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Video Game / Fallen Earth

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Welcome To The Apocalypse. Would you like spikes with that?

Fallen Earth is a Post Apocalyptic sandbox MMO, released by North Carolina developers Icarus Studios in 2009 and set in the surroundings of the Grand Canyon. The year is 2156 and the Earth has been devastated by nuclear warfare and a biological catastrophe. Fallen Earth's gameplay is an FPS/RPG hybrid; players have characters with stats which they can increase and which effect their in-game capabilities, but combat requires a player to use an FPS-style crosshair and manual aiming rather than the more typical "select target, select attack" methodology of many MMOs. Fallen Earth was purchased by Gamers First in mid-2011 and shortly after this was moved to a Free To Play model. On October 2019, the servers were shut down and the game was said to be getting a reboot, though no news has materialized on that front. However, it seems rumors of the original game's demise have been greatly exaggerated, as the game was brought back on line once again as "Fallen Earth Classic" in 2021.

Fallen Earth has a crafting system which is central to it; virtually anything a character can use can be crafted by the player(s), from the shirt they wear to the bullets and weapons they use. It's also a sandbox with no character classes and the players are free to choose where to go, who to align with and how to progress their character. The game did provide a few 'archetypes' such as Medic, Rifleman, Melee and guidelines on how best to develop skills to fit them. This feature was removed when Fallen Earth went FreeToPlay.

Contains examples of

  • After the End: The game is set after a outbreak of the Shiva Virus and an ensuing nuclear war. The player roams a wastelands completing quests, scavenging, and crafting.
  • AI Is A Crap Shoot: A quest in the small town of Terrance deals with a Life Net bunker AI that is churning out "zombies" for unknown reasons.
  • A.K.A.-47: Numerous weapons are named and described as later generations of real weapons lines, considering it's in the future.
  • Animal Wrongs Group: The Vistas Faction. Before the collapse of society, they were an environmental pressure group now they're wilderness warriors violently opposed to the pursuit of technology at the expense of the ecosystem and the restoration of the previous social order.
  • Annoying Arrows: Played straight with the crossbow unless special skills are used in conjunction with the crossbow.
  • Ape Shall Never Kill Ape: The Travelers don't take kindly to any sort of infighting or acts of malice against a fellow member of their group, especially not killing a fellow Traveler. Of course, ''everyone else'' is fair game...
  • The Apunkalypse: Played with. There are plenty of raiders, cultists, mutants, and other sordid groups. But there is also the presence of organized towns with sheriffs and various forms of law enforcement and governments.
  • Arch-Enemy: Each faction has one based on their ideology.
    • In the war for Order and Chaos, the Enforcers and CHOTA.
    • In the war for Society and Self, the Lightbearers and the Travelers.
    • In the war for Nature and Technology, the Vistas and the Techs.
  • Artistic License – Biology: The Shiva Virus had its spread assisted by the nuclear war. Biologically, the chances of an airborne virus being helped by thermonuclear explosions is highly unlikely, as most viruses are killed by high radiation and heat.
  • BFG: The first blackpowder bullet firing rifle available is a magnum rifle.
  • Black Sheep: Based on the lore, Alec Masters appears to have been the only one in his family whom committed acts of evil unlike his father and grandfather
  • Breakable Weapons: All weapons and armor have a durability score, which can be restored with repair kits. It goes down slowly enough that often you're ready to upgrade to the next weapon before you actually have to repair it, though. On top of that, later gear has a "fatigue" value which represents how many times it can be repaired before it breaks for good. Fatigue can be restored by sacrificing another similar item to it. In short, repair is field repairs, while restoring fatigue is replacing broken and stressed parts that can't get by with a little oil or duct tape anymore.
  • Character Customization: Gender, hair and eye colour, eight attributes, height, name. Plenty of skills and a wide array of clothes and armour.
  • Cool Bike: Players can craft a few different types of motorcycles.
  • Cult: There are several cults present. The range from a cult dedicated to Life Net to psychic cultists.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: The game uses standard WASD, except mouselook is disabled outside of combat mode. If you want to turn, you have to hit Q or E. Now go from playing this for a while to any other WASD plus mouse game. Especially if that game has other commands mapped to Q or E.
  • Dancin' in the Ruins: The Children of The Apocalypse, (or CHOTA).
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: For players, dying means respawning at a nearby Life Net station, taking some (very easily repaired) damage to their worn equipment, and taking a short-term penalty on experience points earned.
  • Depopulation Bomb: A majority of the Earth's population is devastated by the Shiva Virus and ensuing nuclear war.
  • Disaster Scavengers: Players pick through the remains of the world to gain items for crafting and for quests.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: Planetary societal collapse. Society has broken down back to pre-industrial levels. Everything is crafted by hand, barter as well as a monetary system is prevalent, and scavenging off the remains of the old world is a way of life.
  • Enemy Chatter: And friendly chatter! Much of it is hilarious either way, such as some maintenance workers talking about some weird non-copper copper wire, and 3 raiders arguing over a hand of cards.
  • Evil vs. Evil: The conflict between the Techs and CHOTA counts as this; they may see the Vistas as their arch-nemesis, but they know full well that the CHOTA are more than capable of tearing them down unlike the Vistas. Hence why the Techs allied with the Enforcers.
  • Fetch Quest: Various quests have you fetching anything from scavenged materials to grisly bits of people, animals, and mutants. Plus the main variations on the fetch quest.
  • Freemium: The game used to be subscription based but went freemium when it changed hands. Unlike many freemium games, all actual playable content is still open to free players - it's just that free players have a handful of limits that slow down crafting and leveling compared to paying players, as well as restrict them to one character and a limited number of chips. Notably, the latter two restrictions are lifted outright if you make a single purchase in the game's online cash shop, and there are even offers to get free credits so you don't have to pay at all even for those bonuses.
  • Global Currency: Casino gaming chips, due to the game setting's proximity to Las Vegas.
  • Good Thing You Can Respawn: Respawning isn't just one of the Acceptable Breaks from Reality, it's a known element of the game world and backstory. People intentionally send you into lethal situations they'd never dare because you can come back from any wound.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: When it boils down to it, the CHOTA are responsible for everything bad that ever happened; They're the reason why Hoover Dam fell apart and were the first antagonistic faction to appear when GlobalTech was overthrown by Orson Masters; they tortured Dr. Benjamin Sillers and they also killed William Masters which in turn allowed everything to crumble after that. Had they not existed thanks to the Shiva Virus, GlobalTech would have been the only problem to deal with.
  • Grey-and-Gray Morality: Subverted; All the factions you can join have distinct philosophies, and ally with one another based on their compatibility. Each faction's members seem to make some very good points about why you might want to support them, while their enemies can make some equally good points as to why that faction's ideas are bad, but in truth not all of them hold up when you take certain events in the plot into consideration, to the point that it sounds more like they are trying to conceal their immoral nature. The factions at first appear to be divided into two major "alliances" (the Enforcers with the Techs and the Lightbearers; against the CHOTA with the Vistas and the Travelers). Each "alliance" contains a gunner (Enforcers and Travelers), mercantilist (Techs and Vistas), and mutant group (Lightbearers and CHOTA). In truth, they're only alliances in name as there's atleast one faction in the "alliances" that clashes with the other (e.g Lightbearers and Techs, Vistas and Travelers).
    • The Enforcers, Lightbearers, and Vistas are nominally good guys because they unite against raiders and want to help humanity survive, but they have very different opinions on how this should be done and so frequently come to blows.
      • The Enforcers believe in using the methods of the old world and restoring it despite current events showing it didn't work so well. While their endgame is benevolent, their past loyalty to Alec Masters haunts them and there is much skepticism regarding their goals; sometimes rumors arise of warlords within the Enforcers trying to enforce dictatorships akin to that of Alec Masters which brings their image down.
      • The Lightbearers believe that an entirely new and altruistic society should be created, albiet a cult-like one that involves the Shiva Virus; sometimes even to a callous extent by allowing the deaths of those they believed to be "unblessed by Shiva". While most of the Lightbearers are good-natured people and medics, there are a few mutant supremacists amongst their ranks, and a covert group known as "The Sun and the Moon" that takes direct orders from the Lightbearer's two remaining leaders.
      • The Vistas, while allied with the CHOTA out of convivence against the Enforcers, believe that people should be taken care of but not with technology that pollutes the environment on even the smallest scale or government (hence why they don't have even a defacto leader), and tend to take that to ideological extremes without really thinking why that might be a bad idea despite their good intentions.
    • CHOTA and Travelers in particular only care about taking advantage of chaos and taking/doing what they want in the post-apocalyptic world, and to a lesser extent, so do the Techs; case in point:
      • The CHOTA is a anarchistic mutant group that raids settlements and were responsible for Alec Master's rise to power by killing William Masters (and then played hero when creating an uprising against Alec Masters). Of all the subgroups, the "Slaughter Kings" whom seek to enslave those they deem inferior, is the apex of their baseless aggression.
      • The Travelers are a cutthroat group of criminals, assassins, and Mafia members who will do unethical things for profit. Even if they do have a code of honor, it only applies to another Traveler; they're still crooks at the end of the day who try to justify their schemes under the guise of "amorality".
      • The Techs appear to be good at first based on their affiliation with the Enforcers but their past loyalty to Alec Masters, utter disdain for ethics and people around them, and willingness to hire the Travelers to do their dirty work (which includes kidnapping for their dubious experiments) and thirst to advance technology through whatever means necessary shows otherwise.
  • Hand Guns: One of the common player and enemy weapons.
  • Healing Factor: Character health regenerates over time, at a rate based off the Endurance stat.
  • Hyperactive Metabolism: Food and drink don't heal you immediately, but they boost your regeneration rate depending on quality, sometimes sharply. "Improved" recipes shade into Power-Up Food with stat bonuses.
  • Immortal Life Is Cheap: All but outright quoted with a pre-apocalypse ad visible on some LifeNet facilities, advertising the system as "making eternal life affordable," only some graffiti artist has scrawled out the last word and replaced it with "cheap." Sure, you're (theoretically) immortal, but everyone wants to exploit your immortality, every faction sees plenty of appeal in undying soldiers, and yes you do feel pain just fine, thanks.
  • Item Crafting: Lots. Seriously, lots. Characters can build guns; maintain vehicles, set up campsites, assemble medkits and whip up some fried chicken.
  • Kick The Son Of A Bitch: Deconstructed; Yes, Alec Masters was a tyrannical scumbag and his murder at the hands of CHOTA was well deserved...except that the latter group are the reason he was put into power in the first place. CHOTA killed General William Masters prior to the events of the game, and as a result, that's was when his son Alec got into power. Because of CHOTA, they were the reason why the asshole was in power in the first place. Given their nature, that's probably why they killed his father; to use his son for an excuse to have anarchy.
  • The Leader: Most of the factions have one.
    • The Enforcers are lead by Colonel Elizabeth Pryce.
    • The Lightbearers were originally lead by Shakti and Six Grandmasters but were all killed by Alec Masters, except for the two surviving grandmasters Kim Jurr and Ryan Joshi.
    • The Techs' "University" are lead by the "Congress of Science", with Geoffry McNas being both the Dean and their speaker.
    • The CHOTA are technically lead by Redhand, but due to their anarchistic and chaotic nature, he's their leader in name only.
    • Neither the Travelers nor the Vistas actually have an official leader; the former are ruled by the leaders of the gangs that make up the faction while the latter have absolutely no leader, and instead decisions are made by the people in what is described as based on "communistic philosophy".
  • Microtransactions: The online cash shop, where you can buy (mostly cosmetic) bonus items, some vehicles and pets (which don't help in combat), and consumables to provide a few conveniences. About half of the items available in the cash shop can also be bought with free Reward Points, which players earn automatically each month so long as they're actively playing (though completely free players only earn a very few per month, while subscribers get a lot more).
  • More Dakka: A range of abilities and weapons make this possible. Weapons include duel wielded hand guns, submachine guns, and fully automatic assault rifles.
  • Mutants: Several different mutants exist. The player characters are technically mutants. There also exists the ugly misshapen kind of mutants.
  • No Range Like Point-Blank Range: Since you have to actually aim to hit targets, shooting up close can be a good thing.
  • Post-Apunkalyptic Armor: Played with. The players can craft armor that fits the trope perfectly or can craft common everyday clothing like t-shirts, tennis shoes, and jeans. As well as other mundane items.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: William Masters and the Enforcers' leader, Colonel Elizabeth Pryce, are known as such; the latter especially since she actually went against Alec Masters and warned the Lightbearers of his attack on their headquarters.
  • Scavenger World: All the basic materials for crafting can be scavenged from the land scape or off of dead bodies. Scavenging is a way of life in the wastelands. Infact, some of the best equipment in the game can only be found through crafting.
  • Shop Fodder: Most items have a use, but animals and monsters will still occasionally drop body parts like damaged limbs and cracked fangs that only exist to be sold to NPC merchants (or junked outright to preserve valuable inventory space). Basically, if it doesn't note any kind of use in its info (mission items, tradeskill (crafting) components, whatever), then it's trash.
  • Sniper Rifle: One of the weapons available to players to craft and wield.
  • The Plague: The Shiva Virus caused society to slowly collapse and lead to the international issues that caused the nuclear war. The virus continues to devastate the population after the nuclear exchange.
  • Tactical Rock–Paper–Scissors: Sort of, with the three main weapon categories of melee, pistols, and rifles. Each has its advantages over the others in particular situations. Rifles are long-ranged with great "spike" damage (high damage but somewhat slow shots), pistols have wonderful DPS, and melee is just hard to deal with once someone gets up close in your face and you're using a firearm. (Indeed, a lot of rifles give you a melee defense penalty while wielded.)
  • Thriving Ghost Town: A toss-up as to whether it's justified or averted. There are a fair number of NPCs for each settlement, and combined with the player base creates the illusion of an almost-reasonable population of survivors squatting in the broken remnants of old towns and eking out an existence After the End.
  • True Companions: While each faction is allied with two others, there's atleast one amongst the two that they're closer to than the other.
    • The Enforcers have been working with the Techs since the getco due to their past affiliation with Alec Masters, and the latter always supplies the former with technologically advanced weapons and armor in exchange for protection against the CHOTA and Vistas, and represent order and restoring the ideas and ways of the old world to preserve humanity.
    • The Lightbearers and Vistas were known to work extremely close in their fight against Alec Masters; the former may disagree with the Vistas' extreme anti-technology sentiment and the latter may feel the former is too doormat like, but they share one common goal: to create a new society representing change and preventing the mistakes of the past from coming back again to extinguish humanity.
    • The CHOTA and Travelers both share a love for anarchy and the freedom to do whatever they want at the expense of everyone else, and both were responsible for creating the uprising against Alec Masters along with the Vistas.
  • Token Good Teammate: Some of the factions have a subgroup that count as these.
    • The CHOTA have “The Quiet Ones”, who don’t go after anyone or raid settlements like the other subgroups do; they just believe in letting civilization run its course in a live-and-let-live manner. It may be a low standard given what the faction as a whole stands for, but considering how the other CHOTA subgroups are compared to them? Thats not bad.
    • The Techs are composed of two subgroups; Appliers and the Theoreticians. Of the two, the Appliers are more realistic and actually prefer to help out humanity, even though the Techs tend to lean more towards the Theoreticians.
    • The "Caretakers" of the Vistas are all about non-violence and altruism, preferring to grow food and take care of the injured.
    • Enforcers have the "Sentinels" who's main goal is to protect settlements and settle disputes. Nothing else.
  • Unstoppable Mailman: The Franklin Riders are essentially these. They go so far as to employ clones to kill bandits who tarnish their name by pretending to be Franklin Riders. However, this is downplayed somewhat due to the fact that the Franklin Riders aren't clones and will often relay their packages and messages from one courier to another in order to lower fatigue, wear and tear and to prevent interception by the bandits of the wasteland.
  • Unusable Enemy Equipment: No matter how many enemy gunmen you kill, you won't be picking up firearms. Or ammo. At best you'll get some crafting materials and consumables.
  • Warp Whistle: A consumable item you have to buy on the game's cash shop, or sometimes with Reward Points, which will instantly teleport you to a respawn point you've designated as "home." Fast travel between specially-marked respawn points also counts.
  • Weaponized Car: Some of the vehicles are weaponized.
  • Wretched Hive: The various lairs of the raiders, gangs, and bands of thieves of the wastelands.
  • Wide-Open Sandbox: The players have a very large and vast open area to explore and scavenge in. The starting area alone is massive. The only limitations being the Beef Gate quality of the mobs in any given area.