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Video Game / Elite Beat Agents

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"Agents are... GO!"


Elite Beat Agents (an Americanized version of Japanese rhythm game Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan) is a 2006 Rhythm Game for the Nintendo DS that makes extensive and exclusive use of the stylus. It stars the EBA, Men In Black who solve the world's problems through music and dance, as opposed to the uniquely-Japanese male cheerleaders from its Japanese progenitor.

Known primarily for its weird Japanese charm and unique control scheme, Ouendan became a hit among import gamers, prompting Nintendo and its developer to bring the game to North America under its alternate name, retaining most of the visual charm of the original, but (understandably) replacing the J-Pop music with various popular American songs to create a uniquely "American" atmosphere. Elite Beat Agents was also treated as a genuine sequel to Ouendan and featured many gameplay upgrades over its Japanese predecessor and even a few cameos from Ouendan characters as an Easter Egg for the import fanbase.


The game sold reasonably well, though despite Ouendan receiving a Japanese sequel, a sequel to Elite Beat Agents hasn't been forthcoming. Many of the mechanics upgrades from Elite Beat Agents found their way into Ouendan 2 anyway, and a special promotion in Japan allowed players to download a special "EBA Mode" that replaced the Japanese Ouendan with the Elite Beat Agents.

These games provide examples of:

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  • Acme Products: The ABCD company makes many sports goods, ranging from footballs to track outfits.
  • Acrofatic: Ken Ozu is fairly portly, even after he's been transformed into a Ninja and is running up buildings and jumping into ceiling vents.
  • Air Guitar: The agents perform this move in "I Was Born to Love You".
  • All Men Are Perverts: In "La La", Cap White aims to defeat Mr. Virus. Mr. Virus intends to rip off her clothes.
  • Amplified Animal Aptitude: In "September", a group of animals appear out of nowhere to help the weather reporter change the weather.
  • Amusement Park: The agents have their own amusement park, for some reason. That, or they got away with painting stars on a roller coaster car and teacup. Could go either way, really.
  • And Then John Was a Zombie: What happens to Jake if you fail "Survivor".
  • Anthropomorphized Anatomy: In the "La La" level, within the body of a sick track runner, you see a white blood cell shown as a Hospital Hottie wielding a giant hypodermic needle against viruses, shown as blue demon-like beings.
  • Anime Hair: J. His hairstyle was proved possible by singer Eleanor Jackson of La Roux.
  • Autobots, Rock Out!: Both "Without a Fight" and "Jumpin' Jack Flash", the two songs that make up the final stage of the game. And they're as awesome as you'd expect.
  • Badass Beard: Agent Chieftain, the only bearded member of the Agents and the lead in the Sweatin' difficulty.
  • Badass Driver: Jack in "Sk8er Boi". Such feats of his include skimming the surface of a lake and driving up the side of a building.
  • Badly Battered Babysitter:
    • "ABC", where a cat named Max tries to save his owner's baby from a dangerous construction site.
    • Could also describe Jane from "Walkie Talkie Man", depending on how poorly you perform.
  • Bare Your Midriff:
    • The Elite Beat Divas' uniform consist of just a crop top and some shorts.
    • The Carrington sisters are only in bikinis for most of "Material Girl".
  • The Beastmaster: The Carrington Sisters turn wild animals into butlers with nothing but their own charms.
  • Battle Aura:
    • In "Sk8er Boi", the entire taxi gets enveloped in a blue flame aura whenever you get an Elite Beat.
    • In "Jumpin' Jack Flash", humanity's determination to repel the Rhombulan invasion is represented by every person on Earth irradiating a blue aura that glows increasingly brighter as their singing and dancing becomes more lively. This energy is then channeled into a single attack, which takes the form of an impressive Wave-Motion Gun that obliterates the alien mother ship.
  • Benevolent Conspiracy: The Elite Beat Agents are a shadowy organization with worldwide surveillance that dispatches teams of well-equipped, trained operatives on missions around the globe. Their principal weapon? The power of dance. Their goal? Inspire people into overcoming their own problems.
  • Big Rock Ending: "Highway Star" and "Walkie Talkie Man" have these as they did in their original versions, while "Jumpin' Jack Flash" is given one.
  • Big Word Shout: "GO!" and "HELP!" normally, and "MOVE!" in the Without A Fight level, when the Agents/Divas try to run interference and wound up Taken for Granite for their troubles.
  • Big "YES!": Complete a level after clearing all of its stages, and Commander Khan will scream out a satisfying "YEAH!" while giving a thumbs-up.
  • Blank White Eyes:
    • Everyone in every level, constantly. If you are doing poorly, the characters are given this to convey their despair and exasperation; but if you get an "Elite Beat", it's to show their determination to overcome their problems.
    • The "HEEEAAALLLP!" before each stage shows characters with this feature.
    • The one stage that completely averts this trope is "You're the Inspiration", as such cartoonishness would have utterly destroyed the mood. However, when Lucy returns for the final level, the trope comes back in full force.
  • Bowdlerise: Parodied in the "Survivor" level, where it takes zombie lore and makes it fit into an E-10 rated game. The zombies don't bite, they kiss, and the protagonist uses peanuts as ammo! Considering the tone of the game, it fits.
  • Brainless Beauty: The Carrington sisters don't know how to do the simplest things (likefeeding themselves a fruit), relying on their looks to get other people to do them favours.
  • Butt-Monkey:
    • Almost everyone can qualify if you fail at their songs, but Colonel Bob in "Let's Dance" gets this treatment no matter what you do, as he brings it on himself.
    • Sam (the pug) is an interesting inversion; if he shows up in any scenario other than his own, it's usually to humiliate someone else (usually by peeing on them).
  • Call on Me: No matter what, the Agents will gladly respond to a cry for "HEEEAAALLLP!"
  • Calling Your Attacks: Hulk in "The Anthem" named his pitches and plate stealing maneuvers.
  • Catchphrase:
    • Several, including Leo's "Si!" and Hulk's "You bet, kid!"
    • Kahn's AGENTS ARE GO!! is repeated at the start of every mission (save the one where the agents are sent to help Lucy, to prevent Mood Whiplash). This is followed by the Agents' own catchphrase: ARE YOU READY? THREE, TWO, ONE, GO!
    • VULCAAANNOOOOOOO!!!!! - said by Leo if you do well.
    • Hey guys! *boing* HI GUYZ! is said every time the Carrington sisters use their charms on the island animals.
    • Cap White's At this rate, we're DOOMED! gets repeated after every cutscene on her chapter, even if the player aced the previous segment.
  • Chekhov's Gunman:
    • Lucy from "A Christmas Gift" refuses to give up at a critical moment, indirectly saving the world by starting the crowd chant that de-petrifies the EBA.
    • The Carrington sisters appear in "Highway Star" to assist Sam if you do well, four episodes before they're officially introduced in "Material Girl".
    • Colonel Bob from "Let's Dance" debuts in the intro for "Material Girl", offering diamonds to Isabella before being brushed off.
    • Bill Mitchell and his coach make a brief cameo at the end of "Sk8er Boi", long before we actually meet them in "La La".
    • Amanda and Tex from "Believe" make a cameo in "Sk8er Boi" if you're failing the second section as part of the crowd blocking Jack's route through the subway tunnel.
    • Alden and his mother make a brief appearance during "Highway Star" before their proper appearance in "ABC".
    • Max appears in "Rock This Town" as part of Thomas' act before he's fully introduced in "ABC" (the coloring of his fur is off, but the similar design and collar heavily implies that this is Max).
  • Christmas Episode: Episode 12: A Christmas Gift, starts a few days before Christmas's Eve and concludes with Lucy reuniting with her ghost father to celebrate the festivities together.
  • Clap Your Hands If You Believe: "Jumpin' Jack Flash", where everybody claps and shouts out the names of the agents to free them from the aliens' petrifying beam.
  • Climactic Elevator Ride: Toward the end of "Survivor", Jake takes the freight elevator to the top of the peanut warehouse where the source of the zombie virus is; a gigantic fungus monster.
  • Clothing Damage: Happens to Cap White (the Anthropomorphic Personification of a white blood cell) if you fail the first section of "La La", and to Ken during "Canned Heat" for a similar failure. Sexy for the former, amusing and vaguely gross for the latter.
  • Continuity Cavalcade: "Jumpin' Jack Flash" has every character from the previous episodes (except the ones from "I Was Born To Love You") helping you out.
  • Cooking Duel: The multiplayer part of some songs features this scenario. It's an Iron Chef-like duel with Leonardo Da Vinci as Chairman Kaga.
  • Cool Car: The agents have one. They also have a cool dune buggy. And a sub. And a chopper. And a blimp. And a merry-go-round teacup.
  • Cool Shades: Comes standard with the uniform. Commander Khan has a pair of shades as well.
  • Couch Gag: The way Kahn sends the agents out, and how the agents enter the situations:
    • In "Material Girl", Kahn is wearing a Hawaiian shirt.
    • In "Survivor", Kahn has a can of peanuts on his desk.
  • Cover Version: All the songs are covers, likely to save development costs and help prolong the licenses to use them. It also allowed for changes to the songs for gameplay purposes. For one example, if they had used the original version of "Jumpin' Jack Flash" for the final story mission, it would have been easier to complete as its tempo is slower than the cover used in the game.
  • Cross Counter: Happens in the Space Battle multiplayer scenario if the match ends in a draw.
  • Crowd Chant: "E! B! A!" in the last level.
  • Culture Police: The Rhombulan aliens from "Without a Fight" and "Jumpin' Jack Flash", who hate music (because it's their Achilles' Heel).

  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!:
    • The version of "Rock This Town" used in the game is a shortened cover of the swing version by Brian Setzer, not the rock version done when he was with the Stray Cats. The changed tempo can wreck your pattern if you're more familiar with the rock version. Similarly, the version of "I Was Born to Love You" used is not a cover of Freddie Mercury's original version, but the remade version by Queen, which is structurally very different in some parts. The version of "Jumpin' Jack Flash" could be a case if you're expecting it to sound like The Rolling Stones' original version, as the version in the game is a complete rearrangement of the song.
    • More commonly, (nearly every stage, in fact) during the chorus of most songs the pattern repeats. If you aren't careful (or fail the same stage often enough to get the first pattern ingrained) when you reach the finale of the song and the pattern changes, this will cause you to miss notes.
    • Near the end of "Material Girl", hearing the bridge that leads to the ending fadeout may cause players to relax. Not a good idea, as it is shortened to two measures and the chorus is promptly repeated again.
  • Dancing Is Serious Business: In some levels, people can die if the agents do not dance well.
  • Dark Reprise: The opening fanfare that accompanies each level's intro is replaced with one of these in the intro to the finale.
  • Darkest Hour: The ending for "Without A Fight". The aliens have subjugated everyone and hit the Agents (or Divas) with a beam that petrifies them, removing the only hope everyone had. Until Lucy, the girl who lost her father, begins the Crowd Chant that saves the EBA.
  • Deadline News: The intro to "Survivor" has the news anchor being suddenly attacked by victims of the Zombie Apocalypse he is describing, followed by being zombified himself.
  • Determinator: The agents when they're losing in "Jumpin' Jack Flash".
    "We can still do it! DON'T GIVE UP!"
  • Digging to China: During the last pass/fail cutscene in "Let's Dance". If you fail, you get arrested by Dan and Joe.
  • Distaff Counterpart: You play as the Elite Beat Divas in the game's hardest difficulty setting.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: The Carringtons are experts at creating this reaction. It even works on animals and aliens!
  • Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male:
    • Inverted, if you fail "La La", the viruses (males) stomp, punch, prick with a fork and, in general, beat the crap out of the (female) white blood cell. It's totally hilarious to watch.
    • Played straight with Angelina in a classic Tsundere manner.
  • Do Well, but Not Perfect:
    • Once a bonus mission has been unlocked it becomes mandatory for all future playthroughs.
    • If you unlock Hard Rock mode, but not the highest rank (Lovin' Machine), you can play as Mr. X instead of Commander Kahn. Who wouldn't want want to play as a seemingly drunken old man in a cat mask?
    • Getting the Bad Ending on a song is much harder than any of the Normal or Good endings simply due to having much less room for error in skirting the line between a "No!" on each segment and outright failing the whole song.
  • Downer Ending:
    • If you mess up on any level, you will get a bad ending where the episode's main character either dies, is badly injured or flat out gives up on everything. Completing a level while getting an X on all the cutscenes provides a negative outcome as well, though the characters usually manage to get on with their lives without suffering any long-lasting effects.
    • The "Without a Fight" level has a depressing ending regardless of the player's competence, as the Agents ultimately fail to repel the aliens attacking Earth and are petrified by the invaders. This sets up the events of the final level.
  • Drives Like Crazy: Jack, but only when he starts his taxi meter. Once he's at his destination, he reverts back to his meek self.
  • Driving Up a Wall: A taxi climbs a skyscraper in an early level.
  • Eagleland: A mixed flavor, complete with crazy stereotypes. While Colonel Bob, his Gold Digger wife and the Carringtons aren't exactly the greatest people around, everyone else seems to be reasonably nice and hard-working. And even they aren't that bad.
  • Edible Ammunition: In "Survivor", Jake uses the peanuts he habitually munches on to defend himself from zombies. As the song progresses, he starts to gain weapons that can somehow effectively shoot the peanuts at his targets.
  • Eiffel Tower Effect: During the last level, people from around the world dance around various famous landmarks.
  • Emotionless Girl: Lisa, to the point where Leo's entire mission is to get her to smile for a picture. Her response to an oncoming herd of bulls? "BULLS."
  • Epic Fail: Can happen in "September" if you fail a stage.
    • The neighbors will turn a rain shower into a windstorm instead of pushing the clouds away.
    • The air force will summon a hurricane instead of clearing the sky. The pilots are even shown ejecting from their planes as if the stormy weather screwed up their systems.
  • Epic Hail: How you summon the Elite Beat Agents. A Skyward Scream of "HEEEAAALP!"
  • Everything's Deader with Zombies: "Survivor" features a hilariously and intentionally Bowdlerized example of this trope in action.
  • Excited Title! Two-Part Episode Name!: Titles tend to be "Shorter Phrase! Longer Phrase!!"
  • Expo Label: The signs that Sam follows home, which may not be literal. There are also humorous signs in "Y.M.C.A." labeled "Mysterious rock", "Enchanted rays", "Beautiful cave", and "Treasure ship".
  • Extreme Omnivore: The Carringtons' cat, if only because they're too stupid to know what to feed it.
  • Eye Pop: A few times, but most noticeably Max when Alden wanders into danger, and Jake when he sees zombies behind him (since it's only time his eyes are visible).
  • Faceless Goons: The guards in "Canned Heat", whose eyes are all hidden by the shadows of their caps.
  • Fake Difficulty: Unlike other difficulty levels, which, among other differences, scale the difficulty by varying how complicated and intricate the note layouts are, Hard Rock difficulty simply takes the note layout of Sweatin' and flips them over into a "mirrored" version of the Sweatin' layouts, on top of smaller notes (requiring more precision to hit) and a much smaller window of time to hit them.
  • Fanservice:
    • Could there be any other reason the Divas' butts feature so prominently in their dancing? Then there's their Stripperific outfits.
    • The Carrington Sisters in "Material Girl" display Gainaxing to woo over the wildlife.
    • Cap White in "La La", who milks the Hospital Hottie trope for all it's worth.
  • Fan Disservice: The 60-something Commander Kahn follows the Divas' choreography, which usually involves a lot of twerking.
  • "Fantastic Voyage" Plot: "La La" follows a white blood cell as she tries to protect her human host from a deadly virus.
  • Favors for the Sexy: When the Carrington Sisters are stranded on a deserted island, they charm the fauna to provide their needs, from fire, to food, to shelter. For the entire song, both of them don't do a damn thing for themselves.
  • Funny Background Event: If the markers are the foreground, the agents' dancing in some levels would count.
  • Gainaxing: The Carrington sisters do this in every cutscene of their main chapter to charm the animals into doing what they want.
  • The Gambler: The Full House Bandits in "Rock This Town" use a playing card motif, being Captain Ersatzes of the Royal Flush Gang.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: In "The Anthem", you have to save a bunch of kids in an amusement park from a fire-breathing golem.
  • Girls Love Stuffed Animals: Lucy has a stuffed bear, Freddie, in "You're the Inspiration". The mission centers on helping her deceased father briefly come back to life to deliver her a second one.
  • Giving Someone the Pointer Finger: Commander Khan before each stage, with the exception of "You're the Inspiration", "Without a Fight", and "Jumpin' Jack Flash". The agents and divas give the viewer the pointer finger when they ask, "Are you ready?" Cap White first challenges Mr. Virus this way.
  • Gold Digger: Colonel Bob's wife turns this Up to Eleven. And she gets away with it.
  • Goofy Print Underwear: The pirate skeleton that Captain Brooke fights in "Y.M.C.A." has a pair of heart boxers and a wife beater.
  • Groin Attack: Hulk Bryman gives the golem one by returning a boulder Tennis Boss style.

  • Heads I Win, Tails You Lose: The first part of the final stage. Die? Entire world turns to stone. Finish the song? The Agents get turned to stone anyway.
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power: All that the EBA really does is motivate people to solve their own problems, but almost every mission just shows how powerful that can be.
  • Hemisphere Bias: The results screen of the final level is a globe centered on North America. In the Japanese games, it's on Asia and Japan.
  • Henohenomoheji: Can briefly be seen at the beginning of "I Was Born to Love You".
  • Historical Domain Character: Leonardo Da Vinci is some Bishōnen lady killer, but when he finds Lisa del Giocondo, the woman of his dreams, the agents help him woo her, and when she smiles, he models her for the Mona Lisa. Not historically accurate (Lisa was married already), but that's clearly not the point.
  • Hit Flash: Sure, they could have shown the Agents' horse-drawn carriage flying through the air dramatically... but why do that when they can enter with speed lines and the written sound effect "Clappity-SWOOSH!"?
  • Hot Pursuit: Jack the cab driver partakes in a few while driving Linda (who's in labor) to the hospital.
  • Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels: "Breezin'", "Cruisin'", "Sweatin'", and "Hard Rock!". Clearing every song on the last one and reaching the highest point rank allows you to use Commander Kahn in Versus Mode.
  • I Know Madden Kombat: Hulk, who beats up a fire golem with baseball skills (and cheers from the Agents, of course).
  • Indy Escape: Part of Chris Silverscreen's blockbuster movie in "Makes No Difference" involves the hero outrunning a giant boulder in a tunnel. Mess up and the actors and Chris get Squashed Flat by it.
  • Interface Screw: In the multiplayer, performing well enough sends an attack to the second player, which usually makes their beat marks smaller or makes the screen shake.
  • Interspecies Friendship: The Carrington sisters and the animals on the island, thanks to their charm.
  • Intertwined Fingers: The ending picture of "Walkie Talkie Man", and a (one would hope) non-romantic use by the Carringtons in their intro.
  • Informed Ability: The profiles you see before you enter a level have a small tidbit of information about the target. These have no impact on the plot, though some are related to the mission.
  • It's a Wonderful Failure: You ran out of life? Now you get to watch the person you're helping be reduced to a sobbing wreck if they aren't dead. Failed to keep the minimum life for the good cutscenes? You get to watch failure and keep playing and if you fail them all you get to see just how much you screwed up. Fail completely on either part of the two-parter end mission and you get to watch the destruction of the entire human race.
  • Isn't It Ironic?:
    • A retired baseball player saves an amusement park from a giant golem and earns the adoration of one of his biggest fans, leading to a successful comeback. Set to an upbeat cover of "The Anthem", a song about how the singer doesn't want success or role models.
    • "Material Girl", if you take it as a satire of what the Carrington sisters play straight.
  • Jet Pack: The Agents enter the "Makes No Difference" stage wearing them.
  • Kamehame Hadoken: The power of music and dance built up by the entire world in the final level unleashes one of these to destroy the Rhombulans.
  • Karma Houdini: The Colonel's wife, who is Easily Forgiven by the Colonel after losing his vast fortune and then breaking up with him because he's poor. Though Colonel Bob did offer one of the Carringtons a diamond (and his oil fields). Guess a Rich Bitch wife gets a Rich Bitch husband.
  • Large Ham: Pretty much the entire cast is loud and excitable, but the agents provide one of the greatest examples in the final chapter: "Music LIVES!!!!!"
  • Lazy Artist: In the last stage, when everybody is doing the arm waving thing, sure they bothered to update Colonel Bob and Bill's sprites (so that they are in their formal wear and tracksuit, respectively), but for some reason, not Captain Brooke and Ken. Also, in several cutscenes, the people in the background are mirrored. The car show scene in "Canned Heat" and the beginning of the last section in "Sk8er Boi", for example.
  • Life Meter: How low it is at the end of each segment determines how the mission plays out. If it's in the yellow, the protagonist of the mission performs well. If it's in the red, except an Epic Fail running on the Rule of Funny to follow.
  • Live Mink Coat: The Carrington sisters get some animals to lay around their necks to get them warm.
  • Lovely Assistant: Thomas Petree from "Rock This Town" has one named Angelina.
  • Mars Needs Women: The Carrington sisters. List of things they've won over via Gainaxing: raccoons, a gorilla, a lion, a bear, an elephant, a parrot, a crab, and an airplane (although it may have been more attracted to their credit card), in "Material Girl", Sam the pug in "Highway Star", and a team of Rhombulan alien soldiers sent specifically to destroy anyone singing, dancing, or enjoying the music in "Jumpin' Jack Flash".
  • Meaningful Name:
    • The virus that athlete Bill Mitchell receives is named... Mr. Virus.
    • The equally subtle name of the aliens. They're called the Rhombulans... and their leader happens to be a giant eye inside a rhombus. Also, a rhombus is a skewed square, and "square" is/was a slang word for uncool. Probably why they dislike - and die from exposure to - good music.
    • Chris Silverscreen, Hollywood director.
    • The archaeologist who buys the rights for Atlantis is called Dr. Archie Ologist.
  • Mega Neko: The cat from the "Romancing Meowzilla" level. In the final third of the film, it shows up and stomps around the city.
  • Misplaced Wildlife: Foxes, gorillas, bears and cows apparently live in the wild together, and there are parrots, monkeys, lions and elephants on a nearby deserted island. Like everything else, it's played entirely for laughs.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • After eleven levels of rescuing cartoon caricatures from wacky, off-the-wall scenarios, "You're the Inspiration" gives us a little girl still waiting for her beloved, recently deceased father to come home for Christmas. And even that stage has dashes of hilarity if you mess it up without failing.
    • Played for Laughs in Hulk Bryman's stage. After seeing a depressing montage of his career declining to the point where he's working as a custodian, a fire-breathing golem suddenly appears!
  • Multiple Endings: Every level has a "Good End" (cleared all stages), "Normal End" (cleared level, but failed two or more stages), "Bad End" (clear level but fail all three stages) and "Worst End" (Game Over).
  • Mundane Made Awesome: In the first three levels alone, baby-sitting, filmmaking, and taxi driving are all cranked up until the knob snaps. It only gets better from there.
  • Mundane Utility: Don Tanner using his star football skills to help babysit.
  • Musicalis Interruptus: The ending of "Without a Fight", to go with the Agents (or Divas) being Taken for Granite.
  • Must Make Her Laugh: Leo's goal is to get Lisa to smile.

  • Nice Hat:
    • Agent Morris and Agent Chieftan wear one at all times to compensate for their lack of headphones or Anime Hair.
    • The Divas also have sweet hats, as seen at the end of "Jumpin' Jack Flash".
  • Ninja: Ken Ozu. Initially subverted in that he's a Lovable Coward son of an auto dealer, but if you play the level the right way, he becomes very formidable.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: The Carringtons are just a little too enthusiastic about being shipwrecked. If you play poorly, there's one point where they're enjoying the fact that an alligator is chasing them.
  • Nintendo Hard: Compared to other rhythm games, the beatmaps themselves are actually pretty simple (Barring a few songs, which can become pretty tricky). What makes the game Nintendo Hard is the absolutely unforgiving life meter, which penalizes you greatly for missed notes, such that it only takes a few missed notes before you fail out, and even if you manage to survive at first, not only is it really hard to build your meter back up, but you can still fail out later because the meter is always decreasing when you're not hitting notes. Which, by the way, makes it possible to fail even if you are hitting all the notes, unless you're hitting most of them perfectly. Oh, and the final stages? They like to throw a lot of spinners at you, and then have you hit tricky note sequences after the spinners, which tend to make your hand a little shaky for some time afterwards...
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Chris Silverscreen is more or less a lawyer friendly version of George Lucas.
  • No-Damage Run: All-300 runs. Achieving this on even one song, especially on the higher difficulties, is a sign of considerable skill. If you can do the whole game, you can consider yourself a Rhythm Game god.
  • No Flow in CGI: Chieftain's and the divas' hair never move while they dance.
  • Non-Standard Character Design:
    • Tex's horse in "Believe" has cartoonier eyes than the horses in the rest of the levels.
    • Colonel Bob's cartoony appearance contrasts greatly with the rest of stylized characters. His design can easily be described as Mario if he were American.
  • Noob Bridge: Seemingly ironically, the easiest mode of EBA seems at times to be the hardest, due to the lower density of beats, making it harder to keep one's rhythm. Part of the problem is that on higher levels you react to the mere appearance of buttons, whereas on lower levels the buttons appear long before you need to tap them and you need to hit them when the closing circle hits the button's outer rim.
  • Oh, Crap!: In the final level, the Faceless Eye leader of the Rhombulans has this reaction upon seeing the massive Combined Energy Attack about to blow it up getting bigger, and bigger, and bigger...
  • Our Zombies Are Different: "Survivor" has giggling zombies, who infect other people by kissing them and are controlled by a mushroom-spider monster. They can only be defeated by bad tasting peanuts.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Nearly everyone knows that Mr. X is really Commander Kahn.
  • Pep-Talk Song: Due to the "plot" of the game, every song is used as one. The agents motivate those who need them by dancing to music.
  • Perpetual Frowner:
    • Jake Irons from "Survivor" has a permanent angry scowl on his face, except in the Good Ending where he sort-of smiles in an advertisement for peanuts, or when you lose and he gets turned into a zombie.
    • Agent Derek. The reason why his afro is funny. He does smile if you do well in "Jumpin' Jack Flash", though.
    • Agent Chieftain doesn't smile that often, either, but he can still be spotted smiling in one of the splash arts (between unlocking new songs).
    • Being a parody of a stereotypical, strict spy leader, Commander Kahn always sports a serious expression, even when congratulating the agents on a job well done. He only smiles in the last unlockable splash art, as he enjoys his vacation with the other agents.
  • Phrase Catcher: Sam seems to get called a dumb mutt fairly often in his cameos or in some of his failure scenes.
  • Pose of Supplication: Seen whenever a mission is failed, with a couple exceptions.
  • The Power of Love: As with the Japanese incarnations, if you take note throughout the levels in this game, you'll notice that a common theme shared between a surprising number of them involves a person trying to romance a suitor with the Agents' help.
  • The Power of Rock: The agents' primary method of encouraging those they help out.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Commander Kahn's rallying cry, as noted above.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: Complete a level after failing all three stages will turn the characters' victories quite sour. For example, Sam the dog might make it home, only to see that his owners have moved.
  • Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs: Sam the pug channels Kenshiro to defeat a group of gangster dogs.
  • Reality Ensues: To a humorous degree if you do badly on certain cutscenes.
    • If you finish "La La" but get X's on all scenes, the athlete you're assisting only manages to win the Olympic bronze medal. His coach isn't too bothered by this; he was sick just the day before, after all.
    • The Carrington sisters trying to seduce wild animals will just result in them getting attacked viciously by said wild animals.
    • Colonel Bob striking water in the desert? He gets branded a thief, beaten up, and arrested. Him digging all the way to Atlantis? Cue him being crushed by the collapsing rubble and having to be hospitalized. Him digging all the way to New York without a permit? He promptly gets arrested and has to pay for massive damages.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Officer Poncho. Yes, he does threaten to take Jack's license but that's only after multiple speeding violations and that the last time he was caught, Jack was doing 40 MPH over the speed limit. Taken even further in that he tried to stop Jack but didn't know there was a pregnant woman in the taxi. After learning this he orders the other officers to clear the road for Jack, giving him a clear path to the hospital.
  • Rebus Bubble: Star high school wide receiver Don Tanner views all problems as (diaper/hot dog/skateboard) = Football. (Except Jane in the Good ending, who = a goal post.)
  • Required Spinoff Crossover: Inverted; the Elite Beat Agents are playable in Ouendan 2, rather than the other way around.
  • Rich in Dollars, Poor in Sense: The Carrington sisters are millionaires who don't know how to peel a banana. They have to rely on their bouncy breasts to get them through trouble.
  • Rookie Red Ranger: In Breezin' mode, the front-and-center agent is the headphones wearing Spin, agent #5. The two accompanying agents, Derek and Morris, are agents #3 and #4, respectively.

  • Saved by the Fans: This happens to the agents in-universe. After the Rhombulans petrify the three main agents, it's the crowd who cheers for them, giving them the energy they need to break free.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: There are at least two instances where the main supporting character will do this on the central character, should you fail their respective level.
    • “Walkie Talkie Man”: Don walks out on Jane due to being unable to cope with the children.
    • “YMCA”: Captain Brooke’s parrot abandons him at sea after they are forced to come up for air, leaving him alone and penniless.
  • Secret Level: There are three bonus levels unlocked as you go up in high score rank: "Believe", "ABC" and "Survivor".
  • Serial Escalation: The scenarios start off ridiculous but still somewhat mundane and only continue to ramp up in silliness from there.
  • Show Within a Show: "Romancing Meowzilla." From what we see of it, it involves a wedding, an Indy Escape, and the titular beast rampaging throughout the city.
  • Single-Stroke Battle:
    • In the ending to "Y.M.C.A.", the lead character takes down a skeleton pirate with a single swing of his rapier. The skeleton falls apart a few seconds later.
    • Cap White vs Mr. Virus in every cutscene in "La La", which can end in either's favor depending on how well you perform.
  • Slapstick Knows No Gender: Whether they're the focus or not, female characters are put through just as much slapstick as the men if you mess up. Not even little Lucy is immune; fail her song's second stage and the wind blows the cake she baked right in her face.
  • Something Completely Different: The silliness that was present throughout the rest of the game is largely absent throughout episode 12.
  • Squashed Flat: Happens to Chris if you fail the third stage of his level, courtesy of a boulder.
  • Special Edition Title:
    • Invoked in Episode 12: A Christmas Wish. There is no dramatic cry for "HEEEAAALP!", just poor little Lucy asking for her father to come home. Commander Kahn doesn't instruct the Agents to deploy: he simply watches the monitor silently, and the pre-level cutscene implies they were already in the area. Finally, there is no countdown to the start of the stage, and the transitions are effectively missing.
    • To a lesser extent, "Believe" is similar. It still's got a lot of the zaniness of the other stages, but the transitions used are unique to it - rather than people waving their hands in the top screen, flashes of the client's friends inspiring her appear instead, and the agents kneel respectfully until they start dancing.
  • Split Personality: Jack from "Sk8er Boi" has one - it activates whenever he starts the meter for his taxi, and he reverts back to normal when he stops the meter; his normal personality is a meek and nerdy man, but his other personality is a badass and confident speed demon. It seems that the act of pressing the button itself is what triggers the change. He also doesn't seem to remember anything he did after he changes back, although he is at least aware of his other personality and when he changes back.
  • Stealth Pun: In "September", Sofie drives away the clouds by blowing them with fans from the ground, gliding through the skies sucking them with a vacuum, and fanning flames from the firepit; aka Earth, Wind & Fire, the group behind "September".
  • Sucking-In Lines: The Rhombulan mothership, when powering up its petrification ray.
  • Sunglasses at Night: All of the male agents have sunglasses that they never take off.
  • Surreal Theme Tune: Basically, the game involves helping people do stuff while playing unfitting music... that actually fits surprisingly well.
    • Leo tries to prove himself to Lisa to the song "I Was Born To Love You".
    • Jack drives a taxi around at insane speed while making impossibly cool maneuvers and acrobatics, to the sound of "Sk8er Boi".
    • Amanda's struggle to fulfill her dream of becoming a dancer couldn't have a more fitting music than "Believe".
    • Lucy's wish to have her dad come home is set to "You're The Inspiration" ("Always on my mind, no one needs you more than ever")
    • Sofie goes to rid the sky of clouds to "September" ("Never was a cloudy day!").
    • "Survivor" is the song for the Zombie Apocalypse level.
    • Humanity's last stand against the Rhombulans, to the beat of (We're not going down) "Without a Fight"!
  • Swapped Roles: In the final chapter, the Agents are the ones in trouble and all the people they helped throughout the game are the ones who have to cheer to break them free of their petrification. Once that's done, they all join forces to unite humanity against the Rhombulans' invasion.

  • Taken for Granite: The final stages introduce the Rhombulans, aliens who can turn people to stone using their ray gun, which they use to take out all of Earth's musicians. If you get a Game Over, the entire population of Earth gets petrified. "Without A Fight" ends with the agents Taking the Bullet and getting hit by the ray, though they get better in time for "Jumpin' Jack Flash".
  • Taking the Bullet: In "Without A Fight", the Rhombulan Leader zaps the revolting crowd with its petrification beam. However, the agents jump in the way, saving them at the cost of being Taken for Granite themselves.
  • Tetris Effect: Take care around polka-dots after playing this game.
  • Theme Music Power-Up: The entire point of the game is to provide an inspirational tune so that people can feel confident to overcome their problems.
  • Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo: The "Canned Heat" level, which is about the son of a Japanese auto dealer having to retrieve stolen car plans... by becoming a Ninja.
  • Those Two Guys:
    • Part of the Power Trio in each difficulty play, following up from Ouendan. Their names are Morris and Derek, by the way.
    • The Divas have Those Two Girls, Missy and Foxx.
  • Time Skip: Get a Game Over on "You're the Inspiration", and the story skips ahead ten years, when a now teenage Lucy and her mother grudgingly decide to move out.
  • Too Dumb to Live: The Carrington Sisters, to sheer parody levels. If it weren't for their sex appeal they'd be long dead by now (literally).
    Norma Carrington: (holding an apple) How do you, like, eat this?
  • Took a Level in Badass: Everyone in the final chapter, but a special mention to the Carrington sisters, who manage to use their charms to convince a few Rhombulans to pull a Heel–Face Turn.
  • Tropey, Come Home: The "Highway Star" level, where Sam the pug falls asleep in a truck bed and wakes up 400 miles from home.
  • Unsound Effect:
    • The beams that the Rombulans send out go "FLASH".
    • There's gold going "GLEAM" in the good ending for the "Rock This Town".
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: The EBA are essentially just a bunch of FBI agents that appear out of nowhere and start dancing. Nobody bats an eyelash at this, to the point where you'd think they're invisible if the final level didn't confirm that everyone saw their dancing.
  • Upper-Class Twit: The Carrington sisters, who are definitely not modeled after similar real-life socialites.
  • Up to Eleven: The powers of dance and pop music are able to inspire people to feats of great prowess and skill.
  • Verbal Tic: "I believe" Thomas the magician has one!
  • Videogame Caring Potential:
    • "A Christmas Gift". As the ending has a grown Lucy falling into deep, realistic depression over the death of her father, failure is not an option.
    • Really, all of the missions are this if you manage to care about its characters and their stories. Failing any of them and seeing the resulting sadness and despair on their faces can be pretty tear jerking to watch.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: The Rhombulans hate music for good reason. Too bad they're in a game full of it.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: Whatever the difficulty level, Canned Heat is a step above the stages that came before it, and sets the tone for the later stages.
  • When She Smiles: Leo's stage revolves entirely around that, as his goal is to make a beautiful but emotionless young woman smile. When she does, it inspires him to draw the best painting he ever did (You know the one).
    • A horrifying male example happens with Jake, as he never smiles in the game except when you fail the mission and he is turned into a laughing zombie.
  • Widget Series: Toned down from Ouendan, but not by much. All they really changed were the cultural cues.
  • World of Ham: Let's just put it this way: by the end of the game, the only people who aren't Large Hams are statues.
  • Wolverine Publicity:
    • Agent J is only playable on one difficulty (Cruisin'), but he's on all of the game's advertising, the box, the title screen, and a trophy in Super Smash Bros.. Brawl, most of which have him front and center as if to imply he's the leader.
    • Also, "Cruisin'" is the game's "normal" difficulty, so it was probably expected people would recognize the character they play as the most.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: What the Elite Beat Agents do: Agents show up to convince people that they possess the strength to surpass their present obstacles without help from others.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: Parodied in "Survivor", the third bonus level. It's started by what seems to be a giant fungus/insect hybrid (Think a nastier version of Parasect, spread by kisses on the cheek, and cured by making the zombies eat peanuts.

"Mission Complete!"


Video Example(s):


Later Dude!

In Elite Beat Agents, if you get a Game over in the level "YMCA", a scene is played where Captain Brooke's parrot abandons him, leaving the Captain completely alone.

How well does it match the trope?

4.8 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / ScrewThisImOuttaHere

Media sources:

Main / ScrewThisImOuttaHere