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Lisa: The Painful is a game about dipshits and perverts. In Lisa: The Hopeful, that's exactly who you are.
LISA: the Hopeful is an Interquel of LISA, made by Taco Salad. Much like LISA: The Pointless, it is one of few LISA fan games to actually reach completion and be released to the public.
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In this game you play as Beltboy, a gunslinger with a knack for using bullets far in excess of what he needs, and his friends Lanks, a dorky man with the heart of a child, and Cyclops, a black man with one eye who has the innate ability to headbutt people to death with a horned football helmet. The team catches wind of a girl who has been sighted in the vast lands of Backwater Olathe, and naturally they hit the road in their station wagon to try and find her. The game begins with the crew stranded after failing to fill up their tank, with no gas for their car at the base of a series of cliffs. Frustrated at his lackeys' incompetence, the group leader (and the trio's boss before the Flash came), Rodriguez, sends the other three out in search of gas for their car so that they can begin their search anew. Things build up from there, and the gang finds themselves embroiled in numerous conflicts all across Backwater Olathe, fighting gangs, mutants, and sometimes themselves in this winding chase they find themselves in. With little else to go on, the team makes the best of what they can, hoping against hope that they can get to the girl first before anyone more... dangerous, can get to her first. An alternate path also exists, as of the Definitive Update, where Rodriguez can be convinced to help search for gas, massively impacting the plot, themes, and gameplay of the rest of the game.

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Gameplay is often described as similar to Joyful, albeit with more of a party to speak of, and players will find themselves fighting battles that must be carefully managed, lest they waste resources that would be better served later. Enemies tend to hit hard, though mercifully so do most of the party members, and there can be a wealth of resources for the observant or exploration-minded player. The party does not change much at all over the course of the game, and thus you will get plenty of time to get to know the people in your group, and hone their skills so that you can become a force to be reckoned with.

The Definitive Edition, supposedly the final content update, is notable for adding a wealth of side areas, updated graphics, and alternate routes to the ending.

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This game contains the following tropes:

  • Actually Pretty Funny: In the first area, you can give a guy 30 mags (most of what you'll have at that point) to get access to a chest. It's locked and he doesn't have the key. If you have the easter egg boomerang, you can give it to him while telling him it was a 'good jape' for a toolbox.
  • The Alcoholic: The Kegger Krew, down to the last man.
  • All There in the Manual: The game comes free with some image files containing things such as the main trio's character profiles and brief descriptions of the gangs occupying the region of Olathe that the game takes place in.
  • And Then John Was a Zombie: If Joyed and following one of the dwindling-party routes, the main three will mutate wherever they die, whether they fall after the lovelies raid the sportsdome (Cyclops mutates after a Lovely sets him on fire/Beltboy mutates after getting shot in the eye), or they're found after the Lovely caravan crashes (Lanks or Cyclops, depending on who got taken), and whoever's left mutates during the fight with Hart. In Rodriguez mode, whoever has taken joy will appear after the fight with Hart as a heavily injured mutant and everyone else in the party will be mush.
  • Anti-Frustration Feature: If you made it through the whole game without anyone taking joy, and Beltboy is the sole survivor, the final boss fight becomes much easier due to the 'spirit' of Lanks and Cyclops being with you, acting as shields during the battle. If Lanks or Cyclops are the sole survivors instead, they're given new skills they couldn't use otherwise to make up for the fact that their roles in the party tend to be more support-based.
    • As of the Definitive Update, any fallen party members will still gain experience points.
  • Anyone Can Die: Invoked in the Definitive Edition. Beltboy is the only survivor in the default ending, but there exist alternate routes where Lanks or Cyclops are the last man standing, the point being that *any* of the three suffers the possibility of being Killed Off for Real. Meanwhile, in Rodriguez mode, despite the optimistic lead up to the ending, the party either all succumbs to their wounds after the fight with Hart and his four Lovelies or mutates.
  • Anything That Moves: The Lovelies are desperate for a good lay, meaning rape isn't out of the question and this trope gets played for all the horror that comes with it.
  • The Battle Didn't Count: Unlike the main LISA game, where Brad kills all of his opponents, Beltboy and crew leave some of them alive (such as Dixon Bismuth) though it's never specified which ones. Many of their former opponents show up in the Sportsdome much later.
  • Big Bad: Hart, the leader of the Lovelies- the most dangerous gang in Backwater Olathe.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The best endings involve either Beltboy being the lone survivor (besides Reginald) and being saved by the Girl, or Beltboy's entire crew (including Rodriguez and Yogurt Masters, though Reginald is nowhere to be seen) dying in each others' arms after the Girl leaves them for dead.
  • Bonus Boss: In the form of the Hardest Rider, found just before the final area. In Rodriguez mode, he has a second, even more powerful form.
    • If Reginald is recruited and at least three Joy in total have been used, Jano Rassoul appears where the mutated Reginald would normally be. Defeating him grants 10,000 XP, but good luck in doing so...
  • Brick Joke: The game is fond of this. With some characters you met earlier, you'll see them again at the Sports Dome. A notable example is Nico Nickels, whose defeat quote is "See you later!". When you see him again in the Sportsdome, all he says is "Told you."
  • Broke Your Arm Punching Out Cthulhu: In the Joyless endings, Beltboy/Lanks/Cyclops finally get revenge for their fallen and kills (the now-mutated) Hart after wasting the last surviving Lovelies. Said mutant also tears them a new one in the process, and it's all said sole survivor can do to hold his guts in as he blindly staggers through the girl's hideout. Thankfully, she saves Beltboy's life in exchange for his help in finding her friends after realising he's in no state to be a threat to her whatsoever. Lanks and Cyclops aren't so lucky, the former left to die by the girl while the latter gets his shit kicked in after trying to force himself on her.
  • Burger Fool: Before the Flash came and sent the world to shit, all three of the guys were Rodriguez's subordinates at the local Wally Burger- Cyclops was the janitor, Lanks was the fry cook and Beltboy was the counter clerk.
  • By the Lights of Their Eyes: Shadowy/unhuman/horrific figures, of course. In Area 3.5, the party will find a campfire nestled deep in the caves. Interacting with it causes a swarm of horrific figures to open their eyes. Beltboy's frown, surrounded tens and tens of beady white eyes, sells just how harrowing this fights gonna be, especially given what campfires are used for.
  • Cutting the Knot: Cyclops' solution out of anything? Just ram your head into it until it dies or breaks.
    • Recruiting Rodriguez unlocks a new path, starting with an Engine Enthusiast member knocking him out instead of the other three and is promptly eradicated, bypassing area 1 entirely. Doesn't stop Gordy Golden from attacking you however.
    • A gang of lovelies confront Beltboy/Lanks/Cyclops in the end. Fed up with their crap at that point, Beltboy simply shoots them all dead, Lanks vaporizes them with a fireball, and Cyclops plows through them like a hot knife through butter, bypassing that battle entirely.
  • Damager, Healer, Tank: Beltboy is the damager, Lanks is the healer, and Cyclops is the tank. Though Reginald and Rodriguez serve more nuanced roles, Yogurt also acts as a damager.
  • Death by Irony: Hart tells the survivor that he's going to rip his fucking head off. In the Joyful ending, said survivor, now mutated, completely obliterates Hart's upper body.
  • Developers' Foresight: On a normal route, Lanks sustains a head injury early in the course of the main game, and is seen with that injury for the rest of the journey.
    • It's impossible for Beltboy to attack when he has no arsenal equipped. Unless he uses specials that don't require guns, such as taking cover or finger guns.note 
    • Beltboy is always smiling. Except for when he is separated from his friends. Or loses his eye.
    • If Cyclops had not taken any joy, and Beltboy survives the attack, he will survive being burnt alive and come back with some nasty burn scars that stays on his model. It also stays as he attacks. In addition, he is permanently weak to fire attacks.
      • A similar instance can occur if either Lanks or Cyclops end up being the lone survivor. Beltboy gets shot in the eye. If he does not mutate, he will reappear with an eye-patch (over his sunglasses, of course), although he will comment about his brain bleeding.
    • Depending on who consumes joy in the main route, Cyclops, Beltboy, and Lanks can return as boss fights instead of simply passing away. Consuming more than two with the designated survivor will lock them into the bad ending.
      • In the Rodriguez route, whoever consumes the most joy is the one who will inevitably murder everyone else after the final battle.
    • If Cyclops is the surviving member and hasn't taken joy, after the final battle, he will have broken his helmet and horns off into Hart's pulp. This means that when he battles the girl, trying to force himself upon her, he is without his main source of attack and can do nothing but use items, guard, or throw firebombs.
  • Chain of Deals: Run from your first battle with Yogurt and he'll drop a boomerang. This boomerang can be given to Artie Choke after being a good sport about his jape in exchange for a toolbox. The toolbox can then be taken to Ian "Ian" Irons in exchange for an old record and free passage, and the record then delivered to the man standing below the exit from the DMV in exchanged for playing cards. Take these cards to the large man standing by the path to the overlook your car is parked under and he'll give you a pink candy. Give that to Reginald and he'll join your party. Alternatively, in Pain Mode, take the toolbox to Rodriguez and he'll decide he needs to babysit you, giving back the toolbox and thus starting Rodriguez mode. Since the Area 1 path changes so much, you'll instead head up the nearby rope after grabbing the gasoline to find Ian, who'll skip the record and give you the cards, letting you also finish the Reginald chain.
  • Driven to Suicide: One played for laughs, perhaps, though it may also be something else. At the sports dome, one guy can be found hanging on a noose... improperly. Turns out he's alive and he asks you to get him down. You just... exit the room real quickly.
    • Played for drama later: In a Joyless run and on Beltboy's or Cyclops' route, Lanks hangs himself after being kidnapped by Hart's Lovelies a second time.
  • Drunken Master: Coldstein Kegger and his cronies don't let a little thing such as being perpetually rat-arsed get in the way of running a highly successful moonshining operation. Don't expect their drunkenness to make their boss fight any easier, either.
    • The party can also get themselves drunk to deal more crits. Hopeful even introduces the party pack, which will get everyone the drunk status.
  • Downer Ending: Potentially. In a non-Joyless run, Cyclops/Beltboy turn into a mutant after being burned/shot in the eye by the Lovelies, forcing the one left behind to put him down. Lanks/Cyclops mutate after the convoy crashes, and finally the survivor mutates during the final encounter with Hart. Even in Rodriguez mode, where everyone makes it to the battle with Hart, anyone who's taken joy will mutate and pulp anyone else. The Joyless endings aren't much happier.
    • You can override a Joyless Beltboy ending by walking back the way you came after defeating Hart. A prompt will ask if you want to leave. Say yes, and Beltboy will walk to the other screen and die. You still get the credits. If it was Painful mode, then the Girl will talk to herself about how she ask to rescue the others.
    • Cyclops's ending has him trying to advance on the girl after being mortally wounded by Hart, only to die at her hands in a Hopeless Boss Fight.
    • Lanks's ending has him collapse before he can reach the Girl's door. Then she arrives as if to save him... only to walk past wordlessly, leaving him to die.
  • Duel Boss: Hart.
    • Averted on Rodriguez's route.
  • Dwindling Party: Rodriguez's whole deal since the beginning was to die offscreen by the end of Area 1. Cyclops/Beltboy either mutates and are killed by whoever the Lovelies left behind at the conclusion of the Sportsdome area, or succumb to their injuries near the beginning of the final one. Lanks/Cyclops are found dead, dying, or mutated shortly afterwards.
    • Applies to Hart's Lovelies too, oddly enough. There's dozens and dozens of them when they raid the DMV to steal the Engine Enthusiasts' rides, but their numbers slowly wear down until their convoy is nearly wiped out by a blockade of mutants that might not have even been put there to stop them. By the end, Hart is only accompanied by four other lovelies, whom the survivor of the trio promptly guns down/incinerates/perforates before the final battle even starts.
    • Inverted in the case of your party in the Definitive Edition's secret path: Rodriguez joins you shortly after the start, preventing his death, Reginald will join at the beginning of Area 4 since Lanks got kidnapped, and Yogurt Masters gets convinced to join soon after. You have a party of six (for gameplay reasons, only four are usable in the battle at once) to face off against Hart in the end, and as such (for balance reasons) you get to actually fight Hart's last four Lovelies alongside the man himself. Hart even rages at the party for the blood debt they owe him.
  • Elemental Powers: Though most of the main trio's attacks are physical in nature, the abilities they gain later on can deal elemental damage.
    • Though not really obvious without looking at the RPG Maker skeleton, Beltboy's finger gun skills deal water damage.
    • Lanks and Cyclops both do fire damage, though Lanks wields fire more as a representation of emotion while Cyclops' fire leans more towards channeling its power and destructiveness.
    • Yogurt also wields fire, though his fire is emblematic of turmoil, as evidenced by the fact that equipping him with the tattered will brings him peace and bars him from his fireball skills.
  • Even Perverts Have Standards: For most of the game, Beltboy's gang has finding the girl as their main mission, for pretty much the exact reason you'd imagine at first, until they get to reevaluate how they feel. But even they're freaked out upon being attacked by the sex-starved horndogs the Engine Enthusiasts keep walled up in their basement. Averted with the Lovelies, who are perfectly fine with rape in order to get their rocks off.
  • Faceless Goons: Played straight by the Lovelies, and Engine Enthusiasts. The Sportsters qualified before the Definitive Update gave a number of them unique sprites. Averted by the Kegger Krew.
  • Finger Gun: Beltboy utilizes this as an actual weapon to impressive degrees.
  • For Want of a Nail: The crew failing to get gas in the beginning really threw their plan off the rails. The secret route shows just how different things would have gone if they had gotten it after all—including not meeting the Lovelies until about halfway through the game, Yogurt Masters joining up with them, and everybody surviving to the endgame.
  • Freudian Trio: Cyclops is the id for how aggressive and simple minded he can be. Beltboy serves as the ego, the balance of the two. Lanks is the superego, who tends to over think things.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: You can sleep at campfires, but you have to set one guy to be the lookout. The chosen party member won't get any sleep and therefore won't heal at all, but you will never get attacked in your sleep like in Painful.
    • Dixon Bismuth knocks out Rodriguez before Beltboy and the others attack him. Rodriguez starts the ensuing battle KO'd with no health.
  • Gang of Hats: A recurring obstacle in Beltboy's quest to find the girl before anyone more dangerous does. The four major players in the backwaters of Olathe are as follows:
    • The Engine Enthusiasts: the former employees of the Olathan DMV who now spend their days refurbishing any vehicles they can get their hands on, along with running a kidnapping scheme on the side for extra mags. all but their leader, Gordy Golden, sport welding masks and their last names all reference different metals.
    • The Kegger Krew: a bunch of hillbillies living out in the swamps that make most of their mags off the moonshine they brew. They're actually pretty decent folks according to most of their neighbors, as long as you don't catch them while they're drunk off their asses... which is pretty much all the time. They all sport those hats that let you drink from cans or bottles hands-free and their names tend to reference to alcohol in some way or other.
    • The Sportsters: The followers of the mysterious "Sports King", famed for the brutal gladiator games they host in the ruins of an old stadium. While they do have a nasty habit of tricking people into accepting lifelong "contracts" to fight for them, most are willing to overlook this due to the free electricity they provide to neighboring settlements so the residents can watch their televised "sports" matches in all their bloody glory. They're all decked out in sports garb and their names all mention sports maneuvers or famous sportsmen.
    • And last, but by no means least, Hart's Lovelies. They have pretty much one goal on their agenda— getting laid, and given the scarcity of women in Olathe, they're not picky about little things like the gender or consent of their partners. And now, with rumors of a girl being seen in the region, they're tearing up the countryside in a bid to be the first ones to find her, killing anyone who gets in the way. They all wear iconic heart masks and all of their names are sexual euphemisms.
  • The Gunslinger: Beltboy borrows from all disciplines, especially the Vaporizer. Rodriguez, when he does need to fire his gun, fits the Quick Draw perfectly.
    • One of Hart's recurring Lovelies, Ludd Blaster, is implied to be a Trickshot. He manages to precisely shoot Beltboy in the knee (or eye), along with hitting the Sports King square in the forehead while jumping down from the stands into the arena.
  • Jump Scare: The game seems to be in love with this trope.
    • Shadowy figures make a return from Painful, appearing in a number of dark caves along the way, though mercifully they're scripted and not random encounters in this game. That doesn't make suddenly running into a group of six of them any less startling, though. It's even worse in area 3.5, where horrific figures, much more powerful than prior variants on the design, will pop out from nowhere everywhere you go.
    • Dixon Bismuth, the blood-stained, bat-wielding Engine Enthusiast who thwarts your first attempt to grab a jerrycan for Rodriguez's car specializes in these. At least you can beat the shit out of him the second time he tries it.
    • Reginald is a creepy shopkeep who always seems to set up shop wherever you are. When you meet him in the swamp village, he zooms up to you from offscreen and demands that you browse his wares. When you encounter him for the last time in the caverns in the main route, he has become a Joy Mutant, which you won't know from his overworld sprite until you're in battle with him.
    • Within the bottom floor of the Kegger Krew brewery lies Bubbles, a Joy Mutant who hides inside one of the vats. If you get too close, he will jump out and attack you. He has a moderate chance of using Fatal Chomp to incapacitate one of your party members, so it may be a difficult battle.
    • In the caverns on the way to the Sportsdome, there is a path leading to a blood-stained platform which holds an item for Lanks. The moment you pick it up, a Creep will fade in from the darkness and attack you.
    • Throughout the halls of the Joy Lab, Beltboy or whoever was left behind by the Lovelies is followed by startling images of his childhood friend and Rodriguez's severed head.
  • Harmless Freezing: In Area 4.5, the weather can interfere with your battles, freezing your party members solid. All this means, though, is that said member can't act but takes a lot less damage.
  • Inescapable Ambush: On the hunt for the girl in the Rodriguez route, there's a pretty obvious section where one Lovely guy is sitting on a nearby cliff while another is quietly shimmying towards you from behind. There's no way to escape them; you have to kill them to proceed.
  • Lethal Joke Character: Reginald the shopkeep. He's essentially a far weaker, TP-based Fly Minetti with a decent party healing move learned midway through the game. When he returns to assist for the Hard Rider battle, his final move involves him dropping from orbit and annihilating the target with the most powerful non-critical attack in the series. He also returns to assist with the Lovelies at the camp in the blue mountains when playing in Rodriguez mode, seeing that the group was outnumbered.
  • Lethal Joke Item: The Dumbass Horns, acquired by defeating Todd Kentucky, do increase Cyclops' stats significantly... but they also microwave his brain and apply the Melting status, which is more a more powerful damage-over-time status than Burning and Deep Poison, and being in the overworld does not save one from damage. Of course, if one were to switch to the Dumbass Horns just before engaging in battle, one would trade having to keep his health up for much better stats in combat and a constant source of TP as he takes damage. To a lesser extent, the other -ass weapons also apply:
    • The Weirdass Arsenal, made of a bunch of non-gun weapons and some water, given to a drunkard because he said he'd make something cool for you, is completely useless for dealing physical damage. It drops Beltboy's attack to 1. But it also massively boosts his special attack, meaning his Finger Gun skills suddenly become absurdly powerful.
    • The Badass Bands make Lanks' slap skill genuinely useful... but he's too much of a weakling to use his abilities while he's got them on, meaning he can't use his array of incredibly useful support abilities. However, factor in the fact that Lanks can use his slap skill even when scared and by the point in the game you might find yourself face with this option, your other crew have enough items and power to potentially do without Lanks' support skills, and they present a convincing argument. They actually become extremely useful in the Sportsdome (which is coincidentally the same place you can find them in) since the objective is to hit the ball rather than kill all enemies.
    • The Cheapass Revolver, which plummets Rodriguez's Special Attack to 1, thereby rendering his heals and SP restores useless. But it also grants him immunity to the Reloading status he gets when he uses his powerful gun skills, meaning you can turn Rod into a DPS who still has the power to debuff enemies.
    • The Weakass Scroll, though an accessory locked to Yogurt and not a weapon in RPG Maker terms, severely hamstrings all his stats except agility and luck in exchange for letting him act twice per turn.
    • The Stankass Robes, which lock Reginald's useful abilities but make him faster and apply the Stink status, making him less likely to be hit.
  • Lighter and Softer: Due to the focus being on a gang of morons rather than a family with serious problems like in the official games, as well as less a removal of sacrifices in favor of a more linear experience, this game is much less depressing than the source material, at least until Hart and the Lovelies get seriously involved.
  • Mook Maker: Two examples exist in Area 3.5:
    • The darkness itself will continually spew out more horrific figures at the campfire battle until you get that bundle of sticks lit. And you better sweep up the last of the figures before they can put out that fire...
    • The corpulent figure will always maintain two horrific figures but its side, though it's up to a little interpretation whether or not they're coming from the darkness around you or splitting off of corpulent's form.
  • More Dakka: Let's just say that Beltboy's attacks make up for quality (or lack thereof) with sheer quantity.
  • Multiple Endings: The option to do Joyful and Joyless runs returns, once again having an impact on how the story plays out. The Definitive Edition adds no less than SIX additional endings, two of which are achieved by taking a completely different route.
    • 'Normal' Ending / Beltboy's Route: Lanks is kidnapped by the Lovelies and Cyclops is burnt to death, either becoming a mutant or later dying of his burn wounds. Beltboy pursues Hart on the Lovelies' convoy, but a crash into a barrier of mutants (presumably Dr. Yado's doing) destroys most of the vehicles. Beltboy finds one truck still intact... with Lanks inside, who has either committed suicide or turned into a mutant. Heartbroken and devoid of any friends, Beltboy tails Hart to the top of the mountain, and after a climactic battle defeats him. If no Joy was taken, a mortally injured Benny, clutching his chest and minus his trademark shades, staggers into the building and collapses at the Girl's feet, calling out in need of a friend. As his vision fades out, she slowly walks towards him. It's implied she tends to his wounds.
    • 'Alternate' Ending 1 / Cyclops' Route: Lanks is kidnapped by the Lovelies, but Cyclops does not rush to attack them as normal because Beltboy had convinced him of the necessity of staying alive. Since nobody steps up, one of them shoots Beltboy in the eye. He either survives (with an eyepatch from then on) or turns into a mutant whom Cyclops puts down, but in either case the story progresses as normal with the two's roles switched until the convoy. Cyclops survives the crash but finds a severely wounded Beltboy dragging along Lanks, who had hung himself, and before he can do anything Benny collapses and dies from his wounds. The last man standing, Cyclops tails Hart to the top of the east mountain and defeats him. If no Joy was taken, a bruised, armorless, hornless Clyde staggers into the Girl's room and begins to advance on her, causing her to dismiss him as 'just like the others'. She kills him effortlessly and he dies apologizing to his friends.
    • 'Alternate' Ending 2 / Lanks' Route: The Lovelies once again force a choice on the trio and shoot Beltboy in the eye as in the other alternate route. Hart almost picks Lanks before Cyclops, freed from Beltboy's judgement, ditches Lanks and joins the Lovelies, leaving Liam the last man behind. Emotion welling up inside him, Lanks learns several extremely powerful moves that make him effectually unstoppable, and he and a brain-damaged Beltboy again reach the convoy. Rather than go after Hart, Lanks meekly poses as a truck driver, but the crash knocks him out. Beltboy is implied to have been killed in the crash, and Lanks finds a mortally injured Cyclops who dies not long after. Determined to make things right, he sets off to fight Hart and wins—at nearly the cost of his life. Liam staggers into the building where the girl is but, weaker than the other two, collapses before he can make it to her door. She walks out and passes by him without a second thought, even as he begs for her to save him. His vision fades to black as she leaves the room.
    • 'True' Ending / Rodriguez's Route: Beltboy and co. avoid the events of the game entirely by convincing Rodriguez they're too incompetent to get gas on their own and need babysitting. They pick up the gasoline without a hitch, make it through the swamp without having to kill the Kegger Krew, bypass competing in the Sportsdome, and find the path the girl cut across an abandoned orphanage. Beltboy and Cyclops meet Hart for the first time after he kidnaps Lanks, and the remaining trio sets off to rescue him. Reginald the shopkeep joins up with them at the beginning of the fourth area, and Yogurt Masters soon afterwards, convinced by Rodriguez because the party has a martial scroll Yogurt seeks. Venturing through a winter wonderland on the tail of the Lovelies, they hijack a truck and end up at the back of the convoy. Beltboy, Cyclops, Reginald and Yogurt search the cargo holds of the moving trucks and eventually find Lanks, saving him before Craig Fuchs can even lay his hands on him. United and feeling unstoppable after the crash kills most of the Lovelies, they set up camp and the next night arrive at the mountain to the east. An epic showdown occurs: Beltboy, Lanks, Cyclops, Rodriguez, Yogurt and Reginald vs. Hart and his elite goon squad. The battle rages long as Hart's cronies come back as joy mutants before Hart himself mutates, until it ends with one side annihilated and the other fatally injured. Amongst his friends on the verge of death, Beltboy sees the girl walk out and begs her to save his friends— she scoffs, claiming they've proved they are just the same as the others, tearing themselves apart over her. She leaves them to die, but Beltboy finds peace in this— after everyone drags themselves inside the building, he thanks everyone (perhaps even the player) for taking him on one last adventure, and admits that at least he was able to die surrounded by the people he loved before the screen fades to black.
  • Nice Guy: Tanner Texas, one of the competitors in the sports arena, is a surprisingly friendly guy considering the setting, and even sticks around after losing to cheer the protagonists on. After the Lovelies attack the arena, he takes the Sport King's role and becomes a Reasonable Authority Figure, helping Beltboy with transportation.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: The Kegger Krew are actually quite nice and reasonable folks, most of them harmless due to being drunk off their asses and the rest being friendly people. The leader even offers the main trio a car to get where they're going. Then Beltboy mentions they need it because there's a girl.
  • One-Winged Angel: Several Lovelies mutate when they're low on health late in the game. Including Hart himself. In Rodriguez mode, it makes for a harrowing final battle as all four of Hart's last Lovelies mutate before the man himself does.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Beltboy, Lanks, and Cyclops only call each other by their nicknames. Unless things get really serious, in which case, they'll use first names.
  • Rape as Drama: Happens to Lanks after the team gets captured by the Lovelies for the first time. Beltboy has a VERY close call shortly afterwards, but he manages to overpower and kill his attacker before the latter can go through with it.
  • Rescue Romance: Averted. Beltboy simply wanted a friend, and the girl was the closest living thing after avenging his friends.
  • Secret Character: By completing an unnecessarily complicated Chain of Deals in the first area, the player can unlock Reginald the shopkeep, a Lethal Joke Character whose final move outclasses even The Hottest Dance. The same chain of deals can be carried out in an alternate manner to unlock the secret route, which unlocks both Reginald and Rodriguez & Yogurt.
  • Shout-Out: A small one to Dark Souls: a note directly in front of a cliff in the first area reads 'try jumping off'. If you're not playing in Pain Mode, another one to its left reads 'liar ahead'.
    • The battle score "The Twist" is a Dn B remix of "Mr. Batty Twist" from MOTHER 3.
  • Sudden Downer Ending: The Rodriguez route lessens the drama from the standard endgame. Then you beat Hart, and it suddenly gets just as depressing as most of the other endings as the party either dies together or are killed thanks to Joy mutation.
  • Support Party Member: Lanks- his base attack is literally slapping the enemy in the face, which hurts about as much as you'd expect, but he has the widest range of healing and buffing moves out of everyone in your team, and he gains some decent fireballs later on. Rodriguez in the secret path counts as well, debuffing enemies (for a party that skips a bunch of xp and items that would normally be gotten) as well as buffing the group, small group heals, small group SP restores, and removing debilitating statuses.
  • The Stinger: Completing the game in Pain Mode as Beltboy has the girl reveal that there are other girls out there somewhere, and she recruits Beltboy to help her.
  • Tap on the Head: This is how Dixon Bismuth somehow knocks out all three party members with one swing. Slightly altered in the Rodriguez route, where Dixon will knock Rodriguez out and Beltboy will turn around and stare at him for a few moments before starting the fight.
  • Trucktop Battle:A couple occur while riding the Lovely convoy. In the main route, the one left behind by the Lovelies confronts Hart on the back of a truck and prepares to fight, but Dr. Yado, possibly on completely unrelated business, creates a barricade of mutants that the convey can't slow down in time to not crash into. The crash and ensuing fight delay the battle until they reach the girl's hideout.
  • The Un-Reveal: Cyclops flatly responds to Beltboy's comment that he never told him how he lost his eye with "No. I didn't." Even on Cyclops's route with a Joyless Beltboy, who has also lost an eye, Cyclops refuses to tell him because of how painful the memory is.
    • Hart's unmasked identity is never elaborated on. It's possible he's the father of Beltboy's childhood friend due to the similar build and hair colour, but it's never confirmed.
    • The identity of the girl at the end. She isn't Buddy, and she doesn't look like Beltboy's childhood friend. All that we know about her is that she and a number of other girls were kept alive in a bunker and she orchestrated their escape.
    • The situation with the Joy lab visited in the solo route is never fully elaborated on. It would appear that it was another of Dr. Yado's bases, more specifically the one holding other women that Buzzo alluded to in Painful. The women escaped but the specifics of how they did this are left vague, although it's hinted that Buzzo may have discretely assisted them.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: From Hart's POV in the ending, anyway. After the surviving member of the trio makes his intentions for Hart and the remaining Lovelies perfectly clear, Hart calmly orders his boys to kill him... only for them all to get mowed down, turned to ash, or bludgeoned to death in seconds. His immediate reaction? Take a crapload of Joy.
    • The campfire in Area 3.5 is not unguarded. It's one of the few times Beltboy's smile goes away.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Pre-Flash, the trio worked at a fast food restaurant, working under Rodriguez. Post-flash, Beltboy has an arsenal of weapons with lots of ammo, and Cyclops is a really strong man who attacks with his head. Lanks... is about the same as before, until he learns how to throw fire. Rodriguez, in the secret path, though still a bossy manager, ends up being in charge of possibly the only gang in Olathe that could hope to take down the Lovelies, and with so few numbers on their own side, at that.
  • Updated Re-release: The game received a new version that changes the music and graphics in certain parts.
    • Again with the Definitive Edition, adding new side areas, endings and an alternate story route where Cyclops or Lanks take Beltboy's place after the Sportsdome and also a secret route obtainable only in Pain Mode that changes the whole plot of Hopeful.
  • Uncertain Doom: After fighting Hart in the Joyful ending, the survivor ends up becoming a joy mutant and makes an advance on the girl. Her survival is left ambiguous. Averted in the Rodriguez route, where she ends up sneaking past the surviving joy mutant(s).
    • In the joyless ending to the Rodriguez route, the party (sans Reginald, who's mysteriously disappeared) are badly injured from their fight with Hart. Although Belt Boy and Yogurt are certain they're all going to die, the ending shows that they've dragged themselves indoors and are at least able to stand upright. While Belt Boy looks to be in pretty bad shape, the group's ultimate fate is left ambiguous.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: Rodriguez in the main route. Almost everything we learn about him comes after his very early death. Averted with the secret route added in the Definitive update, where he not only survives Area 1, but we also get to learn about who he is and witness personally how he kept the group together.
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