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Adorable Animals, Serious Combat.note 
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Them's Fightin' Herds is a Fighting Game developed by Indie Game team Mane6. The game is notable for a few things: first, it is probably the firstnote  fighting game to have a cast consisting entirely of quadrupedal characters. Second, Mane6 were given direct aid from Lab Zero Games (the developers of Skullgirls) as a reward for the massive success of their DLC crowdfunding, in the form of the license to use the Z-Engine. Third, despite being such a small team still on their first project, Lauren Faust took part in the game as a character designer and a writer. Fourth, and most important, is how Lauren Faust's attention was initially caught by the game:

Them's Fightin' Herds was originally a fan-made My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic game titled Fighting is Magic. Lauren enjoyed playing the game, but Hasbro issued a cease-and-desist order against Mane6,note  forcing Mane6 to abandon the project. Despite this huge setback, however, the Mane6 team decided to keep going on with their idea by creating a similar game set in an entirely new, non-copyright-infringing universe. Lauren Faust then decided to offer her help in designing new characters for that game.

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The story of the game goes something like this: The land of Fœnum (sometimes also written as "Foenum") is inhabited by various sapient hoofed mammals who built societies and cultures revolving around the natural environment that their species are indigenous to. However, this wasn't always the case: for once, long ago, their lives were threatened daily by the presence of predators. These carnivorous beasts had been banished to a magical realm long ago, ushering an age of peace for the herbivores. Now, that peace has been threatened: countless numbers of predators have escaped their supernatural prison and are now threatening to infiltrate Fœnum en masse, led by the greatest and most horrible predator of all.

To address this situation, each race has sent their strongest, bravest, most skilled and most willing of their number to face the predators' leader and close the portal of the prison realm using an enchanted key. However, there's only one key, and all of these "Key Seekers" must duel each other to become the "Key Keeper."

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Who will claim the key? Who will face the terrifying leader of the predators? And will she save Fœnum? You will have to play to find out!

View the first gameplay trailer here, and the 1.0 Launch trailer here.

The official forum can be accessed here.

The Indiegogo campaign (that has been funded!) can be viewed here.

Has a character page in need of work as more chapters and updates are added into the game.

The game released in Early Access (mostly complete apart from the Story Mode) on February 22nd 2018. The game received a proper release on April 30, 2020. While it only had the first part of the Story Mode, the rest is planned to come out as free DLC.


Them's Fightin' Tropes:

  • Accessory-Wearing Cartoon Animal: The main characters can wear different hats or other accessories on their face and backs in the Pixel Lobby. Arizona, Paprika, Pom and Shanty all have their own by default.
  • Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: Some of the items from Cap N' Cash's are pretty pricey, and would definitely take a few trips into the Salt Mines.
  • Aerith and Bob: Compare "Oleander" and "Fred". Or if you want to reverse it, FHTNG TH§ ¿NSP§KBL? and Ollie.
  • Afterlife Antechamber: The Hold where the Predators are trapped is described as a void filled with portals to other worlds, including the Afterlife.
  • All There in the Manual: The Book of Lore, released in late 2015, details the backstories of each of the main playable characters. However, updates to the game's story ultimately led to it being declared non-canon in 2020. Most of it will likely be adapted into the canon in story mode eventually, though.
  • Amazing Technicolor Wildlife: Some of the nameless background characters can get pretty colorful, though a handful of species have the excuse of being a mythological creature. Averted for the Alpake and Cattlekind, who all have more natural colors.
  • Ambidextrous Sprite: Which direction Oleander and Arizona's hair style go into or which one of Shanty's eyes has the beige patch depends on where the camera is viewing them.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: Winning online fights awards you with Salt, which can be spent to enter the Salt Mines, where you can earn even more Salt and spend this Salt to unlock chests that unlock new hats. All of the secret items in story mode are also unlockable accessories.
  • Animated Actors: In one of the teasers for the game's story mode, the characters have "stunt doubles". Velvet's is named Denim.
  • Anti-Hero: While Oleander and Velvet are definitely the good guys, they have their flaws that make them a little less than traditionally heroic. Debatably Paprika too, as she appears to just be doing her own thing. Pom's self-doubt and cowardice fits her more into the Classical Anti-Hero.
  • April Fools' Day: The forums got redesigned two times, both on on April 1st:
    • For 2018, the background was replaced by an animation of Velvet shaking her posterior (which is also used for the loading screens).
    • For 2019, the site was given a black and orange color scheme and the background was replaced by drawings of Pom and the logo was changed to "PomHub", making it look like the very Not Safe for Work website PornHub and causing potential embarrassment from onlookers.
  • Art Evolution: Since the start of the game Paprika and Pom gained accessories and most of the character's colors were slightly tweaked.
  • Ascended Fanfic: Well, more like Ascended Fangame, but Tropes Are Flexible. Started life as a just-for-fun My Little Pony fangame, and evolved into a unique brawler that secured a commercial release and has the actual creator of Friendship Is Magic on its team. The six launch characters are also all Expies of My Little Pony's main characters.
  • Assist Character: FHTNG/Fred and all of Pom's dogs are technically this. In Oleander's level 2 super, she can summon Fred in a more corporal form to help, while Pom can summon Big Papa in hers.
  • Atrocious Alias: Out of universe, some of the names of the Computer-controlled bots can be rather... silly.
  • Awesome Mc Coolname: It's even one of Tianhuo's potential bot names.
  • Bait-and-Switch: Tianhuo's backstory makes it seem like she was at one point bullied in her life... until it's revealed that she wasn't bullied, she was the bully herself.
  • Battle in the Rain: The "now extra depressing" version of the Alpake Highlands stage has a raining background.
  • Bears Are Bad News: One of the predator enemies in story mode are bears, who usually appear as minibosses after a group of wolves, panthers and snakes. They're slow, but have high health and armor moves. A bear is the final boss of Arcade mode.
  • Big Bad: The Great Devourer, the leader of the Predators, is set up to be one in the beginning.
  • Big Ball of Violence:
    • During Pixel Lobby mode, uninvolved players see matches in progress as cartoony clouds with stars flying out.
    • The panther's grab animation is them leaping at and clawing the player, with the attack obscured by a cartoonish cloud.
    • Pom's grab is her constant dog companion leaping at and attacking her opponent, obscured by a cloud, after which she pulls him off.
  • Bleak Level: The Alpake Highlands/ Huacaya Mountain level (Paprika's home stage) is very colorless and dusty looking compared to the other stages. It's Pixel Lobby is even called "A Dreary Place".
  • Bloodless Carnage: Being apparitions, the Predator mooks just disappear into nothing when defeated. The fighters too; other than a few scrapes and bruises in icons and cutscenes, the cast can get bucked, trampled, frozen, ignited and still come out relatively fine. At least compared to if you were kicked by a hooves in real life.
  • Blow You Away: Along with her ice powers, Velvet's winter magic also gives her control over wind.
  • Boss Corridor: For Arizona's chapter, there's a small healing section right before the two Multi-Mook Melee fights and Oleander.
  • Boss Remix: The theme of the giant snake boss is a slightly remixed version of the Canyon theme.
  • Breaking the Fellowship: According to Texas, this happened on a worldwide scale for Foenum. After banishing the predators to The Hold, all the inhabitants of Foenum decided they'd be better off just hanging around their own species.
  • Breath Weapon: Velvet can blow frost while Tianhuo breathes fire.
  • Canon Discontinuity: When Mane 6 announced the release date for Version 1.0, they also announced that The Book of Lore was no longer considered canon, and that any canon backstory would be featured in the game's story mode itself.
  • Carnivore Confusion: It's actually the reason behind the plot! The ungulates, not wanting to be the Predators' prey any longer, locked them into another dimension.
  • Casting Gag: Tara Strong originally auditioned in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic to play as Applejack, instead becoming Twilight Sparkle. So now, she's playing as an Applejack Expy.
  • Cast of Expies: As said, the main playable characters are all intentional parallels of the Mane Six. Averted for Shanty and the rest of the supporting cast.
  • Cast of Snowflakes: Even the background ungulates all look visually distinct from each other.
  • Cat Fight: Helps that all of the Key Seekers so far are female. Unlike the fanservice-y reputation of this trope though, most of them take their fights very seriously. note 
  • Cave Behind the Falls:
    • The Pummelin' Prairie lobby has a waterfall with a cave behind it. Said cave contains the entrance to the Salt Mines.
    • The Hidden Waterfall stage in the 2.0 update takes place on the inside of one.
  • The Champion: Becoming this for Fœnum is the main goal for most of the characters. Who it will be remains to be seen.
  • Christmas Elves: The Ice Sprites, caretakers of the Reine deer, resemble this, although they look more like a hybrid of The Fair Folk and The Greys (but they are still cute).
  • Christmas Town: Reine downplays this, as there's no actual Santa. It might not be decorated for Christmas 24/7 but it's a snowy town filled with Reindeer and little elf creatures, where every year they have a tradition of eight chosen reindeer pulling a sleigh through the night's sky. The town looks much more the part during Holiday seasons, though.
  • Civilized Animal: All of the ungulates in Fœnum (except for the Ice Sprite) are all sapient animals.
  • Code of Honour: The Longma live by a strict code of honor that forbids certain actions, like eating meat.
  • Combos: Of two varieties, the first being standard combos. If at any point the opponent could've escaped or countered, it becomes an "invalid combo", with the text changing to blue as well as a smaller number (up to 3) indicating at what point in the combo it could've been broken.
  • Conscription: Much like Turians, all Longma are part of the military.
  • Constructed World: Them's Fightin' Herds takes place in the world of Fœnum. A world inhabited by sapient hoofed animals that have formed societies. Somewhat similar to Equestria, but the main inhabitants are far more diverse.
  • Cool Key: The Predators were locked away with an enchanted key made from one of the Prophet's horns.
  • Cool Pet: The reindeer to the Ice Sprites. While the reindeer are fully sentient and have their own civilization, the Ice Sprites dote on them as their pets, and are treated well in turn as they do anything asked of them.
  • Counter-Attack: Arizona can do so at the cost of one magic bar. Paprika and Pom's level 3 also activate this way.
  • Crapsaccharine World: While some areas of Foenum don't look too bad, most of its residents are still divided amongst themselves, and the whole world is nearly on the verge of a Sugar Apocalypse with the arrival of the Predators. There's also The Highlands, a dangerous and depressing place to live, yet the mountains are home to a bunch of cute and fluffy alpaca.
  • Credits Medley: The credits music contains a medley of every character's stage theme.
  • Crossover: Owning the Steam versions of Guilty Gear Xrd REV 2, BlazBlue: Central Fiction, or Skullgirls will unlock game-related accessories for the Pixel Lobby.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Each chapter follows a different protagonist.
  • Death Mountain:
    • The Huacaya Mountain level is a foggy mountainous area that takes place in The High Plains.
    • Huoshan takes place in an active volcano.
  • Death World: The mountains where the Alpake Clan live. All forms of natural disasters happen on a weekly basis and it doesn't phase them one bit. The fact that Paprika nearly drove them extinct with her antics screams just how terrifying she is.
  • Decomposite Character: Velvet lacks Rarity's fashionista archetype that was a big part of her character. Instead, that trait was more-or-less given to her cousin, Cashmere.
  • Descriptively-Named Species: Sometimes the ungulates are called something a little more unique than just their species. We have "Cattlekind" for bovines, "Sheeple" for the sheep, and "Deerfolk" for the deer/reindeer.
  • Dire Beast: Some Predators can get pretty big, but the giant Cuddles (snake) that acts as the first boss in story mode is just huge.
  • Double Jump: Oleander is capable of jumping twice. Could be justified because of her powers, but she strangely isn't activating any magic while doing so.
  • Downloadable Content: Shanty, her stage, and her planned episode was the first planned batch for downloadable content.note 
  • Downer Ending: Chapter 1 has Arizona get her hind handed to her by Oleander whether she beats her final phase or not and her bag looted of a Longma Ball. She herself also can't make sense of any of the writing on the pillar in the Temple of Gloom, putting her journey at a dead end.
  • Dramatic Irony:
    • If the player somehow manages to beat Oleander's third phase, Fred implies to have hidden plans of his own involving Oleander, and knocks out Arizona in a single hit. Fred lies and tells Ollie that she managed to defeat Arizona. Since Oleander was unconscious and Arizona presumably doesn't remember what happened when she gets back up, only he and the audience knows what really happened. Downplayed as we still don't know what those plans specifically are yet.
    • The nameless lamb Arizona runs into in Reine is none other than Pom. It's also a Foregone Conclusion that, wherever Pom goes on her adventure, she will eventually end up in Reine.
    • The Laughing Mad Sinister Silhouette is described as the "monster" who roams the High Plains by the Alpake, and stalks Arizona throughout the level. It's obvious that the "monster" is that yellow alpaca in the character select screen.
  • Dump Stat: Parodied: All of the cosmetics, even the characters themselves, for the pixel lobbies contain random useless stats that have no effect on the fighting or salt mine gameplay. For example: Black Rose: +10 Oleander Attraction, +5 Angsty Poems. In story mode, the player can find several chests with cosmetics that can be applied and have similarly useless joke stats.
  • Dynamite Candle: Players can throw these in the Salt Mines to destroy salt rocks and Predators faster. Or stun other players.
  • Easier Than Easy:
    • The first level of the Salt Mines is practically effortless for even new players. They get much harder as more Predators are fought.
    • The easiest AI difficulty is called "Sleeptrot."
      Easy. Be nice... It's my first time.
  • Easter Egg: If you repeatedly stomp by a KO'd Paprika in story mode, she'll fly up and never come back down.
  • Edible Ammunition: Paprika uses apples, broccoli and Cinnamon buns in her attacks. All fighters can eat the former two and heal themselves if they stand close to them.
  • Eldritch Abomination: For more than one character:
    • Fred's true form.
    • The Predators, who manage to manifest themselves into shadowy monsters in the world of Fœnum.
  • Elemental Powers: Out of the playable fighters, we have Velvet, Tianhuo, and Oleander.
  • Ensemble Cast: In a way, none of the characters are really the "main character". Arizona and Velvet might be the "faces" of the game, but every fighter is treated with equal relevance.
  • Essence Drop: The shadows drop health and special meter refills when destroyed. The amount given of each is Random.
  • Everything's Better with Llamas: The Alpake Clan, reclusive inhabitants of Huacaya Mountains in the High Plains. Their Key Keeper is Paprika.
  • Expressive Health Bar: Next to the health bars, the fighters' portraits change expressions when taking damage, using a super move, or getting KO'd, and become visibly injured when low on health.
  • Expy: The characters have similar fighting styles to the six main characters from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, as this was originally going to be a fan-game of that show. While they are similar in design, they often differ in personality, mostly around their character flaws:
    • Arizona the cow is based on Applejack. Many of her melee attacks are similar, and she has the lasso special and headbutt super. Personality-wise she's closer to Rainbow Dash than Applejack, with her main issues being her overconfidence.
    • Velvet the reindeer is based on Rarity, although she uses ice instead of gems and sewing supplies. She can also hold her ice projectiles in place similar to Rarity's Gem Shots. While Rarity was vain, Velvet takes these traits Up to Eleven to the point where she comes across as far more hostile and proud than Rarity ever was.
    • Oleander, the unicorn, uses a book, and has projectile, trap and teleport attacks like Twilight Sparkle. Where Twilight Sparkle learned the values of friendship, Oleander shuns companionship, and is in a possibly dangerous allyship with an Eldritch Abomination named Fred.
    • Pom, a young sheep, is assisted by a quartet of Sheep Dog puppies, similar to Fluttershy and her animal companions. Pom is a huge coward like Fluttershy, but where Fluttershy was able to shake off her shyness with enough effort, Pom is nearly paralyzed by fear every second she's on screen.
    • Paprika, an alpaca, is based on Pinkie Pie, and has a similarly random fighting style, with a magic attack that has a random effect like Pinkie's Party Cannon. She also has a killer hug like Pinkie's level 3 attack, "Pinkamena". Much like Velvet, Paprika is Pinkie Pie's Leaning on the Fourth Wall and cheerfulness traits turned up to genuinely dangerous levels, turning her into a whirlwind of manic energy and insanity that unnerves even Tianhuo.
    • Tianhuo is a Longma and is based off Rainbow Dash, with a flight-based moveset. She's notably the one Key Keeper who has no serious issues aside from a minor case of pride, having grown out of her bullying ways in the past and become a better person. As a result she takes more from Applejack and her "big sister" personality than Rainbow Dash.
  • EX Special Attack: Arizona, Velvet, and Oleander all have at least one move that can be enhanced with magic.
  • Fantastic Racism: Many arrogant reindeer of Reine look down on other animals and make comments complaining about other animals in the city. In Chapter 1 of story mode, Arizona can speak to one particular reindeer who makes disparaging remarks about sheep, horses, and cows, only to notice too late that she's talking to a cow.
    Reindeer: Next thing you know, we'll have horses and cattle wandering the... Oh. Well, darn.
  • Fantastic Slurs: "Grass Eater" apparently is one of them in the world of Fœnum, based on the Council's reactions.
  • Fighting Game: The main genre. Though there are parts of the game such as overworld sections that has influences from other genres.
  • Finishing Move: If a level 3 Super is used to KO an opponent, they will be stuck in whatever state they're left in for the duration of the KO and post-match screen:
    • Arizona throws you into the ground so hard that you're left half-buried with only your hind legs sticking out.
    • Tianhuo does a Spinning Piledriver with similar results to Arizona.
    • Velvet freezes you into a block of ice, which her pixies carve into a statue before bringing out score cards. If the move is a KO, the statue gets a perfect 10 and Velvet just stands there appreciating the sculpture (if it isn't a match-ender, the last pixie gives a lower score based on how much health remains, and Velvet smashes the statue in a fit of rage).
    • Paprika's super hug will keep going indefinitely.
    • Oleander is a weird one. Fred takes over her body and uses his full power to drag you to another dimension and crushes you. On a KO, the power completely obliterates you, but Oleander is then seen floating unconscious in an empty space, implying that her mind is gone.
    • After Pom's Raging Demon, her dog walks up and tries to bury you.
  • Fixed Floor Fighting: The game has the traditional fighting game layout of "fighting in an invisible box". Justified for the Hidden Waterfall stage as there isn't anywhere else to really go.
  • Fire of Comfort: Longma aren't born with their fiery manes and tails—they develop them as they grow up. This usually happens during a moment of great anger or courage, but at least one longma got hers by showing great nobility of spirit towards a former tormentor.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: The Predators currently in the game are large shadowy figures with demonic red eyes—Fluffers the wolf, Flopsie the panther, Cuddles the spitting cobra, and Huggles the bear.
  • Fog of War: In the Salt Mines, as the difficulty level progresses, the mines become darker, making it more difficult to navigate. In the final stage (vs. the Bear), the entire mine becomes pitch black, with only a small ring of light surrounding each player to navigate.
  • Free Floor Fighting: Only in story mode; In some segments you'll have to fight Flappies while also platforming/ trying not to get knocked off.
  • Frictionless Ice: You'll slip and slide on certain parts of Reine's overworld.
  • Funetik Aksent: Each of the characters in the Book of Lore have their respective accents written out this way, and in story mode their accents are written in the text dialogue.
