There's just something odd-looking with Ellie riding Henry's tank on its cannon between her legs.
A certain FAIL involves Ellie diving straight into the cannon with Henry to hide from the Toppat Clan's guns and sword-launching turret. Then, Ellie says "We should have just done this from the beginning." While it meant that they should have been inside the tank since the beginning, some fans thought it meant doing it.
How "evil" is Dmitri Johannes Petrov? Unlike other previous law enforcement, his methods of punishing criminals are morally ambiguous, running the Wall like a gulag. His imprisonment of Henry is also questionable if the Government Supported Private Investigator or Relentless Bounty Hunter paths were pursued, in which Henry was pardoned of all crimes, unless Henry got into more trouble after said pardon. Mission adds even more ambiguity, as he allows his men to attack the American Government and the Toppat Clan, in addition to trying to kill Henry and Ellie rather than capture them because they ruined his reputation. It's also shown in the Master Bounty Hunter ending that Gastro the Toilet Wizard is still wanted by the American Government, even though he is shown to be imprisoned at the Wall, implying that Dmitri has been unlawfully capturing criminals behind the American Government's back and bringing them to Canada.
In most routes in Mission that have Henry burglarizing the Toppat Clan, is Henry still as much of a thieving Villain Protagonist as ever, or is he now more of an Anti-Hero that's now making it a point to only steal from other criminals? The latter interpretation is unlikely if the Thief route was chosen as the Airship ending, but if the Bounty or Government routes were selected, then the jury is well and truly out. Regardless of whether Henry was pardoned by the Government or not, it's never really made clear. There are still a few deaths that happen on these routes that are caused by Henry, but then again, thisistheToppatClan we're talking about.
In the Executive/Ghost route (Toppat Civil Warfare), was Reginald truly disgusted about Henry's abandonment of Ellie? Or was he acting more out of a sense of opportunism, using the situation to overthrow him? Other paths show that he wasn't very happy about giving up his leadership position to Henry, and would've jumped at the chance to have it back. But on the other hand, his loyalty can be won in other routes when he sees Henry risking his neck for the Clan, which in this route, Henry doesn't get to do. Plus, his genuine-sounding revulsion and choice of words implies that it may be a little of Column A and a little of Column B.
Author's Saving Throw: For those that weren't amused by Charles' Bumbling Sidekick antics in earlier games, Mission has more of his choices be the correct ones, and the ones that are still fails tend to have other reasons to be so beyond incompetence on Charles' part. And that is not counting the Government/Dead route when he sacrifices himself to make sure Henry gets away from the Toppat Space Station, and ends up dying when it explodes.
Tickets Please, the song that plays during the Undertale battle against Mr. MacBeth in Mission's Bounty/Dead route, is a catchy, if short 8-bit battle theme that perfectly captures the feeling of those in Undertale, most notably Metal Crusher.
Bizarre Funk from the Spirit Battle in Mission, during the Executive/Betrayed route. Yes, this is a JoJo reference.
The Toppat Clan's unnamed reccuring leitmotif. It's very catchy.
Best Level Ever: Completing the Mission, is the longest, most detailed, and most complex game in the series. It has an impressive 164 fails, tons of different paths, and even averts Cutting Off the Branches by allowing you to pick which ending is canon from each of the two last games, barring any occurrences where it wouldn't make sense (example: Betrayed is unselectable unless Henry joined the Toppats in Airship). Within Mission, six story paths tend to stick out as being the most interesting:
The Government/Allies route, which sticks series Ensemble Darkhorses Ellie and Charles together, and for being constantly hilarious.
The Executive/Betrayed route, for its dark themes and non-stop frantic action.
The Government/Operative route, for its Bash Brothers relationship with Charles and hilarious successes.
The Executive/Allies route, for its fantastic pacing and great dynamics with Ellie and Right Hand Man.
The Thief/Allies route, for its epic confrontation with the Government, Toppat Clan, and the Wall.
The Thief/Ghost route, for continuing on the legacy of Henry's jewel thievery, having possibly the highest stakes of any route, and even including an homage to the first Stickmin-style game, Crossing the Pit.
In Diamond, Henry can use a pickaxe to dig through the museum's wall, only for a Creeper to suddenly come out of nowhere and blow him up alongside the wall itself. Yet somehow, it's a correct answer, continuing the plot.
In Mission, one of the options to start the battle against Right Hand Man in the Executive/Betrayed route is "Spirit Forme", which pits them against each other... in a Stand battle, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure-style. All complete with Gratuitous Japanese, the art-style mimicking the anime itself, and even the soundtrack sounding close enough to the source. It stands out for having a lot of effort put into it for being a Fail.
Bizarro Episode: The Stickmin Space Resort ending classifies as this due to how weird it is even for the setting itself. The idea of stealing an entire rocket from a criminal organization to convert it into a resort seems pretty bonkers, even for Henry's standards. The fact that he's even able to do so and even reform all of the Toppat members on board the rocket to become his employees seems even more ludicrous. However, the ending is conclusive enough to not entirely be classified as a Gainax Ending. The head concierge, Hampton, also heavily lampshades the ending itself, as while his presence explains through the bios how Henry convinced the crewmen inside to join him and refit the space station, Hampton himself states that he and just about everyone else don't know how or why Henry decided to do this, only that he did, and that's what matters.
Hampton: You may wonder: Why did he steal a criminal clan's rocket and decide to turn it into a resort? We may never know... But hey, you wouldn't be here if that didn't happen. Enjoy your stay.
Charles. He's beloved due to how funny he is, his badass moments and his dynamic with Henry. Plus, his Heroic Sacrifice in the Valiant Hero ending from Mission is considered by many to be the most tragic moment in the series. He also borderlines on Sacred Cow, as any comments that say he isn't funny or helpful will be met with immediate hatred.
Ellie is almost as if not equally popular, due to how well she and Henry get along and work together whenever they team up. It's also notable that Ellie is the only character who willing to follow whenever Henry does instead of requiring him to sticking on one specific faction unlike Charles does as he tangled with the government.
Sven Svensson is equally popular as Burt for a reason, and also because he's the Toppat Leader in post-Government endings.
Fandom-Enraging Misconception: It is spelled Henry Stickmin, not Stickman. Expect to be swiftly corrected on the matter if you misspell his name as the latter, especially since Henry Stickman is now his own character.
Fandom Heresy: As the comments show in GTLive's playthrough of the seriesnote And to a lesser extent, the playthrough by EthGoesBoom, who also had a notable dislike of the character, do not say that Charles isn't funny or helpful. Say goodbye to your viewers if you don't take that back after a full playthrough of Mission, especially after the Valiant Hero ending.
Fandom-Specific Plot: A Executive/Operative plot is rather popular in the fanbase. It often involves the Government capturing Henry, who has to return to the Toppat Clan and be safe again.
Just why was Ellie at the Wall in the first place?
Some of the endings in Mission also qualify, given it's the last game and all, but special mention goes to the Toppat Civil Warfarecliffhanger ending, with Henry, alongside his loyalists (and Dave), escaping the airship, leaving the conflict between Henry and Ellie's factions up to anyone's imagination.
The bio system reveals a lot about the game world, a few of the major characters, and the hundreds of extras dotted throughout every scene, leaving behind countless story threads and interactions to speculate on.
Fanon: In Diamond there is a security guard named Jacob Rose. The fact that he shares his last name with Ellie has led many fans to conclude the two are related, with them being siblings being the most popular theory. Neither of their bios confirms this, and by Word of God in the first Henry Stickmin Developer Commentary, Puffballs jossed the theory outright.
Fanon Discontinuity: Despite Puffballs insisting that every ending is canon, a good number of fans like to pretend that three specific endings don't exist just for how depressing they are in stark contrast to the rest of the series.
Revenged is the least detested of the three, as this route is also mentioned in Best Level Ever above, but still gets shoved to the intentional forgetfulness wayside for having Henry die on-screen, even if not being explicit about it.
Toppat Civil Warfare is a major step-up in fan detesting from the last one, as while nobody (except for Reginald and Right Hand Man) dies, it's infamous for having Ellie become Henry's Arch-Enemy to the point of wanting him dead. It doesn't help that it's the only one to end on a cliffhanger.
As much as the previous two endings are lambasted by a good section of the fandom, you'll be hard-pressed to find anybody who willfully considers Valiant Hero canon. Despite the fact that Henry doesn't die and he has no fractured relationships, the death of the series' flagship Ensemble Dark Horse, Charles, sent the fandom into an absolute frenzy of tears and anger. If you consider this ending canon, you're close to being one-of-a-kind.
Charles' penchant for ramming his ship at full speed into whatever is in front of him is bound to bust a few sides. Then it actually works in Completing the Mission, and it becomes a whole lot less funny when doing so causes the station's reactor to go critical and some last-minute interference from a Toppat goon costs Charles his spot on the station's last remaining escape pod, ultimately resulting in Charles' tragic demise.
When Henry receives help from Ellie and then leaves her behind in Complex, it is Played for Laughs when the game notes that "Ellie will remember that." Not so funny anymore in the Toppat Civil Warfare ending in Mission, where Ellie escapes the Wall herself, calls out Henry for abandoning her, and turns most of the Toppat Clan on him.
The first two games (Crossing the Pit and Breaking the Bank) are rather simplistic. Escaping the Prison introduced an ongoing storyline (albeit one that is heavily subjected to Shrug of God), as well as Easter Eggs and Multiple Endings to spice things up and make the games more engaging.
Infiltrating the Airship onwards takes this even further, with the series starting to introducing more staple characters and the ability to choose Henry's morality throughout his adventure, which eventually led to the Grand Finale game, Completing The Mission, where its scenario started depending on the ending combinations you get from the previous 2 games.
He's Just Hiding!: At the tail end of the Government/Dead route in Mission, Charles throws Henry into an escape pod which leaves without him while he's busy fighting a Toppat Goon, leaving Charles in the Space Station as it explodes. Some fans point out that there was an unselectable escape pod behind the rubble in the same hall where you make that final choice (and there are actually five escape pods flying towards Earth in the outro), and subscribe to the idea that Charles left in that one and is simply presumed dead just like Henry was.
In Airship (the original of which dropped in 2013), there's a moment during the Cannonball route where Reginald is struggling to swipe his card to open a door. Among Us released five years later (and picked up speed two years after that, soon after Collection was released), and the finicky nature of the "Swipe Card" task of that game had several players sympathizing with Reginald.
In Complex, one of the fails is Henry kneeing Ellie and Grigori, knocking them out of the screen Super Smash Bros. style, and then the victory screen from Street Fighter II shows up after which the FAIL screen scolds Henry for "mixing fighting game references". And then Ryu became a playable character in the fourth Super Smash Bros. game...
Henry/Charles is quickly beloved by many fans due to their dynamic. This ship eventually beat Henry/Ellie in popularity and became a Fan-Preferred Couple after the collection was released.
Although we never see them interact, Sven Svensson/Burt Curtis is also beloved by number of the fans and arguably takes second or third place in popularity. Some shippers believe that in any route in which Sven becomes the Toppat Leader, Burt becomes The Dragon.
Reginald/Right Hand Man also manages to be quite popular. Mainly because Reginald has shown that even he has standards which made him a Noble Demon, and it is implied in the Thief/Ghost route of Mission that they are close given that RHM refers to him as "Reg" instead of "Chief" or "Boss" during that route, and is the only Toppat to do so in all games.
It's Short, So It Sucks!: Some of the endings in Completing the Mission are seen as rushed and short despite it being the Grand Finale of the Henry Stickmin series. Most notably the Toppat Civil Warfare ending, which ends in a cliffhanger.
It Was His Sled: Charles dies at the end of the Government/Dead route in Mission. The Valiant Hero ending among the game's 16 endings is considered the most infamous among the fandom, having the most fanworks related to it, some reaching six digits worth of views. This makes avoiding the spoiler practically impossible unless you played the route during the first few days of the game's release.
Jerkass Woobie: Henry may be a thief and criminal, but it's hard not to feel bad for him whenever the items he has at his disposal screw him over, especially when he slowly becomes a more sympathetic character from Airship onward depending on the player's choices. And then it gets worse for him in Completing The Missionwhere in one ending, he dies alone after getting shot in the back and barely surviving an airship crash, while in another ending, he lives, but watches Charles die after he saves his life.
One, two, threeeee-AAAAAAAA-note A certain FAIL involving Henry and Charles trying to lift a door. Said door is metal and part of the Toppat Orbital Station, and gets lifted up for mere seconds before falling on Charles' fingers (and Henry's back). Charles' scream gets replaced with something else.
It's simple: he didn't. note When someone asks how did Henry tie the knot from the outside of the bag in Bank, you have to answer with this, so everyone can fully complete the Lawyered Up ending of Prison.
Narm: In the Steam release of The Henry Stickmin Collection, most of the copyrighted images and music had to be replaced and given substitutes, which is understandable. Most of the attempts to re-create them were fine efforts, but in Stealing the Diamond, the sound that was made to replace Dio's infamous "WRYYYYY" in the shrink ray failurenote when the earthworm emerges from the ground and roars at Henry sounds rather... silly. It was changed to a weird kind of "REEEEEEOOOOOOOOOO" sound that seems to run out of enthusiasm partway through, and overall lacks the same impact.
Narm Charm: The voice-acting. While some of the deliveries can be a bit dry and all over the place (given how the males and females are voiced by one person each), it's what made these games so beloved to begin with.
The Toppat Clan's appearance goes as far back as 2007 in this animation.
Several players were surprised to hear Henry talk in Completing the Mission, the sixth and final game of the series, but he occasionally talks since Escaping the Prison, the second game of the series.
Seasonal Rot: While it's by no means considered a failure, Fleeing the Complex isn't considered as great as it used to be. In trying to go for a more serious approach, it stripped out a lot of the humor that was a core part of the series appeal. The fails are more referential than usual and with less impactful punchlines, the FAIL Screens aren't as witty, and unless you go after Ghost Inmate or International Rescue Operative, none of the paths are particularly funny when running through them without any fails. Mission would fix many of these problems, and would even outdo Complex in many of its most memorable jokes such as the Distraction Dance. As a result, Complex somewhat lacks an identity compared to the rest of the series.
Self-Imposed Challenge: Somehow, despite the simplistic choose-your-own-adventure format of the game, people managed to come up with some.
Blantados tried to beat the series without ever hearing Henry's voice. Lawyered Up and Just Plain Epic are the winning routes for the second and third games, while Government/Dead and Government/Rescue are both valid ending paths; though the latter stretches the Heroic Mime idea a bit since Henry clearly talks to Charles in the Rescue ending even if we don't hear him.
ShyGuyMask tried to beat the series without killing anyone. It's impossible to kill anyone in Bank and Prison, with all three endings of the latter being fair game. Diamond was beatable on a technicality since Henry isn't directly responsible for any casualties in the Just Plain Epic ending. Unfortunately, only one ending each of Airship and Complex—Thief and Ghost, respectively—are valid towards this challengenote And he admitted that Thief pushed it, as it's easy to assume that at least some Toppats died when the airship crashed, we just can't confirm or deny that., leaving only their combined path in Mission...in which you're forced to kill Right Hand Man and Wilhelm Krieghaus by force-shouting them into space.
Tyz tried to beat the series without Henry running outside of ending cutscenes (if he counted those, the challenge would have ended at Prison), noting a couple of quick time events that set the pace for what constitutes "running" for the sake of the challenge. Badass Bust Out is the only invalid ending of Prison, Intruder on a Scooter is the only valid ending of Diamond, and Government is the only valid ending of Airship, leaving Rescue as the only valid ending of Complex (as not getting Executive locks you out of Betrayed). Fortunately, their combined path in Mission doesn't contain any running to end the challenge.
Tyz tried again, this time to beat the series without running into any quick time events. For Prison and Diamond, the winning endings are Laywered Up and Unseen Burglar, respectively. Unfortunately, Thief is the only winning ending of Airship, and while the Allies and Ghost endings of Complex are valid (also Rescue, but it can't be paired with Thief anyway; he probably only got it because he previously got Government as an Airship ending in the previous challenge), the combined paths both contain quick time events (one even starts with one).
Spotlight-Stealing Squad: In a bit of a meta example, while Among Us predates The Henry Stickmin Collection by two years, it was partially thanks to Henry Stickmin that Among Us managed to become the global phenomenon that it's known as now. However, this came with the caveat of Henry Stickmin getting heavily overshadowed by Among Us, when there was far more of an advertising push for The Henry Stickmin Collection as opposed to when Among Us first came out.
In Infiltrating the Airship, when playing through the earpiece route, Henry eventually has his ally Charles take out a mook by literally melting his bones! The poor guy is reduced to a lump of flesh as a result.
One particular option in Fleeing the Complex involves Henry pretending to be sick in the hopes of finding a way to escape. He's tranquilized by a guard and left in a quarantine cell with an unknown number of inmates, presumably infected with debilitating or even lethal illnesses. The inmate that greets Henry when he wakes up actually loses his hand, and when we see the quarantine cell from the outside, a green liquid is pooling out from underneath the door.
Another involves Henry bungee jumping down an elevator, resulting in his back getting ripped out since he's using an ordinary rope.
They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: A harmless example. Fans from the older series are bit disappointed due to some of the older music and references having to be changed due to avoid copyright on Steam. Song examples include:
Many fans agree that The Wall was criminally underused in Completing the Mission.
Toppat Civil Warfare is often hated in the community for ending with a cliffhanger that could be so much more, with fans often saying it was rushed. It is often regarded as the only conclusion to the franchise that isn't satisfying in any way.
What an Idiot!: Many fails are results of this. Luckily, it makes them funnier. Special mention goes to Charles; during the scenarios in which he assists Henry, pretty much all fails are a result of him screwing up rather than a mistake from Henry or equipment malfunctioning. For example:
When Henry decides to have Charles catch him while he falls down, Charles doesn't realize what's going on and just hovers in place. A guard then blows Charles up with a rocket launcher mid-sentence.
Henry asks Charles to use some of his gadgets to help him in Airship. Asking for the platform makes him Teleporter Accident it straight into Henry's body. Mind Control causes Charles to make his subject break the card he's using, and Remote Hacking causes him to hack the wrong door, which smashes Henry when it opens.
(Henry pops the fulton; he and Ellie fall with the cart as RHM casually activates his flight boosters)
RHM: What an idiot...
In Free Man, the Toppats leave the door to one of the station armories open, allowing Henry to barricade himself inside, choose a weapon, then go on a rampage throughout the station. Lampshaded by The Bookie:
Bookie: Who left this open? Guys, what have I said? Always lock the armory after you're done. It's not that hard.