If the guy wearing blue asks you if you want to join his guild, answer "No". From left to right: Couette, Sparadrap, Gaea, Arthéon, Omega Zell and Ivy.
Noob started out as a French Web Original in late 2008 and has mutated into a full fledged cross-media franchise by getting its first novel in 2009, its first comic in 2010 and starting the development of a video game the same year. The media, all written by Fabien Fournier, have a Broad Strokes relation to each other, keeping important events in common but varying in the exact way they happened, their connection to each other and/or time periods covered. This franchise has no relation to The Noob aside from also being set in a MMORPG.The story follows the eponymous Noob Guild, a Ragtag Bunch of Misfits that is the worst guild of a fictionalMMORPG named Horizon (nothing to do with the anime) in early installments, then can't get rid of their reputation as such even as they make slow but steady progress. The team is mostly held together by the fact that it's near impossible to reach level 100 without being part of a guild, resulting in both Teeth-Clenched Teamwork and With Friends Like These.... The cast quickly expands beyond the Noob Guild alone as the ambitions held by each of its members make them establish relationships, both good and bad, with other players. These connections, as well as their leader's attention to detail, get the Noob Guild more involved in major game events that one would expect for a low-level guild whose numbers never go beyond seven plus a Honorary True Companion.Several cycles are planned. The first one, whose plot starts with Noob's recruitment of Gaea, consists of :
Comic 6 : Desordre en Olydri (Disruption in Olydri)
Season 3 of the webseries (episodes 4 and 5)
A franchise-wide Wham Episode and its aftermath that includes a memorable Guest Star Party Member for the Noob Guild, covered by all three media that focus on different aspects :
Season 3 of the webseries (episodes 6 to final) (mostly the Noob guild's point of view of events, focus on the direct aftermath ; ends with the Empire-Coalition war)
First half of the third novel : Saison 3.5 : Les fantômes du passé (Season 3.5 : Ghosts of the past) (Added Justice Guild, Roxxor Guild and Non-Player Character perspective, otherwise covers same periods as Season 3)
Comics 7, 8, 9 and some of the upcoming (Additional focus on Relic Hunter guild and the Noob Guild's Guest Star Party Member) :
La chute de l'Empire (The fall of the Empire)
Retour à la case départ (Back to the starting square)
Mauvaise réputation (Bad reputation)
Second half of the third novel that takes place between the Season 3 finale and Season 4 premiere.
Season 4 of the webseries (full season)
Season 5 prologue
Fourth novel : Saison 4.5 : La faction du Chaos (The faction of Chaos)
Season 5 of the webseries (full season excluding prologue)
The second cycle will consist of three movies financed by a crowdfunding campaign that ran from May 2013 to July 2013 that made 19 times its original goal.Upcoming Movies:
Noob: Le conseil des 3 factions (Noob: The tri-faction council) (definitive title)
Mise à jour 3.5: Les Sources de la désolation (3.5 update : The Sources of desolation) (working title)
Mise à jour 4.0: Le cinquième âge (4.0 update : The fifth age) (working title)
Several spin-offs are planned. Two of them are available in the form of :
Le blog de Gaea (Gaea's blog), a series of videos made by Gaea's player for the blog she's frequently mentioned to have.
The first Neogicia novel is available since April 2014 and a comic is in production.
The Ace: Fantöm for the overall game until Season 3/novel 3/comic 7, Amaras for the Coalition and later the entire game, Spectre for the Order.
Adaptation Explanation Extrication: The added value of following as many media as possible frequently hinges on this and its inversion (e.g. not explaining the event the first time it's shown or mentioned, but explaining it in a later depiction).
Aluminium Christmas Trees: Since elements of Horizon can be anywhere between a Shout-Out to an existing MMORPG to completely made up, this trope is assured to happen on a regular basis.
Arc Welding: The first novel did this to some episodes of the webseries, making it part of of the Horizon storyline. When an episode of Season 1 needed to show a character doing a Fetch Quest (which happened three or four times out of twenty often stand-alone episodes) the Quest Giver always happened to be In the Hood and dressed in a Black Cloak, something that could easily be normal for the game and/or due to No Budget. The first novel, chronologically set after the first season, reveals that the black cloak is actually a trademark for a group that is after the Dismantled MacGuffin central to the first novel ; some of the pieces were used as decoration for random objects that they sometimes couldn't go get themselves without attracting attention, hence the fetch quests.
Appliance Defenestration: Deconstructed: Master Zen, Noob's former Guild Master, landed in prison for accidentally killing someone with a thrown computer monitor. Now he only lives for revenge over the guy whose sheer stupidity led him to flip out and ruined his life.
Battle Cry: For each of the factions : "Les ennemis de l'Empire doivent perir" (Enemies of the Empire must perish), "Coalition! Destruction!" and "L'Ordre dominera Olydri! L'Ordre est infini!" (The Order will dominate Olydri / The Order is infinite ; made official in fourth novel).
Broad Strokes: The media are meant to be readable on their own while covering different time periods. As a consequence, things that made up the whole plot in one media installment will be merely mentioned to have happened in another, and get oversimplified, changed and/or have important details omitted so they can get revealed at a time that works better for the in-media storytelling.
Cardboard Prison: A character whose backstory explictly includes being recently sent to jail for Accidental Murder in the webseries and novels has a character sheet in two of the factions.
Caught on Tape: Gloating about being the one behind the Wham Episode / Novel Chapter / Comic events in front of someone who regularly makes embarassing videos of one of her guild mates, especially when you framed her so everyone would think she is responsible for said events is a bad idea.
Combat Medic: Bound to happen in the MMORPG setting. On the Empire's side, Ystos fits the bill best, both because he's actually the best of the game and the two other Empire healers introduced are part of the Noob guild. Only one healer has been introduced in the Coalition and two in the Order (the novels mention that Kary is one too , which is quite ironic).
Comm Links: The game can be set so members of a guild can hear each other without accounting for distance between avatars. Noob and Justice however both have a roleplay practioner as a Guild Master, so the setting is usually on the "off" position unless long-distance verbal communication is essential to make whatever is going on work.
Continuing Is Painful: Cemetery resurrections involve loss of experience and reputation points, in addition to damage on equipped items. Resurrection stones can keep that from happening, but characters rarely have them around.
Cool Mask: Précieux, Heimdäl and Roxana. Ystos starts wearing one in battle in late Season 3 and Tabris has one over the bandages covering his body.
Creator Provincialism: When the residence of a player is mentioned or hinted at, it tends to be in the South-East of France. The known places:
Aix-en-Provence: Gaea and Golgotha
Cuers: Omega Zell
Le Lavandou: Couette
Marseilles: Dark Avenger
Toulon (where creator Fabien Fournier happens to live): Fantöm, Sparadrap and Ystos who's the latter's younger brother.
According to the novel version of the Centralis battle, one of the things the Coalition needs to do to take Centralis is kill the Empire Non-Player Character leader.
Someting similar happens in some battlegrounds for the player randomly chosen to command the troops according to the comic.
Dead Character Walking: Horizon seems to have it as a straight game mechanism. One of Gaea's Dirty Coward tricks is to deliberately stay in that form to avoid withstanding extra damage.
Decade Dissonance: In the webseries, Centralis, the Empire's capital, is a futuristic city in an otherwise Medieval European Fantasy context. Other Empire strongholds are mentioned in the novels, but they're implied to be in the same situation as Centralis in terms of landscape.
Difficult but Awesome: Seems to be the case of the elementalist class. It starts out as a Jack of All Stats, then the player can choose different paths while keeping minor spells from the other elements : fire, water, earth or air. Once at level 100, they can take another specialization, making the number of different combinations no less than six. Roxana, whose ranking among players was never lower than number five during the story, has fire as first and water as second, making her a Glass Cannon who can heal herself, while Fantöm made the staying a Jack of All Stats up to level 100 work on his second avatar. Couette, on the other hand, leveled up as water and switched to earth later. That makes her good at staying alive, but gives her very little damage dealing power; T-Man shows that she can literally be beaten by someone hitting her long and hard enough. In addition, the fact that double specializations work basically as Multi Form Balance means that she has to switch back and forth between being able to heal and being damage-resistant.
Some time prior to Gaea's arrival, Sparadrap causes Master Zen to get annoyed enough to throw his computer out of the window and accidentally commit murder and end up in jail (that step in itself qualifies for the trope).
Once he comes back, Master Zen decides to take revenge on his former guildmates by making it look like Gaea posted a compromising video on the Internet.
The video causes the Empire to loose its top player, accused of cheating. The Empire ends up with such a bad reputation among players that many leave the faction in favor of the other ones.
The Coalition tries to destroy what's left of the Empire, the Empire manages to survive despite a Darkest Hour moment.
Divergent Character Evolution: Couette started off as Sparadrap's Distaff Counterpart in all three media, before starting to display bigger attention to her apperance, bigger knowledge of in-game trivia and a much less altruistic behaviour.
Deuteragonist: The Justice guild main roster (Fantöm's team) eventually becomes this.
Does This Remind You of Anything?: If this were a physical sports story, Fantöm would have been getting performance enhancement drugs slipped into his drinking water by Donteuil.
Dramatic Irony: The intended mutual independence of each media can make the same Reveal or Plot Twist happen up to three times from the point of view of someone following all three.
Economy Cast: Justice is supposed to have something like 200 members, but as far as the story goes, they seem to only ever get help from the Noob guild and occasionally Castörga. The other 180-something members sometimes get mentioned, but never seen, to the point that quite a few fans think that the Justice guild only consists of Fantöm, Heimdäl, Saphir and Ystos (while Castörga helps as a friend of Heimdäl's). The reverse is also true, with the help the Noob guild can get in a pinch being Golgotha, the Justice guild main roster, or none at all. All other Empire characters last no more than one installment unless they are former of future members of either guild.
Ensemble Cast: Equal importance is given to all the members the Noob guild had during the two first seasons of the webseries, the first novel and four fist comics. Once recruited, Ivy becomes a fifth member of the ensemble. The Justice guild main roster eventually became a Deuteragonist ensemble.
Equipment-Based Progression: Presumably the case of all level 100 characters. The Justice guild main roster is frequently seen renewing a piece of equipment or another.
Morgan Lavande aka Omega Zell. The feminine version is actually spelled "Morgane", but is still a perfect homophone. And yes, his last name is French for "Lavander".
Possibly not done on purpose (or just to slide a subtle extra similarity), Gabrielle, Gaea's name, is homophone to the masculine "Gabriel".
Geodesic Cast: A direct consequence of An Adventurer Is You, that means quite a few four-person teams running around, four of which have been introduced so far (the Noob guild, team Fantöm, team Amaras and Relic Hunter guild). Also justified by the fact four players has also been stated to be both the maximum ordinary dungeons will take (not counting hired help) and the minimum size of parties that can enter special dungeons such as the Galamadriabuyak tower or the Dungeon of Chaos.
Good Colours, Evil Colours: There are different colored cursors for the members of each player faction (yellow for the Empire, red for the Coalition, green for the Order). The cursor turns grey if a player get kicked out of their faction, which means they can be attacked by all three. Early Installment Weirdness gave Game Masters blue ones.
Evil Wears Black: Mostly averted as long as it's not accompanied by red (that includes the character's cursor). The colour seems quite frequent on assassin outfits if Omega Zell and Ystös/Assassin!Ystos are anything to go by, obligatory for Twilight Warrior armour and some characters are hinted to do it for style. Spectre is the only non-Coalition member playing that trope straight, and that may have to do with his necromancer class, while Tenshirock seems to invoke it.
Red and Black and Evil All Over: Coalition members are conspiciously more prone to wearing red and black than players of other factions ; when they wear only black, the red comes from the cursor. Also happens to be colors of Gaea's dress starting Season 2.
Griefer: Basically Relic Hunter guild's reason to be. Not only that, but the Noob guild is the only one they're after. Also fits what Tenshirock would probably be if he were an actual player.
Guys Smash, Girls Shoot : Female characters are either the nuker of the healer of their groups. The three notable exceptions are Golgotha, Omega Zellette and Nazetrîme who is a double subversion because her berserker isn't her real character. Saphir is a buffer rather than a DPSer before becoming her team's replacement tank and Nazetrîme is a Death Dealer. Roxana, Couette and Ivy have been seen getting into hand to hand combat on a single occasion.
Quite a few male characters are shooters also : Sparadrap, Ystos and Battos as healers, Master Zen, Précieux and Heimdäl as mages, and Amaras and Fantöm have distance attacks in their arsenal as Twilight Warriors. That makes both aspects of the trope are downplayed, with the "girls shoot" part closest to being played straight.
Hanging Judge: Arthéon has that view of Judge Dead and Game Masters in general. His backstroy had him lose a high-level gaming avatar because it was permanently banned for Real Money Trade, which he considers a Felony Misdemeanor. He now seems conviced that calling a Game Master for one of the problems they're actually supposed to solve will somehow get his new gaming avatar and those of his guildmates banned. The only moment this was ever somewhat justified in the whole franchise was a webseries-only plotline in which his guild ended up with an illegally modified gaming item they couldn't get rid of thanks to The Cracker and had used it several time before discovering what it actually was.
Honorary True Companion: Golgotha, who won't join the Noob guild due to being a mercenary but hangs around with them a lot despite this. This is best shown in Season 3 of the webseries when Arthéon needs to be replaced, where stepping in doesn't cross her mind despite perfectly knowing of the situation. However, when Arthéon wants to test a team configuration with Sparadrap as a warrior and Ystos as the healer, she insists on participating and acts surprised she wasn't asked to come along.
Hub City: Implied to be the case for each faction capital. For the Order, Galaé is the only actual town confirmed to still be standing.
In the webseries and comic, thanks to Sparadrap, the Galamadriabuyak tower is also known as the Buyabuyak tower. Thanks to Golgotha, we have Gaga, Arthéfion, l'homme gazelle (literally "the gazelle man"), Sparamoule and Tenshicaillou. Fantöm and Amaras have some too, but they would be Getting Crap Past the Radar if the franchise had a radar. Just know that French also has a pejorative for homosexuals that starts with "f" (for Fantöm) and that the equivalent to the S-word starts with "m" (for Amaras).
The comic changed Fantöm's to "Fat homme". Couette has "Couic" in the second novel but got called "petit lapinou" (little bunny) in the Dungeon of Chaos arc from the webseries. Ivy got "Hippie" only in the second novel.
Inferred Survival: Info from the comics and novels causes a minor case in the webseries storyline. The webseries and novels both make a Tear Jerker out of the death of Sparadrap's pets. The novel and comics both show that Arthéon's banned level 100 avatar still exists, he just can't use it. Hence, one can find some kind of consolation in the fact that Sparadrap is actually on his second avatar when his pets are killed, the previous one being banned along with its pets in the webseries.
Third comic: Golgotha mentions it would be funny if she and Gaea ended up fighting each other. She ends up fighting Omega Zell instead but both loose because they end up destroying their respective computers faster than they destroy each other's avatars.
Season 5 of the webseries: Sparadrap ends up facing one of his guildmates and offers the refusing to fight option, but the guildmate's reaction is basically "Hey, this is a tournament and you're a sitting duck right now, bye-bye". The tournament's finalists end up being Ivy and Omega Zell, who are technically allies but happen to not like each other that much.
Late-Arrival Spoiler: The fourth novel's cover shows Gaea with a Coalition cursor, while the seventh and eigth comic hint at Fantöm's demise then his joining of the Noob guild. Both are spoilers for those somehow avoiding the only freely available format of the franchise.
Lost Forever: Heavily implied to happen, Horizon being a MMORPG that regularly gets its setting updated. One set of characters moved from Quest Giver to Mook in the first novel, while ephemeral quests get mentionned in the comic. There are also secret quests, whose outcome actually influences the game's plot. Once someone finds and accepts them, Nothing Is the Same Anymore.
Meaningful Name: "Kevin" is an insult meant for younger gamers that sometimes takes the same meaning as "Noob" when the (at least mental) age part of the term no longer applies in one's mind. Before that, it was and still is a very frequent masculine name. With such a fact existing in France, it would have been hard to name Sparadrap something else.
His last name is French for "the pope". That makes his full name a not-so-remote synonym of "the Noob priest".
Mistaken for Badass: In the webseries and comic, Dark Avenger's sole presence seems to make Sparadrap's luck literally spike. The main consequence is that Dark Avenger is convinced that Sparadrap is displaying Obfuscating Stupidity while everyone else (except Précieux) just sees him as the Noob he is. Gets even worse given that Sparadrap "beats" Dark Avenger mainly when the two are alone. If there are witnesses, they either arrive too late or are Sparadrap's very surprised guildmates, who have no good reason to go tell Dark Avenger's Guild Master and colleagues that he really did get defeated by accident. The trope gets deconstructed by the end of Season 4 of the webseries, as Sparadrap never picks up on what is happening while both Amaras and Roxana get fustrated by the situation.
Most Gamers Are Male: Frequently invoked by Omega Zell and played straight in the main cast from the sex ratio bias towards male characters. Gamer Chick is averted via the significant number of female characters, diverse personalities among them and their presence both at the top (Saphir and Roxana) and the bottom (Gaea, Couette, Ivy and Golgotha).
Mythology Gag: Due to the Broad Strokes situation, quite a few inter-media allusions qualify. Detailed lists can be found on the work's respective pages.
Arthéon is one probably between getting out of boarding school and getting his job.
Fantöm is this during his time in the Noob guild. His Day In The Life from the comic explains that the employment office is refusing to help him find a job because his work experience as a professional gamer isn't taken seriously.
Sparadrap is mistaken for one by the rest of the guild due to his source a revenue keeping him away from his computer for only a very short time each day.
Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: In the Season 3 finale / midway through the third novel, the Noob guild ran into team Amaras (minus Amaras himself). Decklan stole the bag containing Sparadrap's pets and Roxana destroyed it Just For Evulz. Cue to it being Sparadrap's Berserk Button. While Heimdäl, Ystos and Saphir seemed to be Just In Time in the webseries, the extra dialogue from the novel reveals that they had time to find the group in part because team Amaras decided to bully the Noob guild instead of just killing them.
Nice Mean And In Between: The male members of the guild have Sparadrap as the nice one, Omega Zell as the mean one (he's quite a jerk even when the misogyny is ignored) and Arthéon as the mediator between the two (much nicer than Omega Zell without lapsing into Sparadrap's Stupid Good extreme).
Non-Combat EXP: Both exploring and quests have been shown to grant experience points.
Only Known by Their Nickname: The vast majority of the characters. The real names so far known are those of Fantöm (Max Middle), Arthéon (Stanislas Chatelain), Gaea (Gabrielle Jolivet), Omega Zell (Morgan Lavande), Sparadrap (Kevin Lepape), Golgotha (Catherine Mourru), Ystos (Thomas Lepape), Saphir (Penelope), Couette (Angélique Fleur), Ivy (Fanny Blanchet), Judge Dead (Théodore Saquebien) and Tenshirock. The game creator is the only character only called by his real name.
Only Sane Man: Arthéon is the most adjusted member of the guild as long as Game Masters don't get involved. The quirks of the other members affect their behaviour on a much more frequent basis. Ivy is a close second when she's awake and takes the mantle after Arthéon reaches his Rage Breaking Point.
Perpetual Poverty: Both Gaea in real life and the Noob guild. Gaea has a few money making/saving schemes, but all benefits go into her Horizon subscription and all the manga-related stuff in her room. The Noob guild is broke in part because of Gaea constantly weaseling her way out of contributing and the only one noticing also being the one who always has a bad word towards her anyway. In addition, the few game credits they have is split between Sparadrap buying useless things and Golgotha deciding she wants to be paid right when the fact that she frequently tags along on her own may actually be useful.
And the previous is just what the webseries mentions, as the novels and the comic make matters even worse : Sparadrap's guild contribution is hinted to be better known as his "feed the pets" fund, Omega Zell's is revealed to be so sporadic that him promising Arthéon to pay without fault each week for a whole year was more than enough to convince the latter to not make any moves towards inviting Couette into the guild during said year.
Pet Baby, Wild Animal: Baby cochoboules are mentionned to be part of Sparadrap's pet collection in both the novels and comics. Adult cochobules are a recurring enemy in the comic and Gaea has one as her main summon creature.
Player Killing: Depicted in the webseries and comic, discussed in the novels. Roxana's guild, of which Dark Avenger, Précieux and Papy PK are members, is dedicated to the activity.
Player Party: The franchise-wide ones are the Noob guild, team Fantöm (Justice guild), team Amaras (Roxxor guild), Relic Hunter guild. Roxana is seen forming a party with Dark Avenger, Précieux and Papy PK in the eigth comic. Gaea also has a choice of an alternate set of human shields uh... teammates thanks to the existence of Gaea Worshipper's guild.
Politically Incorrect Hero / Straw Misogynist : Omega Zell thinks that women have nothing to do in MMORPGs and puts them on the same level as Noobs. It however backfires a lot with the person in charge of his dream guild's admissions being female and the Noob guild getting new female members some time after Gaea joins.
Port Town: Forpitas, whose main purpose seems to be the town from which player go to the Piratas island.
Real Life Writes the Plot: Some events influenced the writing of the webseries and affected the two other media, some of which with incedibly good timing :
Amandine Tagliavini (Golgotha) was pregnant for most of Season 3, that had the Noob guild go through a couple of temporary seventh members.
Jonathan Fourcade (Arthéon) had to reduce his appearances for Season 3, so the story had him sent off to Boarding School. That gave a head start to the Season 4 storyline that involved him starting to neglect the guild. He also lost lots of weight between Seasons 4 and 5, right around the time a radical appearance change would be appropriate for his storyline.
Between Season 3 and 4, Frédéric Zolfanelli (Sparadrap) started loosing his hair and one of the solutions to that was to cut it sorter. Sparadrap got a Cynicism Catalyst in Season 3 finale and spent time in charge of the guild in Season 4 before becoming its official Guild master in the fourth novel and Season 5.
Season 4 had Rodolphe Toucas (Dark Avenger) move to China and hence need his character to be Put On a Bus right around the time the series was taking a step further in Cerebus Syndrome.
Real Money Trade: The business of the farmerchinois.com site and the reason Arthéon's level 100 character got banned.
