Follow TV Tropes


Video Game / Nexus War

Go To

The universe - all that we know, all that exists - is dying. It is time for a new universe to be born. In a faraway place and time, souls do battle to determine which ethos will dominate the new creation. This place is known by many names but those there refer to it as The Nexus.

Every action is measured in the scales of creation to determine what changes each new Breath will bring.

Nexus War is a series of free browser-based MMORPGs that revolves around a cosmic struggle between the forces of good, evil and free will over the destiny of a constantly reincarnating universe. It is similar in style to Urban Dead, and there is considerable overlap between the player base of both games.

The original Nexus War was created and administrated by Brandon Harris (aka Jorm) and ran from early 2007 to late 2009. The game was set on the fictitious Caribbean archipelago of St. Germaine, which was ripped from the face of the Earth in a massive hurricane. St. Germaine became the eternal battleground of Valhalla, and war between the Elder Powers of good, evil, and free will raged across the islands and the extra-dimensional planes connected to them.

In late 2009, Jorm announced that he was unable to keep up with the cost of running the servers and was preparing to shut down the game. However, he ended the game with a bang — the war escalated into a Grand Finale that saw epic battles, dramatic changes in the landscape, and avatars of the Elder Powers walking among mortals. The planes of existence closed off one by one until the game reached its final conclusion in mid-October of 2009.

The series was soon Un-Canceled by Nexus Clash, a Spiritual Successor created by one of the site staff of the first game. Nexus Clash retains most of the original format, with a number of twists - most notably, the regular deaths and rebirths (or "Breaths") of the universe described in the backstory are now a direct feature of the game in the form of occasional wiping and redesigning of the game world. Other new features include new character classes such as Fallen Angels and Redeemed Demons, new planes to explore, and more clearly defined character roles.

Has a character sheet for each class.

This game provides examples of:

  • Absurdly-Spacious Sewer: Not only is it Absurdly Spacious, it literally warps space.
  • Action Bomb: Explosive Murder, which despite its inefficiency is one of the most popular skills for its class. In general, players like blowing themselves up.
    • The devs love it too. One version had the Explosive Murder button in the same panel as normal attacks, leading a lot of people to accidentally click it. Jorm flatly refused to change this, because people exploding by accident is amusing.
  • Another Dimension: Several of these, usually including at least one plane for each alignment. Some Breaths have had different options.
  • After the End: It's a war at the end of the universe, so it's more like During the End. However, it is definitely a Scavenger World, as society and industry have broken down.
  • Alien Geometries: The original Nexus War was won by Marquai, the Elder Power of time, order and engineering. As his victory loomed, everything became more angular - the moon was now octagonal, clouds were square or triangular, etc. Nexus Clash's Kaleidoscopia probably counts too.
  • All There in the Manual: The game includes a huge wiki that contains all of the Canon backstory articles as well as everything about the game.
  • An Adventurer Is You: Nexus Clash has explicitly defined role divisions. Each alignment has two Tier 2 classes that break out into six Tier Three classes filling the following six roles:
    • Tank: Mostly reliant on passive skills and Charged Attack. All have some form of innate armor and skills that raise the maximum HP cap, and two of three have defensive auras that damage those who attack them. Hard-hitting, but often not very accurate. (Seraph, Eternal Soldier, Infernal Behemoth)
    • Hunter: High mobility, high accuracy, high single-target damage, but often fragile. Can learn some means of tracking and finding enemies. (Divine Herald, Revenant, Void Walker)
    • Arcane Trickster: The Magic Knight class, capable of learning spells. Has some form of innate armor, but not as tough as Tank classes. The most MP-dependent of the combat T3 classes, as most of their abilities are active rather than passive. (Holy Champion, Nexus Champion, Doom Howler)
    • Support Caster: Centered on Status Buffs, Status Effects, and Utility Magic, with less in terms of direct offense than other caster classes. (Advocate, Conduit, Dark Oppressor)
    • Offensive Caster: Spell damage, and lots of it. Also focuses on spell-enhanced weapon attacks. (Archon, Wizard, Corrupter)
    • Petmaster: Summoning-focused classes. Other classes can summon pets, but these are the best at it . (Lightspeaker, Lich, Wyrm Master)
    • Lastly, the Fallen and Redeemed are special cases that don't really fit into any of the above roles.
  • Anti Poop-Socking: Much like in Urban Dead, there's a pretty limited number of character actions that any player can do in a day.
  • Arcadia: The plane of Elysium/Paradise. One version of this plane also had a Fluffy Cloud Heaven floating in the sky above it, with clouds solid enough to support lakes, forests and castles.
  • Archaic Weapon for an Advanced Age: Swords and bows are seen alongside firearms and grenades, and are just as effective, but Valhalla itself is always a modern city.
  • Arm Cannon: No longer technically in play, but Fallen have the power to produce ammunition this way.
  • Back Stab: Attacks from hiding. Again and again, sometimes. Occasionally attacking with an ambulance. Which explodes.
  • Black Magic: Most demonic skills, which focus on either a) doing a lot of damage or b) nastily debuffing the other guy.
  • Bloody Murder: The Wyrm Master skill Acid Blood. Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
  • Body Horror: Tends to happen to demons in general.
    • Members of the Sires of Retribution, when killed, have their corpses mutated into a monster that attacks whoever kills them.
    • Thanks to a setting containing both plague and necromantic zombies, it's possible for a character's body to get ripped in half with each half reanimated as each kind of zombie. Which then fight each other.
  • Bottomless Pit: The Pit of Azazel. Several planes consist mostly of this.
  • Breakable Weapons: The caveat if the Unbreakable Weapons let you down...which they inevitably will.
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory: Entirely averted. The items that can be purchased with donations have no in-game effect and just make your character look more unique. You can donate to get more characters than the initial three, but those characters still can't help each other.
  • Car Fu: A number of different classes have access to Super-Strength that lets them pick up a variety of heavy things to use as weapons, including vehicles, trees, streetlights, and statues. Much has been written about the irony of getting flattened by an ambulance.
  • Cast from Hit Points: Fallen Angels can reload their weapons from hit points. Their Good counterpart, the Redeemed, can cast from morality points, putting their Redemption at risk in exchange for awesome combat abilities. The exact mechanisms vary from Breath to Breath, but in general, if it comes in points there's a way to cast from it.
    • As a chainsaw powered by goodness, the Clockwork Blade takes this trope literally.
  • Character Alignment: Set in concrete by a convenient Karma Meter. invoked
  • Charged Attack: Several. All add extra damage and change the damage type.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: Myrmidons and Eternal Soldiers don't draw upon any kind of magic but their own badassery, which still pushes their abilities well beyond human limits and gives them limited access to arcane power.
  • Church Militant: Eleven of them, one for each Elder Power, one for those who want to Rage Against the Heavens, and another as a prize for the winner of the last Breath. Given the nature of the Elder Powers, players have spent much of the game trying to figure out what exactly causes advancement in the church, though killing followers of Powers your patron dislikes is usually a good start.
  • Class and Level System, Point Build System: Every character starts out as a Mortal. At level 10, they can take a second-tier class based on their alignment. A third-tier class can be added at level 20, determined by the character's second-tier class.
  • Clown-Car Grave: There's an entire plane of existence for this trope.
  • Competitive Balance: The methods of killing stuff are mostly balanced against each other. For example, rifles do much more damage per AP than bare fists, but the player also has to spend AP repairing the guns and searching for ammunition. The Divine Champion class can dish out more damage than a Seraph under the right circumstances but requires more management and is completely MP-dependent, while a Seraph's skills are mostly passive.
  • Critical Existence Failure
  • Crossover: Quite apart from the inherent nature of the Worlds, everything from Balrogs to Weepings Angels are running around.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: It becomes less of one as your character advances. Folks who rely on a lot of Breakable Weapons might see it as worse than one.
  • Death of a Thousand Cuts: Being hit always deals at least 1 point of damage, unless you are immune to that damage type.
  • Dragons Are Divine: The Nexus Clash backstory has three Great Dragons that occasionally intervened at pivotal points to shake up the wars between the Powers That Be.
  • Drop the Hammer: Warhammers are rather effective weapons in the hands of the strong.
  • Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors: The Elementalist class had this in spades. Learning an elemental skill increases resistance to that element... and vulnerability to the others.
  • Enemy Scan: Several basic skills do this. They all scan something different, though, so most folks pick up all of them eventually.
  • Eternal Equinox: Day and night last exactly one hour each regardless of the season. The in-universe explanation is that the cities that become Valhalla aren't really attached to their planets anymore and the day and night cycle are being faked by the Powers That Be. The real game-mechanics reason for this is that playing a Revenant usually depends on tracking the cycle to avoid the day and go out at night, and it'd be annoying if Revenant players had to keep track of a bunch of extra mechanics.
  • Eternal Recurrence: In the Nexus world, the entire universe works this way. It's now a direct feature of the game, and the death and rebirth of the universe usually comes packaged with new features and balance improvements.
  • Eye Beams: The Eye of Judgment and its upgrades.
  • Fictional Constellations: In the backstory, the four-pointed symbol of the Nexal death god Hashaa is said to be one of the few constellations visible in the plane of Purgatorio. It's fitting since Hashaa's symbol represents the application of entropy and decay to all things, while Purgatorio is a cosmic-scale junkyard filled with faded, crumbling mementos of past worlds.
  • Glass Cannon: Casters in general and Void Walkers. Divine Heralds and Revenants to a lesser extent.
  • Grand Finale: When the first game ended, the outer planes shut down one by one, Valhalla was sucked into the void, and the gods walked the earth. Later Nexus Clash Breaths have made this a more regular occurrence, albeit with less fanfare.
  • Fire and Brimstone Hell: The plane of Gehenna/Stygia flipflops between this and Evil Is Deathly Cold.
  • Floating Continent: The island plane of Purgatorio is floating in endless void. If you lose your footing, it really is the fall that kills you.
  • Four Is Death: The fourth Elder Power of each alignment is dead/missing.
  • Game Mod: There's a wide selection of player-created extensions that enhance the interface. Lately the development team have been mining them for improvements to the base game's interface.
  • Hand Cannon: The Small Cannon, wrenched from the deck of Age of Sail ships and turned on one's enemies to lethal effect. It took a while to reload, though. The original game was less literal but followed this trope closely enough with the Walker Colt revolver.
  • Harmful Healing: Demons have their basic healing item in the Stygian Bone Leech, a vicious demonic symbiote that gnaws its way into exposed flesh, sanitizing wounds, repairing bones and muscles, and eating infected tissue as it goes. Here is a picture of one. Sweet dreams! Despite being hideous and painful, it does actually heal its 'patients', curing poisons and performing other medical miracles as it eats you. Angels get more benign Healing Herbs instead.
  • Heal Thyself: First Aid kits and other healing items can be used on oneself, and apparently heal everything.
  • Heaven Above: The Angelic plane of Paradise/Elysium is usually an Arcadia environment, but one season of it took it one step further with an even holier Fluffy Cloud Heaven floating in the skies above that.
  • Hellhole Prison: Literally, with the Black Prison. The Elysian version isn't very nice either, though; it's the idealized form of Jeremy Bentham's Panopticon, where the warden can constantly watch all the prisoners all the time, and they have Holy Books available to aid in their rehabilitation...or, more likely, kill them.
  • Holy Hand Grenade: And how. Demons have dirty tricks, but Angels have all the big guns.
  • Hyperactive Metabolism: Both used and averted. Food and drink items heal you, but only a small amount and all types restore the same amount of HP.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Defilers who desecrate corpses can get "a chunk of salted meat" to consume.
  • Improvised Weapon: Characters can use a variety of odd melee weapons, including sledgehammers, chainsaws, whips, and shivs. They're not very effective, but they are Unbreakable.
  • Invulnerable Knuckles: No damage from punching a person (or even a barricade, door, or magic ward).
  • Knight Templar: Angels can learn the Hand of Zealotry skill, which allows them to kill Neutral characters without moral consequence. Some are even nastier than that; angels with Holier Than Thou can freely injure (but not kill, that costs a couple of morality points) anyone who is less moral than them.
  • Life Drain: Any Pariah can learn to use Blood Taste, an ability that compensates for demons' inability to heal other demons.
  • Magic Knight:
    • The Nexus Champion, Holy Champion and Doom Howler classes can learn to cast spells and are very effective combatants.
    • The Archon, Wizard and Corruptor all have abilities that lend them either to being pure spellcasters, or combine their magic with a favored weapon.
    • Any "mage" class can learn to use combat skills, and all of them can use magic to aid them in combat. Some are more effective than others.
  • Magitek: Wizards can use their guns to shoot magic.
  • Mana Drain: This happens a lot. The Defiler class uses it as their signature move, although it's also a danger when fighting Revenants.
