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Video Game / Paradroid

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A video game developed by Andrew Braybrook, released by Hewson Consultants in 1985 for the Commodore 64, later ported to the Amiga and Atari ST.

The game takes place on a spaceship where the robots have gone berserk and are now universally hostile. The player controls an "influence device", which is self-propelled and armed with some low-powered lasers, but whose most important ability is to take control of a nearly droid and control them for a short duration. Higher-level robots possess stronger weaponry, which may be used when the influence device is in control of a particular model.

To take control of a particular droid, a minigame is played consisting of sending pulses through representations of logic gates to gain control of the robot's processor, while the robot you are attacking does the same thing. A central game mechanic is that the number of pulses you can send depends on the level of the robot you currently control, making it difficult to transfer from a low-level robot to a high-level robot without taking some intermediate steps.


The game is well remembered, and several remakes have been made for modern machines.

This game provides examples of:

  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Implied. The 999 command cyborg is noted as having an "experimental new brain".
  • Area of Effect: The 711 and 742 droids use disruptors, which damage all visible droids, though some are immune.
  • Attack Drone: The Influence Device (001) you control is a variant. It can function as a classic attack drone, but its built-in weapon is weak; instead, its main offensive ability is to temporarily take over hostile droids and use their weapons.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: The Command Cyborg (999) is the most powerful droid in the game.
  • Body Surf: What your Influence Device does, just with a technological justification rather than a spiritual one.
  • Bottomless Magazines: All weapons have unlimited ammo.
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  • Continuing is Painful: Failing to take control of a new robot bumps you all the way back to controlling just the influence device. If there are no low level robots left to take control of, you're in for a big jump.
  • Fragile Speedster: The 302 droid is very fast but unarmed. The 834 is just as fast as the 302, but is under-gunned for a security-class droid.
  • Hollywood Hacking: The minigame through which you gain control of a robot.
  • Informed Ability: Some droids are described as having radars, infra-vision, or other types of sensors, but it makes no difference in-game. Likewise, the 614's weapon is described as a laser rifle and the 883's as an exterminator, but in-game they both use the single laser common to many other droids.
  • Lightning Bruiser: The 821 and 999 droids are fast, tough, and have strong lasers.
  • Mighty Glacier: The 629 droid has a powerful double laser, but moves slowly.
  • Mind-Control Device: You control a lightly armed influence device. It is pretty much all you have.
  • My Rules Are Not Your Rules: Different rules apply to a droid when it's under your control and when it's computer-controlled. For example, the damage formula is different (sometimes to your advantage, sometimes not), the computer gets extra "shots" in the transfer minigame, and the 302 and 834 droids move faster when under the computer's control than under yours.
  • No-Sell
    • The weak laser mounted on the Influence Device cannot harm droids 711 and above. The single laser cannot harm droids 834 and above (though it can harm you while you're controlling one of these droids).
    • Some droids are immune to disruptors (the weapon used by droids 711 and 742). Specifically: 420, 711, 742, 821, 999.
  • One-Hit Kill: The stronger weapons can kill lower class droids with a single hit. Even the Influence Device's laser can one-shot the waste disposal class and some of the servant class droids.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: The game was converted to the ZX Spectrum as Quazatron, which keeps the grapple minigame but has a completely different graphical style (isometric 3D rather than top-down 2D).
  • Ranged Emergency Weapon: The Influence Device is armed with a weak laser. It's effective against the lower class droids, but will barely scratch sentinel-class droids, and cannot harm the battle, security and command classes at all.
  • Shout-Out: The 883 security droid looks remarkably like a Dalek. The in-game console database explicitly refers to the 883 as being "modelled on archive data".
  • Sorting Algorithm of Evil: Averted. If you want to, you can take the bare influence device directly to the 999 command cyborg and attempt to take it over the moment you enter the game. It's possible to succeed, too. (The minigame's arrangement of logic gates is random, so sometimes the enemy gets mostly useless crap despite its greater number of pulses.)
  • You Are Number 6: All droids are referred to only by their number, which is also used to represent them in the game's main view. The first digit refers to their class, while the remaining two determine their specific type (each class has 1 to 3 types of droid). The classes are: 0-influence device; 1-waste disposal ; 2-servant; 3-messenger; 4-maintenance; 5-crew; 6-sentinel; 7-battle; 8-security; 9-command.