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Video Game / Viva Caligula

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Rome decays.
Her people are drunk, violent and perverse.
A new Emperor has arisen.
He is Rome incarnate.
His destiny is to unite his people... against him.

Viva Caligula is an Adobe Flash game created by [adult swim], where you play as the eponymous Roman Emperor, and must find all twenty-six weapons scattered throughout the seven hills of the city. Along the way, you can have a little fun by using said weapons to slaughter everybody in sight.

In its 2011 sequel, you find yourself in Hell, and must fight some of the evilest men in humanity's history to establish your domination.

Tropes present in both games:

  • Animate Dead: Necromancy, the ability to turn dead bodies into skeleton warriors, is classified as a weapon.
  • Animorphism: Averted with the Ursiform weapon, which gives you a bear fur hood and a huge claw but not an actual transformation.
  • Automatic Crossbows: The crossbow shoots as fast as Caligula can stab someone and doesn't need to reload.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Any weapon that doesn't reload almost instantly is doomed to fail you in the long run.
  • The Beastmaster: An eagle and a lion are two of the available weapons, while playing the ocarina makes rats fight for you. You can also throw wasp nests around (where they act like mines), but they attack you as well if you get too close.
  • Cycle of Hurting: It's possible to stunlock enemies by hitting them faster than they can recover. Of course, the same goes for you.
  • The Caligula: Caligula has taken it upon himself to slaughter every living thing in Rome (and some skeletons), and then to conquer Hell.
  • Enemy Civil War: The zampogna produces this effect (see Everything's Louder with Bagpipes).
  • Everything's Louder with Bagpipes: The Zampogna (an Italian bagpipe) turns enemies against each other and makes you immune to their weapons (except rats and gladiators). Even better, they tend to cluster and take out tougher enemies first, letting you use area-hit weapons or the torch with greater efficiency.
  • Eye Scream: The eagle goes for its targets' eyes.
  • Exotic Weapon Supremacy: The Flambeau, Necromancy and Zampogna weapons are among the best in the game (and only one of those does any damage).
  • Full-Frontal Assault: The "Manhood" weapon, which... stuns all citizens close to you in open-mouthed horror/shock/envy (except prostitutes).
  • Gratuitous Foreign Language: "Flambeau" is an old-fashioned French word for torch.
  • Heroic Mime: Caligula's only sound is a crazy laugh when he goes on a rampage.
  • Hyperactive Metabolism: Caligula heals by downing big chunks of meat.
  • Improvised Weapon: Bricks, rocks, really big rocks and a torch.
  • Multi-Melee Master: The games feature a total of 26 weapons. You start off with just one (the dagger) in the first game and must find the rest to win. In the second game, you start with all the weapons and can increase their power levels by killing enemies with them.
  • Mind-Control Music: The ocarina and zampogna turn rats and humans on your side respectively.
  • Powerful Pick: The gurlet lets you attack on both sides, but is very slow.
  • Sinister Scythe: The tenaculum, a small sickle rather than the usual scythe.
  • Some Dexterity Required: One weapon per keyboard letter. Hope your typing skills are up to scratch.
  • Villain Protagonist: Did we mention you play as Caligula?
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Caligula wears a cape, boots and a skirt. And sometimes not even that.

Tropes present in Viva Caligula:

  • Apathetic Citizens: The Romans zigzag this. On the one hand, they can see their Emperor set a man of fire and disembowel him not five feet away from them and carry on walking... only to flee a second later or walk up and try to kill you.
  • Bag of Spilling: A Game Over means you start from the beginning, meaning a score of zero and only the dagger. Continuing allows you to keep the weapons, but you'll still lose your score.
    • Averted in Viva Caligula: In Hell!; Caligula has all the weapons from the previous game.
  • Dance Party Ending: ... Except with A Party, Also Known as an Orgy, where you can upgrade your score further by walking into the naked people hanging around.
  • Dissonant Serenity: Citizens don't change expression when coming up to maul you.
  • Drunken Master: The drunk hobos are remarkably accurate when it comes to Grievous Bottley Harm.
  • Excuse Plot: "Rome is corrupt! Kill everyone to save Rome!"
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: The loading screens show Caligula using a sword and the ursiform weapon at the same time.
  • Grievous Bottley Harm: The drunks and bath servants throw their bottles at you with surprising (and aggravating) accuracy.
  • Heartbeat Soundtrack: The main menu features one.
  • Historical Villain Upgrade: Yes, Caligula was a deparaved lunatic, but he didn't go out in the street and attempt to singlehandedly bring Rome's population to one. Probably.
  • Hitbox Dissonance: Sometimes a weapon misses when it should have hit and vice-versa.
  • Infernal Retaliation: Soldiers and gladiators will continue to chase and attack you even when on fire. Fortunately, they're easy enough to avoid and can be kited until they burn.
  • Kill It with Fire: The Flambeau sets enemies on fire, eventually killing them.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: The legionaries can duck behind their shield to negate all attacks.
  • Ludicrous Gibs: Enemies fall apart like they ran through Razor Floss, regardless of what weapon was used against them. Kill them in Rampage mode, and they explode into individual organs and splatter blood all over the screen.
  • Naked People Are Funny: The ending in the Forum features a bunch of (censored) naked Romans partying.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Caligula temporarily goes into this when his rage meter fills (due to killing enemies and/or drinking wine). While it lasts, he can kill enemies with one hit.
  • Show Some Leg: The prostitute's standing sprite does this.
  • Throw the Book at Them: The philosopher will attempt to bash your skull in with his book, while the senator does the same with a scroll.

Tropes present in Viva Caligula! In Hell