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Video Game / Streets of Rogue

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Streets of Rogue is a real-time Roguelike-ish PC game set in a Wretched Hive of a city filled with crooks and governed by a corrupt mayor; the player, an agent of the The Resistance, is sent to climb the city and assassinate him.

Or at least that's the plan. In practice, procedural mayhem and wanton death is more likely to ensure. The player can use explosives, burn down buildings, flood air vents with poison gas, shoot up both banks and drug dens, and generally cause ridiculous amounts of chaos in an urban environment.

The game is billed as a cross between roguelikes and Immersive Sim games, such as Deus Ex. While there is permadeath, the layout of the game is very unusual by the standards of traditional roguelikes. Upon loading up the level, the game generates a few missions for the player to complete: upon failure or success of all of these missions, the game allows the player to head to the next floor. The game encourages multiple solutions to every problem, and the game's many systems facilitate this: why blow open a wall to get inside a room, for example, when you can cut out the window, teleport into the room, or lure everyone outside and sneak in while they're oblivious? There are dozens of items to play around with and quite a few different character classes, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. Finding the solution to a problem that also results in victory is where the real difficulty of the game lies, as a single mistake can spell the end of your run or cost you more than you can make up for.


The game's homepage can be found here, and it can also be found on Steam. The game left early access and released on consoles as well as PC July 12th, 2019.

A sequel was confirmed to be coming "eventually", after starting life as a massive expansion that ballooned out of control, and will feature dungeons, more tilesets, new obstacles and characters, a world map, vehicles and (relatively) sane driving AI as well as a world building tools to make your own maps. The current ETA for release is some time in 2022.

No relation to Streets of Rage, and the title is a mere Shout-Out as the genre are wildly different.


Tropes found in the game include:

  • Action Bomb: When playing as the Slavemaster, you can send your slaves anywhere you want. You also have an item to detonate their Explosive Leash whenever you want. Do the math.
  • All Crimes Are Equal: Commit a crime in front of a cop and the penalty is death, regardless of whether you've just murdered somebody or tried to hack into an ATM. Averted with the police bots in Uptown, who will either confiscate your drugs and alcohol or deport you if you're not a citizen, and only become violent if you attack first.
  • The All-Seeing A.I.: If an NPC is in "alert" because of property damage caused by you, it doesn't matter how indirect it was or how far away you were when the actual damage happened they'll realize you as the source and turn hostile if they see you when the ? is still over their head, even in situations as wild as the Alien sending a mind slave to pick a fight, or the demolitionist setting off all of his bombs and returning to see the carnage.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: Cannibals and Zombies (unless you're a Zombie yourself) will ALWAYS attack you on sight. There is a perk that keeps cannibals from attacking on sight.
  • Anti-Escape Mechanism: There are many items that can keep enemies from escaping, such bear traps and dizzying grenades. An interesting variant comes up in the terrain generation in later levels (or anywhere with the mixed-up floors mutation) in the form of large indestructible barriers that the police can raise when alarmed, quarantining their target (often you) to a small area where avoiding a shootout can be difficult.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • When playing as the Cop, criminals will have the "Guilty" added beneath their name to indicate people you can safely arrest or kill. In addition, all mission-relevant NPCs (including sidequests) are automatically tagged Guilty, so there's no worries about losing XP just for progressing the game.
    • If one of your quests becomes unwinnable (for instance, if someone you need to rescue dies), it'll be marked as a failure and you'll get no rewards, but you'll still be allowed to proceed as if you completed it, preventing the player from getting stuck due to a freak accident.
    • The "Status Effects in the Air" Disaster will never give anyone poison or acid, to keep from players, escort missions and targets randomly dying by attrition.
    • When playing as a Cannibal, you normally cannot use your Eat ability when at full health. Since its purpose is to recover your health, you normally wouldn't want to, with one exception: the Cannibal's Big Quest requires them to eat one specific class of person on each level. In order to stop players from having to intentionally damage themselves, the restriction on eating people while at full health is waived when eating your current Big Quest target.
    • The game takes a few steps to avoid frustrations with normal roguelike macrogames.
      • You can turn off items and perks you don't want showing up as rewards during the game from home base. Got a perk you know you'll never use? take it out of rotation. Item you don't like? It won't show up as a mission reward.
      • Adding modifiers doesn't prevent progress unless it's "sandbox", meaning if you want to make a few tweaks to make the game more playable for you, like removing disasters every 3rd level or giving weapons infinite uses, you can do so without worry.
      • There is a machine that will let you pay money to remove or reroll perks. Get a bad lineup of perks from your level-up and want to change it? for around $200-300 you can convert it to another random perk, or if you pick one that ends up being detrimental, such as not making noise when hitting walls and realizing you really need to draw attention without angering everybody, then you can swap it or just remove it.
      • There's a "loadout-o-matic" vending machine that will give you a chance to buy your starting items from it. On some, like slum dweller, it's simply useful but on others, like doctor's tranq gun or bartender's mixing kit, you can lose some essential items for your character, bartender needs his mixing kit to work as intended and the doctor's big quest relies on not killing people as well as their super class letting you get as much ammo as you want for the tranq gun, you can buy them back for a cost.
