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Video Game / Machinarium

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Machinarium is a Point-and-Click Adventure Game by the independent Czech studio Amanita Design.

The main character is a robot named 'Josef' (named after Josef Čapek, who invented the word robot for his brother's play) who's been thrown out with the garbage, for some reason. He must get back into the Steampunk city of Machinarium, populated entirely by a variety of robots, and stop the plans of the villainous Black Cap Brotherhood.

The official site offers a free online demo.

This video game provides examples of:

  • 15 Puzzle: With the variation that one piece comes off, and Josef has to retrieve it before continuing.
    • Not fixing the puzzle until you have every other piece in place makes it much easier as you then have two free spaces to play around with.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: You get to briefly play as Josef's lady-friend Berta, as she helps him find fuel for a gas-powered elevator.
  • After the End: It's easy to infer from the polluted state of the water in the "sea" section, the dilapidated state and ornate look of many of the interiors and the vast array of discarded items of use only to humans (or indeed, directly harmful to robots) that humans were there, but aren't any more. Nothing is stated explicitly, mind, but it's quite likely it was due to an immense environmental catastrophe.
    • This game takes place somewhere in the future of the Samorost-verse, which was already an underpopulated World in the Sky.
  • Battle in the Centre of the Mind: Josef plugs into the system of the Mayor to fight off the malware installed by the Black Cap Brotherhood.
  • Big Bads: The Black Cap Brotherhood is a trio of malicious deliquent robots who bully other denizens of Machinarium (mostly Josef but other robots get their share too) just for the kicks of it. Then they break into the throne room, infect the King and plant a bomb on the palace tower.
  • Down the Drain: An early part of the game requires Josef to waddle into the sewers of a jail and access other cells by unhinging their sewer grates.
  • Circling Birdies: Star type can be seen in Rebus Bubble cutscenes and when a bird robot falls down after a wire breaks.
    • In one of Josef's reminiscences, he's sitting on a lamppost with his female friend Berta. The target-shooting black hat robot clocks him right in the head with a hex nut fired from a slingshot. Josef lands head-first and gets the hex nut version.
  • Clock Punk/Diesel Punk/Steampunk: The settings of this game definitely use these.
  • Combinatorial Explosion: Avoided. Once an item fulfills its purpose, Josef almost always tosses it (either that or it's taken from him). Some, like the prison key, just disappear.
    • In one instance, Josef ties the item to a wire for no apparent purpose after he's done with it.
  • Continuity Nod: In the central tower, you will probably find a blocky little robot that you might recognize from Samorost 2. If you talk to him, he'll explain that guard-bots from your city found him buried on the very same island you explored in that game.
  • Damsel in Distress: Josef's girlfriend Berta is being held by the Black Caps and forced to do all their cooking.
  • Disney Villain Death: The Black Cap Brotherhood is ejected from the city through a pipe, but are not explicitly shown to be disposed of.
  • Easily Detachable Robot Parts: The tutorial consists of Josef having to reassemble himself after being dumped out of a garbage vehicle.
  • Eating Machine: Even though the robots are not seen to digest what they ingest, the Black Cap Brotherhood still imprisons Berta in a kitchen.
  • Failed a Spot Check: The Black Cap Brotherhood in the later half of the game; the room where they set up the poker table has an open water pipe in the ceiling and metal trapdoor above a massive pit on the floor. No prizes for figuring out what interacting with the two does.
  • Fat and Skinny: The two prisoners.
    • The two secondary members of the Black Cap Brotherhood.
  • Gentle Giant: The big police robot guarding the elevator just wants to play with his little teddy bear robot.
  • Imagine Spot: Given time enough without activity, Josef will start daydreaming of what he used to do with his girlfriend Berta before the Black Cap Brotherhood came.
  • Jerkasses: The Black Cap Brotherhood enjoy bullying anyone but mostly Josef..
  • Kick the Dog: The Black Cap Brotherhood appears to do nothing else but make the lives of the citizens miserable, especially Josef, and play poker. Then they proceed to cross the line into outright terrorism by attempting to bomb the leadership of the city.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: Josef is often required to snatch any item he can get his hands on.
  • Magic Countdown: Reversed with the Time Bomb. Instead of being slower off-screen, time ticks faster than 'real' time when you're actively trying to defuse it.
  • Metroidvania: Erasing the viruses from the robot on the top floor is depicted as one of these games, complete with Flip-Screen Scrolling.
  • Mime and Music-Only Cartoon: There are no spoken words in the whole game, and the only written words are on the title screen (and in the pause menu). The story is told in mime and robot sounds. This is, to some, not particularly successful: it is not always easy to tell, for example, whether the robot is laughing or trembling in fear.
    • The sole exception is the junkie robot in the prison who keeps asking for a smoke saying Czech slang word for a cigarette and thanking you when you provide one to him.
  • Misère Game: To get into the greenhouse, you have to make the ventilation robot mad enough to overload by deliberately getting his questions wrong.
  • No OSHA Compliance: Especially the absence of guard rails in several locations.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Josef can bypass the border guard in one of the early parts of the game by making a cone and lightbulb as a hat like those the officers wear.
  • Pictorial Speech-Bubble: Here, everything that is "spoken" or thought is represented in pictures.
  • Pipe Maze: There is a scene where you have to drain a well, for which you have to shut off its supply line. It can be done by shutting off some valves on a wall full of interconnected pipes with the limited amount of wrenches you have (once you remove the wrench, the valve opens again). The puzzle is which valves to shut off to stop the flow.
  • Religious Robot: There's a church in the town square where three robots (who seem to practice ersatz versions of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam) take turns worshiping.
  • Room Full of Crazy: The walls of the prison cells are full of scribblings.
  • Scatting: One of the songs called Clockwise Operetta does that briefly.
  • Scenery Gorn: Every single screen is a lavishly-detailed view of a crumbling, dirty city.
  • Schizo Tech: Robot-powered arcade machines among other things.
  • Set Piece Puzzle: Quite a few, including one that actually makes a lot of sense. It's on a cabinet that has a gun in it, which is itself in a locked room. Granted, it would make it hard to get to in an emergency, but who would expect to see I Just Shot Marvin in the Face averted in Machinarium, of all games?
  • Shout-Out:
    • One of the mini-games in the arcade is a blatant Space Invaders clone.
    • The large-head leader of the city is a Shout-Out to the alien from Alien, according to the concept art.
    • One of the less noticeable ones, maybe not even intentional: the cleaner robot in one of the backgrounds looks like MSE-6.
  • Sliding Scale of Robot Intelligence: Can be seen in several places. There seem to be animal-like robots and human-like robots.
  • Slippery Skid: Bullets this time around. Josef slips on them too.
  • Smoking Is Not Cool: Smoking seems to be outlawed in the city, if the smoking robot prisoner and one of Josef's flashbacks are any indication. One of the slides in the greenhouse also appears to depict a marijuana-esque plant with a "no smoking" icon.
  • Stock Puzzle: The Block Puzzle near the arcade, and the linear peg-solitaire puzzle in the sea area.
  • Stock Video Game Puzzle: The game includes several of such puzzles as it goes on.
    • Block Puzzle: Used to connect/disconnect an electric outlet.
    • Control Room Puzzle: Used to turn off the flow of water in a water tank.
    • Weighted Switch Puzzle: Activating the staircase on the rooftop requires your friend to hold the gear into place.
    • Hamiltonian Path Puzzle: Used to turn on a heater in a greenhouse.
  • Shake Someone, Objects Fall: One of Josef's flashbacks shows the Black Cap leader holding Josef upside down and shaking him till his money falls out of his stomach. The Black Caps even get away with it when the fat robot blocks the scene, fooling a passing police-bot.
  • Stomach of Holding: Josef stores all of the items he can get in his body. It helps that he's a robot.
  • Stopped Caring: One of the robots in the prison appears visibly indifferent, just sitting around and only offering you help if you make a cigarette for him. Later on when you unlock all the cell doors, the smoking robot doesn't even bother to leave with everyone else.
  • Surprisingly Creepy Moment: The prison sequence. The atmosphere in the rest of the game is generally serene and pleasant thanks to the hand-drawn backgrounds and soothing soundtrack. The prison, on the other hand, is small and cramped, with scratchings all over the wall. The song that plays at this point is a total departure from the rest of the soundtrack as well, full of hushed whispers, ominous drones, and faint chanting.
  • These Questions Three...: Subverted. Answering the air conditioner's questions correctly puts it to sleep. Getting them wrong makes it mad enough to spit out its fan, letting you pass.
  • Time Bomb: The Black Cap Brotherhood seeks to blow up the central tower of the city with one.
  • Timed Mission: The bomb defusing. Take too long and the tower blows up. Fortunately, time conveniently rewinds to before your attempt at the puzzle.
  • Tin-Can Robot: Most of the humanoid cast, especially Josef. Even the animal robots have some similar characteristics.
  • Toilet Humor: Josef can sit on the toilets in the prison cells, chuckling if he does so. This action provides no relevance to either the gameplay or plot, implying this trope as the only reason for its inclusion in the game.
  • Unexpected Shmup Level: How you access the walkthrough for a particular objective.
    • At one point, you have to get a certain score in Space Invaders in order to progress.
    • You also have to get through one when you plug into the head of the Mayor to reverse the damage done by the Black Cap Brotherhood.
  • Used Future: The Crapsack World of Machinarium looks extremely rusty and worn out.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: Over the course of the game, you help out your fellow robots who have been mistreated by the Black Cap Brotherhood.
  • "What Now?" Ending: As the main characters fly off for unknown reasons to some place the aircraft bumps into a "bird" and falls down. Then the robots are shown to be saved by "birds" but kind of separated. What then?
  • Zeerust: Of Soviet sci-fi flavor.