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CliffSide is an animated pilot created by Liam Vickers. The story revolves about a boy named Waylon who strives to be a notorious outlaw. He is joined by his companion Jo, and befriends a spider girl named Cordie. Together they defend the ghost town of Cliffside from a myriad of supernatural entities.

The web animation can be found here at Liam Vicker's Youtube Channel.


Tropes

  • Alternate History: The show takes place in the year 1865, with numerous deviations from history (most obviously, the monsters).
  • Artistic License – Physics:
    • Played for Laughs. The way Cordie uses her web in midair in order to stop her's and Waylon's fall after being dropped by a pterodactyl would have only succeeded in breaking their ankles. It's even acknowledged by Waylon as "questionable physics".
    • There's also the fact that Cordie can hold and operate a pistol, four of them in fact, with her pincers alone without any mechanical assistance.
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  • As Himself: In the credits, Death is credited to have been played as himself.
  • A-Team Firing: Waylon manages to miss every single shot during the intro. Jo, on the other hand...
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: At the last bits of the pilot, it's revealed through words from Cordie herself that she has a short attention span and tends to get lost to it for hours on end.
    Cordie: "I once looked at something and only lost focus for THREE! HOURS!"
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: The reason behind Cordie looking up to Waylon so much is because he stood up for her against Yannis.
  • Blatant Lies: Waylon tries to take credit for killing the monsters during the intro... even though it was Jo who killed them.
  • Brutal Honesty: There's a reason Waylon calls his partner "Honest Jo".
    Waylon: (While doing his voiceover) That's Honest Jo. My partner in crime. She's never told a lie. (Misses his shot aimed at a non moving target)
    Jo: You're bad at this.
  • Butt-Monkey:
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    • Waylon is often the target of many misfortunes that transpires in the pilot.
    • Second place goes to Background Street Crosser who often finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time.
  • Color Wash:
    • During the day most the scenery is a shade of brown.
    • During the night most of the scenery is a shade of blue and grey.
    • During one of Waylon's self-narrations, everything is a monochrome tint of light green.
  • Computer-Generated Images: The pilot was digitally animated using Toon Boom with heavy use of tweening and some frame-by-frame animated bits along with some 3D rendered props added in here and there.
  • Conspicuous CG: Some elements of the animation, such as the guns and some of the background props, are rendered in 3D CGI.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Waylon is often on the receiving end of these.
  • Cute Little Fangs: Cordie has these when her mouth is closed
  • Cute Monster Girl: Cordie is a spider girl with pincers for hands, and who tries to appear scary, but comes off more as adorable. Waylon does teach her how to use a gun though, and she becomes very efficient with them.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Jo's a straight example of this through and through with an emphasis on "Deadpan".
  • The Death of Death: Death Itself rides on the back of Yannis the pterodactyl during her attempt to kill Waylon and Cordie, only for Cordie to use her web to send them plummeting to the ground and their demise. Later revealed to be subverted when Cordie mentions that they actually can't kill Death.
  • Death Takes a Holiday: Or rather Death Itself takes a job that making sure less people die so it doesn't have to do so much work.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Many of Waylon's made up stories consist of him shooting people for petty reasons.
    Waylon: I once shot a sheriff just because I was grumpy from shooting sheriffs all day.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Death Itself, which appears as a worm-like creature with many sharp teeth, can have multiple arms (which are often rendered in 3D CGI, which makes it look more alien); seems to distort reality when it's annoyed; and, being Death, is completely unkillable.
  • Enemy Eats Your Lunch: The monsters get to eat the humans they capture. However, Yannis decides that Cordie is too useless for that and demands her to hand over Waylon. Even he thinks that's too much.
  • Establishing Character Moment:
    • Waylon's first scene shows off his self-centeredness, and dishonesty.
    • Jo is very quick to mock Waylon's lack of skill, and quickly kills a bunch of monsters, without changing her stoic attitude at all.
    • Cordie first introduces herself by menacingly approaching Waylon, and about to eat a crow who found its way into her web... Before the crow hits her in four of her eyes, and she's left awkwardly trying to be scary to Waylon.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Waylon called the background character that appeared twice in the pilot as "Background Street Crosser". Even in the credits he is credited as "Background Street Crosser". His real name was never revealed.
  • Fan of Underdog: Cordie is the only character we're introduced to that genuinely looks up to Waylon.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: The newspaper near the end. It briefly talks about Death Itself becoming the new sheriff before mentioning how the pilot feels rushed due to a time constraint. The paper's tagline is also that it's "The Definitely Not Cursed Weekly Newspaper", along with an ominous warning on the top right from a "Winston Gerrard", who says he's trapped in the Cliffside newspaper company by horrific monsters that can read and are apparently among the populace.
  • Genki Girl: Cordie's pretty up-bit and cheerful for a creepy spider lady.
  • Ghost Town: Cliffside has a population of 21 people currently living in it. With the town being surrounded and occasionally being attacked by monsters, it's no wonder people would even dare living here let alone survive for long.
  • Gone Horribly Right: When Waylon decides to train Cordie in the fine art of being a gunslinger, he starts having second thoughts when she shoots an airborne bean can to pieces with four revolvers, while sporting a Slasher Smile. In then shows him watching in horror as she cheerfully robs a bank in full spider-monster mode.
  • Glowing Eyes:
    • The Wendigo's large eyes glow a yellow tinted white in addition to his glowing mouth.
    • Cordie's eyes glow in the dark whenever she's feeling intense emotions.
  • The Grim Reaper: Death Itself. You can't kill death, so he comes to cause trouble for the heroes until Waylon makes him the sheriff of the town.
  • Guns Akimbo: When Cordie mastered firearm trainings we see her quadruple wielding revolvers. One on each pincer. She's very proficient at it too as we see during the training montage that all of the bullets she fired manages to hit a can midair (which she launched with her web prior).
  • The Gunslinger: Most of the human characters from the pilot are gunslingers of varying levels of competency with Jo ranking pretty high on the list and Waylon and Jo's posses (though we never get to see them in action as they were taken out by Cordie before they could act) being the least proficient among them.
    • Cordie became a gunslinger herself after Waylon thought her how to shoot. She quickly became very proficient at it despite her pincers for hands. So proficient that she can handle four pistols at the same time with ease and catch a flying bullet midflight with her pincers like a kung fu master catches a fly with his chopsticks.
  • Hidden Depths: It's suggested that Waylon does have some knowledge on how to use a gun, having trained Cordie how to use hers, and is implied to have had something to do with the Sheriff's death at the end of the pilot.
  • Laughing Mad: Two instances of this. The first one was at the scene where we meet Cordie for the first time and the second one where she giggles in glee as she robs a bank in full monster mode and chokes an accountant with her pincer.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Yannis tries to splatter Waylon and Cordie after already attempting to bully Cordie out of her catch but when she drops them Cordie attaches a web her to her which slams her to the ground, killing her.
  • Leitmotif:
  • Living Shadow: The Wendigo's body is made out of writhing and wavering mass of shadow that forms the silhouette of a stereotypical depiction of a wendigo with a glowing mouth and eyes.
  • Lovecraft Lite: All sorts of monstrosities cause mayhem in the town, but they're just as vulnerable to bullets and gravity as anyone else. Except for Death Itself, you can't kill Death.
  • Metaphorgotten: Cordie doesn't seem familiar with the expression "put a lid on it".
    Cordie: They were all like: "Meh, meh, meh!" And you were all like: "Take a lid, and put it on... that!".
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: Although officially recognized as a spider person within the show and on official source material, Cordie seems to be more of a mishmash of various not just spiders, but scorpions as well. She sports four sets of pincers for hands, and has what seemed to be a prehensile stinger inside her mouth.
  • Mook Horror Show: Cordie easily and creepily dispatches several guards at a bank after learning how to be a gunslinging outlaw.
  • Multi-Armed and Dangerous: Cordie has four pincer-tipped arms and uses them for shooting four revolvers. Death is a subversion, since he can grow multiple arms, but only uses one for attacking.
  • Nightmare Face:
    • Big glowing dilated eyes that twist and morph; and a large, drooling, toothy grin that literally reaches from ear to ear. Cordie can be quite horrifying to look at when she needs to be.
    • Death Itself has a pretty horrifying face himself. It's toothy mouth resembles that of a cloak's hood. In its center is a dark empty abyss devoid of any facial features with buzzing flies flying in and out of it. Dialogue implies that he uses those buzzing flies to communicate with other people.
  • Oh, Crap!: Waylon's reaction when Cordie tells him that they didn't actually kill Death Itself.
    Waylon: You should have seen us! It was so awesome! We killed a giant pterodactyl! And Death Itself!
    Cordie: Well, not Death Itself. I mean... you can't kill Death.
    Waylon: Oh, right! Well, obviously.
    Cordie: It's kind of his whole thing.
    Waylon: But yeah, I uh... we uh...(awkward pause) Wait, what!?
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Jo suddenly gets a southern accent when questioning Waylon for being an accomplice in a bank robbery.
    Jo: What in tarnation is going on!?
    Waylon: Oh, man. She's gone southern.
  • Pet the Dog: Waylon has tendencies towards selfishness and egotism, but he does perform a genuine act of kindness at one point: when Yannis threatens Cordie and calls her useless, Waylon stands up for her by throwing a rock at Yannis's head and declaring that Cordie would have eaten him just fine if Yannis herself hadn't shown up. Cordie is so touched by this gesture that not only does she no longer wish to eat him; she develops a crush on him.
  • Pilot: This web animation is a pilot for a series, if this is ever picked up, created by Liam Vickers for his college thesis.
  • Psychological Projection: Waylon outright admits that when he stood up for Cordie against Yannis he was probably just projecting his own personal issues about being treated as useless.
  • Ptero Soarer: Yannis is a stylized pterosaur/dragon hybrid.
  • Punny Name: "Cordie" as in "a cord of spider web".
  • Self-Applied Nickname: Waylon often calls himself Two-Bit Jerry.
  • Self-Duplication: The Wendigo has the power to split himself up into several wendigos.
  • The Sheriff: Death Itself became the sheriff of Cliffside by the end of the pilot through Waylon. He accepted the position as it would ease up his grim reaping job with less people dying.
  • Silly Walk: Background Street Crosser is always seen doing the cowboy walk whenever he appears on screen.
  • Spider Limbs: Cordie has four clawed arms and during the bank robbery she shows that she also has four spider legs but they are usually hidden under her dress.
  • Spider People: Cordie has a lot of arachnid features such as her long spider legs which she keeps tucked in beneath her skirt, multiple eyes that look like a singular eye and even a chelicerae-like mouthpart hidden inside her mouth. She also has other arachnid features that are not of spiders such as her two pairs of pincers.
  • Slasher Smile: When Cordie smiles, her face takes on the visage of a hungry predator eager to devour her prey, even when she's just smiling because she's happy or excited.
  • The Stoic: Jo always speaks in a monotone voice... until she sees Waylon with Cordie.
  • Training Montage: Waylon ends up teaching Cordie how to shoot a gun after she saves him from Yannis. However, Cordie takes the idea of being an outlaw too seriously and robs a bank.
    Waylon: Whoa. Montages are dangerous.
  • The Unintelligible: Death Itself only speaks in horrific buzzes. Yannis, however, understands it just fine and Cordie also knows that "language" (although she's quite rusty at it).
  • Weird West: A more recent entry in animation. It starts with a gunslingin' outlaw and his pardner fighting a Wendigo in a prarie town, and goes from there.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Jo interrupts Waylon's voiceover during the intro to tell him that her dad needs him. That subject is never touched upon for the rest of the episode.
  • Wingding Eyes: Cordie's pupils frequently change shape; such as turning into hearts whenever she gushes about Waylon, turning into glowing yellow slits when she's feeling particularly bloodthirsty, and splitting into four, and turning into skull-and-crossbones.
  • The Wild West: The setting of the cartoon.
  • Throat Light: The insides of the Wendigo's mouth also glows similarly to his eyes.
  • Wendigo: A Living Shadow variant of it appears during the pilot's prologue.

Alternative Title(s): Cliff Side

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