Cel Damage is a Vehicular Combat game that was released in 2001 as a launch title for the Xbox, and then got ported to the Gamecube in early 2002. The game is about the eponymous TV show Cel Damage, a show where famous fictional cartoon characters compete in a destruction derby using various cartoon-themed weapons, and instantly respawn after death due to being cartoons.
The game has three different modes of play: Smack Attack (Deathmatch), Gate Relay (Race), and Flag Rally (Capture the Flag). At first, only Smack Attack can be played. After winning a few matches, Gate Relay and Flag Rally are unlocked.
The game was met with low sales and a mixed critical reception, but is very well-liked by most of those who have played it, and is considered one of the underrated gems of the sixth-gen era. A sequel entered development, with concept art and early footage being released to the public, but the game got cancelled before it progressed past the early alpha stage because of the poor sales of the original game.
In late 2002, an Updated Re-release, named Cel Damage Overdrive, was released for the Playstation 2. It offered several gameplay tweaks and some brand-new, exclusive features. This version never saw a release outside of Europe, however. Cel Damage HD, a remaster based on Overdrive, was released in Spring 2014 as a Cross-Buy title for PS3, PS4, and PSVita, this time getting a North American release. It was later ported to the Xbox One in March 2016 and the Nintendo Switch in March 2019.
The game's roster consists of:
- Starting characters: Violet, B.T. Bruno, Sinder, Dominique Trix, Fowl Mouth, Flemming.
- Secret guest stars: Whack Angus, T. Wrecks, Count Earl, Brian the Brain.
These games contain examples of the following:
- All the Worlds Are a Stage: The PlayStation 2 version adds in an extra stage called "Boss Bash", which takes the previous four zones and mashes them all together into one large arena.
- Amusing Injuries: The entire game revolves around these, due to being a cartoon-themed vehicle combat game.
- Animation Bump: The running animations looked to have improved drastically in Cel Damage 2.
- Art Shift: Cel Damage 2's artstyle looked completely different from what the first game had, some citing that it looked similar to Xiaolin Showdown or American Dragon: Jake Long.
- Badass Adorable: Violet fits this trope to a "T". She looks so gentle on the outside, but in reality, she's one of the most aggressive characters of the game. Her intro even has her beating up the cameraman and running him over with her car.
- The sequel was to have a redesign of Sinder that would make him cute.◊ Yes, an imp who constantly makes jokes about his urine and genitals, was going to be made cute.
- Big Ball of Violence: The logo is one!
- Big Boo's Haunt: The Transylvania stages are this.
- Black Comedy:
- In the main intro, as the announcer says that Violet has a "disease that is slowly killing her", Violet is seen standing in the middle of a desert, looking over her left shoulder, worried, as vultures are faintly heard in the distance.
- Whack Angus, a bull, has this as one of his lines: "Hope my mother gave you heart disease!"
- The final gag in B.T. Bruno's ending involves him hugging a child, as the child's bones crack and his eyes close, then Bruno remarks that kids "sure sleep a lot". We are lead to believe that the child died, but then his eyes open a few seconds later.
- In Fowl Mouth's ending, he has a person tied up in a sack, which he smacks with his shovel and kicks into the hole that Flemming dug, with the implication that he is going to bury the person.
- Sinder's ending, in which he ends up killing the judges of the cooking contest.
- Bubblegloop Swamp: Swamp Stomp, the first jungle level, involves you driving around a gator-infested swamp.
- Capture the Flag: Flag Rally is a Capture the Flag mode, but with a twist: The flags have legs and try to run from you.
- Cel Shading: Obviously, for a toon-based world.
- Chainsaw Good: One of the weapons is a chainsaw.
- Creative Closing Credits: The credits show off the original concept art for most of the game's characters.
- Death Mountain: The desert stages, especially Death Valley.
- Deliberately Monochrome: Fowl Mouth and his car are entirely black-and-white, because he comes from the 1930's.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Satan—yes, Satan—even thought that Sinder was too much.
- Dominique looks an awful lot like Trish from Devil May Cry. It should also be noted that both games were released the same year (2001).
- B.T. Bruno is an expy of Elvis Presley. In his intro, he even states that he wants to be an entertainer and singer just like Elvis.
- T. Wrecks is one of Godzilla, as confirmed by his profile on the Cel Damage HD website, and one of his lines being, "I did that to Tokyo once".
- Gross-Up Close-Up: Used in Sinder's ending to show in detail the inedible dish he cooked. Due to cel-shaded graphics not being quite "there" yet at the time of release, an illustration of the dish is used for the close-up.Announcer: What will judges think about... all this raw meat? And Sinder didn't even have time to cook it!
- Impact Silhouette: In B.T. Bruno's ending, he pushes a kid on roller blades, and he ends up crashing through a brick wall, leaving a shape of him.
- Jiggle Physics: Dominique Trix has these. They're most noticeable in her intro, and in her ending, during the line, "You just have to know how!"
- Violet also has these in her intro.
- Jungle Japes: The jungle levels, obviously.
- Lethal Lava Land: Shmoe vs. the Volcano, the last of the jungle levels, has a river of lava that flows through the middle of the arena.
- Mama's Boy: Flemming.Flemming: Mom says I'm special.
Flemming: But Moooom, I got my headgear on!
- Meaningful Name: The resident demon, Violet. The obvious is that she wears violet clothes. The semi-subtle is that her name is only one letter off from Violent, and she is enthusiastic about attacking anyone she can.
- Ms. Fanservice: Dominique and Violet. The former being... well, a dominatrix, and the latter being a demon girl in a tiny midriff-baring T-shirt and miniskirt.
- Navel-Deep Neckline: Dominique Trix's redesign◊ in the canceled sequel is unzipped down to her midriff.
- Nice Guy: B.T. Bruno is described as this in the instruction book, but it only really shows in-game with his ending.
- No Animals Were Harmed: Explained in Violet's ending.Models for Ethical Animal Treatment would like you to know that no real sheep were harmed in the making of our show. All our sheep are professional cartoon sheep, trained in the arts of the cartoon gag.
- Pet the Dog: Some of the quotes character’s have after they kill someone are surprisingly polite.Sinder: Awww, it’s okay!
Fowl Mouth: Nice work, kid!
Whack Angus: You okay there, partner?
Count Earl: Happens to me all the time.
- "Pop!" Goes the Human: In the original version of the game, your player and their car will deflate like a balloon if they touch the crystals in Lunarchy, or the tentacles in Shmoe vs. the Volcano.
- Portable Hole: One of the weapons is one.
- Punny Name: Dominique Trix, Sinder (a fire-breathing imp), Fowl Mouth (a duck), Whack Angus (a bull), T. Wrecks (a dinosaur), and Brian (a brain).
- Some of the level names: Bohemian Raspberry, Babbling 5, Schmoe vs. The Volcano, and Monster Mosh.
- The level Death Valley is a tribute to the Road Runner cartoons, complete with 100 ton weights, and your player making a big cloud of dust upon falling into the canyon and landing. The updated version even has a trophy called "Smart Coyote" for squishing someone with the aforementioned weightsnote
- One of Whack Angus's lines upon scoring a kill is, "Y'all come back now, ya hear?"
- One of Brian's lines is "Exterminate."
- One of Flemming's lines upon scoring a kill is, "Revenge of the geeks."
- In Flemming's intro, his best friend is wearing a Red Shirt and tells him that "Zogar" is signing "Metron headbands", obviously a reference to some Star Trek-esque show.
- Count Earl drives what appears to be the Batmobile. In addition, he also uses batarangs as his weapon.
- Slapstick: Violet and Dominique can be subjected to all kinds of crazy injuries.
- Sound-Effect Bleep: Heard whenever a character uses strong profanity.Fowl Mouth: [bleep] you mother [bleep]er [bleep]!
Whack Angus: Why you d[bleep]head!
- Space Zone: There are three space levels, but the last one, Shooting Stars, fits the definition of this trope perfectly, because you drive on the rings of Saturn.
- Squashed Flat: This happens when you are hit by B.T. Bruno's giant hammer, or when you get sucked through the vacuum weapon in the original version of the game. In the original game, being flattened by the hammer causes your car to flip through the air, whereas in Overdrive/HD, your car gets flattened into the ground, causing you to drive slowly and not be able to attack.
- Stealth Pun: During his ending, one of the ways that Flemming gets back at his bullies is by zapping one of them with a device that switches out their head for their ass, and vice versa. You could say that the bully...was a real ass.
- Take That!: The launch trailer for the HD release takes a shot at the online multiplayer phenomenon.
- Toilet Humor:
- 95% of the words that come out of Sinder's mouth involve urine or flatulence. The intro even mentions that he's not house-trained, while showing him leaving a yellow puddle on a rug.
- Whack Angus's standard projectile is manure balls, accompanied by a fart sound whenever he throws one.
- As mentioned above, Flemming gets back at one of his bullies by switching out the bully's head for his ass. A long fart is heard when his head and ass get switched out.
- Visual Pun: Shooting Stars has a literal meteor shower. It's a shower that sprays meteors when activated.
- X-Ray Sparks: In Fowl Mouth's ending, Flemming hits an electric line with his shovel, causing him to be electrocuted, and we see his skeleton for about half a second as this happens. However, this trope seems to be completely absent when firing the Lightning Gun (a weapon exclusive to Overdrive and HD) at opponents, which is quite odd for a game that heavily involves cartoon antics and gags.
- "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: Unlocked after beating all levels with a character in the Xbox version, or by winning 12 matches as a character in the PS2/PS3/PS4 releases. They're all short cutscenes that shows one of the cast performing in a TV show or commercial, with varying degrees of success.