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Encyclopedia > 8 Bit Theater
8-Bit Theater
Three panels from a strip that ran on January 20, 2004; which was (coincidentally) the day the site's current update forum started
Three panels from a strip that ran on January 20, 2004
Author(s) Brian Clevinger
Website http://www.nuklearpower.com/
Update schedule Active
Launch date 2001 March 2 [1]
Genre Humour (RPG)
Rating(s) PG-13 for violence and mild language.

8-Bit Theater (also spelled 8-Bit Theatre) is a sprite comic created by Brian Clevinger based on the game Final Fantasy I by Square Co., Ltd.. The comic was launched on March 2, 2001. (It has been stated by the author, however, that the comic was started in mid-to-late January 2001.) Sample panels from the web comic 8-Bit Theater by Brian Clevinger, used with his permission under the terms of the GNU FDL (reply to request for use under FDL: I have no problem with you using one or two of my comics, whether whole or in part). File links... The word author has several meanings: The author of a book, story, article or the like, is the person who has written it (or is writing it). ... Brian Clevinger is the author of the webcomic 8-Bit Theater and the novel Nuklear Age. ... The front page of the English Wikipedia Website. ... 2001: A Space Odyssey. ... March 2 is the 61st day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (62nd in leap years). ... The webcomic genres are the types of themes a webcomic can take. ... A role-playing game (RPG) is a type of game in which players assume the roles of characters and collaboratively create narratives. ... Sprite comics are webcomics that use video game sprites and backgrounds for their artwork. ... Brian Clevinger is the author of the webcomic 8-Bit Theater and the novel Nuklear Age. ... Final Fantasy (later known as Final Fantasy I) is a role-playing game developed and published by Square Co. ... Square Co. ... March 2 is the 61st day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (62nd in leap years). ... 2001: A Space Odyssey. ...

Although 8-Bit Theater follows the storyline of Final Fantasy, the places travelled and the enemies fought are the only real similarities. For example, Garland, the first boss in Final Fantasy, is pictured as possessing a distinct deficiency of evil compared to the typical villain. Chaos as he appears in Final Fantasy Origins. ...

According to a post by Clevinger on the forums, 8-Bit Theater was initially supposed to be a series of parody sprite comics, focusing on different legendary 8-bit video games (Metroid, River City Ransom, etc.). However, the comic did not go that route and only parodies Final Fantasy. This article is about the first game in the series. ... River City Ransom (Japanese: ダウンタウン熱血物語 Downtown Nekketsu Monogatari Downtown Thermal Blood Story) in Japan and Street Gangs in PAL regions) is a video game for the Nintendo Family Computer and the Nintendo Entertainment System from the now defunct Technos Japan Corporation, originally released in 1989. ...



In general, the art in the comic is sampled from the game Final Fantasy, particularly the characters and most of the foreground scenery. However, some backgrounds and objects are taken from different sources. The comic author has previously stated that most are obtained via Google. Google, Inc. ...

The artist's background editing, word balloons, and text are created in Adobe Photoshop. The sprites used in the comic are a mix of FF1, FF2j, and FF3j sprites, as well as an additional assortment of sprite edits and artificial sprites created with Corel PhotoPaint 3.0, a Windows 3.0/3.1 art program. Adobe Systems (NASDAQ: ADBE)is a computer software company headquartered in San Jose, California that was founded in December 1982 by John Warnock and Charles Geschke. ... Adobe Photoshop is a bitmap graphics editor (with some text and vector graphics capabilities) published by Adobe Systems. ... Final Fantasy (later known as Final Fantasy I) is a role-playing game developed and published by Square Co. ... Final Fantasy II is a computer role-playing game developed and published by Square Co. ... This article covers the computer role-playing game released in 1990 for the Nintendo Family Computer. ... Corel PhotoPaint is a bitmap graphics program sold by Corel, a software company with headquarters in Canada. ... Microsoft Windows refers to a series of operating environments and operating systems created by Microsoft for use on personal computers and servers. ...

Kevin Sigmund (known as Sky Warrior KC on the Nuklearpower Forums) created many of the custom sprites used in the comic.


For more information, see: Characters of 8-Bit Theater.

The events in 8-Bit Theater revolve around four central characters—the Light Warriors—and a number of minor ones. Many of these characters are exaggerated RPG stereotypes. This is a list of characters from the sprite-based webcomic 8-Bit Theater. ... A role-playing game (RPG) is a type of game in which players assume the roles of characters and collaboratively create narratives. ...

The Light Warriors

  • Fighter - A fighter specializing in swords, and master of The Twelve Schools of Vargus-do Zodiac Style Swordplay. Fighter has a childlike mentality and an obsession with swords. He considers Black Mage to be his best friend, seemingly oblivious to the fact that Black Mage hates him and makes frequent attempts to stab him. His only interest other than battle is his ideal weapon "sword-chucks", a pair of swords chained together like nunchaku. The others dismiss the invention as stupid; Fighter would cut his own hands off while using them. Showing unusual ingenuity, however, he eventually turns the idea into a viable weapon. Of course, the only time he's ever used his sword-chucks, the others weren't paying attention.
  • Black Mage - A wizard specializing in dark magic. He is evil, murderous, psychotic, and hates everyone who isn't Black Mage, Fighter most of all. His most powerful (and therefore, favorite) spell is called 'Hadoken!' A reference to Street Fighter, this spell seems capable of incredible destruction comparable to a nuclear bomb, but can only be cast once per day. It seems that whenever he uses his Hadoken, another situation immediately pops up where it could have been much more useful. The Hadoken is powered by love itself: each time he uses Hadoken, there is less love in the world. He is also deeply attracted to his polar opposite, White Mage, who does not return the sentiment (although he once nearly succeeded in winning White Mage's heart with an eloquently written letter; he struck out, however, when he admitted to the source of his Hadoken's power).
  • Thief - A greedy and often businesslike thief. Thief is the Prince of Elfland, who left his kingdom to find a cure for his father's illness. He is the leader of the Light Warriors, a position he acquired through both legal and illegal trickery as well as by virtue of the fact that he is the only stable member of the group (although even that is debatable, as he is somehow able to steal objects that don't even exist).
  • Red Mage - A mage possessing the ability to cast both light and dark magic (though he never casts any spells, for fear that it will make him less versatile). He believes himself to be a character in an RPG and has abilities that allow him to manipulate his character statistics and the system itself. It is occasionally suggested that he has transvestite tendencies brought about by his troubled upbringing. This is later proven simply to be a cruel trick being played on him by Thief, although it is never explained how Thief does this.

Warrior (From Middle English, from Old North French, to make war) is a character class (or job) found in many computer role-playing games, most notably in Square Enixs Final Fantasy series. ... A nunchaku (Chinese: 雙節棍 shuāng jié gùn, 兩節棍 liǎng jié gùn, or 三節棍 sān jié gùn), also known in English by the plural nunchucks (variously rendered as nunchuks, nun-chucks, nun-chuks, nun chucks, nun chuks, nunchaku, or just chucks for short), is a martial arts weapon... The Black Mage is a character class (or job) in Square Enixs Final Fantasy series of computer role-playing games. ... Screenshot of Street Fighter (arcade version). ... The thief character class in role-playing games such as Dungeons & Dragons, Final Fantasy, and most MMORPGs are stealthy, dextrous characters who are the only characters who can disarm traps, pick locks, and perform backstabs from hiding. ... This is a list of fictional locations in the Square Co. ... A red mage refers to a type or order of wizards. ... This article is about traditional role-playing games. ...

