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"And George Struggs, the cops asked him what happened before he slipped into that coma, and he kept mumbling something about deadly creatures."
A 2009 Wii game, going against the normal flow of action games by ditching the standard grizzled space marine protagonists and instead starring a tarantula and a scorpion. The two arachnids are unwittingly caught up in a plot by two humans to dig up a treasure in the desert.
The game's concept came from a dream lead designer Jordan Itkowitz had about using the Wii Remote to control a snake, and eventually the idea expanded to other creatures, and in the end, only the scorpion and tarantula remained.
The game has received mostly positive reviews so far, and is being hailed as an example that the Wii need not be written off as an immature brothel for casual games.
Did we mention that the two humans are voiced by Billy Bob Thornton and Dennis Hopper?
- 100% Completion: Specifically applies to the grubs, see Gotta Catch Em All below.
- Alien Blood: The blood is completely biologically accurate. Vertebrates such as snakes and lizards have red blood; however, for insects and the player characters, it is green. Either way, plenty of it gets spilled.
- Attack Its Weak Point: Happens early on with the rattlesnake. And then there's that last battle...
- Back Stab: The tarantula loves this one, although the scorpion can do it too.
- Badass: The scorpion. His finishing moves are plain hardcore and awesome. Check out this video and see for yourself.
- And the fact he takes on a human on a whim.
- Bait and Switch Boss: Several times.
- Battle Amongst the Flames: The tarantula's final fight against the rattlesnake, thanks to some spilled oil cans and an errant shotgun blast.
- The Battle Didn't Count: The tarantula and scorpion face each other several times over the course of the game. If you lose the fights, you get a Game Over. But if you do enough damage, your enemy will simply leave.
- Boss Arena Idiocy: The very first boss in Chapter 1 would be unbeatable if it wasn't for the wall of cactus nearby.
- Bullfight Boss: Chapter 2's Gila monster.
- Cannibalism Superpower: Used to justify the varied abilities. After the scorpion kills another scorpion that was trying to burrow after prey, it gains the Dig ability itself (after a cutscene showing it EATING its opponent's head, no less). And later, it eats the first mantis that it fights in order to learn how Chop down grasses. Likewise, the tarantula gains the ability to web-jump and walk upside-down after eating a black widow spider and a lizard, respectively.
- Chekhov's Gun: Struggs talking about how horrible it would be to get stung in the balls by a scorpion.
- Just before that, Wade was telling a story about getting stung by a scorpion that came through the toilet. Guess how the scorpion gets into the gas station in the final chapter?
- Colossus Climb: The final boss.
- Critical Existence Failure: No amount of poison or blows will stop you until all your Hit Points are gone.
- Crosshair Aware: Also during the final boss.
- Deus Ex Machina: As the Scorpion is confronted again by the Gila Monster in a tunnel, the blade of Wade's shovel hit the beast, chopping its neck.
- Everything Trying to Kill You: Mostly justified, as these are merely predatory animals acting on predatory instinct. But one must wonder why dung beetles are out for blood...
- Also, it seems that the vertebrates will team up with the invertebrates against you, instead of devouring them first before you ever arrive...
- Finishing Move: As mentioned above, the scorpion has a unique finishing move for every enemy. The tarantula has a sort-of finishing move of its own by feeding on enemies.
- Game Breaking Bug: The game will randomly not work with certain Wii Remotes: the motion controls won't pick up gestures, and there's no way of telling which ones will and which ones won't be compatible except for trying.
- Gold Fever: This winds up causing some... friction... between the two human characters.
- Considering the bones you find underground, it's not the first time...
- Gotta Catch Em All: Grubs and Leaf Crickets. Leaf Crickets up your maximum health while grubs unlock concept galleries.
- Groin Attack: The strategy for defeating Struggs.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Struggs likes to collect desert creatures. Granted, he never actually catches the scorpion, but the tarantula and rattlesnake do cause him some problems. As does a gila monster he caught on a pre-game "hunting trip".
- Humans Are Cthulhu: Delves into it a bit. Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?
- Hyperactive Metabolism: Both arachnids regain health by eating crickets, grubs and pill bugs, in addition to the above-mentioned feeding ability.
- Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels: There's Easy, Normal and then Deadly.
- Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence: The scorpion finds several of these in later chapters, as it cannot jump. The tarantula can.
- There are a number of obstacles that one arachnid can't get through but the other can. For the Tarantula, the aforementioned jumpable obstacles, and web slinging. For the Scorpion, there are dig spots and dead grass that can be cleared away. Usually resulting in traversing the same level a different way as an alternate arachnid.
- And then there's that black mist that either keeps you going forward, keeps you on the chapter's path, or keeps you in a a fight.
- In the Back: How Struggs deals with Wade.
- Last Lousy Point: Finding that one grub you missed back in Chapter 3 or 7.
- Made of Iron: See Critical Existence Failure above.
- The scorpion can survive a point-blank shotgun blast. Presumably, this depends on the difficulty setting and how direct the hit was, but still...
- Mouse World: The game is told through the eyes of a tarantula and a scorpion.
- Poisoned Weapons: Subverted: even if you're using a scorpion and a tarantula and eventually fights off several other venomous creatures along the way, poison never seems to pops out in game.
- Press X to Not Die: Again, the scorpion's finishers, though a few boss fights uses this as well.
- Let's not forget the QTEs where you fall into a Black Widow nest, usually without warning, and where failing to push the right button in time results in instant death. Could also count as Nightmare Fuel.
- Recurring Boss: The rattlesnake, for the tarantula.
- Rule of Cool: Why can a scorpion perform fatalities? Why can that tarantula jump around like Spider-Man on speed? Because it's cool, dammit!
- Samus Is a Girl: Some people were surprised that, judging by the appearance of the tarantula, it is female.
- Scoring Points: Killing baddies scores points, which are used to unlock new attacks. However, the game is linear so you'll always have to fight the enemies, and the attacks are unlocked one at a time, so you'll usually have everything before end, making the points a token reward.
- Tactical Suicide Boss: There would be no way to beat the rattlesnake if it didn't expose its tail for you to bite after striking enough times.
- Title Drop: See the page quote.
- What Do You Mean It's Not Awesome?: Yes, you did just see a scorpion power-slam a mantis with its tail and then stab it with the mantis' own claw.
- Xenofiction: The protagonists are a tarantula and a scorpion being a tarantula and a scorpion, with the human interactions happening in the background.