Castle Crashers is a Beat 'em Up available on the Xbox LIVE Arcade, Playstation Network, PC, and Mac. It was created by the same guys behind the Web site Newgrounds, and maintains the comedic style and artistic look you might find on their Web site.You (and up to three of your friends) are gallant knights, fighting off a barbarian horde, lava beasts, the undead and the like to rescue four beautiful princesses who have been abducted. That's the extent of the story for this game. It's all about playing an oldschool-style hack-and-slash on high-definition gaming technology, with cheesy (and at times disgusting) humor.
Castle Crashers provides examples of:
Absurdly High Level Cap: Each character maxes out at Level 99. One can beat the game at around Level 40. Those extra levels come real handy in Insane Mode, however. The game has up to about 30 playable characters (unlockables and DLC included).
Advancing Boss of Doom: Several times, you are running away from a troll large enough that its eyes alone are the size of two players each. The first time it is encountered, you simply run. In a following sequence, this troll becomes a type A boss, which you will fight in a variant of the Minecart Madness level.
And Now You Must Marry Me: The leader of the Coneheads is attempting to forcibly marry the Green Princess when you show up. The other princes may or may not be holding the other Princesses for marriage.
Annoying Arrows: Played straight for enemy arrows, and both subverted and played straight for players' arrows. Being that just about everyone is Made of Iron in this game, arrows seem to do very little damage to people, and if you're fighting a whole mess of Thieves, arrows are more than enough to drive someone mad. If a player increases their Agility during their level-ups, however, their arrows can do a decent amount of damage comparable to magic damage. In fact, some characters' "magic"is dropping a volley of arrows on their opponent's heads from on top of them, thus actually requiring magic increases to get stronger.
Apathetic Citizens: Used painfully straight in the beginning of the game, then subverted later in the swamp level, where the peasants, encouraged by your violent bravery, join you in fights - and even then, you have to lure the Corn Boss into attacking them to actually have them join you in fighting the monstrosity.
The Peasant, and his buddy The Civilian, can also be unlocked as playable characters.
Badass Adorable: All of the characters are cute little guys, but special mention goes to the Pink Knight, who wears pink armor, smiles constantly, and uses rainbows and stuffed animals as his magic attacks.
Badass Normal: The Grey Knight and several of the other unlockable characters (most notably the civilian and peasant) have no magic, gadgets, or special high-tech equipment of any kind. They make do.
Bait-and-Switch Boss: The first boss appears to be just a simple Giant Mook. Then, the door behind him that's three times his height (for reference: he's twice yours) breaks down, crushing him, and the real boss comes out. He barely fits through the giant door.
Bonus Dungeon: Insane Mode fits the trope, even if it isn't a dungeon. Enemies have many times their normal HP, and do crazy amounts of damage. You, on the other hand, only get as strong as stat caps will let you.
Boss Room: The Painter, the Necromancer, and Recyclops in the final castle. The Barbarian Boss applies here too.
Boss Rush: A set of brand-new fights right before the final battle.
Cherry Tapping: The Shovel can hit an enemy twice in one use, but it can be difficult to time, and it's often not that worth it. The Horn can send opponents flying in the same manner, but it's a bit easier to time.
Chest Monster: During the final boss fight, the usual treasure chest falls onto the boss the same way it did for every other boss; however, opening it releases a more powerful form of the boss!
Convection Schmonvection: One of the greatest examples is the Cyclops boss: after his defeat he falls into a pit of magma and is buried here. When the necromancer resurrects him as Recyclops he doesn't look burned at all.
Cowardly Boss: The Industrial Prince runs away from you at every point up until the battle with his giant mechanical contraption. Then he runs again, but gets zapped by the wizard instead of getting a ride. You can smack him off the tower of his castle for some satisfying revenge.
The Painter, who uses his elevator to hide behind his hordes of enemies. When you deal enough damage to him, the elevator breaks, and the Painter runs around screaming "POYO!", at which point his drawings start to die in one hit each.
Crosshair Aware: Whenever sub-bosses use cannons, you'll see a glowy red cross on the floor. Makes no sense, because the cannons don't have crosshairs themselves.
