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 "This is no game. It's a movie!"

 "Why'd you let him hit you?" - Zack

"It was his turn." - Sam

Press Start is an independent spoof comedy film produced by Dark Maze Studios.

It chronicles the adventures of Zack Nimbus, the 'Chosen One', Lin-Ku, an overly violent Ninja, and Sam, a woman warrior in a spacesuit. They set out to find the three ancient relics and battle The Empire ruled by the nefarious Count Nefarious Vile and they spoof more video games than you can count along the way. Featuring special appearances by game actors Daniel and Carlos Pesina (Mortal Kombat) and music by videogame composer Jake Kaufman (Contra 4). Made on a budget described as "spare change placed in a mayo jar," the film was well received by many video game websites. It even spawned an Animated Adaptation series, and a sequel, Press Start 2 Continue was released in March 11 2011.

According to the production notes (available in PDF on the website), the original concept by Ed Glaser was Videogame: The Movie! - like the Scary Movie series, only funny. It was written by Kevin Folliard. The truly great thing is that everyone involved in the movie has either worked on games or is a hardcore fan, so naturally the movie is Troperiffic. Plus, most of them are accomplished martial artists that raised the level of fight scenes in the movie. The incredibly low budget was worked around thanks to the extremely committed and versatile team.

So sit back, relax, and get ready for some cheesy video game laughs. Just Press Start.

Synopsis here: Press Start

Tropes used in Press Start include:
  • Affectionate Parody - And how.
  • Alliterative Name - Princess Passionfruit and Plumber Pete.
  • Animated Adaptation - Press Start Adventures.
  • Badass - Lin-ku.
  • Beleaguered Assistant - Johnson.
  • Beware the Silly Ones - Vile. genre-blind buffoon he may be, but he's a very tough Final Boss.
  • Brick Joke: Subverted - Zack's refusal to play the Jackomo card game is itself a Running Gag, but when Zack & Lin-Ku reach Vile & promise to defeat him, Vile asks if they have several powerful weapons & pieces of armour. Zack then asks how they could get that stuff, and Vile responds with "By winning the Jackomo card game tournament!"
  • Brought Down to Badass - In Press Start 2 Continue Count Vile loses his sorcery after coming Back From the Dead, but thanks to his Omnicrystal-powered Veemote, he's still able to give the heroes a hard fight.
  • Butt Monkey - Johnson gets turned into a turtle. A turtle.
  • Captain Ersatz - Essentially every character. Carries over into Adventures. See Shout-Out.
  • Card-Carrying Villain - Vile.
  • Character Level - Zack seems to be leveling up quite quickly in the beginning of the film. (He's a level 4 Swordsman!)
    • It seems to be abandoned not long after his 4th level...
      • In one of the later web-toons, his bedroom has a certificate mounted on the wall, congratulating him for making it to level 99.
  • Chekhov's Gun - The Visual Visor
  • Creator Cameo - Ed Glaser plays "Justin Bailey", Vile's employee, as well as the voice of the lair's self-destruct mechanism. Writer Kevin Folliard, in addition to voicing Lin-Ku, also has a brief appearance as "Jungle Jerry".
  • Department of Redundancy Department - Did you know the ancient prophecy was made by an ancient prophet?
  • Everything's Deader with Zombies - The abandoned research facility was hit with a "zombie virus".
  • Exposition Fairy - Zippy, bringing you a big healthy dose of Stop Helping Me!.
  • Fail O'Suckyname - Johnson Johnson.
  • Face Palm - Sam does quite a few of these.
  • Fangs Are Evil - Vile.
  • Forgotten Fallen Friend - After Zack kills Zippy...no one ever mentions him, or the incident. Again. Ever. In any way. Even Sam, who actually liked Zippy, and ends up dating Zack, never brings it up. You'd think you'd care if your significant other killed your pet...
    • Actually, Vile had changed the channel on his viewscreen at that time, so Sam never saw Zack kill Zippy. Still doesn't explain why she hasn't questioned what happened to him.
    • He later shows up in hell.
  • Final Boss New Dimension - For the climactic battle, Vile teleports them all to a dark, featureless place because "property damage is only funny if it's someone else's."
  • Guide Dang It - The final battle would have been MUCH easier on the heroes if only they'd done the Jackamo card game sidequest.
  • Hammerspace - How Press Start explains Kirby's Zippy's ability to eat things and then shoot them out of his mouth as an energy blast.
  • Hand Wave - When Zack tries to bring up the point that killing the current ruler of most of the world (evil or not) might send the world into a socioeconomic turmoil leaving it vulnerable to a dictator of equal or greater power, Sam and Lin-ku pretty much do this.
    • "I think they'll be okay."
  • Heroic Comedic Sociopath - Lin-Ku's cast page in the animated episode "Speed Run" calls him "ethically challenged".
  • Hyperactive Metabolism - Zack eats a turkey leg Lin-ku finds on the floor to regain health. Revisited when he attempts to eat a medkit.
    • It doesn't taste good.
    • Lin-Ku also does this to regain health by eating Captain Psychodrive's heart.
  • In a World - The trailer. Word for word.
  • Intimate Healing - The 'Life Lady', taken right out of Zelda II: The Adventure of Link.
  • Izchaks Wrath - Lin-Ku axes the shopkeeper to see if he had NPC Invulnerability, and he later shows up as the third guardian.
  • Large Ham - Count Vile. Totally Count Vile.
  • La Résistance - As straight as it could possibly be played.
  • Laughably Evil - Again, Count Vile.
  • MacGuffin - The Ancient Relics.
  • Mistaken for Gay - Zack, unaware of Sam being female, mistakes her early affection for this. Later, when Zack and Lin-Ku wait outside the third dungeon and Zack shares this, Lin-Ku ends up mistaking Zack as gay.
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast - Nefarious Vile. Seriously. Also, Captain Psychodrive.
  • Nobody Poops - averted when Sam locates some zombies in the men's room... as they're taking a piss. She shoots them.
  • Only Sane Man - Johnson. Carries over to the Animated Adaptation.
  • Power Makes Your Hair Grow - Zack.
  • Power Trio
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits - How the creator describes the Resistance.
  • Rule of Fun - Apparently, how the movie was made on such a low budget.
  • Running Gag - Lin-ku's ninja stars, Zack thinking Sam is a boy, the Shopkeeper, and Jackamo cards. Oh boy those Jackamo cards.
    • The Virtual Visor. It causes headaches.
  • Samus Is a Girl - Not to the audience, but to Zack Nimbus thinking Sam is a boy. Of course, the movie was specifically trying to parody the Trope Namer with this...
  • Shout-Out - Arguably half the fun of the movie. Too many games are referenced to name.
  • Take That - The CrazyFeline game controller is called "a third party piece of crap". The Visual Visor to the Virtual Boy.
  • The Chosen One - Played straight. Zack Nimbus is chosen by a prophecy from an ancient prophet.
  • The Unintelligible - Zippy.
  • This Is for Emphasis, Bitch - "Game over, you son of a bitch."
  • This Is Something He's Got to Do Himself - Subverted and played straight. Lin-ku pulls this when fighting Captain Psychodri- I mean G. Foreman. However, Zack and Sam have no problem letting the murderous ninja do the fighting for him. Played straight when Zack tries to intervene in the fight, but Sam stops him.
  • Took a Shortcut - The Shopkeeper continually shows up wherever the heroes go. Including a secret passage Sam discovers by blowing up a wall. It gets lampshaded.
  • Warp Zone - Zack and Lin-ku would've had to go through some terrible places to get to Vile's Lair. Instead, they opt out for one of these.

 Vile: Come, Johnson! We'll take the Warp Zone! * SMASH*

Johnson: Sir, that was your Berry Blast Sports Drink.


The Animated Adaptation provides examples of

 Belfast: After twelve seconds we sent out a search party. (Beat) Us.

    • Also, Vile.

 Vile: I can't tell you how much fun I'm having, Vlad! Did you know I get to torment this people forever?

Vlad: Yeah, that's the general idea.

 Johnson: What? I may be a turtle with glasses and a tie, but I'm still evil.

 Belfast: As sure as the curves of a curvaceous concubine of succulent succubi.

 Sam: Where is your famili-

Lauren: IT'S MY GUN!

 Morris: (Your) outfit is far too revealing for a boy his age!

Morgan: To wear or to look at?

 Sam: I've been violating ancient ruins longer than you, Lauren!

 Lin-Ku: You know, I almost wish I hadn't broken our grappling hook disemboweling that troll.

Zack: That was a forum troll!

Lin-Ku: I said "almost".

    • And in the movie:

 Lin-Ku: Wait! I know these guys! Don't kill them!

Zack: Did you say don't kill them?

Lin-Ku (visibly uncomfortable): Yeah, I know. It felt weird.

  • Oh Crap - The entire Resistance in "Endgame (Part 2)".
  • One-Winged Angel - Vlad almost does this in "Golden Axed", but decides against it since he already accomplished his goal.
  • Only Sane Man - Oddly enough, Vlad.

 Vlad: Does anyone lock the door around here?

  • Orcus on His Throne - Vlad really likes Jeopardy.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Vlad is clearly based on Castlevania's Dracula, has an apparent affinity to bats, and flat-out states that his moat is meant to keep out vampire hunters. But he has blue hair, lacks a mouth (maybe he talks telepathically?), refers to himself as a "dark lord of chaos" rather than a vampire, and can conjure lightning bolts out of nowhere. At this point, he seems more like a lich than a vamp.
  • Pay Evil Unto Evil - Belfast believes the only way to stop evil is to kill it dead (with "weaponized Christianity").
  • Platform Hell - Johnson has to go through a lot of it to get a certain library book.
  • Power Echoes - Vlad, whenever he wants to make an impression (or alternately, when he's really pissed off).
  • Put on a Bus - Lauren Ketch more or less vanished after season 1 until she reappeared near the end of season 3.
  • Rant-Inducing Slight - After the entirety of "Solicitors", Vile sets Vlad over the edge.

 Vile: Vlad, I don't have all day.

Vlad: -ZAP!- Vile, you have all of eternity! Cricket, I'll download Botsky a new Sharper Image share and get you a rubber sleeve for the mask you already have. Kid, I'll buy ten subscriptions if you hurl them through the windows of the DMA office daily. Morris, four steps to the left. Belfast, leave now and I promise to stake myself later, but only if you promise to name one of your descendants Sissy Belfast so I can rib on him when he tries to kill me in fifty years!

 Lin-Ku: You know, you really shouldn't have run off without someone to watch your back.

  • Super Drowning Skills - Very subtly lampshaded in "Pit Fallout" (it's a quick comment that's quite easy to miss if you're not paying attention).

 Sam: Besides, the blaster would incinerate the crocodile's mouths and then what would we do? Swim?

Lin-Ku: Good point.

 Lin-Ku: Your highness, I'm telling you, the guy was inside-out when I found him!

  • Take That: Trenton's copy of the movie Wishmaster, which reads "You'll wish you'd rented Leprechaun instead."
  • Temple of Doom - The home of the dark mages.
  • The Devil Is a Loser - Vile.
  • The Gods Must Be Lazy - God spends his time hanging out in Heaven playing games and ordering taking out. He only intervenes when Vile's actions in Hell start messing with the cosmic balance.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill - Scarthcaroth in "Endgame (Part 1)". Lampshaded by Vile.
  • Too Kinky to Torture - Trenton gets blasted by chaos magic repeatedly during a raid to retrieve an oracle. He claims it "started to feel good after a while."
  • Vice City - The City of Freedomsville which is visited for one episode. Lin-ku falls in love with the free-for-all nature that rules the place and chooses to stay behind to begin a life as a crime-boss. Until next day where he, to his disappointment, finds out that that killing off the other crime-bosses have caused the citizens to reclaim their city and turned it into a peaceful Utopia.
  • Villains Out Shopping - It seems that every villain in the Press Start universe shops at Occult Mart.
  • Villain Teleportation - Vlad. He... morphs places instead of walking.
  • Violence Is the Only Option - What Belfast believes in "Mage of Empires". Averted when Sam reaches a diplomatic solution.
  • The Voiceless - Scarthcaroth. It bites him in the butt when he challenges Vile for control of Hell and gets stuck with Joke Character Stan Hibachi as a tag-team partner.
  • Is It Really Worth It - How Lin-Ku feels about Zach in "Endgame (Part 2)".
  • What Could Possibly Go Wrong? - Unsurprisingly, Vile says this just before the universe starts falling apart.
  • What the Hell, Hero? - Sam calls Lin-Ku out on his Anti-Hero tendencies before kicking him off the team.
  • Whip It Good - Belfast.
  • White-Haired Pretty Boy - Scarthcaroth. Also, Trenton Belfast's... ancestor?... is named "Effeminate White Haired Belfast".
  • Xanatos Gambit - Vlad creates an Evil Knockoff of Zack to go and try and kill him. Seems a pretty straightforward and easily foiled plot, right? After a brief (and stupid) Spot the Impostor moment, Zack kills his double and that's that, right? Wrong. Remember one of the rituals to unlock one of the gates of Hell? "The hero that killed Vile must spill his own blood on the altar". Evil!Zack is still Zack, so no matter what the outcome was (Zack killing evil!Zack or Evil!Zack killing Zack), the ritual would be fulfilled.
  • Yandere - Amy Rose... I mean, Vicki Violet in Attract Modes is probably one of the biggest ones around.

Press Start 2 provides examples of

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