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Video Game / Culpa Innata

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It's the year 2047 and some fifteen years following the Great Economic War. Most of the countries of Western Europe and North America have joined to form the World Union and society is at its most perfect. Sex is entertainment, children are viewed as investments raised in institutions (called Child Development Centres) by teachers, disease and crime have been eliminated and greed is good.

You play Phoenix Wallis, a Peace Officer (read: cop) in Adrianopolis, a city on the border of Russia and the World Union. Captain Dagmar Morrison has assigned Phoenix and another Peace Officer named Julio Rodriguez to investigate the murder Vassyly Bogdanov, a crime that has not occurred for fifteen years. While investigating this Phoenix comes across some rather strange clues involving butterflies that lead to an Elaborate Underground Base where a supposed La Résistance known as the Renovators is run by an Omniscient Council of Vagueness.


The political and economic system of the World Union is based on Objectivism and Brave New World.

Culpa Innata was made by the Turkish company Momentum AS in 2007. It belongs to an Adventure Game genre, but its gameplay-story ratio is turned firmly towards the latter, with comparately few puzzles and a large amount of dialogue and cutscenes. A sequel has been made, and was supposed to be released in 2008, but the financial crisis meant that the publisher didn't pay Momentum AS for the game.


This game contains the following tropes:

  • All Women Are Lustful: Morrisen says at one point that it is women who sexually harass men. Even Phoenix, who is reserved by Union standards, sleeps with two different men and oogles the bouncer at the Stardust Club.
  • Apocalypse How: The game opens with a prediction of a Planetary Total Extinction event by way of the sun entering its red giant phase. Scientists have rather overestimated its remaining lifetime and it is set to occur by the year 3000. However, it is posited that the sun might be refueled by way of wormhole. It's only later that you learn this isn't public knowledge.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Over the course of the game, you have to interview three potential citizens, each with a character flaw that will disqualify them if you ask the right questions to expose it. One is a murderer, one is a hacker, and one is... a Gold Digger. That last one actually gets the option to reapply, provided they shape up.
  • Catapult Nightmare: Three times. First time when Phoenix was remembering her time on the streets, second was after she discovers the Renovators control room in the tunnels and the third time was when she escaped from the crashing elevator in the mining camp that she was transported to by the Renovators.
  • Character Name Alias: An NPC masquerading as a police officer goes by the moniker Harry Callahan. Phoenix spots the connection immediately.
  • Comm Links: The Personal Assistant or PA, which is a video phone, a diary, a scanner and a map. There's also the hint that Big Brother Is Watching. The PA is also where you save the game.
  • Cosmetic Catastrophe: Phoenix is twice offered a free makeover by Roger Arnet's assistant. Both times she's just using Phoenix as an easy mark to test some experimental beauty programs. For added nerve, when she inevitably botches the job, she claims it's Phoenix's fault for not having the right face for it.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Phoenix's parents were killed in riots during the Great Economic War, and she had to survive on the streets until the Union Army arrived to save the city from rebels and she was found by Amnesty International.
  • Death by Sex: Spencer is said to have died in coitus. He was actually killed by a Lotus-Eater Machine which creates scenarios so intense he died of a brain hemorrhage while running a sex simulation.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: Played for horror. Where to begin?
    • Let's start with how marriage is defunct and children are seen as commodities to be brought up in institutions.
  • Doesn't Like Guns: The World Union as a whole, with the exception of their armed forces, has no firearms of any kind. Peace Officers are expected to talk things out, and force is reserved for when suspects won't cooperate. Phoenix is disgusted with Pierre DeVille's gun collection.
  • Double Think: Conversation with Lupin reveals that students in the immigration academy took the selfish/greed portion too literally, and avoided cooperation and sharing as was required by some academy assignments; hence less experienced people not understanding how things work. Overall, the Union is based around greed and capitalism, yet it's the duty of individuals to contribute to an NGO (technically a limited form of altruism that is otherwise stigmatized).
  • Everybody Has Lots of Sex: Women in the World Union are expected to have multiple partners and (at least according to Sandra) it's fashionable to be promiscuous. Phoenix is seen to be rather prudish and old-fashioned as she says she wants to be with the right man.
  • Fake-Out Opening: The game begins with children listening to a lecture in a starry room, it's not until later you find out that these people are actually the Renovators and are in hiding.
  • Kiss Me, I'm Virtual: Bogdanov's virtual reality device can run many scenarios, but the sex simulation is the most popular.
  • In-Universe Game Clock: This game uses event-based time advancement. As long as you don't travel between major locations, the time remains the same, and it only changes once you speak with someone or go to a certain place. However, it's sometimes inconsistent - if you arrive at the child care center at 12:01, speak with the receptionist to learn that prep-period is in 90 minutes, and make a short discussion with a teacher, the result is that the time jumps to 4:30 after the interrogation (not enough time to reach another location).
  • Left Hanging: Since the sequel is Vaporware, quite a few plot threads get lost to the scramble. Only the murder plot gets wrapped up.
  • MacGyvering: A lot of the puzzles Phoenix solves are done by this, there's even a Shout-Out.
  • The Mafiya: The Gambino crime family comes up in connection to the case. Bogdanov was doing a trial run of the virtual reality device for them, but stiffed them when he started making profit from a side business. They somehow extradited him from the Union and murdered him.
  • Meaningful Name: Subverted. Phoenix is aware that her name is a city in the US and a mythical bird but doesn't know what they mean. She is also told later about the constellation that shares her name.
  • N.G.O. Superpower: NGOs were responsible for getting rid of the UN and all Union citizens have to belong to one.
  • Parental Abandonment: Enforced. Seeing the family unit as a detriment to development, the Union educates children at a special facility. In what is probably an intentional critique of such thinking, the one child you meet at such a facility is a massive brat that refuses to recognize Phoenix's authority and has to be bribed into cooperation.
  • Pyramid Power: The Pyramid is the center of the city. It's apparently a big part of Union design, and even more impressive ones are alluded to.
  • Raised by Grandparents: Was the case for Vassyly Bogdanov when he was young. In addition to this being a clue to where to find something, Phoenix later discusses in gossip about how she doesn't understand why those biological grandparents were altruistic towards Bogdanov.
  • Red Herring: Pierre DeVille; his gun collection really is just for show.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: WIMA has a special arrangement with the government exempting it from any police scrutiny. Even when Phoenix believes Roger Arnet to be violating the Constitution, her chief notes that they couldn't prosecute the man even if she could adequately explain the manner in which he's doing it (in reality, Phoenix is just too idealistic to get his hints about how the system really works).
  • Stripperiffic: Phoenix's nightclub outfit, which can best be described as a backless and topless dress (the main strap runs between her breasts) with a colorful bra.