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Video Game / Not August

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Get used to allies. You'll need them.

Not August is a Jake Clover freeware Shoot 'em Up game for PC, released in June 2013. The game is arguably the most normal of his works so far, with three mid-sized levels and three planes to choose from. While it has no plot to speak of, the game is generally agreed to be a symbolic deconstruction like his earlier works. It can be donwloaded here.

This game provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Artificial Brilliance: Allied planes can perform barrel rolls and fly off to the side or even retreat to avoid enemy bullets. Both allies and enemies can also turn slightly sideways to fire diagonally whenever needed.
  • Boss in Mook Clothing: The B17-like green plane: absolutely huge and with health to boot. They might not have many diverse attacks, but the sheer amount of shots they can pump out with their four machine-guns easily compensates for that.
    • Also, the even larger blue plane encountered during the second level. Even though it only has two machine-guns, they’re rapid-fire and mounted on its side. During combat, the plane will simply left to right, quickly filling the screen with bullets until it’s finally downed.
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  • Bullet Hell: There can easily be hundreds of shots on the screen at once, although it can take a hundred of them to kill you. That said, the sheer amount of enemies and the size of each level makes for some tense moments.
  • Collision Damage: Crashing into enemy planes will destroy both of you.
  • Denial of Diagonal Attack: Averted: you can fire diagonally by turning the plane slightly, though this takes some effort. AI-controlled planes can do this too, whether allied or hostile.
  • Do a Barrel Roll: You can use one to avoid enemy bullets, and some allied planes will also do this occasionally. Given how many of them are there, though, it’s not something you can rely on.
  • Fixed Forward-Facing Weapon: Averted with some hostile yellow planes, which have a rapid-fire machinegun mounted on the side and will fly back and forth while shooting it. There is also a very large blue plane which has two of these guns. All other planes play this trope straight, though.
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  • Flash of Pain: The picture of your plane on the HUD begins to flash red if the health has been reduced to critical amount. If you only have one life left, the lone heart symbol will laos begin to flicker.
  • Fragile Speedster: The orange plane you can use is the fastest one and has the highest rate of fire, but it also has the smallest health of the three.
  • Friendly Fireproof: You and allies don’t take damage from the orange bullets you fire, while the enemies are similarly immune to their blue bullets. Similarly, you only receive collision damage if you happen to hit the enemy planes, while you’ll simply fly over the friendlies.
  • Gameplay Ally Immortality: Averted: the allied planes will often get shot down during gameplay, to be replaced with reinforcements.
  • Giant Mook: The yellow and large green planes are far larger than any other plane in the game and are very powerful. During the second level, you also get the allied planes equivalent to the yellow planes.
  • It's Up to You: Averted and deconstructed within an inch of its life. Each level always begins with 7-10 different allied planes near you and more allied planes are spawned throughout. What’s more they’re not helpless and will frequently defeat enemy planes by themselves and get killed in return. In fact, it’s entirely possible to finish the level with allies killing more of the enemies than you do.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: The white plane is this. It’s speed and health fit right between the other two, and even though it has two guns, their slow rate of fire makes them inferior to the orange speedster’s weapon.
  • Made of Explodium: Subverted. Planes will sometimes explode outright, but will just as often nose-dive across the screen with a trail of thick black smoke.
  • Mooks but No Bosses: The closest thing the game has to a boss are the B17-like planes, and there can easily be a dozen in a single level.
  • More Dakka: The third plane you can use has twin machine guns. However, this is compensated by their slower rate of fire, especially when compared to the first plane's rapid-fire gun.
    • For the enemies, the yellow planes also have twin machine guns, which are sometimes rapid-fire, too. The large, B17-like green planes have at least four, while the largest, blue planes have twin rapid-fire machin- guns.
  • One Hitpoint Wonder: Averted. Even though you have three lives, it takes between 50 to 100 bullets to destroy your plane depending on health.
  • 1-Up: You can pick one up about halfway through the each level.
  • Reality Ensues: Even though you have realistic health and three lives, the best way to survive the level is to back off and let the allies take the heat of the enemy firepower.
  • Stone Wall: The second, black-coloured plane is this. It has the largest health of the three, even occasionally able to survive a crash with another plane, but it is quite slow and has the lowest rate of fire.
  • Title Drop: If you wait for long enough in the menu screen, you’ll see the air division badge with the words Not August written on it.
  • Weak Turret Gun: Played with. The turrets faced in some levels don’t have much health, but they unleash a torrent of lead comparable to the miniboss planes.
  • Wrap Around: It’s possible, and sometimes very beneficial, to go from one side of the screen to the other.

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