Follow TV Tropes


YMMV / Alpha Protocol

Go To

  • Anti-Climax Boss: No matter which ending you get, the Final Boss is always a lot less tough than the previous bosses you faced as both potential opponents are something of a Glass Cannon.
  • Awesome Music: Turn Up the Radio. The original planned music for that boss fight was The Final Countdown. Oh boy What Could Have Been ...
  • Best Level Ever: The assault on Brayko's mansion is amazing, at least for a Mike built for combat. Gunning down a small army of tracksuited mooks while hard rock blares in the background is an absolute thrill.
  • Advertisement:
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: In a Veteran playthrough, when Mike first speaks to Mina via PDA, the image of her face is briefly replaced by the gelato man.
  • Complete Monster: Henry Leland, the ruthless CEO of Halbech Corporation, will make anyone suffer so he can profit, and in addition is shown to be willing to throw aside anyone whose usefulness expires. Masterminding every major crime in the story, Leland paid terrorists to shoot down a civilian airliner; framed Michael "Mike" Thorton for treason when he got close to the truth; causes turmoil and riots in Taiwan with an assassination attempt on the President; and has his men assault a popular museum, where Mike is forced to choose between the death of his friend and possibly lover, or letting a bomb kill many civilians in a wing of the museum. Leland's end goal was to start a big enough arms race to start a new world war and to line his pockets with the ensuing wartime profit. Should Mike join Leland, Leland will order Mike to kill anyone who knows of his plans; should Mike refuse to join him, Leland will try to have him killed too.
  • Crazy Awesome:
    • Steven Heck; he invented his own form of insanity-based martial arts, he's an incoherent conspiracy theorist, and if you quote Timecube lore to him he thinks you're serious. And then there's the subway minigun drive-by. It even says in his complete dossier that either he is the greatest CIA spook of all time, or he's a random guy who has turned into one of the best spies in the world through sheer power of crazy. But then there's that CIA mail about a 'rogue' seen in Taipei, and it's clear it's not about you. That leaves only one guy...
    • Brayko too to a lesser, ax crazier degree.
    • Add SIE to the mix, as she's a Xenia Onatopp Expy.
  • Crosses the Line Twice:
    • Just about everything the Steven Heck does. Including torturing his employee to find out where he left his keys.
    • Intel e-mails you get from "investigators" assigned to Nasri, if you chose to arrest him:
      "So the other day I was putting Nasri into a human pyramid and one thing lead to another and he let slip some really juicy details about..."
  • Advertisement:
  • Cult Classic: Alpha Protocol (the game, not the organization) hasn't had smashing critical or financial success, but it definitely has its own individual charm. This is mostly due to the story which is interesting, complex, and discusses a lot of real world themes like America Saves the Day. Said story has a frankly staggering amount of mutability with it's choices and story paths, such as allowing just about every non player character to die depending on the situation. While the gameplay is hit or miss (and very frequently miss due to technical complications) , it's still a rather fun third person shooter for the most part if only because of how easy it is to completely break.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Sis, SIE, Heck, Brayko... hell, half the cast. Credit where it's due, Alpha Protocol's writers really know how to make memorable characters.
  • Escapist Character: Mike Thorton, government agent, is a complete and utter badass no matter how you play him. He's dangerous regardless the path you take him down or what weapons you train him with, as even the most fragile and stealthy Norton can obliterate most of the game's challenge if built correctly. The game also lets you sleep with lots of attractive women, beat up dangerous criminals, and do it all while wearing a cool pair of shades to boot.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Mike/Sis is a very popular pairing. Of course, she's not even an option in the game itself.
  • Fashion-Victim Villain:
    • Really, Leland? A yellow tie and yellow shirt with your business suit? Mike can even lampshade it (although not to his face, unfortunately).
    • Brayko and his 'gay cheetah' jacket. In one dialog option, Mike says it wasn't difficult creeping around Brayko's mansion because that jacket of his was so loud it distracted the guards. He doesn't even mind.
