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Turn No Man's Land into Real Man's Land!
Iron Brigade AKA Trenched is Double Fine's fourth downloadable game as part of their Amnesia Fortnights venture, changing the studio from making one large title every few years, to making multiple small games in one year.
The world is being invaded by monsters made completely out of primitive television sets known as Monovisions, and they completely wiped out the Army, Air Force and Navy. The only force remaining is the Mobile Trench Brigade. An elite squad of soldiers trained to use Humongous Mecha known as Mobile Trenches. Mobile Trenches are quite literally World War One trenches slapped on a pair of robot legs, with a human soldier standing in the trench, operating the robot and guns.
The story revolves around the Big Good and Big Bad, while the player controls a separate protagonist. During World War One, Woodruff and Vladimir Farnsworth were serving the allied countries. But the war effort found a positive use for disabled veterans, having them serve as code-breakers. While working, they intercepted an unknown signal that killed all who heard them except for Woodruff and Vlad. Instead, they gained supernatural genius.
Woodruff used his newly found genius to invent mobile robotic legs to help his fellow disabled veterans. Vlad, the Russian survivor, used his gifts to invent television in an attempt to bring the world to the comfort of your home. Unfortunately, the end result was the horrors of the world coming straight to him (along with really crappy programming), which drove him to insanity. Vlad then created a race of mechanical monsters made entirely of television sets, known as The Monovisions, or "tubes." Colonel Woodruff uses his Mobile Trench Brigade to fight his old friend.
The game is a Spiritual Successor to Brutal Legend, with a slant towards Monday Night Combat. Rather than command free roaming units like a Real Time Strategy game, the game combines action with Tower Defense. Each player has the ability to customize their mobile trench with over 200 different parts, making a "balanced" trench with emphasis on weapons and turrets, an Engineering trench with light weapons but better turret emplacements, or an Assault trench with limited turrets but the greatest capacity for weapons.
Trenched was renamed to Iron Brigade to avoid EU copyright issues.
- Alternate History: Television is invented several decades early. And it's evil.
- A Commander Is You: The player can deploy defensive towers like a Tower Defense game, while fighting monsters.
- Artistic License Engineering: While the schematics to the trenches aren't available, one could guess that punching or kicking the controls shouldn't revive your trench if it broke down.
- Artistic License History: Not like anyone minds, though.
- Awesome but Impractical: The Trenches, before they were re-purposed as battle-mechs, would appear to have been very ungainly as a prosthetic, being very bulky and adding at least 5-feet to the operator's height.
- Gameplay wise, Artillery Cannons. Single shot, arcing projectile, long reload, big explosion, and high damage. Also Gungnir the Sniper Cannon, though it swaps arcing shot for fast shot.
- Beard of Evil: Vlad.
- On the cover of Mad Scientist magazine in-universe, one article is titled "Which Sinister Beard is Right for Me?"
- Badass Mustache: Several.
- Barrier Warrior: Jacobs, which project a shield to any nearby Tubes. Although, not on themselves...
- BFG: "The King," and "Mr. Pancakes."
- Any Artillery cannon qualifies, and even some late game Sniper Cannons too.
- Big Bad Friend: Vladimir Farnsworth. The entire story revolves around him and the Big Good.
- Brown Note: The unknown signal. It killed everyone who heard it except for Vlad and Woodruff, who gained super intellect.
- Big Good: Commander Woodruff.
- Color Coded for Your Convenience: Blue enemies attack you and the base. Teal enemies will attack your towers directly. Red enemies only attack you.
- Trench weapons also have this treatment, from white(bog standard) to green(basic, but unique guns), to blue(less common than greens, but more useful), to purple(very powerful, but very rare/mid-late game.)
- Comes Great Responsibility
- Cool Boat: The USS Mckinley, a re-purposed battleship with legs!
- Death Ray: Broadcasters, weaponized broadcasters which also have some gameplay elements reminiscent of flamethrowers.
- The Engineer: The player characters, all of whom can place turrets almost anywhere. Different trench chassis play the trope slightly differently, being able to deploy different turrets.
- Engineer-type chassis trade firepower for the ability to place a wider variety of turrets.
- Fighting Your Friend
- Genre Busting
- Giant Squid: The Pacific boss.
- Handicapped Badass: Colonel Woodruff and Vlad Farnsworth. Bonus points go to Woodruff, who commands the Mobile Trench Brigade from the comfort of an Iron Lung with robot arms for both typing and holding his cigar.
- Heavily Armored Mook: Breakers. Changes once they're hit with an explosive weapon.
- Hold the Line
- Humongous Mecha: The Mobile Trenches.
- Mad Scientist: Vlad.
- Mechanical Monster: The Monovisions are as much machine as creature, and more disturbing to look at than either would be alone.
- Manly Men
- Mission Control: Woodruff serves as this from his iron lung on-board the USS Mckinley.
- Mook Maker: Big Bertha.
- More Dakka: A single Assault chassis can be outfitted with six machine guns.
- On top of that, it can be assisted by even more machine gun turrets.
- No Export for You: The European version of the game was taken down within hours of its release due to copyright issues regarding the game's title in Portugal, which prompted an unusually radical solution (see Orwellian Retcon)
- Old Media Are Evil: Taken to extremes, and played for laughs. Vlad, invented television decades before when it's supposed to happen in real life. Because of this early development, the horrors of the world, combined with the resulting programming being so primitive and crappy, it drove him insane.
- Orwellian Retcon: Due to the copyright issues with the name Trenched, a forthcoming update will change the name of the game in all territories to Iron Brigade.
- There is a techinical reason for the change affecting all regions, apparently: If the EU was the only region going by Iron Brigade and everywhere else was Trenched, EU players would be limited to multiplayer with only other EU players (some sort of issue with games with two different names connecting over Xbox Live, supposedly).
- Rated "M" for Manly: Double Fine was inspired by silly "manly man" magazines from The Forties and The Fifties. They use the magazine shown in this trope's page as source material!
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Woodruff and Farnsworth inventions are spiritual opposites of each other. Woodruff's Humongous Mecha are intended to let disabled veterans walk again. Farnsworth invention, Television, was intended to being the world to you instead.
- Real Is Brown: Defied Trope.
- Sand Worm: The Africa and Europe bosses.
- Schizo-Tech: Monsters made out of TV sets, trenches slapped on mech legs, and one gigantic battleship with legs to walk on land.
- Sequel Hook: Even after defeating Vlad, Woodruff states that the source and purpose of the Broadcast is unknown and that it may return.
Woodruff: "I do know one thing, that we'll be ready for it."
- Shotguns Are Just Better: In addition to shotguns for your Trench, your most basic turrets are shotguns.
- Shout-Out: "Sucks to be you, Tube!"
- Players can dress up their avatar like Razputin.
- Show Runner: Brad Muir
- Smoking Is Cool: Woodruff, hilariously, has an attachment on his iron lung meant specifically to hold his cigar.
- The Marine also dons a cigar before repairing his trench, should it be downed.
- Suicide Attack: Blitzers.
- Taunt Button: While on the ship, the fire buttons (LT/RT for Xbox, L2/R2 for PlayStation 3) instead let your marine "salute". And by salute, it's really "silly gesture".
- Taking You with Me: The Blitzers's only form of attack, consisting of running to your location and blowing up in your face.
- Title Drop: "DOUBLE FINE! *Evil Laugh*"
- X Meets Y: Tower Defense meets Mechassault
- Double Fine likes to call the game "Trench Hounds."
- Voice of the Legion: Vlad. The monovision are his way of "bringing the world to him."
- War Has Never Been So Much Fun
- "Well Done, Son" Guy: Woodruff Jr.
- With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Vlad.
- Zerg Rush: The Knobs, who rush and self destruct players and structures.