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Video Game / Sundered

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Resist or Embrace
Endless horrors surround me...they hunger for my humanity. Will I resist, or embrace?

Sundered is a Metroidvania with Roguelike elements developed by Thunder Lotus Games, the creators of Jotun.

A female explorer named Eshe travels to an underground research facility, left over from a ruthless but scientifically advanced faction known as The Valkyries. Upon exploring, she encounters a sinister talking crystal called the Shining Trapezohedron. It possesses her, becoming a weapon, ushering her deeper into the facilities and tempting her to seek more power through the mysteries of the caverns below. She must make a choice to resist it, or embrace it.


This game has examples of:

  • Action Girl: Eshe.
  • Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: Upgrades in the Trapezohedron's Tree get progressively more expensive as you buy more of them; a single minor upgrade (such as health) will cost 30 shards at the beginning of the game, while the last ones will cost you nearly 2,000.
  • After the End: The game’s lore implies that human society has collapsed due to the sudden onset of both an incurable plague and multiple natural disasters. The Valkyries and the Eschaton civilization aren’t much better off by the time Eshe enters the plot.
  • Airborne Mook: Several varieties are present in the game. Meteoroids are small robots that try to ram Eshe, and release a burst of energy upon colliding with a hard surface. Screamers are bat-winged tentacle monsters that spit Flaming Skulls. Panzers seem to be men in Powered Armor that dash up to Eshe and slash at her with their arm-blades. Sentinels are flying cyborgs armed with plasma shotguns and a riot shield to protect them from frontal attacks. Medusozoas are large jellyfish-like robots that slowly float toward Eshe, lock onto her, and fire a sustained laser beam that tracks her movement.
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  • Alien Geometries: The Cathedral region is a vast chasm full of floating buildings, and what little we see of the Cathedral’s interior makes no sense from an architectural standpoint. The Shining Trapezohedron explains that these impossible geometries were caused by a botched Summoning Ritual tearing a hole in reality.
  • Anti-Villain: General Waters. His army committed atrocities against the Eschaton, but ultimately postponed the end of the world at the hands of Nyarlathotep.
  • Arc Symbol: Masks. Several enemies wear masks, such as the boss Dominion, who wears one to power up before the battle. Some creatures wear masks despite not having a face. And statues depict vaguely human beings wearing one to several masks. This is Foreshadowing that the final boss is Nyarlathotep, whose seemingly infinite forms are referred to as masks.
  • Arc Words: Resist or Embrace. It refers to the player's choice to either spend Elder Shards on eldritch upgrades to her powers, or to disregard and destroy them, relying only on the basic abilities and Valkyrie tech she encounters.
  • Armor-Piercing Attack: The Shield Piercer perk allows Eshe's attacks to ignore shields, at the cost of a slower shield regeneration.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: Every major boss in the game has three Elder Shard fragments sticking out of its body, and attacking these fragments is the only way to hurt them.
  • Bandit Mook: Eschaton Devourers can eat any Shards that you don’t pick up. You won’t get them back by killing the Devourer, either.
  • Beam Spam: One of Nyarlathotep’s attacks is to flood the screen with dozens of laser beams at once, for up to ten seconds at a time.
  • Berserk Button: The Shining Trapezohedron gets very angry if Eshe starts using the Incinerator to destroy Elder Shards, though it can’t stop her from doing so.
  • The Berserker: The Berzerk perk turns Eshe into this, giving her a stacking increase to her damage output every time she kills an enemy, at the cost of drastically reducing her armor.
  • BFG: The Valkyrie Cannon, a shoulder-mounted energy weapon bigger than Eshe herself; it generates so much recoil that Eshe gets thrown back a good distance whenever she fires it. Its corrupted form is a Wave-Motion Gun.
  • Black Speech: The Shining Trapezohedron speaks in a harsh and guttural language that the player can only understand through the magic of subtitles. The written form of it shows up in the names of major bosses and locations: most words have at least one or two apostrophes, and there are more than a few X’s and Z’s thrown in there. For example, the word “Hysteria” is translated as “X’zea’shia”.
  • Blade Below the Shoulder: Valkyrie Panzers have serrated blades attached to their arms, which they use to slash at Eshe.
  • Blown Across the Room: As stated above, the sheer recoil of the Valkyrie Cannon throws Eshe back a good 20-30 feet whenever she fires it.
  • Body Horror:
    • Hysteria. Once an ordinary man named Emmitt Nelson, he has since become a giant skeleton sticking out of a pulsating blob of green flesh which is fused to a mechanical spider-like armature. His ribcage is splayed open, his torso and hips are covered with throbbing growths that might be tumours or fungi, and stringy goop both connects him to the armature and leaks out of its joints.
    • The final boss of the Embrace path. Eshe’s doppelganger transforms into Humanity, a bloated monstrosity with multiple eyes and mouths covering its body, three sets of exposed vertebrae and rib cages, and a fleshless skull for a head which is sticking out of the palm of a giant hand. And it attacks by spitting out barbed vines that are covered in eyes, or by vomiting up a glob of eyes, barbs, and fingers which adheres to the opposite wall and then spits out its own vines.
  • Bonus Boss: Eldritch Edition adds a hidden boss called the Magnate of the Gong, who cannot be fought until the player finds each region’s hidden gong chamber and completes the puzzles within, which unlocks his room.
  • Bookends: Assuming one gets the Neutral Ending, the Shining Trapezohedron’s first and last words in the game are, “Hello, Eshe.”
  • Boss Arena Idiocy: There would be no way Eshe could reach Hysteria's Elder Shard fragments with her abilities alone. Thankfully, every time Hysteria stomps the ground, the debris on it stays in the air for some reason, allowing you to reach said Elder Shard fragments. See also Tactical Suicide Boss.
  • Boss in Mook's Clothing: Lith’ enemies are much larger, golden versions of normal enemies that are only encountered as part of a horde. They hit much harder and are far more durable than ordinary enemies, and often have extra abilities that the regular ones do not. Fortunately, you’ll only ever encounter one Lith’ in a given horde (unless you somehow spawn two hordes at once), and they drop quite a few Shards if you manage to kill them.
  • Boss Subtitles: Minibosses have names followed by a brief descriptive subtitle displayed on their health bars (for example, “Arlie Waylon – Fallen Valkyrie Panzer” or “Model Luther X9 – Deviant Meteoroid”). Main bosses get a big title card showing off their unpronounceable name in the Shining Trapezohedron’s language, followed by the English translation as a subtitle. So the boss Dominion, for example, would read Xea’sh’kaebt: Dominion.
  • Bottomless Magazines: The Bullet Transfabricator Perk is a downplayed example. It replenishes the Valkyrie Cannon’s ammo after a significant delay, at the cost of reducing the strength of Eshe’s melee attacks.
  • Bittersweet Ending: In the Resist ending, Eshe destroys Nyarlathotep and the Shining Trapezohedron, but in doing so, the portal to the outside world is shattered, leaving her trapped in the caverns.
  • Cape Wings: If she corrupts the Leaping Device into Z’toggua’s Wings, Eshe’s cape and arms will fuse together into a pair of giant bat wings whenever she glides.
  • Chaos Architecture: A partial example. The layout of the caverns changes every time Eshe dies, but important rooms that contain bosses, abilities, obstacles, and/or vistas have fixed locations on the map. Justified since the caverns are an Eldritch Location.
  • Charged Attack: The Strength Amplifier allows Eshe to charge up a powerful melee attack by holding down a button. It can be used to smash through otherwise indestructible barriers in the Eschaton City.
  • Clipped-Wing Angel: The final boss of the Resist path is a two-phase fight against Nyarlathotep, with the Shining Trapezohedron abandoning you to fuse with him in the second phase. Phase one is a suitably difficult fight, as Nyarly has a lot of health, powerful attacks, and various ways to make reaching his Elder Shard fragments difficult. Phase two has significantly less health and a single large weak point that’s easy to hit. While the Shining Trapezohedron does take away your ability to use melee attacks in this phase, you don’t even need them; you can just hang back and shoot the boss with the Valkyrie Cannon until he dies.
  • Co-Dragons: The dual boss called Rivalry: The reanimated corpses of General Waters and Ishaela Bha'gor.
  • Combat Tentacles: Many of the Eschaton bosses and mooks have tentacles and tendrils that they will use to attack Eshe in various ways. In fact, many of these enemies are nothing but tentacles.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: The Proving Grounds. The primary horde plays by different rules than the rest of the game, permanently spawning many Hunters, stationary mechs which never leave their position. Upon killing one and moving away, they will immediately respawn in the same spot!''
  • The Corrupter: The Shining Trapezohedron tries to be this for Eshe, constantly reminding her that her human abilities are too weak to keep her alive in this nightmarish place, and that she should embrace the power of the Elder Shards and corrupt those abilities if she wants any chance to escape. How successful it is depends on the player.
  • The Corruption: The Elder Shards, which can be used at Ability Shrines to corrupt your abilities into more powerful and monstrous versions of themselves, as seen under Lovecraftian Superpower. Corrupting all of Eshe’s abilities is required to get the Embrace ending.
  • Cosmic Horror Story: The story has elements of The Haunter in the Dark, as The Shining Trapezohedron and Nyarlathotep both make an appearance.
  • Crapsack World: Lore in the tech tree from Valkyrie indicates the world outside the setting of the game is ruined.
    Governments profited from the plague. They created vaccines that didn't work. Corruption was rampant. The world deteriorated.
