Penny Arcade Adventures
Four Gods wait on the windowsill
Where once eight Gods did war and will,
And if the gods themselves may die,
What does that say for you and I?
Now three Gods sit on the windowsill,
Where one God's blood was lately spilled
Black tongues lap at the spreading pool,
To build the strength they need to rule.
When two Gods wait on the windowsill,
The wick of the world is burning, still.
But when one God in triumph shouts,
The candle of the world goes out.
And when that candle, bare and white,
Sheds at last its dancing light
Then we will rouse, with raised rod
To pierce the very house of God.
-The Quartet For The Dusk Of Man,—Tycho Ephemerous Brahe
Penny Arcade Adventures is an episodic video game series based on the webcomic Penny Arcade. It's the first video game series based on a webcomic and still is basically one of the very few (Blade Kitten is the other.)
So far, two episodes have been released of On The Rain-Slick Precipice Of Darkness, but the fact that this is a subtitle to the main series names suggests to players some hope that we may get new games in different settings. As it stands, OTRSPOD features familiar characters from Penny Arcade transplanted into 1920s America, battling the dark forces of evil gods and those who would use their power for evil.
A planned third 3D RPG episode will never be made, as Hothead games will pursue other products [dead link]. However, the storyline has been continued in text form here, concluding the series in an appropriately dramatic fashion. Hothead Games claimed that a third episode would be made if the first two sold enough copies, but the guys behind Penny Arcade nixed the idea, inciting grumblings that they hold grudges against people who they perceive as having mistreated them.
While a third 3D RPG episode will never be made, it has been announced that the third episode will be made in retro 16-bit style by Zeboyd Games, the developer behind Breath of Death VII and Cthulhu Saves the World.
- Abnormal Ammo: The Omnibus fires amethyst shards, able to turn human matter into a substance similar to tomato powder.
- Action Commands: Blocking requires hitting Space when "Block!" shows up under the enemy. Special attacks also use a minigame sequence.
- Anticlimax Boss: Fruit Fucker Prime is ultimately defeated with a button-based minigame.
- Charles in the second episode has 10000 HP, but he goes down in 3 hits. You alternate between attacking him and searching a room as Tycho.
- SISSY BOSS FIGHT!
- Charles in the second episode has 10000 HP, but he goes down in 3 hits. You alternate between attacking him and searching a room as Tycho.
- Artifact of Death: Tycho subscribes to one of several catalogs about them and comes across a few items later on.
- Badass Adorable: Anne-Claire.
- Bag of Spilling: Partly played straight, partly subverted. You lose every combat item and your upgraded weapons between episodes, but you get to keep some of the plot-important items you collected in the first episode. You also remain at a relatively high level (13) even when starting from scratch. If you load your character from the previous episode, you keep your high level (15 if you worked for it) and the phonograph speaker from the previous episode, which allows you to construct the alcoholic Phonograph ally when you buy the player it attaches to.
- The weapon loss is justified. The final upgrades for the weapons are said to be unstable, with Tycho's in particular being noted as ready to tear itself apart at a moment's notice. The other two are covered in some kind of urine jelly and haunted, respectively, so it's not a stretch that their owners would discard them.
- Bedlam House: Cloying Odor Sanitarium in Episode 2. Decrepit victorian architecture? Check. Creepy fog and withered trees? Check. Deranged roaming crazies? Check. Corrupt owner who keeps otherwise sane people prisoner to bill their families so he can finance his own personal pursuits? Hell yes that's a check. Electroshocks and pills given out like Pez? That's a playable level.
- Brick Joke: At the beginning of Episode 2, if the player refuses to go with the duo the first few times, Gabriel tells you they're going to a fair, which is shot down by Tycho. The end of the game ends up taking place at the World's Fair.
Gabriel: God. Finally!
- But Thou Must! / Refusal of the Call: At the beginning of Episode Two, you can repeatedly tell Tycho and Gabe that you're pretty calm and refuse to come with them. For several days. There's even an Achievement for delaying.
- The Call Knows Where You Live: And will smash your house.
- Charles Atlas Superpower: Gabe, being a former prizefighter and all.
- Colon Cancer: Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness: Episode One.
- Contest Winner Cameo: In Episode 1, he's the guy manning the Flying Pricks and Vandalism booths at Pelican Bay.
- Deadpan Snarker: Some of the dialogue choices in both games lets the PC be one.
- Tycho is made of this.
- Deus Est Machina: Yog Kathak, God of Gears. It possessed the Fruit Fucker Prime, making this a literal case of Deus Est Machina.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Literally, in the case of Gabe applying the beatdown to Yog Sethis.
Tycho: Let me put it this way: how would you like to punch a God?
Tycho: Good man.
- You also get to give Yog Kathak a beating, but that doesn't defeat it. A giant robot doll piloted by a young girl does that part.
- It's also mentioned that Gabe got started in the paranormal investigation field after a bareknuckle boxing match with Satan.
- Egomaniac Hunter: Dr. Wolfington, who has several taxidermy trophies of fearsome creatures, also had a vested interest in institutionalizing the Brahe clan.
- Eldritch Abomination: Four of them. Two are dead by the end of Episode 2.
- According to the intro verse of Episode 1, there were originally eight of them. The four that died earlier were the good ones.
- Empathic Weapon: If the Ominbus isn't given the proper respect, it'll drop ammo at your feet, expecting you to try firing them yourself.
- Enemy Mime: A whole cult of Enemy Mimes. Oh, and one friendly one. Who is, for some reason, a scientist in addition to a mime.
- Who happen to be worshiping Yog Sethis, the final boss of episode one and MIME GOD.
- Enter Solution Here
- Evolving Weapon: In a sense. The special attack of Fuschia, Anne-Claire's reformed Fruit Fucker from Episode 1, is an explosion of rainbow-colored light that gets stronger (and bigger, eventually causing the camera to zoom out to show just how big the explosion is) the more you use it.
- Alternatively, it's Magikarp Power.
- Gadgeteer Genius: Anne. Also a Teen Genius.
- The Gunslinger: Tycho uses a Thompson sub-machine gun in Episode 1 and a shotgun in Episode 2.
- Gold Makes Everything Shiny: A machine in the wealthy neighborhood Riverbrook gildifies most anything you put in it, though for plot reasons, it will only allow one of your needed items.
- Golem: The guard of the local bank vaults.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: One look at Dr. Wolfington's face and it's pretty obvious he's evil.
- Hello, Insert Name Here: The player character's default name is the same as your Gamer Tag. Looks especially narm-ish if you use a lot of numbers and/or improbable capitalization in your tag (though, you can change his/her name anyway).
- Otherwise, it's either Carl or Carla.
- Hey, It's That Guy!: For Penny Arcade's stable of characters. Not only are Tycho, Gabe, and Anne regular characters, but Charles is a boss fight, Fruit Fuckers are enemies, Twisp and Catsby help you maintain your sanity, Divx is a support character, and Dr. Darktalon Raven Blood even shows up!
- And on Insane Mode on Episode 2, you can even dress up as the Cardboard Tube Samurai!
- The prose version of Episode 3 takes this to another level by featuring goth kid Agonast, originally created as a parody of the fan-made darker versions of Diablo III screenshots, as a pathetic wannabe wizard.
- Hobos: And you get to kill them and use them as meat. That an advocate for the homeless requests so that he can make a stew. For the hobos!
- Which you can then eat. For a stat boost.
Gabe: I could stand to kill a few more hobos.
- One of them is the world's leading urinologist. He asks you to bring him a rare ferris wheel model. So he can pee on it. Urinology sounds like the bogus delusion of a deranged man hopped up on moonshine until you meet several reputed scientists in episode 2 who consider urinology a ground breaking field.
- Humongous Mecha: Fruit Fucker Prime and Ann-Claire's huge robot girl in Episode 2.
- Hopeless Boss Fight: Twice by Fruit Fucker Prime; if you approach it before you're supposed to, you get gunned down by its foot instantly. The second instance is when you actually face him.
- Also the first battle against Charles.
- Improbable Weapon User: The Player Character with his or her gardening tools.
- I'm a Humanitarian: The Player Character, after giving a bunch of "delicious" hobo meat to a social worker and eating the stew that he cooked using it. It gives you +50 max HP, though, so there's that.
- Instant Death Bullet: For Omnibus's power, including large portions of the architecture behind the target into the blast.
- It Runs in The Family: Most of the Brahe Clan have an obsession with the Apocalyptics, and much to Tycho's annoyance, one known Brahe of each generation has technically been put in a sanitarium.
- Just for Pun: Many items found in the games. e.g. "Healium Gas" to restore health.
- Kill Sat: Ann-Claire's 'Big Bang Theory' attack in the second episode.
- Laser Sword: The player gets a laser hoe as their third weapon upgrade in Part 2.
