''Kid Radd'' is an animated Pixel Art Comic in the style of a Sprite Comic by Dan Miller following the adventures of the eponymous Video Game hero after being released from his game.While at first the comic was a lighthearted parody focusing on Radd's attempts to fit into a more complicated society, the plot eventually expanded into a far-reaching, well-plotted, epic examination of video game character mentality. And it stayed funny.Rose above most sprite comics for its blend of a deep plot, humor, and philosophical questioning, not to mention its unique style- by composing its comic panels from HTML frames and smaller images, Miller was able to easily slip animated sprites and backgrounds into the panels.Though the original site is dead and gone from the face of the internet due to AT&T discontinuing their Worldnet service, the site was previously packaged into an archive which is still circulating. One copy can be found here. A link with a browser to view it in is here. A fan has uploaded the comic onto his own site here. Another fan has re-coded the comic to work in modern browsers and uploaded it here.A game based on the comic also exists, and can be found here. JTE (the creator) also has his own mirror up at kidradd.org. The website is a little messed up though (this and this result in error), and the comic only works properly on Internet Explorer (though it is still readable on Firefox, just without sounds!).There are spoilers below. Be warned.
Provides examples of:
Accidental Misnaming: Radd keeps calling Kobayashi, the ninja that has been hired to assassinate him, "Kielbasa".
Alas, Poor Villain: Crystal's motivations and Freudian Excuse are examined just before she becomes part of the Seer's chimera form, and they go a long way toward explaining her psychopathic, violent behavior. Similarly, G.I. Guy is given a very sympathetic treatment, though he is always presented as a violent Anti-Hero and, later, a Well-Intentioned Extremist rather than a straight villain.
Almost Kiss: It's a running joke for a while that the Kid Radd game ends just before Radd would get to kiss Sheena. Also shows up outside the game a few times, e.g. in 364.
Always Accurate Attack: Kobayashi's shuriken, which comes as a surprise when he could never hit anything with any of his other attacks.
Binary Bits and Bytes: Kid Radd has a Charged Attack called the Mega Radd, which becomes stronger the longer it is charged. Its maximum charge power is based on the maximum word size for a system, which goes to 255 on an 8-bit system. However, due to shoddy programming, it simply charges to the highest level it can, going to overfour billion on a 32-bit system, and making Radd one of the most powerful figures in the universe.
In one case, Sheena's opponent in the fighting game tries every move in her arsenal, even one that sacrifices her own health, and loses when the time runs out because she took damage while Sheena remained unscathed.
Character Development: Again, done well. Hell, the Character Development is practically a plot point: characters diverging from their pre-programmed actions is a major part of the plot; the heroes succeed because they have grown beyond what they were written to be, the villains fail because they have chosen to remain Static Characters.
Charged Attack: The Mega Radd, which becomes an important plot device later on.
Also, two from the very first chapter: everything hurts Radd equally and the Mega Radd charges to a max value of 255 because "Hey, do I have to explain everything?" The latter ends up having almost literally Earth-shattering significance.
Comic 592 is loaded with reminders of them from all across the comic.
Seer: Fools! This is only a game death! I'll still exist, and will still destroy this world!
GI Guy: Most of the time when sprites battle, they're just playing with each others' programming... Live or die, no code is actually damaged.
Radd: How did you "half" kill somebody?
Kobayashi: Um, he got better.
Classic Cheat Code: Parodying the tendency to make cheat codes spell something pronounceable (DULLARD, BARACUDA), the infinite Raddboard code is Right, Up, Right, A, Down, Down. (R U RADD?)
Contemplate Our Navels: "What is a sprite? A miserable pile of pixels!" The first attempt at civilization outside the games angsted itself to death, which didn't take much. Existential doubt is dangerous in the fireball-throwing hands of people who know exactly what they were created to do.
Combines into Awesome But Practical when Kobayashi fuses with Gnarl and ends up being able to hurl shurikens the size of houses that never miss.
Curb-Stomp Battle: Radd, Sheena and Bogey's fights against their counterparts in the fighting game. They regretfully decide that they're not strong enough to take along.
Much more dramatically, Radd's fight with Gnarl after the latter tracks him down—the degree to which he was completely out of his league was the plot's takeaway from the battle.
Dangerously Genre Savvy: Crystal. She doesn't kill her messengers, though as a sadist she loves torturing them, and rather than allow Radd to create an army with his powers, she has all copies of his ROM destroyed. She did let GI Guy live, but that was out of sadism, to torture him with the world of her own creation. She even calls it a stupid move.
Death of a Thousand Cuts: The Seer, while fused with Crystal, has 9999 HP, but takes one point of damage per attack regardless of the attack's strength, and so must be hit about ten thousand times.
Deadpan Snarker: Nearly all of the main characters have their moments, but Bogey is the undisputed master of the art.
Deconstruction: Of video games, video game tropes, and probably some sprite comics as well. Game sprites act out their roles outside the game. At best, like Radd, they have a long way to go before they can channel their talents into something productive for society. At worst, they regress into violent behavior.
GI Guy: Over absolutely nothing, dozens of sprites started fighting and killing each other.
Radd: But why?
GI Guy: Because that's what video game characters do.
Fun with Acronyms: The Kid Radd engine based on the comic is known as the Kid Radd Internal Map Editor, or KRIME for short.
Fusion Dance: Features a Mixed Form version mid way through the comic. Also features a Composite character very late on, with an actual dance that looks (in minimal pixels) very similar to the Dragon Ball ZTrope Namer version.
Game Breaker: invoked Sprites who were balanced in their own games can be very broken in other games. Radd and Bogey find it very easy to Stun Lock fighting game characters, for example.
Glass Cannon: Radd, once outside of his own game—he's got enough raw power to affect the real world from the internet, but will die after four hits, no matter how trivial.
Gone Horribly Wrong: The attempt to fuse murderous sprites with NPC sprites, rather than resulting in sprites that could live peacefully, resulted in ones that can kill without being defeatable. It took quite a bit of effort to round them up, and a collapsing video game ROM to destroy them.
Good Bad Bugs: Turns out to be a major, dramatic plot point. Because of programmer laziness, the charged Mega Radd just charges until the variable limit has been reached. In his original game, this put Radd's maximum damage at 255. On modern systems, the limit is high enough to cause ...problems.invoked
Also how the main villain is finally defeated. Combining so many different types of sprites causes his "death code" to not know what to do, and permanently lock up.
Humans Are Cthulhu: Sprites use the term "humanlike power" as we might say "godlike power." They're treated as gods, and many characters spend a good deal of time contemplating the implications and cruelty of what most videogames are created for. Though it's the villains who try to Rage Against the Heavens. Pretty accurate, really, except when they assume the humans know what they're doing (and that all humans are programmers).
No Fair Cheating: In Mofo, the EarthBound-ersatz. They have to deplete the boss' HP in a single round, since they don't have the character necessary to kill him the right way. When this happens, the game sends them to a behind-the-sceens area, where a sprite chides them for cheating, rather than continuing the plot of the game.
Omnicidal Maniac: Two characters: GI and the Seer, both of whom attempt to destroy the world, for very differentreasons. The Seer goes the extra mile by planning to travel to other planets, the slow way, in hope of finding more life so he can destroy that as well.
Omniscient Morality License: The Moderators destroy game worlds in their quest to free video game sprites. They argue it is for the sprites' best, but the sprites get no say as their world is doomed as soon as the Moderators enter it. Sheena, however, has doubts about this, and decides to tender her resignation just before she learns of the plot to kill Radd.
Powers of Two Minus One: Radd's charged attack. This is given as having a limit of 255, for reasons Radd can't be bothered to explain (he's on an 8-bit system, obviously). Said non-explanation turns out to be a Chekhov's Gun: Radd's programmers didn't actually set a limit to Radd's charge, they just relied on 8-bit computing to enforce a 255-power max... having no apparent need to take into account a scenario where Radd might not be limited to 8-bits. The power of Radd's charge attack thus gets exponentially more destructive as processing power goes up, making him a Person of Mass Destruction on higher-end systems. On the highest levels, his charge packs enough punch to obliterate the internet itself.
Random Encounter: The Big Badstarted as one in her source game. Being utterly irrelevant to her own game's plot, she reacts with resentment and contempt towards sprites who behave as though their in-story roles actually have any real significance.
Red Pill, Blue Pill: In a Matrix parody Radd is offered the usual red and blue pills. But there's also the purple pill to relieve acid indigestion and an orange pill to reduce your cholesterol. The yellow pill is for erm... personal reasons (because the blue pill was already taken). And Radd can't just choose any pill, first he must ask his doctor if they're right for him.
Rescue Romance: Joule gets a little crush on Radd after he saves her from Kobayashi.
Running Gag: A fair few. Whenever Dr Amp explains a piece of science, whoever he's talking to says "So it's a rip off of X," to which he replies, "Well, Y actually. But yeah."
When the player wins Kid Radd's original game, the title character leans in to kiss his 'girlfriend' Sheena, only to be rudely cut off by a Fade to Black and the victory credits. This fate seems to follow the two even once they leave the game; on several occasions, the two lean in to kiss, only to be interrupted by someone or something. Including in the closing animation of the comic.
Self-Deprecating Humor: This strip combines Fanservice, with Spoilers, with Self-Deprecating humor, with an Easter Egg. 4 for the price of one! If you highlight the bottom part of the panel, you can read "Undoubtedly the lowest this strip has stooped."
Shaggy Dog Story: Subverted. At first glance, Dr. Amp's explanation of how they defeated The Seer seems like they didn't need to do anything. A little thought shows that they did have to defeat him first, but they know that he's not coming back.
Shoplift and Die: Used as part of Radd's army of sprites with unusual game mechanics. No boss, however powerful and convoluted, can possibly be a match (in the long run) for an invincible shopkeeper with an attack...
Shoot the Messenger: Crystal. (She settles for "infliction of gratuitous pain" - almost as much fun as killing him, but less wasteful and less cliché.)
There Is No Kill Like Overkill: In Mofo, Radd enjoys charging his attack to the maximum, regardless of how much is needed to defeat the enemy. note It's a turn-based RPG, so he can get away with this. And for the record, it's a 12-bit system.
Why Don't Ya Just Shoot Him??: Justified and Averted. In the final battle, Radd puts up with the villain's monologue to get time to charge his attack. He fires as soon as he finds out how much HP the villain has, and realizes that he has charged sufficiently to instantly kill The Seer. It doesn't work..
Wishplosion: anyone who consults the Seer becomes destined to die within a few weeksnote or so most sprites believe, at least, so Crystal asks him how to become immortal.
You Get What You Pay For: A couple of flunkies are given ten grand to buy the very best assassin to kill Kid Radd while he's in jail. The flunkies decide to get a discount ninja for twenty bucks and keep the rest. The ninja can't hit the broad side of a barn.