My Time at Sandrock - TV Tropes (2024)

My Time at Sandrock - TV Tropes (1)

My Time at Sandrock is the follow-up game to My Time at Portia, part of the My Time series developed and self-published by Pathea Games. It takes place around the same timeframe as the last game. The game was released in an Early Access version on May 25, 2022, with the full 1.0 launch following on November 2, 2023.

Much like its predecessor, Sandrock focuses on crafting, resource gathering, and farming, in a post-post-apocalyptic world. The player takes the role of a new builder to the town of Sandrock,—an oasis town long past its prime—tasked with returning the town to its former glory. Resources are scarce, and the environment is hostile, leading to new challenges not seen in the previous installment.

The game also includes a friendship and romance system with the various townsfolk. Marriage mechanics are also included, where the player can have their lovers move into their workshop, assist them, and even raise children together. The player can also expand and design their house and workshop instead of just relying on preset upgrades, as well as adopt pets and raise livestock.

My Time at Sandrock is currently available on PC and Steam Deck, along with the Nintendo Switch, Microsoft Xbox One, and Sony Playstation 4 and 5.

Has a character page in much need of contributions.

This game provides examples of:

  • Abhorrent Admirer:
    • Amirah gains some of these when Arvio accidentally sells photos of the "Desert Rose", which was meant to refer to Sandrock's landmarks, but ended up assigned to Amirah, who he didn't realize was in the pictures until after he sold most of them.
    • The Builder attracts the attention "Mysterious Admirer" that sends them some gifts and finds them really, really cool. How they respond to the letters either encourages this admirer or treats them like a pest. Said admirer is later revealed to be Unsuur, though it turns out he has only (so far) developed "Best Friend feelings."
    • Arvio has a history of getting overly friendly with Fang on deliveries, to absolutely no success. While Fang himself is implied to find Arvio's Dogged Nice Guy behavior merely annoying, X has started attacking him for harassment.
  • Ability Required to Proceed: The tools that you have and the machines that you own determine what you're able to produce. The starting pickhammer can't be used to break up Hard Rocks, which are needed for Bloodstone, which is needed for better furnaces, which is needed for better ingots, which is needed for a better pickhammer, for example. However, there are two upgrades that are explicitly required by the story in order to proceed: the Workbench and the Assembly Station.
    • The Workbench has to be upgraded to at least Intermediate by the end of act one, as the materials needed for the Algae Producer cannot be made with the starting workbench. You eventually have to upgrade to the Advanced Workbench by the end of act two, for the same reason.
    • The Assembly Station must be upgraded to Intermediate to make larger specialty items, which is needed specifically for the Train Station upgrades. Fortunately, Musa won't arrive until you manage to complete them, so you can take your time. Then, at the end of act two, after it becomes clear that Duvos is going to invade, you must upgrade the Assembly Station to Advanced in order to make the Hyper-Compressed Air Cannon.
  • Affably Evil: The Duvos forces that invade and occupy Sandrock try and invoke this, with them having orders not to kill anyone and be polite as possible. However, Stev, the Duvos soldier who serves as the Builder's warden, is the only one who really manages to pull it off. So much so that, after the Alliance frees the town and arrests the Duvos soldiers who get left behind, the Builder can hope that Stev will get a light sentence.
  • After the End: Approximately 300 years before the game's main plot, the world was destroyed by nuclear conflict. Some amount of humanity survived, but technology was lost, and the environment was forever altered.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: According to the statistic quoted by Burgess, "over 99% of AI in our world are crazy and evil." And whether or not it's accurate, he further points out that every single AI that the builder has encountered has attempted to kill them, including the very Magic Mirror they're now employing at their workshop.
  • All Hail the Great God Mickey!: The Geeglers' ethos is based on a tattered copy of the Geegle Company Handbook, which they have mistaken to be an ancient holy text of divine law. And since the Geegle corporation was a comically unethical MegaCorp, this has resulted in a brutal warrior cult intent on world domination.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: Duvos eventually launches an attack against Sandrock; and without the aid of the Alliance in sight, it's up to the citizens of the town to arm and defend themselves. The first attempt at the defense fails due to a traitor, but the town ends up liberated with the aid of Logan.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • A scanner in the mining sections that lets the player see where buried artifacts are, and even the exit from the current chamber. In addition, each start of each floor in the mining sections sells consumables that restore stamina, provided you have enough gol to spend, instead of having to waste time going back to town to recover stamina.
    • Certain story missions will grant you infinite Stamina and pause the in-game clock to avoid Unwinnable situations.
    • If the regular in-game time feels too fast or too slow, the players are free to adjust them to their liking, ranging from 0.6x to 3x. While speeding up the game 3x is ridiculously impractical for normal gameplay, it can be good in cases where you don't want to wait too much for something to be completed by one of your machines before resuming your work elsewhere.
    • Normally, you need to manually set reminders, but certain sidequests will automatically set them, usually one hour before the appointment, to prevent you from accidentally missing them.
    • During spars, you'll be able to fight even if your stamina is at zero.
    • Every vendor works with the honor system, meaning you don't need to talk to the shop owner to buy things. However, certain things, like Fang's Acupuncture, still need them to be in inside their job location to be used. They also work from 08:00 to 22:00, which prevents you from having to start or stop working early or late just to buy something.
    • After buying an item in Construction Junction (Heidi's shop), you can use Edit Mode in your workshop terrain. While in edit mode, you can freely move the objects in your home terrain or inside your house without needing to visit Construction Junction. Additionally, while in Edit Mode, time won't pass, so you don't have to worry about losing daytime and having to do everything in a hurry.
    • You can turn off the cutscene that plays when you use the Yak Transport in the settings, and there are two lift chairs once the lift is built, with one that's cheaper and skips the long wait.
    • Much like in My Time at Portia, relationship values are easy to increase to at least the Acquaintance level because of two factors. The first is that story events where the entire town benefits from your exploits (such as rebuilding the Shonash Bridge, and successfully creating the Little Forest) will earn you relationship points with everyone in town. The second is that becoming friends with someone gives you a not-insignificant amount of relationship points with all of that person's friends. It's not uncommon to see a massive cascade of relationship status changes when reach a new level with one person, giving you enough points to reach a new relationship status with one of their friends, which then prompts more relationship status updates with all their friends...In other words, you have to try really hard to avoid being friends with everyone in town.
  • Apocalyptic Log:
    • The Breach ruins in central Sandrock have a series of diary pages from a child who witnessed the Day of Calamity, ending with her writing a final farewell after hiding underground and facing starvation.
    • In the Shipwreck Ruins, the player can find a book containing the Captain's Log. It touches upon how his ship crashed on the day the sun disappeared as a result of the Old World's nuclear conflict, detailing his decades of isolation on a ruined ship with no signs of coming help and with only the ship's Caretaker AI for company.
    • Later on, a time capsule reveals that the immediate post-apocalyptic environment had numerous gangs roving round Mad Max style before Peach restored some semblance of order.
  • Artistic License – Medicine: Broken heart syndrome, while real, is an acute condition and will usually resolve on its own within months, provided the patient survives the acute heart failure at its onset. Here, the heart is permanently weakened and results in a slow death by congestive heart failure if left untreated, which, while not impossible, is a very rare complication.
  • Autosave: The game is rather generous with them, saving every time you complete a mission or start a new day.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The Vintage Assault Rifle. It's an automatic weapon that fires much faster than the semi-auto Vintage Pistol, and each magazine holds 20 bullets instead of 6. The catch? Its ammo requires a lot more materials to craft, is crafted in much smaller quantities, and takes a lot longer to craft. Additionally, the weapon itself eats ammo like crazy compared to the Vintage Pistol.
  • Bag of Holding: Your own backpack. Expanded out to the full 280 slots via spending gols and taking the relevant talents, you can carry every single thing about with you without any storage.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Bronco (an investigator hired to identify a potential water thief) asks Cooper to tell him everything and leave nothing out. Cooper is known in town for talking the hind legs off any and every four-legged animal. Bronco actually falls asleep while Cooper is talking. If you, the player, stays awake for all of it, you actually get a maximum stamina increase.
  • Betrayal Insurance: Whatever Yan's involvement in the water hoarding vault is, he devised a lock bypass—the Antilock—in case of any betrayal, which makes Grace's investigation of said vault a lot easier.
  • Beef Gate: Some of the monsters around Sandrock are aggressive and will thrash you if you try to go to certain places before you're intended to.
  • Boom Town: Sandrock was this in the past, after a resident stumbled upon an Old World ruin full of intact relics, bringing in miners from all over.
  • Boring, but Practical: Gathering, Workshop and Social Knowledges are mostly passive bonuses relevant to what you'll do the most in the game: gathering materials, creating and crafting things in your workshop, and socializing with the townsfolk. None of them have huge short-term impacts, but with time and patience, they can be very helpful if you play smart.
  • Captain Ersatz:
    • One commission has you build a... Gungam Mobile Suit to help with heavy-duty construction.
    • The Sweeper robot enemy looks an awful lot like WALL•E, from a movie also set in a post-apocalyptic desert. The Trotter enemies they're often encountered near also look a bit like EVE's head.
  • Changing Gameplay Priorities:
    • At the beginning of the game, you have limited gear, and most of it is pretty terrible: your starting Pickhammer and Ax take a lot of effect to collect scrap, wearing down your limited Stamina, and you'll be scrabbling for basic materials like wood, stone and copper. Once you have some decent tools for collecting, your next priority will be getting machines to make more specialized gear, like a Grinder and a Machining Bench. With these basics, your next priority will be to make money, so that you can increase your workspace to fit in more machines. By the mid-to-late game, you won't have much you need to buy, but plenty of rare materials that you'll need to collect, so your priority will shift back to getting decent tools and machines to collect them.
    • You have limited Stamina to work with, so it won't be uncommon for you to have to decide to focus on getting one type of material that's more critical to your commission or something you want to build quickly.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • Why does Burgess have such a need for supplies that concern plumbing and filtration? Because someone from Duvos is choking the town's water supply to make it unviable.
    • Why does Grace, who works in the bar as a cook, want so many weapons and give commissions to kill things? Because she's actually an agent for the free cities' intelligence agency, investigating Duvos's infiltration of Sandrock.
  • Combat Pragmatist: You can craft guns to fight, and absolutely nothing stops you from pumping an enemy full of lead before they can even reach you.
  • Common Place Rare: Clay is uncommon and used in plenty of mid-game upgrades. You can find it while digging for Copper in Eufala Abandoned Ruins, but good luck accumulating it.
  • My Time at Sandrock - TV Tropes (2)Complacent Gaming Syndrome: If you keep giving someone the same gift day after day (usually something they love), they'll notice. After the fourth time, you'll get a warning in their dialogue, of the "didn't you give me something like this recently?" After that, you'll get increasingly less of a friendship bonus with each subsequent gift of the same item.
  • The Conspiracy: It turns out that Sandrock's oasis isn't naturally occurring. It's created by an Old World relic and a group of certain townspeople have been using the relic to decrease the oasis' water supply to weaken Sandrock in preparation for an upcoming Duvos invasion The group is Yan, Miguel, Pen, and Matilda, the latter two of whom are actually Duvos moles.
  • Continuity Nod: Some My Time at Portia characters are alluded to by the Sandrockers:
    • Heidi studied under Verna, the same teacher of Gust and Albert. She also mentions both of them, though not by name, saying one always flirted with her (Albert) and the other was really arrogant (Gust). Albert does visit Sandrock later to help with the construction of a road connecting Sandrock and Portia.
    • Owen mentions the Hulu Brothers, septuplets, visited his restaurant at one point, and he dryly says how his heart goes to their mother. Other conversations have him mention Mei (who interviews Cooper) and Paulie (who gives him a book about "manliness," which leaves Owen slightly offended). He mentions Mayor Gale from Portia as well.
    • Mi-an mentions Higgins, saying how she heard of a Portian Builder who says, "Commission, commissions! The more, the better!".
  • Contrasting Sequel Setting: My Time at Portia was set in a lush green area and was a rather prosperous town. Sandrock, on the other hand, is set in the desert, and the town is long past its golden age... Conversely, the Church of Light and the Research Center work together with little to no conflict in Sandrock due to the harshness of the land they are in (though it turns out all but two Church members are Duvos saboteurs), whereas in Portia, they are constantly at odds due to their clashing philosophies regarding the dangers of the relics of the Old World.
  • Cutscene Incompetence: You, Justice, and Unsuur can kick Logan's ass six ways to Sunday in your first bout, but the game will still treat it as though Logan had utterly and effortlessly defeated all three of you.
    • An even more egregious example happens later: Yan, after getting caught in the water theft conspiracy, pulls a "look behind you" trick on you, Justice, and Logan. He still doesn't escape, but the fact he managed to do it at all is baffling.
  • Deadly Dust Storm: Every so often, a sandstorm will hit Sandrock, lasting an entire day. During a sandstorm, dew collectors will not work (and any dew waiting for collection will be lost), completed materials waiting for collection on your various machines can blow away, people will refuse to go outside, and nasty monsters will patrol the dunes, equal to your level and aggressively hostile, even for normally docile creatures. You can eventually get a Sandwall upgrade from Heidi to prevent your materials from blowing away, but it costs money and some reasonably difficult-to-acquire relics to make it. After a sandstorm, machines exposed to it might be covered in sand, requiring some dusting to restore them to maximum efficiency. As a bonus, if you're willing to brave the sandstorm, you can find rare materials in the dunes, but your visibility will be poor, and those monsters are out there too. Most of the people of Sandrock will strongly recommend that you just stay home when these blow up.
  • Death by Despair: Something Dr. Fang diagnoses and even treats. Because it's actually congestive heart failure resulting from a stress-induced cardiac event, and Fang likes to word things dramatically when he finally gets back into the habit of speaking.

    Fang: A psychosomatic reaction. A great emotional toll can set the symptoms into action: stress, anger... sadness. For lack of a better term: you suffer from a broken heart.

  • Disc-One Final Dungeon: The big climactic invasion of Sandock by Duvos, which the game warns is the Point of No Return? Only halfway through the game.
  • Disease by Any Other Name: Takotsubo cardiomyopathy plays a major role in Fang's backstory and post-marriage sidequest, but the name of the condition presumably disappeared during the Day of Calamity alongside the details of its treatment. Fang instead makes use of its nickname, "broken heart" syndrome, mostly to highlight the irony to his father that he's now dying of the very thing he inflicted on Fang's mother. In another sidequest, he narrows Ginger's Soap Opera Disease down to an Old World-documented chronic inflammatory and systemic autoimmune disease characterized by photosensitivity—in other words, lupus.
  • Dying Town: Sandrock is in this state at the start of the game, the as player arrives long after its period of prosperity as a Boom Town has ended. The population had gradually dwindled due to the region's sparse resources, and passing tourists don't have many kind things to say about the place either. Not to mention Duvos' efforts to kill it entirely, as it is strategically positioned for the Alliance of Free Cities to defend itself against a hypothetical invasion. Even when you uncover the water hoarding and stop the Duvos invasion, it appears the water generator has started to malfunction, and the town will become unsustainable if it breaks entirely.
  • Early Game Hell: Don't expect an easy time early on in Sandrock. Your 300 Stamina may seem like a lot, but you'll find out that it runs out very, very quickly while gathering materials, and recovering it before you start earning a decent amount of Gols from commissions (or getting a kitchen) is not easy. Your income is also very limited at the start of the game, before you earn the right to take multiple commissions a day; the early quest rewards are more likely to get immediately sunk into expanding your production line.
  • Earth All Along: Inverted, possibly. Near the scrapyard, there are numerous broken hypersleep pods, suggesting some sort of interstellar travel, though you later find out that the pods were from spaceships constructed on Earth.
  • Equipment Upgrade: The Refiner can increase the rarity and status of your equipment, furniture, and even commissioned resources. The stronger the equipment, the rarer the gems you'll need to refine them.
  • Everyone Is Bi: The Builder can hook up with any of the available Bachelor(ette)s regardless of gender.
  • Evil All Along: Pen. During the mission to repel Duvos from Sandrock, he gloats how he was directly responsible for all of Logan's grief: injecting his father with a lethal virus and mortally wounding him in what Logan always thought it was a disastrous rescue operation that killed his own father. Miguel and Matilda at least try to reason and justify their actions, but Pen sounds almost proud of what he's done to Logan.
  • Evil Is Petty: When Duvos takes over the town, you can run into soldiers preparing to bathe their disgustingly unhygenic feet in the oasis, knowing exactly how important it is to the town's lifeblood. If you choose to beat them up, they'll be scolded by their commander, who will then say that the water isn't for their feet, but for the commander's jacuzzi, laughing evilly before walking off.
  • Exhausted Eye Bags: Go to sleep past midnight (or 1 AM if you have a Knowledge), and your character will wake up the next day with these and none of the "Well Rested" bonuses. People around town will comment on your "panda's eyes" too.
  • Falling Damage: Falling from too great a height will damage the player. The height is rather generous—around two houses worth of height, give or take—but if you're going to take damage from it, it's gonna be either very little or a lot.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: While most mentioned countries or city states in the game don't cleanly map onto real-world nations, Seesai is transparently post-post-apocalyptic China, as is obvious from its cuisine, written language, and medical traditions.
  • Frame-Up: The destruction of Sandrock's Water Tower is later revealed to have been caused by Pen, who used a forbidden relic weapon in an attempt to hit Logan.
  • From Stray to Pet: Once the How to Tune your Banjo sidequest is completed, you can adopt several stray animals around Sandrock once your relationship reaches 2 stars or more: Nemo (a dog), Macchiato and Banjo (cats), CoCo (an owl), and Meerkat (a, well, meerkat).
  • Gameplay and Story Integration:
    • Your machines use water is as coolant because you work in the hot desert. Naturally, during the Winter month, machines will use only 20% of their usual water usage, thanks to the much cooler temperatures.
    • Likewise, story events can affect the prices of goods. For example, when the machinery that makes local agriculture possible is damaged, food prices go up by a lot until the player fixes the equipment.
    • One of the big projects of the game is reversing desertification by planting trees, crops and other hardy plants to eventually turn the desert green, but it's noted that the process is slow, laborious and prone to failure until you get the Algae Producer and access to lots and lots of water. If you decide to plant your own garden, it will take at least three seasons and probably more like a year for a particular square to go from sandy soil to arid soil to fertile soil to biocrustnote, and it will take a prohibitively huge amount of water to reach that point as well. The only good news is that, at least for you, it can't fail, as soil will never "level down".
  • Gameplay Automation: You can hire Magic Mirror to help tend your livestock, collect completed items in your production line, and refuel machines.
  • Gold Fever: Much of Sandrock's state at the start of the game is due to a "relic rush" that happened years before. One of the residents accidentally came upon an underground Old World metropolis containing countless nearly intact relics. This discovery brought many miners into the area with little concern for Sandrock's environment, destroying much of the region's vegetation and wasting its water.
  • Green Aesop: Due to being in a desert, the town has strict rules on not only water, but also cutting down any trees near the town (though you are free to cut down other plants, or trees in later-unlocked regions), which can land the Builder into trouble if they keep cutting trees. This also extends to cacti (except Ball Cacti), but any deadwood is fair game.
  • Guide Dang It!: The townsfolk of Sandrock don't really talk about their preferences in gifts until you become Buddies with them, which can take a while if you don't want to risk pissing them off with a disliked or hated gift... Unless you go and consult the wiki.
  • Hate Sink: Yan, your boss. Most people have nothing good to say about him or treat him with dubious trust. He's a lazy sleazebag with his head far up in his rump who's never afraid of taking credit for your work. Even the public announcement gets annoyed at him, refusing to finish reading the ad saying "how diligent and hardworking" he is.
  • Hoist by Their Own Petard: When Duvos takes over the town and you're given a commission to build a water-wasting jacuzzi for the commander, Logan helps you create a distraction by putting a bomb in the jacuzzi, which almost kills the commander when it goes off and results in the town being liberated.
  • Holding Out for a Hero: Story-wise, this trope is played mostly straight... Except when the Sandrockers decide to stand up against the Duvos army, since Alliance reinforcements aren't arriving anytime soon. Gameplay-wise? Not so much. If an aggressive monster approaches someone that you can spar with, they'll usually fight back.
  • Homeworld Evacuation: One of the Old World ruins near Sandrock turns out to be a spacecraft construction and launch facility. The spacecrafts were intended to carry hypersleep pods, implying that at least some portion of humanity tried to abandon Earth before the Day of Calamity. Dr. Qi theorizes that at least some were successful, and there may be other humans living out amongst the stars.
  • Hostage Situation:
    • Haru eventually gets captured and is put on what amounts to a public trial by Miguel. In order to force him to confess and give up Logan's location, Pen has Andy under his arm, very obviously threatening the kid to further pressure Haru.
    • When cornered at the church, Commander Lefu tries to use Mayor Trudy as a human shield to get the Builder to back off.
  • How Did You Know? I Didn't: The villagers are amazed that Rocky knew to intercept Yan before he escaped. Except he just hit Yan because he was pissed off with him.
  • Humongous Mecha: Supposed to be a regular sight in the Peripheries, and the history of the Alliance of Free Cities mentions that one came out of the Peripheries and destroyed the city of Doss 30 years ago.
    • The Final Boss of Act II pilots a big Duvos Mecha to fight you and Logan.
  • I Can Change My Beloved: Lumi, the Rat Princess, believes this of Logan. Though it turns out she won't need to, as Logan was Good All Along.
  • In-Universe Catharsis: Rocky always mentions how much he wants to punch Yan due to a plethora of reasons dating from way before the time you arrived in Sandrock. He finally gets the chance to do this once Yan tries to run off after being caught in Sandrock's water theft conspiracy. Rocky and Krystal all mention how much that helped him ease off on his anger issues.
  • Infinity -1 Sword: The Hands of the Light, which you get after defeating Pan in the Northern Plateau Ruins. Extremely powerful, to the point that you can easily defeat an equal level enemy in just a couple of hits, and they also come with a ranged attack that does more damage than any other ranged attack in the game, and is infinite to boot. But because it's a unique weapon with a unique combo mechanic, it won't benefit from any of your combat skill upgrades such as increased power, longer combos, or better critical chance. In addition, the first three hits of the combo are fast but very short-ranged compared to swords, daggers and spears, and the fourth hit has a lengthy charge up that ends with a huge pushback on the target, meaning if it's not dead, you'll have to go chasing after it. Even the ranged attack has problems, requiring a short charge time and being just a little off center from the targeting cursor, as well as being much more short-ranged than a pistol or an assault rifle. In short, it's a good weapon to use, but there are better weapons.
  • Interface Spoiler: The Civil and Industrial grade machines will always show recipes that reveal the names of locations you haven't visited or can't visit yet. It also gives away that the story isn't complete after the big reveal happens, and that there are still other big locations for you to explore.
  • Interquel: The game takes place around the same time as Portia, with helping build the road leading to it being one of the major plot points to the game. It becomes clear as you go on that the game starts one month after Portia: the first game starts in Spring, and Sandrock starts in Summer.
  • Idle Animation: Stay up past midnight, and your character will start yawning.
  • Item Caddy: The Gathering and Workshop Knowledge skill trees have abilities that will help you gather items and increase your backpack capacity (without paying).
  • Item Crafting: The core mechanic of the game, just like My Time at Portia. You take the role of one of Sandrock's Builders, and you need to find materials and refine them so you can build machines and structures for the benefit of the town.
  • Jerkass Has a Point:
    • Once Trudy reveals in a fireside that she went on an unsanctioned expedition with both Builders of Sandrock, Miguel, Sandrock's Church of Light second-in-command, is furious and rudely admonishes her in front of most of the townspeople, saying how irresponsible it was and how, if something went wrong, they could've lost both Builders, which would put Sandrock in an extremely difficult situation.
    • As much of a good-for-nothing greedy slacker Yan is, he does have a point when he denies Catori's commission for expanding her business. Sandrock is still a Dying Town with constant water shortages; Catori's project is significantly bigger than your run-of-the-mill commission, which includes the expansion of Golden Goose and her Museum. And to make things worse, Catori has no way to pay for it and little chance that she'll ever make the money back due to Sandrock's beforementioned situation. In short, her business is not essential to the town's survival, and she can't pay.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: The Infinity +1 Sword of the game, the Altair RX-67, is a restored Old World plasma katana that can shoot Sword Beams, which the player can receive by completing the side mission "Definitely Not a Ninja Sword." It's heavily implied that Qi, Otaku that he is, took some major artistic liberties with the original relic you give him.
  • Lag Cancel: Attacks can be cut short with an Unnecessary Combat Roll.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: If you talk to Unsuur after completing the game, he will say, "The game's over. What are you still doing here?"... And then he'll tell you he just read it off a popsicle stick the other day and was so confused that he just had to share it with someone.
  • Lizard Folk: The Geeglers are a hostile species of humanoid lizard monsters with an unusually corporate naming scheme to their hierarchy. Documents found in the Shipwreck Ruins reveal that a Geegle Corporation did exist in the Old World by the time of its collapse, implying that the current-day Geeglers are either former humans who were once the company's employees or were descended from them, and their mutated state is possibly due to the company's unethical and environmentally harmful practices and experiments.
  • Lost Technology: A large amount of progression in the game is locked behind collecting Data Discs, which allow Sandrock's resident researcher Dr. Qi to provide blueprints to the player. These can be blueprints for new machinery or quest-specific creations. Players also need to discover Old World artifacts like motors or processors for some crafting recipes.
    • Duvos' plans involve looking for lost technology on the North Plateau, specifically the interstellar-capable engines of the Olympia-6, that they can repurpose to give them floating fortresses. The engines end up destroyed at the end of the second act.
  • Made of Indestructium: One of the main story missions has the need of "Logan-proofing" something: the water tower that Logan had blown up. It's downplayed, since the materials used are nothing unusual, but it's built so strong that Qi says Logan would need a much more potent explosive to destroy it, which Qi is positive cannot be created with the current technology.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: Some of the enemy designs are mixtures of two animal species, possibly existing due to mutations caused by Old World experimentation or pollution. One example is the Pensky, which is a combination of a penguin and a husky.
  • Next Tier Power-Up: When a newer core material (stone, bronze, iron...) is available for the next set of tools and equipment to be made, they'll inevitably be much more powerful than the previous "tier," especially if you refine said equipment.
  • No Hero Discount: Averted. Rocky gives you a free week of access to his junkyard, and Arvio gives you a week of 50% discount in his general store to help you start off. Becoming friends with certain people will also grant you discounts in their stores as well.
  • No One Could Survive That!: Said by Justice and Unsuur when the player goes off the cliff on the back of Logan's goat. Of course, the player survives this—Logan planned the player's arrival at his hideout—and the player turns up to the Premature Eulogy.
  • No OSHA Compliance: When exploring a Geegler Corp. biological research ship, you find memorandums for disciplinary action against the employees caused by their VERY lax safety standards and penchant for pulling pranks on each other. These include things such as painting lenses with black paint, reprogramming robots to tell stories instead of performing research (a welcomed change, but the jokes suck), switching the labels of the peanut butter and hazardous material jars, and mutating fellow employees.
  • Not a Date: In the "What Is 'Hanging Out'?" side mission, the Builder goes on one with Fang, who thinks "dating" is merely a synonym for hanging out with a friend and doesn't realize the romantic implications.
  • Not Rare Over There: Inverted. Copper and Tin are abundant in Eufaula Abandoned Ruins, but are very rare in Gecko Station Ruins.
  • Non-Indicative Name:
    • Disgruntled Secretaries—those must have been some hard meetings to schedule, if they required the laser cannons they are now armed with. Obviously, some people in the old world didn't take no for an answer when they wanted a meeting. The 'disgruntled' is definitely earned, though.
    • Trotters—floating robots, therefore nothing to 'trot' with, unless they're driving some sort of bigger bipedal robot, which they do from time to time.
  • Nothing Exciting Ever Happens Here: Mostly due to Sandrock's Dying Town status and dwindling population. And then Logan starts causing trouble. Then come the Geeglers too. Then toxic, mutating, gas starts leaking. And then the Empire of Duvos gets involved. Let's just say Sandrock ends up getting its share of excitement. By the end of it, everyone is just hoping that one thing will go according to plan. Once the tunnel to the Southern Eufaula Desert is completed and the Monster Whistles are installed, they finally get it: the creation of the bus route to Portia is otherwise danger-free!
  • Noob Cave: The Breach is the first Hazardous Ruins to open, and it is fairly straightforward, having only one (very obvious) One-Hit Kill trap.
  • Noodle Incident: When Rocky comes after Yan as the latter is trying to escape town, he yells at him about "the turtles". Later conversations make it clear that Rocky had no idea that Yan was a conman and was going after him for an unrelated reason, but he never tells you what that reason is.
  • Now, Where Was I Going Again?: Every save will have the name of the last quest/sidequest you saved on. You can also rename them to something you intend to do to avoid getting lost too.
  • Oddly Small Organization: Sandrock's Research Center has only one member: Qi. This is even lampshaded by some people, who wonder why Qi insists on being called "Director" when there's nobody else for him to direct.
  • One Normal Night: Trudy begs Sandrock's townsfolk for one when welcoming Musa, a potential investor for an infrastructure project the town desperately needs. She does not get it.
  • Parental Marriage Veto: Marrying Fang prompts his father to travel to Sandrock and attempt to bribe the Builder into divorcing their husband for 2,000,000 gols, insisting that his son deserves better than wasting away with some no-name builder in some decrepit, backwards town.
  • Putting on the Reich: As Pablo points out, Duvos military uniforms really put the "fash" in fashion.
  • Scavenger World: Even more than Portia. Basic materials are relatively easy to find, but only as scrap, because the constantly blowing winds across the desert keep unearthing new bits and pieces of broken stuff for people to scavenge. In addition, Sandrock as it exists now is because it was found that the town sits on top of a massive shopping mall full of relics from the Age of Corruption.
  • Space Cold War: The political conflict between the Alliance of Free Cities and Duvos is tense enough for Duvos to briefly invade and occupy Sandrock, but not so tense that the Alliance of Free Cities would be willing to declare war over it after they've been driven out.
  • Ragnarök Proofing: It's been around 330 years since the population stopped living underground, but quite a few structures of the Old World still have many pieces of technology that can be scavenged or studied, among other things. The problem? Many robots with rogue AI are still functional as well...
  • Relationship Values: Symbolized by 7 stars for platonic relationships, or hearts for possibly romantic ones.

    Acquaintance > Associate > Buddy > Friend > Good Friend > Best Friend > BFF

    • In addition, everyone in town has some kind of relationship to everyone else, and reaching a new friendship level with one person will reward you with relationship points with their friends. In addition to the relationship rewards for commissions and story events, it's damn near impossible to avoid being best friends with the entire town.
  • Removed from the Picture: There's a family portrait in Fang's room featuring Fang, his mother, and a defaced man Fang refuses to call his father.
  • Renovating the Player Headquarters: Like the previous game, you can extend your home terrain and your house as well. However, you're able to customize your house much further than before: rather than just getting increasingly large floor plans, you can add on to your home tile-by-tile, build detached buildings for whatever purpose you need (such as a workshed), and even build up, up to four floors with the appropriate skill points.
  • Replay Mode: You are free to re-watch any animated cutscene at any time, provided you don't skip them. The game is kind enough to warn you of that, too.
  • Saved for the Sequel: During Musa's visit, he mentions that he was initially planning to offer to relocate all of the Sandrockers to fertile land north of the Eufaula Desert, where there is plenty of water and space to build. When pressed on it, he does mention that it borders Duvos and is intended to both be a frontier defense garrison and also an economic center as a disincentive to any attacks. "Project ME," the next My Time title, is to be set in that region and tasks the player with being the governor developing the region.
  • Science Foils: Dr. Fang and Research Director Qi. Or at least Qi wants to be Science Foils with Fang, but Fang-senpai has yet to notice him, sadly.

    Qi: Are you sure you don't want to step in for a moment? I've been working on some ideas that may have practical use in the medical field...!

    Fang: Mm. No.

  • Secret A.I. Moves: Some of the flashier attacks can be only used by NPCs. Pen has two very strong attacks only available to him: a powerful dash punch and his "Space Punch," where he jumps and punches the ground hard enough to cause a shockwave.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The "Crush" side quest features Unsuur hiding in his closet because he's too embarrassed to talk to you face to face. One of your dialog options is to tell him that it's time for him to come out of the closet; he responds that he thinks he's trapped in the closet, and wonders why he wanted to sing that.
    • One of the relics you can dig up is an ancient script for a ''Revengers'' movie, based on characters created by Lan Stee and Kack Jirby.
    • The elite version of the Tripion is called the Punished Tripion, possessing an eyepatch and a crystal shard embedded in its forehead. Its profile entry mentions its desire to create an endless battlefield, echoing the Big Boss's goals.
    • Despite the recent discovery that there is an underground Old World machine that generates water for Martle's Oasis, Trudy regretfully informs Burgess that, due to unforeseen circ*mstances, Sandrock's water conservation policy will have to remain the same as it ever was. Same as it ever was? Same as it ever was.
    • The way that the Magic Mirror describes herself seems... familiar.


    • Late in the game, the player can purchase recipes needed to make the "Kamel Rider" armor, based on a superhero from an old world cartoon.
    • After the former Geegler boss, Larry settles in Sandrock, he'll occasionally mention missing the glory days of "crushing [his] enemies, seeing them driven before [him], and and hearing the lamentations of their women."
  • Sexiness Score: The Magic Mirror's fairestofthemall.exe app, though its assessment can be very questionable.


  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • Critical equipment for maintaining the crops alive is broken when the moisture farm is raided by the Geeglers. Until you repair it, the price of food will raise considerably due to the crop shortage.
    • Similarly, after the train bridge gets destroyed, the price of water from Water World skyrockets because the route from Atara has been cut off, preventing Sandrock from importing water from those locations.
    • Related to the above, train bridges are built carefully and with sturdy materials because they have to withstand the massive weight of trains. When a train that was converted into a weapon—cobbled up together by the Geeglers using metal parts from said bridge and clumsily replaced by wood—tries to cross it to attack Sandrock, the bridge collapses underneath it from the sheer weight of the thing.
    • You take the role of a Builder. Not a Civil Corp. member, not a knight, not a bounty hunter. A Builder. And while said job has its share of dangers, and you have to occasionally tangle with monsters roaming the outskirts of the town, Builders are not expected to fight dangerous criminals such as Logan or vicious mutants like the Geeglers. Needless to say, when the news that the Builder was involved in these dangerous situations reaches their mother, she doesn't think "how badass my child is"—she gets worried sick. That is not to say when the news that the Builder fell off a huge cliff reaches their town, Highwind, Nia had to buy the every newspaper to prevent the Builder's mother reading about it.
    • Eventually, when the water conspiracy is unveiled, Pen attempts to fight his way out of Sandrock, but he has a few problems: he's without his relic superweapon, and he's facing you, Justice, Unsuur, and Logan, who singlehandedly is strong enough to put up a good fight against him. Needless to say, this ends up poorly for Pen. And then he still has the gall to gloat and monologue, leaving himself wide open. Elsie uses the opportunity to bonk him in the head with a shovel, knocking him out cold. Such a thing does not go unnoticed by some people after the whole incident ends.
    • When Qi tries to use his Mini-Mecha to cut the ribbon on the new Shonash Bridge, he misses. And falls out of the mech, and injures himself. His attempts to be showy always backfire, this is just the most obvious outcome of it.
    • When Nia comes to visit, it's a heartwarming reunion between childhood friends (and your correspondence with her makes it so that she's not an entirely new character for you to interact with). But no matter how much you ask her to stay in Sandrock, she won't. She has her own studies and goals, and Sandrock isn't conducive to them at the moment.
    • The oasis itself is considered Sandrock's lifeblood, both figuratively and literally: if the oasis dries up, Sandrock dies, plain and simple. But the oasis isn't that big, and when you get the numbers, it turns out Sandrock imports 80% of their water from other Free Cities. In fact, one of the major, life-altering projects that Sandrock has been trying to complete for years is a road through the Eufaula Desert to Portia, where water is much more plentiful, just so that they can get more of it.
    • The project to turn the Eufaula Desert green is, at the beginning of the game, doomed to failure: sand is an incredibly poor growth medium, and even the process of using straw grids to protect plants takes forever to pay offnote. On top of that, the need for water and fertilizer is steep, and Sandrock doesn't have nearly enough water to support their basic needs. It's not until you manage to recover an Algae Producer machine that you're able to create the Little Forest, which is essentially about 40 trees planted on sandy soil that survive, and that's the absolute limit of what Sandrock is able to do with the water they have available.
    • Musa is the richest man in the Free Cities, and he didn't get there by being a dummy: when he's presented with the achievements of Sandrock, he is...less than impressed, and the subsequent chaos at the Blue Moon Saloon immediately convinces him that Sandrock isn't going to make it and he's best served by looking elsewhere for investment opportunities. It's not until he's convinced to stick around and sees the resilience of the townsfolk through the greeno disaster that he changes his mind, and even then, it's only because Sandrock is perfectly positioned to be a central logistics hub for the Free Cities in the event of an invasion by Duvos. He's not looking for a new investment opportunity, he's looking for a group of people strong enough to endure the harsh landscape and build it into something that can help out the rest of the Free Cities.
  • Take Your Time: Two particularly notable examples.
    • When Sandrock gets word that Musa is going to visit the town, you'll get a commission to upgrade the Train Station to make it look better. Regardless of how long this takes, Musa won't arrive until you do.
    • When Duvos is getting ready to invade the town, you get a commission to make the Hyper-Compressed Air Cannon. The invasion won't happen until you actually make and install it.
  • The Mole: Both literally and figuratively, as a mole-like humanoid appears later on and gives you the clues you need to track Logan down.
  • Thirsty Desert: The motto of the town is 'Conserve Water' for a reason. A large amount of the conflict in the plot and difficulties faced by the player come from the lack of accessible water, the biggest being that the builder's machines require a water upkeep per hour to run to prevent them from overheating, putting a cap on how many machines you can run.
  • This Is Reality: Being the Meta Guy doesn't mean Ernest can't be Genre Blind.

    Ernest: Hm... Trudy is very concerned with impressing Musa. If this were a novel, certainly foreshadowing would imply that she is almost guaranteed to fail. Luckily, this is real life, so I'm sure everything will go exactly as planned.

  • Violation of Common Sense: Completing the Cheery Conspiracy sidequest requires the Builder to go along with Arvio's "Best Plan Ever" despite every indication that it'll go wrong. And while the player can still unlock the ability to give gifts to Fang by just tattling on X and Arvio instead, doing so means losing out on the experience and relationship points the mission awards.
  • Wham Episode: "The Goat" mission drops several big revelations to the player, all regarding Logan, his past, and why he's attacking Sandrock. Every mission that comes soon after it is no less "whammy".
  • When It Rains, It Pours: It will not happen often, but there is a chancenote that it can rain for an entire day. This will cause everyone in town to freak out with happiness, and your dew collectors will need to be emptied every two hours, giving you a lot of free water if you keep up with it.
  • Wide-Open Sandbox: Sandrock is just as much of an open space as Portia. While some parts are blocked off by literal Broken Bridge or Beef Gate, you can still explore a lot of the area surrounding the titular town.
  • World of Badass: Just like in Portia. It's easier to find people who aren't capable of fighting and defending themselves than the other way around, and you can challenge almost every townsfolk to a friendly spar.
  • Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: The Rat Queen of the Bandirats speaks this way, primarily by tacking -eth onto the end of her verbs.
My Time at Sandrock - TV Tropes (2024)
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