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Lets Play / Many A True Nerd

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Many a True Nerd (Link here) is a YouTube channel for the lesser known website that focuses on Let's Plays for action, strategy, RPG, and simulation games. Hosted by Jon, a master Deadpan Snarker Brit, the channel has come to focus on high-difficulty playthroughs or unusual Self-Imposed Challenges, such as Pacifist Runs, using none of a particular resource, or attempting single life bar, no-heal runs where death means a literal game over. He is particularly focused on the Hitman and Fallout series, though he has done strange runs on games in similar-styled series. He also likes to try and show off new or lesser known strategy and simulation games, and has also done limited runs or one-shots of lesser known games or old favorites. Jon is sometimes assisted by fellow MATN member Claire, usually as the second player in a two-player game or on occasions when he needs help making sense of an alternate French universe version of things.


Many a True Nerd provides examples of:

  • Abnormal Ammo: Jon has way too much fun with the Rock-It Launcher in Fallout 3, using it to pass money to beggars with explosive results, offer consoling teddy bears to children at horrendous launch speeds and attempting to do the world's fastest organ transplants on injured patients.
    Jon: Come back and accept your inevitable gnoming!
  • The Ace: Julianus Vatinius quickly becomes this after his promotion to General in Rome: Total War.
  • Actual Pacifist: Jon's character from the New Vegas No-Kill Run. Except for firing a few shots to take weapons out of enemies hands, she never raises a hand against anyone, and has the zero-kill stat at the end to prove it.
  • Actually Pretty Funny: A variant - Despite his overall dislike for Ryse: Son Of Rome, he does admit the game is actually quite gorgeous, with him being especially impressed with the animated flashback sequence concerning the Black Centurion's knife.
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  • Adipose Rex: Jon the Fat from Crusader Kings II really lives up to his Gluttonous trait. Even during a smallpox-induced isolation, he lives on pickled boar heads, and when those run out he still eats more than he should of the limited food supplies in the castle, before finally resorting to rats.
  • Animal-Themed Superbeing: The Great Brit-Ant, an alias Evil Jon temporarily adopted in Fallout 3.
  • Art Shift: Part 11 of Total War: Warhammer has "different graphics" because his hard drive crashed while filming the last episodes. Since he didn't want to re-film it but still remembered how it had ended, he proceeds to act out the finale on his kitchen table using random items around the house to represent things. The Empire becomes a bottle of ketchup, the French are now powdered garlic, and the Vampires are represented by a TARDIS mug, for example. It goes on for seventeen minutes and becomes increasingly hilarious because he can't keep straight which item represents which faction or town. It even extends to his customary channel trailer at the end, composed of stick figures scrawled on notebook paper reenacting the games.
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  • Author Avatar: On the channel anniversary videos, Jon will always appear as a talking carton of eggs.
  • Awesome Mc Coolname: In his Crusader Kings II let's play, Jon names Connor III's sickly son Havoc with the logic that nobody with a name that badass could possibly die in infancy. It works.
  • Battle Couple: In part 5 of his let's play of Total War: Three Kingdoms, Jon assigns Kong Rong's wife Liu Huimin as a general alongside him, making them a slightly (but only slightly) less hands-on version of this.
  • Berserk Button:
    • His playthrough of Ryse: Son of Rome reveals that the game manages to hit several of them at once, with Jon citing various inaccuracies in Roman history, plot holes, and flaws in gameplay.
    • He was also pretty unamused over the inaccuracies of Battlefield 1.
  • Bodyguard Crush: Played out in Jon's Skyrim playthrough with companion of choice Benor. After several episodes adventuring as a Sword and Sorcerer duo, Jon plays out some occasional hints of a crush and an eventual marriage. From there on, things get a bit more twisted when Benor gets Mistaken for Cheating with a newly-hired housecarl. Jon immediately murders him, spends multiple questlines in mourning, and after realizing the mistake reanimates his body as a much-abused Dead Thrall.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: When doing a Kill Everything run, Jon has a disturbing habit of becoming this. While still claiming to be the good guy.
    Evil Jon: Dance with your dad, Billy, dance with your dead dad!
  • Catapult Nightmare: Does so (within Fallout 3's limited parameters, anyway) after accidentally killing everyone in the only settlement he actually likes, Paradise Falls.
    Evil Jon: Thank god... I had the nightmare where I killed all the Slavers and was the hero of the children again. It's okay, I'm back in Tenpenny Tower... I'm back in Tenpenny Tower with my dead robot wife, Godfrey.
  • Catchphrase: So many of these:
    • At the opening of every video: "Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen, I'm Jon, this is Many A True Nerd, and welcome to (name of game)."
    • At the closing of every video: Ladies and gentlemen, I've been Jon, this has been Many A True Nerd, and this has been the really rather (adjective) (name of game). Thank you very much, and goodbye!"
    • "So that's all 100% fine."
    • "The bear is still around!"
    • "Hello, headquarters?"
    • "All of the [ITEM] in the world!"
    • "Oh, flip" and other variations of "Flip" since Jon is mostly a PG-13 Gosh Darn It to Heck! type of man.
    • "[ITEM] times many."
    • "Game? Are you ok?" Whenever the game does something stupid, like forget how to walk.
    • "Job flipping done" whenever things go right. It rarely lasts long, leading into:
    • "I've made a mistake!" With rising panic and lots of running away (more often than not with bears, dragons and/or zombies in hot pursuit).
    • "So, let's just have a little look-see...": Usually when investigating a place he knows he probably shouldn't go because it's a distraction or he's not prepared. Often followed by the above quote a few minutes later.
    • "Caution, Not Danger" began as something of a Madness Mantra for Jon during his YOLO runs of Fallout 3 and New Vegas, and has continued to act as such in every of one his playthroughs of 4, as well as Frost, Dust and 76.
    • "Well lah-di-dah" when the AI has something good and "fancy", like an ability or an item, that he doesn't.
    • "Turns out, I am a genius at X!" when he does something impressive in a game by complete accident.
  • Challenge Gamer: What his Let's Plays basically are in a nutshell.
  • Crossover: With Nerd³ and Mattophobia - he runs a podcast with both on the former's YouTube and Twitch channels, and has done a few collaborative videos with the latter.
  • Cute Kitten: Tabitha, a.k.a. Tabby, Jon and Claire's cat. She has appeared in a few announcement vidoes, and one of the benefits of being on Patreon is occasional pictures of Tabby.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: In his New Vegas 'Kill Everything' run, his character kills a legionnaire who stole a little slave girl's teddy bear. Upon bringing it back to the girl, you have the ingame option to rip the teddy bear in front of her. But despite the nature of this run, he doesn't choose that option and lets his character give back the teddy bear. Not even Evil Jon will stoop that low.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: The Kill Everything runs, as well as the "No Kill And Other Stuff" Hitman: Blood Money run.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Jon has an infamous and nearly memetic tendency to miss crucial information on the screen, to the rage and hilarity of the viewers.
  • For the Evulz: A major factor whenever Jon does Kill Everything. A recurring theme is Jon going above and beyond what would be necessary to kill a person because he thinks it would be funny.
  • Game Mod: Has used these on Fallout runs a few times:
    • There is an entire run using JSawyer Mod, a special mod made by New Vegas's director that is supposed to make the game more balanced. In addition, Jon would also show off different fan-made cosmetic mods for the game's weapons, characters, and environments every week.
    • He has also done run through of two high-difficulty mods, Fallout 4: Frost (taking place in a nuclear winter ten years after the bombs dropped) and Fallout New Vegas: Dust (taking place ten years after the events the game if all the worst stuff happened).
    • There's also a twelve part play-through of the extensive Fallout: New California mod, an unofficial prequel to New Vegas.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: It's pretty flipping common.
    • However he did swear in Episode 11 of his New Vegas: Kill Everything series.
    • Another notable incident of Jon swearing was Episode 3 of his Fallout 4 Survival Mode play through - which was the result of being jump-scared by a deer.
    • When doing Crossovers with Nerd Cubed, he is also much freer with his swearing.
    • He's more relaxed with the swearing in his livestreams, too.
  • Gratuitous French: Episode 17 of the New Vegas No Kill Run has an entire segment where Claire plays instead of him and comments in French, with subtitles thankfully.
  • Hidden Depths: As mentioned in the very first episode of his Ryse: Son of Rome Let's Play, Jon is a trained classicist, with him having even done an entire module on early-to-mid Imperial Roman history. It helps explain (at least part of) his annoyance with Ryse for its many egregious Anachronism Stews.
  • The High Queen: Queen Yuselass the Holy from Crusader Kings II, a pious, virtuous woman who lays the groundwork for the creation of a Cornish Empire.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun:
    • Never underestimate the lengths Jon will go to for a pun.
    Jon: (Puts down pizza) Have a slice! (Kills man) Three hours, I've been waiting to use that pun!
    • After becoming the Great Brit-Ant, he dubs Dogmeat the "Brit-Ant-y Spaniel."
    • In The Pitt DLC, after killing a Raider named Friday, he picks up her corpse and throws it off the roof because "She's gotta get down on Friday." He then cracks up and declares any remaining viewers are welcome to unsubscribe from his channel over the badness of the joke.
  • Informed Ability: Jon will try to lecture on science and engineering during certain games, even though he has no higher educational background in either; he actually has a degree in Classics.
  • Ironic Echo Cut: In his video on the release version of Parkitect, during a thunderstorm:
    Jon: It's fine, [the guests on the Ferris Wheel] probably won't be struck by lightning. [cut to precisely this happening] Nevermind, the Ferris wheel was struck by lightning.
  • Ironic Name: As Jon notes when he dies, King/Emperor Catastrophe in Crusader Kings II is not the best named of the dynasty's rulers, considering he ended his life as a wise scholar and Magus of the Hermetic Society who united the dynasty's kingdoms into an empire.
  • Kill 'Em All: The basis of the Kill Everything runs. If there's anything left alive, it's because it simply can't be killed. Don't think that will stop Evil Jon from trying, though. In particular, Shrapnel from Rivet City becomes something of nemesis to Evil Jon during the Fallout 3: Kill Everything Run, due to his "essential" tag and the fact he constantly wanders the Wasteland after Flak has been enslaved for Paradise Falls.
  • Kissing Cousins: King Iliad in Crusader Kings II has a baby with his cousin Yuselass, much to Jon's shock.
  • Name's the Same: In-universe. Both of Jon's characters in the "Kill Everything" Runs are psychopaths named "Evil Jon", but are different people. Probably.
  • Necromantic: Jon's Skyrim character becomes one via the Dead Thrall spell after "realizing" that Benor wasn't actually cheating with Iona.
  • Noodle Implements: Sometimes in the Fallout series, unrelated items will be found near each other and Jon will speculate as to their purpose. In his Fallout 3 Kill Everything run, he notices a tricycle and a harmonica in a Raider brothel and supposes they must have catered for some very specific fetishes. In the same run, he finds a vacuum cleaner and a hockey mask in Elder Lyons' trunk - "a good weekend'.
  • Odd Name Out: King Catastrophe's sons in Crusader Kings II are named Joy, Delight, Happiness, and Brian.
  • Oh, Crap!: A frequent occurrence, usually when Jon gets surprised by something or gets far too cocky. As a general rule, he gets louder as he gets more worried.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: Evil Jon from the "Kill Everything" Runs of Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas is bent on killing pretty much everything and anything possible, including herself at the finales. There are some characters that can't be killed; in those cases, if Evil Jon can't get rid of them by other means (usually enslavement), he will do everything possible to make their lives miserable, such as lay out mines or steal all their food.
  • Patricide: In Crusader Kings II, King Iliad is murdered by his son Achilleus by way of exploding manure.
  • Pet the Dog: Evil Jon's treatment of Melody the slave girl's teddy. He won't tear it apart in front of her, though he will happily tear apart the legionnaire who took it from her in the first place.
  • Planet of Steves:
    • Used whenever a nameless NPC discovers another one dead: "What happened to Steve?"
    • He also adapts the name to be era-appropriate when necessary (such as using "Stevius" in Rome: Total War)
    • Any and all children, pets, and/or animals in games become Timmy. Taken to the extreme in House Flipper when he builds a room for his and Claire's four imaginary children: Timmy, Timmy Jr, Timmy Sr, and the Timmy We Don't Talk About.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Evil Jon tries to sneak Rory out from underneath the slavers' noses so he can complete the "Rescue From Paradise" quest to be let into Little Lamplight. When the slavers spot Rory, he is forced to fight them so he can save Rory and finish the quest. It doesn't end well...
    Evil Jon: (running into the Paradise Falls infirmary) Doctor! Doctor, there's been about seventeen tragic misunderstandings!
  • Self-Imposed Challenge: Jon is known for doing runs like these in a lot of the games on the channel.
    • FTL: Faster Than Light:
      • A Hard Mode runs of regular and Advanced Editions of the game.
      • A run with the Lanius ship; Lanius are, according to Word of God, a metallic lifeform who are also biological, and whose biological composition somehow drains oxygen from the room they are in. Simple enough. But he also had a human character aboard as well, and like all humans Steve needs oxygen...
      • A No Oxygen run with a normal Engi B-Style ship which he renamed from The Vortex to Out Of Milk.
      • A No Shields run as well. As you have probably guessed, shields reduce, or in this case; absorb, most of the damage coming your way, before it hits your ship.
      • Most of these runs also last for several parts, with a few even managing to get to the final boss, the Rebel Flagship.
    • Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas:
      • A "Kill Everything" Run in both games. The Fallout 3 one included all of the DLC.
      • A "No Kill" run in Fallout: New Vegas. note 
      • A Permadeath Run for Fallout: New Vegas appropriately titled "You Only Live Once" where he's not allowed to use any healing items at all; if he made it through the main game, he would move on to the DLC. He also did a similar run for Fallout 3. note 
      • Complete Fallout: New Vegas on Hardcore Mode without ever eating, drinking, or sleeping, effectively forcing him to do a speedrun before his character died.
      • A run using the JSawyer mod, which creates a more balanced version of the game according to New Vegas's director. He also tries to take options he has never taken before in any of his previous playthroughs of the game, and tries a new mod each week.
      • A Survival Run of Lonesome Road (a DLC recommended for Level 25+ characters). This was done at Level 1, with the added challenge of being done with absolutely no gear, only being able to pick up armor and weapons upon his entry into The Divide.
    • Fallout 4:
      • A "No Guns" run, where his character is restricted to melee weapons and explosives only. Also, he must always pick the sarcastic option if available.
      • A straightforward Survival run.
      • A Survival run doing only Nuka World, a DLC generally recommended for Level 30+ characters, at Level 1. Unlike Lonesome Road (and because of the Gauntlet), he was allowed to prep before arriving, being mindful that the more places he explored to get equipment, the more likely he was to run into enemies and locations that would raise his XP past Level 1 before arriving at the Nuka World Transit Center.
    • Hitman
      • A No Kill (And Other Stuff) run for Hitman: Blood Money.
      • A Kill Everything run for A Murder of Crows
      • Averted for Hitman: Absolution; he's done a straight run through to see if the game was really as bad as he remembers.
    • Mass Effect: A unique challenge for the first game where he was not allowed to use guns, but he could use biotic powers to kill enemies.
    • Democracy 3
      • A Coalition challenge, where both himself and Claire attempt to run the country.
      • A Kill Everything challenge, where he attempts to kill off as much of the population as possible in a single term. Unfortunately, he eventually finds out the population figures are fixed - or as Jon puts it, the British cannot die in this universe.
  • Serial Killer: A disturbingly common theme, particularly in the Kill Everything runs.
  • Shout-Out: After being forced to kill all of his "friends" in Paradise Falls to complete the "Rescue From Paradise" quests, he ends his lament with "The horror... the horror..."
  • Space Romans: Literally, in his second Stellaris playthrough, he tried to recreate the Roman Empire IN SPACE!
  • Troll: He will often pretend to offer assistance to a character in the game before simply ignoring or killing them.
  • Stalker with a Crush: His empire of Tabbies in Stellaris became this towards the Raxar. They never wanted to form a Federation with him (or as Jon phrased it 'take them to the prom'), and so when things became irreparable between them, Jon did the only rational thing one can do in such a situation: Build a Death Star, move it into orbit around their homeworld, and declare that Prom Night was here...
  • Technical Pacifist: Jon in his Stellaris run. He made the Mighty Ducks, a race of Pacifist, Materialist ducks. He spend most of the game "liberating" his neighbors, American Style.
  • Theme Twin Naming: In Crusader Kings 2, Emperor Happiness' Half Identical Twin children are named Matt and Cat.
  • Unfortunate Name: During the RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 playthrough, Jon decides to name his swinging ship ride "Captain Jon's Arrrrr-some Adventure" before realizing it actually sounds like a creepy pun on the word "arse." So, he then names the ride "Captain Jon's Non-Sexual Pirate Adventure"... except the name exceeds the character limit, so it just comes out as "Captain Jon's Non-Sexual Pirate."
  • Wham Line: From his Skyrim playthrough:
    Jon: Welcome back...Benor.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Jon mentions in his Fallout Survival playthrough that Venus Flytraps creeps him out.
  • Why Won't You Die?: He asks this in Crusader Kings II to his character's infertile and childless wife, whom he keeps deliberately sending to disease-ridden areas so she'll catch the disease and die.
    Jon: Why?! Just die, please!
  • Would Hurt a Child:
    • His Evil Jon character doesn't hurt any children because you can't kill them in the later Fallout games unless you use specific mods. It sure doesn't stop him from trying, though; he still fires weapons at them, enslaves any children he can, mines the entrances to their homes, and steals all their food only to replace them with drugs.
    • During a House Flipper build, he not only makes a tiny room that barely holds two sets of bunk beds for his imaginary children, but proceeds to add knives and guns to the room. After doing so, he realizes forgot something, so he goes back to do the only responsible thing he can think of... he adds a first aid kit to the room.

Example of: