Follow TV Tropes

Following

Video Game / TAGAP

Go To

TAGAP (The Apocalyptic Game About Penguins) is a series of side-scrolling freeware Action Games in the style of Abuse made by Penguin DT, an indie game dev studio. As the name suggests, the series is about penguins and apocalyptic scenarios involving More Dakka, Stuff Blowing Up, and Fantastic Drugs.

So far, three games have been released:

  • TAGAP (2007): The evil Doctor Glowenko plans to conquer the world with his army of cybernetic penguins. However Pablo - one of his creations - rebels, escapes containment, and goes into a one-penguin rampage across Glowenko's base, fighting his army of penguin clones, robots, and The Dragon Pedro.
  • Advertisement:
  • TAGAP 2 (2011): After Glowenko's defeat, Pablo and Pedro decide to investigate the company he worked for, Random Evil Pharmaceuticals. Unfortunately, they accidentally awaken R.E.P.'s own attempt at a cyber-penguin - General Primo, who promptly unleashes an army of fellow penguins. The duo must stop the evil rockhopper from taking over the entire world.
  • TAGAP 3 (2017): In 2006, Pluto was declassified from "planet" to "dwarf planet". The Plutonian Penguins took massive offense to that, and decide to wage war on the entire planet. Moreover, because of a prophecy, they kidnap and imprison Pablo in order to prevent him from interfering. Luckily, Paola, second-in-command to one of Pluto's highest officers, manages to free Pablo and convince him into joining the rebellion...

The Penguin DT website (and the download links for the series) is here.

Advertisement:

Examples

  • Aliens in Cardiff: The first secret base is in... New Zealand?
  • Alliterative Family: Every named Penguins has a name beginning with P: Pablo, Pedro, Primo, and Paola.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • When you die and continue, you restart at the beginning of the section. If you have low health and ammo, the game can give you some.
    • Collectible penguins are listed in the order they appear throughout the game.
    • In 3, if you replay a Department, you can skip certain sections and all the end-level boss battles. Additionally, you can get the "complete a Department without dying" achievements even if you skip said sections.
      • The Department of Defence is considered "completed" as soon as you pass the Warlord's seat, even though the area past it is technically still part of the Department.
  • Amazing Technicolor Battlefield: The final boss of 3 uses a contained singularity (a gigantic white-and-purple swirling sphere) as background.
  • Advertisement:
  • Armor Is Useless: Subverted - enemies with armor tend to be more resistant than enemies who don't. Additionally, Pablo himself can acquire some decent armor through 3: each piece increases his health by at least 20%.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Apparently the weather controlling satellites were designed for "Fight global warming, ecological terrorism, and getting the weather predictions right for once".
  • Artificial Gravity: The last level of the first game takes place on a space station with this.
  • Ascended Extra: Remember the Funky Penguins that appear when you overdose on green pills? They got a much larger role in the third episode.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: Mechapenguinators and a few other bosses abide by this trope. The former have their own weak points protected by shields, generated by other glowing weak points.
  • BFG: The OMG-20k from 1 and 2.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Twice in 3. Pablo rescuing the Funky Prophet before his execution, and Pedro saving Pablo when his helicopter has been critically damaged by a Load-Bearing Boss.
  • Boss Rush: One level halfway through the first game is this.note 
  • Caffeine Bullet Time: Overdosing on TAGAP causes this, as well as various hallucinations.
  • Church of Happyology: The Plutoid Faith is part this (complete with self-help books and merchandise); and part hippy culture, what with taking hallucinogen drugs and integrating marijuana leaves in its symbol. It also speaks of "Vibes", "Flow" and "Waves", both as their hippy meaning and as their scientific one.
  • Collection Sidequest: You can collect penguin dolls in 2 and "faries" in 3. The latter are translucent and hard to see unless you're overdosing, and can be collected only in that state.
  • Convection Schmonvection: Anytime lava is present, our hero has to touch it to sustain any damage. Even then, the damage is quite minor.
  • Critical Existence Failure: Justified in-universe. Pretty much any attack is enough to kill a normal penguin; however, all modified penguins possess a certain amount of TAGAP in their body, which gets automatically consumed to instantly regenerate from any injury as if it never happened in the first place. If all the TAGAP is depleted, though, any attack is invariably lethal.
  • Cute 'em Up
  • Damage Typing: This trope changed considerably throughout the trilogy.
    • 1 averts it - all weapons cause the same damage against all enemies;
    • 2 downplays it - the EMP Rifle is the only weapon with different damage and stun depending on the enemy it is used against;
    • 3 plays it straight - many weapons have vastly different damages and effects depending on the enemy it is used on.
  • Death from Above: In 2, a special remote allows the player to summon Pedro in a helicopter, who then proceeds to carpet-bomb everything on the screen. However, it has a cooldown, and is only available in open areas during single-player mode.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: After Pablo defeats him and saves his life, Pedro decides to join him against R.E.P.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: The two Mechapenguinators Mark 1 and the one Mark 2 in the first game are the very last obstacles in Glowenko's base. It helps that he was supposed to be the first episode's Final Boss.
    • Recurring Boss: They assume this role in the second half of the first two games. They're no less lethal than before, but the player is much better equipped.
  • Double Entendre: In the second game, there is a club featuring titmice.
  • Dragon Ascendant: Pedro continues Glowenko's world domination plans after the latter is killed. Subverted because he later explains that he isn't doing it out of loyalty to his now-dead boss, but simply because he wants power.
  • Dynamic Difficulty: Playing 2 in co-op mode not only increases the amount of enemies, but changes the placement of powerful enemies to attack players from both front and rear at the same time. However, it also reduces the amount of enemies spawned from above/below - see Split Screen below.
  • Dual Wielding: The Uzis.
  • Elite Mooks: Armed Penguinators.
    • Rockhopper elites are added in the second game, trading resistance with intelligence.
    • In 3, Funky Penguins with bow-ties are mooks, while those with regular ties are full-on Elite Mooks. The latters have armor (vastly more health) and the ability to use gadgets (grenades, shields, or shock bots).
  • Everything's Better with Penguins
  • Evil, Inc.: Random Evil Pharmaceuticals in the second game.
  • Fantastic Drug: The titular TAGAP (Tissue Augmenting Green Addictive Pill). Heals you instantly, augments your reflexes, may cause mind control and/or hallucinations. You pass an entire level of 2 completely stoned on the stuff.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Pablo picking up the soap in 3's Prison level to lure out one of the keycard carrying guards.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Pablo, in a sense. Glowenko attempted to create an empowered, intelligent cyber-penguin fit to be a general for his army. He succeeded, but it turned out that Pablo was intelligent enough to have a rightful morality and enough power and ability to single-handedly destroy Glowenko's plans.
    • Primo has been revealed to be this in side-materials. He was engineered by R.E.P. to crave military conquest and domination, and to be loyal to R.E.P. After he was put in stasis by his creators, he came to the conclusion that his creators "fired" him... which he interpreted as the order to "stop being bound to R.E.P.". And since he still craved for world domination, he decided that he would've sought it solely for himself.
  • Grotesque Cute
  • Harmless Freezing: Averted in 3 - organic enemies who are frozen by the Cryogun are considered dead, and fall into pieces when they thaw.
  • Healing Factor: All cyber-penguins (main characters included) possess the ability to instantly regenerate any wound as long as they have some TAGAP in their bodies.
  • Helpful Mook: Some Mecha-Mooks will carry boxes with health pickups that you can shoot out of their hands.
  • High-Pressure Blood: Pretty much every big organic enemy will spew various litres of blood as they die.
    • Particularly the Super Zombies, which stand and gush blood for several seconds when you kill them.
    • Taken to Evangelion levels in the second game's ending.
  • Hijacked by Ganon: A spoilery plot point for 3. The Plutoid Warlord was actually contrary to the war with Earth, and instead led a mission to study it and determine whether it was hostile to Pluto. One of the "artifacts" recovered contained a resurrected Primo, who brainwashed the Warlord and orchestrated the conflict.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: Pablo can carry about a dozen weapons (some of which are literally as big as he is) on him plus a thousand ammo for each, as well as a hundred grenades. And he's a naked penguin.
  • Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels: The first game has "Easy" (which was added with a later patch), "Normal", "Hardcore!", "INSANE!" and "Necrophilissimo!" (named after one of the developers). The second game gets rid of the "INSANE!" difficulty and rebalances the other four.
    • The third game has instead "Hard", "Harder", "Hardcore!" and "Necrophilissimo!". Needless to say, 3 suffers from Sequel Difficulty Spike.
      • A later update adds a new Harder Than Hard difficulty: "Challenge Overdose". Enemies are faster and more damaging, most mooks now wear armor, and you cannot carry extra lives (red pills now just give you a full health bar).
  • Improvised Weapon: The Scrap Gun in 3 is basically a vacuum cleaner that sucks in metallic scrap and grinds it into small fragments, so that it can then be shot into the appropriate chutes without clogging them. Pablo reworks it into a functional, scrap-powered shotgun.
  • Infinity +1 Gun: The YROD (Yellow Ray Of Death) in 3. It requires the player to find all the pieces first (which requires some backtracking in previous levels), but it disintegrates any mook on screen and provides a few instants of invulnerability, and has infinite ammo. The drawback is that it takes 30 seconds to recharge.
  • Initialism Title
  • Invincibility Power-Up: Blue pills in the first game make you temporarily invincible, but make everything except you speed up. The sequel replaces them with blue vials, which are found in rare spots (instead of being rewards for killing enough enemies), but can be carried with you and activated at any time.
  • Jump Physics: Starting with 2, Pablo has access to a short double jump and a "stomp" that inflicts no damage, but is extremely useful for quickly dodging enemy shots while airborne.
  • Junkie Prophet: The Funky Prophet, of course.
  • Justified Extra Lives: "One Ups" are red pill made of super-concentrated TAGAP, and are strong enough to completely regenerate a penguin that has been literally reduced to paste.
  • Klatchian Coffee: The titular drug.
  • Lethal Lava Land: the penultimate level of 1.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: The MIRV weapon in 3 is a rocket launcher that, normally, shoots three homing missiles per shot. If you are under the effects of a Quad Damage, it shoots 12 missiles per shot. If they all hit at the same time, the resulting explosion will be bright enough to make the screen completely white for an instant.
  • Mecha-Mooks: Abundant in the Tokyo levels in 1.
  • Mercy Invincibility: Notably averted through all 3 games, contributing to the overall difficulty. Even the invincibility after losing a life is shorter than most games' standard invincibility frames.
  • Mini-Mecha: Many of the bosses in 3 are this. Notably, they all possess a failsafe system that prevents any damage from reaching the pilot, including in the case where the mecha blows up; this also means that all said bosses have a second phase where the pilot now fights you on foot.
  • Mirror Boss: Various bosses throughout the series are penguins who use one or more of the same weapons as you. However, two fights particularly stand out:
    • Pedro in 1, when fought on foot, uses one of the same weapons as you. In the final fight, he can use almost all the weapons in the game, and he'll (almost) always use the same weapon as your current one. Also, he uses One-Ups. Infinite One-Ups.. You have to break the rules and use the Disintegrator, which is one of the only weapons he doesn't have, and which completely ignores his One-Ups.
    • The final boss in 3 also qualifies, using many of your weapons, but with a twist: he'll use slightly-improved versions of the second episode's weapons. This is because he's General Primo, the Big Bad from said game.
  • Mook Maker: Some minibosses and bosses. In particular, the Clone Machine in 1 spawns zombie penguins so fast, that killing the boss before you drown in penguins is a Timed Mission.
  • More Dakka: The quad damage powerup doesn't multiply your damage - it multiplies the amount of bullets you fire. Which is cooler.
    • In the sequels, the Freeloader power-up enhances your ratio of fire and gives you infinite ammo. And yes, it is entirely possible to combine the two.
  • Nintendo Hard
  • One-Winged Angel: Every penguin boss in the sequel, due to a special device that feeds them with concentrated TAGAP. Even Primo, although in his case, it's by accident.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: The base mooks in the first two games are cloned penguins who are almost completely devoid of intelligence, can only do basic tasks, and hunger for the flesh of enemy penguins.
  • Phlebotinum Overdose: Subverted. You can overdose on TAGAP, and you gain bullet time. And funky green penguins.
  • Planet Spaceship: It is quickly revealed in 3 that the entire planet of Pluto is being warped towards Earth.
  • Pluto Is Expendable: The entire reason for the third game's plot. NASA downgraded Pluto from "planet" to "dwarf planet", prompting the Plutoids to launch a planetary war in retaliation. Except that wasn't the whole reason.
  • Power-Up: Killing a certain amount of enemies in each level rewards you with various power-ups.
  • Prophecy Twist: Part of the plot of 3 is that a Plutoid prophecy shows Pluto invading Earth, only for both planets to be destroyed by a black-and-white penguin. It's initially thought that the "monochrome menace" in question is an Earth penguin, which leads to Pablo's kidnapping and inprisonment; later, it's re-interpreted as the war itself, threatening to destroy both worlds. Turns out that the propecy really did refer to an Earthling penguin... but the Big Bad, not Pablo.
  • Quad Damage: A Power-Up that appeared in all games throughout the series. Unlike most shooter games, it doesn't quadruple the damage of your projectiles; it quadruples the amount of projectiles you shoot, without increasing ammo consumption.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: The Funky Prophet is revealed to be this. He initially feared that "the black penguin" he saw in his vision would've destroyed Pluto, and voted in favor of the war; but he ends up changing his mind when he saw what Pluto's militarization has brought, correctly guessing that the war itself was the threat.
    • The Warlord himself was this. He was anti-war, but decided to personally lead a recon mission anyway. If Earth was hostile, he would've gotten useful intel for the upcoming war; if it wasn't, he could've personally testified the fact in order to prevent the war.
  • Recurring Riff: The main theme from 1 (particularly the first dozen notes) has been reused in various tracks across all games. The developers consider it to be both Pablo's and the series's Leitmotif.
    • Pedro's own Leitmotif is a guitar riff, taken from the first game's boss theme. It's also present in various battle themes.
    • "Penguinator", the theme of the first game's Disc-One Final Boss, is later reused in each game's last level, often as a boss theme.
  • Recursive Ammo: The MIRV weapon in 3 shoots clusters of three missiles. They can either separate immediately after firing (slight homing capacity, bigger damage overall), or stay together (bigger explosion).
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Primo and the other rockhopper penguins.
  • Regenerating Health: If your health is under a certain limit and you haven't been hit for a few seconds, it'll be gradually restored up to said limit. Unfortunately, the limit gets lower at the higher difficulties.
  • Respawning Enemies: The main reason of the game's difficulty.
    • Later levels, such as Megamania, will become knee-deep in penguins unless you use a big gun to keep their numbers down.
    • This was toned down in the sequel - however, there are more difficult non-respawning foes (including those with ranged weapons), and later levels can still overflow with penguins if you don't keep up the pressure. This was also likely to prevent the player from being able to earn health and powerups too easily.
  • Rewarding Vandalism: Blasting some cabinets might reward you with a green (health) pill.
    • In 3, destroying something generates one or two pieces of scrap, which are used as ammo for the Scrap Gun. More importantly, destroying all security cameras in a map opens up a secret room full of supplies.
  • Rule of Cool
  • Secondary Fire: Pretty much every single weapon has one, as well as many vehicles.
  • Secret Dance Club: there is one hidden in 1, but there are no enemies to fight in them. You gain lots of supplies, though.
    • 2 plays with this, in the sense that the Disco Club is a regular part of the level, but the exclusive VIP section is a secret area.
  • Shotguns Are Just Better: The Shotgun in 1 Has decent power at short range, but its secondary fire is a reliable grenade launcher.
  • Shout-Out: Many, especially to Doom.
    • One of the most blatant ones in 2 is an entire church dedicated to "Saint Tux", aka UNIX's mascot.
      • The final level in 2 has an enormous circle made of four lights arranged around a central symbol. Each light turns red if you destroy the corresponding generator; you can get an achievement if you replicate the XBox's Red Ring Of Death.
    • The Funky Doctor in 3 wears a bowtie and a fez.
      • One of the enemies in the same level, the Bio-Funk, wears a mask-and-gas-canister system very reminiscent of Bane.
      • The description of the Exterminator mentions that it doesn't include a plunger.
  • Situational Sword: the EMP rifle in 2. Completely useless on organic enemies and Mecha-bosses, and the secondary fire is basically useless in combat. It's also required to grab some hidden items, stops most mechanical enemies, destroys shields, and if you are a really good shot (or just are in Overdose), you can wreck Mechapenguinators.
  • Sliding Scale of Linearity vs. Openness: the first two games were a "2" on the scale. However, TAGAP 3 squarely places itself at a "3", since you can replay old chapters with all the weapons and upgrades you've collected so far - some of which can be used to reach previously closed areas.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Antartica in the first game. Downplayed because it isn't much slippery (probably because the characters are penguins).
  • Split Screen: 2 allows two players to play in co-op as Pablo and Pedro. Besides increasing the amount of enemies, co-op takes in account the fact that the players lose a lot of vertical visibility due to the split screen, and thus redistributes the enemies so that they mostly spawn from the left/right sides of the screen. This way, the game tries to avoid the Fake Difficulty of having an enemy appear from above/below and attack the players with no time to react.
  • Standard FPS Guns: Many of the weapons in 1 and 2 fall into this, although the Secondary Fire function helps somewhat.
    • Disintegrator (1): Chainsaw, due to its short range, high damage and self-recharging ammo.
    • EMP Rifle (2): Gimmicky (disables shields and robotic enemies). The secondary fire (a gravity field) is pretty much an Utility Weapon.
    • Flamethrower: by consuming more fuel, it can set the ground on fire to create flaming barriers.
    • Minigun: with a bonus Sentry Gun function.
    • Nail Gun (2): it can also deploy explosive drones that shoot multiple nails.
    • OMG-20k: a cross between a BFG (high damage) and a Rail Gun (penetrating shots), with an "overload" ability that clears the entire room but also damages you.
    • Plasma Gun: Assault Rifle with the ability to generate shields.
    • Rocket Launcher: it's both the FPS Rocket Launcher (fast straight-moving rockets) and as the FPS Missile Launcher (slow guidable missiles).
    • Shotgun: Shotgun, also packed with Grenades (1, 3) or Mines (2).
    • Sub-Machine Guns: Dual Automatic Weapons that, due to the really low damage output, act as the FPS Pistol.
    • 3 tries to avert this by putting some spin in their concept:
      • Pulsegun: Plasma pistol, manually recharged via handle (similar to the Disintegrator from the first game). Used as a fallback weapon to conserve ammo or to farm up pills.
      • Cryogun: The one that fully averts Standard FPS Guns, it shoots freezing liquid in an arc that can freeze enemies, allowing for Literally Shattered Lives. Additionally, it also can shoot gushes of air that can push away enemies or shatter frozen ones.
      • Exterminator: Rail Gun against organic enemies, Energy Absorption against electronic ones.
      • MIRV: It's both the FPS Missile Launcher (three missiles with limited auto-aiming) and the FPS Rocket Launcher (one single unguided cluster, which isn't as damaging as the three separate missiles, but has a bigger explosion - which can pass through shields).
      • Nanogrinder: Another Rocket Launcher, but it is massively more effective against nanoshields, and can rebuild nano-bridges for some puzzles. Not too shabby against standard mooks either, with minimal splash damage.
      • Scrapgun: An Improvised Weapon functionally similar to the Shotgun from 1, but it doesn't use ammo; instead, it uses scraps taken from the remains of mechanical enemies, vehicles, and heavy weapons wielded by enemies.
      • Smartgun: Assault Rifle with the ability to steer the shots towards a single point on the screen or of a specific enemy.
      • Thereminiser: Energy Gun that barely stuns organic enemies, but wrecks mechanical ones.
      • Yellow Ray Of Death (YROD): Cooldown-based BFG.
  • Stylistic Suck: The Virtual Reality Environment level in 3.
    Paola: "I bet you've never seen graphics like these before."
  • Take Your Time: The escape sequence after you set off the Self-Destruct Mechanism is extremely lengthy, but Always Close.
  • Variable Mix: The games make use of a few "progressive" tracks, which slowly change as you progress through the level.
    • Later games feature variable tracks that change depending on the situation - for example when being underwater, or when a powerful enemy shows up.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon:
  • Trick Bomb: Grenades normally explode when their fuse runs out, but they also have a sensor that detonates them immediately when they hit an enemy (but not an ally).
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: A few levels allow you to freely swim/fly in all four directions.
    • One of the last levels in 2 is a platformer on a scooter, with heavy emphasis on timing your sprints to avoid obstacles.
    • Another level in 2 places you on a boat with a turret. Unlike most turret sections in videogames, you can dodge enemy shots (by either speeding up the boat or slowing it down) while you're still locked at the turret.
  • Un-Person: The Funky Warden recently implemented capital punishment for high crimes such as treason, which not only means the accused will be physically disintegrated, but all citizenship history and records of their existence will be removed as well.
  • We Can Rule Together: The very first thing Primo does on-screen is to appear on a jet and declare his intentions to conquer the world. The second: asking Pablo (and Pedro, if present) to ally with him so that they can conquer the world together.
  • Weather-Control Machine: Used by Primo in the sequel. He mixed TAGAP with the rain in order to disable humans, which he would then calmly brainwash.
  • Zerg Rush: All the time.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: The TAGAP-addicted enemy penguins.

Top

Example of:

/
/

Feedback