Follow TV Tropes


Video Game / MadWorld

Go To

"It's a Mad, Mad World, and you caught in the game/You put yo life on the line/I put a HOLE IN YO BRAIN!"

This Comic Book-style tale follows Jack Cayman, a chainsaw-wielding contestant in the world's goriest game show: Death Watch. Contestants, with sponsors, compete in a vicious bloodbath to see who will emerge as the victor. The show has temporarily taken over a Manhattan-like metropolis island, leaving authorities in a panic. Jack is one of the contestants under the hand of sponsor "XIII," and his boss has high hopes for him. There's more to Jack than there appears on the surface, however...

A notable feature is the game's distinctive graphical style, which utilizes cel-shading and features only three colors (black for shadows, white for anything that's not shadowed, and red for the tons and tons of blood). This game was the first title made by PlatinumGames, which includes some of the developers from the now-defunct Clover Studio, creators of Viewtiful Joe, Ōkami, and God Hand. The game was written by Yasumi Matsuno, of Final Fantasy Tactics and Vagrant Story fame, along side Ken Pontac and Warren Graff (of Happy Tree Friends fame) and JP Kellams.


A game was released for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, called Anarchy Reigns (Max Anarchy in Japan), featuring Jack and a few other characters from this game, in which they show their true colors.

This game provides examples of:

  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: Jack's chainsaw. So sharp as to slice cleanly through flatbed train cars and military vehicles. Shipping containers too. And bones. So many bones.
  • Acrofatic: Yee Fung, who is almost perfectly round yet is one of the quickest and most agile mini bosses.
  • Action Survivor: Kreese, if anything he says is to be believed. In some cases he technically did not survive.
  • Action Commands: Counter moves and many of the finishing moves. Also for "Power Struggles", similar to counter moves. The ending even gives you one last Action Command in order to kill Leo.
  • A Date with Rosie Palms:
    • One of Kreese's lines during the boss battle with Kojack:
      Howard: Jack is ramming himself against Kojack!
      Kreese: So, basically, Jack is ramming himself against himself. We are watching the most violent masturbation ever!
      Howard: (said quietly) Heh-heh... this is nothing.
    • Advertisement:
    • Another particularly extreme one from Kreese:
      Kreese: I slid down a wire once. Couldn't jerk off for two days!
      Howard: Took two days to heal?
      Kreese: Took four weeks to heal, I just had no willpower.
    • And another one during Jack's battle with the Black Baron (stop starin').
      Kreese: Jack's gotta take a page out of your book and do it by hand.
      Howard: Are you saying I flog the sausage too much?
      Kreese: Only if you consider 24 hours a day, 365 days a year "too much".
      Howard: I live for leap years!
  • All the Worlds Are a Stage: The first level of the final area features a lot of returning setpieces and traps from earlier levels in the game.
  • Alliterative Name:
    • The commentators are named Howard "Buckshot" Holmes and Kreese Kreeley.
    • The Black Baron is a title example, since his real name is unknown.
  • Ambiguously Gay: The second boss, Jude the Dude, a Dual Wielding, kung-fu kicking, rollerblade-wearing killseeker in cowboy costume, is referred to by the commentators as "the Ambiguously Gay cowboy" and "the Brokest Back in the West" (the latter of which is also used on posters scattered in the walls of his arena). A deleted execution of Jude also involves sodomizing him with his own pistols.
  • Amusing Injuries: Some of the stuff that happened to Kreese in Death Watch are mentioned in some of the announcers' lines. It's usually extremely humorous.
    Kreese: (refering to Jude the Dude) Howard, I hate that prick. When we fought, that dirty bastard kicked me with his spurs and tore my scrotum.
    Howard: Hmm.
    Kreese: You know, my nuts unraveled like two balls of yarn — you know how fuckin' long two balls of yarn is?
  • Ancient Conspiracy: Deathwatch had its origins in Aztec-era power struggles in Mexico, where people decided to stop wasting huge armies when they could just get the best of the best to slap each other silly over power struggles. Since then, it's often been used to settle wars, feuds, and other such stuff.
  • Anime Chinese Girl: RinRin, "The fan-tastic Kung Fu Queen", is a Chun-Li-esque fighter who battles with enormous hand fans.
  • Announcer Chatter: The commentators talk over everything you do, act as a sort of subtle Exposition Fairy by offering you hints on how to score more points, but mostly make crude yet hilarious comments that act as a Crowning Soundtrack of Funny.
  • Anti-Hero: Jack doesn't help people. He kills them. Jack never smiles or displays genuine satisfaction in his work, and even left Deathwatch after he got tired of the killing. He doesn't target civilians, excusing it away that he came here to kill people who actually put up a fight. He's disgusted at Deathwatch's latest choice of venue – and how they acquired it (murdering all the civilians with a lethal virus and letting the psychos do the rest, while also promising a cure to the civilians on the condition that they become participants themselves).
