• Before making a single edit, Tropedia EXPECTS our site policy and manual of style to be followed. Failure to do so may result in deletion of contributions and blocks of users who refuse to learn to do so. Our policies can be reviewed here.
  • All images MUST now have proper attribution, those who neglect to assign at least the "fair use" licensing to an image may have it deleted. All new pages should use the preloadable templates feature on the edit page to add the appropriate basic page markup. Pages that don't do this will be subject to deletion, with or without explanation.
  • All new trope pages will be made with the "Trope Workshop" found on the "Troper Tools" menu and worked on until they have at least three examples. The Trope workshop specific templates can then be removed and it will be regarded as a regular trope page after being moved to the Main namespace. THIS SHOULD BE WORKING NOW, REPORT ANY ISSUES TO Janna2000, SelfCloak or RRabbit42. DON'T MAKE PAGES MANUALLY UNLESS A TEMPLATE IS BROKEN, AND REPORT IT THAT IS THE CASE. PAGES WILL BE DELETED OTHERWISE IF THEY ARE MISSING BASIC MARKUP.


Farm-Fresh balance.pngYMMVTransmit blue.pngRadarWikEd fancyquotes.pngQuotes • (Emoticon happy.pngFunnyHeart.pngHeartwarmingSilk award star gold 3.pngAwesome) • Refridgerator.pngFridgeGroup.pngCharactersScript edit.pngFanfic RecsSkull0.pngNightmare FuelRsz 1rsz 2rsz 1shout-out icon.pngShout OutMagnifier.pngPlotGota icono.pngTear JerkerBug-silk.pngHeadscratchersHelp.pngTriviaWMGFilmRoll-small.pngRecapRainbow.pngHo YayPhoto link.pngImage LinksNyan-Cat-Original.pngMemesHaiku-wide-icon.pngHaikuLaconicLibrary science symbol .svg SourceSetting
File:Bastion 6573.png
"The dead? The dead ain't gotta worry about this mess. Our world? She's done. But there's a way to put it back together. So better get ready. Cause no men know what's out there floatin' on the rocks. Beasts what don't know up from down. Fragments of the old world. You bring them back. And together, we're gonna build something grand. And remember. You ain't in this alone. That's a promise."
Rucks, official trailer

Bastion is an Action RPG hybrid developed by Supergiant Games and published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, and is the first game released for the Xbox Summer of Arcade 2011 event.

The world has been torn to pieces by an event known only as "the Calamity." The main character, known only as "The Kid," reaches the Bastion (an emergency gathering place), where he learns things can be set right if the Bastion's cores can be gathered to power it. Thusly motivated, he heads off to gather the cores.

This game is full of surprises, and even the barest reading of this page will spoil portions of the game for you. Be warned.

