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An adaptation of the Tabletop Game Champions, Champions Online is a 2009 Superhero MMORPG offering a wide variety of power and costume customisation options. While the storylines and environments are usually an Homage to a Silver Age style, light-hearted and brightly-coloured, occasional Bronze Age consequences and morals are hinted at. Player characters display a range of styles, from The Cape through The Cowl to the Nineties Anti-Hero.

Various departures from the Pen & Paper game are noticeable, including the absence of the concept of acquiring character flaws in order to gain extra points. However, there is a lot more power growth compared to the Pen and Paper experience.

The intellectual property rights to the Champions setting are now held by Cryptic Studios, the original developers of the MMORPG City of Heroes. They bought the setting outright rather than licensing it. The IP is licensed back to the original developers (who still own the underlying Hero System) for the Champions pen-and-paper game.

As a Superhero MMO with a sense of humour about itself, there are numerous references to other works. It features just about everything on the list of comic book tropes. True to the spirit of the setting, Required Secondary Powers are not addressed directly in-game.

As of January 2011 it is free to play, downloadable from its website; later in June it came to Steam along with a few other such games.


This adaptation of the Champions Universe provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Ascended Meme - The Beacons. You have to shut them down in the tutorial because they are driving the Qularr crazy. Defender explains this over and over again in his hammy speech style, while you do the work. Hillarity ensured amongst the player community. About a year and a half later, the Resistance adventure was introduced, in which you travel to the Mirror Universe of Multifaria. Your first mission there is to activate four beacons to drive the Karkaradons crazy. And there is also a single Qularr beacon in that room. Activating it gives you the "Beaconizer" perk with the message; "The Qularr are already crazy!"
  • Ascended Fanboy - The player Loganius with his character Duratok Gorehowl. He won an official costume contest and his price was being made an official character. Players can now buy a "Sidekick Device" that summons an NPC Duratok to your side for the duration of one hour. Loganius himself is using his fame mainly to promote his idea of the inclusion of The Moon as a new zone into the game.
    • There are serval other characters who have gained kind of a celebrity status amongst the player community, usually by their activity in the zone chat of Millenium City or at Costume Contests, which some of them host. Their iconic names and costumes sure helped too. Amongst the best known are:
      • Flare - An anthropomorphic dragon character, famous for hosting his own costume contests and participating in others. And if there was a Charisma stat in CO, his would be over 9000!
      • The-Slapperfish - He is famous amongst the contest community for creating all kinds of crazy awesome costumes.
      • Pouches - A female character who dresses in the typical style of male 90's Anti-Heroes and manages to look cute in it! She is also very active in the contest community, as both a host and contestant. Her unique style has earned her an almost legendary winning streak.
      • Star-Spangled Spider - Despite his name, he is neither a ripoff of Captain America nor of Spider-Man. He is famous mainly for his name and activity in the chat.
      • The player Shortbus, mainly known for his "cute and mute" character Panda who communicates well without ever really saying a word. Also a very creative and active member of the contest community.
      • Bacon Overlord and Captain Rye Toast - While also very active as contestants, these two earned their fame in the chat. They are the embodiment of the "Bacon vs. Toast" meme (think Pirates vs. Ninjas, only with food and Up to Eleven silly) and certainly helped its popularity to skyrocket. However, the meme became old and the two characters rather quiet lately.
      • Roxstar, who hosts the championBuilder and had been lobbying for an earth powerset for the longest time, will get his likeness and name as the Earth framework Archetype costume, and the innate talent, respectively.
        • And now his character hands out a daily quest in Millennium City, labeled as "The Mountain"
      • Also the player Digitalshakespeare, who isn't nearly as well known as the others, but is beginning to make a mark at costume contests with his Red Riding Hood themed character "Red".
  • Abandoned Warehouse and Absurdly Spacious Sewer - Many, often taken over by Gang Members and other evil organisations.
  • Allegedly Free Game - Zig-zags a bit - You can now play the entire core game for free! However you can only do so using one of 10 pre-defined Archetypes (i.e., classes), which just by virtue of being rigidly defined will never be close to the power of a high end freeform build. For a while, there was a daily quest where you could win a freeform character slot, even as a Silver player, for nothing more than an investment of time! It's over now, though; the only way to get a freeform slot for Silver is to buy the item from the C-store. But now, you can earn questionite, which you can trade in the auction house for C-points! But there are other uses for questionite, too, and the exchange rate is dismal. On the other hand, most of your usual consumables that are practically required in other F2P games aren't really necessary in CO, and the death penalty is so light that you don't need to buy health restoration items, self-rezzes or 'star refills' (death penalty eliminators)! (For that matter, you can use in-game currency to buy back stars, though not on the fly!) And the Adventure Packs, once restricted to Gold players, are now free for Silver too, with the On Alert update! So, to sum up: You can play the entire game to the level cap for free without spending a dime (averting the trope); but to do anything beyond those 8 basic archetypes and a (relative to the paid version) tame selection of costume pieces, you're going to need to pony up (playing it straight) or spend a lot of time grinding.
  • Alien Invasion - Quite a few, from the tutorial onwards. One of the loading screens helpfully points out that some alien races have made contact peacefully.
  • Alternate Company Equivalent - By the truckload. The Champions Universe used to be described as "Silver Age Marvel with the numbers filed off", adding "Not that it's a bad thing". Specific examples include:
    • Doctor Destroyer is blatantly Doctor Doom
    • Defender is Iron Man, or at least Iron Man before he was an alcoholic Jerkass.
    • Sapphire resembles Dazzler. And recently, she has developed a liking for the word "outrageous".
    • Dr. Silverback is Beast, complete with his speech patern.
    • Grond is Hulk/The Abomination.
    • Armadillo is Juggernaut.
      • Or possibly Rhino, backgroundwise.
    • Ankylosaurus (who has not appeared in-game yet) resembles The Scorpion, with his cybernetic tail weapon.
    • Volta is Storm, but she's a villainess...
    • Liberty Guard and Indy Kid are Captain America and Bucky.
    • VIPER is Hydra, and while it does resemble Cobra, though VIPER predates Cobra. Champions table top started in 1981 and included VIPER. A year later Cobra was introduced. Marvel's Hydra is the actual influence for VIPER.
    • Ripper, VIPER's Brute, is quite similar to Bane. Except not as smart.
    • Foxbat is often compared to Deadpool for his 4th wall breaking humor and loveable/laughably not-quite-evil-more-like-crazy personality, but lacks his Healing Factor, fighting skills and sociopathy and does not look a bit like him.
    • The hero archtypes which a player must choose from make several, less-than-subtle parallels to other heroes:
      • The Marksman = Hawkeye
      • The Inferno = The Human Torch
      • The Glacier = Iceman
      • The Specialist = Deadpool
      • The Behemoth = Hulk
      • The Grimoire = Doctor Strange
      • The Mind = Jean Grey
      • The Savage = Sabretooth
      • The Disciple = Psylocke
      • The Tempest = Electro
      • The Devastator = Thor
      • The Impulse = Invisible Woman
      • The Fist = Iron Fist
      • The Scourge = Spawn
      • The Soldier = Punisher
      • The Squall = Storm
      • The Inventor = Forge
      • The Mountain = The Thing
      • The Unleashed = Believe it or not, a Jedi Knight (or perhaps Sith Lord).
