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Videogame / Paranautical Activity

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Like Doom, but on a boat!

Paranautical Activity is a voxel-based FPS roguelike originally developed by Code Avarice. It's closest in style to The Binding of Isaac in that you have a choice of a number of "characters" with their own unique weapon loadouts and parameters (speed, shot power, health, etc.) plopped in a mazelike series of rooms. From there you have to make it through each floor, collecting or purchasing various items that give you permanent or immediate boosts in your stats, new skills or weapons, and other effects. Rather than Isaac's disturbing themes and artstyle, though, this game takes place on a ghost ship filled with all sorts of monsters both nautical and non-nautical themed.

Paranautical Activity was available on Steam as an Early Access beta. However, after one of the game's developers Mike Maulbeck threw a fit on Twitter over the game still being promoted as Early Access after its final release, which included a threat to kill Valve Software CEO Gabe Newell while his display name was temporarily shown as "Mike Murderbeck" for Halloween, the was removed from the service by Valve. Afterwards, Maulbeck apologized for his actions, left the development company, and sold his interest in his former employer, although he has since been rehired with the studio making new policies to prevent incidents like this from happening again.


On February 13, 2015, an Updated Re-release subtitled Deluxe Atonement Edition was released on One day later, this edition of the game also appeared on Steam. It should be noted that Code Avarice no longer owns the game's IP, as they have given it up to Digerati Distribution & Marketing. The game was also released on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and Play Station Vita.

This game contains examples of the following:

  • Abnormal Ammo: The Blowfish Gun special weapon. It shoots blowfish.
  • Action Bomb: Baahmbas and Blow Fish both explode on death.
  • Asteroids Monster: Iris and Aerie both split into two smaller versions of themselves after they health is lowered a certain amount.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Every weapons has an infinite supply of ammunition, with the exception of the superweapons.
  • Advertisement:
  • Dual Boss: Iris and Aerie, the floating eyeballs.
  • Energy Weapon: One of the two superweapons.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Poison Bombs. They make your bombs, well, poison.
  • Excuse Plot: You play as one of several characters exploring a haunted ship while armed to the teeth. That's it.
  • Gatling Good: "Gilead" comes equipped with a chaingun as a primary weapon which needs some spin-up time before it fires. It also uses projectiles rather than hitscan, so leading your targets is key.
  • Ghostapo: Some of the enemies and bosses happen to be ghost Nazis.
  • The Goomba: The Jimbaabwehs.
  • Mighty Glacier: The "Tank" character is the slowest all the choices but comes equipped with a powerful hitscan shotgun and the most default health. God help you if you get any speed-down items, though. . .
  • No Arcin Archery: Averted with "David Bowie" - although you use a crossbow, the trajectory, range and power of your shots are affected by how long you hold down the fire button before releasing.
  • Precision-Guided Boomerang: The sickle.
  • Prongs of Poseidon: One of the available weapons.
  • Grenade Launcher: Although it shoots bombs instead of grenades.
  • Sinister Scythe: The sickle, although it acts like a boomerang.
  • Shotguns Are Just Better: Does lethal amounts of damage at close range, and is only held back by it's slower-than-average rate of fire.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Russel is based of off The Thing.
    • The Green's Ovaries item is a reference to youtuber Green 9090
    • The Magnet item. How does it work?
    • The "Dyn-O-Mite!" loadout - a bomb launcher and katana - is a clear homage to Team Fortress 2's "Demoknight" loadout.
    • "Gaangus' Soul" comes with the description VVVVVV - and allows you to flip between the floor and ceiling just like in that indie game by pressing jump.
    • Eating Spinach makes you stronger by increasing your health by 2 and boosting your bomb-throwing power - not quite like Popeye, but close enough.
  • Stealth Pun: David Bowie.

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