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Video Game / Tales of the Drunken Paladin

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Not all who do good are heroes...

"Anebriate, listen to me. You are about to embark on a long, convoluted and extremely difficult journey around the Kingdom. There will be betrayal. There will be suffering. There will certainly be no shortage of blood. You will fight large, metal people, ancient demon crows, presidential figures and probably even bloodthirsty hobos."
The Save Hobo

"Uh... what? Are you talking to me? Man, this is why I don't talk to bums."

A few years ago, in the entirely fictional kingdom of Maine, a political band of foreign diplomats, known as They, seized control of the throne and began manipulating the current king in power. Plundering Maine's rich economy, this mysterious organization was eventually found out and expedited viciously by a small force of totally radical warriors, chief among them the protagonist of our story: Anebriate.

Anebriate is a paladin. He's also drunk most of the time. One morning he finds out that his house is being foreclosed upon, even though he's rich (which absolutely has nothing to do with the fortune stolen from They). On the way, he gets "kicked in the head by a moose" and forgets everything that has happened in the last few years.

However, he does remember that he's hungry, and heads to Larry's bar. During his visit, the bar is set ablaze by a hitman, and Anebriate, teaming up with a cardinal named Palmer (and Emma), is forced to trek through the monster-infested Labyrinth beneath the bar to get some help. Returning to the bar, our heroes discover that the patrons escaped through a backdoor, and Anebriate begins his search for the person that had set Larry's on fire...

Tales of the Drunken Paladin is an RPG Maker game, which is a unique adventure filled with hilarious moments. Ignore everything you know about RPGs. Typical potions are replaced with alcoholic beverages, swords are useless and boring, and save points are replaced with Mystical Save Hobos.

The first expansion to the game, Big Trouble in Little China, Maine, continues the story from where it left off at the end of the original game. This time, Anebriate and friends must head to Webber's hometown of China, Maine, where strange things are afoot.

The second and final expansion, named Hobotropolis, was released in November of 2011. Palmer and Robert drag Anebriate off to a holiday in the Save Realm, to the fabled Hobotropolis. After the events of the previous expansion, the realm is in chaos and is being held together in the tenuous but tyrannical grip of Groobs.

The author is currently making a Darker and Edgier sequel starring Karla and Robert, along with a new cast of playable characters.

The official site can be found here.

This is obviously not part of the Tales Series.

Tropes found in this game:

