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Video Game / Reality-On-The-Norm

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The completely realistic and normal citizens.
Reality-On-The-Norm is a long-running series of computer games (most of them adventure games made in Adventure Game Studio) created by many authors and set in a Shared Universe. The setting for the games is a fictional town of Reality-on-the-Norm (or simply "Reality" for short), hardly an ordinary town, inhabited by a multitude of peculiar individuals.

The project was started by Yahtzee (yes, that Yahtzee), with a 2001 game Lunchtime of the Damned, which involves a teenage sorcerer Davy Jones trying to stop a rampaging zombie he accidentally created. Since then, loads more of games have been made (there are about 80 of them as of late 2009).

Other notable indie-delevopers who has contributed to the project are Dave Gilbert and Francisco Gonzalez.

The series provides examples of:

  • The Bartender: George Watstatt and his occasional replacement, Dave Nihilist.
  • Brain Food: Michael Gower originally was a brain-eating zombie, though now he largely kicked the habit.
  • Captain Colorbeard: No-Beard.
  • City of Adventure: Reality itself, natch. Zombies, sorcerers, monsters, the Grim Reaper, private eyes, aliens, homicidal chickens, and so on.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: The in-game version of Yahtzee, whose company "Yathzeebrand" routinely brainwashes its employees.
  • Curse Relay: According to the Man in Cow Suit's creator Captain Mostly, the character's story is exactly this:
    The guy in the suit is no-one in particular, he's just wearing the suit.... or the suit is wearing him, it depends on how you look at it. You see, this suit is eeevil. It possesses the person who is wearing it so the person has no recollection of his former life and believes he is a cow. Now, for each new person who wears the suit, the more evil it becomes. At the end of my game the guy/girl inside the suit gets killed, and the suit is lying on the ground, ready to possess another helpless soul. I suppose by the time of c'est mort, it has possessed so many people it has become the incarnation of evil.
  • Development Hell: Edge of Reality took nine years to complete.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": The Sheriff.
  • Geographic Flexibility: The first game featured a handful of very basically drawn locations. With each new game, these same locations have been considerably expanded, with different versions of the same places used interchangably. It's only been in recent years that any real attempt has been made to bring some coherence to their respective locations.
  • The Grim Reaper (who quit his job to become a campaign manager)
  • Hilarity Sues: After Phil Nihilist gains superpowers, he gets sued by DC Comics for copyright infringement, because his powers are the same as Superman's.
  • Identity Amnesia: The Crazy Homeless Weirdo, who has a new identity in every game.
  • Interactive Fiction: A couple of games are text adventures.
  • Intercontinuity Crossover: Some games feature characters from other games (Commander Keen Enters RON, Monty on the Normnote ). Then there's Shadows of RON, created by a writer who actually included the character from his books as the protagonist.
  • Killer Rabbit: The Chicken, who is a sociopath with a gun.
  • Mad Scientist: Dr. Die Vie Ess. Has a mansion, an evil laugh and all.
  • Mind Screw: Nihilism, Surreality on the Norm and Edge of Reality. Also, most of games by Tobias Schmitt, before they were removed from the site.
  • Naked People Are Funny: Guido the nudist.
  • New Neighbours as the Plot Demands: The city seems to gain new citizens who were always there with every installment.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Doc is a caricature of Hunter S. Thompson.
  • No Indoor Voice: Mr. Namyah, all the time.
  • Old Shame: Disappearance Time, an old game which has been re-released by the author years later with added scathing commentary which points out every single stupid thing within.
  • Orphaned Series: Apocalypse Meow never went beyond its first chapter.
  • Pirates: Hooky McPegleg, though he quit the pirating and became a postman.
  • Point-and-Click Map: Quite a few games, such as Defender of RON.
  • Private Detective: Max Griff.
  • Revenge by Proxy: The Chicken's revenge on Baron Wolfgang for killing his brother is killing the Baron's brother.
  • Round Robin: Probably the definitive video game example of this trope. Each game is created by a different person from the last, often carrying on a previous story thread or using characters from earlier installments.
  • Running Gag: The bum with Identity Amnesia, who has a new identity every game.
  • Sadist Teacher: Mr. Namyah, the gym teacher. Making a student box a punchbag with tiny shards of glass glued to it? Sure, a day like any other.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: The alien Knoffel, as depicted in Purity of the Surf
  • The Sheriff: Called just "sheriff", he's the local lawkeeper.
  • The Stoner: Melt and Drake, as well as Doc.
  • Super Hero: Phil Nihilist, the Llamaman.
  • Super Spit: This eventually ends up being Phil's superpower.
  • Surfer Dude: Josh Beachcomber.
  • Talking Animal: A couple of chickens, and Mary the fox (though she communicates telepathically rather than by talking.)
  • Talking Down the Suicidal: Defender of RON has an optional mission where the protagonist has to try and talk Death out of a suicide attempt.
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: It's never made clear which country Reality even lies in. At the beginning of Invasion of the Space Aliens..., the characters argue whether it's in America or Britain, with the narrator claiming that it lies in Australia. In any case, the city seems to have its own currency, "Reality Dollars".
  • Wrench Wench: Elandra, in contrast to her boyfriend Davy Jones the sorcerer.