List of Penny Arcade characters
- 1 Protagonists
- 2 Supporting characters
- 3 Minor characters
- 3.1 Ben
- 3.2 The Broodax
- 3.3 Cardboard Tube Samurai
- 3.4 Carl
- 3.5 Deep Crows
- 3.6 Dr. Raven Darktalon Blood
- 3.7 Frank
- 3.8 Fruit Fucker 2000
- 3.9 Galahad
- 3.10 Guy, the Adversary
- 3.11 Hector
- 3.12 Jim
- 3.13 Kevin
- 3.14 Kiko
- 3.15 L.H. Franzibald
- 3.16 The Merch
- 3.17 Mr. Period
- 3.18 Mr. Tails
- 3.19 Porkfry
- 3.20 Randy Pinkwood
- 3.21 Robert
- 3.22 Safety Monkey
- 3.23 Satan
- 3.24 Thomas Kemper
- 3.25 Twisp and Catsby
- 3.26 Wombat
- 3.27 The Zombie Roommate
- 4 References
Penny Arcade's two main characters spend their time bickering about games, game makers, movies, each other, or just popular culture in general. They're both members of a gaming clan called Clan Walrus, and prepend "CW" to their nicknames in games. Tycho also does this with his name at the end of his blog posts.
Jonathan "Gabe" Gabriel
Jonathan "Gabe" Gabriel is Mike Krahulik's comic alter ego. He is energetic and free-spirited, but has a propensity to become extremely angry (with his eyes sometimes turning red, just like Tycho) and has murdered and robbed at least one person. He has a Pac-Man tattoo on his right arm, as well as a tattoo in honor of SNK on his back. He also has feet that are similar to hands, which he can use to grip things, a physical trait that is an annoyance to Tycho.
He has a fascination with unicorns, a secret love of Barbies and is a dedicated fan of Spider-Man and Star Wars. He practices line dancing with the Kansas City Hotsteppers. He has an odd affinity for a large cardboard tube, which he had fantasies of wielding as a wandering samurai, often in ancient Japan (see Cardboard Tube Samurai below). He was for a short time addicted to Tribes but soon grew out of it. He is, in direct opposition of Tycho, an ardent advocate for the rights of publishers and seems to choose his games based on how popular the game's publisher and/or developer is (he is obsessed with Destiny, but shuns the oft compared Borderlands), thus causing Tycho (who himself both hates publishers and likes Borderlands) to label him a "goddamn sycophant." He also has an obsession with his own genitalia and possible latent homosexual tendencies, a pet phoenix, a unicorn, and the Rocketeer's jetpack.
Recently, he has been diagnosed with "General Anxiety Disorder", with a hint of OCD. He also once received a blood transfusion from Spider-Man, and was shown to be able to shoot webs in a similar fashion, although this has not been mentioned in the strip since. In addition, Darth Vader may be Gabe's father - he "knew" his mother during the 1970s. As a parent, Gabe enjoys that his sons play video games and constantly tries (and fails) to get them to like Star Wars or to get them into older, more traditional games, even claiming he had failed as a father after his older son was discovered to enjoy playing Kinect Star Wars. Gabe also resents the idea of limiting the access children have to the internet, believing that it is no different from limiting a child's access to paper, which becomes an issue when dealing with parents who, unlike him, are not gamers or webcomic artists.
He also claims to have had his urethra removed when he was 10; according to him, they let him eat "All the ice cream [he] wanted." This may be a case of Gabe mistaking one word for another, or simply making things up. In a similar incident, when Tycho was talking about childbirth and mentioned the placenta, Gabe responded that the best part was "the cold placenta sandwiches the next day". It was recently revealed that his garage is built above a warren that has been "forgotten by the good people of the Earth", and is home to a truly ancient Deep Crow (see Deep Crows below).
Krahulik eventually named his son "Gabriel", in honor of the character.
In the game Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness, Gabe is reimagined as a former prizefighter and the overly violent hired muscle of Tycho Brahe's detective agency. He claims to have met Tycho after he fought the devil. He does the least damage of the playable characters, but is the fastest and has the highest amount of hit points.
Tycho Brahe is Jerry Holkins' comic alter ego (named after the Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe). Bitter, sarcastic, and almost invariably clad in a blue-striped sweater, Tycho enjoys books, role-playing video games, unnecessarily large words, and deflating Gabe's ego. According to Tycho, "Some people play tennis, I erode the human soul." He used to work as a telemarketer, because he hates to think that there's someone happier than he is. He was so good at telemarketing, they still have "Tycho Tuesdays" in his honor ("you can wear jeans").
He is a rabid fan of Harry Potter and Doctor Who. He is also the author of a series of fantasy novels that have attracted cult appeal, with a fanbase rabid enough to murder anyone who threatens the franchise's success. He is also an enthusiast of Dungeons & Dragons, for the purposes of which he is often shown using glowing red d20 dice. Though extremely intelligent, he has on several occasions made reference to his scarring childhood in which his mother physically abused him and blamed him for his father's leaving due to his body's being "swollen with evil" (in fact, puberty), as well as his parents taking him on a family road trip to such places as "Idaho's largest shitfarm". Tycho's father later "appeared" in a strip where Tycho is informed that his father is actually a massive, sentient, cancerous tumor disguised as a human.
He and his brother share mutual animosity towards each other (implied to be because the brother is jealous of Tycho's success), noting that "You might recall that Cain and Abel were brothers." It has been mentioned that one of his aunts, believing him to be gay, constantly sends him homoerotic material. Tycho also has a problem with alcohol addiction. He is noted for having "A judo grip on English". Due to his body harboring a "dark spectre from the world of dreams" his eyes turn red when he is particularly annoyed.
In Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness, he is the founder of the Startling Developments detective agency, formerly a doctor of Apocalyptic Studies. His Tommy gun (and in Episode 2, shotgun) does the most damage, but he is the slowest and least durable playable character.
Penny Arcade's many supporting characters in alphabetical order.
Anne Claire "Annarchy" Brahe
Tycho's niece, Annarchy is known as an accomplished polyglot, like her uncle, employing extensive vocabulary, and some knowledge of the Klingon language, a hardcore gamer, claiming to have played Final Fantasy on the Famicom in the original Japanese, and sneaking into the 2005 E3 in his baggage, and recently, a vegetarian out of spite. She was 11 years old when she first made her appearance in the strip. There are repeated implications that Anna and her parents are at least somewhat at odds over her life choice (her mother is in denial about her being a vegetarian).
Anne won a poll held to determine a new story arc, beating out such fan favorites as Cardboard Tube Samurai, Div, Fruit Fucker 2000, and Twisp and Catsby. The story arc's plotline consists of Anne wishing to attend the "1000 Man LAN", but her parents will not allow her to attend because she is forbidden from dating boys. Enlisting the help of her uncle Tycho, she breaks free and is able to attend. Due to her pony & rainbow case mod, she is mocked by other attendees, but becomes enamoured when one, going by the handle Galahad, comes to her defense. She later beats him in the final round of a tournament, and much to her uncle's chagrin, she kisses the boy.
Tycho once allowed her near Gabe, who in turn gave her advice about World of Warcraft. At one point, she went shopping with Tycho, for a Valentine's Day gift for her boyfriend Galahad. Tycho suggests custom embroidery, and presented Anne with a shirt that reads "Stay the fuck away from my niece!" Anne suggests he's trying to sabotage their relationship, a notion that Tycho unsuccessfully attempts to dissuade. She was trapped with Galahad in a mall full of zombies, defending herself with a Klingon bat'leth while breaking up with him.
In one comic, she is seen to be discussing with Gabriel (who is seen baking penis-shaped cookies) the past hype over the Duke Nukem series in light of a new trailer for Duke Nukem Forever. Her latest appearance reveals that Tycho has forbidden her to play World of Warcraft, and that she has been playing the beta for Free Realms.
In Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness, she is reimagined as a mechanical genius who is frequently left alone by her globetrotting parents, who despise Tycho and his profession as much as in the comic. She assists Tycho, Gabe, and the Player both by upgrading their weapons and by occasionally entering combat with a flamethrower that does twice the normal damage when used against Fruit Fuckers. In Episode Two, she is much more withdrawn, obsessed with a secret project that culminates in creating a giant robot to oppose Fruit Fucker Prime. Her new support ability is an orbital strike from what Gabe describes as her "awesome Space Blimp".
Tycho's wife, with red hair and glasses, based upon the appearance of Jerry Holkins' real life wife of the same name. Unlike Kara, she doesn't really understand her husband's obsession with computer and consoles games. Tycho accidentally killed her demonstrating a move from Splinter Cell, which he then used as an excuse to sue the entire country of France (successfully) in the storyline "Ripped from Today's Headlines". It was nearly a year before she returned, spotlighting Tycho's bizarre sexual fetish involving long necked animals such as giraffes and ostriches.
A somewhat fanatical Mac user (formerly known as Chuck) who underwent a drastic makeover when he was disfigured after a failed suicide attempt. He had tried to kill himself when he heard that Bungie was bought out by Microsoft and therefore would not be releasing Halo for the Mac. He is very vocal in his contempt for Gabe and Tycho's lack of appreciation for Apple products, and regularly tells the two to "shut [their] pie holes".
In addition to telling people to shut their pie holes, pies are often worked into strips where he is present: he baked a pie, Gabe was eating a pie. In On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness: Episode Two, Gabe bakes a pie while the player fights Charles. He also prefers to greet Gabe and Tycho with the colorful phrase, "Hey, fuck you". Gabe once painted a big red penis on his door to annoy him, with considerable success.
Other shenanigans with Charles included a phone conversation with Gabe after Tycho had died of SARS; Charles replies with the quip "I'm really excited that you might die". However, he still remains something of a friend to the pair, once trying to get them into an Apple store by mussing up their hair to make them hip (he failed, and Tycho and Gabe ended up standing out in the rain with other friends not hip enough to enter the Apple store). He was also seen working in an Apple store when Gabe and Tycho came in to buy an iPod for their friend, who was being deployed to Iraq; although Charles assumed that this was a pretext for the guys buying one for themselves, it actually was, as noted by Holkins in the corresponding news post, for their friend Clinton, who was leaving for basic training.
Charles helped Gabe learn to work his first Mac; when Gabe asked what cologne he was wearing, he replied "Macintosh". In 2007, a cross-over between PvP and Penny Arcade saw Brent (briefly) working under the management of Charles for his own end goals, with less than successful results.
Charles appears in Episode Two of Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness as an obnoxious treasure hunter and Tycho and Gabe's nemesis. He is exceedingly rich as a result of his tomb raiding, and tries to purchase an apartment the Player considers renting purely out of spite. The Player kills him in a duel to the death, and his body is destroyed in a fire started by Gabe.
A drunken, talking DIVX player with a hostile, surly attitude and a penchant for consuming large quantities of alcohol. He is also known to have rough, yet "magical" sex with Gabe's PS2 and considers Gabe and Tycho as weaklings, also insulting them with names such as "ladies," and "girls." He is usually attempting to acquire money for booze or voicing his opinion over how stupid something is. Tycho and Gabe also seem to take him on walks, akin to a pet dog. Jerry Holkins has also claimed Div "represents the hypermasculine impulse [Gabe & Tycho] strive to repress." (referenced from Attack of the Bacon Robots! in the August 20, 2000 strip comment)
In Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness, he is reimagined as a talking phonograph. One half of him can be bought from a mentally unstable carnival vendor in Episode One, and the other in Episode Two, from the same vendor. When assembled, he becomes a support character, who vomits on all foes on one side of the screen.
In the context of the strip, Jesus Christ is a big fan of FPS and fighting games. He enjoys shooting people in online games when they are talking, and "throwing up the horns" when he wins (this also makes him "fucking metal"). Also known for his legendary skill in Mario Kart: Double Dash - for his ability to "bring those blue sparks". He has visited Tycho and Gabe for years and is on a personal level with them, such that he has gone Christmas shopping with Gabe for Tycho (while he did know what Tycho wanted for Christmas, he was unable to buy "the one unholy object his dark soul thirsts for", as it would damn even him. They decided to settle for a Hickory Farms gift box). Jesus also once warned Judas about "being a dick" for team killing. In the strip, the character has also momentarily returned to Earth - not for the rapture, but out of excitement over the prospect of deep fried Twinkies.
