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Web Animation: Madness Combat

Somewhere in Nevada...

Madness, as defined by the first definition on Dictionary.com: the state of being mad; insanity.

Combat, as defined by the last definition on Dictionary.com: a fight, struggle, or controversy, as between two persons, teams, or ideas.

So, hey, wouldn't it be just NEATO to add them both together in a series of flash animations!?

Seems Matt Jolly, AKA "Krinkels" had that very idea one day, and thus created Madness Combat.

The series started off as a somewhat typical old school Newgrounds-type flash, littered with random violence, distasteful portrayals of a character resembling Jesus (also known as "Jebus" after a line from The Simpsons), and the odd as'plosion or two. In essence, the animations are simulated 2.5D shoot-em-ups, played as if on an ultra-violent perfect playthrough speed-run. However, the smooth animation, witty and amusing kills, and unique art style made the series an instant hit, and the newfound fandom begged for more.

As more episodes were added, a subtle storyline slowly developed, though what it all means is one of the most heavily disputed subjects in the fandom. At its very base, the story is something like this: the protagonist ("Hank J. Wimbleton") wants to assassinate the The Sheriff for some reason or another. And he's willing to kill countless random goons to do so. He enters the Sheriff's building of operation, slaughters everyone in sight, but is anticlimactically shot in the head by Jebus, who seems to be the Sheriff's right hand man.

Hank is then brought back to life somehow, and tries his hit on The Sheriff again, who seems to be very willing to hit the big red button on the "Improbability Drive" and send the world into chaos, just to save his own skin. Hank ends up dying again, although he takes Jebus and The Sheriff with him. Oh, and an Insane Zombie clown works his way into this mess somehow.

The later episodes tend to revolve around Hank attempting to kill Jebus and The Zombie Clown With Super Powers ("Tricky"), for some unknown reason. Matrix-inspired fights, ludicrously violent deaths, non-sequitur like moments and a much darker feel follow the latter part of the series. All because of the Improbability Drive, and its insane effects on everyone and everything. Or something like that. Yes, it's all that vague, though all three major characters appear to have been killed permanently after the Improbability Drive was finally deactivated. That is, until two NEW protagonists revive Hank.

The story is generally felt to be one of interpretation, allowing the viewer to decide just what the hell is going on.

The series has spawned 13 main episodes, with a 14th episode on the way, and several (often surreal) spin-offs. Those interested can watch the series here.

It should be noted that aside from the "official" series by Krinkels, there are a multitude of animations featuring the art style and cast of the Madness series by other creators. Newgrounds has even hosted the annual "Madness Day"; wherein the front page is dedicated to these fan videos a la "Pico Day". (Though unlike Pico, which has Negative Continuity and its fan videos can be anything, Madness Combat has continuity and its fan videos are just that.)

Tropes include:

  • Adhesive Bandage For Everything: Injuries can be healed by simply wrapping them up with bandages.
  • Always Night: After Hank bludgeons the Sun to death in Madness: Avenger.
  • An Axe to Grind: Lots of mooks use fireman or battle axes, and a gigantic mook in Aggregation has an equally gigantic axe, for all the good it did him.
    • There's also the battleaxe that Hank uses near the end of Antipathy.
  • Anyone Can Die: Several times, even! The only main character not to die at least once is Sanford, and that's only if we're counting canon deaths. The l33t-crew-employed civilians, such as the hot-dog vendor, are also pretty safe most of the time. Except anyone who smokes.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: In Antipathy, Hank is apparently wanted for distorting reality, felony evasion, public urination and crime.
    • Sanford is wanted for murder, telling lies, torturing, kidnapping, conspiring, arson - and for being ugly.
    • Deimos is wanted for murder, lying, thievery, conspiring, betraying the cause, and for being a smoker.
      • In the online flash game Madness Retaliation, the wanted posters on the walls also condemn Sanford for "unlawful use of sporting goods" and Deimos for "illegally downloading movies" and "smoking in a non-smoking area."
  • Arc Words: Do what comes natural.
  • Art Evolution:
    • Compare the first (unofficially titled "Boombox Madness") animation with either Consternation, Inundation, or Aggregation. Madness Apotheosis is where the animation very noticeably changed to be smoother and more violent.
    • Hank's appearance in general. Same goes for Jebus and Tricky, who go from just a Madness character with a goatee and halo and some clown to a stitched-up, goatee'd holy man with a mouth and a literal Monster Clown.
    • Zombies go from green-skinned mooks to darker green mooks with gaping, bloody mouths full of teeth.
    • Weapon designs become a lot more detailed and varied between Depredation and Consternation/5.5.
  • Art Shift: Project Nexus 2 is in 3D, making it stick out from the animations and the previous Project Nexus games.
  • Ascended Extra: Remember those two Red Shirts who gave Hank a sword in Depredation? No? Well, they have about five seconds of screentime before being crushed under a building. Yeah, well, they take center stage for Aggregation and a lot of the newer Madness Combat shorts focus what they were doing between Madness and 6 and 7.
    • Tricky the Clown too, who started as One-Scene Wonder and got quickly killed, and eventually grew into one the most iconic characters of the series.
  • Assimilation Backfire: In Abrogation, the Auditor starts absorbing corpses to stay intact. One of them belongs to Tricky. Oops.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Several of the big-ticket weapons in Madness Interactive, the first video game spinoff. For example, the rocket launcher is quite impressive... but it only has four shots, it blows the victim's weapon off of the screen (so you can't grab it when you run out of rockets), and it's an area-of-effect weapon, so you could kill yourself with it.
    • The same could be said for the M203 grenade launcher in Madness: Project Nexus; the game even lets you know that you can damage yourself with it by saying in the description that the grenades have no safety feature. It's also the only weapon that has friendly fire, which doesn't bode well when you have a squad of six teammates in Arena mode.
    • The M249 SAW machine gun in the same game counts too. It has the highest rate of fire and can decimate any enemy-but it's also the most expensive weapon, has a painfully long reload time and decreases your character's speed when he's carrying it.
  • Ax-Crazy: Pretty much everyone, but Tricky takes the cake. Whereas Jebus and Hank hand out cruel and unusual deaths like candy, Tricky... takes it to bizarre, extremely sadistic levels, such as giddily dancing after murdering the entire cast and resurrecting Hank... so he can kill him again later.
  • Back from the Dead: Hank has died 7 times over, Tricky has a grand total of 6 deaths to his name, and Jebus has gone out 4 times. And that's not even taking the countless Zombie Mooks present in the series...
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Sanford and Deimos in 9, 5.5 and 6.5, then Hank and Sanford in 10.
  • Bad Boss: The Auditor.
  • Badass: Hank, Jebus, Sanford and Deimos, Tricky, and the Auditor. Pretty much all the main characters.
  • Badass Back: Attacking Hank from behind usually just means you'll die faster.
  • Badass Longcoat: Eventually, Hank and Deimos. You can also buy them in the Gear Shop in Project Nexus, in the form of Long Coats, Dusters and Trench Coats.
  • Badass Normal: Hank at first, before going through numerous resurrections, and now Sanford and Deimos fit the bill, being the only protagonists thus far without having some kind of power or mutation. Well, maybe just Sanford. The two mooks that are forced to accompany the auditor would count, being able to outshoot Sanford and Demios, but they're superpowered. That being said, no one is really "normal" as all the agents can have their stats raised by the Auditor with a press of a button. It makes the agents eyes glow red. Why he can't raise their stats higher remains unclear. Also, some of the regular recruits in Incident:011A. The last two guys in particular who finally manage to kill the MAG Agent. One of them still doesn't make it. Of all of them, only two manage to stab him and three hit him with bullets. The last one takes the easy route and implants a grenade round directly in the MAG's head.
  • Badass Preacher: Jebus.
  • Bash Brothers: Sanford and Deimos. Later, Sanford and Hank.
  • BFG: The Auditor is fond of these, as are any Mag Agents on the field. In the latter case it's justified as they're pretty big themselves.
    • The Auditor attempts to use a GAU-8 against Jebus in 8, but Jebus moves far too fast for him to hit. He spawns another one in Abrogation to kill Hank and Deimos with (it has a massive bayonet), but is similarly unsuccessful.
    • Sanford gets his hands on a Bren machine gun in 6.5.
      • And Deimos gets a MG 42 in 7.5.
  • BFS: The binary sword. It's noticeably longer than the characters are tall.
    • In Abrogation, the Auditor's sword, once he absorbs enough corpses.
  • Big Bad: The Sheriff. Then Jebus. Then Tricky. And now the Auditor.
  • Big "NO!": The death of the Auditor in Abrogation:
    Auditor: What?
    Tricky: HELLO AGAIN!
    Auditor: NO!
    Tricky: YES!
    Auditor: NO! NO! NO!
    Tricky: YES! YES! YES!
  • Blinded by the Light: Deimos takes a flashbang to the face in 7.5 and stumbles blindly for a few seconds. Thankfully, Sanford covers his eyes in time and takes out the mooks who threw it.
  • Bling Bling Bang: Every gun in Madness: Project Nexus has a gold palette swap.
  • Blood from the Mouth: Jebus during "Inundation", buckets of it. He's infected with a virus by the Auditor half-way through to impede his progress...and it fails miserably.
  • Blood Knight: Everybody.
  • Bloodless Carnage: The first episode.
  • Body Horror: Frequently in the later episodes.
  • Boring, but Practical: In Madness: Project Nexus, the assault rifles, especially the AK-74, TAR-21, Steyr AUG, HK-416 and the FAMAS don't do anything cool, but they're common, plentiful, excellent all-rounders surprisingly accurate, and the most powerful rifle, the FN FAL, is actually recommended for taking down heavily armored enemies, like the GO 3 LM units. They are also one of the best and the most plentiful weapons for fighting the final boss (plus the shotguns, which are also plentiful.) The FAMAS is also one of the fastest assault rifles in the game, able to take down Mag Agent GESTALT in seconds.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Notably averted; guns frequently run out of ammo, but throwing your gun always works. It's probably not that hard to keep track of the ammunition when animating one scene takes hours.
  • Breakout Mook Character: Incident:011A can be considered this for a giant mook.
  • Bring It: Sanford in 7.5, versus the newly activated ATP soldats.
  • Brought Down to Normal: After Jesus destroys the Portable Improbability Drive, Tricky changes from a flaming demon back to a zombie, and is quickly dispatched with Jesus's sword.
  • Bulletproof Human Shield: Dead enemies usually come in handy as these. Hank's dead body in Aggregation is also used like this by Deimos, and he later does it Deimos when he's killed.
  • Bullet Time: Used in several scenes, mostly in episode 5.
  • Came Back Strong: If any character has died once and come back from the dead so much as once, you KNOW this applies. Especially Hank.
    • Subverted in Consternation, where Hank is resurrected at the very beginning and fares noticeably worse than usual, continuously running from Tricky even taking bullets from a regular Agent.
      • Though that's more because of the Auditor's continuous upgrades to the Agents finally making them a little more competent. Not enough to match the savagery of the A.T.P. Soldats, but enough to let them get off a few potshots at our hero before getting mowed down.
  • Cannibalism Superpower: Subverted in 5.5. Tricky attempts to use Jebus's zombie making powers after killing him by wearing the top half of his severed head like a hat, he needed the Halo apparently instead. Much to his frustration, it doesn't work.
    • Played straight with The Auditor, who absorbs bodies to grow stronger.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: The first episode was a punch-up in a public park over a boombox. The next two episodes were about a man trying to kill a sheriff, but things were still rather silly. After that, the sun gets killed, a reality-altering device, which was previously used for comedic effect, turns the world into a nightmare, the existence of two warring secret organizations is implied, and everything is topped off by a monster clown that turns into a giant flaming demon and a satanic figure with the technology to build 10-feet tall super soldiers.
  • Cerebus Retcon: Jebus was initially a way just to annoy religious folk on Newgrounds. Eventually, Project Nexus reveals he's not Jesus at all, but an ex-scientist who rebelled against Project Nexus after seeing his research twisted into abominations, and gained a massive messiah complex in the process.
  • Chainsaw Good: Hank uses one to ruin the first MAG Agent's face.
  • Chekhov's Gun: A literal example in Inundation. The animation opens with Jesus firing his TAC-50 at off-screen targets. When he's done, he disassembles it and stows it on his person. Needless to say, it comes back before the end.
  • Chekhov's Gunmen: Remember those two guys in Madness 5, in the jeep, who throw Hank a weapon when he climbs out of the evil red glowing pit? In Madness Combat 5.5 (which was made some time after 5), it's revealed that they survived, and that they're actually Sanford and Deimos.
    • To a lesser extent, Tricky, whose corpse ironically saves both Sanford and Hank from the Auditor.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Hank of course! Be it a piece of metal from a wall, a giant axe or even someone elses head, if Hank can hold it he will beat you to death with it until he finds something more practical to use.
  • Crapsack World: Very noticeable in the later episodes. The sun was killed, after all.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Practically every episode and spinoffs feature a protagonist or two effortlessly slaughtering tons of mooks. Though this does get subverted at points where the protagonists get killed.
  • Darker and Edgier: The original video was just a random fight Flash with no story and plenty of bloodless silliness. Compare the latest video.
    • Bloodier and Gorier: LOADS OF THIS. The amount of blood seen in this series is truly ridiculous. At one point, after reality breaks, a mook floods a room with the blood from his skull.
  • Dark Is Evil: The Auditor, who is a Living Shadow Humanoid Abomination. Jesus turns on his own Agents to kill him (or they betrayed him), and there's some sort of mission to stop whatever he's planning.
  • Dark Reprise: The song from Abrogation has elements from Consternation, Depredation and others.
  • Death Is Cheap: Anyone Can Die. And they will, again, and again, and again...
