Headscratchers Main WMG Webcomic YMMV
is a webcomic by
, who later created
Antihero For Hire
(there's a crossover... of sorts). It began as a series of console RPG jokes connected only by the presence of the main characters, but gradually developed a storyline that
a massive battle against the
The storyline is now finished and the comic no longer updates.
is the place to get your
Tabletop RPG Console
, also an
and their tropes, uses
strips for some of its illustrations.
This webcomic provides examples (almost always Lampshaded or Parodied) of the following tropes: Aborted Arc: Nate Wars, among a several recurring comics during the first 100 strips. Academy of Evil Acceptable Breaks from Reality: Parodied, by showing how silly they really are when taken literally. Action Bomb: Bombats Action Girl: Karashi, Tesla, Lumi Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: Sorry, but being a hero won't get you a discount. Affably Evil: Khrima, usually Affectionate Parody Alien Geometries: Imposis specializes in these. Also, the shape of every console RPG world. it works if it's a torus. All Myths Are True: Actively cited as a law of the universe. Amazing Technicolor Battlefield: Khrima has one built just for the sake of conforming to this trope. Anime Hair: Karn. Anti-Villain: Argent. Apathetic Citizens: The Bystandrians. Are You Pondering What I'm Pondering?: Karn tries to figure out how to escape from a collapsed dungeon. Arbitrary Headcount Limit: Art Evolution: The art does improve over time, although it is still very amateurish. Artificial Stupidity / A.I. Roulette: Eternion falls victim to this, despite the Eternals being exempt from many laws that most of the other characters must obey. Attack Its Weak Point: It doesn't work out the way Karn hoped. Author Guest Spot A Wizard Did It: That's right. Magic. Back from the Dead Bad Guys Do The Dirty Work: Argent. Barehanded Blade Block: Involving a robot arm, and again during the final boss fight. Behind the Black BFS: Karn's. Big Bad: Two of them: Khrima and Eternion, both of whom correspond to different kinds of RPG villains. (Khrima is an Evil Overlord, and Eternion is an evil Physical God.) Bigger Bad: Eternion starts off as one, but soon starts taking a more active role in the plot. Bishonen Line: This strip is the Trope Namer. "Blind Idiot" Translation: Parodied. Block Puzzle: Repeatedly. Everyone but Karn hates them. Bonus Boss: "Because it's there!" Boss Battle Bottomless Magazines: Console RPG characters never run out of ammo, ever. Bowdlerise: An early joke is that Drecker, hard-bitten thief that he is, finds himself able to swear only in cutlery once he joins the party. This extends to everyone else (except Eternion) and becomes a Running Gag; when Khrima's about to go through a lot of pain in the Final Battle, he says "Oh utensil." Breaking the Fourth Wall: Not a heavily used trope, but there is one notable example. Final Boss Khrima uses an attack spell with an animation so over-the-top, it doesn't just include an Earth-Shattering Kaboom, it actually cracks the Adventurers! game disc, requiring Karn to tell the "player" how to replace the disc with a backup copy. Brick Joke: In an early strip, the party defeated a microbug and won a piano. During the final fight against Khrima, Karashi, realizing that she could throw ... anything It turned from an upright piano into a grand piano, but I don't think we're supposed to notice. When he finds out that the person who his boss most fears is a bard of all things, Cody wonders if he isn't really a superhero in disguise. Then fast forward to the finale... In an earlier strip, one of the main characters plays Boggle with the bad guy and spots "gorilla". Several strips later, the bad guy spots the same word as he plays Boggle with one of his minions. And again when he fights Eternion. Early in the strip, an Ice Dragon which has painted himself red to make itself look like a Fire Dragon. It later appears in the news, complaining about the quality of the paint, which has apparently faded to green. But Thou Must: The heroes are rather used to this. Butt Monkey: Chookie and Gilward By the Power of Grayskull!: "I would have gone with the naked costume change but she doesn't change costume." Caps: After strip number 999, every subsequent strip was also numbered 999. Call Back: In an early strip, the party defeated a micrognat and it dropped a piano. During the final battle against Khrima, Karashi threw the piano at him. Card-Carrying Villain: Khrima. Cerebus Syndrome: Though, notably, even after the plot picked up there would be periods where they went back to complete "gag a day" strips, justified as taking time off from the plot to level grind. Chained by Fashion: Eternion's second form. Chainsaw Good: Spybot gets one and is very happy about it though it doesn't get put to any use. Character Development: A few nice bits. Karn is frustrated, but he never did have much patience for anything that didn't involve hitting things with swords. A couple times earlier, Karn tries to actively demonstrate Character Development by being angsty or apathetic, but both times is called out on it - particularly since his personality doesn't really mesh. He also dreams of getting amnesia. Chekhov's Gun: In an early comic, a monster inexplicably drops a piano upon defeat. Later, during the final battle, Karashi ends up throwing this piano at the final boss. And it's apparently his greatest weakness. Chekhov's Gunman: Played straight with Argent. Inverted in this strip, in which a character is conspicuously introduced and then never seen again. This actually happens with several characters early on, mostly because the series hadn't switched from its gag-a-day nature. Later on, many characters were merged into the story line, but many of the less defined ones didn't make the cut. Chest Monster: And it's bigger than the box it was hiding in! Collapsing Lair: Averted because the designers 'were on a budget'. Combat Pragmatist: Tesla is not one to waste time. Combat Tentacles: Dark Doomsceror uses them for counter attacks. Drecker notably worries they might be the naughty kind instead. Commonplace Rare: Apples. Continuity Nod: Most of the summons seen in the comic return when Ardam summons Pantheon is just one example. Another silly one comes up late in the comic. Early on, Ardam fights one-on-one with an evil wizard named Whizrom, who begins melting/evaporating after he's defeated. Both of them notice that Whizrom is taking an awfully long time to finish disappearing (which Ardam lampshades), and hundreds of episodes later we see him again, still evaporating and going about his business normally. And later still, he appears in the final dungeon, after being frozen into the shape of a sphere. Septuple Scare. Convection Schmonvection: "EVERYTHING is protected by floating platforms over lava." Coup de Grâce Cutscene: "It doesn't matter who makes the final hit, the plot says I do it anyway." Crossover: With . And with RPG World ... sort of. Antihero For Hire Curb-Stomp Battle: After much epic adventuring, the party has finally managed to confront Eternion, one of the two Big Bads, and drag him into an RPG battle. The result? "Well, that was easy." Subverted: Ardam had a Relife Ring equipped. Cut Lex Luthor a Check: Khrima. Cutscene Power to the Max and Cutscene Incompetence: Parodied in one comic. Cutting the Knot: When stuck in The Maze, Karashi climbs over the walls and Tesla breaks through them. Dancing Pants: Just one of the many possible Random Encounters. Dangerously Genre Savvy: This enemy. Dark Action Girl: Mizuna. Deadpan Snarker: Ardam and Eternion. Death Glare: It's a little insensitive to complain about feeling left out to the party's resident Butt Monkeys, Ardam. Death Trap Dimension Lord: The Eternals are a race of these, with Maxima Termis being their initial leader, followed by Eternion. Distressed Damsel: In Lumi's job description, evidently. "Didn't they teach you anything at your church? Next thing you'll tell me they didn't tell you how to properly get kidnapped." Also attempted with Karashi on two occasions. Both times she freed herself. One time she actually managed to free herself and make it back to camp before the rest of the party realized she had been kidnapped at all. Distressed Dude: Karn in Comic 201. Divine Ranks Dramatic Thunder: Karn makes Ardam use a lightning spell only for the sake of this trope. Dramatic Unmask: Eternion when Khrima hits him with the Mallet of Extreme Pain. The fact that the mask is his face should tell you where it heads. Dreadful Musician: Gildward, apparently. Duel Boss: The author has a rather low opinion of these. Durable Deathtrap: Lampshaded. Easter Egg: Karn goes to great lengths to find one. Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors: Including such elements as "Tastes Like Orange Tang", "Doesn't Taste Like Orange Tang", and "Peanuts". Enemy Mine: Played straight and later subverted when the less-evil Khrima realizes Eternion's trying to force him into one with the heroes, as part of his gambit to secure the role of Final Boss. Enigmatic Minion: Argent. Equipment Spoiler: Invoked when Karn panics on discovering a shop that sells a weapon no one in the party uses in case they missed a secret character. They meet and recruit the user of said weapons later. Everything Trying to Kill You: This is the reason why Ardam can't drink coffee. Evil Chancellor: Parodied - the chancellor wasn't evil and the monster impersonating him had a cold. Evil Counterpart: Most of the good guys have one - Ardam vs. Wizrom, Drecker vs. Rio, Karashi vs. Mizuna, Gildward vs. Dirlend, even Chookie vs. Blanc... Evil Gloating: Lampshaded, of course. Evil Minions: Most of them have Fs in Evil, but still. Eviler than Thou: Eternion to Khrima. Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Evil Killer Death Spybot 5000. And don't forget Drecker's Mug! ability, which... drops a giant mug on the enemies for actually decent damage. Explosive Instrumentation: Khrima apparently built them like this on purpose. Fake King: Parodied. Fetal Position Rebirth: one of Khrima's transformations. Fetch Quest Fight Woosh Final Boss: Khrima and Eternion actually get into a PR battle over who gets to be Final Boss. Khrima wins. Floating Platforms: Subverted.
