A Level 1 Heading in the Nightmare Fuel Markup
I at least want to bring the world-theme cheat sheet back. But that's all.Themes:
- Not much of a theme/closest to "normal" as the game gets
- Adventure themed, mild fantasy elements, action-y
- A lot more quiet, some mild "haunted" theme (towards the end you go to a graveyard)
- Probably a nod to my whole "element" thing, with a tiny bit more emphasis on rainbow-colored environments.
- Industrial; at least around half of it is in a huge factory that has parts across the world's domain
- A "beautiful" theme; just lots of colorful scenery, flowers everywhere, usually in night settings, etc
- Sports-themed? Or just a general traditional game-themed area?
- A sort of arc about a corrupt university that spans the world's domain
- Afterlife-themed (distinct from World 3), faux-religion and myth, sort of good and evil but not that much
- Very bizarre and strange, deals with things such as "glitches" and abstractions; think of it as a sort of counter to World 1
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The Spooky Parts
- There's something a little... off about the way Burnda breaks the fourth wall compared to the other characters. While with nearly everyone else, it's more of a tongue-in-cheek
- Not-Bill is a deconstruction of
- "Soos in Giffany [sic] Land" starts off as standard fare. However, once Soos, Melody, Rumble, and .GIFfany enter the eponymous "Land" to try to reason enough with the poison-specialist .GIFfanys and get a cure for the poison inside Stan and the Trickster, well... Fan describes the result as being to run:gifocalypse what Underfell is to Undertale. Basically, every single professor is now a hostile yandere to Soos — even though RG implied that they started off as yanderes to their respective players, some of them were significantly nicer to the protagonists (making it a very bizarre secondary character variation of Protagonist-Centered Morality — if they're being nice to the heroes, they're considered "morally good") as they were dealing with people who were not directly interfering with their "relationship" — just delaying a bit of time, if anything. .GIFfany #9 (the canonical copy) tries to play along with them at first, and just seduces Soos instead of resorting to violence (until she threatens to use her "special attack," which isn't revealed until "Sassy" in SBIGlets), but after meeting the professors directly she's scared shitless of them and immediately tries to form a truce with the two humans to get the hell out of there.
- What's even worse is that, again, in run:gifocalypse, the copies had crushes on different people that held no relation to the Pines and company.note Except Dove and the twins — all three of which blew off their players for different reasons. While Burnda and Burrda both mutually agreed that being so obsessive over a player no matter what instead of trying to get to know the player is stupid and started carying more about having fun than getting player affection (not that they were completely above player affection), Dove became a misantrope (not in the "anyone who can think is an evil dick" way, but "real humans are terrible, virtual simulations are better"-sort of Fantastic Racism) and started a group that blew shit up for fun while painting humanity as something even worse. In Journals, they're all targetting Soos. The point is that if they were obsessed with people that Soos's group knew about and were convinced that they were being pried away from them, RunGif could have very well ended up like it was here.
- This really shows off the worst in the professors, and the worst in .GIFfany. They lighten up and eventually become the more sympathetic portrayals as they were in RunGif and most of them are played for laughs, but until then, holy shit. To wit:
- Burrda is completely silent, spending the beginning of her short appearance with her face completely blackened aside from a simple ASCII smiley blinking and glowing from it — the implication being that she completely lost her mind.
- Of course, Burnda is right by her side, talking about how the two of them "share a link" and implies that she outright wants to assimilate herself, Burrda, and Soos together.
- Sandy becomes a Gamzee expy of sorts. In RG, Sober-Sandy was a wannabe philosopher and a very intellegent geologist. Here, as the effects of her tea wear off, she becomes increasingly deranged, talking about the "Great Starry Love Goddess in the Skies" and talking about performing sacrifices and rituals to get Soos to fall for her.
- Kathody plans on making Soos's own personal life "terrifying" until he finally goes into her arms, and still tries to send Jump Scares into his life so that he can always be leaping into her arms.
- Shannon has, for all intents and purposes, became addicted to her own mirrors. She spouts nonsense of the fantasies she sees in them, and yes, she too has a Glitch state.
- Rose establishes the setting — she interrupts .GIFfany's "Special Attack" and traps the foursome in vines. Slowly drawing in closer, talking about how they are not allowed to fight back at all. The group's only saved by the other professors attacking her.
- Wendy M (or rather, W, as the copies here have the last name Watch — as in, Mr. Game and Watch — instead of Miyazumi) re-creates both that stalker Bobby Hill once had during "Talking Shop" and the far more insane Trip Larson from "Pigmilation."
- Bubbles mentions trying to literally wash his brain to make him want to play with her.
- Sonia's comments are tamer than the others, but she attempts to lure Soos in siren-style. In a foggy swamp.
- Searah also isn't that bad threat-wise, but she can jump out of practically any water. Including sink water.
- Cardia seems to be just as dilusional as she was at the beginning of "Brains, Heart, and Guts of the Group," though now she talks about butchering anyone who gets in the way of her and Soos.
- Dian is something of a Stepford Smiler: she seems to be as laid-back and neutral towards everything as her Gifocalypse counterpart, but in reality has a whole underground factory where she tries to brew potions that force Soos into loving her. (Between this and Bubbles, you can tell that Fan really doesn't like love potions in any way.)
- Leona would have been one of the tamer ones if not for the extremely long Stalker Shrine hallway with artwork she made of Soos — paintings of him filling up the walls and ceilings, busts all lining the sides, and the floor is a carpet bearing some sort of suit card-like depiction of him.
- Dove... doesn't change much, if at all. Despite being a bundle of unprovoked hostility in RunGif, she's actually one of the tamest professors in Journals. Which is an uncanny thought for a number of completely different reasons — the woman who blew up Gravity Falls keeping her personalty yet being the least fucked up of the fourteen speaks volumes about the rest of them.
- Lastly, there's a brand new addition: Professor Eve. She starts off harmless in this chapter, the worst she actually does just being that she destroys the clothes Melody and Rumble had with them after the .GIFfany Copy Orgy (and no, they were not in those clothes at the time). Take the unprovoked hostility of Dove or .GIFfany, add a backstory of being "banished" to a technicolor void
- Chapter 5 is the first time the real Cerebus Syndrome kicks in,
- McGucket successfully hacking into Finalayer's camera feed just to find Nzyvo staring right into the camera, and pissed off. And hell, in spite of Nzyvo's Parody Sue abilities, there is no explanation for how the hell she was able to know that.
- A kick from Nzyvo can send Professor Dove flying a short distance. This might not seem bad, until you remember one of Dove's specialties. In run:gifocalypse, she survives getting mega-nuked with hardly a scratch
- As much of an ass as he might be, Journal 3's sheer panic as Nzyvo had just knocked everyone else out (and made Dipper flat-out wet himself and pass out) and slowly starts walking over to him, preparing a Din's Fire blast. Of course, as the journals are made of paper, this would have basically spelled instant-death had Mabel not stepped in.
- The story at least tries to justify some of Nzyvo's shadier actions from the first half, if poorly. But this? She already had everything she need. Journal 3 may have been rude to Dipper and constantly pressured him on missions, but he never really did anything evil. Yet Nzyvo seemed sadistically hell-bent on attacking him. Why? This was probably already obvious since the "reveal," but is Nzyvo really as good as the narrative tries to paint her as? The fact that she conveniently bailed out right before Kyu judged the gang is also suspicious.
- Mable the Typomonster, despite the stupid name, is more-or-less the Anthromorphic Personification of all of Mabel's negative aspects turned up to ungodly levels and placed in the body of an Anti-Spiral-esque Humanoid Abomination. She basically threatens to unleash several Eldritch Abominations to destroy the planet . Oh yes, and Nzyvo Fucking Northwest, the same person who basically took on the entire first-gen villain roster of run:gifocalypse times two (minus .GIFfany #9 having the rift) without breaking a sweat, is afraid of her.
- Actually, there is a startling number of times where Mabel, even the specific character of Mabel Pines of Gravity Falls, has her name mispelled as "Mable." Every time this accidentaly happens and said... post, edit, whatever ends up getting published, you are making Mable the Typomonster stronger. Oh yeah, and correcting it will not solve the problem. She's powered by an all-too-common spelling mistake.
- Once again, Fan uses a sort-of Worf Effect in the form of "powerful character is scared/threatened by this new threat." In this case? The powerful characters are the gods within the Journals and Mabel's Core Drill. That's right, even a quartet of Gods are scared of Mable.
- You know how each of the "Pines Quadruplets" loses a limb? Well, this chapter finally covers Pacifica's (Mabel and Nzyvo lose theirs in chapter 5, Dipper in the prequel). She gets it bitten off by Pyronica. As a result of Pacifica trying to confront Pyronica solo, with... well, again, the fact that she loses an arm should be enough of an indication.
