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Video Game / Maneater

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Maneater is a 3D action-sandbox game developed by Tripwire Interactive, where you play as a man-eating shark and fight, kill, eat and evolve to become the apex predator you were born to be.

While filming a cable show about shark-hunting near the Gulf Coast city of Port Clovis, third-generation shark-hunter and captain of the Cajun Queen, "Scaly Pete" Pierre LeBlanc, hears about a man-eating female bull shark terrorizing a nearby beach. After seeing the shark kill the first responding hunters, Pete takes the shark down with a harpoon shot as she charges him. As he guts the day's catch, Pete sees the shark was pregnant with a female pup. After cutting the newborn to mark her so that he will remember her when she's worthy prey, the pup bites off one of his hands and is flung aside for her troubles.


And that is where your story begins.

The game released in May 2020 for the PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4, with next-gen ports for the Xbox Series X|S and PlayStation 5 arriving following their launches in November. An Expansion Pack titled Truth Quest was released on August 31, 2021.

The Daryl Hall & John Oates's song Maneater, has no relation to this game (sadly), nor is it part of the game's soundtrack (such a missed opportunity!).

    Examples in Maneater 
  • 100% Completion: There are a lot of things to find and do in this game — Eight grottos, 123 nutrient crates, 63 landmarks, 80 license plates, ten ranks of infamy, and all of the quests on top of all that. Completing all of them gets you the "Queen of the Ocean" achievement/trophy.
  • Absurdly Low Level Cap: The game caps at level 30, which is easy to reach by about 1/3rd of the way though the game if you're trying to complete all objectives in each area as you unlock them.
  • Absurdly-Spacious Sewer: Port Clovis possesses a labyrinthian network of flooded tunnels and cisterns that are part of the sewer and the derelict nuclear plant's dilapidated cooling system, allowing the Maneater and other animals to traverse them. The exterior of other massive pipes — belonging to both the sewer and crude transport from the nearby oil rig — can be seen in the Gulf, and is the site of a side mission battle against a shark that grew addicted to sewage.
  • Acceptable Break from Reality: The entire biology of the game is often nonsense, but the narrator acknowledges this, and tells the player the MST3K Mantra. invoked
  • Added Alliterative Appeal: Approaching the Apex bosses has the game introduce them with a cutscene and an alliterative one-liner.
  • Albinos Are Freaks: There are special albino versions of sea life that grant you Mutagen, the one resource needed for special top-tier mutations. The Apex Sperm Whale is albino in reference to Moby Dick.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Pete loses an arm in his first encounter with you. In the next, he loses a leg.
  • Animal Nemesis: You become Scaly Pete's practically from birth. As he suffers more losses hunting you, he becomes more and more obsessed with killing you.
  • Artistic License – Biology:
    • Where to begin? Sharks don't have sonar.note  Bull sharks can't breach like dolphins.note  Sharks don't cry out in pain or really make any sounds. Sharks are also incapable of bursting onto the shore and dragging prey back into the ocean. In fact, the "shark" has more in common with an orca than a shark. The narrator acknowledges this, though, and the game goes into pure science fiction territory such as giving the bull shark an electric bite.
    • A single specimen developing new or altered characteristics is mutation, not evolution.
    • The narrator and some mission descriptions acknowledge the Misplaced Wildlife as well, particularly in regard to the presence of muskellunge — a pike fish native to the Great Lakes — in the Gulf.
    • The Mother is indicated to be the same shark who killed Scaley Pete's father as she had a rusty harpoon in her side that belonged to his father. However, it's eventually revealed that Pete was only a kid when his dad died and he's currently in his 50s, which means the mother shark must have been over 40 years old when she died. In real life, Bull Sharks can only live up to 12 to 16 years old in the wild, with one shark being recorded as living up to 30 years old due to living in captivity. Due to the strong theme of mutation in the game, this particular shark may have also been affected by the sunken nuclear plants.
    • You don't have to keep moving for the shark to breathe, and can leave her idle without her drowning. Though this particular bit of license is probably inspired by the aforementioned Jaws Unleashed, in which you did have to keep moving (and it was found less than fun), and one of the loading screens indicates that the shark somehow has spiracles — an organ found in some sharks that allows them to breathe while stationary.
  • Bizarre and Improbable Golf Game: One of the holes at the local golf course is deep under the water hazard, with the narrator noting that it's a particularly difficult par 7.
  • Body Horror:
    • Some of the shark’s upgrades look horrific, especially the bone parts.
    • Scaly Pete loses parts over the course of the game, getting badly scarred as he goes.
