Video Game: BattleBlock Theater

Give the performance of your life.

"What a strange, mysterious island! And what's this? The shore is riddled with little friend-sized footprints! Guess the tide brought them to land! How utterly CONVENIENT! But where have they gotten to? Who knows? I don't! Do you? I don't! Do you? I dont! Do-WELCOME TO BATTLEBLOCK THEATER! Go inside... the door."

BattleBlock Theater is a 2D co-op style puzzle-platformer created by The Behemoth for the Xbox 360 and Steam. The gameplay revolves around 'stages' in the decidedly gruesome prison/theatre that the game takes place in, where your character is currently locked up in, and the blocks that they are made up of. The game's co-op component is described as "co-optional" (screwing each other over might as well be encouraged, or even mandatory), and there are many versus multiplayer gametypes, such as capturing tofu horses and shooting soccer balls into... basketball hoops. Based off their Alien Hominid PDA Games.

BattleBlock Theater as a whole is an example of:

  • Abnormal Ammo: Weapons and tools can be a bit strange. Perhaps the toppers are a cannon that fires suction cup darts and the bubble blower... thing that shoots some sort of highly corrosive bubble.
  • Bears Are Bad News: In one area of the chapter hub, there's a poster that reads "Bear Hug is Nigh" and depicts a bear wearing star pasties. It's probably no big deal. And then it shows up at the end of the game. Gigantic and living in space. The scene is ridiculous and set up in a way that makes you doubt it is actually there, but no, it IS there and things only get more absurd as Hatty shoots it down with a huge laser. The icing in the cake is that this actually sets the events of The Behemoth's next game.
  • Big Damn Heroes: After you've rescued Hatty and begun your escape, the other prisoners you've released show up with rifles and kill all the cats chasing you as you flee back to the now-repaired boat.
  • Big "NO!": Hatty lets out a stream of these when at the end his hat suddenly fires a laser that kills a giant space bear.
  • Bittersweet Ending: You make it off the island! However, no one is the happy, cheery person they were from the beginning, and Hatty seems to have become permanently vegetative.
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: From the intro:
    "Now one fine morning Hatty and pals set out for a new and exciting adventure! What fantastic wonders would they discover this time? Perhaps they would come across a scary ghost ship! Perhaps they would find an island made entirely of candy! Perhaps they would meet a band of swash-buckling pirates! And join forces to find an island made entirely of candy!"
  • Buffy Speak: The Narrator indulges in this.
  • Cats Are Mean: Cats are the ones running the theatre, responsible for keeping you locked up, and watching you traverse the dangerous obstacles they set for you. They are sticklers for yarn, however, and you can make shady trades with the security to give you extra weaponry or tools.
  • The Cameo: Pipistrello and the Orange Princess from Castle Crashers appear in cutscenes. The alien from Alien Hominid briefly appears during the ending. Both him and the knight from Castle Crashers can be used as avatars if you own their games. Other playable cameos include more characters from both games and the Madness Combat version of Tricky the Clown.
  • Character Customization: You keep gems you earn, and you can spend them to let security free some prisoners. These prisoners are actually what consists of your customizable appearance, and each one gives you a head as a prize. That's as far as it goes, however. The Narrator lampshades that much.
    Narrator: Maybe you should invest in some clothes. You're awfully naked.
  • Cherry Tapping: Most attacks performed with the X button don't do damage, and just push people around. That being said, it is effective for, say, moving enemies into the insta-kill trap directly behind them...
  • Color-Coded Multiplayer: Teams have self picked colors. Players and other team related assets use those colors.
  • Continuing Is Painful: Insane mode's deal is that it disables checkpoints. Also, while a player in co-op would normally be allowed to continue if their partner died, the death of either one in Insane mode resets the level.
  • Cosmetic Award: The only thing you can spend gems on are prisoners that give you extra heads. There are, however, many, many of these. You'll likely have purchased all of the weapons well before finishing the story mode, while your head collection won't even be a quarter complete. You can also trade these with other people, so if people are willing, they also have potential extra value too.
    • After completing the game, your character will walk around with a trophy on his back at all times (well, unless you toggle it off, anyway.)
  • Crapsaccharine World: Everything's so bright, colorful and ridiculous that its almost enough to make you forget that you're trapped on an island run by fascist cats that force you to throw yourself into horrific death courses for the entertainment of the public.
  • Cross Promotion: Not only do you gain additional bonus heads for having saves from both Castle Crashers and Alien Hominid with at least one achievement, the game itself provides a character for Castle Crashers.
  • Death Course: Pretty much everything outside of arena mode. Most of the stages have you running from point A to point B, all while saws, spikes, lasers, and numerous other things try to take you out.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: During single player, death plants you at the latest checkpoint with no lives to consider. During co-op, it is even less of an inconvenience, as dead partners tend to respawn on nearby safe surfaces. It is not a slap on the wrist in two instances, when you are finishing a level against the clock, and when it is on insane mode, where checkpoints do not exist.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: A favorite of the narrator.
    Narrator: Will you uncover the mysterious mystery of the island?
  • Directionally Solid Platforms: Cloud platforms are only solid from above. However, heavy objects will fall through them.
  • Double Jump: The game includes one for extensive platforming. What's notable about this particular iteration is that dropping off an edge of a climbable object does not consume the first jump, allowing for you to cross a major distance without touching the ground.
  • Empty Shell: Hatty is reduced to a seemingly permanent vegetative state by the end of the game.
  • Gainax Ending: The stinger. Hatty is dumped overboard, and that infernal top hat lands on his head. It glows green instead of red... and then a laser shoots upwards from it, apparently knocking the boat away and destroying numerous other things in its path. This is even touched on by the narrator, who says "It all makes sense now!"
  • Genre Savvy: The Narrator, once again. When touching upon the top hat on Hatty's head, the Narrator makes mention of the fact it glows red. As everyone knows, glowy red stuff is always bad.
  • Goomba Stomp: Not present in the main game, but is present in others in the multiplayer. In some it only counts as a non-lethal hit, in others it is an instant kill.
  • Got the Whole World in My Hand: There is imagery of Purrham, a cat and Hatty standing over the Earth in this fashion during the ending, for whatever reason.
  • Gotta Catch Them All: Not a major part of the game but something many players feel they should do. Not too hard as on the PC heads are cheap (except for a certain summer sale exclusive one). The Xbox in contrast has repeat runs periodically for any head (even the one that's summer sale exclusive on Steam).
  • Gosh Darn It to Heck!: The narrator tries to avoid profanity when possible.
    Narrator: They're sick of Hatty's bullsh- be e- NONSENSE!
  • Holler Button: Left Trigger allows you to cry for help (like a little baby). While it has the hypothetical purpose of alerting co-op partners to your presence, it can be used to call horses towards you if you need them and they are not nearby.
  • Heroic BSOD: Hatty appears to have been so deeply traumatized by his endeavor by the end of the game that he has given up on attempting to move from his seat, and remains unresponsive even in the presence of any of his friends.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: Gems and yarns appear roughly around the same size as the player character. At most, they can collect seven gems and one yarn per levels, and then they can carry so much more in the lobbies. This also includes the weapon they are currently using, which can also be as large as the player.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Both the prisoners and the cats can utilize an arsenal of unconventional weapons, ranging from exploding Frisbees to poisonous air bubbles to paper airplane bombs...
  • Incendiary Exponent: There are a few ways to set things on fire: With the fireball weapon, or if toast and lasers get involved. You live for a short amount of time after being ignited, and are still capable of fighting to your last breath, or even beyond if you find water, which launches you back into the air extinguished.
  • It's Pronounced Tro-PAY: The Narrator's description of the game's content rating in the trailer.
    Narrator: Rated T for Blude, Veowlunce and Crud Hoomaw! Crud Hoo... what's that - like French, or something?
  • Large Ham: The Narrator loves to be ridiculously over the top and hammy.
  • Lemony Narrator: Extremely lemony.
  • Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition: The Steam edition trailer.
  • Ludicrous Gibs: Exploding weapons are the quickest way to take you enemies out. Careful, as the same applies to the player.
  • Mood Whiplash: The final cutscene goes from bittersweet to peppy to weird all within the space of a few minutes.
  • Motor Mouth: The Narrator. All the way.
  • Narrator: There is only one person who talks, and boy does he talk.
  • Nice Hat: Say nothing of the possible hats wearable by the player, the story revolves around a magnificent but cursed top hat possessing a friend of yours. Though he doesn't seem to move very much after wearing it.
  • Nintendo Hard: Furbottom's Features are always very difficult.
  • Press X to Die: You need to press a certain key to enter doors in the Hub Level. If you press it anywhere else, it will make your character start trembling and eventually explode. It actually comes in handy in the Insane Mode if you want to quickly restart the level.
  • Projectile Pocketing: The boomerang weapon has this trait.
  • Pungeon Master: The narrator.
    Narrator: I see them lurking in the shadows. . . lurking hard! Or Hardly lurking, see?
  • Significant Anagram: "Even the word 'hopeless' has 'hope' in it! And if you rearrange the letters, you get 'peeslosh'! ...The last part was probably unnecessary."
  • Sudden Musical Ending: First comes the moving tribute to Hatty... and then an upbeat song about buckling your pants.
  • Super Drowning Skills: To a point that they're basically puddles, yet they're still deadly should you fall in.
  • Surreal Humor: The ending.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: The Vault.
  • Toilet Humour: Purham Furbottom, the man who created Battleblock Theater (In-Universe, of course), died because he couldn't reach the bathroom in time to take a dump, due to an illogical hatred of intermissions.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Surprisingly averted by the, ahem, eccentric narrator in general. Whatever he's saying seems to legitimately be what's going on in the game.
  • Villainous Breakdown: As the story goes on, the cats become increasingly aggressive and outright insane as it becomes more and more clear that Hatty completely sucks at his new job.