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MANKIND IS DEAD.
BLOOD IS FUEL.
HELL IS FULL.

ULTRAKILL is a Stylish Action retro-style First-Person Shooter made by Arsi "Hakita" Patala and published by New Blood Interactive. You play as V1, one of the robotic survivors of a war where combat robots that run on blood exterminated humanity for fuel, and finds themself fresh out. But there is still one last source left to tap into: all the demons and damned souls in Hell.

Gameplay hearkens back to the lightning-fast shooters of old and places emphasis on movement, dodging attacks, and unbridled aggression in arena-style levels. V1's health can only be restored by showering in the blood of enemies, necessitating damaging foes at close range. Along the way, killing foes in varied and stylish ways will grant points that V1 can spend on weapon upgrades.

The game's prologue and first act were released in Early Access on September 3, 2020, and a free demo is available on Steam and itch.io. Act 2 was initially released on August 16th, 2022, with it being completed in its entirety on March 16th of the following year. Act 3 is currently in development, with Violence being released on December 20, 2023.


May your tropes be many...

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  • Adaptational Heroism: A few characters are more sympathetic than their original poem counterparts...
    • In the original poem, King Minos is the merciless judge of Hell who sentences souls to one of its layers depending on their sins. Meanwhile in this game, King Minos is a benevolent king who turned Lust into a thriving paradise because he felt that eternal damnation is an unfair punishment for sinners who simply love another. He also fights V1 to avenge his people and humanity as a Prime Soul.
    • Revealed in Testament IV, Lucifer did not betray God nor introduce evil and suffering to the world unlike his poem counterpart. Instead, he merely questions Him if eternal damnation is a fitting punishment for sinners, and while he sees sinners as fools, he still shows them far more sympathy than God did.
  • Adaptational Villainy: ...while others are more immoral than the originals.
    • By Dante's rules, V1 is not just this game's equivalent to him, but a violent and amoral version of him. While Dante's motives are partially selfish and he doesn't intend any harm, V1 invades Hell to slaughter its denizens and their fellow robots for the completely selfish motive of sustaining themself with blood.
    • In The Bible and the poem, the Archangel Gabriel is an angel of pure goodness who serves as God's messenger. Here in this game, he's a ruthless zealot who murdered the beloved King Minos for showing compassion for the sinners suffering in the layer of Lust and turning it into a thriving paradise. This is subverted at the end of Act II, where Gabriel realizes how wrong his Knight Templar ways were, causing him to atone for his crimes by slaughtering The Council for their tyranny before descending to Hell one last time to battle V1 and their kind.
    • In The Bible and the poem, Hell is a place of punishment, but it never extends beyond that. Here in this game, Hell is alive and malevolent, being a sadistic entity that's implied to wipe out the entire human race so it can claim their souls and torture them for all eternity as an act of twisted entertainment.
  • Advanced Movement Technique: Owing to its roots both in old-school shooters and character action games, as well as Hakita simply being unhinged, the game has a lot of these.
    • Jumping out of a dash will retain the dash's momentum, sending V1 flying forward at high speed. You can then carry that momentum into a slide and jump to start slidehopping around the level. Instead of a dash, you can instead shoot your rocket launcher at your feet to get a boost forward, or use any other explosion.
    • If that's still not enough speed, there's also slam storage. It's an Ascended Glitch that involves cancelling a ground slam with a wall jump, which lets you 'store' the velocity of the slam until you land. If you jump again as soon as you land, V1 will leap ridiculously high, which is useful to skip massive parts of levels with open roofs; but if you slide and then jump, you can transfer that vertical velocity forward and blitz through entire sections.
    • One trick commonly used in speedruns involves the Core Eject Shotgun's Secondary Fire. All you need to do is eject the core behind you and then shoot it with the Revolver ; being sniped will increase the power of the explosion making it blow you even further away, and it means you don't need a surface to get an explosive boost. You can even use the Malicious Railcannon instead of the Revolver to create the largest, most powerful explosion possible in the game and go further still, which has been dubbed an ULTRABOOST by the community. Combine this with slam storage, and you can skip entire levels in seconds, such as 2-1.
  • After the End: MANKIND IS DEAD. It's implied by Minos that the Machines had a hand in it which, considering how they've all been augmented into bloodthirsty Killer Robots, isn't hard to assume. Even if it weren't for the Machines, humanity was involved in some wars (which, according to V2's entry, thankfully ended out at some point), and went through a climate catastrophe that warranted the creation of the Streetcleaners. That said, though, the apocalypse is just beginning; Gabriel states that the Machines are rampaging through Hell at such a rapid pace that Limbo and Lust have already been completely cleaned out, with Gluttony soon to follow by the time of his second fight. The Machines are so bloodthirsty, they'll bring the end of Hell itself.
  • Aggressive Play Incentive: Ultrakill features a few game mechanics that reward players for getting up close and personal:
    • The primary method of healing mid-fight requires being close to enemies when they get killed or damaged.
    • Parries will provide healing and stamina regeneration when successfully pulled off, in addition to stunning or interrupting certain attacks. While projectiles can be parried at range, certain melee attacks can also be parried for the same effect, and these parries can even be performed with the Shotgun.
  • Alien Geometries: The layers of Hell are weird, which becomes more obvious at the end of Act I onwards. Many levels seem to exist in utterly massive locations, with unobstructed skies and a horizon that goes on for miles, even though you came in by dropping down a shaft from what may have been another massive location with an unobstructed sky and miles-long horizon. You can sometimes see the shaft the level entrance connects to reaching upwards seemingly infinitely, other times it's inside of a structure you can climb to the top of without ending up back in the previous level.
    • The entrance to the layer of Gluttony is somehow inside the mouth of The Corpse of King Minos, despite the layer not actually being within the corpse itself according to Word of God. invoked
  • Alternate Fire: All weapons so far except the Railcannon (which just zooms in the camera) have at least one. They range from relatively mundane (a piercing Charge Attack on the revolver or a grenade launcher-esque explosive projectile for the Shotgun) to more creative and stylish (like the Revolver's coin shot or the Nailgun's magnet traps).
  • Alternate History: As revealed in the Gutterman and Earthmover terminal entries, Ultrakill takes place in a world where World War I went on 200 years too long after the creation of blood fueled robots created a neverending arms race.
  • Always Close: When exiting Earthmover, no matter how much time you had left, it will be automatically reduced to a few seconds so it explodes while V1 has just launched off of it.
  • Amen Break: Many tracks use Amen Break in various tempos, cuts and sometimes even in reverse.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: Collecting Soul Orbs grants you alternate color schemes for each gun. In addition, the most expensive unlock for each weapon is the ability to hand-customize the color scheme of that weapon, with each one costing 1,000,000 points.
  • Animal Motif: As a reference to his original Dante's Inferno counterpart (who's a serpentine monster), King Minos has a snake motif, which can be seen through his corpse (the parasitic worms controlling his corpse are described as serpentine), and through his Prime Soul (each of his arms are coiled by a snake, and he uses them to enhance his attacks. He also summons a large etheral snake as a deadly homing projectile).
  • Antepiece:
    • Some obstacles are introduced in a safer environment before throwing the player into more dangerous situations with them. Examples include glass, crushers and grapple points.
    • The Nailgun and Railcannon are introduced with enemy scenarios that spawn upon picking them up that show you exactly what the weapons are tailored for; Shredding demon enemies and heavy enemy-piercing damage, respectively.
    • Some enemies are introduced alone. For an example, a single Schism appears in a fairly large room when first introduced, then two more Schisms spawn after the first one is killed. The Stalker is first shown to be blown up in a caged-off area, demonstrating its interaction with other enemies. Finally, the Idol is introduced indirectly by spawning a single Filth which the Idol buffs and it's up to player to find it.
  • Anti-Air: The Rocket Launcher's default version is hard to aim on flying enemies with its slow projectiles, but if you manage it, the game rewards your skill with a massive red explosion to obliterate everything in the vicinity.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • Stuck on a boss? After you fight them at least once, their terminal entry will become partially unlocked, showing only the tips for how to take them on. You'll need to actually apply those skills if you want to see their completed terminal entry.
    • Usually when facing a boss, you have to defeat it in one go, with any deaths sending you back to the beginning of the fight. But for the rematch against V2 in 4-4, the game gives you a checkpoint upon defeating the first phase, so you don't have to start from scratch if you die during the shorter, slightly easier second phase. A similar principle is applied in P-1 and P-2, where defeating the Flesh Prison or Flesh Panopticon respectively will create a checkpoint before you the King emerges.
    • Every secret level can be completed using cheats without consequence, meaning players that can't accommodate to the Genre Shifts, like 0-S being a horror stage with jump scares, can still 100% the game. This even applies to 4-S, which does have a stage challenge for breaking all the boxes, Crash Bandicoot style. You can enable no-clip at the end and go back to smash any boxes you missed, and that won't disqualify you.
    • The Boss Only Levels usually have ways to skip taking the long route for players who are replaying them (or are just clever). 6-2, for example, allows you to ignore the platforming segment and skip straight to the boss by rocket riding or swimming up a blood waterfall up to the pathway on the second floor.
    • The Freshness meter encourages the player to use a variety of weapons, as every weapon has a meter that applies a Style multiplier or divider, this meter going down each time you use the weapon and going up as you use other weapons. Accordingly, the Freshness meter is locked to higher levels if you have very few weapons, only being able to reach its worst state (Dull) once the player has at least four weapons in their possession.
    • Due to how oppressive certain enemies can be, the Cyber Grind has a few restrictions in place to reign in their presence on the battlefield. Chief among these is the "Special" enemy class, which contains the most aggressive and durable foes in semi-regular rotation: Mindflayers, Insurrectionists, and Ferrymen. Special-class enemies cost hidden "tokens" for the game to spawn, which increase slowly every 10 waves; additionally, every Special enemy that spawns delays the appearance of the next Special enemy wave by one wave per. In practice, this means that you can encounter a Mindflayer and Insurrectionist on Wave 20, but not see either on waves 21 or 22, but they can re-appear on Wave 23 should the game decide to spawn them.
    • A similar but looser restriction is also applied to the "Uncommon" enemy class, which consists of Virtues, Sentries, Idols, and Stalkers. While they don't have a "token" system in place restricting their overall numbers and occurance, only one Uncommon enemy type can appear in a given wave, meaning you won't have to deal with (for example) Virtues and Sentries in conjunction during the early game. This applies up to Wave 25, where two Uncommon enemy types can now appear in the same wave.
  • The Anti-Nihilist: The unseen character in 2-S rejects the idea that nothing matters, and counters a Straw Nihilist's viewpoint with a speech on how the lack of inherent meaning to existence allows one to come up with whatever meaning they want.
  • Anti-Regeneration: Some enemies give anti-regeneration buffs to other enemies, like the Stalker's golden sand or the Idol's blessings. Thankfully, their parriable attacks can still heal you.
  • Apocalypse How: A Class 3a. As explained in the Tagline, "Mankind is dead." Essentially, during a huge world-spanning war, humanity constructed machines to fight their battles for them and made them run off of human blood, but eventually the world came to a Great Peace. What the humans didn't realize is that without any more battles to fight, the machines would turn on them to take their blood to stay alive. Now the entire human population is in Hell, which has caused a massive overpopulation crisis, which in turn brings forth new problems for Hell's overlords, the Angelic Council.
  • Armless Biped:
    • The Filth are green humanoid Husks that lack arms and eyes.
    • Sentries have a massive anti-materiel rifle for a head with a single eye attached off-center to aim; between this and their powerful kicks, arms would be redundant.
  • Artificial Outdoors Display: The reason those damned to an eternity in Limbo eventually go insane is that the apparent beauty and serenity of the place is very obviously fake. The pleasant vistas are monitors on the walls, and the sounds of birds and wind are emitted from loudspeakers.
  • Artistic License: King Minos is said to have remodeled the Lust layer to be more pleasant because he felt it was an unfair punishment for people who were simply in love. In The Divine Comedy, the Lustful specifically included rapists as well, but that's not mentioned in this game.
  • Aspect Ratio Switch: The screen in 2-S starts in 3:4 aspect ratio. In the middle, it gradually shrinks into 1:1 aspect ratio and at the end it suddenly expands to widescreen ratio. Aspect ratio changes are done to reflect the mood present in the level.
  • Ascended Glitch:
    • There's a glitch called "Slam storage" that allows you to jump to insane heights. Hakita decided to leave it in, and some later levels have secrets only practically accessible through the height you get off it.
    • Areas where you can do tricky out-of-bounds clips that can be used for speedrunning are deliberately left unfixed, with unique messages added so people stop asking to fix them.
    • Downplayed with shotgun parrying. When the Shotgun received the ability to parry enemies, it dealt increased point-blank damage to any enemy, whether it was parrying an attack or not. When the developers fixed it, the increased point-blank damage was kept in for Malicious Faces.
    • There is a quirk where pressing slide at the same time or just after intiates a move called "dive". Eventually, this was recognized and given slightly more lenient timing window.
  • Attack Its Weakpoint: Just about every single enemy and boss has a weak spot (with very rare exceptions such as Drones), and since a majority of them are humanoid, the head is the obvious answer. As for the other enemies, you have to aim for something other than their head.
    • Streetcleaners die instantly if you aim for the flamethrower tank behind their back.
    • The Hideous Mass enemy is almost immune to damage on its many, many faces, but takes full damage if its exposed flesh is struck. The tail is also a good weak point, as long as your aiming is good.
    • The Mindflayer's weakpoints are the machine's head and the two protrusions on the back, and attacking the tentacles counts as limb damage.
    • The Corpse of King Minos can be hit anywhere, but his eyes take the most damage, along with the parasitic worms that pop out of his eye sockets.
    • The Leviathan can also be hit anywhere, save for the armored plating on its head, but the exposed heart on its head takes the most damage.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever:
    • The Corpse of King Minos, boss of 2-4, is so massive that just one of his hands is several times larger than V1 and the next few levels are inside of it.
    • The Leviathan rivals Minos' Corpse in size, and it's so big that V1 can climb on its back.
    • 7-4 features the 1000-THR Earthmover, a titanic war machine that dwarfs both examples above.
  • Attack Reflector: V1 starts off with the Feedbacker Arm, which can send opponents' projectiles back at them and heal V1 while doing so.
  • Audible Gleam:
    • When coins sparkle, they make a sound.
    • The spark that some enemies emit to indicate their parriable status has a distinct sound cue.
  • Author Appeal: Hakita is very outspoken about his music tastes, and so the game is full of references to artists, albums and songs that he likes. Take a look at the game's Shout out page for more details.
  • Author Avatar:
    • Hakita's profile image for most social media gets referenced a bunch throughout the game, appearing to block off areas that haven't been developed yet.
    • 5-S features the "PITR Fish", modeled after developer PITR's social media avatar.
    • The Developer's Room uses plush toys to represent the various development team members who worked on the game. A blue alligator plush is used for artist Francis Xie, for example.
  • Awesomeness Meter: Combat is judged by the usual Stylish Action style meter that increases as V1 slaughters enemies, increasing its rank further for doing so in unique, skillful ways (such as headshots, multi-kills, environmental kills, and weapon swapping). Doing actions while in the air or sliding adds a passive point multiplier, while taking damage slightly decreases the meter. Ranks start at D (Destructive) and go to C (Chaotic), B (Brutal), A (Anarchic), S (Supreme), SS (SSadistic), SSS (SSShitstorm), and cap out at ULTRAKILL rank.
  • Battle in the Rain: The Wrath Layer is constantly raining as you slaughter your way through the Layer, especially in the boss fights against The Ferryman on his colossal ship, and the Leviathan on a dock. This also applies to P-2, where you take on one Hellish gauntlet after another while making your way up to Sisyphus Prime in the middle of a Rain of Blood.
  • Beware My Stinger Tail: The Hideous Mass uses its tail to fire a harpoon at you.
  • Beyond the Impossible: During the buildup to the boss of 6-2, Gabriel explains that somehow, the machines from Earth have not only successfully invaded Hell en masse for blood fuel, but are successfully destroying it in its entirety in their ravenous need for blood; with the layers of Limbo and Lust completely obliterated and Gluttony not too far behind by the time of their fight, it's clear that the days reality itself has are numbered with the robots slaughtering everything for fuel.
  • BFG: Most of the weapons, aside from the Revolver, are half V1's size.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies:
  • Blackout Basement:
    • The prelude's secret level, Something Wicked, is a pitch-black labyrinth, meaning that the player has to navigate almost entirely by the light given off by a skull.
    • 4-3, A Shot In The Dark, which takes place in the darkened interior of the pyramid in the Greed layer.
    • 7-3 starts off very dark, with V1 even turning on a flashlight.
  • Blood Is Squicker in Water: Used as a gameplay mechanic. Killing an enemy underwater creates a bloody mist that lingers for longer, but heals less, since the blood is diluted by water.
  • Blood-Splattered Warrior: Since you're playing as a Killer Robot fueled by blood, soaking yourself in the blood of your slain enemies at close range is the number one way to heal yourself, most preferably with a Shotgun.
  • Bloody Bowels of Hell: The 3rd Layer of Hell, Gluttony, is a Womb Level entered through the defeated Corpse of King Minos. The layer is a visceral area whose floors are made of meat and bone, stomach acid is an environmental hazard, disembodied mouths are doors, and giant eyeballs cover the layer's surfaces.
  • Body of Bodies: The Leviathan is stated to be made of the bodies of those who gave up trying to fight for air in the ocean Styx, congealed into a Supreme Demon using the same mechanism behind how other demons form, just with souls instead of Hell mass. Wonderful!
  • Book Ends: Wrath begins with V1 descending into a massive body of water. It ends with V1 ascending from the depths of the ocean.
  • Boom, Headshot!: Can only be done with hitscan weapons. They, naturally, give extra damage and a nice boost to the style meter. The Revolver's coin shot always headshots (unless it targets a Streetcleaner, in which case it targets the cannister on it's back for INSTAKILL points.)
  • Boss Banter: Gabriel really likes telling the player about how a soulless machine could never stand up to the might of an angel. V1 can actually exploit this in the first fight, since Gabriel will completely stop attacking in order to dispense a quip. He drops this once he becomes The Apostate Of Hate, since he's way too angry to ever stop attacking. His banter reflects this change, and is noticeably more rage-filled and unhinged.
    Gabriel, Judge Of Hell: You are LESS than nothing!...You defy the light!...You make even the DEVIL CRY!
    Gabriel, The Apostate Of Hate: YOU'RE GETTING RUSTY, MACHINE!... IS THIS WHAT I LOST TO!?...TIME TO RIGHT MY WRONG!
  • Boss Corridor: Before fighting the corpse of King Minos or his hands, there is an empty stretch of subway tunnel.
  • Boss-Only Level: With the exception of some light platforming or exploration elements, the final level of each circle consists only of a fight with that level's boss. This is also the case for P-1. P-2 and 7-4 subvert this, presenting a full-fledged gauntlet of enemies V1 has to mow through before they can reach the level's boss.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Not only is there no reloading at all, much like the 90's shooters that inspired it, there's not even any ammo to worry about. Only the Nailgun has any restriction on how frequently you can fire, while the Railcannon and some weapon alt fires merely have a cooldown.
    • Justified in-universe with the advent of "electric guns," which fire microscopic bits of metal at high speed using powerful internal batteries, allowing for "weeks of non-stop firing" before one would need to scrape some metal dust into the chamber to reload. The Revolver is one such electric weapon.
    • The Shotgun is a "heat weapon" that fires "hyperconcentrated heat projectiles." This translates to a sort of plasma weapon with onerous heat management requirements, lest the weapon melt or explode. On the upside, this means that their ammunition is "truly infinite" rather than just "practically infinite."
    • The Nailgun is made from construction equipment and obsolete bullet-gun parts; it forges nails from ambient iron (including the iron from blood). Various methods are used to Avert Explosive Overclocking: the regenerating "magazine" of the Attractor variant is actually just a hardware rate limiter, while the Overheat variant instead uses heat sinks.
    • The Railcannon is a portable generator unit that was converted to a flywheel energy accumulator. It seems to use Electric Gun technology like the Revolver, except for the Screwdriver variant which fires a massive drill harpoon instead.
    • The Rocket Launcher is explicitly based around a sufficiently advanced device that could produce rockets and explosives from effectively nothing.
  • Bottomless Pits: Some levels feature pits with blackness below. Falling into them causes the player to teleport back up at the cost of health.
  • Bragging Rights Reward: Beating a level's Challenge(or just clearing a Prime Sanctum) unlocks all the music in the level to be added into your custom Cyber Grind playlist, meaning a longer playlist signifies how good at the game you are.
  • Brutal Bonus Level: The Prime Sanctums. If you manage to find them and get the P ranks necessary to enter, you deserve your punishment.
  • Build Like an Egyptian: Layer 4 (Greed) has a very prominent ancient Egyptian theme.
  • Calling Your Attacks: The bosses of the Prime Sanctums are the only boss to do this. Knowing which attack is which is a key strategy to defeating them.
    • Minos Prime has the following telegraphing voicelines:
      • "JUDGEMENT!": He teleports to V1 and performs an explosive dropkick, and can chain this attack together with several others since it leaves him airborne.
      • "DIE!": He locks onto V1 and slams down, leaving behind a shockwave. This one has the smallest dodge window, which is right after he calls it when he very briefly stops locking onto V1.
      • "CRUSH!": A variant of "DIE!" where he will slam straight down on top of V1 instead if V1 is too far underneath him while he's airborne.
      • "PREPARE THYSELF!": Two kicks followed by an explosive serpent projectile. The two kicks launch V1 into the air, and if either of them hit, he will instead perform an unparryable uppercut rather than the serpent projectile.
      • "THY END IS NOW!": His most dangerous attack, a lightning-quick four-punch combo that can easily knock V1 out. The last punch can be parried, though it has a very small window and V1 will still need to dodge in order to avoid damage.
    • Sisyphus Prime shouts the following:
      • "You can't escape!": He performs a series of rapid dashing kicks that ends in a Shockwave Stomp which can be parried.
      • "BE GONE!": He teleports to where V1 is standing and does a vertical Shockwave Clap, which can also be parried.
      • "Destroy!": He summons an explosion, which is very rapidly telegraphed by a bunch of glittering particles. The explosion tracks V1 similar to a Virtue's laser.
      • "This will hurt.": He unleashes a huge explosion that nearly covers the whole room. This one can either be parried or carefully dodged through.
  • Catching Some Z's: In 7-2, there is an Easter Egg where Filth sleeps on a bench, emitting letter "Z"s in the process.
  • Cave Behind the Falls:
    • A downplayed example appears in 1-1. There is a secret area behind a waterfall.
    • In 2-3, the entrance to the secret level of Lust is hidden behind an artificial waterfall, which must be deactivated to access it.
    • In 5-S there is a cave with a small body of water behind the falls. Unlike the examples above, this one needs to be entered to complete the level.
  • Charged Attack
    • The Core Eject Shotgun's and S.R.S cannon's charged attack launches a projectile that travels in an arc, and the distance increases the longer the charge was held.
    • The Pump Charge Shotgun's power depends how many times it was pumped before. The first two charges increase the number of pellets fired, while the third charge creates a massive explosion that deals tons of damage (including yourself) and launches you backwards. The launch is useful for reaching hard-to-reach places.
    • The Overheat Nailgun's Heat Meter increases as you fire. The alternate fire fires a barrage of burning bullets at the cost of a Heat Sink. The more filled the heat meter is, the longer the barrage lasts.
    • The Piercer Revolver's secondary fire needs to be held down for a short period of time before it can shoot which is more notable for its alternate variation. When the fire button is released before full charge, the charge starts to go down instead.
    • The Sharpshooter Revolver projectiles' ricochet potential increases the longer it's charged.
  • Checkpoint: The game features checkpoints with the word "Checkpoint" on them. Dying will restart the player from there, if touched.
  • Cherry Tapping: Directly punching most boss-type enemies with the Feedbacker earns a +DISRESPECT bonus. It's one of the weakest attacks in the game. Curiously, V2 doesn't seem to care about it at all, as long as you don't punch it with its own arm during the rematch.
  • Circles of Hell: Hell is layered in the classic Dante fashion. The Early Access version features two acts, each including three circles (Limbo, Lust and Gluttony in Act I and Greed, Wrath and Heresy in act II). The third act will feature the final three circles (Violence, Fraud and Treachery, the first of these is already available).
  • The Coconut Effect: Lights in the final area of 4-3 turn on with a very audible thump.
  • Combination Attack:
    • The Revolver's coins which reflect Hitscan attacks with higher damage. This can be paired with the Railcannon to multiply the damage of its high singular shot even higher.
    • The Core Eject Shotgun's core grenades can be shot with hitscan from Revolvers and the Electric Railcannon to detonate them prematurely, increasing damage. Also, the Malicious Railcannon increases the damage even further and expands the explosion size if it hits a grenade, and coins will prioritize reflecting bullets into grenades if any are present.
    • The Nailgun's magnets will also attract the Rocket Launcher's rockets, making it easier to connect direct hits.
    • Nailgun nails will get stuck in enemies they hit. If you then shoot them with the Electric Railcannon, the metal nails conduct the electricity and explode for additional damage.
  • Companion Cube: It's noted in the lore entry for the Mindflayer that the body it is attached to is a creation of its own and serves no practical purpose (being even called a "waste of resources"), but the Mindflayer will nevertheless protect it at all costs, even if that means its own destruction.
  • Company Cross References:
  • Convection, Schmonvection: Lava will not hurt anyone unless directly touched.
  • Council of Angels:
    • According to the lore entry for Gabriel, King Minos, Minos Prime, and in the end cutscene for Act I, Heaven is run by such a council. If that spoilered character's lore is any indication, this is because God has flat out vanished.
    • Act 2 reveals that they've actually been the ones running Heaven, as God has actually been dead for quite a while. Then Gabriel wipes the entire council out to end their tyrannical rule over Heaven.
  • Crapsaccharine World: Limbo is a beautiful and serene Grecco-Roman-Medieval inspired world that seems like it should be a paradise. However, everything here is fake—the walls are computer monitors while the wind rustling through the trees is just music. It seems that the rest of Hell is behind the fake walls, meaning the damned are waiting to pop out and wreck havoc. In essence, Limbo is a beautiful paradise just waiting to be destroyed, and a journal you can find at the climax of the level implies that the perfect stillness of the place is driving its residents insane.

    "...My mind is adrift with the eternal torments. Lurid vistas painted insidious tones, hollow walls that scream to the touch. A mocking song plays at all hours, even the sounds of birds are fake. All reminders of my enduring damnation."

  • Crapsack World: Earth is barren of human, fauna, and flora life, and the only dominant species are Killer Robots fueled by blood, and they will kill anything to survive, such as the denizens of the afterlife, and each other. Speaking of the afterlife, it's just as bad, if not, worse than post-humanity Earth. Hell is ruled by a ruthless Council of Angels that enforce draconic punishments against Husks (damned human souls), such as lifting heavy boulders in the blazing dunes of Greed, getting blown away by the fearsome winds of Lust, or losing their sanity from the fake serenity of Limbo. Heaven is barely better, as even virtuous humans are forced to serve the higher Angels by doing tedious jobs, such as being wardens of Hell as Lesser Angels.
  • Creative Closing Credits: The P-2 update replaced the credits page with a fully-explorable developer museum, featuring throwable plushies of everyone who contributed to the game alongside their contributions, scrapped weapons and early enemy designs, and a theater that plays a montage of developer updates set to "Gymnopédie No.1".
  • Creepy Cathedral: Heresy borrows a lot of imagery from cathedrals, from the twisting window fences resembling stained glass and an early area being similar to catacombs, to explicitly borrowing real-world architecture (the first level has a pillars-and-arches room with stairs in the corner that looks like the San Giorgio Maggiore basement). The layer is also the closest thing the game has to a classical depiction of Hell. It's painted in an eye-searing red and black color scheme, it's decorated with demonic goat skulls and pools of blood and lava, 6-1's intro track is a Drone of Dread, and 6-2's Boss Hallway uses Ominous Pipe Organ music. For extra creepiness, 6-1's four-way room contains a gigantic, headless, bleeding skeleton that's hanging up-side-down.
  • Crate Expectations: The level 4-S is full of breakable crates. In sandbox mode, the player can also summon boxes with a spawner arm.
  • Crosshair Aware: Light beam attacks (like ones from Virtues) are neatly telegraphed by circular rotating crosshairs before the attacks happen.
  • Cyber Cyclops: V1 and V2 just have a glowing yellow hole on their "face," which seems to be an eye.
  • Cyberpunk: The circle of Lust has a futuristic city aesthetic.
  • Deader than Dead:
    • Lampshaded with Act 1's title, "Infinite Hyperdeath"; V1 is going into Hell and killing things that are ostensibly already dead.
    • P-1 has this happen to King Minos, when his Prime Soul is destroyed. He was already killed, resulting in his Prime Soul being born, and then that had to be trapped away for all of eternity. The same happens when you defeat King Sisyphus in P-2.
  • Deadly Disc: The Sawblade Launcher fires these. You can acquire it by shooting the pool in the secret room in 4-4 with the Electric Railcannon, which you can only get to itself by already having the Whiplash arm from beating V2 the second time.
  • Degraded Boss: Certain powerful enemies in the game are introduced to the player as boss fights before they become normal enemies in later levels. Boss versions have more health.
  • Destructible Projectiles: The Core Eject Shotgun's cores and the Rocket Launcher's rockets and cannonballs can be shot with a hitscan weapon, making their explosions bigger and stronger. Magnets can also be destroyed mid-air but doing so has no effect. The enemy projectiles can be destroyed with the Sharpshooter Revolver's Alt Fire.
  • Developer's Foresight:
    • Various objects will make the final pillar in 4-3 shine different lights into the arena: green if using the torch, blue if using the blue skull, and rainbow with the secret soap. A red skull will turn on the red lights, even though it can't be obtained without the cheat menu.
    • Entrances to secret levels that aren't complete are blocked off with signs saying "UNDER CONSTRUCTION". If you noclip through them, Hakita himself will appear at the gate and tell you that "you're not supposed to be here."
    • Most-every level has fallbacks for scripts that rely on enemies if the Disable Enemy Spawns cheat is enabled, going so far to even remove early bird cameos of some of the bosses or add details implying they left without fighting you. The biggest exception to this is the Prime Sanctum, which is likely intentional given unlocking it requires not using cheats.
    • Another cheat which affects levels is 4-S' secret Clash Mode, spawning extra jump pads and changing certain setpieces to account for the unorthodox controls.
    • When the player succeeds falling out of bounds most of the time, the player is teleported back with no loss of health and a message "Whoops! Sorry about that" is displayed. However, there's certain spots used for speedrunning that won't trigger the failsafe and show a custom message, such as "PIPE CLIP LIVES" and "WHAT'S UPDOOR?" in the first two Prelude levels.
    • There's a unique style bonus for when an enemy dies by falling into the underwater abyss in 5-4, where no normal enemies appear without the use of cheats. It's fittingly labelled "why are you even spawning enemies here".
    • In P-2, there is a shortcut that leads right to the boss that has a death zone. If the player uses the shortcut to defeat the boss, goes back and lead one of the regular enemies into the death area (which takes considerable effort as it requires going out of the way to execute it), the player will receive the +SCRINDONGULODED style bonus. Moreover, getting an enemy to teleport into lava red substance an elevator yields a player +SCRONGBONGLED bonus but doing this without cheating requires actions like resetting after grabbing a blue skull to un-kill a mindflayer.
    • Several rare but feasible damage sources have specific Style Bonuses attached to them. For example, if you manage to fling an enemies so hard on the floor by using magnets that they splatter, you get a "CATAPULTED" bonus.
    • If you unequip all of your arms and attempt a melee attack, a message "CAN'T PUNCH IF YOU HAVE NO ARM EQUIPPED, DUMBASS" is displayed, as well as a tip to re-equip them at the shop.
    • In 7-2, after running into your first encounter with the Gutterman enemy, if you don’t figure out that you can use the knuckleblaster to break its shield, a message will pop up saying “The GUTTERMAN shield can be broken with the KNUCKLEBLASTER. Swap arms with [G by default]”. However, if you don’t have the arm equipped at all, the message instead reads “The GUTTERMAN shield can be broken with the KNUCKLEBLASTER. You should probably re-equip it.
    • After defeating the boss of the Violence layer, you're given 80 seconds to escape the impending explosion. If this timer runs out, you haven't used the jump pad to trigger the scripted escape sequence, and you're somehow not dead after the explosion goes off, you earn the M.A.D. style bonus.
  • Developer's Room: The Developer Museum, which functions one third like this, one third like a Creative Closing Credits, and one third like a museum, showing in-game some various scrapped or altered concepts. invoked The first floor has rooms filled with toys depicting the games' developers, artists, musicians, and voice actors, accompanied by books with quotations from them and portraits of their avatars.
  • Diegetic Interface: Approaching the Terminal won't pop open a separate menu with which to change weapons, view lore entries, etc. You interact with the screen like it's a normal gameplay element, aiming V1's finger at various buttons on it to navigate the interface, and when you're done, just walk away from it.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: The Marksman Revolver. While the coin is a very tiny target that can be difficult to hit in the middle of a heated battle, it flies in a predictable arc relative to your velocity when you flip it, and the ricochet shot automatically homes in on enemy weak points (making it the quickest way to kill Streetcleaners) and subsequently does massive damage to most things it hits (and gives a big boost to the style meter to boot). Creative use of it even allows hitting enemies around corners or behind V1. Shoot it at the very peak of its arc, or when it's falling really fast, and the projectile will even split in half to hit two enemies at once! The coins will also reflect Electric Railcannon shots too, for a higher damage bonus. And, just in case that wasn't difficult and awesome enough, you can abuse the Railcannon's One-Hit Polykill properties to hit a single target multiple times — which means carefully positioning yourself to have coins on either side of your enemy, being able to shoot a coin-sized target while it's being blocked from your vision by the enemy, and not missing with your Too Awesome to Use Railcannon — but if you can pull that off, you'll be able to nearly One-Hit Kill certain bosses.
  • Dilating Door: Square-shaped doors in layer 2 open like camera shutters.
  • Diminishing Returns for Balance:
    • Unless your loadout is small, using the same weapon over and over again will steadily earn you less style meter points, to encourage using other weapons.
    • Back-to-back rocket riding will eventually provide less and less thrust from the rockets, preventing you from using them to infinitely stall out enemies on the Cyber Grind by hanging out offstage. In addition, the vertical capabilities of Rocket Jump from rockets get smaller for every rocket when not landing to compensate it doing no damage.
  • Don't Go in the Woods: 7-3 takes place in the second ring of Violence, where those who ended their own lives end up turned into trees. It is one of the creepiest levels in the game.
  • Door of Doom: The massive stone door that serves at the entrance to Hell seen in 0-5 is this, which even includes the original warning from Dante's Inferno.
    "Abandon all hope, ye who enter here."
    • The doors leading to the Prime Sanctums also do a very good job communicating the level of danger behind them, by forcing the player to P-Rank every level of it's corresponding act, other than looking ominous.
  • Double-Meaning Title: "Belly of the Beast" means to be in a bad situation with no alternative (like raiding hell for the last sources of machine fuel in existence), and "In the Flesh" references Gabriel's in-person appearance as the boss of the first act. They're both also Womb Levels, fitting for the Gluttony layer.
  • Drone of Dread: The first half of 6-1 has a dreadful drone as its background music.
  • Drop Pod: In 7-2, drop pods fall from the sky (or have already fallen) before revealing enemies inside them.
  • Drum and Bass: The best way to describe the soundtrack is this mixed with Industrial Metal, with some exceptions here and there.
  • Early-Bird Cameo:
    • Gabriel can be seen depicted on a stained glass window in 1-4, a few hours before his boss battle.
    • The Corpse of King Minos, boss of 2-4, can be seen way off in the distance in the three levels before the stage where you actually fight it. It gets higher up and closer as V1 descends through the layer of Lust.
    • You can catch glimpses of Swordsmachine tearing apart Husks in 0-2 before you fight him proper, later in the game.
    • Corpses of schisms can be seen in a level before the one where you first start fighting them.
    • In 4-1, silhouettes of the Sisyphean Insurrectionists can be seen climbing on a vast pyramid before V1 encounters one as 4-2's sub-boss.
    • When viewing through one of the ship's windows in 5-3, the Leviathan's tail can be seen as it swims across the Ocean Styx.
    • Partway through 7-1, the Minotaur is briefly seen charging across a room, only to later engage V1 when they activate a railway towards the end of the level.
    • 7-2 opens with the silhouettes of enormous machines in the background. It's not until 7-4 that you get to see an Earthmover up close and realize just how big these things actually are.
  • Easter Egg:
    • Soul orbs have been placed in various out-of-the-way locations in the levels, and exist primarily as things for curious players to find, though some of them grant powerups.
    • If you use cheats to get the spawn arm, then use it to drop enemies in the void in the Boss Hallway for Leviathan, the game gives you the "why are you even spawning enemies here" bonus.
    • The Developer's Room has multiple hidden things:
      • Destroying all the Author Avatar plushies will spawn 60 Gianni Matragranos that hunt you down like Filth.
      • On the back of the sign in front of Dave Oshry's statue is a panel that enables a racing minigame to get through every single ring spawned in the Museum.
      • Most of the developer portraits have no interaction, except for one: Salad's portrait, which is a picture of a green deer. Shooting it causes it to turn into a drawing of a dead deer by the road, with a "Get Well Soon" balloon tied to one of its legs.
      • Under one of the stairwells is KITR, a really low-poly cat with no animation. Finding this secret allows you to spawn it anywhere you want by using cheats.
    • In 5-S, using noclip mode to fly to the waterfall's source shows it's being vomited out by a big cube.
  • Easy Levels, Hard Bosses: The game developers recognized that the bosses in this game tend to be harder than the rest of the levels, thus adding the "boss difficulty override" option in the major assists menu.
  • Easy Level Trick: For a few levels, most combat encounters can be skipped even without using glitches. For example, the challenges of 2-1 and 4-1 require you to skip all combat, and 2-2 lets you skip the combat encounters in favor of racing through the level under 1 minute.
  • Energy Ball: Orbs made of hell energy are fired by a variety of enemies. Orange ones go straight, turquoise ones have homing capabilities.
  • Endless Game: The Cyber Grind, a game mode where the player must battle endless waves of enemies in a large arena with a constantly-shifting layout.
  • Establishing Series Moment: All of Ultrakill can basically be boiled down to one weapon: the coinflip from the Marksman Revolver. It's stylish, difficult, surprisingly complex and varied in use despite its simple premise, atypical of a mechanic that one might expect of a First-Person Shooter, and is probably the earliest sign to new players that Ultrakill isn't trying to be an early-90s Quake-like as its Retreaux graphics and marketing might imply, but a game that evolves that traditional formula into something new.
  • Ethereal Choir:
    • Used in Dancer in Darkness, heard in 4-3, heard most prominently in the beginning section where there are less other instruments.
    • In some parts of 4-4 boss battle, the choir can be faintly heard in the midst of other instruments.
  • The Evils of Free Will: 0-S features a lore entry, in which its author considered humankind as a failure, free-will as a flaw, and humanity deserved to be destroyed by its own evil.
  • Evil Versus Evil: The Machines are vicious, (literally) bloodthirsty monsters that played a major part in wiping out humanity and are now moving down to Hell to kill everything down there. The Angels running the place follow God's will, but will punish failure very severely and don't think much of humanity, treating the Lesser Angels made of human souls as menial workers, and Gabriel is more motivated by the fact that V1 is defying God's will than the murders the Machines have brought. The only unambiguously heroic figure, King Minos, was killed long ago when he lead a peaceful revolution and restructuring of Lust, and is completely destroyed too soon after retaining freedom to make any move against either side. King Sisyphus is a bit grey as he was far from a good man even when leading a rebellion against Heaven, and like Minos before him his soul is destroyed before he can do anything more than fight V1. Eventually, Gabriel manages to subvert this; after his second loss to V1, he has a moment of reflection and clarity, recognizing what the Council really is and how far Heaven has strayed from the Father's wishes, slaying the Council and freeing Heaven from their rule before returning to Hell for the final time.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: The soundtrack for 1-2, "A Complete And Utter Destruction of the Senses".
  • Excuse Plot: Increasingly Subverted as the game gets updated. While on the surface ULTRAKILL is a game about a blood powered robot on a quest for more fuel and little else, End of Act cutscenes, in-game books, and terminal data reveal there is much, much more to the world around you.
  • Exploding Barrels: While not present in levels, the player can summon explosive barrels in sandbox mode.
  • Explosive Punch:
    • V1 can have a delayed explosive punch if they claimed the Knuckleblaster arm from V2; the explosion is helpfully provided by a pair of shells packed into the knuckles.
    • Superboss Minos Prime has an especially infamous explosive dropkick. In his case it's unknown if it's a matter of soul power or if (much like his debris-scattering Flash Steps) it's just a matter of him hitting that hard.
  • Expospeak Gag: The secret level in the Lust layer opens with a long, verbose and very omnious-sounding text log, over a pitch black screen and creepy ambient sound. If you read it closely, it just describes the memetic anime-style Meet Cute of crashing into someone while lost and late for school, complete with Toast of Tardiness.
  • Expy:
    • Gabriel is a very transparent homage to Vergil, wielding a holy light themed version of Vergil's summoned swords, and even paraphrasing one of his most iconic taunts:
    Gabriel: Foolishness, machine. Foolishness.
    • He also is one to Credo, with the angelic design, thrown spears that can be returned for big damage and saying "Behold the power of an angel!"
  • Fackler Scale of FPS Realism: High emphasis on dodging attacks rather than taking cover, scarcity of enemies with hitscan attacks, no reloading, no iron-sights, foes with obvious attack patterns, keycard hunting, and advanced movement systems like Rocket Jumping and bunny-hopping all contribute to place ULTRAKILL firmly on the unrealistic, "classic" end of the scale.
  • Fake Difficulty: Stage 4-S, Clash Of The Brandicoot, switches up the map design and controls to ape Crash Bandicoot, but the games Jump Physics don't follow suit. V1's extremely floaty in-air handling, normally useful for gliding across hectic arenas, makes something as simple as bouncing between three evenly-spaced boxes an incredibly tricky task. Further exaggerated by Brandicoot mode taking away your mid-air stomp, leaving you with no way to easily halt your momentum and just land where you want to.
  • Falling Damage: Lesser Husks and Streetcleaners will splatter when their falling speed is high enough.
  • Fantastic Racism:
    • Apparently, angels have a very low opinion on robots, considering them mere objects and the idea that a machine could overcome a wielder of Holy Light to be utter heresy. When Gabriel is defeated by V1, the Council of Angels blame Gabe and strip him of his power and demand that he defeat V1 for good as penance.
    • If the Virtue's lore (and other lore found in Greed) is any indication, they don't have a good opinion of humans either, sinner or otherwise; sinners are given eternal punishments, angels derived from human souls are explicitly referred to as lesser angels, and anyone who deviates from God's plan (such as King Minos) is slain with extreme prejudice. They generally see humanity as God's personal (failed) experiment.
  • Fire and Brimstone Hell: The Heresy layer looks the closest to the classic depiction of hell, looking almost like a rendition of the hell levels in Doom Eternal.
  • Fishing Minigame: In level 5-S, the player needs to use a fishing rod to catch various types of fish to complete the level.
  • Flamethrower Backfire: Shooting a Streetcleaner's gas tank blows them up instantly, netting an Instakill bonus.
  • Floating Platforms: While platforms that float show up occasionally, they are most common in 4-S where many of those floating platforms even move.
  • Foreshadowing : P-2's set-up in general. The fact that the Flesh Panopticon is guarded very heavily compared to the Flesh Prison should tell you just how menacing Sisyphus was to the angels even before you get to the terminal warning any supervisors to not even so much as stare at it.
  • Fragile Speedster: V1 is very mobile, and the player can move around the levels extremely quickly once they get the hang of the game's movement system. That said, even the weakest enemies in this game can take about a quarter of your health bar if they hit you, meaning that V1's mobility needs to be used dashing into melee range to heal as often as it's used to avoid damage in the first place.
  • Gameplay Grading: In standard stylish action faction. At the end of each level, the player is ranked on a scale from D to S for how quickly they got through a level, how many enemies were killed, and how many style points were gained, granting an overall letter grade for the level that averages out the three stats. S ranking all three categories without ever dying grants a Perfect rank for the level. There's also a large point bonus for finishing a level without taking any damage.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration:
    • Want to know why V1's weapons have Bottomless Magazines? The terminal lore explains that the Revolver fires microscopic pieces of metal that can be simply scratched off its surface, giving it nigh-infinite ammo. The Shotgun is a truly infinite-ammo weapon that fires hyperconcentrated heat bullets and can be overcharged. The Railcannon is a portable electricity generator with a presumably renewable power source, and the rocket launcher generates rockets out of blood, like the Marksman's coins. The only gun where this seems to be averted is the Nailgun, which is a pre-war bullet weapon, but even then the description specifically says that it has virtually infinite ammunition as well.
    • Why is there Gameplay Grading that gives out a points currency? As revealed in the P-2 lore terminal, the terminals you keep finding in Hell are from a previous expedition into it, and when the link between the terminals and Earth got cut off the terminals somehow developed something similar to boredom. Without any new stimuli to stave off monotony, they resorted to trading with the other abandoned machines in Hell for video footage of their battles for survival. Machines that provide high-quality videos - i;e, more "stylish" footage - receive more "points" to exchange for new weaponry.
    • Why does the game have a Retraux artstyle? The Sentry's terminal entry states that most machines have simplified vision to reduce processing power, though the Sentry itself has perfect vision to be as efficient with sniping as possible.
  • Gameplay Protagonist, Story Protagonist: V1 is the one you control, rampaging through Hell for the sake of more blood to fuel their existence. However, all the cutscenes and the story as a whole focus more on Archangel Gabriel, the consequences of his past actions, and his journey of realization. Unusually, both protagonists are opposed, and your clashes are major events for Gabriel himself.
  • Giant Hands of Doom: The Corpse of King Minos. In his boss level, he attacks you with his giant hands before ripping the building's ceiling apart to start the real battle, and his Megaton Punch packs a wallop. And that's not getting into the black holes he summons by pointing his finger on the battlefield.
  • Glass Cannon:
    • V1 has high mobility and an arsenal of weapons with infinite ammo, but they're fragile to compensate.
    • In Stage 0-S, the skeletal monster can instantly kill V1 by mere touch, but a single shot from the Revolver is enough to kill it temporarily.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: The Corpse of King Minos has a pair of massive blank eyes that glow white. Since he's a reanimated corpse, Minos combines that trope with Glowing Eyelights of Undeath.
  • Glowing Flora: Green glowing mushrooms are present in 5-1 and 5-4.
  • God Is Dead: Gabriel reveals at the end of Act 2 that God had died quite some time ago and that the rulers of Heaven in reality have been a corrupt council of angels trying to pick up where He left off.
  • God Is Flawed: In several secret areas, you can find special "TESTAMENT" Terminals that reveal God's own inner thoughts about mankind in His attempts to engineer free will out of them. Every single attempt fails, and it's clear behind the grandiose, all-caps speech pattern is a burnt-out wreck lashing out at others because He can't comprehend not being able to do something, and only realizing the error in this after He creates Hell, and realizes He can't change what results from that either.
  • God Mode: With major assists, you can set the damage received to zero.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Making robots that run perfectly using human blood as fuel was only going to end in death for someone; here, it was humanity that bit it. Goes even further in 6-2 when Gabriel reveals that their thirst for blood is so ravenous and their abilities so dangerous that they pose a threat to the afterlife.
  • The Good King: According to a book in level 2-2, Death at 20,000 Volts, King Minos was considered a fair ruler by his people back when he was alive, and when he was killed, Minos' people mourned for his death. According to the lore of the boss of P-1, Minos felt that eternal suffering for love was an unfair punishment, so he turned the Circle of Lust into a thriving paradise out of kindness for the sinners. Even after his death, his legacy as a benevolent king is still fondly remembered by his people.
  • The Goomba: The Filth enemy type — ragged, armless husks that do little more than bum rush V1 to chomp on them in melee range. A single shot from the Revolver is enough to put them down.
  • Gorn: Yep, there is plenty of blood and assorted body parts to go around. In fact, drenching yourself in the red stuff is the only way to heal.
  • Grappling-Hook Pistol: The Whiplash (green arm). It can drag small enemies towards V1, and drags V1 towards large enemies and grapple points.
  • The Great Flood: The Wrath layer used to just have the River Styx, as the river was filled with the souls of the damned. Then humanity's extinction caused it to flood so much it turned into the Styx Ocean.
  • Ground Pound: V1 can slam into the ground to crush enemies directly below it and create a shockwave that launches foes into the air at the cost of stamina, and jumping after a slam will let you jump higher than normal.
  • Gun Fu: Invoked; performing various actions whole sliding and during airtime, can grant you up to a 3x score multiplier!
  • Guns Akimbo: The Dual Wield powerup lets you wield a copy of your gun in your other hand. Or your other other hand if you pick up another. Or another. Basically, they stack infinitely.
  • Gun Twirling: The Sharpshooter Revolver's altfire is charged by twirling the gun.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: Chopping an enemy in half with the Sawblade Launcher (the alternate version of the Nailgun) grants the "Half Off" style bonus.
  • Hand Cannon: The first weapon obtained is a meaty revolver capable of one-shotting basic mooks. You can later find an alternative version with lower fire-rate but much higher damage.
  • Heal It with Blood: The Killer Robot protagonist, V1, heals themself by soaking in the fresh blood of their foes, and since there are no pick-ups other than the occasional hidden power-ups (including one that doubles their health), this is the only effective way to heal. According to V2's terminal data, V1's thin metal plating allows them to refuel by absorbing blood on contact rather than using a separate refueling process, allowing them to repair damage while shedding blood on the battlefield. V1 aside, the other robots also run on blood, and because mankind is dead and Hell is full of demons and the damned, the robots invade Hell itself to find more. Blood is fuel indeed.
  • Heavenly Blue: Fittingly for an angel, Gabriel's glamorous armor is covered in white and gold with accents of silver, and his wings glow sky blue. Not that he's a good guy to begin with. The secret boss of P-1, the soul of King Minos, is also clad in divine white and blue, and unlike Gabriel, he's a good guy to begin with.
  • Hell Is War: The theme of the Violence layer after 7-1. 7-2 in particular is a battlefield on the shores of the river Phlegethon, littered with destroyed buildings, the sky filled with anti-air fire, and humongous war machines lurking in the horizon.
  • High-Speed Battle: The first fight against Minotaur begins while riding on a moving train car.
  • Hitbox Dissonance: The collision does not exist for many finer level details such as trimmings and tiny protrusions on a wall. This was done so that the player does not get stuck in the scenery.
  • Hitscan: Used sparingly. V1's only hitscan weapons are the Revolver and the Electric and Malicious variants of the Railcannon, with even the Shotgun firing physically-modeled projectiles instead. The only enemy hitscan attacks in the game is the Malicious Face's explosive beam and the Sentry's attack, both of which have an obvious wind-up and stops tracking V1 just before they fire — even V2's Revolver in the Mirror Match uses projectiles and can thus be dodged. Only hitscan attacks can be bounced off the Marksman Revolver's coin, and using it to reflect the Malicious Face/Sentry's beam back into it gives the "Chargeback" bonus.
  • Hit Stop: Used to make hits feel more powerful.
    • Actions that cause green style bonuses (Such as parrying, interruption, and projectile boosting) cause the time to momentarily stop.
    • Shooting a piercing shot through enemies causes multiple single-frame stops. The more enemies the shot pierces through, the longer it lasts.
    • Killing the final enemy in an arena causes a brief time slowdown. This applies only in areas where an exit gets closed off during combat.
  • Holiday Mode: During Halloween, Christmas and Easter, character's heads are replaced with pumpkins, or have Santa hats or Bunny ears. This includes characters from still image scenes. Title screen music also changed during Halloween.
  • HP to One: The Corpse of King Minos will release a dark energy ball that chases V1 halfway through the fight. If you touch it, your max health will be reduced to one for a while. The secret bosses of P-1 and P-2 also do that in their first forms.
  • Humanity's Wake: The game takes place long after the extinction of humankind, and we don't know what exactly caused it. However, the Testament at the end of 0-S implied that humanity is responsible for its own destruction, thanks to the evils of its own free-will. Alternatively, Minos Prime claimed that the Machines had a hand in it. The P-2 ARG implies that Hell itself was the cause of Humanity's end.
  • Humanoid Abomination:
    • The Corpse of King Minos is a massive Undead Abomination with the ability to summon miniature black holes with his fingers. The parasitic worms controlling him pop out of his eye sockets at half health.
    • The P-1 secret boss Minos Prime appears as a Heavenly Blue, transparent humanoid being with a hole where his face should be, and red veins inside of his body. He's significantly stronger and faster than his undead corpse, summoning glowing snakes to help him fight V1 while zig-zagging across the battlefield. Minos Prime is so powerful that the angels sealed him away in the Flesh Prison, as they're unable to fight him directly.
    • The P-2 secret boss is Sisyphus Prime, who is a transparent humanoid like Minos Prime, only yellow in appearance, quite a bit bigger, being a bit chubby, and having a miniature sun in place of a head. He's even stronger than Minos, causing explosions of power around him and sending out shockwaves every which way, zipping about at an even faster pace than Minos. Like the prior king, Heaven sealed him in the Flesh Panopticon, only unlike Minos Hell itself sends everything it can at you to keep you as far away from Sisyphus as possible.
    • Stage 0-S has Something Wicked, a spindly humanoid creature that marks its presence with a dreadful drone, followed by a piercing screech whenever it finds V1. Something Wicked can also kill V1 by a single touch, and while the Revolver can take it down in one shot, Something Wicked will teleport to a different spot. Hell, this thing is so mysterious that its lore can't figure out its true nature.
  • Idiosyncratic Combo Levels: Destructive, Chaotic, Brutal, Anarchic, Supreme, SSadistic, SSShitstorm, and finally ULTRAKILL.
  • Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels: Six total difficulty levels, split between "Accessible"note , "Normal", and "Hard" categories, with two in each category: Accessible consists of "Harmless" and "Lenient", Normal has "Standard" and "Violent", and Hard has "Brutal", and "ULTRAKILL Must Die".
  • Implacable Man: So far, V1 has continuously proven themself to be stronger than whatever the circles of Hell can throw at them. Not even Gabriel, the champion of Heaven, is much of a match for the robot.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Shooting a flying coin will always reflect your Revolver and Electric/Malicious Railcannon shots into the nearest enemy, if it has line of sight to one, and will also aim at a weakspot if possible. And in case that wasn't improbable enough, you can utilize this reflection capability on the attacks of certain other enemies, bouncing Malicious Face's lasers and Sentries' sniper shots right back at them. Moreover, shooting multiple coins will make the bullet ricochet off all of them.
  • Incessant Music Madness: From the Terminal found at the end of P-1, remarking on how every terminal plays the song "Were You Foolin'":
    [note: fuck you tom im so fucking tired of this stupid song and having to listen to it every morning over your garbage intercom]
  • Instant Flight: Just Add Spinning!: The alt-fire for the Sharpshooter Revolver variant has V1 twirl the Revolver around their finger like an old west gunslinger. If you collect several dual-wield powerups, they will twirl all of the guns at once - which allows them to function like helicopter blades, giving V1 an unorthodox means of flight.
  • In the Style of: "Castle Vein" sounds a lot like something out of Castlevania. Fitting, given the name.
  • Invincibility Power-Up: In 4-S, breaking a skull crate while having a red skull will give V1 temporary invincibility to everything that isn't a bottomless pit.
  • Invincible Minor Minion: The Idols turn any enemy they bless into this until the Idol is destroyed. P-2 uses this trope quite devilishly; it has a Mindflayer pursue you for multiple combat situations and its Idol is placed far away. Another encounter turns the Action Bomb Stalker invincible (so it can self-destruct infinitely and buff as many enemies as it wants) and features an invincible Hideous Mass that will attack you relentlessly while you clear out trash enemies to unlock its related Idol.
  • Invisible Wall: P-2 features invisible ceilings to prevent players from going out of the map. This is much more apparent in the Developer's Museum where it is very easy to encounter them by trying to explore outside of the museum or trying to reach its roof.
  • I Shall Taunt You: Used as a gameplay mechanic:
    • Punching bulky enemies with your dinky Feedbacker arm will give you a "+DISRESPECT" bonus, which can help keep up your style meter.
    • Doing certain actions causes victims to enter an enraged state, which gives you a larger style bonus than just disrespect. They'll attack even more relentlessly, but certain enemies get Blinded by Rage while in this mode: parrying Swordsmachine's attacks or using V2's old arm against it will cause them to get more aggressive, at the cost of forsaking a significant number of their attacks and becoming more predictable as a result.
  • Jump Scare:
    • In P-2, anyone who was entering expecting it to be a Boss-Only Level like P-1 was is in for a nasty shock. The level will lead you down a dark corridor, then suddenly switch the lights on to reveal four Cerberi, all of which immediately start approaching you to attack.
    • 7-1 features multiple instances of Jump Scare. For an example, first and final battle start unexpectedly and very suddenly.
  • Just a Machine: Angels, especially Gabriel, consider all robots as mere objects rather than sentient beings in their own right. Gabriel later reconsiders this after his second defeat, recognizing V1 as a living being and considering them a Worthy Opponent, though he still intends to kill them because of the threat they pose to the afterlife.
  • Kill Enemies to Open: Major areas lock the player inside until every enemy is defeated. Justified in-universe as hell itself likes locking enemies in the same room.
  • Killer Robot: V1 literally runs on blood to the point of healing when showering in it, and they will slaughter the entirety of Hell if it means to keep running. The other robots invading Hell, such as Swordsmachine, V2, and especially Mindflayers, are no slouch either.
  • The King Slayer:
    • According to a book in 2-2, King Minos, the fair ruler of Lust, was undeservingly slain by the Archangel Gabriel, the latter justifying the slaying as God's Will. Now Minos returns as an Undead Abomination, with his corpse reanimated by the parasitic worms he once commanded, and his soul sealed away in the Flesh Prison by the angels. Even V1 becomes one by destroying Minos' soul as an Optional Boss.
    • According to a book in 4-2, King Sisyphus, the ruler of Greed, lead an insurrection against Heaven with his Husk army, but try as they might, Sisyphus and most of his soldiers were slain by the Angels, and his decapitated corpse is displayed in a secret room in 4-4. You put down his Prime Soul for good in P-2, making V1 this twice over.
  • Konami Code: Using the Konami Code unlocks cheats, anytime and anywhere, and these cheats include invincibility, no-clip, infinite dashes and wall-jumps, no weapon cool-down, and so on. That being said, using cheats prevents you from getting a level rank or a Cyber Grind score, although you can still complete challenges and find secrets.
    L-Z 
  • Large Ham: Gabriel. Almost every other word that comes out of his mouth is shouted at the top of his voice, fitting his nature as the mother of all Knight Templars.
    Gabriel: Machine. I will cut you down. Break you apart. Splay the gore of your profane form across the stars! I will grind you down until the very SPARKS cry for mercy! My hands shall RELISH ending you HERE! AND! NOW!
  • Last Ditch Move: When drones run out of health, they make a suicide dive towards the player. This attack can be parried. They also enter this state upon being hit by the Knuckleblaster, being sent flying in the direction they were punched, and earning V1 the +HOMERUN bonus.
  • Last Note Nightmare: The soundtrack version of “Do Robots Dream of Eternal Sleep?” ends with muffled gunshots, signaling what’s to come once the door of 7-2 opens.
  • Lava Pit: The game features pits of lava in a few levels, like 1-2, 1-3, and 6-1.
  • Lensman Arms Race: Humanity is described as having gone through one during the Final War, starting with the first war machine, the Gutterman. This thing's ruthless efficiency was then countered with the Guttertank, and as human soldiers were deemed irrelevant and unanimously discharged, the war scene kept evolving as new machines were crafted and deployed to counter and surpass each other. It's implied that V1 was designed as part of this chain to counter the Earthmover, at the time the most powerful and dangerous machine, as its main weakness was a mobile human-sized target getting into its internal systems to damage it.
  • Letting the Air out of the Band: About halfway in level 2-S, the music suddenly starts to slow down until becoming to a stop, being replaced by Drone of Dread.
  • Level Ate: One of the texture sets featured in the Cyber Grind turns the terrain into cake. This is naturally paired with the skybox texture that places the level inside a microwave, with Gabriel peeking in through the glass.
  • Life Drain: V1 is powered by blood, so being showered in the blood of your foes as you kill or damage them is the only reliable source of healing.
  • Life Meter: Present in the user interface, showing V1's current health and hard damage.
  • Light Is Good:
  • Light Is Not Good:
    • Archangel Gabriel is the Climax Boss of Act I, and he does not have a good opinion of machines such as you. Scratch that, just about every angel we see is a bit of a self-righteous dick, or just trying to blow you up, like the Virtues, which smite V1 and Hell's sinners with holy pillars of light. The Council is the worst of the angels, being corrupt tyrants that rule Heaven through fear and desperation while punishing Hell's sinners with immense suffering.
    • Downplayed with King Sisyphus, specifically his Prime Soul, a towering humanoid of golden light with a sun for a head. While he isn't completely evil, he's a vicious, unfettered Blood Knight that knowingly lead his followers to their doom while knowing that their rebellion against Heaven will fail. Despite getting help from V1, he doesn't utter a single thanks for his freedom, so he repays his helper with a brutal boss fight as a warm-up for himself before continuing his violent insurrection against Heaven.
    • Three of Hell's layers have bright color schemes, yet they all serve the same purpose as any other layer: Torturing its sinners. The ARG reveals that Hell is truly evil.
      • Limbo seems to be a Greco-Roman paradise with bright blues and greens, yet it drives its sinners to insanity with its fake serenity in the form of fake trees, fake water, fake bird songs, and fake skies.
      • Greed is a bright yellow Egyptian desert with its own sun. It's also a realm of punishment that tortures its sinners with scorching heat from its sun and the "sand", which are actually burning hot flakes of gold.
      • Violence is an eerie white graveyard-like wasteland with a vast maze-like mausoleum filled with Mannequins.
  • Lightning Gun: The default version of the Railcannon, which deals a lot of damage and pierces infinitely through enemies.
  • Living on Borrowed Time:
    • V1 and the rest of the Machines were never supposed to stay active beyond the Great Peace, but their hunger for blood and desire to keep living caused them to murder all of humanity, and when they had finished there they invaded Hell en masse and began purging it of all life just to stay alive a little longer. As far as it is explained, this is V1's only motivation for going deeper and deeper into Hell and killing everything that they see; they just don't want to run out of blood and deactivate, but even if they kill every single thing in Hell, they will eventually.
    • By the end of Act II, Gabriel falls into this trope too, as he kills the entire Council of Angels and consequently can't retrieve the Holy Light that would keep him alive. Fully aware of his fate, he returns to Hell in a final attempt to atone for the atrocities he committed under the Council's orders.
  • Lore Codex: The Terminal entries provide almost all of the game's lore, including backstory concerning The Great Offscreen War, the ecology of the various demons, husks, machines, and angels that can be found in the layers of Hell and extensive details on the inner workings and mechanisms of V1's arsenal. There are also a multitude of books that can be read chronicling the end times that explain otherwise plot-irrelevant things like King Minos and Sisyphus' respective rebellions against Heaven. Justified on V1's part, since they only came to Hell to grease their gears with more blood to stay alive, so the Excuse Plot of "Mankind is dead, Blood is fuel, Hell is full" is all the motivation they need to start killing everything in sight.
  • Ludicrous Gibs: Just about everywhere; all enemies explode into showers of meat and blood, even with nonlethal blows. It's only natural for a robot that explicitly wants blood to deliver death in the messiest ways possible.
  • Madness Mantra: A book found in 5-S shows an unknown agent's descent into obsession with finding fish that are a size up from the normal ones.
    I HAVE TO SEE I HAVE TO KNOW I HAVE TO SEE I HAVE TO KNOW I HAVE TO SEE I HAVE TO KNOW...
  • Malevolent Architecture: Many arenas feature environmental hazards that in many cases mean instant death if you touch them. Of course, enemies are also susceptible to falling victim to them, and you can get many unique bonuses by killing enemies this way.
  • Maximum HP Reduction: Hard Damage is a mechanic that puts a cap on your max health. It gradually goes away after not taking damage for long enough, and higher Style rankings make you regenerate faster. V1 can get Hard Damage from several sources:
    • Black holes used by a couple of bosses deal 10 regular damage, and 99 hard damage the moment they make contact with V1.
    • Getting sanded by a Stalker gives 10 Hard Damage to V1, essentially inducing a way the Stalker prevents V1 from healing, even if it's not as drastic as sanding a fellow enemy of them.
    • The Whiplash gradually induces Hard Damage if used to pull yourself towards enemies (reducing V1's HP up to 50), but it doesn't reduce V1's current health).
    • On Hard difficulty levels and above, a portion of damage taken from most enemies is converted into this.
  • Megaton Punch:
    • Maiming demons with bare (if metallic) fists is one thing, but V1 goes above and beyond. Ever sent a bullet back to sender by punching it? Ever thought your own projectiles were too slow, and punched them to make them go faster? All are options here.
    • Played more straight with the Knuckleblaster arm dropped by V2. Charging it generates a massive shockwave in front of V1 that sends most enemies and projectiles flying. The punches alone can launch light-weight enemies high in the air, assuming they don't turn into Ludicrous Gibs.
  • Mercy Invincibility: Getting hit gives some half a second or 0.8 seconds of invincibility, depending on damage received. The catch: If the damage was caused by an explosion, you cannot heal during the invincibility frames, so the self-damage of the Rocket Launcher and Core Shotgun actually matters.
  • Mirror Match: The boss of 1-4 is V2, which is nearly identical to V1 except for a red paint-job. V2 also uses all of the weapon attacks that the player will have unlocked by that point.
  • Missing Secret: In 5-S, all of the fish that can be caught are only listed as size 1. One might be led to believe other sizes exist somewhere, but they'll never find it. This gets joked on in a secret room, where someone has gone insane over the search for a size 2 fish.
  • Modular Difficulty: There are minor and major assists that can be turned on to make the game easier in specific ways, such as providing aim assist, reducing the game speed, reducing boss aggression or making healing easier.
  • Money Mauling: Coins can be punched at the enemies, dealing damage.
  • Monster Compendium: The terminal contains lore entries for all of the enemies that V1 encountered, though they must be defeated in order to unlock their lore.
  • More Dakka: The Nailgun is the fastest-firing weapon in the entire arsenal, but using a heatsink on the Overheat variant dramatically increases the fire rate to ridiculous levels.note 
  • Nail 'Em: The Nailgun is essentially a double-barrelled gatling gun that fires nails, similarly to the Super Nailgun from Quake.
  • Naturally Huskless Coconuts: In Developer Museum, there are palm trees, each having 3 coconuts without a husk growing under their leaves.
  • Necessary Drawback: The secret alternate version of the Nailgun, the Sawblade Launcher, sacrifices what is essentially the ability to swap between two fully-loaded nailguns very rapidly to do monstrous damage to a single target with the ability to fire high-damage projectiles that slice through smaller enemies, bounce off walls, and spin around a magnetized nail rather than being directly attracted to it.
  • Nerf: The Attractor Nailgun and the Overheat Nailgun had been nerfed so that players are encouraged to swap weapons. The former now has an ammo limit of 100 and can only fire 3 magnets at a time, and the latter has a slower fire-rate if it keeps firing. That being said, the Attractor Nailgun has reduced spread, increased velocity, and increased damage against fodder enemies (such as Filths, Strays, Schisms, and Soldiers), and the Overheat Nailgun still retains infinite ammo. Plus, both Nailguns still deal increased damage against Malicious Faces.
  • No-Damage Run: The game recognizes that players can complete levels without taking damage by awarding them a significant amount of points.
  • Nominal Hero: Under almost any other circumstance, invading Hell itself would be considered a good thing, but V1 has nothing but selfish reasons for doing so: finding more blood to consume. Upon meeting other robots such as Swordsmachine or V2, they duke each other out on sight, implying that the robots don't even have loyalty to their own kind.
  • Non-Lethal Bottomless Pits: From 2-1, non-lethal bottomless pits start to appear that take away only a portion of V1's health while placing them instantly back onto solid ground. In 7-2, the bottomless pits in hookpoint sections do no damage whatsoever.
  • Non-Human Non-Binary: According to the developers, machines are all genderless. This was specifically to subvert protagonists in classic first-person shooters always being male and protagonists in recent first-person shooters shaping up to be predominantly female. Hakita has also stated that machines have no preference in pronouns, and that he uses he/him for most machines for convenience in casual conversation.
  • Non-Indicative Name:
    • Cerberus, normally a three-headed dog and the Guardian of Hell, are twin statues of a faceless human here. The lore entry even notes this, as the demons are named for their role rather than their appearance.
    • The titular Garden of Forking Paths in 7-1 would imply that it's some kind of inescapable twisting labyrinth, but it's really an almost entirely linear stage which loops back in on itself at a couple points.
  • Nostalgic Music Box: A music box version of "The Fire is Gone" plays whenever V1 reads a Testament at the end of a Secret Level.
  • One-Hit Polykill: The Piercer Revolver, true to its name, pierces through multiple enemies. According to lore, the projectiles the Revolver fires are microscopic but have very high energy.
  • One-Man Army: The title of ULTRAKILL is a very, very accurate one. As V1 accumulates more weapons into their arsenal—from revolvers, Shotguns, nailguns, railguns, rocket launchers, and even additional arms—they quickly develop answers to just about every foe, every group that comes their way. The game itself directly acknowledges V1's strength in the title of Overture's 4th stage, "A One-Machine Army." It's at this point that enemy groups start to increase and Malicious Faces are introduced as regular enemies for the first time, allowing V1 to truly demonstrate their mettle before oncoming fights escalate even further.
  • Our Angels Are Different: Angels are divine winged beings from Heaven, but instead of having feathered avian wings, they have wings made of light.
    • Gabriel, the Act 1 Final Boss, is an armored humanoid angel with glowing blue wings and a cross on his mask. He also summons swords out of thin air in his battle.
    • A new type of angel called a Virtue shows up in Act 2 as an Elite Mook, and it looks far more like a Biblical depiction of an angel, appearing as a winged orb of light. Additionally, its lore tab page says that lesser angels (derived from human souls) such as the Virtue are often given more abstract shapes than the humanoid Greater/Supreme Angels (which are created in Heaven as such) like Gabriel.
  • Our Demons Are Different: Oh boy is Hell full, but its demons are far from the typical Big Red Devil or tiny horned imps with pointy tails. The game's demons are all creatures made of stone and flesh, and quite varied in shape, from apparently humanlike statues that bleed when attacked (Cerberus), to giant stone heads that also bleed supported by thin spider-like legs (Malicious Faces), to... grotesque scorpion-thingies whose flesh seems to outgrow the equally grotesque stone exterior (Hideous Mass).
  • Our Souls Are Different:
    • The Husks (Filth, Strays...) are zombie-like creatures made of fragments of souls - not enough to give them true sapience like humans, but enough to be nasty little critters. Certain secret bosses indicate the existence of Prime Souls, which are extremely powerful souls whose sheer will allow them to manifest physically without a Husk.
    • Lesser Angels are abstract or animalistic angels made from human souls, making them Heaven's equivalent to Hell's Husks.
  • Out-of-Genre Experience: Every secret level (save for Prime Sanctums) features a temporary yet drastic change of game genre for its duration.
  • Overdrawn at the Blood Bank: Everything that's animate in the game is full of blood, and the Screwdriver variant of the Railcannon really emphasises this. Enemies impaled by its rotating spear turn into fountains of blood, gushing it constantly in a huge area, allowing V1 to heal off of them.
  • Overheating: Inverted. While the Nailgun does have an overheat bar, it's actually something you want to fill up, since one of the alt-fires drastically increases the Nailgun's damage at the cost of the heat bar, now that it's launching red-hot nails at enemies.
  • Pinball Projectile:
    • One of the Revolver's alt fires is to toss a coin. Shoot it while it's in the air, and it'll reflect whatever shoots it to automatically home in onto the nearest enemy's weak point. Shoot a coin while there's multiple in the air, and the bullet will bounce between all of them before hitting an enemy, dealing extra damage for each coin.
    • The Sharpshooter Revolver's secondary fire ricochets off of flat surfaces, which is very useful for close-quarters combat. It can be comboed into a super pinball projectile by shooting a Marksman coin with it, which does insane damage to a single target.
    • The Alternate Nailgun is a sawblade launcher that fires, well, sawblades that bounce on any surface they hit.
  • Precision F-Strike:
    • Gabriel loses his composure and calls you an "insignificant fuck" when beaten.
    • Only two other characters ever say fuck (although there aren't many who can or will say anything at all), both being Outside Context Problems from either a secret level or a hidden bonus boss: Mirage and the Owl.
  • Public Domain Soundtrack: Several examples:
  • Punch Parry: Not only do you parry projectiles by punching them, you can also parry punches from the colossal Corpse of King Minos this way. The game even has a challenge that asks you to do just that!
  • Punched Across the Room: If a punch does not gib small enemies outright, it can send them flying far away.
  • Purple Is Powerful:
    • The Corpse of King Minos shares the black and purple color scheme with the Circle of Lust, and despite his slow movement, King Minos hits hard and takes tons of hits to be killed (again). That, and he summons equally slow yet deadly purple black holes on the battlefield. Fitting, as purple is the color of royalty, and Minos used to rule the Circle of Lust as a beloved king.
    • Inverted with Drones. They're purple robots, but even with their Taking You with Me attack (which is exploitable), they're the weakest machine-class enemy in the game.
  • Pyromaniac: The Streetcleaner enemies, which wield flamethrowers, and are first introduced having torched Limbo while V1 wasn't looking.
  • Quick Melee: V1's left fist. Also works to play tennis with enemy projectiles if the player has good timing.
  • Rain of Blood: In P-2, it rains blood until the final section before the boss is completed.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: The Heresy Layer has a sinister red and black color scheme, and it's the closest thing the game has to a typical depiction of Hell. The evil part is emphasized in the Part 2 ARG where it reveals that Hell is alive and sadistic.
  • Reduced to Dust: V1 turns into ash upon contact with sand in 4-S.
  • Red Sky, Take Warning: About halfway into 7-3, the starts in the sky turn red, marking impending danger.
  • Retraux: Everything about the game's aesthetic is meant to invoke the 3D shooters of old, including Quake and Unreal Tournament. It even has PS1-style texture-warping as a toggle-able option. Implicitly justified in-universe, with the Sentry's lore revealing that most machines - possibly including V1 - chose to render their environmental surroundings at only a simplified approximation for best combat efficiency.
  • Revolvers Are Just Better: The game's default weapon is a very powerful revolver that can two-shot fodder enemies at any distance. It's technically also a railgun, as it uses electricity to shoot microscopic projectiles at insane speeds; the terminal data justifies the revolver design, as each "chamber" of the Revolver's cylinder is a battery, which can recharge independently while the other shoot.
  • Ring Menu: ULTRAKILL has a weapon wheel that allows the player to select weapons faster when not using a keyboard.
  • Rise to the Challenge: One section in 7-4 has V1 trying to destroy Idols while the boiling blood rises.
  • Rivers of Blood: 7-2 has the Phlegethon, a medium-sized river of boiling blood running through the level. Falling in it deals 50 damage to V1, and dropping enemies in it grants the +BOILED style bonus.
  • Rocket-Tag Gameplay: If you know what you're doing, you can tear apart bosses in a matter of seconds. If you don't know what you're doing, you will die in a matter of seconds.
  • Rocket Jump: Provided you have enough health and are close enough to an enemy to regain it, explosions provide significant boost to movement.
    • The Pump Charge Shotgun's secondary fire can be pumped until it detonates. Done right, this'll propel you to the ceiling - useful for finding some secrets.
    • The Core Eject Shotgun's secondary fire launches explosive cores that propel V1.
    • The explosion of an actual rocket only gives a small vertical boost, but it gives a much greater horizontal boost when combined with other jump techniques.
  • Rocket Ride: V1 can ride on rockets fired from the Freezeframe Rocket Launcher, provided they freeze the rockets beforehand. However, the rockets gradually lose power, giving diminishing returns after V1 rode three rockets, and the 10th ride will send V1 immediately plummeting into the ground. On the bright side, underwater rocket-riding has no limitations. As Guttertanks utilized similar weapon technology, their rockets can be rode on as well, and successfully redirecting the rockets back at their owners will grant a style bonus and an instakill.
  • Rustproof Blood: No matter where bloodstains are and how long they've implied to have been around, the blood stays red.
  • Science Fantasy: The game takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where humanity is extinct, and Killer Robots run on blood, so they invade Hell to find more. You play as one of these robots, and you slaughter damned souls, demons, other robots, cyborg zombies, and angels, with hi-tech weapons in your descent to Inferno. Speaking of which, Hell is layered in the classic Dante fashion, and its layers can be fantastical and ancient, technological and futuristic, or even both.
  • Screen Shake: Explosions, parries, ground pounds etc. cause the screen to briefly shake.
  • Secondary Fire: Most weapons have two firing modes, usually complementing their primary fire or another weapon. Only the railcannon has a zoom-in as a secondary function.
  • Secret Level: One per layer.
    • Prelude: Found in 0-2 by finding the hidden blue skull and placing it on its podium.
    • Layer 1 (Limbo): Found in 1-1 by tossing a coin into the fountain at the start of the level.
    • Layer 2 (Lust): Found in 2-3 by destroying all hidden power boxes so the waterfall blocking the entrance is removed.
    • Layer 3 (Gluttony): The first Prime Sanctum, found in 3-1 by locating the secret passage that leads to it. Requires P ranks in every level of the Prelude and Act I to enter. Enter at your own peril.
    • Layer 4 (Greed): Found in 4-2 by finding a hidden moon totem and placing it on a special podium, causing night to fall and turning the sand harmless, and then going to a secret located in the desert behind the level start.
    • Layer 5 (Wrath): Found in 5-1 by accessing a hidden vent in the bouncing pad shaft after placing the three blue skulls.
    • Layer 6 (Heresy): The second Prime Sanctum, found in 6-2 by finding the hidden path that leads to it. Requires P ranks in every Act II level and having beaten the first Prime Sanctum to enter. Currently the hardest level in the game.
    • Layer 7 (Violence): Found in 7-3 by taking a Streetcleaner to the vine covered gate near the beginning of the level so it can burn the vines and unlock the gate. Currently unavailable.
  • Self-Deprecation: The developer museum is sarcastically titled "Hall Of Shame: The Ultrakill Developers".
  • Shielded Core Boss: After enough time has elapsed, the central computer brain of the Earthmover will pull Idols out of the floor, making it invulnerable until they are destroyed. It can do this multiple times throughout the fight, although it's entirely possible to kill it fast enough that it never gets the opportunity to do so at all.
  • Shifting Sand Land: The 4th layer, Greed, is a seemingly endless desert with a gargantuan pyramid in the background. The sand itself is actually superheated gold dust, which fries just about anything foolish enough to step in it, so watch your footing!
  • Ship Level: 5-3 is called "Ship of Fools", which takes place inside the gigantic ship summoned in the previous level.
  • Shock and Awe: The Electric variant of the Railcannon, which is the first one you'll come across. If an enemy has nails stuck in them, you can use this variant to electrfy those nails and make them explode for extra damage and the "Conductor" bonus.
  • Short-Range Shotgun: The Shotgun's primary fire has a big spread. This is especially notable for the Pump Charge Shotgun after pumping it twice. Should you choose to projectile boost, however, one of the pellets will always be accurate and explode on impact.
  • Shotguns Are Just Better: Shotguns are already useful in old school first person shooters for close range combat, but given that the only way to heal in this game is by showering yourself in the blood of your enemies, the Shotgun is the weapon of choice when low on health. It can also parry melee attacks from the enemies at point-blank range. Furthermore, if you parry your bullets just as they come out, they travel faster, explode on impact, and are even incredibly accurate, making the Shotgun useful even at longer ranges.
  • Shout-Out: Now has its own page.
  • Shows Damage: Malicious faces and cerebri become cracked when they have low health.
  • Single-Use Shield: In 4-S, the player can collect a powerup that gives the player an additional hit point. It can be upgraded to withstand another hit by upgrading it into a red one.
  • Sinking Ship Scenario: About two-thirds in 5-3, the ship flips upside-down as it sinks to the bottom of the Ocean Styx.
  • Smashing Hallway Traps of Doom: A few levels in Prelude feature hallways that have deadly crushers. Timing is required to get past them.
  • Sniper Pistol: The Revolver is a hand-sized Sniper Rifle, thanks to its pin-point accuracy, long-ranged Hitscan shots, and bonus damage against heads and limbs. This is taken further with the Slab variant where it trades fire-rate for stronger damage.
  • Spirited Competitor: V1 and V2. V2 bows to V1 before their faceoff, and V1 lets them go afterwards, taking their arm for use as a heavy melee attack.
  • Springs, Springs Everywhere: Jump pads, introduced in 2-1, launch stuff into the air, whether it be the player, the enemies, coins, or Shotgun cores. 7-4 replaces jump pads with vents that act the same.
  • Standard FPS Enemies:
    • Zombies: Filth, which sprint around the arena and swarm you with melee.
    • Soldiers: Strays hang around at a distance and will shoot one projectile at you at a time.
    • Turrets: Hideous Mass has a lot of health and the ability to lob explosive balls at you from anywhere in the arena, but are stationary.
    • Elites: The Schism and Soldier are enhanced versions of Strays. The former shoots a lot of projectiles at once, the latter moves more aggressively and fires a Spread Shot, and both have increased health.
    • Heavies: Cerberus and Gutterman. The former has a slow spawn animation and highly telegraphed attacks that give players lots of time to prepare and avoid or negate their threat, but has a lot of health to compensate. The latter moves very slowly, but it wields a chaingun that gradually becomes more accurate the longer it fires, and it also carries a Shield which must be broken by the Knuckleblaster.
    • Ninjas: Mannequinns, which crawl on the ground insanely fast and often cling onto a wall or ceiling, before attacking you with quick punches or a homing projectile.
    • Pyros: Streetcleaners have flamethrowers with which they bumrush V1 and force them to stay on the move. They're also an example of the Canister, as they explode if a shot targets their gas tank, the Shield, since the back-mounted nature of their tank makes the player need to consider where they're attacking from, and the Ninja, as they dodge out of the way of certain moves.
    • Canisters: Stalkers will approach other enemies and detonate themselves, stopping the bleeding of any enemy in their blast radius. They'll also prioritize stronger enemies if any are present.
    • Gunships: Mindflayers, which float around and summon a volley of homing Hell orbs as a powerful ranged attack. They also have Ninja elements, thanks to their ability to teleport, though they're surprisingly bulky rather than squishy.
    • Snipers: Sentries, which will lock themselves down before preparing a delayed Always Accurate Attack at V1, forcing them to take cover or interrupt their shot somehow.
    • Champions: Guttertanks, which are similar in size and health to Guttermen but move much faster and have a wide moveset, either throwing a quick punch at you, shooting rockets from a distance or placing down land mines.
    • Triggers: Virtues will enter an enraged state if left alive for too long, as their holy blasts will start attempting to predict player movement. They also double as Snipers, as they're able to attack from anywhere in the arena. On the opposite side are Swordsmachines, which enrage if they get parried. Constantly hounding down the player to slice them up makes them double as the Pyro.
  • Standard FPS Guns: Ultrakill has a roster of guns that can be paralleled to some classic FPS guns, but provide weird and interesting spins on them.
    • Revolver: The starting weapon of the game. Has a Charged Attack to pierce enemies or break terrain, the Marksman variant kills enemies with Improbable Aiming Skills when it shoots a flying coin, and the Sharpshooter variant's shots are capable of ricocheting off surfaces and destroying projectiles.
    • Shotgun: close-range, as is expected; its projectiles dissipate if they go too far. The Core Eject variant also provides the Grenade Launcher archetype in its alternate fire, while the Pump Charge variant has a Charged Attack that can lead to Explosive Overclocking.
    • Nailgun: The Nailgun, which shoots nails for better DPS than the Revolver, but with mild inaccuracy and being limited by regenerating ammo or overheating. The Attractor variant has a magnet launcher to curve shots around obstacles or hit enemies more accurately, and the Overheat variant can do Explosive Overclocking to fire even faster for short bursts.
    • BFG/Railgun: The Railcannon fills both, being a single, but recharging and powerful shot to ideally take out at least one enemy quickly with limited usage. The Screwdriver variant also makes it a Utility Weapon to Heal Thyself with.
    • Rocket Launcher: The Rocket Launcher, of course. Unlike other games though, it only explodes on direct hits; hitting terrain will harmlessly launch enemies. The Freezeframe variant can pause its rockets in midair and let V1 Rocket Ride. The S.R.S Cannon variant launches a very big cannonball with adjustable range and power.
  • Starter Gear Staying Power: The Revolver you get in the beginning of the game is the most versatile weapon even later on, thanks to solid damage, perfect accuracy, useful alternate fire-modes, having multiple combos with other weapons, and being hitscan. It can even be upgraded into an alternate, even stronger version. The Feedbacker (your first arm) is also versatile, as it lets you parry for extra damage and health.
  • Stat Overflow: One of the power-ups is a red blood orb that not only heals V1 completely, but also doubles their max HP of 100 to 200 until they lose their extra HP.
  • Stylistic Suck:
    • Screens lining the walls of the layer of Limbo project a skybox that is not seamless - it's shaped like a cube seen from inside. Whoever designed that layer, which was supposed to neither be a place of punishment nor of happiness, was an amateur that just pasted forest.jpg on 4 sides and sky.jpg at the top. The view can't even stay consistent between differently oriented walls, looking even more obviously wrong when standing in the corner of two screen walls.
    • At the end of 5-S, a looping television movie congratulates your completion of the level. It's made with stock visual effects and the bitrate is absolutely awful.
  • Stylish Action: A rare FPS example. This game hearkens back to the lightning fast shooters of the late 90's, placing extreme emphasis on unbridled aggression and extremely fast movement and mixing it up with more traditional character action mechanics like a Devil May Cry-esque style meter, arena-based level design, and parrying.
  • Sudden Soundtrack Stop: There are a few instances where the music abruptly stops. Examples include the hallway leading to rocket launcher in 5-3. And when picking up a red skull in 7-1.
  • Super Boss: Special levels called Prime Sanctums, which can only be beaten by gaining a P rank for the entire act, feature extremely hard boss battles for each act.
    • The Prime Sanctum of Act 1 aka P-1 features the Flesh Prison and then the soul of King Minos aka Minos Prime. The former is a hell of a Bullet Hell fight while the latter makes Gabriel look like a breeze.
    • Act 2's Prime Sanctum, AKA P-2, features the Flesh Panopticon, a cubical Flesh Prison. It's obliterated before you have a chance to fight it by the true boss of P-2, Sisyphus Prime.
  • Super-Deformed: The plush toys found in the Developers' Museum and many of their portraits have "chibi" body proportions where the head is very large.
  • Super-Strength: V1 is capable of punching the absolutely massive Corpse of King Minos' punch, which results in a parry that deals a good chunk of damage of Minos and deflects the punch completely.
  • Surprisingly Creepy Moment: Level 0-S, Something Wicked. The level drops the game's normal fast-paced Stylish Action for a pitch-black labyrinth devoid of any music and inhabited by a terrifying, spindly, One-Hit Kill monster.
  • Suspiciously Cracked Wall: There are a few levels (such as in 1-2 or 2-1) that feature cracked walls. Shooting these usually reveals new areas or shortcuts.
  • Taking You with Me: Mindflayers, Drones and Stalkers explode violently upon death. Make sure you keep your distance.
  • Teleporting Keycard Squad:
    • While most of the time it's placing the skulls that spawns enemies, in 1-2, taking a blue skull spawns them instead.
    • Some blood orbs are booby-trapped, spawning enemies when picked up. Examples include the blood orb in 5-1 and 6-1, along with both blood orbs in 4-2.
  • Thanking the Viewer: Hakita's book in the credits thanks the player among other developers and New Blood.
  • Theme Song Reveal: The ambient music that plays during the first part of 4-4 includes a slower version of the opening bass riff from "Versus", V2's first battle theme, giving away that the Layer's boss fight is a rematch against them.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Turning an enemy into mist with a point blank Shotgun blast grants the "Overkill" bonus.
  • This Cannot Be!: Gabriel reacts with shock, disbelief, and then fury after you beat him the first time:
    Gabriel: What...? How can this be? Bested by this... this thing? (Beat) You insignificant FUCK! THIS IS NOT OVER! (teleports away) May your woes be many, and your days few!
  • This Is a Drill: One of the alternate modes of the Railcannon has it shoot a drill that burrows into an enemy to deal continuous damage. The drill can be punched into another enemy, resetting its timer.
  • Toast of Tardiness: Seen in the secret level of Lust layer.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Let's just say that humanity essentially signed their death warrants when they thought it was a good idea to develop robots that run on blood.
  • Turns Red: Certain conditions will put enemies in an "Enraged" state, increasing their aggression substantially.
    • Malicious Face and Mindflayer: Reach half health. (Violent only)
    • Swordsmachine: Parry any of its attacks.
    • Cerberus: Kill another Cerberus within vicinity.
    • V2: Keep your distance for too long. In the rematch in 4-4, hit them with the Knuckleblaster.
    • Gabriel: Entering second phase. In the rematch in 6-2, he starts with this in his first phase.
    • Virtue: Leave them alive for too long.
  • Ultra Super Death Gore Fest Chainsawer 3000: If the title of the game by itself weren't enough to qualify for this trope, its first act is called Infinite Hyperdeath.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: The secret levels (barring the Prime Sanctums) are radically different from the main game's hectic violence - for example, the secret level in the prelude is a pitch black, survival horror-esque maze with a One-Hit Kill monster, the one in Limbo is a serene and relaxing pastiche of The Witness, the one in Lust is a high school-themed Visual Novel akin to Doki Doki Literature Club!, the one in Greed is a platformer that pays homage to Crash Bandicoot and the one in Wrath is a Fishing Minigame.
  • Uncommon Time:
    • Requiem has constantly changing rhythm, sometimes switching into a time signature of 5/8 or 7/8.
    • Panic Betrayer's time signature switches between 5/4 and 4/4, sometimes with extra beats added.
    • Dancer in Darkness: The combat section has 5/4 time signature, whereas the calm and final battle sections have one 10/4 followed by two measures of 5/4.
    • Chaos switches between 5/4, 3/4, 7/4 and more.
    • Phase 1 against the Ferryman is in 7/4.
    • Death Odyssey switches to 5/4 midway.
    • Hear! The Siren Song Call of Death switches time signatures constantly. It also features 5/4 and 7/4 time signature. Same with "Danse Macabre".
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Averted with Minos Prime, who separately thanks you for freeing him from the Flesh Prison and acknowledges that he must and will give you due justice for the sins that Machine-kind has committed against humanity and his own people. Played straight, however, with Sisyphus Prime, who doesn't thank V1 despite not having anything against them, instead choosing only to acknowledge their combat prowess and instigate a fight to warm himself up for the coming battle with Heaven.
  • Unnaturally Looping Location:
    • Level 5-2 and 5-S loop when going too far off the map.
    • In 7-1, if you go too far into the subway on foot, you just keep looping until you go back.
  • Utility Weapon:
    • Explosive weapons, like the Core Eject Shotgun, the Pump Charge Shotgun, the Malicious Railcannon, and the Freezeframe Rocket Launcher, can be used to increase mobility by Rocket Jumping. Rockets fired from the Rocket Launcher can even be surfed on.
    • The Screwdriver Railcannon is focused on survivability rather than damage, since it creates a wide rain of blood for V1 to heal from afar. Its spears can also limit an enemy's mobility, like preventing Mindflayers from teleporting or V2 from dashing.
  • Variable Mix:
    • In most levels, the background music becomes heavier when enemies are nearby, and segues back to a slightly calmer exploration mix when all enemies in the arena are defeated.
    • Level 1-4's use of "Clair de lune" progresses further as V1 collects more skull keys to unlock the door to the boss arena.
    • A more intense version of the battle song is played during the final area of 4-3.
    • The boss theme in 0-5 gets a drum layer added once the second Cerberus wakes up. The same thing goes for Leviathan when it enters phase two.
  • Video Game Dashing: V1 can dash around in any horizontal direction at the cost of energy, which recharges as long as V1 is not sliding. It's good for clearing large gaps and dodging enemy attacks, since you are invulnerable during it.
  • Video Game Sliding: V1 can slide quickly along the floor, which makes you much faster and a smaller target.
  • Video Game Vista: 2-1 features a long, enclosed corridor and upward shaft that V1 fights its way through before arriving on a huge platform overlooking the layer of Lust, with the Corpse of King Minos looming in the distance. Downplayed in that it's obviously accomplished with Retraux PS1-style graphics, so there's not much to see visually, but the depth and scale of what the player is seeing accomplishes the same effect.
  • Villainous Breakdown: After being beaten by V1, Gabriel loses it, unable to handle being beaten by a mere machine.
    Gabriel: What...?! How can this be? Bested by this...this thing? You insignificant FUCK! THIS IS NOT OVER!
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: The first fight against Swordsmachine serves as the game's first nasty difficulty spike, demanding mastery of the game's movement system.
  • Walk, Don't Swim: Everyone, including V2, walks and jumps under water and there is no swimming.
  • Wall Jump: V1 can slide down and jump off walls, though they can only do it three times before they need to set foot on solid ground to do it again.
  • Wham Episode: The end of Act II. Gabriel suffers another defeat at the hands of V1, except this time he walks away from it humbled and even enlightened; causing him to reflect on the untold thousands he's effortlessly condemned and slaughtered, how he's developed a taste for adversity, and how it is that an agent of God could now be challenged by a belligerent lower life form. He comes to the conclusion that God Is Dead, and that the kingdom has masked their own weakness by using God's image to rule through fear and tyranny. He subsequently vows to spend his final hours waging his own battle, slays the entire Holy Council that keep order in the realms, and holds aloft the decapitated head of a councilmember in front of heaven's populace. Cue the stinger;
    To Be Concluded in... ACT III: GODFIST SUICIDE
  • Wham Line:
    • Act I is little more than a bloodfest between V1 and the various denizens of Hell, but shortly after entering 3-2, you hear the first spoken line in the game.
    Gabriel:: Machine, turn back now.
    • In 7-3, the first time you encounter a Blood Tree, you're given a prompt like usual when the game wants you to know something, but without their signature robotic beep and in a different font. Worst of all, if you've solved the P-2 ARG, you'll know that the distinctive font, lack of punctuation and spacing between the letters means this is no ordinary prompt, but likely a command from Hell itself ordering you to kill for its amusement and to satiate its hunger.
       F E E D I T.   
  • White and Red and Eerie All Over:
    • Some demons, like the Hideous Mass and the Leviathan, accompany their unsettling appearances with this color scheme, thanks to their white shells and red flesh.
    • The aesthetic of the indoor sections of the Violence layer, particularly 7-1. This trope is invoked, as you paint the white layer red with the blood of your foes.
  • Winged Humanoid: V1 and V2 are humanoid robots with vaguely angelic wings, going by their glowing appearance and multiple extensions. This also applies to Gabriel, since he's an armored angel with glowing etheral wings.
  • Womb Level:
    • Layer 3: Gluttony, which you reach by going into the mouth of the giant Corpse of King Minos. The walls and floor are all meat and bone, the doors are mouths, and stomach acid is a common hazard.
    • 7-4 mixes this trope with Eternal Engine, since the Earthmover that you climb throughout the level has an interior full of flesh.
  • Your Days Are Numbered: At the end of Act I, Gabriel is stripped of the Father's Light as a punishment for losing to V1, and is told that in 24 hours when the embers of it die out that he will die too, unless he can atone and defeat V1. Gabriel, now utterly hating V1, takes up the task. At the end of Act 2, Gabriel willingly embraces mortality, killing all of his superiors despite knowing that he now has only mere hours to live.
    If the machines seek blood, he would give it freely; and with such fury, even metal will bleed.


 
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Cancerous Rodent

A secret in 1-2 brings you to a pastiche of Civvie's Dungeon where you encounter a visiting Cancer Mouse, here called Cancerous Rodent. The fight it puts up is nonexistent, being unable to damage you and dying in one hit to even your weakest punch.

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5 (20 votes)

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