  • Game-Breaker:
    • Upgraded flashbangs, especially against bosses. It's possible to take down Brayko in one long barrage of fire if you catch him with a flashbang before he snorts his cocaine.
    • Chain Shot is practically an "I Win" button; the basic version will just take out a couple of guys, which already lets you make kills easily and without being seen, or thin the crowd in a tense firefight. At higher levels, where you get up to six shots and plenty of time to mark them, Chain Shot will clear the room more efficiently and accurately than a rifle or shotgun.
    • Brilliance, which resets your cooldown timers. This, combined with abilities such as Chain Shot, above, can let the player kill bosses almost as soon as their fights begin.
    • The primary effect of the Incendiary Bombs makes them very effective against bosses. The burning effect both directly lowers bosses' health without any further effort from the player, and it prevents any form of health or endurance regeneration.
    • Just about any of the skills can be this if they get maxed out. Maximum Toughness Mike loaded with the heaviest armor can take hits that would literally destroy tanks and not even slow down - and that's before triggering Iron Will. Maxed-out Martial Arts lets Mike take apart bosses in hand-to-hand without any sweat, up to and including cocaine-boosted Brayko. Maxed-out Stealth allows Mike to trigger Shadow Operative and sprint around for twenty seconds while invisible and allows him to one-shot guards. Even the Sabotage and Technical Aptitude sets offer some rather impressive benefits, ranging from boosting the effectiveness of gadgets to allowing Mike to dramatically improve his weapons, armor, and med kits, allowing Mike to bring in all the gear he possibly needs into a mission.
      • Skills don't even have to be maxed out to be immensely useful. For instance, the Level 13 Martial Arts Skill, the Point Blank Shot, while moderately useful in combating Mooks, can be used to end boss fight within seconds, provided that you can get in range for melee combat. Against Omen Deng and Marburg, who will fight the player in melee, the attack becomes much, more useful. The trick is, the shot is treated like end of the combo, so it lets you chain several combos together.
    • Higher levels of Stealth make walking through the game simplicity in itself. At maximum level, Thorton can basically turn invisible, wade into groups of Mooks, one-shot them all with martial arts takedowns when they're mere inches from one another, and swiftly retreat for a ludicrously quick cooldown period before doing it all over again.
    • ...Up until the point you meet one of the bosses, all of whom are immune to Stealth.
  • Good Bad Bugs: All over the place, as per the norm with Obsidian.
    • You can't be spotted while on a ladder, even if someone else is patiently waiting to use it. While you can't do anything on it, you can wait for cooldowns to wear off or a guard to pass.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: AP precedes Deus Ex: Human Revolution in letting you build your character however you like and then kicking your arse with compulsory bosses that you might lack the combat skills to handle.
    • On the political side of things, if you kill Shaheed, and consequently cause Al-Samad to disintegrate, a new terrorist organization called the Altair insurgent group rises to power, and it is arguably more fanatical and dangerous than Al-Samad - for comparisons sake, while Al-Samad targets civilian buildings in the West Bank if Shaheed is spared, the Altair group ambushes a convoy of diplomats if Shaheed dies, and if they succeed with Nasri supplying high-quality weapons, they slaughter the diplomats, throw Middle East peace talks into disarray, and become the largest threat in the region. Since Al-Samad was an Expy of Al-Qaida, it's really hard not to see the Altair group as a stand-in for ISIS (which was an offshoot of Al-Qaeda that supplanted the later's role as the most prominent terrorist organization in the Middle East), if not for the fact Alpha Protocol was released in 2010, while ISIS rose to power in 2013.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Heck will state that United States doesn't do black ops - they prefer "orange", and says, " Orange Is the New Black".
    • AP also precedes Fallout 4 in implementing a directional conversation system, where certain directions/buttons trigger different responses. The left response, much of the time, results in Mike being a Deadpan Snarker... Just like Fallout 4's "Sarcastic" options. Sometimes, "Sarcastic" even appears as a dialogue choice.
  • Ho Yay:
    • Thorton and Darcy if you have good rep with him. He also shows a significant investment in Mike offscreen, getting multiple warnings to stop wasting time looking for Mike after he went MIA.
      Mike: Hey, Darcy photoshopped our faces into a still-frame from a buddy-cop movie. That's... yeah.
    • Also Mike and Heck.
    • There's also Mike and Marburg, if Mike goes out of his way to impress Marburg by acting as a Consummate Professional. It's helped that Marburg's background is Not So Different from Mike's, and the fact Marburg is implied to be Ambiguously Gay by Mike and Madison (since Mike questions the statues of naked men in Marburg's mansion, and Madison affirms that she never saw Marburg "entertaining" any female guests).
  • Memetic Bad Ass: There's one or two theories on the official forum that the true architect of AP's plot is none other than... the Gelato Man.
    • On some forums, Alexi Dravic. His nickname helps.
    • Steven Heck seems just as plausible.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Michael never really crosses it but a lot of NPCs do. Most of his less white actions seem to be in the I Did What I Had to Do territory.
    • Conrad Marburg in Rome, who attempts to bomb a museum when visitors would be present and attempts to dissuade you from stopping him by holding the location's love interest hostage. You will want to gun him down right there.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Hong Shi, the leader of the White Oak Mountain triad.
  • Paranoia Fuel: Mike can purchase mapping information from an online company called SecuritySift that provides complete layouts of mission areas. It starts to get worrying when it becomes apparent that these guys have maps of everything - they even know where automated machine gun turrets, security locks, and guard patrols are. And their prices are surprisingly cheap, implying that they're not sending agents out to actually scout, but simply have this information on hand. Just how much data does SecuritySift actually have?
  • Player Punch: Marburg forces Mike to choose between stopping a bomb and saving Madison. Right after the player might sleep with her. It's made even worse because, if you don't do the right things, you might not even get the opportunity for revenge.
  • Scrappy Mechanic: The hacking minigame, at least on a PC. Described by one GameFAQs poster as "A word hunt on heroin", it features confusing & unmappable controls, a headache-inducing interface, a very tight time limit and best of all triggers an alarm if you screw up. Though some of these elements can be alleviated somewhat with the proper skills, there are still others (namely the controls and the interface) that cannot, and threads abound across game forums complaining about this one, horrible minigame. The minigame to disable alarms (which you probably set off hacking) is an eyestrainer too, but at least can generally be completed within normal human reaction times.
    • You can't move bodies, regardless of whether they're unconscious or dead, despite enemies being able to detect bodies. This means in order to avoid them potentially blowing your cover, you need to go out of your way to despawn them. Thankfully, they despawn with only a little distance between them and you, but it's a lot more frustrating than dragging them somewhere they won't be noticed.
  • That One Boss:
    • Many of them, but Marburg is one of the nastiest. For a sixty-five year-old man, he can royally kick your ass if you're not properly equipped for him.
    • That helicopter near the end with the one-hit-kill missiles.
    • Konstantine Brayko. If you don't have Steven Heck spike his coke, getting doped up will make him start to run around like a maniac, and stab you with his knife, all the while being Nigh-Invulnerable.
    • The boss fight near the end against Darcy, because he keeps pelting you with grenades at ground level from a guard tower, making him difficult to hit. Ugh.
      • This one can be made easier if you have at least one EMP charge, however, because you can hack the door to the tower opposite Darcy's, and pick up the sniper rifle at the top to take Darcy out with a headshot.
  • That One Level: The helicopter at the endgame can prove to be a very difficult boss fight.
  • Woobie:
    • Surprisingly, Deng. His Back Story is touching.
    • And of course, poor Wen... so much abuse laden upon the poor guy by Heck. Then again, Wen might deserve it. Heck did mention that Wen was NOT a stand up guy. Which may translate into: Tried to kill/sell me out.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: