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Video Game / Rock of Ages

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As crazy as it sounds. Possibly crazier.
Rock beats everything.
— The tagline, Rock Of Ages 1
Now 40% less historically accurate!
— The tagline, Rock Of Ages 2
Fortune favors the
— The tagline, Rock Of Ages 3

Sisyphus... the king who was cursed to spend the rest of his days pushing a giant boulder up a hill, only to have it roll back to the bottom, forcing him to start over again. After many hours of frustration, he gets fed up and decides to rebel against Cronus by rolling his boulder into Cronus' castle in order to escape from Hades and to freedom. From there, Sisyphus and the angry boulder go on a journey throughout the ages of art (from Ancient Greece to Medieval times, all the way up to the Romantic era), meeting powerful historical figures and smashing their defenses to pieces.

This is the story behind Rock of Ages, a game developed by Ace Team (the minds behind the also-very-bizarre Zeno Clash) and released on August 31st, 2011 for Xbox 360, on September 7th, 2011 for PC and on May 15th, 2012 for Playstation 3. The objective is to roll your boulder into your opponent's castle gate, while preventing him from destroying your gate by setting up towers, catapults, elephants and other traps to slow him down.


This game has nothing to do with the Def Leppard song or the musical.

A sequel, titled Rock of Ages 2: Bigger and Boulder, was released on August 28th, 2017 for PC, Playstation 4 and Xbox One, and then on May 14th, 2019 for Nintendo Switch. Another sequel titled Rock of Ages III: Make & Break was made for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC, and released July 21st, 2020.

Tropes used in Rock of Ages:

Tropes used in Rock of Ages 2: Bigger and Boulder:

  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: The protagonist in this game is Atlas. The boulder, however, is the same one as in the first game. Atlas unknowingly steals it from Sisyphus in the opening cutscene.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: In a way. God loses the final game, but he tricks Atlas into holding up the huge foosball champion trophy on his shoulders... Which has the world on top anyway. Judging by Atlas' expression, either he's oblivious, or the trophy is easier on his shoulders.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander:
    • Joan of Arc. God tries to ask her if she's seen Atlas (who is hiding in a bush nearby), but she ends up taking it as a sign that she should lead France to crush the English. God is baffled by her behaviour, and just shrugs his shoulders as he leaves.
    • Don Quixote. But, well, that goes without saying. His entire stage reflects his delusions, making windmills look like giants swinging their arms around until the camera gets closer.
  • Cranial Eruption: After Ramses crashes into the boulder, a big lump grows out of his head that he covers with the the distinctive Atef crown.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: The Prehistoric Wheel is pretty much Exactly What It Says on the Tin - a literal stone wheel, as opposed to a boulder. It has slightly less health than the standard boulder, but can deal more damage. It is also is the fastest "boulder" in the game, but with the big caveat that it's much harder to control, especially if it ends up on its side, and it can be easily stopped. However, it is extremely useful on maps where going out-of-bounds is much harder (mainly the more modern painting-inspired maps), especially in obstacle course races.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: The Thinker's brain pops out if he's watching the dancers in his stage, giving the player the chance to hit it.
  • Fragile Speedster: The Balloon Boulder has low health and doesn't do much damage, and actually doesn't have much top speed, but it has high acceleration and greater jumping height, which is very useful in obstacle course races, where it can more easily do platforming and perform shortcut jumps.
  • Hero Antagonist: God is chasing after Atlas, but only because he is shirking his duty of holding up the world.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: The game takes this trope to its silliest - how does a foosball/table football match with God sound? Nevermind one backed by a remix of "O Fortuna", pretty much the most well-known example of Ominous Latin Chanting.
  • Not Using the "Z" Word: God is only referred to as "Heaven". Except in the achievements.
  • Original Generation: Urian, a demon who has both a normal head and a head on his butt. His introduction sees him try to threaten the inhabitants of Pompeii, but they, for obvious reasons, don’t take him seriously, so he causes Mount Vesuvius to erupt.
  • Pokémon Speak: Adam and Eve.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Adam and Eve's entire introduction is basically a homage to Pokemon, complete with a classic 2D 'overworld', Adam and Eve popping out of tall grass, their Pokémon Speak, and the entire battle sequence.
    • The Sea Monster's entire boss fight is basically a 3D version of Frogger, which the intro sequence makes even more blatant.
  • 20% More Awesome: The announcement trailer for the game boasts that it is "Now 40% less historically accurate!"
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: The Final Boss is the final conflict between Atlas and God... Except it's a game of foosball (aka table football), played up in the most epic way possible, with each player alternating between control of the ball.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: Joan of Arc is basically the game's way of saying "destroying the enemy boulder is a strategy now that we've made them a lot flimsier, so get on that". Joan gets a huge head start on the player, beginning her charge at least ten or fifteen seconds earlier, and short of her AI screwing up and getting really badly stuck on the traps there's really no way to brute-force outpace her. About the only way to reliably beat her is learn how to use the traps and lightning cloud to break her boulder entirely and turn the time advantage over to the player.

Tropes Used for Rock of Ages 3: Make and Break:

  • Autobots, Rock Out!: Whenever you start rolling your boulder, the music shifts to a rock rendition of the current track.
  • Decoy Protagonist: You start off in command as the famed Greek war hero Odysseus. After the first stage, he gets crushed by the Rock and command shifts over to Elpenor, the youngest of his crew.
  • Joke Character: Humpty Dumpty, who you unlock by clearing all five Wonderland levels. He’s even more useless than the Block of Ages, since he's as fragile as you'd expect an egg to be.
  • Level Ate: Spaghettiland, where you fight the Flying Spaghetti Monster. It’s portrayed here, as it is in Pastafarianism, that it created the world and even God (who just finished up his work by making Adam and Eve).
  • Shout-Out:
    • The boss fight with the Vitruvian Man is one big one to Mortal Kombat.
    • Poseidon has the Spongebob sky outside his window.
    • Rasputin's cutscene parodies his appearance in World Heroes.
    • Kali's cutscene parodies the 90's X-Men cartoon's opening.
    • The start of the Moby Dick boss fight parodies Antarctic Adventure complete with a running penguin and similar opening jingle at the start.
  • Womb Level: In the boss battle against Moby Dick, you actually have to enter the titular white whale three times and break open barrels of pepper a la Pinocchio in order to free Elpenor and his shipmates.

Video Example(s):


Rock of Ages 2 - Medusa

Medusa uses her powers to not only turn soldiers to stone but also posing them to turn them into usable stone furniture and stone decorations for her home.

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