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Gladiator Begins is a video game released for the Playstation Portable in 2010. It was developed by Goshow and published by Acquire and Aksys games in North America. It is a prequel to the 2005 Playstation Video Game, Colosseum Road to Freedom. Set during the reign of Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus, Marcus Aurelius has fallen ill and factions for Marcus's son Commodus and the General Avidius Cassius are vying for the throne. Meanwhile, Co-Emperor Lucius Verus has been hosting many gladiator games, and it is during this climate that the game starts. The game is meant to be played more then once, as there are branching paths in the story, and many weapons and armor to collect in each path. The paths in the game are represented by four Patrons the player can eventually side with: Aquillia, Elisaveta, Brosius, and Pomponius.

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This video game provides examples of:

  • Absent-Minded Professor: While not a scientist, Pomponius certainly gives of many characteristics of this trope otherwise. He is unlike many of his rank in the game as he possesses a kind and generous nature. He is senator who is very engrossed with the lives of gladiators and can talk along time about the details of the sport to the point where he might forget an engagement. In his ending He even writes a text about the gladiator games, but it is discredited.
  • Action Girl: Several in this game, Aibell, a Celtic warrior from Britannia who wields an axe and battersea shield, Medeia, an Amazon who dual wields two blades, and Nemesis, a returning gladiator from Road to Freedom who wields a pike and shield combination.
  • Amazonian Beauty: Medeia is a very attractive and famous gladiator in universe who is said to actually be an Amazon. In fact her beauty and power play into the story because it attracts the lustful attention of Dominicus, who seeks to win her from the lanista Brosius.
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  • An Axe to Grind: Danaos wields axes and is the most deadly gladiator in the game.
  • Animal Motif: Several gladiators have animal themes to them:
    • Nemesis has bee's as her motif, her nickname is "The Bloody Queen Bee" which is matched by her red bee patterned armor and pike.
    • Ursus and Hories have the falcon and jackal respectively as a result of representing Horus and Anubis.
    • Spartoi's motif could be considered dogs considering his helmet made of a dog skull and cestus made from dog fangs.
    • Gulielmus has the wolf as his animal motif, wolf icons can be seen on his armor and his shield at the end of the game.
  • Black Widow: Played with during Elisaveta's storyline. She enjoys affairs with strong gladiators, but her dalliances has caused some to become attached to her, and others to hate her. She seeks a gladiator to dispose of her former lovers. As the story goes on eventually the player must kill her husband, and by then she desires to repent of her past behavior and is overjoyed when it happens.
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  • Character Customization: This game provides customization to an even greater degree then its predecessor, allowing for the player to choose their face, hair, body type, skin color, hair color, and place of origin, and they are free to fight in any way they see fit. No matter how the player looks they can select to be from several regions in the game as well, but this only provides battle benefits, and does not affect the story in any meaningful way. The game does not allow the choice of eyebrow color, eye color, or beard color, however.
  • Dark Skinned Red Head: Spiculus underneath his platinum helmet possesses red hair.
  • Dirty Old Man: Dominicus, a wealthy merchant schemes of taking Brosius's prized gladiator Medeia from Brosius, and verbally fantasizes about the things he desires to do with her if he succeeded in taking her for himself. His bodyguard has to remind him that he is in public.
  • Domestic Abuse: Of an emotional kind. Elisaveta's husband Vipsanius suspects the player of being her lover. Rather then take any physical action on her or get a divorce, he sends gladiators Ursus & Hories together, and then Spiculus to take the player out. His desire is to make her suffer so she won't make a fool of him again.
  • The Dreaded: Danaos. In the only dialogue in the game that makes reference to him, Pomponius thinks about having the player fight Danaos, but fears that Danaos would kill the player before they had a chance to impress.
  • Drop the Hammer: Celadus wields a warhammer small shield combination in battle.
  • Dual Wielding: Ursus, Hories, Medeia, Commodus, Millichus, and Danaos all dual wield their weapons.
  • Duel Boss: Gulilemus. While the game has reoccurring events where the player can fight gladiators in one on one combat (which is where the famous gladiators are first encountered), these gladiators can also be fought in two on two events later on. The player always has to face Gulielmus in one on one combat.
  • Eat the Rich: During Pomponius's storyline, Generidus voices his disgust with how the elite play with gladiator's lives and threatens to destroy them all and even Commodus.
  • Elite Mook: Cassius's bodyguards. They are not anything special in terms of combat, but they possess one of a kind armor which can ONLY be obtained during the final battle.
  • Every Man Has His Price: Dominicus offers to pay the player if they would abandon Brosius. The player is given a choice to either accept the money or reject it. Accepting the bribe means they abandon Brosius and can no longer finish his story.
  • Final Boss: Avidius Cassius and his bodyguards are the final bosses of the game.
  • Foil: Gulielmus not only serves as The Rival he also serves as a foil for the player, both rise in rank at the same time and are inevitably fated to battle each other. Gulielmus finds success in everything he does except in defeating the player, which adds to his hostility. Eventually both characters take sides with different factions in the struggle for the throne, which brings them together at the end for a Duel to the Death.
  • The Grim Reaper: Danaos dressed in all black wearing a helmet with skull designs is clearly designed to look like the personification of death.
  • Historical Domain Character: Commodus, Cassius, and Lucius Verus, although the player never meets Verus face to face.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Danaos, Spartoi, Gulielmus, and Celadus could all qualify for this, possessing equal amounts of power, speed and ferocity.
  • Mighty Glacier: Flamma and Sextus who both wield large shields, are both very strong and durable opponents.
  • Praetorian Guard: Bernardos is a Centurion and said to be Captain of the Praetorian Guard in this game. Cassius's bodyguards also function in a similar capacity.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: Sextus says during the story that although he hates the Roman's and being enslaved by them, he respects Aquillus, the man who defeated him in battle.
  • Psycho Ex-Boyfriend: Elisaveta has a former lover Millichus, who gets a kick out of taunting the player because he thinks they are her lover and eventually hatches a plan to kill both the player and her husband, which results in an Enemy Mine between the player and Vipsanius.
  • Rich Bitch: Aquillia and Elisaveta play with this trope as they are both rich patrician women with initially haughty attitudes. Elisaveta more so then Aquillia due to how disposable she finds her gladiator lovers, but both ultimately reveal softer sides of themselves. Dominicus also can be considered the male variety of this trope.
  • The Rival: Gulielmus. Much like Narcissus from the last game, Gulielmus is the player's rival and must be fought each time the player increases in gladiator rank. Towards the end of the game he serves as the penultimate boss fight, with special music just for the final duel with him.
  • Sai Guy: The dual weapons Ursus wields look very much like Sais.
  • The Stoic: Aibell during Pomponius's story shows very little emotion during the interactions you have with her. Medeia is also pretty emotionless, until she recounts her past, where she displays sadness and anger.
  • Stout Strength: Flamma. He is very powerful and overweight but unlike the previous game he is just as fast as any other gladiator.
  • Stripperiffic: Medeia and the boss of the demo for the game Venus.
  • Sword & Sandal: This game is set in Ancient Rome, during the reign of Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus.
  • Women Prefer Strong Men: Elisaveta, despite being married to the treasurer of the senate, has a preference for taking gladiators as her lovers. Clodius also makes suggestions that Aquillia's closeness to the player might be related to this brags and of his alleged accomplishments in war and in the gladiator arena to measure up.
  • You Have Failed Me: When Gulielmus is defeated for the last time, Cassius emerges and rather then aiding his fallen soldier, he callously thrusts a pike into him, and his bodyguards finish Guliemus off. He elaborates on his disdain of gladiators to the player saying: "Gulielmus disgusts me."
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