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Video Game / Overlord II

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Overlord II is a game in the Overlord Franchise released in 2009 for the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360. Much like the first game this one has a focus on some dark humour (though not quite Black Comedy) and is also written by the daughter of Terry Pratchett, Rhianna Pratchett.

The game focuses on the son of the first game's Overlord, abandoned in the town of Nordberg where he's shunned for his magic power and evil glowing eyes. One midwinter's festival though, the minions find the child and convince him to embark on a trail of destruction.

The Overlad's rampage doesn't go far as he's captured by the villagers and thrown outside the city walls. Left to die at the hands of the magic-hating Glorious Empire, he escapes only to be frozen when an ice floe breaks beneath him. He's later recovered by his father's former advisor and Dragon Gnarl, and raised to adulthood in the fiery depths of the minion's home dimension of the netherworld.

Now an adult, the Overlad returns to the surface with vengeance in his heart and much weaker morals than his father before him. With the minions at his charge and his axe and magic in hand, he sets out to Subdue or Destroy the town that cast him out and all else who oppose him, and remind the world that they don't need an empire, just an Evil Overlord!


Overlord II contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: The Glorious Empire built their sewers to be huge, which backfires on them when giant man-eating frogs made the tunnels into lairs, and the Overlord uses them to infiltrate the Arena.
  • Acrofatic: Elven Priestesses force feed themselves to look like their Mother Goddess. They're also mini-bosses, capable of easily jumping across a battlefield.
  • Action Bomb: Minion Missile/Explosion spell. If only used part-way, the minion takes off like a shot and explodes wherever he lands. Using it at full charge makes them explode where they're standing.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Kelda, from an early age.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: The Witch-boy was feared and hated by Nordberg for his magical powers and just generally being creepy, leading to him being bullied and tormented by the kids. This turns out... badly for them thirteen years later, when he returns as the Overlord.
    • The other magical creatures mocking the elf Florian for being unable to use magic unlike every other Elf along with the frustration of magical ineptitude led to Florian's journey to darkness.
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  • Asshole Victim: For the Destruction and Domination paths respectively. The Nordbergians, the Governors, the Empire citizens, really the only people undeserving of the Overlord's wrath are the Elves, and even then...
  • Balance of Good and Evil: The Overlad's mother Rose makes a few comments to the effect that the World needs balance, though it appears that the World swings wildly from one extreme to the other, with Good periodically succeeding over Evil only to be inevitably corrupted and/or destroyed by the return of a previous evil.
  • Batman Gambit: Florian's grand scheme turns out to be an impressive case of this. Basically, after failing to seize the power of the Tower Heart following the Third Overlord's departure, he capitalizes on the disaster he created, the Great Cataclysm that created the Wasteland, to organize the Glorious Empire around severe xenophobia towards all magic and magical creatures, just so he can harvest all of the magic energy from the captured creatures to power himself. He goes even further by continuing to masquerade as a valiant Elven resistance fighter and Queen Fay's No.2 trying to protect the Sanctuaries and rescue as many magical creatures as possible, simply to make the harvesting easier.
  • Beauty Equals Goodness: Inverted; Beauty equals Evil as Queen Fay, the only good-looking person on the good guy's team, does a Face–Heel Turn.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: Even after being raised to be evil, the Overlord continues to have a soft spot for Kelda, who was the only one to treat him well growing up in Nordberg.
  • Big Bad: Emperor Solarius, ruler of the Glorious Empire. And known also as Florian the elf.
  • Big Good: Queen Fay, ruler of the Elves, directly opposing the Overlord during her quest to protect the Sanctuaries. At first, anyways...
  • Bigfoot, Sasquatch and Yeti: A one-eyed Yeti appears early on and makes several appearances throughout the game. It apparently has a soft spot for the baby seals that live in the area around Nordberg, to the point of furiously attacking both the Overlord's forces and the Empire when they are threatened.
  • Big "NO!": One is let out by Queen Fay when a Destruction-aligned Overlord uses the Evil Presence spell to excessively drain her magic to power the Tower Heart, resulting in the obliteration of her body and turning her into a disembodied spirit referred to as Ghost Fay.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Let's all throw snowballs at the kid who can shoot lightning from his hands!
    • The Gnomes declare permanent war on the Overlord over a minor slight. These Gnomes barely reach past the Overlord's shin and their most damaging (and only) attack is to jump on the Overlord and suicide-bomb with a firecracker that deals minor damage at best. Of course, if there's enough of them, it's slightly above a nuisance, but otherwise...
    • On the first encounter with a Gargantuan, a Minion steps forward with a grin and a "come get some" gesture.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • The presence of the yeti and the baby seal in the arena... a very subtle hint to an incoming plot twist...
    • During the gathering of the Tower Heart shards, when a giant slug appears, Florian shouts for you to squash it... before hastily saying that he meant to say 'ease it gently to the next world,' or something to that extent. At first, it just seems like the hypocrisy of the elves for only caring about 'fuzzy' creatures when they protect nature, but given The Reveal that comes late game...
    • In the Time Skip cutscene where Gnarl talks about the empire, you see a Blue Minion being carted off in a cage, at first all this does is drive the point home that no magical creature is safe. Then the Overlord discovers that the Blue Minion Hive resides in the dungeons of the Empire's Arena.
  • Collection Sidequest:
    • The Gnome Genocide sidequest, which will net you a Nice Hat and an Achievement. Also the Dark Crystals, many of which are notoriously well hidden, and a few are permanently missable.
    • Collecting the Tower objects for Minions, Health, Mana, Spells, and Forge recipes.
  • Continuity Nod: Few, mostly by Gnarl.
    Gnarl: Try not to get yourself locked in an Infernal Abyss sire. Just for the record.
  • Coup de Grâce Cutscene: When you defeat the Spider Queen and the Salamander King the Overlord has a cutscene in which he finishes them off by cutting them open stylishly. Even if he is using a mace.
  • Creepy Child: The Overlad in the beginning, who is known to the residents of Nordberg as the Witch-Boy.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Queen Fay seems to enjoy her forced Face–Heel Turn a bit too much.
    • In that same vein, when you possess your Minions, they say some very... sensual sounding things such as "Be gentle, master."
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: You kill the Emperor as he ascends to godhood and destroy the Eldritch Abomination that is powering his ascension.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Overlord sees Juno for the first time through a spyglass. He doesn't notice the giant spider approaching his ship since he was staring at her cleavage. Shipwreck ensues.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: The minions disguise themselves in legionnaire uniforms.
  • The Dragon: Marius is this as well as the Professional Butt-Kisser of Solarius.
  • Drunk on the Dark Side: Queen Fay as she turns to Dark Fay.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The Devourer, which was created from all of the magic collected by the Glorious Empire for Florian's scheme. It's a writhing blob of tentacles and lamprey mouths that absorbs all it touches.
  • Enfante Terrible: The player starts off as this, being the son of the previous Overlord.
  • Enemy Mine: Queen Fay offers an alliance with the Overlord against Solarius, seeing as her people and the Overlord are being targeted by the Emperor. She helps him reconstruct and power up the Tower Heart. Doesn't work out for the Elves.
  • The Empire: The Glorious Empire.
  • Evil Feels Good: Queen Fay, as she becomes overtaken by the Overlord's Evil when she allows him to drain her energy to power the Tower Heart. As the process goes on, she begins to embrace the darkness and goes on to become his mistress.
    • Also an example of Evil Redhead, as hair actually turns red once you finish draining her.
  • Evil Is Easy: Averted as far as the obtuse Mind Control vs. Ax-Crazy Karma Meter goes, surprisingly. Choosing Destruction (i.e. burn everything to the ground and kill everyone) always gives you a good instant payoff, but not enough to buy everything in the game, as opposed to having a fully Dominated town that's always giving money and forging equipment for your minions. In the end, Domination pays off more than Destruction.
  • Extreme Omnivore: The Devourer devours pretty much anything.
  • Face–Heel Turn: The Elven queen. Of course, that's to your benefit.
    • Another is Florian, but that one was very premeditated.
  • Fallen Hero: Queen Fay, if the Overlord chooses to corrupt her into his service.
  • Fan Disservice: There are a lot of barely covered breasts in the game; unfortunately, besides your mistresses (who while sexy, dress modestly in comparison), they're all horribly, horribly overweight, and some of them are male.
  • Fantastic Fallout: The domain of the previous Overlord has become the magical equivalent of the Chernobyl area, due to some kind of magical artifact getting overloaded and turning the landscape into a warped and mutating hellhole. It explains why the Empire has such a stanch anti-magical anything stance.
  • Fantastic Nature Reserve: Everlight Sanctuary and the lesser reserves protected by the Elves.
  • Fantastic Racism: The Empire is actively anti-magic due to the Magical Cataclysm, which destroyed a huge area and rendered it a chaotic wasteland, and that created a plague that causes horrible mutations. Florian, the one who caused all this takes advantage of all of this with the help of Marius and Rose.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: The Glorious Empire is basically the Roman Empire. The Elves embody all sorts of hippie stereotypes.
  • Fat Bastard: Fat mermaids, fat elf ladies, fat Empire people, fat fairies... and all of them are trying to kill you or are unlikeable. This game is not kind to fat people.
  • Fetus Terrible: The son of the Overlord.
  • Game Hunting Mechanic: There are seals in the Nordland the Overlord is able to hunt. Indeed, there's an achievement in clubbing 100 baby seals to death.
  • Giant Spider: Can be used as mounts by Greens, although you have to defeat their much bigger queen first.
    • "nice spidy..."
  • A God Am I: Florian, after he reveals that he was The Emperor.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • Getting 100% in either karma path can be a bit of a trial for two separate reasons;
      • Domination: you have to be very careful not to have the citizens of the towns you take over die. If you lose even one of them you're locked out from full domination. Compounding the issue, there's a mission for each town where the elves try to start a rebellion, and the villagers will join in, meaning you have to pick out targets and make sure you don't kill the wrong ones (the one in Nordberg may be worse, as a lot of the citizens are in a wheat field... which is highly flammable and will definitely kill them, so you can't really use Reds or fire). Also, at one point in the story you find the family that got Juno hauled off under accusations of being a witch, and due to a Game-Breaking Bug, it won't always register them karma for domination even if you mind controlled them (If Juno says "Aren't you forgetting something?" That's your cue to reload your save).
      • For Destruction: you'd probably think that just killing everyone will work, but the part of the story where you corrupt Fey heavily implies that brainwashing them is the only resolution, even though you can kill them after they have served their purpose. Nothing in the game tells you that you even have this option, and the time frame for doing so is about ten seconds while they walk to a new destination. Missing this window means the chance is lost forever.
    • Players not paying attention could wind up feeling like they got stuck at the Salamander King's lair. This is because if the player winds up dying in the deeper section of the lair, they will actually resurrect at the entrance. Players will then realize that they will no longer be able to access the deeper part of the lair from said entrance due to needing to take an elevator down that ended up getting destroyed the first time it was used. The result is leaving the player feeling like they're stuck at the entrance with no way to get back to the inner part of the dungeon. However, what players tend to gloss over is the Tower-gate checkpoint that was activated once they've reached the inner part of the lair. Players are supposed to teleport to the lair's inner Tower-gate checkpoint beyond the broken elevator using the waygate system. The problem is that this mechanic is not obvious at first glance with players thinking that the entrance is the only checkpoint they can teleport to when really, there's another.
  • Hero Antagonist: The Elves and other Light Magic creatures of the Everlight Sanctuary, with Queen Fay in particular at least until she was corrupted by the Overlord's magic.
  • The High Queen: Queen Fay.
  • I Love the Dead: A Destruction-aligned Overlord is faced with this trope as Queen Fay's body is obliterated to fully charge the Tower Heart with her magic, resulting in her becoming a disembodied spirit known as Ghost Fay that becomes attached (and possibly attracted even still) to the Overlord and takes up residence in the Netherworld as the third of his Mistresses.
  • I Found You Like This: After the prelude, the Overlad is rescued by the Minions after falling into a frozen lake trying to escape Nordberg with the help of a Yeti, being thawed out of his ice-cube imprisonment with the flames of a domesticated dragon once Gnarl decides that he needs a "proper" evil upbringing.
  • Jiggle Physics: Done so disturbingly that it might as well count as a parody. Jiggle applies to everyone and everything with fat. And there are far too many instances of this in unfortunate places.
  • Lady Macbeth: The game lets you have a total of three Mistresses compared to the first's two: Kelda, the Overlord's childhood friend (equivalent to Rose), Juno, a seductress from the Empire (similar to Velvet) and the corrupted or ghostly Fay. The choice of First Mistress comes up before the final battle, though you can always go back and change whenever you feel like it, both before and after the ending.
  • Last Lousy Point: Achieving 100% in Domination or Destruction falls into this trope harshly. As covered in the Guide Dang It entry, there are very strict requirements for maxing out either one. This is important, as the most powerful spell for both alignments needs 100% completion to be unlocked.
    • Completely dominating/destroying a town requires you to use Evil Presence on every civilian on the map. This quickly devolves into a lengthy hunt for the last handful, after you've enslaved/killed the bulk of them and battered down every door you can find. The mission to control Everlight Town goes one step further in locking off the last quarter or so of the population behind a sidequest that isn't received until just before the final mission.
  • Light Is Not Good: Emperor Solarius and the Glorious Empire in general.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father:
    Gnarl: What! How did you know-hang on, I recognize that voice now! Rose! Former Mistress Rose! Or Mrs. Marius now, I should say. Don't trust her. She's a devious, manipulative, abandoner... Oh and she's your mother!
  • Mêlée à Trois: Between the Overlord, the Elves and the Glorious Empire. The Elves are completely taken out of the picture following the disastrous results of their Enemy Mine sequence with the Overlord later on that got their Queen either magically corrupted or killed and turned into a spirit, both ending in her becoming loyal to the Overlord. The last of the Sanctuaries also falls as well.
  • Mind Control: The Fourth Overlord doesn't bother with the "cultivating a good reputation through taking care of his subjects" methods of his father (if a 0% Corruption Third Overlord is taken as canon) or Lord Gromgard from Overlord: Dark Legend, and instead just outright dominates peoples' wills and turns them into his eager and willing slaves, if not completely destroying them that is.
  • Money Grinding: If a Domination path is chosen, the Nordberg and Everlight towns provide tribute chests filled with gold, which are piled by the gateway you teleport in from. That said, the handy feature of treasure chests resetting when a region is left allows for the Overlord to use the Gate in the Everlight Temple and gain access to as many if not more chests than either town by first stepping on a pressure plate in one corner of the room to open a secret room filled with at least ten chests, plus the four or five outside. Whatever the method chosen, having an exorbitant amount of gold as well as Fairy Gems and Minion Lifeforce is practically a necessity in order to get the strongest weapons and armor from the Forge.
  • Necessarily Evil: Rose, who initially took her son away from the Tower to prevent his rise to evil later accepts the Overlad as perhaps someone who would bring some proper order to the world and restore the Balance between Light and Darkness.
  • Nice Hat: Your Brown Minions will wear various items on their heads, some of which are only obtainable once. Other Minions won't have it actually render, just being converted into generic equipment. Special mention must go to one end-game hat, which is the rather large top-piece of a gold banner pole, which by all rights should crush the lucky Minion wearing it.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: Kelda, who as a child sympathized with the Witch-boy and had a crush on him. She is then spared when the Overlad returns as a man to conquer Nordberg and instead happily becomes his Mistress, saying how she hated her town for tossing him out for the Empire.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Florian's act as a regular sappy Elf is merely a part of his continuing efforts to sabotage the Sanctuaries from the inside. The reveal is made glorious by simply hearing him drop that stupid stoner accent.
  • One-Winged Angel: Solarius/Florian flings himself into a vat of pure magic hoping to ascend to godhood, only to become a giant tentacled slug "that's made of pure magic," as Gnarl claims.
  • Only Sane Man: Queen Fay of the Elves. The Overlord is either an oppressive tyrant wielding Mind Control magic or an outright Omnicidal Maniac, the Glorious Empire is actively genocidal towards magical creatures, and her underlings are all complete imbeciles or secretly in league with the Empire.
  • Overlord Jr.: The game's protagonist is a literal case as he is the son of the first game's Third Overlord and Rose.
  • Our Mermaids Are Different: They're fat, ugly, and mean, with the lower bodies of pufferfish.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: The Empire are pretty easily convinced by Minions dressed up in the armor of the Imperial Guard. They do ponder a bit why the new recruits are so short, eventually deciding that they've chosen to recruit Gnomes.
  • Parental Abandonment: The Witch-boy, seeing as his father was trapped in and rules the Infernal Abyss and his mother went on to found the magic-hating Glorious Empire of which he finds himself opposing due to being magical himself.
  • People Puppets: The Overlord intermittently has the opportunity to use a crystallized structure from the Netherworld to perform a ritual to possess the body of a Minion to access places he could not normally.
  • Permanently Missable Content: There are two Dark Crystals in the game that can be lost if you don't grab them: one can be stolen by a gnome (and you'll have no way to get it back due to plot occurrences leaving you with no Minions); the other is in an area that can only be accessed once and is destroyed after you exit, making return impossible. The Champion hats can also be lost if you don't grab them immediately since they disappear if you exit the area. While it's mostly for aesthetic purposes, getting the Spider Champion Hat to enhance a Minion is especially bad since there's a limited window of opportunity to get it before a cutscene makes it vanish and in an area with not-good lighting that can make it hard to spot in said window.
  • Polyamory: As opposed to his father getting with one out of two Mistresses, the Overlord can keep all three Mistresses he meets as part of his harem at the same time. They're even seen slouching together on the throne in the ending. The Overlord may even successfully convince the ladies to partake in a foursome.note  You still have to choose a First Mistress by the time of the final battle, however.
  • Professional Butt-Kisser: Marius, towards Solarius. Even when the newly revealed Florian is an all-consuming monstrosity of magic, Marius is still praising him and wanting to be eaten first.
  • Randomly Drops: The Fairy Gems resource, which can drop from any magical creature. They're most plentiful after killing a Dryad and/or Unicorn, but there is no method where they can be repeatedly spawned. The best place to find them is in the Nordberg Sanctuary at the first Gate, where the Overlord can find a lot of pink crystals that have a chance to drop them, plus a gaggle of Fairies that also can drop them.
  • Redemption Demotion: Inverted with Queen Fay, who loses her magical powers following her Face–Heel Turn as a Mistress of the Overlord. Justified in that her change in allegiance is a side effect of having her Light Magic drained to power the Tower Heart and being replaced with the Overlord's Dark Magic which corrupts her mind.
  • Ripped from the Headlines: A rich imperial citizen approaches the Overlord: "Everything's gone wrong! I need a bailout! A few thousand golds should do... Maybe you can get them from the people in the slums?" The Overlord then fries the man with lightning.
    • In order to free the boat capable of sailing to Everfree, three (four if a Destruction path is chosen) tar pits must be set on fire. This thaws the ice trapping the ship, which then floods the land just beyond the village it's located at. And the jungle that the Everfree Gate is within after that...
  • Red Right Hand: While hard to miss, the Overlord has blue skin.
  • Shoot the Messenger: The Overlord executes people that petition an audience with him to alert him of incidents that he needs to take care of. To be fair, they are making some ludicrous requests on top of the reasonable call for aid, from wanting to govern the town he just took over, to borrowing some Minions for themselves, to even requesting that one of his Mistresses accompany them for, ahem... company. Gnarl was even disturbed by an Empire lady wanting him as a present.
  • Side Quest: The game is pretty straight-forward but there are a couple side objectives. The obvious one being the long 1000 Gnome Genocide quest which can be done throughout the game and the optional quests that revolve around enslaving the populations of the towns in Nordberg and Everlight after taking control of them during the story.
  • Sidetrack Bonus: All the tower objects (Minion, Health, Mana, Armory, Spell, Spell Level) spread throughout the world environments that need to be carried back to a Netherworld portal amount to this.
  • Silent Protagonist: Lampshaded by an Imperial tourist who assumes the Overlord is an advertised mime.
  • Slouch of Villainy: The Overlord gets to sit in his throne, and slouches magnificently. He also gets bonus points for being able to do so in presumably heavy armor.
  • Start of Darkness: The game opens up to the Witch-Boy being picked on and bullied for, well, being The Witch-Boy.
  • Stealth-Based Mission: You have to guide a group of Green Minions through a castle filled with guards that sweep areas you need to avoid. The exterminators and wardens are strong enough instantly kill Minions if they get spotted.
    • And later, you have to do a much shorter stealth mission involving the Blue Minions who, thankfully, can turn invisible while being swept.
  • Straight for the Commander: The Empire phalanxes (phalanges?) are typically accompanied by a Centurion. Killing the Centurion makes it much easier to defeat them; without killing him, a group of fifty fully armed Browns will lose nearly thirty of its members before breaking the phalanx and causing the soldiers to scatter.
  • Stripperiffic: The Mermaids, Fairies, and Elven Priestesses suit this trope. Unfortunately.
    • But, hey, the Minions love the fairies, so it's still Fanservice for them.
  • Stupid Good: The Elves and fairies, who try to prevent the draining of Queen Fay's power, despite the fact that she's willing, and that doing so is the only way the Empire can be stopped. Then again, it's her power that's holding the Last Sanctuary together, and quite frankly, even if she says that she's willingly letting the Sauron-lookalike zap her with magic-thieving Force Lightning, the elves wouldn't be inclined to believe her.
  • Super Drowning Skills: As in the first game, the Overlord will wade through waist-high water and won't enter anything deeper, while only the Blue Minions can swim as the other three types will drown shortly after entering.
  • A Taste of Power:
    • At the end of the prelude during the Overlad's escape from Nordberg, there's an infinitely respawning group of Brown Minions to allow for beating the crap out of the Empire forces blocking escape.
    • This is par for the course for most Minion tutorials: the numbers are limited by maximum horde size, but the Minions will infinitely and freely respawn until their respective Hives are captured and returned to the Tower (with the exception of the Blues).
  • Too Dumb to Live: Not a single one of the peasants seeking an audience with the Overlord are able to deliver their message without adding a few unreasonable demands that skew any chance of favorable outcome. Or perhaps they all fail to notice that they're kneeling on a giant trap door above a sea of lava.
    • The Empire manages to capture the Overlord by sealing off all his magic. Their next move, in all their wisdom, is to beat him within an inch of his life before giving it all back to him right before pitting him in an arena with slaves he is able to mind-control, plus a supply of Minions in easily-escapable jars. Boss Arena Idiocy taken to the (il)logical extreme...
  • Trap Door: As mentioned above, the #1 method of disposing of stupid peasants. Doesn't work on Rose during her brief visit though.
  • Unholy Matrimony: Before the final battle, the Overlord's choice of First Mistress determines what Minion type receives their specific type of mount to use.
  • Unicorn: A couple of these in the arena. A loading screen snippet has Gnarl referring to them derisively as "pit-ponies".
  • Victorious Childhood Friend: Kelda if she's kept as First Mistress.
  • Villain Protagonist
  • We Have Reserves: The Minion horde size can get big, and they're easily replaced, although the Overlord has the option resurrect fallen ones that you've taken a liking to by sacrificing the lifeforce of "new-born" Minions. The Overlord can also sacrifice them to regenerate health once the Minion spell is acquired.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Cute?: The Elves are mainly concerned with protecting creatures they consider cute and fluffy.
    • Played with early on when the Minions decide to club adorable baby seals to death, in order to avenge the fish getting eaten by the seals.
  • Where I Was Born and Razed: Nordberg, depending on the alignment chosen, either ends up completely destroyed or its citizens permanently brainwashed and enslaved. Note that they were pretty much asking for it.