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Video Game / Metalheart Replicants Rampage

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Trashy cover for an equally trashy game.
Metalheart: Replicants Rampage is a 2005 Turn-Based Tactics / Role-Playing Game, released by the developer NumLock Software. It begins in the undetermined future, with Lantan Signi and his companion Sheris Sheridan flying a space ship that collided with another, forcing them to make landing at an an unknown planet. It turns out to be a desert world belonging to the Numori Empire, where prisoners and other undesirables are sent to mine the previous mineral tactonium. Our “heroes” don’t want to do anything with such, and only plan to repair their ship and escape as soon as possible. However, this turns out to be harder than they first thought.

The game was known for the extraordinary number of bugs when released, requiring large patches to work and even version 1.042 still possessing plenty of programming errors. This, combined with the general bad design and highly derivative nature of the game, had led to uniformly negative reviews and total obscurity afterwards.

The game provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Alliance Meter: There’s one displaying your relationship with every major faction in the game. However, there’s a rarely a practical application to it.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: You control a group limited to six characters.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The various cybernetical impants that can be installed into the character. Sounds cool, but each one of them needs to be turned on manually from the menu, and some of them will then consume precious tactonium by themselves even when they’re not used for anything. Essentially, they’re just not very useful.
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  • Boom, Headshot!: There’s an option to fire aimed shots that have a much larger chance of missing but result in insta-kill headshots when they connect. Usually they’re not worth it because regular body shots already kill enemies very quickly.
  • Cut-and-Paste Environments: Occurs a couple of times during the game.
  • Complacent Gaming Syndrome: There’s a lot of weaponry in the game, but most of it is simply not needed because of the low difficulty.
  • Crouch and Prone: Crouching provides a minor bonus to accuracy.
  • Dialogue Tree: Occasionally present, but they’re typically used only to ask questions and very rarely impact on anything.
  • Didn't Think This Through: There’s a moment in the game where you’re supposed to save a bank from robbers, only to rob yourself later on.
  • Expy: Numori Guards are rather similar to Sith in clothing, abilities and mannerisms.
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  • Fetch Quest: A lot of the secondary quests come down to this. Often, they’ll give hundreds of coins for delivering much cheaper items such as toolboxes.
  • Friendly Fireproof: Your bullets will simply pass through allied characters.
  • Green Rocks: The tactonium mineral, used as a fuel source for much of the game’s technology, including the various implants. It can also mutate wildlife into mindless, dangerous beasts in its pure form.
  • Infallible Babble: A version of that is invoked with the secondary quests. You’ll be given a photograph with the assumed location of the person to be killed or the item to be delivered. This photograph never errs and is always perfectly accurate.
  • Ironic Name: A city populated almost entirely by current and former prisoners, violent criminals, escaped slaves and such is named “City of Happiness”.
  • Our Ghouls Are Different: Or not, as the ghouls of Metalheart have more than a passing similarity to ones from Fallout.
  • Real-Time with Pause: There’s an option to play the game in this mode instead of default Turn-Based Tactics.
  • There Was a Door: Instead of walking around the wall of City of Happiness to find the gates, Lantan and Sheris decide to break through the grate and crawl through the sewer pipes.
  • Whole Plot Reference: A desert planet oppressed by the evil Empire and valued only for the mysterious, extremely potent mineral it harbours… these and other plot elements are borrowed from Dune.


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