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Video Game / Iron Marines

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When the going gets tough, the tough call the IRON MARINES!
Iron Marines is a Real-Time Strategy game developed by Ironhide Game Studio, the same studio that brought to us Kingdom Rush. It's set in a sci-fi galaxy, where the player controls their Space Marine Hero Unit, summons squads, captures objectives and destroys enemies around the map. It was first released on mobile platforms in September 2017, and then on PC on May 15th, 2019.

To aid the Space Marines in their goal, the player controls their Hero Unit with unique abilities, as well as a few squads. These can be used to capture objectives and bases, the latter of which will provide a squad spawning area and also produce Etherium which is vital for buying squads and towers.

There are three classes of squad units: Army, Empyrean, and Mechs. Each squad type comes with three variants, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. If part of a squad is destroyed, they can regenerate their lost units, but a whole squad being destroyed means that the unit is permanently lost.

  • Army units are Space Marine troops who form a squad of three:
    • Rangers are mid-range units with durability, medium armor and do not take extra damage from melee attacks.
    • Snipers are long-ranged units with very high attacking power but are very fragile and lack armor.
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    • Engineers are mid-range units with heavy armor that deal exceptional damage to structures.

  • Empyrean units are Telepathic Spacemen who form a squad of two:
    • Guardians are melee units that deal very heavy damage at close range but have no armor and cannot attack aerial enemies. They also have a chance to deflect laser attacks fired at them.
    • Diplomats are support units that cast force fields to protect nearby allies and fire psionic projectiles that stun enemies.
    • Channelers are ranged units that travel quickly and focus a psionic beam on enemies, dealing increasing damage over time. They're very fragile, however.

  • Mech units are Mini-Mecha that form a squad of one:
    • Flamewalkers use a flamethrower that sets groups of enemies on fire and torches the ground but cannot attack aerial units.
    • Shellstorms attack with a storm of missiles that cause Splash Damage and are extremely effective against aerial units.
    • Brawlers are heavily armored melee units that can both dish out and take lots of damage, but cannot attack aerial units.

There are also three types of towers used to defend your bases. These act as extra protection, as the enemies must take them down before they can attack the base itself. Buying upgrades for towers further increases their durability, and these upgrades have a cooldown before they're able to be used again.

  • Minigun towers fire rapidly at enemies and are durable. They can be further upgraded with Overhaul, which heals them via a mechanical drone, and Vulcan Barrage, which deals more damage and slows down enemies.
  • Rocket towers fire long-distance rockets with Splash Damage and are effective against flying foes. They can be further upgraded with Cluster Rocket, which carpets an area with stun bombs, and Napalm Payload, which launches a bomb that covers an area in flames.
  • Laser towers sweep the ground with armor-ignoring lasers, but only fire singular lasers against air units. They can be further upgraded with Triple Lens which allows it to use a triple laser sweep, and Death Ray, which instantly destroys an enemy it hits.

Finally, the player has a Dropgun unit, which can be dropped to deal heavy damage in an area. Once landed, it will fire at enemies until it is either destroyed or expires.

The game includes examples of:

  • Action Bomb:
    • Your Drop Turret can be upgraded to explode into a cluster of explosives when destroyed, just to make sure the group of enemies that destroyed it will take a great amount of damage.
    • Thanks to being unstable plasma Energy Beings in containment suits, Raads tend to have explosive results upon death.
      • Raad Ion Troopers explode into energy upon death which doesn't hurt your troops, but thanks to essentially exploding into the stuff they're made of, it heals other Raads nearby.
      • Raad Pyron Guards play this straight, being fire-based Raads that blow up when killed, burning and damaging nearby units. They thankfully give a short pause of a warning before actually blowing up.
      • Raad Geon Enforcers have gravity-based powers and when their suits are breached they will create a gravitational orb (ala Mass Effect Singularity) that will pull units towards it and explode.
  • Airborne Mook: Several enemies in the game have flight capability and many strong units cannot hit them. Fortunately, they are weak to rockets and missiles.
