[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/CarnEvil.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:The greatest show unearthed!]]

->"When the Moon is full and trees are bare -
->Walk though the Cemetery if you dare.
->Where skeletons rot and corpses fester -
->Locate the tomb with the skull of a Jester.
->Feed him the token all shiny and new -
->It is then that [=CarnEvil=] will return for '''YOU!'''"
->--'''The game's opening narration.'''

A horror-themed light gun game from MidwayGames, ''[=CarnEvil=]'' is about... well, [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin an evil carnival]], set in the fictional town of Greely Valley, Iowa. The game starts off with a hayride/ghost tour making its way through a cemetery at night. One of the patrons hops off the ride and locates the grave of Professor Ludwig Von Tökkentäkker, which seems normal enough... save for the evil-looking jester statue on it and a token sticking out of a slot on the tombstone.

Curious to see if the legend (mentioned above) has any weight to it, our faceless protagonist takes the token and puts it in the jester's mouth, whereupon it promptly comes alive and nearly bites his hand off before ascending into the night sky with a maniacal cackle. In a matter of terrifying seconds, a haunted carnival indeed appears--erupting out of the ground with shocking speed, trapping the protagonist (and, presumably, the rest of the tour) inside. And this ''isn't'' a good place to be trapped in the middle of the night--there's all number of nasty, bizarre terrors stalking the carnival grounds in search of new victims. And that's not counting whatever twisted scheme the carnival ringmaster, Baron Von Tökkentäkker, has in store.

Luckily, the protagonist stumbles across the shooting gallery--which, in keeping with the macabre nature of this particular carnival, happens to have ''real'' shotguns. Grabbing one of them, with his hapless friend [[DamselInDistress Betty]] tagging along, he prepares to blast his way out...or die trying.

Released on Halloween 1998, ''[=CarnEvil=]'' is considered one of Midway's best arcade games [[note]]though still unreleased on a home console[[/note]], giving ''VideoGame/HouseOfTheDead'' some competition (both games came out the same year). But what people remember the most about the game is its [[BlackComedy rather surreal and dark humor]], as well as its highly disturbing premise. Definitely not one for the kiddies.

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!!The game provides the following tropes:

* AdjustableCensorship: The game has four levels of violence.
** Full Gore: The default.
** Red Blood: Prevents you from dismembering enemies, consequently censoring Tökkentäkker's death as well.
** Green Blood: [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Turns blood green]], but it also censors Evil Marie's death (she starts to fall, then it cuts to the results).
** None: Turns blood into smoke, also removes the flamethrower and acid bath weapons.
** Two unrelated options allow you to replace Junior with Deaddy (a giant teddy bear) and/or prevent the Food Court enemies from making [[FlippingTheBird vulgar]] [[{{Mooning}} gestures]].
* AirborneMook: The bats in the Haunted House, the buzzing bees in Rickety Town, the human-headed flies in the Freak Show, and the Spanish-speaking imps in the Big Top level.
* AmusementParkOfDoom: Natch. The roller coaster is unfinished, so the player bails out before the car plummets over the edge and jumps onto the Ferris wheel. One of the seats of the tilt-a-whirl flies off the platform, and the player crashes through the wall surrounding the bumper car track.
* AnAxeToGrind: Evil Marie's weapon of choice.
* AristocratsAreEvil: Both Evil Marie, and Professor Ludwig Von Tökkentäkker (of the "would be a NaziNobleman, except he predates the Nazis" variety).
* ArmCannon: Hambone, the midboss of the Haunted House level, has a [[GatlingGood minigun]] attached to his arm.
** [[spoiler: He shows up again later on, swapping the minigun for a [[AbnormalAmmo skull launcher]].]]
** And Tökkentäkker plans to [[spoiler:put your brain in the body of gorilla that also has a minigun for an arm.]]
* AttackItsWeakPoint: As the demo screen plainly says, enemies die quicker from head wounds than other types. (This doesn't work on those who actually have life bars.)
* BadSanta: Krampus, the boss of Rickety Town, encountered in the ice rink. Actually based off a mythical creature that kidnaps naughty kids and tortures them.
* BatScare: Several times in the Haunted House level. Swarms of bats will appear, but not all of them will attack you.
* BewareOfViciousDog: The rabid poodles in the Big Top.
* BigBad: Tökkentäkker.
* BigCreepyCrawlies: Various giant insects and worms feature as enemies. The "Museum of the Slightly Curious" in the Freak Show also features an "80 lb. Flea" as an exhibit.
* BlackComedy: Most prevalent in the Rickety Town level, but pretty much everywhere.
** In the food court area of Rickety Town, you can dunk one of the Skeleteens into a deep fryer.
** Also in the food court: a sign reading "Burritos as big as your head!" - the implication being that they may actually contain severed heads.
** At the bumper cars: an ad for "RIP" gasoline, patterned after the STP logo, and a "Who Wants an Eyescream Soda?" billboard that depicts a soda topped with an eyeball.
* BlatantLies: The arcade cabinet will assure you that "That isn't a zombie/it's just a silly clown".
* BloodKnight: [[spoiler: Implied at the end. The Protagonist seems to have enjoyed shooting everything in the evil carnival that he decides to summon it again for another round.]]
* BodyHorror: Up to {{Splatterhouse}} levels in the Freak Show, but you really should've guessed that.
* BossBanter: Krampus, Eyeclops, Umlaut, and Tökkentäkker.
* BuriedAlive: The zombies in the Haunted House stage ''try'' to do this to the player(s) right before [[BossBattle Evil Marie]] shows up, but they manage to climb out of the grave before the boss fight starts.
* CaptainErsatz: Hambone, an enemy you fight [[spoiler: twice]] in the Haunted House, looks an awful lot like [[Franchise/FridayThe13th another notorious serial killer with a hockey mask...]]
** Evil Marie looks like a Marie Antoinette, if she was crossed with a StringyHairedGhostGirl that had AnAxeToGrind.
* CardCarryingVillain: Uh, the place is called "[=CarnEvil=]", so pretty much all of them. In fact, Evil Marie seems pretty ''proud'' to have that name when she introduces herself.
* ChekhovsGun: The spider monkeys you let loose about halfway through the Freak Show level come back later.
* ChristmasElves: Demented ones who appear on the "Slay Ride" roller coaster. They look like the GreenGoblin and throw presents or stab with sharpened candy canes.
* CircusOfFear: The final level.
* ClothingDamage: Evil Marie (the boss of the Haunted House level) loses clothing as you continue to damage her until she's down to nothing but her underwear.
* ClownCar: One shows up in the Big Top, except it looks more like an ambulance.
* CombatSadomasochist: The enemies in the second half of the Freak Show level.
* CoolAirship / ZeppelinsFromAnotherWorld: The FinalBoss battle with [[BigBad Tökkentäkker]] takes place on top of a dirigible.
* CowardlyBoss: Tökkentäkker periodically [[TeleportSpam teleports away in a puff of smoke]], causing your character(s) to chase after him to a new part of his CoolAirship.
* CreepyCircusMusic: Quite a bit, although this is to be expected, considering [[AmusementParkOfDoom the game's setting]].
* DamselInDistress: Betty, who you have to avoid shooting. Most of the time, the monsters are chasing her, and a few scenes suggest they caught her for the moment (showing her in a cage or in stocks), and a few bizarre scenes show her in the next car on the same carnival ride you're on, barely scared at all.
* DayOldLegend: Played with. The players have been drawn to the grave by an old legend about an evil carnival, and Tökkentäkker's grave is dated 1898. Yet a lot of it seems to have been based on ''very'' modern carnivals, including things like a tilt-a-whirl, a Food Court, and a bumper car attraction that's designed as a nostalgic throwback to TheFifties.
* DeadlyDoctor: The crazed surgeons who appear in the center ring. They carry large saws and hypodermic needles.
* DemBones: Skeletons appear, of course. The ones working in the Rickety Town food court even bleed.
* TheDeadHaveEyes
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything: Evil Marie screams quite, er... "[[OrgasmicCombat suggestively]]"... when she's [[FreudWasRight IMPALED]] on a tombstone.
* TheDragon: Umlaut to Tökkentäkker.
* EnemyMime: Zombie mimes show up in the Big Top level. They're harmless, except for possibly wasting your bullets.
* EnfanteTerrible: Boss of the Freak Show level. [[TheDevTeamThinksOfEverything The developers, considering that]] ([[BlackComedy even by this game's standards]]) some arcade owners would find this too disturbing, have an option [[{{Bowdlerise}} to replace him]] [[KillerTeddyBear with a teddy bear]].
* EverythingsBetterWithDinosaurs: Dino-Rama, the dinosaur-themed tilt-a-whirl. In addition, there are also blue dinosaur mascots around the area.
* EvilHand: One hallway in the Haunted House has dangerous hands that come out of holes in the walls to swipe at the players when they pass through.
* ExcusePlot: Well, a teenager is curious about this old story so he goes to the cemetery - dragging his girlfriend along - and then conjures this place up because ''he's curious''. That's the whole excuse for him to beat the hell out of zombies. (In fact, bringing his girlfriend is just an excuse for her to appear from time to time for something to ''avoid'' hitting.)
** And then he later finds the jester head again and starts the whole thing over.
* ExpositionFairy: Umlaut at the start of every stage, giving the player a cute little poem about what they're in for. [[spoiler:He's also the second-to-last boss.]]
* EyesDoNotBelongThere: Eyeclops, in addition to having a [[{{Cyclops}} single eye]] on [[MultipleHeadCase each of his two heads]], has five more in his chest and arms.
* FakeDifficulty: On occasion, enemies can hurt you even if they aren't onscreen, making it look like you're taking damage from nowhere. It's also impossible to prevent some of the bosses's attacks from hitting you.
** PixelHunt: When you encounter a swarm of bats in the Haunted House stage, only one will actually attack you, but figuring out which one is nearly impossible. The same applies to Junior/Deaddy's barf attack.
** TrialAndErrorGameplay: Some enemies land a hit on you seconds after they appear.
* FangsAreEvil: Evil Marie has some rather long pointy teeth. Umlaut also attacks by biting.
* TheFifties: The theme of the Garage, a bumper car ride.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: In the Haunted House level, when the player goes inside, you can see a portrait of a young girl holding an axe covered with blood. [[spoiler: Take a guess who is at the end of the level.]]
* FragileSpeedster: As expected, [[spoiler:Umlaut during his boss battle.]] He goes down quickly, but man -- is he a hard target!
* TheFreakshow: One of the levels is set in one.
* GagBoobs: Evil Marie. The dissonance that results when this is coupled [[BoomHeadshot with her half-blown-off face]] is [[BlackComedy both hilarious]] [[{{Squick}} and disturbing]].
* GatlingGood: Machine guns are one of the weapon pick-ups in the game, and are found throughout all stages of the game.
* GenreBlind or InHarmsWay: The player character is one of these two, though it's hard to tell which. He hops on evil flaming rollercoasters and barges through the zombie-invested Haunted House, climbs into the human cannonball cannon of his own free will and grabs the trapeze, and even after he wins he [[spoiler:summons the [=CarnEvil=] again almost immediately.]]
* GiantSpider: Stalking around the darkened corridors of the Haunted House level.
* GigglingVillain: The Flap-Jack acrobats laugh a lot like WesternAnimation/{{Goofy}}. Even as they are dying.
* GoForTheEye: The mini-boss in the Freak Show level, appropriately dubbed Eyeclops. He has one eye in each of his two heads, three in his chest, and one in each arm.
** Note that in other cases EyesAreUnbreakable, [[HowMuchMoreCanHeTake even if the face/head around them]] [[{{Gorn}} has been reduced to the consistency of hamburger or half blown off]].
* {{Gorn}}: Very, VERY bloody game. It's from the company that made ''Franchise/MortalKombat'', after all.
* GrievousHarmWithABody: The zombies in the Haunted House level will sometimes hurl body parts at the players.
* HarmlessVillain: The mimes in the Big Top stage, seeing as a mime wouldn't be able to actually touch you, after all.
* HauntedHouse: One of the stages is based off a dark house ride version of one.
* HeartsAreHealth: Red hearts can restore your LifeMeter.
* HighClassGlass: Tökkentäkker.
* HostageSpiritLink: Every so often, [[DamselInDistress Betty]] will pop up, and you have to avoid shooting her. Shooting her anyway costs you some of your life.
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: How does BigBad Tökkentäkker bite the dust? [[spoiler:He gets [[ChunkySalsaRule turned into red mulch]] by one of the propellers on his own Zeppelin!]] The game even repeats the scene a few times, because it's oh so satisfying to finally kill him.
* HollywoodAcid: One of the pick-ups you can get is an "acid gun", and it melts enemies to sludge--complete with a hissing sound.
* {{Homage}}: The miniboss Hambone is a throwback to the SlasherFilm genre, [[CaptainErsatz ESPECIALLY]] ''Franchise/FridayThe13th''. [[spoiler:His reappearance later in the level as "Hambone the Revenge" is a throwback [[{{Sequelitis}} to their MANY sequels]].]]
* HumanCannonball: The bat imps are launched out of a cannon. Also, [[spoiler: this is how the player gets up to higher ground]].
* ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice: The eventual fate of Evil Marie, [[ThatOneBoss provided you haven't run out of quarters yet]].
* IncendiaryExponent: Some of the ghouls in the Haunted House level are on fire for no reason.
* {{Jerkass}} / {{Troll}}: Umlaut.
* TheJester: Umlaut, again.
* JumpScare: Pretty omnipresent, albeit this sort of thing is to be expected in a rail shooter.
* KillEmAll: [[spoiler: The ending where you and Betty wake up in front of the tomb seems to imply that only the two of you survived while the rest of the tour group died.]]
* KillerRabbit: One of the oddities in the "Museum of the Slightly Curious" is a "[[ClockworkCreature Mechanical Killer Rabbit]]", with the internal mechanisms showing and holding a blood-stained dagger. But don't worry, it doesn't attack you.
* KillerTeddyBear: Deaddy, a giant teddy bear that can be substituted for Junior as the Freak Show boss.
* {{Kneecapping}}: The game specifically models damage to the kneecaps, with a successful blowout treated as a kill. Oddly, shooting one kneecap will visibly and gruesomely damage both of them simultaneously.
* KnifeNut: The shorter clowns are nuts about wielding knives and other horrible objects.
* LargeHam: Umlaut...isn't a fan of subtlety. Neither is Tökkentäkker.
* LateToThePunchline: Umlaut's introduction to the Freak Show level insinuates that [[spoiler: you're a freak]]. It takes a second. [[spoiler:Although [[MindScrew he could be just screwing with you]], [[{{Troll}} as usual]]. Or he's [[ImpliedDeathThreat implying]] [[FateWorseThanDeath what'll become of you]] [[NoHoldsBarredBeatdown once the freaks get through]] — he makes a similar implication in the intro to the final stage.]]
* LevelSelect: At the Shooting Gallery, the player is given a choice of three demented levels: the Haunted House, Rickety Town, and the Freak Show. The player can face these stages in any order they wish, but they must defeat all three in order to get to Tökkentäkker's Big Top.
* LightGunGame
* LiterallyShatteredLives: How [[spoiler:Umlaut]] dies. He even wails, "AAAGH! I'm 'SHATTERED!!''
* LudicrousGibs: All over the damn place.
** And ludicrous indeed. Skeletons bleed. SKELETONS!
* LyricalDissonance: The song [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3gI1Uuk7gM "Big Bunyan Ride"]] is a jaunty logging tune about your imminent death.
* MacrossMissileMassacre: Fittingly for a ringmaster, Tökkentäkker's DesperationAttack near the end of the FinalBoss battle is to launch an endless stream of fireworks at your face.
* MeaningfulName / PunnyName: Tökkentäkker. A pun on "token taker". Refers to both the token required to summon him and the endless amount of tokens you need to "give him" to beat the game.
* MixAndMatchCritter: The deadly "spider-monkeys" encountered in the Freak Show.
* MonsterClown: The last stage, the Big Top, is chock full of these - big and small.
* MorallyAmbiguousDoctorate: ''Professor'' von Tökkentäkker? What the heck could he teach?!
** All the atrocities and stitched-up horrors in [=CarnEvil=] seem to indicate he Majored in [[EvilutionaryBiologist Biology]], Minored in [[MalevolentArchitecture Civil Engineering]], and took Honors courses in [[AxCrazy Batshit Insanity]].
* MoreTeethThanTheOsmondFamily: Umlaut has jaws like a shark, full of long, pointy teeth.
* MuseumOfTheStrangeAndUnusual: The "Museum of the Slightly Curious", a small alcove full of oddities. Some of these include a "Thing in a Bottle", a mummy sarcophagus, an Ancient Mystery Skull of Time, and even the World's Biggest Shoe.
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: You're the one who puts in the token and starts the whole mess. [[spoiler: ''Twice''.]]
* NoNameGiven: The protagonist is never named. The fans have taken to calling [[{{Fanon}} player 1 Jacob and player 2 Lisa]], but these names are never used on any official websites or material.
* NotTheFallThatKillsYou: [[spoiler: While the players are at the top of the tent, a flying bat imp shoves them off the platform they're on, and they fall several stories to the ground. But hey, it's a rail shooter game, and the players take no damage from the fall.]]
* OurGhostsAreDifferent: The Haunted House level has hooded ghouls. Unsurprisingly, the player can shoot them, and they split up into smaller, green souls when defeated.
* PaulBunyan: There's a big statue of him next to the Ferris wheel, dubbed the "Big Bunyan Ride".
* PerpetualExpression: The "Smilin' Bob" enemy in the Rickety Town level (just after the "Big Bunyan Ride" Ferris wheel and during the bumper cars). He ''always'' smiles. '''ALWAYS'''.
** Same with [[BodyHorror Flap-Jack]]. ''[[MultipleHeadCase Both sides of him.]]''
* PlayingWithFire: One of your potential upgrades is a flamethrower.
* PoirotSpeak: Ludwig [[TheVonTropeFamily von]] [[BigBad Tökkentäkker]] peppers his EnemyChatter with GratuitousGerman, especially [[OneManArmy when you mow through his]] [[DemBones Skeleton]] Mooks.
--> [[SurroundedByIdiots Dumpkopf! Scwheinenhund!!!]] ("Idiot! Pig-dog!")
** He also lets out things like "[[OhCrap Ach du lieber!]]" if you whittle him down to certain segments of his health.
* PowerFist: The giant clowns (Mr. Ozob) attack with brass knuckles. Or with giant mallets.
* ProngsOfPoseidon: The flying imps in the Big Top carry tridents (and [[GrievousBottleyHarm broken bottles]]).
* RailShooter
* RepulsiveRingmaster: Ludwig von Tökkentäkker, the ringmaster of the carnival.
* RhymesOnADime: Umlaut, before every stage.
* SayMyName: All of the bosses, except Hambone and Junior, are announced to the player. Of these, Krampus, Eyeclops and Evil Marie introduce themselves when they appear, Tökkentäkker appears on a giant video screen when you reach the center ring of the Big Top, and Umlaut gets called out to the fight (Tökkentäkker: "Umlaut! Get him!")
* ShootTheBullet: A lot of enemies throw projectiles at you, especially in the Rickety Town stage when you enter the Food Court. You can use your own weapon to deflect them.
* ShotgunsAreJustBetter: Your weapon can be upgraded to a full-fledged shotgun with ten shots.
* ShoutOut: The Museum of the Slightly Curious from the Freak Show level features a caveman from ''Trog!'' encased in a block of ice. You can see it in [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lD-d8_DTrJE this video]] at about 1:54.
** One of the dinosaurs from the same game also appears as an enemy in the Dino-Rama tilt-a-whirl ride.
* SkeletonCrew: Tökkentäkker summons them to attack the players.
* SmallAnnoyingCreature: Umlaut. Whether he's seen before a level or during the final face-off against Tökkentäkker, he's downright guaranteed to get on your nerves.
** The KillerBees in Rickety Town rankle too.
** So do the human-headed flies and maggots in the Freak Show.
* SoundtrackDissonance: A happy, wonderful Christmas jingle is played during the Slay Ride portions of Rickety Town.
** There's also the 1950s style music in the Garage.
* StepfordSmiler: The Smilin' Bob and Flap-Jack enemies never stop smiling, even if they've barely got a face left to smile with.
* StrippedToTheBone: Shooting enemies in certain areas enough times will expose the bones.
* SuspiciouslySimilarSong: One of the AttractMode reels uses a song almost-but-not-quite identical to the Music/RobZombie song "Superbeast".
* TakeThat: Yeah, it's ''probably'' a coincidence that the zombie dinosaurs in Rickety Town that you're supposed to shoot into bloody pieces look like ''Series/BarneyTheDinosaur''... [[SarcasmMode Probably...]]
* TightropeWalking: The player does this when they're at the top of the tent. Enemies seem to balance very well (unless they're shot off the tightrope).
* TitleDrop: "Welcome to CARNEVIL!"
* TooDumbToLive: The protagonist (assuming he isn't just InHarmsWay) who not only decides to tempt fate by bringing the carnival up in the first place, [[spoiler: but decide to ''do it again'' after he makes it out.]]
** [[DamselInDistress Betty]], for running around in your crossfire while not even trying to help you fight the monsters. Even worse, she sometimes gets ''very'' close to a PowerUp that you only have a few seconds to aim for. [[spoiler: That said, even ''she'' knows the protagonist is the bigger idiot for putting them through that mess, and has the common sense [[DontTouchThatYouIdiot to try to tell them NOT to do it]] '''[[OhNoNotAgain AGAIN]]'''.]]
** There are some scenes that suggest she's ''trying'' to help. For example, there's a torture chamber in the Freak Show where she slams the door of an iron maiden, trapping a zombie inside. Unfortunately, that only means she's ''really'' in your way when you try to shoot at three other zombies.
* TortureCellar: The Chamber of Horrors, a rather disturbing part of the Freak Show level. Beneath the chamber is a macabre assembly line of sorts, and guess what's being made there? [[spoiler: Nums for the final boss!]]
* VillainousHarlequin: Our flying skull-headed host.
* VomitIndiscretionShot: During the battle with Junior (or Deaddy), the players enter the giant doll house to take cover. Only the boss rips the roof off and proceeds to puke all over the players. Make sure to shoot the last drop of vomit, or Junior's last meal is on you.
* WasntThatFun: [[NintendoHard If you have enough quarters to beat the game]], the epilogue will have you [[spoiler: [[OhNoNotAgain put the token in again]] while [[DamselInDistress Betty]] [[DontTouchThatYouIdiot screams for him to stop]]]].
** [[spoiler: Then again, since you killed everything ''in'' the carnival, including Tökkentäkker and Umlaut, the place may not be as dangerous now...]]
*** [[spoiler: That's assuming everything stays dead once it starts up again. The grave that starts the carnival up is Tökkentäkker's, which means he was already dead before the game started.]]
* YesMan: Umlaut to Tökkentäkker, if the graffiti in the "Big Top" level (presumably left by his fellow {{Mooks}}) is to believed.
* ZeppelinsFromAnotherWorld: The last part of the last level is a zeppelin. It's basically from the afterlife.
* ZeroPercentApprovalRating: It's pretty easy to hate Umlaut, what with his high-pitched voice, mocking poems before each level, and snide comments during your fight with him. Turns out he's not exactly popular InUniverse: In the final level, [[SugarWiki/FunnyMoments there's a chalkboard with "Umlaut is a Kiss-Ass" scrawled on it, presumably by the other]] {{Mooks}}.

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