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Too Human is the first game in a planned trilogy developed by Silicon Knights (Eternal Darkness, Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain). Originally planned as a four-disc Playstation epic, it shifted consoles to the Nintendo 64 when an exclusive partnership was formed between Silicon Knights and Nintendo. That didn't happen either, and plans to release it for Gamecube were similarly set aside when the development house began work on Eternal Darkness. After nearly a decade stuck in Development Hell, the game was finally released on Xbox 360 in 2008 to unreasonable expectations and largely mediocre reviews and sales — perhaps due in part to retroactive Hype Backlash (though finicky targeting controls and an unskippable death animation certainly contributed).
The plot is a science-fiction take on Norse mythology, with its characters and events forming the basis for human gods, monsters and legends. The Æsir Corporation and its cybernetically enhanced rulers stand watch over what little remains of humanity during the last days of an ongoing war against sentient machines whose motivations are left unclear at best. Baldur — seen by the humans as less distant and aloof than his fellow "gods" — leads a hunt for a particularly nasty robot, GRNDL-1, and is drawn into a larger plot tied to the mystery of his wife's death.
- After the End - The current frozen state of the world is strongly implied to be the result of a nuclear winter.
- A God Am I - All the Aesir, though they're an arguably benevolent lot.
- Ammunition Backpack Robotic example - some of the 'Troll' class enemies use heavy Grenade Launchers, and wear huge, cylindrical ammo-canisters on their back to supply them. These are somewhat problematic, since their presence prevents you from doing your 'jump up on their shoulders and stab them in the neck' insta-kill, and they're hard to destroy since the Trolls always turn to face you ... hence, the grenade-launching Trolls winds up being much more dangerous than their hammer-wielding brothers, but not because of their attack-range...
- Anti-Villain - Hod.
- Arbitrary Gun Power - it is an RPG, after all.
- Awesomeness Meter - The combo meter.
- To expand: the combo meter fills as the player dispatches enemies using varying techniques. The more complex the action, the more combo earned. Combo can then be spent on room-nuking attacks or spells that act as buffs (increasing attack speed, bullet damage, etc.). So the game magic is fueled by Rule of Cool.
- Badass Boast - Half of Thor's dialogue consists of this. Some of what Balder remarks to his enemies would count if they weren't more likely promises rather than exaggeration. See To the Pain below.
--Wolf "Who knows? We might come across something uglier than a berserker.
—Bjorn "Don't count on it Wolf! Monsters tell stories of ME to frighten their children."
- Back from the Dead - Baldur.
- BFS - Several of Baldur's two-handed swords are about his height.
- Blown Across the Room - Goblins and other small enemies tend to fly away in random directions when killed with ballistics. What makes this odd is the complete lack of reaction from every bullet except the last one - the killing bullet will cause the enemy to go cartwheeling across the room, often bouncing into walls. Thank you, Havok.
- Character Customization - Through the Class and Level System and Point Build System, as well as cutomizable armor pieces.
- The Chessmaster - Loki.
- Class and Level System - combined with a Point Build System. Baldur can be one of five classes, each of which has a skill tree. As the player gains levels points can be spent to traverse the trees, providing several benefits. Additionally, the player can also choose an alignment that provides another tree with more (but different) upgrades.
- Colossus Climb - Taking down Trolls requires either wearing down their shoulders, arms, and legs individually; or climbing up their back and plunging a blade into the beast's head.
- Continuing Is Painful and Death Is a Slap on The Wrist — when you die, after the death animation you're dumped right back into the fight with no loss of progress, but on the other hand, your equipment is damaged and your combo meter is reset to zero, meaning if you're in a bad situation, you have fewer resources to deal with it than before you died.
- Also, the cutscene is completely unskippable. This in and of itself can also be considered a punishment of sorts.
- Coup De Grace Cutscene - On Hod and Hel. Separately, of course.
- Crate Expectations - Various containers are scattered through the levels, conferring money or health. Very rarely they can also drop epic (read: very very rare) items.
- Cut and Paste Environments - The last two levels suffer from some of this, as they just drag on and on.
- Cyberpunk - Midgard is essentially a Cyberpunk world ruled by a Mega Corp, cybernetic augmentation and artificial intelligences are significant technologies.
- Development Hell - Notorious for it.
- The game was first announced all the way back in 1999, with a trailer at E3 the same year. It then hopped from console to console, and even through three different generations, starting with the original Playstation, going to the Game Cube, to finally settle on the Xbox 360. The only game to be in development hell longer and be released would be Duke Nukem Forever, and, as most people will tell you, that's not even a safe bet either.
- Disney Death - Thor kinda pulls one off. But it was all just a lie, as it happened when Baldur got into cyberspace, and "got out" of it when in reality he was in a simulation of the real world during his time in cyberspace. Notably, Mimir also goes crazy during this fake reality segment.
- Dynamic Loading - Loading is done behind cutscenes between levels and dynamically during levels. You'll only see loading screens by skipping cutscenes or jumping right to levels in online multiplayer.
- Empathic Weapon - Baldur's sword Fenrir.
- Exposition Break - Between levels, and (irritatingly, to some) during levels. There's a reason the story is excised in online multiplayer.
- Fan Disservice - Hel.
- Frickin' Laser Beams - One of the ammo types. Averts several problems, as they hit instantly and have no recoil. When using Laser ammo, guns "heat up" to full damage - the longer held on an enemy, the more damage (up to a cap) they do. Watching the damage ramp up on the scrolling damage meter is often very satisfying.
- Fun with Acronyms - ODIN (Organically Distributed Intelligence Network) and the NORNs (Non Organic Rational Nanosystems).
- Ghost Ship - The World Serpent.
- The Hecate Sisters - The NORNs.
- He Who Fights Monsters - The Nietzsche quote for this trope is directly stated in one trailer. From a work separate from the Literary Allusion Title, however.
- Hollywood Cyborg - Almost everyone.
- Hot-Blooded - Baldur.
- Hot Scientist - Idunn.
- Instant 180-Degree Turn - Not all of Baldur's animations are smooth, especially this one. Jumping while moving the stick in circles as quickly as possible makes Baldur pirouette several times in midair.
- Involuntary Group Split - After Thor's Disney Death. Though, he gets better.
- It's Personal - Baldur's pursuit of Hod.
- Level Grinding - And How! 5 Character Classes, 50 Levels each. Have Fun!
- Level Up Fill Up - Played straight. It's saved many a life mid-battle.
- Literary Allusion Title - to Friedrich Nietzsche's Human, All Too Human.
- Mega Corp - Æsir Corporation, although its arguably a benevolent Mega Corp.
- Monsters Everywhere - Absolutely everywhere. Except cyberspace and Asgard.
- More Dakka - A slug rifle in the hands of a Human Commando, with rate of fire and ricochet maxed and additional Metalstorm charms, can fire and kill entire rooms faster than the game can render the bullets. Add in another player in co-op, and well... yeah.
- Narm - "IT'S A VALKYRIE, COME TO TAKE ISTBOR TO VALHALLA!"
- Norse Mythology - The basis for the plot and every character therein.
- One-Hit Polykill - Each alignment gets a different skill for this, and the effects can be given to anyone via Charms.
- With Metalstorm (Human), bullets ricochet and can hit additional enemies the character's ballistic distance away. That is, entire rooms away. And proc effects go with them, so it can happen again. On every bullet. This can happen with grenades as well.
- Cybernetic characters get pass-through, which lets bullets pass through opponents, hitting others behind them. Not as fun, but still useful.
- One-Man Army - You are supported by human soldiers, but all they seem to do is talk in the background and get killed. Occasionally shooting something.
- Our Monsters Are Different - Goblins, trolls, elves - all robots.
- Randomly Drops - And they're drawn to the player magnetically. Auto-looting at its finest.
- Robot War
- RPGs Equal Combat - The only way to gain EXP is to fight. And fight you will.
- Rule of Cool - Played to the hilt, for example with Baldur able to "juggle" enemies in midair with the stream of bullets from his gun. These kinds of moves also charge a combo meter that can be used to activate special abilities, making those abilities literally powered by cool.
- Run Don't Walk - Baldur runs by default, and slowing his down a walk via the control stick makes him walk incredibly slowly.
- Sidetrack Bonus - One of the best ways to get epic loot is to go off the beaten path. A few places mid-level, but the World Tree is one giant sidetrack with several loot-dropping obelisks in it.
- Smug Snake - Loki.
- Stillborn Franchise: Safe to say that the rest of the trilogy won't ever get made.
- This is open for debate.
- Suicidal Overconfidence - The machines never stop attacking. Though... they sometimes do win.
- To the Pain
Balder: "All the pain and cruelty you inflicted, I will carve into your flesh. Your agonized shrieks shall be your only monument!"
- Unbreakable Weapons - Interesting mix with Breakable Weapons: weapons and armor do not degrade with use, but instead lose durability at death. When durability reaches zero, weapon strikes only do damage based on Baldur's strength, and armor pieces no longer offer any protection. Both can be repaired at shops. Given that gear typically has enough durability for at least 15+ deaths, it's obvious the designers knew the player would die many, many, times.
- Unwitting Pawn - Hod.
- The War Sequence - The whole freaking game.
- We Can Rebuild Him - Part of Baldur's backstory, also the Valiant Warriors/Einherjar made from the soldiers fallen in battle and retrieved by the Valkyries. In addition Hel reanimates corpses as technological zombies.
- What Could Have Been - The pre-release information back in the late 90s depicted a very different game, with a much harder brand of science fiction bordering on cyberpunk and no Norse deities in sight.