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Webcomic: The Chosen Four

"If a man yells loud enough, he can do anything!"

Straight from the mouth of a bee with big eyebrows comes a tale of courage, friendship, and the kind of silliness that will have you rolling on the floor! Will Giygas prevail or will the world's last hope band together and strike this intergalactic foe down? It all rests...upon the Chosen Four!

The Chosen Four is a fancomic based on the Nintendo video game EarthBound. It is posted at Starmen.net by Darrow and is currently over 600 pages. The comic can be found and read here or on Darrow's deviantART page here. Also, the forum thread where the comic is originally posted by the author is quite entertaining in its own right.

This series contains examples of:

  • Adaptational Badass: The Photoman, who is able to toy around with Poo, and invokes enough fear in Ness that a hallucination of him is able to order the group around. Played for Laughs, of course.
    • Master Barf is, in the original game, a relatively easy miniboss fought in Deep Darkness. Here, his nature as a Blob Monster makes him nigh-immortal, and Poo arriving to obliterate him with PK Starstorm is treated more as a much-needed Big Damn Heroes moment than just a coup de grâce.
  • Adaptation Expansion
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: Subverted by Ness, who works up the courage after a while, but he then stutters and Paula loudly interrupts him and plays it straight.
  • Anti-Villain: Shrooom!, an adorkable Shrinking Violet. He even pulls a Heel-Face Turn when he's defeated, and is left alive as a result.
    • Thunder and Storm. They only wanted to make people laugh, a desire that was twisted and warped by Giygas. They're also left alive, albeit heavily injured.
  • Arc Words: "If a man yells loud enough, he can do anything!"
    • Parodied later with, "If a man dances hard enough, he can disco anywhere!"
  • Armor-Piercing Slap: Paula's pulled off a couple of these.
  • Art Evolution: This is what it used to look like. This is what it looks like now.
  • Badass Normal: Jeff, the only one of the Chosen Four who doesn't have PSI. He makes up for it by being a Gadgeteer Genius.
  • Battle Aura: Ness sometimes gets one of these. At least once, he triggers it just to scare monkeys. No, seriously.
  • Berserk Button: Don't take Ness's hat. Or hurt Paula.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Paula. Learned the hard way by Pokey and the Jerkass delivery man in Threed, among others (including, of course, Giygas' minions).
    • Ness, too, especially given that he has access to one of the most powerful PSI moves in the series. If somebody is capable of vaporizing the Kraken, it's generally a bad idea to go poking his Berserk Buttons.
    • As well as Poo (see Berserk Button).
  • Bishie Sparkle: Venus. A lighting effect, or maybe she's just that good.
    • Gorgeous later shows off some of those sparkles. Lucky tells the heroes he got them from Venus.
  • Bishōnen: Ninten. No, seriously.
  • Boke and Tsukkomi Routine: Thunder and Storm.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Heck, there's practically no fourth wall! One of the funniest examples of this is when Paula steals a baby picture of Ness from his second Your Sanctuary.
    Ness: With the melody recorded I guess we should move on, then! It's a good thing the inner images only appear to me, though, otherwise... Hey! You're not supposed to see this! How did you even do that??
    Paula: Why bother worrying about logic at this point of the story? Help me carry this home so I can hang it in my room!
    • Pages 405 and 406 are full of this.
  • Brick Joke: During the fight with the Trillionage Sprout, the senile boss calls Ness "Billy". We later find out Trillionage Sprout was actually mistaking Ness for Shroom!, whom he had a close father-son relationship with.
  • The Cameo: Link seems to think of Ganondorf when he hears the word "pig" [1]
  • Cerebus Rollercoaster: Zany and wild at first, though more plot driven as it went on. The came the Moonside arc, which wasn't Played for Laughs at all, with a nightmarish preview of the Final Boss. It went back to comedy afterward, but didn't quite recover all of the old wackiness. It currently oscillates between funny (vs Thunder and Storm, Magic Cake, Scaraba Desert) and seriousness (vs the Plague Rat of Doom 1/2, vs the Guardian General, Stonehenge), then dips back into Nightmare Fuel (Poo's Mu meditation, vs the Kraken).
  • Chase Fight: Pages 236 to 241.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Paula to Ness. Especially when they meet Venus.
    Paula: Those are MY cheeks! Those cheeks belong to ME!
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: A lot of people, but special mention goes to Tony and the Magic Cake lady.
  • Cool Down Hug: Ness gets lost in Dungeon Man and grows frustrated and angry to the point of he is bursting with psychic energy and he scares minions away with only glaring at them. Then his friends find him, Paula hugs him... and he suddenly feels completely cheered up. He even forgets what he was upset about.
    • Word of God confirmed that is a hint of Giygas is trying influence him by fueling his negative emotions, but his friends are keeping him sane.
  • Crutch Character: Invoked by Paula's father, who claims to be of too high a level to keep things dramatic.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Once the whole team is brought back, the battle with the Plague Rat becomes this.
  • Cuteness Proximity: Paula in general. However, it still wasn't strong enough to stop her from level grinding on Foppies.
  • Dance Battler: Captain Strong, in the literal sense.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Everyone at some point, but Jeff has this role most of the time.
  • The Dreaded: Ness fears the Photoman, which is Played for Laughs. However, the Photoman is the most powerful being in the comic, as per Rule of Funny.
  • Dungeon Bypass: Jeff and his Bubble Monkey do this in the maze by leaping over the rock barriers.
  • Dynamic Entry: The Photographer.
  • Enemy Within: Word of God says that Ness's outbursts are the result of Giygas influencing him, which will eventually lead to Ness's Nightmare...
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: A non-video game (sorta) example, but several enemies and bosses are harmless at first, with the Happy-Happy cult members helping Ness up after he lands in the village from a Territorial Oak explosion, or the Trillonage Sprout mistaking Ness for Billy. Unfortunately, as soon as Ness tells them who he is, they immediately turn hostile.
  • Expy: The comic justifies the similarities between EarthBound's Ness, Paula, and Jeff and MOTHER's Ninten, Ana, and Loid by having Giygas' mind so twisted and distorted, he mistakes the former three for the latter and takes his hatred of Ninten out on Ness.
  • Eye Scream: Part and parcel of Poo's meditation on Mu.
    • For added Nightmare Fuel and Squick, the spirit of the ancestors rips out Poo's eyes with his own disembodied arm.
  • Fan Web Comics.
  • Faux Horrific: The ghosts in the tunnel scare our heroes and the Runaway Five with ADVANCED CALCULUS and a COPY OF SUPERMAN 64! AAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!
  • Felony Misdemeanor: A mini-UFO in #72 successfully strikes Ness with a ray... giving him a cold.
  • Final Boss Preview: One appears in Moonside. For those familiar with Earthbound, you know by now what we're dealing with.
  • For Science!: Apple Kid's excuse for having a nuclear-powered doomsday microwave.
  • Gag Boobs: The zombie lady in Threed.
  • Gorn: Poo's Mu training. Oh dear god, Poo's Mu training, despite being composed of...
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Again, Poo's Mu training.
  • Giant Mook: The cultists have a VERY big one.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Played with when Paula throws her teddy bear to divert Mondo Mole's attack; she'd been manipulating him off-panel to give it the illusion of sentience, so this part was played out as the bear sacrificing his "life" for hers.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Monotoli describes Pokey like "such a nice boy, but a bit troubled". Seriously. It is not a wonder Pokey was able to exploit him.
    • Electra the maid as well, thinking Pokey to "be harsh at times, but is a kind, caring soul." Just because he gave her a potato sack and called it an "exotic dress."
  • Hot-Blooded: Ness, while fighting the Dept. Store Spook. Also see the page quote.
    • Ness invoked this trope to achieve the PK Rocking attack.
  • Ignored Enemy: The worthless protoplasm was too worthless for Jeff to even notice
  • Implacable Man: The Guardian General, who just shrugs off the heroes' attacks and keeps coming. It takes a pyramid collapsing on top of him to finally stop him, and even then he keeps trying to crawl after Ness & company until he completely falls apart.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: All over the place.
  • Indy Escape: The Guardian General, again. At one point, he curls up into a ball and rolls after our heroes.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: The Plague Rat Of Doom, Played for Laughs.
  • Kill It with Fire: Paula, being the only person who can use PSI Fire, does this a lot.
  • Kill It with Ice: Both Paula (when she's not killing things with fire) and Poo.
  • Large Ham: Out of ALL characters and enemies, the Worthless Protoplasm is one. Not that it makes him any less worthless, but still...
