So, a Russian mercenary, a loudmouthed luchador, a gaming webcomic writer, and a hyperactive, sociopathiclagomorph walk into a bar hosted by a retired pirate...The Inventory: a former speakeasy founded against the possibility of an early draft of the 18th Amendment even more stringent than the one we know, now re-purposed as a highly exclusive club. Gaming's greatest characters settle in here during their "down-time," when their games are powered down. It's poker night, and four of gaming's greatest characters walk in to play some poker, about to bet everything they own for the sake of winning.Poker Night at the Inventory is a crossover game from Telltale Games featuring Strong Bad, Max, Tycho and the Heavy engaging the "Player," a mysterious new challenger, in a game of Texas Hold'Em poker.The trailer can be viewed here. It has its own wiki here which needs a little Wiki Magic.Followed by Poker Night 2 on April 2013.The Shout Out page can be found here.
Even then, Strong Bad thinks that Videlectrix is recent, while Tycho refers to them as the 'classics.' Of course, Strong Bad's idea of state-of-the art technology is infamously backwards (Strong Bad thought his first computer was state-of-the-art because it had "two contrast knobs.")
Double Subverted with the Iron Curtain. It's an all-new weapon for Team Fortress 2!... but is statistically identical to the default minigun, and therefore purely cosmetic. The reason for this is that awhile back, game tie-in items were exclusive to whoever bought the game, so to keep the game balanced, all crossover tie-in items were essentially reskins. Now, most, if not all game pre-order tie-in items become random drops in Team Fortress 2 a month or so later, so they've started to have unique stats and abilities. Pre-ordering a certain game only nets you early access to the weapons, plus the aesthetic title "Genuine".
Artificial Brilliance: This game has some splendid AI for a poker game. In fact, all four characters have unique playing patterns.
Max has an almost random playing pattern, as if he has absolutely no idea what he's doing or how to play poker; he gives the impression of being more interested in the cross-table kibitzing than in the actual game. Nonetheless, he's smart enough to back his luck when he suspects he's got a good hand.
Strong Bad's high confidence has him attempt to bluff his way through the game, stealing the pot as his high bets (or even all-ins) intimidate the players into folding to him. This makes him vulnerable to those who call his bluff, but because of this it's hard to tell if he actually is bluffing or if you're falling for his trap of an actually good hand.
The Heavy is much more conservative with his money, folding when he doesn't have what he thinks is a good hand and bets when he does; his bets are cautious in attempt to lure his opponents into adding more to the pot.
Tycho is even more careful than the Heavy, folding most of his hands. When he does bet, however, one can expect an amazing hand to appear. His playing style drastically changes as other characters are knocked out, becoming more aggressive in his betting and bluffs.
Artie Flopshark, deceased, who according to Max was beaten up for various perceived offenses including collecting money for a charity marathon, teaching the "nonexistent" variant Omaha, and winning a poker tournament in an attempt to pay off his mortgage. This may have something to do with the "Deceased."
If Max wins against you in 1v1 poker, he'll say it reminds him of the time Flopshark won against Flint Paper under similar circumstances. Paper apparently responded by killing Flopshark in cold blood.
Also, if your win/loss record has more losses than wins, there is a chance that game itself will call you "Artie Flopshark, Deceased".
Looks like Winslow, sounds like Winslow, but different clothing and only identified as "The Host." As there is no copyright notice for LucasArts in the game, you can interpret him as either a Captain Ersatz or a Lawyer-Friendly Cameo.
In the intro of Poker Night 2, Winslow identifies himself by name.
Trixie Trotter from the new Back to the Future game by Telltale is seen entering a secret room just as Winslow appears.
Character Tics: After the first patch of the game, the four characters will perform certain actions (either while betting or when the community cards are dealt) which can give away what kind of hand they have. Some (like Strong Bad slamming his head against the table or Tycho slapping himself) are obvious, while others (such as Heavy's flaring nostrils or Max's twitching hands) are a bit more subtle.
Cloudcuckoolander: All of the characters to some extent, but Max's mind is definitely bobbing around higher up in the clouds than the others'.
Possible to invert this. Due to how Max picks up his cards when the cards are first dealt, and the dynamic camera angles during conversations, it is possible to accidentally sneak a peek at what he has.
Max keeps referring to his psychic powers from The Devil's Playhouse, and during showdowns he can be seen peeking into the future vision toy, which begs the question whether his AI can/does cheat or he's just psyching you out.
Based on Max's implied tentative grasp of the game, it's questionable how much looking into the future would even help him.
Covert Pervert: Max, at times. At one point Strong Bad asks him if there's a stack of Aces where he keeps his gun, to which Max replies "You're welcome to look" very happily. At another point he mentions how he was a very exuberant friskee: "I just thought they were being courteous."
Max:(if they have a relatively good hand) Saboteur! You managed to cheat in the exact same way I did! Max:(if they have something like a pair of fives) Those are your cards, too? You're as insane as I am!
Eskimos Aren't Real: Strong Bad tries to lord Homestar Runner's popularity over Penny Arcade's, while Tycho responds that PA gets millions of hits. Strong Bad doesn't buy it, thinking that "millions" is Tycho making numbers up.
Strong Bad: Nothing intimidates your opponents like a heavy dose of think-hard! [squints his eyes and groans while Heavy watches, confused]
For the Evulz: The Heavy questions Tycho about his "BLU sweater," thinking he's a new Team Fortress 2 class. Tycho goes along with it, clearly delighting in making him nervous by stating his hacking ability can ruin The Heavy's entire team.
Freeze-Frame Bonus: Some characters make it a huge deal when they fold hands they thought were good enough, and the camera allows to see the cards in some angles. The Heavy is the most obvious, lifting his hole cards and slamming them face first into the table, giving plenty of time for the player to see. On a real table this is rude at the very least, if not grounds for being expelled from the table outright.
Funny Background Event: After being knocked out, the characters can be seen doing something in the background. Strong Bad goes to play an arcade game (Bluster Blaster, the sentient arcade machine the Sam & Max games), the Heavy sits at a nearby table and watches the game, Tycho goes to the bar, and Max... aimlessly wonders around the Inventory, as he tends to do in the Sam & Max games. Sometimes you can catch him gnawing on the stair handrails; sometimes he'll return but only his ears will be poking above the table. If Max is knocked out after Strong Bad, he goes to join him at the Bluster Blaster machine.
If you win the game, the dramatic pans around the room reveal that Bluster Blaster has the "Insert Coin(s)" display even when Strong Bad is playing it.
Graceful Loser: Max, Heavy and Tycho all compliment you for winning the tournament if they're the final opponent.
Headdesk: In the vein of his source material, Strong Bad sometimes does this if a bad card turns up during a one-on-one showdown with the player. Especially hilarious because he doesn't say a thing during it, he just has this look while he slams his head into his cards and chips.
This gets more hilarious if the game decides to start his headdesk animation and a conversation started by him at the same time. Strong Bad will continually hit his head against the desk while talking in his normal tone of voice as if nothing is wrong.
Heroes Want Redheads: When Tycho describes his significant other as a redhead with glasses, Heavy gets really excited. "I like the red hair!"
Heavy actually gets so happy about the red hair that Tycho has to protest, "You can't have her." Heavy then gets a really angry look on his face, to which Tycho squeals "...maybe we could work something out?"
Laughably Evil: It's made abundantly clear that each of the four players are... well, psychopaths. But goddamn are they hilarious!
The Magic Poker Equation: Averted, much like Poker in Real Life. You may find yourself holding a Ace and a King of the same suit quite regularly, but don't expect the flop to produce that straight flush.
Manly Tears: When The Heavy loses Sasha in a bet. The character who wins it, aside from the player, will always state something hysterical about what they'll use it for.
The characters show varying levels, with Tycho and Strong Bad being aware of their status as game characters, while Heavy thinks his deaths and respawning are him having nightmares. Max's awareness seems to go in and out…in mid-sentence even.
Tycho's an interesting case, as he knows that the other characters are from games. He owns Team Fortress 2, and mentions to the Heavy how long the game's been out on Steam.
Most Fan-Artists Are Girls: Despite Tycho asking the Player if they're going to be as immature as Gabe and show him his balls, and the Heavy constantly referring to the player as "little man," most art made by fans shows the player as a female. Lampshaded in this fan drawing.
Obligatory Swearing: Tycho brings this with him to the table, though this'll be the first time the other three have appeared in any form of media with the word "fuck" uncensored. There's an option in the menu to turn bleeping of swears on and off. At least one Tycho swear is left bleeped even with the censors off.
Strong Bad does say "fucked up shit" at one point, but it's bleeped out even if you have the censor turned off.
Word of God says that the line Matt Chapman actually said was "bleeped-up bleep."
Which is exactly what the subtitles say (Tycho's swearing is always ***'d out, whether censors are on or off).
Oh Crap: The players are caught completely off guard if you raise unbelievably high.
While the Heavy isn't really a villain, playing poker is a lot more casual than his day job.
Really, all of the characters aside from Strong Bad have committed murder, and even he attempted murder. Unsuccessfully, but still.
Old Save Bonus: The main selling point. Characters will ante up items for use in Team Fortress 2 if the player busts out the character who betted the item.
Phrase Catcher: Heavy tells Max, "You crack me up, leetle bunny," as a reference to Sam's famous "You crack me up, little buddy."
Precision F-Strike: Out of all the characters reacting to Heavy's story of brutally murdering an Engineer, Strong Bad (the guy who's first appearance was in a children's book) is the one to note that "That is some 'BLEEPED' up 'BLEEP', man!" It's censored no matter what, but still...
Strong Bad will ask The Heavy if he wants to "take care" of King of Town. The Heavy assumes he means kill, but Strong Bad just wants to shave half his mustache.
Strong Bad admits he wouldn't mind if King of Town was killed, however.
Shaggy Frog Story: When Tycho asks Max where he learned to play cards, Max starts recounting an adventure in Atlantic City, but by the time he finishes the anecdote he's forgotten there was a question he was supposed to answer.
Heavy: Oh. (puts weapon away) Max: Whoopsie. (throws weapon over shoulder) Strong Bad: Hand it over.
Signed Up for the Dental: Heavy clearly enjoys his job, but he does enjoy the full dental. Though he and his RED squad had to unionize for group medical coverage. Guess Medic is stingy with his supplies.
Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: While most of the characters are jovial enough toward each other, with occasional bouts of conflict, Strong Bad and Tycho show fairly naked animosity toward each other. Mostly due to Strong Bad playing the part of Jerk Jock and Small Name, Big Ego while ragging on Tycho's "site for babies."
Strong Bad:[mocking tone] Oh man, what happened? Tycho: You want me to say you won again? Strong Bad: I guess so. I mean if that's what happened for real and for true. Right? Tycho: Die a sad, pitiful, painful death.
Slasher Smile: When you get into a one-on-one situation with Tycho and he has a decently good amount of money. His smile rivals Dr. Giggles.
Probably a reference to how the Russian version of "Meet the Heavy" made him sound much more sophisticated than the original, implying that he only sounds like a dumbbell because of his relatively poor English.
Smug Snake: Tycho, so very much. Also, Strong Bad, to a lesser extent.
Social Semi-Circle: The Player is the only person on one half of the poker table, facing the other four characters.
Squick: In-universe. The others are perturbed any time Tycho talks about animals.
Max:(shocked) Are you asking me if I ever schtupped Momma Bosco?!
Said question is probably very squicky from Max's point of view considering he doesn't like girls, or men, for that matter. He also sometimes forgets that he doesn't like girls. It's something of a running gag in his series.
Strong Bad's reaction to Tycho having masturbatory fantasies about hedgehogs: "Oh, nothing. Just puking in my pants..."
Tycho has the most down-to-earth personality and conservative playstyle of the four. Just don't get him talking about giraffes. Or hedgehogs. Probably best to keep him away from animals entirely. And it's a good thing he's sitting on the other side of the table from Max.
He doesn't exactly take losing all that well, either:
Tycho: Son of a bitching lagomorph. Max: I don't even know how to play this game. Tycho: That's fucking rich. That's just great. (pauses) Is there a guy in there? Max: Huh? Tycho: Some kinda card-counter astrophysicist motherfucker? Am I close? Max: Why I never! Tycho: I've seen you around with that guy in the dog costume. DON'T YOU LIE TO ME.
Suddenly Voiced: Tycho is voiced by Andrew Chaikin for this game, who was the voice actor for Max in Episode 1 of ''Sam and Max: Season 1".
Many, many, many, against Gamestop, government and so forth. Since a lot of the dialogue was "polished" by the original creators, it's usually entirely in-character, and references their backgrounds.
Max:(asking after criminals he and Sam could fight) Oh, or if you know of a cabal of greedy corporate monsters, hell-bent on blanketing an entire generation in a deep, exploitative sadness, that would do.
Tycho: Oh, so chains of used videogame resellers? Yeah, we got those.
There's a lot of Take That against all the characters' respective backgrounds by the others, both subtle and explicit.
There is even a Take That Me line of conversation between Strong Bad and Max in which the two discuss how well, or poorly, Telltale Games do the characters justice. Max is satisfied, Strong Bad is not. As explained in Biting-the-Hand Humor, the Making Of... videos show how Strong Bad's expectations for his video game were... not met.
When Heavy asks Strong Bad if he'd like to join RED, Strong Bad responds with "I guess I could join your team of ruthless killers and lame hat-wearers and watch you get grenaded by eight-year-olds."
When Strong Bad asks Heavy about his favorite video game, Tycho interrupts his answer with World of Warcraft, and the Heavy responds, "Ehh, it is not popular yet." This Take That was possibly made because how Blizzard got angry with Valve due to them trademarking Defense of the Ancients, which was orignally a Warcraft III map.
When Tycho asks Heavy about whether or not he receives any "good drops" from killing others, Heavy goes into a short, almost out of character speech on how killing others sometimes makes him feel bad, or gives him nightmares. He then quickly switches into another, wide eyed speech about hats, proclaiming they are the best. This one actually makes sense, considering Heavy's backstory— he laments about killing men because he worries he's taking them away from their wives and children. The same thing happened to his father, who was killed fighting against the Red Army in 1941. Heavy, his mother, and his sisters were forced to work in a gulag as a result.
Theme Tune Cameo: The Office music from Sam & Max, the main theme from the The Devil's Playhouse, the theme to Dangeresque, Trogdor's theme, the Team Fortress 2 Main Theme, and More Gun can be heard playing at the Inventory, each with a heavy country swagger to them.
If the Heavy loses with a good hand, such as a three of a kind, with a big pot, he will scream "WHAT?! I will not lose to lucky coward! I kill you!", turn over the table, and fire up Sasha - which fortunately has no ammo. The other characters are naturally shocked. He will sit down again (with the table back in place) with a Death Glare and say, "Deal new hand now."
Played with by Tycho if the Player is eliminated on a bad beat by another character, suggesting this reaction if Tycho was in the Player's place.
Tycho: Man, if I were you, I'd be sweating hate. It'd froth from my mouth and nose. It'd be like that movie, "There Will Be Froth."
This Is Gonna Suck: During Showdowns, if there's a hand that beats theirs, they start to look more and more desperate.
Heavy: At first, I do not like punching other boys. But then I learn to LOVE it.
Max's reaction to Tycho's speech on giraffes and in the same vein, Strong Bad's reaction to Tycho's speech about hedgehogs.
Villainous Breakdown: Minor example: Tycho is noticeably deflated and depressed if he loses before the other players (he seems to consider you a Worthy Opponent if you beat him in the showdown), and he has the funniest Oh Crap faces.
What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?: In-universe. Strong Bad calls Penny Arcade a "crappy website for babies". Anyone who has actually readPenny Arcade knows that it's anything but kid-friendly. But then again, this is Strong Bad we're talking about here…
What Would Gabe Do?: Tycho sometimes asks himself this while pondering his next move. He then decides it better to keep the pants on.
Wicked Cultured: Heavy enjoys Russian Literature and a nice Peach Bellini. In between, he also tells inappropriate anecdotes about tearing off an Engineer's fingers and points spinning mini-guns over the poker table.
Widget Series: Take four characters no one would ever expect to see in a crossover. Now do just that. Now make it a poker game. This is what you get.
Strong Bad is an odd case, really. In the Homestar Runner canon, he's in his 40's by now. However, if you do follow Tycho's logic, the original book that started it all came out 14 years ago, not 10.
Subverted by Max who mentions that he hopes the bartender won't ask him for identification. When Tycho questions if he's too young, Max simply replies that he's old enough, but finds the process of being carded embarrassing.
Like his partner, Max is allegedly pushing 40 as Sam and Max: Chariots of the Dogs suggests that he was born in the 1970s.