is a webcomic by Mark Shallow
, 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 culminated with
a massive battle against the Final Boss
The storyline is now finished and the comic no longer updates. http://adventurers.keenspot.com/
is the place to get your Archive Binge
The Tabletop RPG Console
, also an Affectionate Parody
and their tropes, uses Adventurers!
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: As shown in a flashback, Khrima graduated from one.
- Acceptable Breaks from Reality: Much of the humor in the strip comes from taking these literally.
- Action Bomb: Bombats explode when the party encounters them in battle.
- Affectionate Parody
- A.I. Roulette: When Eternion agrees to face the party in an RPG battle, he finds that he can't use his most powerful skill a second time because RPG bosses choose attacks randomly.
- Alien Geometries:
- Imposis specializes in these, creating an "impossible object" when challenged as to the meaning of his name.
- An NPC declares that the Wrap Around on each side of the square world map makes their world an "impossible" shape.
- 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.
- Apathetic Citizens: The Bystandrians, who are doomed to stand idly by instead of taking action in the face of danger -
- Are You Pondering What I'm Pondering?: When Karn tries to figure out how to escape from a collapsed dungeon, he decides the key to escaping is the model airplane and completely ignores the cracked wall and explosives...
- Arbitrary Headcount Limit:
- Art Evolution: The art does improve over time, although it is still very amateurish.
- Inevitably parodied in this comic, in which, at the beginning of a flashback, the characters complain about the sudden lack of quality in the art (which is drawn in the style of the early strips).
- Attack Its Weak Point: Karn decides that a robot's glowing red power core must be its weak spot and attacks it. It doesn't work out the way Karn hoped it would.
- Author Guest Spot: The author occasionally appears to address the audience and hang a lampshade on something or other, but he doesn't interact with the characters directly.
- Back from the Dead: Any character that appears to be "dead" inevitably returns.
- Bad Guys Do the Dirty Work: Argent isn't about to just let a de-powered, mortal Eternion go.
- Bankruptcy Barrel: Karn wears one after all of his equipment (including his clothes) is stolen by Drecker.
- Barehanded Blade Block: A couple of characters manage to pull this off by virtue of having robot arms. Happens again during the final boss fight.
- Behind the Black: Characters can't see anything that's out of the "player"'s field of view, no matter how illogical this is.
- BFS: All of Karn's weapons are oversized swords.
- Big Bad Ensemble: 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.)
- Bishonen Line: This strip, in which the characters comment on the relative monstrousness of Khrima's different forms, is the Trope Namer.
- "Blind Idiot" Translation: Parodied in a strip where the characters speak gibberish and then blame it on the translator.
- Block Puzzle: The party faces these in every temple they explore. Everyone but Karn hates them.
- Bonus Boss: Why does Karn want to fight it? Because it's there!
- Boss Battle: The party encounters many of these.
- Bottomless Magazines: Tesla is quite happy that 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:
- But Thou Must: The heroes are rather used to NPCs not taking "no" for an answer.
- By the Power of Grayskull!: The Khaos Generals have to say a phrase to use their Flowgem-granted abilities. "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.
- Cameo: Hero and Cherry from RPG World appear in the background when Maxima Termis calls for 'a spiky-headed hero and his sidekick'. The later when Eternion announces in a newspaper that he's making a bid for Final Boss, another article in the newspaper is titled "Galgarion to gardners: Prune or Die." In turn, Khrima made a cameo in RPG World, appearing in the hallway at Eviltown U.
- Card-Carrying Villain: Khrima identifies as one.
- Cerebus Syndrome: 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 wears chains.
- 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 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: Standard issue for RPG villains. Averted once because the designers 'were on a budget'.
- Combat Pragmatist: Tesla, when challenged to a duel, starts fighting a little sooner than her opponent expected.
- Combat Tentacles: Dark Doomsceror uses them for counter attacks. Drecker notably worries they might be the naughty kind instead.
- Commonplace Rare: Apples, for which NPC vendors charge a surprisingly high price.
- 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.
- See also Brick Joke, above.
- Convection Schmonvection: Karashi and Tesla train their jumping skills because, as Karashi puts it, "EVERYTHING is protected by floating platforms over lava."
- Coup de Grâce Cutscene: Karn says that Ardam's plan to have him strike the final blow against Khrima in battle is unnecessary: "It doesn't matter who makes the final hit, the plot says I do it anyway."
- Crossover: With RPG World. And with Antihero for Hire... sort of.
- 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.
- Cutting the Knot: When stuck in The Maze, Karashi climbs over the walls and Tesla breaks through them.
- Damsel in Distress:
- 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.
- Unsurprisingly, Ardam gets frustrated with puzzles and opts for a simpler solution.
- Dancing Pants: Just one of the many possible Random Encounters.
- Dangerously Genre Savvy: The boss of the ice cave, who cheats at Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors.
- Death Glare: It's a little insensitive to complain about feeling left out to the party's resident Butt Monkeys, Ardam.
- Death Trap: Found in the ancient temples. They do surprisingly little damage.
- Dimension Lord: The Eternals are a race of these, with Maxima Termis being their initial leader, followed by Eternion.
- Distressed Dude: In one storyline, Karn is captured by Khrima and tied up.
- 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.
- Duel Boss: Ardam vs Whizrom, among others. (The author has a rather low opinion of these.)
- Easter Egg: Karn follows some ridiculous directions in order 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.
- 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: Anything and everything can be a monster in a Random Encounter, even the cup of coffee Ardam was trying to drink.
- 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. Khrima tells a captured Karn everything, even though Karn tells him it might not be the smartest thing to do.
- Evil Minions: Khrima, being an Evil Overlord, has lots. Most of them have Fs in Evil, but still.
- Eviler Than Thou: Eternion is clearly more evil than to Khrima and attempts to usurp the role of True Final Boss.
- Explosive Instrumentation: Khrima apparently built them like this on purpose.
- 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.
- 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.
- Last Disc Magic: Magic attacks start doing a lot more damage in later strips.
- Let's Split Up, Gang: The party has to divide into three groups to attack the Khrimalith.
- Level Grinding: Yeah, they've got to do lots.
- Limited Wardrobe: Karn's outfit doesn't change regardless of what he equips. Also subverted in this strip, in which Khrima is wearing something different from his usual dark robes...
- Motivation on a Stick: A variation with a treadmill and a sign reading "plot" is used to keep Karn occupied in one strip.
- Pointy Ears: Karn has them.
- Poke the Poodle: Most of Khrima's attempts at proving how evil he is... such as giving Karn free passes to an amusement park that doesn't have any cotton candy.
- 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 - Karn shills for products such as "Hero Hair" brand hair gel.
- Rule of Funny: Real world physics occasionally come in to play, just to make Ardam's life more difficult. Especially with wind magic.
- 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 Antihero for Hire has been playing it the whole time.
- Startof Darkness: Khrima describes in detail of how he came to be a lord of darkness.
- Time Travel: Used for a couple of cheap jokes and then never mentioned again.
- 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.
- 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.