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Video Game / Project Black Sun

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Project Black Sun is an Indie Metroidvania for PC, Mac and Linux, made by Starflower Games and released on 17th October, 2011.

You play as an unnamed young man who wakes up from a head trauma in the abandoned mines. He briefly recalls falling through a poorly covered mining shaft while "running and jogging" in the morning. He shrugs and decides "there should be an exit somewhere", so that's what you'll be looking for. Sure, there's some aggressive subterranean wildlife in these mines, but you've got a combat knife, a gun with a 10-round capacity, some paper to map out your progress, and a huge-ass backpack to store all the collectibles you find.

The game is not currently available on Steam, even though it passed Steam Greenlight back in the day. If you want to buy it, you'll have to do it from one of the several other online stores listed on the developer's website.

Project Black Sun contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Airborne Mook: The most common enemies in the early game are bats, who are tough enough to survive a single pistol round, requiring two to go down.
  • Antagonist Title: The titular project is the Final Boss.
  • A Winner Is You: You are launched straight into the credits as soon as you make it out of the Forbidden Facility. Afterwards, you get the single image of a smiling protagonist finally entering his cabin on "The End" screen, which lists you clear time and the percentage of items collected.
  • Blob Monster: Small blobs float around in the Underwater Sanctum. They attack by launching hypercavitating bubbles in all directions at once. The area's boss, Quaetia, is a much larger version of these, with a range of tricky bubble patterns.
  • Checkpoint Starvation: Part of the game's hardcore appeal is the rarity of checkpoints.
  • Circling Birdies: Stars circle around the player character's head right after they fall into the abandoned mines.
  • Collision Damage: Even touching the shell of a large snail is enough to damage you.
    • The pink anglerfish encountered in the Underwater Sanctum do not even have to actually open their mouths in order to inflict collision damage you.
  • Combat Tentacles: The plant-like Anyos can stick slimy purple tentacles (with spikes on them) from beneath the ground to get the player.
  • Concussion Frags: The grenades in the game look very much like a standard army frag, but as in most platform games, it has an effective explosive radius of about a meter.
  • Crazy-Prepared: The protagonist was just running and jogging near the cabin where he works, when he ends up falling into the mines. He still carried a combat knife and pistol a with a couple dozen rounds.
  • Defeat Equals Explosion: On defeat, all of the enemies and bosses are completely obscured by the white smoke from an explosion (several of them for the bosses). Once it clears out, there isn't a trace left of them.
    • The only exception are the Morlock-like grey-skinned cave dwellers. They have their only their head explode, while the body crumbles as it bleeds from the neck - then fades away entirely once it fully hit the ground.
  • Denial of Diagonal Attack: Protagonist has a gun, but can't shoot either straight up or diagonally with it.
  • Dishing Out Dirt: The first boss, Chrosios, is a dog-sized crab with a boulder on top of its shell, and who can effortlessly cause large clumps of dirt to drop from the ceiling.
  • Do Not Run with a Gun: You can't shoot while running or jumping.
  • Double Jump: Such power is given by an item, somehow. It's never clear what exactly it does to give you such a skill.
  • Energy Ball: The Black Sun shoots out purple balls with sparks running over them.
  • Everything Fades: Dead bodies completely disappear. So do any signs of the countless bullets fired, rocks falling from ceiling, grenades exploding, and even lasers scorching the walls of the room.
  • Go for the Eye: The second boss, Anyos, can only be damaged by hitting its eye stalks.
  • Grimy Water: The pools of toxic waste in the Forbidden Facility.
  • Heart Container: Picking up large hearts literally gives added health.
  • He Was Right There All Along: Whenever you enter a room with a key, you'll be able to make out the shape of something clearly unusual in the background. However, you can't do anything about it until you pick up the key, at which point the shape in the background will awaken and fight you.
  • Impossible Item Drop: Defeated rats, bats, snails, etc. will often drop full clips of ammo for your gun, or even grenades.
  • Informed Equipment: After picking up a swimsuit, the player looks exactly the same as they did before, even when they enter water. Nevertheless, it lets them stay underwater indefinitely, and move in exactly the same way as before.
  • King Mook: The boss of the Underwater Sanctum area, Quaetia, is a much larger version of the normal blob monsters encountered there, with a range of tricky bubble patterns.
  • Load-Bearing Boss: The destruction of The Black Sun starts the three-minute countdown to the Forbidden Facility's collapse.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: Downplayed; you start off with 2 hitpoints. You'll be able to get more afterwards, though.
  • Platform Battle: Battles with Anyos and The Black Sun itself have several platforms present in the boss room. Using them correctly is crucial to winning.
  • Quick Melee: The knife attack is a very brief flash of steel, after which you go to holding a gun in the default position.
    • It also does slightly more damage than a gunshot; i.e. it instantly kills bats, predatory plants and spiders, which otherwise require two bullets.
  • Respawning Enemies: Every defeated enemy straight up reappears in their original location as soon as you re-enter the room.
  • Retraux: The game's graphics, simple, repeating design and a pure Excuse Plot feel like something out of late 80s. Of course, it was made in 2011.
  • Rodents of Unusual Size: You'll occasionally fight ferret-sized rats.
  • Save Point: Statues of a winged woman sitting on a chair act as these, for some reason.
  • Sequential Boss: The Black Sun has two stages. Its outer shell is closed during the first, and you can only destroy the turrets placed on it. Once you do that, it is forced to open up and reveal itself to attack further.
  • Spikes of Doom: Sharp brown stalagmites line the floor in mines area. Secret Garden area has small wooden stakes instead. The Forbidden Facility has the conventional metal spikes in place of any other security measures.
  • Spread Shot: The second boss, Anyos, casually expels a spread of head-sized blobs of green goo. It has several varieties of this attack: large one straight down, two smaller spreads to the side, and a complete circle all around itself.
    • Third boss fight with Quaetia takes place underwater, and it shoots out hyperkinetic bubbles. One of the attack patterns it has is to do this.
    • After you destroy two of three energy weapon windows of The Black Sun's outer shell, the remaining one fires triple spreads of purple Energy Ball projectiles. After you destroy that one, too, Black Sun itself also has such a spread as one of its attacks.
  • Super Not-Drowning Skills: Picking up a swimsuit lets you run, jump and shoot underwater in exactly the same way as it was solid ground.
  • Suspiciously Cracked Wall: Some passages have to be blown open with grenades.
  • Tactical Suicide Boss: Chrosios could probably stay curled up under his boulder indefinitely, while having rocks fall from the ceiling until they finally kill the player. Yet, it insists on getting up and moving around for a while in between these attacks, thus exposing itself to return damage.
  • Teleporting Keycard Squad: Overlaps with He Was Right There All Along: the bosses can all be seen in the background, but won't make a move until you pick up the key in their room.
  • Timed Mission: The Forbidden Facility has to be escaped in three minutes after you defeat The Black Sun.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: For an average person who just fell into the abandoned mines, the protagonist is notably uninterested in saying anything at all about any of the creatures they encounter and kill. Even when these are a race of grey-skinned humanoids.
  • Your Head Asplode: The fate of the grey-skinned cave-dwellers after you kill them.