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Video Game / Inca

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Inca is a 1992 computer game developed by Coktel Vision and published by Sierra On-Line.

Inca has been famous for combining many different genres including space simulator and adventure game to form a certain storyline. Although mostly a fighting space simulator, some levels were purely shooting, had maze exploration, and some included riddles that could be solved by combining inventory items.

The setting is an achronic war between Incas and Spaniards that takes place in space. Levels vary in gameplay, forming a variable and rich gameplay, however the surreal nature of the game (common in Coktel Vision adventures) gives no comprehensive storyline or solution to riddles, which are solved simply by trying random item combinations. Huayna Capac, last grand Inca, after 500 years of his death, prepares a warrior called El Dorado to fight Aguirre, the Spanish leader. El Dorado will find himself in space flying a Tumi-shaped spaceship and dogfight with Spanish spaceships. El Dorado will find himself fighting his way through mazes, or on board the Spanish mothership (actually a Galleon flying in space) trying to escape, he will meet the Aclla and uncover three magical gems that will help him vanquish the Conquistadors.

Its sequel was released in the same year, under the name Inca II: Wiracocha, in which you play Eldorado and Aclla's son, Atahualpa.

Both games contain examples of:

  • Autobots, Rock Out!:
    • In the first game, the track "Katchampa" that plays during the Trench shooter segments has a wailing electric guitar alongside a frantic Andean wind track.
    • The descent to Australia and train battle in Inca II are set to a DOOM-esque rock motif called "Ayers Rock".
  • Big Bad: Aguirre the Spanish leader.
  • Enemy-Detecting Radar: Both versions of the Tumi have a radar system showing where enemies are. The second game also includes an advanced battlefield map that shows the entire area.
  • I Can't Reach It: Clicking your cursor on something non-interactive causes a text message to appear that says, "No, El Dorado" in the first game, and "Oh no, El Dorado!" in the second.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard:
    • Aguirre's galleons in the first have collision boxes larger than their hitboxes, and if you're far enough out of range, the ship teleports through you and causes damage while doing so.
    • Several of the enemy ships in the second game move and fire much faster than the Tumi, to the point that some can turn 180 degrees in a matter of seconds.
  • Lip Lock:
    • The dialogue in Inca is mostly delivered by audio clips playing over static photographs of the actors.
    • Inca II has the actors' mouths digitally edited to the dialogue, with occasional blinks of the eyes.
  • The Maze: A third of the first game involves mazes, with puzzles and shooter segments mixed in-between. The second has one maze at the endgame, with a bizarre puzzle distributed throughout it.
  • Moon Logic Puzzle: A staple of the series, with few clues around to help.
  • Menu Time Lockout
    • In the first game, pressing F5 brings up a flight settings menu that pauses gameplay while active.
    • Averted in Inca II, as the player must actively pan to one side of the cockpit to reach this menu, while combat still goes on in the background.
  • Sound Test:
    • In the first game, you can listen to all the game's songs at your home base, and even play with a pan pipe next to the controls.
    • Inca II has this in the menu bar, along with the ability to rewatch cutscenes at will.
  • Spaceship Girl: The Tumi in both games has a talking feminine computer, named Dalán in the first, and MC2 in the second.
  • Stat-O-Vision:
    • In Inca, Dalán will automatically aim your weapons at enemy fighters when in range, and show you their hit-points. Averted when faced with the Spanish Galleons, however.
    • The Tumi in the second game has a targeting scope that shows an enemy's rank, speed, distance and hit-points, depending on whichever target the ship is currently locked onto.

