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''Dynamite Headdy'' is a PlatformGame by Creator/{{Treasure}} with the unique feature of taking place in and behind the scenes of a puppet show. You control Headdy, a puppet with a [[LosingYourHead detachable head]] that can be used as a projectile, on a mission to confront Dark Demon, a BigBad who has, quite literally, stolen the show. On your way you meet helpers such as Hangman, an animate handhold; Headcase, a walking box with a rotating selection of power-up heads inside; Beau, a visitor from FluffyCloudHeaven who points out [[ForMassiveDamage bosses' weak points]]; and Heather, a mysterious woman with detachable hands.

The puppet show nature of the game's setting comes up quite a bit, although it also has elements of a live action play or a movie. Each stage of the game is called an Act, and is subdivided into sections called Scenes. Backgrounds are often missing sections through which the backstage area can be seen, and sometimes actually fall apart. Some sections of the game take place backstage, and enemies and [=NPCs=] both sometimes take on the role of stagehands or other staff. Even the LifeMeter reflects this: Headdy's vitality is represented by a klieg light whose color (and the size of the "H" in the middle) corresponds to the amount of life left, and bosses have a similar spotlight with an "E" in the center. There's also a scene where an orchestra is visible in the background playing the background music. Needless to say, metafictional and setting tropes get quite a workout in this game.
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!!This game provides examples of:
* TwoAndAHalfD: Used in a few places, especially when rotation is involved, e.g. the tilting platforms in Act 3 Scene 1 and the boss of Act 5.
* AdvancingBossOfDoom: Twin Freaks/Rever Face
* AlreadyDoneForYou: The Act 4 boss.
* AmazingTechnicolorBattlefield: The final boss fight.
* AmericanKirbyIsHardcore: Trouble Bruin in the original Japanese version was called Maruyama, was purple and had wide round eyes and a goofy smile. The USA version colored him brown and turned him into a PerpetualFrowner. Also, the USA game cover compared to the EU and JP ones.
** The color change might just have been so you could tell he's supposed to be a bear and not a cat, though a lot of people just thought he was a brown cat, [[{{Mondegreen}} Especially as he seemed to a lot of people to say "m-m-meow" when he turned up]]. (It's actually saying "Ma-Ma-Ma-Ma-Maruyama.")
* AttackItsWeakPoint: Complete with onscreen '''TARGET''' notice and synthetized voice clip.
* BackgroundBoss: Spinderella is a very notable example, as she can switch the camera's perspective to make it so Headdy is in the background, and the camera faces her back.
* BaitAndSwitchBoss: At the end of the second world it seems that Headdy is going against Trouble Bruin with one of his many weird contraptions, but as soon as he starts moving, Mad Dog, the real boss, falls from the sky and crushes Trouble Bruin, who gets stuck under Mad Dog for the entirety of the fight!
* BeamSpam: Baby Face's third adult head fires a hemispherical spray of lasers followed by a longer beam aimed at Headdy's position related to Baby Face in a very fast alternating pattern.
* BearsAreBadNews: [[PunnyName Trouble Bruin]] / Maruyama and his Kuma Body.
* BigBad: Dark Demon/[[spoiler: Smiley.]]
* BonusBoss: After the end credits have finished rolling, a numerical keypad appears. Entering the correct randomly-generated four-digit password (whose digits you discover by beating the bonus game once per digit) allows you to fight an extremely difficult boss. Fortunately, against this boss you have infinite lives.
* BonusStage: Most stages have one Liberty Head, which leads to an "intermission" MiniGame where machines spit out a continuous stream of basketballs (and the occasional bomb) and you must knock them into the two moving tiers of hoops above. There are three special hoops that do something different from awarding you a point if you dunk a basketball in them: a hoop with a basketball symbol that doubles the rate of basketball fire, a hoop with a "slow play" symbol that reduces the speed at which the hoops move, and a hoop with a Keymaster symbol that destroys one of the ball machines. There is no time limit for getting the requisite score to win; you lose by getting hit by too many bombs, getting both machines destroyed, or forfeiting by canceling the head. The reward for completing the bonus game is one digit of a four-digit password to be used at the end of game after the credits roll. With each digit you get, the number of baskets you need to make increases by five (from a starting value of five) and the frequency of bombs increases slightly. Once you have gotten all four digits, the Liberty Head icon will no longer appear on Headcase. One perk of entering the bonus game is that when you leave, whether you win or lose, your health is returned to maximum.
