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Project: B.A.M.B.I. is what happens when you attempt a Darker and Edgier Science Fiction take on Walt Disney's Bambi.

The story is set in an Alternate Continuity from the movies. The basic story starts the same as the first half of the original movie and it's midquel; Bambi is born in a forest, grows up with his friends and learns the hardships of life once his mother dies and he bonds with his father...

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And then things go completely off the rails from then on out.

One day, a mysterious creature arrives in the forest, which doesn't look anything like an animal or man. Bambi is suddenly kidnapped by the thing and taken to a faraway place in the world. Locked in a cell with numerous other animals, he soon finds out he's become one of many subjects in an experiment being conducted by a scientist, the enigmatic, eccentric, and sociopathic Dr. Victor Smythe. He befriends a fellow prisoner, a familiar looking doe named Project 098 and a crafty rabbit named Jasper, and they try to find any way they can to survive Victor's security and escape the prison, while freeing whoever they can from it. Along the way, they not only have to contend with Victor's arsenal of security robots, but his four "Guardian" cyborgs, his personal bodyguard known as The Hunter, and a new acquisition he's acquired called N.I.G.H.T.M.A.R.E....

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While this is going on, Bambi's friends wonder where their friend went, whether he vanished or if he'll ever return. Things start unraveling when Thumper realizes that the Great Prince seems to know more than he's letting on about the situation...

Tropes:

  • Alas, Poor Villain: The last we see of Beauty after she's defeated is in Victor Smythe's private office, cradling his now dead body and mourning his loss as the base falls apart around her.
  • Alternate Continuity: The story is set in an alternate timeline from the original movies. It starts off similar to the first two films, but completely throws out everything that happened after the end of Bambi II. The Bambi of this series gets a brief glimpse of the original timeline when he's thrown into the Four-D Gate, where he sees himself all grown up and now the ruler of the forest.
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  • Badass Adorable: Jasper the Rabbit, who helps Bambi make his way through the lab and helps fight in his place. It helps that he's a cyborg.
  • Big Bad: Dr. Victor Smythe.
    • Bigger Bad: Project: N.I.G.H.T.M.A.R.E. ends up taking the brass ring as the real threat by the stories climax.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Bambi seals N.I.G.H.T.M.A.R.E. back in its own dimension and manages to escape the Island in one piece, but it's a long trip back home, and almost everyone who helped him on the island is either dead or missing, with the surviving animals being left to fend for themselves on the now derelict laboratory.
  • Black And Red And Evil All Over: The Hunter, Simon's bodyguard who actively thwarts Bambi's attempts to escape, has jet black armor with a blood red visor.
  • Blown Across the Room: Jasper goes through this any time he tries to use a gun. Justified, as he's a rabbit and the guns in questions are almost as big, if not bigger, than he is.
  • Body Horror:
    • Victor Smythe's experiments to augment animals abilities by grafting robotic parts onto them is not a pretty sight. The Guardians are the ones that get the worst of it—Bugeye in particular only has his head left, which is held in a tank inside of a robotic body. When Bambi finds out Jasper is a cyborg, he explains that he was part of a new line of them done specifically to avert the flaws of the previous cyborgs, particularly their horrifying appearance.
    • The Experimental Anthro Serum, which causes animals bodies to mutate into vaguely humanoid forms. Most animals can't even survive an injection of it. Bambi himself feels like he's being ripped open from the inside when he's forced to use it.
  • Broken Ace: Victor (claims he's) one of the greatest scientific minds on the planet (and has the tech and resources to show for it)...and also an unstable sociopath.
  • Came Back Wrong:
    • Victor Smythe's initial attempts to use the Fourth Dimensional Gate resulted in this. It was a failed attempt to create a teleportaton device, but ended up being a gateway into another world. He sent test subjects inside, akin to a miner sending a canary down a shaft to check and see if its safe, but when they came back, they weren't in one piece, either mentally or physically. The thing they ended up bringing back with them was even worse...
    • If Jasper is to be believed, Beauty actually died from the process that converted her into a cyborg and whats still there is basically a pre-programmed facsimile of herself.
    • Every single attempt Victor has made to clone someone has...not turned out well.
  • Darker and Edgier
  • Demoted to Extra: All of the original lead characters besides Bambi are sidelined due to Bambi being cut off from them, but they get their own subplot about dealing with Bambi's disappearance.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Victor Smythe is killed by Jasper halfway through the story. The rest of the story deals with the fallout of his actions once Victor's death initiates the islands Emergency Cleansing Protocol.
  • The Dragon: The Hunter serves as this to Victor Smythe. He's his personal bodyguard, basically his second in command after the Guardians in spite of not speaking, and he's the secondary antagonist due to his intelligence and power.
  • The Dreaded: Project: N.I.G.H.T.M.A.R.E. terrifies everybody in Victors's lab. Even Victor himself is deeply concerned about how to study or deal with it.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Project: N.I.G.H.T.M.A.R.E. note , a horrifying apparition that Victor Smythe unwittingly brought into his lab from another dimension. It seems to exist in and out of reality, and not even the doctor can keep it contained, as it can phase its way out of his containment cell at its own discretion and has thwarted all of Victor's attempts to study it. All of the animals captive in his island lab are terrified of the creature.
  • Elite Mook:
    • Victor's four Guardians, a quartet of animals turned into cyborgs. Their leader is Bugeye, a rabbit whose head is inside of a nutrient tank attached to a bulky, heavily armed body.
    • To say nothing of The Hunter, Victor's personal bodyguard, who stalks Bambi throughout the station in search of him.
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: Victor's attempts to exploit the potential of the Fourth Dimensional Gate end up being his own undoing when he accidentally brings N.I.G.H.T.M.A.R.E. into his world.
  • Expy: The Hunter's design is a mashup of E-102 Gamma and Maximillian and basically serves the same role as the SA-X or a Xenomorph to the protagonists.
  • Female Fatale: Beauty, one of the four Guardians. She was transformed from a doe into an anthropomorphic combat cyborg by Victor Smythe due to her desire to become human, and she will go to any length to please him and is thus very ruthless in combat. Victor promised to make her completely human one day if she succeeded in her duties.
  • From Bad to Worse: The story starts with Bambi and the other animals in a bad situation, and things only get worse as the Island lab goes more and more off the rails as Victor loses control of his experiments. When Victor is killed, the island goes to hell in a handbag when the Emergency Cleansing Protocol, which orders all animals contained on the island to be killed by the machines, is triggered as a result of his death.
  • Genre Shift: Goes from a woodland creature fantasy into a dark science fiction story.
  • Genetic Memory: Averted. None of the clones Victor Smythe has created have the hosts memories or personalities. Its part of the reason—besides how horribly defective most of the clones turned out to be—why he gave up on doing it.
  • Got Volunteered: Bugeye was originally a normal, benevolent rabbit with a family living inside the synthetic environments inside of Smythe's lab, but Smythe offered him the chance to become an all-powerful being and ensure the safety of his family, and he immediately accepted. What Victor didn't tell him is that his body would be forcibly and irreversibly hardwired into a clunky robotic shell and that he would forbidden from ever seeing his family again.
  • Hartman Hips: Beauty has these due to her body being altered with cyborg components. It's not an attractive sight to either the animals or Victor.
  • Heel–Face Turn: After Bugeye gets demoted by Victor and discovers that Victor had lied to him about his family being killed, he fully sides with Bambi.
  • Hero of Another Story: Project 098 and Jasper are strongly implied to have gone on her own adventures through Simon's lab well before Bambi arrived there.
  • Humongous Mecha: Guerilla, one of the Guardians. He's almost as large as a tank and is just as destructive as one.
  • Implacable Man: The Hunter. He is immune to anything that can be used against him, including firearms stolen from other robots, and he's smart enough to not fall for distractions. Hiding isn't much help either, since he has X-Ray and Heat Vision modes, as well as tear gas grenades, to snuff out his targets. Bambi and Jasper have to rely on whatever environment they're in and sheer luck just to survive any encounter with him.
  • Interspecies Romance: Beauty, one of the guardians, loves Victor Smythe and would do anything to please him and she even hopes to elope with him once he turns her into a human like he promised. It's completely one-sided on her part—Simon doesn't give a rats ass about her and just sees her as another pawn.
  • It Can Think: At first, Jasper just assumes that Hunter is another mindless robot built by Victor, but he learns the hard way that not only does he have problem-solving intelligence, he's even capable of deductive reasoning—Hunter quickly adapts to distractions, actively seeks out likely hiding spots where Bambi and Jasper could be hidden, and actively sabotages potential pathways or exits that the heroes could potentially exploit, and he even plants decoys and traps for them. It's also strongly implied that he's toying with them before he really goes in for the kill.
  • It's Personal: In order to fully drive Bugeye to seek out and kill Bambi, Victor doctors a security recording to make it seem like Bambi and Jasper killed Bugeye's family by pushing them into an abyss (in truth, they saved them from it), and this cements a deep seated hatred in him of the heroes. He eventually discovers the truth.
  • Kicked Upstairs: After Bambi and Jasper defeat Bugeye and succeed in cutting off a big source of the islands power, Bugeye gets a big dressing down from Victor for failing in his task. Since he's too expensive and valuable to just retire, Victor settles for demoting him from Guardian to Reconnaissance "until I can trust you again", meaning he's still actively searching for the heroes, but is no longer in a position of authority.
  • Kill ’Em All: Victor's Emergency Cleansing Protocol orders his robots to do this in the event of his death. Jasper unwittingly triggers it by killing Victor.
  • Killer Robot:
    • Victor's security droids.
    • The Hunter, Victor's personal bodyguard.
  • Lean and Mean: In the holograms projected throughout the station, Dr. Victor Smythe looks like he could pass for his 20's due to how physically fit he is—and boy is he mean. His real appearance is a variation; his real appearance is of a frail old man in his 70's.
  • Lightning Bruiser: The Hunter moves fast (Bambi can just barely outrun him), is armed to the tooth with technology that stacks the deck in his favor when he comes to seeking his targets, and he can kill a full grown animal in seconds with either his weapons or his bare hands.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: When Bambi meets 098 the first few times, he honestly wonders if she actually exists and even comes to believe that it's possibly his mother returning from the dead to help him cope through the experience. Jasper wonders if she's just a self-improving hallucination Bambi is having. Evidence is also present that she may actually be a clone of her, but this raises more questions than answers, like how Victor was able to get ahold of her DNA. The story never gives a clear answer on it.
  • Meaningful Name: Bugeye. The only visible organic component of him left is his head, with only one normal eye and a telescopic visor covering the other.
  • Mecha-Mooks: Victor does employ a few human guards, but they're basically meat shields for his expensive robotic security, who do the real dirty work.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Jasper killing Victor ends up triggering an emergency protocol that causes all of Victor's machines to destroy any animals contained in the island.
  • Non-Action Guy: Bambi, although its justified as he doesn't have hands and can't use any items, and any attempt at fighting Victor's robots in close-quarters combat would be suicide. His new friend Jasper does the heavy lifting for him, since he has something resembling hands and can use (stolen) guns or construct cocktails or bombs to distract the machines.
  • No Ending: Bambi is last seen making his way back home to the forest, but it's left ambiguous if he ever succeeds in making it back home. The story just stops right there, with the other animals adjusting to a new life outside of Victor's lab.
  • Pinball Protagonist: Bambi has little to no control over the chaos unfolding around him in Victor's lab, but he at least does the best he can to make his way through it to try and break out.
  • Punny Name:
    • Guerilla, who is a cyborg gorilla and one of the Guardians.
    • Shelldroid, one of the Guardians and a tortoise cyborg built into a walking tank.
  • The Voiceless: Unlike his fellow robots, The Hunter has no dialogue at all.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: In the end, Bambi is implied to have returned home no worse for wear in spite of all he went through, making the bizarre adventure a side story if anything.
  • Stealth Parody: The bizarre, needlessly convoluted and contrived yet dead serious story is a Satire of contrived Darker and Edgier revivals of classic series. Bambi himself notes the pointlessness and absurdity of the entire conflict in the end as he returns to his normal life.
  • Survival Horror: Bambi has no chance of actually stopping Victor Smythe or his forces. The best he can do when he's spotted by his machines is to just run for his life.
  • The Unseen: You hear Victor's voice over the intercom frequently and see holograms of him, but you don't actually get to him that is, his real appearance until halfway through the story.
  • X Meets Y: Bambi meets Bioshock and Metroid Fusion.
  • You Are Number 6: Project 098, who claims she can't even remember her real name, if she even had one.
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