  • Action Commands: On newer patches, The Old One will deal unblockable damage unless the player presses the arrow keys in the right sequence.
  • Affectionate Parody: Of old-school 90's Japanese Role-Playing Games in general; many tropes are turned on their head, lampooned into oblivion, and twisted to hilarious extremes. There's also arguably some elements of Deconstructive Parody, come the latter two thirds of the story.
  • Ambidextrous Sprite: Averted with Anebriate, whose character sprite always has his spear in his right hand. It doesn't show up if you're facing left or up.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: If you beat Moon Bear, Anebriate makes a cape with a Moon design in honor of this Worthy Opponent.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • Version 3 added the F.A.I.L.U.R.E. key item, which allows the party to teleport to the entrance of Brunwick Valley for a small fee.
    • The Brunswick Mission will allow you to borrow a few of Portland's guards for extermination, security, and dispatch in case you didn't recruit all optional party members.
  • Badass Preacher: Palmer is physically the strongest character in the game, and he's a Cardinal in the Church. Only the Pope ranks higher.
  • Batman Gambit: Theodore pulls one on Groobs, various rebel factions, and Anebriate in order to ensure the fall of the Big Bad.
  • Big "NO!": This happens to some of the characters over the course of the game.
  • Bill... Bill... Junk... Bill...:
    Anebriate: Bills, bills, bills... oh yes! A coupon for Larry's Tavern!
  • Black Comedy: Boy, howdy. The fact that hobos, of all things, are a central plot point alone very succinctly describes the sense of humor that this game runs on. That's not getting into all the deaths that are portrayed in a comedic manner, and all the instances of Bloody Hilarious.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall:
  • Brutal Bonus Level: Brunswick Valley is a confusing labyrinth full of enemies that can challenge a max level party. This is deconstructed because the town of Topsham is located directly south of the dungeon, which means a well-organized monster invasion could wipe them out. However, clearing the Topsham defense mission successfully will result in all random encounters being eliminated. Though there are still plenty of Superboss enemies in there.
  • Can't Argue with Elves: In the Save Realm, almost all the hobos have a sense of superiority that they constantly flaunt over little Anebriate (not that he's the greatest example that humans have to offer.) Averted in one glorious instance where his epic verbal ripping apart of one particularly callous hobo and her "higher" society throws all of the hypocrisy of her attitude in her face.
  • Can't Drop the Hero: Anebriate can't be removed from the party at all, and only certain events will allow the player to control a party that doesn't include him. To compensate, the paladin has higher EXP requirements than other party members, which means the party will still level evenly if the player rotates them.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: The Bowdoin portion of the game's first arc is the first hint that the game isn't just all laughs and goofiness, largely due to Anebriate and his group ending up briefly caught in the middle of a mob war. There's a good bit of tension and some rather serious scenes, which contrasts with what was, up to that point, a purely comedic game. Then the party reaches Lewiston, and from there, the game's tone steadily grows darker. The humor is still there, but the game's central plot and mood is punctuated by a rather dark edge for the remainder of the story.
  • Chainsaw Good: You get one in a side-quest; it's effective against bears and can be equipped by everybody, but anything else receives little damages from it.
  • Combat Medic: Anebriate, whose secret moves involves mostly healing and curing status, as well as a few offense attacks.
  • Compensating for Something: When Anebriate expresses his preference of spears over swords because spears are bigger, a kids tells him if he's compensating for something. Anebriate calls on the kids' immaturity.
  • Curbstomp Battle: What happens to Mechanicor in the first part of the game.
  • Damage Over Time: There are several different statuses that do this, but Giant Slayer tends to bypass Contractual Boss Immunity more than the others, because it only deals 2%.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Though she uses spooky spells, Emma is not evil and quite nice.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Damn near everyone qualifies at various points, though the Save Hobo, Palmer and Wesley are the most prominent examples.
  • Death Seeker: Old Man Mace fights the party in the hopes that they'll kill him in an epic fight.
  • Difficulty Levels: After beating Hobotropolis, examining the mirror in Anebriate's bedroom allows players to start a new game on Hard Mode. On Hard Mode, bosses gain new skills and tricks to complement their old ones, forcing players to change their usual strategies.
  • Dissimile: Anebriate's answer to people who ask him what it's like being the "greatest warrior in the universe".
    Anebriate: Well, it's kinda like being the juiciest red apple in a trash can full of flies. Except instead of flies, it's hot babes. And instead of being an apple, I'm a ripped warrior.
  • Downloadable Content: Big Trouble in Little China, Maine and Hobotropolis served as the game's DLC storylines at the time of release, but eventually became considered part of the overall story by a sub-set of players, due to advancements in the world-building and plot.
  • The Dreaded: Several characters in the game are widely feared:
    • A good portion of the Super Castle dialogue is about how George Washington will brutally murder the party, to the point where he is exponentially more threatening than King Steve.
    • Steve himself counts, for that matter, especially going by how Belinda describes him towards the end of the first story arc.
    • The Deep Crow, a giant, monstrous crow that's terrorized Lewiston for years and is responsible for the death of Albert's mother.
  • Dug Too Deep: The reason why Lewiston has a problem with the Deep Crow.
  • Elemental Crafting: Heavy Metal is weaker than Bronx which is weaker than Cold Steel and Black Rocks. Meteor Shards are superior to all.
  • Everybody Lives: If Anebriate finds enough helpful NPCs and assigns his party members to the most suitable roles, he can clear the Topsham Mission without any of the citizens dying.
  • Foreshadowing: A few examples, but the below quote is probably the most notable.
    Anebriate: "Why is it that everything we encounter turns into a shit-hole? What's next? Giant whales and hippie tribes!?"
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: According to the developer, Hard Mode is the result of the Old Ones corrupting the player's save file.
  • Fun with Acronyms:
    • The Foundation Against Information Loss
  • Genre Savvy: Bone-headed as he is, Anebriate is pretty on the ball on what to expect in an upcoming dungeon. He usually approaches the situation with a lot of snark.
  • Glass Cannon: Greg. His normal attack deals fairly high unblockable (mostly) damage. His Critical Pitch move can increase anyone's critical rate by a large margin, including his. In Hobotropolis, he will fall in one hit of nearly every single-target attack, having about half the HP and vitality of everyone else. Fortunately, he can also greatly buff his own evasion, reducing the glassiness a little.
    • Emma and Palmer also count, due to their stat-lines and growths.
  • God-Mode Sue: In-Universe. Anebriate, at the beginning of the game, starts out nigh invincible with an attack the deals thousands of points in damage and a ridiculously powerful healing spell... then he loses his memory, and with it all of his power disappears, and he is reduced to extremely weak spells and attacks until he levels up sufficiently.
  • Gold-Colored Superiority:
    • Anebriate is at his strongest point when he dons his golden Paladin Deluxe armor.
    • The Gold Ram has stats to rival the Black Ram.
  • Gratuitous Ninja: King Steve is a ninja. He'll kick your head off for littering.
  • Great Escape: Happens soon after getting locked up by Groobs. It succeeds for two reasons: Les Collaborateurs and because the guards didn't realise that they had to take away everyone's weapons (they hadn't done prison work before, you understand). It's so ineffective that Robert manages to engineer his own accidental escape.
  • Guide Dang It!: Recruiting Emma and Albert.
    • For Emma, you have to scrounge every corner of the First Town for every scrap of gold you can find, not spend any of it on items or gear, and then when you have all the gold you can find in the town, you must spend all of it on a ludicrously expensive book. Anebriete even lampshades how buying a book shouldn't be this complicated. Oh, and you have to do all this before you enter Larry's. You can still recruit her after Larry's, though immediate recruitment is needed to max her Relationship Values.
    • For Albert, you have to talk to a random NPC at night to even start his sidequest.
    • Finding some of the bonus bosses can be this. Especially the Sack Demon.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: Well, Emma likes rapiers but Anebriate seems to think swords are utterly boring.
  • Hulk Speak: Webber.
  • Idiot Hero: Anebriate is easily one of the most prominent examples of this trope in any game. It's also why he provides a great deal of the game's humor.
  • Improbable Weapon User: A surprising lack of odd weapons given the type of game it is. The most relevant example is the umbrella - the Save Wraiths' only weakness.
  • Informed Attribute: If Albert is in the active party, there's a girl in Gardiner who claims that Albert has a voice of a thousand angels. However at that point, Albert never speaks and is believed to be a mute.
  • Inn Security: In Bowdoin, Archibald shows up in the middle of the night.
  • Insistent Terminology: In a conversation between Ugarr and Anebriate, Ugarr keeps insisting that he's wearing fighting pants while Anebriate insists on calling them underwear.
    • An earlier example is in Litchfield, where Palmer keeps telling Anebriate that his weapon is a cane not a stick.
  • I Take Offense to That Last One:
    Old Man Cheever: "In my day, we had respect for the REAL adventurers, not a bunch of soft-headed, slack-jawed, pudgy clowns!"
    Anebriate: "Hey! I'm not pudgy!"
  • Jack of All Stats: Dave is probably the most prominent example, though Anebriate also counts to a degree.
  • Jerkass: A great portion of the cast is this, though Antoxicate takes the cake by far.
  • Jump Scare: Combined with Nothing Is Scarier. After the Topsham Mission, you can inspect the breach location only to seemingly find nothing except for a strange oppressive feeling. Activating the Save Unoculars will cause Anebriate to spot the Mother of Beasts, causing her to immediately attack the party.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero Found Underwear: Anebriate can get Emma's if you search through her stuff.
  • Late to the Realization:
    Karla: Zhat is correct, paladin. But zhat is not even zhe peculiar zhing. After zhat, zhe man stood up and valked avay.
    Anebriate: Wait, wait wait... did you just say "valked?"
    Karla: ... Yes, he valked avay. Zhat is vhat I zaid.'
  • Leaked Experience: Reserve party members get a fraction of experience from battle.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Robert has above average AGI and DEF growth even without distributing AP. If you concentrate most of his AP into ATK, he’ll actually deal more damage over time than Palmer and Webber thanks to his Arrow Storm skill.
  • Magic Knight: Emma, with a much greater emphasis on the knight part - strange for someone whose class is Warlock. Her magic seems to be almost entirely devoted to strengthening her physical attacks.
  • Making a Splash: A couple of Deemer's secret moves are this.
  • Mad Scientist: Dr. Weird asks Anebriate to hunt down a potato, a chicken, and a cow in a side-quest. Yeah, it's that kind of game.
  • Magical Homeless Person: The game has save points in the form of a magical hobo (who call themselves exactly that.) They are exceptionally snarky and rude to Anebriate (who isn't exactly a saint himself), and eventually one of them gets thrown into Magical Hobo prison for abandoning his contractually-bound job as a save point because Anebriate pushed his limit to the point of him storming off.
  • Marathon Boss: Some of the post-Hobotropolis Superbosses have over 100000 HP, which can take a while to deplete even for a properly leveled party. The Frost Dragon and the Moon Bear also have defensive/healing phases to drag out an already long fight.
  • Master of None: Thanks to the way the AP system works, it is better to concentrate AP into a stat or two than to spread AP among multiple stats.
  • The Maze: Larry's Labyrinth is one, though surprisingly, most of the other dungeons are more straightforward.
    • The Bonus Dungeon, Brunswick Valley, is even bigger and twistier than Larry's.
  • Mistaken for Gay: Dave. He steered Anebriate into thinking this in one conversation he has. He's actually talking about hermit crabs the whole time though.
  • Monster Is a Mommy: Interfecio Ursus turns out to have a cub.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Every name on the list in the building next to the docks in Gardiner... except Dave. Inverted in his case when all the people on the list are revealed to fear him for his reputation as a pirate.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: The defeat of the Big Bads of Big Trouble in Little China is the direct cause of the conflict in Hobotropolis.
  • Nice Guy: Dave, Emma, Webber, Robert and Gorbochov, to name some examples.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Numerous examples:
  • No Indoor Voice: WEBBER.
    • As well as Barnaby Jones, Dr. Weird, Mechanicor, and Anebriate himself during his goofier moments.
  • Non-Standard Game Over: A few examples, perhaps unsurprisingly:
    • If you manage to beat George Washington instead of convincing him to go away, the universe will collapse and force a game over screen.
    • Defeating or failing to survive the battle against Professor Reynolds up until he loses half his health will result in this.
  • Nun Too Holy: Despite being a priest, Palmer's hobbies include beating old people and children as well as being misogynistic though the last part was reversed when they are in Augusta.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: After you assign all the necessary roles of the Topsham mission and evacuate civilians, the results of the mission are shown, but the actual battles against the monster army aren't.
  • Optional Boss: There are several well-hidden bosses, including permanently missable ones. According to the developer, some of these bosses are still undiscovered by the playerbase.
  • Optional Party Member: Lampshaded in regards to Emma and Albert. If you recruited them, then whenever either of them speaks up in a cutscene, sometimes another party member will say something along the lines of "Wait, who are you again?"
  • Olympus Mons: After beating Hobotropolis, the Child of the Cosmos can be tamed as a gold racing ram.
  • Party in My Pocket
  • Permanently Missable Content:
    • Everything in the Super Castle is inaccessible after the first arc is beaten. This includes the Hard Mode version of the Sack Demon, Sack Demon Lord.
    • The King/Emperor Squonk boss is also time sensitive and requires a potentially missable dig item.
    • In general, you'll have to choose between a lot of mutually exclusive content, like the black ram versus Anebriate's best revival spell, Greg as a playable character versus Greg as Dual Boss enemy, etc.
    • Thanks to the scarcity of dig spots and mining points, any rare item or event related to these can potentially be missable.
    • After completing the Topsham defense mission, the mine and the random encounters (and their unique drops) in Brunswick will be gone forever.
  • Peninsula of Power Leveling: Once you get to the Save Realm, you can beat a dojo and can rechallenge the dojo master until a certain point in the Hobotropolis arc. After each rematch, you get a great deal of EXP and get healed fully to boot.
    • The Hobotropolis Temple, discovered during the final arc, arguably counts as well, once you reach the end of it; there's a save point and a bed you can sleep on close by. Used properly, you can rake in nearly as much EXP as the dojo offers, and loads of money to boot.
  • Picky Eater: Anebriate enjoys drinking every type of beverage, alcoholic or not, except for wine and tea. Those are for pussies.
    • However, this doesn't stop him from stealing a church's communion wine.
  • Playable Epilogue: Not only can the player continue playing after beating the Final Boss of Hobotropolis, there are many optional quests that involve tying up loose ends from the boss's defeat.
  • Playing with Fire: Deemer has a few secret moves that are of the fire element.
  • Point Build System: The Brownie Points each character gets when leveling up.
  • The Psycho Rangers: Corpse versions of Anebriate, Palmer, Steve, and others pop up later on in the game.
  • Quirky Bard: Greg has all of Edward's durability and speed but much more power.
  • Racing Minigame: The Ram Racing minigame is available in Hobotropolis and has several letter-ranked tiers. There's a final tier beyond A-Rank that isn't officially recognized by the league, but it features the best racing opponents.
  • Rare Candy: The various potions you get after brewing flowers. These can also be bought with casino tokens.
  • Really Gets Around: As the name implies, Been-Around-Betty.
  • The Rival: Antoxicate to Anebriate. The music from Blue plays whenever you meet him.
  • Running Gag: When Webber gets mad, he'll threaten to do many violent acts to his aggressor. AND PUNCH HIS FACE.
  • Schmuck Bait: There's a barrel you can examine at one point where Anebriate tells you that you can activate God Mode by entering in the Konami Code in the time he gives you afterward.
  • Sdrawkcab Alias: Evets Gnik, a patron in a Hobotropolis diner. Unfortunately, there are no sidequests to elaborate on this.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: After going through the annoyingly long Larry's Labyrinth in order to get outside and save the patrons of the bar, they discover that all of the patrons of the bar escaped through a backdoor while they were trekking through. In fact, having to go through the dungeon is one of the reasons why they're going after the one who tried to burn down Larry's.
  • Sheathe Your Sword: The wolf in the Bowdoin caves and the Gold Ram require you to survive for several turns without damaging them in order to complete their sidequests.
  • Shock and Awe: Anebriate has a few secret moves based on this.
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend: How Anebriate and Emma interact sometimes. For example, when they meet Karla, she asks Emma if Anebriate is her lover, to which Emma says that he's more of an "adventure partner". But when Karla asks if Anebriate is available, Emma replies with a loud "NO!!".
    • If You've racked up enough Relationship Values points with Emma, Emma instead calmly states that it could be said that Anebriate and her are lovers, although she still hesitates to use the term.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The champion of the Dangerdome in Hobotropolis is... Charles Barkley.
    • The leitmotif from the rival of Pokemon Redand Blue plays whenever you meet Antoxicate.
    • Anebriate is a Paladin, and Antoxicate is a Death Knight. Death Knight is the Evil Counterpart of the Paladin in Warcraft III.
    • Don't examine that basket of potatoes until you're stronger. The potato will end you.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Emma's Relationship Values go up if the player picks the nicer choices in certain cutscenes and by doing more altruistic sidequests.
  • Stone Wall: Anebriate has a much higher health and defense than the other party members. Karla even more than that.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Webber looks exactly like his own mother. Including the beard and helmet. Except that Webber doesn't wear makeup.
    • Not to mention that Webber's father also looks like him only his beard is black.
    • Despite not having face art like her parents and brother, Webber's sister Webber-Anne looks kind of like Webber only her outfit is pink.
  • A Taste of Power: Anebriate starts the game as a walking god of combat, as Mechanicor learns the hard way. A whack on the head and some poison turn him into a wuss for the rest of the game. He'll never be quite that powerful ever again due to being unable to reequip his Paladin Deluxe gear, but he'll have more healing spells.
  • Third-Person Person: Webber doesn't know what personal pronouns are. Seriously.
  • Token Evil Teammate: Greg, to the point where you can choose to ditch his side. Albert also counts at first due to being a thief and secretly planning to kill Anebriate, Palmer, Deemer, and King Steve to avenge his father. He later turns against his father and becomes an official party member.
  • The Unfought:
    • Despite his antagonism and his potential to become the Old One's new vessel, Groobs is never fought at any point.
    • Antoxicate never duels Anebriate despite their rivalry, though they'll engage in a playable drinking contest in China.
  • Violin Scam: Can be performed by the player at one point, if you know what is going to happen (i.e. have played the game before or read the walkthrough). A man offers to sell you mystery items at ever-increasing outrageous prices, the last one is an apparently worthless trinket, which he then mocks you for. However it's actually an important item for a sidequest, when it and the other pieces are collected you can exchange them for more money than you paid the con artist, as well as a very good weapon.
  • The Voiceless: Albert is this, crossing over to The Silent Bob in an occasion or two.
  • Worf Effect: Mace managed to beat Washington twice.
  • Worf Had the Flu: Mechanicor only lost his second battle because he was too winded from swimming several miles in heavy armor.
  • Worthless Yellow Rocks: Gold to Save Hobos, who value stones more. To emphasize, their entire slum sector is made entirely from gold. In one sidequest, they even reverse a human's formula to transmute rock into gold.
  • Worthy Opponent: Mace and Washington to each other.

Alternative Title(s): The Drunken Paladin