      • Reaching the 99 cap on chicken nuggets turns the rewards from random NPC missions on levels into item rewards like main level missions, so you don't feel like you have to pass them up entirely because they're not worth your while once you're not spending nuggets.
  • Artistic License – Chemistry: For some odd reason, you can place anything that's considered a "drug" into an air purifier, and it will suddenly leak as gas throughout the building it was attached to. This can include "sugar", muscly pills, and cigarettes.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: A Giantizer pill lets you temporarily turn into one of these, smashing any walls in your path. This is part of the Scientist class starting loadout.
  • Auto-Revive: Drinking the Resurrection Shampoo grants you a status effect that will revive you once when you die.
  • An Axe to Grind: A powerful melee weapon, and part of the Cannibal class starting loadout.
  • Banana Peel: You can get it after eating a banana; people who step on it will trip and become stunned for a moment. Killing someone with this unlockes the Comedian class.
  • Bandit Mook: The Thief NPCs will try to pickpocket your items from behind.
  • Batter Up!: Baseball bats are one of the most common melee weapons in the game. Also, the Jock starts with one.
  • Black-and-Grey Morality: The Mayor's government is a brutal totalitarian regime with legalized slavery, massive wealth disparity between the rich and poor, widespread Police Brutality, and more. But the Resistance, spearheaded by the player, can (and often must, depending on your assigned missions) murder, assault, and steal from many seemingly-innocent people, perform widespread property damage, release convicted criminals onto the street, and perform many other acts of Video Game Cruelty Potential besides. Some of the playable classes with more violent quests (such as the Assassin, Shapeshifter, and Zombie) can hedge into outright Evil vs. Evil. The end of the game, when the player usurps the government, lampshades this in spades, with your character either eventually becoming just as bad as the previous Mayor or being The Caligula right from the start, depending on your previous actions.
  • Body Horror: In order to make the fire department better at their job, the mayor ordered that every firefighter should have one of their arms replaced by a water cannon. The firefighter's consent is not required.
  • Boring, but Practical: The Assassin, Doctor, and Vampire all require somebody to have their back turned to use their specials to their fullest, and the game seems aware of this (hence why there are so many people walking around, including officers with itchy trigger fingers). Despite this, said classes are easy to use and their abilities are expected to be frequently used.
    • The Soldier, the Shopkeeper and both Gangsters lack any game-breaking quirks or abilities, have no significant downsides, and start with decent equipment and a firearm for dealing damage at a distance.
    • Placing any drug into an air purifier will cause the inhabitants to run out, even if the effect is beneficial. This can be used to either force a target to get out into the open, or walk into the building while the inhabitants can't see you.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Averted. All types of firearms, including futuristic ones like Shrink Rays, have limited ammo, though there are multiple ways of replenishing it. The game is also a rare case where enemies do not benefit from this trope; they'll run out of ammo just like the player does after enough shots.
    • Played Straight by the Killer Robot enemy, though, whose rocket launcher never runs dry note .
    • This is also played straight if the Unlimited Ammo mutation is turned on at Home Base.
  • Bowdlerise: Backstories of Gangster (Crepe) and Gangster (Blahd) originally mentioned fornication, but it was censored for console releases.
  • The Can Kicked Him: The Wrestler can pick up toilets and throw it at an enemy. A thrown toilet will poison the enemy while dealing damage, probably from unclean water.
  • Cannibal Clan: A constance presence throughout the Parks district. Staying far away from them unless you have the Cool With Cannibals trait (or are a Cannibal yourself) is highly recommended. They also like to set bear traps and hide in bushes to ambush unsuspecting players.
  • Cast From Hitpoints: The Zombie's active ability damages you slightly when used.
  • The Charmer: The Bartender class begins with this trait, which makes most of the NPCs in any given level friendly towards you by default. The Vampire class starts the game with the Cologne item, which has the same effect but lasts only one level. The Comedian is a slightly different take on this; his jokes can charm people into becoming his allies or even followers, but sometimes backfire and make them into enemies instead.
  • Chromosome Casting: There are no explicitly stated female characters in this game aside from a single resistance leader in the base. Some backstories or tooltips mention females or spouses, though. note 
  • Corrupt Politician: The Mayor, the Big Bad of the game. He confiscated all the alcohol in the city to hold a giant party... and the party sucked - consisting of a single keg and a bag of tortilla chips.
  • Crapsack World: The place sucks. Bystander Syndrome is in full effect, the government is corrupt and doesn't care, and professionals are hilariously unreliable. While not super common, it's not rare to see fights break out on their own, and even escalate without outside input. This is in addition to the random disasters that randomly occur that all seem to be man-made, such as radiation storms and random bombings.
  • Cutting the Knot: Encouraged. Why go through the hassle of sneaking through a base to get a code for a safe when you can just remotely hack a computer and open it yourself?
  • Dance Party Ending: Everyone listening to your speech after becoming Mayor dances to the credits music.
  • Developers' Foresight:
    • The tutorial covers all its bases.
      • Punch the door down instead of opening it like you're instructed to? The Resistance Leader responds in amazement.
      • Kill the shopkeeper you're supposed to purchase a key from? His corpse will drop the key, and the Resistance Leader responds appropriately.
      • Kill the friendly bouncer who serves as the tutorial's living punching bag instead of tranquilizing him? The leader's suitably annoyed.
      • Try to tranquilize the leader instead? He's wearing protective thermal underwear, you see.
      • Throw a rock at the leader after he just made you walk through an explosive tripwire? Admits he probably deserved that.
      • Purposely throw all your rocks away such that you can't safely disarm the second explosive tripwire from a distance? He asks if you're trying to break the tutorial or something.
      • Smart enough to step away from the generator that's clearly about to explode? He's disappointed that you're not a total schmuck.
    • The game proper has some interesting examples as well.
      • The doctor can't use their ability to knock out Gas Mask Mooks because it relies on the victim inhaling chemical fumes.
      • Security cameras can't detect moving boxes. Hacking them shows they're completely A.I. in universe and can recognize owners and non-owners, but apparently it's ability to recognize and distinguish humans also means it can distinguish non-humanoids and chooses to ignore them.
      • One kind of Cop Bot will attempt to confiscate all the player's alcohol and drugs. If the player attempts to use a drug or alcohol while the Cop Bot is asking the player to do so, the Cop Bot will turn hostile, saying "Nice try!"
      • Cannibals will not eat gorillas or shapeshifters, because they're that committed to only eating human meat. Another cannibal one is that their Big Quest on zombie disaster levels is automatically cleared because of the likely chance of their target being zombified upon death, which changes their class as a result.
      • If a level's disaster is Zombies or a Killer Robot, the death of the last zombie (and all infected people) or the death of the killer robot will cause the level's disaster status to end - allowing players to teleport again.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: Quite a few characters.
    • The Hacker is able to manipulate computers better than anyone else in the game, and can even hack from a distance for free, but is fragile, does poorly in combat, and is bad with weapons. Paired with someone who can dish out damage, he can poke weak spots in enemy strongholds and make him and his comrades's lives much easier.
    • The Comedian has one notable ability: he can tell a joke to a crowd, who will either like or dislike it. If enough people like him, he gets free followers, and thus can become extremely powerful in later levels.
    • Well played, the Investment Banker will be rolling in cash and constantly buffed by drugs. Badly played, he'll be struggling to pay his debts and drugs and constantly dealing with withdrawal.
  • Dirty Cop: The police force in the city is so corrupt and easily bribed it's laughable. For a price, they will ignore any criminal activity you carry out during the current level (although they will become hostile if you attack them, obviously). There's even a sign in the Slums that flat-out says that if the crime isn't committed in front of them, it might as well have never happened.
  • Drop the Hammer: The Sledgehammer is a rare melee weapon and the most powerful, being able to turn to hamburger most foes.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: In-Universe, a possible reaction from NPC's to the Comedian´s jokes. People who dislike your jokes will become permanently annoyed at you (they won't attack you, but you won't be able to interact with them. Annoyed property owners will also demand you leave).
  • Dumb Jock: The Jock, obviously. He's all about wanton property damage, but can't use a computer to save his life.
  • Dumb Muscle: The Wrestler. Has tons of HP and hits like a train in melee, but the only use he has for computers is to use them as throwing weapons.
  • Easy Level Trick: The Killer Robot hazard is intended to be a classic case of "Run or die." It's packing a rocket launcher with nearly unlimited ammo,note  takes nearly no knockback, and boasts a prodigious health pool of 3000, easily exceeding any other NPC in the game; fighting it head on is nearly suicidal. However, it is EXTREMELY slow, and it will always walk in a direct line towards the player unless something obstructs it. As such, all you need to do to kill it is lure it into a building with a flame trap on the wall, and watch as the metallic menace blindly and repeatedly walks directly into the stream of fire until it dies.
  • 11th-Hour Superpower: Completing the Big Quest of a class turns it into a "super" variant of said class new abilities or buffs, most of them not that useful since the quest ends once your reach the Mayor's Village (the last level). However, a mutator allows you to play with the "super" variants.
  • Elite Mooks: Later levels have Supergoons and Supercops, which are stronger than ordinary goons and cops. Supercops also equip better guns like a shotgun or revolver and can't be bribed like normal cops.
  • EMP: The EMP Grenade can disable electronics and robots.
  • Eternal Recurrence: At the ending when the player becomes the new mayor, the text says he becomes corrupt and events repeated themselves in an infinite loop which came to be known as "the circle of life".
  • Explosive Instrumentation: The Hacker with the Cybernuke trait can blow up most electronics with his hacking ability. And there is the Explodevice item, which allows players to blow up ALL nearby electronics.
  • Explosive Leash: The Slavemaster can turn any NPC into their slave by placing of these on them.
  • Fantastic Drug: Drugs in this game are totally fictional, except alcohols and cigarettes. Interestingly, the original name of Sugar was Cocaine, but it was renamed during the development.
  • Fantastic Racism: Gorillas are very intelligent, but this is a result of experiments on them by scientists. Unless you're in multiplayer and have two characters playing each class, then gorillas and scientists will always be hostile towards each other.
  • Fatal Fireworks: The Fireworks item is a box with many fireworks. Once placed, it will shoot 10 rockets in random directions. Using this item inside buildings is a great way to cause destruction and deaths.
  • The Fettered: The Cop, who has the ability to take down unsuspecting people from any angle with only a small use bar (and loud noises from the cuffs) in the way. However, he's the only person who can lose XP, in this case by stealing from, attacking, arresting, or killing innocents. A trait that can show up is "Crooked", which removes this penalties while keeping the bonus for dealing with guilty. (Note that for some reason, chests and safes don't count)
  • Fighter, Mage, Thief: Most (but not all) classes fall into one of these types:
    • The Fighter-types tend to be beefy classes focused on melee and are often unable to use computers or have other significant restrictions that push them towards straightforwardly violent solutions, like the Gorilla, Wrestler, Jock, or Werewolf.
    • The Thief-types tend to have moderate health and focus on sneaking up behind people, often with items or abilities focused on movement, stealth, and quick stealthy takedowns, like the Assassin, Thief, or Doctor.
    • The Mage-types tend to have low health, the Skinny Nerdlinger trait (lowering the fire rate of guns as well as boosting their recoil) and items or abilities that give them weird capabilities, like the Hacker or Scientist.
  • Frothy Mugs of Water: In order to avoid problems on more family-friendly platforms, Cocaine was renamed to Sugar, while Steroids were renamed to Muscly Pills.
  • Fur Against Fang: The Vampire's quest has him hunt down werewolves hidden in each level.
  • Future Food Is Artificial: The "Food Processor" item lets you turn almost any item into (extremely unhealthy, to the point of being carcinogenic) food.
  • Five-Finger Discount: The Thief can pick the pockets of any unsuspecting NPC.
  • Foe-Tossing Charge: The Jock's special ability.
  • Freeze Ray: A starting weapon for the scientist (and something others can find at random.) It freezes victims solid, at least until they get hit. Enemies killed while frozen shatter into ice cublets.
  • Full-Circle Revolution: After you deal with the mayor, the next mayor either goes corrupt or is even worse from the start. Or, you can intentionally destroy the government, causing the whole city to fall to total chaos.
  • Full-Frontal Assault: The Shapeshifter starts with the "Naked" trait (you won't see anything, don't worry). This isn't just a cosmetic effect, waltzing around naked is illegal, which makes cops automatically hostile towards you until you possess someone.
  • Functional Addict: The Investment Banker needs to take drugs once per minute or else he goes into withdrawal, which decreases his stats and gradually reduces his health until he gets his fix.
  • Gangbangers: The Crepes (blue gangsters) and the Blahds (red gangsters), an obvious parody of the real Bloods and Crips gangs.
  • Gas Mask Mooks: Anyone who puts on the Gas Mask. The "functionally unnecessary" part of the trope is averted, as you'll only find NPCs wearing them in areas where it makes sense. They are a common sight on Floor 2, where many industrial buildings are full of poisonous gas.
  • Gender-Neutral Writing: All class biographies use they/them instead of gendered pronouns; there is no gender option and the art style means that most characters have Ambiguous Gender.
  • Grave Robbing: Busting up tombstones is ridiculously lucrative, especially in the slums where graveyards spawn with relative regularity. However unless you have a Ghost Gibber you need to be ready to run from the otherwise invincible ghosts who will be non-too-pleased about their graves being desecrated.
  • Guide Dang It!: How to raise Electability. While it's somewhat obvious that you have to be liked by people so they'll vote for you, the fact that you have to deal with people who do not like you (usually by killing them) and that everybody votes (including the slaves and the prisoners) isn't explained until Mayor's Village. Those gorillas you freed in the Slums? Yeah, they're registered voters and will remember the guy who let them out.
  • Haunted House: The Boo-Urn item turns any building into this, forcing all living occupants to flee in terror.
  • Hated by All:
    • Any and all NPCs will either run away from you or attack you on sight when playing as the Zombie.
    • Potentially, you, if you're a total psychopath who has earned the ire and hatred of every single floor.
  • Hide Your Children: The City doesn't have any children.
    Doctor: It's amazing anybody made it to adulthood in this place.
  • Hollywood Hacking: The Hacker class naturally engages in this - with a few typing sounds on their laptop, they can make a building's security systems attack its owners, flood the vents with poison gas, unlock safes, and so on, all without even having to set foot in the building. Other characters can do similar things by using single-use "hacking devices" that work on almost any electronic device.
  • Hollywood Silencer: Attaching the Silencer item to a gun can make it completely silent.
  • Hub Level: The Home Base, where you unlock perks and reward items, as well as buy starting loadout items and unlock shortcuts to later levels.
  • Hyperactive Metabolism: Foods are healing items, and they will heal you instantly. There's even a button to instantly eat something, which is useful in emergencies.
  • I am a Humanitarian: The Cannibal class, unsurprisingly. They can only heal by eating corpses and refuse to eat standard food items, although they'll still use alcoholic beverages.
  • Improvised Weapon: The Wrestler can pick up almost any object lying around the level (trash cans, lamps, boulders, vending machines...) to throw them at anyone for a fair amount of damage.
  • Insecurity Camera: Zig-Zagged. On one hand, security cameras have a limited field of vision (including a blind spot right under the camera) and you can see exactly what area is in their sight, so sneaking past them is easy enough as long as you don't have any other distractions. On the other hand, destroying them does alert security just as if you were spotted by the camera.
  • Instant Ice: Just Add Cold!: A projectile from the Freeze Ray will freeze the victim instantly. A thrown refrigerator will do the same.
  • Instant-Win Condition: As long as you get the mayor's hat and get to the podium to make the speech or kick it down a bottomless pit to get the bad ending and the game ends in a victory. It doesn't matter if the entire city hates your guts, if you've left a trail of carnage in every level, or if you just brained the mayor and are now outrunning his entourage of supercops, it's over once you hit interact at the podium.
  • Instant Sedation: The Doctor's special ability allows him to perform an instant, non-lethal takedown on any unsuspecting NPC by knocking them out with chloroform. He also starts with a Tranquilizer Dart gun, which takes several seconds to take effect, though a second shot makes it take effect immediately.
  • Invisibility: The Assassin can make themselves completely invisible for a while by using Camouflage ability. You can deal 10x damage by attacking the enemy from behind, and enemies will never notice you unless you touched them.
  • Killer Gorilla: Zig-Zagged trope. Gorillas are intelligent and (relatively) peaceful creatures in this game, but once provoked they become ferocious melee fighters with an unique lunge attack ability.
  • Killer Robot: Present in several different flavors.
    • Most generally there's the Killer Robot enemy, spawned by a disaster event. It's a Terminator-style Implacable Man who stalks the player across the map (and is always aware of your position unless you're invisible), wields an infinite-ammo rocket launcher, and will only stop once it kills the PC or they escape the level.
    • The Hacker's class quest involves installing malware on computers; doing so floods special police robots onto the level searching for you. They instantly recognize and attack any Hacker on sight, and on later levels often come equipped with guns and police weaponry.
    • The police bots present in Uptown aren't Rabid Cops like their human counterparts, but they're much tougher than normal police, and just as heavily armed, so submitting to their requests or just running away is usually preferable to attacking.
  • Klingon Promotion: The most common way to beat the game: Kill the Mayor, put on the Mayor's Hat, and declare yourself new Mayor. It is possible to get elected as new mayor, but for most classes it is much harder than a bloody coup.
  • Kill It with Fire: The flamethrower, of course. In addition, you can spread oil over the ground and light it (either with the flamethrower or a lighter), and fire can spread over wooden structures, hedges, bushes, and so on. There's also lots of oil, flaming barrels, and fire-spewing traps in the city, especially in the factory area.
  • La Résistance: The player works for one of these. They're surprisingly incompetent, unlike most examples of this trope.
  • Layered Metropolis: The city is composed of a bunch of stacked floors ("like a lasagna!"); the only way between them is via elevators. Naturally, the lowest ones are slums, then factories, slowly working your way up to the upper class districts.
  • Lethal Joke Item: Cyanide Pill. Unsurprisingly, when you swallow it, you die. The "lethal" part comes when you realize that the game treats "Cyanide" as a status effect, and there's a number of ways to use the items with status effects on other people. In particular, combining it with the Water Pistol gives you five instagibbing shots.
  • Level-Up Fill-Up: Gaining a level instantly refills your health. Since this is a roguelite, healing items are a rare and limited commodity, so this takes the sting out of making a few mistakes in the early game.
  • Literal Metaphor: One of the unique Hacking abilities available to the Hacker is to make a refrigerator "run", which sends it hurtling straight forward through any breakable wall until hitting the level borders or a more durable building.
  • Lord British Postulate: The Killer Robot NPC is designed to be an utterly implacable, unstoppable killer, with the player's only two choices being to run or to die. With some luck, good timing, and a lot of patience, however, it is possible to kill it- although, since it has massive amounts of HP and a rocket launcher with infinite ammo, doing so is not easy. Successfully killing the robot grants an achievement, gives some good loot, and ends the disaster status for that level.
  • Life Drain: The Vampire's ability allows you to suck the life out of your victims to replenish your health. The downside is that this is the only way the Vampire can heal. Food/medical items can't be used and doctors will tell you "their training doesn't cover the undead".
  • MacGuffin: Many missions require you to obtain an arbitrary item such as a tooth, hard drive, or will before you can progress. Once you have the item, it immediately stops being relevant.
  • Ludicrous Gibs: Seeing people explode into meaty chunks isn't an uncommon sight in this game.
  • Mad Scientist: Scientist NPCs can often be found experimenting on captive Gorillas (and in some cases, Zombies) for no real reason, and talking to them produces lines like forgetting the order of steps in the scientific method or declaring ethics are for idiots. The player Scientist isn't much better, since their class quest involves exposing random people to status-effect drugs and studying the results.
  • Magikarp Power: The Slum Dweller class starts with terrible stats in every category and no immediately-useful abilities or items, but gains XP faster than anyone else, and has a trait called "Potential To Not Suck" which raises his stats as he gains levels. Likewise, doing his quest turns him into the Upper-Cruster, who has similar stats... and the power to use supercop-summoning panic buttons on the upper levels, and they aren't harassed by the security robots in Uptown.
  • Mechanically Unusual Class: While each class has its own unique quirks and playstyles, there are a few that are much bigger outliers than most.
    • The Shapeshifter is incredibly fragile, can't buy from most shops, and gets attacked by cops on sight. In exchange, they have the unique ability to Body Surf into almost any NPC, gaining all of that character's abilities and traits as well as any equipment they were wielding. What's more is that they also gain the public status of anyone they possess: a possessed Slavemaster gains control over all of his slaves, a possessed Goon can walk through the building he was guarding without setting off any security, and so on.
    • The Gorilla can't speak human language, blocking off many of the options available to other characters (buying items, bribing cops, hiring help, getting medical aid from doctors, and so forth), can't use guns, and gets attacked on sight by any Scientist. In exchange they have sky-high stats across the board (except Firearms), and automatically recruit any fellow Gorilla they save from a cage as a follower, giving a savvy player a steady supply of durable, totally loyal minions.
    • The Zombie is probably the biggest outlier of any class. They're slow as molasses, can't speak human language like the Gorilla, and will be attacked on sight by any NPC. On the other hand, they can drain health with physical attacks, and every NPC they kill returns as an allied Zombie which will go on to make still more Zombies. A careful player can make the difference between the class dying on level 1 and jumpstarting a one-man Zombie Apocalypse.
    • The Robot has a unique-to-it Charge mechanic that gives it levels 4 to 1 of charge. At level 4 the Robot is nigh invulnerable, hits like a truck, shoots like an ace, and runs as fast as a car. Every lower level gradually decreases these stats until level 1 where the Robot is as unimpressive as a Slum Dweller and is constantly taking tics of 1 damage every few seconds. You can reset charge levels and heal HP by sapping the power from anything electronic, but this fries the electronic in the process meaning you can no longer use it.
  • Meet the New Boss: Each player character that usurps the mayor's hat will give a New Era Speech based on their class. They're all hilariously insane.
  • Money for Nothing: Chicken nuggets, being the currency to buy new perks and rewards, will eventually become this. The loadout shop, which lets you pay nuggets to start a run with different items, seems to exist solely to avoid this trope in full, just so you have something to spend nuggets on, but even then it has some limited use.
  • More Dakka: The Soldier starts with a machinegun, a high firearms stat and an item that gives him ammo per kills. Hence, the solution to most problems when playing as him is to just shoot his way out of them.
  • Metal Slime: Shapeshifters flee at high speed but drop a large quantity of cash if killed. They can be found by killing an NPC with red eyes.
  • Nice Hat: The Mayor's Hat, a snazzy tophat.
  • Night of the Living Mooks: Playing as the Zombie is all about creating a zombie army to cause havoc.
  • Nintendo Hard: Make no mistake, the game is freakin' hard. There are many ways to screw up a plan, and a single misstep could end in your death.
  • No Fair Cheating:
    • In a sense. Custom characters have you use points to build up a character, requiring strengths which use pints and flaws which give them to have enough to balance it within 20 points. The game will let you build up a character past 20 points, but you won't be able to get any progress in the game as a whole, such as chicken nuggets, with them if you do.
    • Heavily downplayed with the Mutators. You can have as many of them active as you'd like and still make progress and collect unlockables, with the Sandbox Mutator being the sole exception considering this particular mode gives you an infinite supply of every item at once.
  • No OSHA Compliance: None of the buildings with security systems are particularly safe; for some reason, every server in the game has a function to flood its building with poison gas in the hands of a good enough hacker. Floor 2, however, stands head and shoulders above the rest. It's filled with conveyor belts leading into flames and pits, crushers note , puddles of easily-flammable oil, no guard rails around the aforementioned Bottomless Pits, explosive poisonous barrels, unguarded sawblades running back and forth across walkways, and so on. Some buildings are full of poisonous gas, requiring both the guards and workers to wear gas masks.
  • Not Completely Useless: The cigarettes. Normally, they're Vendor Trash, since they only inflict the "Nicotine" status effect (deals minor damage to whoever is affected) and you need a cigarette lighter to use them. For the Investment Banker, however, cigarettes are a cheap and plentiful way to satisfy their drug addiction mechanic.
  • Notice This: The use of light is a major theme to help the player see what's important. interactable items are always lit up naturally, each unique building has its own lighting to let the player know what counts as what building, characters emit light on their own to help highlight what's a person and what isn't, and a specific mission type will show its cleared by removing the lights from the building it was in.
    • Also, anything the player has an inventory item for, such as glass cutters or lock picks, will glow green to let the player know it has a unique interaction with a consumable item, presumably so the player knows if they have that consumable in their inventory.
  • Overly Narrow Superlative: The game's Tag Line: The World's Only RPG Roguelike Action Stealth Shooter Brawler Co-op Megagame.
  • Pacifist Run: Hard but possible. Some classes actually reward you for it, such as the Cop (who gains more XP if he arrests criminals instead of killing them) and the Doctor (who gets an XP bonus if he doesn't kill more than 2 people per level).
  • Palette Swap: "Gangster (Blahd)" and "Gangster (Crepe)" are two separate unlockable classes, but they have the exact same equipment, the same stats, both of them have the "other gang attacks on sight" trait, and their Big Quest involves killing the other gang. Even the short snippet of backstory for them is essentially the same: they walked in on their parent having sex and somehow mistook that for them getting murdered.
  • People Zoo: The Uptown levels have "Zoo" buildings. They contain people like the Vampires, Zombies, Cannibals, Slum Dwellers, or Resistance Leaders.
  • Person of Mass Destruction:
    • The Jock class specializes in two things: destroying stuff and beating people to a pulp. If, by the time you leave a level, half of it hasn't been reduced to rubble and a good portion of its population isn't dead, you haven't been playing the Jock right. The game even encourages that by giving the Jock XP for demolishing things.
    • The Demolitionist, natch. His unique skill lets him craft a special block-destroying dynamite that can level a surprisingly large amount of geography and gib most npcs. His big quest requires destroying a certain amount of blocks on a level, meaning by the time you leave a very large amount of walls and fixtures will likely be nonexistant.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: An NPC with red eyes has been possessed by a Shapeshifter. The AI can't tell the difference, but it's a handy visual clue for players looking to make some extra cash.
  • Revolvers Are Just Better: The Revolver has slower fire rate compared to the Pistol, but bullets from it deal much higher damage.
  • Retcon: Shapeshifter's motivation got retconned from "an alien wanting to help take down the Mayor" to "an alien wanting to cause planet-wide mayhem".
  • The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: The Resistance is comically violent, often demanding that the player kill people who clearly have no relevance to anything. They even have you beat up another Resistance member in the Tutorial, and he makes it clear he did not agree to this.
    • However, it also averts this very commonly. United under the Revolution any sworn enemies will work together without a problem, such as rival gangs or intelligent gorillas and their former captors. In addition, a common mission is to free people who are locked up, and 3 of the ways a person can be locked up heavily imply that they were worse off without your help. note 
  • Schmuck Bait: The Cyanide Pill item, whose description reads "Maybe don't eat this. Seriously." Older versions of the game actually allowed the player to take the pill, and of course it leaded to instant death.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: Regular cops can be bribed to gain the "Above the law" perk for the current level, making them ignore crimes the player commits (except attacking cops).
    • Loaded characters can waltz through Mayor's village like a breeze. Bribe the Bouncers at the entrance to keep your weapons, then bribe the Mobsters to rig the election in your favor. Did you lose the election? Bribe the clerk to get a badge, then steal the Record of evidence and play it.
  • Set a Mook to Kill a Mook: The Haterator can enrage the enemy, and they will try to kill the next person they see. Putting the Rage Potion in an air conditioner will start a massive fight inside the building.
  • Shrink Ray: A starting weapon for the Scientist (and something others can find at random.) It lets you shrink people down and stomp on them.
  • Skewed Priorities: The citizens of Mayor's village don't give a hoot about anything that happens in the city's lower levels, but once you find and play the Mayor's Confession, exposing the Mayor's absolutely horrendous embezzlement of their campaign funds to buy socks, everybody who hears it (including the incorruptible Supercops) will tear the Mayor apart.
  • Slavery Is a Special Kind of Evil: When playing as the Slavemaster, civilians will randomly turn hostile, implying slavery is (at least for some people) a Moral Event Horizon In-Universe. On the other hand, buying slaves is completely acceptable, even if you intentionally trigger their Explosive Leash in plain view of the police.
  • Slipping a Mickey: The Bartender class starts with an item that lets him turn any drug item into a cocktail he can then give to any NPC. This means you can neutralize/weaken people you want to eliminate by giving them a cocktail with a negative effect, such as poison, weak or cyanide.
  • Static Stun Gun: With the Taser gun you can electrocute an enemy and they will be stunned for awhile. It's a non-lethal weapon, but it deals heavy damage against enemies on or in a body of water.
  • Status Effects: By the crapload. Syringes and pills can cause various effects, and outside of that there's Freeze Ray doing what is says on the tin, and a few perks allow you to inflict status effects on hit.
  • Stock Ninja Weaponry: The Shuriken is a throwing weapon, and it deals moderate damage against enemies. it's also the Assassin's starting item.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Items like rocket launcher, grenades, landmines cause an explosion, and it deals good damage against people and destroys walls. You can also use a purchased slave as a living bomb. The Time Bomb is the strongest bomb players can use, which generates a huge explosion and destroys anything.
  • Technical Pacifist: The Doctor's "Pacifist" trait prevents them from using most weapons. While they do have non-lethal ways to take down enemies, and nothing technically stops the player from playing them as an Actual Pacifist, in practice this generally just means you're going to be killing people indirectly instead. Lampshaded by their Big Quest, which requires that you play them as something sort of vaguely akin to an Actual Pacifist... by killing no more than two people per level.
