Spoony Good Times

I can’t say I’m that well-versed in the world of webcomics, but there are a few I follow, or did when they were still updating. Some are created by people I know from elsewhere on the Internet, while others I more or less happened across. I stuck with 8-Bit Theater from pretty early on until the end, and I’m kind of disappointed that Captain SNES doesn’t update more often. Yeah, I guess I mostly follow ones based on video games. More recently, I came across references to Mark Shallow’s Adventurers! on TV Tropes, and decided to check it out. It’s a pretty old comic now, having run from 2000 to 2006, but I think it holds up. Most of it focuses on jokes about console role-playing games, with the strip taking place in an imaginary RPG.

Many of the references are to the Final Fantasy series, but other games are spoofed as well. It actually started BEFORE 8-Bit Theater, so I guess the single-minded fighter/snarky mage dynamic is older than I thought. Not that they’re all THAT similar, as Ardan isn’t evil and Karn isn’t really stupid (he mostly is just willing to take things as they are), but you’re probably going to cover a fair amount of the same territory in any series parodying RPGs. It started as simply a series of isolated gag strips, then morphed into a somewhat more coherent plot. The main villain, Khrima, is largely incompetent but still poses a threat.

Running gags include non-playable characters who just recite the same phrase over and over again, a robot party member whose dialogue consists almost entirely of “kill” and “destroy,” the general uselessness of bards, and the censorship of curse words in many English translations. The general replacement for cursing is the word “spoon,” playing on the infamous line “You spoony bard!” from Final Fantasy IV. Not that it was a curse there, just a rather archaic (but appropriate) insult. So, yeah, I’m behind the times on this one, but I’d recommend it if you haven’t seen it yet.

Around the same time, I started reading Paul Gadzikowski’s Arthur, King of Time and Space, but I’m nowhere near through all the archives. There’s been an update to it pretty much every day for over ten years. I have gotten through the archives for Scott Maynard’s Happle Tea, which plays on mythology, but that one is still updated occasionally.

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