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A story of bonds and revenge

"Arris....live."
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Vindictive Drive is a thriller/action game with Cyber Punk elements and real-time Action/stealth mechanics. It was released in May 2017 by Balthasar 02.

22-year old Arris Fern is a cold and apathetic young woman who wants nothing but Revenge against her father, Charles Mourne, the president of the most powerful nation, for the assassination of her mother, Genevieve Fern. Consumed by hatred, Arris will use the most cruel methods at her disposal to achieve her goal. But a kind person who constantly tries to reach out to her, as well as some people from her past might change her motivation...

A 'Definitive Edition' update was released in May 2018, featuring (among other things) improved art, a Spanish language option and an additional Eureka scenario that takes place 10 years before the events of the main game.

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You can get the English-translated version of the game on Steam here.


Vindictive Drive contains examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: Charles Mourne was an abusive man who regularly beat up Arris and killed his wife Genevieve after she tried to protect her in vain. Arris’s motivation during the story is to kill him and make him suffer. And then Chapter 10 reveals that Amy was constantly drugging him with Tryonate, a drug that makes people insane and agressive. So it’s likely that Mourne was not being himself at the time. Does not stop Arris’s grudge and he still dies at the end of the story.
    • To a lesser degree, Cyree lived with abusive parents, but choose to live with his less abusive mother. He even compares it to “choose between a bed of nails or a bed of stone”.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: You can play as Liz Barrett and the robot girls, Ophelia and Amaranth later in story.
  • Arc Words: “Arris....live.”, which were Genevieve’s Famous Last Words to Arris. It’s also the codename to unlock the robot mecha.
    • Becomes an Ironic Echo after Arris says this to Eureka in order to find a reason to live after having been turned into a hybrid machine. Saying this will get you Eureka as a Guest-Star Party Member and a step that you’re close on the True Ending.
  • The Atoner: Arris in Chapter 10, if she has high good karma. After having focused on revenge for most of her life and learning to care for others again, decides to turn herself if she makes it out alive. The "I Want to Live" Ending reveals that she did.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Having neutral karma will give you (as Liz) the choice to fight against Gustav. If you win, Arris, America, Eris and Mourne are dead. Cyree and Eureka are gone (because you didn't gain Eureka's trust and killed America, effectively ending Cyree's trust in Arris). And Amy gets away with everything and Biokernel takes over the world.
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    • Even worse if you have high bad karma. Knowing that her days are numbered after the wound in her head during her fight with Liz, Arris kills Eris and lets Amy to get away with everything simply to spite Mourne. Arris commits suicide, cursing everyone as the whole town is nuked, killing everyone.
  • Bad Powers, Good People: For a Weapon of Mass Destruction, Eureka is a decent person who just wants to regain her lost humanity.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Liz in Chapter 10, who rescues Arris from Hex and disposes of several guards, robot maids and mechas single-handedly. And then she reveals herself to be Emma Fields all along.
    • Arris during Chapter 8, when she rescues Cyree from Liz's abandoned house.
    • And if you have enough good karma, Eureka can rescue Arris, Cyree and America from Gustav.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The "I Want to Live" Ending. Arris’s friends can finally live normal lives and Eureka can live like a human and is not treated like a weapon anymore. Unfortunately Arris was captured and is now confined in a mental facility. Fortunately she has accomplished her revenge and she’s satisfied that her loved people are living normal lives away from her influence. But Hex pulled a Karma Houdini and Arris is still still a target of Biokernel.
  • But Now I Must Go: Cyree and America in the "I Want to Live" Ending.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Arris will address the player directly depending on their choices, especially if the player makes stupid ones.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: America. It’s clear she’s very possessive towards Cyree and her interactions with Arris are mostly hostile. She also immediately antagonizes Emma just for being Cyree’s childhood friend. Arris can also behave like that towards him, depending on your decisions, but it's clear she does not like how close Cyree is towards America and is actually hurt when he chooses America over her in the end.
    America: You're just jealous because he replaced you with me!
    Arris: OH MY GOD!
  • Downer Ending: Most endings end up with Arris killing herself or dying for the sake of her revenge.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: In a way, the "I Want to Live" Ending, despite its bittersweet tone. The bar is at better hands thanks to Luna, Eureka can finally live like a normal human, Emma is reunited with her family and friends, America gets to be with Cyree like she always wanted, Cyree was able to meet Emma again and is away from Arris’s toxic influence; and Eris is adopted by a loving family. And even though Arris was imprisoned, she avenged her mother and she’s satisfied that the people she loves are living normal lives away from her.
  • Evil All Along: Amy, Mourne's second wife and the Bigger Bad of the story. Not only the one responsible for Arris's hellish childhood by stealing Genevieve´s project and constantly drugging Mourne on Tryonate, causing him to become abusive towards Arris and Genevieve, but she's the woman behind Biokernel. She also released Eureka and not only was planning to use her to kill Arris, her companions....but also to kill Mourne and their daughter Eris, in order to have all his fortune to herself.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Even though Arris states that Mourne was an abusive father and husband, he acts very doting towards his new family. It’s a sign that he was not being himself at the time, since Amy drugged him in the past in order to act violent towards Arris and Genevieve.
    • For most of the game, America does nothing that antagonizing Arris and acting like a Clingy Jealous Girl towards Cyree. But she seems to be oddly knowledgeable about the Tryonate drug. This is because she and her father worked in Freija producing said drug.
  • Genre Savvy: Arris will often point out certain things, including making references and even invoking tropes.
    Arris: This is not anime, Frankie. I can't be shocked at every faggot who discovers my name.
  • Government Conspiracy
  • Guest-Star Party Member: The robot maids Ophelia and Amaranth. Emma will join you afterwards and if you made certain decisions, Eureka will join you for the final battle.
  • False Friend: The police detective Gustav is revealed to be working with Biokernel and has been working against Arris and Liz/Emma since the beginning.
  • Final Boss: Depending on your decisions, it will be either Amy in her helicopter or Gustav.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Hex, Gustav and Amy. Subverted after Amy reveals to have been Evil All Along.
  • In-Series Nickname: Arris's is "Gevvie", which is short for her mother's name, Genevieve. She uses this name when she wants to hide her true identity.
  • Lemony Narrator: Sometimes Arris lapses into this.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Liz Barrett has high power and speed.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: Emma and Cyree are this to Arris in varying degrees.
    • Cyree was Arris’ childhood friend who briefly supported her after she escaped from her home after her mother’s death. When Cyree stopped visiting, Arris became cold and cynical. In present day, it’s shown that she still cares about him, but won’t hesitate to use him as an Unwitting Pawn for the sake of her revenge.
    • Emma was Arris’s best friend and emotional support when she lives with her abusive father, until Emma disappeared under mysterious circumstances. In present day, Arris finds out that Emma might still be alive, giving her the motivation to keep living. And after Emma is revealed to be Liz Barrett, she’s still shown to be supportive of Arris.
  • Kaizo Trap: Hex’s robot maid mooks's last ditch effort against you is to blow themselves up, potentially killing both you and your partner.
  • Karma Houdini: Hex in all the endings. And Amy in the “Lacking the Will to Survive” and the "Everyone Pays the Price" Ending.
  • Mama Bear: Alicia Fields is determined to find her lost daughter Emma, who dissappeared under mysterious circumstances. To the point she kills Alfred Gerin in cold blood once Arris reveals he was behind said dissappearance.
  • Master of None: Arris has average firepower and speed and low defense and stamina. Even the game seems to be aware of it, since it recommends the player to activate the robot maids to assist her if she's in a dangerous fight.
  • Mighty Glacier: Eureka, if she becomes playable.
  • Morality Pet: Arris's childhood friends, Emma and Cyree. To the point that if they die because of her revenge-driven plot and actions, she'll immediately take her own life. Unless she has high karma, when she won't hesitate to kill them for the sake of her revenge, resulting in one of the worst endings.
  • More Dakka: The robot maid Amaranth makes up for its lack of stealth with more than enough gunfire to rip giant mechas to shreds.
  • Multiple Endings: Five in total, depending on Arris's karma and decisions.
    • The Problem Was There: If Arris choses not to help Luna with her car, she'll run into Liz. Liz corners Arris, forcing her to use the Galick mecha to kill her. Just when she's about to die, Liz reveals herself to be Emma. And then the robot kills her. Arris falls into despair and kills herself.
    • Nothing (Good) To Feel: If Arris insists that it's not her fault that Cyree got cornered by Gustav's forces. Arris realizes that she has endagered one of the few who was kind towards her and that she’s too far gone with her revenge plot. She then kills herself.
    • Lacking the Will to Survive: If Arris has neutral karma. A drugged Mourne kills Eris and mortally wounds Arris. Amy reveals herself to have been Evil All Along and kills Mourne. Emma fights againsts Gustav and defeats him, but Arris, America, Eris and Mourne are dead. Cyree and Eureka are gone (because you didn't gain Eureka's trust and killed America, effectively ending Cyree's trust in Arris). And Amy gets away with everything and Biokernel takes over the world.
    • Everyone Pays the Price: If Arris has high bad karma. When Arris corners Mourne, she lets Amy escape and kills Eris and America. Cyree and Emma call Arris off, saying that she has crossed the Moral Event Horizon. She ignores them and kills herself, satisfied with her revenge. Then a Biokernel helicopter (implied to be piloted by Amy) destroy the building, killing Mourne, Cyree, Emma and everyone in it.
    • I Want to Live: If Arris has high good karma. Gustav, Mourne and Amy are dead, Luna becomes the new owner of Hex’s bar, Alicia becomes the president and leader of Freija and also adopts Eris, who’s revealed to have survived, Cyree and America live together with other identities, Eureka can finally have a normal life, Emma becomes leader of the security force. Unfortunately Hex has gotten away with everything and Arris was captured and is now confined in a mental facility, but has come to terms with it. Along with a Sequel Hook mentioning that Biokernel still targets Arris.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • Arris has this twice after realizing that she endangered Cyree by involving him in her revenge plot. In the second one, she's even Driven to Suicide if she tries to justify herself. If not, she has an Ignored Epiphany, resulting in bad karma.
    • If Arris chooses not to help Luna with her car, she runs into Liz, who proceeds to chase her, forcing Arris to use the Galick robot in self-defense. Before she dies, she reveals herself to be Emma. Arris realizes that she killed her childhood friend and commits suicide.
    • If you have high good karma, Arris will realize that she's come too far in her revenge, involving innocents and people who were kind to her.
  • Nice Girl: Luna Herz, the Token Good Teammate who constantly tries to reach out to Arris. And perhaps the most genuine of the characters. A Steam trading card notes that it's a miracle that someone like Luna exists in the Crapsack World of VD.
  • No Kill Like Overkill: If you’re using Amaranth or Eureka as party members.
  • Only Known By Her Nickname: Hex is only known as Hex Reader. The game files reveal that her real name is Gene Kratena.
  • Older Than They Look: As pointed out, Arris is the same age as Liz, Cyree and America. However, due to childhood malnutrition and a lack of education, she looks much younger.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: The plot of the game is a cruel subversions/deconstructions of this trope. The protagonist's life has been really depressing, and all her friends are worse off than before she met them. She decides to avenge her mother's death by ruining the life of her abusive father and decides to involve the people she knows in said revenge, but they each end up making things worse for them and/or herself. If Arris has high good karma, she accepts that Vengeance Feels Empty and that the people she knows really are better off without her. So after accomplishing her revenge, she decides that the only way to make them all happy is to remove her presence from their lives entirely....by turning herself in.
  • Rei Ayanami Expy: Eureka. She's stoic, seemingly emotionless, an Artificial Human and deeply devoted to her "owner", and, later, Arris. And Word of God reveals she is a clone of Emma/Liz Barrett.
  • Red Herring: Charles Mourne is the objective to Arris’s revenge, but turns out he’s not related at all to Project Eureka or Biokernel. That’s Amy, his second wife, revealed to be the Bigger Bad.
  • Relationship Values: Arris has relationship points that will affect the ending you will receive. Especially if you were kind to Luna.
  • The Reveal:
    • Liz Barrett is Emma Fields under a different identity.
    • Cyree is Emma’s childhood friend just like Arris. And he was aware all along that Arris was the informant.
    • America and her father worked for Freija years ago and her father helped produce the Tryonate drug. And she’s a Stalker with a Crush towards Cyree.
    • And Amy is the one responsible for Eureka’s release, Mourne’s Abusive Parents tendencies (since she constantly drugged him on Tryonate) and is the woman behind Biokernel. In other words, she's The Woman Behind the Man and the true Big Bad of the story.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Arris, if she has high good karma.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: The main plot of the story.
  • Ship Tease: Between Cyree and America. Arris is not too happy about that, though.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: Rektman and Cyree’s friend, Ross are easily dispatched at the beginning of the story.
    • He's Back: Ross does return in Chapter 9 as an ally, but he quickly turns on Arris, Cyree and America; having been bought by Gustav after his capture in Chapter 1.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: Despite a lot of dark themes and critique of anime cliches and aversion of Single-Issue Psychology, the True Ending ends in a largely idealistic manner.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Arris’s "The Reason You Suck" Speech to America reveals she’s this towards Cyree. And she never cared much about his grudge towards Mourne, she just wanted to stay close to him. Doesn’t stop the ship-tease between them, much to Arris’s chagrin.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Arris is able to pass for her mother Genevieve with just a green wig and a Freija uniform. Or maybe it's a case of the artist's Only Six Faces.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Eureka has plenty of firepower, but poor aim. As a result, any fights against faster, more evasive enemies tend to transform the battleground into a war-zone, especially once she brings out the bombs.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: America absolutely hates Arris and viceversa because of their feelings towards Cyree, but they don't have any choice but to work together in order to defeat Mourne.
  • Token Evil Teammate: The bar manager and information broker Hex Reader, whose top priorities throughout the story are money and receiving insteresting information in exchange for more money. Nothing else seems to matter to her. One shouldn't be surprised when she betrays Arris in Chapter 10.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: The “I Want to Live” Ending.
  • Mecha
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