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Video Game / Super Daryl Deluxe

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Just another ordinary day at Water Falls High School

Super Daryl Deluxe is a sidescrolling brawler/metroidvania/RPG starring Ordinary High-School Student Daryl Whitelaw. Daryl is a new student at the once-prestigious Water Falls High School - a school where there are no teachers and almost every period is "Study Hall". On his first day, a misguided attempt to make friends leads him to become an employee of Paul and Alan's Textbook Emporium. Co-proprietors Paul and Alan give him a self-help book - "Interacting With Others" - in lieu of actual pay. As it turns out, studying this book doesn't help Daryl socialize better, but instead teaches him absurd Supernatural Martial Arts.

After that, things escalate quite a bit. To give you a sense of how weird it gets, imagine you are a noodly mute hippie running through a WWI battlefield, shooting rubber ducks at goblins. This is so you can join Caesar, Ghengis Khan, Napoleon, and Cleopatra in an epic team up against a real-time-strategy game enthusiast leading an army of said goblins. This is actually a diversion from what you were *supposed* to be doing, which was getting back a classmate's cell phone from the vice-principal, who is a killer kung-fu robot. And no matter where you are or what you're doing, the background music is chanting your name.

Mind Screw. Mind Screw as far as the eye can see...

Super Daryl Deluxe provides examples of:

  • Animesque: The fight against Monica, the Guardian of Literature, has her unleash typical anime moves such as energy spheres, teleporting, sudden energy blasts, boosting her aura and so on. Her character design however is in the same "indie comic book" style as all other characters.
  • A Taste of Power: The game opens with a high-levelled Daryl who is in possession of several powerful (if difficult to combo and poorly developed) skills. Then a flashback to a fateful graduation ceremony from forty years prior is played before the player takes control of Daryl a week before the introductory stage takes place.
  • Affectionate Parody: The paranormal investigation and roleplaying clubs are initially portrayed as losers, but they're gradually revealed to be teams of True Companions who manage to aid Daryl after he helps them out of trouble.
  • All There in the Manual: Much of Eli's scheme and Princess' origins can be found in a journal hidden in the Lost Hallway. Gaining access to it requires several rare gems.
  • Almost Dead Guy: Played for laughs at the end, where Principal Kent Hangerman spends his last moments giving a massive infodump to the characters that is so long that the Janitor takes a moment to check his watch.
  • Alpha Bitch: Princess, who treats Daryl as little more than a gofer she puts up with for most of the game.
  • Ambidextrous Sprite: The $ symbol on the chests is flipped when they are depicted facing left. Also, one of the members of the Paranormal Team has the word "GHOST" on his sweatshirt that gets flipped as well.
  • Anti-Hero: Daryl really wants to make friends, but to attain as many popularity points as possible, he finds himself all too willing to do some rather questionable acts such as breaking all of an art teacher's work to unlock a quest or burying the gardener's pet rat...that he accidentally killed in a previous scene.
  • Author Avatar: Paul and Alan are based on the developers Gary Porter and Dan Plate as high schoolers and take their names from their middle names.
  • Autobots, Rock Out!: The final boss is set to an instrumental version of the main theme.
  • Big Damn Heroes: The Transparanormal Investigation Team Squad and Ebenezer Scrooge save Daryl from Karin and Mister Robatto by blowing the Vice-Principal's head off with a "science gun."
  • Big Good: The Janitor, who is the one pushing Daryl to uncover the truth behind the school.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Daryl and the Janitor save the world from Eli's schemes, but the fates of everyone in the school and the Axis is ambiguous at best, Princess perishes after her boss battle, and Daryl gets fired by Paul and Alan.
  • Blank Slate: Daryl, if his mute under-reactions to almost everything is anything to go by.
  • Bonus Boss: Some bosses can be fought again as "beta bosses." The "beta" version of the boss is more powerful than the original, and keeps getting stronger the more times you defeat it.
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory: Certain quest items that Daryl would normally have to farm (ex. coal, mortar shells, etc.) can be purchased from certain shops for relatively nominal fees.
  • Changed My Mind, Kid: After finding out that there is no explosive chip implanted in his head, the Janitor decides to flee the school with Kent Hangerman's body before what appears to be the final boss fight. However, when Daryl finds himself at an impasse during his climactic duel with Eli, the Janitor bursts into the room and tells him to use the Signature Move (The Cleaner) he taught him to get the edge over their shared nemesis.
  • Death Is Cheap: Once an individual achieves "Super Deluxe", they can easily recover from conventional mortal harm unless overcome (by someone also in a "Super Deluxe" state) by a technique independent of those found in "Interacting with Others".
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Daryl thinks this is the case as he'll list certain villains that he's beaten in the "Friends" section of his journal like the Theatre Manager (Johnny Sore) who tried to kill him and threatened to chop off Beethoven's hands. It doesn't always take.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Princess, in a rapid and disturbing manner. Initially, she thinks Daryl is an idiot and a creep who broke into her room, messed up her bed, and stole hair from her hairbrush. Later, she begins to appreciate that he makes a good lackey. Then she gets into her Mad Scientist phase and starts talking about running away with Daryl to live on the sun. By the end of it her room has become a Stalker Shrine with scores of pictures of Daryl's face.
  • Disco Dan: Daryl is never seen without his orange headband, bellbottom pants, high-heeled shoes and mullet.
  • Driven to Suicide: While it's not made clear in the gameplay or his dialogue, your journal shows that Napoleon reaches a Despair Event Horizon and overdoses on medication after he finds out that Caeser has died. They are reunited in Limbo, much to Napoleon's massive annoyance and horror.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Caesar, Cleopatra, and Napoleon all abruptly die and wind up in the underworld during the last leg of the game.
  • Dual Boss: The second time Robatto is fought, he's assisted by Karin. The third time he's confronted, Monica pops in to fight alongside him shortly after the fight begins.
  • Dying as Yourself: Princess regains her sanity and her original sense of self before perishing.
  • Evolving Attack: All of Daryl's moves can be improved by spending experience. They each start at Rank 1, and as they grow in rank they do more damage, have shorter cooldowns, are more likely to inflict status effects, and look cooler.
  • Expository Theme Tune: See the Quotes page. This song plays during the credits and in the trailer for the game.
  • Expy Coexistence: Johnny the Theater Manager is obsessed with dubstep and looks a lot like Skrillex, but he mentions in his dialogues that he knows Skrillex and has received a gift from him.
  • The Faceless: The main villain is never shown from above the neck, to hide the fact that he has a Skull for a Head. Also, all of the Trenchcoat Kids have their faces hidden by their hoods, one can only see eyes and a manic grin. Humorously, some of them have disguises on top of it.
  • Final-Exam Boss: If the player hasn't gotten a good grasp on dashing by the time they get to the last two real boss fights, they are going to eat a lot of damage from cascades of lasers (too wide and fast to be normally outrun) that will rain down upon them.
  • Fun with Acronyms:
    • Due to a filing mixup, the Paranormal Investigation Squad and the Transcendental Investigation Team wound up becoming merged into the Transparanormal Investigation Team Squad.
    • In the History section, Napoleon manages thanks to Daryl to create an army composed of the various armies led by him, Genghis Khan, Julius Caesar and Cleopatra, naming it Napoleon's Freedom Legion, or NFL for short. Later on, Genghis Khan manages to become the leader of this army and renames it Mongolian Legion of Bloodshed, or MLB.
  • Grew a Spine: After spending the entire game doing the bidding of anyone at least passably nice to ask (including several of the villains' underlings), Daryl pointedly refuses to help Eli conquer the world with some very defiant silence.
  • The Grim Reaper: Death is a minor recurring NPC who also moonlights as the Ghost of Christmas Future.
  • Heroic Mime: Daryl is not only silent - he has no discernible body language. People asking him direct questions only to be met with a wordless stare is a Running Gag.
  • Hidden Depths: Daryl's opening Imagine Spot implies a lot about Daryl's "Part 2" mindset. These include wishing he could beat up the Trenchcoat Kid vendors, considering Alan to be a friend while secretly disliking Paul, and believing that Princess is an innocent young maiden instead of a tortured young girl who is steadily slipping into lunacy.
  • High-School Hustler: Aside from Paul and Alan, the Hoodie kids are an entire group of these. They serve as the game's shopkeepers and their rivalry with Paul and Alan form the basis of several sidequests.
  • Honest John's Dealership: Paul and Alan's Textbook Emporium is based entirely on selling textbooks that have been stolen from the school classrooms. Paul and Alan are (as a pair) also a Bad Boss who demand their employees commit crimes, including arson and murder. What they offer in exchange for textbooks are pages torn from a self-help book that (they think) is worthless.
  • Hulking Out: Daryl momentarily does this whenever he levels up. At the end of the game, he fully transforms into "Super Deluxe" form to fight Eli Bavarius.
  • Identical Grandson: The pyramid's gardener is implied to be an ancestor of the Water Falls High groundskeeper, and they look basically the same.
  • Identical Stranger: Genghis Khan mistakes Daryl for his grandson Kublai. In fact, inside the warlord's tent there is a portrait of the "real" Genghis and another one that looks exactly like Daryl, glasses included, but in Mongolian clothing. The narration in the Journal also implies that Genghis Khan is an ancestor of Daryl's, but it's unclear if it's anything but a delusion on Daryl's part.
  • I Know Kung-Faux: Daryl's moves include summoning weapons from Hammerspace, spontaneous costume changes, surfing, summoning whack-a-moles, shooting rubber ducks from a bow, and other oddities. And almost of their names are social interaction puns. Super Honors Student Princess displays similar abilities.
  • Imagine Spot: The tutorial takes place in one of these. It's one of the few levels that does.
  • Infinity +1 Sword: The Mecha Daryl armour set greatly increases Daryl's stats, but gimps his ability to attain experience points. It's of little consequence if you slap it on him after he reaches his maximum level of 45 with all of his favoured skills fully developed.
  • Intrepid Merchant: You will find Hoodie Kids ready to sell you whatever they find everywhere in the game.
  • Kaizo Trap: Time Knight's more powerful Beta Boss form summons and fires spears endlessly at Daryl. Even if his life bar is depleted; so he can still knock the player out when they think the fight is over.
  • King Mook: Sire Cymbal is a bigger version of the Cymbal enemies, with additional eyeballs and a dopey grin floating above the flying cymbals with severed arms.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: Daryl is occasionally rewarded or chances upon the locker combinations of his fellow students (among others) and has no qualms about looting them for the sake of a quest or if he's short on cash. Among the other things he steals over the course of the game include pets, allergy medication, phones, book spray, and the secret lab of Doctor Frankenstein.
  • Lemony Narrator: Daryl's journal is written in second person and gives a somewhat colorful and inaccurate recounting of Daryl's exploits. Whether this is Daryl mythologizing his own life or a third party Leaning on the Fourth Wall is unknown.
  • Loser Protagonist: Daryl was designed to be as pathetic as possible in both his appearance to his name in order to better emphasise his underdog nature.
  • Mirror Boss: The final boss fight is Daryl and Eli both in Super Deluxe form in a massive slugfest where they both have the exact same moveset.
  • No Social Skills: Daryl, to such an extent that he shows no reaction to almost anything around him. The only time he truly emotes is at the very end when he sheds a single tear as Princess dies in his arms and when Eli taunts him over the fact that he killed his "best friend.
  • Non-Malicious Monster: Most basic enemies in the game won't attack Daryl unless he strikes first.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome:
    • The 666 Music Trials in the Art & Music section. The first one is a puzzle, the second one a fight against some enemies to recover items, then the game cuts to a screen saying "663 Trials Later..." and then Beethoven while talking with Daryl shows surprise at how the dweeb handled some of the most outlandish trials.
