Literature: Noob

The novels from the eponymous web/TV series, that were the first step towards making Noob a multimedia franchise. Each novel takes place between two of the webserie's seasons, that being also the time at which Fabien Fournier, the creator of the series, wrote them.

The story follows a MMORPG guild that plays the Fictional Video Game Horizon, with an upcoming or recent update of the game's universe as a frequent driver of the plot. Said guild is however a Ragtag Bunch of Misfits that only stays together because Horizon's too extreme Socialization Bonus keeps anyone from playing alone and has to put up with an actual Noob that happens to be their healer. While still centered around the Noob guild, the novels are the media that paints the most complete picture of Olydri, the world in which Horizon takes place. They notably introduce elements and non-player characters that were later used in spin-offs such as Neogicia.

The novels are written as if they were The Movie to the preceding season from the series and tend to turn into an Prolonged Prologue for the following one, yet come together as a storyline that is both independent and compelmentary to the series.The character sheet is shared with the other media.


The Noob novels provide examples of:

  • Adaptation Expansion: The Non-Player Character portion of the story and Horizon's overall plot. What is seen and heard of them in the webseries and comics is just a small chapter of their full story.
  • Advanced Ancient Humans: Considering they are supposed to be several millenia late on the Empire and Coalition, Syriallians seem to have quite decent Magitek. The royal palace elevator and the flying palace hint that they may have come up with some form of technology on their own long before Baron Oldrek Lucans got his hands on the Imported Alien Phlebotinum that eventually gave birth to the Empire's technology.
    • According to the official wiki's timeline, Saryahblööd, who's about twenty, was born at the beginning of the second age, which means Syrial was frozen in time around that period. The third age started when when Tabris 1.0 was destroyed and Lys and Ark'hen accepted technology in the world. "Ages" are several millenia long.
  • Arc Welding: The first book was the intentional variation for the apparently minor fetch quests done by the Noob guild members in Season 1 of the webseries.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: In the fourth novel, Sparadrap asks Gaea if she really considers the rest of the guild friends after she proved to be pretty much a Fair Weather Friend, via joining the Coalition when thing went sour, then offered her archer as a founding member to the new Noob guild. While Gaea's answer is positive and considered sincere by Sparadrap, she was taken aback by the question when he asked it.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: Fantöm can beat bosses meant for a full Player Party due to figuring out their behaviour patterns and plannning for them no matter how complex they have been made.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: In the third novel, a series of Disaster Dominoes makes the Empire disappearing as a faction entireley a very real possibility. Someone speculates that Horizon's Faction Calculus would be maintained via the Coalition splitting between its "technology is bad" crowd and its "want to steal technology and combine it with magic" crowd. While taking in all the bads thing that the Empire's disappearance would entail, Omega Zell's two main worries are what would happen to Centralis once it was invaded and the colors that would be used for the cursors of the hypothetical "split Coalition".
  • The Beastmaster: Gaea.
  • Bubblegloop Swamp:
    • The Ashentäk swamp on Syrial.
    • The Spongeboue swamp that Arthéon visits in the fourth novel is this as well.
  • Broad Strokes:
    • While they follow the same Myth Arc as the series, the novels don't always mention the previous webseries season's events as they happened while the following season either ignores or changes details from the novels. In other words, both media have the same "checking points" and an internally consistent story, but the path for going form point A to point B can be different. For example, Season 2 gives the impression that the Noob guild is seeing Golgotha for the first time since Season 1 finale despite them spending time with her in the first novel. Conversely, in the second novel, Sparadrap mentions still having the crab he caught in the first novel despite Season 2 (that covers the time span between novels 1 and 2) forcing him to start a new avatar and a new pet collection, but regaining his previous equipment and level quite fast thanks to a little help.
    • The first half of the third novel being a Pragmatic Adaptation of Season 3 instead of an entirely new story (to avert Continuity Lockout) notably changes the order in which important information is discovered. The one that sticks out like a sore thumb is Fantöm finding out the illegal enhancements started only after he started working as a tester before creating his second avatar in the novels while the information was only given both to him and viewers in the Season 3 finale in the webseries.
  • Compensating for Something: Omega Zell's explanation for Shaadö's BFG in the second novel.
  • A Death in the Limelight: The third novel has the reader find out a lot about General Helkazard, but also kills off the character.
  • Demoted to Extra: Golgotha in the second and third books. Also, compared to both the comics and the series, Dark Avenger moves from being Sparadrap's recurring unlucky opponent to merely getting mentioned in a couple of conversations about Player Killing and in the Empire vs Coalition war in the third novel (which puts him in Continuity Cameo territory).
  • Dismantled MacGuffin: The titular Stone of Ages from the first novel.
  • Divine Conflict: As of the fourth novel, the situation between the six Sources that got introduced can be summed up as followed:
    • Lys and Ark'hen: "This world is ours and we will provide magic to it. Just don't go looking for magic from other Sources, okay?". The Coalition has Undying Loyalty towards them.
    • Dortös : "This world used to be mine and I want it back. Hey, all these humans you basically turned into undead for disobeying you seem like nice kids... especially that Saralzar guy"
    • Sin: "Hey, was freezing an entire continent in time for several millenia really necessary to cover up my existence? I get why it inhabitants are mad at you guys and I'll make sure this is the last time you meddle with their lives." Also basically the Order's side of the conflict.
    • Fargöth: "Arthéon, please make them stop fighting, whatever it entails."
  • Do Not Spoil This Ending: The fourth novel has a major twist and has a longer gap between its release and that of the following season of the series than previous ones. For that reason, Fabien Fournier asked people to not mention anything what happens in it on the Internet before the episodes mentioning it got realeased (which happened in April and May 2013).
  • Double Meaning Title:
    • The title of the first chapter of the third novel can be loosely translated as "Facing Chaos alone". It gets a Title Drop as the title of an old article about Fantöm's victory against the Source of Chaos, but is also quite appropriate for the reason for which that chapter is a Downer Beginning.
    • A chapter from the fourth novel is titled "Double jeu", which can mean both Double Play and Playing Both Sides. Given it focuses on a player that has two active avatars in different factions, both interpretations are appropriate.
  • Downer Beginning: The third novel, that straight up reveals that Fantöm got kicked out of the game and had his gaming history earased for cheating he wasn't aware of.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: Done at the end of the first novel with the signature black cloaks of the Soulless. The second half of the third novel has this also, but all the tranformation potion does is change the Noob guild's cursor's from yellow to red and give them a Sdrawkcab Alias. Sparadrap and Gaea have Coalition players that would be able to spot them in a crowd by then.
  • Enough to Go Around: Played straight and lampshaded in the first novel.
  • Everyone Is Armed: Piratas island.
  • Extremely Short Time Span: Aside from the first half of the third book that adapts a big chunk of Season 3, the events from each book take place within three days maximum. The characters ended up doing an all-nighter in at least two of them.
  • Fantasy World Map: The novels are the only media showing the Olydri map as a whole.
  • Fertile Feet: Lys.
  • Fictional Document: A couple of Horizon-realted magazine articles.
  • Fish Out of Temporal Water: All the Syrial continent.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • As early as the first novel, Arthéon considered the possibility of the Soulless forming their own faction. It ended up actually happening a little before the fourth rolled in.
    • The third novel had a potion that disguised the Noob guild into Coalition players by turning their cursors red. Gaea's cursor turned red for real between the third and fourth novel.
    • In the second novel, it's repeated several times that Sin, at the time assumed to be some kind of ancient artifact, is supposed to be stronger than Lys and Ark'hen taken to together. Not only are the two basically his parents, but the fourth novel reveals that Dortös pitched in for his "conception" also.
    • In the third novel, upon finding out that Master Zen started a new guild, Omega Zell sarcastically asks him if he called it "The new Noob guild", "Return of Noob guild" or "Noob guild two". The fourth novel starts with the Noob guild disbanded and getting restarted by Sparadrap. The chapter depicting the latter is titled "The new Noob guild".
    • The third novel has some members of the guild crack a couple of Nerds Are Virgins jokes at Arthéon, who replies that his love life is going perfectly fine. The fourth novel starts some time after the end of his relationship with Kary.
    • The third novel has Spectre call Tenshirock "his old friend", long before Tenshirock's past was revealed in Season 5 of the webseries.
    • The fourth novel has Mist hesitate to join Justice without Saphir's explict approval. The webseries and comic have revealed that they are sisters since the publication of the novel in question.
  • Gaming Clan: All the guilds seen can be considered to be one. Noob and Relic Hunter guild are so small they contain a single Player Party while Roxxor and Justice (a number of just under two hundred is given in the second novel for the latter) are hinted to be quite big.
  • God's Hands Are Tied: Remember that powerful artifact that exploded in Lys and Ark'hen's faces a few millenia ago? They are still recovering from that and had to seal up a couple of other Sources in the meantime, so it may be a smart move to not rely on them helping out outside of sending their servants in.
  • Godzilla Threshold: Sin has a policy of not meddling with the lives of Olydrians, but has to break that rule in the fourth novel to help them take down a giant creature from Arturis.
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: Exploited. While in Coalition prison, the protagonists run into a Non-Player Character that can make everyone invisible without using magic (that can't be used in the prison in question). That's nice, but how does it actually help the players get out? Simple: wait for the guards to panic at all the prisoners suddenly vanishing, open the prison gates to let reinforcements inside and take advantage of that to escape without being seen. The worse part is that the guy with the invisibility powder actually expects this to happen.
  • Had To Be Sharp: Keosamas in their time, according to Arthéon. Apparently, Olydri became less dangerous since then.
  • Hey, Wait!: The Coalition guards that interrogate the Noob guild while they are masquerading as Coalition players do this. They just wanted to offer them a ride to the Coalition capital on their flying mounts that are able to carry double instead of having them walk there.
  • Jack of All Stats/Jack-of-All-Trades: Elementalists when they start out. They can stay like that forever if they never specialize according to the third book.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler:
    • The third novel's cover shows the Noob guild with two extra members, which were intoduced as temporary teammates in the second novel.
    • The fourth novel shows Gaea with a Coalition cursor over her head.
  • Law of Cartographical Elegance: Justified due to the fact that a genre in which that trope is expected is being depicted. The nature of the borders remains unknwon so far.
  • Loose Lips: Golgotha. She and Gaea met on another MMO before finding each other on Horizon again. Gaea had to leave it because Golgotha couldn't keep her mouth shut about her scams, that obviously relied on people not figuring out what was going on.
  • The Magic Versus Technology War: Stated to be the main driver of the conflict between the Empire (technology) and the Coalition (magic). The trope is however slightly downplayed since the Empire leaders are Genre Savvy enough to keep a decent number of magic users around while the Coalition uses lower forms of technology alongside magic (those who choose to play neogicians in the Coalition are stated to be on a Steam Punk level).
  • Medium Awareness: The serum that "disguises" the Noob guild into Coalition members relies entirely on this. It changes the color of their cursors from yellow to red and gives them a Sdrawkcab Alias. That's it. In adddition, a following scene shows that this intended to hide only from Coalition players, as Sparadrap gets interrogated by a NPC solider that asks him his name.
  • Mr. Exposition: Arthéon. A lot of it is drifting further and further away from the original conversation matter until Omega Zell stops him. Milder versions include Couette and Ivy.
  • Murder Simulators: Mid-way through the third novel, Stanislas (Arthéon's player) ends up missing his first class so he can take part in an extremly important battleground in the MMORPG in which most of the story is set. His boarding school principal walks in on him and is understandably furious at him. She immediately assumes he's playing a war game, which is understandable given he was in the middle of a battle, but does'nt listen to him when he tries telling her that battles aren't the only aspect of the game. In the middle of chewing him out, she mentions the school shootings in which the perpetrators were (allegedly) video game players. She also makes clear that she considers Geek culture in general to be responsible for all sort of evils related to the younger generation, all while not giving Stanislas a chance to explain any of it (which he's clearly more than willing to do).
  • My Beloved Smother: Arthéon's mother deconstructs the idea of a current-day Geek having such a mother. He was initially interested in sports and other social activities, but his mother would be so vocal about encouraging him that it broke his concentration, giving her the impression he wasn't made for such activities. He ended up having to give them up altogether and turned to activities he could do from home, including playing the MMORPG in which most of the story is set and ending up in the game's top guild before it actually became the top guild. His mother, however, convinced that New Media Are Evil, forced him to stop playing at 8 P.M. every night (he was just turning twenty around then), forcing him to resort to Real Money Trade to keep up with his guildmates. His avatar got banned by Game Masters because of it and the geunine depression that ensued was a wake up call for his mother, who finally decided to get him a new computer and tell him she was okay with him playing. And thanks to the adaptation of a case of Real Life Writes the Plot from the original webseries (the actor playing Arthéon became less available for Season 3), the third novel has her send him to boarding school.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • The Mokotz group mentioned to play in a Centralis tavern has the same name as the music group that played the TV series opening song, the Season 3 finale/Season 4 ending song and character songs for Sparadrap and Omega Zell.
    • Omega Zell once mentioned that he wouldn't be suprised if Golgotha and Master Zen turned out to be related. The actors playing Golgotha and Master Zen in the series are siblings.
    • Keynn Lucans is an Expy of a character named Sirius Lucans from one of Noob's spiritual predecessors. The name of Keynn's father? Sirius. The same work had the general idea of Centralis under the name of Dunkhil. Guess what's the name of one of the Empire's latest settlements in the novels.
    • A webseries episode had Couette's avatar taken over by an exterior force and attack Gaea, while Omega Zell just watched it happen and commented that she would have been in bigger trouble if it had been his avatar. In the fourth novel, an another avatar-possessing evil is encountered and Omega Zell comes in physical contact with it.
  • No One Gets Left Behind: Arthéon has to make a point of enforcing this, as the standard attitude when one of the three other die while the others survive is someone expressing happiness at the deceased's temporary absence. It's also implied that Gaea and Omega Zell would have no problem letting each other die without this.
  • Not So Different:
    • In the third novel, Ystos, Saphhir and Heimdäl meet a Non-Player Character that complains about the Coalition being full of magic fanactics... while making it quite clear the he himself considers technology to be the only right path to follow.
    • The fourth has Lorth Kordigän experiment on Empire and Order prisoners. Gameplay-wise, this causes the Noob guild to get captured along with other Empire and Order players. They are then set free by an Empire NPC that has teleporting powers and get teleported inside Centralis, with the Order prisoners nohere to be seen. The narration points out that the Empire has a thing for experimenting on enemy prisoners as well, so briging the Order players inside Centralis would have been a dumb move coming from their liberator, who seeks peace between the factions.
  • Oddly Common Rarity: The Sources. There is supposed to be only one Source per "world" (which seems to mean "habitable celestial body" in the present case). Lys and Ark'hen are co-ruling Olydri, after basically taking it away from it previous owner, Dortös, who's sealed away somewhere until the end of the first novel. Then Sin somehow comes into existence via being generated by all three of them. Then a Soulless named Saralzar manages to make himself into a Source. Oh, and guess where the remanents of Fargöth have been hiding all this time, when he could have literally chosen to hide anywhere else in the universe. In case you've lost count, that's six of something that Olydri should normally have only one of.
  • The One Guy: The novels are the only media to explicitly state that Omega Zell in the only male employee of Feminine TV.
  • One Steve Limit: Averted.
    • Fabien Fournier's urge to name any old lady after his grandmother has led the old lady killed by Master Zen's Appliance Defenestration and Sparadrap's grandmother to share the same first name.
    • Gaea and Sparadrap named their respective rerolls Gaëa and Spärädräp.
    • Some of the aliases are obviously dileberately misspelled and incorrectly accented words or names of more or less known fictional characters that imply that the correctly-spelled version was already taken when the players signed up. Most of the main characters however seem to have been able to pick the original spelling for what they wanted (see for yourself).
  • The Password Is Always Swordfish: Sparadrap has "Flan", the French word for his Tademark Favorite Dessert.
  • Perpetual Poverty: Sums up the Nood guild's finances quite well. Gaea never contributes, Omega Zell is apprently not much better and Sparadrap is willing but lousy at managing his money in addition to having pets to feed. To top it off, Arthéon set the minimal contribution quite low, presumably either to stave off complaints of it being too high or as incentive for people to join (a minimum of 30 credits per person when equipment repairs and quest rewards are a few hundred). By comparision, it was 50 credits in Couette's old guild.
  • Precursors: In Horizon, Olydrians have this in the form of Keosamas.
  • Prolonged Prologue: Each book is basically one for the following season of the series (for those who watch it).
  • Raised by Grandparents: Sparadrap and Ystos.
  • Rage Against the Heavens: This is basically the reason for which the Order becomes a third faction in the second novel. As both Sparadrap and Ivy have put it, "They weren't very happy to have been put on pause for thousands of years.".
  • Right Behind Me: Omega Zell telling Arthéon he thought Saphir wasn't genetically programmed to take care of Justice guild's admissions had that trope come into play.
  • Rouge Angles of Satin: Some stuff got missed by both the writer and the publisher.
  • Schizo Tech: Due to the Empire having mastered Imported Alien Phlebotinum over the years.
  • Science Fantasy: Leans towards this much more than the two other media, due to Centralis being somewhat of an Ascended Extra.
  • Sdrawkcab Alias: The effect of a serum supposed to disguise the Noob guild into Coalition players.
  • Snipe Hunt: During the part of the story involving Töne Förk, Gaëa sends all the ex-prisoners that aren't her guildmates on one to get rid of them so Noob can finish the quest alone.
  • Soft Water: Fantöm relies on this to survive jumping off a flying palace.
  • Stable Time Loop: All the challenges inside the Galamadriabuyak tower are stated to be that, with the players participating in a historical event that includes the death of the level's boss.
  • Thriving Ghost Town: The Puinetourne hamlet is a bad case : a windmill, a tavern and an auction house. Non-shopkeeper NPC population : an old man that spends the day going back and fourth between the tavern and his home.
  • Un-Person: Lys and Ark'hen apparently did this to the people that ended up becoming the Order in addition to freezing them in time.
  • Under the Sea: Aqualis.
  • We Are as Mayflies: The explosion of the Stone of Ages drained Lys and Ark'hen's powers and they have been recovering from the event ever since. The event in question is several millenia old.
  • Whodunnit to Me: In the third novel, a Frame-Up puts Gaea in very real danger of losing her avatar. Tenshirock buys her some time, but she knows it's not unlimited. She decides to spend the time she has left figuring out who's the real guilty party of the crime of which she's accused. Fortunately, the guilty party in question couldn't wait to boast about it to the Noob guild first chance it got and Gaea has a habit of recording things.