    Worthless Protoplasm: “Once upon a time, a lone worthless protoplasm looked upon his very soul and found what it means to become a master of supreme POWER! Power unlike any the world has seen before! Oh, yes, you will feel the burning hot fury that flows through my system, like a brewing cup of coffee too bitter for even the evilest of evil entities to sip upon!
    Oh, may the furious nectar of life spring forth from this very body and pounce upon thee, rending body from soul! Never count your chickens before they’re hatched, otherwise said chicken will peck at your eyes, and this chicken has a beak that will show no mercy!
    Shake, shake in fear of my many forms of martial arts, including the legendary Sleeping Monkey, Contemplating Giraffe!"
    NEVER AGAIN SHALL I BE CALLED 'WORTHLESS'! PREPARE FOR A SPANKING MOST LEGENDARY!!
  • Love Bubbles: These appear when Paula kisses Ness.
  • Madness Mantra: Well, it is Earthbound, so...
    Giygas: NESS NESS NESS NESS NESS
  • Mind Screw: Moonside. Just... Moonside. Holy CRAP.
  • Monster Sob Story: Starman Jr. gives one upon his defeat. Played for Laughs.
  • Mood Whiplash: Fourside is MADE of this. We go from the usual humorous plot development, to the minor Fanservice that is Venus, to a rather scary burst of Unstoppable Rage from the main character, to the freaking nightmare that is Moonside, to major revelations about Giygas, then crazy Hot-Blooded antics, and finally back to talking monkeys. Whew!
  • Mushroom Samba: A mushroom monster in #66 puts Ness in a musical version by placing an actual mushroom on his head (utilizing a song from the original Mother soundtrack, no less). It continues for another page even when the mushroom was removed!
  • Mythology Gag: The second time the above-mentioned Arc Words are said is when Ness first uses PSI Rockin'; the first "default" option for "Favorite Thing" in Mother 2 (which "Rockin'" replaced) is Kiai. Similarly, Ness remarks that the only way the pencil statue could be weirder is if it were an octopus.
    • Another of the "Don't Care" options for "Rockin'" is "Gifts". This gets a Take That in the form of Ness wondering who would name an attack "Gifts".
  • Nerves of Steel: Jeff had Nerves Of TITANIUM reinforced with Alloy-Z and Adamantium. They may be facing a frightening or hugely powerful enemy, his friends or his father may have been kidnapped... but even if he is visibly upset, you can see he forces himself to remain calm and focused in solving the situation at hand.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Ness's little outburst at the top of the Monotoli building is what eventually causes the events of MOTHER3.
    • To be completely fair, Pokey had it coming.
  • New-Age Retro Hippie: He can measure the universe!
  • No Sense of Direction: Several characters note Ness is awful at following directions.
  • Not So Different: Poo comes to the realization that both he and the Guardian General are focused on protecting their masters to the exclusion of everything else, including self-preservation. It's that realization that opens the way for his later Character Development.
  • Oh Crap: Ness's reaction to the effects of the Magic Cake.
  • Only Sane Man: Poo
  • Panty Thief: The octobot. Funnily enough, it steals Jeff's underwear instead of Paula's.
  • Post-Kiss Catatonia: Ness gets this when Paula kisses his cheek.
  • Pre Asskicking Oneliner: Plenty of them.
    Worthless Protoplasm: PREPARE FOR A SPANKING MOST LEGENDARY!!
    • This is, in fact, a subversion, since while he was throwing dramatic speeches and one-liners around and being so hammy as possible, Paula and Jeff were ignoring him completely. They did not even notice he was there.
  • Pungeon Master: Mondo Mole.
  • Puppy Love: Ness and Paula.
  • Quirky Miniboss Squad: Carpenter's BlueBlue Rangers, who are really regular Happy-Happy cultists with gimmicks.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Pokey hands out a truly frightening example, made all the more frightening by the knowledge that he will win his twisted game. The Call Forward just hammers it home.
    • Although Ness gives one straight back to him.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Crops up anywhere from Paula getting ticked off to the Guardian General while it's under Giygas's influence.
  • Relaxo Vision: Used when Paula and the bears are beating up Mondo Mole.
  • Retirony: Parodied. Paula's stuffed teddy bear regrets he did not even have a line about being several days away from retirement before dying.
  • Rocket Punch: One of the Threed zombies uses the grisly, disgusting version: he rips his own hand off his arm and throws at Ness and Paula.
  • Scary Shiny Glasses/Specs of Awesome: Jeff is prone to this.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: Reggie the mouse is ignored during boss battles, and Chicken shows up even less than Reggie.
    • Reggie disappeared completely while they were in Moonside, and showed up again the very page it was over.
  • Shout-Out: Now with its own page.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Ness to Pokey—FINALLY—when the latter gives his "The Reason You Suck" Speech from Monotoli's helicopter.
  • Spell My Name with an S: Darrow plays with the various examples of this trope from the games in his comics. For example when jokes are made in the comic related to Jeff's MOTHER counterpart are made, the name is spelled Lloyd. But when Jeff and Ness encounter an illusion of Teddy in Moonside, he spells the name Loid. Also, the name Giegue (the spelling from Earthbound Zero) is used to describe the physically and mentally intact version of the antagonist, while Giygas (the spelling from EarthBound) is used to describe him after his body and mind broke apart.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial:
    • Everdread has a bunch of bags stored in his house. All of them are labeled "Not Stolen".
    • He also gives Ness and Paula a wad of bills (following the game's plot) and he tells it is most certainly not stolen twice, out of nowhere.
    • The girl in the Twoson Theater greets Ness and Paula saying: "Hi! I am a stalker not at all!"
    • Shroom informs the heroes he is definitely not suspicious.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Mr. Spoon. HE LOVES VENUS EVEN MORE THAN HE LOVES HIS BACON COLLECTION!!! HE'S TOTALLY NOT CREEPY!!!!
    • And Tony for Jeff. Poor, Poor Jeff.
  • Stealth Pun: "I bet your one of those types that always wants to be number one. Well, I'll beat the number one out of you, and maybe even the number two while I'm at it!"
  • Take That: To Superman 64, see Faux Horrific above.
  • Talking Animal: All the animals can talk, understanding them is another story.
  • That's No Moon: A variant. During the journey to Scaraba, a deafening rumble sounds when they are passing by an island and one of them wonders if it is the nearby volcano. Then Kraken emerges out of the sea and the captain stares at it with a Oh Crap expression and mutters "That's no volcano".
  • This Is Unforgivable: Ness cannot forgive Pokey for insulting his family and friends. Paula cannot forgive an Octobot for stealing her diary AND reading a particularly embarassing entry, and Poo cannot forgive Pokey for writing an incredibly cruel hate message directed towards Ness on a billboard in Summers.
  • Training from Hell: Mu training, full stop.
  • Transformation Is a Free Action: While Ness is trying to figure out how to use his psychic powers, Titanic Ant just stares bemusedly at him. When it becomes obvious that it's working, Titanic Ant continues staring, and laments that he can't seem to do anything but stare.
  • Unstoppable Rage: Ness, after Paula is kidnapped.
  • Unusual Weapon Mounting: The Clumsy Robot has a rocket (and bologna sandwich) launcher mounted in its butt.
  • Unwinnable: Threatened (to the point of nearly restarting the comic), but miraculously averted...in just the way it happens in-game. How Paula managed is an open question.
  • Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: Giygas. He's introduced telling Master Belch to outright kill Ness and friends, while his face is clearly cracking apart, and he only gets much much, much worse from there.
  • Webcomic Of The Game
  • What Beautiful Eyes: Paula suddenly gains these when she meets Ness in the Monotoli building.
  • You Are Already Dead: Subverted in a very -of course- funny way, doing a Fist of the North Star Shout-Out. Ness is lost inside Dungeon Man and getting angrier, more upset and more frustrated every second. A Gruffy Goat tries to harass him, and he replies telling "No. YOU listen. You are already dead", suddenly looking right like Kenshiro. It is subverted because Ness had not actually done anything -yet-, but the goat got so scared -wondering if he was dead and he was now a ghost- that he answered Ness' question.
  • You Shall Not Pass: Parodied. Paula's stuffed teddy bear regrets he not even got to yell "you shall not pass" while charging in heroically before committing Heroic Sacrifice.

Ness, I have the feeling we're not fighting a completely stable enemy. Rather, we may be fighting fractions of a broken mind...
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alternative title(s): The Chosen Four
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