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Video Game / Brütal Legend

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"Okay... You're sure you're ready for this? Because what I hold in my hand... is not just gonna blow your mind. It's going to blow your soul."

Brütal Legend is a heavy metal-themed Hack and Slash/Real-Time Strategy with light elements of driving and Rhythm Games, developed by Double Fine and published by Electronic Arts on Rocktober 16, 2009 for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 consoles, Windows on February 2013, and Mac/Linux on May 2013.

The game is noteworthy in being inspired by, and providing a ludicrous number of Special Guests, Shout Outs, and references to just about everything metal. All the areas of the game are basically 1980s metal album covers, even. It provided yet another cult hit for Double Fine in their long history of cult hits, but received mixed reviews after its Development Hell ended. It has a very dedicated and vocal fanbase.

The story is pretty simple. Eddie Riggs (voiced by Jack Black), an average roadie for an average Second Wave of American Tween Melodic Rap Metalcore band is transported to the Land of Metal, where he must teach its people the ways of true metal to free them from enslavement by the demons of the Tainted Coil. For literally all intents and purposes, it's a story that is neoclassical metal wish fulfillment, backed up by one hell of a soundtrack that encompasses pretty much all forms of metal.

Compare Metalocalypse, another Affectionate Parody of all things METAL (and yeah, Dethklok is in the soundtrack of this one. They even had a short crossover).

Provides examples of:

  • 20 Bear Asses: There is a set of secondary missions in which The Hunter boasts that he'd managed to kill X of a certain type of wild animal, prompting Eddie to go and kill X+1 in the name of one-upsmanship.
  • 30 Minutes, or It's Free!: In one side quest, you have two minutes to deliver kegs of beer to a party on the beach while they're still cold. This task is made more difficult by the fact that if you bump your car around too much, the kegs will rupture, resulting in automatic failure.
  • Abandoned Mine: Semi-Averted. The Dry Ice Mines are technically a quarry, as one character will put it.
  • Aerith and Bob: What would you call the son of the hero Riggnarök and the demon empress Succoria? That's right, Edward. The Age of Metal itself has spawned names like Ophelia, Aetulia, Doviculus, Lionwhyte and... Lars.
  • Affectionate Parody: Tim Schafer described Brütal Legend as "a love letter to metal." Special mention goes to Lionwhyte, who although is an Eighties Glam Rock stereotype, has some of the best metal and rock from that era, no matter how much people deny it.
  • Alien Sky: Lots of work went into the skies of Brütal Legend, which is never ever clear blue*. Inspired by the popular works of Frank Frazetta, the sky's colors shifts all kinds of colors at all times, and at night, brilliant stars and evil looking nebulae shower the night sky. Each playable character has the power to change the sky to be themed around them, causing different effects. When rain falls, it sometimes comes accompanied by meteor showers.
  • All Beer Is Ale: Where Eddie expects mead and ale, all the Age of Metal has is generic beer that comes from a sacred tree covered in breasts.
  • All Part of the Show: When Ormagöden is summoned in the game's opening scene, no-one seems to realize his suddenly appearing and killing the entire band isn't part of the show. The crowd goes absolutely wild with joy, jumping, screaming, and throwing up horns.
  • All There in the Manual: Not the paper manual, but the in game Tour Book. It tells you everything about units, the world, and secrets. It's full of hilarious jokes and Lampshades things that don't make sense.
  • Almighty Janitor: Eddie. He can fix anything (except for Kabbage Boy's music), build anything, and start a revolution with nothing. Yet he deliberately stays out of the spotlight. Check out his quote on the Hyper-Competent Sidekick page.
  • Ambiguous Situation: Throughout the game, it is assumed that the Brutal World that Eddie lands in is somehow the distant past to the real world, Succoria loses her will to live when she travels to "the present" and finds that humanity has taken over with no demon-presence in sight. With this in mind, it is never stated how rocking's literal magical power went to just being noise in the "present", what became of the more metal-esque fauna or how Eddie's car radio can play 20th-century music, etc.
  • Animal-Vehicle Hybrid: A few of the local fauna qualify, unsurprising given the Heavy Metal nature of the world. The most obvious is the Razorfire Boar, an unholy union between a very angry wild boar and an even angrier chopper bike. There's a mission that requires you to ride about three of them so your army can get their first long range fighters, and a trophy can be acquired for riding one a set distance doing tricks.
  • And This Is for...: Used during the penultimate boss fight. Car Fu is involved. And each of them is punctuated with the middle finger.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: Purchase the DLC, and you can change Eddie's clothing post game.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: Every unit has a Load value. The total load can never exceed 40. What that 40 Load points consists of is up to you. Also, you can only have a certain number of specific units. As Ironheade you can only have one Rockcrusher, or as Drowning Doom you can only have three Brides.
  • Are You Pondering What I'm Pondering?: The Baron and Eddie, on how to deal with Metal Beasts:
    Eddie: OK, I have a plan...
    Baron: Burn 'em?
    Eddie: No.
    Eddie: No...
    Eddie: No, I'm going to recruit them! They're going to join our army!
    Baron: ...Tell me you're joking.
  • Artifact Mook: It's possible to miss two Side Quests available during the campaign against General Lionwhyte and his glamed-up army. Since these quests assume you're still fighting him, coming back to complete them has you fighting Hair Metal units past a point in the story that they've all been wiped out.
  • Artistic License – History: Lampshaded hard in the Tour Book.
    Tour Book on Landmark Viewers: What's that? You thought these devices were invented in the twentieth century to take coins from tourists? You thought wrong. You could't be more wrong.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: The reason for the Titans' disappearance from Earth.
  • Atop a Mountain of Corpses: Eddie starts the game on one, and thinks it's awesome.
  • Autobots, Rock Out!: Subverted, considered a twist in the ending. Eddie, remaining true to his roadie job, never takes the spotlight, never performs a song at the end, and doesn't even seek the credit for his deeds.. Many players expected one of these in the end and were taken by surprise.
  • Awesomeness Is Volatile: Ormagöden. Also invoked every time a character uses a guitar.
  • Badass Boast: "For the honor of Bladehenge, for the freedom of its people, and the glory... OF ITS METAL!"
  • Bad Moon Rising: The moon near Black Tear lands looks like a skull missing a jaw hanging in the sky.
  • Bad Present: A demon named Succoria travels from an ancient past full of magic where humans and demons are fighting to an industrialized present where demons are gone and humanity thrives on technology. From this demon's perspective, this human-run present is a very depressingly bad present.
  • Bait-and-Switch: The option to turn the gore on or off comes up just as it looks like Ormagöden is going to cut Eddie open. After you choose, it instead turns around and decapitates the band.
    • At the end of the game after the humans have won their freedom, in a ceremony the presenter prepares to present a statue, saying it is dedicated to the man who led humanity to freedom and should never be forgotten. He unveils the statue and it's Lars. Then another presenter appears as says there is someone else who needs to be commended, who fought night and day and is the reason that humanity won against Doviculus. They pull back to reveal Lita. It fits considering Eddie considers himself no more than a roadie, someone who should never be the center of focus but just keeps the show going.
  • Band Land: Albeit much less cute and innocent than most examples.
  • The Band Minus the Face: The ending. Lita replaces her dead brother, and is the Queen of Bladehenge.
  • Battle Cry: When Eddie performs the Battle Cry solo, a golden aura forms into Lars' sword (also called Battle Cry), and bursts into a soundwave. The sound compels allies to fight harder, boosting attack power. (Double Teams can double in power.)
    Headbanger 1: What is that sound?
    Headbanger 2: It's a Devil screaming!
    Headbanger 3: It's an Angel singing!
    Headbanger 2: It is the pounding of Creation's Hammer upon The Anvil of Time!
    Headbanger 1: It's fucking awesome!
    Eddie: It's called... Heavy Metal.
  • Battle of the Bands: A far more literal example, where the bands are also armies. Notable for being the inspiration for the RTS part of the game.
  • The Big Damn Kiss: Happens at the end of the chapter "Pilgrimage of Screams".
  • Book Ends: Eddie's expression of what he does. First when he saves the guitarist of Kabbage Boy, and much later after Doviculus is killed, Lita takes the position of leader of Ironheade/Queen of Bladehenge and Eddie goes off to complete any sidequests he left behind.
    Eddie: "A good roadie knows his whole job is to make someone else look good. Keep someone else safe. Help someone else do what they were put here to do. A good roadie stays out of the spotlight. If he's doing right, you don't even know he's there. And once in a while he might step on the stage to fix a problem. To set something right. And before you even realize he was there, or what he did, he's gone."
  • Bullfight Boss: Lampshaded with the worm-like boss.
    Eddie: Ha! I can't believe you fell for that twice!
  • Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp": If you turn down Fletus' first challenge, he'll flap his arms and make chicken noises.
    Eddie: What is that, a chicken? I haven't seen any chickens around here.
    Fletus: That's the blood skink! The most cowardly of all skinks!
  • Camera Lock-On: A button allows you to do this. Sadly, there is no graphical indicator to let you know who's being targeted... Other than Eddie simply looking at the enemy for the entire duration of the lock-on.
  • Car Fu: Your default attack for the Deuce is to ram people with it. Is also the only way to defeat the penultimate boss.
  • Cast of Snowflakes: Exaggerated. This is an action/RTS hybrid, and every single type unit is wildly different than every other. Check the character sheet!
  • Casting Gag: The Kabbage Boy guitarist is shown doing Raz's victory dance from Psychonauts. Richard Steven Horvitz voiced both the guitarist and Raz. He also plays the guy who operates the Death Rack, later on, who sports a familiar pair of red-tinted goggles.
  • Celebrity Cameo: The game features numerous appearances from major figures in metal:
    • Rob Halford plays General Lionwhyte and The Baron.
    • Lemmy Kilmister plays the Kill Master.
    • Lita Ford plays the Zaulia leader Rima (not Lita Halford, contrary to several internet sources - this one's voiced by Kath Soucie).
    • Ozzy Osbourne plays the "Guardian of Metal," who basically is Ozzy.
    • Kyle Gass, the other half of Tenacious D, plays the role of a neurotic mortar cannon operating Bouncer who even has the same head as him.
    • David Cross plays the victim of the Screamwagon.
    • Comedian and metal fan Brian Posehn as the Hunter.
  • Censored for Comedy: Optionally, the game lets you censor swearing with bleeps. Just before the first curse in the game, it prompts you to choose - the button for turning on the censor says "It's funnier if it's bleeped out." For added kicks, it also plasters big [CENSORED] boxes over any of the games numerous middle fingers.
  • Chain Lightning: The Axe Treatment Chain Lightning electrocutes enemies and the effect spreads to nearby enemies.
  • Chekhov M.I.A.: Succoria and Riggnarok.
  • Chekhov's Armory: Eddie has a hell of one. It includes his belt buckle and t-shirt.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: When Eddie's climbing down the corpse mountain, you can spot a fan leech.
  • Chest Insignia: Several. Ophelia wears a bird with an ankh on her chest, which is a family crest from the Legend images. Each faction produces shirt merchandise with their crest on the center.
  • Chewing the Scenery: Most, if not all, of the lyrics from Kabbage Boy's "Girlfriend" music video. Lyrics
  • Civil Warcraft: General Lionwhyte's faction of Evil Counterparts.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: The spotlights in the sky tell you what units are doing from afar.
    • Orange means attack or where they are attacking.
    • Pink means "Follow Me." They are chasing you.
    • Blue means "Defend." They are holding still.
    • Green means "Move," in which they are moving to a second green light that you designated.
  • Combination Attack: You can do this with all your units. They are called Double Teams. There are achievements/ trophies for doing it with all units of each side. They are also the most powerful attacks in the game.
  • A Commander Is You: Each factions have their own unique specializations.
    • Ironheade is a Balanced, Generalist Faction. They're also a Brute Force Faction, with no special abilities to their name. No weaknesses, but no particular strengths except high-speed vehicles. Formerly the Game-Breaker, but due to being heavily downgraded, they're now rather weak.
    • The Drowning Doom is a Technical Spammer Faction, focusing on weak units that can debuff and take control of the stronger enemy units to even the tide in their favor.
    • The Tainted Coil is a Gimmick Elitist Faction. The main stage only has three units for production, but by Double Teaming with them Doviculus can summon and upgrade his units from anywhere on the battlefield.
  • Competitive Multiplayer: A first for Double Fine.
  • Completion Meter: The game keeps a large number of counters in the main menu, from how many collectables Eddie has found, to how many unit combos he tried out, etc.
  • Concept Art Gallery: There is an in-game gallery that allows you to view concept artworks, but these can be unlocked through story progression or by defeating specific enemies a certain number of times.
  • Concert Climax: As a stage takes damage, sirens blare and spotlights shoot upward in warning. At low health, fire and sparks flare up dramatically. The Tainted Coil stage actually bleeds.
  • Construct Additional Pylons: The only structure in the game are the Stage, which functions as your base and from where units are spawned, and the Merch Booth, which is used to channel Fans to your Stage.
  • Continuing is Painful: If you die in a Stage Battle, the fans can revive you endlessly, but your opponent is awarded 50 Fans, punishing players who try to fight alone.
  • Continuity Nod: One can speculate on whether or not multiplayer is canon. In it, Drowned Ophelia and Doviculus are alive, the Headbangers and Eddie talk as if Lars is still alive, and Doviculus does not understand that cars are machines and not living things. He tries to command them to surrender and obey him.
  • Cool Car: All three Hero Units have their own, but the Deuce (AKA "Druid Plow") gets special attention in the campaign with a variety of weapons, upgrades, and paint jobs that can be bought from the Motor Forge.
  • Cosmic Deadline: After Lionwhyte's palace, the speed of story resolution picks up suddenly. Drowned Ophelia and Doviculus get far less screen time and development than Lionwhyte did, which reaches its unfortunate peak when they are forced to share the same boss fight.
    • Ophelia gets her fair share of screen time and stage battles, but it feels faster because there's no missions between them and you keep moving from zone to zone as opposed to fighting in and around Bladehenge.
  • Creation Myth: Features, appropriately, the most metal creation myth ever written. The world was a dark desert populated by fantastically-ugly First Ones until the Eternal Fire Beast Ormagöden showed up and lit the world with his burning body. The First Ones hated the light because it showed their ugliness, so they tried to drown Ormagöden in mud; instead of letting them drown him, Ormagöden exploded himself, and the pieces of his body created the world as we know it. His flames flew up and became the Sun, his metal body seeded the earth with rich ores, his blood rushed out and formed the seas, and his death scream forever echoed throughout the world, manifesting in badass engines and metal music.
  • Cue the Sun: One of your solos does this. It gives a buff to all your units.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: In multiplayer, advanced players will control their armies as automatically as they can fly alone to your side, attack your units as much as possible and keep you on the defensive.
    • Summoning your car and driving all over your opponent's army nonstop is a quick way to make them Rage Quit.
    • In the single-player mode the fight between Lita and Ophelia is a curb-stomp battle. With a few swings of her pole-axe and a well-placed kick, Lita disarms Ophelia and knocks her to the ground. Only Eddie's intervention prevents Lita from killing Ophelia.
  • Curse Cut Short: Lose a race against Fleetus.
    Eddie: "Lousy demon son of a-"
    Game Interface: "Retry?"
  • Cute Monster Girl: The first time you see a Drowning Doom Bride, it's almost portrayed as a horror movie, and their ragged veil only shows their glowing eyes. In reality, they're actually quite cute under there.
  • Damage Is Fire: Most vehicles catch fire when damaged.
  • Damage Reduction: The Axe Treatment Black Tear, which instead of decreasing the damage you take, decreases the damage the people you hit do.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: The Black Tear Rebellion, oh dear.
