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Video Game / Overgrowth

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Overgrowth is the long awaited sequel to Lugaru by Wolfire Games. Overgrowth's story, like its predecessor, takes place on Lugaru island: a place entirely populated by violent anthropomorphic animals. It follows the further adventures of Turner, the vengeful widower turned wandering warrior, a few years after the events of Lugaru.

An Action Game with a heavy emphasis on close quarters combat, Overgrowth also adopts the unique combat system of it's predecessor - unlike most other fighting games, it relies far less on button mashing and much more on timing your moves right: the position and range of the enemy and the direction you're moving all influences what Turner will do with each attack. The result is a remarkably fluid and responsive combat system, as this video demonstrates. It's also fairly realistic in nature: for example, if you hit your opponent hard enough in the neck or they take a bad fall, it's possible for their neck to break, killing them instantly.

Compared to it's predecessor, the game features vastly improved graphics and physics, a wider range of weapons, and new races (the original's rabbits and wolves plus cats, dogs, and rats.

While the game was in beta testing, it was given a new update (and a new demonstration video) released roughly every month. It is also now on Steam Early Access, and for awhile was on the top 10 selling list. The game was finally given a 1.0 release in October of 2017.

A webcomic was also released during development which fleshed out certain events and characters who are briefly mentioned in the main story. The comic can be read here.


  • Adaptational Context Change: Overgrowth contains a "port" of Lugaru's main campaign... it's actually a complete rewrite that alters or outright removes a plethora of details and plot points of the original game, while leaving only the central conflict intact. See the headings for Adaptation Explanation Extrication, Adaptation Personality Change, After the End, Gender Flip, The Kingslayer, Lack of Empathy, and Rewrite below for details.
  • Adaptation Explanation Extrication: In Lugaru, Turner takes the armor worn by Aspen after killing him, despite having ignored the similar suit of armor worn by a mook he killed earlier. This is because the armor the boss had was stolen from Turner in the first place. In the updated Lugaru campaign included with Overgrowth, Aspen's armor is not stated, implied, nor shown to be important at all. It doesn't even look different than any other armor. Turner takes it anyway without any explanation given beyond the fact that armor is... well, useful. As a result, persons new to the Lugaru universe can be totally unaware that this moment had any meaning beyond a simple boost in power.
  • Adaptation Personality Change:Turner got hit with this hard. In Lugaru, Turner goes on a vengeful quest to kill the raiders after they murder his entire family. When he discovers that their deaths were a small part of a much larger problem started by the corrupt king, and that one of his close friends was directly involved, he gradually becomes colder and angrier as he seeks to uproot the conspiracy, and starts to show some antisocial tendencies... but he briefly stops to question his own morality when he decides to kill the Alpha Wolf's family, including the pups. In the end, he succeeds in defeating the conspiracy, and is offered the crown by the king's guards as a reward... but he refuses it and decides to roam the island to search for a new purpose, partially due to his state of mind. By contrast, in Overgrowth's rewritten Lugaru campaign, Turner never has any such moment of introspection or gradual descent into cynicism. Instead, his self directed monologue openly claims that his only regret is not being able to kill the pups while the Alpha watches, as a way of gloating, and he refuses the crown due to a simple lack of interest.
    Turner: "The pups are here, good. If only Ash was here to see this."note 
  • After the End: Concept art for Overgrowth (and the name) hint at this. It shows lots of out-of-place ancient ruins overrun by nature, all clearly remnants of heavily decayed modern architecture. Wolfire Games have so far decided to leave the possible backstory of Lugaru open to interpretation by players. Coincidentally, the "Old Raider Camp" mission is absent from Lugaru remake — it was very short and mostly pointless,note  but if a player deviated from the obvious path, there were some interesting ruins of a modern concrete slab building.
  • All There in the Manual: The comic provides a lot of context to the final level. It also explains who Janner is; despite not appearing in-game, he has a character model that can be used in the level editor and is labeled by name.
  • Almost Lethal Weapons: Averted. Any weapon can and will kill, very quickly. Even a single punch can be lethal depending on how the victim lands.
  • Anti-Hero: Turner will often default to violence to solve his problems, and has little problem leaving a trail of bodies in his wake. That said, he's rarely the aggressor, and it's hard to sympathize with his opponents when they're murderers and slavers.
  • April Fools: The Wolfire team indulges in this day:
    • For 2013, they released a video in the same format as their other development videos, saying they met with the developers of SoundSelf at GDC and were collaborating with them to add voice control to Overgrowth. They decide to completely drop keyboard and mouse support from Overgrowth because it's obvious that traditional input is obsolete, and voice control is the future of gaming.
    • For 2014, they opened a store with physical items you could buy for your pet rats, cats, dogs, and rabbits. Some of them were ridiculously overpriced.
  • Art-Shifted Sequel: Lugaru and Overgrowth have distinctly different art styles, to a point that goes beyond a simple graphical upgrade. (see You Don't Look Like You below) This is also true of weapons, armor and tools: In Lugaru, the sword that Turner takes from the King is clearly an arming sword, having a double edge and a curved crossguard, and his armor is based on European brigandine armor and comes with vambraces and a baldric. In Overgrowth, the sword was changed to a heavy-looking single-edged saber while his armor is clearly inspired by late Japanese armor design.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The Leg Cannon makes a return. Used properly, it can end nearly any one-on-one fight (against a rabbit) in a single hit. However, it's hard to line up and can backfire spectacularly; a miss will leave the user prone and helpless, and even if it hits it can easily send the user careening off into a wall to their deaths. That said, it's been retooled, and is much easier to use than it was in Lugaru.
  • Badass Boast:
    Turner: Please continue predicting my death. Nobody's been right yet.
  • BFS: A broadsword is available in the arena mode. It was made for dogs, making it roughly as long as Turner is tall. There's also a dog warhammer which is similarly huge.
  • The Blacksmith: Dogs are known for their weaponsmithing skills.
    • In the webcomic, there's a single rabbit smith who is trying to craft the perfect sword.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: A result of improved technology rather than a new stylistic direction. Some videos even focus on the technology they're using to bring the gore to life.
    • Another video also shows the extent to which the improved tech is used to make wounds look realistic and avert Ludicrous Gibs; blood only appears where you landed a hit and scales appropriately with the size of the wound (so a small puncture wound from a spear doesn't bleed as much as a slash from a sword, etc.)
    • Adjustable Censorship: You can change the blood color to green, cyan, black or even disable it entirely in the options.
  • Cat Folk: The cats.
  • Cats Are Mean: Amethyst's family, unlike the other cats, are intensely racist towards the other races, seeing them as playthings for their own amusement at best.
  • Civilized Animal: For a given definition of "civilized." All mammals in the land of Lugaru are somewhat anthropomorphic bipeds with language skills, and most are clothed, but they're still part of an ecology that involves eating each other.
  • Combo Breaker: Done by blocking while recovering from being hit.
  • Compressed Adaptation: the updated Lugaru campaign is this. Many fine details and even entire subplots from the original game were left out.
  • Counter-Attack: Following it's predecessor, the game's combat revolves around tricking opponents into committing to an attack or block, and then punishing mistakes.
  • Death Seeker: Willow, in the updated Lugaru campaign.
  • Double-Meaning Title: "Overgrowth" references two things: the state of the ruins of human society, being overgrown with the encroachment of nature, and the state of the rabbits' population after the events of Lugaru. There's a Call-Back here: in the original Lugaru the Alpha Wolf warned Turner that if he was defeated, the rabbits would overpopulate, causing famine and civil war. The version of the Lugaru campaign included in this game omits that line.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Jairo is the avatar of the Therium itself, and doesn't want the Cinderbreath Empire in his domain, so he manipulates Ghost so he does as much damage as possible to it so they leave and never come back. In the ending where Ghost turns on him and beats him in a fight, Jairo single-handedly destroys the Empire offscreen, leaving only Bijou unharmed.
  • Fantastic Racism: Most cats and dogs think rabbits are just food and slaves.
  • Flynning: Averted. Sword fights tend to be nearly single-stroke battles if both participants are unarmored. You can invoke this trope by doing nothing but blocking, but this will very quickly bite you in the ass.
  • Funny Animals: Yes.
  • Funny Bruce Lee Noises: Well, that's what it sounds like if the rabbits fight with animal sounds. It's worth noting that the animals all made such sounds in Lugaru.
  • Furries Are Easier to Draw: Word of God states that this is half of the reason they designed the game around animals instead of humans.
  • Game Mod: The level editor is part of the package. Naturally, mods, custom levels and custom characters have sprung up. One mod in specific is Therium-2, a custom campaign including around 46 levels.
    • Therium was eventually added to the game by default, and even got a spin-off (also in the game by default) with Drika's Story.
  • Gender Flip: Several of the male characters were changed to females in the remake of the Lugaru story. Clover was originally a woman, Ash, the Alpha Wolf, is now female, being directly referred to as "she". In addition, Willow takes the role of Jack from the original game. In Willow's case, the change goes beyond gender: Jack was a calculating and deliberate enemy, who was fiercely loyal to King Hickory despite the latter's cowardice. His plan to manipulate Turner into killing the raiders (thus making room for the wolves to conquer Lugaru) was largely successful. His related plan to avoid Turner's wrath by feigning his own death during the raider's attack came undone when Skipper wasn't killed by the raiders to keep his mouth shut like he wanted. By contrast, Willow demonstrates none of that tact, instead suffering a mental breakdown over the fact that she's helping the wolves make food out of her people.
  • Good Republic, Evil Empire: A loading screen quote calls Cloud the Prime Minister, which would suggest that after the corrupt King Hickory was overthrown the kingdom became a good republic.
    • Less so with the cats. They don't seem to be a monarchy (being led by multiple powerful families) but they're pretty clearly the bad guys.
  • Goomba Springboard: The revamped Leg Cannon pretty much allows you to do exactly that. If you attack while in the air, you jump up from the enemy's chest, flinging him and you quite far, and allowing you to repeat the move on a second enemy.
  • Hit Points: Taking influence from Lugaru, there's a complicated health meter, which is completely invisible. You regenerate kinetic damage (like punches and kicks) over time. Damage you take from edged weapons, on the other hand, leaves visible wounds (if you've got blood enabled) and decreases your maximum health, which isn't restored until the next level.
  • In a Single Bound: It makes more sense for you to do this when you're an anthropomorphic animal, especially one known for jumping.
  • In the Hood: The revamped raiders in the Lugaru campaign all wear hoods.
    • The protagonist of Therium uses the same model as the raiders.
  • In-Universe Nickname: Some of the slaves are nicknamed by the cats. Turner is nicknamed Lucky.
  • The Kingslayer: Before he started to wander, Turner killed Hickory, the king of the rabbits, for selling out his people to be eaten by the wolves, and thus indirectly causing the destruction of his home. This is a complete change from the events in Lugaru. In the original game, Turner exposed the fact that Hickory was working with the wolves to his own guards. After hearing the truth, the guards forced Hickory to step down, and effectively gave Turner the throne. Some time later, Hickory and a couple of his loyalists attacked Turner in an attempt to regain the throne... then Turner killed him.
  • Lack of Empathy: In the Lugaru remake, Turner doesn't have any problem at all with killing the Alpha Wolf's entire family.
  • Lens Flare: Done differently than most examples; The glare is simulated as a human eye would see it, not a camera.
  • Les Collaborateurs: When slavers consisted of dogs and cats invaded an island to make local rabbits their slaves, many rabbits on the island joined the slavers and actively hunt other rabbits. They thought they couldn't win against cats or dogs, so they chose an easy way.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Wolves are tough and fast. If you take their attack, you usually die instantly. Fortunately, they can't use weapons unlike other animals in the game.
  • Loading Screen: They come in the form of a screenshot of the level. Additionally, every campaign except the Lugaru remake uses them for some bonus exposition; Overgrowth has quotes from side characters, while Therium and Drika's Story have information about the setting.
  • Low Fantasy: There's no magic or anything (unless Priya and Khyo do exist). Instead, the fantastical elements come from the animal people populating the world; their technology and culture are actually quite grounded.
    • Therium is more fantastical, but only within the titular Therium.
  • No Ending: The Overgrowth campaign ends with Turner's allies taking over the City in the Clouds, and Turner leaves at the last moment. The game just stops, although it's implied that Turner returns to White Flags.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: The story kicks off with Turner actively seeking to avert this. Knowing that fighting off the bandits in White Flags would draw the rest to take revenge, he decides to take them out first... only to find that they take orders from higher ups who would also take revenge, leading him to systemically take out the entire chain of villains from the bottom up.
    • That said, numerous characters fall victim to this trope in other ways. The cats seem to like punishing people who help slaves by enslaving them and having them fight in the arena.
    • The Nissaya Massacre Thorn Twinleaf mentions at the end of the game (and what made the City in the Clouds hostile to outsiders) was two of these at once. Nissaya wanted to keep the Twinleafs from causing more problems, so he killed a group of them, leading them to presumably take the City in revenge. The Twinleafs he killed were trying to apologize and got eviscerated for their trouble.
  • Nominal Hero: Turner.
  • No Name Given: The protagonist of Therium-2 doesn't have his real name revealed until near an ending, so he is known throughout most of the campaign as Ghost. His real name is Amos.
  • One-Word Title
  • Portmantitle: Over + Growth.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: Dogs, wolves, and (to an extent) rabbits. Possibly cats, too, although they seem to put more emphasis on the "proud" than on the "warrior."
  • Punny Name: The character who appears in Wolfire's demo videos is named "Robbert." In earlier videos the character was a primitive model made of spheres and cylinders named "Rabbot."
  • Ragdoll Physics: Overgrowth takes ragdoll physics to the next level, featuring "active ragdolls" (so characters can stumble when hit, act as though they're trying to protect themselves while they're falling, and thrash around in pain as they die).
  • Rewrite: Overgrowth contains a "port" of Lugaru that essentially changes every major plot point in the original game. The already short story was made even shorter, a lot of subtext was cut, and entire subplots were either removed or heavily edited, resulting in some levels that needed some new explanations for existing. A definite example of this is the "level with the three wolves": in the original game, King Hickory sent the wolves to assassinate Turner to keep him away from the Alpha Wolf. In the rewrite, Hickory never does this. As a result, they were rewritten as being "protection against rabbits"... which makes little sense in light of the fact that Hickory is essentially in their pocket due to the fact that he is terrified of them to the point of selling his own people to be their food. The wolves also know absolutely nothing about Turner, so it can't be to guard against him, either.
  • Running Gag: Turner dies messily at the end of nearly every alpha video released since playable characters were added.
    • After being captured by the cats, Turner spends a couple of levels trying to ally himself with every slave he comes across, reasoning that they could fight their way out together. Only Midnight doesn't refuse, and it gets to the point that he tries to talk a wolf into helping him out.
  • Rust Proof Blood: Somewhat averted. Bloodstains are shiny and red when they're made, but they become more dull after a few moments. The color stays the same, though.
  • Savage Wolves: The wolves are the only race that doesn't use any armor or weapons whatsoever. They also have a very simple manner of speech.
  • Scenery Porn: The developers really wanted to show off the new graphics engine, so they did just that through lavish environments.
  • Sequel Escalation: The game is a direct sequel to Lugaru, made with and modern technology.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Both Turner and Willow are this trope in the rewritten Lugaru campaign.
  • Shows Damage: Just as in Lugaru, Overgrowth's damage effects are well detailed, with special attention given to realistic blood effects.
  • Sincerest Form of Flattery: David Rosen, head developer at Wolfire and creator of Lugaru, admitted openly that some of Lugaru 2's (Overgrowth's) new game mechanics are based on Assassin's Creed.
  • Super Drowning Skills: Entering deep water results in instant death.
  • Variable Mix: Background music becomes more hectic while in combat.
  • Videogame Cruelty Potential: There's an awful lot of ways to punish your foes in this game: roundhouse kicking people's heads into walls, shoulder throwing people into lava, making your enemy fall and break their neck... sneaking up on an enemy and putting them in a choke hold, then kicking them face-first into their friend when he runs to rescue them... and then there's the fun of kicking enemies off cliffs and watching them plummet to their doom. Just be aware that all of the same things can easily happen to you.
  • Those Two Guys: Rent and Cedar, a rat and rabbit respectively. They show up twice in game and seem to work as partners in construction.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: You can throw your weapons to attack enemies. Bigger ones like spears or long swords often kill the enemy instantly.
    • That said, anything that isn't a knife or a spear is unlikely to actually hit blade-first. Larger weapons can fall short and enemies can easily deflect them if they have their own weapons.
  • Where It All Began: Turner hints that he plans to go back to White Flags, echoing River's statement at the very beginning that it's a place where nothing happens.
    • One ending of Therium has Ghost and Bijou move to Turner's village.
  • Wreaking Havok: Having vastly upgraded from Lugaru's physics engine, this game has some of the most detailed physics modeling ever seen — a thrown weapon will spin around its center of mass and, if it hits a surface with its cutting edge, will penetrate into that surface with a depth corresponding to the material's density and the speed at which the weapon was traveling — although it all adds to the world's verisimilitude and none of it seems gratuitous.
  • You All Look Familiar: Averted despite the limited number of character models - it's amazing what color editing for characters, weapons and other objects can do for variety, and level designers can attach all sorts of accessories to any character (including the player character), from armor to pouches, which also can be modified with the color picker.
  • You Don't Look Like You: Thanks to both vastly updated graphics and different art direction, Turner's appearance in Overgrowth looks almost completely different compared to his original appearance in Lugaru. Just about the only similarities that remain are Turner's species and fur color.