The Power of the Spiral is a Game Mod for the disease simulator Plague Inc.. Drawing on elements and inspiration from just about every anime under the sun, the mod casts you in the role of the "Spiral Gene," a disease that manifests by unlocking humanity's latent psychic potential. But if humanity is too weak-willed to control it, the Spiral Gene will lead the world to its doom. And it's not the only being involved; aliens are watching, fearing the potential power of a Spiral race.
Spoiler Warning: This is a relatively short game that's packed with high-density plot. It's going to be difficult to avoid spoilers when talking about it.
This Game Mod provides examples of the following:
- Adaptational Heroism: Titans and Witches are benign unless you evolve Aggression or Predatory related traits. When the Anti-Spiral show up, they will help in the fight - which is one of the easiest ways to win the Anti-Spiral War.
- A God Am I: The Twisted are prone to this, especially if they manage to become reality warpers.
- Assimilation Plot:
- The objective of the Government Conspiracy is to ensure humanity's survival by abandoning humanity's individuality and bodies and merging all minds into a single consciousness. It's implied that this was the path the Anti-Spiral took as well, locking themselves in perfected stasis rather than continuing to evolve through the Spiral.
- In a subversion, on the Anti-Spiral War route, the Fusion doesn't lead to this. The Spiral-awakened humanity create the giant of light and grant their powers to Gene, but retain their individuality as human beings.
- Blue and Orange Morality: The Spiral Entity (i.e. the player) and the Anti-Spiral both have shades of this.
- The Spiral Entity's goal is to achieve maturity by destroying the world in multiple timelines, and using this energy to help humanity achieve Unification in one timeline. Whether individual humans retain their minds or are completely absorbed into the gestalt is of no concern to it. Any of these results counts as a victory for the scenario.
- The Anti-Spiral seeks to protect the universe from individual consciousnesses that use Spiral Power. It will be satisfied if the Spiral Gene is cured, humanity goes extinct, or if humans sacrifice their individuality to become Unified.
- Determinator: Gene, not surprising considering his inspiration.
- Divide by Zero: What happens if you try and evolve both Fusion (unify all infected humans into a single consciousness) and Labyrinth (completely isolates each infected country). The Earth collapses into a black hole, killing everyone instantly.
- Epunymous Title: The prion's default name is "The Spiral Gene". This title can also refer to the story's main character, a Spiral (soldier) named Gene. Some of the dialogue boxes play with this ambiguity.
- Gradual Grinder: The Spiral Master's Challenge requires you to play like a spiral, slowly growing in strength until humanity can't stop you. This means wiping out humanity solely with red options, and not awakening Psychic Powers, the Government Conspiracy or the Labyrinth.
- Grand Unifying Guesses: The whole game is basically one of these, linking Spiral Energy to the Spiral Curse and then linking that to almost every other anime imaginable.
- Lotus-Eater Machine: The end of the Spiral Master's Challenge leads to a dialogue in which an unknown voice addresses "Gene", claiming that he is "caught in an illusion" by the enemy. In the final battle against the aliens, we see this same dialogue from the other side - the aliens are attempting to stop Gene by showing him "a world the Spiral has consumed" and he must be broken out of it by his allies.
- Lovecraft Lite: The protagonist is a Spiral Entity that eats universes and can wipe out humanity several different ways simply by existing in the same spacetime. It's not entirely malevolent, though, and humanity can survive its emergence and the Anti-Spiral's containment attempts, whether through curing the Spiral Gene, letting it die off, or mastering it.
- No Conservation of Energy: The Spiral appears to provide this. It can't. But there's no rule against eating other universes where humanity failed to ascend and using their energy.
- Shout-Out: The main character of the Anti-Spiral plot is a geneticist named Gene. Or better yet, Lordgenome.
- Set Right What Once Went Wrong: The Spiral Soldiers plotline reveals that Gene is the Sole Survivor of an alternate timeline in which humanity failed to ascend.
- The Social Darwinist: The Spiral Entity can only mature if humanity is strong-willed enough to merge together and complete the Assimilation Plot. If humanity in a particular universe is not strong enough to survive, they simply break it down to feed other universes.
- Whole Plot Reference: There are several of these!
- The concept of the Spiral as a curse that will wipe out all humans, and cutting infected areas off from the outside world, is taken straight from Uzumaki.
- The battle between the Spiral Soldiers and the Twisted is based on Puella Magi Madoka Magica, complete with Kyubey choosing Spiral Soldiers, Spiral Soldiers being identical to Twisted, and the battle being used as a source of energy.
- A one-item example: Clothes that grant the wearers supernatural powers and are secretly tools of an Assimilation Plot by their makers are the plot of Kill la Kill.
- The Assimilation Plot run by the Conspiracy is Neon Genesis Evangelion with the serial numbers filed off.
- Titanic Growth creates titans who eat people and who can be controlled by humans.
- The Anti-Spiral plotline where aliens try to prevent humanity from attaining its full Spiral potential and are defeated by a series of mecha operating each other like matrioshka dolls, or else convince humanity's geneticist champion to turn against them and prevent humanity from awakening to the Spiral is directly copied from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann.