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Video Game / Hard West

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Hard West is a Turn-Based Tactics game by CreativeForge Games for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox ONE, released in November 2015. The game is set in a Weird West universe, following the story of Warren and his father, as well as other protagonists who intervene in secondary story arcs.

The game includes elements of exploration and RPG. Using a worldmap, players advance the plotline by moving the party between points of interest. Reaching them triggers Story Branching dialogs, which can either benefit or harm players, such as new party members or items. Each scenario has its own gameplay quirks, which usually alters this sequence in some way.

The combat sequences are turn-based, similar to those of XCOM: Enemy Unknown. Each character has two actions per turn (moving, reloading, shooting, using an item or an ability), using most weapons at the beginning of a turn consumes both action points, with parts of the scenery providing cover. Each character can carry two weapons, two consumables, and one trinket giving a permanent bonus, enemies have an overwatch mode. The combats also have more original elements. Each party member can equip up to five poker cards, which grant stat boosts, as well as either active or passive abilities. Some sequences start with the enemy being unaware of your presence, which allows one to position the party for an ambush.


Hard West's campaign is divided in eight scenarios, which themselves could be loosely divided in three story arcsnote .

    The scenarios – contains minor spoilers 

Warren and his father – the main arc

Hard Times

  • Main player character: Father (prologue), Warren
  • Plot summary: While travelling on the Oregon trail, a family (two unnamed parents and their son Warren) are captured and robbed by bandits. The father manages to escape and kills all the bandits, saving his son, but finds his wife's severed head presented in a box. A decade later, he and the now-adult Warren settled on the place of the tragedy, cultivating a (poor) farm. The discovery of gold in the region draws the attention of bandits, while poor decisions from Father bring a curse on the family...
  • Special gameplay elements: The protagonist benefits from a prospecting license, allowing them to pan, dig, and mine for gold in several placesnote . There are several methods of prospecting, mining skills to study from professionals, workers to hire, and new-fangled technologies to get the most out of the treasure troves you've discovered. The primary challenge is generating more gold than you spend on excavation. As prospecting progresses, you run into challenges with perverted landlords and state-sponsored bandits that only old-fashioned violence can solve.

As Good as Dead

  • Main player character: Warren
  • Plot summary: Forced to flee his farm at the end of Hard Times while being wanted for murder, Warren is wandering with his girlfriend Florence, living from money he gains playing poker. He eventually pisses off some arrogant weirdo in a stupid mask, who turns out to be the kingpin of the local area and has Warren and Florence slaughtered over a poker game. In his dying moment, Warren makes a Deal with the Devil. Raised as an undead killing machine, Warren starts a Roaring Rampage of Revenge...
  • Special gameplay elements: In order to find the location of his killer, Warren must cause $65000 worth of damage to the various properties they own. Optionally, Warren can also massacre 100 people for special rewards, but the local shops will raise their prices as the bodycount grows and may even flee the area if it reaches an excessive amount.

Graveyard Shift

  • Main player character: The Undertaker
  • Plot summary: Warren's father fled the farm in the middle of Hard Times, in an attempt to lure his curse far from his family. To his despair, people tend to die around him and his curse. He eventually managed to work as an undertaker, but his town is slaughtered by a demonic cult, leaving him and the former bounty hunter Oswald Harrington as the only survivors. The Undertaker is desperate to destroy the cult - and his curse - at all costs.
  • Special gameplay elements: Each day is divided in five periods. Moving to a new location on the map advances the clock by one time period. Your main method of gathering money is by buying supplies in bulk from local farms and warehouses, and then selling them at towns or kiosks. When the clock reaches dusk, the party is forced to camp; you can feed each party member once (grants no buff and no debuff), twice (grants a buff), or nothing at all (grants a debuff); an optional objective is to prevent all members from ever starving.

On Earth, as it is in Hell

  • Main player character: Warren
  • Plot summary: Having learned that he has a way to see Florence again, Warren gathers a team of the finest gunmen in order invade and destroy the Purgatory.
  • Special gameplay elements: You need to have three party members in order to unlock the final battle. The Wizard holds one of these party members hostage, and to free them you must gather six meteor shards to trade - or you could consume them for powernote . At which point, you can choose to play it as Warren's team or as the Undertaker's team, the unchosen party being the antagonists of the fight.

The Doctor, the Inquisitor, and the Seer

The first scenario of the arc is unlocked at completion of As Good as Dead.

