Follow TV Tropes


Video Game / Brain Dead 13

Go To
Don’t worry. Fritz will make sure to use all of those... on YOU!

"So, my weak little repairman...a narrow escape from a narrow mind. If it's a challenge you want, then it's a deadly game you'll get! We shall see just who is 'average'!"
Dr. Neurosis in the intro.

An interactive movie game similar to Dragon's Lair and Space Ace, created and published by ReadySoft for MS-DOS in late 1995. As in those games, you have to input commands at the right time during the movie or face sudden death, and have to retry. Compared to Dragon's Lair, Brain Dead 13 gives the player slightly more time to make decisions and actually tells you when you entered a wrong command (instead of killing you, as Dragon's Lair does), but there's much less of an idea of what you're supposed to do and when (and some of the inputs are downright counterintuitive). Combine that with Everything Trying to Kill You and you've got yourself a challenge- but at least you have infinite lives.

You star as computer fixit Lance Galahad, who is hired on a routine repair job to the creepy old castle just outside town, but discovers that he's been tricked into fixing the computer of Mad Scientist Dr. Nero Neurosis, who now plans on using his master server to take over the world. Unfortunately for Lance, he makes the mistake of pointing out how cliche Neurosis' plot is, which, of course, doesn't exactly go over well. Lance finds himself on the run from the doctor's psychotic henchman, Fritz, and now has to find his way through the oddly large castle, fight the various other villains who live there, make it back to Neurosis' computer and shut it down, taking out Neurosis for good.

The game features several unique, vibrant areas and characters, including the seductive but sadistic Vivi, who has the intent of giving you the best, and last, makeover you'll ever have, and Moose, the Frankenstein's Monster with the brain of a mindless jock. The areas are interesting but challenging, since standing still at any point will leave you dead faster than you can blink.

This game provides examples of:

  • 2D Visuals, 3D Effects: Dr. Neurosis' room. Everything, except him, Lance and Fritz is in CG.
  • Acid Pool: At the beginning of the Giant Statue stage, this acid pool will form under the ground tiles Lance is standing on, and if you wait too long, they will wobble and collapse under his weight and cause him to fall in and drown!
    • There is also another acid pool in the fountain, and he will fall in if he can't find something to grab onto, like a gargoyle statue. He will also fall into the same pool in other death scenes.
  • Affably Evil: Vivi, to both Lance (who she tries to chop) and Fritz (who she tosses into a spiked coffin).
  • Air Guitar: Lance does this in a victory pose after defeating Dr. Neurosis and watching his lair explode.
  • All Witches Have Cats: The twin witches each have a black cat in their room, which is very obvious.
  • Amazing Technicolor Population: Every foe that Lance encounters has a different kind of skin: Fritz's skin is kinda grayish-yellow, Vivi's skin is a lighter shade of purple, and Moose's skin is forest green. Only Lance himself has even a vaguely healthy human skin tone.
  • American Kirby Is Hardcore: When the game was first released in the U.S., its original box cover art shows Fritz unloading a wide range of weapons under his trenchcoat in all console versions. When the game became localized for Japanese releases in October 1996, it is averted in the box art for the PlayStation version (same as in the American release), but inverted when the Japanese Sega Saturn version box art is very different, in that it adds Idiot Hero Lance Galahad right next to Fritz, who looks ready to slice him with a chainsaw while our hero is struggling to stay alive, indicating that Japanese Fritz is hardcore! Real peachy, Japan.
  • Amusing Injuries: The game plays off the deaths as this, but despite the Bloodless Carnage, they can get pretty graphic.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Lance can end up dead like this in a "manicure" if you don't help him escape Vivi's attempts to cut off his hand.
  • And Starring: Parodied in the game box cover art, shown above, which says, "Starring Fritz".
  • Ax-Crazy: Fritz. More like "hook, harpoon, chainsaw" crazy, but you get the idea.
  • Badass Arm-Fold: Lance makes a pose like this in resurrection scenes and in the final confrontation, showing that he is brave in the face of certain death.
  • Badass Normal: One of the two reasons why Lance is alive (and kicking) among a castleful of monsters and undead beings.
  • Bat Out of Hell: The bats in the Trophy Room. Somewhat downplayed when one of them (a giant bat) wraps around Lance and starts playfully chewing on his head while Lance gets a slightly irritated look, in one scene that is less of a death scene and more of a cutesy mosquito bite scene.
  • Batter Up!: In one part of the scene, Moose wields one giant baseball bat, intending to bash Lance's brains out if you're not quick or careful.
  • Bears Are Bad News: In one death scene in the Trophy Room, a bear rug comes to life and mauls Lance down to the ground, and there is a Discretion Shot in which his body parts (green ooze, bones, eyeballs, baseball cap) fly over the place.
  • Berserk Button: The plot is kicked off by Lance pressing Dr. Neurosis' button hard enough (Lance called him an "average mad scientist") that he wants Lance dead now.
    Dr. Neurosis: "AVERAGE?!?"
  • Big Eater: In the most basic death scene Vivi can inflict, if Lance waits too long to choose a service, she can't resist drinking his blood, completely exsanguinating him in the span of about 1 to 2 seconds by sucking his blood. She then lets out a very loud and unfeminine belch, plus an almost-proud sounding giggle afterwards.
  • Big "NO!": Dr. Neurosis does this on noticing that Fritz has been tricked into completely damaging his computer and machinery after Lance defeats him; this is followed by the Big Bad's shout of "Fritz, you imbecile!"
  • Big Red Button: Lance blows up Neurosis and his computer with one of these.
  • Black Comedy: The death animations can be pretty hysterical because of the cartoonish ways Lance can get killed.
  • Bloodless Carnage: Despite all the horrible ways to die, none of them show any blood or gore. The only exception is that there is a scene with the red blood in the transfusion bag, and that is in the resurrection scene when Lance gets his blood back in the "Vivi's Salon" sequence.
  • Blowing a Raspberry: Lance does this while taunting Moose from the top of the basketball net:
    Lance: [shouts] Hey, looking for me, stitch-lips? [blows a raspberry with his tongue]
    • This also occurs in one death scene in the acid fountain when he dodges the spray of acid and acts all "Missed me!" as he blows a raspberry... before another spray of acid hits his face.
  • Bond One-Liner: In Vivi's Salon, when Vivi gets pushed into the Beautifier and gets defeated by it, but not killed, Lance makes a Badass Boast at her:
    Lance: Hey, Viv! I'll take a rain check on that... bite!
    Vivi: [innocently] Awww, did I do that?
  • Book Ends: The game begins and ends with a shot of the castle while bats fly around. In the beginning bats fly towards the castle, while at the end a single bat (a caricature of one of the developers) flies away from it and into the camera.
    • Also, with a splash of Leaning on the Fourth Wall: when gameplay begins with a shot of Lance looking into the camera and saying "I'm game!" His final line before the final cutscene, as he finishes off the villains, is "game over."
  • Boring Insult: The whole plot stems from the villain, Mad Scientist Brain in a Jar Dr. Neurosis, taking offense to the hero calling him an "average mad scientist".
  • Bottomless Pits: Lance can fall into one and die if he hasn't beaten all the bosses before meeting up with Fritz in the final battle.
  • Bound and Gagged: Lance, more "gagged" than "bound", at Vivi's salon. And he will remain that way until you choose the facial.
  • Brain in a Jar: Dr. Neurosis.
  • Brief Accent Imitation: When Lance tells Vivi, "I'll take a rain check on that... bite!", he mocks her Southern Belle accent for a bit when he puts the emphasis on the word "bite".
  • Building Swing: While being chased up the stairs to Moose's room, Lance is stopped by a gap at the summit of the stairs. What does he do? He grabs a dangling chain in front of him and swings across the gap to safety near the entrance.
  • Burp of Finality:
    • A large frog will do this after gobbling Lance up in the hedge maze, belching up his hat for good measure.
    • While Vivi doesn't actually eat Lance, she does this after draining him dry.
  • Butt-Monkey: Fritz, who has a chance of getting injured in every single room. Let alone the final battle...
  • Catchphrase: Lance's "Hiya, pal."
  • Cats Are Mean: In either witch scene when a black cat encounters Lance, it will get into a cat fight and slice his head into bits. Ouch!
  • Chainsaw Good: Fritz at one point attaches one to his wrist.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The eyeballs from the rooms of the twin witches, blended with It May Help You on Your Quest. It later helps Lance out for use as a tetherball weapon against Fritz in the final confrontation. Of course, this still doesn't answer the question of why Lance picked up the eyeballs in the first place, since there was absolutely no hint that they're useful.
  • Circling Birdies: Vivi gets a bat version of this when she's defeated by her own Mortifier-Beautifier.
  • Clean Cut: In one death scene on the stairs, Fritz takes multiple swings of the ax and hacks Lance into bits, and they all fall down the stairs, starting with his legs and ending with his head.
  • Clothing Damage: It happens in some death scenes involving Fritz (specifically the "egg beater death" and the "balcony death").
  • Collapsing Lair: The result of Lance's pressing the Big Red "Flush" Button that can cause the castle to self-destruct.
  • Creepy Centipedes: There's a room (the Wine Cellar) where a giant centipede comes out of a hole. And it'll bite Lance's head off if you're not quick.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Some of these may vary, from being torn apart vertically at the eyes by Fritz, to getting your own skull knocked off of your head.
  • Cut His Heart Out with a Spoon: During a Wingding Eyes segment revolving around how badly Fritz is going to kill Lance, a high heel shoe appears.
  • Dancing Is Serious Business: Lance has to do a Gratuitous Disco Sequence to "stay alive" while dodging an endless hail of bullets that Trigger-Happy Fritz shoots at both our hero and Neurosis. And it all takes place entirely in the darkness, where the only tiny pillars of light are used as a disco dance floor.
  • Dangerously Close Shave: If Lance chooses the "shave" (which is rather odd, since he doesn't have any facial hair), Vivi will spray him with green shaving cream, and she will use this small scythe to try and take his head off, a la Sweeney Todd.
  • Darkness Equals Death: The final confrontation takes place entirely in blackness. And since Fritz appears to settle the score once and for all, it can mean death for you if you don't act quickly.
  • Dead Hat Shot: Occurs in a couple of deaths, including falling into a spiked pit and being eaten by the frog in the maze down one of the wrong paths.
  • Deadly Dodging: Lance in part defeats Neurosis by tricking Fritz into shooting him.
    • The witches are both defeated by constantly running away until they slam into a wall at high speed.
  • Death from Above: In the main entryway scene, Fritz will jump from the top and land on top of Lance, killing him and making a grave. This is easily avoided.
    • Both witches' cats will attempt this on Lance after initially fleeing.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: Since you have unlimited lives in this interactive game, you'll always start where you last left off when you die.
  • Demonic Dummy: One demented puppet on strings in the conservatory will grab Lance by the neck with its strings, choke him, and pull him up offscreen into unseen death in one death scene.
  • Determinator: Fritz. Insanely so. Lance has to keep on the move at all times, otherwise Fritz will near immediately show up and kill him, with the full implication that he's merely seconds behind Lance no matter where he runs. At no time is it safe to stop and get your bearings, since the psychotic little jerk is on your coattails.
  • Diagonal Cut: Happens when Lance is slashed by one of the witches' black cats or when Fritz hits him with a saber.
  • Dies Wide Open: Lance, in some of the death scenes.
  • Dinner Deformation: A couple of the deaths result in this, such as a book getting stuck in Lance's throat or a huge stone football thrown into his mouth.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Dr. Neurosis really wants Lance dead...all because he was called an "average" mad scientist.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Fritz while looking at Vivi.
    • Also, Lance... but only for a short while, as she stuffs his mouth with his baseball cap right after seducing him.
  • Dodge the Bullet: This game combines it with Deadly Dodging in the final battle.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Lance gets fatally poisoned by an evil Mushroom Man in the maze in one death scene and ends up tripping.
  • The Door Slams You: This happens to the centipede in the wine cellar, except that when it chases Lance towards the exit, he opens the door and intentionally slams it into its face, putting it out of commission.
  • The Dragon: Fritz again.
  • Eaten Alive: Quite a common death sequence. Fritz will eat Lance in several scenes when he catches him; two separate fates along this line occur within seconds of each other in Vivi's Salon (a ridiculously tiny spider will swallow Lance whole if he doesn't blow it away, and Vivi will be unable to resist draining his blood if he waits too long to choose a shave, manicure, or facial); two wrong paths in the maze can lead to Lance being devoured by a mutant frog or a carnivorous plant...
  • Epic Fail: During the Vivi's Salon scene in which Fritz escapes from the spiked coffin, he puts a giant electric razor on his arm,note  but just as Fritz is charging at Lance, he trips over a skull.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: Everything from the spiders on the wall to the trophies in the hallway.
    • In fact, anything that moves in this castle is out to do Lance in, one way or another.
  • Evil Is Hammy: Dr. Neurosis tends to shout whenever he gets irritated or scared.
  • Evil Is Not Well-Lit: In the final confrontation, where the room is entirely in darkness, and only the tiny pillars of light are seen, as well as Dr. Neurosis, Fritz, and Lance.
  • Eye Pop: Fritz gets this reaction when he sees that Lance is still alive, unaware that he has been tricked into looking into the cannon.
  • Eye Scream: At the beginning of the game, Lance pokes Fritz's eyes, prompting him to cover them.... too bad that he has Hook Hands.
    • Also, in one death scene, Fritz will approach Lance from behind, poke him in both eyes with his hooks, and proceed to rip him apart vertically, putting new meaning to the words "splitting headache".
  • Face Plant: Lance does this on the chopping block table in a dead faint after his hand gets chopped off by Vivi.
  • Facial Horror: Exaggerated: if Lance can't escape the Beautifier in Vivi's Salon, the mechanical powder puffs will close in on his head and vigorously polish until there's just a shiny skull left!
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: This game's got a whole mess of them, and almost all of them that happen to Lance are graphic and family-unfriendly. Neither bloody nor gory, but family-unfriendly nonetheless.
  • Fantasy Kitchen Sink: You've got a haunted mansion owned by your average Mad Scientist bent on world domination, and full of his creations — including a giant robotic statue in the hedge maze and his own spin on Frankenstein's Monster. In the hallways, you've got ghosts, walking skeletons, giant man-eating worms, and a stove with sentient fire. The maze has living man-eating plants. There's a vampire running a hair salon in the basement, and man-eating broom-riding witches in the towers. It's a little surprising there isn't some kind of man-eating sea monster in the sewers.
  • Feet-First Introduction: When Lance stumbles into Vivi's Salon and gets up, the first thing he sees is her neon purple high-heeled shoes before the camera pans up from her legs to her breasts, and finally to a close-up of Vivi herself, looking at her facial mirror.
  • Fire-Breathing Weapon: Fritz uses the flamethrower to charbroil Lance's head in one death scene. And as if that wasn't enough, the imp reappears to blow on the charbroiled skull, rendering it like dust in the wind.
  • Flaying Alive: Fritz does this in one death scene in the stairs by pulling off Lance's scalp with his Hook Hand and using said scalp as a hat!
    • Another death scene shows Fritz cutting off Lance's scalp with his sword or razor blade, making it fall off and exposing his brain.
      • If you look closely, the lairs of the two witches are both adorned with lots of rugs and coverings and even wallpaper made out of human skins stitched together haphazardly.
  • Foreshadowing: During the intro, while Lance's voice speaks to Fritz about his computer problems, there is a purple spider in the darkness that is chasing an inchworm with big eyes and red hair, seemingly devouring it before it returns to life and gets chased by said spider again. This definitely foreshadows and symbolizes the game-spanning Chase Scene, as the purple spider symbolizes Fritz, and the inchworm symbolizes our hero himself.
  • Four-Fingered Hands: Lance has them by example, along with other characters.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus:
    • One of the many things that fly out of Fritz's coat when he's falling down the stairs is a porno mag with Vivi's (clothed) breasts adorned on the cover.
    • Also, if Lance can't make a choice in Vivi's Salon quick enough, Vivi will quickly expose his neck (and his bare chest and man nipples for a bonus!) before sucking his blood!
    • If you look closely before Vivi shoves Lance's hat in his mouth, you can see that he's making a quick glance at her breasts, and with a smile. Fritz also stares at her boobs with obvious lust, before she throws him into the iron maiden.
    • If you pause the game as Lance and Fritz fall down the fireplace, you can see a painting on the mantle of Dr. Nero Neurosis as he appeared before becoming a disembodied brain.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Vivi spends her whole scene pretending to be friendly - if macabre - a la The Addams Family, and actually never drops the act the whole time: pretending to be oblivious to all the deadly things in her salon and acting like any lethal injuries were accidents. But the smug looks she gives if the player fails and Lance dies tell another story, not to mention her dropping all pretense and just draining Lance dry on the spot if he makes her wait too long.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: In the 3DO port, pre-Version 1.1, when you chose the shave in Vivi's Funeral Salon, just when she was about to cut off your head with her Sinister Scythe... all of a sudden the game would turn black and you would just get sent back to the Main Menu screen for no reason other than a glitch. Nervous Nick of ScrewAttack even lampshades this in his review of the 3DO port.
  • Garden of Evil: The hedge maze is a garden that is full of vines that pull you into the deadly bushes. Some even rip your entire skeleton off your body!
  • Gasp!: Lance does this painfully and in fright when he sees that one of the giant worms in the Spooky Silent Library has burrowed its way through his chest in one death scene.
  • Genre Savvy: Lance is this and a representative for the audience. His wry remark at Neurosis' cliché plan backfired on him, but every other occasion sees Lance using some awareness that he's in a game. The crowning moment is when Lance makes Fritz fall down the stairs; the only way Lance would know pulling on a staircase's rug would eventually cause Fritz to fall was if he knew he was in a cartoony videogame.
  • Girl with Psycho Weapon: Vivi. Just when you think she can do a manicure as in "treatment for fingernails", she uses the word "manicure" as in "cutting off people's hands with a butcher knife", which she has! Yikes!
  • Gretzky Has the Ball: Moose's one line of discernible dialogue is this. Prompted this exchange in a review:
    Moose: Alright, squirt! Third down, bases are loaded, and we're pullin' the goalie!
    Reviewer: That... didn't make any sense.
  • Groin Attack: After Lance jumps from the tower when Moose becomes blown up by becoming overloaded by lightning, he lands on a statue by the groin.
    • This will also occur if you press left twice to run away from Moose after Fritz pulls you and him both up to the top of the lightning tower.
  • Guide Dang It!: Played straight in the MS-DOS version and other gaming console ports. Though you can try and subvert this in the iOS port as well as the Japanese version of the Sega Saturn port by turning on the move guide in the "Settings" screen, which allows you to quickly press the appropriate button as soon as it lights up in certain areas, helping you to guide Lance in the right direction, it still counts as a Guide Dang It! if you press a lit button that turns out to be a wrong move in some other way, like certain paths of the hedge maze.
  • Guile Hero: While he's certainly physically fit enough to sprint around the whole castle, Lance is no match for any of the enemies in the game in a fight and relies on his quick wits (and a little luck) to win. When dealing with Fritz, especially, he leans into Looney Tunes-style trickery.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: In many death scenes Lance will be cut in half (vertically and horizontally) by Fritz.
  • Hard Head: Fritz. During the confrontation on the stairs, Lance uses a big, strong iron hammer to whack Fritz on the head, which only makes him suffer a minor concussion until he gets up and chases him again. This is even lampshaded by Frankomatic.
  • Hat Damage: Happens when Lance is impaled by a pit of spikes in one death scene, as his own baseball cap, hair and all, is pierced by spikes.
    • Somewhat averted in other death scenes, as no matter how many times he gets doused in acid or gets his skin and/or clothing torn off by thorns or some other means, his cap somehow survives intact, as if it's Made of Indestructium.
  • The Hedge of Thorns: This hedge of thorns has formed a giant maze, and they can be deadly: In one death scene, if Lance goes the wrong way, he will accidentally run into the thorny hedge and come back out as a skeleton; in another, if he goes through the wrong gate and is trapped, a tentacle vine will grab him while he tries to get out and pull him into the hedge!
  • Hero-Tracking Failure: The result of Lance's swift bullet-dodging in dance moves while Trigger-Happy Fritz goes all-out on him in More Dakka, which ends up hitting Neurosis and damaging him.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Both Vivi and Neurosis are defeated by their own attempts to kill Lance.
    • During the stairs sequence, Lance picks up several of Fritz's weapons to use against him, including at least two hammers.
  • Hook Hand: Fritz has two, which he can replace with other weapons... like a chainsaw.
  • Huge Rider, Tiny Mount: Inverted in Moose's scenario in that Lance is the tiny piggyback rider and Moose is the huge mount in a piggyback ride that involves a lot of dodging the deadly lightning rods.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: Fritz, who has an endless amount of weapons hidden away in his coat. Just look at the image.
  • Idiot Hero: Computer technician Lance Galahad can be this, even in death scenes.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Several of the deaths involve Fritz eating Lance somehow. Also, the witches do this if you die in their rooms as well.
  • I'm Melting!: In one death scene in the cocoon chamber, a spray of acid hits Lance's face, and it could be either Type A or Type D, but either of them results in his entire face and head melting (except for the eyeballs) along with his entire body, which melts away into nothingness at all.
  • Impact Silhouette: The result of Fritz's Death from Above attack being easily avoided in the main entryway.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Several of the deaths.
  • Implacable Man: Fritz. Nothing even slows him down for more than a few seconds.
  • Improbable Weapon User: In one death Fritz messily kill Lance with what appears to be a spoon and an egg beater.
    • Another random death scene has Fritz make a Lance smoothie with a blender attachment.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: Vivi, a vampire remember, tells Lance they should go out for a "bite" because he looks like "her type".... as in blood type.
  • It's All Upstairs From Here: The battle with Fritz takes place on an extremely long set of stairs. Before the battle, Fritz falls down each and every step.
  • Jerk Jock: Moose, being a hulking undead jock.
  • Kaizo Trap: A piano falls on you if you're not paying attention after the final boss. They don't even try to hide how spiteful it is.
  • Killed Mid-Sentence: This can occur in the final confrontation, after the eyeballs fall from Lance's pocket, but you don't have him pick them up as he starts saying his Pre-Asskicking One-Liner.
  • Killer Gorilla: There is one hairy white gorilla in the Trophy Room, and surprisingly, it has the same atomic wedgie kill scene as Moose!
  • Lampshade Hanging: When he meets Dr. Neurosis, Lance mocks him for following every Mad Scientist trope in the book. The doctor is not pleased.
    • The entire rest of the game is really one big lampshade hanging for Horror and Sci Fi tropes as well.
  • Last Grasp at Life: In one of the death scenes of the Giant Statue stage, after Lance falls into the Acid Pool under the collapsing ground tile, which flies and lands back into the acid and crushes him, the camera cuts down to a close-up of his hands rising and clutching one tile as he tries in vain to pull himself out of the acid before one of them twitches and then becomes still.
  • Lightning Can Do Anything: Several examples in Moose's scenario:
    • Lance can power up the lightning rod in his attempts to destroy Moose. Of course, lightning from the rods can even kill Lance AND Moose if you're not careful.
    • And, of course, even if Lance dies by electrocution or any other means of attack in Moose's scenario, the thunderbolt can bring our hero back to life in one resurrection scene. Lightning CAN do anything, indeed.
  • Literal Bookworm: If accessed from the right entrance, the library is infested with bookworms. Lance can either escape the lot of them or get eaten.
  • Living Statue: There is a giant statue at the end of the maze, and it will come up with nifty ways to kill Lance if he doesn't stop it.
  • Long-Haired Pretty Boy: Lance Galahad, oh so much.
  • Loud Gulp: When Lance is fighting the ghosts.
  • MacGyvering: In the intro, Lance sees that the only way to fix Dr. Neurosis' computer is to find some connection on its core, like bubble gum. Failing that, Lance finds Fritz picking his own nose and uses his snot as a substitute. As soon as he fixes that, all hell breaks loose!
  • Made of Plasticine: In one death scene of the final confrontation, when Lance gets shot multiple times, one bullet goes through his forehead, followed by many bullets that reduce him to swiss cheese and consume his entire body until he is nothing but his eyeballs that fall down.
  • Mad Scientist: Neurosis. Lampshaded and mocked by Lance.
  • Malaproper: Lance's "It's Personal" speech in the final confrontation, which has prompted this exchange in Obscure Game Theatre's Let's Play:
    Lance: [to Dr. Neurosis] Hey, No-Brain!!! It's just me and you!!!
    Frankomatic: Uh, "It's just you and me!" sounds better, Lance.
  • Male Gaze: Vivi says she's a little bit "behind". Guess what's appearing onscreen a bit after she says it?
  • Man-Eating Plant: If Lance clings onto the hilt of the Giant Statue's trident for too long, he'll get flung into the jaws of a yellow, vile plant that can swallow him in a gulp in one death scene.
  • Man on Fire: Lance, in one death scene involving a furnace.
  • The Many Deaths of You: Tons and tons of ways to die. Of which only a third of them are shown in this video. The ways range from cartoony to very violent yet cartoony, such as Lance having his spine ripped out of his body.
  • The Maze: The first area of the garden in a hedge maze, where any and every wrong move equals death. The hallways themselves can be thought of as mazes, though it's really more of an exploration thing: unless you're too slow, you won't be penalized for going the wrong way.
  • Meaningful Name: Lance's last name, Galahad, has an English origin that means "pure, noble and selfless", and named after one of King Arthur's Knights of the Round Table. The first name of Dr. Nero Neurosis, likewise, has a Latin origin that means "powerful", named after the Roman Emperor Nero; and his last name is derived from a mental disorder, less severe than psychosis, marked by anxiety or fear. No wonder this mad scientist wants to rule the world with an iron fist.
  • Medium Awareness: Lance seems to understand he's in a video game. He makes a few offhand comments to that effect, including talking directly to the player.
  • Missing Reflection: Vivi has no reflection, revealing that she is a vampire. Not like this wasn't obvious before.
  • Monster Mash: Lance faces off against various monsters in the game, including a pair of witches, a vampire named Vivi, a Frankenstein's Monster named Moose, a psychotic hunchback named Fritz, and a disembodied brain named Dr. Nero Neurosis.
  • Mooning: One of Lance's cool dance moves in the final confrontation has him baring his behind. Except that his hairy butt is just... squicky.
  • Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: Dr. Neurosis.
  • Mr. Fixit: In the intro, Lance is adamant at fixing computers, and sees that the way to fix one computer is by using bubble gum for connection on its core... or at least a snotty substitute. Unfortunately, all this is slowly and suddenly going to hell...
  • Ms. Fanservice: Vivi is the game's main source of fanservice, being a curvaceous and sultry vampire woman and all.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: The first thing that Lance manages to avoid death in Vivi's Salon is... by blowing away a tiny spider that would have swallowed him whole with a deadly bite!
  • Mushroom Man: Lance will encounter these mushroom people in the garden maze in one death scene, and without warning, one of them will jump up so high, it will explode and spray him with its spores that can cause little mushrooms to sprout all over his body. This video explains it all.]
  • The Name Is Bond, James Bond: Dr. Nero Neurosis introduces himself to Lance in this manner after getting his computer fixed in the intro.
  • Never Bareheaded: Averted in Vivi's Salon, when Vivi grabs Lance's baseball cap and uses it as a gag to ensure that he can't scream during the painful "makeover".
  • Never Smile at a Crocodile: If you go to the kitchen in another way, there is a crocodile wearing chef's garb and holding a meat cleaver. And it can chop off Lance's head and make it fly and land on his neck in an upside-down position in one death scene.
  • Nintendo Hard: You can die within ten seconds of leaving the intro cutscene, and you have to have good reflexes (and occasionally psychic powers) in order to get past everything in the castle. And, similar to its aforementioned spiritual predecessors, a lot of Trial And Error will be involved unless you happen to have a guide handy.
  • No Animals Were Harmed: At least that's it says "No Cartoon Characters Were Maimed or Mutilated During the Making of This Game" on the box art's back cover of the PlayStation version.
  • Non-Action Big Bad: Dr. Neurosis, due to being a brain in a jar. Even in the game's final battle, he relies entirely on Fritz.
  • Non-Dubbed Grunts: Evident in the Japanese dub and all other foreign language dubs of the game, especially with Lance's laughter; his muffled speech when he is gagged by Vivi; and his dying groans, grunts, and screams in death scenes. Also evident is Fritz's unintelligible gibberish, which is so obvious that other game programmers around the world didn't need another foreign language speaking voice actor to do the dubbing for Fritz.
  • Not Now, Kiddo: Happens in Vivi's Funeral Salon, when Vivi asks Lance if he's in a hurry and he answers, "Yeah, lady, there's this freak of nature chasing me and—" but she shushes him by wrapping the spider web barber cloth around him and telling him to wait until later. Just then, Fritz, whom Lance referred to as the "freak of nature" who's coming after him, stumbles into the same salon, catching Lance's and Vivi's attention.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: Fritz has this trick somewhere in his coat, since if you try to just leave the castle, he'll be waiting in ambush above the door.
  • Off with His Head!: In some scenes when Lance's head gets cut off or knocked off or torn off or bitten off. Of course, this becomes Pulling Himself Together by his head rejoining itself to his body thanks to the power of resurrection.
  • Oh, Crap!: Fritz when he realizes what Lance was doing with the carpet...
    • Also, Lance gets this look in the intro when he discovers that he has put Neurosis' "rage" in our hero's "average" and that Fritz is ordered to kill him for calling the mad scientist "average".
      • Though Neurosis was going to have Fritz kill him anyway...
  • One-Winged Angel: In the final confrontation, Fritz turns his hook hands into a massive arsenal of weapons as big as he is.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: These haunted ghosts wear nooses around their necks in the bedroom and can drain the living soul out of Lance and rapidly age him to death!
  • Overly-Long Gag: Fritz falling down the stairs.
  • Painting the Medium: If Lance gets killed during the sword-and-chainsaw fight, pieces of Lance's skin will fly and land onto the camera. Messy!
  • Palette Swap: The blue witch and the orange witch are the exact same battle, except everything is flipped horizontally and the witches' palettes are swapped.
    • The white gorilla in the trophy room uses the exact same wedgie kill scene as Moose.
    • Also, the giant snake in the maze has the same wraparound and head-biting attack as the centipede in the basement.
    • Another one can be found with the acid-spitting death by a dragon in the Trophy Room, which is the same as the one used by the Giant Statue in the Garden.
  • Piano Drop: Works as a Kaizo Trap near the very end of the game, but it can be avoided if you wait until the last possible moment... which is the right moment to press any button and escape.
  • Piggyback Cute: A non-romantic example in that Lance is the cute rider on piggyback while Frankenstein's Monster Jerk Jock Moose is the vile, ugly mount who tries getting him off yet gets blinded and ridden like a horse while playing "dodge the deadly lightning rods".
  • Pointy Ears: Vivi has them by example.
  • Power Walk: Lance has a pretty badass one when entering Dr. Neurosis's quarters.
  • Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: Done twice:
    • During the dancing moves, while bullets are shooting at Lance, the eyeballs fall out of his pocket, then he gets an idea by picking them up and delivering a Pre-Asskicking One-Liner to Fritz:
      Lance: Hey! Time to punch out!
    • And after shoving Fritz into the jar where Neurosis is, our hero delivers one more badass line before pressing the "flush" button:
      Lance: Hey, guyyys! Game's over.
      • It may be noted that in the Japanese release, Lance simply says, in a bit of a whisper, "Sayonara." invoked
  • Press X to Not Die: You'll be doing this quite a lot from the very start. Some of the actions that you do can lead to bad moves, resulting in Press X to Die.
  • Pretty Little Headshots: Lance can die from a shot to the forehead, followed by multiple bullet holes that reduce his entire body to eyeballs, if you're not quick enough during the final confrontation.
  • Psycho for Hire: Fritz. Also, possibly Vivi, since she's given no real motivation besides apparently enjoying killing anyone who steps in her shop.
  • Public Domain Soundtrack: In the Conservatory Room, as Lance tries to avoid getting strangled by the marionette or pounced upon by Fritz, the music played here kinda sounds like "The Trepak Dance" from The Nutcracker by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky... which brings some Soundtrack Dissonance as Lance is running for his life or getting murdered (again).
  • Pulling Themselves Together: Lance does this in miraculous ways in some scenes whenever he loses a limb, like his hand or his head. Heck, there's even one resurrection scene that has the pieces of his body falling on top of each other and reconnecting him if he dies in the confrontation with Fritz.
  • Pun-Based Title: This game is called Brain Dead 13 for a reason: it takes place in Dr. Neurosis' castle, which is located at "13 Brain Dead Avenue", for those who haven't seen the intro. It can also be a Double-Meaning Title when it involves an evil scientist Brain in a Jar and the many death scenes of Lance Galahad, lending itself to a Gory Deadly Overkill Title of Fatal Death. Also, 13 Is Unlucky for Lance and the player.
  • Ragin' Cajun: If entered from the stairways, a cajun alligator cook is at work and they consider Lance a brilliant surprise ingredient. Lance can either escape or get his head chopped off with a meat cleaver.
  • Rapid Aging: Lance definitely dies from this if one of the ghosts possesses him and drains the living soul out of him in one death scene.
  • Record Needle Scratch: This occurs whenever you pause the game.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: When Vivi is prepared for a Vampiric Draining of Lance in one death scene.
  • Resurrective Immortality: Oh yes! Lance has this from the very start, up to the very end of the gamenote ... no matter how many times he gets decapitated, mutilated, doused in acid, etc.
  • Rise from Your Grave: In one of Lance's many death-and-resurrection sequences.
  • Say My Name: Dr. Neurosis tends to shout Fritz's name a lot, especially in the final confrontation.
  • Scream Discretion Shot: In one of the death scenes, at the sound of a gong, Lance looks up and becomes shocked as Fritz pounces on him and they both go offscreen. Fritz's arm is then raised up onscreen before it turns on the egg beater, and Lance's scream is heard before Fritz's arm goes back offscreen. The scream is still heard as bits of Lance's hair fly up before fluttering back down. When all of the screaming is done, Lance gets back up heavily damaged and battered, his shirt ripped up, and going bald in black eyes, lasting for a few seconds before Fritz's hook pulls him back down offscreen to finish the job.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Can be attempted. There is the option of just running out of the castle, and Lance can make it out of the front door as it's not locked. However, Fritz will always beat Lance to the porch and Lance will get killed unless he runs back inside.
  • Sensible Heroes, Skimpy Villains: Played straight in Vivi's Funeral Salon in that Lance, the bumbling hero, is fully clothed, while Vivi is a big-breasted villainess in a black, skimpy, midriff-baring outfit.
  • Serial Escalation: How many weapons does Fritz have? How insane can the castle's residents get? How horribly can Lance get killed in this room?
  • Shirtless Scene: Well, temporarily: If Lance can't make a choice of either a shave, manicure or facial quick enough, Vivi will quickly hold his head to her side and pull down both his spider web barber cloth and his shirt, exposing not just his neck, but also his bare chest and his man nipples (!), before taking a bite and draining him of blood!
  • Shout-Out: In one scene when Vivi cuts off Lance's hand and makes him wince in pain, she acts all innocent and says, "Awww, did I do that?" in an Urkel-like tone of voice before he goes into shock and dies (he gets better, though). She also says the same thing after she cuts off his head in a Dangerously Close Shave.
    • In one crossroads path scene, Lance will get surrounded by a shark fin that circles around him, and then get pulled downward and eaten up... by Fritz, disguised as a shark and wearing a "crying baby" bib, in homage to Jaws.
    • The giant bat playfully chewing on Lance's head in the Trophy Room's (rather kid-friendly) death scene is taken from one of the Don Bluth Dragon's Lair games (hence it's much more kid friendly).
    • The whole final confrontation sequence, which takes place entirely in the dark, is a nod to the start of Magus' first confrontation scene in Chrono Trigger; and the dancing sequence in the shootout is a nod to Disco and its dance moves, the songs like The Bee Gees' "Stayin' Alive" and Village People's "Y.M.C.A.", and the moves homages to those from The Karate Kid and Platoon, and other films.
  • "Simon Says" Mini-Game: The deadly "manicure" scene is probably this... sort of. And you can tell by the way Vivi's clumsy fingers point in the direction of her next strike of her butcher knife on the chopping block table after her previous, failed one, which tells you that you have to quickly move Lance's hand away at the opposite direction of the way she swings the knife to avoid getting his hand chopped off. For example, if her finger points right on her first failed attempt, his hand must move left on her next attempt. The next sequence follows: Her finger —> down, his hand —> up; her finger —> left, his hand —> right; etc. After her repeated failed attempts, she will tire and say, "Hmmm... this don't look very sharp," thus ending the "manicure".
    • Skippable Boss: If you do the shave first, Vivi will offer you the facial in her next set of options, which is the end portion of her area — which means the manicure can be skipped completely.
  • Sliding Scale of Linearity vs. Openness: Level 3. Unlike Space Ace or Dragon's Lair, navigating the castle is part of the game, and it's not only possible but easy to find yourself in previously visited areas.
  • Snakes Are Sinister: There is a giant snake that can wrap around Lance and eat him up at the maze if you're not quick enough.
  • Southern Belle: Vivi, apparently, since she speaks like one.
  • Spiders Are Scary: During the Vivi's Salon sequence, after she tosses Fritz in a spiked coffin, there is a tiny spider that is scary enough to swallow Lance whole with a deadly bite if he doesn't blow it away.
    • Giant Spider: And speaking of spiders, there is a giant one in the Wine Cellar (where the Creepy Centipede is), and it can use its web shots and poisonous bite to bind and kill Lance if he doesn't watch out.
  • Spikes of Doom: Lance can fall into a spike trap hidden by leaves on the ground and get impaled in one death scene if you take the wrong way in The Maze.
  • Spooky Silent Library: With a Scary Librarian that can literally throw a few books at Lance! And giant worms who can burrow into Lance and eat away at his chest and back!
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Fritz. Definitely Fritz. He even has a spot in the above box art which says "Starring Fritz". Not bad for a Determinator maniac who is so hell-bent on using so many ways to kill Lance.
    • Hell, the magazine ads for the game used Fritz.
  • Squashed Flat: Happens in one death scene when the giant Living Statue squashes Lance with its big hand and spreads his... paint mess... on its body. This will also happen if Lance doesn't dodge Moose's shoulder charge.
  • Statuesque Stunner: Vivi.
  • Stealth Pun: You encounter flesh-devouring worms in the library. The only speaking person there makes no comment on this.
  • Stripped to the Bone: In some scenes when Lance gets... in a squicky manner... reduced to a skeletal pile of bones, like getting doused in acid, or getting pulled apart from his skin in a two-way manner by Fritz! Of course, being as Badass Normal as our hero is, he revives from being a pile of bones, back to being flesh and blood.
  • Stupid Evil: A key reason Lance keeps getting the better of Fritz is because Fritz isn't very bright.
  • Super Rug-Pull: Lance uses this on Fritz in the penultimate confrontation. He sees Fritz at the top of a huge staircase and gives the rug at the bottom a mighty pull. The rug shockwave travels up the entirety of the stairs as Lance and Fritz watch (with smugness and curiosity, respectively) until it hits Fritz, who then falls down the entirety of the stairs. As the Obscure Game Theatre says, the only way Lance would have tried that would be if he knew he was in a cartoon, and fighting a cartoon.
  • Take Over the World: Dr. Neurosis' overall plan. This is one of the things mocked by Lance.
  • "Take That!" Kiss: Lance makes one, coupled with a Badass Arm-Fold, to show Fritz that he is not afraid and to dare him to give it all he's got, though our hero is still brave in the face of certain death.
  • 13 Is Unlucky: The game title. Also, it can be unlucky because of the many death scenes.
  • Threatening Shark: In this case, Fritz, disguised as one, in one of Lance's death scenes.
  • Throw the Book at Them: One of the many, many things trying to kill Lance is a skeleton in the library, who tosses lethal books.
  • Tired of Running: In the final confrontation with Dr. Neurosis, Lance is faced by Fritz, who wants to unleash Trigger-Happy terror upon him by unloading every weapon he's got. Of course, Lance has the choice of running away again by pressing right first or by pressing left twice, but that would only waste more time in endless chasing. The solution? Lance has to move left once, and then right, in order to show Fritz and Neurosis that our hero is tired of running away, then makes a Badass Arm-Fold and a "Take That!" Kiss to show that he is not afraid and is ready for one more challenge that awaits him.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Fritz at times, particularly the intro cutscene, where Lance tricks him into thinking his cannon arm had already fired by yelling "BOOM," after which he looks into the barrel to see if it worked and gets shot in the face. It's a good thing he's practically unkillable, huh?
    • Lance at times as well, when it comes to saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. Mocking the Brain in a Jar Mad Scientist's "average" plan to Take Over the World? Taunting the heavily-armed minion to the point of murderous rage? Maaaaaybe not so smart.
  • Totally Radical: Lance, but it's surprisingly subtle.
  • Trenchcoat Warfare: Though not an actual trenchcoat, Fritz invokes this with his vest at several points, including the cover.
  • Trial-and-Error Gameplay
  • The Trickster: Lance. And he plays a few ones on Fritz from the very beginning.
  • The Unintelligible: Fritz.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Lance is pretty blasé about going to an ancient macabre-looking castle to fix a large antiquated computer at the center of a laboratory straight out of an old horror movie. And he's completely unimpressed by the evil talking brain and its plans for world conquest. Lance doesn't even get remotely close to panicking when Fritz has a solid wall of guns pointing at him, or even the hand cannon.
  • Vampires Are Sex Gods: Vivi plays this up for all it's worth during her scenes, and Lance falls for it up until she stuffs his hat into his mouth.
  • Vampiric Draining: Vivi will do this to Lance if he doesn't make a choice of either a shave, manicure, or facial quick enough. And the result is downright unpleasant: though over in a split-second, we see Lance visibly shrivelled into a mummy-like state as a result of her appetite.
  • Villain Opening Scene: The intro starts at Dr. Neurosis' castle, where bats fly and Fritz is summoned by Neurosis to get Lance to fix his computer and then dispose of him so that the villain can succeed in Taking Over the World.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Fritz's patience begins to visibly wear thin as you progress through timing events where he's the danger. He finally snaps at the end, unloading upon Lance with every ranged weapon he has while blindly charging at our hero. This tunes out Neurosis' demands and pleas for him to stop since he's slowly destroying the doctor's jar in the process.
  • Walking Armoury: Fritz, Fritz, Fritz. He's got an endless array of blades, saws, noodle implements, and guns on his person. All of it can be attached to his hooks.
  • Where's the Kaboom?: How Lance tricks Fritz into looking at the cannon.
  • Wicked Witch: The twin witches. Duh!
  • A Winner Is You: After watching the explosion in Dr. Neurosis' castle, Lance says, "Cool! Back to work!" then makes an Air Guitar of victory and drives away in his truck before the camera pans overhead to a bat that has awoken from its slumber and flies off.
  • X-Ray Sparks: Both Lance and Moose suffer from this in one death scene involving one of the deadly lightning rods, and both bodies become gray and blink their eyes a bit before they become dust.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Half the reason why Neurosis wants Lance dead. The other half being that Lance called Neurosis an "average mad scientist".


Video Example(s):


Lance Galahad

Failing to dodge a book-throwing monster's projectile in the library will have Lance get a book chucked down his gullet. It says something when this is one of the LEAST gruesome ways to die that this game offers.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / DinnerDeformation

Media sources: