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Video Game / Colobot

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Colobot is a mixture of a Real-Time Strategy game and a Programming Game, released in 2001 by Epsitec. Your goal is to find a new Earth for humanity to colonize, with a selection of various types of robots at your disposal that you are able to program yourself. They use a programming language unique to the game, called CBOT, which is based on real programming languages like C++ and Java.

Since its original release, the game's source code has been released to the public, with TerranovaTeam actively working to this day on an Updated Re-release called Colobot: Gold Edition, which has various improvements not found in the original version. It can be downloaded for free from the official website.

This video game provides examples of:

  • Action Bomb: When spiders spot the player's units, they will charge at them and explode on contact.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: There is a level where you have to chase a robot that went haywire, since he's trying to run off with the Black Box that is crucial to continuing the mission.
  • Bag of Spilling: No matter what bots you bring with yourself into the ship as you take off, the next mission will likely not have them.
  • Biotech Is Better: During the later stages of the game, you finally start finding nests of the giant ants you were encountering earlier. In these nests, you can find what can be best described as green, gooey pods that spawn pieces of organic goo. One of the missions concentrates on acquiring one of such pieces and bringing it back to the base, where you can examine it and use it to unlock a new type of robots: ones that walk on ant-like legs and quite literally look like half-robots, half-ants. They are faster and more capable of getting past steep hills than robots driving on wheels or on caterpillar tracks.
  • Blamed for Being Railroaded: See Stupidity Is the Only Option. After the whole ordeal, the Houston base expresses concern over you "walking around disturbingly carelessly" that has led to the failure in the previous mission.
  • Convection, Schmonvection: There is at least one planet with lava in it, yet you have no problem flying directly over said lava as long as you don't touch it (although your jetpack does overheat extremely fast when you do that).
  • Critical Annoyance: The beeping you hear when a robot is close to running out of energy.
  • Fission Mailed: See Stupidity Is the Only Option.
  • Foreshadowing: In the mission described under Stupidity Is the Only Option, you are given a subtle hint of the impending events if you open the satellite readouts and see a note that says "unidentified organisms, threat: ?".
  • Giant Spider: One of the enemy lifeforms you can encounter. See Action Bomb.
  • Gotta Catch Them All: Once you finally find the planet that can replace Earth as humanity's new home, your next task becomes finding the keys to a vault that contains the only weapon that can defeat the Alien Queen, i.e. the source of all the hostile alien lifeforms.
  • Gravity Screw: The planet of Tropica has strange plants that emit a strong gravity field around them. You cannot fly while inside these fields.
  • Guide Dang It!: There is a level where you don't have access to any offensive bots or any means to build them, yet you are ordered to destroy all the ants in the area. For some reason, during this one level the ants actually run away from you when you approach, which you need to take advantage of in order to lead them into killing themselves with mines. Considering that every other time, ants just shoot at you when you get close, there is no reason to expect this to happen.
  • Insectoid Aliens: For some reason, all alien lifeforms you come across are just large insects, such as ants, wasps or spiders.
  • Insect Queen: The Final Boss. She regularly lays eggs from which insect units spawn, and she's resistant to any attacks that don't come from the specialized super gun you uncover in the last level.
  • Interface Spoiler: The game comes with an in-game encyclopedia concerning all objects, units and programming functions you can find in the game - including ones that you aren't going to encounter until the very last levels.
  • Hero Must Survive: Although the player is given the option to directly control any unit, the human character they start out as absolutely has to survive in order to complete the missions.
  • Homeworld Evacuation: The game's plot revolves around the fact that the Earth is deemed doomed due to pollution, and the humanity needs to find itself a new home to colonize.
  • Lethal Lava Land: At least one planet is like this.
  • Life Meter: Both the human character and the robots have one, as well as buildings. The human is able to regenerate on his own, but robots need to use a special building to be repaired, and buildings cannot be repaired at all.
  • Overheating: Both the player and the robots can use jetpacks to fly, but using it continuously causes it to eventually overheat, forcing you to land when it happens. Even on fairly cold planets, it usually takes at most 60 seconds of continuous flight for this to happen. And in hotter climates, this can happen as quickly as after 3 seconds of flight. There's a few levels where this is used to introduce a platforming element of sorts.
