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The Pinnacle of Online Entertainment

"Sucks at Blood."
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Civvie 11 (also known as Civvie's Dungeon) is a YouTube channel focusing on video games. Civvie reviews retro games from the First-Person Shooter genre, modern shooters inspired by retro FPS games, and the occasional film, typically adaptations of the games he's covered. His "Pro" series features humorous overviews of Civvie's experiences playing certain games. In other words, they're a scripted hybrid of a review and Let's Play.

Most of the videos in the channel follow a loosely strung narrative where Civvie, or CV-11, is incarcerated in a facility run by the so-called 'Department of Special Corrections', where he is treated very inhumanely, but has access to a computer system and an unseen editor (CV-16, also known as Katie). Intros, outros, and various beats in between the actual game review are usually punctuated by gags about the facility.

You can find his channel here.


Pro Tropes when, Civvie?:

  • Actually Pretty Funny:
    • While he utterly panned Bad Day L.A., he admitted the gag where you walk into a burning building to save a guy's girlfriend only to find a blow-up doll to be pretty good.
    • Hearing a self-deprecating joke in the DLC "The Doctor Who Cloned Me" for Duke Nukem Forever has him speechless.
      General Graves: So Proton's plan was to use clones... that's madness! That program was years away from being complete! invoked
      Civvie: Holy shit, is that a joke? Like a good joke?! Like a subtle and- [All in-game audio stops] ...oh, my God!
    • He also gave credit for Redneck Rampage Rides Again for a gag where Bubba robs Elvis' grave and steals his outfit, resulting in the crowbar equivalent of a Dope Slap by Leonard.
    • He doesn't find Postal 2's satire really that funny, but a bit in Paradise Lost where you can interrupt Krotchy giving a lengthy exposition dump by shooting him, which barely phases him beyond annoying him that you're skipping it, made him bust a gut.
  • Adaptational Heroism: Discussed in his video of the game adaptation of From Dusk Till Dawn, which gives Seth Gecko, a ruthless criminal in the film, this treatment.
    Civvie (sarcastically): Seth Gecko: Humanitarian! (plays a scene from the film where Seth coldly tells a hostage he doesn't care whether they live or die)
  • Adaptation-Induced Plot Hole: Discussed in the video on Land of the Dead: Road to Fiddler's Green, pointing out that the climax of Land of the Dead involves the zombies finding out they can cross the river into the city. Road To Fiddler's Green has the zombies already doing this to attack the city, despite taking place years before the film's events.
  • All-Star Cast: Invoked, for Civvie highlights Rise of the Triad: Ludicrous Edition's developers as being a match made in heaven: Nightdive Studios (known for making excellent ports of retro shooters) teaming up with New Blood Interactive (which contains most of the original creative staff of the ROTT reboot) produces an extremely high-quality port of ROTT which, in Civvie's mind, is better treanment than what he thinks the game actually deserves.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation: invokedHe suggests in his Tekwar video that William Shatner might be trying to get the protagonist killed on purpose, to offset the costs of freezing them—hence the near-total lack of support and the fact that the police will try to murder the protagonist if they have their weapon drawn.
  • Ambushing Enemy: Discusses these in his Pro Doom: Plutonia Experiment video which he refers to as "Evil Traps." Basically, the player finds a key or useful item or weapon only to be beset by some very high-end monsters the moment they grab the prize.
  • Animation Bump: The Blake Stone episode features AX3 and H4MM3R with some actual animation, showing them wheeling over to Civvie's cell and talking to him with some head movements. Most of the time otherwise, the two are just static figures.
  • Apocalypse How: According to what Civvie says, the world above might be a wasteland. It's never explained how the world died, or even why he's still incarcerated. Thanks to some Lampshading on Civvie's part, he notes the fact he has far too many subscribers for the world to actually be over. Don't think too hard about how he can still react to incoming news like the failed launch of Fallout 76 in his Terminator: Future Shock review.
  • April Fools' Day:
  • Arch-Enemy:
    • Capstone Software, for putting out nothing but terrible games. Often followed by Civvie sarcastically saying their tagline, "The Pinnacle of Entertainment Software", every time he mentions their name or some variation including "The Pinnacle of..." followed by a joke or major flaw common in their games.
      Civvie (reviewing TekWar): Capstone... they fascinate me at how utterly incompetent they were at making games.
    • Randy Pitchford, after Gearbox Software released Aliens: Colonial Marines and it was found out that they were moving funds from that game over to Borderlands 2, alongside the former's notorious false advertising, buggy mess of a release, and poorly written story. Other grievances include the entirety of Duke Nukem Forever, some mixed-bag quality levels in older Duke games, and generally being the living embodiment of grease.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: He is notably incensed in Daikatana when Hiro claims that Superfly's suspicion of a graveyard is superstitious, yelling at Hiro "YOU'VE MET A GHOST TWICE!"
  • Asbestos-Free Cereal: Inverted: the double-wide can of NutraFuel advertises itself as "containing dark meat", which you probably would never have expected a drink to contain, so including it makes it seem less appealing.
  • Ascended Fanboy: Is now officially an NPC in Postal 4 and the proud owner of 'Civvie's Crack Shack'. This is in reference to his Self-Imposed Challenge of keeping the Postal Dude high for a week straight while playing Postal 2. invoked
    • Partially stretches into Celebrity Paradox since he also voices a caller named Doug on the talk radio show in the game. The voice of Doug from the call and Civvie at his seedy establishment are the same. Whether or not this is supposed to be a different person is up in the air, though it probably doesn't matter.
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: In the Doom Eternal video
  • Author Appeal:
    • Civvie's very fond of sprinkling music tracks from Rise of the Triad throughout his episodes whenever it fits the situation or suits the clip. It's to the point he also uses two tracks ("Here Boy" and "How'd I Do?") as his intro and outro themes. When he actually gets to the game in question he details why.
    • Also to Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, referencing it as the musical gold standard met by the aforementioned, using "Final Toccata" during his breakdown of Hexen's cryptic Seven Portals, listing the steps needed to enter the Inverted Castle as a joke about Cruelty Squad's secrets, and mentioning the Clock Tower segments present throughout the series in American McGee's Alice.
  • Badass Boast: Given his writing style and subject matter, there are a few of these every so often.
    Civvie (playing Duke Nukem 3D): You were Schwarzenegger. You were Stallone. You were the baddest motherfucker alive.
    Civvie (regarding the final boss of Return to Castle Wolfenstein): I'm not saying that I'm going to beat Heinrichs' ass so hard that he wakes in another thousand years to find that the world is littered with monuments to the legend of a Yankee spy pushing some pre-medieval Germanic douces' shit in until it was leaking from his ears. [Beat] Because he's not getting up again.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Discussed in his Doom Eternal review, where he notes how vicious the game is at the start on Ultra Violence. As he puts it, too many players complained how the previous game was too easy and unbalanced and now Eternal is making them regret those words.
  • Behind the Black: According to Civvie, one of the biggest issues in Doom: Annihilation is the total inability of the characters to notice anything unless it's on the screen.
  • Berserk Button: Sewer levels, due to their boring visuals, restricted gameplay and confusing layouts. Given that sewers were pervasive in shooter games of the 1990s, he runs into a lot of them. While he never goes into the screaming fits you might expect from this trope, he makes his opinion clear by greeting them with a tone of disgust and keeping a running tally of the number of sewer levels encountered throughout the series... which is thrown off after the Dark Forces video, in which he finds its sewer level to be so awful that he adds a whole ninety-two counts to the total. This comes to a head when he plays Redneck Rampage and finds its sewer level so horrid that he increases the counter to 9999999, declaring it to be the very worst sewer level in history and possibly one of the single worst levels in any FPS.
    • To a lesser extent, averting Shotguns Are Just Better in First-Person Shooters will really piss him off. He will dedicate entire sections in his video explaining why a game's shotgun is godawful if it's especially bad, as Doom³ and Redneck Rampage would show.
  • Beyond the Impossible: Thanks to some freak glitches he had never seen before involving hellhounds and dog treats, Civvie ends the main campaign in Pro Postal with a theoretically infinite kill count.
  • Black Blood:
    • The Hatred episode sees Katie editing the footage to hue shift all red things (which includes the copious amounts of blood) to the advertiser-friendly green.
    • Inverted for laughs in the Chex Quest episode: for a gag, Civvie tells Katie to edit the footage so that the Flemoids — normally an innocuous green slime color — are turned bright red, then into a darker, bloodier shade of red.
  • Bloody Hilarious: In the F.E.A.R. video, Civvie shoots Norton Mapes in the face, which results in him spraying blood filled with Cheetoes everywhere which fills up first the scene, then his computer, then his cell, then the entire corrections facility.
  • Body Horror: A lot of the show's comedy stems from Civvie making a bad pun or angering his guards and being punished for it. There are copious references to 'the cold room', being flayed for the duration of an ad spot, and electric shocks. It would be gruesome if Civvie never really reacted beyond the immediate moment of pain or if the violence was shown on-screen.
    • During his review of Blood II: The Chosen's expansion pack, The Nightmare Levels, his ability to use his patented Gordon Ramsay quotes is replaced by two buttons. AX3 assures him that one of the buttons will play one of the clips. When Civvie presses one of them, a gunshot is heard. Civvie screams in pain and begins to react in shock. The show then cuts out for what an intermission card says to be six months with a newfound unwillingness to press the button.
  • Bootstrapped Theme: "Here Boy" and "How'd I Do?" from the Rise of the Triad soundtrack, commonly used as his intro and outro themes.
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: According to the message that appears on screen, the debate between Civvie and Cancer Mouse that gets cut out of the Doom Eternal review centred around "college students, the plight of unfunny boomer comedians, and the ethics of euthanizing the elderly."
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: During the Unreal episode, Civvie demonstrates one use of the Unreal engine: "haphazardly throw meshes and lighting together and call it a virtual set", while showing off his virtual set of his DOSC prison room.
  • Break Them by Talking: During the Outlaws video, where AX3 gives Civvie a "The Reason You Suck" Speech and he sounds the most miserable he's ever been on the show.
  • Breathless Non Sequitur: Upon seeing the cereal Adjacent to This Complete Breakfast in Chex Quest, Civvie takes a tangent to describe how cereals generally appeared in commercials: "they would show like cereal and a whole pitcher of milk and orange juice and toast and a muffin and a whole bowl of fruit and then some fucking cum golems would steal your Crunch Berries."
  • Broke the Rating Scale:
    • The Sewer count often gets massive boosts based on how bad the level itself is, but the Redneck Rampage sewer level was so bad the count defaulted to 999999 and then became an error message.
  • Brutal Honesty: His Blood: Fresh Supply review. Even more when one considers that one achievement in the remaster references his Pro Blood series. It thankfully paid off when Fresh Supply was patched to fix a lot of the issues he had.
  • Butt-Monkey: Civvie has an ongoing series entitled "humiliating the cyberdemon" where the classic Doom baddie gets killed in cheap and anticlimactic ways. This even continues when the Cyberdemon is replaced by the Tyrant in Doom Eternal.
  • Capitalism Is Bad: A recurring theme when Civvie details the history/future of a game studio who made whichever game he's playing for a video is that capitalism ends up ruining them, usually via being bought and absorbed into a larger company to make games that Civvie likes a lot less than what they made previously. This gets lampshaded in the Chex Quest episode, in which he offhandedly mentions that the second episode of Chex Quest was Christmas Rushedinvoked and that the brand was sold off later that same year.
    Civvie: "Guess what, motherfuckers, this video has corpo bullshit in it too!"
  • Cat Scare: In the NecroVisioN episode, the DOSC siccs various monsters on Civvie because Katie is editing "It's a man's life in the modern British Army" into the video and triggering the anti-Monty Python rule. The final time this happens, Civvie freaks out as sirens blare in his containment... but instead of some eldritch horror, only the dildocopter shows up to bother Civvie.
  • Celebrity Cameo: Gianni Matragrano shows up As Himself in the videos for The Fortress Of Dr Radiaki and Nightmare Reaper (beyond voicing the doctor in the latter). He also puts on a Steve Blum voice in the Quake IV video (not of his own volition, mind), with AX3 implying that he's also a prisoner in the Department of Special Corrections facilities.
  • Censored for Comedy: As part of a Take That! to algorithms that suppress bad language, his TNT: Evilution shorts not only feature censorship of swears (and very inconsistently, at that) but also common words like "pain." This comes to a head during his evaluation of "Ballistyx", in which his dialogue is very, very vulgar — describing visiting someone else's family reunion to have sex with all the women there — which is contrasted against Civvie having to refer to their genitalia as "mommy boxes".
  • Challenge Run: Civvie has been known to dabble in these for certain games.
    • By far his most well known and memetic one was in the "Pro Postal" series, where he made it his mission to complete the entire game while under the effects of a Health Pipe.
    • For "Pro Doom", since he knew the game inside and out after playing it for years, he sets a series of guidelines for the videos, such as no mouse look, no saving (meaning dying would send him to the start of the level with only the pistol), and drinking an expired can of Monster Energy after clearing an episode.
  • Character Shilling: One of his critiques of Duke Nukem Forever is that the vast majority of characters have their only interactions with Duke being to talk about how awesome he is, barring a single Straw Character—he notes that, when combined with the game's general mediocrity, it results in the game feeling smugly full of itself in an undeserved way. One compliment he gave "The Doctor Who Cloned Me" is that its characters had a much broader spectrum of reactions to Duke (like Doctor Proton regularly appearing to smack-talk Duke or Dr Valencia being a Ms. Fanservice who doesn't immediately want into his pants), and the DLC as a whole was more willing to make Duke the butt of the joke.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • In his Duke Nukem Forever vid, Civvie asks everyone to remember Duke's angry "Not my babes! Not in my town!" rant for later. It comes up in the Hive where Duke cruelly jokes to the impregnated, captive Holsom twins that they're "fucked" to highlight how Out of Character the comment is for Duke.
    • At the start of the Rise of the Triad reboot video, AX3 gives Civvie a present, which smells bad but can't be opened until past midnight. It becomes relevant when he gets stuck on the Final Boss, during which Civvie opens the present for the solution: Cheese! invoked
  • Cherry Tapping: Upon reaching the end of Shadow Warrior (1997), Civvie decided to try beating the final boss of a highly unforgiving first-person shooter with a massive arsenal of weapons to death with just his bare fists. To his surprise, this turned out to be a pretty effective strategy, as Orochi Zilla's AI has a lot of trouble with hitting targets at point-blank range on the constantly shifting ground of where you fight him.
  • Christmas Creep: In the Necro Vision episode's intro, AX3 declares that Christmas officially begins on September 25th.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: The Pro Doom II video has folders containing information on the new enemies introduced during the game. Whereas the other enemies get fairly informative run-downs, the Pain Elemental's entry is this.
    Name: FUCK. Durability: FUCK. Threat level: FUCK. Rarity: FUCK. Summary: "Fuck it. Fuck it. Fuck it. Fuck it. Fuck it. Fuck it. Fuck it. Fuck it. Fuck it. Fuck it. Fuck it. Fuck it".
  • Colon Cancer: The Slayers X: Terminal Aftermath: Vengance of the Slayer has two subtitles ("Slayers X: Manchild Review Video: Dawn of the X-Slayer"), and each chapter is likewise named to reference said game's likewise multiple subtitles.
  • Content Warning:
    • Displayed in the intro to his Pro Postal videos:
      This one gets pretty weird and you should know going in that neither Civvie nor the United States Department of Special Corrections advocates any of the actions contained in this video of some asshole paying a video game
    • The Halloween video on the Game Mod Eternal Damnation replaces it with a special warning due to the Darker and Edgier nature of the mod.
      Okay so this is actually more violent and fucked up than you're used to for a ''Postal'' episode. Don't believe me? Well, you ought to since it talks about zombies, gore, sexual assault, extreme and frankly sickening violence, and neither Civvie nor the Department of Special Corrections condones any of the actions depicted here because, as always, this is just some asshole playing a video game and you need to chill. Please Spook Responsibly.
    • The deliberately offensive Corkscrew Rules also gets a special warning:
      This one is even worse. This is probably the most offensive material you will see on this show. It includes senseless violence (naturally) and also pretty awful sexual content, racial and homophobic slurs, and any number of other things not endorsed by Civvie or the Department of Special Corrections. You've been warned.
    • He has another, far more serious one in Duke Nukem Forever when he gets to the Hive, a level focusing on women being impregnated and killed by alien spawn.
      CONTENT WARNING: TURN BACK NOW. JESUS CHRIST WHY IS THIS IN A VIDEO GAME. SKIP TO 34:07 TO AVOID THIS, YOU WON'T MISS OUT ON ANYTHING IMPORTANT I PROMISE.
    • Civvie puts up an epilepsy warning when he's about to start the cyberspace level in Tekwar. It's very warranted since the level is almost physically painful to look at, whether you have it or not.
  • Continuity Nod: In his review of TNT: Evilution, Civvie rhetorically describes something he refers to as "goldilocksing", ie. visiting someone else's family reunion and having sex with every woman there to see who would be "just right" in bed. Goldilocksing gets referenced again in the Strife episode, in which he says that "the goldilocksing thing was only half-true"; but what elements of what Civvie described are true and what's fake is left up to interpretation.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment:
    • Civvie gets buried alive under a mass of rejected blank collectible vinyls (which are most definitely not Funko Pops) in the Hexen episode.
    • After a failed attempt to blow up the DOSC's nutraloaf factory in the UnrealI episode, Civvie gets sent to "the Clown Room" as punishment. Here, he's isolated while he tries to work on his next videos, at least until the AI called Clown starts intruding on the script and subjecting him to TikTok-esque shenanigans.
  • Country Matters: Not directly by Civvie himself, but while reading out a Randy Pitchford tweet in the Duke Nukem Forever video, a distorted clip from Bronson of the titular character bellowing "SHUT THE FUCK UP YOU CUNT" plays in the background.
  • Cursed Item: His upgraded computer for Doom Eternal has a number of absurd upgrades: including an experimental cooling system designed for fusion reactors, a processor tied to the power supply with strands of John Romero's hair (for some reason), a 320GB vRAM video card, and a Runic stone from the Ruins of Sala'Kan'Tar. Something inside it has caused it to start bleeding. By his video on Postal 4, the PC appears to have generated a form of sentience, though so long as it stays away from Civvie's bed and toilet, he doesn't really care. It all comes to a head during the Daikatana video, where the computer sprouts wings and declares its intent to destroy humanity only to be taken over by the spirit of John Romero, who promises to bring humanity instead into a glorious future free of want and suffering... until AX3 neutralizes it with a flamethrower and locks the computer away on another floor alongside other evils that have given Civvie grief in the past such as Steamboat Wendigo and Tekwar.
  • Damned by Faint Praise:
    • In Civvie's Redneck Rampage review, he calls Redneck Rampage Rides Again the best sequel to a Build engine shooter, with the competition being Blood II: The Chosen and Duke Nukem Forever.
    • When giving his history of the remake of Rise of the Triad, he goes on a small tangent to note that the owners of the Duke Nukem franchise went out of their way to shut down any links between their franchise and the game that ultimately became the original Bombshell.
      "I can understand, Bombshell wasn't exactly critically loved, but it is objectively more than nothing, which is probably the best review that game ever got."
    • During his video on Terrawars: NY Invasion, he at one point proclaims, with shock and disgust, that the game's sewer level is by far the best one in the game. He elaborates that while it does use all the classic annoying sewer level design tropes, those tropes come off as a breath of fresh air in a game where most of the levels are barely designed at all.
  • Dancing Bear:invoked
    • He takes this view of Hexen, noting that the main appeal to the game is its extreme level of technical sophistication for a game released on the same engine as the original Doom, with things like horizontally-moving sectors, parallax scrolling, and a class system, while the actual "game" part is a slog.
    • He brings this up with Chasm: The Rift, noting that while the game is a rather good shooter on its own merits, the real intrigue to it is that it manages to pull off Quake-level visuals despite running in a 2.5D engine—to the point that the only way to tell it's not true 3D is to realize that all the levels are suspiciously lacking in verticality.
  • Dartboard of Hate: His old cell had one with Randy Pitchford's face on it.
  • Disappointed in You: He has this reaction in Pro Postal 4 - Friday when he learns of The Sister's existence and how The Dude got married to The Bitch over her.
    Civvie: We're just going to pretend that this character existed this whole time and that The Dude married the other sister instead? Dude, you are really fucking your life up, I am disappointed in you.
  • Down the Drain: It's fair to say Civvie isn't a big fan of sewer levels. Look at Running Gag below.
  • Dramatic Thunder: In the Hexen II video, anytime he says Activision's name, lightning appears with the sound of a thunderclap.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: At the beginning of the Duke Nukem Forever video, Cancer Mouse is crushed to death by a trap that Civvie set. However, due to some time-travelling shenanigans on H4MM3R's part, he's alive again and as toxic as ever.
  • Early Game Hell:
    • Insofar as the first level of Doom's fourth episode can be considered such, playing on Hell Beneath on Ultra Violence gave Civvie a really hard time thanks to a cramped layout, dozens of shotgunners, a good few Barons of Hell and barely any healing items. But the grand prize goes to, as Civvie shows, Plutonia Experiment's first level, Congo. There, the player is immediately surrounded by shotgunners at the start, the next room has chaingunners ready to perforate the player, there are Revenants and Mancubi littered about the place and the moment the player fires a shot near the chaingunners in the aforementioned room, it alerts the Arch-Vile. Yeah, as Civvie points out, Plutonia is for experienced Doomers looking for something new, and Congo shows it will start by lighting a fire right under the player's ass.
    • Doom Eternal is also an example of this. As Civvie points out, it's much harder than its predecessor, and until you get some upgrades and get into the flow of the combat it will absolutely wipe the floor with you in harder difficulties.
      Civvie: We all said Doom 2016 was unbalanced and too easy, and now we're paying for it.
    • He argues that much of the reason that Daikatana has such a bad reputation is that most of its terrible cramped dark levels and weapons that kill the player more than the enemy are located in the first episode. Past that point, the level design opens up considerably and the weapons become much more generally usable.
  • Elaborate Under Ground Base: The titular Dungeon, which comes off as an SCP-style laboratory/prison.
  • Eldritch Abomination:
    • The demon spawned from the stone of Sala'Kan'Tar that possessed Civvie's computer is this. Its mere presence alone began to infect Civvie's room with some sort of unidentifiable flesh muck. By the Daikatana episode, it absorbed enough of the game's power to take form and menace humanity... only to be nullified by the latent good spirit of John Romero hidden in the strands of hair Civvie somehow had. And then it gets neutralized by AX3's flamethrower.
    • The Steamboat Wendigo is a part-flesh part-mechanical all demonic nightmare with the head of Mickey Mouse, and a stomach containing the tortured souls of all the properties Disney has bought. It appears briefly in the Dark Forces review where Katie's use of a MIDI version of the Star Wars theme briefly rouses its attention before Civvie implores her to stop. As of Daikatana it has been subdued and contained in a sub-basement level along with the aforementioned possessed PC and William Shatner's Tekwar.
    • During the Evil Dead: Regeneration video, something has started to affect the DSC. Whatever it is, it's clearly not good, and the only way to stave off its effects is a complicated ritual involving red candles and blood (preferably human).
  • Electric Torture: Civvie has a number of electrical nodes implanted in various parts of his body. If he doesn't do as he's told or gets out of line, they get fired up.
  • Everyone Has Standards: While it's unclear whether or not Civvie has committed any serious crimes (even if he mentioned he committed homicide in his Blood 2 video), he openly objects to violence against children in his Shogo: Mobile Armor Division review.
    • He also has a soft spot for dogs as shown in his Postal reviews and dislikes seeing them hurt.
    • He's genuinely disturbed by the entire Hive section of Duke Nukem Forever. Especially at Duke's nonchalant response to the whole thing.
    • To a lesser degree, he seems a bit put off by the treatment of the women in 3D, finding it rather creepy and out-of-place (though not nearly as explicitly bad as it'd get in Forever). He also notes some irritation at the fact that the level designers had an odd habit of putting captured women in places where they're almost guaranteed to die horribly, such as next to explosives or in front of enemies with rapid-fire ranged attacks.
    • H4MM3R gets a moment of this in the introduction to the Rise of the Triad 2013 reboot video; Civvie's offhand comment that he doesn't mind a Toys For Tots child dying for the sake of him receiving a Christmas present provokes a blunt response of "what the fuck, Civvie?". Civvie retorts that H4MM3R has Civvie's brain, basically, so he was likely thinking the same thing.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin:
    • The oft-mentioned but never-seen Cold Room, a punishment often used on or to threaten Civvie and other inmates. As his review of Kreed reveals, it is indeed simply a room that is incredibly cold.
    • On AMID EVIL:
      Civvie: This is the Painmaster. It's a master of pain.
  • Exact Words: Civvie compliments Warhammer 40,000: Boltgun's Servo Skull (a flying skull that gives him tips, commentary, and calculates the probability of plans being successful), saying that he wants one of his own, except not with a human skull attached. He gets exactly what he wants: enter stage right, the dildocopter, a flying assistant that doesn't have a human skull attached. Civvie proclaims his hatred of everyone upon seeing the thing.
    Dildocopter: "Probability of usefulness: 12%."
  • Fair for Its Day: Cancer Mouse attempts to have this trope invoked in relation to one of the many homophobic jokes in Corkscrew Rules, an intentionally-offensive Russian Postal 2 expansion. It came out in 2005.
  • Fake Difficulty: His main reason for disliking TNT: Evilution: he believes that the expansion as a whole doesn't understand how to properly use the game's enemy roster, in favor of simply scattering low-tier enemies en masse throughout very large levels. Rather than making the game challenging, he argues that this makes the game a monotonous form of hard, as most of these enemies force the player to take damage but at the same time don't provoke any strategy beyond "shoot the hordes of hitscanners".
  • Foreshadowing: Early in Petty Thief #3, Civvie outlines that he has a very specific fear of turning a corner and encountering a "weird metal baby", which might seem like a weirdly unique thing to be afraid of to non-Thief fans. Six Thief episodes later, at the end of Petty Thief: The Metal Age #4, Civvie encounters the Mechanical Cherub, which is exactly a weird metal baby, and gets freaked out by it.
  • Freak Out:
    • Happens occasionally when he finds a glitch or some other issue so bad, so blatant, that words fail him. For example, in his Hunt Down the Freeman video when he finds out the path he's supposed to take is blocked by an invisible wall, or in the second part of his Blood II: The Chosen series when he finally acquires the Napalm Launcher (one of the most devastating weapons in the first game) only to see it has been nerfed to oblivion. Expect a cavalcade of edited Gordon Ramsay shouting and swearing whenever this happens.
      Civvie (In said Hunt Down The Freeman video): I'm not gonna freak out about this. I'm not...
    • The video on the Postal 2 Game Mod Eternal Damnation has Civvie suffering one bad enough to require medication, after a sequence of events that involve a Crappy Carnival, a fully naked Succubus, a train crash, a sewer level, various game glitches, and Jigsaw Gary Coleman attacking him with a Chainsaw.
      Civvie: Medication Time! Medication Time... (25MG THORAZINE ADMINISTERED)
    • Another one briefly occurs in Duke Nukem Forever after he witnesses the infamous "Looks like you're... fucked." scene. Not long after Duke ranted about how the aliens are gonna pay for stealing the girls again.
    • After losing his shit over a detail in Unreal 2 previously, the footage cuts to footage taken at a later date with a note that he was abruptly sedated. After something he finds even more mind-bogglingly awful to deal with comes up, the same thing happens, with the note that he volunteered for the sedation this time.
    • Has a couple in his Postal 4 video, one when he discovers that he is the drug dealer in town, and another when he comes across the Sewer Count graffiti in the sewers, with its' count matching his own.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: During the review of The Crow: Wicked Prayer, Civvie lumps in The Human Centipede 2 with the Direct-To-Video Disney sequels as examples of franchises overstaying their welcome.
  • Funny Background Event:
  • Fun with Acronyms:
  • Gag Censor: The Shrapnel City episode of his Duke Nukem series features the ending audio snippet where Duke has sex. Black censor bars appear on the still image onscreen in an attempt to hide the audio, until the Youtube subtitles get censored as well.
  • Genre Turning Point: invokedHis opinion of Half-Life and Doom is that they changed the FPS genre to the point of redefinition:
    Civvie: Valve's first game was Half Life. I think I once said in one of those old videos that may or may not share the current timeline, I don't know, that Doom was the Citizen Kane of video games, a claim I would like to walk back if I ever made it in the first place. Doom is more like the technical cinematic breakthroughs of the 1910s, like Birth of a Nation. Except instead of all the… Oh no… Instead of all that, it's wholesome demon-fighting. Half-Life is closer to the Citizen Kane of gaming. It is a critical mass, a point of no return. Where narrative in video games was changed forever.
  • Good Bad Bug: His buggy version of A Very Postal Christmas randomly gave him over 100,000 crack pipes. Probably explains why his Postal 4 character is selling them for only $10 a pop. invoked
  • Goddamned Bats: invokedA Running Gag in Civvie's Doom videos is his strong annoyance at having to deal with Lost Souls, especially when they get in the way and impede his progress. Needless to say, he was not happy when the second game introduced Pain Elementals.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: An audio version: Whenever Civvie transgresses on whatever his jailors consider punishable, this usually results in the sound of an electrode charging up, then cut to the next shot before it discharges.
  • Government Agency of Fiction: The facility where Civvie is held is overseen by "Department of Special Corrections".
  • Greater-Scope Paragon: What Civvie can only begin to describe John Carmack as. Among many other things.
  • Groin Attack: In addition to most other electrical body-based forms of torture, Civvie apparently has nodes in his testes too. AX3 and H4MM3R use these in the video for X-Men: The Ravages of Apocalypse, when Civvie refuses to keep playing due to a bug in the source port he uses despawning a plot-critical weapon piece, then taking the ones he had away when he dies and reloads to try to get it to spawn.
    Civvie: So what now? So I'm supposed to not finish the game? That's not an option! Well, okay, it IS an option, but not for me.
    H4MM3R: Finish the game, CV-11.
    Civvie: I can't, the game isn't gonna let me.
    AX3: Initializing testicular nodes.
    Civvie: Look, it's not my fault-
    AX3: Charging testicular nodes.
    H4MM3R: We're gonna shock your balls off, boy.
    Civvie: ...off?
    One engine switch, three replayed levels, and several hours of weeping later...
    Civvie: So I switched to another Quake source port and started the whole thing over again because even though this is a bad game, it's not as bad as internal ball-tasing.
  • Hanlon's Razor:
    • Downplayed in regards to Shadow Warrior (1997), which features an enemy type whose name is an ethnic slur, perving on anime characters in their early teens, and Lo Wang's... particular speech style. He argues that the programmers of Shadow Warrior were immature dumbasses messing with stuff they didn't research in a period where awareness of Asian sensitivity was rather low, rather than genuinely hateful— it's hard to take a serious message from a game where the main character is a ninja with a nuke launcher. On the other hand, he finds most of Lo Wang's dialogue genuinely cringeworthy and doesn't blame anyone for disliking him and turning his speech off.
    • Acknowledged in his video on Blood, where he claims he doesn't like The Last Jedi, but shuts down Cancer Mouse's attempts to steer the discussion towards politics or agendas by claiming it was just an incompetently-made corporate product, and Disney has no greater agenda than accumulating money.
  • Hiroshima as a Unit of Measure: The price of Perilous Warp is brought up a number of times as a point of reference for the cost of other things. In the Zortch episode he uses it to underscore just how cheap Zortch is for its quality, while in Blind S.T.A.L.K.E.R. #4 Civvie illustrates the declining value of the Russian Ruble with it.
  • Hitscan: Civvie usually despises enemies that use this attack type, especially if they have a rapid-fire weapon.
  • Hope Spot: In the opening of the Prey (2006) video, Civvie gets told he's being moved into the "general population", which he naturally assumes means that he's being set free. A laser fence then appears and traps him within his new cell, with an outside shot revealing that the "general population" actually refers to the massive corridor of cells within the facility.
  • Hurl It into the Sun: In the Zortch episode Civvie speculates that this is what you do to Flemoids; while Chex Quest insists that you're merely "Zorching" them back to their home planet, Civvie points out that "you could be teleporting them to the upper atmosphere of their planet for all you know". Complete with a graphic of a Flemoid exploding in the vacuum of outer space.
  • Hypocritical Humor:
    • In the "A Very Postal Christmas" mod for Postal 2 the Dude sends a reply letter as Santa mocking the kid's grammar, even though the Dude's grammar isn't much better.
      Postal Dude: Dear Billie,
      nice spelling, Your on your way to A career in trash disposal.
      Civvie: Hey, how about if you're gonna criticize a child's spelling errors, use the correct form of "you're."
      Postal Dude: (continued) How about I seand you a Fucking dictionary so you can learn to read and wright? I'm giveing your older brother the space ranger jet, He can spell!
      Santa...
      PS: Tell your mom to call me big Dady!
    • Civvie in his "Pro Doom: The Plutonia Experiment" video:
      "I remember the first time playing as a wee lad and thinking, what the fuck is this? I was a vulgar child, but I grew out of that shit."
    • Civvie's reaction to the ending of Kreed.
      "That's a bold artistic choice, to not have an ending!"
      [Credits roll]
  • Instantly Proven Wrong: From his first blind S.T.A.L.K.E.R. video:
    "I fear nothing when I've got a shotgun." bloodsucker appears "Jesus Christ what is that!"
  • I Take Offense to That Last One: While he doesn't react to anything else the Bitch says about the Dude at the end of Postal 2: Paradise Lost, he takes great offence to her saying the Dude can't complete a simple list of chores.
    "I completed that list so hard the fuckin' world ended, and I still found time to fight the war on terror!"
  • Jesus Was Way Cool: Jesus in "Christmas Grabbag 2" is depicted as a fellow inmate, speaking like a Totally Radical surfer-dude, hoverboarding on a crucifix, and giving Civvie a Christmas game (albeit a pretty bad one). His dad says he can't do an exorcism until he gets his GED.
  • Lame Pun Reaction:
    • AX3 usually tolerates Civvie's humor, but has a strict limit on puns. If Civvie makes a particularly horrible pun, expect AX3 to vocalize the following phrase before firing up the 'nodes. It's also worth noting how AX3 often sounds irritated when saying said line.
      AX3: Actionable pun detected.
    • The lamest pun reaction yet comes in the Soldier of Fortune video. While reviewing the game's history, Civvie notes that the main voice actor is named "Todd Susman. Todd. Susman." Less than 10 seconds later, his noticing that the game isn't on Steam, only on GOG.com cracks a pun that it's "a bit Todd Susman if you ask me". AX3 considers this a level 10 actionable pun, the most severe so far at the video's release, and for this Civvie is immediately sent to the Clown room. Because the first time the Clown Room was used was when Civvie tried to nuke the DOSC Nutraloaf factory, this implicitly means that AX3 considers bad Among Us jokes to be as bad as nuclear mass homicide.
    • By the Wolfenstein (2009) review, the pun detection system has been upgraded to an implant put onto Civvie's arm by AX3, who's seen working on the implant mid-video. Civvie, after beating the Farm level, naturally makes a pun about the Nazis "buying the farm." Cue the implant shocking him and AX3 declaring the system a success.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: As the narrative is about Civvie as a videogame video essayist, he repeatedly does this, such as his addressing the viewer at times and remarking that long segments that specifically concern his imprisonment at the DoSC is deliberately placed for the end of the videos so as to not bore the audience who isn't interested in that part.
  • Letters 2 Numbers: The CV in "CV-11" is actually just Roman numerals for 105. You can see this in the outro scene for some videos, showing the DOSC prison, and where his neighbors on the floors above and below him are numbered CIV-11 and CVI-11.
  • Madness Mantra: In his Kreed review: "See, a lot of these areas are copied and pasted (whole hallways and rooms) so it gets a little confusing..." He even throws a The Shining gag with that sentence for good measure.
    • It sticks, too. He reuses the same sentence, said in the same tone, whenever the same thing happens in other games from then onwards.
  • Manipulative Editing: Done as a joke in his Hatred review, his editor making it seem like he's saying something that he's not in response to Civvie asking her to carefully edit the blood to be green to make sure it doesn't get flagged on YouTube.
  • Major Injury Underreaction: Pinhead forces a hook through Civvie's hand... but Civvie's already been through tons worse so not only is the hook nothing to him, it's an outright break.
  • Mondegreen Gag: In the Super Seducer video, Richard asks a girl what she does and says she looks "a bit artistic," but because of his thick British accent, Civvie thinks he is saying "autistic."
    "Well that's not nice. This isn't 4chan. We prefer to say 'on the spectrum'."
  • Mid-Battle Tea Break: During his playthrough of the final dungeon in Unreal, there's an edited montage of all the places Civvie fights in... and in the middle of all of it, Civvie angrily screaming that he's using the corpse of a Skaarj to grow his Nali healing fruit. Complete with him watching the plant grow, very slowly.
  • Mind Screw: At the end of the Geist review, H4MMER claims that the subplot regarding Civvie being possessed by a Demon from the Evil Dead Regeneration review to the Hexen review was actually an alternate timeline all along...despite the fact that those episodes happened after the timeline reset in the Duke Nukem Forever video, and that Civvie actually brought the whole plotline up back in the Unreal review. Civvie, naturally, is completely confused by this, but H4MMER retorts that he's in no position to question it considering he had half his brain removed.
  • Moon Logic Puzzle: Discussed when he played Starship Titanic. He highlights just how obtuse and highly specific most of the progression can be, and that it's intentionally so as a result of Douglas Adams's influence.
  • Motor Mouth: Not as much as some examples, but Civvie speaks at an above-average tempo.
  • MST: This web show is about critically dissecting games, interspersed with gameplay and skits at the Department of Special Corrections.
  • Mundane Solution: So how does Civvie deal with a cursed unlicensed Hellraiser NES game? He rats the thing out to Nintendo who C&D the thing out of Civvie's sight.
  • Murder Simulators: Mentions that blaming the budding video games industry for violent actions was easier than doing so for the modern-day games industry and addressing actual social problems.
  • My Friends... and Zoidberg: In the Singularity video:
    Civvie: [Raven Software was] maybe not the most financially successful, but responsible for some damn fine games. And Hexen.
  • Negated Moment of Awesome: In some internet review shows, when a host does battle with the villain they end up acquitting themselves passably or coming off as a Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass. In the closing scenes of his Duke Nukem Forever review, Civvie faces off against the shadow demons while H4MMER goes back to the past. Civvie stays with the intent of going down in a blaze of glory. He doesn't even last a second before he's horrifically devoured off-screen. After all, he's a malnourished and mistreated unarmed man going up against Eldritch Abominations, just because he's the host does not make him an exception.
  • Newspeak: Used heavily in his TNT: Evilution series, as a means of mocking TikTok's suppression of certain words in its algorithm and its users coming up with odd workarounds. For instance, along with the typical use of "unalive" to mean "dead" or "kill", he at one point claims to "un-like" a level.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • In the Island Peril video, after a series of questions from AX3 and H4MMER that got strange at the end:
      H4MMER: Where's the stolen hydrogen bomb?
      Civvie: I didn't steal a hydrogen bomb.
    • At one point, Civvie grumbles that his sister's wedding was targeted by a drone strike. No further context is provided.
  • Not Bad: In his video on the first Duke Nukem expansion, he admits that "Randy Pitchford... did a good job", and then shudders.
  • "Not Making This Up" Disclaimer: In his Daikatana video, he swears he isn't making up that John Carmack wrote a program that logged how much time John Romero spent playing deathmatch games instead of working.
  • Nuke 'em: Civvie keeps a counter of all nuclear warheads he uses. This started in his "Pro Wang" series and has continued in his other videos.
  • Obviously Evil:
    • Whenever Mikiko says anything menacing in Daikatana, a timer pops up counting down the gameplay time until she betrays Hiro.
    • In Pro Doom³, Civvie snarks about how unsubtle Dr. Betruger is in his villainy, nicknaming him Palpatine due to their similar appearances and mannerisms.
  • One-Steve Limit:
    • In his Hunt Down the Freeman review, he says that Gordon Ramsay (see Running Gag) is the only Gordon we'll see in that video since Gordon Freeman is nowhere to be found in that game. Subverted when Civvie later finds out that one of the alternate endings has not one, but seven Gordon Freemans.
    • In the Slayers X: Terminal Aftermath: Vengance of the Slayer review, he happens to see a billboard for "Uncle Frank's Big Dump". As it so happens, Civvie's uncle happens to be named Frank, and the billboard's appearance is enough to summon his power (even if they're not the same character).
  • Only in It for the Money: Discussed in the Blood: Cryptic Passage video where Cancer Mouse appears and begins to argue during an ad break about how The Last Jedi proves "how Hollywood is trying to brainwash men into falling for strong women," and Civvie retorts, "I told you!... It's always about the fucking money! I'm sick of hearing about Star Wars!"
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: He punctuates his disappointment in Blood: Fresh Supply's original release by refraining from using the Gordon Ramsey "It's fucking raw" clip that he usually uses for jank or bugs.
    • Civvie prefaces the section for Phantom Fury in his 3D Realms Vibe Check by completely breaking Kayfabe to explain the difficulties of conveying intent when playing as a character that doesn't want to be hosting the show he's in, to point out how he really doesn't like ragging on games that aren't entertainingly bad, and to make clear that his bile towards the game comes from genuine frustration towards Slipgate Ironworks and the mismangement of 3D Realms.
  • Out of Holiday Episode: Civvie's episodes on Necro Vision and Geist are Christmas themed, with Civvie being detained in a tundra rather than the usual DOSC cell. They were published in October.
  • Overly Long Gag:
  • Overused Running Gag:
    • In-universe Civvie is forbidden from using Gordon Ramsey's "It's fucking raw" clip after invokedpeppering it all over his review of Blood II. Daring to do so anyway results in immediate punishment, usually electrocution. Similar bans are in place for Monty Python references and bad puns.
    • In-character, Civvie himself hates the Sewer Count running gag. If whatever game he's playing Shoutouts Civvie's Dungeon by referencing the Sewer Count, he's not going to be happy about it, and depending on how he feels, Sewer Count references will incur additional points to the Sewer Count.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • Has expressed a distaste for making videos based on Game Mods, mainly because he doesn't want to be harsh toward amateur developers who made and released their work without pay. He'd end up breaking this rule specifically to heap praise on the Death Wish mod for Blood.
    • He's quick to point out when a game suffered from Executive Meddling, such as Blood II: The Chosen being shoved out the door in an invokedObvious Beta state or Marvel forcing X-Men: The Ravages of Apocalypse to be Christmas Rushed. In these cases, his jabs against the developers are half-hearted while his real anger is directed toward the publishers. invoked
    • Notably, this was enough to overwhelm his traditional loathing of Capstone, with him refusing to review Corridor 8: Galactic Wars, an unreleased game that had an early build leak online. The build in question was so unfinished that it was using Doom sprites and the Duke Nukem 3D menu as placeholders.
    • Civvie is quick to pull the trigger on his "Sewer Count" Running Gag due to his distaste for the level archetype. But when Duke Nukem: Manhattan Project subverts the sewer level trope by leading into a well-made abandoned subway level, Civvie is impressed enough by the execution to take one off of the tally while complementing the devs.
  • Polished Port: invokedCivvie's opinion on Rise of the Triad: Ludicrous Edition. He believes that every ROTT fan will want this port, it vastly exceeds his expectation for what a ROTT port should have strived for, and his video title admits that he's shilling the game.
  • Refused the Call: Civvie doesn't wanna get in more trouble than he's already in and he doesn't want anything detracting from reviews, so when a classic internet reviewer subplot tries to start up, he does as much as he can to distance himself from it. In particular, when H4MM3R's son from the future tries to warn him about Uncle Frank's plague in his Future Shock/Skynet review, Civvie mistakes him for inviting him on an adventure to stop Todd Howard from making a bad game, he refuses, tells the thing to "go back to whatever Channel Awesome production [he] came from" and has H4MM3R destroy him.
  • Relax-o-Vision: After beating The Plutonia Experiment, the ending text states that Hell has gone back to "pounding bad dead folks instead of good live ones." Civvie asks Katie for a pic of a demon banging Adolf Hitler. Katie instead posts a graphic of some cute kittens with the caption "NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO." Civvie concedes.invoked
  • Robot Buddy: Played with, with his cell guards, AX3 and H4MMER. While both have their moments of playing along with Civvie's gags, AX3 is neutral to the whole ordeal, and H4MMER remains outright antagonistic whenever he can reasonably get away with it.
  • Rogues Gallery: According to the Prey (2006) video, Bethesda, Electronic Arts, Randy Pitchford, 2KGames, Capstone, and Mary Poppins form this. Indeed, Civvie 11 frequently takes potshots at them for bad management of their titles. Except for Mary Poppins, for whom it's unclear why he detests her.invoked
  • Running Gag:
    • The Sewer Level counter, which increases for each one Civvie comes across. Though it isn't exactly linear, with exceptionally bad levels (and on rare occasions, levels that stand out as more sewer even if they aren't necessarily bad by sewer level standards, such as Hrot's sewage treatment plant) adding more to the counter. The counter breaks after the abysmal sewer level in Redneck Rampage and briefly disappeared...until "Realms Deep Roundup", when Civvie notices a "Does this sewer count?" graffiti tag during the sewer level from White Hell, which causes it to rise from its grave. There exist other counters for various other recurring things that happen on the show:
      • The amount of nuclear warheads he has fired in games. This practice started with his playthrough of the original Shadow Warrior, hence why the counter is accompanied by a Lo Wang voice clip whenever it makes an appearance.
      • An additional counter, introduced in his Dark Forces review is the "Stupid Star Wars Names" which is for exactly that: Star Wars names he finds to be just plain silly. Pic from Jedi Knight raises it once on his own, but then it shoots up by five when Civvie reveals the guy's full name is Picaroon C. Boodle, and that his species is "Kowakian monkey-lizard."
        Civvie: Go home, Star Wars, you're drunk.
      • If Gianni Matragrano makes an appearance, that'll increment the uncommonly-seen "Gianni Counter".
    • Clips of Gordon Ramsay shouting "It's fucking raw!" from Hell's Kitchen, for the times he comes across a glitch or bug that could have easily been fixed if the game got a few more months of development time. Used heavily in his Blood II: The Chosen and Hunt Down the Freeman reviews.
    • Whenever a really awkwardly-done model comes around, it's met with a clip of Beetlejuice shouting "Nice fuckin' model!" and honking his crotch, sometimes skipping right to the honking.
      • Taken up to eleven in his Duke Nukem Forever review - when he shows the awfulness of Duke's jumping animation, it then goes into the beginning of White Zombie's "More Human Than Human," with the honks timed to the music itself.
    • Whenever Civvie takes a cheap shot at someone, like William Shatner in his TekWar review, or John Romero, a little Steam Achievement-looking icon pops up in the bottom right corner with the person he's talking about with the title "Cheap Shot".
    • When Civvie mentions John Carmack, he refers to Carmack by such titles as "sentient galaxy brain meme," "hyper-advanced artificial intelligence," "death-frightening psion capable of seeing through the illusionary world before our eyes", "benevolent architect of the post-singularity simulation", " Time displaced neural net processor covered in what the top military scientists in the 1960s could pass for human tissue", "Earth-stranded Nihilanth", "monolith constructor", and "juvenile delinquent."note 
    • Similarly in videos whenever Randy Pitchford is brought up, Civvie will mention that he is greasy. The Pro Nukem 3D - Alien World Order video has him rapid-fire a bunch of Randy grease jokes when the developers of the game mention being able to say anything about him and get away with it.
    • Speaking of Randy, anytime Civvie utters the phrase "badass," an image from one of Randy Pitchford's tweets of him wearing sunglasses that say "BAD ASS" on them flashes on-screen.
    • Also, any time something happens in Aliens: Colonial Marines that's so blatantly buggy or unfinished, he inserts the time Randy said that the game "is like a 7, 7 and a half".
    • Within the video for the video game adaptation From Dusk Till Dawn, Civvie asks Katie the editor to find a way to sprinkle in as much of Cheech Marin's infamous "pussy" speech from the movie throughout.
    • Anytime Katie gets Civvie into trouble, expect Civvie to shout "Katie you bitch!"
    • Anytime in his Doom (2016) review that anyone (Civvie or otherwise) refers to the modern Doomguy as "Doom Slayer", a riff from "BFG Division" fires up.
    • In his Daikatana review, Mikiko has a "Betrayal Countdown" appear above her head whenever she says something suspicious (or whenever Civvie lampshades how obviously suspicious her dialogue is).invoked
    • In his Quake II video, any time Civvie mentions the "Big Gun", Brian Johnson flashes on-screen.
    • Speaking of which, he dubs any of Big John's appearances with AC/DC's "Big Gun".
    • Anytime a game made by Capstone Software shows an egregious example of bad game design, he exclaims "Capstone: The Pinnacle of X."
    • When Civvie has to speed up gameplay footage, jump-cut over repetitive footage, or anything similar, he plays the World 5 music from Super Mario Bros. 3 with an "X Minutes Later" card.
    • The act of treating several of these as Running Gagged is itself a running gag; whenever the Department deems a particular joke or reference as overplayed, they'll start punishing him for lapsing into it, to varying degrees of acceptance or defiance.
      H4MM3R: No Python!
    • He has a tendency to call areas that have particularly difficult and grueling fights "hell rooms".
    • For DOOM games and wads like Doom 64 and Sigil, Civvie will dramatically read off their edgy "Romero-esque" level names to metal music.
    • Within his video of Blake Stone he makes a running joke of referring to the main character each time with a different name with the structure of <common English first name> <type of rock>, such as "Nigel Basalt" and "Chad Feldspar".
  • Sanity Slippage: His Kreed (an extremely janky and buggy Russian FPS) review begins with a note from Katie:
    "This video has been reconstructed from several sessions recorded before CV-11 was voluntarily escorted to the cold room. I've done my best to put it together from notes and recordings taken before his breakdown. Nine hours into the game, his notes became erratic and incomprehensible. His final message: I HAVE NO MOUTH AND I MUST KREED."
  • Save Scumming: Generally avoided during videos, particularly the Pro series, since he finds it "dishonourable". That said, he absolutely makes exceptions for games that lose his respect due to overtly high unfair difficulty, extreme jankiness, or just not being fun to play in general.
  • Schmuck Bait: In the Duke Nukem Forever video:
    Cancer Mouse: What's that?
    [camera cuts to some censored, indescribable thing, which is clearly placed on a mousetrap]
    Civvie: Oh, that? Well, Cancer Mouse, that's a [rapid fire Sound-Effect Bleep]. Katie, bleep some of that out, people will get super butthurt if I start making fun of [bleep]. invoked
    Cancer Mouse: That sounds delightful!
    Civvie: I know, right? It's there. It's all yours.
    Cancer Mouse: Oh! I think I'll... that's a mousetrap.
    [cue the actual trap: a 10 ton weight that splatters Cancer Mouse into a paste]
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Civvie references this trope during Pro Plutonia Experiment where he refers to "Nope rooms," i.e. rooms where the player will open them up, see a completely unreasonable number of demons on the other side with no gain from fighting them, immediately shout "Nope!" and turn right back around. While most Doom wads have rooms with a large number of demons, Plutonia Experiment pulls not a single punch in this regard.
  • Self-Deprecation:
    • In his Doom 64 review:
      Civvie: '2 console games in a row? What happened to you Civvie, you used to be cool.' I was never cool.
    • He has absolutely no problem violently murdering the character he voices in Postal 4 and pissing on his corpse.
    • While reviewing TNT: Evilution's level Shipping/Respawning, he complains that it looks like shit. Clown responds that content doesn't need to be interesting to be suitable for consumption; Civvie replies that this is why he's allowed to make Thief videos.
  • Self-Imposed Challenge: invoked Some of his Pro Series videos include this, such as Civvie's attempt to maintain his crack addiction in Postal 2, going through all of Doom without saving (dropped when he got to Episode 4) or his attempt to spare all the babes in the first and third episodes of Duke Nukem 3D (this last one was stymied heavily by a particular room that placed one right in the firing line of two Battlelords).
  • Sequelitis: invokedHis video on Hellraiser at one point goes off into a rant about how the franchise has a record of this.
    "You guys wanna know what pain is like? Marathon the Hellraiser movies; I dare you to find a series with worse sequels!"
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: H4MMER attempts to send his son back in time to prevent a cataclysmic disaster at the hands of Civvie's Uncle Frank. However, because said son looks and talks like a skinless T-800, he is summarily blasted to pieces by the past H4MMER. After the cataclysmic event happens and Civvie points out how stupid it is to send a freaky skeleton-esque Terminator into the past in the middle of a government facility, H4MMER proceeds to send himself back instead to get enough of an awkward pause in the action to explain things.
  • Shaped Like Itself: From his Cryostasis review:
    Civvie: I'm using a slow World War 2 -era rifle which you reload with the speed of someone pushing a clip into a bolt-action rifle with big padded gloves on.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: Civvie's satanic PC briefly shows up in his Doom Eternal video before Civvie shouts it out, outright saying that he's not going to have a side plot for a game he'd been so looking forward to.
  • Shotguns Are Just Better: Civvie believes this firmly and indubitably, to the point that he claims in one video that a bad game can sometimes be saved by a good shotgun. When Doom 3 makes the mistake of averting this, he reads it the riot act. Redneck Rampage got it even worse, to the point that he even did a Call-Back to the Doom 3 one.
  • Shout-Out: Civvie has a habit of spouting out pop-culture references.
    • During the Doom 64 video, while reading the intermission text for 'Even Simpler', he segues into one of the lines from Rorschach's journal before cutting back and noting how much edgier Doomguy has become.
    • At one point in his Doom Eternal video, Civvie notes how the purple slime occasionally found throughout the game only slows you down, and doesn't do anything cool like animate the Statue of Liberty.
    • During his Half-Life review, Civvie momentarily gets teleported into an episode of Ross's Game Dungeon, and earlier throws in a reference to Ross's most popular series.
      Civvie: (after clearing trenches and blowing up a tank in "Surface Tension") It's not as elegant as "Modern Major General", but it'll have to do.
    • Also in the Half-Life review, Civvie reminisces about how one of the models for the scientists was referred to by fans as "Einstein" before Half-Life but the AI is Self-Aware gave it the name "Dr. Coomer". Later on, he also mocks a HECU soldier with a familiar phrase from the series.
      Civvie: (watching a HECU grunt die to a Barnacle) Look, Adrian! Ropes! You can use those to get your brains eaten.
    • The review of Daikatana is subtitled "The Great Green Dragon" and quotes Francis Dolarhyde's "great becoming" speech. Civvie quotes the novel again when describing the Nintendo 64 controller, lampshading the Thomas Harris reference.
    • When rattling through conspiracy theories over the end credits of his Varginha Incident review, the last sentence he gets out before being taken down by security is, "Do you run out of Kleenex, paper towels, and toilet paper at the same time?"
    • With Nosferatu: The Wrath of Malachi he comments on the odd off-tempo footstep sounds that "at least we won't attract the worm".
    • During Cruelty Squad when it turns out hitmen were sent to the player character's apartment due to a clerical error, Civvie says it was because because the form had the name "Tuttle" instead of "Buttle".
    • Civvie initially refers to Lucy from Beyond Sunset as "Jane Sunset."
    • When griping about Return to Castle Wolfenstein's forced stealth sequence, which was something of a period trend for gaming in the early 2000s, Civvie growls "Which was the fucking style at the time", simultaneously shouting out to The Simpsons (including a clip of Grampa Simpson saying the line) and content creator Matt McMuscles (whose series Wha Happun uses the same quote as a Running Gag, and which Civvie has guest-starred on before).
    • Civvie's unwanted Rodent Cellmate Cancer Mouse seems to be a subtle reference to the unkillable (but beloved) Mr. Jingles from The Green Mile.
    • The intro to Soldier of Fortune has Civvie go on a brief tangent about other potential adaptations from magazines into video games, in the process showing a magazine featuring the house from My House.
    • He consults Tobin's Spirit Guide about the poltergeists in S.T.A.L.K.E.R. and then again about the Spectres in Strife.
    • Civvie references This Very Wiki in the Strife episode, in which he guesses that the Loremaster boss is "the nerd who runs TV Tropes". (It's true, but supposed to be kept a secret.)
  • Shown Their Work: The clock-drawing test given to Civvie by AX3 in the You Are Empty video is a real neurological test, used as the robot describes. The 'real' version of Civvie's test is consistent with severe neurological damage/dysfunction, which is reasonable for him considering that half of his brain is missing (with bits used to power AX3 and H4MM3R), let alone the other traumas he's suffered during his imprisonment.
  • Signature Scene: invokedIt's the Running Gag of Quake IV, "that one scene everyone remembers, you know if you played it", referring to the part where the player character gets turned into a strogg.
  • Sincerity Mode: During 3D Realms Vibe Check, he takes a minute to actually turn off the schtick for the video to the point of showing a little bit of how his virtual set in the Unreal Engine works, and to both thank his viewers for allowing him to continue making the show as a full-time job, but also make it clear that if he is going to make a video about a bad game, it needs to not just be bad, but entertainingly bad, and he REALLY doesn't want to make videos trashing indie developers for any reason unless they absolutely deserve it. It also sets up why he goes so hard in on Slipgate Ironworks and their influence on 3D Realms; their shovelware approach to game development could, in his opinion, potentially invokedkill 3D Realms for their bad practices a second time, and he cannot abide by that.
  • Sitcom Arch-Nemesis:
    • Randy Pitchford is one due to the 7 and a half out of 10 mess that was Aliens: Colonial Marines, aiding in the downfall of Duke Nukem Forever, and ensuring that good Duke Nukem games like the Megaton Edition and Manhattan Project are taken off of store shelves for a long time to come in favour of Randy's own cursed version.
    • Capstone, The Pinnacle of Entertainment Software, provided the bulk of the DOS Trash that Civvie suffered through in many of his videos due to their growing, ruinous incompetency.
  • So Okay, It's Average: invokedHis opinion of both the story campaigns of the sequels to Quake—while he acknowledges their technical competence and decent level design, he also finds both games rather boring and uninspired, noting their lack of interesting setpieces and showing noticeable distaste at the change to pure science fiction as opposed to the first game's Lovecraft Lite atmosphere. When talking about Quake II, he states that it's not groundbreaking and the quality is homogenous, with no high or low points, but it's still a perfectly serviceable shooter; when covering Quake IV, he is in utter bafflement that the game's director wanted to revisit the Strogg storyline instead of the much more celebrated eldritch atmosphere of Quake.
  • Squee: In the third part of "Beneath DUSK," his reaction when he finds out that Stephan Weyte (the voice of Caleb) voices the final boss.
  • Standard FPS Guns: Discussed in the Quake II episode, and believes that game codified the traditional gun loadout in id Software games: "The ID Arsenal" consists of a pistol, shotgun, super shotgun, light automatic weapon, heavy automatic weapon, rocket launcher, rapid-fire Energy Weapon, Railgun, and BFG.
  • Surprisingly Improved Sequel: invoked
    • His view on the Duke Nukem Forever DLC "The Doctor Who Cloned Me": he hated the original game top-to-bottom, but thought the DLC was much better. He claims to see DNF as a fundamentally flawed game and therefore "Doctor Who Cloned Me" could only do so much, but believed that the level design, the new weapons, the writing, and especially its treatment of Duke's character had all hiked up substantially when compared to the original. Sadly, this ultimately just made him hate the main game all the more since all the improvements made in The Doctor Who Cloned Me showed Civvie What Could Have Been.
    • While he still didn't consider Redneck Rampage Rides Again to be particularly good, he still found it vastly preferable to the first game, due to having improved level designs, more conveniently placed keys, and some legitimately enjoyable levels.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: Civvie finally puts his escape plan into action at the end of the Unreal video, and nothing happens. Turns out, when you've been foreshadowing this event throughout your publicly-available videos, the people keeping you prisoner might just catch on. As such, the bots reveal they thwarted his plot months ago.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: In his video on First Encounter Assault Recon, Civvie dedicates an extended rant to how much he hates Norton Mapes, an engineer who is depicted as a Fat Slob, a Dirty Coward, and a traitor. Katie then sets up a series of footnotes proclaiming that Civvie doesn't hate Norton Mapes because he's been told that he looks like him, that he looks totally different from Norton Mapes, and that he hates being compared to Norton Mapes and gets angry every time someone do it, so you should never do it.
  • Take That!:
    • Cancer Mouse is essentially one towards content creators with alt-right talking points.
    • Civvie has tossed out jabs at Valve Software and Half-Life, comparing their effects to Nazi Germany in how Half-Life effectively wiped out the Doom and Duke Nukem style of shooters in favour of narrative-driven, linear experiences. A Freeze-Frame Bonus in the first Pro Blood video shows he actually considers Half-Life his third favorite shooter, right under Blood itself. His full video on Half-Life, though, is much more positive, and he goes so far as to compare it to Citizen Kane in terms of how impossible it is for people today to recognize how innovative it was in its time. He clarifies more precisely that while Half-Life did deal a serious blow to "boomer shooters", this was largely due to lesser developers taking the wrong lessons (for example, the harsh linearity of Half-Life was an actual major theme of the story, not just laziness).invoked
    • Civvie also had a few words towards Joe Lieberman in his Postal Redux video.
      Civvie: Hey, do you remember Joe Lieberman? (Beat) That's OK, nobody else does either.
    • Not only is his video mocking the trailer for Slenderman obviously an extended one, calling it a step in "Hollywood's never-ending race to the bottom", but when explaining that Slenderman isn't scary anymore, he shows off a number of Slenderman-esque characters to show how frequently the concept has been ripped off... and includes Max Landis among them.
    • He's taken several pot-shots at Channel Awesome, particularly in his Terminator: Future Shock Review and Pro Blood.
    • In his Nightmare Reaper video, he snarks on Iron Maiden and their lawyers for the Ion Fury lawsuit.
      Civvie: ...That's another Early Access game down. And pretty soon, Ion Mai- I mean, Ion Fury is coming out, despite the best efforts of greedy old lawyers who should advise their clients to start making albums again that don't contain at least one absolutely embarrassing song.
    • In the same video, he takes a shot at Anti-SJW-type gamers.
      Civvie: Finally I found a main character in a video game I can identify with- oh no wait she's a girl never mind.
    • He also had a small one against fellow reviewer GManLives and his glowing review of the Updated Re-release of Blood in spite of some early bugs. Otherwise, Civvie considers him "a scholar and a gentleman."
      Civvie: I dunno how many didgeri-doobies GMan is smoking, if you wanna buy this, understand that it fucking pains me to say this, wait until they patch it.
    • In his Terminator: Resistance review, he takes a shot at Angry Joe for raging at such a trivial detail as the laser colors.
      Civvie: I gotta give this game credit, those Terminators are beautifully modelled, spot on. Really, everything seems to be crafted with love, and care, and reverence for the Terminator franchise [...], right down to the plasma blasts and the sound effects. I'm kind of enjoying this, and not freaking out because the lasers are red instead of purple. (Cue clip of Angry Joe screaming about the lasers).
    • His Terminator: Future Shock/Skynet video has him tell H4MM3R's weirdly animated intrusive T-800 future son to "go back to whatever Channel Awesome production [he] came from."
    • In the end of his Doom (2016) video, he wonders if in the brainstorming sessions for Doom Eternal the devs decided against naming it "Doom Forever" because Duke Nukem Forever sullied that subtitle.
    • Unsurprisingly, Tekwar sees a lot of these directed at William Shatner. In particular, Civvie notes that he's been "acting [his] age" on Twitter.
    • His Patreon contains a joke goal for the production of "The Civvie Movie" if he reaches $100,000 a month, an obvious pot-shot at the infamous The Spoony Experiment movie that was never produced despite being promised as a goal for Spoony's Patreon.
    • Randy Pitchford is a recurring punching bag of the show, thanks to his questionable handling of the Duke Nukem IP and outright lies during the development and promotion of Aliens: Colonial Marines.
    • In the Zortch episode, there's a moment where Civvie asks the viewer to vote whether they eat hot dogs lengthwise or widthwise via their Ouya controllers. All five of the votes are in favor of eating them wide, which convinces Civvie that people who watch the show on an Ouya are disgusting.
  • Taking the Bullet: In the SHOGO review, Civvie essentially has Sanjuro do this to protect a child NPC from Kura's hair-trigger AI.
  • That Came Out Wrong:
    • Civvie's description of a Revenant assault in Pro Doom II takes a wrong turn after he begins describing the tight situation.
      Civvie: The bit where you're plowing through Shotgunners and get assaulted by Revenants, it's intense, its uh... its really a butt clincher, as are all situations where you get ambushed by these boners. It's a real pain in the ass, leaves you sore and tired I'll tell you what. (Beat) You know what, just cut all of that, that was garbage.
    • In his Pro Nukem: Shrapnel City video, he enters what he thinks is an abortion clinic:
      Civvie: ...This means this chick outside is totally consequence-free and I've been handing her hundreds this whole time, which is more than enough to pay for... you know what, I'm just gonna terminate this joke... (Beat) OH GOD! - Some viewers may not be totally in agreement on the abortion issue, which is fine, 'cos I'm gonna blow this place up... (Beat) (panicking) OH GOD, THAT DOESN'T WORK EITHER! PLEASE DON'T BLOW UP ABORTION CLINICS!
    • When discussing Chex Quest, Civvie at one point describes that he's "spooning these Flemoids". He means that he's using a spoon to zortch them, then promptly realizes that it doesn't sound right to say that — accompanied with a photo of a woman affectionately cradling a dakimakura with an image of a kissing Flemoidus Commonus on it.
  • Tranquil Fury: Civvie suffers this when he learns (from a fan, after 20 years of playing Duke Nukem 3D) that Pig Cop Tanks can be destroyed by running up behind them and pressing their self-destruct button instead of having to actually fight them.
    Civvie: ...knowing this now makes me so angry that I'm actually fucking numb from it.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: It's rare but when the game presents a moral and kind option he may or may not take it, it usually depends on the context. Here are some examples:
    • During his review of Hedon and reaching a point where he has to poison a Warg just to gain access to the room it was guarding, has him mostly silent but what (presumably) forces him to try and look for another way was a Minotaur Guard giving her a judging stare. Which involves him doing a bunch of other errands and exploring the entire hub map to find a potion that puts the Warg to sleep instead.
    • Nearing the end of his third review of Nightmare Reaper, he is given the choice of either sacrificing the player character so that the girl's innocence can be reclaimed or take over the psyche (which is a bad idea considering the player character is a rather homicidal bloodthirsty maniac). While he bemoans it, he ultimately takes the former option.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: Absolutely adores this trope, being a fan of the Postal series and all that. If the game will allow him to be a dick or a menace to anyone (innocent or not) then he'll be willing to try out the option. Although he has his limits.
    • In "Pro Doom 3", he makes it a point to kill any friendly NPC he comes across if he can. As he points out, the Marine is canonically the Sole Survivor of the demonic invasion, so he might as well cut out the middleman.
  • Viewer Pronunciation Confusion:invoked
    • Played for Laughs in the Hedon video. Early into it, Civvie brags that he knows how to pronounce it correctly — "Hee-Don", as opposed to "Head-On". Cue Katie editing the HeadOn advertisement into the video, under threat from H4MMER.
    • Lampshaded in the Quake II episode:
      "Make sure to pronounce 'Strogg' (Str-ah-g) as 'Strogg' (Str-oe-g) because someone will bitch about it in the comments."
  • Vocal Evolution: In his earlier videos, Civvie's voice was a lot deeper. Around the time of the Pro Postal series, his pitch began to gradually lighten, eventually reaching his more recognizable cadence around Apocalypse Weekend and Paradise Lost. In canon, Civvie figures it's a result of H4MMER choking him a little while he sleeps as revenge for hitting him down the stairs.
  • Voice Clip Song: The Hatred video ends with one based on a video from Uwe Boll of him criticizing other filmmakers with harsh language.
  • We Really Do Care: Shortly after Blood's remaster, Fresh Supply came out, Civvie quickly reviewed it and lashed the remaster for its lack of polish. When the game updated to fix many of the stated issues, Civvie uploaded another video showing how grateful he was that the people behind the project really cared.
  • Whatever Happened to the Mouse?: At the end of the Redneck Rampage episode, Civvie starts wondering what happened to the pig Leonard and Bubba were searching for before abruptly getting interrupted by the end credits.
  • Who Even Needs a Brain?: Two-quarters of Civvie's brain were extracted to power AX3 and H4MMER's systems. He's not dead, but he seems kind of perturbed by thinking about it too hard.
    • Tries asking for the part of his brain back before H4MMER from the original timeline is destroyed, but he gives up because they're in the middle of a dramatic sacrifice speech.
  • Whole-Plot Reference: The Framing Device of the videos - a man being held prisoner and is slowly driven insane by being forced to consume (frequently bad) media with two robots to keep him company (one of which is avian, the other one stout) - is a nod to Mystery Science Theater 3000.
  • Worst. Whatever. Ever!: His video about Operation Body Count (a Capstone game, see Arch-Enemy above) is subtitled "The Worst Shooter Ever".
  • Worth It: Civvie takes a cue from a narrative device from Starship Titanic, the ability to adjust the robot's behaviour to make them more compliant, as an excuse to beat up H4MMER for a bit. He knows he's going to pay for it but it felt good, and sure enough, damaging government property ends up being the excuse to keep him imprisoned in a later episode.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: At the end of the Unreal video, Civvie finally unleashes his plan to set off bombs in the NutraLoaf factory and escape. AX3 and H4MMER reveal that not only has it failed, it was thwarted months ago. They could have immediately told him the moment they caught his plan, but decided to wait for Civvie to actually put it into action to screw with him.

 
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Civvie and the Super Shotgun

In his Pro Doom II video, Civvie gushes over the Super Shotgun and its powerfulness. He argues that it being borderline OP is actually balanced due to the rising difficulty later in the game

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Main / ShotgunsAreJustBetter

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