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The Mad Scientist Wars is an ongoing Fanfic story, set in the same universe as the webcomic Narbonic. It also added Girl Genius into the canon some time ago, and with the recent character originating from Discworld is becoming the strict Universe equivalent of a Massive Multiplayer Crossover. That is, the canon may involve several different Universes, including original characters' backgrounds, but no characters from any of these works except Jane Narbon's parents have yet to actually appear.
It started as a series of increasingly silly comments on the comments sections in the Narbonic Director's Commentary, before moving to its own forum, where it has--pardon the pun--mutated into a sprawling, ongoing work.
So far, the plot has been divided into "Chapters"--each one, after the end of the very beginning's more chaotic start, run by a different player, who assumes the role of 'GM' for the duration. At 16+ chapters and over two full year of dedicated play, the game has currently spanned 275+ pages of posts. (Luckily, a condensed Plot Summary is in the works for new players.)
We swear, it's Better Than It Sounds. Despite the silliness, a lot of effort goes into it. Character development has occurred over time, loads of extra material and backstory has been worked out--even a full explanation of the combined time line from two different canons being used.
Due to Loads and Loads of Characters once you hit the Secondaries, we recommend you visit the forum's 'Character Dossiers'. But following is a truncated list of the main characters--notably, each original main character is played by a separate forum goer.
Andrew K. O-P P. R. Tinker
- his Son, Fredric Z. Tinker
-Commander Primary Xerox
Thaddeus Atrius Guy (AKA That Guy)
Wallace Caine (AKA Wallycaine)
- Lagos, his henchman/pet
-Jess, aka 'The Chimera'
Dr. Amino, w/ Ingrid
In general, the plots are issue based- a threat arrives, and the characters have to deal with it over the course of the chapter. Some characters are strict Heroes, some... not so much, so it;s hard to say who will be doing what any given chapter.
- Ambiguously Gay Typically averted- most characters are very open about their respective sexuality, but there's still some questions to be asked about the Tinker Twins and Dr. Mallory....
- Angrish: "This is Commander Xerox. If you are hearing this message, then you have angered one of our agents to the point of being incapable of coherent speech..."
- Run, ya numbskulls.
- Applied Phlebotinum If it isn't It Runs on Nonsensoleum, it's this. Although, at least some attempt at Internal logic is attempted.
- Mad Scientist Who isn't?
- Madness Tropes At least 70% of them are used.
- Action Girl, and Dark Action Girl... of Science. Specifically, Chicgeek, Jane Narbon, and Jess are all good examples.
- All There in the Manual A lot of the plot makes more sense if you read the Tales of Madness, the Dossiers, and the Notes. Set aside a few months...
- Badass Bookworm Most members of the Tinker family fit this trope-- they tend to be bespectacled, lab-coat wearing geeks who can kick your ass six ways to Sunday, save the world, and do it with science. Dr. Andrew Tinker is probably the definitive example- he's an English Professor.
- Badass Longcoat Subverted by most of the cast by said coats being Lab Coats, but played straight by the Viktor Twins, Fredric and Hawkwolf.
- Beware the Nice Ones Andrew, ChicGeek, and David Toboz.
- Beware the Honest Ones Mostly David Toboz.
- Big Red Button Actually, it's armed with an alarm, pepper spray, and a pit trap.
- Big Word Shout Kinestro and his DOOOOOM! (TM)
- Bizarre Alien Biology The martian slimes
- Break the Cutie Mostly Pre-broken, but that hasn't stopped this from occouring in game as well.
- Broken Smile Never a good sign.
- Call Back
- Catgirl It is all about Claire here
- Character Alignment Not a literal force of the Universe, but often used as shorthand by the writers.
- Character Development (And how!)
- Character Tics
- Children Are Innocent Subverted across the board.
- City of Weirdos Xyon City.
- Cloning Blues (Subverted-- so far, the only clones have been those of SoItBegins, and there the clone is always a perfect copy, used as recovery after some sort of fatal accident. The clones never go angsty-- they just pick where the old copy of SoItBegins left off.) EDIT: As of Bluelight... never mind.
