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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 through 2010. Its plot, an Affectionate Parody of the original 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.

Humor comes mostly from the violent nature of the protagonists, the absurd situations they find themselves in, and 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 long since outstripping in terms of popularity (at least partly because the latter comic ended in 2007).

It defined the dysfunctional party dynamic that would go on to fill every single other fantasy webcomic that came after it.

The site also had two Character Blogs / Fourth Wall Mail Slots for Red Mage and Evil Princess Sara.

After nine years, two fake endings and 1,224 strips, the comic finally ended; after that last comic, Clevinger took a few weeks and wrote up a long epilogue which was drawn by Matt Speroni of How I Killed Your Master. Barring another Clevinger surprise, that should be the end of things.

8-Bit Theater contains examples of:

    TropeNamers/Web ComicsAdventurers!
70-SeasFantasy Webcomics9th Elsewhere
5 Color ControlGaming WebcomicsThe 10 K Commotion
Start My OwnImageSource/Web ComicsInstant Chucks

alternative title(s): Eight Bit Theatre
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