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In war, not everyone is a soldier.

This War of Mine is a survival sim from Polish developer 11 Bit Studios. Civil war has broken out in an Eastern European nation called "Graznavia" between the Grazni-dominated government and a separatist movement led by the country's Vyseni ethnic minority, leading to the siege of the capital city "Pogoren." Amidst shelling and snipers, the civilians of the city are caught up in the damage wrought by the fighting. Unable to flee due to the siege, as potential targets for the trigger-happy fighters on either side, they must scavenge for food and medicine to survive the twisted hell that the city has become.

The game is available on GOG.com and Steam.

As of April 28, 2015, the game was updated with with a custom scenario editor and a custom survivor creator.

An expansion called This War of Mine: The Little Ones was released on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on January 29, 2016. It allows players to include children as part of the survivors and revolves around the challenges and difficulties children and their caretakers face during wartime. It was later released on PC and Mac on June 1st 2016.

This game provides examples of: Edit

  • Ability Required to Proceed: Sometimes getting into the right places requires the right tools, like a lockpick or prybar to bypass locked doors or open locked cabinets, or a saw to cut through iron bars. Other tools, like a shovel, are not required to bypass things like fallen rubble blocking a corridor, but can greatly expedite the process of clearing it, which is important because time is finite.
  • Acceptable Breaks From Reality: Quite a few for playability purposes. Healing wounds is frustratingly slow by video game standards, but much, much faster than real life. Carrying capacity is impressive and even a full load doesn't seem to slow you down. Franko the merchant can carry many ordinary humans' load-worth on his person. All resources are abstracted -- for instance, all medicine works against all sicknesses and all ammunition works for all guns. Some forms of resource production, particularly plants, is ridiculously fast: you can grow vegetables in 72 hours. You do not have to worry about hygiene, using the bathroom or laundry. Eating a full, cooked meal will sustain you for up to two days. Despite the fact that the base has a stove and not central heating, the heat from the stove is perfectly evenly distributed in the house; so you basically have one temperature indoors and one outdoors. All this is acceptable, as adding realism in these matters would make the game a lot less enjoyable.
  • Action Survivor: Most of the survivors are this, at best. Even at their best they are mostly working with Improvised Weapons and just as frail as anyone else. Special mention goes to Anton, Cveta, Zlata, and Pavle as the game specifically says they don't have the skills needed to survive a war.
  • After the End: Technically during the end, and the "end" is particular to one metropolitan area, but this trope is still played thematically if nothing else.
  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Lower an NPC's health in a fight to a low enough level, and the NPC may cower from the survivor s/he is fighting, begging and pleading for dear life. It's up to the player whether or not the NPC will live.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: Bandits and soldiers are this. None of them have any redeeming qualities, and they always boast for doing atrocities or bullying innocents. With the exception of killing a single soldier, there's no moral penalty for killing bandits and multiple soldiers in a single day.
  • An Axe to Grind: An axe is primarily useful for deconstructing furniture, which can yield a lot of usable materials, but its application as a weapon is obvious.
  • An Entrepreneur Is You: Another survivor will occasionally pay a visit to your shelter to barter, and at night you can visit some places where you can swap items with other nominally friendly survivors. For this reason, it is often a good idea to produce items with strong trade value, even if other things are more needed, because it will allow exchanging something the shelter survivors can produce but don't need with something they cannot produce and do need. Also, once various workshops are built, certain raw resources become much more valuable to salvage; one can even buy, for example, raw tobacco or sugar off traders to convert into cigarettes or moonshine to profit on the next trade. Just don't expect a large mark-up without Katia/the Insurance Agent (better bargaining), Bruno (moonshine with less resources), Marin (makes many things with less resources), the Pharmacist (medicine with less resources), Henrik (cigarettes in greater numbers), or the right buyer. Sometimes you can end up selling a product at a price lower than what it cost you to buy the ingredients.
  • An Interior Designer Is You: You can craft makeshift furniture for your shelter, which besides any aesthetic appeal has plenty of function. Survivors need beds to rest in, chairs for sitting, barricades for patching holes in walls, and various work benches and resource generators.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: Despite the game in general being Nintendo Hard and emulating War Is Hell, there are a few things that give the player some reprieve:
    • Some starting groups appear greatly unbalanced but are really less so than they seem. If you start with Cveta and Anton, both of whom are considered the weakest characters in the game, you would easily think that the game is now badly unbalanced against you. However, that starting set also provides you with extra beds, tools, and has neighbors help you out early; so it is at least not so unbalanced as you would think. Without knowing that, you'd have to be really brave to be shafted with those two! This also applies to the scenarios with Zlata and Emilia, neither of which is capable of defending the shelter, and to Marko on his own.
    • Franko makes periodic visits to the shelter, so it's fairly easy to predict when he'll come by next, allowing the survivors to decide what to grab more easily.
  • Anyone Can Die: More like everyone will die, even if you don't take any risks, and especially if anyone does. Your scavenging specialist might get a face full of buckshot just for showing up at the wrong place at the wrong time. Alternatively, you can stab an old couple to death, become suicidal, and kill yourself the next day. Even the weather is trying to kill you.
  • Armies Are Evil: While individual exceptions exist, identifiable combatants should be assumed dangerous and best avoided, if only because they are well-armed and in the middle of a civil-war battlefield, because identifying Friend or Foe is difficult, and because trigger-fingers get itchy under that kind of anxiety. The fact this is the fighting they are part of, regardless of how justified, is why the civilians are having such a hard time sympathizing with them. Absolutely no soldier in this game is sympathetic, however.
  • Arms Dealer: Bojan, the soldier the player can trade with at the Military Outpost, usually sells guns to whoever can provide something valuable in return.
  • Artificial Brilliance
    • Patrol routines will get more complicated if you get caught sneaking around but manage to escape. An example of this is the Warehouse: the first looter you see will start patrolling the basement, which he never does on your first visit. Guards will also spend less time standing idle, making it more dangerous to sneak through their routes.
    • People will start to get suspicious if they see too many opened doors or hear too many strange sounds. They will eventually become alarmed at your presence if you keep being careless.
  • Artificial Stupidity: An easy method of dealing with evil and armed hostilities is to have them chase after you and lure them towards a hiding spot. If you're careful enough to get them to lose sight of you before you hide, they'll pass by your last known location and set themselves up for a deadly back-stab.
  • Artistic License -- Engineering: A very basic one that can be Hand Waved several ways, but the radio is depicted as only supporting Short Wave, Medium Wave (a.k.a. AM Radio) and Long Wave on its dial, yet it's picking up FM stations.
  • Asshole Victim: Certain survivors will have this reaction if one of them kills a bandit or a military sniper that had been killing civilians while scavenging... However, some other survivors will worry that they are Not So Different.
    • Counter-pointed with soldiers that did not commit any atrocities. While some survivors will show positive reactions to any soldiers being killed, others will question if the soldier truly deserved it or if he had been drafted against his will.
  • Back Stab: This is a very crucial attack for dealing with gun-armed hostiles. However, only a few characters can instantly kill with a back-stab without alerting nearby guards. It can be performed by getting close enough behind the target or waiting for target to get near a hiding spot you've entered. Can be performed with a knife or hatchet, and a few characters can perform it with the shovel and crowbar as well.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Your scavenger can be this if s/he manages to rescue people held hostage by bandits.
    • Survivors that arrive at your shelter can be this, depending on the situation. Full of survivors with low inventory spots? Boris or Marko will brighten up your day! Need someone to help build or defend the shelter? Pray that Roman or Marin show up.
  • Black-and-Grey Morality: The conflict between the Vysena separatist rebels and the Graznavia military. The rebels' refusal to surrender is what is causing the city to go under siege and the suffering of the civilians, and they seem reluctant to share their supplies with the civilians, only bartering with them at best. However, they refuse to attack civilians when they are running low on supplies and are miles better than the military, whose snipers shoot civilians indiscriminately, regularly commit atrocities towards them as well, and are the ones maintaining the blockade around the city.
  • Book-Burning: A non-political variant. Using books as fuel for cooking or heat is an option, but it's considered a last resort because of the morale boost a character gets from sitting in a comfy chair and reading a book.
  • Breakable Weapons: Justified, as most of the weapons and tools the survivors use are improvised and MacGyvered together out of other objects. Unsurprisingly, they do not last long after heavy use.
  • Broken Bridge: While someone can be sent out to scavenge nightly, not every place is accessible all the time, as the intensity of the fighting shifts around town; and some places get blocked off due to combat. The survivors have to do what they can to find other sources for salvaging during this time. Even winter can complicate things by isolating areas with heavy snowfall.
  • Cap: Iventory type -- each character can only carry so much at once, and some can carry more than others. This is important when scavenging, as the player will need to make some hard decisions about what tools and weapons s/he brings, and what to pick up. Fortunately, the Player Headquarters has no such limit, making bartering at the HQ, for cheap but bulky supplies using expensive but small items earlier scavenged, a very useful approach.
  • Children Are Innocent: The main theme of The Little Ones port release, even in war children are still children. More-so in this video, where the child's imagination of his father as a superhero in contrast to his less-than-stellar acts and morally muddled environment.
  • Concealment Equals Cover: Averted. While hiding behind doors, hallways and furniture will prevent NPC's from initially spotting you. If they see you in the process of hiding, their bullets will still reach you all the same, though you will take reduced damage.
  • Crapsack World: Harder to get more crapsack than living in a war zone.
  • Critical Existence Failure: Partly averted with Player-controlled survivors, who will limp when they're critically wounded during a scavenging trip but can still run normally. Sometimes averted with enemies as their movement speed will also decrease when injured enough (may even stop moving if critically injured). This doesn't make them any less dangerous, as they can still counter-attack in melee combat.
  • Crocodile Tears: When injured enough, an enemy will beg the player not to finish the job. When it comes to bandits and soldiers, sparing them will always bite the player in the arse later on, whether it be rejoining the fight or alerting other enemies, and they won't hesitate to counter-attack melee attacks. It's best to shoot them in the face.
  • Crowbar Combatant: The homemade pry-bars are meant to pry open locked doors, dressers, and cabinets, but are also useful in a pinch for clubbing someone.
  • Crusading Lawyer: Emilia, who will use her law expertise in trials involving war criminals if she survives.
  • Cycle of Hurting: It is possible to be in a situation where you have no supplies while every playable character is too sick or wounded to go out scavenging, and everyone will either die of disease, bleeding out or starvation.
  • Cycle of Revenge: If a character is killed while scavenging, certain survivors will respond by swearing to make the ones responsible pay. It is possible to revisit the location where your survivor was killed to exact revenge.
  • Dangerous Deserter: The player may encounter a house full of soldiers who have deserted and are very hostile to intruders. It turns out they're kidnappers and their hostage died due to negligence, but they decide to demand ransom anyway.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Everyone in your safehouse has a tragic story to tell about each's own experiences before coming to the shelter.
  • Defector From Decadence: Roman, who left the rebel faction after seeing too many atrocities committed by them. However, he will still happily kill soldiers from the other side, as he does not consider them to be any better.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Having to watch a survivor waste away from illness and/or injury and not having any medical supplies to help them will really drag down the rest of your party's morale. And the moment they die is usually the same moment where the others become emotionally broken. The only person who can be the least affected by this is the one who goes out on scavenging duty.
  • The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: When your character enters an area where s/he got spotted before, the people there will remember your character's previous trespass if they see him/her again.
  • Difficult But Awesome: Sneaking around or storming a bandit-occupied warehouse, or dodging a sniper's bullets, is a good way to get a careless survivor killed... but it also leads to a motherload of resources, without the guilt that comes from stealing the possessions of innocents.
  • Digital Piracy Is Okay: Naturally, this game was pirated. But then a member of the dev team posted 10 Steam keys in the comment section, along with a message that basically said "It's okay, we understand that some people can't afford this game due to whatever reason. We just ask you to keep spreading the words."
  • Disk One Nuke: If you can get the rapist scenario at the Supermarket, then the place can be one. Just Back Stab the soldier with the knife equipped as soon as you open the door and kill him (you may have to stab him twice) then loot his corpse (an assault rifle, around 20 bullets, and a free Moonshine) and the entire Supermarket is yours for the taking, as no one else will be there to scavenge the place. Since you get this by saving a woman from rape, it also counts as a Karmic Jackpot.
    • The Garage is a location that's discovered pretty early. The trader there has an ailing father, and trading even just a bandage or a bottle of pills (which are items you probably won't use too early) can net you an axe alongside other items. This really expedites the crafting process because you wouldn't have to craft a level-two metal workshop and you get an amazing wood surplus, which means you wouldn't have to prioritize the heavy material on your scavenging runs.
  • Dog Food Diet: Implied with the canned food that can be found, as its item description says that eaters will eventually get used to the taste.
  • Dream Team: You can form one with the scenario editor after your first playthrough. For example, you could select the Supreme Chef (Bruno), the Handyman (Marin), the Scrounger (Marko), and the good bargainer (Katia) and face fewer issues starting off.
  • Driven to Suicide: Any survivors that delve too far into depression without any respite will eventually take their own lives.
  • Due to the Dead: One of your neighbors can ask you to help bury her husband, despite the fact that mourners are sniper bait. This is treated as a good act and will appear in the epilogue.
  • Dump Stat: There's combat ability, backpack size, movement speed, and empathy as primary character stats. Needless to say, empathy is often seen as the Dump Stat, since it doesn't take much to improve survivors' morale, or it's more prudent to steal with a lower empathy stat. While these individual stats cannot be modified, it does set a number of characters focused on the One Stat to Rule Them All (such as Marko and Roman) to be at the top of the tier list while the only one survivor with a high empathy stat, Boris, being immensely useful (while Zlata is average and Cveta is a Tier-Induced Scrappy).
  • Early Game Hell: Most of the difficulty depends on how much stuff you can bring back to the shelter. Starting with characters that have small backpacks really makes it hard to decide on what to scavenge and how it should best be used. That said, the early game is rarely hard to survive. Your characters start fed, healthy or occasionally slightly sick, unwounded or occasionally slightly wounded. There are relatively rich and risk-free pickings available in early game (including some in your house). The trick is to use early game effectively to prepare you for mid and late game when you get hit by resource shortage in the relatively safe locations, crime spree, winter and sickness.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: If you manage to survive roughly 45 days until the cease-fire and manage to have enough Pet the Dog moments, and not murder innocent people, everyone who survives gets a happy ending.
  • Effortless Achievement: Most achievements can be earned by building basic, but essential tools such as the radio and beds. The more challenging ones involve getting a survivor back from the brink of severe injury, illness or depression, but a few scenarios already have someone start that way.
  • Eternal Equinox: Dawn is at 5 AM, Daytime starting at 6 AM, and Night at 8 PM.
  • Everybody Lives: Difficult, but possible. You even get an achievement if none of your survivors died before the cease-fire comes.
  • Fast-Forward Mechanic: During the day, if you've run out of things to do for your survivors, you can skip the rest of the daylight hours and head straight to night. If a character is in the middle of performing an action as you fast forward (such as sleeping), the action will complete as if time had passed normally.
  • Final Solution: The Grazni government's attitude against people of Vyseni ethnicity is apparently intolerant to the point of conducting genocide as an acceptable means to an end.
  • Flat Character: The children don't have any characteristics that make them different from one another (given that they can't guard or scavenge whatsoever), and the only thing than can make them different is which adult survivor they can be imprinted on.
  • For Want of a Nail: Failing to have a bottle of medicine can be the difference between staying an honest, decent person and going out at night to rob a struggling hospital, or risking one's life to rob heavily-armed bandits. The line between the player and the random bandits outside is very fine.
  • Four-Philosophy Ensemble:
    • Cynics: Roman, Bruno, Emilia, Computer Expert, Insurance Agent
    • Realists: Marko, Pavlia, Katia, Christo, Henrik, Forester, Photographer
    • Optimists: Zlata, Boris, Cveta, Psychologist
    • Apathetics: Marin, Arica, Anton, Irina, Police Officer, Pharmacist
  • Friend to All Children: Cveta, an elementary school principal.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: The Central Square has four traders, but sometimes their economy settings are bugged. You can clear out their entire inventories, picking up tons of food and several extremely valuable medical items, for the price of a single bullet. However, this has been fixed with the recent patch.
  • Good Cannot Comprehend Evil: The more optimistic characters are more hesitant to kill bandits and soldiers, believing that even they didn't deserve to die. Everyone else, however, believes that such stories are clearly not true.
  • Good Feels Good: Taking generous actions might expose the survivors to danger or expend their already limited resources, but most characters will generally get a big boost to their contentment for doing so, which can leave their outlook positive for days.
  • Good Is Not Soft: Killing certain characters doesn't count as a "bad" action, like the sniper team, the rapist, and various bandits and evil soldiers.
  • Good Old Fisticuffs: If a survivor has no other weapons on him/her, the survivor can resort to using fists. However, fists are by far the weakest way to fight, rarely succeeding when performing stealth kills and almost always losing a struggle if the opponent is armed with an actual weapon. Roman is actually capable of beating someone to death if he attacks while hiding.
  • Good Samaritan: If you don't start off with an ideal group (e.g. Anton and Cveta, Emilia and Zlata, Marko by himself), a few of your neighbors would drop by with gifts of wood, canned goods, medicine and books.
    • Zyhu and his wife will randomly drop by to gift your survivors with vegetables, expecting nothing in return. Of course, you can repay them by helping them reinforce their shelter.
  • Good Shepherd: Father Olek, the priest at St. Mary's Church. He protects his people by hiding them in the Vestery; he provides supplies to the starving -- and he does these things all throughout the siege.
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: After killing a guard in a bandit hideout or at the Military Outpost, if you come back the next night, the remaining people don't put up extra security of any sort. Especially noticeable with the Military Outpost, which only has one entrance; and after killing the two guards at the entrance, no one else in the outpost will take his/her position.
  • Guide Dang It
    • One of the game's achievements, Street Art, requires the player to seek out and stand near 10 graffiti images located on 10 different locations. Some graffiti are not easily visible, requiring careful eyes, though the achievement description is devoid of any hints, leaving it to luck your first time.
    • The game has no tutorial, leaving players to scramble on what to do and how to do it. There are some icons to guide you, but the rest relies on your instinct. Arguably justified, as it simulates how normal civilians are suddenly thrust into an unfamiliar situation and expected to make a kad scramble just to survive.
  • Half-Truth (a.k.a. Metaphorically True)
    • Don't expect much when you go to a location with "Lots of Food"; you'll only find enough ingredients to last about 1 to 3 meals.
    • The percentage indicator of an area shows you how much stuff is left there to scavenge. Locations that are not 100% cleaned-out but no longer have any food, materials, weapons, medicine, or parts, will only have Wood, Basic Components, Coffee, Herbs, Tobacco, Cigarettes, and Alcohol which are not counted as important materials that are necessary for survival.
  • Harmful to Minors: Defied as much as possible. The survivors let the children know about the situation, why going outside is dangerous, and they teach them things such as cooking or crafting simple items, but they will never let a child scavenge or guard the fort. The survivors do as much as they can to keep the children safe and innocent as the war rages on, but there is only so much they can do against sickness, raids and death.
  • Headbutting Heroes: The survivors often have conflicting personalities and ideals, but Roman and the Forester are the only survivors that will actually fight with others (especially when in a bad mood and usually with men), which will result in either them or someone else getting wounded.
  • Hero of Another Story: Several. The groups of survivors that ask for help, the father of the Abandoned Cottage and the families in the Ruined Villa, Quiet House and Small Apartment.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: The Father of the Abandoned Cottage has a simple but tragic story: his two daughters were murdered by the very same looters who had already robbed them on their first encounter and then delivered revenge on every one of them in return. Ashamed of the fact the he failed to protect his daughters and feeling no positivity from killing the looters, he buried his pistol and decided to disappear without a trace after realizing that he became a monster.

