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Video Game / Skyshine's Bedlam

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Skyshine's Bedlam is a Roguelike / Turn-Based Tactics hybrid, developed by the Skyshine Studios and set in an post-apocalyptic world inspired by equal parts Mad Max and the pulp sci-fi of the 1970s.

In it, the player is placed in charge of an enormous Dozer as it escapes the city of Bysantine with hundreds of passengers inside. The city is ruled by the tyrannical King Viscera, but it is nevertheless a safe haven when compared to the horrors of the wasteland outside. The latter is wracked by the numerous natural disasters, while the majority of the settlements belongs to either the Rogue A.I., the Mutants who abandoned humanity several planks of the evolutionary ladder ago, or even once-ordinary humans who "went borg" with cybernetic enhancements. The regular humans are in the minority, and practically all are inside the Viscera-controlled Marauders. On the other side of this hell, however, is the legendary Aztec City, a supposed Utopia which where you must safely deliver your hundreds of passengers.


The game was originally funded on Kickstarter in 2014, as "Bedlam". However, it turned out there was already a game with that name in development, so Skyshine Games had to clarify the title before releasing in on Steam in September 2015. The following year, they updated it to "Redux".

See Convoy for another Kickstarter-funded 2015 roguelike set on a Post Apocalyptic desert planet.

Skyshine's Bedlam contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Advert-Overloaded Future: Your Dozer is such an enormous machine it can fit a 1000 passengers inside. Yet, the majority of the crowds in Bysantine do not notice it move past them and leave the city because they are "too distracted by the ubiquitous hovertisements, VogueBand broadcasts and quantum cranial devices."
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: The Rogue A.I. faction. Many of them outright see humans as "soft-machines" whose presence corrupts the technology like the Dozer. Others call humans "meatforms" whose intelligence level renders them obsolete and ripe for the extinction protocols. Thankfully, you can still get a few of the more reasonable ones to join you.
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  • Alien Blood: The descriptive text for one of the random encounters states that cyborgs bleed blue hydraulic plasma. However, you'll never see this during the actual game.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: Each faction can storm the Dozer bay, forcing a desperate battle inside, where the defeat immediately ends the game, and you are obviously unable to rely on any of the Dozer's external weapons.
    • They also have their special ways of doing so. Marauders can pretend to be peaceful travellers seeking refuge and thus getting you to open the bay. Cyborgs can collapse whole walls of debris atop the Dozer, then manually force the bay doors open. Rogue A.I. simply paralyses its engines with the stasis dragnet, then teleports its troops aboard.
  • Bare Your Midriff: The outfits of Marauder Gunslingers.
  • Bloodless Carnage: The dead enemies fall down without bleeding. Even the destroyed Rogue A.I. simply fall down without any oil and such leaking out from them. However, tactical nukes and some heavy weapons will burn those they kill, leaving only bones behind, while acid attacks of some mutants leave partially dissolved remains.
  • Boom, Headshot!: Deadeyes have a chance of scoring these with their sniper rifles.
  • Cast From Hitpoints: Cyborgs will gain 1 damage at the cost of 1 health every other turn.
  • Defeat Equals Friendship: The defeated Elites will join your crew.
  • Deflector Shields: Some Rogue A.I. technology is protected by these. You can try to open fire on them, but it's hardly guaranteed to work.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: One of the random encounters is an act of sabotage carried out on the Dozer's engines, temporarily disabling it. Your options are to throw out anyone who could have possibly done that, or issue a stern warning. Doing the former throws out around 5% of the Dozer's population - i.e. 80 people out of 1500 passengers.
  • Do Not Run with a Gun: Shooting after moving screws up unit's aim, meaning that most of their barrages miss and they only deal halved damage as a result.
  • Drop the Hammer: Some Mutant Elites carry enormous sledgehammers that are taller than a man.
  • Elite Mooks: The Elites, obviously enough. Every class has these, and they are unique for every faction. As such, while the Marauders' Elite Trenchers carry triple-barrelled super shotguns, the Mutants' equivalent to it are large scaly creatures that spit out acid.
  • Fantastic Racism: Every other faction has a derogatory name for the normal humans. Mutants call them morts (since their Healing Factor renders them comparatively immortal), while cyborgs mock the "pure-fleshers". Rogue A.I. either call humans "meatforms" whose intelligence level renders them obsolete and ripe for the extinction protocols, or refers to the "soft-machine corruption" aboard the Dozer, which they believe they must cleanse.
  • Gatling Good: It is called the rotocannon here, and is the signature weapon of the Cyborgs, wielded by their Gunslinger Elites.
  • Gender Is No Object: Played straight for your crew, many of whom are women and are just as capable as men. Females amongst the enemy factions are less frequent, but can also be encountered.
  • Giant Mook: The Elites are large enough to take up four of the regular-sized squares on the grid. While it makes sense for the Mutant, Rogue A.I. and even Cyborg Elites, Marauder Elites also being this large is puzzling...until you read a bit of area description that states their overdeveloped frame comes from the years of dismembering their foes with bare hands.
  • Glass Cannon: Deadyes deal great damage at the longest range, but this is compensated by them starting out with the mere 3 hitpoints. For comparison, Trenchers and Gunslingers have 6, while Frontliners have all 10 (unless hit from the side or In the Back).
  • Guns Akimbo: Most of the Gunslingers fight with dual pistols. Though, Elite versions tend to trade them for something else, like the Cyborg Elite Gunslingers' rotocannons.
  • Healing Factor: Mutants get +1 health every other turn.
  • Hollywood Acid: Spat out by the Mutant Trencher Elites in lieu of shotguns. The enemies killed with it are literally partially dissolved. As a bonus, this attack ignores the protection offered by the Frontliners' shields.
    • Enzyme cyclone also acts in the same way, as you'll learn should you be unlucky enough to run out of crude.
  • Hollywood Hacking: One tooltip says that the A.I. keep trying to hack Bysantine's outer defence systems, but the only things they end up destroying are themselves.
  • Human Resources: There are some places where passengers can be converted to Crude. It's also possible to trade them off for Spare Parts.
  • Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels: At the start of the run, you can "Go Easy", "Go Normal" or "Go Bedlam".
  • Invisibility Cloak: Rogue A.I. units turn themselves invisible every 3rd turn.
    • One of the random encounters will see you save Darrow Tactical Advancement researchers from cyborgs. They'll join the Dozer and reward you with a Battlefield Equalizer buff that renders all troops semi-invisible, and thus slashes enemy damage by 60%.
    • Another one sees you defeat the Rogue A.I. at the old Valentino Tactical Outfitters bunker to obtain an actual Stealthsuit Battle Equalizer technology from it.
  • Knockback: Trenchers' shotgun blasts will throw anyone they fail to kill outright three squares back. Mutant Trenchers' acid spit does the same.
  • Laser Blade: Cyborg Frontliners wield single-edged red laser falchions, which cannot be used for stabbing, because of a large tip that is also used for generating the beam. Robots, however, have become advanced enough to use open purple laser beams that are lightsabers in all but name.
  • Limit Break: In the original release, one of the enemies will reach Blitz state and get doubled or tripled number of action points. It's very hard to avoid losing someone once this happens. The Redux limited this mechanic to the Arcade mode.
  • Meaningful Name: The randomly generated settlement names are all related with the nature of their faction. Marauders' places have names like "Despot Hills" and "Mount Kilmore", Cyborg ones hint at enhancements with "Plughead" and "Thudskull", Mutants have one-word descriptors like "Kiln" and "Morass", while Rogue A.I. favour names like "Exoclast" and "Contronika".
  • Mega-Corp: One of the random encounters sees the Dozer merely drive by the wreckage of war machines from the Conglomerate Conflicts, when companies like Majestic Industries or Valentino Tactical Outfitters became so greedy and so powerful they started to wage outright wars against each other, with their brand logos acting as battleflags.
    • Bysantine still has several remnant corps around. While they all must bend the knee to Viscera, they are nevertheless powerful enough to send out researchers and excavators into the wasteland on their own.
  • Multiple Endings: You can either choose to rest on your laurels after you reach the Aztec City, or offload your passengers and go back up to Byzantine, in order to overthrow King Viscera and rescue the rest.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: One of the "random encounters" simply states "it is eerily quiet...", with the only option being to drive on.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: Here, these are the corpses who have had Necrotech installed into them, thus technically making them zombie cyborgs. One of the tooltips states that the normal cyborgs will dig up just about any technology to wire into their bodies (to the point many only see your Dozer as a source of enhancements for themselves), but absolutely dread the Necrotech.
  • Override Command: In one of the random encounters, you can chance upon a bunker housing a tactical nuclear missile, whose doors can be opened with a mere manual override command. You do need to spend 5 power cells to turn on the override in the first place, but that's only because of the apocalypse. The original design clearly intended for anyone who found the manual override panel to gain access.
    • Then again, see Slap-on-the-Wrist Nuke below for how weak that nuke actually is when installed on your Dozer. The lax security doesn't look quite as egregious next to this.
  • Random Encounter: Loads of these can happen while you are travelling along the road.
  • Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies: Running out of Crude and becoming stranded predictably leads to everyone abandoning your leadership and choosing to walk out of the Dozer. They don't make it too far before a sudden enzyme cyclone literally dissolves everyone (including yourself), however.
  • Slap-on-the-Wrist Nuke: The tactical Nuker missile has a range of FOUR tiles! Moreover, it deals 12 damage, same as 2-3 shotgun blasts, and so Boss mutants with 25 health only lose half of it. At least, those who are killed by it burn up to mere bones.
  • Slave Mooks: The robots that lack their own sentience and can only act while directed by the controlling unit (shutting off if it's destroyed), are considered slave machines, and not just by the rebel robots.
  • Shield-Bearing Mook: Enemy varieties, who come in four varieties for every faction. Marauder Frontliners carry maces and red hexagonal shields with skulls drawn on them. Mutant ones have triangular shields that appear to grow out of their own bone, and wield similarly biological weapons. Cyborgs have rectangular metal shields and single-edged laser blades. Rogue A.I. ones use round shields, purple laser beams and can teleport.
  • Short-Range Shotgun: The effective range of shotguns range here is a mere 3-4 squares: shorter than that of dual pistols used by Gunslingers, and equivalent to the Mutant Trenchers' acid spit.
  • Shotguns Are Just Better: Even so, Trenchers often have the best balance between health, range and damage output.
  • Spikes of Villainy: One Marauder location description states that "Some Marauders take their love of creative bloodshed to new level by adorning their armor with ridiculously oversized blades and spikes."
  • Story Breadcrumbs: Most of the information about the setting is conveyed either through the brief conversations with the randomly encountered travellers, or the randomized one-sentence descriptions of settlements.
  • Super Spit: The Elite Mutant Trencher simply spits out acid, and does it so well not even the frontliners can survive it, since it ignores their shields.
  • Take Cover!: The middle of the battlefield typically features at least a couple of objects a person can crouch behind to obtain cover bonus.
  • Teleport Spam: Rogue A.I. units can teleport aboard the Dozer, and will also teleport halfway across the battlefield. Luckily, doing so takes up their entire action point.
  • Trojan Horse: Some Rogue A.I. factions intend to take over the Dozer in order to infiltrate Bysantine in this manner.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: Nearly every random encounter can be approached with this mindset. See a group of nomads on the road? Run them down! Found a cyborg sniper practicing after she was shot in the head and left for dead? Finish her off, and grab her loot!
    • Dozens of people on board ate tainted meat and developed strange symptoms? Do not bother with quarantine, just throw them all out! Someone on board sabotaged the engines and the list of suspects can't be narrowed down below 60 people? Cast them out too, integrity of the Dozer must reign supreme!
    • A more drawn-out example is to spend the available power cells on Dozer weapon upgrades instead of bothering with fuel efficiency, then to deal with the Crude shortages through visiting alchemists who can convert people onboard into fuel.
  • Walk It Off: Averted. Any crewmember who got wounded during the battle has to spend several days recovering in the medbay - the more hitpoints they lost, the longer they have to recover.
  • White-Dwarf Starlet: One random encounter is with a cyborg woman performing in front of a crowd of nomads. As you approach, she tells you she was a star on the Bysantine VogueBand network, but had an ugly meltdown in public, and so she lost her popularity and was ejected from the city. You can invite the entire crowd to the Dozer, drive on, or attack everyone.
  • Wretched Hive: The description for Bysantine states that "Civilisation survived the Barren Age and flourished in this spectacular metropolis, which is now succumbing to class warfare, overcrowding, corporate conflict and organized crime." It is still the best place in the world outside of the Aztec City.