Steppenwolf plays like a classic adventure game with the player exploring an environment, gathering/combining items, then using them to solve puzzles which would open up new areas and/or advance the plot. Depending on the episode, the player controls either Meg or Steppenwolf (depending on the chapter) each of whom have slightly different functions. Meg receives emails from various supporting characters which may contain hints or provide background information that helps further the plot. Steppenwolf has a GPS system that functions as a mini-map, giving details on the area and alerting the player to potential threats and enemies. Some episodes also include action segments involving platforming or avoiding various foes, and the final episode of each chapter always focuses on attempting to subdue one of the cryptids.
Whats notable about the game is the sheer amount of depth the creators put into the story and visuals by the standards of Flash games, with fully-voiced cinematics, many context-specific animations, detailed backgrounds, and a surprisingly engaging Myth Arc that spans the twenty-four episodes.
Unfortunately, sometime in the mid-2000s, Warner Bros. took down the site. While the playable episodes can still be found freely available on various online game sites and the Wayback Machine, the numerous biographies and cinematics for the game are quite difficult to find now. All cinematics and many of the biographies can be found on Wayback, but due to broken links and inconsistent URL naming conventions navigating them can be quite difficult.
Not to be confused with the band of the same name.
Steppenwolf: The X-Creatures Project contains examples of:
- Action Girl: Meg Crimson.
- Aerosol Flamethrower: Used in the Yeti Episode.
- The Alcoholic: McAllister.
- Antagonist Title: The individual chapters are all named after the X-Creature the player hunts over the course of the chapter.
- Arc Villain: While Reggie Donovan remains the consistent Big Bad throughout the series, the first chapter sees the main threat in the form of the natives who worship the Mokele Membe, the second chapter has a Tibetan militia looking for the Yeti, and the fourth and fifth have their own villains (respectively, the Dagger League and the Brotherhood) during Donovan's Enemy Mine with Steppenwolf. Derek also serves as this in the first two chapters.
- Badass Normal: Steppenwolf, Meg, and the Albino.
- Bad Boss: Reggie kills his own men once he turns into the Heruka.
- Beware the Silly Ones: Despite his goofy hairstyle, serving as Plucky Comic Relief, and frequent Damsel in Distress and Butt-Monkey status, Derek works for the Donovan Corporation and is a dangerous man who has no qualms with killing Buddhist monks, and would have killed Meg and Steppenwolf were it not for the Yeti's intervention.
- Bittersweet Ending: Steppenwolf kills Donovan and avenges Shelley's death, and the Donovan Corporation's island compound goes up in flames along with all evidence of the X-Creatures Project. However, Meg and Steppenwolf are separated once again as she sails to safety with Sanchez, though Meg hopes she'll see him again someday.
- Butt-Monkey: Derek in the first chapter manages to get shot with poisoned arrows, knocked out with gas, imprisoned, cut with knives in preparation for a sacrificial ritual, nearly sacrificed to a dinosaur, and has to carry heavy luggage. Takes a dark turn at the start of the second chapter when he apparently is killed.
- Cliffhanger Copout: The final scene of Chapter 5-3 has the Albino indicating that he is going to attack the Brotherhood himself rather than leave the matter to Steppenwolf. In the next episode, he doesn't arrive until they have already been defeated and the blood sample obtained.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: While his father was the founder of the X-Creatures Project and responsible for the cover-up of the Heruka incident, Reggie Donovan is by all evidence far worse than he ever was. He turned Alan's wife into the bloodthirsty Heruka, tries to stop anyone who comes close to discovering the X-Creatures Project by sending the Albino after them, disturbs the habitat of several strange animals, and has numerous people killed, threatened or blackmailed, all in his quest for immortality.
- Decoy Protagonist: Meg Crimson. While she does eventually become the deuteragonist, the story is very much about Steppenwolf and his past with the X-Creatures project and the Donovan Corporation.
- Deadpan Snarker: Steppenwolf and Meg.
- Defector from Decadence: Octavio Sanchez, who used to work for the X-Creatures Project, helps Meg in her ambitions to expose Donovan.
- The Dragon/The Heavy: The Albino to Donovan.
- Enemy Mine: Steppenwolf and Meg reluctantly give up the first few blood samples and team up with Donovan to collect the last two as going along with his plan is the only way to possibly rescue Shelley, although they make an effort to get out of it in the fourth chapter.
- Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Averted with Steppenwolf, aka Dr. Alan Kane. Meg sometimes calls him by his real name. Played straight with the Albino.
- Evil Albino: Donovan's bodyguard/personal assassin is one, and is named as such.
- Expy: Olaf is pretty obviously inspired by Ahab. He wants revenge on the Kraken because it took one of his legs.
- Fanservice Extra: A busty nurse is shown applying some sort of concoction to Donovan's face.
- Gory Discretion Shot: One potential death scene involves Meg on a conveyer belt, rapidly making her way towards a few saw blades. Should she fail to jump in time, there will be a cutscene of her horrified reaction, but thankfully, nothing of her being cut to bits.
- High-Voltage Death: How Meg tries to do in the Albino, and how Steppenwolf successfully kills him.
- Immortality Immorality: Donovan is a sufferer of Werner's Syndrome, and seeks to cure it by injecting himself with a DNA cocktail of various cryptids. He uses Steppenwolf's wife, Shelly, as his personal guinea pig, testing the original samples on her and transforming her into a violent, flesh-eating beast known as the Heruka.
- Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: Reggie's guards have terrible aim, as seen in the chapter 6 prologue.
- Knight of Cerebus: While the plot is never exactly light, the mercenaries in the second chapter are far more threatening and effective than the natives in the first and the chapter darker in tone, and the stakes are always much higher when the Albino is around.
- Large Ham: Reggie, especially in the final season.
- MacGyvering: Steppenwolf is a master of this trope.
- Mega-Corp: The Donovan Corporation who own the World Geographical Magazine, perform genetic experiments in the Antarctic and own their own private island complete with a security force, cryogenics facilities, and nuclear submarines.
- Monster of the Week: Each chapter has two: the titular X-Creature and an antagonistic human group that hinders the protagonists.
- Non-Malicious Monster: The eponymous X-creatures are really nothing more than animals that have gone unseen by most people. While the Mokele Membe and the Heruka appear to be genuinely hostile, the Yeti and the Kraken actively avoid human contact and the Chupacabra only attacks those marked by the Brotherhood.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Derek, Meg's Butt-Monkey partner, is actually The Mole for the Donovan Corporation, sent to acquire the blood samples of cryptids.
- Only Known By His Nickname: The Albino.
- Our Cryptids Are More Mysterious: Featured in this game are the following: the Mokele Mbembe, the Yeti, the Kraken, and the Chupacabra.
- Rasputinian Death: Reggie. In the final episode, he becomes the Nigh Invulnerable Heruka. He is in no particular order trapped beneath pylons, shot at with a cannon, forced into a cloud of steam, shot with a cannon again, and finally, electrocuted by exposed wires and shot yet again, and finally destroyed.
- Wham Episode: Chapter 3 as a whole provides the first major info dump on Steppenwolf's backstory and the X-Creatures Project of the past as well as the current conspiracy by Donovan.
- Wham Line: "And from the creature emerges the creator!" Cue Steppenwolf punching Reggie in the face.