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Cthulhu Saves The World is a videogame from independent developer Zeboyd Games for PC and Xbox 360.
A 16-Bit console style role-playing game, with tongue in cheek Lovecraftian humor, rampant Lampshading of JRPG tropes, plenty of Genre Savvy, and No Fourth Wall to speak of, it is both a loving tribute and parody of the 16-bit JRPG.
See also Breath of Death VII, the spiritual predecessor of Cthulhu Saves The World, which features similar gameplay and writing. Both games are available on Steam in a two-for-one pack, so you don't need an XBOX to play them, and are cheap to boot. The PC versions also contain new content, such as new party members, more dungeons, and an alternate campaign in Cthulhu Saves The World.
Cthulhu Saves The World contains examples of:
- Absurdly High Level Cap: As seen in this video and this other one (ATTENTION: Final boss spoilers in both videos!), there is no such thing as a level cap in this game. Even though new skills stop being obtained and upgraded at level 40, you can keep gaining stats as long as you keep gaining experience. The amount of experience needed to level up doesn't even go up after that point, you always need 99999 experience points to go up a level.
- And the Adventure Continues...: In the PC version's extended ending, Cthulhu and Umi are shown traveling through space in the now-repaired Ultharian mothership.
- Affectionate Parody
- After Combat Recovery: All HP and a partial amount of MP is restored after each battle.
- Amazon Brigade: Bonus mode Cthulhu's Angels features an all-female party led by October.
- Arbitrary Headcount Limit: Unlike Breath of Death, you have more than four characters (which include Cthulhu himself, Umi the trident-wielding groupie, Sharpe the sword, October the Necromancer, and a cat), but can only take four at once.
- The Bad Guy Wins: Played for laughs. Your protagonist is Cthulhu, after all. To clarify, upon beating what seems like the final boss, you regain your powers then drive the world insane. Only the narrator isn't quite sure if he should stick to that, so he arbitrarily makes Cthulhu good again then adds a Bigger Bad so you'll seem like a hero.
- Bonus Boss: Dem, the protagonist of Breath of Death VII.
- Cthulhu's Angels has Sara, the heroine of the same game.
- Color Coded for Your Convenience: In Cthulhu's Angels, Normal Umi gets her usual blue-haired portrait, but Dark Umi has silver hair.
- Defeat Means Friendship: If you can beat Dem in the main game, he'll join your party. Played straight and subverted in Cthulhu's Angels: Dark Umi is a mandatory recruit and Sara takes Dem's place as the Bonus Boss. Subverted with Dacre and Ember: since this is a different story than that of the main campaign, events unfold somewhat differently...
- Dem Bones: The name of a commonly encountered enemy. Guess what it is. Also a Shout-Out to the name of the main character in Breath of Death VII, by the same developers. Dem himself is actually a recruitable NPC.
- Did You Just Punch Out AZATHOTH?
- Dronejam: There's an area where there's NPCs permanently stationed in front of a bunch of doors, and you can't get in no matter what. If you talk with the NPCs, they just say "sorry, you're not allowed inside". Eventually after talking to one, your party members will say to themselves that there's probably nothing behind the doors anyway and that the developers are obviously doing it just to mess with you.
- Emo: October shows vague hints of this at points. For example, when Umi asks her what her blood type is:
October: Pain. What I feel when I bleed in the dark recesses of my soul. I linger in the light but yearn for the darkness.
- Played with in Cthulhu's Angels during the final encounter with the Narrator. October gives a heartfelt rant about how her life has been nothing but tragedy after tragedy because the Narrator felt the need to be artistic.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: You play as Cthulhu. You save the world.
- Evil Is Sexy: In-Universe, this is Umi's exact reaction when she finds out she's been hanging out with an Elder One. Lampshaded by the game even when she thought he was a Knight in Shining Armor-esque hero, noting that her image of Cthulhu doesn't exactly match actual appearances.
- Face Palm: Cthulhu does this a lot.
Cthulhu: I just like insane things. Is that a problem?
- Fourth Wall Observer: Cthulhu. The entire story is kicked off by him eavesdropping on the narrator.
- The other characters also join in, especially in the Cthulhu's Angels alternate campaign for the PC release.
- Frothy Mugs of Water: "...Milk", which is clearly depicted as a frothy brown liquid.
- Maybe it's chocolate milk?
- Jekyll and Hyde: In the Cthulhu's Angels alternate campaign, Umi is possessed by the dark sword Sharpe and has her consciousness split into two. One side is the happy-go-lucky Umi from the regular campaign, and the other is a kill-hungry psychopath.
- Giant Space Flea From Nowhere: Most of the bosses in Cthulhu's Angels are this: the Cthulhu cosplayer, Mother Hydra and the Kraken have no real connection to the plot, they just turn up instead of the Lovecraftian enemies Cthulhu faces in the main game.
- Global Airship: Not an actual airship, but Ember the dragon acts as one and lets you fly around the map, bypassing terrain and and avoiding randondom encounters.
- Healing Checkpoint: Save points fully replenish your mana.
- Hostile Show Takeover: At the end of Cthulhu's Angel's, the party usurps The Narrator to take back control of their own fate.
- Hypocritical Humor: The description for the Vampire enemy is "Doesn't sparkle in the sunlight". There is a chance that this same enemy uses an ability called "Sparkle" against you.
- Interactive Narrator
- Lampshading: One of the early bosses has "Has a much higher max HP now than he will in a couple minutes." Sure enough, after he joins your party, his max hp drops to a tenth of what it was.