Tropes used in Bastion include:
  • Adorable Evil Minions: The Squirts, some of which you can turn to your side.
  • After the End
  • Alien Sky
  • All Crimes Are Equal: An early hint that Caelondia wasn't as nice as Rucks says it was--run too fast on a walkway intended for leisurely strolling, and defense turrets will activate to kill you.
  • Alliteration: Before you learn their names, the other characters are: the Stranger, Survivor and Singer. The Mind Rape Dream Sequence also uses words that start with 'S' (Surrenderer, Siren), which really only makes it worse.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: Near the end, the Ura launch a siege on the Bastion while you're out collecting Fragments. You're able to kick them out upon your return, but the damage is done.
  • Ambadassador: Zulf.
  • An Aesop: Trying to hold on to the past just mires you in all its problems. While moving on can be difficult to accept, it's the only way to progress.
  • Animal Motifs: Bull horns representing the God of Chaos and Order, decorate walls, Kid's Shield and many places.
  • Anti-Villain: Zulf.
  • Apocalypse How/Apocalypse Wow: Of the "Planetary Species Extinction" variety.
  • Arc Words: Undone.
  • Art Style Dissonance: This game's a lot cuter than you'd expect from its subject matter (it's anyone's guess whether it was actually intended to be a kids' game--it's pretty gentle about the whole "end of the world" thing, but it still violates certain taboos).
  • Badass: The Kid, who uses nothing but booze, old training manuals and scavenged weapons to take on the closest thing the world has left to armies.
    • It's also mentioned that The Kid volunteered for 2 5-year stints on The Wall - something no one in the history of Caelondia had ever done.
    • Underestimating Badassery: The Ura really didn't seem to think much of The Kid... until he makes it to Zulten's Hollow.
  • Battering Ram: Picked up in the final level. It takes up both weapon slots, slows The Kid's movement, and prevents him from rolling or jumping, but it can One-Hit Kill almost anything.
  • Battle in the Center of the Mind: Who Knows Where, three optional sequences that explain the backstories of three characters.
    • Soon to be four.
    • There's also the dream sequence in Jawson's Bog.
  • BFG: The Calamity Cannon.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Reset history, and risk repeating it (again?)? Or go forwards, into an uncertain future on a post-apocalyptic world? Either way, you're not guaranteed any kind of happy ending. Hope is all you've got.
    • Bad Ending: If you chose the Restoration ending, New Game Plus is a direct recontinuation because unlike what Rucks hoped for, history doesn't change enough to stop the Calamity - and several times throughout New Game+, he stops and wonders if he's told this story before.
  • Bizarre Alien Biology: Windbags are all related, Squirts -> Gasfellas -> Scumbags, all of which naturally live underground. Scumbags are used as living garbage disposals by the Caeldonians, and Gasfellas as moderately intelligent coerced labor. Before Squirts is another stage, thousands of Windbag babies that live inside of rocks that Gasfellas look after. These rocks are used by the Caeldonians as Cores and Shards; anchors for their version of magic.
  • Blade on a Stick: The Brusher's Pike, and the guan-dao style weapon used by many Ura soldiers.
  • Book Ends: The final level has a segment greatly similar to the ending of the Wharf District, music and all.
  • Booze-Based Buff: Every time The Kid levels up, he gets access to another drink in the Distillery, which offers a selection of alcohols that can do everything from increasing damage or critical chance to shooting spikes out of The Kid's body when he's hit.
  • Both Sides Have a Point
  • But Thou Must!: Justified by the narrative structure of the game; Rucks is telling this story as it actually happened, not merely narrating your progress as you do things. As such, certain plot items MUST be picked up, and whether or not you choose to show them to the other characters, the story behaves like you did. The only point in the game where you can make any real choices is at the end, when you've gone beyond the period that Rucks knows about.
  • Cataclysm Backstory
  • Choice of Two Weapons: The Kid.
    • Bow and Sword in Accord: The Breaker's Bow and Machete combo.
    • Multi Melee Master
    • Multi Ranged Master: Any combination of ranged weapons. 21 or 28 pairings (out of 55), depending on whether the bellows counts.
    • The Musketeer: Any gun+melee combo. 12 or 18 pairings (out of 55), depending on whether the mortar and cannon count.
    • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Rucks will say you're just taking the piss if you pick the Mortar and Cannon. It is also justified; with maximum upgrades, this is one of the best ways of tackling the final level with all the idols turned on, thus proving the maxim correct.
  • Cool Guns: Several. Dual revolvers, an army carbine, a blunderbuss, a machine gun, a rocket launcher and a naval mortar.
  • Cool Old Guy: Rucks.
  • Cozy Voice for Catastrophes: Rucks, again.
  • Crapsack World: Naturally, the world after the Calamity, which is rife with marauding beasts and burnt to cinders, but it also seems to be the case for the world before as well. Of all the main characters, only Rucks has anything good to say about Caelondia, and despite his constant claims that it was a grand old place open to all, his story reveals martial law, violent force applied to trivial crimes, and barely-concealed racism. Zia says in no uncertain terms that she feels the world is better as it is, destroyed and all, and in the end attempts to convince The Kid to join her in trying to forge a new destiny in the new world, rather than restore the old one.
  • Crate Expectations: There are crates here and there. Some contain items, others enemies.
  • Critical Status Buff: The Werewhiskey tonic raises critical chance to 100% whenever The Kid drops below 33% health. With the right equipment, nothing will survive for long.
  • Damage Increasing Debuff: Some idols cause you to take extra damage while they're active.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: The battle arenas in Who Knows Where has Rucks revealing these, little by little. The Kid's is bad. Zia's is worse. Zulf's is heartbreaking.
  • The Dead Have Names: One sequence has you passing through a large gathering place full of ashen statues that were once people, and Rucks mentions each and every one of their names.
  • Deadpan Snarker: More snark than deadpan, but Rucks does have a field day with some of The Kid's more questionable decisions, plot-requisite or otherwise. And if the conversation topics when showing items to the others are to be believed, The Kid has a bit of a snarking streak, too, such as when he asks Rucks about the gramophone ("It's not like the neighbors will complain.") or gives Zia her harp back ("Pardon me, miss, but didn't you drop this?").
  • Determinator: The Kid is the one person left in the world who's still trying to repair it.
    • This peaks in the very end of the game, if you decide to save Zulf. The Kid slings him over his shoulder and walks through the remains of the Ura army, taking countless blows on his way to the exit. Eventually, the Ura are so impressed by his mettle that they stop attacking; the one remaining hostile soldier is even cut down by his commander.
  • The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: Rucks has unique dialog for every single weapon pairing, referencing the effectiveness or in-game significance of the combination. With eleven weapons, that means 55 combinations, with one combination (the repeater and bow) having two quotes.
  • Disappeared Dad: The Kid's.
  • Doomsday Device: The Calamity, a weapon of last resort designed by Caelondia to use agaist the Ura in case of a second war. Unfortunately, as it turns out, one of the techs who worked on it was an Ura himself, who designed the fatal backfire that destroyed Caelondia into the system in case someone was ever stupid enough to activate it.
  • Drop the Hammer: The Cael Hammer is the first weapon found. It does more damage, hit for hit, than anything but the Mortar and Calamity Cannon. With the right upgrades, it'll do more damage than either (provided you stand still; damage is halved while moving).
  • Drowning My Sorrows/I Need a Freaking Drink: Implied. Booze-Based Buff aside it is perhaps significant that, in the post-Calamity mess that is the world, one of the first buildings that can be added to the Bastion is the Distillery. Getting a drink is apparently a top priority for our hero. And it is interesting to note that as The Kid levels up, which means he has dealt with/will be dealing with yet more crap, he's drinking more and more.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Highly Averted, as Rucks and company are highly greatly and thankful for all The Kid has done for them.
    • Lampshaded in The Kid's Dream, when Rucks acknowledges that when they first met he didn't even ask The Kid's name, let alone give his own, before he told The Kid to shake a leg on that whole rebuilding-the-world thing, and that this was a little bit of a dick move.
  • Due to the Dead: If you destroy the corpse of the bartender, it's portrayed as this.
    • And inverted during the Mind Rape Dream Sequence in the bog; The Kid runs through portions of the game he's already been through, but they're... changed subtly. If you destroy the corpse this time, Rucks' soothing narration condemns you for murdering the man yourself.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: And boy do you work for it, Kid. The other characters even recognize this and give The Kid the honors of the final choice in the game.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: The Ura, Zulf and Zia.
  • Eleventh-Hour Superpower: Arguably three distinct ones. In the penultimate level, you obtain the Calamity Canon, a BFG which supposedly utilizes the power of the calamity itself (though it's not strictly better than the other weapons). Then in the final level, you get an item that replaces your roll with an extremely useful jump, and then give that up in exchange for the massively powerful Battering Ram weapon, which kills hardy enemies in one swing and hits the whole screen with its special. One of the endings requires inverting this by giving up not just the ram but your ability to move fast or attack against a long gauntlet of enemies.
  • The Empire: Caelondia has shades of it. Despite Rucks claiming its beauty, they had many factions devoted to combat, were trying to colonize the Wilds, had huge ports and quarries and fought the Ura in at least one war.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: The Calamity.
  • Everybody's Dead, Dave: The game ticks off an impressive list of The Kid's friends and acquaintances as you come upon their petrified corpses. Each time Rucks gives a brief exposition usually ending with the words "...didn't make it."
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": The Kid. According to Word of God from creator Greg Kasavin, his name is never mentioned.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: Rucks repeatedly speculates on why even the animals fight for the cores.
  • Face Heel Turn: Zulf, after learning the Calamity's true purpose.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: The Restoration Option... does not go as planned.
    • Though The Kid does get to keep various items afterward, which at least makes him better equipped for dealing with the Calamity until ultimately breaking the Stable Time Loop by choosing Evacuation.
  • Far East: Ura, a country with vaguely defined borders whose citizens mostly live underground.
  • Flash Step: The Ura's specialty.
  • Flechette Storm: The Fang Repeater becomes this with the fire-rate upgrades. Not the most accurate thing around (Unless you get the seeker ammunition), but eventually, it stops being a machine gun and becomes just a shotgun-like flurry of bullets.
  • Friendly Enemy: Zulf bears no hostility against The Kid and Zia. His grudge is with Rucks, and everything he and the Mancers helped create.
  • Functional Magic: Wind magic at least is common place enough that it's a means of travel, security turrets are common, and much of the Mancer's technology goes way beyond that. Rucks even manages to fix up a Rocket Launcher late in the game.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: A bird enemy is referred to as "Peckers", which at first seems like an unfortunate choice... but then Rucks will drop lines like:

Not really the time for Pecker hunting, but The Kid just can't help himself.

  • The Goomba: Squirts.
  • Great Offscreen War: The Ura-Caelondia War. Rucks is still sore about it.
  • Groundhog Day Loop: The New Game+ all but says outright that the Restoration function failed to stop the circumstances leading to the Calamity, trapping Rucks and The Kid in an endless cycle of saving the world until things go right or they use the Evacuation function.
  • Guns Akimbo: Once again, the Dueling Pistols.
  • The Gunslinger: The Kid can become this if you use the Dueling Pistols.
  • Gun Twirling: How you "reload" the Dueling Pistols.
  • Guttural Growler: Rucks.
  • Heel Face Turn: Some monsters (with hearts over their head to indicate allegiance) will help defend you. One secret skill will even call Squirts to your aid.
  • Here We Go Again: At the start of the game, Rucks tells you that all stories start at the beginning, at least they should, since this story's a bit more complicated. With The Reveal that the Restoration will only cause a time loop, who knows how long The Kid has actually been stuck in Bastion.
    • Choosing the Restoration Ending shows you images of events described in the Who Knows Where narration as things that happened immediately before the Calamity: The Kid working on the Rippling Wall, Zia sitting alone in a basement, and Zulf in the Hanging Gardens with his fiance. This, combined with some slight dialogue changes in the New Game+ ("Wait, did I already tell this part?", among others to the effect of "I swore I told this before") all heavily suggest that Restoration doesn't change the course of history; it just sets it back.
  • Hidden Depths: Rucks is a grizzled old cowboy type, but his "Tributes" show that he's also a talented artist. Some of the Tributes also have downright heartbreaking bits of flavor dialogue attached.

"Mother... this one's for you."

    • All of the characters, really. Rucks is the best example though. While he often passes himself off as a kindly old man in his narration, the story reveals that he is more callous and ruthless than one might think. His hand in the Calamity and his sugar-coating of Caelondia is the biggest example, of course. Another lies in The Kid's Who Knows Where, in which Rucks acknowledges that his initial treatment of The Kid[1] wasn't too kind of him.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Zulf draws his strength from the remnants of the Ura, telling them of the Calamity's true purpose and setting them against the Bastion. But eventually, they get sick of wasting their few survivors on a worthless cause, and turn on Zulf. They're beating him to death when The Kid catches up to him.
    • For that matter, the Caelondian Mancers are the ones who designed the Calamity device in the first place as a weapon of last resort in case of another Ura-Caelondian War. Venn was pushed too far and sabotaged it. While the Ura didn't exactly get off lightly, there were certainly fewer Caelondian survivors accounted for.
    • The Battering Ram weapon gained in the last level is also the weapon used by the Ura when they tried to destroy the Rippling Walls in the Ura-Caelondian war.
  • How We Got Here: There's a reason much of the narration's in the past tense.
  • Implied Death Threat: Zia's song, Build That Wall, assuming it was written by the Ura regarding the Caelondians. "We'll be there before too long", indeed. It's unknown if Zia, who had been brought up in Caelondia, knew its lyrical implications.
  • Improbable Weapon User: The Kid can make use of flame spitting bellows, naval artillery and a battering ram amongst more ordinary choices.
    • Schizo-Tech: And you can use a weapon as simple as a spear to a weapon as complex as a rocket launcher.
  • Interactive Narrator: A subversion. The narrator dynamically says things based on what is happening in the game. The game also avoids repeated phrases, outside of various survival levels that double as Exposition Breaks for characters involving them where their story is repeated every time you play them.
  • Ironic Echo: "Naw, I'm just foolin'."
  • Jerkass Gods: The gods have been rendered broken and obsolete by the Calamity, and none of them are too pleased by it. Invoking them places various negative effects on The Kid and positive ones on his enemies... though this could be a "trials"-type system, since you get EXP and money bonuses for invoking them.
  • Kill It with Fire: The Fire Bellows weapon.
  • Last of His Kind: The Kid and Rucks are the only two Caelondians in the game. All the others are dead or are just never seen.
  • Lemony Narrator
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: The Bullhead Shield.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: Zia's Song. The melody is slow and mournful, and Zia's vocals give it a light touch, but as you get further into the game, you realize it's a series of thinly veiled threats from Ura to Caelondia.
    • Zulf's Song is a mournful tune about his death, sung when he's getting dragged to safety.
  • MacGuffin: The Kid carries a cog. It's what causes the world to assemble around him to a limited degree.
    • The Cores and Shards are nestled in Plot Coupon status, by virtue of Rucks eventually explaining their creation and use (aside from restoring the Bastion).
  • Machete Mayhem: The War Machete.
  • Magikarp Power: The Fang Repeater starts out fairly underwhelming, but with the right upgrades, it becomes one of the most powerful weapons in the game.
  • Manipulative Bastard: An unnamed Caelondian man in Zia's past seduced her, turned her against her father, and then turned them both into the authorities when she tried to elope with him. Since this might have been what drove her father to activate the Calamity, that nameless man is probably the closest thing the game has to an actual villain.
  • Mascot Mook: The Squirts feature prominently on labels in Caelondia, notably liquors.
  • Mind Screw: In Jawson's Bog, The Kid gets dosed with some kind of plant toxin that causes him to take a nasty trip through his own head, where the maps are twisted versions of old areas and the rehashes of Rucks' narration grows increasingly hostile and fragmented.

Kid sets foot inside one of Caelondias' famous watering holes. He has the nerve to flash that shield he stole. He's a petty thief. Security's gonna have to straighten him out. Kid succeeds where The Calamity failed. Would you look at what he did to poor old Rondy the bartender?

  • Mineral MacGuffin: The Cores and The Fragments are pretty much archetypal examples of this.
  • Mirror Match: The hammer you found before comes to life and attacks you as a dark copy of yourself during the Mushroom Samba sequence in Jawson's Bog. In Zia's Who Knows Where, you have to fight three at a time.
  • Mission Control Is Off Its Meds: Rucks during Jawson's Bog.
  • More Dakka: If the Calamity Cannon isn't powerful enough for you, its two Special Skills fulfill all your Dakka needs:
    • Mancer Missile fires a powerful shot... which breaks up into many smaller shots... which break up into even more smaller shots... one-shotting pretty much everything.
    • Calamity Rockets sends the cannon into rapid-fire mode for a few seconds. After which, assuming you aimed right, you're the only one left standing.
  • Multiple Choice Past: Was Rucks a Trigger, a Mender, a Mason or what? He was a Trigger at one point, but when the Calamity came, he was a Mancer.
  • Mushroom Samba: Jawson's Bog. Definitely Played for Drama.
  • The Musketeer:
    • The Kid, see Choice of Two Weapons above.
    • The Slingers used pistols with machetes.
    • Ura warriors used repeaters and machetes.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Rucks has this bad due to his role in the Calamity. While he almost never shows it, his explanation of the Bastion's Restoration function to Zia shows that he's obsessed with rewinding time and undoing his mistake.

Rucks: Think of all those times that didn't go your way. All life's little setbacks, imagine you could could have another go at 'em. All the mistakes... anyone you've ever hurt... everything you've ever done... you could do it over. Now, wouldn't that be grand?

  • New Game+: Deconstructed, it's actually a direct continuation of the Restoration ending, which will get The Kid and co. stuck in a Groundhog Day Loop until they choose to Evacuate.
  • Nuke'Em: After the Caelondia vs Ura war, Caelondia works on a weapon so they would "never have to go to war again" in the words of Rucks. The sabotage of this weapon by an Ura scientist working on it - and it's usage against the Ura, is what caused the Calamity in the first place.
  • One-Man Army: The Kid takes down Caelondia's security forces, all the monsters of the city and the wild and the Ura remnants unaided.
  • The Order: Caelondia operates on a guild system, each with their own purpose:
    • The Masons: Builders and defenders of the Rippling Walls. The Kid was the first one ever to sign up for multiple tours of duty, and he still uses their hammer as his Weapon of Choice. The Cael Hammer is their weapon.
    • The Trappers: hunters who kept Caelondia safe by eliminating dangerous beasts from the Wild Unknown. The Fang Repeater is their weapon.
    • The Menders: experts at repairing both flesh and stone, whichever is needed. The Bullhead Shield is associated with them.
    • The Breakers: elite archers and couriers who brought messages back from the war or untamed regions. The Breaker's Bow is their weapon.
    • The Gravers: spies/secret agents, both internally and externally. The War Machete is their weapon.
    • The Marshals: peacekeepers within the city. The Scrap Musket is their weapon.
    • The Slingers: dual-pistol wielding rangers in the wilds. The Dueling Pistols are their weapons.
    • The Triggers: the Caelondian Army's Sharpshooters. Rucks used to be one, he says. The Army Carbine is their weapon.
    • The Brushers: frontiersmen who performed recon in unfriendly territory. The Brusher's Pike is their weapon.
    • The Cinders: militarized sanitation engineers. The Flame Bellows is their weapon.
    • The Skippers: expert bombardiers and leaders of Caelondia's naval fleet. The Galleon Mortar is their weapon.
    • The Mancers: leaders of Caelondia, also the scientists/researchers. This is what Rucks really was. So was Zia's father. The Calamity Cannon is their associated weapon, but was invented by Rucks so probably wasn't used by any actual Mancer.
  • Our Gods Are Different: Most Caelondian gods have the interesting habit of symbolizing opposites (pain and pleasure, purpose and folly, etc). And when you invoke them, they just make things harder on you.
  • Parental Abandonment: The Kid and Zia. The Kid never knew his father, and his mother dies during his first tour on the Rippling Walls, while Zia's mother died shortly after her birth, and her father was killed in the Calamity - when he triggered it.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Rucks' hesitation to properly fill in Zulf on the truth behind the Calamity probably contributed a lot to Zulf's feelings of betrayal and all the misery that followed. Near the end, Rucks himself wonders if he should've trusted Zulf more, but decides that it doesn't really matter anymore.
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: Sort of. The Cores and Shards are actually rocks containing an immense quantity of baby Windbags. They were used as energy generators for Caelondia long before the Calamity.
  • Rage Against the Heavens: The gods are one of the few subjects that gets Rucks' dander up, and he lambasts them at every opportunity. The soundtrack even has a bonus song to this effect.

Gods ain't gonna help you, son/You'll be sorry for what you've done.

  • Religion Rant Song: The Pantheon, a song sung by Rucks. Unusual for this trope, gods have actually turned against humanity though, and he's completely right.
  • Reset Button: The Bastion is a literal in-universe one, resetting the entire world back to a template of what it was, like a snapshot of a computer's harddrive. Presumably the ones already on the Bastion would remember life before the reset, and thus be able to change things, but Rucks admits that he doesn't actually know that this is the case: the New Game+ eventually proves him wrong, and continuing to reset the world only results in everyone being stuck in an inevitable time loop.
  • Revolvers Are Just Better: The Dueling Pistols.
  • Save Scumming: In-universe, the Bastion's primary function mimics both the concept of keeping a backup file in a videogame and starting a New Game+.
  • Save the Villain: You can choose to do this for Zulf during the final stage. It doesn't have much of an effect on things, but it does make for huge Video Game Caring Potential.
  • Scarf of Asskicking: The Kid sports one.
  • Scenery as You Go: Bastion takes this trope to the extreme, having the entire world coalesce around you as you move around.
  • Scenery Porn
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: This is Zia's desire after restoring the Bastion. Its evacuation function would let survivors roam the rest of the world and beyond, but leave the world broken.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: This is Rucks' hidden agenda in restoring the Bastion. Its restorative function rewinds time to before the Calamity started... but with no guarantee it won't happen again.
  • Shattered World
  • Short-Range Shotgun: The Scrap Musket. Downplayed if you install the Rifled Barrel and Tactical Stock.
  • Shout-Out: PC version only: once you've rebuilt the arsenal, check out the skills list. One of them summons a turret. There's a hidden achievement for killing a lot of enemies with one turret.
  • Slept Through the Apocalypse
  • Sniper Rifle: The Army Carbine.
  • Stop Poking Me: If you keep "talking to" the Squirt in the Bastion, Rucks will tell you: "C'mon, give the little tyke a break."
  • The Straight and Arrow Path: The Breaker's Bow. While guns are faster and weaker, the bow is slower and more powerful.
  • Suddenly Voiced: Zia finally gets to speak (rather than sing) in the ending[2].
    • Zulf's voice sings during the final portion of the final level as well, if you take him with you.
  • Sufficiently Analyzed Magic: The various magical devices in the game such as the skyways or turrets definitely act like Magitech, but magic is never actually mentioned, and the Mancers who design such devices are referred to as scientists. Notably, even the calamity is referred to as a 'science project' rather than a ritual or spell.
  • Survivor Guilt: The Kid suffers from this pretty heavily near the beginning, especially because he keeps coming across the petrified remains of people he knew. This may be the reason he suffers the above-mentioned Mind Screw in Jawson's Bog.
  • Taken for Granite: There are ashen statues of the formerly-alive residents of the city. You don't have to worry too much about smashing them, since they're irreversibly dead and this is basically scattering their ashes. Rucks even says some of them would view it as a blessing.
    • Which doesn't keep it from coming back to haunt The Kid in Jawson's Bog.
  • Team Pet: You can get up to four of these (five if playing the PC version).
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: The Machete and Pike can be thrown and immediately regenerate.
  • Too Kinky to Torture: Hense's schtick, as the goddess of pain and pleasure. A brief description of her says that while her body is covered in scars, they don't bother her at all.
  • Trial by Combat: Allowed in the courts before the world ended--the accused was given only a shield, and had to use it to destroy various turrets and monsters. You can attempt it yourself for a reward.
  • The Un-Reveal: The Stranger's Dream explains very little about Rucks's backstory--all we learn is that he once wrote an alphabet book.
  • The Unfought: Zulf. Made somewhat humorous by the fact that immediately after you figure out there won't be such a fight, Rucks starts talking about how The Kid must be having a final showdown right about now.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Rucks doesn't outright lie, but his moral assurances get a bit self-serving, and at times he seems to be leaving things out. In particular, he never does explain how a supposed "weapon of last resort" got used during peacetime. He only says they built it because they wanted to "rule it [war] out". It might have had something to do with a few people too many believing the stories that demonized Zia and her father Venn for being Ura.
    • Historical In-Joke: The logic behind the large-scale Calamity Cannon was basically the same logic that got the atomic bomb built, and look how that turned out. Just be glad the bomb wasn't the same scale as the Calamity.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: The Manipulative Bastard who seduced and betrayed Zia, which lead to her father setting off the catastrophe.
  • The Usual Adversaries: Windbags are a race of creatures that used to mind their own business, working in underground mines, but have turned violent after the world was destroyed, and they no longer had mines to work in. No one really likes having them around, however useful they've sometimes been.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: The Tazal Terminals, the image on the level select screen is twice the size of all the rest and when selected prompts with a "There is no turning back" message.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: At the very end of the game, you come across Zulf, who's being beaten to death by the remains of the Ura for convincing them to waste their lives trying to destroy the Bastion. You have the option of leaving him behind to die and fighting your way out, or taking him with you, making you unable to fight back as the rest of the Ura do their damnedest to kill you... right up until you would have almost no life left, when all they can do is simply watch as you continue to carry Zulf on your shoulder, not fighting back for the first time in the game, just trying to get a misguided friend home. One soldier DOES attack you as you leave, but he's immediately cut down by another Ura.
  • Visual Pun: The Battering Ram.
  • The Voiceless/Heroic Mime: The Kid, whose voice clips are little else than grunts of exertion. It's clear he at least speaks to the other inhabitants of the Bastion, as when he shows an item to one of them, his thoughts about it are summed up in a text box to the right side.
  • Weapon of Choice: The Kid prefers the Hammer, though you can choose any loadout you want.
    • Rucks was apparently a military man, and used a Carbine and Hammer.
    • One of the Jawsons, a Slinger, used a Brusher's Pike along with his Dueling Pistols.
    • The Ura used the War Machete and Fang Repeater in the Ura-Caelondian War. When The Kid fights them, they also use semi-automatic rifles, crossbows, and poison darts.
    • Each Caelondian guild had one; a weapon's Vigil is named for its guild.
    • Rucks will also comment to this effect if you switch back to heavily used layouts, or if, on picking up a new weapon while out away from the Bastion, you find a mini-Arsenal and swap back to other gear.
  • Wham! Line: "The Bastion is under siege."
    • "Problem is... we'll all be gone."
  • What the Hell, Player?/There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Rucks will call you out on packing the Calamity Cannon and Mortar.
  • White-Haired Pretty Boy: The Kid and Rucks. Subverted for the former, as his hair color made The Kid a target for bullying, and eventually caused him to take up his military career.
  • The Wild West: The game invokes the mood of the west, with the characters' accents and a majority of the sound track.
  • A World Half Full
  • World in the Sky
  • Worthy Opponent: If you decide to rescue Zulf and abandon the Battering Ram, the Ura decide The Kid is this, enough to let him and Zulf leave peacefully, even cutting down the lone Ura still trying to kill you.
  • Wutai: The Ura nation has some Asian influences, though they're more like the various tribes that sacked Rome.
  • You Are Not Alone: Rucks does what he can to offer moral support to The Kid, though his narration often has him wishing he could do more.
  • You Bastard: Rucks delivers a very mild one of these to both himself and The Kid, pondering how they're destroying the homes of creatures who are just trying to survive, same as them. But he goes on to say the Bastion will repair everything regardless, so the ends justify the means.
    • In the Mind Screw portion of Jawson's Bog, the narration outright calls The Kid a murderer and a thief.
  • You Have Researched Breathing: Jumping is only available in the final chapter of the game, after finding a drink. However, since up to that point the story is being told in past tense, that means the kid simply never jumped before.
  1. That is, sending him off to risk his neck for a man who couldn't even be bothered to ask The Kid's name.
  2. Entirely justified as, until that point, Rucks had been telling the story to her in the past tense.