In the kingdom of Fredricus, there is a man. A mighty dragonslayer renowned throughout the lands for his deeds. A hero unlike any other. This is his brother's story.
Reemus is an exterminator living in the kingdom of Fredricus. He yearns to be recognized as a hero, but he lives in his brother's shadow. Trying to help him with his goal is Liam, a small purple bear, who isn't much good in a fight, but has a good head on his shoulders, and is a talented musician; he's Reemus' chronicler, balladeer, and closest friend. Together they take on all manner of bugs and beasts that cause as much trouble (if not more so) than a dragon, but are much lower profile.
There are currently four installments - the prologue, and chapters one, two, three and four. Chapter four was previously only available to those who preordered the premium installment, the Ballads of Reemus: When the Bed Bites, but was released at the same time as Ballads was released to the general public.
There was a Kickstarter for a second premium installment, "Ballads of Reemus 2", that will reboot the plot of the original four installments with new puzzles, go beyond where they left off, and bring the plot to a conclusion.
This game series has examples of:
- Are You Pondering What I'm Pondering?:Liam: Reemus, you know what we have to do!Reemus: Yes, I'll start work on the giant deep fryer and you find a peeler. We'll French Fry these creatures right out of existence!Liam: Or we could just break into the lair and get the acrobat.
- Big Creepy-Crawlies: Reemus' specialty. He prefers to deal with them, too, as he feels that being hired for infestations of mundane bugs hurts his reputation.
- Brilliant, but Lazy: Reemus is a fairly smart guy, and a pretty heavy hitter when the chips are down, but given the choice he'd rather use the low-brainpower violent option over more thoughtful methods, and the let-it-solve-itself method over the low-brainpower violent option. Liam is an interesting application of the trope; although he's considerably more proactive than Reemus, as bears go he has more in common with a teddy than a grizzly, so much of his "proactivity" involves motivating Reemus to do the heavy lifting while he does the brainwork Reemus isn't interested in.
- Controllable Helplessness: When Reemus and Liam tied up by a Gygax, you have to use his knee-jerk inclination to wallop Reemus to escape.
- Crossover: The Death Slugs from The Visitor are a major antagonist.
- Decoy Protagonist: Initially, it appears that you're going to be playing as the legendary hero of Raymus. Instead, it turns out you're playing as his brother Reemus.
- Early Installment Weirdness: The prologue is the only game in the series where you can die or lose otherwise, and Liam has a much less active role.
- Exposition Fairy: In the prologue, Liam would stand at the entrance to the room and give advice about the puzzle when clicked. In later games, he takes a more active role in puzzle solving. In-universe is the All-Knowing Parasite; a prescient leech with a giant eyeball, it knows all and will tell you what you need to know. But it lives and feeds on the tail of the Devouring Worm, which is also Exactly What It Says on the Tin, so you're probably better off saving it for something damn important.
- Gaiden Game: Although it stars Liam and Reemus, Ballads is a separate story from The Several Journeys, canonically happening before the latter in the series timeline.
- The Ghost: Reemus' brother Raymus is mentioned once or twice, and is more or less the source of Reemus' histrionic tendencies, but doesn't really appear in the games.
- Instant Sedation: Reemus is struck by a dart loaded with so much sedative that it knocks him out instantly.
- It Tastes Like Feet: Reemus thought strawberry daquiri flowers taste like old boots. He was wrong; they taste more like decomposing feet wearing old boots.
- Multiple Endings: Every game has at least two different endings; usually a canon ending, and a gag ending (or, in the case of Chapter Two, a full-on bad ending). Normally the choice is down to the last scene, but in Chapter 3 there's a full-blown split path branching from the second scene. In this chapter, both endings technically lead into the next chapter.
- In the recently-released chapter 4, the three endings all lead into the next chapter, because the only difference between them is the method by which Reemus reaches the goal of the final puzzle.
- Overshadowed by Awesome: Reemus is overshadowed by his dragonslaying brother. However, he gets his opportunity to become a hero himself when he is requested to kill an ant queen.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Reemus being the red, and Liam being the blue.
- Refused the Call: Reemus is so rattled by the incident at Castle Fredricus that Liam has to talk him out of going home and drinking away his troubles. Fortunately, he gets over his apprehension, or else the series would be a lot shorter.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Liam and Reemus.
- Subverted Rhyme Every Occasion: If you get the "Legendary" ending in the Prologue game, the last two lines of the ballad Liam sings fall under this trope:Now the townsfolk gossip about this ingenious trick -Instead of the length of Reemus' ... hair
- Suddenly Voiced: All the characters in The Ballads of Reemus. Justified since this game is much longer, and is actually being sold.
- Tastes Like Diabetes: [in-universe] A literal example. The Sugar Bees make a honey so sweet that ingesting it (or, for the impatient, filling a hollow dart with it) causes a temporary diabetic coma while the body tries to deal with all this sugar.
- Talking Animal: Not just Liam. Some bugs and other strange creatures communicate with the main characters as well.
- Talking Is a Free Action: Liam: "Sugar Bee Honey? This stuff is so sweet it induces a temporary diabetic coma! I better watch out-" *is hit*
- Tempting Fate: Reemus: "Ha! I thought that would be a lot harder. See Liam, even the scariest slugs are not match for Reemus the exterminator... Uhhh... It just turned itself inside out. That might be our cue to leave..."
- Tranquillizer Dart: Chapter two, Reemus is shot from offscreen by a dart so loaded with sedative that it actually sprays a considerable amount on Liam when it hits. Liam has just enough time to identify the sedative before he, too, is shot and goes under. Later on, they have to collect a sample of it (it's a type of honey made by a particular bee, which is so potent that even a small amount contains enough sugar to induce a temporary diabetic coma) to exploit it's faux-sedative properties.
- Violation of Common Sense: In the prologue, the easiest way to defeat the Ant Queen is to jump into her mouth.
- Weird Trade Union: The plot of Chapter Four: The Beastly Black Hole of Bureaucracy. Reemus and Liam must lay claim to the death slug quest through Danricus' hero regulations board before anyone else gets their hands on it.