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Video Game / 1213

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1213 is a freeware Cinematic Platform Game in three parts by Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw of Zero Punctuation fame.

Somewhat inspired by Flashback with some System Shock thrown in for good measure, 1213 is an action-adventure platformer complete with gun combat. Not bad for a game engine specifically designed for point-and-click adventure games. The title character, 1213, manages to escape the cell in which he has lived for as long as he can remember (which isn't that far back) into something much worse.

As with the Chzo Mythos games, Yahtzee made a special edition of 1213. Originally donationware, it is now free to download.

Tropes used by the game:

  • Abhorrent Admirer: Westbury to 1213, to the point that when 1213 has a massive hallucination, he sees a vision of Westbury's glasses as a monster. Some of Westbury's dialogue implies a twisted affection and a deep-seated obsession, too. He begs 1213 to acknowledge him and at the end, tries to reconcile. And then there's O'Hagan's reports, one of which implies that Westbury abuses 1213 sexually.
  • Advancing Wall of Doom: 1213's entire perception of reality breaks down on several occasions, leaving you to keep him ahead of the breakdown. Subverted, however, in that the inky blackness doesn't kill you, and doesn't advance on its own, only advancing when you reach a certain point.
  • Apocalypse How: All air-breathing life on Earth has died from a pathogen, and the space station gets overrun by zombies. It's reasonable to assume that by the end of things, 1213 is the only living mammal in existence.
    • More pleasant in the secret silly ending, where there are still people alive, but most of them have turned into magic chocolate people.
  • Apocalyptic Log: Several, particularly on the computer screens in parts of the facility overrun by zombies.
  • All Just a Dream: Word of God suggests this as a possible interpretation of the game. But he also points out that it is probably not the case.
  • Anti-Villain: Westbury. You'd be insane too if you'd been through everything he has. At several points, he breaks down and remorsefully admits to 1213 that he know that some of the thing he has done are wrong, but also he believes he had no choice.
  • Attack Drone: Security drones, one of the tougher regular enemies in the game (Out of a pool of three).
  • Bandaged Face: 1213 wears bandages to conceal the facial sores brought on by his disease.
  • Bottomless Magazines: 1213's gun never runs out of bullets, while the same applies for the security guards.
  • But What About the Astronauts?: The horrible truth learned just in time for the player to realize just how badly every last source of hope has been destroyed.
  • Conspicuously Selective Perception: Guards will only shoot at you while you're on the same level as them, completely forgetting about you as soon as you drop out of their limited vision. Zombies only move in similar circumstances.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive:
    • Westbury subverts this trope as the plot progresses. Westbury demonstrates downright hatred of these sorts of people and how they go about doing things - this is the entire basis of his Motive Rant. When Petrovitch asks Westbury "Do you know how much that costs?!?" when 1213 destroys the final boss, Westbury snaps, and shoots the poor guy in the head. Westbury despises bureaucrats. In fact, in the Special Edition commentary, Yahtzee makes a point that this piece of dialogue has the only example of profanity in the game to demonstrate how absolutely pissed off he is.
      Westbury: "How much these things cost? Is that all you have to say? You... You... YOU FUCKING BUREAUCRAT!" *BANG*
    • Petrovich himself. Who else would care so much about equipment costs when the last living humans are suffering from a Zombie Apocalypse?
  • Downer Ending: Earth has been destroyed by an unknown pathogen and their last living hopes for continuing humankind have been wiped out by the zombie apocalypse. Even the comparatively silly hidden ending is equally depressing when you think about it.
  • Driven to Suicide: James Deakin, one of Westbury's assistants when he learned that the apocalypse had already happened.
  • Edge Gravity: While walking, you'll stop at a ledge. Run, and you'll just run right off. There's even a Lampshade Hanging at the beginning of the game, when Westbury says "Don't worry, if you keep walking you won't walk right off the ledge. That would be silly, now wouldn't it?"
  • The Faceless: 1213 and the rest of his brothers and sisters all wear full-face masks to help heal the facial sores that the Yellow Death causes.
  • Have You Told Anyone Else?: O'Hagan makes the incredibly wise decision to tell Westbury that she hasn't told anyone about the evidence against him. Note that Westbury didn't even ask about evidence, she threatens him with it while he's holding a gun.
  • Heal Thyself: Showers can cure bullet wounds, zombie bites, being stabbed, electrocutions, heart conditions brought upon by sheer exhaustion, and painful landings.
  • Idiot Ball: O'Hagan is a trained psychologist who already knows how crazy Westbury is. She still thinks it's a good idea to collect evidence against him and threaten him with it before telling anyone else, to his face, while he's armed.
  • Insecurity Camera: Mostly averted; most cameras are decorative and only two will impede your progress if they see you.
  • Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence: Hundreds of doors, few accessible. Pretty much every elevator fails to respond to 1213, requiring him to haul himself between floors.
  • Motherly Scientist: O'Hagan served as teacher and surrogate mother to the clones, showing genuine concern for them. And, in his own twisted way, possibly Westbury.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
    • By generally shooting everything that moves, 1213's considered a threat by the crew of the facility, which is a damned shame, considering what his purpose is...
    • Releasing the zombies from the first chapter to spread throughout the remainder of the facility when he blasts his way through the quarantine. Oops.
  • Nobody Poops: Shower blocks exist, barracks exist, there's even a small mess room and an entire food court, but not one toilet appears.
  • Ontological Mystery: You awake in a room with no memory. Through exploration, you learn a backstory of horror, and ultimately fight to liberate yourself from your condition of ignorance. Yahtzee happily lampshades this in the special edition commentary.
  • Precision F-Strike: Westbury gives one (the only incident of swearing in the game) when he finally snaps and shoots Petrovitch, just to show how utterly pissed off he is.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Westbury's last orders saves 1213's life, even though his attempt at reconciling is in the middle of Jerkass territory.
  • Replacement Goldfish: To Westbury, 1213 to 1108. He viewed 1108 as an intellectual peer and was apparently very partial to him, but he died. It probably didn't help matters that both patients are identical, being clones of the same man. There's plenty of evidence to suggest that Westbury's obsession with and abuse of 1213 is rooted in his grief and attraction to 1108.
  • The Reveal: Maybe he could've done something differently if he hadn't been brought up to speed in the very last scene... but maybe not.
  • Scary Shiny Glasses: Westbury. You even get to fight them.
  • The Un-Favourite: Westbury preferred 1108 to 1213. It was 1108's death that finally sent him over the edge.
  • We Will Have Perfect Health in the Future: 1213 and his clone brothers have been designed to be immune to every known serious disease and highly resistant towards poisons gas. Ironically, this also causes them to be especially vulnerable to the zombie virus.
  • White Mask of Doom: 1213's facial dressing gives off this sort of feel.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: Granted, it is confined to the facility. However, there isn't anything else left by the time the plot begins.