Rusty, Mimic, Cube
"Okay, forget the lockpicks... Does anyone have HANDS?"Rusty and Co.
is a comic fantasy RPG Mechanics Verse
webcomic by Mike R., based on Dungeons & Dragons
, about a monstrous trio of adventurers. Literally.
With the charismatic Mimic, absurdly cute rust monster Rusty, and the silent yet deadly Gelatinous Cube, the three set out in search of fame, fortune, and experience levels — and every adventure, they ally themselves with an Action Girl
for at least part of the level.
Of course, things that would be obstacles to more conventional adventurers pose no problem for these three, whereas other more simple tasks create great difficulties. Expect hilarity (with a side of Lampshade Hanging
) to ensue
Can be found on its own website
. Has a Character Sheet
- 419 Scam: Calamitus falls for one hook, line, and sinker in a Fourth Wall Mail Slot strip.
- Action Girl: It seems that each level has at least one, including the Princess, Madeline Goodlaw, Roxanne Casbaugh, Prestige Perkins and Stabs Doogans.
- Added Alliterative Appeal: Level 5 has a good one (riffing on V for Vendetta).
Prestige: Prestige Perkins, practiced practitioner of practical prestidigitation, at your service.
- Almost Dead Guy: Rusty, opening level 7.
- Alt Text: From level 1:18 on.
- Ancestral Weapon: The dwarf's quest is to recover one of these.
- Animesque: More and more along with the Art Evolution.
- Art Evolution: After the first chapter (or level, as it's called), the artwork becomes more streamlined. This gets lampshaded in a bonus strip, with a Shout-Out to The Order of the Stick.
- Art Shift: Pulled off due to the Belt of Genre Changing.
- Aside Comment: Roxy, while looking straight at the audience:
Roxy: Something tells me Presti's not going to thank me for this rescue.
- Aside Glance:
- Prestige, after seeing the capabilities of Stabs.
Prestige: I was just chased by brain-eating monster mobsters, and that was still the scariest thing I've seen all day.
- Mimic manages the exploit of doing an obvious one while lacking eyes:
Madeline: Have you seen any monsters acting weird?
Mimic: Yer gonna have t'be more specific than that.
- Ass Shove: A Funny Background Event in #4.8. Mimic disguises himself as one of the Pixie Chicks' speakers. Roxy plugs her guitar into him.
- Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: This is what results from Rusty getting hold of the Belt of Genre Changing.
Rusty: EAT TOKYO?
- An Axe to Grind:
- Cleave-Hand. This also doubles as Hook Hand.
- Handsome D'an the illithid, who's carrying a huge axe with him.
- Badass Boast: Of the villainous variety:
Calamitus: Do you think mundane matter could best my formidable necromantic powers? I have transcended the limits of mere flesh and blood...and I will shatter your bodies and dance upon your entrails!
- Badass in a Nice Suit: The illithid mobsters.
- Bar Brawl: Madeline ends up starting one in her first appearance.
- Bare Your Midriff: Princess' first outfit, and the Pixie Chicks'.
- Beat Panel: Plenty.
- Big Eater:
- Rusty's solution to just about everything is "Eat <metal thing relevant to problem>?"
- Cube can eat a horse wholesale.
- Bland-Name Product: Who doesn't want a can of Cloaker-Cola while listening to music on their Eye-pad and checking Feysbook using Druid?
- Blinding Bangs: The Pixie Chicks. Used to great effect to hide the fact that one of them is really Roxanne.
- Blob Monster:
- Gelatinous Cube
- the Gibbering Mouther
- Brain Bleach:
- Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs:
Plaidbeard: ...razzafrazzin' heroes...
...razzafrazzin' mimic heroes...
- Brick Joke:
- The dwarf from level 1, who gives the first quest, is killed by Gelatinous Cube, gets better, and is killed again by Cube is seen at the very end of level 4, in the aftermath of the Big Bad battle. It's never explained how he got better a second time...
- Madeline purchased a "magic" hoe from a gnome. On Level 5, that guy tries to sell more cutlery.
- Madeline finds a hay fork and thinks that it's a Trident of Warning. 10 months later she turns out to be right — it detects piranhas.
- Captain Colorbeard: Plaidbeard, the dwarven pirate.
- Chekhov's Gun: Or Chekhov's Badger Launcher in that case; introduced along with Presti in the beginning of Level 5. At the end of it, she uses it to kill V'innie.
- Chekhov's Gunman: The barbarian ("Robespierre SMASH!") reappears. So far, twice.
- Cliffhanger: Level 6.
- Clothing Damage:
- Con Man: Or con gnome, to be precise. This is how Madeline got her hoe, which she originally thought was magic.
- Conspicuous CG: The elder god in Level 6.
- Convenient Questing: Mimic explains to Madeline that you follow the closest lead.
- Cool Horse: Parodied.
- Cranium Chase: Ezra is decapitated three times by Madeline, each time putting back her head on her shoulders (though after a Staircase Tumble for the third). Then again by Cube, who counters her regeneration by putting it backwards.
- Crazy-Prepared: Grinner in Levels 6 and 7. Very little seems to get past him.
- Curse Cut Short: By a well-placed Written Sound Effect.
Handsome D'an: I don't care! Shoot them up their <DING>
- Cute Monster Girl: Y.T. the lamia.
- Dangerously Genre Savvy: Grinner at the end of Level 6, with suggestions of more at the start of Level 7.
- Darkest Hour: The end of Level 6. The Grinner has just completely defeated the group, leaving Madeline near death, Rusty desperately running away with her, and Mimic and Cube captured.
- Death Glare: Madeline gives a magnificent one against Grinner, finally triggering a reaction other than Smug Snake.
- Death Is Cheap: Averted and explained in one of the third-level critical missives.
- Delayed Reaction: Roxanne doesn't tick immediately when Rusty announces his intent to eat flowers, but after a beat she realizes how weird it is since rust monsters aren't herbivore. The flowers are made of gold.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Rusty's eating habits assist an elder god out.
- The Don: Don Polpo
- Double Entendre: Rusty's "Eat hoe?" on seeing Madeline leads to Mimic concluding that the comic will never pass muster with the Comics Code Authority.
- The Dragon:
- Cleave-Hand, for Grinner.
- V'innie, for Don Polpo.
- Ear Ache: When Presti and Roxy are reluctant to go to Mimic and Cube's rescue, Madeline proves quite convincing, notably by grabbing Roxanne's long elven ear.
- Eldritch Abomination: The elder god.
- Enemy Mine: With Y.T. in the sixth level.
- Enemy Without: Subverted to hilarious effect when Madeline the Paladin gets zapped by an artifact that draws out her evil side, Anti-Madeline — who turns out to be about two inches tall.
- Evil Gloating: Calamitus has a nasty tendency to get caught up in this, allowing the good guys to surprise him.
- Eye Poke: Prestige Perkins tries this on the Illithid door-keeper Handsome D'an, who has enough good sense to step back. Too bad she still uses the extended fingers to cast "Melf's Acid Arrow" right in his face.
- Face Palm:
- No, Mimic has neither face nor palm. Yes, he can still facepalm nonetheless.
- The male hipster vampire also does it while scrying on his sister making a fool of herself.
- And Y.T. after Mimic breaks the bottle holding a fairy.
- Fairy in a Bottle: Who happens to be a Hard-Drinking Party Girl.
- Finger Poke of Doom:
- Subverted (in a literal sense) with a magic spell.
Well, that's the good thing about magic. [...
] It's handy
- And again by Prestige. It's not the finger that's deadly, it's the Melf's Acid Arrow being emitted by it.
- Flat "What.": Typically in the form of "...really."
- Flaw Exploitation: Used against the vampires, both to break a dominate and to get around regeneration powers.
- Fourth Wall Mail Slot: Critical Missives in-between chapters.
- A Friend in Need: Madeline goes looking for a rope to help Rusty.
- Funny Background Event:
- In Level 2, the Land Pirate ship can be seen launching a literal plot-hook at Mimic. The Alt Text lampshades this.
- While Princess talks privately to Cube in Level 4, an elf is in the background trying to plug her guitar into an amp. Hilarity Ensues. Even more Hilarious in Hindsight when you realize this was Roxy, meaning she's accidentally gotten Mimic back for the stump trick.
- In Level 7, as Madeline and Roxanne converses, Stabs is swarmed by multicolored fey butterflies. In a later panel, Stabs is singed and smoking from the spell Prestige used to get rid of the swarm, and the wizard is smiling sheepishly.
- Genre Roulette: With an item called the Belt of Genre Changing... you can guess what happens.
- Genre Savvy: The blackguard Malevolus is smart enough to realize how dangerous the one-two punch of Rusty and Gelatinous Cube's abilities really is.
- Giant Squid: There's a kraken in the moat of the two vampire hipsters. And he wears puppets on his tentacles.
- Golem: Calamitus's giant metal golem.
Rusty: Eat statue Eat statue Eat statue Eat statue Eat statue???
- Good Angel, Bad Angel: Played for Laughs: the Mimic's shoulder... er... corner devil (judging by her resemblance to the Princess and the "Anarchy" sign, Chaotic Evil) and angel (looking like Madeline the Paladin, presumably Lawful Good) are disagreeing... on how to phrase exactly the same course of action — Violence Really Is the Answer.
- Hard-Drinking Party Girl: Who happens to be a Fairy in a Bottle.
- Head Turned Backwards: After demonstrating that having Ezra's head loped off isn't going to stop her, Cube counters this by letting it fall backwards on her neck, and her regeneration power immediately glues it in position, putting a serious damper on her combat capability. Until her brother turn said head the right way, in a move that would be a Neck Snap if they weren't undead.
Koenig: Keep your head straight, dear sister.
Ezra: I'm never drinking from a twist-off bottle again.
- High-Class Glass: Card Shark the Derro sports one.
- Hulk Speak: Krog; Robespierre
- Hurricane of Puns: At the beginning of Level 7:
- Hybrid Overkill Avoidance: Offered as advice in the Critical Missives.
- Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: "Level" chapters.
- Impaled Palm:
- Insult Friendly Fire: Mimic accidentally does this to Gelatinous Cube when he sees another cube.
- Knight in Shining Armor: The wight in the forest claims he used to be one.
- Knights and Knaves:
- Done with two talking doors. Mimic's solution? Become a third door.
- Parodied again later (in level 5), with two even more obnoxious doors. Rusty's solution is deliciously straightforward, and hinges on his ability to eat metal.
- Last-Second Word Swap: Malevolus is about to have a "You shall not pass" moment, then he looks at the adversaries and does the math.
Malevolus: ... And if you want to reach the Inner Sanctum, you'll need to go...
... through... (looks at Rusty, then Cube, then thinks about what happens when the both of them go through him)
... that tunnel there, then hang a right, then the next right, then straight on to the big doors.
- Levitating Lotus Position: Zar the Psion uses this to get around.
- Literal Metaphor: At the beginning of a Level 6 strip, Y.T. warns Mimic: "Don't crossss me." At the end of the strip, Mimic does exactly that (using Y.T.'s stretched body to cross a chasm); the lamia ain't happy about it.
Y.T.: Whu'd I jusst sssay, hah?
- Luminescent Blush:
- The Mafia: Complete with illithid (mind flayer) members.
- Modesty Shorts: Madeline is sensibly wearing (anachronistic) biker shorts under her leather skirt in her first appearance. (In the second, she's wearing winter clothes, making the matter moot.)
- Monster Adventurers: The whole starting concept of the webcomic.
- The Need for Mead: Ye Olde Proverbial Hook is a repeating location.
- The Nose Knows:
- When the Princess defends her smoking, Mimic points out that monsters hunt through smell.
- Stabs can recognize that Prestige is a cop by smell alone.
- The guards to the Inner Sanctum of the Tentacallis Dungeon are grimlocks, who are blind and hunt through smell.
- And Madeline can smell Character Alignment.
- Offscreen Crash:
Boris Vallejo ain't gonna paint that
, stage right
... er... and
- Oh, Crap:
- When Presti accidentally bursts into Don Polpo's dining room.
- Presti again, when she sees the Magic Missile built by the Tentacallis.
- Oh My Gods!: Literally used by Prestige Perkins after Mimic and Cube save her.
- Only One Name: Averted for Madeline, as Zar's psychic ability in strip 7-16 addresses each character by their last name (if not previously revealed). The paladin's name is Madeline Goodlaw. (Rusty hasn't a last name, so Zar tries to formalize it to "Mr. Russell".)
- Only the Chosen May Wield: Zar tells Madeline that the pitchfork is this. In reality, its magical powers apparently derive from Madeline's belief in them.
- Only the Knowledgable May Pass: The bottle fairy does this, by accident.
- Orphaned Punchline: Subverted.
- Our Gryphons Are Different: They're quite friendly to their fellow monsters.
- Paper-Thin Disguise:
- The Princess uses this. She really should take off her hat first.
- Used again by Prestige. It's her ability to fake an illithid's smell that helps pull this off.
- Pie in the Face: From a bugbear channeling Fozzie Bear.
- Pirates: Plaidbeard and his crew. Played as a comical type 1.
- Point That Somewhere Else: Plaidbeard to Madeline's hoe.
- Post-Climax Confrontation: After the vampires in level 6, a new enemy attack.
- Power Perversion Potential:
- Pre-Mortem One-Liner: Prestige saying "Buon Appetito." to V'innie just before making him eat a badger at point blank.
- Prophecies Rhyme All the Time: Madeline's quest hooks, courtesy of Derek the Cleric.
- Pulling Themselves Together: The vampires do this, though you can mix it up for them.
- Rampant in both the Alt Text and the comic itself. Naturally, this filters into the comments section.
- The wight in the forest pulls a horrible one:
Yoiks! Who're you? We don' wanna hurt youse! Wight:
I... was once... the White Knight.
But now I am... the Night Wight. Mimic:
A'ight, well... now
we wanna hurt youse.
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: "This. dress. was. vintage."
- Punctuation Shaker: The illithid mobsters: T'oni, R'occo, D'an, S'al, S'ammy, V'innie, B'enny, J'immy...
- Railroading: Parodied with the land pirates' ship, which runs along a track... just after a "plot hook" is delivered by artillery.
Mimic: An' here I thought "on rails" was jus' an expression.
- Reality Warper:
- Anyone who gets their hands (or tentacles, or whatever) on the Belt of Genre Changing effectively gains this power.
- The Python, once amplified. (Another Madeline story. Do they attract her, or does she attract them?)
- To a minor degree, Madeline herself. At the very least, she's demonstrated the ability to turn random objects into extremely powerful magic weapons.
- Rebel Relaxation: Y.T. lacks legs, so she can't do the foot resting agains the wall part, but she still pulls it out.
- Rebus Bubble:
- Red Eyes, Take Warning:
- Retcon: Yuan-Tiffany the yuan-ti became Y.T. the lamia, due to a legal dispute.
- Riddle Me This: The bottle fairy tries this but has clearly forgotten the riddle.
- Rule of Three: Ezra puts her head back on three times.
- Running Gag / Once per Episode: Mimic's suggestions that the group "disguise ourselves as common, unassuming pieces of furniture". He's always ignored.
- Schizo Tech: Electric guitars and soda machines accompany your traditional fantasy fare. Oh, and a Magic Missile.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Sir Malevolus cuts and runs from the threat posed by Rusty and Cube.
- Seashell Bra: "They're just B-shells, but thanks."
- Secondary Character Title: Rusty is more of a mascot overall; the main protagonist thus far is Mimic.
- Shout-Out: Compiled on their own subpage.
- Sinister Scythe: Anti-Madeline brandishes a miniature one, following her Good Counterpart's propension for farm implements as weapons.
- Sir Swears-a-Lot: Anti-Madeline, if the amount of her dialogue that's censored is any indication.
- Slapstick Knows No Gender: Since most human(oid) characters of the comic are female, they are naturally the subject of plenty slapstick. Presti especially, in Level 6.
- Snake People: A redheaded, female lamia (once a yuan-ti) appears in the Tentacallis' dungeons.
- Something We Forgot: Mimic forgot all about Stabs, leaving her to face an army of monsters. Cut to Stabs Atop a Mountain of Corpses.
- Speaks in Shout-Outs: The chatty zombie uses only clichés and proverbs.
- Sssssnake Talk: Y.T. mixes this with a Texan accent.
- Staircase Tumble: After getting decapitated (for the third time) by Madeline, Ezra the vampiress tumbles down stairs (head first, followed by the rest of her body). She stomps her way back up looking very pissed.
- Sudden Videogame Moment: "Rusty Runner" in level 6.
- Talking Is a Free Action: Averted humorously, with the Alt Text lampshading the whole thing.
Mimic: Do somethin'!
Prestige: I can't, I'm too busy screaaaaaaaaming!
- Talk Like a Pirate: Plaidbeard, of course.
- Talk to the Fist: Madeline delivers one to Plaidbeard. Mimic objects to it (if only because he wanted to hear more about what was going on).
- They Have the Scent: Why Mimic warns the Princess against smoking.
- Turn Undead: What happened to the Princess's wight boyfriend. (Mimic understood something different, though...)
- Umbrella Drink: Put to unusual use by Prestige to uncloak an invisible informant.
- Unexplained Recovery:
- "I got better." is used word-for-word by a dwarf quest giver (who got killed by Cube).
- Even better, the Grinner.
- Unsound Effect: Quite a few of them. See the below example for the most obvious one.
- Up to Eleven: Quite literally, with a visual Shout-Out to the trope namer.
- Vancian Magic: Lampshaded with a "VANCE!" Unsound Effect for a Color Spray spell.
- Visible Silence: Robespierre does this upon being approached by an information-seeking Mimic.
- Visual Pun:
- Volleying Insults: The "pirate" duel.
- Wall of Blather:
- The Wight's long explanation about the mission and the Princess is blanked out by a summary.
- Calamitus doing his monologue is similarly obscured, as Mimic and Princess aren't paying attention.
- When All You Have Is a Hammer:
- Eat hammer?
- Roxanne's first appearance also references this trope, when she says that she wants to do something with all the points she put into whittling.
- Who Would Be Stupid Enough: Cuts to the paladin with Int as her Dump Stat.
- Wrong Turn at Albuquerque: Spoofed with a Xorn in Level 6.
I knew I should'a taken that left turn at Abeir-Toril
- X-Ray Sparks: Parodied by Mimic, who shouldn't have bones to begin with.
- Year Inside, Hour Outside: From his dialogue, something like this is going on in the magical dimension where the girls meet Zar the Psion.
Zar: One day ago, for you, and five weeks ago, for me, was the largest sustained breach our Reality ever experienced.
- Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: Used for the signs, most notably the "Ye Olde Proverbial Hook Inn".
- You No Take Candle: Lampshaded by Robespierre the barbarian in #3.21:
Robespierre: Roxanne is beloved member of Robespierre's family, despite fancy city ways. And insistence on using pronouns.