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DeathSpank is a two-part Action RPG in the vein of Diablo, developed by Ron Gilbert of the Monkey Island series and centered around Idiot Hero Extraordinaire DeathSpank, self-proclaimed "Hero of the Downtrodden, Dispenser of Justice and Vanquisher of Evil". The first half, Orphans of Justice (or simply just DeathSpank) has our hero on a quest to obtain The Artifact, and later, rescuing orphans from Lord Von Prong. The second part, Thongs of Virtue has DeathSpank traveling to various locales to defeat those corrupted by the Thongs of Power.
A sequel known as The Baconing was released in August of 2011. Taking place after DeathSpank killed Sandy and established the land of Spanktopia, DeathSpank must once again save the world, this time from The Anti-Spank, created when DeathSpank wore all of the thongs at once.
If you've ever played a Hack and Slash, you'll know how to play this game.
The game features examples of:
- A God Am I: Sandy
- A more benevolent version occurs in The Baconing. Deathspank is officially declared the God of Orphans.
- Anachronism Stew: And how! One of the quests has you buying a cellphone for a particularly insufferable Orphan and when talking about movies with some Punch Clock Villains DeathSpank decides to just BitTorrent the film on his own time. Thongs of Virtue however moves onto a somewhat more modern setting.
- Artifact of Doom: The Thongs Of Virtue. There were supposed to be 9 of them, but only 6 were made due to Executive Meddling. Thus, they became corrupt. They are:
- Justice, worn by Death Spank.
- Courage, worn by Lord Von Prong.
- Compassion, worn by The Nun (she has a name, but it's absurdly long).
- Cuisine, worn by Wortten Wandelranger.
- Generosity, worn by Santa Claus.
- Peace, worn by Sandy Bravitor. Her grandfather was the forger of the Thongs, and her plan was to have Death Spank retrieve them all so she could destroy them, and ultimately kill him as well. You can submit to her, but The Baconing reveals that Death Spank killed her instead and took all 6 Thongs for himself.
- Automatic Crossbow: Your main ranged weapon. Thongs of Virtue replaces it with guns.
- Ax Crazy: Sandy
- Bacon Addiction: Bacon is a part of the plot.
- Bad Santa: Santa is one of the villains of Thongs of Virtue.
- Bag of Spilling: Thongs of Virtue starts with DeathSpank being captured and put in a P.O.W. camp, presumably with his stuff looted.
- Big Bad: Lord Von Prong in the first game. Sandy for both games. The Anti Spank in The Baconing.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: DeathSpank will beg the player to "Block, you fool, BLOCK!" if he takes too many hits without blocking.
- In Thongs of Virtue, Deathspank and other characters occasionally call out their character types.
- Clothes Make the Superman: The plot centers around the Thongs of Power, granted to six individuals who have all gone corrupt from their power save for the possessor of the Thong of Justice.
- Combos: Most of the gameplay revolves around using multiple weapons to raise a damage multiplier, which in some cases are the only way to feasibly beat King Mooks.
- Co-Op Multiplayer: A second player can enter the game as Sparkles the Wizard, sharing the same lifebar as DeathSpank. The sequel has Steve Von Prong, ninja and son of Lord Von Prong.
- And there's Tankko the Warrior in the DLC.
- The Baconing introduces Bob from Marketing as well as Roesha, One Bad Mutha.
- Death Is a Slap on The Wrist: When you die you're sent back to the nearest outhouse and without a handful of your money... that you can get back by returning where you died to pick it up. Since the enemies don't respawn if you don't change maps...
- The only downside to dying is that you come back with a small amount of health, and whatever you were fighting will have full health again.
- The ending of Thongs of Virtue reveals that this is one of the powers of the Thong of Justice. For DeathSpank to truly die, he has to legally relinquish it's power.
- Demonic Spider: Just about any enemy with a level even remotely close to yours can really tear chunks out of your lifebar. Enemies that have orange or red level numbers (which indicate their threat to you) can kill you in one or two hits. And they often come in large packs.
- Department of Redundancy Department: The Cleaver of Cleaving, the Bladed *something* Of Blades, etc.
- Destructive Saviour: The intro of The Baconing shows DeathSpank defeating evil monsters, all the while getting the Distressed Damsels killed, either intentionally or otherwise.
- Face Heel Turn: Sandy
- Fallen Hero: The possessors of the Thongs have all ended up corrupt, save for DeathSpank. This is implied to be due to his stupidity.
- Fighter, Mage, Thief: Deathspank, Sparkles, Steve.
- For Great Justice: Dispenser of Justice.
- Game Breaking Bug: The Rudolph glitch. Sometimes Santa's top reindeer won't show up due to a bug, and you're required to kill him to get a special helmet in order to progress. If you kill all of the lesser reindeer in the area when Rudolph is missing and save, Rudolph will never show up again, and the game becomes unwinnable. However, if you allow yourself to die while at least one lesser reindeer is alive, Rudolph will come back when you do. If you're playing the PC or PlayStation 3 version, Hothead can fix your save file if it happens. If you're on 360, you're boned. What makes this glitch especially bad is that this takes place 95% of the way through the game.
- Gotta Catch Them All: The main quest of the first game soon becomes saving orphans, whom you collect with an "Orphan Bag" you stuff them into.
- Gotta Kill Them All: Thongs of Virtue is about DeathSpank taking down those corrupted by the Thongs of Power.
- Heel Face Turn: The Leprechaun Mafia, a minor group of villains from the first game, appear to be allies in The Baconing, to the point that their Don makes Deathspank an honorary leprechaun.
- Heroes Want Redheads: Subverted. DeathSpank hates Sandy for bossing him around on his quest. It's also mentioned that he still has a "Girls have Cooties" mentality by Lord Von Prong.
- Heroic Sacrifice: An option in the ending.
- Heroic Comedic Sociopath: An interesting partial example, Deathspank is obsessed with altruistic ideals and heroism, but he is also a confounded imbecile with a skewed moral compass. He will accept quests from genuinely evil people (Such as The Wizard) at the drop of a hat as long as they have a quest marker above their head.
- And after a day of acting as an orphan's father, complete with a heartwarming montage, he ignores her feelings and stuffs her in a bag (though the fact that the girl was also a brat who previously made him buy a series of fancy crap for her probably didn't endear her to him).
- Hive Mind: Possibly shown by the Mind Barnacles by Death Spank when he infects the protectors of the wells to get the quest required item they carry. Although they could just have a lot of information stored in them and speak on behalf of the mother barnacle instead.
- Hooker with a Heart of Gold: Parodied with a prostitute who literally has a golden heart.
- Idiot Hero: DeathSpank, whose favorite number is... plaid.
- Knight Templar: Sandy
- Lantern Jaw of Justice
- Large Ham: DeathSpank is very bombastic.
- Lost Forever: The Primp VIP achievement/trophy in Thongs. If you open the chest in her brothel before viewing all 20 of her costumes, it's gone because Madame Primp will become hostile. The game saves as soon as you open it, so quitting out via dashboard wont save you. Also combines with Guide Dang It because you don't know Primp will attack you, and the fact that it's in plain sight, begging you to open it while Primp is changing costumes doesn't help.
- The Konichiwa achievement/trophy is also potentially missable. You have to talk to the Japanese judge in Wortten's office to get the "Learn Japanese" book to appear in the library. If you begin the cookoff without doing so, Wortten may kill him during the battle (she kills judges at random), preventing you from spawning the book.
- Love Freak: If you couldn't tell, DeathSpank is absolutely obsessed with Justice.
- Hey, It's That Voice!: Looks like Sergei Smirnov found his true calling as a Dispenser of Justice!
- Level Grinding: Even players who complete every single quest are unlikely to reach the level cap of 20. If you want the achievement, you're gonna have to spend an extra half hour killing Unicorns, the only enemy that gives significant XP at that point.
- MacGuffin: The Artifact, which is actually a strip of bacon. DeathSpank does get it early on, but he gets it mugged from him. Sandy states that it's really not that important at the end, despite being the one who sent him on the quest. In her moonbase, you'll even see stacks of Artifacts.
- Medium Awareness: DeathSpank and NPCs alike tend to refer to in-game elements such as hit points and the quest log. At one point, a quest giver claims to have gained experience points for the quest you just completed by turning it into him.
- Multi Melee Master: Up to
foureight weapons can be equipped at a time, each mapped to different buttons.
- Multiple Endings: The ending of Thongs of Virtue either has DeathSpank sacrifice himself to Sandy or fights her, putting an end to her madness. According to the canon set by The Baconing, DeathSpank killed Sandy.
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: DeathSpank is a parody of such names.
- Possibly a play on how players tend to name their characters something along the lines of SkullAssassin in games.
- Narrator All Along: Sandy, though you should be able to guess it out when she's referred to as "the mysterious, but quite attractive woman".
- One Game for the Price of Two: A sequel is coming out! ...less than two months after the first game was released. You don't say.
- Puppeteer Parasite: The Mind Barnacles take over the mind of their host.
- Sadistic Choice: At the end of the second game, after Sandy goes mad due to the Thong of Peace, Deathspank must choose between sacrificing himself to save her, or be forced to kill her. There is no third option. According to The Baconing, the latter is canon.
- Sequel Escalation: Of a sort. The original game had a medieval fantasy theme, the second game introduced modern era aspects, and now The Baconing is set to bring futuristic scifi to the table.
- Sequel Hook: Upon defeating Von Prong, it's revealed that the source of both his and DeathSpank's power are their thongs. Sandy then sends DeathSpank after others with thongs.
- Shaggy Dog Story: The Sacrifice Ending, where after killing DeathSpank Sandy is unable to bring herself to properly destroy the thongs and instead hides them away as she grows old and in regret.
- Spoiled Brat: Annie the Orphan, who makes DeathSpank buy all sorts of crap for her. However, her final demand is for a daddy, which DeathSpank decides to be for a while. Before stuffing her into a bag.
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: From The Baconing:
Zeus: For I name you...God. Of. ORPHAAAAANS!
- Twenty Bear Asses: Pretty much every mission except for boss fights and the slight handful that involves a puzzle. Forgivable because they can by and large be completed in three minutes.
- X Meets Y: Ron Gilbert describes it as Monkey Island meets Diablo.
- Very Loosely Based on a True Story: The games always start with a message stating that they're based on a true story.
- At the end of each game's credits is a message admitting they aren't.
- Vendor Trash: Anything you don't need goes to the Grinder in your inventory, which reduces items down to money.