  • Dark Reprise: The romantic rock ballad "Holiday" plays over a dream sequence of Eddie and Ophelia frolicking on a beach stabbing druids, then as Eddie wakes up it brilliantly and eerily segues into the haunting and depressing "So Frail", by Mirrorthrone, as Ironheade launches their final attack on her.
  • Death by Childbirth: Edward’s mother Succoria died after his birth.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: When Skies Afire is active, the graphics switch to a flame-orange and b&w only color scheme.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Upon finding that the future world belongs to humans and not demons, Succoria is robbed of her will to live. Only Rigganrok's care kept her alive.
  • Deus Sex Machina: Remember kids, enough orgy can initiate time-travel.
  • Devour the Dragon: For the final battle, Doviculus tears out Drowned Ophelia's heart and shoves it into his own chest, which grants him the power to control the Sea of Black Tears.
  • Die, Chair, Die!: The Hero Unit will grumble and complain they're not doing any damage when they attack vehicles head on. In particular, Eddie provides obvious advice that the player should not be doing that, and should instead build anti-vehicle units.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Eddie explains that he got one thing from his father, indicating his belt buckle.
  • Don't Explain the Joke: When the Bouncers join Ironheade:
    Eddie: Okay, but I can't be holding their hands the whole time. * chuckles* Get it? 'Cause their hands are too big.
    Ophelia: * sighs*
  • Dramatic Drop: The "Rally Army" solo. Units will also call out to you in response.
  • Dueling Shows: Two rock stages set up. One stays standing.
  • Earth-Shattering Poster: Drawn by Scott Campbell and available for purchase.
  • Easter Egg: The game has a few:
    • If you play the game on December 8, the Ormagöden save game icon will be replaced by a picture of a dime in memorial of "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott, who was tragically killed on December 8, 2004.
    • If you play the game on February 19, the save game icon will be the lightning bolt from AC/DC's logo in remembrance of singer Bon Scott, who died on February 19, 1980.
    • If you play the game on March 19, the save game icon will be an "RR", remembering guitarist Randy Rhoads, who died in a plane crash on March 19, 1982.
  • Easy Communication: Subverted; you have to be close enough to your units for them to hear your orders. However, the game gives you a "Rally Army" solo, which calls your troops to your position, no matter how far away they are.
  • Easy Logistics: Fan Geysers are the main source of "military fuel", for creating units for both teams. Any side can build a Merch Booth around one, and the number of Merch Booths can easily determine who owns the tide of the battle.
  • Either "World Domination", or Something About Bananas: When Eddie tells other humans that he'd been brought to their world by a creature they identify as Ormagöden, Lars explains that there is a legend among their people of a prophecized warrior who would be brought to them by Ormagöden. There is a debate regarding the translation of the legend, which leads to an Either/Or Prophecy of whether the warrior will destroy humanity or deliver it from demon oppression.
  • Empathic Environment: The three factions can change the sky with guitar solos to benefit them.
  • Enormous Engine:
    • The Deuce is upgraded with progressively larger engines as the game goes on (because "more powerful" equals "bigger" in this setting), to the point where you start to wonder how Eddie manages to see the road behind the hulking motor.
    • Fleetus' beloved Squealer has its own comically gargantuan engine, almost as big as the demon himself. For comparison, Fleetus is so massive, he has to drive Squealer with his whole torso sticking out through the moonroof, wearing the car like a pair of motorized, flame belching pants.
  • Epic Rocking: The equivalent of casting a magic spell.
  • Escort Mission: Tour of Destruction (all three of them).
  • Evil Is Visceral: Everything one could associate with Fire and Brimstone Hell is considered neutral or good, such as Ormagöden, meanwhile the Tainted Coil are the Big Bad and are disgusting, diseased, Body Horror covered demons.
  • Evolving Weapon: The Axe Treatment Bloodlust increases in attack power as you kill enemies, and goes back to normal over time.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: The Facemelter solo melts faces.
  • Eye Scream: If you fail the stage battle against the Tainted Coil at the end.
    Doviculus: You have your mother's eyes. And soon, so shall I. [[Camera shifts to Eddie's POV]] On a necklace, I think. [[Pauses for a moment, then shoves his hand into the POV]]
  • Failed a Spot Check: The entire second half of the game could have been avoided if anyone had bothered reading Eddie's shirt, including Eddie. Doviculus actually points this out during The Reveal.
  • Fantasy Landmark Equivalent: The game features such landmarks as Bladehenge as a stand-in for Stonehenge and Mount Rockmore, which is not just a stand-in for Mount Rushmore, it can be customized by Eddie purchasing effigies of various characters in the game from the Guardian of Metal.
  • Fastball Special: Eddie and Ophelia's combo attack.
    • Bouncers can likewise be tossed into battle, but given their size, they don't fly anywhere near as well as Ophelia.
    • Soul Kissers have a more explosive version with Doviculus.
  • Final Boss Preview: Doviculus gets one hell of one. It involves one casual murder, a few words of truth, the destruction of a city with a bored snap of fingers. All set to Through The Fire And Flames.
  • First Girl Wins: Near the end of the game it's implied that Lita has developed feelings for Eddie. However, Eddie only has eyes for Ophelia, and she's the one he ends up with.
  • Fling a Light into the Future: Before they ascended to a higher plane of existence, the Titans left behind the knowledge and means to recreate their technology.
  • Flipping the Bird: This is done from time to time throughout the game. Amusingly, having swearing turned off covers the finger with the "PARENTAL ADVISORY: EXPLICIT CONTENT" box.
  • Foreshadowing: Eddie going all demonic and spawning wings isn't because of poison.
  • Forged by the Gods: A lot of the stone and metal landscape. In particular, the sword in the center of Bladehenge is called the Blade of the Metal gods. The Ironheade final attack summons a second one out of the sky.
  • Forgotten Framing Device: The game opens with Jack Black leading the viewer into a record shop and showing him the Brutal Legend record, which turns into game menu. You can beat the game, but you'll never see that record shop again.
  • Friendly Fireproof: As long as Eddie's the one dishing it out, his soldiers show an amazing immunity to fire, explosions, lightning, lasers, and zeppelin crashes.
  • Full-Boar Action: The Razorfire Boar. This creepy, yet awesome mammal is a boar with the body of a motorcycle, and pointed tusks made of steel. You can ride them, but Ophelia kills them and converts their engine-like carcass into a massive rifle.
  • Functional Magic: Fuelled by Heavy Metal. The Power of Rock indeed:
    • Bass solos played on sufficiently thick strings can heal people.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: A serious problem on PS3. Players are reporting their save getting corrupted just by approaching 80% in the single player.
  • Gameplay Protagonist, Story Protagonist: Downplayed. The gameplay protagonist Eddie Riggs has his own struggles and character arc throughout the game, but the narration makes it clear that history will only ever remember him as a Hypercompetent Sidekick in the story of the Rebel Leader Lars Halford (despite the latter falling in combat half-way through the game).
  • Gameplay Roulette / Genre-Busting: The core of the game is a third-person brawler, mixed with vehicular combat, Rhythm Game like guitar solos, with Real-Time Strategy boss battles, all connected by a Wide-Open Sandbox.
  • Genre-Busting: Unless you're one of the very few who have played Sacrifice, Battlezone or Giants: Citizen Kabuto, this will be your first Action/RTS, in which you command an army with the size, scale, and command ability of a Real-Time Strategy game, yet get to fight along side your army like an action game. Oh, and let's not forget the open world that contains it.
  • Gladiator Games: The Stage Battles. Where the viewers are the actual source of power.
  • A Good Name for a Rock Band: Eddie tells Lita that it's okay for her to cry over Lars' death, and we get this exchange.
    Lita: Never again. I'd sooner have scorpions crawl down my cheeks than tears.
    Eddie: ...That'd make an awesome album cover, actually.
    Lita: What?
