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Video Game / ParaWorld

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The German golden edition cover

"Introite, nam et hic dii sunt".
Heraclitus of Ephesus

ParaWorld is a 2006 PC Real-Time Strategy game by the German company SEK.The plot revolves around a trio of scientists, who each had discovered evidence that led them to conclude that a parallel universe exists. Before they could announce their findings to the world, however, they found themselves stranded into said parallel world by a mysterious organization SEAS, and must find or make way back home.

This parallel world is inhabited by dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals, which the native tribes have managed to train as beasts of war. The Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot approach defines these and the other units in the game, resulting in a setting of Schizo Tech mixture of Steampunk and Medieval Prehistory with ancient flavor.

In a meta sense, the game is a mass homage to Jules Verne novels, Jurassic Park, The Mummy (1999), Dinotopia, Indiana Jones and many other lost world/adventure works; quite uniquely for an RTS setting.

The game's most notable feature is the Army Controller, a panel on the left of the screen displaying every unit you control and what they are doing. While offering an incredibly convenient method of controlling units, the obscurity of the game means that it failed to be as revolutionary, as the creators hoped.

This game provides examples of:

    open/close all folders 
    The Setting
Picturesque graphics, since 2006
  • All Animals Are Domesticated: Woolly rhino, Tyrannosaurus rex, Kronosaurus as mounts? Why not?
  • Another Dimension
    • Specifically they're in a parallel dimension where low magic exists, but electricity doesn't work and it's speculated that this world is where our dinosaurs originated from.
  • Arcadia: Warden’s Refuge, Dust Rider lands to Stina
  • Artistic License – Paleontology: This game has dilophosauruses with frills that spit venom, and many raptors and other theropods without feathers, despite this game made way after such traits were known to exist.
  • Bamboo Technology: Done quite literally in the case of the Dragon Clan.
  • Fantasy Kitchen Sink: the only thing missing from Paraworld are aliens.
  • Fountain of Youth: The entire dimension is this. A side-effect of living in Paraworld, people do not age. This is one of the reasons why Babbit is going back.
    • Also Hvergelmir in Walhalla
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: The Norsemen are European, the Dustriders are African/Middle Eastern, and the Dragon Clan are Asian.
  • Fantasy Gun Control: Played with. The Norsemen have some steam technology including a tank, but neither they nor the Dustriders have gunpowder weapons. The Dragon Clan have guns on their dinosaur units and if they are led by a Level 5 Bela, they can have infantry carrying machine guns that don't do much damage per shot but are still dangerous from a high rate of fire. Completely averted with the SEAS as they are bringing over modified technology from our world. Also the physics in the Paraworld dimension is different, so there is no electricity. All machinery is completely mechanical including calculation machines and an engine for opening dimensional portals.
  • Horse of a Different Color: Dinosaurs and other “prehistoric” creatures.
  • Spider Tank: Comes in both a regular and final boss version.
  • Steampunk Supervillains, Tesla, steam robots, zeppelins...
  • Lethal Lava Land: the Ashvalley setting.
  • Lost World: The flavor of the game.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: where to begin? Note that ninjas, pirates, zombies, and robots do all appear within the game. There are even ninja pirates and zombie Vikings.
  • Rock Beats Laser: Discussed. Unfortunately, you are the guy with the rocks, but with the main hero being a literal geologist...
  • Scenery Porn: The levels are just beautiful.
  • Shout-Out: Multiple, mainly to Jurassic Park.
  • Units Not to Scale: Done most obviously with the dinosaurs, as some are not to scale with the people. This is particularly evident with the titan units, which are much bigger than the standard versions of their species.
  • Stripperiffic: Most of the costumes of the female characters are designed to show off their breasts the most that the game dares to get away with. The Dust Rider women live this trope, which might be somewhat justified, however, considering that they are a mix-up of various sub-saharan tribes.
  • Rule of Three: Three native tribes, three main types of infantry units, three heroes.
     Tropes By Faction 
NorsemenDust RidersDragon ClanSEAS
  • Elite Mooks: SEAS does a lot of field upgrading, making the player constantly fight leveled up soldiers.
  • Offstage Villainy : we never get to ‘’see’’ what is so horrible with SEAS besides them trying to eliminate precisely 5 dangerous people and some declared motivations until ‘’after’’ they are attacked ‘by the heroes.
  • Mordor: Where they live.
     Tropes by Campaign Mission (spoiler alert!) 
Mission 1
  • Waking Up Elsewhere: Cole, at the beginning.
  • Warmup Boss: The Triceratops Titan at the end, very symbolically to the game's logo being an eye of this unit.
Mission 2
Mission 3
Mission 4
Mission 5
Mission 6Mission 7
  • Thirsty Desert: Averted: Cole as a geologist immediately recognizes the temporary nature of the desert.
  • Mad Scientist Laboratory: So thinks Cole about the interior of a mysterious hut that is revealed to belong to Taslow
