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Video Game / The Legend of Korra

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The Legend of Korra is a Beat 'em Up / Hack and Slash game from PlatinumGames for PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One and PC. It was released on October 21, 2014 on PSN and Steam, and October 22 that same year on the Xbox Games Marketplace. The game was later delisted when Activision lost the license in 2017.

Set between seasons 2 and 3 of the show, you play as Korra trying to regain her abilities after meeting a mysterious villain.

Apart from regular character action gameplay where you fight Equalists and Triple Threat Triad members, the game also has endless runner type sequences where you ride Naga while dodging obstacles and a pro-bending tournament mode.

The plot was conceived by Mike Dimartino and Bryan Konietzko, the co-creators of the show, while the actual script was written by Tim Hedrick, a writer on the show. The game features the original voice cast from the show.

The Legend of Korra: A New Era Begins is an alternate adaptation of the story for Nintendo 3DS.

The Legend of Korra provides examples of:

  • Adapted Out: The game focuses heavily on Korra, to the point that you barely see anyone else from the cast. Mako and Bolin only get a short cutscene appearance both in the beginning and end of the game. Asami is not given even that, making her the only one of the main cast to remain completely absent.
  • Action Commands: Successful counters require various button presses, mashing the light attack button, or spinning the joystick/mouse in a circle. Counter-attacks by Triad members can be negated by inputting the right directional commands on time. The final boss also has an extended sequence of these as the finisher.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: Beating the game on Easy/Normal and Extreme nets you Korra's Book 1 outfit and her Book 2 winter outfit, respectively. The former also unlocks a talisman. There's also Korra's chi blocker disguise from the Book 1 finale and her glowing spirit form from the Book 2 finale, both of which require a code to unlock.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Earthbending does major damage, breaks guards, and usually stuns on the first or second hit. But if you're going for medals, it can't really build up the necessary score to get Platinum. If you're just trying to win, however, it's excellent. Waterbending fits the bill to a lesser extent, as it lacks the speed of fire or air, and the stopping power of earth.
  • Bag of Spilling: At the start of the game, Korra has her bending blocked, regaining each one as she moves through the game, and reactivating the Avatar State in the penultimate level.
  • Big Bad: Hundun, an ancient enemy of the Avatar trapped in the Spirit World. Opening the portals allowed him to escape.
  • Body Horror: Hundun and his conjoined twin.
  • Breath Weapon: Korra can breathe fire as a combo finisher. Damaging if it connects, but can be hard to pull off against groups.
  • Brought Down to Badass: Despite having her bending neutralized early-on, Korra is still capable of wiping out Chi Blockers in hand-to-hand combat.
  • The Bus Came Back: The Equalists and the Triple Threat Triad return as antagonists in the game, and Tahno and the Wolfbats return for probending mode.
  • Charged Attack: All attacks in the game are chargeable. Doing so fills the chi meter, granting a passive bonus to all your attacks until it drains again.
  • Close-Range Combatant: Firebending is almost entirely enhanced punches and kicks. One of the finishers allows you to rapidly kick fireballs at ground-level opponents from the air.
  • Combos: A big part of the grading system. Airbending racks them up the best.
  • Competitive Balance:
    • Because Korra as the Avatar has access to all four bending arts, the game plays similar to DMC4 in that the four styles are switched on the fly.
    • Likewise, any bender can counter any type of bending attack, even though that would require the ability to bend multiple elements (i.e., Mako blocking and ricocheting a earthen disc back at an earthbender).
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Korra's guard only lasts about a second, though Korra will keep it up for as long as she is under direct attack. Enemies, however, can keep their guards up far longer than Korra can, even if they aren't being hit. In probending mode, enemy benders may actually exploit this to run out the clock and avoid a knockout, especially if they're the last bender standing.
  • Conveniently Empty Building: Closer to "conveniently abandoned section of town." The spirit vines drove out everyone but the Equalists in the sections of Republic City the game is set in.
  • Counter-Attack: A well-timed parry instantly knocks out regular mooks and stuns bosses. Triads can do this to you, but you can counter them back with a button minigame. It's a vital tactic in pro-bending, since counters are faster and deal more damage than regular attacks. Higher-level opponents can counter the counter, possibly even several times, which can send you down the drain if you aren't watching out for it or stand too close to counter again.
  • Dance Battler: Airbending has breakdancing-like moves.
  • Difficulty by Acceleration: In the Naga running sequences, Naga gradually runs faster if you avoid damage, which is reset if you take a non-fatal hit. Earning Platinum requires getting through the entire thing without taking a hit.
  • Double Jump: Once you've unlocked earthbending, you gain the ability to jump twice in the Naga running sequences. It needs to recharge after two uses, though.
  • Early Game Hell: The first 2 stages without bending can be rough, especially when your main combat is very limited in terms of damage, and the Triads, the first major battle at the end of Chapter 3, can be hard trying to figure out how to dodge and learn how to counter-attack.
