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Video Game / Discworld II

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The second Discworld Adventure Game and a loose sequel to the first, with a plot that could vaguely be described as an extremely loose mashup of Reaper Man and Moving Pictures. The game opens as a drunken Rincewind and the Librarian are heading home and passing by the Fools' Guild, where they discover an Assassin has set up some kind of alchemical bomb and try to mess with it. Of course, they fail — if anything, they make things worse as they cause the bomb to detonate in such a way that Death, who was coming to gather up the souls of all the dead Fools, is blown up as well. A day or so later, the Wizards notice that Death has been taken out of commission when one of their comrades, Windle Poons, dies but fails to truly die, instead wandering off as a magic-wielding zombie with a really ticked off attitude.

Rincewind, on grounds of being unimportant, is sent all around Ankh-Morpork to gather up the materials needed for the Rite of AshkEnte. When he succeeds, though, they discover Death landed in XXXX and has decided to go on vacation, refusing to get back to the task of reaping souls. So, Rincewind is forced to figure out a solution, which ends up involving him as the temporary replacement for Death and getting Death a role as a "clicky" star because he's sick of people not appreciating him.

Tropes include:

  • Abhorrent Admirer: The dwarf lady in charge of costumes in Holy Wood hits on Rincewind, much to his horror.
  • Adaptational Dumbass: Granny Weatherwax can be out-headologied by Rincewind, which is not something that would be likely to happen in the books.
  • Art Shift: This game was done in traditional hand-drawn animation, while the first game was done entirely different compared to this.
    • Lampshaded by Rincewind commenting in the opening that the art budget is clearly much larger this time, and maybe there won't be quite so many absurd puzzles as a result.
  • Ass Shove: The mortician uses a rather large thermometer to determine if Rincewind is really dead.
    • Also, Rincewind needs to do this to himself with some ice to fool the temperature check.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Parodied with a poster advertising Attack of the 50-Foot Dwarf. And then the end game has Attack of the 50-Foot Elf Queen.
  • Bewitched Amphibians: Discussed. When Rincewind asks whether he has to go on the quest to bring Death back, the Archchancellor responds: "Only if you don't want to spend the rest of your life staring out across the pond at all the other toads."
    • Holy Wood's wardrobe department has a frog suit, but Rincewind refuses to wear it.
    Rincewind: No thanks, all I have to do is wake up the Archchancellor and I won't need the suit.
  • Big Eater: Although they are NPC's, some of the wizards (not including Rincewind) follow this. Its even shown that there is food in the beginning part of the game.
  • Brick Joke: While exploring Death's mansion Rincewind finds a set of golf clubs and comments that he didn't think Death would play golf. Later on Death uses his scythe as a golf club to hit a bomb back towards a would be assassin.
  • Brown Note: A rare example where this is caused by beauty rather than horror: examining the Elf Queen leaves Rincewind paralysed for hours.
  • Call-Back: Both Chucky and the Milkmaid/Actress wannabe were from the previous game. When meeting the former Rincewing actually points this out and laments that the Amazon Warrior wasn't in this game in lieu of Chucky.
  • Circling Vultures: After Rincewind steals a corpse arm from vultures, they start following it on a world map. One puzzle involves planting the arm to track a secretive trader.
  • Credits Gag: Terry Pratchett is credited as "Throwing rocks from afar".
  • The Dead Can Dance: The intro is a song and dance routine performed by skeletons.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Rincewind is, instead of a coward, quite bluntly sarcastic about the whole mess he's involved in.
    • Then you meet Albert, Death's servant, who's even more sarcastic than Rincewind himself.
  • Death Takes a Holiday: The main plot. It's an actual holiday, too.
  • Death Seeker: Windle Poons, after having died a first time. He's eventually granted his wish when a 50 feet tall Elf Queen falls on him.
  • DIY Dentistry: You're required to pull a troll's tooth after it is damaged by a stone candy. You need to find a rope to remove it with the help of a nearby doorknob, but can keep the solid diamond tooth afterwards.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Windle Poons and Chucky are killed off in the game's opening sequence - but due to the plot, they still hang around for quite a while.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: The beard will probably be enough of a clue for most players, but many characters assume Rincewind is female on account of his dress.
    • Dwarves invert this. Bearded dwarven women indistinguishable from men are a running gag in the books.
  • Dumb Blonde: The glamorous blonde actress really isn't too bright.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: The skeleton singers from the intro show up as characters in the game.
  • Expressive Skull: Death and other animated skeletons do occasionally exhibit the ability to contort their eyebrow area and eye sockets to show some degree of emotion, as well as being able to blink with eyelids that are apparently part of the skull. It is kept toned down though, as they generally keep a neutral expression.
  • Faking the Dead: More like faking your undeath, which is a task you have to complete in Act 2, since the voyage ship that can take you to where Death is vacationing only takes corpses aboard.
  • Fetch Quest: Frequently used straight, as is standard for the genre, but defied at one point. Rincewind goes into a lengthy tirade about how he'll be expected to go on such a quest, and eventually demands that the character just hands him over the key. After the character obliges, we discover that the Locked Door was on a false wall and that he could simply have walked around it.
  • Fountain of Youth: The literal fountain of youth, but it's used with a bit of a twist. You're not after the water, but the sand at the bottom.
  • Giant Space Flea Out Of Nowhere: The Elf Queen using the magic of Holy Wood to manifest as a giant and goes on a rampage makes little sense, unless you read Moving Pictures. Still it comes off as this after the whole plot focused on Death. Windle Poons (finally dead) lampshades this himself in the ending.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: It sometimes heads to this direction for its humor.
  • Informed Attribute: A line from Weatherwax implies that the Elf Queen is buxom enough to distract people. When you see her in person she's rather slim, and her dress doesn't even have a glaring cleavage of sorts.
  • Kill It with Water: You have to throw water-filled balloons at the Queen to make her fall to her Disney Villain Death.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: The same assassin who blew up Death twice tries to kill Rincewind as well, but Death sends the bomb back at him by using his scythe as golf club.
  • Lean and Mean: The Elf Queen.
  • Looks Like Orlok: The Vampire you meet in the pub.
  • Loose Canon: Since the game stories are basically mash-ups of a couple of different books each, they're pretty obviously non-canon with the book series itself (there's no way some of the events of this game e.g Windle Poons' death and the whole Moving Picture industry, could occur separate from the books as they've already happened there at least once). However in The Science of Discworld II: The Globe (which is canon to the main books), Rincewind mentions having had a run-in with (and run-away from) elves before, which had never happened in any of his prior book appearances. Unless it was some undescribed Noodle Incident that Pratchett never actually wrote about (admittedly possible given the breadth of Rincewind's adventures), this game is the only time Rincewind has ever encountered elves.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: "That's Death", the game's theme tune, is a catchy, upbeat song about being dead.
  • Mock Hollywood Sign: On Holy Wood Hill, of course.
  • Moon Logic Puzzle: Some of the puzzles have very obscure solutions, although the game gives a lot more help than the original.
    • Perhaps the example most complained about is getting the bottle from Mrs. Cake so you can finally trap Foul Old Ron's Vile Smell as one of the ingredients for the Rite. You need to listen to how she talks and recognize that she has her precognition switched on, then use a specific order of speech options to always give the right questions to her answers.
    • Stealing the croquet mallets. You need to swap them with a hammerhead shark, a flamingo and a pelican. The first makes sense within the game's way too literal logic, the second requires knowledge of a certain English classic, but the latter makes no sense even in context and the only hint is easy to miss. If you look at the stunned wading bird before you pick it up, Rincewind declares something to the line of "I've heard of stunned mullets, but never a stunned mallet!".
  • Mystical Hollywood: The Holy Wood; the Queen of Elves uses its magic to manifest as a giant.
  • Mythology Gag: Quite a few, even if the character adaptation can be rather... loose. For example, when trying to become the new Death, Rincewind meets a young Susan, currently playing on a certain distinctive swing...
    • While he's not named, the Archchancellor of Unseen University tells Rincewind that the dead not resting is... unhygienic.
    • The corpse in the mortician's office wears a placard saying "I aen't dead". Readers will already know that this is Granny Weatherwax.
  • My Future Self and Me: An easter egg shows Rincewind talking with himself from the first game. And he even lampshades that he's from the sequel.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Turns out adding all those pictures of the Elf Queen to the film to make it a success was not a good idea on the long run.
  • No Fourth Wall: Rincewind is fully aware that he is in a video game, and frequently talks directly to the player. Other characters have this too, but to a lesser extent.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Rincewind and the Librarian in a bad horse costume with a clown's trumpet glued to the front are able to fool a whole castle of elves and pass as a real Unicorn.
  • Prettyboy: The male elves are this.
  • Raising the Steaks: Rincewind comes across an undead sheep skeleton who gets to be Death's stunt double in the moving picture.
    • Also, draining the blood of a rat using the vampire's false teeth results in Rincewind carrying around a vampire rat which serves no purpose in the game other than Rule of Funny.
  • Running Gag: The characters often say Rincewind's name the wrong way.
  • Shout-Out: Many. For example, the Rite of AshkEnte is portrayed as using the Day-Oh song, and the ending is a parody/reversal of King Kong (1933).
  • Sinister Scythe: At one point you must get Death's Scythe and use it on a field to prove that you can handle the job as a substitute reaper. Subverted when Rincewind is too out-of-shape to go beyond a single swing and must find another way to use it.
  • Straw Feminist: The Suffrajester, who ties herself to things in order to demonstrate for the right of women to join the Fools Guild. Played for laughs, of course.
  • Talk Like a Pirate: The Ship Captain, though it's just an act and he's told to knock it off.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Death: after all the trouble Rincewind went through to make him star in a clique he decides to retire from his old job and leave it to Rincewind. Subverted when he saves Rincewind's life after he reformed his hourglass.
  • The Vamp: The Elf Queen. Word of God is that Pratchett insisted that she be dark-haired rather than blonde, because evil seductive women in old movies are always brunettes.
  • A Winner Is You: After beating the game all you get is a cutscene as Death walks off with the finally departed Windle Poons and nothing else is said about Rincewind or the involvement of the Queen.
  • Wire Dilemma: The wires are replaced with flasks, but the principle is the same. Rincewind picks the wrong one and makes the timer speed up.
  • You Don't Look Like You: Windle Poons strangely looks very different in this game than in the first: he is much smaller, has a brownish beard and black eyes, and is much less senile, capable of holding actual conversations. This may be a nod to Reaper Man, where Windle as a magically animated corpse is stronger and clearer-minded than he was as a 103-year-old man. Or maybe it's just due to the Art Shift.


Video Example(s):


Rincewind and the Bomb

Rincewind tries to disarm a bomb planted by an Assassin, but turns the wrong flask and causes it to detonate instead.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / WireDilemma

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