Brütal Legend

    Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
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    "What I hold in my hand... is not just gonna blow your mind. It's going to blow your soul."

    Brütal Legend is a heavy metal-themed Hack and Slash/Real Time Strategy with light elements of driving and Rhythm Games, developed by Double Fine and published by Electronic Arts on Rocktober 16, 2009 for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 consoles.

    The game is noteworthy in being inspired by, and providing a ludicrous amounts of Special Guests, Shout Outs and references to just about everything metal. All the areas of the game are basically 1980s metal album covers, even. It provided yet another cult hit for Double Fine in their long history of cult hits, but received mixed reviews after its Development Hell ended. It has a very dedicated and vocal fanbase.

    The story is pretty simple. Your average/The Ultimate roadie for your average Second Wave of American Tween Melodic Rap Metalcore band is transported to the Land of Metal, where he must teach humanity the ways of true metal to free us from enslavement by the demons of the Tainted Coil. For literally all intents and purposes, it's a story that is neoclassical metal wish fulfillment, backed up by one hell of a soundtrack that encompasses pretty much all forms of metal.

    Compare Metalocalypse, another Affectionate Parody of all things METAL.

    Tropes used in Brütal Legend include:
    • Action Girl: Every single female character in the game. See characters page.
    • Affectionate Parody: Tim Schafer described Brutal Legend as "a love letter to metal." Special mention goes to Lionwhyte, who although is an Eighties Glam Rock stereotype, has some of the best metal and rock from that era, no matter how much people deny it.
    • Alien Sky: Lots of work went into the skies of Brütal Legend, which is never ever clear blue.[1] Inspired by the popular works of Frank Frazetta, the sky's colors shifts all kinds of colors at all times, and at night, brilliant stars and evil looking nebulae shower the night sky. Each playable character has the power to change the sky to be themed around them, causing different effects.
    • All Part of the Show: When Ormagöden is summoned in the game's opening scene, no-one seems to realize his suddenly appearing and killing the entire band isn't part of the show. The crowd goes absolutely wild with joy, jumping, screaming, and throwing up horns.
    • All There in the Manual: Not the paper manual, but the in game Tour Book. It tells you everything about units, the world, and secrets. It's full of hilarious jokes and Lampshades things that don't make sense.
    • Almighty Janitor: Eddie. He can fix anything (except for Kabbage Boy's music), build anything, and start a revolution with nothing. Yet he deliberately stays out of the spotlight. Check out his quote on the Hypercompetent Sidekick page.
    • And This Is For: Used during the penultimate boss fight. Car Fu is involved.
    • And Your Reward Is Clothes: Purchase the DLC, and you can change Eddie's clothing post game.
    • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: Every unit has a Load value. The total load can never exceed 40. What that 40 Load points consists of is up to you. Also, you can only have a certain number of specific units. As Ironheade you can only have one Rockcrusher, or as Drowning Doom you can only have three Brides.
    • Are You Pondering What I'm Pondering?: The Baron and Eddie, on how to deal with Metal Beasts:

    Eddie: Ok, I have a plan...
    Baron: Burn them?
    Eddie: No.
    Baron: Run them over with the bus?
    Eddie: No...
    Baron: Poison catnip?
    Eddie: No, we're going to recruit them!
    Baron: ... You must be joking.

    • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: The reason for the Titans' disappearance from Earth.
    • Atop a Mountain of Corpses: Eddie starts the game on one, and thinks it's awesome.
    • Autobots Rock Out: Subverted: considered a twist in the ending, Eddie never takes the spotlight, never performs a song at the end, and doesn't even seek the credit for his deeds. Many players expected one of these in the end and were taken by surprise.
    • Awesomeness Is Volatile: Ormagoden. Also invoked every time a character uses a guitar.
    • Badass Boast: "For the honor of Bladehenge, for the freedom of its people, and the glory... OF ITS METAL!"
    • Bait and Switch: Against the wishes of Double Fine, who were very proud of the Stage Battles.
    • Band Land: Albeit much less cute and innocent than most examples.
    • The Band Minus the Face: The ending. Lita replaces her dead brother, and is the Queen of Bladehenge.
    • Battle Cry: When Eddie performs the Battle Cry solo, a golden aura forms into Lars's sword (also called Battle Cry), and bursts into a soundwave. The sound compels allies to fight harder, boosting attack power (Double Teams can double in power).

    Headbanger1: It's a Devil screaming!
    Headbanger2: It's an Angel singing!
    Headbanger1: It is the pounding of Creation's Hammer upon The Anvil of Time!
    Headbanger3: It's fucking awesome!
    Eddie: It's called... Heavy Metal.


    Eddie: "A good roadie knows his whole job is to make someone else look good. Keep someone else safe. Help someone else do what they were put here to do. A good roadie stays out of the spotlight. If he's doing right, you don't even know he's there. And once in a while he might step on the stage to fix a problem. To set something right. And before you even realize he was there, or what he did, he's gone."


    Eddie: Ha! I can't believe you fell for that twice!

    • The Call Has Bad Reception: Eddie's problems stem from this, and cause him to really mess up his relationship with Ophelia.
    • Cameo: The game features numerous appearances from major figures in metal:
      • Rob Halford plays General Lionwhyte and The Baron.
      • Lemmy Kilmister plays the Kill Master.
      • Lita Ford plays the Zaulia leader Rima (not Lita Halford, contrary to several internet sources).
      • Ozzy Osbourne plays the "Guardian of Metal," who basically is Ozzy.
      • The douche wearing the red "Kabbage Boy" shirt in the opening is voiced by Richard Steven Horvitz, who was previously Raz.
        • He also plays the guy who operates the Death Rack, later on.
      • Kyle Gass, the other half of Tenacious D, plays the role of a neurotic mortar cannon operating Bouncer who even has the same head as him.
      • David Cross plays the victim of the Screamwagon.
      • See the Intercontinuity Crossover entry below.
      • Ronnie James Dio was originally set to play Doviculus and even recorded lines for him, but the part was later deemed a better fit for Tim Curry and was recast.
    • Camera Lock On
    • Camera Screw: The camera in the first boss battle automatically adjusts to give an excellent view of the boss and its attacks, at the cost of twisting your control plane around at odd angles.
      • When passing by side missions, the camera insists on showing them to you.
      • Also happens in the cannonier side missions when the cannon is fired. The game wants to make sure you see every badass explosion.
    • Car Fu: Your default attack for the Deuce is to ram people with it. Used prior the final fight.
    • Cast of Snowflakes: Exaggerated. This is an action/RTS hybrid, and every single type unit is wildly different than every other. Check the character sheet!
    • Chekhov MIA: Succoria and Riggnorak.
    • Chekhov's Armory: Eddie has a hell of one. It includes his belt buckle and t-shirt.
    • Chekhov's Gunman: When Eddie's climbing down the corpse mountain, you can spot a fan leech.
    • Chest Insignia: Several. Ophelia wears a bird with an ankh on her chest, which is a family crest from the Legend images. And each faction produces shirt merchandise with their crest on the center.
    • Civil Warcraft: General Lionwhyte's faction of Evil Counterparts.
    • Color Coded for Your Convenience: The spotlights in the sky tell you what units are doing from afar.
      • Orange means attack or where they are attacking.
      • Pink means "Follow Me". They are chasing you.
      • Blue means "Defend". They are holding still.
      • Green means "Move", in which they are moving to a second green light that you designated.
    • Combination Attack: You can do this with all your units. They are called Double Teams. There are achievements/trophies for doing it with all units of each side. They are also the most powerful attacks in the game.
    • A Commander Is You: They don't call it an Action/RTS hybrid for nothing...
    • Competitive Multiplayer: A first for Double Fine.
    • Concert Climax: As a stage takes damage, sirens blare and spotlights shoot upward in warning. At low health, fire and sparks flare up dramatically. The Tainted Coil stage actually bleeds.
    • Continuing Is Painful: If you die in a Stage Battle, the fans can revive you endless, but your opponent is awarded 50 Fans, punishing players who try to fight alone.
    • Continuity Nod: One can speculate on whether or not multiplayer is canon. In it, Drowned Ophelia and Doviculus are alive, the Headbangers and Eddie talk as if Lars is still alive, and Doviculus does not understand that cars are machines and not living things. He tries to command them to surrender and obey him.
    • Cool Car: All three Hero Units have their own, but the Deuce (a.k.a. "Druid Plow") gets special attention in the campaign with a variety of weapons, upgrades and paint jobs that can be bought from the Motor Forge.
    • Cool Hat: In team multiplayer, the avatars are distinguished by their stylish hats.
    • Cosmic Deadline: After Lionwhyte's palace, the speed of story resolution picks up suddenly. Drowned Ophelia and Doviculus get far less screen time and development than Lionwhyte did, which reaches its unfortunate peak when they are forced to share the same boss fight.
      • Ophelia gets her fair share of screen time and stage battles, but it feels faster because there's no missions between them, and you keep moving from zone to zone as opposed to fighting in and around Bladehenge.
    • Crazy Enough to Work: Action and RTS? Pffft. Who would even think something like that to be plausible?
    • Cue the Sun: One of your solos does this. It gives a buff to all your units.
    • Cult Soundtrack/Nothing but Hits: The full list of licensed songs and the original score by Peter McConnell. So much and so significant, the track listing really wouldn't look right anywhere but the bottom of the page!
      • 3 Inches of Blood Deadly Sinners, Destroy the Orcs.
      • Accept Fast as a Shark.
      • Angel Witch Angel Witch.
      • Anthrax Metal Thrashing Mad.
      • Anvil March of the Crabs, Tag Team.
      • Apostasy Sulfur Injection.
      • Bishop of Hexen A Serpentine Crave, The Somber Grounds of Truth.
      • Black Sabbath Children of the Grave, Never Say Die, Symptom of the Universe.
      • Brocas Helm Cry of the Banshee, Drink the Blood of the Priest.
      • Budgie Breadfan, Zoom Club.
      • Candlemass Witches.
      • Carcass No Love Lost.
      • Children of Bodom Angels Don't Kill.
      • Cloven Hoof Nightstalker.
      • Coroner Skeleton on your Shoulder.
      • Cradle of Filth Her Ghost in the Fog.
      • Crimson Glory Queen of the Masquerade.
      • Dark Fortress Insomnia.
      • Dark Tranquility Cathode Ray Sunshine.
      • Deathstars Blitzkrieg.
      • Def Leppard Rock of Ages.
      • Dethklok Murmaider.
      • Diamond Head Am I Evil?.
      • Dimmu Borgir Progenies of the Great Apocalypse.
      • Dokken Mr. Scary.
      • Dragon Force (video game) Through the Fire and Flames.
      • Emperor Thus Spake the Nightspirit.
      • Enslaved Frost, Loke.
      • FireHouse Overnight Sensation.
      • Lita Ford Betrayal.
      • Girlschool Bomber.
      • Iced Earth Pure Evil, When Night Falls.
      • In Flames Goliaths Disarm their Davids.
      • Judas Priest Electric Eye, One Shot at Glory, Leather Rebel, Painkiller.
      • [2] Girlfriend.
      • King Diamond Cremation, Welcome Home.
      • Kiss God of Thunder.
      • KMFDM Free Your Hate, Rip the System.
      • Manowar Dawn of Battle, Die for Metal.
      • Marilyn Manson The Beautiful People.
      • Mastodon Crack the Skye(instrumental), Oblivion(instrumental).
      • Megadeth High Speed Dirt, Tornado of Souls.
      • Metal Church Metal Church.
      • Michael Schenker Group Assault Attack.
      • Ministry Stigmata.
      • Mirrorthrone So Frail.
      • Mötley Crüe Dr. Feelgood, Kickstart My Heart, Livewire.
      • Motörhead Back at the Funny Farm, In the Black, (We Are) The Roadcrew.
      • Omen The Axeman.
      • Ostrogoth Queen of Desire.
      • Overkill World of Hurt.
      • Ozzy Osbourne Believer, Mr. Crowley, Diary of a Madman.
      • Prong Snap your Fingers, Snap your Neck.
      • Quiet Riot The Wild and the Young.
      • Racer X Y.R.O., Technical Difficulties.
      • Ratt Lay it Down.
      • Riot Narita, Road Racin, Swords and Tequila.
      • Rotting Christ Ad Noctis.
      • Running Wild Riding the Storm.
      • Sanctuary Batlte Angels.
      • Savatage Hall of the Mountain King.
      • Saxon Wheels of Steel.
      • The Scorpions Blackout, Holiday.
      • Skeletonwitch Soul Thrashing Black Sorcery.
      • Skid Row Youth Gone Wild.
      • Slayer Metal Storm/Face the Slayer.
      • Slough Feg Warriors Dawn.
      • Static-X Love Dump.
      • Tenacious D Master Exploder, The Metal.
      • Testament For the Glory of.../ More than Meets the Eye (merged track).
      • Tvangeste Birth of a Hero.
      • UFO Rock Bottom.
      • Whitesnake In the Still of the Night.
      • Wrath of Killenstein Igniisis Dance.
      • Rob Zombie Superbeast.
    • Curb Stomp Battle: In multiplayer, advanced players will control their armies as automatically as possible... so they can fly alone to your side, attack your units as much as possible and keep you on the defensive.
      • Summoning your car and driving all over your opponent's army nonstop is a quick way to make them Rage Quit.
      • In the single-player mode, the fight between Lita and Ophelia is a curb-stomp battle. With a few swings of her pole-axe and a well-placed kick, Lita disarms Ophelia and knocks her to the ground. Only Eddie's intervention prevents Lita from killing Ophelia.
    • Damage Is Fire: Most vehicles catch fire when damaged.
    • Dark and Troubled Past: The Black Tear Rebellion, oh dear.
    • Dark Fantasy: Mildly.
    • Dark Reprise: The romantic rock ballad "Holiday" plays over a dream sequence of Eddie and Ophelia frolicking on a beach stabbing druids, then as Eddie wakes up it brilliantly and eerily segues into the haunting and depressing "So Frail", by Mirrorthrone, as Ironheade launches their final attack on her.
    • Deliberately Monochrome: When Skies Afire is active, the graphics switch to a flame-orange and b&w only color scheme.
    • Deus Sex Machina: Remember, kids, enough orgy can initiate time-travel.
    • Die, Chair, Die!: The Hero Unit will grumble and complain they're not doing any damage when they attack vehicles head on. In particular, Eddie provides obvious advice that the player should not be doing that, and should instead build anti-vehicle units.
    • Divide and Conquer: Inverted for beginners and played straight for advanced. Word of God says new players should start out by disregarding the RTS parts and focus completely on clumping your whole army together and fighting along side them on the ground, supporting them with buffs and using Double Team attacks. As players become more advanced, they must learn to spread their army around and bounce around supporting them as needed.
    • Don't Explain the Joke: When the Bouncers join Ironheade:

