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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 FreeToPlay model.

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.
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  • 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.
  • Art Major 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.
  • 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.
  • Cloning Blues: PCs are gene-tweaked clones whose population is maintained by the still-functioning Life Net system, complete with a collar that plugs into the central nervous system to sync memories with Life Net in real-time so that if they die, a nearby cloning station can pop a new you right out with full continuity of consciousness. The system has various flaws after enduring the apocalypse (which several story quests are focused around fixing), and quest-givers are perfectly happy to send you on missions that will get you killed because you're functionally immortal anyway, and they know it.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Follow the Leader: It's hard to escape accusations that this game copies Fallout (especially Fallout 3 or New Vegas), only made as an MMO. It's even set in the Mojave. That said, all it really shares with the franchise is tropes common to post-apocalyptic fiction in general, and it actually came out a year before (and was in development well before) New Vegas. It's just as accurate to say that it's an MMO version of A Canticle for Leibowitz or Wasteland instead.
  • 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.
  • Grey and Gray Morality: All the factions you can join have distinct philosophies, and ally with one another based on their compatibility. Each faction's members can 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. All are at least 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 factions are also divided into two major alliances (the Enforcers, Techs, and Lightbearers; against the Travelers, CHOTA, and Vistas) that represent order and restoring the ideas and ways of the old world to preserve humanity, versus anarchy and preventing the mistakes of the past from coming back again to extinguish humanity.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Vendor Trash: 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.
  • 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.


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