[[caption-width-right:358:"I AM ONLY A MAN."]]

->I command destiny.\\
Technology is fleeting.\\
With rhythm comes responsibility.\\
I command rhythm.\\
By being, we are charged to command.\\
The subordinate is superior.\\
We are all commanders.\\
We are all on a [[TitleDrop BIT.TRIP]].
-->--'''''[=CommanderVideo=]''''', ''Magazine/NintendoPower'' Issue 244

->"It's a basic story. Life and death. It's the story of a human's life. You are nothing--or are you? And then you are, and then what do you do with your life? And then it ends. No one really knows before you're born and then you die. People have beliefs but nobody really knows."
-->--'''Alex Neuse'''

All right, let's put this as straight as possible: you are playing UsefulNotes/{{Atari 2600}} games [[WhatDoYouMeanItWasntMadeOnDrugs while high on acid]]. While listening to {{UsefulNotes/NES}} music. Nothing could be more awesome.

''BIT.TRIP'' is a series of [[RhythmGame rhythm games]], originally for UsefulNotes/{{WiiWare}}, developed by Gaijin Games (now known as Choice Provisions). The specific games are:
* ''BIT.TRIP BEAT'', is like a game of single-player ''Pong'' where you must defend the left side of the screen from an onslaught of bouncing squares (called "beats") using only a tiny paddle. Once you start to get the hang of things, the beats start moving faster, circling around in unpredictable patterns, and using every part of the game experience to issue a challenge of both real and FakeDifficulty, setting the tone for the series. Also available on UsefulNotes/{{Steam}} and {{iOS|Games}}.
* ''BIT.TRIP CORE'', was released four months after the first. It changes the control scheme around a little bit, ditching the ''Pong'' paddle and replacing it with a red D-pad in the center of the screen that shoots lasers at the passing beats. The third game available on UsefulNotes/{{Steam}}.
* ''BIT.TRIP VOID'', puts you in control of a black hole which can move around to suck up black beats and dodge white beats. It was released November 2009, making it the third ''BIT.TRIP'' game to be announced and released within the course of a year, and the [[http://www.destructoid.com/elephant/index-short.phtml?t=gaijin%20games mid point]] of the six game series as a whole.
* ''BIT.TRIP RUNNER'', breaks many established attributes of the series, and begins Gaijin's promise to turn down the MindScrew factor and begin to reveal the truth behind the plot. Released in June 2010, it is a platformer among the lines of ''VideoGame/VibRibbon'' and ''VideoGame/{{Canabalt}}''.[[note]]Despite the similarity to ''Canabalt'' [[EndlessRunningGame and games like it]], the concept for this game was established independently before images of those games were released.[[/note]] The second game available on Steam. [[http://www.runner2.com Now has a direct sequel]].
* ''BIT.TRIP FATE'' was released on October 25, 2010. It is a literal RailShooter, with the FiveManBand from the last game serving as powerups. It represented a merging of the literal and figurative aspects of the series, and is [[DarkerAndEdgier notably darker in theme than the others]].
* The sixth and final game, ''BIT.TRIP FLUX'', was released February 28, 2011. In essence it is a [[BookEnds horizontal reversal of the first game]], but with elements taken from each of the other games in the series.
* A SpinOff title, ''[[LongTitle BIT.TRIP Presents... Runner2: Future Legend Of Rhythm Alien]]'' (ported to [=iOS=] as ''BIT.TRIP RUN!''), was released early in 2013 and incorporates a [[ArtShift wildly different somewhat cartoony art style]].
** ''[=Runner2=]'', in turn, got a promotional web-based SpinOff titled ''[=CommanderVideo=]'', a ''[[VideoGame/{{Canabalt}} Canabalt]]''-style endless running game using the {{Retraux}} graphics from ''[=Runner2=]'''s Retro Challenges. However, the game has apparently been taken down, as its web address now redirects to the main ''BIT.TRIP'' website.
* In 2017, another SpinOff title was announced-- ''[=Runner3=]'', a followup game to ''[=Runner2=]'' for the UsefulNotes/NintendoSwitch!

A pair of [[CompilationRerelease Compilation Rereleases]], titled ''BIT.TRIP SAGA'' and ''BIT.TRIP COMPLETE'', are available for the UsefulNotes/Nintendo3DS and UsefulNotes/{{Wii}} respectively. The 3DS version is available as a digital download on the Nintendo eShop as well as a retail product, and features 3D, control changes to accomodate the lack of a Wiimote and of course, portability, while the Wii version features 3 difficulty levels, a soundtrack CD [[labelnote:*]] The 3DS version also came with a limited soundtrack provided it was [[PreorderBonus preordered]] online via Gamestop[[/labelnote]], online leaderboards, and other extras for fans who have followed the series the whole way through.

Another compilation of the six original games, titled ''The BIT.TRIP'', was released digitally on UsefulNotes/PlayStation4 and UsefulNotes/PlayStationVita as a cross-buy title in December 2015.

The initial hype for these games came from an online ViralMarketing campaign, encouraging users to try and decode hidden messages from a mysterious "[=CommanderVideo=]" entity. [=CommanderVideo=] is portrayed in the game's story cutscenes as a box/astronaut/television-like creature, and the story follows his adventures through space as he matures, assembles a FiveManBand, and beats up a gear robot to... uh... well, [[MindScrew nobody's really too sure]]. The series does have a plot, although a good deal of it is found AllThereInTheManual (which ''COMPLETE'' includes as in-game liner notes). It's mostly symbolic instead of literal in terms of storytelling, and it was only once the series was completed that people could reflect on the series as a whole for its meaning. [[spoiler: The final game is dedicated to Creator/CarlSagan as well, and in hindsight the series incorporates a lot of his philosophy]].

[=CommanderVideo=] has made appearances in several other games, including a playable appearance in ''Super VideoGame/MeatBoy.'' He also has the honor of being the first representation of an indie game in the ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros'' series, appearing as an unlockable trophy in ''Super Smash Bros. for Wii U''.

The games are critically acclaimed for their nostalgic retro quality, brutal but addictive difficulty, and [[CrowningMusicOfAwesome kickass soundtracks]] that [[VariableMix build themselves as the levels progress]].
!!Tropes that appear in the six original games:
%% Administrivia/ZeroContextExample entries are not allowed on wiki pages. All such entries have been commented out. Add context to the entries before uncommenting them.
%%* AllThereInTheManual: ''Confirming'' most of a certain WMG.
* AlternateRealityGame: The PC version of ''BEAT'' is one of the Potato Sack: 13 indie games that form the bulk of the material of Creator/{{Valve|Software}}'s "[[http://valvearg.com/wiki/Valve_ARG_Wiki PotatoFoolsDay]]" ''VideoGame/{{Portal 2}}'' ARG.
* ArchEnemy: Mingrawn Timbletot is this to [=CommanderVideo=]. [[spoiler:To a point where the commander wants him dead even if he'll also die in the process.]]
%%* ArcWords: "I am only a man"
* AscendedGlitch: In ''BEAT'', hitting the pong ball with the corners of Player 2's paddle will cause the ball to gain way too much momentum and go haywire, making the final boss trivial to beat. When the game was patched, Gaijin specifically didn't fix the bug because it was a "cool advanced technique".
* AWinnerIsYou: Parodied at the end of [[spoiler:''FLUX'']]: You are presented with [[spoiler:a GAME OVER screen]].
* BackForTheFinale: ''FLUX'' has many gameplay elements from all five of the previous games:
** From ''BEAT'': The core gameplay.
** From ''CORE'': Some of the power-ups.
** From ''VOID'': The inclusion of checkpoints and Beats that harm you if you try to repel them.
** From ''RUNNER'': Multiplier based on power level.
** From ''FATE'': Messages that fly by in the background of each stage segment.
* BonusStage: Collecting all pieces of gold in a stage in ''RUNNER'' will activate one at the end of said stage.
* BookEnds:
** The first and last games of the series, ''BEAT'' and ''FLUX'' respectively, have identical controls, but on opposite ends of the screen.
** The last background image seen in ''FLUX'' is [[spoiler:the giant blue ball that represents a heartbeat at the very beginning of ''BEAT'']]. [[spoiler:The comet from said song]] also makes an appearance as [[spoiler:it flies back to the blue ball]].
** The last level in [[spoiler:"FLUX", called Catharsis,]] uses the background from [[spoiler:the first level of "BEAT"]], except the imagery is updated, has some minor changes [[spoiler:(The Giant Ball is moved to the epilogue)]], and the imagery is played backwards.
** Every song in ''FLUX'' is based upon Transition, the first song in ''BEAT'', in some way. The opening theme is based upon Growth, the third song in ''BEAT'', as well as "Move to Intercept", the menu theme of that game (made by the same guy).
* BulletHell: ''BEAT'' and ''CORE'' are rare inversions where you must ''hit'' all the dots instead of dodging them. In ''VOID'' and ''FLUX'', you have to do ''both''. The final boss in ''VOID'' is also a textbook example of classic Bullet Hell. ''FATE'' is the straightest example, being an actual shoot 'em up, complete with tiny hitbox.
* CallBack: in the background of ''FLUX'' are the level names and other statements from previous games in the series, representing [[spoiler: [=CommanderVideo=] reflecting on his experiences]].
** CallForward: Some of the names are those of later stages in ''FLUX'', possibly to reinforce the non-linearity of time in the ethereal.
* CharacterDevelopment: [=CommanderVideo=] throughout the series.
* CheckpointStarvation: ''BEAT'' and ''CORE'' completely lack checkpoints, and with each stage being at least 15 minutes long, you'll lose a lot of time if you get a game over. The other games lessen the blow of this; ''VOID'' and ''FLUX'' have checkpoints you can return to, and ''RUNNER'' and ''FATE'' have shorter stages that add up to the same amount of time as the standard three stages do.
* ChekhovsGunman: In ''RUNNER'', Junior Melchkin, Radbot, and VideoGame/MeatBoy each appear in the background once (the former two appearing in the levels named after themselves, the latter in "Gall Blaster"). Eventually, they all show up in "The Source", assisting in [=CommanderVideo=]'s RoofHopping. [=CommandgirlVideo=] also shows up in this level, though it isn't until after the level that [=CommanderVideo=] takes notice...
** Mingrawn Timbletot, also introduced in ''RUNNER'', first shows up in Impetus as a normal boss, and most players are probably going to forget about him. Then he shows up as Triumph's boss, and the game's ending makes it clear that he's the BigBad for the rest of the series.
* ColorCodedMultiplayer: Played straight in ''BEAT'' and ''CORE'', but averted in ''VOID'' (the players are identified by the number next to their Void instead). There was no multiplayer in ''RUNNER'', but it returns later in the series.
* ContinuingIsPainful: If you die in ''VOID'', you have the choice between accepting your current score for the high score list, or losing all your points to continue.
* CoOpMultiplayer: With four players in ''BEAT'' and ''VOID'' and two players in ''CORE'', ''FATE'', and ''FLUX''. ''BEAT'', ''CORE'', ''VOID'', and ''FLUX'' are all individual-style, while ''FATE'' is assistant-style. Averted in ''RUNNER'' for storyline reasons and averted completely in ''SAGA'', likely out of space concerns.
* CosmeticAward: The "PERFECT!" acknowledgment on the scoreboard. This does extend to real life as getting the elusive title gives you [[http://commandervideo.com/perfects.html name recognition on the official site]].
%%* CrapsackWorld: [[CrapSaccharineWorld Triumph]] in ''RUNNER'', and all of ''FATE''.
%%* {{Crossover}}: VideoGame/MeatBoy and Mr. Robotube.
* DarkerAndEdgier: ''FATE''. The environments are considerably emptier and darker, the music is more sparse and generally deeper and less energetic, the game is more action-based with less rhythm elements, and the plot focuses on [=CommanderVideo=]'s SanitySlippage while trying to fight through Timbletot's forces.
* DeathIsASlapOnTheWrist: In ''RUNNER'', hitting an obstacle just sends you back to the start of the (rather short) level. You even get an [[CosmeticAward achievement]] for exploiting this:
-->'''EVERYONE.PLAYED [[{{Videogame/Braid}} BRAID]]'''
-->Bonk after missing a Gold Bar to rewind time and try again
* DifficultyLevels: The {{iOS|Games}}, PC and ''COMPLETE'' versions have an Easy Mode and a Hard Mode, which influence how fast the meters going both ways fill.
* DistaffCounterpart: [=CommanderVideo=] gets one in ''RUNNER''. She's even named "[=CommandgirlVideo=]".
* DownloadableContent:
** The [=iOS=] version of ''BEAT'' currently has a level pack based on ''VOID''.
** ''[=Runner2=]'' has additional characters from other games in the Good Friends Character Pack, consisting of [[VideoGame/{{Psychonauts}} Razputin]], [[VideoGame/CaveStory Quote]], [[VideoGame/MeatBoy Doctor Fetus]], [[VideoGame/{{Machinarium}} Josef]], [[VideoGame/{{Spelunky}} Spelunky Guy]], and the Steam-exclusive [[VideoGame/{{Portal2}} Atlas]].
* DownerEnding:
** ''FATE'' is the clearest one, ending with [[spoiler:[=CommanderVideo=]'s rage getting the best of him, causing him to sacrifice himself just to finish off Timbletot. The Commander's friends weep as his ghost floats off to start the events of ''FLUX''.]]
** [[spoiler: ''FLUX'']] somewhat as well; the final scene [[spoiler:of the series]] has the Commander [[spoiler:forgetting even himself]], but then again there's that bit of [[RecurringRiff "Transition"]] that pops up.
* DroppedABridgeOnHim: In the first cutscene of ''FATE'' alone, [[spoiler:Radbot]] apparently stops working altogether, and his head splits apart, [[spoiler: revealing Mr. Robotube]].
* EasterEgg:
** There's actually a GameOver in ''RUNNER'', though it requires a completely EpicFail on your part. It involves not jumping when you have to [[spoiler:GoombaStomp the final boss]].
** You can play random notes in all the games by pressing a button that isn't used for any purpose in that game.
* EasyLevelsHardBosses: ''VOID'' and ''FATE'' have harder bosses than levels.
* EasyModeMockery: In ''RUNNER'', playing on Easy removes the gold and Retro Challenges, and makes it impossible to get a Perfect.
* EverythingsBetterWithRainbows: ''BIT.TRIP''[='=]s rainbow has a distinctly different color arrangement.
* EverythingsBetterWithSparkles: As you Mode Up in ''RUNNER'', [=CommanderVideo=] will leave behind a trail of sparkles, which eventually becomes his distinctive rainbow trail.
* TheEndOfTheBeginning: Level 1-10 of ''RUNNER'' is titled this. Later in the game, there are also stages titled "Middle of the Middle" and "Beginning of the End"
* ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin: It's like an acid trip. And, somewhere, bits are involved. Made even more hilarious in ''FLUX'', which gets ''binary digits'' involved.
* FadeToWhite: At the end of ''FLUX''. You keep playing but ultimately have to stop because [[spoiler:you can't see (the beats and panel are both white in this game)]]. And then you hear [[spoiler: Transition start]].
* FinalExamBoss: ''CORE'''s final boss is essentially a test of how well you remembered specific patterns in all of the levels.
%%* FiveManBand: TheStinger in ''RUNNER'' pretty much solidifies it.
* FlashOfPain: The enemies in ''FATE'' flash red when hit.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: The explanatory letters in COMPLETE reveal that [[spoiler:the ghostly figures in the first level of ''BEAT'' are dead members of [=CommanderVideo=]'s species, returning to where they came from. This is exactly what he does in ''FLUX''.]]
* GetBackHereBoss: The final boss of ''RUNNER'' has you chasing Timbletot over roof buildings, until you reach a spring at the very end [[spoiler:that allows [=CommanderVideo=] to GoombaStomp him]].
* GoombaStomp: How [=CommanderVideo=] defeats [[spoiler:the final boss in ''RUNNER''.]]
* HardLevelsEasyBosses: ''BEAT'', ''RUNNER'' and ''FLUX'' have easier bosses than levels; ''RUNNER'' even makes it more or less impossible to not get a perfect on them.
* HardModePerks: In ''FLUX'', playing on Hard increases the amount of Beats missed required to drop a level. This was the result of a bug in ''COMPLETE'', and does not appear in other versions.
%%* TheHeroDies: Commandergirl Video cries for you
* HeWhoFightsMonsters; ''FATE'' focuses on how [=CommanderVideo=]'s increasing anger at Timbletot is causing him to forget his belief in ThePowerOfLove. [[spoiler:By the end of the game, he is hell-bent on killing Timbletot, even if it means killing himself in the process]].
* HitboxDissonance: In ''FATE'', bullets pass through [=CommanderVideo=] unless they hit his Core.
* {{Homage}}:
** The boss of each song simulates an old UsefulNotes/{{Atari 2600}} or Arcade game. ''BEAT'' had a sideways game of ''VideoGame/BreakOut'' and an ''actual game of VideoGame/{{Pong}} against an AI'', and ''CORE'' had strange versions of ''VideoGame/MissileCommand'' and ''VideoGame/{{Asteroids}}''.
** Each stage in ''RUNNER'' has a respective [[BonusStage "retro stage"]] that resembles VideoGame/{{Pitfall}}.
* TheHomewardJourney: The premise of ''FLUX''; [[spoiler:A dead [=CommanderVideo=] returning to the place where he started life]].
* HundredPercentCompletion:
** It's a little known fact that hitting ''all'' the beats in a single song will get you acknowledgment at the score screen. Though, it's no surprise not many people have seen it.
** ''COMPLETE'' has a hundred and twenty Challenges (twenty in each game) to play through. It also has plenty of unlockables... of which the Songs require you to get Perfects.
* IdiosyncraticComboLevels: The music in each game changes slightly depending on combo, in addition to the names of the extra modes, which banana slamma in sequence based on some level of combo. NETHER is the lowest, HYPER is normal, then MEGA, SUPER, ULTRA, EXTRA, GIGA, and META, with SUPER onwards being added in each subsequent game.
* InterfaceScrew:
** The trippy background images are enough to distract you from the field of play. This is completely intentional.
** In the "Challenge" portions of ''BEAT'', ''CORE'', ''VOID'', and ''FLUX'', your paddle is shrunk down to half-size, your Control Stick is reversed, or you have to ''rotate the actual controller 90 degrees around the Control Pad to match what's onscreen''.