  • Area 51: The fourth area, called Area 66 in game.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil:
    • The upper class of Varrigan City bribed Deathwatch to not only keep them safe during the madness, but to also give them front-row seats and simulate a Distressed Damsel plot for their entertainment. Furthermore, one of these seemingly innocent upper class, Leo, is the main reason Deathwatch even took place in the city, just so his family could regain losses of money; they even helped install the death traps.
    • Lord Gesser was an avid supporter of Death Watch prior to the game starting, and he isn't working to stop it because of moral qualms about depopulating Varrigan City, as he's in full support of the rich abusing their power; the only thing that bothers him is seeing Deathwatch reduced to a contest for mere gambling. He wants to see the grand clash, and destruction, of ideals and ideologies.
  • Ass Kicks You: "Looks like Little Eddie's turning the other cheek!"
  • Awesomeness Meter: Runs your chainsaw.
  • Back for the Finale: Every mini-boss except for Death Blade and the Cyber Slashers return in the final level for one last go at Jack. Big Long Driller is a notable example, appearing in the first stage of the final world after making his debut two worlds ago and being un-killable back then.
  • Badass Biker: Jack is a motorcycle enthusiast and even carries a few wrenches with him.
  • Bait-and-Switch Gunshot: In the ending, Noa orders some gun-toting mooks to off Jack after the latter has won the games. However, the gunshot belongs to none of the mooks. Instead, it was Leo's pistol that shot through Noa's head. Played with in that A) Jack was too badass to shiver at the shot, and B) Leo was one of the actual villains all along.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Zig-zagged; one of the female bosses is simply knocked out a window to her death, but the other is very messily crushed to death by a giant animatronic.
  • Black-and-Gray Morality: Almost everyone in the game is a horrible person in some way, even Leo. Jack is only barely better than most of the people surrounding him.
  • Black Face: Black Baron is hinted to be a white man in blackface makeup by the commentators. Due to this, his appearance in Anarchy Reigns is called "Blacker Baron" in reference to actually being a black man rather than a man in blackface.
  • Blood Sport: Death Watch.
  • Bloody Hilarious: Some of the deaths, such as the swirly of doom, really must be seen to be believed. And laughed at. Unfortunately, many of the more ludicrous methods are only available in one or (if you're lucky) two stages (the pirahnas, the catapault, the swirlie mentioned above, flash-frying, flash-freezing, gong-ringing, firecracker snacking, soda gouging...)
  • Blow You Away: Von Twirlenkiller has jet turbines for arms, and he's not afraid to use them to create tornadoes during his fight (Howard mentions in one line that he created a hurricane that sank New Orleans). Expect to gain some air during Power Struggles.
  • Blunt Metaphors Trauma: Kreese, most of the time.
  • Boastful Rap: "Ain't That Funny", "Look Pimpin!", and "You Don't Know Me".
  • Book Dumb: Kreese. Howard is usually the one who has to explain "big" words and concepts. And Kreese will usually respond violently.
    Kreese: There can only be one number one in this fight to the death!
    Howard: Well duh. It's a mathematical fact that there can only be one number one!
    Kreese: For the last fucking time, NOBODY SAID THERE'D BE MATH!
    Both (singing): I blame our schoooooooools.
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: Howard's elaboration of his ex-wife's explanations of throwing his stuff out of the house.
    Howard: Jack lobs those losers like they were like my ex-wife tossing my belongings out the second story window of our house! ...Without even so much as a warning. I asked her why, but all I got was the same old "I want to be treated like a woman!" and "You never put the lid down on the toilet!"
    Kreese: Aaannnddd we're back! From the sad epic that is Howard's life to rejoin Death Watch!"
    Howard: "Why can't you get it up like your brother?"
    Kreese: Shut yer trap!
    • A visual instance later on in the game; When "The Strip" stage is first shown, the camera begins with a shot of Jack riding his motorcycle down a typical neon-lit casino street, then pans out to reveal more casino-themed decorations such as pinball bumpers, flashing lights on attractions, and... a wall of bloodied spikes.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: The announcers during the credits.
  • Breast Attack: Jack headbutts Elise's breasts.
  • Broken Aesop: "Remember kids, stay off the drugs — drink booze, like I do!"
  • Bullfight Miniboss: Big Bull Crocker, Yee Fung, and Big Long Driller.
  • Butt-Monkey: The Black Baron (stop staring), main host of Death Watch, is constantly thrown into his own death traps by his girlfriend. Even when it turns out he's the Final Boss, every time he recovers from a power struggle down to the end of the battle, it's still pretty hilarious.
  • The Can Kicked Him: "Death by swirly. Harsh."
  • Captain Ersatz: The Masters are totally not taken from any existing movie franchise. This is obviously lampshaded by the announcers.
  • Car Fu: Jack vs. Kojack, with bikes!
    • And whenever you ride your bike on your way to smash a boss, since your enemies come after you in cars of their own.
  • Catchphrase:
    • The Black Baron's (stop staring) "Aw, hell naw!", followed by him dying from one of his own minigames.
    • If you listen to enough of the commentary, we also get Kreese's "I blame our schools!"
      • Nobody said there'd be math!
      • I like scotch!
    • Jack's seems to be "I don't help people. I kill them."
  • Chainsaw Good: Plenty of the death traps are such. It's also Jack's cybernetic, artificial arm.
    Amala: Be careful, Jack.
    Jack: I have a chainsaw on my arm. I'll be fine.
    • They're technically buzzsaws, but Rank 71, Shogun, has a version of the double bladed spear that is actually dual chainsaws.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Unsurprisingly, Howard and Kreese.
  • Combat Commentator: Probably the best thing about the game other than the music.
  • Combat Hand Fan: Boss 4, Rin-Rin's weapon of choice.
  • Comedic Spanking: Jack defeats Elise by pulling her over his knee and slapping her behind four times, with the fourth hit sending her flying through a window. It's likely supposed to be comedic because of the game's overall tone, but considering Elise's design, it could also be considered a Kinky Spanking.
  • Comically Missing the Point:
    • "Awesome rack on her, though!"
      • "Aww, true dat!"
    • Really, half of the banter between Howard and Kreese. They both do it while discussing Kreese's time as a roach after using an extra life.
      Kreese: I actually enjoyed it. You know, a cockroach can live for a week without its head?
      Howard: Big deal. I went through eight years of marriage without any head.
    • Aaannnnd an example from Kreese:
      Howard: (after Jack throws a Mook into a meat grinder back-first) Did you hear the one about the butcher who backed into his meat grinder and got a little behind in his work?
      Kreese: No, what happened to him?
      Howard: He backed into his fucking meat grinde- Oh fuck it, never mind!
    • And then one from Howard.
      Kreese: (Mook gets thrown into a meat grinder) That reminds me, when's lunch?
    • Another one from Howard.
      Kreese: "You, sir, are a fucking idiot!"
      Howard: "Thanks for calling me 'sir'!"
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Leo, supplying a virus to Deathwatch that allowed it to wipe out the civilians in Varrigan City, planning for the fear to drive up sales for his pharmaceutical company selling a cure.
  • Crapsack World: A world where not only can Deathwatch be set up on a kidnapped island by one pharmaceutical company, but a world where apparently this has been going on for centuries.
    • On the other hand, this has apparently taken the place of war, so take from that what you will.
  • Crate Expectations: "Varrigan City is the crate capital of the world!"
  • Creative Closing Credits: After spending the entire game mocking and insulting the characters in the game, Howard and Kreese turn their wrath to the developers.
  • Cross Counter: The Action Commands in the final boss fight has Jack do this at the end of a series of Pummel Duels (with a variety of punches, including an uppercut, and a headbutt), though it arguably hurts the other guy even more since Jack's using his mechanical arm.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Oh ho ho, yeeeees. It is practically the spirit of Madworld, seeing as giving mooks a horrible end nets Jack more points. The bosses are no exception to the rule, and arguably get worse than the Killseekers. It starts with Little Eddie getting his face beaten in with his own mace and then smashing his entire head into his neck as a coup-de-grace, and it only gets worse from there. This comes with an actual in-story reason for the sadism; the fans want a show, and giving them one earns Jack more support from Sponsor XIII as his ratings increase.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: A minor one. When facing the Shogun in a power struggle, Jack does a Barehanded Blade Block first, and then a regular block with his right arm and knee. Jack cannot block outside of that quick time event, as he can dodge only.
  • Combos: Bonus points when you make mooks suffer.
  • Death World: Inverted. Everything in the environment is out to kill, yes. However, most of it is there to kill the opponent. Most of the stuff involved doesn't actually hurt you.
  • Deconstruction: Of the very type of entertainment it displays. The people that enjoy watching it are shown to be cruel and almost outright amoral (the closest thing to an exception is Lord Gesser, and it's only because Deathwatch has become a spectator sport for gambling, not because of the innocent people that die to set it up), and the cutscenes outside the plot keep reminding the player just how horrific the events that had to take place to set up Death Watch were and how terrible the people setting it up were.
  • Defector from Decadence:
    • Jack, the former Grand Champion of the games who left after getting tired of killing.
    • XIII (aka Lord Gesser) could count for his efforts at trying to destroy the games due to them not filling any real agenda besides money.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: The entire game is done in black and white, with only red splashes for human blood and light blue for aliens, and the occasional patch of yellow to identify a goal.
  • Destination Defenestration: Jack can do this to mooks, limited mainly by there being few areas with windows available for it. More notable is the finishing blow against Elise, where Jack sends her through a high-up, stained glass window by spanking her.
  • Dissimile: When Jack shoves an oil can over a mook and impales him with a signpole:
    Howard: Like shooting fish in a barrel!
    Kreese: Actually, stabbing a signpost through fish in a barrel, and instead of fish, it's a dude. note 
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Elise's power struggle. Awesome rack on her, though!
  • Distressed Damsel: Straight on with the three Geishas. Subverted with Naomi. She was never in any danger at all, and the whole thing was only set up as entertainment for her and her friends. When Jack finds out, he not only pimp slaps the girl, but actually regrets not killing her.
  • The Dog Was the Mastermind: Rank 1 turns out to be The Black Baron and his hoe, and it makes for an amazing final boss.
    • Leo, who appeared to be just an innocent survivor of Varrigan City, turns out to have been responsible for the creation of the virus that wiped the city out, not Noa.
  • The Dreaded: Lord Gesser is apparently such a powerful man that even Leo and Noa were more frightened of him than Jack.
  • Driven to Suicide: Subverted in the Bloodbath Challenges. Kreese taunts Howard about his weak sex life and encourages him to kill himself. Howard starts sounding more and more distressed as the Challenge progresses. When the clock runs out, however...
    Howard: Game is over! *bang*
    Kreese: Ow, you fucker, you shot me!
    Howard: What did you expect, fucktard? Did you think I was gonna shoot myself?!
  • Dual Boss: The Masters, though they share the lifebar and tend to stick together.
  • Dual Wielding:
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Averted in all regards in both story and gameplay.
    • Jack's in-universe fanbase is the main reason the higher-ups can't just shoot him.
    • XIII continues to sponsor Jack even after their contract is broken due to Jack's skill.
    • The three geishas that Jack rescues return the favor by tossing him health-restoring items during the final boss fight.
  • Dumb Muscle:
    • Little Eddie is easily several times Jack's size, wields a spiked ball bigger than his head, and is gigantically muscular, but from his behavior, it's clear that he's borderline retarded. Little Eddie loves his big bada-booms!
    • While the pre-fight intro text describes Frank as "brainy" in addition to brawny, this proves an Informed Ability; Kreese specifically points out that he's "dumber than a box full of blondes, but strong as shit and can zap the ass right off of you". He may even be dumber than Little Eddie — at least Eddie could put together complete sentences.
    • Kreese seems to be a case, being a former Death Watch contestant for the muscle part, with not getting Little Eddie's nickname being ironic (or understanding the word ironic, even). He occasionally complains about Howard using big words (most of which aren't very complicated at all) and usually responds to him doing so with threats.
  • Epic Flail: Little Eddie's weapon of choice is a gargantuan spiked ball with a chain on it.
    • In a later stage, if Jack smashes a spiked ball over a guy's head, Kreese will accuse him of stealing that move from Little Eddie.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Despite being a foul-mouthed violence-loving psycho, Kreese Kreeley makes it clear in several lines that some of "Buckshot's" quirks and kinks disgust even him:
    Kreese: When those wankers wobble you can do any fucked up shit you want to 'em.
    Howard: Same principle as roofies!
    Kreese: You're a sick puppy.
    • Apparently, he discourages animal cruelty, but with a twist.
    Kreese: Why'd you gotta be so cruel to animals. That's the sign of a sociopath.
    Howard: Hey, aren't YOU the one who participated in one Deathwatch competition?
    Kreese: Yeah, but I only killed people. That's not as cruel... frog killer!
    • Jack, while certainly not that evil, isn't fond of Deathwatch massacring a civilian population for their latest game this time.
    • Also, Lord Gesser was disgusted by the fact that rather than actually deciding the fate of the known world, the current Deathwatch games were merely meaningless slaughter for fun and profit. As such, he helps Jack take down the games.
  • Evil Counterpart: Kojack only has one line, but he makes it clear that he's more crude than Jack. And Jack's barely even the good guy himself!
  • Evil Is Cool: In-Universe, Kreese thinks this of Kojack, and roots for him during his fight with Jack.
    Kreese: "Kojack is just evil Jack, and evil makes everything better!"
  • Exploding Barrels: While these don't score any points intrinsically, they can be used with lures to score some brutally epic combos.
  • Expy: Big Long Driller is one of Big Bull Crocker. Essentially the same guy with a different mask and weapon.
  • Extreme Omnisexual: Howard.
    Kreese: Solid hit! He should try for a double!
    Howard: I tried a double with a donkey and a dwarf. I walked with a limp for a week, but the dwarf grew six inches if you know what I mean.
    Kreese: I know too much already!

    Howard: I can't tell if that alien's a man or a woman, but Jack sure made it his bitch!
    Kreese: How do you sex an alien, anyway?
    Howard: As often as I can!

    Howard: Jack just ate a happy ending!
    Kreese: Don't you mean Happy Onion?
    Howard: Clearly you've never had sex with an onion!
  • Family-Unfriendly Aesop: In-universe — Eating a happy onion can give this little gem:
    Howard: Pay attention, kids! Jack's enjoying the benefits of eating his vegetables!
    Kreese: Dude, you are so full of shit!
    Howard: Guilty as charged! Everybody knows that vegetables are poison, and the only food real men eat are bull testicles and moonshine!
  • Finishing Move: The point of the game. Invariably Bloody Hilarious.
  • Flung Clothing: The Black Baron's coat prior to the final battle.
  • Forced Prize Fight: The whole setup for the game revolves around Deathwatch, an internationally-televised event where murderers and fighters from countries around the world are sent to kill each other to settle diplomatic disputes. The Varrigan City Deathwatch has no actual reason to be going on and is just killing for the sake of killing, which is why Jack showed up to compete in the first place.
  • For the Evulz: The reason that Leo set up the Deathwatch games despite the fact that there were probably more practical ways of advertising his family's cure is because he wanted to personally experience the games for himself.
  • Free Floor Fighting: There are boss fights that are as simple as a plane, and others that are as complex as the entire castle of the last level you just played.
  • Fun with Flushing: One of the ways your enemies can be defeated is by stuffing or throwing them in the toilet. They get flushed seconds later, grinding them into a bloody mess.
  • Gang of Hats: Varrigan City is home to a bunch of gangs, and they're the source of basic and elite mooks for Jack's rampages. The stages in the first area consist of punks and thugs, Asian Town (mishmash with Japanese and Chinese cultures) is home to guys in martial artist gear and ninjas, Mad Castle is a full on Monster Mash (zombies, psycho killers, and grim reapers), Area 66 has soldiers, robots, and aliens, and almost all of them appear again at different intervals at Casino Land.
  • Genius Bruiser: Jack. He fully understands how much power would need to be in play to cover up the current Deathwatch, and when Leo tells him that he sneaked into the tower where the last fight of Deathwatch is held after killing Noa and his men, Jack sees right through it.
  • Giant Mook: In every area: the thugs with motorcycle helmets, spiked armor, and chainsaws; the firebreathers; the masked ninjas; the gardeners; the mohawked guards. Slightly harder to take care of than the usual enemy, but still nothing a solid chainsaw swing won't fix — though unlike normal baddies, these guys tend to block often.
  • Goggles Do Nothing: Averted. Jack uses his goggles while riding his bike during the road rage levels, probably to see through all that blood splattering at high speeds.
  • Gorn:
  • The Greys: In the fourth area. They're perhaps the only enemies in the game who aren't necessarily hostile towards Jack, but only because they're running away from the stage's normal enemies. One of them is hostile to Jack, however. The last boss of Area 66 is a Grey that's piloting a giant robot.
  • Hidden Depths: It's implied that Kreese Kreeley likes to play golf when he's not taking part in Deathwatch.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: About half the bosses are done in with their own weapons.
  • Horny Devils: Elise, the boss of the Castle level, though it's more heavily implied she's actually a vampire rather than a succubus, what with the Vampirella outfit, swarms of bats, coffin hiding places, mentions of blood-drinking, and the note in the level description about a bat spirit that attacked and devoured a woman who used to come to this chapel to pray. The main reason she's speculated to be a succubus is because she's got demonic horns. Awesome rack on her, though!
    • Aww, true dat.
  • Hyperspace Mallet: Just how does Jack's chainsaw fit in his arm? Rule of Cool.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Howard constantly mocks his wife for sexual promiscuity... while he also talks about his own sexuality, which is basically Depraved Omnisexual.
    • Kreese towards animal cruelty.
    Kreese: "Yeah, but I only killed people. That's not as cruel!"
  • I Always Wanted to Say That: Howard's cry of "Release...the HOUNDS!" upon unlocking the boss battle against The Shamans is immediately followed by that phrase.
  • I Take Offense to That Last One!: An inversion by the commentators.
    Kreese: You, sir, are a fucking idiot!
    Howard: Thank you for calling me "sir"!
  • Idiosyncratic Combo Levels: How many "Ultra Violence"s have you gotten?
  • I'm Cold... So Cold...: The game works this trope into the form of a song, aptly titled "So Cold", which takes over the previously boastful boss theme halfway through the final fight. Funnily enough, this is actually a Subverted Trope as this is where said boss gets even more dangerous.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: How many variants of spike traps can one think of? Answer: PLENTY. And for extra fun, enemies killed by spike traps leave their corpses behind, letting Jack take up a second career as an extremely morbid decorator.
    • Also how you finish off the Shogun.
  • Incredibly Lame Hurricane of Puns: Howard. Kreese too, on occasion, but Howard really gets into it during the Von Twirlenkiller fight, to the point of a Lampshade Hanging.
    Howard: (After Jack wins a Power Struggle against Twirlenkiller) Jack gives new meaning to breaking wind!
    Kreese: You're just in fucking heaven with this wind shit, aren't you?
    Howard: Yes. Yes I am.
  • Informed Attribute: While "Buckshot" appears to be Howard Holmes's nickname, neither he nor Kreese bring it up outside of introductions.
    • It's implied in dialogue by the two announcers that the Black Baron slaps Mathilda about, rather than the other way around. Other than a single ambiguous line heard during the first of his boss themes, there's not a shred of evidence suggesting this in-game.
  • Insult Backfire: The implicit one against Howard.
    Kreese: (when the "Frame Designers" credit comes up) Frame designers? These guys couldn't frame Howard for sex crimes!
    Howard: Wow, they must really suck!
  • Intimate Healing: Saving the geishas will reward Jack with a kiss from them that instantly maxes his health bar.
  • Ironic Name: The first boss of the game is a total behemoth of a man(?) that's several times bigger than Jack, and is named Little Eddie. The commentators lampshade this:
    Kreese: Y'know what I don't get? I don't get why they call him Little Eddie when he's so fucking big.
    Howard: I think its supposed to be ironic.
    Kreese: ...What?
    Howard: You know, the use of words to express something other than and especially the opposite of the literal meaning, usually a humorous or sardonic literary style or form.
    Kreese: ...You got beat up in school a lot, didn't you?
    Howard: ...yes.
  • Jerkass: The commentators of the Deathwatch games usually make some pretty rude gestures and remarks while Jack tears apart as many enemies as possible. The best example of their jerkassery is in the credits of the game, where they tear apart many of the game designers.
  • Jigsaw Plot: The whole background behind Deathwatch, why Jack is there, and how the current Deathwatch was put into place.
  • The Joys of Torturing Mooks: The Game. Practically a beat'em up predecessor to Bulletstorm in this regard.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: You unlock one when you beat the game.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Noa, the CEO of the organizers of Deathwatch. Any time he shows up, the game's usual Black Comedy stops completely. The first the player even sees of him is when he pulls a Do Not Adjust Your Set on Jefferson Island as he gleefully informs its citizens of their fate.
  • Leitmotif:
    • Every time the Black Baron (stop staring) struts in, horns and drums play. They also make up his Boss Theme.
    • The whole hip-hop soundtrack is very guitar heavy. Play it for your friends who like rock!
  • Lampshade Hanging: The announcers again:
    Kreese: It's an extra life for Jack.
    Howard: I wonder why those other guys didn't grab that extra life?
    Kreese: Yeah, it's almost as if they didn't see it.
    Howard: Same with the Happy Onions and power ups. It's like only Jack can see them.
    Kreese: Weird!
  • Large Ham Announcer: Howard and Kreese.
  • Lightning Bruiser: The Black Baron... in every sense of the word.
  • Long Song, Short Scene: "Crimson Rain" only plays during the fairly short entrance to the Elise boss battle. A player probably wouldn't even hear half of it going through at full speed.
  • Made of Iron:
  • Made of Plasticine: They get ripped in half by chainsaws pretty easily.
  • Manipulative Bastard: XIII, AKA Lord Gesser.
  • Memetic Mutation: Invoked. The commentators discuss "pwned" at one point.
  • Mini-Boss: Several different ones for different areas; Big Bull Crocker, Yee Fung, Tengu, Death Blade, Big Long Driller, and the Cyber Slashers in order of appearance. They have surprisingly high health, a variety of attacks, and the ability to get into Power Struggles with Jack. Naturally, you tangle with nearly all of them in the stage leading up to the final boss (Death Blade and the Cyber Slashers, for whatever reason, weren't in on that action). In that stage, the Quirky Mini-Boss Rush turns Yee Fung into a Mook Maker, has Tengu flanked by dozens of ninjas, and finally has two Bulls and a Driller.
  • Mini-Game: Done in the form of completely over-the-top "Bloodbath Challenges" which task you with killing as many mooks as possible in hilariously gory ways. Can also be played as multiplayer once unlocked.
  • Mirror Boss: Kojack, the 10th boss of the game, who rides a motorcycle and has a chainsaw-arm like you. Given that he appears in the sci-fi-themed area, he might actually be a clone. This fact gets lampshaded throughout the fight by the commentators, who liken the battle to Jack beating up himself. Made funnier by the fact that Kreese is actually rooting for Kojack instead of Jack:
    Kreese: C'mon Kojack! You gonna take that?!
    Howard: Sounds like someone's pulling for Kojack!
    Kreese: Hell yeah! Kojack is just evil Jack - and evil makes everything BETTER!
    • Kreese continues to insist that Kojack will win even after Jack kills him.
    • Their comments over the Kojack fight provide the trope's page quote.
  • Mission Control: For Deathwatch, Noa; for Jack, Amala.
  • Monster Mash: The whole theme of the castle chapter. Along with zombies, mummies, and psychotic drill men. The bosses consist of a pack of werewolves, a Frankenstein's monster, and a vampire.
  • Mooks: "It's like those guys exist only to be killed by Jack!"
  • Mook Chivalry: Played straight somewhat and subverted. Enemies will take their time to attack on at least the earlier levels during Normal mode (mainly area 1 and 2). Averted with Hard mode, as even simple enemies like the street punks will do huge damage and will actually coordinate their attacks. Sometimes they will let one of their own be killed so they can trap Jack and pummel the crap outta him. This is also played straight when in a power struggle with the levels' Mini-Boss (with the exception of Death Blade). It's justified, considering the mini-bosses are huge guys and Jack is, well... Jack.
  • Ms. Fanservice:
  • Murder Ballad: Almost every song with vocals.
  • Never Learned to Read: Kreese. Yet another example of his Book Dumb.
  • Nigh Invulnerable: The Black Baron just keeps coming back. Played for laughs.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: More like: zombie, punk, robot, grey, soldier, samuari, cowboy, war mech, giant, mutant, sumo, assassin, bounty hunter, pimp, and probably a whole lot more... As with everything else, the boss design quite intentionally lacks subtlety.
  • Old Soldier: The Yokozuna from Asian Town's second stage. He's probably the oldest contestant on the current Deathwatch, and seemingly immune to puny things like pain.
  • Permanently Missable Content: According to the producers, if you die during the La Lusty Geisha Bistro level, the geisha can die... and stay dead for the rest of the save file. The only way to save them is to start the game over.
  • Pet the Dog: Jack towards the geishas. He even hugs one of them before the final boss.
  • Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: Sort of. Jack starts to say the line before killing Leo, but finishes after killing him.
    Jack: I don't help people...
    [the player is given one last chance to swing the Wii remote, in order to kill Leo]
    Jack: ...I kill them.
  • Prison Rape: Among Howard and Kreese's comments.
    Howard: That's it Jack, nail him from behind!
    Kreese: Aw shit, I just had a prison flashback.
  • Production Foreshadowing: An advertisement for The Gates of Hell can be found in the subway. The game that that appeared in was still in development at the time of this game's release. Said game then made a reference to Madworld in return, when visiting The Gates of Hell, coincidentally. And then in Anarchy Reigns, the stylish witch then meets Jack and the others.
  • Pummel Duel: Found in the final boss, where if won Jack ends with a Cross Counter.
  • Punch-Clock Hero: Jack cares nothing for heroics. He even abandons Amala for revenge at the game's conclusion.
  • Pungeon Master: Howard, much to Kreese's chagrin. For example, when Jack electrocutes a Mook:
    Howard: Reeeee-volting! Get it? Revolting? 'Cause you know, electricity is measured in--!
    • His other threat is "I'm gonna kill you NOW!"
  • Putting on the Reich: The third boss, Von Twirlenkiller, wears a costume pretty reminiscent of an SS officer uniform.
  • Rasputinian Death: You get more points the more over-the-top your kills are. Hell, this is practically the whole point of this game.
    • Bosses tend to get this even worse than the common mooks. The Yokozuna in particular gets beaten up and sawed by Jack, impaled by a dozen or so pointy objects (including a knife through his head), electrocuted until he's smoking, and finally killed after being shot out of cannon towards a mountain, exploding as he hits the peak.
  • Recycled In Space: It's Battle Royale meets Escape from New York in SIN CIT-AAAAAAAY!
  • Refuge in Audacity: The violence is more Itchy and Scratchy than anything else, which is how they get away with so much of it.
  • Retired Monster:
    • Jack is the former reigning Grand Champion of Deathwatch, which explains why he's such a badass when it comes to the games.
    • Kreese also used to be a monstrous murderer and a former Champion, and encourages Jack to make trophies out of his fallen victims' body parts.
  • Revolvers Are Just Better: Jude The Dude's weapon of choice.
  • Rollerblade Good: Death Blade is, well, death on wheels. His name is even partially in reference to this (and partially in reference to his Sinister Scythe). Jude the Dude has what appear to be actual ice skates, though.
  • Running Gag: Howard's commentary always finds a way of circling back to his spectacularly failed marriage.
    Howard: "Jack lobs those losers like they were my ex-wife tossing my belongings out the second story window of our house...without even so much as a warning, I mean...I asked her why, but all I got was the same old 'I wanna be treated like a woman' and 'You never put the lid down on the toilet'..."
    Kreese: "...and we're back from the sad epoch that is Howard's life to rejoin Death Watch!"
    Howard: "'Why can't you get it up like your brother?'"
    Kreese: "Shut yer trap."
  • Sandbox: OF DOOM!
  • Scary Black Man: Subverted, slightly. The Black Baron (stop staring) gets killed so often and is such an over-the-top, comical character that he's not really scary... Except when you fight him... And the trope gets played straight as all hell when he gets pissed off and "So Cold" starts playing.
    • The commentators also imply that he isn't even black.
  • Serial Escalation: How many ways can you kill someone?
  • Single-Stroke Battle:
    • Played with. When you beat the Shogun and it's time to finish him off, he jumps to the top of the roof so that you can dash and slice him to death. Jack knocks him backward onto a conveniently placed spike instead.
    • A variation of this appears in the Final Boss, where Jack must try and counter The Black Baron with a Cross Counter. If he doesn't, he suffers the hand-to-hand combat version of a Diagonal Cut.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Averted. Not a lot of people thought upbeat hip-hop would mesh well with a beat em' up. Turns out it does! Though it's not all upbeat, especially when it comes to the Castle.
  • Spikes of Doom: The rose bushes. Inverted in that they're no threat to the player, but perfect for violently impaling mooks.
  • Spiritual Successor: The game is made by a bunch of ex-Clover Studio developers and takes a lot of influence from its "parent" God Hand, featuring shout-outs around every corner. Notable mentions include the finisher for the Horny Devil boss and the entire final boss fight, which references the Devil Hand fights like crazy.
  • Sumo Wrestling: Yokozuma, who is the sumo boss of Asiantown and is notable in three ways:
  • Testosterone Poisoning: Those commentators seem really obsessed with manliness. And just being general jerkasses.
  • The Theme Park Version: In-game, Asiantown was made by throwing together a bunch of different Asian motifs, icons, and sterotypes, and is heavily lampshaded. This being a Japanese game made exclusively for Western audiences makes you wonder who is ribbing who?
  • They Killed Kenny Again:
    • How many times does the Black Baron (stop staring) get maimed and killed, again? Although his final boss status suggests he can take it.
    • Same with Kreese... if we choose to believe everything he says before some bosses. Kreese apparently uses the Extra Lives. Same might apply for The Black Baron.
      Kreese: I used an extra life once and came back as a roach.
      Howard: Sounds like you got the "Wheel of Karma" extra life.
      Kreese: I actually enjoyed it. You know, a cockroach can live for a week without its head?
      Howard: Big deal. I went through eight years of marriage without any head.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Even the "routine" kills are insane.
  • There Can Be Only One: During the final battle:
    Kreese: There can be only one number one in this fight to the death!
    Howard: Well, duh! It's a mathematical fact that there can only be ONE number one!
    Kreese: For the last fucking time, NOBODY SAID THERE'D BE MATH!
    Howard and Kreese: (singing) I blame our schools!
  • This Is a Drill: Wielded by a giant miniboss with an elephant mask, no less. They call him the Big Long Driller. "He used to have one of those old timey hand drills, but his victims would never stay down long enough for him to really get drillin'."
  • Those Wacky Nazis: Twice; Von Twirlenkiller speaks with a German accent and his character design is comparable to a Nazi officer. Big Bull Crocker is suggested to be a Neo-Nazi due to the number 88 being emblazoned on the back of his jacket; in political terms 88 stands for "Heil Hitler".
  • Title Drop:
    Jack: A mad world, huh? Hm. I'll fit right in.
    • Also happens within the soundtrack itself on several songs.
    • Also can happen while fighting The Black Baron. Some Power Struggles result in Jack knocking his teeth out, which spell out MAD (the W in DEATHWATCH is inverted) as they fly by.
  • Toilet Humor: Most of the announcers' dialogue involves it.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Jack is often seen chowing down on onions. They even restore him to full health.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: One of the later bosses in the game is Jack's "evil" counterpart, Kojack. Why does he look familiar? He's Jack's opponent in the multiplayer matches, which are unlocked after the very first Bloodbath Challenge. Also, he's on the back cover of the game.
  • Turns Red: Almost every boss or mini-boss does this when hit hard enough. For example, Big Bull Crocker's eyes will glow white when damaged enough or stabbed with a caution sign.
  • Ultra Super Death Gore Fest Chainsawer 3000: This game actually lives up to this trope.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: The commentators don't seem particularly surprised by the aliens being stored in the secret underground military base beneath Varrigan City. They (Kreese, at least) have seen them before.
    Kreese: Go on, Jack! Show us the color of their insides!
    Howard: What color is that?
    Kreese: I don't know, but it sure ain't red. Fucking aliens!
  • Up to Eleven: Beat the game and you unlock DUAL CHAINSAWS!
  • Vicious Cycle: According to Agent XIII, Death Watch has been going on for quite some time. In prior games, it was used as a less bloody substitute for war between nations. The main reason XIII wants the games destroyed is because the most recent incarnation is for nothing but carnage and profit.
  • Victoria's Secret Compartment: In the final boss fight, the three geishas pull health items from their cleavage and toss them to Jack if he's running low.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: Hell, it's practically a Video Game Cruelty Prerequisite.
  • Video Game Settings:
  • The Voice: You never see the commentators.
  • The Voiceless: The Black Baron's (stop staring) hoe Matilda never says a word. She does pose after killing him, and some of her thoughts are referenced in the song "Look Pimpin!".
  • Voice with an Internet Connection: XIII via communicator and Amala via Jack's inner-ear codec.
  • Villain Song: "Look Pimpin!", "So Cold", and "You Don't Know Me".
  • What a Drag: Jack defeats the leader of The Shamans this way by leashing it to his bike.
  • Would Hit a Girl: There aren't a ton of them among his list of opponents in the game, but Jack is just as brutal to women as he is to men.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: One of Jack's moves/finishers is the jumping backbreaker. Performing it on a enemy with low health will have that said enemy split vertically in half.
  • Wutai: The second area, which is flat-out called "Asian Town", and is even recognized in-universe to be a nonsensical mishmash of stereotypes from East Asian cultures.
  • X-Ray Sparks: Rin-Rin's blocky skeleton can be seen whenever she gets thrown into the electric signs or video monitor during her boss battle. It also happens to just about everyone who gets thrown into electric signs, not just her.
    • Jack also receives this when he is hit with an electric attack. For some odd reason, there is a blank space in his mechanical arm, instead of showing the mechanical parts inside it.
  • You Kill It, You Bought It: How you rank up. Luckily, unlike No More Heroes, you don't have to kill first and only the next rank: you get the rank of whoever you kill as long as it's higher than your current one. Since you start ranked 256th, this is a godsend; then again, beating the very first boss propels you to rank 198.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: