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Video Game / Cargo! The Quest for Gravity

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Cargo! The Quest for Gravity is a 2011 PC game taking place in a colorful, low-gravity world where lots of important Earth landmarks have floated off into the stratosphere. The only way to get them back is to imbue them with Fun, a resource harvested from cute little creatures called the Buddies. As trainee mechanic Flawkes, the player must build increasingly complex vehicles to take the Buddies for rides in order to get Fun with which to keep things like Big Ben, the Statue of Liberty, and the Large Hadron Collider from floating off into space.

Oh, and it's made by Ice-Pick Lodge, a developer known (by the few people who have heard of them) for incredibly bleak and serious games like Pathologic and The Void. ... Huh.

This game provides examples of:

  • Adam and Eve Plot: Realizing that he and Flawkes are the last humans on Earth, the Captain asks Flawkes if she'd like to start a family ... of Buddies. So that's a subversion.
  • After the End
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: A trio (or trinity, perhaps?) of robots have declared themselves gods and have taken it upon themselves to punish humanity by flooding the world and screwing with gravity.
  • Cosy Catastrophe: For a post-apocalyptic world, it's certainly bright and cheerful, and no one seems especially bothered by it.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: The robotic devil that seems to operate independently of the Demiurges is rather creepy, but is genuinely trying to help Flawkes through his advice.
  • Gone Horribly Right: The Buddies are the result of Manipu trying to create a better replacement for humans. They did this as bluntly as possible, simply amplifying all mental traits they considered positive and removing negative ones. Thus, for example Buddies being full of courage and selflessness and lacking fear leads to them having next to no self-preservation instinct.
  • King of All Cosmos: Manipu are definitely silly (but what isn't in this game?), rather dim-witted and in their own words at the same time omnipotent and limited by their programming.
  • Multiple Endings: Depending on how many buddies die. If not many die, Flawkes and the Captain simply fly away while the Buddies throw a rave party. If you let quite a few die, Robo-Satan causes everything to dissolve into FUN, including the main characters. Then he congratulates the player character for turning several hours of her worthless life into FUN.
  • Never My Fault: Manipu are very quick to blame anyone but themselves about their own blatant mistakes.
  • Only Sane Man: Flawkes, who occasionally wonders aloud why she's surrounded by morons.
  • Punny Name: The Egg-Plant.
  • Sky Pirates: The Captain at least dresses and talks like a pirate, though he seems to be more of a Sky Deliveryman in terms of what he actually does.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Across Winter and Spring, due to Flawkes dumping a glacier into the ocean.
  • Spell My Name With An S: Prior to the game's release, some sources romanized the protagonist's name as "Phlox".
  • Steampunk: Not strictly speaking, but it borrows some of the "goggles and gears" aesthetic.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential / Video Game Caring Potential: The Buddies. You can go around kicking them and letting them die in the various scrapes their curiosity gets them into, or you can take them for joyrides and throw dance parties.
  • Video Game Cruelty Punishment: Too hard on the Buddies? Hope you enjoy spending the rest of your life as particles of FUN.
  • Wrench Wench: Flawkes, naturally.