- The description for Necromancer enemies states that "the female necromancers are much cuter". Shortly thereafter, you get October.
- There's a bookshelf in Dunwich containing a book called "Cat Dictionary". Umi suggests it could be useful, were a cat ever to join the party. Cthulhu blows this off, saying it would never happen. It does.
- Lovecraft Lite
- Mythology Gag: Cthulhu's Angels has multiple points where things are different from the original campaign. Several of these are accompanied with characters commenting on the difference in various ways.
- New Game+: The PC version has extra content, and when it was released, the Xbox Indie version was updated to the new version.
- There are also a couple of alternate game modes. Including one that makes you level 40 after a single battle. And multiple difficulties.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: In a rare meta-example, the player does this to themselves at the end of the Cthulhu's Angels campaign. In leading the party to save the world, you convince Cthulhu to spare it - and he decides to go destroy Earth instead.
- Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Cthulhu's Angels gives us Molly, who is a were-zompire as a result of being killed by a vampire, a werewolf and a zombie at the same time. She's a Mythology Gag to one of Zeboyd's older games.
- No Ending: After regaining his powers, Cthulhu plans to pick up where he left off with his world conquest, but the narrator wants to shoot for a more happier ending, but concedes he should stick with the source material (that Cthulhu is evil incarnate) and slaps on a final dungeon and boss and then...that's it. Apparently, the narrator ran out of ideas.
- The PC version ends in a slightly more resolving way - after the final boss, a short movie is shown in which we are told that a) Cthulhu and one of his companions has repaired a starship that crashed earlier in the story, and intends to explore the universe with it, and b) he invites the first of his companions with him.
- Pardon My Klingon: FHTAGN!
- Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: We've got a depowered dark god, a ditzy groupie who may or may not be a mermaid, a talking sword, a whip wielding goth necromancer, a cat, and more.
- The rest of the team consists of a completely delirious old man, a dragon, and optionally a skeleton knight.
- Rage Against the Heavens: Sort of. The final boss of the Cthulhu's Angels side-campaign is the Narrator, who Cthulhu effectively tells you is a god.
- Random Encounters: An interesting Subversion, as you only have a set amount of random encounters per area... once you run out, you can wander around as much as you'd like. And force battles from a menu command.
- Shout-Out: Lots.
- The blurb for gargoyles says that They've been trying to get a TV deal for years.
- "The city of Dunwitch has been taken over by undead monsters! Are there any dudes bad enough to rescue the city?"
- Two enemies in the Ghost Forest are witch doctors and chipmunk hordes.
- The blurb for Tentacles are that they're still waiting for their day.
- The zombie tunic is the same color as Minecraft zombies' shirt/pants.
- The blurb for Specters says that they've definitely never been in space.
- The bonus bosses in the Soulcaster cave are based on, you guessed it, Soulcaster.
- One of the skill-raising chests contains "rings of power".
- Super-Powered Evil Side: Umi in Chtulhu's Angels, as a result of a curse.
- Talking Weapon: Sharpe.
- Teaser Equipment: Yhere's some extremely high level armor for the Staff Chick in the first shop you find. The price is suitably high.
- Time Limit Boss: If the Bonus Boss isn't beaten in a few turns, he uses an unavoidable Total Party Kill attack.
- Took a Level In Badass: Umi is a so-so Staff Chick in the main campaign, but your most powerful damage-dealer in Chtulhu's Angels. Since she's wielding Sharpe from the previous campaign, and quite insane, this makes sense.
- Total Party Kill: The Bonus Boss in the main game wipes out your entire party after a few turns.
- The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: R'lyeh.
- In Cthulhu's Angels, the Grand Library.
- Updated Rerelease: The PC version contains extra bosses, four more party members, a director commentary, an entire second campaign, and more!
- Villain Forgot to Level Grind: Or Hero, rather. The Goldfish Poop Gang shows up a second time in the PC version, and are exactly the same strength as the first time you fought them. Needless to say, the battle goes quickly, which the characters will comment on.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: No shirt can contain the awesomeness that is Chtulhu!
- What Could Have Been: According to the Commentary, the towns' pubs were originally going to contain a Dating Sim minigame between Cthulhu and Umi, but time constraints forced this to be scrapped. Sidequests for each optional dungeon were also planned, but again, time constraints meant that only the first one got a sidequest, and the rest were purely optional treasure hunts similar to those in Breath of Death VII.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: The Goldfish Poop Gang fought as the first boss encounter are stated to have "likely respawned by now", and according to the Director Commentary, they were meant to be a recurring element, but the creators ended up completely forgetting about them. This was supposedly rectified for Cthulhu's Angels.
- They show up one more time in the PC version, towards the very end, as strong as the first time. They only show up one time in Cthulhu's Angels... but the female of their number is the second Angel, recruited on the starting beach.
- You never find out exactly who cursed Cthulhu at the start of the game. The game makes a point about him being a mysterious man, then never bothers to tell you who he is.
- Cthulhu's Angels resolves this mystery, although the differences between the campaigns allows for some doubt if it applies to the main campaign - Dacre, the insane mage from the original, is responsible for Cthulhu's sealing. Presumably the deed drove him mad, leaving him the half-brained genius you find in the Water Temple.
- What Do You Mean It's Not Awesome?: Unusually for an indie JRPG, the engine allows for rooms over rooms, in the form of bridges that cross over walkways below. The developers were very disappointed that not a single review mentioned this.
- They also regretted the thick mist over the cursed forest area; it caused technical problems (including making the game run slow, at least on Steam), and didn't add as much as they hoped to the aesthetic.
- Whip It Good: October.