  • All Your Powers Combined: Nexus, the villain of Borealis has all the Elemental Powers of the Raad aliens.
  • Anti-Air:
    • Rockets and missiles deal around 5x their normal damage to flying enemies, even the large ones.
    • Blue Dragon's Gold Tier upgrade for Iron Eagle makes her missiles deal even more damage to flying enemies.
  • Anti-Armor: Mark X's Gold Tier upgrade for War Machine makes him permanently reduce enemy armor each time he attacks them.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • Certain Special Ops missions where you can only use your Hero, Dropgun and no other troops will give the Dropgun a much faster respawn time, since you may have to cover more than one exit.
    • The "Into Darkness" mission has an asteroid shower before finding the people in distress. Once you find them and have to escort them, the asteroid shower stops, only occurring whenever a path is needed to be "blocked off" by a huge asteroid.
    • When the Fell Bishop's cocoon is broken, all the enemies on screen die off. More of them will shortly spawn, however.
    • The Escort Mission with the Ga'r King gives you an escortee who has a lot of health, deals heavy damage, and can even heal himself.
  • Anti-Structure:
    • Engineers excel at this, as they use a beam that deals high damage to structures, and also have a bomb attack that temporarily disables the function of opposing structures. This makes them highly effective against the Taskmaster, which is considered a structure despite being a mobile enemy.
    • Blue Dragon's silver tier upgrade for Iron Eagle makes her machine gun attack deal extra damage to structures.
    • On the Fell aliens' side, there's the Hammergrub, which is a slow but Heavily Armored Giant Mook that doesn't directly attack troops, instead heading directly towards one of the player's structures before doing heavy damage to it with its wrecking ball tongue. It deals minor collision damage to troops instead.
  • Attack Drone: It's a Sci-Fi game, so there are naturally several variants:
    • The Shellstorm can release patrol Shockbot drones that attack nearby enemies.
    • The Flamewalker can release its other hand as a "Handroid" which becomes an enemy seeking explosive drone.
    • The Brawler can launch a group of aerial drones that orbit and defend it.
    • Dr. Graaff's gameplay is based around these. In Assault Mode, they attack his enemies, while in Assist Mode, they heal him and nearby allies. He can also command them to use a Suicide Attack that deals extreme damage to an enemy.
    • The Oculi are pretty much these, small aerial enemies with very low health and the capability to fire lasers, and usually spawned from Taskmasters. They also can fuse with the wreckage of destroyed Jackbots and thus "turn" into a Jackbot.
    • Mr. ROB070 can summon Centinels to attack the player's units with armor piercing lasers, as well as use them in a suicide rush move that deals incredible damage.
  • Armor-Piercing Attack: There are several attacks that pierce armor, which makes them very useful against the armored Peripheroids.
    • Fire damage bypasses the defences of Heavily Armored Mooks.
    • The Snipers can get upgraded to bypass all armor, no matter how tough the enemy is.
    • Laser attacks bypass all armor no matter how heavy it is.
    • Guardians and Brawlers have a 50% armor pierce on their attacks.
  • Asteroids Monster: When defeated, the Blightmother explodes into a few Fellwings.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking:
    • The Fell Tyrant, Mr Rob070, and Nexus are the leaders of the Fell, Peripheroids and Raad respectively and are by far the toughest and most powerful ones among them.
    • The Ga'r king is not only massive, he can take more damage than an entire base and easily pulverises any unlucky Raad in his way with his battlehammer. If they're in Carriers, he throws huge chunks of ice at them for just as huge damage. A good thing too, since he's an escortee in an Escort Mission.
    • Fenrirs are fast and gregarious but weak wolf enemies and will run around aimlessly without attack if set on fire. Alpha Fenrirs appear in solitary numbers (or with their pack) and not only hit very hard, they're undeterred by flames and they also have a cloaking ability where they can deal massive damage unless revealed.
  • Auto-Revive: The "Mutagenesis" upgrade in the Tech Tree gives a small chance for a killed Army or Empyrean unit to respawn instantly, as long as the whole squad isn't killed off.
  • Back Stab: Alpha Fenrirs have a cloaking ability, and if they manage to hit a unit while stealthed, they deal massive damage — enough to kill the tankiest heroes in one to two hits on Normal.
    Alphas usually have a vicious bite, but when invisible they become a death sentence.
  • Bandit Mook: Etherleeches are large Airborne Mooks that stun your towers and steal etherwatts from them.
  • Bigfoot, Sasquatch and Yeti: The Ga'r, natives to Borealis are yeti-like aliens that use ice-based weaponry. Thankfully, they're allies with the Iron Marines.
  • Boring, but Practical:
    • Rangers. They're the first and most standard unit you get in the game, but they're capable of being an all-rounder against all types of threats, have good health and light armor (medium once you upgrade them), can give themselves and nearby units a defensive buff and can deal splash burst damage once they get their grenade upgrade.
    • Brawlers. Compared to the many flashy stuff out there like Channelers, Flamewalkers and Shellstorms, all these do is punch hard at a slow rate, and have a giant amount of health and armor. However, this is extremely vital at surviving enemies that lack armor-piercing abilities, and due to being a melee unit they do not suffer extra damage from melee opponents. With all upgrades on the Tech Tree, they're capable of holding off even several Giant Mooks at once for a while, and they're the best unit at shrugging off certain dangerous attacks such as the Overseer's Macross Missile Massacre.
  • Collision Damage: Present with the Hammergrubs, who trample non-tower units that come into contact with it. In-game, this just causes continuous light damage to units touching it.
  • Composite Character: The Dropgun turret appears to be a mix between Kingdom Rush's Rain of Fire/Thunderbolt and Reinforcements. When summoned, it drops onto an area dealing extremely heavy damage, before attacking enemies with high damage and drawing their attention to it. Like Reinforcements, it's also temporary and expires after it's either defeated or after a period of time.
  • Contractual Boss Immunity: Bosses are immune to instant-kill effects from attacks. There's also the Taskmaster, a mook who is immune to instant kills because it's considered a structure.
  • Contrasting Sequel Antagonist: Within the game itself — each world's villains are contrasting with each other:
    • Sagaan-1 had the Fell, whose motive was to consume and destroy Sagaan-1 and use its resources. They were made of flesh and bone and used Organic Technology.
    • Ascendaar had the Peripheroids, whose motive was to hold VIPs hostage. They were made of metal and circuitry and used lasers and missiles.
    • Borealis had the Raads, whose motive was galactic invasion. They were made of plasma and used Elemental Powers.
  • Corridor Cubbyhole Run: The mission "Great Balls of Ice" has giant snowballs rolling down hills and crashing onto certain areas periodically. Getting directly hit by a snowball or having one roll onto units is a One-Hit Kill for the Iron Marines, Raad, and Fenrir, although troops will only be temporarily frozen if they're near but not directly hit by the snowballs.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Mr. Rob070 vs. The (apparently) last Ascendii. The Ascendii doesn't even get to land a single attack before Rob070 crashes his drones into him to instantly destroy him.
  • Cute Machines: The dropgun turret has a rather simplistic design compared to the rest of the machines, and once it gets the robotic legs upgrade, it gets four small stubby spider legs that only make it look more adorable than deadly.
  • Death-Activated Superpower: Thanks to being unstable plasma in containment suits, Raads tend to have explosive abilities that trigger when they go down. Even their vehicle units have a death-activated ability although it's quite logical (they simply drop their pilot).
  • Decapitated Army: The Fell aliens are ruled by a single entity codenamed "Tyrant". When it's defeated, the rest of the Fell are easily dispatched off. Except not quite — there's another Fell Tyrant cocoon on the planet and one of the Spec Ops missions requires you to destroy it.
  • Degraded Boss:
    • The Fell Bishop turns into one of these. Firstly, it's fought as an end of level boss in Mission 7. Then, it's fought in "A New Despair". Finally, one of the Special Ops missions "The Colour Out of Space" is only accessible after completing the campaign for the first world. In it, you have to fight not one, not two, but three Fell Bishops in the level.
    • Likewise, the Peripheroid Overseer also becomes one of these in the following level. In the Spec Ops mission "Metal Gear", you fight one of them at the end as a boss. The following Spec Ops mission "Rise of the Machine" has you fight two of them partway through the level.
  • Deus Est Machina: The Ascendii were essentially trying to create a God-like figure to guide them when they made Mr. Rob070. Unfortunately, Rob070 turned evil.
  • Difficulty Spike: Mission 4 is generally considered a huge step up in difficulty and acts as a wake-up call level. You need to protect your base on three different fronts, and once those three enemy bases are captured you will need to hold them for 2 minutes where neverending swarms of mooks keep heading towards them, including Hammergrubs.
  • Disintegrator Ray: One upgrade for the laser tower allows it to fire this, and it's a One-Hit Kill on non-boss mooks.
  • Do Not Run with a Gun: Units are unable to attack while on the move, unless they're using a special ability. However, there are exceptions such as the dropgun with the robotic legs upgrade, Mark X whose tank machineguns can fire even on the move, Roy who performs Gun Fu with his dual guns, and Blue Dragon whose aircraft can fire while moving.
  • Dynamic Entry: Dropgun turrets are deployed by being sent towards a selected area at high velocity. This deals very heavy damage to enemies in the area it lands on.
  • Earthquake Machine: In the Mission "Great Balls of Ice", the Raads have built one of these to cause giant snowballs to fall down the mountain, and your job is to destroy it.
  • Elemental Powers: The Raads are plasma-based beings and use the radioactive aspects of plasma. Ion Troopers utilize the ionizing aspects of plasma to charge shields and zap units, Pyron Guards use the heat aspect to set troops on fire with long-range fireballs, Geon Enforcers use the gravitational aspect to levitate earth and use it as armor, and Tachyon Elites use its quantum physics aspect to throw bouncy projectiles, teleport, and create portals on death.
  • Energy Beings: The Raads are the villains of Borealis and are essentially sentient unstable plasma in containment suits that they wear to survive, and said suits are also used to channel their energy into Elemental Powers. Destroying their suits usually tends to have... explosive results. It also turns out that the Hero Unit Fate is a Raad who once fought alongside them but defected for personal reasons.
  • The Engineer:
    • On the Iron Marines' side, we have Engineer army units that can be deployed. Their attack can bounce between enemies, they use an anti-structural laser that is very effective against enemy structures, has the ability to shut down enemy structures temporarily, and can gain the ability to repair your own structures.
    • On the Peripheroids' side, we have System Monitors. These are able to fix other Peripheroids as well as repair Assembly Centers, making them a heavy priority to remove.
  • Escort Mission:
    • There are two variants, one where the player is able to control the escortee to get them to avoid danger, and the other where the escortee cannot be controlled and the player has to keep pace with them.
    • A rather easy one occurs with the Ga'r king. Although he's slow, he has a giant amount of health, can easily deal with most Raad and Fenrir that come his way by virtue of very damaging attacks, and he can heal himself up by eating a chunk of meat.
    • White Fangs has you escort AI-controlled Fenrir and Fenrir Alphas. The good news is that they have much more health than their mook selves, the bad news is that Raad portals will spawn in when they're trying to get to the exit... and being beasts and all, the Fenrir will happily charge into the Raad and try to take them down while getting damaged by the Raad attacks. You can only afford to lose 7 Fenrir in this mission, too.
    • The battle against Nexus consists of three of them back to back, all with a Poor Pace Escortee. You have a Tortugon (a Spider Tank turtle mech) that's slow as molasses, and needs to survive since they have to enter the portal that Nexus leaves behind when you temporarily "beat" him. Several of Nexus' attacks can deal massive damage or outright One-Hit Kill it, and thanks to the poor speed it's hard to avoid damage. You'll be needing lots of micromanagement and a good bit of luck.
  • Everything Fades: Most dead bodies fade rather quickly, with the exception of Peripheroids which take a far longer time to disappear. This is because the discarded bodies of Jackbots can be "revived" by Oculus mooks that fuse with and reanimate them, and Inductors can turn any Peripheroid wreckage on the ground into an explosive bomb.
