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Video Game / République

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"Good evening, citizens of Metamorphosis. As we make our final preparations, we must be extra vigilant. Recent events have brought us the capture and killing of a man whose sinister, disgusting actions brought no small amount of grief. You know who I am referring to. I will not speak his name again. But even though he has been eliminated, other threats remain. Just tonight, another treasonist was attempting to infect the minds of our youngest and brightest with lies masquerading as divine text. This mimeo apostate will be dealt with in the same manner as the one who inspired him. Keep a watchful eye out for our République, my friends, and in return, She will watch over you.
—- The Headmaster

République is an independent episodic Stealth-Based Game developed by Camouflaj and Logan Games. It was originally funded on Kickstarter with the aim of creating a console-quality video game for mobile devices, and boasting a high-profile voice cast including Jennifer Hale, David Hayter and Dwight Schultz.

You play as a hacker who has somehow gained access to the security system of a mysterious dystopia called "Metamorphosis". Through your mobile device or computer, you can access camera feeds, unlock doors and hack into computer systems to read emails and stored voicemails. Your snooping sees you come into contact a young woman named 390-H (aka "Hope"), who has been imprisoned for reading banned literature and scheduled for "recalibration". Now you must help her evade the roaming security patrols and escape this place, all while digging into the secrets of Metamorphosis and a sinister project called "The Arrival".

A PC version, ''République Remastered", was created using the Unity 5 engine and released in February 2015.

République contains examples of:

  • Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder: When spying on a Prizrak's home back in the US, you discover that his wife is cheating on him with his best friend, although it's implied that the "friend" is using the absence and the family's tough financial situation to force the wife to sleep with him. In fact, said "friend" is the one who suggested the job at Metamorphosis to him in the first place in order to get him out of the way.
  • Air-Vent Passageway: Hope is small enough to comfortably fit into the vents at Metamorphosis. She does require screwdrivers to jimmy the gratings open. The screwdrivers break after being used thus. While it's more justified for Hope, it's assumed that Zager (an adult male) was able to do so as well. It's not clear why the security-obsessed Overseer and Derringer would allow vents of this size to be built.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Mammoth may be a dangerous brute, but he doesn't deserve to be drowned in the moat.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: Episode 4 has you guiding 390 (without the H), a Mirror (clone) of Hope.
  • Anti-Villain: Mammoth. He's the primary adversary of Episode 4, but his obviously low intelligence makes him even more of a Punch-Clock Villain than the Prizrak. He frequently says he's just following orders, and it's very likely he doesn't even understand those orders. Audio logs involving him always paint him as a kind person who doesn't know his own strength.
  • Apocalyptic Log: In the forms of Zager's discourses. The last one in particular shows how much damage Metamorphosis has inflicted on him. Partly subverted, since Zager turns out to be only Faking the Dead.
  • Arc Words:
  • Bag of Spilling: In Episode 4, the phone is damaged (Hope decided it was a good idea to leave a phone out in the rain), resulting in the OMNI software becoming corrupted. You lose most of the functionality, such as hacking and map, and are forced to rely on the phone's basic functionality, such as the camera, to get intel. In Episode 5, OMNI is reinstalled and upgraded, restoring all functionality.
  • Big Brother Is Watching: The game. Except you get to manipulate Big Brother to your advantage, as Cooper helps you hack into the cameras throughout the facility, locked doors, and eventually e-mails and telephones.
  • Blatant Lies: The body scanner does not cause cancer. And the naked body scan images are not permanently stored either.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Mammoth yells pretty much everything.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: The player's only method of access to Metamorphosis is through the phone, and Hope is pretty much useless without them, so why exactly does Treglazov turn the phone on just before attempting to kill Hope? For that matter, once the revolt begins, why doesn't he shoot her? It's not like it would be time-consuming.
  • Boxed Crook: In Episode 5, the Overseer and Derringer start recruiting some of the Prizrak into the "elite" Loyalist group. Loyalists are completely cut off from the outside world and are kept in check by their criminal records... some of which are completely fabricated by Derringer thanks to the Overseer's access to the criminal database all over the world. Mireille talks Hope through purging the criminal records of three of such falsely-accused Loyalists in order to remove Derringer's hold on them. She then asks Hope to do it to her criminal record, which isn't faked.
  • Brick Joke: One of the early Zager rooms has a chair intended for Derringer, and Cooper wonders how Zager got ahold of it, let alone got it through the vent. Episode 5 contains an audio log where Derringer asks Zager (disguised as a Prizrak) to assemble a new chair he's expecting later that day.
  • Cliffhanger: Being an episodic game, it's kind of a given.
    • Episode 1: a Prizrak with a red face visor tases Mireille and corners Hope. He picks up the phone, tells the player that "She'll call you back", then hangs up.
    • Episode 2: while Hope is riding the elevator up to the Terminus chamber, Derringer stops her ride, boards, and tries to restrain her. The phone gets shut off as it's kicked out of the elevator.
    • Episode 3: Hope gets on the elevator to the surface, crying to herself about being a good person. Then the doors above open, and Hope experiences rain for the first time in her life...just as the phone gets corrupted by the rainwater.
    • Episode 4: after finally escaping the Acre and Mammoth, 390 and the phone enter a tunnel, with Treglazov himself at the end. Treglazov tricks 390 to look the other way...then kills her with a handgun. With the "Mirror" undeniably dead, Treglazov picks up the phone and, as though he knows the player is there, shuts it off.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: It appears that Episode 4 gives us a Hope who is now acting very oddly (presumably from the Heroic BSoD from the end of Episode 3), and the "giant" groundskeeper, who seems to have alternating personalities of a manservant and his boss.
  • Collective Identity: The Overseer considers those who hide behind them threats to the state, comparing the Internet's Real Life group Anonymous to the monster of Mary Shelly's Frankenstein, being a singular beast stitched together from parts of several individuals. He intends to do away with them by doing away with privacy entirely.
  • Cult of Personality: The Overseer is building one in Metamorphosis centered around himself, with statues of himself put up around the facility, a museum dedicated to his life, and students composing poetry exalting him.
  • Diegetic Interface: The interface is comprised of a program which allows you to manipulate and see through security cameras.
  • The Dragon: Quinn Derringer is the Overseer's chief of security. He's shown to be ruthless and is much more loyal to the Overseer than Mireille, resulting in the Overseer putting Derringer in charge of the Arrival instead of her.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: Mattie Sade, the chief editor of the Morning Bell newspaper (République's Propaganda Machine), spends most of her free time passed out drunk in her office, trying not to think about the lies she puts out for the Overseer's benefit.
  • Dystopia: Metamorphosis, which has banned books, has surveillance everywhere (see above), controls the narrative of the media, and "recalibrates" serial offenders.
  • Egopolis: The facility is decorated with statues of Treglazov as well as a museum all about him. Later we learn from a recorded conversation between two Prizrak, one of whom is warning the other who's painting Treglazov's portrait that in true tyrant fashion, Treglazov had the sculptor blinded once the statues were finished so he'd never be able to make anything superior for someone else.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: While he's a willing co-conspirator of Treglazov, Admiral Matthews is notably aghast at Hope's appearance at the end of episode 5 and the implication that Treglazov was holding her against her will. Undoubtedly he knew nothing about what exactly the man had been doing aboard the ship he's standing on...
  • Faceless Goons: Partly played straight with those that wear face-covering helmets, but you can still see their picture in the file. Additionally, one of the Prizrak turns out to be a woman (although the NPC model is still the same).
  • Fake Memories:
    • "Re-calibration". Used to wipe a rebellious person's mind clean, conforming them to the desired standard. Not much is revealed about the actual process but it is core enough to the functioning of Metamorphosis that the teenagers who haven't been subjected to the procedure are called "pre-cals". Good enough such that the protagonist has actually been subjected to the procedure before but doesn't remember a single thing and panics when she is about to be subjected again as if this were her first time.
    • Later revealed to be able to plant complete background memories and insert unknowing agents into society. But at the same time also not as perfect as predicted and those subjected begin to suffer a relapse of memories, resulting in psychological breakdown.
  • Faking the Dead: Zager, with help from Mireille.
  • Fandom Nod: OMNI viewing the profiles of major characters will have their voice actor's name listed as one of their known aliases.
  • Fauxreigner: Mattie Sade digs up the dirt on Mireille Prideaux, the Overseer's Number Two, and discovers that she's actually American. She proceeds to tease "Mireille" with this information, causing the latter to threaten Mattie (dropping her French accent). In Episode 5, Mireille has Hope access her CIA file, where her real name is revealed to be Miranda Azalie Poe, born in Blacksburg, Virginia. She fell in with the wrong crowd and ended up mixed up with an anti-government militia. All the members of the militia ended up dead, but she managed to flee to France using a fake passport. She's fluent in English, French, and German.
  • Friendless Background: Cooper implies as much when he says he used to play Shadowrun in his parent's basement, saying he heard it was much more fun playing with other people.
  • Gainax Ending: First there's the section after overheating Terminus, where the hacker protagonist seems to be floating among packets of data, then a point is made of showing the phone's battery dying only to immediately recharge, then Metamorphosis is revealed to be on a huge ship next to an even larger metal pyramid jutting out of the ocean, then there's the Arrival, a military ceremony involving Treglazov and the Vice Admiral speaking in terms as vague as ever, and finally, Hope refuses all of the characters' help, including the player's, and casts herself into the water.
  • Genius Bruiser: Quinn Derringer isn't just the Overseer's Dumb Muscle. He's got a shrewd mind and has been shown to enjoy reading books. One security recording has him discussing The Count of Monte Cristo with the Librarian before beating him to death.
  • Gratuitous Russian: The guards around Metamorphosis are called "Prizrak", which is the Russian for "ghost/wraith". Now, why would that be?... Also, the Overseer's family name is Treglazov, which actually is a legit Russian family name, but it also literally means "son of the three-eyed one".
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: The Prizrak aren't the shiniest examples of République's finest. They have predictable patrol routes (although some later guards make sure to mix it up a little), don't feel someone picking their pockets from behind, have trouble subduing teenage girls, forgetting about fugitives they haven't seen for a few seconds, and blindly stepping on strange-looking round objects in their path. Sure, they later start wearing taser-proof suits and helmet visors (against pepper spray) as well as packing knockout gas grenades, but only because Derringer starts insisting on it and reminding them via posters. If they happen to catch Hope, they leave her in a cell which you can easily unlock with a quick hack. If the same Prizrak captures her again... he does the same thing without bother to wonder how she got out and what's to stop her from getting out again.
  • Hate Sink: Pretty much every character gets some Pet the Dog moments, even the Overseer...except for Derringer. Most players are very glad when he's finally killed.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Mireille, sometime before the events of the game. She has to keep up appearances though, so while there are hints earlier, it doesn't become truly apparent until Episode 4. In Episode 5, she and Zager ask for your and Hope's help in stopping the Overseer. Mireille wants to take the more bloodless approach, while Zager wouldn't mind seeing Derringer dead. It's up to you (or Hope) how you proceed.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: Specifically, Mireille Prideaux and Quinn Derringer strongly resemble Jennifer Hale and Khary Payton respectively. Later on, you get your hands on Mireille's CIA file, and the picture looks exactly like Jennifer Hale (complete with long flowing hair).
  • Insane Admiral: Vice Admiral Richard Matthews is perfectly willing to sell out the US to the Overseer.
  • Interchangeable Antimatter Keys: Screwdrivers are functionally this trope. They can open any locked Air-Vent Passageway covers, but they break after each use, forcing players to gather more screwdrivers to open other covers.
  • Intrepid Reporter: Daniel Zager was one. This is why he infiltrated Metamorphosis, so he can expose the Overseer and write the best story of his life.
  • Knockout Gas: In Episode 3, the Prizrak start packing knockout gas grenades for subduing escaping Pre-Cals. Hope can also find gas mines that can be placed on a Prizrak's patrol route to instantly knock him out. There don't appear to be any ill effects from the gas for either Hope or the Prizrak.
  • La Résistance: Voiced by a man named Zager, whom the state claims was killed in a shootout.
  • Matter Replicator: In some locations, you may get your hands on blueprints for a 3D printer. These can either be necessary to keep the story going ( the Overseer's key) or are just useful ( a portable cassette player).
  • Mind Screw: Updating the OMNI View. You're shown clips of previous gameplay amid graphical glitches and ASCII, as well as what seems to be a poem delivered one word at a time, so quickly you're unlikely to be able to piece it together. And then there's the ending.
  • Moment Killer: If Derringer wanted to get laid, he really shouldn't have boasted about torturing passengers with freezing rooms during his days in the TSA. All he had to do was shut up, since Mattie was already willing.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Derringer delivers one to the Librarian shortly before Hope gets to the Library and finds his body. You can choose to watch the recording yourself or with Hope.
  • Next Sunday A.D.: Examining The Librarian's tombstone reveals the game takes place in 2020.
  • Our Founder: The garden in front of the Overseer's office features eight statues including the Overseer himself. In his mind, he's equal to the likes of Plato, Charlemagne, Yataro Iwasaki, Theodore Vail, Vladimir Lenin, and Eva Perón.
  • Overreacting Airport Security: Derringer reveals to Mattie that he used to work for the TSA and has deliberately tortured suspects by keeping them in a freezing room. This turns out to be a huge turn-off for Mattie.
  • Pixellation: The software in all cameras automatically pixellates pornographic material as well as the Overseer's eyes.
  • Playing Card Motifs: In their barracks, several Prizrak are talking about what is happening using card metaphors, while pretending to play poker. It's not difficult to figure out that "Joker" means "Zager", "Queen" means "Mireille", "Jack" means "Derringer", and "King" means "the Overseer".
  • Poor Communication Kills: Miscommunication between Mammoth and Doctors Peretz and Ammash leads to Weep drowning.
  • Posthumous Character: The actions of Daniel Zager spark much of the game's events, but as he was shot dead shortly before the first scene, the only dialogue we get from him comes from his tape recordings. Until it turns out he was Faking the Dead in episode 4.
  • Propaganda Machine: The Morning Bell newspaper is run by the editor-in-chief Mattie Sade. She fully knows that most of what she publishes are outright lies but tells her employees that their job is not to publish the truth but to help maintain order. This doesn't stop her from getting drunk and/or screwing Derringer in her spare time to forget about her job.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: Most Prizrak aren't bad guys. They're just doing their job. One of them is trying to make enough money to keep his family from losing their home back in the US (meanwhile, his "best friend" is using this as an opportunity to make a move on the Prizrak's wife). Another one is haunted by the recent death of his wife. In fact, your Voice with an Internet Connection is a Prizrak who is trying to do the right thing.
  • Real-Time with Pause: The biggest break from the idea that you're helping someone out in reality is that the game goes into pause whenever you switch to OMNI mode (the hacking interface).
  • Sdrawkcab Name: More like mirror-names: the two most highly-discussed prisoners in episode one are prisoners 390-H (Hope) and 933-W (Weep). (Substitute 3 for E and 9 for P.)
  • Insecurity Camera: Apparently, all security cameras in Metamorphosis are designed to serve you. Hope can walk past any camera she wishes, and no one will raise an alarm. It helps that Cooper is probably the one, who's supposed to be watching the cameras, and he's on your side. This changes in Episode 5, where some of the cameras are automated and will sound the alarm if they detect Hope. You can temporarily disable them by "possessing" them, but that only lasts a few seconds before you're kicked out.
  • Self-Defenseless: Averted, mostly:
    • Pepper spray is downplayed, in that it will blind and painfully incapacitate guards for more than a minute while they try to rub the stuff out, but (we presume) they have on-hand wash for just that purpose.
    • Tasers on the other hand knock someone right out and they will stay out for hours (in story time.)
    • Eventually played straight with some of the later guards, but this is justified because they are explicitly wearing equipment (body armor and/or covered helmets) designed to withstand these very things.
  • Sex Is Evil: A value held by Metamorphosis. In commenting on the failed prediction of Brave New World, the Headmaster comments that the sexual revolution of the twentieth century encouraged people to see themselves as owning their own bodies and desires, when citizens should instead see those as following the dictates of the state. Despite this, the Headmaster's Dragon Derringer frequently has sex with Mattie Sade. The Overseer either doesn't know or is willing to let it slide, as long as it doesn't affect their work.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: After all Weep goes through to try and escape, he drowns in the moat in God's Acre because Poor Communication Kills.
    • Hope throws herself over the edge of the boat housing Metamorphosis for unclear reasons, totally negating a lot of her and the player's efforts to escape.
  • Shout-Out
    • Shadowrun Returns, Double Fine and Kentucky Route Zero all have posters in Cooper's office. All of them (and République) were successfully funded through Kickstarter.
    • All of the guards have Atari 2600 cartridges for various games available on iOS, including Bastion and Super Hexagon. For the Android release, any games that were exclusive to iOS are replaced with games available on the Google Play store. On the Remastered edition for the PC, they are depicted as 3.5" floppy disks, and once again have the games switched out for different PC and console titles.
    • The Prizrak in the restroom (also a Kickstarter backer) in Episode 1 is Tycho Brahe.
    • One Prizrak's alias is listed as Groot, and one of the charges against him is "Growing roots in public space without a license."
  • Sound-Effect Bleep: All swear words, as well as certain company and place names, are automatically bleeped out by the security camera software.
  • Static Stun Gun: Tasers are carried by all Prizraks for subduing "Pre-Cals" (like Hope). They can also be found in lockers or just laying around for Hope to use against Prizraks. Later, Prizraks start wearing taser-proof suits, requiring other methods of subduing them (or just sneaking past them).
  • That Man Is Dead: In Episode 5, Mireille asks Hope to access the CIA file of Miranda Azalie Poe. When Hope asks who she is, Mireille says that she's an old friend, who has passed away. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that Miranda is Mireille, and she confirms it a minute later.
  • Title Drop: For some reason, despite otherwise using English, everyone refers to Metamorphosis as a République instead of a Republic. That may indicate that the game is set in Quebec or elsewhere in Canada — at least two of the voice actors are Canadian-Americans, so Canada may have been an influence. The likeliest reason is that Treglazov lived in France at the time of his Manifesto's first publication. The theory above is disproved in Episode 5 by the location being revealed to be underwater, around the northern area of the Pacific Ocean.
  • Twisting the Words: Mattie Sade, being the head of the Overseer's Propaganda Machine, has a knack for this. She also has you do it to get rid of three Prizraks guarding the elevator to the surface, publishing articles about them using quotes and pictures taken out of context to get them arrested for treason.
  • Unexplained Recovery: Zager climbs out of his grave in Episode 4 right in front of Mireille despite him supposedly being killed in a firefight with the Prizrak.
  • The Voiceless: Cooper; the only speech he provides is through text-to-voice. He only says one word at the end of Episode 3 as he's being dragged away by Derringer after you accidentally frame him for treason, although he actually says a number of phrases when you don't know it's him.
  • Voice with an Internet Connection: Cooper is your guide Episodes 1, 2, and parts of 3, although the "voice" in this case is from a text-to-speech processor, as Cooper is The Voiceless. In the second half of Episode 3, Mattie Sade temporarily takes on this duty. In Episode 4, the Data Broker takes on this duty as well (where it's discovered that they speak in rhymes).
  • Wham Episode: The end of Episode 3 when you make a choice with heartbreaking consequences.
  • Wicked Cultured: The Overseer is obviously an extremely well-read man, versed in both classical and modern literature, and has an appreciation for history and fine architecture. However, he also seeks to deny much of that literature to his population, seeing it as full of counter-productive or useless ideas that he does not need floating in their heads, and monitors everyone via omnipresent surveillance with real-time data-mining.
  • You Are Number 6: Each of the prisoners are assigned a name composed of three numbers and a letter.