Fanfic: Dark Chao Adventures
"Living life... one step at a time!"Dark Chao Adventures
was an eight-year-running Sonic Fan Fic
series starring a bunch of Dark Chao who go on adventures.
Created by DJay32
when he was but a wee ten-year old in 2005, DCA consisted of eighty-eight episodes, two or three spin-off series, three Halloween specials, countless radio recordings, a forum RP and a half, at least three different development blogs, a Wiki, a Facebook page, a number of forums, two artists, tons of fan art, four sets of shorts, and a feature-length standalone script.
Just off the top of my head.
While it started off dealing with the Darks as they fought the Heroes, as the years, episodes, and seasons went on, the plots grew more and more complex, and the Sonic characters showed up less and less. To sum the plot up so far, there's these guys called the Beta Avengers who were from Season Two before it effed up and DJay had to redo it, and so they're all mad about it so they came in around Season Three to wreak havoc for a few seasons. In Season Six, a grey Dark chao named Shade had to go collect seven chaos emer—drives
so he could evolve into a Dark/Swim chao and.. beat the bad guys.
Then in Season Seven, The Scrappy
Scrappy) gets turned into the new main protagonist, and he's
gotta get seven drives so he can become a Dark/Run chao and beat the new
bad guys. See, the new baddies are the Veteran's Committee, and they want to end the show for various surprisingly logical reasons. They bend the script, itself, and make the Season last three times as long as it should. The Scrappy
, a green Dark chao named Shadow, goes through some pretty awesome (and sometimes scary) stuff in his journey.
The series concluded with Season Eight, where all the antagonists and protagonists realized ending the show was much better than the many alternatives. They banded together and tried to set things up so that the Writing Writer could properly end the series. In the end, it took at least two tries.
You can find DCA at the official website, the official development blog, the official (but not up-to-date) Wiki, or the official Book of Faces (Facebook page).
This series provides examples of:
- Acciental Misnaming: Mephiles is usually called "Mister Phyllis."
- Action Survivor: Shade. Obvious with his future self, but he's really starting to show it in recent seasons.
- Alien Geometries: A lot of places, but most memorably the forest of Sancheria in the 2010 Halloween special.
- Always Night: The Dark Garden. Just like in Sonic Adventure 2.
- Affectionate Parody: There are a lot of "DCA Adaptions" of video games.
- Episode 39 is Portal. 42 is Half-Life. 43 is Grand Theft Auto. 44 is Metal Gear Solid. The first half of 49 is Metroid Prime 3.
- Season Seven has entire serials dedicated to affectionately parodying things. First, there's The Game-Maker Must Be Crazy, (54-58), which is of Metal Gear Solid 2. Then there's Still Waiting for Half-Time (59-63), Half-Life 2. Then there's the bookends of Quinquenquoi, (64 and 73) which are of BioShock. Episode 64 is of Nightmare House 2, a Half-Life mod. The Epic Quest in A Flat Minor is of a hodgepodge of prog albums. ..so yeah.
- How can we forget the earlier ones? Episode 8 contains parodies of Sonic 3. 18 contains an expy-of-sorts of popular DOOM mod Sonic Robo Blast 2. Most of Season Four is a tribute to the "secretcity" maps in Half-Life mod Sven Co-op.
- Then there's the special scripts. DCA09 returns to the "secretcity" maps. DCAHall2 is Gears of War. DCAHall3 Tale Two takes inspiration from Metroid and Stephen King while paying a beautiful tribute to Marble Hornets. Tale Three is the original Nightmare House mod for Half-Life 2.
- Anachronic Order: Averted in that the episodes follow a loose-yet-strict timeline, then played straight with the Future episodes, the spin-offs, the RP, and.. well, everything else.
- Author Avatar: The Writing Writer, "Ulysses," DJay32, all the same character. He's as much a character as the rest of the cast, and despite very clearly being the one writing everything, he still has trouble keeping things orderly.
- Author Tract: Inverted— we find out all about the author, but not his morals or any general message. Other than "Always write a consistent narrative."
- Arc Number:
- Thirty-two (32)
- Eight and five. (8/5)
- Arc Words:
- "Stardust and Instability"
- "The Unwritten End"
- "Unexpected developments"
- "The End Complete"
- Back from the Dead: Happens so much that you won't even be surprised the fiftieth time it happens.
- In Episode 85, Everyone dies for real. Only for Shade and Shadow to find themselves alive and well three episodes later, when the show was supposed to be completely over.
- Being Watched:
- Seasons Three, Four, Five, and Six show us the Beta Avengers are watching the protagonists at all times.
- In DCAHall3, the other chao, the Operator, and the Security. *shudder*
- Berserk Button: Never call a non-prog band "prog" when DJay's listening.
"[COHEED IS NOT PROG.]"
- Big Eater: Dark.
- The Blank: DCAHall3 features not only the slender man, but faceless chao!
- Blatant Lies: Lampshaded on the main page of the Wiki.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: What fourth wall? DJay speaks directly to and responds to the characters so much that he's technically a protagonist in his own right. The various antagonists always make a point to take him down somehow.
- Breather Episode: A lot of episodes, or in the case of Season Seven, Breather Serials. Even though they're still Wham Episodes, they're just not.. quite.. as shocking as others.
- Brown Note:
- In DCAHall3, "Hello?"
- From DCAHall3 but still prominent later, "Ulysses."
- Buffy Speak: Used a lot, especially in the earlier episodes written when the author was still ten, eleven, twelve.
- Butt Monkey: Quartz, the third-party chao made by one of the creator's best friends. He has never appeared once without being killed in some way.
- Cerebus Syndrome: DCA started off as a comedy fanscript series about chao, made when DJay was ten. It continued like that for a while, but then Deej started experimenting with drama in Season Five. Season Six was a little more dramatic but still Narm-y. Season Seven? Holy fuck. There's still comedy, but the tension, plot, and the occasional horror are definitely more prominent than ever. Season Eight just goes further downhill up until the multiple canonical endings.
- Chekhov's Gun:
- Cham. His disappearance in the very first episode, later retconned as his death, comes back all the way in the Season Six Season Finale.
- In DCAHall3, the aisle of trees, and the hole with a ladder inside.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: The earlier seasons had a lot more chao. The later ones tend to stick with the main four (Shade, Dark, Red, Shadow).
- Comic Trio: The Poker Gang. note
- Companion Cube: Episode 39 is the DCA adaption of Portal, so.. yeah. Also appears in follow-up Episode 40.
- Continuity Lockout: After Season Six, DJay tried making half an effort to avoid this and stop with the "epic" adventures so he could reestablish a proper solid continuity. Trope came back in greater numbers for the literally epic serial-heavy Season Seven. It's not really possible to just jump into an episode randomly.
- Cool Car: In Episode 61, the protagonists get an Aston Martin DB 9 to aid them on their quest across Half-Life 2. Shadow soon wrecks it, though, and they are given a Fiat Panda as replacement, much to Shade's sulky chagrin.
- Cool Shades:
- Shade the Dark.
- Played straight in Episode 17, when Shade's recollection of events gives Dark Tails really cool sunglasses.
- Crazy-Prepared: Every Dark chao has one set of emergency dynamite.
- Creepy Doll: The Tails Doll in the earlier episodes and "Gears n' Roses."
- Cuckoos Nest: "Captain Curator."
- Curiosity Killed the Cast: Averted in DCAHall3 in that no one dies.
- Dark World: The various locales in the Sancheria Forest.
- Daylight Horror: Tale One of DCAHall3, and the first act of Tale Two.
- Development Hell:
- The DCA adaption of Gears 2. ..both of them.
- The second case of "Silver the Hedgehog: Ace Attorney."
- Professor Shade-on and the Diabolical Hotel.
- DCRPG 2. It's not even canon anymore.
- DCAWG, the text adventure game.
- Don't Go in the Woods: The Sancheria woods.
- Dumbass DJ: Averted!
- Eldritch Location:
- Sancheria and everything around it, particularly the Subway and the Manor.
- The city of Chao Talk. Period.
- Episode 88 gave us the "impossible world." Not much is said about it, but there's something in the sea that winds up taking over the entire show.
- Elmuh Fudd Syndwome: Half the chao in the earlier episodes talked like this, the basis being that they were babies and unable to pronounce their 'R's.
- Evil Laugh: Used to occur a lot in earlier episodes.
- Fake Band: Rubber Goose, the band held by the main protagonists.
- Flanderization: Inverted. The cast was very cartoony, extreme, wacky, and caricature-like in the early episodes. As time went on, they started to get a lot more realistic, a lot more serious, their defining traits starting to lock horns and blend.
- Four Is Death: Played with. For the majority of Season Four, the chao are in a city where they can respawn indefinitely. They take advantage of this and die a lot.
- Freeze-Frame Bonus: Actually pulled off in a text-based series. In DCAHall3, there are a lot of what look like typos. They're foreshadowing. Then, in Log Entry #33, "Forest Off-Limits," there is the occasional word that is slightly different (a "you" instead of "me," a "seize" instead of "sees").
- Future Me Scares Me
- Grammar Nazi: DJay's quite the, and it shows with his characters. For example, this is from Episode 51:
Shade: Now, I understand you had something with which to inform me?
Zagu: Yeah. My mouth.
Shade: NICE! *hi-5* I'm glad to see SOMEONE here knows proper grammar.
Shade: Heh... yes. That was the point.
- Halloween Cosplay: Every Halloween special has the chao dressing up as something.
- For the first special, Shade was Evil Kirby from the anime, Red was an American Naruto fan, and Dark was a toaster.
- For the second, Shade was a guy who thinks Rock Band sucks because it "copied Guitar Hero," Red was a Halo fan, and Dark was... a toaster.
- For the third, the chao took on theme costumes: Marble Hornets! Shade was Alex Kralie, Red was Brian, Shadow was Jay, and Dark was a toaster. ..that is, Tim, mask and all.
- Halloween Episode: Three of them, each considerably larger and scarier than the last.
- Hammer Crazy: Amy Rose's future self, in DCA710, "Part Two of Fear."
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: Shade and Dark, to the point of some pretty beautiful scenes where Shade is promising to Dark that they won't die, or where Dark is convincing Shade that he rocks, that he can get through the adventure without getting viciously murdered by Metal Sonic.
- Humanoid Abomination: Wilson Constable Kilburn. Don't know the name? Good. *shudder*
- I Call It "Vera": The future Shade has a shotgun, and her name is "Shotty."
- Jerkass: Metal Sonic can be one, for sure, especially in the earlier episodes.
- Jigsaw Puzzle Plot:
- By the end of Season Seven, it gets to the point where every episode needs a full-on recap.
- The first spin-off series, Professor Shade-on, counts as this.
- Lampshade Hanging: In a show with no fourth wall, this happens a lot.
- Loads and Loads of Characters: To the point that DJay forgetting protagonists and antagonists makes them mad enough to revolt when he finally does remember them.
- Living Shadow: There are armies of these in DCA09.
- Lost Woods: Sancheria.
- Meaningful Name:
- Most things in DCAHall3. "Scruple" and "Tenebrosity," for example, are synonyms of specific words.
- The 'cast' of "Bound to a Stream of Consciousness," too. "Captain Curator" is a reference to Silence of the Lambs as well as to the character's insisting on being treated like a leader. "Ness" is your average kid who battles his evil side at one point. "Jim Rennie" is an overall selfish and passively oblivious character. "Logic" is the kind, calm, generous female character. And of course, "Ulysses." A protagonist who can't decide upon a name, who is the subject of many a lengthy story, who used to be "stuck in an endless war" but is now "sailing off on the usually-calm, sometimes-dangerous, always-monotonous seas."
- Meta Guy: Meta show. But, out of all the characters, Red is the one who does all the meta theories and speculation.
- Mind Screw: Everything that has anything to do with the name "Ulysses." ...*shudder*
- Mundane Made Awesome: Poker is serious business. People have lost lives over it.
- Nothing Is Scarier: What the hell happened to the climax of DCAHall3? It's pretty clear some serious shit went down, some serious traumatic shit, and after "Bound to a Stream of Consciousness" in the previous act, you'd think we'd get to see how traumatizing the script can really get. But no! There's nothing.
- Offscreen Teleportation: Happens a lot with the Veteran's Committee. They never just "appear." They always walk in.
- Oh, Crap: Happens frequently. Hell, it happens a lot in just DCAHall3.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: In Season Seven serial Still Waiting for Half-Time's fourth part, every character gets a codename. One new character, Adrian Ruthford, codenamed "Jack White," is rarely referred to by anything but "White."
- Ontological Mystery: DCA09, on a very large scale.
- Out of Focus: There are third-party chao?
- Put on a Bus: Dark Tails. Needless to say, he hasn't been a Poker Gang member in a very long time. Though he made an appearance in Episode 60, where he probably died. But he died fighting. In a fire. Laughing maniacally. He went out with honor.
- Prequel: DCRPG.
- Reality Warper:
- Red Metal in DCA 09.
- Sancheria forest, although that's more of an Eldritch Location.
- The characters often bend the scripts, themselves.
- Rule of Funny: Happened a lot in the earlier episodes. Still happens every now and then.
- Rule of Scary: DCAHall3 really wanted us to see how scary it could be.
- Running Gag:
- Dark's love for toasters.
- "Wow, it's me!" "It's not dark, it's shaded! Heavily shaded." "It's not dark, it's multiple heavy shades of red." "It's not dark, it's heavily shadowed."
- Scenery Gorn: Tenebrosity Factory in DCAHall3.
- Schedule Slip: DCA 09 was originally DCA 08. ..no, it was started in January '08. Yeah.
- Shout-Out: If DJay has ever liked it, he will make a shout-out. See Affectionate Parody above. Also see the third Halloween special's Halloween Cosplay.
- The Smurfette Principle: There's the female Shade. There's sometimes Amy Rose. There's occasionally third-party chao Honey. And then there's tons of guys.
- So What Do We Do Now?: The chao aren't too bright. They sometimes ask the antagonists what they have to do to progress the story.
- Take That:
- If DJay really doesn't like it, he probably won't ever mention it. If he really hates it, expect something like Red dressing up as an American Naruto fan, or George Bush getting killed in Chao Talk.
- "Bound to a Stream of Consciousness" might count as a subtle Fridge Brilliance example.
- Throw It In:
- The ultra-Mind Screw, super-horrifying, allegorically depressing and all-around disturbing Log Entry #47 of DCAHall3, "Bound to a Stream of Consciousness?" Yeah, no, that was thrown in when DJay was listening to EarthBound music one night.
- For that matter, just about everything is thrown into DCA.
- Title Drop: Well... there's a lot of meta-talk, if that counts.
- Unreliable Narrator: "Captain Curator," the narrator of "Bound to a Stream of Consciousness."
- The Unreveal: Season Seven's subtitled "The End," right? So the end of the last episode is the end of the show? ..no, it's a cliffhanger.
- Verbal Tic: "I'm Mephiles, fool." "You know who I am, fool!" Lampshaded in Dark's recollection of events in Rashomon-inspired Episode 17:
- Villain Protagonist: The Darks are the star of the show, and in quiet episodes, they'll fight the Heroes. They soon met actually evil villains like the Poker Gang! ..who quickly became protagonists as well when the truly evil Beta Avengers showed up. ..who became more of recurring not-bad characters when the seriously really evil Veteran's Committee showed up.
- Wham Episode:
- Episode 48 gave us MILKMAN's identity.
- Episode 49 gave us JOE's.
- No, Episode 50 gave us JOE's.
- Episode 55 gave us this beautiful whammy:
....th..th....they're gonna end DCA?
- Episode 73 gave us this one:
We're not underwater.
"Hey there. MILKMAN
- Chapter 30, "Silent Sorrow in Empty Boats," is a wham chapter.
- Episode 81 had the Hiatus and more talk of Ulysses.
- Episode 85 was the end of the entire show, giving us Metal Speedy and Future Shade being possibly evil. And also the end of the entire show.
- Episode 88 doesn't even technically exist, yet its existence cancels out the canonicity of 85's ending. It's a Wham Episode on a very meta scale, and then it consists of a lot of frequent whams. Like EAT being the Instability and Red Metal and IT and 8 and 5, and the entire show being just a "passion play" put on by these eldritch creatures. And, of course, Amphis is Red.
- What Could Have Been: When you think about it, the plot of the show so far relies on the fact that the original Season Two is gone forever, so everything about them is technically a Beta. From that, we got the Beta Avengers, who've essentially changed the plot of the series. So what would have happened if DJay had saved the episodes of Season Two?
- "I thought we were playing Go Fish."
- White Void Room: The Space/Time Rip Beyond the Planet of Pure Dooky, or "STR" for short.
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: DJay32. That's a spoiler in more ways than one.
- Word of God:
- In-story. This series gets really meta.
- Playing it straight is the extremely vague ending (well, all three/four/five/two/eight endings), which will take a lot of Word of God to explain.