  • Evil Is Visceral: The Fell appear to be a very fleshy and bony Horde of Alien Locusts. Areas infested with them tend to have lots of Meat Moss.
  • Exploding Barrels: Volatile Spore pods in Borealis act like this. Shoot them and they blow up for heavy damage, and said explosions can also cause chain reactions with other volatile spores. Keep your units away from them, and shoot them if a group of enemies get near them.
  • Fire, Ice, Lightning: The third world, Borealis has this in effect. The evil Raad are plasma-based beings that use electrical and fiery weaponry, whereas the good Ga'r who are fighting them use ice-based weapons and even huge chunks of ice.
  • Fire/Water Juxtaposition: Mixed in with Lightning/Fire Juxtaposition. The plasma Energy Being Raads are in a war with the yeti-like Ga'r who use ice- and snow-based weaponry.
  • The Goomba: Vilerunners, which have a weak melee attack and have the lowest health in the game. Strangely enough, they're the second enemy type you face, the first being the medium-ranged Fellplague which are more than twice as tough and still quite the pushover.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: The Fell in the first episode were fleeing from the Raad and their leader Nexus. Later on, it also appears that Nexus may be working for an even greater threat.
  • Guys Smash, Girls Shoot:
    • The longest range army units are the female snipers as compared to the male Rangers and Engineers who have a far shorter range.
    • The longest range mech units are the female-piloted Shellstorm as compared to the mid-range Flamewalker and the melee tank Brawler, both with male pilots.
    • Zig-Zagged with the Emyprean units. While the straight-up melee Guardians are male, the female units are the support class Diplomats, while the ranged units are the male Channelers.
    • Among heroes, almost all the female Heroes are ranged units. The only exception to this is Guiying, who has ranged attacks but fares better in melee combat.
  • Hero Unit: The player controls one, who has more health and better capabilities than most other troops.
  • King Mook: Alpha Fenrirs are these to the Fenrirs, having more damage and HP while also sporting a stealth ability.
  • Killer Robot: The Peripheroids fought in the second world are mechanical enemies with single red eyes, lasers, missiles, and support abilities. They're also hostile and are led by a megalomaniacal AI.
  • Last of His Kind: The Ascendii that you save at the end of "The Last of Them" is revealed to be the last of their race after the (apparent) last one got trashed by Mr. ROB070.
  • Lightning/Fire Juxtaposition: The Raads are plasma-based beings in containment suits, and two of their troops tend to come in two elemental flavours that represent the ionizing and heat aspects of plasma. In contrast, the Ga'r who are allies with you use Ice.
  • Living Weapon: According to lore, a number of the Fell aliens use "Worm guns" for combat. They insert Etherium into the bodies of trained worms which they then control as bone- or goop- launching guns.
  • Mecha-Mooks: All the Peripheroids in the second world are these and as a result have varying levels of armor. and a good number of them have armor-piercing lasers. They appear in smaller numbers than the Fell Aliens, however.
  • Mêlée à Trois: On Borealis, the Iron Marines and Ga'r have to face off against the invading Raad as well as native wildlife in the form of Fenrirs. Both the Raad and the Fenrirs will also attack each other. This is even seen in the artwork for Borealis, where the Fenrir attack both the Raad and the Ga'r. Notably, in Borealis' third mission, you might actually want the Raad to take over the first control point since their aerial flame units are very effective against the constant streams of Fenrirs that are Weak to Fire. This is averted in the missions "White Fangs" and "Dances With Wolves", in the former the Fenrir are allied with you, in the latter they're allied with the Raad.
  • Mighty Glacier: Dr. Graaff. His regular attack power is extremely high in Assault Mode, being able to destroy enemy structures and high HP mooks in very few shots, and that's not counting his Attack Drones. However, he's the slowest Hero Unit in the game and said regular attack has a slow interval between shots. In Assist Mode, he's a Stone Wall.
  • Mini-Mecha: One of the three unit classes that can be spawned. They tend to be very durable and have incredible attacking power, but they're costly and you only can spawn one in a squad, meaning that if it dies you'll have to buy another one unless you gain the upgrade that allows them to respawn.
