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Video Game / Enigmata

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Enigmata is an Adobe Flash-based, Vertical Scrolling Shooter Web Game developed by Kongregate user Kidsgamez and released in August 2009. A sequel, Enigmata 2: Genu's Revenge, followed in March 2010. A Tower Defense spin-off Enigmata: Stellar War was released in May 2012, which also received a mobile version in 2018.

The game is faithful to its roots, with a fairly standard plot and setup. It's 20 Minutes into the Future and the Evil Overlord Genu is threatening galactic peace. You play a space-faring Featureless Protagonist on a mission to stop him, aided by the shopkeeper and Text messenger with an internet connection Niko.

You control one of a variety of very spiky-looking fighter craft, and use simple keyboard controls and various Energy Weapons and missiles to shoot at other, equally spiky enemies. Said enemies drop various power ups and cash bonuses with which to buy upgrades between levels. Said upgrades vary wildly, from simple stat bonuses to having unique effects like slowly generating money. You also have a handful of special abilities at your disposal that draw off an energy meter. At the end of each level waits a Boss Fight against increasingly large and powerful warships. You can replay previous levels to obtain more money.

The sequel spices things up by allowing you to aim your ship and weapons anywhere on screen with the mouse whilst still flying vertically through the level, adds a load of new upgrades and skills with heavily diversified effects, and adds an oppressively dark color scheme broken up by colored lights. Oh, and a Mini-Game where you collect a bunch of orbs.

Enigmata, its sequel, and its spin off provide examples of:

  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: In the sequel, there's a chance for Neko's shop to go crazy and attack you as a boss at the end of a completed stage (in place of the real boss). Observant players will note that it's effectively a weaker reskin of the Genu Command Cores.
  • Action Bomb: Cyanobombers. They only fire one shot... but when you kill them, they explode in a massive spread of bullets.
  • Anti-Frustration Feature: The Bonus Lock skill basically allows you to subvert Power Up Letdown, preventing you from replacing your awesome weapon with a weaker one.
  • Attack Reflector: The Reflection Barrier skill.
  • Barrier Warrior: The blue-lit Tricraft series of ships boast the highest shield ratings. Their low armor and high energy rating also puts them among Squishy Wizards.
  • Big Bad: Genu. He has a crest that resembles a crescent moon.
    • Not so in the sequel. It's actually Skymar.
    • Stellar War has Villalobos instead, and after his defeat Genu makes a Face–Heel Turn and his allies become Optional Bosses.
  • Boss in Mook Clothing: Teramid Fragments take the whole freaking Teramid Station's worth of hits to destroy. Despite this, their firepower isn't very good, they just have craploads of health.
    • Much more dangerous are the Nezorons and Megazons. The first have painful machine guns, while the second has 4 lightning cannons that track your position and shred you in seconds.
    • And then there's Final Guards with more health than any of the above mentioned, and fire out slow sprays of shots that deal continuous damage and cannot be reflected. Using the Time Stop is pretty much required to take one out.
    • Aigaion Defenders in Stellar War, who have as much HP as the technical Final Boss of the game, and appear only in bonus levels. Impenetrable Barriers as well, though they have only half as much HP.
  • Bullet Hell: Some of the bosses can spit out quite a few projectiles.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Averted in the case of your missiles, but you can buy an upgrade that gives you this. It's rather expensive.
  • Call-Back:
    • One of the Elite Ships in the second game is the Pseudo-Epic, named and designed after the first game's True Final Boss Epic.
    • In the first game, you destroy the Teramid Station. In the second game, pieces of that station are still floating through space, serving as optional targets called Teramid Fragments.
  • Cosmetic Award: This game has a variety of achievements. They actually avert this by offering a monetary reward and "points" needed to unlock better shops.
  • Critical Encumbrance Failure: Each ship has a limit to how many pieces of equipment it can carry. You can expand this by buying and upgrading the inventory expansion item.
  • Damage-Sponge Boss: The sequel's Cykton Barrier looks like this, but actually isn't. Only one of the barrier things can be harmed (the second from the left), the rest receive no damage. Doesn't help that it can inflict Cykton Curse on you, which renders your weapons all but useless.
  • Damsel in Distress: You rescue a pink-haired woman named Adriana early in the sequel. She joins Niko in giving you advice.
  • Dark Action Girl: Clade, in the sequel, is the chief designer and builder of Genu's new weapons. She has quite the ego about it, too; after one boss fight, Demenus has to be the voice of reason by pointing out that her machine lost.
  • Degraded Boss: In the later levels of Stellar War, you face slightly weaker versions of the first few bosses as regular enemies.
  • Dubstep: Stellar War soundtrack.
  • EMP: One skill is called exactly this. It temporarily disables enemy weapons. There is also a type of missile that can do this.
  • Endless Game: Subverted in the sequel. The Genu Command Cores and similar levels after you beat Genu make you think it's going to be endless, but when you get to level 25, you face off against Skymar in the Entity.
  • Energy Absorption: The Damage Absorb skill converts damage taken into shield and armor.
  • Energy Weapon: Your ship's main guns, and most enemy weapons.
  • Expy: Clade is basically Lash.
  • Evil All Along: Skymar. In fact, the "Genu" you were facing was actually Skymar masquerading as him.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Stellar War, being a prequel, reveals that Genu was originally working with Neko. Once Villalobos is defeated, the two disagree on how to handle the prototype Mega-Craft left, leading to events of the first game.
  • Flash Step: The Phase Warp skill instantly teleports your ship to wherever your cursor is.
  • Healing Factor: The Healing Technique, resp. Healing Wave skills.
  • Implacable Man: It is possible to boost a ship's armor to 5000 or higher. Note that the ship with the highest armor rating defaults at 670. You get an achivement if you pull this off.
  • Impossible Task: You get an achievement for finishing a mission with a time of zero. Said achievement is called "impossible".
  • Infinity +1 Sword:
    • First two games have (Double) Vectron Laser and some weapon combos such as Fusion Synth. Get those with infinite bonus enabled and use Bonus Lock afterwards to mow down everything.
    • Stellar War has Aries, Valerion and Astro Nexus. The first is essentially a Blue Laser turret from previous games that also gets missile attack in the mobile version. The second is a turret that gives enormous bonuses to everything within its huge range and shoots triple laser, while the last one is an extremely powerful drone that shoots ton of projectiles. Of course, none of them is easy to get.
  • Invisibility Cloak: The Stealth Mode skill. You are also invulnerable while it is active, but you cannot attack.
  • Jack of All Stats: The red-lit RS series of craft have a fairly balanced set of stats. They do tend to have a greater damage output, however.
  • Loophole Abuse: In first game at least, you can abuse Time Stop and get a Perfect for enemies, as the game counts only enemies that have spawned.
  • Mass Monster-Slaughter Sidequest: What most of the "Missions" are in the sequel. The only one that isn't is a 20 Bear Asses quest.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: The Relentless Strike skill.
    • Also, in the sequel, Considious and Detrementor use this a LOT. The Aion enemies also use this as their only attack.
    • In Stellar War, equipping many weapons on your base such as Caligo Nox, Poseidon or Hurricane will result in this trope.
  • Metal Slime:
    • The floating stations without orange dots in the first game take a lot of abuse but can drop 3 million gold.
    • Stellar War has Aigaion Defender, which rarely spawns has as much HP as Big Bad, but defeating it gives to chance for any enemy to drop an Infinity +1 Sword for current and next level play.
  • Mighty Glacier: The REF ships boast titanic amounts of armor but also the lowest speeds and paltry shield and energy ratings. They do have the most equipment slots.
  • Monster Clown: Demenus from the sequel has the facepaint and psychotic personality to fit the trope. It helps that he and Clade are Co-Dragons to Genu or rather Skymar.
  • Nitro Boost: The Warp Speed skill.
  • Nuke 'em: For a hefty price, you can purchase and use nuclear missiles. They deal incredible damage but have a very slow fire rate.
  • One-Hit Kill:
    • The aptly-named Death Missiles have a small chance of instantly destroying a non-boss mook. It even works on Teramid Fragments, Nerozons, Megazons and Final Guards!
    • Skymar's mega-craft Entity has an attack that can do this.
    • In Stellar War, Devas Nerp/Caligo Nox has an expensive upgrade that gives it a 1% chance to kill anything instanly, which is much more effective than it sounds given the fire rate of the weapon. If instant kill happens, a skull and crossbones will flash over killed enemy for a brief moment.
  • Poison Mushroom: Enemies often drop negative pickups. These are always marked with an X but are color-coded based on their effect. It also doesn't help that they're awfully common. Thankfully, a number of upgrades directly affect these, whether lessening or nullifying their effects... Unless it's the Bonus Killer. That one will nullify your bonus weapon even if it's locked.
  • Power-Up: Pickups include armor, shield and energy replenishment (both instant-use and kits to be used later), weapon upgrades, missile ammo, and mission-specific drops. Reduced in Stellar War to double gold, double attack, EMP wave and Time Stop, along with rare units.
  • Power Up Letdown: Getting a weaker weapon especially after you get an awesome one like the Fusion Laser. Thankfully, there's a skill that allows you to avert this by locking your current weapon.
  • RPG Elements: In the form of a detailed upgrade and shop system. Notably, higher-level shops are unlocked using points that you receive for completing achievements, averting Cosmetic Award.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: In the web version, the engineer working at Genu and Neko's base died in a reactor explosion. In the mobile version, he quit after he realized they were going to fight the allegiance.
  • Super Mode: The Guardian of Mana skill.
  • Status Effects: You can stun your enemies, disable their weapons and freeze them in time. The first two can also happen to you. In addition to stun and EMP missiles, there are ones that can drain health and another that has a chance to inflict instant destruction.
  • Tennis Boss: Skymar's Entity. It has a move where it fires a giant green ball that deals HUGE damage to you... which your Attack Reflector can reflect back to it and deal huge damage to it.
  • The Reveal: In the sequel, Genu isn't himself. It's Skymar masquerading as him!
  • Time Stands Still: The Stop Time skill. Duh.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Have you ever played a vertical shooter that had a cast bar?! You get an achievement for having a total of five skills active at once.
  • Tower Defense: Stellar War.
  • True Final Boss: The first game has Genu's engineer in the Epic. The sequel has Skymar in the Entity. The prequel has technically Clade.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: The Mega-Goliath in the sequel. Four turrets with very fast, painful shots, and the main body has a HUGE amount of health. If you can't destroy the turrets quickly, you'll be ripped up in seconds.
  • Wave-Motion Gun: The Fusion Laser bonus weapon, obtained when Blue Laser and Fusion Fire are combined, is one of these.
    • Heck, the Vecton Laser, Double Vecton Laser, Blue Laser, and Double Blue Laser qualify too! The Fusion Synth also counts.
    • Stellar War has Lightbringer, Aries and Valerion - the first two are essentially Vectron Laser and Double Blue Laser, in fact.