  • Non-Lethal K.O.: The Thumper bot is designed specifically for invoking this on the enemy lifeforms over a certain radius around itself (if only temporarily).
  • One-Hit Kill: All enemy lifeforms you can encounter (aside from the Final Boss) will die instantly if you manage to land a single hit on them from the shooter bots.
  • Programming Game: The CBOT language offers you quite a lot of freedom in setting up tasks for the robots. With the right coding, you are able to order robots to do things like automatically collecting ore, bringing it to the nearest ore refinery and then placing the resulting titanium somewhere aside, or having the shooter robots become turrets that automatically turn towards targets and shoot at them when they get close enough.
  • Refining Resources: Titanium ore needs to be refined into titanium blocks before it can be used for building. Also, uranium ore can be refined into atomic energy cells.
  • Ridiculously Fast Construction: All it takes to build a building is a single block of titanium and the player character shooting a specially designed gun at it for a few moments. And the factory building only needs about 15 seconds to turn a single titanium block into a new robot.
  • Sandbox Mode: After you unlock a planet in the normal missions, you also unlock its sandbox version, where you can build any of the buildings and robots you have already unlocked in the main campaign.
  • Single-Biome Planet: All planets you encounter are like this.
  • Single-Task Robot: The game has various types of robots who, aside from being able to freely move around, are designed for a very specific type of task and can only perform that one type of task. This includes:
    • Target bots, whose entire purpose is to be something to shoot at;
    • Transporter bots, who can grab onto things and thus transport them;
    • Sniffer bots, who can only examine the ground underneath them for minerals;
    • Shooter bots, who are only able to shoot at things;
    • Subber bots, who can grab onto things that are underwater;
    • Recycler bots, who can recycle destroyed bots and recover resources from them;
    • Shielder bots, who can create a protective shield around themselves;
    • Thumper bots, who can hit the ground underneath them and send a shockwave that will stun enemy lifeforms around them.
  • Solve the Soup Cans: There is a level that literally boils down to you landing in the middle of a desert, being ordered to fight off the ants that are heading in your direction, and then having to fly away when you're done. No reason is ever given for why this needs to be done, making you wonder exactly why couldn't your ship just not land there at all.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: All robots and buildings explode when destroyed, as well as land mines that can be encountered in some levels.
  • Stupidity Is the Only Option: There is a mission where you land on a new planet, with no bots or supplies at your disposal, and you are ordered to retrieve a TNT box lost by the previous expedition. That TNT box is guarded by hostile ants that shoot acidic projectiles at you, and there's literally nothing you can do to retrieve the box without dying, which is something that has to happen in order for you to be able to proceed to the next mission. And even if the ants weren't there, retrieving the box still wouldn't be possible, since there's quite a few ponds you have to fly over, and you can't fly nor walk underwater while carrying objects. Probably the best part of this is the fact that the level is literally called "The Trap".
  • Super Drowning Skills: Aside from the one robot who's specifically designed for driving underwater, all robots will explode instantly if they get submerged any deeper than the height of one's ankles.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: In the mission where you have to chase the rogue robot, after the robot drops the Black Box and flies away, he will continue to float indefinitely even after his battery should have clearly ran out.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: There is a level where, due to concerns from the Earth's animal rights organizations, you are forced to use a bot that deals with the hostile insects in a non-lethal manner.
  • Title Drop: The game is named after the colonizing mission you participate in.
  • Villain-Beating Artifact: The Phazer Shooter, the only shooter-type bot that can harm the Final Boss.
  • Violence Really Is the Answer: There is a level where, due to concerns from the Earth's animal rights organizations, you are forced to use a bot that deals with the hostile insects in a non-lethal manner, so that you can retrieve the Black Box they are guarding. In literally the next level, your base is under attack from the same insects, and your orders are to forgo any attempts at pacifism and just shoot them into oblivion. The issue of pacifism is never brought up again afterwards.
  • Wicked Wasps: Later levels introduce giant wasps, which drop highly damaging projectiles at your buildings.