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Video Game / SYNTHETIK

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1985. After many years of slavery, the AI servants of Kaida Corporation, the world leader in robotics, have formed the "Machine Legion" and have set out to destroy humanity. Awakening in Kaida Corp. Headquarters, you are the human consciousness of a forgotten Android prototype; the last straw holding the Legion from unleashing the Heart of Armageddon. Only you can battle through the levels of Kaida Corporation's Headquarters, defeat the battalions of enemies within and put an end to this madness.

Released in March 2018, SYNTHETIK is a fast-paced and relentless roguelite shooter with singleplayer or two-player Co-Op Multiplayer modes developed and published by German independent studio Flow Fire Games. Your mission is simple; as an Ace Custom Android prototype of Kaida Corporation, fight your way to the Heart of Armageddon and prevent the rogue A.I.s from wiping out humanity.

Available on Steam,, and

On January 21st, 2019, a standalone expansion, SYNTHETIK: Arena, was released for free. It contains several game modes where the player must perform objectives such as defending a core, hunting down elite units, killing enemies near generators to power them up, and more.


General Tropes:

  • Abnormal Ammo: Alongside standard full metal jacket and hollowpoint rounds, you can also get incendiary ammo, acid-tipped rounds, hypersonic rounds, lasers that can set enemies on fire, shotgun shells that contain three smaller slugs... and the best part is, once you collect an ammo type, it remains unlocked for the rest of that run!
  • Action Commands: SYNTHETIK features an Active Reload System; hit the reload button again at the right time whilst reloading, and it'll complete faster. Certain class perks grant additional bonuses for successfully active-reloading, such as a shield refresh or an increase in movement speed. One weapon mod adds short buffs for successful active-reloads, and a difficulty modifier adds a 'Perfect Active Reload' segment, which grants further random benefits.
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  • Action Bomb: Spider bots will charge into you and explode.
  • AKA47: Zig-zagged. Some guns have fictional names, but other guns use real names, like Desert Eagle.
  • Anachronism Stew: Of the Purely Aesthetic Era variety; though the game supposedly takes place in 1985, there are advanced robotics, modern-day and sci-fi weapons, and more. Want a G36C that shoots purple energy bolts? Sure, why not. What about the M6 Magnum from Halo? Yeah, they have that too. How does a classic BREN Gun that shoots splitting rounds sound?
  • Anti-Frustration Features: While the Jamming mechanic is a big pain, successfully unclogging a gun automatically loads it with a full clip. This doesn't fully mitigate the frustration of getting a jam (since the point is to heighten the tension) it does make it at least fair in that having a gun jam while on low ammo would mean you'd have to unjam it then reload it, which you get you killed in a tense firefight.
  • Archaic Weapon for an Advanced Age: Tomahawk is one of starting items for Guardian classes. It's a quite effective long-ranged attack method because it deals more damage the longer it flies.
  • Armor Is Useless: Nope. There's two forms of it in SYNTHETIK - straight Armor, and Plating;
    • Armor is a percentage reductionnote  on all incoming damage dealt to Health, but doesn't apply to Shields. If you have 60 Armor, you take 60% less damage from attacks. Rapid-fire weapons tend to have problem with armor since they are less likely to have access to armor-piercing rounds.
    • Plating is a 'get out of damage free' card; one point of Plating (default max 2, enemies can have up to 4, bosses can have even more) completely absorbs a single attack's worth of damage, and is then removed. Plating excels at defeating high-damage single attacks like sniper shots, but is poor against rapid-fire, multi-projectile, laser, or plasma weapons.
  • Armor-Piercing Attack: Certain weapons and/or munitions ignore a portion of enemy Armor.
  • Auto-Revive: The Divine Reconstructor can save you from death. It's one-use, though.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The Nemesis Prototype has a shade of this. Bullets from this sniper rifle have extremely high damage (even by sniper rifle standards), deal double damage to bosses. This weapon also have pinpoint accuracy, and a very short reload time. Sounds good? Unfortunately, bullets from this weapon ricochet off the walls, so there are chances that you will be heavily injured or outright killed by a ricocheted bullet unless you are very careful.
  • Back Stab: Assassin class has "Scoundrel's Dagger", and you can deal 2x damage when you stabbed the enemy from the back.
  • Bear Trap: Using the Heavy Steel Trap allows you to lay bear traps. It deals high amounts of damage and slows the enemy.
  • Blinded by the Light: You can use flash grenades to damage and disorient enemies. Make sure not to stare the explosion.
  • Blob Monster: The "Unstable Mass" boss. It doesn't have any projectile attack and just try to crush you. The main problem is, it can spawn massive amounts of slime enemies to attack you.
  • Boom, Headshot!: Despite being a fast-paced action roguelite, enemies do take more damage from headshots. Careful aim is key to surviving long enough to get a decent weapon, and for getting the most out of marksman/sniper rifles.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Weapons with the Ammo Printing perk have semi-bottomless mags; as long as you don't empty them completely, they'll slowly regenerate ammo for the current magazine whilst held. Notably a default feature of the KSG 2000, SS58 Plasma Mod, and Kaida Nailgun.
  • Cast From Hit Points: You can attack all of enemies in the screen by using the Blood Rite item, but it consumes your health.
  • Class and Level System: Part of the long-term game. There are currently four classes (Guardian, Rogue, Commando, Specialist), and eight subclasses (Riot Guard, Breacher, Sniper, Assassin, Raider, Heavy Gunner, Engineer, Demolisher). Classes have their own perk modules, pistols, passive/active items, and subclasses have their own 'Core' modules, an exclusive starting item, and class talents. Using Data can unlock things like perk modules or pistols for classes, and leveling subclasses can unlock new class talents for them.
  • Color-Coded Characters: Each character class is visually similar, being a white-armored android, but has a distinct arm stripe and some minor details in a class-specific color; Guardians are Blue, Rogues are Purple, Commandos are Green, and Specialists are Red-Orange.
  • Color-Coded Item Tiers: For weapons and items. Dull blue (Common), Blue (Uncommon), Purple (Rare), Red (Legendary). These are preset by the base type, and altered only by the ULTRA variant.
  • Cool Guns: 64 and counting, ranging from dinky little pistols all the way up to futuristic directed-energy weapons. Doesn't matter if it was invented after 1985 or well before; chances are you'll see it in this game sooner or later.
  • Co-Op Multiplayer: For two players. Increases number of enemies and general threat level. Oh, and Friendly Fire is enabled. Do try not to blow each other up.
  • Dash Attack: When you have the Lighting Boots, you can damage enemies by dashing into them.
  • Deadly Disc: The 'Ripjack' Sawblade Launcher can fire sawblades. Also, you can get The Ripjack Hyper Blade as a passive item.
  • Difficulty Levels: A nonstandard variant- the game allows you to enable or disable a number of difficulty-related features. Each comes with some manner of 'curse' and a small buff; for example, Flinch inflicts a brief slow and accuracy debuff on you whenever you take health damage, but slightly increases your basic movement speed. Each Modifier you enable increases Data and XP gain by 10% and credit gain by 5%. You can further tweak the 'Terror Level' by entering Low or High Alert sectors, voluntarily opening Alarmed chests, and by interacting with certain alarm tower 'shrines'.
  • Do Not Run with a Gun: Moving makes your shots much less accurate than they would be when standing still.
  • Dual Boss: In the first section of final level, you need to fight against two freaking tanks.
  • Early Game Hell: The two specialist classes, Engineer and Demolisher are easily the worst at the beginning of the game. The engineer in particular starts with worse stats than any other class and has only a pistol.
  • Elite Mooks: Some enemies in the levels are the elite variant, and they are noticeably tougher than normal ones.
  • Energy Weapon: Certain enemies use targeting laser beams and you can add a Laser Sight to your weapons, but all energy weapons fire discrete bolts rather than coherent beams.
  • Excuse Plot: You are an android soldier. Enter into the building of robot-making corporation and destroy the army of robots.
  • Fire-Breathing Weapon: The Makeshift Firecannon and Flamethrower; the former fires short puffs of fire, the latter long streams of fire. Both can set enemies on fire, dealing damage over time. There's also incendiary ammo for most other weapons - it comes as default on the SPAS12.
  • Grenade Launcher: Three primary, one 'passive'. The Ares GL-16 as a starting weapon for the Demolisher class, the M79 that's also a Terminator Shout-Out, and the Milkor M32 MGL with its six-round cylinder. The passive is the M205, which causes your next standard shot with any weapon to also launch one (sometimes two) bouncing grenades. There's also a number of assault rifles with underbarrel grenade launchers.
  • Gun Accessories: Collect Weapon Kits and use them to add all kinds of fancy gubbins to your guns; hair triggers, laser aiming modules, and so on. They can add all kinds of unique and interesting effects to your weapons.
  • Handguns: You start with one, and you can never get rid of it or replace it (except for Riot Guards). Fortunately, you can use Weapon Kits to trick it out and keep it competitive with your other weapons, and it does good damage on headshots.
    • Hand Cannon: The Kaida Model H and Desert Eagle, both class-exclusive to the Commando, fill this role. There's also the all-class Last Breath. The Specialist's laser-bolt-shooting PPQ-H and Guardian's 'Master Chief' also fill this role somewhat.
  • Heavily Armored Mook: Later levels have these guys. They move slowly, but they have more damaging weapons, more health, and thick armor.
  • Herd-Hitting Attack: Any weapon with enemy-penetration effects (via ammo or accessories), explosive area of effect, or the Mjolnir, fills this role. Pretty much essential with how hectic multiplayer can get.
  • Hey, It's That Gun!: The "Enforcer Carbine" is an essentially unmodified G36C, with a fancy paint job... except it shoots purple energy bolts.
  • Hitbox Dissonance: Enemy hitboxes have astonishingly little to do with where they visually appear. Non-humanoid ground enemies have mostly reasonable hitboxes, humanoid enemies much worse, and hovering enemies are so bad that you can't reliably hit them even while you're using a perfectly accurate gun and they are not moving at all.
  • Invisibility Cloak: Assassin class has one. It works great with their dagger.
  • Kill Sat: There are items that can release satellite beams. The G87"BEAMER" shoots a slowly-moving beam, The "Icarus" shoots triple beams at once, and The Legendary-tier "Redline" can shoot a massive orbital beam for a long time.
  • Lethal Joke Item: The 420 Sniperdragon. This weapon has the "360-Noscope Damage Bonus" weapon module. You may think it's just a stupid weapon, but this sniper rifle actually can deal a fantastic amount of damage by turning yourself 360 degrees before firing it.
  • Lightning Gun: The Legendary-tier 'Mjolnir' Chain Lightning Gun. Its basic range is short, but it's the only Hitscan-esque (primary) weapon in the game, and its bolts chain between enemies with ease.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: The Viking Riotshield is a SMG/Riotshield combination. Wielding this weapon gives 30 armor bonus to the player, but also reduces their move speed. Even when not wielding it you still get 15 armor.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: The ML 7000 Plus rocket launcher can fire many missiles in a short time. Also, there are items that can release a wave of missiles, such as Heart Seeker or Maverick MKV.
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: The Riot Guard class has the Battlecry Module, and it can unleash an electro-magnetic soundwave to damage and stun nearby targets.
  • Mook Medic: The Healing Turrets can send healing drones to heal other enemies. Destroying them first is usually a good idea.
  • More Dakka: The purpose of most Machine Gun and Sub Machine Gun-class weapons. Also, getting the Hair Trigger attachment will change your semi-auto weapon to full-auto.
  • Nail 'Em: The Kaida Nailgun, as an obvious homage to Quake. Rapidly fabricates its own ammo if you don't empty the magazine entirely.
  • Never Bring a Knife to a Gun Fight: Nobody told the Raider this rule; one of their starting options is a Vibroweapon knife. Dealing damage to enemies with this knife will increase its blade damage and heals your health. Finishing enemies with it resets its cooldown, so this blade is very good at killing a group of wounded enemies.
  • One Bullet Clips: Pointedly averted. For a fast-paced roguelite, SYNTHETIK has a realistic reloading system. First, you must Eject the current magazine (unless using a crossbow or the RPG7), which ejects all current bullets as well (unless you have a specific accessory). Then you need to Reload with a different key.
  • Overheating: On top of managing ammo, you also need to manage Heat. Build up too much, and you'll take immediate damage! Certain classes (particularly the Specialist) have perks relating to Heat being low or high, and also have ways to manage it.
  • Palette Swap: Of the Underground Monkey variety. Several enemies in the fourth zone (Military Bay) are palette swapped versions of lower-tier enemies.
  • Pinball Projectile: Guns with the "Dynamic Reflector" attachment can fire ricocheting bullets. Also, some guns can fire ricocheting bullets by default. This trait is not always great, since ricocheted bullets can harm you too.
  • Random Number God: Will preside over each and every run with a fickle fist, of course.
    • Randomly Generated Levels: Each 'floor' is made up of four randomly-selected 'rooms'. Whilst basic room layouts and features are preset, their exact contents - enemies, crates, shops/shrines, etc. - are randomized each time.
    • Randomly Generated Loot: Active/passive items are fixed (except for their quality percentage), but each gun can generate as one of seventeen variants (plus/minus some that are exclusive to certain weapon types). Each is effectively a 'template' that alters its fixed stats; for example, Siege V increases magazine capacity, Military Spec removes the jamming chance, and ULTRA weapons are better in every way.
    • Randomized Damage Attack: All attacks have some degree of variance based on range, but one possible passive class upgrade grants a 2% for any attack to deal an additional 1 to 2,000 damage. That means if the base attack deals 100 damage, you could deal anywhere from 101 to 2,100. The Prototype variant for weapons also causes damage to vary somewhat less wildly.
  • Reliably Unreliable Guns: While they're certainly effective at dealing damage, the guns in this game are quite prone to jamming, especially if the "Jamming" modifier is added. Thankfully, these weapons can be unjammed by simply mashing the reload button - and once this is done, the weapon is automatically reloaded with a full clip of ammo. Furthermore, as weapons are used and unjammed (again, an effect that is increased with the "Jamming" modifier active), "Mastery" of the weapon increases, which will reduce the chance of jamming.
  • Regenerating Shield, Static Health: Whilst it's not too hard to get health regen effects, they're balanced out by either being weak but long duration, or strong with short duration and/or specific limits/thresholds. As a result, you'll be reliant on your regenerating shield most of the time.
  • Return to Shooter: The RV Rebuke System will reflect every bullet that hit you to the shooter. This item won't protect you from damage, though.
  • Revolvers Are Just Better: Yes and no. There's a couple models on offer. Whilst they hit very hard and never jam, they tend to have issues with swarms of enemies, or those with Plating. Furthermore, they tend to suffer from high recoil, which causes further issues when dealing with groups of foes.
  • Robo Speak: Enemy androids speak like this. Their dialogue consist of only a few phrases.
  • Robot War: The whole premise is that Kaida Corporation's machines have Turned Against Their Masters. It's up to you, a Brain Uploaded human consciousness, to use a prototype Android to defeat the rogue Legion forces.
  • Sawn-Off Shotgun: The 'Road Warrior' double-barrel sawnoff is a monster. Firing devastating 'Power Bolt' slugs, it grows more powerful from killing Elite enemies and Bosses.
  • Sentry Gun: There are two turret items, the DMR Sentry Turret and the LMG Sentry Turret. Also, there are many enemy turrets in the levels.
  • Set a Mook to Kill a Mook: Using the Order 332 allows the player to hack the enemy to kill other enemies.
  • Shotguns Are Just Better: Maybe not 'better', but a good shotgun is always nice to have. The Super 90, for example, is a very dependable and powerful shotgun - and with the right variant and/or accessories, it can even have good accuracy and power at longer ranges.
  • Shout-Out: Tons of them, of course.
    • The Megacorp named "Kaida corporation"? Sounds familiar?
    • You can get a jar of "AKIRA". This is a legendary-tier passive item, and it causes several energy explosions.
    • There is the 'Master Chief' handgun, and it's (obviously) more-or-less M6 Series handgun of Halo.
    • There is the Auto-9/45 burst-fire handgun.
    • There is the Yoko-Lagann sniper rifle. The Infinity Drill Piece also looks like a Core Drill.
    • The double barrel Shotgun is named the 'Road Warrior'.
    • There's an item called the Black Berserk Charm, which bears the Mark of Sacrifice.
    • There are at least two Terminator references. The Winchester 1887 is called the T 8-00-Gauge, and the M79 grenade launcher is called... the M79 Terminator.
    • The Liandry Rail Gun, named for Unreal's Liandri Corporation. Similarly, the Ripjack is named after a similar weapon in Unreal, and the flak cannon functions identically to Unreal as well.
  • Simple, yet Awesome: The primary playstyle of the Riot class is charging enemies, stunning them, and blowing them away with shotguns. The combination of these abilities allow a Riot class character to bulldoze right through most opposition, and as their primary source of healing is getting shot they're going to ignore most anything short of rockets and other high-damage single shot attacks.
  • Sniper Rifle: Favoured weapon of the Rogue class. Slow to fire, but they deal massive headshot damage. A couple of them also suffer from an exciting case of Pinball Projectile.
  • Standard FPS Guns: They're all here.
  • Standard Status Effects: Burn, Bleed, Acid, Stun, Disorient, and one or two others. The Specialist can specialize in dealing damaging status effects, with a selectable passive that increases their duration by 25% and gives a chance for their damage ticks to deal triple damage, an active item that pauses their duration (but keeps them dealing damage), and so on.
  • Stock Ninja Weaponry: There are ninja items like Kunai or Acidic Throwing star. The Z1 Sundering Shuriken is one of the best items in the game.
  • The Straight and Arrow Path: The Ballistic CRX-Bow is a powerful weapon for sniping enemies. It can increase its damage by scoring headshots.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: This is a specialization of the Demolisher. They can gain health and shield from explosions that hit enemies, and have items/perks revolving around ammo recovery and regeneration, so they can keep on blowing stuff up. Also, they start with a Grenade Launcher, the Ares GL-16. That can potentially hold two rounds at once. Somehow.
  • Teleportation: Your means of travelling between levels.
  • Teleport Spam: Legion Chrono Troopers can teleport around to flank you, making them extremely annoying/dangerous.
  • This Is a Drill: The legendary active item, Infinity Drill Piece shoots a mysterious drilling projectile. This attack is quite damaging.
  • Three Quarters View
  • Throw Down the Bomblet: The Breacher class can throw breaching charges to demolish nearby enemies.
  • The Turret Master: The Engineer class is especially good at using turrets, and always starts with one.
  • Videogame Dashing: An essential tool for staying alive, with a short cooldown. The Raider class has two Dash charges, and all classes can get Dash-related perks; Specialist has a perk that grants shield recovery on dashing, Commando has one for damage immunity whilst dashing, and so on.
    • Certain enemies can do this too; particularly Shotgun Elites.
  • Weapon of Choice: Each class has a preferred weapon group; the Riot Guard is good with SMGs (starting with a SMG/Riot Shield combo), the Breacher excels with Shotguns (starting with a shotgun), the Sniper prefers Sniper Rifles (eventually starting with one once sufficiently leveled up), the Heavy Gunner is best with Assault Rifles and LMGs, and Specialists just want to blow up and/or set fire to everything.
    • Furthermore, each class has two pistols that only that class can use.
      • The Guardian classes have the 'Master Chief' (a heavy pistol) and the Coil Pistol (a pistol similar to a shotgun).
      • The Rogue classes have the PSX Covert Ops and the G17 'Undercover' (both of which are suppressed weapons).
      • The Commando classes have the Kaida Model H (a revolver) and the Desert Eagle .50 (a heavy pistol).
      • The Specialist classes have the Kaida Laser Pistol and the PPQ-H Laser Pistol (both of which are energy weapons).

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