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Video Game / Crimsonland

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Crimsonland is a top-down Action Game, where you maneouver around a featureless plain killing aliens, zombies and other nasty things as they wander onto or teleport into the screen, and your goal is to survive. To help you, powerups occasionally spawn from slain enemies: they either give you some kind of bonus (slow motion, freeze, and so on) or a new weapon (shotgun, plasma minigun, ion rifle, etc). As you kill monsters, gain XP, and level up, you are granted "perks" that may be beneficial, or may involve some kind of tradeoff for a benefit. "Long Distance Runner," for instance, lets you run faster if you keep moving. "Death Clock" makes you invincible, but you drop dead in 30 seconds.

The initial version of the game was a strictly PC shareware game, and it came out on all the way in 2003. However, an significantly updated, commercial version of the game was eventually released more than a decade later, and was ported to all the major platforms since then: Playstation 4, PlayStation Vita and mobile platforms in 2014, Playstation 3 and Xbox One in 2015, and Nintendo Switch in 2017.

The full version now includes four game modes, one of which is a secret end-game mode.

  • In Quest mode, you are required to kill a certain number of bad guys (and any that dynamically spawn from spawn points) who come at you in some kind of pattern. In one quest, you may have dopey aliens wandering around in squads. In another, you may fight plasma-breathing spiders while tiny little spiders harass you. In another, every monster might be invisible. Finishing a quest unlocks a perk or weapon.
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  • In Survival mode, your only goal is to stay alive as long as possible, claiming the highest score possible. The difficulty of doing so increases substantially, until eventually even the common monsters are Made of Iron.
  • In Rush mode, you are given an assault rifle—that's it. Stay alive as long as you can. Infinite ammo, but even more monsters.
  • In the last mode, you kill monsters by typing words!

To give the game a little added longevity, it tracks high scores, both locally and on the internet.

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Crimsonland is awash in:

  • Abnormal Ammo: One powerup loads your gun with Fire Bullets. They HURT.
  • Alien Blood: Averted. Every creature has red blood. After all, it's right in the title of the game.
  • Anti-Climax Boss: The last level of Chapter Seven, Final Showdown is this compared to the last level of the Chapter Six, The Gathering. While The Gathering is basically taking every single Demonic Spider in the game from Asteroids Monsters to Bullet Hell projectile spewing enemies to Mook Makers that will fill the screen with bad guys to projectile spewing enemies that only stop shooting to become invincible instead and sicking them on you to the point where just getting a weapon and your first level is an accomplishment, Final Showdown is limited to all melee enemies and none of them are especially hard to kill making easy to collect both powers and levels.
  • Asteroids Monster: The aptly named Spideroids. Killing one splits it into two smaller spiders, who split into two more even smaller spiders when killed, and so on. The cycle continues for several more steps, to the point where trying to kill just two big ones can quickly lead to being overwhelmed by an entire screen of miniature spiders.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Many guns are powerful but have ridiculous reload times. There are perks to help with this. Good examples are the Plasma Shotgun and the Mean Minigun. The Minigun has the additional disadvantage of making you slower in a game where running is a primary means of survival.
    • Special mention goes to the Splitter gun, which is available after beating every single level on Hardcore mode. When the bullet strikes a mook, the bullet splits in two, then those bullets can split again and again and again by striking additional mooks. The drawback is that the bullets from this Splitter can hurt your character, and with swarms of monsters in Survival mode, the game becomes a literal Bullet Hell. This gun is really useful, though, when picked mid-to-late-game, coupled with powerups and invincibility, it can take care even of those Made of Diamond mooks.
  • BFG: Anything with "cannon" in the name. The miniguns probably count, too, and some of the special shotguns are close.
  • Cast from Experience Points: One of the perks you can choose lets you shoot your gun with an empty clip, at the cost of a hefty amounts of points for every shot. (Your score determines when you level up.)
  • Cast From Hit Points: One perk turns your HP into ammo when you are reloading, so that you can keep firing at the cost of some HP. One other perk does this with your *XP*.
  • Disc-One Nuke: You could very well get Bonus Magnet, Bonus Economist, and Telekinesis as your first three perks. This makes most levels and early Survival relatively easy. In a different sense, once you've unlocked them there's always a chance your first weapon could be a BFG.
  • Emergency Energy Tank: The Bandage. Pick this perk and you regain full HP (contradicting its own description). Once (unless it's the Switch version).
  • Endless Game: Survival Mode and Rush Mode both go on forever until The Reaper Gets You.
  • Giant Spider: One of the enemy types are spiders. They can come in variants that fire projectiles at you, and other variants are Asteroids Monsters.
  • Grim Reaper: The Reaper Got You...
  • Harmless Freezing: The Freeze powerup will trap all enemies on the screen in ice, immobilizing them. While this doesn't hurt them, it makes them easy pickings for your weapon as well as giving you a breather.
  • HP to 1: Some of the Perks will give you a massive bonus... at the cost of removing 99% of your current HP. Make sure you have a shield on or a health pickup nearby!
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: You can carry at most two guns, and you need a perk to do that. There's nothing stopping you from taking two Cannons, though, and your character is never shown actually carrying the other one.
  • Joke Item: The Blowtorch. It's a flamethrower with a range about as long as your nose. It's actually fairly strong, but the range is so short that it's nearly impossible to use well.
  • Ludicrous Gibs: A low-key example, given that it's all just blood. Although the game does earn its name by the end of a round. Blood and enemy corpses do not disappear. Ever.
  • Meta Power-Up: One of the perks gives you a wider selection of perks at levelup.
  • Mini-Game: AlienZooKeeper.
  • Mook Maker: Those stationary spawner-things.
  • More Dakka: Fast-firing guns are a key to surviving. There are perks and powerups that do nothing but make your guns shoot faster.
  • Not Completely Useless: Even the Blowtorch has its uses. Try it on things that can't move.
  • Numerical Hard: Combined with Difficulty by Acceleration in Survival Mode — as time goes on, the mooks get tougher to destroy, move faster, and spawn much more often.
  • Power-Up Letdown:
    • Some perks are... we'll say "extremely situational." This mostly applies to ones that either put you in a near-death state, or change the conditions for dying—like Death Clock. Like most of the game's perks, though, they're Not Completely Useless.
    • Running over a weapon that doesn't suit your perks can cause this. Between the ability to pick up stuff by pointing at it (yes, it's a perk) and the hordes of monsters, it's sometimes very easy to grab that Pistol by accident. There's a perk to keep this from happening, though.
    • Freeze is like this sometimes, too. If you're trying to beat a level quickly, the last thing you want is bad guys frozen offscreen.
    • There's a perk that lets you gamble a bit: 50% chance you get 10k XP, which is almost guaranteed to get you at least one (if not several) level up. What happens if you don't get that? You die.
    • In survival, there are a few perks that are at least... a bit strange. There's the one where you die, but you get 18% more score (It's used to end the game with a higher score than if you got killed). Or the one where you get a nuke that blows up when you die. You will get your revenge, I promise...
  • Power-Up Food: Here, eat this bandage.
  • Randomly Drops: Weapon drops are random, so you might spend a long time looking for your favorite weapon—and if you switch away from the pistol, the drop rate for weapons decreases. If your first monster drops an SMG or Assault Rifle, you're in for a long round.
  • Regenerating Health: One of the perks gives you this. It's quite slow regeneration, but it's still much-needed health.
  • Short-Range Shotgun: Actually, averted. All the shotguns do ridiculous damage up close, but only the sawed-off is useless at long range.
  • Smart Bomb: There's a perk that kills everything on the screen. It costs 2/3 of your health to take it, and it only works once. The disease from the "Plaguebearer" perk can act this way, too, if the screen is crowded.
    • There's also the Nuke, a vicinity smart bomb powerup that explodes a considerable radius of Mooks when you touch it.
  • Sprint Shoes: The Speed powerup. Don't run out in the middle of a crowd. There is also the "Long Distance Runner" perk.
  • Standard Shooter Guns: You start with a pistol. Your first few weapons are shotguns, an SMG, an assault rifle, and a rocket launcher. The Cannons fill the "big gun" role. Guns like the ion minigun and gauss shotgun are a little more unique, and once you have everything unlocked there's no real weapon progression to speak of.
  • Unorthodox Reload: Aside from the abovementioned perks that let you shoot away your health and experience, there is a perk that let you reload faster by pounding the mouse button, and another that makes you reload faster if you stand still. There's even a perk that makes you hate reloading so much that plasma explodes out of your body whenever you have to reload.
  • Updated Re-release: For Playstations 3, 4 and Vita with new levels, modes and perks.
  • Weapon of Choice: Invoked with the "My Favourite Weapon" Perk. Getting this gives your gun +2 clip size, and prevents other weapon pickups from appearing for the rest of the run.


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