* LargeHam: [=CommanderVideo=] himself. Listen closely in ''RUNNER'' and ''FATE''. [=CommanderVideo=] announces the mode he transitions to.
* LeitMotif:
** An identical-sounding heartbeat-like bass track is present in many of the series' songs, including Transition, Control, Id, and nearly everything in ''RUNNER''.
** [=CommanderVideo=] has a theme song that plays in the first world of RUNNER, [[spoiler:the end of ''FATE'' and the final level of ''FLUX''.]] The distinctive first four notes play in varying orders in the first level of ''BEAT'' and [[spoiler:in the first cutscene of ''FLUX'']]. All of ''FLUX''[='s=] level songs are based around [[spoiler:''BEAT''[='s=] first level's music]]. On ''FLUX''[='s=] full soundtrack, the notes play in the correct order one last time [[spoiler:at the very, very end.]]
%%* LoveAtFirstSight: [=CommanderVideo=] and [=CommandgirlVideo=].
* MindScrew: The ''whole freaking thing''. The first game's story is about [=CommanderVideo=] flying through space, exploring the inside of a planet, and then... uh... building a brain out of voxels. The second game is about [=CommanderVideo=] meeting other people, exploring a city with them, and then acquiring independence from them. The third game had [=CommanderVideo=] [[AttackOfTheFiftyFootWhatever growing in size]] and harassing the populace until they combine themselves into an even bigger giant, at which point the Commander is intimidated down to size and [[DefeatMeansFriendship decides to make amends with the others]]. What does it all mean? Your guess is as good as mine. Fortunately, starting with ''BIT.TRIP RUNNER'', the series stopped messing with people's minds for the most part and showed them what's really going on. At least until ''FLUX'', where the game returns to oblique symbolic metaphors, once again leaving everyone clueless.
* MindScrewdriver:
** The readme files for the soundtracks have some interesting hints: that ''BEAT'' is about [=CommanderVideo=]'s "aural journey from the ethereal to the corporeal", that ''CORE'' is about his "aural soul quest as he transitions into the land of the tactile", that ''VOID'' is about his "aural soul quest as he learns what it means to interact with others", and that ''RUNNER'' is about him "tak[ing] the world by storm." Indeed, if the story is considered to be a chronicle of a man's existence, [[WMG/BitTrip a lot of things suddenly start to make sense.]]
** Alex Neuse, the game's creator, has confirmed that Commander Video's story is about the development of human life.
* MinecartMadness: ''RUNNER'' and [=Runner2=] have continuous moving and obstacles to avoid and things to collect, despite not involving mines or carts.
* MusicalGameplay:
** Hitting the Beats (or doing successful actions in ''RUNNER'' or downing enemies in ''FATE'') makes beeping noises that contributes to the music.
** In ''BEAT'' and ''FLUX'', stereo is utilized by playing one blip on your paddle's side when it hits, then another on the other side when it goes off-screen.
* MusicalNod: "Transition" from ''BEAT'' briefly plays during the opening to ''RUNNER''[='=]s "Triumph" stage. A bit from the "Concept" cutscene from ''BEAT'' also plays in the cutscene after "Triumph".
* NintendoHard:
%%** Hmm, would ''Atari'' Hard count?
** There's a very good reason why they go through the trouble of including everyone who's ever gotten a "PERFECT!" on a stage on their website.
** Of all of the games, ''FATE'' and ''CORE'' are quite a bit harder than the rest.
* OneHitPointWonder:
** Subverted in ''RUNNER'', where [=CommanderVideo=] can only take one hit, but is merely sent to the beginning of the stage.
** Unless you miss the final spring in the last level, after which you get to watch the Commander twitch on the ground until the GameOver screen pops up.
* PixelHunt:
** Happens often with Beats due to the InterfaceScrew. And you only have about half a second to catch sight of that little thing anyways.
** Possibly made worse in ''FLUX'' since every single beat is the same color--white. (However, given that the background gets increasingly bright and colorful with each Mode, this can become a bit of a mercy.) They ''do'' have a faint colored glow around each one, but good luck seeing which one's which.
* PowerOfLove: The Commander and his team believe this fighting Mingrawn Timbletot. During ''FATE'', the Commander [[spoiler:abandons his ideals and kills both himself and Mingrawn Timbletot in a rage]].
* ProductPlacement:
** NULLSLEEP's logo appears as part of Super-Ego's beat pattern in ''VOID'', accompanied by the word NULLSLEEP passing by in the background.
* PunctuatedForEmphasis:
** The end of ''VOID'' has [=CommanderVideo=] exclaiming, "I! Am! READY!"
** Also, Mingrawn Timbletot caps off ''RUNNER'' by darkly declaring, "You... are... not... a... ''man!''"
* RailShooter: Literally in ''FATE'' -- [=CommanderVideo=] is on a rail, and you control both him and a crosshair.
* RayGun: Most prominently in ''FATE'', coming in many forms depending on what wingmate powerup you have and your Mode; (though not with sound effects or (except in a [[FrickinLaserBeams few cases]]) traditional "laser weapon" looks) the enemies use this as well. [[BulletHell Gratuitously.]]
* RecurringBoss: Mingrawn Timbletot is fought twice in ''RUNNER'', and once in ''FATE''.
* {{Retraux}}: The base parts of the game have a pixel are style, and are reminiscent of Atari graphics. Anything not designed like that is made of voxels instead.
* RhythmGame: The games' genre is filed under "Retro Rhythm Action".
* RobotBuddy: Radbot and Mr. Robotube both.
* RoofHopping: Present in ''RUNNER''. [[http://www.bitmob.com/articles/origin-stories-bittrip-runner According to this review]], this was going to be the entirety of "Triumph", but the guys at Gaijin discovered ''VideoGame/{{Canabalt}}'' and relocated most of the action to the streets of the capital, only hitting the roofs at the very last level.
* RuleOfThree: There are three songs in each game: ''BEAT'' had "Transition", "Descent", and "Growth"; ''CORE'' had "Discovery", "Exploration", and "Control"; ''VOID'' had "Id", "Ego", and "Super-Ego"; ''RUNNER'' had "Impetus", "Tenacity", and "Triumph"; ''FATE'' has [[ThisIsGonnaSuck "Patience", "Frustration", and "Anger"]]; and ''FLUX'' had "Epiphany", "Perception" and "Catharsis".
* RunningGag: [[http://www.vimeo.com/2576444 "I am only a man!"]] seems to be this:
** Seen in Triumph are posters with cats that read "I am only a cat." It's actually available as fan-made merchandise.
** From the [=PotatoFoolsDay=] level "":
--->[[spoiler:[[VideoGame/{{Portal}} GLaDos]]]]: "You are only human."
** "I Am Only a Man" is a title of one of the songs from ''[=Runner2=]''.
* ScareChord: While you are playing the first two levels in ''FATE'', a startlingly loud sound is heard accompanied by either a bleak message like "NO FUTURE" or "NO MEANING", or the level's boss, and the song itself moves onto its next part. The same thing happens in the other four levels, only the sound isn't abruptly loud.
* SchizophrenicDifficulty: Granted you play multiple times, some parts will become simple, while others will screw you up every damn time. For specific examples of levels, see the BreatherLevel and ThatOneLevel examples.
* ScoringPoints: One of the taglines for ''BEAT'' was "Points matter again". (Though, for rhythm games, didn't they always?)
* SequelDifficultySpike: Thoroughly averted. They're ''all'' hard.
* SequelEscalation: Each game so far adds a new Mode to Mode Up into. Nether, Hyper, and Mega Modes were the first ones featured in ''BEAT'', then ''CORE'' added Super Mode, followed by Ultra Mode in ''VOID'', Extra Mode in ''RUNNER'', Giga Mode in ''FATE'', and finally Meta Mode in ''FLUX''. Yet another instance of the games' IdiosyncraticComboLevels.
* SequelHook:
** The first two games had these as {{Meaningful Background Event}}s, as a Core and a Void both popped up towards the end of the final levels in ''BEAT'' and ''CORE'', respectively. The third game had [=CommanderVideo=] running [[SuperSpeed increasingly fast]] in TheStinger of ''VOID'' to tie into ''RUNNER''. As well as the subsequent "[[LargeHam I..am... READY!!]]" following said running.
** The floating bricks and the flapping birds/bats in the background near the end of ''VOID'' also hold significance to both ''RUNNER'' and ''FATE''. (They're similar to the flies around the garbage seen in Triumph for ''RUNNER''.)
** The fourth game had the FiveManBand shown in TheStinger confronting an angry Mingrawn Timbletot, who flies away screaming "YOU ARE NOT A MAN!"
** And the fifth game has [=CommanderVideo=] becoming a spirit and rising up offscreen, ready to AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence and begin TheHomewardJourney. No dialogue here, unlike the others.
** The sixth game has [[spoiler: a sequence called "Home" played after completing Catharsis, where you are able to, interspersedly, hit the same sequence of Beats from the very beginning of Transition from ''BEAT'', in the same order]]. Seeing as the game's story goes in a circle, this could count as a SequelHook of sorts.
** RUNNER 2 sets up FATE, with Commander Video [[spoiler:becoming increasingly angered at Mingrawn Timbletot]], and having his visor turn red after [[spoiler:escaping the alternate universe he's been trapped in for fifteen months (although it appeared that he was only gone for a split second to everyone else.)]]
* SheatheYourSword: In an incredibly meta example, ''FLUX'' literally makes [[spoiler:the player do this at the end.]]
* ShoutOut: The [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arecibo_message Arecibo message]] makes an appearance in the first level in ''BEAT'' (but with [=CommanderVideo=] replacing the human figure). It also makes a brief appearance in the final level of ''FLUX''.
** ''BEAT'''s second and third bosses are games of ''VideoGame/{{Breakout}}'' and ''VideoGame/{{Pong}}'' respectively.
** ''CORE'''s second and third bosses are based on ''VideoGame/MissileCommand'' and ''VideoGame/{{Asteroids}}'' respectively.
** ''VOID'''s first and second bosses are based on ''VideoGame/SpyHunter'' and ''VideoGame/PacMan'' respectively.
** ''RUNNER'' has the level names [[Franchise/TombRaider Crater Raider]] and [[VideoGame/SewerShark Sewer Snark]].
** [=CommanderVideo=]'s form in the cutscenes of ''FLUX'' resembles the freeform pointer of the UsefulNotes/MagnavoxOdyssey.
%%* SilentCredits: ''FLUX''.
* SomeDexterityRequired: While the controls are simple enough, the ''things the game makes you do with them'' can only be described as combos from hell. Add to that the fact that ''BEAT'' and ''FLUX'' use non-optional motion controls- the muscle memory has to be all in your wrists.
* SpecialGuest: Each game has a chiptune artist that provides the menu and credits songs. Both ''BEAT'' and ''FLUX'' have [[http://bit.shifter.net/ Bit Shifter]] (he only made the menu music for the latter, however, as it has SilentCredits instead), ''CORE'' has [[http://www.bubblyfish.com Bubblyfish]], ''VOID'' has [[http://www.nullsleep.com Nullsleep]], ''RUNNER'' has Music/{{Anamanaguchi}}, and ''FATE'' has [[http://www.minusbaby.com/ Minusbaby]].
* {{Spinoff}}: ''[[http://robotubegames.com/bittonik-blip-fest-09-gaijinrobotube-battle-brands BIT.TONIK]]'', a collaboration between Gaijin Games and Robotube Games, made in a single day during Blip Fest 2009 in what was called the "[[http://www.gaijingames.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/blipfestflyer.jpg BATTLE OF THE BRANDS]]". The gameplay is essentially a crossover of ''BIT.TRIP BEAT'' and ''Bloktonik''. The ObviousBeta version available is what they managed to get done in a single day.
* SpringsSpringsEverywhere: In ''RUNNER''.
* SpritePolygonMix: The playing field is simple 2D, the backgrounds are all 3D environments. (Except for ''VOID'', but its cutscenes still feature them.) Averted in ''RUNNER''[='=]s Retro Stages, which are solely 2D.
%%* SuicideAttack: [[spoiler:[=CommaderVideo=]'s FinishingMove on the Mingrawn Timbletot]] in ''FATE''.
%%* TakingYouWithMe
* TertiarySexualCharacteristics: [=CommandgirlVideo=] is a pink [=CommanderVideo=] with a box and mole. That's all for differences between them. This doesn't apply in ''Runner2'', however.
* TennisBoss:
%%** The final boss of ''BEAT'', and the first boss of ''FLUX''.
** The final boss of FLUX has you playing tennis with [[spoiler:a full-screen enemy paddle... or, arguably, fighting ''yourself'' as the final boss.]]
* ThemeNaming: Every game name except ''RUNNER'' and ''COMPLETE'' is only 4 characters long. In addition, most of them are pretty descriptive of gameplay: ''RUNNER'' is about... [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin running]], ''VOID'' has you controlling a movable black hole, and so on.
* TonightSomeoneDies: ''FATE'' seems to have this going on -- even [[http://www.bittripgame.com/images/box-FATE.png the WiiWare icon for the game]] has BlackBlood dripping from it. And for even more credence, ''RUNNER''[='=]s [[TheStinger stinger]] had the BigBad [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZI21HtsIzic wishing death upon CommanderVideo]]. And [[spoiler:the Commander does die]] at the end of the game [[spoiler:in a Suicide Attack]].
* UnexpectedGameplayChange: ''BEAT'' has you playing a game of ''VideoGame/BreakOut'' for one boss and an ''authentic game of VideoGame/{{Pong}}'' for another, at which points the rhythm aspect of the game would be completely set aside. Though if you listen closely, the bouncing of the ball from the walls and paddles does kinda follow the rhythm.
* VariableMix:
** The music gets a techno beat if you're in "Mega" mode (and above). If you go down to "Nether" mode, the music is turned off completely.
** In games after ''BEAT'', "Nether" has a metronome to help you out.
** In ''FLUX'', the music doesn't change, but instead the instrument used when Beats hit the paddle and leave the screen change - all the way up to a ''violin'' in Meta mode.

!!Tropes that appear in the spinoffs:
Note that almost all gameplay-related tropes in ''RUNNER'' also apply here.
* AddedAlliterativeAppeal: The narrator is fond of this, especially in the intro.
-->'''Narrator:''' When last we left [=CommanderVideo=], his courageous contingent of charismatic compatriots...
* AmbidextrousSprite: In the final level, the character runs left instead of right. Despite the game being three-dimensional, their models are flipped.
* AndYourRewardIsClothes: There are forty unlockable costumes to collect from treasure chests.
* AnthropomorphicFood: [[UnfortunateNames Whetfahrt]] Cheesebörger, an unlockable character, is a person with a hamburger head.
** Unkle Dill is more so, being a man-sized anthromorphic pickle.
* ArtShift: Unlike the other games, Runner2's art style is much more cartoony. Even the "retro" stages have a different art style, leaning more towards late-era NES games.
* AsHimself: Creator/CharlesMartinet, who serves as TheNarrator. In [=Runner3=], he gets PromotedToPlayable as a cartoon caricature of himself.
* BadSanta: The boss of Foodland is a robotic Santa Claus obsessed with meat products named Sausage Santa.
* BigfootSasquatchAndYeti: Bigfoot appears in daisy dukes in one level of World 3.
* BleakLevel: The Mounting Sadds. While the first three worlds are bright and happy with very active backgrounds, The Mounting Sadds is primarily red, black, and grey, the background is mostly just blank mountains, and the only entities besides Timbletot's minions are the hill creatures from the Welkin Wonderland, locked up with sad looks on their faces. Considering the "earth lurching" billboards seen a few times, it's possible that is was a much happier place until Timbletot arrived.
** ''[=Runner3=]'' one-ups it with Spookyland, which features, among other things, oversized pulsating worms and giant screaming doll heads.
* BossBanter: Sausage Santa taunts the player with hot dog puns all throughout his battle.
-->'''Sausage Santa:''' I WILL RELISH YOUR DEMISE!
* BossSubtitles: Every boss in ''[=Runner3=]'' gets some.
* BrickJoke: A [[http://vimeo.com/13117773 video by Gaijin]] after the release of ''RUNNER'' was a PSA about the spelling of the series, as well as people calling [=CommanderVideo=] "[=CaptainVideo=]" instead. Come ''[=Runner2=]'', and [=CaptainVideo=] is an actual playable runner.
* CallBack: The BIT.TRIP in ''[=Runner2=]'' is chock full of references to ''BEAT'', ''CORE'', and ''VOID''. You can even see scenes from those games float by in the background of certain levels.
** "The Milky Way" in ''[=Runner3=]'' features a giant fish that leaps from the background into the foreground, similar to the ones found in Tenacity in ''RUNNER''.
* TheCameo: [[Franchise/TheSlenderManMythos Slender Man]] appears in the background of one level.
* CloudCuckooLand: Most worlds in the game are full of rather bizarre creatures, things that shouldn't have faces having them, and extremely odd geometry. The Supernature is the most apparent about it, hosting many urban legend creatures and having trees, mountains, and celestial objects bearing faces. In-story, the justification is that [=CommanderVideo=] was sent to the game's world by being hit with a "reality unfusion beam".
* CosmeticAward: You can get various [[AndYourRewardIsClothes costumes]] for all of the characters save one.
* {{Crossover}}: The "Good Friends" DLC lets the player play as seven new characters. The characters are [[{{VideoGame/CaveStory}} Quote]], [[VideoGame/{{Spelunky}} Spelunky Guy]], [[VideoGame/{{Machinarium}} Josef]], [[VideoGame/MeatBoy Dr. Fetus]], [[{{VideoGame/Psychonauts}} Razputin]], [[SelfImposedChallenge an invisible CommanderVideo]], and [[VideoGame/{{Portal 2}} Atlas]] (UsefulNotes/{{Steam}} only).
** [=Runner3=] features [[VideoGame/ShovelKnight Shovel Knight]], [[VideoGame/BrutalLegend Eddie Riggs]], and [[VideoGame/WoahDave Dave]].
* DeathIsASlapOnTheWrist: If you are "bonked", you are just flung to the beginning of the level or a checkpoint.
* DemotedToExtra: Meat Boy, Radbot, and Junior Melchkin appear twice in the game; in the opening, and in the ending. Even in the "Good Friends" DLC, Meat Boy is forgotten in exchange for Dr. Fetus, his arch-nemesis.
* DenserAndWackier
* DifficultyLevels: There's three; "Quite Easy", "Just Right", and "Rather Hard". They change the amount of obstacles in a level, and beating every level with a Perfect+ on all three difficulties can unlock an achievement on some platforms.
* DiscoDan: Whetfahrt Cheesebörger, unlockable in the Supernature. The end of the disco era forced Cheesebörger to serve as a mascot for Burger Mouth.
* EasyModeMockery: Playing more than 50 levels on Easy no longer counts for any rewards. However, aside from that, it's possible to get a Perfect+ and retro cartridges and progress in the game on Easy.
* EverythingsSquishierWithCephalopods: There are enormous lavender octopi in the Welkin Wonderland.
* FantasticNatureReserve: The Supernature is a forest [[BlatantLies housing many common animal species]], such as living trees, kasa-obake, Bigfoot, and Slender Man.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: Commander Video's eyes briefly glow red in the ending, the first hint at his FATE.
* GagBoobs: In her 3D appearance, [=CommandgirlVideo=] has an pretty large set of them. Note that she's also a pink alien-like creature with a cylinder-shaped body and a white rectangle for a face.
* GagPenis: Reverse Merman has an impressive set of testicles. One can say that they're [[VisualPun fish balls]].
* GangplankGalleon: The Emerald Brine consists mostly of running across docks above the ocean, and ships can be walked on in several levels.
* GravityIsAHarshMistress: Happen in one cutscene to [=CommanderVideo=], as he "[[VisualPun realizes the gravity of the situation]]".
* GreenAesop: A mild one: As the player progresses through [[TheLostWoods the Supernature]], there are fewer and fewer standing trees, and the last few levels show a lot of lumber and stumps. Apparently Mingrawn Timbletot's doing all the cutting. Defeating the boss awards the achievement "Super Tree Hugger". In the Mounting Sadds, the later levels have "Timdustries Earth Lurching: A Lot Now, Nothing for the Future!"
* GrindBoots: The player has no trouble with grinding across the many rails in the game with their feet. Or their hands.
* HeavyMetalUmlaut: One of Commander Video's costumes in ''Runner 2'' is called Gettin Schlörtzed, named for one of the "brought to you by" brands. There's an unlockable character from World 3 called Whetfahrt Cheesebörger, too.
* {{Homage}}: Some stages contain a retro cartridge, which takes the runner to a retro level that resembles VideoGame/{{Pitfall}}.
* HundredPercentCompletion: There are 100 levels in three difficulties and the possibility of a Perfect+ in each. Also, collecting all the retro game cartridges unlocks the final character. On Steam, getting every Perfect+ awards an achievement.
* IdiosyncraticComboLevels: The music changes slightly depending on combo, in addition to the names of the extra modes, which banana slamma in sequence based on some level of combo. The player begins with HYPER and reaches MEGA, SUPER, ULTRA, and EXTRA with each core collected.
* InterfaceScrew: The player is used to playing by running to the right, but the final level has the character running to the left, which takes getting used to.
* {{Interquel}}: Gaijin Games have [[https://twitter.com/#!/GaijinGames/status/123913099551064064 stated on Twitter]] that [=Runner2=] takes place between ''RUNNER'' and ''FATE''. [[spoiler: In fact, given the YearInsideHourOutside nature of the dimension he was trapped in, Runner 2 happens within a single instant in the middle of the ending cutscene to RUNNER]]
* {{Karakasa}}: ''Kasa-obake'' appear in the Supernature. They even have a level named after them.
* LemonyNarrator: The narrator enjoys using SesquipedalianLoquaciousness and AddedAlliterativeAppeal as he tells the story, among other quirks.
* LethalLavaLand: The Mounting Sadds is a mountainous, volcanic region, although you never come close to any lava.
* LevelAte: ''[=Runner3=]'' features the aptly-named "Foodland", made entirely of food.
* LevelsTakeFlight: The Welkin Wonderland takes place in the sky on flying platforms.
* TheLostWoods: The Supernature is a densely-wooded forest with plenty of strange creature in it.
* LighterAndSofter: ''[=Runner2=]'' is very brightly-colored, has a simple and mostly-positive plot, and is much less symbolism-heavy than the main series. Note that this game came out after ''FATE'' and ''FLUX'', the darkest and saddest games in the series, and chronologically takes place before either of them.
* MechaMooks: Timbletot has flooded the stages of the game with his robotic minions. They can't really attack, but they're impervious to anything the Commander can toss at them.
* MarathonLevel: The penultimate level, "Only A Man," is so long that it is the only non-boss level to have more than one checkpoint; it has three.
* MeaningfulName: Pitazo's name means "whistle" or similar in Spanish. Pitazo is a train whistle-based robot. To make the reference clearer, he gets a Spanish-based costume.
* MeaninglessLives: Retro levels give you three lives to win, and losing them all gives you a game over... where you can select the retro level directly from the map and try again. It would have an effect if the level had checkpoints, but there are no checkpoints in retro levels.
* {{Metaphorgotten}}: On a story-wide scale. The other six games are, according to WordOfGod, a metaphor for a human's life cycle. With these games' cartoony atmosphere, humorous characters, and overall tongue-in-cheek attitude, it's hard to see how it fits into the metaphor.
* MythologyGag: The subtitle for [=Runner2=] is a direct translation of TheForeignSubtitle for the original BIT.TRIP RUNNER's Japanese release.
* NonStandardCharacterDesign: Each of the characters have a colored trail which usually reflects what color their default appearance is. Captain Video's trail is normally blue, but he has one costume that gives him a red screen and TronLines and a miniature red cross which gives him a red trail.
* NostalgiaLevel: [[spoiler:The final world, appropriately titled ''The BIT.TRIP'', has a look based on the first world of ''RUNNER'' combined with the new cartoony art style, with scenes from the first three games in the background.]]
* OhCrap: The Timbletot gives one of these expressions near the end of its boss battle in ''[=Runner3=]''.
* OneHitPointWonder: Subverted, where [=CommanderVideo=] can only take one hit, but is merely sent to the beginning of the stage or a checkpoint.
* OurMermaidsAreDifferent: Reverse Merman, an unlockable character in the Emerald Brine, has the head and torso of a fish.
* OurSloganIsTerrible: ''[=Runner2=]'' plays a little "this episode provided by" spoof whenever you start up the game, with all of them being silly.
-->''"Shorty's Milk Brine. It could be worse."''
-->''"Schlörtz Premium Malt Fluid: It's Wet!"''
** The billboards in World 4 have this gem: "Timdustries Earth Lurching: A Lot Now, Nothing for the Future!"''
* PaperThinDisguise: "Cheesethröat," the mysterious informant that warns [=CommanderVideo=] and [=CommandGirlVideo=] of Timbletot's return at the beginning of ''[=RUNNER3=]'', is very clearly just Whetfahrt Cheesebörger with a trenchcoat and fake mustache.
* PerpetualFrowner: Pitazo has some sort of not-smile on his face while running. In his results screen silhouette, however, he is smiling.
* PortalDoor: In a cutscene, a door labeled "Broom Closet" takes the Commander to [[spoiler:[[NostalgiaLevel The BIT.TRIP]]]].
* ProductPlacement: Parodied; there's a fake product advertisement when the player starts the game.
* PromotedToPlayable: [=CommandgirlVideo=] gets a playable appearance in this game, and is the only one of the Commander's original friends to do so.
** [=Runner3=] features by far the most bizarre example: Creator/CharlesMartinet himself goes from narrator to playable character!
* PunBasedTitle: Many of the level titles are puns or {{Shout Out}}s, or both, like "Crate Expectations", "Tern n' Cough", and "Dubbed Steppes".
* RankInflation: In ''[=Runner2=]'', if you get a Perfect by collecting all the gold in a level, you get to shoot the Commander at a target for bonus points. Hit the center and you'll get a Perfect+. Get a Perfect+ on multiple difficulty levels for a Double or Triple Perfect+. Yikes!
* RealIsBrown: Mentioned in [=Runner2=] in a loading screen message: ''"Believe it or not, not every game [[TakeThat has to be brown]]!"''
* RecurringBoss: Timbletot was really only fought thrice in the original series (one of which was more of a chase that a fight). Here, he's ''every'' boss in the game, each time in a different vehicle.
* {{Retraux}}: While the game has 3D models as a departure from the main series' art style, retro levels return from ''RUNNER''. This time, they're more 16-bit, and star [=CommanderVideo=]'s design for ''RUNNER''. [[spoiler:Speaking of which, beating all the retro levels allows Retro [=CommanderVideo=] to be used in the main game]].
** [[spoiler:The BIT.TRIP has everything in the game that isn't a the player or Timbletot become voxel-based versions of themselves, and the background is the same way, even showing recreations of past BIT.TRIP games.]]
* RobotBuddy: With Radbot absent, the role is taken by Pitazo, who has a train whistle for a head.
* ShoutOut:
** One of [=CommanderVideo's=] costumes is "Mac Daddy". [[VideoGame/PunchOut It gives him a pink jogging suit and green boxing gloves.]]
** Another one of his costumes is the "Power Mitten", which is a clear one to the Power Glove.
** A [=CommandgirlVideo=] costume is the "Riveting Laborer", which is one to Rosie the Riveter.
* SimonSaysMinigame: The boss fight in "Timbletrot"; the pipe machine Timbletot is dragging along will show the pattern of obstacles it will send out before shooting them out at the player. The goal is to remember the pattern and dodge all the obstacles by following it, until it sends out a giant beat that can be reflected.
* SmartPeopleWearGlasses: In ''[=Runner2=]'', one of Unkle Dill's costumes, Smart Pickle, gives him a pair of glasses.
* SpiderTank: Timbletot rides one in the final boss level in ''[=Runner2=]''.
* SpinOff: [[ArtShift One that is designed in a radically different style.]]
* SpritePolygonMix: Everything is in 3D, while the retro levels are 2D. [[spoiler:The BIT.TRIP (the fifth world) composes everything from cubes.]]
* SymbolSwearing: A costume for [=CommanderVideo=] is called the "F***ing Turkey Suit"
* SyntheticVoiceActor: Sausage Santa's voice is provided by [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software_Automatic_Mouth S.A.M.]], a primitive voice synthesizer from the early '80s.
* TakeThat: A loading screen hint reads: ''Not every game has to be [[RealIsBrown brown]]!''
* TakeThatAudience: For a while, the headline on ''[=Runner3's=]'' devlog read something to the effect of "[=CommanderVideo's=] back, and he's tired of hearing about how it doesn't make sense canonically."
* TennisBoss: In "Timbletrot", the Mounting Sadds' boss stage, Timbletot sends his minions and barriers out of a pipe. Eventually, he'll shoot out a huge beat, which can be blocked and reflected right back in his face.
* ThatRussianSquatDance: [=CommanderVideo=] and ATLAS will occasionally perform one of these when you use the Dance command.
* ToiletHumor: Whetfahrt Cheesebörger's name.
* TongueTwister: "Pipp Lipp's Ship Chips".
* TronLines: [=CaptainVideo=] has these on his body. They are normally blue, but change to red with the "Hard Core" costume.
* UnexpectedGameplayChange: The final level has the player running left instead of right, something that takes getting used to when the entire game ran rightward before.
* ViolationOfCommonSense: Fortunately it doesn't happen too often, but reaching some of the retro cartridges involves jumping to one's death with correct timing.
* VisualPun: One of the costumes for Reverse Merman is a fez - a reference to Phil Fish, creator of ''VideoGame/{{Fez}}''. The Reverse Merman himself wears flip flops, something he does a lot, being half fish.
** In the opening of [=Runner3=], [=CommanderVideo=] and [=CommandGirlVideo=] are summoned to a shady alley known for its "seedy clientele." This phrase is accompanied by an image of various seeds (sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, poppy seeds) with sunglasses and suspicious expressions.
* WeirdMoon: There's a big moon in the Supernature that has kind of a dopey/sad expression, and the one in the Mounting Sadds is about the same size, except red and angry.
* WhenTreesAttack: The objects in the Supernature's backdrop mostly dance. Later on, when more and more of them are shown to be turned to lumber, some of the taller ones can be seen angrily chewing on axes.
* YearInsideHourOutside: Exaggerated: we learn that [=CommanderVideo=] [[spoiler:spent fifteen months pursuing Timbletot through the astral world; when he returns to the physical world, he's been gone for only one frame]].