    • Arizona is written with a Southern twang, along with all the other Cattlekind, which leads to a lot of truncated words like "champ'een."
    • Velvet is written speaking Sexy Scandinavian, resulting in a lot of "ze's" in the place of "the," among other things. Oddly enough, she's the only Reindeer with a speaking role who has this accent.
    • Pom is written with a Scottish accent, with words like "tae" written instead of "to."
  • Furry Reminder: The way the fighters eat Paprika's healing items is by sticking their face on the ground and eating them off the floor like wild animals.
  • Gameplay Roulette: It's a fighting game at its core, but you also have a mode that's a sprite based mining simulator, with a storymode that's mostly set up as an RPG with some fighting and occasionally platforming and puzzle elements.
  • Gangplank Galleon: Shanty's stage takes place on a pirate ship called The Capricorn.
  • Genre Mashup: All the character themes, along with those of their respective level are of wildly varying genres, and when winning, a remix of the level theme combining both the original genre and the style of the winning characters' theme will begin to play, inevitably leading to this trope. Listen, for example, to the gothic techno country rock variant of the Woodlands theme if Arizona is winning.
  • Gray Is Useless: No power left in the character's meters is represented by an empty gray bar.
  • Guide Dang It!: There's no single button for taunting. To taunt, you have to crouch in quick succession.
  • Harder Than Hard:
    • The last two levels of difficulty for the Salt Mines have the appropriate names of "OHGODMAKEITSTOP" and "AAAAAAAAAAAAAA".
    • The hardest ai difficulty is "?NSP?KBL?"
  • Heal Thyself: Paprika's leftover apples and broccoli projectiles recover lost health if eaten. Unfortunately for Paprika players, their opponents can do the same thing.
  • The Hero: While Arizona and Tianhuo are probably closer to this as straight examples, all of the characters are the hero of their own side of the story.
  • Hitbox Dissonance: The fighters all have the same hitboxes, whether they should technically be shorter or taller than the other ungulates they're fighting.
  • Hit Points: Seen in Training Mode in "Current/Max" form.
  • Holiday Mode: Some parts of the game gets a seasonal makeover around both Christmas and Halloween.
    • For Halloween, pumpkins replace chests and Predator mooks gain "spooky" themed masks.
    • For Christmas, chests are more decorated and the Predator mooks wear festive looking hats.
  • Hollywood Darkness: The night time version of Baaah is entirely blue.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: In the third phase of the Chapter 1 final boss, Oleander uses a One-Hit KO move that's unblockable and unavoidable but not uninterruptible. It is possible to win, but if you do, Fred uses his Cutscene Power to the Max and KOs Arizona anyway.
  • Horn Attack: Both Oleander and Arizona have a variation with their own horns.
  • Hyperactive Metabolism: The apples and broccoli Paprika can use in her magic attacks can be eaten by all of the fighters off the ground to restore lost health.
  • Hyperactive Sprite: All of them have looping idle animations, but a lot of characters are more energetic and "bouncy" in their movement then others.
  • An Ice Person: Velvet, one of the game's main characters, uses ice and cold for most attacks. She gets it from eating golden oats provided by the Ice Sprites.
  • Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels: To go with the snark of the rest of the game:
    • For the AI:
      • Sleeptrot - "Easy. Be nice... it's my first time!"
      • Greenhorn - "Medium. Or do you prefer medium rare? Either way let's turn up the heat!"
      • Contendor - "Hard. That's Gotta Hurt!"
      • Champion - "Very Hard. You're entering a world of pain."
      • ?NSP?KBL? - "Insane. Welcome to die."
    • For The Salt Mines, it's usually Added Alliterative Appeal. Usually.
  • Idle Animation: Most characters will pause their normal animation to do something else.
    • Arizona eagerly trots in place, waiting for a fight.
    • Velvet's Winter Sprite takes a moment to powder the reindeer's face.
    • Tianhuo takes a deep breath to recollect herself.
    • Pom tries to step out of the fight, but one sad look from her puppy guilt trips her into staying.
    • Oleander searches through her book, then looks up to give the opponent a Death Glare.
    • Paprika changes her bouncing tempo, or will excitedly look around her.
    • Shanty shakes water off her coat and gives a grin with a sparkle.
  • Improbably Female Cast: Of all the ungulates in Fœnum the chosen Key Seekers (and by extension playable characters) just so happen, by coincidence, to all be female.
  • Inexplicable Treasure Chests: Treasure chests containing items pop up a lot in the pixel parts of the game. Ones in the overworld contain salt, while the ones down in the Salt Mines have health or dynamite. Silver ones contain cosmetics.
  • Intentionally Awkward Title: The hilariously weird bot names are not meant to be taken seriously, and it appeared the dev team had some fun with them. Also the game's Pun-Based Title.
  • Intrepid Merchant: Cashmere and Cap sell their wares across Fœnum, and you can find them in all of the Pixel Lobbies.
  • Jumped at the Call: In story mode, when none of the other Cattlekind had the courage to volunteer to become Champion of the Prairie, Arizona triumphantly claimed to do so.
  • Kill Enemies to Open: The path after the pack of four in the Abandoned Cave is filled with vines until waking Fluffers and defeating the pack in the room.
  • Knows the Ropes: Arizona is capable of using a lasso, which is tied to her magic meter.
  • Leitmotif: Depending on who is winning, the Dynamic Music System changes the instruments and beat to whoever currently has the upper hand (if Velvet is winning, for example, Christmas bells can be heard jingling).
  • Life Meter: Shown at the top of the screen in battles.
  • Location Theme Naming: Arizona's family members are named after US states. (Specifically, ones with cattle and dairy industries, mostly appropriate to their breed; Texas, for instance, is a longhorn.)
  • Lost Woods: Oleander's homestage is a magical forest where the Unicorns reside. The Hallowed Grove Pixel Lobby also takes place in this area.
  • MacGuffin: All of the fighters are seeking to obtain the enchanted key that will lock the Predators away.
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: Pom's puppy, Big Papa, and Pom herself can make a loud 'bark' that makes a shock wave.
  • Mana Meter: Each character has a "Magic" gauge, which lets them perform unique abilities.
  • The Marvelous Deer: The Deerfolk of Reine, in the Tundra. They are revered and pampered by the Ice Sprites, living in a city built by the Sprites and gaining magic abilities by eating their Golden Oats, that makes the deer able to leap so high and far it seems they can fly, and giving them the ability to control wintery weather (following a Christmas-theme). Their Key Keeper is Velvet.
  • Minimalist Cast: So far, there's only six default playable fighters, with a seventh as DLC. Though there are plenty of other NPCs in Fœnum, the list of supporting characters with names is relatively small.
  • Mix And Match Creature: Tianhuo is a Longma: a half-horse, half-dragon hybrid.
  • Money Fetish: Cashmere and Cap really love salt. Like, a lot. Just see their reactions when you save enough to buy the highest priced item.
  • Mook Chivalry: Predators in story mode will take turns and only fight you one at a time unless there are mini-predators as a backup. There are even some Preexisting Encounters which have you fight multiple Predators at once but hitting them all at once will not multiply your damage.
  • Multi-Mook Melee: There are parts in story mode where the protagonists has to fight a series of Predators. Arizona has two in different acts of her chapter.
  • Never Say "Die": Averted, but its use is still pretty rare. Characters have more freedom to say die and kill since the game is no longer based on a TV-Y property.
  • Nice Hat: Many of the hats in the Pixel Lobby. Cap has a pretty neat looking one as well.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Spoken almost verbatim by the error message for the visual lobby.
  • No Animals Allowed: Apparently, Pom's pets aren't allowed at Cap N' Cash's. According to Cashmere, the two had a problem with dogs in the shop before.
  • No Power, No Color: The lack of any colorful bars in your Magic meter is equal once less chance, or none at all, to use you character's magic attacks.
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: A written text version. The reindeer of Reine don't have their dialouge written out in the same heavy accent that Velvet does, including her own family.
  • Only One Name: Most of the characters don't have last names, or even a Species Surname; It's not "Pom Lamb" or "Pom the Sheep", just Pom. Averted with Stronghoof Hoofstrong, making Velvet's "full name" Velvet Hoofstrong.
  • Only Shop in Town: Cap N' Cash's is the only shop in all of the Pixel Lobbies.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: The Longma of Empire of Huoshan, in the Volcano. Half horse and half dragon, they can fly and wield fire magic. Their militaristic culture is similar to that of Imperial China. Their Key Keeper is the Captain of the Imperial Guard, Tianhuo.
  • Palette Swap:
    • A lot of the fighter's alternate costumes are shoutouts to other series. Some made by the devs, some made by other contributers.
    • Velvet has a skin that makes her look exactly like Cashmere, though without the scarf and the same antlers.
    • Some of the cosmetics are recolors to make a new item. For example the Black Eyemask has blue, purple, red and orange versions that look like the masks worn by the Ninja Turtles
  • Pass the Popcorn: Spectating a fight in the pixel lobby outfits your sprite with a box of popcorn for the duration.
  • Patchwork Map: Unless Arizona was Traveling at the Speed of Plot, there's almost no transition between the very hot and rocky High Plains and the very cold and snowy Reine. Granted, since there's no physical map, this one could be hand waved by there being a short Time Skip between the first and seconds acts. Still, the sudden opposites in climate is jarring.
  • Pegasus: A few can appear in the background of the Alpake Highlands stage.
  • Phantom Zone: The Predators were banished to a magical prison realm.
  • Pirate Girl: Shanty. Or at most she's trying to be one.
  • Planet of Steves: Apparently, every town in the Meadow is named Baaaaah.
  • Platform Game: Downplayed, but some of the story mode areas even implements platforming sections. Or at least it tries to implement them.
  • Play as a Boss: When time runs out in a multi-player Salt Mine run, one of the fighters transforms into an over-powered Huggles that has to "devour" the remaining ungulates. If you're unlucky enough to be one of the remaining ungulates, it's recommended to just run away.
  • Playing with Fire: Longmas have hair, wings and tails made of flames. Tianhuo also incorporates fire in some of her attacks.
  • Post-Victory Collapse: Arizona collapses from exhaustion after climbing to the top of the Highland Mountains in story mode.
  • Precious Puppy: A herd of them follow Pom around on her journey, and they help her attack as a fighter.
  • Predators Are Mean: Predators are the main antagonistic force in the world of Fœnum. Long ago, they were locked away in a prison realm by the herbivores, but they've recently been coming back out and now threaten their peaceful existence. The only exceptions are the Sheepdogs, who subsist on non-sentient vermin that would otherwise destroy the Sheeple's crops.
  • Pūnct'uatìon Sh'akër:
    • The world is named "Fœnum", with the œ ligature. Unusually, it's pronounced like the "oe" in "foe", rather than like the "oe" in "phoenix", the more common pronunciation.
    • The full title of the demonic character Fhtng is rendered as "FHTNG TH§ ¿NSP§KBL?"
  • Pun-Based Title: Based on the saying "them's fighting words".
  • Punny Name: The capital of The Tundra is called Rein, a pun between "reign" and "reindeer."
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: The Predator's apparitions are all black with glowing red eyes. The Unicornomicon too, if you can call a book 'evil'.
  • Reference Overdosed: Dear gracious, the game reaches near Borderlands levels in terms of memes and references. The shoutout page at least covers a lot of them.
  • Retraux: The Visual Lobby is styled like a 16-Bit Era RPG and it uses Chiptune music. Story mode is designed and plays like a 16-bit RPG outside of the fighting sequences.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Fœnum seems to be an entire world of them. Kind of a given considering the game's roots and the character artist. Special mention goes to the Winter Sprites and Pom's puppies.
  • Role-Playing Game: The Story Mode features some RPG-like segments between the battles, in which players will explore the world and talk to NPCs to advance the plot. Outside the Story Mode, it also works as a Visual Lobby in which online players will interact and fight with each other.
  • Rotating Protagonist: Each chapter in story mode focuses on a different playable character.
  • Ruins for Ruins' Sake: The ruins level in Arizona's last level. Wouldn't be a (half) RPG without one of those.
  • Savage Wolf: Fluffers, one of the Predator mooks, is one of these.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Fœnum reached prolonged peace by banishing all the Predators to a magical realm called The Hold.
  • Secret A.I. Moves: In the latter phases of story mode's boss battles, the Key Seekers use moves that aren't available in normal gameplay.
  • Seldom-Seen Species: It's hard to find many works that uses the mythical longma, but in this world we have one as a playable character and a regular species. In a funny way, this probably makes Tianhuo the most well known longma in any form of media.
  • Ship Tease:
    • The dev team really seem to like the pairing of Cashmere and Oleander, and the former is all but revealed to have an interest in the later. Some of her lines whenever the unicorn visits her needs to be seen to be believed, especially if she was wearing the mistletoe or whipped cream accessory around the holidays.
    • One of the NPC names for Velvet is "Velvezona OTP".
  • Shockwave Stomp: Arizona's special move in story mode. She also has stomps of various levels as one of her moves.
  • Shotoclone: Notably averted. None of the Key Keepers play like a baseline shotoclone, with Oleander being the closest approximation thanks to her fireballs. But even then, she's more defensive and mobile than the usual shotoclone thanks to her teleports, and her level 2 super turns her into a puppetmaster-type for a short while.
  • Shout-Out: Has its own page.
  • Show, Don't Tell: At least in the Book of Lore; we see what makes Arizona and Velvet Champion material when they both manage to wipe the floor with ungulates who are much bigger and stronger than them.
  • Shown Their Work: When Tianhuo the Longma was announced, some fans were surprised to learn that "Longma" is not a newly made-up species just for TFH; it's actually a creature from Chinese mythology.
  • SNK Boss: Velvet and Oleander both have moves as bosses that can not be done by human players.
  • Snot Bubble: All of the Predators have one while they're asleep in the overworld. One of these is also a wearable pixel item.
  • Some Dexterity Required: Other then getting a complete tutorial, mostly Averted. Them's Fightin' Herds is a bit more generous and simple with its combos compared to most other fighting games, and you might have a more difficult time with the platforming sections. Though that certainly doesn't make things any less hard or competitive.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Outside the game, even the creators will frequently drop the Pūnct'uatìon Sh'akër and write the name of the setting as "Foenum" instead of "Fœnum".
  • Spiritual Successor: To Fighting Is Magic, though Mane6 never actually released it (except for a leaked unfinished demo).
  • Stealth Pun: In Chapter 1 of story mode, one of the reindeer NPCs refers to the young Arizona as a kid, to which she refutes and insists that she's a calf. Makes sense when you realize that "kid" is the term used for a young goat.
  • Taunt Button: Characters taunt by dancingnote  when you repeatedly duck.
  • Theme Music Power-Up: The surest way to get the Variable Mix going your character's way is to connect with a super move.
  • There Can Be Only One: Apparently, only one ungulate is allowed to be Champion and safeguard the Key. That's the reason why this is a fighting game.
  • Three Round Deathmatch: The game is best two out of three by default. Averted in story mode and the Salt Mines where everyone (including you) have one health bar.
  • Tome of Eldritch Lore: The Unicornomicon, used by Oleander. It was featured as one of the earliest artworks for the game (along with a cute lamb bookmarker).
  • Training Stage: A black, empty room with neon grids called The Nitty Grid-y
  • True-Breeding Hybrid: The longmas of Huoshan first arose from the interbreeding of horses and dragons. The actual interspecies coupling only appears to have happened once, between the dragon and the stallion known respectively as Honored Mother and Honored Father, and all modern-day longmas are the descendants of these two and born from longma parents.
  • Underground Level: The Salt Mines. Apparently they connect all throughout Foenum.
  • Unicorn: The Unicorns of the Order of the Horn, in The Woodland. They don't participate in violence of any kind and believe that Light Magic will ultimately prevail (though they do not presume to know how). Oleander became their Key Keeper against their will by dabbling in Dark Magic.
  • Variable Mix:
    • Each stage theme is done in multiple styles. The music starts normal, then changes based on which character is deemed to have the advantage. There is a special, more intense track for the final round in a match. There is also a special mix used for training mode or when both players are idle.
    • The character select screen has different variations depending on which characters are selected.
    • The Salt Mines' music steadily adds instruments and ramps in intensity as the difficulty level increases, but there's never a hard cut to a different track until the final showdown begins.
    • In Story mode, the music in dungeons changes when you approach a predator, and again when you start a battle with one.
  • Vegetarian Carnivore: According to Lauren Faust, the longma were originally carnivores—being partially descended from dragons—and are technically omnivorous, though they abstain from eating meat as a measure of pride.
  • Victory Quote: All of the fighters (except Paprika) manage to get in a one-liner after they win their fight.
  • Video Game Flight: Tianhuo's flight doesn't last very long. Even if you you set the magic meter to 'infinite' in training mode, it only lasts for around two seconds.
  • Viewers Are Morons: Invoked with Oleander, who is your game's tutorial guide, and thus assumes she is talking to a complete and utter moron who needs every last thing explained to them. Her text isn't often too bad, but her expressions make it look like she's always speaking in a passive aggressive tone. In a way, Oleander's excessive detail is the best way to learn about the game's mechanics, or for new players who might not be used to fighting games.
  • Virtual Paper Doll: All of the playable fighter's sprites can wear a different accessory on their heads, necks, and backs that can be bought in the Pixel Lobby or found in story mode. Averted during the fighting segments.
  • Void Between the Worlds: The Hold where the Predators are trapped is described as a void with countless portals to other worlds.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: The snake featured at the very end of the first salt mine cave in Story Mode. The caves themselves are filled with mook predators, with some being larger and having more health, with the final room featuring a giant wolf that attacks the same as it ordinarily does. The snake? It starts off attacking from a completely different pane of the stage, attacking you from afar with its tail and rain of poison, and is accompanied by a mook wolf. The whole battle is meant to warn the player that bosses going forward will be far more than just scaled up predators, and will require the player think and fight creatively.
  • Wall Crawl: Shanty is capable of climbing, running and jumping off of the screen's borders.
  • We ARE Struggling Together: Fœnum's plan to combat the predators seems to be 1) Find the Key, 2) Defeat the Ultimate Predator and close the portal, and 3) pick a Key Keeper to safeguard the key for the future. Unfortunately for the rest of Fœnum, their champions want to decide step 3 right now... through hooficuffs, if possible.
  • Weird Currency: Salt is awarded as currency which can be used to purchase color palettes and hats. This is undoubtedly a cheeky reference to the use of saying that someone is being "salty" as a term in the FGC; It's possibly also a reference to the importance of salt licks for wild and domesticated mammals.
  • Welcome to Corneria: The NPCs usually say the same thing; the story mode is part-RPG, afterall. Downplayed with Cashmere and Cap in the Pixel Lobby, who have quite a lot to say.
  • Windmill Scenery: Baaah, Pom's homestage, is a nice grassy meadow with a windmill in the background.
  • Wingding Eyes: Winning the match against an opponent shows the reactive portrait of the loser having their eyes as spirals. The Predators also have these when attacked.
  • Wingdinglish: In story mode, Paprika's speech is a series of symbols including stars, hearts, and kissy lips. When asked her name, she produces a speech bubble with a picture of a vial of paprika.
  • Wintry Auroral Sky: The sky becomes this in Reine's "Wee Hours" variation.
  • You Mean "Xmas": Fœnum celebrates holidays that look like Halloween and Christmas, but they don't call them as such.


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