Follow TV Tropes


Video Game / The Feeble Files

Go To
The Feeble Files is a 1997 cartoony adventure game from Adventure Soft, creators of Simon the Sorcerer. Its half-serious, half-comical plot serves as a rich source of references and shout-outs to Blake's 7, Star Wars, Nineteen Eighty-Four and many more.

The player's character is Feeble, an alien whose job is to make Crop Circles on Earth. He is fanatically loyal to the Obviously Evil totalitarian system of Omni Corporation, led by the central entity OmniBrain. However, one day, Feeble commits a terrible mistake, which puts him on the way to learn the truth about his society. Alongside fellow rebel Dolores and robot SAM, he marches forward, liberating the galaxy.

The Feeble Files provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Action Girl: Dolores, though she doesn't really do much, except for one shooting sequence, where she is assisted by the player.
  • Adaptation Inspiration: While the game is obviously, though loosely, based on Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four, Feeble Files does seem to divert from the anticommunist (albeit not antitotalitarian) message of the novel quite a bit. The Freedom Fighters address one another as "comrade", the Evil Empire is referred to as "the Company" (the founding of which is elaborated on in a Bible-like book), the Metro Prime spaceport is a flashing center of commerce and paid entertainment, citizens are required to confess their crimes against the OmniBrain via confessional-like boxes, etc. One of the key differences between the novel and the game is that the Freedom Fighters' only problem with the OmniBrain is the political tyranny and brainwashing of citizens whereas no mention is ever made of any sort of poverty within society that actually does not seem to be the least bit prevalent anyway.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: The Founder decided to devise a simple program that would control the Corporation while he went to take a nap - a nap that ended up taking thousands of years. Meanwhile, the program, which he based on one of the simulation games he liked to play, ended up trying to "win" by conquering everything and ruling everyone as an omnipotent god.
  • Air-Vent Passageway: Feeble has to crawl through a bunch of vents in the last sequence of the game in order to solve a number of puzzles.
  • Ancient Astronauts: Interesting case where aliens (in this case Feeble's brother Filbert) are playing gods to other (primitive) aliens.
  • Asleep for Days: The Founder of the Corporation decided to take a nap that unintentionally ended up taking thousands of years.
  • Asteroid Thicket: Feeble ends up inside one during the intro.
  • Bloodless Carnage: Played straight throughout almost the entire game, but averted when Feeble deflects a projectile against The Dragon, causing him to take note of the blood coming from his chest before he dies.
  • Brainwashed: The Cygnus Alpha prison uses some kind of hypnosis to have the prisoners do what they are told.
  • Cain and Abel: Feeble's brother has no issues setting his brother up to be erased by the authorities if it means finally getting a promotion.
  • Casting Gag: The Oracle is voiced by Peter Tuddenham, who was best known for voicing the all-knowing computer Orac in Blake's 7, whose name was itself a play on "oracle".
  • Comedic Sociopathy: When SAM leaves Feeble's jerkass brother trapped in his lab, the entrance explodes shortly afterwards. He notes with a chuckle that he probably shouldn't have left all those explosives behind.
  • Comically Missing the Point: When Feeble escapes from Cygnus Alpha and then discovers that his face is all over the news, his biggest concern is that they got a bad picture of him.
  • Complexity Addiction: You know you're going to be in for some heavy cases of Moon Logic Puzzles when the intro shows Feeble trying to get past a huge asteroid by attempting to blast a tunnel through it. Instead of, you know, flying around it.
  • Crack is Cheaper: In-Universe, a small bottle of fresh Charisma X pills costs 300 credits. When Feeble gets his hands on 400, he notes that this is more money than he's ever seen in his life.
  • Crop Circles: Feeble's job is to create them on Earth to scare innocent farmers.
  • Didn't Think This Through: After returning to Metro Prime from Cygnus Alpha, Feeble can go to the automated Confession Booth and then "confess" him being a rebel and intending to overthrow OmniBrain. A while later, he hears an announcement stating that he's become this cycle's top confessor, and that he should go to the nearest Confession Booth to receive his "reward". Feeble remarks that what he just did was probably a really bad idea.
  • Diegetic Interface: Feeble's Oracle watch serves as both the pause menu (with access to all sorts of options) as well as the inventory.
  • Disguised in Drag: When Feeble becomes the number one most wanted criminal, he puts on a dress and a wig to walk around the Metro Prime unopposed. Everyone completely falls for it.
  • Felony Misdemeanor: The Corporation's directives are an absolute minefield of these. For instance, if Feeble attempts to start a friendly conversation with a police officer, the latter is quick to twist his innocent intents into a big enough of an affront towards the Corporation and OmniBrain to consider it justified to send him for personality restructuring. The only reason he doesn't is because he chose to be "merciful" this time. Also, if one of the Happiness Robots catches you being unhappy for any reason, then he has no qualms about erasing you from existence on the spot.
  • God Guise: Feeble's brother puts on one in order to get the natives to do what he wants.
  • Hammerspace: Feeble's Oracle watch is somehow capable of holding an undetermined amount of items.
  • Hawaiian-Shirted Tourist: The local zoo at Metro Prime has one as a visitor. Feeble needs to steal his camera in order to complete a puzzle.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: SAM ends up getting killed when trying to fight off the enemy robot who guards the center of the Corporation's operations. He does get better in the ending though.
  • How Many Fingers?: Before Feeble is sent to Cygnus Alpha, the Investigators try to break him into mindless devotion to OmniBrain by asking him how many fingers they're holding (three) and repeatedly zapping him until he says "as many as OmniBrain wishes".
  • Immortality Seeker: The Founder of the Omni Corporation did not want to accept his incoming death and the inability to continue controlling the Corporation. Therefore, he asked his subordinates to devise a room in which he could live forever - never aging and never having to drink, eat or use the toilet. Unfortunately for everyone, shortly after accomplishing this goal, he got bored of trying to control everything by hand. So, he decided to devise a program that would control everything for him while he took a nap - a nap that ended up lasting thousands of years.
  • Indy Ploy: This is how Dolores goes about capturing a new prison ship to use as a way to get into the rebels' base.
  • Insecurity Camera: During his escape from Cygnus Alpha, Feeble can render a prison camera useless by lobbing some goop onto the lens. While standing right in front of the camera.
  • Jerkass: Feeble himself can be this at times, one of the examples being the fact that he has absolutely no issues tricking some random pilot at a bar into getting erased by a police officer, just so he can steal his docking permit. He also causes a random woman to break up with her boyfriend and get erased as a result, just so he could use the phone booth she was occupying to change his clothes.
  • Just Testing You: Feeble jokingly tells the local bar's bartender a made up rumor that OmniBrain is merely a falsehood devised by the rebels. The bartender responds that he will have to report Feeble's statements to the authorities. Feeble then responds that he was merely testing him and that he would have to report HIM if he said anything else.
  • La Résistance: Feeble ends up joining one after being sent to Cygnus Alpha. They want to overthrow OmniBrain.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: The minister of the Corporation sends Feeble to Cygnus Alpha because of the former accidentally causing a human satellite to damage the building of the Ministry of Galactic Uncertainty. Later on, Feeble gets his revenge by tricking the minister into drinking Miracle Mud and then sending HIM to Cygnus Alpha.
  • Lawful Stupid: At the start of the game, a large portion of Metro Prime's docking station is occupied by a huge ship. The clerk working there has an argument with the pilot of the ship that he cannot dock unless he has the correct permit. He continues to argue even when the pilot repeatedly explains to him that it would be in his best interest to just let him dock anyway.
  • Letters 2 Numbers: The name of a puzzle-relevant ship is "KICKA55".
  • List of Transgressions: As the game goes on, Feeble's Oracle watch is filled with more and more entries of all the directives he violated.
  • Logic Bomb: Feeble manages to trigger one in Cygnus Alpha's guardian android by changing the channel of the prison's TV to a traitor network and then removing the power button. The android is then presented with the mutually exclusive issues of having to stop the TV from displaying the traitor channel, which would require him to destroy the TV, but it being against the rules to try to destroy Corporation's property. The android overloads as a result and powers down.
  • Luck-Based Mission: Trying to walk around the prison while the guardian android is still working. He visits the different floors of the complex completely at random, so it's down to pure luck as to whether he just so happens to show up on a given floor while you're still on it.
  • Microts: The game's characters frequently use "cycle" and "click" when referring to various amounts of time. It's never made clear what exactly is the amount of time these two are supposed to represent.
  • Mole in Charge: The Dragon somehow manages to become the leader of the Resistance, and tricks everyone into getting themselves captured. It becomes Feeble's task to save them.
  • Morton's Fork: A freighter pilot is accused of transporting contraband material, and tries to talk his way out of it by claiming he was forced to transport the contraband by anti-government rebels. The security officer carrying out the interrogation decides that if he's telling the truth, he deserves death for knowingly conspiring with rebels; otherwise he's lying to a security officer to save his own skin, which is also an executable offence, and shoots the freighter pilot dead.
  • Overly-Long Gag: In Metro Prime's docking station, we can find two people: a pilot of a large ship, and a clerk who handles all ships that land in that station. The two talk for quite a while about how the pilot cannot dock without the correct permission.
  • Shoot the Builder: The guy who devised the security systems on Cygnus Alpha is sent there as a prisoner shortly after. When Feeble asks him why, he says it's because the information on those systems became classified and he still had them in his brain.
  • Shout-Out: Just as with Simon the Sorcerer, the game world is built on them, sometimes on multiple ones. For example, Company's penal colony is named Cygnus Alpha and it looks roughly like an Imperial Star Destroyer.
  • Slipping a Mickey: Feeble slips some expired Charisma X pills into a drink and then gives it to the guy occupying the phone booth, just so that he becomes uncharismatic enough to break up with the girl he was talking to.
  • Solve the Soup Cans: There is a puzzle where Feeble has to take a chair from a bar... but he's not able to take one until he uses DJ machinery to shine a light onto it. Even though the chair is still visible without it and nothing holds it in place, nor is it out of reach.
  • Taking You with Me: When Feeble and Dolores steal a ship to escape from Cygnus Alpha, one of the guards that was thrown into outer space ends up landing on their windshield. He takes this opportunity to shoot one of their engines before being thrown back into space again. It results in the ship being forced to crash land on the nearby planet.
  • The Tape Knew You Would Say That: Feeble ends up talking to his long-dead grandfather in his tomb through a hologram that is inexplicably capable of correctly responding to what he says. Though the game never really makes it clear whether it's this trope or it literally being a holographic ghost of the grandfather.
  • Technicolor Science: Feeble is forced at one point to concoct a potion by mixing differently-colored potions in the right order.
  • Teleporter Accident: Dolores attempts to use a teleporter described by Feeble's evil brother as malfunctioning, thinking he only said that to dissuade them from using it. She ends up being turned into a squid.
  • Trigger-Happy: SAM is a robot specifically designed for mass destruction, and tries to find every possible excuse to try solving every problem he comes across by shooting at it. He's not happy that other characters, especially Feeble, do not share the same sentiment and keep ordering him to stay civil.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: There is a brief Rail Shooter segment where you have to shoot at guards that pop out from behind cover.
  • Unexplained Recovery: When Feeble finds Dolores in Cygnus Alpha, she's had her leg broken for several days and had to stay in the garbage dump, unable to move. But when Feeble manages to steal a ship and get Dolores onto it, her injury is not mentioned again and she's perfectly capable of walking and running with no issues.
  • Useless Security Camera: In addition to the Insecurity Camera example above, there's other cameras in the prison that are clearly working and Feeble doesn't even attempt to tamper with them, yet they completely fail to pick up on the fact that there's a prisoner walking around the prison at night.
  • Vengeful Vending Machine: Used as part of a puzzle. Feeble tries to buy an item from a vending machine, which takes his money and refuses to dispense. Do this three times and he'll kick the vending machine in frustration, then feel guilty about it, which opens access to the confession booth area.
  • Way Past the Expiration Date: Feeble buys a bunch of very cheap, but also very expired Charisma X pills. As it turns out, they end up having the opposite effect when expired, causing the user to get very uncharismatic.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: We get a brief slideshow montage of what each major character does after the ending, and then the credits roll.