  • Boss in Mook Clothing: The "hunted" alligators have a far higher level than the adolescent shark, usually at 15 while the shark is still around 5. They would be considered a Disc-One Final Boss, but there are too many for them to be considered a level boss.
  • Bullying a Dragon: No matter how big and fearsome the shark gets, tiny muskies keep trying to pick a fight with it. This won't stop until you unlock a mutation from the final Apex, which causes smaller fish to become neutral.
  • Camera Abuse: While loading up for the final confrontation, Pete knocks the camera out of the cameraman's hands so he won't get in his way.
  • Canon Welding: A branch of Horzine is involved in the background as a top secret military R&D outfit called Horzine Special Projects, with the company's logo being seen on one of Port Clovis' skyscrapers, and it's mentioned by the narrator that the military has been creating and cloning super-soldiers.
  • Cap: The shark levels out at 9 metres and can't grow any further. A Q&A livestream with the developers in May 2021 justified this given that if there was no cap, traversing Port Clovis's tighter waterways would eventually become impossible.
  • Color-Coded Item Tiers: The evolutions are color-coded depend on which upgrade tier they're on. From tier 1-5, respectively, they are white, green, blue, purple, and orange.
  • Company Cross References: There are several references to one of Tripwire's other series, Killing Floor. There are a few mentions of Horzine, and one of the landmarks is a Mt. Rushmore-esque sculpture of some Killing Floor characters.
  • Crapsack World: Port Clovis is an utter shithole. Every area is densely populated with predators, there is rampant pollution everywhere you look — largely due to Sunshine Solutions using the city as a dumping ground for everything from toxic sunscreen to military mutagens, the waterways are policed by freelance shark hunters like Scaly Pete without any police oversight (given how easily he runs around polluting and attacking wildlife), with many of them being ex-cons who violate parole to go shark-hunting; and the narrator makes it clear that the human inhabitants are all vapid, selfish materialists who expand the city and destroy the environment for the sake of luxury. Even the broader world is indicated to be an unpleasant place, if the Landmarks/Easter Eggs are to be believed, what with genetically-engineered super soldiers being mass-cloned, kaiju and eldritch gods rampaging around the place, and extraterrestrials infrequently visiting.
  • Create Your Own Villain: The baby shark had no real attachment to its mother (most sharks don't) but neither was it interested in revenge until Pete casually scarred it just so he could recognize it when it was bigger. The first thing the baby player shark does is bite his hand off in self-defense and it escalates from there. Later on, Pete goes a bit nutty and tries contaminating the ocean with pollutants to kill the shark, but this just turns a zone of the game into a mutagen-rich area, the same mutagen responsible for making the shark abnormally large and superpowered.
  • Critical Existence Failure: In addition to the normal stuff for a video game protagonists, enemy predators can absolutely get ripped apart by your attacks yet still fight with no apparent lack of ability- you can bite the fins and even the tail off another shark and it will still (somehow) swim around and attack you.
  • Cycle of Revenge: The LeBlanc family is involved in one against Nature, having been shark-hunters for generations. After Pete's father was killed by what Pete remembers as a supernaturally-gigantic shark, he becomes completely obsessed in his pursuit of the "mega", saying he'd kill every shark on Earth if he could. When he catches a pregnant bull shark and pulls the pup out of its dead mother, he even goes so far as to mark its fin so he can know if it's the beast or not once it matures. This earns him the lifelong enmity of the Maneater. The game ends with Pete's own son Kyle dead and Pete — a broken, disfigured madman — killing both the Maneater and himself in a gigantic explosion. The fact that it's a hollow triumph isn't lost on the narrator or the audience. It's heavily implied that the playable shark in the intro with one of Pete's dad's old harpoons in it really was the one that he was looking for, but Pete disagrees because it's just not big enough. Kyle points out Pete was a kid when it happened, so all animals would have looked gigantic. His lust for revenge is so great he can't even recognize it when he's gotten it.
  • David Versus Goliath: You might be a Shark but that doesn't make you the biggest thing out there. Even among sharks you are a Bull and the Great Whites are often larger until you hit the Elder stage of growth. The bosses include an Orca and a Sperm Whale that vastly outsize even the biggest shark. Zig-zagged with the humans. You're easily bigger than them, so the real boss is their massive boats that can look like tanks on water for the late bosses.
  • Deadpan Snarker: The narrator, with plenty of veiled and not-so-veiled insults in the spirit of This Loser Is You. Since he's voiced by Chris Parnell, one could see it as Jerry taking out his frustrations.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: If you die, you're taken back to the nearest grotto with no further penalties.
  • Decoy Protagonist: The shark of the tutorial dies in the first minutes, her daughter is the true protagonist.
  • Deep South: Pete and Kyle are from the southern parts of the US, specifically Louisiana, due to their French surname and Pete's use of Cajun French.
  • Denser and Wackier: Tonally, Maneater is a lot more comedic compared to Jaws Unleashed.
  • Disposing of a Body: One area is a pool called "Dixie Mafia Disposal Service"; the shark will find a bunch of corpses wearing Cement Shoes. There are also other places and locations that are similar, and not only are there corpses wearing cement shoes, there are also other corpses that have been disposed of in the typical Mafia way from body bags to cars that have presumably been pushed into the water with victim inside of it. The shark can decide to target the Mafiosos on the beach instead, but the corpse also make fine meals themselves.
  • Don't Explain the Joke: Mama Maybelle's quote in her description.
    Mama Maybelle: This shark is going to be swimming with the fishes... but swimming with the fishes differently than it already does... 'cause it will be dead.
  • Double Jump: From level 2 onwards, when you breach the water, you can make the shark lunge further while still in the air. Once you have fully leveled up the shark, it can lunge three times while on the air, effectively creating a quadruple jump. The mother in the opening can also do this.
  • Easter Egg: Almost all of the land marks take the form of these, with them even being Shout Outs too! Go see the Shout out part of the page to see most of them.
  • Empowered Badass Normal: The player character starts out as a relatively normal shark, but as the game progresses she begins to develop strange powers, in addition to becoming a giant by the standards of her species. The copious amounts of mutagen in crates are the given "explanation."
  • Equipment Upgrade: You can increase the effectiveness of your evolutions by spending resources. The lower tiers only require proteins, fats, or minerals, while the last two can only be reached by using mutagen.
  • Evolutionary Levels: You can evolve into even more ferocious forms after a while, each with ever deadlier abilities.
  • Expy:
    • Pierre LeBlanc (a.k.a. "Scaly" Pete) is clearly one to Captain Ahab from Moby-Dick, mixed with Quint.
    • He's also one to Kratos from God of War (PS4); both being muscular, bearded, tattooed men who share wrath as a flaw and both have trouble with being publicly affectionate towards their sons. After the first boss fight against him and his son, Pete loses his hair and nearly resembles Kratos in the final fight when he shaves off the rest of it off until he changes his beard to a long goatee.
    • The Apex Sperm Whale boss is basically Moby Dick. Complete with albinism and harpoons embedded to show its experience with whalers.
  • Eye Scream: The Apex Mako’s habitat is the waterways by a golf course, which has somehow led to it having golf balls lodged in its eye sockets.
  • Famed In-Story:
    • Scaly Pete is famous for being a shark hunter, hence why a film crew is documenting his life.
    • The apex alligator and apex orca are both show animals: Rosie the alligator was part of a stunt show and escaped captivity, and Mahana and two other orcas — who are Hunted specimens — were captured by Scaly Pete to be kept at Port Clovis' local amusement park. Famous or not, both these animals are a threat to you and must be killed in self-defense.
  • Fatal Flaw:
    • Scaly Pete's flaw is his anger: his hatred of sharks stems from his father's death and he projects a lot of his own issues onto the shark. When Kyle seemingly dies, Scaly Pete blames the shark and becomes obsessed with avenging him, losing most of his redeeming qualities in the process.
    • Kyle's flaw is his desperation for Pete's approval since the two haven't bonded that much due to Pete's career as a fisherman. His apparent death is caused by trying to put out the flames to save Pete's boat, despite being told the boat isn't worth saving.
  • Fighter, Mage, Thief: The three evolutionary paths of Bone/Bio-Electric/Shadow. Bone gives you the best damage reduction and health and is best at fighting boats with high ramming damage. Bio-Electric does the most damage and its dodge makes you invulnerable with lots of your abilities shocking and stunning enemies. Shadow is the fastest of the three and focuses on health drain with your bite and poisoning your enemies.
  • Fragile Speedster:
    • The Mako sharks aren't particularly durable but they're damnably fast.
    • The Apex barracuda would be an easy kill except for the fact it has speed dash attacks and dodges.
  • Gaia's Lament: It's subtle, but the land is sickly, there are dilapidated buildings, and even a broken down nuclear plant with a nuclear fallout region, as well as Sickly Green Glow areas. The safe haven grottos feature broken down but still working technology. In this setting, one might consider the shark as Gaia's Vengeance.
  • Gang Up on the Human: Predators and humans always go after the playable character. You'll never see shark hunters targeting a mako, hammerhead, or great white; and conversely you'll never see any of them attack a human. This can be intensely frustrating if you're doing a battle against a shark hunter boss or an Apex Predator only to have it interrupted by shark-hunting divers because you've drifted into an area where they spawn.
  • The Ghost:
    • The cameraman and narrator, who may or may not be the same person, of the Show Within a Show aren't seen in-game.
    • The alleged Mega that killed Pete's father never appears although it's heavily implied that the Mother was said Mega given the presence of Pete's father's harpoon and Kyle's assertion that all sharks were "mega-sized" to the then-adolescent Pete. His Fatal Flaw, however, prevents Pete from realizing this.
  • Gorn: Leap onto boat. Chomp human. See boat get painted red.
  • Government Conspiracy:
    • Kyle thinks the government created a genetically engineered megalodon. The shark the gamer plays as might as well be, since the player earns DNA points to create unnatural mutations, and Horzine — a black ops military R&D group — expresses the desire to obtain the Maneater's corpse should it display anything unusual. In addition, there's also the gamma radiation and nuclear waste that permeates the area.
    • The reveal trailer for the game's first DLC, Truth Quest indicates that the narrator has come to believe this as well following the events of the game and aims to expose it to the public.
  • Green Aesop: As noted in Gaia's Lament, the game's own misuse of the term evolution can be an in-universe reflection of how mutations can be mistaken for evolution when the public is ignorant of the damage they do to the environment and wildlife. This gives the lesson that we should be more considerate of the environment and wildlife, and not use ignorance and wrath to justify atrocities.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Assuming Pete was telling the truth, there is or was another Mega.
  • Guns Do Not Work That Way: In reality, when hitting water, bullets are almost immediately stopped as if hitting steel. They do not pierce the water and continue with any speed as they do in the game. It's an Acceptable Break from Reality, however, as the game would be too easy if all the shark needed to do to avoid gunfire was to go more than a foot underwater.
  • #HashtagForLaughs: They'll appear during the game's show segments (such as #GubmentConspiracy and #SharkMath).
  • Hero Antagonist: Scaly Pete isn't the most heroic of characters, but he's still hunting a pair of man-eating sharks. After surviving multiple injuries and losing his son, Pete develops a personal vendetta against the shark and becomes obsessed with killing her.
  • Ignored Aesop: By the end of the game, the narrator says that there's probably a lesson buried somewhere through the journey, but this is a simple TV show and no one is going to care anyway.
    Narrator: I suppose there's a lesson to be gleaned here. Something about how the increasing commodification of the natural world has placed humans on a collision course with an environmental apocalypse. But this is a basic cable show where people tune in to watch sharks kill people and people kill sharks. So until next fishing season, this is Maneater.
  • Ignored Epiphany: Not once does Pete consider the idea that shark hunting has consumed his life and cost him dearly. Even when his own son declares his opinion that it's all rather pointless, Pete gets defensive.
  • Interactive Narrator: The narrator comments on your actions, with plenty of snark.
  • Jock Dad, Nerd Son: Pete's son Kyle is a college student studying marine biology, and is more introspective and reasonable compared to his father, who is an outdoorsman dedicated to shark hunting. Despite this, Pete does want to see his son graduate from college and succeed in a career outside of shark-hunting.
  • Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: The RMS Queen Mary 2 makes an appearance, here named Queen Barryl so Cunard won't lawyer up against Tripwire.
  • Lemony Narrator: The show's narrator vacillates between genuinely informative marine biology factoids, nonsensical tangents, and deeply cynical diatribes against Port Clovis. To hear him tell it, sometimes it's because the show is trying to engineer drama where it doesn't exist, and sometimes he's just bored and trying to entertain himself.
  • Lighter and Softer: Compared to Jaws Unleashed. That game was much, much gorier, at least regarding the human characters. In that game, you could see heads, limbs and guts floating about after an attack. This game still has limbs and arms being torn off, but the guts are gone.
  • Like Father, Like Son: Pete's father was also a keen shark hunter, but he spent little time with Pete as a child. Despite this, Pete is also obsessed with shark hunting and spends little time with his own son, who joins him in his hunts only for the sake of parent-child bonding.
  • Like Mother, Like Daughter: The mother shark was in full rampage against humans. The bull shark that is torn out of her body is female — and goes on the same rampage.
  • Ludicrous Gibs: Larger creatures explode into chunks — which are also edible.
  • Made of Iron: Pete survives 2 shark attacks and an explosion in the story.
  • Madness Makeover: After surviving the boat explosion and losing his son, Pete becomes covered in burn scars, shaves off the rest of his hair, changes his beard to a long goatee, and has replaced his hand and foot with prosthetics.
  • The Mafia: The Anatoli crime family is a minor presence in the game's narrative, with one of the Landmarks being a dumping ground for bodies; and one of the Elite Shark Hunters, Mama Maybelle, being a high-ranking mobster who goes after the Shark when she starts taking a bite out of the Mob's profits. However, even the Narrator is scared of them and states that footage of said dumping ground will be removed from the broadcast of the show.
  • Major Injury Underreaction: Pete gets his hand bitten off in the intro and only looks mildly pissed about it because he doesn't want to look weak on camera.
  • Meaningful Name: LeBlanc is an old French name meaning "White". Considering the theme of the game, it's likely in reference to the Great White Shark, or LeBlanc being a white hunter, a term used to denote hunters who were... overzealous in their hunts.
  • Mega-Corp: Sunshine Solutions is a corrupt corporation behind most of the pollution in Port Clovis, and also sponsors the game's Show Within a Show. Their activities range from producing toxic sunscreen to mass-cloning genetically-engineered super-soldiers. Their logo is also shown on the cooling towers of Port Clovis' derelict nuclear power plant, indicating they owned it and were responsible for the meltdown.
  • Megalodon: Sort of; while you do reach "mega" status, the most you grow up to is just under 30ft. This is close to the size of Carcharocles/Otudus megalodon, which was on average 34ft.note  Regardless, the game refers to that form as a megalodon — keep in mind the largest bull shark ever found was a mere 8 feet. 8 feet is actually the average size of an adult, female bull shark. The largest on record seems to have been about 11 1/2 feet.
  • Misplaced Wildlife: The game includes species of animals that aren't found in Louisiana and the Gulf of Mexico, which the game's narrator and some of the mission descriptions are all-too-happy to point out.
    Narrator: The muskellunge, or "muskie", is a fresh-water fish commonly found throughout the Great Lakes region... so I have no idea what it's doing here.
  • Monster Is a Mommy: The prologue involves playing as the protagonist shark's mother, and watching as Pete pulls the pup out of the mother's carcass. The main shark is herself a female, but does not procreate at all.
  • Never Found the Body: After their fight with the shark, Kyle tries to extinguish the flames but he, Pete and the shark are all caught in the explosion. The explosion appears to have killed Kyle since he didn't respond to Pete's cries and because his body was never found, fueling the idea that the shark devoured Kyle. However, the show humorously uses #WheresKyle to suggest Kyle might have survived the explosion as well with similar injuries. However, Pete blames the shark for his death and becomes determined to kill her.
  • Not Quite Dead: Chapter 9, titled "After Party", is the post-game chapter of the game which has no further main story bits in which the player can continue to play the game as normal and continue to get stronger and gain nutrients from kills. As the ending of Chapter 8, and thus the main story overall, implies the shark had survived the final battle with Scaly Pete, then Chapter 9 basically all but flat out confirms that she had indeed survived the whole ordeal.
  • Oxygen Meter: The shark has one. Uniquely as a shark the meter measures how long she can be out of water instead of in it.
  • Papa Wolf: Kyle's apparent death sends Pete off the deep end and gives him a personal reason to kill the shark.
  • Parents as People: Pete's treatment of his son, Kyle, stems from how his own father raised him. Both men loved their sons but rarely interacted with them due to their careers. As such, Pete can be hard on Kyle but he shows in private that he does love him and respects his decision to study Marine Biology at university rather than become a fisherman like his dad.
  • Peninsula of Power Leveling: Dead Horse Lake becomes this after you've progressed into the post-game, as it not only has a good chunk of virtually all of the three normal nutrients in the game, but is and remains the best place to find and hunt albino animals from which Dead Horse Lake has better spawn rates for such animals than anywhere else in the game, only rivaled by the temporarily polluted Sapphire Bay.
  • Psychological Projection: Scaley Pete blames a lot of his problems on the shark due to his anger issues, his hatred of sharks stemming from his father's death. Pete claims he was killed by a megalodon but Kyle believes his grandfather was killed by a regular shark and Pete was just so young and traumatised by it that he exaggerated the incident. When Kyle is seemingly killed by the shark, Pete blames the shark and sets out on the warpath in order to put her down for good, even though Kyle's alleged death was merely an accident: Pete set fire to the shark and the creature unintentionally knocked off a fuel panel while flailing around in pain. Kyle tried to put out the flames but was too late and he was knocked off the boat during the explosion. His body was never found.
  • Reality TV: The game is a black comedy version of a reality TV series about the life of a shark hunter who comes across a new, mutated shark that may have descended from a megalodon (or been genetically engineered by the government).