- The only reason for why this "filler-y" chapter even exists is because the heroes, for all intents and purposes, are procrastinating saving reality from being ripped apart and their planet from being destroyed by a Humanoid Abomination. (Respectively, Mis-Edventures and Mable.)
- The "President of Canada" is a very threatening force. When he sees Dipper's mooning as an insult to his entire country, he unleashes a flying saucer apocalypse on the United States. As he puts it best:
"If there is one thing you learn from SBIG, it's that you don't fuck with Canada!"
- Practically everything involving the Cathedral. After figuring out that the gateway to Tengen Toppa mechas lie within the "Giga Key," which is in a place called the "Cathedral," Kyu gives everyone a way to teleport over there. The place is a Mind Screw, to say the least. It's full of
- While she does not go into full "Bad Time Mode" as her naruto the guy with the ninja counterpart does, Kyu does briefly drop her guard to both .GIFfany and Mabel. And doesn't have nice things to say to either of them. Complete with her Prophet Eyes.
Kyu, to .GIFfany: Watch it! You're on thin ice!
Kyu, to Mabel: ...You do realize that you behaving that way is the reason why we are all in this mess in the first place, right?
- Pacifica nearly watches her parents die as they attempt to pull heroic sacrifices to make up for controlling her with a bell. Granted, Nzyvo steps in — mostly because she thinks the story ripped off Gurren Lagann enough as-is, but still.
- You know who does see a parent die? Wendy. And her brothers. Manly Dan doesn't exactly pull a sacrifice so much as he gets sneak-attacked "because someone had to die." She's clearly bluescreened by it, and during her brief cameo at the end of the SBIGlet interquel, still hasn't completely recovered.
- Not that she didn't deserve it, but Mable the Typomonster's death is rather gruesome. After Mabel pierces Mable with a final Giga Drill Break,
- The comic version, and once mentioned in the fic version, mentions that McGucket has gigantic bite marks across his lower back. The question as to what caused them
- SBIG is no stranger to The Worf Effect (often played for laughs), but what takes the cake is that Spooky and her mansion are so powerful that not even Bill Cipher can find a way out (at first). And keep in mind that Bill is not even physically there.
- It gets even worse when you consider SBIG-Bill's true identity. Several alternate versions of Dark Magic (the predominant personality), but also several alternate Crconikals-Nepetas (AKA genius experts, each of whom crafted their own guides to solving the supernatural and they regularly think together in the form of Yggdrasil) and Crconikals-Hank Hills (AKA Sages, realized Sages at that with fairy-related powers that should have some sort of magic counter-balance). Granted, being in a different multiverse might have something to do with it, but even with all those Dark Magic Entities tapping into the knowledge of all the Nepetas and Hanks, Bill still can't find an actual way out so he just plays along with being a specimen.
- Speaking of characters unable to leave the mansion, Spooky and GL Labs are implied to have fallen under this "curse" themselves in this fic's incarnation of the game. Really makes you wonder: Is Spooky running the specimen, or are the specimen running Spooky? Which specimen is responsible for this? (Though the story strongly implies 9.) Or is it the mansion itself, and not a single specimen within?
- .GIFfany's return. Okay, so a general pattern in Fan's works is that her returns are caused by undoing her disc's destruction in some way. run:gifocalypse takes place after "The Last Mabelcorn" and Gideon brings her disc back. Journals has Nzyvo roughly doing the same, except that takes place after "Gift Shop of Horrors." Sassy Cat and Talking Bulldog Corps. is a sort-of sequel/spinoff to Journals, and bottom line, takes place after. This... is a prequel to Journals. .GIFfany mostly seems to be bound by electronics at least, unlike other "upgrades," but how the fuck is she able to leave the Fight Fighters cabinet without Nzyvo's "revising" skills? Hell, by the time Journals rolls around, did she still keep the powers she absorbed from Specimen 4?
- Specimen 7, rather than being a single "wall" of sorts, is described as being a large flood of undead red bodies that chases after the trio.
- Spooky re-enacting the King Boo fight from Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam, except Pacifica is the captured one being held by a minion (Specimen 2). Spooky might not be able to make herself look threatening, but she can sure as hell come off as this.
- Dipper's "fight" against Spooky. She completely and utterly ends up humiliating him, first by tossing him all over the place, then by slicing off his arm after he attempts to call a truce. Oh yeah, and said arm injury? It sicks — the reason why it's not mentioned in Journals of Wisdom, Power, and Courage before chapter 5 is because he got a very convincing prosthetic. (And to hide the reveal that Spooky's is a prequel to Journals.)
Sassy (Related SBIGlet)
- Tad watching the four heroes showering (with his eyes widening when Melody mentions him being there) gets another layer of fucked up when you realize he was perving on his son's romantic partners.
- When Tad ascends by merging with the souls of Rumble, Melody, and all of the .GIFfany copies — including the procedural generator — Soos goes into him spiritually to try talking to the souls of his main three partners. Rumble's is standard and tame — he's reverted to his more violent, black-and-white morality self, and Soos quickly gets him back to normal. .GIFfany sounds incredibly threatening and uses some sort of Gaster Blaster/Brimstone Grimace expy (it's also noteworthy that this is technically the first time .GIFfany ever "fought hard" specifically with her own tools in SBIG, and not by possessing the environment, explaining why she uses the lasers now). Melody... is more interesting. She seems to be regretful of something. Soos actually tries prodding at this, and she eventually lets something slip. The name Project Plank.
MUGEN Stuff that ties in with this stupid shit
- "ULTI HAREM SOOS" is normally a comedic, Stylistic Suck character. But, like a number of things by Great Pikmin Fan, he has some weird Easter Eggs.
- Get at least 3,000 power and try implimenting the cheat code used to bring Rumble to lifenote The code Dipper said out loud and the code written on the cabinet were both different; because of this, Fan made it so that entering either one of them would still work. Soos will appear to prepare a move. Watch as the screen shuts off (like a television), a static background appears, and a .GIFfany dressed in a uniform with a slightly different color scheme suddenly pops up to stare directly at the player, smirking. She will say, in text with a strange red-green-blue shaking shadow effect, that she is thankful that you freed her. The game resumes as normally, except this copy will immediately bombard the stage with gigantic, blood-stained pixelly-knives. (They may just be sprites taken from Binding of Isaac: Rebirth, but the sheer fact that they are pixel-like is an eyebrow-raiser. Everything else about this character, including this copy herself, keeps the intentionally crappy MS Paint art style.) Say hello to Professor Eve, who from this point until the match ends, has a 50/50 chance of replacing Soos's .GIFfany summon and may switch the "usual" lightning attack with throwing a projectile that resembles a screaming electrical face. Oh, and it the match ends and it's in a mode that sends you straight to the win screen/character selection, she'll tint the entire screen red. Oh yeah, this applies for outside of the match, and sticks until you start a new one. Did you know that UHS's victory portrait actually has a hidden giant smiley face that looks like it was drawn in blood? Well, the palette effect she throws on this will definitely show you that.
- It's not nearly as bad as Lime Nepeta's warnings that gradually escalate to a screen-filling Nightmare Face, but as with most of Fan's characters, UHS's sprite sheet begins with a warning telling you that looking through his files may spoil some hidden secrets. Naturally, as the established four-wall screwer of the foursome, .GIFfany is the one to give the warning. Again, it's rather tame, she's portrayed as being sincere and never tries to pull any Nightmare Faces or scare tactacs. But her last line does say that you might "free something that shouldn't be." As the first sub-bullet indicates, she's talking about Professor Eve. Who is, again, somehow far more creepypasta-y than .GIFfany's starter "haunted video game" concept.
- For a non-Easter Egg example: "Photoshop .GIFfany" shows up here as the strong version of her assist summon. While it's really made in Gimp, and follows more of a 16 bit-like design as opposed to a photo-realistic one, that giant pink eye[[note]]For those curious, the sprite of the eye comes from the Gainax Ending of Trio the Punch, just colored pink instead of orange. This is also where the hidden "YOU FIGURED IT OUT" comes from. Professor Eve's variation is, unsurprisingly, a hell of a lot worse, as it appears organic. No explanation is given for this.
- Another non-secret is Professor Shannon's cameo. Her Main Possession, where she ropes herself into some sort of exponential loop that involves possessing her own reflection, bringing it to life, and adding it on to her body, makes the end result look like something straight out of the White Desert. Oh yeah, and you get a warning when she's about to attack with her MP in the form of a siren. A very loud siren.
- One last not-secret: Soos has a "Pissed the Fuck Off"/"Rage Mode" mechanic. It's already bad enough that any version of Soos turns into an unstoppable rage is bad enough; it's worse when said mode involves him growing in size, looking somewhat like someone with the Gate of Life opened, with veiny red skin and blank white eyes.
- For obvious reasons, harm done to his loved ones is the fastest way to raise his meter. Dipper and Melody are the only "vulnerable" assists, and Melody does not suffer any real injuries aside from Clothing Damage, so Fan does not count that towards his score. Cue players summoning Dipper just to put him in harm's way over and over again to efficiently build up the Rage Gauge.
- If the Rage Mode is not completely activated, you can cool the gauge down by using a hyper where he bathes with Melody, Rumble, and .GIFfany. Trying to use this while he's in PTFO Mode just results in him throwing the bath-tub away, with a scared shitless-.GIFfany rushing up to him to try hosing down his back. The grin she makes sells that she knows it won't work, but Soos ends up backhanding her anyway.
They're neither utopias nor dystopias. Each domain is supposed to have some kind of admirable goal (if one that originated from a selfish reason — to appease their players), but be burried in a sort of flaw.
- Domain 1: "Don't fight for yourself at all, let my officials fight for you (it's not that big of a focus, but it's still... there)." Although they're aiming to reverse deforestation and have more vegetables for the hungry.
- Domain 2: "Have horror-themed spirit or we'll treat you like crap and throw you into our rides." Although they also manufacture a supernatural energy force that works as an amazing source of fuel.
- Domain 3: "Be idealistic or GTFO. Seriously, you can't even see this domain unless you're partly idealistic and share a lot of my viewpoints on water quality." Although they are water-purifiers who aim to have clean water for everyone.
- Domain 4: "Oh hey let's try to punish and even kill people in the name of the Lightning Goddess!" Although they are also hardcore geologists trying to find ways to help with earthquakes. And pretty brilliant minds at that once you take away their herbal tea.
- Domain 5: "Stick to the menu or I'll go nuts." Although they are a food corporation that later switches to a new type of meat that does wonders to the human body.
- Domain 6: "Bullying and just being an ass to try to 'improve' character are how I roll." Although compared to the others, Bubbles is relatively harmelss, and she is really determined to produce a number of high-quality bath houses.
- Domain 7: "A place for art... and killer fruit, and a suspiciously large shitload of weapons." Although they grow super, harmless fruit as well.
- Domain 8: "Sets the stage for a musical death." Although they teeter on that and musical entertainment. Also producing beans/coffee and stuff is kind of admirable.
- Domain 9: "Went from making antedotes to making poison." Although it's mostly a sort of self-defense and a way to stop conflict, and it's not like antedotes aren't completely no longer studied.
- Domain 10: "Like and agree with King of the Hill or prepared to be treated like a horrible outcast. I have 50s-style old fashioned views, up to and including rather sexist ones." Although they are the creators of flying cars, jet packs, super trains, very fuel-efficient vehicles, and they're trying to reduce air pollution/help the O-zone layer.
- Domain 11: It was an unknowing drug factory. Although they were originally just thinking of it as a way to see and "live out" one's dreams.
- Domain 12: "Reality TV dictates everything." Although they are great temperature regulators. Could come in handy in hot or cold parts of the world...
- Domain 13: See Domain 12.
- Domain 14: It's a freaking war factory. Although... yeah, pre-epilogue I got nothing. During the epilogue, however, Dove turns around and focuses on medical stuff instead of bomb stuff.
- Domain 15: Ruled by the biggest of the yanderes, who does not want anyone to leave despite giving them the apparent options. Also basically a yandere-creating factory. Although those two teensy details aside aside, it's a pretty neat vacation paradise in concept. Just a planet-sized city with a lot of entertainment locations and things to do.
- In "Sassy Cat and Talking Bulldog Corps," she finally gets a chance to use her "special attack" without anyone knocking her over before she could do anything more than glow. It's a series of spikes with hearts on the end that deal a tiny amount of damage on paper, but constantly deal that damage for the time contact was held — in effect, it copies the "one hit per frame" mechanic used in Undertale. Keep in mind that Kyu regularly uses these in her battle, and her "special attack" was a Brimstone laser so large that it splits the entire planet in half.
- They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
- An odd example as this is not just towards the fic itself, but to another one by the same author. Some readers of Journals have expressed that run:gifocalypse would have been more interesting if it were more along the lines of the way the .GIFfany army was depicted in Journals: canon's .GIFfany was the earliest redeemed one, and allies with the Pines and company out of sheer fear. The entire rest of the army are all yandere for Soos. Fan disagrees, saying that the whole point of that was to parody overly edgy AUs, and that he would find a huge variety in anti-villains while the main antagonist was a canon villain who spent most of the story... still being unpleasant would be more interesting and more "suitable" to canon.
- At one point Soos says "fu-I'm sorry I don't swear-cking" in place of a swear in chapter 4.