Mission 8
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: The Undead Warriors
  • Holy Is Not Safe: in Walhalla, drinking the red… juice… gives awesome powers, but also makes one's skin green.
  • Hard Levels, Easy Bosses:
    • Mission 8: After the barbarian strongholds, the enemies in Walhalla are no match for the easy to micro heroes.
    • Mission 15: After around two hours of fighting, the player gets to face… the 4000 HP 100 damage Leighton?
Mission 9
  • At the end features a task to climb a mountain peak and build a rather symbolic tower there. It promptly ends in a literal Tower Defense from endless hordes of the barbarians.
  • The title of the mission, the final plan of the heroes and some parts of the final cutscene are a reference to The Flight of the Phoenix (2004)
    • Bela, much like the engineer in the movie, is blonde.
Mission 10Mission 11Mission 12Mission 13Mission 14
  • Walk into Mordor: the final three missions
  • Final-Exam Boss: The final levels, where the player can even choose the tribe he/she sees the most fit for the job.
  • The Alcatraz: Deadly Environment Prison.
Mission 15
  • Time Bomb : The assault on the power stations.
  • 11th-Hour Superpower: The character of Ada Loven counts as this. The ability to shoot a single target for a Brachiosaurus worth of hitpoints and then fire ranged armor piercing attacks is like having second Taslow in the team.
Mission 16
    Gameplay Mechanics
Game Interface, with The Army Controller on the left.
  • Evolving Title Screen – featuring a camera showing footage from lately visited climate zones as a background and weapons of according cultures in the foreground
  • Technology Levels – the 5 epochs
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit – 52: 25 on the first level, 15 on the second one, 8 on the third, 3 on the fourth and one on the fifth.
  • Hero Unit: Powerful named characters that gain bonuses with levels
    • at the first level, just a special characteristic
    • at the second, a bonus to nearby units
    • at the third, a special active ability
    • at the fourth, unlocks a special unit or building for every tribe
    • at the fifth, a big bonus to the entire tribe
  • Padded Sumo Gameplay: Omnipresent trope. Many units have thousands of hitpoints while even the most powerful weapon in the campaign Railway Gun hits only for 500.
  • Armor-Piercing Attack: Norsemen have their various rhino units and crossbowmen, Dragon Clan have scorpions and ninjas, and the Dustriders get screwed over with only the Mobile Camp. Armor piercing attacks are extremely important in this game since armor reduces damage by a percentage (all the way up to 50%) and many units have armor to varying degrees (especially for the SEAS and Norsemen).
  • Splash Damage is even more important in this game, so any unit that has it has it's worth basically tripled in a melee.
  • Colour Coded Armies: Enemies are red, your army is blue; the allies will always wear green clothing, too. This still holds in the boosterpack missions, even though you play as the normally red guys.
  • Coup de Grâce Cutscene:every major death is cinematic
  • Elite Army: The SEAS faction. They are basically the Dragon Clan on steroids but without the traps. So they're number one when it comes to ranged combat and to top that off, almost everything they have is heavily armored including a giant robot that is normally only available for the Norsemen with a Level 5 Babbit and later they get a more advanced version of the robot. So every fight you have with them has the odds stacked against you.
  • Fanservice: Ada, in spades...and most of the female characters, visually.
  • Finishing Move: Most units have one, displayed if they kill an enemy. For example, an Allosaurus will tear apart a human warrior. Anthony Cole has got some pretty anime-ish ones for finishing big animals.
  • Videogame Caring Potential: The Army Controller makes you rescue your wounded units by spending the hard to come by skull resource on leveling them up, which restores their health back and improves them. There are limited places on each level, however, so planning for the future of your units is necessary. In general the Army Controller works like this, enabling the player to observe all their units in the game along with health bars.
    • Most units are peaceful people with backstories, jokes to tell and other personal quirks, if you click them enough times. Workers have especially sympathetic personalities. The only non-innocent controllable units are a few Genre Savvy Played for Laughs Ax-Crazy warrior units.
    • In mission 10: Warden’s Pet, the Allosaurus, who peacefully walks around the little valley and tries to defend it from any invader but obviously needs help.
Videogame Cruelty Potential: The player can totally leave the AI allies to a ceratin death:
  • In mission 13 The Holy City Guards
  • In mission 14 the freed prisoners
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Generally averted. In the cutscenes the heroes follow the same spirit of actions that they would in the gameplay, just with better animations. Played Straight for the usage of vehicles and mounts.
  • Hero Must Survive: An objective in some missions.
  • Jack of All Stats: The Norsemen tribe. Also, warriors.
  • Master of All: The titan units.
  • Tactical Rock–Paper–Scissors: There are four types: human, animal, machine, and building. Some units are more effective against others.
  • Worker Unit: You will need around twenty of those every game.