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Videogame / Deadbolt

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When Death comes a knocking, you won't even get a chance to answer.

Deadbolt is a 2D stealth-action shooter by Hopoo Games, developers of Risk of Rain. The player controls a Reaper, a skeletal being with special powers that dies in one hit. One of the main appeals is the ability to use the environment to your advantage: Switch off or shoot out lights to make hiding easier, travel through vents as smoke to surprise enemies, or knock on doors to lure them to you.

The game's plot concerns the Reaper acting as a hitman for an entity known as "the Fire", in the city of "this Place" (Place is indeed capitalized), which may or may not be hell/the Underworld. As the Reaper begins cracking down on the various gangs that rule the streets, he uncovers a new drug called "Ash". After trying to get to the source, the Reaper uncovers a plot by the Undead to escape this Place, and it's up to him to shut their operation down and put them back in their graves.


This game contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Air-Vent Passageway: When standing near a vent (or a toilet), you can press 'E' to turn into smoke and enter the vents, which can be used to flank enemies.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Despite fighting to the last breath, Ibzan's breakdown and death are quite sad.
  • Alien Blood: Reaper's blood is pitch black. As is Ibzan's.
  • Already Done for You: When you arrive to Mr. Stela's house to kill him, you find out that the Dredged have beat you to the punch.
  • Ambiguous Ending: Whatever happens after Reaper defeats Ibzan in the Fire's abode. The Fire states that Reaper deserves to rest, and right after that all the lights go out. Roll credits.
  • Ambiguously Human: The player can turn into smoke, has a skull for a head (or possibly a mask), can fall without taking damage, and bleeds black, but the Fire specifically states that the player is not undead. Given that "undead" is used as a catch-all to refer to hellhounds and demons as well, it's unclear just what the player is.
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  • And I Must Scream: Being undead is a miserable existence, eternally cold and devoid of hope.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: Upon killing a phylactery-using vampire, a trail appears leading you straight to the phylactery. This becomes very useful against Ms. Stela, who has more than one phylactery.
    • In some levels, phylactery-using vampires appear as backup. They do not revive once they are killed, thankfully, due to the fact that they do not actually have phylacteries.
    • Shotguns are extremely lethal to the player, due to the fact that they never miss, even if the player is very far away (See Short-Range Shotgun, below. Thankfully, the enemies that wield the shotguns will move into close range before firing.
  • Anti-Villain: The Dredged are this. Skeletons are born when one takes their own life- so imagine your anguish upon wanting everything to end, only for it to continue. They also describe everything as being extremely cold, which has driven many of them to madness in desperation to be warm, and some of them to jealousy over the Reaper's ability to feel warmth from his connection to the Fire..
  • Arc Words: "...cannot live with me", spoken by the Fire at the end of most of its mission briefings.
  • The Atoner: Ibzan's motivation is to reach the Fire and apologize for what he did to sever their relationship.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The grenade launcher will destroy anything it hits, but only carries one shot and can easily catch you in the blast.
    • The sledgehammer can kill any enemy in the game in one hit, but it has a slow wind-up and a short range, so you have to either sneak up on an enemy or time it so you hit them before they notice you.
  • Bad Boss: In contrast with Roland, Madam Stela shows little regard for her subordinates, treating them like so much cannon fodder and regularly sacrificing them in the Ash-creating ritual without a hint of remorse. Her tape has her stating that she hates the undead, despite being undead herself. See also [1].
  • Bag of Spilling: A strange example that occurs mid-level. In levels with more than one area, when you transition into the next section, you're mysteriously stripped of the weapons you have not selected before you change the level. Hope you choose your favorite weapon before you continue to the next section!
  • Bat Out of Hell: Type-III, werebats. The final tier of Vampire foes is called the Nightstalker, and they are gigantic werebats who wield silent SMG's and can see in the dark.
  • Batter Up!: The basic demon mook wields a baseball bat.
  • Benevolent Boss: Roland of the Zombie Kingz, as detailed in his cassette tape. He cares a great deal about his men and is upset that the other gangs are using them as cannon fodder.
    • The Fire also treats Reaper well, most notably by giving him a pet cat as "life is not meant to be spent alone." A way to atone or at least avoid the mistakes that drove Ibzan away, perhaps?
  • Big Bad: Ibzan, leader of the Dredged and possibly a former Reaper.
  • Boom, Headshot: An easy way to take out most enemies with just one bullet. Not as effective against enemies such as Bouncers, who require more than one shot to kill with anything that isn't a shotgun.
    • One of the purchasable weapons is called the Headhunter, which has pinpoint accuracy and deals extreme damage on headshots but only holds five rounds. The Headhunter can kill any enemy in the game with a clip, even Ibzan
  • Boss Arena Idiocy: Two vampires you encounter in separate buildings have made their soul jars each other. This would render them practically immortal if they didn't have a handy vent connecting their rooms.
    • Timur the Tinker has rigged his workshop with explosives the player can detonate with the flick of a switch.
  • Boss Battle: Against the leader of each crew: Roland for the Zombies, Ms. Stela for the vampires, Vall for the Demons and Ibzan for the Skeletons.
  • The Bluebeard: Madam Stela has gone through several husbands, killing the current one the moment he does something to displease her, no matter how petty.
  • Call-Back: You can find tapes from randomly killed enemies, much in the same way you could find Monster Logs in Risk of Rain.
  • Casting a Shadow: The player can turn into smoke and travel through vents with the flick of a lighter.
  • The Cavalry Arrives Late: Before Vall's mission, the Fire briefs you on the Candles finally assisting you. But only immediately after you defeat the boss do they actually show up and declare that they'll "take it from here". Thanks, guys.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Each gang shares a primary colour and aesthetic; Zombies are green and dress like inner-city gangbangers, Vampires are black and dress like the mafia, Skeletons are white/blue and dress like the Russian Mob and Demons are red and dress like 50's greasers and gangsters.
  • Concealment Equals Cover: It's possible to take cover behind items that wouldn't be able to block bullets, such as utility carts. Also, bullets that would be able to punch through things like walls and doors aren't capable of hitting you behind things such as overturned wooden tables and opened refrigerator doors. Higher caliber bullets, like say from a shotgun, will pierce the door, however.
    • Inverted in that taking cover doesn't actually conceal you from view.
  • Dark Messiah: Ibzan has all the other undead follow him under the promise of leading them to a place where they won't suffer the cold anymore.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: The Reaper, the player character. You have a skull for a head and can turn into smoke, but you are one of the good guys.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Roland is the dealer and supplier of Ash for the Zombie Kingz, but he isn't the producer.
  • Drop the Hammer: The player can use a hammer and a sledgehammer against enemies. The normal hammer is more damaging than a knife, but about as slow as a player's punch. The normal hammer can also be thrown at enemies, while the sledgehammer takes a long time to swing but kills almost any enemy in one hit. Sergeants also wield these.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Whatever the Fire is, it definitely fits this description: vast, with no real form, all-knowing, and very powerful- subverted in some respects as it is actually rather benevolent to the Reaper, and uses its powers to stop crime. This is even further subverted when we meet its true form in the final mission: a gigantic, human-shaped candelabra.
  • Elite Mook: Each group of mooks has one or two special types of mooks to deal with- Zombies, for instance, have bouncers (large fat dudes with shotguns, who can take a beating), guys who rush at you with melee weapons, and headless zombies, who have their heads detached from their bodies.
  • Emergency Weapon: If you're both out of ammo and out of melee weapons, you can punch by pressing 'LMB' whenever you're not aiming or holding a melee weapon. The Reaper's punches are slow and do very little damage compared to melee weapons, but if you can sneak up on an undead, it's possible to punch them to death.
  • Evil Is Deathly Cold: The Undead describe themselves as being cold all the time in the tapes you get from killing them. The Dredged, allegedly, feel this the worst.
  • Face–Heel Turn: If Ibzan really was a Reaper, then he pulled one of these.
  • Famous Last Words: Ibzan: "I'm sorry... friend..."
    • Also from Ibzan: "It's so... warm..."
  • Fantastic Drug: Ash. It can make the undead feel alive again.
  • Friendly Fireproof: Your enemies can't harm each other. The one exception is Ms. Stela, who's Phylacteries can be accidentally destroyed by her allies.
  • Glass Cannon: Ibzan can teleport around the map and has astonishingly good aim and reflexes, but it takes very little damage to drive him off.
  • Gorn: A dynamic gore system keeps every kill fresh- heads roll, blood bursts and bodies tumble.
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: After seeing the Reaper flee up a staircase or through a door, the guards will take cover for a moment. They will then leave cover and stroll after the Reaper, giving you the perfect opportunity to dispatch them. They will continue to do this no matter how many of them they've seen die doing the same thing.
  • Guns Akimbo: Death + Taxes, a purchasable weapon, is a set of two pistols which hold 14 shots and fire quickly, but are less accurate than most other pistols.
  • Guys Smash, Girls Shoot: Played straight for demons, but inverted for vampires (although the vampire girls use knives in that case).
  • Hand Cannon: The Revenant, one of the purchasable pistols. High damage at the cost of low clip and lots of noise.
  • Hollywood Silencer: Available for a pistol, a submachine gun, and even a shotgun.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Ash is made from ground up corpses that have been turned into dust by spirit totems.
  • Knife Nut: A knife can be used as a melee weapon. It can be stabbed with very quickly and can be thrown at enemies, but deals pretty low damage per stab.
  • Limited Loadout: You can only carry two weapons at any given time.
  • Life Energy: Souls are the currency by which you pay Charon (who then ferries them over to the afterlife) and are also what each Undead has to keep them alive. This is also what Ash is made out of: harvested souls, ground up from Ashified corpses.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Sergeants, large skeletons with sledgehammers, can soak up damage like nobodies business and are the second fastest enemy unit in the game.
    • Ibzan is this, as he has amazing aim, huge vision, can take a decent beating, and can teleport.
  • Mercy Kill: It's implied that being killed by Reaper is the only way the undead can move on to the true afterlife.
  • Nintendo Hard: You die in one hit and death sets you right back to the beginning of the level.
  • Nonstandard Game Over: Failing to save the club in time in one mission results in the Reaper becoming ashified as well.
  • Noodle Incident: Whatever Ibzan did that costed him his Reaper status is never elaborated upon.
  • Not Using the "Z" Word: Skeletons are referred to as the Dredged.
  • Oh, Crap!: The player, upon stopping the Ashification of a whole club of vampires will most likely freak out upon seeing a veritable army of The Dredged come for them.
  • One Bullet Clips: Walk over a gun of the same type you have, and any spare rounds will be transferred from its magazine to yours.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: The Reaper dies in one hit.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: They are made from scorned lovers, and range from grey-skinned humans to Looks Like Orlok to half-bat.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: The Dredged are created from those who took their own lives.
  • Pet the Dog: The Fire gets you a cat for your apartment so you have some company.
  • Resources Management Gameplay: There are a limited number of weapons in every level, and most of them have a limited clip size. Part of the challenge is ensuring that you don't run out of ammo before you can get another gun, encouraging you to kill with headshots for extra damage.
  • Revolvers Are Just Better: Four of the guns in the game are revolvers. The player starts with the .32 Revolver, and the purchasable revolvers are Death + Taxes, The Revenant, and The Headhunter.
    • Another hint towards Ibzan's status as a former Reaper is that he also uses a revolver as his weapon of choice.
  • Rhymes on a Dime: The Fire always delivers its mission briefings in rhyming poems. Except at the very end, when you meet in person.
  • Sad Battle Music: Ashes, to Ashes, to Ashes (to Ashes), the track that plays during the final confrontation with Ibzan once his motivation is revealed.
