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Video Game / Torn City

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Torn City is a text-based MMO game created in 2004 in which the player takes on the role of a petty criminal and works to make a name for themself in the eponymous city. This is done by building muscle at the gym, commiting crimes, finding a job, and joining factions, though there are several other ways to make money and rise in power. From the start players have the complete freedom to do what they want and make friends (or enemies) as they level up. In addition to the criminal aspects of the game players can also take education courses to improve their stats, buy/upgrade property, and shop at various stores for supplies and equipment.

Torn City Provides examples of the following tropes:

  • A Homeowner Is You: Players start with only a shack to their name, but depending on how much money they earn they can quickly upgrade to anything from a small trailer all the way up to their own private island.
  • A.K.A.-47: Averted, most (if not all) guns found in the game use both their real world models and names.
  • Anti Poop-Socking: The nerve bar (needed to do crimes) and energy bar (needed to do certain actions) can take several minutes or even hours to fully recharge. While the player CAN buy upgrades and recharges for them they are usually in limited supply and don't come cheap.
  • Badass Crew: Pretty much the entire point of the factions system is letting players form their own. Any created faction that loses all its respect is forcibly broken up, so being some degree of badass is required if a group plans to survive long term. As such, getting on the wrong side of any of the big name players is a good way to bring the wrath of the gaming gods (and a hail of bullets) down upon you.
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  • Batter Up!: The baseball bat is a great choice of weapon for new players since is is extremely cheap and has decent stats.
  • Big Fancy House: Many long time players have several of these. With enough money you can even buy your own private island!
  • Bland-Name Product: Many of the energy drink items have names like Munster or Red Cow.
  • Bling-Bling-BANG!: Yes, you can actually buy a Gold-Plated AK-47 (or a Pink Mac-10, if that's your thing) for several billion dollars (the damn thing even shoots gold-plated rounds) and use it in combat to show everyone what a rich jerk you are. Just for clarification, these things are so rare that there are barely over a dozen in circulation in the entire game.
  • Booze-Based Buff: Drinking alcoholic items can restore nerve, but in such small amounts that the player would have to down at least a dozen or so for them to be of any real use.
    • The Halloween and Christmas events provide much more potent drinks during their special events, but only for a limited amount of time.
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  • Cardboard Prison: Getting busted by the cops just means players get sent to the jail for a couple hours. Even then, it isn't uncommon for higher ranking players to free noob players within a couple of minutes by either breaking them out or paying their bail.
  • Chainsaw Good: The chainsaw is one of the higher tier melee weapons and is avalible right at the start of the game if the player has enough money to buy one.
  • Cool Car: They cost a lot of money and the player will need a racing license to make much use of them though.
  • Crowbar Combatant: A crowbar is very likely to be one of the first weapons a new player uses.
  • Digital Piracy Is Evil: A low level crime players can perform is selling pirated copies of CDs and DVDs. If caught they get sent to jail just like any other crime, though the chances of this happening are almost nil compared to more serious crimes like theft, drug dealing, and murder.
  • Drugs Are Bad: Used, but in a subtle way that still fully allows the player to make the choice for themselves. Drugs in this game are all based on real ones like morphine or cocaine with all the perks you'd imagine they would have, but also all of the negative effects as well. Getting addicted can be expensive to cure and extremely painful to the player's stats if they just ignore it. On top of that players can overdose on any of the drugs (including weed) for some pretty harsh penalties. Even transporting and selling the stuff is dangerous and takes a lot of experience to be able to do competently.
  • Easy Sex Change: For only $50,000 the players can reset their gender from the comfort of their preference menu.
  • Fantastic Drug: Averted, surprisingly enough. Much like the guns (see above) all the drugs found in the city exist in real life.
  • Gay Option: Players can marry the same gender if they so choose. Torn City may be a crime infested hellhole, but it doesn't support discrimination of any kind.
  • Global Currency Exception: Most places in the game just use normal money, but points can be earned (or bought for hefty sums of the standard currency) for use to buy special items and perks on the points market. If the player plans to ever use the stock market or racing feature these points are a must have since the only way to access them are with points.
  • Holiday Mode: Several month long events happen during certain times of the year, most of which involve holidays and provide rare and potent items that can be hard to obtain normally. Both Christmas and Halloween for example, provide the player with powerful alcoholic drinks that are extremely expensive to buy outside of the event in question.
  • Island Base: The ultimate property a player can buy. It'll set you back a cool $500,000,000 (This doesn't include the additonal cost of potental upgrades either!) but who hasn't always wanted their own private island home?
  • Katanas Are Just Better: They are easily one of the most powerful melee weapons in the game.
  • Knife Nut: There are several good knife weapons in the game so expect to see a bunch of these guys running around.
  • Loan Shark: The player can pay a visit to a man named Tim in the Red Light District to take out a loan of up to $100,000 with a 1% interest rate per day. (Tim also appears as the highest ranked target of the pickpocketing crime.)
  • Pipe Pain: The lead pipe is a very common melee weapon that is, oddly enough, often seen for sale at a store.
  • Play Every Day: Early in the game when players have low energy and nerve bars it helps to play every hour or so due to the short amount of time it takes the bars to refill. Unless the player logs on several times daily they lose chances to improve their attributes and level up faster.
  • Prison Rape: One of the stores sell an item call "Soap On A Rope" that can be given to another player as a gift...
  • Professional Killer: The player can easily become one since the daily newspaper includes a list of bounties they can claim for a fairly high profit, especially at higher levels. The game also allows the player to target generic NPCs in the Assassination crime.
  • Revolvers Are Just Better: The expensive but powerful magnum revolver is easily one of the best handguns in the game.
  • Russian Roulette: The Torn City version is played a bit different than normal though, with the barrel placed at the player's foot instead of their head.
  • Skill Point Reset: Any player can pay 500 points to reset their Merits. (This may not sound like much, but 500 points is equal to about 15 million normal dollars and can take players months to build up the needed funds.)
  • Socialization Bonus: Players with friends will progress much faster than players who attempt to play by themselves.
  • The Straight and Arrow Path: The player can indeed bring a crossbow to a firefight and, if their level is high enough, leave the guy in military body armor a pin cushion in the middle of the street.
  • Tragic Keepsake: A reward for completing an early game mission where the player saves a baby from falling out an open window only to discover that both of the baby's parents had already died either that day.
  • Vice City: Every citizen of Torn City starts as a lowly crook shoplifting and picking pockets with the goal of working their way up the criminal ladder to become a crime kingpin. Players can even attack and mug each other or go to war with rival factions... in this city NO ONE is completely safe.
  • Wealthy Yacht Owner: Obtaining a yacht is a mark of considerable status in Torn City and even unlocks an award for anyone who manages to get one.
  • Whip It Good: The player can acquire what is explicitly stated to be a leather bull whip as a melee weapon fairly early in the game. It isn't quite as strong as a lot of other melee weapons, but it sure must hurt like hell on the poor soul who ends up on the receiving end of it.


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