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Video Game / Tonic Trouble

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A Platform Game released by Ubisoft in 1999. It has a visual style similar to Rayman (Most noticably, all characters have Floating Limbs) and in fact plays more like a 3D version of the original Rayman than Rayman 2: The Great Escape ever did. UbiSoft used the game to get a handle on the 3D engine being used for Rayman 2, since they had never done anything of that scope before, but the game is a fun little jaunt regardless.

The story involves an alien named Ed accidentally dropping a can of tonic on Earth, where it is found by a drunkard viking named Grögh. He takes a sip of the tonic and transforms into a tyrant who proceeds to Take Over the World (or in his words: "This time, drinks are on me! And Everyone's gonna get a taste! Hahahaaa!"). A tiny droplet falls into a river and the whole world goes mad: the rivers turn into sangria, mountains rise up and vegetables turn into dangerous monsters. Now it's up to Ed to defeat Grögh the Hellish and retrieve the tonic.


Tonic Trouble provides examples of:

  • A Winner Is You: Grögh dies like every other enemy in the game, Ed celebrates for a bit, and Suzy comes in to give a completely out of nowhere speech on environmentalism. Cue ending screen of them looking at the restored earth.
  • Advancing Boss of Doom: The first phase of the Final Boss. The second is a variation: you have to kick and slap boulders at him to push him back towards a pit before he makes his way towards you.
  • All There in the Manual: Just playing the game, you would never know that the Pharmacist is working for Grögh.
    • Also, the rainbow-colored water on the South Plain? That's supposed to be sangria.
  • Almighty Janitor: A literal one!
    • Well, he's not so almighty at first. The only reason he's made the hero is that the whole mess is his fault. He gets more almighty later on.
  • And I Must Scream: In Glacier Cocktail, Ed freezes a Helling Guard in a block of ice, which is used to activate a switch. When he activates the next switch, the rock that the frozen Helling Guard is trapped inside lowers into the ground, ensuring that he stay frozen there forever.
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  • Anguished Declaration of Love: Ed is trying one of these in the beginning cutscene. It doesn't pan out like he hopes.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: Some Helling Guards wear a steel armour, but their back is wide open for an attack. Also the Final Boss.
    • Hitting the carrots with seemingly anything just mildly annoys them. Performing a jump attack, which has Ed swing the stick vertically, is the only way to kill them. The game never hints at this, nor do jump attacks have any significance elsewhere.
  • Attack of the Killer Whatever: Killer vegetables! They even have their own headquarters.
  • Beard of Evil: Grögh has one.
  • Bee Bee Gun: It shoots bees, and ammo comes in the form of beehives.
  • Big Bad: Grögh the Hellish.
    • Big Bad Wannabe: The Magic Mushroom wants to copy the Pharmacist's Groga to make his own and rule the world in lieu of Grögh.
  • Broken Aesop: Is the game commending or condoning alcohol?
  • The Brute: Grogh is more like this.
  • Build Like an Egyptian: The Reversed Pyramid level.
  • The Cameo: Rayman appears during the credits.
  • Cat-and-Mouse Boss: The Robotsuitcase: it chases after you with its stick but will run away from you once you turn into Super Ed, hence becoming able to rip it a new one.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Doc.
  • Convection Schmonvection: To the point that you can jump on lava on a friggin' Pogo-Stick!!!
    • Also, lava is powerless to water, apparently not heating it up or mixing with it in any way.
    • Due to it being a beta, Ed does not catch fire when hitting lava in the Special Edition, instead he just faints.
  • Deranged Animation
  • Disney Villain Death: The Peapod in Vegetables HQ falls into a lava pit when Ed gets Ketchup the tomato to smash into him.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: The Chamaleon Powder allows you to do this if you step on the right platform. You have to use it a couple of times.
  • Everything Is Trying to Kill You: Living Vegetables armed with forks, boxing mushrooms, elderly mummies, toasters, scarabs, yo-yos, teeth....
    • Some exceptions include the large cow-like dinosaur. It can step on you, but it can't damage you.
      • In the special edition, it's eating grass in the south plain, and bite you by accident if you stand on its targeted patch of grass.
  • Eyes Do Not Belong There: Doc may be wearing an eye patch because one of his eyes relocated to the top of his head.
    • Except in the N64 version, where his character model is symmetrical due to graphical limitations.
  • The Faceless: Agent XYZ.
  • Fan Disservice: The Huge Barman/woman at the beginning of the Glacier Cocktail.
  • Floating Limbs: Everybody in the game has these.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: In the PC version, we first see Grögh as he's being booted out of a bar. He's clearly a druken loser. Then the can falls from the sky and lands in front of him. Grögh takes one sip, and suddenly becomes ruler of the Earth. "This time drunks are on ME! and EVERYONE is gonna get a taste!"
  • Gag Boobs: During the Opening sequence, while Ed storms Grögh's Tower a huge Valkyrie-like woman with Huge Boobs can be seen singing for him. It's also a One-Scene Wonder.
    • To a lesser degree Suzy, it doesn't help that she lacks limbs but her breasts are most of her body mass.
  • Gaia's Vengeance: According to Suzy, this is the reason why the whole world mutated like that in the first place. It comes a bit like out of nowhere.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: Magic Mushroom, who randomly shows up to steal your final piggy bank.
    • The strange Cow-Like Dinosaur you have to free from ice cube somewhere is a friendly version of this trope.
  • Green Aesop: You can at least notice that the bad guys are operating in heavily industrialized settings and polluting the world with their products.
  • Grimy Water: The poisoned water will kill you. Also the hot water from one of the latest levels.
  • Horny Vikings: Subverted in the PC version. Grogh doesn't actually gain the horned helmet until after drinking the Tonic.
  • Hub Level: The South Plain.
  • Impossible Hourglass Figure: Suzy again. Practically Hourglass shaped indeed.
  • Jerkass: Grögh is more a Bully than a serious overlord.
    • Actually, the opening scene implies that he was actually just a drunkard, and after getting the tonic, he intends to sell alcohol.
      • He still behaves as a Jerkass, and did many nasty things to the others.
  • Karma Houdini: The Pharmacist... Maybe? See What Happened to the Mouse?.
  • Kiss of Life: if you chose Suzy (Continue) in the Game Over Screen, she'll give Ed several of them.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: In the final level you're confronted by a guard who asks you "Do you think this is a video game!?"
  • Least Common Skin Tone: Everyone has something to say about Ed's unusual purple color... Despite often having weird skin tones themselves.
  • Lethal Lava Land: Doc's laboratory, also an Underground Level. Also the Canyon.
  • Mad Scientist: Doc. Also the Pharmacist, who's on Grogh side.
  • Mad Scientist's Beautiful Daughter: Suzy fits this trope.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Grögh is behind the Killer Vegetables. And the Pharmacist is behind him, but that's not important.
  • Mooks: Killer Vegetables and also Helling Guards.
  • Non-Action Big Bad: Grögh may look tough, with how he's big and looks like a viking, but he's actually quite a wimp. When you do finally encounter him at the end, he relies on a giant robot entirely to fight you, and gives up after one direct slap.
  • Newspaperthin Disguise: Agent XYZ uses one all the time - we never get to see what he looks like. Even if you try to manipulate the camera to what he looks like, all you see is his newspaper.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: The reason why the plot even exists. So, Ed attempts to ingest a tonic of unknown properties to get the courage to ask a girl out, but it apparently had a funky flavor. Turned out the Tonic had more funkiness than just the flavor: The residue spit from the tonic also caused the screws to come to life and become crazy. He then attempts to eject the tonic from the ship... which lands on earth, specifically right on the recently evicted-from-the-bar drunkard Grögh, he drinks it, starts to mutate, spills it in the conveniently nearby brook, causing the mutagenetic effects of the tonic to mutate the planet. This starts causing a LOT of oddities such as flying sheep and psychedelic skies with an overall background that looks like something taken from an acid trip, and then Grögh declaring that all drinks are on him. Shortly thereafter, Ed was busted for his reckless action and is sentenced to clean up the mess he caused.
  • No Body Left Behind: Most enemies in the game, the Magic Mushroom, and Grögh. It's a bit unclear whether this is supposed to indicate that they're dead or not. Averted with Robosuitcase.
  • Noodle Implements: Sort of. How does Doc construct a catapult out of six copies of the following items: springs, propellors, jumping stones, domino stones and piggy banks?
  • Noodle Incident: In the Special Edition, Doc mentions '[his] poor wife' while on the subject of how Ed's second power-up, the blowpipe, had a few failed prototypes.
  • Opera Gloves: Hard to say because of the lack of arms, but Suzy seems to wear these. (Her hands are purple but her skin is whiteish.)
  • Orcus on His Throne: Grögh the Hellish himself isn't actively doing anything against Ed and leaves all the work to his minions, until the final battle where he pilots a giant robot.
    • Except the game over screen, where he fucks up Ed's limbless body pretty good.
  • Pass Through the Rings: The flight training levels.
  • Platform Game
  • Playing with Fire: One of the Killer Vegetables is a Giant Jalapeno who can breath fire at you.
  • Product Placement: You get popcorn that turns you into SuperEd from vending machines labeled... Nestle Crunch?
    • Well, in a WackyLand like that, this is the least weird detail, don't you think so?
      • There is an image circulating on the web with a Lion bars popcorn machine, from early development.
    • In the N64 version of the game, the vending machines are labeled Newman's Own.
    • In the special edition, its yellow with a ripped guy with sunglasses on it. This was most likely before the Crunch endorsement.
  • Projectile Toast: Used as a weapon by Doc's robot toasters.
  • Shock and Awe: The Magic Mushroom's main form of attack.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: The Glacier Cocktail and Ski Slope
  • Simple Staff: Ed's weapon. You can whack your enemies with it, but also use it as a lever.
  • Stupid Evil: Grögh the Hellish: When defeated he mentions that his original idea was just to bully and scare everyone around with his newfound powers, and the whole evil empire and alliance with the Killer Vegetables thing was the Pharmacist's idea, which he resents.
  • Super Hero: SuperEd, yeah!
  • Super Not-Drowning Skills: You can stay underwater indefinitely, but you're limited to shallow depths. Once you earn the flask, you can dive as deep as you want, as long as you want.
  • Take Our Word for It: The Reset Button being pressed at the end and the world returning to normal. We only see Ed and Suzy's reactions and then the ending's screenshot.
  • Technicolor Toxin: The purple poisoned water in the final level.
  • Took A Level In Bad Ass: Ed, you have to admit. He started as a goofy, incompetent Janitor bullied by others and ended up kicking asses with his stick, saving planets and getting a hot, human-like girlfriend.
  • Top-Heavy Guy: Whenever Ed becomes Super Ed. Suzy even asks him if he can use the tonic to turn himself like that 24/7.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Ed and Suzy.
  • Underground Level: Doc's cave, Vegetable HQ.
  • Video Game Flight: You can eventually use your bow tie as a delta aviator.
  • Villain Shoes: Late in the game you get a chance to disguise yourself as Grögh at one point, which is used to fool a guard into opening a door for you.
  • Vocal Dissonance: In the beta/special edition, Grögh the Hellish sounds like a young prankster despite his big, viking-like look. (as well as his more fitting voice in the pre-rendered intro cutscene.)
    • Mind you, this was only in the beta/SE version. The Retail PC version had the same voice actor as in the intro.
  • You All Look Familiar: The Helling Guards. The only difference may be the outfit.
  • You Gotta Have Violet Hair: Suzy.
  • Wackyland: The whole world, thanks to Ed.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The game never reveals what happens to the Pharmicist, XYZ, or Ed's race after the can is taken care of.

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