The series in one image.
Cuanta Vida (abbreviated CV) is a popular Team Fortress 2 fancomic
by Kieran Thompson, also known as Kytri or Heironymus. It started on October 12th, 2008 and ended on December 9th, 2011 with 159 pages.
The story is centered on a BLU Spy (commonly referred to as Bleu
) who has just arrived at 2Fort
, though he's never been in a war setting before. Finding the similarities between the BLU and RED corporations suspicious, Bleu begins to investigate, and stumbles upon several hidden places, relationships, and, most importantly, a plan to escape the meaningless fighting...
The comic is well-praised for its storytelling, weaving Bleu's narrations into the main events, and especially well-loved for its focus on something the Periphery Demographic
feels is sorely lacking in the original narrative: Romance
. The comic also presumes that the "classes", rather than being unique characters in and of themselves, are instead Exactly What It Says on the Tin
: Job roles to be filled by many different people with equally unique motivations,
some of them far saner than the originals... and many of them much more unwilling to fight a pointless turf war.Meet the Team like never before.
(Link leads to first page.)
After Cuanta Vida was concluded, Kieran Thompson moved on to, and is continuing to make, the webcomic This Is the Worst Idea You've Ever Had!
. Many alternative reality versions of the Cuanta Vida characters appear as secondary characters in this series.WARNING:
It's safe to assume that just about any link on this page contains spoilers. Click at your own risk.
This series contains examples of:
- Afraid of Doctors: The Blue Medic is insane or at least immoral, but the trope itself is subverted by the Blue Heavy who has no problems being around and is very upset when the Medic is killed.
- Played straight by several other members of the BLU team, who don't like being around their Medic, including Scout, who refuses to go to him for help even after being shot, and Bleu himself.
- Air-Vent Passageway: Seen here.
- All There in the Manual: One page's update notes establish that the comic takes place around twenty years after the game. This is the information you need to understand why The Unreveal below is, well, an unreveal.
- All There in the Script: Names of some of the characters. But some of those names were originally revealed here.
- Anyone Can Die: This trope is automatically in play because of the setting, but it doesn't really sink in for the reader until Red dies.
- Apologetic Attacker: RED Medic
- Art Evolution
- Artificial Limbs: BLU Engineer pledges to build one of these after his hand gets chopped off in comic 91. The RED Engineer helps.
- Artistic License – Medicine: Of the "We Have To Get The Bullet Out" flavor. Pyro removes a bullet from Scout's arm, though this may be justified as Pyro is (probably) not a doctor.
- Ascended Fanboy: The red Pyro got his name from one. It is mentioned here.
- Ax-Crazy: RED Pyro, Rojo
- And now BLU Soldier may be added to the list.
- Balls of Steel: "Bad move, child."
- Bare-Handed Blade Block: Bleu when Rojo tries to backstab him. Slightly backfired as he didn't so much catch the knife that it went through his hand instead.
- Bilingual Bonus: Bleu. Bleu means blue. But also means green or rookie. He is a rookie in the BLU team. Many of the things the characters say are this. In the Apologetic Attacker example he says, "I'm sorry". Many stressed characters will start blurting out things in other languages.
- Bitter Sweet Ending: Possibly, Liam and Gabry are both dead, they never find out why the war was still going, Jeremy may never walk without a crutch again, and it is possible the ten escapees will just be replaced. On the other hand, there can only be eighteen people performing the war at once (nine classes each). By the end, ten of the current fighters escape, four are dead, and the BLU soldier is left alone with a Red Heavy, a Red Demoman, and a Red Soldier. It is possible that they kill the BLU Soldier and end the war before reinforcements come.
- Boomerang Bigot: The BLU Scout spends most of the comic hurling gay slurs at the BLU Spy. He has a crush on the BLU Spy. Justified, however, as virulent homophobia is a phase some people have to pass through before facing up to the fact that they are in fact gay.
- Break the Haughty: Rojo, first after being severely burned by the BLU Pyro and again when he fails to heal himself with the RED Medic's medigun, realizing he's going to be heavily scarred.
- Cassandra Truth: "Well, it could be anyone, right? I could 'ave killed 'im." Luckily for Bleu, BLU Heavy thinks he's joking about accidentally killing BLU Medic.
- Chaste Hero: Bleu.
- Closet Shuffle: "I seem to be spending a lot more time in closets since I got 'ere."
- Cluster F-Bomb: BLU Scout.
- Cold Sniper: No Sniper perfectly fits this trope, but the first RED Sniper seems to most closely match.
- Combat Pragmatist: Despite the example in Conflict Ball, the Red Soldier has NO problems trying to kill a fleeing and unarmed Jordi (Bleu) with a ROCKET LAUNCHER.
- Compressed Hair: How can Bleu fit his hair in his balaclava? Maybe he's trading tips with the new RED Sniper, who manages to keep his Elvis hair under his hat.
- Conflict Ball: The BLU soldier has decided that Bleu is going to die like a man today. Even the RED Soldier has a look on his face saying "Why is he making him go to his death?" Justified, sort of: The BLU soldier is, if possible, even more deranged than his in-game persona; he was seen talking to his entrenching tool at one point.
- Crash-Into Hello: Bleu and BLU Scout.
- Crazy Survivalist: The previous Blue Sniper was one. He was able to survive the conflict for at least 30 years and died 2 years before the story began. His journal showed him to be paranoid and the later entries became more incoherent. Even the Blue Soldier described him as weird and quiet.
- Crippling the Competition: This turns out to be the modus operandi of the Big Bad, Rojo.
- Cue the Sun: The very last panel.
- Daddy Had a Good Reason for Abandoning You: A rare perspective flip of the trope. Contracts are supposed to last six months, but because of the companies' treachery the BLU Engineer has been separated from his family for two and a half years, including his son.
- Dangerously Genre Savvy: Bleu, of all people. When Rojo is on the ropes, he tries to push Bleu's buttons, namely, his fear of killing, to get him to turn on Scout and help him instead. Despite Rojo being exactly right about how much Bleu's recent kills bother him and how much he doesn't want to add another, Bleu doesn't take the bait and shoots him. He's willingly sacrificing his innocence, and for awhile, his sanity, because he knows the other choice will lead to even worse things.
- Diabolus Ex Machina: Red's death comes off as this (seriously, what a senseless waste of human life—which may have been the point, but still).
- Distressed Dude: Bleu, frequently.
- Driven to Suicide: BLU Sniper, though he needed help. Or at least that's that the BLU Medic claimed, but considering he attempted to pull the same thing on the BLU Scout without the kid's permission, this should be taken with a grain of salt.
- Dr. Jerk: The BLU Medic.
- Eye Scream: Rojo removes BLU Sniper's eyes.
- Eyes Never Lie: You can always tell when someone is being impersonated by Rojo by looking at their eyes.
- Face Palm: Sniper on panel 7 of this page, and Bleu on panel 5 of this one.
- Family-Unfriendly Violence
- Fanservice: Bleu and Scout spend a few pages walking around in their underwear after being hospitalized after one of Rojo's attacks.
- Fascinating Eyebrow: A number of times, most recently by the new RED Sniper
- Fate Worse Than Death: BLU Sniper's view on being blinded by Rojo; he is now totally useless at his job.
- Felony Misdemeanor: BLU Heavy is disgusted by the thought that RED Heavy doesn't protect RED Medic.
- Five-Man Band
- Configuration One:
- Configuration Two (post-page 68):
- Foreign Cuss Word: Bleu (and a few other characters) do this.
- Funetik Aksent: Anyone who has a noticeable accent.
- Gay Moment: "So start 'splainin', I can sit here all night." "You don't think this is a bit awkward?"
- Get A Hold Of Yourself Man: Engineer to Bleu on page 122.
- Go Out with a Smile: In the last panel where the reader can see Red's face, he is smiling.
- Gorn: So much of the comic is showing us just what Bleu can live through.
- Gratuitous Foreign Language: The comic's title is in Spanish, as is the word Rojo, meaning "red", and Spies and Medics will occasionally speak basic phrases in their native languages.
- Green Eyes: Rojo's most striking physical trait.
- Groin Attack: Scout used Groin Attack! It's not very effective...
- Handsome Devil: Rojo. Mmmmm, Rojo.
- Heroic BSOD: Bleu when he realized that he killed BLU Medic and RED Pyro.
- Hey, You!: The BLU Scout refuses to address the BLU Spy by anything but gay slurs. Even after he confesses his feelings towards the Spy. However, around page 136, when a certain sort of understanding has developed between them, he gives this up and calls him "Spy".
- Hoist by His Own Petard: BLU Medic - He ended up receiving his own lethal injection, the one he intended for BLU Scout.
- Homoerotic Subtext: Bleu and both Scouts (though there's far more with BLU Scout) which eventually crosses into text at the end.
- If It's You, It's Okay: Word of God says that BLU Scout is this for Bleu.
- I Just Shot Marvin in the Face: More like "I just stabbed BLU Medic in the neck with a lethal injection."
- Ironic Fear: Bleu is a smoker afraid of fire.
Thompson: The fire phobia makes lighting his cigarettes awkward.
- Ironic Name: The title roughly translates as "So much life".
- Irony: Page 97 reveals that for all that Bleu feared the RED Pyro's fire, the Pyro despised him because he thought Bleu wasn't being affected by his flames at all.
- Keet: Both Scouts, but RED Scout especially.
- Like an Old Married Couple: Gabriele and Liam argue about Gab's assault on Bleu.
- Limited Wardrobe: Justified, since the characters wear uniforms, complete with the classic Lampshade Hanging of opening the closet to reveal a row of identical clothes in page 111.. But sometimes the characters are seen in incomplete uniforms.
- Luminescent Blush: Scout here, and Bleu here.
- Manly Tears: BLU Sniper when Red dies.
- Man on Fire: Seems to be a prerequisite for being a Spy.
- Meaningful Name: Arguably, this could apply to TF2 classes as a whole, considering their jobs, but really, the Spies' suits aren't the only indicators of their teams. See Fan Nickname.
- Missing Mom: Bleu's mother died when he was four.
- Mistaken for Gay: In a way, when Scout misinterprets a conversation Bleu and Sniper have about the latter's relationship with Red.
- Mood Whiplash: Page 104, from "I killed 'im" to "YAAAAY!"
- Nightmare Fetishist: RED Pyro does enjoy admiring the results of his own work.
- No Sense of Personal Space: BLU Pyro gets a bit touchy-feely with Bleu and Demo.
- Oblivious to Love: Bleu. See here.
- Oh, Crap:
- Only a Flesh Wound: BLU Engineer's reaction to the loss of his hand is "I'll build a new one."
- Pintsized Powerhouse: The Pyros seem to be the shortest of the lot, but both carry one of the most frightening and damaging weapons on the field.
- Punch Clock Villain: Everyone. Taken up to eleven when the Red Sniper has a perfect shot on Bleu... and immediately relents when the end-of-day alarm goes off.
- Liam, the Blu sniper, counts as well. He usually shoots to wound and spreads out actual kills, so that the incompetent soldiers won't be replaced by competent ones.
- Pyro Maniac: The Pyros. But RED Pyro fits this trope more than its BLU counterpart.
RED Pyro: So he's as flammable as anyone! I need some lighter fluid!
- Reluctant Warrior: Bleu makes an effort to only disarm or incapacitate his opponents rather than kill them while on the job. And that's only when he's desperate.
- Reused Character Design: Some of the characters of Cuanta Vida will have a small part in Kytri's next comic, This Is the Worst Idea You've Ever Had!!, and it's prequel, Sin Pararse.
- Ridiculously Cute Critter: Peep-peep! To the point he has his own thread on the forum.
- Rule of Cool: When asked why the comic was called Cuanta Vida, the artist said that it sounded cool.
- Sacrificial Lion: Red, and the BLU Sniper.
- Scars Are Forever: Bleu has a rather large burn scar on his back from his first run in with the RED Pyro.
- And Rojo now has a matching set, courtesy of the BLU Pyro.
- Scary Shiny Glasses: BLU Medic has these almost all the time, especially on this page.
- Shipper on Deck: BLU Heavy, towards BLU Scout and Bleu.
- And as of the second to last page the Red Scout apparently becomes one for them, too. Yeah, he interrupts their first real kiss to tell them they need to get moving, but adds that they "can makes out on the bus", and is smiling quite happily while he says it.
- Shoot the Dog: The first person Bleu kills on purpose is the RED Pyro, in order to save the BLU Pyro. The second person he kills is Rojo. Both times, he was rather shaken up that he just killed someone.
- Shout-Out: Several, throughout the comic, to some rather unexpected things. For instance:
- pages 152 and 153 both contain subtle references to WarGames. (See the title of the comic and the handwritten list of passwords respectively.)
- the title of this one is a reference to a Homestuck meme. (Read the comments on this one to see reactions from people posting in character as a number of the trolls, and at least two of the kids.)
- Situational Sexuality: In the words of the author:
"I think of most of the characters as being straight, you just wouldn't notice since there's no women around for them to be straight with."
- Sir Swears-a-Lot: BLU Scout swears more than every other character combined!
- Star-Crossed Lovers: RED Spy and BLU Sniper — they're of opposite teams, after all.
- Super Window Jump: Drrn.
- Suspiciously Specific Denial: Books are for nerds!
- Technical Pacifist: Bleu.
- The Big Damn Kiss: On the penultimate page.
- The Unintelligible: The Pyros, naturally.
- The Unreveal: They never do learn any more about why the war is going on than the hints from the old RED Medic's logs and the old BLU Sniper's crazy notes. More blatantly, Bleu fails to access the computer in the abandoned building and thus never learns what it has to do with anything beyond "it has something to do with the trains and probably runs them automatically."
- The Blu sniper before Liam left his journal in the Blu truck. Bleu was curious to try to learn more about him and went to talk to Soldier, the one who's been around long enough to have known him. All he is says is that the guy was weird and quiet and that's all the additional information we get about the guy.
- They Do: Bleu and BLU Scout.
- Time Marches On: Several updated weapons can be seen as the comic goes onward, such as the Ambassador.
- Together in Death: Red and Sniper, according to Word of God.
- Tsundere: BLU Scout is type A for BLU spy.
- Unreliable Narrator: "I may 'ave left a few things out."
- Unseen Audience: Rojo, until page 94.
- Unsound Effect: Frequently. One of the earliest and funniest may be *ignore*.
- Verbal Tic: In the beginning of the comic, BLU Scout couldn't go a single panel without shouting a homophobic slur. To the point where the artist himself jokingly thought he might have Tourette's.
- Villainous Breakdown: Rojo doesn't exactly take the injuries BLU Pyro gave him very well.
- Visible Invisibility: The "shown as an outline" variety is how Spy cloaking watches are rendered.
- Waistcoat of Style: Bleu and Rojo have done this a couple of times.
- Wham Episode: Here. Both deaths count as well. After all, Red's brought about great change in the form of Rojo, but Sniper's was a straight up From Bad to Worse.
- What Could Have Been: Cuanta Vida could have started very differently.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Both Soldiers.
- What the Hell Is That Accent?: Word of God says that Rojo's accent is Basque, but for a reader unfamiliar with the Basque accent, it's unclear where exactly he's from.
- Why Did It Have To Be Fire: Bleu tells early on of a childhood fear of fire.[note]Called pyrophobia or arsonphobia.[/note]
- Wide Eyes and Shrunken Irises:
- Bleu, after having the tar beaten out of him by Rojo on page 94. Later, when the RED Pyro scares the living daylight out of him on page 97.
- Even Rojo, when BLU Pyro lights him on fire.
- Bleu again, after he shoots Rojo.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: Rojo seems to be under the impression that he is the hero of the story.
- You Always Hear The Bullet: There's usually a sound effect whenever a gun is fired. However, when Red shoves Sniper out of the way of a bullet, the reader doesn't realize anything's wrong until...
Sniper: Red! You're bleeding!
- You Remind Me of X: Jeremy reminds BLU engineer of his son which adds a new perspective on why he puts up Jeremy's sharingans.