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Somewhere in Nevada...
Madness, as defined by the first definition on Dictionary.com: the state of being mad; insanity.
Combat, as defined by the last definition on Dictionary.com: a fight, struggle, or controversy, as between two persons, teams, or ideas.
So, hey, wouldn't it be just NEATO to add them both together in a series of flash animations!?
Seems Matt Jolly, AKA "Krinkels" had that very idea one day, and thus created Madness Combat.
The series started off as a somewhat typical old school Newgrounds-type flash, littered with random violence, distasteful portrayals of a character resembling Jesus (also known as "Jebus" after a line from The Simpsons), and the odd as'plosion or two. However, the smooth animation, witty and amusing kills, and unique art style made the series an instant hit, and the newfound fandom begged for more.
As more episodes were added, a subtle storyline slowly developed, though what it all means is one of the most heavily disputed subjects in the fandom. At its very base, the story is something like this: the protagonist ("Hank J. Wimbleton") wants to assassinate the The Sheriff for some reason or another. And he's willing to kill countless random goons to do so. He enters the Sheriff's building of operation, slaughters everyone in sight, but is anticlimactically shot in the head by Jebus, who seems to be the Sheriff's right hand man.
Hank is then brought back to life somehow, and tries his hit on The Sheriff again, who seems to be very willing to hit the big red button on the "Improbability Drive" and send the world into chaos, just to save his own skin. Hank ends up dying again, although he takes Jebus and The Sheriff with him. Oh, and an Insane Zombie clown works his way into this mess somehow.
The later episodes tend to revolve around Hank attempting to kill Jebus and The Zombie Clown With Super Powers ("Tricky"), for some unknown reason. Matrix-inspired fights, ludicrously violent deaths, non-sequitur like moments and a much darker feel follow the latter part of the series. All because of the Improbability Drive, and its insane effects on everyone and everything. Or something like that. Yes, it's all that vague, though all three major characters appear to have been killed permanently after the Improbability Drive was finally deactivated. That is, until two NEW protagonists revive Hank.
The story is generally felt to be one of interpretation, allowing the viewer to decide just what the hell is going on.
It should be noted that aside from the "official" series by Krinkels, there are a multitude of animations featuring the art style and cast of the Madnes series by other creators. Newgrounds has even hosted the annual "Madness Day"; wherein the front page is dedicated to these fan videos.
- Adhesive Bandage For Everything - Injuries can be healed by simply wrapping them up with bandages.
- An Axe to Grind: Lots of mooks use fireman or battle axes, and a gigantic mook in Aggregation has an equally gigantic axe, for all the good it did him.
- There's also the battleaxe that Hank uses near the end of Antipathy.
- Anti-Villain: Possibly Jebus.
- Anyone Can Die: Several times, even! The only main character not to die at least once is Sanford. The l33t-crew-employed civilians, such as the hot-dog vendor, are also pretty safe most of the time.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: In Antipathy, Hank is apparently wanted for distorting reality, felony evasion, public urination and crime.
- Sanford is wanted for murder, telling lies, torturing, kidnapping, conspiring, arson - and for being ugly.
- Deimos is wanted for murder, lying, thievery, conspiring, betraying the cause, and for being a smoker.
- Art Evolution: Compare the first (unofficially titled "Boombox Madness") animation with either Consternation, Inundation, or Aggregation. Madness Apotheosis is where the animation very noticeably changed.
- Hank's appearance in general. Same goes for Jebus and Tricky, who go from just a Madness character with a goatee and halo and some clown to a stitched-up, goatee'd holy man with a mouth and a literal Monster Clown.
- Zombies go from green-skinned mooks to darker green mooks with gaping, bloody mouths full of teeth.
- Ascended Extra: Remember those two Red Shirts who gave Hank a sword in Depredation? No? Well, they have about five seconds of screentime before being crushed under a building. Yeah, well, they take center stage for Aggregation and a lot of the newer Madness Combat shorts focus what they were doing between Madness and 6 and 7.
- Tricky the Clown too, who started as One-Scene Wonder and got quickly killed, and eventually grew into one the most iconic characters of the series.
- Awesome but Impractical: Several of the big-ticket weapons in Madness Interactive, the first video game spinoff. For example, the rocket launcher is quite impressive... but it only has four shots, it blows the victim's weapon off of the screen (so you can't grab it when you run out of rockets), and it's an area-of-effect weapon, so you could kill yourself with it.
- The same could be said for the M203 grenade launcher in Madness: Project Nexus; the game even lets you know that you can damage yourself with it by saying in the description that the grenades have no safety feature. It's also the only weapon that has friendly fire, which doesn't bode well when you have a squad of six teammates in Arena mode.
- Ax Crazy: Pretty much everyone, but Tricky takes the cake.
- Back From the Dead: Hank has died 7 times over, Tricky has a grand total of 6 deaths to his name, and Jebus has gone out 4 times. And that's not even taking the countless Zombie Mooks present in the series...
- Back-to-Back Badasses: Sanford and Deimos in 9, 5.5 and 6.5, then Hank and Sanford in 10.
- Bad Boss: The Auditor.
- Badass: Hank, Jebus, Sanford and Deimos, Tricky, and the Auditor. Pretty much all the main characters.
- Badass Back: Attacking Hank from behind usually just means you'll die faster.
- Badass Longcoat: Eventually, Hank and Deimos.
- Badass Normal: Hank at first, before going through numerous resurrections, and now Sanford and Deimos fit the bill, being the only protagonists thus far without having some kind of power or mutation. Well, maybe just Sanford. The two mooks that are forced to accompany the auditor would count, being able to outshoot Sanford and Demios, but they're superpowered.
- Badass Preacher: Jebus.
- BFG: The Auditor is fond of these, as are any Mag Agents on the field. In the latter case it's justified as they're pretty big themselves.
- The Auditor attempts to use a GAU-8 against Jebus in 8, but Jebus moves far too fast for him to hit. He spawns another one in Abrogation to kill Hank and Deimos with (it has a massive bayonet), but is similarly unsuccessful.
- Deimos gets his hands on a Bren machine gun in 6.5.
- And another in 7.5, this time a MG42.
- BFS: The Auditor's sword in Abrogation, once he absorbs enough corpses.
- Big Bad: The Sheriff. Then Jebus. Then Tricky. And now the Auditor.
- Big No: The death of the Auditor in Abrogation:
Tricky: HELLO AGAIN!
Auditor: NO! NO! NO!
Tricky: YES! YES! YES!
- BLAM Episode: Tricky Madness 2 and Incident:001A.
- Bling Bling Bang: Every gun in Madness: Project Nexus has a gold palette swap.
- Bulletproof Human Shield: Dead enemies usually come in handy as these. Hank's dead body in Aggregation is also used like this by Deimos, and he later does it Deimos when he's killed.
- Bullet Time: Used in several scenes, mostly in episode 5.
- Blood From the Mouth: Jebus during "Inundation", buckets of it. He's infected with a virus by the Auditor half-way through to impede his progress...and it fails miserably.
- Bloodless Carnage: The first episode.
- Bottomless Magazines: Notably averted - guns frequently run out of ammo, but throwing your gun always works. It's probably not that hard to keep track of the ammunition when animating one scene takes hours.
- Breakout Mook Character: Incident:011A can be considered this for a giant mook.
- Came Back Strong: If any character has died once and come back from the dead so much as once, you KNOW this applies. Especially Hank.
- Cannibalism Superpower: Subverted in 5.5. Tricky attempts to use Jebus's zombie making powers after killing him by wearing the top half of his severed head like a hat. Much to his frustration, it doesn't work.
- Played straight with The Auditor, who absorbs bodies to grow stronger.
- Cerebus Syndrome: The first episode was a punch-up in a public park over a boombox. The next two episodes were about a man trying to kill a sheriff, but things were still rather silly. After that, the sun gets killed, a reality-altering device, which was previously used for comedic effect, turns the world into a nightmare, the existence of two warring secret organizations is implied, and everything is topped off by a monster clown that turns into a giant flaming demon and a satanic figure with the technology to build 10-feet tall super soldiers.
- Chainsaw Good - Hank uses one to ruin the first MAG Agent's face.
- Chekhov's Gunmen: Remember those two guys in Madness 5, in the jeep, who throw Hank a weapon when he climbs out of the evil red glowing pit? In Madness Combat 5.5 (which was made some time after 5), it's revealed that they survived, and that they're actually Sanford and Deimos.
- To a lesser extent, Tricky, whose corpse ironically saves both Sanford and Hank from the Auditor.
- Crapsack World: Very noticeable in the later episodes. The sun was killed, after all.
- Curb Stomp Battle: Practically every episode and spinoffs feature a protagonist or two effortlessly slaughtering tons of mooks. Though this does get subverted at points where the protagonists get killed.
- Darker and Edgier - The original video was just a random fight Flash with no story and plenty of bloodless silliness. Compare the latest video.
- Bloodier and Gorier: LOADS OF THIS. The amount of blood seen in this series is truly ridiculous. At one point, after reality breaks, a mook floods a room with the blood from his skull.
- Dark Is Evil: The Auditor, who is a Living Shadow Humanoid Abomination. Jesus turns on his own Agents to kill him (or they betrayed him), and there's some sort of mission to stop whatever he's planning.
- Dark Reprise: The song from Abrogation has elements from Consternation, Depredation and others.
- Defector From Decadence: The posters in Abrogation imply this about protagonist Deimos.
- Department of Redundancy Department: Warning: DANGER!
- Divergent Character Evolution: Hank looked like a normal grunt at first, but then got different with each passing installment. Same for Sanford and Deimos, for whom you actually see this happen in real-time in one episode.
- Dodge the Bullet: Mooks have decent to good aim, but the heroes usually either dodge or kill them before they can shoot.
- The Dragon: Jebus, in the second and third episodes. Tricky seems to take this position in episodes 4 and 5. Which brings us to our next trope...
- Dragon Ascendant: After Hank shot the Sheriff, Jebus got to be the Big Bad for a little while until Tricky snapped.
- Dumb Muscle: Hank in Aggregation, whose transformation (at least according to Word of God) makes him mentally retarded.
- Not entirely apparent. He tricks the guards into wasting their bullets on Deimos's corpse, stops the Elite Mooks with a pipe bomb he constructed, and fights just as quickly and competently as ever. It's possible the Emergency Transformation just made him bigger and gave him a Cool arm. This has lead to the belief that Deimos intended to set it much higher, if he didn't get shot up by the possessed ATP Agent trailing him.
- Easter Egg: Zoom in on some of the posters. Additionally, pause when Sanford looks at his PDA, or when Tricky/Jesus/Auditor look at a PC screen.
- Emergency Transformation - Hank, in Aggregation. It's hours late, though.
- Elevator Action Sequence - Several, starting with Redeemer.
- Elite Mooks: Subverted. Agent-style Elite Mooks are dispatched, but rarely, if ever, slow down the hero. Same with the ATP (Accelerated Training Program) agents. Tricky may have originally been one as well.
- The two ATP Agents transformed by the Auditor in Madness Combat 9 play this straight. They're noticeably more competent, accurate, ruthless, and capable of bullet dodging, and even kill off Deimos.
- Establishing Character Moment: Hank is running around the place, chasing the sheriff and beating up any mooks in his way. Then Jebus shows up, Hank gets ready to fight... Cut immediately to the next scene where Hank gets sent flying through a solid wall.
- Everybody Do the Endless Loop: The guy dancing in the background in the first episode.
- Everything Fades: The bodies of dead enemies fade away in the first game adaption.
- Evil Hand: Hank in Madness Combat 9.
- Excuse Plot
- The Faceless: EVERYONE, except for Jebus, who has a mouth in the later cartoons. Sanford gets a mouth later as well. Zombies also have mouths, but they are never shown munching on any brains.
- Failure Is the Only Option: For just about everyone.
- Flash Step: Tricky.
- Follow the Leader: Bunny Kill, Maximum Ninja, and Xionic Madness, among others. Madness Combat itself is a descendant of stick figure fighting animations (Xiao Xiao, namely).
- Funny Background Event: In the rave room in Apothesis, one mook whom Hank missed sees the slaughter before him, and decides to sit back and enjoy a smoke. At least until he gets crushed by a door.
- Giant Mook: Mag Agents. All featuring equally giant weapons, and they fare no better than their tinier co-workers.
- Giant Space Flea From Nowhere: Jesus in the first episode, and the first MAG Agent shows up with no explanation. We do get one later (the Auditor's been growing them). In addition, whatever Tricky/The Auditor was... growing and deploys against Hank and Sanford prematurely in the ninth episode.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: The Auditor has them... then they start multiplying.
- Good Old Fisticuffs: Used by the MAG Agent in Incident:011A. Let's just say it got messy.
- Gorn: Not so much in the early episodes, but the later ones? Well, let's put it this way - someone's ear gets ripped off. Nobody in this series has ears. He was given an ear just so it could be severed. Various Mooks get sliced in half, shot full of bloody holes and splattered all over the scenery by buckshot or explosives. Krinkels does very realistic blood spray.
- Guns Akimbo: Hank absolutely loves this trope. So does Deimos.
- Guns Are Useless: In the hands of mooks, at least. When they DO hit Hank, it doesn't even seem to bother him...although he's been killed with them numerous times.
- Any time Hank gets killed with a gun, Jebus is usually the shooter.
- Gun Fu: Hank and Jebus do this a lot.
- Grievous Harm with a Body: Hank has a habit of tossing people (or rather, their heads)around. Deimos also uses his corpse rather creatively during the course of Aggregation.
- Hand Cannon: Jebus seems to prefer having the biggest handgun in the series. He carried a Deagle until they became l33t Crew standard issue, and then he switched to a S&W 500 revolver.
- Heel Face Turn: Jebus is the protagonist in Madness Combat 8, apparently having decided that the insanity has gone too far.
- The Hero: Just as the villains are constantly changing, Jebus and Sanford have also had a whack at the role of the protagonist between Hank's deaths.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Kind of. Deimos dies reviving Hank in Aggregation, and his corpse is booby-trapped shortly after to destroy the possessed MAG agents who killed him.
- High-Pressure Blood: A mook in Avenger gets his face blown off. A literal FOUNTAIN of blood spouts out of his face-crater, flooding three quarters of the room to WAIST HEIGHT.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Hank has suffered a couple of these; Tricky has repeatedly stabbed Hank with the signpost that originally killed him, and Jebus finished Hank off with the infamous stab, lift, and headshot from Apotheosis.
- As of Abrogation, this has happened to the Auditor. Remember kids, Monster Clowns are NOT part of a healthy diet!
- Hollywood Silencer: played straight in Redeemer (second episode), justified in Apotheosis (fourth episode), and finally averted in Depredation (fifth episode).
- Then played straight again in Aggregation (ninth episode).
- Humanoid Abomination: The Auditor.
- I Have the High Ground: The Auditor really likes this. He uses it once, to retreat from our heroes.
- Implacable Man: Jebus didn't stop chasing after the Auditor in Madness 8.
- Incident:0011A has one of the MAG Agents as its protagonist and this.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Most notably Hank in Avenger. Tons of Mooks meet the same fate on regular basis, including one memorably badass moment in Apotheosis when Hank gets hold of his first katana and uses it to skewer one of the mooks and lift him up before unloading a submachine gun into his face.
- Improbable Weapon User: Tricky's main weapon is a road sign that he uses as a staff, a spear and an axe. Sometimes all at once.
- Informed Flaw: Hank's mental retardation from episode 9 onwards. After his transformation and resurrection, he uses intelligent tactics (MacGyvering up a bomb and tossing it at Elite Mooks after distracting them with the corpse of Deimos), uses the environment to deploy traps, hangs back to let Sanford take care of enemies armed with guns, makes use of martial arts, and keeps his gun trained on the exit when riding an elevator. He also adapts quickly to the Auditor's changing tactics. If anything, he's more careful than before his resurrection.
- Interquel: Madness Combat 5.6, 6.5, and 7.5.
- I Will Fight Some More Forever: The heroes never stop trying to damage the Auditor, even after it's made very clear he can become intangible, though it's justified by the fact that when he becomes intangible he must either drop his weapon, teleport to safety, or both.
- Katanas Are Just Better: Especially when they have Thai inscriptions on the flat of the blade.
- Kill'Em All: Lather, rinse, repeat.
- Kung Fu Jesus: Jebus, obviously.
- Laser Sight: Against Hank sometimes. Used in a more literal sense by Jebus.
- Lennon Specs: Hank has worn a pair of these since Depredation, and they've since become his trademark.
- Light Is Not Good: Jebus.
- Made of Iron: Pretty much all of the main characters take multiple bullets, stab wounds and blunt trauma before they finally die. If they die at all, and even then, that's not so permanent.
- What's that, Sanford? Someone shot you in the gut? Just jab yourself with a syringe of morphine/adrenaline/God-knows-what, you'll be fine.
- Jebus can walk around without his brain.
- Sanford needs a special mention:
- He and Deimos had a building dropped on them in 5/5.5
- Shot in the gut in the beginning of 6.5 (by a revolver, which in this universe are usually instant kills)
- Stabbed in the gut, then shot in the hand in 9
- Then gets beaten around by the the Auditor at the end of 9 and during 10, with a small knife wound to the backhand for good measure. This guys taken almost as much of a beating as Hank, but with none of the revivals (though with a sizable healing period after episode 6.5).
- Made of Plasticine: Heads are ripped off easily, and bodies are torn apart without much trouble.
- The Man Behind the Man: Apparently, the Auditor is the one orchestrating things, given that he had his own Improbability Drive, was able to upgrade his soldiers, create Mag Agents, and infect Jesus.
- Mind Screw: Again, depending on how much weight you give the plot.
- Monster Clown: Tricky. Literally, at one point.
- Mood Whiplash: Happens at the end of some installments. Apotheosis, we're looking at you.
- Mook Chivalry: Tons of it. For example, if a hero ever runs out of bullets, the next room will almost inevitably only have melee-focused enemies.
- New Powers as the Plot Demands: Somewhat justified, as Tricky gains new and improved powers from the Improbability Drive whenever he's on the losing end of a battle. In Madness Combat 7, he gains a "Portable Improbability Drive".
- Nigh Invulnerable: Tricky after his Reality Compromised powerup, and his demon form and The Auditor, who is Made of... Dark Stuff, though as of Abrogation, it's averted as Hank finds that he's vulnerable to electricity attacks.
- Offhand Backhand: Many of the characters do this, but Hank is especially fond of the move.
- Oh Crap: What appears to be reality itself in response to The Auditor accidentally absorbing Tricky.
"[OH GOD NO]"
- One-Man Army: Hank, Jebus, Tricky and The Auditor.
- One-Winged Angel: CLOWN CANNOT DIE. Tricky spends the entirety of one episode trying to get at Hank as a giant demon clown, only stopped when Jesus destroys the Improbability Generator that's keeping up Tricky's form. Also, the Auditor turns into this eventually. Also, Hank.
- Clipped-Wing Angel: The second time the Auditor tries this, it begins to backfire on him. This gets more noticeable after Hank briefly steals his halo, which causes the Auditor to slowly destabilize. To keep himself stable, he starts to absorb a LOT of dead bodies, allowing him to grow in power and size... then he absorbs Tricky, which kills him.
- Our Zombies Are Different: Actually, they're exactly the same as the regular mooks. They're nowhere near as strong though.
- Phlebotinum Breakdown: With the destruction of the Improbability Drives, it seems that reality itself has been suffering from this. It Got Worse by the tenth episode.
- On top of this, the Auditor suffers this throughout Abrogation, until his Phlebotinum Overload
- Phlebotinum Overload: The Auditor's death, courtesy of Tricky's remains.
- Pistol-Whipping: When empty, guns are frequently used as melee weapons.
- Poor Communication Kills: As demonstrated by the first two OBSV agents.
- Punch Clock Villain/Anti-Villain: Jesus, most likely. If anything, he's just trying to stop Hank from killing more people, and he even "rescues" Hank by granting his Death Seeker wish, immediately before becoming the hero himself by trying to kill the Auditor.
- Rated "M" for Manly
- Raymanian Limbs: Floating hands are omnipresent in this series.
- Reality Warper: Tricky, according to his profile on the Auditor's monitor. May or may not simply be a side effect of the Improbability Drive.
- Recurring Traveller: The Hot Dog Vendor, a guy in a paper hat and greasy apron who has the privilege of being one of the few characters who has not been killed yet. The cafeteria vendor is becoming this, showing up twice and going back to reading his book.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Jebus, the Auditor and many, many, many Mooks.