  • Real Men Hate Affection: Pete genuinely loves his son Kyle, admits the life of a fisherman isn't for everyone and does wish him the best in university, but he expresses it through tough love. When Kyle seemingly dies after their fight with the shark, Pete goes on the warpath and becomes devoted to killing the shark to avenge his son. To drive this home, Pete's last words to Kyle showed how he loved him more than his career as he told Kyle the ship was not worth saving.
  • Recycled IN SPACE!: Grand Theft Auto WITH SHARKS. It even shares the mechanic of attracting the hunters like the players do in GTA with police, and having to lower their wanted level.
  • Revenge Myopia: Pete considers sharks to be little more than pests fit only for slaughter. During one of his shark hunts, he casually guts the player's mother and then tosses away the newborn player like it's nothing. After the player accidentally causes an explosion that seemingly kills Pete's son, Pete himself becomes obsessed with killing the player and prepares for the final hunt by using a World War II-era torpedo boat and contaminants to pollute the oceans where the player lurks. At this point, it's hard to tell who the true monster is.
  • Rule of Cool: This is honestly the only reason you get away with all the nonsensical things that happen.
  • Scars are Forever: The nick Pete marks the playable shark with persists all game, and she only picks up more scars as she fights further.
  • Scenery Gorn: The game is very pretty, but a lot of the underground sewer areas and one entire zone of the game is completely flooded with trash and debris. The crates full of mutagen are implied to be part of some unlicensed dumping program.
  • Set Bonus: Equipping multiple parts of an evolution set gets you a bonus — the Bone set boosts your damage resistance, the Bio-Electric set increases bio-electric effectiveness, and the Shadow set increases your maximum speed. The more of a given set you have equipped, the larger the bonus is, but you need at least 2 of a given set equipped to gain these bonuses.
  • Shout-Out: So many as to get their own page.
  • Show Within a Show: The game is framed as a Reality TV series called Maneater, along the lines of Swamp People. A station bug with the show title sometimes appears in the lower right of the screen.
  • Significant Wardrobe Shift: Pete's final design in the final boss battle against him is a physical representation of how the cycle of revenge has physically destroyed him and turned him into a maniac. He's covered in scars, 3rd degree burns, he's shaved off the rest of his hair and he's now changed his beard to a long goatee.
  • Silent Protagonist: Since this was a given, the developers stated that this was the main reason for the presence of the Lemony Narrator of the game, and thus the reality show framing device.
  • Spiritual Successor: To Jaws Unleashed; the original sandbox shark simulator.
  • Sunken City: Dead Horse Lake contains the submerged ruins of part of Port Clovis, including its nuclear power plant.
  • Super-Persistent Predator: Many predators will chase you, even if there are much easier prey around. Possibly justified in that you are an obvious competitor shark rather than just human prey.
  • Take That!: Both Gator Land and Sea World have expies and the narrator doesn't shy away from blasting both for their practices and mistreatment of the animals.
  • Taking You with Me: Consumed by vengeance and cornered by his hated foe aboard his own boat, Pete sets off onboard explosives as his last resort, resulting in a Pyrrhic Victory. The game's Cycle of Revenge had finally come full circle.
  • A Taste of Power: Of the Castlevania: Symphony of the Night variety. You play as a big bad momma shark with all of the upgrades — then after snacking on hunters and beachgoers, she's killed and you play as a pup who has to level up.
  • Technicolor Toxin: The Mutagen that can be obtained from sunken chests or eating albino enemies is a virulent green. Sections of the sunken nuclear power plant also emit the eerie blue glow of Cherenkov radiation, which can damage the Shark if she swims into the plume of it erupting from the reactor's damaged core.
  • Threatening Shark: Well, obviously. Changes in that you're the threat this time around. Although, there are plenty of sharks in the game world that can make quick work of you if you're below their level, in the form of Makos, Hammerheads and Great Whites.
  • Title Drop: The name of the Show Within a Show is Maneater. The last line of the campaign is dripping with Leaning on the Fourth Wall.
    Narrator: So until next fishing season, this is Maneater
  • Too Dumb to Live: Most human tourists you're tasked with hunting tend to react to your presence by standing in place or falling over while shrieking in terror. Even if you leave when you need to submerge, most likely all of them will be in the same place you left them despite you eating their friends right in front of them.
  • Toxic Waste Can Do Anything: The announcer wonders if gamma rays can give superpowers, and the shark could test that theory out.
  • Truth in Television: Subtly in play, as most people know, sharks in general don't actually like the taste of humans, which don't provide enough of the nutrients a shark needs. In-game, humans provide a tiny amount of health and protein, that if it wasn't for needing to kill them for objectives/to get the hunters who provide upgrades, you wouldn't bother. Aside from fulfilling Jaws fantasies, anyway, which sharks don't have for obvious reasons. The devs also chose to make the playable character a bull shark, which is not only one of the species actually known to attack humans, but frequently swims inland into fresh water.
  • Uncertain Doom:
    • After a fight with the Bull Shark, Kyle tried to extinguish the flames but it resulted in the boat exploding. Kyle's body was never found, there was no blood in the water and it's strongly indicated that the shark ate him. The show uses #WheresKyle to fuel the idea that Kyle survived the explosion and escaped the shark.
    • In the climactic final battle, Scaly Pete detonates some explosives in a last-ditch effort to kill the Bull Shark, the ship explodes and the ship sinks to the bottom of the sea. The credits music initially appears to indicate that Pete succeeded in killing the shark and both characters don't re-emerge from the water. That being said, the credits music changes to a sinister tone as if to suggest the shark survived.
  • Unscrupulous Hero: Scaly Pete is a proud hunter of sharks and is the main antagonist of the game. He kills the mother because she started eating people at the beach and starts hunting the protagonist when she starts becoming a man-eater as well. After Kyle's apparent death, Pete resorts to polluting the ocean in order to poison her and sacrifices himself to finally kill her.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: By killing your mother, scarring you as a pup, and tossing you out into the wilderness so you can be "fair game" later, Scaly Pete became the catalyst for possibly the most dangerous marine predator on earth. What follows is an uncountable number of gruesome human deaths, a severe depletion in the population of a number of sea species, an enormous amount of property damage, the assumed death of his son, the loss of not one but two limbs, horrible scarring, and pollution of the eco-system. Needless to say, Pete done goofed. Especially considering that the pup got a taste for human flesh in the first place because Pete's hand was the very first thing it ate.
  • Villain Protagonist: The shark you play as is an active hunter of humans and the focus of the story is Scaly Pete, the antagonist who wants to kill you.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: The strained relationship between Pete and Kyle reaches a breaking point when Kyle tries to save their burning boat in hopes to gain his father's approval. It fails and Kyle seemingly dies, not knowing that his father truly loved him.
  • The Worf Effect: After killing a few shark hunters, the mother's rampage is easily stopped by Scaly Pete, showing you will have to be more than a regular shark to beat him.
  • You Killed My Father: Mother in this case. Pete killed your mother before you were born. Turned around later, the first battle with Pete seemingly gets his son killed.
  • You Require More Vespene Gas: The various nutrients you get from devouring animals are Proteins, Fats, and Minerals. (Humans give you a smattering of all three, all the more reason to go maneating, and hammerheads give you even more). As an Anti-Frustration-Feature, most evolution sets only require one of these so they don't cut into each other's needs. Mutagen is the fourth, rarer material needed for the final tiers of your mutations. Bits of it can be found in nutrient crates or in mutated albino fish.
  • Zip Mode: You can fast travel to any discovered grotto as long as you're not in combat.
    Examples in Truth Quest 
  • Absurdly Low Level Cap: Notably, the level cap will only increase to 40. In contrast, the Maneater faces enemies upwards of Level 50, 60, and with the Atomic Leviathan at the end of the DLC, 100
  • Breath Weapon: By equipping the Atomic Body, you gain the ability to use a beam attack fired from your mouth, by taking aim by holding down the bite button, then letting go and unleashing the attack proper. Holding the button down also slows down time to better aim, and also slows down the timer on the active ability as well to prevent you from wasting time just trying to take aim against a given target.
  • The Cameo: The Maneater and its three forms (Bio-Electric, Bone, and Shadow) are seen in photographs. Goes even further when the Maneater starts facing other marine life that's mutated to have similar appearances and powers.
  • Conspiracy Theorist: The Narrator has become one after viewing the bull shark's "unprecedented displays of evolution, strange mutations never before observed by the human eye."
  • Contrasting Sequel Antagonist: Well, DLC rather than sequel, but the show fits. Scaly Pete was an unhinged human obsessed with killing the shark, and didn’t care how much of the environment he despoiled in the process. Truth Quest’s antagonist likewise causes untold environmental destruction, but more through simply existing as a mutated monster than any malice. The Atomic Leviathan doesn’t even pursue the player; instead, you have to chase it through the game until you catch up to it, at which point it reacts like all the other apex predators you’ve confronted and simply fights back out of territoriality.
  • Flunky Boss: The Leviathan is this. Once two thirds of its health has been whittled away, it summons a mutated great white, orca and sperm whale to assist it in fighting you.
