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Sore Losers is a 2010 RPG, developed by Sated in RPG Maker. It is set in the Slums of Central Ferusia, which are used by the fascist Government of Ferusia to house all of the criminals instead of maintaining prisons. These slums are separated into four sectors of differing levels of prosperity; the richest area isn’t much different from typical suburbia, and can afford to pay the Ferusian Soldiers for protection. Other areas are at the mercy of gang leaders, and are also at risk of attack by mutated wildlife from the uninhabitable slums.

Our protagonists are Markus and David, two relatively experienced gang members working for Jade, a former rebel who’s largely succeeded in cleaning up her sector. The game begins when she tasks them with stealing the Black List of all the people sentenced to live in the Slums, thus allowing her to write anyone out of it and making escape without re-capture possible. They succeed at it; however, they run into Alexis, a former Ferusian Captain now on the run from the government, and things rapidly go to hell from there.

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You can download the game here.

This game provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: The sewer sections that you can access.
  • Air-Vent Passageway:
    • Defied at first: When examining the vents on every roof, you’ll get the response of “Although it would be cool, you’re not jumping down the ventilation shaft.”
    • Later on, however, going through the air vents is required during several stealth segments. Not only does it not make any noise, but the characters appear to “stand” inside them.
  • A.K.A.-47: Subverted. It’s a fictional setting, but some weapons are obviously inspired by the real ones, such as an FK-47 assault rifle.
  • Antidote Effect: Averted. If one of the characters is poisoned during the battle, they’ll stay poisoned afterwards, and will continue to take damage in real time, up until they cure poisoning.
  • Anti-Hero: Both Markus and David qualify. Markus is a very cynical and selfish person, who freely admits that he’s only gotten into slums because of his own stupidity and that Ferusian Government has a good reason to keep them there. David, on the other hand, is a calm, level-headed person… who got sent into the slums for trying to murder his wife’s lover, and then spent a year hunting him down with Markus in the slums, so that he could finish him off for good.
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    • At one point, when Locke (hardly a positive character himself) said, lying, that the two of them seem to have a compassion streak, Jade replies "No, not compassion. Boredom or something, but not compassion."
    • Then, there’s another point where Markus himself is asked by the incredulous rebels why he doesn’t want to bring down the government, and he replies “No, I don’t hate the government. They aren’t the greatest organisation in the world, but, well, it’s not as if either of us are innocent."
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: The Markus and David accept that they’re put into the slums for life by an uncaring Ferusian government for crimes that often don’t deserve such treatment. However, they’re unwilling to believe that this government is conducting genetic research on humans in order to create mindless, practically unkillable supersoldiers.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Custom-Chained Rifles for other party members. Sure, the bayonets are awesome… except that the actual bullets fired from them deal 10 damage less than the unmodified G3A3 you can get from upgrading MK-17 Scar.
  • Bait-and-Switch: There’s one where you can hear two women discussing their "work" using terms that appear loaded with sexual meaning ("need to be more revealing", "gotta keep them coming back for more"), but then it turns out that they’re actually talking about telling stories.
  • Blackout Basement: Several buildings and vents on the level where you’re required to perform an assassination are very dark, so that you can't really see your character. Monsters see you just fine, though.
  • Brick Joke: Many of the recurring environmental object descriptions go into this.
  • Camera Screw: It’s very difficult to distinguish regular roofs from overpasses (and thus detect the paths you can walk beneath) because of the strict top-down perspective. If you choose to side with the rebels instead of escaping, then a mandatory stealth section also requires passing through a way that is completely obscured from your perspective by a tall stack of crates.
  • Chainsaw Good: Both Chris and Benji are always equipped with with Custom-Chained Rifles, which are essentially G3A3 rifles modified with chainsaw bayonets. The rifles are weaker as a result, but the bayonets make an awesome revving sound when they’re used.
    • Then, if you choose to assist the rebels in the end, the second-final boss battle is against two regular Second-Class Ferusian soldiers and a First-Class Ferusian, who is not only heavily armored and wears a gas mask, but is also equipped with a powerful chainsaw.
  • Crate Expectations: There are plenty of crates strewn around the slums, though they never actually contain anything useful.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: This can happen at the end, if you choose to assist the rebels and then continue to attack Alexis. She’ll eventually order the four soldiers who haven’t yet participated in battle to open fire, instantly killing the duo when in-game, their guns often deal pitiful damage that can be shrugged off for several turns without healing.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: Played straight with all of the flashbacks.
  • Dialogue Tree: Downplayed. Talking to people will usually give you three responses, and then another two responses, after which the dialogue ends.
  • Doesn't Like Guns: Played straight with Markus. When he walks into a gun shop, the shopkeeper will begin the conversation by saying "C’mon Markus, I know you ain’t interested in that stuff! Rather play with your swords!" Markus can reply with "Can’t hurt to look" or with "Swords are plain better", in which case he’ll go on to make a point that all the guns he sells are unreliable knock-offs anyways.
    • He’s right about that, though, as you’ll find out when you finally do get your hands on Alexis, a gun-wielding companion. Her 1.45 pistols deal the same damage as basic swords or switchblades, and even the upgraded Ferusian PMM pistol is still weaker than a Military Pick, an equally upgraded version of an Axe.
  • Dramatic Pause: Used gratuitously during the early dialogues, though things do get better afterwards.
    • "This door is locked .... (3 second wait) Try lockpicking?" – every locked door in the game.
  • Drop the Hammer: There’s a sledgehammer weapon that can be stolen early on. It does good, but unexceptional damage and is soon outclassed by other weapons. Instead, its real value lies in its ability to shatter Suspiciously Cracked Wall sections to get the items behind them.
  • Dual Wielding: All of the characters can fight with two weapons, and David begins with two Axes.
  • Dumpster Dive: Parodied at one point when Markus and others fall through into the sewers. They drop down onto the hard floor, and there’s a patch of rubbish in the corner. Examining it says "Couldn’t you land on that instead?"
  • Epic Flail: One of David’s starting skills is literally called that. It has him wildly strike out at all enemies with 5-9 strikes (some of which occasionally target enemies that have already been defeated) and is very useful early on, but loses its effectiveness in the late game.
  • Evilutionary Biologist: Invoked with the Ferusian genetic research centers, which are essentially used to create Ferustine-enhanced soldiers who would still be able to get back up and fight after getting killed. You encounter a few severed hands that are still able to fight well enough as a result of this.
  • Eye Scream: Human enemies in the slums, like Badland Vagabonds and Badland Berserkers, will have the skill known as Across the Eyes, where they literally try to slash one of the party members across the eyes, inflicting blindness if they succeed.
  • Genre Savvy: Markus parodies the typical tropes when he’s asked to download the Black List, such flipping through laser cage or an army of robots activating.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: The background for the room where you fight the security drone has what appears to be a blurred picture of a naked woman on one of the walls.
  • Goldfish Poop Gang: Donovan and Garcia are minor example, since you only fight them twice, and the second time only occurs in a certain sidequest. Nevertheless, they’re “right and left hand” of a rival crime boss, who are still quite incompetent and are easily routed each time they’re fought.
  • Good Old Fisticuffs: Locke only fights with his fists, and his character is akin to a modern rendition of a Bare-Fisted Monk, even though he wears a suit at all times and is highly materialistic.
  • Guns Are Useless: Played straight with pistols: Alexis, who starts the game dual-wielding pistols, deals less damage than either Markus or David would with two Switchblades. Downplayed with assault rifles: while they deal less damage than melee weapons of similar tier, they compensate for that due to attacking all enemies at once.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: David is eventually revealed to have been sent to the Slums due to trying to kill his wife’s lover, then carrying out the deed once already inside, hunting the poor guy down for almost a year. He’s said to have considered killing his wife as well, but backed down at the last moment.
  • Grey and Grey Morality: The conflict between Ferusians and the rebels hovers between this and Grey and Black Morality. On one hand, Ferusia is fascist society that deals with crimes ranging from attempted murder to infidelity by deporting everyone into the slums, and is looking to create some sort of cyber-zombies through its Project Ferustine. On the other hand, rebels have a clear With Us or Against Us mentality, treat the civilians they’re supposed to be liberating with open contempt and generally believe that democracy will automatically make things better without bothering with many plans for the future.
    • Markus gets a dialogue option at one point that really says it best: "This place? You think everyone down ‘ere supports you because you’re against the Ferusians? Are you fucking insane? We don’t support you, everything you do makes things harder for us! When you blow up autofarms and autoclaves, how do you think Ferusians ration out food? They sure as shit don’t give us more of it! Fuck! You self-righteous twat! I don’t even need a reason to kill you now!" (begins battle).
    • Same applies to every conflict in the game, actually. Markus and David are typically no better than the people they’re fighting against, and some of those characters (i.e. Jade, or the rebels) are often more sympathetic than they are.
  • Inexplicable Treasure Chests: Downplayed, as they’re encountered very rarely and most of the items are found in the randomly-generated junk piles or people’s lockers and drawers.
  • I Fought the Law and the Law Won: Invoked with Markus. He even says in one of the dialogue options near the end that “You might not agree with the law, but you still can’t just break it for fun!”
  • Infant Immortality: Averted in one of Alexis’ flashbacks, where a young girl gets shot in front of her. The way the scene is shot leaves it ambiguous whether it was a soldier next to her who did the deed, or Alexis herself.
  • Insecurity Camera: Downplayed. The cameras in the Scott Building to tend to rotate around, but it never prevents them from noticing things in front of them, and the only way to pass by them is through shutting off the CCTV in a different area.
  • Insistent Terminology: Grenades are never referred in their item description by their full name, and are always just called “Nade”.
  • Insurmountable Waist-High Fence: Your characters are unable to go over things like upturned chairs or stacks of bottles on the floor.
  • Item Crafting: Upgraded versions of common equipment can be synthesized by certain weaponsmiths. For instance, a regular Two-Handed Sword can be turned into a Claymore with the addition of some scrap metal, or a basic pistol can be turned into a Ferusian PMM in a similar manner.
  • Money Spider: Averted. Defeated animals don’t drop any credits, and even humans aren’t guaranteed to have any on them.
  • Mook Medic: The Rebel Medic enemies, capable of using First Aid to heal their compatriots. Ferusian military instead uses Medical and Repair Droids to aid human soldiers and other droids, respectively.
    • Shoot the Medic First: This ability also makes them into primary targets for your party, as they can swiftly cancel out a turn’s worth of damage with a single heal.
  • Multiple Endings: Three of them, although one is technically an upgraded version of a canon ending. Essentially, you either help the rebels incite mass protests by uploading information about Project Ferustine for everyone to see, or you refuse to work with them and break out of their base towards an uncertain future.
  • No-Gear Level: One occurs at the very end of the game if you refuse to work for the rebels and they imprison you because of it. Once you break out, you can only use the starting weapons to fight the high-tier enemies who’ll greet you there.
  • No OSHA Compliance: Invoked in the gun shop, where there’s an oil drum next to the ammunition crates, and examining it results in a comment about how unsafe that is.
  • Optional Sexual Encounter: Available in the Eastern Slums, where there’s both a dedicated brothel and a flat where two bunny-suited prostitutes work on their own. Both will restore all health and MP, just like a stay at an inn, and Markus will even comment “This is better than a night’s sleep” when he’s done. Plus, going to the flat is actually cheaper (by 5 credits) than just staying at an inn.
  • Palette Swap: Done to every human enemy variation. Badland Berserkers are visually just blue-tinted version of Badland Vagabonds. Ferusian Grenadiers look identical to Ferusian Privates, except that their uniform is gold and purple instead of silver and green, while the Captain is all steel. Rebel Medics and Captains are green and blue-tinted versions of Scout Shotgunners, although Captains also have a moustached face pasted on.
  • The Password Is Always "Swordfish": Invoked at the end, where the password for hacking into the security system is a programmer’s date of birth. You discover this through an email conversation where said programmer is mocked for doing so.
  • Rose-Haired Sweetie: Averted with Jade. She’s still one of the most sympathetic characters in the game, treating Markus and David with fair sense of humour and even apologetic when you’re forced to fight her on the train., but she’s definitely not sweet, especially to the people she despises.
  • Side Quest: Plenty are available from the very start of the game, and which are added to a “To Do List” alongside the main quests. Their entries in the to do list also usually have a snarky comment or two from Markus.
  • Stat Stick: This can happen when characters are dual-wielding weapons and are using skills specific to swords, pistols or axes. Those only require one such weapon to be equipped and it’s possible to have a powerful off-hand weapon of a different type still act to enhance the skill power. This works best with the Taser, which increases attack power by 25, thus being the most powerful one-handed weapon.
  • Stripperiffic: Magtown Lashers fought briefly during a side-quest are dressed in stripper-like attires, as well as fighting with whips.
  • Suspiciously Cracked Wall: Hollowed-out crosses on sewer walls, which can be shattered with a sledgehammer to reveal some goodies.
  • Take Your Time: There’s a segment on a train that will supposedly crash anytime soon, yet it is not timed at all, and it is possible to pace around to regenerate your group’s stamina before tackling on each set of guards.
  • Trauma Inn: Played straight, as a stay at the inn will restore all health and SP. Moreover, the checkpoints in towns are located at the inns and ONLY at the inns, ostensibly to discourage Save Scumming for the lockpicking sections.
  • Trick Boss: The Ferusian Captain, who is fought before the real boss of the section, Jade.
  • Tyke-Bomb: Invoked in the Eastern Slums Inn, where you can talk to the drunken philosopher who relays rumours about how scientists now plan to use magic stones they found to create super soldiers that obey commands perfectly from young ages. He turns out to be mostly right, as these are the aims of the Project Ferustine.
  • Vendor Trash: Tin Lunchboxes, Thumb Tacks and rolls of Parcel Tape are the three “Sellable” items that have no use besides being sold at the shops for a pitiful sum of credits. The only time they have a quest significance is when Markus can deliver Thumb Tacks alongside a couple of crafting items to a man in the starting slum, and receive a Nail Gun in return.
  • Yaoi Fangirl: A woman in the porn shop in the starting area, who’ll only say “Where’s the freaking yaoi stuff?” when you try to talk to her.


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