8-Bit Theater is a sprite-based webcomic created by Brian Clevinger in early 2001 as part of a high school project. After seeing it become mildly popular, he decided to continue with it. It follows the misadventures of four deranged individuals as they revive the Orbs of Light and save the world from Chaos.
- Fighter McWarrior, a childish, sword-loving Fighter who often gets the group into bad situations. The most naive of the group.
- Black Mage Evilwizardington, the evil, Fighter-hating Black Mage who uses his Hadoken to "make things fall down".
- Red Mage Statscowski, the self-proclaimed "Fractactical Genus" of the Light Warriors.
- Thief, the leader of the Light Warriors by way of a not-completely-illegal-and-very-binding contract.
- Garland, the kind, cookie-loving, leader of the Dark Warriors (for most of the comic).
- Bikke, the pirate with two fully functional hands, but desires to be called "The Claw".
- Vilbert von Vampire, the nerdy Goth son of undead fiend Lich von Vampire.
- Drizz'l, the smartest and most cunning of the Dark Warriors; a fact that he is painfully aware of. Their current leader.
- Generic Half-Elven Dual-Class Ranger, the master marksman, but somewhat gullible.
- Berserker Axinhed, the greatest conversationalist of the age. Also has a violent split personality.
- Cleric, the only atheist cleric, as he doesn't like to play favorites with gods.
- Rogue, a Thief
- Other Characters
- White Mage, who tries to lead the Light Warriors on the right path, and is Black Mage's
object of lustone-way love interest. (100% true do not deny it, oh and this was not edited by Black Mage)
- Black Belt, White Mage's late bodyguard. A physical warrior who often ignored physics.
- Dragoon, the last of a line of dragon knights. Equal parts naive and inattentive.
- Sarda, the wizard who did it. Sends the Light Warriors on their quest for the four orbs.
- Princess Sara, Garland's captive who tutored him to become a proper villain. Has aspirations of villainy herself.
- Fiends, the four elemental monsters that the Light Warriors have defeated to rescue the four elemental orbs.
- Chaos, the ultimate darkness that the Light Warriors must vanquish.
The comic roughly follows the basic premise of the first Final Fantasy game. Four Light Warriors are recruited by the King of Corneria to rescue his daughter from Garland, after which they are sent to slay the Four Fiends and defeat the demon lord Chaos to restore light to the Crystals and save the world.
Beyond this, 8-Bit Theater is a parody of the Final Fantasy series itself, and of the very RPG genre to an extent. The Light Warriors are portrayed as maniacal, dim-witted, prideful and selfish, with little regard for the safety of the world. They are dysfunctional and frequently fight amongst themselves, having to rely on luck and the help of others to actually make any progress towards their goal of world salvation. The villains they face, with a few notable exceptions, are similarly incompetent and inept. Often the Light Warriors cause more destruction and death than the villain they're supposed to defeat (especially since majority of villains are inept morons or in some cases simply too good like Garland) and have among other exploits destroyed the majority of Dwarf lands killing thousands and ruled a city as a crime syndicate through terror and destruction. Black Mage alone killed thousands of people and Thief stole everything that isn't "nailed down and on fire" (in his own words). Fighter and Red Mage tend to cause a bit less damage but still participate in chaos the "light" warriors bring upon the world.
Beyond following the basic idea of the game, the comic makes countless pop-culture references and has many long-established running gags and original characters. Several new subplots, including patron gods to each Light Warrior and rival groups of adventurers, are also key plot points. To date, the completed comic has 1225 strips, not including side-comics unrelated to the main comic itself.
Works by Brian Clevinger
|8-Bit Theater • Atomic Robo • Nuklear Age • Warbot in Accounting • Emerson Wild: Monster Hunter • Fallout: Nuka Break • How I Killed Your Master|