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Video Game / Underhero

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Underhero is a September 2018 2D side-scroller Role-Playing Game, made by Paper Castle Games. In it, the player is a nameless Mook of the Big Bad, who chooses to subvert the plans of their master after the traditional heroes have been defeated. The game is quite light-hearted in spirit, while its gameplay is a variant on Turn-Based Combat, where in-combat actions can be taken at any time, but they are limited by stamina.

Underhero contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Airborne Mook: Purple butterflies are an early one. They attack by dive-bombing the player, and are attacked with slingshots.
  • Ambiguous Gender: The playable Masked Kid. Their listed sex on their info card is blurred out, and Elizabeth settles on just calling them "kid" early on.
  • Anti-Hero: The Masked Kid only agrees to go on their journey due to the money Elizabeth says they'll get from it, and they kill several of their co workers despite most of them being openly friendly when spoken to. They drop the anti part later in the game, being openly remorseful of their previous actions, and they instead finish their journey out of a desire to save their friends rather than any monetary reason.
  • Anti-Villain: T. Bur does everything he does out of loyalty and friendship for Mr. Stitches, no matter how upsetting it is for him. Stitches himself is only playing the role of evil king because if he doesn't, the world might end. Even his killing of the previous evil overlord, Queen Rena, is prompted by him trying to get a better life for his friends.
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  • Bad Boss: Mr. Stitches generally treats his minions pretty poorly, even strangling one that witnessed the hero’s defeat right in front of you. Or so it seems, the witness turns out to simply be banished to become T. Bur's assistant on the underground facility, to hide her from possibly spewing the truth to others.
  • Back for the Finale: In the final segment of the game, almost all relevant characters of the story show up. Together, the kid and Elizabeth, the bosses and Cereza work to defeat Stitches. T. Bur stops his final attack, while the masked kids (if the player was merciful to them), show up to protect him too. Every other character shows up to cheer the fight on.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The Puzzleman is defeated and the cycle of the hero is broken, but the player and Elizabeth IV remain stuck in the void realm. However, the other characters move on with their lives, and there is a potential sequel hook as the epilogue shows that Mr. Stitches and T. Bur are searching for a way to bring Mask Kid and Elizabeth back.
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  • Casual Danger Dialog: You can talk to enemies in combat to learn some history or trivia on the area, though sometimes the enemy simply chats about more casual things. However, you can only talk to enemies before you make the first attack.
  • Combat Sadomasochist: Some enemies seem to actually enjoy getting attacked. Others want to be defeated so they can do something elsewhere.
  • Decoy Protagonist: Mostly Played for Laughs with the Scarf Boy, who's the character you control at the very beginning of the game, only for them to be anticlimactically killed by a chandelier falling on them, causing it to switch to the masked kid that killed them for the rest of the game.
  • Defeat Equals Explosion: The defeated enemies blow up in the cloud of purplish smoke. It even makes out a skull as it begins to fade!
  • The Dog Was the Mastermind: Puzzleman is the true Big Bad, believing his sole purpose is to keep the hero cycle going and having manipulated Mr. Stitches and his predecessor into maintaining it (or, in Stitches' case, his and T. Bur's charade of it) for centuries if not millennia.
  • Drop the Hammer: A large wooden mallet is used for heavy attacks.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: During his Motive Rant, Mr. Stitches claims that if the cycle of the Hero defeating him and him returning over and over is broken or altered in any way, the world would be destroyed due to reality being unable to handle things going Off the Rails. This turns out to have been a lie fed to him by Puzzleman to ensure that he would go along with the cycle.
  • Everyone Can See It: One mook will comment that it seems everyone can notice El Salserissimo has a thing for Mr. Stitches, to the point he imagines that Stitches can also notice, and is probably using that to manipulate him.
  • Faceless Goons: The masked kids, basic minions who always wear a very shyguy-esque mask.
  • Falling Chandelier of Doom: Used to kill the hero in the intro.
  • Floating Platforms: Here, all the platforms are clearly attached to the background, and if they are moving, it's because there are belts and gears behind them.
  • Foreshadowing: If you've been tracking data during the final areas of the game, you'll notice certain inconsistencies in the final Pop Quiz minigame. Although you learn that Stitches killed Rena to free his friends, and that he is still the evil king in order to stop the world from ending, those will be the wrong answers in the quiz, which clues you in that Puzzleman might be lying to you.
  • Gratuitous Spanish: El Salserissimo occasionally throws Spanish words into his speech. Unlike many examples, it's actually correct Spanish.
  • I Have Your Wife: Part of the reason why Queen Alexandria follows Mr. Stitches is because he supposedly is healing her husband, but because she never sees him, his real status is unknown, and she follows him to make sure he's safe.
  • King Mook: One of the early bosses is a large moth, who is the queen of the standard butterflies. She even wears a crown on her head as well!
  • Lampshade Hanging: Just one example: "Now that you're in the hero business, you better get used to absurd minigames."
  • Pop Quiz: At certain points in the game, Puzzleman takes you to a quiz show with questions mostly based on the world you're in at the time, rewarding more prize money depending on how well you do. The final quiz does have a significant amount of foreshadowing about the true nature of Stiches's goals...
  • Mirror Boss: A mook example, but the enemy masked kids in the last world can dodge and parry your attacks just like you've been able to do for most of the game, and they even have the same stats you started out with. They have different attacks due to fighting unarmed however.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: While not saying anything, Masked Kid’s expression definitely suggests this when realizing they just killed the hero and two of their colleagues.
  • The Power of Friendship: In the fight against Puzzleman, the multiple characters you've met cheering you on make platforms you can use to reach and attack him..
  • Puzzle Boss: All of the bosses qualify to varying degrees, often requiring the player either exploit a weakness to even engage them in turn-based combat or engage in broader platforming to avoid the boss's attacks. It's usually a combination of both.
    • Taken Up to Eleven with T. Bur’s fight, as you don’t have a weapon at all and are forced to use the environment to defeat him.
  • Rhythm Game: Attacking in tune with the music is considered a "Groovy" attack, and deals bonus damage.
  • Samus Is a Girl: The Grey Kid is initially referred to with male pronouns, but "he" is later revealed to be Princess Cereza.
  • Silent Protagonist: The Masked Kid, who’s dialogue only ever consists of Visible Silence. Curiously, every other masked kid talks just fine. They do write their own journal entries however, and they avert this near the end of the game, giving a Little "No" when Mr. Stiches asks them to kill him, and a goodbye after the final boss.
  • Spikes of Doom: What kind of Overlord would your master be if he didn't place a bunch of these around the place? Everyone knows the minions who get pinioned on those weren't good enough anyway.
  • Split Personality: Timbolt the butterfly, who constantly talks to himself as either Mr. T, an eloquent gentleman, or Tim, a childish doofus, as if they were separate people. His theme and outfit even changes depending on who’s talking.
  • Sprint Meter: Mainly used during combat, where it replaces the standard ATB progress bar. Thus, you can spam several attacks all at once, but this isn't advised at the start of the battle, as you'll get winded, and unable to dodge the inevitable counter-attack from your enemy.
  • Suffer the Slings: Used for ranged attacks against enemies like butterflies, who would otherwise be out of reach.
  • Talking Weapon: Elizabeth IV, the hero’s weapon. Although she’s just a hilt, she’s capable of transforming into different weapons, including a sword, slingshot, and hammer.
  • Title Drop: "Underhero" is the agency that turns Mooks into part-time heroes that cereza starts after she takes over the castle.
  • This Is Going to Suck: Masked Kid at many times. They really don’t want to be involved in this adventure.
  • Vicious Cycle: Puzzleman has been perpetuating the cycle of Mr. Stitches rising up, the Hero defeating him, and then Mr. Stitches returning for centuries as part of his warped desire to have the world follow his "script".
  • Villainous Breakdown: Puzzleman absolutely loses it when Masked Kid breaks the cycle and sends his "script" for the world Off the Rails.
  • Yaoi Fangirl: One of the villagers you meet in Pica Pica Island will mention how odd it is that El Salserissimo plays along with Mr. Stitches plans when he is so powerful. Her friend suggests he is as afraid of him as anyone else, but she herself thinks he might be in love with him; the friend casually remarks she is spending too much time in certain forums.
  • Wham Episode: World 4. The laboratory beneath the castle, which makes almost all major reveals of the game. Grey Kid reveals their real identity to be Princess Cereza in a quest for vengence. Tim, the strange moth that has been following you is King Timothy, Alexandra's missing husband whose personality was split accidentally by T. Bur trying to erase his memory when he found the laboratory. The Mooks all around the place are clones of the original Mooks, Stitches' friends that he was trying to protect. Stitches knew the Masked Kid had Elizabeth all along, it was an experiment he was running by letting his mook hold the weapon that can defeat him. T. Bur was creating a clone of the hero so they can re-start the Hero Cycle, which Stitches believes that if it ever stopped, the world will end.
  • What Measure Is a Mook?: While all of the major bosses sans the final one survive their boss fights, the Masked Kid and Elizabeth kill several of the mooks without any hesitation, despite them being shown to have their own distinct personalities if spoken to. They both have a Heel Realization in regards to this near the end of the game however, and you're actively encouraged not to kill any of the enemy Masked Kids in the last world.


Video Example(s):



They may be silent, but their expression says it all...

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Main / MyGodWhatHaveIDone