ScumCo is a Dangerous Workplace, and Harry is its finest troubleshooter: a Badass Bureaucrat packing a Staple Gun, power-kicking off walls in his mighty Swivel Chair. But years of service have left Harry with nagging questions, like: what exactly does ScumCo do? Why is it housed in a sinister black obelisk? And does his boss, Dr. Ubermann, plan on being his FINAL Boss?
Tropes employed by Harry the Handsome Executive:
- Bad Boss: At the beginning, Ubermann has you toss unread employee feedback forms in the incinerator. By the end, he's planning to sell his employees' bodies as hosts for incorporeal demons.
- Caffeine Bullet Time: Caffeine pills make Harry temporarily flash colors, move faster, and become immune to all damage.
- Cast from Hit Points: The Force of the Swivel can channel life energy into weaponized blasts.
- Edible Ammunition: Shaken-up soda cans become grenades.
- Evil, Inc.: ScumCo is under constant attack from the robots and monsters it tries to harness. The R&D labs work on mind control drugs amid nearly wall-to-wall chemical spills. And yes, the boss is nursing a scheme for world domination.
- Evil Costume Switch: Brainwashed Pam dons a leather skirt and stiletto heels.
- Fun with Acronyms
- The Special Planning, Intelligence, and Espionage Section.
- The Bi-Angular Directional Accelerated Staple System.
- Game Mod: Unlike other Ambrosia titles like Escape Velocity, this game came with a Level Editor, and Ambrosia had hosting space on its site for mods.
- Idiot Hero: Harry is comfortable in the roles of "action hero" and "ladies' man," and bewildered by almost everything else that happens to him.
- The Inspector Is Coming: One mission is to destroy all traces of a dangerous substance invented by ScumCo R&D before the health inspector arrives.
- Made of Explodium: Most things that can be shot with the staple gun will explode into fireballs, "as strictly regulated by game design law."
- Meaningless Meaningful Words — ScumCo runs on the corporate buzzword variety. Harry is "Manager of Core Proficiencies," and was anointed "Most Likely to Enact a Paradigm Shift in the Workgroup Mission Statement." Coworkers he approaches will sometimes spout Mad Libs Dialogue in this vein.
- Nail 'Em: The titular Harry's Weapon of Choice.
- Narrating the Present: Harry narrates his own journey to the basement.Pam: "'Vaulting concrete heavens'? Harry, I never knew you had such a literary bent."
- No Fair Cheating: The level select cheat was disabled at some point, replaced with the message "Harry sez: No more cheating!"
- No-Gear LevelHe had no weapons. He was drained, empty, hollow, and all he had was the Power of the Swivel Chair.
- No Man Should Have This Power: Harry resolves that contact with The Other Side must end."All of it? But we've learned so much... we can make contact, under controlled conditions, secretly..."
"No!" snapped Harry. "It must end now!"
- No OSHA Compliance: The ScumCo workplace is full of volatile toxic waste barrels, pipes that vent gouts of flame, scattered thumbtacks on the floors, and mail trolleys that rush about with no guardrails to keep people from blundering into them. In the latter case you can also turn it around: shove a chair or an office plant into a trolley's path and it will run into it and explode.
- Non Standard Game Over: If you lose all corporate favor, a voice booms "YOU'RE FIRED!" ...and then you explode.
- Notice This: Memos to Harry pulse with a red glow.
- Oblivious to Hints: A stewardess tries at length to slip Harry his Mission Briefing in the guise of an in-flight film."We also have Secret Message for Harry and Important Assignment from the Boss available this evening....""What kind of idiot are you?" snapped Harry. "I do not want to watch a movie! No! No! No movie! None!"
- Only the Pure of Heart: One of the Tests of the Swivel Chair requires you to empty your staple guns to cross the threshold.
- "Open!" Says Me: Inverted. Harry only opens doors by kicking them in—but if a door is locked, he has to use the key first.
- Percussive Maintenance: The only way to get anything out of a vending machine, is to apply some well needed force.
- Pixel Hunt: Blue keys are sometimes hidden on busy blue backgrounds.
- Reflective Eyes: When Harry looks into Pam's, he gets to admire his own reflection.
- Save-Game Limits: You can save at the beginning of each level, plus once per photocopier.
A temple? This was simply too much. Too much, too much, too much, too much. Who the hell was he, anyway, Indiana Jones?
- Several to Indiana Jones, starting with the logo and Suspiciously Similar Theme Song. Eventually lampshaded by the narration.
- Speech Bubbles — Used to display the text of signage and memos as well as dialogue.
- Technobabble — Parodied by the schematic of Harry's chair, which highlights its "Hyper-Ergonomic Comfort Cradle," "Secondary Spinal Support Beam," and "Dynamic Non-Skid Tailbone Suspension Pad (Extra Kooshy)."
- Turned Against Their Masters: The robots who staff the customer service lines revolt.
- Turns Red: When nearly defeated, Ubermann starts flashing, hopping in place, and hurling poltergeists.
- Work Com: Harry's world is an utterly absurdist look at white-collar corporate work. In one level, Harry is driven to fight his way across the building past hazards of all kinds just to find an office with windows.