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Video Game / Kameo: Elements of Power

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Kameo: Elements Of Power was a launch title for the Xbox 360, originally developed by Rare initially as a Nintendo GameCube launch title (early plans for it to be a Nintendo 64 game were quickly scuttled), then transitioned to the Xbox and pushed further back and finally released for the Xbox 360 in 2005. Kameo is a bizarre hybrid of Beat 'em Up and Zelda-style Action-Adventure puzzler.

The main premise is that Kameo, one of the princesses of the elves, receives the family's cherished transformation magic instead of her older sister Kalus. Kalus, infuriated that her younger and adopted sister got the powers and not her, frees the king of the trolls, Thorn from his imprisonment and kidnaps the rest of their family. Kameo attempts to rescue her family by storming the castle directly, but gets hit so hard she gets her powers knocked right out of her. This sends her on a quest to restore her powers, rescue her family, and defeat Thorn and Kalus.


Kameo's Transformation magic lets her transform into 10 Elemental warriors of Fire, Water, Earth, Wood, and Ice. The warriors are:

  • Pummel Weed: A boxing plant with the ability to burrow into the ground.
  • Rubble: A pile of sentient magnetic rocks.
  • Ash: A fire-breathing dragon.
  • Major Ruin: A cross between an armadillo and an elephant that curls up into a rolling, spike-covered ball.
  • Deep Blue: A humanoid octopus who can swim, create whirlpools, and shoot gasoline, torpedoes, and water.
  • Chilla: An icicle-tossing, wall-climbing yeti.
  • Flex: A sea-lily with super-stretching powers.
  • 40 Below: An ice-man.
  • Snare: An acid-spitting venus flytrap.
  • Thermite: A fire-ant that pushes around a giant egg made of magma from which he shoots miniature thermonuclear explosions.

Curiously, the game seems to be a bit schizophrenic about its target audience. It is about an elvish fairy princess living in a rainbow-colored palace in the clouds, who engages in Lord of the Rings-style battles, and which tracks the carnage and bloodshed she creates in battle. This is likely a result of its long development cycle and the fact that it was shuffled from one system to another on multiple occasions, which in turn led to the game's development going off in different directions at different points in time.


This game provides examples of:

  • Alliterative Family: The sisters, Kameo and Kalus.
  • An Ice Person:
    • 40 Below is a humanoid ice creature with a snowball in place of legs.
    • Chilla, a yeti with ice spikes protruding from his back that he can spikes Trolls on and rip out to climb ice walls.
    • Queen Thyra appears to be composed of ice, and is capable of raining icicles down on the player.
    • Ice Trolls, which can generate a shield of ice and blast a beam of ice from it.
    • Ice Warriors, highly agile swordsmen composed of ice.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: Alternate skins unlockable for Kameo and her transformations - many of which are quite creative such as Ash as a Grffin, Rubble as a pile of skulls, or Pummel Weed as Mumbo Jumbo.
  • Attack Its Weak Point:
    • Both Lord Drok and Corralis play with this; Lord Drok's weak spot simply paralyses him briefly, coaxing Magmites out of hiding to be used to damage him, while Corralis's tentacle orbs can only be targeted underwater. Queen Thyra plays this very straight however; the player needs to systematically remove her eyes and kill them separately to render her blind.
    • Played straight with the powerful Armored Troll minibosses, which can usually only be damaged by attacking their jaw (a well-placed chandelier above them notwithstanding).
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: Thorn and Kalus.
  • Boss Arena Idiocy: Surprisingly this is largely an Averted Trope, though there are a few arguable examples.
    • Shadow Trolls lure Kameo to the Shadow Realm to battle her. On one hand, this realm contains Lost Souls, whose light energy Kameo can extract to damage the Shadow Trolls. On the other hand, Kameo can't transform here, making her a much easier target for the Shadow Trolls to kill.
    • Old Mawood's arena is littered with explosive shells, though these don't actually harm him, even though they're vital in the battle.
    • Corralis naturally would have been invincible in his arena, if it weren't for the Trolls helping him out by firing explosive plants at you.
  • Broken Bridge: You can only reach certain areas using the abilities of different Warriors.
  • Bullet Time: Warrior Focus, which is only activated after a good combo.
  • Cain and Abel: Kalus and Kameo, respectively, with the twist that Kameo is actually adopted.
  • Can't Argue with Elves: The elves used to be real assholes, wiping out the lizard-people, the Sargothans, and enslaving the Goblins, as well as exploiting the Trolls - they cleaned up their act, but it bites them in the ass, anyway.
  • Casting a Shadow: Shadow Trolls appear to be formed completely out of darkness.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Actually a game mechanic; these are appropriately called "Brutal" kills, and include:
    • Cutting a troll to pieces with Pummel Weed.
    • Slinging rocks at a troll captured by a vine.
    • Incinerating a troll with Ash or Thermite.
    • Drowning them on land with Deep Blue.
    • Drenching them with oil using Deep Blue and then setting that ablaze.
    • Impaling them on your back spikes as Chilla and then throwing them to their doom.
    • Flinging them onto spikes.
    • Knocking them into lava.
    • Knocking them into the sea.
    • Knocking them off a precipice.
    • Devouring them as either Deep Blue or Snare.
    • Electrocuting them with Flex.
    • Freezing them solid with 40 Below or Chilla and then shattering them.
    • Sucking them in with Thermite and then blasting them out in an explosion that rips them to pieces.
  • Dark Is Evil: Shadow Trolls.
  • Dual Boss: Thorn and Kalus; the latter of whom shows up to revive him after you deplete his health. You have to knock Kalus out quickly to prevent this and end the fight.
  • Electric Jellyfish: The Water Temple boss, Corralis, who primarily attacks by generating electrical beams.
  • Elemental Powers: Duh. To wit, there's five in total; Rock, Forest, Ice, Water, and Fire.
  • Elemental Shapeshifter: Kameo and her (adopted) lineage.
  • Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: During the battle at the Fire Shrine, Kameo can steal a raptor from the trolls, which unfortunately is the only time the player will get to ride it.
  • Eye Candy: Almost all of the game looks absolutely gorgeous and colorful; the Enchanted Kingdom in particular.
  • Feed It a Bomb: Variation, you shoot bits of your spiked rock-body into the mouth of Old Mawood to kill him.
  • Final Boss: Thorn.
  • Foe-Tossing Charge: The horse and dinosaur are capable of this; sprinting will allow them to barrel through Trolls and send them flying effortlessly.
  • Gender Bender: All of the transformations are male, Kameo is a girl.
  • Gotta Catch 'Em All: The Elemental Sprites.
  • Happily Adopted: Kameo is revealed to be this midway through the story.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Kalus pulls one on Thorn after she has a change of heart during the final battle. She turns him back into stone by kissing him, which also does the same to her. Their fused statue then falls off of Thorn's Airship and into the sea.
  • Hub Level: The Enchanted Kingdom. Also the Badlands, where you can access the other three kingdoms.
  • Jiggle Physics: While there is no real jiggle action in the game itself, just take a quick peek at Kalus' chest at one point in the opening cinematic to the game. You'll know it when you see it.
