Video Game: Comic Jumper: The Adventures of Captain Smiley aka: Comic Jumper
An Xbox LIVE Arcade game by Twisted Pixel.Meet Captain Smiley. With his super powers, dual laser guns, winning personality, and wisecracking Chest Insignia Star, he's sure to be the next comic book sensation... or he would be, if anyone liked his comic. Once his comic is cancelled, the fine folks at Twisted Pixel offer Captain Smiley a way to revive his series: make guest appearances in various other comics until he's popular enough to get his own back.Gameplay consists mainly of traditonal side scrolling whilst shooting anything that moves with the usual platforming and some melee thrown in. The standard action is broken up with on-rail third person shooting and quick time events. The game is very much a nod to the old school shooters of the 16-bit era and their harsher difficulty. There are no power-ups to restore health inbetween checkpoints but this is offset somewhat by infinite lives.
Anti-Hero: Smiley is only concerned with looking good and making money, and shows no genuinely heroic compulsions whatsoever. However his work is ostensibly akin to an acting career rather than an actual life of superheroics, but this doesn't stop him from being a petulant, shallow prima donna.
BFS: To go along with his Cloud Strife cosplay, Smiley's melee weapon in Cutie Cutie Kid Cupids is pretty much a buster sword with a giant heart at the end of it.
Bishie Sparkle and Petal Power: Not seen on-screen, but Brad complains about sparkles and rose petals appearing around him when he's trapped in Cutie Cutie Kid Cupids.
Book Ends: The game starts with Smiley trying to foil a bank robbery by Doctor Winklemeyer and getting into a fight with Brad and his army of Bradbots, leading to Smiley getting into a fight with Star and punching him repeatedly, with a cut to several real life people destroying his comic book in disgust, and ending with the Twisted Pixel dev team looking at the comic and getting an idea. It ends with Smiley foiling the bank robbery again, this time killing Winklemeyer before going on a rampage, killing the rest of his rogue's gallery while fighting through an army of Bradbots, leading to Smiley getting into a fight with Star and punching him repeatedly, with a cut to the same real life people now loving Smiley's comic, ending with the Twisted Pixel dev team looking at the comic and nodding in approval while they stand in the middle of a giant pile of money.
Color Failure: Smiley briefly loses his color when he's damaged, and when his health is too low it starts to stay that way.
Continuity Nod: The events of Twisted Pixel's previous games are mentioned in universe. There's reference to a series of underground 'splosions believed to be coming from research labs and astronomers discover that several solar systems have disappeared, with only a strange purple substance left behind.
The Comics Code: Mocked during the Silver Age levels, when Star's cursing is constantly being censored, and you get slapped with a fine whenever you attack a puppet guard. The hypocrisy of the code allowing a deeply racist main character but no swearing is also lampshaded.
Distressed Damsel: Mocked in Smiley's own comic, when Gerda is Bound (but not Gagged) in the background and Smiley makes absolutely no attempt to rescue her (which she Lampshades). The building explodes just after you leave.
Everything Is Trying to Kill You: Pretty much. Paper planes, puppets, and other improbable things are all trying to kill you. It can feel as though the developers are trying to kill you much of the time.
Fan Dumb: In universe, when Smiley reads letters from fans at the end of the first "Improbable Paper Pals" issue.
Fake Difficulty: Many have pointed out that the game seems to be missing Health Pickups, although infinite lives offset this problem.
The RPG mechanic only exists to provide stat upgrades and never adds additional abilities. Later stages are practically impossible without these upgrades, thereby forcing the player to grind the optional Missions in order to proceed.
The world of Cutie Cutie Kid Cupids is entirely grayscale. This makes several incoming attacks extremely difficult to see.
Fat Bastard: Nanoc really let himself go after Puttmaster kicked him out of his kingdom
Genius Bruiser: Brad gives every appearance of being a shallow, egotistical Jerk Jock, but apparently he has constructed his own robotic harem of shallow blondes to service him, a high tech battle helicopter and even produced his own theme music. Insipid he might be, but he's certainly not without talents.
Genki Girls: Pretty much every schoolgirl in Cutie Cutie Kid Cupids.
Hypocritical Humor: At the start of the game Smilely shows his disgust at Brad glorifying himself with a theme song stating "they were above that sorta thing". Come the final level however, he showcases his own theme song.
At the end of the game, he finally learns that it's not all about him. It's also about explosions. Explosions and trite, poorly timed catch phrases blatantly robbed from films. And bathroom humor. And maybe some exposed female flesh, too. But definitely explosions.
Jerk Ass: Every character to a certain degree, although Star probably the most. His entire life is apparently spent annoying and undermining Smiley while providing no help at all. He even takes giddy delight when Smiley accidentally murders an innocent old man at the beginning of Nanoc's comic.
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Zigzagging Trope. During the whole game, Smiley appears as a pure and unadultered Jerkass, only caring about his image and money. But he's also shown feeling awful about killing an innocent old man and crashing his funeral. He then really try to understand Miss Ropes and calm her down instead of shooting her. Finally, there is his relationship with her sidekick Gerda. It's obvious he doesn't respect her at all, laughing at her when she's about to get exploded in a sea of TNT but she never tried to earn it, mocking and insulting him repeatedly during his missions. Strangely, he genuinely cares about Star when he seems to feel sick, even if the guy had no problem before to show he literally hates him.
Kill 'em All: Smiley both delightfully lets Gerda die again and brutally kills each nemesis in the final stage. When you get back to the base afterward, they're all pissed at him and quit, Gerda included.
Even the dev team is implied to be killed when their pet monkey throws a stick of dynamite into the giant pile of money they're standing in.
Love Bubbles: Smiley's gun fires them in the Manga segments, until Brad gives Smiley real bullets.
Mad Scientist: Dr. Winklemeyer, who seems to be less "scientist" and more "mad".
Magical Girl: The "Shoujo" manga stage seems to borrow mostly from Magical Girl tropes, including the main characters' mascot animal and Smiley spending most of the stage fighting dark shadowy beings with The Power of Love.
"You can make them do anything you want! Heh heh!"
Money, Dear Boy: The entire plot is so Smiley can get his comic back in circulation. Parodied by Twisted Pixel during the live action montage in the end.
More Dakka: Smiley's gun fighting method has much more to do with saturation than finesse. In the final stage his default pistols are upgraded into an even more potent form with a three foot long muzzle flare.
Purely Aesthetic Era: More like "purely aesthetic comic book genre". The gameplay is varied, but what comic genre you're in doesn't seem to make a difference; Smiley still shoots his guns, destroys homing missiles, has projectiles shot/thrown at him, and so on.
You die like Megaman, while Smiley mocks you for dying 3/4 the time.
At one point Smiley chooses a destructor much like Ray Stanz did.
There is a very big one to an independent comic called The Maniacal Smile. Besides the fact that the entire first issue is included in the game, the main character from it actually shows up in the base for a short time after the first manga mission. If you talk to him then him and Captain Smiley will argue about their smiler costumes.
Smiley refers to the "speed of time travel", 88 mph, from Back to the Future. Winklemeyer's helmet also seems to be intended to resemble the one Doc Brown is seen wearing.
Brad looks rather like a beefed-up Sketch Turner from Comix Zone.
Ungrateful Bastard: Brad practically pissing himself during the Cutie Cutie Cupids levels, begging Smiley to get him out of there, which Star is more willing to take advantage of being a major fan of his. However once you rescue him and speak to him at the hub he just as much a jerkass then ever.
Villainous Breakdown: Brad, at the end of the game. When Smiley goes to talk to him, he lost all his witty attitude and is suffering a massive depression, starting to write his own diary. Maybe that's because his Bradbots don't want him anymore and are now attracted to the Captain. It tells a lot about his real Casanova abilities but that's to be expected when you are humiliated by the Butt Monkey of the game.
Well, being trapped in a Shoujo manga for three issues being a teacher when you were a super-villian in your previous job can break you down really bad.
Where It All Began: The final level is a repeat of the first, but changed to be more awesome.
Yandere: The girls of "Cutie Cutie Kid Cupids" don't take it kindly when Captain Smiley tries to take Brad away.
Yaoi Fangirl: LoLo, the goth looking cupid. After thanking Smiley for defeating her two sisters, she proclaims she's going to write a super sexy yaoi starring Smiley and Star. They have no idea what she means by that.