Trine

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From left to right: Amadeus, Zoya and Pontius
"By my trousers, I must escape!"
Amadeus, at the start of the game

Trine is a critically-acclaimed 2009 puzzle-platformer developed by Frozen Byte and published by Atlus. It features gameplay similar to the old classic The Lost Vikings mixed with the physics challenges of LittleBigPlanet, with three characters who all have different powers and gameplay mechanics. The levels are mostly linear, but exploring them thoroughly will yield rewards in the form of treasure (which gives you special enhancements) and experience vials (which let you level up your skills).

Three characters, opposed by an undead horde, each find themselves meeting face to face over an ancient artifact called the Trine. Their souls are sucked into the device, and they become merged into one body (or up to three bodies in co-op play).

A sequel, Trine 2, was released in 2011, revolving around a new threat that the three heroes must unite together to face.

Tropes used in Trine include:
  • 2½D: 3D graphics, sidescrolling movement. This occasionally gets you an odd camera angle that lets you see something that should be Behind the Black.
  • Acid Pool: Present in some of the later levels, full of aquamarine Hollywood Acid.
  • Apocalyptic Log: In Trine 2, the poems found in secret areas and the letters between Isabel and Rosabel. The poems are written by Rosabel detailing her jealously of her sister during their youth, while the letters explain how she lured Isabel into being sealed away.
  • Arrows on Fire: Zoya's alternate weapon. Upgrading them gives you an explosive shot.
  • Artificial Stupidity: The skeletons have a habit of leaping to their deaths and/or climbing into the range of your weapons. Exploiting their simplistic behavior patterns makes them easier to take down in large groups. The goblins in 2 are faster (allowing them to usually get some hits in if you're not quick enough) and no longer jump to their deaths, but are just as quick to run themselves into Zoya's arrows or Pontius' blade or hammer as the skeletons were.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Trine 2 has the heroes run through lands with a variety of larger-then-usual fauna, including giant frogs, snails and spiders, not to mention giant mushrooms to bounce off of. The characters believe that the water is likely the source of the huge wildlife.
  • Bag of Spilling: In Trine 2, the heroes are conspicuously missing all the skills they learned, not to mention the items they used, from the original, and have to learn those skills all over again (the item system, on the other hand, was done away with in 2). Lampshaded by a conversation that takes place after the first time the characters swim in the sequel:

Amadeus: Whatever happened to that magical talisman that allowed us to breathe underwater?
Zoya: I...uh... I think someone hocked it.

  • Behind the Black: Ninety percent of all treasure is hidden by the foreground.
  • Benevolent Architecture: More or less omnipresent. For fun, try playing through a level without using the Wizard's object-summoning powers once. You may be surprised how far you can get with running and jumping alone.
  • Bottomless Pits
  • Bottomless Quivers: Zoya never seems to run out of her plain arrows. Applies to her fire and ice arrows in the sequel as well.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Aside from the Insistent Terminology example below, the demo for the sequel features Amadeus commenting on the abilities available in the upgrade menu (which naturally, can't be used in the demo).
  • Building Swing: Technically not from buildings, but Zoya has a grappling hook that allows her to do this from anything made of wood, bypassing pits or swinging into foes for a One-Hit Kill.
  • Cain and Abel: Isabel and Rosabel in the backstory for 2. Isabel was the heir to their father's kingdom, to Rosabel's chagrin. On their 18th birthday, Rosabel locked away her sister and usurped the kingdom for herself.
  • Cast from Hit Points: The first game has an item that lets you do this in the event you run out of magic points.
  • Clock Punk: About 75% of the levels feature gear powered mechanisms, and plenty of fast flowing water to power them. Some are just for show, others can be interacted with. In addition, all of Amadeus' objects have gears inside them.
  • Convection, Schmonvection
  • Crate Expectations: They don't contain items, but they're common platforms. Amadeus's first spell allows him to summon them (possibly above enemies' heads, if you're feeling violent.)
  • Deadpan Snarker: Zoya in Trine 2
  • Death Is a Slap on The Wrist: And a free teleport back to the last checkpoint, too, unless it's the final or bonus levels of the original. For that matter, every time you touch a checkpoint stone, all dead characters are revived with 75% health and mana.
    • More so in the sequel, where characters are returned with full health, and mana was removed from the game entirely. Makes it entirely feasible to kill off a character to backtrack faster, or to grab items in dangerous positions without even bothering coming back up.
  • Dem Bones: 95% of the enemies in the first game are of this variety.
  • Difficulty Spike: The last level of the first game.
  • Double Jump: Unorthodox variant - in Trine 2, pressing the jump button again after jumping into a wall allows the character to make a small extra leap, serving as a little extra help for getting to those hard-to-reach places.
  • Drop the Hammer: Pontius' alternate weapon is a hammer.
  • Dungeon Bypass: This trope is Amadeus' shtick. It's not terribly difficult to simply build a block staircase to the exit in every level.
    • Or, if you have the touch, scooting Amadeus onto an object he's already levitating allows him to use it as a Magic Carpet.
      • Amadeus can't levitate an object he's standing on. But: create another object on top of that, jump on the upper object and carefully levitate the lower, and you can cheerfully sail past most puzzles.
      • Pontius gets in on the action too, using his sword and/or hammer to destroy obstacles in your path. Zoya can also make things explode by shooting them with upgraded fire arrows.
  • Elite Mook: Armored skeletons with shields in the original, armored goblins in the sequel.
  • Fighter, Mage, Thief: As the character lineup above shows, you get to play as all three of these classes.
  • Flaming Sword: Pontius' upgraded sword is of the flaming variety.
  • Floating Platforms: Amadeus final spell is conjuring these.
    • There's also a loophole; he can't levitate a regular platform he's standing on. but he can levitate a platform with a box on top of it that he's standing on.
  • Freudian Trio: Sort of—Zoya and Amadeus could each be viewed as either the id or the ego, and even Pontius has some aspects of the id.
  • Fungus Humongous: In both games. In the sequel, they serve as springboards for the characters to bounce off of.
  • Fusion Dance: Sort of. Each character retains their individual personality, and they can switch from one form to another at will.
  • Giant Mook: Very large skeletons and troglodyte-esque creatures serve as boss monsters in both games (with the exception of Rosabel's dragon in the sequel).
  • Giant Spider: They crawl along walls and spit webbing at anyone who draws near. They're also completely immune to Amadeus's abilities. The sequel features even bigger spiders that shoot acid instead.
  • Goomba Stomp: In the original, the portly Pontius can do this to any unfortunate skeleton below him - although he has to fall a significant distance first.
  • Hot Witch: Rosabel in Trine 2
  • Insistent Terminology: During the level-loading exposition for the first level of Trine 2, Zoya actually interrupts the narrator when he calls her a thief and insists on being called an "entrepreneur" instead.
  • King Mook: The Goblin King in 2
  • Large Ham: Done on purpose. The narration and dialogue is brilliantly over-the-top; the page quote is just the beginning. The sequel somehow is even more hammy and self-aware, as the Insistent Terminology example above shows.
  • Lava Pit: Replace the Bottomless Pits in the final levels of the first game.
  • Lost Forever: Averted; levels can be revisited in the "Choose level" option in the main menu, and puzzle progress is reset at each revisit, so you get additional opportunities to get into areas that you may have missed or were made inaccessible progressing during your first visit.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: Pontius and the armored skeletons and goblins. Pontius' shield is indestructible, as is the goblins' - the skeletons are not so fortunate.
  • Meaningful Name: A trine is a 120-degree angle; i.e., one-third of a circle.
  • Multishot: Zoya's upgraded basic attack in the first game. It's also a variety of Spread Shot.
  • Nameless Narrative: The main characters are given names on the inventory screen, but only in the very last minutes of the game is any character named in dialogue or narration (that character being Margaret, Amadeus's wife.) Instead, they're referred to by their professions. Averted in Trine 2; the characters address each other by name, and the narrator refers to them by their names as well.
  • No Arc in Archery: Averted, leading to, optionally, Zoya riddling with arrows foes who are stuck on the other side of a box or terrain.
  • Not in This For Your Revolution: Pontius and Amadeus want to save the world, but Zoya just wants to claim any available treasure.
  • Opening Narration: Used to describe the backstory of the game. There is also a narration at the beginning of each level, as well as for each character that's introduced. For those interested in minor Script Breaking in the first game, Amadeus's introductory narration can play at the same time as the narration for when he arrives at the shrine, if the player is fast enough in the two rooms.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: About a third of the way through Trine 2, the heroes run into a dragon that, oddly, does not attack them. It's Rosabel's pet, and it serves as her proxy in final level of the game.
  • Our Goblins Are Wickeder: The primary enemies the characters run into in the sequel.
  • Panty Shot: Swinging on ledges causes Zoya's skirt to fly up pleasingly.
  • Party in My Pocket: Technically, party in my body, but the same principle applies.
  • Pietà Plagiarism: In the ending, Isabel is holding Rosabel's dead body in this way.
  • Playing with Fire: Amadeus begins the game trying and failing to learn how to do this—it's apparently one of the most basic spells available to wizards. In the end he gives up trying to learn it - and instead, the kids he has with his wife learn it instead. He's revealed to still be studying to get it right as the second game starts.
  • Puzzle Pan: Used to avoid Leap of Faith gameplay.
  • Rain of Arrows: With the right upgrades and items, Zoya is capable of this.
  • Rise to the Challenge: The last level, and the bonus level of the original.
  • Robe and Wizard Hat: Amadeus is clad in this.
  • Scenery Porn: This is one of the two calling cards of the series, along with the physics-focused gameplay.
  • The Soulless: Mind, body, and soul are normally kept in harmony by three artifacts, creating life in the region. Now that the soul artifact is gone, the undead are being created instead, as they have minds and bodies but no souls.
  • Spike Balls of Doom: Some pressure plates release balls instead of unlocking something.
  • Spikes of Doom: An integral part of level design; you can stick boxes onto them and use them as platforms.
  • Spiritual Successor: To The Lost Vikings.
  • Succession Crisis: The backdrop of the original game. This is not unrelated to why the undead rise . . .
  • Super Drowning Skills: The undead suffer from this. Ditto the goblins in the sequel.
  • Super Not-Drowning Skills: Your characters can hold their breath for an impressive amount of time; what's more, you can switch between characters to save on oxygen for the whole group. The original game even has an equippable item that allows one (and only one) of the heroes to swim underwater indefinitely.
  • Swiss Army Hero
  • Where Are They Now? Epilogue: The first game's ending. Pontius becomes the ale provider for the new king, Zoya is named the protector of the forest the trio visited during the game, and Amadeus gets married and becomes the father of triplets who, at age one, learn the fireball spell he could never master. The sequel reveals that this situation didn't last long.
  • Wreaking Havok: A big selling point of the original was the physics-based puzzles. Trine 2 continues this, making some experience collectibles only available by playing around with the game's physics.