If you're reading this -- Don't look for me.

  • Honorary Uncle/Aunt: War orphans refer to the survivors they've imprinted on as an aunt or uncle.
  • Hope Spot: Sometimes the radio will announce that a cease-fire is coming soon, only to tell you a few days later that it's been canceled.
  • Improvised Weapon: Most things characters can use as weapons are improvised, often crafted themselves. Even a gun is likely built from a damaged gun discarded and repaired by someone else, and firing bullets made out of spent shell casings that have been repacked.
  • Infant Immortality: Children can't die. Instead, they leave the shelter when things get too hard.
  • Infinity-1 Sword: The Scoped Rifle is one of the more ammo-efficient firearms in the game due to its heavy damage, great accuracy, and long range. The catch is that you can only find them on snipers or in the Military Outpost, and at close range it doesn't do much damage at all.
  • Innocent Cohabitation: You'll find none of the survivors there interested in one another, regardless of the circumstances or starting scenario.
  • Interface Spoiler: If you have enough experience with the game, you can guarantee announcement of a cease-fire coming soon on an early day means it's a lie.
  • Inventory Management Puzzle: Characters out scavenging have to deal with their inventory cap and juggle what they bring with them and what they try to take back. While all items only take up one "slot" in the inventory, bulkier items have lower quantities that can "stack" in a single slot. For example, a character can carry ten sugar cubes in one slot, but only two wooden boards in the same amount of space.
  • Item Crafting: A major gameplay component is creating makeshift things, like beds, stoves, and tools. All of these things require materials which must be scavenged from the world, traded for, or made from other things.
  • Justified Tutorial: Or rather, lack of tutorial. All the better to illustrate the fact that most of you were just normal civilians suddenly thrust into doing things you've never done before, scrambling just to survive in this hellhole.
  • Karmic Jackpot
    • If you go to the Supermarket, you might encounter a soldier attempting to rape a woman. He'll certainly have a better weapon than you at this point, but if you intervene anyway and successfully kill him, then you get an assault rifle, 20 bullets (a very powerful weapon), Moonshine (a great trading item), the ability to loot the store unimpeded, and a morale boost for most or all of your survivors. See Disk One Nuke above.
    • Clearing "evil" locations of inhabitants results in practically no morale penalties and allows one to loot the entire map without consequences. They tend to have tons of supplies just ripe for the picking.
  • Kick the Dog: You cannot see at a glance if someone is a bad guy, but if you spy and eavesdrop on a bad guy for a while, he will soon reveal what type of person he is through dialogue or actions.
  • Know-Nothing Know-It-All: Subverted with Anton. At first, reading his profile makes him seem like an arrogant, know-it-all professor, but he quickly admits that he's just putting on an act and is very grateful for taking him into the shelter.
  • Lack of Empathy: Some characters show signs of this.
    • Roman is unique in that he isn't affected much by killing bandits, soldiers, or even civilians.
    • Bruno comes across as this, vocally scoffing at the idea of helping others as opposed to looking out for oneself. However, he can still feel content of some "good" acts (such as stopping the rapist) and if he kills someone in a scavenger run, he tends to get depressed hard.
    • Emilia is the third cynic in the group of survivors. She thinks logically and justifies any minor atrocities she may commit.
  • Let's Play: One by Das Bo Schitt of The Gmod Idiot Box fame, done to gauge his fans' reaction to him doing LPs in a more down-to-earth manner compared to other LPers out there.
  • Lost Forever
    • A dead NPC will disappear along with all the items they were carrying. This is especially important if the person you killed is a guard and you were chased off by another one that was alerted by the killing: You lost a good opportunity to get a weapon, ammunition, and probably some Body Armor. You can prevent this by taking all of the belongings or transferring them to a stash for later retrieval.
    • If several weeks pass before you visit a location or in between visits, you may notice that some loot may be missing. Other scavengers are implicitly visiting your same spots, so unless you pick the place clean, some goods may be lost if you wait long enough. This often happens during the material crisis.
  • Mighty Glacier: Boris, who is the slowest playable character but can carry the most items and delivers the most damage in melee combat and delivers decent damage in ranged combat.
  • Min-Maxing: Now possible with Update 1.3, which included a scenario editor. Cue Marko, Katia, Marin, and Bruno starting out with just the easiest missions available.
  • Mood Dissonance: The weather report on the radio sounds strangely upbeat, considering the circumstances. If the weather's warm, that radio station will tell listeners that it's "a perfect day for a walk in the park!" despite the presence of snipers who shoot anyone out in the open. It's been theorized the broadcaster is not local and doesn't know how bad things really are.
  • Morality Pet: Orphans can be imprinted on survivors, resulting in them being this. Even the most bitter survivors such as Roman can get content easily as long as their imprinted child is doing well.
  • Multiple Endings: The epilogue is determined by several factors such as the condition of your survivors and their actions.
    • Good: Happens when a survivor sees the end of the war with a lot of good karma.
    • Mixed: Happens when a survivor sees the end of the war with insufficient good karma.
    • Rejected: Happens when a survivor asks to join your party but is turned away. Being forced to fend for oneself will always result in an uncertain fate.
    • Ran Away: Happens when a survivor leaves the shelter after being mistreated for too long. Running away doesn't always end well for a survivor.
    • Bad: Happens when a survivor sees the end of the war with too much negative karma.
    • Died: Happens when a survivor gets killed or succumbs to wounds, disease, starvation, and hypothermia.
    • Suicide: Happens when a survivor does not get consolation after a mental breakdown.
  • Mundane Luxury: In this setting, any luxury counts. A cigarette, even a crude home-rolled one out of inferior herbs, can make a huge difference in the mood of a character (if a smoker, that is). Same goes for a pot of coffee, or home-distilled booze, listening to a guitar, or even just sitting in a relatively comfy chair to read a book. In addition to improving characters' moods, these items have substantial trade value and securing them gives the opportunity to barter for other things.
  • Must Have Caffeine and Must Have Nicotine: As mentioned above, some characters really need their coffee/smokes to relax.
  • Nintendo Hard: Resource scarcity means that most players have trouble finding enough food just to survive the second week.
  • No FEMA Response: Averted and justified. There was a mass evacuation at the very start of the siege, but the fighting has prevented further evacuations or much outside aide getting through.
  • Obligatory War Crime Scene: There are a lot of atrocities committed by mainly the official military. Snipers shooting indiscriminately at civilians is just the tip of the iceburg.
  • Odd Friendship: While every survivor has shades of this with his/her peers, Roman and Katia stand out because they're one of the two pairs that the player can begin with, despite their conflicting points of view.
  • One-Hit Kill: Attacking a person from behind or from a hiding spot with a melee weapon can immediately end the victim's life, though it's not always guaranteed. Arica, Roman, and Boris are special in that whatever they attack from the rear with any melee weapons, it's a guaranteed kill.
  • One-Man Army: Given that only one person can scavenge at a time, any of the survivors can be this, as any could clear small groups in one night. Typically, this is attributed to Roman and Police officer for their combat proficiency, Boris for his health pool, and Aria for her stealth.
  • One Stat to Rule Them All: Backpack size is an extremely important stat, since it greatly reduces the amount of visits needed to scavenge for essential supplies. When it comes to dealing with bandits and soldiers, combat ability is also this, as it allows more flexibility to kill enemies in one strike.
  • Optional Stealth: Locations that feature guards or outright malicious NPCs may require stealth and careful planning if one intends to steal without having to resort to head-to-head combat. With the right gear, fighting your way through is possible, but killing often incurs morale penalties, and having an entire house of armed men swarm you at the sound of gunfire is not always the best idea.
  • Original Character: Can be made as of Update 1.3 with the survivor creator. The game even supports custom profile pictures!
  • Parental Substitute: Anytime your survivors have a war orphan with them.
  • Pay Evil Unto Evil: Opportunities abound.
    • Repeatedly stabbing the rapist at the Supermarket, even as he begs for his life.
    • Going out of your way to track down and chop up the snipers in the Construction Projects, after said snipers have spent the war murdering every civilian they see.
    • Shooting every stinkin' thug in the Brothel, even after they try running away.
  • Penultimate Weapon: The Assault Rifle has some medium-heavy damage, good accuracy, and versatile range. It would be the best weapon if it didn't use 2-3 bullets per firing, which is wasteful on precious ammo.
  • Player Headquarters: The player's shelter, where the survivors rest, keep what belongings they can find, and find a little companionship.
  • Random Number God: Every game is a new experience because of the many things that are randomly generated.
    • Your starting characters are randomly chosen which, depending on their skills, will make the early days easy or hard. Patch 1.2 (December 2014) has removed this with a character selection screen, though a "random" option still remains as a possibility and is mandatory on the first playthrough. Patch 1.3 brings the possibility of your team consisting of just Marko.
    • If you're super unlucky, you'll start the game in winter, which means your characters will start succumbing to hypothermia-induced sickness. Thankfully, your shelter already has a heater, but it's a hard struggle to find lots of wood and balance it among keeping the heater on, building things, and reinforcing the shelter. It's an even harder struggle to upgrade the heater to provide more heat for less fuel.
    • It is also possible for an outbreak of crime to occur as early as your first week, forcing you to have to survive nightly raids while you're still trying to craft kitchen knives for defense.
    • Locations will become inaccessible on certain nights due to heavy fighting. And some locations are inaccessible if a location is revealed (i.e. Central Market and Sniper Junction. Only one of these two will appear and the other will not per game.)
    • Some locations have more than one event that will happen and only one event happens per game. One example is the Supermarket: you either get the rapist scenario or the three-man scenario. One is difficult but if done correctly, will reap the best rewards. The other one is an easy scenario, only that it's a race against the clock to stop them from looting your precious loot.
    • There's always a probability of your shelter being attacked by other people during the night. When it does get attacked, the outcome is calculated by this formula: [Shelter security + number of people on guard + weapons available / quality or quantity of attackers]. Also, the probability and severity of an attack is low at the beginning of the game, but as you get into the mid to late stages of the siege, potential attacks on your shelter will get more frequent and more dangerous. The problem is further exacerbated by random outbreaks of crime where the likelihood of attack is significantly increased for a few days.
    • Fighting is considered a last resort because the combat system is determined by whatever numbers are rolled on an attack action.
    • In every playthrough, at least one character will be either sick or wounded and require nursing back to health. Often, there will be one of each.
    • There are three variations of the Hotel: One description has the place inhabited by a friendly trader, another as inhabited by a group of sadistic kidnappers, and the last as the hiding place of an insane conspiracy theorist.

