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Video Game / hets

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hets is a freeware roguelike platformer, released in August 2014 by dittoman. In it, every new game begins with the unnamed player character inside a dark cave, where they're greeted by a man telling them about the statues that have sent everything to hell ever since they were built. He tasks them to take his old gun and destroy all the statues, beginning with the three in front of you. This opens a portal, and sends the player to a second level, now with enemies out for your blood.

Thus, all you need to do in every level is destroy the three randomly placed statues. They go down in one shot and cannot defend themselves: that's what the progressively increasing amounts of enemies are for, though killing them all is thankfully unnecessary. In between each level, you'll be offered a choice between three random upgrades the Man in the Cave had found while you were out fighting. Dying will obviously start it all again from the second level: you'll only have to watch the intro if you restart without getting killed. Another quirk is the ability to shoot directly upwards in addition to left and right, though downwards shooting is impossible. Last but not least, many platforms are much thinner than the rest, and so are permeable to your bullets, but also let the flying enemies pass straight through them.


It can be downloaded here.

hets provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Airborne Mook: Three main varieties, and all are quite dangerous. The large flies will speed up as soon as they see you, and when chasing you, they'll follow the shortest possible distance while also bobbing up and down, to make targeting difficult. The mosquito-like enemies will freeze for a second when they see you, but then they'll immediately fly in a straight line to the place you were standing at that time, not stopping until they've hit you or some obstacle. Lastly, there are the skulls that'll float lazily until they notice you, but then will regularly fire projectiles like your own.
  • all lowercase letters: The title, one that also doesn't seem to mean much.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Neither the player, nor the enemies, will ever run out of ammo.
  • Advertisement:
  • Collision Damage: Caused by every enemy.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: The player character is blue, and so is the Man in the Cave and the helping fairies you can get from him. Enemies are all red, the projectiles you and some enemies fire are turquoise, the portals are white, and the statues can be of other colours, like yellow or purple. All of these will also cast off halos of their colour, and change colour themselves if they're under a different halo (i.e. enemies will go pink in the portal's white glow, and purple inside your own.)
  • Critical Existence Failure: Averted with the immobile hives. Triggering them after they're shot once will only create one fly, as opposed to two they create at full health. Played straight for everything else.
    • Another, minor aversion. The halo given off by your character will wax and wane depending on their maximum health at the time. You generally won't notice this unless you've just gotten healed and saw the change firsthand.
  • The Cynic: Man in the Cave says one out of a whole range of random comments whenever you choose an upgrade. Usually, it's either a variation on "Good choice/wise choice/Good" or "Bad choice/terrible choice/I wouldn't have done that", in no real relation to what you've chosen. Sometimes, though, it matches in a way that's almost poetic.
    Player picks up health upgrade that doubles health from 3 to 6.
    Man in the Cave. "You'll probably die anyway."
  • Deliberately Monochrome: Of the Limited Palette variety. Overlaps with Color-Coded for Your Convenience above.
  • Denial of Diagonal Attack: Subverted. You'll get one diagonal shot if you press up and left/right at the same time when firing. Maintaining this is impossible, though, apparently due to recoil. Gaining the split shot upgrade, however, will let you target some enemies diagonally just by shooting at a wall near them for long enough.
  • Double Jump: Present, and is often the only way to reach many platforms.
  • Falling Damage: Averted. Given the average density of enemies per square meter, though, falling will probably lead to you getting swarmed and dying just the same.
  • Final Boss: One is promised by the developer. Getting to him, though, is far from an assured matter.
  • Friendly Fireproof: You cannot be damaged either by your own projectiles or those of the helping fairies', and vice versa. You can't shoot the Man in the Cave either.
  • The Goomba: The Imp-like creatures. All they can do is run back and forth on whichever platform they happen to occupy. Much like the slug-like wall crawlers, they compensate weakness through numbers, potentially appearing in dozens. Unlike them, though, they can't possibly surprise you by crawling up behind you in swarms. Pretty much the only way you can realistically get hurt by them is if you mistime a jump and fall into their clutches.
  • Hollywood Darkness: Averted. All of the areas that are not lit by the halos emanating from either yourself, the enemies, the portal or the projectiles are pitch-black.
    • If you play the game long enough, you'll soon start noticing how on larger levels, the areas where enemies are still present look downright inviting in their warm red glow, compared to the dark voids in places where you've cleared everything out. If you manage to kill everything there is, the level is completely dark save for yourself and the portal. Can even make you wonder if killing everything on request of a strange man is actually the right thing to do.
  • Homing Projectile: One of the two turret enemy types fires a missile that will not stop following you unless it accidentally crashes into some obstacle.
  • Knockback: Enemies will be stunned and knocked back slightly when they're shot; in fact, a shot landing next to them can also do the trick. Since there's no Mercy Invincibility, stunlocking them is entirely possible, and often necessary.
  • Mercy Invincibility: Neither the player nor the enemies have it, which adds a lot to the game's challenge.
  • Mini Mook: The small flies left behind a destroyed mobile hive. They go down in one shot, and are relatively slow, and so are only a threat in combination with other enemies, or if you've had the bad luck or shooting down their "parent" up close.
  • More Dakka: Three upgrade types fall into this. The most straightforward of those is the fire rate increase. "Shoot more bullets" gives you progressively wider multishot, which also lets you kill most enemies instantly. "Bullets split into bullets" is the most interesting, though, as it allows you to take care of enemies that aren't directly in your line of fire, and cannot be otherwise killed without drawing their line of sight.
    • As awesome as it all sounds, though, spare a thought for the humble "No pushback from your gun" upgrade. The more powerful your shots become, the greater is the recoil, and if you don't eliminate it soon, it's entirely possible to create a storm of bullets that clears one side of the screen in seconds... only to be blown back and right into the enemies below, who'll tear you apart in seconds.
  • Mook Maker: One of the enemies is an immobile, pulsing hive, which will split into two flies near you, unless you destroy it first.
    • The mobile hive kind of enemy. They behave in the same manner, as Imps, only much slower, but with more health. When they're killed, however, they'll leave 4-5 small flies behind.
  • Nintendo Hard: There are dozens of levels that are all pretty short, yet the beginner can count themselves lucky to even reach level 5.
  • One Hitpoint Wonder: Averted. The player character begins with three lives (two if they get the regeneration upgrade), while the majority of enemies requires two hits to die, sometimes more. The only things that go down in one hit are the small flies... and the statues.
  • Recursive Ammo: "Bullets split into other bullets" upgrade. At level 1 of the upgrade, each regular bullet creates two secondary bullets that go 45 degrees backwards, on an impact with any target. Further levels let those bullets split into more bullets.
  • Regenerating Health: One of the upgrades. The catch is that it comes at the cost of greatly reducing your full health. The difference at the start (2 vs. 3) is not too noticeable, but the upgrade will also reduce the effect of health increases from 3 extra hearts to 1.
  • Spread Shot: "You will shoot more bullets" upgrade does this.
  • Sprint Shoes: One of the upgrades, which literally uses the pictogram of a shoe.
  • Unintentionally Unwinnable:
    • If you don't have the no-recoil upgrade installed, it's occasionally possible to shoot so much a recoil will jam the character inside the wall so deep, they cannot get out.
    • Straight, narrow shafts are occasionally generated to the sides of the level. Sometimes, these can be a good respite from Everything Is Trying to Kill You, as you'll be able to kill anything trying to enter by simply shooting upwards. At other times, though, they're so deep that jumping out is outright impossible.
  • Weak Turret Gun: Averted. The two turret enemies both have more health than the average enemy.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: The players who have experience with The Legend of Zelda will probably recall the annoying Na'Vi when coming across "A helping fairy will follow you around" upgrade and skip it, depriving themselves of a flying immortal companion whose gun is just as powerful as your own. If you get two or three of them, some levels can be completed by hanging back and letting them do all the work.