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File:Mutchron.jpg

Mutant Chronicles is a post-apocalyptic role playing game created by the Swedish company Target Games. It also spawned a semi-successful franchise: two Collectible Card Games (Doom Trooper and Darkeden), three Board Games (Fury of the Clansmen, Blood Berets and Doom Troopers: Siege of the Citadel) two tabletop wargames (War Zone and Mutant Chronicles: Collectible Miniatures Game), a Video Game (Doom Troopers, the second one planned to be a RTS in the vein of Dawn of War was canned), a short Comic Book series and a film whose writers apparently Did Not Do the Research or Just Didn't Care, not to say it wasn't still good on its own.

What's it all about? Earth gets too tight for the MegaCorps, so after battling for quite a time, they go and colonize the whole inner Solar System (and a few outposts beyond), since All Planets Are Earthlike (MASSIVE terraforming). Sadly, Imperial colonizers go a planet too far, reaching the mysterious Tenth Planet (named Nero) and unleashing the Cosmic Horror - The Dark Soul along with its Apostles and their Dark Legion. People go nuts and form evil cults, the Dark Symmetry makes all sufficiently powerful computers go evil, Demonic Alien Invaders expand their ranks with Squicky Body Horror Shop creations from cybernetic zombies and Mutants of different kinds to Godzilla-sized zombies to biomechanical Spider Tanks. In short: The End of the World as We Know It.

Of course, the MegaCorps try to stop them, get their asses handed to them a couple of times, and if not for a Church Militant called the Brotherhood, they'd fail forever. With the Brotherhood's help, the bigger part of humanity repents (mainly because the Brotherhood's methods are brutal, but work for humanity's good), leveling the playing field. On the other hand, corporate rivalries aren't forgotten; if the Corporations aren't kicking Legion ass, they're most probably butting heads over resources. If the Cartel, a body formed especially to mediate among the MegaCorps, allows it. Most of the time, it does.

Most of the franchise is set about a thousand years after the defeat of the Dark Legion's first onslaught; humanity has rebuilt, but much of its past achievements have been impossible to equal (computers are usually based on vacuum-tube technology, most firearms still use jacketed lead bullets, and anything terraformation-related is still Lost Technology save for maintenance). And while the Megacorporations are once again at each others' throats, corruption and moral decay are spreading everywhere, even the vaunted Brotherhood, just as the Dark Legions and Dark Symmetry, which by then were barely more than a myth to most people, are making a comeback after marshalling their forces for another go at destroying humanity...

Trope In The Name Of The Cardinal!:

  • Abnormal Ammo - some Dark Legion guns use it: black holes, corrosive chemicals, bullets that turn you into a Heretic and energy drained from demonic fetuses. Squicky.
  • AI Is a Crapshoot - played straight in the backstory, adjusted for the Rule of Fun in the game itself. Cybertronic is a Corporation built around cyborgs, androids, AIs and computers. Their AI-controlled war machines tend to go berserk from time to time if you happen to roll a Critical Failure.
    • Double-subverted in that Cybertronic's supposed AIs are actually wetware/hardware interfaces (i.e. the main component is always a cybernetically-enhanced Brain In a Jar).
  • Aliens and Monsters - the Dark Legion. Part this, part that. And Mutants and demons too.
  • All There in the Manual - see above. Warzone: Universe Under Siege manual serves backstories by the bucketload, not mentioning the comic book series starring signature characters.
  • Always Chaotic Evil - the Dark Legion. Very, very Straight.
  • Amazon Brigade - lots. Etoiles Mortant, Mourning Wolves, Vestals and Valkyries to name a few. All supremely Badass Special Forces within their respective organizations.
  • Ambiguously Evil - Cybertronic. They use A Is, which have proven themselves to be a conduit for the Dark Symmetry, seemingly without ill effects. They mysteriously lure employees away from other corporations. They seem to have developed some form of Mind Control. Their contributions to the Brotherhood are token at best. But they also send plenty of their troops to become Doomtroopers, provide other Doomtroopers with weapons, and no Cybertronic employee has ever shown signs of following the Dark Symmetry.
  • And I Must Scream - the appropriately named Screaming Legionnaires.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil - Although far from universal, Bauhaus has a lot of those. Stahler from the comic being evil beyond the usual level.
    • The Imperial also have their fair share, the intrigue and dirty business at one time resulting in the Sad Struggle, a Shout-Out to the British Isles' many wars, civil or otherwise.
    • Mishima too, as a matter of fact, since they follow a particularly harsh brand of Tokugawa era Bushido, but their sourcebook exposits on the growing corruption within the noble families.
  • Arm Cannon - most Mecha.
  • Army of Thieves and Whores: Capitol has two flavors. The conventional flavor is the Freedom Brigades, men and women who are trading ten years of brutal service in the most Light-forsaken hellholes in the solar system for a clean rap sheet and Capitol citizenship. The less conventional one is the Free Marines, which is a penal battalion for highly decorated Spec Ops veterans who for some reason have been sentenced to death.
  • Artificial Limbs - domain of Cybertronic. Even if not entirely metal/plastic/inhuman, they will have metal bits and wires sticking out as a hint.
  • The Atoner: The entire Imperial corporation. It was Imperial explorers who broke the Seal of Repulsion, and released the Dark Soul. Imperial has done everything in its power to make up for their great shame since.
  • Axe Crazy - Heretic Corruptors and Destroyers, most of Muawijhe's Legions, Imperial Wolf Packs.
  • Badass - lots.
    • Badass Army - lots if not all.
    • Badass Biker - Imperial Fenris Bikes and Necromowers, though the latter are more like Badass Quads.
    • Badass Grandpa - Jake Kramer, Brotherhood personalities Cardinal Dominic, Inquisitor Nicodemus and Sebastian Crenshaw. To name a few.
    • Badass in a Nice Suit - Cartel Field Agents, at least partially. Also Brotherhood Revisors, completely.
    • Badass Longcoat - Jake Kramer.
    • Badass Long Robe - Brotherhood elite units, like Inquisitors.
    • Retired Badass - crazy Capitol vet Jake Kramer. With a flamethrower.
  • Bad Powers, Bad People - the Dark Legion. No exceptions.
  • BFG - lots. From the popular Deathlockdrum anti-tank vulcan rifle, to Big Bob Watts' shoulder-mounted Atlas Megacannons, to a good handful of Legion guns.
  • BFS - Dark Legion Nepharites love them. Imperial Wolf Packs too (if they don't have An Axe to Grind, of course).
  • Bilingual Bonus - In the film, Ron Perlman says the Our Father in Irish.
  • Black Magic - Dark Symmetry. Duh.
  • Blade on a Stick - halberds and spears are often used by Mishima and Dark Legion forces. In the latter case, with chainsaws.
  • Bling of War - Mishima with their samurai-styled armors, Brotherhood with Badass Long Robes and Imperial Wolf Packs to name a few.
  • Body Horror - Dark Legion is rife with this. Heretic Corruptors, Metropolitan Prophets and Cairaths to name a few. And if you're a Heretic, pray your Apostle you don't start succumbing to The Corruption.
  • Brainwashed - Dark Legion Cultists. And Cybertronic too.
  • Burn the Witch - Brotherhood Inquisitors use flamethrowers... see below...
  • Chainsaw Good - Capitol Sergeants have chain swords. Brotherhood Inquisitors have flamethrowers with chainsaw bayonets. And Legion has guys with chainsaw halberds.
  • Child Soldiers - literally, and Nightmare Fuel-powered. The Children of Illian are kid-sized zombies that overrun their enemies and bludgeon them to death with maces shaped like rattles. Or snipe them with high-impact slingshots. It's much, much less funny than it sounds.
  • Church Militant - The Brotherhood. On the flipside, Dark Legion Cultists are an evil version of this.
  • Cold Sniper - Cybertronic Chem.IMN. Basically, a Terminator with sniper rifle and chemical weapons. Calistonian Sundancers (space demons with sniper rifles and Cool Helmets) as well.
  • Combat Medic - most Corporations field them. Cybertronic "personality" Dr Diana is an example.
    • The Legions of Demnogonis have a spectacularly squicky version in the Curators, intelligent plague-spreading zombie medics that double as deadly doctors. Demnogonis's troops are about the only one who'd care for their treatment.
  • Combat Tentacles - Vahldredd The Hunter and Tekron Warmasters. Both from the Dark Legion. Also from Team Evil, the Nepharite Overlord of Algeroth Golgotha has a segmented variant (they look like spider legs, but are as flexible and versatile as less rigid types), and all Nepharites of Ilian go in combat with animated spiked chains attached to their armor.
  • Cool Helmet - Bauhaus troops wear pickelhaubes and skull-shaped helmets, some Mishima troops wear kabutos, old figures of Capitol heavy infantry wore football helmets, Calistonians wear bone masks and Brotherhood Mortificator and Inquisitor helmets became iconic of the game.
  • Cool Old Guy - Sebastian Crenshaw. The best assassin The Brotherhood has, not only doing his job, but also mentoring the younger Mortificators. And being a hit at parties.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive - mainly Stahler, but the backstory includes lots of others.
  • The Corruption - Dark Symmetry again.
  • Cosmic Horror Story - Not mandatory, but it's easy for the Game Master to make any campaign into this. It's just as easy to make it one flavor or another of Lovecraft Lite, though.
  • Creepy Child - Voice of Demnogonis. Looks like a perfectly normal child and drains life from your troops pretty quickly. Also the Children of Ilian (see Child Soldiers above).
  • Cybernetics Eat Your Soul - that's what The Brotherhood thinks about Cybertronic. They just wait for a bigger screw-up to round up the whole corporation and burn them. Whether it's true or not is intentionally left a mystery.
  • The Dark Side - Dark Symmetry.
  • Deadly Decadent Court - Any of the three nobility-styled MegaCorps can have some aspects of this among its constituent noble houses, but the courts of Overlord Mishima and his three heirs are the best example.
  • Deadly Doctor - most field medics are armed. The Dark Legion's Curators take this Up to Eleven, however.
  • Death From Above - Jump infantry, paratroopers, drop pods.
  • Death Seeker - Imperial Mourning Wolves, as they're all widows of Imperial Wolfsbane killed in combat with the Dark Legion. Think woad-painted Action Girls with spiked chains, Wolverine-style claw bracers and the attitude of a dwarf Slayer and you're not too far off the mark. Capitol's Martian Banshees as well (although either gender can be part of those).
  • Demonic Invaders - The Dark Legion.
  • Drop the Hammer - Dark Legion's Gomorrean Emasculators wield big-ass warhammers. And dual gatling guns implanted in their shoulders.
  • Dual Wield / Guns Akimbo - happens often, with units using swords and guns (or two melee weapons) at the same time. Played way too straight with Crucifiers, who have FOUR arms and a weapon in every one.
  • Eldritch Abomination - The Dark Soul. It's a piece of the original Nothing that "was" before the Big Bang that wants a return to the good old days of nonexistence. Badly.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture - all of 'em.
    • Bauhaus - Germany, Russia, France and Italy, served as 19th Century-style.
    • Capitol - the friggin' Eagle Land, looking like they're still stuck in the Vietnam War.
      • Eagle Land and Canada, according to one of the novels.
    • Cybertronic - multinational corporate hive.
    • Imperial - United Kingdom, mostly with an Elisabethan/Victorian feel. Some of the units are violent Scotirish Highlanders with a berserk streak and love for facepaint.
    • Mishima - Mostly Edo Japan, with Samurai, ninjas and warrior monks. A few bits and pieces of other asian cultures are present, such as The Triads and the Tongs as the main criminal organisation, and the city of Fukido, which is basically Hong Kong (it's on lease to Imperial for 99 years following a lost war, natch).
  • Fate Worse Than Death - being processed into any of the Legionnaire or Necromutant variants. Or even "reanimated" into Cybertronic service... when your original Corporation manages to capture you alive.
  • Five-Bad Band - The Dark Soul and its Apostles fit pretty well.
  • Forever War
  • Gambit Pileup - When you consider dominance of the solar system as the prize,
  • Gas Mask Longcoat - Imperial Trenchers. Trenchcoats and gasmasks and Brodie helmets, oh my!
  • Gas Mask Mooks - basic infantry of Bauhaus, Capitol and Imperial. The rest is more fashionable.
  • Gatling Good - a lot of heavy machine guns are those. Amount of barrels may vary, from three to shitload.
  • Geo Effects - In the tabletop wargames, pieces of terrain provide cover, concealment, the usual blah.
  • Girl with Psycho Weapon - Mourning Wolves, who wield a length of chain with a weighted end on one hand and Wolverine-like claws on the other. And Bauhaus personality Valerie Duval, who uses blade-tipped tonfas with one shot 20mm autocannon rounds in the other end.
  • Golem - Dark Legion creations (hence the full name being 'Golem of Darkness').
  • Gratuitous German - the names of some Bauhaus units and characters.
  • Gratuitous Japanese - the names of some Mishima units and characters.
  • Hell Gate - Nero.
  • Humongous Mecha - Imperial Hurricane Walkers. Not as humongous as Praetorian Behemoths, but still pretty big.
    • Cybertronic's Eradicator Deathdroids approach this scale; however, the absolute king of this trope in-universe is (unsurprisingly) Mishima, ranging from the 8-10 ft. Shoa Ace custom battle armor to the 100-ft. Gigameka.
  • Interservice Rivalry - introduced in Warzone: Universe Under Siege, where each faction has units divided between separate "services" that usually don't mix up.
  • The Juggernaut - Dark Legion has a good few of'em, size XXXL. The Mercurian Maculator and Praetorian Behemoth, for instance. The biggest of all though is the Bio-Giant.
  • Laser Blade - Cybertronic Machinators use those.
  • Laser Sight - some elite units can be equipped with those.
  • Lighter and Softer: Has a lot of the same elements and feel as Warhammer 40000, but is a lot more hopeful. Oh, Mutant Chronicles is plenty grimdark by most standards, but here compassion and respect for human life are still important, the Emperor-analogue still leads humanity from the front and it feels like humanity actually has a chance.
  • Lost Technology: Averted: Technology from before the arrival of the Dark Symmetry still exists, but has been deactivated. All corporations still have blueprints for targeting computers, laser weaponry and orbital attack platforms archived, just waiting for the day when someone figures out a way to shield them from Dark Symmetry.
  • Magic Knight - most Brotherhood sergeants in Warzone. Most Brothehood personel period (yes, even the ostensibly noncombatant missionaries and administrators) in the RPG.
  • McNinja - Mortificators for example.
  • Mercy Kill - units can be outfitted with a special auto-injectors pumping them full of toxins whenever they get under the influence of Dark Symmetry.
  • More Dakka - a good couple of weapons fall under this one, Bauhaus AZ61 Twin Rotary Shotgun being one of the most egregious examples.
  • Multi-Armed and Dangerous - Brotherhood Crucifiers.
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast - Dark Legion runs on those. Algeroth The Apostle Of War, Demnogonis The Befouler, Ilian The Mistress Of The Void, Muawijhe (pronounced "moo-ah-jee") The Lord Of Visions, Semai The Lord Of Spite - and that's just the beginning. Their units have equally colorful names - Immaculate Furies, Gomorrean Emasculators and Zenithian Soulslayers, for example. The Nepharites, for their part, ave names mostly inspired from Abrahamic religions like Golgotha or Absalom. Not mentioning the weapons, like Ashreketh, Azoghar, Kratach or Vassht. Half-averted in one case - The Dark Prophet, badass messenger of doom, is named... Billy.
  • New Technology Is Evil - people are afraid to build too capable computers after the last ones they had went on the fritz, and murderously so, due to Dark Symmetry. Of course, Cybertronic just doesn't care.
  • Night of the Living Mooks - Legionnaires.
  • No One Gets Left Behind - Capitol sergeants get PAID for this.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat - Cartel, some Megacorp officers as well.
  • Officer and a Gentleman - Bauhaus. Mostly. Imperial has some, to go with the Britishness of their theme.
  • One-Winged Angel - Stahler from Dark Legion. When you shoot him for the first time, the fun is only starting.
  • Organic Technology - Dark Legion Necrotech. Part organic, part demonic, all squicky.