Someone moved in there recently, and spread the news that he was willing to barter. Maybe he has something useful to us? Presently occupied by some armed thugs? Screams are sometimes heard coming from the building. It's best to keep away from it. The looters have already taken most of the things of any value, but they could've missed something. Some harmless lunatic is said to be living there for the moment.

  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Your scavenger can encounter a rapist while scavenging the Supermarket. Killing him raises the group's morale, but the inverse happens if you fail to do it.
  • Reduced to Ratburgers: Quite literally, the player can build and set out traps for small animals, usually rats, to be used as food. However, they require bait that could also be used to get food, and they have an unpredictable time to catch anything. Often several traps would be ideal, but that requires even more resources to rebuild them, turning even this into a difficulty.
  • Refining Resources: A core part of the Item Crafting system. For example, food can be eaten raw, but if combined with water and fuel at a stove, it will satisfy more hunger, thus stretching the food supplies a little, and adding vegetables to the mix will enhance this further. Many other basic resources can be combined (with the right tools) to produce more advanced resources that have more utility and value.
  • Resources Management Gameplay: A huge weight on the player is almost perpetually never having enough to feel comfortable. Food is always in short supply, and often so is water. Basic construction materials are hard to get enough of, and there is always some small demand for them that makes stockpiling enough of them for major upgrades difficult.
  • The Revolution Will Not Be Vilified: When the rebels take the school, some of them discuss the actions of their cause. One of them reminds the other that they aren't monsters and must refrain from crossing the Moral Event Horizon.
  • Riches to Rags: Emilia, who came from a well-off family that had a lot of savings. Unfortunately when the war happened, the local currency became worthless. Zig-Zagged since her father keeps his cool and rather than despairing, simply tells her and her sister not to worry and that they have plenty of expensive jewelry to sell for supplies. Amazingly this works, and for a while it almost seems as if the rich really would be available to make it through the war scot-free... Then her father falls ill, and while she's away in his stead to buy supplies, rebels burn down the mansion with him and her sister in it.
  • Robbing the Dead: Any NPC killed is lootable, often yielding nice weapons or precious items. You can also loot the dead body of one of your own survivors should you visit the location where that survivor was killed. Note that NPCs that are killed must be looted immediately as their bodies and items will vanish by the next day.
  • Ruritania: The civil war takes place in a country known as Graznavia. Some of the flavor text and character names suggest it is somewhere in Eastern Europe, in an obvious reference to the Bosnian War.
  • Save Scumming: Averted. The game has only one save file, which is automatically overwritten after every night. This save limit forces players to live with the consequences for the rest of the game which, in turn, forces players to be more cautious, as it increases the tension and fear of making a potentially life-threatening mistake. However, exiting and reloading the game prior to the save point will reset any random encounters and any actions during the Night Phase to the point of the previous save.
    • Played straight however, in regards to random events throughout the day. For instance, Franko's inventory is decided when he arrives at your door, instead of the start of day. If Franko does not sell anything useful for you, you can reload to randomize his inventory. And as mentioned, daylight random events can be reset as well; sometimes you can get Blago or Zyhu on the same day. In addition, extra survivors who join your cause are also randomized, so if you get Cveta, you can reset the day and try again.
    • Also played straight in using Alt F4.
  • Scavenger World: With supplies from outside cut off by the siege, plenty of abandoned or bombed-out areas, and the complete breakdown of civil authority, those still in the city have to scavenge and scrape for what they can to get by.
  • Schmuck Bait: In Old Town, a lootable pile is left out in the open right next to a graffiti sign warning of a sniper. Trying to scavenge the pile will almost certainly reward the player with a bullet wound for his/her troubles, and the sniper in this area fires in quick enough intervals that it is almost impossible to finish looting without being interrupted by another bullet. If the player does succeed in looting, next is the disappointment that the pile only yields a handful of material and wood most of the time.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Certain survivors will simply leave your safehouse when things turn dire. More cynical survivors will even take some of your supplies when they leave.
  • Sex Slave: The women in the brothel are actually unhappy volunteers who are forced to do favors that they didn't agree to. They have no choice but to put up with the degradation, or else they won't have any protection or a reliable source of food and medicine. If you needed a good reason to rob and kill the men there instead of trading with them, this is it.

Bastards! They can't treat us like this!
I was told that I'd only have to dance...
Fucking animals. We've got to think of something....
They told me my little girl would be fine if I worked hard.

  • Short-Range Shotgun: The Shotgun is a superior replacement for the Handgun, as it uses one bullet per firing and is deadly at point-blank. The catch is that it has the slowest rate of fire and does scratch damage from longe range. Expert players have found that the Hatchet+Shotgun combination is very good, as it lets you safely finish off an armed enemy that doesn't die from a vicious axing but gets knocked too far away from you to quickly follow-up with another melee attack.
  • Shovel Strike: A shovel is mostly intended for clearing out fallen rubble quickly, but it can also be used offensively. It's only second to the Hatchet in terms of damage output.
  • Sinister Shiv: Homemade stabbing weapons out of a sharp bit of metal, some wood for the handle, and a few things to strap them together. They are of limited utility, but they can be manufactured easily.
  • Smiting Evil Feels Good: Some characters will be very happy about killing bandits and murderous soldiers.
    • Attacking the Brothel is considered a good deed, as killing the men that are running the place will set the women free.
    • Killing the kidnappers at the Hotel doesn't even register in anyone's bio; it's rescuing the hostage that counts.
    • Killing the soldier at the Supermarket is also a virtue, seeing as how doing so allows his would-be rape victim to escape.
    • Killing the snipers at the Construction Site also counts as a good deed. The optimists might regret resorting to violence to stop them, but everyone else thinks they absolutely deserved it.
  • Snow Means Death: It gets a lot colder in winter, and if you don't have proper heating, your survivors will get sick a lot more easily. The snow can be somewhat useful, as there is an unlimited supply of it right outside your shelter that can be boiled for water, so as long as you have the fuel and filters for it; without snow, you need a rainwater collector and filters to do so.
  • Starving Artist: There is a literal starving artist at the Decrepit Squat who will beg for food.
  • Stealth-Based Game: In many places, avoiding other desperate survivors or soldiers is often the best course. All player must be aware of the noise they are making, who can potentially see them, and what all they can see.
  • Stealth Expert: Arica, which is justified since she is a cat burglar. Even when cutting metal grates she makes little noise!
  • Team Chef: Bruno, who can not only make nutritious food with less water but can even make moonshine with less ingredients than anyone else would need.
  • Technical Pacifist: Optimists like Boris abhor taking lives, and the player can invoke this by bringing enemies into critical health but refraining from dealing the final blow. Civilians and some weaker bandits and soldiers will surrender, while stronger ones will keep on fighting or spew out insults.
  • The Teetotaler: Anton and Christo, who will never drink alcohol no matter how bad things get.
  • The Unfought: A downplayed version; the sniper in the hotel at the Sniper Junction can never be attacked by you.
  • Treasure Room: Evil locations such as the Military Outpost, Warehouse, Brothel, and kidnapper Hotel are all heavily guarded places that have the food and materials that you desperately need to survive. You can either sneak around carefully or just barge in, with armor and an assault rifle, and kill all the guards to make future scavenging trips completely safe.
  • Universal Ammunition: Handguns, Shotguns, and Assault Rifles all use the same ammo. Pretty unrealistic, but it's already hard enough to find guns and the sufficient ammo to make them useful.
  • Vendor Trash: Jewelry, which is useless aside from bartering for things you can actually use. Other items, such as the Herbal Machine (which isn't really that good as medicine at all), are also good for bartering, especially for Matey.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: The Military Outpost and the Brothel are considered this.
  • Very Loosely Based on a True Story: The developers interviewed survivors of the 4-year-long Siege of Sarajevo to inform gameplay, even though the game itself is in a semi-generic setting. If you followed the Siege of Sarajevo on the news, you might recognize such things as "sniper alley", more-or-less constant shelling, Bruno having a very hard time imagining that a brutal civil war could happen an ywhere but in third-world countries, and Pavle's comment on despite everything, women are still making an effort to look good. Also, like Bosnian Moslems and Serbs, there is very little real difference between the supposedly ethnic sides Vyseni and Graznni -- they all speak the same language and do not seem particularly religious.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: Sure, giving medicine to the children's mother, letting in that random stranger, and helping pull people from the rubble requires resources or manpower. However it's usually worth it in the end.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: Sure, you could steal from families trying to protect themselves, or even shank a priest and loot a church... Or run around a house thoroughly looting everything of value as an old man hobbles after you begging you to please stop. Alternatively, cruelty can become a strategy for survival. For example, that old mathematician or school principal in your group, the ones who have no survival specialty but quirky/useless abilities, and has a tiny backpack... perhaps it's best not to waste any medication, bandages, or even food, on trying to keep them alive. The other survivors will be saddened by their deaths, but ten days later when their bellies are full on rat stew and their house is nicely upgraded, they won't even remember their names.
  • Video Game Cruelty Punishment: But your survivors will become extremely depressed for having to resort to such measures. And you lose a set of hands for working too. Not to mention that if you have your survivors make it to the end of the war doing too many cruel actions, life will only get worse for them after the war, at the very least.
  • Video Game Tutorial: This game doesn't have one, leaving it up to players to figure out what to do. The closest thing to it is a Let's Play by DasBoSchitt.
  • War Is Hell: The game. A big part of the game's Central Theme is showing that it is hell, not just for the people who fight in it, but also those who simply have to live in its wake.

Emir Cerimovic: War always happens on somebody's doorstep.

Retrieved from "http://allthetropes.wikia.com/wiki/This_War_of_Mine?oldid=310055"

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