Follow TV Tropes


Video Game / Shadow of the Beast (2016)

Go To

Shadow of the Beast is a 2016 remake of the original Shadow of the Beast series, first developed by Psygnosis in 1989 but now developed by Heavy Spectrum Entertainment Labs. Like the 1989 version, the 2016 Shadow of the Beast game focuses around a monster named Aarbron, who was kidnapped by the evil wizard Maletoth and mutated into a living weapon due to being a Magical Seventh Son. One day, while slaughtering another peaceful civilization in Maletoth's name, Aarbron regains his memories of the night he was kidnapped, and rebels against Maletoth.

He then proceeds to embark on an adventure across worlds, chasing first Maletoth's Dragon Zelek, then hunting down Maletoth himself. Blood is involved. A lot of it.


Shadow of the Beast 2016 provides examples of:

  • Action Commands: Various commands will have you do things to kill people, such as hitting buttons in Rage Mode at the right time to messily kill an enemy, or rapidly press a button to kill an enemy to regain health.
  • All There in the Manual: The game's Timeline mechanic, where you grab "Orbs of Prophecy" to fill in holes in the story. Each orb fills in part of the story, which talks about why Maletoth kidnapped Aarbron when he was a baby, what happens in the prologue, what Maletoth's motivation is, and the rest of it. You also find out a great deal of information about the various places you kill your way through.
  • Anti-Hero: Aarbron, despite being the hero, is a vicious monster on a quest for revenge, killing hundreds of other beings that dare cross his path. He becomes an outright villain in the end if he decides to kill Maletoth, and simply takes his place as the ruler of Maletoth's empire.
  • Advertisement:
  • Bee People: Dryads in this game are a race of insectoid-like creatures that live in hives and have a queen, rather than tree-people.
  • The Berserker: Aarbron, full stop. His fighting style is all about slaughtering as much enemies as he can in rapid (gory) succession. The angrier he gets, the more powerful and brutal his attacks become.
  • Blood Bath: While Aarbron also gets blood just from killing enemies, there are also pools of blood he can walk into to get his blood meter full.
  • But Thou Must!: Even after playing through the first stage knowing that Aarbron’s final human victim is his father, you have no choice but to kill him, thanks to the leash Zelek has on him to give him the jolt to carry out the dirty deed.
  • Cruel Mercy: "Sparing" Maletoth at the end of the game causes the ghosts to take care of him instead.
  • Crossing the Desert: After dealing with Zelek, Aarbron has to cross a massive desert where vicious tribes of other creatures attack him, in order to get to the Hydrath's fortress.
  • Darker and Edgier: The original trilogy of games were oozing with dark atmosphere and nightmarish monsters, but surprisingly tame in actual violent content all things considered. The remake instead has Aarbron tearing his foes apart messily, blood galore, and an even bleaker tone than original games overall.
  • Dem Bones: The Hydrath's fortress in the desert has a number of skeletons as enemies in it.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Choosing to "Spare" Maletoth causes him to get picked up by the ghosts he's enslaved and repeatedly attacked by them before he's sucked into a portal, presumably to be tortured by them.
  • Ghibli Hills: The first level that Aarbron rampages through is a bunch of rolling green plains with beautiful buildings and at least one apple orchard. The rest of the game, not so much.
  • Hydra Problem: The Hydrath, where you have to burn the stumps of its heads when you blow them off to stop it from regenerating.
  • Living Weapon: What Aarbron was kidnapped and forced to become.
  • Magical Seventh Son: Aarbron was the seventh son of a seventh son, which apparently lends him a great deal of power that Maletoth wanted. The beginning of the game is Aarbron helping Zelek to kidnap another child, but the baby disappears partway through the game.
  • Mama Bear: After he's kidnapped as an infant, Aarbron's mother takes up arms to fight Maletoth and try to rescue him. Considering we don't see her through the entire game, and only in the Timeline, we can only presume it didn't end well.
  • Mechanical Lifeforms: A lot of the "animals" that are in the Swamp of Decay appear to be machines, even though they behave like animals (stampeding when something scares them, making noises).
  • Multiversal Conqueror: The Timeline mentions "world after world" falling to Maletoth, and portals are used frequently to bring characters to various places across dimensions.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: It's subtle due to limited facial expressions of the main hero, but Aarbron is visibly devastated when he realizes that the man he just killed is his father. It marks the beginning of his Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
  • Necromancer: A lot of Maletoth's spells involve enslaving ghosts. Aarbron, for instance, was transformed into a Beast by having a hundred different souls poured into him at once.
  • Omniscient Council of Vagueness: The Seekers, who are only named in the Timeline. While they're trying to stop Maletoth, the only appearance they make is walking towards Aarbron slowly while clasping their hands together and chanting. Due to Aarbron being a slave of war under Zelek's control, he slaughters them all without mercy.
  • One-Man Army: Aarbron lives and breathes this trope, carving his way through legions of otherworldly foes in full Berserker glory.
  • Overdrawn at the Blood Bank: Considering the level of violence in the game there's a lot of blood; during any of the brawls that you get into, by the end the ground will be covered in blood and it sprays everywhere when Aarbron is in Rage Mode.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Aarbron goes on one in retribution against Maletoth for his kidnapping and slavery.
  • Scenery Gorn: While the first level is Ghibli Hills, the rest of the game is things like swamps and deserts and caves. The Graveyard of the Fallen somewhat slides back into Scenery Porn with its aurora in the sky...if you ignore the bodies carpeting the ground and constantly raining from the sky.
  • Schizo Tech: As per tradition of the original Shadow of the Beast series, the level of technological advancement in the land of Karamoon is thrown all across the board. At its basis, it seems to be medieval, as enemies you fight wield primitive, cold weapons like swords, maces or axes... but then again, those enemies are sometimes deployed via Cool Airships that seem to use some sort of anti-gravity drive. The general architecture of the world ranges from downright primeval to ancient to medieval-like, but it also throws futuristic elements into it, including some hazards that you have to bypass like those devices which look like jet (or rocket) engines spewing flames blocking your path. Also, you fight the final Boss Battle using a jetpack and a laser gun. Not to mention significant part of the world's fauna which seems robotic rather than organic.
  • Shifting Sand Land: The desert that Aarbron has to go through to get to the Hydrath's fortress.
  • Speaking Simlish: No one speaks English in the game unless it's the narrator in the Timeline function.
  • Swamps Are Evil: The Swamp of Decay.
  • Take a Third Option: The ending choice. Kill Maletoth and remain a Beast forever, or let him live in order to become human again? However, there's a third option: simply choosing "Spare Maletoth" will let the ghosts he's enslaved take care of him.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: The final boss fight against Maletoth involves Aarbron chasing after the giant leviathan creature he's put himself in with a jetpack while firing a laser cannon at him.
  • The Unintelligible: Everyone in the game speaks in a variety of fantasy languages with the subtitles written in alien script. The player can unlock an option that renders the subtitles in English. However the subtitles are always in English during Maletoth's speech at the end of the game when you finally confront him. He offers Aarbron a choice between killing him and remaining a Beast or sparing him and allowing him to make Aarbron human again.
  • Warrior Heaven: The Graveyard of the Fallen is sort of like this, apparently being some kind of alternate dimension where slain warriors go. It involves their bodies dropping out of the sky and landing on the ground while their souls ascend to somewhere else.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The baby that Zelek steals in the game's beginning disappears from the game sometime during stage 2. Averted in the true ending which reveals that the child was indeed delivered successfully to Maletoth's surviving wizards, and that they now plan on turning it into another beast just like Aarbron — only this time, they would make sure it stays loyal.
  • Wolverine Claws: Aarbron's 2016 redesign now sports razor-sharp claws on each hand, and he uses them very effectively for maximum carnage.
  • World of Action Girls: Curiously, the land of Karamoon (which Aarbron originated from) seems to have the standard gender roles reversed. Women are the ones who take up arms and defend the land from invaders, while the few men seen are all non-combatant mages called Seekers.
  • Would Hit a Girl: As stated above, female warriors seem to be the standard foot soldiers of Karamoon. Like all that stand in his way, Aarbron shows them no mercy.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: