Follow TV Tropes

Following

Video Game / Trailblazer

Go To

My name's Malcolm Striker. You can call me... the Trailblazer.
Malcolm "The Trailblazer" Striker

Malcolm Striker, a former member of Earth's special forces, goes on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge between Hell and worlds ravaged by the Serpent Riders to avenge his slain love and hunt down the man responsible—Vladimir Vladimir—while at the same time grabbing his hands on every cigarette pack he can find. Not really a plot that can be elaborated on, but then again, neither can Doom's.

Advertisement:

Trailblazer is a gameplay mod compatible with Doom, Heretic, and Hexen, created by a modding team that consists of several ZDoom forum members (including the team lead, PillowBlaster) who had previously worked on Russian Overkill and Guncaster. Trailblazer takes heavy influences from '80s action movies and applies them to the shooting action of the Doom engine—Stuff Blowing Up, Smoking Is Cool, Gun Fu, Jet Packs, and whiskey combine together for no other purpose than the Rule of Cool.

Trailblazer can be downloaded here.


Advertisement:

This mod contains examples of:

  • '90s Anti-Hero: Malcolm's backstory, appearance and attitude pretty much check all the boxes to qualify, though it's all Played for Laughs.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • Trailblazer features some extremely cool-looking but lengthy reload animations for most guns. Usually, you would need to reload manually by pressing Button 3, but the mod has a toggle that makes this automatic (and is set to this by default).
    • Word of Godinvoked is that the high precision of most of the guns is the result of PillowBlaster's frustration with bullet spread messing up long-range shots.
  • Battle Boomerang: The Macheterang is what you'd expect it to be: a machete that flies back to you being thrown, and if it doesn't, it'll just teleport straight into your hand.
  • BFG: It wouldn't be a PillowBlaster mod without several of these:
    • The Skullthrottle's main barrel covers most of the right side of the screen. Its weapon upgrade adds a Browning machine gun that covers an equally large part of the other side of the screen.
    • Advertisement:
    • The Nutcracker muzzleloader fires two-bore slugs which can rip enemies apart (and theoretically your arms too due to the immense recoil, which thankfully doesn't happen in actual gameplay).
    • The Double Deuce is a massive double-barrel shotgun that fires the same two-bore rounds as the Nutcracker, except as a blast of bouncing shrapnel (and the upgrade makes the shrapnel home in on enemies); you can, of course, fire both barrels at once.
    • The Conqueror gun platform is described as a gun made of guns (and apparently parts off a forklift) - when fully upgraded, it has at least thirteen barrels firing four different types of ammo, with a cannon as the centerpiece, and a mortar for good measure. Apparently it uses Russian technology. Its first-person sprite takes up the entire bottom third of most modern displays. Its massive size is even lampshaded when you attempt to pick up another one.
  • Bottomless Magazines:
    • The Ammo Junkie powerup gives you unlimited ammo for a period of time.
    • Initially subverted with the Cradle & Grave—although the guns need to reload, they have a separate ammunition pool that never runs out—and then double subverted once you apply its weapon upgrade, which makes the guns draw directly from the ammunition pool, removing the reload animation entirely.
    • Downplayed with the Bitchmaker's "Keep Shooting" blueprint, which gives it a 25% chance of not consuming ammo when you use either its secondary or tertiary fire. With luck, you can theoretically rapid-fire DEM rounds using the Bitchmaker for an entire level without having to load.
    • The Conqueror gun platform's main cannon has a self-recharging ammo pool, although it is not fast enough to keep up with the cannon's maximum fire rate and caps at 100.
  • Emergency Weapon:
    • Although the Macheterang is reasonably powerful even without the Berserk powerup, gives you a small speed boost when you're holding it, can be used without alerting enemies, and can be thrown around, you start off with only one, and unless you have crafted spares, or ammunition for other guns, throwing it leaves you with only your Quick Melee for defense. Upgrading it allows it to create Sword Beams with each swing, giving it a bit more versatility.