  • Lady of War: Kameo herself.
  • Last of His Kind: Last of her Kind: The Mystic is the last of the Sargothans.
  • Light Is Not Good: Lost Souls are composed of light energy, but are hostile to Kameo.
  • Magical Girl: Kameo, given her transformation shtick (though it's a variant from the usual), elven heritage, and retractable wings.
  • Magic Versus Science: Wait, the trolls have actual technology on their side? Not like that's going to stop you.
  • Making a Splash:
    • Deep Blue, who can both spray water while on land and melt into a pool.
    • Flex, a stringy and agile tentacled Warrior who can skate over water.
    • Water Trolls are composed of water, and require being drenched with Deep Blue to be solidified.
  • Man Behind the Man: The Mystic.
  • Mushroom Man:
    • Pummel Weed is a humanoid Venus Flytrap.
    • Snare resembles a potted plant gone walkabout.
    • The denizens of the Forgotten Forest glade are humanoid flowers.
    • Plant Trolls are twisted vines vaguely shaped into the form of Trolls.
    • Old Mawood is a massive tree with a face on the trunk and large branches for arms.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Kameo and Kalus both qualify.
    • Kameo is quite attractive, with a revealing two-piece outfit, in addition to her unlockable skins.
    • Kalus is very voluptuous and wears a tight, revealing dress.
  • Mysterious Protector: Farron, a young knight.
  • One-Word Title: Kameo is the Protagonist Title, with a The X of Y, sub-title, "Elements of Power", which are how she fights.
  • Our Dragons Are Different:
    • Ash, the first Fire Warrior, is a landlocked dragon with stubby wings.
    • The trolls use wyverns, though the game calls them dragons.
  • Our Elves Are Different: The elves have retractable fairy-style wings allowing them to fly. And the male elves are ridiculously buff, being 80% rippling forearms, almost gorilla-like in appearance.
  • Our Goblins Are Different: They are floating, fur-colored, fairy-like creatures covered in pastel colors with bunny ears who serve the elves.
  • Our Orcs Are Different: Well, they're called Trolls, but they're obviously intended to be orcs, given their capability with machines.
  • Playing with Fire:
    • Ash, a fire-breathing flightless dragon.
    • Thermite, a tiny bug carrying a cauldron of lava.
    • Fire Imps and Fire Trolls, which are constantly engulfed in flames unless Deep Blue puts them out.
  • Powers as Programs: All abilities cost Spirit; each Warrior has a separate Spirit gauge. This can be affected depending on the Crystal Eye you have equipped at the time.
  • Puzzle Boss: All of the bosses save Thorn and Kalus, who just need to be hit a lot.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: The Elemental Sprites are all pretty much this.
  • Rock Monster:
    • Rubble, a pile of sentient rocks.
    • Major Ruin, a tapir armadillo that can roll into a ball.
    • Rock Trolls, which are giants formed from boulders.
    • Stone Golems, giants with stony skin that can unleash tremors.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something:
    • The elvish royal family. Well, Kameo and the King, anyway. Lenya seizes the initiative to conceal Chilla from the Trolls after Thorn knocks him out of Kameo though.
    • Queen Thyra attacks Kameo as she traverses the Snow Temple before her boss fight.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Thorn, the Troll King.
  • Sequel Hook: The Mystic turning evil at the last second. But considering how flaky Rare is with sequels, don't expect it to happen in the lifetimes of you or your children.
  • Sleep-Mode Size: The Elemental Warriors while not part of Kameo's repertoire are in a form called Elemental Sprites. They appear as small Ridiculously Cute Critters the size of a puppy.
  • Shout-Out: Many to Rare's earlier games.
  • Studded Shell: Major Ruin, an armadillo-like creature who can roll into a stone ball, can be upgraded to have spikes on his shell.
  • Taken for Granite: Multiple:
    • Thorn
    • After some story, Kalus.
  • Took a Level in Badass: By the climax, Kameo is far more powerful than she was at the start of the game as a result of assembling all ten Warriors.
  • Treacherous Advisor: The Mystic, obviously. She's the last Sargothian, the lizard-people the elves wiped out to get the Elements in the first place.
  • Videogame Cruelty Potential: Kameo can kill Trolls in a LOT of differently gruesome ways. These include, among many others, eating them, spearing them and then ramming them into the ground (as in, into), drowning them inside you, knocking them into conveniently placed lava pits, etc. Also, Thermite shoots napalm.
    • Videogame Cruelty Punishment: You can hit innocent bystanders. If you hit them enough though, they will retaliate, and it takes a bit off of your life.
  • Villainous Princess: The elven princess Kalus sided with Thorn, king of the trolls, and helps him kidnap the rest of her family when her rightful claim to the throne was passed onto her adoptive sister Kameo.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Kameo's primary ability.
  • The X of Y: The game's subtitle, "Elements of Power", which is what Kameo uses to fight.

Alternative Title(s): Kameo