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Bossfight is a five part Edutainment web series created by Liana K. It is the third series following A Gamer's Guide to Feminism and Lady Bits.

The series goes Denser and Wackier than the previous two, while still continuing Liana's analysis of myths surrounding video games. In between Liana appearing As Herself to educate the viewer, she also stars as a series of characters engaging in their own RPG-style plot.

Magical Girl Princess Sparklemuffin has historically been known as a Damsel in Distress but, unbeknownst to her, it's because she possesses the Sparkle Gem; a powerful ring that protects her from harm but also attracts the forces of evil. Elsewhere, the Nefarious International Criminal Enterprise (or N.I.C.E. for short) has kidnapped a man called the Social Justice Warrior as part of their Evil Plan to turn all the world into mind controlled slaves. The Princess decides to go on a quest to rescue him and stop N.I.C.E. in their tracks.

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All five episodes can be viewed here. The finale also reveals that the series is actually a Poorly Disguised Pilot for an actual video game; Bossfight: Song of Sparklemuffin, which Liana began crowdfunding for.

Tropes:

  • Actually, I Am Him: There's frequent mention of the princess's old nanny 'Nanny Netherwax', and it turns out Beelzeboob was that very nanny.
  • Alter Kocker: Delores Fae has an elderly appearance, speaks with a 'noo yawk' accent and throws Yiddish into her sentences.
  • And the Adventure Continues: The last episode shows Zarkazaan in hell, with Mophisto suggesting they work together.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: Princess Sparklemuffin befriending Ann Rearden and making her leave N.I.C.E. sees her being rewarded with a sparkly tiara in the S.K.A.N.K. box.
  • Answer Cut: In Episode 4, Liana rhetorically asks who would say the myth that video games rot your brain. Cut to Zarkazaan giving her manifesto.
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  • Anything but That!: Zarkazaan's comeuppance in the finale is to have comment moderation turned off in her live stream - meaning she gets unfiltered abuse from Trolls. Everyone else shudders at this form of Laser-Guided Karma.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Princess Sparklemuffin refutes claims that she wants everyone to be just like her, because that would be both boring and make the price of tiaras go through the roof.
  • Ascended Extra: Tomoe was one of the five Silk Angels in the in-universe 'Angel Protocol' game, but is advertised as a character in her own right in Song of Sparklemuffin (with significant Adaptational Modesty).
  • Attention Whore: Serenity Sunflower is desperate for attention, but later comes to realise it's only coming from a need for external validation.
  • Back for the Finale: Every character in the series returns for the final episode.
  • Bad Boss: Most of N.I.C.E.'s employees seem to be miserable.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Shao Kind will fly into a blind rage if they hears the word 'orange'.
    • Zarkazaan hates anyone questioning her statements.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Serenity Sunflower poses as a sweet Granola Girl to try and get people to work for N.I.C.E.
  • Boobs-and-Butt Pose: Ann Rearden cringes when she sees one of the Silk Angels doing this pose in the promotional images.
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: Serenity Sunflower aspires to be "relevant, popular and relevantly popular".
  • Buffy Speak: Liana dubs the cube her monitor rests on (which also featured in Lady Bits) as 'Glowy Box'.
  • Butt-Monkey: SJW is frequently made fun of by every other character, and spends three episodes in comedic captivity.
  • Call-Back:
    • Liana references that she hates The Sims, a Running Gag from Lady Bits.
    • Beelzeboob, a character Liana had created in response to a smear campaign against her, returns for the series.
  • Characterization Marches On: For the characters who appeared in Lady Bits, as they were intended to be "one-offs" and didn't have their personalities fleshed out yet.
    • Princess Sparklemuffin was much ditzier and shown as The Load, while the Evil Queen was the one making the point. Bossfight instead emphasises her All-Loving Hero nature and her "I don't get it" Catchphrase is instead an indicator that she wants to learn more about the world.
    • SJW was referred to as female by the "finish her" voiceover, and with a slightly higher voice. Bossfight made him a trans man with shorter hair, who had just transitioned and undergone Vocal Evolution.
  • Chekhov's Boomerang: Ann Rearden's secret love of showtunes first ends up being what convinces her to stop working for N.I.C.E. but then it comes back in the finale, when she banishes Zarkazaan to hell using the power of her voice.
  • Cats Are Mean: The archdemon Mophisto was turned into a cat, and chooses to stay in that form.
  • Cool Crown: Princess Sparklemuffin becoming the playable character has her getting a spectacular gold crown headdress.
  • Cool Sword: SJW discovers his old Excalibur-like sword in the N.I.C.E. armory, and decides to take it back up again.
  • Curse Cut Short: Beelzeboob's "I never get myself bothered by a little pussy" has the last word drowned out by a Big "NO!" from Zarkazaan.
  • Cute Kitten: "Internet cats" are declared as the only thing humanity universally loves.
  • Cuteness Proximity: The monster Shao Kind is tamed when they see Princess Sparklekitty and wants to cuddle.
  • Dance Party Ending: Every episode has Creative Closing Credits involving Princess Sparklepony dancing. Episode 3 even has Ann Rearden providing the vocals.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Ann Rearden goes from Emotionless Girl and Punch-Clock Villain to embracing her love of showtunes.
  • Distressed Dude: SJW is kidnapped in the first episode, and Princess Sparklemuffin spends the series trying to rescue him.
  • Double Vision: Utilised quite often, given that Liana is playing nearly every character. Sometimes as many as four people are in the frame at once!
  • Easily Forgiven: Serenity Sunflower is forgiven quite quickly once she sees the light.
  • Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: Princess Sparklemuffin finds Delores Fae a child to grant wishes for. The first wish is for a dinosaur that eats hamburgers.
  • Everything's Better with Sparkles: In this universe, 'The Sparkle' is a realm where all happiness and hope comes from.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: Serenity Sunflower's hair going from bright red to auburn indicates her Heel–Face Turn.
  • Fairy Godmother: Delores Fae, although she's instead a grumpy Deadpan Snarker who speaks in a 'noo yawk' accent and employs Brutal Honesty.
  • Fallen-on-Hard-Times Job: Delores is working for N.I.C.E. because children haven't been wishing as much as they used to.
  • Five-Token Band: The in-universe game 'Angel Protocol' has a set of Action Girls from Ecuador, France, Japan, Israel and Texas.
  • Fluffy Fashion Feathers: Ann Rearden dons a feather boa when she discovers her passion for musical theatre.
  • Fun with Acronyms:
    • The criminal organisation Nefarious International Criminal Enterprise.
    • Ann Rearden produces a box containing Synthesized Kinetic Absorption Nano-weave Knickers.
  • Gamer Chick:
    • Liana makes clear her disdain for the term 'girl gamer', because she thinks video games are for everyone and the term reinforces the stereotype that only white straight cisgender males play games.
    • Serenity Sunflower reveals herself to be a 'fake gamer girl'.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Serenity tricking Sparklemuffin into drinking the N.I.C.E Spores backfires when she loves the taste, and drinks even more. Not only does its mind control effect not work, but it sends her into 'The Sparkle', which gives her the motivation to become the hero.
  • Good Bad Girl: Beelzeboob of course! Despite being "literally the devil", she helps the protagonists and was actually The Mentor to Princess Sparklemuffin.
  • Good Princess, Evil Queen: Sparklemuffin has a flashback to where an Evil Queen is attempting to corrupt her into making a Face–Heel Turn.
  • Green and Mean: Zarkazaan's magic is accompanied by a sickly green light, and her dress has a green bodice.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Princess Sparklemuffin is initially presented as a Dumb Blonde but is soon revealed as an All-Loving Hero.
  • Heel–Face Turn:
    • Ann Rearden stops working for N.I.C.E. and helps engineer SJW's rescue.
    • Serenity Sunflower redeems herself for trying to poison Princess Sparklemuffin, and helps Zarkazaan get her comeuppance in the finale.
  • High-Class Gloves: Sparklemuffin has a long pair of white silk gloves, befitting a princess.
  • Hot Witch: Zarkazaan may be an evil sorceress, but her Excessive Evil Eyeshadow is very flattering and she's very attractive.
  • Info Dump: SJW gives a long one on his backstory in Episode 3, which foreshadows Zarkazaan's appearance, and acts as a convenient way for Shao Kind to sneak up on him.
  • Involuntary Shapeshifting: Beelzeboob was transformed into a cat by eating a cookie from N.I.C.E.
  • Insane Troll Logic: Zarkazaan's raison d'etre; she rearranges reality in her mind to suit her own agenda.
  • Jewish Complaining: Downplayed with Delores Fae, who is introduced complaining about the things N.I.C.E. is making her say, and gives Zarkazaan a "Reason You Suck" Speech. She is however very positive to Sparklemuffin and SJW.
  • Know-Nothing Know-It-All: Zarkazaan throws around lots of quotes and buzzwords without understanding any meaning.
  • The Lancer: After being rescued, SJW decides to become The Lancer to the princess.
    "Happy to serve, milady. Nods respectfully."
  • Madonna–Whore Complex: Subverted. Princess Sparklemuffin, who's The Cutie and very wholesome, asks that if sexy video game characters are okay, does that mean she has to be like that? Beelzeboob assures her she can be modest and wholesome if that's how she wishes to be, while the ones who wish to be more provocative can do so if that's their choice.
  • Male Gaze: Discussed in Episode 5. Liana had previously deconstructed the trope in Lady Bits and Gamer's Guide to Feminism, and here she debunks the myth that sexy female characters are inherently detrimental to women.
  • Meaningful Name: Solomon's full name abbreviates as SJW, and he is indeed a social justice warrior.
  • Motive Rant: Serenity Sunflower spells out N.I.C.E.'s evil plan as Sparklemuffin gets drunk on the N.I.C.E Spores.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Beelzeboob of course! A succubus who happily shows off her cleavage, and revels in how 'bad' she is.
  • Multicolored Hair: Shao Kind has a mane in rainbow colours.
  • Never My Fault: Zarkazaan insists that anyone arguing or questioning her points is them 'harassing' her.
  • New Media Are Evil: Episode 3 discusses this very thing. Video games are often the latest scapegoat for things like racism, sexism and homophobia. Liana informs the viewer that books were once scapegoated for similar reasons, particularly The Catcher in the Rye.
  • Nice Hat: A Running Gag in Episode 4 is SJW trying on different potential new helmets to go with a redesign. These include a genie's turban and a horned Viking helmet.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed:
    • Ann Rearden is a parody of Ayn Rand, and Lillian Rearden from Atlas Shrugged.
    • Subverted with Zarkazaan; some of her quotes make her seem like a caricature of Anita Sarkeesian, but Word of God is that she's a Loony Fan who quotes her without context (and she also gets accused of plagiarising Anita in one episode).
  • No, You: Zarkazaan gives us this gem when a troll claims her voice hurts their ears.
    "My voice hurts your ears? Your ears hurt my voice!"
  • Not So Stoic: Ann Rearden's stoicism shakes once she hears Princess Sparklemuffin singing showtunes, which are her Guilty Pleasure.
  • The One Guy: SJW is the only male in an all-female cast (except for the Boy in Episode 3). He is also played by Liana K. He's in fact a trans man who's only just transitioned.
  • The Power of Friendship: Princess Sparklemuffin frequently saves the day by befriending people.
  • Princess Classic: Sparklemuffin is a hyper-feminine Friend to All Living Things, surrounded by sparkly imagery, with a sweet personality and brings about redemption through singing.
  • Princesses Prefer Pink: Princess Sparklemuffin unashamedly revels in this, although her outfit isn't wholly pink. Her dream sequence has a pink background though, and her pets wear pink party hats.
  • Real Women Don't Wear Dresses: Defied! Sparklemuffin becomes the hero and saves the day without trading in her femininity at all.
  • Redemption Rejection: Princess Sparklemuffin tries to befriend Zarkazaan to bring about her redemption. Zarkazaan however refuses, and ends up banished to hell.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Princess Sparklemuffin sings a song called "The Gun Will Come Out Tomorrow". This is after looking at Annie, a character from Silk Angels who is loosely based on Annie Oakley, who was also the inspiration for the musical Princess Sparklemuffin is parodying.
    • Nanny Netherwax, the alias Beelzeboob used when raising Sparklemuffin, is a reference to Granny Weatherwax from the Terry Pratchett novels.
    • The showtune that convinces Ann Rearden to quit working for N.I.C.E. has some homages to "Maybe This Time" from Cabaret and the titular track from Hello, Dolly!. SJW's solo section includes a deliberate shout-out to a song from the late Middle Ages by the title of "L'homme armé", a song from the Burgundian tradition that cautions the listener to be wary of men bearing swords, an intentional foreshadowing of SJW's backstory exposition in the next episode.
    • The final song contains cues from the theme from The Golden Girls as well as stylistic references to Stephen Sondheim and Philip Glass. Beelzeboob's only sung solo line is yet another callback to Hello Dolly.
    • All of the Silk Angels are named after famous historical women: Tomoe is named after famous Samurai Tomoe Gozen, Annie is named after sharpshooter Annie Oakley, Judith is named after the Biblical Judith, Manuela is named after revolutionary Manuela Sáenz, and George is named after novelist George Sand. The DLC Silk Angels were named after swashbuckling opera singer La Maupin, gender-bending conquistador swordswoman Catalina de Erauso, Astrid was named after anti-Nazi resistance member and entomologist Astrid LØken, Lola was named after Lola Montez, Grace was inspired by Grace O'Malley and Katie was named after famous strongwoman and suffragette Katia 'Sandwina' Brumbach.
  • Sidetracked by the Analogy: When trying to help Princess Sparklemuffin make a decision regarding whether she should turn evil.
    Sparklepuppy: The Sparkle is made up of good and evil.
    Sparklekitty: Yes. Princess Sparklepuppy still poops on the Sparkle Carpet.
    Sparklepuppy: That was only one time.
    Sparklekitty: It was disgusting.
  • Significant Wardrobe Shift:
    • Sparklemuffin becoming the playable character is accompanied by a redesign to a new dress that's white and frilly.
    • SJW likewise gets a redesign to a suit of armour with a Centurion's helmet.
    • Ann Rearden becoming a singer has her donning a sparkly evening gown with a Cleavage Window and bow tie. She reappears wearing a different outfit in the finale.
  • Singing Voice Dissonance: When SJW sings, his voice turns into an operatic tenor, which is quite different from his squeaky speaking voice.
  • Skewed Priorities: Sparklemuffin asks SJW to stay captured for a little longer while she comes up with a new outfit to go with her Cool Crown.
  • Soapbox Sadie:
    • SJW naturally. Our first impression of him is screaming down the phone "I'm being oppressed". Liana takes the time to tell the viewer that he thought the four houses in Harry Potter encouraged "house normativity".
    • Zarkazaan is an even more extreme example, to the point where everybody already knows what she's going to say before she does so.
  • Straw Feminist: Zarkazaan through and through; she claims any criticism of her is harassment, blames "the patriarchy" for most of her problems and criticises all games as "pernicious male power fantasies". She's also a Female Misogynist, considering she slut shames Princess Sparklemuffin in the finale. Showing that actual feminists aren't above having fun with this trope, Liana identifies as a radical feminist.
  • Stylistic Suck: The game that Eclectic Widget Games advertises is a shooter called 'Angel Protocal', featuring a bunch of Action Girls in bikinis that appears to be a Jiggle Show pandering to horny straight men. Liana however then says she actually kind of wants to play that game.
  • Take That!:
    • Ann Rearden's "business doesn't care about your feelings" is one to Ben Shapiro, whose Catchphrase is "facts don't care about your feelings".
    • Zarkazaan accusing the princess of being a "cool chick okay with sexism" is one to Anita Sarkeesian, who had called Liana that earlier in the year.
  • Team Pet:
    • Princess Sparklepony, the Unicorn, who helps you know who.
    • As of Episode 3, N.I.C.E's monster experiment Shao Kind becomes one too.
  • Tomboy with a Girly Streak: Ann Rearden has a very masculine appearance and wardrobe, with Power Hair and flirts with being a Female Misogynist. But it turns out she has a secret love of showtunes and performing.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Sparklemuffin goes from Distressed Damsel to The Hero throughout the course of the series.
  • Trademark Favourite Food: Shao Kind's is neopolitan ice cream, which is one of the only things that can tame them.
  • True Blue Femininity: Princess Sparklemuffin is a very feminine Girly Girl, and her dress is a pale blue.
  • "The Villain Sucks" Song: Ann Rearden shows up to sing one about Zarkazaan that is powerful enough to banish the sorceress to hell.
  • The Voice: Serenity's nana is entirely offscreen, but her voice is heard calling from another room.
  • Wicked Witch:
    • Baba Yaga, named after the mythological creature, has the aesthetic - grey haired, haggish appearance - but she doesn't appear to be evil.
    • Zarkazaan is an evil sorceress, though she's a Hot Witch, as mentioned above.
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