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Video Game / Steelrising

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Fight the king's army of automatons and pierce Paris's shroud of mystery

"Aegis? The king must be stopped."

Steelrising is an Action-Souls-like RPG created by Spiders. Its plot takes place in an alternate history during The French Revolution in which King Louis XVI managed to suppress the revolution with an army of robots called automats.

Paris, 1789. The revolution has failed. The streets of Paris are drenched in the blood of revolutionaries, mercilessly slaughtered by the king's army of automats. You are Aegis, a mechanical masterpiece created by the engineer Vaucanson to be the bodyguard of the queen. Will you be able to save the revolution and end the king's Reign of Terror?

The game was released on September 8th, 2022 and is available for Playstation 5, Xbox Series X|S and on PC.

Contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Alchemy Is Magic: The Elemental Weapons Aegis and the Automats use is explained as alchemy. There's also the alchemy that extracts souls to make the automats.
  • Alternate History: The premise of the game is basically "what if Louis XVI brutally suppressed The French Revolution with a mystically-powered clockwork army instead of fleeing the country like a coward?". Further playing into this, Alessandro Cagliostro is capable of actual mysticism in-universe, and is part of the Big Bad Duumvirate instead of being banished from France by Louis XVI in 1786. Marie Antoinette actually lives to see the monarch getting deposed and a new king put in his place, and to make it a three-fer, the player's actions can also avert the Reign of Terror by installing the Maquis de Lafayette or Mirabeau as regent instead of Maximilien de Robespierre.
  • Arc Words: "What Vaucanson has done, only Vaucanson can undo." As Eugène de Vaucanson is the original creator of the automats, Marie-Antoinette sends Aegis to find him and make him stop the army. With The Reveal that the soul animating Aegis is Eugène's daughter, Athénaïs, it becomes apparent the Vaucanson to stop the automats is Aegis herself.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: Zig-zagged. Louis the XVI is undeniably the villain of the story, having brutally suppressed the revolution using his machines and letting his automats run havoc in the streets of Paris. His wife Marie Antoinette on the other hand is portrayed in a sympathetic light, being horrified of what her husband has become and asking Aegis to stop him.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Applies in a rather unusual way. Aegis' intricately-drawn makeup and styled hair will remain perfectly spotless regardless of how many times she's smashed into muddy ground, set on fire, or blown up by explosives, whether during gameplay or cutscenes.
  • Bifauxnen: Aegis' armor collections are inspired by men's fashion of the period.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: The 'Clockwork Tyrant' Louis XVI and his Evil Sorcerer advisor, the Comte di Cagliostro, are an equal partnership as the main source of France and its colonies' misery, shoring up a brutal, exploitative global empire against its discontented subjects through the bloody application of Powered by a Forsaken Child Magitek.
  • Blade Below the Shoulder: All of Aegis's weapons are stored on (or in) hardpoints on her forearms when not in use, but Claws and Fans stay attached to her arms even when she's attacking with them.
  • Character Customization: At the start of the game, the player can change Aegis' appearance to whatever they like, deciding on her wig (hair), material (arms) and face (skin-tone).
  • Chess Motifs: The main bosses of the game are given chess piece motifs with their achievements. The Bishop of the Cité and the Selenite of the Louvre are the Bishops. The Alchemist of Luxembourg and the Treasurer of Les Invalides are the Rooks. The Centaur of Montmarte and the Executioner of the Bastille are the Knights. The final piece is the Iron Queen, who represents the Queen.
  • Combat Hand Fan: Bladed metal fans are one of the weapon categories available to Aegis, with the Armoured Fans (which have the Block special move) being starting equipment for the Dancer class. They have the second-highest attack speed, Dexterity stat scaling, and Immobilisation buildup of the weapon categories after Claws, and the second lowest per-hit damage and Impact (on-hit stagger), making them useful for fast, agile gameplay and racking up critical hits without completely giving up on immediate striking power and stunlocking enemies.
  • Counter-Attack: Exactly What It Says on the Tin for specific weapons with this trait, which allow Aegis to riposte by activating their special functions in time with the enemy's attack. There are several modules that facilitate this play style as well. Certain enemy types will also do this to you if Aegis happens to land a hit when they're blocking or telegraphed for a counter.
  • Clock Punk: Downplayed. The setting is an alternate history Paris that has doll-like robots roaming through its streets, the protagonist is a robot herself and uses weapons that utilize cogs and gears. One of them even being a literal giant pocket-watch used as a flail. But apart from the robots, nothing much has changed about Paris with the technology mostly being used to create metallic soldiers with intricate patterns and designs.
  • Clockwork Creature: The automats are all machines of the cogs and wheels variety. Unfortunately for the citizens of Paris, they're advanced enough to have no need for a Wind-Up Key.
  • Covers Always Lie: A common promotional image used as the game's box art shows Aegis wielding a Foil and Armored Fan. As these are two separate weapon classes, no such configuration exists in the game proper - the best that can be said is that it might be a nod to the fact that you can swap between two equipped weapons (such as the Armoured Fans and the Foil and Dagger).
  • Dance Battler: Aegis was created to dance before the royals repurposed her as a fighter, so her attack animations are very graceful and can look like elaborate dance moves.
  • Easy-Mode Mockery: Turning on Assist mode will significantly streamline and simplify the combat experience, but will also prevent most of the relevant achievements from unlocking.
  • Empty Room Psych: Many of the automats have a nasty tendency to pose as statues or hide behind barrels, crates or other assorted props, then jump Aegis when she comes close.
  • Evil Chancellor: The last person in King Louis' good graces by the time of the game is the Comte de Cagliostro, a mystic intent on advancing his own power and wealth at France's expense. Notably, while he's an absolutely appalling person who makes a habit of encouraging authority figures to engage in greater evil for his own personal gain, he's more of an enabler of existing cruelties and injustices than the true source of villainy in pre-revolutionary France. In particular, he and the king form a fairly balanced Big Bad Duumvirate.
  • Fashionable Asymmetry: All of Aegis' foot armor. She always wears a boot on her left and a matching shoe on her right. Much like her bare arms and Sexy Backless Outfit, this is to leave equipment like her grappling hook unobstructed.
  • Fembot: Aegis' appearance, voice and mannerisms are very feminine, making her stand out from the other automat who were built to be little more than killing machines.
  • Flechette Storm: Weapons with the Flying Knives trait can do this as their special function.
  • Grappling-Hook Pistol: The Bishop's Hook, an upgrade Aegis gets for beating the Bishop of the Cité boss.
  • Gratuitous French: Naturally, with the story set in an alternate historical Paris. Character dialogue features heavy accents, and very frequently includes French words or phrases, with translation provided in brackets.
  • Heal Thy Self: Instead of the standard Healing Potion, Aegis heals with oil either from single-use vials, or an Estus Flask-like reusable burette.
  • Heroic Suicide: At the end of the story, Aegis decides to free Athénaïs de Vaucanson from the soul syphoning machine, losing the soul keeping her alive in doing so.
  • Historical Domain Character: Naturally, a story taking place in the French Revolution is going to feature most of the central figures of that time period.
  • Karma Houdini: Whereas Louis XVI still got his head lopped off like in reality, Cagliostro just seemed to vanish after Aegis destroyed the Iron Queen and thwarted his attempt on Athénaïs' life.
  • Knight Templar: King Louis XVI is determined to defend his throne and his absolute power at any cost, and believes he has the ability to grant his subjects immortality.
  • Machine Monotone: Aegis' dialogue is delivered like this, due to her being an artificial construct.
  • Meaningful Name: Aegis has two; "Aegis" is a divine shield in Classical Mythology, fitting for a bodyguard. The de Vaucansons called her "Ludia", the feminine form of "Ludius", a Roman term for a gladiator or a performer. Both apply to Aegis.
  • Motive Rant: Louis rants at some length at the end of the game when he is about to be guillotined. He explains that he watched his mom and dad die when he was a kid, his sister when he was not much older, his daughter and then his son when he was king, and he had grown to both hate death and find no pleasure at all in life. So, he vowed to beat death and bestow immortality on his subjects.
  • Multiple Endings: Three in total, with the most significant difference being the individual who would become regent to Henri V. Depending on how many side quests the player has completed and how, either the Maquis de Lafayette or Maximilien de Robespierre (if none of Lafayette's quests were done at all) will win the position. If the player did complete Lafayette's quests but revealed his part in the conspiracy, Mirabeau will become regent instead.
  • New Game Plus: As is staple for many Souls-like titles, Steelrising also allows for this after beating the game once. Enemies are appropriately stronger in New Game+ and also drop more Anima energy accordingly, though the level caps for Aegis and her weapons' upgrades are also raised to match. That said, the added challenge only applies once and will not scale any further beyond that, unlike in typical Souls-like fashion.
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: The automats are powered by human souls. The souls powering the bosses and Aegis herself come from the King's enemies being shut inside a coffin-like mechanism to extract their souls, painfully but non-lethally.
  • Properly Paranoid: Marat believes that long before the crisis of Louis's attack, Lafayette had an elaborate plan to raise the National Guard and put himself at its head for his own glorification. And it turns out that Marat is completely and totally correct — Aegis can find documents proving exactly that. It's not quite as bad as Marat thinks (he believes Lafayette deliberately sacrificed the men in the National Guard who were slaughtered by Louis's automats, and that's apparently not true), but he's accurate in the broad strokes.
  • Psychometry: Aegis can see memories by touching personal items.
  • Ridiculously Human Robot: Aegis, for good reason. Since she was to be an artificial dancer first and foremost, and not built for war like the other Automats, de Vaucanson designed her to be as articulate and lifelike as possible to suit her functions, as well as to give his daughter Athénaïs a companion she could bond with. Her remarkable sentience is later revealed to be an effect of Athénaïs' soul driving her body, making her a "human robot" in all but name.
  • Sexy Backless Outfit: All of Aegis's outfits are backless in order to allow her coolant system to operate freely without freezing/burning anything unnecessary. While her segmented ceramic 'skin' and exposed machinery mean that 'sexy' is a bit of an overstatement, it does make her look more elegant and ladylike.
  • Super Drowning Skills: Being a robot, Aegis cannot swim. Falling into the water is instant death.
  • Token Heroic Orc: The protagonist Aegis is the only automat fighting for the revolution and the people, on behalf of her mistress Marie Antoinette. Not coincidentally she is also the most human-looking automat in the game.
  • Tragic Monster: Many of the bosses are this in spades, of special note is the optional fight against the Royal Orpheus, Marie's own son killed by the king and Cagliostro in a botched Magitek medical procedure and brought back as an automat with an extending snake-like head.
    • Arguably Louis himself, who is driven to try and create undying life by the tragedies of his younger days.
  • Wolverine Claws: Claws are another weapon-type for Aegis - they're sets of forearm-mounted blades that (unusually for this trope) are used more for stabbing than slashing. They have the fastest attack speed, highest Dexterity scaling, and best Immobilisation buildup of any weapons in the game, but have low-to-nonexistent Strength scaling and the least Impact (on-hit stagger) of any weapon type, meaning that you absolutely cannot rely on stunlocking anything but the weediest enemies and have to rely on hit-and-run tactics instead.
  • Virtual Paper Doll: Aside from her equipment Aegis can be visually customized by altering her complexion, her wig and makeup.


Video Example(s):



It's plot takes place in an alternate history during The French Revolution in which King Louis the XVI managed to suppress the revolution with an army of robots called automatons.

Paris, 1789. The revolution has failed. The streets of Paris are drenched in the blood of revolutionaries, mercilessly slaughtered by the king's army of automatons. You are Aegis, a mechanical masterpiece created by the engineer Vaucanson to be the bodyguard of the queen. Will you be able to save the revolution and end the king's Reign of Terror?

How well does it match the trope?

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Example of:

Main / SoulsLikeRPG

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