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Video Game / Organ Trail

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The end of the world...

Organ Trail is a zombie survival parody of The Oregon Trail developed by The Men Who Wear Many Hats. Players are given the task of navigating a five seat station wagon across the United States in the midst of a zombie outbreak. Dangers along the way include bandits, zombie hordes, and dysentery.

There's two versions of the game: A free Flash version, and a buyable "Director's Cut" version with extras and more in-depth gameplay.

On October 5, 2015, the Director's Cut version received the "Final Cut" expansion, DLC that includes new character skins and vehicles, branching paths across the country, and various miscellaneous tweaks to gameplay.

This game provides examples of:

  • 2D Visuals, 3D Effects: The final boss of the Final Cut edition is CGI. While the rest of the game emulates Apple II graphics well, the final boss fight takes some artistic liberty with the drawbridge and the safe haven rendered in cel-shaded 3D models.
  • Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: Averted in the Flash version. Unlike the stores in The Oregon Trail, store prices remain the same throughout the game. Played straight and justified in the Director's Cut: prices fluctuate; the farther west you go, the more expensive (and scarce) supplies get.
  • Affectionate Parody: Of Oregon Trail, right down to the graphics and mechanics (driving across the country in a station wagon, "fording" through hordes of zombies, etc.).
  • After the End: Most of the US has been decimated by a zombie apocalypse. Your goal is to get from Washington, D.C. (which is about to be nuked) to one of the few safe havens left in the Oregon.
  • Animal Stampede: The undead variety, of many deer. For your car's sake, avoid them.
  • Anyone Can Die: From illness, zombification, murder, just because, or stopping a nuclear missile.
  • Bears Are Bad News: Especially zombie bears, who attack you while you're scavenging and can't be killed.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: Compared to Oregon Trail, as the setting of this game lends itself more to graphic violence. Said violence is mitigated by the extremely Retraux graphics and the fact that the blood is a light shade of purple, however.
  • Butt-Monkey: Clements, despite only being in the game for five minutes at most, somehow rapidly becomes this. After saving you, the drive to D.C. somehow leads to him getting a broken arm, getting dysentery and getting bit by a zombie.
    • Iron Butt Monkey: If you fail against the giant zombie octopus, you get rescued by Clements, who somehow survived the above and you shooting him to give him a Mercy Kill.
  • Controllable Helplessness: In the Final Cut, you're given the option to fish for provisions when you rest. If you're unfortunate enough to fish in an area where there's no body of water (which you won't know until you decide to fish), it'll cut to the same fishing game screen, only you're fishing on solid, dry ground. The game still lets you cast your line, but you'll obviously end up catching nothing.
  • Crapsack World: Zombies are running rampant, large sections of the United States are too irradiated to pass through, and you have to get out of D.C. before it gets nuked.
  • Critical Existence Failure: You only get a Game Over when you run out of health (unless you're doing the finale). Running out of gas or items needed for a car repair just leads to you being stalled while waiting for people to pass by with whatever you need or scavenging.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: During the Zombie Deer Herd boss fights, if you did the Biker boss before, your first instinct will be to ram the deer running beside you. This does damage.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: You can come across people who have you play a ball-under-a-cup game. Should you lose, you have the option to shoot them.
  • Faceā€“Heel Turn: In the "Final Cut" expansion, should one of your party members be left behind or storm off, they may return just before the final part of the trip and attack you as "The Bandit King." Defeating them in this boss fight gives you the option of killing them for it or forgiving them and allowing them back into the party.
  • Fishing Minigame: Added in the Final Cut. You can fish for food, scrap, and various supplies. Also, zombie parts, which give you nothing. You can even fish where there's no water, and inevitably come up short if you do so.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: The Final Cut expansion adds a Final Boss against a giant zombified octopus that rises from the moat surrounding Safe Haven. This boss has no build up, no warning, no hints it exists, and just shows up without anybody really mentioning it.
  • Handicapped Badass: Zombies lacking legs have no trouble getting around. If anything, they are better at moving than the regular able-bodied zombies, as they are not stopped by props in the terrain such as walls and trees.
  • Hero of Another Story: As the Trailer shows, Clements drove through the whole USA 3 times before meeting you, so one can guess that he had quite a lot of adventures before meeting the Player.
  • Humans Are Bastards: It's a Zombie Apocalypse; it will bring out the worse in humanity and you. You'll have to deal with biker gangs along with bandits, all wanting a piece of you.
  • Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels: In the Flash version, you can be a cop (easy), a clerk (medium), or a lawyer (hard). Averted in the "Director's Cut" version which still features difficulty levels, but they are just named "easy", "normal" and "hard". Or "suicide".
  • Idiot Ball: This will inevitably get passed around your party as you take the trip, with your passengers losing supplies, injuring themselves, and causing other delays along the way with little justification. And should your party dwindle down until only the leader survives, the ball gets forced on you alone and you'll start demonstrating acts of incompetence and possible Sanity Slippage, such as getting into arguments with yourself.
  • Justified Tutorial: Presented as a fellow survivor, Clements, saving your leader from a wave of zombies, helping you find a car and get to the shelter in D.C., where your friends are waiting.
  • Jump Scare: When inspecting a tombstone in the Director's Cut, there is a random chance of a hand popping out with a scare chord. Even rarer is a zombified face.
  • Last Chance Hit Point: Party members that reach zero health are incapacitated. You can keep them alive, provided they aren't infected.
  • Lethal Chef: One of the roadside events has you meeting a restaurant owner who invites you to sample his "creation." It gives you dysentery.
  • Luck-Based Mission: Every bit as much as the game upon which it is based.
  • Mentor Occupational Hazard: Sadly, if not surprisingly, Clements doesn't survive the introduction. Or does he?
  • Mercy Kill: You can shoot infected party members to keep them from turning.
  • Mini-Game Credits: Make it to the end and you get to run over zombified cast members with your car.
  • Money Grinding: By scavenging for extra rations or stuff you don't need, you can sell it at towns for a lot of money. This is usually a good tactic to do early on, since not a lot of towns have a good amount of stuff to buy later on.
  • Money Is Not Power: Since civilization is on the brink of collapse, money is worthless. Unfortunately, or fortunately (depending on your inventory), there are traders and merchants who will only accept cash for goods as they refuse to accept the end, or abandon the old ways before the outbreak.
  • Nice Day, Deadly Night: Zombie activity is inversely proportional to sunlight: at night they're very active, while near noon they're much more scarce. This makes a huge different when going out to scavenge for suplies.
  • Nightmare Face: When inspecting a tombstone in the Director's Cut, a zombified face can pop out at any time.
  • Nintendo Hard:
    • Only naturally. Especially in the finale, where you need to get ten tanks of gas and a single hit from a zombie will kill you.
    • The Director's Cut is ungodly brutal, even on the Easy difficulty. The mobile version is even worse because of the aiming system, which requires you to pull your finger in the opposite direction and aim. This immobilizes you, making shooting zombies at point blank suicidal unless you can swipe fast enough in the opposite direction. Shooting bandits, however is even worse with the aiming system, as bandits fire rapidly and accurately, resulting in waiting for the volley of bullets to end, giving you maybe a second or a half to shoot before the bandits start shooting again. It boils down to rapidly aiming and hoping you didn't miss.
  • Nuclear Option:
    • The government has nuked about a third of the United States trying to destroy the zombie hordes.
    • You're also on a time limit to get to a certain point in your journey. If you fail to get far enough on the trail fast enough, then you get caught in the nuclear detonation of Washington D.C. (which reaches across multiple states) and die.
  • Numerical Hard: The higher the difficulty on the Flash version, the less amount of time you have at the start of the game to scavenge for supplies. Nothing else seems to change. Averted on the Director's Cut version, which changes if the aiming dot is visible, how fast the zombies are, and the random events.
  • Obligatory Swearing: Having a grittier setting than Oregon Trail, there is profanity sprinkled throughout the text on occasion, up to and including "fuck".
  • Path of Most Resistance: The Final Cut expansion allows you to drive through irradiated areas to shave some distance off your trip. Needless to say, this is very taxing on your party's health as radiation sickness slowly sets in and an increase in the number of severe weather systems increases the amount of time you'll be stuck in the rads.
  • Perpetual Poverty: By the time you reach Las Vegas, you will be hurting as far as your supplies are concerned. You'll either have too much of one resource/commodity and yet be dangerously low on something else like ammo, food or car parts, all of which you need to survive. To exacerbate matters there's usually no one who wants to sell or trade for the items you need most and scavenging wastes bullets, making things even more dire.
  • Pun: You drive a station wagon.
  • Raising the Steaks: The Director's Cut features "boss encounters" with zombified animals: a bear, a pair of dogs, and a herd of deer.
  • Recycled In Space: It's The Oregon Trail DURING A ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE!
  • Retraux: Apple II graphics, natch.
  • Shoot the Dog: This may be necessary if an ally is incapacitated or infected. Or if you just want to save rations.
  • Shout-Out
  • Story-Driven Invulnerability:
    • If at least one ally is alive, your lead character doesn't lose health due to rations or disease, but can still be injured if attacked while scavenging or on a job. On the flipside, the lead also doesn't heal from resting, you have to use a medkit to restore health.
    • The Director's Cut has two additional changes - random events can sometimes injure the main character, and the main character isn't healed if at least one ally is alive.
  • Surrender Backfire: While scavenging a bandit may sidle in to take possession of an item. Although they walk in visibly armed, they don't shoot, and if the player grabs the item the bandit is heading for first, the bandit will begin to back away with a clear "don't want any trouble" gesture. They're still a valid target, however...
  • Toilet Humor: Sometimes one of the random events will be that "Someone Farted".
  • Too Dumb to Live: Sometimes one of your party members may wander off from the car, never to be seen again. This trope can also applies to the whole party if you botch scavenging for supplies at the the start of the game.
    • Plus, the bandits who show up to take supplies during scavenging, they will more often than not run straight into a zombie and get eaten.
  • Video Game Caring Potential:
    • Keeping all of your party members alive til the end of the game.
    • One random encounter is investigating a hospital overrun by zombies, where you find a single healthy baby. You can take him/her along, and it will be an additional drain on your food supplies...but you'll get extra points in the end for it.
    • A debatable example, but there's one scenario where a tear-stained bride wants you to bear witness to her marriage vows to her dead husband after her family and his killed eachother. You can also put her out of her misery during her wedding vows if you feel to let her go on would be bad for her, but that's up to the compass of the player.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: You can kill party members at will, regardless of whether or not they're infected. There's an achievement for killing all of the members of your party while they're perfectly healthy, and another for making the entire trip alone, which requires you to either be extremely unlucky or ruthlessly murder your party members.
  • Video Game Cruelty Punishment: However, see directly below as to why this is a bad idea near the end of the game.
  • We Cannot Go On Without You: Normally, if your leader dies, the game ends. Even if you have other healthy party members who could take over. However, this is averted during the final challenge, where the next member can jump out of the car and pick up where your fallen leader left off.
  • Welcome Back, Traitor: In the Final Cut expansion, if a lost party member returns as 'The Bandit King' and attacks you, you are given the option after the fight to welcome them back. Or you can kill them.
  • Wham Line: A couple in the Final Cut for first-time players:
    • If a party member abandons you sometime during the trip, you may encounter a boss fight down the line with a bandit leader who wields a riot shield and a mortar launcher. If you beat him, he'll beg for forgiveness and address you by your name. If you shoot him, the game gives you the same text for putting down a party member.
    • One of your passengers may find a kitten along the way. If you keep it, you get the following text:
    10 oz. of food collected.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: The setting of the game.
  • Zombie Infectee:
    • Party members can and will get bitten. However, this isn't a problem unless an infected party member is incapacitated. In fact, each zombie infectee you successfully bring to Sanctuary alive is worth more points than an uninfected party member.
    • In the Director's Cut, being infected causes a survivor's health to drain faster, though not by a huge margin. It also occasionally causes them to catch a unique disease that you can't otherwise suffer from, which takes out a huge chunk of their lifebar and causes their health to drain very rapidly, though it eventually wears off if they survive.