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Film / The Gamers

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The original short film that started The Gamers series follows a group of gamers playing a game (the name of the game is never actually mentioned, but it's Dungeons & Dragons) as they are about to face the final villain in the campaign. The action switches between the players—who have to deal with things like an absent gamer, a girl in a nearby room who is trying to study, and dice rolls—and the characters—who have to deal with things like bandits, a dead party member, and whether or not they are unconscious.

The short film provides examples of following tropes:

  • Back Stab: With a $%#&ing siege weapon! Which also makes it a case of Ain't No Rule.
  • Bad "Bad Acting": Hunk's line are delivered this way.
  • Big "NO!": Rogar does one in a brief flashback to a previous session "at the battle of Black Fields, where Rogar's blood brother was killed".
  • Big Damn Heroes: Mark, the player, shows up late to the game just as the bandit ambush starts going south for the player characters. His character, Mark The Red, single-handedly turns the tide in their favor.
  • Big "WHY?!": Nimble does one in another flashback in which his sister is murdered outside the temple in Westhaven.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: The first movie ends with the characters breaking into the room and slaughtering their players. The second movie reveals at least one managed to survive by not being in the room at the time, but was severely traumatized by the event.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The Sword of Ogre Decapitation.
  • The Coats Are Off: Newmoon throws away his cape when being faced by three bandits at once.
  • Creator Cameo: Writer/director Matt Vancil briefly appears as the mercenary brute Hunk.
  • The Danza: Happens in-universe, as Mark named his character after himself.
  • Dog Pile of Doom: How Rogar is taken out of fight by the bandits.
  • Equal-Opportunity Evil: Peasants, deserters, pirates, men and women, make up the Bandit King's gang.
  • Fake Shemp: The guy playing Rogar in the tavern scene is clearly not Matt Shimkus.
  • Flynning: Newmoon fighting style when facing the bandits consists of the classic "tink-tink-tink" set of parries, finished with a dramatic lunge.
  • Gainax Ending : After defeating the Shadow, the group ventures down a secret passage in his lair, and come across a door. They hear voices on the other side, burst in and find... the real-life college roleplayers who've been playing as them, who the group then proceeds to slaughter.
  • Gargle Blaster: The dwarven ale knocks Rogar out for an entire scene.
  • The GM Is a Cheating Bastard: Nimble is allowed to break the rules at will; Newmoon isn't allowed to do anything but combat, and is denied the benefits of abilities his character legitimately has.
  • Gratuitous Latin: Magellan's spell on The Shadow is "Da mihi fermentum", latin for "Give me alcohol".
  • Groin Attack: "Called shot to the nuts!"
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: Rogar chops a bandit in half at the waist with his two-handed sword.
  • Homing Projectile: The arrow Newmoon send after the Bandit King ends up taking turns and even stops to look where did he go when following him.
  • Instant Soprano: The only possible outcome of the "called shot to the nuts".
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Routinely, the game world freezes or the characters remain perfectly still whenever the players are making their plans, need to roll for something or try to retcon the situation. This even translates into unintentional Mook Chivalry, for they make their moves in the round order.
  • Loophole Abuse: Nimble convinces the GM to let him Back Stab a powerful enemy with, as the GM puts it "A fucking siege weapon!?"
  • Ludicrous Gibs: What happens to Hunk after Nimble backstabs him with a balista.
  • Made of Iron: Rogar can shrug off a magical trap that was powerful enough to kill Nimble.
  • The Magnificent:
    • His Majesty, king Orlando the Reasonable Just.
    • Mark the Red.
  • Meaningful Name: Hunk, the mercenary the party left behind somewhere in the past, is over seven feet tall and quite buff.
  • Noodle Incident: The party had a few of incidents and adventures in the past, including leaving Hunk behind to his death and burning an orphanage, that are only mentioned in a passing.
  • Off with His Head!: It's not called the Sword of Ogre Decapitation for nothing.
  • Only Six Faces: While there is an impressive number of extras in costumes to play the bandits, they all still keep returning time and again. Like every other technical limitation of the film, it's Played for Laughs.
  • Overly-Long Gag: Quite a few gags depend entirely on their length, especially when Nimble gets involved.
  • Plug 'n' Play Friends: After Ambrose dies and the suspiciously similar Magellan shows up, the party ignores the DM insisting that this should be treated as meeting a new character and fits him right back into the same slot.
  • Poke in the Third Eye: When Magellan attempts scrying on the dungeon the party is about to enter, he instead gets a massive head-ache, sensing way too many dangerous things ahead.
  • Punched Across the Room: Ambrose ends up getting punched sky-high by Rogar in an ill-thought attempt to knock him unconscious. It takes half a minute for him to finally hit the ground.
  • Railroading: It's not a particularly complex or branched scenario by itself, but the GM still reinforces certain situations, no matter how much the players protest.
    GM: Yeah, right. Ok, well, you can't attack until I say so.
  • Reaction Shot: Once Mark the Red goes into his berserker rage, the camera focuses on his enraged face, as he's mowing down the bandits. By the end of the scene, it pans away to show a pile of dead bodies and Mark standing in the middle of them.
  • Retcon: Nimble manages to retcon his own death. Three times.
    Nimble: "Did I say walk down the corridor? I meant sneak down the corridor."
    Nimble: "Did I say sneak down the corridor? ...I crawl down the corridor. Inch by inch. Looking for traps."
    Nimble: [To Rogar, the party tank] "OK, actually, you go first."
  • Rules Lawyer: Both the players and the GM consistently invoke various rules or deliberately misinterpret them in their favour.
  • Running Gag:
    • Mark the Red standing still in the background, with a vacant stare, for his player isn't present.
    • Rogar failing checks in any situation he should in theory ace.
    • "The Shadow!" "The Shadow?" "The Shadow."
  • Skyward Scream: Both Rogar and Nimble do this as the players attempt to recap the previous gaming session, Rogar's is of the Big "NO!" variety while Nimble's is of the Big "WHY?!" variety.
  • Stylistic Suck: Unlike the rest of the franchise, the first movie fully embraces being an amateur production filmed without any meaningful budget on a cheap cam-coder. To the point that it deliberately never got a HD re-release (unlike the second film).
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Magellan is a second Ambrose in everything, but name.
  • Talking Is a Free Action: The GM insists on allowing the bandit king to finish his speech before Newmoon can shoot him, even though it technically allows the moment of surprise to lapse.
  • Tap on the Head: If you need to be knocked out, don't let the freakin' barbarian do it.
    Ambrose: 19 points... I'm DEAD!
    Rogar: Whoops...
  • Vocal Dissonance: As a Running Gag, the GM consistently talks in a dispassionate voice, no matter how dramatic the scene or the message he has to convey. Including Mark's Battle Cry.
  • Wine Is Classy: Invoked by Nimble, while also making fun out of unconscious drunk Rogar. Later, the Bandit King is standing in the middle of the battle with a glass of wine, to further separate him from the rank-and-file under his command.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: Rogar drops a wrestling elbow on a downed bandit.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle!: A really different castle—the dorm where the game is being played.