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Video Game / HellSign

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"All of us are cursed. Haunted, by things you can't see, can't escape, and can't kill...
But what if you could?"

HellSign is a thriller top-down shooter RPG made by Ballistic Interactive, about an amnesiac hunter of the supernatural cursed with the HellSign, a demonic brand that grants its bearer Resurrective Immortality at the cost of endless nightmares and a soul-eating demon strapped to their back.


Taking place in the late 20th century of Australia, the most supernaturally dangerous country on Earth, your job is simple: go to a murder scene, scan the house like a ghost hunter, shoot the hell out of anything that moves, and if you're ready for the big prize, summon a dangerous, soul-devouring beast haunting the house so you can kill it.

HellSign is unrelated with Hellsing beside both being horror-themed works.


The game provide examples of:

  • 20 Bear Asses: Most of your money comes from selling the evidence of supernatural attacks to a fixer, who then resells them to the case managers with an analysis.
  • Amnesiac Hero: The opening cutscene. After "dreaming" of being very messily killed by a demon, the player character awakens amnesiac and with a weird tattoo on the back.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: When you leave the current mission, the game allows for a few seconds to cancel the action and remain onsite.
  • Art Shift: During cutscenes, the art style shifts from the usual realistic-looking graphics of the game to very visually different comic book-style sequences.
  • Badass Bookworm: Any hunter worth his salt learns to hit the books; not only does this reveal the weaknesses (and species) of the boss monster, it also earns you more cash if you can deduce what you're dealing with.
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  • Character Class System: Several character classes are available at character creation (Ninja, Merceneray, Archeologist, etc.). They have an effect on the starting gear, the starting skills, and the starting experience level (each classes start at level 3, except the mercenary who starts at level 2, and the drifter who starts at level 1).
  • Chest Monster: Two kinds of mimics have been revealed so far:
    • The door mimic will try to grab the hunter with its tongue and then chew on them a few times before spitting them out. Luckily, it disappears whether it successfully grabs a meal or not.
    • The painting mimic is hard to hit, has high DPS, and bursts into a mess of black tentacles that quickly cover the entire room.
  • Combat Pragmatist: You get to use a wide variety of traps against monsters, many of which are downright brutalnote .
  • Country Matters: "Cunt" occasionally appears in dialogs, in its Australian meaning. The ingame help includes a lexicon, which translates the term as "good sir".
  • Creepy Centipedes: The Blood Crawlers are 2-meters long centipedes. The Tasmanian Megapledes are another sort of giant centipedes, and are much longer and larger.
  • Cursed with Awesome: Sure, you're stuck with "the equivalent of a living nuclear bomb strapped to your back", but hey, this job is killing you, and you still come back with a third of the paycheck!
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: Rule of thumb: If it moves (and isn't a tree), it's going to kill you.
  • Eyepatch of Power: You can craft and wear a pirate eyepatch. It reduces accuracy but increase rate of experience gain.
  • Hellish Horse: Kelpies are spirit horses made from the victims of animal cruelty, with one obsession: to maul you to death. They also wet the floor with cold oil, making it harder to dodge.
  • Hunter of Monsters: You are a monster hunter working in Australia to battle infestations of various supernatural beings from the Afterlife and elsewhere. While combat is king, investigation and information gathering is a major aspect.
  • Interface Screw: One of the hazards you can encounter during contracts is the explosion of lightbulbs inside a room. If you're caught in the blast and aren't wearing Protective Earwear, the screen will be blurred and the audio replaced with tinnitus for several seconds.
  • Jerkass: Lucky Kenny is the kind of guy who would rip the arm from a homeless man because there was a 50% chance they 'may' have been infected with a soul-eating demon from hell.
  • Kill It with Fire: You have incendiary ammo and propane canisters. They work best on Demonic Spiders and Kelpies.
  • Know When To Fold Them: You always need to consider if you want to stay and earn more money and experience with the risk of losing 2/3rds of what you earned so far, or keep going up to fighting the big game worth tens of thousands.
  • Limited Loadout: There's exactly two weapon slots: primary guns (assault rifles, SMGs, shotguns), and sidearms (pistols and revolvers).
  • Living Shadow: Shadow Poltergeists are giant shadow spiders.
  • McNinja: The Ninja character class is an Australian guy whose starting gear include Japanese sandalsnote  and caltrops (and a small handgun). There's an Asian-looking character portrait available, though. Note that each character can be played like this, but the Ninja class is the only one to start with the relevant skills and gear.
  • Nail 'Em: A nailgun is the starting weapon of the Drifter class (it functionally counts as a sidearm). The nailgun itself and its ammo can be acquired for free at the store, regardless of the character class.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: "Wait for it..." variant. Levels consists in scouting dark, abandoned buildings only lit with your flashlight, not knowing when a monster will appear.
  • Our Banshees Are Louder: Banshees can scream loud enough to deal brain damage, summon tendrils of ectoplasm, or summon cute little ghosts that eat away at your health and are hard to hit.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: Poltergeists have a wide variety of powers from simple telekinesis and teleportation to creating giant tendrils of ectoplasm and manifesting as an unkillable shadow beast. They also eat souls and can be killed by summoning them into the real world.
  • Our Ghouls Are Different: Standard ghouls are tall, angry humanoids that will attempt to tackle your character and then run away to jump and latch on the wall for a few seconds before trying again. The best way to kill them is to use your bear traps, which clamp on just long enough to take a clip of lead.
  • Paranormal Investigation: The premise of the game is basically a mix of paranormal investigation and Action RPG gameplay, where you must carefully prepare your missions, take the right gear onsite, explore places with various tools (an EMF meter, a blacklight, a micro...), and fight monsters.
  • Power Tattoo: The HellSign is a tattoo of demonic origin which allows the player character to reappear, alive, at his safehouse if killed during a contract.
  • Revolvers Are Just Better: Revolvers are one kind of sidearm, the other being pistols. Revolvers are more powerful, more accurate, and have a longer range.
  • Roguelike: Missions have some elements of this: levels are randomly generated, saving is impossible, and dying results in losing most of the current mission's gain (and most of the reward you would have gained if you fled the site alive). On the other hand, there's no permadeath, and dying during a mission doesn't steal anything you gained before starting the current mission.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Appears as a gameplay mechanics. Each contract grants a money reward at completion. Leaving before completing the mission results in the player character forfeiting the cash, but leaving alive at any time allows to keep the signsnote  which have already been found; while dying teleports you back to your safehouse but you lose some of the signs you were carrying.
  • Shout-Out: One of the graffitis that can be seen on buildings' outside walls looks like The Scream.
  • Starter Equipment: Each character class starts with a gun (except the Mercenary, who starts with two), ammo, a flashlight, an EMF meter, and a syringe of drugs. The exact item in those slots, and the content of other slots (chest armor, footwear, headgear, various accessories, etc.) depends on the character class. The Drifter is the one with the least starting items.
  • Title Drop: The "HellSign" is occasionally refered by name in some conversation.
  • With This Herring: At character's creation, the Drifter class is the most blatant example of this (you only start with the tier-1 flashlight, a nailgun, the tier-1 EMF meter, and a syringe filled with some street drug), but several of the others start with guns described as rusty, and the player character in general is described as being not rich.
  • You All Meet in an Inn: The story mostly progresses by speaking with various NPCs in a bar named "The Shaggy Jackal".
  • You Have Researched Breathing: You need to take a specific skill to be able to wear Protective Earwear and Hazmat Boots.

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