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Video Game / Zeno Clash 2

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"You must have been told that this is what the
cutting of your umbillical cord involved. The soli-
tary place of man awaits you now. The unequal
struggle awaits you now. But you should not go to
the underworld with heart knotted in anger."
—-A poem written by a Golem on the Titan's barrier.

Zeno Clash 2 is the sequel to the 2009 indie first person brawler, Zeno Clash. It was released in 2013 on Steam, XBLA and PSN, and features more open levels, RPG Elements and Co-Op Multiplayer.

The story starts a month after the final showdown with Father-Mother. Golem has revealed Father-Mother's terrible secret, that Father-Mother is a male creature who kidnaps babies and replaces them with animals, and has assumed control of Father-Mother's family. Father-Mother himself has been locked away in Halstedom's first civil institution, a jail, but Ghat and Rimat suspect something is amiss, and plan to break Father-Mother out.

Unlike the first game, which focused on the trials and tribulations of the Zenos, this game expands on the mysterious Golems who guard the four corners of the Flat World that is Zenozoik and their plans for the Zenos within. As it turns out, the Golems have strife and emotional conflict of their own, and the Zenos were unlucky enough to get caught in the middle of it.


Also unlike the first game, it is far more open. While not a true Wide-Open Sandbox, players have far more freedom to do what they want and even have an over-world that can be explored for secrets and collectibles in between story segments.

On 7th of July 2021. a sequel titled Clash: Artifacts of Chaos was announced with a new protagonist named Pseudo taking the helm.

This game contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Alien Non-Interference Clause: While he was not strictly forbidden from doing so, Golem was never supposed to go into Zenozoik. Instead his sole task was to guard the Northern barrier and prevent the people of Zenozoik from crossing it in order to protect the civilized world from the lawless Zenozoik inhabitants. However, he enters Zenozoik with Ghat and Deadra, hoping to bring civilization to it. He eventually realizes this was a foolish and hopeless endeavor and yet also comes to believe that the Zenos are deserving of life, even if its only a life in a lawless wasteland.
  • Ascended Extra: Rimat, The Dragon/The Rival and a recurring enemy from the first game, is your partner in this game.
    • Most of Ghat and Rimat's family now have a more significant part in this game's story, and their relationships are a little more fleshed out. In the first game, the most interaction Ghat had with his family was beating their faces in.
  • Bait-and-Switch Boss: The entire game revolves around the conflict between Ghat and Rimat, who are fighting to preserve Zenozoik's totally unrestrained way of life, and Golem, who attempts to impose law and order on the land and its people. However, at the very end both Golem and Ghat team up to defeat Xotl-Teh, the South Golem who has secretly spent the entire game dicking with both of them.
  • Blood Knight: It turns out Ghat's Corwid focus was beating up other Corwid and taking trophies from them to build his suit of armor. He enjoys picking fights and is understandably opposed to Golem's imposition of law and order on Zenozoik society.
  • Boring, but Practical: The Chain. It's not flashy, but it does reasonably good damage, has better reach than other melee weapons, and its wide sweeps can get large groups of enemies to stagger back. Borders on being a Game-Breaker if you have the stamina to spam it.
  • Bug War: The Tiamte are a collective of hostile, highly identical creatures of a single species, in a world otherwise inhabited by a wide mix of very different beings. The Tiamte are much larger in numbers than any other group, and are expanding rapidly; Adrance warns that they will eventually ocme into major conflict with the rest of Zenozoik.
  • Chain Pain: One of the permanent weapons Ghat can find is a chain. Its special attack is a good way to hit multiple opponents and stagger them, but does not deal much damage, and costs considerable amounts of stamina. For certain fights it is invaluable, however, as the AI is easily exploitable.
  • City in a Bottle: There is a revelation during the plot that the primitive, brutish 'world' of Zenozoik is merely one long-isolated fragment of a certain larger, far more technologically and socially advanced planet that traps the inhabitants there.
  • Co-Op Multiplayer: The game comes with drop-in-drop-out online multiplayer, with the other player assuming the role of Rimat, the informal number two of Father-Mother's family and Ghat's sister.
  • Demoted to Extra: Deadra, Ghat's partner/love interest from the first game, is absent for most of the sequel. She left Ghat after his sulking about the Golem's laws became unbearable, hoping the Golem could bring prosperity to Zenozoik. She eventually becomes disillusioned with the Golem's laws, though, and leaves for the wilderness to start her own town. You briefly meet her about halfway through the game, and you can recruit her as part of an optional sidequest near the end.
  • Drop the Hammer: In addition to their powers, the Golems fight using huge hammers that take both of Ghat's hands to use.
    • And they hold them in reverse grip, for some reason.
  • Everybody Was Kung-Fu Fighting: As the people of Zenozoik do not have any concept of law or justice, conflict resolution is done by fighting, much to Golem's exasperation. This Justifies why everyone is so good at fighting.
  • Earth All Along: This is hinted a few times. When you activate Golem's throne and choose to exit the area from it, you are teleported to seemingly another planet/moon, look up and you will see a familiar blue marble. Aditionally, when reading the slates detailing the history of Cenozoik/Zenozoik, the description of the geographical location matches South America, the four natural barriers are: West- the greatest ocean (Pacific), North- endless deserts (Atacama desert), East- impassable mountains (the Andes), South- land of eternal cold (Antarctica).
    • Word of God says that yes, it's Chile. This matches up with the geography of Zenozoik and also happens to be where ACE Team, the developers, are based.
    • It's implied that the events of Abyss Odyssey are canon history for Zenozoik, as it's implied that the warlock never stopped dreaming, terraforming the land and conjuring up the ancestors of Zenozoik's people, and one tribe has taken a hint, digging into the earth to find the Warlock and whatever treasures he dreamed up.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Kax-Teh, keeping with the conventions of the first game, is referred to only as "The Golem" or "Golem" by various Zenos. Even after Ghat and Rimat find out that he does, in fact, have a name.
  • Forbidden Zone: Zenzoik is this to the rest of the planet, within Zenozoik, this is East/ eastern mountains.
  • Gotta Catch Them All: One of the campaign's side-quests involves collecting colorful moths for a painter. In addition, you can bring together the scattered members of your Family, which has broken apart after the events of the first game.
  • Grapple Move: In addition to grabbing enemies dazed after being attacked a lot. you can now also pummel them as a part of a combo.
  • Half-Human Hybrids: The majority of Zenozoik's population and the reason why their ancestors were exiled and deliberately cut off from civilization.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Rimat, previously the sister who led the hunt against Ghat after the supposed slaying of Father-Mother, joins Ghat as a playable character.
    • That said, she says that she's only working with Ghat because he's the only one of her siblings who hadn't asked Golem about their real parents.
  • Hero Antagonist: Golem only wants to bring civilization to Zenozoik, as well as to protect the civilized world from the violent, lawless people of Zenozoik. However, this brings him into conflict with Ghat and Rimat, who are violently opposed to the concept of "laws".
  • Idiot Hero: Well, he is a caveman after all.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Kax-teh apparently executed/killed Nahuatl-teh for which Xotl-teh resents him greatly. Kax-teh responds by stating that his (Nahuatl-teh) crimes were unforgivable splicing new chimeras.
  • It Amused Me: Apparently the motivation for Xotl-teh's mind screwing and Nahuatl-teh's genetic experimentation as their centuries-long guard jobs tend to get quite boring.
  • Last of His Kind: Father-Mother indicates that he's by far the oldest living creature in Zenozoik, and has never encountered another member of his species.
  • Ghat, This is Your Father: Xotl-Teh brings along someone who may or may not be Ghat and Rimat's real father (in addition to Xetse's) during one of his "tests". They beat the crap out of him anyway.
  • Mad Scientist: Done very subtly with the golems. Each of them (except maybe the golem of the west) appears to be obsessed/intrigued by experimenting on the inhabitants of Zenozoik. Kax-teh with law/governance, Xotl-teh with psychology/behavior and Nahuatl-teh with biology/genetics. Samoro-teh meanwhile is a mystery though it is mentioned that without any preoccupation, the golems would eventually shrivel into dust.
  • Might Makes Right: As the people of Zenozoik have no concept of law, conflicts are settled by fighting. Golem, who tries to bring civilization to Zenozoik, is not amused.
  • Mind Screw: More than the first game, which was mostly just an understandable (though ambiguous) story told in a surreal landscape. This one has even more ambiguity, weird monsters, and surreal scenes.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: All the chimeric creatures and mutants from the first game are back, with some new varieties. A hidden dungeon tells the tale of how all the chimeras were exiled to this preserve, Cenozoic, centuries ago, because they were freaks of nature.
  • Multiple Endings: Sort of. The final scene of the ending is different depending on whether or not you did the sidequest to figure out whatever happened to Deadra, Noh, and Adrance.
  • Mysterious Cube of Rubik: Once again, the Golem has his rubik's cube. It's revealed that there are more Golems, each with their own favorite puzzle. The presence of these real-world toys is an early indicator that the setting was Earth All Along.
  • Nerf: The weapon system from the first game was redesigned from the ground up. Weapons are now more powerful overall, but they can not be reloaded, can not be put away in close combat, break if you use their mêlée attacks too much, and can not be picked up again to be thrown at enemies if they break or run out of ammo. Overall, their usefulness has been severely reduced.
  • Really 700 Years Old: The golems apparently can function for 'several lifetimes' (possibly even longer) due to the cybernetic technology of the advanced society outside of Zenozoik.
  • Small, Secluded World: Zenozoik. Invoked in Zeno Clash 2, when we find out that it is in fact a tiny part of the actual world. The civilized people who inhabit the rest of the world use advanced technology and live under the rule of law. They believe the inhabitants of Zenozoik are not capable of life under such a system, so they keep them locked in Zenozoik and don't let anyone in or out.
  • Stockholm Syndrome: Rimat still cares deeply about Father/Mother, despite the fact that he kidnapped her and her brothers from their biological parents, Ghat and Rimat even go so far as to beat up the Family's biological parents when they show up looking to settle their score with Father-Mother.
  • The Stoic: Golem is unfailingly calm and composed even after being split open by Ghat or when sacrificing himself to destroy the South Golem.
  • Synchronization: The Golem's power, which was hinted at in the first game, allows him to link himself to others - what happens to him, happens to them. This makes it impossible for Ghat to usefully fight him until the South Golem, Xotl-Teh, disables this power as part of one of his "tests".
    • Ghat later gains a smaller-scale version of this ability after acquiring the West Golem's hand.
  • Taking You with Me: Kax-Teh does this twice:
  • Tarot Motifs: Xotl-Teh, the South Golem uses the The Moon to characterize Ghat and Rimat.
    Xotl-Teh Two dogs howl at the moon: one domesticated, the other a wild wolf. I need to see where this goes.
  • Wham Episode: the beginning of chapter 9 reveals that Zenozoik is a land of exiled people many generations ago from a technologically advanced civilization.
  • Was Once a Man: The golems appear to be volunteers from the advanced civilization beyond the endworld who were converted into cyborgs and charged to monitor Zenozoik and make sure no zeno gets out of it.
  • Undying Loyalty: Rimat has no serious opposition to the Golem's law and order and thinks Ghat's anarcho-libertarian worldview and love of fighting is actually kind of stupid. However, she is undyingly loyal to Father-Mother, and opposes the Golem because he wants to lock Father-Mother up for his crimes.
    • Kax-teh also has strong feelings of loyalty and obligation towards the people who established the laws regarding the golems and their duties towards guarding the Zenozoik chimera reserve.

Alternative Title(s): Zeno Clash II