Follow TV Tropes


Video Game / Lethal League

Go To

Lethal League is an indie Platform Fighter created by Dutch developer Team Reptile. It was originally a flash game, but it developed over time into what it is today. The game was released on Steam on August 27, 2014. The object of the game involves up to four players hitting the ball back and forth against one another in order to knock the opponents out of the arena. As the ball gets more hits, it will fly at faster speeds. The game launched with five characters: Raptor, Switch, Candyman, Sonata, and Latch. A new character, Dice, was added on November 8, 2014. The game's site can be found here.

In September 2017, a sequel, Lethal League Blaze, was announced for release on October 24, 2018, the teaser for which can be found here. This game added six newcomers (four were included at launch, with the other two being added in later updates): Nitro, an ex-cop; Grid, a colorful mafioso; Jet, a freewheeling skater; Toxic, an enigmatic graffiti artist; Dust, an undead prisoner with a Living Shadow, and the now-fully playable Doombox, bringing the total playable cast to eleven. It iterates on the formula of the prior game by adding throws to compliment bunts, hits, and specials, a new health meter to avert one-hit kills early in a burst, added a number of new game options including items, and has a tremendous improvement in visuals. The single player has also been developed into a full-fledged story mode that sheds light on the setting. Set in Shine City, a city ruled by the Tri-Government, the story sees several characters as they prepare to square off with each other in the upcoming underground sport, the titular Lethal League, while a shadowy conspiracy devoted to shutting it down for good evolves amongst them.

This game provides examples of:

  • 2.5D: While the first game uses sprites on a 2D background, the sequel ditches that in favour of 3D models on a 2D plane, complete with fancy camera angles whenever someone gets hit with a particularly powerful attack à la Guilty Gear Xrd.
  • Absurdly-Spacious Sewer: The sewer stage, naturally. It returns for the sequel.
  • Alliterative Title: Lethal League.
  • All There in the Manual: The bios for each character can be found on the game's website.
  • Art Evolution: The models, animations and backgrounds in Blaze are considerably improved over the first game, with the characters moving more fluidly and the backgrounds being fully realized 3D assets with moving props as opposed to just being semi-static sprites.
  • Back Stab: A swing only hits in front of you, so sending the ball past the opponent and bouncing into his back is an effective way to score.
  • Badass Normal: Raptor, Sonata, and Dice.
    • The sequel adds in Jet, Nitro, and Toxic for good measure.
  • Barefoot Cartoon Animal: Latch is modestly-dressed for a crocodile, bearing a hoodie, some sweatpants, and a beanie cap, but leaves his hands and feet bare. Justified in that he then uses his exposed sharp claws to hang onto walls.
  • Batter Up!: Raptor uses his baseball bat to hit the ball.
  • Battle Amongst the Flames: Paradise Field is set on fire if the ball's speed gets high enough or if it's the final battle in Arcade/Story Mode.
  • Battle in the Rain: The pool stage becomes this when the ball reaches ridiculous speeds.
  • Beating A Dead Player: Players can strike opponents out of the arena after they have been knocked out. Some characters can use their specials on them too, such as Raptor, Grid, and Latch. Latch is a special case in that he can actually swallow a defeated opponent. It gets especially hilarious if the player bunts the opponent, which will send them flying upwards into the air.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: Candyman may be a bit wacky, but he can be quite tricky and powerful as the other players.
  • Blood Sport: The titular Lethal League itself. With balls going at speeds of Mach 1, it's no wonder that the entire sport was banned. In fact, someone was even killed during one game, causing the ban in the first place and sending it underground.
  • Boring, but Practical: Bunting, which strikes the ball back into its neutral phase and temporarily slows it down a bit. While it doesn't really add any power to the ball, it will come in handy when it's going at near the speed of sound and you need to slow it down unless you want to get KO'd. And in Blaze, it will also tag it into your color, making it your own.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: In Blaze's story mode, Latch puts a mind-control mixtape into Doombox, unwittingly at the behest of the Safety League, that turns him into a mindless specter of violence.
  • Breath Weapon: Latch's special shot, sort of. He basically eats the ball and then spits it back out from a location of his choice.
  • Cane Fu: Candyman uses his cane to hit the ball.
  • Charged Attack: Holding down the swing button charges up the player's attack. Successfully hitting the ball with a fully charged swing doubles the speed of the ball and drastically reduces the time before the ball fires out of your hands. You can release the swing early for a lesser effect.
  • Charge Meter: The twin meters you see beside the MPH counter determines when a hit ball will move after a time-stopping hit happens; when they fill, the ball fires. This is very important to pay attention to, especially against Doombox, since the ball can become so fast that it's otherwise impossible to hit on purpose.
  • Colour-Coded Timestop: When hitting the ball at ludicrous speeds, the stage's colors will invert while it gains its momentum again. Then, if you hit the ball at really ludicrous speeds (as in one million MPH), the stage blacks out, leaving only the players and the ball.
  • Cool Board: Switch's main weapon and also his means of movement. He can skate up the walls and the top screen.
  • Cyberpunk: The whole setting.
  • Death Throws: Any knockout results in this for the knocked-out character.
  • Double Jump: Sonata. Nearly everyonenote  can double jump in Blaze, but Sonata is given a triple jump to maintain this unique trait.
  • Double Unlock: When you unlock something in the sequel (like Switch's Workerbot skin for instance), you still need to pay up for it with in-game credits in order to actually use it, the sole exception being Dice's Domino the Cursed skin, due to the rather... unique way of unlocking itnote .
  • Down the Drain: The aforementioned sewer.
  • Drop The Hammer: Sonata, who has a boombox hammer.
  • Eternal Engine: The first game had the State Manufacturing Factory. The sequel has a similar one where Switch used to work before getting his circuits scrambled.
  • Everyone Has a Special Move: Each one of the characters possess a unique special ability that allows them to change the properties and flight pattern of the ball, and some of them also have different jumps.
  • Floating Limbs: Doombox's arms aren't attached to his body.
  • He Was Right There All Along: The final boss, Doombox, is in fact the boombox displaying the ball's speed and current song that's on the bottom of every stage. It's actually his head.
  • Hit Stop: A major mechanic is how, as the ball racks up speed, there's more hitstop when someone hits it. The visualizer bars on the boombox show when the hit stop is going to end, bunting the ball allows the player to hit it much faster, and several of the characters' abilities let them send the ball flying instantly.
  • Hyper-Destructive Bouncing Ball: The game's M.O. The only way to take damage/die is to be hit by the ball, and hitting it with Charged Attacks increases its speed, making it harder to avoid (in both games) and increasing the damage it deals (in Lethal League Blaze; every hit in the original Lethal League is a One-Hit Kill).
    • The sequel takes this up to eleven with some power-ups, such as the American footballnote  and the twin balls.note 
  • Improbable Weapon User: Given that the game revolves around a sport that basically is dodgeball and baseball crammed together, Dice's ping pong paddle probably would get a few glances over.
    • Switch and Candyman also apply, using respectively a skateboard and a cane. Just a regular cane.
  • In a Single Bound: Candyman and Dice are capable of performing high jumps, although Dice needs to crouch first.
  • Living Shadow: Dust's shadow, Ashes, manifests as his weapon.
  • Locomotive Level: The Hammer Express stage. The sequel has an underground variant in the Shine City metro stage.
  • Ludicrous Speed: The ball's maximum speed is 1,000,000 MPH. Yes, that's six zeroes.
  • Mutant: Candyman, according to his bio on the website.
  • Never Smile at a Crocodile: Latch is a cyborg crocodile who has a mechanical tail and tremendous physical as well as mental strength, according to his bio.
  • Nostalgia Level: The original seven stages from the first Lethal League make a return in Blaze, although unlocking them is a different matter.note 
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: Everyone gets thrown off the stage in one hit. Except Doombox at the end of Challenge Mode, who doesn't bite it until his stocks are fully emptied. Blaze zig-zags with this, as the game gives all characters a health bar in addition to stocks, with damage being based on the ball's speed, so a sufficiently fast ball can be a One-Hit Kill by emptying a player's health bar in one hit.
  • Player-Guided Missile: One of the powerups in Blaze lets the player control the ball directly, with the player movement keys now controlling the ball while the player stands still.
  • Precision F-Strike: Lethal League Blaze is pretty PG rated at most with its dialogue, until the very last line of its story mode, "And no weak shit."
  • Promoted to Playable: Doombox is now playable in Blaze according to its Steam page, although he, like Grid and Nitro, will have to be unlocked first.
    • And now the Queen, a.k.a. Toxic is set to join him in a later update after originally being an NPC in story mode.
  • Pun-Based Title: On "Little League."
  • Ridiculously Human Robot: Switch.
  • Roar Before Beating: Doombox in-between bursts in his boss fight.
  • Shout-Out: Jet in her entirety is one huge shoutout to Jet Set Radio, from her skating animation, to her aesthetic, to even her name. It doesn't help that Hideki Namanuma, who did the soundtrack for JSR, also provided some tracks for Blaze.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Lethal League's 2014 winter holiday update gave all of the stages a makeover which included snow, lights, and changed the ball into a festive tree ornament. However, the Abandoned Pool was the only stage that changed the floor into slippery ice. In a game where precise and effective positioning is a key factor in whether the ball flies by harmlessly or slams into your face, this change caused a lot of annoying accidental deaths.
  • Spin Attack: Raptor's special ability, which allows him to spin around quickly and hit the ball two times in a row.
  • The Syndicate: System, a criminal orginization from out of town, although we don't really get to see much of them outside of their representative Grid and being involved in construction sites.
  • Tail Slap: Latch's go-to method for hitting the ball.
  • Taunt Button: Each character's unique taunt animation can be activated by pressing the assigned taunt key on the keyboard.
  • Teleport Spam: Candyman's special strike allows him to make the ball travel all around the stage in a single direction, wrapping around the screen when it would hit a wall.
    • Grid also has this as his special, though it's he who does the teleporting rather than the ball.
  • Tennis Boss: Possible to invoke by having 2 characters repeatedly bat the ball to each other. A more literal example is Doombox. Moreso if you're using Dice. Heck, the sequel even gives you an achievement for doing it ten times with your opponent!
  • Totally Radical: The game. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
  • Two Girls to a Team: Played straight in Blaze, which has Sonata and Jet as the female representatives. Coincidentally, they used to be on the same team in the story before their gang got busted by the police. This is no longer the case now, with Toxic joining the fray as a playable character.
  • Unlockable Content: You can unlock different character skins (and different ball types) by gaining experience and leveling up through single player or online play.
    • In the sequel, unlocking extra characters/stages/skins/ball types/songs requires spending in-game credits that are earned through gameplay. Some, however, require going through various modes like Story Mode to actually unlock like Doombox's Safety Weapon skin.
  • Wall Crawl: Latch.
  • Wall Jump: Raptor.
  • Yet Another Stupid Death: Turning off Ball Tagging allows the possibility of you getting yourself KO'd by the ball you just hit. It's a very easy thing to do, considering the ball could be flying at 519462 MPH or so.
  • Zipperiffic: Lethal League's resident crocodile, Latch, sports a giant zipper pull on the front of his jacket.