  • Sawed-Off Shotgun: A Sawed-Off Double-Barreled Shotgun. It's got a wide spread and only holds two shots, but fires pretty fast for a shotgun.
  • Selective Obliviousness: Vampires choose to ignore you if they're dancing, so long as you don't shoot them.
  • Short-Range Shotgun: Averted: If you aren't taking cover when an enemy fires a shotgun, you're usually going to die. If you yourself use a shotgun you're also able to kill enemies from a good distance away.
  • Sinister Scythe: The scythe can be purchased from Charon for 200 souls. It's got a long reach for a melee weapon, kills most enemies in one hit, is only a little slower than punching, and moves you forward slightly when you swing it. However, it replaces your primary weapon and cannot be thrown, making life difficult during gunfights.
  • Sniper Duel: Between you and Vall, but you can only snipe her back once you reach the roof, where a conveniently placed sniper rifle sits.
  • Sniper Pistol: The .38 revolver is very accurate, but only holds six shots, thus requiring careful aim in order to make the most of its limited ammo. The .25 mousegun takes this Up to Eleven, with even higher accuracy but a measly two shots. Also see Boom, Headshot for the Headhunter.
  • Snow Means Death: The final boss dies in the snow just outside the Fire's Home.
  • Soul Jar: Certain vampires have Phylacteries, which house their souls. They're almost always bottles, and they need to be broken in order to stop them from reviving.
  • Spiritual Successor: To Hotline Miami. A fast-paced, slightly stealthy, difficult action shoot-em-up starring a masked (?) man as he very brutally executes a number of criminals in a number of small buildings. It even has an electronic soundtrack.
  • The Can Kicked Him: If an enemy is sitting on a toilet and you enter the vent systems, you can exit at the toilet to make them explode. In some levels, this is the only way to kill them.
  • Throw-Away Guns: There are no ammo pickups. If you empty a gun, you'll have to toss it and pick up new guns from fallen enemies per level.
  • Throwing Your Knife/Hammer Always Works: Two of the four melee weapons in the game, the knife and the hammer, can be thrown at enemies.
  • Tragic Villain:The final level on Hard Mode contains a tape with the name scratched out. Listening to it reveals the monologue of what is most likely the Reaper... only for it to explicitly describe the Fire as friend rather than boss, heavily implying that it's Ibzan, which clarifies some of his motives- he's trying to get back to his only friend.
    • In a broader sense, all undead are, as they come to be when someone dies a traumatic and unnatural death.
  • Vampires Are Sex Gods: The vampires in this setting have extremely active sex lives, and many of them are seen very promiscuously dancing or posed half-naked as set dressing. A number of your high-profile targets even own brothels.
  • Vampires Own Night Clubs: A number of missions against the 1000 Year Royalty take place in nightclubs. Seems to be how they deal with the horror of being an undead.
  • Voice Grunting: Characters speak in strange sound effects, like hissing or bones crackling. This is turned Up to Eleven with the Candles, who speak in lighter flickings.
  • Wall of Weapons: As you acquire more weapons, your apartment develops one of these.
  • Wham Episode: Mr. Stela. On your way to kill Mr. Stela and raid his home for information, The Dredged beat you to the punch, making their first appearance.
    • Ibzan. The Dredged finish their portal, and many undead head through it- only to wind up in a strange, snowy land called "Home". No undead besides the Skeletons made it. It's here we also see what the Fire really looks like.
  • Wham Line: At the end of Vall, a Candle proclaims "Woah! I've never been this close to a Reaper before". The key word here is a, which implies that you are not the first Reaper, or the last.
    • Ibzan's final line, which partially reveals his motives:
    I'm sorry... friend...
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: If the secret tape in the final level in Hard Mode is to be believed, Ibzan's existence as a Reaper was bleak and monotonous, unable to eat, drink, sleep or even close his eyes. It's never specified how long he had been at it, other than a potentially very long time. His only solace was the Fire's presence, and even then he had no way to communicate directly.

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