    • Your starting pistol, the Sidekick, is largely obsolete once you get the FMG and/or Leadsplitter, since the FMG does roughly the same amount of damage per shot at a higher fire rate, and the Leadsplitter's rate of fire is second to none. This is Subverted, however, when you factor in upgrades and blueprints: the Sidekick's weapon upgrade adds a laser sight and silencer which, combined with the "Uranium Shot" blueprint that turns its regular bullets into more damaging explosive bullets, makes it the only ranged weapon in your arsenal besides an upgraded Macheterang that can shoot, kill, and explode without alerting enemies to your presence.
    • The Cradle & Grave revolvers have infinite ammo but must be reloaded like the Colts in Serious Sam. With their weapon upgrade and the "Colt Burstshot" blueprint, they get true Bottomless Magazines and three-round burst fire, greatly increasing their viability.
  • Excuse Plot: The Lost Lenore and "refrigerator accident" apparently has Malcolm become a Crusading Widower, intent on hunting down and killing Vladimir Vladimir, but otherwise he's just slaying hellspawn like in every other Doom mod.
  • Exploding Barrels: Trailblazer not only inherits the properties of this trope from Doom, but amplifies them, with the explosions of the barrels doing more damage and having a greater blast radius.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Sports one as an obvious reference to Snake Plissken from Escape from New York.
  • Gatling Good: The Skullthrottle minigun was cobbled together from parts of spare Harley-Davidson motorcycles (and smelted cyborg, apparently). The result is a gun which looks and sounds very cool to fire indeed. An optional CVAR even allows the gun to play either heavy metal or redneck gibberish when firing.
  • The Ghost: Parodied with the game's Big Bad, Vladimir Vladimir, who is apparently responsible for the events in Doom, but is never seen in-game. This may also be a Foregone Conclusion given that Trailblazer is a mod, not a megawad, which brings with it some Unfortunate Implicationsinvoked.
  • Grenade Launcher: The Patriarch automatic grenade launcher fires high-explosive grenades which can either bounce or explode upon impact. Great for clearing whole rooms of enemies.
  • Guns Akimbo: Malcolm can dual-wield revolvers, Uzis and shotguns for double the firepower. Amusingly, the question of how he can reload with a gun in each hand is Hand Waved as he has magnetic clip holders attached to his belt.
  • Hand Cannon: The Bitchmaker magnum shoots fireballs which can kill a Hell Knight in one or two shots. More than enough to kill anything that moves indeed. Version 1.5 changes its weapon upgrade, giving it the ability to consume a full chamber of bullets to shoot an absolutely massive "magnum ball" that creates an equally massive Sphere of Destruction upon impact.
  • Heal It with Booze: Whiskey (or "Pisskey" as it's called) acts as a portable healing item.
  • I Love Nuclear Power: From version 1.5, you can "use" an Exploding Barrel, causing you to drink its radioactive contents, giving you 20 seconds of damage floor immunity that stacks with every successive barrel you consume, a slight decrease in damage taken, and an aura that damages enemies within melee range.
  • Item Crafting: Malcolm can salvage junk lying around to create ammo and upgrades for his weapons.
  • Jet Pack: It randomly spawns alongside the backpack and it grants Malcolm flight upon activation.
  • Kill It with Fire: While there are no flamethrowers in this mod, Malcolm can still set things ablaze with incendiary rounds, such as the DEM shells of the Chrome Justice and Hellraiser bullets of the Bitchmaker.
  • Lightning Bruiser: With full health and armor, Malcolm has the speed of Doomguy, the resilience of a nuclear bunker, and the stopping power of a tank. The only way to One-Hit Kill him at that stage is an Alpha Strike from every enemy in a slaughter map, or a Tele-Frag.
  • More Dakka:
    • The Leadsplitter Uzi fires (and consumes) bullets faster than any other slot 4 weapon in the game. Dual-wielding it doubles the rate of fire (and ammo consumption). If Malcolm is on very low health, and the Blazingsphere powerup is active, continuously firing dual Leadsplitters can deplete a full reservoir of bullet ammunition in seconds.
    • Downplayed with the FMG. While it is a machine gun by default, and its magazine capacity is increased with the "Heavy Machine Gun" blueprint, its rate of fire never changes, and its weapon upgrade gives it a sniper mode toggle, which is Exactly What It Says on the Tin and the antithesis of this trope.
    • The Skullthrottle on its own already fires an impressive barrage of bullets, but with the "Throttle Instaspin" blueprint, the barrel's spin-up time is removed, so it immediately unleashes rapid-fire death. With its weapon upgrade, it gets an extra Browning machine gun that fires a little slower but can fire in tandem with the main barrel.
    • Version 1.5 adds the Conqueror gun platform, essentially a gun made of guns equipped with a centerpiece cannon that regenerates its own ammo. Once upgraded, it sports 13 barrels of various calibers—everything from grenades to minigun bullets to shotguns—and has a mortar launcher. With all guns firing at once, you can't really see what's in front of you due to the Bullet Hell.
  • Quad Damage: Added in version 1.4, and it even sports the Quake symbol.
  • The Quiet One: While Malcolm does not have any of the one-liners from action movie heroes in the mod, he does speak in the official trailer, and his grunts as well as his nonchalant one-liner whenever he finds a secret already give him a distinct personality. The mod also has custom intermission text which is as witty and funny as any action hero's arsenal.
  • Patriotic Fervor: With the "Spontaneous Freedom" upgrade, the Leadspitter randomly spews red/blue/white firework missiles while firing. As for the Nutcracker, its "upgrade" is literally just draping an American flag over it, which somehow enables it to fire a time-stopping "Glory Shot" projectile that makes everything around it explode from freedom overdose. While the Chariots of Fire theme plays. The full recharge of the Glory Shot is signaled by the cry of a bald eagle.
  • Rated M for Manly: The whole mod is a pastiche of '80s and '90s action movies. This trope is part of the package.
  • Repetitive Name: Vladimir Vladimir, the Big Bad.
  • Revolvers Are Just Better: Malcolm's arsenal includes three: the Cradle & Grave paired revolvers and the Bitchmaker magnum.
  • Road Runner PC: Like Doomguy himself, Malcolm runs at roughly the speed of a freight train. He even moves and shoots faster when low on health.
  • Shotguns Are Just Better:
    • The Fleshrend sawed-off shotgun can be dual-wielded. Its weapon upgrade adds two more barrels without a proportionate increase in ammo drain, while the "Tricorne Shot" blueprint increases the concentration of bullets per shot.
    • The Chrome Justice pump-action shotgun can fire either a concentrated wad of buckshot or an incendiary spread. When upgraded, it becomes an automatic weapon. The "Striploader" blueprint changes the per-bullet reload into a full clip reload.
    • The Eliminator lever-action shotgun does solid damage with a wide (but very flat) spread can be dual-wielded, and also has a zoom function that narrows its spread.
    • The Double Deuce is a BFG-tier two-bore double-barrel cannon of a shotgun that fires blasts of bouncing shrapnel that home in on enemies once the gun is upgraded.
  • Smoking Is Cool: Malcolm constantly puffs away like your average '80s action hero. And he can pick up cigarette packs which give him health or armor. Somehow.
  • Trick Bomb: The spikebomb unleashes a cluster of smaller bomblets upon detonation. An upgrade gives it the ability to pull enemies towards itself for more damage.
  • Violation of Common Sense:
    • Malcolm is inherently resistant to explosions of all types, including the splash damage from explosions caused by his own weapons; he gets full immunity from the latter with the "Master Exploder" blueprint. This means Rocket Jumping is actually viable.
    • Consuming Exploding Barrels, which provides several temporary buffs as well as Damage Reduction.
Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report