Follow TV Tropes


Video Game / Monolith

Go To

"Descending in the darkness of a long-abandoned facility, a lone ship searches for wealth, power and the scattered pieces of the past."

Monolith is a top-down Roguelike Shoot 'em Up by Team D-13.

The game sets up the player as a ship searching through a ruined facility filled with hazards and enemies for a source of "Power Eternal." To do this, the player will need to find and defeat minibosses in order to break an impenetrable door leading to one of three bosses for each floor, all the while searching for upgrades and weapons.

Monolith was released on Steam on June 7th, 2017, and is currently available for PC and Linux. The game has achieved moderate praise from the roguelike community, and is still receiving updates. The developers' website and a demo of the game can be found here, and the soundtrack is available for pay-what-you-want on Bandcamp here.

An Expansion Pack, Relics of the Past, was released on December 25, 2019.


Monolith contains examples of:

  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: Level 3, "Maintenance System".
  • Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: Parodied with the Special Offer, in which Bloke tries to force you to pay 1 million debris for one of the seals and requires Null to "haggle" with him to get a reasonable price by shooting his mech. Not even Kleines is that greedy, considering he sells a seal for just 100k debris.
  • An Interior Designer Is You: Limited. At certain cumulative score thresholds, Kleines will let you decorate your hub with a few pieces of furniture. He'll even give you a ghost in a jar that you can put hats on!
  • Antagonist Title: The True Final Boss of Null's runs is a monolith. The True Final Boss of D-13's runs is the Monolith.
  • Awesome Mc Coolname: Most of the bosses. Just to name a few, Guardian, Presence, Devourer, Ordinator, and Overlord.
  • Advertisement:
  • Bonus Boss: In Relics of the Past, there are several. Along with Microcore and Trespasser, there's also The Warden, Chaosgod, and Database.
  • Book-Ends: The end of the tutorial is a fight between Null and D-13. The end of hard mode is a rematch between D-13 and Null under the influence of the Power Eternal.
  • Boss Remix: Monolith, of Rivaling Force.
  • Bullet Hell: Not at first, but the later bosses very much exemplify this trope.
  • Cat Folk: Kleines, the cat shopkeeper. No explanation is given for this.
  • Collision Damage, although only for mobile enemies.
  • Cool Sword: The Sword weapon. It blocks bullets, too, and is the only weapon that Overlord can use.
  • Critical Existence Failure: At one hit point, your ship is just fine—there's an entire game mode revolving around you being a One-Hit Point Wonder. At zero, your ship explodes spectacularly.
  • Deadly Disc: The Razor weapon.
  • Degraded Boss: The Guardian boss appears as a regular enemy in the Sanctum, though with only one attack this time. Using a weapon with the Curse of Paranoia causes Presence to randomly spawn alongside regular enemies, and it also appears as a normal enemy in level 6 along with many other minibosses of previous floors.
  • Disk-One Final Boss: After defeating Overlord, your run cannot continue further if you didn't open all four seals.
  • Dissonant Serenity: The music in the last phase of the fight with Null as Monolith.
  • Dual Boss: In level 6, one miniboss is a variant of Chamberlord consisting of two enemies with a shared health pool.
  • Dueling Player Characters: You fight D-13 as Null at the end of the tutorial. D-13 fights Null as the Monolith in level 6, and everyone fights the later-playable Overlord, including himself.
  • Dungeon Shop: Run by an '80s cool kid by the name of Bloke, or others who look very much like him. One of the seal bosses, Special Offer, is fought here.
  • Elite Mook: Denoted by a ring around the mook's head, and only seen in floor 6 or much more commonly in Hard Mode. The elite status can be swapped off between enemies if the original elite is killed.
  • Enemy Scan: Downplayed: The Scanner upgrade reveals enemies' HP.
  • Energy Weapon: The Laser weapon for the player. Several enemies and bosses can also use this on you.
  • Extreme Omnivore: Null and D-13 have a cup of coffee and a juice box, respectively, floating next to them on the pause screen. Overlordhas a sword, implying it drinks that.
  • Face–Heel Turn: After obtaining the Power Eternal, Null transforms into Monolith and turns on their former friend, D-13.
  • Faceless Eye: Presence.
  • Flip-Screen Scrolling
  • Flunky Boss: Most of the Forgotten Ringleader's attacks involve spawning normal and big ghosts. Charlie is also fond of summoning skullies to his aid during his fight.
  • Gatling Good: The Vulcan and Pulsar weapons, the former of which can even have a "gatling" modifier for an even more extreme example.
    • The White Death legendary weapon increases in fire rate every time it scores a hit, stacking up to a ludicrous rate of fire. It resets back to its default fairly slow fire rate upon missing, however.
  • Genius Loci: Kleines describes Firewall as "more of a location than a creature."
  • Glass Cannon: The point of Intense and Sudden Death lethalities; Intense starts you at 150% damage and a fixed maximum of 5HP, while Sudden Death gives you 300% starting damage but leaves you permanently at one hit point.
  • Have a Nice Death: Kleines has different quotes for (almost) every enemy, boss, and hazard in the game if you ask him for advice immediately after being killed. These range from helpful tips to dry criticism.
  • High-Altitude Battle: The fight against Monolith takes place flying through the facility, and then in the sky above it.
  • Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels: As characters, initially. Null is the protagonist of normal mode, D-13 is the protagonist of hard mode. Once you conquer hard mode as D-13, you can play in Normal or Hard modes with any ship of your choosing.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Any of the ships, what with drills, spears, and swords being possible weapons in a shoot-em-up game. Hilariously, the sword is simply stuck onto the front of the ship, and is many times larger than the ship itself.
  • Killed Off for Real: Null's fate at the end of Hard Mode. ??? also gets killed after taking on The Machine.
  • King Mook: Chamberlord and Forgotten Ringleader.
  • Leitmotif: Used throughout the soundtrack, with the title screen being the game's main theme. Especially notable in the tracks for the two fights between Null and D-13.
  • Living Statue: Not a monolith, but instead the seal boss Renegade, the statue at shrines.
  • Long Song, Short Scene: The first two pause screen songs, and the song that plays on the game over screen.
  • Minus World: The hidden 7th floor, "Nowhere", has the appearance and aesthetic of one of these, though it mechanically does not qualify as one.
  • Multiple Endings: Killing Overlord and leaving the room from the side exits ends your run without fanfare. If you've broken all four seals, you may pass into the forbidden levels of the facility. From here, the endings diverge based on your selected character.
    • Null and any other characters not mentioned below defeat The Machine, and earn themselves The Power Eternal. The game ends as they claim it from the conduit.
    • D-13 fights Null, who has transformed into Monolith due to taking the Power Eternal. After defeating Null, D-13 destroys the conduit and ends the threat/temptation of the Power Eternal for good, earning you a proper credits sequence. You also get a special post-credits scene if you defeat Monolith with all S-ranks.
    • Overlord defeats The Machine, which promptly explodes; Overlord is shoved out of harm's way by ??? however, who perishes in the process of doing so.
    • ??? defeats The Machine, but is killed when it explodes after the fight.
    • Another hidden and very difficult to obtain ending exists and is available for all characters; after taking on the Tier 4 temple, lighting all the seals and defeating the Warden at his full strength, the player then faces the now-unsealed Chaosgod - upon defeating Chaosgod, it launches a final desperation attack. Getting struck by this attack results in the player being banished along with Chaosgod and fighting its core inside the sealed prison - destroying Chaosgod's core ends its threat for good, but leaves the player trapped inside a black hole for all eternity.
  • No Name Given: The Machine's name is garbled when you first fight it, and it is called "Unknown" in the bestiary. It's actual name is only revealed in the credits after the Monolith fight.
  • Non Standard Game Over: A few bosses have unique messages if they kill you. For example, you might be incinerated by Firewall or devoured by Devourer.
  • One-Hit Point Wonder: Sudden Death mode enforces this. You deal triple damage, but your max HP stat is permanently locked to 1. Not only that, the game removes the Autobomb upgrade from terminals, just to hammer home the fact that you really cannot get hit, at all.
  • Point of No Return: The Overlord fight; once you defeat him, you either end your run or move onto level 6, with no way to revisit rooms on the Sanctum.
  • Power at a Price: As Null found out the hard way.
  • Randomly Generated Levels: Each floor has a random layout (though certain elements always appear), and each room is picked from a template as you enter it.
  • Shout-Out: Quite a few exist.
  • Spread Shot: Any weapon with the shotgun or triple keyword, though the Shotgun Pulsar combination is especially notable. The Charge weapon also fires like this.
  • Stationary Boss: Daemon (though not in Hard Mode), Reactor, Special Offer, and Renegade.
  • This Is a Drill: The Drill weapon. It doesn't drill through things, but it does automatically phase through walls.
  • Time Stands Still: The Warden's gimmick during its last phase.
  • Tragic Keepsake: D-13's watch, earned by defeating Monolith in hard mode with all S-ranks. Blastcore's ribbon also qualifies.
  • Turns Red: Chamberlord, Daemon and Behemoth in Hard Mode, all the Maintenance System bosses, Firewall, Ordinator, Overlord, Unknown, and Monolith.
  • Victory Fakeout: Armor Tac, Nightmare, and Hard Mode Reactor.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Kleines, the cat at the start, explains that the Overlord was another ship that reached the Power Eternal. Same with Monolith.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: