In this game, you play as D-Tritus Debris, a literally self-made robot who has recently come to the planet Scrapland, and its capital city of Chimera. As soon as he arrives, his matrix is entered into The Great Database, a massive machine that revives any robot that dies, and is assigned a job as a reporter. No sooner does any of this happen than something unthinkable occurs. The Archbishop of Chimera is murdered... and his matrix has been removed from The Great Database, meaning he can't be revived. After this, D-Tritus is contacted by a mysterious robot, who knows that there's more to The Archbishop's murder than what is believed. From there, D-Tritus soon finds himself caught up in a huge conspiracy.
American McGee Presents Scrapland contains the following tropes:
- After the End: Scrapland is actually planet Earth, which has been polluted to the point it can no longer sustain life. After humanity left, only the robots remained. Said robots then built their own society out of the junk and scrap the humans left behind. Hence the name "Scrapland".
- Cruel and Unusual Death: Several high-ranking robots in Chimera are murdered over the course of the game in this manner.
- The Archbishop has his hot tub heated to boiling levels while he's in it, and when he tries to get out, something grabs his head and twists it so his neck snaps.
- The Chief of Police is weightlifting in his room, when the killer grabs his barbell and forces it downward, snapping his arms in half. Then it takes one end of the barbell and brings it down on his head, crushing it off his body.
- The Mayor is shoved legs-first into his own shredding machine.
- Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: Thanks to The Great Database, any robot that dies can come back to life so long as their matrix is in it.
- Fantastic Racism:The robots of Scrapland LOATHE humans. This does not bode well for Bill when he arrives.
- Grand Theft Me: After D-Tritus is given a program that allows him to hack The Great Database, he's able to overwrite any robot he chooses (except for The Boss and Humphrey), basically using their bodies as if they were his own.
- He Knows Too Much: Vicus is killed because he was willing to share the evidence of The Archbishop's murder with D-Tritus.
- Justified Extra Lives: The Great Database revives any robot that dies. You have to pay Bishops to give you extra lives so you don't revive in a holding cell at the police station.
- Killed Off for Real: Happens to any robot whos matrix is removed from The Great Database.
- Pocket Dimension: One exists inside The Great Database. It's where the matrix of every robot in Chimera is kept.
- Robot Republic: Chimera is populated and run entirely by robots.
- The Scapegoat: As soon as Bill arrives on Scrapland, he's immediately arrested and blamed for all the murders.
- The Smurfette Principle: Betty is the only female robot in Scrapland.
- Token Human: Bill.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: The Archbishop, the Chief of Police, and The Mayor are all murdered while their matrixes aren't present in The Great Database, preventing their resurrection. It's mentioned that a robot's matrix is indestructible, so it could still be possible to locate their matrixes and re-insert them. However, even at the end of the game, it's never addressed.