  • Death Seeker: Hank, oddly enough. At first it seems his constant resurrections would actually be helping him. But when Tricky starts repeatedly doing it for fun for the sake of killing him again, he seems to grow angered. One might even consider Jesus shooting him in the head to be a Mercy Kill... at least until Sanford and Deimos resurrect him yet again.
  • Defector from Decadence: The posters in Abrogation imply this about protagonist Deimos.
    • Also Dr. Jebidiah Christoff, playable character in Project: Nexus. We know him today as Jebus, Sheriff's bodyguard and Hank's rival.
  • Desperation Attack: Hank seems to gain a form of these whenever he gets harmed. He randomly gets stronger and faster after getting hurt, notable however is that his "zombie" form from Episode 6 seems to have this permanently until he fights Tricky at the end of the episode. (He also appears to twitch a lot in episode 6 most likely a side effect of this) However it should be noted that Tricky's empowered forms could count either as this trope or as a Emergency Transformation.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: Warning: DANGER!
  • The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: In Project: Nexus, there are several weapons that are supposed to be inaccessible to the player. If you somehow acquire them anyway, their Flavor Text will call you out on it:
    • The giant axe (dubbed "mega hammer"): "The fact that you have this means I hate you."
    • The severed head: "Where'd you get this filthy thing?"
    • The minigun: "HOW DID YOU GET THIS? THIS DOES NOT BELONG TO YOU. YOU DO NOT BELONG IN NEVADA."
  • Divergent Character Evolution: Hank looked like a normal grunt at first, but then got different with each passing installment. Same for Sanford and Deimos, for whom you actually see this happen in real-time in one episode.
  • Dodge the Bullet: Mooks have decent to good aim, but the heroes usually either dodge or kill them before they can shoot.
  • The Dragon: Jebus, in the second and third episodes. Tricky seems to take this position in episodes 4 and 5. Which brings us to our next trope...
  • Dragon Ascendant: After Hank shot the Sheriff, Jebus got to be the Big Bad for a little while until Tricky snapped.
  • Dumb Muscle: Hank in Aggregation, whose transformation (at least according to Word of God) makes him mentally retarded.
    • Not entirely apparent. He tricks the guards into wasting their bullets on Deimos's corpse, stops the Elite Mooks with a pipe bomb he constructed, and fights just as quickly and competently as ever. It's possible the Emergency Transformation just made him bigger and gave him a Cool arm. This has lead to the belief that Deimos intended to set it much higher, if he didn't get shot up by the possessed ATP Agent trailing him.
  • Dummied Out: Project Nexus contains stats for melee weapons called the "severed head" and the "urinal".
  • Easter Egg: Zoom in on some of the posters. Additionally, pause when Sanford looks at his PDA, or when Tricky/Jesus/Auditor look at a PC screen.
  • Emergency Transformation: Hank, in Aggregation. It's hours late, though.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Tricky in Consternation.
  • Elevator Action Sequence: Several, starting with Redeemer.
  • Elite Mooks: Subverted. Agent-style Elite Mooks are dispatched, but rarely, if ever, slow down the hero. Same with the ATP (Accelerated Training Program) agents. Tricky may have originally been one as well.
    • The two ATP Agents transformed by the Auditor in Madness Combat 9 play this straight. They're noticeably more competent, accurate, ruthless, and capable of bullet dodging, and even kill off Deimos.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Hank is running around the place, chasing the sheriff and beating up any mooks in his way. Then Jebus shows up, Hank gets ready to fight... Cut immediately to the next scene where Hank gets sent flying through a solid wall.
  • Everybody Do the Endless Loop: The guy dancing in the background in the first episode.
  • Everything Fades: The bodies of dead enemies fade away in the first game adaptation, though it has a fixed timer, so the floor might be coated in gibs before they disappear.
    • Averted in the latest installment Project Nexus, which is basically an advanced playable adaption of the cartoons themselves.
  • Evil Hand: Hank in Madness Combat 9.
  • Excuse Plot: Initially about a fight over a boombox, graduating into a three-way between Jesus, a clown, and a random mook. This no longer became the case after the Sheriff's death, implementing a plot about reality warping and a mysterious organization trying to stop it all.
  • The Faceless: Initially, everyone at first. Zombies gained mouths in Apotheosis, as well as Jebus, and Sanford has one. Tricky also gets a rather nasty one.
    • The Sun (first appearing in Marshmellow Madness) is featured as a smiling face... Until Hank beats it to death with a Stop Sign in Avenger.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: For just about everyone.
  • Flash Step: Tricky.
  • Flight: Jesus and Tricky (in Incident 1000A) are both capable of this.
  • Follow the Leader: Bunny Kill, Maximum Ninja, and Xionic Madness, among others. Madness Combat itself is a descendant of stick figure fighting animations (Xiao Xiao, namely).
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: An update to Project Nexus includes a prequel episode involving a long-haired, goateed Nexus Scientist named Dr. Jebidiah Christoff, who attempts to stop the insane project. By the end, he's murdered his way through the facility and picked up a halo and magic powers as well.
  • Funny Background Event: In the rave room in Apothesis, one mook whom Hank missed sees the slaughter before him, and decides to sit back and enjoy a smoke. At least until he gets crushed by a door.
    • Heck, in the very first episode, while Hank is laying waste to everyone around him in the field, there is a random person in the background dancing to the Chicken Dance that's coming out of the on-screen boombox. Hank promptly shoots him as soon as he kills everyone else.
  • General Failure: The Sheriff. See The Scrappy.
  • Giant Mook: Mag Agents. All featuring equally giant weapons, and they fare no better than their tinier co-workers.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: Jesus in the first episode, and the first MAG Agent shows up with no explanation. We do get one later (the Auditor's been growing them). In addition, whatever Tricky/The Auditor was... growing and deploys against Hank and Sanford prematurely in the ninth episode.
  • Glass Cannon: An effect of wearing the halo. It massively increases the wearer's offensive powers, but does little to make them any more durable than a regular Badass Normal character.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: The Auditor has them... then they start multiplying.
  • Good Old Fisticuffs: Used by the MAG Agent in Incident:011A. Let's just say it got messy.
  • Gorn: Not so much in the early episodes, but the later ones? Well, let's put it this way - someone's ear gets ripped off. Nobody in this series has ears. He was given an ear just so it could be severed. Various Mooks get sliced in half, shot full of bloody holes and splattered all over the scenery by buckshot or explosives. Krinkels does very realistic blood spray.
  • Guns Akimbo: Hank absolutely loves this trope. So does Jebus, the A.A.H.W., Sanford, and Deimos.
  • Guns Are Useless: In the hands of mooks, at least. When they DO hit Hank, it doesn't even seem to bother him...although he's been killed with them numerous times.
    • Any time Hank gets killed with a gun, Jebus is usually the shooter.
  • Gun Accessories: The games have three main ones-silencers, scopes and laser sights. Although silencers don't really affect anything rather than change your weapon's firing sound, laser sights and scopes actually affect your weapon's range.
  • Gun Fu: Hank and Jebus do this a lot.
  • Gun Stripping: Jebus disassembles his TAC-50 whenever he's not using it.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body: Hank has a habit of tossing people (or rather, their heads)around. Deimos also uses his corpse rather creatively during the course of Aggregation.
    • In Incident: 110A, Jesus kills two mooks by repeatedly smacking one into the other via telekinesis.
  • Hand Cannon: Jebus seems to prefer having the biggest handgun in the series. He carried a Deagle until they became l33t Crew standard issue, and then he switched to a S&W 500 revolver.
  • Heel-Face Turn: Jebus is the protagonist in Madness Combat 8, apparently having decided that the insanity has gone too far.
  • The Hero: Just as the villains are constantly changing, Jebus and Sanford have also had a whack at the role of the protagonist between Hank's deaths.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Kind of. Deimos dies reviving Hank in Aggregation, and his corpse is booby-trapped shortly after to destroy the possessed MAG agents who killed him.
    • This is definitely the case in Inundation, where Jesus embarks on what's essentially a Suicide Mission against the Auditor. He dies in the end, but takes the primary Improbability Drive with him.
  • High-Pressure Blood: A mook in Avenger gets his face blown off. A literal FOUNTAIN of blood spouts out of his face-crater, flooding three quarters of the room to WAIST HEIGHT.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Hank has suffered a couple of these; Tricky has repeatedly stabbed Hank with the signpost that originally killed him, and Jebus finished Hank off with the infamous stab, lift, and headshot from Apotheosis.
    • As of Abrogation, this has happened to the Auditor. Remember kids, Monster Clowns are NOT part of a healthy diet!
  • Hollywood Silencer: played straight in Redeemer (second episode), justified in Apotheosis (fourth episode), and finally averted in Depredation (fifth episode).
    • Then played straight again in Aggregation (ninth episode).
  • Humanoid Abomination: The Auditor.
  • I Have Many Names: Jesus, Jebus, The Savior, Dr. Jebidiah Christoff.
  • I Have the High Ground: The Auditor really likes this. He uses it once, to retreat from our heroes.
  • Implacable Man: Jebus didn't stop chasing after the Auditor in Madness 8.
    • The MAG Agent in Incident:011A.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Most notably Hank in Avenger. Tons of Mooks meet the same fate on regular basis, including one memorably badass moment in Apotheosis when Hank gets hold of his first katana and uses it to skewer one of the mooks and lift him up before unloading a submachine gun into his face.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Tricky's main weapon is a road sign that he uses as a staff, a spear and an axe. Sometimes all at once.
  • Informed Flaw: Hank's mental retardation from episode 9 onwards. After his transformation and resurrection, he uses intelligent tactics (MacGyvering up a bomb and tossing it at Elite Mooks after distracting them with the corpse of Deimos), uses the environment to deploy traps, hangs back to let Sanford take care of enemies armed with guns, makes use of martial arts, and keeps his gun trained on the exit when riding an elevator. He also adapts quickly to the Auditor's changing tactics. If anything, he's more careful than before his resurrection.
  • Interquel: Madness Combat 5.5, 6.5, and 7.5.
  • I Will Fight Some More Forever: The heroes never stop trying to damage the Auditor, even after it's made very clear he can become intangible, though it's justified by the fact that when he becomes intangible he must either drop his weapon, teleport to safety, or both.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Especially when they have Thai inscriptions on the flat of the blade. Hank loves his one very much-he carries it in Apotheosis and Depredation, plus it is available in Madness Retaliation and Project Nexus. In the latter, it acts as Hank's primary.
  • Kill 'em All: Lather, rinse, repeat.
  • Kung-Fu Jesus: Jebus, obviously.
  • Laser Sight: Against Hank sometimes. Used in a more literal sense by Jebus.
  • Lennon Specs: Hank has worn a pair of these since Depredation, and they've since become his trademark.
  • Light Is Not Good: Jebus.
