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Video Game / Trover Saves the Universe

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Trover Saves the Universe is an Action-Adventure game created by Squanch Games, a new studio formed by Justin Roiland, the co-creator of Rick and Morty. It was released on May 31, 2019 for Playstation 4, with the PC version released for June 4th, 2019, and features extensive VR support. A VR standalone version was released for Oculus Quest on June 28th, 2020.

The game's meta-humour begins with the actual protagonist being an unnamed, unseen Chairorpian, a member of the humanoid species who never leave their seat, and who puppeteers the titular Trover through the same sort of gamepad you would be using to play the game in real life. You are doing this in order to retrieve the two dogs stolen by Glorkon the Abstainer, who placed them into his eyeholes in order to finally gain the power he needs to fulfil his dream of destroying the universe. The other Abstainers are not cool with that, however, and so they provide Chairorpian with Trover, as there's nothing better than an Eyehole Monster for freeing your dogs.

It only gets weirder from there.

In 2021, Image Comics began publishing a Trover Saves The Universe series written and illustrated by Tess Stone.

Tropes present in Trover Saves the Universe:

  • Aerith and Bob: Along with names like Trover, Glorkon, and Doopy Dooper are also completely mundane names like Micheal and George.
  • Alien Blood: Some of the aliens have this, such as the aliens on the mushroom planet exploding with blue.
  • Alien Catnip: The power babies are basically drugs to Trover, and even Trover himself admits that.
  • Alien Sky: Some planets have a green sky. The color of the sky becomes extremely relevant to one level's story.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: ...not quite. If you manage to reach 100% Completion through finding all of the green power babies, the end of the game will have Trover trigger your controller's rumble pack. At maximum. Helpful hints will be provided on where to hold it.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: Whenever Trover is jumping, a marker will appear to show where he'll land.
  • Bad with the Bone: Many of Glorkon's clones fight you with bone swords - as in, they wield a Stock Femur Bone that doesn't appear to be sharpened at all, with a small version of one acting as a crossguard.
  • Balloon Belly: Flesh World has a section where you have to feed a Fat Bastard who continuously demands food. This results in him getting bigger and bigger, until he eventually explodes.
  • But Thou Must!: All of the sidequests. No matter what you do, you will wind up trying to rescue pets and recover siblings. And they are always going to die.
    • Parodied with Doopy Dooper, who gives you increasingly silly box-moving tasks, culminating in one that is impossible. The boxes must instead be used as stairs to progress - and you can do this from the beginning, which earns you an achievement.
  • Charged Attack: One of the power babies grants this ability.
  • Comic-Book Adaptation: In 2021, Image Comics began publishing a Trover Saves The Universe series written and illustrated by Tess Stone.
  • The Cuckoolander Was Right: The paranoid janitor in the Important Cosmic Jobs DLC spouts ridiculous rantings about conspiracies, all of which are patently ridiculous... unless you've finished the main campaign, in which case the one about everyone being dead and mysteriously ceasing to be in heaven makes a lot more sense...
  • Cutting the Knot: If you spend enough time trying to solve the tree button puzzle in Schleemy World, Trover will impatiently request you to have him smash the door down.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: Most characters will ramble on and on, phrasing the same information differently over and over again if you let them. One almost wonders if the dialogue was written by Mojo Jojo at times.
  • Dialogue Tree: There are moments where you get to answer with yes and no, and the dialogue will branch as a result. There'll also be minor consequences later on in the game.
  • Double Jump: One of the skills Trover can get by placing the right power baby into his eyehole.
  • Dull Surprise: Every single character in the game talks with almost no inflection, on top of sometimes even stammering or stuttering when trying to say whatever they have to say. Of course, since this is a Justin Roiland work, it's deliberately improvisational.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: The final boss calls you out for tearing apart Trover's corpse to disable his puzzle barrier.
    Final Boss: You gotta be fucking kidding me, you fucking sociopath. You fucking used your friend's decapitated head to take the shields down around my world merging machine - the fuck is matter with you?!
  • Expendable Clone: Glorkon fully embraces the trope, as most of the enemies you face are his clones of some sort.
  • Expy: Trover and his boss have character silhouettes and voices that are almost 1:1 recreations of Rick and Morty.
  • Eyes Do Not Belong There: Inverted, and not Played for Horror. There seem to be several types of people in this setting who have empty eyesockets (but who seem to somehow be able to see just fine nonetheless), into which certain types of creatures can be inserted in order to gain various powers. It Makes Just as Much Sense in Context.
  • Fluffy Cloud Heaven: Everyone ends up here when you and Trover accidentally destroy the universe. It's clearly intended to feel weird to the player that everyone is guaranteed eternal bliss after death, rendering mortal life meaningless.
  • Genre Shift: The Important Cosmic Jobs DLC has no combat, and revolves around more involved puzzle solving and collectible hunting.
  • Gotta Catch 'Em All: The green power babies. You need to get every last one of them if you want to see the bonus ending, but they're not always easy to spot. Prepare to slice through every bush, peek behind all the corners, and stare at the game's environment until your eyes start to cross.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body: Your final weapon/tool in the game? Trover's severed head.
  • Hostile Show Takeover: Jopo Mode replaces Trover with a random weirdo named Jopo. All instances of Trover's name in dialog are deliberately clumsily replaced with Jopo's. The mode also alters the game's title screen with a piece of paper taped over it, implying that the mode is Jopo's own doing.
  • Kick the Dog: Glorkon mocks the protagonist that using his dogs as a power source hurts them.
  • Laser Blade: Trover wields what essentially amounts to a purple lightsaber.
  • Living Battery: Glorkon kidnapped the dogs so that he can use them in this manner. Trover does the same with the power babies. In both cases, it only works when placed in a being's eyeholes. Moreover, since power babies grant Trover his unique abilities, and he only has two eyeholes, swapping one for the other includes the baby being replaced getting eaten by the one you put in its stead.
  • A Long Time Ago, in a Galaxy Far, Far Away...: It's a universe full of different aliens but no humans or Earth.
  • Love Makes You Evil: Glorkon's motive is to create his "one true love".
  • Motor Mouth: While everyone talks a lot as per usual for a Justin Roiland work, Trover tends be the most guilty with how often he rambles to your character.
  • Negative Continuity: Zig-zagged in the Important Cosmic Jobs DLC, which appears to ignore the main campaign's ending until the paranoid janitor spouts his theory that everyone's secretly dead, and swears that he was relaxing in a jacuzzi in heaven one moment and back in his crummy job the next.
  • Never Trust a Title: Let's just say that the universe winds up as the opposite of saved. Everyone's okay with this.
  • No Fourth Wall: Expect the characters, namely Trover, to point out that they’re in a video game often.
  • Rare Candy: Green power babies add additional hearts to Trover's health bar once enough have been collected.
  • Sadistic Choice: The first level gives you a choice between killing a Jerkass alien that Eats Babies along with a bunch of pregnant women, or killing an obnoxious, albeit innocent alien who just had his family eaten, all for the sake of retrieving an important crystal. Then it turns out that the entire choice was pointless as the crystals are scattered around the planet.
  • Shield-Bearing Mook: Some of Glorkon's clones carry spiky shields.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: Pretty much everyone swears a ton.
  • Stylistic Suck: Most of the dialogue has an uneven delivery, making it sound improved. It's very reminiscent of the "Extradimensional Cable," episodes of Rick and Morty.
  • Sword Lines: Purple lines appear through the air whenever Trover swings his weapon. Justified, since it's essentially a purple lightsaber.
  • Teleporters and Transporters: The warp pods act as these.
  • The Watcher: This is the deal with the Abstainers, who observe everything happening in every reality. They only have this ability when they are together; they lose it when Glorkon goes bad, having discovered via his Abstainer powers that his ideal lover will never exist unless he makes her exist by forcibly creating her homeworld.
  • Toothy Bird: The Abstainers all have teeth, and somewhat resemble birds.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Some ambiguous dialog at the first upgrade station will lead to Trover killing the upgrade guy's pets instead of the wild monsters he meant, prompting this reaction.
  • Womb Level: The entirety of Flesh World, obviously.