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File:AlphaPrime.jpg


"This is a very strange thing all the same, this hubbardium. Do you believe in Glomar, Arnold?"
—Paolo Bellini

Alpha Prime is a 2007 first-person shooter developed by Czech Republic company Black Element Software, with a script by Sci-Fi author Ondřej Neff.

The game features a hacking system allowing for remote controlling of doors, cameras, pressure valves, loaders, sentry guns, proximity mines, and more, a bullet time system, a vehicle driving segment, physics, and motion captured animation.

The story involves a man named Arnold Weiss traveling to a sealed off mining station to rescue his friend Warren Reynolds. The station was originally set up for mining a valuable mineral called hubbardium, said to come from a mysterious creature named Glomar. While looking for his friend, Arnold meets up with a prospector named Paolo, another ex-employee named Bruce, and the Colonel sent to clean up after the incident that shut down the station. As he gets deeper and deeper in, Arnold discovers that there may be more to this Glomar thing than he originally expected and there may be no one that he can trust.


  • Air Vent Passageway - Used only a couple of times.
  • Anyone Can Die - Everyone except Livia dies in the end, even the main character.
  • Artificial Brilliance - The enemies aren't always the smartest, but they do use cover and do other complex maneuvers such as diving through windows and firing behind themselves while they run for cover. And while their voice emotes may not always be appropriate, they do communicate an illusion of strategy in their squads.
  • Back From the Dead - Subverted when Paolo appears on a security camera, only for it to turn out to be a trap. Played straight at the end when Arnold is seemingly resurrected by Glomar (or maybe just possessed by it.
  • Badass - Arnold is just some wash up doing a favor for a friend, and ends up massacring an entire army.
  • Big Bad Friend - Arnold's old friend Livia, who turns out to have been more or less setting up both sides from the beginning, and gets away with it.
    • Getting away with it? Not so sure. The ship Arnold wakes up on when possessed/resurrected by Glomar is Livia's, with her inside. The game ends before we can see what happens, but Arnold is... unlikely to be pleased by the course of the events.
  • Bad Boss - After Arnold massacres the entire Company army in order to reach Colonel Olivier, Olivier thanks Arnold for killing all of his men because one of them might have been spying on the Colonel for the Company.
  • Blind Idiot Translation - Not quite as bad as some other examples (I'm looking at you, The Master of Unlocking), but the rambling, off-kilter nature of the dialogue makes it pretty clear that the script was translated (perhaps a bit too literally) from another language. And that's just the normal characters. Paolo is in an entire class of his own.
  • Bilingual Bonus - Paolo and some of his off-hand comments.
  • Bullet Time - Powered by "refined hubbardium."
  • Chekhov's Gun - Glomar, mentioned in the intro, becomes the real goal of the characters.
  • Cliff Hanger - The ending doesn't exactly resolve everything.
  • Color Coded for Your Convenience - The Company Soldiers wear different color armor depending on their weapon specialization; normal soldiers wear blue armor, snipers wear yellow armor, shotgun soldiers wear red armor, etc.
  • Cool but Inefficient - The flamethrower seems to kill at the same speed as any other gun, except it requires you to be very close to your opponents and not in cover.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive - Pretty much anyone from the Company.
  • Crowning Moment of Awesome - Arnold convincing Olivier that Glomar will destroy him, because Glomar's heart reacts to what the person who touches it is thinking.
  • Crowning Moment of Funny - The conversations between Arnold and Paolo.
    • "Shut up!"
    • To clarify: Paolo seems to have a very broken knowledge of both English (which may be understandable) and Italian (much less understandable, since he claims to come from Italy). To most players, this merely results in weird English punctuated by random Italian words, but to an Italian it's absolutely hilarious.
  • Crowning Moment of Heartwarming - When Arnold vows revenge for Warren and Paolo, the latter of which he barely knew.
  • Die, Chair, Die! - You can't destroy most objects, but due to the physics system, they will get in your way a lot, especially chairs.
  • Door to Before - Level 7 when you end up back at the basketball court from near the beginning of the game.
  • Downer Ending - It is implied that Bruce is killed, Arnold is betrayed and killed by Livia, and the glowing eyes at the end could mean something as bad as they could something good.
  • Drop the Hammer - The first weapon you get. Hilariously, can be swung virtually as fast as you can click.
  • Eldritch Abomination - Glomar. Most people on Alpha Prime have been driven mad and those who haven't, like Paolo, mention being able to feel Glomar in the walls at night.
    • Whether Paolo can be considered mentally sane is open to debate.
  • Enemy Chatter - The Company soldiers are constantly giving each other orders or announcing their squad's death.
  • Everything Is Online - "Anything can be opened from a console when you have a real pro on the job."
  • Evil Army - The Company's marines, who are willing to kill anything on Alpha Prime to cover it up.
  • Exploding Barrels - Small red canisters and waste crates.
  • Faceless Goons - Once you get to the Company soldiers.
  • Final Boss - Glomar Olivier
  • First-Person Shooter
  • Funny Foreigner - Paolo. He constantly shifts into Italian, brags about his Roman heritage, and even starts singing an Italian opera at one point.
  • Gatling Good - The main rifle in the game is known as the "Gatling LE" and features six rotary barrels.
    • Subverted in the old tradition of making a weaopn rotary just because it looks cool, not because it needs it. Specifically, the main rifle has a low enough rate of fire that multiple barrels are entirely useless.
  • Giant Mook - Company Soldiers armed with flamethrowers or rocket launchers have heavier, noticeably bulkier armor that slows them down and makes them much more durable.
  • Gone Horribly Wrong - The first attempt at retrieving Glomar's heart.
  • Gravity Barrier - Justified across the rocky surface of the asteroid.
  • Green Rocks - Hubbardium. If it's refined, it can be used to power things, make alcohol, and slow down time. Unrefined, it can drive someone mad or grant wishes.
  • Hacking Minigame - The ReCon (remote control) more or less averts this, because all you have to do to hack something is point at it and wait.
  • Heal Thyself - Medkits and Health Stations
  • Heroic Mime - Intentionally averted. The developers didn't want you to have any say in who your character was specifically because they wanted to tell their story.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal - You carry a hammer, a pistol, a shotgun, a Gatling rifle, a sniper rifle, a flamethrower, a rocket launcher and grenades simultaneously.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy - Noticeably averted. One of the major factors of difficulty in this game is that no one misses.
  • Improbable Age - Realistically averted. All the characters (including the hero and the female lead) appear to be in their mid 40s, which makes sense considering they're all supposed to be grizzled mining veterans. This is in contrast to several mainstream shooters that generally feature characters that seem unusually young for their current professional rank and informed level of experience (i.e. the first Resident Evil, with the lead STARS members being seasoned ex-Special Force soldiers in their early twenties, or Halo where the main character's commanding officer looks (as Zero Punctuation puts it) like a prepubescent gymnast.)
  • Improvised Weapon - The hammer you originally receive as a tool on an exploding ship, and what a weapon it is (you can swing it just about as fast as you can click).
  • I Never Told You My Name - Arnold starts to become suspicious of Livia due to this. He points out that it's quite odd that the marine commander knows him by name as soon as he arrives, despite Arnold being some nobody prospector who only came to the asteroid to resuce a friend.
  • Informed Ability - In the first level, you come across a cannibalised corpse, and Arnold explains that excessive Hubbardium expose turns people into mindless monsters. However, the insane miners you fight in the game act completely like normal humans (and don't even yell or shout crazy stuff during combat) and can even be seen sitting around lounging at their offices or drinking coffee together at the cafeteria later in the game.
  • It's Probably Nothing - Arnold suggests that Coral Snake might not even be real. They are. Although Coral Snake's line in the ending implies that he may have figured it out after all.
  • Kick the Dog - The conversation between Olivier and Paolo, leading to Paolo's death though it's technically one of his men who perpetrates it specifically against his orders.
  • Kill'Em All - Livia arranges this for her own ends.
  • Late to the Party - Arnold comes to Alpha Prime directly as a result of what happened before, and what happened before is incredibly important.
  • Literal Genie - Glomar gives you whatever you were thinking when you touch its heart.
  • Locked Door - Most are quickly opened by you or remotely by Bruce unless the game is just using them as decoration.
  • Lovable Coward - Paolo. He's a nice guy who was trapped on Alpha Prime and is simply trying to survive. His assistance proves invaluable throughout the game.
  • Malevolent Architecture - Notably averted. The entire mining station is completely logical as a real complex, and almost every room can be assumed to have a real world purpose, from the offices, to the living quarters, to the med center, to the rec room, to the tram connecting parts of the complex.
  • Meaningful Name - Glomar. Its urban legend status is similar to the Glomar Response, especially when you discover that Glomar is real, and the Company knows about it.
    • Coral Snake. The codename was chosen for a reason. They have all the typical traits of a character described as a "snake" and they even mention poison as a metaphor at one point.
  • Mission Control - Bruce Lawrence is more or less this for the majority of the game.
  • The Mole - Coral Snake, who turns out to be Livia.
  • Narm - "I?ll get you Glomar. I?ll find you in the end. I will pull you out of the $%^&ing wall." and pretty much any other reference to Glomar or hubbardium.
    • "Glomar will %^&$ you over."
  • Narm Charm - Paolo. His gratuitous Italian and broken English turn every line into a joke, but he's still a heartwarming character.
  • Nobody Calls Me Chicken - Subverted. When called a coward, Paolo recites his proud Roman heritage... and then decides his leg hurts too much.
  • No OSHA Compliance - Largely averted. Most areas have rails and other safety measures. The only reason why the place is dangerous is because it's been abandoned and since fallen into disrepair. The mine at the end deserves particular mention, since the entire thing is actually railed and it's difficult to fall off or knock someone else off. This doesn't stop the game from showing the unfortunate victims of elevator accidents or an exploded gas line though.
  • One Bullet Clips
  • One-Man Army - Lampshaded when Bruce suspects you of being Coral Snake. "And don't say they want to kill you. Those boys keep plugging away, but somehow they still can't seem to finish the job. They can't seem to shoot you properly. It's a pure miracle you're still alive. And miracles are always suspicious." Played straight because he's wrong.
  • One-Winged Angel - Notable in that it was the hero's fault. The villain had no idea it would happen.
  • Oxygen Meter - Used for exterior parts of the asteroid. Can be refilled from oxygen dispensers or walking into an airlock.
  • Poirot Speak - Paolo.

 "Warren, si si! Lucky guy! E fortunato quello. This figone always with him-"

"I prefer Bellini to Tortellini."

  • Reality Is Unrealistic - Many people cite Paolo's Italian accent as a reason the voice acting sucks, except the voice actor, Davide Dominici, is actually Italian (though to be fair, the complaints don't entirely encompass that).
  • Sequel Hook - The game ends with Arnold dead and Livia on the verge of getting Glomar's heart for the Company, but Arnold's eyes open to reveal a glowing hubbardium green.
  • Shout-Out - A sci-fi story with a mineral known as hubbardium?
  • Snark Bait - Some of the voice acting (particularly Paolo and his accent), along with the somewhat rambling, obviously second-hand translated script, has made the game into this for some reviewers. Not to mention the silly words like "hubbardium" and "Glomar" being featured prominently and said with dead seriousness throughout the game.
  • Space Marine - Colonel Olivier is a straightforward, villainous example. He's even Bald of Evil and wears a bandana.
  • Suspicious Videogame Generosity - The room before the final boss is a veritable arsenal, far better stocked and accessible than the actual arsenal you visited twice throughout the game.
  • Take Your Time - The game insists you need to hurry for some objectives such as rescuing people, but time never seems to matter.
  • Uncanny Valley - Could potentially fall into this for some. The heavy detail of the motion capture does not match the comparatively inferior facial graphics which have lifeless eyes.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change - The level with the buggy is the only level that isn't a straight first-person shooter. Controlling the loader with the ReCon could be considered one too, since it's about using a vehicle to move crates.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon - You descend into a mine with glowing hubbardium growing more and more prevalent.
  • Weapon of Choice - Arnold is always holding a rifle in the cutscenes.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human? - The miners driven mad by hubbardium exposure. Sure, they shoot on sight, but in the office level, you can catch them milling around their cubicles like nothing is wrong. Are they really beyond help?
  • Wreaking Havok - The game is very proud of its physics engine, although it never uses it for any major puzzles.
  • Xanatos Gambit - Coral Snake's plan. The entire time, Livia just wanted to get back to Alpha Prime to get Glomar's heart to the Company. The protagonist thinks she is on his side, and the antagonist is also trying to get the heart for the company. Whoever gets to the heart and kills the other makes the heart available to her and the Company.
  • You All Look Familiar - There is only one appearance for each enemy type.
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