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Visual Novel / Queen's Gambit

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Counter-clockwise from right: Shield, João, Emmett, Tom, Emily.
Queen's Gambit is a Romance Game Visual Novel by Voltage USA for iOS and Android devices. The main character is a superspy with the codename "Shield." She's the consumate professional and at the top of her game, but all of this changes when on her most recent mission, she falls in love. This is made all the more complicated by the fact that her current mission has gone completely off the rails. It's up to Shield to save herself, and everyone else she holds dear while still getting the job done.
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On September 21 2016, Voltage announced that the game would be closing, to be removed from app stores on September 26.


Tropes:

  • Adorkable: Cassidy and Cameron in the same room is one of the cutest things in the entire game.
  • Agents Dating: If you romance Emmett.
  • And the Adventure Continues: Shield has no intention of retiring from her life as a superspy any time soon. She enjoys her work too much.
  • Batman Gambit: Emmett and Shield pull one of these off, by virtue of knowing their opposition very well. Their shared history with Emily lets them get the upper hand on her, with Emmett distracting Emily via Motor Mouth to keep her from focusing on the badly injured Shield.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The "Agent" ending for each path tends to fall into this category. In Tom's, for example, the assassination attempt on President Robertson is foiled, Shield is exonerated, and the day is mostly saved, but Emily escapes and remains at large and the Triumvirate is still in business. Tom passes up the opportunity to blow the whistle on the Triumvirate in order to protect Shield and her sister, which completely ruins his political career. And with Shield back at work opportunities for her and Tom to meet up are rare, meaning that they must go months at a time without seeing each other.
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  • Blood Knight: Emily. She was easily the most aggressive member of her team, which was what got her killed. And what makes her so dangerous when she goes to get revenge on her former teammates and employer. She isn't concerned with collateral damage or even making sure she still has an organization or resources left when she's done.
  • Bodyguard Crush: Played straight in Tom's route. Zig-zagged in João's Golden Ending. Shield and João fell for each other before she became his bodyguard.
  • Broken Bird: Emmett is one. He has symptoms not out out of line with PSTD from Emily's death five years prior, and his confidence is shattered.
  • Character Overlap: President Robertson previously appeared as the father of the protagonist of in To Love & Protect, Voltage USA's localization of My Sweet Bodyguard. His Secret Service agents Chadwick McGrew and Edgar Morton, who appear in minor roles in Queen's Gambit, were two of the main love interests of To Love & Protect (as the adapted versions of Daichi Katsuragi and Subaru Ichiyanagi).
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  • Chess Motifs: The Queen's Gambit is an opening move in chess. Also, with regards to Destrier's operations, the Boss is said to be the only one who can see the whole board.
  • The Chessmaster: The Boss tends to do this.
  • Clear My Name: On Tom Walker's route, Shield ends up on the run after she's framed for attempted assassination of the President of the United States and Destrier is forced to disavow any connection with her. In a twist, the frame job is because the Triumvirate contracted Destrier to have Shield murder President Robertson, but she opts instead to poison him with a non-lethal compound, hoping that the scare will cause his security to be beefed up against future attempts. Unamused, the Triumvirate releases video footage of her actions during the mission to the news media.
  • Code Name: Crown, Shield, and Sword were the codenames for the protagonist's first squad. They all even have tattoos of their codenames. After Sword's apparent death, the remaining two still went by their original code names, Crown and Shield. This also identifies Mongoose as the odd man out - as the newcomer, he doesn't have a codename that meshes with the original team's.
  • The Conspiracy: The Triumvirate is the main antagonist of Tom's route.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: The first part of João Morais's route is spent trying to find evidence that he's one of these. He isn't.
  • Corrupt Politician: Tom Walker's public persona is much like an exaggerated caricature of a Republican. This is in part due to him trying to throw off some of his backers, who expect this of him even as he tries to support more reasonable political practices.
  • Crazy Enough to Work: Emmett, when he gets going is capable of some truly amazing, confusing, hilarious, and bizarre solutions.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Everyone except Cameron, Cassidy, and João have their moments.
  • Deal with the Devil: This is a big problem in Tom Walker's route. He's more or less inherited such a deal from his family, which is deeply entangled with the corrupt and malevolent Triumvirate. Tom himself wants nothing to do with them, but if he doesn't at least appear to dance to their tune, they can destroy him and absolutely everything he cares about.
  • Downer Ending: The "Nightmare" endings are pretty much relentlessly horrible and tend to involve the deaths of most of the main cast. In Tom's, Robertson is assassinated and Shield is framed for it, Destrier is wiped out, Shield is permanently on the run, Emily has 'recruited' Cassidy, and Tom dies in a plane crash presumably arranged by the Triumvirate. The "Rookie" endings are also pretty grim, though they at least provide some remaining spark of hope.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": "The Boss." No name is ever given for him.
