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YMMV / Bug Fables

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  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Just how benevolent was Queen Elizant I? While she's well known for being a just and fair ruler who everyone adored, she hoped to use the Everlasting Sapling for immortality before her "hard earned sleep" stopped her. It's an incredibly selfish wish considering it would make her the permanent ruler of Bugaria, and it doesn't help that other immortality seekers like the Wasp King and Upper Snakemouth's scientists are some of the most evil characters in the game. So would she have been any better if she was able to realize her dream?
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    • Does Mothiva love Zasp and simply isn't good at showing it, or does she simply view him as a tool to help with her rise to stardom? Their creator envisioned them as a couple, but their in-game interactions seem to paint Zasp's affections for her as one-sided with fans being torn on both interpretations.
  • Anti-Climax Boss: Despite being hyped up as being even stronger than the four champions you have to beat to even challenge them, the contestants in Metal Island's Spy Cards tournament aren't any tougher than said champions. In fact, some feel that they're even easier.
  • Base-Breaking Character: Vi tends to split people into two camps: those who love her for being a hilarious asshole responsible for some of the funniest scenes in the game and more than a few touching ones, and those who loathe her due to her greed, rudeness, and tendency to get Team Snakemouth into trouble.
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  • Best Level Ever: Despite being an optional sidequest with no bearing on beating the main game, Upper Snakemouth is a highlight for many players thanks to its haunting atmosphere, creepy enemies, morbid lore, and the nightmarish and tear-jerking light it sheds on Leif's backstory. It even has its own unique enemy encounters, boss and accompanying theme, and is long enough to be a chapter of its own.
  • Breather Level: Upper Snakemouth becomes accessible right alongside Chapter 5. If the player beats Upper Snakemouth first, then most of Chapter 5 becomes this because the levels gained in Snakemouth are more than enough to let the Bug Me Not badge kill any of Chapter 5's enemies on the world map, which significantly defangs the much-hyped and feared Wild Swamplands in particular.
  • Catharsis Factor: After having to endure their rudeness and hostility throughout the game, then having them selfishly try to sabotage Team Snakemouth's attempt at securing an alliance with the Termite Kingdom against the Wasp King, crushing Team Mothiva and publicly humiliating them in front of a crowd of onlookers is incredibly satisfying.
  • Complete Monster:
    • Hoaxe, after finding a crown that gave him incredible strength, went from a friendless trash collector to the merciless Wasp King. After seizing control of the Wasp Kingdom from its rightful ruler Queen Vanessa II and running it into the ground, he brainwashed most of the wasps into becoming fanatically loyal to the point of being forced to die for him' kept the deposed queen as a prisoner to torture; and had bugs thrown into his dungeons to starve for the slightest offenses. In pursuit of the Everlasting Sapling, the Wasp King leads destructive assaults on the Ant Kingdom and after opening the way to the Sapling itself, cruelly abandons his loyal soldiers to die against the roaches protecting it while setting uncontrollable fires that threaten to annihilate the roaches and their village. Obsessed with becoming an immortal tyrant who'd crush bugkind under his heel, the Wasp King represents the worst kind of people that covet the Everlasting Sapling's power.
    • The scientists in charge of Upper Snakemouth are a duo of sociopathic cockroaches who sought to recreate the Everlasting Sapling's incredible powers, no matter the cost. In hopes of achieving immortality without the sapling, they kidnapped innocent bugs and would subject them to inhumane experiments that would destroy their minds and turn them into feral cordyceps zombies. Though long dead thanks to falling prey to their own hubris, the victims they left behind infest Snakemouth Lair as a haunting reminder of the atrocities they committed in their arrogant bid to create something even stronger than a god.
  • Demonic Spiders: Chapter 5 is full of them, which helps make the Far Swamplands That One Level. For added fun, these guys can be encountered together!
    • The Leafbug Tribe are individually not too tough, but together become serious threats. Their main gimmick is that every time one of their own is damaged, they gain an attack up charge. This requires the player judiciously use TP and Leif's freezing abilities to burst down specific enemies or face the wrath of the massively charged enemy coming their way. God help you if the charged Leafbug is a Leafbug Clubber, as they can deal either massive area of effect damage or possibly lethal single-target damage. This strength thankfully goes away when they aren't near any other Leafbug tribe members, but still.
    • Wild Chompers hit hard, have 2 defense, and can spit out Chompers. Their only weakness, like all plant enemies, is freezing, but they can be healed by their attacks and even other enemies, making fighting more than one a huge chore.
    • Madesphy's are capable of paralyzing your entire party and dealing tons of damage if you fail to block their cries, but since the camera zooms in to Camera Screw levels and prevents you from seeing your party, it can make blocking a serious chore- and these things do 3-4 damage per attack, totaling a huge 8-9 damage to the entire party if you fail to block their cry. The only benefit you can have is their vulnerability to flip, but they must be made into a priority target or they can turn any battle into a loss with their ability to paralyze your entire party.
  • Disappointing Last Level: The Giant's Lair is this for some people. While the haunting atmosphere and terrifying monsters are widely praised, the stage's short length compared to the absolute marathon that was chapter 6 and the tedious ice puzzles thrown into the middle rubbed more than a few players the wrong way.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Tanjerin, despite playing a bit part in the game, managed to get several memes revolving around him. This culminated in the official "PUSHROCK" cheat code, which replaces everyone's appearance with Tanjerin's...except for his girlfriend, his original self (which gets replaced by Kabbu), and 3D models.
    • Despite the fact that she has no dialogue or characterization to speak of, and meeting her requires the player to find and beat an out-of-the-way dungeon and its tough boss battle, optional party member Chompy is every bit as beloved as the main trio. While a lot of it is due to her providing a small but essential damage buff in combat with her attacks, it also helps that she's just plain adorable to boot.
    • Out of the main bosses, the Chapter 4 boss, The Watcher, is the most popular despite only showing up in that chapter due to its connections to the Roaches, its cool design, and its fun boss fight where it shifts between sand and ice to attack you with.
  • Fanon:
    • Vi sleeps on the top of the bunk-bed, Leif in the middle, Kabbu on bottom.
    • Muze's spouse is never identified, but is often believed to be Hawk.
  • Fridge Horror: Dead Lander Omega is about the size of a toddler, and it likes toying with the bugs by dropping other bug sized things on them and watching them fight. There’s a sandbox in the back yard and a toy truck on the kitchen floor, so we know that a kid lived here at some point... and that Spider was immortal too...
  • Friendly Fandoms
    • Given the game's style and source of inspiration, it's inevitable that fans of Paper Mario (specifically, the first game & its sequel) would be drawn to it.
    • The game also resonated with a lot of Hollow Knight fans, because both games center around bugs.
  • Game-Breaker: All three members of Team Snakemouth can become this in their own way, as listed below:
    • Vi, upon being equipped with Last Stand, Power Exchange and Poison Attacker medals, can effectively pull off the Danger Mario setup. When combined with her multi-hit and piercing attacks, berries to further permanently increase her attack, a medal that can further upgrade her multi-hit attacks and a medal that decreases aggro on her, Vi can easily take out large chunks of bosses' HP by herself.
    • Kabbu and Vi's Fly Drop attack is an incredibly powerful attack that hits for +6 their normal attack power and ignores a point of defense, usually dealing 10/11 points of damage. Its TP usage is surprisingly low at a mere 6 TP, so you can just spam it and tear off huge chunks of boss health with it.
    • Leif's Frigid Coffin is surprisingly useful for how low TP it costs. It deals 4 damage and has a large chance to freeze the enemy, essentially stunning them for one or more turns for only 3 TP. Even better, the move averts Useless Useful Spell, and has a high chance to freeze even bosses, though they have to be grounded for the move to work. Judicious use of this spell combined with a little bit of luck can allow you to stunlock bosses, taking the edge off a number of tough encounters.
    • Kabbu's tauntlooping strategies can become really strong during the lategame. The strategy mostly revolves around using medals to increase Kabbu's defense to absurd levels: common medals include Last Stand, Defense Exchange and Back Support while Kabbu sits in the back line and endlessly spams Taunt, a 2 TP move that directs all aggro to him. If you attach Favorite One to him then not only will he soak up damage, but he'll continually buff his allies to make up for his damage. Attaching a TP Core medal makes this even more efficient, as Kabbu will be able to earn some of the TP spent on taunting back over the course of the battle. If you're good at Super Blocking you can slap the Super Guard+ medals on him to deflect even more damage and turn Kabbu into a complete Stone Wall. And if that's not enough you can spend an additional 3 TP to get Leif to use Bubble Shield Lite on Kabbu, turning him completely invincible for one turn. This strategy can stonewall the difficulty of numerous tough encounters that rely on single-target attacks, but is weak to bosses that prefer area of effect attacks.
  • Genius Bonus: Many aspects of the game reference real-life behavior of insects:
    • In the Termite Kingdom, one overworked NPC sends you on a fetch quest for something to help him get some rest. Real-life termites never sleep and literally work until they die.
    • Also, the Ant and Termite Kingdoms have a bad relationship until the end. Real-life termites and ants regularly compete for resources and are known to have 'wars' with each other.
    • Also, the presence of a Termite King may sound weird to someone familiar with insect colonies only having queens, but termites actually do have kings in real life. Queen Layra's massive size is also a nod to the fact that queen termites are huge compared to other insect queens, though to a far more grotesque extent.
    • Mantidflies are enemies in this game, and like in real life are found living close to wasps who they are commonly mistaken for.
    • It's no accident that the horrific monster that terrorizes the Wild Swamplands is a centipede. The Beast is specifically based on the Amazonian Giant Centipede which is highly aggressive and dangerous, and will eat anything it's capable of killing which includes animals such as bats and mice.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: While the game has a rather modest fanbase in the west, there is quite a larger fanbase for it in Asian countries, with most of the fanart and such primarily coming from Asian fans. Considering bug-catching a common past time for many Asian people growing up, it's not too surprising.
  • Goddamned Bats:
    • Wasp Scouts aren't that tough, but they're incredibly tanky at 15 HP and have the ability to call in backup, with said backup being either another 15 HP Wasp Scout, or a similarly bulky Wasp Trooper. And to make matters worse they tend to hover near the back of enemy groups which limits Kabbu's options and protects them from Chompy entirely, so you'll have to burn through quite a bit of TP to get rid of them before they call for help.
    • Diving Spiders have respectable health, and blocking their poisonous bubbles can be tricky thanks to them shooting the bubbles from two different arcs requiring different timing. That's not too annoying so far... until they randomly deploy their bubble shields, which protect them from the party for a turn and can't be broken through no matter what. Now they're annoying, and they help turn the Peacock Spider into a Goddamned Boss since it can summon them to help it out.
  • Love to Hate: Mothiva is as narcissistic and shallow as they come, but fans love her precisely because her meanness and selfishness make her a fun and compelling heel in a game where the main villain's relationship with the heroes is rather impersonal. It helps that her boss fights are fun and are accompanied by awesome music.
  • Memetic Loser: As mentioned below, Zasp is a target of mockery and "simp" jokes thanks to his extreme one-sided devotion to Mothiva.
  • Memetic Mutation
    • Tanjerin is a small orange beetle that appears close to the Golden Settlement. Despite being an otherwise unimportant NPC in the game itself, he resonated with fans making all sorts of memes starring him.
    • One of Leif's abilities is to form an ice shield that protects him and his friends from harm, but the way he extends his arms when doing this looks a bit like a T-pose. Cue references to Leif "asserting his dominance" over bug-kind.
    • Zasp worships the ground Mothiva walks on, to the point that attacking her in any of the Team Mothiva-fights raises his attack stat. This led to many fans jokingly calling him a "simp" note  complete with the infamous "All women are queens" and/or "Is this guy bothering you, queen?" stock-phrases.
  • One-Scene Wonder: The Dead Lander Omega is only a threat for the opening stretch of Giant's Lair, but thanks to it being one of the game's biggest sources of Nightmare Fuel you'd be hard pressed to find a player it didn't leave an impression on.
  • Scrappy Mechanic: Ice block puzzles quickly fall into this category as the game progresses. While they don't tend to be hard, they're tedious since pushing ice blocks across the map tends to be rather slow and a lot of the later puzzles force you to throw the blocks across large swathes of land. And when Kabbu gains his charge ability later in the game, the tedium ramps up since the charge and horn strike commands are tied to the same button, and accidentally pressing the horn strike button too many times in between strikes will lead to Kabbu demolishing the block and forcing the player to start all over again. They're even worse in console versions, which have a glitch causing ice blocks to be pushed for less distance than intended, meaning you need to hit them many more times to get them where you need them to be, which provides more opportunity to have Kabbu accidentally destroy the block.
  • That One Attack: The Devourer is tough in general, but one attack puts it high above the other Bounty bosses: it can suddenly eat a party member with no warning. This attack can't be blocked, and the victim can't escape or fight back and has to simply let their health slowly dwindle until either they die, or the boss dies. It's especially bad if it eats Leif thanks to his natural advantage over it thanks to his powerful ice attacks, but having any party member be eaten is disastrous thanks to the decrease in firepower against what's considered to be one of, if not THE hardest boss in the game.
  • That One Boss:
    • While the Bounty Bosses are meant to be tough as a whole, most of them are still very manageable for the most part. This does not apply for the Devourer, who is an absolute menace. Most of its attacks target the entire party, the acid balls it spits move fast and poison if they aren't blocked, and it calls in decently bulky flytraps for support. And to make matters even worse, it can swallow a party member at random, and said party member can't be freed no matter what you do: you'll either have to wait until they die or the Devourer dies to get them back. And if it eats Leif, may god have mercy on your soul because its weakness to his ice attacks make him a vital party member to keep alive in this fight.
    • The Beast is the first real fight that tests your mettle. The boss hits hard, has a whopping 74 HP (bumped to 82 on hard mode) and has 1 defense, meaning that wearing it down will take a while. On top of that it has a number of devious tricks, in particular an area-of-effect charge that hits the entire party. The only thing that can mitigate the damage is Leif's shield, but that costs 7 TP and if you haven't been pumping points into TP can be a massive drain on your resources. The only saving grace is upon reaching 10 HP, the boss will down Vi and Leif, giving Kabbu the push to refill his HP via Heroic Willpower. This makes the final few turns very easy, but getting to this point is a challenge regardless of your build or strategy.
    • Astotheles can be a challenge due to him preventing you from using items. Doesn't matter if he's frozen, asleep, or whatnot; if you try to use an item, he breaks out of any status condition he has and knocks it out of your hands, wasting the item and your turn. This means any healing, buffing, and reviving you do can only be done with TP-eating moves or having certain medals equipped. His high HP pool also means that you almost certainly will feel the sting of lacking items before the fight is over.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion: Given a number of Real Life insects are primarily female, it's not uncommon to hear many mistake several male characters as female; especially common with Wasp, Bee and Ant characters. Specific examples:
    • Maki, in addition to being a mantis, has a rather feminine design compared to the rest of the bugs around the ant kingdom, but he is male. It's not helped by his name being traditionally feminine.
    • The Spider Sorcerer is often misquoted as being a Witch by most players thanks to the garb more resembling a Witch's outfit rather than a sorcerer's robes.
    • Despite having the masculine prefix, Monsieur Scarlet is typically mistaken as a girl because of his pink coloring. The fact that he wears a red dress, scarf, and sun hat while carrying a parasol doesn't help. He's also the only male ant character in the game.
    • Crisbee, a carpenter bee is often mistaken for female by players thanks to his modest and somewhat timid personality and the fact that he has a stinger, which male bees lack. Not helping his case is the fact that the majority of the bees encountered in the game are female, making it easier to assume that he's another bee girl.
  • The Woobie
    • The entirety of Team Snakemouth.
      • Vi was ostracized and bullied by the rest of the bees for wanting to be an explorer. It was especially bad with her sister, Jaune, who kept insulting and mocking her, saying she'll never make it. Vi couldn't take it, and snapped, insulting all the other workers and Jaune, bad-mouthing the queen, and abandoned the hive. When she comes back later in the game, she's apprehensive about talking to the other bees, but secretly Vi, Jaune, and Queen Bianca all felt extremely regretful of the situation, and wanted to make amends. Thankfully, they do.
      • Kabbu only made it to Bugaria from the north because the rest of his adventuring party died protecting him from a massive monster in the Wild Swamplands. He blames himself for this, and feels that he isn't worthy of being an explorer as a result.
      • Leif is revealed to have died and been re-animated by a Cordyceps fungus that inherited his body and memories, and was left behind by his friends. He almost completely shuts down upon discovering this.
    • Queen Elizant II. She's completely aware of the fact that not many insects like and respect her as much as her mother, and worries constantly if she can live up to her legacy. When she's forced to surrender the artifacts to the Wasp King, she almost gives up on being queen.


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