Webcomic: 8-Bit Theater

Clockwise from the top: Black Mage, Red Mage, Thief, Fighter

Red Mage: That is not how we do things around here, buddy. First we have to argue incessantly over semantics. Then one of us has to hurt one or all of us.
Black Mage: That's it, I've had enough. This whole goddamn adventure has been nothing but pointless build ups toward pay offs that never happen.

8-Bit Theater is a Spite...er, Sprite Comic by Brian Clevinger that ran from 2001 to 2010. Its plot, an Affectionate Parody of the first Final Fantasy, follows the four Light Warriors (who really aren't the best for the job): Fighter McWarrior, an astoundingly stupid sword-obsessed warrior; Black Mage Evilwizardington, an Ax-Crazy homicidal sociopath who is only saved by the Rule of Funny and a tendency to get hurt; Thief, a fugitive prince of elf clan Khee'bler armed with extreme greed and an expertise in manipulative contracts; and Red Mage Statscowski, a so-called strategist who considers life to be a tabletop game, is obsessed with his stats, and was tricked into liking cross dressing.

The strip's humor comes mostly from the violent nature of its protagonists, the absurd situations they find themselves in, and a little screwing around with videogame tropes (mainly RPG tropes, but others do come into play). It is one of the original sprite comics, having started the year after Bob and George and eventually outstripping it in terms of popularity (at least partly because the latter comic ended in 2007). It also defined the dysfunctional party dynamic that would go on to fill every single other fantasy webcomic that came after it.

At various points over the years, the comic also featured Character Blogs/Fourth Wall Mail Slots for Red Mage and Evil Princess Sara.

After nine years, two fake endings, well over a thousand strips, and (at least) two of the longest-ranged Call Backs in the history of the webcomic medium, 8-Bit Theater finally ended. A few weeks after the last proper comic's publication, Clevinger published a long epilogue to wrap things up; it was written by Clevinger and drawn by Matt Speroni (How I Killed Your Master).

8-Bit Theater contains examples of:


Alternative Title(s):

Eight Bit Theatre