  • Fanservice: Expect at least one instance of a shirtless love interest per route. Emily and Tom in particular seem to spend a lot of time sans clothes.
  • Gambit Pileup: The natural result of half the cast playing Xanatos Speed Chess.
  • Gay Option: Emily is one of the potential love interests.
  • Hello, [Insert Name Here]: The game asks you to name the protagonist. If you close the naming screen without entering anything, it will use the default name "Barbara Eddricks".
  • Hidden Depths: Played straight with Tom Walker and subverted with João Morais. In fact, it's because he's exactly what he appears to be that causes João so much trouble. João's the only unambiguously good love interest in the series, having never done anything to hurt another person in his life.
  • Honey Trap: Shield pulls this on João, and notes she's done similar work in the past. Matters are complicated by the fact that she's In Love with the Mark when the kill order comes in.
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness:
    • President Robertson. He can't be bribed, threatened, or bargained with. Which results in an assassination plot against him.
    • João Morais. This baffles his competition since he doesn't operate on rules they're familiar with. The reports of his corruption have to be manufactured.
  • Loophole Abuse: Shield tries to pull this on the Triumvirate when they order her to to assassinate the president of the United States. This involves the explicit application of Exact Words, but the Triumvirate doesn't stand for it.
  • Love Triangle: Understated for the most part, due to Emmett being in love with Shield for eight years. On every route except his own, this goes unrequited and he doesn't even bring it up except in João's route.
  • In Love with the Mark: Shield with João on his route.
  • In Medias Res: Each route opens with Shield and her love interest of choice in the middle of some kind of inflammatory situation, ending on a cliffhanger before skipping back to the initial mission briefing and showing how she ended up there.
  • Missing Mission Control: This turns up every so often, either through damaged equipment or specific blocking by an enemy. The later is usually an indication that the opposition is well funded and well armed.
  • Multiple Endings: "Nightmare", "Rookie", "Agent", and "Super Spy."
  • Oblivious to Love: Shield and her sister, Cassidy. Shield, despite being a superspy, manages to miss the fact that Emmett, her partner, has been in love with her for eight years. Cassidy also mentions that Shield was oblivious to all the people who had massive crushes on her in highschool. Cassidy for her part, hasn't clued in on the fact that boys asking her out for coffee and inviting her to go skiing with their families may mean they're interested. In one of the incidents where Cassidy meets Cameron, she completely misses that he's just as enamored of her as she is of him.
  • Our Presidents Are Different: US President Robertson is a President Personable, a likable and reasonable man who acts with his country's best interests in mind. In Tom Walker's route, he's also a President Target: the Triumvirate contracts Destrier to have Shield assassinate him. When Shield does an end run around actually killing Robertson via creative interpretation of the wording of her orders, the unamused Triumvirate blows her cover to the media and sends Emily to try to finish the job.
  • Playful Hacker: Emmett is definitely one of these.
  • Rags to Riches: João grew up in an impoverished family where simply having enough to eat was a problem. He eventually starts and leads a multinational company with the purpose of addressing global food shortages, environmental problems, and generally making the world a better place.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: President Robertson hears Shield out and proves willing to act on what she tells him even though she poisoned him in what is - not entirely inaccurately - assumed to have been an assassination attempt. He's similarly willing to trust and work with Tom after learning that Tom is tangled up, admittedly unwillingly, with the conspiracy that ordered his assassination. Though they did just save his life, he only really has their word on the specifics, but all he requires is that they come clean with him with a full explanation about exactly what's been going on.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Emily has a tendency towards this. Shield has one as well in Emmett's route, when she thinks he's been killed by Emily.
  • Sherlock Scan: Since she's a superspy, Shield does this often. It's Cameron's specialty to defy this sort of thing. Tom is also good at it, to Shield's surprise.
  • Shipper on Deck: Cassidy is like this for Emmett and João. It inevitably leads to Shield claiming, He Is Not My Boyfriend.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: This trope in action can be exactly what attracts Shield to João.
  • The Strategist: This was Emmett's role before he abdicated leading the team after he feels responsible for getting Shield badly injured and Emily killed during their first mission. Since then he's been acting as Mission Control.
  • Survivor Guilt: Emmett has this in spades.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: The Boss, Shield, Emmett, Tom, and to a lesser extent Emily are the ones who pull this off more often than not. It says something about the game where nearly half the named characters do this.
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