- Refuge in Audacity: The only way this series can get away with the body count.
- Revolvers Are Just Better - Jesus had an S&W500, and Sanford has a Ruger GP-101
- Rock-Paper-Scissors - Hank and Sanford in Abrogation.
- Running Gag - Smokers getting killed.
- Serious Business - People get killed over a boombox in Madness Combat 1.
- Shaggy Dog Story: Incident: 100A
- Shock and Awe: Hank gets this ability after fussing with Jebus' halo after taking it from the Auditor. It proves to be the Auditor's weakness, as it quickens his destablization.
- Shout-Out: Many for The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and a few to The Matrix. Also there are certain weapons that bear a strong resemblance to weapons from other media - especially the cutlass with the spiky handguard that seems to be from Heavy Metal. Hank's getup from Episode 5 is basically Jean Reno's costume from The Professional. As well as the Graffiti that featured names such as Newgrounds Dot Com and forum members on the official fansite.
- Splash of Color: Mostly red (and now yellow) in the midst of that colorless world.
- Standard Snippet: You can hear Raymond Scott's "Powerhouse" in Madness Combat 3's main theme.
- The Scrappy: An interesting example. The creator himself has often and openly displayed his hate for The Sheriff -- probably the reason he got the honour of being Killed Off for Real.
- The Starscream: Tricky could be interpreted as this.
- As of Abrogation, this has been confirmed. Posthumously. It got to the point where Tricky defiantly deserted just to battle Hank, and the Auditor threatened anyone who was "caught posting paraphernalia in regards to that god damn clown" with instant death.
- Sticks to the Back - Jebus's TAC-50. Overlaps with Hammerspace because even disassembled the barrel is taller than him. Also, in both Madness Interactive and Madness: Project Nexus, you can see alternate weapons a character carries on his back.
- Subverted Trope: Incident:010A, wherein Hank is brutally torn apart while the man he used as a human shield calmly has a smoke in the end - a Running Gag is that anyone who smokes, dies.
- Super Strength: Hank, an otherwise Badass Normal, can rip a man's body parts off with his bare hands [also included are hearts and ears], and impale people with blunt objects just as easily as with swords or knives. As of Aggregation, he has now gotten even stronger after being revived once more.
- Sweat Drop: Happens a few times in the series. One time near the end of Redeemer, another at the end of Apotheosis (OMFG) and other time when Sanford and Deimos encounter Tricky.
- Sword and Gun: Used extensively by Hank in Apotheosis, as well as by Jebus in most of his appearances.
- Swords Akimbo: The Auditor.
- Throw-Away Guns: Hank tends to burn through both his ammo and his firearms. Subverted by Jebus, who only drops his TAC-50 after he doesn't need it anymore/runs out of ammo and keeps his S&W500 on him throughout the episode, and played straight and subverted by Deimos, who throws weapons away, but not his own S&W.
- Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Ever seen someone's skull being pierced by a police baton from across the room? Hank does this with a gun, a sword in the intro for Apothesis, and Jesus at least once.
- Too Dumb to Live: The grunts in Incident:011A try to stop Mag-Agent: Torture by hitting him with nightsticks.
- Took a Level In Badass: Hank gets a lot better at fighting over time.
- Too Spicy for Yog-Sothoth: The Auditor absorbs Tricky's corpse. Tricky then decides to overload the Auditor, causing him to explode.
- Weapon of Choice: Jebus has his longsword with "316" in binary on it and a S&W500 Revolver. The Auditor has his twin blades and (arguably) is the only character to utilize heavy weapons (Rocket launcher, minigun). Tricky also likes to use traffic sign with exclamation mark on it. Sanford seems to be fond of his hook and .357 Ruger. In several episodes Hank uses a piece of piano wire to dispatch mooks and Agents. Everyone uses different weapons throughout the series.
- Will It Blend - Incident:001A, starting with some hapless mooks and ending with a freaking MAG agent.
- Your Head Asplode: The result of Tricky attempting to use Jebus's powers to raise the dead.
- Tricky:How come this does not work?!??
- Of note is how the giant mook in Incident:011A meets his end: A grenade launched into the back of his head, then detonating.