Method in Madness

  • Main player character: Solomon DeLear
  • Plot summary: An epidemic of violent dementia plagues the region. Doctor Solomon DeLear intends to stop it. Having inherited the laboratory of an old rival of his, he also receives support from a mysterious trio of Pinkerton agents.
  • Special gameplay elements: DeLear can research new items in the laboratory, allowing him to buy them via the Pony Express. DeLear's tech tree consists of three fields (Chemistry, Technology, and Gunsmithing) which range from level 0 to level 5; spend a blueprint to level up and use technology or gold to acquire new blueprints. As the plot advances or DeLear takes on expeditions into stressful areas, DeLear will lose his sanity (and take increasingly worrisome stat debuffs). DeLear can choose to give in to the madness to receive free blueprints, or retain his sanity but hinder his scientific progress.

Law and Order

  • Main player character: Gabriel de Cervantès
  • Plot summary: Solomon DeLear managed to succeed to cure the meteor's dementia and formed a secret society to protect the area, grafting his followers with pieces of the technology he used to cure the madness. The corrupt inquisitor Gabriel de Cervantès is tasked by the Devil to destroy all that DeLear managed to build.
  • Special gameplay elements: Cervantès must hunt down most of DeLear's secret society. Finding their hideouts is easy but identifying them is either complicated or expensive. Once you reveal a target's identity, you can show up at their doorstep and convince the locals (in morbidly funny ways) to lynch the target themselves, which sometimes grants a reward. Or you can "Let the Devil Sort Them Out" and slaughter everyone in a region, but this has consequences; shops will have less to sell and will charge you more, doctors will hate your guts for your carnage and refuse to heal you, killing indiscriminately means any potential followers are consumed by the purge. If you do commit mass-genocide, your boss will give you a sniper rifle meant to kill elephants at any distance.

A Matter of Time

  • Main player character: Cassandra Lee Snowden
  • Plot summary: Cassandra, a seer employed by DeLear, managed to escape the destruction of DeLear's order by Cervantès. On the run, she's eventually captured, then saved from the gallows by a duo of gunslingers sent by a mysterious benefactor known as "the Protector". Cassandra's powers, while beneficial, are slowly driving her insane with torment, and she will do anything to make the visions stop.
  • Special gameplay elements: Some dialogue options can trigger a premonition in Cassandra, which unlock some specific dialogue lines with special rewards. The player has the choice to accept or reject the premonition, since having a vision causes mental fatigue, and prevents another immediate use of the gift (you must rest or visit another place to refill it). The big mission involves a high-stakes poker game; Cassandra must raise enough money for the $25,000 buy-in and gather intelligence to outsmart her opponents when her premonitions eventually fail her. You can recruit two additional characters for your posse and switch them at your home base.

The prequel scenario

This scenario is unlocked at completion of As Good as Dead.

In Gold We Trust

  • Main player character: Alvaro Vasquèz
  • Plot summary: Alvaro Vasquèz mounts an expedition with a couple of friends to find a legendary treasure. Vasquèz's ruthlessness and racism worsen over the course of the journey, as his actions degrade from disdainful to genocidal to outright psychopathic.
  • Special gameplay elements: The worldmap phase of the scenario is a strategic expedition which relies on careful management of the expedition's manpower and rations. Several events require a minimum amount of food and workers to be available, and each action runs the risk of injuring posse members or peon casualties, many of which are fatal. Food and men can be bought on the map, but you can gain food by hunting and gold by panning.

The DLC scenario

"Scars of Freedom"

  • Main player character: Libertee
  • Plot summary: An escaped slave is killed and revived as not-Frankenstein's Monster, and fights to survive in a strange new body.
  • Special Gameplay Elements: Libertee and other "constructs" gain body parts instead of magic playing cards as in the main game but must constantly manage their "essence" in the overworld, lest they rot away. The more enemies you kill, the more 'Ether' you acquire, which is used to purchase new body parts and restore essence.

Silver Lynx Games funded Hard West The Board Game through Kickstarter.

A sequel has been announced. The prologue is free-to-play.


This game provides examples of the following:

  • Aluminum Christmas Trees: A good portion of the absurd gun designs in the game are based on real (but no less weird) guns.
  • Always Accurate Attack: The Golden Bullet ability allows a character to have a guaranteed hit on any enemy within line of sight of the party, completely ignoring cover and range. Yes, this includes your nine-barreled shotgun.
    • Scoped weapons have a special attack that always hits a visible target, even if the hit chance is 0%, at the cost of two action points. The major drawback is that these weapons have one-bullet magazines, and reloading costs an action point, which means the shooter either uses two turns for one shot (that may be useless if the enemy is behind cover) or is in a bad position for sniping.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: You can only have four characters in your posse. Typically, you gain more than four party members if old party members leave due to plot. Cassandra explicitly states that she doesn't want her posse to be too large or it will become conspicuous.
  • Arbitrary Minimum Range: Rifles and sniper rifles lose accuracy at close range, making it advantageous for a rifleman to carry a pistol or shotgun as a backup weapon.
  • Badass Preacher:
    • Cervantès, the Villain Protagonist of Law and Order, is a high-ranking catholic prelate (Spanish Inquisition-expy) wearing the relevant uniform. It doesn't prevent him from kicking as much ass as his posse in gunfights. The description of his unique gun states that he (supposedly) received it from the hands of the Pope.
    • Sister Rosario, still in Law and Order, is a gunslinging nun who betrayed DeLear and can be hired by Cervantès. At the end of the scenario, she realizes Cervantès' true intentions and leads a counterattack against the protagonists.
    • On the good side, there is Reverend Ashmore, a gunfighter hired by the Undertaker during Graveyard Shift. He shows up along the Undertaker and Harrington during the final boss fight of On Earth, as it is in Hell.
  • Badass Bookworm: DeLear is just a doctor, but his fighting stats keep up with the Pinkerton Agents. Until madness decreases his stats...
  • Bag of Spilling: Player characters lose all their items, cards, and permanent buffs at the end of a scenario.
    • On the other hand, unlocking certain items called Trinkets and completing their scenario lets them be purchased again from a "Fate Trader" in all scenarios.
  • Battle Couple: After rescuing his girlfriend Florence from the Mexican's hands in Hard Times, she becomes a party member and intervenes in a couple of the next battles. As Good as Dead first battle consists in Warren and Florence trying to shoot as many mooks as possible before an unavoidable end.
  • Big Good: Death, who has been The Narrator for the entire game, recruits The Undertaker/Father to stop Warren from destroying Purgatory. There are hints that he's been helping Solomon DeLear during Method In Madness in the form of the Persons.
  • Bittersweet Ending: In the good ending, The Undertaker and his party successfully stop Warren from destroying Purgatory and causing the end of the world, but Warren himself dies a bitter, broken shell of who he was once was with the blood of hundreds of innocents on his hands, his own father forced to kill him to stop his madness. And Warren isn't even afforded peace in death, as he is condemned to Hell for his crimes while Florence ascends to Heaven. And while his plans have been thwarted for now, the Devil is patient and has all the time in the world to hatch a new scheme...
  • Body Surf: In his debut appearance of Graveyard Shift, Bathym Raum respawns by assuming direct control of his mooks, turning them into new copies of himself. You have to kill everyone on the map to banish him. During the last fight of the chapter, you can disable his body surfing ability by destroying his main talisman. During your final encounter in On Earth, as it is in Hell, you can disable his body surfing ability by destroying the five blood vials centered around his spawn point.
  • Booze-Based Buff: In As Good as Dead, ordering a drink in the saloon grants Warren a buff for the next fight.
  • Cannibal Clan: In As Good as Dead, there is a battle against a clan of cannibals living in a ranch and keeping a Cannibal Larder in their barn. You have to fight them to recruit a party member (who also knows information about the Masked Man).
  • Cards of Power: Your main stat boosts and special abilities come from these. Making a proper poker hand will give you a powerful stat bonus.
    • 9's are survival cards; they give +1 HP and abilities that restore health.
    • 10's are trick-shot cards; they give +5 aim and can change the rules of the battlefield, from forcing the battle into sudden deathmatch to ricocheting bullets in an otherwise straight shootout.
    • Jacks are Shadow cards; they give +2 defense and work best in dark areas, turning the wielder into a vampire-like that can dominate the battlefield, but only when they aren't in terror of the sun.
    • Queens are Crowd Control cards; they give +2 mobility and can either make the wielder invisible before and after a gunfight or hurt multiple foes at once (with major luck costs).
    • Kings are Scanning cards; they give +4 sight and help you track and hunt down enemies.
    • Aces are Luck Manipulation cards: they give +10 Luck and drain the luck of your enemies while giving you bonuses based on RNG.
    • Hearts are Hunter cards; your character becomes a master of tracking and hunting down foes, with abilities centered around tearing apart those who are heavily entrenched in cover.
    • Diamonds are Rogue cards; your character becomes a master of stealth, doing their best work in the shadows while setting up the battlefield and gathering strength for a final push.
    • Spades are Gunslinger cards; your character works best under pressure, turning the tide with spam attacks and gaining bonuses for being outnumbered.
    • Clubs are Tank cards; your character becomes The Dreaded, capable of freaking enemies out as they draw closer and no-selling attacks that would kill anyone else.
    • And finally, Jokers don't give special skills but have multiple stat boosts and can flesh out any incomplete hand.
    • High Card: +8 Sight, Pair: +4 Movement, Two Pair: +10 Defense, Three of a Kind: +30 Max Luck, Straight: +1 Hp/turn, Flush: +15 Luck/turn, Full House: +4 Movement, +30 Max Luck, Four of a Kind: +15 Aim, Five of a Kind: +2 Damage, Straight Flush: +1 Damage, +1 Max Hp, Royal Flush: +3 Max Hp
  • Cash Gate: In A Matter of Time, advancing the plot requires Cassandra to take part in a poker tournament. You must gather $25,000 to be able to pay the entrance fee.
  • Cattle Punk: The more bizarre guns available, such as a 9-barreled shotgun and a revolving revolver, appear to be this. However, all those guns existed in Real Life. See Aluminum Christmas Trees, above.
  • The Chessmaster: The Devil. Warren, his father, and most of their friends and enemies have been manipulated for decades into becoming villains and pawns that will eventually perform the destruction of the Purgatory, dooming humanity as the souls of the recently dead are haphazardly released and drive them insane. For instance, Vasquèz (AKA the Masked Man, Warren's killer) was sent on the journey that changed him into a psychopath by Cervantès, who is himself explicitly described as a Devil's servant, turning the whole In Gold We Trust scenario into another step of this convoluted plan.
  • Choice of Two Weapons: Each character can carry up to two guns and switch between them at will.
  • Comic-Book Fantasy Casting: Warren's physical appearance is modeled after a young Clint Eastwood.
  • Crapsack World: As befitting the title of the game, life in the West is shown as harsh and merciless, with murder, crime and corruption being commonplace alongside supernatural evils.
  • Critical Existence Failure:
    • Averted for the party members if you activated the "combat injuries" feature. During fight sequences, any attack that deals over a damage thresholdnote  turns into a persistent debuff called an 'Injury', which negatively affects various stats, the most common of which lowers max HP. After being carried through two fights, a wound is healed and replaced by a "scar", like lost organs or cracked limbs or even brain damage, which permanently lowers one stat but permanently increases two stats to compensatenote , making scars a viable means of leveling up characters - by mutilating and crippling them.
    • Played straight for the party if you didn't activate the option.
  • Deal with the Devil:
    • In Hard Times, a mysterious man offers Warren to become better (two playing cards) in exchange for "a part of yourself" (permanently decreases Warren's luck stat). He is the same man met right before Warren's demise...
    • In the beginning of As Good as Dead, Warren turned to a cursed undead gunslinger after accepting the deal with his dying breath to avenge his (and his girlfriend's) death. It turns out that the same deal was offered to him before the (unwinnable) gunfight, but he didn't think much on it until it was too late.
    • In Hard Times, making a bargain with the local gang leader (you benefit from his protection in exchange for a commission of your gold mining) is a metaphorical example, especially when said gang leader keeps claiming a higher and higher commission, eventually turning against Warren's family when they realize they've given the gang leader too much money to spend on firepower.
  • Decoy Protagonist: The player can choose to invoke this at the end of On Earth, As It Is In Hell if they choose to switch to playing as The Undertaker instead of Warren for the final battle. In doing so, they invert this with Warren's Father, who was the first character the player controls in the prologue.
  • Developers' Foresight: The only available weapons in the game are firearms, there are no fistfight mechanics. What happens if you enter a tactical encounter with a character who doesn't have any weapon equipped? He receives a special gun named the "Rusty Peashooter", which is a six-shooter revolver inflicting 1 point of damage per shot.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: In As Good as Dead, each time the party goes to the saloon with Old Man Murray in the team, the dialogue mentions him sitting at a table while drinking booze and blabbering about some Roberta. He then suffers from a non-injury debuff named "ebriety".
  • Dumb Muscle: Paco, one of the party members of A Matter of Time, is described as very strong and very dumb.
  • Empowered Badass Normal:
    • Each player character is pretty badass by himself/herself. Then you can equip your team with occult trinkets and playing cards granting supernatural abilities...
    • Warren. He turns to an undead gunslinger during As Good as Dead, but he already was pretty competent with guns since Hard Times. You can also de-power his Healing Factor by removing his Ten of Hearts Card, if you wanted to.
  • Extra Turn: The Queen of Clubs gives its bearer an extra action point every time the character kills an enemy.
  • Fragile Speedster: At her base level, Cassandra is both the weakest party member and the one who can move the most during a turn. This is especially handy during the stealth mission at the end of the chapter.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: Method In Madness had a pretty bad one where players found themselves unable to move on the map screen. Patch 1.5 finally fixed it.
    • Occasionally, someone will try to pinpoint themselves exactly on some spot that doesn't exist, causing them to moonslide indefinitely over a single tile and make the game unplayable.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation:
    • In Law and Order, Sister Rosario betrayed DeLear because he has a seer as an adviser. When she is in the party, there are no consequences for equipping her with occult trinkets or enchanted playing cards.
    • Cassandra's premonitions are described to give her horrible headaches, justifying why she must rest to use her gift again. In her character sheet, it doesn't give a negative modifier to her stats, which means that entering a fight without having rested (and thus, with a crippling migraine) won't have the slightest effect on her fighting abilities.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: While each scenario has its own specific big bad, the Devil has orchestrated the entire plot, corrupting multiple individuals for the explicit purpose of corrupting The Chosen One Warren into becoming a butcher that will unwittingly cause the apocalypse.
  • Green Rocks:
    • In Method in Madness, it's eventually revealed that the insanity has been caused by a meteorite which landed in the area.
    • In On Earth, as it is in Hell, Warren can get permanent buffs by absorbing meteorite fragments in his body.
    • During A Matter of Time, Cassandra will find mysterious rocks (implied to be radioactive) in a shipwreck. Their Native American companion will thoroughly recommend against being anywhere near those weird rocks that have cursed dozens throughout her tribe's historynote .
  • Heel Realization:
    • In In Gold We Trust, Diego and Zacharias (after Diego's demise) eventually understand Vasquèz true intentions and betray him. The penultimate and last fights of the scenario consist of fighting your former men.
    • In Law and Order, Sister Rosario eventually realizes she has been used by Cervantès for his occult goal. She abruptly leaves the party after the penultimate fight. She reappears at the second part of the final mission, leading a counterattack which must be killed to the last woman to win the scenario.
  • Hero Antagonist:
    • Solomon DeLear in Law and Order.
    • On Earth, as it is in Hell ends with a fight between Warren's party and a group of the true heroes of the story, led by the Undertaker, determined to stop Warren from completing his insane plan.
    • In Gold We Trust ends with Diego and Zacharias, two of Vasquèz friends, understanding the protagonist's true intentions and trying to put him down.
  • Hero Must Survive: Each scenario has a main protagonist who must survive the fights, as well as important party members who are involved in the plot (some other characters aren't plot critical, and only serve to provide more firepower during the battles). Losing one of those heroes results in a game over, unless you play in "Iron Man" mode, in which case you'll have to restart the scenario from the beginning.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: It's possible to kill some characters with their own unique weapons once unlocked. In fact, there's an achievement for killing Joachim Perez with his signature Canon Calavera.
  • Human Resources: Some trinkets (ear necklace, tooth necklace, human hide shirt) are made with human body parts. Naturally, in-game this causes enemies to focus on killing the psycho wearing them.
  • Humanoid Abomination: Undead Warren is eventually revealed to have been turned into one. It seems that the mere existence of the undead Warren is a bad enough violation of nature that it is what caused the souls of the recently departed to be trapped in Purgatory.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills:
    • The ricochet ability. The hit chance of a ricochet is only dependent on the gunslinger's base aim and distance to the target, and not the ludicrous aiming and math skills needed to hit a bullet at an exact angle of a fragile metallic structure to bounce off and shoot a squishy. There's even an achievement for killing someone with a shot that ricochets thrice.
    • The golden bullet card active ability allows the wielder to shoot a target with 100% accuracy and the maximum amount of damage for the gun, regardless of cover or any obstacle (the only condition is that someone in the party has spotted the target).
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: In A Matter of Time, Cassandra has premonitions which are followed by crippling migraines. After being saved from the gallows by two men sent by the mysterious Protector, she decides to follow them to see the Protector when she learns that the Protector could get rid of this gift.
  • Infinity +1 Sword: The Judge, a firearm earned in On Earth, as it is in Hell for recruiting H. Persons. It's a sniper rifle with a whopping 12 damage, which is so ludicrously high (higher than a shotgun with nine barrels) that it can reliably One-Hit Kill standard enemies in half-cover.
  • Instant-Win Condition: Averted in most battles (you either have to kill every enemy, survive for X turns, or lead the whole team to the exit point), but played straight on three occasions:
    • The final battle of Graveyard Shift ends when the demon is defeated, regardless of whether there are still mooks alive or not (but only if the blood vials are destroyed).
    • The final battle of A Matter of Time ends when Cassandra activates the machine.
    • Scars of Freedom's battle #1-2 requires Libertee to hit the gate switch and escape. She doesn't need to save the other two slaves or kill all the slaversnote .
  • The Jinx: The Undertaker was cursed to bring death and destruction to those who crossed his path. He made a living out of it. In-game, any nearby enemies suffer -30 Luck each turn.
    • The King of Spades card makes the wielder a lesser Jinx; they poison nearby enemies with -10 Luck, and their attacks don't regenerate the enemy's luck.
  • Karma Houdini: Cervantès, depending on the choices. After ruining DeLear's work, he chases Cassandra during her scenario, without suffering from any consequence. Can be averted in On Earth, as it is in Hell if you recruited him and he dies in the final battle.
  • Luck Stat: In combat, the luck stat affects the chance to dodge a bullet (each missed shot decreases the target's luck, each hit gives him/her some luck back); the special abilities granted by poker cards also consume luck when used. On the worldmap, the success chance of some actions is calculated from the protagonist's luck.
  • Mana Meter: One of the uses of the luck stat. It only affects the abilities gained from playing cards.
  • Mad Artist: One of the points of interest in Method in Madness is the cabin of a mad painter. Looking at his paintings worsens DeLear's madness.
  • More Dakka: In As Good As Dead, one of the shopkeepers is a Gun Nut who specializes in shotguns. Humorously, she'll upgrade your x-barreled shotguns to (x+1)-barreled shotguns for x*10 dollars each, with Warren snarking about 'what's better than x barrels? x+1'.
  • My Rules Are Not Your Rules: Overwatch is unavailable to the player characters, in order to force the player to flank the enemy instead of turning each tactical battle into a purely defensive firefight.
  • Multiple Endings:
    • Bittersweet Ending: There are two way to unlock it, but it leads to the same final cutscene. If the player eventually chooses to fight the final battle as the Undertaker, or if the player keeps playing as Warren, then kills the Undertaker and his posse, and finally chooses the suicide, the cutscene tells that the Devil's plan have been defeated, that Warren is sent to Hell while Florence goes to Heaven.
    • Downer Ending: If Warren kills the Undertaker's party then destroys the Purgatory, the cutscene tells that the Devil lied about finding Florence again: incapable of interacting with the living, the dead souls eventually flooded the world and caused the disappearance of humanity, leaving the immortal Warren alone in a dead world.
    • Last-Second Ending Choice: This choice appears after the end of the final battle. Hit the switch, or use Warren's newest 'ability'.
  • Necessary Drawback: Each type of firearm has its upsides and downsides.
    • Standard pistols are good at short ranges, but lose power over distance. Some of them allow fanning, which fires three shots in quick succession at the cost of accuracy.
    • 2-shot pistols (which also includes the 4-shot Lancaster pistol and the Chain Revolver) do less damage than standard pistols, but can be fired twice in the same turn. With the exception of the Chain Revolver, each of these weapons has a lower ammo capacity than regular pistols. The Chain Revolver, on the other hand, has a capacity of twenty rounds at the cost of being incapable of being reloaded.
    • Shotguns are good close up and come with the Cone Shot ability, allowing the player the ability to hit multiple targets at once, but are useless at any kind of distance, have low ammo capacity, and do less damage to an enemy in cover than other weapons.
    • Rifles are good at medium distances, but suffer accuracy penalties at closer ranges.
    • Scoped Rifles are excellent long-range weapons and can penetrate cover better than other weapons, but, like rifles, suffer accuracy penalties up close and have to be reloaded with every shot.
  • Nightmare Face: After becoming an undead, the right side of Warren's face now has a glowing eye, scars, and holes in his cheek.
  • No Name Given: Father/The Undertaker (though a fake name he uses is revealed in game), the Mexican, the Protector. Warren's surname is never revealed, and Old Man Murray doesn't really sounds like a proper name.
  • One Degree of Separation: While the scenarios can be separated into three independent arcs, several of the characters are involved in more than one.
    • Cervantès is not only the protagonist of Law and Order, he's also one of the hirable party members in On Earth, as it is in Hell, as well as being the man who sent Vasquèz on his treasure hunt.
    • In Gold We Trust is about how Vasquèz became the Masked Man.
    • The former prostitute saved and then recruited by Hardin and Cassandra during A Matter of Time reappears at the end of On Earth, as it is in Hell as a member of the Undertaker's party.
    • H. Persons, one of the available party members in On Earth, as it is in Hell, is stated to be an ex-Pinkerton obsessed by some meteorite fragments. He is probably one of the "Persons" from Method in Madness.
    • The demon Bathym Raum, the big bad of Graveyard Shift, appears as an NPC during Law and Order. He eventually joins the party for the final fight of the chapter.
    • Lafortuna, the unseen gang leader serving as a villain for the beginning of In Gold We Trust, is also involved in the events of A Matter of Time, as being involved in the search of the Protector, as well as being the organizer of a poker tournament which you must enter to advance the plot.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: While it's normally averted, there is the card ability "Equalization", which drops the hit points of every character on the map (enemies and party members) to 1. This is especially dangerous for the ability's user, because, being a card ability, using it consumes luck, which also decreases dodge chance, and requires two action points to boot. Which means the 'great equalizer' is typically the most likely to be targeted and then greatly neutralized next round.
  • Optional Stealth: In some fight sequences, the enemy isn't alerted at the start, and remains blissfully unaware until you open fire, enter their detection area, hold them up, or perform a specific action scripted to start the combat. Since most of those missions require you to shoot everyone, stealth is used to gain an initiative in combat by stealing optional objects before their guards pull out guns, and then get into strategic positions. Some missions can be played perfectly in stealth (such as Reverend Ashmore's rescue in Graveyard Shift or the bank robbery in As Good As Dead).
  • Patriotic Fervor: Deconstructed with Jefferson Burns, an ultranationalist who believes in Manifest Destiny as his gospel and even has the American flag in his portrait picture. He's outright suicidal and deeply haunted by the massacres of natives, even as he desperately attempts to justify them. If you order him to march with you in your final American crusade, he'll tell you he's realized he's done Just Following Orders and commits suicide.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil/Roaring Rampage of Revenge: In As Good as Dead, an undead Warren tries to avenge his death and Florence's by causing enough damage to the Masked Man's properties to piss him off and lure him into a gunfight. In this scenario, available options include poisoning the water supplies of a farm inhabited by cannibals, killing all the hunters who are poaching on Indian lands, robbing a bank guarded by an actual demon and his harem, or burn down the Mask Man's mansion with every servant inside - or for extra cruelty, enslave them all.
  • Pinball Projectile: The Ten of Diamonds allows you to shoot specific objects to ricochet your bullet, thus allowing you to hit at full damage an enemy who is behind cover or impossible to aim directly; there's a Steam achievement for hitting an enemy after at least three ricochets. Strangely, this does not decrease the standard accuracy of the bulletnote .
  • Pinkerton Detective:
    • Three expendable Pinkerton agents (A. Persons, B. Persons, and C. Persons) serve as support for DeLear during Method in Madness. Each of them is replaced by an identical man when killed, and they refuse to tell DeLear who sent them.
    • Someone named H. Persons is one of the hirable gunslingers available during On Earth, as it is in Hell. He is stated to be an ex-Pinkerton and is violently insane.
  • Prospector: Warren does this in the first scenario. The amount of gold found depends on the level of skills which can be trained in a prospector camp, and any technology or workforce he invests in.
  • Protagonist Journey to Villain: What 'As Good as Dead'' is to Warren.
  • Rare Guns: In addition to the usual western guns, such as revolvers, Derringers, doubled-barreled shotguns, Sawed Off Shotguns, and Winchester rifles, the game adds triple-barreled shotguns, Quad-barreled shotguns, Howdah pistols, Lever action pistols, and single shot Hand Cannons. And that's not even getting into the crazier guns, such as chain pistols, twelve barreled Pepperbox pistols, or single shot gilded mega-rifles that can obliterate nearly anyone in a single hit.
  • Regenerating Shield, Static Health: Zig-Zagged. Luck is an overshield that causes all hits to miss, but it doesn't regenerate on its ownnote ; once it runs out, your enemies are guaranteed to hit your character as long as their hit chance exceeds the character's remaining luck, even if said character is halfway across the map in full covernote , but the damage will causes their luck to partially regenerate. note . Items can regenerate both Luck and Health, while Warren's 10 of Hearts card lets him regenerate health while he's in the dark.
  • Remixed Level:
    • In Hard Times, Warren goes once to the Mexican's village to kill him and free Florence. Later, there is a notification telling you that the Mexican has been replaced by an even worse thug, and you receive a sidequest offering to go back to the same village to finish the job.
    • In On Earth, as it is in Hell, the fort you must defend the in the beginning as the Undertaker is the same place the Wizard is holding H. Persons prisoner.
  • Sanity Slippage: DeLear is driven to madness over the course of Method in Madness. In-game, it results in incurable stat debuffs which grow progressively higher.
  • Satan: This shady guy who give power against a piece of yourself? Who gave Cervantès the task of destroying DeLear's society? Yeah, he's the Devil. And the ending of the last scenario explicitly states that his corrupting of Warren is part of a plan to make him destroy the Purgatory, thus releasing hordes of spirits on the living world and dooming everyone.
  • Self-Imposed Challenge: There are Steam achievements awarding this sort of things.
    • "The Shootist": Complete any tactical encounter firing sure shots (100% Chance to Hit) exclusively.note 
    • "Sudden Death": Use Equalization in the first combat turn, then complete the mission without raising your characters' Hit Points with items.
    • "Arizona Colts": Complete any tactical encounter without firing weapons other than the Rusty Peashooter.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: While Method in Madness ends with DeLear finding a cure to the dementia, Law and Order consists in destroying his work and eventually killing him.
  • Short-Range Shotgun: Averted. Shotguns have normal attacks (in which they fire at a single target and can hit at a relative long range while still inflicting the same amount of damage, though their accuracy drops faster than other weapons'), and a cone of damage' one (in which the weapon hits the targets standing inside a cone-shaped area, in a much shorter range).
  • Sinister Minister: Gabriel de Cervantès, the "corrupt inquisitor". He is actually a servant of the Devil.
  • So Long, and Thanks for All the Gear: Averted. While there's several instances of party members leaving the party, each time it results in their items and cards being given back to the party's shared stash.
  • Start of Darkness: The In Gold We Trust prequel scenario is about how Alvaro Vasquèz became the Masked Man.
  • Suddenly Voiced: In the base game, only the narrator (Death) is voiced, describing the events of every scenario. Come Scars of Freedom, you finally get to hear other characters speak, namely Dr. Gorman and protagonist Libertee.
  • Take Cover!: The areas in which the battles occur have plenty of objects and obstacles (columns, tables, walls, stone benches, etc.) which can be used as cover. Being behind cover greatly decreases the damage inflicted and drops the attacker's accuracy. Half-cover typically reduces damage to half and full-cover reduces damage to a quarter, rounded down.
  • Tampering with Food and Drink: In A Matter of Time, at one point during the poker tournament, Cassandra has the possibility to remove an opponent from the competition by putting some laxative in an unattended glass (if you bought the laxative in the hospital).
  • The Nose Knows: One of the cards gives an ability allowing to locate wounded enemies by smelling their blood.
  • Undertaker: Why is Warren's father referred to as "the Undertaker" in Graveyard Shift? Because he's the undertaker of his new town (and he indeed wears more formal clothes than in Hard Times).
  • Unstable Equilibrium: Losing non-essential party members can make later fights more difficult, as you may have to fight the next fight with an incomplete team. Making poor decisions during Story Branching (or playing with injuries activated and suffering from many at once) can also cripple a character to the point that they're near-useless or dead meat.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Warren is eventually revealed to be this for the Devil. Telling him that he could see Florence again if he destroys the Purgatory was technically true, but it forgot two details: 1) the dead spirits are unable to interact with the living 2) releasing them would eventually cause the extinction of humanity. Oh, and the worst thing? The mere existence of the undead Warren is a bad enough violation of nature that it is what caused the souls of the recently departed to be trapped in Purgatory (Florence eventually goes to Heaven after Warren's death).
  • Villain Protagonist:
    • Warren becomes one in As Good as Dead, with a touch of Pay Evil unto Evil. In On Earth, as it is in Hell, his goal is to invade and destroy the Purgatory, which would actually have terrible consequences. It turns that Warren was an unwitting pawn of the Devil.
    • Gabriel de Cervantès in Law and Order has been tasked by the Devil to destroy the work of Solomon DeLear.
    • Alvaro Vasquèz in In Gold We Trust. In the course of the scenario, the expedition uses more and more extreme methods. After ordering the massacre of Indian villages to avoid them to meddle in your excavations in their lands, then wearing an Artifact of Doom that transforms him into a complete psychopath, turning on his friends and companions for their betrayal when they try to stop him, and even ordering his peons to participate in suicide rituals. It turns that Vasquèz is the Masked Man..
  • Villain with Good Publicity: In Law and Order, everyone trusts Cervantès, and several NPCs state that his visit is an honor to them. Not very surprising, since the man is described as very charismatic and is a high ranked catholic prelate wearing the relevant garb.
  • "Wanted!" Poster: In As Good as Dead, there is a wanted poster of Warren on the lower-left corner of the HUD of the worldmap. As Warren slaughters people and destroys property, the bounty on Warren's head increases to ludicrous levels.
  • Weird West: The setting is explicitly described as such by the developers, being set in a grim western frontier beset by gun-toting demons, an inexplicable force driving people to madness, ancient curses, and a dark-suited stranger offering wealth and power to those down on their luck... for a price.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: At one point in Hard Times, Warren's father decides to leave his loved ones in order to keep his curse away from them. Then, the scenario ends with Warren and Florence defending Warren's farm from an attack of bandits... who are then identified as men from a railroad company who acquired their land, forcing the couple to go on the run.