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Video Game / Children of Morta

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Children of Morta is an Roguelike Action RPG developed by the Iranian indepedent game studio Dead Mage and published by 11 Bit Studios, released on September 3, 2019 for PCs (via Steam).

It is about the Bergson family, who have been guarding Mount Morta for a generation, and are the lone bulwark to stem the Corruption pouring from beneath it. Rather than saving the world once and for all, you are presented with the tale of ties across generations of a family, united by their duty.

Tropes seen in Children of Morta:

  • Anti-Frustration Features: Unlocking new characters is generally tied to the cutscenes that play after a run is over, win or lose. This means that if a player loses over and over, they are still making progress towards an unlock.
  • Annoying Arrows: Archer goblins and other monsters that can shoot at the Bergsons are this. Linda is this back at them.
  • Attention Whore: Why did Ou turn evil? His wife had a child, and he became jealous of her giving his own daughter attention.
  • Badass Family: The Bergsons each have a trained combat skill, aside from Mary, who the story does not indicate whether she fought before she became pregnant.
  • Bad People Abuse Animals: In Barahut, you can find guards forcing a chained bear to "dance" by heating its feet with a hot plate until it dances for them. Once the player clears out the guards, they set the bear free and gain a random relic and morv. The bear pays them back by leaving fresh fruit at the Bergson home.
  • Bait-and-Switch: Apan serves as this after she was added to the game; her silhouette resembles Grandma Margaret but averts the Interface Spoiler as Grandma Margaret dies prior to her arrival.
  • Bare-Fisted Monk: Mark fights via martial arts. His limited range is compensated by him being able to perform a Dash Attack when enemies are close enough, and gaining stacking damage reduction with each hit he delivers.
  • Blob Monster: The earliest enemies encountered in the tutorial are small rat-sized blobs of corruption. They die quickly and represent practically no threat.
  • Broken Pedestal: John and Mary are particularly disgusted with Ou when his motivations are revealed.
  • Cool Old Lady: Grandma Margaret is the oldest member of the Bergson family, and while she is not a player character, she is shown to have great magical power. She is also shown to have the most knowledge about how to deal with the problems at hand, including secrets that the rest of the family don't yet know.
  • The Corruption: Literally titled "The Corruption". It is a purple-black substance that summons various monsters, whether by summoners or by spawners that birth new corruption. It is meant to be cleansed away by the Shards of Life possessed by the Bergson family.
  • Drop the Hammer: Joey carries a giant warhammer into battle against the Corruption.
  • Easily Forgiven: After the final boss battle, Ou is ready for his suffering to end in death. When suddenly, Rea-Dana cleanses him of corruption and takes him back.
  • Eats Babies: During the game, it is revealed via cutscene that the evil mountain god can (and has in the past) be abated temporarily by sacrificing a newborn baby. Mary Bergson is currently pregnant, and learns of this after being kidnapped.
  • 11th-Hour Superpower: A Divine Grace literally called Eleventh Hour which deals double damage when your health is below 25%.
  • Elite Mook: Sometimes, a stronger version of an enemy might spawn, indicated by a skull and a yellow glow.
  • Evil All Along: Ou the Mountain God, turns out to be the true source of the Corruption, which he created purely so he could spite his estranged child for "stealing" his wife's affection from him.
  • Foil: The Bergsons are the foil to Ou. While the Bergsons are very close family who love each other dearly, Ou places no value in family, Eats Babies, and is revealed to have created the Corruption purely as an act of spite towards his wife for "abandoning" him in favor of their child.
  • Fragile Speedster: Kevin and Lucy have very high attack speeds, which is contrasted by them having low health.
  • Genius Cripple: Uncle Ben has a wounded leg and cannot contribute in combat. However, he is a master at the forge and will gladly help upgrade equipment for the family if they provide the needed materials.
  • Giant Spider: The first tier of Caeldippo Caves, Silk Caverns, is filled with them, with the Queen Spider being the first boss of the game.
  • Guys Smash, Girls Shoot: All of the male playable Bergsons are melee-damage users. John Bergson is a swordsman, Kevin uses knives, Mark does hand-to-hand combat, and Cousin Joey wields a hammer. Meanwhile, Linda is an archer and Lucy hurls fireballs. Apan is something of a middle-ground in that she creates blasts of wind from her staff.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Grandma Margaret gives her life in one last display of magical power to save Mary from the corrupted monster that kidnapped her.
  • It Always Rains at Funerals: It rains at Grandma Margaret's funeral.
  • It's All About Me: The Mountain God, Ou
  • Late Character Syndrome: Somewhat averted with Apan. She's the last playable character to join, halfway through the storyline, but she also gains EXP much quicker than anyone else. This makes putting her on par with the others not much of a hassle.
  • The Lost Lenore: Uncle Ben's wife Sheila died years before the story began. She had left because of Ben's alcoholism and because of her death, Ben never got to meet his son Joey until he shows up at the Bergson house answering Ben's letter for Sheila.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: John Bergson carries a shield, which will absorb damage from the enemies' attacks from a direction it's facing when raised, but only up to a point. Its defense threshold can be raised further through investing in a skill tree. There are also skills that'll damage the enemies if they attack John while he has his shield up.
  • Magitek: Most of the Bergson's weapons and equipment take on this form, particularly John's sword, Linda's bow, Kevin's knives, and Joey's hammer. In addition, a lot of the magical devices and relics combine supernatural power and technology together. In fact, this is all highly-advanced technology created by Ou and the other gods.
  • Man on Fire: Besides setting enemies on fire, Lucy did this to herself while training with magic. Luckily John was there with a bucket of water to put her out.
  • Mighty Glacier: Joey has high health and his attacks are slow but powerful, though his Rage mode speeds up his attacks considerably.
  • Ninja Run: Kevin (the Assassin) and Mark (the Monk) both run while leaning far forward with their arms dangling backward.
  • Old Master: Grandma Margaret is shown to be quite formidable for her age, even fending off a powerful attack by the evil god to protect Mary. She also teaches Lucy, the youngest family member, how to control her magical fireballs.
  • Our Goblins Are Different: The goblins are almost as tall as a man, and their main difference appears to lie in their grey skin. Their warriors also seem to specialise in crossbows. You meet both hostile and friendly goblins throughout the game.
  • Outliving One's Offspring: In Barahut, you can run into an old astronomer and his son. After completing their sidequests, you find their cart abandoned and destroyed. After finishing a run, the astronomer comes to the Bergson home alone, having lost his son to a bandit raid.
  • Playing with Fire: This is the primary ability of Lucy, the youngest-born Bergson. In addition, this is also the ability of the "Divine Grace" Atar's Ignition, which is a passive power that briefly sets the enemies damaged on fire.
  • Resurrective Immortality: If a Bergson is ever killed combat, and the family member fighting with them cannot revive them in time, they will instead be resurrected back in the Crystal room of the house. The narration indicates this is an unpleasant experience.
  • Science Is Bad: Zig-zagged. The third dungeon area, TerraLava, is full of technologically-enhanced enemies. The creator of this part of the world is a god who taught humanity technology, but is now held captive by his own high-tech bodyguard Gyn. On the way to the boss, the player also encounters several small cutscenes including: technology beating up old-style robots, a woman dying because the life support machine is corrupted, and a broken water main that has very specific repair instructions. On the other hand, all of the magic and supernatural relics, including the weapons used by the Bergsons, is highly-advanced technology as well as there being friendly robots capable of forming bonds with others.
  • Screw Destiny: The destiny of the Bergsons is to mind the mountain on which they live. More specifically relevant to the story in-game is that they are destined to sacrifice a newborn to the mountain god to prevent the end of the world. The Bergsons reject this and instead find a different way to defeat the god once and for all.
  • Shock and Awe: There is a Relic titled "Electropocalypse", which will create a damaging electrical aura around the characters.
  • Sixth Ranger: Apan, who comes to aid the Bergsons, but is otherwise unrelated to them entirely, and stays slightly apart from the Bergsons (due to being added in an update).
  • Super Mode: Each character has a unique Guardian Rage state that temporarily enhances them in some way. This ranges from John becoming invulnerable to Lucy transforming into a fire elemental whose basic attack becomes a massive laser beam.
  • Summoning Ritual: Occasionally a summoning circle of Corrupted can be encountered. It's encouraged to break it as quickly as possible, otherwise they summon an Elite Mook. Leaving them unbothered lets them summon a red version which is a Boss in Mook's Clothing but drops better rewards.
  • Support Party Member: Apan, a character added in a free update is mostly support-focused. Her skills emphasize debuffing the enemies via slowing them, granting other characters shields on top of their health as well as increasing the potency and frequency of healing items.
  • Sword Lines: Highly visible bright blue lines are seen every time characters swing their weapons.
  • Take Up My Sword: When Grandma Margaret dies while saving Mary, the latter takes on her role as the Bergsons' keeper of lore and wielder of Rea's magic.
  • The Reveal: The third deity, Anai-Savara, reveals Ou is a Sufficiently Advanced Alien, his mountain was a spaceship, and his curse is the manifestation of his revenge towards his spurned lover and his own child who took attention away from him.
  • Turned Against Their Masters: The bosses for the Guardians are this, having gone mad from the Corruption. One example is Boshra, Anai-Raha's high priest who was a kind man who turned the city into a Wretched Hive.
  • When Trees Attack: The boss of the Ruins of Barahut is this, the Bergsons fighting it for a seed to cure Mary of her fever from the Corruption.
  • Wretched Hive: The City of Thieves in Barahut is this, teeming with thieves that will kill anyone for morv, especially with the Corruption setting in.
  • You Are Too Late: A random event has the player watch as goblins kill helpless civilians just as they walk in on them raiding a camp. All they can do is finish them off with the narrator saying that sometimes the hero will always be too late.
  • World-Healing Wave: One would have happened if the Bergsons sacrificed the newborn Hope to Ou, but it would only last 300 years for a new generation of Bergsons to deal with it all over again. A more permanent one is dealt when after the Bergsons defeat Ou, Rea-Dana purifies him of all of his thousands of years of hatred, washing away the Corruption all over not just himself but the world.