  • Mook Maker:
    • Spawning pods and Assembly Centers are these, creating Fell aliens and Peripheroids respectively.
    • The Taskmaster spawns numerous weak flying Oculus Attack Drones and is considered a structure when it comes to damage. It does come with an Area of Effect electrical attack, though.
    • The Spammer is an Airborne Mook that spawns Inductors, electrical mooks with an Area of Effect attack. The unit itself doesn't attack.
    • Raad Carrier Assembly Centers spawn empty Raad Carriers, which aren't a threat until a Raad boards them.
    • Raad Portals spawn 1-4 Raads if not targeted and destroyed in time.
    • The Tachyon Elite Raad will spawn a Raad portal when he's killed, said portal can spawn Raads if not beaten in time.
  • Mook Medic:
    • The System Monitors can heal other Jackbots near them. Since the Peripheroids and their structures are all mechanical, it also means that it serves as The Engineer to them, and can thus repair destroyed Assembly Centers too.
    • When Ion Trooper Raads are killed, they explode into a wave of energy that gives a short but potent Regenerating Health status to all other ground-bound Raads nearby. This makes groups of them very annoying to face.
  • Mook Mobile: Raad Carriers are vehicles that Raads can board in order to attack from the air. If defeated, they release their pilot.
  • Never Bring a Gun to a Knife Fight: Ranged units take extra damage from melee attacks, making it crucial to keep them away from melee units at all costs. This is doubly true against Fenrir, who deal 250% damage to ranged units. The exception to this are Rangers and Trabuco with his "Clash Royale" upgrade. This trope also applies to ranged enemies, which your melee Guardians will make mincemeat out of... if those enemies aren't flying.
  • No Casualties Run: The Special Ops mission "The Last Of Them" gives you an Army squad, and Empyrean squad, and a Mech unit. All of them are on separate "paths", and all three squads must be kept alive to activate switches until the final objective otherwise the level is failed. Thankfully, as long as the entire squad isn't wiped out, you're still ok.
  • Oh, Crap!: Raad Pyron Guards get this expression when their containment suit fails once they lose all HP, since they know they're going to explode in seconds. Get your troops and heroes away if you see this happen.
  • One-Hit Kill: There are several units, abilities, and enemies that can perform this:
    • The Snipers get a Lethal Weapon ability that has a chance of instantly killing a mook.
    • Channelers get a Gravitational Singularity ability that gives them a chance of instantly killing a mook.
    • The Laser turrets have a Death Ray upgrade that allows them to use a Disintegrator Ray which instantly kills mooks.
    • Sha'tra returns from Kingdom Rush Frontiers along with his Abduct skill, which does this to a single target.
    • At the silver tier upgrade, Blue Dragon's Ultrablast gains a chance to instantly destroy enemies, affected by her charge. At full charge, it's 50% — not that most things would survive it at that point.
    • The Tyrant has an attack where it charges up before firing a huge Etherium blast at the base you're at. It's so powerful that it takes out both your towers and the base in one go. Naturally, if he uses it during the third phase where he's in front of your main base, it's an instant loss.
    • Suppressors on Ascendaar are sniper robots whose attacks pierce all armor and deal so much damage that only a Brawler will survive. Everything else on your side including Heroes are instantly killed from full HP.
    • On Ascendaar, there are trash compactor devices that will instantly flatten (and pretty much remove from battle) any unit or mook that gets crushed under it.
    • Likewise, the incinerator instantly kills units that get caught in the flames, causing them to disappear without leaving any body behind.
    • Alpha Fenrirs will instantly kill most ranged units and even some ranged heroes if they manage to attack them while stealthed.
    • During the mission to destroy the Fenrir lair, you need to destroy the ice keeping the bone supports up. When you do that, the support falls down... and if any units or heroes are near it, they go splat instantly with no chance of auto-revival.
    • The following mission has giant snowballs that roll or crash down onto certain areas. Any units, Raad forces or Fenrirs hit directly by them will be killed, but those who are in the splash radius (of those that crash and disappear) will get temporarily frozen, but otherwise fine.
    • Nexus' meteor rain attack will target your Tortugon and instantly kill units who are caught in the radius, and it's an instant loss should your Tortugon get hit. It gives you ample warning and has a noticeable lag time, but the very slow speed of the Tortugon can compound things.
  • Painfully Slow Projectile: Quantum Carriers fire out a large, very slow-moving purple energy ball at your units, towers, and hero. Said energy ball deals very high constant damage to everything it contacts, before exploding the area around it for even more massive damage.
  • Parrying Bullets: Guardians have a chance to deflect lasers shot at them with their psi blades, just like how lightsabers deflect lasers in a similar manner.
  • Physical, Mystical, Technological:
    • The three types of deployable troops. Army units are the "Physical", base humans in armor and wield guns. Empyreans are the "Mystical", being Telepathic Space Elves with Psychic Powers. Finally, Mechs are the "Technological", being mechs with high-tech weapons and drones.
    • The three villain factions so far count as well. Fell are the Physical, relying on Organic Technology, fast growth rate and brute force. Peripheroids are the Technological, relying on their lasers, machines and tech. Raad are the Mystical, being Energy Beings who use the plasma they're made of to control Elemental Powers.
  • Rock Beats Laser: Subverted and played straight on Borealis.
    • The primitive Ga'r were being outmatched by the technologically-advanced Raad until the Iron Marines came to their rescue. That said, the Ga'r combat units can hold their own against small groups of Raads.
    • The Ga'r King can easily take on the Raad and their combat vehicles with just a huge battlehammer and by throwing very painful chunks of ice at them. He's also defensively capable of tanking their laser and plasma attacks and healing from them via eating a huge chunk of meat.
    • There's also the Fenrirs, who are wild wolf-like aliens that can hold their own against most Raad thanks to sheer numbers. The Alpha Fenrirs are capable of tearing the Raad and the Iron Marines apart with nothing but tooth and claw.
  • Savage Wolves: Fenrir are alien wolves that inhabit Borealis. They're weak but fast and attack in packs, and they run away if they're set on fire. Their alphas have stealth capabilities and need to be tapped to target them.
  • Sequential Boss:
    • The Fell Tyrant has three phases to it, each time being fought at a different base. After depleting a small amount of health at the first base, it charges up a good bit and delivers a One-Hit Kill on everything there, before moving to the second base. After getting it to about 1/2 its health or so, it'll do the same to your second base. The final fight takes place at your main base, where you'll need to damage it quickly enough especially once it reaches low health, since it'll attempt to use said One-Hit Kill to take out your main base for an instant loss.
    • MR. ROB070, the current final boss has three phases. The first phase summons airborne drones that can suicide rush the player's units while firing lasers everywhere. The second phase keeps the drones but removes their suicide rush, and also summons a high-HP ground unit with heavy area splash damage projectiles and can permanently disable a tower building spot. The third phase does away with the flunkies entirely, instead alternating using a barrage of laser shots at your units/buildings and a Chasing Your Tail laser that fries troops that get caught in its point of impact, and at 3/4 of its health or lower it uses two of said chasing beams.
  • Sentry Gun: The Dropgun. The player can drop it onto a group of mooks to deal great damage, and it will then begin to rapid-fire at the enemies for very good damage. Mooks will also try to attack it instead, allowing it to Draw Aggro, and it also has a decent amount of health. Even better, there's a robotic legs upgrade that allows them to walk around like a mini Spider Tank.
  • Signature Roar: Alpha Fenrirs will make a sound that appears to be a cross between a snarl and a howl whenever they spawn. This is to alert the player that a potentially deadly Stealthy Mook is in the area.
  • Smashing Hallway Traps of Doom:
    • Compactors are one of the hazards on Ascendaar and they instantly kill any unit who is under them when they activate. Thankfully there's always a warning light that counts up to three before they activate.
    • Giant snowballs of all things have this function in Borealis.
  • Sound-Effect Bleep: When Kara uses her Gyro-Barrage, she shouts "Get away from me, you *BLEEP*!"
  • Space Marine: The Hero Unit you play as well as the summonable human units are all part of a Space Marine organization.
  • Spiritual Sequel: To Kingdom Rush, as it has very similar but expanded objectives as compared to its predecessor.
  • Stealth-Based Mission:
    • One Spec Ops mission has you control three Mech Pilots (without their mech units) through some laser traps and a few weak peripheroids, then avoiding a dangerous patrol of Taskmasters. Considering that the mission is named "Metal Gear", this is intentional.
    • Another Spec Ops mission, "The Great Escape" has you control a lone Fate deep in Peripheroid territory where her Invisibility Cloak is highly recommended to proceed against the several Suppressors (which will snipe and instakill her if she's in the open), Taskmaster and Surge Protector.
  • Stealthy Mook: Alpha Fenrirs cannot be detected until they engage combat, but you can tap them if you want your units to attack them. Also, when stealthed, their attack becomes a One-Hit Kill on most ranged units including heroes. Thankfully, you will always hear the sound of a snarling howl every time one is spawned.
  • Stop Poking Me!: A variation — keep tapping your hero's portrait (not the hero themselves) during a mission and you'll get an achievement for doing this trope. Each hero gives two different responses.
  • Support Party Member: Diplomats can't deal any damage (until they get the Tulpa Sentry upgrade, and even then it's not too strong) but what they can do is provide shields on your troops and Hero (which grants invincibility for a short while), and stun enemies by shooting energy balls at them. The Tulpa Sentries they create also count as attackable units and can act as a distraction for enemies to fire at.
  • Tactical Rock–Paper–Scissors: Melee > Ranged > Flying > Melee. Melee units deal extra damage to ranged units but cannot hit flying units, while Ranged units can attack flying units but suffer extra damage from melee.
  • Time-Limit Boss: The Tyrant becomes one of these in his final phase. After he burrows a few times, he'll get ready a One-Hit Kill on your main base (which is also what he uses to wreck your previous two bases) and if you fail to defeat him before he fires, it's an instant loss.
  • Tower Defence: Several missions have a very similar feel to Kingdom Rush where mooks go down set paths where towers and squad units attack them.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: The Fell Bishop is the first boss-level enemy you'll face and it definitely shows that the game isn't kidding around. It's fast, durable, and extremely painful with its area hitting acid spit attack, and its huge amounts of health means that it'll take a long time to defeat. To make matters worse, there's also several flunkies assaulting your bases and your units from all directions. You'll need very careful planning and the proper team composition in order to defeat it. To hammer the point home, its enemy profile even says that it's "Definitely a foe not to trifle with".
  • Wall Master: Grimcrushers are Fell that disguise themselves as rocks at first glance, until the player either gets near or an Event Flag is triggered.
  • Was Once a Man: The Mindbane Fell are humans who have undergone etherium experimentation by the Fell, and their human nature erased, turning them into mindless mutated humanoid monstrosities with energy shockwaves.
  • Weak to Fire: When set on fire, Fenrir will run around haphazardly and will not attack units until they stop burning. Subverted by their Alphas, who are undeterred by flames.
  • We Can Rebuild Him: The Special Ops missions that are unlocked after Mr. Rob070 is defeated have the Peripheroids trying to rebuild him under the direction of their Overseers. Naturally, the Iron Marines have to make sure this doesn't come to pass.
  • With Catlike Tread: Alpha Fenrirs are stealthed units that will avoid the attention of other units until they attack and even deal massive damage when stealthed. They also make their presence known by giving off a very loud snarling howl every time one spawns.
  • Zerg Rush:
    • Basic attack strategy used by Fellplague, Vilerunners, and Fellswarms. The Flamewalker's Herd-Hitting Attack that also deals Damage Over Time is excellent at dealing with their huge swarms. Jackbots also do this to a lesser extent, with the bonus of having faster firing rate if they're near each other.
    • Borealis has the native Fenrir wolves which also attack in huge packs. Thankfully, they're far less durable than the invading Raad.


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