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Video Game / One Finger Death Punch

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"Simplicity to perfection.
To be played in bursts.
By design, there is no story.
Only crazy kung-fu."
One Finger Death Punch 2 Intro

One Finger Death Punch is a deceptively simple Stick Figure Rhythm Game styled after East Asian Martial Arts Movies in the vein of Bruce Lee and Xiao Xiao. You play as a lone martial arts hero fighting off scores of enemies charging him from all sides. The controls boil down to pressing the left and right mouse/controller buttons (not just one of them, as the title would suggest) whenever an enemy comes within striking range left or right, respectively. If that sounds boring, wait until special enemy types and weapons come into play, to speak nothing of special stages...

There is no story to speak of.

The game is made by Silver Dollar Games, an Xbox Live indie developer. It was featured by The Cynical Brit and Extra Credits. Most likely unrelated to the band Five Finger Death Punch. After all, "the title has nothing to do with any bands, just kung-fu".

This game is available on PC, through the Steam platform. It was also available on Xbox 360 until it, along with all other indie games on Xbox Live, got removed in 2017.

A sequel, One Finger Death Punch 2, was released on PC, Xbox One, Playstation 4, and Nintendo Switch in Spring 2019.

Tropes found in the game:

  • Animal-Themed Fighting Style: The game features Praying Mantis, Eagle Claw, Flying Crane, and Shaolin Tiger styles.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: As fast-paced as the game gets, it will occasionally break out Bullet Time to give the player more time to think, such as when they grab a weapon or get hit.
    • If the player goes to attack an enemy and instead grabs the weapon immediately in front of them, the game will not only enter Bullet Time, but will put a button prompt right over said enemy to let the player know they're still there.
    • If the player goes to attack an enemy and the enemy somehow dies before the player can reach them (usually as a result of a thrown weapon of a rebounding Ball of Death,) the player will stop in their tracks and the attack won't register as a miss.
    • If the player is engaged with a brawler and the brawler gets hit by a weapon previously thrown by the player or a fast enough Ball of Death, the brawler will die mid-combat and the combo string will be canceled.
    • Once an enemy is within range and "lights up", they'll remain lit up no matter how far the player moves away from them, allowing the player to deal with a string of enemies on one side of the screen without worrying about the enemy on the other side leaving their attack range.
  • Asian Speekee Engrish: The narrator. The voice acting is bad, but in an intentional way that manages to come off as awesome. It makes the game feel like an authentic low budget kung fu movie. And somehow it works, due to being a form of Stylistic Suck.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The Heal skill. While being able to heal HP during a fight sounds amazing, the 99 kill requirement means it's pretty much useless outside of survival rounds (and only if you're doing survival rounds in Level Mode, as the dedicated Survival Mode has bonus rounds where you can regain far more HP in a shorter amount of time.)
  • Awesomeness Is Volatile: When you reach the halfway point of a light sword or nunchaku round, an explosion happens and a fire tornado appears in the background.
  • Battle in the Rain: The Thunderstorm Rounds take place during a storm—so you cannot easily see the type of enemies coming at you.
  • Blood from the Mouth: Sometimes, after you knock down the enemy in the Boss Rounds, he will visibly spit out blood before getting up and going at you again.
  • Bonus Stage: The Light Sword and Nunchaku rounds serve as this during Endless mode. The player takes no actual damage during these segments (instead getting 5 hits before they're knocked out of it and back into the normal game,) some of the enemies are colored white and heal the player when killed, and all kills count towards the player's total score (not to mention all enemies being One Hit Point Wonders is still in effect.)
  • Boring, but Practical: The Throw Weapon skill. While not as flashy as skills like Deep Impact and Freezing Point, being guaranteed to throw your next weapon can be a lifesaver, and it has a pretty short cooldown. It's even better if you combine it with Weapon Rain.
  • Boss Battle: The Boss Rounds have an enemy who alternates between several colored mook patterns as you deplete his health.
  • Breakable Power-Up: Getting hit while wielding a weapon will make the protagonist instantly drop it (unless it's the Golden Sword or you have a specific passive skill for the current weapon).
  • Bruce Lee Clone: The protagonist.
  • Button Mashing: The game explicitly makes it a point that trying to do this will get you killed even on the earliest levels: pressing either attack button when you have no valid target to hit or weapon to grab will cause you to miss, both impacting your score negatively and leaving you open for enemy attacks. That being said, towards the end of the game when you're up against multiple enemies that take several hits to kill, you still need to mash the respective attack button sufficiently quickly before the enemies reach you.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Your character doesn't talk much, but the Old Master voice announces your special abilities when they trigger. "Deep Impact!" "Freezing Point!" The sequel plays this straight, however, as your character will very frequently call out attacks, particularly if one of your skills is activated.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: This could be called Conservation Of Ninjutsu: The Game.
  • Coup de Grâce Cutscene: Sometimes the game will enter ultra slo-mo to show off a particularly brutal demise of a random enemy at the hands of the protagonist, or at least as brutal as it can be with stick figures that're Overdrawn at the Blood Bank: the variations involve breaking the enemy's neck or ribs with an x-ray view of the damage, punching out their heart through their back, punching out one of their eyes, slicing off a part of their head, impaling them on an upright spear or crushing their head with a mace. Another variant is a quick button-mashing prompt. Yet another is throwing your weapon only to impale the enemy on it, which actually lets you reuse the same weapon again. This can actually be annoying, since it can throw off your rhythm.
    • They can happen against bosses too, so even after you've punched the guy's heart out, he can keep going depending on whether or not his health bar is empty.
    • The sequel has ridiculous things such as lasers from your eyes and electricity from your hands.
  • Critical Status Buff: When you're left with just one HP in a regular mob round, there's a good chance that time will stop, your enemies back off, the music changes to a more epic track, and an indestructible Golden Sword is delivered from the heavens and into your character's hands. Unlike regular swords, it won't be dropped after a few kills. You've got one last chance for a Heroic Second Wind. Make it count.Exceptions 
  • Decade-Themed Filter: The "Retro Film Rounds", which come with an extra challenge of special enemies not being Colour Codedfor Your Convenience; instead, everything is sepia-colored to invoke old Hong Kong martial arts movies.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: The Retro Film Rounds are this—preventing you from seeing the color of the charging enemies (like the Thunderstorm Rounds).
  • Denser and Wackier: The second game adds a lot more over the top graphics as well as goofier weapons such as sniper rifles and pistols to chainsaws and even background elements like walls. There are also more absurd execution animations such as eye lasers and lighting shooting out of your hands.
  • Difficulty by Acceleration: The game gradually picks up speed towards the end of the each stage and performing particularly well makes it carry some of that additional speed to the next levels. Furthermore, higher difficulty modes automatically set the game speed higher.
  • Do Well, But Not Perfect: The sequel. While you can get perfect in stages, if you continue to do so, the game will quickly ratchet the speed up to unplayable levels.
  • Drunken Master: Although your character's style changes with each area and is purely cosmetic, on Boss Rounds, you always use Drunken Boxing.
    • This is actually a type of round you can find in the sequel. It causes your attack zone to move back and forth repeatedly, increasing the range of one side of attacks while decreasing the range of the other side.
  • Dual Boss: Several boss rounds late in the campaign (including the very last round of it) pit you against two boss-type enemies at once.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: In the Survival Rounds/Mode, the enemies keep coming infinitely, so the only challenge is how many of them you'll outlast. The game does keep track of your misses, however.
    • Said word-for-word by the demon in the sequel, on harder levels.
  • Foe-Tossing Charge: Occasionally, the protagonist enters the Rage Mode, which basically lets him charge through every enemy on and off screen in both directions.
  • Fruit Cart: Just one of the many things found on-stage that you can smash your opponents into!
  • Funny Bruce Lee Noises: Both the hero and the enemies make them all the time. For that matter, some players can't resist the urge either — Markiplier, for instance, admitted to editing out large parts of his third Let's Play video because his entire commentary during the cut parts was pretty much him going "HWAH! HEY! HOO! HAH!"
  • Gameplay Grading: At the end of every level, you may be given a medal, based on how many times you missed (Platinum for no misses, Gold for 1-3, Silver for 4-6, and Bronze for 7-9). Also, if you haven't lost any health, you get a Perfect Round distinction.
  • Genre-Busting: Rhythm Game? Beat 'em Up? Who knows? Who cares? Go kill some stickmen.
  • Gorn: As much as this trope can apply to stick figures, at least, but occasionally the game will slow down and zoom in on a particularly gruesome kill.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body: Rarely, you can use one of your enemies as a thrown weapon.
  • Ground Pound: One of the unlockable skills allows you to kill every enemy on the screen. However, since it's hard to notice when it's available and it replaces your next normal attack, it's difficult to use efficiently.
  • Heal Thyself: The Heal skill restores one hit point for every 99 enemies you kill. The sequel instead has Medic enemies that heal you when killed. You can use skills to make them appear more frequently.
  • Heavily Armored Mook: The colored enemies take more than one hit before going down — but unlike Brawlers, their required hit patterns are always the same (per color). This is especially true of colored mooks who only attack from one side, since they block incoming punches rather than evade them.
  • Heroes Fight Barehanded: While the enemies will often charge you with weapons, you will dispatch most of them with punches and kicks. The Unarmed Master skill takes this further by temporarily giving your fists the longer range of a weapon.
  • Hit Points: By default, you can be hit ten times before having to restart the level. Depending on the type of the level, your HP can be reduced.
  • Hyper-Destructive Bouncing Ball: The fittingly-named Ball of Death. You can keep bouncing it off enemies, killing them in a single hit, but it's easy to either miss a bounce or get hit by another enemy from behind.
  • Idiosyncratic Combo Levels: Starts off as "Super Combo" as normal, then goes to Ultra, Master, Godly, and finally IMPOSSIBLE COMBO before looping around back to Super. Each Combo level has larger text than the previous.
  • Interface Screw: All over the place:
    • Blind Survival removes the hints that show you your range and the enemy fighters' key presses.
    • Retro Film Rounds color everything sepia like an old movie.
    • Thunderstorm Rounds are worse. Not only is everything dark and monochrome, but incoming thrown weapons are much harder to see.
    • When any Light Sword or Nunchaku Round is halfway complete, a giant pillar of fire and explosions appear behind your character.
    • In the No Luca No mode, a cat will keep trying to block half your screen.
    • The sequel has Ghost Rounds, which turn you invisible. Your attack zones that show you your range remain, but they no longer light up when enemies are in range, forcing you to watch the enemies instead.
  • Joke Weapon: Rarely, the swords may be replaced with a fish, the maces might take the form of the corpses of slain grey mobs, and spears can be brooms. They're just as deadly as their less-humorous counterparts though.
    • The sequel has parasols and guitars, and you are occasionally able to pick up background props to use as weapons as well. The game will even helpfully name them (e.g. "WOODEN CHAIR")
  • Kung-Shui: Parodied, enemies break background objects whenever you hit them near one, and new ones are lowered onto the level on a regular basis just so that you have more things to break, including market stalls, entire houses, and the inevitable Fruit Cart.
  • Laser Blade: The protagonist wields one in the Lightsword Rounds — though the game emphatically denies that it's a lightsaber. There's also beam nunchaku, of all things.
  • Limit Break: Power Smashes occur at various intervals as your combo counter builds up; when you hit an enemy with one, your attack range temporarily increases to encompass every enemy on the screen. Some skills work like this as well.
  • Luck-Based Mission: Due to the innate randomness of the various special attacks that can give you a much-needed single attack with extra range or let you annihilate every enemy on the screen, some of the harder levels suffer from this if the game's not feeling generous. There's also the fact that thrown weapons can stay active when you're fighting a brawler and if you're unlucky, suddenly kill off the said brawler with no warning, causing you to miss your attack and possibly get hit.
    • That said, the levels themselves are not inherently random - if you follow the same sequence of actions, they will spawn the same sequence of enemies. the problem is that random effects can change your sequence — you might randomly enter Rage mode, for example. More subtly, while the same enemies will be armed every time, the weapon itself is random (which matters with thrown weapons), and it drops in a random location when the enemy is killed, which may be or not be in reach.
    • Smash Rounds are this. The game randomly determines which way enemies fly when they get killed, so there's no guarantee they'll hit an object when you want them to. The only exception is that a Power Smash always sends the enemy hit straight backwards, breaking anything in their path.
    • The sequel has a few of these as well. The Horrorshow Rounds are similar to the Smash Rounds from the first game, except you have to knock the enemies into death traps rather than breakable objects. This is a bit easier since the death traps will give you credit if they hit already dead enemies. The Deadly Target Rounds are especially bad about this. You have to hit enemies with throwing weapons or projectiles, but only certain enemies. And most of the time you won't have a projectile when they show up.
  • Marathon Boss: Two cases.
    • The first and most obvious, later on more so, are the bosses themselves. Not only do they require combinations of attacks, but they also require several of these in order to defeat them. Another one may even show up. They return in the sequel, and while they usually don't take as long to defeat this time around, they make up for it with the ability to appear in any stage.
    • Brawlers can invoke this during normal play, including during Light Sword or Nunchaku Rounds. In a normal brawl, they require 3-10 hits to take down. On rare occasions, they can last up to 25 hits before getting killed.
    • In the sequel, a Brawler can rarely become a Nemesis, with a special thunderstorm background going on during the fight. These take far more hits to defeat than the usual Brawler. This is especially painful when the speed is high, as it's not uncommon to take multiple hits when dealing with one.
    Old Master: FIGHT!
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!": The way the mooks frightfully back off as the player receives the golden sword speaks for itself.
    • The description of the Iron Fist skill explains that when it's triggered, your next target is killed so horrifically that everyone backs off in fear.
  • Mercy Invincibility: When you take damage, time freezes for about a second.
  • Mook Chivalry: When you're fighting a Brawler, no other enemy will attack you. They don't have trouble attacking you from both sides at exactly the same time, however.
  • New Game Plus: Restarting the game in the Master or Grandmaster difficulty resets your progress in the map but lets you use all your skills from the start.
  • No Plot? No Problem!: The game's plot can be fully summarized as "A Bruce Lee Clone beats everyone up".
  • Old Master: The narrator especially functions as one, at least as far as his exaggerated Asian accent is concerned. Subverted in that outside of announcing when your skills activate during gameplay and your level ranking, he doesn't really comment on your performance and mostly serves as a voiced tutorial.
    Old Master: Your enemy is strong. Take your time, and focus!
  • One-Hit Kill: Projectile and thrown weapons, as well as certain skills like Freezing Point and Deep Impact, all kill one or more enemies in one hit regardless of their type. There's also the Grey Out skill, which temporarily turns all enemies into basic grey One-Hit-Point Wonder enemies.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: Defender, Dagger, Bomb and some Mob Rounds start you off with a single life point, meaning that you cannot miss any hits at all. Also inverted with the Grey Out skill, which lets you turn every enemy on-screen (and every enemy thereafter for the next ten seconds) into one-hit-point Greys.
    • Certain levels in Level Mode stick the player with only one HP regardless of the round type.
  • Powers as Programs: You only have a limited number of slots to "install" the skills you unlocked, but you can change your active skill composition at any time between rounds. Additional skill slots can be unlocked by beating the game's campaign mode.
  • Power-Up: You can pick up weapons left behind by enemies and wield them for a few seconds to extend your reach. Ranged weapons guarantee one-shot kills but bring fewer points.
  • Power Up Let Down: The Golden Sword. As awesome as it is to have an unbreakable weapon, if your fighting style focuses on throwing weapons, it's completely counterproductive since you can't pick up any other weapons.
  • Prepare to Die: The demon wants the player dead on hard levels in the sequel.
  • Rewarding Vandalism: There is an entire mode dedicated to this: you win Smash Rounds by crushing the surrounding furniture with your enemies' bodies.
  • Rubber-Band A.I.: The fewer hits you miss and take, the faster the enemies become—and vice versa, though the speed never drops below the default and later stages increase it automatically.
  • Shamu Fu: On occasion you'll be able to use a fish as weapon (or have one used against you).
  • Shockwave Stomp: The Deep Impact move. The protagonist jumps into the air, then slams into the ground, sending a shockwave through the ground that kills every enemy currently on the screen.
  • Shout-Out: The final unlockable survival mode is a wholesale reference to the infamous No Luca No, a previous game by Silver Dollar.
  • Simple, yet Awesome: The Fighting Game.
  • Skill Scores and Perks: Completing certain stages unlocks passive skills that give you bonuses (except in certain stage types).
  • Skill Slot System: You can only have three skills active at any time but can swap them out freely between levels. Beating the single-player on higher difficulties grants you one additional skill slot, up to a total of five.
  • Stylistic Suck: The reason the game's graphics work and the game is an incredible amount of fun despite the simplistic graphics.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Grabbing some thrown weapons, picking up a weapon you're already wielding or having the eponymous skill lets you throw a weapon. Swords take out everyone in a line, spears rebound off the first two targets and impale the third and maces bounce around uncontrollably, killing enemies at random.
  • Timed Mission: In Timed Rounds, you need to beat all enemies within a time limit, but in return you have infinite HP and the enemies are massively slowed down whenever you're not moving. Getting hit will still net you both a time penalty and slow you down, and towards the end of the game, it's extremely easy to fail one of these levels if you get hit even once.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: One of the unlockable survival modes features Luca the cat from one of Silver Dollar Games' Xbox Indie game No Luca No, whom you need to keep from blocking the screen by pushing it away with the cursor while playing the game normally at the same time.
  • The War Sequence: The Epic Bonus Level pits you against 2323 enemies, with the only breaks you're awarded being a result of abilities.
  • White Sheep: Of its developer, Silver Dollar Games. Silver Dollar is infamous for pumping the XBLA library full of shoddy, barely functional shovelware, but reception of this game has been very positive, many reviewers expressing their shock and wonder at how Silver Dollar of all people made it.
  • You Fool!: The demon says this in hopes of the player not completing the harder levels, in the sequel.
  • Zerg Rush: The standard tactic of the regular one-hit enemies. Also the standard tactic of all enemies (except the last one) in Lightsword and Nunchaku Rounds.

Announcer: "PERFECT!....Platinum Medal awarded."