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"Everything is true."
The upcoming MMORPG from Funcom, makers of The Longest Journey, Anarchy Online, and several other games. The premise of The Secret World is that all conspiracies are true, and major clandestine organizations compete to take over the world, whilst keeping swarms of mythical creatures under wraps in the process. Players join up with one of three ancient conspiracies: the Templar, The Illuminati, or the Dragon, to fight in a secret war waged in the shadows of our world.
An interesting draw is the reported lack of classes and levels — rather than selecting a class such as "mage" or "warrior" and only learn certain skills as you level up, players will be able to choose skills to do whatever they want--they are free to select both spells and melee, or stealth and healing magic or what have you.
Little more is known about the game itself, which is still in its beta testing phase, but information exists about the societies themselves- The Templars, based in London are the most open of the three, as well as the most devoted to fighting evil in all forms. Pitted against them are the Illuminati, who are focused on personal gain and individualism. The third society, the Dragon is the most secretive of the three- little is known about their motives, but they work in the shadows, working in the name of chaos, and balance.
- Arc Words: "Dark days are coming," as well as its anagram, "Dark demons cry gaia." A lesser one within the community is, "There is no Clockwork Society," and another from the latest advertising push is...
- Everything Is True
- Alternate Reality Game: Dark Demons Cry Gaia.
- Ancient Conspiracy: Three flavors for players to chose from, as well as at least one for the players to take down.
- Ancient Tradition: The MO of the Dragon.
- Atlantis: Big thematic for the NPC Phoenecian faction.
- Ascended Meme: One of the first Illuminati NPC the player meets looks like Lady Gaga, in reference to frequent rumors about her being a puppet of same. In the concept art, she was effectively identical.
- Big Applesauce: The Illuminati are based in New York City.
- Black and Gray Morality: You have three ancient conspiracies that control humanity, none of which are portrayed in a truly positive or negative light, working to unravel a darker conspiracy that threatens all humanity.
- Blatant Lies: The original tagline of the game was "There is no conspiracy." The promotion campaign has since made a U-turn and posited that "Everything is true."
- The Chessmaster: The Dragon, who manipulate the other two societies (as well as their other enemies) for their own purposes.
- Class and Level System: It has been stated that both of these will be entirely averted for the game.
- Closed Circle: For the citizens of the Kingsmouth.
- Common Character Classes: As stated, it will be an Averted Trope with no classes within the game. That's not to say the stuff you'll pick and choose from won't evoke them, or course...
- Conspiracy Kitchen Sink: Part of the basis of the game. And the writer are not at all not shy to show their work (the list starts ca. 1:10 in).
- The Corruption: "The Filth", which is apparently mutating people into tentacled monstrosities.
- Crystal Dragon Jesus: With the name of Templars, referring to having faith when speaking of them often, and using the Iron Cross as their symbol, many assume the Templars are Christians. It has been explicitly stated that they are not, though.
- Faction Calculus: Templars seem to be the Powerhouse, Illuminati, the Balanced faction, and Dragon, the Subversives.
- Gray and Grey Morality: Pick your poison: the demon-purging Templar, the power-brokering Illuminati, or the destabilizing Dragon.
- On the NPC side, we have the Phoenicians, who were originally an ally to the Big Three, but kept on getting the shaft in intra-Council of Venice politics until they lost their patience. In other words, an oppressed minority who decided to do something about it.
- Historical Villain Upgrade: The Illuminati and The Knights Templar in TSW are... different from what history tells us.
- Hollow Earth: Agartha, the PvP realm, in the center of the Earth.
- Jedi Truth: Used by the Dragon, as part of the Art of Chaos.
- Katanas Are Just Better: One of the favored weapons of the Dragon is the katana.
- Knight Templar: The Templar will 'burn down a village to kill one demon'. They also created the The Knights Templar as an amusing diversion.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Apis of the mysterious Sanctuary of Secrets is fully aware of the Funcom forums for the game, and hints that the Alternate Reality Game is his organization's doing.
- Loyal Animal Companion: The player can choose one of three animals (the Ferocious Wolf, the Egyptian Cat, or the Loyal Hound) to assist him or her in combat.
- Lovecraft Lite: The promotional material features a Japanese schoolgirl fighting bondage demons and giant squids with a katana. It's H.P. Lovecraft In Name Only.
- Averted in the lore collected in-game. Some descriptions get really disturbing and icky.
- The Masquerade: The game is set in a world a bit darker than our own, with a secret war between the sides that know the truth.
- Mega Corp: One of the NPC factions will be "Orochi Multinational Group," based in Tokyo but with operations around the globe. Most references to them suggest they're trying to obtain supernatural artifacts, without success.
- Melee a Trois: The Templar and Illuminati have been at each other's throats since they existed, and the Dragon attempt to manipulate both sides for their own purposes.
- Mute Protagonist: The player-character never says a word in cutscenes. (At least in the open beta.)
- Not Using the Zed Word: The narrator of the Kingsmouth trailer invokes this trope by saying he's seen enough movies to know what to call them, but refuses to do so.
- Our Zombies Are Different: The ones in Kingsmouth come in two flavors. There are the expected Flesh-eaters made from the townsfolk, and the Draug: seemingly Revenants of ancient Native Americans and Vikings are behind the attacks. It doesn't help that being submerged in the sea for so long has made them visibly other than human.
- Order Versus Chaos: The Templar are all about hierarchy, the Illuminati are Social Darwinists with a pyramidal scheme in mind, and the Dragon... believes in inciting chaos to force balance.
- Path of Inspiration: The Morninglight movement seems to be part New Age self-help group and part doomsday Cult. Their name should ring alarm bells, and some of their members are definitely up to no good in Kingsmouth.
- Players Are Geniuses/OnlySmartPeopleMayPass: Some missions will require you to do actual research, such as looking up Bible quotes, using the in-game browser to Google Italian composers... or just looking it up on Game FAQs.
- Rich Idiot With No Day Job: The Illuminati are described as "Sex, Drugs and Rockefeller." Note that this is a Subverted Trope, as all Illuminati must pull their own weight or be culled.
- Shout-Out: One of the Kingsmouth trailers briefly shows a street sign, at the corner of Lovecraft and Arkham.
- Social Darwinist: The motto of the Illuminati is "do or get done"-ie, "if you don't try to get to the top, you become a stepping stone."
- Supernatural Martial Arts: The Dragon use magic and martial arts.
- Actually, everyone can, not just the Dragon.
- Urban Fantasy: Has elements of it, but players can only be human beings, and it's unknown what the extent of the demons' goals and intellects are.
- Zombie Apocalypse: Kingsmouth.