- 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.
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.
- An Axe to Grind: The axe is a slow but devastating weapon, while the hatchet is a Precision-Guided Boomerang.
- 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.
- Blade on a Stick: Among the available weapons are a javelin and a xyston.
- 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.
- Though they do panic when on fire. Soldiers and gladiators, on the other hand...
- 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 'Em All: The (secondary) point of the game is to kill as many Romans as you can.
- 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.
- Wretched Hive: Rome, according to the opening narration. It's up to Caligula to Kill 'Em All.
- You Have Researched Breathing: You need to find the appropriate weapon to parade around naked.
Tropes present in Viva Caligula! In Hell
- Amusing Injuries: A prisoner has a sword sticking out of his head, this doesn't seem to affect him at all.
- Arm Cannon: Stalin has two robotic arms with hidden machine guns.
- Arrows on Fire: Vlad's stakes are on fire when he shoots them at you.
- Bloody Bowels of Hell: Blood and dismembered corpses are everywhere.
- Boring, but Practical: Waiting for the boss to turn around (which screws up their blocking) and holding down the spacebar with a ranged weapon is quite effective, if long.
- Bullfight Boss: Attila
- Epic Flail: Attila uses spiked barbells that are bigger than his head.
- Evil Uncle: Caligula to Nero.
- Evolving Weapon: You no longer need to find all the weapons to get to the ending, instead having to use them on targets until they level up.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Pretty much the same game as the first, but now it's in Hell.
- Flunky Boss: Mooks sometimes appear during boss battles. Fortunately, you can use them against the boss.
- For Doom the Bell Tolls: The Game Over screen.
- Game-Breaker: Several potential ones. The upgraded Lions allow you to summon three at once with almost no delay between uses, which can make mincemeat out of bosses, since Lions are close to unblockable.
- Hell Has New Management: "Rome has fallen. Caligula has fallen. And now Hell will fall to him."
- Nerf: Many weapons have been severely weakened, mostly by preventing you from attacking while moving.
- Necromancy now only summons one skeleton at a time.
- Ominous Latin Chanting: In the main menu.
- Playing with Fire: Nero throws fire, unsurprisingly.
- Recycled IN SPACE!
- Soviet Super Science: Stalin is now a cyborg with machine gun arms and missiles in his shoulders.
- Stupid Jetpack Hitler: Or Stupid Flamethrower Hitler. He also drops bombs on you.
- Telephone Polearm: Vlad uses tree-sized stakes.