    Eddie: Okay, but I can't be holding their hands the whole time. *chuckles* Get it? 'Cause their hands are too big.
    Ophelia: *sighs*


    Eddie: I'm going into the lair of the Metal Queen. Anybody got a problem with that?
    Bassist: *silence*
    Eddie: Look I don't have time to argue, my friend is dying! You sure you don't want to talk me out of it?
    Bassist: *silence*
    Eddie: *departs then turns for one last glare.*


    Eddie: I've got an idea. How bout' you take off your fucking diaper, lay down you little baby foo foo and GO DO YOUR FUCKING JOB NOW?
    Mangus: Hey. Not cool! I wear this thing so I don't have to stop the bus to take a leak!

    • Dueling Shows: Two rock stages set up. One stays standing.
    • Dying Like Very Very Camp Animals: All of Lionwhyte's faction, of the Les Collaborateurs type. Though Lionwhyte is the only one who could seriously be considered overly camp, since most of them are in it for the chicks and booze.
    • Earth-Shattering Poster: Drawn by Scott Campbell and available for purchase.
    • Easter Egg: The game has a few:
      • If you play the game on December 8, the Ormagoden save game icon will be replaced by a picture of a dime in memorial of "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott, who was tragically killed on December 8, 2004.
      • If you play the game on February 19, the save game icon will be the lightning bolt from ACDC's logo in remembrance of singer Bon Scott, who died on February 19, 1980.
      • If you play the game on March 19, the save game icon will be an "RR", remembering guitarist Randy Rhoads, who died in a plane crash on March 19, 1982.
    • Easy Communication: Subverted: you have to be close enough to your units for them to hear your orders. However, the game gives you a "Rally Army" solo, which calls your troops to your position, no matter how far away they are.
    • Easy Logistics
    • Easy Mode Mockery: When asked if one's wants to play on easy, the player is informed that PS Trophies would be unobtainable. Same goes with the achievements for the XBox 360.
    • The Eighties: Lionwhyte and some Ironheade.
    • Empathic Environment: The three factions can change the sky with guitar solos to benefit them.
    • Enormous Engine: The Deuce is upgraded with progressively larger engines as the game goes on (because "more powerful" equals "bigger" in this setting), to the point where you start to wonder how Eddie manages to see the road behind the hulking motor.
    • Epic Rocking: The equivalent of casting a magic spell.
    • Escort Mission: Tour of Destruction (all three of them).
    • Evil Is Visceral: Natch. Everything one could associate with Fire and Brimstone Hell is considered neutral or good, such as Ormagoden, meanwhile the Tainted Coil are the Big Bad and are disgusting, diseased, Body Horror covered demons.
    • Eye Scream: If you fail the stage battle against the Tainted Coil at the end.

    Doviculus: You have your mother's eyes. And soon, so shall I. [Camera shifts to Eddie's POV] On a necklace, I think. [Pauses for a moment, then shoves his hand into the POV]

    • Fastball Special: Eddie and Ophelia's combo attack.
    • Final Boss Preview: Doviculus gets one hell of one. It involves one casual murder, a few words of truth, the destruction of a city with a bored snap of fingers. All set to Through The Fire And Flames.
    • Fling a Light Into the Future: Before they ascended to a higher plane of existence, the Titans left behind the knowledge and means to recreate their technology.
    • Forged by the Gods: A lot of the stone and metal land scape. In particular, the sword in the center of Bladehenge is called the Blade of the Metal gods. The Ironheade final attack summons a second one out of the sky.
    • For Massive Damage: Use your axe less, and Double Team more.
    • Four Is Death: Out of all the characters and monsters in the game, only four can wield the Power of Rock in battle. That said, not all of them get out of the game alive.
    • Frank Frazetta: A lot of in game art is inspired by his work. See Alien Sky above.
      • When he died, Double Fine created lots of tribute art for him.
    • Frickin Laser Panthers!
    • Friendly Fireproof: As long as Eddie's the one dishing it out, his soldiers show an amazing immunity to fire, explosions, lightning, lasers and zeppelin crashes.
    • Full Boar Action: The Razorfire Boar. This creepy, yet awesome mammal is a boar with the body of a motorcycle, and pointed tusks made of steel. You can ride them, but Ophelia kills them and converts their engine-like carcass into a massive rifle.
    • Functional Magic: Fuelled by Heavy Metal. Power of Rock indeed.
      • Best example: bass solos played on sufficiently thick strings can heal people.
    • Game Breaking Bug: A serious problem on PS3. Players are reporting their save getting corrupted just by approaching 80% in the single player. Double Fine says they have a patch, and every now and then, Word of God says it's Electronic Arts who refuses to make the patch available.
    • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Totally averted. Everything in the game has an in-story explanation, like why Eddie is so good with a battle axe, why you are only gradually given units for Ironheade's army, the basis for the Command and Conquer Economy, why Eddie can fly around the battlefield to give orders, even why your car has a radio in it. Everything.
      • Hilariously followed once and Lampshaded during the first fight Eddie can fly and set a beacon.

    Eddie (setting beacon): Right there!
    Lita: How did you do that?
    Eddie:Light itself bends to my will!


    Lita: He said we'd meet him at Death's Clutch!
    Eddie: Is that like "I'll see you in hell?"


    Eddie: It's smells like a whale... ate a bunch of cabbage... and died in your mouth... like a year ago!"


    "I've always seen this overlap between medieval warfare and heavy metal. You see heavy metal singers and they'll have like a brace around their arm and they'll be singing about Orcs. So let's just make a world where that all happens. That all gets put together, the heavy metal, and the rock, and the battling, actually does happen. Let's not flirt around with this let's just do it."

    • Hell-Bent for Leather: This being a game fueled by heavy metal, pretty much everyone wears some amount of leather, but special mention goes to the Zaulia, who dress in nothing but spiked leather.
      • The demons dig up the old hotrods and motorcycles the Titans made specifically to get the leather.
    • A Hell of a Time: The beginning of the game.
    • Hero Unit: This is you.
    • Hold the Line: The first Stage Battle, set to "One Shot At Glory" by Judas Priest, and it's awesome.
      • And again, in the Doom's Dawn mission, set to Frost by Loke, setting a dark, eerie mood.
    • Hollywood Hype Machine: EA's multimillion-dollar attempt to hide the gameplay against the wishes of Tim Schafer.
    • Horny Vikings: The Titans, and the upgraded Ironheade infantry.
    • HUD: A minimalist version. HUD elements only appear when selecting/performing solos, building units, units are damaged, or when something happens involving your stage or a fan geyser.
    • Human Resources: A light, humorous version. The Command and Conquer Economy is all about The Fans. Souls hidden in geysers who long to listen to some fucking METAL. By capturing a geyser, a Merch Booth gets built, and those souls visibly fly to your stage and begin to party there.
      • A possible exception is Tainted Coil. Their Merch Booth is called a Digestor, it's a giant mouth chewing fans. When Doviculus compels the fans to join him, he sometimes mutters "suckers...".
    • Humans Are Special: Miniature versions of the Titans, in fact.
    • If I Can't Have You: Bobby Kotick to Double Fine. Double Fine's suit argued that after a failed attempt to jettison the entire Brutal Legend game and change it from an Action/RTS to a Guitar Hero game, he canceled Brutal Legend so Guitar Hero would have no competition. When Double Fine republished with Electronic Arts and made a big showing, Activision sued to claim it back. A year later, Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock came out, and appears to be what he wanted Brutal Legend to become, and the reviews don't like the game, and see it as a ripoff.
    • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Eddie towards Drowned Ophelia, even though he seems to be the only one amongst the Ironheade ranks who believes this (try talking to the Razor Girls before appropriate stage battles).
    • Impossible Hourglass Figure: Every woman, human or otherwise.
    • Impressive Pyrotechnics: During attacks, they can launch enemies into the air or set them on fire. During Solos, they indicate successful notes and are color coded depending on your character.
    • Instrument of Murder: Got a guitar in the Land of Metal? Congratulations, you're a mage!
    • Intercontinuity Crossover: With Metalocalypse, appropriately.
    • Intercourse with You: "In the Still of the Night" by Whitesnake.
      • "Girlfriend" by Kabbage Boy throws in this at one point, but it's rather gross.
    • Interspecies Romance: Riggnarok and Succoria.
    • It Got Worse: The first half of the story is practically wish fulfillment for Eddie. Doviculus puts a stop to that hard and fast.
    • It's Been Done: Tim Schafer felt the Stage Battles were a Spiritual Successor to Herzog Zwei. He had no idea it played more like Sacrifice, or that he had hired one of its developers.
    • It Will Never Catch On: The reason Electronic Arts and Activision concealed the Stage Battles, leaving Tim Schafer to get the word out on his own.
      • To be fair, the game's predecessors (Sacrifice, and the Battlezone 1998 remake), were well received by critics but did not catch on either.
        • Don't forget Herzog Zwei, which is the stated influence for them. It was Vindicated by History, but at the time of release, it was a complete commercial and critical failure.
    • I Will Wait for You: Subverted in an awesome way. Post-campaign, Eddie can return to the giant cross near Bladehenge and make out with Ophelia for days on end. There's more, see the Trivia page.
    • I Work Alone: Brutally inverted. Try it and things will be difficult, if not impossible.
    • Justified Tutorial: The story teaches the stage battles slowly, and is woven into the story to the point where skipping straight to the multiplayer spoils many things, such as Eddie learning to fly, and especially Ophelia's Face Heel Turn. Eddie starts off with basic weapons and car, and introduces the creation of Ironheade slowly, unit by unit. None of the factions were made possible until Eddie's arrival in the Age of Metal. The human race was disconnected, the Drowning Doom didn't exist, and even the Tainted Coil did not have cars until they observed Ironheade.
    • La Résistance: The heroes are this.
    • Large Ham: Doviculus hams up every scene he's in.
    • Late Arrival Spoiler: Drowned Ophelia's Face Heel Turn was thoroughly spoiled by the game demo, the game commercial, the multiplayer, magazine previews...
    • Leg Cling: Eddie gets a Zaulia on each leg, Ophelia on his left arm, and a Razor Girl on his right. But that trailer was so early into the game's production that it has practically nothing to do with the game (it's a now-dead Sierra trailer).
    • The Legions of Hell: The big bads are this, with a certain Black Mass/Hellraiser sort of twist.
    • Leitmotif: One would think there would be many, but only Ophelia has one: "Betrayal" by Lita Ford.
    • Libation for the Dead: There are many empty beer bottles strewn about the graveyard, suggesting this is in heavy practice. One of the Kill Master's bass players spends his time there after the game, looking meaningfully at a grave while drinking. When Eddie asks him who's grave he is standing over, the bass player admits he does not know, he just prefers drinking alone and doing it in a graveyard makes it seem like less of a problem.
    • Like a Badass Out of Hell: Eddie and Ophelia's car rampage in the temple.
    • Literal Change of Heart: Doviculus keeps his defeated enemys' hearts in his chest, though it doesn't really change his personality.
    • Losing Your Head: Drowning Doom gravediggers and brides will fight through decapitation. Lampshaded by the Gravediggers:

    "I just hope I can keep my head today..."

    • Lost Technology: Cars and music. Only Eddie's Roadie skills and knowledge of Heavy Metal make them available.
      • In multiplayer, Doviculus demands obedience cars that he attacks, as if they are living things.

    Can you hear me?! I AM YOUR MASTER!


    [[spoiler:Through the woods a girl came sadly
    Something broken in her chest
    She had dared to love another
    Alas, no better than the rest
    Up my path a girl came gladly
    Something opened up my doors
    I longed to stop her bleeding heart
    So I drew her to my shores
    Those you trust will hurt you badly
    Something now I'm sure you see
    So drown your tears in me, my dear
    As you drown, my dear, in me.]]

    • Lucky Charms Title
    • Luke, I Am Your Father: Peculiarly averted, as Doviculus is explicitly stated to not be Eddie's parent (we do find out his parentage, but neither parent is ever met).
    • Make-Out Point: The giant Iron Cross for Eddie and Ophelia, post game.
    • Mass Monster Slaughter Sidequest: The Hunter's sidequests.
    • Match Maker Quest: There is one sidequest where Eddie must help a lovestruck young headbanger (complete with a Don Juan mustache) hook up with the razorgirl of his dreams. To do so, he needs to use the mosh pit special attack to keep amorous bikers away from the woman long enough for the headbanger to woo her.
    • Meadow Run: Eddie's dream pre-Drowned Ophelia fight, in which he and Normal Ophelia have one of these all the while being chased by demons, set to "Holiday" by Scorpions. Even cute loves scenes can be metal.
    • Meaningful Name/Punny Name: Lita, the future Leader of Ironheade. Not to be confused with Lita Ford or RobHalford, though her name is a combination of theirs.
    • Medium Blending: The main menu.
    • Mega Neko: The Metal Beasts and Laser Panthers.
    • The Merch
    • Merchandise-Driven: In-universe example. All of the stage battles run off this trope because making merch booths for the fans is the only way to build and upgrade your army. It gets to the point where Eddie realizes Drowned Ophelia is going to be a problem just because she has merchandise.

    Eddie: "Merch is a little like a wedding ring. Sure, it's a material thing, but it's a symbol of your connection."

    • Metalhead: Too many examples to count in this game.
    • Ms. Fanservice: Um... Every female lead?
      • Even the minor female characters adhere to this trope. The Zualia wear KISS makeup and Stripperiffic outfits, and the Razorgirls have tight t-shirts, tight-jeans and Playboy bunny proportions. Even the battle nuns are, as Eddie puts it, "kinda sexy in a weird way."
    • Mistaken Identity: Doviculus was seeking out Succoria by scent. Ophelia refusing to explain who Succoria was made her look like Succoria in Eddie's eyes. She was really hiding the fact that Eddie could be related to her, so Lita and Lars would not assume he was going to destroy them as the prophecy says. It tears them apart.
    • Mood Motif: Each faction has one. Ironheade is themed off classic Heavy Metal. Drowning Doom is based of Death Metal and Black Metal. The Tainted Coil is based off of Industrial Metal.
    • Mood Whiplash: It happens from time to time, sometimes depending on how fast you move on to one mission from the last.
    • Mordor: The Sea of Black Tears zone, as well as Bladehenge after the death of Lars.
    • Musical Assassin: Eddie and Lionwhyte both wield the power of weaponized stage effects through the power of a guitar and a microphone, respectively. Later on, there's Drowned Ophelia and Doviculus, both with guitars of their own.
    • Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Several, but special mention goes to the Kill Master. He's deliberately invoking this trope in order to scare off people who might otherwise bother him.
    • Near-Victory Fanfare: The Rockcrusher plays the Ironheade stage's music wherever it goes.
    • The Need for Mead:

    Ophelia: "What's a flagon of mead?
    Eddie: "It's a drink... Aren't we in Medieval Times?"
    Ophelia: "I, uh... We only have beer, but you can have as many kegs as you want."
    Eddie: "TO BLADEHENGE!"

    • Neglectful Precursors: When the Titans ascended, the left behind the Tainted Coil that they had kept as pets. Confused and frightened by the Titans' departure, the Tainted Coil attempted to recreate the Titans but created humans instead. Believing humans to be a mockery of the Titans and jealous of their ability to use their knowledge, the Tainted Coil enslaved them.
    • Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly: The "genre" in which the Kabbage Boy played.
    • Nerf: For multiplayer, the three Nuke Solos became available only at Tier 2.
    • Never Trust a Trailer: Neither the trailers nor the demo gave any indication that the game would have a lot of Real-Time Strategy elements. Both Activision and Electronic Arts intentionally hid this, but Tim Schafer was able to announce them and demonstrate multiplayer videos in August 2009.
      • Also, the very first, "The Mob Rules" teaser trailer had very little to do with the actual storyline. Eddie's belt buckle wasn't supposed to summon a godly warrior to lead the demon armies (but rather to bring back the Demon Emperor from the future) and there's no indication that it has been forged from the flesh of Ormagöden (seeing as how his body turned into all the metal in the game's world, they're correct, but it's phrased misleadingly...). Lastly, the eventual enthronement of Eddie suggested in the end of the trailer goes in stark contrast to his actual final actions and strictly monogamous tendencies in the released version.
      • That trailer is so incredibly early into production, it appears to be a trailer just setting the game's Rule of Cool mood. Besides. It was the publishers who decided to have a complete media blackout on the Action/RTS parts.
    • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: After killing Drowned Ophelia, Doviculus makes sure Eddie knows it's his own fault Ophelia became that way.

    Doviculus: Oh, please! That was nothing compared to what YOU did to her.

    • No Campaign for the Wicked: Sadly, there are no adventures as Doviculus or Drowned Ophelia.
    • No Celebrities Were Harmed: The Guardian of Metal is never referred to as "Ozzy", although it's obvious that's who he is.
    • Non-Action Guy: The Guardian of Metal is a being of godlike power, who seems content to act as an upgrade merchant. He could likely defeat Doviculus himself, but as he puts it, "I'm not a fighter, I'm more a, uh, what should we say here, a keeper of timeless secrets, that's all."
    • Obligatory Bondage Song: The Tainted Coil are this trope made (abused) flesh.
    • Offhand Backhand: Eddie and Ophelia both pull this when they first meet.

    Eddie: Uh... right shoulder.
    Ophelia: *shank*


    Headbanger: How did you make that light shine down from the heavens?
    Don't you know? Light itself now bends to his will.

    • Panthera Awesome: Laser Panthers. Black panthers with streaks of purple and eyes that shoot lasers.

    Eddie: OK, I'm not killing any more of those. They're way too awesome to be made into a hat!

    • Parental Incest: The Tainted Coil. ALL of them.
    • Passing the Torch: The Titans.
    • Pieces of God: Metal, Noise, Blood and Fire.
    • Polish the Turd: While virtually all players and critics agree that Brutal Legend is most certainly not a turd, the EA marketing department seemed to think that this is what they were doing, by ignoring major components of the game while playing up others.
    • Polygon Suit Actor:
      • Eddie was intended to look like a cross between Jack Black and Glenn Danzig (although he behaves a lot more like the former than the latter).
        • Tim Schafer recounts that originally he merely was basing the character off Jack Black. Sierra, however, chose to just get Jack Black to do the role.
      • Ozzy Osbourne is pretty much playing himself. "Who, me? Oh, I'm nobody. Just The Guardian of Metal."
      • The Hunter is comedian Brian Posehn.
      • The Kill Master looks just like Lemmy Kilmister, his actor, down to the moles on his face.
      • The Fire Baron looks like Rob Halford in the late 70s-early 80s (back when he had hair atop his head, rather than only around his mouth).
      • A cannon operator with whom you can converse to start secondary missions not only is voiced by Kyle Gass (Black's partner in Tenacious D), but he also has Gass' head mounted on a Bouncer body.
    • Power Glows: The infantry in all three armies, when upgraded, don neon streaks on their bodies and clothes.
    • The Power of Friendship: The Double Teams are the most powerful attacks in the game. Word of God often tells players they don't Double Team enough.
      • In contrast, the game was specifically designed to punish players who try to act like Eddie is Kratos or Dante. Getting killed gives your opponent a free 50 Fans. A common mistake by players is to fly into a group of enemies and start slashing.
    • The Power of Rock: Pyros. Headbanging. Face-melting guitar solos. And the hero is "the world's greatest roadie." This game is literally built around this trope.
    • Precursors: The Titans.
    • Puzzle Boss: The final stage battle in the campaign has this element tacked on.
    • Racing Mini Game: Druid Plow vs. Fletus' Squealer... GO!
    • Rage Quit: Nearly the entire top of the leaderboard is composed of cheaters who are shunned by the community, who disconnect when they smell a loss coming.
    • Real Time Strategy: With lots and lots of Action mixed in it.
    • Red vs. Blue: They loved the game and went to great lengths to help players get into the multiplayer.
    • Rule of Cool: Only every single thing about the game.
    • Sarcastic Clapping: Lionwhyte, complete with "Bravo".
    • Scenery Porn/Scenery Gorn: The art design of the world is truly breathtaking: no matter where you are in the world, it's virtually guaranteed that there is something cool to look at. And to make sure you don't miss any of it, the game includes mounted tourist binoculars of the best vistas and gives experience points and an achievement for viewing them all.
    • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: Succoria arguably creates one of these. When she travels to the future, she sees that humans ultimately win the war against the Coil; crushed, she stays in the future and eventually gives birth to Eddie. Therefore, Succoria deprived the demons of their true leader and created the person who would ultimately defeat Doviculus... causing humanity to win the war.
    • Serious Business: Youtube comments for the tracks in the game. Oh dear.
    • The Seventies: Ironheade.
      • No man. Earlier. Like... The Early Seventies.
    • She Is the King: Turns out to be the case for Succoria. This is how Eddie can be the child of the Tainted Coil's emperor despite having a human father.
    • Shock and Awe: The main attack for the guitars and many Drowning Doom units employ this. You can also pick up lightning cannons as a top-tier weapon for the Druid Plow.
    • Shout-Out: Besides the many, many shout outs to heavy metal bands and songs, occasionally, Eddie will shout, "Super effective!" while attacking, and after playing the Call of the Wild, solo, he'll scream, "Call of the Wild was my favorite book!".
    • Shut UP, Hannibal: While listening to Doviculus monologue about Succoria and how much humans suck, Lars gets fed up and delivers one of these.

