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Video Game / K.O.L.M.

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Youíre a broken robot. Fix yourself up to please Mother.
Do as youíre told.
You donít want to let her down, and you canít even jump yet. Letís do something about that.

K.O.L.M. is a flash game made in the Metroidvania style in which you play as a robot trying to rebuild itself. It's also very melancholy and creepy. As you traverse the various levels, Mother begins to speak to you and as the game unfolds, she becomes increasingly mean and angry. You unravel the story of how you came to be and what happened before you woke up broken.

There is also now a sequel: K.O.L.M 2 in which you meet Father and Sister.

A Kickstarter was made to help raise funds for its long awaited conclusion and remakes of the first two games. Sadly, it failed.The author did reveal what the plot of the third game would have been about here, however, allowing for some closure.

This game provides examples of

  • 100% Completion: There a bunch of metal plates to collect in each game, each with a letter on them. Each game puts them all together at the end. The first game spells "It's Kind Of Like Metroid". The second game spells "Including ICO".
  • Abusive Parents: Mother becomes increasingly irritable at Robbie as the game continues, repeatedly telling him what a disappointment and how useless he is.
  • Ambiguous Innocence: Robbie would never do something intentionally evil, but he really only knows what Mother has told him and what his limited experience has taught him.
  • Bag of Spilling: Largely averted between K.O.L.M. and K.O.L.M. 2, though the invincibility shield is gone without an explanation.
  • Big Bad: Mother in both games and Father in the second.
  • Big Bad Friend: In the second game Father, who'd seemed to be ally, turns out to have been working with Mother the whole time.
  • Bolivian Army Ending: The end of K.O.L.M. 2: Robbie is either thrown to the lower floor or destroyed, with the screen fading to white as Mother tells Sister that it's time to 'Join the family'. Did she escape? Did Robbie survive? It doesn't look good, but nothing is certain.
  • Brain Uploading: Everyone except Sister. But she's next.
  • BrotherĖSister Team: Robbie and Sis team up to get past the numerous environmental obstacles in second game- Robbie can blast open gold and purple doors that Sis can't and survive prolonged periods in even contaminated water, while Sis can past through the harsh sunlight without burning up like Robbie.
  • Children Are Innocent: Robbie certainly is; how old he is isn't clear, but his smallness compared to the environments and his naivety certainly make him seem quite young. Sadly, this innocence means that he doesn't realize when other people are using him for their own ends- see Unwitting Pawn below.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Implied by Sister's reaction to what Robbie says in the second game.
    Sister: Robbie, you do say silly things.
  • Collapsing Lair: Taking the core causes the lair to collapse within 3 minutes. It's also optional.
  • Color-Coded Characters: Mother is green, Father is yellow, Robbie is gray, and Sister is white; they all even talk in these colors.
  • Cute Bruiser: Robbie at the end of the first game; once he's been upgraded a few times, he can blast through anything that moves and survive falling into a pit of spikes without a scratch. While he's not as tough and there isn't as much combat in the second game, he's still strong enough to blast through doors and can turn himself into a living bomb to blow up weak walls.
  • Cute Mute: Robbie's lost his voice-box and communicates only through text-based means (this is reflected in the Kickstarter tech demo. where the audio accompanying his dialogue is unintelligible and filled with heavy static), though it isn't a problem until the second game and he needs to talk to Sis. After he regains it, this trope no longer applies to him.
  • Dead All Along: Rob comes to this realization concerning his parents during the first game's Escape Sequence:
    Rob: I remember this from before! This is what happened before Father died! And...From when before...before you died Mother.
  • Double Jump: The double and triple jumps are justified as a jetpack upgrade.
  • 11th-Hour Superpower: Invulnerability is obtained at the near the end of the game, making it easy to run past hazards and spikes.
  • Enemy Mine: K.O.L.M. 2 makes it obvious Mother and Father can't stand each other... but they show up together at the end to take you out.
  • The Faceless: Mother and Father are always shown as silhouettes of heads.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Robbie continues not to question Mother even when she talks about how they'll rule the world with the power he's gotten.
  • Light Is Not Good: In the second game, sunlight burns Robbie away within seconds, even with the shield.
  • Metroidvania: It is Kind Of Like Metroid...
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: The first game has you blowing up the reactor, triggering a Metroid-esque timed escape. The second game has you escorting your sister to Father, at which point it becomes clear this was a bad idea.
  • No Name Given: The robot is called "Robbie", "Robert", and so on, but the only other characters are only ever referred to as "Mother", "Father" and your "Sister".
  • Offscreen Teleportation: When traveling with Sister in the second game, you can move to the next room with either Robbie or Sister, and the other will instantly appear in the next room with you. Even if they were trapped by an impassable obstacle.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: If you take a hit, you explode and respawn at the entrance of the current room.
  • Pulling Themselves Together: The goal of the first game is accomplish this, since your body parts were somehow scattered around the facility and you need to get them back.
  • Robot Kid: Robbie, who's obviously childlike despite being a moving square. Turns out he is a kid, just one who was put in a robot body.
  • Scoring Points: The player is given points based on item collection, then has points deducted for time taken and deaths.
  • Super Drowning Skills: Although not instantaneous, Sis will still drown in water quickly if you don't find an air tank. It is instantaneous if the water is contaminated.
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: Robbie is concerningly cheerful about the prospect of fighting and killing his 'brothers' in order to survive.
  • TV Head Robot: Mother and Father, though they only appear at the end of the second game. This actually makes them seem more creepy than the obviously non-human Robbie.
  • Unwilling Roboticisation: What Mother and Father want to do to Sister.
  • Using You All Along: In both games, though clearer in the second game where you have a definite goal: reunite Sis with Father. Turns out it was so he could forcibly turn her into a robot.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Robbie in both games; both times he obeys his parents to fulfill a plan he doesn't fully understand, and which turns out to be awful for everyone else.
  • The Voice: In the original game, Mother is only contacted through the texts she and Robbie exchange.
  • Voice with an Internet Connection: Mother explains what Robbie needs to do and offers some advice, though it quickly becomes clear that Mission Control Is Off Its Meds.
    • Father in K.O.L.M. 2 is a more down-to-earth one, though it's necessary to go to the section of the building where he can't contact you.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: How does a robot with enough agility to crawl through holes half its height, lasers powerful enough to blow away any other robot in one hit, and the ability to triple jump, somehow blow up on contact with sunlight?
    • Possibly justified, due to his chassis not having the proper shielding installed to deal with the apparently harsh sunlight. But Sister can walk around just fine, and she's a normal human.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: Robbie's mother clearly has no respect for him. And at the end of the sequel, his father turns out to be a pretty terrible person as well.
  • Who Needs Their Whole Body?: You function fine as a disembodied head at the beginning of the first game, though until you regain the lost body parts the corresponding mechanics are hampered: you move very slowly until you find your legs, the screen is blurry until you get your eyes...
  • Wham Episode: K.O.L.M. 2. You discover that your father is alive and that you have a sister for starters.
  • Wham Line: In the first game, when Robbie recollects about the past:
    Robbie: ...I was made of meat.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Mother and Father have no qualms about throwing Robbie away once he's finished his part in their plans, and plan to turn Sister into a robot like them against her will.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: At the end of the second game.
    Father: You'd suit us better out of the way.
  • You Have Researched Breathing: Robbie needs two upgrades in order to do the equivalent of crawling. Before that, he is still able to shuffle around before he gets his legs.