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Video Game / Xena: Warrior Princess

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The 1999 PlayStation adaptation of the 90s' hit TV series of the same name.

Xena: Warrior Princess is a rather straightforward Hack and Slash video game with 21 levels, spanning various environments including beaches, castles, dungeons, temples and hell. Players assume the role of Xena, who must stop an ancient evil threatening to Take Over the World and rescue her friend, Gabrielle, who had been kidnapped for a deadly ritual.

Not to be confused with the Nintendo 64 fighting game Xena: Warrior Princess: The Talisman of Fate.

Tropes in this game:

  • 1-Up: This is basically the function of the Revitalization Jewel, reviving Xena on the exact spot she collects it if she dies in battle. However it can be used only once, so if Xena dies without a Jewel the player will have to restart the entire level.
  • Almost Dead Guy: Xena’s friend, Sirus, which she rescues from pirates at the end of the first level, only to warn Xena in his dying breath about the pirate invasion and the impending doom which Xena will have to prevent.
    Xena: "Someone’s going to pay for this!" (Cue second level)
  • Amazon Brigade: The Amazonian village is naturally filled with Amazonian warriors, all of them which are women.
  • Annoying Arrows: Played straight; arrows that hits Xena only takes away a tiny fraction of her health, and enemy arrows are often treated as mere annoyances.
  • Artistic License – History: While typical Greek mythos depicts Amazonians as… well, Greek, the game instead portrays them as Native Americans. As in, literally from the Amazon regions, complete with Meso-American architecture decorating their villages and tribal war paint adorning their members.
  • Assist Character: Gabrielle in the Amazonian levels can lend a hand to Xena when fighting rogue Amazons. She’s actually darn capable in combat, and can defeat enemy Amazons all by herself without too much trouble, completely averting The Load that usually shows up in Escort Mission in these types of games.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: The Pirate Lord Pactolus and the Amazonian Queen are the best fighters of their respective levels.
  • Badass Boast: Xena does this more than once during her cutscenes. Naturally.
    Xena: (after learning of King Valerian being behind Gabrielle’s abduction) "This King Valerian better have a huge army!"
  • Battle Cry: Xena will let out one of these when you successfully execute her Spin Attack.
    Xena: "Aye-yi-yi-yi-yi-yi-yi!" (While swinging her sword in all directions)
  • Beef Gate: Right before making it to King Valerian’s castle, Xena will need to cross a bridge guarded by a powerful ogre. The only way to defeat it is by having Xena attacking a beehive in an adjacent corner (via chakram), have the bees follow her, and approach said ogre, where the bees will attack the ogre instead causing the ogre to fall into a chasm.
  • BFS:
    • The Pirate King attempts to rough up Xena using an absurdly huge sword, but being the first boss he's hardly a challenge.
    • King Valerian's two bodyguards use similarly huge swords as well.
  • Boss-Arena Idiocy:
    • The Cyclops attacks Xena while clinging on a high cliff, grabbing the ledge with one hand and trying to smash Xena with the other (why he doesn't try to climb up the cliff is anyone's guess). All attacks against him are useless. The solution? Keep slashing the hand grabbing the ledge and he'll fall off the cliff.
    • Dyzan the Dragon is invincible to the sword and chakram, but can be killed by dropping stalactites on it. Stalactites that hangs right over lava pools, which Dyzan have to submerge itself into periodically to recharge it’s fire, allowing Xena to knock down stalactites with her chakram.
    • The final boss, Kalabrax in the form of a bull-like demon is also invincible and constantly charges at Xena, and the only solution is to lure it to charge at the supporting columns. When enough columns are smashed, the ceiling will collapse and kill the boss.
  • Boss-Only Level:
    • The Island of Kronos and Dyzan’s Lair, which consists entirely of Xena battling the cyclops and Dyzan the dragon.
    • The final level is an extended battle against Kalabrax, and a Sequential Boss as well: firstly Xena must defeat both of Kalabrax's cultists, then Kalabrax herself, and finally defeat Kalabrax who turns into a bull-like demon upon death.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: The Amazonians are noted to be "not themselves" when Xena and Gabrielle reaches the Amazon village, attacking Xena and Gabrielle in a rage upon arrival, and Xena have no choice but to kill every member she encounters, including the Queen. The level ends with The Reveal that Kalabrax the rogue Goddess is behind all this.
  • Bullfight Boss: The Final Boss ( Kalabrax in the form of a bull-like monster) cannot be harmed, and spends the whole level charging and tackling at Xena. The only way to defeat it, is to trick the monster into crashing itself into pillars holding the temple in its place, and then escaping to the center of the temple as it collapses, crushing the boss in the process.
  • Cyclops: One shows up in the fourth level, as the second boss and first Puzzle Boss.
  • Damsel in Distress: Gabrielle spends most of the game being kidnapped and taken captive, firstly by King Valerian's men right before Level One, and later after the Amazonian Queen boss fight by Kalabrax's followers.
  • David vs. Goliath: Xena is only human, and several of the bosses towers completely over her, including the cyclops, Minotaur, Dyzan the dragon, the golem, and the ogres. Xena actually lampshades this trope after defeating Dyzan:
    Xena: "The bigger they are, the harder they fall!"
  • Deadly Disc: The Chakram, much like in the TV series, which can be controlled mid-flight and inflict a One-Hit Kill on most low-tier mooks. It is also VERY useful against the Minotaur.
  • Deadly Dodging: The only way Xena can kill the Final Boss, Kalabrax who had taken the form of a monster; tricking the monster into charging at her constantly and then knocking over pillars in the corners of the temple, until the entire temple collapses when enough pillars are down, crushing said boss in the process.
  • Developer's Room: The Minotaur’s lair has a hidden developer's room, right before the area Xena confronts the Minotaur for the inevitable boss battle. While turning left leads to the Minotaur, turning right leads to a dead end with a single burning torch, and by walking into the dead end, Xena can walk right through the wall, into the developer's office.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: For much of the game’s first half, the tyrant King Valerian is hyped up to be a massive threat, until Xena reveals him to be the Minotaur and kill him in battle. The game then continues through a few levels in an Amazon village, before finally revealing that the Goddess Kalabrax is the true Big Bad.
  • Dragged Off to Hell: Xena’s first confrontation with Kalabrax, in an inescapable cutscene, have the latter opening a pit right beneath Xena and swallowing her, leading Xena right into hell. Xena will have to find a way to escape in several hell-themed levels.
  • The Ferryman: The last hell-themed level have Xena summoning Charon the ferryman to ship her across a pool of lava right at the start, by using her chakram to hit a hard-to-reach bell.
  • Fire and Brimstone Hell: The hell level plays this trope straight, being filled with platforms floating on lava pools, waterfalls flowing with flames, and fireballs shooting at Xena throughout the level.
  • Flunky Boss: Most of the boss battles.
    • Pactolus the Pirate Lord and the Amazonian Queen are flanked by elite pirates and masked Amazonians, respectively. During battle, there will be at least two flunkies assisting their respective bosses, and whenever Xena kills one of them another will take the deceased’s place seconds later.
    • The Ogre sub-bosses in the Mount Olympus levels have harpies around them as well. Although a quick enough player can trick the Ogres to miss their swings and instead swat the harpies out of the air.
  • "Get Back Here!" Boss: The Druid Sorcerer, after his fight with Xena when his health is reduced to a small fraction, will retreat himself into a crypt. Xena will need to figure a way to get in before confronting him directly.
  • Giant Spider: The Minotaur’s maze is filled with these oversized arachnids, which can only be taken out by Xena’s rolling tackle because they only stood up to Xena’s waist level.
  • Go for the Eye: Naturally, this is the only method to slow down the Cyclops boss, via Xena’s trusty Chakram. It doesn't do any damage to the Cyclops' health, but as the Cyclops rub his eye in pain with his right hand Xena can then slash his left and make him fall to his death.
  • Golem:
    • The second hell level concludes with a boss battle against a powerful rock golem whose life meter is HUGE. Luckily, there’s a way to get around him (see Ring-Out Boss).
    • Later on Xena will fight two smaller Golems in a narrow cavern. While their life meters are much smaller this time, it is still NOT advisable to fight them, where the best way is to simply find a gap between them and run like hell to the cavern’s exit, where the golems will be too large to fit through.
  • Grim Up North: The village of Tir’na, located in the corner of the snowy mountains, with three levels taking place over there.
  • Harping on About Harpies: Harpies are frequent enemies on Mount Olympus. While considerably weak enemies, they can be dangerous since they tend to swoop around and knock Xena off platforms to her death.
  • Homing Projectile: One of the first available power-ups for Xena is the Super Chakram, who can target Xena’s enemies directly, capable of killing between two to six enemies, depending where Xena uses it, all at once.
  • Kaizo Trap: In the final level, after tricking Kalabrax in demon form to destroy the temple's pillars, causing the temple to collapse, it is possible for Xena to die from being crushed by the temple, if she didn't take cover in a safe spot in the middle of the arena.
  • Kick Chick: While Xena's default weapon is her sword, her kicks can deal as much damage as her weapon. It sometimes works better than swords, especially if Xena's enemies are heavily-armoured.
  • Kill It with Fire: The Promethean Blade power-up allows Xena to set enemies on fire.
  • Kill It with Ice: Often overlapping with Ice Breaker.
    • The Frostbiter power-up can allow Xena to freeze her enemies into ice statues after a single hit, where they will remain frozen for a prolonged period of time. Score a second hit and they will shatter into ice shards.
    • Unfortunately for Xena, the Druid Sorcerer can cast ice spells as well, and upon being hit Xena will solidify into an ice statue. While it doesn’t kill her outright, this takes away a MASSIVE chunk of Xena’s health, and is considered to be the Sorcerer’s more dangerous attacks.
  • Level in Boss Clothing: The fourth level, Isle of Kronos, is basically an extended fight against the Cyclops, who greets Xena by lobbing boulders at her as soon as she reaches the coast. Xena will have to make her way out of the beach while dodging flung boulders, climb up a hill while surviving a rockslide started by the Cyclops, and reach the top of the mountain to battle the Cyclops. Of course, the level ends when the Cyclops is defeated.
  • Malevolent Masked Men: Many enemies wear sinister-looking masks, including Pactolus and his pirates, the Amazon Queen’s personal guards, and Kalabrax’s cultists.
  • The Man Behind the Man: The true villain and Big Bad is Kalabrax the rogue Goddess, who doesn’t reveal herself until more than halfway through the game.
  • Medusa: The level titled The Three Sisters, naturally, had Xena fighting Medusa and her fellow gorgon sisters in three consecutive boss battles.
  • Mini-Boss:
    • After killing all of King Valerian’s soldiers, Xena will have to fight two Heavily Armored Mook that puts up a far better fight than any of the soldiers.
    • The Mount Olympus level has the guardians, five Ogres that confronts Xena in five checkpoints, which she must defeat one at a time to reach the end of the level.
    • Depending on the player’s skill, the two cultists who attack Xena at the start of the final level may or may not count. Note that they are actually vulnerable to the Chakram, unlike previous sub-bosses.
  • Mirror Boss: After defeating all of Kalabrax’s followers, Kalabrax then fights Xena herself, and it turns out that in her mortal form Kalabrax fights like a clone of Xena, using exactly identical attack patterns including the Spin Attack and rolling tackle.
  • No-Sell: Most of the bosses, with the exception of the Minotaur, can shrug off your Chakram attacks without a scratch.
  • One-Winged Angel: After defeating Kalabrax, Xena will have to contend with her final form – a massive, bull-like monster that attempts to trample Xena.
  • Our Minotaurs Are Different:
    • The Minotaur boss ( actually King Valerian) that Xena battles to rescue Gabrielle at the end of the maze.
    • The Final Boss ( actually Kalabrax revealing her true, monstrous form after you defeated her) is a bull-like monster that constantly charges behind Xena.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: Yes, they are. The zombies that attack you in the hell level, despite displaying the usual Zombie Gait, actually maintain a certain level of sentience in them, and can even taunt you in the middle of a battle.
    Zombie Mook: "I'm not dead yet!"
  • Playing with Fire:
    • The Promethean Blade power-up turns Xena’s weapon into a Flaming Sword (or flaming staff if Xena is in the Amazonian village) that leaves lingering burns on her enemies, draining their health.
    • Dyzan the dragon, naturally, breaths fire at Xena.
    • The Druid Sorcerer alternates his ranged attacks between fireballs or ice blasts.
  • Platform Hell: The game starts throwing more and more platform elements after the hell levels; there are platforms floating on lava pools in hell, and cliffs on Mount Olympus that can only be accessed by leaping from one platform to another. Naturally failing a jump means instant death for Xena.
  • Power Floats:
    • When Kalabrax first reveals herself to Xena, she is depicted as floating. Although for some reason when Xena confronts Kalabrax in the final level she no longer has this ability.
    • The Druid Sorcerer spends the entire battle floating all over the village.
  • Power Glows: Score enough hits with the Chakram and Xena will glow with a powerful golden aura, increasing her attack strength for a short period of time.
  • Praetorian Guard: Pirate Lord Pactolus and the Amazonian Queen have their own unique band of personal guards who flanks their bosses during the penultimate battle.
  • Puzzle Boss:
    • The Cyclops is invulnerable to all of Xena's attacks, and while an early hint states that his eye is the sole weak spot, repeatedly hitting the Cyclops' eye with the chakram doesn't do any damage to its health, either. Turns out Xena is supposed to hurt the Cyclops' eye, momentarily disabling it, and then slash it's hand holding on the cliff causing it to fall to its death.
    • The Druid Sorcerer at the last stages of his battle will center himself in the middle of an altar, where he remains completely invincible and will try to sic electrical attacks on Xena. However he can still be defeated by hitting a series of symbols on the base of the altar to correspond with signs in the background, which eagle-eyed players might notice.
  • Rape, Pillage, and Burn: The second level has Xena entering a burning village, just as Pactolus’ pirate army are in the process of killing everyone in it. If too many innocent villagers die in that level, Xena is forbidden from proceeding to the next level.
  • Ring-Out Boss:
    • The Golem boss battles Xena in a large platform on a lava pool, and while it is invincible towards the sword or chakram, it can be pushed into the lava.
    • The same goes for the ogre guards in Mount Olympus, with the platforms leading from the heavens all the way to earth. It’s smaller than the golem’s platform, however.
  • Scary Stinging Swarm: Killer Bees shows up in a beehive outside King Valerian’s castle. They can kill Xena instantly, but they are also the only weakness of King Valerian’s massive ogre bodyguard (see Beef Gate).
  • Shock and Awe:
    • The power-up known as the Hand of Zeus, which grants Xena the ability to shoot electrical bolts with every swing of her blade that does devastating damage on her enemies.
    • In the final stages of the Druid Sorcerer boss, the Sorcerer will try blasting Xena with hard-to-avoid lightning.
    • As a demon, Kalabrax can shoot lightning from her horns, although she prefers tackling.
  • Shout-Out:
    • While finding a way to Pactolus’ lair in level three, the shark from Jaws can be seen… strung lifelessly on a rack, having been killed by the pirates. Hitting the shark’s carcass will make it spit out beach volleyballs, broken pieces of surfboards, and an anchor.
    • The fourth level where Xena confronts the Cyclops on the beach is a rather blatant reference to The 7th Voyage of Sinbad.
  • Sinister Scythe: Wielded by Kalabrax's cultists, who confronts you at the beginning of the final level. Both of them.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: A dozen wraiths will attack Xena near the last stages of hell, but they can be eliminated if Xena extinguishes the torches of green flames before the wraiths can touch her.
  • Our Werebeasts Are Different: King Valerian is a were-minotaur.
  • Unexpectedly Abandoned: The snow-covered village of Tir’na, which is the first place Xena finds herself in after escaping hell, turns out to be devoid of civilians. It turns out a group of druid warriors worshipping Kalabrax had taken over, and Xena need rescue the village elder, Fei, who will provide clues to Xena on finding Kalabrax.
  • Unique Enemy:
    • Skeletons only shows up as flunkies of the Druid Sorcerer, when he resurrects the dead to attack Xena. And there are only five of them at most throughout the duration of the entire fight.
    • The two cultists that fights Xena before Kalabrax in the final level.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: Dyzan the Dragon, who is invulnerable to all of Xena's attacks, can breath fire from long range, and requires Xena to come up with an effective strategy in battle. While the method of injuring Dyzan is glaringly obvious (he can only be hurt by dropped stalactites) it takes around 5-6 hits to be defeated.
  • Weaksauce Weakness:
    • The ogre guarding the bridge can be defeated by killer bees. The trick is figuring a way to lure the bees close to the ogre.
    • The Minotaur have a massive life bar, but can be taken down with four hits via chakram.
  • Witch Doctor: The Druid Sorcerer boss Xena fights at the end of the Tir'na level, who can cast all kinds of deadly spells.