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Video Game / WASTED

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WASTED: a Post-Apocalyptic Pubcrawler is a first-person roguelike action title/parody developed by Mr. Podunkian and published by Adult Swim Games, released on June 3rd, 2016 for consumers who purchased the June Humble Monthly Bundle and on June 7th, 2016 internationally.

The setting depicts an After the End scenario in which the world's superpowers engaged in nuclear warfare, ravaging most of the surface world. The brightest minds of the time constructed elaborate underground bunkers known as "Coolers" to protect themselves from the blast. Unfortunately, these failed horrifically and resulted in its inhabitants transforming into freakish Radiation-Immune Mutants, if they weren't outright killed by the blasts. However, the failure of these protective vaults also caused an interesting side effect - the alcohol that was brought into the Coolers was imbued with radiation, which is hailed by the remaining population of Disaster Scavengers as the most potent and delicious drink in the wasteland.


You take up the role of one of these scavengers, dubbed Wasters in-game, in your quest to find some for yourself, which give you Booze-Based Buffs (or even de-buffs) every time you consume them. This involves traversing the procedurally-generated Coolers, encountering all sorts of raider parties, hazards, traps, and factions that (almost) all want you dead.

This game contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Action Bomb: Suicide Raiders will try to blow themselves up to kill you, and Rottymen explode when killed.
  • Affectionate Parody: Of the Fallout games, more specifically the recent first-person entries into the series, Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas. Not only does it use an interface similar to the Fallout games, but it shares similar elements (an 80's aesthetic rather than 50's, for one). The Coolers are functionally an Expy of the Vaults gameplay-wise, while many of the factions and enemies are Expies of those found in Fallout.
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  • A.K.A.-47: The DUZI for the uzi, Die Pistole for a mauser, the Klash for the AK-47, and the Sixdeen for the M16, to name a few.
  • All the Worlds Are a Stage: The final Cooler, CA-5, is occupied by members of every faction you encountered in the previous 4 Coolers (plus the usual mutants), all fighting each other as well as the invading S.O.B.
  • Ancestral Weapon: Every new player character starts off with their father's pistol. The usual implications of this trope are subverted in that it's the worst firearm in the game and will be quickly discarded as soon as you pick up another gun. The item description even mentions how your father always depended on it to save his life, which is why he's dead.
  • Anti-Hoarding: A fresh character only has 10 inventory slots, which accounts for ammunition, junk, apparel, weapons, and usable items. Ammunition stacks are capped at 100 bullets for ranged weapons, with item stacks capped at 5, and you are unable to carry more than one stack of items at a time. You can find accessories and acquire Booze Based Buffs that increase your inventory load, but they don't give a substantial boost, requiring you to sort through your inventory and prioritize item usage.
  • Artificial Stupidity: Despite their hair-trigger, omniscient nature described above, the AI is, overall, not too great:
    • All enemies are blissfully unaware of gun traps, and only slowly back up when they trigger a Tripping Hazard or barrel, usually not enough to escape the blast.
    • If you shoot and kill a hostile NPC while stealthed with a silenced weapon, nobody in the room will react to its death, even if it was looking straight at it when it was killed.
    • Hostile humanoid NPCs are also oblivious, but not immune, to the effects of radiation puddles. This often leads to situations where they will kill a Rottyman and go idle, basking in its goop until they collapse dead on the floor... or even walk through puddles of radioactive goop to try and get to you.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: The Coyote's tank in CA-2 has containers on its back that take extra damage from attacks.
  • Awesome, yet Impractical:
    • If you manage to kill the S.O.B. Purifier, you can pick up and use its minigun. It sounds like a horrific Disk One Nuke, but in reality, it does about the same DPS as most mid-game sub-machine guns, has dreadful recoil (being a minigun and all), and uses relatively-scarce rifle ammunition, which it burns through in a hot minute. Other rifles outclass it in pretty much every respect, and frankly, if you have enough firepower to kill a Purifier in the first place, you should probably just stick with that set of arms. The Cool Helmet and armor set they drop are nice, though.
    • The Heavy Metal sniper rifle (essentially a .50 BFG rifle). It's supposed to be the most powerful rifle-type weapon in the game, but uses 5 ammo per shot, needs to be reloaded after every 2 shots, and is overkill for pretty much any enemy in the game except the Purifier, who can be dealt with more efficiently with the Emma Grand or Tripping Hazards.
  • Bag of Holding: Various types of fanny packs can be equipped to your character to increase their inventory capacity.
  • Bait-and-Switch Boss: In Cooler CA-2, after encountering Purifier Charlie earlier on in the Cooler, it's not unreasonable to assume you'd fight him at the end as a unique Purifier just like Starr... instead, a Cervezmen Coyote who's hijacked a tank in the depths of the coolers blows him to smithereens as you enter the boss room, and you fight his tank instead.
  • Boom, Headshot!: As with most other first-person shooters, headshots are Critical Hits on most hostile NPCs.
  • Booze-Based Buff: The game revolves around consuming radiation-soaked beer called Booze, which give permanent Status Buffs and debuffs to your character on future dungeon runs. There are also Unmarked Flasks, whose effects only linger until the end of your current run.
  • Boss in Mook's Clothing:
    • The game has a number of high-level enemies that can easily wreck your day, such as Spewmen, Sentroids, S.O.B. Generals, Sauraubi, and Raider Obliterators. Fortunately, most of these are kept behind locked doors, and the exit will never be behind a locked door, making them optional.
    • Legendary enemies in the Courier run are beefed-up versions of regular enemies that have as much health as the game's bosses. By the time you reach floor 20 or so, pretty much every enemy you meet will be as tough as the S.O.B. Purifier.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Downplayed. Enemies won't run out of bullets, but all of them, even the bosses, still need to reload.
    • Also played with in the cutscene before the first boss battle. It looks like you're about to fight Purifier Starr head on with his minigun and armor... then he runs out of ammunition, and switches to his bullet-bouncing six-shooter to fight you.
  • Character Customization: You get to create the first Waster you take control of, but after that, the game auto-generates a random one every time you die unless you pick up the photo booth upgrade in CA-3, which will allow you to customize your current and all future wasters.
  • Church Militant: The members of the Syndicate of Buzzkills are this. Purifier Starr pretty much illustrates it in his intro cutscene.
  • Continuing Is Painful: When you (inevitably) die, you lose everything your character had on you, as well as their Hangovers, and take control of a new Waster, who finds the old character's house and whose starting equipment consists of the same rusty low-damage pistol and ragged clothing you start with at the beginning of the game. You're encouraged towards saving items in your house and in the Courier box in case this happens, and you do keep whatever Foundation Kit upgrades you've found, but if the RNG isn't merciful enough to spawn a box or some Booze in for a few floors...
  • Combat Parkour: Some Mooks from certain factions, such as the Cervezmen and the Junk Dogs, can dodge your fire by rolling around and even perform a damaging jumping kick off the walls.
  • Courier: Not you specifically, but a group of NPCs that deliver packages in and out of the Cooler. Their storage bin serves as this game's personal chest, letting you store items and transport them out of the Cooler, in case you're running out of storage or are at risk of dying.
    • Aside from those, there is also the Accursed Courier, who acts as this game's daily challenge run host.
  • Crapsack World: Pretty much par for the course for the average After the End, post-World War III scenario.
  • Exploding Barrels: Found commonly in the Cooler, and are a common cause of Yet Another Stupid Death. There are also ice variants that freeze anyone in the blast radius and radioactive variants that create goo puddles.
  • Fun with Acronyms: The Syndicate of Buzzkills (S.O.B.).
  • Good All Along: Well, "good" might be somewhat relative given they have quite a few Kick the Dog moments, but at the very end of the game the S.O.B. turn out to have been pursuing a benevolent ultimate goal to cure the Booze mutations, if you decide to side with them in the final choice. It doesn't hurt that La Résistance turns out to have been a loose coalition of raiders led by an Obviously Evil Nietzsche Wannabe.
  • Good Old Fisticuffs: Your primary melee is your bare hands, which actually do pretty decent damage early on.
  • Groin Attack: Shots to the crotch deal critical damage.
  • Harmless Villain: The New Boys, a few of which serve as the game's Justified Tutorial and are easily dispatched by their own incompetence.
  • History Repeats Itself: The ending montage, no matter what choices you've made in Foundation Kits or faction relations, has the repetition of the Cold War and ultimately nukes being dropped on America again in the middle of Vulture Val's narration.
  • Hyperactive Metabolism: Zig-Zagged. Foods do heal you instantaneously, but eating Junk Food gives you the 'Food Coma' debuff, which halves your movement speed. The consumable Poopin' Pills item drastically reduces the amount of time that the debuff lingers and there is a Hangover that nullifies Food Comas and makes them into a positive buff, but even still, there is a cooldown debuff that applies to your character whenever you eat or apply medicine (both debuffs are seperate, so you can use a medicine item and a food item seperately), requiring you to wait before using another item.
  • Insurmountable Waist-High Fence: Played straight with the fenced-in overworld areas, but subverted with certain Locked Doors. Your fists and your weapons can potentially do enough damage to blast them open, assuming you didn't just pick the lock.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Or Cutanas, as the game calls them.
  • Large Ham: The raiders.
    Male Raider: SQUEEEEEAL, PIGGIE!
  • MacGuffin: The Mulligan, a device Alistair worked on in his private Cooler that could "give the West another shot". The Syndicate and Skellies determine it to be a weapon they could use to wipe out the other side and reign over the Western Wastes. Both sides are wrong, though. It's actually just Alistair's attempt at making a portable music player that could compete with Samponix.
  • Motifs: Around alcohol, mostly. The randomized dungeon you obtain Booze from is called the Cooler, one of the hostile factions is the Syndicate of Buzzkills, and the subtitle of the game is 'A Post-Apocalyptic Pub Crawler.'
  • Multiple Endings: The game's ending is a "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue based on the multiple endings of the first two Fallout games, with the narrator telling you the fates of the various characters and places you met throughout the game based on the choices you made in the game. True to the rest of the game, the different outcomes are all pretty jokey and not really meant to be taken seriously.
  • Multiple Head Case: Dick and Kissinjerk, the latter of whom is found protruding squarely out of Dick's crotch.
  • Nintendo Hard: Yeah, don't get too attached to your custom character, because unless you're incredibly lucky, you're bound to get killed at least a couple times.
  • Optional Stealth: You deal extra critical damage to foes when undetected, and crouching and entering a room does not alert enemies to your presence. Certain junk items like bricks and bottles can be tossed to distract enemies, most notably the Purifier.
  • Outside-Genre Foe: Considering the otherwise jovial, silly nature of the game, the deadly serious Syndicate of Buzzkills come across as almost eerily out of place. The lines of the S.O.B. faction characters are all very serious or foreboding compared to the hammy lines of other factions. Even the voices are more dry and quiet compared to how loud the others are.
    "Enemy spotted."
    "Death... Will come for you, yet."
  • Permanently Missable Content:
    • Thankfully averted with quest reward items. If a character carrying one dies, the Couriers will retrieve it and showcase it in their Lost and Found, although retrieving them costs a hefty sum of TP.
    • Played straight with the Nation Foundation Kits that act as house upgrades at the end of each Cooler - you can only take one with you back to the surface, and the other two are sealed tight in the Technology Room, which can't be accessed again.
  • Pinball Projectile: A few weapons here and there do this, though it's most useful with the Ocelot, Purifier Starr's "baby", which does double damage if the ricochet shot lands.
  • Post-Apocalyptic Dog: The hostile Mutamuts found in the Cooler and the one non-hostile Mutamutt in the Ony Express terminal.
  • Practical Currency: The game's currency is TP, aka toilet paper.
  • Radiation-Immune Mutants: The Rottymen, inhabitants of the Cooler that were horrifically mutated after the blast. They explode into a shower of radioactive goop when killed.
  • Revolvers Are Just Better: Although their ammo is quite scarce in comparison, revolvers pack a more significant punch than most starting weapons. In fact, the El Seis or Ocelot revolvers deal more than twice as much damage per shot as a semi-automatic rifle.
  • Set a Mook to Kill a Mook: Enemies that represent different factions or are caught in the crossfire of their allies will turn and focus their attention on each other.
  • Shout-Out:
    • You can find a pistol called the Vault Clearer, whose model is essentially the 10mm Pistol from Fallout, and a "Cooler Jumpsuit" resembling the Vault jumpsuits (it even has "101" on the back). Similarly, the S.O.B. is a reference to the Brotherhood of Steel (try reversing those initials). Even the player character's house is clearly modelled on junk-built shacks from Fallout 3 and New Vegas.
    • Raider Pounders fight bare-handed and occasionally say "you're already dead".
    • Purifier Starr is one to Revolver Ocelot. His unique ricocheting revolver that you get after beating him is even named "Ocelot".
    • The leader of the Junk Dogs, Master Y, is a reference to one of Podunkian's older works, STREEMERZ, as well as the achievement for beating him.
      • There's also a character mentioned in CA-1's terminals named Dr. Tary who also uses his STREEMERZ counterpart's Catchphrase "Eureka, Tary!".
  • Skippable Boss: The Master Y boss fight can be avoided simply by choosing the right dialogue choices when speaking with him. In fact, some players get past him without even realizing he was supposed to be a potential boss fight.
  • Social Darwinist: Sid Johns, the head of the New Skeleton Army, is ultimately this due to Booze driving him insane.
  • Songs in the Key of Panic: A frightening and intense Motif can be heard when the S.O.B. Purifier is in your proximity.
  • Suicide Attack: The Final Countdown weapon, carried around by Suicide Raiders, which blows the user up for 9999 damage and does lots of damage to surrounding foes. Of course, there's nothing stopping you from using it yourself, especially when cornered by enemies, but in a game where Continuing Is Painful, you're better off trying to survive as long as you can.
  • Stalked by the Bell: Dilly-dallying for too long on one floor of the Cooler causes a S.O.B. Purifier to spawn in and mercilessly hunt down every non-S.O.B. enemy it sees as it makes a beeline towards you. You can attempt to fight it, but as it has a boatload of health (600, to be exact), high-quality armor and a minigun, you will more than likely be torn to bits. With that said, it isn't impossible to defeat or sneak around, and you can place mines at the beginning of each floor to cripple its body parts and slow it down.
  • Straight Edge Evil: The Syndicate of Buzzkills are portrayed as this.
  • Tank Goodness: The second boss fight is against a Cervezmen Coyote commandeering one of these.
  • Truth in Television: There really was a massive explosion of a nuclear missile at a U.S. launch facility in Damascus, Arkansas in the 1980s. Fortunately, the U.S. government didn't actually mistake it for a Soviet first strike and retaliate. It is also true that around the same time period, a Soviet Colonel decided not to "press the button" when the Soviet satellite network detected an incoming nuclear strike from the United States, reasoning that it had to be a computer glitch. Fortunately, he was actually right, and is credited as having prevented World War III because of his restraint.
  • The Unfought:
    • The game doesn't have a final boss fight, and Alistair is never confronted by the player despite seemingly being built up to be the Big Bad. According to Word of God, he actually was supposed to be the game's final boss, but the dev couldn't manage to program the fight properly in time.
    • The Queen Bee of the BEEZ gang also cannot be fought, no matter what choices you make in dialogue when you confront her. Again, this seems to be a result of the dev running out of time.
  • Too Dumb to Live: All the CoolAir colonies failed because of various system malfunctions caused by shoddy construction and programming... as well as malicious tampering from Alistair that accidentally caused a system-wide breakdown that affected every CoolAir colony]]. The exception is Cooler CA-4, which was built to house the nation's political leaders. The inhabitants of CA-4 were unable to elect an Administrator (a necessary step in the Cooler activation procedure) due to each of them thinking they should be the leader, as a result the Cooler doors were still open when the bombs fell, resulting in everyone's deaths.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom:
    • You learn from the Administrator's computer terminal in CA-2 that the cause of the nuclear war was a clumsy mechanic on an American military base who accidentally detonated one of the base's missiles during repairs. The government over-reacted and initiated a full nuclear commitment against Russia, leading to the end of the world.
    • At the very end of the game you learn the reason why every single Cooler ended up failing: Alistair, jealous of his business rival Sid Johns, tried to send a command to Johns' cryo unit to cause it to fail and kill him. Unfortunately, because of the poorly programmed CoolAir Network, this command ended up causing a chain reaction of malfunctions across the entire network, dooming every single Cooler. Ironically, Sid Johns ends up being the only survivor of the Coolers, having used Booze to mutate himself and fought his coolermates for survival. Afterward, he founded and is now operating the New Skeleton Army.
  • Verbed Title
  • Weaksauce Weakness: On the official Steam forums, the most popular way to take out a Purifier is to grab a crowbar and stunlock him to death, with throwing bricks at him and letting the physics engine do the work for you being a close second.
  • Weird Currency: The economy is kept stimulated through the trade of toilet paper, making paper towel dispensers in the Cooler a more practical source of looting.
    • Practical Currency: In a post-apocalyptic setting, clean toilet paper is actually intrinsically useful, much more so than, say, bottle caps. Especially since all the booze and radiation is giving everyone diarrhea.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Again, the S.O.B. Promoting straight-edge lifestyles is admirable - murdering everyone who doesn't conform, not so much.
  • Your Head Asplode: Possible to do to human enemies with a good shotgun blast or two.

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