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Video Game / Styx: Shards of Darkness

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Styx: Shards of Darkness is a Stealth-Based Game developed by Cyanide Studio for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, released on March 2017. The game is an interquel to Styx: Master of Shadows and Of Orcs and Men.

Set months after Master of Shadows, Styx is now a thief-for-hire in the shanty town of Thoben. The land has now been ravaged by the Goblin infestation to the point that an organization dubbed "CARNAGE Team" has been formed to hunt them down. After a typical job, Styx has been hired by Helledryn, captain of CARNAGE to steal a scepter, which sends the two on an adventure to deal with a diplomatic meeting within the Dark Elf city of Korrangar.

The game boasts several new features, such as the ability to craft items and even a new Co-Op mode.

Styx: Shards of Darkness contains examples of:

  • Action Girl: Helledryn, leader of C.A.R.N.A.G.E probably qualifies, though the player is never actually shown her fighting on-screen. The female dark elf guards are also an example.
  • Arm Cannon: Styx uses an arm-mounted crossbow which replaces the throwing knives of the previous game.
  • "Ass" in Ambassador: The dwarven ambassador to Korrangar is willing to deal in shady business (out of boredom no less) and comments in private how the entire elven city should be torn down.
  • Auto-Revive: One of the skills makes it so that as long as Styx has a clone alive, he's always be reborn from that clone when he would otherwise die.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: The roabies are back, and come in a brand new, seeker-hatchling spawning variety.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Styx does this a lot in the post-death sequences where he insults you and mocks your lack of skill, among other things.
  • The Cameo: Arkail and Marhlok appear as part of the diplomatic meeting, and at one point overhearing them talk about Arkail "accidentally" killing a dark elf in the midst of the elven fortress of Korrangar, Styx comments that he'd rather "kiss a dwarf's ass" than hang out with a guy like him. Thankfully, he'd change his mind on this later.
  • Continuity Nod: The events of Master of Shadows are mentioned several times, and you even get to meet (and optionally kill) Aaron Barimen, the former governor of Akenash, who specifically remembers Styx as the goblin who scarred his face. As noted above in The Cameo, Styx also comes across Arkail and Marhlok in the same mission and remarks that he'd sooner butt-kiss a dwarf than hang out with an Orc like Arkail.
  • Cutscene Incompetence: Styx seems to have the uncanny ability to screw up whenever the player is not directly in control of him. He constantly gets caught, ambushed, captured, or simply trips over things. He might be the self-proclaimed "Master of Shadows" when the player is in control, but he gets caught in every other story cutscene.
  • Cut Short: The story ends with Styx returning to his airship after beating the dwarven golem, only to see Djarak at the helm, as he inserts a bolt in his mini crossbow, he says Djarak, this is the fucking last time you are ever gonna bug me, cut to credits.
  • Cool Airship: Airships seen in previously seen in Akenash take a more prominent role in the second game. The majority of your time between missions is spent on Helledryn's airship, and you get to see and infiltrate a enormous airship of the human ambassador in an early mission.
  • Corridor Cubbyhole Run: Done in the fight against the Roabie Queen and the Golem. Styx has to find cover to avoid the their periodic Breath Weapon attacks, and for the latter, there's also sections where you need to avoid its line of sight (indicated by the light from its eyes) via hiding behind pillars.
  • Creature-Hunter Organization: CARNAGE, which was formed to hunt down Goblins.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: In 'Master of Shadows', the directional pad had its down button assigned to a shrill whistle to lure people to your (or a clones) current position. It made you extremely weary to not ever press that button unless your reeeeeally wanted to. In 'Shards of Darkness', the down button is instead assigned to open your inventory and the up button is instead the whistle. One might be caught accidentally pushing up to try and open the inventory because the down button is still a no-no, only to alert everyone in their surroundings of the grave mistake.
  • Defector from Decadence: Djarak is an outcast from the elven society and wishes to free them from the addictive influence of Amber and their servitude to the high priestess Lyssril.
  • Divide and Conquer: In order to prevent Lyssril from obtaining more Amber from the dwarfs with which to keep the elves enslyved to her, Styx and Djarak plan on breaking the fragile alliance between the two by assasinating the dwarven ambassador and framing Lyssril.
  • Duel to the Death: The elves practice this to appease their god. The loser simply dies, but the winner has the honor of being sacrificed to the roabie queen.
  • Elves vs. Dwarves: The dwarfs and the elves don't exactly like each other initially, but after Styx assasinates the dwarven ambassador, the dwarfs are quick to start preparing for war.
  • Enemy Mine: Helldryn, captain of a goblin-hunting organization, hires the talking goblin assassin Styx in order to steal a scepter she needs to get into a diplomatic summit being held by the dark elves. Later on, after Helledryn has made herself scarce, Styx ends up teaming up with the shapeshifting dark elf Djarak in order to cause mayhem for the dark elves that seek to enslave and destroy the goblin race, Styx included.
  • Expendable Clone: Styx's ability to barf up clones returns, now with the ability to spawn them at a distance using craftable sacs, and even (with the right upgrades) be able to become functionally immortal so long as one exists, in which if Styx is fatally done in, he simply resurrects via the clone.
  • Falling Chandelier of Doom: Hanging chandeliers appear commonly, often with a conveniently easy-to-break chain and several hapless guards standing directly below. They're especially useful for being one of the few ways to kill Heavily Armored Mooks.
  • Full-Body Disguise: Styx steals a set of either elven heavy armor or elven ranger armor for Helledryn to disguise herself with in order to infiltrate the diplomatic summit at the elven fortress of Korrangar in order to root out the shapeshifting Djarak.
  • The Fundamentalist: The elves are really... devout to their religion, to say the least.
  • Golem: The giant statue that the dwarfs gave to Korrangar elves is actually a 100 foot tall war machine which proceeds to wreck the city. Styx naturally takes it down with a bit of effort.
  • Have a Nice Death: Anytime you die, Styx shows up to mock and belittle you for getting him killed. This can be disabled in the options menu for anyone who finds it annoying.
    Styx: Did you stream that? I want a percentage on your BEST GOBLIN DEATH COMPILATION!
    Styx: You know using the controller with your feet ain't gonna get you an achievement, right?
  • Heavily Armored Mook: Some humans and elves and all dwarfs wear heavy armor. This makes them Nigh-Invulnerable to anything Styx can throw at them, leaving environmental hazards like falling chandeliers and poisoned food as the only thing that can do them in. On top of that the armor is so heavy that Styx can't even pick them up, meaning that dissolving them with Acid Vials is the only way to hide the body.
  • Hollywood Acid:
    • Styx has access to Acid Vials and Acid traps. The former is used for disposing of corpses by melting them into nothing and the latter is effectively a land mine that automatically melts the corpses of those it kills.
    • The roabies attack by spitting a similar acid at their target.
  • Human Resources: Well, more like Goblin Resources; the elves produce their own Amber by capturing goblins, grinding them to mush, and extracting raw Amber that courses through their veins.
  • Human Sacrifice: Or elven sacrifice in this case. The Rite of the Glorious Blood is a ceremony wherein two dark elves battle to the death, with the winner having the honor of being devoured by the roabie queen that they worship.
  • Insect Queen: The roabies have a huge worm-like queen which, among other things, is the deity of Kastasil/elves, as well as the source of Quartz.
  • Invisibility Cloak: A side objective in one of the levels is to find a magical cloak enchanted by Dwarven runes, which turns out to be one of these. When worn, it causes Styx's Invisibility power to only consume Amber when he's moving, at the cost of making him take more damage.
  • Living Motion Detector: Roabies have terrible eyesight and cannot see Styx unless he's in close distance... but they have exceptional hearing. As such, it's a terrible idea to move quickly when around them.
  • Medium Awareness: Styx breaks the fourth wall quite frequently. As well as taunting players after death, he occasionally addresses the player in the game and comments on the writers.
  • Mineral Macguffin: The Quartz, a crystalline substance harvested by the dark elves in their mountain fortress of Korrangar. There are several types such as Mineral Quartz, which is inert and needs to be activated via an organic processing ability used by the Roabie Queen for which the dark elves use it to control beings of Amber like goblins. However, there exists a type known as Pure Quartz that is incredibly rare, but when consumed by an amber-being such as Styx, it can grant previously unthinkable abilities.
  • The Nose Knows: Dwarfs have keen smell and can sniff out goblins at some distance.
  • Or Are You Just Happy to See Me?: One of the belittling lines that Styx uses when you die goes like this:
"Dead again? Is that your controller in your pocket, or are you just pleased to see me?"
  • Our Dwarves Are All the Same: Grumpy - check, drunk - check, love shiny valuable things - check, axe/hammer weapons - double check. They are, however, unique in the sense of having a keen sense of smell and can sniff out goblins (Styx included) if he doesn't camouflage his odor via a craftable potion.
  • Pacifist Run: Completing each level without killing any humanoids gets you the gold emblem of Mercy. Roabies, anyone who is killed by something that wasn't Styx's fault, and people whose death is a quest objective don't count against this though.
  • Pretext for War: The assassination of the dwarven ambassador is apparently taken only as an excusatory causus belli, since the dwarfs actually managed to smuggle a 100ft-tall Golem war machine as a gift sometime earlier into Korrangar. Djarak even remarks on how the dwarfs had planned to attack the dark elves from the very beginning.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: The Kastasil (dark elves) are very much this, with an added fun flavor of fanaticism and religious zealotry.
  • Purposefully Overpowered: The Flow Control skill causes Amber to slowly and passively regenerate, allowing Styx to turn invisible and throw clones into danger without having to worry about resource management. Though it can only be gained after collecting all seven pieces of Pure Quartz and gaining every mastery skill, it avoids being a case of Bragging Rights Reward since it's still useful for anyone who wants to replay the levels for 100% completion.
  • Rite of Passage: The Elven adolescents have to navigate a dangerous proving ground full of various traps designed to test their courage, strength, wisdom etc. Styx, after being captured in his hideout in Thoben, gets locked in along with the bloodthirsty initiates and has to do the trials, as the tokens collected at the end are the only way out.
  • Scenery Porn: Oh yes, Shards tops the previous game and goes further beyond.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Styx at one point refers to Amber (and again later to Pure Quartz) as his "precious" while doing an obvious Gollum impression.
    • Some Game Over scenes pay homage to films, such as Styx crying "Game Over, man!", or saying "I'll be back!" before sinking to the floor and Flipping the Bird.
    • During the mission through the Quartz mine, Styx remarks that, if he were a caped avenger, the caves would be a good place to keep his "shit". He furthers it by mentioning getting rid of "the bats" as well as having a butler... or Helledryn.
    • Later on during the same mission, when first encountering the Roabie Queen in the Quartz Mine, Styx remarks that he's "not a god of war" but still intends to find a way to take it down and get the Quartz.
    • One side mission has you stealing badges from C.A.R.N.A.G.E deserters. One's name is "Carvo Ottona," and another is named "Garrett". Styx even throws in a line for both just in case the names weren't immediately obvious.
      "So your name is... Carvo Ottona? You're bringing dishonor on the name, dude!"
      "You are... Garrett? Where did you steal that one from?"
  • Sinister Minister: The Elven high priestess qualifies.
  • Underground City: The city of Korrangar, home of the elves, is partially built in a huge canyon, and part of it is underground.
  • Wretched Hive: Thoben, City of Hunters, Korrangar (in its own way), Styx even funnily remarks at one point how he could write a travel guide of all the wretched places he visited.