Kara O'Donnal Gabriel
Gabe's wife. She has reddish-brown hair and is usually seen wearing a purple t-shirt adorned with a grinning wombat's head. She became a gamer under her husband's influence, though this is rarely mentioned in the strip itself and is instead only referred to in the newsposts written by Krahulik. Kara as a character is directly based on Mike Krahulik's actual wife of the same name, to whom he proposed in a Penny Arcade strip in 1999.
A list of minor characters that have appeared in Penny Arcade, in alphabetical order.
A seldom-seen friend of Gabe and Tycho, who is into rock music. He has voluminous blonde hair, a pink bandana, sunglasses, a sleveless jeans-jacket, a black tee-shirt, and black leather pants. His look is very reminiscent of a 1980s hair band singer. His first appearance was after Gabe and Tycho had settled their differences and Gabe suggested "getting the band back together" ("I can draw a little, you can write, and Ben can play the guitar") and when Tycho asked if it was okay with Ben, he strummed a powerful note on his electric guitar and screamed "I SAID 'FUCK YEAH!'" Ben's most recent appearance was in a strip about Rock Band, where he, Tycho, Kara, and Robert were going to form a virtual rock band.
A race of extraterrestrial parasitic insectoids, the Broodax conceal themselves inside of a human host that they might subsequently burst forth from the host's torso at the moment of greatest dramatic effect. The most recent comic about them depicts former attorney Jack Thompson as a Broodax agent.
Cardboard Tube Samurai
An alter ego of Gabe, who uses a cardboard tube as if he were a samurai wielding a katana. The birth of the character came when Tycho was going to throw out a cardboard tube, which Gabe objected to and showed him the fun that could be had with it. The first appearance of the Cardboard Tube Samurai came when Gabe went to Taco Hole after they did not give Tycho his proper order. The samurai later appeared again in his own short series of comics, which saw him in a style reminiscent of old samurai movies.
In his first strip, the Samurai saves a pig named Tonkatsu, who becomes his companion. Coincidentally, the pig shares its name with Gabe's piggy bank. The Samurai has later appeared in many other comics, sometimes in a series of comics making a story, sometimes just for one. These comics have made him a popular character. Video game developer Crystal Dynamics paid homage to Cardboard Tube Samurai by implementing a code in their game Legacy of Kain: Defiance which replaces character Kain's sword with a cardboard tube (in which Kain says "Fear the tube"). This was likely a response to Penny Arcade's fond references to the Legacy of Kain series in the past.
The Tube is also referenced in Eidos/IO Interactive's Hitman: Contracts with a Tube-Wielding protagonist. The link here is more explicit as the cheat code used to acquire the tube is IOIPENNY, with accompanying text referencing "The Wandering Age". The clothing (and weapon) of the Cardboard Tube Samurai is an unlockable "Insane Mode" extra in Episode II of Penny Arcade Adventures; however, they are worn by the player character and not Gabe. The Cardboard Tube Samurai is a special costume for Yoshimitsu in the North American console version of Tekken 6. The costume and cardboard tube prop are available for download on Xbox Live in the Avatar Marketplace. Gabe cites Usagi Yojimbo as a primary inspiration for the character.
Carl is an exterminator first introduced in March 2008. After peering into a crack in Tycho and Gabe's garage for rats, Carl is attacked and captured by a Deep Crow. Gabe assumes he dies and suggests going to Olive Garden to forget the horrific sight. However, Carl survives and is taken to the Fangspire, a large peak below the Earth's surface.
Carl uses the "old magic" (pretending to remove his thumb) to tame the Deep Crow, claiming it is not his "first time to the rodeo." The arc ends with Carl riding the Deep Crow, in an homage to the film The Neverending Story. In a news post, Holkins stated that he reserved the right to bring Carl back any time Krahulik goes to France.
Deep Crows are a gigantic species of crow-like subterranean predatory arthropods with black, feather-like hairs covering their wings, body, and spiked tail, 4 legs with talon-like claws, 7 red compound eyes, and a beak-like mandible. They are first mentioned in "As Seen In Modern Lair." Later, in "The Fangspire," an exterminator, Carl, finds a giant crack in Gabriel's basement leading to an ancient cave system, where a Deep Crow attacks him and brings him back to its roost.
Dr. Raven Darktalon Blood
Protagonist of a gothic horror comic created by Gabe within Penny Arcade canon, whose movie rights were fictionally sold to Warner Bros. during Hollywood's mad dash to obtain comic book intellectual properties. He is a parody of the designs of Todd McFarlane. A video game was already in production in the May 5th, 2004 comic, where "you can do a lip-trick off a human skull and into a giant, burning vagina." In Gabe's story, "Assault On UnderHell", Blood is shown to wield two pistols that are powered by "energite", and he has the ability to summon "The Leviathan", a cute little demon made of "Pure Hell", described by Blood as a "Soul too dark for the abyss, aborted son of Hell's 666 wombs, sustained by the black umbilical, weaned on the hellmilk, and fed at the teat of Abbadon, Whore-Queen of Festeria." He appears entirely unchanged in On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness: Episode Two, takes the human guise of scientist "Dr. Blood" to hunt down and destroy the Necrowombicon, and appears as a support character.
A Vietnam War veteran turned store manager at Electronics Boutique; although he has been referred to as working at Software Etc. in different strips. He is based on the manager of the NorthTown Mall Software Etc. in Spokane, WA during 1998. Frank, who is somewhat mentally unstable, often intimidates customers and deflects their complaints or questions with surreal stories about patrolling (and losing his leg) in the jungles of Southeast Asia.
He has asked for Gabe's pants on at least two occasions. He also once crucified customers in front of his shop. In the most recent strips, he has been fighting off zombies inside of a mall (the zombies are there due to the release of the game Dead Rising) with his M16 rifle, Mabel. He is shown in the next strip as being ready to assault the patrons of an Apple store, mistaking them for zombies and/or communists. He is, however, warded off by Charles.
Fruit Fucker 2000
Also referred to as Fruit Friend, the Fruit Fucker 2000 is a small, robotic juicer with an unusual means of extracting juice. It was first mentioned in the comic "Diabolicious!". Brenna and Kara tie Fruit Fucker in a sack and set him adrift at sea at one point in the strip, after he touches Brenna's hair in an inappropriate manner. This leads to a multi-comic cross-over story arc.
He later saves Tycho and Gabe when they are trapped in the mall with zombies by activating "Code Omega", a programming that turns him into "a furious tornado of anodized metal and putrid guts," So putrid, in fact, that customers were advised to look away, as the Code Omega action was considered "profoundly disturbing."  In another comic, an orchard is beset by the enormous Fruit Fucker Prime and its miniature mechanical minions. The Fruit Fucker also enjoyed a brief career as a juicer-for-hire in San Andreas, the setting of one of the Grand Theft Auto video game sequels. When the Nintendo Wii (then known as the "Revolution") controller was announced, a white plastic version of the Fruit Fucker was unveiled in the same style, including a suggestive tagline.
In Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness, Fruit Fuckers are machines with demonic spirits bound to them in a factory run by hobos. Their leader, Fruit Fucker Prime, destroys the player's house. Each area has a set number of Fruit Fuckers, and defeating them gives the player parts that Anne-Claire can use to upgrade weapons. Additionally, a "reformed" Fruit Fucker, nicknamed Fuchsia, appears as a support character in Episode One, causing a rainbow-colored explosion. Episode Two reveals them to originally have been conceived as the "Harvest Buddy-brand juicing apparatus", before the prototype was stolen by Dr. Mordo von Mundo for use in his Darksteam experiments. Fruit Fucker Prime, meanwhile, has become the incarnation of an evil world-destroying god, and is destroyed by Anne-Claire.
Annarchy's ex-boyfriend whom she met at a LAN party. Ann broke up with him at the mall during a zombie invasion (calling him a p'tahk in the process). In the Epilogue of the Armadeaddon Arc he is shown reading the Klingon dictionary to understand her insults. He was most recently seen participating in Anna's D&D campaign, while continuously professing his love to her, in what is apparently a desperate attempt to win her back.
Guy, the Adversary
A nerdy-looking man working retail for some unspecified store that sold Nintendo DS Lite early and ran afoul of Tycho. He attempts to pass himself off as knowledgeable about technology and hardware by using obfuscating jargon, but his attempt only proves his own ignorance, which Tycho savagely mocks. Guy retaliates by refusing to sell Tycho the hand-held game console, hence becoming Tycho's adversary. In desperation, Tycho enlists Gabe to go into the store and buy it for him. Unfortunately, Guy sees through the straw purchase, adding a touch of sarcasm with a call from his "wife" on his "invisible phone", which the ever credulous Gabe is easily taken in by. Giving up on the straw purchase, Gabe heads to the pet store to teach a pet parrot how to say vulva. Tycho says "a general goes to war with the army he's got".
He later got into an argument with Gabe which ended with Gabe trying to wreck a cardboard cutout display. Guy makes a reappearance in a more recent strip, apparently on more friendly terms with Tycho, commenting on the many incarnations of the OS Windows Vista. His adversarial relationship with Tycho may have begun even earlier than the Nintendo DS incident.
A subservient, old golf caddy, apparently of Eastern European descent, who first appeared on the second part of the story arc "An Alternate Lifestyle". After countless hours of playing Mario Golf, Tycho proposes he might be a good golfer, so he grabs Gabe to try his skill out on a real golf course. Hector's livelihood depends on gratuity from golfers and he is forced to carry out Gabe's outrageous demands, which include licking his golf cleats clean, sucking on his golf balls to clean them, and allowing Gabe to pee in his cupped hands when Gabe was too lazy to walk to the outhouse. Unfortunately for Hector, Tycho embraces the golfing lifestyle as well and is too intoxicated to intervene on Hector's behalf. In the later strip "Our Latest Comic Strip", Gabe threatens to lock Hector in a box for allowing a raindrop to touch his arm while playing golf during a violent storm.
Gabe and Tycho's long-lost roommate who loved RPGs and (supposedly) was a foil to the Penny Arcade duo. Everyone thought he moved out of the apartment, but he simply was lost in the cable jungle behind the television when he went to install a Nintendo 64. He appeared in 2 of 3 strips named after him, the "Jim Saga". His skeleton is seen wearing a red t-shirt with a 12 sided die used in table-top RPGs such as Dungeons & Dragons, and has the die on the middle without text. Appropriately, the die on his shirt displays the number 1, a value associated with critical failures. Jim returned at the end of the Armadeaddon arc as the necromaster, leader of the undead that had been swarming a mall many of the main characters had been trapped in, his plans were foiled by Tycho's Natural 20. The die on his t-shirt now shows a natural 20, a result associated with victory.
A skull in a jar labeled "Jim" appears in Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness, as a curiosity in Tycho's office. Jim is also one of the party members in Episode 3.
Kevin (also known as "K-Real" or "Keazy") is a "food court gangsta" who is said to enjoy games such as Saints Row. He enjoys "getting his cinna-on at the Cinna-bon". He has a crush on a girl who works at a candy store. Kevin acts as a stereotypical wigger, as suggested by his appearance. He seems to be more intelligent than his behavior and speaking pattern suggest, but this side of him is rarely seen.
A good friend of Gabe's, based on the two creators' real-life friend of the same name. Kiko is a "Pokémaniac" who often enjoys talking Pokémon strategy or playing the Trading Card Game with Gabe. He joined Gabe in ostracizing Tycho when he stopped playing Pokémon. Kiko also seems to be extremely serious about World of Warcraft, shown when he criticizes Gabe on his desire to try out other MMORPGs.
Cruel, conceited and egotistical author of the Song of the Sorcelator who Tycho believes has plagiarized his fantasy fiction work "Elemenstor Saga" and butchered Tycho's eloquent prose in the process. When Gabe expresses interest in the rival author's penmanship, Tycho declares it trash and flings it to the waste basket. Gabe then secretly begins to read the forbidden book in the attic under a blanket and becomes a fan to the point of taking a bullet for Franzibald at Readiation 2006.
Tycho's hatred for Franzibald prompts him to make a post on his blog about him, believing it to be harmful enough, although Franzibald remains ignorant and uncaring as he is shown piloting a gold jetski in "Lake Franzibald" (entirely made of money) in the company of a beautiful woman. Tycho also accidentally reveals that he has vandalized a Wikipedia article changing every instance of his name to "L.H. Fagzibald." He is a parody of Tim Buckley, the creator of Ctrl+Alt+Del, which shares the basic premise as Penny Arcade.
A 2009 series of six sequential comics, produced by Penny Arcade, gives a more detailed look into Franzibald's work. These comics, titled "Further Songs of Sorcelation," reveals the opening scene from a fictitious movie based on Franzibald's work entitled Songs of the Sorcelator, Return of the Witchalocks II. The scene shows that Franzibald's work is poorly written (comically so), contains many tropes, and steals ideas from popular media, such as Star Wars, Lord of the Rings and X-Men.
A cute cartoon character whose premise is that only copious purchasing of his merchandise by boys and girls can revive him (and only temporarily) from a wizard's curse. Failure to do so turns the Merch into the bloody "Fleshreaper" which "goes house to house, collecting torsos." The Merch satirizes entertainment that demands constant commerce (such as Pokémon and Yu-Gi-Oh!, among many others). Tycho's niece, Annarchy, always wears a Merch t-shirt. Other characters are shown wearing both the Merch and Fleshreaper t-shirts, of which only the Merch is available at the store as a t-shirt. The Merch often is connected to a comment that kids should buy merchandise even if it requires stealing from their parents (compare to Soupy Sales' televised 1965 stunt of asking children to mail him the "funny green pieces of paper" from their parents' wallets and purses).
Most recently, from December 19 to December 30, 2005, the Merch was featured in a six-part story-arc called "An Unbelievably Merch Christmas". In it, a Merch-turned-Fleshreaper is out of control because children have not bought enough Merch merchandise. A shotgun-wielding Santa Claus saves the day by telling the children what to do (purchase more merchandise) and by doing battle with the Fleshreaper, buying enough time for children to carry out his advice. Santa loses his left arm in battle, but the kids do buy enough Merch goods in time, reverting the Fleshreaper to his Merch form. Whatever the Merch's gender is, it prefers males sexually.
The Merch has appeared in Eets, a small indie game available on Steam. The Merch is also featured in the cooperative online action shooter Firefall as a pet. It is available as a reward for inviting two or more friends to register for the game.
Your helpful guide to the English language. Often appears with his compatriots Capital Letter, Question Mark, Exclamation Point, and their 'pet' Comma. His strips have him and his companions starting off quite happy and child-friendly, yet throughout it, it gets progressively darker. When Gabe and Tycho separated, Tycho wrote (and tried to draw) an adventure story where Mr. Period must stop the destruction of grammar at the hands of the evil Semicolon. His comics are often subject to rectifying poorly written posts by gamers; these feature biased viewpoints and disgruntled, angry remarks. He is shown to be terrified of Backslash, who is portrayed as an insane "vessel for darkness. And Blood. So much blood." He also makes forays into the world of numbers, meeting the number 9, who wishes to murder 10 and usurp his position as the best score for game reviews.
A violent, top hat-wearing monkey. He is usually seen biting various characters. He also once donated blood to Tycho. On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness has Mr. Tails appear as a robotic fighting monkey that was both ineffectual and calm. Gabe coddles Tails affectionately until all three of his personality implants are added, at which point he takes on his usual feral state.
A friend of Tycho and Gabe (based on a real-life friend of Holkins and Krahulik who goes by the same nickname). He has accompanied them to E3 and often suggests solving problems with a knife. He also made appearances in the Tournémon story arc, where he is shown to be addicted to the Pokémon games. He is colorblind and suffers from powerful attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.
A television news anchor whose broadcasts usually contain humorously blunt references to his alleged sexual prowess. According to Jerry Holkins in the book Attack of the Bacon Robots, Randy is often used when they want to touch on multiple topics within the same strip.
A friend of Tycho and Gabe who is of Japanese descent, based on Robert Khoo, the real life "Director of Business Development" of Penny Arcade. Some of his uncles were Kamikaze pilots in World War II. He was born in Portland, Oregon and not Portland, China, as some believe.
A kindhearted, nice friend of Tycho and Gabe who is usually picked on. Gabe has described him as being the friend the others bring down for amusement, including telling him the group will be at a certain location and then never showing up.
The Prince of Darkness and Father of All Lies is a consultant for makers of popular MMORPGs, advising them how to keep subscribers. One example of this is when he suggests to Blizzard Entertainment that in order to keep players obsessed with World of Warcraft, they should release a collectible card game.
A cat with advanced computer skills, possibly MCSE certified. Thomas is named after the Thomas Kemper brand of soft drinks. Though he has had no dialogue whatsoever, Div has appeared to interact with him as if he was fully responsive, although it is unclear if Div was just drunk out of his mind. Though in other comics Gabe has mentioned in some way that he has spoken to Thomas. In a comic where Tycho and Gabe acquire an industrial laser, used to open the packaging on an Xbox controller, much to the chagrin of the space devil who designed it, Gabe remarks "I don't know if you have spoken to the cat recently? He is fucking smart" (which implies that Thomas constructed or at least designed the laser). Gabe claims that Thomas informed him how to build a time machine, as well as warning Gabe of the dangers that may arise if he meets his future self.
Kemper also appears in the game; as a support character. His attack typically does only 1 damage, but there is a ridiculously small chance that it will cough up a hairball and hence do 999 damage to all onscreen enemies. He does not appear in Episode Two.
Twisp and Catsby
An anthropomorphic cat and an imp who are mostly only in sepia toned strips. Twisp is dressed in his usual suit, top hat, and monocle, while Catsby appears to be nude, resembling a red skinned miniature devil. They enjoy surreal adventures and tasks together with equally unusual characters such as the Moon or boating in a sea of turkeys. Contrary to what one might infer from the names, Catsby is the imp character and Twisp is the cat; Tycho said of this curious inversion at a lecture at MIT, "Well, we never really asserted who each one was... like everything else is so ridiculous where they live that it seemed perfectly legitimate at the time".
Everything about these characters and their strips is even more bizarre than "regular" Penny Arcade continuity with non sequiturs and Twisp speaking only in single word sentences. The duo was created out of Gabe and Tycho's mystification that they were seemingly unable to create something that their readership would dislike, and also as a direct shot at Kevin Smith's quote that the movie Jersey Girl was "not for the critics". Although Twisp and Catsby effectively mocked Smith's quote, the pair ironically became two of the most popular characters. Prints of their panels have since sold for over a thousand dollars. In On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness: Episode Two, they help the player fight off insanity-inducing drugs via a minigame.
A wombat's head design that makes various appearances in the comic strip, and is featured as the site's favicon, making it something of an unofficial logo. Penny Arcade newcomers often mistake the wombat for a bear, or as a reference to the "scary bears" found in Radiohead's merchandise. The Wombat first appeared on a green pennant Tycho was holding on January 22, 1999, in the strip "Saving Private ION" before settling in as the identifying icon on Kara's clothing, imitating the iconographic association between Gabe and Pac-Man.
In June 2005, Penny Arcade began selling a lavender t-shirt featuring the wombat logo, which matches the one worn by Kara in the comic strip. Between August 1999 and December 2005 there has only been a single comic strip sighting of the wombat disassociated from Kara. The wombat is also indirectly referenced by the phrase "Necrowombicon" (a parody of the Necronomicon in H. P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos) when Tycho attempts to "uninstall" the Mortyr demo and as the name of a fictitious gaming convention. It should be noted that "Necrowombicon" later became an actual gaming convention, held in Vancouver BC. (It is now defunct, having been replaced by the Penny Arcade Expo.) The Wombat also appears in the webcomic MegaTokyo, when Largo discovers the "long lost Necrowombicon" in "an ancient cave of evil".
In Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness, the Necrowombicon is an apparently blank book that holds special significance to the cult of the Silent One; being mimes, they are able to decipher its "invisible" writings. It is revealed to be the power source of Fruit Fucker Prime in Episode Two.
The Zombie Roommate
The Zombie Roommate was originally a roommate of Tycho and Gabe, until they asked him to leave because he ate all of Gabe's chips. He borrowed a shirt from Tycho, who allowed him to keep it when he left. The Zombie Roommate is typically treated in a manner that would otherwise evoke sympathy, if he weren't a zombie. He was shown to be one of the zombies infesting the mall, led by the skeleton of Jim.
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