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Web Video / Dragonbored

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Dragonbored is the Doug Walker and his brother Rob's contribution to The Uncanny Valley.

Carl Custer is very fond of playing The Aura Scrolls: Skyguard. Well, perhaps he's a bit more than just fond. OK, he's addicted. This addiction is ruining his life, as his job is in grave danger, and his co-workers and girlfriend beg him to put the game down and do something more important.

Then, one day, his avatar, Jimbroth, somehow gets zapped into the real world. Hilarity ensues as Carl tries to keep the barbarian warrior under control and from stealing what is left of his life.

Watch it here.

It provides examples of:

  • Ascended Fridge Horror: Jimbroth mentions a couple times how quite a lot of his friends die in-game. Oh, and he's programmed to feel pain.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Taylin. Which, if he is, makes him a Pet Homosexual and Twofer Token Minority (as he's black).
  • An Aesop: Real life, rather than Escapism, is more exciting than you think it is.
    • Double Aesop: Value what you have, otherwise you will push it away, often to someone more deserving.
    • Space Whale Aesop: Some scenes qualify. For example, the scene where Carl brags about teaching Jimbroth to cook through gameplay (rather than spending the same amount of time actually learning how to do it) is actually a pretty good message about how to use time effectively. However, there's a similar scene later where Jimbroth presents Jessica with an amulet which he and Carl earned from grinding through a dungeon. Carl found the amulet useless after grinding for so long for it, but Jimbroth tells a heart-wrenching story about how he earned it after many of his friends died and vowed only to give it to the pure of heart. That pushes the scene into this trope because there is no way Carl could have gotten such an amulet, under the conditions he did, except through a videogame, and Jimbroth's own personal connection to it is (at best) part of a personal story that would not exist without said game. Somewhat downplayed, in that Jimbroth didn't know that.
  • And I Must Scream: Carl ends up trapped in a world where unless he is freed, is doomed to painfully die over and over again forever. Not to mention Jimbroth stated that Taylin was playing his character which also means that Carl has no control over his actions.
  • Barbarian Hero: Jimbroth being a chivalrous example.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Carl wished for life to be more like Skyguard. Cue Jimbroth.
    • In the end Carl takes this to its next step and wishes to live in the game world. Therein he repeatedly and painfully dies.
  • Bland-Name Product: Skyguard is clearly meant to be Skyrim (they are even using modded footage from Skyrim), The Aura Scrolls is meant to be The Elder Scrolls, and Mephesto is meant to represent Bethesda, the creators of the game and the franchise. Heck, the title of the short, Dragonbored is based off of the name of the Player Character of the real game, the Dragonborn. Additionally, Skyguard was released on the PSZ.
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: Jimbroth believes women are bold, beautiful, angelic, and occasionally property to be sold as men see fit.
    • The goose that Jimbroth prepares for dinner is free-range, local, and was cleaned in the toilet.
  • Brick Joke: When Carl discovers a head in the oven, he throws it out the window before his girlfriend sees. Later a fisherman finds it.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: By the end, Jimboth settles into his job, but he retains some of his fantasy game mannerisms.
  • The Cameo: The Last Angry Geek appears as an Mephesto Games employee in The Stinger.
  • Cassandra Truth: When Carl tries to tell Jessica about bringing Jimbroth into the world, she is dismissive, as she thinks he is bragging about his in-game accomplishments.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: What Jimbroth comes off as in the real world. All things considered, in his world he would have been completely normal.
  • Cool Loser: In his review (on the DVD), The Nostalgia Critic complains that Carl is meant to be an obsessed gamer but is far too well-kempt, attractive, slim and privileged enough for that.
  • Creator's Apathy: In-Universe this is how the game company treats supernatural problems the games generate. They'll just patch it later.
  • Cuckold: The protagonist creates a barbarian character in a thinly-veiled Skyrim spoof that gets brought into the real world and begins to live his life better than the videogame-obsessed protagonist. This includes being a better companion to his girlfriend, Jessica. Highlights include flat out telling her to her face that he considers women to be property (to which she responds "I Can Change Him"), sweet talking her into fetching beers for a party (while she's naked from the waist down), and changing her from a staunch feminist into someone who likes being won over by a more dominant man. There's even the standard cuckold trope of the replaced boyfriend being effectively feminized to cement his utter defeat.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: The boss takes an instant liking to Jimbroth after the latter tackles him to defend Carl, and shows complete disdain for the rest of the office when they freak out about it. "We're men, this is ''what we do''. He gave me a challenge, and we fought."
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: Jimbroth has an understandably medieval view on moral issues. When he appears again, he's still not great on the sexuality, as he's grossed out by Doug and Yo reading and getting into the Demo Reel slash they asked for in the "Uncanny Valley" DVD promo.
  • Dodgy Toupee: In his review of the movie, Critic points out that “couldn't the magical realms of Skyguard fix Jimbroth's wig better?”
  • Fish out of Water: Jimbroth.
  • Hate Sink: Carl is everything wrong with certain gamers, and the story makes it quite clear that it's those qualities, not his addiction or Jimbroth, that are ruining his life.
  • Have a Gay Old Time
    Jimbroth: If men taking off our shirts and singing songs from the Land of Fae is gay, then gay men are we!
  • Here We Go Again!: The main story begins with Carl getting a call from Taylin while playing (to remind him of an important assignment and asking how he feels because he allegedly was ill). Ends with Jimbroth getting a "call" from Carl because he keeps dying in-game and demands to know, who the hell the player is. Turns out that Jimbroth lent the game to Taylin, who didn't came to work because he is allegedly sick. "I suspect, that might not be true."
  • Hero Antagonist: Jimbroth
  • I Am X, Son of Y: “I am Jimbroth. Dragon-Lord. Son of Skyguard.”
  • I Ate WHAT?!: Carl and Jessica enjoy the goose that Jimbroth has prepared for them... until he reveals that the goose was cleaned in their toilet, giving Jessica food poisoning as a result.
  • Ironic Hell: Carl wishes he could be a character in Skyguard's world. It's granted... as the caricature of his girl... without any of Jimbroth's skills... and as Taylin's character.
  • I Can Change My Beloved: Jessica's response to the Squick part of the aforementioned Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick, although she was possibly teasing Carl at the time. The ending heavily implies this was a rousing success.
  • Implausible Deniability: Carl claims the huge breasts on his female avatar are the only option immediately after adjusting them from the default to as large as possible, which Jessica calls him on.
  • Insane Troll Logic: Carl becomes convinced that finishing the game with a different character will send Jimbroth home.
  • It's All About Me: Carl's general stance on everything. Lampshaded by Jessica, when he complained about the strip game, which she freely admitted wasn't her brightest idea.
    Carl: When did you ever strip for me?
    Jessica: Two weeks ago.
  • Jerkass: Video game addiction is the least of Carl's bad qualities.
  • Just One More Level!: Just one of Carl's problems.
  • Karma Houdini: Carl points out the list of offenses that should have gotten Jimbroth arrested, though clearly that never happens, either through plot convenience or convincing people through his charisma to be on his side.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: Jimbroth remembers a time when he put a bucket over someone's head and stole everything in sight. This actually is a mechanic that can be done in Skyrim which was overlooked by the developers, but not a glitch. Though since, Bethesda released a patch in which if you attempt it, the NPC will take it off.
  • Like a Duck Takes to Water: Jimbroth's medieval thinking surprisingly makes him a good businessman.
  • List of Transgressions: Carl rattles off all the crimes Jimbroth committed by stabbing a schoolbus' tires, threatening the driver with a sword, bringing a kid home, and giving her alcohol.
  • Literal Split Personality: Jimbroth is this for Carl. As a result of channelling all of his positive and redeeming traits into the character, Carl has ironically become the "evil" personality in their dichotomy.
  • Loads and Loads of Loading: Skyguard is mentioned to have this problem just like the real Skyrim.
  • Mean Boss: LeBron... although mainly to Carl.
  • Meaningful Name: Mephesto Games made a product that threw all of Carl's negative qualities into sharp relief, and sent him through a test of moral fiber and character which he ultimately fails. In most versions of Faust, Mephistopheles made a deal with the eponymous protagonist that does much the same.
  • Meaningful Rename: Jimbroth changes his name to "Jimbo" after LeBron tells him to disregard Carl as his master and be his own person, citing Jimbroth as his "slave name."
  • Mr. Fanservice: Jimbroth, if in a more emotionally manipulative way than actually sexy. Let Critic explain.
    Critic: Now he's moved onto creepy stalking to gift-giving. Oh come on, it's one thing to pose like you're in a porn for women's calender, but this time you know what you're doing.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Jimbroth manages to make "Get me a Big Mac from McDonalds" sound like an epic adventure.
    • He also considers Lebron calling him Jimbo to be a title of great honor.
  • New Media Are Evil: Subverted. The guys who made Skyguard seem pretty amoral and sleazy, and are named Mephesto... and then we meet Carl, and it is made very, very clear that he was already a self-centered and vain individual before his video game addiction really hit him hard.
  • Nice Guy: Apart from his Values Dissonance, Jimbroth is a pretty sweet guy. Certainly more so than Carl.
  • Not Distracted by the Sexy: Carl was so into playing Skyguard that he failed to realize when his girlfriend came into the living room wearing only a thong.
  • Only Sane Man: Carl is the only person who thinks it's weird that a video game character has come to life.
    • However, his concern over the situation is at first limited to the fact that with Jimbroth in the real world, he can't play his game properly.
  • Pac-Man Fever: A pointed aversion, many of the terms are Captain Ersatz versions of Skyrim names, such as The Aura Scrolls, Skyguard, and Jimbroth making reference to Sovnheim as the afterlife. However, the jokes about frostbite spiders, dwarven traps, and soul gems show the creators clearly know about Skyrim. Played straight with other characters aside from Jimbroth and Carl, justified since presumably none of them have played the in-universe game the concepts are taken from.
  • Porting Disaster: In-Universe. All this apparently happened as a result of an unexplained glitch in the PSZ version of Skyguard.
  • Queer People Are Funny: The Have a Gay Old Time scene, and Taylin having a mancrush on Jimbroth.
  • Real Men Can Cook: Jimbroth can cook because Carl spent hours leveling his cooking instead of actually learning how to do it himself.
  • Refugee from TV Land: Jimbroth was a game character that magically manifested in the real world. While stumbling and confused at first, he adapts very quickly.
  • Right Behind Me: Carl's boss speaks badly about him to another employee, who tries to point out that Carl's right behind him. Subverted in that he was aware of it.
    LeBron: Lisa, where is Carl?
    Lisa: He’s in, sir.
    LeBron: Perfect. I want that no good, shiftless, witless, mindless, lazy, incompetent, incoherent sack of worthlessness to know just what a cancer he has become and the anus is otherwise fine company. [Lisa notices Carl behind him.] I know he is behind me. So Cancer, how is your report coming?
  • Shout-Out: When Brad Jones posted it on his site, the description he gave for it was: "When an ex-con and an ex-cop can't have a child together, they help themselves to one of another family's quintuplets, causing their lives to become more complicated than they anticipated!"
  • Shown Their Work: Rob Walker is an avid player of Skyrim, as seen by the many in-jokes made throughout.
  • Slave Liberation: A metaphorical one. Jimbroth (having taken the nickname “Jimbo”) considered Carl his master for essentially creating him, but after speaking with LeBron, he begins to realize that the master/slave mindset means nothing.
  • Stay in the Kitchen: At the drunken strip Magic: The Gathering game, Jessica gets creeped on by the guys and is told to get them a beer. The other female guest does not get this treatment.
  • Straw Feminist: Jessica calls one of the male friends a chauvinist for expecting her to go get him a drink, but gigglingly tries to comply with Jimbroth's request of the same.
  • Strength Equals Worthiness: Carl's boss takes it very well when Jimbroth flips him, coming to prefer him over the lazy and shifty Carl.
  • Sure, Let's Go with That: Whenever Jimbroth is stuck on a question during his Motivational Speech on business that involve actual technical jargon rather than his own Medieval Jargon he turns to LeBron who nods in a way that says this trope.
  • Take That!: Several to Bethesda and their method of testing games, as well as "World of WarCrack".
  • The Many Deaths of You
  • Trapped in TV Land: Carl becomes trapped in the game as the lady character he was creating.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Mephesto Games' reactions to the reality warping bugs in their products.
    • Also, everyone's reaction to Jimbroth
  • Villain Protagonist: Carl
  • Warrior Poet: Jimboth is quite sensitive for a proficient killer.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: We never find out what happened to the little girl who Jimbroth "rescued" from a school bus and got drunk on hard cider. Lampshaded by Carl when he belatedly remembers her.
  • Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: Jimbroth talks like this.
  • You Didn't Ask: Jimbroth's reaction to Carl accusing him of not telling him about in-game pain.
  • You Never Did That for Me: Subverted. When Carl says Jessica never stripped for him, she reminds him that she did it two weeks ago. He's that out of touch with reality.


Video Example(s):



For Jimbroth; he has Carl's life now, but it's debatable how good that life is since we see him getting henpecked by Jessica over the phone. He also complains that LeBron is "riding his ass", meaning the initial approval LeBron gave to Jimbroth may be wearing off, and he's now treating him similarly as he treated Carl. Then again, this was the evening of an important cocktail party for Jessica so it might have been an exception to their normal every day life and relationship, and he's clearly doing well in his job.

How well does it match the trope?

3.86 (7 votes)

Example of:

Main / EsotericHappyEnding

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