- The Cobbler's Children Have No Shoes You would think that the Genre Savvy Andrew would be better at recognizing his own Trope behavior...
- Collapsing Lair (Used in The Game mini-arc, for the Video Game dungeons.)
- Common Sense Rare. The Last Bastion of Common Sense actually sells it to Mad Scientists.
- Crowning Moment of Awesome Scattered here and there
- Crowning Moment of Funny Amino
- Daddy's Girl (Although for Chic, this is a major step up for her.)
- Dark Is Not Evil (Go figure. 'The Saya Demon', aka Sayasuke, is a good example of this, as he is a off-putting, scarred demonic being who turns out to be inherently noble. Andrew, also is best described as 'A Hero who Acts like a Villain'- in his style, not in deeds.
- The Dark Side (Subverted-- the Mads tend to take being evil as just a fact of life.
- Deflector Shields (All over the place!)
- Descent Into Madness If not seen in-game, likely explored in Tales of Madness.
- Disappeared Dad (Eric Tinker, who's death caused Andrew to go mad in teh first place.
- Drink Order Coffee. Dear god, the coffee....
- Dynamic Entry Always fun to write- the Mad Science Awards even had a special catagory for it.
- Elements Do Not Work That Way Not that anyones really trying....
- Evil Is Cool
- Evil Laugh (EVERYONE. No exceptions.)
- Evil Twin Actually, Evil Twins of a pair of twins. Who actiually came first by several years. Long story. Cloning was involved.
- A more straight example of this is The Nega Verse, a universe of Opposite Alignment Clones. Has a suprisingly genial relationship with the Main Verse, and several 'Nega' characters have become favored Secondary characters.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin
- Fatal Flaw (Well, they are mad scientists. Most have at least one- Andrew Tiker may be Genre Savvy, but at the cost of his Common Sense. He had been known to forget how to work a doorknob.
- Fairy Companion Elleb.
- Flaw Exploitation Easy to do, but not really recommended...
- Fluffy the Terrible, literally. In the form of a cute flying,talking, *Vorpal Bunny named 'Fredric', formerly nicknamed... well, guess. He later eats a magic artifact, and can assume human form. However, he keeps the Bunny ears...
- Foe Yay There are several Hero/Villain pairs, many of them parents of the cast. Eric and Katty, Io and Viktor, and Dr. Goodbody and Dr.Omega are all examples. As are Xerox and Jess...
- Freudian Excuse Once Again....
- Gambit Index: See Unreliable Narrator. There's a lot of planning and counter planning and the fact that the GM switches seats every chapter makes events....confusing.
- Genre Savvy Quite a few people, and one of the primary advantage of the character Professor Andrew Tinker.
- Genre Blind Also fairly common, if mostly in side characters.
- Geographic Flexibility Xycon City, as the main location of the Wars is now named. Apparently it has large forests...
- Girl Scouts Are Evil, albeit only in a passing reference.
- Go-Karting with Bowser Fairly common- it's been hinted that a lot of Heroes and Villains do this 'off the clock', as it were.
- Good Angel, Bad Angel: Well, it IS a derivative of Narbonic...
- Government Conspiracy At least two, so far. Possibly three...
- Handy Remote Control
- Has Two Mommies (a male example. The Tinker Twins adopted Desius when he was ten. And more recently have Had Eta Tinker with their (ex) rival, Dr.Mallory. Justified in that he was *going* to clone them for a vengance plan, included his own Dna as aprt of it, but couldnt go through with it. So... Three Daddies.
- Heroes Gone Fishing / Villains Out Shopping It happens.
- Holding Back the Phlebotinum
- Hot Librarian (And how! Minus that silly "taking off the glasses" part.)
- Ho Yay Canon and not-- there is a running joke that of made up "Fandom Pairings" that has a lot of fun with this.
- Inertial Dampening
- Instant Sedation
- Invulnerable Civilians Subverted-- The hapless Brad and Janet thought that the Mad Science Convention would be a fun way to spend a weekend...
- It Runs on Nonsensoleum Occasionally.