      • The Cursed is actually just a color swap ot The Scourge, which coincidentally makes him look more like Ghost Rider.
      • The Radiant = The Spectre
      • The Invincible = Iron Man. (Ironically, as a tank archetype, the Invicible generates less energy than other roles.)
    • There are also a number of Champions characters strongly resembling Non-Marvel characters:
      • Kinetik is Flash, freak lab-accident and lightning-themed costume and all.
      • And it's quite possible he's similar to Synapse in City of Heroes
      • While the existence of both on a superhero team is clearly a Shout-Out to The Flash. Synapse is more closely based on Miles Teg of Dune since his powers developed as a result of torture.
      • Background-wise, Doctor Ka is pretty much Doctor Fate. For the costume, Shadow Destroyer looks like an Evil Twin of Doctor Fate.
      • Amphibian is Aquaman (and he is just about as useless). The only heroic action you will presumably ever see from him is to keep a giant mutant shark from attacking you during the Lemuria Crisis. Mostly, he will only lament about his Psycho Ex-Girlfriend Stingray.
      • The Rocket Hawks strongly resemble The Rocketeer.
      • Night Hawk, a former member of the Champions super team who hasn't yet appeared in-game, might be based on DC's Nightwing. He also shares a name with Marvel's Nighthawk, but the resemblance more or less ends there (indeed, Night Hawk appears to be, more or less, Batman).
      • Bluejay shares some character and background traits with Catwoman: She was betrayed by her former boss and became a super-thief, but is even less evil than Foxbat and willing to team up with the player to fight a more serious threat.
      • Kinda subverted with Psimon, who has the same name and similar powers as a DC villain, but his appearance and background are notably different. The fact that there is no copyright on the name Psimon certainly helped.
      • Crimson Serpent's backstory and powers curiously resemble Fire Princess Azula's.
      • Gold and Iron may or may not be based on Karai and Hun.
      • Taffy Winters, the Vampire Killer should be an obvious one
  • An Adventurer Is You - Not nearly as strict as in other MMORPGs, but technically, every power set or archtype is made for a certain playing style and/or role on a team:
    • The Tank - The Behemoth archetype and the "Brick" sets (Might and Heavy Weapons) are mostly made for this. The Darkness set with its life draining block and the Bestial set with its passive defense Regeneration allow them to become 'Reg Tanks', healing faster than enemies can damage them (doesn't always work, though, especially not in PvP). The Master and the Martial Arts sets, especially Unarmed, have the passive power Lightning Reflexes, which can make them 'Dodge Tanks'. And asside from absorbing large amounts of damage, they all can dish out a lot too. The Mountain is something of a Stone Wall, with the ability to reduce the damage output of its enemies.
    • The Healer - The Mind archetype/Telepathy set has healing powers, but he can't stand up to a Celestial: ALL of their powers can heal allies AND deal damage to enemies at the same time!
      • The Support Drones power from the Gadgeteering set allows you to summon two personal healing pets and many experienced Freeform players will include it in their build. But while they are pretty good at continuously healing their owner, they are pretty unreliable when it comes to healing others. When an ally is near death and their owner has only so much as a scratch, guess who the drones will heal first.
    • The DPSer/The Nuker - About any character with any power set can be this, but those with ranged energy builders and many ranged attacks are notably better in this field, actually capable of dealing continuous streams of damage while not taking any themselves. The Inferno (Fire set), the Tempest (Electricity set) and the Disciple (melee Telekinesis) are predestined to play this role, being downright Glass Cannons. The Scourge (Infernal Supernatural set) however, avoids being outright Glass thanks to Constitution being one of its super stats, while still being able to dish out a deadly amount of damage.
      • As well, the Marksman class fits the Archer class perfectly. Same with the Soldier class ([[[The Matrix]] Guns. Lots of guns.]]), though to a lesser extent.
    • The Buffer/Debuffer - Any branch of the Sorcery set can specialize in buffing and debuffing at the same time. Ironically, the Sorcery archetype, the Grimorie, is more of a Nuker/Mezzer.
    • The Mezzer - If a set has a power that renders the target helpless, it also has powers to exploit the situation by dealing massive damage. The best in this field are Electricity/The Tempest with Paralyze, Force/The Impulse with Hold and constant Knocks, Ice/The Glacier with Ice Cage, Telepathy/The Mind with Sleep and Sorcery/The Grinorie with Root. The Gadgeteer's Entangling Mesh and Tanglecoil Launcher and Dual Blader's stunning Dragon's Wrath are worth mentioning too.
      • Unfortunately, bosses are generally immune to any kind of hold, stun, or knock, making these Useless Useful Spells against them.
    • The Petmaster - The Inventor. His Attack Toys can even summon more of them on their own! Freeform Gadgeteers and Sorcerers can be build this way too and it's not uncommon for a Freeform Petmaster to have pets from both power sets.
    • The Jack - The Specialist was intended to be this, but fails terribly, ending up as more of a Spoony Bard. The Unleashed, however, does a much better job at this. And Freefoms, of course, which require the player to chose their powers and stats focus carefully to make the most of their potential. Indeed, with free-form, you can combine some of the basics of a DPS build with a mix of heals and defense buffs, or even use unorthodox methods such as Aura of Primal Majesty + Strength + Enrage, and you get a flat out Lightning Bruiser.
    • The Trapper - Mostly averted. Sorcerers can summon sigils and circles with a wide range of effects and Gadgeteers can lay mines and use their Munition Bots in stationary gun turret mode, but they can hardly specialize in this field alone.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes - Costume unlocks (account-wide now, for all costumes) are one of the main draws of the game. You can also get little 'action figure' (think WoW's vanity pets) to follow you around (account wide).
  • Animal Motifs - Many, players and NPCs alike. And, of course, VIPER.
  • Arch Enemy - The nemesis system allows heroes to create a recurring enemy whose schemes they can foil again and again. However, with the current system this nemesis can suffer from Villain Decay, not growing significantly in power as the player does and merely sending occasional Mooks to annoy the player before having yet another plot foiled.
    • It's also worth noting that each character on an account can have eighteen separate Nemeses with only one active at any given time, meaning that each hero can have a fully fleshed out Rogues Gallery of their own to prolong villain decay, if only because the player isn't necessarily beating the exact same villain over and over again in rapid succession.
  • A Wizard Did It/Ghostapo - The very reason why superpowers exist in the Champions Universe: Durring WW 2, Nazi mysticans tried to summon demons to help them win the war. But the ritual failed and caused reality-altering magical energy to leak into this dimension and blow all over the world like a supernatural wind. Needless to say their plan backfired, as the first American superheroes played a key role in defeating the Third Reich. This event is remembered as The Return of Magic. Not only can magic be controlled by gifted humans, it can also cause a human to survive exposure to usually lethal materials, energies and radiation, granting them related or sometimes unrelated powers. But since uncontrolled magic is unpredictable, it won't always save you, or may even transform you into an insane monstrosity in the process. All of this is part of the Pen&Paper RPG's lore and never explained in detail in the MMORPG.
    • Uncontrolled magic is also the source of totally random supernatural incidents, such as the dead rising or extradimensional creatures (demons) entering this world through dimensional rifts. This is often caused by the mere presence of a powerful magical beeing, as they tend to unconsciously draw energy to them.
      • Therakiel actually does it consciously. He is making Vibora Bay a Mecca for magic users and supernatural creatures, causing the energy level in the area to rise continously in preparation for the apocalyptic final battle between heaven and hell.
  • Badass Normal - Depending on the player's vision for the character; other examples may include many of the security, police, and military service members seen throughout the game.
    • Also, a few civilain NPCs and contacts actually attack enemies that come close to them, usually by throwing bottles at them, which do a surprising amount of damage.
    • In the Resistance adventure pack, members of the eponymous organization will take on prison security (including destroids and even superhumans) with improvised weapons made from coffee makers, duct tape, road cones, and pens.
  • Bad Guy Bar - Leo's Bar, in Millennium City. You can enter in disguise and quietly speak to your contacts, or simply pick up the pool table and beat up the patrons with it.
    • And the Dog Pound in Vibora Bay. It's a Werewolf bar.
  • Bee People - The Qularr.
  • BFS - The Heavy Weapons powerset includes a couple of them. They're not quite as huge as some of the more ridiculous BFSes, but they're still pretty weighty.
  • Big Bad - Dr. Destroyer is behind quite a lot of things, or at least making them worse. Later on, however, it's revealed that the "Destroyer" who's making the world panic at the thought of his return is actually Shadow Destroyer, a sorcerer from the local Mirror Universe...and then as part of that storyline you end up freeing the real Destroyer.
    • In Vibora Bay and the Vibora Bay Crisis--Therakiel, a half-angel half-demon who's decided to start the Endofthe World As We Know It and rule the ashes left over after the Legions of Hell face off against the forces of Heaven.
  • Brain In a Jar - Several.
    • They occasionally appear as part of the scenery in science-themed areas.
    • A Brain in a Jar is amongst the five objects in jars found in Westside, Millenium City. Finding them all unlocks the "Jar Collector" perk.
    • The relatively weak but overambitious supervillain Overbrain is a brain in a floating glass sphere. He and his mutant gorilla partner Ape Plus are obviously a homage to the DC villains The Brain and Mallah.
    • The mad geneticist Teleios uses oversized brains under glass domes mounted to floating machines as both combat drones and Wetware CPUs. Oh, and they are, like most of his Mooks, cloned from his own "perfect" DNA. One of them eventually becomes self aware and switches sides, becoming the contact for the final part of the Brain Trust mission arc, which ends with you saving this good brain in a jar from Overbrain, an evil brain in a jar. And finally, there is the final boss in Teleios Tower; an exceptionally large brain in a jar, named 'Perfection of the Mind'. It should be noted that Overbrain as well as Teleios' Cloned Brains attack with electricity instead of stereotypical Psychic Powers. But then, real brains don't have nebulous "psychic powers"; they use, among other things, electrical impulses.
    • The Retro Sci-Fi costume set adds a glass bubble helmet and a special head option that allows your character to BE a brain in a jar!
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall - Numerous examples.
    • Foxbat thinks he's in a comic book, TV show or Video Game. When saved in the tutorial he asks the player to talk to the GM about changing his spawn point, while one of the loading screens rambles on about how Foxbat is the 'best supervillain ever', with a bit at the end about how he's smart enough that he could hack into an online game's database and change around the profile information... "Not that he would ever do so, of course."
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory - With the advent of the free to play this is both averted and played straighter than an arrow. It averts it by withholding very little in the way of game content; most costumes are unlocked, or unlockable by finding special items in the game, and since there aren't even restrictions on adventure packs for Silver players anymore, they can theoretically get anyo fthem. It's played straight by forcing the player to choose an "archetype", the equivalent of a class. However these are far, far weaker than a well-made "Freeform" character (a character where you can pick any power you want...and which you have to be a Gold player, i.e. a subscriber, to get).
  • The Cape - Many player characters. Enemy NPCs will often refer to your character as a "Cape", even if that character isn't really an example.
    • Ironically, villians, especialy most in-charge VIPER officers, tend to wear capes more frequently than heroes in the Champions universe.
  • Capital City - Millennium City, an alternative Detroit rebuilt after a super-powered attack.
  • Cardboard Prison - Both the main city prison and the super-prison Stronghold have 24-hour breakouts.
  • Catgirl - Lynx and many players.
  • Cherry Tapping - Enforced. When your strong attacks exhaust your energy bar (which will happen quickly), you are forced to rely on your Boring but Practical "energy builder" attack to replenish it. Pick an energy builder you like, because you're going to be seeing it a whole lot.
  • Church of Happyology - Mind Inc. is a self-help organisation which tests every new member with an electronic reader. This is so that they can pick up on any latent Psychic Powers to exploit. Them being actually just a front for the psychic villain organization PSI, which is (of course) planning to Take Over the World certainly doesn't make it better.
  • City of Adventure - Millennium City. Seriously, you can just be standing around doing nothing and a civilian will run up with a mission for you.
  • Cloudcuckoolander - Foxbat. Dear god, Foxbat! Described as "an evil version of Adam West Batman". Sometimes Laughably Evil.
  • Create Your Own Villain - Literally. At level 25 you can make your character's first Nemesis. Up to 17 others may follow.
  • Controllable Helplessness - At the end of Aftershock, you get to briefly play as a King of Edom as they curb-stomp Defender and Witchcraft, though if there's only one or two of you it's more of a fair fight. Don't worry, they get better.
  • Cosmetic Award - Costume pieces and Action Figures.
  • Cosmic Horror Story - The Harrowing.

 There are other Kings beyond those in the Cannibal Hall. All are trapped and imprisoned now, but those prisons are older then our world, and they creak and groan. Five-eyed Vulshoth lies chained within the Black Maze, and Those Who Dwell in Bleakness are chained within the Shining Darkness of a dying cosmos. Ptharr is buried at the heart of another world, and Diezzhorath is spread too thinly to act. There are others, but all share the same goal: To escape! They will claim to be demons, they will claim to be gods, but they are neither. They will promise power and anything that is desired, but all they grant is a slavery more horrible then can be imagined. For they cannot be bound by word or spell, and ignore the laws of magic and nature. They care only for their freedom and their hungers, and should they escape they will drag our world down their maw, where all that is will be devoured.

  • Dangerously Genre Savvy - Doctor Destroyer, and he rubs it in right in your face: "Why? Because you are a hero."
  • Death Is a Slap on The Wrist - The loss of one of five 'stars', which can, at 5 stars, give about a 15% boost to healing and damage, in total.
  • Death Ray - Nemesis mission arcs always end with your arch-enemy building a Doomsday Device called a Death Ray - and you having to trash it.
    • The Mandragalore certainly quallifies, being an Up to Eleven BFG capable of sinking entire continents into the ocean.
    • 'Death Ray' is the fitting name of an advantage (i.e. upgrade) for the 'Experimental Blaster' power, giving it a 1% chance to one-shot enemies not labeled 'supervillain', 'legendary' or 'cosmic' (i.e. bosses); it will affect even other players in PvP.
  • Demonic Possession - Happens to a group of UNTIL troopers at the start of the Aftershock mission pack. Happens to you at the end, in a much bigger way.
  • Die, Chair, Die! - Lots and lots of destructible items, which can be picked up and used as weapons or thrown if you have a high enough 'Strength' statistic or the Telekinesis power and high enough 'Ego'.
  • Difficulty Spike - When soloing, it's not uncommon to mop the floor with minions (such that you'll begin to wonder if you've found some sort of exploit) only to have the final boss ignore your most powerful attacks (as though they were made of butterflies and smiles) and one-shot you at will.
    • Sometimes, the spike will be delayed until roughly halfway through the fight with the aforementioned boss, at which point, they will declare I Am Not Left-Handed or go One-Winged Angel and proceed to hand you your rear in two pieces.
  • Dirty Communists - Red Winter was formerly the Soviet Union's official super team. Now they are mercs, selling their superpowered service to various villains, especially the players' Nemeses.
  • Doomsday Device - Doctor Destroyer's Meteor Magnet, the Mandragalore, the Ultra Coruscator and your nemeses' recurring Death Rays. See 'Death Ray' above.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette - Demoiselle Nocturne.
    • And Sammie Croix, to a lesser extent. She's creepy, but friendly.
  • Elaborate Underground Base - The world is riddled with them. Dr Destroyer's base in Millennium City is particularly impressive.
  • Eleventh-Hour Superpower - The player gets to pilot a Mega Destroid just before the final battle]] in Resistance.
    • The player is also turned into an Avatar of the Kings of Edom at the end of Aftershock, and gets to beat up the Champions!
  • Emote Animation - NPCs have some unavailable for player chars though.
  • Episodic Game - The Aftershock Comic Series, which released one installment each week over the month of June, is free to play for all, as is the Whiteout comic series, which debuted in winter of 2011.
  • Escort Mission - Ranging from tagging along while a robot dinosaur rips the enemy to shreds to desperately trying to distract gang members away from the fragile little policeman.
    • A special mention goes to Foxbat, who you can drag through Destroyer's Robot Factory as a bonus mission. An incredibly tedious one, that is! Foxbat is a highly squishy Leeroy who usually needs an extra Celestial healer continously using Radiance and other heals on him to even have a chance of becomming an Action Survivor!
  • Everything's Better with Dinosaurs - Cloned, acid-spitting, armour-plated dinosaurs.
    • Kinda subverted with the Zilla-expy Teleiosaurus. She is a Bonus Boss that drops vaulable items. But unfortunately, she is also one of the toughest bosses and her Atomic Breath attack is the single most powerful attack in the game, strong enogh to one-hit level 40 characters and hitting an area big enough to possibly kill a dozen of them at once! Oh, and she heals herself with every kill, so summoned pets are like pickup heals for her. Good luck. You'll need it.
  • Everything's Better with Monkeys - Dr Silverback, genius scientist, celebrity, superhero contact...and Gorilla. Not to mention Qwyjibo, a forty foot gorilla with flaming head and forearms, who tragically used to be a brave and self-sacrificing warrior for the heroic side of the Manimals.
    • At least in his current incarnation. In his first incarnation in the Pen&Paper RPG, Qwyjibo was just another Kaiju the Qularr had set loose during their first invasion.
  • Everything's Worse with Bears - Several of the Manimals, including one named Bear who's causing trouble in the park.
  • Everything's Even Worse with Sharks - The Karkaradons are shark men, serving and created by Shadow Destroyer.
  • Evil Is Not a Toy - In one of the Nemesis missions, your Nemesis releases Ghost Veil and attempts to bargain with her. Needless to say, it doesn't work.
  • Evil Is Sexy - In Multifaria, though her costume reveals about as much skin as her normalverse counterpart, in place of short shorts, Lapis Lazuli wears fishnets and a thong.
  • Experience Points - The majority of which are awarded for quest completion, with relatively piddling rewards for fighting minions.
  • Enemy Mine - Doctor Destroyer (the original one) in Resistence
    • Very briefly Ripper and some VIPER soldiers in Aftershock, if you want to.
  • Fake Difficulty - A rather ridiculous case: All NPCs, even civilians and mooks which are supposed to utterly lack superpowers, were given the Super Jump travel power, so players can't escape a battle by knocking them over the edge of a building or taking refuge on higher ground. Fortunately, Cryptic realized that this was a mistake and removed the Super Jump shortly after. (Wolves (and a few other enemies) still do that; in their case, it's a jump attack, not a travel power.)
  • Five-Man Band - The Champions themselves.
  • Five-Bad Band - The Conquerors, The Psycho Rangers of the Champions from Multifaria.
    • The Big Bad / The Evil Genius - Citizen Harmon a.k.a. Shadow Destroyer
    • The Dragon - Arcana
    • The Brute - Drogen Lar
    • The Dark Chick - Lapis Lazuli
    • The Sixth Ranger Traitor - Black Mask. Even in Multifaria, all Black Masks were heroes. All except him.
    • It's hard to tell which role Oubliette plays. She is a female version of Kinetik and apparantly mute. Might be something in between a Brute and a Dark Chick.
      • Some people see her as a Woobie who is forced to fight for Citizen Harmon after he killed her parents, erased her memories and gave her superpowers through cruel experiments. However, the fact that she gets beaten up over and over by players (in hope of her dropping the rare Dark Speed travel power device) alone makes her quallify as a Butt Monkey.
    • And the bad guys of Vibora Bay:
    • The Red Winter team might also be worth mentioning.
    • While the Westside Gang Leaders aren't exactly... friends, they fit the team dynamic of this trope.
  • Fun with Acronyms - Champions Online dev team sure has it.
    • MARS: Metahuman Activities Response Squad
    • UNTIL: United Nations Tribunal on International Law
    • PRIMUS: Paranormal Research and Investigation Mission of the United States
    • VIPER: Venomous Imperial Party of the Eternal Reptile
    • ARGENT: Advanced Research Group ENTerprises
    • PSI: Parapsychology Studies Institue
    • LEAF: Logistical Emergency Assistance Foundation
    • HAIR: Hyper-Hirsute Action and Information Resource. They help people who suffer from super-accelerated hair growth.
    • RAD: Rapid Assault Deployment. Also a pun on the German word for "wheel".
    • No one seems to know what UNITY actually stands for.
  • Furry Fandom - Wolf-heads are popular, and there are a variety of heads, skins, and tails for different creatures. Not to mention Monster Island where you have Manimals both good and evil.
  • Gatling Good - Over-the-top Munitions characters can field a handheld gatling gun!
  • Genius Bruiser - It is entirely possible to make your Nemesis this by giving him/her any physical powersets (especially any of the Brick powersets), a tough/bulky looking appearance and the Mastermind personality.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar - One truly amazing example is Lapis Lazuli, Sapphire's Evil Twin. She has only a handfull of spoken lines... of which two contain the word "pissed", which usually gets filtered. This game manages to get crap past its own radar!
    • Another less surprising example are player characters whose skin and costume are intentionally given the same color. This can lead to Stripperific costumes at best and the player of a too stripperific or fully-"nude" char getting banned at worst.
  • Global Currency - Pretty much like in World of Warcraft; but named Global, National and Local resources. One guess at the colors.
  • Global Currency Exception - In addition to Resources, players can earn Snakebucks (for the Snake Gulch amusement park), Acclaim (gained in PvP, used to buy items and rewards), UNITY and Nemesis Tokens (gained by completing UNITY and Nemesis missions, respectively, used for very high level, exorbitantly priced rewards), Recognition (randomly dropped by monsters of an appropriate level), Questionite ore...there's a lot of alternate currencies, is what we're saying.
  • Gratuitous German - Doctor Destroyer. He speaks perfectly accent-free English, but his name is an example: In his background, it is stated that he got his villain name as a translation of his true name, Dr. Albert Zerstoiten. Actually, the German word for "Destroyer" is "Zerstörer", while "Zerstoiten" is not even a real word, let alone a name.
  • Harmless Villain - Foxbat, most of the time. His Fanboys and Foxbattle Bots are way fiercer than he is ("Foxbat says we're not to hurt you, but when the Fox is away, the Foxbattlebots will play!") and his actions are more public nuisance than super-crime. And Bluejay, who has absolutely no intention of harming people, but unfortunately happens to be terribly accident prone. And Lynx, who only works for Overbrain to pay her debts and quits the fight once you get her down to 1/3 HP. But despite them all lacking evil intentions, they can still be challenging opponents in battle.
  • The Heroes Who Don't Do Anything - You have beaten up cultists and found a valuable amulet? Return it to the leader of the premier super team of the city and he'll... tell you to go off and stop someone else. Defender also has a habit of strolling in just after you've defeated a supervillain building a Doomsday Device.
    • To be fair, they sometimes show up to help in the endgame UNITY missions. Sometimes. When the UNITY missions work right...
  • Heartbeat Soundtrack - A similar, chilling soundtrack while in the indoor areas of Whiteout.
  • Herr Doktor - Doctor Ohm and Doctor Von Schultz both speak with a thick, stereotypical accent. And of course, Doctor Destroyer.
  • Highly-Visible Ninja - Lampshaded the hell out of with Black Mist. He wears a black suit in the white wilderness of Canada and keeps loudly "whispering" to his underlings to be "Silent! And stealthy... Like the ninja..." while they don't say anything at all.
  • Homing Boulders - Inevitable, as nearly all ranged attacks are homing, although at least you can block between the throw and the impact.
  • Hulk Speak - Hulk-expy Grond, many of the evil Manimals, and the Irradiates speak like this. The later even lampshade it in-game: "Grrr... Why radioactive mutants talk with poor syntax?"
  • Hundred-Percent Heroism Rating - Civilians will approach and mention your exploits. Sadly, this means thanking you for finishing the tutorial until the very end of your days. Over. And over. Again. Still, how would you react if you met someone who saved the world?
  • Hurricane of Puns - Champions Online is a category 5! (see Pun below)
  • Impossible Item Drop - "Hey, this radioactive shark dropped a combat vest upgrade!"
    • Sharks eat anything. Now, when a school of pirahna drop a large intact item of any sort...
  • Instant Runes - Magic practicioners can create these.
  • Interface Screw - Some instances add a creepy border around your field of vision or other effect. Suitably atmospheric.
    • A more unintentional, but very annoying, interface screw comes from a combination of choosing the flight power and fighting any enemy that has knockback. You quickly get knocked to the ceiling if there is one, and then you can't see any enemies, so you have no idea where they all are until you either go back down or adjust your camera angle.
  • Invincible Minor Minion - The Qularr Assault Ships in the tutorial. They can attack, but do it aimlessly and are no real threat. But that doesn't stop NPCs, most notably Ironclad, from attacking them to no avail and ignoring the regular but actually more dangerous Mooks around them.
  • Invulnerable Civilians - Usually played straight but very occasionally averted.
    • Antagonistic NPCs can hurt civilians, but usually only do it as part of an Escort Mission...or if certain civilians attacked them first!
  • It Got Worse - Vibora Bay Crisis - It starts with you helping to cause the Apocalypse. Yes, the "end of the world as we know it, final battle between Heaven and Hell" Apocalypse... And by the time it's over: all of the Champions are dead, Amphibian has been mutated into a bizarre homicidal fish-creature, and it's revealed that Shadow Destroyer helped engineer the whole thing to screw Therakiel out of his Xanatos Gambit. Yikes!
  • Knight of Cerebus - Similar how to the other game's most recent expansion had more mature plotlines, Vibora Bay has a pair of genuinely scary (and epic) villains: Therakiel and Shadow Destroyer.
    • Even Monster Island and Lemuria Crisis are considered dark compared to the typical arcs in the game. NPCs you have met die, there are implications of cannibalism, and major betrayals occur.
  • Large Ham - Foxbat, and he revels in it.
    • Also Rocket Hawk and, even more, Lady Rocket Hawk, to the point where many players rather leave them tied up in a cell than teaming up with them.
    • Most of the voice acting lends itself to this, but a special note for Doctor and Shadow Destroyer, who are like this even in the source RPG.
    • Ham-to-Ham Combat - When you have both Doctor Destroyer and Shadow Destroyer fighting each other in Resistance
  • Lawyer-Friendly Cameo - Many. Burt Jackson, Rob Mahogany and his co-workers, Clayton Griswald and Oceanica Airlines, just to name a few.
  • Light Is Not Good - The local Knight of Cerebus, Therakiel and his Nephilim minions, are certainly a bit uglier then typical examples of this trope... but otherwise fit completely, with Therakiel calling himself "The Bright" and all of them using light-based powers.
    • Similarly, you can give your nemesis the Celestial powerset, which uses a lot of light based attacks.
  • Little Green Men - The Gadroon are green, frog-like aliens whose clothing and technology design couldn't scream 'retro sci-fi' any louder.
  • Lovecraft Lite - 'All' over the game. Aftershock, Demonflame, any DEMON mission, and the Lemurian Crisis are all tied to the Lovecraftian horrors, the Kings of Edom.
  • Macross Missile Massacre - The Micro Munitions power. Used a lot by ARGENT cyborgs.
  • Mad Scientist - Teleios, Dr. Moreau, Dr. Destroyer, Dr. Talos, Several Viper leaders and many others. In some missions there are even 'evil scientists' as enemies.
  • Magical Native American - Ravenspeaker.
  • Mana Drain - Tasers and Neutralizer Gas grenades, merrily abused by ARGENT and Security Guards.
  • Meat Moss - All over the floor in Aftershock #4's second nightmare sequence.
  • Mirror Universe - The Multifarian Earth, with everyone who's villian in our world being heroes (including "Dr. Defender") and everyone who's hero in our world being villians. Its version of Destroyer (aka Shadow Destroyer when he crossed over) is still the ultimate evil villain that destroyed Detroit, but he relies more on arcane sorcery than his power armor. Oh, and underneath that costume is James Harmon IV, who is Defender in the Champions' Earth!
  • Money Sink - Costume changes, extra bank or equipment slots and a variety of consumable devices...and, of course, the retcon system.
  • Mooks - Supervillains need them, therefore most supervillains have them. Mooks are the majority of enemies in this game, reaching from ordinary street thugs over terrorist, mercs and evil cultists to Mecha-Mooks, Zombies and various kinds of mutants, aliens and demons.
    • A special mention goes to Foxbat, whose Mooks are Fanboys attacking with foam fingers and "Foxbattle Bots" carrying spotlights, cameras and speakers.
    • When creating a Nemesis, you also get to chose a set of Mooks for them and a set of powers for these. Most of the Nemesis Minions are recolored versions of regular Mooks.
  • Most Common Superpower - The female character model in Champions Online can have the bustline tailored along with anything else. However, any attempt to create anything but a buxom female character once resulted in some ugly polygonal tearing, and pretty much every body type starts with the bust slider maxed. Since being partly fixed, there's plenty of flat-chested young girls running around.
  • My Brain Is Big - The supervillains Menton and Brain Drain have both abnormaly large and partly exposed brains and Psychic Powers, but they also subvert this trope; only thinking of themselves as being smarter than the average Joe, while being actually just arrogant and overconfident, yet powerful Large Hams.
  • My Rules Are Not Your Rules - While it hardly makes them unfair in terms of enemy strength or general difficulty, players can only envy the NPCs for their exclusive powers--and costume pieces. However, the cases that really matter in terms of gameplay are the following:
    • NPCs tend to have powers that don't match their level or power set. For example; the DEMON Maleficias, dark magicans, have the Chest Beam power from the Power Armor set and the aquatic Lemurian Broodmother can shoot Fireballs.
    • In some cases, a power works very different depending on if a player or a NPC uses it. For example, an NPC's Lightning Arc stuns the target, Mighty Leap becomes chargable and Hurl goes as far as having even a different animation, in addition to gaining a knock back effect. The DEMON version of lifedrain, helpfully lead with the user yelling "Your soul will be MINE!", is a lot more powerful than the version players get; if unblocked, it can easily take out more than half of your health. ARGENT Cyborg chest beams restore their health if you don't block, the list goes on.
    • A number of NPC-exclusive powers that would be "too useful" for players to have, like the MP draining Neutralizer Grenade or the Empyrean Constructs' simple yet greatly envied ability to walk on the sea floor in Lemuria.
      • A blatant example is the fact that all NPCs have two energy builders, one ranged and one melee, which the game explicitely prohibits players to have.
  • Nebulous Evil Organisation - Typified by VIPER, who hang around anywhere and everywhere.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero - The player might feel this way after releasing Dr Destroyer in Resistance. Granted, it's the lesser of two evils, but you're basically releasing a German Osama Bin Laden to fight an American Hitler.
    • And then there is the prologue mission arc to the Vibora Bay Apocalypse.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain - A combination of Shadow Destroyer's Magitech and Therakiel's own mystical energy was the key to avert the Vibora Bay Apocalypse. Pure irony!
  • Nightmare Sequence - The player must save two NPCs from one in Aftershock #4. Unlike a lot of missions directly linked to a main quest in the game, you can fail and condemn them to a Fate Worse Than Death...and the main mission will continue. Also, the players are thrown into one in Demonflame.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot - Rule of Cool applies: Radioactive Communist Zombies, Radioactive Sharks, Robot Sharks, Robot Pirates, Ghostly Pirates, Lizard-man Wizards, Demonic Fish-people... and that's all in one map!
    • Another map contains both Cowboy Robots and Cowboy Ghosts.
  • No Hero Discount - Averted: Currency isn't the traditional gold/silver/bronze fantasy coin, but instead Resources - which represent a character's influence on a global, national and local scale. A player character literally never pays for anything they get, instead trading favours and contacts for the goods or materials they need. However, since costs incurred by military operations are described in dollars, it seems Muggles have to deal with paying the old-fashioned way.
  • No OSHA Compliance - In the Lemurian Submarine area there is a glowing green radiation dump... surrounded by a number of important, unshielded contacts. A few metres away, the submarine bay doors have no safety rails.
    • Handwaved by one of the contacts, who mentions the radiation dump has an invisible force field over it.
  • Notice This - Mission items in Champions Online flash brightly. When they're not hidden in a corner that you miss.
    • Still, many new players miss the mission items for the crafting tutorial missions, despite them laying right under their nose.
  • One-Winged Angel - The Roin'esh General in the final issue of Whiteout.
  • Only Six Faces - While averted (for the most part) with the males, due to the highly versatile creator, all female faces unfortunately tend to all look alike. Barring the inhuman ones, of course. Though this is as much a result of Beauty Is Never Tarnished as anything else, as everyone will happily make ugly males and handsome males alike but everyone wants only beautiful females.
    • With the facial options in the creator, you can make some rather ugly women as well. And you don't even need zombie-faces (or an Elder Worm head) for it.
  • Our Demons Are Different - There are Ice Demons, classic Fire Demons, Lava Demons, Water Demons, Chaos/Darkness Demons and Infernal (toxic) Demons, working for seemingly unconnected factions. Players can summon some of them via summon powers, items and devices.
    • To be fair, most of those demons are enslaved by either DEMON or the Crowns of Krim. Or straight up serving the Kings of Edom.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different - Transmitted PvP in the Bloodmoon event.
  • Painted-On Pants - It's a superhero game, remember?
  • Petting Zoo People - The Manimals on Monster Island, plus many players. MANY, many players.
  • Perpetually Static - After all, Status Quo Is God
    • Except for when you first enter a new zone: There are the "Crisis" mission arcs you need to complete to unlock the regular version of the zones. The tutorial is actually a "Millenium City Crisis". The base you start in is pretty much in shambles until you manage to defeat the first main boss of the respective area. Once you do this, the most pressing of the locals' problems have been dealt with, the base is repaired, and the rest of the area opens up.
  • Player Versus Player - Combat between Heroes can be in the form of 'duels' or as part of organised 'Hero Games' team battles.
  • Precursors - The Bleak Ones and the Elder Worms.
  • Preorder Bonus - Costume pieces, action figures and special 'minor' devices.
  • Pun - The names of many characters and roughly 90% of the missions you're asked to undertake.
  • Purely Aesthetic Gender - Aside from costume options, it matters not a jot.
  • Randomly Drops - Some missions require something which every enemy in an area will drop. Others require something which only some of them may happen to have.
    • It gets ridiculous as one of the missions asks you to pick up a hat, a shirt and pants off a particular enemy group to use as a disguse... only to be handed a hologram device for the next mission involving Dressing as the Enemy.
  • Red Sky, Take Warning - For the 'Bloodmoon' event.
  • Recurring Boss - The player-created Nemesis.
  • Religion of Evil - The DEMON cult, which seems self-consciously devoted to all things dark, fiery and evil.
    • Even better, they think they're worshipping the equivalent of Satan. They're actually worshipping the anticreator.
  • Retcon - The comic-book-appropriate term applied to the respec system for changing powers.
    • Sadly changed though perhaps understandably so as non-comic book fans were getting really confused.
      • And then (ahem) retconned back in, with helpful little hints on the loading screens.
  • Send in the Clones - Aside from the Mad Scientist Teleios, whose Mooks are mostly clones of himself, Champions Online also suffers from another kind of clone invasion: players making their characters blatant ripoffs of comic book or movie characters, even naming thier clones after the original if possible. There are countless ripoffs of the Hulk, Superman,Batman, Deadpool, Spawn and others around; usually rather bad ripoffs. Other typical features are their players having a Free to Play account (what adds to the "Silvers"' generally bad reputation) and being not higher than level 20, for they usually don't get very high before getting reported and banned, since cloning is a case of copyright violation and therefore against the rules.
    • While clone characters and stolen names are forbidden and also widely shunned by the player community, secondary clone costumes, made as a gag and rarely worn, as well as homages, parodies and shout-outs, which the game itself contains en masse, are usually tolerated.
  • The Roleplayer - The game has a surprisingly active and well-organized roleplaying community, and non-roleplayers tend not to mind roleplayers and vice-verse unlike a certain other game with a divided fanbase. Roleplaying hotspots include Sherrera's Bar, Carl's Gym, and Club Caprice, though it happens most anywhere.
    • Roleplaying is even a preset Super Group (read: guild) description.
  • Run, Don't Walk - Can be bypassed by using a slash command or setting a key for walking, but player characters do run by default.
  • Screen Shake - For earthquakes or particularly powerful attacks.
    • Taken Up to Eleven when volcanoes go off on Monster Island, almost to an annoying degree. Thankfully, the effect can be disabled in the options menu.
  • Scunthorpe Problem - A game about superheroes won't let you use the fragment "hero in" in your biography because it spells "heroin".
    • Also, the language filter censors "puta", because it is apparently a rather rude Spanish term for a prostitute. Which seems reasonable until an NPC runs up to your hero and exclaims, "The city owes YOUR NAME HERE a debt of gratitude after he %$&@ stop to the alien invasion!"
      • Many of these ridiculous cases of censorship have been 'fixed' by now. But others remain, especially when it comes to the word ass, which is taken Up to Eleven, to the point were even NUMBERS get filtered. Just try typing 'as 5', 'a 55' or '455' and you'll see.
  • Robot Sharks with Frickin Laser Beams
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong - The very end of the Vibora Bay Crisis has you go back in time to before you started it.
  • Shiny-Looking Spaceships - The Gadroon have them.
  • Shoulders of Doom - Many options; displayed on many enemies.
    • The Power Armor set takes it literally, with shoulder-mounted gatling guns and missile launchers.
  • Shout-Out - Champions Online pretty much runs on these to an incredibly large degree:
  • Standard Status Effects - And, at launch, only half-documented.
  • Starship Luxurious - Averted with the Cherenkov and the Nautilus, which are suitably cramped and claustrophobic. Played so straight it hurts with the Aegir.
  • Stripperiffic and Most Common Superpower - Pretty much expected in the Superhero genre, played to the full with many player costumes. At least one character, Lynx, has carefully placed hair covering her top, while the default setting on the breast slider is rather larger than average.
    • Choosing the same color and texture for both a character's skin and Spandex can result in outfits so skimpy they barely pass as outfits--as well as fully "nude" characters, which are quick to get banned.
    • There are less heroines walking around in their skivvies than one would expect, but they're still common enough to justify the trope. Also, the default setting for breast size is set to max on most inbuilt body types (including, rather hilariously, the "slim" build). This might be seen as Fridge Brilliance, since by putting the slider at max, this prevents people from making breasts even larger and getting into outright Gag Boob territory.
  • Super Not-Drowning Skills - Every hero can breathe underwater. The soldiers with wetsuits, flippers and oxygen tanks on their backs often have no mouth-pieces. This is handwaved.
    • Taken even further in the sewer escape in Resistance. Your in a lower level of a sewer thats gets completly filled with water while your being attacked by shark-people and have to fix the pump to drain the water.The civillians are fine after, even though you spend more time fighting and fixing than most regular humans can hold their breath.
      • Justified by Griz being a superhuman and the others being Destroids in disguise.
  • Take That

 Grond: You as uninteresting as rival MMO! Grond leave now.

    • Given the net effect CO has had on CoX's subscription base (that is to say, none at all) this has become somewhat ironic.
      • Depends on how seriously you think the Take That was really meant. Given that the team that many of those who created CO also worked on CoX, it's probably meant primarily as a friendly jab. Of course players can take ANYTHING to Serious Business levels, so there's that too.
  • Throwing Down the Gauntlet - Doctor Destroyer, in Resistance: "JAMES HARMON! FACE ME!" He is already one of the world's most Badass and dangerous villains when he's not taking his enemies seriously. And in this case, he was SERIOUSLY pissed!
  • Timed Mission - The boss battle with Luther Black at the end of Demonflame. Thankfully, you can't really lose, as Time Travel means that you can just keep trying until you win.
    • Also some other missions, especially open missions which take some time until they restart.
    • Defensive missions also tend to be timed.
  • Tower Defense - Two episodes of Aftershock run on this in the climax.
  • Training Dummy - Found in the Powerhouse.
    • And one named Buster in Teleios Tower. He is actually a Bonus Boss. Attack him long enough and he eventually begin to fight back with completely random powers. His HP are crazy high too. But if you manage to defeat him, he drops some phat loot. Teams will often enter Teleios Tower just for a 'Buster Run'.
  • Transformation Trinket - You can buy Devices that allow you to transform into werewolves, vampires, demons, robots, djinns ect., which swap all your powers with specific new ones, some of which are unique and not - yet - available for player characters to learn.
  • Unblockable Attack - You can block all kinds of attacks to lower the damage and prevent side effects like Knockback - except grenades! Their knockback is unblockable! You cannot block off their knock! It is unknown if this is a case of Fake Difficulty or just a glitch, but it makes fighting certain grenade-spamming ARGENT Mooks horribly tedious.
    • Some players love to exploit this with the Frag Grenade power in PvP.
      • As of November 2011, ARGENT and Viper grenades now only cause pushback.
    • A more intentional example of this is the VIPER Brickbuster's Cannon, which severely stunts the effectiveness of healing on yourself and reduces your defenses, even if you do block the damage burst. Best thing to do is to knock them down or out before they fire it off!
  • Underwater City - The city of Lemuria, surrounded by Underwater Ruins. It seems that many players are not fond of this zone, making it subject to 'Down the Drain'.
    • Mostly caused by A: the constant need to watch out for enemies floating just above and just below you, B: the difficulty of finding what door on a reef wall a vertical marker points at and C: the lag partially caused by mob density mentioned in A.
      • Also, most travel powers are useless while underwater, since to move you're relegated to either swim or swim a little faster. Running powers retain their high speed, even while swimming instead of running. Dark Speed and Light Speed even retain their aura. The best example, however, would be teleport, which works exactly like it does above-land.
  • Unwitting Pawn - See Xanatos Gambit, sucker.
  • Vaporware - Almost 20 years passed between the development of the never-released first computer game adaptation of Champions and Champions Online.
  • Vendor Trash - Drop rates for the least-useful equipment were significantly increased as a solution to complaints about the expensive respec system.
  • Virtual Paper Doll
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting - The Roin'esh is an alien race with this power. There's also two human shapeshifters in the desert that uses it to hide among Qularr.
  • We Buy Anything - Arcane, three-eyed crafting vendors will happily buy any science and arms items that you wish to get rid of.
  • Weird Currency - Resources, a measure of a character's influence on a local, national and global scale. You may not get money from the psychotic insectoid alien you just defeated, but it does wonders for your reputation.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist - Quite surprisingly, this seems to be avoided. Enemies seem to acknowledge their villainy and often revel in it.
    • A rare example is Floodgate, discribed as a violent eco-terrorist with 'hydrokinetic' powers. She is never fought or even shows her powers in-game, but becomes an ally and contact to the player instead, in order to protect her beloved ocean from reckless Lemurian rebels, the Karkaradons and the Bleak Ones.
  • The World Is Not Ready - Subverted. Impossible architecture exists in the centre of the re-built Detroit, and one of the splash screens explains that super-science has eliminated many diseases and greatly boosted technology.
    • Played straight with the acceptance of artifical and especially mechanical lifeforms as equal to humans. To blame is Mechanon.
  • Written Sound Effect - Above the heads of enemies about to pull off a powerful move.
  • Xanatos Gambit - Valerian Scarlet, herald of Therakiel, tricks you into bringing her the items she needs to start the Apocalypse, beating up the one person who might have been able to stop it and puts her in a position to steal his Flame Gem. Nice Job Breaking It, Hero indeed!
    • There's also [[spoiler:Shadow Destroyer's gambit, which has allowed Therakiel to get thisclose to starting the Apocalypse...with the goal to intercept him at the last minute and claim rulership over this entire dimension...or at least the smoldering ruins thereof. Eep.
  • Zombie Apocalypse - The 'Bloodmoon' Halloween event. Also featuring werewolves.
    • That's not to mention the Hero Games Zombie Apocalypse map. A cabin, heroes and a whole lotta zombies. Oh, and player zombies. With all their powers.

Player attacks are designed to emulate many offensive Stock Super Powers including:

Travel Powers include:

  • Flight, as Video Game Flight. Leads to many Flying Brick chracters.
    • There's also Fire Flight, the rather comical Rainbow Flight (leaving a rainbow trail), the Phoenix Flight (having the user grow fire wings and a huge blast-off effect), the Tornado Flight (having the user floating on a whirlwind) and the not chargable ones; the slow starting but in the end really fast Jet Boots and the average fast but good at cornering Jet Pack.
  • Grappling Hook Pistol - The 'swinging' power. It attaches to... air, apparently. It has also been suggested that there are simply a lot of invisible helicopters in the Champions universe. Considering not all zones are major metropolis' with an aboundance of tall buildings to swing from, this is perhaps an Acceptable Break from Reality, but though the launcher resembles the one used by more recent Batmans, the 'swing anywhere' effect is a Mythology Gag homage to Spider-Man, who's been infamously noted in earlier years to webswing where there is nothing to snag on.
  • In a Single Bound - The Acrobatics, Swinging, and Superjump powers let you jump over large items of varying height... and to survive the subsequent fall. Usually.
  • Le Parkour - What acrobatics can sometimes feel like. When you're not being shot when running along the street.
    • Doesn't make backflips or back-jumps any less fun to watch... at least until health hits zero.
  • Not Quite Flight - There is a number of flight powers that have the character "surfing" on flying objects. These are usually faster than the Video Game Flight powers, but tend to have bad cornering.
    • Earth Flight rips a chunk out the ground, which you can happily levitate under you. Alternatively, attempting earth flight while in mid-air or jumping results in a storm cloud.
    • The aforementioned Rainbow Flight has an alternate version based on this; riding a sparkling cloud and leaving a rainbow trail behind.
    • For a purely magical variety, there is the Magic Carpet.
    • And for a purely technological variety, the Hover Disk.
    • There's also the Ice Board, which works a bit differently: It lets you slowly fall unless you hold down the jump button to gain altitude.
  • Super Speed
    • Now there's a Light Speed variety, complete with light trails and the rare and hard to get device-based Dark Speed. Burning Speed leaves a trail of flames and fire off your body.
  • Teleportation, sometimes leading to a certain amount of Teleport Spam fighting to escape tricky situations.
  • Tunnelling, leaving a Worm Sign behind you. Strangely, you can't tunnel upward or under ABOVE GROUND obstacles with it, but easly throuth thin platforms and glass while being not visible at all, except for a trail of rocks you leave behind regardless of the material you're digging through.
    • Oh, and if you move over an edge you could safely jump down above ground, you'll take a ridiculous amount of fall damage WHILE STILL BEING SUBMERGED!
      • It gets better. Popping the Ascension power- which is an ability that temporarily boosts your other powers and gives you flight- while digging allows you to dig through the skies at ridiculous speed. While remaining completely invisible to anything not explicitly anti-air.
      • Considering this illogical flaws and the fact that you can't use it to escape from fights, because it takes to much time to burrow into the ground and you're defenseless while trying, it is not a surprise that Tunneling is the 'Heart' amongst the travel powers.
  • There is a set of three special device-based travel powers you can craft, depending on the crafting profession you have. In any case, the components needed to craft them are hard to get and in masses you would never even get to see if you don't go hardcore farming for them - or buy them for horendous amounts of Global resources (i.e. Gold) you won't get an eye on without hardcore farming either.
    • Science allows you to craft the 'Storm Rider' aka. Electric Flight; a Video Game Flight power with electricity arcing constantly over your hands and feet. NPC hero Celestar in Canada displays this power.
    • Mysticism gives you the 'Etheric Flight'; another Video Game Flight power that has you surrounded by magic circles and leaving a trail of runes behind.
    • And Arms lets you craft the 'R.A.D. Sphere' that allows your character to curl up and roll around. This is essencially Super Speed, but also grants a defense boost.
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