  • Kraken and Leviathan: One of Trip's notes mentions a "Kraken". The final boss of the DLC is called the "Atomic Leviathan".
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: The player shark disrupting the power at Plovis Island is what unleashes the Atomic Leviathan in the first place. Prior to this, it can be partially seen contained in the dome at the middle of the map, unable to escape.
  • No-Sell:
    • Having the exact same body mutation of any of the likewise mutated predators in Plover Island makes you immune to the secondary effects of these respective mutations, such as Bio-Electric cancelling out the stun effects from the Bio-Electric Great White, and so on with the others.
    • The Questers cannot be detected by long ranged sonar like other targets because of their tin foil hats, and they do not have any markers on the map. By the time you finally are able to see any given Quester's icon above them, you're already more than within killing range of them.
  • Not Quite Dead: While it was only implied in the base game, the DLC flat out confirms the Maneater's survival against the Final Battle against Scaly Pete, with the narrator flat out addressing this fact in his opening introduction to the expansion proper, just before the game shifts into the first cutscene of the expansion overall.
  • Out of Focus: Crayfish Bay is not changed at all regarding what new content Truth Quest adds, and much like in the base game you revisit it only for completion's sake and is entirely optional from the main story. This is noteworthy because virtually all other areas in the main game get at least some form of additional content, such as main story objectives or in the form of optional objectives for 100% Completion.
  • Purposely Overpowered: The Atomic Set is best described as this, mainly because of the newly introduced enemies in the DLC being able to easily make mincemeat out of you otherwise, and the fact the Atomic Set also has significantly larger upgrade requirements compared to the other Sets, including a significantly larger amount of Mutagen than any of the three prior Sets combined. That's not even getting into the Atomic Breath active on the Atomic Body part which can allow you to easily destroy entire chunks of health bars on enemies if you time your shots right.
  • Religion of Evil: An obscure reference by the narrator in the main game references a "shark god," and one of Trip's notes mentions a "Shark cult."
  • Sea Monster: Whereas the original game featured Apex predators as bosses, the expansion features "Uber" predators. To wit, we have:
    • A great white shark using Bio-Electric powers
    • An orca using Shadow powers
    • A sperm whale using Bone powers
    • All of the above as an "Irradiated" version combining their original powers with the new Atomic powers
    • A freakin' Mosasaurus with Atomic powers as the final boss of the DLC (called the Atomic Leviathan in-game)
    • On a side note, one could consider the Maneater herself to become one of these by the end of the DLC, reaching an astounding 10 meters long in length at Level 40, the Atomic Set allowing her to basically become the Ultimate Lifeform of the whole game, and the main story of the DLC involving her hunting and prey upon all of the above Apex Predators as part of the main objectives.
  • Serial Escalation: Everything building up to M.O.L.O.C.H., AKA the Atomic Leviathan, has you tracking down an irradiated pathway of destruction leading you into killing three previous mutated Apex Predators that were now stronger because of being irradiated. Then you get to M.O.L.O.C.H. itself who is flat out the largest predator in the whole game and the fact it has a shield meter keeping much of its HP untouchable. Then about a third of its health remaining, it suddenly calls for help from all three of the Irradiated Apex Predators you fought earlier to suddenly spawn in the arena.
  • Time Trial: Truth Quest adds these racing minigames to the game, which has you swimming through rings in a linear path. Some of these are actually required to beat in-order to advance the main story of Truth Quest, but a majority of them are optional.
  • Toxic Waste Can Do Anything: Averted in the announcement trailer, where the Narrator is skeptical of the suggestions of a "prominent marine biologist" that the high levels of radiation may be responsible for the Maneater's evolutions. Ironic, considering Trip himself used to believe the same thing in the base game, even encouraging the Maneater to test the theory out.
  • Took a Level in Badass: The normal predators appearing within Plover Island are all higher leveled than their original main game counterparts, thus giving them an early edge against the player in regards to size matchup. Not only that, but as listed under Sea Monster above, three of the main game predatory animals now appear with the same mutations that the Maneater had been able to use exclusively prior, and can now fully use their nasty effects against you assuming you're using a different body type from their own.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Trip spends the whole expansion spewing increasingly bizarre conspiracy theories, from paranoia over rude comments on his social media channel to insisting the celebrity shark hunters are Masonic cabal leaders or extradimensional insectoid aliens.
  • Unseen No More: The build-up to the Leviathan comes off like this. Once you come to Plovis Island, you can see the dome containing it, with one pectoral fin ominously appearing above the water. Then you follow its trail of destruction throughout Port Clovis until finally confronting it at the very end, which is the only time you see it in all its glory.