  • Elemental Baggage: Waterbenders never have to worry about running out of their element. No matter the locale, there's limitless amounts to be had. In the Pro Bending Mode, Korra's waterbending is generated from thin air, as opposed to pulling it from the channels in the same way earthbenders draw their discs from the slots on the floor. Earthbending also has the odd ability of being able to create stone pillars out of wooden platforms.
  • Elite Mooks:
    • For the chi blockers, blue and red versions show up with their generic brothers. The blue ones use bolas and electric whips, while the red ones have a electrified glove.
    • The Triple Threat Triad members also pop up as miniboss-like enemies, either alone or as a group. The Palette Swap versions are tougher than the normal ones.
  • Enemy Mine: The Equalists and Triple Threat Triads, despite being diametrically opposed to one another in the series, have united in their collective hatred for the Avatar and Hundun's promises.
  • Expy: Hundun seems to be heavily inspired by King Bumi, having the appearance of an old man whose shriveled appearance hides a massive physique.
  • Finishing Move: Stunned enemies can be killed or heavily damaged with a special move activated by button prompt. Red chi blockers and stronger Triads will usually survive it. Dark spirits and mecha tanks, once reduced to critical health, will be instantly killed, the latter with an impressive scripted sequence based on the element you're using and the former with the pacification technique Korra learned from Unalaq.
  • Flunky Boss: The Triple Threat Triad members occasionally show up with Chi Blockers as backup. If they appear alone, it usually means backup will arrive as soon as one goes down.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation:
    • In normal gameplay, Korra's Avatar State only lasts ten seconds when activated by the player, and needs to be charged by beating up enemies. In the last two levels when activated as part of the narrative, it lasts as long as the battle does and doesn't need a charge.
    • Benders can counter any ranged attack, even one that is a different element than their own. This means you can see Bolin catching a stream of water and throwing it back at Tahno as if he was a waterbender.
    • You can return to previously completed levels with all the bending forms and abilities you've gained, but cutscenes and dialogues will play exactly the same; so you may replay chapter 2 with all bending forms, yet Korra will still comment on having her chi blocked.
    • Remember how Korra was severely chewed out in the first episode for the damage she did to the city? This game doesn't.
  • Gameplay Grading: As with all Platinum Games titles, you are ranked for your performance based on time and combo points. As you move through the chapters and regain your bending, you can replay earlier ones with your skills intact for better scores.
  • Gateless Ghetto: Justified by the spirit vines changing the layout of the city.
  • Ghost City: No matter where you go, the only people to be found will be enemies. You may see cars driving around in the background, but that's as close as it gets. This is justified in various ways; the parts of Republic City you travel are the ones the vines have taken over, Air Temple Island is empty because Tenzin and family aren't there, and in most other cases you're simply travelling in areas humans tend not to.
  • Glass Cannon: The Chi Crystal, attack boost talisman, and one of the two Immune to Flinching talismans cut your health in half as a tradeoff for using them. Depending on how many you stack, you can easily reduce your health to the point that some attacks will be instant death if they connect, but using the first two in tandem will allow you to kill almost anyone in seconds.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body: If you counter the salamander spirit, Korra will grab its tail and spin it in a circle, smacking any enemy close enough.
  • Ground Pound/Ground Punch: Earthbending has these.
  • Harder Than Hard: Extreme mode, especially if you start it from scratch instead of carrying over bending from another playthrough. The enemies are somewhat tougher, and the game mixes stronger versions in earlier on. In one particularly absurd example, there's a mecha tank on Air Temple Island that attacks you out of reach during the first medal fight, when you have no bending at all.
  • How We Got Here: The game starts with you fighting dark spirits in the spirit world with all your bending powers unlocked. After you win, you hear Hundun's laugh and then flash back to a week prior, where the plot actually starts.
  • Humongous Mecha: The Equalists still have their giant platinum mechs.
  • Hurricane Kick: Airbending. Bonus points for creating literal mini tornadoes if your chi is charged.
  • Idle Animation: Immediately upon stopping, Korra holds a stance based on the element she is actively bending. After a few moments, she will run through idle animations such as putting a hand on her hip and leaning, rolling her arms, and a few others.
  • Immune to Flinching: Two talismans make Korra immune to all forms of knockback, stun, and flinching. One docks half your health, while the other only needs your chi to be charged.
  • Instant-Win Condition: In pro-bending, forcing all enemies off the field wins the game, even if you were losing 2-0 before. Doing this in the first round is necessary to earn Platinum. it's fairly easy to do this in Rookie mode, but by Ace mode it's pretty difficult, bordering on impossible by the final round.
  • I Shall Taunt You: You can use a taunt move to enrage enemies, causing them to glow red and become more dangerous but also more careless.
  • Jack of All Stats: Airbending is the most balanced of the four styles, excelling in group combat.
  • Limit Break: The Avatar State, which allows you to channel massive elemental bursts for about ten seconds after you've built up the meter. Unless you use an item, you can usually only use it once a level, near the end.
  • Long-Range Fighter: Waterbending puts heavy emphasis on projectiles and is bad for close combat.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me:
    • Once you've unlocked waterbending, you gain the ability to shield Naga during the Naga running sequences. It'll allow you to crash through one weak obstacle (cars, rocks) or survive a weak attack from a mecha tank.
    • An unlockable move for waterbending surrounds Korra in a water bubble while firing icicles at her opponent.
  • Mighty Glacier: Earthbending is slow but hard hitting.
  • Mini-Game Credits: A round of pro-bending against the Wolf Bats is played while the end credits roll. If you want Platinum for that level, you have to score a first-round knockout.
  • Mook Chivalry: Enemies usually won't attack without a clear line of sight, so don't expect them to use teamwork too often. However, the Triads have greater attack range thanks to their bending, so they usually will attack as a group. Subverted in Extreme; enemies are more aggressive and tend to attack in groups as a result.
  • Mythology Gag: Some of the achievements:
    • "More than Hot Leaf Juice" references a conversation in the original series between Iroh and Zuko about tea being merely "hot leaf juice".
    • "Zhu Li! Do the Thing!" is Varrick's oft-repeated command to his assistant Zhu Li.
    • "Be the Leaf" is Meelo's advice to Korra on how to pass through the airbender training gates.
    • "Full-Baked Avatar" is a reference to Tarrlok deriding Korra as a "half-baked Avatar" in the first season.
    • "Not a Booster Rocket" comes from Tenzin admonishing Korra for using the Avatar state to win an air scooter race.
    • "My Cabbages!!" is the exclamation the Butt-Monkey cabbage vendor from the original series would make whenever his stock inevitably fell victim to some calamity.
    • "Biz-Bender" is one of the things that Varrick calls himself.
  • Newbie Immunity: The game opens with Korra fighting against a horde of spirits in the Spirit World. During the fight, she takes no damage, and she switches between fighting with the four types of bending.
  • Nintendo Hard: While this game is easy to pick up and play, just like most Platinum action games, you have to master out the capability of countering if you want to survive.
  • Not Quite Flight: Korra can hover using a water or air spout, and airbending allows Naga to jump massive distances in the Naga running sequences.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: In Extreme mode, Naga can only sustain one hit during the running sequences.
  • Pressure Point: Chi-blockers, if enraged, can hit Korra with a series of pressure point attacks that will disable her currently active element for a short period.
  • Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs: As expected from a Platinum game, Korra can pull these off, either as a counter against certain enemies or as a finishing move. When used as a counter, this tends to rack up a big score.
  • Recoil Boost: The Firebending double dodge move causes Korra to rocket forward with jet propulsion. It's great for flying over pits and dodging wide area attacks.
  • The Remnant: The Equalists are still around even after the fall of Amon.
  • Rewarding Vandalism: Anything breakable (from rocks to Satomobiles) either increases your score, or else gives you items.
  • Shotoclone: Airbending is essentially this, complete with hurricane kicks and a rising uppercut.
  • Shout-Out:
    • "That Escalated Quickly" is a reference to Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, in which a brawl with a rival news team quickly escalated into a battle royale with all the local networks.
    • "Escape from the City" might be a reference to the song from Sonic Adventure 2.
    • There are a few to be found in Korra's attacks and stances, mostly to other fighting games and series. For example, one of Korra's Airbending moves is the Tatsumaki Senpuukyaku. Her stance while charging up a weak Waterbending attack is similar to how Goku charges a Kamehameha, and at higher bending levels the first blow of her strong charged Firebending combo is essentially a short-ranged Hadouken.
  • Stance System: The bending styles more or less function similar to the Style system of Devil May Cry and can be switched on the fly once unlocked. It's also a literal stance system, as each bending style has a unique default stance, which is shared by other benders.
  • A Taste of Power: The first chapter lets you use all four bending forms as an introduction. Then you lose all four and have to get them back.
  • Thanking The Player: after completing the game you get an audio message from Korra, Jinora, Iroh, Mako and Bolin, all saying "thank you for playing!" in-character.
  • Turns Red: Mecha tanks turn red once they're down to quarter health or half in Extreme, adding one extra attack to each of their moves and increasing their speed. Chi blockers may also turn red if heavily damaged, or if taunted.
  • Unblockable Attack:
    • Electrified attacks cannot be guarded against or countered, only dodged.
    • The final boss has a charge attack which will break through guards, but can be countered for an extremely damaging combo-attack.
  • Villain Team-Up: Hundun has united the Equalists and Triads against Korra, and can command Dark Spirits.
  • We Cannot Go On Without You: In the Pro-Bending tournaments, it's an instant loss if Korra is knocked off the board, even if Mako and Bolin are still in play.
  • The Worf Effect: Despite their skill at Pro-Bending in the series, Mako and Bolin are knocked out comically easily at the start of the match during the beginning of the game, forcing Korra to defeat three opposing benders by knockout on her own.
  • You ALL Look Familiar: The Triad benders all use the same three character models, with palette swapped ones to indicate the Elite Mook versions.
  • Zerg Rush: This happens a few times as an end of level trick. After you've won a medal, limitless enemies pour in and you fight until the cutscene.

A New Era Begins provides examples of