Follow TV Tropes


Video Game / Lifeless Planet

Go To
Lifeless Planet is an indie Puzzle Platformer, developed by Stage 2 Studios and released on June 6th, 2014 for PC. An Updated Re-release titled Lifeless Planet: Premier Edition followed for Xbox One on May 13th, 2015, PS4 on July 19th, 2016, and Nintendo Switch on September 6th, 2018. A Spiritual Successor named Lifeless Moon is due to come out in 2021.

It follows the exploits of an astronaut who has crashed down on what was thought to be a lush planet, but has turned out to be a barren wasteland, devoid of life save for the remnants of a Soviet colony and a mysterious woman wandering around the landscape.

This game provides examples of:

  • An Aesop: Even with the best intentions, meddling with an unknown ecosystem might have disastrous results.
  • Almost Out of Oxygen: Happens periodically throughout the game. Becomes a plot point at the end.
    • Somewhat weakened, plot-wise, because the warnings only pop up in areas close to where oxygen replacement modules are found.
  • After the End: Appears to be such. The human's exploitation of the local moss ('Green Fire') introduced a virus into it, setting off an ecological downward spiral. Turns out, everything else on the planet either fed off the moss or fed off that which ate the moss. Averted in the end, with the woman allowing herself (with her genetically-modified ability to regrow the local moss) to be absorbed back by the planet, restoring it to verdancy.
  • Advertisement:
  • Alien Geometries: At one point there's a log from the Soviets, in which they glimpse what they think is this through the portal, because the results are visually bizarre. Because of the time dilation with regards to using the portals, they are simply viewing Earth from many years into their future.
  • Ancient Astronauts: The original inhabitants of the planet, who built the gates, apparently come from another planet.
  • Beautiful Void: Aside from the woman, the planet is completely empty.
  • Bilingual Bonus: The woman actually gives you tips and warnings... in Russian.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The astronaut finds a copy of Alerkei Tolstoi's Aelita (classical Soviet sci-fi novel). The woman was named after the eponymous character.
  • Contrived Coincidence: The Game. You randomly land on a planet where the USSR found a portal delivering them there decades earlier. Whenever there's an unscalable cliff, there'll be a building with a bottle of jetpack fuel, which always runs out right after you finish the area you need it to traverse. Oxygen only gets low close to oxygen sources. Wherever there's an inactive alien generator, a bunch of green fuel balls is always lying nearby. Et cetera...
  • Advertisement:
  • Convection Schmonvection: Played almost straight in The Inferno level. You get immolated when you touch the lava, but you can jump right over it. You can also climb the steel tower that's standing on flowing lava. However, if you stray off-course, you get immolated mid-air.
  • Cool Gate: The large, round gates built by the ones who also built the portal. They are opened by some kind of combination lock.
  • Double Jump: You can do it with your Jet Pack. With extra jetpack fuel, you can actually extend this to a septuple jump.
  • Earth All Along: Subverted. When the player first sees the Soviet town, he thinks that he may have landed on the Earth, but soon this theory gets disproved.
  • Ghost Planet: The native ecosystem has been apparently been destroyed, and the planet is covered with artefacts of a vanished civilization.
  • Green Rocks: Quite literally. The Green Fire that the Russians were using as a power source, and the glowing green rocks used to power all the alien technology your find in the game.
  • Gusty Glade: There are some areas in The Cliffs level with high winds that blow you away. You have to take this into account when calculating jumps, or even while running across it.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: the woman, who has been genetically modified to retain the moss that has elsewhere died, eventually allows herself to be absorbed by a root creature, returning that ability to the rest of the plants. It isn't entirely certain to what level it's a sacrifice; it's implied the woman doesn't really die.
  • Humanoid Abomination: The Ancients, to frightening extents.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: This is the plant creatures' attack.
  • Jet Pack: It allows short bursts of power, allowing double jumps. When additional fuel is available, multiple jumps are possible.
  • Lethal Lava Land: The Inferno level. Unfortunately, the ambiguity of what terrain is deadly and what isn't makes it something of That One Level.
  • Man-Eating Plant: More "man-impaling plant," but the root creatures fit the description.
  • The Remnant: The root creatures are the very last link in what used to be a vast ecological chain.
  • Plant People: The original inhabitants of the planet are intelligent plant-like creatures. After the downfall of the planet, they turn into hostile creatures that try to kill the humans, including the player character.
  • Scenery Porn/Gorn: Everywhere. The latter appears especially in areas overtaken by the root creatures.
  • Single-Biome Planet: Averted. The planet displays a breadth of biomes, ranging from tundra to desert to forests.
  • Spikes of Doom: The plant creatures are rather spiky. The wood-colored ones are dead and not dangerous, but the black-and-red ones try to kill you.
  • Super Drowning Skills: Justified as that space suit is not made for swimming.
  • Surprisingly Good Russian: Signs are correct and all the voice logs are by actual Russian actors.
  • Vader Breath: This sound effect indicates that the player character is Almost Out of Oxygen.
  • Year Outside, Hour Inside: How the portal system worked between Earth and the eponymous planet. They asked for reinforcements and supplies from Earth, but they were doing little more than sending it to people - and political systems - long dead.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle!: You arrive at the portal around 2/3rd through the game. It turns out it's broken.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: