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Oh, man, this is the best game I've never played!
Please stop trying to handle my style
A spin-off of the wildly-popular Flash cartoon series Homestar Runner, Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People (or SBCG4AP for short) is a five-episode adventure game developed by "the people who made that game Rabbit-Dog and Bunnyman" and released on a monthly basis starting in August 2008. Each episode features a different adventure starring Ensemble Darkhorse Strong Bad as he goes about in a typical day of checking e-mails, writing Teen Girl Squad comics, committing arson and petty larceny, perpetrating Zany Schemes, tormenting his neighbors, and playing video games.
The episodes are:
- "Homestar Ruiner": In which Strong Bad sets out to "beat the snot out of Homestar", but instead ends up impersonating him at the Free Country USA Tri-Annual Race to the End of the Race, humiliating him in the process... which wouldn't ordinarily be a problem, except that Homestar takes refuge in Strong Bad's house and refuses to leave unless Strong Bad can fix Homestar's shattered reputation.
- "Strong Badia the Free": In which Strong Bad rebels against the King of Town's new E-mail tax, and tries to rally his neighbors (who have all set up their own countries) to overthrow the King's "fat-thority".
- "Baddest of the Bands": In which Strong Bad organizes (and then attempts to win) a Battle Royale of the Bands in order to fund repairs for his beloved Videlectrix Funmachine.
- "Dangeresque 3: The Criminal Projective": In which Strong Bad finally completes his latest "cine-magic masterpiece", where a routine mission to save the rainforest traps Dangeresque and Renaldo in a web of treachery, lies, heartbreak and bad action movie cliches. This is a unique installment in that you play in-character as Dangeresque, trying to solve your way through the movie's plot.
- "8-Bit Is Enough": In which Strong Bad's malfunctioning Trogdor cabinet leads to Free Country USA merging with the world of video games, forcing Strong Bad to team up with his favorite video game characters and take out a rampaging Trogdor.
- Absentee Actor: Of the five episodes, only "Strong Badia the Free" has all twelve main characters appearing on screen. Homsar is missing from "Dangeresque 3" and "8-Bit Is Enough" (the latter of which also lacks Pom Pom), and makes a voice-only appearance in "Homestar Ruiner". The Poopsmith makes a photo-only appearance in "Baddest of the Bands".
- Actually Pretty Funny: From "Strong Badia the Free", when the gang has set up an effigy of the King of Town outside Strong Bad's house, consisting mainly of an old stick.
Strong Bad: Why'd you bring that ugly, misshapen stick?
- All Just a Dream: After defeating Trodgor in "8-Bit Is Enough", Strong Bad wakes up to find out it was apparently just a dream... except even though Free Country USA is back to normal, Trogdor is still on the rampage.
- And Your Reward Is Clothes: If you complete everything in an episode, your reward is a shirt for your wardrobe.
- And You Were There: Strong Bad says this at the end of "8-Bit Is Enough".
- Anticlimax: Surprisingly enough, brilliantly subverted in "Strong Badia the Free". The siege of the Of Town's castle lasts five minutes and takes place off-camera. And then it turns out that being King of Town is the lousiest job in the world. The real challenge turns out to be Strong Bad directing the Of Town's coup against him.
- Awesomeness Meter
- Bad Bad Acting: During the tutorial, and a few times in "Dangeresque 3: The Criminal Projective" (chiefly from Coach Z as Renaldo).
- Batman Gambit: In "Strong Badia the Free", the King of Town levies an intentionally unfair email tax and then places Strong Bad under house arrest for not paying it. Strong Bad is infuriated, decides to rebel, and stages a coup to overthrow the King of Town's authority. Turns out that this was exactly what the King of Town was anticipating: he was tired of being the King of Town and set up the whole scheme just so he'd be dethroned.
- Big Red Button: During "Homestar Ruiner", the race's tape is ruined by pushing a red button labeled ERASE. There's a post-it tacked to it warning "DO NOT PUSH". Also makes an appearance during "Baddest of the Bands", when one is supposed to reveal Strong Bad's stage prop.
- Bootstrapped Theme: "Handle My Style", the intro song from the first episode, has more or less become the series's theme song.
- Brick Joke: In "Homestar Ruiner", the episode begins with Strong Bad getting an email asking why he hasn't "beat the snot" out of Homestar yet. Strong Bad thinks it's a good idea, but his intention gets derailed. In the end, when Homestar crashes out of the window in the conga line, he yells out, "Ow, my snot!".
- Bring My Brown Pants: Strong Sad will say "Where are you going? You can't take on Trogdor without calling product support first! You'll void your warranty! And maybe your bladder!" if you try to go outside without talking to him first in Episode 5.
- Butt Monkey: Strong Sad, more so than usual. He gets ridiculed, pummeled, conned, humiliated, and otherwise tormented throughout each episode (though he does get to dish some abuse back to Strong Bad in "Baddest of the Bands").
- Character Filibuster: Parodied in "Dangeresque 3: The Criminal Projective", when Strong Bad fast-forwards through Marzipan's lecture on the environment.
- Chewing the Scenery: Strong Bad in "Dangeresque 3: The Criminal Projective" when mourning the death of his father, Dadgeresque.
- Collection Sidequest: Two or three different sets in each game.
- Colon Cancer: Episode 4: "Dangeresque 3: The Criminal Projective".
- Cruelty Is the Only Option: It's a game based around Strong Bad; what do you expect?
- The Dog Was the Mastermind: "Craig" (The Cheat) in "Dangeresque 3: The Criminal Projective".
- Dude in Distress: Strong Sad and Bubs in "8-Bit Is Enough".
- Dummied Out: Some costumes from later episodes are programmed into earlier episodes, along with an Ab-Abber 2000 "shirt".
- DVD Bonus Content: The Extended Play for "Dangeresque 3: The Criminal Projective" is done in the style of this.
- Egopolis: In addition to Strong Badia, an existing location from the web series, "Strong Badia the Free" features all the other characters forming their own countries, most of them named after themselves (such as the Homsar Reservation, Coachnya and Marzistar/Homezipan).
- Empty Room Psych: Several episodes have rooms that contribute nothing but a few gags.
- Episodic Game
- Evil Twin: Arguably Sultry Buttons to Cutesy Buttons in "Dangeresque 3". Not to mention Uzi Bazooka for Dangeresque Too.
- Exact Words: "Dangeresque 3: The Criminal Projective" is in 3D, in that it's rendered in 3D graphics.
- Explosive Leash: Strong Bad gets fitted with one at the start of "Strong Badia the Free".
- Exposition Fairy: Homestar gets turned into one of these in "8-Bit Is Enough". Naturally, he's not very helpful.
- Fetch Quest: In "8-Bit Is Enough", "Princess" Strong Sad keeps sending you on quests to find items like "The Sigil of Dark Dampening" and "The Shimmering Trinket of Endless Bargain-Hunting". The reward for each quest is another quest to fetch the same item (with a different name) that keeps respawning. This will go on forever, if you let it. And you don't actually have to do any of them. All you need to do to make the story progress is get him to assign you the first quest; there's no need to actually complete it.
- Foreigner for a Day: In "Strong Badia the Free", everyone runs off to form their own countries after Strong Bad declares his independence from the Municipality.
- Game Breaking Bug: A number of the SBCG4AP episodes have some bug some which freezes or causes trouble for the game. The PC and Wiiware versions have different bugs between them.
- Gameplay-Guided Amnesia: Subverted in "Homestar Ruiner". As Strong Bad (posing as Homestar) is about to begin the Race to the End of the Race, he stops to ask Coach Z if he gets some instructions first. Coach Z tells "Homestar" he shouldn't need any instructions, as he's been training for weeks.
- Genre Savvy: "8-Bit Is Enough" has its fair share of this.
Strong Bad: Say it with me, The Cheat: Licensed video games are never good.
- A lampshade hanging, as it's in the middle of a licensed game.
- A good one.
- A lampshade hanging, as it's in the middle of a licensed game.
- Geographic Flexibility: A Lampshade Hanging is applied on this by the map system. You can move all the notable locations around on the map and put them wherever you want.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: Pom-Pom’s stage name is "Pom Star". Now remember that an "m" looks like "rn".
- A Good Name for a Rock Band: The third episode of SBCG4AP lets you name Strong Bad's band, DÖI (or rather, pick from choices provided by Strong Bad, the King of Town and Homsar... which all spell out DÖI anyway and hence don't matter in the end).
- Guide Dang It: SBCG4AP has its moments, especially when it comes to finding collectibles and other 100% completion achievements.
- The worst one is one of the Expressions of Affection in "Baddest of the Bands". To get it, you have to have hints turned up to maximum and then wander around a particular spot for a while until the hint drops. How the game makers expected anybody to figure this one out on their own is a real mystery.
- Hint System: Depending on the settings, characters will drop hints on what to do next. Also, some of the messages from the Drive-Thru Whale in The Field are incredibly cryptic hints.
- Hypocritical Humor: In "Baddest of the Bands", Marzipan complains about people who destroy the environment... while she throws a piece of litter on the ground.
- Kleptomaniac Hero: This is Strong Bad (in an Adventure Game) we're talking about, after all.
- Licensed Game
- Lighter and Softer: In-Universe, Strong Bad emails when they're taken over by King of Town near the end of "Strong Badia the Free", who avoids all the usual conventions of making fun of the sender and simply politely writes back.
- Lost Forever: Getting collectibles and other 100% completion achievements in SBCG4AP can be difficult because many of them can only be achieved in a small window of opportunity. Thankfully, the game averts Unwinnable, as anything needed to complete the game will always remain accessible to you.
- The Man Behind the Man: The Big Bad of "Dangeresque 3: The Criminal Projective" turns out to be The Cheat a.k.a. Craig.
- Medium Awareness: "Who's the star of this game? That's right, you are!"
- Naked People Are Funny: After Strong Bad steals his clothes in "Homestar Ruiner", Homestar is forced to run home naked, to the shock and horror of his friends and neighbors.
- Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: At one point in "Dangeresque 3: The Criminal Projective", Strong Bad as Dangeresque and Coach Z as Renaldo, while traversing the treacherous jungles of Strong Borneo, have an encounter with "a Western Lowland Grizzlysharkasaurusbot -- and it's holding a shark!".
- Nintendo Hard: The Funmachine mini-games.
- No Inner Fourth Wall: "8-Bit Is Enough" features Strong Bad hopping in and out of several in-universe video games, as well as characters from other in-universe games showing up in Free Country USA.
- Notable Original Music/Villain Song: "Handle My Style" by Strong Bad in "Homestar Ruiner".
- Oh, Hi There.: "Dangeresque 3: The Criminal Projective"'s "Extended Play" is treated as Strong Bad going around filming material for the DVD's behind-the-scenes documentary sections.
- One-Winged Angel: Ultimate Trogdor.
- Overly Long Name: "Homestar Ruiner" features the Free Country USA Tri-annual Race to the End of the Race and the Free Country USA Tri-annual Race to the End of the Race Silver Trophy of Ultimate Destiny, both of which are almost always said in full, and almost always accompanied by an overly-dramatic fanfare.
- They do start saying "The Free Country Race Yadda Yadda Yadda" (quick fanfare).
- Paper-Thin Disguise: In "Homestar Ruiner", Strong Bad manages to convince everyone he is Homestar simply by donning Homestar's clothes and using the head from a destroyed Homestar Runner float (and mimicking Homestar's speech impediment). It matters not one bit that Strong Bad is quite a bit shorter than Homestar, nor that Strong Bad's face can clearly be seen underneath the papier mache Homestar head.
- Nor that Strong Bad has visible arms.
- In fact, the only time anyone noticed in that whole game that something was amiss is when Marzipan thought "Homestar's" voice sounded funny over the phone, and when Coach Z noticed that Homestar's head was bigger than usual.
- If he talks to Bubs at the Concession Stand while wearing the costume, Bubs will recognize that it's Strong Bad. But he doesn't seem to notice during the Free Country USA Tri-annual Race To The End Of The Race.
- Parrot Expowhat: "Bubs, please tell me you've got my Snake Boxer 5 manual!" "Snake what now?"
- Phrase Catcher: People telling Dangeresque "But you're not gonna like it" in Episode 4.
- Playable Epilogue: After you complete each episode, Extended Play becomes available. This allows you to pick up collectibles you might have missed, play the Funmachine mini-games, or simply hear some additional scenes and dialogue.
- Product Placement: Parodied in "Dangeresque 3: The Criminal Projective". Bubs goes off-script to launch into a sales pitch for a sports drink being sold at the concession stand. Strong Bad warns him, "No product placement!"
- Region Coding: In-universe example. In "8-Bit Is Enough", Strong Bad is originally unable to access the Stinkoman game because it is region-locked. Getting around this is one of the objectives you have to accomplish.
- Retirony: Lampshaded to hell and back with Renaldo in Episode 4.
- Retraux: The games for Strong Bad's Funmachine.
- Right-Hand-Cat: In "Dangeresque 3: The Criminal Projective", The Cheat is used as such, being stroked by a hairbrush, which is only used because the villain doing the stroking has no arms.
- Running Gag: Several characters say to Strong Bad in "Dangeresque 3: The Criminal Projective", "But you're not gonna like it!".
- Lampshaded when Strong Bad, after hearing this phrase spoken to him, says, "Why does everybody keep telling me that?".
- Sanity Slippage: When Strong Bad starts talking like Homsar, Strong Sad thinks he's gone insane.
- Save the Princess: Parodied in "8-Bit Is Enough". Rather Dashing tells Strong Bad that he's gotten out of the dragon slaying business and switched to rescuing princesses. However, work is very slow because there simply aren't many princesses around who need saving. He eventually has to settle for rescuing Strong Sad from the King of Town.
- Say My Name: "PERDUCCCCCIII!" and "BAAAAZOOOOOKAAAAA!!!", both from Dangeresque.
- Shaggy Dog Story: Played for laughs at the end of Episode 3.
- Shout-Out: A number of these. "Baddest of the Bands" is simply loaded with rock and pop music references, while "8-Bit Is Enough" references a number of video games.
- Show Within a Show/Stylistic Suck: "Dangeresque 3: The Criminal Projective".
- Skyward Scream: In "Homestar Ruiner", after Homestar hides out at Strong Bad's house, Strong Bad directs one at "IRONY!". He also pulls of a few in "Dangeresque 3: The Criminal Projective".
- Smash Cut: In "Homestar Ruiner", Marzipan asks Strong Bad if he remembers "what happened the last time [she] invited [him] to a party." Cut to a flashback of Strong Bad about to leap off of her house's roof into a large cake. Just as he's about to hit it, it immediately cuts to Strong Bad saying "No, not really".
- Spoof Aesop: From "Homestar Ruiner".
"I think we've learned an important lesson today... that messing around with people's houses and private property is a really bad idea. Unless it's me mess-arounding. Then it's hilarious."
- Stalker with a Crush: Coach Z toward Marzipan in "Baddest of the Bands". He has one in the web series as well, but here, it's cranked Up to Eleven.
- Stealing From the Till: Bubs openly admits to "skimming off the top" with regard to the proceeds from Strong Bad's band contest. Strong Bad either doesn't notice this, or accepts it as a standard part of doing business with Bubs.
- Take That: In-story example; in "Baddest of the Bands", after Strong Bad turns Marzipan against Limozeen with some staged evidence, she composes a song called "Limozeen is Not Very Nice".
- Take That, Audience!: Before the series was officially released, it was previewed by Strong Bad as being "for attractive people -- but you can play, too!"
- Strong Bad also does this at the very beginning of "Dangeresque 3: The Criminal Projective", which had been in development for a long time (originally intended to be released in June 2004, according to the Strong Bad Email: "stunt double").
Strong Bad: (typing on his laptop computer) "Dear all the annoying morons that have been bugging me about it for four and a half years... Yes, I finally finished Dangeresque 3: The Criminal Projective, so you can all EAT IT!"
- They Just Didn't Care: In-universe, "Dangeresque 3: The Criminal Projective" was hit by this in a few parts (see Throw It In below).
- However, an unintentional(?) example is when Coach Z/Renaldo is declaring that Dangeresque's father has died, Senor Cartgage, his actor, is clearly seen walking off set.
- The Three Trials: Spoofed in "Strong Badia the Free"; Homsar asks Strong Bad to perform "three ancient tasks of great boredom", then reveals he was just joking.
- Other episodes have legitimate three-pronged objectives.
- Throw It In: In-universe. Marzipan insists on having her potted plant Credenza onscreen in "Dangeresque 3: The Criminal Projective", over Strong Bad's objections. He does end up finding a use for it later though. The movie also includes some very obvious errors that should have been edited out but weren't, though this is more likely because of laziness or incompetence on the part of The Cheat, who was in charge of editing and post-production. On top of it all, the errors can be collected for 100% Completion.
- Title Drop: Lampshaded in "Strong Badia the Free".
Strong Bad: Onward to Strong Badia! Strong Badia the Free!
- Took a Level In Badass: Strong Bad does (literally) near the end of "8-Bit Is Enough". And just in time too because Trogdor just transformed into Ultimate Trogdor.
- Translator Microbes: In the form of a Mysterious Pylon on the Homsar Reservation in "Strong Badia the Free".
- Trapped in TV Land: Strong Bad enters the world of Videlectrix games in "8-Bit Is Enough".
- Undisclosed Funds: Repairing Strong Bad's Funmachine in "Baddest of the Bands" will cost him "one big sack of cash."
- Unusual Euphemism: Marizpan doesn't like to use the word "hate", so after some teasing from Strong Bad in "Homestar Ruiner", she tells him "I really chonk you, Strong Bad. I chonk you with the passion of a thousand exploding whales."
- Villain Protagonist: Strong Bad straddles the line between this and Anti-Hero.
- Villain Song: "Handle My Style".
- We Could Have Avoided All This: The twist at the end of "Baddest of the Bands" reveals that the Funmachine wasn't broken (said fact being a driving force for the plot), but rather a "crusty wad of jalapeno cheese spray" was wedged in the cartridge slot.
- The Wonka: Homsar turns out to be this, and not a Cloudcuckoolander.
- A Worldwide Punomenon: "Where am I supposed to get fan service around here?"
- You Killed My Father: In "Dangeresque 3: The Criminal Projective", Homestar as Uzi Bazooka kills Senor Cardgage as Dadgeresque. When that happens, an anguished Strong Bad as Dangeresque confronts Homestar/Uzi, brandishing his nunchuck gun, and says...