    Lars: The time has come for you to shut the hell up, Doviculus!

    • "Shut Up" Kiss: Eddie, to Ophelia. Ends up being quite amusing due to the topic of conversation.
    • Sidequest: The game has dozens. However, most of them fall into five basic categories:
      • The "Ironheade Sneak Attack" missions in which you and a small group of allies must eradicate a passing enemy patrol.
      • The "Riding the Death Rack" missions in which you must use the Deuce's weapons to defend a stationary point against waves of enemies.
      • The "Summon Fiery Death" missions where you have to direct mortar fire against incoming enemies.
      • Racing missions where you must beat Fletus to the finish line.
      • Missions given to you by the Hunter where you have to kill a certain number of wandering creatures.
    • The Siege: The Battersmith and Pleasure Gardens mission.
    • Single Tear: Ophelia sheds one near the end. A black one.
    • Snow Means Death: Lars.
    • Songs in the Key of Lock: The Relic Raiser solo.
    • Spikes of Villainy: Used straight and inverted. Good, evil or even just part of the landscape; the game is loaded with spikes. No, not that kind.
    • Spiritual Successor: The Stage Battles are a faster, console version of Sacrifice or Battlezone 1998 (the remake), and the even more obscure Giants: Citizen Kabuto, both games by Shiny. The heavy metal theme and prevalence of bikers also tie it closely to an earlier Schafer gamer, Full Throttle... as does returning voice actress Kath Soucie.
    • Spawn Broodling: The Tainted Coil's Rock Stage can only produce these, in the form of Battle Nuns, Warfathers and Overblessers. They spawn demonic units by... uh... germinating Doviculus's seed.
    • Stab the Sky: Eddie on the cover.
    • Standard Status Effects: Color Coded for Your Convenience
      • Golden weapons and clothing trimming indicate and Attack Boost. Blue is Attack Down.
      • The unit's entire body glowing orange is a build rate buff (Tainted Coil).
      • Glowing Light Green indicates Defense Boost. Appearing very dark is Defense Down.
      • A blood red body is poison. According to the Tour Book, even cars can get their gas tanks poisoned.
    • Sticks to the Back: Eddie's axe and guitar. Lita's Blade on a Stick also sticks to her back when not in use, and Ophelia's swords stick to her hips. The only one with a proper scabbard for his weapon is Lars.
    • Subtitles Are Superfluous: Completely averted. Every minor line of dialog is covered in the subtitles, including the grunts of exertion Eddie makes when he swings his axe, and the squeal of pain he makes when he tries to play his guitar when it's red-hot...
    • Summon Backup Band Members: Core game mechanic.
    • Super Dickery: Anyone who played just the demo can be quite forgiven for thinking that Ormagöden was an evil monster and the overall Big Bad of the game. In truth, he's anything but. He was more like a force of nature for one, and while the Tainted Coil are his spawn, much of the rest of what he left the world was all meant to be used for good.
    • Super Drowning Skills: So much as dipping a character's foot in water deals damage, increasing with depth.
    • Take That: Kabbage Boy is a very obvious Take That against the likes of Linkin Park, Korn or Limp Bizkit. That said, even if you like that kind of music, it's done in an amusing enough way that you don't mind.
      • When two of the same army are fighting (Drowning Doom vs. Drowning Doom, etc), they'll tend to take potshots at each other for the other's lack of "Trueness", often yelling out "Poser!"...
      • One of the Headbanger's Win Quotes is "Now you know what real metal sounds like!".
      • Word of God provided this gem in an interview:

    GamePro: Were there any other reasons for the lack of contemporary metal?
    Tim Schafer: You mean besides it sucking?


    Eddie: "Maybe you guys can just blow me over the gorge?"
    Roadie: "I'm not blowing anybody!"

    • Theme Music Power-Up: During Stage Battles, the opposing stages are each playing a song from the faction's themed playlist. As they take over fan geysers and spread across the map, their music gets louder and starts to swamp out the other side's music. Played totally straight with the Rock Crusher, who plays your stages' music as it goes and gives friendly units a damage buff at the same time.
    • Thirty Minutes or It's Free: In one side quest, you have two minutes to deliver kegs of beer to a party on the beach while they're still cold. This task is made more difficult by the fact that if you bump your car around too much, the kegs will rupture, resulting in automatic failure.
    • This Is Gonna Suck: Even in the face of "brutal defeat" (as the game puts it), Eddie manages to keep his cool most of the time.
    • This Trope Is Bleep: Optionally, the game lets you censor swearing with bleeps. Just before the first curse in the game, it prompts you to choose - the button for turning on the censor says "It's funnier if it's bleeped out."
    • The Time of Myths: The Age of Metal.
    • Time Skip: Three months are skipped after Lars' death. It's a rare example of seeing a "X Time Later" screen in a video game.
    • Time Travel: Eddie is transported back in time, to a Fallen Age of Metal. His parents were sent forward first.
    • Title Drop: Brutal Legend is an vinyl album that Jack Black is inviting you to look at, which serves as the title menu. The physical album actually exists as a prop. As you navigate the menu, Jack Black uses his hands to open, fold, and reveal different parts of the elaborate album and record inside. How it was designed can be seen here.
    • Title Scream: Subverted in which the developer 's name is screamed instead. DOUBLE FIIIIIIIINE!
      • For bonus points, every time you boot the game, one of the different musicians who participated in the game (including Jack Black; remember, he's half of Tenacious D) will scream it. One of the best ones has to be Ozzy Osbourne's, which he follows with a "Crazy Train"-style laugh.
    • Too Good to Last: A sequel was planned that was going to include much of the stuff that was cut from the first time due to time and budget constraints. However, when sales of Brutal Legend were not as high as EA was hoping the plans for a sequel were scrapped.
      • Although EA performed focus tests and found the Stage Battles to be a lot of fun, when word was finally released on the Stage Battles, EA was asking journalists to call it "Action Strategy", just so the phrase "RTS" could be avoided.
    • Tortured Abomination: The summonable but uncontrollable Tainted Coil unit named "Bleeding Death" may be this: it is a perversion of nature (not to mention the single strongest non-Hero Unit in the game), which is slowly dying, so its attacks are merely expressions of its agony.
    • Trapped In A World Based on Metal Album Covers: Subverted. Eddie doesn't really want to leave.
    • Tribal Face Paint: The Zaulia tribe wears it.
    • Troperiffic: It's a game by Tim Schafer that revolves around The Power of Rock. This was pretty much inevitable.
    • Unexpected Gameplay Change: A bit of an odd case, as it seems to be played straight but is actually a double subversion. Marketed primarily as a Hack and Slash game, subverted that it's truly an RTS, and subverted again with the final battle in the campaign.
    • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Eddie seems to acclimate to the heavy metal world extremely quickly; acting pretty calm about hacking evil nuns to death with an axe and teaching Ophelia of French kissing. Eddie seems to be the kind of guy who would acclimate pretty quickly to anything. Besides, as he says himself about the world near the game's opening, "Some might call it hellish, but I have to admit, it's pretty Badass."

    Lita: "Don't you long to return to your world?"
    Eddie: "Pfft!"


    Eddie: And now, I shall teach you of French kissing...

    • What Measure Is a Mook?: Defied. Every kind of unit is unique, without much overlap between factions even.
      • Played straight by Doviculus, can throw Soul Kissers, making them commit suicide and severely damage units.
    • What Were They Selling Again?: The advertising not only intentionally hid the core gameplay, but it also turned off some people who hate Jack Black, found the combat in the demo shallow (not knowing Eddie is a Hero Unit to something bigger), and causing people to think the game is a "joke" or "Guitar Hero" game.
    • What Were You Thinking?: Both Vivendi and EA had a near complete media blackout on the Stage Battles and multiplayer, the part Tim Schafer wanted people to like the most, and that Double Fine worked on for over double the time it took to make the Single Player part. EA got a half-completed game for cheap, and had the potential to make a very long game with good multiplayer support instead, EA rushed the single player through and spent millions advertising it with a single player focus when the multiplayer was the real focus. If EA had just let Tim Schafer talk about his game, not only would Internet Backlash be avoided, they would have saved millions of dollars.
    • Wheel of Pain: You have to free a bunch of headbangers from one of these in an early mission.
    • With Great Power Comes Great Emoness: The fate of all who drink or bathe in the Sea of Black Tears.
    • Wide Open Sandbox: Though the campaign is heavily story-driven, it's threaded through an open world.
    • Wild Teen Party: The soldiers of Ironheade have a keg party, complete with bonfires and large amplifiers blaring heavy metal music, set up on the beach. If you visit them after beating the campaign you can even join them for a beer.
    • World of Badass Ham!: This is a game built on The Power of Rock after all. Even the porcupines and the deer are hardcore.
    • World of Buxom: Some ladies are Stripperific, some are Token Wholesome, nearly all are stacked.
    • Written by the Winners: Hidden throughout the Single Player world are Legends which flesh out how the Age of Metal came to be. During the second half, the player can fine some that are chained up until the story is completed. Then they can be unlocked, and they reveal the truth about Eddie's past, how he (not Lars) is The Messiah how he saved humanity.
    • X Meets Y: StarCraft meets Dynasty Warriors. Sacrifice meets Ozzfest. Hack and Slash meets Real Time Strategy.
      • Or, for simpler terms, Kessen with a Rock and Roll theme.
    • Xtreme Kool Letterz: Lampshaded by Eddie, who tacks an "e" onto Ironhead to make it cooler. More specifically, to let everyone they "Mean business".
    • You Fail History Forever: Lampshaded hard in the Tour Book.

    Tour Book on Landmark Viewers: What's that? You thought these devices were invented in the twentieth century to take coins from tourists? You thought wrong. You could't be more wrong.


    Eddie to Doviculus: I'll make an ashtray out of your hoof!
    Eddie to Eddie: I don't think this is symbolic at all!
    Doviculus blocking: That's the spirit!
    Doviculus taking hits: Oooooohhh...
    Drowned Ophelia to Eddie: Does it make you feel like a man?!
    Drowned Ophelia to fleeing opponent: Ladybug ladybug, fly away home. Your stage is on fire and the children are all gone!
    Drowned Ophelia, enemy flies away: PULL!

    1. Except at the very end, so Eddie can effectively Drive Into The Sunset.
    2. Peter McConnell