Drecker: And the platforms weren't really floating? Cheap. Flock of Wolves: One of Khirma's plans was to capture all the party members and replace them with robot duplicates, then have the robot duplicates strike when they least suspect it. There are four major flaws with this: One: The robot duplicates don't look like the people they're supposed to look like. Two: The plan involves capturing them all. Why would they need to bother doing anything else if they've all been captured? Three: If he'd captured and replaced them all, then the robots would be attacking each other. Four: Why would they make a robot duplicate of Evil Killer Death Spybot 5000? He already works for them. Four is Death: Khrima has four forms.
Khrima: Fourth time's a charm. Fourth Wall Mail Slot Frickin' Laser Beams: Khrima demands that his engineers put lasers on everything, even ballistic missiles. He later fires one of them for inventing a weapon better than lasers. Gainax Ending: " This is going to cause message board debates for years." Game Breaker: In-Universe. All of Karn's ultimate abilities. Although Khrima's final form actually blocks one of them. Game-Breaking Bug: In-Universe, one boss attack breaks the game disc! Gameplay and Story Segregation: Lampshaded - the characters can do ridiculous things in battle, but can't do any of it outside. Genre Savvy: Karn. Also Karashi: Everything is protected by floating platforms over lava. Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: Parodied and played straight at different points. The Glomp: Tesla. Global Airship: Don't let Karn fly. Goldfish Poop Gang: Kemmit and Meck. Good Bad Bugs: In-Universe. A nod to Final Fantasy VI's infamous "Vanish" + "Doom" Game Breaker combo. Good Morning, Crono: This strip. Gotta Catch Them All: The Elemental Relics: Hydrogen, Helium, Lithium... Grand Finale: Goes on for just under 300 strips. The Guards Must Be Crazy: Subverted. Guest Star Party Member: The Guy Who Took the Gold Armor, the Level 99 Guy. Guide Dang It: "GNWG" is supposed to be a clue. Guns Are Worthless: Parodied. Half-Human Hybrid: Despite looking completely human, Karn is quarter- Skyrian, as revealed via painfully straight As You Know; his father is half-Skyrian. The green hair probably should have been a giveaway, but.... Also, Karashi and her sister are half-dwarf. They get their looks from their father. Harmless Villain: Nearly all of them. Head-Tiltingly Kinky: In this strip. Health Damage Asymmetry: lampshaded and justified here. He Knows About Timed Hits: This strip. Heel Face Turn: Argent Heel Face Door Slam: Invisin Heroes Prefer Swords: Karn. Hit Points Holy Hand Grenade: The Smite spell. Pity Lumi only has enough MP to cast it once. Honest John's Dealership: Honest Cid's Used Airships. Ho Yay: Lampshaded by Karn in this strip. HP To One: Eternion's Grief Impulse wouldn't work on anyone he couldn't kill in a single turn anyway, but he uses it because he enjoys the cruelty of it regardless. Khrima also has one that hits the entire party, but due to an abundance of healing options they weren't particularly intimidated. Indy Escape: They fail, but it doesn't matter. Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: Rio. Infinity+1 Sword: Inverted when a "powerful" sword turns out to be useless. Insecurity System: Lampshaded here. Instant Awesome, Just Add Mecha: "Since when did we have giant robots?" Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence: Parodied twice - once when a villain places a chair in the party's path and Karn doesn't comprehend the notion of stepping over it, and again when he performs a jumping attack on an enemy in battle, but then declares a small obstacle too high to pass. Interchangeable Antimatter Keys: Here. Item Crafting: Parodied. It's All About Me: Yes, yes it is, Karn. I Will Show You X: Khrima: They think they vanquished me? I'll make them see what it's like to really vanquish me! Joke Character: Chookie. Just Between You and Me: Lampshaded - "Whatever, I'll tell you guys anyway." Kick The Cute Thing: Yeah, Khrima's got villain cred to spare with that one... too bad that technically wouldn't make him even as evil as ... the main character Kick the Son of a Bitch: Argent nuking Eternion and Invisin after depowering them. Killer Rabbit: Ardam falls victim to a DevilRabbit. Kill Sat: Khrima sure does love his lasers. Kleptomaniac Hero: Karn is unapologetic about this. Knight of Cerebus: Eternion. Lampshade Hanging: And how! Laser Blade: Lampshaded by how absurd it is. Last Disc Magic Let's Split Up, Gang Level Grinding Limited Wardrobe: Made fun of. Also subverted in this strip. Load-Bearing Boss: Khrima, naturally. Loads and Loads of Characters: Builds up quite a roster by the end. Loads and Loads of Loading: Here and here/ Lock and Key Puzzle Lost Forever: Both parodied and played straight. Love Interest: Lumi/Karn, Tesla/Ardam, Karashi/Drecker Mask Power: The Eternals. The Maze Meaningful Name: The city of Doomdia, and the Bystandrians. Arguably, Gildward, whose name is a composite of "Gilbert" and "Edward", the Japanese and English names for the Spoony Bard in . Final Fantasy IV Memento MacGuffin: Lumi's amulet. Metaphorgotten: "You see, evil is like... it's like a bowl of oranges..." Mind Screw: "This is going to cause message board debates for years." Minion with an F in Evil: Khrima, despite being the Evil Overlord. The Mole: The aptly named Killer Evil Death Spybot 5000, who, incidentally, is never seen spying again. Mons: Humorously averted. Mook Chivalry: Spoofed. Motivation on a Stick: A variation with a treadmill and a sign reading "plot" is used to keep Karn occupied in one strip. Musical Spoiler: Subverted. Mysterious Informant: Imposis. Nerf Arm: A rolled-up newspaper and a stick. Never Found the Body: Lampshaded by Karn:
"We never found the body, so obviously he's still alive!"
"But the explosion could have—-" " We never found the body, so obviously he's still alive." Nightmare Retardant: In-Universe examples: No Endor Holocaust: Which causes Ardam to give up trying to accept the nonsense. Non-Action Guy: Gildward. Non-Lethal K.O.: "Fainted fainted fainted!" No Sneak Attacks: Parodied multiple times. On one occasion, one monster persuades another to attack the party in their sleep... only to discover their tent is electrified. Not So Different: Khrima tries to play this card. It doesn't work. Not-So-Harmless Villain: Khrima turns out more competent than he originally seems, but he's still not very threatening. Number of the Beast: Eternion's HP and MP. Oh Crap! There Are Fanfics of Us...: "I suddenly find myself very, very glad that I don't have any fansites." Ominous Latin Chanting: invoked. One-Winged Angel: Khrima. He uses Wing-B-Gone to deal with it. Only Idiots May Pass The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: The reason Khrima saves the party when Eternion first appears. Only Sane Man: Ardam, who can't stand the absurd RPG tropes he has to deal with. Only Smart People May Pass Operation Blank Optional Party Member: Drecker is not pleased to learn he's one. Padding: Woo boy, that last arc. Lampshaded, of course. Palette Swap: Which one's the navy one? Pamphlet Shelf Party in My Pocket: Lampshaded. Pay Evil unto Evil: After Eternion is defeated and made mortal and Invisin offers to try and help him adapt, Argent explodes them both. Peek-A-Bangs: Ardam, as well as everyone from his hometown. Perky Female Minion: Mizuna. Physical God: The Eternals Plot Coupon Pointy Ears: Karn Poke the Poodle: Most of Khrima's attempts at proving how evil he is. Priceless Paperweight: The villain uses his orbital satellite to cut his sandwich. In another story arc, Khrima plots to steal a magic water-generating crystal, which provides the only source of water for a city, to use in his office water cooler. Mizuna then says that, once they have it, it would be better to ransom it back to the city in exchange for its inhabitants becoming his servants. Khrima agrees that her idea is better. Then, in the process of stealing it, the two of them discover what the people who live in the city are actually like - and into the water cooler it goes. Product Placement: Parodied. Punch Clock Villain Puzzle Boss: Whizrorb. Quirky Miniboss Squad Random Encounters Randomly Drops Rebellious Princess: "I may have exaggerated a little..." Recurring Boss: Numerous. Khrima, Eternion, Blanc, Mizuna just to name some. Revive Kills Zombie: This strip illustrates the results. Rewarding Vandalism RPG Mechanics Verse Running Gag: Save Point Sequential Boss Shark Pool Shout Out: Show Within a Show: In addition to Khrima's daytime TV and various other shows, the entire comic turned out to be a Show Within a Show - or more accurately, Game Within A Comic - in the final comic, where it's revealed Wrench of has been playing it the whole time. Antihero For Hire Sidequest Slap-on-the-Wrist Nuke: An Earth-Shattering Kaboom does not as much damage as you'd think. Slave to PR Small Annoying Creature: Chookie. Smoke Shield: Lampshaded/Subverted/Parodied/Inverted. So Long, and Thanks for All the Gear Sorting Algorithm of Evil: Partially subverted. Squishy Wizard: Ardam. Gildward is a squishy bard. Parodied/Deconstructed when Ardam had to fight a Duel Boss fight against Whizrom. Whizrom was completely immune to Ardam's magic - but being a squishy wizard himself, he was vulnerable to Ardam's usually useless physical attack. Spikes of Doom: Used here. Spoof Aesop: But most of all I learned never to tick off a ninja. Spoony Bard: Gildward. Standard Status Effects Startof Darkness: Khrima describes in detail of how he came to be a lord of darkness. Stating the Simple Solution: Here. Staying Alive: Khrima here. Strategy Guide: Karn is seen reading one. Stupidity Is the Only Option Suicidal Overconfidence: "What attracts them to us enough to override their self-preservation instincts? Summon Magic: Ardam uses this, and so do a few other characters. Super Mode: Karn has probably one of the most broken cases ever seen. Lampshaded as with everything else. Take That: " Squall belongs to Square. They can keep him." Take Your Time: Made fun of repeatedly. One of the more ridiculous examples is here. Taking You with Me Talk to Everyone Temple of Doom: And they contain Block Puzzles! Ten Paces And Turn: Tesla and a villain attempt this, but are foiled by the RPG battle system. There Is No Kill Like Overkill: "Any job worth doing with a laser is worth doing with many, many lasers." This Is Something He's Got to Do Himself Timed Mission: Here. Time Travel: Used for a couple of cheap jokes and then never mentioned again. Timmy in a Well: "The Problem With Being Mute" Too Awesome to Use: One gets the impression Fire Shards were this, at the beginning of the game. Took A Shortcut: How the NPCs get there first. Took a Level in Badass: Dirlend, an evil bard, learns to play Heavy Metal music and is no longer Squishy. Total Party Kill: Save Points make these little more than an inconvenience. Trap Door Trap Is the Only Option: "If it's a trap then it's a plot point and we have to follow the plot." Trippy Finale Syndrome Troperiffic Trauma Inn: "Just sleep it off, you'll be fine." Two Gamers on a Couch: Parodied in this strip. Ultimate Blacksmith: The Trope Namer is this strip. Underground Monkey Unexpected Genre Change Universal Poison Unknown Rival: Khrima is annoyed that Eternion seems to be taking over the role of Big Bad. Eternion, for his part, considers Khrima a mere puny mortal of no particular consequence. Unsound Effect Unusual Euphemism: "Spoony" and its variants. Useless Useful Spell: De-Lificate Verbal Tic: Chookie. The Very Definitely Final Dungeon Video Game Geography: "The world is not round." Video Game Stealing: Lampshaded. Villain Ball Villains Out Shopping Walking the Earth Weapon Of Mass Destruction Webcomic Time: the final battle lasts a year and a half. Welcome to Corneria Well-Intentioned Extremist: Argent, apparently. When All You Have Is a Hammer "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue White Hair, Black Heart: Argent. Ardam immediately guesses he's evil upon seeing him. Argent: What!? You think a guy can't have silver hair and gold trimmed black armor without being evil? White Magician Girl: Lumi. Worthy Opponent Wrap Around: On the world map, a scientist discovers that you teleport to the south side of the world when you go past the northern boundaries. Wrecked Weapon: Happens to Gildward once. Wrong Genre Savvy: Ardam expects the RPG Mechanics Verse to behave like the real world. You ALL Look Familiar You Can't Fight Fate: The characters follow the plot, because that's what you do in an RPG. You Have Failed Me You Meddling Kids: Given a Shout Out here.