- Kiss of Death (Jane Narbon.)
- Laser-Guided Amnesia (Potentially subverted-- it's been suggested that David may have suppressed his own memory on purpose.)
- Mad Scientist's Beautiful Daughter (By now, generally subverted across the board. It's implied that the whole Mad Scientist's Beautiful Daughter thing is misinformation spread by the Mads, to make it tough on the heroes (and fun for the daughters.))
- Malevolent Architecture: Q, who has three settings, the lowest being "hard" and the highest "Indiana Jones". Castle Heterodyne is also this, though we hardly get to see it in action. EDIT - As of the latest chapter, you get all the deathtrap goodness you could ask for.
- Magnificent Bastard (Jane Narbon. Big time.)
- More Than Mind Control (Recently, Jane Narbon's been dabbling in this.)
- Mysterious Past (Frankly, it would be easier to list who doesn't have one at this point.)
- Nakama (ChicGeek, Wallace, Desius, Andrew, and Fredric seem to form one of these.
- Nanomachines (SoItBegins.)
- Mayincatec: Q again.
- Nerd Glasses (maybe 60% of the Mad Scientists have these-- not all of them need them.)
- Nightmare Fuel (Maria Narbon. Brrrrrr!!)
- Noodle Incident (From Cake Mechas to The Line Dancing Incident.)
- Overly Long Name (Andrew Kaboom Omega-Particle Prince Risk-Tinker. Most of the Tinkers suffer from this, but Andrew has it the worst so far)
- Rolf have one as well. Rolf Erich Kaspar Steve Von Eisenberg, but like most jaegers, he goes by just his first name.
- Perfect Health (Justified-- if you're a powerful Mad Scientist, why wouldn't you give yourself perfect health?)
- Power Born of Madness (Everyone. Seriously, The Mad Wars runs on this.)
- Red Herring
- The Clan: The Heterodynes and the Viktor-Tinkers are of note. As are the Umbras. The Toboz's and the Narbons avert this somewhat.
- The Reveal
- The Power of Friendship-- Andrew Tinker is a firm believer in this, although at least he keeps fairly quiet about it.
- Rewriting Reality (Andrew Tinker's most powerful skill, as his knowledge of Literature allows him to re-write reality around him-- with some limits. Technically also makes him a Reality Warper, as he may be able to do this without writing.
- Rule of Funny Amino, Kinestro and Olson
- Rule of Cool Some things are too cool not to work.
- Scary Shiny Glasses (see Nerd Glasses, above.)
- Science-Related Memetic Disorder (It's even referred to as such, despite working more like it does in the original Narbonic
- Scary Librarian Enough so that a High-Level Villain, who rules 'his own country' starts stuttering when she gives him the glare.
- Shout-Out (Loads. It is a Fan Work after all.)
- Spell My Name with a "The" The Steve.
- Spell My Name with an "S" Xyon/Xylon/Xykon/Xyclon City. Xyon seems to be the most popular spelling, though.
- Ri Xean/Xi Rean/Rhy Zean the Martian.
- Surveillance as the Plot Demands (SoItBegins, during the Awards.)
- Take Our Word for It (That little... incident with the Guardian Statues. Also the Line Dance incident. And many more.
- Travelling At the Speed of Plot Andrew Tinker can't travel at anything other than the speed of plot, which sometimes annoys him.
- The Vamp (Jane Narbon. In spades.)
- Tsundere (Katty Risk-- she ended up marrying him, though.
- Unlimited Wardrobe - Jane. Implied for some of the other characters as well.
- Unreliable Narrator (In this case, the third-person narrative text has proved to be... inaccurate on occasion, usually when dealing with one or more Gambit Pile Ups.
- Unspoken Plan Guarantee (See Unreliable Narrator, just above. What you hear about future plans in the Wars may not be much, and it's not necessarily true. It's only when everything unfolds that you can be sure.)
- Villain Protagonist (Most of the characters are.)
- Villain World: The Nega-World
- Wrench Wench (ChicGeek, a mad who specializes in Steampunk designs.)
- Writing by the Seat of Your Pants : Happens a lot.