    Eddie: Aw, never mind.
  • Good Smoking, Evil Smoking: Eddie loves his cigarettes, often lighting up after proving yet again that he's the coolest thing on two legs. Killmaster likewise is usually seen enjoying a smoke while lounging on his motorcycle.
  • Goth Girls Know Magic: Ophelia. Goths seem to be a separate ethnicity descended from the members of the ill-fated Black Tear Rebellion, who drank from the Sea of Black Tears and were granted ancient powers.
  • Great Balls of Fire!: So great.
  • Grim Up North: The obligatory northern mountains are called Death's Clutch. (Death's Fjord in multiplayer)
    Lita: He said we'd meet him at Death's Clutch.
    Eddie: Is that like saying, "I'll see you in Hell?"
  • Gross-Up Close-Up: Eddie vs the Lamprey...
    Eddie: It's smells like a whale... ate a bunch of cabbage... and died in your mouth... like a year ago!
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • Many frustrated players didn't know the game's true manual is the in-game Tour Book.
    • Tim Schafer conceded that the game needed more tutorials to get players to understand how to play such a game that combines Action and RTS. He created a guide to help players out.
    • In the headbanger mines, you're told to play into the microphone, but there isn't one. You're supposed to play into a headset (which has a microphone, but given the rock concert theme of the game nobody would fault you for thinking you were supposed to look for a stage mic).
    • It's never said, in either the game or the tour book, that you're supposed to use the Earthshaker move to unlock the Artifacts of Legend. Most players will probably be able to figure it out, but those who assume they just don't have the right move yet might go the whole game skipping them entirely.
  • Hair Metal: Lionwhyte's faction, the "Hair Metal Militia."
  • Have a Nice Death: Losing certain main story missions will net you a short cutscene where the people you failed to help end up dying or some other miserable fate.
  • Have You Seen My God?: The Titans. All that was found was a single clipping of a single toenail.
  • Heävy Mëtal Ümlaut: They häd to do this. Yahtzee, who studied German, had some fun with this.
  • Heavy Meta: Several tracks are songs about how Heavy Metal is awesome, and how nothing can defeat it.
    • "Deadly Sinners" by 3 Inches of Blood, was in the Demo Trailer, and is practically the Ironheade theme song.
    • "Die for Metal" by Manowar
    • "The Metal" by Tenacious D
    • "We are the Road Crew" by Motörhead becomes one since the protagonist is a roadie.
  • Heavy Mithril: Not only are there loads of fantasy metal songs, but the land itself is based around fantasy and hard rock.
  • Hell-Bent for Leather: This being a game fueled by heavy metal, pretty much everyone wears some amount of leather, but special mention goes to the Zaulia, who dress in nothing but spiked leather.
    • The demons dig up the old hotrods and motorcycles the Titans made specifically to get the leather.
  • A Hell of a Time: The beginning of the game.
  • Heroic Lineage: Eddie and Ophelia both come from important parentage.
  • Hero Unit: Eddie, Ophelia and Doviculus are the controlled commanders of their factions and are responsible for fighting, giving orders and collecting Fans via Merch Booths. In the single-player campaign, characters like Lars and Lita are technically a variation of this as unique units with unique Double Team techniques.
  • "Hey, You!" Haymaker: In a sense. When you lose your first stage battle against the Drowning Doom (even before you know those guys are following Ophelia, despite accidental spoilers on Mangus' part), Lita will stare at the destroyed stage and cry. One of the Gravediggers will then come up behind her and wipe a tear off her cheek. She'll turn to look and see him savoring the tear right before whacking her with his shovel.
  • Hindenburg Incendiary Principle: Eddie's final guitar solo is called "Bring it on Home" and summons a flaming zeppelin that zeroes in onto the summoner's location, devastating everything in wide radius on impact. This is obviously a reference to Led Zeppelin's first album cover (even though their cover of the song "Bring it on Home" first appeared on their second album), which, in turn, depicted the original Hindenburg disaster.
  • Hold the Line:
    • The first Stage Battle, set to "One Shot at Glory", by Judas Priest, and it's awesome.
    • And again, in the Doom's Dawn mission, set to "Frost" by Enslaved, setting a dark, eerie mood.
  • Horny Vikings: The Titans, and the upgraded Ironheade infantry.
  • HUD: A minimalist version. HUD elements only appear when selecting / performing solos, building units, units are damaged, or when something happens involving your stage or a fan geyser.
  • Humans Are Special: Miniature versions of the Titans, in fact.
  • Human Resources: A light, humorous version. The Command & Conquer Economy is all about The Fans. Souls hidden in geysers who long to listen to some fucking METAL. By capturing a geyser, a Merch Booth gets built, and those souls visibly fly to your stage and begin to party there.
    • A possible exception is Tainted Coil. Their Merch Booth is called a Digestor—it's a giant mouth chewing fans. When Doviculus compels the fans to join him, he sometimes mutters "suckers..."
  • I Banged Your Mom: Inverted when Doviculous says he didn't bang Eddie's mom, meaning he's one of he the few men who know for a fact Eddie isn't their son.
  • I Choose to Stay: Eddie Riggs likely sets the speed record for this trope in fiction. When Lita remarks that Eddie might be longing to return to his home world during their first meeting, he openly scoffs at the idea.
  • "I Know You Are in There Somewhere" Fight: Eddie towards Drowned Ophelia, even though he seems to be the only one amongst the Ironheade ranks who believes this (try talking to the Razor Girls before appropriate stage battles; they are more inclined to believe That Woman Is Dead instead).
  • Impossible Hourglass Figure: Every woman, human or otherwise. Special Mention to the Battle Nuns, whose torso basically consists of large breasts, large hips and a sliver of something in between.
  • Impressive Pyrotechnics: During attacks, they can launch enemies into the air or set them on fire. During Solos, they indicate successful notes and are color coded depending on your character.
  • Improvised Cross: In the intro, Kabbage Boy's drummer attempts to ward off Ormagöden by crossing his drum sticks in front of him. Needless to say, it doesn't work, and the Fire Beast promptly crushes him with its fist.
  • Informed Attribute: The Sea of Black Tears is supposed to be extremely beguiling and tempting, but none of the Ironheade troops show any desire to drink from it, and two characters even swim in it without obvious harm.
  • Instrument of Murder: Got a guitar in the Land of Metal? Congratulations, you're a mage!
  • Intercontinuity Crossover: With Metalocalypse, appropriately.
  • Intercourse with You:
    • "Still of the Night" by Whitesnake.
    • "Girlfriend" by Kabbage Boy throws in this at one point, but it's rather gross.
  • Interspecies Romance: Riggnarok and Succoria.
  • I Will Wait for You: Subverted in an awesome way. Post-campaign, Eddie can return to the giant cross near Bladehenge and make out with Ophelia for days on end. There's more, see the trivia page.
  • Justified Tutorial: The story teaches the stage battles slowly, and is woven into the story to the point where skipping straight to the multiplayer spoils many things, such as Eddie learning to fly, and especially Ophelia's Face–Heel Turn. Eddie starts off with basic weapons and car, and introduces the creation of Ironheade slowly, unit by unit. None of the factions were made possible until Eddie's arrival in the Age of Metal. The human race was disconnected, the Drowning Doom didn't exist, and even the Tainted Coil did not have cars until they observed Ironheade.
  • Kill It with Fire: The Axe Treatment Eternal Fire sets enemies on fire.
  • La Résistance: The heroes are this.
  • Lame Pun Reaction: The guardian of metal's opinion of the Ace Of Hades paintjob.
  • Large Ham: Doviculus hams up every scene he's in.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: Drowned Ophelia's Face–Heel Turn was thoroughly spoiled by the game demo, the game commercial, the multiplayer, magazine previews...
  • Leg Cling: Eddie gets a Zaulia on each leg, Ophelia on his left arm, and a Razor Girl on his right. But that trailer was so early into the game's production that it has practically nothing to do with the game. (It's a now-dead Sierra trailer.)
  • The Legions of Hell: The big bads are this, with a certain Black Mass / Hellraiser sort of twist.
  • Leitmotif:
    • One would think there would be many due to the amount of characters, but only Ophelia has one: "Betrayal" by Lita Ford.
    • In fact, each mission has its Leitmotif (like "Rock of Ages" when you go rescue the Headbangers early on).
  • Libation for the Dead: There are many empty beer bottles strewn about the graveyard, suggesting this is in heavy practice. One of the Kill Master's bass players spends his time there after the game, looking meaningfully at a grave while drinking. When Eddie asks him who's grave he is standing over, the bass player admits he does not know, he just prefers drinking alone and doing it in a graveyard makes it seem like less of a problem.
  • Life Drain: The Axe Treatment Soul Sucking gives you part of an enemy's health upon defeating it.
  • Literal Change of Heart: Doviculus keeps his defeated enemies' hearts in his chest, though it doesn't really change his personality.
  • Losing Your Head: Drowning Doom gravediggers and brides will fight through decapitation. Lampshaded by the Gravediggers:
    "I just hope I can keep my head today..."
  • Lost Technology: Cars and music. Only Eddie's Roadie skills and knowledge of Heavy Metal make them available.
    • In multiplayer, Doviculus demands obedience from cars that he attacks, as if they are living things.
    Can you hear me?! I AM YOUR MASTER!
  • Loud of War: Of course, this is a Rock-themed RTS. The Roadies play this straight, as a Double Team allows Eddie to 'kill birds'' using the amplified speakers.
  • Love Hurts: We have this little gem:
    Through the woods a girl came sadly
    Something broken in her chest
    She had dared to love another
    Alas, no better than the rest
    Up my path a girl came gladly
    Something opened up my doors
    I longed to stop her bleeding heart
    So I drew her to my shores
    Those you trust will hurt you badly
    Something now I'm sure you see
    So drown your tears in me, my dear
    As you drown, my dear, in me.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Peculiarly averted, as Doviculus is explicitly stated to not be Eddie's parent (it only comes up as part of a Your Mom joke). (We do find out his parentage, but neither parent is ever met.)
  • Make-Out Point: The giant Iron Cross for Eddie and Ophelia, post game.
  • Male Might, Female Finesse: Eddie and Ophelia; he sports a ridiculous Heroic Build and fights with a giant double axe, while she is a petite girl who dual-wields daggers and relies on evasive moves.
  • Match Maker Quest: There is one sidequest where Eddie must help a lovestruck young headbanger (complete with a Don Juan mustache) hook up with the razorgirl of his dreams. To do so he needs to use the mosh pit special attack to keep amorous bikers away from the woman long enough for the headbanger to woo her.
  • Mass Monster-Slaughter Sidequest: The Hunter of Monsters's sidequests.
  • Meadow Run: Eddie's dream pre-Drowned Ophelia fight, in which he and Normal Ophelia have one of these all the while being chased by demons., set to "Holiday" by Scorpions. Even cute loves scenes can be metal.
  • Meaningful Background Event: After you sneakily take down the Impalers, a few Headbangers can be seen hauling off the weapon's pieces. They improvise a mobile version for you by the next mission.
  • Medium Blending: The main menu.
  • Mega Neko: The Metal Beasts and Laser Panthers.
  • The Merch: invoked The structures designating fan-geysers as controlled by a certain faction are merchandise booths. After the first battle with the Drowning Doom, it's the fact that Ophelia has merchandise of her own that seems to be what makes Eddie realize what a serious threat she can be.
  • Merchandise-Driven: In-universe example. All of the stage battles run off this trope, because making merch booths for the fans is the only way to build and upgrade your army. It gets to the point where Eddie realizes Drowned Ophelia is going to be a problem just because she has merchandise.
    Eddie: "Merch is a little like a wedding ring. Sure, it's a material thing, but it's a symbol of your connection."
  • Metalhead: Too many examples to count in this game.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Um... Every female lead?
    • Even the minor female characters adhere to this trope. The Zaulia wear KISS makeup and Stripperiffic outfits, and the Razorgirls have tight t-shirts, tight-jeans, and Playboy bunny proportions. Even the battle nuns are, as Eddie puts it, "kinda sexy in a weird way."
  • The Minionmaster: Eddie during stage battles and everyone in Multiplayer.
  • Mistaken Identity: Doviculus was seeking out Succoria by scent. Ophelia refusing to explain who Succoria was made her look like Succoria in Eddie's eyes. She was really hiding the fact that Eddie could be related to her, so Lita and Lars would not assume he was going to destroy them as the prophecy says. It tears them apart.
  • Mood Motif: Each faction has one. Ironheade is themed off classic Heavy Metal and Thrash Metal. Drowning Doom is based of Death Metal and Black Metal. The Tainted Coil is based off of Industrial Metal. And Lionwhyte's army is modeled after Hair Metal.
  • Mood Whiplash: It happens from time to time, sometimes depending on how fast you move on to one mission from the last.
  • Mordor: The Sea of Black Tears zone, as well as Bladehenge after the death of Lars.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: The History of Metal is told as an epic. They actually managed to make Bards cool.
  • Musical Assassin: Eddie and Lionwhyte both wield the power of weaponized stage effects through the power of a guitar and a microphone, respectively. Later on there's Drowned Ophelia and Doviculus, both with guitars of their own.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Several, but special mention goes to the Kill Master. He's deliberately invoking this trope in order to scare off people who might otherwise bother him.
  • The Need for Mead: Subverted.
    Ophelia: What's a flagon of mead?
    Eddie: It's a drink... Aren't we in Medieval Times?
    Ophelia: I, uh... We only have beer, but you can have as many kegs as you want.
  • Near Victory Fanfare: The Rockcrusher plays the Ironheade stage's music wherever it goes.
  • Neglectful Precursors: When the Titans ascended, they left behind the Tainted Coil that they had kept as pets. Confused and frightened by the Titans' departure, the Tainted Coil attempted to recreate the Titans but created humans instead. Believing humans to be a mockery of the Titans and jealous of their ability to use their knowledge, the Tainted Coil enslaved them.
  • Nerf:
    • For multiplayer, the three Nuke Solos became available only at Tier 2.
    • Unit specific Nerfs are available at the Character Sheet.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: After killing Drowned Ophelia, Doviculus makes sure Eddie knows it's his own fault Ophelia became that way.
    Doviculus: Oh, please! That was nothing compared to what YOU did to her.
  • Nightmare Face: Two demon units -the Nun and the Warfather- have exposed faces. They're a bear trap and a horse skull, respectively.
  • No Campaign for the Wicked: Sadly, there are no adventures as Doviculus or Drowned Ophelia.
  • Non-Indicative Name: As Mangus notes, two areas visited aren't quite as advertised.
    • The Dry Ice Mines appear to be a quarry, since you never go into any tunnels.
    • The Sea of Black Tears is closer in size to a lake than an actual sea.
  • NPC Roadblock: In a moment of Wrong Genre Savvy, Eddie (pretends to) think a Thunderhog Bassist is doing this.
    Eddie: I'm going into the lair of the Metal Queen. Anybody got a problem with that?
    Bassist: *silence*
    Eddie: Look I don't have time to argue, my friend is dying! You sure you don't want to talk me out of it?
    Bassist: *silence*
    Eddie: *Departs then turns for one last glare.*
  • Number of the Beast: The Brütal Legend LP in the opening/menu has a $6.66 price tag.
  • Nu Metal: The band Eddie works for in the opening. He's depressed by them. Doesn't stop industrial/nu metal band Static-X from appearing in the soundtrack, though. You can unlock the very song Eddie was disgusted by, too.
  • Obligatory Bondage Song: The Tainted Coil are this trope made (abused) flesh.
  • Offhand Backhand: Eddie and Ophelia both pull this when they first meet.
    Eddie: Uh... right shoulder.
    Ophelia: * shank*
    • There's an even more hilarious (and adorable) moment of this later on; Eddie dreams about running along a beach with Ophelia, happily slashing down Druids together with nary a glance away from one another.
  • Off with His Head!: "DECAPITATIOOOOOOOOOONNNNN!" (for nearly half a minute without stopping to take a breath)
  • Oh, Crap!: Lionwhyte gets one of these before his Karmic Death.
    • If you are fighting the Tainted Coil and you hear a whistle in the sky, followed by the sound of something crashing into your stage, it's a Bleeding Death.
    • Eddie gets a quite literal one when he first spots the Drowning Doom on the march.
    Eddie: "Oh shit."
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Just like Herzog Zwei, the Hero Unit can't destroy the enemy stage. Only your units can do it. If you try to, the fans residing there will visibly swat away your attack and hurt you.
  • Our Demons Are Different: Well, they're, uh... sexy in a weird way.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: Serpent Statues, as well as Metal Beasts, giant firebreathing panthers with rocker spikes ridden by half-naked amazons.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: They are intelligent, Turn of the Millennium Emo Teen crybabies.
  • Painting the Medium: The command beacon.
    Headbanger: How did you make that light shine down from the heavens?
    Don't you know? Light itself now bends to his will.
  • Panthera Awesome: Laser Panthers. Black panthers with streaks of purple and eyes that shoot lasers.
    Eddie: OK, I'm not killing any more of those. They're way too awesome to be made into a hat!
  • Parental Incest: The Tainted Coil. ALL of them.
  • Passing the Torch: The Titans ascended to deity-hood after a millennia of developing and growing. Before they left for their new home, the Titans weaved the information for all their inventions in the natural world itself. They etched hieroglyphics into stone shrines to teach the new generations how to put these materials together.
  • Pieces of God: Metal, Noise, Blood and Fire.
  • Pillar of Light: Sort of inverted: the beacons Eddie uses to find quests don't come up from the earth, but rather down from giant stage lights in the sky.
  • Ink-Suit Actor:
    • Eddie was intended to look like a cross between Jack Black and Glenn Danzig (although he behaves a lot more like the former than the latter). Tim Schafer recounts that originally, he merely was basing the character off Jack Black. Sierra however chose to just get Jack Black to do the role.
    • Ozzy Osbourne is pretty much playing himself. "Who, me? Oh, I'm nobody. Just The Guardian of Metal."
    • The Hunter is comedian Brian Posehn.
    • The Kill Master looks just like Lemmy Kilmister, his actor, down to the moles on his face.
    • The Fire Baron looks like Rob Halford in the late 70s-early 80s (back when he had hair atop his head, rather than only around his mouth).
    • A cannon operator with whom you can converse to start secondary missions not only is voiced by Kyle Gass (Black's partner in Tenacious D), but he also has Gass' head mounted on a Bouncer body.
  • Power Glows: The infantry in all three armies, when upgraded, don neon streaks on their bodies and clothes.
  • The Power of Friendship: The Double Teams are the most powerful attacks in the game. Word of God often tells players they don't Double Team enough. In contrast, the game was specifically designed to punish players who try to act like Kratos or Dante. Getting killed gives your opponent a free 50 Fans. A common mistake by players is to fly into a group of enemies and start slashing.
  • The Power of Rock: Pyros. Headbanging. Face-melting guitar solos. And the hero is "the world's greatest roadie." This game is literally built around this trope.
  • Precursors: The Titans.
  • Precision F-Strike:
    Eddie: I told you not to climb on that, you STUPID, MOTHER...FUCK-ING!!...PIECE OF SHIT!
  • The Psycho Rangers: Well, each faction has well-defined functions that essentially serve the same purpose on stage battles. For Basic and Ranged Infantry, Ironheade has Headbangers and Razor Girls; the Drowning Doom has Gravediggers and Frightwigs; and the Tainted Coil has Soul Kissers and Punishing Parties. But what stands out in this trope are Lionwhyte's troops, which boil down to a glammed-up Ironheade army (and that's even considering the Bouncers that defected to Ironheade; Lionwhyte replaces them with Glitterfists, which are the exact same thing with a glam makeover).
  • Puzzle Boss: The final stage battle in the campaign has this element tacked on.
  • Racing Minigame: Druid Plow vs. Fletus' Squealer...GO!
  • Randomized Title Screen: Every time you boot up the game, one of the metal singer voice actors (Jack Black included) randomly shouts/sings "DOUBLE FIIINE!!!" when the Double Fine logo appears (Ozzy Osbourne ends his with his trademark Evil Laugh).
  • Rays from Heaven: The rays are portrayed as stagelights in the sky. They can be utilized to mark waypoints and mobilize your troops during battle segments.
  • Real-Time Strategy: With lots and lots of Action mixed in it.
  • Reference Overdosed: Almost everything is simply a shoutout to the existing Metal/Rock bands.
  • Rescue Romance: Eddie was born from one, Riggnarok nursed the despairing Succoria back to health, and in the process, they conceived Eddie.
  • Ridiculously Fast Construction: Well, it is an RTS. Stages and merch stands are built in a matter of seconds.
  • The Roadie: Eddie Riggs is a roadie literally Born in the Wrong Century, famous in the biz for his roadie skills and love of classic Heavy Metal, forced to work under the disrespectful Second Wave of American Tween Melodic Rap Metalcore band "Kabbage Boy." After dying on stage and accidentally summoning Ormagoden in the process, Eddie ends up in a Heavy Mithril world where his rocking and roadie skills help him lead the human resistance army Ironheade against the Hair Metal Militia, the Drowning Doom and the Tainted Coil. Once he helps save the world, Eddie leaves and allows the other heroes to take credit for any of his accomplishments.
    • Roadies are later presented as a stealth-based infantry in Ironheade's army, wielding incredibly large amps and invisibility skills that allowed them to free Ophelia's Razorgirls from Lionwhyte's pleasure tower. Watt-R-Boys are the Hair Metal Militia equivalent.
  • Rock is Authentic, Pop is Shallow: The world is based on Heavy Metal visual art and has various factions of different aspects of Rock and Metal. The only appearance of Pop is a disappointing Bait-and-Switch boy band in the prologue that quickly dies.
  • Rule of Cool: Only every single thing about the game.
  • Sarcastic Clapping: Lionwhyte, complete with "Bra-vo."
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: The Sea of Black Tears. The corruptive waters were so dangerous and enticing that the Titans placed a mountain over them to protect theselves from its call. The Tainted Coil broke open a path in the mountain to the tears to lure humans into drinking them and destroying their own rebellion from within.
  • Scenery Porn: The art design of the world is truly breathtaking; no matter where you are in the world it's virtually guaranteed that there is something cool to look at. And to make sure you don't miss any of it, the game includes mounted tourist binoculars of the best vistas and gives experience points and an achievement for viewing them all.
  • Schizo Tech: Thanks to instructions left behind by the Titans and the unusually metal-rich environment, inhabitants of the world have the means to build cars, lights, and sound equipment, and not much else. They don't even seem to have agriculture- they hunt for food, and drink beer siphoned from a particular tree.
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: Succoria arguably creates one of these. When she travels to the future, she sees that humans ultimately win the war against the Coil; crushed, she stays in the future and eventually gives birth to Eddie. Therefore, Succoria deprived the demons of their true leader and created the person who would ultimately defeat Doviculus—causing humanity to win the war.
  • Serious Business: Youtube comments for the tracks in the game. Oh dear.
  • She Is the King: Turns out to be the case for Succoria. This is how Eddie can be the child of the Tainted Coil's emperor despite having a human father.
  • Shock and Awe: The main attack for the guitars and many Drowning Doom units employ this. You can also pick up lightning cannons as a top-tier weapon for the Druid Plow.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Besides the many, many shout outs to heavy metal bands and songs, occasionally Eddie will shout, "Super effective!" while attacking, and after playing the "Call of the Wild" solo, he'll scream, "Call of the Wild was my favorite book!"
    • Previous Tim Schafer game Day of the Tentacle gets a shout out in a rare response to Eddie's orders: "I'm on ya, lasagna!" Something Hoagie (a roadie, as it happens) would say to Benjamin Franklin.
    • So, Ophelia died after drowning, huh? sad way to go.
    • Another Tim Schafer game Psychonauts gets a shout out at the very beginning, one of the Kabbage Boy members, voiced by Richard Horvitz (who also did Raz in Psychonauts), does the little dance thing Raz does, right before he falls.
    • After dealing the final blow in the first boss fight, Eddie remembers the appropriate Catchphrase.
      Eddie: Bingo! I mean, Jackpot!
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: While listening to Lionwhyte monologue about how much humans suck, Lars gets fed up and delivers one of these.
    Lars: The time has come for you to shut the hell up, Lionwhyte!
  • "Shut Up" Kiss: Eddie, to Ophelia. Ends up being quite amusing due to the topic of conversation.
  • Side Quest: The game has dozens. However, most of them fall into five basic categories:
    • The "Ironheade Sneak Attack" missions in which you and a small group of allies must eradicate a passing enemy patrol.
    • The "Riding the Death Rack" missions in which you must use the Deuce's weapons to defend a stationary point against waves of enemies.
    • The "Summon Fiery Death" missions where you have to direct mortar fire against incoming enemies.
    • Racing missions where you must beat Fletus to the finish line.
    • Missions given to you by the Hunter where you have to kill a certain number of wandering creatures.
  • The Siege: The Battersmith and Pleasure Gardens mission.
  • Sigil Spam: The symbol of the titans is an Iron Cross, anything bearing one is directly connected to them. Lars' sword, car parts, even the flowers that mark their buried relics.
  • Single Tear: Ophelia sheds one near the end. A black one.
  • Snow Means Death: Lars
  • Songs in the Key of Lock: The Relic Raiser solo.
  • Spikes of Villainy: Good, evil, or even just part of the landscape; the game is loaded with spikes. No, not that kind.
  • Spiritual Successor: The Stage Battles are a faster, console version of Sacrifice or Battlezone (the remake), and the even more obscure Giants: Citizen Kabuto, both games by Shiny. The heavy metal theme and prevalence of bikers also tie it closely to an earlier Schafer gamer, Full Throttle - as does returning voice actress Kath Soucie.
  • Spawn Broodling: The Tainted Coil's Rock Stage can only produce these, in the form of Battle Nuns, Warfathers and Overblessers. They spawn demonic units by... uh... germinating Doviculus's seed.
  • Squad Controls: The game, lacking the traditional bird's eye view of Strategy Games, uses this to give orders to allied squads during Stage Battles.
  • Status Effects: Color-Coded for Your Convenience
    • Golden weapons and clothing trimming indicate and Attack Boost. Blue is Attack Down.
    • The unit's entire body glowing orange is a build rate buff(Tainted Coil).
    • Glowing Light Green indicates Defense Boost. Appearing very dark is Defense Down.
    • A blood red body is poison. According to the Tour Book, even cars can get their gas tanks poisoned.
  • Sticks to the Back: Eddie's axe and guitar. Lita's spear also sticks to her back when not in use, and Ophelia's swords stick to her hips. The only one with a proper scabbard for his weapon is Lars.
  • Strange Stage: Ironheade's stage is shaped like Ormagaden, the gigantic Fire Beast whose death gave birth to the Age of Metal. Having weaponized The Power of Rock, each faction/band's stage also serves as their home base in battles (of the bands).
  • Strategic Asset Capture Mechanic: Fan Geysers appear during stage battles. Building a Merch Booth on top of one will send the Fans to your stage, letting you build and upgrade your army.
  • Summon Backup Band Members: Core game mechanic.
  • Summon Everyman Hero: Basically the introduction, though Eddie's anything but ordinary.
  • Summon a Ride: The first solo Eddie learns summons the Druid Plow for quick transportation (or harassing enemies).
  • Summon Solo: Each faction has a solo that summons units. Ironheade's Call of the Wild summons wild animals to fight, the Drowning Doom's Baleful Misdirection creates phantom units to distract and draw fire from your real units, and the Tainted Coil's Summon Tick Choppers does just that
  • Superdickery: Anyone who played just the demo can be quite forgiven for thinking that Ormagöden was an evil monster and the overall Big Bad of the game. In truth, he's anything but. He was more like a force of nature for one, and while the Tainted Coil are his spawn, much of the rest of what he left the world was all meant to be used for good.
  • Super Drowning Skills: So much as dipping a character's foot in water deals damage, increasing with depth.
  • Tactical Superweapon Unit:
    • The Tainted Coil has the Bleeding Death, which needs to be purchased as normal, then deployed by being fired out of a cannon towards the enemy by a "Solo" (the game world runs entirely on The Power of Rock, and a guitar solo is the equivalent of a magic spell). It has the highest health and attack speed in the game, but its status as a constantly bleeding Frankenstein's Monster means that it'll die on its own eventually.
    • Ironheade has the Rock Crusher, a tank-like idol to Örmagoden (the setting's god) with several mortars and a grinder, as well as being covered in radio handsets to give all nearby units the benefits of an In-Universe Theme Music Powerup. Its "Double-Team" attack creates an inescapable ring, then drops the Flaming Sword of a Titan into it from orbit.
    • The Drowning Doom's super units are split between one that relies more on the cheeseball tactic of being able to fly in a setting where everything happens at ground level to make it immune to most attacks, rather than sheer durability or an "Instant Death" Radius (a Dirigible that drops jars full of concentrated despair on people while smothering them with the weapons-grade stink of its undead pilot), and a Giant Mook called the "Treeback" (a very tough zombie ogre with a tree growing out of its back that harbours a murder of hungry crows).
  • Take That!: Kabbage Boy is a very obvious Take That! against bands accussed of "ruining" metal such as Linkin Park. However, it becomes a little harder to accept as a Take That! with Chester Bennington's death, and especially since Linkin Park's songs may have actually told his feelings on life and were not the "emo" fluff their hatedom thought it to be.
    • When two of the same army are fighting (Drowning Doom vs. Drowning Doom, etc.), they'll tend to take potshots at each other for the other's lack of "Trueness", often yelling out "Poser!"...
    • One of the Headbanger's Win Quotes is "Now you know what real metal sounds like!".
    • invokedWord of God provided this gem in an interview:
      GamePro: Were there any other reasons for the lack of contemporary metal?
      Tim Schafer: You mean besides it sucking?
  • Tear Off Your Face: The special attack "Face Melter" (originally a generic term for a particularly powerful guitar solo in Heavy Metal) literally melts the faces off any nearby enemies who have one.
  • Technician vs. Performer: Edward Riggs is The Roadie, knowing all the technical aspects of running an army. But due to being, well, The Roadie, he gets outshone by Lars Halford, whose charisma allows him to inspire Ironheade to go through Hell and back. However, Lara can’t organise an army for shit, so it’s up to Eddie to do all the logistics and actual commanding. Even after Lars’ death halfway through, he STILL gets the credit for Ironheade’s success, and even Eddie resigns to being overshadowed. However, Eddie is still recognised for his work, and it’s ultimately because of his greater technical skills that Ironheade was both able to get off the ground and finish the fight, a rare win for Technicians that didn’t rely on the Performer having Worf Had the Flu.
  • Terminator Twosome: Inverted in every aspect with Succoria going to the future and Riggnarok stealthily tagging along. Legends of Brutal Legend reveals it went even further, since Succoria was accompanied by an entire harem of slaves, one of whom was a disguised Riggnarok.
  • Testosterone Poisoning: And how!
  • That Came Out Wrong
    Eddie: "Maybe you guys can just blow me over the gorge?"
    Roadie: "I'm not blowing anybody!"
  • Theme Music Power-Up: During Stage Battles, the opposing stages are each playing a song from the faction's themed playlist. As they take over fan geysers and spread across the map, their music gets louder and starts to swamp out the other side's music. Played totally straight with the Rock Crusher, who plays your stages' music as it goes and gives friendly units a damage buff at the same time.
  • The Time of Myths: The Age of Metal.
  • Time Travel: Eddie is transported back in time, to a Fallen Age of Metal. His parents were sent forward first.
  • Tiny-Headed Behemoth: The Bouncers are giants with disproportionately small heads, and disproportionally large fists.
  • Title Drop: Brütal Legend is an vinyl album that Jack Black is inviting you to look at, which serves as the title menu. The physical album actually exists as a prop. As you navigate the menu, Jack Black uses his hands to open, fold, and reveal different parts of the elaborate album and record inside. How it was designed can be seen here. Players who pre-ordered the game from Best Buy actually got a Brütal Legend vinyl jacket just like the one used for the title screen as a free gift.
  • Title Scream: Well, the developer 's name is screamed instead. "DOUBLE FIIIIIIIINE!" For bonus points, every time you boot the game, one of the different musicians who participated in the game (including Jack Black; remember he's half of Tenacious D) will scream it. One of the best ones has to be Ozzy Osbourne's, which he follows with a "Crazy Train"-style laugh.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Even in the face of "brutal defeat" (as the game puts it), Eddie manages to keep his cool most of the time.
  • Time Skip: Three months are skipped after Lars' death. It's a rare example of seeing a "X Time Later" screen in a videogame.
  • Tortured Monster: The summonable but uncontrollable Tainted Coil unit named "Bleeding Death" may be this: it is a perversion of nature (not to mention the single strongest non-Hero Unit in the game), which is slowly dying, so its attacks are merely expressions of its agony.
  • Tough Spikes and Studs: Practically every character, to varying degrees. Heck, even some of the wildlife and landscapes.
  • Trapped In A World Based on Metal Album Covers: Eddie doesn't really want to leave.
  • Tribal Face Paint: The Zaulia tribe wears it. It's styled like KISS makeup.
  • Troperiffic: It's a game by Tim Schafer that revolves around The Power of Rock. This was pretty much inevitable.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Eddie seems to acclimate to the heavy metal world extremely quickly; acting pretty calm about hacking evil nuns to death with an axe and teaching Ophelia of French kissing. Eddie seems to be the kind of guy who would acclimate pretty quickly to anything. Besides, as he says himself about the world near the game's opening, "Some might call it hellish, but I have to admit, it's pretty badass."
    Lita: "Don't you long to return to your world?"
    Eddie: "Pfft!"
  • Vagina Dentata: The lamprey in the Feeding Area map and early part of the campaign.
  • Victory Quote: In a multiplayer victory, you will either hear one from a unit involved in the stage's destruction, or a gripe from a unit defending it.
  • Videogame Flamethrowers Suck: Justified. Ironheade exclusively has a lot of fire attacks, and they are meant just for attacking burning infantry, not being as effective on vehicles or structures.
  • Villain Reveals the Secret: Played With, where Demon Emperor Doviculus seemingly reveals to the heroes that one of them, Ophelia, is The Mole, resulting in her being cast out after they escape. It turns out, however, that he was actually referring to Eddie, who is not The Mole, but the son of the previous Empress and thus a half-demon himself.
  • Villains Never Lie: Doviculus.
  • Viral Unlockable: The achievement "Six Degrees of Schafer" is unlocked by either playing an online game with Tim Schafer or with someone else who has the achievement.
  • V-Sign: Both the Kill Master and the Guardian of Metal flip people off in-game using these. Because so do the actors.
  • War Has Never Been So Much Fun: Heavy Metal armies fighting to the death yet infinitely respawning from a Command & Conquer Economy fueled by The Power of Rock? Sign me up!
  • Weaksauce Weakness: In the Land of Metal, water kills everything.
  • Weaponized Car: While at first you're limited to just ramming people, The Deuce can be upgraded with machine guns or missile launchers, among other things. Said upgrades being sold to you by Ozzy Osbourne.
  • Weird Moon: In the very beginning, Eddie comments on the cool eclipse. Some theories state that it was the Earth he left behind, because of its color. Later on, in Drowning Doom territory (and during Encompassing Gloom in multiplayer), the moon is shaped like a skull.
  • Weird Sun: The sun is never visible and the sky is never a clear blue. See Alien Sky.
  • Welcome to Corneria: NPC in-game dialog in single is limited, but it's still a good idea to Talk to Everyone to hear all the jokes and little touches between missions. In multiplayer, the dialog is much more varied and the writing for Tim Curry and Jennifer Hale shines much greater.
  • Wham Line: Ironheade realizes exactly what they're up against when they flip over a corpse and see a familiar emblem.
    Lita: "Ophelia."
    Eddie: "...she has merchandise."
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Ormagöden at the Kabbage Boy concert. This only gets obliquely addressed in the Legends of Brutal Legend, which implies that he physically bore Eddie back to the Age of Metal.
  • What Is This Thing You Call "Love"?:
    Eddie: And now, I shall teach you of French kissing...
  • What Measure Is a Mook?:
    • Generally Defied. Every kind of unit is unique, without much overlap between factions even.
    • Played straight by Doviculus, who can throw Soul Kissers, making them commit suicide and severely damage units.
  • What Were They Selling Again?: The advertising not only intentionally hid the core gameplay, but it also turned off some people who hate Jack Black, found the combat in the demo shallow (not knowing Eddie is a Hero Unit to something bigger,) and causing people to think the game is a "joke" or "Guitar Hero" game.
  • Wheel of Pain: You have to free a bunch of headbangers from one of these in an early mission.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Emoness: The fate of all who drink or bathe in the Sea of Black Tears.
  • Wide-Open Sandbox: Though the campaign is heavily story-driven, it's threaded through an open world.
  • Wild Teen Party: The soldiers of Ironheade have a keg party, complete with bonfires and large amplifiers blaring heavy metal music, set up on the beach. If you visit them after beating the campaign you can even join them for a beer.
  • World of Badass Ham!: This is a game built on The Power of Rock after all. Even the porcupines and the deer are hardcore.
  • World of Buxom: Some ladies are Stripperific, some are Token Wholesome, nearly all are stacked.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Absolutely no one in the setting has any problem slaughtering razorgirls or any other female unit. Eddie occasionally expresses distaste about it, but he doesn't hesitate.
  • Written by the Winners: Hidden throughout the single-player world are Legends which flesh out how the Age of Metal came to be. During the second half, the player can find some that are chained up until the story is completed. Then they can be unlocked, and they reveal the truth about Eddie's past, how he (not Lars) is Messianic Archetype and how he saved humanity. Unfortunately, they tend to unlock slightly BEFORE the game reveals most of them.
  • Xtreme Kool Letterz: Used by Eddie, who tacks an "e" onto Ironhead to let everyone they "Mean business".
  • You Fight Like a Cow: Considering Tim Schafer's history, a lot of these happen in multiplayer.
    Eddie to Doviculus: I'll make an ashtray out of your hoof!
    Eddie to Eddie: I don't think this is symbolic at all!
    Doviculus blocking: That's the spirit!
    Doviculus taking hits: Oooooohhh...
    Drowned Ophelia to Eddie: Does it make you feel like a man?!
    Drowned Ophelia to fleeing opponent: Ladybug ladybug, fly away home. Your stage is on fire and the children are all gone!
    Drowned Ophelia, enemy flies away: PULL!
  • You Require More Vespene Gas: The main resource of the Stage Battle segments are "Fans", which spout from a geyser and are used to build additional units. You control them by playing the Fan Tribute solo in order to build a Merch Booth.
  • Zerg Rush: Doable with practically any unit, check the character sheet.


Summon Deuce

Eddie Riggs finds the solo that summons his car.

How well does it match the trope?

4.25 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / SummonARide

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