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Video Game / Conan

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Conan was a 2007 game developed by Nihilistic Software and published by THQ for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, that puts players in control of Conan the Barbarian. Set in the Hyborian Age, in a time shining kingdoms lay spread across the world like blue mantles beneath the stars, hither comes Conan the Cimmerian, the black-haired and sullen-eyed barbarian, who during the exploration of an island forgotten by time, ends up unwittingly releasing an unspeakable evil upon the world. Now, it's up to him to stop it. The game is a Hack and Slash in the same vein as God of War, that has the gamers moving from level to level fighting wave of enemies and solving some puzzles. The gameplay offers a variety of weapons for Conan to wield such as two-handed, dual-wielding and sword and shield, and its possible to perform combat finishers by successfully parrying attacks. Ron Perlman lends his voice to the title character and Claudia Black portrays the lead female character, A'kanna.

This work contains the following tropes

  • Absentee Actor: For some reason, A'kanna is nowhere to be seen during the second level in the desert ruins (Though she told Conan about the Sand Dragon), nor during the boss battle against the Giant Squid.
  • Abusive Parents: Graven used his own children as fuel for his unnaturally long life, which he also attempts to do with his daughter A'kanna.
  • Action Girl: A'kanna.
  • ...And That Little Girl Was Me: That old lady narrating the story is revealed in the end to be an older and wizened A'kanna.
  • Animalistic Abomination: The Sand Dragon, the Elephant Demon and the Giant Squid bosses.
  • Annoying Arrows: Arrows do not kill instantly, but they inflict gradual damage as long as they are stuck in your body. Averted with Argossean arrows later on, which explode after a while.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: If you need to set something alight to proceed or to smash a barrier with a toss boulder then you'll have respawing boulders or torches nearby.
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  • Archer Archetype: The bow and arrow is A'kanna's weapons of choice.
  • Armor Is Useless: Zigzagged: the large enemies will wear helmets and armor and can take more punishment than their unarmored counterparts, while Conan's armor doesn't really offer more protection, but each fragment of the set will give him back his memory and access to a different magic.
  • Atlantis: Balmora gives off this vibe.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: All the magic spells are powerful when employed, but they all cost a lot of magic, which means that you'll use them scarcely and is quite possible to end the game without using magic at all. Then again, given Conan's usual attitude towards magic, it's kinda appropriate.
  • BFS: One of the weapon Conan can wield, each level is guaranteed to have at least one type of Elite Mook with such a sword. They tend to be slow but can pack quite a punch. Also, any of Bone Cleaver's weapons, starting from a huge mace to a long sword to a flail.
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  • Big Bad: Graven, the Evil Sorcerer released by Conan from his dark prison and source of the Black Death.
  • Blade on a Stick: Polearms of various types and size are used by enemy soldiers and can be used in combat. They are useful against mobile, nible enemies due to their reach.
  • Bookends: Both the starting tutorial and the final battle against Graven takes place in the temple of Balmoria.
  • Boss-Only Level: The fight against the Giant Squid is essentially this.
  • Cain and Abel: Graven and his brother.
  • Captain Obvious: After going deep inside a ruined citadel, under the ocean, infested with wraiths, living statues and humanoid goop beings Conan will notice that "This place is bewitched!". About time...
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Bone Cleaver, apparently the mutated leader of the Barachan Pirates and boss of the first proper level not only returns as the boss of Argos and penultimate boss, but is revealed to be Graven's brother, forcefully turned into a monster as a form of punishment.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Stygian enemies, unsurprisingly. Footsoldiers will sometimes blow some sort of powder at Conan that inverts his movements for a while, the large swordsmen will sometimes employ a Booze Flamethrower on him after a successful combo.
  • Convection Schmonvection: In a couple of situations Conan will be close to a burning tar pit or on a burning ship, but he'll only take damage if he touches the fire directly.
  • Cool Helmet: The boss in the Argos level wears one that makes him look like a minotaur.
  • The Corruption: The Black Death is a plague unleashed by Graven that turns men to kill each other.
  • Damsel in Distress: Across your journey, you will find several chained helpless maidens and releasing them will give Conan experience points.
    • A'kanna also gets into trouble and needs rescuing a few times.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Par course, Conan ends up killing a massive dragon, an undead behemoth, a monstrous serpent-witch queen, a giant sea monster. During the final boss fight you end up challenging an eldritch sorcerer from an extinct civilization and incredible powers and yes, you can also punch him in the face at one point.
  • Dungeon Crawling: The game opens with Conan exploring a forgotten island in search for treasure and many levels take place exploring dungeons like these.
  • Elite Mook: Each set of enemies has one: easily recognizable from their size, giant sword and helmet, which makes them more resilient than other enemies. Plus, they're usually capable of shrugging off any grapple attempt.
  • Empowered Badass Normal: Conan is naturally a Badass Normal at the start of the game up until he acquire the first piece of enchanted armor that grants him superpowers. After regaining his whole set, he will gain the following powers:
  • Essence Drop: Red orbs give experience and green orbs restore your health. After acquiring the magical armor, you'll come across blue runes that restore magic.
  • Expy: A'kanna is one for Bêlit, being a pirate queen for an all-male crew that becomes romantically involved with Conan. Also A'kanna seemingly dies towards the end of the story, but unlike Bêlit, she survives but Conan believes she has perished.
  • Eye Scream: In order to kill the Giant Squid, Conan leaps into its mouth, slash wildly inside the monster's body and eventually escapes by pushing the eye out of its orbit from the inside.
  • Fake Ultimate Mook: Living Statues are surprisingly easy to dispatch, despite looking big and meanie. Though maybe is due to the fact that, each time Conan faces them, he's at his top and wears his entire armor set.
  • Fan Disservice: The Sorceress Queen boss is a monstrous female creature that is also topless and pretty horrifying to look at.
  • Fanservice Extra: Random topless slave girls are hidden around the map like trophies, and you are rewarded if you free them. There's also a topless maiden that gets a lot of focus in the cutscene at the end of the Argossean Fortress level.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Upon being defeated by Conan, Graven loses control of his "gods" and finds out that they are very, very disappointed for his misuse of their powers. Suffice to say that he's going to regret being sealed under a statue...
  • Fed to the Beast: The Kushite tribesmen kidnap A'kanna to offer her as a sacrifice for their Elephant God.
  • Finishing Move: If Conan is able to perform a successful parry, a button prompt will allow him to finish off his opponent with the animations varying from button and weapon type. Also bosses can only be killed through finishers.
  • Free-Fall Fight: The very final part of the Final Boss fight involves this with a Quick Time Event after Graven pulls a Not Quite Dead moment.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: In a way, the Giant Squid boss: you get zero fanfare about the imminent attack of the monster, is completely unrelated to the previous level and it doesn't even hold a piece of the Plot Coupon armor like the other bosses. However, its strange ability to turn your pirates in the black humanoid things that you encounter in Graven's sanctuary implies that the sorcerer may have sent it to kill Conan.
  • Giant Squid: The game features a boss battle against one at one point. You have to chop its tentacles and stop it from breaking the mast.
  • Gorn: Several combat finishers include Conan pulling an enemy's guts out with his bare hands and vertically cutting them in half.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Bone Cleaver has his head smashed against his own weapon, you can climb on the Elephant Demon's head when his tusks get stuck in order to pour fire on him and the Sorceress Queen is impaled by her own scepter. Graven himself is sealed in eternal torture by his own gods.
  • Hack and Slash: It has been frequently compared to the God of War series.
  • Humanoid Abomination: Graven is mostly a human being made of black mass and tentacles.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: How the Sand Dragon and the Sorceress Queen are finished off.
  • Kill It with Fire: You can use torches to burn enemies to death or set their huts ablaze. This is also how you destroy the Elephant Demon, by igniting the tar pit where it dwells.
  • Killer Gorilla: Some of these monsters are encountered in the underground levels.
  • Large and in Charge: Bone Cleaver, the leader of the Barachan pirates and the carrier of Black Death.
  • Living Statue: Massive, dual wielding statues are encountered as Elite Mook enemies in Balmoria. Despite their imposing looks they are slow and clumsy.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: Shielded enemies will parry blow over blow until their shield breaks. Argossean soldiers takes this Up to Eleven with large tower shield which hide spring-loaded spikes on them. Obviously, Conan can equip a shield himself, though he can't perform the spike trick. (Shields do allow him to block arrows, though, which he can't do with a weapon alone.)
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Graven is revealed to be A'kanna's father.
  • Magic Knight: Conan becomes one as he recovers the pieces of his armor that were fused with Graven's magic. This is a stark contrast to how Conan feels about magic in the source material, although in Conan's defense, he states he can't wait to get rid of it since he has no love for wizards and their wretched magic.
  • Multi-Melee Master: Conan can wield any weapon from fallen enemies including swords, spears and axes. This allows him to perform in at least four different fighting styles, each with its own moves and attacks.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Every single door is open with a Quick Time Event, which essentially consist in Conan wrestling the door open and sneaking inside before it closes.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Conan unleashed the Big Bad at the start of the game and its up to him to clean up his mess.
  • Night of the Living Mooks: Chimera the Sorceress Queen will often use black magic to reanimate the corpses of freshly slain troops during her boss battle. In Balmora the enemies are ghosts of long-dead warriors possessing armors and weapons.
  • Not So Different: Invoked by Graven, who claims that the gods he's serving are angry at mankind and his Black Death is a way to cleanse the world of civilization, forcing mankind to return to a barbaric state which is more congenial to them. While Conan is indeed disgusted by most of the lowest points of civilization, he retorts that Graven's methods are even worse.
  • Oddly Shaped Sword: Most swords look reasonable, though a few of them follow this trope and don't look very practical.
  • Offing the Offspring: This is how Graven fueled his unnaturally long life, sacrificing his numerous children without remorse.
  • Oh, Crap!: Conan has a moderate one when he meets the Sand Dragon face to face, while Graven has an epic one when his own gods escape his control and decide to punish him again.
  • One-Winged Angel: During his boss battle Graven will assume a different, more monstrous form after you have depleted his lifebar, jumping in the middle of the arena and turning into a grotesque, tree-like abomination which attacks by sending out tentacles to harm Conan.
  • Overly Long Tongue: One of the Sand Dragon's attacks consist in whipping you with its tongue.
  • Panthera Awesome: Lions are frequently encountered as annoying enemies with quick, lashing attacks. Conan is not above taunting them too as he fights them.
  • Permanently Missable Content: The Rune Triumvirate in certain areas are located in places that can be covered by rubble you need to push down in order to leave. In other words, they force you to go for the runes first and then complete the puzzle that will allow you to proceed.
  • Puzzle Boss: Usually, after depleting the life bar of a boss, you have to perform certain actions in order to damage him and proceed the boss battle. Notable examples include the Elephant Demon, the Sorceress Queen and Graven himself.
  • Raising the Steaks: The Elephant Demon is a massive undead elephant with four tusks that lives in a cavern somewhere in Kush.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Winged serpents are sometimes encountered as enemies later on. Also Chimera, the Sorceress Queen, is part snake and really abhorrent. Also the Sand Dragon, which is essentially a giant, tusked, fire-breathing lizard.
  • Rubber Man: In his first Form Graven sports extendable, tentacle-covered limbs and long, boneless legs webbed together by strings of black goop. Unfortunately, this apparently gives him a ridicolous-looking stomping gait as he approaches Conan.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Graven is trapped in a statue by the time Conan finds him in his prison.
  • Shout-Out:
    • One of the possible moves is titled "Camel's Punch" after a recurring incident in the Conan movies where Conan punches a camel.
    • The Sand Dragon's boss fight is similar to the Lernean Hydra's boss in the first God of War game, down to attack patterns, design and the fact it pursues the main character relentlessly and he has to use the environment in order to defeat it.
  • Sinister Scimitar: Big or small, is found in the hands of many enemies. Nothing stops Conan from using one or two himself though.
  • Sword Beam: If you manage to perform a long-enough combo without being interrupted you activate the "Song of Death", which increases your damage and slightly extends the reach of your weapons. Also, Stygian spearmen can, somehow, shoot a green energy bullet from their polearms.
  • Sword of Plot Advancement: The armor of Conan has been split in five parts (right armlet, left armlet, greaves, shoulderpad and helmet) and each part must be recovered and will provide information on Graven and magical powers. These pieces are usually found in the possession of bosses.
  • The Undead: The enemies in Balmoria are restless ghosts imbuing animated armors and weapons. They still fall to Conan's blade.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: A'kanna's second mate sells her to the Kushite tribesmen and tries to persuade Conan to forget about her so that they can take her share of the booty. Conan promtly guts him where he stands.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: The lovely naked ladies tied up and imploring you to save them? There's nothing that stops you from ignoring their pleads and leave them there.
  • You Fight Like a Cow: Conan will often mock or threaten his enemies as he chops them to pieces.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle!: In Kush, you seemingly reach A'kanna in the caverns just in time... and then a Gray Ape kidnaps her and takes her even deeper into the dungeon, forcing you to follow her and fight the Elephant God.

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