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Video Game / Sven Co-op

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Pleasing Taste, Some Monsterism.
Released all the way back in 1999, Sven Co-op is a Co-Op Multiplayer modification of Half-Life developed by Daniel Fearon, aka Sven_Viking, that's been in development for well over a decade, constantly updated and improved.

The main draw of the mod is the ability to play co-operative Half-Life gameplay, with groups of players going about several missions across the universe, from Black Mesa and Xen to Hell and back, gunning down aliens and military grunts alike. Each of these missions are contributed by random mappers and are limitless in different scenarios and creativity, and each follow simple plots.

Along with the hundreds of custom campaigns, Sven Co-op comes equipped with full co-op recreations of the original Half-Life, its expansions, They Hunger, and Afraid of Monsters.

On January 22, 2016, Sven Co-op was released on Steam for free (complete with the original Half-Life campaign).

Sven Co-op shows examples of:

  • Action Girl / Purely Aesthetic Gender: Players can choose to play as male or female characters and still kick ass either way.
    • Jarringly enough, despite the variety in third-person models, players' soundboards will always have the same gruff-sounding marine voice.
  • Antagonist Title: One of the most famous, classic maps is "Osprey", where you have to destroy the Mook Maker Osprey.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: Ledges that would normally require people hopping on each other to access can be accessed alone due to the ledge mounting system. Some servers before that would typically lower the gravity just enough to jump these ledges.
  • Art Evolution: While it is based on the Half-Life engine, all models are made high-definition so they look much better, smoother, and more detailed.
  • Bait-and-Switch Boss: The "Monster Spleen" of Toon Run scenario is introduced as a generic Half-Life leech in a fish bowl. It's Played for Laughs as it dies from a single blow from anything. Once you kill it, it is revealed that there is actually a very real Monster Spleen boss, to deal with and it's nowhere as easy as the fake one.
  • Bald of Evil: Otis's evil twin Otto is similarly bald.
  • Beard of Evil: Otto also has a goatee to emphasize his evilness.
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory: The game allows people to "donate" money to its creators for permanent weapon enhancements — namely, their Uzis do double damage, and they can use armor to boost the damage on their melee weapon.
  • Canon Foreigner: Some new enemies were created for the mod, such as the Baby Gargantua (a smaller, red Gargantua), and the Xen Commander. Some new human enemies include the Agent (who can use a variety of weapons), Otto, and Barnabus (the last two being enemy AI versions of Otis and Barney respectively).
  • Canon Immigrant: The Robot enemies from the German version of Half-Life 1 make an appearance and have the same AI as human enemies - however, their movements are notably more robotic (obviously), they're given proper metallic properties, spark and smoke as they take damage, and when they're killed, explode. The cigar-smoking, gatling-wielding Human Sergeant cut from the final product of Half-Life 1 also makes an appearance as the Heavy Weapons grunt.
  • Cigar Chomper: The heavy weapons grunt.
  • Clumsy Copyright Censorship: A Super Mario Bros.-themed section of Toonrun had do be edited for the game to be added on Steam. It was done by having the bricks look like they were covered by blankets, and the backdrop was turned into a crude drawing - perfectly in line with Toonrun's aesthetics and flippant gameplay.
  • Crowbar Combatant: Unless you're given the monkey wrench instead, expect this to always be in your arsenal.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Given that combat in Half-Life and They Hunger was originally balanced for only one player, and this mod allows one to get upwards of 20 people to assist, battles quickly become one-sided, even when the mod incorporates Opposing Force's new, more powerful enemies. And if respawns are turned on, it's pretty much impossible to lose. There are options for servers to make enemies scale to team size, resulting in massive bullet sponges who'll kill anyone with a quick burst of their M16, and certain maps deposit dead players in an inescapable spawn area, with a game over if all players die.
  • Damage-Sponge Boss: Bosses and important mooks can have greatly increased health to give them longevity. Example is Afrikacorps from version 4, which finishes with an anti-tank gun that is technically an object and therefore didn't show the amount of health remaining.
  • Dark Action Girl: Female Assassins make an appearance in many campaigns, and are much the same as past appearances.
  • Darker and Edgier: In comparison to the vivid and action-packed feel of Half-Life and most custom campaigns, the Afraid of Monsters: Director's Cut port is utterly terrifying, full of the horrific monsters and eye-wrenching darkness of the original game.
  • Decomposite Character:
    • The Mecha-Mooks from censored versions of the original Half-Life are now fully separate enemies with their own quirks (such as self-destructing after being defeated).
    • The HD pack's M16 assault rifle, which was originally a graphical replacement for the MP5 submachine gun, is now its own weapon here. Both weapons have undergone a number of gameplay changes to differentiate them.note 
  • Divergent Character Evolution: The Mecha-Mooks from the aforementioned censored editions are now distinct characters from the HECU grunts from Half-Life, and get their own unique aspects because of it; their movements were redone to look more robotic, spark and smoke as they take damage, and self-destruct upon being destroyed.
  • Elaborate Underground Base/Abandoned Laboratory/Abandoned Warehouse: Due to being a Half-Life mod, a large chunk of the aforementioned custom campaigns take place in the clinical halls/storage rooms of Black Mesa, or a research/military facility extremely similar to it.
  • Elite Mook: Like in the original Half-Life, the Black Ops assassins.
  • Emergency Weapon: In the Afraid of Monsters: Director's Cut port, your primary melee weapon is a kitchen knife, as in the original, where it is encouraged to use it as much as possible to save on ammo, which is dangerously scarce. However, due to Sven Co-op being much more easier and generous with ammo due to the multiplayer elements, the knife is completely useless and should only be used to destroy breakable objects like boards and vent covers.
  • Evil Counterpart / Evil Twin: Barney and Otis have enemy forms called Barnabus and Otto, looking exactly the same but with cartoonishly evil tweaks like evil beards, scars, and black clothing. The official website even canonically deems them as evil twin brothers of Barney and Otis.
  • Evil Wears Black: The evil security guards Barnabus and Otto have black uniforms instead of blue.
    • The assassins and bodyguards too.
  • Faceless Goons / Gas Mask Mooks: As in the original Half-Life, some enemy grunts spawn wearing gas masks and balaclavas, as are the assassins.
  • Fat Bastard: Otto is just as fat as his good twin, Otis, but a lot grumpier.
  • Gatling Good: Players can wield handheld miniguns for More Dakka and so can the AI-controlled enemies; see the entry below. Despite its power, you're slow when carrying it, slower when winding it up and forced to stand still when firing. You can't switch to anything else nor can you jump, eventually forcing you to drop it in order to progress in a level.
  • Giant Mook/King Mook:
    • Due to the presence of Baby Gargantuas and the multitude of players being able to take them down much easier, the regular Gargantuas are basically demoted to this.
    • There are King Headcrabs which are not very big compared to some real behemoths of the game, but still larger than the rest of their kind. They don't possess any extra abilities, though.
  • Good Counterpart: Friendly versions of the human grunt, black ops troopers, and aliens have lighter colouring. The friendly female assassins, in particular, have silver catsuits as opposed to the hostiles' black, and male assassins wear khakis and not skintight black fatigues.
    • Evil Counterpart: The same applies for normally friendly units: hostile security guards wear red or black, as do enemy scientists and bodyguards.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Barney's evil twin Barnabus has facial scarring.
  • Guns Akimbo: Sven Co-op adds an Uzi to the default Half-Life formula. It can be dual-wielded for extra firepower.
  • Healing Potion: Most servers equip players with medkits by default that can be used to heal their teammates. They also double as a Magical Defibrillator.
  • Hellish Copter: The Osprey on...well, the Osprey map. It's usually harmless, but after downing it, its crash can actually kill you.
  • Implacable Man: David Leatherhoff of the Afraid of Monsters: Director's Cut port is, by every meaning of the word, utterly invincible.
  • Invisibility Cloak: Some female assassins are equipped with one like in the hardest Half-Life difficulties, further emphasizing their Elite Mook status.
  • Magical Defibrillator: Players can use their medkit's Secondary Fire to revive a player who has died but not yet respawned, averting what could otherwise be a long trip from the spawn point.
  • Mecha-Mooks: Some maps have robo-grunts (humanoid robot drones armed with assault rifles) as enemies. These grunts first originated from German versions of Half-Life where the humans were replaced with robo-grunts as a censorship method. They not only have the high impact reactive armor like that of an H.E.V. but they explode when killed.
  • The Men in Black: Sven Co-op inherits the G-man as seen in the original Half-Life. Additionally, version 4.0 adds the highly dangerous "Bodyguard" enemy type, who wear black suits and shades.
  • Mook Maker: The Osprey is harmless (until it crashes) but deploys an endless wave of mooks.
  • Mook Medic: Remember the friendly medic NPCs from Opposing Force? They can be enemies now. If you haven't guessed already; Shoot the Medic First.
    • Also, in the revival of a scrapped Half-Life concept, Vortigaunts can bring their peers back by shocking their corpses, making all Vortigaunts Mook Medics.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Two default playermodels, Barniel and Kate, are shapely female security guards. The female assassins also qualify due to their athletic physique and Sensual Spandex Spy Catsuit.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Since the plots have to be fairly simple, this is present in many maps as compensation.
    • For a specific example, the Pizza Ya San (Pizza Shop) map. It features strange customers (two examples are the VIP from TFC who eats pizza with chopsticks and a random Black Mesa scientist that stretches his mouth trying to fit an entire pizza inside), surprisingly lethal obstacles to making a pizza, and unbelievable justifications for the enemies ("Disgusting Vermin" and "Pizza Eaters").
      • The sequel (wherein the pizza is delivered) is slightly more grounded than its predecessor but still manages to be just as awesome. Among other things, you have to move the delivery guy with grappling hooks, hop on drones flying at dizzying heights, and jetpack through fields of intense winds. See to believe.
  • Nintendo Hard: The Tetris maps. They are filled to the brim with picky platforming, powerful damage sponge enemies, and several puzzles that demand a good level of teamwork.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: Half-Life's campaign was never designed for co-op, which results in some of the levels being modified to be beatable by more than one person (such as altering On A Rail to make it possible to go through the level without using the tram at all). Some servers also disable certain gimmicks, such as the tripmine maze in Surface Tension, to combat griefing.
  • Room Escape Game: Several maps are mainly escape-the-room/facility puzzles.
  • Scary Black Man: The heavy weapons grunt.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Thanks to the built-in music player, you can put any songs that don't fit in with the Half-Life campaign or any other maps. Who would have the time to listen to "Goka! Gokai!? Phantom Thief!" or "Senbonzakura" while killing zombies or HECU grunts?
  • Standard FPS Guns: Being a HL1 mod, alien weapons are especially scarce, so your armory is almost always a melee weapon, pistol, shotgun, SMG, and some explosives.
    • The new weapons introduced in the original game's Opposing Force expansion pack are available here on top of the original selection, including the Desert Eagle and Sniper Rifle which replaced the .357 Magnum and Crossbow in the original game respectively. The mod also adds a few completely original weapons such as the Uzi and Microgun.
    • The SMG's grenade launcher was replaced with a zoomable scope and given to the M16 assault rifle instead. It differs from the SMG by only firing in 3-round bursts and has its own ammo pool.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: The Stadium maps let you spawn any NPC you want in the titular arena. This means you can pit a completely defenceless scientist against a horde of Gargantuas.