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Video Game / Sang-Froid: Tales of Werewolves

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"I'll make stew from what's left of you, dagnabbit!"


Now that we've gotten rid of the possible notion that the Canadian stereotype of being soft-spoken would apply to this page, more seriously...

Sang-Froid: Tales of Werewolves is a third person hack-and-slash trap-based defence game by Artifice Studio. You take the role of one of two Canadian lumberjack brothers in the 1850s, protecting their ailing sister from the Devil's minions. By day, you plan defenses, set traps, and buy supplies. By night, you shift to a third-person camera upon the brother you're playing as and head out to trap, crush, impale, explode, shoot, and hack up anything that invades your land. Tales of Werewolves is the "Tome I" of a clearly planned series.

Basically, it is to Canada just as Hostile Waters: Antaeus Rising is to Britain and Metal Wolf Chaos is to the USA.

It got Greenlit by the Steam community and was released in April 2013.

Plans for "Tome II" include the additions of new items and traps as well as a campaign co-op mode.

This game provides examples of:

  • Always Chaotic Evil: Justified. Most of the enemies in the game (minus the misguided Maikan) are souls of the damned that the Devil let out to help him and then gave new bodies to.
  • Always Over the Shoulder: Bringing out your firearm puts the perspective to this.
  • Animation Cancel: Drinking the consumables of the game (which are all alcohols) normally takes a second for the O'Carroll to chug it, but using them while sprinting or attacking with your axe just consumes it without having to deal being ineffective from an animation for a second.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: If you get stuck, the Strategy Hints provide brief but essential tips to beating the level.
  • Bad Moon Rising: A red moon heralds the coming of the Invisible Beast.
  • The Bait: You can use yourself (by shouting, or manipulating wind direction) or a dead animal carcass to lure the beasts to your traps.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Sang-Froid has a number of meanings in French, depending on the idiom. Namely "Garder son sang froid"note  and "Tué de sang froid"note . It literally just means cold blood. As in blood on snow, as seen in the intro.
  • Blood Magic: Josephine's blood ends up creating the Invisible Beast, and firing a bullet with some of her blood on it is how the O'Carrolls kill it.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Joseph O'Carroll.
  • Booby Trap: Your main defense against the beast. You have access to 8 different traps (and 4 support structures: firewall, bait, bonfire, and watch tower). When playing the game you will spend roughly 75% of your time figuring out where to put what, and 25% in actually seeing if your plan works. The types of traps include:
    • Wolf traps (interestingly, the game uses a Bear Trap graphics): insta-kill wolves, can be upgraded to do more damage and hold creatures for a short duration.
    • Hanging nets: holds some heavy boulders that can be dropped on the creatures standing below, like a mini Descending Ceiling or Smashing Hallway Traps of Doom.
    • Spike traps
    • Exploding Barrels: light the fuse and run away, or just shoot them from a safe distance.
    • Wayside crosses: To burn diabolic creatures in range.
    • Ballistae: basically Siege Engines that do massive damage to a single target.
    • Sacred trees: closest thing to a Sentry Gun in this game.
    • Mortars: bringing Death from Above
  • Boom, Headshot!: Do it for bonus damage! Strongly recommended, considering you have to buy your own ammo and your rifle can only fire once (or two, if you buy a certain rifle) before having to be (slowly) reloaded.
  • Boring Yet Practical: Most of the initial traps can be very useful even late into the game.
    • Bait, which delays enemies while you are busy elsewhere and lures beasts into your traps, it also affects just about every single enemy except for the Maikans.
    • Firewalls silently re-route enemies, force them to take longer paths and funnel them to your killing zone. For most of the game you will never see or hear them in action, unlike traps and baits.
    • Spike traps are also extremely useful with relatively low cost and high damage to kill most wolves and werewolves instantly. When paired together with firewall (to alter monster routes) and bait (to keep beasts on the spike trap until the trap is spring), it can easily wipe out groups of enemies at the same time.
    • Wolf traps can become this once upgraded. While they start off bad, once upgraded, it can do 15 damage to werewolves and can even hold them in place for a while, allowing you to line up easy headshots or keep them off your backs until you can deal with them.
  • Booze-Based Buff: All consumable items are alcohols, from damage or stamina boosts to your general healing potion and Shout refresher. The game provides no possibility of drunkenness and its negative effects, we can only assume the O'Carroll brothers' Irish and Canadian ancestry creates a singularity of hard-drinking ability which ensures Never Gets Drunk for them.
    • Clearly, few games are as Canadian as this one.
  • Brains and Brawn: Done with Jacques and Joseph. Joseph is noticeably... brusque in his speaking while Jacques goes about it with more respect and tact. In technical terms, Jacques is only inferior to Joseph in-game, having less health and stamina. The implication is the drawback enforces the player (and thus Jacques) to require very precise trap placement to win their nights.
    • Swapped around in their youths - Joseph was a frail kid forced to stay inside all day while Jacques took to trapping, hunting and going outdoors quite handily.
  • Burn the Witch!: Most of the townsfolk think Josephine is one, which is why her brothers can't keep her in town to protect her from the wolves.
  • Camera Perspective Switch: During the day, in "Planning" phase (where you lay traps), the camera is fixed at top-down perspective. At night, in "action" phase, the third-person perspective is used, with the Player Character a bit below the center of the screen. Drawing the rifle (to reload or shoot) changes the perspective to Always Over the Shoulder.
  • Came Back Strong: Joseph O'Carroll was a sickly, frail child until his mother used healing magic to save his life. Now he's built like an ox.
  • Combos: Pressing attack three consecutive times, and the third attack knocks down your opponent. Give you time to continue attacking or recover stamina.
  • Corrupt Church: What with the priest already made a Deal with the Devil, and the Devil casually walks in and out of it.
  • Corrupt Politician: Mayor Napoleon. Tries to kill an O'Carroll brother with a poisoned drink to get rid of the "troublemakers".
  • Damsel in Distress: Josephine O'Carroll
  • Dude in Distress: Jacques or Joseph, depending on who the player plays.
  • Deal with the Devil: The priest, Father Elzéar makes one with the Devil so he can claim Josephine, giving the O'Carroll brothers no end of grief. Papa O'Carroll also made one, although it's left vague whether he knew he was dealing with the Devil.
  • Death from Above: One of the final traps the O'Carrolls can use is a mortar. It's expensive and only fires once on one point set the day before you can use it for your night's defence, but the area of effect is large enough to be practically everything on screen when fired and its damage is high enough to obliterate almost every enemy in the game in one-hit.
  • Depleted Phlebotinum Shells: Come in two flavors: Blessed (Holy) bullets for werewolves, and silver bullets for the maikans. Notably, these special bullets do not increase the damage done, but only overcome the target's damage resistance (Damage is halved otherwise). A normal bullet for a wolf, a blessed bullet for a werewolf and a silver bullet for a Maikan warrior, the same amount of damage is done in each case.
  • Devil, but No God: Averted Trope - while the Devil appears as an antagonist in person, a loading screen giving a profile about the Devil states out the existence of both the Devil and God as enigmatic beings. As well, the nun's blessings certainly seem to really work, and the Wayside Cross has to be powered by something (though the ghost who tells you to make them describe it as him coming to the O'Carrolls' aid)... God still doesn't make much of a personal appearance regardless, though.
  • Do Not Run with a Gun: The O'Carrolls must stand still to shoot or reload their firearm.
  • Folk Music: Most of the in-game music.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Jacques has some scars on his face inflicted from a battle he fought in a rebel - he lives as a hermit out of fear that they will implicate him of his being a rebel.
  • Gone Horribly Wrong: The Devil tried to make a love potion for the priest so Josephine would fall in love with him. He got the formula wrong and turned the priest into the Invisible Beast instead. The Beast promptly ate him.
  • Graceful Ladies Like Purple: Josephine's clothing is dark purple, and clearly nowhere near the manliness of her lumberjack-trapper brothers. This'll be difficult for the player to note if they don't think about on her first appearance since afterwards she's covered in heavy blankets on a bed.
  • Holy Burns Evil: Wayside Crosses slowly burn diabolic beasts. Blessed axes and bullets overcome their damage resistance (A non-blessed weapon and bullet only does half its normal damage).
  • Horrifying the Horror: When facing multiple enemies, you can manipulating them into attacking one at a time by intimidating them.
  • Human Pincushion: Spike traps.
  • The Hunter Becomes the Hunted: From being hunted by creatures of the night, the O'Carroll brothers start laying traps and actively hunt down the creatures by funneling and drawing them in.
  • Idiot Ball: The Devil. He botches a love potion, turning the priest into the Invisible Beast prophesized to destroy the entire region. You'd suspect he did this on purpose, but the first thing the Beast does is eat the Devil as he screams in terror.
  • Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels: Normal mode is also named for Joseph O'Carroll with hard mode being also named Jack O'Carroll. The difference of the difficulty levels are the character you get for them mentioned respectively, and Jack has less health and stamina than Joseph.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Done with the help of some holy water when the Devil turns your brother's soul into a werewolf.
  • Incendiary Exponent: Whenever you have accumulated enough Rage point to execute a special attack, your axe is aflame.
  • Infinity +1 Sword: The axe made from Saint Crapauld's old sawmill blade. It's magical, and thus effective against every kind of enemy. You'll be always using it once you get it.
  • I Shall Taunt You: Shouting has two uses: make the creatures more afraid of you; or draw them under a trap you previously set.
  • La Résistance: In Jacques' backstory, and the reason why he's living alone in the middle of the woods - it failed.
  • Limit Break: Doing damage with your axe charges up Rage to unleash in an attack that knocks enemies down and does more damage than a normal hit. The skills tree allows you to choose to unlock a greater potential pool of Rage which is more consumed at once to do a more powerful Rage attack.
  • Long Song, Short Scene: Music plays while the game is loading and stops after it loads to signify it a player with hardware beyond its 2013 release-time will probably have to look up the music or find it within the game's own files to be able to listen it.
  • Loud of War: You can shout to scare beasts, draw them to you, or lure them into traps.
  • Kill It with Fire: Downplayed Trope. Firewalls and Bonfires are only used for scaring off enemies instead of actually killing them.
  • Knockback: Happens to enemies struck from third consecutive axe attacks, Rage attacks, or from traps activated. Take advantage of them!
  • Manipulative Bastard: The Devil.
  • Magical Native American: The O'Carroll's mother was an Innu seer, and Josephine inherited her gifts. Also, the Maikan shamans. The usual connotations of the trope however is largely averted due to the presence of other Native American characters who do not have these powers - Josephine and her mother are especially unique.
  • Mighty Lumberjack: The Video Game. Also, actual lumberjacking is an option in the game - spare action points can be used to harvest lumber for money, since they do not carry over to the next night.
  • Miss Fanservice: Josephine. Her attractiveness is why she is targeted by Father Elzéar.
  • Mook Chivalry: Exploited Trope for a gameplay mechanic! Fear Factor are numbers that indicate are an enemy's willingness to attack you. When it equals or surpasses the Player Character's, the enemy attacks. The enemy's can be reduced by causing effective damage to them or using Shout against them, allowing the player potentially stop enemies from attacking and being free to wear down enemies in spite of being outnumbered. The mechanic is further affected by potential boosts to Fear Factor (such as using the Bonfire trap) or enemies becoming "Enraged" which causes them to attack continuously and be immune to the Fear Factor system.
  • More Dakka: Largely Averted Trope as the game's firearms are early ones - the kind that only holds one bullet at a time, and very slow to reload. There is only one gun which allow you to fire twice before reloading (the Remington Double Musket).
    • In more technical but less in the spirit of the trope terms, more expensive firearms do reload faster, and the Marksmanship skill speeds up reloading. However, the player will only be able to fire about two shots at best before enemies get close enough to attack.
  • Money Spider: Justified. If one looks at the "summary" screen for the night, it shows the number of pelts (of wolf-like creatures) sold and the total money gained. Creatures like Will-o'-the-Wisps, Wendigos, etc do not leave behind anything sellable and thus do not give money.
  • The Musketeer: The personal weapons of the O'Carroll brothers are an axe and a long firearm.
  • Never Gets Drunk: The alcohols which serve as the game's consumable items never cause negative effects, in-game or in cutscenes. The time the mayor's drink conks the playable O'Carroll out doesn't really count, as it's apparently actually the poison in it which drops them.
  • No Ontological Inertia: Averted with the werewolves and maikans.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: The creatures called werewolves in-game are canines possessed by human souls, are weak against blessed weapons, not silver. The more "traditional" werewolves (i.e shapeshifting humans vulnerable to silver) are called Maikan, shape shifters who can talk and retain human intelligence in wolf form, and fight the O'Carroll because of a misunderstanding instead of malicious intents.
  • Protection Mission: The general gameplay where the player prepares defences and plans in the day to defend buildings from supernatural creature attacks until all enemies are dead for the night, with occasional other smaller objectives after the main Protection Mission of the night is done. If any building falls, the night is lost. Unlike other Protection Missions though, as the game goes on, the buildings will become fairly far from each other and enemies will usually attack them simultaneously, thus requiring the player to plan out how to slow/stop/distract enemies in such a way that all the buildings can survive long enough for the player to kill all of the enemies.
    • For the final mission of Tome I, Josephine becomes a specific objective to defend.
  • Ridiculous Future Inflation: Inverted case (sort of), since the game takes place in the 1850s. The most expensive item in the game, the Enfield Musket Rifle, is priced at $8.
  • Saintly Church: Although the local priest is in cahoots with the Devil, the local nun is your source of blessed weapons. Later, she takes care of your wounded brother and gives you holy water to free his spirit from the werewolves.
  • Satan: The Devil. Here he prefers to work through subterfuge and minions.
  • The Savage Indian: The Maikans. Even though the Innu tribe consults them for advice, the Innu chief calls them hotheaded and is wary of them. Justifiably so, as the wendigos summoned by the Maikans to kill the O'Carrolls also kill many of his tribesmen.
  • Schrödinger's Player Character: Averted Trope - the brother who you do not play as stays in Jacques' cabin taking care of their sister through her fever.
  • Sequel Hook: Papa O'Carroll made a deal with a "doctor" to save his wife's life, in exchange for his children doing the "doctor" a favor later. In the ending, the Devil says he will "remind his debtors of their due".
  • Shorter Means Smarter: Jacques is the brains of the two, and he's shorter than his brother.
  • Shown Their Work: The various liquors, rifles, and axes you can buy? They actually existed back in 1850s Canada.
  • Siege Engines: The O'Carrolls can eventually create a small ballista for defences. It only fires once and does much less damage on subsequent hits to multiple enemies, but its high damage makes it the singularly most effective trap to use against a wendigo.
  • Silver Has Mystic Powers: Mystical beasts, like the Maikans and wendigos, are vulnerable to silver.
  • Holy Burns Evil / Silver Bullet: See Depleted Phlebotinum Shells above.
    • You may also get silver axes to fight against mystic creatures.
  • Sinister Minister: Makes a Deal with the Devil, giving him custody of the town's souls so he can kidnap his love Josephine. Later gets turned into the Invisible Beast of legend.
  • Sprint Meter: Also used for melee attacks. Run or fight for too long and you will need to catch your breath for a few seconds while also leaving your attacks slow and weak. It also recharges faster if it is not completely drained.
  • Staring Down Cthulhu: An achievement requires you to intimidate the end boss from attacking you for 5 seconds. He literally ate the Devil whole, by the way. You can achieve this by wearing a certain trinket, luring the Invisible Beast next to a bonfire, shouting at it and drinking Irish Whiskey so you can shout at it again sooner.
  • The Strategist: Jacques O'Carroll. He doesn't have his brother's strength & endurance, surviving mainly on traps, cunning, and a few well-placed bullets.
  • Swallowed Whole: Father Elzéar/The Invisible Beast eats the Devil. He's seen ripping his way out of the Beast's stomach in the ending.
  • Sword and Gun: Well, Axe And Gun. Those serve as the O'Carroll brothers' personal handheld weapons.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: The O'Carroll brothers didn't depart on good terms, and only work together by the circumstance of being forced to protect and nurse their sister.
  • Terror Hero: A game mechanic. If enemies fear you, they'll wait before attacking, giving you precious seconds to reload your rifle or catch your breath. With a bit of work, even wendigos and the end boss will hesitate before attacking. The latter is an achievement if maintained for 5 seconds.
  • The Gods Must Be Lazy: The Devil turns a town's souls into werewolves every night to capture a woman. God, however, doesn't make an appearance anywhere, though the blessing of one of his nuns on your weapons work very well against said Devil's werewolves and a ghost whose soul gets absolved becomes able to help you against your enemies temporarily through the Wayside Cross trap.
  • They Have the Scent!: Your enemies can smell you, shown as an indicator on the minimap into the direction of the wind blowing. The size of the indicator varies on the night. An Exploited Trope, since this can allow you to draw in enemies toward you and keep them off of the buildings you're trying to defend. Especially when you get a talisman to shift the direction the wind is blowing.
  • Top-Heavy Guy: Joseph is a mountain above the waist. His legs, however, are not as large and about the same length of his upper body when the scale of length for legs to upper body tends toward 2/3-1/3 for most people.
  • Turns Red: Enemies can be enraged after taking damage, rendering immune to Fear Factor mechanic.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Jacques and Joseph' relationship went sour after Jacques chose to rebel against the government for humanistic reasons while his brother had no interest in such high-minded goals. The Player Character, finding the other brother unconscious and having lost a lot of blood, will beg of them to stay alive and admit they work well with them, implying they'll be up to reconcile after it's all over (the two brothers will not do so explicitly in the game, though).
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Justified: Your rifle only holds one bullet at a time and takes several seconds to load. You might shoot the first werewolf, but the werewolf right behind him will rip you to shreds. In this case, it's better to just shoot the net holding a ton of boulders over them.
  • Will-o'-the-Wisp: These ones have more of a small, almost dragon-like shape, bombard you with their fire from range, and retreat underground to quickly regenerate should you damage yet fail to kill them fast enough.
  • Worthy Opponent: The Maikan decide to leave the O'Carrolls alone after the brothers fend off their assaults, proving they have the spirit of Innu warriors. They even give them some advice on how to kill the Invisible Beast.