Follow TV Tropes


Awesome / The Adventure Zone: Balance

Go To

Awesome Index

Awesome and Funny go hand-in-hand with our Adventurers. No spoilers have been marked.

    Main Series 
"Here Be Gerblins" Arc
  • Say it with me now: "Abracafuckyou!"
  • There's something to be said for the fact that Merle nearly manages to talk Gundren out of using the Phoenix Fire Gauntlet. He largely only failed because Kurtz shot Gundren and enraged him (or if you're reading the graphic novel, Barry tried to grab Bogard from behind). Up until that point, Gundren was listening to Merle and calming down.

"Moonlighting" Interlude

  • During the initiation test, Magnus decides to grapple with a killer robot...and promptly rips its arm clean off, kicking off a Running Gag where Magnus collects the arms of fallen robots.

"Murder on the Rockport Limited" Arc

  • Jess the Beheader deftly takes out a crab monster with an awesome move and a mystical weapon that makes Magnus jealous.
  • At the end of the arc when Magnus pulls some sick acrobatics to get into the caboose and Taako opens the portal in the city gate just barely in time.

"Carnival Chaos" Interlude

  • Thanks to the Random Number God, our heroes manage to tank a magical event that knocks out everyone else at the Bureau moonbase.

"Petals to the Metal" Arc

  • The Raven completely obliterating our heroes in their first encounter, crushing them with several high-level spells without ever breaking a sweat.
  • The battlewagon race is full of The Fast and the Furious-inspired action and zaniness, with Taako taking out three opponents with a couple of well-placed spells, Magnus parkour-ing his way through boarding parties, Klarrrg pulling a Big Damn Heroes moment, and the introduction of Garyl the spectral unicorn.
  • When Sloane started using the power of the Gaia Sash, Taako busted out his trusty fire spells and dealt some of most incredibly high damage rolls seen in the podcast so far. Not too shabby for a dude who got curbstomped that first encounter with the Raven.
  • As sad as it was, Hurley's Heroic Sacrifice was an amazing thing to witness.

"The Crystal Kingdom" Arc

  • This arc is the first one to have a proper soundtrack.
  • Noelle's Combat Upgrade.
  • Carey Fangbattle is Awesomeness on two legs, decimating a horde of robots while our heroes deal with the main problem. So much so that Magnus asks her to train him.

"The Eleventh Hour" Arc

  • Griffin's story telling abilities really show in this arc. Also, Awesome Music.
    • The end of the second episode, which sees Tres Horny Boys and all of Refuge being destroyed in a cataclysmic explosion and reveals the "Groundhog Day" Loop nature of the arc's plot, is so well-done that Clint, Travis, and Justin just start exclaiming about how awesome it was while laughing and applauding.
  • "My name is Taako, and you work for me now."
  • The diary of Sheriff Isaak is one of the most captivating sequences in the entire podcast.
  • Isaak's Badass Boast to the party as he details why he has resigned himself to eternally guarding the Temporal Chalice as it is held in time-statis by the aged body of June.
    "Folks like us can't be trusted with power like this. Y'can't have it and if you make a move on this girl I will draw on you, and maybe I'll win, maybe I'll lose, but I can guarantee you one thing, and that is that I'll see you tomorrow."
  • Our heroes reject the Temporal Chalice's offer with nary a moment's hesitation. They manage to bum the Relic out by refusing to even take its offer seriously.
  • Istus setting Refuge back on track. Magnus, Merle and Taako watch as seven years pass in about 10 minutes. They see Candlenights celebrations, weddings, funerals, seasons passing. A group of children build little statues made of clay of the boys, adjusting them to match their every move. And in the end, the bubble pops.

"The Calm Before The Storm" Interlude

  • The Flaming Poisoning Raging Sword of Doom is a ridiculously overpowered weapon that an eight-year-old listener submitted mainly as a joke, and that Dungeon Master Griffin put on sale at the Fantasy Costco at an astronomical price, guaranteeing the Adventurers could never really buy it. Through deft and clever application of several Persuasion artifacts, Taako takes possession of it. Taako. And then he just wears it a decoration, not even planning to use it in battle.

"The Suffering Game" Arc

  • Chapter 3's description doesn't mention Merle being the MVP for nothing; With a judicious use of Flame Strike, he manages to wipe out two of the Regenerating Poisonous Slimes and the Electric-bodied Flying Electrified Direbear, followed by a use of Wind Wall to bloody the Flesh-bodied Flying Electrified Direbear, destroy a second Electric-bodied one and splatted the final Regenerating Poisonous Slime against the ceiling. Clint was on his A-game for that episode.
    Justin: I never thought I'd say this, but thank God for Merle!
  • Magnus using some cleverness to get a fantastic ranged attack out against the Flying Electrified Direbear; by using his daily bonus action to slake down his rope with water, tie his grappling hook to one end and the Chance Lance to another and hook the hook to one of the pipes jutting from the ground, he chucks the Lance at the electrified bear to ground it - in more ways than one! Not only does the discharge of its electricity hurt it, but it's brought to the ground when that surge disintegrates its wings.
  • Props also have to be given to Taako for starting the match off right, burning a 6th level slot to cast Disintegrate and very nearly one-shotting the giant Slime. And, because Griffin wouldn't let him use Flesh to Stone on it beforehand, Justin has Taako shoot all 67 damage out of his butt.
  • They all do so well, in fact, that Dungeon Master Griffin expresses disappointment that his elaborately-planned super-hard battle ended so quickly...
  • During the Boss Rush, Cam gets sick of getting knocked around and worried about the party's ability to survive. He asks Taako to throw him a spare wand, and upon receiving it, starts levitating, and says...
  • Everything after Magnus listens to the Animus Bell after they escape from their instance of Wonderland counts for Trés Horny Boys. Edward- a powerful lich- has used the Bell to separate Magnus's soul from his body and possess it, to lure more people into Wonderland through word of mouth. As this technically counts as death for the person whose soul is separated, Magnus is fighting tooth and nail to avoid being sucked into the Astral Plane. When Takko realizes that Edward is possessing Magnus's body, he casts Magic Jar to project his own soul into the Ethereal Plane and bring Magnus back to the physical world (and rolls a 20 on dragging Magnus back), and then Merle casts Planar Ally-his magic explicitly waning, no less- so he can forcibly drag the two of them back into the Material Plane. Taako then returns to his body while Magnus's soul possesses one of the mannequins in the room to fight his own body!
    • Reflecting on this moment in the post finale talk show, Griffin says he had a whole bunch planned for after Magnus was taken to the other side, but he (and everyone else at the table) realized in the moment what the party was coming together to do was way too cool to not do, so he went along with it and rewrote the next parts of the campaign extensively to make it work.
  • In the final battle, Merle uses the Ring of the Grammarian to cast "Divine Wood" instead of "Divine Word," imbuing Magnus's mannequin body with divine power. Magnus, in turn, channels that power through the Chance Lance-a holy weapon given to him by a goddess- and the concentrated magical energy sends Edward flying across the room before the physical spear can even touch him. And then Taako scores the finishing blow on Edward's true form, while unconscious, because the Umbra Staff consumes him due to its ability to absorb the magical essence of the enemies it defeats... and a lich is made of magical energy.
  • Magnus' blunt shutdown of the Animus Bell at the end of the Suffering Game, especially after seeing how all the other Grand Relics required some struggling to ignore the thrall. Also a Funny Moment.
    The Animus Bell: How would you like to live forever?
    Magnus: I'd hate it. Shut the fuck up.
  • There's something pretty awesome about the Red Robe's contributions to the endgame: being a lich himself, he's able to drain the effects of suffering just like Lydia and Edward are. The end result is that he's able to start creating things in Wonderland himself. He gets Tres Horny Boys out of the Boss Rush by creating a door for them, and then prevents the twins' traps from doing any damage by creating giant statues and wrecking balls to stop them from functioning, finishing it up by creating a Healing Game for Cam and saving Merle's life. In other words, he hoists the twins by their own petards, simply because they never anticipated another lich coming to Wonderland!

