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Video Game / Retro/Grade

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Retro/Grade is a rhythm game by 24 Carat Games, described as a 'reverse shoot'em up'. Players control Rick Rocket, and begin the game by defeating the Final Boss, and then a temporal anomaly causes time to flow backwards. In order to prevent spacetime from being destroyed by a massive paradox, you must 'un-fire' all of your shots and travel backwards to the beginning of the game.

Compare Spoiler Alert, a Platform Game with a similar presence.


This game provides examples of:

  • Alliterative Name: Rick Rocket.
  • Bad Mood as an Excuse: Rick got angry when he couldn't find the coffee shop, so he took out his anger on the Exnorians for one level.
  • Bonus Level: After beating the 'first' level and complete the campaign, time begins running forwards again, just in time for you to blast the credits to smithereens.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Every lane has its own associated color, that most abilities will tint to display which lane you should go to or avoid. The first lane is green, the next is red, and so on.
    • Some challenges remove the color-coding for added difficulty.
  • Credits Gag: Since you start the game at the end, there's credits before time starts to reverse. Some of the names and job titles are very ridiculous.
  • Excuse Plot: Supposedly, the Exnorians are the bad guys, and Rick Rocket is the good guy that blew them up so hard that it caused a temporal rift, and now, to prevent a massive time paradox, Rick has to undo everything he did exactly the way he did it before. Most of the level descriptions (saving the day for a discount on fuel, saving the day to avert litigation for destroying crates in a crate factory, etc) qualify as well.
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  • How We Got Here: The game starts at the end and goes backwards.
  • Left the Background Music On: The battles "coincidentally" match tempo with the music on Rick's shipboard radio. (That said, he's apparently a fan of backwards music.)
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: The entire reason the temporal anomaly occurred is from the destruction Rick caused by blowing up the Exnorians. Whether Rick actually counts as a 'hero' beyond being the player character is debatable, but the stated reason is that he blew them up so well that he broke space-time.
  • Scenery Porn: Every level has its own unique and beautiful background, some of which change with the music. Sometimes it can get very distracting, however...
  • Sorting Algorithm of Evil:
    • Both played straight and inverted at the same time. As you play through the game, the enemies get harder, but since the story is progressing backwards, you technically fight the hardest enemies 'first' and fight weaker battles as time goes on.
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    • The final (first) level lampshades it, by stating that Rick decided to go after the strongest enemies first to make the rest of his campaign easier, and therefore making it so that the final boss in reverse is the hardest one.


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