Other notable characters

  • White Mage - A mage specializing in white (healing) magic. White Mage is a priestess and member of Project Fate. Her mission is to help the Light Warriors save the world.
  • Black Belt - A talented martial artist and travelling companion of White Mage. He has a terrible sense of direction to the point where he managed to get so lost he split himself in two. One was killed by Kary. The other was turned to stone, only to be healed later by White Mage, who failed to account for the fact that half his head had been eroded away by the pond he'd been thrown into. This oversight resulted in his second untimely death, his head spouting blood everywhere. This scene may have been inserted to get the fans of the comic to stop asking if Black Belt is going to be revived. Brian posted once on the 8-Bit forums "How much goddamn deader can I make him before people figure out that he's dead?".
  • Garland - An incompetent villain and leader of the Dark Warriors. Garland is terrified of Forest Imps, which are among the weakest enemies in the original Final Fantasy.
  • Princess Sara - A Princess in Corneria, Princess Sara is kidnapped on a near constant basis. Far smarter than she lets on, Princess Sara is really evil underneath and tries to encourage Garland to be more evil.
  • King Steve - Princess Sara's Father and ruler of Corneria. Utterly incompetent, he worries about rating polls and doesn't understand the concept that kings are not elected. Invented Waroween, a holiday celebrated by having his army pillage, rape, plunder, and kill.
  • Dark Warriors - A group of villains previously defeated by the Light Warriors. They consist of Garland, Bikke the Pirate, Drizz'l the Dark Elf Prince (a clear parody of Drizzt Do'Urden of Forgotten Realms fame), and Vilbert Von Vampire.

The White Mage (Japanese: 白魔道士, or しろまどうし in earlier games without kanji support) is a character class (or job) in Square Enixs Final Fantasy series of computer role playing games. ... The Monk is a character class from the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game which is typically portrayed as a master of martial arts. ... Chaos as he appears in Final Fantasy Origins. ...

Running Gags

8-Bit Theater has, like most comics, a series of jokes routinely used throughout the strips. Some examples follow:

  • "I like swords" - Fighter will constantly ramble on about how he likes swords. Even his spirit guide is a sword. The gag will usually consist of someone suggesting Fighter think of something, and Fighter suggesting the thought 'I like swords', such as in Episode 2.
  • Sword-Chucks - In Episode 68, Fighter comes up the idea to mix swords with nunchucks. This gag is used to portray Fighter's complete stupidity in not understanding that wielding the sword-chucks would result in the loss of his hands. Then, in a twist of irony in Episode 474 (and all surrounding episodes), Fighter utilizes a sword-chuck to fight off a fire-demon.
  • -Doken - It is shown in Episode 7 that Black Mage's most powerful attack is the Hadoken. After this, several jokes are made using the -doken suffix, one of which is the Fighterdoken, which consists of Black Mage throwing Fighter towards his enemies. Later on in the comic, Fighter throws himself and calls it a "Me-doken". In Episode 229: Blast Off Black Mage uses "Boatdoken."
  • Red Mage's Plans - Red Mage will constantly come up with a plan that either makes no sense or only benefits himself. One example is in Episode 372.
  • Akbar the Con - Akbar will sell someone worthless items and/or advice that fail to work as advertised and later proclaim his success from outside his "shop". One example is in Episode 215.
  • The Real Light Warriors - Occasionally the "real" light warriors are shown, they missed their first chance at being the Light Warriors when they went to level up before applying for the job that was rightfully theirs.
  • Fighter Never Dies - Somewhat self explanatory: Fighter has been stabbed an unhealthy number of times only for him to be shielded by ketchup packets or be brought back miraculously, possibly due to a high Armor Class.
  • Giant - Occasionally, a not-so-jolly green giant appears, and crushes several party members. Once, he was launched out of a cannon towards the ship which the party received from Bikke.
  • Orphan - Sometimes a little child in red clothes appear in the strip, he is an orphan (due to Black Mage's inherent urge to stab things) and is often used in relation to a bloody event, usually caused by Black Mage. The gag is about how the already traumatised kid gets even more shocked when people he loves and cares about are brutally murdered around him or he returns from an errand to a gory scene of death and murder. Some of his appearances are: 041, 042, 043, 044 and most lately, 631.


See also

Nuklear Age cover, 2nd ed. ... Brian Clevinger is the author of the webcomic 8-Bit Theater and the novel Nuklear Age. ... Dynasty Memory is a webcomic created by Brian Clevinger, primarily known for the main 8-bit Theater comic he does. ... Field of Battle was a short independent comic by Brian Clevinger about modern soldiers at war. ...

External links

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
  • 8-Bit Theater website
  • 8BT:Animated flash tributes by TLF



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