* BonusStageCollectables: The four digits collected in the intermission bonus games are used to open the door to a BonusBoss at the end of the game. There are seven chances total.
* BreatherLevel: Invoked and then subverted in Stage 7, which is very short with two easy bonus points and a Liberty Head (bonus stage), and no enemies until reaching a [[BreatherBoss rather easy boss]]. [[ThatOneBoss Then you get punished gruesomely for your naive belief that the game would be so kind]], and the rest of the game past this point is [[NintendoHard no better]].
* BrokenRecord: Beau's Training Stage has her say "Target!" every time an enemy is about to pop up, which becomes increasingly frequent over time.
* ButtMonkey: Bino, classified by the game as a backstage worker, appears often "on stage" in many ways (grabbed or thrown in by a boss, boss wearing a MASK of him, wandering aimlessly on the arena...) and his elimination is the key to get many of the Secret Bonus Points. So albinos get the shaft again, but hey, at least he's [[EvilAlbino not evil]].
* ChainReactionDestruction: Bosses, minibosses and some pieces of scenery seem to have invisible explosive charges planted on them which activate when the object they're attached to, is damaged enough.
* {{Chickification}}: Heather appears to be an ActionGirl at first, going as far as to defeat one of the Keymasters before Headdy shows up, but later on in the game, she gets captured and must be rescued. Twice.
** Some may say that she deserves a break for some of this: The first time she was blindsided by ThatOneBoss, who showed up out of frickin' ''nowhere'', and the Japanese version explains the second one: [[spoiler:She was trying to [[IKnowYouAreInThereSomewhereFight reach out to Smiley]], and he attacked her in response]]. Still though...
* ClimaxBoss: the end-of-act bosses are Keymasters (well, at least from act 2 through 6), but Nasty Gatekeeper (end of act 7) is certainly one. If the Keymasters count, Twin Freaks (end of Act 8) does too.
* CreativeClosingCredits: Functions as a curtain call for ''every'' single character in the game.
* CosmeticAward: Getting all the Secret Bonus Points or beating the BonusBoss does not affect gameplay in any way, and in fact all you get in either case is [[AWinnerIsYou the game briefly acknowledging that you've done so]].
* CorruptCorporateExecutive: The BonusBoss is the incredibly greedy boss of the theater, and his two henchmen. In the Japanese Version, he is actually supposed to be [[BitingTheHandHumor the President of Sega]].
* CrosshairAware: In the fight against the robotic Mons Meg in level 4-2.
* CulturalTranslation: There are several, the Level names in western releases are parodies of Movie/Music names while in the Japanese version, they just give the general level idea in a simple phrase. The Geisha in Scene 7 is replaced by a robot who is far less threatening when they change forms as the original had sharper claws than the robot. In stage 4 of the Japanese version Mons Meg was a large doll named Rebecca. Maruyama was changed from Purple to Brown in the western version. The Heavy head's icon was changed from the japanese characters to a large onion of some type. Even the ending has some minor differences. [[spoiler: In the Japanese version, Smiley latches onto Headdy's head and he tries pulling it off humorously, while in the Western releases Heather hugs Headdy, though this may be because there was no dialogue in the Western release.]]
* CutsceneIncompetence: The Robo-Collector captures Headdy at the start but is no threat at all during gameplay. Also a rare unintentional example: Headdy jumps on the first few steps of the tower level on his own, but about 1 in 10 times, the programming omits something and he falls off, causing minor damage.
* DeflectorShields: Protector Head surrounds Headdy with a ring of fireballs that damage enemies. Not impenetrable, but nothing's getting in without taking a hit first.
* DidntNeedThoseAnyway: The Dresser and Baby Face, in different ways. Dresser is vulnerable after losing everything, but quickly brings in new stuff afterwards. Baby Face slowly loses faces until he runs out.
* DifficultyByRegion: The game starts with 3 continues in the Japanese version but none in the North American/European version (you can earn continues in both versions) and has a few other tweaks to make the American/European version more difficult. On the other hand, Twin Freaks, one of the hardest bosses in the game, has twice as much health in the Japanese version, but you can cheat against it, which is impossible in the other version.
* DifficultySpike: Act 6, if one isn't accustomed to the space shooter genre.
** And Act 7, if one is human.
* [[LosingYourHead Don't Lose Your Head, Headdy]]: Usually his head snaps right back to his body, but it can be snagged by "Venus Headdy Traps".
* DubNameChange: Nearly everything when translating from Japanese to English had a name change. [[DubNameChange/DynamiteHeaddy Has its own page]].
* EasyLevelsHardBosses: The general trend with exceptions on both sides.
* FinaglesLaw: The Super Finagler, which spends a level trying to shoot Headdy like it should, then goes haywire and starts attacking both Headdy and its owner.
* FlashOfPain
* FollowTheMoney: [[AvertedTrope Entirely absent.]] Naturally, this also means no LawOfOneHundred. Since there is no way to save, extra lives and continues, far from being [[MeaninglessLives meaningless]], are rare and precious pickups.
* FrickinLaserBeams: Rocket Head fires lasers straight forward. Can penetrate certain barriers that the other shmup heads' projectiles cannot.
* GuideDangIt: Many of the Secret Bonus Points require you to perform extremely counterintuitive or un-obvious actions, and there are no hints anywhere. Fortunately, they're not mandatory, and in fact, [[ScoringPoints aren't worth a thing]].
* HealThyself: Sleepy Head. Headdy goes to sleep and gradually regains health until he is fully revitalized. Can be dangerous to use if you're currently under attack, although it can be canceled like most heads. There is also a non-head healing item, the [[HyperactiveMetabolism Jelly Bean]], which restores half of your maximum health.
* HitboxDissonance: Used deliberately. Headdy's body can take damage while his head cannot, whether or not it is attached to his body. This becomes important at some points. [[spoiler:The key to beating a certain boss is noticing that it targets Headdy's head instead of his body.]] It also means that ducking is not very useful for dodging damage, as due to Headdy's proportions most things that can hit him while he is standing will still hit him when he is ducking. [[spoiler:The solution is generally to don the Pin Head, making Headdy's body small enough that hazards go over it.]] Ducking is still useful for hitting low targets, though.
* HoldTheLine: The penultimate level has Maruyama's [[HumongousMecha robot]] go out of control and chase ''both'' of you down a very long hallway. The robot is invincible, and Maruyama himself may only be [[{{Determinator}} stunned]]. Maruyama spends the whole sequence tackling and clinging on to you because he needs somebody to hug during the stressful experience, while you desperately TryNotToDie. ''For about four minutes.''
* HomingProjectile: Pig Head fires two of them from its nose, but unlike most heads cannot be fired itself. Good for dealing with enemies from a distance, but not for much else.
* HostageSpiritLink: In the second boss fight of Act 7.
* HostileShowTakeover: The event that kicks off the plot, with Dark Demon forcibly derailing the puppet show from whatever it was originally going to be about. Also referenced in the Japanese version before the fight with Maruyama in Act 3, Scene 2, which helps explain his motive:
-->'''Maruyama:''' Let's begin the next scene right now! It's time for Dynamite Maruyama's entrance!
* HyperactiveMetabolism: Jelly Beans. "Yum yum!"
* ImprobablyFemaleCast: Partially. The main character and a few enemies\supports are male, but most enemies and bosses are female (a little more obvious in the Japanese version). Of course, in this case, there's no FanService element to this... [[{{Rule34}} hopefully]].
* IncredibleShrinkingMan: Pin Head, which makes Headdy tiny. Useful for getting through small openings and avoiding certain hazards. When it shows up you usually face a fork in the road with a tiny path where you need Pin Head to proceed and a normal-size path that often requires some other head. Even where the level layout doesn't actually split, Pin Head and whatever the alternative is will give you entirely different strategies for proceeding through the level. It's also useful to [[spoiler:avoid an otherwise screen-filling fireball that Dark Demon likes to cheaply slide offscreen and shoot at you.]]
* IntangibleMan: Empty Head, which reduces Headdy to a white outline with no color inside. Rather one-sided, as you can still attack enemies but their attacks go right through you. Still vulnerable to NonLethalBottomlessPits and [[spoiler:damage from hitting Heather in the Nasty Gatekeeper fight]].
* ItsAllUpstairsFromHere: Act 5, which consists of one really tall tower.
** Hangman's practice stage, natural since Hangman's usually used to pull you up.
** The second last stage has a constant rising floor, lots of walls that can squish you, and Trouble Bruin's last vehicle.
* JustForPun: Most of the levels in the US version are puns of popular movies (eg [[StarWars Stair Wars]]), and TheDragon that looks like a cat but is really a bear is called "Trouble Bruin".
* KamehameHadoken: Dark Demon has a beam attack that fills most of the screen.
* LargeHam: Maruyama in the Japanese version. Full stop.
** All versions have Dark Demon with his EvilLaugh and his take on ThisCannotBe.
* LethalLavaLand: Act 3, Scene 1. Subverted in that it ends with Trouble Bruin bursting through the background and pulling Headdy backstage, where the rest of Act 3 takes place.
** Also subverted in that the lava, like everything else in the game, is fake.
* LosingHorns: A rare non-GameShow example: when you get a [[FinalDeath final]] GameOver, you get the "confirm selection" sound, followed by an electronic groan sound (so a Type A, then).
** Baby Face does it too in his last form (Grampa Face?). If his hand manages to grab you before you can finish him off, he makes a "Wah-wah-wah-waaaaah" noise, then appears to ''die of old age'' before exploding the usual way.
* MadeOfExplodium: Most enemies. The explosion sound is high pitched and very unique. Speaking of unique, the way to get continues in this game: beat an end-stage boss, and they explode into a bunch of debris. Pick up most of the debris and you get a continue.
* MarySue: Possibly invoked in the Japanese version, where it is revealed that [[spoiler:Dark Demon was originally Smiley, an animate award that was supposed to be presented to the "greatest puppet", but instead interpreted this to mean that he was to ''become'' the greatest puppet, leading directly to his StartOfDarkness and transformation into Dark Demon.]]
* MoodWhiplash: Hey, it's a [[CloudCuckooland weird]] but friendly level full of cows and birds. And the boss is kinda easy and [[ActionGirl Heather]] is helping me out while they play happy music. Could this be a BreatherLevel?
** "HELP ME!" [[CrowningMusicOfAwesome Cue]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tYUVRSbjehA metal]].
* MoreDakka: War Head continually fires projectiles in all directions, and [[UnexpectedShmupLevel Act 6's]] extremely bizarre Feather Head allows you to vomit a constant stream of tiny birds from your mouth as an attack. Also see SpreadShot.
* MutuallyExclusivePowerUps: Aside from his normal head, there are over a dozen different heads Headdy can put on, each of which grants him a different special ability. Almost all of these can be switched for another head whenever you're near Headcase, revert to the normal head after a fixed time, can be canceled at any time, and revert to the normal head at the end of a Scene, but a few work differently: Pin Head lasts until the end of the Scene and can only be canceled by switching to another power-up; Head Trip expires after a time limit but can't be canceled and, since you can't shoot it, can't be switched; Bomb Head reverts as soon as it explodes; Liberty Head is really just the way you enter the bonus game; Air Head, Rocket Head, and Feather Head remain for the duration of [[ShootEmUps Act 6]] and cannot be canceled, although you can still switch between them.
* NintendoHard: Some levels really test your ability not to smash the control through the screen.
* NoFourthWall: Played with, in that the characters are well aware that they're puppets in a puppet show, but aren't as obviously aware that they're characters in a video game.
** At one point, while you're passing through a fairly normal area, Maruyama ''punches through the backdrop'' and drags you backstage.
*** This is also how he makes his entrance - By pushing the backdrop ONTO Headdy, signaling the first boss fight.
* NonLethalBottomlessPits: Falling off the screen doesn't kill Headdy, instead launching him back upward while damaging him some.
* ObstructiveForeground: Coupled with Baby Face's 3rd form's BeamSpam.
* OhCrap: After what looks like a BreatherLevel in 7 you beat an easy boss then suddenly the background turns dark, revealing the enemy's castle, and the music lets you know ThatOneBoss has arrived.
* OneHitKO: A [[HarderThanHard cheat]] turns Headdy into this (though there is a glitch: in stark contrast to most side-scrollers, bottomless pits are the only thing in the game to ''not'' be lethal, even when the cheat is on). Without the cheat, nothing instantly kills Headdy for most of the game. Then the late-game introduces the concept of getting squished, and runs with it at the start of Act 9.
** The Vacuum Head lets you do this to any enemy on-screen.
* PoisonMushroom: Head Trip (known as the Buddha Head in Japan), a massive head made of metal which slows you down a lot and prevents you from jumping or shooting, and it makes strange faces too. It can't be canceled. It has a distressing tendency to show up during boss fights.
* PowerupLetdown: Vacuum Head is great for clearing away enemies and sucking up items but must be discarded if you need to do anything involving shooting your head to proceed, which is most of the time. Pig Head fires homing projectiles and is therefore similar to Vacuum Head but you can't get items either. Super Head's enhanced mobility will often send you flying into enemies or other hazards. Bomb Head makes you unable to do much of anything except avoid stuff while you're waiting for it to explode. War Head will sometimes lead to certain things being hit before you want them to.
* ProductPlacement: For itself. "Dynamite Headdy: Now on sale!"
* PublicDomainSoundtrack: The Nutcracker plays during the Mad Dog/Bouncy Boundy Boss fight complete with an orchestra and composer playing the music in the background.
* PunnyName: The two puppets composing the puppeteer boss were originally named Marrio & Nettoh. (''marionette'')
** Two Haniwa (those Japanese statues who are the basis for Cactuars in Final Fantasy) enemies were named Honeywan I and II.
* QuadDamage: Slammer Head, which does twice as much damage per hit as the regular head.
* RecurringBoss: Trouble Bruin, a bear (although he looks more like a cat, really) who also has a detachable head but instead uses it to control a wide variety of strange attack vehicles, [[SonicTheHedgehog Eggman-style]]. He is TheDragon to BigBad Dark Demon.
* RiseToTheChallenge: Hangman's first appearance in stage 2-1, and the tower of Scene 5-2
* SchmuckBait: DON'T SHOOT
** One of them is a [[GuideDangIt Secret Bonus Point]], too.
*** This one's crafty; if you're standing on the ground, you can only see the "SHOOT" part of the block (but you still see the DON'T upon jumping, so it's certainly not obvious).
* SchrodingersQuestion: Inverted(?) with the PIN pad at the end of the game. Tool Assisted Speedrunners have determined that you can't guess the randomly-generated number; if you haven't collected all four numbers, you will always be wrong no matter what you punch in.
* ScoringPoints: The game has both regular points and Secret Bonus Points. Both do absolutely nothing and are only displayed at the end of an Act, so it's easy to forget they exist, save for the "500" point pickups that appear in some levels and the announcement when an [=SBP=] is earned.
* SequelEscalation: Parodied during the BossBanter before the BonusBoss in the Japanese version.
-->"Gwahaha! That scene was a huge success! Regrettably, we haven't prepared the next scenario yet, but it'll be even more spectacular... ...maybe something like completely blowing up the puppet world!! Heady, my boy... I'll have you desperately fighting for your life again next time! Gahaha!"
* ShouldersOfDoom: Dark Demon has what appear to be green ''statues'' sprouting from the shoulders of his costume. ''Animated'' green statues.
* ShoutOut: In addition to the many SciFi-related puns the US version gave to level names (e.g. "Mad Mechs", "Terminate Her Too", etc.), the bosses are called ''Keymasters'', and one of them as seen below is the ''Gatekeeper''. [[Film/{{Ghostbusters}} Who ya gonna call?]]
* SmartBomb: Bomb Head, which doesn't harm you unless you're still wearing it when it goes off but does colossal damage to every enemy on the screen.
* SoundTest: This and a button configuration are all there is in the options menu. Useful for players of the international version who want to hear the full versions of songs that only play during cutscenes and are cut short without the Japanese version's dialogue.
* SpreadShot: Lotsa Heads fires three heads instead of one. Air Head is the approximate equivalent for [[UnexpectedShmupLevel Act 6]], firing bullets in three directions at once. Air Head is also the only shmup head that allows you to face backwards.
* SprintShoes: Super Head doubles Headdy's speed, as well as doubling his jump height and head-firing radius.
* TheStinger: Played with in that it's a boss fight, not a cutscene.
** Also played straight in the ending cutscene where [[SequelHook Trouble Bruin takes control of the ruined castle]].
* TakeThat: The Japanese version has a secret ending that lashes out against SequelStagnation and CashCowFranchise: [[spoiler: Headdy meets the creators of the game, who say they can't wait to make a sequel so they'll get more money by destroying Headdy's world even more! Headdy beats the crap out of them to ensure that there will never be a sequel and thus his world will be eternally safe]]. This is also a bit of a meta-reference, since {{Treasure}} are notoriously averse to sequels.
* ThemeNaming: Headdy has a detachable head. Fingy (Heather in the English version) has detachable fingers.
* ThisCannotBe: "[[LargeHam I CANNOT BELIEVE IT]]" (said by Dark Demon after beating most Keymasters)
* TimeStandsStill: The Ticker Head freezes everything except Headdy for about eight seconds.
* ToyTime: Due to the nature of the game's setting, all areas have a little bit of this, if only in the enemies (the [[BossBattle Keymasters]] are so named because they are giant wind-up toys, and plenty of {{Mooks}} have smaller keys), but the toy theme is especially strong in Act 2.
* UnexpectedShmupLevel: Act 6 is a flying level with a space shooter feel.
* TheUnfought: Heather beats one of the bosses for you; you never get to fight or even see her. Trouble Bruin also has a machine that you never fight because a Keymaster falls on it.
* UniqueEnemy: When you see one, there's a high chance you get a Secret Bonus Point for killing it.
* UnwinnableByMistake: If you're on the top-right corner of the screen after Baby Face, and you skip the tally screens as fast as possible, Headdy will not have enough time to go to his spot, and will stop midway, locking the game. You can also kill Clothes Encounters off-screen by landing the final blow with the Super Head. This would almost make the game unwinnable, if it weren't for the fact that, around 4 minutes later, everything returns to normal. Videos here: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ar7f8bkVCyE]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ElviLLHDY_Y]]
* UseYourHead: For combat, picking up objects, grabbing ledges, climbing walls, operating machinery, flying...pretty much everything that's not walking and jumping, really.
* ViolationOfCommonSense \ HeartIsAnAwesomePower: [[spoiler:Pin Head, the head that makes you tiny and decreases your firing radius, walking speed, and jump height accordingly, and usually leads to the safer, less rewarding path in the early game, but in a level near the end, it leads to a challenging path that ends with the only 2-up reward in the game, and it is very important against final boss.]]
* WarmupBoss: The first fight with Trouble Bruin, especially in the Japanese version where the balls of light don't do damage, though he's not a danger in the NA version either given he has 2 HP and you will have at least 14. Mad Dog, the boss of Act 2, probably counts as well; he has more health and a variety of attacks, but compared to the rest of the game, still a cakewalk, especially with all the goodies Headcase brings to the fight.
* LongSongShortScene: Trouble Bruin's / Maruyama's theme plays when he enters a scene. In the Japanese version, it continues to play during the storyline, but in the other version, there is no storyline, so the only way to hear it in full is through the sound test. The song uses a couple of voice samples that aren't anywhere else in the game. Also the music that plays when Dark Demon's castle is revealed, which is similarly cut short in the international version.
* WallCrawl: Spike Head grabs onto any surface as if it is Hangman and pulls Headdy's body along with it. The body doesn't stay there, though; it falls back down once it's been pulled. Repeated shots allow you to climb walls or cling to ceilings.
* WeaponsThatSuck: The Vacuum Head sucks in any items and enemies on the screen. It cannot be fired, though.
* WidgetSeries: It's a game set in a puppet show, starring a puppet with a detachable head. The Widgetiness is especially high in the Japanese version, which contains robot kabuki performers, a gigantic doll firing EyeBeams, a bright purple Trouble Bruin with a fixed grin (referred to as Maruyama), and bizarre dialogue.
* YourHeadASplode: What happens when you die. Also used to your advantage with Bomb Head.
* ZeroEffortBoss: You can't lose to the last stage of Baby Face, the [[ClippedWingAngel old man]]. If he ''does'' catch you... he dies of old age without doing any damage at all to you, and you win the fight. The only reason to try to avoid the hand is [[spoiler:to earn the Secret Bonus Point that appears if you deal enough damage to the old man head]].
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