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File:Community video game 6022.jpg


Pierce is summoned to a remote warehouse by Gilbert Lawson (Giancarlo Esposito), the executor of his father's estate. Instructed to bring seven of his closest friends, he brings the study group (Levar Burton was a maybe), only to find a multiplayer gaming console set up waiting for them. It transpires that the last wish of Pierce's father was that he and his friends play a very special video game programmed specifically for Pierce... one which, if he and the group fail to win, could see him left with nothing.


Tropes appearing in this episode of Community include:

 Shirley: No witnesses! Grab everything you can carry. I'll check upstairs for any more family. Don't give me that look; these are your loose ends, I just tie them up.

 Abed: "After you've squandered the last of your savings, I'll watch you writhe, penniless, in the gutter, through a telescope in the penthouse office of Hawthorne Tower." You can leave notes. This game is incredible.

  • Collapsing Lair: Hawkthrone Castle.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: Troy's jealous that Hilda can have Abed's babies, but he can't.
  • Crazy Awesome: Abed decides to stay with Hilda and finds out he can have children with her, who he can command to do anything. Hilarity Ensues.
    • And then there's the final battle with Pierce's father, which involves shooting Abed's children at a giant rock monsters legs so they can pickaxe it to death, Troy and Abed shooting lava at it out of golden mechs, Shirley piloting a helicopter against it, and Pierce riding an atomic bomb.
  • Crazy Cat Lady: Britta.

 Jeff: This place is twenty cat turds and a Pixies poster away from being your apartment.

 Britta: Die, racism!

 Britta: Here's the thing about women, Jeff. We don't hack and slash our way through life, because we're one with life.

(cut)

Annie: Help me hide the body!

  • The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: About what you'd expect from a game that's been continuously developed with presumably very strong funding for over thirty years, to be played whenever the producer dies.
  • Digitized Sprites: The game automatically digitizes the group into avatars.
  • Driven to Suicide: Pierce tries to suffocate himself by burying himself alive, believing he can't win the inheritance. Partly Played for Laughs since this is occurring in a video game.
  • Egopolis: The village turns into this after Abed takes it over, including a giant fortress with a statue of his face on the roof.
  • Escort Mission: Turns into one of these as the other study groups member have to protect Pierce and get him to Hawkthorne Castle.
  • Lava Adds Awesome: "Troy and Abed shooting laaaaa-VA!"
  • Fetch Quest: The White Crystal.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Of a sort; Pierce and Gilbert initially clearly cannot stand each other, but by the end -- after learning that they're half-brothers who both had to suffer the abuse of their father -- are clearly starting to bond with each other.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • In the blacksmith's house, there's a picture of Hilda on the wall.
    • Pierce's conversation with Gilbert at the beginning of the episode. At one point Pierce refers to Gilbert as 'soul brother'. He doesn't suspect at the time, but this turns out to be more true than he realizes...
    • When the study group first arrives at the gaming centre, Gilbert initially appears by suddenly announcing himself and startlingly the study group. He keeps doing this in the video game, but is a lot more malevolent each time.
  • Four Eyes, Zero Soul: Lawson, subverted. Seems like a villain at first, but as it turns out he's just a nice guy who becomes crazy when it comes to his estranged dad. He even takes the group out for drinks after the game's done.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: The menus that display when Abed interacts with Hilda. On the first display of possible actions Abed can do with her is "I will wear your skin." One of her leveled-up actions is "Kickpunch" and another is "Spacetime RPG".
    • At one point Lawson types in a Long List of parameters for the game program, including such items as "God Mode", "Testicular Fortitude", "Intestinal Fortitude", "Giraffe Mode", and "Nuclear Wraith".
    • Speaking of Hilda's list of topics. the gaming references go beyond 8-bit.
    • The 'legally-binding agreement' that Cornelius attempts to get Gilbert to sign in order to claim the inheritance while simultaneously preventing him from ever making any claims of paternity on Cornelius' part appears to originate from a point pre-Emancipation, given how those 'bound to service for a term of years' and 'Indians' are not classed as a 'whole' person.
  • Friendship Moment: Pierce is surprised when the study group announce that they're going to cooperate with him to win the game. They point out that not only are they friends, it's kind of weird to be friends with someone for three years only to steal their family inheritance.
  • Game Between Heirs: The main plotline of this episode. Pierce's father leaves his will in the form of a video game. Whoever wins the game gets the inheritance.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar:
    • Abed going through Hilda's options looks like he's touching her rather large breasts.
    • After losing their clothes in the poker game, for 8-bit graphics the nude avatars of Troy and Pierce look to be remarkably detailed in certain places.
  • Gilligan Cut: Britta claim that women wouldn't use a violent approach to problem solving. The next building over the two other women of the study group are in the process of covering up their murder of a shopkeep.
    • When the group respawn, Jeff gives a Rousing Speech over how they've gotten better at the game and that they're heroes. They instantly die to the hippies right outside the respawn point.
  • Goddamned Bats: The Hippies.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Pierce does this to defeat Cornelius' final form. See Riding the Bomb.
  • Hidden Depths: Lawson at first seems like a blind sycophant of Cornelius who's willing to cheat in order to get the inheritance. It's later revealed that he's just a son trying his best to impress his father, who alienated him even more than he did to Pierce.
  • Honor Before Reason: Pierce's father explanation for why he recorded a death scene for his avatar.
  • Hypocritical Humour: In the Black Caves:

 Britta: I don't know what's more offensive, the actual racism or the insulting notion that it might somehow rub off on us. Look out! Jive Turkeys! Kill them before they start multiplying!

 Cornelius Hawthorne: Piercenald, in 1980 you said that video games, not moist towelettes, were the business of the future. Today, moist towelettes are stocked in every supermarket while arcade after arcade closes.

Troy: He's got a point.

  • Jerkass: Even if there weren't already copious amounts of evidence for the theory in his omnipresent racism, homophobia and arrogance, the fact alone that Cornelius Hawthorne invested thirty years and God-knows how many millions of dollars into a video game purely for the purpose of forcing his son to play it upon his death and risk losing his entire inheritance, apparently merely because Pierce once requested some money to invest in video games, should be all the proof anyone needs that Cornelius was a spiteful bastard of epic-scale proportions.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: He may be be a racist homophobe, but Cornelius Hawthorne was right about investing money -- in some ways, at least. Although video games are a billion-dollar a year industry today, investing in video games in 1980 would have been a very bad idea. Even Troy states he had a point.
  • Jive Turkey: As enemies, no less.
  • Kill It with Fire
  • Kiss Me, I'm Virtual: Abed and Hilda.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: Annie accidentally steals a torch in the smithy, and Troy smashes all of the pots in the bar.
  • Long-Lost Relative
  • Lord British Postulate: Played With, the game was probably never meant to handle relations leading to hundreds of NPC kids building megaweapons to completely Sequence Break the game, but Cornelius does use Dynamic Difficulty to up his game, and ultimately falls to Pierce Riding the Bomb as a finisher.
  • MacGyvering: Lawson demonstrates the item system by combining tree branches and a rock into throwing knives.
  • Manly Tears: Troy invokes this with "his and Abed's" child in The Tag.

 Troy: He needs to see that a strong man can cry!

 Annie: He was suffering!

Shirley: Yeah, from ax wounds!

 Abed: There wouldn't be a lot of sport in beating you; look at yourself.

The others: He's right. / Yeah, you really do suck.

 Britta: We're fighting for friendship! And that means we can't possibly lose!

    • Cornelius Hawthorne obviously didn't think much of this:

 I see you've chosen teamwork; a coward's strategy.

  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: Abed's castle was made possible by his children slaving in the mines.
  • The Rainman: Lampshaded when Abed chooses to stay behind with Hilda, Pierce complains that he is "playing the Rainman card."
  • Rain of Arrows: Troy and Jeff fire a ton of arrows at Lawson, which have no effect.
  • Rapid-Fire Typing
  • Refuge in Audacity: The black caverns. To say there are Unfortunate Implications in those caves would be putting it lightly.
    • Really, the entire videogame world revels in the audacity of Cornelius' racism, from the Desert of Laziness covered in sombreros and burritos to the Gay Island with a very... suggestive shape.
    • Also, the way Annie and Shirley acquire weapons from the blacksmith.
    • The fact that there's a skeleton of an Abed-baby that hung itself from forced labor.
      • And let's not forget: Abed forced his enormous clone army of Abed-babies to do hard labor in MINES so that he could do whatever he wanted. Is that really Cornelius' fault, at that point?
      • Not only that, but he also got his children to fight against Cornelius. Some of them being shot at his limbs rather recklessly to pick at them.
  • Riding the Bomb: Pierce rides a bomb as the final attack on his father.
  • Roaming Enemy: Lawson.
  • Rousing Speech: Jeff gives one, which is subverted in that the entire group gets killed right after it. See Gilligan Cut.
  • RPG Episode
  • Running Gag: Gilbert keeps appearing out of nowhere and startling the study group.
  • Screw the Money, I Have Rules: Lawson cheats and almost steals the inheritance for himself, but refuses to agree to a degrading and racist non-disclosure contract that Cornelius wants him to sign first. Because of his Heel Face Turn, the group agree that he deserves the money in return for putting up with Cornelius' treatment of him all his life.
  • Servant Race: Abed's children.
  • Shame If Something Happened: Gilbert, with a lampshading from Pierce.

 Gilbert: You're not supposed to cooperate; you're supposed to compete.

Jeff: Thanks for the advice, but I think we can choose how we want to play.

Gilbert: I suppose we can.

Pierce: Is he being ominous? Why are you being ominous?!

  • Ship Tease: Troy gets very jealous of Abed's 'relationship' with Hilda.

 Abed: If you max out a character's trust and affection levels you gain access to a front-end scripting language. Watch. [Abed enters some commands, producing a Baby!Abed] She can make babies for me.

Troy: Oh -- and I can't?! [Despondent] I can't.

 Cornelius: I see you've chosen teamwork, a coward's strategy.

 Annie: Everybody go shopping? That's all we did!

[The blacksmith's hut catches fire]

Abed: Is that hut on fire?

Shirley: Oh my. What an unexplained tragedy.

  • Unfortunate Implications: Given that it was designed by Pierce's father, who is even more prejudiced than him, it's only natural that the video game is filled with these.
  • Verb This:

 Lawson: I think I'll have that crystal.

Annie: I think you'll have this! [tries to attack him and electrocutes Britta instead]

  • Video Game Caring Potential: Abed ends up falling in love with a program. It reciprocates.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential:
    • Starts with an accidental theft, but quickly snowballs.
    • The sheer level of detail that the NPCs have been programmed with seems to provide countless opportunities for this. They seem to feel pain and have a complex social system wherein, upon the death of her parents, Hilda will be forced to either be forcibly married to one of the male villagers or take her chances in the wilderness for survival:

 Troy: ... What kind of game is this?

    • You can have children in the game. Fine. You can also have thousands and thousands of children and put them to backbreaking menial labor as soon as they can walk.
  • Video Game Cruelty Punishment
  • Virtual Ghost: Cornelius, despite being dead, interacts with the group through a program of himself.
  • Welcome to Corneria: The reason Abed likes Hilda is because her behaviour is entirely predictable, unlike real people.

 Abed: I've never felt this way before.

Pierce: Now, don't get weird, Abed...

  • "Well Done, Son" Guy:
    • Pierce once again gets the opportunity to tell his dead dad to suck it by piloting a nuclear bomb into him in the video game.
    • Lawson turns out to be this. He puts up with all kinds of crap from Cornelius just so he could gain some recognition. He even turns down the inheritance at first when he finds out that Cornelius still refuses to see him as his son.
  • A Winner Is You: The fireworks are disappointing, but winning the inheritance helps.
  • With Friends Like These...: Lampshaded.

 Jeff: He [Pierce] is still technically our friend!

 Cornelius: Worst son ever! Hahaha!"

  • Zerg Rush: The group's strategy for defeating the giant Cornelius involves using dozens of Abed and Hilda's children to hack away at his joints.
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