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Video Game / Deadfall Adventures

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"A great name can be an even greater burden."
James Lee Quatermain

Deadfall Adventures is a 3D First-Person Shooter action-adventure by Polish developer The Farm 51 and published by Nordic Games in 2013, for PC and Xbox 360. The game is set just before World War II and follows James Lee Quatermain, great-grandson of Allan Quatermain (the hunter/adventurer created by H. Rider Haggard), who has been hired to seek out the "Heart of Atlantis", alongside US agent and former colleague Jennifer Goodwin, before the Nazis/Russians do.

The game combines modern first-person shooter combat with puzzle solving and treasure hunting. Deadfall Adventures is basically Two-Fisted Tales: The Game, with elements reminiscent of Indiana Jones, The Mummy Trilogy, and a bit of Wolfenstein.

The game's official website is here.

This game provides examples of:

  • Action Girl: Jenny is quite capable of defending herself when the need arises, at least until she becomes the Damsel in Distress.
  • Advanced Ancient Humans: Professor Jacobs suggests that the Atlantean race is more ancient than any other on Earth.
  • Ancient Egypt: The first chapter, along with Build Like an Egyptian.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: The game thankfully gives the player infinite ammo during the mine cart sequences.
  • Artifact Collection Agency: The unnamed agency for which Professor Jacobs and Jennifer Goodwin work. Jenny says that although she is now a field agent, she was "only intel" when she worked with Quatermain before.
  • Artistic License Geography: Quartermain learns in the Arctic that the third fragment of the Heart is in South America, so he and Goodwin head for Guatemala. Guatemala is in Central America.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Colonel Stein, the Soviet Colonel, and Dr. Hagen can all take several times the number of bullets as normal Mooks, although they can all still be mowed down relatively quickly.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The MG-34. With the hundred round magazine, decent damage and rate of fire; it can flush out a room full of baddies. However you cannot jump, move slowly, and cannot use your compass or flashlight without having to drop the gun.
  • Big Bad Friend: Hagen, a.k.a. "Shepherd". Alas, the Genre Blindness demonstrated by the protagonists is at the Idiot Ball level, especially after having been warned by a defeated Stein:
    Stein: [dying] Beware of snakes, American. They can never neglect their nature...
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: shootable targets in puzzles, or to trigger traps, are shiny gold. The three types of treasure are also differentiated by colour.
  • Crate Expectations: Well, there are several large-scale archaeological expeditions going on.
  • Death from Above: The Undead King boss attacks with what amounts to a massive, flaming airstrike targeted on the player's current position - attacks that are thankfully presaged by the appearance of a huge, glowing rosette on the ground.
  • Dirty Communists: The third major foe, besides Nazis and undead, and led by a particularly brutal Red Army colonel.
  • Double Reverse Quadruple Agent: Hagen, who poses as a Nazi agent while working for the Americans, but then is revealed to be only it it for himself.
  • Dull Surprise: Although the voice actors mostly manage to portray the characters' emotions, facial animations are absent, leading to a lot of this.
  • Durable Deathtrap: Everywhere. Can be used against enemies, though.
  • Elaborate Underground Base: The Russians managed to construct a huge mining base in the Arctic which Quartermain must traverse to rescue Jen.
  • Exploding Barrels: Once again, enemies can often be found loitering near these.
  • Famous Ancestor: Allan Quatermain, whose unpublished diaries provide the main characters with vital information (and which act as an in-game hintbook). Until James Lee actually lives through an adventure akin to one Allan would have had, he sees his ancestor as nothing more than a cash cow.
  • Gameplay Ally Immortality: Your allies seem to be unkillable, even a direct hit from a grenade will just knock them down for a few seconds. This is balanced out by the fact that they tend to hang back and camp the entrance instead of charging into the middle of a firefight.
  • Hailfire Peaks: The Arctic chapter, which starts in snowstorms and ice caves and ends up in huge lava caverns in a Russian mine.
  • Hand Wave: In-universe, what Quatermain offers Jenny when she asks how his Phlebotinum-powered flashlight works.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Quatermain starts off as a reluctant, dislikeable sort, viewing his family name solely as a means to make gambling money, and showing little regard for those with whom he works. The events of the game do appear to act as something of a Redemption Quest, resulting in his showing a friendlier side, and having more respect for his forebear.
  • Light and Mirrors Puzzle: Several of them.
  • Light Is Good: Undead must be weakened either by daylight or Quatermain's flashlight before shooting them.
  • Macguffin Delivery Service: Quatermain ends up being this to Hagen.
  • Magic Compass: Quatermain's compass points the way to nearby items of treasure, when close enough - the rest of the time it rotates idly.
  • Mayan Doomsday: Referenced. At one point our heroes come across the Mayan Calendar, and Jen remarks on the surprising accuracy of the ancient device going as far as "December 21, 2030". One puzzle involving explosives later, and a large chunk gets blown off...
    James: Oops! I think I just took off about 18 years. Ahh, I don't think anyone will mind.
  • Maybe Ever After: The game ends with Jen going back to Egypt to see Quatermain, and it's implied they've become attracted.
  • Mayincatec: The Guatemalan chapter, through and through.
  • Mle Trois: Mummies and enemy soldiers will fight each other as well as against Quatermain, although other than the first and last levels of the game, the two seldom appear in the same area.
  • Minecart Madness: In the Russian mine. Despite it being a spectacular (and lengthy) Rollercoaster Mine thrill ride, the cart is controlled for you, freeing you up to concentrate on shooting the copious bad guys.
  • Misplaced Accent: Agent Goodwin and Professor Jacobs work for an American agency, but both have English accents, while James Lee Quatermain is supposed to be English (or at least descended from an Englishman) but has a US accent. None are beyond the bounds of possibility, but the apparent accent-swaps seem odd.
  • No Swastikas: Despite mentions of Nazis and the Third Reich, there is not a single swastika in the game. Rather it's only Xs.
  • Non-Player Companion: Jen Goodwin accompanies you for most of the game and can hold her own in a shootout, but for most major firefights and puzzles she tends to hang back and let you sort things out rather than charging in and doing the work for you. Dr. Hagen also follows you during the middle levels set in the Artic.
  • Only in It for the Money: Quartermain in the beginning is more concerned with making money and collecting treasures. But then Character Development kicks in.
  • Out of the Frying Pan: after being betrayed and stranded, Jenny and Quatermain have no choice but to surrender to the Russian colonel, only for them to be tied up and interrogated in a mine.
  • Plot Coupon: The Tear of Isis.
  • Pressure Plate: All over the place, in puzzles and traps.
  • Puzzle Boss:
    • Averted with Colonel Stein. Because he's firing a machine gun from behind elevated cover, the game wants you to destroy the two supports of the platform he's standing on so he'll plunge to his death. However, you can just flank him and mow him down normally (he can take more bullets than a regular Mook, but still dies pretty quickly). However the game still requires you to blow up the platform to trigger Stein's death cutscene, even if you kill him and his men with bullets.
    • The final boss is Immune to Bullets, so you need to figure out a way to use the environment to kill him.
  • Revolvers Are Just Better: Averted. A pair of Webley revolvers are your default sidearms; they have infinite ammo, but have a below average rate of fire and a VERY long reload time, as well as strictly average damage. You can pick up a variety of semi-auto pistols, they have finite ammo but can fire and reload faster than the revolvers.
  • Rewarding Vandalism: Smashing up priceless ancient pottery can yield treasure, or a swarm of angry beetles.
  • Rugged Scar: The Russian colonel.
  • Sequel Hook:
    Jenny: Seven temples. And we've only seen three.
    Quatermain: Plenty more material, then, for me to write another story about our adventures.
  • Short-Range Shotgun: The shotgun is extremely short range, often taking at least a couple shots to kill past about a dozen feet, and being almost useless past about 20-25 feet. This makes it pretty poor against humans with guns, but decent against mummies (who charge straight at you).
  • Shout-Out: When placing the Tear of Isis in its receptacle, Quatermain muses wryly: "It belongs in a museum", followed by a wish to see the proceeds in his bank account.
  • Temple of Doom: Much of the game takes place in a sandy one, an icy one and a jungle one.
  • Treasure Map: Each chapter has such a map located somewhere within it (often found with a previous, hapless explorer), which reveals the locations of all treasure items. However, the maps are generally both small-scale and very vague.
  • Two-Fisted Tales: A very deliberate homage to the genre.
  • What the Hell Is That Accent?: The Soviet Colonel sounds like a Frenchman trying to sound Russian.
  • You Wouldn't Believe Me If I Told You:
    Jenny: You can never publish your stories.
    Quatermain: Don't worry. Nobody'd believe me anyway.