Follow TV Tropes


Video Game / The Citadel

Go To
Go forth, Martyr;
For you are the finest among the Battlesisters;
Go forth, and


The Citadel is an anime-styled First-Person Shooter game for Windows developed by doekuramori and published by Top Hat Studios. It is genre throwback game that was largely inspired by 1980's anime, classic first-person shooter games such as Marathon and Doom, the Sharp X68000 game Relics, and the works of H. R. Giger.

The story is set in a dark, dystopian cyberpunk setting as players assumes the role of the Martyr, a human female who finds herself being called forth on a holy mission to "free" the seven Guardian Angels and kill the Sleeping God. This mission, however, is easier said than done as she must fight her way through a legion of rogue cyborgs and machines under the Sleeping God's influence. The game features over thirty levels that are divided between six episodes, where players can create a path of visceral carnage with fourteen weapons with their own unique secondary firing modes they can uncover, ranging from pistols, automatic rifles, a whalegun, and rocket launcher, all while managing their supply of blood, oxygen, and food. Players can also use the gold acquired from slain enemies to buy upgrades, weapons, and supplies from the merchant Tycho at the hub area or at certain levels. Similarly to the Marathon games, weapons do not have an endless magazine and must be reloaded manually, and the game features the option to toggle the ability to lean from cover and weapon jamming during gunfights.

The game was released on August 5, 2020 and is available on Steam along with a demo of the first episode. A sequel is in development. Not the confused with the film of the same name or the 1995 Amiga game Citadel.

The Citadel features trope examples of:

  • Action Bomb: The Sufferer enemy, who's body will begin to smoke around her and eventually explode if they detect the player's presence. Players, however, can utilize them against enemies by shooting them so they'll explode immediately or decapitate them to use them as an impromptu bomb.
  • Anti-Frustration Feature: Players can return to the hub area at any time from the pause menu and can access previously cleared Acts.
  • Animesque: The game features a dark and gritty 1980's anime artstyle, justified as the game's developer is from Japan.
  • Arms Dealer: Tycho, who can offer weapons, supplies, and upgrades to their arsenal with gold they can spend.
  • Attack Drone: The are two Drone type enemies that attack you with energy bolts.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Although its possible to dual-wield the Flechette SMG, but reloading them both takes an obscene amount of time and leaves you open to enemy fire longer than most guns, especially compared to ones where you have to load the manually reload the ammunition individually.
  • Beat Still, My Heart: If you use a Bloodbag, you can hear sounds of your heart beating after its use.
  • Blob Monster: The aptly-named Goo enemy. Don't let their innocent appearance fool you, they have maws with razor-sharp teeth ready to chew you out.
  • Bloodless Carnage: Shockingly played straight in a game with guts and limbs flying everywhere but nary a drop of the red stuff is shed during combat.
  • Boom, Headshot!: Shooting the head of the humanoid enemies does much more damage than shooting their body, which results in a cranial explosion.
  • Boss-Only Level: The seventh and final Act only consist of a gauntlet to the kill Delirium before finally confronting the Sleeping God.
  • Boss Subtitles: The boss levels at the end of each Act uses the "[Boss Name], The Angel of [Deadly Sin]" naming convention.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Averted for the player, who has to manually reload their weapons with the Reload key after emptying its magazine.
  • Bottomless Pits: Some of the outdoor areas of some levels feature a bottomless pit that can kill the player or enemies instantly if they fallen into one.
  • Breakable Weapons: If players enable the Weapon Jamming option from the gameplay settings, their weapons will not only have a chance to jam during gunfights, but they also have a limited durability represented by a percentage counter on the weapon as well.
  • Bullet Time: After obtaining the Reflex Booster upgrade, players can invoke a bullet time effect after using an O2 Canister to overdose their Oxygen Meter. The Reflex Booster also has a Lv. 2 upgrade that disables reloading during bullet time.
  • Checkpoint Starvation: Some stages have no checkpoints and you can't save your progress mid-level, and dying results in starting the level over. The only way to circumvent this is to use an Extra Life on a Pattern Buffer (if available) to save your mid-level progress.
  • Cut and Paste Environments: A common criticism of the game is the game's reuse of the same cyan-colored palette for the levels throughout the game.
  • Critical Existence Failure: You and the enemies look normal if they have any point of health left, but once it hits 0, you or the enemies explode in a pile of mechanical and/or organic parts.
  • Cyborg: Lysander, and the various enemies and some of Guardian Angels you'll encounter in the game.
  • Death Seeker: If players interact with Celeste, they'll find that she wants the player to kill her and free her from the Sleeping God's control.
  • Double Jump: The Martyr is capable of jumping twice in the air, but a double jump uses some oxygen.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: Lysander is apparently a guy, as Tycho refers to him as such, though he's drawn in the same Moe art style as all the female characters, so you wouldn't know by looking at him.
  • Elite Mooks: The Enforcer and Flamer enemies, whom possess a 3-way energy cannon and flamethrower, respectively, and can withstand a lot of punishment from conventional firearms. The Tanks, and Mech Pilots are also dangerous enemies with high-powered weapons and durable armor.
  • Essence Drop: Slain enemies leave behind pieces of gold/silver that can be used to purchase supplies, weapons, and upgrades from Tycho, while some others drop ammunition or armor pieces.
  • Excuse Plot: The game's plot boils down to "hunt down the seven Guardian Angels and kill the Sleeping God", with a few dialogue scenes between levels.
  • Explosive Stupidity: It's possible to accidentally toss a grenade and have it land somewhere near you before it explodes, mistime cooking a grenade and have it blow up in your face instead, or detonate a nearby Remote Detonator and blow yourself up with it. Similarly, the Sufferer enemy may accidentally toss grenades among other enemies.
  • Exploding Barrels: Red combustible barrels can be found in some levels, and shooting them will cause them to explode and harm anything around them. The player can also grab a barrels with the Use key and throw them at enemies with the Fire key.
  • Face–Heel Turn: From Intermission 2 onwards Lysander slowly loses his mind from the Sleeping God's influence, eventually becoming the boss of Act 4.
  • Fan Disservice:
    • Many of your enemies are cute anime girls like yourself; and you will constantly see their innards, brains and appendages strewn everywhere; sometimes with their anguished expressions clearly visible on their (very rare) intact faces.
    • Lysander has a gorgeous face... on a completely mechanical, non-human body.
  • Fire-Breathing Weapon: The Chaingun's secondary fire is a flamethrower that burns enemies into cinder. The Flamer enemies also wield a flamethrower that is just as deadly to you.
  • Flunky Boss: Celeste's boss battle only has enemies trying to defend her while she doesn't fight back, justified that she doesn't want to hurt you and wants to be killed to be free from the Sleeping God's control. Also, as the Angel of Sloth it makes sense she can't be bothered to actually do any of the fighting herself.
  • The Goomba: The Cultist enemy, whom pose very little threat to the player as their axes do relatively weak damage and can easily be dispatched with weaker weapons.
  • Goomba Stomp: It's possible to crush your enemies under your mech suit's feet by jumping on top of them.
  • Gorn: Every death results in a variety of lovingly drawn organs and gnarled body parts that never fade away from the battlefield. Ironically, the game's lack of blood highlights the gruesome detail.
  • Guns Akimbo: The Flechette SMG can be dual-wielded if the player can possess two of them.
  • High-Voltage Death: Killing a humanoid enemy with an energy weapon will electrocute them, complete with their skeleton being visible as their bodies are being shocked until they explode.
  • Hitscan: Averted, all enemies' and player's weapons shoot visible projectiles. The projectiles from the player's weapons also drop as they travel over distances.
  • Hive Mind: The cyborgs in the game besides Lysander are under the control of the Sleeping God.
  • Homage: To the Sharp X68000 game Relics, classic 90's first-person shooters, 80's action anime, and H.R. Giger.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: The Martyr can hold 14 weapons on her person, from a large battle axe, a pistol, a pair of Thompson machine guns, satchel bombs, and a rocket launcher. How is she able to carry such weapons all at once with little pocket space (and clothing) is a mystery.
  • Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels: The game's difficulty levels are as follows from easiest to hardest: Faith, Devotion, and Zealot.
  • Improbably Female Cast: With the exception of two, all of the enemies and bosses faced are female. This includes soldiers decked in full-body bulky combat armor who, at first glance, look like males... until their helmet gets shot-off.
  • Interface Spoiler: One of the selectable Acts in the Hub area reveals name of the bosses, including Lysander, who succumbs to the Sleeping God's control after Act 3.
  • Kill It with Fire: Shooting a humanoid enemy with the Chaingun's flamethrower will result in them burning alive and screaming in agony until they eventually die and burn to cinders.
  • Level-Map Display: The rightmost portion of the HUD features a mini-map of the current level, and pressing the Tab key by default will open an automap of the level. The map also displays living enemies indicated by the red blips.
  • Lethal Lava Land: The fourth level of Act 4, The Sinking City, which is a dilapidated city-like level flooded with volcanic lava.
  • Ludicrous Gibs: You can splatter your enemies into pieces when killing them, especially with a well-placed headshot or high-powered weapon, resulting in piles of strewn body parts, organs, and mechanical parts, yet no bloodshed can be found outside of some of the cyborgs bleeding from their mouth or severed body parts after death. This also applies to the player upon dying as well.
  • Mecha-Mook: Besides the cyborg enemies, there are some robots and mech suited enemies in the game.
  • Mini-Mecha: Some of the enemies in later levels pilot a miniature mech suit armed with high-powered weapons, and a few cases you can pilot one yourself and use its immense firepower against them.
  • My Brain Is Big: Vectra, The Angel of Gluttony and the game's first boss, has been reduced to only its brain and it has mutated to a massive size.
  • New Game Plus: After clearing the final level, players can start the game anew or choose the New Game Plus option and carry over their equipment and upgrades from the previous playthrough.
  • Non-Standard Character Design: While most of the cyborgs look humanoid in design, some of the other cyborgs such as Lysander however looks more robotic.
  • Organic Technology: Some levels feature Giger-esque biotech. The first boss you face is a giant brain powering several turrets.
  • Red Sky, Take Warning: The game's outdoor areas feature a hellish red/orange sky.
  • Retraux: The Citadel uses hand drawn, sprite-based graphics and low-res textures for the levels to mimic the style of 1990's first-person shooter games it was inspired by. The characters are also drawn similar to older anime series from the 1980's.
  • Secondary Fire: Most of the weapons feature the ability to zoom/aim from the sights and/or alternate attack at the cost of either the gun's own ammo, grenades, or energy cells.
    • Forgiver: An overhead axe swing.
    • Meta-Magnum: Shoots miniature RPGs (costs 5 grenades). Also has an upgrade for a burst firing mode.
    • Auto-Rifle: Fires a laser beam (uses energy cells). Also has an upgrade for burst firing mode and laser scope, replacing the ability to aim from the sights.
    • Chaingun: An underslung flamethrower (uses energy cells).
    • Flechette SMG: Can be dual-wielded and fired independently.
  • Sanity Slippage: After clearing Act 2, Lysander's speech patterns begins to veer off into the deep end.
  • Save Point: Pattern Buffers found in some levels will save your mid-level progress at the cost of an Extra Life.
  • Save Token: The Extra Life item function as one for the Pattern Buffers found in some levels, acting as a checkpoint for the level.
  • Secret Level: Each Act besides Act 7 has a secret EX level that can be found in one of the normal levels.
  • Seven Deadly Sins: The seven Guardian Angels are based on and named after them.
  • Shout-Out:
    • When unarmed/holstering a weapon, the words "IN THE WORLD OF THE CITADEL" occupies the weapon information of HUD and mimics the HUD from Relics.
    • The game's HUD is reminiscent to Marathon's with a portrait of the Martyr indicating her health status similar to Doom's.
    • The game's way of having the player select the difficulty level is handled in a similar manner to Quake.
    • The Martyr's outfit mimics Ćon Flux's own skimpy outfit. In addition, her haircut and visor are that of 2B's.
    • The design of Celeste, Act 2's boss, looks similar to a xenomorph.
    • Some of EX Levels' names feature nods to classic FPS games. To wit: Act 1: "Get Psyched", Act 3: "Gate of Doom", Act 4: "Entryway", Act 5: "Deadly Simple".
  • Standard FPS Guns: Forgiver (axe), Meta-Magnum (handgun), Auto-Rifle w/ Bombast Laser (assault rifle with a laser beam), Blunderbuss (pump-action shotgun) and Shockhammer (automatic shotgun), Flechette SMG (submachine gun), Chaingun w/ Flamer (Gatling gun with a flamethrower), SSM Launcher (RPG) and Flash (quad RPG), Whalegun (sniper rifle), Remote Detonator (demolition pack), Laser Designator (remote air strike), ZEUS Cannon (energy cannon), and Redeemer (ditto). There are also Grenades, and the disposable DieselGun (flamethrower), Hyper Blaster (energy cannon), and Hyper Bolter (mini-gun).
  • Stat Meters:
    • Armor Points: The Armor Meter, the smaller white meter next to the Blood Meter severing as an extension to it.
    • Life Meter: Your Blood meter, serves as your heath and is represented by the red meter.
    • Sprint Meter: The Oxygen meter, represented by the blue meter and depletes when certain actions such as sprinting, double-jump, kicking, and swinging the Forgiver are performed.
    • Wizard Needs Food Badly: The Food Meter, represented by the green meter, which players must keep an eye on otherwise their maximum Blood and Oxygen will diminish unless it is replenished. As food pickups are considerably rarer than blood packs or O2 bottles, it's a good idea to focus on purchasing food at vending machines rather than the other two restoration items.
  • Stripperiffic: The Martyr, whose outfit consist of a leather military top that doesn't hide anything below her chest, a belt that covers her unmentionables and doubling as a thong, thigh-highs and metal knee-high boots.
  • Spikes of Doom: Some levels feature pits of spikes, which is instant death to the player and enemies if they fallen into one.
  • Sprite/Polygon Mix: Although the game was made in Unreal Engine 4, the games uses 2D sprites for the player, the enemies, NPCs, and pick-ups, while the levels and effects are rendered in 3D.
  • Throw Down the Bomblet: Players can use grenades, either found laying around the levels, purchased from Tycho, or dropped from a Suffer, to clear out areas littered with enemies. Players can cook the grenades but it will explode after four ticks. The Sufferer also lobs grenades at the player.
  • Unorthodox Reload: Some weapons are reloaded by switching out the empty magazine for a new one, or loading each bullet for the gun individually, all of which the player can see from the Martyr's perspective.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: Taking cues from Brutal Doom, The Citadel gives players various ways to eviscerate and brutalize their enemies, ranging from blowing their heads into pieces, cleaving their bodies apart with the Forgiver, setting them on fire and watch them scream and burn with the Chaingun's flamethrower, and kicking them off a ledge into a pit of spikes/lava or bottomless pits.
  • Your Head A-Splode: Shooting a humanoid enemy's head will result in their heads being blown of from their shoulders or explode into pieces. You can do this even after they're dead.