• 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:One must fall-1.jpg

One Must Fall is a Shareware Robot Fighting Game released for the PC by Epic Megagames in 1994, released as freeware in 1999. It is notable as one of the highest quality Fighting Games released exclusively for the PC.

The year is 2097. In this future, national governments are puppets of the multinational corporations. One such corporation, World Aeronautics and Robotics (WAR), runs the entire show with a silk-covered iron fist. WAR was started as a research institute to provide Human-Assisted Robots for space travel. Their first prototypes were activated in 2009 and were immediately put to use by a conglomeration of companies from Japanamerica to build the first ACTIVE space station. The HAR's were better than conventional robots in that they were completely operated by a single human whose brain controlled the robot's systems via remote. The "pilot" actually "became" the robot for all intents and purposes, but no danger to the pilot was possible.

Now, WAR is Earth's leading corporation. Every other company relies on WAR for space travel to Earth's four off-world stations. WAR provides systems for governments and companies alike for security and defense.

WAR is power. And you're a part of it.

Ganymede, the next moon on Jupiter to be colonized, needs a WAR representative to watch over it. The Board at WAR has decided that the applicants for the position, being equally qualified, should fight for it. Now, the ten applicants must choose which of the ten newest HARs will be their weapon and beat the others in a one-on-one competition. It is not merely for position that they fight... many have secret agendas and a thirst for the information that only rule of an entire moon could provide.

Anyone who has even a remotely important position at WAR is trained in the use of HAR's. Most have spent considerable time "in" a real working model to get the feel of it. But the use of HAR's for sparring is a completely new scheme brought about by the need to know that when one company attacks another the 'bots can handle the stress. The idea of using WAR robots for entertainment is a new one, but The Company believes that it will be good press for the next prototypes from the WAR design rooms. Therefore, the public is invited to view the proceedings. The future of Gamymede, WAR, and maybe humanity itself, hangs in the balance.

Also included is a tournament mode that takes place three years later.

Two old but great fansites are OMF Universe and If you want to know why you should care, be sure to check out a review

A bug-plagued Contested Sequel, One Must Fall: Battlegrounds, which attempted to move the series online and into the third dimension, was released in 2003. It hit the Polygon Ceiling pretty hard.

This Work Shows Examples Of:

  • AI Breaker: All robots have at least one strategy that the computer will reliably fall for--and almost no computer opponent of equal or lesser speed than yours will avoid an opening leg sweep.
  • A Mech by Any Other Name: HAR (Human Assissted Robot)
  • Animesque: The art style, with the News Anchor being the most prominent.
  • Arc Words: NOVA. Eventually revealed to be the name of a project dedicated to creating immortality through the use of the HAR.
  • Awesome but Impractical: The Shadow robot, which can create shadow clones of itself... easily juggleable shadow clones, although it does have an infinite combo (well, more like two, but one of them requires stupidity on the part of your opponent). Literally, its only good move is its strong kick, which is a roundhouse kick, and you know what those are like.
    • Then there's the Nova, this robot is the epitome of Awesome But Impractical. The final bosses use it. It's the plot of the entire frigging game. And it is powerful... unless you're playing on Hyper Mode, which anybody who is anybody plays on.
  • Badass Grandpa: Shirro is 73. Major Kreissack is 103. This does not keep either of them from kicking your ass.
  • Berserk Button: Cossette is... very sensitive about her loss of physical mobility, according to her character bio.
    • Crystal does not like her parents' deaths being trivialized, as evidenced when you challenge her while playing as Angel in Story Mode.
    • In Tournament Mode's North American Open, if you finish Crystal with a Destruction move, Christian (a secret player in that tournament) will not take it well.
  • Big Bad: Major Hans Kreissack, leader of WAR.
  • Blatant Lies: Raven's claims in his character bio that the over two dozen people he murdered were killed "in self-defense." Apparently.
  • Bodyguard Betrayal: A part of Raven's storyline, but Kreissack naturally sees it coming.
  • Bonus Boss: On the hidden skill levels, you can reach hidden arenas in the story mode where you fight the hidden opponents Fire (an orange Katana with the fireball special move) and Ice (a translucent blue Shadow with the ground freeze move). As stated below, you can fight similar versions of them in Tournament mode and also get the ground freeze move for yourself, but unfortunately Katana's fireball is normally unattainable, most likely because it's pretty damn strong, fast and easily spammable.
  • Brain In a Jar: Major Kreissack in the Nova robot. In Cossette's ending, she expresses interest in using the Nova Project to get a new robot body for herself.
  • Break Meter: Energy bar that leaves a combatant dazed when depleted.
  • Camera Abuse: Some screen shaking when the heavier moves connect.
  • Casualty in the Ring: According to the back-story for tournament mode in the manual, this started happening a lot in the mid-21st century thanks to a new exercise program which essentially gave Charles Atlas superpowers to numerous athletes, which eventually led to the banning of all contact sports, which in turn led to the rise of Humongous Mecha tournaments where the fighters themselves couldn't be physically harmed.
  • Combat Commentator: A minor news recap is given after each battle, with the newscaster's commentary being different based on how well you did. It can be a nice ego booster when you seriously trash your opponent...despite the glaring typo in one of them.
  • Cool Old Guy: Shirro
  • Creator Cameo: The hidden tournament opponent Iceman is One Must Fall creator Rob Elam (giving his line "Prepare to meet your maker" a double meaning); the tournament opponent James is Digital Extremes founder and future Unreal series' developer James Schmalz.
  • The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: The game is balanced, reasonably, with Hyper Mode off. And yet sometimes you will see the computer throw out moves when you've been knocked down, or are clearly out of reach, and wonder why. And then you turn on Hyper Mode and your ass gets juggled to death by some insane combo you could never have dreamed of. This is The Reason That Epic Is Epic.
    • Also, in The Mantis Project, which is a fan-made prequel set before the Nova is completed, using the Nova to complete the tournament will end you a different ending where the game chastises you for not playing properly.
  • Digitized Sprites
  • Disc One Final Boss: The shareware version had the final boss of Raven (the only one in shareware story mode to use the Pyros robot), who is merely a playable/tournament character in the actual game, and defeating him does not show the ending.
  • Doppelganger Attack: The Shadow HAR.
  • The Dragon: Raven, Kreissack's bodyguard, but a playable character with his own agenda.
  • Dynamic Difficulty: The Tournament mode does this by scaling the opponents according to your skills and HAR upgrades at the beginning of each tournament. This can get potentially ridiculous if one manages to get to enter World Championship without losing and with maximum possible amount of cash bonuses, at which point almost all of your opponents are maxed out monsters with both wins and loses at triple digits.
  • Easier Than Easy: The "Punching Bag" difficulty.
  • Easy Mode Mockery: You have to have the difficulty set to a particular level--the lowest level is labeled "Punching Bag", by the way--or else the end boss of the story mode will mock you when you reach him and you cannot complete the storyline.
  • Everything Fades: The parts battered off yours and your opponent's robot during a fight fall to the round and disintegrate a few seconds later.
  • Face Framed in Shadow: Nicoli, the boss of the WAR Invitational in Tournament Mode.
  • Finishing Move: Called "Scrap" and "Destruction" moves, as you are beating up on robots, not people. These allow you to fight Secret Characters at certain points, and you can actually reach Bonus Bosses in by doing special versions of these already-secret moves on a certain stage, most of them involving making large holes in the floor.
  • Fragile Speedster: Milano.
    • Also the Gargoyle mech. Your in-fight stats are a combination of those of your mech and those of the character controlling the mech... so Milano controlling a Gargoyle (which he always does in tournament mode) is right at the top of the list.
  • Future Slang: Bits and pieces, most notably "slice" as slang for "very cool".
  • Genius Bruiser: Jean-Paul as described as such, with intelligence test scores off the charts. Ibrahim and Cossette also count, given that the former designed the Jaguar and several other HARS, and the latter designed two space stations and the Electra HAR. Ibrahim is a retired triathlete, besides.
  • Gradual Grinder: Jean-Paul's AI fights very defensively.
  • Handicapped Badass: Cossette. She's paralyzed from the waist down as a result of an injury from The Arena, a sport wherein competitors actually piloted the robots, as opposed to having their minds chemical transferred into them.
  • Harder Than Hard: The hidden "Deadly" and "Ultimate" skill levels. The Tournament mode has "Heavy Metal".
  • He Knows Too Much: Crystal and Christian's parents were killed for discovering that the true purpose of the Nova Project was to create a cyborg army and take over the solar system.
  • Hollywood Cyborg: Kreissack in story mode (and possibly Cossette in her ending), Steel Claw in tournament mode.
    • Jean-Paul contemplates using the NOVA project to become this in his ending.
  • Humans Are Bastards: Angel believes this. Her ending reveals why.
  • Humongous Mecha
  • Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels: Punching Bag, Rookie, Veteran, World Class, Champion, Deadly and Ultimate. The Tournament Mode has its own separate difficulty levels: Aluminum, Iron, Steel and Heavy Metal.
  • Improvised Weapon: Several of the HARS were designed for industrial applications. The Pyros, for example, was designed for zero-gravity construction and repair, while the Chronos was intended for rescue operations in time-sensitive situations. The Jaguar on the other hand is a security 'bot, while the Katana is purpose-built for combat. And then there's the Nova.
  • Insufferable Genius: Steffan, who while not the most broken of computer characters can build up a horrifying chain of power shots if you're not careful...and the in-game storyline acknowledges just how cocky he is.
  • Irony: Raven's ending.
  • Jack of All Stats: Christian, Cossette, Jean-Paul, and Steffan.
  • Japan Takes Over the World: The manual mentions in passing "Japanamerica" and the "defunct United States of America", suggesting that Japan and the US (or part of it) have merged into one country. This has basically no bearing on the game itself, though.
  • Just Think of the Potential: Ibrahim's reaction to the NOVA Project.
  • Kill It with Fire: The Pyros robot (and the ultra-secret fireball special move for the Katana).
  • Kill It with Ice: The secret floor freeze special move for the Shadow.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Kreissack, Ian Tavares, and on tournament mode eventually you, and finally everyone.
  • Ludicrous Gibs: The amount of scrap metal knocked from the robots is adjustable, and, at the highest levels, clearly more than the robot could have contained.
    • There's a cheat code that lets you increase or decrease the amount of scrap thrown during the fight, to the point where the highest levels invariably caused slowdown on the computers available at the time.
      • There's another cheat code that makes all scrap metal knocked off from the robots constantly rain down from above.
  • Mega Manning: In tournament mode, performing a Destruction move on certain hidden opponents will upgrade your special moves (like being able to do ground-based moves in the air or shoot multiple projectiles) if you have the same robot as them. The aerial move upgrades don't actually do anything if you're playing in Hyper Mode though, since you can do the moves aerially in Hyper Mode anyway.
  • Mighty Glacier: Shirro.
  • Motion Capture Mecha: Two reasons. First, most of the robots are human-shaped and the fighters actually have their minds chemically transferred to the robot for the duration of the fight. Second, Kreissack puts his own brain into the Nova, the most human robot--it even has four fingers and a thumb.
  • Multiple Endings
  • Non-Indicative First Episode: The original One Must Fall demo featured a pair of generic Shotoclones. The game we got ended up being very, very different.
  • Non-Lethal KO: You can blow up your opponent real good without actually killing them. How? Everyone is, effectively, remotely-controlled robots. And then the game has a Double Subversion at the end of the single player story mode, where Big Bad General Kreissack is revealed to have actually had his brain transplanted into his robot's body.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: One Chronos special move has him jump through the nearest arena wall--and come out the opposite wall going the same direction with his leg extended and the words "Look behind you, motherfucker!" written on his foot. I may have embellished a little.
  • Perfect Play AI: Some of the Bonus Bosses follow this strategy. It works if you're not up to snuff as a fighter because there is no blocking damage, except minimal for special moves (unless you've found the secret menu and tweaked things).
  • Power Creep, Power Seep: Try sim-fighting the people at the start of a tournament after you've completed the tournament. After your first tournament, the power differential can be shocking. Even after your first World Championship, your skill will likely have grown from the start of the tourney.
  • The Rival: All over the place, both in Story Mode and Tournament Mode.
    • For Story Mode, there's the Sibling Rivalry between Crystal and Christian--she wants to claim the Ganymede position as a way of finding out what happened to their parents; he intends to defeat her to keep her out of the way of his own Roaring Rampage of Revenge. There's also a hint of a rivalry between Ibrahim and Shirro, both of whom are older competitors and longtime acquaintances.
    • For Tournament Mode, many of the competitors are this for your player character. In fact, if you beat the World Championship tournament, the ending narrative outlines that the other competitors tell you the same thing-- "See you next year." If you want to get specific, special mention goes to Veronica, who you fight in the WAR Invitational and World Championship tournaments ("You really are a great opponent! I enjoy our fights..."), and Nicoli, the boss of the WAR Invitational tournament who returns to challenge you as a secret opponent moments after you defeat Ian Tavares.
  • Secret Character: Aside from fighters from other tournaments making themselves known, there are many from other Epic productions, including three characters from Jazz freakin' Jackrabbit, and game director Rob Elam's in-game avatar.
  • Secret Legacy: Milano. The manual notes that he is the son of one of WAR's original founders, and intends to take control of the company and steer it back towards his father's intentions. In his ending, he muses over changing the company's name to "Aeronautics & Robotics Technologies", or ART.
  • Sequence Breaking: If you decide to not progress from tournament to tournament and instead do one or two again and again, or if you do really well for yourself in getting cash to upgrade yourself and your bot, the next tournament will suck almost all statistical personality out of each fighter and make them just a skoch more powerful than you.
  • Sharpened to a Single Atom: Katana's blades and Thorn's spikes.
  • Shock and Awe: The Electra. It was designed to withstand electromagnetic interference in the Jovian atmosphere, and can charge up and shunt electrical energy into a given object- like, say, an opposing HAR.
  • Shotoclone: The Jaguar and Katana HARs.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Crystal and Christian.
  • Skunk Stripe: Eva O'Ryan, a character in Tournament Mode, has a thick white stripe in the top of her brown hairdo.
  • The Spock: Jean-Paul.
  • Spoiled Brat: Steffan, and how.
  • Stone Wall: Ibrahim.
  • Timey-Wimey Ball: The Chronos HAR's time-manipulation ability.
  • Tomato Surprise: Angel's victory reveals her to be an indigenous creature from Ganymede, hoping to win the tournament to prevent WAR's expansion.
    • Since you don't find out unless you play as her, this also counts as Tomato in the Mirror.
      • You can receive a hint toward this elsewhere in-game by unlocking her as a secret opponent during the World Championship circuit in Tournament Mode.
  • Victory Pose: Specifically noted as mugging to the watching crowd.
  • Wall Jump: The Katana can do this.
  • Weaponized Exhaust: The Pyros lacks real legs, being a zero-g construction robot. It makes use of it's directional thrusters instead.
  • You Fight Like a Cow: Prior to each battle. There's quite a bit of it too, since the dialogue between the same two characters is different depending on which the player is controlling.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Angel has white hair despite looking relatively young, while Jaqouline--the boss of the Katushai Challenge in Tournament Mode--has dark purple hair. Everyone else has relatively believable hair colors, including Jean-Paul and the Tournament Mode character Scarlet, both of whom have red hair.
  • You Killed My Father: Crystal and Christian's storyline. In his final battle quote, Christian explicitly makes the Shout-Out.
    • If Player 1 is Crystal and Player 2 or the computer is Shirro, the latter says "Get used to disappointment" (another line from The Princess Bride) in the pre-battle dialogue.