Follow TV Tropes


Video Game / Quantum Protocol

Go To
Quantum Protocol is a 2020 deckbuilding game developed by Kaio Meris with Unreal Engine.

You play as Quantum, a hacker organization that destroys malware and fixes security problems with a card game interface. Unfortunately, their city, Astra Prime, is ruled by a cyberterrorist, Omega, who is more than capable of matching them program for program. It'll take a combination of both R&D and strategic card plays in order to stop Omega's machinations.

Steam link here.

This game contains examples of:

  • 100% Completion: Every dungeon node keeps track of which decks were used to beat it, with each new deck clear resulting in more Mastery Points. Getting every Mastery Point requires the player to defeat all nodes with all possible decks.
  • Alpha Strike: Queen's Ability card, Checkmate, activates the manual effect of all of her cards and doubles their damage. If these cards are positioned correctly, they can do a lot of damage in one turn to a single target.
  • And Your Little Dog, Too!: When Queen confronts Omega in Lab Epsilon, the latter threatens to ruin her friends' lives. This causes Queen to go ahead with hacking his brain computer, despite how the backlash could kill him.
  • Big Bad: Omega, the leader of the Astrika Foundation and the island city, is using Dungeon Networks to create powerful malware. All of this is a misguided attempt to make his meteor-ruined country relevant again.
  • Boring, but Practical: The tutorial deck Queen uses in the first mission contains cards with high attack and HP, but no other abilities. This is still enough to brute force most enemy cards and Queen probably could have completed the mission easily if it weren't for the enemy's Decompile card.
  • City on the Water: The artwork of the city, Astra Prime, indicates that it's an island, but in the penultimate dungeon, it's revealed that the island is being balanced by a machine so it doesn't tip over, indicating that the island is artificial.
  • Clone by Conversion: The Black Virus card can transform the card that destroys it into a copy of itself while still having an automatic effect that regularly damages the operator. Worse yet, it voids the original card so that it cannot be accessed from the trash. However, the conversion effect won't work if the card that destroys the virus is sent to the trash via execution or card effects.
  • Colony Drop: The unnamed country of the setting was almost completely destroyed by a comet, leaving nothing but an island city. It turns out the comet was piloted by Dragoon aliens, who crashed the comet by accident. When Omega loses control of his virus, a second comet that the virus infected is set on a collision course with the planet.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive:
    • Victor Bosucha is willing to take bribes from Omega to help the latter in maintaining a Dungeon Network and allow a backdoor in Aegis Industries' android security software. When Omega lambasts him about his terrible security cameras, Victor uses this as an opportunity to demand more money from Omega.
    • Downplayed and eventually subverted with Maya Neskara, the president of Neskara Systems. She is complicit in Omega's backdoors and Dungeon Networks, but only does so because of political pressure rather than greed. She allows Quantum to hack the dungeon anyways and covers for them, showing that when push comes to shove, she'll side with Quantum over Omega.
  • Evil Former Friend: Queen and Omega used to be allies, but they split apart when Queen realized that he's willing to kill the Dragoons to claim their scales. According to the dev's Discord post, Queen, Omega, Maya, and the male Bishop were all part of a chess-themed organization before the comet incident caused Omega to resort to increasingly questionable methods to save his country.
  • Freudian Excuse: Aurora's mother, Maya, wants the former to put aside her conscience to focus on making her career successful. This is because Maya endured sexism in her own career and believes Aurora will need to more career-focused in order to overcome it.
  • Fusion Dance: In the Reprogram menu, the player can combine three duplicate card into a single stronger version of the originals. Doing this isn't always optimal, since there are some cards that work better by using their effect multiple times rather than only once.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Omega spends the main story trying to use malware to turn his country into a world power. When he's defeated, he loses control of his virus and nearly dooms human civilization when it accidentally causes a Dragoon comet to change course to Earth. Due to his blunder and Quantum sparing him, he gives up on his malware plans in the postgame and joins Quantum.
  • Helpful Mook:
    • The CorruptedBit enemy card forces the player to Reprogram their deck. If the player has most of their cards in the trash, this can give them a second wind before the boss fight. On the other hand, if the player has a really strong setup on their field, this resets their field.
    • The Sanctum enemy card also resets the player's deck and field, while adding a healing effect. This is to compensate for the fact that it's encountered in the final level, which is longer and has more bosses than the previous dungeons.
  • Hit Points:
    • The operator's max health equal to the number of cards in their deck. If an enemy attacks an undefended column, the operator will take damage, making it important to defend columns.
    • All cards have their own health stat, even cards that one would normally think as as effect-only cards. This means it's possible to have effect-only cards act as meatshields after their effect is used up.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: In the first mission, the player has no means of getting around the enemy's Decompile card, which sends all cards in the field, hand, and deck to the trash. The next time the player comes across this card, they can counter with the Rejuvenate card, which can be activated from the trash and restores all their cards.
  • Human Resources: The scales of Dragoons can be used as powerful computer chips, but according to the developer on their Discord, breaking the scales off kills the Dragoon and Omega already killed Kaia's sister this way.
  • I Owe You My Life: After Idol convinces Queen and Kaia to save Omega, he decides that he owes Idol a favor and joins Quantum.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: In Leo's side story, his friend, Luke, is a Hopeless Suitor for Aurora/Alyssa. He ends up distraught when he realizes Aurora has a crush on Leo. After Luke gets over his depression from failing to flirt with Aurora, he decides to help Aurora and Leo get together.
  • Idol Singer: The hacker codenamed "Idol" has a day job of being an idol while somehow incorporating her programming skills into her performances. Unfortunately, this means Queen can hack into these performances to leave behind a calling card, something that annoys Idol to no end.
  • Intrigued by Humanity: Kaia is curious about human culture, which is why she took a Dragoon comet to travel to Earth. This also explains why her exclusive "Myth" cards are themed around human mythology.
  • Limit Break: All operators have Ability cards, which can be activated once they execute enough cards.
    • Checkmate (Queen) activates all manual effects of the player's cards on the field and doubles any damage dealt.
    • Encore (Idol) sends all cards from the field to the hand, and then has the player place cards up to the number of the cards sent to the hand. However, these cards can't be the same as the ones originally on the field.
    • Serenity (Aurora) places 5 Serenity Tokens on this card. Whenever the player does something that counts as a turn passing, a token will be removed and the turn isn't counted for other cards and the Turn Draw mechanic.
    • WorldSeed (Esper) doesn't immediately do anything when placed, but when the player places a level 2 or lower card, WorldSeed transforms into a copy of that card.
    • Mountain (Leo) reactivates all cards on the player's field and increases their attack by 1. Exactly once, it targets a card sent to the trash and instead adds that card to the hand.
    • Imagination (Dragoon) gives all cards in the player's hand, deck, and field the wildcard suffix, which allows them to count for any archetype.
    • Paradox (Omega) selects up to two cards on the field. Any player cards selected are "automated." Any enemy cards selected are delayed by 6 turns.
  • Mighty Glacier: Queen's Checkmate deck has a fixed size of 16, which is large by the standards of the game and can make it difficult to get the exact cards the player needs. This deck also lacks searching effects that other decks have. However, the deck contains relatively overpowered cards compared to other decks and the large deck size means Queen starts with 16 HP.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: According to the dev's Discord post, Queen accidentally caused Omega to lose control of his virus when she defeated him, leading to the virus hijacking a Dragoon comet and directing it towards Earth.
  • Oblivious to Love: Leo tries to help his friend, Luke, flirt with Aurora, but Luke realizes that Aurora already has a crush on Leo. Unfortunately for Aurora, Leo only sees her as a childhood friend and is too dense to notice her feelings.
  • Older Than They Look: According to the developer, Queen is in her 30s, despite not looking much older than the other female members of Quantum.
  • Online Alias: The Quantum members and other significant characters are usually referred to with their online handles. Though Leo uses his Real Name as an Alias.
    • Queen's real name is Elaine.
    • Esper's real name is Irene.
    • Aurora's real name is Alyssa Neskara.
    • Idol's real name is Lisa.
    • Omega, the leader of the city, has Kyril as his real name.
    • Kaia uses her species name, Dragoon, as her handle.
  • Parents as People: Despite her strictness towards her daughter, Maya does want Aurora to succeed and eventually supports the latter's activities in Quantum. She also allows Aurora and her friends to hack Neskara's Dungeon Network and covers for them when Omega tries to investigate.
  • Purposely Overpowered: Queen's Checkmate deck is intended to be easier to beat dungeons with, due to the ease of getting multiple Queen cards on the field and nuking the enemies with AOE damage. While the deck cannot access the deck edit menu, it's strong enough on its own that it doesn't need editing.
  • Rank Scales with Asskicking: Queen is the leader of Quantum and has a deck that is intentionally easier to use compared to the others, since it's already strong enough to beat all the story dungeons without having to use the deck editing system.
  • Save the Villain: After Queen defeats Omega's puzzle level, his brain computer malfunctions and nearly kills him. Queen is willing to let him die, but Idol convinces her to save him. This leads to Omega joining Quantum in the postgame.
  • Villain Cred: After the Aegis dungeon, Omega criticizes Corrupt Corporate Executive Victor for skimping on security camera costs, to which Victor responds that he needed to spend money on other hardware. Victor states that he'll only bother upgrading the cameras after Omega increases his funding. Despite being on the losing end of this deal, Omega compliments Victor for manipulating the former into giving the latter more money.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Omega believes he needs to use powerful malware to restore his country that was destroyed by the Dragoon comet. Since his country has negligible military power, he wants to make up for that with a virus that can delete any nation's data, forcing other nations to treat his as an equal.
  • Went Crazy When They Left: When Kaia fixes Omega's brain computer, she encounters a wave full of cards named Queen, showing that he's obsessed with Queen. The following wave having a single card named BrokenHeart, showing that he took it hard when Queen abandoned his cause. It's implied that some of his irrational behavior, such as his threat against Queen's friends, is due to his anger at her defection.