- Lemony Narrator: Who is the narrator? We don't know. We do know he's a force with presence, enough power to resurrect people (even if it is tiring), a vested interest in the Player Character, and an interest in killing the gods that pop up.
- Also, he seems to enjoy windsurfing... weather permitting, of course.
- Malevolent Masked Men: The antagonists of Episode 3, though more so the masks.
- Magitek: Robots powered by a Tome of Eldritch Lore.
- Monster Clowns: At Pelican Bay in Episode 1.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: You activate a newfangled monorail-type system to crash into the World's Fair Dome to make an opening. Unfortunately, the train was packed with passengers. Oops.
- No Except Yes: The urinologist hobo doesn't want you to kill hobos... except he does.
Urinologist: No, I don't want you to kill the hobos. (whispers) Kill the hobos.
- Ominous Latin Chanting: The theme for the Fruit Fucker Prime.
- People Puppets: The main antagonists of Episode 3, and even Tycho at one point, though he only suspects that he is brutally beating Gabe, due to it dulling his senses.
- Puzzle Boss: The method to beating Fruit Fucker Prime after it reveals itself to be a Hopeless Boss Fight.
- Real Life Writes the Plot: Due to Hothead already having their hands full with Death Spank and Swarm, it was ultimately decided that the final part would be an online document.
- Refuge in Audacity: All the time. For example: "I could stand to kill a few more hobos."
- Refusal of the Call: In the second episode, you can keep refusing to join Gabe and Tycho in the beginning -- and get an Achievement for it!
- Retraux: Mixed with a bit of Anachronism Stew. Partly due to the art style, a lot of the environments look a lot more modern than the time period it ostensibly takes place in.
- Reused Character Design: Using the cast of the Penny Arcade webcomic.
- Shotguns Are Just Better: The Omnibus, written to reduce fleshy and non-fleshy targets into various bad smells.
- Shout-Out: The story manages to blend the usual Penny Arcade stylings with a healthy dose of Cthulhu atmosphere. More in terms of the tabletop game, but some of the things Tycho says are rather H.P. Lovecraft.
- Steampunk: The Fruit Fuckers with clockwork inner workings.
- Also the World's Fair.
- Sword of Plot Advancement: In Episode 1, the Dark Mime Rake, Fortune Tommy Gun, and Ultra-Piss Fists.
- Teen Genius: Anne Forthwith.
- The Underworld: Standard red sea and brimstone beach holiday package.
- The Voiceless: Not that the characters are Heroic Mimes (They talk through speech bubbles), but only the narrator has voice acting. This is because the creators have noted that every reader has a different idea as to what Gabe, Tycho, Anne, etc. sound like.
- Too Dumb to Live: Gabe slips into this in episode 2.
- Tome of Eldritch Lore: The Necrowombicon.
- Trophy Room
- Unobtainium: Energite.
- Unwinnable By Mistake: The brain puzzle, which requires rotating hexagons to connect nerves in the brain, thereby curing them of an infection once a charge is sent though. Grey tiles which can only be rotated after a current is sent through them at least once. Because the puzzles are semi-random, you can end up with a situation where a grey tile borders the wall while being rotated with both active ends facing the wall, making charging that tile and thus beating the puzzle impossible. Thankfully, a quick save and reload will let you jump back to just before the puzzle starts, resetting it and likely allowing you to win.
- Except you don't need to run a current through gray tiles to win, they're not infected. This troper won with several tiles remaining gray on the second the third puzzles.
- Weaksauce Weakness: A literal example -- an item that reduces your enemy's strength is called "Double Mild Weak Sauce."
- What Could Have Been: Future planned episodes have been canceled, and their stories are now being presented in story form on the Penny Arcade website and an upcoming Retraux RPG.
- Why We Can't Have Nice Things: Tycho complains that he can't take Gabe to a fair without him inevitably destroying a fortune teller machine.
- Word Salad Title: Again, possible invocation of this trope.
- Zillion-Dollar Bill: The Incredibly Wealthy in the second episode drop $10,000 bills as the smallest denomination.
...and, of course, anything you can think of on the Penny Arcade page, as the games use their writing and art style.
- The Hero Dies: Both of the heroes die, with varying levels of dignity and awesome.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: Tycho is repeatedly thrown against a marble wall, before been torn apart, with no hope or method of resistance.
- Dying Moment of Awesome: Gabe punches the main antagonist so much, that he fails to notice the end of the universe, before finally falling into Hell.
- Bittersweet Ending: Partially Averted, as the characters both end up in a comfortable afterlife, but allowing the destruction of the universe is generally a poor way to end a detective career.