    • The fight against Karin, the Guardian of Science is this too. When you fight her she's completely invulerable thanks to her bubble shield, and after avoiding her attacks and beams for a while, the Janitor remembers that Daryl just bought the Time Travel equipment that Princess asked him for. So, he tells Daryl to use it and go a future where he has defeated her; we don't see anything of what he did, but the battle must have been epic, since most of the room has been reduced to a crater.
  • Opaque Nerd Glasses: Daryl wears these, to denote him as completely inexpressive and alienated.
  • Perky Goth: Abby, a pink-haired young woman whose locker is full of shadow-based equipment, is one of the friendliest characters in the game and cares deeply for her fellow students. She's one of the few people who actually tries to befriend Daryl and warn him about dealing with Paul and Alan.
  • Precursor Heroes: Kent Hangerman and Eli Bavarius, two genius graduates from Water Falls High during the 70s who would go on to achieve great things. The actions of the two form much of the backstory of the setting.
  • Platform Hell: In the Literature section, the Castle Depths in Dr. Frankenstein's castle are an auto-scrolling obstacle course where Daryl is on top of a boat sailing over a lava lake and has to avoid giant buzzsaws, flame jets, bomb-dropping Frankenbats and other stuff. All this just to recover a key that Igor has dropped.
  • Punny Name: A few of them among the NPC, like Claire Voyant, Ken Speercy, Kerri R. Pigeon, etc. And, of course, vice principal Mr. Robatto.
  • Quirky Miniboss Squad: The Honor Students, who are the ones controlling each class and are all major bosses.
  • Rainbow Pimp Gear: Daryl can adorn himself in a wide range of outfits, running the gamut from "Mecha Daryl" to "Humanoid Xylophone". However, they will not be visible on his character model, because he wears them under his normal clothes.
  • Rare Candy: Textbooks, which can be used to buy moves or traded for XP.
  • Reference Overdosed: The game is packed with references to other media and historical figures. Having an entire section of the game world dedicated to high-school literature is only one part of it.
  • Rubber-Hose Limbs:
    • Daryl's arms, legs, and spine are all extremely bendy, to the point where his normal walking and running animations don't look like anything a human could do.
    • The Cleaner, AKA the Janitor during his boss fight, has a literal stretchy arm that needs to be hit as the only way to damage him.
  • Running Gag:
    • Someone asks Daryl a question, and he says nothing.
    • Daryl kills one of the school groundskeeper's pets.
    • Vampire Count Roger is menaced by bats.
    • Alan and other people never remembering Daryl's name, calling him Drew, Daniel, Dexter, etc.
  • Seemingly Profound Fool: Most people who meet Daryl and don't immediately dismiss him as an imbecilic weirdo project all kinds of personas onto him - servant, hero, hidden genius, TTRPG player, and more.
  • Schmuck Bait:
    • One mission involves selling one of Leonardo Da Vinci's paintings to an art collector so you can use the funds to get Beethoven off of the painter's back about funding his latest opera. The art collector is willing to pay 250 ducats for the painting, but there's a vendor skulking around the gallery who wants to buy the work off of you for $10 and a modest store discount. Ducats, for the uninformed, are made of solid gold and each of them are priced at around $148 each at today's prices. In an attempt to make you regret shirking his deal, the vendor will reveal that he has incredibly powerful gear (one of which, supposedly, can make Daryl talk) in stock. Every one of the shown items is worth $10,000. However, even if you somehow managed to scrounge up that much money, you'll find out that you can't buy any of this gear at all.
    • The Self Destruct skill advises you to never use it; in fact it does Exactly What It Says on the Tin, blowing Daryl up and leaving only a pair of Smoldering Shoes on the ground. Also unlocks an achievement, called "What Did You Expect?"
  • The Slow Path: How Eli returned to the present to exact his revenge after he was accidentally tossed back in time by Kent.
  • Summon Magic: After you help them with their unfinished business, you can summon elf ghosts, Omar and Shiv, to assist you by equipping their friendship bracelets. Unfortunately, they don't have the same fire rate and damage output as they did when they aided you during their final side mission.
  • Time Stands Still: Subverted. A skill that Daryl can find stops time, but only that of his enemies. Everything else moves at a normal speed and even his foes can cheat their way out of this state with obtuse methods like teleporting.
  • The Unfought: JP the valedictorian ends up getting vaporized by Princess just as he's preparing to deal with Daryl himself.
  • Upgrade Artifact: "Interacting with Others" , a book written by Kent and Eli that revolutionized the world, is given to Daryl at the beginning. It turns out that Kent has been hanging onto it as a last resort to dealing with Eli.
  • Villain World: Water Falls High School exists 20 Minutes into the Future in a world where self-help books created a utopia and then caused that utopia to collapse. Today the Big Bad has nearly complete control of the school, and only Daryl can do anything about it.
  • War for Fun and Profit: With his fellow Honor Students out of the way, Time Knight uses all their resource to weave new (and very derivative) lands solely to be conquered by him.
  • Wham Line: "She (Monica) was kidnapped."
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: There's no real denouement to the game so the survival of the remaining cast members besides Daryl, Paul, Alan, and the Janitor is unclear.
  • Winged Soul Flies Off at Death: The game over sequence is this, with a floating Daryl soul complete with harp and halo.
  • World of Ham: All of the voice-acting is over-the-top, especially from the Big Bad.

"That's what a friend does, I guess. They stick around."