  • Lovecraftian Superpower/Power-Upgrading Deformation: Hank, revived for the seventh time, is now twice his size, has no more lines across his face, and has a crustacean arm where his right hand used to be. And it gives him a greater advantage in his fighting skills.
  • Made of Iron: Pretty much all of the main characters take multiple bullets, stab wounds and blunt trauma before they finally die. If they die at all, and even then, that's not so permanent.
    • What's that, Sanford? Someone shot you in the gut? Just jab yourself with a syringe of morphine/adrenaline/God-knows-what, you'll be fine.
    • Jebus can walk around without his brain.
    • Sanford needs a special mention:
      • He and Deimos had a building dropped on them in 5/5.5
      • Shot in the gut in the beginning of 6.5 (by a revolver, which in this universe are usually instant kills)
      • Stabbed in the gut, then shot in the hand in 9
      • Then gets beaten around by the the Auditor at the end of 9 and during 10, with a small knife wound to the backhand for good measure. This guys taken almost as much of a beating as Hank, but with none of the revivals (though with a sizable healing period after episode 6.5).
  • Made of Plasticine: Heads are ripped off easily, and bodies are torn apart without much trouble.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Apparently, the Auditor is the one orchestrating things, given that he had his own Improbability Drive, was able to upgrade his soldiers, create Mag Agents, and infect Jesus.
  • Mind Screw: Again, depending on how much weight you give the plot.
  • Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: In Project: Nexus, defied by Dr. Jebidiah Christoff, who trashed his research and killed his managers after he saw what kind of monstrosities they were having him create.
  • Monster Clown: Tricky. Literally, at one point.
  • Mood Whiplash: Happens at the end of some installments. Apotheosis, we're looking at you.
  • Mook Chivalry: Tons of it. For example, if a hero ever runs out of bullets, the next room will almost inevitably only have melee-focused enemies.
  • More Dakka: In Project Nexus, you can pick up the Awesome, but Impractical and incrediby expensive M249 SAW. One of the 3 Simple Yet Awesome Shotguns is the USAS-12, which is fully automatic and does just as well as the SPAS-12 and Norinco 97k.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Matt Jolly regrets making Tricky Madness 2. He promises never to do anything like Jesus graphically cannibalizing Tricky.
    • In Project: Nexus, Dr. Christoff had this reaction to the mad science he created. He didn't have a lot to say about all the security guards he gunned down, though.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: Somewhat justified, as Tricky gains new and improved powers from the Improbability Drive whenever he's on the losing end of a battle. In Madness Combat 7, he gains a "Portable Improbability Drive".
  • Nice Hat: You can buy many, many hats in Project Nexus as armor, of all things.
    • Hank and Sanford have their bandanas, Deimos has his visor and Jebus's halo could possibly count as well. Tricky also sports a nice railroad engineer cap in Antipathy.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: In Project Nexus, Dr. Christoff destroys the titular Nexus Project, but the Nexus was the only thing keeping a horde of zombies and abominations on what could loosely be described as a leash. The epilogue states "the city" is "decimated".
  • Nigh Invulnerable: Tricky after his Reality Compromised powerup, and his demon form and The Auditor, who is Made of... Dark Stuff, though as of Abrogation, it's averted as Hank finds that he's vulnerable to electricity attacks.
  • Offhand Backhand: Many of the characters do this, but Hank is especially fond of the move.
  • Oh Crap: What appears to be reality itself in response to The Auditor accidentally absorbing Tricky. He doesn't take it very well, either. Quite explosively.
    "[OH GOD NO]"
  • One-Man Army: Hank, Jebus, Tricky and The Auditor.
  • One-Winged Angel: CLOWN CANNOT DIE. Tricky spends the entirety of one episode trying to get at Hank as a giant demon clown, only stopped when Jesus destroys the Improbability Generator that's keeping up Tricky's form. Also, the Auditor turns into this eventually. Also, Hank.
    • Clipped Wing Angel: The second time the Auditor tries this, it begins to backfire on him. This gets more noticeable after Hank briefly steals his halo, which causes the Auditor to slowly destabilize. To keep himself stable, he starts to absorb a LOT of dead bodies, allowing him to grow in power and size... then he absorbs Tricky, which kills him.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: Actually, they're exactly the same as the regular mooks. They're nowhere near as strong though.
  • Phlebotinum Breakdown: With the destruction of the Improbability Drives, it seems that reality itself has been suffering from this.
  • Phlebotinum Overload: The Auditor's death, courtesy of Tricky's remains.
  • Pistol-Whipping: When empty, guns are frequently used as melee weapons.
  • Poor Communication Kills: As demonstrated by the first two OBSV agents.
  • Punch Clock Villain/Anti-Villain: Jesus, most likely. If anything, he's just trying to stop Hank from killing more people, and he even "rescues" Hank by granting his Death Seeker wish, immediately before becoming the hero himself by trying to kill the Auditor.
    • Jesus also gets shades of Anti-Hero in Project: Nexus, where he has a My God, What Have I Done? moment when he sees what kind of mad science he created... then grabs a handful of guns and kills everyone who was funding him.
  • Rated M for Manly
  • Raymanian Limbs: Floating hands are omnipresent in this series.
  • Reality Warper: Tricky, according to his profile on the Auditor's monitor. May or may not simply be a side effect of the Improbability Drive.
  • Recurring Traveller: The Hot Dog Vendor, a guy in a paper hat and greasy apron who has the privilege of being one of the few characters who has not been killed yet. The cafeteria vendor is becoming this, showing up twice and going back to reading his book.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Jebus, the Auditor and many, many, many Mooks. Hank wears red spectacles, in an odd variant of this trope.
  • Refuge in Audacity: The only way this series can get away with the body count.
  • Revolvers Are Just Better: Jesus had an S&W500, and Sanford has a Colt Revolver with a shortened barrel.
  • Rock-Paper-Scissors: Hank and Sanford in Abrogation.
  • Running Gag: Smokers getting killed. An early hint as to Deimos's ultimate fate
  • The Scrappy: An interesting example. The creator himself has often and openly displayed his hate for The Sheriff; probably the reason he got the honour of being Killed Off for Real.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Jebus has quit about three times already... and keeps coming back for more.
  • Serious Business: People get killed over a boombox in Madness Combat 1.
  • Shaggy Dog Story: Incident: 100A. Well, except for the guy they kidnapped who was lucky enough to survive the incident. He was probably going to be beaten to death if the heroes hadn't saved him.
  • Shock and Awe: Hank gets this ability after briefly stealing Jebus' halo from the Auditor. It proves to be the Auditor's weakness, as it not only quickens his destablization, but it's also the only attack that can hit through the Auditor's intangibility power.
  • Short Range Shotgun: Averted in Project Nexus, where all 3 shotguns have a decent range of 160 yards, and can inflict heavy damage at long range.
  • Shotguns Are Just Better: In Project Nexus, shotguns are among the best weapons in the game-decent range, a reasonable reload time, as good as the many assault rifles, plentiful and can defeat any enemy, from regular Mooks to Sleepwalkers, and even the final bosses.
  • Shout-Out: Many for The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and a few to The Matrix. Also there are certain weapons that bear a strong resemblance to weapons from other media; especially the cutlass with the spiky handguard that seems to be from Heavy Metal. Hank's getup from Episode 5 is basically Jean Reno's costume from The Professional. As well as the Graffiti that featured names such as Newgrounds Dot Com and forum members on the official fansite.
    • Hank's fighting style, especially with Guns Akimbo, is Gun Kata, as seen in Equilibrium.
    • Incident:111A features "Smile.jpg" as featured in the game "SCP-084-B", with sound effects from "SCP Containment Breach".
    • Jebus sword has 316 written in binary. That represents John 3:16, one of the most quoted passages of the Bible. One of it's translations is as follows:
      "For God so loved the world, as to give his only begotten Son; that whosoever believeth in him, may not perish, but may have life everlasting."
      • This is immensely appropriate given Jebus thinks almost everyone else is evil and kills all of them for being "sinners".
    • In 7.5, when Sanford and Deimos get into melee combat with the newly activated soldats, Sanford engages one of them with a beckoning gesture straight out of The Matrix.
  • Side Bet: At the start of Incident 100A, Sanford and Deimos apparently made a bet about their plan to infiltrate the base they're going for — most likely, whether the door guard would fall for a cardboard cut-out of Deimos. Which he did, so Sanford had to pay up.
  • Simple Yet Awesome: The shotguns in Project Nexus follow the trend of Shotguns Are Just Better in many video games. They seem to be Boring, but Practical at first, like the assault rifles-plentiful, good rate of fire and common, with the exception of having a slightly smaller magazine capacity-until you discover that they can make heads explode. They also have a fast reload time, and you can sail through whole levels with one, as long as you pick up another shotgun when you run out of ammo. They are also very useful in Episode 1.5, capable to defeating the Abominations and Sleepwalkers with ease. The most practical model is actually the most plentiful one: the magazine-fed Norinco 97k. It's got a faster reload time than the SPAS-12, easier to control than the USAS-12, is the cheapest of the bunch and the fact that it's a Sawed-Off Shotgun makes it easy to handle in CQB, which is surprisingly good as you'll be fighting in close-quarters for most, if not all the time.
  • Sociopathic Hero: Jesus.
  • The Southpaw: Jesus. Though his binary sword is a two-handed weapon, and he often dual-wields besides that, he customarily holds whatever he's using the most in his left hand.
  • Splash of Color: Mostly red (and now yellow) in the midst of that colorless world.
  • Standard FPS Guns: They're (almost) all here, but the usual weaknesses are averted. There are plenty of knives and swords that can be wielded as both primaries or secondaries and can range from pitiful damage to being very powerful, pistols that range from ones that take 3 or more shots to kill the weakest enemy to incredibly strong Hand Cannons, three different Shotguns, lots of Automatic Weapons in the form of SM Gs and Assault Rifles, an M203 Grenade Launcher, a FN FAL as a Marksman Gun/Battle Rifle (as it can be fired full-auto, oddly enough), with the FAMAS acting as both an assault rifle and a Battle Rifle. There is also an energy gun that isn't available in the Gear Shop that can be found in Episode 1.5 of Story Mode, plenty of silencers, laser sights and scopes, and an M249 that acts as a BFG. However, it averts the usual trope by being very fast.
  • Standard Snippet: You can hear Raymond Scott's "Powerhouse" in Madness Combat 3's main theme.
  • The Starscream: Tricky could be interpreted as this.
    • As of Abrogation, this has been confirmed. Posthumously. It got to the point where Tricky defiantly deserted just to battle Hank, and the Auditor threatened anyone who was "caught posting paraphernalia in regards to that god damn clown" with instant death.
  • Start of Darkness: Jebus was once known as Dr. Jebidiah Christoff, the chief scientist of Project Nexus, who defected after realizing what his scientific efforts were forced to create. Setting his experiments loose lead to them attacking, killing and zombifying his former colleagues. Christoff was immediately blamed for this and became a liability, waging a one-man war against Nexus itself. Near the end, he picks up his trademark halo which would later turn him into one of the major antagonists of the series and Hank's main rival until being Killed Off for Real.
  • The Stinger: Rather amusing one in Incident:110A. After the kill counter drains to zero, the post-animation credits pops up momentarily...and then the action restarts as Jebus picks up a minigun and kills more people, further reducing the counter to -20.
  • Sticks to the Back: Jebus's TAC-50. Overlaps with Hammerspace because even disassembled the barrel is taller than him. Also, in both Madness Interactive and Madness: Project Nexus, you can see alternate weapons a character carries on his back.
  • Subverted Trope: Incident:010A, wherein Hank is brutally torn apart while the man he used as a human shield calmly has a smoke in the end; a Running Gag is that anyone who smokes and/or gets used as a shield dies.
  • Super Strength: Hank, an otherwise Badass Normal, can rip a man's body parts off with his bare hands [also included are hearts and ears], and impale people with blunt objects just as easily as with swords or knives. As of Aggregation, he has now gotten even stronger after being revived once more.
  • Sweat Drop: Happens rather often in the series, though sometimes too quickly to see easily. Twice during Redeemer, once during Avenger, another at the end of Apotheosis (OMFG) and other time when Sanford and Deimos encounter Tricky.
    • Hank briefly gets a transparent one when he empties a magazine into the very first MAG agent's face to no effect.
    • In Antipathy, a mook gets one for a split second when Hank gets his hands on the battleaxe. But only for a split second.
  • Sword and Gun: Used extensively by Hank in Apotheosis, as well as by Jebus in most of his appearances.
  • Swords Akimbo: The Auditor.
  • Throw Away Guns: Hank tends to burn through both his ammo and his firearms. Subverted by Jebus, who only drops his TAC-50 after he doesn't need it anymore/runs out of ammo and keeps his S&W500 on him throughout the episode, and played straight and subverted by Deimos, who throws weapons away, but not his own Glock 20, which he picks up in Madness Combat 6.5, uses to kill a few agents on the roof and holsters it as he gets into the helicopter with Sanford.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Ever seen someone's skull being pierced by a police baton from across the room? Hank does the same with many weapons across the series.
    • Other characters get in on it too. Notably, in Inundation, Jesus throws an empty machine gun so hard at a mook that it impales them.
    • Subverted, then deconstructed, in 7.5. First, Deimos throws a machine gun like Jesus did in Inundation, but it's too heavy for him to aim the throw properly, and it just lands on the floor. Later, Sanford throws his sword into a soldat's belly, only for another soldat to pull it out and use it against Deimos.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Many times throughout the series, some mooks are either shot nonfatally and knocked down or are hit in the face with guns/bodies/blunt weapons. Some of them just stay down, since the protagonist is usually too busy with attackers to care about the disarmed wounded enemy on the floor. However, most of them get right back up for more and promptly die. L33T Crew agents seem particularly prone to this.
    • The grunts in Incident:011A try to stop Mag-Agent: Torture by hitting him with nightsticks.
  • Too Spicy for Yog Sothoth: The Auditor absorbs Tricky's corpse. Tricky then decides to overload the Auditor, causing him to explode.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Hank gets a lot better at fighting over time.
  • Unwanted Revival: As hard as Hank fights, he makes it very clear that he's also a Death Seeker, and all the reviving process does is piss him off.
  • Weapon of Choice: Jebus has his longsword with "316" in binary on it and a S&W500 Revolver; his Desert Eagle(s) make a reappearance in later episodes as well. The Auditor has his black energy blades, a katana and his massive broadsword. Tricky also likes to use traffic sign with exclamation mark on it. Sanford seems to be fond of his hook and .357 Colt Revolver. In several episodes Hank uses a piece of piano wire to dispatch mooks and Agents. Everyone uses different weapons throughout the series.
    • While Deimos likes to Throw Away Guns, he seems to enjoy the M203 Grenade Launcher, the Glock 20, the Minebea PM 9, the G36 and his stats in Project Nexus hint that he likes shotguns and submachine guns the most. He also carries a HK MP 7 submachine gun with full attachments and a black Beretta M9 in Project Nexus.
    • Sanford and Hank carry the Glock 20, with a silencer and laser sight, as their sidearms in Project Nexus.
    • In Project Nexus, Apotheosis, Depredation and Madness Retaliation, Hank seems to like his katana a lot, and carries it as his primary in Story Mode in Project Nexus.
    • In Abrogation, Hank seems to have become more fond of Good Old Fisticuffs, courtesy of an organic Power Fist as a result of his resurrection.
    • The I33t Agents often carry the Desert Eagle as their standard issue sidearm/primary weapon, although it has become less common due to more handgun options being available. For handguns, they now favor 1911s and Beretta M9s alongside the Deagle.
  • Will It Blend?: Incident:001A, starting with some hapless mooks and ending with a freaking MAG agent.
    • OMG
    • OMG
  • Wall Jump: Jesus does one near the end of Inundation to skip climbing a ladder.
  • Weapons Kitchen Sink: Everything from World War 2 machine guns, 1920s-era tommy guns, laser guns, gatlings, .500 hunting revolvers, 1970s battle rifles, 1980s-era SMGs, you name it, they've got it!
  • We Have Reserves: Hundreds of them. This plays a major role in Project Nexus.
  • You Always Hear The Bullet: Averted in Incident:111A.
  • Your Head Asplode: The result of Tricky attempting to use Jebus's powers to raise the dead.
    • Tricky:How come this does not work?!??
    • Of note is how the giant mook in Incident:011A meets his end: A grenade launched into the back of his head, then detonating.
      • This also happens to Mag Hank in Incident:1000A.

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