Inca contains examples of:

  • All the Worlds Are a Stage: The final puzzle of the game is this, where El Dorado must use each of the three legendary powers to reach an altar.
  • Asteroid Thicket: Your first space battle level. Also doubles as a breather level of sorts, since it's the only battle level to not involve Aguirre's goons.
  • Bloodless Carnage: According to the manual, you are not strictly killing people in the combat segments, but merely distorting their place in the space-time continuum.
  • Bilingual Bonus: In the CD version, Huayna Capac speaks his opening monologue in Quechua.
  • But Now I Must Go: Huayna Capac disappears after El Dorado acquires the third power.
  • The Chosen One: You, so your spiritual mentor, Huayna Capac says.
  • Cool Starship: Your golden Incan space fighter, the Tumi, complete with a talking flight computer named Dalán.
  • Deface of the Moon: Around the middle of the game, the young Accla reveals that the conquistadors had desecrated the moon by carving a trident shape into it, similar to the real-life Paracas land engraving. El Dorado responds by flying to the moon to shoot down the conquistadors who carved it.
  • Developer's Foresight: After you collect one of the powers, Huayna Capac's dialogue changes depending on how many lives you have left.
  • Dull Surprise: El Dorado maintains a constant dazed stare throughout the whole adventure.
  • Energy Ball: In various flavors within the game.
    • Your ship's default weapon fires pairs of these, which get smaller and deal less damage as its energy bar decreases.
    • In the maze segments, enemy conquistadors shoot these from their flintlocks, or even from swords, and they take a notch out of your health bar if it gets too close.
    • Aguirre himself can summon plasma balls from his hands, and his boss battle turns this into Bullet Hell.
  • Evil Overlooker: On the box cover, Aguirre's face looms from space while his galleons and the Tumi battle in the foreground.
  • Final Boss: The endgame involves taking down Aguirre once and for all within his flagship.
  • Heroic Mime: El Dorado is the only character to not have voice lines, although we do see his inner thoughts in text form when interacting with objects.
  • Hint System: You can consult Huana Capac for advice from the inventory bar.
  • Genre-Busting: A Space Shoot 'Em Up with Adventure Game mechanics, split up with mazes and First-Person Shooter segments.
  • In the Hood: Aguirre is always seen shrouded in a Palpatine-esque robe, and we barely see his eyes within the game.
  • Life Meter: Your ship and HUD for the maze segments has a Tumi-shaped semicircle with two meters of blue gems. The outer ring depicts your nine hit-points, and if they all turn dark, you lose one of five lives in the inner ring.
  • Mutual Kill: Defeating Aguirre causes the entire continuum to collapse, taking you, Aguirre, and everything nearby with it.
  • Ominous Pipe Organ: Aguirre's theme music.
  • Password Save: The game prompts you with an 8-digit level code at fixed points, which is also randomized depending on the hardware the game runs on.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: At least one Conquistador will refer to the player character as a "savage".
  • Power Crystal: The three sacred powers you are sent to collect take the form of crystals.
  • Recycled IN SPACE!: This game is essentially Incas versus Spaniards in space.
  • Shout-Out: The Trench minigame heavily resembles the Death Star battle in A New Hope
  • Shown Their Work: For all its weirdness, the game has a lot of accurate references to Inca Mythology. There's even a guidebook you can read at your home base.
  • Simon Says Minigame: One of the last puzzles, to create a bridge across a river of lava.
  • Space Base: Your asteroid fortress, Paititi, with a Nazca-esque Condor pattern on its surface.
  • Space Is an Ocean: Being up against giant floating galleons that launch conquistadors in space fighters certainly counts. You even go up against the galleons themselves towards the end of the game.
  • Video-Game Lives: The five large dots on your health meter are the five times you can be resurrected from death. Lose them all, and it's game over.

Inca II: Wiracocha contains examples of:

