"So there's a kid who apparently just sits on the orphanage's roof waiting for Billy to send distress signals, at which point all the kids pitch in together to launch Billy's giant robot from the front lawn. Why does a priest own a giant robot, you ask? This game is not listening. La la la! it says. Giant robots uber alles!"Xenogears: A Rope of Robots
is a parody of the PlayStation role-playing game Xenogears
. It is told in a Thumbnail Theater-style format, interspersed with narrative interludes and in-game screenshots (each one generously appended with Alt Text
). Described as "a dash of the Let's Play mentality minus the part where you're supposed to be currently playing the game", it follows the game's plot very closely, at least in terms of sequence of events, but being an Affectionate Parody
(according to the author, at least), ''A Rope of Robots" mercilessly exposes every absurdity in the game's plot and characterization, which results in characters who are apt to behave both Genre Savvy
and Genre Blind
... sometimes simultaneously. Expect lots of Lampshade Hanging
and Deconstruction of tropes
, naturally, along with a Fourth Wall
constructed of saran wrap.
Though the series is near to completion, Schedule Slip
has plagued it badly, with a nearly two-year gap between parts 36 and 37. As of now, it is up to part 42, with the last update being April 8, 2012.
The complete series can be found here
This thumbnail theater provides examples of:
- Alt Text: Every screengrab has it. Make sure you check them out!
- Berserk Button: Babel Tower has this effect on every character, and of course, on everybody who has ever played Xenogears.
Bart: "JUMP FOR THE SWINGY BIT"
Elly: "AUGH NO WE'RE GOING TO FALL"
Fei: "SON OF A BIIIIIITCH"
Billy: "OH NO WE'RE GOING TO FALL AGAIN"
This narration can do this all day.
- Ramsus has a brick holding his down, it seems like.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Maybie Margie should have kept the awesome new giant robot after all.
- Crapsack World: This is Xenogears, after all. It somehow looks much worse when it's deconstructed.
- Cryptic Conversation: Lampshaded constantly—after all, this is Xenogears. Sigurd does this and sometimes forgets to turn it off. Also, everything the Gazel ever says. Citan also does this and seemingly does not know how to turn it off, and in fact requires another character to translate plain English into something more vague and ominous before he can understand what that character is even talking about.
- Random Pronouns 201 is a required academy course in Solaris.
- Despair Speech: Fei is prone to this. That he does not know how an argument works only makes things worse.
- Did You Just Ask Me To Punch Out Cthulhu?: Grahf wants to use Fei to kill God. Fei is understandably skeptical about this idea.
- Eldritch Abomination: The derelict ship is depicted as Xenogears momentarily turning into Silent Hill 2. Also Chu Chu.
- Eye Beams: Miang, and they come complete with a porno soundtrack!
- Grey and Grey Morality: Almost everyone has very flexible morals.
- Hope Spot: The end of Part 24 might let you think we're done with Babel Tower. If only!
- Hotter and Sexier: If you like seeing giant robots in questionable poses, anyway.
- I Need a Freaking Drink: Jessie prefers alcohol to exposition.
- Insistent Terminology: The narration (and most of the characters) prefer the term 'giant robot' as opposed to the in-game term 'Gear'.
- The Mole: Elly, under duress. Bart's line in response to the revelation is so cheesy that the narration can't improve on it.
- Mythology Gag: Tons, as it is a very self-aware parody. Also, it definitely is not Eva.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Fei does this a lot, but the fact that doing so complicates his life is less important to him than how awesome he is at kicking ass.
- Not Me This Time: Wiseman's usual comment when the activities of Grahf and/or Khan are brought up.
- Rousing Speech: Shakhan's rambling in-game speech before the Aveh tournament is summarized here.
Shakhan: "ACT HAPPY IF YOU KNOW WHAT'S GOOD FOR YOU"
- Schedule Slip: The series ground to a halt for almost two years before resuming in early 2010. May have happened again as the last update was months ago and the story is still not quite done.
- Shout-Out: The comparison to Neon Genesis Evangelion is a Running Gag, but there are also mentions of Silent Hill, Resident Evil and others.
- Shut Up, Hannibal!: Grahf is a victim of this. Lampooning a questionably-translated line in the game, when Grahf first mentions Fei's father to taunt him, Fei repeats the line from the game (My father? You mean my dad?) and takes it several steps farther as Fei uses every other term synonymous with 'father' he can think of. This causes Grahf to completely lose track of what he was saying.
- Later, when giving his customary speech while bestowing powers on Vanderkaum, Vanderkaum repeatedly interrupts him because he thinks Grahf could be a little less self-indulgent with the flowery prose.
- Stealth Pun: Plenty, as every screenshot has Alt Text.
- Wretched Hive: Subverted. The narration attempts to use the term to describe Dazil, a desert town clearly inspired by Mos Eisley. The only problem is that it's actually kind of nice.