Cycle of Hurting: In cases where enemies spawn en masse, they may stunlock you until your health runs dry. And even then it may take them awhile to stop. Also, the Blue Knight has a certain melee combo (Light, Light, Light, Heavy) that (after striking an enemy three times in succession) freezes that enemy with a heavy blow; this combo deals absolutely massive amounts of damage and can be spammed repeatedly on a single enemy if you have the proper timing skills.
Degraded Boss: The big, squarish Troll from the early-game forest level appears later in normal fights a few times.
Dem Bones: Skeletons appears as mooks and potential playable character. Oddly, they can become beefy even if they're, you know, skeletal. The Socket Dragon from Lava World reappears in the Wizard's castle as a dead skeleton.
And those are just the ones that make sense. One boss is a giant ear of corn who attacks rather viciously with his husk.
Excuse Plot: The Wizard invades the King's Castle to steal the large magical crystal off the throne. Wizard flies off on it, and the King yells at the Knights to bring it back. That's your story, now go hit stuff.
Expressive Mask: The knights manage to be pretty expressive despite wearing cold steel helmets. Sometimes they even sprout mouths through the helmet.
The Faceless: The Orange Princess's face is never seen throughout the majority of the game. Even when you're fighting the first boss (where all four princesses are seen in the background), her face is obscured by lots of ropes.
Several other characters fit this, such as the Royal Guards, the Black Knights, the Wizard's Cultists, the Coneheads, the colored knights...
Go Karting with Bowser: At the end of the desert level, just after you slaughter dozens of Saracens, you play a friendly game of volley ball with some survivors. And even then, you can STILL beat each other senseless.
Harmless Freezing: The Blue Knight and several other characters can freeze enemies. They'll thaw and come right back after you.
Heart Is an Awesome Power: The Pink Knight's magic consists of rainbows and plush penguins/weasels. The rainbows are the longest reaching splash attack in the game and, when hit, enemies make a peace sign for a split second. And it is awesome.
Heavy Mithril: The four knights are head banging and moshing when the story begins.
I Am Your Opponent: The Barbarian Boss makes his entrance like this in hilarious fashion: a typical Giant Mook Barbarian appears, and screams at you. The giant door he's standing in front of then gets knocked down, crushing him, and out comes a much, much larger barbarian to throw down with you.
No Name Given / Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Barely any of the characters have actual names and are named for... well, what they are. The Evil Wizard is... an evil wizard, Necromancer is a necromancer, the (Insert color here) Knights are knights with armor of a certain color... The list goes on.
No Hero Discount: A shopkeeper in the castle still charges you for his goods, even though you saved his life not two minutes before.
Technically, there is a hero discount. The health potions he sells cost 1 gp less than health potions anywhere else. But it's still not much.
Odd Name Out: The boss lineup in the final level consists of a knight with bat wings and an awesome curved sword with magic capable of raising the dead, an undead cyclops swinging the coffin of his friend/son around as a weapon, a persistent and evil wizard with a powerful blade, and... a somewhat burly painter with a toolbox for a head and a disturbing imagination. One of these kids is not like the others.
One-Hit Kill: Pipistrello's tongue attack on Insane difficulty deals 999 damage. It's possible to have more than 999 health, but requires a specific setup, and even then any scratch beforehand will likely put you below 999.
One-Winged Angel: The fourth stage in the Wizard fight. You kill the third stage and a chest drops down like any other defeated boss. Inside? A GIANT FLOATING LOVECRAFTIAN SPIDER-LIKE HORROR. He Then properly subverts that by changing back into an orb, then changing back to his normal form and pulling out the Dragon Sword.
Pacifist Run: Played with. There is an achievement for clearing the game up to the first boss without attacking a single enemy, but you have to have at least one other person playing with you to kill the bad guys, or you're not going anywhere without busting some heads.
People Jars: The Easter Egg on the Alien Hominid spaceship level features the dev team inside individual cryo tubes.note Simply walk to the left at the start of the level to find it
Player Mooks: Pretty much every character you can play as aside from the four starters and downloads.
Playing with Fire: The Orange Knight and the Fire Demons both use fire magic, and the Fire Demons are nigh-immune to fire.
Puzzle Boss: The Catfish has incredibly high defense when its teeth are clenched. To beat it, you have to protect the King's ship from its furballs so that he can fire a cannon at it, causing it to open its mouth temporarily so you can deal a lot of damage.
Qurac: The desert area. Filled with camels, the Saracens, and so on.
Red Shirt Army: The Grey Knights, who die left and right. Subverted since they're actually pretty helpful (and competent) despite their short lifespans, and two of them are playable.
Remilitarized Zone: The first level takes place during a barbarian siege on the Home Castle. In the background you can see massive armies clash (Well, at one point. The rest of the level's background is parts of the armies rushing toward the battle), and broken equipment and bodies are everywhere.
Retired Badass: The Blacksmith informs you about basic combat. This is not only because he manages the weaponry you find, but because he is revered as a warrior of legend. And, assuming the player buys the DLC, he decides to step out of retirement.
The Reveal: The Orange Princess (see The Faceless) shows up after the credits, her face this time covered by an orange veil. As you move in to kiss her like all the other princesses, she finally reveals her face... and it's actually Tricky the Clown from Madness Combat!
If you look carefully during the painter boss, some of the pictures are of the orange princess with a sword through her, suggesting that either she was killed and replaced by Tricky or, as Castlepedia suggests, that, even though the Evil Wizard didn't kill her yet, he did have that intention.
Rocket Jump: The characters use the magic of their choice to drastically boost their jump height.
Royals Who Actually Do Something: The King is a downloadable playable character, but even if you aren't playing as him he still shows up to help you defeat the Catfish.
Shout-Out: Obligatory Newgrounds cameos, especially during the fight against the Painter. The Cyclops also does the thumbs-up from Terminator 2. The opening sequence seems to have one to River City Ransom with lead designers Fulp & Paladin.
Smash Mook: Cyclops. All he does is either attempt to smash you or throw knives. He switches it up a bit when he returns as Recyclops, but he's still limited to about three attacks. Beefy characters could also apply here.
Sugar Apocalypse: The heroes wind up causing one of these, as the victory cutscene makes quite clear.
Super-Persistent Predator: The Giant Troll apparently believes that Knights make an excellent meal, as he'll chase after them though a whole abandoned mill and later on the way to the Cyclops' fortress.
Trick Boss: The final boss. After smashing a few crystals and taking down a form that shifts between magic and melee vulnerability, the Wizard suddenly floats up off the ground and goes in circles, dropping magic bombs. After killing the pathetically weak form, the usual end-of-boss-fight giant treasure chest squishes him, except when you open it...well, see the One-Winged Angel entry.
Universal Poison: The Green Knight, Medusa, and the sandworms uses poison that has a green color and does a little extra damage over time. Poisoned characters are green and emit bubbles.
The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: The Wizard's Castle. Well, a giant castle just flew off into the sky, the last princess is there, the villain we've been chasing the whole game is holed up there... couldn't get much more obvious.
Villain Forgot to Level Grind: Throughout the game's run, you will notice that the Necromancer summons several undead skeletons to fight you, and even resurrect a boss to fight you later in the game. When you actually fight the Necromancer himself, fighting his resurrected Mooks aside, his combat magic and strength are quite pathetic. At most, he is a Stone Wall, with a bit of running speed thrown in for good measure.
Visual Pun: The Sand Castle. It's a castle in the desert...made of sand. See also the Catfish boss, who's half cat, half fish. Seriously. And the Weapon Frog, who's been tied to the Blacksmith's anvil... by the tongue. So he's, you know, tongue-tied!
Womb Level: The blacksmith stores your weapons in the mouth of a large frog-like beast with antlers
World of Badass: Everyone can kill anything. Even a peasant can decapitate you. With a WOODEN SPOON. Every character can also cast magic, ranging from an electrical shock to a rain of arrows to a wave of buzzsaws.
Worthy Opponent: The Necromancer , the third boss of the Wizard's Castle, fights like one after you've dealt with his waves of Zombie Mooks. He fights a lot like a moderately powerful coliseum opponent, and is bound by all the rules the player characters are bound by. Sadly, as there's just one of him rather then the large mobs in the coliseums, he's vulnerable to being Stomprushed if you're going at it solo.
You ALL Look Familiar: Characters of the same faction all look exactly the same. Every Conehead is identical, every Thief is the same, etc.
You Gotta Have Purple Hair: While the other princesses have natural hair colors, the Orange Princess has purple hair (that turns out to be a wig when she reveals herself to be Tricky the Clown).
Zerg Rush: The primary strategy of the Alien Hominids. They die in one hit, but there's so bloody many of them it still feels like a challenge.