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Video Game / Twilight Heroes

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I like my justice like I like my coffee . . .

Twilight Heroes is a free, browser-based online game in the style of (and partially inspired by) Kingdom of Loathing. In this game, you play a superhero out to save the city of Twilight from the forces of various nefarious evildoers, whose crimes and powers range from the trivial to the superhuman. Naturally, the game features an awareness of many Superhero Tropes.

Combat is turn-based; each day the player is given a certain amount of time, starting at 6:00 PM in which to play these turns (more time can be added, up to a point, by various means). Turns are 5 minutes by default (but can be shortened or lengthened with equipment and status effects).

Players can take the form of one of four different classes of superhero:

  • Elemental: Stat-wise, the most balanced of the classes. The elemental naturally enough has powers, skills and buffs based on the four classic elements. And the ability to breathe underwater.
    • "The elemental hero fights crime with a mastery of the four elements. Earth, air, fire, and water all obey the heroes' wills and make them a force to be reckoned with. Just don't ask them to light a cigarette for you—they really get sick of that."
  • Gadgeteer: The class that focuses on ranged combat and high reflexes. The gadgeteer's skills have a technology theme, including the ability to build more advanced computers than members of other classes.
    • "The gadgeteer's specialty is always having the right tool for the job. Natural inventiveness provides gadgeteer heroes with an array of gadgets and gizmos to help them navigate through life's—and their enemies'—obstacles. If you like playing with toys then this is your calling."
  • Naturalist: The class that focuses on melee combat and high strength. The naturalist's buffs and combat skills are all animal-themed, and they can "tame" certain foes.
    • "Naturalist heroes have great physical strength, but their greatest skill is their ability to channel the powers of numerous wild animals. Not only can they drink like a fish and snore like a bear, but they will sting like a butterfly and float like a bee. Or, um, the other way around."
  • Psion: The class that focuses on spells and high intellect. The psion's skills are themed around their mental powers, and psions are better able to use their class powers.
    • "The psion hero relies on the power of the mind. A masterful intellect combines with telekinetic and psychic powers to make a powerful crime-fighting hero. If you knew I was going to say that then the Psion hero is probably for you."

The artwork consist primarily of photographs that have been manipulated with various software filters to create a distinctive style.

It is completely free of sparkly vampires, we promise. A fact that the game itself mentions a few times . . .

Play it here!

This game provides examples of:

  • Added Alliterative Appeal: The Rejected Rogue Ranch, and all the enemies and items found therein.
  • The Alleged Car: Possible forms of transportation include a rusted-out pickup and a beat-up jalopy.
  • Anti Poop-Socking: The player has a limited number of turns per day, although more can be gained through leveling up or sources of caffeine and sugar. Additionally, turns are measured in time; it is not always possible to play all of one's turns on any given day. The day starts at 6:00PM; you have to be done by 7:00AM the next day to get to your day job (except on "Frayday").
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory: Not quite, of course — the game can be played completely free, but donating does give the player "silver stars" (one for each dollar donated with a $5 minimum); these can be exchanged for a "gold star", which is a powerful accessory, or traded for powerful items in the Wok of Stars. They can also be traded for in-game currency from other players, however.
  • Brought to You by the Letter "S": The "letter shirt", which can be customized to show any capitalized letter in the English alphabet.
  • Chocolate-Frosted Sugar Bombs: One of the best foods in the game is called Frosted cocoa-fruity marshmallow blasts.
  • The Commissioner Gordon: Or Officer Rand, in this case.
  • Cool Car: Various forms of transportation possible include a luxury car, a medevac helicopter, an armored pegasus, a jetpack, a fighter plane, and a motorcycle that transforms into power armor.
  • Cosmetic Award: The "merit badges" that are received for various achievements.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: It is possible to fight Azathoth as an ultra-rare encounter in one of these areas. It is even possible to defeat him . . .
  • Eldritch Abomination: Most of the enemies in this quest.
  • Fighter, Mage, Thief: The gadgeteer focuses on ranged attacks and high reflexes, the naturalist on melee attacks and high strength, and the psion on spells and high intellect. The elemental is a mix of all three stats.
  • Friend to All Living Things: The Naturalist can tame animal foes instead of defeating them, giving extra XP but missing out on their item drops.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: The game loves its puns, but special mention needs to go out to this one, found in the zone filled entirely with Spoonerisms:
    In the tunnels you find a group of lost and dazed musicians. They listen intently as you suggest how to leave. But as they turn to walk away confusion overcomes you and you attack the group. Apparently you've never heard the expression, "Don't fight the band that heeds you."
  • Item Crafting: There are two basic forms, assembling and welding; the only difference is that welding requires a torch and solder. Items made with either technique can be disassembled and the ingredients reused. Additionally, there are several items (such as the computers) that require a set of instructions and several different ingredients, and other items which require giving the ingredients to an NPC.
  • It's All Upstairs From Here: Not so much a "tower" as a "skyscraper", of course, but the principle is the same; your character has to do some climbing to get to the final boss.
  • Jetpack: A very, very complicated welding project (the diagram for it has its own wiki page), but when you finish it, it's one of the best vehicles in the game - a flying Range 5 transport with no level limit.
  • Joke Item: Such as a computer program that lets your computer run faster (except each computer can only run one program at a time) or a jetpack that allows you to fly, but won't allow you to travel anywhere that flight is necessary. Not to mention the melee weapon with extra ranged damage, and the ranged weapon with extra melee damage.
  • Karma Meter: Two, actually; the player's Reputation is determined by their Honor and Selflessness, or lack thereof (either scale can be changed with certain choice adventures).
  • Kid Sidekick: Some of the temporary sidekicks, as well as your permanent sidekick if you give them a low enough age (which is purely cosmetic).
  • Magikarp Power: The beat-up jalopy can be upgraded with materials obtained later in the game to become a much more useful vehicle.
  • Money Spider: Averted for the most part; most foes that would not be expected to carry chips (the ingame currency) won't drop them.
  • My Greatest Failure: For your hero, it's failing to stop the Mick's boss from destroying part of Downtown; this is what he Retcons to try to stop.
  • New Game Plus: Known in the game as retcon, of course.
  • No Points for Neutrality: There are bonuses for having a certain Reputation, but only if that reputation is at one end or the other of one of the scales.
  • Retcon: More than just a name for the New Game Plus, it is basically described as such in-story.
  • Roaming Enemy: The Wandering Villains.
  • Self-Imposed Challenge: Each retcon gives several different options for difficulty, allowing or limiting access to previously earned skills, items, consumables, or even one's sidekick.
  • Sidekick: Some are temporary and can be summoned or unsummoned from items, one is permanent and joins you as a quest reward (or can carry over from your last retcon.) Both the temporary and the permanent sidekick have a variety of abilities.
  • Sidekick Glass Ceiling: Your permanent sidekick scales to your level, but each focus (ability) has a level cap.
  • Spoonerism: The "Dank and Rusty Maze" quest, and the enemies and items that are part of it.
  • Superhero Trophy Shelf: Each of the Villains drops a signature item, which (like most items in the game) can be put in one's "Memento Display".
  • Tome of Eldritch Lore: In software form! The "CTHULHU" discs will give you XP, at the cost of a fairly significant negative status effect.
  • Triple Shifter: the aversion of which is the justification for the game's Anti Poop-Socking above.
  • Zillion-Dollar Bill:
    • Sort of; it's an April Fool's item with basically no resell value.
    • The game later introduced the Singularity Chip. It's worth one million chips, but the only way to get it is to trade in one million vouchers, which could be exchanged in lower denominations for much more valuable loot, and would take several centuries to accumulate anyway.