  • Cyber Cyclops: The Valkyrie Medusozoa is a large jellyfish-like robot with a single eye. This eye is normally blue, but turns red as it locks onto Eshe and prepares to fire its laser beam.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: Dying just sends Eshe back to the Sanctuary, where she can immediately spend all the Shards she accumulated on the last run and will have all her health elixirs and ammo replenished. The map’s layout will change slightly every time you die and you will need to backtrack, but otherwise all the progress you made is kept.
  • Defeat Equals Explosion: The Valkyrie enemies explode into fireballs upon being defeated, which is Justified as most of them are robots or cyborgs. Eschaton enemies instead burst into wormlike wisps of smoke. Either way, none of them leave corpses behind.
  • Deflector Shields: Early on in the game, Eshe acquires a Shield that mitigates the damage she takes from enemy attacks. Corrupting it with an Elder Shard will make the shield deal back some of the damage it recieves.
  • Dirty Coward: Emmitt Nelson. A cowardly Valkyrie who snuck away from the main battle to slaughter the women and children of the underground civilization. He ultimately died and came back as Hysteria.
  • Doppelgänger Attack: Hiram Macias is a Hunter mini-boss who can make multiple copies of himself, all of which are just as dangerous as the real thing. Hiram himself will warp away whenever you damage him enough, forcing you to hunt him down while dealing with his constantly-spawning copies.
  • Double Jump: The Leaping Device allows Eshe to perform a double jump. Hitting enemies with melee attacks while in the air resets the Leaping Device, allowing Eshe to keep making additional jumps so long as she keeps hitting enemies.
  • Downer Ending: All three of the endings are this, to varying extents. In the Neutral ending, Eshe escapes the underground... but so does the Shining Trapezohedron. In the Embrace ending, Eshe willingly annihilates the last remnants of her humanity, reopens the portal, and leads the tentacle monsters' invasion of the surface. In the Resist ending, Eshe successfully destroys both Nyarlathotep and the Shining Trapezohedron, but this shatters the portal to the surface, leaving her trapped in darkness.
  • Drill Tank: Abandoned drill tanks can be found in the Cathedral region, having been used in the Valkyries’ invasion of the place. The tunnels they dug serve as passageways between the region’s various caves.
  • Dual Boss: Subverted with the boss fight against Legion and Salvation, as they can’t actually be killed. Depleting either one’s hit points simply knocks it out for a little while, causes the other one to turn red and attack you relentlessly, and makes both of them invincible until the one you took out revives with full health. Hurting them also does not deplete the boss health meter. The actual boss is Rivalry, the large crystal floating in the center of the room; Legion and Salvation are simply its minions, and it becomes vulnerable whenever one of them gets knocked out.
  • Dug Too Deep: Drilling equipment can be seen, left over from the Valkyries. They clearly made a terrible, terrible mistake.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The Eschaton are worshipping otherworldly beings from the Cthulhu Mythos. One such being, Nyarlathotep, plays a major role in the story.
  • Eldritch Location: The game takes place in a series of impossibly vast caverns deep beneath the earth, whose layout and architecture change every time Eshe dies. The environments within the caverns start out relatively mundane, but become progressively more bizarre and disturbing the further down you go:
    • The Valkyrie Encampment is fairly normal, being a lush, jungle-like region with strange rock formations and seemingly endless waterfalls in the background. Then you realize that the only living things in this area are strange metallic plants that can grow through metal, and hideous man-sized arthropods with electrical powers that throw themselves at the player character in suicidal swarms. And the robots that guard the abandoned Valkyrie military base have tumorous organic growths coming out of them…
    • The Holy City of the Eschaton is located in a rocky cavern where the walls are covered in carvings of bones and alien eyes, geysers of purple energy erupt from the ceiling, stone stairways float in midair, dark tentacles occasionally form within the shadows (sometimes forming walls to block your passage), and towering structures and statues loom in the background. And that’s not getting into the masked, robed, shrieking monstrosities that call this place home…
    • The Cathedral is a gargantuan edifice where Alien Geometries are in full effect: pieces of the structure float in an endless void, giant fists made of tentacles will lash out at the player from patches of dark fog (which can appear out of nowhere), and glowing fungi will spew clouds of poisonous spores if you get too close.
  • Eldritch Transformation: Eshe can acquire various Lovecraftian Superpowers by corrupting her abilities, and in the bad ending is permanently transformed into a Humanoid Abomination.
  • Enemy Summoner: Dominion can conjure Monster Portals that, if not destroyed by the player, will continuously summon Crawler Minions to chase after Eshe. When his health gets low, he’ll start creating a dozen of these portals at once, and if left unchecked, the resulting tide of monsters can quickly overwhelm the player.
  • Energy Weapon: Hunters are armed with a powerful laser cannon that can shoot through walls, allowing them to snipe Eshe from adjacent rooms off-screen. Nyarlathotep can conjure similar lasers, and takes it to the point of Beam Spam.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: It is mentioned in the lore that General Waters (whom you meet in-game as Legion) had a son named Luther.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Despite the Shining Trapezohedron wishing to have Eshe complete the ritual that will bring Nyarlathotep into the world (and subsequently cause The End of the World as We Know It), it sounds utterly disgusted when telling Eshe about Emmitt Nelson slaughtering the women and children of the Eschaton city. Granted, how much its word should be trusted is debatable.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: Apart from the Shining Trapezohedron, every living thing in the caverns seems to want Eshe dead and every region is filled with its own unique hazards and death traps. Even the inanimate plants and fungi can kill her with surprising quickness.
  • Evil Laugh:
    • Dominion greets the player with a malevolent chuckle before putting on his mask and starting the boss fight.
    • The Shining Trapezohedron indulges in maniacal cackling on multiple occasions, most notably during all three final boss fights.
  • Evil vs. Evil: The Valkyries, a group of totalitarian, genocidal fascists, and the Eschaton, an omnicidal Religion of Evil, fought each other in the backstory. They both lost.
  • Experience Points: Present in the form of Shards, which are earned by killing enemies or destroying corrupted treasure, and are spent to improve Eshe’s stats in the Trapezohedron Tree.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Upon defeating Rivalry, the animated corpse of General Waters can be seen yanking the Elder Shard's spike from his body before fading to nothing.
  • Faux Affably Evil: The Shining Trapezohedron acts surprisingly civil, polite, and encouraging towards Eshe, until she starts destroying Elder Shards.
  • Festering Fungus: The Cathedral region is riddled with mushrooms that will swell up and release large clouds of toxic spores if Eshe gets too close.
  • Final Boss: There are three possible final bosses, depending on the route you’re going for. The neutral path’s final boss is Nyarlathotep, the Crawling Chaos. The Resist path’s final boss is Nyarlathotep fused with the Shining Trapezohedron. The Embrace path’s final boss is a monster made of your discarded Humanity.
  • Flaming Skulls: The Screamer enemies can shoot flaming skulls as projectiles.
  • Flash Step: The Propulsion Engine gives Eshe a dash that works like this. Corrupting it into Azathoth's Breath turns it into a full-fledged teleport.
  • Fusion Dance: After you beat Nyarlathotep in the Resist path, the Shining Trapezohedron merges with it in an attempt to kill you. It doesn’t help much.
  • Gang Up on the Human: Despite being mortal enemies, the Eschaton and the Valkyries will ignore each other and gang up on Eshe while she’s in the Cathedral region.
  • Gatling Good: The boss Legion is armed with a gatling gun.
  • Glass Cannon: Eshe, when fully embraced. She gains abilities that are both powerful attacks and provide superior mobility, but her base stats are inferior to a full Resist build.
  • Grappling-Hook Pistol: The Grappling Hook, which is mounted on Eshe’s belt. It’s used to latch onto the floating metal rings found in the Cathedral, pulling Eshe toward whichever ring she’s targeting and then flinging her past it like a slingshot. It can also be used on a boss’s Elder Shard fragments.
  • Guys Smash, Girls Shoot: Inverted with the Legion and Salvation boss fight. The male Legion attacks Eshe from afar with a gatling gun, while the female Salvation attacks by curling her tentacles into a ball and trying to ram Eshe.
  • Having a Blast: Eschaton Cultists attack by triggering magical explosions in Eshe's vicinity.
  • Healing Potion: Health Elixirs, of which Eshe can carry a limited supply and which are sometimes dropped by enemies and breakable objects. How many Eshe can carry at a time, and how much health they restore per use, can be upgraded by spending Shards in the Trapezohedron Tree. Certain Perks can also increase or reduce the chances that an enemy will drop Health Elixirs upon death.
  • Hell Is That Noise: Whenever you hear the sound of a klaxon or gong, it means that a horde of enemies is about to descend on your location. New enemies will continue to spawn in until the sound stops.
  • Heroic Mime: Eshe has no dialogue outside of Voice Grunting. Possibly Justified, as there’s no one for her to talk to apart from the Shining Trapezohedron; everything else is hell-bent on killing her. That said, she does narrate the game’s launch trailer.
  • Holy Halo: The Eschaton incorporate spiked golden halos into a lot of their statuary, and some of the more powerful Eschaton enemies and minibosses have halos of pure energy (or at least halo designs on their robes). Of course, given what the Eschaton are and what they worship, Light Is Not Good is in full effect.
  • Homing Projectile:
    • Eschaton Aberrations can spit fireballs that will track Eshe and slowly home in on her. She can avoid them with a well-timed dodge roll.