  • Original Position Gambit - In Ilian, there are two short stories on this theme. Humans join the cult of Ilian because they want to become the exploiters rather then the exploited. And of course, their futures are so bright, since Ilian will smile upon them forever... until they fail or get backstabbed by each other, that is. Suckers.
  • Pistol-Whipping - averted. Pistols work in close combat, but in the shooty way.
  • Powered Armor - Bauhaus and Mishima mecha are basically those.
  • Private Military Contractors - Cartel has them in heaps.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy - Mishima and part of Imperial.
  • Psychic Powers - Brotherhood calls them Art, Mishima also got some flashy ones in Warzone: Universe Under Siege.
  • The Red Planet - Capitol has its capital there, they even dragged a whole freaking ASTEROID to serve as a third moon stabilizing the planet's orbit.
  • Religion Is Magic - The Brotherhood.
  • Religion of Evil - Dark Symmetry and its Apostles.
  • Room 101 - mentioned a couple of times in the fluff. Both literally and metaphorically.
  • Saintly Church - The Brotherhood. Yes, the Brotherhood runs an Inquisition, executes heretics, suppresses other religions, demands attendance and tithes (in practice if not theory) and violently opposes any new technology. And guess what? It's all at the very least justifiable, and in most cases necessary. The Brotherhood is also the one unifying factor among the corporations, and runs banks, schools, soup kitchens and hospitals.
    • Unfortunately, likely due to renewed efforts by the Dark Soul to crush humanity, corruption has begun to take root in many of the less rigtheous individuals and subgroups.
  • Samurai - Mishima's nobles and military, of course. They recently integrated ashigaru commoner-soldier units into the military, though, due to growing manpower needs and changing times. The enticement of escaping second-class citizen status (i.e. become a samurai yourself) if you perform well enough makes recruitment easy.
  • Scary Black Man - Big Bob Watts. Imagine Michael Clarke Duncan with two freaking CANNONS on his shoulders. Yeah. There.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can - and Imperial was stupid enough to open it...
  • Shoulders of Doom - old Capitol figures are most probably one of the biggest offenders. If we count Stahler out, that is.
  • Sinister Scythe - some Dark Legion units wield those.
  • Sliding Scale of Silliness Versus Seriousness - hopelessly stuck on the serious end.
  • The Smurfette Principle - played straight in Capitol, Cybertronic and Legion, less so in other factions that have whole Amazon Brigades.
  • Space Marine - two literal kinds in Capitol alone (Assault Marines being the "true" Space Marines and Free Marines being an Army of Thieves and Whores).
    • Also has Marines of the standard variety
  • Spider Limbs - Golgotha.
  • Spider Tank - mostly mentioned in backstory (created by Dark Legion Necrotech and appearing as a prop on the photos). Two in-game examples are Cybertronic Cancer Machine Guns and Tekron Warmasters - both have spider legs and pack enough firepower for a whole battalion.
  • Spikes of Villainy - to drive the point home, Legion has this stuff liberally applied throughout. Golgotha's Spider Limbs, Stahler's One-Winged Angel armor and some Nepharites, for example.
  • Spy Catsuit - Etoiles Mortant.
  • Standard Sci Fi Setting - more or less straight. Confined to the Solar System only, though.
  • Sword and Gun - depends on the unit. Brotherhood infantry is usually the embodiment of this trope.
  • Take Cover - it helps. See "Geo Effects" above.
  • Taking You with Me - Mishima Faceless Ones are Kamikaze on foot, and their Suicide Warheads are essentially Mini-Mecha Action Bombs. Crescentian Martyrs and Blessed Tears fit here in the "Allahu akbar KABOOM!" way as well.
  • Torture Technician - in the fluff, Inquisitors. In Warzone, and very squickily, Eonian Justifiers. To name a few.
  • Turn-Based Strategy
  • Ubermensch - Vince Diamond. In short: bleached Cyborg Vin Diesel. Some other Cybertronic troops also qualify.
  • Undead Child - Children of Ilian. They beat the crap out of your units with rattles and slingshots.
  • War for Fun and Profit - the second part happens when Megacorps start butting heads over resources. No fun for the troops, though.
  • Zombie Apocalypse - Legionnaires aplenty. Those guys are zombies WITH GUNS. Also, painfully literal in The Movie.
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