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Video Game / Motherload

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Motherload is a flash Digging Game developed by XGen Studios in 2004. The game takes place on Mars sometime in the future in a small martian mining outpost. The player controls a lone mining pod and is tasked to drill underneath the planet's surface in search of valuable ores. The gameplay is based on the mechanics of Dig Dug, except that there are no Pookas and Fygars to be seen under the surface—the entire challenge of the game comes solely from navigating the hazardous Martian sub terrain for ore and hauling it to the surface alive with the mining pod intact and without running out of fuel. As the miner reaches deeper under the Martian surface, various clues and transmissions begin to hint at something larger and more sinister going on, of which the answer seems to be hidden even deeper under the planet.


Despite its infamously random Gainax Ending of sorts, Motherload is easily one of XGen's most popular, if not their most popular game to date. Another game based on the original, Super Motherload, was a launch title for the PS4. In addition to featuring HD graphics and local co-op multiplayer, it features new gameplay mechanics, multiple endings, and an optional "Hardcore" mode. Purchasers can also enjoy The Goldium Edition (Full version) of the original for free.


This video game provides examples of:

Super Motherload Features the following tropes:

  • Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: There are stations at various levels underground so you don't have to go all the way back up to refuel and repair, although they charge you more. Potentially justified in that transporting the fuel and spare parts must be a challenge.
  • All There in the Manual: According to the backstory given in Super Motherload, the games take place in a timeline where the Cold War never stopped, and the United States and the Soviet Union now compete to mine ore on Mars.
  • Alternate History: Said to be set in a world where the Cold War ended differently.
  • As Long as It Sounds Foreign: A lot of people's names are meant to sound Russian, and even one who is an actual historic character: Laika, the first dog to travel to outer space. One of the non-historic characters has the name Wintrov, which isn't a possible Russian name since Russian doesn't have a W sound.
  • Bird People: If Abaddon is any example, this is what the ancient martians were.
  • Last-Second Ending Choice: Do you side with Tiberius, or Abaddon?
  • Not His Sled: ...unlike the original game, Satan isn't the Big Bad. A space alien named Abaddon is.
  • Title Drop: Racking up a high enough combo will get you "Motherload".


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