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Hellgate:London is a sci-fi/fantasy Action RPG developed and published by now-defunct Flagship Studios in 2007. Many members of the development team previously worked on the Diablo series and went on to form Runic Games, creators of Torchlight.
In the near future, the world falls prey to Demonic Invaders. Modern-day weaponry and tactics prove largely useless against the hordes. Surviving humans flee underground and much of the surface world suffers from "The Burn", a kind of demonic terraformation.
The game focuses on London, England, in the year 2038. The streets are overrun by demon soldiers, zombies, ghosts and mindless hell-beasts. Survivors dwell in The London Underground, protected from intrusion by Alchemic wards built into the stations by The Freemasons. Most people are just trying to survive in this nightmarish new world, but three large organizations are striving for change and searching for ways to hinder or even push the demons back: The sword-and-light swinging Knights Templar (yes, those Knights Templar), the high-tech Hunters, and the sorcerous Cabalists.
Player characters belong to one of these three factions, each with distinct weapons and methods for combating demons, but the ultimate goal is the same- drive the demons back through the Hellgate once and for all.
The game was generally not well received due to a massive amount of bugs and a generally rushed impression, and the online servers closed down in early 2009 after Flagship Studios declared bankruptcy. Hanbitsoft has since obtained the IP and is now working on Hellgate: Tokyo. In addition, a small modding community is attempting to revive the original game. Finally, Hanbitsoft's relaunch of the game in Korea was successful enough that they are planning on bringing over Hellgate: Resurrection to International shores, which will include HG: London and HG: Tokyo. A short beta of the game recently started (and ended), with more details on the official website, at T3Fun.com.
It remains to be seen how successful these projects will be.
There's also a novel trilogy, by Mel Odom. Since there are no known coding errors with paperback novels, it has very few detractors.
Welcome to London...
The game provides examples of:
- Abnormal Ammo: See Bee-Bee Gun below. Other examples include "Greek Fire" flamethrowers, tesla guns, palladium bullets and other craziness.
- Absurdly Spacious Sewer: Much of the game takes place underground, in ruined subway tunnels and sewers.
- One of the rare inversions of the trope. The actual London Underground is substantially larger than it is portrayed in the game.
- Action Girl: Player characters can be female. Backstory examples include Lyra Darius and much later, Jessica Summerisle, who was only a child when the invasion began but later grew up to be a ranking Templar commander, like her grandfather.
- Affably Evil: Murmur. Even after he reveals he is a demon, he still displays the same polite personality he has exhibited through the entire game.
- An Adventurer Is You: Six classes, two per faction.
- And the Fandom Rejoiced: Hanbitsoft has officially resurrected the game as "Hellgate Global", along with poorly done english translations, incomprehensible story and oddly colored characters.
- as well as the requirement that you must pay to play beyond act II!
- And Your Reward Is Clothes: Played around with, as you can get armor, weapons, weapon mods, or consumables as rewards, in addition to money and reputation. Even weapons get pimped out and display their equipped mods.
- Subscribers were rewarded with dye kits, which changed the character's clothing color scheme to various presets. Some of the rarer ones also had highly sought after stat-boosts.
- You Fail Geography Forever: Due to randomized level architecture, many areas you visit don't look at all like their real-life counterparts, with exception of fixed areas like Piccadilly Circus.
- Bad Powers, Bad People: Averted with Cabalists. Some can be pretty ornery, but are ultimately on the side of good.
- Battle Aura: Templar characters can learn various auras that provide different effects, though you can only employ one of them at a time.
- Bee-Bee Gun: The Wasp Hive-type guns shoot a swarm of glowing green insects that devour and demolish everything as long as they last. Perfect DoT-dealer for the first part of the game at least. Unfortunately, available only to Cabalists. Templars can use "Hive Swords", blades for which the grip is a hive and the blade is formed of the insects themselves, who presumably bite as they go. Both inflict toxic damage.
- Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: Various historical events are said in the Backstory to be averted demonic invasions, most notably The Crusades and the Great London Fire.
- Black Magic: This is the Cabalists' Hat. The Cabal as such formed during or after the invasion, but it's made up of the same sort of fringe scientists and arcane scholars that have been hanging around for centuries. Famous proto-Cabalists include Isaac Newton, Nikola Tesla and Aleister Crowley. The Cabal want humanity to progress to something called "The Awakening", an evolutionary breakthrough brought about by demonic power.
- Blind Idiot Translation: The online version released by Hanbisoft falls into this. Even quests that were from the original game, which was in English, fall under this because for some reason they decided to replace the quest text with the same quests, but minus any references to the overall storyline. For example, you still get the quests to clear tunnels of enemies, but no one mentions why you were going through those tunnels in the first place.
- Cassandra Truth: When the invasion began, The Knights Templar offered their services and magics to the military, who balked, refusing to believe in such nonsense.
- Cast From Hit Points: The Summoner's Blood Link ability which heals the main Minion. Also, both Cabalist classes have a skill which can exchange Life Points for Power Points.
- Cat Scare / Nothing Is Scarier: Slain monsters are removed from the map when out of players' range, then are re-spawned and re-killed when returning. The net result is that death cries echo most clearly, and sometimes startlingly, when the map is empty.
- Chainsaw Good: For Hunter classes only. Requires a lot of strength instead of accuracy. Looks awesome against zombies, but is kinda weak otherwise.
- Character Level: Obviously. Monsters have these, too - a level 20 Zombie is a bit harder to kill than its level 1 counterpart.
- For the same Level 1 character that is. Monster levels are made so the difficulty scales with leveling up without adding a lot of monsters differing only by name, stats and maybe skin colour.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Many NPCs, but first prize goes to Lucious Aldin, an Ax Crazy Gibbering Genius. His mind was burnt to a crisp by the darkness but his soul was left largely intact, though subsequent years of imprisonment and torture by demons didn't help. Though quite mad, he means well.
- Cluster F-Bomb: The merchant from the Oxford Circus Station. 50% of his speech consists of CensorBleeps.
- Cool Old Guy: Templar lord Arphaun, a kindly soul who dispenses Koans, extols the virtues of patience and True Companions, and warns of the dangers of mayonnaise left unrefrigerated.
Arphaun: "You must always be wary of poorly-stored condiments."
- Cool Sword: Templars can use a variety of Cool Swords, like the aforementioned Hive Swords. Each has it's own element and associated status effect, even the humble Negotiator which can stun enemies. In particular there are two Hellfire-imbued Flaming Swords: The Firebrand and Molten Edge. The former can inflict splash damage.
- Cool Train: One quest has you clear out one of the last stretches of usable tunnel to allow one passage back to Templar territory.
- Crate Expectations: Start-To-Crate time is instant; the first crate appears within 12 degrees of your first-line of-sight.
- Also overlaps with Die, Chair, Die!, since the 'crates' include cardboard boxes, paint cans, barrels, oxygen tanks, and, yes, chairs along with the standard wooden boxes.
- Crapsack World: Life for humans is hard in this demon-infested future, but that's not even taking into account that this particular demon horde has conquered untold other civilizations and worlds. Though, humanity is the first to survive The Burn, so there may be hope yet.
- Dark Is Not Evil: The Cabalists use the powers of the demons against them, though they claim to be on the side of good and have often proven themselves as such. Evokers use their offensive magics, and Summoners create elementals and enslave demon minions. Many regular humans distrust them, especially the Templars.
- Dem Bones: Some of which can fire homing bone missiles and damage the area around them when killed.
- Demon Lords and Archdevils: Sydonai, the Elder Demon in charge of the Earth invasion. That's his mug on the page image. Said by Word of God to be the mythical Asmodeus.
- Demoted to Extra: Murmur, who was originally the first character you met and remained relevant through the entire story, basically disappeared completely in the retranslation. He went from literally being the most developed character in the entire game to uncredited appearance in a couple cutscenes.
- Devil in Disguise: The story's narrator / hero's sidekick Murmur turns out to be the Duke of Hell with the same name. To be fair, the name's a lot more subtle that Lou Cypher, and isn't likely to mean anything to players without a background in demonology mythology/MegaTen fan.
- Dual-Wielding: The Blademaster class has this as one of its gimmicks. Evokers have Dual Focus, which allows for wielding of two more powerful Focus Items.
- Dysfunction Junction: Almost everyone who isn't suicidally incompetent is a raving psychopath. You'd think that in a demon-possessed future the latter would be a requirement for survival, but there are surprisingly many of the former still living. And sending you on Fetch Quests.
- Elemental Powers: Not limited to the Evoker class, as all weapons deal elemental damage, beginning with plain old physical but including Fire, Toxic, Spectral, and Electrical.
- Elite Zombie: Many kinds.
- Grotesques, Golem-like monstrosities composed of many corpses stitched together. When slain some of the corpses will rise anew to continue the fight as standard zombies.
- Nightmares, the remains of those who died in their sleep.
- Blood Zombies, who regenerate to full health if not killed quickly.
- Siege Fiends, massive, poison spewing fusions of human and arachnid corpses.
- Enemy Summoner: Zombie Lords summon zombies, and can buff any zombie types, including each other. Flesh Golems litter the ground with Death Maggots, and can spawn those and Zombies on death, while Wurm creates hordes of Death Maggots and fortunately takes them with him when he dies. Soul Reapers and Orbiles summon Polyps, and Bedlam can summon them all endlessly. Dunder Liches, including Flaw, summon 2-3 Fire Elementals.
- The Engineer: The Engineer.
- Evil All Along: Your Mr. Exposition, who's been encouraging and feeding you intel the entire game, turns out to be a demon who stood the most to gain from your success.
- Expy / No Celebrities Were Harmed: Lots. NPCs the player encounters include thinly-veiled Expies of William Shatner, Patrick Stewart, George Romero, Terry Pratchett, J. K. Rowling (who is apparently black in this universe), and Wirt from Diablo, among others. Oh, and there's a medic named Joy.
- Face Full of Alien Wingwong: Technician 314 gets attached to the Oracle. It doesn't stop him from talking, and when he's not speaking in tongues, he complains with every breath about the ancient demon with a deathgrip on the front of his head.
- Fan Service: The female Templar from the trailers, dubbed Avalon, appeared topless in a Playboy spread.
- Fetch Quest: Unfortunately frequent, often combined with Twenty Bear Asses. One Cabalist NPC lampshades this, she's preparing a ritual or spell of some sort and commands you to gather reagents because she's too damn lazy.
- Fighter, Mage, Thief - Templars are characterized by raw combat prowess, Cabalists cast direct damage and debuff magic, and Hunters' skills include evasion and critical strikes.
- First-Person Shooter: Default view is a third-person chase cam, though when using exclusively guns you can zoom in to a first-person view with a smart reticule that shows the current accuracy of your guns based on movement and firing speed.
- Gameplay Ally Immortality - Any NPC accompanying you, even Non-Action Guy Murmur, is immune to damage from monsters. But not scripted death. Or your guys in the Millenium Battle
- Gargle Blaster: Perpetual drunkard Mac Kenzie has you help him brew one so potent it actually starts attracting demons, which you promptly have to go deal with.
- Gatling Good: Of a sort, there is a particular gun with three barrels, each drawing on its own magazine.
- Giant Mook: Variously-sized Giant forms of the usual Mooks appear, not much more difficult than the standard. Champions and other Rare versions get the larger size with a notable power upgrade. A few bosses (Bedlam) are King Mook.
- Inverted by mini Mooks, who actually are more difficult due to being smaller, speedier targets. In maps combined with Goddamn Bats, they can take you down from the kneecaps while you're targeting the more conspicuous attackers swooping down on you. AoE attacks are your friend.
- Grappling Hook Pistol: Usable by Templars to drag small enemies into melee range.
- Guns Akimbo: Pistols in each hand for Hunters (Marksmen and Engineers) and Cabalists (Summoners and Evokers). Pistol and Focus Device (magic-enhancing gloves) for Summoners, while the spell-spamming Evokers can equip two Focus Devices with the appropriate skill. Templar classes can equip a grappling pistol and another pistol, but the effectiveness is questionable.
- Hellfire: Omnipresent, wether it be leaking through cracks in the pavement or being projected by Cabalists.
- Hell Hound: The aforementioned Ravagers.
- Holy Hand Grenade: Besides their skill at melee combat, the Templars rely heavily on both offensive and defensive holy magic.
- The Hunter: Though many characters have this sort of focus, some of the actual Hunters regard their duty as sport, competing for demon kills and such.
- Improbable Weapon User: Cabalists get the greatest and most exotic variety of weapons, including guns that shoot insects and tentacles. The Hunters get a 'ballistic cannon' which shoots electrified exploding sawblades.
- The Knights Templar: According to the Backstory they've been been hiding all this time, acting as a demon-busting service while maintaining a Masquerade that understandably went to hell when the invasions began. They went public pretty fast after that. They've upgraded their tech a bit, employing Powered Armor and such alongside their holy magics.
- Level Five Onix: The first boss, of all things.
- Lightning Gun: Several examples, at least one of which is some form of Tesla coil.
- Loads and Loads of Loading: Even after the long loading times per map, disk access is almost constant, stalling the game until yet another texture/model/feature can be loaded.
- Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: Templars are the only classes than can equip shields, and Templar Guardians alone can use them to attack as well.
- Magitek: Hunter classes can call in an artillery strike using a certain skill (even while underground or in Hell), which is a cause for Fridge Logic until you realize how it works - the shell is fired and then a Cabalist teleports it to the target location.
- Cabalist "Focus Items" are expressly this, being demon magic-imbued gauntlets that amplify and project the powers of their users, essentially, spell-firing guns. Evokers can dual-wield them and depend on them for success, as their spell power is directly proportional to the damage output of their Focus Items.
- The Minion Master: The entire Summoner class, though how much it is this or The Beast Master depends on your skillpoint distribution.
- Mood Whiplash: The ending leads up to a VERY dramatic Humans Are Special moment where finally, something stands up to the forces of darkness and casts them away. After defeating the final boss? You are thanked by the primary NPC in the game, who turned out to be a demon, for offing his superior, in a darkly amusing scene. He then effortlessly brushes you away.
- Mons - The basic premise of the Cabalist Summoner. The Hunter Engineer's Drone also counts.
- Mr. Exposition: Your eternal companion, Murmur.
- The Musketeer: It can pay to have a ranged weapon on hand if you are a melee character, and vice-versa.
- Night of the Living Mooks: Zombies are everywhere. They are weak, but very numerous and can be buffed by Zombie Lords. Other, stronger types of undead are sometimes encountered.
- No One Could Have Survived That: After making an obvious Heroic Sacrifice to save a young Jessica Summerisle in the intro, Lyra Darius turns up alive, well and not having aged a day since, in Liverpool Street Station. She doesn't understand it either, due to Laser-Guided Amnesia. She offers a quest chain that concerns the truth of the matter.
- Obvious Beta: One of the biggest complaints about the game and a prime cause for its ultimate failure. The fact that the patches quite rapidly solved most of these problems tended to be glossed over by critics.
- They probably couldn't gloss over the crash-prone resource hog that remained after patch.
- Our Demons Are Different: Primus, or "True Demons", use swords and guns similar to the player character's, though with an obviously demonic bent, such as Hellfire Swords and strange energy pistols with rebounding projectiles.
- Our Ghosts Are Different: Spectral demons are said to exist only partially in our reality, the other half in their own. They are always the most bizarre-looking enemies and tend to inflict "Phased" status on players, disabling their ability to use skills.
- Our Zombies Are Different: The zombies of this setting are the tortured remains of humans attacked by spectral demons, left with only the barest vestiges of a soul that keeps them in mindless, perpetual agony. Many zombies are poisonous.
- The Plan: Hunter Jon has a date planned with another Hunter he has a crush on, knowing full well she intends to use him as monster bait to collect a few kills during the outing. He sets up elaborate plans to establish the appearance of success for her without actually putting himself in danger.
- Post-Modern Magik: Powered Armor, Energy Weapons and other high tech coexist with demonic magic and Holy Hand Grenade.
- Powered Armor: Used by all human factions, though the power source varies. Higher level armors often feature Tron Lines.
- Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: The survivors of the whole, but also specifically the Hunters, who are made up of former soldiers, secret agents, Private Military Contractors or what have you. They waged a Secret War on behalf of their governments for many years- until the demons came. The Hunters were quick to share knowledge and technology with one another and dedicate their skills towards the cause of humanity's survival.
- Ruins of the Modern Age: The streets of London are a mess, most buildings are collapsed or at least burnt out, wreckage and debris lie everywhere, and Hellfire seeps through cracks in the pavement.
- Rule of Cool: Most of the Hunter guns.
- Satan: The Backstory speaks of The First, foremost of The Eldest and master of Dark Wills. May not be a direct Satan analogue in that he is written of as the antithesis of all creation.
- Summon Magic: Eastern variant played straight by the Summoner's Reaper. It's only around for under a minute, but will wreak unholy havoc for the duration of its stay.
- Shock and Awe: The Marksman class has a skill with this exact name.
- Shout-Out: Many from the Expys, among other things.
- An NPC named George gives you a quest chain that begins with Night of the Zombies and progresses to Dawn of the Zombies and finally Day of the Zombies.
- In the same station as George is a boy named Wart who has you retrieve his missing peg leg.
- Hunters can use automatic rocket pistols, often called Bolters.
- One particular Templar melee weapon is a sanctified cricket bat, the unique version of which is named 'Shaun's Trusty Sidekick'.
- Sniper Rifle: A favored weapon of Marksmen.
- Standard Status Effects: Stun (no movement, attack or skills), Ignite (lose 5% of your Hit Points per second), Poison (prevents healing while in effect), Phase (halved defense and attack), Shock (no skills for the duration), which may happen if hit with the appropriate damage type. Some of the Engineer's support Bots increase allies' speed and slow down approaching enemies.
- Sturgeon's Law: Being a Spiritual Successor to Diablo, you can expect to get a lot of random drops...maybe two or three will be of any use to you.
- Sword and Gun - An option for Templars alone, as they are the only classes that can wield melee weapons one-handed.
- Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Blademasters can learn to do this. Its their other gimmick.
- Underground Monkey: Mostly averted, see Character Levels above. Some models are reused however, but a recoloured monster is a bit more than just a beefier version of the weak "prototype" - Poison Zombies, for example, leave a trail of poison damage field; Black Skeletons leave a fire field when killed.
- Unexpected Gameplay Change: Several. The already mentioned tactical mission. The Big Gundown level - you have to man a gun and shoot down a huge... thing otherwise outside of range - normally. While you are still damaged and forced out by Polyps. The Angel passage level, described above.
- Unwinnable: Among other such Game Breaking Bugs, it was possible to leave an area called "The Exodus" before having completed it. It was then not possible to get back in and thus, progress through the main storyline. Due to the way the autosave logic worked, this probably meant you had to restart the entire game after already having progressed quite a ways.
- Weaponized Car: As shown in the intro, survivors sometimes travel the surface in armored combat vehicles. They show up in-game but aren't ever usable.
- Womb Level: 314's mind.. Also, the Exospector level.
- You Have Researched Crouching
- Zerg Rush: Most enemies are fond of this, especially zombies. Unfortunately for them, this is unwise to do against Templars, who grow in power the more enemies enter their Battle Aura.
- Zombie Apocalypse: A disturbing amount of those who did not flee to safety underground remain walking about- souls not included.
... You're not welcome here.