Enslaved: Odyssey to the West

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Ancient Chinese literature as told by Ninja Theory

Enslaved: Odyssey to the West is an action-adventure game developed by Ninja Theory. The game is published by Namco Bandai Games and out for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

Enslaved is a story set one hundred and fifty years in the future where a global war has decimated the Earth. In this future, nearly the entire human race has been eradicated, but robots still plague the land. Although they are from a bygone era, they are still following their orders to eradicate the humans. The storyline is loosely based on the ancient Chinese novel Journey to the West.

The main character of the game, Monkey, is a lone wolf who's spent his entire life running from the machines. Eventually, Monkey is captured by the death machines, where he is placed on an airship for transport to the city of Pyramid. It is there that he meets a technologically adept woman named Trip. Trip manages to escape, freeing Monkey in the process, who goes after her in an effort to get to an escape pod. He ends up trying to hijack hers, and is knocked unconscious in the landing. When he comes to, Monkey finds that Trip has placed a slaver's headband on him in order to compel him to help her get home. She explains that she has hacked the headband so she can give him jolts of pain at will; and further that if Trip's heart ever stops then the headband will kill Monkey outright. As they try to make their way back to Trip's village they must fight robots that have been lying dormant for years. The two of them have a strained relationship but in order to survive this perilous world they need each other's help.

Tropes used in Enslaved: Odyssey to the West include:

Pigsy: "So, Monkey...let me ask you a question."
Monkey: "Yeah."
Pigsy: "Do you use a lot of hair product?"
Monkey: (blankly) "What?"

    • And, when you consider that Monkey is based on the Monkey King the same as Goku, it seems all the more fitting.
  • Anti-Hero: Trip, for enslaving a stranger after locking him out of an escape pod. Though justified in that her first encounters with Monkey make him seem like a sociopath (which he kind of is). Pigsy as well. All three characters fit the trope.
  • Androcles' Lion: Averted.
  • Awesome but Practical: Monkey's collapsible energy staff and Gauntlets (See Deflector Shields below)
  • Badass: Monkey extremely, taking on legions of killer mechs and even mechs the size of skyscrapers.
  • Big Applesauce
  • Big No: Monkey, courtesy of clinging to the outside of an escape pod right before it launches.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Oh so VERY much, between Monkey and Trip. ALSO lampshaded by Pigsy when asking whether or not the two are "together". And again in the very next cut scene as Pigsy looks towards the back of the boat where Monkey and Trip are standing, only to have conveniently shaped rubble form a heart behind them.
  • Bullet Time: Used in Monkey's fight with the Rhino every time you score a hit.
  • Bullfight Boss: The Rhino, you even get an achievement for beating him without getting hit by its attack.
  • Boom! Headshot!: Name dropped by Pigsy.
  • Carry a Big Stick: Monkey's collapsible staff. It's even capable of shooting plasma and EMP blasts.
  • Cool Bike: Monkey has one.
  • Covered with Scars: Monkey, of the decorative and generic kind. Although not explained in-game, Nina Kristenson of Ninja Theory elaborates that the swirling designs on his torso are war scars he drew on himself after major battles. Considering the sheer amount he has, your mileage may vary as to whether that's awesome or not.
  • Crapsack World: Most of the human race is dead, the cities of the past are crumbling under lush jungles, and the world is covered in Mechanical Monsters.
  • Curse Cut Short: We hear Monkey curse out Trip for locking him away from the escape pods, but severely muffled by a sound-proof door.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Monkey.

Trip: "So what's the plan?"
Monkey: "To get you home as fast as possible so you can take this thing off my head and I can break your neck."

  • Deflector Shield: Monkey's Gauntlets generate a Deflector Shield capable of blocking attacks and bullets.
  • Damsel in Distress: Deconstructed. Trip isn't without skills of her own, but she's easy prey to the slavers and the mech. Her solution? Shoot the Dog.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Monkey.
  • Doomed Hometown: Trip ends up getting to her home only to find that the slavers have burned it to the ground and killed the inhabitants.
  • Enemy Summoner: Broadcasters. if they aren't killed within a certain amount of time, they will send out a signal for more mechs to show up. Stunning them will freeze the countdown for its duration, however.
  • Escort Mission: Basically the premise of the game, but Ninja Theory has assured us it would not fall into the usual problems with escort missions.
  • Expy:
    • Monkey is supposed to be Sun Wukong.
    • Trip is supposed to be Xuanzang (also known as Tripitaka).
    • Pigsy is supposed to be Zhu Bajie.
    • Leviathan is possibly Sha Wujing, due to his links with water and sand, (key features of the levels featuring Leviathan - an underwater base and a giant desert). It could also be a reference to the Dragon Prince / Horse.
  • Fastball Special: Makes an appearance, naturally.
  • Freudian Slippery Slope:

Pigsy: This machine is more amazing than my wettest dreams!
Trip: What did you say?
Pigsy: This machine is more amazing than my wildest dreams!
Monkey: ...That's not what you said.

Monkey: "More...music and pigs? This friend of your father's seems a bit weird."
Trip: "Well, he's been living alone out in the wilds most of his life. That usually makes people pretty weird and eccentric."
Monkey: You mean like me?
Trip: As well as strong and resourceful individuals.
Monkey: Sure.

  • Lotus Eater Machine: Pyramid's plan is to to use one man's prewar memories to put people in a simulation of the world then, free from the hellish wasteland.
  • Made of Iron: Monkey survives an escape pod crash into Grand Central Station while he was outside of the pod. The fact he lands on a mattress covered in rocky debris just drives the point home.
  • Meaningful Name: Monkey, Trip and Pigsy.
    • Trip on two levels since, one, trip is a journey but also Tripitaka (Trip's full name) was an alternative name for the person Trip was based on.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Monkey. And how. A tall, gruff savage with six-pack abs, decorative scars, warpaint and acrobatic skills topped off with pretty blue eyes. Sign me up.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Trip.
  • New Game+: You can play through the game again - even on a higher difficulty - with all the upgrades you purchased on your last playthrough.
  • Oh Crap: That first level really starts off with a bang, doesn't it?
  • One-Man Army: Monkey.
  • Powered Armor: Some pictures of Pigsy suggest he has something like this.
  • Real Is Brown: Defied full stop. See Scenery Porn below.
  • Restraining Bolt: The slave headbands.
  • Revenge Before Reason: Trip murders Pyramid while Monkey is distracted by the simulation. She asks Monkey if she did the right thing.
  • RPG Elements: Monkey can upgrade his abilities throughout the game.
  • Scavenger World: Seems to be the case with the Slavers airship and Trip being from a wind farm.
  • Serkis Folk: Andy himself plays Monkey.
  • Scenery Porn: It may be a post-apocalyptic wasteland, but it sure is pretty. See the scenery trailer and the main game Trailer
  • Screaming Warrior: HEY!
  • Serkis Folk
  • Ship Tease: Check out the scene in the opera house, right after Trip scans the dog.
  • Shout-Out: One of the achievements is called Great Sage Equal of Heaven
    • The little scarf thing hanging from Monkey's back pocket resembles a tail, something his source character (The Monkey King) had. Many of his movements and postures are more simian than human as well.
  • Shown Their Work: The game's creators claim to have researched just how long it would take for cities like New York and Los Angeles to become jungles and wrote the plot accordingly.
    • This is actually a bit of an aversion. New York City is built on marshland, and requires a functioning sewer system to avoid flooding. (This is dealt with extensively and specifically in Alan Weisman's The World Without Us.) Within a few decades of humans abandoning New York City, seepage would weaken the foundations and cause all the skyscrapers to collapse, with the arguable exception of the Empire State Building. Enslaved is set hundreds of years in the future, long enough for enormous oak trees to have grown in the wreckage, but by that point, the city should be overgrown swampland with chunks of vaguely-identifiable rubble sticking out of it.
  • Simple Staff: Monkey's power staff is a little less simple than most examples; it's collapsible, for one thing.
    • Not to mention the fact that it also shoots plasma bolts. And EMP bolts.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Pigsy sure doesn't stop reminding everyone how great he is. This is much to Monkey's annoyance.

Monkey: Pigsy, if you don't shut up I'm switching sides!

  • Stripperiffic: Trip runs around in a tube-top and jeans with many holes in it.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: The Slaver Airship.
  • Supporting Protagonist: Monkey....the entire story really revolves around Trip.
  • Take That: In chapter 5, after the cloud sequence, you and Trip will pass through a room containing "ancient, redundant technology." The contents of the room are corroded boxes of 3D televisions.
  • Talking to Himself: Andy Serkis plays both Monkey and Pyramid.
  • Tempting Fate: Monkey sees a bunch of combat mechs lined up, ready to deployed. "At least they're not active."
    • Naturally, they are ten seconds later.
  • The Unfair Sex: The game tends to swing towards this with Trip's enforced slavery over Monkey.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: Pigsy's Perfect 10. While Monkey can easily tear through most of the Mecha-Mooks, Pigsy cannot take a direct hit and must rely on a mix of gadgetry, stealth and a sniper rifle to get to where he needs to.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Monkey.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Pyramid.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Trip doesn't start her relation with Monkey on the best footing. She ignores him as he tries to escape the airship they're on which is going down from what seems to be from her tamperings, she ejects her escape pod from the airship despite how he visibly begs from outside of it to not do so while gripping onto the escape pod, and finally, she attaches a slave headband to him that forces him to protect her life despite that he was already lucky to survive the results of her actions. His threat--and attempt--to rip her head off is pretty understandable.
  • Zerg Rush: The Mechs, especially on Hard Mode.