"Reunion Tour" Interlude

  • In order to make a vitally important deal with Garfield the Deals Warlock, Taako has to return the Flaming Poisoning Raging Sword of Doom, which he does... but not before enchanting it with a spell that will allow him to summon it back at any time. That's right—he found a way to obtain a deliberately unobtainable item twice.
    • Which later leads to Magnus summoning the sword and taking out an entire store of Hunger-born enemies that he can't see. Naked. It's equally funny as it's awesome.
  • In the end, it's somewhat futile, but Magnus and the Voidfish versus the Hunger. Magnus promises to get the Voidfish's kid back, breaks the glass tank containing it, and it's all capped off by Travis asking Griffin how many he takes down before he goes down himself. Even as a mannequin with less-than-superb gear, Magnus is a protector to be reckoned with.
  • The fact that fan speculation was right, and Takko had a twin sister named Lup!
  • Carey's mini-Roaring Rampage of Revenge when Killian has her arm slashed open by the Hunger's creatures. It's small, but it's a good reminder of just how powerful most Regulators can be.

"The Stolen Century" Arc

  • The Announcer's introduction for this arc's first chapter eschews his normal style, and what he says is spine-tingling with awesomeness;
    Before the day the Hunger arrived, before this crisis. Before Wonderland. Before the time-sick town and the crystal lab. Before races, and trains, and moon bases and gauntlets. Before the beach, and the sizzling, and the roost. Before everything I have told you, there was a journey beyond imagination. Seven explorers lost their home to the same force that threatens us, now. Their impossible trajectory carried them between wild, desolate, beautiful and deadly worlds where they experienced immeasurable hardships and incredible joy. They lived, and died, and loved, and... in the end, forgot. It's time to remember. It's time to go back to where our story truly started. Because only then, can we prepare for how it ends. It's the Adventure Zone!
  • Magnus judo flips a grizzly bear.
  • Merle's final meeting with John has him respond to John's Motive Rant with a "The Reason You Suck" Speech followed by not one, but two Shut Up, Hannibal! moments—which he's delivering to an Eldritch Abomination who has destroyed multiple realities and has killed Merle dozens of times:
    • When John rejects Merle's offer of friendship with a rant about the horror of existence:
      I don't think I wanna hang out with you anymore, John. I think I'm gonna take off. And you can continue wallowing in your sadness and your oblivion and seeing nothing but the negative, and I'm gonna go on my way. And I'll tell you what—if we ever meet each other somewhere in infinity, you can apologize to me and tell me you were wrong.
    • Merle's last words to "John":
      John: You call us the Hunger. That's not entirely inaccurate, because we are hungry, but it would be more accurate to simply call us "Dissatisfaction". But soon, you will call us ascendant.
      Merle: Well, we'll see. John, thanks for the chess game, and... kiss my ass, you sanctimonious bastard.
  • The Cliffhanger of Chapter Four that rather bluntly hints that the Red Robes have made it to the world they find The Voidfish on.
  • In the aformentioned Voidfish homeworld, each of the Starblaster's crew spends the year studying at the Legato Conservatory to create a work of art worthy of being broadcast to the entire plane by the Voidfishes. All of them succeed, surpassing several students who have been trying so for much longer.
  • After the Starblaster is shot down, and the entire crew apart from Lucretia is tried and executed, the latter manages to spend the rest of the year teaching herself how to repair and fly the ship as well as evade both the authorities searching for her and the native marauders trying to steal the ship. It is an utterly hellish experience for her but her perserverance and successful continuation of the cycle manages to save not only the rest of the crew but also the rest of existence by ensuring that they can continue the fight against the Hunger.
    Griffin: She wouldn't go on to found the Bureau of Balance for decades still, but this, this horrible, lonely year... this is when Lucretia became Madame Director.

"Story and Song" Finale Arc

  • Taako finally putting two and two together with the help of his restored memories and breaking the Umbra Staff. Say it with me everyone, Lup's back.
  • In part two, Taako opens up the bag Istus gave him. It allows him to make contact with another world... specifically, the world of a terrified kid filling in at a fast food joint who teaches him how to make tacos, which he does in his perfectly restored wagon from his cooking show days. The process then imbues both with immense reserves of magical strength.
    Joaquin: Everything's gonna be okay. I've got magic powers.
  • After Taako transmutes the Phandalin ruins into a portal to the Astral Plane Kravitz finally returns to the Prime Material Plane. And who should he bring with him to take on one of the Hunger's Judges? Legion.
  • Roswell summons the Purple Worm to take out the third Judge
  • Lup and Barry hyping up the army they amassed in Phandalin as Taako, Magnus, Merle, Lucretia, and Davenport head towards the Hunger. Not only do we see cameos from pretty much everyone, including the Hogsbottom Three, but the crowd starts talking about the IPRE and Lup turning to Barry and saying, "You hear that, babe? We're legends." as she sets her hands on fire. This is followed by the Starblaster going for the Hunger and the sound of Johann's March of the Forgotten playing as the ship is engulfed in Fisher and Junior's lights.
    Johann: You're going to have to fight.'re gonna win!
  • It's a minor moment at the beginning of the finale, but we finally see Davenport back in the saddle of the Starblaster, piloting them straight down the Hunger's throat, and masterfully dodging every single attempt to take them down, all set to the fast-paced beat of "The Starblaster".
    Griffin: And through the thick glass of the helm the three of you hear Davenport, the greatest starship pilot who ever lived, just laughing.
  • After starting to feel a bit less useful than the other magical party members, Magnus earns himself an astounding one during the fight with John's first form. Specifically, he uses his grappling hook to swing through a wall of whirling blades untouched, ignores the damage from Taako's lightning sphere, and between all the extra attacks and bonus action attacks and action surge attacks, manages to dish out a whopping 98 points of damage (the campaign's record) to John, ending that part of the fight immediately.
  • The sheer amount of Callbacks in this finale.
    • Even as Taako is frightened by John's attack, he manages to stand up for himself and threaten him, even if he stutters quite a bit. What does he end his monologue on?
    Taako: "Drink it in, John!... D-d-drink it in! ... Abraca-fuck you."
    • In the final battle, Griffin introduces a mechanic called bond summons, where the heroes can summon their allies and friends from across the multiverse to help them. These include Roswell, the Power Bear, Garfield, Troth, Pan, Joaquin, and the Voidfishes.
    • The way John is finally taken down is as awesome as it is heartwarming. Taako casts Whirlwind on him, which deals 45 damage, and he starts getting ripped apart by the winds. However, the power starts to overwhelm Taako as well, as he struggles to stay standing under the winds, and threatens to float away. Magnus instantly grabs him by the shoulders to brace him, while Merle dives down and grabs his legs to hold him to the ground. Taako reaches into his bag and grabs his Immovable Rod. In his own words, he's "not going fuckin' anywhere!"
      Griffin: This wind is blowing all three of you backwards, but you hold on to eachother tight as these green winds continue to just tear and tear away. As you sort of hold eachother there, you see a single, white thread appear and connect you, Taako and Magnus, and then another one appears connecting Magnus and Merle, and then another forms between you, and another, and dozens more, and suddenly thousands of Bonds are threaded between the three of you, filling you with power, Taako, as this wind lifts this monstrous entity up off the deck. And we see the three of you huddled together, cloaked in the light of these bonds. And in that light we see flashes of the past, of your orientation at the Institute of Planar Research and Exploration, of the year on the beach, and of the train, and the lab, and the timesick town, and of Merle and Taako's desperate rescue of Magnus from the Astral Plane in Wonderland. And then the light pulses one last time and travels through Taako's attack, up and into this monster who screams as the light fills them. And this light is shooting from its mouth, and chest, and fingers, as it's lifted higher and higher off the deck, and then the light swells and consumes everything you see.
      • The music for this scene is an epic reprise of Arms Outstretched, the song that played when Taako and Merle pulled Magnus's soul back after his body was possessed in Wonderland. The Tres Horny Boys are working together in unison to save eachothers' lives once again, and it's awesome.

    Live Shows 
"The Boston Live Show"
  • "Tuff Greg" pulls a few cool stunts.
    • The exquisite chest.
    • The incredible three points of view after Taako casts Mislead to make a double.
  • The return of Klaarg, a fan favorite, kicking off with him nearly demolishing Taako with a single suplex that makes the live crowd audibly shocked in how damaging it was.
  • The crowd loses their minds when Angus not only successfully casts Mage Hand under pressure, but catches the orb out of the air.
    • It's so awesome it manages to get Taako to show pride in Angus.

"MaxFunCon East Live Show''

"Live in Austin!"

  • Justin and Travis' off the cuff, in unison, rapid-fire rendition of a "One Week" immediately followed by Travis improvising an analysis of the song.

"Return of the Hogsbottom Three"
  • Scales repeatedly announces during the episode that he's writing a song about their adventure, which pays off at the end when Elliott reveals that he actually has been writing a rap about the events of the plot while they were unfolding and performs it for everyone.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: