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Video Game / I Wanna Be the Guy

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A: They're more like giant cherries.

You are The Kid. You want to be The Guy. To do that, you have to kill The Guy.

And standing between you and The Guy are hordes of annoying, hard-to-kill monsters, downright sadistic traps, nigh-impossible obstacle courses, and everything else that represents the worst parts of 8- and 16-bit platform gaming.

All you have are a red cape, a small gun, and a Double Jump. You also have infinite lives, and you will need every single one of them.

Get the game here, and have fun dying!

Many, many fangames of this have been made due to an easy-to-use engine containing the basics of the original game. A list of some more prominent ones can be found here. In addition, an official sequel called I Wanna Be the Guy: Gaiden was released on July 14th, 2012.

There is a Spiritual Successor by the name of Battle Kid: Fortress of Peril, endorsed by Kayin himself. Also, The Kid is an unlockable character in Super Meat Boynote . The Kid is also a bonus boss in Pocket Rumble.

First released on October 5, 2007, the game was made open source on December 30th, 2011, mainly to allow the community to try fixing its innumerable bugs. It eventually got a full, Kayin-endorsed fan-made remaster in 2020, which fixed the aforementioned bugs, made various tweaks along the way, and updated the physics to be more similar to the fangames made in its name.

Contrast with You Have to Burn the Rope and compare Kaizo Mario World, Jumper and N. No intentional relation to Stinkoman 20X6, according to the FAQ.

This game contains examples of:

  • A.I. Roulette: Dracula takes this and turns it into something from the ninth circle of hell. His randomly picked attacks range from standard difficulty (i.e. hard) to beyond good and evil, and some combinations are pretty much unsurvivable. This makes him the potentially most difficult boss fight in the game (yes, he can be tougher than the Final Boss).
  • Anomalous Art: Lu Bu's portrait in the gallery of The Guys somehow changes its facial expression when it's hit by the flame coming from Bowser's portrait.
  • Appeal to Obscurity: Kayin tries to pass the game off as being a ROM-Hack of parts near the end of Battletoads in the FAQ, claiming no one has ever beaten Battletoads.
  • Background Boss: Mike Tyson, the very first boss in the game, is a massive boss in the background.
  • Backtracking: Can be kept to a minimum if you choose the right paths, but there's a few parts you have to go through twice:
    • Two required bosses, Mother Brain and the Clown Car, both require the player to first traverse a part of the Mega Man area.
    • There's also some overlap between the paths leading out of the Birdo and Clown Car boss fights.
  • Badass Boast: "I have bested fruit, spike and moon!" Admittedly it would sound incredibly silly used in any other context. In this context, though, its badass-level is somewhere between single-handedly crushing the universe into paste and ripping out someone's intestinal tract and using it as a belt.
  • Bait-and-Switch Boss: Near the end, the Moon that has been plaguing you appears all huge, as if ready to engage in a final showdown, and then gets smacked aside in about two seconds by the Mecha-Dragon from Mega Man 2. Especially misleading in that the Moon was high in the sky for the entire minecart ride beforehand, and the minecart section had "The Moon" from DuckTales playing as the background music.
    • In fact, the Moon does the same thing much, much earlier: throughout the Ghosts 'n Goblins area, the Moon appears bigger and bigger with each screen. On the screen with a Full Moon, you head under it and the Moon falls down onto you. Instead of killing you, it just breaks the floor and drops you into the Mecha-Birdo boss fight.
    • The I Wanna Be the Guy Mugen fangame has you fight many of the bosses from the original game. One of the bosses starts with the moon, which again gets knocked aside by the Mega Man dragon. Then the moon reappears and smashes the dragon!
  • Based on a Great Big Lie: The FAQ calls it a romhack of Battletoads (and Gaiden a romhack of Cheetahmen). The joke being, of course, that no-one ever finished Battletoads, so how could they disprove it?note 
    Q: What is this game made in?
    A: It's a rom hack of battle toads.

    Q: But battle toads wasn't anything like this!
    A: It is toward the end? Have you ever got to the end of battle toads?

    Q: No but...
    A: Then shut your whore ass mouth and take my word for it. I also used a bit of Multimedia Fusion

    Q: What about Gaiden?
    A: Uuuhh... It's..... a... uhm.. Cheetahmen rom hack! Yeah, totally that!
    • But seriously, the game is actually based off of the game Jinsei Owata no Daibouken, an unfinished and equally sadistic platformer.
  • Big "NO!": The Guy, once he's well and truly dead.
  • Big Ol' Eyebrows: The Guy in his final form, to the point where he can angle them to block your bullets aimed at his eyes.
  • Bilingual Bonus: The Japanese on the mock-Ikaruga warning before Mecha-Birdo says "I hate Dorayaki". Incidentally, it's also misspelled with the character for "jealousy" where it should say "fried", perhaps to match the quality of the English text.
  • BFG: The Kid claims one as a result of triumphing over The Guy.
  • Black Bead Eyes: The Kid's sprite features thin black lines that move up or down on his face as he jumps and falls.
  • Bloodstained Glass Windows: A saintly image of The Kid, complete with nimbus.
  • Bonus Stage Collectables: The six bonus items that unlock the Boss Rush.
  • Boss Warning Siren: The game, parodying Ikaruga, provides a warning when Mecha-Birdo is entering the room.
  • Bowdlerise: In the remake, the infamous "YOU JUMPED INTO A SWORD. YOU RETARD!" line has been replaced with "YOU JUMPED INTO A SWORD, YOU DUMBASS!"
  • Breaking Out: A room late in the Castle of the Guy has The Kid breaking some blocks by using a Delicious Fruit and a block that moves left and right with him.
  • Brick Joke: In one screen you can clearly see the moon. Several later, it falls and tries to flatten you.
  • Bullet Hell: The game tries this a few times.
    • Dracula has an attack where he shoots a spiral pattern of flaming Delicious Fruit; it's no Touhou Project pattern, though, as Kayin admits. Later on, the Vic Viper sequence shows Dracula how it's really done.
    • Also, the Tourian section plays with this in the boss room. Of course, it's really more like Rinka Hell.
  • Butt-Monkey: The Kid ends up suffering an enormous amount of unexpected and humiliating deaths over the course of the game.
  • Checkpoint Starvation: Impossible mode has no Save Points.
  • Chest Monster: At one point, a save point attacks you. Oddly enough, it's the only save point that appears on Impossible, which should clearly tell you it's a fake.
  • Clipped-Wing Angel: Dracula's final form. Which is a Waddle Doo. It's the only enemy that can't cause you any harm in any way. You can actually walk through it without anything happening.
  • Collision Damage: If it's not a platform, it's safe to assume that it'll kill you on contact.
  • Colon Cancer: The full title is I Wanna Be The Guy: The Movie: The Game. There's no movie. This is almost certainly a reference to Street Fighter: The Movie: The Game
  • Colony Drop:
    • The moon falls out of the sky multiple times during the game. Dracula shoots it at you, complete with voice-acted "Here is TRUE POWER!" and a trail of fire.
    • Surprisingly, the drops themselves aren't likely to kill you. Instead, the primary cause of death via moon is it chasing you. In fact, the one time it only falls directly down, it actually doesn't kill you. This happens because it crushes the ground beneath you, sending you to the Mecha-Birdo battle
  • Cranium Ride: On 8-bit Link in one Zelda-themed room. Link attempts to swipe at you in the process.
  • Cutscene:
    • The bosses have intro cutscenes for them and you can skip most of them. If you don't want to go nuts from having to watch Mike Tyson rise up every time you die, remember, the "S" key is your friend. Perhaps just as well, considering Dracula can kill you with his goblet during the cutscene before the fight with him.
    • However, the lengthy intros to the Kraidgief and Bowser fights can't be skipped. For the former, this is actually good, as you can shoot his head for a bit once he roars, which wouldn't happen if you skipped it. For the latter, this is due to it being a three-part boss.
  • Deadly Dodging: The Guy's third attack pattern renders him Immune to Bullets. You gotta bounce his shots back at him. Which is not easy, because instead of obeying rules of motion or bouncing at proper angles, the shots always aim at you when they hit a wall.
  • Death Course: The whole game, basically. Dying hundreds of times is almost certain on a first playthrough.
  • Death is Cheap: Usually. It's so common that it feels a lot worse, especially since every part of every room is a death trap. Even the things that aren't dangerous at all catch you because you're expecting something awful to happen.
  • Depth Deception: As in tradition to Platform Hell genre, it's intentional. That cloud that's seemingly in the background? It shoots a lightning bolt to kill you. The tiny twinkling stars in the back? One of them drops down to attack. The couch that's seemingly in the background like all the other couches? Has a spring that shoots you up into the spiky ceiling.
  • Destination Defenestration: The Guy is sent careerning through a window — only to return with a vengeance.
  • Developer's Room: Collecting all the Easter Eggs in the remastered version lets you access a room with developer commentary. This includes Kayin mentioning how the fanbase has waited 10 years for the items to do anything.
  • Double Jump: The Kid can jump again mid-air.
  • Easter Egg:
    • There are six hidden rooms with secret collectible items. One requires going through two screens full of small and completely invisible platforms in the wrong direction. And mind you, that one is the easiest one to get. Don't even ask about some of the others...
    • Wait long enough at the title screen. See what happens.
  • Easy-Mode Mockery:
    • Few people wanted to play the game on Medium because the extra save points were marked "Wuss" and The Kid gains a cute red bow in his hair... The bow remains on the screen when you explode, too.
    • Early versions did have a difficulty labeled "Easy"... and it killed you instantly.
  • Enemy Roll Call: The end game credits intermix the enemies with the people who helped make the game.
  • Energy Weapon:
  • Engrish: The scroll text near the end of the attract sequence, parodying the scroll text from the original The Legend of Zelda.
  • Establishing Series Moment:
    • The third story down on the first screen. After you've learned how to avoid the huge spiked boards that shoot out of nowhere, the third shoots out from the opposite direction.
    • The other obvious route on the first screen (upwards) leads to the iconic "falling apples" moment of the game, mentioned in the page quote.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: There are maybe a few things that don't kill you. They include the floor, some water, some walls, the background, and the save points. Except one.
    • In the Kirby level, the floor does actively try to kill you.
    • Even the background scores a few kills in a way. Once when a star falls out of the sky and kills you, and again when the gravestones crush you.
    • At the very end of the ending, you wind up under a tree with Delicious Fruit. Take a wild guess what happens if you don't move out the way. Yes, you can die in the ending.
    • There's one room in the game where nothing can kill you except yourself. "PRESS Q TO DIE."
  • Excuse Plot: You want to be the guy. That's all the motivation you need.
  • Eye Beams: In The Guy's second phase, he shoots out bars of fire all over the room from his eyes.
  • Eye Scream: Considering that you have to shoot The Guy multiple times in the eyes in order to beat him.
  • Fake Difficulty: This is sort of the point of the game. You'll spend a lot of time with the trial and error twins. That being said, the examples of this trope are all spaced out by examples of very, very real difficulty, so that even returning players will have huge troubles.
  • Fake Platform: A number of seemingly-solid platforms, including some past Birdo, and in the Guy Industries tower, flip over to deny you a place to land.
  • Final Boss: Your quest eventually leads you to defeating The Guy in order to defeat him and claim his title.
  • Final Death Mode: "Impossible", which lacks any Save Points (except a glitched one).
  • Fission Mailed:
    • The fake Windows XP error message, which drops down and squashes The Kid if you don't move him out of the way in time immediately after regaining control. Especially ironic since the game crashes so much that there's a decent chance of getting a real error message instead.
    • The Kid falling onto a giant bed of spikes at the end. As he has defeated The Guy and claimed his title, he walks out unharmed.
  • Floating Platforms: Of many types, including isolated platforms that you can or can't jump up through, platforms that sink or rise in the air as you land on them, and platforms that move side-to-side or up-and-down with no visible propulsion mechanism. Some are clouds, but there are also clouds that don't act as solid platforms.
  • Gaiden Game: I Wanna Save The Kids, which combines the sadistic death-traps we all know and love with a Lemmings-style Escort Mission. It's pretty hard. Unfortunately, Kayin has canceled it and moved on to other things, like I Wanna Be the Guy: Gaiden.
  • Go for the Eye: A number of bosses have weak points at roughly eye level or in their eyes: Mike Tyson, Mecha-Birdo's second phase, Kraidgief, Mecha-Dragon, and The Guy's second phase.
  • Goomba Stomp: Only played straight with the Bullets Bill the Snifit fires at you, which you need to bounce off to procede.
  • Goomba Springboard: The Bullets Bill allow the Kid to bounce off and give him his double jump as well.
  • Gotta Kill 'Em All: In keeping with the Metroidvania theme, you need to take out six bosses before you can enter The Guy's estate: Tyson, Bowser, Dracula, Mother Brain, Kraidgief, and Mecha-Birdo. The gateway is a shout out to Super Metroid, specifically the entrance to Tourian which is inaccessible until you remove the statue depicting the game's bosses (which won't budge until they're all beaten). Like in Super Metroid, you can tackle the bosses in any order.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • Mecha-Birdo's third weakpoint shoot at its mouth as its firing an egg is something you're probably not going to know about even after you do find it.
    • One of the lefthand walls in the starting screen is fake and you can pass through it, but the only in-game clue is that your bullets pass through it instead of disappearing. And considering this is your first experience with the game's many death traps, you're probably not going to notice the clue — you're more likely to stumble on it by complete accident, or know about it already from watching playthroughs.
  • Harder Than Hard: The difficulties start at "Medium" and go up through "Hard", "Very Hard", up to "Impossible". The actual game itself is always the same no matter what level you're on. The only difference is the frequency of save points (and the Easy-Mode Mockery on Medium). There are zero real save points on Impossible. You're expected to win the entire game with one life. In all literal seriousness, Impossible mode is possible, but requires quite a bit of memorization and a fair degree of benevolence from the more random luck-requiring bosses. When somebody eventually beat it, after six days of trying, only taking breaks to eat, sleep, and use the bathroom, the creator's official response was "holy crap your not serious are you".
  • Hard Levels, Easy Bosses: In this case, Nearly Impossible Levels, Brutally Hard Bosses, "Brutally Hard" being the easy side of the equation.
  • Have a Nice Death: Attempting to collect the sword in the screen recreating the "IT'S DANGEROUS TO GO ALONE! TAKE THIS" part of The Legend of Zelda greets you with the standard blood splatter as well as the message changing to "YOU JUMPED INTO A SWORD, YOU RETARD!"
  • High-Pressure Blood: Should the Kid so much as graze an apple, enough blood to more than occupy the Kid's sprite shoots every which way.
  • Homage: Pretty much everything in the game is a recreation of or reference to some old famous game, including Tetris, Kirby's Dream Land, Ghosts 'n Goblins, Mega Man, Metroid, Castlevania, The Legend of Zelda, and more. Especially the harder parts. Most of the bosses are actually taken from other games, though made much harder.
  • Humongous Mecha: Mecha-Birdo is vertically the size of the entire screen.
  • Hyperaffixation: Every single room in the Castle Of The Guy has a placard reading "...Of The Guy."
  • Improvised Platform: In the second screen, you need to shoot one of the spikes on the wall to knock it over and use it as a platform.
  • Intentional Engrish for Funny: The opening crawl.
    Many years ago "The Guy" left world and retreat to "Dungeon of Doom"
  • Interface Spoiler: For the fake error message in the Castle of the Guy to truly work, you need to be running Windows XP (which is no longer sold or supported, let alone packaged with new computers) with the default theme and in English. It's kind of hard to fall for otherwise.
  • Invisible Block: A number of blocks constitute a maze in the Mother Brain path, and each only become visible once the Kid touches them.
  • It's All Upstairs From Here: The path from the Clown Car fight to The Guy Industries involves a long vertical ascent including a screen with a very, very slow set of moving platforms you have to go up and down. The post-Mother Brain route also involves not one, but two vertical climbs. Later, the Tower of the Guy is an autoscrolling vertical level with a screen-long platform moving you upwards.
  • It's Personal: Leans towards this after The Guy admits to killing The Kid's grandfather to become The Guy. And he's The Kid's dad, too.
  • Jump Physics: The Kid, who is about two thirds as tall as a standard block, can jump about two and a half blocks high, and also has a slightly less-powerful Double Jump. Select surfaces also allow him to Wall Jump.
  • Kaizo Trap: There is one way to die after beating the game: an apple tries to fall on The Kid's head after the credits.
  • Kid Hero: Literally. His name is The Kid.
  • Klingon Promotion: You become the new Guy by killing the current Guy.
  • Leap of Faith: The path out of the Tyson match involves a long fall into a pool three screens away diagonally.
  • Long Song, Short Scene: There's a ton of great 8-bit music in this game. The problem is that, with death so frequent, you'll inevitably only hear the first few bars on each life.
  • Luck-Based Mission: Dracula is pretty much the only part of the game that makes heavy use of RNG. This unfortunately means that he can throw out combinations of attacks that are straight-up undodgeable.
  • Ludicrous Gibs: The Metroids are the only hazard in the game that do not reduce the Kid to this.
    J-Man: "The Kid is like a fragile piece of tomato. He EXPLOD every time you die."
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: The Guy is The Kid's father, complete with Star Wars dialogue.
  • Made of Explodium: The Kid. He explodes into Ludicrous Gibs every time you die, unless it's a Metroid.
  • Make My Monster Grow: The Guy starts out as the smallest boss in the game (but still notably bigger than The Kid). He does this to himself partway through the battle.
  • Malevolent Architecture: You will most likely find yourself getting killed more often by the environment than by an actual living enemy.
  • Masochist's Meal: People eat Delicious Fruit. According to Kayin, they have to get them out of trees with sticks, in order to keep from careening around for miles and killing everyone, and then they have to boil them three times to remove all the poison. The bouncing fruity engine of death seen in the Breakout section is what happens when you only boil them twice. Delicious!
  • Ninja Prop: Obvious parts of the background attack the Kid.
  • No-Damage Run: Required for Impossible; there are no save points at all.
  • No Indoor Voice: The Kid is constantly shouting in the two cutscenes he's voice acted in.
  • Non-Standard Game Over:
  • One Bullet at a Time: In most parts, you can only have four bullets on the screen at a time, making it important to get as close to the bosses as possible.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: Contact with most moving things (as well as several things that don't move) that are not platforms is instant death. If it doesn't outright kill you, it will likely bump you towards something that will.
  • One-Winged Angel: The Guy plummets out the window after you shoot him full of holes... Only to return as a giant head. And then he grows a nose.
  • Painting the Medium: Like everything else in the game, used to create traps, like the Multimedia Fusion "error" in the Ryu Hayabusa room and the Evil Save Point.
  • Paranoia Fuel: After a while of dying to cleverly-hidden traps, you will not trust anything in the background. Of course, that's kinda the point.
  • Patricide: Seems to be the norm of the Guy succession. Every kid kills his father the former Guy to become the new Guy.
  • Permanently Missable Content: If you don't grab the hidden item in the Metroid level the first time around, you can't get it on that play file, because the Metroid level is inaccessible after the Tourian System explodes.
  • Perpetual Frowner: The Guy is constantly angry.
  • Perpetual Smiler: For someone who's rarely more than a few seconds away from a bloody death, The Kid always seems remarkably happy.
  • Platform Hell: This isn't so much a game as it is a torture device. Death by all manner of dick moves is inevitable and constant.
  • Player Tic: Shooting at nothing while waiting for a platform or the like seems to be popular.
  • Post-Defeat Explosion Chain: On Mecha Birdo's death, it sinks down while hundreds of tiny explosions go off all over it; these also occur when its eyes are destroyed.
  • Puzzle Platformer: In a way. A decent chunk of the game's difficulty comes less from raw execution and more from parsing out exactly how to bypass the game's mariad death traps and finding secret areas that are often mandatory for progress.
  • Press X to Die: "This is the safest room in the game. Only Q can kill you."
  • Press X to Not Die: No warnings, obviously, but there are a few apparent cutscenes that can kill you such as the start of the battle with Dracula when he throws the wineglass.
  • Properly Paranoid: Why yes, you were right in assuming that the seemingly safe patch of land you jumped onto triggers a death trap.
  • Pushy Mooks: Birds mess with your jumps and could possibly redirect you into spikes.
  • Rain of Blood: The Kid's death animation, with a little bouncing head, to add insult to injury.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: In Medium difficulty, the Kid wears a pink bow in his hair. However, it still takes tons of badassitude to get through.
  • Recurring Boss: The Moon attempts to flatten The Kid several times throughout the game.
  • Retraux:
    • This box art mimics the style of NES box art released decades prior.
    • The remaster's border window replicates the look of Windows XP, which was the most popular operating system at the time of the original game's release.
  • Running Gag:
    • The downward-, upward-, sideways-falling, targeted and homing Delicious Fruit.
    • The Moon repeatedly trying to kill you.
  • Schmuck Bait: The old man from The Legend of Zelda offering you a sword.
  • Selective Gravity: A rule of thumb is: if something can inconvenience you by falling upwards/sideways, it will do so.
  • Sequential Boss:
    • The Koopa Clown Car. Unfortunately, the first two forms are so easy, it's basically just an unskippable 2 minute cutscene every time you want to fight the much harder final form.
    • The Guy has two major forms, both divided into three phases. While these are the only two bosses with different major parts, every other boss except Mother Brain has multiple phases. Well, except for Dracula, who parodies the trope.
  • Shout-Out: Has its own page.
  • Smoking Is Cool: The Guy is chomping on an 8-bit cigarette.
  • Soft Water: At one point, you jump from a very high area, fall about 3 screens downwards, catch on fire like a meteor, and if you manage to land in the "conveniently" placed pool of water, you live.
  • Soft Glass: The glass The Guy dislodges doesn't kill you if it hits you. Fruit yes, pictures yes, the dull bits of spikes yes, but not sharp glass. Solid glass does seem fatal though, as Dracula can still kill you with his wine glass. That, or The Kid is trying too hard to stay sober.
  • Spikes of Doom: So many. So very, very many. Some of them launch sideways while still pointing downward.
    • At least one of them spits fruit at you.
    • There's a set of them that lifts out of the ground and becomes a wall of death which also causes fruit to fire in your direction.
  • The Spiny: Inverted: these are the only enemies you can Goomba Stomp.
  • Spoofed with Their Own Words: You eventually fight Dracula from the Castlevania series. The bombastic dialogue between him and The Kid is taken directly from Symphony of the Night, albeit spoken in the Kid's squeaky voice.
  • Stalactite Spite: Most commonly done with fruits or spikes, but there are some genuine stalactites in there too. Subverted at one point with ceiling spikes that tremble when you pass underneath them, but never fall.
  • Stand-In Portrait: Inverted with the Vic Viper, which ends up being very useful to The Kid.
  • Stepford Smiler: Whether The Kid traverses through spike-covered corridors or tries to avoid gravity-defying fruit for the billionth time, he always does so with a smile.
  • Stylistic Suck: The magnified Nintendo sprites (Mike Tyson, Mecha-Birdo, Kraidgief, and The Guy) look appropriately ridiculous.
  • Tactical Suicide Boss: Befitting its source material, all three phases of the Clown Car are defeated by exploiting their own attacks. Bowser goes down to his own Bob-Omb, Wart is defeated by blowing up the Banzai Bill he tries to shoot at you, and Wily will drop metal balls that deflect your bullets upward into the Clown Car.
  • Tennis Boss: In the last part The Guy's first phase, he becomes invulnerable to everything but his own bullets, which bounce off the walls in the direction of the Kid.
  • Title Drop:
    The Kid: Former Grandfather The Guy! You killed him!
    The Guy: Just as you will try to kill me, or be killed yourself!
    The Kid: No! I WANNA BE THE GUY!
  • Trash the Set: How the Moon opens the way to the Zelda level and the Spike Wall opens the way to Kraidgief's hideout.
  • Treacherous Checkpoint: There's a save point that will attempt to kill you. In Impossible difficulty, it's the only save point.
  • Trial-and-Error Gameplay: If you look hard enough, you might be able to find a room that doesn't do this. There are about four or so in the entire game that lack out-of-nowhere surprises and are Exactly What It Says on the Tin. It's anything but boring. In fact, the entire game is based on this trope.
  • Turns Red: Clown Copter and The Guy do this metaphorically. Mecha-Birdo does it literally.
  • Unbuilt Trope: The game was a primal inspiration for tons of Platform Hell video games, spawning many fangames and indie games with extremely difficult platforming. However, I Wanna Be the Guy is different in design from most games that followed. The game itself is quite easier than its imitators; the real challenge comes from its Troll design, which intentionally baits the players who are used to ordinary video game languages. As the creator talked in the official FAQ, it's "a game about subversion" and "humor driven game", while avoiding unnecessarily brutal game design to keep the player invested. By comparison, a lot of fangames try to squeezed random and incredibly hard traps as many as possible, thereby missing the point of this game somewhat. In addition, many games like Meat Boy, 1001 Spikes, and Celeste enjoyed even bigger critical success than this game, but while they're also occasionally light-hearted and funny, they play the platforming straight, lacking the ironic humor in I Wanna Be the Guy that criticized the unfair Trial-and-Error Gameplay in retro games.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: The Breakout and Vic Viper sequences.
  • Unexpected Shmup Level: The Kid hops into the Vic Viper and must fly around avoiding bugs and bullets.
  • The Unfought: The Moon, despite what you may think upon reaching the first boss of The Guy's castle.
  • Unique Enemy: Quite a few of them show up in their own particular places, usually to punish your perfectly logical course of action with a Big-Lipped Alligator Moment.
  • Unsound Effect: In the Clown Copter battle, when you beat the first two pilots, the Copter spins off with the cartoon explosion reading "Bomb!" from Super Mario Bros. 2.
  • Unwinnable: This can occur at many parts of the game where if you fall down and can't back up or something of the similar sort, you can't progress. Luckily, the game has a suicide button... which does you no good on Impossible, which screws you over for trying to restart by wiping all your progress on the run. Also, the game makes no attempt to prevent you from saving in bad places, meaning that it is easy to unintentionally overwrite your save with an Unwinnable situation. Thanks Kayin for I Wanna Be The Fix.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: The Castle of Guy. After defeating the six bosses and jumping down the hole, you will land on a minecart that takes you on a 10,000-kilometer journey to the Castle, with many traps along the way, including the obligatory Spikes of Doom and tricky platforming, Cheep-Cheeps, Bullet Bills, and sideways rails that tip the minecart (making it impossible to stand on) just before the end. And when you DO reach the end of the ride, the Mecha Dragon appears and starts chasing you. Once he's defeated, you will be teleported to the "Entrance of The Guy".
  • Violation of Common Sense: The bit in the Ghosts 'n Goblins area where you have to jump into a cluster of three giant cherries to make them fall sideways; by this point in the game, you know this is normally a plum crazy thing to do.
  • Wall Jump: Can only be done off of special walls. Two different kinds, actually, resulting in two different kinds of Wall Jump.
  • Weird Moon: Which then falls on you. Repeatedly. And if it's not falling on you, Dracula is flinging it at you in lieu of his fireballs.
  • World of Badass: This would seem to be a requirement for The Guys. Just look at the portrait gallery of Former The Guys: Bowser, Lu Bu, Ryu Hayabusa, Mike Haggar, Big Boss, Scrooge McDuck, M. Bison, Kenshiro, etc. If, despite all odds, you manage to beat the game, you deserve this title.
  • Would Hurt a Child: This has apparently become routine for The Guy. "One more to add to my score!"
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Several of the traps rely on the player being this, most (in)famously the "YOU JUMPED INTO A SWORD. YOU RETARD!" screen.
  • Writers Cannot Do Math: If the distance signs are to be believed, the mine cart travels 10,000 kilometres in 78 seconds. That's 286,786 miles per hour, or 373 times the speed of sound.
  • Year X: 200X, parodying the Mega Man games (the game was released in 2007).
  • "You!" Exclamation: The Kid finally unmasking The Guy.
  • You Kill It, You Bought It: Beat The Guy, and you inherit his gun. (You can't use it in subsequent playthroughs, unfortunately.)
  • Your Head A-Splode: Inverted. Everything but your head asplodes in a glorious cascade of red pixels when you die. Only once in the entire game is this ever subverted. During the self-destruct sequence as you flee Tourian, if you take a wrong turn and end up at a dead end, you can't turn around and go back, and a Metroid shows up to eat your life away. The Kid changes color to grayscale, but you don't asplode into ludicrous gibs.