    • The Herald of Ruin miniboss can fire dozens of small energy projectiles that home in on Eshe.
    • Rivalry can fire numerous energy arrowheads that doggedly pursue Eshe.
  • Hour of Power: The August 2017 patch added randomly-generated “Backer Rooms” where Eshe can obtain various kinds of temporary buffs, such as increased armour or making enemies explode when they die.
  • Humanoid Abomination: Eshe merges with the Shining Trapezohedron and becomes a creature of living darkness in the Embrace ending.
  • Humans Are Bastards: According to the crystal recordings, and the Shining Trapezohedron, the Valkyries committed genocide against their people.
  • Interface Screw: Traveling in or near the lore switches in crystal rooms causes the screen to gain an over-saturated, distorted filter, and the soundtrack fills with indistinguishable whispers. The same thing happens when Eshe travels near an Ability Shrine while carrying a complete Elder Shard.
  • In the Hood: Eshe wears a white cloak with a matching hood. Justified, as she was trekking through the desert in the middle of a sandstorm before she got pulled into the caverns, and so would have needed protection from the elements.
  • Kill It with Fire: General Waters built an incinerator specifically to destroy Elder Shards. Players will need to locate it and make use of it in order to get the Resist ending.
  • King Mook: All minibosses are souped-up variants of enemies you'll find in the game.
  • Lamprey Mouth: Crawlers have a circular mouth full of sharp white teeth in their center of mass. This mouth is normally concealed under their robes and tentacles, but becomes exposed whenever they lunge at Eshe.
  • Living Shadow: Various eldritch horrors can appear as shadowy tentacles or creatures throughout your journey, some of Eshe’s corrupted powers include weaponising them, and in the Embrace ending, she becomes a particularly powerful and monstrous one after merging with the Shining Trapezohedron.
  • Last of His Kind: Dominion is the first and last humanoid member of the Eschaton you meet. He is their leader, Krurhal Milarh, sealed away by the Valkyries while all the women and children were killed and the men were turned into monsters from the failed summoning ritual.
  • Law of Chromatic Superiority: As you get deeper into each region of the game, more powerful versions of the normal enemies will spawn, which can be identified by their colours. Red Dea’ enemies are slightly stronger than their normal versions, while golden Lith’ enemies are Bosses in Mooks’ Clothing.
  • Life Drain: The Life Absorb and Shield Absorb Perks restore a small percentage of Eshe’s health and shield, respectively, whenever she kills an enemy. The Harvester and Shield Drain Perks work similarly, restoring a much smaller percentage of Eshe’s health and shield every time she hits an enemy.
  • Living Weapon: The Shining Trapezohedron, a talking crystal that enters Eshe's body and becomes her melee weapon. Every melee attack is her flapping her arms or legs with the crystal extending out of her. It can later harden into two large fists for a downward slam.
  • Long-Range Fighter: Hunters are stationary robots that can shoot Eshe from several rooms away with their laser beams, but their only defense against melee attacks is curling up into a ball and raising their shields. Stronger variants can attack Eshe at close range with a slow, telegraphed energy pulse.
  • Lovecraftian Superpower: If you allow the Shining Trapezohedron to corrupt Eshe’s abilities, it will usually do so by granting her the power to transform into some kind of monstrous creature. For example, corrupting the Leaping Device allows Eshe to glide after a double-jump by turning into a bat-winged shadow monster, and the corrupted form of the Gravitational Boots lets Eshe sprout four extra limbs to crawl up and down walls like a spider.
  • The Magic Versus Technology War: The conflict between the Eschaton and the Valkyries. On the one hand, the Eschaton are a society of Eldritch Abomination-worshipping cultists who wield sorcerous powers gifted to them by their alien gods. On the other hand, the Valkyries are soldiers and scientists armed with lasers, Deflector Shields, robots, and powered armour. This game being what it is, both sides lost long before the player arrives.
  • Mask of Power: Dominion’s magical powers seem to come from his three masks. As soon as he puts one on, all three of them start glowing, his throne sprouts tentacles, and he begins casting his spells.
  • Mecha-Mooks: Most of the Valkyrie enemies are robots, although the Panzers and Sentinels appear to be cyborgs.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • The name Eshe means “Life” in several Eastern African languages. Fittingly, Eshe can’t permanently die.
    • “Eschaton” is a Greek term pertaining to The End of the World as We Know It. Guess what the Eschaton cult is trying to achieve by summoning their god?
    • The Notoctus is named after a type of cactus. It attacks by trying to impale Eshe on barbed vines, and defends itself by growing spikes out of its body.
  • Mighty Glacier: Eshe when she fully Resists. She never gets the superior mobility from the Elder Shard abilities, but her base offensive and defensive stats become massive instead.
  • Mirror Match: If Eshe chooses to fully embrace the Shining Trapezohedron’s powers, she ends up fighting an all-white doppelganger of herself as the first phase of the final boss fight.
  • Morph Weapon: The Shining Trapezohedron attacks by wrapping itself around one of Eshe’s limbs and shaping itself into a variety of different blades, fists, spikes and other appendages as she swings it around.
  • Multi-Mook Melee: Endless Hordes zones will pit Eshe against an endlessly-spawning horde of enemies until she leaves.
  • Multiple Endings: The game has three endings, depending on whether Eshe chose to resist or embrace the powers of the Elder Shards.
    • If Eshe fully resists, she destroys Nyarlathotep and the Shining Trapezohedron, but the portal to the desert shatters, seemingly leaving her trapped in the caverns.
    • If she doesn’t fully resist or embrace, she defeats Nyarlathotep and is returned to the desert, only for the Shining Trapezohedron to light up as the game abruptly ends.
    • If she fully embraces, Eshe kills her own humanity and merges with the Shining Trapezohedron to become a monster. The Trapezohedron then tears open a gate to the desert, allowing Eshe and an endless tide of eldritch horrors to pass through and presumably bring about The End of the World as We Know It.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Hysteria is a mountain-sized fungus-zombie-cyborg Spider Tank with a Wave-Motion Gun and weird gravity powers.
  • Not Quite Flight: Eshe can glide after double-jumping if she corrupts the Leaping Device into Z’Toggua’s Wings. She does this by shapeshifting into a bat-winged shadow monster.
  • Obviously Evil: The Shining Trapezohedron. It's a jagged black crystal that glows with a sinister red light, and speaks in a deep guttural language.
  • One-Hit Point Wonder: The Shield Converter Perk turns Eshe into this. It adds a sizeable chunk of her health to her shield, but in exchange it reduces her max HP to 1. If the shield ever goes down, she’s dead.
  • One-Winged Angel: In the Embrace path, Eshe’s doppelganger will transform into Humanity, a Shoggoth-like monstrosity with too many eyes, limbs, jaws, and exposed spinal cords. Eshe herself does this in the Embrace Ending as well, as she merges with the Shining Trapezohedron and turns into a black Humanoid Abomination with glowing eyes and a Sinister Scythe.
  • Peninsula of Power Leveling: The Endless Hordes zones, true to their name, will have Eshe under constant attack from endlessly-spawning enemies as long as she stays in the zone. A player who can make it from one end of an Endless Hordes zone to the other will rack up a large number of Shards and may also be rewarded with a Perk.
  • Player Death Is Dramatic: Whenever you die, the entire screen fades to black except for Eshe, who screams as numerous tentacles restrain her and pull her into the ground.
  • Playing with Fire: If Eshe resists, she adds fire abilities to her basic ones.
  • Power at a Price: The game’s perk system works this way. Many of the perks you can acquire will give Eshe cool new abilities or alter her playstyle in various ways, while at the same time imposing various drawbacks. For example, the Sharp Edge perk increases your critical hit chance by a substantial amount while also reducing your max health by the same amount.
  • Private Military Contractors: The Valkyries were originally a respected mercenary army before they became trapped in the caverns, according to the lore.
  • Pūnct'uatìon Sh'akër: In keeping with the game’s Lovecraftian undertones, the words of the Eschaton language usually have at least one apostrophe, and boss names often have two. Nyarlathotep’s real name has five.
  • Recoil Boost: The Valkyrie Cannon generates enough recoil to throw Eshe a good twenty feet backward with every shot. This is a perfect way to break free of a horde of enemies.
  • Regenerating Shield, Static Health: Eshe’s Shield will quickly regenerate if she doesn’t get attacked for a few seconds, but her health remains static and can only be replenished using Health Elixirs.
  • Religion of Evil: The Eschaton are a theocratic society of horrible monsters that worship eldritch horrors lifted straight from the Cthulhu Mythos. They all wear robes and masks, and the caverns are littered with the statues they built in honour of their god Nyarlathotep. Ishaela Bha’gor has been trying to summon said god in order to “cleanse” the world of human corruption, according to the lore.
  • The Resenter: With the world in collapse, The Valkyries came to the Eschaton in search of medicine, technology, and resources, and Kurarl Mirrah refused them. They went to war instead, resentful of their prosperity.
  • Rise to the Challenge: Certain areas of the Cathedral have patches of black fog (full of giant flailing fists) that will spontaneously form beneath Eshe and start rising up after her. If the fog engulfs her, Eshe will start taking large amounts of damage until she either gets clear or dies.
  • Rule of Seven: There are seven Elder Shards in the game. Three intact Shards are obtained by beating the main bosses, while the remaining four are broken up into fragments that must be collected from secret locations and mini-bosses. Finding all seven Shards is required to get the Resist and Embrace endings.
  • Rule of Three: The game’s map is broken up into three distinct regions. Each region has three mini-bosses, each of which drop an Elder Shard fragment upon being defeated. Three fragments add up to a whole Elder Shard. Each region also has a hidden Elder Shard fragment. Finally, there are three main bosses that must be defeated before Eshe can enter the Nether and fight the final boss; each of these bosses has three weak points.
  • Sand Worm: The Wurms found in the Valkyrie Encampment look like a weird cross between pill bugs and deep sea jellyfish, but they otherwise act like typical Sand Worms. They burrow through the ground, and attack Eshe by suddenly leaping out of it. They cannot spawn on metal floors or scaffolding.
  • Schmuck Bait: If you happen to enter a room that has a corrupted treasure sitting right out in the open with some sort of energy field surrounding it, do yourself a favor and don’t touch it. Attacking the treasure will seal off the room with impenetrable doors and summon a horde, which almost always contains a Lith’ enemy.
    • Subverted. Surviving these encounters rewards you with a Perk.
  • Sequential Boss: The final bosses of the Resist and Embrace paths each have two forms. In the former’s case, Eshe defeats Nyarlathotep, only for the Shining Trapezohedron to abandon her and revive Nyarly for another go. In the latter’s case, Eshe’s doppelganger goes One-Winged Angel and transforms into Humanity.
  • Shapeshifter Swan Song: Upon being defeated in the Resist ending, the Shining Trapezohedron transforms into a succession of human and not-so-human faces before settling on one with an enraged expression and too many eyes.
  • She Who Fights Monsters: Eshe can upgrade her powers even further after she's encountered them using Elder Shards, but she takes on a monstrous form when she does so. She becomes evil if she finds and uses them all.
  • Shock and Awe: The Valkyrie Araneas and Wurms both make use of electricity to attack Eshe. Araneas envelop themselves in electricity and then run up to Eshe, while Wurms jump out of the ground and release an electrical discharge upon landing. Lith’ Wurms also give off an electric field that will shock Eshe if she tries to attack them head-on.
  • Shoot the Mage First: Eschaton Cultists can summon walls that box the player in, and conjure barely-visible energy balls that are easily overlooked and deal heavy damage when they explode. They can do these things from several rooms away, making them very dangerous during horde encounters.
  • Shout-Out: The flavor text in the Trapezohedron Tree and the names of the corrupted abilities both reference a number of Cthulhu Mythos entities like Atlach-Nacha, Ghatanothoa, and Z’toggua. The Shining Trapezohedron is a reference to the short story The Haunter of the Dark, and just like that story, it is connected to this game’s version of Nyarlathotep.
  • A Sinister Clue: Nyarlathotep appears to be left-handed, as it attacks Eshe exclusively with its left hand while using its right hand to prop itself up.
  • Sinister Scythe: The Shining Trapezohedron takes this form in the Embrace ending, where Eshe uses it to kill her disembodied humanity before ushering in the apocalypse.
  • Spider Tank: The Hysteria boss is a several-hundred-foot-tall, four-legged spider tank with green ooze leaking out of its joints. Its “pilot” is a giant, screaming humanoid mass of cancerous tissue with a malformed human skeleton growing out of it.
  • Spikes of Doom: The thorny plants found in every region will damage Eshe if she comes into contact with them. They don’t cause instant death, but they can still kill you quickly from the lack of Mercy Invincibility.
  • Sprint Meter: Eshe has a Stamina Meter represented by yellow pips. She spends this meter to dodge-roll, air-dash, and fire the Valkyrie Cannon, with each action consuming one pip per use. The pips regenerate after a few seconds of inactivity, and the meter can be increased by spending Shards in the Trapezohedron Tree.
  • Squishy Wizard: The Eschaton Cultists may have strong shields to protect themselves and powerful spells to ruin Eshe’s day, but they also have very little health. Once their shield goes down, a Cultist generally dies in one or two hits.
  • Story Breadcrumbs: To get a complete picture of the plot, players need to listen to the Shining Trapezohedron’s history lessons in the crystal rooms and read the various lore snippets hidden in the Trapezohedron’s Tree.
  • Summoning Ritual: Ishaela Bha’gor attempted to summon Nyarlathotep through a gate in the Cathedral, only for General Waters to interrupt her ritual. The two of them were squaring off to fight when the gate suddenly exploded, killing them both and tearing a hole in reality. This is why Alien Geometries are in full effect around the Cathedral.
  • Tactical Suicide Boss: To make it easier to reach Hysteria's weak points, if you're on the ground when the boss pounds it, you'll be impulsed to a great height.
  • Technicolor Fire: Airborne Valkyrie units like the Meteoroid and the Panzer are able to fly around on jets of green fire.
  • Thinking Up Portals: Dominion attacks exclusively by creating portals with its eldritch powers. Purple portals are used to throw punches at Eshe with giant fists made of tentacles, while red portals will continuously summon monstrous crawlers until destroyed.
  • This Cannot Be!: Nyarlathotep/the Shining Trapezohedron has this reaction to being defeated, followed by a Big "NO!", in both the neutral and Resist endings.
    Nyarlathotep: “How could this be?” (screams) “Nooo!!!!”
  • Turns Red: All the bosses gain more attacks and fight more aggressively as their health goes down, and will use a one-off attack that hits most of the screen at 50% health. Legion and Salvation are a literal example: whenever Eshe knocks one of them out, the other will turn red, become invincible, and attack Eshe relentlessly until the one she defeated reanimates.
  • Unreliable Expositor: The Shining Trapezohedron is your main source of exposition on what happened in the caverns before you arrived (outside the lore snippets in the tech tree), and it paints the Eschaton as innocent victims of the cruel Valkyrie invaders. Given that the Shining Trapezohedron is pretty transparently manipulating you and is a fragment of Nyarlathotep, the Cthulhu Mythos deity best known for deceiving and manipulating people, the things it says should be taken with a grain of salt.
  • Unnecessary Combat Roll: Eshe can avoid enemy attacks by dodge-rolling through them.
  • Unwinnable by Mistake: Solving one Magnate of the Gong puzzle requires the player to have at least three Energy in order to dash to the final exit. This is the base amount of energy, but the drawbacks of some perks reduce it, and the large and sprawling structure of the puzzle makes it so that it's not immediately obvious the lack of Energy is the problem.
  • Updated Re Release: Sundered: Eldritch Edition, which was released in December of 2018 and added an extra region, a new boss, and local co-op multiplayer to the game. The update was free for anyone who already owned a copy of the game on Steam or the PS4, and it was also ported to the Xbox One and the Nintendo Switch.
  • Videogame Dashing: The Propulsion Engine allows Eshe to air-dash, with each dash consuming a unit of stamina. As long as she has enough stamina, she can string together multiple air-dashes in a single jump.
  • Villainous Breakdown: The Shining Trapezohedron will start going through one if you begin destroying Elder Shards in the incinerator. It gets increasingly angry with every Elder Shard you destroy, abandoning its normally calm demeanour to curse you out and insult you. If you destroy all seven, the Trapezohedron will go Laughing Mad and betray you during the final boss fight:
    “Eshe, my little pawn… You refused my help, and now I shall crush you! The creature you see before you is my true form! You will regret… EVERYTHING!”
  • Visible Invisibility: The mini-boss Arlie Waylon has a cloaking device that renders him invisible when he’s not actively attacking Eshe. This would allow him to sneak up on her, if not for the fact that the player can still see his mostly transparent silhouette.
  • Wall Crawl: The Gravitational Boots allow Eshe to climb up any sheer wall, so long as she starts out at its base while standing on the ground. Their corrupted form, Atlach-Nacha's Grip, allows Eshe to climb up and down any such wall like a spider, and she can start climbing from any point on the wall’s surface.
  • Wall Jump: Eshe begins the game with this ability, and her Wall Jumps will carry her further if you press in the direction that she’s jumping. She can also perform Mega Man X-style Wall Kicks in certain windy areas of the Cathedral.
  • Wall Run: Eshe can run up sheer walls with the Gravitational Boots.
  • Was Once a Man: Hysteria was once a human soldier named Emmitt Nelson, before the Eschatons captured him and transformed him into the nightmarish zombie-cyborg-Spider Tank that he is now. This also applies to Eshe in the Embrace ending, as after she merges with the Shining Trapezohedron, she’s only human in appearance alone, and even that’s pushing it.
  • Wave-Motion Gun: Armageddon, the corrupted form of the Valkyrie Cannon. Instead of firing a single energy bullet like its normal form, it now fires a continuous and gigantic energy beam which lasts for as long as you have stamina, doing massive damage.
    Shining Trapezohedron: "Hahaha! That is what I call a weapon!"
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: The leader of the Valkyrie, General Leonard Waters.
  • Wham Shot: The last area of the game is dark and sorta purple-ish and you soon find a strange helmet.... and then suddenly black tendrils and claws appear in and something resembling a human mouth but more akin to a latex mask take control of the helmet. Then you see the entity's name... NYARLATHOTEP.
  • White Mask of Doom: The Eschaton enemies all wear white masks to go with their tattered robes, and masks are a common motif on their statuary. Since, with the exception of Dominion, these enemies are all eldritch tentacle monsters, the masks only serve to make them creepier by highlighting their inhumanity.
    • This is because their god, Nyarlathotep, takes on many forms, each one called a Mask.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity
  • Zerg Rush: Singular enemies are rare. In general, they come in weak but massive hordes. A klaxon or a supernatural sound (called The Gong) indicates when a horde is coming.

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