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Video Game / Outbuddies

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Outbuddies is a Metroidvania game, developed by Julian Laufer on his own over the course of six years and released for PC through Steam on October 15th, 2019, with versions for PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch slated for the early 2020.

In it, an oceanic researcher named Nikolay Bernstein goes to explore the underwater city of Bahlam, which believes to have been the city of Old Gods, and the cradle of all civilization. He soon meets a race of Bahlam's original inhabitants called the Wazan, who are now beset by the monsters, and require his help to find many lost Wazan and bring them back. He also finds a small flying creature he calls Buddy, which continues to follow him throughout the world. As he keeps exploring, he soon faces stronger opposition from Bahlam's original powers claiming his arrival shattered a millenia-old balance...


Tropes present in this game:

  • Charged Attack: One is unlocked once you locate the Plasma Charger item.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Like in the original Metroid, the doors here are color-coded.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: Dying doesn't send the player back to the checkpoint, but simply to the start of the room where they died.
  • Defeat Equals Explosion: Every boss collapses through a series of pulsing, blood-red explosions.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: In the end, Nikolay Bernstein kills Xion, the Old God who was apparently the creator of humanity before going insane, and had enough power at Bahlam to eventually wipe out all life in the galaxy.
  • Energy Ball: The default gun Nikolay finds in Bahlam is a plasma weapon that fires an indefinite amount of bright green orbs. The first boss possesses a green plasma orb that's able to fire a single, man-height plasma blast, or be slammed into the ground to.
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  • Flash of Pain: Damaged enemies flash white.
  • Flunky Boss: Razoth spawns a lot of the small flying enemies from Buddy's species.
  • Goomba Springboard: Certain enemies that were mind-controlled by Buddy can then be positioned so as to allow Nikolay to jump onto them, and towards otherwise inaccessible areas.
  • Hack Your Enemy: This is a late-game ability of Buddy.
  • Jet Pack: One is gotten through defeating the old man who believes that Bernstein's arrival has shattered the balance, and attacks him with bombs after being talked to.
  • Load-Bearing Boss: Eventually, defeating Xion, the Final Boss and the evil god sealed at Bahlam's core, causes the entire city to start collapsing, with the player having to traverse a long way from its area all the way Wazan's village where a teleporter has been set up, all while dodging explosions, frenzied monsters, and other hazards.
  • Mad Scientist: Nikolay Bernstein is considered insane by his contemporaries for believing the world was created by a pagan god, and that he can trace that moment to a sunken city. Hence, he decides to dive down and explore it himself.
  • Nothing but Skulls: The second boss, Razoth has a pile of skulls that's several times taller than Bernstein at his lair's entrance.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: When you discover Xion, the Old God imprisoned at the core of Bahlam, he proclaims that after being freed, his goal is to make Bahlam arise from the depths and "restore silence to the galaxy."
  • Respawning Enemies: Enemies return to their original spots every time you re-enter the screen.
  • Robot Buddy: One literally named Buddy, to boot! It is a small circular floating drone, who is tethered to Bernstein's suit by default, but can be let loose in order to explore the areas ahead through passageways too small for a human to fit through.
  • Rolling Attack: Player's rolls can outright kill already damaged enemies. The Moxan boss also has rolling as one of his key attacks.
  • Scary Shiny Glasses: Nikolay Bernstein wears these in the opening, where he is standing over Bahlam's map at night during a thunderstorm.
  • Shockwave Stomp: The first boss is able to slam his plasma caster orb into the ground to make green plasma spill around him. He can also do a variation of this attack at a different angle by simply lifting the orb above his head.
  • Spikes of Doom: Bright white spikes are a frequent design fixture.
  • Sprint Meter: Bernstein has one, but only when he's swimming.
  • Suspiciously Cracked Wall: Here, the walls that can be bombed open to reach secret areas (or even plot-critical ones, at times) are revealed through Buddy's scans.
  • Teleporters and Transporters: There are a few teleporters around Bahlam so that the player would not have to backtrack across the entire city.
  • Tractor Beam: Buddy can generate one to drag certain objects around to solve environmental puzzles. In one case, the shell that remains of the underwater boss needs to be dragged onto a lever in his lair in order to leave the area.
  • Wall Jump: A core movement ability. It also uses the classic approach of requiring the player to pull away from the wall by default, rather than toward it, as has become the standard later on. (Though the latter option was patched in as well.)
  • You Will Be Spared: Razoth, one of the "guardians" of Bahlam, offers Bernstein a "quick and merciful death" if he puts down his weapon.


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