  • No Communities Were Harmed: Laurentia, the current earthlike Valhalla city, was deliberately mapped and written as its world's counterpart to Vancouver.
  • No Cure for Evil: Demonic characters cannot be healed by others. As a result, they have several means of self-healing.
  • Our Monsters Are Different
    • Angels: Seraphs (and Lightspeakers to a lesser extent) are mechanical representations of order. Holy Champions are Old Testament-style messengers of the Word, who can turn into fire or mist or steel. Advocates are closest to the pop-culture version.
    • Demons: Dark Oppressors are Succubi and Incubi or Faustian tempters. Infernal Behemoths are more like Balrogs than anything else, while Wyrm Masters, Doom Howlers, and Void Walkers are different flavors of Lovecraftian horror.
    • Vampires and werewolves: Revenants are burned by acting in sunlight and take double damage from tarnished (silver) swords. They can learn to turn into either wolves or bats.
  • Permanently Missable Content: One of the main goals of the development team is to make the entire game into this so as to never become Perpetually Static, accomplished by playing out the regular reboots of the world described in the lore. That said, enough time passes (usually real-life years) between each cycle to easily level your characters many times over and explore the entire world.
  • Perpetual Beta: The series has been in open beta for years. This is entirely deliberate on the part of the development team, who want to keep the game from ever being Perpetually Static.
  • Player Versus Player, PVP Balanced: Almost all combat is player vs. player. The few wandering monsters that exist require dozens of characters to bring down.
    • Partially subverted by the Shambling Zombie plague in Clash, which required player manipulation to spread to new planes but quickly took on a life of its own once established.
  • Point Build System: Characters get Character Points from leveling (and a few other sources) and spend them on skills. There are only so many Character Points any one character can get and lots and lots of possible things to spend them on, which requires players to make choices between many possible builds.
  • Poison Mushroom: Demons drinking angel tears. Hilarity Ensues especially where Explosive Murder is involved.
  • Power Tattoo: The Nexus Champion class derives power from magical tattoos. All of his skills are additional tattoos, e.g. a tattoo allowing him to teleport, and one allowing him to deal more damage.
  • The Power of Hate: So strong that demons can use it to blow themselves up.
  • Powers That Be: Played as straight as possible. Nine Elder Powers, competing to be the one who guides the next iteration of the universe.
  • Random Number God: It exists, and it hates you.
  • Repower: Since the universe periodically reboots, characters start back at level one and it's entirely possible to pick a completely different skill tree.
  • Revolvers Are Just Better: The Walker Colt from the first game was Just Better than every other firearm in the game in every way - until you had to reload it...
  • Rule of Three: Three Elder Powers for each of the three alignments.
  • Shadowland: Nifleheim and later the Dead Caves.
  • Shining City: Laurentia was the best place to be in its world by pretty much every conceivable metric...and thus was the last place to fall apart when the rest of the world went to hell in a handbasket.
  • Shout-Out: For while, characters who hid in Nexus Clash could end up in the Wood Between the Worlds.
  • Shotguns Are Just Better: In most people's hands, shotguns are somewhat Awesome, but Impractical as shotgun ammo is heavy and usually found in the form of individual shells. However, if that weakness can be bypassed or mitigated (and there are many ways to do that), it becomes even mightier than the holy weapons of the angels. In fact, the double-barreled shotgun was removed for being too powerful in the wrong hands.
  • Spiritual Successor: Nexus Clash is this to Nexus War. As a game about the birth of the next universe, it's both a Spiritual Successor and a direct sequel.
  • Sprint Shoes: Almost everybody gets these eventually.
  • Stat Grinding: The most common alternative way of getting Character Points once one hits the level cap. Due to the sheer number of stats to grind, no one has ever gotten 100% Completion.
  • The Straight and Arrow Path: A longbow is close to even with a rifle, and much easier to keep reloaded. Beyond that, the difference between the two is largely a matter of class preference; bows are favored by angels and, to a lesser extent, Transcended reality hackers (Nexus Champions and Conduits), who have skills that support this fighting style.
  • Summon Magic: Of the "temporary ally" type. Summoned pets have their own hit points, magic points, and action points. When any of those values reaches zero, the pet vanishes.
  • Talking Is a Free Action: For your first forty talking actions of the day. Except for the most hardcore of roleplayers (and usually even then) this is enough that costs for speaking never come up.
  • Too Awesome to Use: Magical throwing knives do huge damage, but can only be used once.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Haldos, who gains more credibility than he deserves from the fact that he is also the only narrator.
  • Urban Fantasy: Angels, demons, vampires, wizards, warrior monks, and undead running around a tropical island, waging a war with as many sides as there are players.
  • White Magic: Most angelic skills, which focus on healing, buffing, and Holy-typed damage.
  • The Wild West: The original game had this theme for Nifleheim, the land of death.
  • Winged Humanoid: Most high-leveled Angels and Demons have wings as their movement skill. Transcended characters, and the angels and demons who don't have wings, usually find other ways of getting around.
  • Zombie Apocalypse:
    • In Breath 3 of Clash, a clever exploit unleashed Shambling Zombies from the Dead Caves across the Nexus. The administrators fixed the misfeature that caused them to proliferate like weeds, and then ran a competition to see who could kill the most zombies.
    • In Breath 4, said apocalypse came back in a more limited form. Members of the Sect of Maeval zombify everyone they kill, but the spread of secondary infections depends on your standing with the Sect and a bit of luck.

Alternative Title(s): Nexus Clash