Big things are happening on TV Tropes! New admins, new designs, fewer ads, mobile versions, beta testing opportunities, thematic discovery engine, fun trope tools and toys, and much more - Learn how to help here and discuss here.
Battle Chess is a series of chess programs for various PC and console platforms, made back in the late 1980s and early 1990s.In most respects, it is an ordinary chess program, not even as smart as most PC chess programs of the time. But it is different in one way: the chess pieces are all animated, and every time a piece was moved, you can see an animation. Every time there is a capture, the capturing piece fights a little battle with the captured piece on the board. Since the rules of chess are still in effect, the result of these battles is always a Foregone Conclusion, but the battles are fun to watch, especially on early plays (watching the same animation for the millionth time, however…).In other words, it's basically a chess game that plays like Holochess or Wizard's Chess. American versions of the game did include gorier battles.It had sequels: Battle Chess 4000, which is normal chess but with sci-fi characters used as chess pieces, and Battle Chess II: Chinese Chess, based on the Chinese Chess board game. A remake has been released on Steam.
Adaptational Badass: The Rook, in the original board game, is a watchtower of some kind. In Battle Chess, it is a rock monster.
Aside Glance: When a Queen attacks a Pawn, she uses her magic to make his spear vanish. The Pawn briefly looks at the player in response, as if to say "what the hell?!".
Same for a King attacking a Knight—the Knight catches the Cartoon Bomb the King bats at him, blinks at the player, then looks down when he realizes the fuse is burning out. Kaboom.
Ax-Crazy: In the tutorial, the Rook loves talking about smashing things. And while talking about castling, "I'm only going to go through it ONCE. If you don't understand, I'll smash YOU!"
Baleful Polymorph: The Queen has powers to do this. For instance, her checkmate involves turning the King into both a donkey and a frog.
Hoist by His Own Petard: The animation of a Knight capturing a Queen. When the Queen tries to zap the Knight with a spell, he deflects the spell with his shield, so that the Queen is hit instead, turning her into a dragon that the Knight then slays.
Berserk Button: Don't try to seduce the King if you don't mean it. And never taunt or insult the Pawn.
Blade on a Stick: The Bishop's main weapon is a retractable blade built into his cross staff.
The King. While every other piece has a general technique they'll use (the Pawn's spear and Bishop's crozier, the Rook's sheer brute force (he turns into a rock monster to move and attack), the Knight's sword and shield and the Queen's magic), the King has a unique weapon for each piece he attacks: a hidden flail in his sceptre to take down Pawns, magic shrinking powder to remove Rooks, seduction of the Queen before clubbing her out, bombs to dispatch Knights, and freakin' guns to take out Bishops.
To an extent, the Pawn is this too, who uses dirty tactics against his opponents. Against other Pawns, he stamps the butt of his spear on the opponent's foot; against Knights, simply knees him between the legs; against Bishops, he positions him over a hidden trapdoor; against Rooks, he uses a Groin Attack and then grinds him to pieces with the butt of his spear; against the Queen, he chucks a dagger into her back when she tries to walk away; when checkmating the King, he simply hoists the King's crown and takes it for his own. Finally, when captured by a Queen, he tries to escape by... jumping to the next square!
Cut Scene: The point of this game over other chess games of the era.
Defeat by Modesty: When a Knight checkmates a King, a sword slash causes his robe to fall off, leaving him completely naked and sheepishly covering himself. The Knight just laughs.
Denser and Wackier: Battle Chess II: Chinese Chess versus Battle Chess. The animations are much more comedic than serious: for instance, Pawn vs. Pawn results in the attacking Pawn getting frustrated at the defending Pawn dodging all his attacks, simply throwing down his ge in a rage, and sucker-punching the defending Pawn with a mean right hook.
Getting Crap Past the Radar: A really funny variation by the artist who drew the Queen. He knew he was working with meddlesome executives, and he also knew exactly what he wanted the queen to look like, how she should move, etc. So he drew her animations exactly like he wanted... and then added a pet duck that made no sense in the context. The executive told him it looked great except the duck had to go, and he ended up with exactly the original design.
Half the Man He Used to Be: The King's fate if checkmated by a Bishop, who uses his bladed crosier to slice him into three pieces.
Henpecked Husband: In the 3DO tutorial, the King makes a joke about the Queen nagging him and never letting him get any peace. The joke is he says that during his explanation of a chess strategy: while the King can capture a Queen, in practical terms he can never get close enough to threaten her. But the Queen can constantly harass him around the board.