paranoid of a invasion by Spacers and the corporations exactly like the one that takes place during the game.
    • The SNC is an interstellar conglomeration of mega corporations that ruthlessly exploits planets. Naturally, you have to buy your manual as a Brigador from them.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: The maximum pilot height of the Swede mech is stated 1.68m note , yet any pilot can pilot this mech.
    • Spacer tanks use ball-treads which should allow them to strafe, like an agrav. They can't, but this will be a feature in Killers and will retroactively be made canon.
    • The costs of the vehicles is inverted from what it should be in-universe, with the massive ultra-class vehicles being among the cheapest while the flimsy scouting vehicles are among the most expensive, in order to facilitate the Hard Mode Perks.
    • There's no faction locking of weapons or vehicles for pilots, meaning a pilot who only fights Loyalists and hates them completely can drive a Loyalist mech or a technologically advanced Spacer mech can use the primitive cobbled together Corvid tech.
  • Gatling Good:
    • One of the Heavy-class weapons is the König, a classic gatling gun inspired by the likes of GAU-8 Avenger. It does great damage, but it tends to drain ammo quickly.
    • There's also the more modest Scimitar, a gatling mortar that has a rather checkered development history.
  • Glass Cannon: Several of the light mechs and agravs can mount Main hardpoint weaponry, letting them punch substantially above their weight class. This is generally balanced by possessing even lower shield & hull values, or reduced movement speed.
  • Gratuitous Latin: The m.p. in m.p.C.C. (Cephei Chatfield's signature on the intel entries he writes, mostly pilot profiles) stands for "manu propria". Count on a Spacer to use Latin to try to show how much more sophisticated and cultured they are than dirteaters.
  • Guest Fighter: The Blood Anniversary update added three guest characters: Warlord Kanta and Livewell Cotton from Starsector and MT Foxtrot from Cruelty Squad
  • Gun Porn: The weaponry is beautiful to witness.
  • Hard Mode Perks: Two fold:
    • In general, pilots with a higher difficulty have higher multipliers and base payouts. It's also done with some variety between pilots who start at a modest difficulty level but don't increase much between maps, versus pilots who start at an easier difficulty but ramp up higher and faster with each map.
    • Light vehicles are essentially the "hard mode" of the game, necessitating stealth, being limited to weaker weapons, and having less HP. However the vehicle multipliers for light vehicles can make them more than worth it. Taken to an extreme with the Varlet, the most expensive vehicle in the game, which will pop to essentially any hit but also has a multiplier of 10.
  • Hell Is That Noise: In keeping with their love of psychological warfare and psychological warcrimes, Spacer vehicle horns tend to sound pretty horrifying - like a low, rolling, electronic growl... and then there's the Treehouse, which is just the horns and alarms of half a dozen cars all going off completely out of synch. Another standout is the Zed Prime, whose "horn" sounds like a constant, snarling Black Speech.
  • Hide Your Children: You can kill many civilians in the city if you want to, but there are no child civilians.
  • Hitbox Dissonance: Agrav hitboxes extend down to the ground, so shots can't pass under them. The tutorial even advises aiming for their groundlights or shadows to draw an accurate bead.
  • Hover Tank: One of the vehicle types available in the game, referred to as "agravs" (short for anti-gravity vehicle) in-game. The Loyalists - being a military regime - hew closer to the trope name.
  • Innocent Bystander: You can find many civilians with yellow raincoat throughout levels. In Solo Nobre, yellow raincoats indicate the wearer is a non-combatant.
  • In-Series Nickname:
    • "Mog" for the Mongoose powersuit. They're so ubiquitious that powersuits in general are called "mogs".
    • "NEP outpost" for Texas 7 buildings, owning to how immensely popular the franchise is among members of Solo Nobre's military.
  • Invisibility Cloak: One of the available special abilities, Active Camouflauge, lets you hide your vehicle from sights using light refraction technology.
    • Visible Invisibility: A necessary side-effect when using the Active Camoflauge, as it would be difficult to see and steer the vehicle you control otherwise.
  • Isometric Projection: Would've originally been top-down 2D, but ended up moving to isometric. Syndicate was apparently a big inspiration.
  • Knockback: A common effect on enemy Agravs when hit by attacks. But also present on your own vehicle when you yourself fire some of the larger weapons, pushing your vehicle backwards with their recoil.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: The Touro mech: good armor, good shields, good mobility, good weapon slots that allow for plentiful ammo. The description for it mentions that a general keeps pushing the War Council to have it decommissioned due to its age, only to be laughed out of meetings because of how reliable and versatile it is.
  • Joke Character:
    • Johnny Five Aces. His description is taken directly from a pitch-perfect and well-loved-on-SA mockery of the "game" project he was taken from and he has a high difficulty modifier for his price. Furthermore, his difficulty increase per level is negative, which means that the strength and number of enemies will slowly decrease as levels are cleared. While he has a massive $50 million victory bonus, the fact that his payout multiplier is .1 means you won't see much of that money even if you win - averaging out to about as much as the regular pilots.
    • Steve Lichman, a slacker, uh, lich who wants revenge after the war killed his best friend. He's also a skeleton. A reference to an obscure webseries that mocked fantasy cliches.
    • To a lesser extent, Man from Volta, both in-universe and out. In universe, he's a savage, idiotic brute who... wears a paper plate on his face. In-game, he doesn't trigger an enemy response until the second map, implying the factions don't take him seriously at all... and then they start throwing everything at you.
    • The Varlet is a tuk-tuk. It has lowest shield & hull values (15 hull, 15 shield, and 15 overcharge for a total of 45 at most), and can only use Small-class weapons. However, this vehicle has the highest payout multiplier (x10).
  • Kill and Replace: Caterine Aunup has done this to her lovers for many times. Cephei Chatfield thinks she is particularly unusual because she actually loved her victims instead of killing them amusement, to purge the weak, or to attain their rank.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: The 'Pitbull' rocket pod shoots rockets with very high fire rate. This weapon is quite good at destroying groups of enemies or buildings.
  • Marathon Level: Some of the operations in Freelance mode can take you through over a dozen districts, with some not allowing you to leave early by heading to the spaceport. Special mention goes to the "Closed Casket Special": An operation that spans 39 districts with no possibility of an early exit, and the "Full Campaign Run", which is... well, guess.
  • Mega-Corp: The SNC is a coalition of them formed up into one big happy capitalist family that seeks to take control of the chaos of Great Leader's death to protect their bottom line, secure new resources, and ensure they become the leading "government" without pesky things like "regulations" or "taxes". The mercenaries have to pay out just to see the full details of the Brigador contract they signed.
  • Mini-Mecha: Nearly all the light mechs.
  • Mecha: A variety ranging from 18-wheelers on legs, chicken-legged open-cockpit artillery platforms, classic walking tanks, aerodynamic hi-tech killers, and enormous fortress-like things.
  • Mighty Glacier: Ultra-class mechs and vehicles tend to be extremely slow, even by heavy vehicle standards. For example, the Lowmil tank boasts dual Heavy-weapon slots and a generous HP pool of 800, but is slow as balls.
  • Mohs Scale of Science Fiction Hardness: Sits around a 4 to a 4.5 in gameplay; the most exotic elements are 'hardshields' (Deflector Shields that are extremely effective against radiation and kinetic projectiles, but poor against explosions and lasers) and the agravs aka Hover Tanks. Whilst Faster-Than-Light Travel exists in the setting, it does so only as a background element. Otherwise, Brigador tries to be a fairly hard and gritty portrayal of military scifi, and the audiobook advertises itself as such.
  • Monster Closet: Some of the bonus campaign missions have enemies walled off by indestructible concrete walls that will be released once a specific objective is completed, forcing the player to either run through a gauntlet, or buckle down for a fight.
  • More Dakka:
    • Machine gun weapons like König or Banshee have an extremely high rate of fire. They are great at any situations, but heavier ones consume your ammo very fast.
    • The "Chieftain" laser cannon rapidly shoots destructive laser beams. It's one of the best weapons against shields, but its accuracy diminishes during sustained fire.
  • Multiple-Choice Past: It's stated that one of the failed revolutions of Solo Nobre's past, known as the "Troubles", caused a massive wipe of genetic archives, birth records, personal history, and general genealogy in a "misguided attempt at equality", leading to a fair few citizens making new identities for themselves. It comes out best in the pilot Marie Locke, who has a blank record, somehow served both the Corvids and the NEP with extraordinary combat skills in multiple operations (yet her NEP record lists her as an average soldier), and has a last name that's extremely rare on Solo Nobre.
  • Necessary Drawback:
    • Heavy-class weapons are capable of killing most enemies instantly or/and destroying an entire city block with ease, but they have less ammo than other weapons so you need to use them wisely.
    • Artillery weapons are almost always indirect fire, and are thus relegated to surprise attacks or some on-the-fly calculations. However, they pierce shields and armor far better than most weapons, and if used in conjuction with stealth, bypass shields entirely by destroying unaware and unshielded units.
  • Nitro Boost: The primary feature of the Tank class of vehicles is this - larger vehicles use it to smash through cover and barriers, while smaller vehicles use it to dodge fire.
  • Nintendo Hard: Your experimental weapons shred through enemy armor like hot butter and you're more than capable of taking down entire districts by yourself, but you're one against many. If you're overwhelmed- which you will be if you play carelessly- expect to be shredded in seconds, especially on the harder difficulties.
  • No "Arc" in "Archery": Averted for most Purple (Mortar, Howitzer, and Chemical Projector) weapons. Projectiles from them are subject to gravity, so they are especially useful when you want to attack enemies over buildings or walls. One achievement even relies on this, as with a good shot you can complete your objective without leaving your spawn position.
  • One-Hit Polykill: The "Zeus" railgun will penetrate through anything standing between the shooter and the target. This weapon also has very high damage, so achieving multi-kill with this weapon is easy.
  • One-Man Army: You are expected to be one, especially given how you're then only mech capable of regenerating shields.
  • One-Wheeled Wonder: The "Grigori" treadbike only has one ball-like wheel. Spacers use this unit as explosive drones.
  • Optional Stealth: The game encourages use of stealth. While stealth is not absolutely necessary, attacking enemies from behind is effective thanks to 2x damage bonus, and fighting against many enemies in an open area is pretty suicidal on higher difficulties.
  • Parental Incest: Look closely at Arturo Nemi's bio:
    Nemi put the bottle down when he settled in a cosmopolitan habitat to produce a wife and children.
  • People's Republic of Tyranny: Solo Nobre under the Great Leader. Initially a corporate-ruled colony until a coup by the NEP (Novo Exército do Povo, the "New People's Army"), after it, Great Leader closed off the state; shuttered the ports, restricting trade and travel; and began a program of rapid development to establish social order and build strong orbital defenses against any interference from space.
  • Powered Armor: An enemy type you face, and one you can use, classified as very, VERY light mechs. The official term in-universe is "powersuit".
  • Private Military Contractors: The playable characters are PMC members bound by an utterly cruel contract (where being stripped of your very identity whether or not you complete your mission and having every bit of money from you and your next of kin going right to SNC to cover whatever costs they decide to inflict on you on the chance of your death is just the start). Bits of the contract are available in the mission briefings and lore.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: As Marvin Beck sardonically notes in his description of the Juke powersuit, Spacer soldiers love to extol the virtues of their code of "warriors honor" and how it's just one more reason they're inherently superior to the dirt eaters. So long as they're on the winning side, at any rate; defeat tends to be rather catastrophic for the egos of such exalted folk.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Man from Volta, one of the mercenaries in Freelance mode. He is from a perpetually war-torn backwater, uses Hulk Speak, and is of a simple-minded brutality that nevertheless makes him fit for the work of a Brigador. Also, he wears a paper plate as a mask.
  • Recursive Ammo: The ‘Harvester’ Howitzer fires a massive fuel-air cluster bomb. It releases many warheads to the ground, and they can destroy an entire city block single-handedly.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: The Solo Nobre Concern uses a red and black logo. It even has a skull.
  • Red Light District:
    • Lannois. This district has many casinos, bars, clubs, and brothels - and sometimes, buildings that combine them all into one neat package.
    • Any city block that has a Texas 7, a legal brothel - Texas 7s invariably attract tons and tons of NEP soldiers, no matter the location.
  • Religious Bruiser: Aakar Singh is a Sikh, and he is one of few pilots who is explicitly said to be religious.
  • Retraux: The game deliberately uses sprites made of 3D renders and an isometric view to evoke MS-DOS-era games like Walker, Bedlam, the Strike Series, et cetera. In-universe, displays are chunky CTR-like overlays; Word of God states that a design choice was to depict vehicles as if the Brigador universe never developed microprocessors.
  • The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: Your employers, the SNC, want to ensure that Great Leader's government never comes back, and "improve" the lot of the world. They pay you to destroy everything in sight to accomplish this, collateral damage be damned. Several Campaign briefs heavily imply the structures you attack or rampage through are filled with hiding civilians, and if you look closely, the red gibs that fly when you kill a civilian or infantry unit fly when you demolish a building.
  • Series Mascot: The Touro mech is often featured on promotional artworks.
  • Shotguns Are Just Better: There are several weapons that act like a shotgun, like the Kraken or Crambo. They have shorter effective range compared to most weapons, but hit hard against enemies.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Shown Their Work: The description for the Harvester, a cluster fuel-air bomb, explains that most people die from either the blast itself, the blast's resulting vacuum causing their lungs to explode, or the highly-toxic fuel dispersed by the bomb. This isn't just speculation like with the effects of the Bully laser; this reflects how real-life fuel-air bombs are believed to kill people.
  • Smoke Out: One of the available special abilities, smoke screen, allows you to perform one of these. Enemies can't attack or see you within the screen.
  • Sociopathic Hero: Regardless of your choice of pilot, the player character is essentially being paid to commit either terrorist actions, or war crimes - with an unavoidably massive body count. Without a canon story, whether this matters or not is pretty much up to the player.
  • Spiritual Successor: Given that both games involve mecha blasting their way through highly destructible urban environments from an isometric perspective, it's easy to think of Brigador being this to GT Interactive's Bedlam.
  • Stealthy Colossus: Ultra-class units with Active Camouflage can become this.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: You have a vast array of explosive weapons at your disposal alongside the ballistics and energy weapons. Unsurprisingly, a couple of districts are also fans of this trope; if you see anything related to oil, pumping, or refineries, there's a good bet that it's going to go up in a nice big fireball the moment you look at it funny. The Orbital Guns are also highly explosive.
  • Suicidal Overconfidence:
    • Doesn't matter if you're piloting a dinky little scout mech or an absolutely massive tank, enemy infantry run right at you. At the very least, their laser rifles and mortars will do some damage, especially when you're swarmed by other tanks.
    • In-universe, this is part of the reason why the Loyalists still field plain ol' unaugmented and unpowered infantry - one part slavish devotion to Great Leader, one part sneering elitism at the cowards trying to prolong their death wish behind powered armor, tanks, agravs, and mechs, and one part confidence in their training.
    • Corvids, who ride weapons stolen from junkyards, decommission yards, civilian stuff, and scrap metal, are generally categorized as this. It's partially a consequence of hiring thrill-seeking pilots who'd mod up agravs and race them (and run the risk of splattering themselves all over the street), partially the sheer desperation and anger from those who've suffered under Great Leader's Iron Fist long enough, and partially because you need balls to face down a crushing dictatorship with a well-equipped army, a genocidal fleet that prides itself on its technological achievements, and a series of Mega Corps ripping through your army with highly experimental tech. They also field suicide bombers, and have vehicles solely rigged to explode fantastically - and while it's noted it's possible for them to eject or bail out, most don't. In the novel, hordes of barely-armed Corvid rioters dogpile Loyalist powersuits that are capable of turning torsos into past - and even as the powersuit shields flashfry the rioters, more still keep coming.
  • Suicide Attack: Corvids utilize many suicide bombers. They usually use bikes or cars to charge into you, but some of them even disguise themselves as civilians - several levels taking place in Corvid territory see groups of Suicide Bombers scattered among massive hordes of fleeing civilians.
  • Super Serum: Both the Corvids and NEP make extensive use of "combat stims" to even the playing field.
  • Tank Goodness: A large variety of tanks to pilot and blow up - ranging from tried-and-true centuries-old designs of the Loyalists, repurposed garbage trucks, bulldozers, and farming equipment from the Corvids, and the lunar rover-esque rollers of the Spacers.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Disposing of enemy infantry is usually as simple as just driving or walking over them. But why do that when you could use a high calibre anti-tank cannon?
  • Un-person: Done to an entire damn city. When Great Leader took power, Eixo, a corporate-controlled sister city set up by a corporation rivaling the SNC's, did not officially exist - and even when Brigador takes place, mentioning the city seems to carry some kind of stigma.
  • Updated Re-release: The Up-Armored Edition, released on June 2, 2017, added in more pilots, more vehicles, more missions, improved controls, and an updated lighting system.
  • Vehicular Combat: The genre of the game; while the Mongoose and the Fence are roughly twice the size of an infantry unit, they're still technically Mini-Mecha.
  • Villainous Cheekbones: Cephei Chatfield is a spacer, and he has noticeable cheekbones.
  • Villain Protagonist:
    • While the SNC aims to overthrow the corrupt government for the "greater good", this does not stop their Brigadors from destroying homes and brutally slaughtering innocent civilians standing in their way. This can be averted if you decide to play pacifist by only destroying the defense railguns on a Contract, but good luck not stepping on any civilians or blowing up any inhabited buildings along the way.
    • Among the viewpoints in the novel, one of them is Hugh Armbruster, a bona fide sociopath who jumps at the Contract as an excuse to a satisfying war.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: You see those tiny civilians running around? They're worth 50 points each.
  • Walking Tank: One of the vehicle types available in the game, best exemplified in the Loyalist mechs, which are stocky and block-like like modern-day battle tanks.
  • Warrior Poet: Antero Giian, a Spacer pilot available in Freelance mode, is described as such, with his art and writing as legendary as his vices and military accomplishments.
  • Weaponized Car: Several Corvid vehicles are repurposed civilian vehicles crudely refitted for military work. The Pompadour is a civilian anti-gravity hovercar mounted with weaponry, while the Killdozer is a bulldozer loaded with what look like Bremer walls strapped to the front and a pair of guns on top. The Party Van is... well, guess.
  • Worthy Opponent: Hugh Armbruster's primary motivation for defecting to the revolution is (or was) to find opponents worthy of his skill. He finds them eventually, in the form of the Spacers.
  • Wretched Hive: Solo Nobre was, historically, wracked with crime, corruption and poverty. According to lore, the level of crime was even worse before Great Leader's military rule curbed the originally horrific levels of violent crimes to a much more tolerable level - that's right, living in a brutal military regime where you ran a chance of getting beaten to death by drunk soldiers or corrupt officials was much more preferable to the massive criminal toll Solo Nobre suffered prior to Great Leader's rise, which is one of the big reasons why the Loyalists fight tooth and nail for his regime.
    • Solo Nobre's rival city, Eixo, isn't implied to be much better - lore files state it's repressed by its corporate owners enough to the point that a great deal of illegal immigrants before and after Solo Nobre began its isolationism consistently sneak into the city.
    • Volta is a Mad Max-esque colony that arose from a failed experiment in "optimizing" colony resources - in other words, giving the wage slaves cheap, disposable everything like plastic utensils and paper plates. Now, it's tribal warfare over "nutrient pipelines".
  • Wicked Cultured: Spacers as a whole tend to think of themselves as this - known space tends to agree, as they are quite fond of the arts, fine wine, and all the things that come with high-class snobbery, just dressed up in murder.
    • Griswold Fick, who loved culture and the arts, and joined the military in hopes of becoming one of its upper-class crust of officers and government officials close to Great Leader, who got to enjoy said culture and the arts in a way the rabble of Solo Nobre could only dream of, a la Mao's cadre dabbling in culture after destroying China's and North Korea's elite. His talent for artistry extended into the battlefield, and the SNC lured him to their cause when it'd take up a significant amount of his life trying to join the upper crust.
    • Antero Giian, a legendary warrior-poet who constantly has to keep taking up mercenary contracts due to extravagant spending.
    • Cephei Chatfield, the Information Broker-slash-Brigador, considers himself this - and most of it comes in Fantastic Racism posturing of how much more cultured and sentient the Spacers are, compared to the planetbound "groundsdwellers" and "soil vermin".
  • You Bastard!: Done subtly: many of the player characters you buy get more and more evil, such as a Torture Technician, a sociopath who evades prosecution by pretending to be an upstanding citizen, several mass murderers, war criminals who'll perpetrate massacres if given to them by someone with sufficient rank, and outright psychopaths who betrayed their factions For the Evulz - the less evil choices involve traitors to the cause, criminals, and terrorists. Civilian casualties are unavoidable - most weapons aren't 100% accurate and the one or two that are are prone to massive splash damage, and story messages heavily imply people are inside the buildings you destroy. Finally, you are working to turn over planetary control to a Mega-Corp whose previous reign was bad enough to warrant several rebellions.
  • You Break It, You Profit: Just about anything you can destroy will net you some points.
  • Zeerust/Retraux: The general aesthetic of the Spacers are deliberately based on 60s/70s tech and sci-fi, such as Lunar/Mars Rover-esque tanks and big, bulky spherical and angular designs.
    • The game's love of 80s-style synth, computer displays, and neon, along with the extremely robotic synthsizer voice that first greets you on your first mission.
  • Zerg Rush: The most common tactic of your enemies, the most common way of dying, and the favourite tactic of the Corvids especially.

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