  • Aborted Arc: Due to the Gainax Ending below, nothing regarding Kelt's implied betrayal or taking down Aguirre is addressed.
  • Adventurer Outfit: Kelt Cartier sports a bomber pilot outfit, complete with cowl and goggles. He's even seen wearing the goggles when in space combat.
  • All Deserts Have Cacti: Macchu Picchu and Australia have saguaros sprinkled here and there.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: Where you play as El Dorado the entire stretch of the first game, Inca II puts you in the role of his new son, Atahualpa. The game switches back to El Dorado when his son gets blown up.
  • Armor Meter: The Tumi's ammo counter can be toggled to show the ship's Deflector Shield instead, along with an auto-prompt mode during combat.
  • Big "NO!": El Dorado when his son gets killed off. He adds a second, directed at the murderer.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Early on, El Dorado uncovers the blueprints for a tri-wing spacecraft called the Boomerang, and Kelt uses it to build these for the Incan army. Toward the endgame, just when Aguirre's forces appear in full force, hundreds of boomerangs arrive to hold them at bay.
  • Cool Train: A steam train with a shiny cow plow, and gun turrets on all sides to fend off Aguirre's forces.
  • Controllable Helplessness: When Atauhalpa gets to use one of the gun turrets on Kelt's ship, he is able to fend off a number of enemy ships, until an unusually potent fighter shows up. And the player can't stop it from blowing up the ship and killing Atahualpa.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: Unlike the first game, you are able to simply continue from where you last died.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Captain Diego de Almagro, who killed Atahualpa.
  • Gainax Ending: Even for a game such as this, the ending still one-ups everything else. As El Dorado lays down his final power in the core of the asteroid, it glows red, drifts out of Earth orbit, and we're abruptly hit with text saying that El Dorado has now become Wiracocha, a wandering dimensional god.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: At a couple of space battles, sometimes El Dorado's dialogue and the battle plan don't match the battle in-game.
  • Hesitation Equals Dishonesty: After the Tumi is repaired, Kelt slips up his part of the conversation, "I am always willing to help, my looord." No one else notices.
  • Hit Stop: If the player manages to fire a locked missile at an enemy ship with sufficiently low health, or send enough torpedoes into a space station, the combat then cuts to a quick FMV of the craft gloriously exploding.
  • Justified Tutorial: At the start, you are given the option to either solve a logic puzzle, or practice space combat. Either of these is a test to prove your worth to join the Inca council.
  • Land Downunder: At one point, the Tumi lands in Australia, where Kelt and El Dorado enlist the help of an astronomer named Yuna to pinpoint how to take out the asteroid.
  • Magic Meteor: The premise is kicked off by the discovery of an asteroid containing a great energy source. Aguirre wants to use this to expand his power.
  • Mook Maker: Lord Aguirre's space stations, which continuously launch fighters until the player destroys them. They also have a force shield immune to everything but torpedoes.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Upon being rejected from the Inca Council as soon as he was accepted, El Dorado's son Atahualpa decides to joyride the Tumi and go after Aguirre's forces himself. This prompts Aguirre to wage war on the Incan empire.
  • No Ending: The floppy disk version of the game removes the final maze sequence, and the ending cutscene.
  • Non-Linear Sequel: Although many of the previous game's elements remain, a chunk of the plot has been retconned.
  • Post-Defeat Explosion Chain: When defeated, Space Stations go up in a series of tiny explosions, followed by one large blast.
  • Reality Is Out to Lunch: In the final stretch of the game, El Dorado winds up inside a maze within the asteroid, made up of his memories, as well as some sort of bomb which needs to be wrapped back in around itself. The maze alone is suitable enough to warp one's mind, but the puzzles — even for a game which has already been out there and back — are sublime.
  • Sequel Escalation: The new Tumi, fitted with a larger array of weapons and increased aiming. It actually looks like the original ship, but fitted into a larger chassis.
  • Side Quest: At two points, El Dorado directly asks the player whether or not to take two extra space battles between the main plot. Not taking them results in the enemies therein showing up for the final battle outside the Asteroid, which can make it much harder to complete.
  • Smart Bomb: One of the Tumi's many weapons, which destroy everything in range when detonated.
  • Suddenly Voiced: El Dorado has a voice actor in this game.
  • Tempting Fate: After your father and Kelt intercept the Tumi in a much larger ship, the former tells you, "Do not. Touch. Anything!" before the two men take off in their ships. The player has to disobey to progress.
  • Tractor Beam: The Tumi includes a Grapnel, which El Dorado uses to rescue Kelt when his ship malfunctions after the first space battle.