  • Teleport Gun: Warp grenades which teleport anything in their blast range unharmed to elsewhere on the level.
  • Thieves' Guild: The Thief can talk to other thieves to purchase thief gear (any of the items the thief starts with), which is useful since normal shopkeepers won't sell things to Thieves.
  • Thou Shall Not Kill: Although it is possible to finish a level without killing anyone with most characters, this is enforced with the Doctor, as they can't use weapons of any kind, rely on knocking out enemies with chloroform from behind, their big quest requires that they kill a maximum of two people per floor.
  • Utility Party Member: Hired Slum Dwellers aren't typically useful in a fight but can be sent to cause a ruckus outside of a key location, either drawing targets out into the open where you can engage them on your terms or distracting them long enough to sneak in and complete a mission without anyone knowing. Can also come into play when rescuing people that offer services, although you'll still need to pay which limits the utility somewhat.
  • Vendor Trash: Zig-zagged. Most classes avert this, as any item you find will have at least one use; however, certain classes will render entire categories of item as Vendor Trash. For instance, the Cannibal can only eat a specific kind of meat, so other food is off limits; the Doctor is a pacifist who won't touch any lethal weaponry; the Gorilla's hands are too big and stubby to make use of guns built for humans, and so on, and so forth.
  • Videogame Caring Potential: While you can't do actions that randomly help people in mass, you can still free slaves, who have explosive collars on controlled by slavers, and caged gorillas, held by scientists and proven to be intelligent but unable to communicate, or even just play favorites and save people getting attacked.
  • Videogame Cruelty Potential: In spades. Every level is filled with innocent (and not-so-innocent, but irrelevant to your mission) people wandering around doing their own thing. Nothing stops you from stealing from them, assaulting them, murdering them for whatever spare change they have in their pockets, flooding their home with poison gas, shrinking them and stomping on them, and so on (and, unless you're the Cop or have a character with The Law trait, you'll even be rewarded with some EXP for doing so).
  • Video Game Cruelty Punishment: Cause a little bit too much property damage and kill a few too many innocents and later in a run Assassins will appear at random to try to murder you.
  • Violation of Common Sense: Playing the Vampire to the fullest often requires deliberately getting hurt (or at least putting yourself in situations where you expect to take damage), as their Life Drain ability, while very potent, only functions when not at full health unless you possess a special class trait.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting:
    • The Werewolf can turn into a lycanthrope at any time by using his special ability.
    • Averted with the Shapeshifter, ironically. He has to possess someone's body to change forms.
  • Weapon of X-Slaying: The Ghost Gibber is a rare energy weapon. It doesn't deal any damage to ordinary things and creatures, but it's insanely effective against supernatural beings like Vampires, Zombies, Werewolves, and of course Ghosts.
  • We Have Reserves: A playstyle encouraged with the Slavemaster, since the longer your slaves are alive, the more likely it is for them to rebel against you.
  • Weird Currency: To unlock traits and mission rewards, as well as buying starting loadout items in the Home Base, you use chicken nuggets as currency. Somewhat explained as the current mayor outlawed them after choking on one.
  • Welcome to Corneria: Talking to any character that doesn't have an assigned function in the home base, such as unlocking new skills and items, will earn the same message over and over, and if they are a class that can randomly be found in game, they'll say their line from the actual maps, such as the police officer asking you to do crime where they can see it.
  • Whole Plot Reference: The Shapeshifter's entire gimmick comes from Messiah, with a diminutive angel on a Mission from God possessing NPCs to do their dirty work.
  • Wretched Hive: The city where the game takes place is swarming with gangs and drug dealers, and the police employ lethal force without question, immediately siding with property owners to beat you to death (unless you pay them to look the other way, of course.) And all of this led by a completely corrupt mayor, opposed by a violent and unstable Resistance.
  • You Killed My Father: The reason why the Gangsters joined their respective gangs is that their father (for the Blahd) and their mother (for the Crepe) were killed by members of the opposite gang. Except it actually was respectively a woman covered in blueberry juice (formerly a Na'vi cosplayer, removed for copyright reasons) and a man with a bad case of rosacea. And they weren't killing them, but doing "something else".
  • Zombie Apocalypse: Zombie Invasion disaster spawns multiple Zombies in the level. They will attack anyone who are not Zombies, and they increase their number by infecting people and turning them Zombies.
  • Zombie Infectee: Any NPC that enters in contact with a Zombie will turn into a one upon death.
  • Zombie Puke Attack: The Zombie Phlegm active ability. Anyone hit by it not only will turn into a zombie when they die, but they'll join forces with you instead of roaming randomly through the map.
  • 0% Approval Rating: The mayor, who got elected on a platform of lower taxes and more beer, proceeded to raise taxes dramatically, ban chicken tenders, and confiscate all the alcohol, purely to hold a giant party... and the party wasn't even that great. Of course, this is The Resistance's account of events, and they're not entirely trustworthy.



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