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Video Game / Duskers

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In space, no one can hear you scream.
—Alien (1979), tagline

Released in 2016, Duskers is a roguelike spacebased realtime game by Misfits Attic, also known for A Virus Named TOM.

In Duskers, you play the role of a forensic investigator, flitting from derelict to derelict, attempting to piece together what happened to transform a once-vibrant universe into a cold, dead husk.

Your only companions are your fleet of up to four drones with which you explore the lifeless ships, scavenging the resources you need to survive one more jump.


This game provides examples of:

  • After the End: The game begins with you awakening from cryo sleep, apparently unaffected by whatever happened.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: One of the possible ways that humanity was wiped out. Researched by boarding and investigating Muteki ships.
  • Alien Invasion: Another potential way that mankind was destroyed. Researched by boarding and investigating Military derelicts.
  • Apocalypse How: Humanity has vanished, and the main point of the story is figuring out what happened. Ultimately this is futile. See No Ending below.
  • Apocalyptic Log: On boarding certain derelicts, your mothership's systems will recover log files left by the luckless crewmen of the vessel you're trying to board.
  • Attack Drone: Purple-tinted robots with autoguns that will blast your drones should they be detected. Also a type of drone you can deploy depending on what upgrades you add to them.
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  • Booby Trap: You can set remotely detonated explosives with the Trap upgrade. Just make sure to get out of the room before you set it off.
  • Continuous Decompression: Opening doors to rooms that have been exposed to space will vent the newly opened room as well as spread radiation after awhile.
  • Deadly Gas: Radiation is lethal over time to your drones. It will spread through open doors, and can randomly occur from a broken pipe event or an airlock bursting.
  • Deflector Shields: the Shield upgrade gives a 500 point damage barrier between enemy attacks and your drone's hitpoints. An upgrade can reduce its overall strength but give it regeneration. It can also be upgraded to make your drones immune to radiation. Just make sure you remember to turn it on.
  • Developers' Foresight: if you exit the mission with a surviving dog in your boarding ship (r1), it will keep you company on your mothership. Though the noises might quickly get annoying.
  • Explosive Decompression: Occurs when an asteroid hits one of the rooms, opening an airlock without your docking vessel attached, or you intentionally blow a hole in one with the Cannon ship upgrade.
  • Diegetic Interface: Since the whole game window represents a monitor on your character's ship, and EVERYTHING is keyboard controlled from the word go, it can be assumed that your IRL keyboard and monitor represent the computer peripherals used to interact with the drones in-game. There's some bloom lighting and other subtle effects meant to mimic a CRT screen.
  • Flash Step: More or less what the Leaper enemy does for its attack. It can clear a ridiculous amount of ground in a single jump and deals a worrying amount of damage, but takes a moment to recover before it can attack again.
  • Finagle's Law / Murphy's Law: In spaaaaades.
  • Grey Goo: One of the possible ways that humanity met its demise. Researched by boarding enough space stations and fuel depots.
  • Hell Is That Noise: What you hear is filtered back to you by your drones. The ominous creaking of the ship, the soft whirring of a power generator, and the noises of the creatures lurking in the'll come to love and hate the sounds of Duskers.
  • Land Mine Goes "Click!": Mines are one of the weapons you can equip on your drones. The "click" comes from seeing an alert in your console that it has detonated upon contact with an enemy. Hopefully you aren't witnessing this explosion firsthand.
  • Late to the Tragedy: Whatever rendered humanity extinct, it entirely passed the player, who then awakens and must investigate for themselves what happened.
  • Malevolent Architecture: Not all (or even many) of the derelicts are stable. Their airlocks can fail and their pipes can burst, flooding rooms with lethal radiation as you're trying to explore. On occasion, they can also stop responding to a random console command — expedition-ending news if the command is "close (door)", throwing your Tactical Door Use right out the window. And that's not to mention the random vents which can leave any room vulnerable to Swarms.
  • Mega-Corp: Muteki appears to be this, judging by the logs you can find aboard their ships.
  • Mook Maker: On derelicts infested with Swarms, be VERY wary of rooms with vents in them. Not only can Swarms travel through them freely, the vents themselves can also spawn more Swarms.
    • Slime also works this way, with first slime to spawn continually producing a line of secondary slime blobs towards nearby drones. Given how hard they are to kill, it may count as Advancing Wall of Doom.
  • Murphy's Bed: Your boarding ship (r1) can become this if you are not careful.
  • No Body Left Behind: Part of the mystery. Whatever happened, it left no noticeable traces of any human life, not even bones. Averted for the drones and enemies — the former can block narrow corridors, and both will prevent doors and airlocks from closing. Neither can be Towed away. Confusingly, you can rarely find a dog that apparently somehow survived the Event.
  • No Ending: The game itself has no set ending or win condition. This applies to the plot as well. None of the theories regarding whatever disaster occurred can ever be confirmed, nor do any others present themselves. The mystery ultimately has no answer.
  • Radiation-Immune Mutants: Most biological enemies are.
  • Ragnarök Proofing: Notably and tragically averted. Humanity is gone, but their derelict ships are falling apart, your upgrades deteriorate with use, and even your ship's video feed becomes increasingly unreliable when you can't commandeer a new vessel.
  • Random Event: The game is, at its core, predicated on this trope.
  • Random Number God: Your greatest ally and your most bitter enemy. RN Gesus giveth and RN Gesus taketh away very often in Duskers.
  • Reset Button: A variation — you can reset the universe back to the beginning of the game, keeping the story progress, but having to start over with a new ship and new set of drones.
  • Sensor Suspense: All of the gameplay is seen through an In-Universe feed of your drones' sensors.
  • Sentry Gun: Comes in two flavors; the first is an upgrade your drones can mount, the second (and much more lethal) are shipboard defense turrets that require power and a drone with the Interface upgrade but will annihilate anything moving in the room they cover.
  • Signature Roar: The Leaper (once provoked) does this.
  • Sound-Coded for Your Convenience: There are some important audio cues, particularly dreaded ones being buzzing of the swarm behind a closed door and creaking of bent metal that warns you about incoming pipe rupture.
  • Tactical Door Use: Essential in keeping your drones alive for as long as possible.
  • The Plague: A potentially galaxy-spanning superbug is another possible reason for humanity being wiped out. Researched by boarding enough Medical derelicts and outposts. Requires a specific ship upgrade later to continue the plotline.
  • Thrown Out the Airlock: One of the safest ways to eliminate hostiles aboard a derelict is to heard them into a room with an adjoined airlock and to vent it. The problem is that doing this will also vent any salvage and all other objects in the room. Including your drones and even generators and interface consoles.

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