Red Oni, Blue Oni: Gaea (blue) and Golgotha (red) fit the trope quite well. A case can also be made of Omega Zell being red to Arthéon's blue.
Reference Overdosed: "Indeed" in the best way to put the webseries and novels, "WOW" best describes the comic. It can't even be called laziness in background character design when imitating known characters is Truth in Television for quite a few MMORPG players.
Remember the New Guy: One of the consequences of keeping the timeline overlap to a minimum. The novel is the only media giving Ivy a formal introduction while she appears out of thin air in the webseries and comic. The novels have that happen to Tenshirock and Nazetrîme, who got proper introduction in the webseries and the comic.
Revealing Cover Up: As pointed out in the novel version of the franchise-wide event, it looks a little suspicious for Donteuil and Judge Dead to delete Fantöm's avatar the second he was accused of cheating and pin everything on him. The proper thing to do if they had nothing to do with it would have been to open an investigation on the issue. Instead, the outright permanent deletion basically says "we know the accusations are true because we're the guilty party".
The Roleplayer: The cumulated info from the media make Arthéon, Heimdäl and possibly the rest of the Justice guild main roster qualify.
Rotating Arcs: The later part of the story turns into this due to the old Noob guild splitting up. After this, Gaea and Arthéon are both doing their own thing, focus on Sparadrap becomes a package deal with New Noob guild focus and something similar happens with Omega Zell and Justice guild's arc.
Science Fantasy: Technically speaking. The novels are the only media fully showing it for now.
Serious Business: It's about MMORPG players, what do you expect? There are a few characters that insist on having it just be a fun game to play with your friends, such as Sparadrap.
Ship Tease: Despite the lack of official romance outside of short-lived Arthéon / Kary and the almost never mentionned one-sided one between two members of Relic Hunter guild, there are quite a few pairs (both heterosexual and homosexual) that will be far from being Strangled by the Red String if they happen:
Omega Zell and Fantöm : Supported in-universe by Gaea's Yaoi Fangirl side and the alternate interpretation of the fact that Omega Zell slips into Cannot Spit It Out in Fantöm's presence. Word of God stated that Omega Zell is "not homosexual" and Fantöm didn't seem to like the idea of a guy having a crush on him the two times Gaea suggested it. The events of Season 3 altered the situation towards Fantöm getting along with the Noob guild (and even explicitly considering them true friends in the third book), Omega Zell included. In Season 4, Fantöm not only pressures Saphir to let Omega Zell into Justice guild, but signs him up into its main roster behind her back, under the pretext it gives him the opportunity to pay the Noob guild back for its help.
Gaea and Golgotha : They're already established as old friends that have known each other since childhood according to the books and comic. A few facts hint to it being more than friendship at least on Golgotha's side between her general overprotectiveness towards Gaea in-game, the fact that she suddenly decided to move in with Gaea (which meant crossing half of France) over loss of in-game contact and her hugging Gaea's arm when they show up at the guild's real-life meeting. She even seems to easily forgive Gaea killing her in-game and even gets enthuastic at the idea of eventually fighting against her when she joins the Coalition. Also, penny-pinching Gaea is letting someone who seems to not know her own strength live in her appartement. Heterosexual Life-Partners is another possible explanation.
Golgotha and Sparadrap : While she started out apparently as annoyed by his attitude as Gaea and Omega Zell, she clearly has a soft spot for him by Season 2 and claims to miss both him and Gaea when they get kicked out of the game (but has no word for Arthéon that she was somewhat replacing at the time). She also energically cheers Sparadrap on a few select occasaions. Their cooperation during the Season 5 tournament added an extra layer that included Spardrap putting himself between Golgotha and an enemy blast. Add the fact that their actors are a married couple in the mix.
Golgotha and Omega Zell : While Omega Zell was quite mad at Arthéon for recruiting Couette and Ivy, he never complains when Golgotha joins the group and once asked if she could join him in a quest when nobody else was available. She's also the only person aside of him that seems fully aware of Gaea's excessive greed. When he has to interview a female gamer for his job and Gaea happens to be the closest, the first thing he asks after making sure he's at the right place if Golgotha is present. In the comic, he even states that he considers her to be a man stuck in a woman's body as justification of her not being included in his sexism. Some scenes have them stand next to each other for no apparent good reason, one of which had Omega Zell step away from Golgotha the second Gaea came to hide behind her.
Omega Zell and Gaea : Their general realtionship can be seen as Belligerent Sexual Tension. While the interview arc makes them meet in real life, the biggest tease they get is in the Season 4 episode during which they have a fight that makes Gaea sound jealous of Fantöm and Omega Zell leave the guild, which seems to upset her quite a lot. Gaea also once suggested Omega Zell that he may like her to tease him. The recurring element not helping is that they have shown to be able to have quite consructive casual conversations when they forget to fight.
These two are actually becoming somewhat of a Fan-Preferred Couple. This survey shows it best : among six outcomes for a second duel between them, the top two answers are the loser of the first duel winning followed by them having a love story.
Omega Zell and Sparadrap: On the blantant end, they once (twice including a crossover with Flander's Company) ended up in a dancing duet thanks to Tenshirock. Thanks to "gay" commonly keeping its "joyful" meaning in French, Sparadrap claimed to qualify for the latter while Gaea was actually asking Omega Zell if he was the former. On the more subtle end, when Sparadrap had to make a second avatar in Season 2, Omega Zell gave him technical reasons he couldn't join the guild in Arthéon's absence before seeming to come back to his senses and basically telling him to get lost. Later, while feeling lonely, he hallucinated Sparadrap coming to speak to him. In Season 3, Omega Zell called Gaea a horrible person for having a money-oriented reaction to an event that greatly saddened Sparadrap . In Season 4, Sparadrap considered Omega Zell leaving the guild a bad enough matter to go tell Arthéon in real life while it looks like he only found out about Gaea after Kary having exams enabled him to join Sparadrap for a dungeon.
Ystos and Fantöm : In Season 3, he bursts into tears along with Omega Zell when Fantöm's name is prounounced in a quite empty Centralis. Later, he's basically the one who gets Fantöm to start playing again, believes the Noob guild's info that he could be innocent while admitting Saphir and Heimdäl may need solid evidence and welcomes him back into Horizon. The new character he creates in Season 4 is a assassin, the class Fantöm was playing before the first time he became a Twilight warrior.
Gaea and Fantöm : Fantöm was in the ad that got Gaea to buy the game and he appears in her Yaoi Fangirl fantasies. She also seems hung up on blackmailing Fantöm specifically, going up to getting Omega Zell to interview him for his job, perfectly knowing he'll have to bring her along to ask questions to be able to blackmail him again in Season 3 after she was forced to stop in Season 2. Also one of the real life couples from the cast.
Spiritual Successor: To Lost Levels, a previous series made by Fabien Fournier, in which the game was a virtual reality rather than a classic MMORPG. Among the characters where a top player named Phantom, a Man in White named Omega Zell, a magic user named Gaea, a hacker named Tenshirock and a player killer named Dark Avenger. Their Noob expys go from in name (and actor) only to someone closer to the Lost Levels version.
Stripperiffic: Averted with the main characters, but such outfits are shown to exist in the webseries and background characters of the comic confirm it as a possibility.
By Season 3 / the third novel / the eighth comic, the Noob guild has six permanent members.
Arthéon is The Leader. Moves to Sparadrap in Season 5.
Omega Zell is The Lancer to Arthéon. Ivy seems to naturally slip in the role in Season 5, both as the only other member consistently showing up and having a personality complementary to Sparadrap's.
The Big Guy (and usually tank) role has Arthéon, Nazetrîme during her brief tenure, then Fantöm gets hired due to his capacity to fill the role (according to the webseries and novels) despite the opportunity to show it never coming up afterwards. Sparadrap's warrior (Spärädräp) and Couette's earth build seem to be taking turns at the role in Season 5.
The Smart Guy (and usually the one who nukes), is shared by Gaea (mostly self-serving planning), Ivy (Gadgeteer Genius), Arthéon due to his background knowledge and Fantöm on select occasions. Only Ivy remains in Season 5 and Gaea gets replaced by her archer reroll.
The Heart / The Chick role is shared by Sparadrap and Couette, who are also both (sort of) The Medic. This is the only position that remains unchanged in Season 5.
The Knights Who Say Squee: Fantöm and Spectre seem to have this going on for each other. Fantöm admires Spectre's Living Legend status and Spectre is impressed by Fantöm's accomplishment's, even though he hasn't reached his own level quite yet.
In his backstory, Arthéon seems to have never considered getting therapy in dealing with his overbearing mother or the period following the loss of his first character, that has quite obviouly traumatized him to a certain degree. Later, he gets motivated to run away from his boarding school after his technology illeterate and phobic principal decides he should go see the school therapist. The development that event gets in the third novel hints that he fears that a therapist would have a negative view of gaming that could lead to a wrong diagnosis. He's seen attending a support group for players that lost an avatar to Real Money Trade in one of the comic short stories. However, his story is shown to make everyone else realize that their situation could be much worse and leave, while the chairman treats it as a Cassandra Truth.
Near the end of Season 5, we find out about a father and his teenage son who's an avid Horizon player. The wife/mother has recently died, no indication is given of how avid a player the son was before her death and the father seems to be trying to keep the household together on his own. The father tries to get on his son's good side by creating an Horizon avatar and only telling him once he's among the top three players, but the son is so embarassed he ends up leaving both the game and home. Only then is the father seen... reading a magazine whose front page article is apparently about abusive practices in psychothereapy. The father then turns out to have diagnosed the condition that possibly lead to his wife's death in one of his guildmates and to have done the effort to go visit him in real life to talk and give him her doctor's number. Considering that these people are Tenshirock and Judge Dead in present day, they could probably both still use that therapy: the finale reveals that Judge Dead's issue was a good old Inferiority Superiority Complex that his father becoming one of the Horizon top three only made worse.
Master Zen's jail turns out to be either next door or sharing a building with a psych ward. That set-up would in theory give him easy access to a therapist, but the time he ended up spending there was only just enough to befriend Elyx and not enough to get effective treatment. Elyx is now the closest thing he has to therapist and to her credit, she briefly seemed to have induced some kind of progress in the webseries..
Too Much Alike: On the surface, the conflict between Omega Zell and Gaea is due to both Gaea fighting off Omega Zell's misogyny and Omega Zell having a problem with some of Gaea's behviour traits that have nothing to do with her gender. They have however both shown to be selfish, ambitious and unwilling to take the slow path, to the point that they can sometimes second-guess each other's intentions.
Tournament Arc: One of the comic short stories and part of Season 5 of the webseries.
Ultimate Gamer 386: Fantöm may first look like the trope being played straight. However...
Deconstructed : Fantöm is the fourth player to hold that position since Horizon got released according to the novels (Mist > Spectre > Amaras > Him). Since Amaras is still around and now number two, he frequently gets challenged by him and got close to losing to him at least once. Also, fear and respect are not the only reactions that the position generates: annoying fans and blackmailers exist too.
Downplayed : The fame aspect is shared with the other members of his party. The "someone one of the main characters already knows in real life" bonus is actually held by one of them rather than by Fantöm himself. Amaras is pretty much Fantöm's Coalition equivalent, and he has a party also. And Spectre comes back in Season 3.
Justified : For those who know how the story goes, that fact that the game's creators have been enhancing Fantöm's stats behind his back each time he got in enough trouble to put his number one rank at risk. This also deconstructs the trope a little further.
Unique Items: Mentionned several times to exist. They have so far shown up as rewards for non-repeatable quests or winning the Fluxball cup. Sourcelame is one also, for a very good reason.
Video Game Caring Potential: Sparadrap cares about his pets enough to go berserk when they get killed in front of him and goes an extra mile by trying be friendly to enemies whose sole purpose is to be killed by players.
We Used to Be Friends: Arthéon and the Justice guild, ever since the Real Money Trade incident. Saphir seemed to present herself as that one former friend that still speaks to him in an early episode of the webseries, but Ystos is the one who permanently took on that role in all three media.
The reason the "cover different periods of time" rule gets broken for Season 3, the first half of the third novel and comics seven and following.
Omega Zell's transfer from Noob to Justice, Gaea's Face Heel turn and Arthéon reaching his Rage Breaking Point were all show onscreen in Season 4 of the webseries while the fourth novel starts about a week after the last of these happens and repearing the damage is already underway.
The novels all take place around one of these for the Non-Player Character part of the story. Three facts had however held true despite this: Lys and Ark'hen are powerless due to their strength being drained when the Stone of Ages exploded, all neogicians are magic-incapable and the Empire needs the magic from the Sources to keep most of its technology working. All three of these status quo stop holding over the course of the fourth novel.
What Did You Expect When You Named It ____?: Just look at Master Zen's backstory. He names his guild "Noob", ends up having an actual noob in it, said noob end up pissing him off to the point that the infamous Appliance Defenestration happens ; this is especially strange given that Master Zen later comes up with a much better name for his new guild. Gaea even lampshades the lousy name choice the first time she hears it in the series.
You ALL Share My Story: The context started out with a One Degree of Separation pocket that included the Noob guild and the Justice guild main roster, making it quite easy for the two groups to run into each other and by extension their respective acquaintances. The first meeting between team Amaras and the Noob guild occurs from them discreetely following team Fantöm during one of their quests, while other Coalition players become recurring opponents of the Noob guild.