A Beginner's Guide to the End of the Universe

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A Beginner's Guide to the End of the Universe is a completed Interactive Comic by Crippledvulture, originally created as a MSPA Forum Adventure.

The protagonist, Everyman, wakes up in a typical everyman bedroom one day, only to find out that he is trapped in an apartment complex hovering in the middle of endless white void. With the help of a growing entourage of allies and the ability to modify the world using raw power of CREATIVITY, he sets out to find out the true, mysterious nature of this place--and of himself.

The comic mimics Role-Playing Game mechanics, giving the protagonist a number of numerical stats which are an important element throughout the adventure.

It can be read here. (The original two forum threads are here and here.)

Now has a "sequel", Chairman Jack: Emerge.


Tropes used in A Beginner's Guide to the End of the Universe include:

You tell him you increased your AGILITY, which increased your total HIT POINTS.
"You know what? Forget I asked."

  • Frickin' Laser Beams: The BLAZING HOT BETTY can do this when fully charged, although it eventually breaks from the stress this puts on it.
  • Future Imperfect: Hundreds or thousands of years in the future, the entire first part of the adventure has become The Time of Myths.
  • GIS Syndrome
  • Grows on Trees: The miscellanopod trees have random artifacts growing on them.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Snuffy saving Ryan from a giant wolf.
  • Hyperactive Metabolism: The Everyman can recover Hit Points and remove TOXICITY by spending NUTRITION.
    • Food's healing power is dependent on how healthy it is. Potato Chips are so unhealthy, they actually hurt him.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: The Everyman's inventory.
  • I Call It Vera: Each piece of equipment has a specific fancy name, but the electric sword BLAZING HOT BETTY is the straightest example.
  • Item Crafting: The Everyman can use his CREATIVITY powers creatively for that.
  • It's Raining Men: With the Everyman in his floating armor as the parachute, no less.
  • Lawful Stupid: The Followers of the Icosahedron, who wish for the world (well, what little there is) to be destroyed completely by the Singularity because the natural laws of nature require so to pave the way for a new universe.
  • Light Is Not Good: The appearance of void beasts is heralded by the room brightening.
  • Living Statue: Played very straight with Chairman Jack who, being a cyborg, ran out of power.
  • Metafictional Title: A Beginner's Guide to the End of the Universe is the title of a chronicle written by Arek after the end and featured in the epilogue.
  • Mook Face Turn: Chairman Jack, originally just an ordinary enemy giant sparrow before he was imbued with COMPLEXITY to become more than a mindless monster.
  • Mordor: The surface of the Black Star: a bleak place with nothing but mountains that literally keep growing out of nowhere. Until the ending.
  • More Dakka: Snuffy gains a built-in minigun once she's upgraded to COMPLEXITY 3.
  • Non-Human Sidekick: Snuffy the Pooch and the sparrow Chairman Jack.
  • Not Quite Flight: The various armors the Everyman creates weaken the effects of gravity on him.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: The personified SINGULARITY. He propels himself by manifesting nearby bursts of air.
    • And later, the followers of the Icosahedron.
  • Ontological Mystery
  • The Power of Creation: Spending CREATIVITY points allows the Everyman to create objects out of thin air. Near the end he regains his full abilities, giving him infinite CREATIVITY.
    • And the high priests of the cult of the Icosahedron can do so as well, thanks to having drank from the fountain underground.
  • Present Tense Narrative
  • Psychic Link: The Everyman has this with his pets - the more useful the stronger his RAPPORT with them is. Initially he is just able to sense vaguely when they are in danger, but later this changes into full-blown telepathy.
  • Punch Clock Villain: Ryan the office worker, who is basically a normal, confused guy, rather upset to be Mind Controlled into wanting to kill the Everyman.
  • Reality Warper: CREATIVITY, in addition to The Power of Creation, also grants the Everyman the ability to modify existing objects in any way he wishes.
  • Rousing Speech: Here.
  • RPG Mechanics Verse
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Hinted at about the chinese food... but then you eat it and you do get sick... but nothing sinister happens.
  • Second Person Narration
  • Shout-Out: Chairman Jack is a sparrow.
  • Sinister Geometry: Things like Cubes and Tetrahedrons pop up out of some enemies, with invariably malefic results. And then there's the Stone Icosahedron.
  • Splash of Color: Snuffy the Pooch, who is purple.
  • Stick Figure Comic: All people look like stick figures.
  • Swiss Army Weapon: The EVERYSWORD.

It almost seems to have a mind of its own, transforming into whatever sword is appropriate for the situation.

  • Talking Animals: Well, they're not talking (just communicating telepathically), but are as intelligent as any other Talking Animal.
  • Tank Goodness
  • Theme Naming: Everyone in the future have four-letter names, perhaps because their ancestors, Mary and Ryan, happened to be this way.
  • Time Dilation: The Everyman spends just a few days flying to and exploring the Black Star, but hundreds or thousands of years pass in the rest of the... um... universe.
    • Also near the end, Chairman Jack is caught in a time-dilatation bubble.
  • Trauma Inn: Catching a good nap restores 1 hit point.
  • True Art Is Incomprehensible: In-universe, the "works of art" created by the Everyman.
  • Weapons Kitchen Sink: The army of the future people is armed with all sorts of random weapons of all kinds. Justified in that they get all their stuff from the miscellanopod trees, which grant them entirely random items.
  • Your Days Are Numbered: After the trip to the Black Star, the Everyman is slowly dying from all the radiation he's absorbed.